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Sunfang
28-07-2010, 17:34
So the nearly extinct Avatar has always been an interesting point of lore in the Eldar catalogue, but after reading Path of the warrior I have a few questions.

I donít think I am spoiling much here but my apologies if I am.

In the path of the warrior once the Avatar is awakened every Eldar in Altoic can feel it's presence. It than proceeds to march about the craftworld somehow to board another vessel to be taken to the war front.

How do you transport an avatar, what sort of confinement is necessary and do you think it expects a bit of comfort it its lodgings such as a couch and a snack?

Since it is the incarnation of the war god and appears to be mad all of the time, does it just rampage through the craftworld being led by hapless Eldar like the running of the bulls to the vessel?

Is the Avatar able to control its rage to portray reason, and could you talk to it, ask its opinion on your drape selection?

Sorry for any stupid questions but as I see it, when this thing is released or awakened it does not strike me as the tea and crumpets kind of creature. I have a hard time believing it can just walk about without destroying the infinity circuit or anything else.

Green-is-best
28-07-2010, 18:25
Obviously it must not be too dangerous for the Eldar to be around it. Otherwise they wouldn't summon it, would they?

Sunfang
28-07-2010, 18:28
thats what I assume but by that same token they have to sacrafice an exarch (which seems a little ridiculous considering how few Exarchs apparently exist on a craftworld and their importance to the overall war effort.) it's hand drips boiling blood and its inards are lava wrapped in bronze. Not to mention it seems to send everyone into a tizzy which cant be good by anymeans.

How does this thing not have a stat-line of a blood thirster and why everyone and their mother can kill it is a bit odd to me.

de Selby
28-07-2010, 18:30
It probably is dangerous for the other eldar to be around it, psychologically as well as physically, but I think after one eldar is sacrificed to wake it up the avatar turns its attention to the enemies of the craftworld and wants to meet them with all speed.

There is very probably a complete and intricate procession/ritual for getting the avatar to a specially prepared chamber for transport and then unleashing it on the battlefield. Deviating from the prescribed ritual could be very dangerous.

Green-is-best
28-07-2010, 18:37
It does have the stat line of a Bloodthirster. Both are WS10, T6, W4. Bloodthirsters have an advantage in attacks, movement, and strength, but the Avatar has the advantage in initiative and save, gives fearlessness to troops in 12" and carries a BS5 meltagun. It also costs 95 points less than a Bloodthirster too.

Advantage: Avatar.

Caelnaethon
28-07-2010, 18:41
thats what I assume but by that same token they have to sacrafice an exarch (which seems a little ridiculous considering how few Exarchs apparently exist on a craftworld and their importance to the overall war effort.)
This one's a little fuzzy. I don't think it's ever been outright stated that the Young Kings has to be an Exarch, and indeed with some of the old background it would be impossible, as Exarchs can't remove their armour to go through the ritual. However, back in the old Craftworlds codex, the Court of the Young King (the surviving Young Kings of Biel-Tan) was composed entirely of Exarchs.

My guess is that the Young King is a warrior who's on the way to becoming an Exarch, but hasn't gone over the edge/been given a suit yet. It may be considered a kinder option than letting them become an Exarch, which means losing one's individual identity forever.


Not to mention it seems to send everyone into a tizzy which cant be good by any means.
The Avatar is the spirit of the Eldar at war. It amplifies the emotions they're feeling already, pushes them even further in the "characters" they play on the battlefield. The whole thing is a feedback effect; the Avatar is awakened by the fighting spirit of the Eldar, and they are inspired by it. So it's not a "bad" effect as such, though it may lead to an increase in Exarchification if it drives the warriors beyond their emotional breaking points.

Edit:

Is the Avatar able to control its rage to portray reason, and could you talk to it, ask its opinion on your drape selection.
Complex strategy requires reason, and is part of warfare, so it's part of the Avatar. You can probably ask it any question you want, but it won't take the time to answer unless you're asking something about war or fighting. :)

Sunfang
28-07-2010, 18:42
It does have the stat line of a Bloodthirster. Both are WS10, T6, W4. Bloodthirsters have an advantage in attacks, movement, and strength, but the Avatar has the advantage in initiative and save, gives fearlessness to troops in 12" and carries a BS5 meltagun. It also costs 95 points less than a Bloodthirster too.

Advantage: Avatar.

Oh my excuse me for some reason I was looking at a wraithlord. Not enough coffee yet this morning.

Idaan
28-07-2010, 19:55
Originally, that is in the Epic list, the Avatar would arrive through a Webway gate to the battlefield, which frankly makes a bit more sense than lugging him around in a ship.

For the Avatar's mindset, see "Shadowpoint" which has scenes written from his viewpoint. In short, he's not all rage all the time, but a considerate and intelligent warrior, able to communicate telepathically with his warriors. Still, he (at least the one in the book, who's been awoken for the first time since the Fall) is somewhat confused about being once "whole".

spetswalshe
28-07-2010, 19:57
Yeah Wraithlords are right sissies.

Presumably Avie isn't summoned until the very last minute, and so doesn't really have time to do much more than march off to the transport. If he were reclining on a sofa with a glass of bloody mary then it would have to be covered in something stain-, fire- and war-proof. Also, a Craftworld is not only massive (think 'moon' rather than 'spaceship') but also built by the most technologically advanced and flamboyant races ever conceived; while Imperial spaceships might be cramped and dirty, a Craftworld probably has high enough ceilings for an Avatar to comfortably traipse around the place, as long as he doesn't want to go to an arcade or go shopping. And you don't need to be a Farseer to know that if you're going to summon a war god and then put him on a transport, he should have a clear run to the aircraft hanger.


Not to mention it seems to send everyone into a tizzy which cant be good by anymeans.

'Sending everyone into a tizzy' is about the best synonym for 'prepare Craftworld for all-out war' there has ever been :)

Sunfang
28-07-2010, 19:59
Just checked Shadowpoint on Amazon. New copies are from $80 or used from $23. Is this out of print?

Idaan can you expand the instances of "considerate?"

spetswalshe
28-07-2010, 20:04
Well he's probably not going to flip off a Guardian for dying too quickly.

Sunfang
28-07-2010, 20:06
@Spetswalshe - I get that but "path of the warrior" does not really deal with or explain in multiple instances whats going on with the Avatar. Understandable considering it is not it's primary focus but in two seperate instances the Avatar is awakened and he seems cranky. One instance they have to travel through the webway for a decent ammount of time and they are on the ship with him. While everyone is gorging themselves and making "chit-chat" I presume the avatar is doing something and not just sleeping right...I think we can all agree hes had enough of that. Especially if he just feasted on an exarch to wake up.

Perhaps someone or a group of warlocks/farseers attempt to keep him physically in a state of suspension or something?

Again if the Avatar is in the heart of a craftworld (no matter the size) he has to travel to his appointed vessal somehow. I would imagine if he was just trudging abouts he might stir some complaints dont you think?

Is he so broken to the will of the craftworld that he has no agenda of his own?

Yes - I am aware that I am over thinking this.

major soma
28-07-2010, 20:25
When they first introduced the Avatar his awakening was considered only in the direst of situations now days? Its like "Hello? Theres a big scary dude made of blood and molten metal who would like you to come out and play" lol :(

Green-is-best
28-07-2010, 21:59
Remember, the Avatar is not at odds with the will and goals of the Eldar, but rather in concert with them. Think more Greater Unclean One and less Bloodthirster.

Caelnaethon
28-07-2010, 22:01
Is he so broken to the will of the craftworld that he has no agenda of his own?
It's more that his interests and the Craftworld's interest align almost perfectly: destroy Chaos and the Necrons, and preserve the Eldar race. Khaine may once have not been on the best terms with the Eldar, but now, more than ever, he needs them. Without the Eldar, the Avatars would sleep forever, and Khaine would be truly dead. That's if he wouldn't just cease to be completely; it's possible he's no more than an echo of the assembled Eldar minds in the Warp (though this is unlikely, otherwise the other Eldar gods would still be around in some form too).

As for the Eldar, they have no illusions about controlling the Avatar. In the second edition codex, if the Avatar was in your army, he was automatically its commander, regardless of who else was present. Nobody outranks the Avatar - not Eldrad, not Yriel, and especially not the Exarchs and Phoenix Lords, who are the ultimate expression of the Aspects of Khaine. All the Eldar can decide is when a situation warrants awakening the Avatar. Once he's awake, everyone else is along for the ride.

FarseerMatt
28-07-2010, 22:35
How do you transport an avatar?

You don't need to. Avatars are prescient, probably more so than even farseers. The Avatar will have been dreaming of the war to come for centuries, but it is only a fragment of Khaine, and its mind is similarly fragmented. However when it feels the craftworld resonate as the Eldar prepare for war, it senses that the time is now, and its mind begins to awaken. The Eldar feel this in return, and prepare the ritual of the Young King. This ceremonial re-enactment of Khaine's battle against Eldanesh reminds the Avatar of who it is, and fully awakens its mind, while its body is reinvigorated by the soul energy of the Young King. As it has long forseen this battle, it already knows where it is going and what needs to be done. It strides off into the nearest webway portal, and it is up to the Eldar army / fleet to keep up with it.

Having existed (as Khaine, the "whole" version) since before the creation of the webway, the Avatars know all of its paths, even the ones which have since been lost by the Eldar, allowing them to get to pretty much anywhere without requiring a ship. Although this can take some time - in Shadow Point, the Avatar has to take a detour through a now-Ork-infested world to get to where it needs to be, because the shortest route has been destroyed.



Is the Avatar able to control its rage to portray reason, and could you talk to it, ask its opinion on your drape selection?

The Avatar will communicate to the Eldar what it wants them to do, and give them visions of how to do it to achieve victory, but at the end of the day it is still a freaking god. I doubt even a Farseer or Autarch would dare to ask their Avatar anything except its will.



I have a hard time believing it can just walk about without destroying the infinity circuit or anything else.

Avatars are, among their other psychic talents, very powerful pyromancers. On the one hand they can incinerate people just by looking at them if they want to, but on the other they can dampen and siphon away their natural heat to the point that they can touch an Eldar on the shoulder without burning them (Shadow Point).



thats what I assume but by that same token they have to sacrafice an exarch (which seems a little ridiculous considering how few Exarchs apparently exist on a craftworld and their importance to the overall war effort.)

Well yes. It is a major sacrifice to awaken an Avatar, but if the war god calls then the Eldar must answer. However, the Avatar will only stir when it forsees the most dire and pivotal of conflicts (perhaps partially a result of its consciousness being so fragmented), so it's not like the Eldar are losing an exarch for every campaign they fight.



I don't think it's ever been outright stated that the Young Kings has to be an Exarch, and indeed with some of the old background it would be impossible, as Exarchs can't remove their armour to go through the ritual.

Well, exarchs don't necessarily fuse with their armour physically (like Obliterators), but they do fuse with it mentally - the spirits of the previous wearers mingle with their own, and over time being separated from it would feel like losing a part of themselves. Hence they would be very reluctant to take it off. The call to join with the spirit of their god instead, would be the one exception they could not refuse.

It is also possible that only an exarch is sufficiently closely tuned to the mind of Khaine to call him forth, and is the only warrior with a powerful enough soul to animate its body.

Stonerhino
28-07-2010, 22:37
Khaine, has some differences from the other Eldar gods. Mainly it's that he actualy has pieces of the Nightbringer's necrodermis floating around inside of him. Which may be one of the reasons that he broke apart instead of being eaten by Slaanesh.

It's hinted that the Eldar gods are psychic weapons created using the Eldar by the Old Ones. For use against against the Necrons. But the fact that the other three Chaos gods would not fight them. Means that they were extremely powerful. So powerful in fact that Khaine was probably Khorne's equal or maybe even his better in combat. After the falll when Khaine was broken apart His Avatars are closer to greater demons then thay are to Khaine as a whole. If you look at how many greater demans fall in 40k you will see why the Avatars fall as well. But if you look at the 40k stat line to gage power there are some built in flaws. One of which is that the stats do not relect fluff because they have to have some balance to the game.

FarseerMatt
28-07-2010, 22:52
Which may be one of the reasons that he broke apart instead of being eaten by Slaanesh.

Possibly, although Slaanesh may just have an affinity for inflicting this on other Warp entities that s/he is not powerful enough to consume (given that s/he did something similar to the Hrud god Qah).



It's hinted that the Eldar gods are psychic weapons created using the Eldar by the Old Ones.

Either that or they were a select few of the Old Ones, ascending into the Warp to better guide and shape their warrior races. We know that it is possible for mortals to become warp creatures (daemon princes) and the Old Ones were purported to know pretty much all the secrets of the Warp. Being so psychically powerful to begin with and with the worship of so many subjects fuelling them, they could easily have reached the level of a low-tier Chaos God...

Stonerhino
28-07-2010, 23:13
Low-teir chaos god/deamon prince is not going to be able to fend off a full fledged chaos god. Remember that Slaanesh was only able to stand against Khaine joiced up by the fall and eating the other Gods.

The Umbra are way different then an Avatar. For one, it's only hinted as being posible that the Umbra are pieces of Qah. Where as the Avatar is for sure parts of Khaine. Also Qah dissappeared 500,000 years ago and Slaanesh only became real about 10,000. Even Khorne is talked about as being young when talking about events that have happened onEarth. Such as Doombreed's acention to deamonhood. So it's even possible that Qah was broken apart by something other then a chaos god. If it's true that she is infact the Umbra.

Reflex
28-07-2010, 23:17
I get the picture of an avatar sitting on a plane trying to read and there is crying baby behind it... thats how the eldar make it mad!

Askil the Undecided
29-07-2010, 00:13
The Old ONes Created the Eldar to aid in their fight against the C'tan, mainly by fighting their agents the Necrons.

However, the Old Ones were fully aware that by creating a psychic race like the Eldar they would also generate a pantheon of Gods (which at the time would've had far greater access to the materium) these gods would help hugely in the Old One's own battles with the C'tan. The Old Ones created the Krork for the same reason.

Xisor
29-07-2010, 00:25
The Umbra are way different then an Avatar. For one, it's only hinted as being posible that the Umbra are pieces of Qah. Where as the Avatar is for sure parts of Khaine. Also Qah dissappeared 500,000 years ago and Slaanesh only became real about 10,000. Even Khorne is talked about as being young when talking about events that have happened onEarth. Such as Doombreed's acention to deamonhood. So it's even possible that Qah was broken apart by something other then a chaos god. If it's true that she is infact the Umbra.

First up: read this post (http://xisor.wordpress.com/2009/04/22/obedience-and-ignorance/) from my blog.

Second up, I quite agree. The caveat in my agreement is this: gods (non-c'tan) exist in the warp; beyond time.

A few sources (Fulgrim and Dark Adeptus prominently) talk about daemons of Slaanesh being ancient and forever, having existed for 'longer than the universe' but also about their god being young. Properly explaining how a god came into existence at 30k but still influenced things before then despite not existing is, as you can imagine, difficult.

To sidestep the point: I think the same god can exist at two points. Possibly more. It's not really the point.

The 'splitting of Qah because of Slaanesh' could happily have happened, say, 500,000 years ago but also be absolutely intertwined with elements of the Fall.

These 'fixed points of 40k metaphysics' make some degree of sense when looking at the Emperor particularly. I vaguely recall the Emperor's precursors, the Shamans on Earth, having inherited the souls of formerly dead gods and combining those via ritual suicide to make the Emperor. Souls of a dead god near Terra? Near the Vaul Moon? Emperor the 'recoalesced but slightly different version of Vaul incorporating bits of Qah?!'.

As you can see, the idea's very, very tenuous. But on the upside, there is some precedent and connectivity to it.

The thrust of my point is, however, that time (and the importance of 'fate') should not be simply held to or rejected when considering 40k's gods (and their interactions [the metaphysics, if you will]).

As for the young interwebber asking about Shadowpoint; it is currently on sale from BLP as a print-on-demand book for £20 from BLP itself in the guise of The Gothic War, the duology by Gordon Rennie. And as nice as Shadowpoint is, Execution Hour (part one of the duology) is utterly fantastic. An extremely good 40k novel, right there, I strongly recommend the pair of them!

Balgora
29-07-2010, 00:27
I get the picture of an avatar sitting on a plane trying to read and there is crying baby behind it... thats how the eldar make it mad!

Yeah! and then there's that awful person who's scared of flying and panics every time a cloud goes past and will never let you sleep.
Or that guy who wants you to see his holiday photos of the world cabbage museum and tell you how he bought really great soap he wishes he could get at home:eyebrows:.

Oh god, and the in flight movie :cries:

No wonder the avatar is so :skull:

Shamana
29-07-2010, 10:52
My guess is that the Young King is a warrior who's on the way to becoming an Exarch, but hasn't gone over the edge/been given a suit yet. It may be considered a kinder option than letting them become an Exarch, which means losing one's individual identity forever.

I don't have the codex right now, but I think it was stated that the YK needs to be an exarch. In a way, it makes perfect sense - you don't awaken the Avatar for minor skirmishes, but only when the big old farseers divine that s..t is hitting the fan, and it's do or die time. Also, the exarchs are the purest examples of aspect warriors, shorn of all other distractions or uncertainties. They are also the most faithful, being something like priests of their shrines - the word Exarch itself is a religious title. Sacrifices need to be pure and worthy, and who would be better than those that are already marked by the Bloody-Handed God?

Idaan
29-07-2010, 11:30
In some instances of the fluff, the Exarchs fuse with their suits, later becoming empty shells of armour animated by the spirit stone, so they either can't go into the chamber naked or have no body to be sacrificed.

Also, the Young King re-enacts the failed martyrdom of Eldanesh, who directly opposed to Khaine. It makes sense for him to be innocent and pure of the blood taint.

Not to mention that it's a hell of a waste.

Shamana
29-07-2010, 11:38
I'm not sure if the YK is supposed to represent Eldanesh there. As for it being wasteful - hey, that's why it is a sacrifice.

Caelnaethon
29-07-2010, 11:59
That wouldn't be my take on the symbolism either. According to descriptions of the ritual, the Young King is basically dressed up as Khaine - wearing his mantle, carrying his sword, marked with the runes of the Aspects. He then walks into the throne room, and the Avatar walks out. My interpretation has always been that the Avatar possesses the Young King, just like a greater daemon would. This makes more sense to me than the statue itself leaving the shrine and having to "grow back" if it's destroyed in the field.

In that sense, an Exarch isn't a particularly fitting sacrifice, as he is locked permanently into one aspect of Khaine, and the Avatar embodies all the aspects.

OoieGooie
29-07-2010, 12:18
Take note that GW update their fluff per Codex so its not really a good idea to use old fluff. Also, old novels created around the time of old Codex books should also be considered to be out of date.

IMO the Avatar is much like any 'warrior'. Wise, skilled and dangerous. Sure, they have an aura of battle about them but I don't see why they can't be meditating on long rides to their battle destinations. Think of a Samurai warrior I suppose (with burning lava for blood). :p

Shamana
29-07-2010, 12:32
I thought it was more like the exarch perishing (however it happens) so that his soul animates the statue, fusing with Khaine's, for lack of better word, energy. It might not represent every aspect, but it is strong and devoted enough - the rest of Khaine can fill in where it needs to ;) . I believe the fall of Kher-Ys, where the Avatar was possessed by a Keeper of Secrets, means that the statue is normally inanimate, or at least close to it.

Hellebore
29-07-2010, 12:35
Well if you're going to insist that they redo their fluff per codex, the most recent codex says an Aspect Warrior is the Young King, just as it did in the 2nd ed codex.

It doesn't make sense for an animated suit of armour to approach the avatar naked.

EDIT: Shamana, an exarch doesn't have one soul, they become a conglomerate of all the souls of past exarchs that wore their armour. They couldn't just give up their soul, the Avatar would consume all of them.

Hellebore

Stonerhino
29-07-2010, 13:50
Second up, I quite agree. The caveat in my agreement is this: gods (non-c'tan) exist in the warp; beyond time.While time does not really exist in the Warp. There are defining moments that still happen there. As such Slaanesh once born; always existed but there are times when it did not exist. Just as Slaanesh's birth is a defining moment in the warp so too would be Qah's "Death". These defining moments keep the warp in some what of a time line even though none really exist. For example Slaanesh would be unable to travel back in time (Material time) to before the Warp was blocked off by Asuryan(Eldar myth) and just come into the materium doing his thing.

Shamana
29-07-2010, 13:58
@ Hellebore - I consider it more of a personality meld, not so much a soul. It might be a bit like possession, or at least having your conscience fused with X others. It's not the same Eldar it used to be, but I'm not sure that would actually mean it is losing its soul.

Sildani
29-07-2010, 18:56
It seems that is done in the case of the Phoenix Lords. When a Lord is reanimated, the soul(s) of the Eldar who did it is obliterated... according to Gav Thorpe, at least.

D.B.
29-07-2010, 19:48
Yeah! and then there's that awful person who's scared of flying and panics every time a cloud goes past and will never let you sleep.
Or that guy who wants you to see his holiday photos of the world cabbage museum and tell you how he bought really great soap he wishes he could get at home:eyebrows:.

Oh god, and the in flight movie :cries:

No wonder the avatar is so :skull:

Don't forget that these are eldar that he's surrounded by. The panicking person has spent several lifetimes dedicating themselves to finding flying as terrifying as possible, while the guy with the holiday snaps has meditated for years on the perfect way to convey exquisite boredom in a single image. And the screaming kid? They're on the Path of the Brat, and their cries shrivel your gonads and put soap in your drink.

Curiously, the in flight film is always Epic Movie. Millenia of utterly single minded study and introspection have failed to yield anything worse.

Balgora
30-07-2010, 19:19
Engage panic circuits. Panic circuits engaged. Bwa-ha:eek:

Scelerat
30-07-2010, 22:22
Don't forget that these are eldar that he's surrounded by. The panicking person has spent several lifetimes dedicating themselves to finding flying as terrifying as possible, while the guy with the holiday snaps has meditated for years on the perfect way to convey exquisite boredom in a single image. And the screaming kid? They're on the Path of the Brat, and their cries shrivel your gonads and put soap in your drink.

Curiously, the in flight film is always Epic Movie. Millenia of utterly single minded study and introspection have failed to yield anything worse.

This is absolutely sig-worthy, good sir.

Iracundus
30-07-2010, 23:39
That wouldn't be my take on the symbolism either. According to descriptions of the ritual, the Young King is basically dressed up as Khaine - wearing his mantle, carrying his sword, marked with the runes of the Aspects. He then walks into the throne room, and the Avatar walks out. My interpretation has always been that the Avatar possesses the Young King, just like a greater daemon would. This makes more sense to me than the statue itself leaving the shrine and having to "grow back" if it's destroyed in the field.

As further detailed in Gav's Path of the Warrior, the symbolism is clearly that of Eldanesh. The term Young King was Eldanesh's title, and the Cup of Criel caught his blood after he was struck down by Khaine. Eldanesh as portrayed in the book comes off as a Christ-like ancestor figure for the Eldar.

The sacrifice in essence becomes a re-enactment of the struggle between Eldanesh and Khaine, and symbolic therefore of the Eldar race's struggle with its darker more violent side. For the Avatar, as a shard of Khaine, the symbolic re-enactment may serve to quicken it to life again, reminding it of one of its greatest victories.

chromedog
02-08-2010, 21:05
It seems that is done in the case of the Phoenix Lords. When a Lord is reanimated, the soul(s) of the Eldar who did it is obliterated... according to Gav Thorpe, at least.

Not so much obliterated. More completely sublimated into the gestalt. Phoenix lords exist because their personalities are dominant even after their death. It is their will which guides the gestalt. No-one else is strong enough.

In older fluff, the exarchs only fused with the armour upon death.

"and if slain, the armour is revealed to be empty"

Implying that the suit itself becomes the "spirit stone" for their essence.

spetswalshe
02-08-2010, 21:36
Don't forget that these are eldar that he's surrounded by. The panicking person has spent several lifetimes dedicating themselves to finding flying as terrifying as possible, while the guy with the holiday snaps has meditated for years on the perfect way to convey exquisite boredom in a single image. And the screaming kid? They're on the Path of the Brat, and their cries shrivel your gonads and put soap in your drink.

Curiously, the in flight film is always Epic Movie. Millenia of utterly single minded study and introspection have failed to yield anything worse.

Which would explain why the guy who draws the short straw gets killed - can you imagine waking that up?

"Umm... Avatar?"
[suddenly sitting up] "OH GOD JUST LET ME DIE!"