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Lord Squidar
16-10-2010, 14:49
Hi all,

Sorry if this is repeated, but I am busy reading the last chapter and some things have been bugging me.

1 - The War-mask. It is a mantra or technique for bringing about the most destructive part of the eldars mind. What bothers me is that its designed to blot out all the horrible nasty things they do during battle... Wait a second. Aren't eldar extremely convinced of thier own superiority. Why would they consider crushing imperials or orks in battle no different than stepping on a bug? Maybe if they battled dark eldar or thier own kin it would unsettle them, but making them scared of battlefield emotions removed the alien feel.

Further more to this, those who master the war-mask forget everything they do in battle. Autarchs are those who walk several paths. So they know the moves but know didly squat about being in a battle unless they have the war-mask on. Considering its described almost like berzerker rage, I can imagine strategy sessions with autarchs and far seers being somewhat...interesting...

2 - autarch communicating pshyically. The autarch constantly gives out psychic commands to his army, which is fine on the craftworld sections of the book, but when they invade another world isn't it dangerous? Wouldn't it be easy for another army to jam psychic emmisions on a broad scale and leave them leaderless. Surely, although they are a psychic race, the eldar have some kind of short range radio network, or, shoch horror, speak to each other in squads! silly to me at least.

3 - aspect armour. Now exarch armour made at the time of the fall, studded with spirit stones of the past exarchs is exactly how I imagine it. But aspect armour too? Seriously? Surely aspect armour is made for each warrior that joins the shrine, possibly by the warrior himself. If it was all made at the fall, what happens when johnny eldar gets turned into a steaming pile by a melta gun? Its cool when that happens to an exarch, since they probably mourn the loss of all that memory and a really ornate suit of armour, but there must be millions of regular aspect warriors.

anyways off to read the rest of the novel now, enjoying it, and its certainly making me want to start my own craftworld, just need to put my mind at rest about these points. good boo

Raibaru
16-10-2010, 15:37
I thought of the mask as an outlet. It allowed them to devote themselves to the path of the warrior while being able to avoid the other aspects of bloodshed. Things like the enjoyment of it. Something that could pollute them and take them away from the whole path system.

Not sure about the second thing.

The last part will become a little clearer when you read the last few pages. I think the idea is the armor is never lost.

Wintermute
16-10-2010, 15:44
I've moved this thread to the Black Library General Discussion Forum

Wintermute

Col. Tartleton
16-10-2010, 15:53
Yeah Eldar love killing things (bred for it) so they must become cold hearted in order to prevent the temptations of Slaanesh.

Eldar are pretty self reliant I feel like. They probably don't need psychic communications, but its just how they'd do it. I feel like every Eldar knows the mission and has the initiative to understand how to react to changes in the plan without being told. They have an edge on humans. It should be their intelligence and agility.

You can kill the warrior but they can always regrow the armor. I've always seen Exarch armor as only being special in that it has numerous spirit stones in it. But I feel like any suit of armor can become an Exarchs given the need. I don't think there are fixed amounts of things. The Eldar are basically a post need society.

Lord Squidar
16-10-2010, 16:03
just finished the book right this very second. I enjoyed the ending, Karandras is awesome sauce.

Still a bit confused about the armour issue. I am fine with exarch and pheonix armour being super unique from the fall etc. but guardian and aspect armour?

ok maybe i am too hung up about it. really enjoyed that book though! Can't wait for Path of the Seer.

Isariel
17-10-2010, 11:08
1. The war-mask has a few linked but different purposes: it allows greater clarity in combat situations by (mostly) removing concern for morality and anything not of importance in making war; it also allows the Eldar to separate the actions committed in war from their conscious minds so that they do not risk emotional damage through guilt or enjoyment (to name just two possible reactions at different ends of the spectrum), which could in turn lead to such things as abandonment of the Path and possible hedonism (with all that it entails for the Eldar).

Also, there is a passage where Korlandril actually feels a little regret or sadness that the humans have to be killed - but he acknowledges that it is a sacrifice that has to made to ensure the survival of the Eldar. Just because the Eldar (as a culture) are racially arrogant doesn't mean they all hate other sentient beings and want to butcher them - I imagine most humans are fairly convinced of our superiority to every animal on the planet, but most of us don't look forward to dismembering them.


2. The Eldar have been shown to use completely psychic communication in battle (3rd edition Codex: Eldar p.6), but 'Path of the Warrior' mentioned a communication gem in Korlandril's helmet - whether this uses psychic principles for communication or more mundane techniques isn't clarified. I imagine the Eldar are well aware of the ability of psykers to block each others' abilities and have taken such things into account.


3. As far as I am aware the gems on the normal Aspect armour are just gems, not soulstones. Certainly, when Korlandril first sees the Aspect armour for the Striking Scorpion Temple of the Deadly Shadow the text describes them simply as gems. Whether they are purely decorative or serve some non-disclosed function I have no idea, but as far as I remember (and if I'm wrong then please set me straight with a reference) only the Exarch armour (of the Aspect armours) has multiple soulstones.

Also, I dont think the Aspect Warriors make their own armour - it's a very specialised thing to do afterall, there are probably artisans responsible for repairing armour and constructing new suits.


As a side note, I really enjoyed the insight into Craftworld culture, the Eldar psyche, the Aspect Temples, etc - so a big thank you to Gav Thorpe for taking the time and effort to write what will surely be a must-read for any Eldar fan looking for more background detail. I'm in the process of creating Temple fluff for my Aspect squads and thinking of ways this will translate into equipment, tactics, and subtle armour colour scheme variations. Very much looking forward to the next book in the series, keep up the great work GavT!


Isariel

N0-1_H3r3
17-10-2010, 18:51
1 - The War-mask. It is a mantra or technique for bringing about the most destructive part of the eldars mind. What bothers me is that its designed to blot out all the horrible nasty things they do during battle... Wait a second. Aren't eldar extremely convinced of thier own superiority. Why would they consider crushing imperials or orks in battle no different than stepping on a bug? Maybe if they battled dark eldar or thier own kin it would unsettle them, but making them scared of battlefield emotions removed the alien feel.
It's not the deeds, but the emotions that lead to the deeds. Eldar emotions are orders of magnitude more potent than those of humans, and an Aspect Warrior in the heat of battle is boiling over with rage and hatred... things that are dangerous to succumb to, or remember succumbing to, when at home on the Craftworld.

As with all the Paths, it's about learning control and focus, and gaining the ability to turn those powerful, dangerous emotions into something useful and keep them contained when they aren't needed.


Further more to this, those who master the war-mask forget everything they do in battle. Autarchs are those who walk several paths. So they know the moves but know didly squat about being in a battle unless they have the war-mask on. Considering its described almost like berzerker rage, I can imagine strategy sessions with autarchs and far seers being somewhat...interesting...
It's all control and focus, as noted above - an Autarch is an Autarch because they can push past the fury and wrath that the Warrior Path harnesses and do something more with that knowledge.

Warlocks are the same - every Warlock (remembering that Warlocks are specifically Eldar battle-psykers; there are other kinds that deal in other matters, all of which have the potential to become Farseers) has walked the Warrior Path before, and they use their training as Aspect Warriors as a foundation for their study of battlefield psychic powers, but would likely need to learn to control those emotions far more effectively in order to keep themselves and those around them safe.


2 - autarch communicating pshyically. The autarch constantly gives out psychic commands to his army, which is fine on the craftworld sections of the book, but when they invade another world isn't it dangerous? Wouldn't it be easy for another army to jam psychic emmisions on a broad scale and leave them leaderless. Surely, although they are a psychic race, the eldar have some kind of short range radio network, or, shoch horror, speak to each other in squads! silly to me at least.
Fundamentally, the Eldar have been using psychic methods to achieve their goals and aid their efforts for tens of millions of years. Their technology is fundamentally psychic because of this, and they've got a far better grasp of manipulating the Warp than pretty much anyone else.

Psychic communication isn't too big a stretch, and if you want to talk about the risks of it being jammed or intecepted... what of the same risks when applied to the means of communication used by the Imperium - both technology and psychic powers are used by humans for communication, and they function just fine?


3 - aspect armour. Now exarch armour made at the time of the fall, studded with spirit stones of the past exarchs is exactly how I imagine it. But aspect armour too? Seriously? Surely aspect armour is made for each warrior that joins the shrine, possibly by the warrior himself. If it was all made at the fall, what happens when johnny eldar gets turned into a steaming pile by a melta gun? Its cool when that happens to an exarch, since they probably mourn the loss of all that memory and a really ornate suit of armour, but there must be millions of regular aspect warriors.
Eldar technology lasts a long time, and there's no reason to discard something that is known to work when its usefulness will probably last for generations to come. While I imagine that Aspect Armour is produced when necessary, I don't imagine that they need to make a new suit for most Aspect Warriors simply because there'll be enough of them unused at any given time due to casualties and Eldar choosing to move to other Paths.

Lord Squidar
18-10-2010, 15:37
thanks for the response guys.

I understand the psychic communication part now, it makes sense considering other techs around are just as vulnerable (if not more so) and i am sure they can just talk when needed. The aspect/exarch armour thing makes sense too, still trying to understand the war-mask but will get there.

I really enjoy reading the fluff and books.its very important to me, I cant just roll dice. Going to be starting an eldar army in two days time! pay day soon! =)