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Iracundus
07-11-2010, 00:31
The new DE Codex seems to at least partially address this by showing a slower rate of spiraling consumption requirements for the Dark Eldar as they age compared to the 1st DE Codex. However it still appears they would eventually reach impractical limits and still then succumb to Slaanesh, meaning the DE method of survival still is flawed:



It is said that Haemonculi are so ancient and jaded that they need to witness incredible amounts of pain each day or risk their soul withering away completely, though pain is not something that is in short supply in the oubliettes of the Haemonculi. p. 12, DE Codex



They have fed upon the pain of others for so long that it takes a true atrocity to invigorate them. Archons regularly lead full-scale planetary raids, for drinking in wholesale excruciation is the only way they can properly rejuvenate. Thousands of slaves are sacrificed before the oldest Archons each night and still this might not be enough to grant them a youthful sheen.

Hence elder Archons sometimes cover their black-veined visages with masks... p. 34, DE Codex

The old problem identified in the first DE Codex still remains, just at a slower pace. The Archons' increasing feeding requirements as described would eventually hit the ceiling of practicality of:

1) Securing enough slaves
2) The amount of time available in each "day" in which to feed
3) The increasing risk of a permanent death in battle through increasing slave raids
4) Internal revolt from discontented DE seeing 1 individual consume ridiculous amounts of the intake of slaves that the rest of the Kabal cannot then use.

eldargal
07-11-2010, 05:34
Yep, this is the great tragedy of the Dark Eldar, they have damned themselves in spite of everything. One of my favourite pieces of fluff in the new book is the little extract from Iyanna Arienal's 'Meditations' where she says while the Dark Eldar will whither to a soulless husk, the Craftworld Eldar have become less then Eldar through their denial of their baser side, and that perhaps the lucky ones are those that perished in the Fall.

One thing I'm curious about is how much more immortal Dark Eldar are compared to Eldar, excluding death in battle. We know, for example, that Eldrad Ulthran was a Farseer during the Horus Heresy, a few hundred years after the fall when Vect himself was only a child. If a Craftworld Eldar can live that long, is it just death in battle the Dark Eldar have overcome?

MOMUS
07-11-2010, 05:42
I did wonder these exact same thoughts when the first eldar codex was around. It seems GW always paints itself into a corner when making grandiose statements.

I would think point 4 has most merit. Once an archon becomes more preocupied with obtaining more slaves to feed than ruling his subjects he is weak and that weakness would be quickly sniffed out and pounced upon by one of his 'trusted' lieutenants.

Is there a definite line on how DE age inside the webway compared to realspace?

This makes me wonder about some of the oldest DE characters such as Urien and Vect, the former may have bypassed your problem by dying multiple times (does dying reset your soul requirement?) and the later may have found a means to circumvent his fate altogether which is why hes the undisputed ruler of the dark city. He has been at the top for about 5000 years which wouldnt give him much time to do his uber-scheming.

Im sure the oldest archons have access to some techno-magic-do-hickeys to aid them against soul drain.

Iracundus
07-11-2010, 05:43
Craftworld Eldar don't live that long on average. They are described as commonly surviving over a thousand years before being overtaken by old age (2nd and 4th edition Eldar Codices). The events of the Fall are also reduced to mythological tales rather than just being memories which shows again that Eldar don't normally have such long lifespans:



The tale of the Fallen Phoenix was mixed up with the other myths of the Fall. Not even the eldar had such long lives. p. 130, Path of the Warrior





This makes me wonder about some of the oldest DE characters such as Urien and Vect, the former may have bypassed your problem by dying multiple times (does dying reset your soul requirement?) and the later may have found a means to circumvent his fate altogether which is why hes the undisputed ruler of the dark city. He has been at the top for about 5000 years which wouldnt give him much time to do his uber-scheming.

It is actually explicitly said that Urien is beyond the ability to be rejuvenated through feeding:



Urien's wizened body has long passed the ability to regain the glory of a recently-fed Dark Eldar, for he is several thousand years old. p. 54, Dark Eldar Codex

Regenerating one's body is described also as causing the fragment of the soul kept with the Haemonculi to regenerate:



Provided this process is enacted within a day or so of the warrior's demise, and his will is strong enough that some of his spirit sitll resonates within his remains, his animus will slowly regenerate along with his physical form. p. 12, Dark Eldar Codex

So Urien might conceivably be forced to die and regenerate to restore his soul...only to then have that be drained out over time. As someone has previously raised before in another thread, are these then still the same individual? Or is it more like cloning and really just forming a new individual that has the same memories and thought patterns and can act as the old individual to outsiders, but is really not the exact same as the old now dead individual.


Vect may have been on top for 5000 years but he physically is older than that. Vect's entry also says some believe he has reached such a point too:



...with every passing year Vect's realspace raids become more and more frequent. Some believe his long-abused body has passed beyond rejuvenation... p. 55, Dark Eldar Codex

GW have tried to avoid stating anything specific on Vect's changes in behavior other than raising some speculations. One interpretation could be that his realspace raids are growing in order to feed his growing requirements. His increasingly blunt retributions against his enemies may be seen as him losing his touch, perhaps in his growing preoccupation to keep himself fed.

eldargal
07-11-2010, 05:45
Pure speculation, but perhaps Vect has found some Old Empire technology which sustains him indefinitely, and has banned the other Kabals fro mstudying Old Empire tech to try and prevent other Archons from rediscovering it.

Well, we have one Craftworlder and one Dark Eldar we know of witnessing the Fall, one with access to revification technology one without. Both of whom clearly not the average. So I still wonder just how much more immortal Dark Eldar are if one has to become as powerful as Vect (or possibly Urien) to survive as long as Eldrad did without their technology.


Craftworld Eldar don't live that long on average. They are described as commonly surviving over a thousand years before being overtaken by old age (2nd and 4th edition Eldar Codices). The events of the Fall are also reduced to mythological tales rather than just being memories which shows again that Eldar don't normally have such long lifespans:

Hellebore
07-11-2010, 06:09
The exodites seem to be the best off. They have the infinity circuit of the craftworld and a less 'controlled' life, which whilst not as extreme as the dark eldar does give them some of that freedom.

Hellebore

Iracundus
07-11-2010, 06:09
The scale of Dark Eldar raids has been escalated in the recent WD.



This is no mere errand to plunder a few heads of cattle, nor even an attack with the intention to round up a few score slaves for the pit-arenas of Commorragh...And all Commorragh benefits from the victims who are brought screaming by their tens of thousands to the Dark City. A Dark Genesis, WD 371

This elevates the Dark Eldar to being more of a major threat rather than just small scale petty piracy.

In the old DE Codex, the raids were of much smaller scale. Raiders over a period of 25 Imperial years in the Jericho Sector captured like 19500 captives. According to the claims of the Kabal lord in the old DE Codex, he feeds on 10,000 a day. So by the old scale of raiding, it would have taken 25 years of raiding to feed the lord for less than 2 days. With that kind of imbalance, it was a wonder the Kabals hadn't collapsed into anarchy or revolt.


The exodites seem to be the best off. They have the infinity circuit of the craftworld and a less 'controlled' life, which whilst not as extreme as the dark eldar does give them some of that freedom.

Hellebore

Does it really give them some of that freedom though? Although they don't have the Path, their way of life is deliberately meant to be physically strenuous so that they do not have the luxury of idleness to contemplate or indulge in decadence. If you live at a subsistence level, then it's pretty hard to think of much else other than immediate concrete goals of survival. Their way of life in a sense emulates the Path by constraining the realm of possible experience.

The Exodites have also traded off galactic power and the old culture of the Eldar Empire. The Exodites are thus susceptible to any outside threat, and reliant on aid from Craftworlds or other Eldar.



The harlequins embody an age-old enigma that has haunted the Eldar since the Fall, for they alone know the secret of how to deny Slaanesh and keep their souls burning bright. p. 42, Dark Eldar Codex

The above suggests the Harlequins are the only ones that have found a method to accomplish both (even if it does seem to involve pledging oneself to another deity and seemingly losing one's identity). This implies the Exodites haven't managed it.

Hellebore
07-11-2010, 06:32
Does it really give them some of that freedom though? Although they don't have the Path, their way of life is deliberately meant to be physically strenuous so that they do not have the luxury of idleness to contemplate or indulge in decadence. If you live at a subsistence level, then it's pretty hard to think of much else other than immediate concrete goals of survival. Their way of life in a sense emulates the Path by constraining the realm of possible experience.

The Exodites have also traded off galactic power and the old culture of the Eldar Empire. The Exodites are thus susceptible to any outside threat, and reliant on aid from Craftworlds or other Eldar.


They aren't living at a subsistance level. They have quite a high technological level. They utilise knights to herd megadons and use advanced laser technologies (the laser lance) at the infantry level.

They just live 'closer to nature' and enjoy simpler lives, rather than worrying about abstract things.

But yes they are pretty vulnerable to outside attack. Perhaps they should have orbital defence systems.



The above suggests the Harlequins are the only ones that have found a method to accomplish both (even if it does seem to involve pledging oneself to another deity and seemingly losing one's identity). This implies the Exodites haven't managed it.

Well even there they're still sacrificing something to get what they've got. They have to become champions of Cegorach and pledge their souls to him effectively. But in order to do that they've got to continuously emulate him, just as a khornate champion has to continually kill for khorne.

It's just replacing one kind of god enslavement for another. For a less destructive or horrifying one definiately, but it's still enslavement.

The Exodites still have to protect their souls from Slannesh, but apart from that they dedicate their souls to themselves.


Hellebore

Iracundus
07-11-2010, 06:54
They aren't living at a subsistance level. They have quite a high technological level. They utilise knights to herd megadons and use advanced laser technologies (the laser lance) at the infantry level.

They just live 'closer to nature' and enjoy simpler lives, rather than worrying about abstract things.


They actually have to work, compared to the Craftworld Eldar. Also in the 2nd edition Eldar Codex, it describes the Exodites leading at times a largely nomadic life. They may herd and farm, but they aren't doing so on anything like a large scale. Although they are capable of crafting things like lasers, their way of life is still essentially tribal and at a low population level. They come nowhere near to the carrying capacity of the land and the 2nd edition Eldar Codex describes how Maiden worlds are still largely empty even when there are Exodites. Admittedly details on their life can be still vague but they don't appear to have anything like the same level of specialization of roles as a modern society.

They are also said in the 2nd edition Eldar Codex to ultimately have less complex and powerful minds (in the psychic power sense) than the Craftworld Eldar, so the Exodites still have lost something compared to the old pre-Fall Eldar.

WD 371 also describes the trade-offs the Eldar have made compared to the Ancient Eldar who had:
1. Numbers
2. Psychic might
3. Physical abilities

The Dark Eldar are described as preserving physical abilities while letting psychic abilities atrophy. The Craftworld have preserved psychic ability but sacrificed physical ability (We'll forget for the moment how the CWE seem to have been eclipsed in psychics ruleswise). From going by the 2nd edition Eldar Codex, it seems the Exodites have sacrificed both. The Harlequins appear to have preserved both but sacrificed their identity and their freedom to their god.



Well even there they're still sacrificing something to get what they've got. They have to become champions of Cegorach and pledge their souls to him effectively. But in order to do that they've got to continuously emulate him, just as a khornate champion has to continually kill for khorne.

It's just replacing one kind of god enslavement for another. For a less destructive or horrifying one definiately, but it's still enslavement.


The Dark Eldar Codex says the Harlequins would see the Eldar race as a whole restored. This meshes with the old experimental Citadel Journal Harlequin Codex that also said the Harlequins work at restoring the Eldar to being the most powerful race in the galaxy.

Gav Thorpe has also in that Harlequin Codex and in his blog hinted the Harlequins have a plan to accomplish this, which even other Eldar would find horrifying. However he has never hinted at anything else other than it being "horrifying" so we have not the vaguest idea what that might be. Personally I wish it'd be hinted at directly rather than just saying "They have a horrifying plan" but refusing to say what it is. Telling the reader to be horrified is not as effective as showing and letting the reader be horrified.

Raibaru
07-11-2010, 13:28
They also didn't really go into detail on how they can leave the webway at all. It's said their souls deplete much more rapidly outside the webway, but then they introduced special characters that apparently don't live in the webway anymore like Duke.

Mr_Rose
07-11-2010, 14:58
They also didn't really go into detail on how they can leave the webway at all. It's said their souls deplete much more rapidly outside the webway, but then they introduced special characters that apparently don't live in the webway anymore like Duke.
They have been exiled from Comorragh. This is not the same as not living in the webway any more.

Drasanil
07-11-2010, 17:58
It could well be that the whole thousands of souls thing is exaggerated to reinforce the notion that the dark eldar are in an extremely tenuous position. Similar to the manner that GW insist that the CWE are literally dying out right now!!! despite that fact there are probably hundreds of billions, if not a trillion or two, left in the galaxy.

After all watching a few dozen Wychs butcher prisonners in gladitorial games is enough to rejuvenate massive crowds of high ranking Dark Eldar added to the fact that technically the dark eldar don't even need to kill anyone to get a boost but simply be around when they're suffering would seem to imply their situation even for the eldest isn't quite as dire as it would seem.

It could also be a cauldron of blood situation, in that while they are no longer rejuvenated the regular doses of pain and suffering are enough to keep them alive.

Iracundus
07-11-2010, 21:45
After all watching a few dozen Wychs butcher prisonners in gladitorial games is enough to rejuvenate massive crowds of high ranking Dark Eldar added to the fact that technically the dark eldar don't even need to kill anyone to get a boost but simply be around when they're suffering would seem to imply their situation even for the eldest isn't quite as dire as it would seem.

It could also be a cauldron of blood situation, in that while they are no longer rejuvenated the regular doses of pain and suffering are enough to keep them alive.

The description of the Wych arenas says they stave off the worst of the hunger, and that they perform a vital function by preventing DE society from collapsing into anarchy, even being called "the knife that stays the blade". Even one of the Wych cults is called "The Blade Denied".

It gives a feel of the Wych arenas more being like welfare or "bread and circuses" in keeping the masses of Kabalites at least partially sated. I would imagine that is one of the benefits of being part of a Kabal. In return for services, the Kabal member gets access to a steady feed, while independents would be utterly reliant on whatever they could buy, steal, or scavenge for themselves. The DE round table videos used that same "bread and circuses" phrase, and there was a brief remark that the higher classes would probably have something more private and exclusive.

Shamana
08-11-2010, 10:58
The dark eldar form of pay-per-view, I suppose :D .

Also, with harlequins I think it was both Cegorach's blessing and their own training that either denies their soul to the hunger of the warp or slows it down to a virtual halt. I think their trial by fire involved getting possessed by a demon and throwing it out, but I'm not sure just where this is from. It would certainly imply they have developed some techniques to improve their chances of resisting possession, because voluntary breaking of such possession was supposed to be all but impossible.

Iracundus
08-11-2010, 11:02
The dark eldar form of pay-per-view, I suppose :D .

Also, with harlequins I think it was both Cegorach's blessing and their own training that either denies their soul to the hunger of the warp or slows it down to a virtual halt. I think their trial by fire involved getting possessed by a demon and throwing it out, but I'm not sure just where this is from. It would certainly imply they have developed some techniques to improve their chances of resisting possession, because voluntary breaking of such possession was supposed to be all but impossible.

There is no canonical evidence for Harlequins having their ritual be through possession. Other people have tried to claim so but when asked to present their evidence, they have been unable to do so. It sounds like another one of those speculations, misremembered bits of background for elsewhere, or fan fiction passed off and mistaken for being real.

Try:
http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=278263&page=17

This has been discussed before and there was no proof.

MEcorp
08-11-2010, 17:07
The limits of preservation are a good thing though. It keeps the DE society vibrant and prevents authoritative decay (like in the Imperium).

Is it possible that Eldrad is something like a Phoenix Lord of psykers? This would explain his long life and powers. Obviously this is just speculation prompted by Eldergal's earlier points. Anyone have any other ideas/things to add?

Poseidal
09-11-2010, 08:14
Phoenix Lords have a very specific way of staying around, where they are constantly reborn when another takes the suit and mantle.

Eldrad and the Farseers don't have that sort of mechanism, though they maybe prolonged by their body crystallising (which may slow down aging, but also slows down them as Eldrad in 2nd had worse combat stats than other Farseers).

Idaan
09-11-2010, 09:03
While the crystallising process slows down aging, it eventually leads to the Farseers becoming statues and effectively dead. We know that Eldrad used his immense willpower to slow it down, until his work was done and he could find a successor. The temptation to give into it was great, but his duty to the Eldar race was even greater. Says so in Codex - Craftworld Eldar in the short story that introduces Ynnead.

Lupe
09-11-2010, 16:42
There is no canonical evidence for Harlequins having their ritual be through possession. Other people have tried to claim so but when asked to present their evidence, they have been unable to do so. f.

Citadel Journal #10. No idea where you could find it anymore, though...

Lazy ninja
09-11-2010, 19:34
The dark eldar's fate is a prolonged death. Even the oldest like Vect and Urien etc will eventually reach the point where they can no longer keep up with the leeching of their soul. Rakarth is steadily losing his physical form with every new rebirth, which again is denying the inevitable, while Vect again is hinted at reaching a tipping point in the codex. In regards Eldrad, Craftworld eldar will live longer than a dark eldar due to their soul draining (unless they keep the pain coming), and possibly it is by his psychic might that he has lived longer, he's turning to crystal, and in some fluff nearly physically dies, but wills his body to keep going. But he would have succumbed to death eventually (before the talisman incident)

Harlequins, I don't see them as being enslaved, I've always thought they freely embraced his worship and enjoy being one with the Laughing God - he's saved them from their races fate, and although arguably they're still God-food, I see that more as a merging like nirvana than consumption.

EDIT - Ninja'd about the Ynead stuff, although stated in a more gibberish way than Idaan lol

Lord Damocles
09-11-2010, 19:42
Citadel Journal #10.
According to this (http://www.gamehobby.net/citadel_journal/citadel_journal_10.html), CJ10 doesn't have anything about Harlequins or Slaanesh in it.

Lupe
09-11-2010, 20:02
It would be the editorial...

Iracundus
09-11-2010, 20:31
It would be the editorial...

Quote it then in its entirety.

mob16151
09-11-2010, 21:17
Quote it then in its entirety.

Please?? :p