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CrystalSphere
12-12-2010, 17:28
Iīve done a few searchs but i didnīt find anything about this, my apologies if this have been already discussed before.

I was reading the 5th edition Dark Eldar codex, but i am not too familiar with warhammer 40k lore. Before the rise of Vect as a sole authority in Commorragh, there were several noble families that vied for power, if i understood correctly.

I also read that those families, and the society of the dark eldar pre-Vect as a whole, was directed by aristocracy rules. On other hand after Vect took control, the system of the Kabals was implemented an a meritocracy replaced the old aristocratic society.

I was wondering if it would be possible to make a dark eldar army based around those noble families, either as a pre-vect army, or if it would be possible that in the present time there are still living aristocrats (i remember reading something about some lords of twilight, that are very ancient, but i donīt know if they belonged to those noble houses) or if all of them were purged by Vect. There is a mention in the background of one city (sorry i donīt remember the name right now) that managed to preserve some kind of independency for a while, but when his ruler declared himself "emperor", Vect assimilated or destroyed the city.

I was intrigued about the history of the noble houses, and i was wondering if it would be possible to make a dark eldar army that does not belong to a kabal but to a noble house, or if in the present time, there are kabals whose leaders are descendants of those old noble houses. The aspiration of such army, if applicable, would be to depose Vect and reinstate the aristocracy rule. Do you think that would be feasible at all, or did i not make much sense?

Idaan
12-12-2010, 20:26
Page 20 of the codex explicitly says: "many elder noble houses reinvent themselves as Kabals". Possible examples of reformed houses are here: http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=285317

Though it's pretty uncertain as to what is the the exact difference between a Kabal and a Noble House - it's clear that the latter weren't only made up of blood relatives if they held major power. The noble lords already styled themselves Archons, as seen in the story of Vect's coup. The only hint towards their nature is the statement that Vect replaced the "aristocracy of the houses with the meritocracy of the Kabals", pointing towards the fact that noble house leadership was inherited, not earned. But it doesn't make much difference for an average Commorrite, does it?

Iracundus
12-12-2010, 20:58
If you read the description of Commorragh's districts itself, there is a description of how there are still noble houses filled with warriors. However they have been displaced from the core and are now not the main movers within Commorragh.



The only hint towards their nature is the statement that Vect replaced the "aristocracy of the houses with the meritocracy of the Kabals", pointing towards the fact that noble house leadership was inherited, not earned. But it doesn't make much difference for an average Commorrite, does it?

Actually it might. Vect was looked down upon because he was a slave, and the Lords of Iron Thorn still consider themselves of "true blood". The specific distinction of Kabals as meritocracies vs inherited privelege, means that no matter how skilled or talented you are in a noble house, if you aren't of noble blood (or able to convince others you are), then you don't rise higher. Vice versa, if someone in power is incompetent, he manages to still wield some power despite it. In a Kabal, it is anything goes.

It would certainly be possible to play such a noble house, or re-invented Kabal. Most of their differences appear to be more sociological rather than direct differences in ways of warfare. If you wanted, just include more Trueborn to reflect the old nobility.

Kage2020
12-12-2010, 21:23
And if you want a real world analogy, just look at 18th-20th century Britain and America. :D

Kage

Drasanil
12-12-2010, 23:31
"Reinvented" Nobles Houses would probably be more internally stable than Kabals, have a lot of "Old Money" and a higher preportion of Trueborns. Think Victorian Aristocracy + Old School Mafia.

Kabals on the other hand would have be far more unstable below the top two or three positions, be more openly ambitious and less reserved and/or "civilised", prone to more extreme differences in wealth/power vis a vis each other. Think of South American Drug Cartels with all the "class" of Nouveau Rich trying to legitimise themselves in high society.

CrystalSphere
13-12-2010, 19:16
Thanks all for the insight, it seems like i was wrong and there are indeed surviving noble houses (the iron thorns are a good example) even if their positions are weakened as a whole. I will probably try to come up with my own background for a old noble house, that somehow survived the purges as well and reinvented itself as a Kabal, but keeping many of the upper ranks only available to the nobility of that house.

The point that Drasanil makes is a good one, i wonder how these noble houses even manage to preserve their "noble blood". I mean, going by european standards, there were several cases of inbred because of marrying close relatives continually. I think that in the dark eldar society, where there are only a few noble houses left, it must be a lot harder to find "new blood" and if one family decides to close itself, they could end up with a lot of inbreeding, donīt you think?

Also, what Iracundus point out about army composition, i understand that Trueborns are a must, but what other parts of the kabal army (other than halfbreeds) may be more frowned upon by traditionalists? I was thinking perhaps some of the works of the haemonculi, or some of the more extravagant elements like the hellions.

I was thinking that these old-minded nobles would probably reject the newer inventions made by the kabals, and maybe stick to some kind of traditions closer to the fall and pre-fall eldar. In the thread that Idaan linked about the kabals, in the description about the bladed lotus there are a reference about ritualized warfare and feasts.

Iīm not too familiar with 40k background, so i am not sure what could be considered "traditionally eldar" and what is more of a recent kabal development. My guess is that jetbikes are traditional, given that both eldar and dark eldar use them. And the "good" eldar look pretty traditionalists to me (with a mindset of recovering old knowledge and thinking about the past), compared to the dark eldar which are much more looking forward and thinking about innovative ways of causing pain, and getting more bang for their buck with the slaves they capture.

Idaan
13-12-2010, 20:17
The point that Drasanil makes is a good one, i wonder how these noble houses even manage to preserve their "noble blood". I mean, going by european standards, there were several cases of inbred because of marrying close relatives continually. I think that in the dark eldar society, where there are only a few noble houses left, it must be a lot harder to find "new blood" and if one family decides to close itself, they could end up with a lot of inbreeding, donīt you think?


I'd say that it's not a problem to them. The Eldar DNA was engineered to get rid of junkcode and avoid mutation, so incest might not bother them. They kept their noble houses running for 60 million years so Yriel can say that he's Ulthanash's descendant after all. And their WHFB counterparts are pretty in-bred as well, what with Phoenix Kings and Everqueens being related.

Kage2020
13-12-2010, 21:30
They kept their noble houses running for 60 million years so Yriel can say that he's Ulthanash's descendant after all.
Well, there's a difference from saying it and it actually meaning anything. He could have been descended from an aardvark and he would be able to make the claim without it actually being a fact.

That and I try and ignore the materials in Xenology as much as possible by maturely sticking my fingers in my ears, closing my eyes, and going "Lalalalaaaahhh..."

:D

Kage

Kiras of the flame
15-12-2010, 04:16
I think the trueborn would be something like nobles... since having an actual child is something of a status symbol... makes you wonder who's the Archon's child... or children... or something

theLastWulfen
17-12-2010, 18:04
I'm surprised no has yet mentioned how the new Dark Eldar Codex is a ripoff of Michael Moorcock's Melnibone.
Just change the setting of Melnibone to the futuristic.
Commorragh = Immyr, the Dreaming City
Urien Rakath = Dr. Jest
Stormbringer (Chaos Sword) was found in a webway.
The decadence of the Dark Eldar is identical to the Melniboneans.
I could go on and on.
Way too many similarities!!
Hey, I guess if you can get away with it, more power to you.
So if GW can do it, why not you also?
Want a royal noble house?
How about the royal line of Terhalli, the Green Empress?
Or Sadric, the last of the true emperor's?
Or House Yrkoon?
Want more?
Read the Elric Saga books by Moorcock.
A greater bunch of books you will never find!
It is Moorcock's original vision of Chaos and the multiverse, that is now the norm in most fantasy/scifi settings. (the 8 pointed star in particular!)

SgtTaters
17-12-2010, 18:11
I'm surprised no has yet mentioned how the new Dark Eldar Codex is a ripoff of Michael Moorcock's Melnibone.


It's already known as a direct inspiration for GW's elves. Jes Goodwin sculpted Eternal Warrior models in the 80's. The Melniboneans had tall pointy helmets. They were later rereleased as High Elves. The 8 pointed star of chaos, etc. is something that's been mentioned before on Warseer.
http://www.solegends.com/citboxes/bc5eternalchampion.htm
Considering that eldar are space elves, also made by Jes Goodwin, the inspiration is unspoken but inferred.

Yeah the Eternal Champion series is definitely on my reading list. Moorcock's been a huge influence in fantasy around the world, from Warhammer to Final Fantasy.

andyg2006
17-12-2010, 18:49
Also, what Iracundus point out about army composition, i understand that Trueborns are a must, but what other parts of the kabal army (other than halfbreeds) may be more frowned upon by traditionalists? I was thinking perhaps some of the works of the haemonculi, or some of the more extravagant elements like the hellions.

Just me, but I figure that the Hellions are the 'rebellious young punks', so maybe the more 'noble' houses might not want to have much to do with them.

I think pretty much any other units could be 'old money' Dark Eldar, though, as the Wyches/slave-fights + Beastmasters + Incubi etc have been around for ages.
Sure, the Haemonculi are always into experimenting and 'what's-new-today', but that's the way they've always been, so I think they could still be a part of the stability, too.

Even if x unit was newer than some others, no DE Archon who's worthy of the name is above sacrificing expendable units to achieve their aims.
Also, some Nobles might even go to great lengths to deliberately use lots of the rebellious elements in raids in order to get them killed off (in an attempt to weed them out of DE society as a whole), so you might easily have some Hellions in a noble house army, eg:
DE Archon: "Excuse me..? No, not you [kills innocent bystander]. Yes...you with the pink hair and the crazy eyes? Do you want some more drugs or some...err...'turf' I think they call it?"
Hellion: "Hell yeah."
DE Archon: "Join my army, kill whoever I tell you to and you can have them."
[Hellion unknowingly signs up as cannon-fodder].

An alternative may be that the older DE houses think they're the superior race, so they may frown on anything artificial which messes with their heads, so maybe an army which doesn't use combat drugs?

My take on things is that it's not what they use that's important; what's important is why they use it.