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Kiro
06-06-2005, 03:32
Inspired by "are the Tau the counter to the Imperium" thread, I have decided to bring up a niggling little issue that has always bothered me: namely, the Eldar and early humans. Codex: Necrons would have us believe that after the Enslavers appeared, practically all life was wiped from the galaxy, then, gradually the Eldar rose again, becoming the most powerful civilization...until the fall. Then man emerged on the Great Crusade. However, the history of humanity, particularly the dark age of technology, seems to indicate that there was a time when man ruled the stars, and had access to limitless, powerful technology. I mean, if one is to believe the way the Eldar tell it, they ruled the entire galaxy until the Fall, and humanity was confined to Earth the whole time. Conversely, human tales give the impression that humanity was quite widespread, ala the re-discovered colonies, and technologically advanced. So what gives? I doubt the Eldar, probably the preeminent civilization for their time, would be content with simply the area that would become the Eye of Terror, nor would they ignore the burgeoning human empire. I also doubt that a somewhat more egalitarian (or at least not as xenophobic) humanity would fail to capitalise on good relations with the Eldar. So...what's going on?

Avenging Dentist
06-06-2005, 03:57
Well, first, the Enslavers were bad, but I doubt they were as bad as you're implying.(Though they are still around. I think there's a WD with rules for them). But, that's not really important to the main point...

First, during the Dark Age of Technology, both the eldar and humanity had worlds all over the galaxy. Humanity was not, however, unified, and was pretty sparsely scattered throughout the galaxy. The eldar were unified, but I believe they were pretty picky about the types of worlds they would colonize, and probably saw no harm in giving humanity its leavings.

Around the 20th millennium, humans and eldar had made contact, but probably didn't associate with one another very much. The eldar, especially in the height of their empire, looked down on humanity, seeing them as neither a threat nor an ally. As a result, there probably wasn't much communication unless humans tried to establish a colony on a world the eldar rather liked. In that case, there would probably be a minor war, and things would return to normal.

If you're looking for more information on this sort of thing, a timeline of events in the 40K universe exists at Critical Hit (http://www.criticalhit.co.uk/w40krp/warhammer_40k_timeline.shtml). It's not terribly detailed in regards to the Dark Age of Technology, but it provides a rough overview of it all.

Xisor
06-06-2005, 05:02
I personally favour(since in my reckoning and experience, I came up with the idea) that from a period preceding the 'Dark Age of Technology', the Eldar Empire had already been in decline. Or, at least become more and more insularly hedonistic/self obsessed.

My 'ideal' way that the Galaxy worked is this:

- C'tan finally beat back the Old Ones

- Enslavers come

- C'tan go into hiding

- Galaxy Left in ruins, enslavers pass

- Old One/C'tan slave races are left thinking :wtf:

- Whilst orks(Krork, but including time enough for them to kick in the Brain Boyz, who were *not* the Old Ones) spread quickest, Eldar slowly push them back and come out on top.

- New races show up across the galaxy(of which one is IMO Demiurg)

- Eldar secure their grip on the Galaxy and consolidate into a peaceful 'All Eldar' Empire, with only a few 'subject' races allowed any sort of significance.

- The Demiurg become an intermediary race, the only race capable of truly 'understanding' the Eldar and being 'civilised/advanced/capable' enough for 'high level' interaction. They are left to oversee the younger infant races, trade and 'deal' with them. They oversee the 'Robot Armies' that Asdrubael Vect mentions(this and the last point 'cover' the effective entirety of the Eldar Empire, a good 65 Million years if records are correct from the hiding of the C'tan to two points down from this)

- In the meantime, the Eldar tech and society advance beyond all bounds, eventually abandoning the care of their Empire in the hands of the Demiurg whilst the Eldar 'go off' investigating the pursuits of the mind and body. Demiurg try to hold it together, but simply can't, the Eldar left too big a gap.

- Some races begin to break free and rise up of from the 'binds' of their Eldricht masters, 'Orks, monkeigh, the insufferable Kroot' etc and spread across the stars, albeit slowly and mostly unnoticed and unchecked by the Eldar.

- Eldar regress further, Orks and minor races run rampant, with no proper infrastrucure the Demiurg are caught totally unprepared and effectively fall from the grace beside the Eldar, ships across the galaxy being taken out one by one by the minor races. Orks ravage their homeworld etc. Demiurg become the fleet borne traders, miners and mercenaries witnessed today. Early 'doubters' of the Eldar leave for the edges of the Galaxy, far from the hub of Civilisation, the settle the Maiden Worlds and become the Exodites.

- Eldar worlds, whilst well defended and secure, effectively cut themselves off from the Galaxy. They simply don't 'care'. This allows for 'early' Man to cross the stars and 'settle' the galaxy.

- As the Eldar go 'beyond recognition', Warp Storms break out across the Galaxy wrecking civilisations and dominions Galaxy-wide. The final Eldar to turn from this path, realising their peril leave on the last of the vessels berthed in orbit around their worlds. The Craftworld Eldar set out.

- In a temple, a young eldar boy is to be sacrificed. As the blade touches his throat, she screams. The Eldar Race is brought within a knife edge of extinction, the 4th Great God of Chaos, She Who Thirsts is born. Warp Storms across the Galaxy coalesce at the focus point, above the most densely packed population centers of the Eldar. Their homeworlds are gone. The Eye of Terror Appears. The rest of the warp storms fade.

- The Emperor of Mankind sets out from Earth! Hazzah!



Note, I focused this timeline 'in my mind' when I came up with my idea of how the Demiurg fit in to everything. Hence why they feature prominently. They aren't crucial to the 'gist' of it.

Basically, the Eldar Fall IMO is *ONLY* workable with the rise of Humanity if done like this, that it was very gradual the 'descent' but it all actually happened in ~M30. Wow, 30,000 years of decline. 30,000 years...no bloody wonder they created a god out of it!

Thoughts?

Xisor

Hellebore
07-06-2005, 08:50
I would be a bit hesitant in putting a race the designers have barely scratched right in the middle of the eldar empire and integral to it. I can see where your logic is going with robot armies etc as the demiurg are big on automation, but one could argue they got this tech FROM the eldar after their fall.

The human colonies were (and still are) quite sparsely spread across the galaxy, and part of the reason humanity had the STC was because each colony HAD to be independent, being unable to rely on anyone else for help.

Humanity remembers their golden age of technology as a boom of knowledge etc, and the original timeline has humans dealing with aliens during this time (i Believe it even says so in the timeline in the Horus Heresy art books). However I get the impression that humanity was no where near as agressive and militaristic as it is now, and probably was not interested in conquering the galaxy.

As for the eldar, well they were in their 'golden age of technology (or is it more like the golden oldies of wraithbone singing? :p ) as well, and if the talismen of vaul are anything to go by, and the words of vect are true, there is no way humanity even in its so called golden age of tech (which to be honest is a matter of perspective- we are in a golden age compared to the roman empire) could have possibly made a slight dent in the eldar empire.

THe eldar fluff has the empire centred on the EoT, and its southern boarder almost at the southern galactic rim where the exodites mainly reside and where many of the maiden worlds were created. This is a huge empire that was totally connected together with webway tunnels and defended by obcscene weapons of total doom-ination.


Humanity certainly reached its technological height during this time (something in my opinion was anything BUT natural- there is no way tehy could develop eldar equivalent tech in only 10,000 years of advance that took the eldar themselves MILLIONS. I personally believe that humanity stole most of their knowledge and tech from alien races, and by raiding a certain necron tombworld close to earth) but this height is nowhere near the heights the eldar were at.


Also, the fall was MUCH more catastrophic than the age of strife, humanity just degenerated into civil war whereas the eldar almost ceased to be.

Imagine what knowledge was instantaneously lost at that point, never to be discovered again (otherwise the eldar would have fleets of blackstones).


hellebore

When Black Roses Bloom
07-06-2005, 09:17
Taken from the Warhammer 40K Fluff bible:
The Fall Of The Eldar


Over ten thousand years ago, a great tragedy befell the Eldar. The Eldar were at the height of their civilization, and they held dominion over a large part of the galaxy. Their worlds were paradises of great beauty and peace and cultural achievement. Then came the Fall.

The Eldar were proud and arrogant, and viewed all alien races as inferior barbarians. They excelled above all races and technology. There had never been a serious threat to their wealth and prosperity, until the Fall. They created many beautiful things, and learned much of the universe that is now forgotten, they lived long lives, and when they eventually died, their spirits passed peacefully back into the Warp to be born again. There were no spirit stones to contain the undying spirits in those days, for they had no need for such things. The Warp did not hold the dangers for them it does today.

Slowly, their own pride began to eat the Eldar race, to destroy all caution and caring for their fellows. The Eldar had long outgrown the need for physical labour of any kind. The Eldar society provided all that was required, without individual effort, leaving the long-lived Eldar to spend their lives seeking pleasure and satisfying their desires. Many gave way to the most hedonistic of impulses. Cults sprang up all over the Eldar domains dedicated to different aspects of arcane knowledge and sensual excesses. As these cults gained more power over the Eldar, their society became increasingly divided. They became more and more corrupt, became wanton and abandoned. Sadistic killers prowled the streets in search of victims. The need for pleasures became more and more demanding, and for the Eldar it became harder and ever harder to satisfy their desires, so their acts became more and more depraved. The bestial roar of the crowds was heard throughout all the streets, and gutters ran with blood.

The depravity and foul sickness of the Eldar mind raised a creature born of that depravity. A new Chaos God awoke, Slaanesh, who was created in the image of the Eldar desire and depravity. No creature of the Warp was ever birthed that was as monstrous or as powerful as the Chaos God Slaanesh, the Great Enemy, and the Doom of the Eldar Incarnate.

For years, the Eldar were riven with madness, as Slaanesh dreamed in the Warp. The Eldar slew and laughed and feasted upon the corpses of the dead, while worlds burned, and Slaanesh stirred uneasily into wakefulness, reborn from his endless sleep. When Slaanesh was born into divine consciousness, there was not one Eldar anywhere who did not feel the agony. With a howl of psychic energy, Slaanesh rose into supernatural life and cried out his pain. A psychic implosion tore at the universe. The spirits of the Eldar were drawn from their minds and consumed as their god took his first infernal breath. Intoxicated with this first drought, Slaanesh laughed, and looked upon a universe of gods.

The epicentre of the psychic implosion lay within the heart of the Eldar realms. Most Eldar within thousands of light years were destroyed in an instant, their spirits sucked into the Warp to feed the hungry god. Even Craftworlds were overwhelmed as they fled, and only those furthest away from the epicentre survived. Upon the fringe of the galaxy, the shockwave slew millions of Eldar Exodites and twisted many others with the power of the Warp, leaving only the remotest worlds largely untouched. In but a moment, the Eldar had become a doomed people, reduced to refugees scattered throughout space, knowing that their Great Enemy had been born and would pursue them for the rest of eternity.

The area that was once the heartworlds of the Eldar has now become a great rend in space called the Eye of Terror. It is the largest zone of its kind in the entire galaxy. Here the Warp and the material universe overlap, Daemons bathe in the energy of the Warp, while Daemon Princes and the Chaos Space Marines rule over planets turned into Hell worlds. Here lie the Crone Worlds, the ancient worlds that once made up the Eldar empire.




And now, can I ask a few questions? :P

Who are these races:

The Ancient Slaan

The Squats

SpeedyGonzales
07-06-2005, 09:34
The Slaan are hippy froglike treehuggers who decided to go drop out of the evil galaxy and settled on a small world isolated by warpstorms, follow this link (http://www.portent.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=7) for more information and discussion.

Squat is the tyranid word for stomach ache

:D

Eldacar
07-06-2005, 11:21
The Ancient Slann is another name for the Old Ones. Check out the Necron Codex for more background on them.

Kiro
07-06-2005, 22:54
Xisor, you know I never knock your ideas, but man, you come out with some quite far-fetched ideas!
Where in the hell did you get the ideas about the Demiurg? Hellebore is right; do they even have to be part of the "grand scheme"? Personally, I can't see the Eldar, past or present, ever bothering to rule over lesser races ala some cosmopolitan empire, nor can I believe they would hand over security to another lesser race!

Xisor
07-06-2005, 23:17
Heh, it's cool :p

It all came up from the 'Demiurg (WIP)' thread back on 'old' Portent. I became quite a fan of my own possible timeline.

EDIT: Suffice to say, I like the Demiurg, and invented it as supposition to flesh them out abit. Sounds good though eh?

As should be noted, the presence of the Demiurg in that whole thing is of absolutely no relevance whatsoever to this point, *but* I think it's a key way for them to be included in the timeline without being 'shoehorned' like the Necrons. They were 'always there', but for the last 10-20k years they've been couped up by Orks, Nids, Gribblies and Nasties without any real foundation to hold onto other than their own vessels.

That was my point of the Demiurg 'inclusion'. As much as I want them not to be 'space dwarves', I feel it'd be a kick in every dwarfen minded tooth if they hadn't had some 'greater' relationship with space elves. That the Demiurg were the *ONLY* race the Eldar deigned to deal with in their aeons of rule says something IMO. Whilst they set up as effectively a 'janitor' race, it does give them a relationship. It could be explained that, as with the name 'Demiurg', it was the Demiurg that maintained lesser races, inherited command of the robot legions, ensured that Orks never spread beyond a handful of planets etc etc.

Thus, when the Eldar fell, the Demiurg were without support and Orks ran free and wild(not naked :eek: ) and could effectively have been plagued by Orks ever since, only recently breaking the 'seiges' in any form and returning to the galaxy. Many races are noted as having contacted the Demiurg at somepoint in their history, the fact that they were the intermediaries between the Eldar and the rest of the Galaxy gives this credibility...

But then again, they don't *need* to be part of it, no. :cries:

(I really hope I'm on the team at GW that does Demiurg, somewhere down the line, I don't want them to ruin/ravage/desolate my 'perfect' image of the Demiurg!)

Xisor

EDIT #2: @Kiro ref:Security. It wasn't a simple 'handing over' of security IMO. After so long the Eldar just found it tedious and boring, instead visiting a 'super brothel' or something. The Eldar were becoming the Dark Eldar, they didn't have much choice. That choice faced by the soon to be craftworlders was 'build us a ship' or 'point this battlefleet at the Orks whilst we hijack/build a craftworld for ourselves', Eldar being proud and arrogant handed what was essentially and SEP(Somebody Elses Problem) to someone else, and saved their own skin, no thought given to the Demiurg. That sounds like Eldar doesn't it?

Kiro
07-06-2005, 23:22
the fact that they were the intermediaries between the Eldar and the rest of the Galaxy gives this credibility...


What? This is official fluff, is it new?

Xisor
07-06-2005, 23:24
Whups! No!

It's not official, and I shouldn't have said fact. Well, I *want* it to be fact, but thats not the point. :angel:

No, it's just my, and a few others, idea of how the Demiurg worked/works/will work.

Xisor

EDIT: Well, that some races have records of the Demiurg from long gone times, yes thats fact from BFG sources(I'll try and find them). The rest however, is my fabrication.