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Azazyll
07-11-2013, 14:52
An element of the deep past in the 40k background has been bothering me for a while. If the Eldar ruled the Galaxy from the end of the war in heaven until the Fall (just before 30,000, blowing away the warp storms and allowing the Great Crusade), and pushed lesser races to the fringes, how could humanity spread across the whole galaxy during the Dark Age of Technology? Are the Eldar just happy on the worlds they have, and don't mind humans taking the scraps? Had the Eldar already begun their decadent phase by c m15 when the DAoT began, with serious implications for warp travel and communication not starting until c m23-35, when the Age of Strife began (presumably not a problem for Eldar infrastructure because of the webway)?

Anyway, this seeming contradiction of both mankind and the Eldar "dominating" the galaxy at the same time irks me. I know the fluff is supposed to be mirky for this period, but what are peoples' thoughts?

Solonor
07-11-2013, 15:05
It's a phenomenon called "fantasy and sci-fi writers don't have sense of scale" (be it time scale, length scale, weight scale etc etc.)

Saunders
07-11-2013, 15:17
I look at the humans and elder as occupying two different planes of existence at the time on the Galactic stage. Humanity, in a veritable renaissance of progress, still lies beneath the notice of the Eldar, whilst they are above the attentions of humans. Both civilizations are capable of flourishing simultaneously, bearing in mind that they were each so self-absorbed during this time.

The Age of Strife actually coincides with the Eldar Empire's slide in to decadence.

TheDungen
07-11-2013, 15:49
I'd say the eldar thought the human migration into their area as much an issue as we do when some uninteresting species of animal migrate into our neighbourhood. The eldar dominated the galaxy but didnt really inhabit it, the humans moved into the galaxy and thought they dominated it, but the eldar was just to busy doing other stuff to show them otherwise.

de Selby
07-11-2013, 16:06
I imagine it's a bit like grey squirrels in the UK. It's true that the UK government is militarily superior to the common grey squirrel. It's simultaneously true that grey squirrels are colonising the UK.

Mellow
07-11-2013, 16:18
The Eldar dominated the Galaxy and the Humans were simply of no interest to them. You can presume that as long as the Humans didn't get in the way or start a conflict then the Eldar probably just left them to it.

Solonor
07-11-2013, 16:32
Or one could just imagine it was like the present relations between the Tau Empire and the Human Empire.

Horus38
07-11-2013, 16:46
Also the Eldar core worlds were in the area currently occupied by the Eye of Terror, and most maiden & exodite worlds seem scatterred towards the rim of the galaxy. Given their lack to move about real space due to the webway it's quite possible the Eldar Empire simply had no reason/desire to take an interest in humans.

El_Machinae
07-11-2013, 17:42
One could say that humans dominate the planet Earth. One could also say that fungi dominate the planet Earth. We just don't really compete with each other much. Different niches (mostly) and wildly different interests (mostly). The Eldar would mostly be localized around the Webway, I'd imagine. RealSpace becomes less and less interesting (to them) the further away they are from the overlap.

Anima
07-11-2013, 19:43
The galaxy is a big place, there's room enough for an Eldar Empire, a Human Empire, a Fuzzlewuzzle Empire and many more simultaneously. :D

spacemonkeymojo
07-11-2013, 19:49
I also think that maybe mankind was somewhat ignorant in the Dark Age, perhaps average Joes on a planet driving to work were oblivious to space travel and those in the know did not care to share their knowledge of the Eldar empire. In addition, I am kind of reminded of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
Space... is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is...

Idaan
07-11-2013, 19:52
There have been numerous threads on this already. Tl;dr version is that the Imperium of Man rules the galaxy, but there are more Orks than humans and they have more worlds. It can also be calculated that the Imperium occupies 0,2 % of the actual volume of the galaxy. Apply the same to the Eldar who were much less numerous and more picky regarding the worlds they settled. Also both the DAoTers and the Eldar could terraform planets, lessening the competition even further.

As to why they haven't fought, opinions differ. My stance is that the Eldar thought themselves unmatched, which is supported by the fluff - it's the very thing that allowed this engineered warrior race to grow decadent. The humans thought the Eldar were unmatched too, and preferred not to disturb them. Whether the discrepancy in power was really that big is a whole other case. The important thing is that neither of them acted out on it.

El_Machinae
07-11-2013, 20:18
That said, I find it very difficult to reconcile the presence of a massive webway portal on Earth.

InstantKarma
07-11-2013, 20:26
It's a phenomenon called "fantasy and sci-fi writers don't have sense of scale" (be it time scale, length scale, weight scale etc etc.)

True story.

Azazyll
08-11-2013, 01:01
My understanding was the reason the maiden worlds are all on the rim of the galaxy now is that they were further from the psychic shock wave of the Fall.

As for the various animal analogies - that's Eldar snobbery. We occupy the same niche, whatever they would like to think. Same range of habitability in terms of planets, same need for many of the same resources. Don't just buy what the Eldar are shoveling - from all reports, DAoT humans could do a lot of the same things the Eldar could do. It may be that there are enough planets to go around - but there's enough food and space to go around on this planet, and we still kill each other.

And we still cull animals when they get to be a nuisance (or hunt them for sport) and exterminate mold when it shows up in the nice part of the house.

And yes, I realize it's just two different "wouldn't it be cool" ideas from authors that no one properly correlated, but that doesn't mean there can't be an interesting explanation (and I've yet to hear an interesting explanation, albeit some acceptable explanations)

ForgottenLore
08-11-2013, 01:20
As for the various animal analogies - that's Eldar snobbery. We occupy the same niche, whatever they would like to think. Same range of habitability in terms of planets, same need for many of the same resources. Don't just buy what the Eldar are shoveling - from all reports, DAoT humans could do a lot of the same things the Eldar could do. It may be that there are enough planets to go around - but there's enough food and space to go around on this planet, and we still kill each other.

And we still cull animals when they get to be a nuisance (or hunt them for sport) and exterminate mold when it shows up in the nice part of the house.

And yes, I realize it's just two different "wouldn't it be cool" ideas from authors that no one properly correlated, but that doesn't mean there can't be an interesting explanation (and I've yet to hear an interesting explanation, albeit some acceptable explanations)

This. Personally, I would like to see the whole thing retconned so that the fall occurred much earlier and that the initial spread of humans across the galaxy and the Dark Age of Technology occurred in the power vacuum left by the collapse of the Eldar empire. That would probably be too large of a retcon for the fanbase to swallow though. (although really, it's less of a change than the newcron fluff)

Azazyll
08-11-2013, 03:53
Actually, having pulled out the most recent Eldar codex and the rulebook, it seems that the Age of Technology is c M15-M25. Slightly problematic, as the Eldar have "M15-20 An Empire Ascendent: The Eldar are unparalleled master of the galaxy. Those lesser races that dare oppose them present little challenge. Worlds live and die at their behest, for the supremacy of their empire is beyond dispute." But overlapping with this is M18-30 A Sickness of Spirit defined by a combination of curiosity and complacency and overlapping with a description of waking the Gods of the Warp.

Interestingly, mankind discovers warp travel in M18, so this may be an example of coincidence - the Edlar lose interest in dominion, even thought they have the power, just as mankind begins to expand. By M20 humanity had settled "countless star systems," which you imagine the Eldar in M15 might have been bothered by. Somewhere in this period, between M18 and M22 (first human Psykers) there were wars with Eldar, so they must have already passed their peak, or their peak wasn't that much more powerful than humanity's.

Still, it would be nice to have some explicit discussion of this. Even more of those mysterious hints GW loves, like it was all planned by the Emperor. Or the Necrons. Or the Deceiver. Or the Old Ones. Or, best idea ever, Fish People!

Hendarion
08-11-2013, 04:39
You already got quite a few answers which are the most logical. The Eldar were just to ignorant to see that mankind could contest them. What you might think of that is irrelevant, Eldar are insanely arrogant. Actually from all lore we have, even mankind seams to have thought the same - that the Eldar were unmatchable.
You won't find a more reasonable explanation apart from "GW created bullcrap lore". We might think of "more interesting" ideas, but they would be just silly and you won't find a "true answer", because GW never saw these two things conflicting each other.

Forse
08-11-2013, 05:20
Maybe I'm out on a limb here, but could it have been a desire for coexistence and mutual understanding? The grim darkness was perhaps less grim back then, you know.

Poseidal
08-11-2013, 08:16
If you look at evidence from two ends: visually (with human weapons and technology, and what technology they use), and the fact that Craftworlds were originally trading vessels that went to deep space (so not confined to webway trade)

Many Eldar houses probably traded and were reasonably peaceful with the humans, so much so that a lot of Eldar principles of science and technology would have been traded in and reverse engineered for the principles of it, then manufactured using their own methods.

Now, the humans were never unified at that point (according to the true original timeline, since the Warp Drive, there has been no galactic/large human political entity until the Imperium) but space is big, and both races were capable of terraforming (in the Eldar case it was very common) so there wouldn't be land grabs as there was plenty of soil to move to. Especially as the outer human colonies were independents travelling out for a new start.

=Angel=
08-11-2013, 08:48
I reckon that humanity was a relatively benign race compared to say, the orks or hyper violent whatever, there was less need for conflict.

If humanity had been marching under the banners of the dark gods or actively declaring war on all aliens then there would have been Eldar v Humans and it's unlikely we would have survived as a species.

The limited conflict that did take place was not enough to stop us being chummy enough to make trade and dialogue possible.

Azazyll
08-11-2013, 12:46
If you look at evidence from two ends: visually (with human weapons and technology, and what technology they use), and the fact that Craftworlds were originally trading vessels that went to deep space (so not confined to webway trade)

Many Eldar houses probably traded and were reasonably peaceful with the humans, so much so that a lot of Eldar principles of science and technology would have been traded in and reverse engineered for the principles of it, then manufactured using their own methods.

Now, the humans were never unified at that point (according to the true original timeline, since the Warp Drive, there has been no galactic/large human political entity until the Imperium) but space is big, and both races were capable of terraforming (in the Eldar case it was very common) so there wouldn't be land grabs as there was plenty of soil to move to. Especially as the outer human colonies were independents travelling out for a new start.

All good points. But that also reminds me about my annoyance with craftworlds. How do they move faster than light? It fluff is pretty explicit that there aren't any webway arteries that size, and they can't use normal warp travel - can they?

eldaran
08-11-2013, 13:30
All good points. But that also reminds me about my annoyance with craftworlds. How do they move faster than light? It fluff is pretty explicit that there aren't any webway arteries that size, and they can't use normal warp travel - can they?

The Warp was also presumably a lot less dangerous for the Eldar pre-Slaanesh; the Webway was still more popular, but because it was faster and more reliable than the Warp - basically, like the Imperium in the 41st millenium.

I'm fairly sure that if the Craftworlds had been able to fit, they'd have upgraded, and yes, the craftworlds of the 41st Millenium can warp travel, but it's suicidal for the Eldar to use it for anything other than extremely short jumps, simply because they're so nummy to Slaanesh.

Saunders
08-11-2013, 16:40
Also worth noting that the craftworlds have been retconned somewhat, with many having been built by worlds specifically to escape the coming Fall. They're not so much the straight evolution of trading vessels anymore.

Moloch Sacrifice
08-11-2013, 16:52
Or one could just imagine it was like the present relations between the Tau Empire and the Human Empire.
I don't get it. Humans were consigned to a small but dense region of space due to their technology, and therefore not a large threat? Humans were targeted with genocide, but were abandoned as greater threats emerged? I'm not really sure what you're trying to say here.

Tim_Ward
08-11-2013, 17:42
I generally find it helpful to mentally add the words "in the opinion of the Eldar" onto the end of any fluff statement about how great the Eldar are, how mighty their pre-fall Empire was and so on.

Hendarion
08-11-2013, 20:46
Just that not only the Eldar believed that way, but it is a given universe-fact which even imperial Inquisitors quote in various books.

Solonor
08-11-2013, 23:40
I don't get it. Humans were consigned to a small but dense region of space due to their technology, and therefore not a large threat? Humans were targeted with genocide, but were abandoned as greater threats emerged? I'm not really sure what you're trying to say here.

What i was saying is that the Tau Empire is a small empire that is expanding to occupy other places in the galaxy and regardless of that, the Human Empire doesn't have a clear motive to exterminate them until now, be it because of larger threats they have to attend or because it would take a great deal of ressources or because they serve as distractions to common foes (chaos, nids, orks), or because humans are becoming arrogant like the Eldar before them.

Probably the Eldar thought the same way "back then", like wow this guys are annoying but not so much as thoose pesky Orks and they even fight them sometimes, let us not bother. Probably they even had plans to exterminate Humans but then the Fall happened.

On a side note if i where an Eldar "back then" and found a race that in a primitive setting gave birth to 3 chaos gods and a psychic being like the emperor i would blast terra right away, but i guess they where to distracted with the excess, torture and pleasure to notice that little planet that happens to have a webway gate connection.

Tau look rather pale in comparison so much evolution and still no chaos god births, they even have a poor warp signature ;)

The Emperor
09-11-2013, 01:22
I doubt the situations are at all similar. For one, as you say, there're a ton of major threats out there distracting the Imperium. There were no major threats which the Eldar Empire had to contend with. There wasn't a massive resurgence of Necrons, there were no Tyranids, no Chaos Marine Legions, Orks weren't as numerous as now, etc. And secondly, I doubt the Humans of that era went out of their way to try to invade Eldar worlds the way the Tau does. I very much doubt that the Humans of the Dark Age of Technology era had made it their mission to conquer the Eldar and bring them under their way of thinking. They more than likely just steered clear of the Eldar.

And the origin of the other three Chaos Gods has been retconned into having occurred during the War in Heaven between the Necrons and the Old Ones... or did that get retconned back out with the Necron retcon? God, how I HATE that recent retcon. You want to create Necron Dynasties and give Necrons more personality, GW? Great. You didn't need to nuke the old background, though. They can still have personality and their own agendas while still worshipping the C'Tan as gods and harvesting the galaxy for them. There was something terrifying about the Necrons the way they were before, but now they're just so pedestrian.

Horus38
09-11-2013, 02:33
That said, I find it very difficult to reconcile the presence of a massive webway portal on Earth.

Actually recent reading on that background points to the golden throne being an ancient human technology that was designed (or was re-purposed by the Emperor) to break into webway/create an artificial portal.


I generally find it helpful to mentally add the words "in the opinion of the Eldar" onto the end of any fluff statement about how great the Eldar are, how mighty their pre-fall Empire was and so on.

Source books also state that the Eldar emerged from the War in Heaven as a pre-eminent power in the universe, so whether this persisted right up to the Fall is debatable, but it was definitely the case at one point in time.

ForgottenLore
09-11-2013, 03:34
And the origin of the other three Chaos Gods has been retconned into having occurred during the War in Heaven between the Necrons and the Old Ones...
Really?! That would be awesome. That makes soooo much more sense.


or did that get retconned back out with the Necron retcon? God, how I HATE that recent retcon.

Sigh... Probably. I'm right there with you.

Hendarion
09-11-2013, 05:18
Orks weren't as numerous as nowYea, but only because the Eldar kept them at bay. Or their automated armies were.


And the origin of the other three Chaos Gods has been retconned into having occurred during the War in Heaven between the Necrons and the Old OnesWhich book was this in? Page-number would be nice to know too. It's the first time I hear that.

eldaran
09-11-2013, 05:45
Yea, but only because the Eldar kept them at bay. Or their automated armies were.

Which book was this in? Page-number would be nice to know too. It's the first time I hear that.

I'm curious about that too, though it would make more sense than "Khorne doesn't get created from a massive intergalactic war involving the Eldar, it's a set of wars on earth millennia later that does it"; though I do still like MvS' Pre-history of the 40k Galaxy for an explanation of the war in heaven, even though it was written before the Necron fluff re-write...

Shamana
09-11-2013, 12:20
Maybe I'm out on a limb here, but could it have been a desire for coexistence and mutual understanding? The grim darkness was perhaps less grim back then, you know.

Or at least there wasnīt any all-out war. Now, if the information from the Lexicanum is correct, humanity didnīt have a functional warp drive and gellar field until around M18, so chances are it didnīt spread too far until a millenia or two afterwards - at which point the Eldar were beginning their slide into decadence and probably couldnīt be bothered too much about the new kids on the block. There was a mention that there were some clashes with Eldar or Orks, but I think we can presume that there wasnīt a huge conflict.

Edit - my interpretation on the Warp gods is that they are essentially shaped and influenced by what happens in the Materium, just as Slaanesh was created by the decadence of the old Eldar empire. SOMETHING was created in the War in Heaven, and there probably was a God of War akin to Khorne, but it might not have been quite the same. What we know as Khorne may well have been shaped from the remains of another being. Perhaps the dominance of the Eldar - had it indeed ushered a relatively peaceful period - weakened the War God in the Immaterium and made it easier for a new aspect - Khorne - to take over as things went downhill and war and bloodshed spread again.

Mellow
09-11-2013, 12:43
I've always imagined the Golden Age of Humanity to be on a level of Star Trek utopia (technology wise) but perhaps with greater scale and power levels.

However when the Dark Age comes I've always thought the naivety of Golden Age or mostly peaceful nature humans was lost and they started to make more and more weapons of large scale war to combat the multitude of aliens they encountered.

Idaan
09-11-2013, 13:07
The Dark Age is the same as the Golden Age. It's just that the Imperium calls it dark because of subservience of humanity to the machines, and the Mechanicus calls it golden because of technological wonders.

airwolf
09-11-2013, 17:45
We can presume the power abilities of the Dark Age of Humanity if you read the novel the Death of Integrity. That alone shows how when everything in the STCs and beyond STCs were working in conjunction with each other what our weapons, ships and technology was capable of.
Now if we presume that is the power scale, which eclipsed everything up to and including Strike Cruiser level in 40k which are sadly the runts of the original design, and this was not a warship, what would a warship be capable of?
The timeliness do suggest that the Eldar were in decline as Humanity was ascending the first time, and we appeared to be more peaceful, as shown by the rulebook timeline suggesting colonies had peace treaties with various species, which would have included the Eldar.
Humanity always had more numbers than the Eldar even before the Fall, and if we imagined power armour and equivilents were more readily available for standing armies. I think in a defensive situation we would probably have stood a chance. Mainly because current Eldar struggle against Space Marines and the Guard, and it would be presumed it would still hold true for Guard armed and armoured like Marines...without the genetic engineering.

Hendarion
09-11-2013, 19:09
Humanity always had more numbers than the Eldar even before the FallAh yea? Where's that taken from?
By the way, comparing current Eldar warriors to the automated pre-Fall-warmachines is just wrong. The Eldar had even stronger tech back then and much of it was lost. Not to mention the pre-Fall-Eldar had said automated warmachines. A machine is obviously stronger than a regular Eldar.
I don't want to start the "but the Eldar were stronger than the humans in the golden age" vs "but humanity was far greater", because the facts are in the books. Even humanity calls the Eldar the "former unmatched masters of the galaxy... until the Fall happened".

El_Machinae
09-11-2013, 20:23
Actually recent reading on that background points to the golden throne being an ancient human technology that was designed (or was re-purposed by the Emperor) to break into webway/create an artificial portal.


Ah, yeah. Creating a new portal into a near tunnel would work just fine. What's this 'recent reading'? Which book? :)

eldaran
09-11-2013, 20:54
Ah, yeah. Creating a new portal into a near tunnel would work just fine. What's this 'recent reading'? Which book? :)

I think the background being referenced is laced through A Thousand Sons; it implies that Magnus shatters the attempts to break in, and from memory the Emperor is sitting on a Golden Throne - given Malcador is said to have sat on the Golden Throne while the big E takes off after Horus then dies getting off to let him get on, it suggests that that is the Golden Throne, not the several that have showed up every now and then...

Azazyll
10-11-2013, 03:55
The Warp was also presumably a lot less dangerous for the Eldar pre-Slaanesh; the Webway was still more popular, but because it was faster and more reliable than the Warp - basically, like the Imperium in the 41st millenium.

I'm fairly sure that if the Craftworlds had been able to fit, they'd have upgraded, and yes, the craftworlds of the 41st Millenium can warp travel, but it's suicidal for the Eldar to use it for anything other than extremely short jumps, simply because they're so nummy to Slaanesh.

Doesn't explain how the craftworlds are still moving FTL, as they are always depicted when shown on galactic maps (anything less wouldn't really be moving at all, in relativistic terms). So how are they moving FTL, and yet can't move that fast (say, for example, to dodge an oncoming Hive Fleet)? It's a conundrum.

Then again, the Necrons used to have an alternative means of traveling FTL, but got retconned into just using the webway (boo! The worst fluff change of many in the new Necrons boo).

Poseidal
10-11-2013, 06:40
With a standard Warp drive?

static grass
10-11-2013, 07:57
With a standard Warp drive?

Yeah isn't the eldar reference to warp drive "spirit engine"?

Hendarion
10-11-2013, 12:14
No. Spirit Engines are totally different things. Warp drives are drives that make space vessels drive through the Warp whereas Spirit Engines pull energy from the Warp into real space to power something.
As far as we know Craftworlds do have Warp drives, sub-light-drives and may travel through some Webway gates and tunnels. Still, escaping a swarm with a Warp drive sounds dangerous because of the shadow in the Warp which the Tyranids project. Using sub-light might be too slow before reaching the next big enough Webway portal. So I don't see an issue with Craftworlds getting catched by Tyranid swarms at all.

Horus38
10-11-2013, 15:50
Ah, yeah. Creating a new portal into a near tunnel would work just fine. What's this 'recent reading'? Which book? :)


I think the background being referenced is laced through A Thousand Sons; it implies that Magnus shatters the attempts to break in, and from memory the Emperor is sitting on a Golden Throne - given Malcador is said to have sat on the Golden Throne while the big E takes off after Horus then dies getting off to let him get on, it suggests that that is the Golden Throne, not the several that have showed up every now and then...

Thousands Sons sheds more light on how we got to the current predicament, but the actual source is from Collected Visions. I've pulled the relevant quotes from lexicanum:
"Originally built to provide access to the Eldar Webway, the Golden Throne took the form of a bulky machine-like chair suspended over gigantic mechanised doors made of gold metal."

"The Emperor built the throne as a means of entering the Webway.Having this fixed point of entry was meant to free humanity from its reliance on Warp-ships and astrotelepathy, since humans could simply enter the Webway and emerge wherever they chose in the galaxy. He sent armies of workers through the portal and had them construct a new short section of Webway linking to the rest of the abandoned Eldar network. Since the original Webway was built of a psychically resistant material which the humans could not replicate, the Emperor used his powers, via the Golden Throne, to protect the human-built section from the Warp."

El_Machinae
10-11-2013, 16:31
Ah, thanks. I quite enjoyed Thousand Sons. I might have presumed that the Emp was just accessing a portal that was already there. Like I said, if he was brute force opening the Webway, the whole story becomes more parsimonious.

Idaan
10-11-2013, 23:03
Thousands Sons sheds more light on how we got to the current predicament, but the actual source is from Collected Visions. I've pulled the relevant quotes from lexicanum:
"Originally built to provide access to the Eldar Webway, the Golden Throne took the form of a bulky machine-like chair suspended over gigantic mechanised doors made of gold metal."

"The Emperor built the throne as a means of entering the Webway.Having this fixed point of entry was meant to free humanity from its reliance on Warp-ships and astrotelepathy, since humans could simply enter the Webway and emerge wherever they chose in the galaxy. He sent armies of workers through the portal and had them construct a new short section of Webway linking to the rest of the abandoned Eldar network. Since the original Webway was built of a psychically resistant material which the humans could not replicate, the Emperor used his powers, via the Golden Throne, to protect the human-built section from the Warp."

But "Thousand Sons" explicitly states that the Emperor found, not built, the Golden Throne.

El_Machinae
10-11-2013, 23:06
Does it? I don't remember that.

Horus38
11-11-2013, 02:42
But "Thousand Sons" explicitly states that the Emperor found, not built, the Golden Throne.

The quotes are somewhat abbreviated from lexicanum. As I said earlier I'm under the impression that it is old human tech the Emperor has re-designed or re-purposed.

Mellow
11-11-2013, 06:50
I got the distinct impression that The Emperor found the golden throne and learned how to harness its powers as using Akashic readers essentially helps the user learn vast quantities of knowledge (which the Emperor would have been able to handle)

Idaan
11-11-2013, 09:47
Does it? I don't remember that.

Yup.


The Golden Throne was the key. Unearthed from forgotten ruins sunken deep beneath the driest desert, it
was the lodestone that would have unlocked the secrets of the alien lattice.

To me, it doesn't really imply that it was human in origin, but it also doesn't say anything otherwise.

Solonor
11-11-2013, 09:58
I too had the idea that the Golden Throne was "found", and unpuzzled by the Emperor, and that he was using it's powers to start rebuiding (not construction new paths) to acess the Webway. perhaps i was wrong then...
And the 3 chaos gods appearing in War in Heaven would make much more sense too...

But i guess we can all agree that Eldar had the upper hand pre-fall if they ever clashed with the Human Empire, after all Eldar tech then was also much more advanced then in the current 40K setting. It would be interesting to see an Eldar supplement showing Eldar military before the fall.

Karak Norn Clansman
11-11-2013, 10:14
This. Personally, I would like to see the whole thing retconned so that the fall occurred much earlier and that the initial spread of humans across the galaxy and the Dark Age of Technology occurred in the power vacuum left by the collapse of the Eldar empire. That would probably be too large of a retcon for the fanbase to swallow though. (although really, it's less of a change than the newcron fluff)

It would perhaps be for the better, mainly because it would underline the strength and extent of the Eldar empire before the Fall if it didn't coexist with a large human dominion in the admittedly enormous Milky Way galaxy.

The only relevant timeline link to the core 40k background of the Eldar empire is that the forming of Slaanesh caused the disruptive Warp Storms which ended the Dark Age of Technology, whilst the Fall and the birth of Slaanesh calmed the Warp down for the Emperor to launch the Great Crusade. Before I found out that the Fall coincided with these, the 40k background made more sense, since massive Warp Storm seasons occur more or less randomly regardless of alien decadence. Without this link, the Fall could easily be pushed back. Perhaps for the better.

El_Machinae
11-11-2013, 12:19
To me, it doesn't really imply that it was human in origin, but it also doesn't say anything otherwise.

That just doesn't make much sense to me. How would someone like the Emp 'find' something like that in 30k? Shouldn't he have been around during its creation?

serge
11-11-2013, 13:16
I think the initial question shows one of the more glaring "inconsistencies" in the fluff, i.e. why have eldar not stifled humanity whilst it was at its zenith and they still could? Given how nastily humanity reacts towards the emerging Tau, humans and eldar must be very different creatures indeed. In terms of moral at least.

eldaran
11-11-2013, 13:45
I think the initial question shows one of the more glaring "inconsistencies" in the fluff, i.e. why have eldar not stifled humanity whilst it was at its zenith and they still could? Given how nastily humanity reacts towards the emerging Tau, humans and eldar must be very different creatures indeed. In terms of moral at least.

It's mainly because humanity in the DAoT wasn't as xenophobic back then - then they bumped into the Orks, Nephilim and a whole host of other species that coloured the impressions of aliens somewhat; well, that and the Age of Strife and all the problems endemic to that. While I doubt DAoT humanity and the Eldar were best buddies, they were probably close enough for a non shoot-on-sight and trade occasionally, since the Eldar wouldn't have seen them as a threat (either because the Eldar were too arrogant to see humanity as a threat, because the gap in tech was far larger than it is in the 41st Millenium, or more likely a combination of the two) and humanity wasn't as 'Suffer not the Alien to Live'; also, as has been said previously, the Milky Way is massive. You can reasonably argue that a galactic empire controls the galaxy, because there are member worlds in all parts of the galaxy, but it would still only comprise a tiny percentage of the galaxy. That would allow for the Eldar to have a massive empire that was superior to humanity in every way, but still allowing for humanity to carve out some sizable holdings of it's own (providing it doesn't attempt to set up shop on an Eldar world, because that was not a good idea)

Combine this with the fact that humanity's expansion occurred at around the same time that the Eldar millennia-long party started, and I think you've got a fairly good, complex and interesting explanation for why both stories can occur in the same period. :)

Mellow
11-11-2013, 16:58
Basically if humanity had kept all their tech and kept advancing it life would have been easy.

serge
11-11-2013, 17:07
It also shows how little prescience eldar actually have. Had they foreseen that the strength of humanity feeds directly to the strength of chaos, they would have taken action. But hell, some of the eldar had not even see their own fall coming, although some did and took to their heels (exodites).

On orks: Why have not eldar exterminated orks? Because they consider the orks as nothing more than an annoying green plant?

eldaran
11-11-2013, 17:30
It also shows how little prescience eldar actually have. Had they foreseen that the strength of humanity feeds directly to the strength of chaos, they would have taken action. But hell, some of the eldar had not even see their own fall coming, although some did and took to their heels (exodites).

On orks: Why have not eldar exterminated orks? Because they consider the orks as nothing more than an annoying green plant?

'Had' rather than 'Have' in all probability. They were too busy sprinkling space-cocaine on their cornflakes while drinking essence of Ork to do much farseeing and notice the problems with their current scenario.

Nowadays? They've dieted.

Horus38
11-11-2013, 22:19
It also shows how little prescience eldar actually have. Had they foreseen that the strength of humanity feeds directly to the strength of chaos, they would have taken action. But hell, some of the eldar had not even see their own fall coming, although some did and took to their heels (exodites).

On orks: Why have not eldar exterminated orks? Because they consider the orks as nothing more than an annoying green plant?

The Eldar did not have a unified cultural outlook pre-fall which is the reason why it has split into so many factions in the current setting. I suspect the human/chaos relationship was so far in a tangled future that they would have been planning/dealing with more pressing issues (like Eldaran said, namely getting high as ****).

Old fluff from waaaay back had the Eldar engage the orks in several massive wars and the squats were trading with both sides. Naturally the Eldar didn't like this and when the orks also attacked the squats the Eldar flipped them the bird when they called for aid. As to exterminating the orks, it was probably too much work to see it through to completion, and it's unlikely the job would ever be done.

KingDeath
11-11-2013, 23:32
The galaxy is huge. The Eldar Empire could have been composed of millions of planets, spread over the entire galaxy and DAoT humanity might not have met them once, despite centuries of exploration. Besides that, i do not think that any galactic civilisation would have hard and definite boundaries. A single solar system might be controlable with ultra advanced scifi tech but actualy patroling the vast space between the various systems seems impossible to me. So, in my interpretation the Eldar Empire, just like the Imperium of Man, is more like a huge number of islands in a black and impossible to control sea than a single, monolithic block. Their ability to use the webway for travel would further reduce the importance of any physical distances for their empire.

=Angel=
12-11-2013, 08:50
The size of the galaxy is not the issue. Warp routes. Effectively make the galaxy a much smaller place by if not outright limiting the directions you can go, severely penalizing you for trying to go somewhere that there's no 'stream' .

Where the warp routes go and converge there are inhabited worlds because of the fact that the routes lead there in the first place.

If the Eldar were using warp travel at all pre fall then they would have ended up at the same worlds because those are the ones most easily reachable.

The galaxy is simply a very complicated underground rail map- all the planets not stops on the map are technically reachable but you'll have to walk. Or webway.

Loginis
12-11-2013, 09:39
The size of the galaxy is not the issue. Warp routes. Effectively make the galaxy a much smaller place by if not outright limiting the directions you can go, severely penalizing you for trying to go somewhere that there's no 'stream' .

Where the warp routes go and converge there are inhabited worlds because of the fact that the routes lead there in the first place.

If the Eldar were using warp travel at all pre fall then they would have ended up at the same worlds because those are the ones most easily reachable.

The galaxy is simply a very complicated underground rail map- all the planets not stops on the map are technically reachable but you'll have to walk. Or webway.

Do we know why warp routes exists, or what are they?
I mean, I thought they aren't actual streams, simply the name for the safest ways between solar systems. So, it's like sailing through an extremely stormy sea: risky, so you should go where it's the least stormy. After all, ships are always lost, even in the safest routes.

Polaria
12-11-2013, 09:40
Just a little math:

According to real life scientists best guess the galaxy is 100 000 - 120 000 light years in diameter and 1 000 light years thick. This gives the galaxy a volume of 300 - 400 cubic kly (kilo light years) or 29.2 - 34.9 million cubic parsecs.

According to real life scientists best guess the galaxy has around 100 - 400 billion stars.

According to 40k fluff a single Imperial Sector is usually equivalent to a cube with sides 200 ly long. That is around 230 000 cubic parsecs.

Near Terra where the galactic density of stars is much smaller than average the average density is around 1 star per 69 cubic parsecs or 3 338 stars per Imperial Sector.

According to 40k fluff a single Imperial Sector has anywhere from 10 to 100 (or so) systems known to (and presumably controlled by) the Imperium. That is 0.3 to 3% of all the stars inside the Sector. Also, large swathes of the galaxy are NOT controlled by the Imperium actively and the sectors there are so called "reaches" which are almost uncharted. So there is plenty of room in the galaxy for two Empires to coexists without bumping into each other even if they had absolute freedom of travel. Which they don't because warp routes and webway are limited paths.


TL;DR: The Galaxy is HUGE. The amount of planets controlled by Imperium is tiny in comparison. Most of the galaxy is uncharted to mankind and thus two Empires can coexists without ever meeting each other.

ManOfRust
12-11-2013, 11:22
It's also assisted by the fact that neither the Human nor Eldar empires consisted of single unified Empires during the rise of humanity period, they just didn't deal with each other as single political entities.

For the humans, stellar empires larger than a short warp jump across were unsustainable so the influence of any one was pretty limited and not something to worry even the most paranoid Elder race. It's possible that there were a lot of species in the same boat as humanity during that time period, with their own versions of warp engines, navigators and astropaths - just varying degrees of success in expanding across the galaxy.

The Eldar had been established for millions of years (by some background) by this time and had significant advantages in that they did not need to use vast starships to travel between worlds, having inherited a galaxy wide transit network from the Old Ones. Combined with a huge superiority in infantry level engagements and planet shattering/star shifting weapons technology external threats were not a problem. Their issues arise from the difficulties in political unity that come from being composed of highly opinionated, emotionally unstable space elves. They did of course have vast starships, and enormous resources - an individual Eldar just did not need them to get about the galaxy being fabulous. Just like an individual in America with a car, credit card and a gun has un-rivaled personal power compared to citizens in a 3rd world nation, your typical pre-Fall Eldar has everything they could want and as long as they don't mess with other, non-consenting, Eldar (you know, REAL people) they can do whatever they want. You just have to avoid the disapproval of your peers.

In my mind it was probably very hard to get consensus on any course of action between a group of pre-Fall Eldar bigger than two. If it was a straightforward decision (Ork Space Hulk drifting in system to a Maiden world with a handful of Eldar sunbathers) it was probably easy to say that something needed to be done to avoid contact of choppa on Eldar skull but difference of opinion was likely in between abandon the world to the ignorant savages, to subtle redirection of the hulk, to obliterating offending space detritus with volunteer space yachts, to scourging the crude vessel with countless psychic robotic killing machines.

If the topic in question is a relatively inoffensive Mon-keigh civilisation, barely a hundred generations out of their gestation tubes and willing to talk with their obvious betters (ie pointy eared you) then getting the political will to grind their species into the bedrock of their homeworld is unlikely to be forthcoming.

Plus, as noted above, Space is really, really big.

=Angel=
14-11-2013, 01:05
Do we know why warp routes exists, or what are they?
I mean, I thought they aren't actual streams, simply the name for the safest ways between solar systems. So, it's like sailing through an extremely stormy sea: risky, so you should go where it's the least stormy. After all, ships are always lost, even in the safest routes.

They are described as streams. It's all very non linear as you'd expect- but navigators know where they go and get from a to b by switching between streams in the warp.

Analogous to sailing- if the winds are favourable you can get where you need to be easily- otherwise you take a more roundabout path.

In one of the wordbearers novels, a system is a nexus of these streams.
An astropathic message will result in imperial reinforcements being sent from several other locations and received WITHIN THE HOUR (although a month or so will pass for those reinforcements onboard the ships)
This phenomenon is well known and exploited by the imperials as part of their defence.


Anyway the point is- in practice the galaxy is a series of tubes. It has stable routes and unstable routes and risky routes- and where they all pass you get chokepoints like cadia

Azazyll
14-11-2013, 01:40
Actually, the point about warp routes is well taken - since we know the eldar basically didn't use them, but rather the webway, they're on different but superimposed tube networks to each other. That actually makes a lot of sense. Even if all the warproutes were changed with the Fall (and they probably were), most likely they still wouldn't perfectly match up with the Webway network even close to precisely.

OK, I'm happy now. Still don't get the craftworld movement, but everything else I'm fine with. (althought the Iyanden supplement stupidly places the first craftworlds made in M31 and the Fall in M32 - honestly, shouldn't there be someone in-house checking these things for consistency?)

Hendarion
14-11-2013, 05:21
What is your problem with that? The Craftworlds ever since had been built before the final awakening of Slaanesh. And it makes a lot of sense after all. You see madness arising, you build ships to leave, the bomb goes up, the people you left behind die. That's also what happened here. I can't remember any WD or book having told a different story. It isn't inconsistent at all. I would have expected the first Craftworld to be 1-2k years earlier, but 1k years is still quite enough time to pack things up and leave.

Azazyll
14-11-2013, 15:25
What is your problem with that? The Craftworlds ever since had been built before the final awakening of Slaanesh. And it makes a lot of sense after all. You see madness arising, you build ships to leave, the bomb goes up, the people you left behind die. That's also what happened here. I can't remember any WD or book having told a different story. It isn't inconsistent at all. I would have expected the first Craftworld to be 1-2k years earlier, but 1k years is still quite enough time to pack things up and leave.

Because it's 1,000 years off - the Fall occurred before the Great Crusade at the beginning of M31. Somebody didn't check the timeline.

And I still don't get how craftworlds are moving faster than light - it's not the warp, we know the Eldar don't use it. If it was the Webway, we've got several reports from multiple sources that the biggest arteries can take capital ships, but a craftworld is several orders of magnitude larger than that. Plus, if they are using the webway, why do all maps showing their movement indicate a trajectory through space and that they stay in one region? The webway makes such a restriction to realspace locations unnecessary - they could go into one portal and come out on the other side of the galaxy.

Poseidal
14-11-2013, 16:00
The Eldar do use the Warp. They use it less, and more cautiously (slowly) than the Imperials thanks to no Astronomican, but they have and make use of it.

El_Machinae
14-11-2013, 16:45
How do you figure the Astronomicon fits into that?

Poseidal
14-11-2013, 16:47
How do you figure the Astronomicon fits into that?

The Eldar don't have one, or have bound any navigators to the Emperor so I assume they can't use it. Because they don't have it, they can't travel as well (either safely or as fast) as the Imperials using Warp travel.

serge
14-11-2013, 17:20
I would not overestimate the Astronomicon. Sure it is the best warp-navigation technology humans have -- its the only one. But how good is it? Eldars have nothing better?

Think of it, if the warp was three-dimensional like the material space, one beacon could not have been enough. You need at least three to triangulate and fix a position.

So the fact that the Astronomicon works means that either the Warp is one-dimensional (hard to swallow), or that it does not work good (more likely).

Hendarion
14-11-2013, 17:20
If it was the Webway, we've got several reports from multiple sources that the biggest arteries can take capital ships, but a craftworld is several orders of magnitude larger than that. Plus, if they are using the webway, why do all maps showing their movement indicate a trajectory through space and that they stay in one region? The webway makes such a restriction to realspace locations unnecessary - they could go into one portal and come out on the other side of the galaxy.
You might want to check how Asdrubael Vect moved a damn star into the Webway which is a few thousand times bigger than any Craftworld in diameter in a few million times bigger in mass. We know the Eldar also used the Webway during the war with the Necrontyr. We know they traveled through it with their fleets.
Either the Eldar have some fricking way to travel with Craftworlds we don't know of or they use Warp drives and the Webway. No matter if it makes sense or not, GW is the company making the facts.
But indeed you are right about M32 being wrong. It contradicts all other Eldar Codices. I wonder if that was some "Wardification" of the lore or just bad copying on his side.

Idaan
14-11-2013, 17:56
The Craftworlds were able to travel the Webway during the Fall. They were either built as trade ships - which had to be able to do it, or as escape vessels - which would be pointless if they couldn't you know, escape from the homeworlds. It was only later that they became homes for the Eldar survivors and were vastly expanded to accomodate their populations. This is actually explicitly said in WD 127, that the Craftworlds grew in size ten or a hundred times. The fact that some of them don't fit into the Webway anymore is a more recent addition, but we can be quite sure that even in the newer fluff they were able to do so originally - the story of Mymeara includes mentions of the Webway capillary being destroyed while the Craftworld was escaping.


Craftworlds travel through space via a system of warp tunnels which stretch through the galaxy. Long ago the Eldar learned how to make these holes through the warp which link two fixed places. It is likely that originally nearly all Eldar planets and Craftworlds were interconnected by warp tunnels. However, during the Fall a great part of the network was destroyed so that travel is no longer as easy as it once was. Some tunnels were attacked and destroyed by daemonic intrusions from the warp - their entrances had to be sealed or destroyed to keep Chaos from swallowing entire Craftworlds. Other tunnels simply collapsed or the places they led to were destroyed or desolated. Today the tunnel network still connects Craftworlds to each other and to millions of places throughout the galaxy but there are significant gaps in the system, and some Craftworlds are completely isolated. Because of the partial breakdown of their warp tunnel network, the Eldar find it impossible or extremely difficult to reach certain parts of the galaxy.
Since the Fall the original Craftworlds have grown considerably in size, so that they are now ten or a hundred times larger than the original trading ships which lie at their cores. Because they have expanded steadily over the years many are at least partially ruinous

eldaran
14-11-2013, 18:03
The Eldar don't have one, or have bound any navigators to the Emperor so I assume they can't use it. Because they don't have it, they can't travel as well (either safely or as fast) as the Imperials using Warp travel.

As far as I'm aware, the risks of warp travel for the Eldar are less the usual perils (which are obviously concerns) and more that their presence in the immaterium is a massive'EAT US, WE'RE REALLY TASTY' beacon for Slaanesh, which they'd obviously want to minimise as much as possible, so they'll only make short warp jumps with the craftworlds rarely, and use the webway and smaller ships/jog there to get most places.

I'd have thought this would explain how the Craftworlds have managed to reach their relative positions over the last ten thousand years...

Hendarion
14-11-2013, 18:13
It is not only their current positions which are at least impressive, but also the change of locations that are noted in the books.

Azazyll
15-11-2013, 03:13
The Eldar don't have one, or have bound any navigators to the Emperor so I assume they can't use it. Because they don't have it, they can't travel as well (either safely or as fast) as the Imperials using Warp travel.

Navigators aren't bound to the Emperor, Astropaths are - Navigators just make use of the Astronomicon. And clearly other races can too, since it's what's drawing the nid fleets. So the Eldar could use it, I've just never seen a reference to them using direct warp travel other than Warp Spiders, the original description of which in the first codex made it pretty clear that they were taking their lives in their hands every single time they made a jump (and the rules backed that up at the time, too)


It is not only their current positions which are at least impressive, but also the change of locations that are noted in the books.

Yeah, I don't mind some "Before the Fall we could do more" handwaving to get them there, I'm bothered by the current velocity. Especially after Recrons got their non-warp FTL transport retconned in their new dex

Poseidal
15-11-2013, 07:21
Sorry, I got Astropaths and Navigators mixed up; it's been a while since I read that about them and the two entries are right next to each other. The improved communication from the Astropaths would be a great help to Imperial travel. I'm not sure how explicit the Tyranids do see the Astronomican, or other Warp capable races such as the Orks and similar.

The codex outright states most of their ships can do warp travel, but they avoid and generally don't use it on a Craftworld due to extreme dangers, but in that, there is the implication that it's not never done either (which is a change from older material).

There's also the possibility that large enough Webway gates still exist in places (which still utilises the Warp), which along with Warp travel (which we know the Eldar are capable of) are the simplest explanations rather than some 'new' FTL system.

Horus38
15-11-2013, 13:22
There's also the possibility that large enough Webway gates still exist in places (which still utilises the Warp), which along with Warp travel (which we know the Eldar are capable of) are the simplest explanations rather than some 'new' FTL system.

Gates large enough for a Space Marine battle barge to move through exist (an example being the one Vect left open for the attack on the Dark City), it would not be much of a stretch to say other (albeit rarer) gates exist would could accommodate a craftworld.

El_Machinae
15-11-2013, 13:33
I really thought I saw explicit text saying that Craftworlds used the webway to travel large distances, but didn't travel very far from them at sublight to avoid being vulnerable?

Idaan
15-11-2013, 18:30
Yeah. I quoted it in post #75 but nobody noticed. It is pretty outdated though, as newer sources state that the Craftworlds grew so much they don't fit into the gates anymore.

Lord Zarkov
15-11-2013, 19:12
It's probably a mix, there's likely to be some gates that Craftworlds still fit though, but the sections wide enough might not be very long so they stay in the same sort of area as they're to big to squeeze into the vast majority of the network. Like people on foot sometimes have to cross a planet as part of a Webway journey, a Craftworld will have to spend most of it's time in realspace going between the few gates it will fit through.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk (http://tapatalk.com/m?id=1)

Azazyll
15-11-2013, 23:18
Gates large enough for a Space Marine battle barge to move through exist (an example being the one Vect left open for the attack on the Dark City), it would not be much of a stretch to say other (albeit rarer) gates exist would could accommodate a craftworld.

A Battle Barge isn't even close to the size of a craftworld. That's like comparing a Star Destroyer to the Death Star. Or better yet, it's like fitting Commoragh itself through the webway


Yeah. I quoted it in post #75 but nobody noticed. It is pretty outdated though, as newer sources state that the Craftworlds grew so much they don't fit into the gates anymore.

I did, but I agree that it's outdated. The current fluff seems to indicate a more deliberate creation of the craftworlds directly before the Fall by far-sighted individuals, rather than a re-purposing of pre-existing merchant ships afterwards by refugees lucky to escape. Not that both couldn't have happened, just saying the tone has definitely changed