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View Full Version : What is an Autarch?



AdmiralDick
30-08-2006, 23:28
i'm not really giving onehundred percent to keeping up with the rumour mill and i'm afraid i may have missed some somewhat vital information with regards to the latest Codex: Eldar. as far as i am aware, the only piece of official background to mention an Autarch and his nature is from the Epic: Swordwind rule book. however it is abundantly clear that Autarchs are now considered to be quite a lot more than they were in Swordwind and now its description of them is incomplete. i've searched the forums but haven't yet found a single place with a clear answer.

so i was wondering if anyone could fill me in on any details i may have missed. why can Autarchs now be equiped with wargear from more than one Aspect? how does an Autarch maintain his role as Autarch when he is clearly not officially acknowledged by his Craftworld and is expected to lay down the title after battle? how can an Autarch come to have a Farseer's helmet when, as i understand it, one cannot leave the Path of the Seer to do anything else?

and if someone could explain to me a little about the 'Path of Command', which sounds like an oxymoron to me, i would be very greatful. surely one cannot leave one path to immediately pursue another, he must complete his journey and come back to the state of citizenhood (or gaurdian) before following another? if so where does the Path of Command lead? what happens when a gaurdian decides that today is the day he joins the Path of Command? what does he do?

thanks for any help you can be.

Chem-Dog
31-08-2006, 05:42
Afraid I'm not too clear of the specifics, but as far as I understand it, an Autarch is an eldar who has traveled the path of the warrior several times, the greater insight into the nature of war and the complexities of combat, making him a suitable leader.

The word Autarch, is constructed from Autos (greek for "self") and Arkhein (Greek for "to rule") litterally meaning something like ruler of self, ruler of the self or self ruler possibly a reference to the Autarch's self confidence and experience, the word is dirivitive of Autarchy which is an old word meaning Autocracy, so there could be a suggestion that an Autarch is self appointed in some way, wether he just turns up in his hybrid aspect armour or forcibly assumes command in some way I don't know, but I assume his "unofficial" role is meerly a reflection of the eldar paths and the fact that, when there is no need for war the individual returns to whatever path he is on, rather than sitting in a permanent position, just like Guardians do.

Ravenheart
31-08-2006, 11:27
The word Autarch, is constructed from Autos (greek for "self") and Arkhein (Greek for "to rule") litterally meaning something like ruler of self, ruler of the self or self ruler possibly a reference to the Autarch's self confidence and experience, ...

IMHO, this indicates that the autarch is not, like regular exarchs, dominated by one aspect, but retains selfgovernace and simply put, individuallity. Quite unlike exarchs who become avatars of their aspect rather than individuals.

In my understanding, he never goes so far on a path (aspect) as an exarch does, but threads several paths. Thus he is a jack of all trades, but a master of none.

Icarus
31-08-2006, 14:06
The 'Path of Command', if thats what its really called, seems to be something chosen by the Autarch for a particular engagement/war. I seem to remember some reference to an Eldar "claiming their Autarchy" for a battle, in other words the Path of Command is something entered into with a deliberate end in sight. This would make it unusual as it requires previous Paths to embark upon.

Hopefully the new codex will go into this in detail!

Khaine's Messenger
31-08-2006, 14:44
as far as i am aware, the only piece of official background to mention an Autarch and his nature is from the Epic: Swordwind rule book.

Well, the concept is more of a revisitation of the "other" flavor of Exarch from waaaay back in WD 127 (iirc). IE, an Exarch who is not lost to a way of a Path, but who has become consumed by the entirity of his Path--not only a Striking Scorpion, Swooping Hawk, or Dark Reaper Exarch, he is a "Warrior" Exarch and has walked many ways of his Path in order to reach a greater understanding of that Path's nuances at the cost of never being able to walk another Path again.


i've searched the forums but haven't yet found a single place with a clear answer.

Do a search on "Menshad Korum"--you might find something, as there have been explorations on the nature of Exarchs in the past.


and if someone could explain to me a little about the 'Path of Command'

The cynical will point out that the Path of Command is probably an extension of the "paths as careers" archetype that has become popular (Path of the Mariner, etc.) as opposed to some fan perceptions of more general Paths with less and less generic Ways beneath them.


surely one cannot leave one path to immediately pursue another

That depends on how one defines a Path, no? It's been argued about before that Outcasts follow a Path while simultaneously rejecting the entire philosophy of the Path system. As such, the word "path" may be ingrained into the Eldar psyche, and it is possible that they view all treks into the future as the following of "a path."

And yeah...hopefully the new codex will make some sense of this. :)

Commander Ozae
31-08-2006, 16:43
To put it in human terms an autarch is a general who takes control of a large-scale military operation when the Farseers need advice. Remember that Farseers aren't generals, they're psykers. They rely on Exarchs for advice and an autarch if the engagement is really big.

Kage2020
31-08-2006, 21:58
As evidenced in the "Eldar Exarchs" thread, Khaine's Messenger has the right of it. It is, however, slightly more complex than "Farseers needing advice", or at least I would argue as such. The Farseers are more than leaders, and much less. With that said, the Autarch is most definitely a military leader in the more common, human understanding of the word.

Kage