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Kage2020
22-10-2006, 20:23
In a desire to expand the background for the Eldar, one thing that I pondered was the inclusion of an "elemental" component to their metaphysics. Originally this was in reference to the layout of the area around the "Clan Council Chambers" on Tir'asur (http://wiki.anargo-sector.net/index.php?title=Tir%27asur_Gamma). However, a recent thread on 40kOnline reminded me of this concept and, indeed, the general idea of finally drawing together and writing the "Eldar Sourcebook".

Anyway, the premise is simple. Elements - fire, earth, air, etc. - are suggested to be an integral part of the Eldar world-view. In strict application to the Path, for example, one might have:


Path of the Warrior: Associated with Khaine, the Bloody Handed, and the element of Fire.
Path of the Seer: Associated with the Crone, or Morai-Heg, and the element of Void.
Path of the Steward: Associated with the Mother, Isha, and elemental Water.
Path of the Seeker: Associated with Vaul and elemental Earth.
Path of the Outcast: Associated with Kurnous, and elemental Air.
Some inspiration for this was drawn from Marie Brennan's Doppleganger/Warrior and Witch books, though not too much. (For example, she has Fire subservient to Void, which is too cliche for my liking.) ;)

Oh yes, obviously the Paths of Seeker and Steward are my own, working under the premise that the Path is a broad category, while a Way is sub-category (e.g. "Science" would be the Path, while "Physicist" would be the Way, as it were). Thus the above five Paths are the totality of the Path, such that "Path of the Artisan" (cf. Codex Eldar 4e) is actually a Way common to the Paths of Seer, Seeker and Steward. And, yes, I'm aware of the statement that the Path of the Outcast is the suspension of the Path (ibid), but I only partially agree with this statement.

So, make a certain amount of sense, or do you think the order should be different?

How might this be applied to other aspects of Eldar culture?

Kage

Kandarin
22-10-2006, 21:07
It really depends how much you want the Eldar and Tau connected. Those designations in Tau culture are very prominent. In particular, Fire and Void/Ether have a near-total overlap between the Tau and the Eldar system you suggest. If what you suggest is the case, it's a bit of a stretch for a coincidence.

Kage2020
22-10-2006, 21:43
This has nothing to do with the Tau, Kandarin. Just because they use elements to describe their caste does not in any way mean that they have proprietary rights on that terminology. ;) Take the real world, for example. Cultures from the Greeks, to the Chinese to neopagans believe in elemental affinity.

To repeat, it is permissible for different cultures to have similar metaphysical concepts. :D Also, I'm not suggesting that there is any link between the Eldar and the Tau. I shall leave that to the Xenology conspiracy theorists.

All this is about is adding a tiny bit more depth to the Eldar beyond, well, what we're left with after recent publications! ;)

Kage

Commander Ozae
23-10-2006, 00:13
It is possible, although i think a comglomerate (sorry about spelling) of elements would be more appropriate. For example, the Path of the Warrior would be associated with Fire and Air, although most likely the eldar would view these elements as far more complicated than their human equivalents.

Kage2020
23-10-2006, 01:42
A reasonable enough point, Commander Ozae. I would, however, submit that the generic category is just that: generic. For example, consider the concept of Chinese Astrology. Each of the zodiacs are associated with a specific element (I'm Rabbit and thus Wood), but with internal divisions. In this case, and from memory, I believe I'm... buggerations. Okay, bad example. I'm a Wood, Wood Rabbit. Dang, Leanardo DiCaprio is also a Rabbit. I think I'm crushed. Okay, maybe not since The Departed was a surprisingly good film!

Erm, anyway. The tapestry of relations created by Chinese Astrology is actually a part of it. Thus, while I'm Wood-Wood Rabbit, I'm born at the time of the Dragon. With that come a skein of different associations...

And therein lies a part of the aforementioned goal to increase the depth of the metaphysics of the Eldar.

To bring it back to what you're talking about, Commander Ozae, while Warrior is governed by Fire, the specific Aspects can be associated with different elements. Beyond just divvying up the Aspects, one might also expand elemental affinities to personalities, the Seer Runes, etc. Whie I know this is a wide open topic, it's one of the few that I'm interested in at the moment so thought that I would both share and plumb everyone's minds for ideas! :D

Kage

Romanus
23-10-2006, 02:38
Hey Kage, while i think that the idea has alot of merit to it, i'd try to stick away from the oriental influences and stick with the celtic origins. i don't profess to know much about celtic history but surely there must be some connections to the elmentals in there mythology. As you were saying with the post before that you wanted to stay away from the Tau and its associated connections to the eldar (or lack off, whatever your point of view) I think going with the chinese new year thing would link then both togeather more closely. i think, and its my opinion, that the Eldar are based loosely of Celtic society after the Roman empire had reached ascendancy, an the lamenting of the lost lands. This I think wouldput the twist on it that your after and stay clear of the Tau question.

But needless to say, Ten bucks says theres goin to be all sorts a posts about how similar this is to the Tau. :)

Cheers, Rom

P.S. Could you also give a bit more of a discription as to what each of the paths are, you mentioned steward and seeker, what do see these as doing and there function within the craftworld? Is being a Bonesinger being a way of the seeker path, or would it be associatd with its own path or what not?

Another point is you could also make it more complex by increasing the number of elements and, as was posted before have mixtures of the two, say a Warlock is both fire and void, but this may be crossing over established fluff bible rules. Anyways great idea mate.

Kage2020
23-10-2006, 03:33
...i'd try to stick away from the oriental influences and stick with the celtic origins.
Other than my knee-jerk reaction on the use of the term "celtic"? ;) The 'celtic' elemental affinities are not as... pleasing as the Hellenic version. With that said, they can be reasonably associated with little effort.


As you were saying with the post before that you wanted to stay away from the Tau...
To be very clear, I was merely pointing out that talking about the element of 'Fire' in no way makes a reference to the Tau. That is the be-all and end-all of it. Not meant to sound harsh but, as above, different cultures can share similar premises. I really think that trying to make everything "unique" ends up causing as much damage as anything else.


Could you also give a bit more of a discription as to what each of the paths are, you mentioned steward and seeker, what do see these as doing and there function within the craftworld?
Seekers are the, well, seekers. Scientists and artists the plumb the boundaries of existence. Stewards are the keepers of society; the produers.


Is being a Bonesinger being a way of the seeker path, or would it be associatd with its own path or what not?
Bonesingers, ultimately, are psykers. Ergo, Path of the Seer.


Another point is you could also make it more complex by increasing the number of elements and, as was posted before have mixtures of the two, say a Warlock is both fire and void...
Please note that I accepted this and, indeed, indicated that it was the direction that I ultimately wanted to take.

Kage

Voronwe[MQ]
23-10-2006, 18:50
The Eldar, with their metaphysical paradigm likely consisting of a complex mosaic of a view. More elements are definitely needed, and some... concepts... needs to be intertwined with one or more elements.

As such I have a possible addition to it: the connection of death and cold.
Everyone have heard something about 'cold as the grave', and everyone knows that corpses cool down. Now this is by no means at all the most important thing about it, since it would be too simpliftic and un-Eldarish.

Eldar are reincarnated, (or should we view the Eldar's reincarnation as amore mythological/religious belief phenomenon linked to their spirit stones - I'm no xenologist, so I don't know) and much of their paradigms and beliefs seems to centers around cycles - be it cycle of life, paths, seasons etc.

What I want to intentionally mean, is that death and cold could be linked. Death I would view as the element's name (in Eldar tounge likely something about a cold, deep grave; blood running down one's cheek, the end of life and dimming vision with but a tiny spark of light seeminly in the centre of the darkness. that and yet the beginning of something new, slightly paradoxally - in a 'winter-spring-summer-autumn' way; ie, the cycle of the year/seasons), whilst cold (or ice, snow, frost, chill wind) would be a 'second name'; something deeper that one would realise if one scratched on the surface.

The 'Death+Cold' element would be an aspect of the Path of the Warrior, hint at the Path of the Seer, and be devoid in the path of the Artisan (or what you called it). Death should be seen as linked to Isha, rather than being her opposite force.

I stop now before it gets too confusing, though it is not to say that I shall not continue on this Death+Cold analogy. Yes, I know I'm talking in emotional/sensitive metaphores, but I see it fitting for Eldar.

Kage2020
23-10-2006, 22:37
]The 'Death+Cold' element would be an aspect of the Path of the Warrior, hint at the Path of the Seer, and be devoid in the path of the Artisan (or what you called it).
Death is the province of the Void and, therefore, the Crone. So already have that one covered, Voronwe. :D

Good concept, though.

Kage

Reflex
23-10-2006, 23:08
yes very good concept indeed..

Kage2020
24-10-2006, 02:07
Which one, Reflex? The suggestion or the fact that the suggestion is already integrated!? ;)

Kage

Voronwe[MQ]
24-10-2006, 11:55
Death is the province of the Void and, therefore, the Crone. So already have that one covered, Voronwe. :D

Good concept, though.

Kage

Oh, hell, it is. Thank anyway. :D

I still thinks that 'cold' could be an element or a sub-element on its own, or part of something that might come up in the close future on this thread.

Hm. I can make a try: Since water is not the opposite of heat (albeit fire, but fire represents heat, too), it might be considered it is a element on its own. We could then make a provisory 'diagram' showing a more complex Eldar school of thought depicting opposite and neutral 'forces'; note that this is complex to understand, and there is a number of hesitations and errors in it:

Fire><Water
Fire<>Earth
Fire|<Air
Fire>|Crone
Fire><Cold

Water><Fire
Water>|Earth
Water<>Air
Water||Crone
Water<|Cold

Earth<>Fire
Earth|<Water
Earth||Air
Earth||Crone
Earth<|Cold

Air>|Fire
Air<>Water
Air||Earth
Air||Crone
Air<|Cold

Crone|<Fire
Crone||Water
Crone||Earth
Crone||Air
Crone|<Cold

Cold><Fire
Cold|>Water
Cold|>Earth
Cold|>Air
Cold>|Crone

Kage2020
25-10-2006, 03:04
Erm, okay. Not quite sure what that is all meant to mean. I doubt it has anything to do with complexity and more to do with the fact that you don't explain what the various symbols mean. I'm sure that you can do that in your next post, or at least I hope you can!

That and I'm still not entirely jiggy with the whole "Cold" and "Crone" concept, mostly because I'm not entirely sure why they are deserving of unique status when they can be thematically linked with other elements. I'm not saying that you shouldn't follow through with these ideas, though! Just saying that at present it seems confused.

As to a diagram of relations? I'm afraid I'm a bit more cliche. If you imagine a square on its side to form a diamond, Fire is at the top, with Water at the bottom. Air is on the right and Earth to the left. Void is at the centre.

If you expanded it somewhat, Light would be at the top in the third dimension, as it were, and opposite it Darkness. That's the base minimum elements that I've been able to construct or, rather, shamelessly plagiarise. ;) (E.g. the Lesser Keys of Solomon, etc.)

Kage

Khaine's Messenger
25-10-2006, 05:58
Anyway, the premise is simple. Elements - fire, earth, air, etc. - are suggested to be an integral part of the Eldar world-view.

If you're suggesting the Eldar take such views into account, then yes, that much should follow from what we know...they've had a long time to think about stuff like this, and such categories with their broad associations can be useful in the presence of other qualifiers. Association with the gods is likely, either as an artefact of their linguistic traditions or a strong emphasis intended to remind everyone of the Eldar race's origins and purpose (as some of the Path's origins trace, iirc, to Asurmen and through him to Asuryan).


How might this be applied to other aspects of Eldar culture?

I assume by "Eldar" you mean "Craftworld Eldar"? I personally don't think it will have much effect on the rest of CWE culture beyond various linguistic conventions (calling someone the Eldar-equivalent of "choleric" eg). Picking and choosing an appropriate elemental set (air/water/earth/fire/void vs. metal/wood/air/earth/fire vs. tattvas vs. force/fate/time/death/matter/etc., and so forth) will be a breeze for an Eldar, who has been raised from birth to see many things as a sort of art or tapestry of creation with a rich assortment of interrelations. As such, it would be safer to restrict oneself to the gods and their many faces and relatives (eg, the pseudo-maid/mother/crone triad formed by Lileath/Isha/Morai-Heg) rather than elements per se, but you could do elements if you really wanted.

And I'd put Asuryan as the patron of Stewards and representative of water, with the maid/mother/crone triad as Seer/void (being the temporal/atemporal "element"). But that's a small aside, I guess.

Voronwe[MQ]
25-10-2006, 12:26
Hm. I'm bloody well sure this is really confusing (and for me!), but don't think I won't follow this through, since I'm too stubborn. :D

Now let me see... Damnit, I need to be reincarnated in a english speaking country.:P

>< means simply that they are direct opposite forces.

|| means simply that they are completely neutral towards each other. This I shall apply to Fire/Crone, and some others, too, I see.

Now it will be harder.

>|/|< means that the force from which the 'arrow' originates are in some aspect [i]directly opposses the other element, but the other is not directly opposite, although it is a bit of a paradox.

|>/<|means that the force from which the arrow originates (even though it is on the other force's type's side) affects the other force, but not vice versa.

<> means obviously that they both affect, but does not oppose each other.

Now I'll try to do a updated diagram, though this time I will include Fate.

Fire><Water
Fire<>Air
Fire<|Earth
Fire><Cold
Fire||Crone
Fire<|Fate

Earth|<Fire
Earth<>Water
Earth|<Air
Earth<|Cold
Earth||Crone
Earth<|Fate

Water<>Earth
Water<>Air
Water><Fire
Water<|Cold
Water||Crone
Water<|Fate

Air<|Water
Air<>Fire
Air>|Earth
Air<|Cold
Air||Crone
Air<|Fate

Cold><Fire
Cold|>Water
Cold|>Air
Cold|>Earth
Cold||Crone
Cold<|Fate

Crone||Fire
Crone||Water
Crone||Earth
Crone||Air
Crone||Cold
Crone>|Fate

Fate|>Fire
Fate|>Water
Fate|>Earth
Fate|>Air
Fate|>Cold
Fate|<Crone

Since Fire opposses the most in this diagram, it is a double-depth to why Fire should be applied to the Path of the Warrior.

Kage2020
25-10-2006, 16:22
Association with the gods is likely, either as an artefact of their linguistic traditions or a strong emphasis intended to remind everyone of the Eldar race's origins and purpose (as some of the Path's origins trace, iirc, to Asurmen and through him to Asuryan).
A good point, although I personally only use the mythology for inspiration, rather than taking it at all serious as "objective historical fact", or somesuch.


I assume by "Eldar" you mean "Craftworld Eldar"?
For the most part, yes, although I would argue that it is a manifestation of an older belief system and, thus, might crop up in all of the significant Eldar races. (Noting that I do not really count the Exodites as significant! ;))



As such, it would be safer to restrict oneself to the gods and their many faces and relatives (eg, the pseudo-maid/mother/crone triad formed by Lileath/Isha/Morai-Heg) rather than elements per se, but you could do elements if you really wanted.
To be honest, I'm rather fond of the elemental approach as a sub-level of organisation, as it were. I get tired of all the God stuff that gets bandied around.


And I'd put Asuryan as the patron of Stewards and representative of water, with the maid/mother/crone triad as Seer/void (being the temporal/atemporal "element"). But that's a small aside, I guess.
But an interesting one that I shall ponder!

Kage

Easy E
26-10-2006, 07:32
I suppose various Eldar Clans could also be asociated with elements (or combinations of elements) as a signifier of their viewpoints as well.

To be honest, I'm not sure that this elemental track is entirely necessary and maybe to simplistic for a race such as the eldar.

Kage2020
26-10-2006, 11:34
To be honest, I'm not sure that this elemental track is entirely necessary and maybe to simplistic for a race such as the eldar.
That's a fair enough point. Of course, idealising the purported compexlity of the Eldar and using it as an anvil against which to crush ideas about them...? Okay, that's obviously meladromatic and is meant only to hammer - ha! hammer! okay, that was lame - forth that if one idealises the Eldar in that way, then nothing is going to be "too simplistic for a [complex] race such as the eldar". After all, what is going to be good enough but a complete anthropological treatise on them? (Despite, of course, the lack of it on any of the other races. Further, if something is added does it not by definition actually increase overall complexity, since the number of potential links between certain things increases?)

Perhaps that sounds defensive and, perhaps, in some small measure it is. After all, most people tend to be defensive about their creations. With that said, I think the conceptual problem stems from the idea of unique flavour - the Thematic Army - cannot be crossed over. Thus the original comments about the Tau. However, I did not envisage this about the Eldar Aspect Warriors necessarily seeing themselves as "Fire Warriors" (that's a Tau thing, as above), but rather them having a philosophy that encompasses it. That is, Fire in their metaphysical paradigm can be linked to the temperment of the Warrior (consider the nature of the Avatar of Khaine), or when in battle "Fire" might be thought of as being a dominant element.

In short, it is not meant to be an organising principle, as it is with the Tau (i.e. their caste system).

Anyway, obviously not something that is finding overt favour so perhaps best to leave it alone until more fully developed. Perhaps I'll integrate it in with some other parts of their culture (not in an organising fashion, though), the "basic Seer Rune set" (which makes it sound like basic D&D or something), and so on.

Kage

Voronwe[MQ]
26-10-2006, 13:22
Hm, there is a relatively (well, Eldar-relatively, at least) solution to actually achieve to do this: we could discuss what different elements (not mythological/religious) could be included (and perhaps write sub-categories for each, with links to different Paths etc.) and what universal aspects could be viewed as elements. Then we could divide them into groupings, perhaps with necessary links to each others, and build up a pretty complex model (though without my insane diagrams).

The five elements fire, air, water, earth and crone are given ones.

They could form the 'basic diamond', around which all other 'circles', in a metaphorical way. beside these five, there could be four other (number of cubic sides) groups dealing with specific things, such as

1) temperature, seasons, cycle of life and the year.
2) emotional versus logical/stoical paradigms (?perhaps not right word).
3) force, fate and time.
4)cooperation vs. confrontation, static vs. change

Or perhaps only the five 'basic' elements could form a diamond, with the other categories aside. One could describe it as that force, fate and time fences everything, nr. 4 permeates everything with the other categories at the side or so. Though temperature, seasons, cycle of life and the year could be seen as natural, 'escapistic' things which affects everything, and emotional versus logical/stoical 'paradigms' are the eternal follower of 'intelligent' life forms, which can observe, interpret and calculate the universe.

shin'keiro
26-10-2006, 16:52
Path of the Warrior: Associated with Khaine, the Bloody Handed, and the element of Fire.
Path of the Seer: Associated with the Crone, or Morai-Heg, and the element of Void.
Path of the Steward: Associated with the Mother, Isha, and elemental Water.
Path of the Seeker: Associated with Vaul and elemental Earth.
Path of the Outcast: Associated with Kurnous, and elemental Air.

sounds like 'legend of the five rings'

Kage2020
27-10-2006, 02:21
Actually, I liberally plagiarised it from the the now defunct Games Desingers' Worshop's sourcebook on the Hiver and Ithklur races. Outside of 40k is a wonderful source on all things 40k. ;) Of course, the reason that some many of these things tend to be similar is that, well, they draw upon common psychological, mythological, etc., premises. Once again I'm reminded of Joseph Campbell's Hero of a Thousand Faces...

Veronwe... Alternatively it might all be about sub-categories, rather than increasing the number of "elements". Then again, I do the same with the Seer Runes. That is, rather than presenting thousands of them, I create a "basic set" and, from there, increase the interpretations.

Kage

Voronwe[MQ]
27-10-2006, 06:46
Hm, that sounds far better. Let's hope some more tries to make up some things. ;)

EDIT:
This is for copying purposes only. I need this on another computer. It will form the basis of a brief medicinary article about juvenation processes when translation of the words in square paragraphs (?) have been commited.

Common byeffects of juvenation processes are occasional [sendrag] in the legs and feet when asleep in the middle of the night, [kramper i] the calves, shoulders and biceps,