View Full Version : Why do the Eldar not simply Clone themselves?

10-11-2006, 12:18
So this is a question which comes to my mind when everybody is talking about "dying Race" and "every Eldar lost on the Battlefield is one step further to total exstinction" (spelling?)

If it is possible for US here on earth to clone Sheeps and other animals, then it must be very easy for Eldar to clone themselves. Clones just for Battles, so that no "real" Eldar has to die and they can recover themselves from the fall.

Ok, someone might say: "They dont have that technologie, they only have Wraithbones". Yep, everytime when it comes to the point that Eldar are the technological advanced race (besides Necrons) then the Critics say in the same sentence that they only have Wraithbones and are equal to Space Marine Standart.

That doesn´t make sense to me. Sounds somewhat like the good old Chewbacca defense just to keep them where they are ----> as good as dead and no threat to the holy human Empire.

So why do Eldar not make use of their "advanced" technology? (besides Game Balance)

10-11-2006, 12:19
Why don't humans want to clone themselves right now? Religion, culture, ethics... you name it. And let's face it, the Eldar aren't the most pragmatic of races.

10-11-2006, 12:34
The fluff around humans doesn't really talk about their "soul" as a tangible thing, unlike Eldar fluff... It is possible from a story persepctive that Eldar can not (or can no longer) be cloned. In the past Eldar spirits were obsorbed peacefully into the warp, perhaps to be reborn... Now they are violently consumed by Slaanesh. One could say that a clone would be nothing more than a golem, and while the Eldar could animate such a being (via spirit stones), why give a spirit a mortal husk when you can give them a wraith construct instead?

10-11-2006, 12:42
Cloning atm is very basic - Dolly the sheep was found to be the same age genetically as it's progenitor was when the DNA sample was taken, and basically died young of old age (if that makes any sense).

There's also the legal, ethical and other restrictions - but that takes us to P&R.

As for Eldar, IIRC, they supposedly reincarnate (or they did before Slaanesh anyway), so any cloned Eldar would essentially be soulless. Implanting a spirit stone, or pulling the spirit out of one probably wouldn't work either.

There's also the good old staples of Sci-Fi, evolutionary stagnation - inability of the species to adapt to environmental changes through survival of the fittest - and gene-sequence degradation - when you make a copy of a copy of a copy of a..., the information begins to degrade in the copying process (or as it's DNA, through mutagenic effects like free radicals and radiation) and it eventually becomes next to useless if you're lucky (if you've seen Stargate Sg-1, the Asgard have the same problem).

10-11-2006, 13:49
One of the greater aspects, in my view, of the 40k Ethos over many others, is the way they deal with cloning and the soul. Every time you try to cheat life (as it were, going for a bit of a bias on the ethics here) something bad happens.

Look at the Raveguard and their botched stuff, the cursed foundings were a bit suspicious and then we've the Afriel Strain, clones crossed with a healthy dose of bio(genetic?)-engineering...and it seems that fate hates them.

Now that's just weird.

If we look at the Eldar then I can easily imagine that due to the significance of their 'soul' that they just cannot be 'cloned' in the mundane way we understand it.


Commander Ozae
10-11-2006, 13:55
Also, we have to look at the reason the eldar don't use genetic engineering in any way at all. It's because to them, the way life is now, is the way it is meant to be. They think that genetic engineering in any way (implants or cloning) is sacriligious and forbidden.

10-11-2006, 14:06
Perhaps they can clone, but find the idea ethically and morally distasteful. Or perhaps cloning wouldn't make a difference because there are other barriers that are preventing the eldar population from increasing quickly. I have always thought that a limiting factor might be the supply of soulstones. I would imagine Eldar will always ensure there are enough soulstones to go around. If their population increases too quickly, then thier growth outstrips thier supply of stones, so they deliberately ensure thier population grows slowly.

10-11-2006, 14:09
mmhh...ok, got it.

No cloning....then another question which has nothing to do with the Topic, but also connected to it.

Is Slannesh Omnipresent in Warpspace? I mean....what if some Eldar said "This Galaxy is lost...lets travel to another Galaxy and try our luck there"
Would they still have the same Problem with Slannesh like in the 49k Galaxy?
Next Question, even it is just Fluff and has nothing to do with the Table top game:

Can Slannesh be beaten without sacrifising the entire Eldar population?
I know of the idea with Ynnead, but thats like "We can kill Slannesh by completly dying out"....a little bit weird i think.

P.S.: Maybe i should start another topic...but...well...not yet :)

10-11-2006, 15:40
The warp seems to have a presence where there is conscious life... Our galaxy is teaming with it, so the warp is broiling with activity. The tyrranids have their own "consciousness", very much unique... As a result they block out the warp as we know it, supplanting it with their own sort of ethereal realm. The space between galaxies has nothing... not even much in the way of space dust, let alone life. So travelling through warp space to get between galaxies is pretty much impossible. Same goes for the webway as it is woven between the real and warp realms... So the Eldar could "drift" to another galaxy (sort of like the tyrranids) but they could conceivably be "chased" by Slaanesh as She is essentially attached to their consciousness.

As for Her destruction with the death of the last Eldar... She is the perversion of the Eldar psyche, the worst and best of their minds (mostly worst). When the last of the Eldar die She will be filled with the remains (more or less) of the entirety of the Eldar psyche (she did destroy/consume the power of the Eldar gods), this would complete her in a way... This completion could be much like the "shard" principle in Hindu mythos, by being complete Slaanesh's identity will be "the Oneness", thus Her identity (Slaanesh as we know Her) would be destroyed.

Essentially the death of the Eldar will reballance the warp...

10-11-2006, 16:15
i've never understood why the eldar don't just go on a big sex-a-thon™ to get their population up, after all they're stuck on these great big space ships doing nothing inbetween battles with heathens, surely there's only so much time they can spend doing cross-stitch and playing back gammon?

Khaine's Messenger
10-11-2006, 16:53
If it is possible for US here on earth to clone Sheeps and other animals, then it must be very easy for Eldar to clone themselves.

Not only clone, but artificially inseminate, vat-grow, manipulate gestation, etc. en masse. It's an existing technology for the Imperium, to be sure (some servitors are basically vat-grown "blanks"), although highly hidden from the mainstream population. But then, as Xisor states, clones don't seem to fair very well when you're cloning or gengineering real people because of how the universe seems to implode on them almost like it implodes on Pariahs and Untouchables (which are themselves supposedly the product of a long series of heritable traits originally created through gengineering).

For example, there may only be so much of Eldar soul to go around at once, especially because of Slaanesh's special draw on their souls.

So why do Eldar not make use of their "advanced" technology?

This question has always led me and others to peg the "dying race" thing as something other than pure numbers loss (although 1% of a big number will usually be a big number too, having 99% of your population disappear will still smart somehow). It's mostly an open ended question as to why precisely it is, though, that they fail to utilize their technology in a way that would seem consistant with their representation as the elder race that only commits its forces when it feels it absolutely must as opposed to the Orks and Humans, who spill forth like the good little cannon fodder they are (as intelligently or unintelligently as you please).

It falls into the same realm as "why does GW portray the Tau as being completely ignorant of or lacking research in things they've had experience in, documentation of, experienced individuals, and proof of concept models of for hundreds of years if not longer?" It's not so much a "wargame balance" thing as a thematics and book-keeping issue, but once you start to "meta" the discussion, you've destroyed what little willing suspension of disbelief you had left.

Commander Ozae
10-11-2006, 17:49
I think you make a very good point, "dying" doesn't just mean that there are very few of them. Hasn't Eldrad Ulthran (Emperor rest his soul) mentioned that once the eldar had machines that did almost everything for them but they lost this technology.