So good, it deserved a double-post!
A creature of chaos can mean three things:
1. A mutant, this is a creaute affected directly by the mutating powers of chaos. Its parents are natrual creatures, it however is not. Mutants are often much less stable creatures. This range from some ungor (beastmen come in both varieties) to full blown chaos spawn.
2. Creatures of chaotic orgin: Griffons Chimeras Manticores, chaos dragons. These creatures have not been mutated themselves by chaos (if they jave then they belong in the former cathegory) but have inherited the mutations of their ancestors. Chaos dragons are a good example. Galurach is a mutant (actually possesed but anyway) and have passed on his mutation (Two heads and servitute to the chaos gods) to his offspring. Likewise its possible other such creatures either come from a specific mutated creature during the time between the polar gates destruction and the vortex of Ulthuan being created, or from the crossbreadign of creatures with similiar mutations.
Anyway these creatures are alot more stable and while they may differ they can oftne be indentifed as a specific creature, there is also no indication that crossbreading between them is possible. While their orgins may be chaotic they are now their own creatures.
3. demons: These are the only true creatures of chaos, they're both made of chaos and is also a part of the pantheonic power of the warp each individual however weak is a small part of the entirety. Both a part of the god(s) they serve and separate because chaos is the essence of paradox. Demons dont reproduce (unless in a host and even that has only been heard of once), they also seem unable to die a true death. They can split of and be reabsorbed by other demons but along with the lost and absorbed power their indentity will remain(however much they may have had of this in the first place is related to how powerful they are). That identity along with the power and intelligence itself comes from a unique relation to human emotion. The more unique the relation is and the stronger the emotion is in the minds of mortals the more powerfull the demon. Atleast this is the way i understod it.
There are also other kinds:
Beastmen: Belong in both cathegories, some are born as mutant offpsring of humans others from beastmen unions. My theory is that since beastmen is just a grouping of many kinds of mutants, the questions if a beastmen can reproduce with another of its kind, with a human or with a beast may differ from beastmen to beastmen.
Creatures mutated by the vortex of Ulthuan: The only thing i remember reading into this cathegory is great eagles (Think its the sundering triology when its sugested they appreared after the vortex was created). But other creatures such as great stags unicorns and white lions may be this aswell. When the magic is grounded into ulthuan (and the warhammer world) it propably ends up in the lay lines of the world. The stone circles of Albion have changed the climate there , what the effects of the much greater vortex in ulthuan might be havent been properly explored. Its even possible that the wood elfs building waystones around athel loren prior to settlign there may have led to the boosting of the forests' consciousness.
Poseessed beings: Not really mutants since they we'rent born that way, a demon have possessed them and their bodies are unable to contain its essence. Over time they will either deteriorate to something akin to a chaos spawn or shed the physical body and assume their demonic form. Whiel most dangerous in the latter its limits the time they can spend int eh physical universe. A possessed creature is not a creature of chaos in itself, the creature possessing it can be described as such and stable offspring aswell. But the demonhost is (to quote supernatrual) just a flesh suit. I'm unsure if anything of the host survives and if a demon has ever been exorciced from a host.
Note that parts of this is highly speculative if anyone has any cannon that contradicts me please inform me.
The few surviving pre-old-ones races as well (the briefly mentioned psychic-insects, deep-sea-nasties, and Zoats; along with the Dragons and Dragon Ogres you have listed)
It is also unclear of 'natural' daemons (djinn, elementals, forest spirits) are technically 'Chaos Creatures' or not
The beastmen book talks about beastmen drinking, fighting, pooping and rutting around heard stones so they reproduce with something or they just do it like they do on the discovery channel.
Last edited by RanaldLoec; 17-04-2012 at 03:59.
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As well, it's hazy if the various creatures native to Lustria are Chaos Creatures or not. One would expect the Slann would not tolerate them if they were, nor do they exhibit any properties you would expect from Chaos Creatures, yet the Lizardmen also revere the Coatl, which is clearly a magical creature. So either the Slann have quietly condoned Chaos Creatures, casting into doubt whether or not their dinosaurs are natural or not, or the Coatl is an intensely magical creature that predates the arrival of Chaos.
As a general rule, if it looks like a realistic (if improbable) creature, without any abnormal features, it's natural, and if it looks like somebody stitched a bunch of different things together in a manner that defies all laws of nature, or has features that could only be attributed to magic (Cockatrice's stare, Stonehorn eating rocks, etc.), it's a Chaos abomination. Usually.
The Incarnate Elementals from the Eight Winds are indeed counted as Daemons for relevant purposes, they are summoned with specific rituals and generally are a embodiment of their governing entity - pretty much like the Daemons of Chaos are.
Oh they are Daemons, no doubt... elementals and forest spirits and stuff like them. My pondering is whether they are 'Chaos' daemons (associated with The Big Four or Undivided), or more 'natural manifestations' of Chaos Energy in the world unaffiliated with the 'Daemons' in the army style.
So frest spirits are demons fo the lore of life? I can accept that but how are elementals that? Fire has a lore (wind) but no other element has. What are water/wind/earth elementals?
But the random pooling of magic is Dhar isnt it? as opposed to the balanced pooling the winds which is Qhaysh.
I'd more say its an effect of all the magic being transfered from the winds through the vortex of Ulthuan into the world itself.
Couldn't one describe Forest Spirits as incarnations of Athel Loren? It is a forest saturated with magic and inhabitated or even possessed by mighty entities, so I think this is more accurate than describing them as Elements of the Lore of Life. I'm not sure how to imagine a Incarnate Elemental of Life, tbh. Shadow is similarly hard (although the Mourngul fits my mental imagine quite well already), but when I think of Life I get an idea of a being moving with great serenity, the worldaround it blooming and flourishing once more. Similar to Aekold Helbrass' Gift of Life.
On Dhar: While "responsible" for many evils in the world, especially Warpstone and most Necromancy (the dead even walk on their own in Dhar-saturated regions) I'd not make it responsible for every magical creature. I've got no time to re-read Realms of Sorcery or the Liber Chaotica now, I'm afraid (can later, if needed), but Dhar only pools in places where a high amount of magical energy is chaotically at work (Nagashizzar for example). There can be residues of single winds as well, I'd guess, maybe even more common than pools of Dhar.
@TheDungen: I'd not relate Elementals and elements in the Warhammer World. While there are Djinns, mainly in Araby, which are made from the elements as far as I know (see Wind Elemental in Dreadfleet), they aren't that common in the Lore anymore. In earlier editions of Warhammer there have been various elementals for the elements.
If you relate the Incarnate Elemental of Fire to the Wind of Aqshy instead of the element Fire it makes more sense since there is a Elemental of Shyish and a Elemental of Ghur as well, and more are likely to follow at some point.
Athel Loren is full of Winds of Life AND Winds of Beasts; the two of them combined awoke the Forest Spirits.
Elementals still get some fluff reference here and there. An Ogre ate one in the background of the Mountain Eater Bigname; and one of the WoC magic items references Fire Elementals.
Life and fire are elements, Shadow, death, light, heavens and the like isnt. its what the word means elemental made of the elements. While the magic winds might be powerful forces in the warhammer world when a person in the warhamemr world say that the elements will make stone crumble in time those elements are fire wind earth and water (in this case wind and water). Not that the magic winds will make it crumble. Thus these are the elements. Life being added as an element is just because the early philosophers could not explain it as an aspect of one of the others.
Ther emigth be demons of the winds but they cannot be considered elementals for that opposees the very definition of the word. Though ofcourse it is possible there are no elementals in the warhamemr world but the fact that there are demons of the lore of fire have made the people asume there are. (Which in the warhamemr world would make them exist, imagination really isnt a good trait in this setting)
As for 'elemental': the word has had different meanings across different cultures and time periods, and the 4+1 'classic' greek elements permeate fantasy literature but are certainly not the only system of organizing 'stuff' in such a way. I think, personally, Forest Spirits and Elementals are 'naturally occurring' daemons, a simple result of pooling of magical energies in the world giving life and animation to things that wouldn't ordinarily have it. Djinn, on the other hand, are more clearly just a certain type of daemon.
Tell me where an elemental isnt a living embodiment of an element. And element is an anglifacation of the latin eleméntum, meaning basic building block/component. Its from natrual philosophy. They're the proposed building blocks of all existance either alone or together. (altough fire is never proposed to be on its own which is kinda funny cause fire is energy and all matter actually is energy) Similar beliefs in other cultures may have been grouped under the same name but thats just a simplification (in most cases they are not proposed as the building blocks for all matter thus they're not really elements) the elements are fire wind/air water and earth (and life).
The only other use of the word elements which doesnt contradict the meaning of the word is as the chemical elements on the periodic table, and sure you can have elementals of thoose i guess but it'd quickly turn into a very convoluted system.
Which supports my point doesnt it? that elementals even in the warhammer world will be of the four (or five) elements.
The four classic elements are clearly the model of elementals in Warhammer world, but I don't think 'life' (or Ether or Quintessence or whichever version of the classical alchemical model you like, not all of which even recognize a '5th element') is included in that system. Who knows though... maybe in Cathay and Nippon they have 'eastern elementals'... stone, wood, void, that sort of thing