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Gav Thorpe Blog - Eldar Q&a € Part Two

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#1 Bugman


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Posted 25 May 2017 - 07:00 AM

Jain-Zar-by-Gav-Thorpe-1-164x230.jpgTo celebrate the release of my new Phoenix Lords novel, Jain Zar: The Storm of Silence, I asked people to post their (non rules-related) eldar questions over on my Facebook Page.

There were so many questions I’ve had to split them over two blogs – in case you missed it, you can read part one here.

For other Q&As from the past, have a look at those I did for the Dark Elves and Dark Angels.

Douglas asked: How do you hold people’s interest when writing such a severely ascetic race?

There always has to be a balance when writing non-human characters. Though the characters themselves are alien the stories must still resonate. Jain Zar’s quest to control her anger is extreme because of her eldar nature, but in the extremity it serves as a tale that most of us can still relate to when we’re frustrated or fearful. We might not experience in quite the same way, but hopefully the story itself still resonates.

Jesse asked: Saim Hann special character?

Back in 3rd edition I created Nuadhu Fireheart. Let’s just say at some point I want to write an aeldari novel called ‘Wild Rider’ and leave it at that.

Devon asked: How do the Phoenix lords feel about this whole Ynnead thing? Including Drazahr, as he’s totally one.

It varies from Phoenix Lord to Phoenix Lord. As a banshee, Jain Zar feels quite an affinity with Ynnead and Yvraine’s cause. As you will see in the novel, she has a different relationship with Khaine. With the others, I suspect that most of them are ambivalent. They remember the aeldari as they were, and still see their people in those terms, so the idea of unifying their species once again probably has some appeal. On the other hand, the resurrection of Ynnead is in contravention of the foretelling of the Rhana Dandra, the final battle in which the eldar die but defeat Slaanesh in doing so. They are also very wary of anything that Eldrad Ulthran pokes his fingers into…

Yncarne-Ynnead-Painted-Miniature-223x230Shawn asked: Why is Jain Zar so enthralled with Ynnead does she really think it is the way? Why Harlequins I mean isn’t going against the god they already worship (Cegorach) or is he okay with it… I mean he may laugh at it as he is the laughing god.

Jain Zar is death’s messenger, and once you’ve read the novel you’ll see how she could quite easily lend her support to a cause that seeks to bring the peace of oblivion. For her the struggle against excess, the threat of the eldar sliding back into the grip of She Who Thirsts is a continuing battle. Her own background means she believes wholeheartedly in the concept of Rebirth and so why not apply that to an entire species? We also shouldn’t overlook the sense of sisterhood and familiarity she shares with Yvraine, both of them having fought in the arenas and then been lifted to a different life by the intervention of a higher power.

The Harlequins, like any other sect of the aeldari, each have their own reasons. We cannot think of them as a united faction any more than the craftworlds or kabals. Each masque, each harlequin, has their own reasons for opposing, joining or ignoring the rise of the Ynnari. This is something I explore a bit more in a forthcoming novel, so I’m not going to say too much here except that the old aeldari were pantheistic – following one god does not preclude following another as well.

Berengere asked: Are there sometimes exodites that move up to craftworld or craftworlders that decide to become exodites? Or do both live separate lives except for some trade? As for trade, I suppose craftworlds mostly buy food from exodites, but what do exodites need from the craftworlds in return?

I think it is possible for exodites to join the craftworlds, but highly unlikely that the craftworlders could move the other way. The Path is a system that they adhere to from the earliest age, but can be learnt later in life, but the harsh strictures of Exodite existence that coral their excess comes from being part of the society from birth. As with most matters in 40K, the answer is that someone somewhere across the galaxy has done it at some point in the last ten thousand years.

As for trade, I think we need to step away from how we see such a thing in our modern world. Craftworlds are self-sufficient even after the Fall, so they don’t need anything as such. But eldar do like the esoteric and exotic, and they must also deal with greed and obsessive consumption as part of the extreme nature inherent in their psychology. In that regard, the Path of the Merchant serves as a means of cultivating and controlling that acquisitive urge, the addiction of making deals. Conversely, most artisans live for the creation of their artefacts and give them away, so any marketplace is very different from what we see on our world.

On the flipside the Exodites deliberately exist at a state of near-destitution, so offloading excess goods is a way of retaining their puritanical lifestyle. If they start having a surplus of something they fear it will lead once more to decadence. In return they probably prize spirit stones above anything, as they lack the means of retrieving them directly.

Justin asked: Assuming that the introduction of the Ynnari has changed things, what was your original idea for the Harlequins’ plan to save the Eldar? Why do the Eldar believe Ynnead stands a chance against Slaanesh given that Ynnead was created off a far smaller (albeit more psychically powerful) population base than Slaanesh, who has had 10 millennia of feeding off the galaxy?

It changes nothing, and in many ways has some startling similarities. Both are considered to starve Slaanesh of future souls, one through the intervention of the Laughing God, the other through the power of Ynnead.

Regarding the Whispering God’s power, one had to consider if the aeldari souls trapped within Slaanesh have been wholly subsumed or not. If not, could a powerful enough entity draw them forth again? And frankly, most of the Ynnari are at the point that they feel they have nothing left to lose by trying! Damned if you don’t, maybe not damned if you do…

Thank you to everyone who took the time to post a question. If you missed the call for questions, don’t worry, leave a comment below and I’ll answer it as part of my normal monthly Q&A.

**To make sure you don’t miss out on any blog posts, you can keep up-to-date with everything Gav by signing up to my monthly newsletter. As a bonus, every other month I randomly pick a newsletter subscriber to receive a free signed copy of one of my books.**

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