The Conclave

The Ordos Majoris - Hobby, Painting and Modelling => The Dark Millennium => Topic started by: Shannow on May 30, 2010, 11:26:02 PM

Title: Dark Eldar Ally?
Post by: Shannow on May 30, 2010, 11:26:02 PM
Hi there beautiful people ;D

In designing a couple of characters on paper (2 of which are in the discussion board), as well as mentally doing a couple of others, I've been playing around with the idea of a Dark Eldar ally for an very radical Inquisitor. I'm just not sure how canon this would be..

I'm basing the idea that you might get one in the vein that if the Eldar have wanderers that don't like the constrained craftworld life then equally you may have Dark Eldar that go a-wandering. And also that if it is possible for the highest and most puritan Inquisitor to sink into extreme or even mild radicalness (Quixos and Eisenhorn respectively) then it would be possible for a Dark Eldar to also be repulsed by cabal practises etc.

Just a thought anyway that basically it needn't alway be the good guys becoming bad. Any comments good :)

Title: Re: Dark Eldar Ally?
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on May 31, 2010, 12:38:46 AM
A quick note when considering Dark Eldar. Unlike their craftworld bretheren, Dark Eldar have no soul stones. The way they stop themselves being 'eaten' by Slaanesh is by consuming the souls of humans (or other eldar!). Over time they need more and more souls to simply keep on going. While there may be Inquisitors out there willing to provide 'subjects' it raises two issues;
1) How an Inquisitor can have hundreds (after a while) of humans killed to preserve a Xenos creature and get away with it - both the practical implications of doing so and avoiding the watchful eye of other more puritan inquisitors
2) A dark eldar can never be 'good' (as you suggest at the end of your post) - by necessity a dark eldar must kill many, many humans just to keep himself alive - while you may say it is no different to how we eat animals, a dark eldar will never be 'good' by a human standard of morality (in the same way i imagine a beefburger lover will never be 'good' by a cow-centric standard of morality). Setting aside moral cognitivism vs non-cognitivism, a dark eldar's morality will at least never be good as we perceive the notion (as whether morality is external or subjective we can still only PERCEIVE it in human terms).

While i'm not saying 'don't do it' (i'd never want to outright tell someone not to make a character they want to), I am saying there are a couple of issues which need addressing (the latter being easy to address - you just say he isn't 'good', he's just assissting an inquisitor, the former is a serious practical concern).
Title: Re: Dark Eldar Ally?
Post by: MarcoSkoll on May 31, 2010, 01:01:37 AM
1) How an Inquisitor can have hundreds (after a while) of humans killed to preserve a Xenos creature and get away with it - both the practical implications of doing so and avoiding the watchful eye of other more puritan inquisitors
I can answer that one.

Prisoners scheduled for execution is one viable source of human lives, if you should need them. I've used the idea a few times in various fictions and backgrounds when an Inquisitor might need some "sacrifices" - and I've even had "nice" Puritans do such a thing. While many people in our world see the death penalty as barbaric, it's very much acceptable in the Imperium*, and in the end, a death might as well mean something. Of course, many become servitors, but no Inquisitor would have to work too hard to get a few of these unfortunates... reassigned - and no-one would really ask too many questions.
*While it's tempting to write characters so they just subscribe to the author's opinions, that's 1) lazy, 2) dull and 3) a good way to turn a character into a Mary Sue.

Or if an Inquisitor has sufficiently twisted morals, I can't see that it's impossible that people just... go missing. In the end, all they have to think is that more people are being saved than the Dark Eldar is consuming.

Either way, an Inquisitor constantly requesting condemned prisoners or people going missing is a good hook to potential draw other people into conflict with the warband. Perhaps Inquisitor McPuritan has been tracking down these odd leads, trying to find where these people are just disappearing to.
Title: Re: Dark Eldar Ally?
Post by: Shannow on May 31, 2010, 01:10:21 AM
thanks for the quick post considering the time guys :) (I really should remember to post earlier in the day).

Thos issues were certainly ones I considered and I'm glad that aside from them you don't seem to particularly have an issue. Though you make the point brother_brimstone that because of their necessity for consumption of souls it precludes them from being good; while to a certain extent I agree with this, I do think that my level of self preservation would over ride moral obligations without me necessarily considering myself a bad person (I thin you sort of make this point  :-\  )

But yeah my plan was, in line with Marco's idea, that my Inquisitor is enough of a radical bugger to be happy to provide 'nourishment' for his companion in return for services rendered. That or I shall just make him evil and attach him to a planned chaos mechanicus character.

Thanks again guys (apologies if I make little sense or haven't understood what you meant, mind is mush due to revision)
Title: Re: Dark Eldar Ally?
Post by: Inquisitor Sargoth on May 31, 2010, 01:14:02 AM
Indeed, Inquisitors appropriating prisoners for Dark Eldar consumption isn't too far-fetched...

If it suits a dark eldar to not be in a kabal or the dark city (they may have made lots of enemies, perhaps, or be a friend/relative of someone who has) then they'll wander. This will mean they need a plentiful supply of souls.

Dark eldar are fundamentally self-serving, and if it served a dark eldar to work with an Inquisitor, they would do so. The longevity of such a relationship would seem unlikely, however, as both parties would (rightly) consider the other entirely untrustworthy. And quite repulsive.
Title: Re: Dark Eldar Ally?
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on May 31, 2010, 01:24:24 AM
Don't get me wrong; i'm in no way saying that the Inquisitor using the Dark Eldar is by necessity not good, if he's a utilitarian using an ends justify means morality, he could be very well intentioned in his use of Dark Eldar; as Marco says, he may consider it to save more than it costs, all i mean is that i would restrain from applying the term 'good guy' to any Dark Eldar because they are inherently selfish (by definition). Whether or not you think self preservation justifies killing others you must submit that such a view begins with an egoist perspective. (Heck, i'm really getting fired up for that meta-ethics module i'm taking in a couple of weeks.... i apologise - all philosophy and no leaving the house makes me a bit... odd. Or at least moreso than usual).

With regards to what Sargoth said - that neatly answsers a question i was going to ask. I'm intending on making a lone Dark Eldar character as a one man warband and wanted to know if it would be reasonable to suppose one could just flee Komorragh due to persecution. Now i've just got to wait until July when exams will be over and i'll be free to actually make these 6 models i've ordered....
Title: Re: Dark Eldar Ally?
Post by: Shannow on May 31, 2010, 01:29:09 AM
So is that to say that essentially any dark eldar will never be anything short of evil? I know that that is the basis for their existence, but I still find it slightly far fetched that it is passable for all manner of human to become corrupt but the matter is so black and white with other (evil) races becoming less corrupt.

EDIT@ Brother_brimstone, its not that I think your saying it precludes the Inquisitor from being 'good' (which as you say is a poor term) but more that as I say above, it seems to be that their is no leeway in the intentions or morality of the dark eldar character. Though as they are selfish, this does not mean they are incapable of forming bonds surely? For example in the Eisenhorn trilogy the friendship and love he finds are heavily re-enforced yet he essentially is selfish in his sacrifice of all these to attain his ends.

Obviously that is a lot different as he is serving the Emperor, but is it not plausible that the only selfish desire a dark eldar may have that thus allows him to make friends to a degree with an inquisitor (an especially radical daemon sword wielding one to boot) is the desire to obtain souls for survival? or must there be a darker agenda that prevents such a connection?
Not to say your wrong, I hasten to add! As my knowledge leaves much to be desired as I'm sure my comments highlight in their ignorance, it just seems a tad unbalanced in the scheme of things. Ho Hum!

Title: Re: Dark Eldar Ally?
Post by: Inquisitor Sargoth on May 31, 2010, 01:34:48 AM
Self-serving isn't neccesarily evil. Dark eldar need souls to replace their own and tend towards cruelty partly due to their corrupt culture and also in part to appease Slaanesh, but they don't have to act that way. 

But all eldar are either self or race-serving and will happily sacrifice anything for themselves/their people/both. They're fundamentally proud and racist- they used to own the galaxy and they'll never forget it.
Title: Re: Dark Eldar Ally?
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on May 31, 2010, 01:38:41 AM
No, it's not that a dark eldar will never be anything but evil, but their morality is incompatible with ours. So they'll never be good by human standards, because they don't have human values. We feed to survive and that's not immoral by our standards because humans feeding on non-humans maximises human life, which is inevitably the base of our morality (unless you're an animal rights supporter who says sentience, rather than humanity is the basis of morality, but i have a personal gripe against that claim). In MOST (not all) systems of human morality, human interest is the centre.

Similarly, Dark Eldar morality is Dark Eldar centric, so will be considered immoral by humans (I.e. us).

I'm sure DA, being a fellow philosopher could reference Peter Singer or Tom Reagan here, which is why i say most, not all, morality is human centric, but essentially, as humans, we can never be free from our human perspective on morality - it's intrinsic to us. Under these conditions, i would say Dark Eldar could never be considered moral on human terms (because they would rather many humans die than 1 of them die)

EDIT; In simplified terms, what i'm saying is that human morality is intrinsically 'species-ist'. Consider this; who would you rather die, your most beloved relation or a stranger? Clearly if forced to pick one, we pick the stranger. In this case, the family member is our own species and the stranger is the alien species. Our morality is based in our values - we value what is close to us, and that expands to species.
Title: Re: Dark Eldar Ally?
Post by: Shannow on May 31, 2010, 01:43:20 AM
Wow you really do have your philosophy head on brother_brimstone! Hope you do well in your module :) I sympathise with your predicament I am 2 exams away from finishing my 2nd year at uni and its difficult to get away from all the words!

I think perhaps a point I should have made more clear earlier (and as such I apologise profusely) is that the Inquisitor in question (Maximilian Shannow in the character discussion thread) is a very radical nigh on heretical inquisitor type character, whose morales and aims are far from considered sound.

With that in mind does it make the whole partnership that much more plausible?

Title: Re: Dark Eldar Ally?
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on May 31, 2010, 01:51:09 AM
The partnership is entirely justifiable - i never intended to suggest otherwise, i perhaps was making a tangental point that the dark eldar is perhaps best not treated as a 'good guy' in fluff terms; he and the Inquisitor could even be close allies, i just wanted to make sure it was established that the eldar will still be a creature that kills humans out of selfish desires. I think it will make for a very interesting partnership and encourage you to persue it, i look forward to hearing more about the warband as it advances (and perhaps get a chance to see your Dark Eldar miniature!).

EDIT: I also apologise for the vague thread hijack - it wasn't my intention to draw attention away from your original question. I fear i may have done more harm than good here, but my intentions were to help rather than hinder. Lack of sleep and revision are probably not a good combination...
Title: Re: Dark Eldar Ally?
Post by: Shannow on May 31, 2010, 01:57:56 AM
Yeah, as you say I definitely threw the word 'good' around a little to liberally! I didn't intend to describe him as such, I suppose I meant relatively so comparative to his more nasty relatives (like my bearded aunty).

I definitely intend to pursue it and the model I had in mind with some fiddling was

Though I am still on the look out for other possibilities if you see any :)

Thanks for the help anyway, been enlightening!
Title: Re: Dark Eldar Ally?
Post by: Shannow on May 31, 2010, 02:43:14 AM
Also thinking that

has some potential for a creepy dark eldar dude.
Title: Re: Dark Eldar Ally?
Post by: Myriad on May 31, 2010, 12:19:54 PM
Killing innocents in the name of the cause is a normal part of inquisitorial work, and doesn't present a barrier here.  I find it hard to see a genuine bond between the two of them (eldar attitudes to humanity / viice versa being what they are), but both would happily act out of pragmatism.  A dark eldar who has fled Commaragh, for whatever reason, would naturally find himself short of resources.

If you do want a slightly less evil eldar an outcaste craftowrld eldar or a corsair are possibilities I guess.
Title: Re: Dark Eldar Ally?
Post by: Shannow on May 31, 2010, 12:46:16 PM
On sort of a secondary note but still linked, are there any rules for Dark Eldar abilities? Or should I just pinch and modify the ones for Eldar?
Title: Re: Dark Eldar Ally?
Post by: DapperAnarchist on June 01, 2010, 12:22:55 AM
Dark Eldar morality seems to be to be one where the only normative value judgements are those of pure self-interest - not even a speciesist theory, such as the Craftworld Eldar, but one closer to some sort of madman's interpretation of Machiavelli... While Regan and Singer would dismiss the Dark Kin as moral beings, they might be forced to admit that they are at least consistent on a level that the Craftworld Eldar, the Imperium, and our own society is not. We draw artifical distinctions of species, class, family, nation, and the like, and then say "THIS, on this side of the line, is valuable - THAT, over there, is not", no matter the relative merit of those individuals who fall on each side of the line (Regan and Singer being, really, atomists of ethics...). The Dark Eldar are also atomists, but consistent ones. The only line they draw is the one around themselves. They may even admit that someone else is better than them, for some ethical value. However, that then only makes them a risk or a target...

For information on the Dark Eldar, I suggest reading One More Hit, on the IC boards here, Dark Magenta, and of course the Codex. Xenology has a couple interesting bits - like that while the restrained and puritan Craftworld Eldar call Slaanesh "She Who Thirsts", the more emotive Dark Kin call her "The Thirsty Bitch".
Title: Re: Dark Eldar Ally?
Post by: Inquisitor Sargoth on June 01, 2010, 01:38:32 AM

For information on the Dark Eldar, I suggest reading One More Hit, on the IC boards here

That's some very, very nice praise, there.
Title: Re: Dark Eldar Ally?
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on June 01, 2010, 01:42:35 AM
While i would definitely agree with what you say i would hasten to add that it still confers no concept of 'good' on the Dark Eldar. To be good and to be consistent are two very different things (although i'm not implying you suggested otherwise). Someone who is inconsistently 'good' but always has 'good' intentions would be considered in almost all ethical systems better than someone who is consistently 'evil'.

Similarly, that the Dark Eldar are more consistant in their selfishness does not indicate that they are more morally acceptable. In fact some (especially act utilitarians) would claim that inconsistency is a key part of morality (the act utilitarian would claim that because every situation is different each has a different 'good' course of action - the only consistency in your actions must be that they maxmise utility, but if you're a utilitarian, you believe that 'maximises utility = good' so really that's a bit like saying 'the only consistency in doing the good thing is that it is always good' - it's a self-assuring truth).

Anyway, nothing i've said there contradicts anything you said, i'm just putting my own claims in terms of the framework your post provided, in order to show the justification behind my reasoning.
Title: Re: Dark Eldar Ally?
Post by: Shannow on June 01, 2010, 02:26:35 AM

For information on the Dark Eldar, I suggest reading One More Hit, on the IC boards here

That's some very, very nice praise, there.

I have just finished reading One More Hit, and I think it was absolutely fantastic, I meant to go to bed half an hour ago and could not stop reading. I also found it a great source of inspiration for how I want my Dark Eldar character to be. Many thanks for both the fantastic read and the excellent recommendation.