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Discussion Starter #1
As the title says, do the Eldar have different ethnicities? Even though the question is fairly self-explanatory, I'm just going to expand a bit on it.:angel:
We can see the different Human ethnicities all around us. From skin that is a different colour, to the facial features, even to the way hair grows (or doesn't grow) on the head and other parts of the body. Whether people come from the areas associated with that ethnicity, or are descended from it through familiy, there is a lot of variaiton phenotypically (IE how we, as Humans look)- let alone all of the different languages/dialects/pidgins/creoles/lingua francae.
So, to get back to the question, is it the same for the Eldar, at least on the bodily appearance point of view? Would they differ depending on the Craftworld they inhabit, or between different populations on the Craftworld? Would it be more of an issue on Maiden/Exodite worlds? Is it the same with the Dark Eldar (if it is the case with their Craftworld cousins, then would the True Kin accept it, or would they have tried to alter their population via mas slaughter?). So, do they all look like :so_happy:, or there some that look like :crazy:, and so on?

GFP
 

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Hmmmm....
That's a good question actually. I don't think, that this has ever been adressed officially. But - moving into the real of specualtion - it would make sense. Humans look differently, because over the course of human evolution we have adapted to different habitats and our physical traits (skin colour etc.) have changed to better deal with the conditions in the places we inhabit. It would be logical if the same would be true for the Eldar. So if the craftworlds were "manned" along regional or ethnic lines it would be possible for Elder of different craftworlds to indeed look differently. These would be minor things - probably a human would never notice but for the Eldar it could be obvious.
On the other hand: a race so much in need of being in harmony with itself could also have taken radical steps to ensure, that all Eldar are of the same makeup. I don't mean genocidal wars here - more like eugenics or genetic manipulation.
As for the Dark Eldar - well with them anything goes, doesn't it?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Xenology talks about the Eldar corpse that is dissected showing signs that the internal structure had been 'tidied-up'. Everything in there was elegant and placed 'just so', no mere evoltion being capable of making it that way. So, Old Man, I think you're right that, if there were ethnic differences between Eldar groups, they would only be visible to other Eldar.
I was asking because I had an idea for a Dark Eldar short story, and I wanted the protagonist to be either dark skinned or have skin that is actually black, rather along the lines of the Salamanders. That got me thinking and here we are! I don't see why there wouldn't be differences- after all, the Eldar Empire spanned the galaxy and so many planets would give ample opportunity for differences to crop up.

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Any ethinicities that may present in the Eldar that would be apparent at a genetic level would have occurred millions of years before the Eldar and the division between Craftworld and Dark Eldars (60 million years+ to be more precise) as the Eldar, somehow, haven't changed in any manner since that time to the present day (ref. Xenology).

Edit: ah ninja'd
 

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Xenology talks about the Eldar corpse that is dissected showing signs that the internal structure had been 'tidied-up'. Everything in there was elegant and placed 'just so', no mere evoltion being capable of making it that way. GFP
This would the imply, that the Eldar were somehow "made" the way they are. Which of course would go nicely with the supposed creation of the Elday by the Old Ones.
If we look at it this way then it's likely that there are no Elder "races" as they were made to be just the way they are (does that sentence make sense?).

As for your story: as I said before: the Dark Eldar can (and probably do) change the way they look just as they like it. So why not go for it?
 

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As someone else noted, human beings look the way they do because of physical changes aimed at adapting to their climate and environment.

Not only would Exodites vary from planet to planet in terms of appearance (given enough time, that is); they'd vary from region to region in terms of how they look.

Craftworld Eldar, on the other hand, live almost constantly on controlled environments (Craftworlds) that (probably) don't vary from one end to the other. They, too, however are descendants of people who lived on different planets following the Fall. Assuming 10+ millennia in controlled environments aren't enough to get each Craftworld's population to a baseline common appearance (shared environment), they would, in fact, carry the physical differences that were the legacy* of their varied regional/planetary origins.

* That's assuming, of course, that pre-Fall Eldar lived lifestyles that allowed their environments enough leeway to alter how they looked.
 

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The eldar went through the same thing as that South Park epsiode with the Goobacks. All te breeding eventually made them all look pretty much the same.
On a serious note I think there are a couple references to the exodites being different in Path of the Warrior, but I am not too sure
 

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I think its hard to know if Eldar have different accents due to thier communication hardly being actual speech. Body language and psychic communication make up alot of it. Allthough I would think An Eldar could tell where another Eldar came from through converation by the way they speak/ move/ act/ think. Much like accents.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I reckon accents will develop more readily than ethnic differences. I had reasoned that, with all of the manipulation of the Eldar, 'racial' characteristics would probably be well hidden and not very visible. However, anytime you get groups of people in isolation from other groups for any length of time, you'll start to get variations on how things are said. I don't doubt that slang terms vary between Craftworlds, and probably between Aspect Shrines, which would give a starting point for accent divergence. However, just look at the old British Empire; if you wanted to be 'English' there was a defined way that you had to talk or you wouldn't be accepted-maybe the Eldar practice this?.
So, would the consensus be that Eldar can have different coloured skin? Hell, with the Eldars' love of aesthetics, do you think that individuals would be able to use some kind of advanced cosmentic surgery to change how they look, wether it be for a little bit (and then change back) or long-term?

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As the Eldar have a very advanced technology it would probably be a simple matter for them to alter their skin colour, hair colour and eye colour. After all we can do some of this already! However there is a matter to keep in mind: they Eldar are very wary of Chaos and the changes it brings. So it could be possible that changing your skin colour into - say - blue might be frowned upon as this would be too vivid a reminder of the way Chaos changes it's followers.
As for the accent thingy: this does seem very likely. Probabyl every craftworld has it's own accent and slang, but there would probably be a form of "High-Eldar" which everyone is taught in school and which would be the "right" way to communicate with strangers from other craftworlds (in oder to not sound like some backwater rustic).
 

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GFP - I would suggest that an easy way for your Dark Eldar in your story to have other coloured skin would be to give them ancestors from another race - this would also add some interesting back story flavour for you (choose the race most useful for backstory or leave it a "strange alien race")

As for Eldar in general, breeding is rare occurence so you can assume that any evolutionary or genetic pressures will be more diluted that a similar human population. There is also the assumption that genetics plays a part in the Eldar appearance. I feel that there are likely some genetic characters which would become more prominent in a craftworld society, but that they would be minor compared to the social trends.
The nurture side of Eldar society would in my opinion mean that an Eldar visiting a "foreign" craftworld would make more distinction from the dress, customs and manerisms of the population.
So I feel the genetic traits would be too dilute to create distinct "races", however there would definite cultural differences creating races in this manner.

As for cosmetic changes, I think that such radical changes as skin colour change would be frowned upon, for the reason already given that it is too close to chaos, but also it would be a sign of vanity which Eldar would try to avoid.
 
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