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 Love and Children in the Dark City

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Vindicavi
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PostSubject: Love and Children in the Dark City   Tue Jan 30 2018, 19:12

Not quite as hippy as it sounds, I'm wondering what my fellow denizens thoughts are on the nature of the Trueborn. Why would a dark eldar decide to have a natural child?  

Assuming the process is mostly similar to humans and thus it is fundamentally a selfless act, with a large amount of weakness and difficultly being imposed on the parents. I'm not convinced that it would be something that the dark eldar would do, as their nature and culture makes them incredibly selfish and entitled.  

I suppose a reason could be a display of status and power, the effort and resources required to carry, raise and protect off spring would show an enormous status and wealth in the society. It would also be a huge display of arrogance and complacency on the part of the Dark Eldar doing it as it is essentially opening an easy method of approach for rivals/enemies.  

The hunger for new experiences might be another idea; the thrill and new sensations that come from the danger and terror they could experience rendering themselves incredibly venurable. As we know, many willingly become wracks to experience some new sensation and way of living, perhaps the same could be said of those who produce offspring.  

My final thought would be boring biological need, the Eldar after all would still have the base desires to breed and propagate their genes in the same way as ever other living organism.  

 

Anyway those are my thoughts, what are yours?
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|Meavar
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PostSubject: Re: Love and Children in the Dark City   Wed Jan 31 2018, 08:12

I always thought of it as a status symbol.
To some extent I also look a bit at drow culture and there family still is a powerfull bond, yes you might be backstabbed by your children but they can also greatly improve your status, expecially if you do not have much status yourself.
New experiences is also a good reason. You also have to be a wrack to ever become a heamonculus, which helps in that regard).

I also think that there probably is a whole caste of "mothers" who are kept just to carry the children so you are slightly less vurnerable yourself.
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DOGGED
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PostSubject: Re: Love and Children in the Dark City   Fri Feb 02 2018, 11:33

I don't like to keep too much into reductionist limits when it comes to background. Authors (be them codex or novel) usually must respect some general guidelines on "racial" character but we ourselves are more free to explore the least commented facets of Drukhari society.

That being said, we must not forget that when we talk about aliens we must think on both of these factors:

-As aliens, Drukhari need not to conform to all or any of human behaviour principles, so they need not to be driven by greed or lust nor altruism. Selfish or selfless feelings are not to be considered as good or bad intrinsically, but as mere projections of self promotion or grupal instincts.

-Also they do not need to deviate from them in an unusual way for us; so some things we can consider that apply universally, as can be survival, both in a perpetuation sense and in one of competitiveness/submission.

Drukhari can be expected to think of pregnancy as a sensation thing and as a challenge; definitely their mastery of chemical and physical possibilities would compensate for the supposedly inherent weakness pregnancy (specially a protracted one such as Drukhari's). Too they could be expected to not be kind with their offspring, not only because of a sadistic trend but because (and possibly mainly) because their intrinsic competitive, survivalistic nature.

So in conclusion, Drukhari are very competitive while being also social beings (they live mostly in the biggest city in the galaxy, possibly in the universe); that explains ambitions, intriguing, backstabbing etc. But they also could feel affection or love, even in a selfless manner, while keeping in with their survivalist, driven character, because offspring is a way for perpetuation and undoubtedly a projection of oneself in time and space.

Kind of the relationship between Ragnar Lothbrok and Lagertha or Aslaug as portrayed in the Vikings serial, and the behaviour of the Ragnarssons both regarding their parents (father, mother, stepmother) and theirselves. Love, competition, hate, all go hand in hand.

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Vindicavi
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PostSubject: Re: Love and Children in the Dark City   Sun Feb 04 2018, 00:04

@|Meavar wrote:

I also think that there probably is a whole caste of "mothers" who are kept just to carry the children so you are slightly less vurnerable yourself.

I think the problem from a biological standpoint with this is the female members of the elite would also wish for their genes to be passed on. Ofc ivf style treatments would exist but would having a lesser caste member carrying the offspring be any different from using a growth tube? The only real difference would be the time scale to produce a new offspring which isnt really something that adds any value or status symbol.

This would also apply to male Dark Eldar as well since it would no doubt be seen as creating a lesser being to mate with a lower caste female rather than one of two equals in power/status.
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Vindicavi
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PostSubject: Re: Love and Children in the Dark City   Sun Feb 04 2018, 00:23

@DOGGED wrote:
I don't like to keep too much into reductionist limits when it comes to background. Authors (be them codex or novel) usually must respect some general guidelines on "racial" character but we ourselves are more free to explore the least commented facets of Drukhari society.

I agree the authors are very limited in what they can discuss within GW books, and especially with Dark Eldar they have to walk a very fine line. To allow for the horrible implications of what the DE are, without being too detailed to make it no longer something children can buy.

@DOGGED wrote:
-As aliens, Drukhari need not to conform to all or any of human behaviour principles, so they need not to be driven by greed or lust nor altruism. Selfish or selfless feelings are not to be considered as good or bad intrinsically, but as mere projections of self promotion or grupal instincts.

True they will have different ideals of "good & evil" but the DE are an advanced and selfaware race of beings, unlike the nids or Orks, they have had one of the grandest civilisations of the 40k universe with differing philosphies between members of their race. So they clearly have the potential for rational thought, which we can understand through its mapping onto human motivations, and can't be discussed as instinctual behaviour.

My opinion is that their self-centred philosophy would drive them to act almost exclusively in their own interests and that their reproduction would have to fall under that category even if it is driven by a biological need to pass on their genes. I think I agree alot with your conclusion, though I would hesitate to use the word love as it seems to be a poor word to describe the relationship between two DE, its a very human concept that I don't really think fits.

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Braden Campbell
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PostSubject: Re: Love and Children in the Dark City   Tue Apr 10 2018, 02:48

Take it for what it's worth, but in Mistress Baeda's Gift, the topic of love comes up in a discussion between a human and a DE Archon. Basically, to the DE, all relationships are varying degrees of slavery or ownership - so to "love" someone is to make them your most prized possession.

As for trueborn children, they are "loved" in the same way as one might cherish a rare artwork or expensive sports car... and are flouted to the same degree.
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TheBaconPope
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PostSubject: Re: Love and Children in the Dark City   Tue Apr 10 2018, 04:36

I think the desire comes from something entirely selfish: the desire to be remembered. Dark Eldar society revolves around conquering mortality, and almost every facet of their existence is dedicated to transcending it.

Not just in the physical sense with resurrection and raids, but in the way they wish to be remembered. Titanic statues, monuments, tales of their glory, etc. all of these are to ensure that those in power are remembered long after they've physically died.

Trueborn, I think, are just another facet of that. The idea of having an heir, perhaps even establishing a dynasty ensures that their genes, and therefore, some evidence of their existence, remains.

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Vorl-Xoelanth
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PostSubject: Re: Love and Children in the Dark City   Tue Apr 10 2018, 14:44

Even Dark Eldar aren't 1 dimensional monsters. They do still feel bonds and obviously lust for other Eldar, although expressed in their own twisted way. You could consider a lot of our real world's ruling elite as psychopathic people but they still breed and groom their offspring for rule and they still have functional marriages.

As people said status and legacy are strong motivators. A female Dark Eldar who is pregant is significantly vulnerable to assassination, but being able to naturally gestate an eldar child without being murdered is a sign of status.

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