Welcome to Librarium Online!
Join our community of 80,000+ members and take part in the number one resource for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K discussion!
Registering gives you full access to take part in discussions, upload pictures, contact other members and search everything!
Fluffmasters, I need help!
I am a big fan of the Discovery Channel program 'Mummy Investigators' as well as of the eldar background story, and as I was watching the show yesterday it struck me; when a human body can accumulate significant amounts of injuries over just 20-30 years of life, then what about the eldar body?
According to the fluff, and eldar are supposed to be able to live forever, provided that something nasty doesent happen to him.. but what about the wear and tear on his skeleton? As the eldar body is no tougher than that of a humen, I dont suppose that the eldar skeleton is just as phrone to injuries as a human one.. but why are the eldar skeleton not grinded to dust after hundreds of years of physical training? Just hundreds of years of ordinary life would do the trick on my skeleton, thats for sure. And the skeleton is just one part of the physiology.. over hundreds of years, especially in the world of 40k, I figure that the bodies of the aspect warriors will have been transformed to living balls of scar tissue. How does the eldar avoid wear and tear to their bodies?
And then what about the less fortunate eldar, that gets crippled in combat or in accidents? As a soldier that have lost a leg ect is no longer battleworthy, and as I dont think that the eldar (CWE at least) have the mentality to just kill their own wounded, what do they do to them? Are the craftworlds crammed full of former soldiers who have been wounded beyond the point of recovery, or are the eldar capable of restoring lost limbs and other injuries that would have ended a humans military career for good?
*Rubs her hands gleefully.* Ah, dear Sareld, what a lovely subject you’ve provided for me to ramble verbosely about today! 40k and physiology, what a delicious combination! ^_^
First of all, let me address the problem of wear and tear on the human and Eldar skeleton. While it’s true that there is constantly a strain being put on one’s skeleton from gravity and the pull of muscles and tendons as they move the body, not to mention actual bone fractures from accidents, those damages are only rarely permanent. The human skeleton is not a static prop that supports and strengthens the living tissue of muscles and organs; the skeleton itself is an organ, a living structure that is constantly repaired and replaced and altered to supply the body’s needs. The skeleton contains millions of cells that build up the calcified structures and repair strained and broken areas of the bone. The more strain you put on your skeleton, the stronger it becomes; I would imagine that Eldar, assuming they have calcified bones as we do, would build up an immensely powerful skeleton during those hundreds of years of physical training.
According to the background book ‘Xenology’ by Simon Spurrier, Eldar bones are more flexible than human ones, but otherwise surprisingly similar in design. One can imagine that the Eldar have a softer structural composition of their bones than the average human skeleton, which is basically constructed from a soft cartilage blueprint that is then filled with calcium and other mineral salts until it becomes hard and rigid; if Eldar bones contain a lower concentration of mineral salts, this would explain the elasticity and flexibility of their bones, and the fact that they apparently only rarely fracture anything.
As for avoiding damage to the rest of one’s body, this is simply a matter of having enough cell divisions available. When the body is damaged, cells die and are replaced by a new generation of cells, be they muscle or bone or skin cells. All cells in the human body except brain cells divide continuously. However, every living creature only has a certain amount of cell divisions available; this is called the Hayflick Limit. Humans have a Hayflick Limit of about 52 cell divisions. After this, the cells won’t divide again, and will eventually all die from wear and tear without being able to replace themselves, which is why we grow old and die.
However, some cells have no Hayflick Limit, namely cancer cells. Cancer cells do not age and are potentially immortal, as long as they get what they need to survive in the form of nutrients and oxygen. It is thought that if science could copy whatever factors makes cancer cells immune to the Hayflick Limit, one could use genetic manipulation to create immortal animals and eventually humans as well. If you want a scientific explanation of how Eldar might be immortal, I’d say that they either possess a very high Hayflick Limit, perhaps several thousand cell divisions, or that they possess no Limit at all and are truly immortal unless killed in battle. (Incidentally, this is how I like to explain the Emperor’s immortality as well. )
On the subject of what the Eldar do with their crippled soldiers, I don’t actually know if they are able to regrow lost limbs or if they use prosthetics – I seem to remember something about the latter being the case, the Eldar using prosthetics fashioned from wraithbone, but I can’t remember the source if there actually is one. I don’t think they kill their wounded soldiers; Eldar lives are far too precious to be sacrificed for the sake of convenience. Possibly, unless they’re Exarchs, wounded soldiers leaves the Path of the Warrior and walk a different Path more suited to their situation, as artists or musicians or historians. Not all Eldar are soldiers, after all.
And now I think I've rambled enough. :rolleyes: I hope any of the above makes sense! :blink:
"Girls are nice and cuddly on the outside, and freaky on the inside." ~ Lost Nemesis.
Greph, we seem to remember the same thing about Eldar being able to replace lost limbs. I'm not sure where I have read it, be it Rouge Trader or the 2nd ed. Eldar 'dex (which I don't think it is), but I'm positive that I have.
As you know, the Wraithbone is something very similair to bone but with a powerful psychic source in it. I seem to recollect that a certain branch of Eldar Bonesingers (or something similar to Bonesingers) have the ability to use Wraithbone to construct a new limb. They would probably do something more with it as well, maybe use their advanced tech (I'm quite positive that the Eldar are true masters of medicine when it comes to their own bodies) to grow a new layer of skin over it or something.
Although my Bio knowledge is nowhere near as advanced as Grephaun's what I know would agree completely, stop Osteoclasts outnumbering Osteoblasts and remove the Hayflick limit and the bone should repair.
Furthermore Eldar are always shown as incredibly gracefull, alot of the wear and tear put on a Human skeleton would not occur. Eldar don't fall down stairs, bash thier elbows accidently or generaly damage themselves from being clumsy. Even young Eldar are probably going to be too graceful to trip up and break a foot/ankle bone.
Every time you read this sig: a fairie dies!
With regard to prosthetics, several of the old metal guardians have (rather elegant) mechanical limbs. My own feeling is that the eldar can probably induce their limbs to grow back in the right circumstances - I've no support for this, but given that there are bonesingers for the craftworld itself, why not medical bonesingers capable of helping an injured eldar regenerate? It has been proven that running a small electrical current through some amphibians' bodies will cause them to regenerate lost legs: perhaps some kind of psychic equivalent would do the same for eldar.
I'd agree with Grephaun on the issue of the wounded. Craftworld eldar are one of the few 40k species who are consistently nice to their own kind. Perhaps exodites and harlequins do as well: after all, they're few and far between. They just despise everyone else: in the 2nd edition book, there's mention of an exarch "putting down" wounded humans.
Certainly you don't see 40k eldar with prosthetics these days: however, I suspect it's to stop them looking lopsided. Whopping great powerfists, claws and whatnot are more in the style of servitors or loonies from the Ecclesiarchy. It would lack grace. Oh, and bear in mind that many farseers are at least part crystal. Whatever's going on in them is not normal at all.
I believe that in the book shadowpoint a female striking scorpion has her hand hacked off by a Dark Eldar Lord but at the end of the book a new limb made out of wraithbone is made for her.
Ask not the ruleboys a question for they shall give you three answers each true and terrifying to behold
People seem to be assuming wraithbone has some link to real bone. This isn't true.. Wraithbone is more like warp energy which has been calcified into the physical world, which is why it reacts to psychic manipulation so readily.
I can see eldar building prosthetics out of wraithbone very very easily, and the result is probably far superior to human bionics.
Alternatively, they might grow new limbs then attach them surgically, but since eldar are pretty resistant to bionengineering, I'd imagine they can't clone their limbs very easily.
I forgot farseers were part crystal.. though I'd imagine the process begins internally. I don't think big bits like limbs crystalize until right at the end.
I also don't think eldar are very nice really.. Their society doesn't have room for waste. I can see them jumping through hoops to try and keep precious eldar lives intact, but if it's genuinely not possible to make someone functional again, sorry pal.
The difference is they'd probably write a poem afterwards.
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; May 20th, 2006 at 00:23.
Well, The eldar are supposed to be an evolution of man, the frmaes might be the same, but they might have a different healing rate. If the body did wear and tear and add up, and the frame crumple to dust, explaint the fact that some eldar are thousand of years old and still standing? As for the injured, this is 40k, there are mehcanical ways to make someone useful again, even if all they have ids their head and torso, many, many spacemarines/ imperial guard are almost entirely machine, oh, and do I hear dreadnought?, Those men are so close to death its scary, but they are still EXTREMELY useful. There are also many ways to make use of a man, servo skull, script writer etc.
Just my thoughts, hope no offense is taken!
The gold grey knight man. These are hardy men who like cheese.
Ever thought of how cheese was found?:
`` I say sah, the milk in this barrel smells foul!``
``Oooohhh, give it a go!``
''Quack, damn you!''
-Jamie heinamen, Mythbusters.
On the point of bones, there are two types of mini "organisms" on our bones: osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Osteoblasts eat away at our bones, dissolving any and all bone tissue. However, osteoclasts fill in the gaps left by osteoblasts, and rebuild/reshape the bone. The average human's skeletal structure is 7 years old, meaning that over the course of 7 years, every little bit of our skeleton will have been dissolved at one point; even our skull.
The Eldar's more flexible bones and grace could be due to a softer composition, for example, cartiledge; more prone to bending than breaking. It's like metal versus lollipops. Metal bends, but tootsie pops crunch. A logical potential reason for the Eldar's grace could be a birdlike bone structure: hollow bones would make the Eldar significantly lighter, as well as more fragile.
As for the Eldar society and being nice to each other, I have always believed that the Eldar were originally intended to reflect Japanese culture. Nowadays, everyone claims that the Tau are the Samurai fish people, but Eldar are a people of innovation, conservation, and group achievement; as well as a foreign/mystical touch. They do everything for their own greater good, rather than The Greater Good of the Tau.
On the note of injured Eldar warriors, who do you think pilots the Falcons?
My gaming group's new motto: That army you're using is overpowered because it hurts my guys, codex is broken and needs a rewrite.
A minor correction: it is the osteoclasts which dissolve the bone, and the osteoblasts which rebuild it. ‘Klastes’ is Latin for ’breaker’, while ‘blastes’ means ‘bud’ or ’shoot’ as in something growing. Oh, and they’re not organisms, they’re cells, since they lack the independence of true organisms.Originally Posted by lLonginus
"Girls are nice and cuddly on the outside, and freaky on the inside." ~ Lost Nemesis.