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LO's unofficial Jester
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I'm GMing a Dark Heresy campaign. Now one of the players has become, from the point of view of the Eldar, a cross roads for an entire Sector. His actions in revealing, or failing to reveal, a traitor in the Inquisition could potentially lead to a vast incursion from Slaneesh in the future.

Events have unfolded that mean the player has got a John Grammaticus (vis a ve Legion by Dan Abnett) kind of deal. The added twist is that the player has been physically, psychically and potentially spiritually marked by Slaneesh, albiet he has the protection of the Eldar.

Anyway assuming the player succeeds in revealing the traitor and preventing this great doom occur I wanted quite a dramatic ending.

Essentially the player will realise that while he has succeeded he no longer has the protection of the Eldar and the agents of Slaneesh will be able to hunt and find him. As the Eldar turn away from him I was thinking of having one of them turn back and silently hand him a coloured stone and then simply walk away.

Anyway thats the preamble the question is would an Eldar ever give a human a spirit stone (I of course mean an 'empty' one) and would they even work on a human?

Personally I think the answer is yes to both questions. But I will give my reasoning after a few comments.
 

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Sir Proofreader
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Hmm.

I'm not all that sure spirit stones would work on humans. There's probably been very little reason for spirit stone to ever be used on humans, so I suppose its one of those 'it's possible but we've never even bothered trying' scenarios.

And I don't think it would ever be done unless the human was vitally important to the protection of the Eldar. I suspect you've got this aspect worked out though.

I guess I don't really know. But if it's important enough to the Eldar, like really really important to protect this guy's soul, I think they'd do something like this.
 

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Unless he has some future use for the Eldar, they'd simply abandon him without turning back. So maybe this means that there is a future use for your guy...

Anyways, according to the novel 'Farseer' by William King, spirit stones do work on humans. In fact, a lot of the novel is similar to your campaign; human super-psyker contacted by the Eldar, protected by them in order to prevent a Slaaneshi daemon prince from possessing him and manifesting, and finally they betray him and trap his spirit in the stone.) Highlight the whited out stuff for the spoilers.

So yeah, they work on people.
 

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I agree that the Eldar would only bother giving a human a spirit stone if it was vital, or if they had some future use for his soul. If I remember correctly, the Eldar have concluded that normal human souls are too 'simple' to 'feel' what happens to them if they get eaten by demons. So either they would have to conclude that the character in question has enough of a psychic presence to feel what happens, and give him the stone as an act of mercy, or they would continue to keep track of him and wisk the stone away almost as soon as he dies.

Also bear in mind that the Inquisition would not take kindly to a person carrying around a xenos artifact, especially one of that nature. We're talking a well-informed, radical inquisitor that is fully aware of the character's plight that would stand for such a thing.

Not to say that it's impossible. I even find the idea quite interesting, and would like to see how it pans out. ^^
 

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The eldar are not known for acts of mercy, especially giving out extremely rare artefacts to some unevolved monkey.

That said, it could be that slaanesh wants this soul for whatever reason and the Eldar want to deny it to him. Also, the character would want to hide the stone, or disguise it somehow to avoid execution.

The Eldar would be watching out for him either way, as its a waste of a good spirit stone otherwise,
after all they need to go to the Eye of Terror to get there hands on the things
 

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It is remotely possible that a spirit stone could be configured for humans. However, it would only ever work if said human had a degree of psychic power. EDIT: This is because, as described in the codex, all Eldar are psykers and as such have an imprint in the warp, and normal humans aren't psykers, as such they don't have a strong enough soul to be noticeable in the warp, and presumably not noticeable to the spirit stone. Human psykers, on the other hand...

Alternatively, the stone could be the Eldar equivalent of a distress beacon, because they know that when and where he needs it will mark an event that concerns them...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Interesting comments from all, thanks!.

As far as I could tell reading up on Spirit Stones they are not rare in and of themselves, they are 'merely' psychically attuned crystals. They only have an inherent value to Eldar once they are connected to an Eldar.

As for humans I was thinking that given that Slaneesh has a specific interest in the character his fate might be somewhat worse than your average non psyker human. This might be something even an Eldar could feel some empathy for.

As for the Eldar not feeling mercy that was partially what I was trying to go for. The human has fulfilled his role and now Slaneesh is hunting him and the eldar merely turn their back on him. As an after thought one Eldar hands him a spirit stone. Will it work? Does the human even know what it is? The Eldar don't really care but it might give the mon-keigh a slight chance.......
 

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Maybe say Slaaneesh wants to make him into a sorceror and the eldar would rather give up a stone than to deal with him later.
Then why wouldn't the Eldar just kill him? We aren't afraid of violence, you know. Our best psykers get trained to blow stuff up with their minds, on levels that humans couldn't possibly understand.

I think that my previously stated suggestion of a big, ominous, essentially panic-button would be more fluffy (and equally conducive to a sequel), wherein some Eldar seer guru thing predicts that this human is going to be worth their efforts in the future, and so they give him a big beacon to set off when he's in trouble because he foresees his successor being temporarily misguided by Tzeentch and as such this, and this alone, will be the sign that they need to muster the warhosts again...

It also fits the "death-clown puppet-master" vibe that the Spess Elves have going on.
 

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As far as I could tell reading up on Spirit Stones they are not rare in and of themselves, they are 'merely' psychically attuned crystals. They only have an inherent value to Eldar once they are connected to an Eldar.
Where did you get that from? I heard somewhere that soulstones can only be made out of a certain material that's found on the Crone Worlds. This would make them ridiculously valuable to the Eldar, as they're very difficult to get the stuff to make. Such a gift would mean essentially choosing a human life over an Eldar's, which would be unthinkable. A mercy killing might be a better idea.

As far as a source for that statement goes, I'm not sure, I'm afraid. It might be back in the dim and dingy past of 2nd ed or something like that. Lexicanum backs me up, and references the Warhammer 40,000 compendium, the 4th edition Eldar codex and Codex: Eye of Terror.
 

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Humans don't need spirit stones, certainly not in the way Eldar do..

The problem with Eldar is that they retain their consciousness after death, which if they're left in the warp with Slannesh is a genuinely horrible fate. Humans don't usually retain consciousness after death in any form we can recognize, they just melt away into the fabric of the warp, therefore spirit stones aren't so much of a problem.

As mentioned, the psychic crystal stuff which spirit stones are made of is only found in the Crone Worlds. It's incredibly rare and valuable to the Eldar, and any mission to retrieve it is likely to result in lots of casualties.. Put it this way, would you let one of your relatives be tortured for all eternity to save some random rat in a sewer somewhere from dying?
 

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As for the Eldar not feeling mercy that was partially what I was trying to go for. The human has fulfilled his role and now Slaneesh is hunting him and the eldar merely turn their back on him.
Actually, the Eldar are quite capable of showing mercy; it just doesn't happen as often towards humans. There was story floating around somewhere about an Eldar raider who attacked a bunch of humans that had accidentally settled on a Maiden World. After getting them to surrender, instead of killing them, he had them relocated to a nearby habitable moon, so long as they promised not to try and resettle the planet.

As for the rareity of spirit stones, they can't be that rare, since every craftworld Eldar carries at least one. By this point, the manufacture of stones should be routine. But a lot of whether or not the Eldar would give a human one hinges a lot on the reason behind it. Knowing that the human is a powerful psyker marked to be taken by Slaanesh when he dies seems like a good enough cause.
 

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As for the rareity of spirit stones, they can't be that rare, since every craftworld Eldar carries at least one. By this point, the manufacture of stones should be routine. But a lot of whether or not the Eldar would give a human one hinges a lot on the reason behind it. Knowing that the human is a powerful psyker marked to be taken by Slaanesh when he dies seems like a good enough cause.
Craftworlds carry millions of spirit stones. Spirit Stones can only be mined, however, on the "Crone Worlds" - i.e. the Eldar worlds that are in the Eye of Terror. As such, they are somewhat hard for the Eldar to get.
 

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Spirit stones are extremely difficult to get. Going into the Eye of Terror is like putting your hand in a blender and hoping you get out fast enough not to lose all your fingers.

Giving one to a human would be very rare, he would have to be important to the Eldar in the future. Maybe a seer has seen that he will save many Eldar lives in the future, and the stone will help. Otherwise a shuriken to the face is all the tanks he will need
 

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I'm going to stick with Vect and a Torturer's Tale on this. Humans have a soul, no matter how dull and bland it may be, therefore it stands to reason that instead of eating it, I could stick it in a box. I probably wouldn't want to, but I could.

As for why an Eldar would give up the stone, perhaps it's been foreseen that if Slaanesh gets his soul bad things might happen. Really bad things.

Or maybe that stone just belonged to the Eldar's brother who left to join the Harlequinns last month, and the Eldar in question is a dick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Where did you get that from? I heard somewhere that soulstones can only be made out of a certain material that's found on the Crone Worlds. This would make them ridiculously valuable to the Eldar, as they're very difficult to get the stuff to make. Such a gift would mean essentially choosing a human life over an Eldar's, which would be unthinkable. A mercy killing might be a better idea.

As far as a source for that statement goes, I'm not sure, I'm afraid. It might be back in the dim and dingy past of 2nd ed or something like that. Lexicanum backs me up, and references the Warhammer 40,000 compendium, the 4th edition Eldar codex and Codex: Eye of Terror.
Hmm, present Eldar codex just says Spirit Stone is a psychically attuned crystal, but then that codex is fairly fluff light. I might need to dig out my 2nd edition Codex.

As far as I was aware Spirit Stones aren't nearly as valuable to an Eldar unless there is actually a Spirirt inside one (or it is attuned to a given Eldar).

Of course if Spirit Stones are made from a material that is hard to come by that makes giving one to a human that much rarer.

I don't think choosing a human life over an Eldars would necesarily be unthinkable. Firstly Eldar are aliens, their concept of honour, mercy arrogance and thanks are different to a human's. There is an intersting story where an Eldar Harlequin troupe perform a dance for an Interrogator. The dance reveals the name of a Chaos Sorcerer to said Interrogator and kills the Troupe Master.

Secondly and more pragmatically the human surviving may save further Eldar lives so really the trade might be measured in sacraficing one life for many.

To clarify the idea; in this case is that the human in question has been marked for 'special attention' by Slaneesh when he dies, so no such luck in simply fading away.
 

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After reading this thread and learning the bits about the Crone Worlds, etc., I have to say that I'm pretty sure they wouldn't do it just out of mercy.

I mean, yes, his soul is marked by Slaanesh, but the Eldar handing him the stone probably has a female relative somewhere who might, maybe, give birth someday... In which case the theoretical Eldar baby has dibs on the stone: Sorry, smelly ape-beast!

So I have to go with the majority and say that the stone (assuming it works on humans) would only be handed over if a Farseer had seen an important use for the human in the future, like:

"When the mon-keigh strides in Wraithlord's skin,
Then shall Ulthwe be absolved of sin."


Or something else that rings appropriately vague and epic to my Lyman's Ear...
 

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Here's an idea...

The spirit stone already contains the soul of an Eldar criminal, a Chaos-tainted Eldar, a defector to the Dark Eldar/a real Dark Eldar, or something similar. Basically, it's an undesirable who for whatever reason has done something terrible enough to merit being denied a place in the craftworld's infinity matrix after death, or never had a chance in the first place. The Eldar give the stone to the human so that when the human eventually dies, the undesirable Eldar soul will act as a decoy and be consumed by Slaanesh instead, allowing the human's soul to go free.

This would be amusing in the campaign because the human would think he's getting a chance to have his own soul preserved within the stone, but instead is just getting the opportunity to die peacefully without fear of Slaanesh. A parting gesture of gratitude compounded with a suitable amount of fate-twisting dickery in this manner is right up the Eldar's alley. It also means that the Eldar don't have to waste any more time watching him, as they've already given him a chance at salvation (and if he loses the stone, well, too bad for the stupid mon'keigh, it doesn't matter to them). Plus, it neatly sidesteps the tricky issue of whether human souls can be preserved in spirit stones.
 
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Sir Proofreader
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Dawnrunner's idea sounds pretty feasible, to be honest (and I'd rep him for it but I can't...)

Also, the term "fate-twisting dickery" isn't used enough, in my opinion.
 
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