Thursday, June 20, 2013
Forging My Eldar Narative
In my mad rush to build a list I almost forgot this game is focused on forging a narrative. I'm all for it. So I looked back to a story that really struck a chord with me in the recent demon codex. The whole affair where Nurgle battled the newly (or always) formed Slaanesh for the now defunct Eldar deity Isha. Great story about an against all odds attempt to rescue the goddess that ultimately failed. Because the Eldar codex did little to advance the fluff I've decided to theme my army off that tale.
Looking at the general back story of the Eldar I suspect games workshop drew heavily upon Sumerian mythology. This is very cool when one looks at the Necron fluff as well. Clearly a similar backdrop appears in Eldar and Necron origins. Ultimately entrenching the links between the two oldest mortal races of the 40k universe. With this in mind I did some internet skulking to do some rudimentary research as to the background story to my Eldar army.
I came across a great tale involving Ishatar who went down to visit a relative in the underworld. Funny thing about the rules of the Sumerian underworld is that gods are trapped there even after a benign visit. So what does Isha do, cuts a deal with the demons down below to switch her spot with her demi-god boyfriend Dumuzid. Dumuzid, the shepherd, takes her place and becomes the god of the underworld and fertile agriculture. Seems like he cut his own deal with the demons where he could leave the underworld for 6 months out of the year to come topside. Hence the cycle of life and death becomes attributed to his domain of influence.
What really makes this story great is that the lord of the underworld prior to Dumuzid's involvement is Nergal. A real bad ass who inflicts plagues and disease on mortals as his whims please him. Now Nergal or some other derivative of his name is a fairly strong center piece in the eclectic and diverse Mesopotamian pantheon. Apparently there is even reference to him in the Old Testament. What a great backdrop to forge a narrative.
Enter center stage Farseer Dumuzi. A juxtaposition to be sure. While in no real fashion a rival to Eldrad's tenure as the longest living example of his people, Dumuzi is ancient by all standards of his race. That being said, poor Dumuzi has only recently begun his journey along the path of the seer. And it will be the last path he treads in his mortal life.
Path of the outcast, avenger and many others are well known to Dumuzi. He is a paragon of Alaitocii society. It is whispered that the lineage of his house predates the fall a tenfold. That his pedigree can be traced back to the wondrous time of Asuryan. His family name is found in the same ancient texts analogous with the Eldar gods of old. Who is Dumuzi? What do the runes of fate portent for him? Why now, in the twilight of his lifespan, has he finally succumbed to the whispers urging him onto the path of the seer? Only time will tell...
I have my protagonist. A rough start to forging my narrative: but a start none the less.