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Eldar and limb replacement


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#1
Marshal van Trapp

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A quick search of the internet has yielded exactly 0 results so I thought I'd ask here, what happens to eldar who lose their limbs in combat? Are they left to die? Do they get fancy wraithbone replacements? I cannot find any lore backing either of these but I am not an avid eldar fiction reader.

The main reason I'm asking is because I want to create a custom craftworld army with a similar plot to Iyandan, where most of the craftworld was killed by a large scale battle (although they fought necrons not tyranids) the few remaining survivors are left broken and scarred, relying on their knowledge of wraithbone to craft replacement limbs and stocking their ranks with DEldar and Harlequins. But seeing as this particular craftworld isnt as artsy I was going to bash the models with some sylvaneth to give them an almost living wraithbone feel. I know I can make any story I want for my models but I'd love some justification for doing as such.

I imagine Dark Eldar have their own means of just grafting new limbs from less fortunate members of their cults but what of harlequins? I imagine they'd be much the same as craftworld eldar in this regard?

Edited by Marshal van Trapp, 06 May 2019 - 02:59 PM.

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#2
N1SB

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You are absolutely right, Brother.  There are not only precedents for Eldar bionics, but also a number of options for what they actually are.  Here's 1:

 

gallery_57329_13636_38920.jpg

 

Notice Fierme Direstorm in the bottom left corner has a bionic left leg (designed by Jes Goodwin himself, this ad helpfully tells us).  It's painted metallic here, but taking a closer look, it looks a lot like the Wraithbone that Eldar Dreadnoughts are built of, with its smooth shape and those telltale studs on the foot.  I vaguely remember that Eldar power fist on the model is also supposed to be a bionic arm...like its being a power fist was just a secondary benefit of it actually being a prosthetic, but I'm not sure.  It's like the Eldar preferred finesse weapons like power swords, but they wanted to give Eldar the options for power fists like all other 1st ed factions (even Tyranids had bionic arms on Zoats, a unit that no longer exists), and to differentiate that I recall them saying that power fist was actually a bionic limb, to show they prefer not using them.

 

Now it CAN be metal, depending on the Eldar's situation.  In 40k 1st ed, back when the game was called Rogue Trader, it initially treated Eldar as spacefaring traders (these would later be Craftworld Aeldari) or pirates and mercenaries (which would later be explained by Dark Eldar/Drukhari).  Depending on their resources, they might trade for human resources, such as human bionics that they'll modify to fit their own bodies, perhaps.  This would be seen as especially crude, I reckon.

 

(Disclaimer - the above is, as I said, 1st ed 40k...this was back when we had an Ultramarine Librarian that was half-Eldar, so it's not all canon.  That said, Forgeworld and even recent GW stuff seems to draw a lot of influence from 1st ed.)

 

But as the Dark Eldar lore in particular was expanded on, it offered another option; Dark Eldar Haemonculi, flesh sculptors, could re-grow or graft limbs.  Not sure if that was a technique/technology available to all Eldar pre-Fall, just mastered by the Dark Eldar afterwards, but replacing (perhaps improving) limbs is definitely something that comes up with the Aeldari!  But it sounds like your Eldar army probably don't want to deal with these Haemonculi and the high prices they demand.

 

And, of course, Wraithbone, as you suggest.  If their craftworld still exists but is almost empty, they probably have no other resources that they could use or even trade for except its very own Wraithbones.  Thus, just as this Wraithbone keeps the wounded Eldar alive, these Eldar also carry the dead-ish Craftworld with them.  It's a very, very neat idea (in fact, if I may counterpropose an idea, I'd suggest the craftworld itself was destroyed by the Necrons, but what living Wraithbone they found they grafted onto the surviving Eldar, not just for the sake of the wounded, but it's actually the Eldar bodies that keep those Wraithbone pieces alive, a truly symbiotic relationship).

 

In any case, outstanding question because even when you're thinking outside the box, you were looking for everything inside the box 1st.  Good due diligence, good creative discipline, Brother.


Edited by N1SB, 06 May 2019 - 03:55 PM.

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#3
Marshal van Trapp

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So my idea was the craftworld went to answer an eldar distress call and it turns out to be a tomb world and through the course of the battle they had to use their very craftworld in a last ditch effort to destroy the tomb which renders it useless as a craftworld but the remaining Asuryani come to settle amongst the broken remains of their craftworld, using its shattered remains to rebuild their wounded
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#4
Karhedron

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I remember an old piece of fluff (1st or 2nd edition IIRC) stating that Eldar made use of bionics where necessary but they were so sophisticated that they were generally indistinguishable from the original. Of course this was pre-3rd edition DE fluff.

I would imagine that the choice between cloned replacement body parts or wraithbone replacement would probably depend on the Craftworld and individual. Perhaps some Eldar might chose to wear an obvious bionic as some sort of mark of remembrance or badge of honour.
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#5
Sandalphon

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Zombie post reply here but I really like the idea of wraithbone grafting particularly in the wake of a craft world crash - that has epic novel written all over it! Great idea 👍

Did you manage to this project forward?

I have a few of the guys in that pic N1SB posted and Elres Fireflash has a bionic eye and his chainsword is somewhat wired into his arm.. although it could also be seen as minimalistic enhancement/ additional wargear I'd always considered it bionics per the marine equivalent. While it seems somewhat crude for Eldar tastes these days they were more rough and tumble back then..
outgunned, outnumbered - but never outclassed.

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