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Offline .Martin.

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Solitaire fluff
« on: December 28, 2006, 06:23:35 PM »
I was wondering about the solitaire recently and I would like to know more about him fluffwise.

How does a harlie become one?
Does solitaires have no soul (is it something like a pariah gene effect)?
Does the old rules for solitaire reflect this immunity?
Does the great harlequin manage to trick the slanesh out of getting the soli's soul often?
It is said that if one touches the solitaire he/she will be damned, is it true or just an eldar superstition?
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Offline Farceseer Syranaul

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Re: Solitaire fluff
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2006, 09:22:55 PM »
I don't think there are answers to those questions.
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Offline Guardian of the Rose

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Re: Solitaire fluff
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2006, 04:27:29 AM »
The fluff I can recall and/or believe in:

Solitaire roam the Galaxy, usually without anyone knowing who/what they are.  They choose new Harlequins.  Perhaps someone who has been on the Harlie "Path" too long eventually playing too many "damned" characters in their plays are found by Slaanesh.  They walk the Path of Damnation, and as such, their soul "belongs" to Slaanesh before they die.  I don't think anyone wants to become a Solitaire, just like becoming an Exarch is not glamorous by any stretch of the imagination (much like a Martial Artist dedicated to his art does not easily walk among those with normal lives.)  I think a Solitaire carries that idea to an extreme, even for Eldar.  It is also claimed that others tried to play the part of Slaanesh, the Great Enemy in the Harlequins' Masque, but either died or were driven insane.  Along that line of thinking...

I think they have crossed over to a state of being that involves no emotional life of any kind.  The "souless" quality was something "postulated by Imperial scholars...They show no evidence of any emotions and any psychic powers which attack the mind have no effect whatsoever."

The 3rd Edition, "beta" rules stated that a Solitaire had no Ld stat, and did not ever need to take a Ld test of any kind.  Any kind of attack that utilized a Solitaire's Ld stat automatically failed against him/her.  I think this transcendent state of being is also exemplified in their supernatural fighting ability and speed.  Without emotion to interfere with decisions and essential brain function, their body and mind move and fight (and dance) as one.

I always read it as only sometimes, which is not often, that Cegorach is able to trick Slaanesh out of the Solitaire's soul.  Which I find terrifying...to think you know your soul will be the play thing of a dark and tortuous Chaos God...the Tragedy that is the Eldar race.  In my Eldar Warhost, I field one Wraithlord (so far...)  I want it to represent the soul of a Solitaire, in a tug-of-war between The Laughing God and Slaanesh, was able to be saved by a council of Farseers and Bonesingers of great age and skill.  Her soul was placed immediately in the nearest Wraithlord construct to save it and the Infinity Circuit from undue attention from She Who Thrists.  The Solitaire lives to fight on again, protecting both the Craftworld that saved her and the Harlequin Troupe she had come to know at the time of her death.

All the "It is said" stuff is great, because it alludes to a legendary way of thinking and communication which is the description of the Eldar language (everything a reference to old legends and stories, making each word a carrier for multiple ideas and emotions.)  It also leaves LOTS of room for interpretation, and keeps the Eldar a mystery.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2006, 04:32:58 AM by Guardian of the Rose »
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Offline Kage2020

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Re: Solitaire fluff
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2006, 11:25:52 PM »
Guardian of the Rose has many valuable comments. 

Some thoughts from me follow...

Quote from: .Martin.
How does a harlie become one?
The only bit of 'fluff' that talks about the selection of the Solitaires derives from the original article in WD105:

Quote from: Originally published in WD105
Among the Eldar it is said that Solitaires are Harlequins who have been touched directly by the Great Harlequin, and have his insight into the fall of the race and the nature of the universe. A Solitaire may live unknown among Eldar (or even members of another race) for years or decades, and there are many rumours and folk-tales telling of Eldar who have met a Solitaire, and realised later that this was the Great Harlequin himself. Solitaires represent the very pinnacle of the Harlequin ideal, and are formidable foes.
Solitaires are potentially very interesting, though they are not really represented that well.

Quote from: .Martin.
Does solitaires have no soul (is it something like a pariah gene effect)?
I agree with some of what Guardian of the Rose talks about.  That is, I would argue that the Solitaire does have a soul but that it is "contested territory".  Indeed, Pariah are going to play royal monkey with Eldar technology, so it is unlikely that they would be able to exist hidden in Eldar society.

Quote from: .Martin.
Does the old rules for solitaire reflect this immunity?
No.  They were just very powerful.

Quote from: .Martin.
Does the great harlequin manage to trick the slanesh out of getting the soli's soul often?
It's the Laughing God that does the tricking.

Quote from: .Martin.
It is said that if one touches the solitaire he/she will be damned, is it true or just an eldar superstition?
I would say that it is superstition since, once again, the Solitaire can live undetected in Eldar society.  The chain of damnation would seem to preclude that... ;)

Some of the newer 'fluff' has, however, passed me by since I'm rather fond of the idea of not giving GW money for what they produce. :D

Kage
« Last Edit: December 29, 2006, 11:27:02 PM by Kage2020 »

Offline Shas'Oink

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Re: Solitaire fluff
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2006, 09:53:56 AM »
one thing that can get confusing is that the term great harlequin can, and has been used to descibe both the harlequin troupe leaders and cegorach. from the sounds of things:

Quote from: Originally published in WD105
Among the Eldar it is said that Solitaires are Harlequins who have been touched directly by the Great Harlequin, and have his insight into the fall of the race and the nature of the universe. A Solitaire may live unknown among Eldar (or even members of another race) for years or decades, and there are many rumours and folk-tales telling of Eldar who have met a Solitaire, and realised later that this was the Great Harlequin himself. Solitaires represent the very pinnacle of the Harlequin ideal, and are formidable foes.

Quote from: .Martin.
Does the great harlequin manage to trick the slanesh out of getting the soli's soul often?
It's the Laughing God that does the tricking.

for instance, in his original quote we see the term "great harlequin". from early texts we know that this means Cegorach. the Laughing god.

the latter part of his quote appears to "correct" your use of the term great harlquin... as he may have assumed that it was refering to the great harlequin as the "harlequin master".. or great avatar... or harlequin avatar... which can also be confsuing if simply called "avatar" for obvious eldar conotations.

 :P

for the purpose of things, it is easier to use the term "laughing god" or "cegorach" when refering to him...

that being said:

Quote
How does a harlie become one?
being "touched" by the great harlequin the laughing god is a very vague description. this may lead us to believe that one must come face to face with him/her. or, it may be more spiritual... and it might be that an eldar will be destined to be a solitaire from birth... this may have repercusions upon the following questions. it might well be a mixture of the two. i mean, there are numerous harlequin solitaires and they may have become so in a variety of ways.

the guardians of the black library are supposedly the most ancient and dreaded solitaires. considering the power of the "regular" solitaires as listed in the previous rules for them, i would hate to cross one of those!

Quote
Does solitaires have no soul (is it something like a pariah gene effect)?
as kage pointed out, they do have a "soul"... ust that they dont own it. upon death, the soul belongs to slaanesh. though the laughing god may try to trick him into giving it up. being consumed by slaanesh is the worst nightmare of every eldar. the fact that the solitaire fights willing to face this fate is sentiment to his fearlessness. i recal text which supposed that perhaps a solitaire is already dead (which may simply mean as good as dead!?) and this is why a solitaire does not fear it, and so his destruction.

i would not liken it to the pariah gene... but it may be as a result of his fearlessnes. the important note is that the term "soulless" is imperial.

Quote
Does the old rules for solitaire reflect this immunity?
see above posts. im unsure if the harlequin rules are still available for download from the gw website, though if you are interested you can search for them somewhere.

Quote
Does the great harlequin manage to trick the slanesh out of getting the soli's soul often?
there is no answer to this...

Quote
It is said that if one touches the solitaire he/she will be damned, is it true or just an eldar superstition?
this is an eldar superstition. perhaps it stems from the idea that a solitaire is ready to accept death, and does not fear slaanesh. i remember reading a story in which a craftworld was visited by a harlequin troupe... they performed several masques for the craftworlders whom were amazed by the lights and dances. then, from amongst the crowd, the harlequins beckoned forth one of the eldar. he had lived on the craftworld for a long time, going about his business as any other eldar would have... this person was actually a solitaire, and the masque performed the story of the great fall. when the masque left, the solitaire left with them.

although it is said that solitaires live on their own, this may not restrict them from communicating with other eldar in order to go about their lives... blending in.  they clearly arent going to get in a discussion about public transport or anything like that... but the above story might indicate that they do enough to hold down a job!


Offline Kage2020

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Re: Solitaire fluff
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2006, 11:40:18 AM »
Quote from: oink
the latter part of his quote appears to "correct" your use of the term great harlquin...
Actually not.  It was merely reinforcing that it is the Laughing God that does the tricking. 

Quote from: oink
being "touched" by the great harlequin the laughing god is a very vague description.
Of course it is.  You expected something different?  "The Laughing God must manifest out of the Webway on the seventh night of the seventh year of ascension, and lay hands on the heart chakras while simultaneously delving into the soul chakra..."  Hmmn, that's unlikely to come out of GW.  I mean, just take a look at Xenology for what at least BL considers detailed information! ;)

Quote from: oink
this may lead us to believe that one must come face to face with him/her.
No, because 'touch' doesn't necessarily relate to a physical component as you yourself say.

Quote from: oink
the guardians of the black library are supposedly the most ancient and dreaded solitaires.
Beware their +4 AP negate-invulnerable save walking stick of doom!!!! ;)

Quote from: oink
the fact that the solitaire fights willing to face this fate is sentiment to his fearlessness.
Or inevitability.  Or the addressing of balance in a karmic equation that frees the other Harlequins... Etc.

Quote from: oink
there is no answer to this...
Yes there is.  "It depends..." ;)

Kage

Offline Shas'Oink

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Re: Solitaire fluff
« Reply #6 on: January 1, 2007, 11:31:33 AM »
Quote from: oink
the latter part of his quote appears to "correct" your use of the term great harlquin...
Actually not.  It was merely reinforcing that it is the Laughing God that does the tricking. 

 :P

hehe... like you say though Kage... despite the fact that the Solitaire has the potential to be a very interesting character to look at the information surrounding him is entirely vague. we know relatively few facts regarding the Solitaire. it may be caused by the fact that much of GW background is written from an imperial perspective and as such the amount and type of information will of course suffer.


Offline Kage2020

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Re: Solitaire fluff
« Reply #7 on: January 9, 2007, 09:43:53 AM »
That's the normal justification, yes.  I don't think that it is a very good one, but there we go.

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Offline Guardian of the Rose

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Re: Solitaire fluff
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2007, 04:49:53 PM »
I think it's great that GW keeps it vague, and I wish people understood more that the "information" about them are from an Imperial perspective.  HOWEVER, I HATE that they made the Solitaire disappear entirely, but also gave all his neat abilities to every other army!  I remember seeing his rules a long time ago and now actually playing, I'm seeing other armies have these super combat monsters who fight on their own (some assasin, Callidus?, that not only has this awesome CC ability, but also has the equivalent of a Neuro-disruptor, which Eldar no longer have access to.)
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Offline the solitaire

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Re: Solitaire fluff
« Reply #9 on: February 6, 2007, 08:35:02 AM »
I'll just quote Gavin Thorpe on this matter. He wrote upthe guy so I guess he's going to be right about these matters:

"One of the most important and most feared positions within the troupe is that of the Solitaire. The Solitaires act as a sort of scout for the troupe, seeking out potential members from the populations of the various other Eldar factions. They are greatly feared and yet pitied by the other Harlequins. A Solitaire lives apart from the rest of the troupe at all times and this isolationist nature is also evident on the battlefield, as a Solitaire always fights alone and never joins with a unit of other Harlequins. The reason for this is that during the much rarer version of their already rare performances about the Fall, it is only the Solitaire who is able to play the role of the Great Enemy of the Eldar, Slaanesh. Some have been foolish to take on the role and been driven insane. This also means that when the Solitaire dies, his soul is damned to eternal torment by the Great Enemy. The Laughing God sometimes emerges from the Webway to trick Slaanesh, thereby saving the soul of the departed Solitaire from eternal damnation; however, the Laughing God is rarely able to successfully do so, and most Solitaires must endure eternal torment. Sometimes, if a Solitare is saved, his soul will be transferred to one of the Wraithlord-esque machines as mentioned above.

The role of Solitaire is thus difficult for an Eldar to bear. Only the strongest are able to endure the position and the knowledge that they will surely be consumed by Slaanesh upon death -- those who are not strong enough either die or are driven insane. Since his soul is already claimed, the Solitaire has absolutely no fear, and he is one of the most skilled warriors found on the battlefield of the 41st millennium. It is rumored that the oldest and most powerful Solitaires ultimately become the guardians of the Black Library, virtually invincible warriors with one of the most important tasks in the universe."

Everything beyond this is speculation...

Offline Algavinn of the Many Paths

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Re: Solitaire fluff
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2007, 04:00:57 PM »
There are whisps of details here and there in dexes and WD's, books, etc.  I have little to add, as kage tends to sum it up better than i am able.  As solitaires are found interacting with the eldar, living amongst them, it largely seems superstitious as the few observations we have are from the CWE as opposed to harlequins usually, and some inquisition that have had goings on with the harlequins.  In the 2nd edition codex it was said that should you have accidently addressed a solitaire it was best to end your life before being subjected to the true horror that would result.  My speculatory idea is that among the mysterious nature of the harlequins, and further the solitaires, there is indeed much superstition.  On some kind of concious or subconcious level i believe that the solitaire is nearly the embodiement of some of the greatest fears of the eldar.  The solitaire is a link to slaneesh, his soul belongs to slaneesh.  This is a terrifying truth to those who know it.  The fact that taking up the masque of slaneesh has killed or driven eldar mad is a testimate to how powerful a force slaneesh is to the eldar, and would deffinately cause some kind of superstition.  The solitaire embodies alot that one could say the average joe wouldnt want to think about, one being the possibility of eternal damnnation, and the fact that in the end the eldar will have to sacrifice themselves to defeat the enemy.   This is just speculation, and i appologize for the jumbledness, i'm at work.
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Offline Brutal Moon

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Re: Solitaire fluff
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2007, 07:12:36 AM »
I find it interesting that Solitaire specifically have performed the Harlequin Ritual (freeing them of averse affects of the warp, the need to wear a soulstone and general threats from She Who Thirsts) yet then goes on to take the aspect of Slaanesh in the troupe, thus forfeiting their soul.

As Solitaires are the ones seeking and bringing viable Eldar to the troupe, they likely identify those destined to be Solitaires early on and guide them down the appropriate different (and damning) path.

My two cents.

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Offline Algavinn of the Many Paths

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Re: Solitaire fluff
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2007, 12:56:31 PM »
If anyone were to guide them on this path, then aye, i would say it would be them.  I personally think that it may be cageroch himself that seeks out his most devout followers.  A solitaire may just...know.  The position doesnt seem to be one of the many harlequin postions which would be highly ritualized upon initiation.  But again when we look at harlequins, and even solitaires, living among their craftworld peers sometimes for years, this may just be the craftworld instilled mysticism i see from.
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Offline Phantomime

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Re: Solitaire fluff
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2007, 04:45:12 AM »
could very well draw parallels between the harlequin and the role they play in their dances.

the great harlequin is the troupe leader, and plays the the part of the laughing god - the leader of all harlequins.

the solitaire plays the part of slaneash, the most deadly foe to the eldar, and so if him/herself not so like other eldar anymore. thier soul being claimed by slaneash, they are, like the iliuminati somehow enhanced by this connection.

(the illuminati are those who have been possessed by deamons of the warp and been able to dislodge the usurping warp beasts from their souls though shear force of will - not always leaving them intacted after, but the few that manage this nearly impossible task, and come out of it more or less 'intact' tend to be a heck of a lot stronger because of it.)

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