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The dark eldar need a constant source of emotion (normally pain) in order to prevent their souls being devoured by Slaneesh. the most common way that they get this is by raiding human worlds and capturing slaves, bringing them back to Commorragh and torturing them. however this brings with it a risk of the dark eldar dying after all even a measly human with a lasgun is still a person with a lasgun. wouldn't it be easier just to breed humans on site? Please note i am not talking about tube grown humans here, I am talking about humans that are bred the normal way just within facilities in Commorragh or an uninhabited world accessed by the webway.

I don't think food would be a major concern for the dark eldar being as they are the second most advanced biologists in the galaxy I suspect they can make a hydroponics bay. It would also allow the dark eldar to specially breed/condition slaves to be more susceptible to their torture.

the out-of-universe answer of course is that it would be boring if the imperium didn't have to contend with dark eldar raids but what about in universe?

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    I am a dad... I suspect the crying and dirty diapers would not be worth it in the end to them... – Odin1806 Mar 6 '18 at 21:17
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    @Odin1806 Needs a constant source of emotion. Pretty certain all the crying and dirty diapers fits the bill completely. – Luke Mar 7 '18 at 2:04
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    haha, counterpoint taken! – Odin1806 Mar 7 '18 at 4:17
  • Why work when you can steal? – EvilSnack Mar 15 '18 at 3:54
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    Once word gets out that the Dark Eldar have gone soft, it's nothing but work,work,work, all the time – Paul Aug 3 '18 at 20:31
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You have to understand few things about Dark eldars:

  1. They are extremely arrogant - they see themselves (as a race and as individuals) as something absolutely perfect, that whole universe should bow to.
  2. They thrive on emotions, not only pain - pain is simply a very strong emotion that is easy to produce in large quantities, but so is the thrill of the hunt.

Combining those two points: Torturing their human victims is just part of the fun! They got kicks from the whole process of capturing them, from the thrill of fight where they can get killed themselves - "it is impossible that this animal can hurt me... but even if he will, what exquisite feeling it will be!"

Farming humans would make it... dull. Yes, you can make them scream as long as you want, but there is simply no fun if they are readily available, if they offer no resistance, no chance to show your own superiority.

  • I don't suppose that means there's any chance of the dark eldar doing a monsters inc and becoming comedians is there? – Ummdustry May 31 '18 at 9:47
  • @Ummdustry that's where Harlequins come in. :) – Paul Aug 3 '18 at 20:32
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Because free-range Humans are just so much tastier than factory-farmed...

If Humans are bred amongst the Dark Eldar and on their worlds, they will eventually become 'domesticated' and grow accustomed to what the Eldar are doing to them, thus producing no more emotion than the Dark Eldar could if they tortured themselves.

Breeding them to be susceptible to torture probably won't work. The Humans that are good torture subjects are also bad at handling the torture, and thus are more likely to die before passing on their torture-ific genes. So, those that survive well will have children who also have a chance of being better at surviving torture themselves, and be more 'tameable' for having grown up in such an environment. These adorable foxes showed that domestication can occur in as few as 6 generations, or about 100-150 years for humans. So, after about 125 years your Human stock will be no better than torturing Dark Eldar, which means you'd have to go raiding anyway.

Additionally, Humans born on a Human world would have so much more to miss than a Human born and raised in captivity. Family, friends, goals, dreams... all of that exists in a free-range Human but not a farmed Human. So, captured Humans would have much stronger emotions to manipulate than farmed humans who have never known the 'real' world.


I suppose the Dark Eldar could set up long-term breeding on entire worlds, i.e. release some Humans who didn't know about the torture, let them grow up happy and healthy, then occasionally raid them for fresh subjects.

However, where's the fun in that? It'd be like going on a hunting trip at a zoo. Raiding produces violence, suffering, hate, etc., all of which the Dark Eldar love. Having a Human farm would just ruin the fun.

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    Why would farmed humans that cope with torture better have more offspring, if the farmers are in control of which of their livestock are permitted to breed? – Ben Mar 6 '18 at 23:20
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    @Ben: I suppose it would be better to say that good torture subjects are more likely to accidentally die before having the opportunity to breed. So, I guess it's not that bad livestock will breed more, rather good livestock will breed less. – Giter Mar 6 '18 at 23:43
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    I think that's still quite an assumption. If the aim is to extract pain, you can't do from a corpse, so you'd be trying to breed humans who feel pain very strongly but are actually quite resilient. You could also breed them while they're healthy, then torture them, but still keep track of which genetic lines were producing the best victims, without needing individuals to be capable of having many offspring after you've seen how well they respond to torture. There are lots more ways to manage artificial selection than just "inflict an environment and let natural selection do its thing". – Ben Mar 7 '18 at 0:14
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    Pretty certain your last bit just described the movie/series Stargate – Luke Mar 7 '18 at 2:06

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