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Discussion Life span of fantasy creatures in Warhammer and Age of Sigmar

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Scalenex, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    How long do the Warhammer races live?

    I’ve seen enough tangents on other threads that this is worthy of its own thread.

    First a disclaimer, Games Workshop doesn’t go into detail on aging. You are welcome to interpret the lifespan of fantasy characters different than I do. I may comment on your fluff if you do so, but I won’t tell you that you are wrong.


    Lizardmen

    Obviously we start with what’s most important.

    Classic Slann

    Generally it is take for a given that Slann cannot die of old age, they can only die if they are violently slain.

    Younger Slann are more active than older Slann, so that suggests that Slann age even if they don’t die of old age, but they do age in some way. Maybe they don’t even physically. Perhaps older Slann seem to make decisions slower because they have 10,000 years of memories to sort through than 5,000 years of memories.

    Maybe this has the implication the Slann become less effective as they age (though one could argue that they make wiser decisions as they age). One fact I’ve pondered having in the background of my fluff, but something the Slann would never tell their underlings is that the Slann are not immortal. They are just so long-lived that they seem immortal to everyone else.

    The story implication of this is that the Slann would have a sense of urgency in what they do. Granted, a Slann’s urgency is laughably slow compared to a human’s urgency, but Slann that know death is inevitable would be more proactive than Slann who think they literally have eternity to fulfil the Great Plan. Beyond urgency, there is also a legacy issue. If the Slann do not live forever, than they not only need to defeat Chaos in their lifetimes, they need to set up a post-war system that will keep Chaos from returning.

    Age of Sigmar Slann

    Again, it’s often assumed that Slann live forever. What if theydon’t live forever, they just seem to live forever. I think this actually explains their actions in Age of Sigmar, what little I’ve read. Age of Sigmar Slann seem more proactive than their classic Warhammer counterparts. “I only have a million years to fix the Chaos problem!” Also this helps explain why Age of Sigmar Slann are (at least a little bit) more tolerant/friendly to the warm blooded scions of Order. The Slann know eventually the humans will have to shoulder their load.

    Since the Slann seemed to collectively undergo a personality change, I also like the idea that the Slann were not immortal, but they didn’t realize this until they went into space. Alternatively, they always knew they wouldn't live forever but it didn't dawn on them until the destruction of their first world is the warning sign to triggered their midlife crises.

    Age of Sigmar Light Minions

    At first glance, Seraphon will live as long as their Slann do. Not a second more or less. End of discussions

    There are a few possible variations that are up to individual interpretation. The first is that modern psychology has more or less proven that human memory is malleable and prone to changing or fading over time. That means lesser Seraphon can change or can even die when the Slann’s memories of them change.

    There is a lot of speculation and discussion on how Seraphon live when they are not fighting or if they live at all.

    Saurus Warriors

    It’s stated explicitly that Saurus do not die of old age. They only get stronger, tougher, and smarter as they age. Though they seemingly grow stronger glacially slow.

    What if Saurus are not literally un-aging and can die of old age, it just is so far into the future it never happened. If that’s the case. It never will happen. Saurus warriors, Scar Veterans and Oldbloods are at the forefront of every battle. If they have a maximum lifespan of a million years, they will never reach it. Even if an Old Blood has a 0.01% chance of dying each battle, eventually his time will come. He cannot avoid starring in a Scalenex fluff piece forever. In this way, Saurus cannot die of old age.

    But there is a vagueness to Saurus aging. What is the primary factor that lets a Saurus evolve from regular warrior to Scar Veteran to Old Blood? Is the primary factor that makes a Saurus stronger, tougher, and smarter age or is the primary factor battlefield experience?

    If the primary factor is age, then a Temple City or Kahoun that is rarely attacked will have a small number of very powerful Sauri. If the primary factor is battlefield experience, you could have one Temple City with a 500 year old Old Blood and another with a 2000 year old Scar Veteran.

    This won’t have a huge impact on a macro-level, but if you write a fluff piece where the protagonist is a Saurus, this will impact his personality and character whether he is 500 years old or 2000, even if his abilities are the same. Also, if Saurus age and grow through battle and strife, this will encourage risk taking behavior. If they age and grow through time, this will encourage Saurus to have more Cold Blooded caution.

    You can also split the difference. The Saurus grow stronger through the passage of time even if nothing interesting happens but they grow stronger faster the more they fight.

    Regardless of how Saurus age, there needn’t be any unusual explanation for Gor-rok, Chakax, and Kroq-Gar.


    Skinks

    It is my opinion that Skinks can grow old and die of old age. It’s never stated explicitly but the fact that Slann and Saurus are explicitly established by GW writers to not die of old age and the Skinks get no such mention makes me think that Skinks do die of old age. I believe that Lustria is dangerous enough, even to intelligent natives that most Skinks do not get to die from old age.

    Even if everyone accepts that Skinks die of old age, there is a LOT of leeway in how old can get. In my fluff pieces, Skinks have comparable maximum life spans to modern (not medieval humans). I will admit this is almost entirely. I chose to do this mainly because I need my fluff Lizardmen to be at least partially relate-able to a point of reference I understand well. To retroactively justify my arbitrary decisions. Skinks fill the basic roles humans do. I have Skinks live comparably to modern humans rather than medieval humans because I figure their lifestyle and diet is healthier than a medieval peasant.

    Skink Chiefs and Skink Priests live noticeably longer, up to but not always twice as long. I do this partially because special character Skink priests live pretty long, but mainly for story purposes. I like continuity and my fluff pieces generally have substantial time skips between them. If I have skink chiefs and priests live longer, I can use them in more stories.


    Tik’taq’to has a name I despise, but I’ll ignore that for now. He is presented as a sort of prodigy. He has not been around forever. Having a special character for him is much like the Empire having a special character for the current Reiksmarshal. No explanation for an extraordinary lifespan is given.

    The other special characters do not fit this. Most of them were around for centuries or seem to have been around for centuries. There are some options. 1) Scalenex is wrong, Skinks either do not age or they have very long life expectancies 2) special characters are exceptions to the rule and have exceptionally long life spans 3) they live long because of "reasons" 4) the Skinks die and a new Skink takes on their mantle and name.

    I like four best.

    To my knowledge, Oxyotl does not have any continuing presence in 8th edition lore. He showed up and Chameleon Skinks started spawning again. That’s if you look on 8th edition in a vacuum. In fifth edition, Oxyotyl was the only living Chameleon Skink. In sixth edition, Chameleon Skinks were limited to one unit per army. It’s implied that Oxyotl has been around many centuries but I don’t believe any GW published sources establish him as a continued presence. You could say he’s a historical special character only. You can also state that he is not aging normally because of all the time he spent in the Chaos realm. Maybe he is physically frozen at the age he spent in the Chaos realm (sense he didn’t age in the centuries he spent there). Also, being a Chameleon Skink, he disappears and re-emerges a lot. Now it could be that poor Oxyotl isn’t done suffering and he actually keeps being re-absorbed and ejected from the Chaos realm at story appropriate intervals. Even I’m not that cruel to my characters. It is also highly possible that the most competent Chameleon Skink of every generation takes up the mantle of Oxyotl. Given how reclusive Chameleon Skinks are, the other Lizardmen would have no clue that this Oxyotl is actually Oxyotl the Twelfth. Why would he tell you he’s not the original?

    Tehenhauin like Oxyotl is not a constant presence, well he was a constant presence through the Clan Pestilens War, but afterwards he just appears and disappears at dramatic times. Even if Skinks do not live forever, Tehenhauin is more than just a Skink. He is the prophet of Sotek. He could dwell in the heavens with Sotek most of the time and come down to Earth periodically as an avenging angel then return to the Heavens. Sound familiar?

    There was also a short story in one of our contests. I’m not sure which contest or which author, but the crux of the conflict is that there was roughly a half dozen Skink priests who all believed they were Tehenhauin the prophet of Sotek. They almost came to blows over this, but they put aside their differences to destroy a Skaven army, then a Slann explained to them that the mantle of Tehenhauin has been passed to many Skinks over the centuries but they all are Tehenhauin.

    If you combine a mantle bestowed by Slann with the avenging angel from the heavens bit from above, that sounds pretty Seraphon like, doesn’t it. If you ascribe to the believe that the 8th edition End Times and Age of Sigmar are part of the same continuity and not just two different universes with some similarities than it makes sense that the Slann would have made practice Seraphon back when their minions were mostly flesh and blood. The Slann don’t act rashly. They probably wouldn’t convert their armies into Seraphon warriors of thought and light if they haven’t tested out a few prototypes beforehand. Perhaps the special characters, especially Tehenhauin represents their prototype.


    Tetto’eko is different from Oxyotl and Tehenhauin because he doesn’t disappear and reappear. He is an almost a permanent fixture in Tlaxtlan. He has lived a very long time, but they do describe him in aged terms, so it seems his life span is merely long not infinite.

    One could just state that any Skink can live that long, most just meet an untimely end first. I don’t like that one, but if that is your interpretation, I won’t say you are wrong. Another explanation for his longevity is that Tetto’eko is Tetto’eko. He is the only Skink that Temple Guard bow to; he is the only Skink to approach Slann like magic; he is the only Skink to ride a flying palanquin. Why not make him the only Skink that’s lifespan is measured in centuries rather than decades? Oh and there could be reasons.

    Either his own magic sustains his long lifespan of Tlaxtlan’s Slann believe Tetto’eko is important enough to the Great Plan that they funnel Life magic into him.

    Kroxigor

    Kroxigor are spawned with Skinks and socially connected to them. Physically they look and to an extent they act like big Saurus warriors. They could live forever until slain like Saurus Warriors or they could have similar life expectancies to the Skinks they are spawned with. Alternatively you can split the different. Kroxigor live a long time but not forever. We do have one “official” source suggests Kroxigors live a long time. Kroxigor unit champions are called Kroxigor Ancients. Unfortunately we do not have much elaboration on this.

    In my fluff pieces, Kroxigor have the same general life expectancy of Skinks. I’m not calling Kroxigor champion “Ancients” in my fluff leaders I’m calling them Spawn leaders. Why? Because, it contradicts my existing pre-conceptions about Kroxigor and I don't want to change it. Others are free to take “Ancient” literal and give them very long lifespans. Your fluff, your rules. And of course Ancient can be relative. To a short lived creature, 40 could be ancient.

    We do have one really old Kroxigor hero, Nakai, but Nakai is a special case in that he disappears for long periods of time only to reappear when needed most. He’s kind of like Tehenhauin and Oxyotl, so there are probably special circumstances here.

    Lesser Mortals

    Humans

    Official GW sources (army books for Empire, Vampire Counts, and Brettonia) imply but do not state that Human lifespans in the Warhammer world are comparable to what real world medieval humans have. Peasants usually die young. Nobles live longer, but still don’t live forever. Since a lot of Empire Humans tend to be somewhat old, you could make the case that Warhammer humans who are in the nobility have lifespans comparable to healthy modern humans, not medieval nobles. That’s not necessary. Even in ancient times, real world humans sometimes were lucky and made it to their nineties. Warhammer leaders are exceptional by their very nature, so they could be just lucky with regards to aging.

    We do not have to limit ourselves to trifles such as real world biology. To use a well-known example, the Race of Men in Tolkien’s work could regularly live a few centuries. Less than everyone else in the world but longer than real world humans. Since Warhammer is a pessimistic setting, making Warhammer Humans better than real world humans in any sense goes against the grain. Since Age of Sigmar is a bit more optimistic and more magical, it makes some sense to make Age of Sigmar Humans more long-lived. I’m not sure I want to do that. But the option is on the table.

    Halflings

    Halfling are pretty close to humans. To go back to Tolkien, Hobbits had similar life expectancies to humans. A bit longer than real world humans, but that’s common for many of the Men in Tolkien’s universe. Whatever a fluff writer decides is an appropriate life expectancy for Humans, that’s a good baseline for Halfllings.


    Ogres

    For all their differences Ogres are pretty human too at the end of the day. The Ogre army book backs this up, at least with regards to age. Ogre leaders often have to kill their own sons in challenges for leadership. Exceptionally successful and spry Ogre leaders have to fight their adult grandchildren. There are not any mentions of Ogres dealing with their adult great grandchildren. That suggests that like humans, Ogres can stick around for three full generations, more or less.

    I would recommend making the baseline for Ogres’ lifespans the baseline for Human’s lifespan. Age of Sigmar, Ogor life spans should probably mirror human life spans too.


    Dwarfs

    I vaguely remember reading this from an official GW source, but I cannot find it, so I guess my baseline is arbritrary. Dwarfs can live typically between 300 and 400 years. Exceptional Runesmiths can beat 600 years. The latter vaguely reminds me of my arbitrary decision to have Skink Chiefs and priests outlive normal Skinks. One could argue that this longevity has something to do with magic since runes are magic, but I like the idea better that runesmiths live longer because their people need them. A Dwarf’s sense of duty is so strong they can keep the Grim Reaper at bay.

    There are no hard and fast rules for how long Dwarfs live. I think it should be noticeably longer than humans but not unimaginably longer. Others are welcome to put in their two cents on this.

    Like humans, Duardin can live longer or shorter than their pre-Age of Sigmar counterparts.


    Elves

    Tolkien had elves live forever. Most modern fantasy is based on Tolkien. Most newer fantasy writers give Elves longer lifespans than everyone else, but not infinite life spans. Bel Shanaar had a reign of Pheonix emperor of almost 1700 years. When he took the throne, he was not a baby. He was an adult with a record as a skilled general and diplomat. Caradryel was to quote the High Elf army book “Caradryel was the first Phoenix King to die peacefully in bed.” Later on page 26 “When Bal-Hathor died peacefully of old age, Finubar was his chosen successor.

    So we are looking at least 2000 years as natural lifespan, since Bel Shanaar was not a spring chicken being a celebrated warrior and diplomat, he probably spent more 300 years developing that reputation. Maybe we are looking 3000 years for a natural life span.

    Here’s some food for thought. In the real world human life span varies a lot based on healthy or unhealthy habits and sheer dumb luck. Sadly humans can die of natural causes at age zero. Beyond child mortality, fairly young adults can die of cancer or heart disease. A guy I knew (not well, but I knew him), died of flu complications in his mid-thirties. That’s a natural cause. Scary.

    So assuming you leave out child mortality, if a human can die of natural causes roughly between 30 and 120, what kind of variation would elves have? Lots. You can have an elf pass away of natural causes at 600 or 6000 while still being consistent within the boundaries of “realistic fanstasy”. An elf can live as long or short as your story requires and it’s technically not a plot hole. That being said, I would recommend fluff writers pick an age most elves can make it to and be fairly consistent. Exceptions to the rules can be rules can and should be rare.

    I’ll let someone who read more Age of Sigmar lore tell me how long Aelfs live. Age of Sigmar could be used to justify longer, shorter, or unchanged life sns.


    Greenskins

    I figure the Orc and Goblin lifestyle of live hard and die young fits with a fairly low span. They also come from spores and grow up to be adults very quick. I think GW wrote this in to avoid the moral implications of Empire heroes butchering goblin women and children after defeating a Waaagh.

    D&D and similar setting tend to give Goblins a maximum lifespan of around 50. Orcs a bit more but not much. Since Orcs and Goblins skip childhood you can take the first sixteen to eighteen years out of their lifespan, cause you know they skipped it. That makes 50 to 60 reasonable. Now this same reasoning can be used to rationalize lower Lizardmen lifespans too. Now that's fine if you want to run that way, but Lizardmen tend to take a long term view of things and Orcs tend to take a short-term view of things. As I cover in the Skaven section at the bottom, lifespan influences culture and outlook.

    Now you could argue that Orcs and Goblins can potentially live very long lives, but they usually don’t because of their violent lives. I don’t buy that. Saurus are in the same boat and a few exemplars make it to very long lifespans. The Orc and Goblin book has historical Orc and Goblin heroes but they don’t have any great champions that have been around for centuries. Just from numbers, even if only 0.001% of Orcs and Goblins could beat the odds and live for centuries on centuries, we should see some of these beings in official GW and we don't. Logically these amazing greenskin paragons would be leading almost every single tribe.

    Snotlings would probably have life spans to the bigger greenskins, or they would be like mayflies compared to them. Trolls a case can be made for their regeneration letting them live a very long time or you could argue that the star that burns twice as bright, burns half as long, and the short term benefits of regeneration come with long term costs. This is deep and perhaps out of character for a fantasy setting but a body that regenerates cells very fast could have cancer grow very fast. You could also argue that it puts strain on the circulatory system and trolls would be at higher risk than humans for heart disease or stroke.

    If you go the opposite direction and state that trolls are effectively immortal this could extend to that Goblin special character Grom the Paunch or whatever that gained size and strength by eating some troll flesh and regenerates in a similar manner. He could be ageless. I find him kind of boring compared to the fluff of other Orc and Goblin special characters (I'm in the Azhag Fan Club), so I don't see the reason to have him as an immortal champion in my fluff.

    I don’t Orruks and Grots being distinct enough from non-copyrighted Orcs and Goblins for having substantially different life spans, but they can if you want. Since they are in space now, you can possibly check 40K sources for how long green skins lives.

    If any sub race of the Orc and Goblin life span could really push the envelope on natural life spans, I would pick Squigs. They usually don't life super long, but they can. They just get bigger and bigger. That’s why you have Squigs, Mangler Squigs, and Colossal Squigs. But generally when a Squig gets post-Mangler size they will start trying to eat their fellows. That’s why the world is not overrun by Colossal Squigs. Squigs thin their own herd whens they get stronger.


    Chaos

    Chaos isn’t a race so much as a religion or political faction. A Chaos tainted individual would use their own race’s lifespan (human, ogre, etc) as their baseline. There would be an exceptions are when an individual is blessed and/or cursed with a long life span as a sign of the Chaos gods favor and/or disfavor. Generally Chaos wants their followers to do stuff now not later.

    A Chaos champion is either going to succeed and become a Daemon Prince or more likely fail and die. The exception is Chaos warriors who are not allowed to die so that may keep suffering or Chaos warriors that play the long game, like the vain Slaanesh champion Sigvald the Magnificent (who is officially in fluff several centuries old) or a Tzeentch wizard maybe.

    Valkia is basically in fluff terms, a Daemon Prince (or Princess if you prefer). Heck, she even died like most Chaos champions do before becoming elevated. Wulfrik the Wanderer seems like a Chaos champion who is not allowed to die as a punishment. It's not stated liked with Sigvald but I'm guessing Festus the Leechlord has been plying his vile trade for a long time though specifically his pact with Nurgle specified "a life time" which as this thread shows can mean a lot of things. From reading the Warriors of Chaos book, I believe most of the named characters who used to be human are recently risen to power, but if someone wants to say different, that's fine too.

    I see Beastmen in the same boat as the Warriors. I understand a lot of Beastmen were either mutated humans or descended from mutated humans, so they would have human like maximum lifespans. Chaos takes them for granted, so they are less likely to have marks of extreme favor or disfavor causing exceptions to the rule.

    The exception to the rule is the Beastman lord that keeps assaulting the Wood Elves over and over again. Morag or something like it, he doesn’t have a really long life span, he keeps getting reincarnated but each reincarnation only lasts a couple years at most before Wood Elves put him down at increasingly great cost. Yawn, I don't care if each time he comes back from the dead he is "more powerful than ever before", he's still what, 0 for 4 against the Wood Elves? I think it'd be interesting to here him and Nagash hang out in a villain pub and talk about all the times they almost won. Maybe I'm too rigid, but I think if you are going to have repeated confrontations in fiction between two people or groups the the third climatic fight should be the last climatic fight, otherwise it becomes anticlimactic.

    Post Age of Sigmar, since Chaos main enemies are the Seraphon and their sidekicks, the Stormcast Eternals, and both these beings do not (seemingly) die natural death, they may need to let their champions live longer, so they can play the long game. Or maybe they don’t need to. The Daemons are in a similar boat with their Order bound enemies and can die over and over again, so maybe the Chaos bigwigs see no reason to spend resources prolonging the lifespans of their mortal pawns.


    Undead

    I imagine the lesser undead minions have a maximum number of times they can be reanimated. Maybe a zombie can be raised four times, maybe 40, maybe 400. It could have to do with how they are destroyed. The Tomb King book implies that if a lesser skeleton is basically pulverized to dust, they can’t be raised again (though the dust can power magical items more powerful than a skeleton warrior so neato). That’s not super important. A limit to the number of times an undead can be reanimated isn’t the same thing as aging.


    I’ll cover it anyway because I like modeling and writing about undead. The way I see it, if an undead creature cannot be raised, it’s not that they literally cannot be raised, it’s that their master no longer views it as worth the effort. Skeleton archer pulverized to dust, let it go. If your elite bodyguard is pulverized to dust, pull out all the magical stops.


    Borrowing from undead and ghost story tropes, I figure the two most important factors are the raw mystical power of the necromancer involved and the ambient necromantic magic the necromancer can draw on. The power you got, the more things can be raised with less effort.

    Beyond this, there are internal factors. If the corpse or spirit were sanctified to Morr or one of the Old Ones, the corpse will resist necromantic attempts to raise it. If the deceased had an elaborate burial ceremony recounting its life, lots of burial goods, and lingering memory (either celebrating or cursing them) they would be slightly easier to raise and come back stronger. That’s basically how wights and graveguard work. They were important in life, so they are stronger and their necromantic overlords can reconstitute them from dust easier. I also think Chaos taint makes raising corpses easier, since at a primal magic, dark magic is dark magic. UNLESS said Chaos tainted mortal is now one of the big wigs in the spiritual realm like a Daemon Prince in which case the Daemon’s power would resist their corpse being dishonored by a usurper.

    Without getting to the specifics of vampires or Settra or Nagash being resurrected, I would say that the passage of time alone cannot destroy a powerful undead. Only violent destruction or starvation can destroy a powerful undead. By starvation I mean denial of sustenance which could be blood, brains, souls, magical energy, whatever they feed on.

    I'm going to talk about Vlad Von Carstein. I'm kind of mildly annoyed that Nagash brings him back in the book Nagash and he becomes a major character while Mannfred Von Carstein is Sir Not Appearing In This Film. I'll give Vlad props for being the first vampire that is proactive and not reactive, and he got to come back from the dead a lot, but that's because he had a magic ring that cheated his destruction. The ring got stolen, then he died for good. It is implied but not stated that Mannfred found the thief and took the ring for himself.

    I dare say Mannfred may be the wisest villain in all of Warhammer. I have four unfinished pieces of Warhammer fluff fiction that I intend to post on L-O one of these days. I thought about writing my own End Times tale that contradicts the official End Times on pretty much everything and has a different ending. I have a broad outline for it, but I just don't see myself finishes the probably 150 to 200 pages it would take to complete it. It just so happens that Lizardmen are the major plot drivers for the Forces of Order, not that I'm biased or anything. Of the official GW created characters, the most important one is Mannfred Von Carstein. He is probably the most important character I have that isn't a Lizardmen or a god.

    With Chaos coming in from all sides, Mannfred has a plan Vampire Counts have never tried before. He's going to save the Empire and not make a grab for the emperor's crown. His goal is to become an Elector Count. If you read the Empire boo Assuming the Empire survives the End Times, Mannfred assumes that a Skaven plague, Orc Waaagh, or something similar will bring the Empire's very existence into question every 200 years or so (just like before the End Times). He'll save the Empire each time, never taking a reward. Figuring that if after may 1000 years of being a good citizen after saving the Empire the seventh time they will give him the crown. Then he gets it forever. if he takes the crown by force, he will never stop facing challenges.

    I figure when Nagash sends out his long range telepathic recruitment drive to all the most powerful vampires, both Mannfred and Renliss will laugh in his telepathic face. Renliss' goals are in Lustria, Mannfred's goals are in the Empire. Neither are going to pull up stakes to follow the banner of a perennial loser to attack the Tomb Kings.

    I usually end with a nod to Age of Sigmar. Undead sustain themselves either by feeding off of the living, feeding off of magic, or magically feeding off of the living. Age of Sigmar may impact the Death faction access to magic and food, but it doesn't change the basic rules of their necro-biology in any major way. Undead is undead, unless you get something like Necron which are undead robots, but while we do have Sigmar-marines, we don't have Vampire-necrons....yet. Since Death is my secondary Age of Sigmar army, I hope they don't do anything too crazy, but as long as Seraphon remain competitive and have a wide model range, I'll cope.


    Skaven

    I don’t remember the details or the name of a very excellent Under-Empire thread covering this topic, but I believe U-E pegged the natural life span of Skaven to be around forty or fifty. Most get kill-slain by something first, but some max out around fifty. Maybe @Y'ttar Scaletail can find it and post a link to. The short life span was not as important as the insightful commentary that stemmed from this. The short life span of Skaven pushes individuals to try to make their mark and it pushes them to take risks. Even if you can avoid being stabbed in the back by a comrade, minion, or underling forty years isn't much time. You got to make your mark. Do it now! That helps explain a large portion of the cultural makeup of Skaven society.

    Now maybe, the Council of Thirteen or other bigwigs can cheat death. I can see a Clan Moulder constantly rebuilding itself by stealing or growing body parts from others. A Clan Skyre could prolong life as a cyborg. Maybe some Clan Pestilens monk could cannibalize the life force of others to prolong their life. Whatever longevity means upper level Skaven I’m betting two things. One, it’s inefficient on the macro level. Directly or indirectly, one Skaven would have to cause the deaths of MANY other beings to maintain their lifespan. Two, they probably lead to a reduction in quality of life and creature comforts compared to an “all-natural” Skaven.

    Post Age of Sigmar, Skaven life spans could fall more in line with the rest of the Chaos faction that they are now a part of. Skaven who are useful to Chaos gods long term plans could be blessed or cursed with long life spans to boost their productive Chaos causing lives. Given that Skaven had lots of weird science in a fantasy setting, now that they are in a sci-fi setting they will probably have more weird science to keep the grim reaper at bay. At least the high ranking ones could.


    If I missed covering anyone important, let me know.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
  2. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    Nice post!
    I admit I haven't had the time to read all of it yet, but it seems we agree on most stuff judging by the parts I have read already.
     
  3. Warden
    Skar-Veteran

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    From the historical perspective, one of the theories of what led to the downfall of Mayan civilization was the overuse of their biosphere: overpopulation in the cities led to the need for more farmland, which overtaxed the already taxed jungle enviornment and rivers, "snowballing" into other problems that led to drought, starvation, etc.

    The Lizardmen would not have an overpopulation problem. Their "spawning" is pre-ordained by the mysterious Old Ones and the machinations of their unknowable calendar ticking through the ages, occasionally causing a new group of saurus, skinks, and kroxigors to rise from their spawning pools.

    What the Lizardmen would have problems with is endemic warfare. This was a problem for the ancient Maya too, with constant feuds and warfare between cities constantly machining against each other for dominance. The Lizardmen rather present a united front, a single empire that is besieged from skaven below, treasure hunters/schemers to the sides, and chaotic forces from wherever they can rip through into the living dimension. Chaotic forces were responsible for greatly reducing the Lizardmen population thousands of years into the warhammer world's prehistory, and while the lizards were still highly numerous they have only ever been recovering since, barely having enough population to fill the "four-ish" extant major temple cities, and a host of minor sites spread throughout a now mostly empty jungle.

    Fortunately here the long lifespan is a blessing: at the end of a war, the saurus veterans who survive don't die, and live on in the barracks ready to start a new war. They don't even need to train them, and will exist as long as they are needed until they are cut down on the battlefield. New spawnings periodically refill their ranks, but tragically they are becoming closer to extinction every time they march to war since no Old Ones are manning the spawning pool controls that have been set on auto-pilot since they left.

    The skinks and kroxigors die off eventually (workers tend to get burnt out over time), though I wonder how long crocodiles live in the wild? That might be a good standard for the lifespan of a kroxigor. I agree a skink would be comparable to a normal human, with the magical skink priests living longer thanks to exposure to magic.
     
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  4. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    I don't know about others, but the saltwater crocodile, which is the largest living croc species, can live at least 60-80 years in the wild. IIRC there is at least one that lived over 100 years, but I think that was in a zoo.
     
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  5. spawning of Bob
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    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

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    In my views about such things, I am influenced by another source you have neglected to quote: the collected writings of the Spawning of Bob. As I write or illustrate more disparate works I do waste some (a lot of) time trying to see how they all could be in the same universe. Except for AoS. That is just a short story fiction freebie that I don't have to bother trying to connect :)

    My main fictioning sits in the generation or so from Emperor Magnus the Pious and some other dude called Karl Franz.

    I've got all Slann living from the Great Catastrophe 'til then (6500 years and more). With the oldest Elf thet Teclis knows personally remembering the war with the Dwarfs, 4000 years before Magnus, and Dwarfs and Elfs finding common ground in their longevity in contrast to how Humans are motivated by the urgent desire to leave a postmortem legacy versus the longer lived races being happier to dwell in past glories and maintain their achievements.

    I have "The Curse of Aenarion" acted out in Teclis frail body (it just made his brother a douche) in that he ages faster than other elves, hence his own "urgency" to leave a legacy - uniting elf, dwarf and man (and 4 lizardmen) in a Grand Alliance against Chaos.

    My rank and file lizardmen are rather involved in the "Now" and doing what seems right, not its consequences. This is all about faith in some sort of Great Plan / it will all sort itself out eventually.

    The longest lived skink is Scalenex (The Scholar) who remembers the Old Ones. But he cheated, in that he was undead since before the coming of Chaos, then was restored to life much later. He still smells a bit funny.

    Other, barely developed work has a Kroxigor who outlived his skink spawnkin by centuries, and indeed the last aged skink priest in his "dead" temple city. No spawnings means only Saurus are left, and their view of the meaning of the Great Plan has twisted due to lack of intelligent oversight.

    My Meta-Plan is to unify all significant formative events leading up to what we knew as 8th Edition and demonstrate that the Great Plan, as enacted by an Eggshell-wearing goon, has brought the world to a logical and satisfying set of circumstances that will all work out for the better. Or that was the plan until the stinking End Times came and screwed us all over.

    While I am sure that Scalenex (The Lesser) agrees when the general gist of the above, I shall deign to comment on some of his specifics.

    This was a good story (probably from @Bowser ) which explored the mportance of a symbol and memory in creating a legend. The facts - when several disparate memories were compared - were less important that the inspiration that was evoked by the memory. Obviously on AoS story. Remember the Alamo!

    I peg Kroxigor as being hardier than their spawnkin, and if they are not frontline battle lizards then the Krox will endure more wear and tear and drudge work than their kin. In an ideal, safe environment I could see them becoming "ancient" but perhaps losing their purpose along with their brothers

    As above for my view, plus - elves of note will get into harms way. Aelred the flute weaver can live as long as he likes but he won't trouble my imaginings.

    I wouldn't place too many limits on the raising of general undead (giving enough dark magic) but NAMED undead would need a plausible mechanism for returning with anything more than their most heartfelt motivations intact. Returning with memory and identity would need some PREdestruction mechanism or long ages of focused effort to achieve.
     
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  6. spawning of Bob
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    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

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    @Ritual? Can you really read that fast?
     
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  7. Ritual
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    Ritual Well-Known Member

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    No, I am just continuing @Bowser's good work.
     
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  8. spawning of Bob
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    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

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    Go away, Spambot of Evil!
     
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  9. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    @spawning of Bob provided exactly the sort of commentary I was hoping, then got off on a tangent by poking @Ritual for reasons I can only guess at.

    Bob interpreted the ages of fantasy races different than I did, but he did so with a purpose: to enhance his fiction and keep things consistent along a narrative plan.

    I thought about this. Kroxigor are hardier so they should live longer. My counter argument is that when they are not fighting they are performing hard labor. There is enough empirical evidence in the real world that hard labor lowers life expectancy. So even if the Kroxigor are hardier than Skinks, their lifestyle would shorten their lifespan. For convenience for my frame of reference

    Kroxigor hardiness - Kroxigor lifestyle = Skink life span.
     
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  10. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    Also: Kroxigor are from the same spawning pools as Skinks aren't they? So they might be very similar in many regards. Basically they are bigger, tougher Skinks mutants.
     
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