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We Eldar are a beautiful race that have a maximum life span of 500 years. We are stronger, faster, more intelligent, sexier, and frankly just superior to you humans in every way. However, we cannot reproduce as often due to biological reasons, as our children are born a few decades apart from each other. This prevents us from out-competing other lower life forms, who breed much more quickly.

This creates a problem for our species. It is very difficult to bounce back from an event which kills a large number of us. If there is a biological plague that kills a few million, or a war against another race in which many of us die, or even a natural disaster, it takes a long time for our species to replenish it's numbers. During this period, we become vulnerable to other lower species who would seek to take advantage of our predicament.

How can the Eldar prevent this from happening and compete with savage humans with this kind of weakness?

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  • $\begingroup$ that depends on whether or not said species has a problem with incest $\endgroup$ – DJ Spicy Deluxe Mar 25 at 16:35
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    $\begingroup$ "How can a long lived species that reproduces slowly bounce back from an extinction level event?" Slowly and carefully. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Mar 25 at 17:01
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    $\begingroup$ After answering, I notice that the question is bit unclear. The question in the title talks about recovery, the question in the text about prevention. These are two fundamentally different questions, as prevention is better done as far in advance as possible, before you have any problems, while recovery requires that something already went wrong and you have failed doing proper prevention. I answered the prevention version. $\endgroup$ – Ville Niemi Mar 25 at 17:03
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    $\begingroup$ One answer is to build Havens along the western coast, build a lot of grey ships, and sail over to petition the Valar for relief. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Mar 25 at 17:19
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There are a few things you might want to do

Breeding Programs

I don't know what kinds of social customs the Eldar may have, but they are facing extinction. If they are ahem mechanically similar to humans, then you need to focus on the female being as productive as possible. So regardless of any life mate bonds, you need to make sure that every female becomes pregnant just as soon as she is capable of it. If the cycle is one of years, well, try to get that scheduled, so to speak so you have as little time wasted between pregnancies. You also need to make sure that the number of females pregnant every year remains relatively constant. You want this so that you don't have population waves and that as the youngsters come of age they add to the potential breeding pool at a steady stream. In addition, infertile males are yanked from the program as quick as possible. You may also want to stop exclusive pairings to add that little bit more to genetic diversity.

In addition, No more Nobility! You need to be a strict Meritocracy. Gender should not be a factor.

Women and Children First

Make the defense of the Women and Children absolutely paramount. Males can be replaced without slowing the breeding process, but females cannot. Put the women in the defensible central keep. The Men man the walls, etc. Children are protected alongside breeding age women. Older women should acutally train and study harder because they go back to the feild, so to speak, when they can no longer bear children.

Other defensive strategies

This is a bit of a hodge podge, so lets start small and work out. First, everyone learns to fight. Men, Women, doesn't matter. In fact, combat training should start young and ONLY differentiate when the young ladies can start to breed Even then, they should devote at least some time to combat training in between child rearing duties. Males to train continuously throughout their lives. This is not to say that they go full on Spartan, but things like weekly combat training classes, maybe structured like the national guard, be compulsary for everyone. That way there is still enough time to do everything else like building, agriculture, etc.

For Buildings, learn to build relatively small but strong fortified castles. When the population of a few towns gets to a certain point, a group from each joins forces to go out and found a new one. Make sure that some sort of communication link between the castles is an inherent part of the construction of each colony. This makes sure that if one is under attack, they can get help from nearby castles. it also avoids the whole "eggs in one basket". If plague hits one castle, you can quarantine it. If there is an invading force, they would have to stop to lay seige to a series of smaller fortresses, which is very costly and time consuming.

Depending on the Eldar's numbers, this may just be whistling past the graveyard. It may just be delaying the inevitable, but it might work

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The simple solution is to kill all those lower species before they become a threat. If that is the threat you are worried about that is what you need to attack.

Alternately you can tackle the preceding threats. Disease and natural disasters can best be dealt with by dispersion. If you have multiple self sustaining realms that have limited interaction with each other, natural disasters are unlikely to destroy them all and the ones that survive are likely to recover.

Lack of dependencies also makes them resistant to cascading failures of political and economic systems and even if some fail, others should be able to save themselves.

This would basically mean that they are organized in fairly small realms practising autarky.

Unfortunately, as I expect most readers already noticed, this will make them vulnerable to being conquered one by one by external threats that have no problems in forming larger political and economic entities. Killing all of the inferior pre-emptively really is the best solution.

Alternately, the realms could despite autarky form very strict defensive pact that essentially forces everyone to band together against external threats. It would also have strict rules about what kinds of offensive wars are allowed. And also obligate everyone to enforce the rules if somebody tries to ignore them. This would not really work with humans for any length of time I think but Eldar are superior so maybe it would work better than the Holy Roman Empire or the Delian league worked for humans.

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The strength of the race is shared amongst all Eldar, such that when one Eldar dies, their strength is bequeathed to all of the fair-folk, ther lifespan and any magical or fay abilities (eg. glamour, stealth) would similarly be shared amongst the survivors.

The Eldar are not as other races, their need to mate is amplified by the crisis of being few in number, their reproductive vigour could increase correspondingly, should the author desire.

This has the net effects that when the numbers are fewer, the individuals are more formidable and stronger and more magnificent to behold - yet when the numbers are greater, they would be no longer quite so superior in every way - in fact, given sufficient time to breed a large enough population they'd hardly be distinguishable from us poor human stock, apart from a telltale oddly shaped earlobes.

Humbly submitted by a human ally of the Eldar.
Answer inspired by this answer to a previous question

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