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"Perfidious Eldar! They had the stars in their grasp and now are left to sift the dust of their once fabulous realm. For all their intellect and mysticism they could not contain the beast within them, nor tame the wild monsters of the Shadow. Why should we pay them any heed?"

Inquisitor Gründwald, Ordo Xenos

Rune for the Aeldari species in the Aeldari Lexicon.

The Aeldari, or the Eldar as they were long known to outsiders, are an ancient and highly advanced species of humanoid xenos whose vast empire once extended the width and breadth of the known galaxy.

In its time, the Aeldari Empire was without equal in the galaxy, spreading across both realspace and the Webway. They counted themselves masters of the stars and every Aeldari was born a potent psyker, their abilities often used to both create and power their almost magical technology.

Even death was no barrier, for when the Aeldari's spirits eventually left their mortal bodies they dissolved peacefully back into the Immaterium to be reborn again in new forms, for the Warp did not thirst for Aeldari souls then as it does today.

But ten millennia ago, the Aeldari's overweening pride and their fall into amoral and hedonistic practices led to a cataclysm that all but eradicated their kind and resulted in the birth of the Chaos God Slaanesh, known as "She Who Thirsts" to the Aeldari.


An Autarch of the Asuryani Craftworld Biel-Tan

Despite their boundless power, the heart of their civilisation was torn out by this catastrophe of their own making, forcing many of the surviving Aeldari to pursue different strategies for survival to protect their souls from being consumed by She Who Thirsts. These strategies have shaped the nature of the surviving Aeldari cultures.

In the 41st Millennium there are five major sub-cultures or kindreds of the Aeldari species: the Asuryani or Craftworld Aeldari, the Drukhari, the Harlequins, the Exodites, and the Ynnari.

There are also bands of independent Aeldari who survive by raiding other species' shipping and commerce, many of whom are Asuryani who have left the often rigid and confining culture of their people behind. They are known as the Asuryani Outcasts and the Aeldari Corsairs.

The Asuryani fled the original homeworlds of the Aeldari Empire in great, continent-sized starships called craftworlds. These craftworlds are now scattered across the galaxy, only connected to each other by the labyrinthine corridors of the Webway. The Asuryani seek to protect themselves from the hunger of She Who Thirsts through the use of a soul-capturing psychocrystalline technology known as Spirit Stones and a rigid code of behaviour called the Asuryani Path.


A Kabalite Warrior of the Drukhari

The Drukhari are the descendants of those Aeldari who originally settled within the Webway, particularly the ancient city of Commorragh. The Drukhari protect themselves from the hunger of Slaanesh by following what the Asuryani call the "Path of Damnation"; these piratical people revel in the physical and emotional pain of others, for feeding upon the psychic residue of suffering is the only way they can stave off the slow consumption by She Who Thirsts of their own souls.

The Harlequins are the servants of the Aeldari Laughing God Cegorach who fled into the Webway at the time of the Fall of the Aeldari and were protected from the thirst of Slaanesh by their god's power.

The Harlequins are the keepers of the Aeldari repository of Chaos knowledge known as the Black Library and they are the only Aeldari who still move freely among all of the other factions. Their purpose is to maintain among their fellows the knowledge of the Aeldari mythological cycles that form the foundation of all Aeldari culture.

The Exodites are those Aeldari who fled the ancient homeworlds before the Fall and chose to settle on verdant, unsettled planets known as Maiden Worlds. The Exodites are protected from the soul-thirst of Slaanesh by unifying their souls upon death with the World Spirits of their home planets and from the darker impulses of the Aeldari psyche by pursuing lifestyles marked by more hardship and less labour-saving technology than any of their brethren.

The Ynnari, also called the Reborn, are a religious sect of Aeldari drawn from all of the other factions who serve the partially awakened Aeldari god of the dead Ynnead. Led by Ynnead's high priestess and chosen prophet, Yvraine, the Daughter of Shades, the Ynnari came into existence just before the birth of the Great Rift and the start of the Era Indomitus.

The Reborn seek nothing less than the full awakening of Ynnead, who will then do battle with Slaanesh, destroy the Chaos God and restore the Aeldari people to their lost greatness. Ynnari no longer need fear Slaanesh's thirst, for upon death they become one with Ynnead.


Eldar Warlock

The Asuryani Warlock Arquellia of the Ulthwé craftworld, wielding a Witchblade while being accompanied by her pet Grynix.

The entire species of beings who once ruled the galaxy-spanning Aeldari Empire for millions of Terran years are called the "Aeldari." In the wake of the Fall of the Aeldari, the survivors of the great cataclysm adopted new names for their varying sub-cultures or kindreds.

The Aeldari who fled their ancient empire in the craftworlds eventually called themselves the "Asuryani" since their culture was redefined by their decision to pursue the Asuryani Path that they believed had been laid out for them by the chief Aeldari god, the Phoenix King Asuryan.

Linguistically reflecting their diminished status, the Asuryani made themselves known to outsiders as "Eldar," a name which came to be applied mistakenly to the entire species by Imperial scholars for many millennia.

Likewise, the Drukhari were the malevolent faction of the ancient Aeldari who had chosen to remain within the Webway after the Fall and continued to pursue the decadent and hedonistic ways that nearly led to their extinction. However, they were often referred to by outsiders as "Dark Eldar," a term which they rarely used for themselves and which was first coined by Asdrubael Vect, the supreme overlord of Commorragh, from the Aeldari phrase "Eladrith Ynneas" in the 32nd Millennium.

Those wilderness-loving Aeldari who settled on Maiden Worlds many solar decades before the Fall in the hope of avoiding the worsening corruption of the original Aeldari culture are known as "Exodites."

The servants of the Aeldari Laughing God Cegorach, who were protected by his influence within the Webway from being slain during the Fall, are called the "Harlequins" in the most common translation of the Aeldari term for the faction into Low Gothic.

In recent years, since the formation of the Ynnari faction which contains members of the Aeldari species from all of the other factions, it has become common for many of the different cultures to once more refer to themselves using the ancient term "Aeldari." This reflects the Ynnari belief that with the awakening of Ynnead, the Aeldari god of the dead, their species is once more on the path to resurrecting its lost glory.

In the Era Indomitus, the term Aeldari has come to be preferred to Eldar, though the original name for the Asuryani best known by the Imperium of Man is still often used interchangeably. However, it is now more correct to refer to the Aeldari of the craftworlds as simply "Aeldari," "Craftworld Aeldari," or when comparing them to the other Aeldari kindreds, the "Asuryani."

The Drukhari are still often referred to in the Imperium as "Dark Eldar."

Anatomy and Physiology

Eldar autarch iyanden by diegogisbertllorens

An Asuryani Autarch of Craftworld Iyanden.

The Aeldari appear very similar to Humans in their anatomy, although the comparison can only be made on a superficial basis, for in their minds and souls the Aeldari are truly alien. The Aeldari stand taller than the average Human male, with longer, cleaner limbs and handsome, striking features to Human eyes.

Their skin is pale and unblemished as polished marble, yet with a surprisingly supple strength hiding beneath it. Their keen ears are pointed and their slanted eyes possess a penetrating quality more akin to that of a hunting cat than a man.

The most fundamental difference can be seen when the Aeldari move, for they each radiate an inhuman elegance and poise. This is especially evident in the sinuous grace with which they fight and the dexterity with which they field their weaponry. Every gesture is laden with subtle intent, and their reflexes are dazzlingly fast. A casual, languid gesture can end in a pinpoint thrust should the necessity arise.

On closer inspection, every aspect of the Aeldari physiology betrays their alien nature. Their hearts beat at twice the speed of a Human's, and their minds race through possibilities and process emotions so fast that even the so-called geniuses of Human history appear dull by comparison.

Even their lives are greater in span -- the Aeldari enjoy lives of rich sensation and wonder that can stretch over a thousand Terran years, unsullied by illness, frailty or disease, unless they die by violence or accident. Most Aeldari are not even considered mature until they have lived for at least a standard century.

All Aeldari can manipulate mental energies to a degree. Each is psychic to one extent or another; it is said the ancient Aeldari could read thoughts at a glance, whilst those who trained their minds for war could crush a foe's weapon with a simple narrowing of their eyes.

Even the complex technology of their race is based upon psychic engineering, the manipulation of and even creation of matter using mental energies alone. But such raw power has its price.

The same neurological mechanisms that grant the Aeldari mind such power also inclines it far more towards extremes than that of a Human. To an Aeldari, all of life's experiences are available on a far grander scale: the individual rewards of study, the exhilaration of battle, and every imaginable pleasure or sensation in-between.

An Aeldari will at some point climb the most noble peaks of accomplishment, just as they will plunge into the darkest abyss of doubt. Their capacity to experience emotion enables them to attain transcendent bliss or, in contrast, experience soul-wracking sorrow.

Kabalite Warriors battle

A Drukhari Kabalite Warrior slaughtering Orks.

This spiritual intensity is writ large throughout their culture, manifesting in sublime works of art and music, but also giving rise to a darkness that threatens to engulf them all.

No creature, not even an Aeldari, can taste such rich fruits in an uncontrolled way without consequence; for an Aeldari to yield absolutely to the intensity of their desires would destroy them. Such was the fate of their ancient empire, whose depravities brought about the Fall of the Aeldari race itself.

The Aeldari that actively cultivate their psychic potential seem to exhibit a much-extended lifespan even by their standards as well, one proportional to their prowess as a psyker. In this way the leaders and Seers of the Asuryani may live for several thousand standard years.

One matter of note is that the Aeldari have sometimes referred to Humans simply as "mammals" typically with a derogatory label in the Aeldari Lexicon like "Mon-keigh," implying that for their part, the Aeldari evolved from something else, something more advanced than the primates that are the ancestors of Mankind.

However, given the Aeldari's legendary arrogance, this may also simply be a way for them to put themselves above the other intelligent races of the galaxy, particularly the Humans who are currently the most dominant intelligent species, much to the Aeldari's disdain.

The Aeldari likely see themselves as completely separate from the normal classifications of animal groups. Indeed, they may not even have naturally evolved at all, as they are the genetic creations of the Old Ones, much like the Orks, created to defend the galaxy and the Old Ones' civilisation from the depredations of the Necrons and their C'tan masters during the War in Heaven.

In matters of reproduction, the Aeldari kindred called the Drukhari actually produce much of their population through artificial means, raising new generations from their artificial conception in amniotic tubes. Naturally-born Drukhari as a result of sexual reproduction are rare, due to the long gestation period of the Aeldari infant. The ones that are naturally birthed from their mothers' wombs, known as "Trueborns" in the society of Commorragh, are often very privileged in Drukhari society because of the circumstances of their birth.

As such, Trueborn Drukhari are arrogant and see themselves as far better than the majority of other Drukhari, those born in the amniotic gestation tubes and derisively called the "Halfborn" by the small minority of Trueborns.


"When war calls we all ought to answer. Would that it were not this way, but for our people to survive we must all tread the darkest of paths. Yet I regret that many of our kin have grown to see such obligations not as a duty, but a joy. I do not love the blade for its form or its keen edge, but only for that which it defends. Must we pay for existence with our very souls? "

Introspections Upon Perfection, Kysaduras the Anchorite
Aeldari Factions

All of the sub-cultures of the Aeldari people known to the Inquisition in the Era Indomitus: 1. Aeldari 2. Exodites 3. [REDACTED] 4. Asuryani 5. Aeldari Corsairs 6. Asuryani Outcasts 7. Drukhari 8. Harlequins 9. Ynnari

Children of the Stars

The ancient history of the Aeldari stretches back over the millennia to a time when they dominated the stars completely. Yet, for all their splendour and might, the Aeldari brought a terrible curse upon themselves that sundered their empire forever, leaving the ravaged fragments of their race teetering on the brink of annihilation.

The starfaring history of the Aeldari is long, and encompasses glories and sorrows alike. When the Aeldari Empire was at its height, their homeworlds were paradises, their powers godlike and their armies unsurpassed. As the Terran centuries slid past, their status as lords of the galaxy bred an arrogance that led to a cataclysm.

A proportion of their race survived that dark time by fleeing from disaster upon the great vessels known as craftworlds. Others settled verdant planets far from the heart of their empire, and still more hid in private realms of their own making. Yet there was no real escape from what was to come.

Apparent perfection like that of the ancient Aeldari is all too often blighted by pride. Over a million Terran years ago, the Aeldari alone ruled the stars as the undisputed masters of their own destiny. Such a position was their right, they thought, and their preeminence was beyond doubt.

In many ways, the Aeldari had good reason for such hubris, for no other race had posed a serious threat to their wealth and stability for time immemorial. They were convinced that they no longer had anything to fear from the galaxy at large, and they may have been right, but the true threat came from within. The doom of the Aeldari, when it came, took a form far more subtle and dangerous than that of alien invasion.

At their peak, nothing was beyond the Aeldari's reach and nothing was forbidden. The ancient race continued their glorious existence unaware or unwilling to acknowledge the dark fate that awaited them. They plied the stars at will, experiencing the wonders of the galaxy and immersing themselves completely in the endless sensations that it offered them. Such was the technological mastery of the Aeldari that worlds were created specifically for their pleasure, and stars lived or died at their whim.

On hundreds of idyllic planets seeded across the stars, the Aeldari pursued their inclinations as they willed, indulging every dream and investigating every curiosity. They mastered the labyrinth dimension of the Webway, expanded their realms into the furthest corners of reality and learned much about the universe that has since been forgotten.

When their spirits eventually left their mortal bodies at death, they dissolved peacefully back into the Empyrean to be reborn again, for the Warp did not yet hold the danger for Aeldari souls that it has since their Fall.

There were, of course, many wars. Even when the galaxy was young there were upstart species seeking to gouge out petty empires of their own, and the Aeldari waged wars against the sprawling Necron dynasties that ravaged dozens of star systems and cost trillions of lives. Most of these conflicts, though, were so short-lived that the ease of their victory left the Aeldari ever more sure of their ascendancy.

Even the greatest of all their wars, the conflict over sixty million Terran years ago that first forged their species in alliance with the legendary beings called the Old Ones, dimly remembered in the mythic cycles of the craftworlds as the War in Heaven, did not humble them. In their hearts the Aeldari reigned supreme, and no other power could end their dominance.

Descent into Darkness

The catalyst that brought about the Aeldari race's fall came from the very depths of their collective psyche, the innate need to fuel their passions and indulge in every extreme. Their people had long outgrown the need for physical labour or manual agriculture due to the highly advanced and automated nature of their technology.

Aeldari society provided all the required necessities of life without individual effort, leaving long Terran centuries for the Aeldari to spend sating their every desire and whim.

Fuelled by an inexhaustible curiosity, many gave way to their most hedonistic impulses. Exotic cults sprang up across the Aeldari domains that eclipsed the noble pursuits of old, each dedicated to esoteric knowledge or sensual excess.

The core of the Aeldari race began to look inwards, inexorably seeking new ways to explore the full range of emotion and sensation. Such behaviour was perilously decadent and, in the end, corrosive to the soul of the race. The pursuit of excess gradually became a blight upon the whole society.

The acts of the pleasure cults began to transcend those of idle curiosity, or even extreme addiction. Aeldari from every corner of the empire wallowed in their most unnatural impulses in the pursuit of debauchery. As the cults gained a tighter hold over their society, the Aeldari became increasingly divided.

Those who saw the foulness that corrupted their people for what it was became known as Exodites, and they departed to found colony worlds on the fringes of the Aeldari Empire. As the civilisation slid further into anarchy, others repented of their ways and fled into deep space aboard world-ships called craftworlds. Most Aeldari, however, continued to glut themselves on the pursuits of the depraved.

The sorrow of those left who mourned the loss of innocence eventually turned to bitterness and spite. In time, brother fought brother, and sadistic killers stalked the shadows in search of victims for their vile lusts. No life was spared in the pursuit of pleasures both murderous and perverse. A sickness of vice overtook the Aeldari race, and blood flowed through the streets amidst the bestial roar of the crowd.

Their hidden realms within the Webway -- the network of tunnels that spread between realspace and the Warp – became sprawling palaces of avarice and sadism, and entire worlds were bent to the pursuit of the darkest of sensations.

As the moral corruption of the Aeldari race tightened its stranglehold, echoes of ecstasy and agony began to ripple through time and space. In the parallel dimension of the Immaterium, the psychic reflections of these intense experiences began to coalesce, for the shifting tides of the Empyrean can take form around intense emotion. Slowly, silently, a nascent god of excess grew strong in the depths of the Warp.

Birth of a Dark God

Within the Warp, thoughts and emotions generated in realspace flow together in the form of psychic energy, fed by fellow feelings until they achieve a consciousness of sorts. They become entities of greater or lesser potency depending on the intensity of their origin. Amidst the swirling psychic energy of the Empyrean, the corruption of the decadent Aeldari became manifest on a horrifying scale as the flood of raw emotions coalesced into a gestalt consciousness.

What an unimaginably foul and sickening thing it was that the Aeldari unknowingly raised in the Warp; it was a dire shadow of themselves, of what they had become, of nobility and pride brought low by perversity and shamelessness.

Worlds burned as the Aeldari slew and laughed and feasted upon the corpses of the dead. Slowly, the Great Enemy stirred towards wakefulness. Too late, the Aeldari realised that they had created a god in their own hideous image, a god grown immense and potent by suckling upon the dark fodder of the Aeldari soul.

No creature was ever conceived that was as terrible or perverse as the major Chaos God Slaanesh. It is a name the Aeldari will not speak, instead whispering Sai'lanthresh, translatable into Low Gothic as "She Who Thirsts."

When Slaanesh finally burst into divine consciousness, there was not one Aeldari alive who did not feel its claws in their soul. With a howl of raw power, Slaanesh roared into supernatural life. A psychic implosion tore at the universe. Countless billions of Aeldari screamed aloud and fell dead.

From the moment that Slaanesh burst into being, the soul of every living Aeldari was forfeit. Upon the death of the body, an unprotected Aeldari soul would be dragged into the Warp, and thence to an eternity of hideous torment within the psychic gullet of She Who Thirsts.

In a heartbeat, the shining Aeldari civilisation that had lasted for aeons had its heart ripped out, leaving a pulsing afterbirth of pure chaos in its place. The spirits of the Aeldari were drawn from within them and consumed as their blasphemous creation took its first infernal breath. Intoxicated with this potent draught of billions of souls, Slaanesh laughed and looked upon a universe ripe for the taking.

The Fall

Eye of Terror

The Eye of Terror, heart of the ancient Aeldari Empire before the birth of Slaanesh, seen from several thousand light years away.

The epicentre of the psychic apocalypse lay within the gilded heart of the Aeldari Empire in the northwestern region of the galaxy from Terra. All Aeldari within thousands of light years were reduced to lifeless husks, their souls forever claimed by She Who Thirsts. Even those who had foreseen the catastrophe and fled upon the craftworlds were overwhelmed, with only those furthest from the devastation surviving.

The remote Exodite Maiden Worlds remained largely untouched, but within the space of a single moment, the Aeldari had become a doomed people. Their nemesis was born and would hunt them for the rest of eternity.

Though the psychic shockwave focused upon the Aeldari, billions of Humans, Orks and creatures from other intelligent species were obliterated as well. Warp space convulsed as a cosmic hurricane raged across the galaxy. The fabric of reality was torn apart and the warp spilled from the dimensional rift into the material universe, turning hope into despair and paradise into hell. Psykers of all races howled with pain as their people died in storms of blood and madness.

The roiling wound in realspace spread outward until it completely encompassed the Aeldari realms of old. This gaping lesion would come to be known as the Eye of Terror, and until its size and horrors were surpassed by the Dathedian, the Great Rift, it stood as the largest area in the galaxy where the Warp and the material universe overlap as part of a Warp rift.

Within its reaches Daemons bathe in the raw energy of the Empyrean, whilst Daemon Princes and the worshippers of Chaos rule over former Aeldari paradise planets turned into nightmare worlds of fire and darkness.

For ten thousand long Terran years before the Fall of the Aeldari, the Warp had been riven with storm and tempest, making it almost impossible for the vessels of the lesser races to travel any great distance between the stars. With the birth of Slaanesh, the Warp was becalmed, its rage temporarily spent. A new equilibrium was reached as Slaanesh joined the ranks of the major Chaos Gods.

With the Warp Storms around ancient Terra finally dispersed at the end of the period known to Humanity as the Age of Strife, the newly risen Emperor of Mankind was able to launch His Great Crusade to reunify the scattered worlds of Mankind.

A new power took its place in the galaxy as isolated Human worlds from across the stars were united under the same banner. In this way, the Fall of the Aeldari heralded the rise of the nascent Imperium of Man, and so Mankind inherited the stars.



A map of Craftworld Aeldari activity in the wake of the birth of the Great Rift.

In birthing Slaanesh from the endless tides of the Warp, the Aeldari created their own greatest enemy. After its dire awakening, the Chaos God developed a taste for the souls of the Aeldari. Where before, when one of their race died, they would pass peacefully into the Warp in order to be reborn, now they face eternal torment, for Slaanesh has a perverse and twisted appetite that can never be sated.

She Who Thirsts will not rest until the Dark God has claimed every Aeldari soul. The disgraced survivors of that once-glorious race are doomed, and they know it well.

In the darkness of space, those who escaped destruction upon the craftworlds cling to what remains of the culture of the fallen Aeldari Empire. They consider themselves the true children of Asuryan, the Phoenix King of the Aeldari pantheon, preserving the art and architecture of their people and passing their ancient history from generation to generation via song, dance and the recital of myths and parables. It is for this reason that they name themselves the Asuryani.

Aboard their continent-sized vessels, these fragments of the Aeldari race sail the sea of stars, always seeking to stay one step ahead of She Who Thirsts. This is primarily achieved through the use of Spirit Stones; when an Asuryani dies, their soul is captured in a Waystone, a precious psychoreactive gem worn for such a purpose. The Spirit Stone is then retrieved from the fallen Aeldari and released into the Infinity Circuit -- the crystalline, psychic power grid that runs through the wraithbone core of every craftworld.


Ordo Xenos map of Drukhari activity across the galaxy after the birth of the Great Rift.

In such a way the spirits live on, safe from the horrors of the Warp and in a twilight existence that allows the Asuryani dead to watch over the living.

The Asuryani were not the only Aeldari to survive the Fall. On far-flung planets teeming with natural life, known as Maiden Worlds, the Exodites have carved themselves a survivalist niche. Savage, primal places where everyday life was far harder than that known by the ancient Aeldari, these realms helped the Exodites to remain focused on the ascetic lifestyle they had chosen, largely living pre-industrial lives unaided by the advanced technology and automation of their forebears.

They live in harmony with their adopted worlds, the World Spirits of these planets protecting the souls of the Exodite dead in much the same way and using the same technology as the Infinity Circuits of the craftworlds. The Exodites will fight aggressively to protect their homes and maintain their isolationist ways, though many are also allied with the Asuryani of the craftworlds.

Cloistered deep within the hidden city-realms of the Webway, particularly the massive Dark City of Commorragh, those Aeldari survivors protected by the psychic protections embedded ages ago by the Old Ones in the corridors of the labyrinth dimension concealed themselves in their palaces of depravity, still revelling in the debauched lifestyle that led to the Fall.


A map of Harlequin activity across the galaxy after the birth of the Great Rift.

Known as the Drukhari in the Aeldari Lexicon, they mock and jeer those ravaged by the downfall of their race from the dubious safety of that twilight realm between the material universe and the Warp.

Even though they would never admit it, they know in their hearts that, try as they might to allay their fate by subsisting on the psychic emanations of pain and terror they seek to produce in other sentient beings, Slaanesh will always claim them in the end.

Finally, a small group of Aeldari fled deeper into the byways and hidden corridors of the Webway, shielded and guided by one of the few surviving Aeldari deities, Cegorach, the Laughing God. These Harlequins are welcome in every surviving Aeldari community, where their dances, dramas and martial performances keep the legends and ancient history of the Aeldari race alive, serving the vital function of remembrance for a species that often fears it no longer has a future.

Time of Ending

AsuryaniAspectWarriors A Craftworld's Aspect Warriors defend their world from encroaching enemies

A craftworld's Aspect Warriors defend their world from encroaching enemies.

As if the unnatural hunger of a voracious and sinister god was not a dire enough threat, the Aeldari must also contend with a galaxy that is no longer theirs. In the bloody wake of the Fall of the Aeldari, the race of Humanity has grown to preeminence. The Imperium of Man has ascended, conquering much of the galaxy in the name of the corpse-god it calls the Emperor of Mankind.

The Aeldari, whose maturation patterns span nearly a Terran century, cannot compete in numbers with a species whose generations multiply with the frantic pace of vermin.

The teeming armies of Mankind have brutally swept aside many dangers whilst stamping their mark upon the stars. In the process they have awoken many more. The Aeldari see in Humanity the failings that led to their own downfall, and fear the bitter destiny that they will reap as a result of their Imperium's uncompromising hatred for other intelligent species, hunger for power and constant wars.

Such a rich fodder of dark emotions from the weak-willed Humans swells the Dark Gods' power, and ripens the galaxy for conquest by the forces of Chaos.

The Imperium's blind aggression has also contributed to the grave threat posed by another primitive species. Lacking the understanding and foresight of the Aeldari, Mankind fails to realise they only strengthen the Orks with every battle they engage them in.


An Asuryani Guardian

The greenskin race has become so prolific that many Asuryani Seers believe it has reached critical mass, their numbers too large for even the most protracted cull to have any real effect, and should the Ork hordes unite their efforts, all the artifice and cunning of the Aeldari would not be enough to stop them drowning the galaxy in blood.

In recent millennia, new foes and old have also emerged. Foremost amongst them are the invasion fleets of the Tyranids; having crossed the interstellar void purely to feed, each craftworld and Exodite planet represents a bounty of biomass that the Hive Mind covets greatly.

From the galactic east, the T'au -- one of the galaxy's youngest and, in many ways, most ignorant starfaring races -- wage an ideological campaign of assimilation and destruction, while on countless Tomb Worlds the Necrons awake from the Great Sleep; these most ancient enemies of the Aeldari, whose rivalry dates back before the Fall, are eager to renew their war against their much-diminished rivals.

Eclipsing all other threats, the Aeldari's most doom-laden prophecies have been fulfilled by the opening of the Great Rift, called the Dathedian in the Aeldari Lexicon. In the wake of this lesion in reality, Warp Storms have broken across the galaxy, and the slaves of the Dark Gods spill out in unprecedented numbers.

Amidst the madness and slaughter of these apocalyptic days of the period called by the Imperium the Era Indomitus, a new Aeldari deity, Ynnead, has been made manifest, and while many have pledged themselves to the god of the dead, others question the methods of the newborn Ynnari faction, the so-called "Reborn" who claim him as their patron. Not since the days of the Fall have the Aeldari been so fragmented and assailed, and for those of their race who yet survive, war remains their only hope.

While their many foes lack the technology, wisdom and skill of the one-time "children of the stars," in numbers alone they seem insurmountable. Yet the Aeldari are a proud race, determined that the flame of their people will blaze brightly once more rather than flicker and die out.


"The first thing one must learn about the Aeldari is that they are a race of fragments, broken and scattered across the galaxy. In culture, geography and technology, the disparate elements of the Aeldari race vary wildly. Even within a single sub-race (the so-called kindreds of the Asuryani, Exodites, Drukhari and the mysterious Harlequins)

there is great diversity of tradition and attitude."

Inquisitor Bronislaw Czevak, Teachings of the Unholy

The surviving Aeldari people are now divided into several different factions or sub-cultures sometimes called kindreds, each defined by the way in which they chose to save themselves from the great curse wrought upon them after the Fall of the Aeldari.

No matter where they go in the universe, every Aeldari is at risk of having their soul consumed by She Who Thirsts upon death.

It is this central fact of their existence that defines how each faction has chosen to carve out new lives for themselves in the wake of the Fall.



Aeldari Lexicon rune representing the Asuryani or Craftworld Aeldari.

The Asuryani or Craftworld Aeldari are those of their race who repented of the ways of the pleasure cults only a short time before the Fall of the Aeldari and sought to leave the heart of the decadent Aeldari Empire behind before disaster could ensue.

As the heart of their civilisation was torn out by this catastrophe of their own making, many of the surviving Aeldari, now calling themselves "Eldar" to outsiders and "Asuryani" among themselves, fled the core worlds of the Aeldari Empire upon gigantic, continent-size starships once used for commerce and trade that they named craftworlds.

The remnants of the ancient Aeldari culture that survived the cataclysm among the Asuryani preserved much of their species' history in the form of traditional stories, songs and dance.

Written records, monuments and visual records were almost completely destroyed except for a few instances where they were taken aboard voidcraft fleeing from the doomed worlds. Now the Asuryani cling to survival by a thread, fighting the horrors of the galaxy with ritualised discipline and consummate skill.

The Asuryani rely on mystical technologies like psychocrystalline Spirit Stones and the psychoactive wraithbone Infinity Circuits that comprise the skeletons of their craftworlds to store their souls after death and prevent their consumption by Slaanesh.


An Asuryani Warlock and Aspect Warriors prepare to face the foe.

It is the use of these technologies and their pursuit of a rigid system of behavioural modification to keep their darker impulses in check that shape the Asuryani lifestyle and define their culture as distinct from that of the other Aeldari sub-cultures.

For this reason, the Asuryani are defined as a culture by their pursuit of the Asuryani Path. This philosophy teaches them how to balance their potent minds and pursue constructive goals rather than falling to the amoral pursuit of pleasure and selfishness that ultimately destroyed the ancient Aeldari and still defines their dark kin, the Drukhari.

The Aeldari are a naturally psychic species, and all Asuryani possess the potential to become powerful psykers if they choose to pursue the Path of the Seer.

The Asuryani can use these innate abilities to shape matter, which lies at the foundation of their extraordinary command of technology.

The Asuryani are further divided up into separate cultures based on their craftworld of origin. There are dozens of craftworlds scattered across the galaxy, but five of these have proven the most politically and militarily influential on their Asuryani kindred.



World-rune of Alaitoc

Far out on the frontiers of the galaxy, on the edge of explored space, lies the Alaitoc craftworld. The Alaitoc Asuryani are zealous in their vigilance against the touch of Slaanesh, even more so than other Asuryani.

Alaitoc is an unusually strict craftworld in making sure its citizens follow the Asuryani Path and other craftworld traditions; in response, many of the more freedom-loving individuals from this craftworld choose instead the Path of the Outcast, becoming Rangers or even Aeldari Corsairs who roam the galaxy and make their living raiding primarily Imperial commerce.

While all craftworlds make use of the Rangers, who are the most highly accurate snipers amongst the Aeldari, none field or produce more than Alaitoc. Though Alaitoc Rangers do not reside upon the craftworld and prefer to travel the galaxy, these Rangers retain their loyalty to Alaitoc and will return to their home craftworld on occasion to visit family and friends.

Aside from deploying large numbers of standard Rangers, Alaitoc is also the only craftworld to field the highly skilled Rangers known as Pathfinders. These snipers without compare can cause havoc amongst even the most powerful and numerous of enemy forces. In times of extreme need, such as when the Imperium of Man's forces invaded Alaitoc, the craftworld sometimes recalls its Rangers to contribute to Alaitoc's defence forces.

Whereas their kin have forgotten their people's duty to watch for the return of their ancient enemies the Necrons, the Asuryani of Alaitoc have not. When the Necrons first began to awaken in the late 41st Millennium Alaitoc was quick to respond, sabotaging the systems of awakening Tomb Worlds, and lending aid to Exodites threatened by their reemerging enemies.

Alaitoc uses a sword rune which represents the Sword of Vaul, the final divine weapon forged in Aeldari myth for the smith god's desperate battle against the war god Khaela Mensha Khaine. It represents the defiance and determination of the craftworld's people.

Alaitoc and its forces are associated with the colours blue and yellow. The craftworld is known to be located in the Ultima Segmentum that was the heart of the ancient Aeldari Empire.



World-rune of Biel-Tan

The most martial of the craftworlds, the people of Biel-Tan constantly strive to return the ancient Aeldari Empire to its former glory. For the Asuryani of Biel-Tan the Path of the Warrior, the life-stage that encompasses the Aspect Warriors, is always considered the first step upon the Asuryani Path.

Upon reaching physical maturity a Biel-Tan Asuryani becomes an Aspect Warrior, and only once they have fulfilled this role can they continue along the Asuryani Path.

The Asuryani of Biel-Tan have a strong honour code and believe that the best way to die is in battle fighting the enemies of Biel-Tan and the Aeldari. Consumed with bitterness, they wage an endless campaign of xenocide against those foolish enough to cross their path.

Biel-Tan's armies contain the highest percentages of elite troops of all the craftworlds, and few of the staple citizen-militia called Guardians that most craftworlds call upon in times of war. Their highly-trained forces are known as the Swordwind, and they often come to the aid of Exodite worlds beset by Orks, Drukhari or other xenos dangers.

As the Asuryani of Biel-Tan see it, when the time comes for the Aeldari to reclaim what is rightfully theirs, the paradise Maiden Worlds and the planets of the Exodites will be the first staging points for their conquest.

The world-rune of Biel-Tan is also the Aeldari rune of rebirth and its name actually means the "Rebirth of Ancient Days."



World-rune of Iyanden

The Iyanden craftworld was once one of the largest and most prosperous of all the remaining Asuryani craftworlds. The Iyanden barely survived an attack by the Tyranid Hive Fleet Kraken, which nearly destroyed the craftworld and killed four-fifths of its population.

On the verge of total annihilation, Iyanden was saved from complete destruction by the exiled Aeldari Corsair Prince Yriel, who had formerly been the high admiral of the Iyanden fleet. Yriel and his Outcast Aeldari pirate raiders, even though previously vowing never to return to Iyanden, could not bear to have their home craftworld destroyed and launched an attack on the Tyranid fleet.

The subsequent battles destroyed much of the craftworld's infrastructure. Today many of its sections are still in ruins and the population is spread thinly across its ruined sections.

This forces Iyanden to often call upon the spirits of its fallen in its Infinity Circuit, raising more than the typical numbers of Wraithguard and Wraithlords to aid their dwindling warriors in battle.

Asuryan the Phoenix King is the oldest and greatest of the ancient Aeldari deities. He is the father and king of the gods, the ancestor of all living things.

The world-rune of the Iyanden craftworld means "Light in the Darkness," a reference to the ever-burning shrine that honours Asuryan and the flame of hope for the Asuryani of Iyanden.



World-rune of Saim-Hann

The Asuryani craftworld of Saim-Hann was one of the first craftworlds to abandon the Crone Worlds as the Fall of the Aeldari approached, heeding their Farseers' warnings.

As such they have spent far more time isolated from the rest of the Asuryani than the other major craftworlds, although the Saim-Hann do maintain contact with and have a very similar culture to the Exodite worlds. They are fierce warriors, who place upon martial honour a higher value than their sophisticated kin.

This, coupled with their pride, has sadly led them into conflict with each other and different craftworlds. While this generally takes the form of an organised duel between representatives of each craftworld in which first blood is usually sufficient to end the matter, the high number of deaths from these conflicts has lent to the barbaric reputation of this craftworld among other Asuryani.

In Aeldari myth, the Serpent is the only creature believed to exist in both the material and the psychic universes at the same time. Hence, the Serpent is said to know all secrets past and present.

Saim-Hann means "Quest for Enlightenment," for the Aeldari word for snake and secret knowledge is identical: "Saim."

The Asuryani of Saim-Hann bear the Aeldari world-rune that represents the Serpent as their heraldry, sporting it on the cowlings of their jetbikes, grav-tanks and aircraft.


Ulthwe icon

World-rune of Ulthwé

One of the largest craftworlds, Ulthwé was caught in the pull of the Eye of Terror after it erupted into being, and now orbits it. As such it faces a constant danger of attack by Chaos marauders and Daemons and has served as a bastion against the forces of the Dark Gods for thousands of Terran years.

The constant war and risk of attack has hardened the craftworld's citizens, and it maintains a standing militia force known as the Black Guardians, who are highly skilled and better-trained than the Guardians of most other craftworlds.

Its proximity to the Eye has also given Ulthwé an unusually large number of potent psykers, even for the Aeldari. One of the more famous and integral aspects of the Ulthwé craftworld is that of its Seer Council. Formerly led by the now exiled Eldrad Ulthran, who was banished due to his support for the Ynnari, the council both overtly and secretly interferes with other races, particularly Humanity, in an attempt to steer fate in the Aeldari's favour.

This practice has no doubt allowed the Ulthwé to survive so long in such a perilous position.

This craftworld's world-rune, the "Eye of Isha," symbolises the sorrow of Isha, the goddess of the harvest and fertility from whom the Aeldari believe they descend.

Isha, it is said, wept bitterly when Asuryan, the king of the gods, ordered her separation from her mortal children.

Vaul forged her tears into the first glittering Spirit Stones so that her grief might not be in vain and mortals might still be able to commune in some form with the realm of the gods.

Today, the warriors of Ulthwé bear this symbol as their sigil, a poignant reminder of the divinity they lost long ago.



Icon of the Kabal of the Black Heart also sometimes used to identify the Drukhari as a whole.

In the wake of the Fall, the ancient Aeldari civilisation was reduced to a broken diaspora, their empire destroyed by the aftershock of Slaanesh's inception. Yet those adherents of the pleasure cults hidden in the settlements within the Webway remained all but untouched, protected by the nature of the Webway's substance from the soul thirst of the newborn Chaos God.

Great swathes of the labyrinth dimension itself were shattered into ruin, but many of those Aeldari who had built personal empires in and around Commorragh survived the birth of Slaanesh. The echoes of the new god's arrival had wrought insidious changes within them -- changes whose horrific nature would not be fully comprehended until later -- but the Commorrite Aeldari had escaped destruction.

In their supreme arrogance they did not cease their quest for excess or pleasure, even for a moment. Repentance and atonement were alien concepts to a people who acknowledged no limits to their power.

The Aeldari sealed within the Webway had not escaped the Fall, though this horror would only dawn on them slowly. Rather than having their essence consumed in one great draught, their souls were slowly draining away into the Warp -- consumed over time by Slaanesh rather than all at once.

Where the Craftworld Aeldari learned to deny Slaanesh's hold upon them using the mystical Spirit Stones and Infinity Circuits as well as the strictures of the Asuryani Path to deny the pull of their darker impulses, the Commorrite Aeldari became expert at ensuring that lesser intelligent beings suffered in their stead.

Provided they steeped themselves in the most extreme and decadent acts, the Aeldari of the Webway found that the curse of Slaanesh could be abated. The psychic agony of others nourished their withered souls and kept them vital and strong, filling their frames with unnatural energies. Assuming they could feed regularly enough, the Webway dwellers became physically immune to the passage of time, thus using this parasitic immortality to hold off their deaths indefinitely.


The Drukhari are some of the most sadistic and malevolent beings in the known universe.

So it was that the Drukhari were born, sadistic, psychic parasites who subsist upon the anguish of others in order to prevent the slow death of their immortal souls. Ten thousand Terran years later, in the 41st Millennium, Slaanesh's thirst pulls at them still. There truly is no escape. The Drukhari have unwittingly doomed themselves, exchanging a horrific but mercifully swift end for an eternity of ghoulish starvation.

To this day the Drukhari raid the galaxy from the canker upon Creation that is Commorragh, sowing misery and destruction wherever they emerge and spiriting away countless captives to their lairs for their own horrible ends. They are masters of torture and degradation, for the longer a Drukhari can drag out the punishment and agony of a captive of any sentient race, the greater the psychic nourishment that can be derived from it.

A Drukhari who has recently fed upon the torment of others shines with a cold and startling aura, their physical form restored to perfection even as the spirit within festers. One who is starved of such energies for long enough will become a shadow, desperately hunting for a taste of pain with which to stave off the gnawing pangs in the depths of their soul.

The Drukhari possess no psykers among their people despite possessing the same innate psychic potential as other Aeldari; even within the protective confines of the Webway, the threat of drawing the attention of Slaanesh to the mind of a potent psyker is simply too great to risk.



Rune of the Aeldari Lexicon designating the Harlequins.

The Harlequins are the strangest and most enigmatic of all the Aeldari factions. They are warrior acrobats -- battlefield performers who make no distinction between war and art, and whose breathtaking feats of agility and violence make them the terror of all those they face.

Using the hidden paths of the Webway, the masques of the Harlequins strike without warning and kill without mercy. The Harlequins are superlative battlefield artists, yet they are more than just warriors.

Every Harlequin is a devoted servant of Cegorach, the Laughing God, the only Aeldari deity said to have survived the birth of Slaanesh fully intact. While depicted as an enigmatic and sinister trickster whose deeds are far from altruistic, Cegorach is also the sworn enemy of the Dark Gods of Chaos, and of Slaanesh in particular. The Harlequins have fought to exact Cegorach's vengeance upon She Who Thirsts for the destruction of the ancient Aeldari civilisation for Terran millennia.

After the birth of Slaanesh, each Aeldari faction found different ways to stave off the soul thirst of the Dark Prince. The Asuryani make use of Sprit Stones and the Infinity Circuit of their craftworlds, while the Drukhari are psychic vampires, ghoulishly preserving their own immortality by basking in the psychic emanations of torture and suffering.

The Harlequins by contrast require no such spiritual defences. When a Harlequin falls, Cegorach instantly snatches their souls away, thus denying Slaanesh its feast. How this can be, and what fate awaits those souls within the grasp of the Laughing God, are secrets that the Harlequins have never deigned to share with the rest of their race.

The Harlequins strike without warning, wreaking devastation before vanishing as suddenly as they came. The Harlequins have slaughtered zealous cults, assassinated mighty Chaos champions, and undone countless foul plans before they could manifest.

Sometimes these actions have saved the worlds of other races -- most commonly of Humanity -- but there is no kindness in the Harlequins' deeds. They are every bit as ineffable and enigmatic as the deity they worship, and if they are concerned with the survival of any species in the galaxy, ultimately it is their own.


The Harlequins battle the forces of the Thousand Sons led by Ahriman within the Webway to protect the secrets of the Black Library.

The duties of the masques of the Harlequins extend beyond warfare. Every Harlequin is a performer, versed in the mythic cycles of the Aeldari and the countless allegorical tales that stem from them. The masques travel endlessly through the interstitial dimension know as the Webway, moving between craftworlds, Exodite worlds and the Dark City of Commorragh freely.

Wherever they go, the Harlequins ply their performing arts, combining music, dance, ritual combat, nuanced oration, and a breathtaking suite of illusory and psychoactive effects to captivate Aeldari audiences. The Harlequins perform for more than mere entertainment. Every show they put on is a lesson and a cautionary tale, a fragment of the culture of the ancient Aeldari presented as a reminder and a warning to their modern descendants.

The most important dance that the Harlequins perform is the tale of the Fall, the monstrous spiritual apocalypse during which Slaanesh was birthed and the Aeldari all but annihilated. Their vivid performances ensure that the horrors of that time will never be forgotten, and its mistakes never repeated.

The Harlequins have other duties in service to their god. They stalk the Webway, seeking to excise the taint of Chaos and alien invasion wherever it is found. They guard the vast repository of forbidden Chaos lore kept within the secret craftworld known as the Black Library, preventing its dangerous secrets from falling into the hands of those who would do great harm with them.

The Harlequins also act as ambassadors, for they alone can travel freely through all the demesnes of the Aeldari factions; when needs must, the Harlequins have brokered uneasy deals between the Asuryani of the craftworlds and the Drukhari of Commorragh, bidding their kin put aside their differences in order to fight for their peoples' future.

Now, though, the Harlequins face a new peril. The Webway, always a fractured and hazardous realm, has been sorely damaged by the opening of the Great Rift. Alien invaders and Chaos-worshipping interlopers spill through its sundered gates in numbers never before seen, endangering all that the Harlequins are and all they strive to achieve. As the danger grows greater, so the masques become ever more vicious and manipulative, calling in favours long owed and committing whatever atrocities they must in the name of the Laughing God.

The Harlequins have a higher purpose, a Final Act they mean to see performed in full to the eternal detriment of She Who Thirsts, and they will pay whatever blood price they must in order to see their work complete.



An Exodite Dragon Knight assaults a Space Marine of the Salamanders Chapter.

As Aeldari from every corner of their ancient empire wallowed in their most unnatural impulses in the pursuit of debauchery and the pleasure cults gained a tighter hold over their society, the Aeldari became increasingly divided.

Those who saw early on the foulness that corrupted their people for what it was became known as Exodites, and they departed to found newly terraformed colony planets called Maiden Worlds on the fringes of the Aeldari Empire.

These Exodites were mocked by the majority of the Aeldari, for they eschewed much of their race's supreme technologies and returned instead to a simpler and more spiritual way of life where hard labour was needed to raise food and carry out all the other necessities of survival. Yet the Exodites alone would wholly avoid the horror that was to follow.

Upon their new homes, the Exodites could isolate themselves from the Aeldari's brewing corruption and hedonism -- and survive the cataclysm that would soon consume their people.

Exodites of the 41st Millennium live startlingly pre-industrial and primitive lives compared to other Aeldari factions like the Asuryani and Drukhari, having chosen to abandon the automated, labour-saving technologies that long defined Aeldari life in return for the spiritual health brought by pursuing the hard labour of survival for oneself.

The Exodites learned to once more cultivate crops and harvest other natural resources by hand like their ancient ancestors and their societies adapted to a more rigorous and physical culture compared to those of the craftworlds or the Webway, who still make use of the Aeldari's advanced automated technology to maintain a labour-free existence.

Where the Craftworld Aeldari cling to the past of their race and preserve all they can of their fallen civilisation, the Exodites have turned their backs away from ancient tradition in favour of a simpler, harder way of life.

The worlds of the Exodites are savage and untamed, their meager settlements coexisting with wild beasts of all kinds. They are too few and far enough between, scattered and disruptive to the delicate balance of nature.

Many are only occupied for a few months of the local year, because on many worlds the Exodites are nomadic, moving with the seasons and the herds.

They time their migrations according to when they must collect and plant their crops, remaining only long enough to gather what they previously planted in the spring, and staying until it is time to plant the following year's crop and set off once again.

Creatures that inhabit these worlds are numerous and varied. Most of the Exodite worlds are home to large herds of Megadons and other gigantic reptilian beasts the Exodites refer to as "dragons." These creatures are not native to their regions, as the early Aeldari settlers intentionally spread them throughout all their worlds so that they are now quite common.

The Exodites follow these herds as they graze, carefully managing them for food. Not only partaking of their flesh but of their blood as drink, skins as clothing and leather-work, and bones and horns, which act in part as substitute for psycho-plastic substances such as the wraithbone used by the Craftworld Aeldari.

Dragons are diverse and contain different kinds of species, some of which are unique to specific worlds and used in different ways according to their size and nature. The massive herbivores known as Megadons are slow-witted and easy to manage, although deadly if panicked or mistreated. These creatures provide most of the material resources used by the Exodites.

Smaller Megadons are used to transport cargo and people across the great plains of their worlds. A large Megadon on the other hand is capable of carrying a massive structure on its back, bearing the most enormous weights without concern.

The smaller, carnivorous dragons ridden by the Exodite warriors called "Dragon Knights" are used to herd and control the herbivorous Megadons. These warriors are so adept as to be practically born into the tall dragon saddles -- consummate riders, wielding their long lances with ease.

A stab with one of their lances will turn or stop a Megadon without causing it any harm, but the same blow would knock the most hardy Aeldari to the ground, lifeless.

Such warriors are an integral part of Exodite societies. They play an important role as protectors of each community as well as acting to safeguard their valuable resources from predators and the like.

Like the Asuryani and their Infinity Circuits, the Exodites rely on psychoactive crystalline technology to protect their souls from consumption by the thirst of the Chaos God Slaanesh upon death.

Their worlds are crisscrossed by a network of crystalline stone circles and menhirs that act as World Shrines where the Exodite fallen can have their souls merged from Soul Stones after death with what is known as the World Spirit.



The rune of the Ynnari or "Reborn" in the Aeldari Lexicon.

The diverse peoples of the Aeldari have each created their own measures to avoid their spirits being consumed by Slaanesh.

The Asuryani wear psychocrystalline Spirit Stones that act as safe havens for their souls at the moment of their deaths; these Spirit Stones are then interred within a craftworld's Infinity Circuit, a haven where the dead are protected from the Great Enemy's clutches while still able to communicate with the living.

The Harlequins pledge themselves to Cegorach, the Laughing God, who collects their souls, while the Drukhari ensure others suffer so they do not -- a devil's bargain that only postpones their fate.

However, there is a new faction of Aeldari who believe they have a way of not just avoiding the predations of Slaanesh, but defeating the Chaos God entirely.

The Ynnari or "Reborn," are a rising force that pay heed to an ancient Aeldari belief that as more and more of their race die, and their spirits pass into the Infinity Circuits of the craftworlds, they might form a gestalt consciousness.

When every last one of them passes they will awaken and empower the birth of a new being -- Ynnead, the Whispering God, the Aeldari god of the dead. That baleful presence will be strong enough to destroy Slaanesh, so ending the dreaded curse that the Dark God has held over the Aeldari since its loathsome birth over 10,000 years ago.

The High Farseer Eldrad Ulthran of Ulthwé attempted to begin this awakening process early at the Battle of Port Demesnus in 999.M41, but his plot only stirred the sentience in the Warp that would become Ynnead. Soon after, on the Night of Revelations in Commorragh, a fraction of the Whispering God's will and power was imparted into a single soul -- Yvraine, the Daughter of Shades.

In that instant she became a conduit for deathly energies, a reservoir of Aeldari spirits that live on within her. This power could be attained by all who pledged themselves to the service of Ynnead; no longer would death hold any fear, as the souls of the departed Aeldari would be harnessed not by Spirit Stones or other such technological means, but by the living themselves.

Ynnari 2

The Ynnari are comprised of units from all of the different Aeldari kindreds, including Asuryani, Drukhari and Harlequins.

Acting as the chosen prophet and emissary of Ynnead, Yvraine has travelled across the galaxy, visiting craftworlds, far-flung Aeldari Corsair fleets and hidden nooks of the Webway.

With every passing day the Ynnari grow in number, attracting followers from a wide variety of backgrounds who believe that the cycle of death and rebirth could be their salvation.

Although a young movement, the Ynnari have already shaped the galaxy, most notably by their instrumental role in the resurrection of the Ultramarines Primarch Roboute Guilliman to lead the Imperium of Man during the events of the Ultramar Campaign of the 13th Black Crusade.

Yet, many amongst the Aeldari, particularly among the always self-serving Drukhari, have rejected the Ynnari, seeing them as misguided and dangerous.

Yvraine and the Reborn have pressed on regardless, seeking to reunite the time-lost Aeldari artefacts known as the Croneswords so that they may act as the focal point for Ynnead's full awakening.

Only then can the surging tides of Chaos be turned, and a united Aeldari race saved and restored.

Outcasts and Corsairs

Ranger's Rune

Aeldari Lexicon Rune of the Outcast

Asuryani Outcasts, known as Anhrathe in the Aeldari Lexicon, are those Asuryani who have taken up the Path of the Outcast and left their home craftworld to wander the galaxy when they find the rigid Asuryani lifestyle suffocating. Some may even leave the Asuryani Path altogether.

Such exile can also occur because these Aeldari have committed some unforgivable crime against their fellow Asuryani, such as walking the Path of Damnation that leads to consumption by the Aeldari's darkest impulses.

There are many kinds of Outcast, each with a varying degree of dissociation from their kin. Some craftworlders simply yearn for the undiscovered vistas of open space, and take the road less travelled -- codified among the people of the craftworlds as the Path of the Outcast -- until their wanderlust is sated.

The majority of these Outcasts eventually return home to take up a new Path and rejoin their people, bringing with them alien treasures and tales of new worlds, fabulous discoveries, and battles on the edges of the galaxy that help to enrich the broader Asuryani society.

Many Asuryani leave the Path entirely, spending Terran years or solar decades in exile. During this time, they must bear the terrible burden of their heightened consciousness without the protection of the rigid self-discipline offered by the Asuryani Path. Their psychically potent and sensitive minds are a beacon to predatory Daemons and in particular to the Great Enemy Slaanesh, so only Aeldari of especially strong character and will can survive for long.

These Outcasts leave their craftworlds to carve out lives elsewhere, often wandering the galaxy and visiting the worlds of Humanity or seeking to experience the wild and technologically primitive lives of the Exodites of the Maiden Worlds. These inscrutable nomads are welcome aboard craftworlds only briefly, for their minds are dangerously unguarded and can attract predators from the psychic realms of the Warp.

Such Outcasts are also disruptive in another sense, for simply by their presence they can distract young and inexperienced Aeldari from the Asuryani Path, as romantic tales of travel and freedom follow in their wake.

Prince Yriel Iyanden

The famed Aeldari Corsair Prince Yriel of Craftworld Iyanden.

The wildest of all Outcasts become Aeldari Corsairs and raiders. They often continue to trade with and visit their home craftworld whilst plundering the starships of Humans, Orks and even other Aeldari. These mavericks may even sometimes hire out their services as mercenaries to alien races, while many a voyage of exploration has turned into a military venture.

As home -- and the disciplines of the Asuryani Path -- become increasingly remote, the naturally wild and amoral character of the Aeldari resurfaces. Aeldari pirates are quick-tempered and unpredictable, equally inclined to magnanimity and wanton slaughter, and many of their fleets have become infamous.

On occasion, Corsair fleets will join with the ships of a craftworld in response to a common threat, while at other times a craftworld may aid its Corsair -- or, in rare circumstances, even Drukhari -- cousins on a mission of war, all of which adds to the illusion of Mankind that the Aeldari as a whole are little more than a race of piratical raiders and slavers hellbent on indiscriminate slaughter.

It is for this reason that so many Asuryani Outcasts are often confused with their Drukhari counterparts.

Those Outcasts who walk this path for too long may ultimately be consumed by the Path of Damnation and so begin to be enslaved by the same lust for suffering and death that corrupted both their Drukhari cousins and the ancient Aeldari pleasure cults that led to the Fall of Aeldari civilisation more than 10,000 Terran years ago. More than a few Outcasts have made their way to Commorragh and found a new home among the sadistic folk of the Dark City.

Not all who leave their craftworlds become wandering nomads or piratical Aeldari Corsairs. A select few Outcasts hear the laughter of the Aeldari god Cegorach in their dreams, and join the enigmatic Harlequin troupes who travel between the realms of their divided kin as performers and messengers, seeking to keep alive a common Aeldari culture.

Many more Outcasts have joined the growing Ynnari movement, flocking to the banner of Yvraine, the prophet of Ynnead, the god of the dead. The elders of the craftworlds have, for the most part, condemned the new faction's radical beliefs as dangerous and misguided, branding those of the Asuryani who turn their backs on the old ways as "the Pathless."

Aeldari Lexicon


Examples of the Aeldari Lexicon's rune-based written language.

The Aeldari Lexicon, also sometimes called the "Eldar Lexicon," is the name given by Imperial scholars to the spoken and written language of the Aeldari species.

Unfortunately, it is almost impossible for an outsider, particularly Humans, to understand anything but the most basic formulations of the Aeldari Lexicon, as many of its references are metaphors that draw directly upon the collective Aeldari psyche, incorporating mythical peoples and places and long-lost times and events in its basic structure.

The Aeldari also communicate with poses and gestures because their senses are far more finely attuned to others' emotional and mental states as a result of their intensely psychic natures than the average Human; it is possible for two Aeldari to have an entire conversation using only their body language.

The Aeldari written language is equally complex. Each written symbol, whether it is a rune, script or a hierogram, is not simply the letter of an alphabet like the written High or Low Gothic language used in the Imperium of Man. Instead, each Aeldari symbol represents an entire concept.

Ultimately, the language of the Aeldari is an ancient and complex dialect built upon and refined over many millions of Terran years. Compared to the crude, blunt sounds of High or Low Gothic, its words flow from one to the next, each sentence a complete idea as much as a collection of letters or numbers. Humans can imitate Aeldari speech to a certain degree, with sufficient training, but compared to a native speaker they are slow and halting at best.

The Aeldari Lexicon is used by all of the different Aeldari factions, including the Asuryani, the Exodites, the Harlequins and the Drukhari, though each faction may have different dialects or particular usages that differ from the others.

The Aeldari Lexicon can differ from craftworld to craftworld, and most Aeldari can tell the origin of another member of their species simply by the differences in both their speech and body language.

Aeldari Religion and Mythology

The Aeldari cling tenaciously to their folklore and traditions. The characters and events of ancient legend are commonly discussed and comparisons drawn between mythic events and those of the present day.

Every Aeldari is familiar with the epic songs and dances that form their mythic cycles, and references to these tales are immediately understood by others of their race.

The principal characters of the Aeldari mythic cycles are the gods, their mortal descendants the Aeldari, and the monstrous adversaries they fought. The chief and oldest of all the gods is Asuryan, the Phoenix King and leader of the pantheon. His first brother is Kaela Mensha Khaine, the Bloody-Handed God. Khaine is the master of both war and murder, and he symbolises wanton destruction and martial prowess.

Third of the greatest gods is Vaul, the crippled smith god who is often depicted chained to his own anvil. Isha is the goddess of the harvest, from whom the Aeldari race is descended.

The youngest goddess is Lileath the Maiden, mistress of dreams and fortune, whilst the third of the trinity of Aeldari goddesses is Morai-Heg the Crone, an ancient and withered creature who holds the fates of mortals inside a rune pouch made of skin.

As well as the many gods there are countless mortal heroes descended from the gods, who founded the great houses still echoed today upon the craftworlds. These include the great hero Eldanesh, who was slain by Khaine and whose blood is said to drip eternally from the war god's hands. Eldanesh had many descendants, the Eldanar, of whom Inriam the Young was the last.

Rivals to Eldanesh were the descendants of his brother Ulthanash, whose bloodline exists upon craftworld Iyanden to this day.

At the moment of its birth, Slaanesh decimated the Aeldari Pantheon and stole the gods' power, with only two of their number surviving the Fall of the Aeldari. The Laughing God Cegorach escaped through guile, while Kaela Mensha Khaine, the strongest and most warlike of the Aeldari deities, endured through might.

Slaanesh and the Bloody-Handed God fought a titanic battle in the Warp, and despite Khaine's mastery of war, Slaanesh, glutted with stolen power from the souls of the Aeldari and the other gods, eventually proved the stronger. But exhausted from the struggle, Slaanesh could not destroy and consume the Aeldari god outright. Instead, Khaine was rent into fragments.

Each shard of the war god came to rest within the wraithbone core of a craftworld, where it took root and grew into an Avatar of the Bloody-Handed God. To this day, these murderous Avatars of Khaine are still awoken by the craftworlds to lead the Asuryani to war.

While the Aeldari still revere all the gods of the ancient pantheon and preserve their stories within the mythic cycles, they do not call on them for aid or hope for their intervention any longer.

However, a new god, Ynnead, the Aeldari god of death, who is not a part of the old myth cycles, was long said to be forming from the souls of the Aeldari dead within the Infinity Circuits of the Asuryani craftworlds. Ynnead's awakening was dramatically accelerated during the Battle of Port Demesnus in 999.M41 by a ritual undertaken by the Farseer Eldrad Ulthran.

Partially awakened within the Immaterium, Ynnead reached out across the galaxy and chose the former Aeldari corsair and Commorrite arena gladiator Yvraine, the Daughter of Shades, to serve as his prophet and high priestess.

She founded a new Aeldari religious group, the Ynnari, who in the Era Indomitus seek to unite all the Aeldari factions across the galaxy to destroy Slaanesh and restore the Aeldari's lost glory.

Kaela Mensha Khaine, God of War

Bloody-Handed God

An Avatar of Kaela Mensha Khaine, the Bloody-Handed God.

Kaela Mensha Khaine is one of the only two surviving gods of the Aeldari before the recent awakening of Ynnead. In the old Aeldari Pantheon, he was second only to Asuryan himself in power, and was often shown as the enemy of Vaul, the smith god. He is also the most violent and reckless of the gods.

Asuryan was so appalled by Khaine's murder of Eldanesh, a mortal Aeldari, that he cursed Khaine and made his hands drip eternally with the blood of Eldanesh so that all would remember what he had done. The Aeldari say that when Slaanesh awoke, it (Slaanesh can appear as either gender at will) consumed each of the other Aeldari gods in the Warp in turn.

While his counterparts were all devoured, Khaine took up his great sword and did battle with Slaanesh in the Immaterium instead. Khaine was not strong enough to destroy Slaanesh, but he was too powerful to be defeated. Instead his psychic signature in the Warp was broken, and scattered into pieces.

These divine fragments were driven from the Warp where they had done battle and came to rest in the heart of the Infinity Circuit of each craftworld. These pieces of the god became the Avatars of Kaela Mensha Khaine that serve as the most potent unit to provide support to the Asuryani militaries of the craftworlds.

In times of war the Asuryani can awaken the Avatars to lead them into battle, though the price is the sacrifice of an Exarch's life, for the Avatar needs to possess a physical body to enter the material universe.

The Avatars of Khaine are towering monsters with skin of iron and molten cores, hands permanently dripping with blood as Khaine's did in the mythic cycles.

Cegorach, God of Tricksters and Artists

The Laughing God

Cegorach, the Laughing God

The only other known surviving god of the ancient Aeldari Pantheon, Cegorach, also known as the Laughing God, the Great Harlequin, the Great Fool and the First Fool, was a consummate trickster and the greatest artist among the Aeldari gods.

While most of the Aeldari gods were destroyed by Slaanesh during the Fall of the Aeldari, according to legend this deity survived because his mocking and less self-interested nature distanced him from the collective psychic corruption and decadence of the ancient Aeldari Empire that birthed the Dark Prince.

Other legends tell that when all the other gods were destroyed, Cegorach fled before Slaanesh until Khaine rose to do battle with She Who Thirsts. It is said that during the fight between Slaanesh and Khaine the Laughing God hid behind Khaine for protection, and in the aftermath of the struggle Cegorach fled into the Webway where Slaanesh could not find him.

He still resides there, and is the only being in the universe who knows exactly where every door in the Webway leads. As the master and patron god of the mysterious Harlequins, Cegorach is the only Aeldari god that still remains in his original form and he is dedicated to finding a way for the Aeldari to defeat Slaanesh and reclaim their ancient greatness, a plan he and his followers call "the Final Act."

The Harlequins are protected from the soul thirst of Slaanesh in a different way from their craftworld brethren. While the Asuryani wear Spirit Stones which absorb their souls when they die to prevent them from being devoured by Slaanesh in the Warp, the Harlequins are directly protected by their faith in their god's power, becoming one with his Warp emanation upon their death.

The only exception to this are the Harlequin Solitaires whose souls must be won from Slaanesh after their deaths by the Laughing God.

Asuryan, King of the Gods

Sometimes known as the Phoenix King, Asuryan was the king of the pantheon of Aeldari gods.

While the mythic cycles seem to indicate that he held sway over all the others, he was nevertheless consumed by Slaanesh in the Warp. He is often depicted in relation to fire and light, his chief symbols.

The Asuryani believe that it is Asuryan who taught them how to use the Asuryani Path to prevent their darker natures from overwhelming them and is the reason they named themselves the Asuryani, the "Children of Asuryan."

Isha, Goddess of the Harvest

The Great Mother of the Aeldari race, Isha is treated as a fertility goddess by the Aeldari in many respects. She was imprisoned by Khaine for a period of time, until Vaul paid her ransom.

She is often depicted crying, and her symbol is a teared eye, symbolic of her sorrow in being separated from her mortal children. Her tears are said to have solidified to form the Spirit Stones which keep the Asuryani safe from Slaanesh after their death.

It is rumoured among the Asuryani that Isha has not been consumed by Slaanesh like most of the other Aeldari gods, for the Chaos God Nurgle, the Plague Lord, coveted the Aeldari fertility goddess, and rescued her from consumption by Slaanesh only to imprison her in his decaying mansion that lies within his foul realm in the Warp.

These stories claim that Nurgle "cares" for Isha by keeping her within a cage and feeding her the various diseases he concocts, only for her to whisper the cures for each one to mortals in realspace when his back is turned.

Vaul, God of the Forges

The artificer and smith of the Aeldari gods, Vaul is one of the central deities of the Aeldari Pantheon, and an eternal enemy to Khaine.

In order to purchase the freedom of his fellow gods Kurnous and Isha after they had been imprisoned by the war god for violating Asuryan's law against the gods remaining separate from their mortal children, Khaine demanded one hundred blades from the Smith God as payment for their freedom.

Vaul was unable to finish the last divinely-crafted blade in time, and so hid a mortal-forged blade amid the others of divine craftsmanship. This fooled Khaine long enough to get Isha and Kurnous to freedom, but when the Blood-Handed God realised he had been tricked, he cried out for vengeance.

Vaul finished the final divine blade, Anaris the Dawnlight, and took it to do battle with Khaine. Though it was the greatest of all swords, Khaine was the better warrior and crippled Vaul. The Smith God is often shown chained to his anvil, the punishment that Khaine set upon him for his deception.

Morai-Heg, Goddess of Fate

The Crone Goddess Morai-Heg is also the consort of Khaine and the third in a trinity of female Aeldari goddesses including Lileath and Isha, who together represent Maiden, Mother and Crone. Morai-Heg appears as an ancient and withered creature who holds the fate of mortals inside a rune pouch made of Aeldari skin.

In Aeldari myth she sought to partake of the eternal wisdom contained in her divine blood. She manipulated her husband, the war god Khaela Mensha Khaine, to cut off her hand so that she might drink deep of her own vitae.

With this deed Morai-Heg gained the knowledge that she sought, and in return, Khaine gained the aspect of the banshee. Her severed fingers each became one of the Aeldari artefacts known as the Croneswords now sought by the Ynnari to fully awaken Ynnead, the god of the dead.

The original homeworlds of the Aeldari that were lost to the Eye of Terror after the Fall of the Aeldari became known as Crone Worlds, a reference to the Crone Goddess.

The inhabitants of Craftworld Iybraesil are noted for being devoted followers of Morai-Heg.

Ynnead, God of the Dead

Ynnead, the Whispering God, is a dream, the embodiment of a possibility that has yet to be fully realized. Some Asuryani Seers long believed that when the last Asuryani dies during the Rhana Dandra (the Final Battle with Chaos), Ynnead will be born from the Warp with the strength of all the Asuryani souls stored in the Infinity Circuits of the craftworlds and the World Spirits of the Exodites.

Ynnead will then have the power to destroy Slaanesh forever in a final battle, thus correcting the mistakes which led to the Fall of the Aeldari and allowing the race to be reincarnated into a universe free of the taint of Chaos.

Or at least that is what the Asuryani believed would happen for almost ten thousand standard years. Then, in 999.M41, during the Battle of Port Demesnus on the moon of Coheria, the High Farseer Eldrad Ulthran partially completed a ritual intended to awaken Ynnead using the power of the souls found in the Infinity Circuits of every craftworld in the galaxy.

While the intervention of the Imperial Deathwatch interrupted the ritual before it could be completed, the god of the dead was partially awakened, and sought out a champion and prophet to complete his rise in the form of Yvraine, the Daughter of Shades. Yvraine founded a new Aeldari faction dedicated to the Whispering God's resurrection known as the Ynnari.

The Ynnari, with members drawn from the Craftworld Aeldari, the Harlequins, the Asuryani Outcasts and the Drukhari of Commorragh, seek the restoration of the ancient Aeldari race by collecting the artefacts known as the Croneswords from across the galaxy.

Their combined ritualistic use at a single focused point in realspace will allow Ynnead to fully manifest his power in the Warp, where he will combat Slaanesh, hopefully destroying the Prince of Chaos and freeing the Aeldari from the soul-devouring curse of She Who Thirsts forever.

Only then will the Eldar people, restored to the unity of the ancient Aeldari, seek to rebuild a new and better interstellar empire.

Other Gods

  • Kurnous, God of the Hunt - Kurnous was the father of the Aeldari race and the companion and consort of Isha. He is often shown in conjunction with hounds, hawks, and other trappings of the hunt. Along with his wife Isha, the goddess of the harvest, he too was imprisoned by Khaine for violating Asuryan's edict against communion between the gods and mortals, an act which helped to unleash the mythical War in Heaven and the battle between Khaine and the smith god Vaul.
  • Gea - Gea was a minor goddess who existed within the ancient Aeldari Pantheon. She is notable for being the consort of the twin deities Khaine the Bloody Handed God and Asuryan the Phoenix King.
  • Hoec - Revered amongst the near-invisible assassins known as Pathfinders, the mysterious wandering Aeldari divinity named Hoec is said to be one with the Webway, and has walked the paths between planets since the stars themselves were young.
  • Lileath, Goddess of Dreams (also known as Lilcarth) - Lileath the Maiden was the goddess of dreams and fortune in the Aeldari Pantheon.
  • The Cosmic Serpent - In Aeldari myth, the Serpent is the only creature believed to exist in both the material and the psychic universes at the same time. Hence, the Serpent is said to know all secrets past and present. Saim-Hann means "Quest for Enlightenment," for the Aeldari Lexicon word for snake and secret knowledge is identical: "Saim." The Asuryani of Craftworld Saim-Hann bear the world-rune that represents the Serpent as their heraldry, emblazoning it on the cowlings of their jetbikes, grav-tanks and air support.
  • Cobra-God - The Cobra-God is an animistic creature of destruction who does not care who is caught in his wake; he is venerated by the Exodites.
  • Scorpion-God - The Scorpion-God is an animistic spirit of defence, brother of Cobra; he is also an animistic spirit deity venerated by the Exodites.
  • Serpent-God - The Serpent-God is an animistic creature of secrets and wisdom who knows all there is to know in the universe; he is the third major spirit deity venerated by the Exodites.

Dark Muses

As far as the Drukhari are concerned, the Aeldari gods died in the Fall of the Aeldari and they despise them for it.

That the gods had become so weak that they could be consumed by the ascendancy of Slaanesh indicates that they never deserved to exist in the first place.

The exceptions are Khaela Mensha Khaine, the Aeldari god of war who is still held in high regard in Commorragh and the lesser powers known as the "Dark Muses" who are the embodiments of selfish vice and whose clandestine worship by the ancient Aeldari pleasure cults contributed to the demise of the Aeldari Empire.

While the Drukhari thus do not really worship anyone apart from themselves, they do pay homage to those they respect. Vaunted warriors or dark artists may become revered amongst their own kind; not to honour their skill, but purely in order to learn more of their power.

In this way truly mighty Drukhari from ages past have become almost folkloric figures. Many epitomise a particular form of vice, whose clandestine worship led to the weakening of the ancient Aeldari gods and, indirectly, the Fall of the Aeldari. These Dark Muses are figures of terrible power.

Favoured by assassins and murderers is Shaimesh, Lord of Poisons, the treacherous brother of Saim-Hann the Cosmic Serpent. The courtesan elite of the Cult of Lhamaea pay homage to Lhilitu, Consort of the Void, whereas powerful Archons are more likely to follow the tenets of Vileth, a figure synonymous with immense arrogance.

On the eve of battle many traditionalist Wych Cults invoke the Red Crone Hekatii, or make sacrifices to Qa'leh, Mistress of Blades.

Though many Drukhari suspected Asdrubael Vect, the supreme overlord of Commorragh, would join the ranks of the Dark Muses upon his death, none foresaw that he would claim the title for himself while still alive when he slew all of the Archons who had opposed him -- and many who had supported him -- in spectacularly sadistic fashion in the wake of the birth of the Dathedian.

Shaimesh, the Lord of Poisons

The Lord of Poisons is the treacherous brother of Saim-Hann the Cosmic Serpent, for whom the Craftworld Saim-Hann was named.

Sahaimesh is the patron of all Drukhari assassins and murderers.

The Haemonculi Covens of Commorragh consider themselves the practicioners of the Black Arts of Shaimesh.

Lhilitu, Consort of the Void

The Consort of the Void's worshippers comprise a mysterious sisterhood who are desired by powerful Archons to serve as courtesans in their courts.

These Lhamaeans are renowned in Commorragh for being both imaginative lovers and exceptional poisoners.

They descend from the Cult of Llamaea, whose courtesan elite also worshipped Lhilitu, and gained their knowledge of poisons from Shaimesh.


Vileth is a being synonymous with the immense arrogance so often displayed by the Drukhari, and is particularly popular as an ideal to which many Drukhari Archons aspire.

The "Scions of Vileth" are also known as the best aerial hunters of the Drukhari, piloting aircraft such as Razorwing jetfighters and Voidraven bombers.

These Drukhari pilots will sometimes form mercenary aerial squadrons that will work for Kabals, Wych Cults, and the Haemonculi of the Dark City.

Hekatii, the Red Crone

Many traditionalist Wych Cults always invoke the favour of this legendary Wych before they enter any battle.

Qa'leh, the Mistress of Blades

Traditionalist Wych Cults also often seek the ritual favour of the Mistress of Blades with a sacrifice for good fortune before combat.


Ynesth is known to be a Dark Muse particularly revered by the Kabal of the Onyx Scar.

It searches for her ashes in the Warp rift known as the Screaming Vortex in the Segmentum Obscurus, where they are rumoured held in a chalice on the pirate-held world of Sacgrave.

Unique Aeldari Technology

Eldar Wargear2

Selected Asuryani Wargear

  • Asuryani Wargear
  • Drukhari Wargear
  • Infinity Circuit - An Infinity Circuit is a crystalline psychoactive matrix contained at the core of all Asuryani craftworlds, and is essentially composed of the wraithbone skeleton of the craftworld itself. Within this matrix, the souls of all the craftworld's dead reside in a form of group consciousness, providing both a well of psychic power for the worldship and a massive ancestral mind to advise and guide the living. With the birth of Slaanesh, "She Who Thirsts," the Infinity Circuit is the closest thing that the Asuryani now have to an afterlife; for if their souls are not captured at death in a Spirit Stone and integrated into the Infinity Circuit, they will be lost into the Warp and their soul energy devoured by Slaanesh. For this reason the Asuryani will defend their craftworlds with a fury and tenacity that is almost unrivaled amongst sentient species; they risk losing not only their home but the souls of their ancestors as well. Once it is part of the circuit, an Aeldari soul continues to exist forever, safe from the predations of the Warp, their individual consciousness remaining as a potential within the circuit. The Infinity Circuit is therefore far more than a source of energy for the craftworld; it is a place of refuge and eternal rest, from where the dead watch over the living.
Harlequin Motley Mask of Vyle

An unknown Harlequin Troupe Master holding a Spirit Stone.

  • Spirit Stone - An Asuryani Spirit Stone, also known as a "Waystone," "Dreamstone" and a "Tear of Isha," is a small, seemingly precious gem carried in a variety of different aesthetically-pleasing settings on a Craftworld Aeldari's chest, used to save their souls from consumption after death within the Immaterium by Slaanesh. Every Asuryani of the craftworlds wears a shinning gem or polished stone upon their breast. This psycho-receptive Waystone is attuned solely to the mind of its owner. At the moment of the Asuryani's death the stone acts like a "psychic trap" absorbing their psychic self -- their soul -- and preventing it from entering the Warp and being consumed by She Who Thirsts. As such psychic energies carry with them a large part of an Aeldari's sense of identity, personality, and memories, it is quite correct to think of them as souls. The Waystone can then be brought back to the Asuryani's own craftworld and embedded into its wraithbone core, where it will grow into a larger Spirit Stone. Once the stone is implanted, the individual Aeldari soul it contains can travel freely through the psychically-reactive wraithbone, mingling with other Aeldari souls and forming part of the communal spirit of the craftworld itself. All the souls within a craftworld collectively exist within the Infinity Circuit. In times of dire need, the Asuryani are also able to retrieve the Spirit Stones of long-dead Asuryani heroes and place them into the artificial bodies of Wraithguard and Wraithlord constructs. These wraithbone constructs are then piloted by the Asuryani soul, which experiences reality in this form as a dream. This process is considered little better than necromancy in Aeldari culture and is only done as a last resort. Spirit Stones can also be placed within certain Asuryani vehicles like gravity tanks and Eldar Titans where the stone allows the captive Aeldari's spirit to control the vehicle in case its living pilots are incapacitated, similar to the way the artificially intelligent Machine Spirits found in certain Imperial vehicles like Land Raiders can take over control of the vehicle even when it is unmanned.
Warp Gate

An Asuryani warhost stepping on a new world through the Webway.

  • Webway - The Webway was created by the ancient species called the Old Ones as a means of intragalactic travel. Via the Webway, the armies of these advanced beings could appear from hidden gateways in reality to strike at their foes without warning. Furthermore, this sprawling network allowed the Old Ones to voyage between the worlds of their dominion without risking the fickle tides of the Warp. Known by some as the "labyrinth dimension," the Webway has been envisioned by mortal minds in myriad ways. Some describe it as a galactic tapestry of shimmering strands, others a maze of glowing tunnels, or the veins of some vast living entity. All such accounts fall short of the truth, for the Webway defies neat categorisation. It is an elegantly crafted extradimensional realm located between realspace and the Immaterium, analogous to the surface of a still, dark pool, or a fine silk veil drawn across something foul. In the wake of their disappearance or destruction during the War in Heaven against the Necrons and their C'tan masters, the Old Ones left the care and use of the Webway to their Aeldari creations, who used it for millennia to tie together their great empire. The Webway once spanned the galaxy, even stretching out into the empty void beyond. Those days are long gone. Ravaged by war and catastrophe, many of its tunnels have been torn open or amputated entirely, and a great number of its entrances have been sealed by the Aeldari themselves as a desperate measure to deny their foes access. Despite its degradation, the Aeldari of every sub-culture still rely upon the Webway for swift travel, and none more so than the nomadic Harlequins. It is said that Cegorach is the only being in existence who knows every single path through the Webway. This might explain how his disciples possess such an intimate knowledge of its twists and turns, for the Harlequins walk the Webway without fear, appearing and disappearing at will. The Harlequins utilise their knowledge of the Webway's hidden paths to outmanoeuvre their foes and strike from unexpected quarters. In this way, entire masques of Harlequins can position themselves in ambush, guaranteeing the element of surprise. Of course, such a system is not perfect, for the Webway has become a broken and dangerous realm. The manifestation of the Great Rift at the start of the Era Indomitus tore at the Webway, ripping away spars already weakened by the passage of millennia and unravelling others, laying them open to the Warp. Gates long sealed burst open to admit a legion of nightmares, and malefic Chaos worshippers found themselves at liberty to strike at the labyrinth dimension like never before. So well-versed are they in the Webway's secret routes that many other Aeldari have credited the servants of the Laughing God with supernatural powers. It is the Harlequins who watch over the Black Library alongside its dark Guardians, and use its secrets to gain the upper hand in their war against Chaos. They utilise their knowledge of the Webway's hidden paths to outmanoeuvre their foes and strike from unexpected quarters. In this way, whole masques of Harlequins can position themselves in ambush, guaranteeing themselves the element of surprise. Of course, such a system is not perfect, for the Webway has become a broken and dangerous realm. Still, this is little help to the general who suddenly discovers his armies overrun from within, slaughtered by a host of Harlequins before he even realises that battle is joined.
  • Wraithbone - Wraithbone is the primary construction material used by the Asuryani, the Craftworld Aeldari, and the staple of their psycho-technical engineering. It is a form of crystallised psychic energy that can exist as a solid in realspace brought forth from the Warp and shaped by an Aeldari concentrating their thoughts and intent upon it. All Aeldari are able to psychically influence and control wraithbone to a certain extent; for instance, most Aeldari walking the Path of the Artisan will use wraithbone in order to create the pieces of art, musical instruments or any other tools they desire. However, truly complex constructions (such as functional weapons or whole voidships) can only be brought into existence by the Aeldari Bonesingers; specialised craftsmen who focus on understanding and mastering the intricacies of creating, growing and shaping the Wraithbone through the application of their innate psychic power. It is a psychic conductor and thus provides not only the structure and armour for the things built of it, but also the power distribution and communications systems since wraithbone carries psychic energy the way a wire or fiber optic cable carries electricity or photons. Wraithbone is a psycho-plastic material that is highly resilient to damage, and capable of limited self-repair. It, and the other building materials of the Aeldari, will grow and react more like living tissue than the building materials of other intelligent species, save for the Tyranids' bio-constructs and necrodermis, the Necron living metal that is the basis of a majority of the Necron's technology.



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  • White Dwarf 105 (US), "Harlequins" by Graeme Davis, pp. 35-46
  • White Dwarf 101 (US), "Chapter Approved: Eldar; The Infinity Circuit, The Spirit-Warriors & Eldar Ghost-Warriors", pp. 52-55
  • Xenology (Background Book) by Simon Spurrier, pp. 25-26

Raven Rock Videos
Warhammer 40,000 Overview Grim Dark Lore Teaser TrailerPart 1: ExodusPart 2: The Golden AgePart 3: Old NightPart 4: Rise of the EmperorPart 5: UnityPart 6: Lords of MarsPart 7: The Machine GodPart 8: ImperiumPart 9: The Fall of the AeldariPart 10: Gods and DaemonsPart 11: Great Crusade BeginsPart 12: The Son of StrifePart 13: Lost and FoundPart 14: A Thousand SonsPart 15: Bearer of the WordPart 16: The Perfect CityPart 17: Triumph at UllanorPart 18: Return to TerraPart 19: Council of NikaeaPart 20: Serpent in the GardenPart 21: Horus FallingPart 22: TraitorsPart 23: Folly of MagnusPart 24: Dark GambitsPart 25: HeresyPart 26: Flight of the EisensteinPart 27: MassacrePart 28: Requiem for a DreamPart 29: The SiegePart 30: Imperium InvictusPart 31: The Age of RebirthPart 32: The Rise of AbaddonPart 33: Saints and BeastsPart 34: InterregnumPart 35: Age of ApostasyPart 36: The Great DevourerPart 37: The Time of EndingPart 38: The 13th Black CrusadePart 39: ResurrectionPart 40: Indomitus