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"When the Eldar first rose from the bosom of the ground, nourished by the tears of Isha, the gods came to them and each offered them a gift. Asuryan, lord of lords, gave the Eldar Wisdom, that they would know themselves. Isha gave the Eldar Love, that they would know one another. Vaul gave the Eldar Artifice, that they would make their dreams a reality. Lileath gave the Eldar Joy, that they would know happiness. Kurnous gave the Eldar Desire, that they would know prosperity. Morai-heg gave the Eldar Foresight, that they would know their place in the world. Khaine gave the Eldar Anger, that they would protect what the gods had given them."

—Anonymous

An Aeldari Lexicon rune traditionally worn by Asuryan, the Phoenix King, head of the Aeldari Pantheon of gods, as a symbol of the Aeldari warrior spirit; it represents the balance between the fury of emotion and the cold surety of skill.

Asuryan, sometimes known as the "Phoenix King" and the "Father of the Aeldari," was the ruler and the most powerful deity of the pantheon of Aeldari gods. Asuryan is known as the father of the gods and the ancestor of all living things. He was believed to embody the psychic might of the whole universe.

While the ancient Aeldari mythic cycles seem to indicate that he held sway over all other gods, he was nevertheless consumed by the Chaos God Slaanesh after the Fall of the Aeldari.

He is often depicted in relation to fire and light, his chief symbols. Asuryan is a key player in many of the legendary cycles of Aeldari Mythology.

Asuryan's twin brother is the god of war, Kaela Mensha Khaine. The goddess Gea is said to have held both Asuryan and Khaine as her double consorts.

Asuryan was the third primary contributor of knowledge to the Aeldari, after Kurnous, the god of the hunt, and Isha, the goddess of the harvest. Among Asuryan's gifts to the early Aeldari after their creation was wisdom and the ability to manipulate psychic energy.

The psychic power bound into the Aeldari by Asuryan brought both boon and bane. Though the Aeldari's lifespan and already potent mastery over psychic energies increased following Asuryan's gift, it also decreased their fertility, leading the species to begin a slow decline.

In the wake of the Fall, the Asuryani craftworlds found a new way of life focused on the pursuit of highly-structured careers and interests intended to channel their extreme emotions and quest for perfection into constructive activities. These interests became known as the Asuryani Path, and the people of the craftworlds renamed themselves the Asuryani, "the followers of Asuryan." To outsiders they called themselves the Eldar for many Terran millennia, choosing a diminished name for a diminished people.

Some of the Aeldari's greatest Farseers, like Eldrad Ulthran, theorised that when all the Farseers gather together and focus the psychic might granted to their species by Asuryan, they can create and accomplish anything, such as giving shape to Ynnead, the recently awakened Aeldari god of the dead, or perhaps even one day reviving Asuryan himself.

Craftworld Iyanden's world-rune, "Light in the Darkness," is a reference to the ever-burning flame of the shrine of Asuryan which is maintained by that craftworld and is the most sacred place still dedicated to the Phoenix King among the Aeldari.

The first Phoenix Lord Asurmen, the founder of the Path of the Warrior, acted as the immortal scion of Asuryan, who he chose as his patron.

The Craftworld Aeldari created the Sunstorm Squadrons in recognition of the ancient tale of Asuryan battling the Destroyer of Worlds and took their name from the legendary solar flare or "sunstorm" that the Father of the Aeldari brought to bear in the battle that all but destroyed Kaelis Ra, the Aeldari name for the C'tan called the Nightbringer (see below).

History

In the oldest myths of the Aeldari, it is said that the goddess of dreams and fortune Lileath had a vision of the future in which Khaine would be torn asunder by an army of mortals. In his rage, the god of war turned his wrath against the Aeldari as their divine mother, the goddess of fertility and healing Isha, wept tears for her children.

The Phoenix King heard her cries and upon learning of Khaine's plans to exterminate all of the Aeldari, created a great barrier that separated the realm of the gods from mortals for all eternity, thus creating the barrier that still exists today between the Immaterium and realspace. After he crafted this barrier between the mortal Aeldari and their gods in the Warp, Asuryan's heart was said to be heavy with reluctance at the separation.

Isha was left even more distraught after being separated from her children and thus she, along with her husband, Kurnous, the god of the hunt, went before Vaul, the god of smiths, who fashioned from her tears the Spirit Stones through which she spoke to the Aeldari. After overhearing Isha speaking to her mortal children, Khaine informed his brother. Asuryan was enraged that his command for the gods to stop interacting with mortals had been broken. In his anger at their betrayal, he told Khaine to do with Isha and Kurnous as he pleased.

During the events of the Aeldari's mythological "War in Heaven," a battle raged between the gods and their mortal children and the race of immortal giants known as the Yngir (C'tan). This is believed by most Imperial savants to be a legendary remembrance of the actual ancient war between the Old Ones and the Necrontyr that is also called the War in Heaven. According to the myth, at that time Asuryan came to regret his hasty condemnation of Isha and Kurnous to the tender mercies of the war god.

Even so, he refused to take sides during the conflict and neither favoured Khaine nor the mortal Children of Isha. In this way, he remained as the impartial lord of both sides.

It was said that the Father of the Aeldari battled the Yngir Kaelis Ra, actually the C'tan better known as Aza'gorod, the Nightbringer, but neither side was able to gain supremacy.

In desperation to save his children, Asuryan rearranged the suns themselves to create a constellation that spelt out an ill omen for his foe and harnessed their might into a solar flare that mortally wounded Kaelis Ra.

Sources

  • Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pp. 5-6, 9, 20, 42, 54
  • Codex Eldar - Craftworlds (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Ancient Lore"
  • Warhammer 40,000: Compilation (1st Edition), pp. 36, 38
  • Apocalypse Reload (5th Edition), pg. 33
  • Path of the Warrior (Novel) by Gav Thorpe, "Anger"
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