Sometimes known as the Phoenix King, Asuryan 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. 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.
Before the Fall of the Aeldari, Asuryan was the third primary contributor of knowledge to the Aeldari, after Kurnous and Isha. Among Asuryan's gifts to the early Aeldari was the ability to manipulate psychic energy.
During the Fall, Asuryan was the last of the Aeldari deities to be consumed by Slaanesh. Before his comatose imprisonment in Slaanesh's heart, Asuryan performed one of his greatest acts -- binding his psychic might to the Aeldari, preventing Slaanesh from absorbing all of his power.
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 Aeldari, the 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, 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 race by Asuryan, they can create and accomplish everything, such as giving shape to Ynnead, the recently awakened Aeldari god of the dead, or perhaps even one day reviving Asuryan himself.
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 sunstorm that the Father of the Eldar brought to bear in the battle that all but destroyed Kaelis Ra, the Aeldari name for the C'tan called the Nightbringer.
In the oldest myths of the Aeldari, it is said that the goddess 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, 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, 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. This is believed by most Imperial savants to be a legendary remembrance of the actual ancient war between the Old Ones and the Necrontyr. 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. However, it was said that the Father of the Aeldari battled Kaelis Ra, the C'tan better known as Aza'gorod, the Nightbringer, but neither side was able to gain supremacy.
In desperation to save his children, he 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.
- 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), pg 35
- Apocalypse Reload (5th Edition), pg. 33