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Harlequin Motley Mask of Vyle

An unknown Aeldari Harlequin Troupe Master holding a Spirit Stone

An Aeldari Spirit Stone, also known as a Waystone, Dreamstone and Tears 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 destruction by Slaanesh.

Every Aeldari of the Craftworlds wears a shinning gem or polished stone upon his breast. This psycho-receptive waystone is attuned solely to the mind of its owner. At the moment of the Aeldari'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 the great nemesis of the Aeldari race, the Chaos God of Pleasure, Slaanesh. As such 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 Aeldari'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's soul it contains can travel freely through the 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.

Once it is part of the circuit, an Aeldari continues to exist forever, safe from the predations of the Warp, his individual consciousness remaining as a potential within the circuit. The Infinity Circuit is therefore far more than a source of energy; it is a place of refuge and eternal rest, from where the dead watch over the living. Yet it is not always at peace. At the beating core of each Infinity Circuit is a Wraithbone chamber containing a murder-spirit so powerful that its battle-lust infects every Aeldari soul, living or dead.

In times of dire need, the Aeldari are also able to retrieve the Spirit Stones of long-dead Aeldari heroes and place them into the artificial bodies of Wraithguard and Wraithlord constructs. These Wraithbone constructs are then piloted by the Aeldari 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 Aeldari 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.

The Aeldari Warlocks who specialise in this process are known as Spiritseers. Iyanden is an Aeldari Craftworld with a very small population following an assault by the Tyranid Hive Fleet Kraken and is known for its greater use of these Aeldari "living dead" than other Craftworlds.

There is one primary source of Spirit Stones: the old Aeldari homeworlds that lie within the boundaries of the Eye of Terror and are now known as the Crone Worlds. Acquiring new Spirit Stones is extremely dangerous because the Crone Worlds exist within the Eye of Terror. In Aeldari mythology the Spirit Stones were created by the Aeldari god Vaul from the Tears of Isha. This tale is taken as a metaphor by the Aeldari for the crystallisation of the psychic energies of the Eye of Terror into the Spirit Stones.

Ynnead

It is commonly believed that when enough Aeldari souls have been gathered within the Infinity Circuits of the Craftworlds, a new god will emerge within the Warp, the first Aeldari god to be created since the Fall of the Aeldari; Ynnead, the Aeldari God of the Dead. It is hoped by many of the Farseers that this new god will be powerful enough to vanquish Slaanesh, freeing the Aeldari from their doom at the Prince of Pleasure's grasping hands.

After the formation of the Great Rift, and the partial awakening of Ynnead in the Warp, his prophet Yvraine demonstrated the ability to serve as a conduit for his power and merge recently deceased Aeldari souls with him. This ability affected Craftworld Aeldari and Drukhari alike, meaning that the Craftworld Aeldari and Drukhari who joined the Ynnari no longer needed to rely on Spirit Stones or leeching the life forces of others to avoid being consumed by Slaanesh. The coming of the Ynnari thus represented a new hope for the dwindling species.

Notes

The graphic novel Daemonifuge features the Spirit Stones only passingly, but names them Soul Stones instead. However, the Aeldari codexes name them as Spirit Stones. It is not known exactly what happens when a Spirit Stone is destroyed, but one can guess that the soul within is lost to Slaanesh.

Also of note is that in the novel Dawn of War, a Spirit Stone is smashed by a Power Axe, resulting in an incredibly loud metallic ringing, and then an explosion that not only destroyed the Power Axe, but also sent Trythos, the Space Marine wielding it, flying a few metres away, thus indicating that Spirit Stones are a potent source of psychic energy.

Sources

  • Codex: Eldar (6th Edition), pg. 13
  • Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pp. 14, 20, 27, 51
  • Codex: Craftworld Eldar (3rd Edition)
  • Codex: Eldar (2nd Edition)
  • Farseer (Novel) by William King
  • Warhammer 40,000: Wargear (4th Edition)
  • Warhammer 40,000: Compilation (1st Edition)