Ulthwé, whose full name is actually Ulthanash Shelwé (which means "Song of Ulthanash" in the Aeldari Lexicon), is one of the largest remaining Aeldari Craftworlds that survived the Fall of the Aeldari. It is whispered by those of other Craftworlds that the Aeldari of Ulthwé have been damned by their proximity to the Eye of Terror, exaggerating their psychic potential. Those of Ulthwé know instead that they are a bulwark between the survival of their race and utter destruction.
This Craftworld's world-rune, "The Eye of Isha," symbolises the sorrow of Isha, the fertility goddess 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 glittering Spirit Stones so that her grief might not be in vain. Today, the warriors of Ulthwé bear this symbol as their sigil, a poignant reminder of the godhood they lost long ago.
During the Fall of the Eldar, the lamentable event that heralded the birth of the Dark Prince Slaanesh, Ulthwé was caught in the pull of the Eye of Terror. Here it has remained for millennia, trapped, where the Immaterium intersects with realspace. It is a breeding ground for Chaos and a gateway into the Warp. Due to this baleful proximity to the Eye, Ulthwé must be on constant high alert in case of attacks by the Forces of Chaos. Constant risk and warfare has hardened this Craftworld's citizens to hardship. Due to the lack of Aspect Warriors on the Craftworld, Ulthwé maintains a standing militia known as the Black Guardians, who are highly skilled and better-trained than the Guardians of other Craftworlds.
Craftworld Ulthwé is home to many of the most powerful psykers in the galaxy. The Aeldari of Ulthwé cast themselves as sentinels, keeping an endless vigil over this dread gulf. There, elite cadres of Farseers keep watch for the many and varied guises of Chaos, for Ulthwé’s many talented mystics can foresee future events with a greater precision than those of other Craftworlds. This foresight has allowed them both to preserve their line and thwart their eternal enemies, the forces of the Great Enemy. Ulthwé uses such future-knowledge often to the detriment of other races, always acting to preserve the Aeldari, whatever the cost. Due to the Craftworld's close proximity to the Eye, Ulthwé maintains a larger number of Warlocks, though others believe it because their location causes exaggerated psychic powers in the Ulthwé population that results in the emergence of more Warlocks. Whatever the reason, many Warlocks, Seers and other psychic warriors follow the Ulthwé armies to battle and their psychic skills are even more advanced than those found on other Craftworlds, as they are able to see the skeins of fate further and farther ahead in time and with greater precision.
One of the more famous and integral aspects of the Ulthwé Craftworld is its Seer Council. Formerly led by the now deceased Eldrad Ulthran, the council both overtly and secretly interferes with other races in an attempt to steer fate in their favour. This has no doubt allowed the Ulthwé Craftworld to survive so long in such a perilous position. At the behest of the Council, the Craftworld's warriors are often sent into apparently unrelated battles that will ultimately concern Ulthwé itself. It is largely through these seemingly arbitrary conflicts that have earned the Aeldari their reputation for random and capricious behaviour. The Farseers of Ulthwé know well that stopping the fall of a single stone can sometimes prevent an avalanche, and they manipulate fate itself in order to avert disaster. After all, the Seers of Ulthwé would rather see a hundred thousand humans perish than a single Aeldari life slip away.
Through its interference with other races, Ulthwé is supposedly responsible for several devastating events in the Imperium of Man, including the Second War for Armageddon, the Sanapan Scouring, the Mortis Annihilation and the Third Coming of Orian. Yet they have also made powerful allies within the Imperium, such as the ancient and wealthy House Belisarius of Terra, one of the families of the Navis Nobilite, having saved this house of Navigators' fortune and honour in times long past. The House of Belisarius then forged the Pact of Anwyn with the Aeldari of Ulthwé, agreeing to repay their debt seven times by coming to the aid of Ulthwé whenever it is requested. In the 10,000 Terran years since the Pact was forged, the House of Belisarius has been called to repay five of the seven debts.
Because of Ulthwé's heavy reliance on Seers and Warlocks in its forces, the Craftworld finds itself lacking in Aspect Warriors. The Path of the Seer is long and treacherous, leaving little time for an Aeldari to focus upon the Path of the Warrior. To compensate, it maintains a highly-trained standing army known as the Black Guardians named for the colour of their armour, who are dedicated to rapidly responding to the many attacks from the Eye of Terror. They are feared throughout the region around the Eye of Terror, both as saviours and dreaded foes. To perceive a force of Ulthwé Guardians as weak would be a grave mistake, for their Seers and Warlocks guide them even upon the battlefield. Thanks to this force, Ulthwé has survived millennia of constant attacks by the Forces of Chaos. Though the battle-psykers of Ulthwé are potent, they cannot win battles on their own. It is for this reason that Ulthwé maintains a large standing army of Guardians.
The most powerful of these psykers was the late Eldrad Ulthran, who was the leader of the Craftworld prior to his apparent demise aboard a Blackstone Fortress. The Seers of Ulthwé are said to be much more capable than those of other Craftworlds and can see far into the future to shape the destiny of their Craftworld based on their insights. The Seers may predict catastrophe and steer Ulthwé away from it, or determine the best course of action regardless of the cost to other races. Such foresight can lead the people of Ulthwé to perform actions which seem selfish and erratic in the eyes of Men and other races, but to the Seers of Ulthwé it is clear that such actions must be performed for the good of the Craftworld. Though results may not directly arise from such action, it will indirectly influence Ulthwé's fate perhaps far into the future.
Due to Ulthwé's close proximity to the Eye of Terror, this Craftworld boasts far more psykers than others. Consequently, it has few Aspect Warriors, instead relying heavily upon a standing army of citizen troops known as Black Guardians. These fearless soldiers hold back the advance of the Chaos hordes in a hundred different locations, striking with serpentine swiftness from hidden webway portals across Segmentum Obscurus.
Supporting these troops will be assortments of vehicles and elite units armed and equipped with advanced Aeldari technology. Ulthwé also employs large number of psykers on the battlefield, sometimes in the form of a Seer Council consisting of multiple Farseers and Warlock bodyguards. The Seer Council or Seers will use their potent powers to destroy the minds of their enemies, shape the battle's course to their favour, and perform other tasks to ensure their victory. However, every time a Seer or Warlock delves into the Warp to harness its power to their favour, they risk their own minds. Many have been lost to the terrors of the Warp.
Ulthwé armies may strike fast and hard in the form of an Ulthwé Strike Force, a highly mobile entity of Ulthwé's power in which units are highly mobilised by utilising Jetbikes and other fast vehicles, which enables the force to strike quickly and decisively through Webway gates and vanish as quickly as they appeared. The sight of an Ulthwé force is a brooding, dark image, filled with the air of mourning and suffering. Ulthwé's forces main colour is an ominous black and most Ulthwé vehicles and warrior armour is this colour. This is often contrasted with spotted colours and patterns of bone white, golden yellow and dark red.
- The Pride of the Phoenix (c.M31) - Farseer Eldrad Ulthran of Craftworld Ulthwé contrives a meeting with Fulgrim, the Primarch of the Emperor's Children Space Marine Legion, to warn him of the tendrils of Chaos that are corrupting the Legiones Astartes. Despite the fact they could have changed the fate of the galaxy, the Aeldari's warnings fall on deaf ears. As the Horus Heresy unfolds, the Dark Gods turn a full half of the Space Marine Legions to their cause. Chaos runs rampant and the galaxy burns.
- The War in the Webway (514.M38) - The Aeldari of Ulthwé and the Dark Eldar Jade Knife Kabal of Commorragh battle for dominance within the shattered spars of the Webway. With the death toll spiralling into the thousands on either side, an uneasy truce is agreed upon – despite their mutual loathing, both sides know well that Aeldari lives are too valuable to waste in such numbers.
- Maedrax Stirs (783.M41) - Eldrad Ulthran foresees a fleet of Imperial Explorators unwittingly awakening the Necron Tomb World of Maedrax. Before the night is out, the Aeldari have moved through hidden star-portals to Maedrax and destroyed the Imperial ships in a series of pinpoint strikes. The Aeldari make planetfall in force and purge the Necron presence before it can fully awaken, but they do not escape unscathed. A nearby Battle Barge of the Blood Angels Chapter, dispatched to avenge the disappearance of the Explorator fleet, intercepts the Ulthwé warhost as it fights its way out of the system and takes a deadly toll. Worse still, the Necron presence in the Maedrax system proves far more widespread than even the Aeldari believed. An entire dynasty awakes across the system, world by haunted world.
- The Pyre of Killiak's Bane (838.M41) - Imperial xenologists begin to plunder the buried artefacts of the Eldar Maiden Kiliak, triggering a devastating response from the nearby Eldar Craftworlds of Ulthwé and Biel-Tan. After a confirmed sighting of the Phoenix Lord Jain Zar and over a hundred Howling Banshees disciples, the Imperial interlopers are killed to a man, incinerated, and their ashes scattered to the wind.
- The Roar of the Beast (941.M41) - In the act of preventing a WAAAGH! that would have strayed into the path of Craftworld Idharae, the Aeldari of Ulthwé raise the Ork Warlord Ghazghkull Thraka to prominence. The self-styled Prophet of the Ork gods unites his barbaric followers against the industrial Hive World of Armageddon. Word of the unbridled destruction caused by WAAAGH! Ghazghkull spills out until every Ork within ten light years is spoiling for a "proppa fight," inspiring a dozen other WAAAGH!s which bleed into one another until they capsize a huge swathe of the Imperium.
- The Time of Ending (991.M41) - The Aeldari mystic Kysaduras the Anchorite proclaims the End Times to have begun. After lengthy meditation alongside Eldrad Ulthran of Ulthwé, he preaches to the high seers that the Aeldari's only hope of survival lies with Ynnead, the Aeldari god of the dead, whose name is only ever spoken in whispers.
- Sanctity Breached (998.M41) - Furious battle erupts in the twilight realm of the Webway as Chaos Space Marines of the Thousand Sons Traitor Legion fight their way to within sight of the Black Library. Their leader, the master Chaos Sorcerer Ahriman, is thwarted by a powerful force of Aeldari Harlequins and allies from both Craftworld Ulthwé and Craftworld Lugganath. Several major arteries of the webway are choked with the dead before the warrior-psykers of the Thousand Sons are driven from the secret paths by a concerted attack. The breach caused by the rampaging Chaos Sorcerers is runically sealed but, as a result, a section of the Webway is lost forever.
- The Might of Chaos (999.M41) - Abaddon, Warmaster of Chaos, launches the greatest invasion of realspace ever seen, known as the 13th Black Crusade. The Seer Council of Ulthwé has waited long for this moment, and leads the Eldar Craftworlds in a united war effort to contain the Chaos armies flooding from the Eye of Terror. The Aeldari cause horrific damage to the Chaos Space Marine Legions on dozens of worlds, suffering untenable casualties in their turn as the minions of the Great Enemy fight back. Unfortunately for the Aeldari and the Imperium alike, the psychic stink of war is so all-pervading that Abaddon's daemonic allies are able to manifest in their billions. They are quick to join the slaughter, and the death toll rises ever higher.
- Calmainoc - This is the name given to a great space dock that is not strictly located within the Craftworld, but rather to a Webway portal that is hardwired into the structure of Ulthwé itself. The portal is indistinguishable from the main doors, though the actual harbour could be located anywhere in the galaxy or even beyond it. The only certainty is the fact that the way in and out of Calmainoc is through Craftworld Ulthwé.
- Ghreivan's Gate - Ghreivan's Gate is a circular frame that is decorated with several runes that stretch across several dimensions. This gate is actually a Webway portal and one among hundreds that exist in the Craftworld. These serve as access points to Webway routes that were designed by the original architects of Ulthwé in order to allow its inhabitants access to distant locations in a matter of moments.
Notable Ulthwé Eldar
- Eldrad Ulthran - High Farseer Eldrad Ulthran was the mightiest and most ancient Farseer of the Ulthwé Craftworld. He was perhaps the most gifted psyker ever born amongst the Aeldari, his incredible foresight having saved many thousands of Aeldari lives. Among Eldrad's accomplishments are supposedly: igniting the Second War for Armageddon so as to spare the precious lives of 10,000 Aeldari, igniting the Sanapan Scouring, the Mortis Annihilation and the Third Coming of Orian, as well as warning the Emperor of Horus' treachery and warning the Aeldari of Iyanden of the coming of the Tyranids. He created and carried into battle the Staff of Ulthamar, and his resilience and power has been a rallying point for the declining Aeldari race. Eldrad is believed to have been slain by an avatar of Slaanesh during the 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41 while trying to save the world of Cadia from being destroyed by a Blackstone Fortress inhabited by the overwhelming psychic presence of the Prince of Chaos himself.
- Taldeer - Farseer Taldeer was the leader of an Aeldari strike force that was sent to Lorn V in anticipation of an impending Necron attack. She and her strike force saved Imperial Guard General Sturnn and his men on two different occasions, without them knowing until much later. When General Sturnn returned the favor by shielding the Aeldari from a huge Ork WAAAGH!, the two races formed a temporary (and uneasy) alliance to further their own goals. Farseer Taldeer later on led a strike force to destroy the Necrons that had arisen on Kronus, that the forces of the Tau were trying, but failing, to keep at bay. Farseer Taldeer's presence on Kronus attracted the attention of the Imperial General Lukas Alexander, who was tasked with chasing down Taldeer after her manipulation of the Imperial Guard on Lorn V.
- Caerys - Farseer Caerys was the leader of the Aeldari forces in the Kaurava System. She is allegedly the successor of Farseer Taldeer. The Aeldari are based in a site sacred to them, on Kaurava III, where they destroyed a manifestation of the C'tan god, the Deceiver, while defeating local Necron forces. Of the warring factions in the Kaurava System, the Dark Eldar Archon Tahril considered Lord Firaeveus Carron and Farseer Caerys to be the least foolish of the other commanders.
- Idranel - Farseer Idranel foresaw a large Tyranid swam heading on a path that would lead it towards Ulthwé. In order to combat this threat, the Aeldari would divert the Hive Fleet towards the worlds of the Sub-sector Aurelia. But as the Blood Ravens Space Marine Chapter watched over this sector, Idranel's forces came into conflict with the Adeptus Astartes. Idranel was ultimately slain on the world of Meridian by Blood Ravens' Sergeant Tarkus. With her death, the Imperial forces believed that Aeldari activity on the planet would cease.
- Auric Stormcloud - Farseer Auric Stormcloud led a quest to stop the Harbinger of Slaanesh, the Daemon Prince Shaha Gaathon, from attempting to possess the Rogue Trader Janus Darke and using his body to reclaim a powerful relic and bring ruin to the Eldar race. Auric was accompanied by his personal bodyguard and relative Athenys. Compelling the Navigator Simon Beliarius of House Belisarius to act for him under the Pact of Anwyn, Auric passed through the Eye of Terror with Darke to the Crone World of Belial IV to retrieve the ancient and potent artefact known as the Deathsword. This powerful weapon was said to echo the power of Khaela Mensha Khaine, as the Aeldari managed to forge it from the engines of awesome power beneath the Temple-Palace of Asuryan -- a captured echo of the death of the universe given form. Ten millennia earlier, before the Fall, this sword was used to strike down the Daemon Prince Gaathon. The sword was then placed within the Temple-Palace for safekeeping. This relic remained trapped on Belial IV in the Temple-Palace of Asuryan in the southern continent of Astayan, in the city of Zytheraa, for ten millennia. When Auric finally found the blade he fought, and was ultimately slain, by the Daemon Prince, but not before his soul took residence in the Soul Stones he had placed in the Rogue Trader's forehead before arriving to Belial IV, under the auspices that they would protect Darke from daemonic possession. During the ensuing fight with Gaathon, Auric's own Soul Stones were destroyed, and so, he moved on to the one in Janus's head and took control of his body. Using the Deathsword, he struck down the Daemon Prince, destroying its mortal form. He then departed with the ancient blade, as he foresaw the need to utilise it in the future, and departed to Ulthwé for some unfinished business while still controlling his now human body. His ultimate fate is unknown.
- Kauerith - In 858.M41, Farseer Kauerith led an Aeldari strike force in an assault on the Shrine World of Dimmamar, the birth world of Sebastian Thor. Adepta Sororitas Seraphim Superior Amelda of the Order of the Bloody Rose immediately retaliates, leading her squad of Seraphim in a daring attack to slay the Farseer. The Seraphim's pistols blast a bloody path through a score of black-clad Eldar before the Sisters are engulfed in a hurricane of psychic lighting. Though many of her companions fall, Amelda refuses to yield and defiantly advances through the eldritch storm, slaying the Aeldari Farseer with a single bolt round to the head.
- Citadel Journal 17, "The Storm, The Hunter and the Seer: Eldrad Ulthran, The Farseer of Ulthwe", pp. 47-48
- Codex: Adeptus Sororitas (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), pp. 17-18
- Codex: Eye of Terror (3rd Edition)
- Codex: Eldar Craftworlds (7th Edition), pp. 39-40, 48, 52, 172-179, 279-281
- Codex: Eldar (6th Edition), pp. 14, 21-23, 28, 53, 74, 82, 86
- Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pp. 50-51
- Codex: Eldar (3rd Edition), pg. 37
- Codex: Eldar (2nd Edition), pg. 33
- Craftworld Iyanden - A Codex: Eldar Supplement (6th Edition), pp. 23-24
- Warhammer 40,000: Planetstrike (5th Edition), pg. 56
- White Dwarf 286 (US), "Heroes and Villains of the 41st Millennium: Eldrad Ulthran, Farseer of Ulthwé" by Phil Kelly
- White Dwarf 227 (US), "Chapter Approved: Eldar - Eldrad Ulthran: Farseer", pp. 73-80
- White Dwarf 172 (US), "The Eldar", pp. 5-16
- Fulgrim (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- Dawn of War Omnibus (Novel) by C. S. Goto, pp. 279-281
- Dawn of War: Tempest (Novel) by C.S. Goto
- Harlequin (Inquistion War Trilogy) by Ian Watson
- Farseer (Novel) by William King
- Warrior Coven (Novel) by C.S. Goto
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Winter Assault (PC Game)
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade (PC Game)
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm (PC Game)
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II (PC Game)
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II (PC Game)
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution (PC Game)