"On this twisted, trying path, I have learned to see the skeins of the future and walk towards the fate I choose. And yet, now that I find my decisions are my own, I discover that I have no choice. There is only one course. I am a warrior, so let the battle be joined."
- — Unknown Warlock, shortly before his death
A Warlock is an Eldar Seer or psyker who previously walked the Path of the Warrior as an Aspect Warrior of the Eldar Craftworlds and now uses his potent psychic powers to help lead Eldar warhosts. Warlocks who lose themselves upon this path ultimately become Farseers. The most aggressive and warlike of all the potential variants of the Path of the Seer is that of the Warlock. Since Warlocks are Seers who once trod the Path of the Warrior, their previous experience as Aspect Warriors allows them to harness their more destructive impulses when using their psychic powers in combat. The ornate helmets worn by Warlocks in the field are kept in the shrines of the Warrior Aspects as a sign of the close link between Warlocks and their former status as Warriors. A Warlock can only attain that status by returning to the Aspect Shrine that he once belonged to and receiving his helmet from the shrine's Exarch as part of the same blood-ritual undergone by Aspect Warriors.
A Warlock not only learns the use of the psychic runes of war but also how to wield the Witchblade, a powerful Eldar Force Weapon. Witchblades writhe and twist with living runes of the Eldar Lexicon that focus the inherent power of the Warlock's mind into destructive psychic energy using a helical psychic matrix that runs through the core of the blade. In the hands of a Warlock, a Witchblade strikes with a devastating burst of psychic force that can incinerate an enemy where he stands.
Whenever the Craftworld Eldar go to war, their Warlocks accompany their forces of Aspect Warriors and Guardians. They use their psychic powers both to protect the Eldar Warriors and to wreak havoc among their foes; a thought-wave from a Warlock can instil courage in his comrades or sear the souls of the Eldar's enemies. Though not as psychically powerful as Farseers, few of the psykers found among the other intelligent species of the galaxy can equal the arcane might of an Eldar Warlock or match their combat prowess with the power of the Warp.
Those rare Warlocks who specialise in summoning and guiding the spirits of the Eldar dead that exist within the Infinity Circuits of the Craftworlds are known as Spiritseers. Their role in combat is to direct and command the Eldar Wraithguard and Wraithlord combat walker that are deployed in the more dire military situations faced by the Craftworlds' forces. Both of these types of Eldar units are Wraithbone constructs that are animated by a Spirit Stone at their hearts that holds the soul of a dead Eldar. The use of such units is is seen as little better than engaging in necromancy among the Eldar, but the practice is tolerated because the Eldar's low population makes reliance upon their dead a necessity if the race is to survive in its weakened state. Spiritseers' special training has hardened their own souls against the danger of becoming too enthralled by their command over the dead and thus actually becoming a true necromancer who glories in the manipulation of the dead for his own profit. The Wraithguard and Wraithlords are used only as a last resort by the Craftworlds and only when their Farseers believe that they face a truly dire threat. Spiritseers are more common among the Eldar of Craftworld Iyanden as this particular Craftworld has a very small population and even fewer Warriors following the assault upon it in 992.M41 by the Tyranid Hive Fleet Kraken.
Warlock Psychic Abilities
When the Eldar must go to war, Warlocks wield their psychic powers among their brethren. Their abilities are focused both on disrupting their opponents and on defending their fellows. In concert with their dreaded psychically active Witchblades, Warlocks are respected and feared by those few who survive fighting against them, and by any who hear the tales of these swift and brutal conflicts.
- Conceal - The Warlock can psychically cloud the minds of the enemy, creating a shifting psychic mist that conceals the movements of his unit from their view under they launch an assault.
- Destructor - The Warlock focuses his anger and hatred and psychically unleashes it upon the enemy in a roiling blast of raw psychic energy. This power is used as a ranged weapon by a Warlock instead of a technological implement.
- Embolden - A Warlock can use his powers to instil an unbreakable courage in the hearts and minds of his comrades, reaching into their minds with visions of mighty heroes and great victories. This power can renew an Eldar assault or defence when their morale is close to breaking.
- Enhance - The Warlock can psychically empower his fellow Warriors by enhancing their reflexes and reaction times, allowing them to operate with lightning speed and enhanced skill at operating their weapons in combat, often allowing them to get the drop on their foes.
- Preventor - The Warlock makes use of his psychic talents to create a shield of psychic energy drawn from the Empyrean around himself that offers protection from most forms of enemy weapons fire, including ballistic projectiles, plasma blasts and laser bolts. However the use of this ability requires a high degree of concentration and devours physical stamina, so that the Warlock cannot make use of any other psychic abilities he posseses. As a result, a Warlock will only make use of this ability in extreme circumstances, such as mortal danger to his own person, a Farseer, another Warlock or an Exarch.
All Warlocks generally wield a psychically-attuned Witchblade. In addition to their helmets, they wear Rune Armour, which is a Wraithbone breastplate shaped into runic forms that can more effectively shrug off both physical and psychic enemy attacks. Warlocks also sometimes make use of a Force Weapon known as a Singing Spear. The Singing Spear is a psychically-charged weapon simiar to the Witchblade, but it can also be thrown at opponents and is more effective against heavily armoured vehicles than a Witchblade.
- Codex: Craftworld Eldar (3rd Edition), pg. 4
- Codex: Eldar (6th Edition), pg. 29
- Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pp. 20, 27-28
- Codex: Eldar (3rd Edition), pp. 9, 37
- Codex: Eldar (2nd Edition), pg. 18
- Codex: Eye of Terror (3rd Edition), pg. 28
- Codex: Imperialis (1st Edition), pg. 66
- Rogue Trader: The Navis Primer (RPG), pp. 121-122