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Eldar Webway

An ancient Aeldari city within the Webway.

The Webway, also known as the Labyrinth Dimension, or the Labyrinthine Dimension in older texts, is an extra-dimensional space partitioned off from the Immaterium millions of Terran years ago by an extremely advanced xenos species known as the Old Ones.

Today, it is utilised by the Aeldari Asuryani of the craftworlds and their Drukhari counterparts for faster-than-light travel. It serves as the home of the vast Dark City of Commorragh and the hidden craftworld controlled by the Harlequins known as the Black Library.

Warp Gate

An Asuryani warhost stepping on a new world through the Webway.

The Webway has been described as an incredibly complex network of arteries and capillaries, a maze of glowing tunnels, and a mystic tapestry of hidden threads that spread across the veil between realspace and the Warp.

The Webway is a hyper-dimensional construct that spans the dimensions of Creation, primarily defined by the fact that it sits between the material realm and the roiling tides of the Warp, an interstice comparable to the fabric of a veil cast over something foul.

As with all of the Aeldari's most prized artefacts, the Webway was brought into being by psychic means, and the substance of its myriad corridors are protected by manner, methods and composition of their construction from incursions from the Warp.



Flanked by statues of the Phoenix Lords, an Asuryani Exarch enters a craftworld Webway gate.

The Webway was created by the Old Ones, an ancient and technologically advanced intelligent species who established an interstellar empire across the Milky Way Galaxy tens of millions of standard years before the development of most of the other sentient species. They created the Webway as a conduit that allowed its masters to travel at will to countless far-flung worlds without risking the fickle tides of the Warp.

The ancient Aeldari were taught about this arcane technology by the Old Ones, and quickly mastered the Labyrinth Dimension of the Webway, expanding their realms into the furthest corners of reality where they learned much about the universe that has since been forgotten. Over the millennia, the core of the Aeldari species began to look inwards, inexorably seeking new ways to explore the full range of emotion and sensation which they felt so powerfully.

A sickness of vice overtook the Aeldari, and blood flowed through the streets amidst the bestial roar of the crowd. Their hidden realms within the Webway became sprawling palaces of avarice and sadism, and entire worlds were bent to the pursuit of the darkest of sensations. As the moral corruption of the Aeldari tightened its stranglehold, echoes of ecstasy and agony began to ripple through time and space.

In the parallel dimension of the Warp, the reflections of these intense experiences began to coalesce, for the shifting psychic tides of the Empyrean can take form around intense emotion felt by large masses of sentient beings. Slowly, silently, a nascent god of excess grew strong in the depths of the Warp.

Within the Warp, thoughts and emotions flow together, fed by fellow feelings until they achieve a consciousness of sorts. They become entities of greater or lesser potency depending on the intensity of their origin.

Amidst the swirling psychic energy of the Empyrean, the corruption of the decadent Aeldari became manifest on a horrifying scale as the flood of raw emotions coalesced into a gestalt consciousness. Slowly, the Great Enemy stirred towards wakefulness.

Too late, the Aeldari realised that they had created a god in their own hideous image, a god grown immense and potent by suckling upon the dark fodder of the Aeldari spirit. No creature was ever conceived that was as terrible or perverse as the Chaos God Slaanesh.

It is a name the Aeldari will not speak, instead whispering Sai'lanthresh, translatable from the Aeldari Lexicon as "She Who Thirsts." In a heartbeat, the shining Aeldari civilisation that had lasted for aeons had its heart ripped out, leaving a pulsing afterbirth of pure Chaos in its place.

Since the Fall of the Aeldari in the late 29th and early 30th Millennia of the Imperial Calendar, the Webway has become a realm shattered and dangerous, its splintered reaches infested by strange beings from different realities. Yet the Webway's portals still allow the brave and the bold to strike without warning at millions of locations throughout realspace.

The ancient Aeldari discovered millions of Terran years ago the means to move within the threads of the veil between realspace and the Warp. It was they who mastered the original Webway network, though it has changed drastically since the height of the Aeldari Empire, torn open by war and disaster. Moving between the dimensions is a technique fraught with danger, but such is the skill and intellect of the Aeldari that they are still able to utilise it without hesitation.

The Asuryani craftworlds float in deep space and move at only sub-light speeds. Their exact locations are not known by other intelligent races, and the Craftworld Aeldari themselves do not consider their physical positions to be important -- a minor detail in an eternal journey.

Smaller Aeldari spacecraft, moored in docks upon the craftworld's fringes, travel between the different craftworlds by means of the Webway. The main gateways into the Webway take the form of swirling spheres of light and darkness held in stasis astern of each craftworld.

The pathways of the Webway lead to the craftworlds, to the surface of the verdant worlds of the Exodites, to the Drukhari's corrupt city of Commorragh, and to untold thousands of other worlds throughout the galaxy. Cloistered deep within the hidden city-realms of the Webway, those survivors who concealed themselves in their palaces of depravity still revel in the debauched lifestyle that led to the Fall.

In that twilight realm between the material universe and the Warp, the Drukhari mock and jeer those ravaged by the downfall of their species. Even though they would never admit it, they know in their hearts that, try as they might to allay their fate, unless something changes beyond their imagination to conceive, Slaanesh will claim them in the end.

Though the Webway still connects many Aeldari worlds and craftworlds to one another, the baleful energies of the Fall have ruptured its hyperspatial pathways in countless places. Amongst the Webway's shattered and treacherous tendrils there are many byways, dead ends and mazes that can entrap the unwary. Some lead to places long since abandoned or destroyed, or else now inhabited by the daemons of the Warp.

These doors are sealed with runes of psychic power, lest unknown horrors gain access to a craftworld or some unwary traveller unwittingly opens a doorway and is sucked into the Warp. It is claimed that there are many secret paths that lead through time and reality, though only the elegant and deadly Harlequins are reputed to know of such routes.

Within the furthest reaches of the Webway are mighty Drukhari port-cities and infestations of nests of the wasp-like Warp entities known as the Psychneuein, but the best hidden of all the secrets of the Webway is the hidden Craftworld called the Black Library.

The exact shape and form of the Webway is not fully understood by the Aeldari of the present day, let alone the xenographers of the Imperium. Each craftworld's place in the Webway is known only to its Seers, and they guard their knowledge well.

It is rumoured that a transdimensional map was made thousands of Terran years ago, a priceless artefact which is now kept in the Black Library. Holding secrets beyond mortal understanding, it shows many hidden ways that have since been lost or forgotten. If this is so, then the guardians of that strange domain have chosen to keep their secrets.

While some of the Webway's arterial passageways are large enough to carry spacecraft, most tunnels only allow strike forces of Aeldari on foot or small vehicles to pass. Though most Aeldari spacecraft can travel through the Warp itself, it is a difficult and dangerous process for them -- to risk a craftworld in such a way would be to throw a candle into a storm and hope for its flame to stay alight.

As a result, the Asuryani and Drukhari travel infrequently to places that lie more than a few light years from the safety of their Webway portals.

Webway journeys are relatively fast, allowing space fleets to move easily between the network's major gateways. This enables the Aeldari to transfer swiftly to places directly connected by the Labyrinth Dimension, but makes it extremely difficult for them to reach worlds that have no gate into the network.

Era Indomitus[]

With the arrival of the Dathedian as the Aeldari called it -- known in the Imperium as the Cicatrix Maledictum or Great Rift -- the sudden outpouring of Warp energy shattered many arterial spars of the Webway.

Whole sections were cut off entirely, reduced to isolated islands that were abandoned by their former inhabitants. Many rune-gates were ruptured completely or subsumed by the hungering Chaos dimension, their passages emptying into howling rents in reality.

However, the calamity that befell those outside the Webway was even greater, for the Dathedian had cleaved the galaxy in two. Countless Human worlds that were once part of the wider Imperium of Man floundered in darkness, unable to communicate or travel as they once had, alone amidst the menacing darkness of a hostile galaxy.

The Drukhari have plunged headlong into this shrouded hunting ground, sending their raiding parties to harvest worlds once thought to be impregnable fortresses of Humanity. From these worlds they have taken slaves in greater numbers than ever before. Every day the Imperium sends more forces in a desperate attempt to salvage this section of their realm, and every day more and more captives are taken to die in the arenas of Commorragh.

Among them are breeds of warriors previously unseen such as the Primaris Space Marines, who sate the spectators' thirst for variety in bloodshed. Though the Dathedian wrought great ruination upon the Webway, those Drukhari who endured its birth spasms are now free to savour the torment it has created across reality.

The Black Library[]

The best hidden of all the realms in the Labyrinth Dimension is the mysterious Black Library, the secret craftworld which contains all the knowledge that the Aeldari have collected about the primal force of Chaos across millions of standard years.

To reach this fabled realm, one must court madness itself, travelling secret passages through the Webway, evading the gaze of the horrifying entities that stand guard, and unlocking one of the library's cunningly hidden entrances amid veils of riddle and illusion.

The Black Library houses all of the Aeldari's most precious knowledge, and is said to resemble a vast, impossible craftworld that exists only within the Labyrinth Dimension. There is lore here regarding every deadly galactic mystery that the Aeldari of any faction have ever encountered.

The exact shape and form of the Webway is not fully understood by the Aeldari of the present day. Known by some as the Labyrinth Dimension, the Webway has been envisioned by mortal minds in myriad ways. Some describe it as a galactic tapestry of shimmering strands, others a maze of glowing tunnels, or the veins of some vast living entity. All such accounts fall short of the truth, for the Webway defies neat categorisation.

It is an elegantly crafted realm located between realspace and the Warp, analogous to the surface of a still, dark pool, or a fine silk veil drawn across something foul. The Webway once spanned the galaxy, even stretching out into the empty, extragalactic void beyond. But those days are long gone.

Ravaged by war and catastrophe, many of its tunnels have been torn open or amputated entirely, and a great number of its entrances have been sealed by the Aeldari themselves as a desperate measure to deny their foes access.

The Aeldari no longer share its secrets with Humans for the knowledge of the myriad secret ways are considered of the utmost importance to the survival of their threatened species. As noted above, is rumoured that a complete map of the Webway was made many thousands of Terran years ago, which is now kept in the Black Library.

This is a bulky, ancient Imperial tome known as the Atlas Infernal. It is an organic, adaptable map of the Webway, dating from before the time of the Horus Heresy. A psionically-negative item, its "pages" were created from the stretched pieces of skin of an Untouchable who had once been an Imperial Sister of Silence, attached to lightweight golden frames.

The veins, capillaries, and arteries on the "pages" could reconfigure themselves to show the reader their desired destination within the Webway, being constantly fed oxygen by an intricate regulated pump embedded in the book's spine. Although no longer entirely accurate, the Atlas Infernal shows many secret ways through the Labyrinthine Dimension that have since been lost or forgotten.

It is the Harlequins who watch over the Black Library alongside its dark guardians, and use its secrets to gain the upper hand in their eternal war against Chaos. They utilise their knowledge of the Webway's hidden paths to outmanoeuvre their foes and strike from unexpected quarters. In this way, whole masques of Harlequins can position themselves in ambush, guaranteeing themselves the element of surprise.

Of course, such a system is not perfect, for the Webway has become a broken and dangerous realm. Still, this is little help to the general who suddenly discovers his armies overrun from within, slaughtered by a host of Harlequins before he even realises that battle is joined.

The Dark City[]

City of Commorragh

Commorragh, home of the Drukhari.

As the ancient Aeldari fell into decadence and depravity, amongst the pleasure-seekers and the interminably curious were those whose pursuit of excess became ever more extreme. These included a great proportion of the aristocracy of ancient Aeldari society; those with the wealth and the time to truly explore every aspect of decadence.

One by one, the leaders of the cults of excess that were taking over Aeldari society became obsessed with their own power. They relocated into the Labyrinthine Dimension known as the Webway, taking over hidden ports and setting up strongholds at key nodal points within which to continue their debased pursuits.

Almost invariably, these realms were linked via portals to the sprawling and exhilaratingly lawless city of Commorragh. Commorragh was originally the greatest of the Webway port-cities, impossibly vast and able to transport a fleet to any of the most vital planets of the Aeldari Empire by virtue of its many portals.

Because of the access it granted to the far-flung corners of realspace, this mighty metropolis was reckoned to be the most important location in the entire Webway. It was too valuable to the Aeldari as a whole to belong to any single aspect of their interstellar empire, so it existed outside the jurisdiction of the great Aeldari councils of that time. Precisely because of its autonomy, the city-port quickly became a magnet for those that wished their deeds to remain hidden from prying eyes.

The Aeldari sealed within the Webway had not escaped the Fall untouched. Rather than having their essence consumed in one great draught, their souls were slowly draining away into the Warp -- consumed over time by "She Who Thirsts." The Aeldari fear Slaanesh above all, for it was given life by their actions, and yet waits hungrily on the other side of the veil to claim each and every one of them.

Whereas the Aeldari of the craftworlds learned to deny Slaanesh's hold upon them using the mystical Spirit Stones and Infinity Circuits, the Commorrite Aeldari became expert at ensuring that lesser beings suffered in their stead. Provided they steeped themselves in the most extreme and decadent acts, the Aeldari of the Webway found that the curse of Slaanesh could be abated.

The absorbed psychic emanations of agony drawn from other sentient beings nourished their withered souls and kept them vital and strong, filling their frames with unnatural energies. Assuming they could feed regularly enough on the pain of other sentient beings, the Aeldari of the Webway became physically immune to the passage of time. So it was that the Drukhari or "Dark Ones," were born, a race of sadistic parasites who subsist upon the anguish of others in order to prevent the slow death of their immortal souls.

To this day the Drukhari raid the galaxy from the canker that is Commorragh, sowing misery and destruction and spiriting away countless captives to their lairs for their own horrible ends. Commorragh appears within the Webway to be a composite urban centre on an impossibly vast scale, a hazy, contradictory realm whose dimensions can overawe the sanity of any who approach it.

Thousands of starships dock each day at its spires, for the Drukhari are a far more numerous species than the Imperium of Man, or even their own craftworld Asuryani kin, fully suspect.

Yet Commorragh plays host to more than just the Drukhari race. Many diverse species of alien mercenaries, bounty hunters and even Human Renegades all risk their souls to do business in Commorragh, hoping to claim just some of the riches to be had in the Dark City.

Imperial Webway Project[]

Golden Throne-Imperial Webway

The Emperor of Mankind upon the Golden Throne.

In the late 30th Millennium, during the Unification Wars on Terra, buried deep under a huge and inhospitable desert on the Terran continent of Asia, the Emperor of Mankind discovered a portal that led to the Webway's vast network of tunnels that had been constructed eons ago by a xenos race more ancient than the Terran sun. This was in the time before the building of the Imperial Palace, although the exact date is also currently unknown.

The Emperor discovered there the core of the psychic amplification device that the Golden Throne would later be constructed around to serve as a portal into the Webway based on Terra.

Prior to the outbreak of the Horus Heresy, and over a period of several standard centuries, the Emperor directed tens of thousands of Adeptus Mechanicus Tech-priests to modify the Golden Throne so that it could be put into use as the nexus of his secret Imperial Webway Project.

This greatest of the Emperor's many works was intended to open up the Aeldari Webway to Mankind by establishing a portal into its network from Terra. This would provide a means of instantaneous interstellar travel between the worlds of the newborn Imperium of Man, making navigation through the dangers of the Warp unnecessary and remove the necessity for reliance upon astrotelepathy as the only form of interstellar communication, literally connecting all the branches of Mankind instantaneously.

This would create a truly unified human race as never before in history, similar to the advantages once possessed by the lost Aeldari civilisation before its Fall. The Emperor believed that this level of unity would be necessary if humanity was truly to thrive and prosper in such a dangerous universe.

Legio Custodes Imperial Webway

A cadre of Legio Custodes enter the Imperial Webway to halt the daemonic incursion.

The Golden Throne's gateway, the Imperial conduit and the alien-built Webway-tunnels were all both physical and psychic in nature. Wrapped around the physical component was a psychic sheath or shield. The very substance of the alien tunnels appeared to generate this shielding naturally. For the human-built gateway and conduit, the Emperor Himself had to continuously generate the protective psychic sheath. This psy-shield sealed the Webway from the Warp and its daemonic denizens in some inexplicably arcane fashion.

The Emperor's efforts were thwarted as a direct result of the Thousand Sons Primarch Magnus the Red's sorcerous warning, which penetrated the multiple psychic shields the Emperor had erected around the Imperial Palace in order to warn Him of the Warmaster Horus' perfidy in the days just before the Horus Heresy began in the early 31st Millennium. Magnus' psychic sending disrupted the Emperor's psychic shield around the Terran Webway portal, causing great rifts to appear within. It was through these rifts that the creatures of the Warp were able to gain egress into the Terran Webway tunnels.

Through the valiant sacrifice of many members of the Legio Custodes and the Sisters of Silence, the Imperials were able to stem the tide of the daemonic incursions, preventing them from breaching the Warp and assaulting the sacred soil of Terra itself. Yet the Terran Webway gate only remained sealed for as long as the Emperor was able to power its shield directly from His throne atop the golden portal. Only the strongest of other human psykers had enough power to temporarily replace the Emperor's efforts, and only the Emperor had the might to keep the gate closed permanently. For Him that effort became harder as the daemonic forces gathered about Him. As long as the daemon horde threatened to breach the portal, the Golden Throne proved be the Emperor's prison.

Emperor Webway War

The Emperor of Mankind within the Imperial Webway leads the Legio Custodes and the Silent Sisterhood against the forces of Chaos.

During the Siege of Terra, the epic final battle of that lamentable galaxy-spanning civil war, the Emperor was temporarily relieved from this burden by the valiant sacrifice of Malcador the Sigillite, the oldest and most trusted advisor of the Emperor, and a potent psyker in his own right. But this would merely prove a temporary respite, as the burden of holding the gate closed quickly drained the valiant Malcador of his life force. This provided the Emperor with the opportunity to face His once favoured son Horus aboard his Battle Barge, the Vengeful Spirit, in Terran orbit. 

In the end, Horus was utterly destroyed by the Emperor, body, mind and soul. But the Emperor was mortally wounded Himself in the effort and was brought back to Terra where His ravaged body was placed within permanent stasis upon the Golden Throne. The great device was rapidly modified by the Adepts of the Mechanicum at the direction of Rogal Dorn, the Primarch of the Imperial Fists Legion, in order to prevent the Master of Mankind's death.

Acting as a complex life support machine, the Golden Throne has held the dessicated and slowly decaying body of the Emperor in stasis for ten millennia, preserving His mind and will, which originates and guides the psychic beacon that is the Astronomican within the Warp. He is also said to constantly struggle to keep the forces of the Dark Powers of Chaos at bay so that Humanity can flourish even to the extent that it has in the galaxy.

It is not known whether the Emperor's ability to protect individual Human beings from the powers of Chaos is related to the destroyed Terran portal of the Webway or to the unknown alien device that lies at the heart of the Golden Throne itself.

Notable Events[]

  • The Port Commorragh (ca. M18) - Commorragh establishes itself as the primary nodal port of the Webway, growing larger with every passing solar decade. Built entirely within the Labyrinth Dimension and hence outside the jurisdiction of the ancient Aeldari councils, Commorragh acts as a magnet for those who wish to avoid attention.
  • The Twilight Cults (ca. M18-M20) - Amongst the growing Aeldari cults of pleasure, the worship of the Dark Muses is rife. Those Aeldari leading the new paradigm of total self-indulgence rise in status and power until they can secede entirely from the physical plane. The architects and masters of the new order rise so sharply in influence that they are able to claim vast swathes of the Labyrinth Dimension of the Webway as their personal domains. They take up permanent residence in the Webway, from which they can plumb the depths of decadence undisturbed by puritans and weaklings. Over time, their sovereign estates grow into entire sub-realms, many of which are powered by the energy of stolen suns. The solar systems plunged into darkness by the ancient Aeldari's star-theft wither and die in the freezing cold of the void, but the Aeldari care not. Commorragh, largest and most lawless of the Webway's port-cities, becomes synonymous with vice and decadence. The forefathers of the Drukhari are born.
  • Darkness Rising (ca. M25-M30) - The depravity of the Aeldari race plumbs terrible new depths. Cults of pleasure and pain flourish in the hidden reaches of the webway, and even the core worlds of Eldar society become obsessed with ever-greater acts of excess. As the lines blur between sensation-seeking and outright evil, a new force stirs in the Warp.
  • The Fall (ca. M31) - The core of the Aeldari Empire is torn out by the cataclysmic birth-screams of a new god. Trillions of sentient beings die as the centre of the galaxy collapses into the Immaterium. A thousand worlds are consumed by the largest Warp rift the galaxy has ever seen; the Eye of Terror. Aeldari civilisation is shattered forever, and the psychic backlash of Slaanesh's ascendance curses the souls of those who survive. All that remains are the Drukhari lurking within the Webway, those Exodites who settled in the furthest reaches of the galaxy, and those few Craftworld Aeldari --now calling themselves "Eldar" -- who escaped aboard the craftworlds. The long battle against extinction begins.
  • Cegorach's Summons (ca. M32) - In the wake of the Fall of the Aeldari, the surviving worshippers of the Laughing God disappear into the Webway without a word of explanation.
  • The War Begins (641.M33) - After centuries of isolation, Cegorach's followers return in spectacular fashion. The Harlequin Masque of the Midnight Sorrow burst from the Webway at Llayen Nuadh to fall upon a horde of Slaaneshi daemons.
  • The Breaching (c.M37) - Asdrubael Vect, Supreme Overlord of Commorragh, causes the hidden portals that link each satellite realm and port-city of the Webway to be revealed, forcing them open and building the Great Gates: huge edifices that are permanently guarded by Vect's elite Incubi and Kabalite Warrior garrisons. Over several Terran millennia of civil war and violent strife, Commorragh expands into these once-autonomous regions until they become integral to the Dark City. Only the realm of Shaadom remains autonomous.
  • Chaos Webway Breach (579.M37) - A coven of Chaos Space Marine Sorcerers of the Thousand Sons conduct a great ritual in the Webway, hoping to gain access to Commorragh. At the ritual's climax, hundreds of Drukhari pour from an invisible portal into their ranks, led by vaulting troupes of Harlequins. Battle is joined as the Tzeentchian Sorcerers counterattack; the fabric of the Webway is breached in the process and its arterial walls buckle and burst. The backlash strands the combatants in a shattered pocket-reality with no way out. It is rumoured in Commorragh that they fight there still, locked in an endless cycle of war and rebirth for the rest of time.
  • War in the Webway (514.M38) - The Asuryani of Craftworld Ulthwé and the 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.
  • 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.

Webway and the Warp[]

Eldar Galaxy Map

An Asuryani galaxy map which depicts known locations of the Webway.

The Webway is used by the Aeldari to ply the galaxy and wage war. The arterial passageways of the hyperdimensional construct are large enough to carry spacecraft, though most tunnels only allow strike forces of Aeldari on foot or small vehicles to pass.

Although Aeldari spacecraft can travel through the Warp itself, the Aeldari avoid using Warpspace because they possess a powerful depth and range of emotion which gives them a stronger psychic presence in the Empyrean that other intelligent species. This would inevitably attract a large daemonic presence during the voyage, making the trip extremely hazardous.

As a result, the Aeldari travel infrequently to places in the galaxy that lie more than a few light years from their Webway portals. Webway journeys are relatively fast, enabling Aeldari fleets to move easily between the network's major gateways. This allows the Aeldari to move swiftly to places directly connected to the Labyrinthine Dimension, but makes it extremely difficult for them to reach worlds that have no gate in the network or that lie more than a few light years beyond one.

It is said that Cegorach, the Aeldari's Laughing God, is the only being in existence who knows every single path through the Webway. This might explain how his disciples, the Harlequins, possess such an intimate knowledge of its twists and turns, for the Harlequins walk the Webway without fear, appearing and disappearing at will. So well versed are they in the Webway's secret routes that many other Aeldari have credited the servants of the Laughing God with supernatural powers.

It is the Harlequins who watch over the Black Library alongside its dark guardians, and use its secrets to gain the upper hand in their war against Chaos. They utilise their knowledge of the Webway's hidden paths to outmanoeuvre their foes and strike from unexpected quarters. In this way, whole masques of Harlequins can position themselves in ambush, guaranteeing themselves the element of surprise.

Of course, such a system is not perfect, for the Webway has become a broken and dangerous realm. Still, this is little help to the general who suddenly discovers his armies overrun from within, slaughtered by a host of Harlequins before he even realises that battle is joined.

Webway Structure[]

Webway Portal Schematic

Schematic of a Webway Portal.

The Webway is best imagined as a vast and tangled network of doorways between fixed points in realspace. Through the Webway the Aeldari can travel farther and faster than most other starfaring species.

However, if there is no Warpgate -- the name for the exits and entrances to the Webway -- near their destination, or the one present is not big enough to permit the necessary forces to pass, the Aeldari are at a disadvantage.

Much of the Webway has fallen into obscurity and disrepair, with many sections destroyed or found uncharted after the Fall of the Aeldari. This often forces the Aeldari to make connecting stops on their way to their destination because they will discover that they have no direct route. Because the technology to create them has been lost, intact Webway gates are some of the Aeldari's most treasured artefacts.

The Warpgates that allow entry to the Labyrinth Dimension range in size from personal gates intended for foot travel to massive ones that entire craftworlds can use. Because of the Warpgates' rarity and importance, the Asuryani and Drukhari will stop at nothing to either claim or deny the use of these gates to the enemy.

Necron Dolmen Gates[]

Since the ancient race known as the Necrons have awakened from their aeons-long Great Sleep, the C'tan known as Nyadra'zatha, the Burning One, who has long desired to carry his eldritch fires into the Webway and beyond, has finally enabled the Necrons to gain access to the Webway, showing the Necrons how to breach its boundaries.

Through a series of living stone portals known as Dolmen Gates, the Necrons have finally been able to turn the Old Ones' greatest weapon against them, vastly accelerating the end of the Necrons' long War in Heaven.

As a species bereft of psykers, the Necrons are incapable of Warp travel, and without access to the Webway, they would be forced to rely once more on slow-voyaging stasis-ships, dooming them to isolation within the galaxy.

The portals offered by the Dolmen Gates are neither so stable, nor so controllable, as the naturally occurring entrances to the Webway. Indeed, in some curious and unknown fashion, the Webway can detect when its environs have been breached by a Dolmen Gate and the network swiftly attempts to seal off the infected spur until the danger has passed. As such, Necrons entering the Webway must reach their destination quickly, lest the network bring about their destruction.

Fortunately, many Dolmen Gates were lost or abandoned during the time of the Great Sleep aeons ago, and many more were destroyed by the Aeldari. Those that remain grant access to but a small portion of the Webway, and much of that portion of the Labyrinthine Dimension has already been voluntarily sealed off by the Aeldari to prevent further contamination.

Yet the Webway is immeasurably vast, and even these sundered skeins allow the Necrons a mode of travel that far outpaces those of the younger species.



  • Battlefleet Gothic Magazine #13, "The Cerberus War: Endgame," pp. 22-23, 25
  • Codex: Chaos Daemons (4th Edition), pg. 18
  • Codex: Drukhari (8th Edition), "A Galaxy in Shadow," pg. 11
  • Codex: Dark Eldar (7th Edition), pp. 8, 11-15, 18-20, 35, 42, 54, 63, 75, 85-86, 88, 95, 98, 105-107, 110, 114
  • Codex: Dark Eldar (5th Edition), pp. 6-8, 20
  • Codex: Dark Eldar (3rd Edition), pg. 15
  • Codex: Eldar (7th Edition), pp. 9, 12, 15, 23, 26-27, 44, 52-55, 58, 135, 146, 149, 153, 166, 181, 189, 193, 197
  • Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pp. 12-13
  • Codex: Eldar (3rd Edition), pg. 3
  • Codex: Eldar (2nd Edition), pp. 5-6
  • Codex: Harlequins (7th Edition) (Ebook), pp. 3, 7, 9, 12, 15, 21, 23, 27, 30, 34-35, 37, 68, 70
  • Codex: Necrons (5th Edition), pp. 6, 8
  • Codex: Necrons (3rd Edition), pg. 24
  • Dark Heresy: Creatures Anathema (RPG), pg. 77
  • Epic Swordwind, pp. 3, 22
  • Horus Heresy: Collected Visions, pp. 322, 324, 326, 328, 350-351, 359-361
  • Warhammer 40,000: Compendium (1st Edition)
  • Daemonigfuge (Graphic Novel)
  • Inquisition War Trilogy
    • Draco (Novel) by Ian Watson
    • Harlequin (Novel) by Ian Watson
    • Chaos Child (Novel) by Ian Watson
  • Atlas Infernal (Novel) by Rob Sanders
Raven Rock Videos
Warhammer 40,000 Overview Grim Dark Lore Teaser TrailerPart 1: ExodusPart 2: The Golden AgePart 3: Old NightPart 4: Rise of the EmperorPart 5: UnityPart 6: Lords of MarsPart 7: The Machine GodPart 8: ImperiumPart 9: The Fall of the AeldariPart 10: Gods and DaemonsPart 11: Great Crusade BeginsPart 12: The Son of StrifePart 13: Lost and FoundPart 14: A Thousand SonsPart 15: Bearer of the WordPart 16: The Perfect CityPart 17: Triumph at UllanorPart 18: Return to TerraPart 19: Council of NikaeaPart 20: Serpent in the GardenPart 21: Horus FallingPart 22: TraitorsPart 23: Folly of MagnusPart 24: Dark GambitsPart 25: HeresyPart 26: Flight of the EisensteinPart 27: MassacrePart 28: Requiem for a DreamPart 29: The SiegePart 30: Imperium InvictusPart 31: The Age of RebirthPart 32: The Rise of AbaddonPart 33: Saints and BeastsPart 34: InterregnumPart 35: Age of ApostasyPart 36: The Great DevourerPart 37: The Time of EndingPart 38: The 13th Black CrusadePart 39: ResurrectionPart 40: Indomitus