Iron Warriors Warband
When the Emperor had re-discovered the Primarch of The Iron Warriors, and given him command of the Legion, many nobles Olympia were given positions of command within The Iron Warriors. One such was Damien.
Damien was Lord of the City State of Adbg, a mountain-city near the polar icecaps of the planet. He was a just ruler, and saw to it that criminals were punished and hard work was rewarded. But he, like his Primarch, had little faith. Whereas other Iron Warriors and legions worshipped the Emperor like a god, Damien saw him as a man, genetically altered, but still, a mortal. He believed that one man alone should not rule the universe. This was the beginning of Damien’s fall.
He was Warsmith of the 12th Great Company, and was accompanied always by his advisor Ridcully. Ridcully was a psyker, and was Damien’s Vizier and advisor. He was then promoted to Company Librarian, and was at Damien’s side at the battle which turned the Iron Warriors into heretics.
Damien and Ridcully had little faith in the Emperor, seeing him as a man, a mortal, rather than a God given flesh. To say Damien clashed horns with the company’s Chaplin is an understatement. At Istvaan IV, Damien shot the Chaplain, saying that this is how the Emperor saw them: Cannon Fodder.
After the massacre, the 12th Company split off from the rest of the Legion, adopting the title “The Steel lords”. They were the only company not present at the siege of the Emperors palace, because they were lost in the warp. When they emerged, it was M36. They had been in the warp for 5,000 years.
Damien declared that they needed to have a base of operations, and to contact the legion. They were to conquer the next world they found, or die trying.
That world was a Squat world, and they quickly tore open the bastions and fortresses with machine-like ease.
Unlike the others though, Damien was not a champion to the dark Gods, and neither were his followers. They were renegades, and they needed no arcane mumbo-jumbo to make them feel good. At the last siege to take Gurnisson, the Squat lord declared that if they were spared, they would act as the Iron Warriors servants. A few Squats were too proud and foolish to give in, and for their pains, they were shot.
After this, Damien began work on a siege train, and his technicians have created many machines of destruction, such as a Titan, and an Overlord Airship.
The Steel Lords' homeworld is the ex-Squat world of Gurnisson. It is a mountainous world, and has crags up to 3 miles high. The main fortress is on the peek known only as "The Reaper". The fortress is built throughout the mountain, reaching from the highest spire, to 2 miles below surface.
Gurnisson also has one colossal ocean, which is a deep red, due to the mysterious lights from below the surface. Damien has sent several expeditions to investigate, but none have returned.
A warp portal was discovered in the region of The Edge, and has provided the Steel Lords with enough troops for raids. These have taken forms of warbands of Cult marines and cultists, all pledging allegience to Damien.
The Steel Lords are split up into numerous groups, such as the "Machine Warriors" (elite veterans and Obliterators) and the main fighting body, the "Iron Legions," the slaves known as "The Damned," and the warband of twenty Dreadnoughts known as "The Rage." Damien also has allies in the form of Kroot, Squat and Hrud Mercenaries, and four legions of Cult Troops from across the Galaxy.
The Steel Lords believe that there are no gods, just merely figments of foolish creatures' superstitions. They have a fierce hatred and contempt for loyalists, who venerate a corpse as a god, and their own allies for worshipping fictional deities.
Damien's battle practices have drawn much attention. He has survived attacks from several Cult Marine leaders (and sent them to their deaths), hundreds of "Crusades" to "cleanse" Gurnisson, and one Offico Assassinorum attempt on his Life. To date, all attempts to thwart him have failed.
"Feel the rage of the Machine!"
SUBJECT: The History of the Heretic Space Marine Chapter Named "The Illuminati," AKA "Torchbearers," AKA "Torchbearers of the Emperor's Light"
My Lords, it pains me to report evidence of a Space Marine Chapter which has fallen from the Grace of our Most Benevolent Emperor. Surely the taint of Chaos has stained this once loyal chapter, heretofore known as "The Torchbearers of the Emperor's Light," or more simply, the "Torchbearers." This chapter was founded several thousand years ago, from the geneseed of the Ultramarines, one of the more genetically stable chapters known to the Imperium.
The Torchbearers were originally founded to provide a much needed Imperial presence in the Colonial Sector of the Segmentum Obscurus, near the Eye of Terror, following the campaign to quell the raids of the heretic Chaos Lord Zymran, of the corrupted Word Bearers Space Marine Chapter.
The Torchbearers constructed their fortress monastery on the planet of Sylvana IV, a thriving Imperial civilized world, very similar to Holy Terra in size and other physical attributes. From there, they patroled the Colonial Sector and the surrounding quadrant against heretic races and Imperial enemies, until one of the frequent Warps Storms inherent to that region isolated the entire sector from Imperial contact for close to three thousand years.
When contact was re-established just fifty-three years ago, the inhabitants of the Colonial Sector had apparently "forgotten" their allegiance to the Imperium, refused to pay homage to our Divine Emperor, and more importantly, refused to pay the Imperial Tithe (including all arrears due), claiming independence and incorporating the so-called "Confederation of the United Planet Systems of the Colonial Sector" (CUPSCS).
When the Torchbearers Chapter was called upon to enforce the Emperor's Will, however, a significant portion of the chapter refused to comply with Your Lordships' Writ of Restitution. An intra-chapter struggle ensued, with loyalist Torchbearers fighting against their brother space marines, who now called themselves, "The Illuminati" ("The Enlightened Ones"). Aided by Imperial forces sent to the Colonial Sector, the loyalist Torchbearers won early victories, however, hampered by frequent After Storms, and due to the rather unconventional "street fighting" tactics employed by both the Confederate and Illuminati forces, the war lingered. After a series of indecisive engagements, the Imperial Attention was focused elsewhere, and the Loyalists were left to establish and maintain order on their own. This proved to be a fatal miscalculation, for without the aid and support of the planetary population, the Loyalists found themselves without clear lines of supply. Despite valiant resistence, the loyal Torchbearers were eventually defeated through a war of attrition that they could not sustain without Imperial assistance. As of this writing, there remains no known organized resistance against the renegades. Any surviving remnants of loyalist marines have either been repatriated into the ranks of the Illuminati or destroyed.
Today, the Illuminati (AKA Torchbearers, as they have retained the original chapter heraldry) and the Confederation they support, maintain their heretical so-called independence from the Imperium. Their organization is based on "tactical companies" which employ a balanced mixture of infantry and mechanized elements. Their training emphasizes efficiency of military assets, due to the relatively scarce resources at their command.
As far as one can tell, there is no outward acknowledgement of Chaos worship. However, as Our Lordships' well know, Mankind and the Emperor are One; any deviation from from this natural relationship, is necessarily rooted in Chaos. Their motto, "Vivite libere aut morite" ("Live free or die") belies their particularly covert form of Chaos-worship! What else needs be stated or proven, my Lords? They incriminate themselves!
I urge a complete purge in extremis of this most dangerous form of Chaos! The concept that Mankind can live and prosper outside the embrace of the Emperor's Grace must not be allowed to take root! The Powers of Chaos must be consumed at all costs, lest we allow, what was a contained sore, to infect the entire Galaxy, and lose the Eternal War to these heretic renegades from within the Imperium itself!
I have taken the liberty to attach several historical reports from the late Inq. Hauptman describing the initial struggles on Sylvana IV so that you may know better the tenacious nature of these heretics.
Inquisitor Davion Ramocles
TO: Imperial Inquisitorial Council, Earth
FROM: Inq. B. Hauptman, Research Station Beta Zed, Segmentum Obscurus
SUBJ: Colonial Sector Uprising
It has come to my attention that an uprising has occurred and is ongoing in the Colonial Sector, Subsector Alpha, in the Sylvana IV system. Soon after the warp storms of said sector abated, our Imperial Emmissaries were sent to re-establish communication after nearly 3000 years of isolation. Their entreaties were rejected and returned with the report that the Light of the Emperor ("Torchbearers") Space Marine garrison that had been sent there prior to the storms had rejected the Imperial Authority and now call themselves the "Illuminati" (meaning "The Enlightened"). There is reportedly no overt taint of Chaos in their manner or their bearing (however, it is important to note that there is no conclusive evidence that they are NOT worshippers of the Dark Gods either).
Following an Inquisitorial Review, a small force of Ultramarines was diverted to the Colonial Sector en route to their regular patrol areas in the Ultima Segmentum to investigate the uprising further and quell it if possible. The following is a brief report of the action that occurred on Sylvana IV.
The Ultramarines launched a Planetary Assault from their orbiting Strike Cruiser, Fidelio, into the outskirts of the strategic city of Collegium on Sylvana IV. There they met the renegade Space Marine force which had prepared a defensive position on the high ground commanding the field of battle.
The battle was fierce from the outset, as would be expected in a conflict between rival Space Marines. The Ultramarines advanced on two fronts: to the north, marines mounted in APC troop carriers supported by a Land Raider Crusader and a Vindicator assaulted the high ground; while in the south, the Ultramarines' command elements advanced through wooded terrain along with Land Speeders and a Dreadnought, attempting a "pincer" attack which would force the renegades to defend on two fronts.
Targeting the dug-in renegades proved difficult as the Ultramarines advanced, and first blood went to the so-called Illuminati, as their entrenched Devastators destroyed an APC traversing open ground. In the south, the Ultras' advance was stimied by fierce resistance as the outnumbered but determined renegades held their ground with a token force of foot troops and a single Land Speeder.
As the day progressed, casualties mounted on both sides, with both forces suffering significant losses. Ultimately, the erstwhile Torchbearer's position proved impossible to overrun, and their leadership remained intact, eventually forcing the Ultramarine force to withdraw back to their orbiting craft, lest the reinforcing elements that had been alerted by the surprise attack overwhelm them.
I advise that the Council alert the appropriate Imperial Offices that the uprising has not been abated, and will likely flourish throughout the Sector if allowed to continue, as the "legitimacy" and strength a Space Marine Chapter lends to their heretical cause is not insignificant. I further recommend that a full crusade be launched against these infidels and that the Emperor's Justice be leveled against any and all who would cleave to this heretic traitor organization.
Inq. Bruno Hauptman
TO: Imperial Inquisitorial Council, Earth
FROM: Inq. B. Hauptman, Research Station Beta Zed, Segmentum Obscurus
SUBJ: Colonial Sector Uprising, Update
I am pleased to report that the most noble Ultramarines 2nd Company has renewed its attack against the outlaw Torchbearers Space Marines. After regrouping following the failed assault on Sylvana IV, the Ultramarines contingent under the watchful command of Captain Suderlandt have begun a more careful reconnaissance of the Sylvana system prior to a planned follow-up assault.
Imperial Agent Sarai 342630 was despatched to the surface of Sylvana IV to gather intelligence and to report on the defences of the planet prior to general planetfall of the main marine force. She was to return to the awaiting Ultramarine Fleet via guise of a rogue trader on a blockade-running merchant vessel, but unfortunately, her security was compromised and she was forced to abandon her passage and relocated to LZ Echo, the ruined city of Port on the western outskirts of Collegium to await rescue from an Ultramarine contingent, as her intelligence was critical to the successful prosecution of a planetery assault.
The last communication received from agent Sarai indicated that she suspected that the Torchbearers were pursuing her and were close by, and thus the Ultramarines attempted rescue with all due haste and landed at dusk that very evening, successfully evading planetery defences, but alerting a Torchbearer patrol that was no doubt seeking to capture Agent Sarai.
A bloody and furious engagement followed, a testament to the Ultramarine geneseed, which both adversaries enjoy. Agent Sarai was rescued by the Ultramarines, but unfortunately during the attempt, the untimely explosion of a nearby Ultramarine Rhino transport left her mortally wounded, unable to even crawl to safety. Seeing that her capture was imminent, and fearful that her knowledge of the Imperial force disposition would likely fall into enemy hands should she somehow survive, she requested the Emperor's Grace, which Captain Suderlandt himself administered with a bolter shot to the head.
Thus ended a valiant and distinguished career devoted to the Emperor. Her ministrations and comraderie will be sorely missed, especially here at Beta Zed Station, as she was never known to deny any chance to gather and share all manner of knowledge, even unto the Emperor's servants themselves.
As for Sylvana IV and the Torchbearers, their defence readiness remains in whatever state we can ascertain via orbiting probe. Definitive intelligence died along with agent Sarai. Fortunately, the Torchbearers know of our plans and force only what they can glean from the odd merchant report that evades our systemwide blockade. Further reports will follow as circumstances dictate.
Your obedient servant,
TO: Imperial Inquisitorial Council, Earth
FROM: Inq. B. Hauptman, Research Station Beta Zed, Segmentum Obscurus
SUBJ: Colonial Sector Uprising, Update 2
It pleases me to report that the ongoing chastisement of the renegade Torchbearers space marines has begun again in earnest. The Ultramarine contingent, commanded as you are aware by the noble Captain Suderlandt, has successfully made planetfall on Sylvana IV and is positioned to prosecute the reclamation of said planet and system from the traitors. The following is a summary of the most recent events of the ongoing campaign to cleanse the galaxy of the heresy known as the "Confederatio Illuminatum" (Confederation of Enlightenment).
Following the unsuccessful rescue and unfortunate loss of the Imperial Agent Sarai 342630, Emperor rest her soul, the Ultramarines attempted to destroy Sylvana IV's Planetary Defense Network Control Bunker, located near the runied city of Port, where as you recall, was also near the location of Agent Sarai's demise (doubtless, she had critical information of this installation's layout, which would have facilitated a sabotage mission). Without any intelligence except the location of the installation, the Ultras launched a surprise attack to destroy the bunker and therefore ensure a general invasion landing. Unfortunately, the Torchbearers had reinforced the defense of the bunker, likely gleaning from Agent Sarai's death the obvious object of her espionage.
The Ultramarines' initial attempt to destroy the complex was thwarted, but a follow-up attack against an even more alerted enemy was successful and the complex destroyed. During this attack the Ultras were outnumbered, yet still prevailed-- a testament to the strength and determination loyalty to the Imperium provides, Emperor be praised!
Capitalizing on the incapacitation of the system's planetary defense network, the Ultramarines rapidly undertook a general invasion, and landed successfully on several locations of strategic importance on the surface of Sylvana IV before the defense network could be reconfigured. Casualties were judged to be "acceptable" by Captain Suderlandt, yet in several landing zones the desperate renegade Torchbearers quickly regrouped and encircled the Ultramarine battlegroups.
In a matter of a few days, the Ultramarines found themselves surrounded and embattled to the point of anilhilation. The situation was dire, and if destroyed, the entire invasion effort would have been essentially thwarted, leaving the Torchbearers to spread their heresy in the Colonial Sector unabated. Fortunately, the battle prowess of Captain Suderlandt, in no small way aided by the Emperor's Providence, prevailed as he orchestrated a classic "breakout" action against the besiegment laid upon him by the Torchbearer infidels.
At the time of this writing, the final battle for Sylvana IV has begun in earnest. The battlelines are drawn, and the opposing Space Marines are locked in mortal combat on an epic scale. I attach my casualty report as a testament of the dedication to the Emperor by the Ultramarines Second Company contingent, led by the able Captain Suderlandt. Let the hallowed halls of Holy Terra and Macragge resound with anthems dedicated to the sacrifice in blood and the glorious victories that will surely follow in the name of the Emperor!
I urge the Council to reinforce our forces in the Colonial Sector with whatever assets as may be immediately available. I am somewhat concerned about the increased frequency of Warp disturbances that harry our logistical and supply efforts. Pray that the Emperor calms the heavens long enough for our holy chastisement to prevail unto the blessed anihilation of this heretical insurrection!
Your most humble servant,
TO: Imperial Inquisitorial Council, Earth
FROM: Inq. B. Hauptman, Research Station Beta Zed, Segmentum Obscurus
SUBJ: Colonial Sector Uprising, Update 3
As you doubtless recall, the Colonial Sector has been in a state of of open rebellion against our Most Benevolent Emperor for the last three Imperial years. The battle for control of the heretic capital planet, Sylvana IV, has raged now for the last six months, following successful landfall by a contingent of the Second Company Ultramarines commanded by Captain Suderlandt, who has to date fought with honor and glory to chastise this insurrection and return the sector to Imperial control. Due to the frequent warp disturbances and after-storms following the lifting of the Warp Storm that engulfed the sector for nearly three thousand years, communications have been difficult at best, and reinforcements have not yet been able to be dispatched to the sector to aid the noble Space Marines who prosecute this war. Any astropathic communication we are able to intercept here at Beta Zed Station is often sketchy and broken or distorted, leaving a true picture of the status of the ongoing campaign clouded.
The following is a compilation of intercepted reports we have been able to stitch together to arrive at a coherent status report of the Colonial Sector (be aware however, that due to the warping influence of the sector's storms, the veracity of this missive can only be judged 78.3% at best):
The Ultramarines 2nd Co. contigent advanced towards Collegium following a successful breakout action as previously reported. Their advance was harried by partisan civilian units, who on several occassions were able to disrupt supply lines and communications. Interrogation of captured partisans yielded little to no significant intelligence of enemy dispositions [even torture in extemis failed to return the heretics to the Emperor's Grace, and most died without recanting their Heresy and their souls were consigned to the Powers of Chaos, whom they no doubt served!].
The first major engagement in the campaign occurred 150 km NE of Collegium against the heretic Torchbearer Space Marines [as of yet, we have had no reports of organized planetary defense forces that have engaged the Ultramarines-- all significant resistance has been by the Torchbearers]. Of this battle, we intercepted the following after-action report:
+++UM 2nd Co. engaged large renegade SM formation 150 km NE Collegium. UM assault on TB bunker complex results: fighting desperate, casualties significant both sides. UM losses incl. 2 LRs destroyed; dreadnought, vindicator, land speeder disabled; Librarian Davius, 13 SMs, 8 Terms KIA; 23 SMs WIA; TB bunker destroyed, estimate 3-4 TB SM squads decimated incl. term/dev; 1 land speeder destroyed; UMs forced to retreat battlefield.+++
Within two weeks, the following report was intercepted:
+++UM 2nd Co. advance engaged by sizable TB force 225 km E Collegium. Terrain hindered assault. Casualties moderate both sides; Commander Suderlandt WIA; UM advance halted+++
My Lords, it is now seems clear that the Imperial Space Marine forces, no doubt hampered by dwindling supplys, are fighting at a tremendous disadvantage. I fear that if the Emperor's Might is not directed towards aiding the noble Captain Suderlandt and his embattled Ultramarines, we risk the loss of the entire Colonial Sector to the Torchbearer heretics. Surely, without proper supplies and reinforcements, the Ultramarines will lose this damned war of attrition, despite their obvious heroic sacrifices. Realizing the logistical difficulties the frequent warp disturbances pose on navigation to and within this sector, I nonetheless urge the Council to direct Imperial resources to crush this rebellion with a mighty hammer blow by nothing less than Battlefleet Obscurus!
Your most humblest of servants,
Craftworld Caleril began it’s existence as craftworld Abaoron. The Eldar home world it was built by was an arboreal world covered almost entirely by great forests the were old when man first dropped from the trees. The population of the planet lived in the great trees and took great care in guiding the growth of the trees to form homes and art. It was a peaceful planet of artisans, planters, herbalists, and seers. When the fall came, their love for their trees almost cost the craftworld it’s life. The Eldar of Abaoron wanted to take with them a selection of every type of tree from their world. This necessitated the building of one of the largest of the craftworlds. Over half the population of their home world was able to escape on the one craftworld they had built. Due to this the craftworld got underway only moments before the destruction of their home world. They fought their way out of orbit and away from the planetary system that had until minutes before been their home. Many stayed behind to defend the home world and give the craftworld time to escape.
Nothing was heard from Abaoron for several hundred years, then a rumor started of a vast craftworld fighting it’s way out of the warp and back towards real space. These rumors of sightings of an unknown craftworld in or near the maelstrom persisted for many centuries. Then after over three thousand years of fighting craftworld Caleril fought it’s way into real space to rejoin the rest of the Eldar craftworlds. First contacts with Caleril were tentative and reserved as the craftworld was unknown and the Eldar inhabiting it were a quiet and deadly race. Everything about their craftworld was sullen and quiet, there were far fewer inhabitants than the size of the craftworld would indicate, and there were great empty areas with no buildings at all. The heart and center of the craftworld was kept off limits to all who visited, none have ever been allowed to enter there except visiting Harlequin troops.
What is known of the history of Caleril is that the Eldar there fought long and hard to win free of the warp. They lost many Guardians and Aspect warriors along the way. On a day almost exactly eight hundred years after they left their home world the trees on Abaoron died in a single night. All the trees save one species died and turned to bone at the same time. The only remaining trees were the Caleril tree, a species that grows only around Eldar burial grounds. The Eldar of Abaoron changed the name of their craftworld to Caleril, and their colors from the rich browns and greens of their home world to bone and teal of the Caleril tree and the burial grounds.
Due to their long time spent within the warp they have on more than one occasion had to deal with their fallen brothers, the Dark Eldar. They have the closest ties to the Dark Eldar of any of the craftworld Eldar, their ties are second only to those of the harlequins themselves. Some Eldar see this as evidence that the Caleril are cursed and tainted by Chaos. Others see this as evidence that the Dark Eldar still are willing to help their brothers fight the forces of Chaos and the Imperium. The Caleril are fierce fighters and will fight to the last warrior if need be. The desicration of any Eldar burial ground will bring swift and brutal retribution by any force of Caleril warriors nearby. They have been known to turn over captured enemies to their Dark Eldar contacts. It has been rumored that on occasion Caleril Eldar and Dark Eldar have been seen fighting side by side against Chaos forces and Imperial forces, though there is no hard evidence of this.
While not totally trusted by the other craftworld Eldar, the Caleril have been seen moving through and tending to forests on some of the maiden worlds. On several occasions they have attacked human settlements that were making a living cutting and clearing maiden world forests. Their forces have often included wraithguard and wraithlord units. Their armies always include rangers who are very adept at traveling through forest and brush terrain. The rangers of Caleril are silent efficient killers in the forest, they are experts at the arts of ambush and camouflage. A dark and deserted part of the craftworld is used as a nexus for several bands of Harlequins, at least three major attacks by these forces have been staged from Caleril. Only the Seers of Caleril and the Harlequins know for sure how many warp gates there are on Caleril.
Uuranor en’vesta Gamma
• 2: A865565-H Ag Ni
• 3: Y200000-0 (Eldanesh)
• 8: Y300000-0 (Isha)
• 20: Y100000-0 (Lileath)
Planet: Uuranor en’vesta Gamma (Tir’asur – “Land of the Phoenix”)
World-Class: Xenos eldar
Tech Level: H
Tithe Grade: None
Orbital Distance: 0.7 AU
Equatorial Diameter: 12,640 km
Gravity: 0.98 G
Orbital Period: 234.8 Terran days
Length of Day: 34.186 Terran hours
Atmosphere: Standard oxygen-nitrogen mix
Surface Atmospheric Pressure: 1.4 atm
Base Mean Surface Temperature: 37.7ºC
Indigenous Lifeforms: Sentient
Satellites: 3: Isha is a natural satellite to the world, while Eldanesh and Lileath are shaped asteroids.
Tir’asur, or Land of the Phoenix, is a pristine garden world which, while hot, still remains for the craftworld eldar that live there a paradise. Unlike many colony worlds, Tir’asur represents a paradigm shift away from the imposed Maiden World and towards the gradual modification of a world while inhabited by the eldar themselves. However, similar to those worlds much of the world remains in its primeval state, with almost the entire land surface capable of supporting an arboreal (temperate or tropic) forest doing so. Tropical rainforests extend from the equator almost 3,500 km (~40º lattitude), with deciduous and coniferous forests extending all but to the north and south poles, at which points tundra begins to predominate before the permanent ice-pack.
The eldar population is itself scattered widely over the surface of the world into many smaller communities in keeping with the basic premise of eldar Clan/interest-group based society. Generally these diffuse settlements have a population of no more than five thousand, and usually much less, with one exception: Yeste’sulla‘men (“Place of First Breath”) nominally the capital of Tir’asur with a concomitantly larger population.
The world of Tir’asur is by the design of the eldar a pristine garden world, ideally suited to their needs and reminiscent of the original homeworld that now at the centre of the Eye of Terror. While the colony still remains fairly young in terms of the long-lived eldar race, there are a number of locations that are particularly noteworthy or which have become significant to the eldar.
This is the ‘Place of First Breath’, the site at which the first explorator vessels of the Clan of the Phoenix made landing. It is the location of the primary Webway gate and, both as a result of this and its association with the origins of the colony itself, it has become a ‘central’ location for both the social and political life of the eldar of Tir’asur.
The site has been modified from the original pristine form, with a large and artificially flat plateau formed by the cutting of one-half of a shallow cylinder outside of a face of an extinct volcano. Two waterfalls cascade down the side of the volcano, the water originating from the lake now located in the mouth of the volcano, and form a large and shallow pool. At some distance from this pool, which is symbolically associated with Isha and Vaul (see below), begin the permanent structures which serve various functions, including central if temporary housing for the planetary population. These structures form an approximately semi-circular shape into which the Clan Council Chambers (see below) lands during the aforementioned festivals.
The Tears of Isha
The two waterfalls that cascade down the volcano of Yeste’sulla‘men have become known as the ‘Tears of Isha’, named after the goddess and mythological mother of the eldar. The water derives from the crystal clear lake in the mouth of the volcano, falling from ‘Isha’s Eyes’ approximately one kilometer before striking the rocks at the base of the artificial plateau and, from there, into the large and shallow pool located there. At a short distance from the waterfalls themselves, but before the aforementioned pool, is a shrine to Vaul, the Smith God, who in eldar mythology was said to have forged the tears of Isha into the Spirit Stones which the eldar still use to this day.
In a similar fashion to the structures employed by the Exodites, the eldar of Tir’asur have fashioned wraithbone and psycho-reactive polymer or crystalline forms into ‘nemetons’, series of ‘megalithic’ structures which are scattered over the surface of the planet. The most significant of the nemeton is found on the slopes of the volcana at Yeste’sulla’men where the carracenad, the Waystones that have become the soul-stones of dead eldar, are located and the spiritual heart of the Infinity Circuit of Tir’asur. Some have begun to refer to the Infinity Circuit as a ‘World Spirit’, the same name that the splinter race of Exodites apply to the same technology.
As a ‘captive’ colony world, the government of Tir’asur is an extension of that upon Lugannath though, after nearly two millennia of existence, it is beginning to gain a measure of independence. Tir’asur is governed by the equal division of authority of three Councils:
The Clan Council: This is formed from two representatives for each of the Clans that maintain an interest on Tir’asur. The first representative is the “Clan Leader”, generally the eldest and most respected member of the Clan who, at some point in their life, walked the Path of the Outcast. The Clan Leader is advised by a single individual who is likewise respected yet has not walked the Path of the Outcast. The suggestions of the Ancestor Council are given much credence in the selection of the Clan Advisor, and little credence is given to the age of the candidate beyond that they must be an eldar adult and otherwise be considered ‘worthy’.
The Seer Council: This council is, as the name suggests, formed from elected members of Seers in the various Ways present upon Tir’asur. Leadership of the Council is elective, based upon peer determination following an individuals proposal of themselves for the role. Individual Council positions are, likewise, peer elected from appropriate candidates on the individual Ways.
The Ancestor Council: This is perhaps the strangest of the three Councils, for it interacts with all aspects of craftworld eldar civilisation. Technically it is formed from the entire collective consciousness of all souls/consciousness of individuals housed in the Infinity Circuit. In practice, however, the greater majority of the souls form the ‘undifferentiated consciousnesses of the craftworld and only a minority remain in contact with the ‘living’. The strongest of those, that have the closest ties to the mortal realm, form the Ancestor Council and are known by the title of Tuisich Novasmair (trans: Those Sacrificed to the People), one which is only otherwise applied to the living Phoenix Lords. They advise the other Councils from the experience of the past and as a result of their intimate relationship with the living.
Each of the Councils has an equal say in the governance of the eldar based upon their unique perspectives. This can be simply put in an archaic eldar phrase: “Mar a bha, mar a tha, mar a bhitheas a bragh go,” or “So it was, so it is, and so it shall be forever.” The Ancestor Council advises from the past, how it was at one time; they remind the eldar of the choices of the past, the results of those choices and the very forces of history itself. The Clan Council is the present, advising out of the current political climate and making decisions based upon the internal politics and forces of craftworld eldar society. The Seer Council, on the other hand, is the voice of the future and the hidden forces of the universe, sensitive as they are to the warp and weft of the sha-eil.
The influence that each Council wields with each varies over time and the current social and political climate. While Tir’asur has not witnessed significant shifts of this form, the Seer Council still maintains particular sway over the governance of the colony world just as it maintains influence over Lugannath. There are, however, current trends on Tir’asur see the rising prominence of the Clan Council as the eldar become more concerned with what is rather than what may come to pass. This obviously does not mean that they ignore the guidance offered by the Seer Council, merely that it holds less sway that it once did.
While eldar technology is not bound to require that the Three Councils meet in person, the eldar as a species prefer the natural discourse and subtle arts of communication required in physical discourse. As such the Three Councils, more particularly the Clan Council, meet on the peripatetic Bel-pelenlotaure tel’noore sambe (trans: ‘Moving Garden of the Clan Council’). This circular anti-grav disc of some two kilometers along the diameter wonders over the entire surface of Tir’asur following the energy webs tha criss-cross the planet, returning to Yeste’sulla‘men at times of importance or for the few significant festivals that are held in wide regard by all eldar.
Bel-Pelenlotaure tel’noore sambe (Clan Council Chambers)
The ‘Clan Council Chambers’ are maintained on an elliptical disc with a major axis of two kilometres, and a minor axis of just over one kilometre. The disc is terraced, rising to a flattened apex with an area of around one-half a square kilometre. While the terraces are wooded, the flattened area contains the formal gardens within which the chambers themselves are housed.
The chambers themselves are housed in a pyramid of some sixty metres in height, itself surrounded by seven pyramids of eighty metres in height. These orbital pyramids are decorated with the iconagraphy of the seven dominant Clans, while the central pyramid contains a stylised representation of the four major periods of eldar history (the Coming of the Gods and the War in Heaven, the Great Plague and the Rise of the Eldar, the Descent and Fall of the Eldar and the Coming of the Great Enemy, and finally the period known as the Grey Times in which all eldar currently live).
The religion of Tir’asur, and indeed craftworld eldar in general, is a complex phenomenon. Although the eldar are not without both personal faith and established religion, they are also keenly aware that their gods were consumed at the height of the Fall and the birth of Slaanesh. This does not mean that they cannot remember their gods and mourn their passing, rather that their ‘worship’ is more one of remembrance than of passionate belief, for each eldar is painfully aware that to fully worship their gods is to feed the Great Enemy.
Scattered around Tir’asur, and indeed in the wraithbone-bound domes of the mother craftworld, are shrines to the past gods. These need not necessarily encompass a constructed, or grown building, but rather an area that has been shaped in remembrance of a past god or has become symbolically associated with a god or goddess.
There are a number of smaller Clans within Lugannath and Tir’asur that do not consider that the eldar gods are destroyed, but rather the consumption by Slaanesh merely changed them from one form to another. The “Temple Clan” consider that in its corruption the Great Enemy turned the eldar gods into its greatest servants, the greater daemons of Slaanesh or the Keepers of Secret. What greater torment to these once great beings that they are a servant to their darkest enemy, tormented by dreams of what they once were but never being able to fully grasp the truth. The “Temple Clan” are amongst the greatest advocates in the war against Chaos and in particular Slaanesh, and have a very close relationship with the Harlequins. Those that are less martially inclined work to free the gods from the shackels of Slaanesh by other means. As it is said that the Keepers of Secrets can hear all secrets as they are spoken in the material universe, these individuals perform rituals associated with the ‘dead’ gods in an attempt to bring one of the Fallen Gods back to themselves and to rekindle the hope of the eldar.
One further Clan must be considered when one thinks about eldar religion, although it is considered radical even amongst those eldar who believe in the continuance of the gods. The Clan of **Destecado** considers that Slaanesh and the eldar gods, and indeed Ynnaed for those who have knowledge of the coming of that God of the Dead, are but two aspects of the same entity. *** This requires further information from Destecado before it is possible to continue to incude this Clan.***
SOCIETY AND LAW
Eldar society is a complex entity intimately bound in with the concept of the Path and the consequences this has on the continuing mental health and psychic security of the eldar. As such only a brief discussion can be entered into this subject below. The question of law, on the other hand, is that much easier to discuss as a result of its simplicity. With a few exceptions, the craftworld eldar do not have ‘law’ as it is thought of by many races. In many ways it is an ingrained feature of their society, constructed as a part of the social forms and mores that is as much a part of eldar life as the physical act of breathing. The adoption of personal responsibility and conformance to the social protocols is the practice of law and lawful behaviour.
There are, however, a number of times that eldar ‘law’ is broken and requires either the intervention of the law breaker themselves or in more serious and wide-ranging cases, that of the Three Councils. The least serious ‘crime’ that an eldar can break is that against eldar society itself. An eldar that finds the complex protocols of eldar society to be too constraining is, by definition, breaking the lowest of the laws. As this is considered a natural, if unwanted process, consensus and personal responsibility defines that the individual takes up the Path of the Outcast and voluntarily removes themselves from eldar society. That is not to say, however, that they necessarily feel no responsibility to that society but rather that at present they are not willing to constrain themselves to the protocols that define the society and resultant ‘law’.
The only other ‘crime’, or variations upon a theme, is where the activities of the individual or group has a negative effect upon the craftworld or which contravenes the current policy of the craftworld as determined by the consensus of the Councils. The lowest level of ‘crime’ comes under the attention of what is in essence peer review and moderation at the Clan level. Only in rare circumstances is an event of sufficient magnitude to come into the purview of the Three Councils. As with Clan condemnation or moderation of the action that contravened consensus, the Councils operate on a similar of more widescale premise. That is to say that review is given to all of the Clans that form the Clan Council, as well as the specific consideration of the Ancestor and Seer Councils. This results in due consideration of the ‘crime’ such that it may be condemned, moderated through participation with other Clan interests, or indeed adoption as present or future policy of the craftworld.
Judicial intervention is required only in the rarest of circumstances. Here the actions of the individual, or group, are placed in front of the Three Councils as contradictory to the craftworld and the eldar species itself. This can occur either at the Clan level, in which case the ruling is limited in severity, or the Three Councils which may level any penalty they deem necessary. Penalties include:
Psychic Branding. The inclusion of a ‘tattoo’ or ‘stain’ into the aura of the individual by the Seer Council such that it will be readily apparent to other eldar. This psychic brand will shade all social interaction with the eldar so deserving the tattoo, and is removed only in the determination of the Ancestor Council who, in many ways, may be thought of as the ‘conscience’ of the craftworld eldar.
Consignment to the Infinity Circuit. An individual so punished may never take inappropriate action in the material universe again. Such an individual may continue to serve the eldar, but only through the guidance of the Ancestor Council.
Exile of the individual with or without an auric brand. This is complete and irrevocable except through the intervention of the Seer Council and must not be confused with the adoption of the Path of the Outcast. Once more this does not prevent the exiled individual acting for the good of the craftworld, but it is unlikely that they will ever be returned to eldar society regardless of their subsequent actions.
Complete and total destruction of the body, mind and soul of the eldar.
While the actions which lead to the more extreme forms of punishment might be relatively simple, i.e. something that threatens the physical or psychic security of the craftworld, the ‘lesser crimes’ against the protocols of eldar society and which often lead to the adoption of the Path of the Outcast are by far the more interesting and complex situation.
In discussing eldar society – and therefore its law – one cannot underestimate the impact of the Path upon the psyche and, therefore, interactions of the eldar with other individuals. In controlling the dominant feature of eldar neurophysiology and psychology, that is to say in moderating the chemical and resultant emotional response to given stimuli, it also creates a delayed emotional response in the creation of a holistic experience for a given event. Thus while it is possible for an event to stimulate an emotional reaction it is not of an extent where it might shade the subsequent ‘logical’ or ‘considered’ reaction. Long-term emotional response is, however, not unusual and as such an integrated emotional response which may be contradictory to the initial ‘logical’ response may the ultimate and paradoxical result. The protocols of eldar society are in place to moderate any problems of interaction that may result from this.
It must also not be forgotten that the eldar are also a product of their past. While the Fall has created a society that has a wide degree of imposition of cultural components as the eldar attempted to reinvent themselves from their past, cultural momentum is still an important part in determining the features of their society. While the pre-Fall eldar society was spread over a large number of worlds, the Webway operating over the thousands of millennia of their existence worked to create a reasonably homogenous society. It was possible for common general ‘eldar’ features throughout their various worlds and while differences peculiar to an individual world could be observed, for the most part the architecture, society, and so on were similar from one world to another. Over the ten millennia since the Fall the small variations in the culture have had the potential to become prominent, as indeed an observation of some of the more famous eldar craftworlds wold indicate.
As mentioned previously, a definitive discussion of eldar society is at this juncture not possible. In the following text the dominant features of the craftworld eldar – and of Tir’asur – are discussed in general.
Family and Lineage
In many societies the family is the lineage of the individual. With the craftworld eldar, however, while this is also the case it is only the lineage that remains important in the post-Fall culture. The concept of ‘family’ in terms of either nuclear family or an extended kin-ship system is devalued in favour of first loyalty to the species as a whole, thereby extending the concept of ‘personal responsbility’ in a way favourable to the perpetuation of the species and not of individual families.
Although family is de-valued, the concept of the lineage remains important. While self-evidently related to the ‘blood-line’, or a group of genetically related individuals, in the modern craftworld culture it is also an assumed identity that is linked to the cultural mythology of the eldar themselves. ‘Kin-families’ that have extended into lineages are commonly a result of the original trading families that inhabited a craftworld before the relatively massive immigration experienced just prior to the Fall with those eldar prescient or lucky enough to head the warnings of those individuals who would subsequently be known as Farseers. While it is more common for the ‘kin family’ derivative lineages to be more closely linked with a specific craftworld, the assumed mythological lineages created to link the eldar to their pre-Fall past are commonly found scattered throughout the craftworlds with their relative presence dependent on whether a lineage has become associated with a specific Clan (see below).
It should be noted that the lineage as a system of ‘kin relationship’ that has a familial importance is found on some craftworlds. Often the craftworlds upon which this predominates were primarily composed of emmigrants that left the eldar homeworlds during the very early stages of the Fall in a period known as the Great Exodus. Leaving at the same time as the race of eldar that is known as the Exodites, these craftworlds are often though of as ‘primitive’ even though this is not the case; they merely represent another life-choice of the eldar. They are, however, the minority as most known craftworlds seem to have adopted a variation upon the devaluation of kin-relations in favour of establishing the primary loyalty of the individual to the craftworld and the eldar as a species.
Lineage further manifests itself in the military division of eldar society, with the various component lineages of a given craftworld or colony world being grouped into ‘Houses’ associated with symbolism from the eldar myths. The utilisation of Houses for military organisation includes not only the Guardians but also the Aspect Warriors, as explained in greater detail later.
There is, however, one example where lineages as important features of craftworld eldar society manifest themselves throughout the craftworlds and their colonies, and that is the Titan ‘clans’. While integrated with the House structure, it is common for crews to derive from single lineages and, where possible, those ‘siblings’ from the same creche class or classes that are as close to each other in terms of time as possible.
On Tir’asur, as Lugannath, there are a number of lineages that have acquired a certain amount of notoriety since the Fall. This includes the Line of Luíghan, named after the Seer-artisan whose crystal prosthetic hand symbolically crushed the daemonic corruption of the craftworld, liberating both the living and the dead and forging links between Iyanden and Lugannath. The Line of Lyr has become associated with both wayfarers and protectors, with the original trading family of the craftworld deriving from one of the genetic groups included within this lineage.
The adoption of ‘personal responsibility’ is perhaps quintessential to eldar society, defining the importance of the individual to the whole through self-determination. The foundations for this feature is laid in eldar childhood, which in the craftworld eldar society are radically different to the other splinter races of the eldar as well as the pre-Fall eldar civilisation. While previously the nuclear and extended family were of an importance seen in many species, including humanity, the eary craftworld cultures – for the most part – wished for their children to maintain loyalty to the craftworld, and the species, as a whole rather than perpetuating the mistakes of the past. As such all craftworld eldar children are raised by specialist Seers (“Guardians of the Young”) in a central creche that is separate from the ‘Clans’, and through constant monitoring by the Ancestors including their own assigned teah-shih (an ancestor spirit that acts as guide, mentor and friend to the child). Raised outside of the Clans they are taught language, cultural protocols, science, art and all the subjects that the eldar consider important for a child to be introduced to. Throughout their childhood the psychic ‘barrier’ of the Path is developed and integrated into their psyche, preparing them for the final phase of their education where they are introduced to both the Path and the Clans, the ‘interest groups’ that define eldar political and social activity.
Upon the rite of passage known as I’tarna en’nesse (trans: The Passage of Youth) the young eldar becomes an active member of society through the adoption of both a Way upon one of the Paths and, usually, the adoption of a Clan as representative of their current interest or philosophy. At this point the eldar is responsible to themselves and the eldar as a species, or at least a craftworld. What the individual achieves with their life is dependent upon just what that individual wishes to do. They can continue their movement through the Path without having an overt impact upon the craftworld or the eldar, or their actions can echo through the Eternal Matrix and the very galaxy itself.
When most scholars think of the word ‘clan’ there are automatic assumptions of kin or blood relations. With the eldar this is generally not true. The eldar Clan is in actuality an ‘interest group’, a collection of indiviuals who share a similar philosophy or goal which patterns the decisions that they make during a period of their life. Membership in a Clan is not a requirement in eldar society but most eldar, even those that walk the Path of the Outcast, tend to be members of one of the Clans. Similarly, Clan membership is not for life but is transitory depending upon the change of personal philosophy. As such it is quite common for eldar to change Clans when they change from one Path to another Path, such as the movement from the Path of the Warrior to the Path of the Seer, while changes within a Path such as moving from the Way of the Dire Avenger to that of the Howling Banshee tends to have a lesser impact.
While as ‘interest groups’ the number of Clans is highly variable, and can include Clans which are created for a short-term goal, a number of Clans have become widespread over the various craftworlds. The Clan of the Phoenix, the Clan of the Dragon, the Clan of the Spider amongst others are common on the majority of the craftworlds, while others can be found as either a short-term or long-term interest on only one or two of these drifting fragments of eldar society.
The Clans tend to be represented by an appropriate symbol that is culturally significant, either from contemporary sources or more commonly history, myth and legend. Each Clan therefore has a related suite of icons and symbols that are traditionally associated with it, and these tend to be integrated in the eldar’s every day life, from clothes to the decoration of living spaces, and so forth. Less common is the adoption of body art based around these same images, and while the tattoos are easily removed an individual choosing to decorate themselves in this manner is usually indicating that they consider their current Clan to be a life-choice.
Social/Level of Prestige
While social class in many societies is linked almost inextricably with wealth, access to resources and or birth status (i.e. kin relations) in craftworld eldar society these assumptions are irrelevant. For the most part any eldar can access almost unlimited wealth and resources, as for example the Imperium measures these features. Furthermore, as mentioned previously the concept of kin relations is devalued and represented primarily through acknowledgement of the lineage, with both real and adopted lineages being given equal validity.
Social status within craftworld eldar society is further linked to the adoption of personal responsibility and the level of success in achieving ones goals, goals which usually revolve around the Clan and therefore the primary manifestation of social interaction for the eldar. The greater the assumed responsibility and success in that responsibility, the greater the social status of the individual. Thus in many ways eldar society is egalitarian, a true meritocracy.
The Path (Men Tel’eath)
As mentioned previously, the importance of the Path on eldar society can barely be properly represented. For some scholars of the Imperium it is considered the sum and total of eldar society, that it dominates every aspect of the life of the individual eldar. Even though this is a most shallow observation that does not take into account the broad sweep of eldar civilisation nor the fact that the craftworld eldar are a living culture. Eldar culture, and indeed the Path, represent a series of choices that are made by the eldar at various points during their life to further their experience of that life. In that way while it is known as the Men Tel’eath (trans: Way of the People) it is also referred to as the Lema en’coia (trans: Journey of Life). While they are meant to focus the mind of the eldar upon a given experience, they are not meant to limit that experience beyond the moderation of emotional and chemical impact at any given time.
The Path is, as the name suggests, divided into a series of ‘Paths’ (lema) which describe the broad sweep of eldar social function. These are:
The Path of the Warrior, which explores the martial side of the eldar and includes both the spiritual union of mind and body as well as that part of the eldar that finds joy or pleasure in the shedding of blood. Symbolically the Path of the Warrior is associated with the god of war, Khaine the Bloody Handed.
The Path of the Seer, which develops and explores the psychic potential which is a natural part of the eldar as much as breathing is for other races. While it is an important Path for the total development of the eldar, it is also a Path that many do not feel that they can walk as it brings them closer to the abilities and experiences of the pre-Fall eldar. As one might imagine, the Path of the Seer is symbolically associated with the Mistress of Fates, Morei-Heg.
The Path of the Steward is potentially the most important Path as it represents that part of the eldar culture that sustains the other aspects. While the Warrior protects and the Seer guides, the Steward produces. The level of technological accomplishment of the eldar means that it is not necessary for an eldar to walk this Path for the craftworld to continue to function, yet many still walk it. Many of the Clan-less walk the Path of the Steward, which has become symbolically associated with Isha, the nurturing goddess of the eldar.
The Path of the Seeker explores the curiosity of the eldar as well as the darker side that fears the unknown. This exploration can mean physical travel, or it can be the exploration of the self, scholarly pursuits or of personal expression in the form of various types of art. Walkers of the Path of the Seeker have become linked with Vaul, the Smith God.
The Path of the Outcast is difficult for many non-eldar to understand, as the translated title tends to imply an individual that society has cast out. This is not the case, however, with an Outcast being a voluntary exile for an unspecified period. Similarly untruthful, many scholars of the eldar believe the Outcasts to have stepped away from the Path and are without the protections offered by this unique cultural institution: this is not the case, the Outcast merely removing themselves from the society that inherently supports the Path and, therefore, the continued reinforcement offered by that society. While it represents a form of self-searching, it is interesting to note that other Paths have an aspect of the Outcast in them, such as the Path of the Warrior with the Menshad Korum (trans: Warriors in Search of Themselves). As the Outcast hunts themselves in the outer universe beyond the craftworld, the Path of the Outcast has become associated with Kurnous, God of the Hunt.
Each Path is divided into a variable number of Ways (men) that further refine the function that the eldar has adopted in their current cycle. It is not possible to provide an exhaustive list of the Ways of the various Paths, but examples are included in the list below:
Path of the Warrior: Way of the Dire Avenger, Way of the Striking Scorpion, Way of the Warp Spider, etc.
Path of the Seer: Way of the Warlock, Way of the Bonesinger, Way of the Spirit Seer, etc.
Path of the Steward: Way of Infinity Circuit, Way of the Crystal Gardener, Way of the Artisan, etc.
Path of the Seeker: Way of the Explorer, Way of the Pattern, Way of the Artisan, etc.
While the goal of each eldar is to experience the full spectrum of experience offered by the various Paths available, some become so enamoured with a Way within a Path or, more rarely, a Path itself that they become trapped upon it and are incapable of moving on. These individuals are held in both awe and fear: awe because they represent the true extent of what an eldar that has become entirely dedicated to a specific aspect of life can achieve; and fear as they represent the focus that at least in part lead to the decadence that nearly destroyed the eldar as a species. There are broadly two types of paramount practitioners:
The ‘Master of the Way’ (Tur tel’men) is an individual who has become trapped by the experiences of a single Way (men) within the broader Path (lema).
The ‘Master of the Path’ (Tur tel’lema) or, more commonly, Menshad Korum (Warriors in Search of Themselves) after individuals within the Path of the Warrior, arguably the origin of the other Paths. These individuals are not bound by a single Way, rather cycling between the various Ways within a single Path. As such they are the most diverse and most general of the paramount practitioners, their thinking more open than the Tur tel’men.
The title of a paramount practitioner, an individual who has become enamoured and trapped by a given experience, varies depending on whether they are trapped upon the Way (Tur tel’men) or Path (Tur tel’lema or Menshad Korum), a feature which leads to great confusion amongst alien scholars of the eldar. On the Path of the Warrior all paramount practitioners are referred to as Exarchs, regardless of whether they represent a single Way or the total sum of the Path. On the other hand, paramount practitioners of the Path of the Seer are referred to by appropriate titles dependent upon the Way that they become trapped. For example, an eldar who becomes trapped upon the Way of the Warlock becomes an Istari en’Dagora (trans: Seer of Battles), while one who remains trapped upon the Way of the Bonesinger becomes one of the Istari en’kurwan (trans: Seer of Crafts).
Eldar technology offers the ‘perfect’ merging of two fields of endevour. On the one hand there is the accomplishment of material science, of the synergy of physics and art, while on the other hand a blending of what the Imperium knows as ‘warp craft’. Psykers, psionicists, sorcerers or witches, whichever name suits at any given time to represent the manipulation of warp energy. The technology of the Imperium barely begins to scratch the potential integration of what the adeptus mechanicus considers to be disparate areas of endeavour. For the eldar it is all the same; science, technology, philosophy and art.
While eldar technology is sufficiently advanced to allow the production of almost any artefact at the colony world, in practice Tir’asur still engages in import and export with Lugannath (see below). This means that Tir’asur shows the same broad technology and artefact representation as with the various craftworlds.
TRADE AND TITHES
As Tir’asur is not a world of the Imperium it obviously is not required to provide a tithe to that government. Through the medium of the Webway, the eldar do engage in trade with both humans and other alien races of the Anargo sector and beyond. Contact with the Imperium must necessarily be careful and involve a number of intermediaries, but that is the case throughout the galaxy.
In terms of trade with Lugannath Tir’asur maintains an active flow of goods. Primary imports primarily involve high consumption artefacts such as vehicles (both planetary and space) and those of a heavy military nature, i.e. orbital defence platforms, early-warning systems, etc. Exports revolve around industries that service the production on the craftworld, incuding minerals for the production of the various types of psychoplastics utilised by the eldar as their primary construction material, as well as an abundance of artefacts produced by hand with natural materials.
One of the most significant forms of ‘trade’ that Tir’asur, and indeed the entire system of Uuranor en’vesta, offers is that of tourism. While a strange concept for a race whose society is predicated upon the perfection of small aspects of life, even the floating gardens that, in essence, the craftworlds form cannot provide everything for the eldar psyche. They still remember a time when they could feel a breeze upon their face which was not created by oxygen filtration systems or carefully selected pressure differentials in an inter-related series of domes, or when the gravity operating on their bodies was not a product of artifice. The proportion of non-immigrant visitors to Tir’asur, as with other aspects of eldar society, varies tremendously though it is not unusual for an increase of 1-2% of the population of Tir’asur resulting from visitors to the world.
The primary non-eldar trade is with: <>.
The eldar have a broadly similar physiology to humans, composed of a bilateral symmetric appendicular skeleton around an axial trunk which contains the major organs such as analogues to heart, lungs, kidneys, intestines, etc. The major neural tissue is located in an approximately elliptical (eldar tend to have a vault consistent with morphologically trigonocephalic homo sapiens sapiens) vault held superiorly over the axial spine. Eldar also tend to be far more gracile than the human ectomorph equivalent, with extended length of the diaphysis of the long bones relative to their width, and increased length of the cervical spine. Indeed, the overall increased length of the spine coupled with proportionately smaller vertebral bodies and a more complex suite of erector spinae makes the eldar spine much more flexible than that of a human, a feature which is manifested throughout the eldar musculoskeletal system.
While the physiological differences between eldar and human are more significant than not, the differences between the eldar of Tir’asur and Lugannath are minor. The slight increased gravity of the planet over that maintained in the craftworld and, therefore, the eldar homeworld, means that the eldar of Tir’asur tend to have increased musculoskeletal tissue mass, but only by a small fraction of the average body mass of the eldar as a species.
The eldar of Tir’asur share the same broad psyche as other craftworld eldar and, once again, it is predicated upon a number of simple features of which the Path is an important part. As a species, eldar neurophysiology and biochemistry is such that the number of axons and neural transmitters is increased significantly per unit of neural tissue mass, as well as the ‘cross-linking’ of these axons being likewise increased. This creates a situation where an eldar ‘feels’ more intensely than a human and, indeed, the correct performance of a physical act or solution of a mental problem stimulates the release of hormones and chemicals assocated with pleasure, sexual release and gratification, etc.
The Path works to moderate this normal biochemical response through the creation of an ‘other mind’ (n’at amin) which acts as a permeable barrier to the emotional content of a given experience. While the memory of the event remains true to the subjective perspective of the individual it is lacking the total emotional experience that would create a holistic memory. Over time, however, the experience is ‘released’ to create a total memory but one that does not stimulate the high level of neurotransmitters associated with the pleasure response and, ultimately, the causative feature of the Fall itself. This does not, however, mean that the eldar are without emotions or even of emotional response, just that the reaction of an individual to a given stimulus may not be extreme and, indeed, may alter with increasing time. It is this feature that leads most human scholars of the eldar to label them as being emotional mercurial as individuas, and ephemeral and quixotic as a race.
Craftworld eldar society is a by-product of the ‘delayed emotional response’ resulting from the operation of the n’at amin. Social interaction is often moderated by complex and lengthy periods of dialogue, reflection or even meditation which can seem excessive to non-eldar. Indeed, it can often be overtly restrictive to eldar, though normally the younger eldar who have only recently been accepted into adult eldar society, and is one of the main causes of eldar taking up the Path of the Outcast.
The n’at amin also creates general psychological trends in the craftworld eldar. Most craftworld eldar, for example, tend to be xenophobic to those races that do not accept or otherwise operate upon a similarly formalised society. This can either operate on a more generalised response towards the mon’keigh (or “breeders”), or an a personal experience whereby an eldar’s emotional response is created over time and tends to last beyond the given event which created that response. Thus an event may create a bond of obligation or even friendship between an eldar and, say, a human. To the human the bond would be an automatic byproduct of the event, e.g. the human saves the life of the eldar or vice versa, while to the eldar it is at first an almost incomprehensibly benign act with little logical or pragmatic foundation. While the eldar might be able to comprehend the fact that the human is acting out of friendship, the experience lacks the emotional content which would provie a more substantial basis for a relationship, as well as having to overcome more general xenophobic tendences of the craftworld eldar as a race. When eventually the emotional context is integrated into the memory of the event, a memory which likely is compounded by further action subsequent to that event, the eldar will feel the same bond of friendship that the human felt for the eldar, although perhaps more ‘intensely’. If, however, the human betrays the friendship the eldar will suffer from the same emotional ‘lag’, acting as a continuing friend to the human even while a considered response would suggest otherwise.
LANGUAGE AND DIALECT
All eldar speak a mother language that shows little variation over the ten millennia since the Fall, partially a result of the conservative nature of eldar society but also from a conscious effort on behalf of the various craftworlds. More significant variation can be found in the Exodites and the Dark Eldar, though all of the splinter races tend to keep the archaic form for communication with each other, a feature that is compounded by the peripatetic warrior-troubadours, the Harlequins. Tir’asur is therefore not unusual in that it speaks the mother language of the eldar, with little if any shift that might be considered a dialect.
Similarly the eldar written language has seen little change, though it is remarkably more complex than that envisioned by many alien ‘scholars’ of the eldar would imagine. There is a tacit assumption by these scholars that because the eldar utilise two dimensional pictograms upon artefacts, structures, etc., that this is the main source of their written language and which may be readily translated. This is, quite simply, false of the modern tongue, though it is true of early eldar space-faring civilisation. The modern eldar written tongue is composed of base ‘three-dimensional’ ideograms whose relative position to other ideograms, and the shape created in such a relation, determine the context and meaning of a given ‘word’. Thus a ‘two-dimensional’ representation will inherently be limited, missing the various other interpretations or contexts. It is for this reason that eldar structures tend to incorporate complex means of representing this, either through the use of similar artefacts within close proximity, the use of surface texture to represent the ideoplasts in relief, or even the use of neural induction fields or holography.
More generally, the craftworld eldar – and indeed the eldar as a species – tend to be a curious race. Natural explorers in their earliest history, as their society increased in complexity they naturally began to explore all the boundaries of knowledge and experience, creating both the heights of the pre-Fall civilisation and the Fall itself. The Path in no way moderates this curiousity, and the subsequent goal to learn and explore, although it does create a situation where it is rare for the eldar to venture into an outside universe which they as a race have experienced in the past an which is delineated by their science and understanding of the universe. Indeed, it is this trust and surety in their past expeience that tends to lead to one feature of eldar species psychology that most other species rapidly conclude; their arrogance.
PLANTARY DEFENSE FORCE
Simply put, all adult eldar are trained as part of the militia of the craftworld or colony world. These are the Guardians, called up by the Ancestor and the Seer Council when the situation demands or the Bloody Handed calls. The proportion of ‘active’ Guardians varies over time and is linked not to the Clan but to the lineage. From an abstraction of the mythology of the ‘god time’, the period in their mythology in which the gods were said to walk the matterium and which the great heroes Eldanesh and Ulthanesh lived, the eldar normally create seven ‘Houses’ from amongst the lineages. While it is common for the symbolism behind the Houses to vary from craftworld to craftworld, or colony world to colony world, it is common for the overall names to be similar. After all, there were only so many gods, demi-gods and heroes present in the eldar’s mythological past. Furthermore, certain Houses have become most famously associated with specific craftworlds, though that is not to say that they are not present on other craftworlds; they merely have not yet acquired the same degree of notoriety. Examples of these Houses include: Fir Lirithion (Hearts Armoured for Battle) of Iyanden; the Fir Dinillian (Protectors of the Fallen) of Saim Hann; Fir Farillecassion (Watchers Over Ancient Wrongs) of Biel-Tan; and the Fir Iolarion (Eagles Born of Fire) of Lugannath.
The House not only encompasses the structure of the Guardians but also extends into the Aspect Warriors of the Ways and Paths of the Warrior, which comprises a much smaller percentage of the eldar population at any given time. The proportion of individuals thus engaged varies tremendously over time, depending on the strategic and military status of the craftworld or colony world, etc. As a general rule, Tir’asur has no more than 0.5% of its population following the Path of the Warrior at any given time, though it is more usually 0.35-0.40%. A craftworld such as Biel-Tan, however, might have 1-2% of its population following the Path of the Warrior, providing a substantial and highly effective military force at all times.
Leadership of eldar military once again depends upon the presence or absence of key Ways and Paths, and it is possible for the eldar to be without the preferred type of ‘Path’ at any given time. Generally speaking, military resources are under the direct command of the three Councils, combining both current policy in the form of the Clan Council, experience and knowledge of history, politics and strategy in the Ancestor Council, and the precognitive visions of the Seer Council as well as links to the more nebulous vagaries of sha’eil. Nominally attached to the Clan Council is the Naia tel’Nessa Aran (trans: Court of the Young King), an advising military body composed of the ‘Shrine Sworn’ (Vestyaana), or the Exarchs of the various Ways of the Path of the Warrior. All of the Exarchs have an equal voice in the determination of policy, a feature of the somewhat myopic approach created as a result of the process of the Path itself, i.e. the various Exarchs are inherently focussed upon the type of warfare and resultant tactics and strategy that revolve around their aspect of war. The leader(s) of the Court of the Young King are the Menshad Korum where present, with the Young King – an Exarch sworn as blood sacrifice to Kaela Mensha Khaine, the avatar of the Bloody Handed God, to awaken that entity – as nominal representative to the three Councils. In those rare times when more than one Menshad Korum is present, one is elected as Autarch.
Military leadership is also invested in the Seer Council directly depending upon the presence of a Tur tel’lema of the Path of the Seer, or an Istari en’Dagora (Battle Seer). While the Menshad Korum of the Path of the Warrior remain nominally in control, it is more common for them to refer to the Battle Seer representing as they do the culmination of the Way of the Warlock, coupled with both past experience upon the Path of the Warrior and the precognitive abilities that define the ‘Farseer’, though aspected specifically to the practice of war.
The history of Tir’asur is perhaps the simplest part of the colony world to discuss, as short as it is relative to the history of a craftworld or the eldar species as a whole. Craftworld eldar colonise the ‘maiden worlds’ for a number of reasons, but perhaps none that are more are steeped out of a desire for rebirth than the craftworld of Lugannath. As with other craftworlds, Lugannath took flight from the eldar homeworlds with the original sparsely populated domes bloated with those evacuues with the hindsight to see the corruption that had become rife in eldar society. Lugannath, then named Talathren, flew through the Webway but too slowly. The birth cry of Slaanesh echoed through the Webway, tearing paths from each other and shattering many of the important nodes that the eldar had used from time immemorial. The craftworld pilots, those of the Line of Lyr, were forced to travel through the smaller routes greatly slowing their flight which allowed the daemons of Slaanesh to ensnare Talathren. It became a corrupted craftworld, the psychoreactive wraithbone core becoming a home to the rank daemons who would reach out to the frightened populace.
For a hundred turnings Talathren tumbled through both the Webway and the matterium, the population crouched in fear and at the despicable whim of the very creatures they had fled the homeworlds to escape. Out of the cowering eldar arose a single eldar, a promising artisan who had remained untouched by the hedonism of the Fall. Fleeing in Talathren he would see his family fall to the daemons lurking in the wraithbone heart of the craftworld and his own body exhibit the corruption of chaos. Fashioning for himself a prosthetic hand forged of scintillating crystal and patterned with wards and weapons against the daemons, Luíghan united the eldar of Talathren and managed to take control of the Webway portals allowing a plea for help to be sent through the Webway. It was the craftworld of Iyanden that would answer that call, sending warriors from the newly formed Aspect Shrines to battle the daemons. With the constant fight against the daemons alleviated, Luíghan was free to exercise his abilities once more and created a series of artefacts based upon the same principle as his crystal hand but which served to excise the daemons from the wraithbone core. Naming them after the symbol of Morai-Heg, they would later spread to the other craftworlds in the same way that the Path, the Men Tel’eath, would find purchase upon the newly named Lugannath.
The eldar of Lugannath considered their salvation from Chaos to be a baptism of fire, their souls forged in the fight and guided by the Hand of Luíghan. Mirroring the choices made in the other fleeing craftworlds, the three Councils came into being and Luíghan took his place upon the Seer Council as Menshad Korum despite the desire for him to singularly rule the craftworld as some form of ‘prince’. Their near-fall spurred them away from the lethargy that dominated many of the remaining craftworlds, instilling in them a desire to engender the rebirth of the eldar as a powerful race capable of turning back the very tide of Chaos itself.
Over the millennia since their reprieve from the daemons of Chaos, Lugannath has seeded numerous colony worlds as well as initiating the terraforming of new Maiden worlds for future habitation. They have become one of the most aggressive and expansionistic craftworlds in their desire to seed a new beginning. As humans measured time, Luíghan passed into Infinity Matrix some eight millennia past, but his legacy remains in the name of the craftworld and the continuance of his goal for the rebuilding of the eldar.
Tir’asur, Land of the Phoenix, was named after the Clan that re-discovered the system of Uuranor en’vesta, the hope of the rebirth of the eldar and in remembrance of Asuryan, Phoenix King and father of the eldar species. The first structures of Yesta’sulla’men were patterned two millennia previously, or some four hundred turnings as the eldar measure time, and have slowly expanded since that period. Similarly the population has arisen from the handful of explorers and wayfarers to almost a million, of which an increasing proportion of around 40% were born on the world.
While the three Councils of the world are still intimately tied to the mother craftworld of Lugannath, recent turnings have seen a move for increasing independence and ‘self rule’. This has, at present, been resisted out of a pragmatic awareness of the vunerability of the colony world given the current lack of ‘industrial’ development. Lugannath maintains a key interest in Tir’asur, not only as another colony world but for the proximity to the strange warp phenomenon at the heart of the sector which the humans of the Imperium know as Anargo. It is not known whether it is natural, artificial or a product of the War in Heaven which raged so heavily in this area of space. Both the Clan of the Phoenix and the Dragon maintain an interest in the Heart of Anargo for this reason, one for determing the cause and ramifications of the phenomenon and the other to see whether if artificial it is a reproduceable phenomenon that can be used to the strategic advantage of the craftworld eldar. The random warp currents in the area also mean that is not generally frequented by the mon’keigh, and the machinations of the Clan of the Spider also find a secure base to extend their webs of intrigue and political and economic manipulation of the surrounding races.