Eldar - Encyclopedia/S

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Eldar Encyclopedia Index:
Named Eldar Individuals and Units
Battles of the Eldar


Exodite Knight Clan (see Exodites; Knights).


Saim-Hann was one of the first craftworlds to flee from the Eldar homeworlds as the Fall approached and it still retains many ties with the Exodites who preceded them. Many Eldar from other craftworlds perceive the Eldar of Saim-Hann feral and barbarous in many ways. The Eldar of Saim-Hann are fierce and proud warriors who value honour much more highly than many other Eldar. Their bravery is legendary, but recklessness has often led to conflict for warrior pride even though they could ill afford conflict. The most famous of the Saim-Hann are the Wild Riders who go into battle riding jetbikes and Vypers, and excel at swift raids (See Fir Dinillainn; Jetbikes; Nuadhu; Vypers; Wild Riders).


An Eldar pirate force. The Scarlet Command’s badge was an open-hand holding an eye. The Scarlet Command was absorbed into the Eldritch Raiders (see Eldritch Raiders; Pirates; Yriel).


The Scorpion super heavy grav-tank is amongst the largest vehicles capable of anti-gravitic movement. Their sophisticated and powerful weaponry is combined with manoeuvrability unmatched by super heavy tanks of other aces. They are a unique combination of firepower and speed. The Scorpion's wraithbone hull is unnaturally resilient to damage but its main defence lies in its speed, manoeuvrability and the protective holo-field. The holo-field uses image distortion to protect the wraithbone hull from direct hits. A holo-field fractures the image of a moving Scorpion. To the naked eye an active holo-field will appear as a sudden starburst of colours. It is very hard to target a holo-field protected target with any degree of certainty of knowing whether if or where a shot will hit. Even the most advanced targeting and tracking devices can be fooled by the disruptive energies.

Scorpion's Pulsars are huge weapons using similar technology to that of a bright lance, but each weapon is four or five times the size. Each blast is easily capable of cutting through the thickest armour, of slicing a battle tank in two, or destroying a building with a single shot. This fearsome firepower is enhanced by the Scorpion's advanced sensory and targeting equipment. Even whilst flying at high speeds, jinxing and weaving, popping up from cover for only the briefest second, the Scorpion can still lock on to the target and fire with lethal accuracy. The Scorpion is used to spearhead an all out attack, especially against strongly defended positions or as long ranged support to a lightening raid to eliminate enemy threats before the main Eldar force moves in (See also Grav-tanks).


Among the Eldar the jetbike is generally used for scouting and fast attack. However amongst the Craftworld colonies and the Exodites this is not entirely true. On the wind-swept grasslands and dense forests of these worlds, Eldar Scout Walkers come into their own. Able to withstand the sudden whirlwinds that swirl across the grassy steppes and negotiate the tangled undergrowth of the forest, Scout Walkers can operate in environments that would prove dangerous for jetbikes. The Eldar Scout Walker is adept at both scouting and ambush. The walker's firepower coupled with its agility has made it successful on many worlds.

The Eldar Scout Walker is an extremely fast and highly manoeuvrable walker mainly used by the Exodites for protecting their herds. It is more lightly armed than the War Walker and lacks the protective energy field. They only have the capability to mount one heavy weapon, but this is more than made up for by the addition of a Holo-field similar to that on Eldar titans. This combined with the Scout Walker's speed, make it ideal for hit and run attacks. The Scout Walker's Exodite name is mear-feothan (swift wind) is also the Eldar name for a typhoon or storm (See Exodites; Titans; War Walkers).


Exodite Knight Clan (see Exodites; Knights).


The Seer Council of Ulthwé rules the Damned Craftworld, its Seers scrying far into the future and endlessly diverting the course of history to their own ends and to avert dangerous threats. The Seer Council is led by Eldrad Ulthran and is rumoured to have links to the Black Library (See Black Library; Eldrad Ulthran; Ulthwé).


All Eldar are incredibly sensitive to psychic energies and can manipulate these energies to a certain extent. However, every Eldar fully realises the inherent dangers of using psychic powers without the preparation of proper training and experience. Uncontrolled psychic emanations can attract daemons and cause rifts in the warp through which malevolent forces move into the material universe. Because of this most Eldar deliberately choose to suppress any psychic tendencies they have. Only Eldar who have passed through many stages of the Eldar Path are likely to feel sufficiently confident of their mastery over their own minds to develop their psychic power in an open and to become Seers on the Seer or Witch Path. This Path is the longest and most dangerous of all Eldar Paths.

Seers learn how to develop their powers by means of Seer Runes. These runic shapes are made from wraithbone and are usually kept in special bag or case. Sets of runes may be thousands of years old and are passed on from one Seer to another, often with the addition of new runes invented by his predecessor. Every Seer explores his psychic potential in his own way. Some learn how to manipulate objects by kinetic forces and use these powers to create living symphonies of shape and movement. Some learn how to use empathic power to heal or council others. The range of abilities is vast and will depend to a large extent on the roles already explored along the Eldar Path. An Eldar who has enjoyed a career as an engineer, for example, may learn how to apply his psychic skills to the structuring and arrangement of matter into buildings or bridges. Others may choose to follow the Path of the Seer down other routes to that of Warlocks, Bonesingers or Farseers (See Bonesingers; Farseers; Runes; Warlocks).


The Shadow class cruiser is typical of all Eldar capital ships. Its multiple solar sails give it tremendous speed and maneuverability, able to outrun even the escort ships of other races. Shadow Class Cruisers in common with most Eldar ships use celestial features to protect themselves from long range attacks while manoeuvring into position. When they do attack, Shadow Cruisers use their high speed to get close to enemy ships before delivering a highly destructive volley of fire and waves of torpedoes. Some famous Shadow Class Cruisers include Black Star, Child of Khaine, Celestial King, Chariot of Mathruir, Fhiann Rethol, Bright Claw. The Bright Claw was hunted by Imperial Fleets following an attack on a convoy in which the Fleet Admiral's three sons were killed. After a lengthy hide-and-seek throughout the Gothic War, the Bright Claw was destroyed by the Achilles, opening fire at close range.

The most infamous Shadow class cruiser to fight in the Gothic War was the Black Star. Commanded by the so-called Prince Conanmaol of the Executioners, the Black Star accounted for several Imperial capital ships and the loss of a considerable tonnage of Imperial merchant shipping. The Black Star eluded destruction for the entirety of the Gothic War and continues to lead attacks from the depths of the Graildark Nebula to this day. The Fhianna Rethol is noted as the first Eldar ship in the Gothic system to be captured relatively intact. However, even as the hulk was being studied at Argante Station, a flotilla of Eldar escorts struck. Punching through the few system defence ships, the Eldar launched several torpedo salvoes at the docked vessel, obliterating it entirely, before disengaging at high speed (see Starships).


The Shadowhunter is smaller and faster than the other Eldar ships and is capable of both great speed and agile turns. It is best used for lightning attacks, launching its plasma torpedoes or firing laser broadsides from close range and depending on its speed and bob fields to prevent the enemy returning fire. The Shadowhunter is protected by holo fields which project a holographic dispersion pattern which disrupts enemy targeting. The effect of the holo fields increases as the ship moves faster and faster. At slow speeds, its shape is blurred and its outline indistinct. It is seen by the enemy as a dancing cloud of multi-coloured shards - this makes precise targeting of the Shadowhunter difficult. At higher speeds it disappears altogether - only a slight rippling effect like a heat haze against the backdrop of glittering stars reveals it to keen eyes. No targeter can successfully track such an indistinct, fast-moving spaceship.

A Shadowhunter is at its most vulnerable when it is forced to manoeuvre within range of enemy attacks or if it has to turn into the solar wind. Experienced Shadowhunter captains play a patient game of attack and retreat with their victims, circling at the edge of their enemy's fleet, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. A captain who throws caution to the wind and closes to fight at short range soon pays the ultimate price for his foolhardy bravado (see Starships).


Shadowseers or High Warlocks are Harlequin psykers and are vital to the Masque, playing the roles of the storyteller, or more commonly the roles of fate and fortune. The Shadowseer is said to know the doom of all of his companions. Shadowseers are powerful psykers, and their abilities are every bit as great as the Farseers of the craftworlds, although their abilities are not prophetic. Shadowseers utilise empathic and telepathic abilities to confuse and disorientate their foes - literally placing false images and contradictory thoughts in their minds. The face mask of a Shadowseer is uniquely blank and smooth. It is claimed that anyone who looks into the face of a Shadowseer sees a different face, often his own face in some future or alternate time (see Harlequins).


The Shining Spears are one of the rarest and most specialised Aspects, embodying the spear of Kaela Mensha Khaine that struck like lightening and could kill with one blow. They ride into battle mounted on jetbikes and carrying the tall laser lances also carried by Exodite Dragon Knights. The laser lances can be discharged upon physical contact, making it ideal for a close pass (see Aspect Warriors; Exodites; Kaela Mensha Khaine).


Swooping Hawk Drop Ship (see Swooping Hawks)


The characteristic Eldar weapons are based on shuriken technology firing ammunition stored as a solid core of plasti-crystal forced up the magazine by a magnetic repulsor. A series of rapid high-energy impulses originate at the rear of the weapon and then remove a monomolecular slice of the core and hurl it at terrific speed from the barrel. The ammunition core is kept in line by the magnetic repulsor. This system allows the weapon to fire hundreds of rounds in a single burst of fire, with each ammunition core good for ten or more bursts. The lack of rifling on the barrel reduces the weapon's accuracy and effective range. Weapons based on shuriken technology include the shuriken pistol (murehk) sidearm, shuriken catapult (tuelean) and longer barrelled shuriken cannon (buanna). Shuriken ammunition is often found in the shape of solid discs or star shaped, but can also be triangular. The spinning disc can slice through flesh and bone, and can penetrate a considerable thickness of armour. Shuriken weaponry utilised by Harlequins often fires bio-explosive or shrieker ammunition which is hollow and contains a genetically tailored enzyme based serum. As the missile hits its target, the toxin is forced through microscopic holes on the shuriken surface into the victim. The characteristic shrieking noise is caused by the rush of air into the hollow missile as the toxin is forced into the target (see Harlequins; Laser Weaponry; Weaponry).


Slaanesh is the great curse of the Eldar, the dark Prince of Chaos. He is younger than the other Chaos gods, yet equally as horrific. The Eldar created the perverse chaos god with their own decadence, bringing about the Fall of the Eldar. The entire Eldar race now lives in fear from their creation, seeking to preserve their souls from being taken by Slaanesh. Slaanesh is known by many terms, but never named; She Who Must Not Be Named, The Great Enemy, almost as if to name such a horror would be to invoke him (See Fall of the Eldar).


The Eldar Solaris light cruiser is related to the Aurora class, and is often mistaken for its sister class. Like the Aurora class, Solaris light cruisers are slightly smaller than full cruisers, but larger than escort class vessels. Powerful as a single vessel, the light cruisers are often deployed in squadrons of two or three vessels, their speed and firepower easily able to overpower larger starships. Solaris light cruisers are armed with prow weapons batteries, and a squadron can outgun many other vessels. Infamous squadrons include the Void Serpents (see Aurora Class Light Cruisers; Starships).


Little is known about the Solitaires, even amongst the Eldar. They have passed the sacred Ritual which all Harlequins must undertake, yet they live apart from other Harlequins. The Solitaires roam the Webway seeking out Eldar they believe can survive the Ritual, and take them to the harlequin bands. It is said that the oldest and most powerful Solitaires become the dreaded guardians of the Black Library. On the extremely rare occasions when a Solitaire performs, he or she will take the part of Slaanesh and the Harlequin band will perform the legendary tale of the Birth of the Great Enemy, often known simply as The Dance, the most dangerous of all Harlequin masques. It is claimed that others have tried to take on the role of the Great Enemy and died or been driven insane.

Other rumours abound regarding the Solitaires, firstly that they are Harlequins who have been touched directly by the Laughing God himself, and have his insight into the fall of the race and the nature of the universe. It is rumoured that Solitaires live unknown amongst other Eldar and those who have met them realise many years later that they met the Laughing God himself

More sinisterly, some Eldar believe that a Solitaire follows a unique path known as the Path of Damnation. When a Solitaire walking the Path of Damnation dies, his or her soul must be fought over by the Laughing God and Slaanesh, an uneven match that is likely to be won by Slaanesh unless the Laughing God can somehow trick the Great Enemy out of his prize (See also Cergorach; Harlequins; Slaanesh).


A sinister rune found on Eldar artefacts, often used in reference to the Yngir and the War in Heaven. The living dead they herald have been presumed to refer to the Necrons (see Kaela Mensha Khaine; Yngir).


A third fortress on the Craftworld of Iyanden equipped with plasma torpedoes to repel enemy fleets. Detailed in the accounts of the Doom of the Eldar (see Craftworlds; Fortress of Tears; Fortress of the Red Moon; Iyanden).


Spirit engines draw psychic power and massive energies from the very fabric of the warp. In early Eldar history, these great sources of power remained entirely unshielded, at great risk from the beings that inhabit the warp.


The reliance of Iyanden on Wraithguard and Wraithlords has given rise to an increase in the number of psykers specialised in raising the souls of the Eldar from the Infinity Circuit. These necromantic psykers are known as Spiritseers and are adept at communing with the souls of the dead using the psycho-crystalline spirit stones. The Spiritseers have psychic abilities comparable to Warlocks and are able to act as a psychic node or focus for the spirits that have been roused. Arienal of Iyanden is among the most skilled of Spiritseers and is carries the ancient Spear of Teuthlas and wears the psychic Armour of Vaul (See Infinity Circuit; Iyanden; Warlocks; Wraithguard; Wraithlords).


Spirit stones are glassy spheres which are warm to touch and respond to the psychic emanations of anyone who holds them. Spirit stones are a multi-functional tool, used to pilot Wraithbone constructs and vehicles, sculpt wraithbone and most importantly as Waystones to collect the psychic energies as an Eldar dies (See Waystone; Wraithbone; Wraithguard; Wraithlords).


All Eldar ships are unimaginably advanced in comparison to crude human vessels. Sleek and deadly, they employ far superior technologies and are significantly more efficient than other crafts of war, and their crews are arguably the best trained and most naturally able spacefarers of any race. Eldar ships capture stellar energy through their sails to power their movement, and therefore the distance they can travel depends on their facing to the nearest star. They are graceful and extremely manoeuvrable vessels that can dart in to launch an attack and then pull back before their slower moving enemies have a chance to react. For protection they employ holofields, which distort targeting sensors and make them very hard to hit. Most enemy commanders find the Eldar fleets an elusive and frustrating foe, hard to hit, but very fragile.

Unlike the spaceships of the Imperium, powered by plasma engines and warp drives, the Eldar ships are powered by starlight itself. Every star radiates a gale of photons, known as the solar wind, which is caught in the ship's sails. The Eldar are masters of sailing the solar winds and their ships race forward, sails billowing out as they run before the wind. With the same case, they can turn their great ships into the wind and tack against it, heading directly towards a star. Eldar Starships are made from Wraithbone, a material drawn as raw energy from the warp and shaped into matter by psychic craftsmen known as Bonesingers. The Wraithbone forms the living skeletal core of the spaceship around which its other structures are arranged. The Wraithbone also provides channels for psychic energy. This facilitates internal communication, transmits power and enables the spaceship to act as an organically integrated whole. The Wraithbone core of a spaceship is surrounded by a structure which is literally grown into the required shape by Bonesingers. These Eldar use their psychomorphic talents to shape bulkheads, walls, floors and conduits into a shell that completely surrounds the Wraithbone core and forms the hull and major internal divisions of the spaceship. Most of a spaceship's operating systems are connected directly to the Wraithbone core. The many thousands of systems draw power through the Wraithbone and are constantly monitored and controlled through it.

Because of the unique practices of Eldar psychic engineering, Eldar spaceships resonate with sympathetic psychic energy. The Wraithbone core provides a psychic channel through which an Eldar can control mechanical functions. In this way, Eldar attuned to the very essence of their spaceship guide it, making countless minute adjustments to the trim of the great solar sails to draw every fraction of energy from the solar winds. This is also the key to the legendary elegance and almost birdlike agility of the Eldar ships. Their pilots literally feel the solar wind on the ship's sails, they sense the flex of the ship's structure, the tension and movement of its Wraithbone skeleton. Like a hawk soaring on a thermal or diving to clutch at its prey, an Eldar ship can turn in the wind, circling and swooping to hunt its own prey - the spaceships of its enemy (see Aconite Class Frigates; Aurora Class Light Cruisers; Bonesingers; Eclipse Class Cruisers; Hellebore Class Frigates; Hemlock Class Destroyers; Nightshade Class Destroyers; Pirates; Shadow Class Cruisers; Shadowhunter; Solaris Class Light Cruisers; Wraithbone; Wraithship).


Eldar starship crew include Farseers and Bonesingers, as well as officers and crewmen. Crewmen typically wear sealed pressure suits and shielded helmets to protect against warp incursions. Mitten-style gloves are common, as well as long scout-style coats and shuriken pistol sidearms when off-ship. Eldar officers can be distinguished by more elaborate helms, plumes and topknots. Power sabres and potent weaponry such as the plasma-based star pistol are also used, particularly favoured by officers of Shadow Hunters for hand-to-hand fighting.

Each starship includes groups of Farseers who act as the ship’s sensor array. Farseers typically wear heavily shielded helmets and employ divining rods to operate webway gates. The most senior Farseer on any starship acts as the steersman. Bonesingers are also common on starships as the creator and maintainer of the wraithbone core and responsible for maintaining the ship’s spirit stones (see Bonesinger; Farseer; Starships; Shadowhunter).


Eldar starship transports are fast and stealthy. Pirates find them hard to catch, but when caught, their contents are often much more valuable than Imperial equivalents. They are invariably poorly armed with prow weapons batteries, but protected by the sophisticated holo fields (see also Starships).


An Eldar pirate force originating from the Ulthwe craftworld. The Steel-Eye Reavers’ badge is a double-winged eye, variant of the Ulthwe craftworld rune (see Pirates; Ulthwe).


The Striking Scorpion warriors are the strongest and most powerful of all hand-to-hand fighting Aspect Warriors armed with chainswords and shuriken pistols, although some shrines are armed with power gloves in place of the chainswords. Their heavy Scorpion Armour, reinforced with rigid plates, and curving helmets emphasise the resemblance with the deadly creature after which they are named. The curving mandibles on their helmets conceal special weapons known as Mandiblasters, also known as the Sting of the Scorpion. These weapons are extremely short-ranged, activated by a psychic pick-up in the helmet and firing a stream if tiny metallic needles forward into the target. These needles cannot do much damage alone, but act as a medium to deliver a laser energy blast that vaporises the metal into plasma and rips into the target (See also Aspect Warriors; Fallen Phoenix; Hall of Dunes; Karandras).


An Eldar pirate force (see Pirates).


Sunstorm squadrons are comprised of Fire Prism grav tanks. They take their name from the legendary Sunstorm called down by Asuryan during his conflict with Kaelis Ra. Asuryan arranged the suns themselves so their constellations spelt a time of ill omen for Kaelis Ra. Asuryan then harnessed the power of the stars and all but destroyed Kaelis Ra with a mighty barrage of sloar flares.


Exodite Knight Clan (see Exodites; Knights).


The Swooping Hawk Aspect Warriors (also known on some Craftworlds as Wings of Thunder or Raptors) wear a special winged harness, which enables them to fly through the air - making them the swiftest and most mobile of all the Eldar warriors. Their wings are made from vibrating feather plates and incorporate small jet motors and gravitic reaction lifters. When they fly their wings vibrate with such speed they turn into a blur of colour and emit a characteristic shrieking sound. Their Hawk armour and equipment is made from cellular material full of tiny air pockets much like the ones of birds. This makes it extremely light without affecting its outward appearance. One of the most common tactics is to drop grenades from their special launcher packs as they fly over enemy squads, then returning to pick them off with blasts from their lasblasters.

They take their name form the wild hunting birds of Eldar myth. In ancient times the Eldar believed that the spirit of a murdered person would pass into a hawk, in which form it would seek out the murderer, hovering above his or her head as a mark of guilt for all to see (see Aspect Warriors; Baharroth; Hall of Falcons).