Biel-tan is a former Eldar craftworld which had a penchant for war. Unlike other craftworlds, who were generally ruled by Seer Councils, Biel-tan was led by a council of Exarchs, Eldar who are trapped on the Path of the Warrior. This gave them a rather idiosyncratic view of the galaxy and how to deal with it—in particular, their goal was nothing less than a re-founding of the ancient Eldar galactic empire, and to do that, they needed to cleanse the galaxy of all the upstarts squatting on planets they saw as rightfully theirs. They perform this cleansing by assembling an army of Aspect Warriors and Exarchs known as "the Swordwind" to raid a planet, scour the inhabitants, and leave before anyone has time to respond. They prefer to target planets that have just been colonized, as the defenders will have had less time to get stuck in—in fact, many Explorator Fleets have discovered planets that still contain the corpses of previous settlers. This "cleansing planets" policy, however, only applies to Maiden Worlds, those under the rule of enemies of the Eldar such as Orks or Necrons, and to invaders of Exodite Worlds and Eldar colonies. They don't wipe out all non-Eldar life on every planet they pass.
Biel-Tan got its start much the same way virtually every modern Craftworld did; running away screaming from the implosion of the ancient Aeldari empire. Unlike many others who elected to drift along sulking for thousands of years, Biel-Tan became staunch allies with Craftworld Iyanden in their mission to rebuild their lost civilization and reclaim some semblance of their glory days. The two divided and conquered, with Biel-Tan handling the "eastern" portion of the galaxy while Iyanden forged "west"ward, occasionally joining forces when needed. Biel-Tan was particularly zealous in their endeavors over the millennia spent crusading against the forces of Chaos and started to turn a rather scornful eye towards the xenos that had started settling on maiden worlds. Offended that such grungy creatures would dare set foot on seeded worlds designed by eldar hands, Biel-Tan began cleansing any maiden world inhabited by non-eldar life, becoming increasingly militant and xenophobic in doing so. This began to strain their relations with Iyanden, who were also more focused on actually rebuilding their civilization and purging Chaos, not just slaughtering all the xenos who dared glance at their maiden worlds. Iyanden insisted that cleansing occupied maiden worlds wasn't the primary goal of their collective efforts, while Biel-Tan was pissed that Iyanden wasn't concerned about the filthy xenos defiling the planets that were their birthright. These tensions came to a rather abrupt head when Iyanden declined to aid in the defense of an Exodite-populated maiden world under Imperial assault, once again claiming that dealing with the forces of Chaos was a more pressing priority. Following this, Lyanden started to grow increasingly uncomfortable with Biel-tan's zealotry and started ghosting their brothers-in-arms until they officially cut off ties with their former allies; which Biel-Tan considered nothing short of treason. Biel-Tan has stood alone in its crusade as it cruises the stars, eradicating any xenos on all planets they believe once and forever belong to the Aeldari, they have made it their priority to act as guardians of the many Exodite worlds, and have earned their respect by doing so, to the extent that the Exodites have moved to enforce their much depleted allies in order to repay their debt to them.
Biel-Tan's culture is pretty simple and straight forward; the Eldar are the true masters of the galaxy and everything else is beneath them. They instill this mindset in their citizens and encourage an extremely militant lifestyle. This of course leaves little in the way of time or energy to spend on any other cultural pursuits or ambitions compared to other Craftworlds.
Biel-tan's greatest priority is protecting Exodite worlds, because they believe that the Exodites will be the foundation upon which the new Eldar empire will be built, with their planets used as staging areas for re-colonization and expansion efforts. Iyanden and Biel-tan used to work together on the "rebirth of the Eldar Empire" project, with Iyanden doing the colonizing and Biel-Tan acting as a provisional military force to protect the new colonies. However, Iyanden's refusal to aid Biel-Tan in protecting a Maiden World from Imperial attack (having decided that it would be a waste of time to do so when they could be fighting greater threats like Chaos instead) led to the alliance's dissolution, as the disagreement led to both craftworlds assuming that the other was not as fully invested in the alliance as they were. Unsurprisingly, Biel-tan is the most populous craftworld (you know, following Iyanden getting eaten by Tyranids). However, despite their focus on keeping their worlds clear of non-eldar life and high population, they rarely if ever express any interest in subsequently colonizing the otherwise uninhabited maiden worlds they're so desperately protecting.
Biel-tan's claims of military might are true. The forces of Biel-tan were able to beat TWO Imperium sector fleets and TEN Space Marine chapters in order to get just one Maiden World. (As the saying goes: if six Space Marines fought six different Aspect Warriors, the Space Marines would kill all but one, and the last Aspect Warrior would slaughter all the Space Marines.) This contrasts to Alaitoc, which was attacked by a rather small Imperial force (given what they were up against) and the Eldar defenses were basically roflstomped
at high cost to by the Imperial Guard, Space Marines and Titan legions. But hey, that's the difference between a Craftworld specializing in mass-producing Aspect Warriors and a Craftworld that's mostly just a bunch of scouts.
Battle for Biel-Tan
In the Fracture of Biel-Tan book, Skarbrand and The Masque, with their respective demon hordes, seek to gain access to a Webway portal that leads straight to Biel-Tan itself. Discovering the plot, Biel-Tan Eldar attempt to intercept them before they can strike at the Craftworld itself, which failed. As Biel-Tanners fight to defend their home the Masque saw it fit to prey on Eldar souls in the Infinity Circuit. Timely intervention by Yvraine, who cast a spell that successfully summoned the Avatar of Ynnead stopped the Masque's feeding spree, though costing thousands of souls and fracturing the Craftworld in the process.
Following the catastrophic birth of the new Eldar Death God's Incarnation, the Craftworld of Biel-Tan is too heavily damaged to support its population, with the remaining Biel-Tan ships and populace fragmenting and splitting into differing small groups until the Craftworld can be repaired and the Infinity Circuit replaced. At least one portion of this group has become part of the mobile army that is the Ynnari, whilst at least one army group has been mentioned as deciding to hide away in the Webway from now on, although as they are not Harlequins this cannot be a feasible long term survival plan. For the rest of the Eldar once part of the Craftworld, they are now simply scattered and divided nomads, bereft also of the Avatar of the War God they used to be particularly close to.
That said, the foes of Biel-tan have learned the hard way that they are far from defeated. Indeed, they have become even more efficient at surgical strikes due to the need for smaller forces, and are all too eager to exact revenge on Chaos.
Anybody who thought that the Eldar of Biel-tan might have learned a bit of humility is sadly mistaken. The Craftworld is still broken, and with half their population gone, either slain or departed to join the Ynnari, the ghost halls swell with newly animated Wraith constructs, due to their infinity circuit being kaput. These setbacks have only reinvigorated them; those who remain move forward with renewed vigor and a determination to scour clean all the would-be usurpers and bring about a new Aeldari civilization to rival the ancient empire of old.
Psychic Awakening: Phoenix Rising
In the wake of the Fracture and the rising psionic activity across the galaxy, the Craftworld itself has ultimately been broken down into a single massive fleet and is no longer one singular world ship. Though their military might is still roughly half its former glory due to the events of the Fracture, they have successfully been defending Exodite worlds from Chaos incursions. Indeed, with the aid of Fuegan, Baharroth and Karandras not only did they defend three separate exodite worlds from daemonic invasions at the same time, but they tracked the human cultists responsible for conjuring forth the daemonic host and nuked their planet with a psychic storm so intense it wiped out all life on its surface. A bit excessive, but in character for the Biel-Tani all things considered. This resounding victory over chaos as well as the presence of three Phoenix Lords inspired many exodites to lend their military might to Biel-Tan, reinvigorating the Craftworlders and bolstering their forces significantly.
Tactics and Military Doctrine
Biel-Tan, as mentioned numerous times, is famous for having the highest concentration of Aspect Warriors among all of the Craftworlds. This gives them immense tactical flexibility as they have a much greater reserve of specialists to field as the strategic situation calls for them. Their higher capacity for waging war also enables them to engage in battles that many smaller Craftworlds simply wouldn't be able to handle, and is arguably the reason Biel-Tan is the one Craftworld who can actually fend of the Imperium on a fairly consistent basis without suffering frankly obscene casualties.
Since the shattering of their Craftworld and the exodus of roughly half their original population, Biel-Tan has since consolidated their power into a massive fleet. While this does reduce their capacity for war considerably, it has also enhanced their mobility and flexibility. They've begun conducting far more raids through usage of the Webway, now a fairly practical option since they're no longer operating strictly from their former Craftworld.
- Void Spinner - An exclusive and upscaled version of the otherwise widely used Night Spinner hover tank, Biel-Tan fields this super-tank when they wish to utterly destroy their targets. Unlike the Night Spinner, the monofilament nets fired by the Void Spinner are laced with wraithbone parasites and bacteria that break down their targets on a molecular level. Suffice to say, this makes Void Spinners particularly effective at cleaning up Ork and Tyranid infestations. This technology was originally used to assist with terraforming by the ancient Aeldari empire and most Craftworlds are repulsed by Biel-Tan adapting it for war.
|Governments, Empires, Nations and Astropolitical Powers of the Galaxy|
|Imperial Human Powers:||Imperium of Man (Adeptus Mechanicus - Ultramar) - Squat Homeworlds|
|Renegade Human Powers:||Severan Dominate|
|Chaos Powers:||New Kingdom (Sortiarian Occupation - Prospero/Sortiarius) |
Blood Pact - Scourge Stars
|Eldar Powers:||Commorragh - Craftworlds (Alaitoc - Biel-tan - Iyanden |
Saim-Hann - Ulthwé)
|Necron Powers:||Atun Dynasty - Charnovokh Dynasty - Maynarkh Dynasty - Mephrit Dynasty |
Nekthyst Dynasty - Nephrekh Dynasty - Nihilakh Dynasty - Novokh Dynasty
Ogdobekh Dynasty - Oruscar Dynasty - Sautekh Dynasty - Szarekhan Dynasty
|Ork Powers:||Ork Empire of Charadon - Ork Empire of Octarius - Ork Empire of Bork |
Ork Empire of Dregruk - Ork Empire of Calverna - Ork Empire of Jagga
|Tau Powers:||Tau Empire - Farsight Enclaves|
|Other Xenos Powers:||Q'Orl Swarmhood - Fra'al Satrapies|