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.
To the surprise of no one, this causes the alliance between Iyanden, who had simpler goals, and Biel-tan (this was pre-Tyranid attack) to grow increasingly strained. This is why Orks are their most hated enemy; once Orks land on a planet, their spores will start to spread, and if they aren't wiped out quickly, they will be impossible to dislodge. Biel-tan armies will prioritize the eradication of Orks above all other foes, even allying with non-Eldar if that means the Orks die faster—though they have no problem turning on their one-time allies once the Orks are defeated. That said, they have occasionally relocated human populations instead of wiping them out, so perhaps they aren't entirely racist, edgy, genocidal pricks.
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, with crazy high birth rates compared to other craftworlds.
Biel-tan's claims of military might are true. The forces of Biel-tan were able to beat TWO Imperium sector fleets and 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.
Recent articles put out on www.warhammer-community.com allude to the fall, or fracturing of, Craftworld Biel-tan in the book "The Gathering Storm: Fracture of Biel-Tan". Until further news is released, it can only be speculated the Craftworld will fall just like the
important Imperial fortress world *BLAM* small, insignificant, backwater world, Cadia.
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 with 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.
|Governments, Empires, Nations and Astropolitical Powers of the Galaxy|
|Imperial Powers:||Imperium of Man (Adeptus Mechanicus - Ultramar) - Squat Homeworlds|
|Chaos Powers:||Blood Pact - Scourge Stars - Sortiarian Occupation (Prospero/Sortiarius)|
|Eldar Powers:|| Commorragh - Craftworlds (Alaitoc - Biel-tan - Iyanden |
Saim-Hann - Ulthwé)
|Necron Powers:|| Charnovokh Dynasty - Maynarkh Dynasty - Mephrit Dynasty |
Nekthyst Dynasty - Nephrekh Dynasty - Nihilakh Dynasty
Novokh Dynasty - Ogdobekh Dynasty - Sautekh 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 Powers:||Q'Orl Swarmhood - Fra'al|