Imperium Asunder Eldar Warhost
Part of the Imperium Asunder project.
Though the Empire has become increasingly dependent upon human Custodian Hosts to secure its borders, the true power of the Eldar Empire will always be in its warhosts. Striking unexpectedly and without quarter, these armies have been the bane of many human attempts - whether Loyalist or Traitor - to establish a foothold in Segmentum Tempestus.
- Biel-Tan: Despite is savaging during the establishment of the Empire, Biel-Tan retains the tradition of the Swordwind. Its warhosts are elite fighting-forces composed of Aspect Warriors drawn from a multitude of Shrines across the Empire, each specialized trooper working in harmony with his fellows. As a result of their heavy losses, Biel-Tan warhosts are generally accompanied by vast Ghost Legions, their Wraithguard often fitted with specialized equipment to take advantage of the Aspect Path they walked in life.
- Iyanden: The largest and most densely populated of Craftworlds, with the greatest number of descendant colonies and Starholds throughout the Empire, Iyanden has a wealth of resources to draw from, and its warhosts reflect this. Fielding the sparsest number of Ghost Legions alongside their troops, Iyandan has an exceptionally large, well-trained, well-equipped force of Guardians at its command, and they make up the bulk of its warhosts, Aspect Warriors assigned to specialist duties. Iyanden warhosts are the most numerous, and are used to holding ground on the fringes of the Empire, and have as such become highly adept with the use of fire support platforms and artillery, using large numbers of heavy weapons in their warhosts.
- Mymeara: Maneuverability, stealth, and firepower are the primary virtues of Mymeara's warhosts. Making heavy use of Shadow Spectre Aspect Warriors, almost to the disregard of other Shrines, Mymeara's warhosts are mobile warfare specialists, adept at striking hard targets and fading away into the atmosphere. They are typically deployed to worlds where visibility is low or the terrain makes standard modes of travel difficult, making the most of their advanced stealth technology and mobile units.
- Lugganath: Lugganath has never boasted the greatest of armies, and its warhosts are typically small, elite forces. The Craftworld's obsession with exploration has resulted in a large number of Rangers originating from its domains, and its constant probing of the Webway has yielded improved Warp Spider technology (this Shrine being by far the most popular on Lugganath). Most importantly, however, Lugganath has always maintained close relations with many Corsair Princes and Harlequin Troupes, and a great many of the former threw their lot in with the Craftworld when it joined the Empire. Through them, Lugganath has access to the resources and technology of many Webway states, and even the Dark City itself.
- Idharae: Idharae fields a small number of warhosts, its population more inclined to the Path of the Mariner than the martial Paths. Its small warhosts often incorporate large numbers of fast skimmers, particularly Lynxes and Vipers, and show a disproportionate predisposition toward the Swooping Hawk Shrine over all others. Idharaean warhosts are almost always accompanied by much larger Custodian Hosts.
- Iybraesil: Masters of shock tactics and host to some of the most highly prized Seers of the Empire, Iybraesil's warhosts strike hard and fast, favouring bloody close quarters combat over ranged battles. It is custom for women of the Craftworld to embark upon the Path of the Banshee at some point in their lives, and as such, the Craftworld fields vast numbers of this Aspect Warrior. The other Aspect Shrines are heavily neglected by the Craftworld, almost to the point of disuse, most males taking support or pilot roles.
- Telennar: Telennar's warhosts are characterized by small, elite units and copious Ranger support, often fighting the majority of their battles in the supply routes and logistical centers of their enemies, only engaging in pitched battle when their foes have been sufficiently crippled. An especially small Craftworld, it maintains few warhosts of its own, but its veteran Rangers are often engaged in clandestine operations alongside the troops of other Craftworlds.
- Mynathensar: Mynathensar was crippled in battle with the Undying Scions, and subsequently used as a means planetary annihilation by its vengeful Autarch, but its fleetbound and colonist descendants maintain the legendary aeronautical traditions of the Craftworld, their warhosts relying upon the aerial superiority achieved by their expert pilots and abnormally numerous Hemlock fighters to grant them victory.
- Yme-Loc: Master artisans, Yme-Loc and its colonies produces a great many of the war machines used throughout the Eldar Empire. Its own warhosts are heavily mechanized, its Guardians and Aspect Warriors serving support roles to its vast battalions of grav-tanks and titans.
- Kher-Ys: In the warhosts of Kher-Ys there is little distinction between the living and the dead. Vastly different in demeanor and doctine to their fellow Eldar, the warhosts of Kher-Ys deploy their troops in thick, strength-enhancing armour of tempered wraithsteel. Able to shrug off intense firepower and wield weapons normally impossible to carry for standard Guardians, the grim warriors of Kher-Ys confound all expectations of a general prepared to face the Eldar. The soulstones of Kher-Ys warriors are fully integrated into their armour, allowing their spirits to immediately enter the suit's psychoactive circuity upon being dealt a mortal blow, fighting on as wraith-warriors from the very moment of their death. Often, the only way to put down a warrior of Kher-Ys permanently is to utterly blast them apart.
Often pointed to by Eldar beyond the Imperial territories as a clear sign of the Empire's certain fall into degeneracy, the Ghost Legions are nonetheless essential to its security. Once a practice of last resorted, whispered of as a dark, necromantic art, the interment of the Eldar soul within a frame of wraithbone has become a commonplace practice within the Empire. Foundries across the Empire churn day and night, ensuring that every fallen Eldar, regardless of rank or role, can be called upon to don a form of tempered wraithbone and fight along their descendants (though, for most, this is temporary. With the exception of Biel-Tan and Kher-Ys, the Imperial Eldar do not expect their ancestors to serve constantly, and for most their time as Wraithguard is a brief outing). Equipped with ever-more specialized and varied equipment, these undead warriors are set apart from the standard warhost structure, organized into Ghost Legions and commanded by Spiritseers or Wraithseers - or, in particularly rare cases, Wraithguard heroes of such will and strength of character that they retain all the clarity of life even in death.
The use of Ghost Legions differs from Craftworld to Craftworld. Biel-Tan regards the safety of the Empire as its eternal responsibility, both in life and in death, and its Ghost Legions see by far the most battle, often equipped with Aspect weaponry. Kher-Ys seems to see little distinction between the living and the dead, and it is unknown if its Wraithguard ever retire to an Infinity Circuit - or if the Craftworld even has one anymore. Iyanden, with its massive population and many Starholds, makes the least use of the Ghost Legions, but still deploys them in times of need.
The most feared instruments of the Empire's wrath are its warhosts - elite fighting forces of Eldar soldiers, spearheaded by vicious Aspect Warriors and supported by arcane war machines. The most numerous, however, are the Custodian Hosts.
As the Eldar Empire expanded through the lower Tempestus, it became apparent that, even with many populations colonizing hospitable worlds and setting up bases of industry, the overall Eldar population of the fledgling Empire was barely sufficient to secure its growing borders. Not in short supply, however, were worlds inhabited by human civilizations and colonies. While the rising Khainite movement within the Empire wished for nothing less than their utter displacement, the Asuryic majority saw their uses. Incorporating these worlds as protectorates, the Empire established a form of orbital oversight dictating the direction of their governance and culture. A mixture of technological assistance and religious conditioning has turned these worlds into loyal subject of the Empire, eager to provide industrial and military labour for the betterment of their celestial masters. To be elevated into space to fight for the Eldar is lauded as the highest of honours in these cultures, and they have since become a significant part of the Empire's military arm. Custodian Hosts are generally equipped with a mixture of simplified, non-psychoactive technology. Splinter weaponry, heat lance tech, lasblasters, and implosion weaponry - generally manufactured on predominantly human worlds - make up the bulk of their armoury. These regiments are generally schooled in direct, enduring methods of warfare, providing the anvil for the Eldar warhosts' hammer.
Loyalty and endurance is the highest virtue of the Custodian Hosts, their soldiers pledging to lay down their lives for their celestial lords. In many cases, especially in the outer reaches of the Corsair Princedoms, there is even a mutual respect between master and servant, and some mon'keigh have been elevated to lofty positions as a result of their tactical or martial proficiency (or, in some cases, simply because their Prince finds them a delight to be around). Many Custodian Hosts enshrine a victory-or-death mentality, partaking in ritual suicide as penance for their failures.
- Custodian Guard: In many ways, there is little difference in doctrine or effective equipment between that of a Realm Guard trooper and a soldier of a Custodian Host. Deployed in large regiments, Custodians enjoy greater logistical capability, but they are still essentially men and woman of disposable value. A typical Custodian Guardsman is equipped with simplistic mesh armour and one of several dumbed-down weapon variants, their designs simplified for human use. Specific loadouts can often differ between Custodian Hosts, depending upon the policies and connections of their ruling Prince. For many, a lasblaster equivalent is the standard firearm, while those whose rulers are more friendly with their dark kin may carry an array of different splinter weaponry. Support platforms like those used by Realm Guard are common, drawing from pre-Custodian doctrines that most human worlds will have had prior to their annexation by the Eldar Empire. These generally do not incorporate the sophisticated grav-systems of their Eldar equivalents, but they are more sophisticated and reliable than those of typical mon'keigh construction, and Custodian Guard often employ large numbers of plasma-based artillery platforms without fear of falling victim to the weapons' own terrible heat.
- Warshades: Elite soldiers, Warshades are selected for their skill, loyalty, and calm temperament. Trained to regard themselves as already dead, Warshades are regarded as walking ghosts by their fellow Custodians, and communicate with the living solely through voice modulators, never removing their faceless helms in the presence of others. Equipped with basic power armour derived from Striking Scorpion schematics, Warshades function as crack commandos, targeting supply lines and priority targets. Rumours often speak of a civilian equivalent to these units, responsible for disposing of naysayers and skeptics who would doubt the divine nature of the Eldar and their celestial palaces.
- Exalted Guard: Essentially the pinnacle of realistic human endeavor within the Eldar Empire, the Exalted Guard are those personally set aside by their alien masters. Submitting themselves to extensive gene therapy and surgical modification, the Exalted Guard are somewhat more than human. They are afforded the best training, the best equipment, and the most glorious battlefield roles a soldier of the Custodian Hosts could ask for, equipped with power armour similar to that of Warshades and carrying weaponry even other Custodian Guard would consider exotic. Fanatically loyal and highly skilled, the Exalted Guard serve as the armoured fist of the Custodian Hosts, and many are kept close at hand by their Princes, who often appreciate their loyal and honest natures.
- Stinger Assault Walker: The Stinger is a simplified variant of the Wasp Assault Walker commonly deployed by Eldar Corsairs. Stripped of psychoative components and modeled for ease of construction, it sacrifices many of the utilities of the original design - its sensors, targeting systems, and thrusters, while still advanced by human standards, all pared down in favour of additional armour, better serving the Custodian doctrine of endurance warfare. Still, the Stinger remains a mobile, potent harasser, commonly quipped with Heat Lances, Bright Lances, or Implosion Missile pods.
- Mantis Battle Walker: Occupying an odd space between an MBT and an attack walker, the Mantis is the Stinger's bigger, burlier brother. Designed to endure, the Mantis is over twice the Stinger's size, and far more heavily armoured. It maintains an element of mobility, outpacing most standard battle tanks, but its thrusters can only accomplish very brief, relatively low jumps, unable to temporarily hover or skim like the Stinger or Wasp. Typically armed with Heavy Heat Lances or pair of Pulse Laser or Disintegrator Cannon equivalents.
- Scorpion Support Walker: Eschewing thruster capacity entirely, the Scorpion is a much heavier machine, striding across the battlefield on six thickly-plated legs. Scorpions fill a fire support role, mounting a prehensile spinal tail upon which a pair of twin-liked weapons are generally fitted - usually Pulse Laser, Disintegrator Cannon, or Heavy Heat Lance equivalents. Its front chassis is adorned with a pair of smaller weapons, usually modeled after Scatter Laser technology.
- Pandinus Command Walker: An up-gunned Scorpion pattern designed for field command purposes, the Pandinus has been reported by Crusader forces to have only one distinct pattern, mounting a powerful las weapon roughly equivalent to a Pulsar upon its spinal tail and a pair of Heat Pulsers upon its forward limbs - terrifying weapons capable of unleashing conical torrents of searing melta waves.
In many ways the beating heart of the empire, spiritually if not economically, Biel-Tan is the original pillar upon which the early days of the Resurgent Empire were built. Even before the events that set in motion the empire's founding, Biel-Tan was always characterized by the fierce, some say fevered, dream of a galaxy once again under Eldar rule. In the past, many of the Craftworlders now citizens of the empire would have considered them radicals, but in modernity, Biel-Tan is home to heroes. Not many heroes, however. Biel-Tan bore the brunt of the empire's earliest battles, and its population has been devastated by millennia of constant conflict. Though its losses have since been replaced, it still lags behind many of the other Craftworlds in terms of originating population. As a result, it was the first Craftworld to establish a doctrine of total readiness in relation to wraith constructs, utilizing the planetary resources of the empire to ensure that every soul housed by its Infinity Circuits could be clad in a body of wraithbone and fight alongside their living kin. It remains a martial culture, continuing to produce many of the empire's most elite Aspect Warriors, and has yet to let its past losses sway its fervor, the soldiers of Biel-Tan often found at the borders of the empire, defending it to their last breath, and often beyond.
The backbone of the empire. Even before the formation of the Resurgent Empire, Iyanden boasted the greatest concentration of living Eldar souls in the known galaxy, its size and armaments dwarfing those of other Craftworlds. As an organ of the empire, Iyanden is indispensable, providing by far the bulk of its manpower. The vast majority of Isharan Worlds are populated by colonists of Iyanden, the vast majority of Starholds are crewed by its citizens, and the vast majority of guardians serving in the defense of the empire can trace their ancestry back to Iyanden. If Biel-Tan is the premiere symbol of the empire, its spiritual heart, Iyanden is its economic and industrial center, the axis upon which its continued existence is predicated. As of M42, Iyanden is also home to the greatest and most revered hero of the empire, Prince Yriel, now clad in the Armour of Eldandesh and hailed by many as the Phoenix King. Through his influence, Iyanden technically commands a vast host of Corsair fleets, many of which have only recently pledged their lives to Yriel's service.
Mymeara's decision to assist Biel-Tan in its defense of the Tempestus Region's Exodite worlds may have been one of the most significant steps on the road toward empire. Characterized primarily by its isolationism, those Eldar that knew of Mymeara spoke of Mymearans as a deeply suspicious and closed-off people, many of them doubting the purity of other Craftworlds, their ancestors originating from the very edge of the first Eldar Empire. Their move to reinforce Biel-Tan and Lugganath was unexpected, and, to many, a reassuring moment - an assurance that even the most truant and distrusting of Eldar were still brothers in the face of the galaxy's terrors, and that unity could be more than a dream. One of the larger Craftworlds of the early alliance, Mymeara provides a significant number of warships for the Imperial fleet. In particular, Mymeara retains advanced stealth technology from prior to the Fall, and this technological advantage has been incorporated into their military doctrine. Their ships are generally attached to the main body of a sector fleet as harassers, using their superior stealth to disrupt enemy logistics and break apart formations. On the ground, the Craftworld's warhosts combine stealth with superior firepower, their warriors known for their disproportionate adherence to the Shadow Spectre Aspect Shrine. The hosts of Mymeara are deployed to worlds where terrain or atmospheric conditions make travel difficult by conventional means, their doctrine of maneuverability and stealth making them expert guerilla fighters.
Lugganath was the first Craftworld to stand alongside Biel-Tan its defense of the various Exodite worlds now counted as part of the empire. Its influence upon the direction of the fledgling empire is a palpable one - Lugganath always had strong ties to the Corsair Princes and many of the Twilight Cities in immaterial orbit around Commorragh, it having once been the intention of its citizenry to leave the material universe altogether and establish a new civilization in the Webway. It was their influence that attracted many of piratical fleets to the empire's service in the early days, and their connections to the Twilight Cities through which the first trade bargains with the Craftworlders' dark kin were made. Lugganath has been instrumental in shaping the empire, both in the materium and the immaterium, and its citizens remain the premiere explorers and architects of the Webway, illuminating its passages, rediscovering forgotten connections and gateways, reinforcing damaged pathways, and establishing Webway outposts. By Lugganath's efforts, the worlds of the empire are woven together, and its foundations are strengthened.
Idharae pledged itself to the empire alongside Iyanden, having forged an alliance of necessity with the larger Craftworld in years past. At first, Idharae was a Craftworld divided, many of its elders believing their fellows to have been pressured into action by their ties to Iyanden, and their participation in the early years of the empire was characterized by a sense of cautious detachment. In time, the Craftworld has become more certain of its place within the empire, and its early trepidation has transformed into an objectiveness and level-headed caution that is valued by many other leaders within the empire. Idharae's primary contribution is restricted to the void, the Craftworld boasting a significant fleet, and its operations are primarily defensive. The Craftworld is almost unanimously Asuryic in doctrine, having spawned no planetary colonies of its own, and strongly promoting the idea of Starhold governance. Over time, its ground forces have become smaller and more specialized, the Craftworld relying more and more upon Custodian Hosts and encouraging most of its population to walk the Path of the Mariner, strengthening its warden fleets. Its planetside soldiers are generally assigned to larger warhosts as elite commando units.
A matriarchal society in service to the ancient priesthood of Morai-Heg, Iybraesil is a Craftworld of deeply religious nature, having spent the vast majority of its long voyage in search of pre-Fall esoterica and Crone World artifacts. Joining the Imperial cause alongside Iyanden, it was this drive toward rediscovery that motivated the Craftworld's integration into the empire, its Seer Council reasoning that any fledgling Eldar domain would have need of their knowledge. Known for its preference for shock and awe tactics, Iybraesil trains a disproportionate number of Howling Banshees. Its culture is somewhat unique among Craftworlds, viewed by other Eldar as esoteric and even morbid, its ruling caste of Seer-Priestesses retaining many trappings of the shadowy cults that once flourished throughout the Old Empire, including their tendency to indulge in the sacrifice of living beings. Their sorceries are strange and their customs dark, but the talents of their Seers are indispensable. Iybraesil has been party to a great number of Webway expeditions into Chaos-held territories, usually with the aid of Craftworld Lugganath, scavenging the secrets of ancient Crone Worlds. Most recently, they participated in a joint campaign of covert assaults alongside Mymeara, recovering the armour of the Phoenix Lord Irillyth from Betalis III.
A minor Craftworld by anyone's standards, Telennar sought a place within the Empire for one reason and one reason only - security. Small, densely populated, and not particularly powerful, the Craftworld has few Aspect Temples and fewer foundries, able to produce very few of the Eldar's greatest war machines (Wraith Knights, Phantoms, etc). It has survived primarily by avoiding conflict or by engaging solely in fleet-based battles, its seasoned naval commanders presiding over a fleet far larger than one would expect of such a small Craftworld, expanded mostly out of a necessity for greater living-space than anything else. Though Telennar fields few ground forces, it is known to possess an exceptionally adept Ranger caste, their skill at misdirection, assassination, and information-gathering being one of the secrets to Telennar's survival in an utterly hostile galaxy. Clandestine battalions of guerilla warriors from Telennar are often assigned to larger warhosts, sowing chaos and discord through the enemy's supply lines.
Known to produce some of the most excellent interceptor pilots in Eldar history, Mynathensar was a Craftworld of lofty aeronautical tradition, many of its ancient Princely Houses composed of honoured sky-knights, their firstborn generally studying at the Aspect Temple of the Crimson Hunter. Where most Craftworlds view the use of the Hemlock Wraithfighter as a desperate measure, Mynathensar considered its mastery a requisite for any Warlock wishing to progress further upon the Path of the Seer, command over the Hemlock's perilous mindshock pod teaching the self-control and discipline necessary to excel in the Seer arts (it helps, also, that Mynathensar has developed Hemlock technology well beyond its fellow Craftworlds, vastly reducing the strain it places upon its pilots). Proud and daring, the sky-knights of Mynathensar produced many heroes during the Undying Scions' second incursion into Imperial space, including the far-renowned Jhainen Kaine-Handed. A series of desperate naval battles and boarding actions eventually scuttled the Craftworld, and its population was evacuated. Mynathensar's Autarch, Vaeleryss, set the Craftworld on a collision course for the nearby world of Provinus IX. The impact decimated both the Vigil forces regrouping on its surface and the fleet stationed in orbit, cracking the planet's mantle and irradiating the region to this day. The population of Mynathensar has scattered among various Isharan worlds, others choosing to remain fleetbound. Either way, they have taken great pains to preserve their aeronautical traditions, and the Craftworld's descendents continue to produce the greatest fighter-pilots of the empire.
Renowned as talented artisans, the integration of Yme-Loc into the Empire has been essential to its prosperity. Of all the Craftworlds critizens, those of Yme-Loc have perhaps adapted most fully to an existence at odds with the nomadic history of the Eldar, much of its population embracing the Isharan doctrine of colonization and rebirth, establishing many of the Empire's greatest centers of industrial capacity and having a hand in the rapid advancement of many Exodite worlds into the mechanized societies they exist as today. Yme-Loc's foundries, both those aboard the Craftworld and those of its planetside colonies, produce vast swathes of the Empire's mechanized military arm, and the Craftworld's own forces reflect this. Host to the largest and most experienced grav-tank battalions and titan pilots in the Empire, forces drawn from Yme-Loc can be found across the edges of Eldar influence, a wall of tempered wraithsteel upon which the ranks of invaders break apart.
The Craftworld of Kher-Ys had been heavily damaged in past confrontations with an early-rising Necron Dynasty when it pledged itself to the Empire, not so much sailing as limping into the relative safety of Imperial space. Though its population has been heavily mauled, those that remained are hardened by centuries of war against the deathless steel of the Necrons, and Kher-Ys' traditions have changed significantly as a result of its past experiences, resembling other Eldar Craftworlds only superficially. Many of its Aspect Shrines have been depleted, their Exarchs lost or destroyed, and the Craftworld fields few Aspect Warriors as a result (and has never, at least in recent years, been reported to field any Swooping Hawks or Howling Banshees). Instead, Kher-Ys has adapted different technologies and new approaches to warfare, replicating the tenacity and endurance of their old foes. Bulky, armoured harnesses similar to Wraithguard chassis are utilized by its soldiers, allowing them to stride confidently through hails of fire and carry weapons far heavier than those wielded by typical Guardian squads. The tactics of Kher-Ys, like their soldiers, are methodical, calm, and relentless, the Eldar of the Craftworld often thought of as almost unnaturally stoic by their fellows.
|Pages of the Imperium Asunder Project|
|Loyalist:|| Crimson Warhawks - Fists of Mars - Storm Hammers - Void Lords |
Angels of Light - Sky Serpents - Undying Scions - Knights Exemplar
|Traitor:|| Eyes of the Warmaster - Bloodhounds - Silver Spears - Judgement Bringers |
Second Sons - Iron Hearts - Behemoth Guard - Arms of Asura - Negators
|Renegade:||Warp Raiders - Paladins of Kor - Oathsworn|
|Other Astartes:||Diamond Watch - Black Suns - Hekatonkires|
|Other Powers:|| Resurgent Eldar Empire - Imperium Asunder Eldar Warhost |
Archaeotect Collective - Realm Guard and Mercenaries - Altair Enclave
|Related Pages:||Imperium Asunder Campaigns - Imperium Asunder Timeline|