Craftworld Iyanden is one of the major Eldar Craftworlds. It suffered heavily from an attack by Hive Fleet Kraken, losing four out of every five Eldar before Autarch turned Corsair Yriel managed to drive out the Hive Fleet. As a result, Craftworld Iyanden is forced to rely heavily on Wraith constructs to keep them afloat in combat, and half of the ones alive are probably Bonesingers. They suffered further when WAAAGH Rekkfist invaded the Craftworld and were nearly overrun when the Dark Eldar of the Kabal of the Wraithkind appeared from the Webway to save them. After the battle, the Seer Council inquired why the Dark Eldar had saved them, and they replied that they thought Iyanden's angst over using Wraith constructs was so hilarious that they couldn't let them die. So grimdark.
According to Matt Ward (which is all we got since no one else ever went beyond the above paragraph) before they were NOMed they used to be the de facto leaders of the Eldar (you know, being the "biggest craftworld" and all), having designed both the means to harvest soulstones and the early Infinity Circuit. Due to having the resources and, at the time, a rather peaceful part of the galaxy to inhabit, they decided to rebuild the Eldar Empire. However, since most craftworlds were either busy doing their own things, or didn't have the means, they could only get Biel-tan to join them. Things were going well and the two fucked Chaos' shit up, even gaining new allies: the Ybaric Cluster Exodite Worlds and Craftworlds Malan'tai and Idharae. (Till Malan'tai got wrecked by an OP Zoanthrope and Idharae was destroyed by the Invaders Space Marine Chapter.)
But then everything went to grimdark once they started fighting Hive Fleet Naga. Iyanden lost all its buddies as the Ybaric Cluster was isolated by a warp storm. The Invaders chapter destroyed Idharae and the Doom of Malan'tai as well. And to add even more grimdarkness, when Yriel went to battle with all of Iyanden it resulted in a Cyclonic Torpedo hitting the craftworld, killing a few thousands and breaking their soulstones. They really should have realized that attacking a Space Marine chapter, let alone one named "Invaders" was a bad idea. I'm guessing they realized that around the time they noticed a planet-busting missile was heading towards them. Perhaps that was the moment they remembered that this chapter had killed a being that could wipe out an entire Craftworld with a thought. Idharae had certainly learned that attacking Space Marines is stupid. Shame none survived to spread that wisdom to the rest of the Eldar. Then again Eldar failing to realize how outclassed they are by Space Marines is a common thing.
Despite this, the craftworld is recovering at a rather fast rate, hopeful to return to its former glory. Fitting for its name, really. Yes, Ward wrote some noblebright in 40k.
This growth has been hampered by yet more invasions though. With the spilling of the Warp brought about by the Fall of Cadia Iyanden found itself once more beset by Chaos Forces, this time three Hulks infested with Nurgle Daemons. Although small in numbers these ships were impossible for the Iyanden fleet to destroy, so the Craftworld instead decided to focus on terminating the Hulk's engines and fleeing. Doing so came at a high cost, including the death of Yriel (although Yvraine brought him back later because a Nurgle Daemon Prince wanted to screw over Slaanesh). The Ynnari, when leaving, also took so many of their Wraith warriors with them that some of the Eldar of Iyanden feared the Craftworld was being left defenceless.
This turned out to be true when, again, Chaos attacked the Craftworld, lead by the Keeper of Secrets N'krisha, who proceeded to wreck the Craftworld and was on the verge of destroying it before the intervention of numerous different Eldar allies saved Iyanden from, yet again, being destroyed.
All in all the one thing Iyanden tends to be good at is almost getting destroyed and then someone showing up to save it at the last moment.
The Craftworld that gets shit done
As a result of their codex supplement and the fact they are the most underused of the craftworlds, they currently have the highest number of victories of any craftworld, despite being best known as 'Nid food. This is possibly the one good thing that ever came out of Matt Ward's work.
Some of these include:
- Destroying a Chaos Empire ruled by a Fallen Angel.
- Handing him over to Dark Angels because their Farseer saw it was the worst thing they can do to him.
- Having fucking Colonies meaning they've done more rebuilding their Empire than any other craftworld. Actual colonies, like, with cities. Not Garden of Eden Feral World on easy mode with all the cheats enabled that is the Eldar's (especially Exodite's) idea of "roughing it".
- Help destroyed a minor Tyranid Hive fleet.
- Right after being NOMed they defended an Exodite world from Imperial invasion. Which is odd because fluff also says they refused to protect an Exodite world from Imperial invasion, which pissed Biel-Tan off. Different worlds? Writers not reading fluff before they write? (Actually it was an uninhabited maiden world, Biel-Tann is pretty much the only Craftworld that cares about others camping out on Maiden Worlds until they want one for their own people to settle on because Eldar are too sissy to live on anything but a planet that does everything for you)
- Leading the Eldar Bio-Purge (aka fixing Kryptman's clusterfuck in Octarius).
- During the battle for the Farseers keep seeing the craftworld lost, until Iyanna rigs the outcome saying sometimes they need to forge their own future (how ironically human of them).
- Getting M'kar to attack Ultramar, meaning they're the ones who gave Varro Tigurius nightmares about the Daemonculaba resulting in the events that lead to everything Uriel Ventris did in his books.
- They're about to combine forces with Craftworld Biel-tan in Apocalypse: Warzone Valedor and kill Hive Fleet Kraken once and for all (except not really) before Hive Fleet Leviathan can eat them.
In all, this Craftworld tends to behave in a much more human way than any other Eldar. They actually make colonies, they don't get pissy about others already living on their Maiden Worlds, they don't mind living on honestly new and potentially dangerous planets, they forge their own destiny, and they badass last-standed the Tyranids like humans do. *Sniff* They grow up so fast!