The Phoenix Lords are the founders of the Eldar's Aspect Warrior shrines, and are the authorities on what it means to practice their respective Aspects. They embody their Aspects so completely that their students often get trapped in that Aspect and become Exarchs. Think of them as legendary (im)mortal heroes of Khaine.
As of the 41st Millennium, the Phoenix Lords are not properly alive anymore; their spirits have integrated themselves into their armor, so if they do fall in battle, they can be resurrected by having someone new don the suit, and they're vicariously back in action, though the unfortunate Eldar who dons the suit gets overwritten by the original Phoenix Lord's personality and memories. Believe it or not, it's not as bad as it sounds. The Eldar who take up the Phoenix Lord's armor are always Exarchs, so they're committed to their Aspect for life. By the time an Eldar becomes an Exarch, they eat, sleep, and breathe their Aspect. Due to the way the Eldar mind works, at that point they'll never be able to change occupations, so becoming the host body for a Phoenix Lord's spirit isn't much of a change for them. Whether you see this as a tragic loss of what little personality the Exarch had managed to retain, or the ultimate sacrifice made by a noble warrior to become part of a god of war to delay the apocalypse a little longer is up to you.
On the battlefield, they wield upgraded versions of their Aspect's weapons and have all of the powers available to their Aspect's Exarchs (unsurprising, considering that they taught their Aspect everything) and strike a variety of fantastic battle poses. It has been years since the models have been updated though, so come on GW; tear yourself away from the new Ultramarines for a moment and give us some kickass new Phoenix Lord models!
Supposedly, these Lords will be heavily involved in the final battle against Chaos; given that Phoenix King is one of Asuryan's titles, there may be something to this rumor. Yet for being such rumoured big characters in the endgame, GW continues to underuse them in the fluff, which is a crying shame. Of all the Phoenix Lords, only Jain Zar has been featured anywhere near enough to have anything close to a particularly defined personality. Everyone else has a list of traits that we're told they have, but we never really see in action so what nuances to them exist beyond the tropes that can fit into a one paragraph blurbs are unknown. And honestly, even though Jain Zar has the benefit of having actual speaking roles, we still don't know all that much about her either. It's generally agreed that the Phoenix Lords' stats are distinctly unfitting of their background and more suited for very experienced Exarchs rather than the embodiments of each Aspect.
The Phoenix Lord model line began quite well and, ironically given their lore, was an incredibly ancient holdover that wasn't updated for many years. While the aspect warrior and phoenix lord line aged pretty gracefully in terms of aesthetics and aspect warriors are not supposed to have a million and one options so the old models are serviceable, it was rather disappointing that the cornerstone of the Eldar army and six of their most important characters have models older much of 40k's playerbase. Things continued like this until September 2019, when Phoenix Lord Jain-Zar got a dynamic new model along with maybe-maybe-not-Phoenix Lord Drazhar. Among fans, hope is rising that the rest of the Phoenix Lords will follow suit.
List of Phoenix Lords
Arhra, the Father of Scorpions, (also called the Fallen Phoenix and the Dark Father), is a shady one, as two stories of his life exist and no one is sure which (if any) is true. Craftworlders teach that he founded the Striking Scorpions Aspect. Somewhere along the way, he fell to Chaos, and left the Craftworlds. Dark Eldar Incubi tell a different story in which Arhra founded the Incubi from the start and was not corrupted, but just angry and eager to fight Chaos, so he recruited from all Eldar factions, but mostly Commorites, since they fit his brutal standards better. When the other Phoenix Lords decided to focus their attention on Craftworlders only and to defend the status quo rather than fight Chaos, Arhra pretty much said "fuck it" and started fighting his anti-Chaos war by himself, until he was eventually corrupted, as all things tend to be after being exposed to the Ruinous Powers for too long. To make things even more complicated, Craftworlders also have a story about Arhra fighting his pupils, but rather than teaching them the valuable lesson that everything can be corrupted and should be killed if it is, he's just somehow "tricked" into doing this by Karandras, who fought him for three weeks straight while taunting him, before getting the last laugh by cloaking and watching his enraged master kill all his Incubi students. Some suggest that Arhra survived or was reincarnated as a Dark Eldar character named Drazhar, Master of Blades and Hierarch of the Incubi (a title he got by killing the previous Hierarch and his bodyguards), though Drazhar may well be the Dark Eldar equivalent to Karandras, who was trained by Arhra. Nobody knows what is true or not in his case, although Drazhar has the same resurrection abilities as the Phoenix Lords. Besides, this is Warhammer. The chances of Drazhar being Arha are the same as Giles le Breton being the Green Knight (Confirmed in End Times so we just need to wait for 40k's version of End Times)
Asurmen, the Hand of Asuryan, was the first Phoenix Lord, and the one who led the flight of the Craftworld Eldar from the collapsing Eldar empire, and later founded the Dire Avenger Aspect and the Path of the Warrior system as a whole, earning him the title of The Denier from the Daemons of Slaanesh for leading Eldar away from She Who Thirsts. Originally named Iliathin, he was just an average Eldar who lived an ordinary life on one of the Eldar homeworlds. When the pleasure cults started wreaking havoc, his brother, a anti-pleasure cult vigilante named Tethesis, wanted to leave with the Exodites but stayed as he didn't want to leave his brother (who saw them as foolish doomsayers). Then the Fall of the Eldar happened, which the two brothers somehow survived and tried to survive a post-apocalyptic world. Unfortunately, his brother got possessed, so he had to kill him before sealing his soul away from Slaanesh. Feeling depressed, he almost commits suicide by jumping off a balcony until a young brat named Faraethil interrupted. Originally annoyed by her, he takes up the name Asurmen after rescuing her from some Dark Eldar. After renaming himself and her, they settled on a moon they renamed Asur and the rest is history. He later sealed his brother's soul to his sword hilt to keep it being Slaanesh's junk food. To the Eldar he's seen as the paragon of what a warrior can be, and many of his protégés went on to found Aspects of their own. Before the Fall Asurmen led the Craftworlds away from the Eldar homeworlds. We know he's a humble fellow, as he named himself Asurmen, which means "hand of god", and after the fall he renamed his newly chosen homeworld Asur. After the Fall, he spent all his time traveling between the Craftworlds, teaching any who would learn the Path of the Warrior and kicking the ass of any who threatened the Eldar. Asurmen was killed during the fall of Asur when the world was overrun by the daemonic legions of a certain rapey god, though like a boss Asurmen shouted "Fuck death!" and started the Phoenix Lord tradition of keeping their souls in their armor. He's also responsible for the massive fetish all Eldar have for huge pimped out hats.
On the Tabletop
In-game, Asurmen is a good all-rounder; like all Dire Avengers, he hits on Overwatch on a 5 or 6, and functions like an Exarch with two Avenger Shuriken Catapults. That's not to say he's not able to throw down in a fight though; being equipped with an effective S5 AP-3 D1d3 diresword that crits for an extra 1d3 mortal wounds on a wound roll of a 6+ is pretty impressive even by some of your melee Phoenix Lord standards. Asurmen is also one of two Phoenix Lords who actually buffs all aspect warriors within 6", giving them a 5++ invulnerable save (increased to a 4++ for Dire Avengers). Alongside his good combat skills, this is probably the reason to bring him in any list focusing on aspect warriors. Particularly in the case of his own students, granting Asurmen a large posse of Dire Avengers frees up their Exarchs to really invest in their new selection of Exarch Powers for enhanced combat potential without sacrificing any durability to do so (as the Exarch would either need to sacrifice their own 4++ save, take the power glaive/shimmershield for a reduced 5++, or spend a CP for a single exarch to retain their 4++). For some reason, he doesn't carry Plasma Grenades, even though they're a staple utility for Dire Avengers.
Baharroth, the Cry of the Wind, was the founder of the jump infantry Aspect: the Swooping Hawks. Noted by Asurmen as the best of all his students, and noted by everyone else as an evasive motherfucker. He reflects the tactical genius of his teacher more than the other Asurya—not that you'd know that from his performance on the table, but more on that later. Baharroth is the fastest Eldar to have ever lived, and is the most "youthful and vibrant" of the Phoenix Lords, and his appearance is seen as a good omen by the Eldar. He apparently specializes in flying around, looking pretty, and inspiring people. No lore exists about his original death, so it's possible he's still in his first body, not having passed into his armor. If so, this would make him one of the oldest still-living beings in the galaxy, save one or two others.
On the Tabletop
In-game, Baharroth is the cheapest of the Phoenix Lords, and... it's not hard to see why. His melee is a copy of Asurmen's weapon (S+1 AP-3 d1d3), but at -1A due to Baharroth's inferior statline, and instead of dealing additional mortal wounds, any unit he wounds suffers -1 to hit rolls until the end of the turn - meaning it's only useful on the charge, as it will expire before your opponent's turn starts. He has a completely standard Hawk's Talon like any Swooping Hawks Exarch can take, and can deep strike and skyleap the same way, although his grenade pack is upgraded - not only can he throw 3 of them, not just 1, but he deals mortal wounds on a 4+, not a 6+. Unlike most Phoenix Lords - including Asurmen - his buffs actually work on an entire unit of his associated Aspect Warriors, stacking with (and applying to) the Exarch: he supplies +1 Ld to all aspect warriors within 6", which will stack with the Exarch's +1, and he instead adds +2 to the Hawks (which also stack, giving them a net +3 with an Exarch), in addition to giving them re-rolling 1s to hit (which he does not have himself, ironically making Hawks near him under the effects of Enhance more accurate than he is in melee. Unfortunately, unless the player fielding him is bringing maxed out blobs of infantry under any craftworld not named Iyanden, leadership buffs are a very lackluster way to support your 5-10 elf units. He is surprisingly decent in melee however (unlike his aspect) and combined with his upgraded grenade pack, he can actually do not insignificant damage to enemy infantry squads if he can get the jump on them.
Drastanta, the Tempest of Starlight, was the Phoenix Lord of the Shining Spears. Drastanta was really full of himself and liked to go on needless solo battles. This backfired horribly during the Fall, when because of this, it got Asurmen killed for the first time. After blowing up the Keeper of Secrets who did it, Drastanta went on to found the Shining Spears and then went into self-exile, leaving his weapon behind. His lance is currently with Craftworld Iyanden.
Living proof that Matt Ward can add a character without canon rape. Guess even a broken clock is right twice a day.
Fuegan, the Burning Lance, is the founder of the Fire Dragons Aspect and the patron saint of overkill. His students can often be heard talking about how the enemy should be utterly annihilated so that their survival is impossible; they think that carefully applied annihilation is necessary for harmony, and that destruction can be a force of creation. In reality Fuegan is just a misunderstood fellow. He just likes popping holes in tanks. Given his great love of fire, axes, and overkill, he's actually a pretty fun guy to be around. He and Kharn would get along pretty well if it weren't for that whole business about Kharn's boss. For some reason, he keeps a skull over his dick. Like most Phoenix Lords he is annoyingly mysterious.
On the tabletop
In-game, Fuegan is pretty much a berserker with a melta gun, and he plays about like it sounds like he would. No, really, that's pretty much how he works. Okay, fine. He rolls with the typical Phoenix Lord stat line (with +1 Strength), and he's tied with Karandras for being the third most expensive Phoenix Lord. He wields a Firepike - the 18" meltagun Fire Dragon Exarchs have - with the same re-rolling wound rolls of 1 against monsters and vehicles, but, like most Phoenix Lords, supplies a buff that overlaps with the Exarch's, allowing them (and him, unlike with Baharroth) to re-roll 1s to hit with ranged weapons while within 6" of him. He carries his aspect's grenades (unlike Asurmen) - melta bombs - and a very souped up Power Sword, hitting at SUser AP-4 D1d3 (or, relative to a normal Phoenix Lord, S+1 AP-4 D1d3), which starts off inferior to pretty much any other Phoenix Lord in melee in practice, until you unlock his berserker mode: at the end of the first Fight phase in which he lost at least 1 wound, he permanently gets S+2 and A+2, taking his melee statline to A6 WS2+ S7 AP-4 D1d3, which is about where he needs to be to compete with Asurmen's output against hordes (he can't compete with Asurmen against very heavy targets, like a Land Raider, where Asurmen's mortal wounds output is just too good to compete with).
Irillyth, the Shade of Twilight, is the long-lost creator of the Shadow Spectres Aspect shrine and the Phoenix Lord with the derpiest backstory. Supposedly, after being lost for millennia, Irillyth and his warriors returned from Craftworld Mymeara, but it's really fucking dumb to suggest that the Eldar, a species that live for thousands of years, somehow forgot about an entire aspect shrine within a few generations! How the flying fuck do you lose knowledge about something that your neighbor down the street is old enough to remember? No, that's just too dumb to believe. I do, however, have my own theory. Stupid idea? Yeah, it is, but it's more likely than what Forge World came up with. Anyways, Irillyth, like most of the Phoenix Lords, was trained by Asurmen. Midway through his training with the OG, Irillyth had a vision of a mysterious craftworld being destroyed. Vowing not to allow another craftworld to fall (which worked out so well for him), he set out into the Webway to look for the Shadow Spectres he'd somehow lost already while he trained up his first generation of Shadow Spectres (in case I wasn't clear, the lore surrounding this guy is fucked). After searching for hundreds of years Irillyth found a Keeper of Secrets breaking down the Webway's wards to allow more daemons to infiltrate. After a mighty struggle with the daemon, Irillyth was pretty tired, so he laid down for a quick nap and didn't wake up for a few thousand years. When he woke up he fucking finally found and saved Mymeara by taking half their forces and going on a suicidal campaign against the prophesied reptile aliens who would wipe them out. And he didn't get resurrected since all the Eldar he led were busy being dead and Mymeara couldn't find his armor until M41. Derp. This guy makes Failbaddon look like Creed. It would have been so much easier and more intelligent to just say a daemon flung him into the future like Aku from Samurai Jack.
On the Tabletop
In-game, Irillyth's quick, hits hard, is good at range, and has one of the sexiest models the Eldar can field. He knows how to deep strike, unlike his aspect, making him faster than his statline implies. His gun is, in true derp fashion, better than his aspect's basic gun, at +6" and +1D relative to the Prism Rifle fired in Coherent mode, but completely lacks the Assault Heavy Flamer profile they have, presumably because he just assumes he won't be charged, even though he wants to stay within 18" of the enemy - his fear aura is like his Exarch's, but dialed up to 11; it has an 18" range and stacks with the Exarch's, and taking him means all friendly Shadow Spectres emit his aura (so with an Exarch, they emit both). On the other hand, he re-rolls wound rolls of 1 with his gun against infantry. Due to his improved BS over his aspect's, he expects to hit 2.11 times during the Shooting Phase, rather than their 1.61 times - a bigger improvement than his BS implies, due to how their guns work - but remember, he's drastically worse at Overwatch than they are. His melee weapon is better than Baharroth's at murder, at S+1 AP-3 D2 (which is better against 2-wound targets), but doesn't inflict a to-hit penalty; instead, on the charge, it increases to D1d3+1, which is usually useless - most targets with enough wounds to notice the damage uptick aren't particularly impressed by S5. Because neither his shooting nor his melee are worth his cost, the reason to take him is his aura, which he doesn't need to be on the table or even alive to provide, since all of your Shadow Spectres will emit it once he's in the army, in addition to their own. He also has the same -1 to being hit as his aspect.
Irillyth (along with the Shadow Spectres) was created and sculpted by Forge World for Imperial Armour Volume Eleven: The Doom of Mymeara.
Jain Zar, the Storm of Silence, was Asurmen's first student, loyal companion, and hot space-elf eye-candy. Or maybe not. She never takes off her armor, so fuck if I know. She's the founder of the Howling Banshees Aspect. Originally
a feral Eldar child named Faraethil, she was too young to remember the glories of the Eldar Empire (not that that helped them much due to their fall). She was originally raised by her brother before he was killed by some Daemons. (Retcon! Jain Zar: Storm of Silence reveals that Faraethil lied about her origin. She was actually a Wyche who got fed up with her old way of life and ran away. More specifically, she was disgusted in how the fights in the arena had devolved into nothing but sport and spectacle.). She eventually encountered a survivor named Iliathin and interrupted his suicide attempt. He shunned her until she was attacked by some Dark Eldar (probably not too happy about her running away). He managed to save her though she lost control and managed to kill some herself. Realizing he needed to discipline her, he renamed them both before they left.
They then settled on a moon they renamed Asur and the rest is history. Even among the greatest Eldar warriors, her skill and blinding speed were noteworthy. In the true Phoenix Lord way, she spent most of her time in life wandering around the Webway with her students, perfecting her skills and skullfucking the occasional Deldar or daemon, occasionally coming forth to wreck shit. She is noted for being an acrobatic fighter
, so it's likely she trained with the Harlequins or, considering her age, maybe she trained them, equaling if not surpassing the Harlequins, though her eponymous book makes clear she knew only a little of them, and was disturbed by what she knew. Of all the Phoenix Lords, Jain Zar is the most active. She can regularly be seen leading Eldar warhosts against the forces of Chaos. She was briefly spotted during the Horus Heresy as a prisoner of the Chaos oracles of the Torquetamn but was likely released when the Thousand Sons trashed the place. Lately she's been hunting Night Lords, as she heard from a mysterious prophet that Talos Valcoran would unite the assorted warbands and lead them against Ulthwé. After getting his ass handed to him, Talos pulled the pin on a krak grenade and gave her a big hug. She died. For now. Confirmed to have "reincarnated" already, as she is playable in Dawn of War III. Confirmed to still be alive as of Gathering Storm II: Fracture of Biel-Tan.
Notably has black hair instead of using the flowing firetruck red manes universal to all other howling banshees for unknown reasons. Most fan-art assumes that said long flowing black hair is naturally hers, and not part of her helmet in another contrast to the Howling Banshees, even if all the Howling Banshee fanart in the universe assumes that all Banshees are just as redheaded as their helmets. Though given all the advanced tech the Eldar have, it not as if they couldn't have invented something as simple as hair dye. While the jury's definitely out on whether said hair is a headdress or her actual hair as we have never seen a phoenix lord so much as take off a glove, let alone their helmets or any other part of their armour however much some people would like to see Jain Zar strip off her armour and rely entirely on her penalty to hit defences if you know what I mean, this will probably never be answered. This isn't her original body anyway so the question is pointless, and said hair is very definitely reddish in a number of depictions such as Dawn of War 3. With her new model came an aesthetic overhaul (that may or may not be related to Jain Zar getting cut in half by Drahzar and having a revived Banshee Exarch don her armor), and now Jain Zar's official color scheme is virtually identical to her Banshee students; bone colored armor topped with a veritable hurricane of red hair.
On the Tabletop
She has your typical Phoenix Lord stat line, with both the standard Banshee abilities of +3 to charge rolls and maximum charge distance, and immunity to Overwatch; in addition, she has the Exarch ability of inflicting a -1 to-hit penalty on attempts to hit her during the Fight phase. She's less accurate than a Mirrorswords Exarch in melee, as she wields an up-gunned Executioner with +1S and Shred (S+2 AP-3 D1d3, Re-rolling all failed wounds), but re-rolling wounds is better than re-rolling misses against almost everything, so she shouldn't worry too much about that. She supplies herself and nearby Howling Banshees with Always Strikes First, though her new ability won't really encourage massing banshees around her; Storm of Silence (replacing her "Disarm" ability) grants her attacks equal to the number of enemy models within 2" of her, turning her into quite a blob blender. Suffice to say, clogging up that radius with extra banshees for a conditionally decent buff isn't an ideal way to compliment her new skills. Though her ranged game is borderline non-existent, she does have a 12" Assault 4 S4 AP-3 D1 Triskele she can toss at the people she's about to charge, which is easily enough to give Asurmen gun envy.
Karandras, the Shadow Hunter, is the Phoenix Lord of the Striking Scorpions Aspect. He started out not as the pupil of Asurmen, but of Ahrha, and no one knows anything else. Even among Phoenix Lords, this guy is mysterious. Seriously, there isn't any lore on this guy, which is actually rather appropriate for a space ninja. What little we know is that he was once crushed to death by a dreadnought and promptly possessed another Striking Scorpion instead of waiting for someone to put on his armour.
On the Tabletop
In-game, Karandras is a ninja with a powerfist and a chainsword. He comes to battle with the typical Phoenix Lord stat line, and his Aspect's abilities to deep strike and gain +1 to hit targets in cover, although he's already WS/BS 2+. He has drastically up-gunned mandiblasters that shoot 4 times, not once, and inflict a mortal wound on a 5+, not just 6, giving him 8x the total output from them (just remember they only work on infantry); his melee weapon proper is a standard Scorpion's Claw (Sx2 AP-3 D1d3), but he provides himself and his aspect within 6" with exploding 6s in melee (on a 6+ to hit, generate another attack that cannot generate additional attacks), completely overlapping with their Exarch. For ranged, he remembered his Plasma Grenades, unlike Asurmen, or can shoot his Claw, with its standard Shuriken Catapult profile. Unfortunately, he didn't get the Striking Scorpions memo that Jain Zar exists, so he carries a scorpion chainsword, rather than a biting blade, but outside of her shutting down your Claw, that won't ever matter. He'll usually hit everything in melee harder than Jain Zar does, but he's the best Phoenix Lord, period, at meleeing infantry, due to his incredible mandiblasters, which usually deal 1.33 mortal wounds before the fight even starts.
Maugan Ra, the Harvester of Souls, is allegedly "the founder of the Dark Reapers Aspect", though looking at his chosen heraldry and the gun that he carries, it is more likely that he's a Death Jester that partied waaay too hard and is now stuck pretending to be a Phoenix Lord. Maugan Ra was thought to be the lone survivor of the craftworld of Altansar. Altansar itself escaped the birth of Slaanesh but was pulled into the Eye of Terror by its gravity well. This slightly annoyed Maugan Ra. Having nothing else important to do, he packed up and shipped off to join the Asurya and train under the OG himself. Among Asurmen's students, he was that kid that always dressed in black and didn't talk much or get along with other students. While his fellow students were learning the ways of the blade with Asurmen, Maugan Ra fashioned devastatingly powerful long-ranged weapons to surgically destroy his opponents from afar. The focus on ranged combat makes him less of a Mary Sue than the other Phoenix Lords. After perfecting the art of ranged combat, 'ol Maugie fashioned himself the Maugetar, which loosely translates to Harvester (which makes one wonder what his name translates to. Reaper, perhaps? Subtle, GW). This "baroque relic of destruction" was more or less a pimped out Shuriken cannon with a big fucking power scythe stuck on the bottom. All jokes aside, Maugan Ra is...different. Whereas the other Phoenix Lords exemplify the specific combat and tactical arts of their shrine, Maugan and his followers exemplify destruction itself, delivered by the most efficient and devastating method possible. Rather than perfect the means, as do the other Phoenix Lords, Maugan perfects the ends. While he's technically one of the Asurya, he more or less did his own thing while learning from Asurmen. Apparently, the A-man's teaching sucked balls because at some point Maugan got bored and decided to rape a hive fleet on his own (well with his BFF dark reaper students but nobody gives a shit about them). During the 13th Black Crusade of Failbaddon The Armless, he managed to seize the initiative and drag Altansar out of the Warp. Needless to say, the other Craftworlds reacted with utter distrust, and in some cases with hostility, towards Ra's kin because no Eldar can live so long in the Warp without being altered. Yet nobody, not even the most arrogant and powerful Eldar even dare to think about badmouthing Altansar when Maugan Ra is around in fear of being...well, harvested. Grim Destroyer-of-All or angsty edgemaster? You decide!
On the Tabletop
Objectively a downgrade from the previous edition, he clearly didn't get the memo that reaper launchers are now strength 8 and so is weaker and with a worse range than the troops he supposedly epitomizes. His Maugetar is now functionally a buffed Shuriken Cannon, having one more shot and a consistent AP-1 outside of those 6+ AP-3 wound rolls. It also has a "Shrieker" firing mode which blasts a target with one single shot that deals only one damage, but explodes for an additional d3 mortal wounds against the target unit if a model hit by it dies. Precious few situations will justify using this mode over just firing the gun regularly (maybe against invuln reliant units like Harlequin Troupes will it be remotely worth considering), so you'll likely forget it's even a feature. In another deviation from his aspect, Maugan Ra isn't a terrible melee combatant; four attacks at an effective S6 and AP-2 will carve through most standard infantry reasonably well enough, though his inconsistent d3 damage may make Primaris MEQ or TEQ targets challenging to punch through. That said, between his Whirlwind of Death ability that lets him shoot twice each phase (8 total Shuricannon shots a turn), his guaranteed hit rolls on a re-rollable 2+ and Dark Reaper buff aura (which admittedly even a generic Autarch could provide), there's little incentive for him to use that melee statline. At 140 points, he's a hard sell considering how poorly he synergizes with his own aspect. Especially when you can just take a (Legends) Reaper Launcher Autarch for less.
The Unknown Crimson Hunter Phoenix Lord
As Crimson Hunters are so new, even less is known about their Phoenix Lord than the Warp Spiders', owing to a lack of fluff about them. The Crimson Hunters are essentially identical to the briefly-mentioned Eagle Pilots Shrine, except in red, and the Eagle Pilots are mentioned as having a Phoenix Lord called Amon Harakt, so that may be the PL for the Crimson Hunters. However, "amon harakt" literally means "fighter pilot" in the Aeldari Lexicon, so probably that's just a title.
The Unknown Warp Spider Phoenix Lord
Bizarre as it is, while most Aspect Warriors know the identity of their Phoenix Lord, or at least who they might be, the Warp Spiders don't have a known Phoenix Lord, though there is speculation. Moreover, there are a lot of Eldar that believe the Warp Spider Phoenix Lord never existed. It is theorized that the legendary warrior of Craftworld Kaelor, Lhykosidae the Wraith Spider, may be the Phoenix Lord of the Warp Spiders. This is quite possible as Lycosidae is the scientific classification for a Wolf Spider, and GeeDubs, being anything but original, does this name-borrowing often. Wolf Spiders, if you have not experienced their joy, are quick and stealthy. If you blink, you will miss them, much like you will miss a Warp Spider when he teleports.
One probably should not believe Kaelor's account, considering the fact that for some reason they forgot most of their history (not to mention that even they aren't completely sure if Lhykosidae was actually a Phoenix Lord or not, and he may not even be an Eldar). Although, they do have a copy of The Arc of Destiny that describes the Craftwars against Saim-Hann being won by them, thanks to the arrival of the Wraith Spider at the right place, at the right moment, at the right time.
From Kaelor's point of view, the whole Wraith Spider thing is probably just a spiritual awakening that manifests itself exclusively in the Warp Spider Exarchs, supercharging them to the point that they are similar to the Phoenix Lords in power and capabilities. Others suggest that this Wraith Spider entity may be connected to the small warp critters in the webway after which the Warp Spider Aspect Warriors are named. The actual Warp Spiders maintain the systems of Eldar Infinity Circuits and keep the Webway clear of non-Eldar psychic energies, and the Wraith Spider appears when the craftworld suffers from great impurity.
Another theory is that the Wraith Spider may even be a wraith construct that is an organic personification of the Warp. Most Eldar and Imperial experts on Eldar don't actually believe in this and take it with a giant pinch of salt. Thus the truth will probably remain unknown for a very long time...
Psychic Awakening adds a new development in this as during The Greater Good, a squad of guardsmen come across some very ancient Warp Spider armor. This armor is then promptly retrieved by a pack of Warp Spiders who wipe the squad. While it's equally as likely to be the armor of some forgotten exarch, but with all the sudden appearances and strange developments the possibility of a reawakened phoenix lord wouldn't be so out-of-place.
Why the Phoenix Lords are Badasses
- Asurmen, the Hand of Asuryan
- He is the start of all this Aspect Warrior stuff and personally led the first Craftworld Eldar out of their doomed worlds, so the entire reason the Eldar still exist is due to him.
- He is SO BADASS that even lesser races have legends about him. We don't know what these feats are, but they must be impressive if people OTHER than eldar are talking about them.
- Apparently at some point he defeated a C'tan shard by simply stabbing it to death with his sword.
- Jain-Zar, the Storm of Silence
- She's considered the second-oldest of the Phoenix Lords, so she's definitely got a ton of experience and respect under her belt (...in her pants).
- Head of perhaps the most populous of the Aspect Shrines, a bunch of sword-and-spear swinging ladies, and unlike some of the others, still teaches her students the ways of the shrine.
- In Aaron Dembski-Bowden's novel Void Stalker she actually makes Night Lords feel a mild reaction of fear.
- Killed Drazhar after getting resurrected by Ynnead. Yeah, he killed her, but he gave her armor to the Mandrakes to keep her dead and that still failed. Granted, Drazhar walked it off when one of his Incubi donned his armor so that the status quo remained intact.
- Baharroth, the Cry of the Wind
- Fastest fucker in the known galaxy. No 'Nid, no Warp-cocaine addict, no White Scar on some super-bike, could potentially capture him.
- Dude was considered the best of Asurmen's students, and considering the responsibilities these Aspect Warriors hold, that's a high expectation that they have to live up to.
- Unlike most of the other Phoenix Lords who live on through their armor, Maugan Ra and this evasive bastard are still alive.
- Fuegan, the Burning Lance
- He and his shrine have probably the most brutal of guns, capable of cooking holes in fortress walls and turning tanks into puddles.
- Has defeated Greater Daemons single-handedly multiple times.
- Soloed a Gargant. OK, a steam Gargant, but still...
- Is prophesied to be the last of the Phoenix Lords to go down during the Eldar's sparkly-elf-pocalypse, so to keep that up, he's gotta be the most ruthless of bastards; and with a gun like his, expect to see everything you know and love reduced to ashes.
- Arhra, the Fallen Phoenix
- You know those fancy Incubi everyone with a Dark Eldar army uses? Well, he's the granddaddy to those elite face-stompers. Have fun with that. Also may or may not be/was the one who who trained Drazhar.
- Karandras, the Shadow Hunter
- Considering that Arhra got fucked up, it's a miracle he's able to hold on to his job, considering the grudges Eldar hold.
- Dude at one point fought Drazhar (who may or may not be Arhra) for almost three weeks before deciding to piss him off so royally that he just decided to let the bastard RAGE at anything he found in his way, most of it being his own students. Reports heard him laughing all the way back about how it was all just as planned.
- Kinda was hit by a Dreadnought, killing him, but then resurrecting mid-battle and going on to wreck face.
- Maugan Ra, the Reaper of Souls
- Maugan Ra dragged Altansar, his Craftworld, out of the Eye of Terror.
- He defeated an entire Tyranid invasion swarm by himself.
- Killed a Trygon by fucking standing beneath it and shooting it in half.
- Forging his badass scythe/gun by dicking around in the Eye of Terror (Even had an Exarch to morph into an avatar of Khaine and stab its heart to have his scythe tempered).
- He had the harlequins publish his story to all Eldar kind so they would piss themselves every time the story was told.
- He cut down (in)famous Daemon Prince Periclitor the Foresworn. Thus he also unintentionally avenged Howling Griffons Space Marines chapter.
- Unlike most of the other Phoenix Lords who live on through their armor, Baharroth and this tough motherfucker are still alive.
- Irillyth, the Shade of Twilight
- Has a very damn fancy concept for a shrine: Mini stealth battlesuits with enough weaponry to make the Tau's stealth suits blush.
- Guy had to be seriously patient if he was able to survive decades, if not centuries, stuck in his armor, just waiting, waiting, for the time he'd get out and then just go back to fighting when he does.
- Eldar Hide-and-Seek champion.
- Drastanta, the Tempest of Starlight
- Killed a Keeper of Secrets, stabbing it so hard its soul exploded.
|Heroes:||Eldrad Ulthran - Illic Nightspear - Prince Yriel - Yvraine |
Visarch - Sylandri Veilwalker
|Phoenix Lords:||Asurmen - Baharroth - Drastanta - Fuegan |
Irillyth - Jain Zar - Karandras - Maugan Ra
|From Dawn of War I:||Farseer Caerys - Farseer Macha - Farseer Taldeer|
|From Dawn of War II:||Autarch Kayleth - Farseer Elenwe - Farseer Idranel |
Ranger Ronahn - Warlock Veldoran
|The Big Three:||Yvraine - Visarch - Yncarne|
|Ex-Craftworld:||Eldrad Ulthran - Jain Zar - Prince Yriel - Iyanna Arienal|
|Ex-Dark Eldar:||Lelith Hesperax|