"Yet, there is a new melody in the galaxy's great song. A harmony unheard by my people for over ten thousand years: Hope. I am the first to hear the voice of the Whispering God. I will not be the last."
- – Yvraine addressing the Reborn
Yvraine, Herald of Ynnead, is an Eldar who serves as the emissary for the newly awakened Eldar God Ynnead. While she might not have Eldrad's absurd psychic stength or Vect's cunning, Ynnead grants her power over death itself, making her one of the strongest eldar around. Yvraine is also absurdly hard to kill since she's a one-woman army and can regenerate from most injuries. Her faction, the Ynnari, accept eldar from all walks of life in both the worship of Ynnead, and in the battle against Chaos to try and save their race. Considering this is the race of the biggest self-entitled dicks in the universe who never like being told what to do, leading them all at once is quite the accomplishment.
She's also happy to work with other races to fight Chaos when it suits them. Yvraine was partly responsible for the return of Roboute Guilliman, whom she's worked with against the Ruinous Powers several times. Consequently, she's is shipped vigorously with Grandpapa Smurf among certain fans. Her eldar contemporaries experience copious amounts of RAGE at working with lowly mon'keigh, but she's surprisingly able to reign them in... for now. Regardless, she remains a massive thorn in Slaanesh's disgusting backside, as Ynnead protects eldar souls from being eaten by She Who Thirsts.
She also shares her name with Yvraine from Warhammer Fantasy Battle (the daughter of the Everqueen and Aenarion), though crossover names like that are nothing new. The Fantasy version of Yvraine has a brother, Morelion (who is the ancestor of Tyrion and Teclis), and is the ancestor to Alarielle, the current Everqueen.
Yvraine was originally born on Craftworld Biel-Tan, which could explain where she got her fighting skills from. However, her first path was the Path of the Dancer. At some point, she found she had psychic ability, and thus she took the Path of the Seer, becoming a Warlock. However, she had a mercurial mood, and developed a bloodlust that led her to follow the path of the Warrior among the Dire Avengers.
After awhile, even this wasn't enough for her and she left Craftworld Biel-Tan as an Outcast and eventually became a famed Corsair leader. This continued for a time until a mutiny forced her, and those among her crew still loyal, to flee into the Webway. From here there was only one place to go; Commorragh. Here she made her way living and fighting in the slums before joining a Wych cult and then rising to become a Succubus under the patronage of Lady Malys. Unknown to her, the Exarch she had served under had become so devoted to her that he had shed his war mask and followed her to Commoragh by disguising himself as an Incubus (which is something they are not normally able to do, since Exarchs come into being when they become lost in their respective paths).
So yeah, she gets around. Even has a pretty boy or two chasing after her.
Yvraine's rebirth came about during a major gladiator match in Commorragh. It was here that Yvraine (aided by the patronage of Lady Malys) was to face off against Lelith Hesperax herself. To raise the stakes, they would be fighting among Wyches, Tyranids and other captives or monsters in a massive free for all. It was such a momentous event that Vect himself had arrived to watch (from the comfort of his private portable pyramid/command base/mansion).
The fight between Yvraine and Lelith was breathtaking, even the Harlequins in the audience were stunned. It was clear though that Lelith was toying with Yvraine and was clearly the better fighter... until Yvraine managed to get a cut on Lelith's forearm. However, this was a ruse that Lelith had allowed as part of her plan to draw out the fight and make it more entertaining for her patron, Asdrubael Vect. But the punch to the stomach that Yvraine dealt Lelith was not part of the plan. Yvraine got super pissed and entered berserk mode that caused Lelith to start giving ground and, after getting in a vicious stomp on Lelith she led her to a pile of Tyranid corpses. In a nifty display of Just As Planned, Yvraine lost her footing after one of the corpses she was fighting on had a death spasm and Lelith used the opening to stab Yvraine through the sternum before darting off to a new opponent and leaving her for dead.
Despite her wound Yvraine fought, trying to not show weakness in the arena. But even her red attire couldn't hide the blood trailing down her chest. At one point she crossed paths with a priestess of Morai-Heg with needle-like blades. She proved surprisingly quick, even severing one of Yvraine's hands. In spite of her wounds, she still managed to take the priestess with her and ripped the priestess' throat out with her teeth.
That's right, Yvraine's so tough she kept fighting, even though she'd been STABBED IN THE CHEST AND LOST A HAND. Proving herself nearly as hardcore as the average Imperial Guardsman.
It was at this moment, while Yvraine was at the brink of death, that the newly born but weak Ynnead recognized Yvraine as one who had walked on both the Paths of the Eldar and the Paths of Damnation, and so revived her as his Emissary. Unfortunately, the psychic energy released in the process also broke Khaine's Gate open, flooding Commoragh with daemons and thoroughly humiliating Vect. Needless to say, Vect now wanted Yvraine dead (again) immediately. Trueborn from the Kabal of the Black Heart (looking to save face after Vect's retreat) headed towards Yvraine, seeking her death while her Wych Cult and the Visarch (who had been hiding in the crowd) rushed to aid her. Even Wyches from the Cult of Strife turned up, ordered by Lelith to help Yvraine for reasons of her own.
As they left the arena, Yvraine had another surprise. A ship, her flagship from her Corsair days, had returned to Commorragh. The crew took Yvraine, the Visarch and the survivors on before fleeing for the Webway. But Vect wasn't so easily thwarted. He sealed the Webway passages, and the ship got wedged in one. As Kabalites from the Kabal of the Black Heart tried to cut their way in, Yvraine loaded the Visarch along with as many crew and warriors as they could onto Raiders and Venoms, had them launched from the bridge, while the rest of the crew stayed behind willingly, sacrificing themselves to delay Vect's revenge, which involved rape and torture monsters and their tentacle beasts in the hope of preserve their people's hope for salvation (Nobledark in 40K, more common than you think).
Yvraine fled Commorragh with her old Exarch (who had since renamed himself the Visarch), the Incubus warriors he had become the leader of since he arrived in Commoragh, the survivors of her crew and several members of her Wych Cult. They wandered the Webway for a time, fleeing the Haemonculi cults and Kabalites Vect had sent after them. They met up with a group of Harlequins, who led them through the Webway and kept them one step ahead of Vect's agents.
Return to Biel-Tan
Accompanied by the newly-formed Ynnari, Yvraine returned to Biel-Tan, the Craftworld of her birth. However, not all eldar were happy to see the return of this prodigal daughter. This 'family reunion' ended with the fracturing of Biel-Tan.
Battle in the Webway
In the Webway, they were waylaid by the Prodigal Sons, Ahriman's Chaos Warband. In an astonishing display of power, Ahriman managed to teleport Yvraine, the Visarch and the Yncarne out of the Webway into Tzeentch's crystal labyrinth with where they froze due to the implication that the big blue bird himself was there and merely gazing upon him would destroy their sanity. The Tzeentchian assault on Ynnari forces including the trio, Harlequins, Dark Eldar and Eldrad was saved only by the timely intervention of Phoenix Lords led by Jain Zar.
While trapped in Tzeentch-town, Yvraine called out to Ahriman, saying she had "what he was seeking". To prove her point, Yvraine used her powers to restore a dozen Rubric Marines to their former selves. Overcome with emotion, Ahriman returned Yvraine, the Visarch and the Yncarne to the battle. However, to take him from the battle, Yvraine then had a Wraithknight smash a hole in the Webway, sucking those recovered Rubric Marines into the Warp. Horrified, Ahriman fled after them on a Disc of Tzeentch.
In the battle both the Yncarne and the Phoenix Lords went MIA. Yvraine would later show the ability to summon the Yncarne again, so long as there was enough death happening in the immediate area.
A Desperate Alliance
At this point the Ynnari joined together to enact another desperate plan: Eldrad had forseen that the Eldar's and the Imperium's fates were joined. For the Eldar to survive they would have to ally with the Imperium, this time for real.
To facilitate this, they picked up the survivors from the fall of Cadia (minus Creed, who had already been taken by Trazyn). Then, after a good word from Cawl, Celestine and Greyfax to explain their intentions, they headed to Macragge. There, Yvraine and Cawl worked together to heal Roboute Guilliman of his poison and bring him back to life.
After promising an alliance, the Eldar and the forces of the Imperium parted ways, with Guilliman thanking Yvraine for helping him and Yvraine giving Guilliman a sincere caution and no stereotypical Eldar dickery (something quite a few shippers have seized on, though this would be more ironic than Taldeer and LIIVI, given that Yvraine is the herald of a god and Roboute is implied to despise religion, though this is a combo of the Imperial Truth creed and Roboute's reaction to the Ecclesiarchy worshiping Big E).
Hand of Darkness
Whilst the Plague Wars were raging in Ultramar it came to the attention of Guilliman that Mortarion was using an artifact known as the Hand of Darkness to spread diseases (yes, the same one the Imperium "lost" in the 12th Black Crusade). Knowing that the artifact was well-known to the Eldar and that they had a common interest in seeing it out of Chaos' hands, Guilliman requested the aid of Eldrad and Yvraine to retrieve it, having Varro Tigurius supply the Eldar with its location as the Imperium had been able to locate it whilst the Eldar had not. Armed with the knowledge that the Hand lay within the domain of Nurgle himself, Yvraine went to the Black Library in order to find a method to safely enter it. After battling against the Thousand Sons, facing off against Ahriman again, and overcoming a test along with the Visarch, Yvraine gained access to something known as the Rose of Isha and, using it, created a safe passage into the Eye of Terror. Following this path she and her party located the Hand of Darkness, slew its guardian, and fled with it.
After escaping with the Hand of Darkness the White Seers of the Black Library offered to take it and destroy it, claiming that no good could come from using Chaos Artefacts. Clearly they had never met Logan Grimnar, Marneus Calgar or Kaldor Draigo who have all, several times, used Chaos Artefacts for good. However, Yvraine refused them, insisting that she had to return the Hand of Darkness to Guilliman.
Shortly after giving the Hand of Darkness to Eldrad so he can send it to Guilliman, Yvraine was contacted by Iyanna Arienal, who had heard that a long-lost Craftworld known as Zaisuthra appeared to have returned after it had left the galaxy. Along with an Iyanden Wraithhost, the Ynnari went to investigate the craftworld, mainly because legend had it that it contained a webway portal to the Tomb of Eldanesh, which Yvraine suspected could be the location of the final Cronesword.
Although the inhabitants of the Craftworld were friendly at first, it was eventually revealed that it was infected by Genestealers: the Craftworld had left the galaxy before the Infinity Circuit technology could be spread and the ancestors of the Craftworld's inhabitants chose to submit to the Broodmind in order to preserve their souls from Slaanesh. As the hybrids that now constituted the Craftworld's population were running out of resources, their plan was to use Iyanna Arienal to spread their infection to Iyanden, manipulating her into joining the Broodmind by preying on her desire for a family (her original family being killed and their soulstones shattered when a torpedo struck Iyanden - and distant relatives of said family residing in Zaisuthra). Their plan turned against them when Yvraine and Iyanna were able to summon the Yncarne into the Broodmind, who then proceeded to devour the souls of most of the Craftworld and slay the Genestealer Patriarch (which had somehow absorbed the power of the Craftworld's Avatar) leading the hybrids.
Yvraine then took the gate to the Tomb of Eldanesh. Finding themselves in what appeared to be the Eldar homeworld, thought lost during the War in Heaven, they discovered that the tomb did not house the Cronesword but instead the Warshard, the most powerful Avatar of Khaine of them all, who wielded Anaris itself and whose presence was enough to drive most of the Ynnari forces into a team-killing frenzy. It was defeated, but at the cost of a third of the Ynnari's forces. Meliniel, a Biel-Tan Autarch who essentially acts as Yvraine's second-in-command, was able to bind the Warshard into himself using a gem made of Eldanesh's blood and transform into Khaine's Avatar at will, so now the Ynnari have their very own Avatar of Khaine. Shame you can't have one in an Ynnari army though. (¿Porque GeeDubs?) Plus, it cost them a third of their forces.
Following the events on Zaisuthra and the Tomb of Eldanesh, Yvraine sent Druthkhala (a former Drukhari Wych) to act as an ambassador on Craftworld Saim-Hann. This was mainly to conscript the aid of the Wild Rider Clans in order to investigate Agarimethea; a maiden world formerly host to a population of eldar Exodites who mysteriously vanished and host to an ancient aeldari vault rumored to contain relics from before the Fall. Nuadhu Fireheart, heir to the declining Clan Fireheart and Wild Rider Lord, offered the services of his Wild Riders with the not-so-discreet intention of wooing Druthkhala (who, when no clans officially offered their support, had to settle with that). During their investigation, Nuadhu accidentally triggered a dormant Necron Tomb complex which promptly began awakening its inhabitants to kill the Ynnari/Saim-Hann coalition.
Upon realizing what they'd (specifically Nuadhu) done, Druthkhala and Nuadhu are forced to petition the rest of Saim-Hann's clans for aid in destroying the Tomb-Complex. Most of the clans dismiss the issue, namely due to their distrust in the Ynnari and seers in general (Eldrad's stunt to summon Ynnead and the fracture of Biel-Tan don't help their case) and remain highly divided on how/if they want to even deal with the Necrons. Despite the Firehearts pressing the issue that Agarimethea is within spitting distance of Saim-Hann and the threat a fully awakened tomb world presents to the greater whole of their people. After a recess in the proceedings, Nuadhu calls those opposed to taking action on Agarimethea cowards (which, of course, Saim-Hann eldar happen to value honor literally more than life itself) which results in an honor duel to determine who's in the right. Druthkhala champions the Firehearts after throwing some more shade on their champion (who was originally opposed to an outsider participating until she called him weak), only for Nuadhu to forfeit the duel upon realizing Druthkhala intended to kill the opposing champion (as duels typically end after first blood). This forfeit fully eradicated any chance of Saim-Hann fully supporting the Ynnari's efforts on Agarimethea, so a pissed Druthkhala left to inform Yvraine of the turn in events.
After a meeting with Clan Fireheart and Nuadhu, Yvraine and Eldrad pressure the seers of Saim-Hann into aiding their efforts (despite how little weight the Saim-Hann seers have among the clans). A multi-pronged assault on Agarimethea between the Ynnari, Wild Riders, Fireheart Clan and their closest allies is set in motion to "smash and grab" whatever relics may be in the vault and use them to end the Tomb-World. Despite a necron null field suppressing Ynnead's influence on the Ynnari, the assault seemingly goes well until Yvraine and the Wild Riders reach the vault.
Turns out it wasn't a vault. Instead, it was a sealed portal into the warp filled with Slaaneshi deamons (including Deamon Princes heavily implied to be of Aeldari origin, food for thought there), which began to attack both the eldar and necrons present. Despite a number of the Saim-Hann forces wanting to say "fuck it" and let them kill each other eternally, Eldrad drops the bomb that Agarimethea is one of several such complexes in the immediate area: within two years the necron/deamon war will envelop no less than the entire solar system (as numerous nearby worlds also host necrons and prison-vaults of their own) and will wipe out Saim-Hann in the process if not stopped immediately. A desperate final assault is attempted on the portal only for the necrons to intercept and redirect the war host to their Phaerakh, who offers a truce in exchange for their aid in sealing the vault-prison. An accord is struck and the Ynnari-Necron alliance makes solid progress against the ever increasing tide of daemons, in no small part due to an unleashed C'Tan shard and Meliniel transforming into the Warshard (arguably the only real instance of an Avatar of Khaine being used successfully). Yvraine, in an effort to fully turn the tide in their favor, takes the soul of Caelledhin Icewhisper's mother (the Fireheart Chieftain's lover whose soul he personally was housing) and uses it to reconnect to Ynnead and summon the Yncarne to battle.
Despite all this, it's still not quite enough to fully press into the vault-prison. The additional knowledge that an eldar with the blood of one who'd opened the portal must be sacrificed in order to close it stirs Caelledhin Icewhisper (Nuadhu's half-sister) to hop on a jetbike and suicide rush the portal, closing it and ending the daemon incursion at the cost of her life. Yvraine and Eldrad apprehensively approach the Phaerakh to ask what what comes next. The Phaerakh, known as The Watcher in the Dark, reveals she doesn't have any plans to leave and conquer other worlds as her sole charge is to make sure the vault-prisons she guards stays shut. To that extent, she lifts the null field and allows the eldar to leave on the condition they stay away, a condition the Ynnari and Saim-Hann eldar are content to accept.
This whole ordeal cost Yvraine a good number of Ynnari lives with nothing to show for it and garnered no good will amongst the majority of Saim-Hann's clans, so the events that took place on Agarimethea arguably were a grand waste of time and resources on her part.
Blood of the Phoenix
With the opening of the Great Rift (or the Dathedian, as the eldar call it), Yvraine's troubles only seem to have been exacerbated. During a return trip to Saim-Hann in order to directly appeal to several of the chieftains present, Drazhar and a band of his Incubi mercenaries slipped into the craftworld through a webway portal directly into the glade the Ynnari and Chieftains were convening in that the denizens of Saim-Hann somehow completely forgot existed (you'd think the leaders of Saim-Hann would know their home well enough to keep track of a webway portal leading directly into the heart of the craftworld). Contracted by Vect to kill Yvraine, Drazhar made quick work of several of the local autarchs before Jain-Zar and her Howling Banshees arrived to reenforce the Ynnari and Saim-Hann defenders. Drazhar and what remained of his strike force fell back and retreated into an abandoned ruin of a city called Shaa-dom. It was here where he waited and ambushed the still-pursuing Jain-Zar, whom he killed after stunning her with a deluge of tormented psionic screams from the Howling Banshee spirit stones he'd collected. Yvraine, who'd fled to a remote craftworld known as Zandros, saw her death through a vision and beseeched Ynnead to do something to help the only Phoenix Lord who'd thus far bothered to directly champion her. Back in Shaa-dom, An exarch named Qintui'yenh was revived, who then donned the Phoenix Lord's armor to revive Jain-Zar and escaped through a derelict portal that (rather conveniently) led her directly to Zandros and Yvraine. Suspecting some of her Drukhari followers of treachery, Yvraine told all her followers of her plan to scour Zandros for a portal to Belial IV, where she was confident the final cronesword lay. Her suspicions were soon proven when Drazhar, angry that his trophy kill got up and walked away, soon appeared to kill Jain-Zar (again) and actually finish his original contract to kill Yvraine. This time, Jain-Zar managed to best Drazhar and beheaded the father of the Incubi. Despite Yvraine's enthusiastic accolades and hopes to lead the Ynnari to a bright future, Jain-Zar (literally) bowed out and left without another word.
Drazhar wasn't the only big name trying to hunt down Yvraine during this time either. Slaanesh, tired of getting blue-balled by Ynnead, sent a daemon by the name of Shalaxi Helbane to hunt down and slay Ynnead's champion. Shalaxi's first attempt nearly succeeded, attacking Yvraine as she and her congregation were puddle-jumping through the webway and slaughtering most of the warhost before Yvraine managed to slip away. A sore loser, and to prove that the Ynnari can never truly win, Shalaxi gave the fleeing Yvraine a vision of the final cronesword, which had indeed been on Belial IV. Only now it was in Slaanesh's palace, with Slaanesh likely using it to masturbate furiously over how hard he cucked Yvraine and Ynnead by getting to it first. Yvraine steeled herself and led what remained of her convoy to a maiden world known as Iathglas, where through Yvraine's behest, fate or absolute, unyielding boredom, a massive gathering of craftworlders, corsairs, harlequins, drukhari and even exodites was forming. It was here where all the eldar factions began bickering for literal weeks with Yvraine trying to guide them towards the first steps of a complete alliance between all the eldar to inspire her naysayers to Ynnead's cause. In classic daemonic fashion, on the sixth hour of the sixth day of the sixth week, Shalaxi and a massive Slaaneshi daemon invasion assaulted the world. While the majority of the eldar armies fought off the daemon horde, Shalaxi proceeded to fight Lelith Hesparax, Jain-Zar, a Solitaire, the Visarch and Yvraine simultaneously. With ludicrous ease, Shalaxi cut the Solitaire in half and impaled the Visarch before slitting open Yvraine's throat. Before Shalaxi could finish her off, Yvraine drew energy from the world spirit to summon the Yncarne, with whom they were finally able to banish Shalanxi and the daemonic host. After healing the Visarch, but before the eldar could celebrate their combined victory, Shalaxi briefly reappeared to inform them that it wasn't actually fighting at full power and was just testing them. The daemon then left to hunt Yvraine another day, with the various eldar factions, despite having moments ago been ready to celebrate their teamwork, fell back to arguing who's fault it was they didn't actually get a win, thus choosing to fully believe the words of an agent of their Arch Enemy who they just soundly defeated, and said Arch Enemy who's known for lying and manipulating people without questioning it in the slightest.
Though Yvraine does not know it, the Visarch is actually her former Exarch and Mentor who, possibly, has romantic feelings for her. Despite this, and despite being her self-appointed bodyguard, in their actual interactions and discussion the two get along very poorly and are prone to snapping at each other. They have three times already drawn their swords on each other and threatened to kill each other, and only two of those times were they under the influence of Daemons. The Visarch strongly dislikes what he calls Yvraine acting as Guilliman's lapdog and pet, accusing her in the Gardens of Nurgle of being nothing more than a minion of the Imperium. Yvraine ...doesn't have much to say against this as she fears he is right*, but is angered by it nonetheless. It says a lot about the Eldar that helping save an ally who asked for help causes them to think this way. Clearly they don’t actually understand what an alliance is. The whole “we help each other” thing seems rather lost on them. To Yvraine's and the Visarch's credit, perhaps the fear they hold isn't directly the fear that they are somehow humiliating themselves by cooperating with Guilliman, but leaving the Xenophobic Imperium of Man, whom the Eldar have had several conflicts with and whom Guilliman isn't in complete control of (as evidenced by the continued existence of the Ecclesiarchy, the High Lords of Terra, and the Imperial Creed) in a position to betray the Eldar and wipe them out or otherwise seal their doom. It would be fitting with the overall character of the Eldar to discuss a horrifying and discomforting truth in a way that allows them the pretense of superiority and control. Except that the Imperium has spent ten thousand years habitually NOT backstabbing aliens specifically so they can point out how treacherous xenos are. If you have a point then it is that the Eldar are in a position where they are starting to realize they could very easily reap what they have sown from ten millennia of douchbaggery. Perhaps Guilliman’s charisma and sheer presence is enough for now. Besides, they should know by now that doing what a Primarch says is a wonderful way to pretty much always win at everything. Especially the one specially created for planning and leadership.
In any case, believing that stopping the spread and creation of interstellar undead plagues is being a "lapdog" is...oh, God-Emperor that is so stupid. Then again it's not like the 'alliance' has stopped the Imperium and Eldar from killing each other across the galaxy (between Imperium and Eldar, not Imperium and Ynnari generally except by accident since neither side is big on talking and co-ordinating with each other), and the whole "awakening of Ynnead" bit was almost halted by the uninvited Deathwatch (because it would've killed billions of people via orbital bombardment of meteors by destroying the crystal moon the ritual was being performed on). In short, though technically allies, the Eldar haven’t stopped being meddling douchbags. It’s just that now they do it openly and are surprised when the Imperium shoots them for whatever dickery they just did.
Time will tell if the two can forge a closer working relationship but, for the moment at least, both of Ynnead's foremost servants are far from friendly with each other. The "Belligerent Sexual Tension" trope anyone?
Even Dungeon Meshi gets in on the fun.
|Heroes:||Eldrad Ulthran - Illic Nightspear - Prince Yriel - Yvraine|
|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