Craftworlds are vast craft populated by Eldar. They travel through the void of space at sub-light speeds, carrying the greater remnant of the Eldar race after the Fall of their civilisation. Each craftworld is a self-sufficient, independent realm with its own culture.
Before the Fall
Prior to the Fall, Craftworlds were vast trading ships, effectively, whole self-contained communities housing hundreds of Eldar families. Trading missions could take the Craftworlds thousands of light years beyond Eldar civilisation, separating the community from its home world for centuries. This meant the Craftworld communities had already developed a strong sense of independence and self-reliance - so that they remained mostly separate from the increasing decadence of their species. Because a Craftworld might return to the rest of Eldar civilisation only three or four times in a thousand years, it was easy for them to see the degeneration of Eldar society, while to the Eldar as a whole the slow degeneration was too gradual to recognise.[Needs Citation]
As the final weeks leading to the cataclysm approached, the returning Craftworlds crew returned, finding their worlds in ruin. Taking with them any Eldar who still remained sane, the Craftworlds fled the Eldar civilisation. Some Craftworlds were caught and consumed by Chaos along with the Eldar worlds as the Eye of Terror tore open reality, others survived for thousands of years before their people finally faded and died, while others endure to this day.[Needs Citation]
The Current Age
For thousands of years after the Fall to the current day, the craftworlds have carried the greater part of the surviving Eldar. Craftworlds contain Webway gates, linking each other as well as to millions of planets, allowing the dispersed Eldar civilisation some measure of cohesion. Because the Webway is labyrinthine and impossible to map, many Craftworlds are effectively lost, unknown and cut off from the greater part of Eldar civilisation. They have grown greatly in size since the Fall, when they became the sanctuary worlds of the Eldar race. They are now approximately 10 to 100 times bigger in volume than they were before the Fall. Thus Craftworlds are effectively worlds in space, each a self-contained biosystem, with forested and natural areas as well as urbanised ones. These natural areas provide a breathable atmosphere to the Craftworld and renewable resources.[Needs Citation] There are sections that are uninhabited and awaiting reconstruction. Vast space docks located outside the Craftworld house fleets of spacecraft. These fleets are capable of travelling through Warp tunnels, allowing Eldar of the relatively slow-moving Craftworld to bring their forces to areas of the galaxy thousands of light years distant.
Every Eldar of a craftworld is a highly trained warrior - in battle these citizen-soldiers are known as Guardians, forming the Craftworld's defensive militia.[Needs Citation] Craftworlds are independent realms, sometimes acting mutually, combining military forces, acting together to achieve a common objective, and trading or exchanging knowledge. Exodites often trade with the Craftworlds, but believe that the Craftworld Eldar are too close to the old ways of decadence for their own good. The militarily-stronger Craftworld Eldar grant some protection to Exodite Eldar.[Needs Citation]
It is known that the last Imperial assault against a Craftworld ended as a disaster at the Battle of the Blood Nebula, which saw the loss of an entire sector fleet thus leading to the Imperium adopting the stance of dealing with individual threats of the Eldar rather than provoke an entire nest of them.
- An-Iolsus, who made an alliance with the Imperium against Chaos during the Gothic War.
- The Black Library
- Ctho, "the legendary lost Craftworld"
- Dorhai, avoids contact with all other Craftworlds, believing themselves to be the only pure survivors of the Fall.
- Meros, "the doomed Craftworld"
- Miel Carn
Since the Fall some Craftworlds have been destroyed:
- Idharae (destroyed in all-out siege by Invaders chapter of the Adeptus Astartes)
- Kolth'se  (Velderon comments that the actions of the Seers saved the spirit stones of this Craftworld that powered Wraithlords which stopped the Necron advance on Jukiinas)
- Malan'tai (812.M41 by the Doom of Malan'tai)
- Muirgaythh Destroyed by the forces of Slaanesh
- Thuyelsa Destroyed by the Tenth Company of Space Wolves during the Great Crusade 
- Zu'lasa 
- 1: Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), [Needs Citation]
- 2: Games Workshop's The Colours of the Craftworlds (accessed 2011.09.25)
- 3: Codex Imperialis, [Needs Citation]
- 4: Warhammer 40,000: Compilation, Eldar, [Needs Citation]
- 5: Warhammer 40,000 5th Edition Rulebook, pg. 119
- 6: Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition), pgs. 17, 58
- 7: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution
- 8: Imperial Armour Volume Eleven - The Doom of Mymeara, pg. 129
- 9: Aurelian (Novella) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Chapter Four, pg. 42
- 10: Prospero Burns by Dan Abnett, Chapter Six, pg. 197
- 11: Citadel Journal #46 pg. 32
- 12: Citadel Journal #3 pg. 42
|General||Dead World • Death World • Desert World • Ice World • Jungle World • Ocean World •|
|Imperium||Adeptus Astartes Homeworld • Agri World • Cardinal World • Cemetery World • Civilised World • Feral World • Feudal World • Forge World • Fortress World • Hive World • Industrial World • Knight World • Mining World • Paradise World • Penal World • Quarantined World • Research Station • Shrine World|
|Xeno||Xenos World • Daemon World • Exodite World • Tomb World • Maiden World • Crone World • Ork World • Tau Empire • Craftworld|