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Eldar History

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While studying Eldar history one is advised to read and interpret it with great caution. The most ancient portions are of semi-mythological nature and validity. With the Fall of the Eldar most of their ancient libraries and written records were lost forever. The Eldar themselves are unsure of their history and remember it mostly through acting plays which are performed by the ever-wandering troupes of Harlequins.

The God-War

Main article: Eldar Mythology

The Eldar have many tales about their own beginnings. Though a great deal of written material was lost at the time of the Fall, the Eldar have a tradition of storytelling through ritual and dance. Dancing troupes known as Harlequins are responsible for keeping alive many ancient stories and legends. The Eldar were "adopted" (or alternatively "created") by the mysterious Old Ones. The Old Ones, a race now long extinct were embroiled in a long war against the C'tan and their slaves the Necrontyr and, being desperate, raised many warrior-races. The C'tan's weakness was their vulnerability to the powers of the Warp and the Old Ones fostered the psychic potential and abilities of the Eldar to high standards.[Needs Citation]

The efforts of the Old Ones were largely successful but had disastrous side-effects. The C'tan were defeated, but through the manipulations of the Old Ones the Warp was thrown into turmoil. Several warp-entities, first among them the Enslavers, taking advantage of the situation, possessed many inexperienced psykers and created Warpgates through which even more warp-entities could enter the galaxy to wreak havoc. The four surviving C'tan, seeing the danger, tried to create a ward between the material universe and universe of the Warp. In the end they were forced to retreat into four planets which they stripped of all life. The Old Ones trying to save themselves created the Krork and the Jokaero, but it was simply too little, too late. In the end they perished in an apocalypse of death and destruction.[Needs Citation]

The Eldar Empire

Main article: Eldar Empire

Somehow the Eldar managed to survive. They probably were able to maintain some of the technology given to them by the Old Ones, and most importantly they kept the necessary knowledge to travel through the Webway. In due time the Eldar created a large empire.[Needs Citation]

Precious little is known about the power and glory of the Eldar Empire. There is little doubt that it was the dominant power in the galaxy with tens of thousands of worlds. Only a handful of these worlds are known by name, including[1]: Croesus, Mymeara, Iydris, and Eldorado the Golden. Craftworlds, then great spaceships carrying hundreds of Eldar traders and their families, traveled beyond the borders of the empire to trade with other races. Imitating the Old Ones, consciously or not, the Eldar seeded life-generating bacteria upon lifeless planets, thereby starting a very slow process to change these planets into paradise worlds. The Eldar civilization was highly refined and no longer needed manual labor.[Needs Citation]

During the period of the Eldar Empire, it is known that the Eldar and the emerging space-faring civilization of Humanity clashed in a series of wars fought over natural resources.[2]

Fall of the Eldar

While the Fall of the Eldar was a relatively quick, apocalyptic disaster the reasons behind it began with small steps and probably took centuries to reach the breaking point.[Needs Citation]

The main reason behind the Fall is the fact that while the Eldar mind and brain feel the same emotions and sensations as a human's, it does so at a much higher intensity. The feeling of joy, the excitement of danger, the pleasure of love and sex, the feelings of despair, anger, and hatred, etc., are felt much more strongly. An undisciplined or uncontrolled Eldar mind will eventually seek these sensations again and again regardless of anything else. One could compare this with the cravings of a drug-addict who, for the feeling of a drug-induced "high", will do anything at all (steal from his family and friends, rob strangers with violence, prostitute one's body, etc.) .[Needs Citation]

Beginning of the end

The Eldar became increasingly arrogant, believing themselves to be infallible. It was believed (albeit with a certain degree of reason) that no other race could rival their achievements, threaten the stability of their empire, or take away their wealth. Other races were disregarded as mere barbarians or mere animals and the entities of the Warp were hugely underestimated, not studied, and not recognized as a serious threat. Eldar society as a whole increasingly preoccupied itself only with its own desires. Neglecting the need for self-control and moderation too many indulged themselves in debauchery and excess, indulging themselves with dark and hedonistic pleasures.[Needs Citation]

Not all of the Eldar were so reckless and self-destructive. Some grew increasingly appalled at the decadence of their peers and saw the need for a more restrained way of life.[Needs Citation]

Some individuals began to preach of a hardier way of live, closer to nature, avoiding the need of too much technology. Some of them were extreme ascetics who were dedicated to self-denial in inhuman measure, while others were far-sighted survivalists. These individuals gathered their followers and traveled as far away as they could, founding new colonies in the eastern borders of the empire. These Eldar became known as Exodites.[Needs Citation]

Others saw the need for self-control and criticized the decadence, trying to reform their society from within. However their words fell on deaf ears and some even surrendered themselves to the general debauchery.[Needs Citation]

Eldar society and the whole empire was in turmoil and on the brink of destruction. However in the end the Eldar did not jump from the cliff, but were pushed over the edge from behind.[Needs Citation]

A prophet appears

The overwhelming majority of the Eldar continued with their hedonistic lifestyles, taking them to newer and deadly extremes.[Needs Citation]

On Belial IV, a new cult appeared and its priests preached the coming of a new god. In reality, Shana Gaathon, Harbringer of Slaanesh, a daemon of chaos was possessing the most important priest and his cult was preparing the coming of a new Chaos God. Hidden even from the psychic senses of the Eldar he talked, preached, and promised, lying and manipulating an all-too willing audience.[Needs Citation]

Cults appeared everywhere dedicated to esoteric knowledge, sensual pleasure, and sexual gratification. Some of these cults even sacrificed Eldar children upon fell altars. Many Eldar turned against their equals, hunting, raping, and murdering their victims for the thrill of excitement.[Needs Citation]

Birth of a god and fall of an empire

Eldar Mourning.jpg

On Belial IV, Shana Gaathon prepared a mighty ritual supposedly to usher in a new age of even greater pleasure. However the watching crowd had their souls ripped out of them and consumed by a new god: Slaanesh, who had finally awoken and was utterly famished for Eldar souls. Millions of souls were consumed and many surviving Eldar descended into utter madness, killing each other and destroying everything they could.[Needs Citation]

Scattering of the survivors

Just a mere portion of the Eldar species managed to survive the destruction of their empire.[Needs Citation]

Most of the colonies of the Exodites were spared as they were simply too far away. A few of them have since been destroyed by mortal enemies, but the majority have survived and prospered till this date.[Needs Citation]

Altansar is lost to the Eye of Terror

The craftworld Altansar managed to escape immediate destruction of the Fall but was caught by the gravity well of the Eye of Terror. After 500 years of fighting bravely against the forces of Chaos the craftworld was nevertheless swallowed into the warp. Only Maugan Ra, the Harvester of souls, was able to escape. It must be noted that the craftworld Ulthwé, located near the Eye of Terror, has a singularly powerful and populous Shrine of the Dark Reapers.[Needs Citation]

Kraken vs Iyanden

Prologue

The largest and most populous of the craftworlds was Iyanden and during the millennia it travelled through the outer borders of Ultima Segmentum. The Farseers of this craftworld foresaw the appearance of a great danger but its Rangers where the first to see the horrors and dangers of the Tyranid threat. Hive Fleet Behemoth was the first to invade known space in 745.M41, only to be utterly annihilated by the Imperial Navy and the Ultramarines, after great losses and costly sacrifices.[Needs Citation]

Prince Yriel goes into exile

The pride of Iyanden was Prince Yriel, High Admiral of the craftworlds fleet. A military genius, Yriel had two major flaws. First, he was not of pure Iyanden blood, being a bastard scion of the House of Ultanash. Second, he was proud to the point of arrogance. As a Chaos fleet began threatening Iyanden, Yriel stripped the craftworld of all military vessels, leaving it defenseless. Leading the entire fleet into a pre-emptive strike and gaining a decisive victory he fully expected to be received in triumph. However, for endangering the craftworld he was stripped of his rank. Vowing never to return, a furious Yriel left Iyanden; he and his followers became the Eldritch Raiders, the most feared Corsairs in the galaxy.

Kraken rises and Iyanden braces itself for battle

In 992.M41, 200 years after Behemoth and 50 years after Yriel's exile, a new menace appeared: Hive Fleet Kraken, which consisted of several smaller fleets. The spiritual leader of Iyanden, Farseer Kelmon, called for a gathering of all the citizens of Iyanden, and every alternative was debated. The issue was decided by the speech and arguments of a Ranger named Irilith. Iyanden would stay and fight or all would be consumed by the Tyranid juggernaut.[Needs Citation]

All available forces were summoned and marshalled. The Avatar of Khaine was summoned and the hosts of the Aspect Warriors were ready. Every citizen of Iyanden was mustered as a Guardian, and reinforcements from other craftworlds arrived. Even the rest of the dead was disturbed and their spirit-stones where plucked and placed within the Wraithguards and Wraithlords. The fleet of the craftworld was also assembled, but it lacked its greatest asset: Yriel, its former commander.[Needs Citation]

Wave upon wave of Tyranid vessels descended upon Iyanden. One by one the fragile Eldar crafts were destroyed and the surviving vessels were scattered. The Tyranid hordes were able to disembark into the craftworld. Opposing them the Eldar army caused numerous casualties but by sheer attrition and superiority of numbers the Tyranid invaders pressed on. All seemed lost.[Needs Citation]

Yriel returns

Yriel returned, and gathering all scattered Eldar vessels, fell with his Corsair fleet upon the vulnerable Tyranid vessels. After destroying the Tyranid fleet he entered the nearly-overrun craftworld. To the horror of many farseers he retrieved the cursed Spear of Twilight from its stasis field inside the Shrine of Ultanash and with it he was able to slay the enormous Tyranid leader-beast. The tyranid horde was eventually vanquished, but Iyanden paid a very high price: four fifths of its population had perished. Yriel was reinstated as high admiral and became Autarch of Iyanden.[Needs Citation]

Alliance during the 12th Black Crusade


The 13th Black Crusade

In 999.M41, Abaddon led the forces of Chaos from the Eye of Terror in the 13th Black Crusade against the Imperium.

The Return of Altansar

The emergence of so many chaos fleets and entities created a rift between real space and the Warp. The Phoenix Lord Maugan Ra searched the Eye of Terror for the lost Craftworld of Altansar. He eventually found the remains of the craftworld and its living Eldar remnant. He led Altansar back into the material universe. Even so the other Eldar Craftworlds did not celebrate the return of Altansar. They believed they were tainted in some way by chaos because of their ten thousand year imprisonment in the warp.

Recent events

See also

Sources

Have to be checked and verified, footnotes, pagenumbers etc.! See individual sections for application of source.

For further information read the novel:Farseer.(note: Belial IV is most likely the Imperial name of this planet and not the original Eldar name)