Welcome to Warhammer 40k - Lexicanum! Log in and join the community.

Exarch

From Warhammer 40k - Lexicanum
Jump to: navigation, search

Exarchs serve as the high priests of Kaela Mensha Khaine and thus keepers of the Aspect Warrior shrines. They themselves are actually warriors who have become trapped in their Warrior Aspect Path and are unable to put aside their adopted mental persona. As such, they are now forever devoted to war and death, to which they dedicate their entire beings. All Aspect Warriors face this dangerous prospect as their minds can become trapped in the Path of the Warrior with the Eldar being unable to recover his full personality. Such mental entrapments are very real dangers and can be horrifying to behold as Exarchs serve as living embodiments of such a fate whenever they go to war.[1]

Overview

Those Eldar that fall down this path are unable to pass beyond the Path of the Warrior and are unable to resist the passionate lure of battle, leading to them developing an unquenchable lust for bloodletting. As such, they become trapped in the path they have chosen and are unable to leave the Aspect of the War God they represent whilst becoming addicted to bloodlust that only battle can satiate. This leads to the Exarchs being met with a mixture of awe and revulsion by their kin. The Eldar respect these individuals due to them dedicating themselves into the single-minded pursuit of a side of their nature which most of their kind fear. However, they are pitied as the Exarchs have, in essence, abandoned the Eldar Path that offers new experiences and constant development. There exists an even greater dread for the Eldar in relation to the Exarchs: the fact that each of them holds the potential of falling down the same ruinous path. Those that take this mantle represent one form of problem with those that walk down the Eldar Paths in the sense that they become obsessed with roles that they are ill-prepared for and thus can never leave it. Thus, the Exarchs and the Harlequins represent the universal peril though, in either case, they still hold a place within their society.[2a]

In terms of equipment, Exarchs wear elaborate and often ancient versions of Aspect Warrior armour.[1] These fighting suits are a superior version of those worn by ordinary members of the Warrior Aspect and their great age means they preserve much ancient workmanship, long-abandoned decorative styles as well as various emblems and ornamentation that mean nothing to typical Eldar.[2b] From their shrine, they take the spirit stone that houses the departed souls of past Exarchs whereupon they assumed a Sacred Name that is associated with the stone. This comes at a time when their spirit mingles with that of the spirit stone which has been part of the armour since its inception. The mind of its user becomes lost within the greater heroic beings that bear the Exarchs name with their memories as well as experiences of the past beginning to merge with their own. Thus, their life becomes just another stage in the long existence of the spirit stone as the heroic warrior is born once again in a new form.[1] As such, when a new Exarch wears their armour, their experiences and accumulated memories merge with that of the one present in the spirit stone. This combined experiences allows the user to understand the ancient weaponry and armour that they are using as well as gave them general knowledge of ancient times when the original wearer lived. In this manner, the Eldar that wears the armour of an Exarch is initiated into the most closely guarded secrets of his kind - namely, the origin of the Exarchs during the time of the Fall itself.[2b]

Exarchs remain trapped on the Path of the Warrior, but sometimes continue to cycle from one Aspect to another. During times of war, they can wear one of two or more armoured suits which represent the different Aspects that they have taken. On a similar basis, they can equip themselves with the appropriate weapons that represent these Aspects. Those that succumb to this constant cycle of events are sometimes known as "Menshad Korum" or "Lost Warriors" with the Eldar Lexicon roughly meaning "hunters in pursuit of themselves." However, in the majority of cases, an Exarch will only adopt a single Aspect, though he or she may pass through several different Aspect Warriors before finally becoming trapped in the Warrior Path.[2a] Upon being trapped in their final Warrior Aspect, they demonstrate a great level of battle-skills due to their experience in the other Aspects, making them more skilled compared to ordinary Aspect Warriors. Upon assuming the position of Exarch, these Eldar begin to adopt the ancient names that reflect their respective Aspect such as Horned Serpent, Gleaming Scale, Slicing Fang that are all names associated with the Fire Dragon Exarchs. These names are particular to Craftworlds and the specific shrines of the War God within each Craftworld. Only a single Exarch can bear a particular name at any one time which is associated with the armour they wear in battle. Only when killed can that name and armour be taken by another Aspect Warrior whereupon the new bearer takes the mantle of a thousand year legacy where they continue the legendary life of a single heroic identity.[2b]

When not fighting, these individuals tend to the shrines of Kaela Mensha Khaine which are sites where they, along with Aspect Warriors, gather in times of war and undergo the ritual transformation where they adopt one of the many Warrior Aspects. In these sites, Exarchs not only serve as priests but as armourers as well as instructors to their kin with it falling under their responsibility to maintain the shrine's wargear along with the training of Aspect Warriors.[2b]

Known Eldar Exarchs

Images

Sources

Uncited