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Revision as of 05:05, 22 February 2007

In fictional universe of Warhammer 40,000, the Dark Eldar are a Kindred of the Eldar, an ancient and advanced race of elf-like humanoids. Their armies usually have the advantages of speed and technology, though they are often lacking in resilience and numbers.

The Dark Eldar revel in piracy, enslavement and torture, and are sadistic in the extreme. Dark Eldar armies make use of various anti-gravity skimmers such as Raiders and Ravagers to launch high speed attacks. They strike with little or no warning, using an interdimensional labyrinth known as the Webway to traverse the galaxy safely and far more quickly than most races are able to with their Warp jumps.

The Dark Eldar are unique amongst the Warhammer 40,000 factions in the sense that they do not occupy many planets, but rather one dark city - Commoragh. They are mainly pirates, though are sometimes used as mercenaries.

Dark Eldar, like most Eldar Kindreds, make use of advanced technology, including anti-gravity devices, dark matter weaponry, nanotechnology and psychic artifacts. While Dark Eldar do make use of psychic devices, they do not use psychic powers themselves. Psykers are treated as playthings in Commorragh, and given the twisted sadistic nature of the Dark Eldar, this necessarily involves pain and torment for the psyker.

Over time, Dark Eldar begin to suffer more and more from 'the Thirst'. They develop an all-consuming and ever-increasing need to drink the souls of other beings. It is postulated that the cause of this is the Chaos God Slaanesh, the Great Enemy of the Eldar, who leeches the soul-essence of the Dark Eldar while they still live. Dark Eldar drink souls to stave off this leeching - perhaps by sating the thirst of Slaanesh, or perhaps by replenishing the essence of their own souls with that of the consumed one. Slaanesh will also consume the souls of Dark Eldar whole should they die. Dark Eldar are long-lived but not immortal; drinking souls has a rejuvinating effect that reverses aging, thus Dark Eldar need not fear falling into the clutches of Slaanesh due to death from old age, if they have a constant supply of souls. The usual source of souls are those of the many captives taken during Dark Eldar raids.

In the game, many of the Dark Eldar units are similar to the units used by the Eldar army, but twisted to fit in with the darker nature of the Dark Eldar. For example, instead of having Aspect Warriors Dark Eldar have drug-using gladiators called Wyches. Rather than having their heavy weapons systems transported by walkers or minature anti-grav floaters, they are carried by specialised Warriors wearing jetpacks- these are called Scourges. The mecha-like Wraithguard and Wraithlords of the Eldar are replaced with the Talos, a bizarre mechanical weapon which is half grav-tank and half floating torture device, powered by the suffering of the tortured creature bound into its "cockpit".

Pages in category "Dark Eldar"

This category contains only the following page.