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Battle of Iyanden (Kraken)

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Targetdrone.gif This article is about the Tyranid invasion; for the Chaos invasion, see Battle of Iyanden.
Battle of Iyanden
IyandenBattle.jpg
Eldar forces battle Tyranids
Conflict Hive Fleet Kraken
Date 993.M41
Location Craftworld Iyanden
Outcome Eldar pyrrhic victory
Combatants
Iyanden
Eldritch Raiders
Hive Fleet Kraken
Commanders
Prince Yriel
Farseer Kelmon(KIA)
Hive Mind
Strength
Entirety of Iyanden
Corsair Fleet
Bulk of Hive Fleet
Casualties
Heavy Annihilation

The Battle of Iyanden was a battle battle between the Eldar and Tyranids over the Craftworld of Iyanden in late M41.[1]

Overview

In 993.M41 [1] the Eldar Craftworld of Iyanden suffered its greatest tragedy at the claws of Hive Fleet Kraken. Around the same time that one tendril of the Hive Fleet was assaulting Ichar IV, another was approaching the Craftworld, one of the largest and most populous of the Eldar. The first physical proof that the Tyranids were approaching was reported by Iyanden's Ranger's, who gave word of a swarm of immense proportions was heading directly towards the Craftworld. The Tyranid fleet was too vast to outrun and Farseer Kelmon, the spiritual leader of Iyanden, declared that all would have to fight together if they were to stand any chance. The entire Craftworld was fortified, every Eldar citizen was to be deployed as Guardians, and in a sacred ritual the Avatar of Kaela Mensha Khaine was awoken. Reluctantly Farseer Kelmon ordered that the Craftworlds Wraithguards, constructs inhabited by the souls of dead Eldar, be awoken.[2]

The first Tyranid swarms attacked Iyanden just twenty days after the Rangers had first brought word. By that point, the world had been isolated for a week by the Shadow in the Warp. The immense Tyranid fleet of Bio-ships approached the Craftworld by the tens of thousands, attacking at first in random waves. The defending Eldar fleet at first destroyed each wave, but was slowly being overwhelmned by sheer numbers. Before the exhausted Eldar fleet could catch a breath, it was hit by huge two waves in quick succession by a swarm of Bio-ships that dwarfed all the others combined. The Eldar fleet was swept aside and the Tyranids began landing on the Craftworld itself in Mycetic Spores. Huge battles soon erupted all over Iyanden's skies, fields, and corridors. Striking Scorpions did battle with Hormagaunts, Carnifex's wrestled with Wraithlords, Dire Avengers exchanged fire with Termagaunts, and Falcons engaged in bitter dogfights with Harpies and Gargoyles. War waged beyond the Materium as Warlocks engaged in psychic duels with Zoanthropes. Soon the Tyranids managed to land Hierophant Biotitans which did battle with the Craftworlds own graceful Phantom Titans. The battle was fierce and though the Tyranids took heavy losses, slowly the Eldar defenders were being worn down in a titanic battle of attrition. As the Shrine to Asuryan was being ravaged by the Tyranid hordes, the doom of Iyanden seemed certain.[2]

Meanwhile, word of Iyanden's peril managed to reach Prince Yriel. Though Yriel had vowed to never return to the Craftworld after being stripped of his rank decades earlier, the Corsair Prince could not abandon Iyanden in its darkest hour and his fleet sped towards the battle.[2]

Yriel's forces arrived at Iyanden just as it stood on the brink of extinction. His fleet thrust into the Tyranid bioships and as an admiral without peer, Yriel's ships combined with the surviving Iyanden vessels to rip the heart of the Tyranid swarm in space. Preventing any more Tyranids from landing on the surface, Yriel managed to beat back two vicious Tyranid counterattacks before the space-borne Hive Fleet had been defeated. However the battle on the ground was still desperate, and Yriel sped towards Iyandens surface to personally take command.[2]

Though the Tyranid space fleet had been defeated, on the ground the Eldar defense had been all but broken under a suicidal onslaught by waves of Tyranid beasts. A massive Hive Tyrant led the frenzied horde, butchering all in its path and appearing to be all but invincible to Eldar fire. Amidst the carnage, the Avatar stepped forward, the only warrior capable of slaying a Hive Tyrant. Roaring a challenge to the beast, the Avatar sought to engage it in single combat. However the Tyranids do not fight for honor and it is doubtful that they even have any concept of bravery or cowardice. Instead of meeting the Avatar in single combat, the Hive Tyrant summoned a dozen Carnifexes to overwhelm the iron-clad warrior. With the Avatar lost, the last vestiges of hope ebbed from the Eldar. But, in an act that restored Yriel as a hero for his people for all eternity, the Prince finally arrived to reinforce the wavering ground troops. The Tyranids were on the verge of overrunning the final line of defenses when Yriel himself plunged into the fray wielding the cursed Spear of Twilight, an ancient weapon of such power that it eventually burns out the life-force of any who wields it. Yriel was willing to sacrifice his immortal soul to fight the Tyranids.[2]

The monstrous Hive Tyrant turned to meet the Eldar prince, but proved no match for the energies of the Spear of Twilight. With one fluid motion, Yriel thrust the weapon directly through the head of the creature. With their commander lost, the Tyranids ceased to attack as a united wave and reverted back to their basic instincts. The scattered alien invaders were able to be systemically isolated and destroyed by the remaining Eldar defenders. Iyanden had been saved.[2]

However the victory of Iyanden was a hollow one. Though they had emerged victorious, they had only done so at a terrible cost. Iyanden stood in ruins and four-fifths of its population lay dead, including Farseer Kelmon. Its majestic fleet had been reduced to a pitiful shadow of its former self and its landscape ravaged. Worse still, the very souls of those spirit stones that had been destroyed by the Tyranids were lost forever. Thus, Iyanden would never recover from the devastation. The Eldar had learned a painful lesson and would never again underestimate the Great Devourer.[2]

Sources