Malan'tai is an Eldar Craftworld that was wiped of all life and turned into a drifting, derelict ship in 459812.M41 by the vampiric Tyranid creature that took the name the Doom of Malan'tai, a uniquely adapted Zoanthrope that could feed upon the psychic energy and souls of its victims.[1a][1b]
Malan'tai suffered grievously at the hands of Ork raiders in its early years, and the Craftworld was forced to become nothing less than a fortress to counter this threat. They eventually allied with Iyanden and Idharae.[3a]
Hive Fleet Naga
When Hive Fleet Naga invaded the Galaxy and headed towards the Exodite World Halathel in 808.M41, Malan'tai sent a fleet, along with a fleet from Idharae, to intercept the Tyranids before they could devour the world. They managed to catch and engage Naga but it responded by splitting its forces into two tendrils, the first continuing towards Halathel, and the second turning rimwards towards the Maiden World Eth-aelas. The first tendril outstripped the crippled Malan'tai fleet and arrived at Halathel before them. The Exodites of Halathel couldn't abandon their Worldspirit and so fortified the Worldspirit Shrine for their coming last stand. The Tyranids made planetfall and, after two colossal sieges, massacred every one of the defenders and destroyed the treasured Worldspirit. Above the planet, Prince Yriel commandeered an Iyanden fleet and destroyed the Tyranid Bio-ships supporting the assault. The remaining Malan'tai fleet arrived in time to help as Yriel, overcome by rage, ordered his ships to scour all life from Halathel and completely kill the first tendril.[1a]
The Idharae fleet followed the second tendril of Hive Fleet Naga to the outer edges of the Eth-aelas system and destroyed it, but not before several thousand Mycetic Spores hit the surface of Eth-aelas. Idharae troops, later joined by Yriel's forces, landed on the planet and set about arduously cleansing it.[1a]
The Doom of Malan'tai
Meanwhile, after the destruction of Naga's first tendril, a lone and wounded Bio-ship stumbled across the Malan'tai Craftworld and as its final act launched its last bundle of Mycetic Spores into the Craftworld. The Malan'tai Eldar quickly set about hunting the scattered creatures let loose by the undetected spore, but in the process of killing those they believed posed the greatest threat they ignored a vampiric Zoanthrope that, left undisturbed, devoured the spirits of their Infinity Circuit. As it fed, its power grew, until it reached a nigh invulnerable level. With mere extensions of its mind, it began destroying the Craftworld. It is said the Eldar could feel their souls being torn from their bodies. A psychic scream echoed through the Webway in 459812.M41 as Malan'tai became a lifeless, drifting shell. Only a few scattered survivors escaped. The "Doom of Malan'tai" among the Eldar refers both to the legend of Malan'tai's fall and also to the terrifying creature that caused it.[1a][1b]
In 800.M41, a Grey Knights strike force was sent to an area in space where no worlds were known to be located. However, upon their arrival, they encountered the destroyed hulk of the Craftworld Malan'tai. It is revealed that the Grey Knights were sent there by their Prognosticars due to the presence of the Keeper of Secrets N'Kari, who, along with other Daemons, hunted for hidden spirit stones to consume, as for each spirit stone N'Kari devoured, he grew more powerful. By the time the Grey Knights landed on the Craftworld, N'Kari had grown in strength tenfold.
The Grey Knights purged their way through the ruined halls of Malan'tai, led by Brother-Captain Pelenas and accompanied by as many Purifiers as possible. Any and all daemons standing before them were cut down, until the Grey Knight strike force cornered N'Kari in the despoiled Dome of Crystal Seers. A fierce battle ensued, wherein a dozen Purifiers were slain and Pelenas was struck down. But before the Keeper of Secrets could strike the killing blow against the Captain, Justicar Anval Thawn threw himself in front of Pelenas. With N'Kari's spear stuck deep in Thawn's flesh, the surviving Purifiers had enough of a respite to complete the ritual of Twelve Bloody Swords and successfully drain N'Kari of his stolen power, opening him up to be defeated by Pelenas.
After N'Kari was defeated, the majority of the Grey Knight strike force departed back to Titan with the bodies of their fallen. However, a score of Purifiers remained behind on Malan'tai, in order to guard the remaining spirit stones until another Craftworld could be contacted to retrieve them. The Eldar recovery team that arrived were initially outraged at finding an Imperial presence aboard their Craftworld, but their outrage quickly turned to gratitude when Pelenas handed over the remaining stones and explained that the Knights had laid down their lives to preserve them.
In 994.M41, Iyanden sent an expedition to the ruins of Malan'tai to recover anything that may be of use to undo the damage caused by hive fleet Kraken. Alas, the Craftworld's ruins had been overrun by Orks who had destroyed or stolen anything of value. After dispatching the Orks, Iyanden's strike force set Malan'tai on a new course towards the nearest sun, where it was presumably destroyed.[3b]
According to Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition), the destruction of Malan'tai took place circa 808 or 812.M41[1a][1b]; while in Codex: Grey Knights (5th Edition), the Grey Knights encounter the ruin of Malan'tai in the aftermath of its destruction, in 800.M41.
- 1: Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition)
- 2: Codex: Grey Knights (5th Edition), pg. 14
- 3: Iyanden: A Codex Eldar Supplement (Ebook)
- 4: The Ghost Halls (Short Story) by Laurie Goulding
- 5: Codex: Tyranids (8th Edition), pg. 16 — The First Tyrannic War: The Flight of Malan'tai