Tir Asuryan

The Asuryani ("children of Asuryan" in the Aeldari Lexicon), also called Craftworld Aeldari as they were named before the fall of their lost realm, or the Eldar as they were long known to outsiders, are an ancient humanoid alien species whose vast empire once extended the width and breadth of the known galaxy, but who now live on vast, city-like starships called craftworlds.

The Aeldari Empire was without equal, and they counted themselves masters of the stars. But millennia ago, the Aeldari's overweening pride and their fall into hedonistic practices led to a cataclysm that all but eradicated their kind and led to the birth of the Chaos God Slaanesh.

Despite their boundless power, the heart of their civilisation was torn out by this catastrophe of their own making, forcing many of the surviving Aeldari, now calling themselves "Eldar" to outsiders and "Asuryani" among themselves, to flee upon gigantic, continent-size starships once used for commerce and trade that they named craftworlds. Now the Asuryani cling to survival by a thread, fighting the horrors of the galaxy with ritualised discipline and consummate skill.

The Aeldari species has a long and complex spacefaring history, so long in fact that little is known for certain about the course of their physical evolution and early planet-bound existence. The original Aeldari homeworld was destroyed during the catastrophic collapse of the Aeldari civilisation known as the Fall of the Aeldari.
Eldar Warlock

The Asuryani Warlock Arquellia of the Ulthwé Craftworld, wielding a Witchblade while being accompanied by her pet Grynix.

The remnants of Aeldari culture that survived the cataclysm among the Asuryani preserved much of their species' history in the form of traditional stories, songs and dance. Written records, monuments and visual records were almost completely destroyed except for a few instances where they were taken aboard voidcraft fleeing from the doomed worlds.

As a humanoid race, Aeldari are physically very similar to Humans, although not entirely identical by any means. They possess longer and cleaner limbs, and fine ascetic features with penetrating and slightly slanted, almond-shaped eyes.

Their ears are also slightly pointed, but otherwise they could pass as Human at first glance. The most obvious difference between Humans and Aeldari can only be seen when they move, for the movements of an Aeldari radiate a subtle grace which is impossible for a Human to emulate.

This can be seen in even their slightest gestures or the dexterity with which they manipulate small objects.

The Aeldari mind, while similar in general to the Human psyche, is far more inclined towards emotional extremes. Because of this, Aeldari are more intelligent but also far more intense than Humans.

Although an Aeldari and a Human can both feel grief or joy, the Aeldari's experience is likely to be far more extreme.

This natural inclination towards emotional extremes is both a blessing and a curse to the Aeldari. On the positive side, it gives them an unparalleled appreciation of life and an unrivalled ability to express themselves through music and other creative endeavours.

A melody or gesture made with grace and skill can elicit an intensity of pleasure which is unimaginable to a Human.

An Autarch of the Asuryani Craftworld Biel-Tan.

But this potential for joy is paralleled by an equal capacity to feel despair, ambition and even hatred. Confronted by grief or other personal setbacks, an Aeldari suffers mental torments which far exceed the boundaries of Human anguish.

The extreme nature of their temperament makes it very important that the Aeldari maintain a measure of self-control at all times, for it is dangerously easy for them to become entranced by and ultimately dependent upon the experiences that their culture offers them.

They must learn to control the darker side of their natures, which is no less an essential portion of the Aeldari psyche — and the source of the catastrophe that nearly caused their extinction.

For this reason, the Asuryani are defined as a culture by their pursuit of the Asuryani Path. This philosophy teaches them how to balance their potent minds and pursue constructive goals rather than falling to the amoral pursuit of pleasure and selfishness that ultimately destroyed the ancient Aeldari and still defines their dark kin, the Drukhari.

The Aeldari are a naturally psychic species, and all Aeldari possess the potential to become powerful psykers if they choose to pursue this path.

The Aeldari can use these innate abilities to shape matter, which lies at the foundation of their extraordinary command of technology.

Though highly advanced and feared across the galaxy, the Aeldari are still a dying people in the late 41st Millennium — a shadow of their former glory — and their species teeters on the brink of final annihilation.

Notable Craftworlds

Craftworld Alaitoc - The most structurally rigid of the craftworlds. Their strict adherence to discipline allows them to field a large number Exarchs. On the other plus side, all these rules tend to put off a lot of spehss elves, so they also have a large number of rangers on hand, including elite rangers known as "Pathfinders". The large number of misfits they produce also makes them close to Corsair bands. Currently got their shit kicked by the Imperium after their craftworld was invaded by both the Guard and the Space Marines, due to Dark Eldar dickery. Further sabotaging the Eldar by getting their agents constantly captured, with the Imperium learning most of what they know about the Eldar from Alaitoc's bumbling rangers.

Craftworld Biel-tan - Best known for their military prowess, which allowed them to wipe out invaders. Are on a mission to restore the Eldar Empire, and so are highly protective of Eldar Maiden Worlds, violently murdering any non-Eldar race trying to settle on one under their watch. The most militaristic and xenophobic (more so than usual) of the Craftworlds. As of the Gathering Storm campaign, the Biel-Tan craftworld itself has been heavily damaged after the Yncarne was born and purged a Daemon infestation within its structure at the Battle of Biel-Tan. Subsequently half of Biel-Tan's population remains on the Craftworld, the remaining half either being dead or leaving to join the Ynnari. With their enormous recent loss of life they're quickly headed to becoming Iyanden 2.0.

Craftworld Iyanden - Almost got nommed to death by the Tyranids, including the infamous story of having their avatar trampled to death by a herd of stampeding Carnifexi. They would have been completely eaten, if it wasn't for Prince Yriel, who saved his Craftworld using with his Corsair band and a big fucking spear of doom. Is almost depleted and so reluctantly have to rely on a large number of wraith constructs to help them in battle. Has a history of almost dying, having recently almost died twice more to two Chaos Invasions, making it the Damsel in Distress of Eldar Craftworlds.

Craftworld Saim-Hann - A less-restrained craftworld who likes to go fast. They've even taken a page out of the Orks' book that "da' red wuns go fasta'!" as their primary colors are red. Unlike other craftworlds; Saim-Hann takes the concept of the Paths with a grain of salt, and so are more wild and barbaric compared to others (although not a Dark Eldar extreme). Whether this is them just making the best out of their situation or downright retarded (as these were the actions that led to their race's near extinction) is up to debate. Is basically the red, elfy version of the White Scars, only with less Mongolian. Recently following an invasion by a small Death Guard force the Saim-Hann Eldar were forced to cut off a piece of their Craftworld to save it from infection, abandoning the Eldar living on that part and causing them to be posessed by Nurgle Daemons. Whilst Biel-tan, Iyanden and Ulthwe are dying, Alaitoc is useless, Saim-hann just doesn't do much of anything at all.

Craftworld Ulthwé - With Biel-tan and Iyanden both basically dead it is now the largest of the remaining Craftworlds, it specializes in psykers. Ulthwé is currently caught at the edge of the Eye of Terror's gravity pull, and so cannot escape its proximity and the lovecraftian horrors spewing out of it; they're basically the Eldar version of Cadia. Due to this, they have a heavy emphasis on the Path of the Seer to help them predict the constant attacks they experience on a daily basis. This emphasis on psykers does have a downside of having less Aspect Warriors on hand compared to others, but compensate for this by drilling their Guardian squads into elite "Black Guardians" which are more akin to career soldiers than your average militiamen made to answer a call to arms. Also former home of the biggest dick, this side of the Eye of Terror. Currently defenceless and wracked by internal conflict as it splinters into three separate factions.

Craftworld Altansar - Was lost in the Eye of Terror for a while. Then Maugan Ra dragged it out with his epicness. Are viewed by suspicion by other Eldar due to spending an extended amount of time in the Warp (as an Eldar, no less), but do not dare do anything about it, lest they face the biotitan-bisecting wrath of the Eldar's version of Jetstream Sam.

Craftworld Iybraesil - A matriarchal society with a disproportionately high female population. Commissars warn citizens of the Imperium to stay away of the craftworld because the perfidious xenos capture men for sexual fun and reproduction, as there are not enough eldar men to fulfill these tasks. Many brave citizens have decided to risk their lives in the name of the Emperor to find the Craftworld Iybraesil and … ahem … destroy this heresy. So yeah, want to get in the pants of an Eldar lady and not have your dick peeled like a bandana, go here.

Craftworld Yme-Loc - Famed for their Bonesingers and producing incredible weapons and equipment, however, got their shit kicked in when the Mechanicus came and beat them up and stole their stuff. Also noted as the most Snoop-dogg attitude craftworld ever. Khorne hounds in the lower decks? Bah, screw that. Mechanicus pillage? No bother! Ravengay marine single-handedly hunting down half of your seer council? Who cares! Vaul taught them to go easy on those things and so they do.

Craftworld Kaelor - An angry Craftworld who's Bonesingers march to war with them.

Craftworld Mymeara - A small and stealthy Craftworld, closely connected to the Phoenix Lord of Irilyth, who were savagely mauled by the Space Wolves on Betalis.

Aeldari Voidships

Aeldari voidships, when compared to the massive Cruisers and Battleships of the Imperium, seem almost fragile. Their voidships lack the thick plating, heavy prows, and bristling towers of Imperial Navy vessels, instead sporting long masts which support the vessel's sail-like solar collectors.

Aeldari starships also have a sleeker shape, generally possessing rounded, almost oval hulls, and an "organic" look, although nowhere near the quasi-insectoid appearance of Tyranid vessels.

Imperial naval officers sighting Aeldari voidships for the first time often dismiss them as easy prey for Imperial Macrocannons and Lances. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth.

The Aeldari are perhaps the most accomplished starfarers in the galaxy. Their ships are significantly more advanced than those of the Imperium, and are equipped with technologies far beyond the abilities of the Adeptus Mechanicus to understand, much less duplicate.

The hull of an Aeldari ship is made not from adamantium plating, but from a material called "wraithbone." Molded by Aeldari craftsmen known as Bonesingers, Wraithbone is literally grown into what ever shape is needed, be it armour, weapons, buildings, or kilometres-long voidships.

Durable, difficult to damage, and even capable to a certain degree of self-repair, wraithbone is psychically active and on Aeldari starships replaces the Vox units and Cogitators found on Imperial vessels.

Wraithbone also manifests innate psychic shielding, partially protecting the vessel (and its crew) against certain manifestations from the Warp.

Instead of crude Plasma Drives, the Aeldari use vast solar sails to collect the light of the stars. These sails allow Aeldari ships to move swiftly and securely, and are one of the reasons behind their impressive and unparalleled manoeuvrability.

Small spacecraft may only have a single solar sail, while larger voidcraft may have two or three, giving the ships the appearance of winged creatures.

Defensively, the Aeldari forego the use of Void Shields and instead rely on their Holo-Fields for protection. A Holo-Field confuses an enemy voidship's targetting sensors by creating multiple "ghost ships" randomly across an area of space.

These sensor ghosts mask the actual location of the Aeldari ship. While this means an Aeldari voidship can be nigh-impossible to hit, their lack of Void Shields renders them vulnerable to those shots that do find their target.

While immensely sophisticated, even Aeldari construction is not as durable as multi-metre thick adamantium armour layers and thousands of redundant components and replacement crew.

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