Today Loremasters we delve deep into one who sees us as we seek to understand him – Eldar Farseer Eldrad Ulthran.
Eldrad Ulthran was the chief Farseer of the Ulthwé Craftworld. He was perhaps the most gifted psyker amongst the Eldar, his incredible foresight having saved many thousands of Eldar lives. He created and carried into battle the Staff of Ulthamar, and his resilience and power has been a rallying point for the declining Eldar race.
Before his apparent death, Eldrad was over 10,000 years old, and was the first to warn the Imperium of Horus‘s treachery. On the Maiden World of Tarsus, Eldrad attempted to warn Fulgrim of Horus’s betrayal to no avail, only later discovering that Fulgrim had already been corrupted by Slaanesh and was beyond reasoning. Eldrad then attempted to end the lives of the Primarch and his bodyguards but this would end disastrously for Ulthwe’s warriors, resulting notably in the loss of Eldrad’s trusted adviser, the ancient Wraithlord Khiraen Goldhelm and an Avatar of Khaine. The supposed perfidy of the Eldar would culminate in Fulgrim’s widespread virus bombing of many maiden worlds. It was this fateful event that would cause Eldrad’s massive distrust of the human race. Nonetheless, Eldrad again intervened in human affairs when he appeared before the Cabal agent John Grammaticus. Ulthran revealed to John that he opposed the Cabal’s aims and that their belief that Horus would usher in Chaos’s ultimate demise was not set in stone. He believed that humanity were meant to be the firebreak against Chaos, and that without them the Eldar would fall and the galaxy shortly afterwards. He offered John a way to leave the Cabal and a chance to stop being a traitor to his own race. Using the Fulgurite originally intended to kill the Emperor and then Vulkan, Grammaticus was instead convinced by Eldrad to use it to heal Vulkan’s shattered psyche.
At some point, Eldrad and Vulkan came into contact and (according to Eldrad) as a token of friendship the Salamanders Primarch gave him a tooth of a Nocturne Drake. Later during the War of the Beast, Eldrad led a ritual to transport Shadowseer Lhaerial Rey and her Harlequin Troupe into the Imperial Palace to deliver a message to the Emperor himself. Ultimately Lhaerial was captured, and as an olive branch displayed the tooth Vulkan had given Eldrad.
It was through Eldrad’s foresight that the Eldar began a series of raids against the Orks, culminating in the emergence of Ghazghkull Thraka as perhaps the most powerful Ork Warlord in the galaxy, and diversion of his Waaagh! to the Hive World of Armageddon, rather than allow the Orks to move against the craftworlds. Eldrad deliberately instigated the Second War for Armageddon, costing the Imperium millions of lives, to save 10,000 Eldar lives. Had it not been for his warning, the Iyanden craftworld would have been completely unprepared for the attack of Hive Fleet Kraken. In addition, he prevented Craftworld Saim-Hann‘s infestation by the Hrud, thwarted the mysterious works of the awakened C’tans and stopped the Days of Blood from coming to pass.
Eldrad’s predictions were also instrumental in the closing of the warp rift above the Exodite World Haran, which was to be used by the Gods of Chaos to pour forth its innumerable servants into the materium and the Eldar Webway. For many months, massed Eldar forces from all over the galaxy, joined by the mighty Phoenix Lords and led by Eldrad persecuted a great campaign against the forces of Chaos. Eventually they succeeded in closing the warp rift, but at the cost of many Eldar lives. This lead to the planet being known as Haranshemash, the world of blood and tears.
On Andante IV, Ezekyle Abaddon and the Sorcerer Zaraphiston engineered a meeting between himself and Eldrad by attacking a Webway gate leading to Ulthwé. His ultimate aim was not to attack the Craftworld itself, but to wipe out Ulthwe’s Seer Council by eliminating their only means of escaping the planet. Many deaths came in the battle that lead to Eldrad and Abaddon’s meeting in combat but the ancient seer along with the combined might of his retinue prevailed over the Despoiler and his Black Legion warriors in a titanic hand-to-hand battle, but before the killing blow could be dealt by the Staff of Ulthamar, Abaddon was whisked away from the battlefield by his patron Gods. Eldrad had failed in his attempt to eliminate the great threat once and for all, and realized that his own end would soon be at hand.
During the Thirteenth Black Crusade, the Eldar of Ulthwé utilised the deadly mobility of their strike force to combat the forces of Chaos. Prior to the massive battle, the Farseer splintered his consciousness into many waystones that would be utilized by his lieutenants to marshal and guide the Eldar war effort. Eldrad was at the forefront, knowing he would not live to see the end of the conflict. In the climax of the Black Crusade, Eldrad attempted to retake a Blackstone Fortress alongside a coterie of seers, but the fortress was already occupied by Slaanesh, the Great Enemy. As Eldrad realised his folly his soul was devoured, and the greatest Farseer of the Eldar was lost. However a handful of the waystones he had created still remained active causing some Eldar, specifically his youngest protégé Q’sandria, to believe that he is still alive but trapped in the Warp.
GW Canon Conflict
As of 6th Edition, Eldrad is still alive. The 6th Edition Eldar codex makes no mention of the 13th Black Crusade introduced in the 3rd Edition Eye of Terror campaign and its eponymous codex. Eldrad is now described as being in his last days, crystallising, but very much alive.
~We are all going to find out very soon what Eldrad’s been up to…