40K Lore: 5 Things You Need to Know About Eldar

Come Loremasters – it is time to study the Aeldari and learn many dark secrets:

The Eldar are a strange enigmatic race – even more so than appearances would suggest.

Wraithbone

Wraithbone is a psycho-plastic substance used by the Eldar for many different tasks, including the construction of buildings, ships and weapons.

Wraithbone is essentially solidified warp energy that is manipulated by a Bonesinger into any shape that is required. It is stronger than any known plasteel and harder to damage than adamantium, and will naturally repair itself, though the process can be sped up by a Bonesinger. Being created from the warp, Wraithbone has innate psychic abilities allowing it to be used as a communications pathway as well as structural support. It carries psychic energy much as a cable carrying current does, as well as containing psychic shields to protect the occupants from the warp.

Wraithbone effectively performs all of the tasks a machine would. The organic members of the crew use psychic powers to perform their duties, but it is the Wraithbone itself that actually does it. In the case of Eldar ships, the basic framework is created from Wraithbone and then the internal areas are made, finishing with the actual internal components. Even the mighty Craftworlds are made of Wraithbone, and this is how the occupants of Craftworlds survived the birth of Slaanesh, for the psychic shield of the Wraithbone protected them from his mighty psychic scream.

Wraithbone emits a sympathetic psychic signal that Eldar can lock onto and use to control the object. Generally, Eldar buildings have a flowing form and lack any harsh angles. It is also used to make Eldar Runes.

Infinity Circuit

Every Eldar Craftworld contains an Infinity Circuit, which is essentially the Wraithbone skeleton of the Craftworld itself. Within this matrix, the souls of all the Craftworld’s dead reside in a form of group consciousness, providing both a well of psychic power for the ship and a massive ancestral mind to advise and guide the living. With the rise of Slaanesh, the Infinity Circuit is the closest thing that the Eldar have to an afterlife; if their souls are not caught and integrated into it, they will be lost into the warp and devoured by the Great Enemy. For this reason the Eldar will defend their Craftworlds with a fury and tenacity almost unrivaled; they risk losing not only their home but the souls of their ancestors as well.

Although the Eldar souls preserved in the Craftworlds’ Infinity Circuits can muster only a tiny amount of energy compared to that of Slaanesh, the Eldar hope that one day there will be enough souls to unite to fight and overthrow Slaanesh. It is a faint hope, but the only hope for the Eldar who otherwise face damnation and extinction from their own racial daemon.

Early Infinity Circuit technology on Iyanden is said to have been mastered by Mehlendri Silversoul.

Crone Worlds

The Crone Worlds are the original homeworlds first colonised by the Eldar as they rose to power tens of thousands of years ago. The worlds are now known as Crone Worlds for the Eldar crone goddess, Morai-Heg.

The region was overtaken by the Eye of Terror, its worlds consumed by Chaos and turned into nightmarish realities. Crone Worlds seem to be synonymous with Daemon Worlds. They are now the domains of the Ruinous Powers and their slaves along with many Eldar trapped there since the Fall. These worlds remain vitally important to the survival of the Eldar as they are the only source of spirit stones. However, journeys to the Crone Worlds constitute entering the most dangerous areas of the galaxy, and many who go to the Crone Worlds never return. Besides the spirit stones, many other valuable artefacts of the ancient Eldar civilisation survived the Fall and still exist in the Crone Worlds. Fabius Bile is known to had made a base of operations on a Crone World after narrowly escaping the Salamanders Chapter.

Spirit Stones

The Eldar spirit stones are small, seemingly precious stones carried on an Eldar‘s chest, used to save their souls from destruction by Slaanesh. They are made out of psycho-receptive crystals called waystones. At the moment of the Eldar’s death, the stone acts like a ‘psychic trap’, absorbing their psychic self and preventing it from entering the warp and being consumed by the nemesis of the Eldar race: Slaanesh.

The Waystone can then be brought back to the Eldar’s own Craftworld and embedded into its wraithbone core where it will grow into a larger spirit stone. Once the stone is implanted, the Eldar’s soul can travel freely through the wraithbone, mingling with other Eldar souls and forming part of the communal spirit of the Craftworld itself. All the souls within a Craftworld collectively exist inside the Infinity Circuit. In times of dire need, the Eldar are also able to retrieve the spirit stones of long dead Eldar heroes and place them into the artificial bodies of Wraithguards and Wraithlords. These constructs are then piloted by the Eldar soul, which experiences reality as a dream. This process is considered necromancy in Eldar culture and is only used as a last resort. The Eldar Warlocks who specialize in this process are known as Spiritseers. Iyanden, an Eldar Craftworld with a very small population is known for its greater use of these ‘living dead’.

It is believed by some Eldar that when enough Eldar souls have been gathered within the Infinity Circuit’s of the Craftworlds, a new god will emerge; Ynnead, Eldar God of the Dead. It is hoped by Farseers that this god will be powerful enough to vanquish Slaanesh, freeing the Eldar from their doom. Spirit Stones are also an Eldar vehicle upgrade that allows the spirit to control the vehicle in case the pilots are incapacitated, in a similar way to the Power of the Machine Spirit.

There is one primary source of spirit stones: the old Eldar homeworlds now known as Crone Worlds. Acquiring new spirit stones is extremely dangerous because the Crone Worlds exist within the Eye of Terror. In Eldar Mythology the spirit stones were created by Vaul from the Tears of Isha. This is taken as a metaphor for the crystallization of the psychic energies of the Eye.

Eldar Pantheon

The Pantheon of the Eldar is considered to have been destroyed by the creation of Slaanesh. While the Eldar still revere all the gods and preserve their stories within the mythic cycles, they do not call on them for aid or hope for their intervention any longer.

  • Asuryan The Phoenix King, Asuryan was the oldest of the pantheon of Eldar gods acting as their chief. While the mythic cycles seem to indicate that he held sway over all the others, he was nevertheless consumed by Slaanesh. He is often depicted in relation to fire and light, his chief symbols. He is the older brother of Khaine, the God of War.
  • Gea (or Gia), A consort of both Khaine and Asuryan.
  • Hoec
  • Cegorach (or The Laughing God), God of the Harlequins is the other surviving god of the Pantheon, the Laughing God was the trickster and artist of the pantheon. When all the other gods were destroyed, Cegorach fled before Slaanesh until Khaine rose to do battle with it. The Laughing God took this chance to escape into the realm of the Webway, as only he is said to know all the secrets of its passages. The master of the Harlequins, Cegorach is the only Eldar god that still remains in their original form.
  • Isha The Mother of the Eldar race, Isha is a fertility goddess in many respects. She was imprisoned by Khaine for a period of time, until Vaul paid her ransom. She is often depicted crying, and her symbol is a teared eye, symbolic of her sorrow in being separated from her mortal children. Her tears are said to have been formed into runes by Vaul so that she could communicate with her children. It is also whispered that Isha was taken from the jaws of Slaanesh by Nurgle and she currently remains his prisoner.[1b]
  • Kaela Mensha Khaine God of War and Murder, he was the younger brother of Asuryan. He was one of the two Gods to survive the fall. His body was broken into fragments that later became the Avatars of Khaine found on the Wraithbone cores of Craftworlds.
  • Kurnous God of the Hunt, the Father of the Eldar race, and the companion of Isha. He is often shown in conjunction with hounds, hawks, and other trappings of the hunt.
  • Lileath (also known as Lilcarth) the Maiden, Goddess of Dreams and Fortune. She is the daughter of Isha and also the youngest of the main pantheon.
  • Morai-Heg the Crone, God of Fate/Souls.
  • Vaul The artificer, Vaul is one of the central gods of the pantheon, and an enemy to Khaine. In order to purchase the freedom of Kurnous and Isha, Khaine demanded one hundred blades from the smith god. Vaul was unable to finish the last blade in time, and so hid a mortal blade amid the others. This fooled Khaine long enough to get Isha and Kurnous to freedom, but when he realised the trick he cried out for vengeance. Vaul finished the final blade, Anaris the Dawnlight, and took it to do battle with Khaine. Though it was the greatest of swords, Khaine was the better warrior and crippled Vaul. The smith is often shown chained to his anvil, the punishment that Khaine set upon him.
  • Ynnead God of the Dead. A potential god formed of the souls of the dead Eldar contained in the Infinity Circuit, Ynnead represents the last, faint hope of the Eldar that they will overthrow Slaanesh. The Eldar believe the Eldar souls contained within the Infinity Circuits of all the Craftworlds are collectively forming a new god that will have the power to destroy Slaanesh, freeing their racial soul from destruction. As yet, the souls contained in the Circuit can muster only a tiny amount of power compared to Slaanesh. The Eldar believe that only once every last Eldar has died and their souls have combined into what they call Ynnead, will it have the power to finally confront and destroy Slaanesh.

~How much did you know?

  • Arthfael

    6th thing you need to know about us: despite all the Eldar bashing from people who are insecure with their body odour, we rule, elf!

  • euansmith

    I would love to be able to get some Eldar that look like the proper bony ones in the Dawn of War trailer. That gnarly, pock-marked surface with the flutes and veins looks so cool.

  • Spacefrisian

    7nth thing you need to know, in the 40k original eye of terror campaign Eldrad died and he shattered his body in many shards.

    The identity of the 40k Flash still remains a mystery.

    • Farseer Elorrah

      I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that remembers that. I thought maybe I was going mad or something.

  • Damistar

    Isn’t Ynnead realized now? It has an avatar figure and everything.

    • Xodis

      The Avatar, Yncarne, is considered to be the beginning of the awakening process, but the actual god is still asleep until either enough Eldar die, or the Ynnari find all of the Crone Swords that will enable them to awaken the god anyways.
      When its fully “awakened” it’ll be ready to take on Slaanesh and save the Eldar.

      • Never gonna’ happen. That’s advancing the storyline too much…

        • Xodis

          I can see the God being resurrected and a long campaign of battle between the Eldar and Slaanesh, but I dont see anyone actually winning that war.

        • matus

          Isn’t slaanesh the god they removed from the AoS setting. Perhaps it will be defeated in 40k, perhaps the idea is a god of drugs and debauchery doesn’t fit with what GW wants to portray anymore?

          • Simon Bates

            Not exactly removed though. There are still Slaanesh-aligned mortals and Slaaneshi daemons in AoS.

          • God, please no…

        • Rob brown

          It’s never gonna happen because it’s a stupid story. The elder will only be saved when the last one dies? Total BS. Why not wait an extra generation and keep an extra generation alive, if this have been going on for Millenium?

  • Frostasche

    The one thing every Loremaster should know before writing about Aeldari, is that the Asuryani are not the only Aeldari.
    This are maybe the 5 things, you need to know about the asuryani, but for the aeldari together, the 3 most important things are missing:

    1. The fall of the aeldari, even though you have it indirectly mentioned, it is not part of your top 5

    2. The webway with the dark city inside, as the trading hub of the old asuryani empire. And when the fall happened, it was the safest place inside the empire. Even Cegorach escaped into the webway.

    3 The black library, because the name is used by GW outside of the fluff, too. So it has quite a presence.