40K Lore: The Doom of Malan’Tai

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This week Loremasters, the fall of a Craftworld proves Eldar are inferior.

Sifting through the wreckage of last week’s object lesson in how knowledge is power, we unearthed the fall of a Craftworld. KNown as Malan’Tai, this too is an object lesson in the inferiority of the Eldar, and the dangers of their heathen technology. Nonetheless, we must gird our minds against heresy, for we delve into not one, not two, but–Emperor preserve us–three warp-tainted abominations that surround the story of a single Craftworld’s fall. Ruination is ever the destination of hubris and heresy, so bear that in mind as we, delicately pick through the remains of our former offices.

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. Prior to that, it had suffered, as is the lot of all Eldar–though Malan’Tai in particular seems particularly cursed, having attracted Ork raiders with alarming frequency. The frequent attacks transformed the heretical ark into a heretical fortress ark that allied clsoely with  Iyanden and Idharae.

But this was only a taste of the doomed Eldar’s extra-doomed journey into doom. Their troubles began in earnest when tendrils of a Hive Fleet caught them in its clutches. 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. Hive Fleet Naga would be destroyed–but at a terrible cost.

For this action left the Craftworld relatively isolated. Isolated enough that it was approached by a lone and wounded Bio-ship that, with 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.

The Doom of Malan’tai.

This abomination is described as a uniquely adapted Tyranid Zoanthrope that has the ability to feed not upon flesh and blood but upon the psychic energy and souls of its victims. It has a large, spine-like growth emerging from its back and extending over its skull to resemble a hood, and also several rib-like claws protruding from its flanks. These alterations crackle with psychic energy and serve to focus its psychic powers so it can absorb the life-energy of all those around it. And the Doom of Malan’Tai was left alone and undisturbed as it fed upon the spirits trapped in the Craftworld’s 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.

But even then, the tale of the thrice-cursed Craftworld wasn’t at an end. I fear, Loremasters, that merely by mentioning the name–Malan’Tai–we usher echoes of its doomed existence to the fore. Quickly then, let us get through this.

In 800.M41, a [REDACTED] 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 [REDACTED] were sent there by their [ALSO REDACTED] 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 [REDACTED] landed on the Craftworld, N’Kari had grown in strength tenfold.

After N’Kari was defeated, the majority of the [REDACTED] 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 the [REDACTED] handed over the remaining stones and explained that the Knights had laid down their lives to preserve them  executed the Xenos for corruption. The Xenos scum thanked them as they died, for it was only natural.

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.

Since the destruction of the Malan’tai Craftworld, there has been no new sign of the creature now known as the “Doom of Malan’tai”. But that doesn’t mean that it’s lurking out there–somewhere–having fed upon the heart of a star.

Maybe…maybe say an extra Litany of Protection and voxcast your parents/vat overseer/company commander and tell them you love them tonight. Just in case.

  • Heinz Fiction

    The Doom of Malan’tai lore always seemed a bit over the top for me. I’m glad they scratched that unit.

    • lemt

      While part of me shares the sentiment, the part of me that bothered to actually build the unit from Tyranid parts so it would resemble the image as closely as possible is sad. I never even played him, I just wanted him to exist. Even with revised, not-so-over-the-top lore.

      • Gunther Clone C

        Pictures or it never happened. 😛

    • besorgtermitbuerger

      I’m not quite sure whether that period is over, but at the same time, a lot of new fluff was written which I still hesitate to accept. Other offenders are e.g. Draigo.

    • Nightwalker

      I think he just evolved into the Neurothrope

  • Jabberwokk

    “But this was only a taste of the doomed Eldar’s extra-doomed journey into doom”

    This my favorite sentence about my favorite *buuuurp* (oh excuse me!) carftworld.

    With all this talk about Doom they should have sent in a space marine.

    No not those pansies……Doom guy!