40K Lore: Know Your Craftworld Exotics
Today Loremasters we delve into the Eldar Craftworlds less known to humanity – though just as deadly.
Altansar is an Eldar Craftworld that was caught in the Eye of Terror, the only escapee being Phoenix Lord Maugan Ra. Its symbol was a Broken Chain, referencing the escape of Kurnous and Isha from the dungeons of Khaine but also the shattering of the links that bound Vaul to his anvil.It has since returned but is now held in great suspicion by other Eldar, for how could any Eldar remain untouched by the predations of Chaos for so many millennia?
Altansar was one of the many Craftworlds surviving the Fall of the Eldar race. It rode out the psychic shock waves that destroyed the Eldar empire but was subsequently caught in the gravity well of the Eye of Terror. Although the Eldar of Altansar struggled valiantly against the encroachment of Chaos, their doom was inevitable, and within five hundred years of the Fall, their Craftworld was swallowed into the warp. Among the entirety of Altansar’s population, only the Phoenix Lord Maugan Ra escaped the Craftworld’s consumption by Chaos.
Ten thousand years later (in M41), Abaddon the Despoiler emerged from the insane reality of the Eye of Terror, at the head of the Thirteenth Black Crusade. The Chaos Legions’ intrusion into reality left a rift that bridged the material universe and the universe of the warp. Through this opening, Maugan Ra counter-invaded the Eye to undertake a quest in search of the remains of his people. Leaving a silvered trail of soulfire behind him, Maugan Ra eventually found the remains of his Craftworld. He found that the Eldar of Altansar had survived ten thousand years within the Eye. Maugan Ra guided the remnants of his Craftworld out of the Eye and against Abaddon’s forces to deny him ultimate victory. However, there was no welcome nor celebration from the other Craftworlds; Altansar is regarded with open suspicion and hostility. Its inhabitants are known to speak in whispers and to never remove their helmets, this which gives credence to the suspicions of other Eldar.
Ghosts of Altansar
During the 13th Black Crusade, Maugan Ra returned to the area to find a great rend in the fabric of space, caused by the emergence of the Chaos fleet. It was through this that he managed to finally free his home Craftworld from the Eye and proceeded to use his warriors to help fight against the Black Crusade itself. Currently, Altansar is somewhere close to Terra, although how it has managed to get there without Imperial retaliation is unknown.
Fracture of Biel-Tan
Yme-Loc is one of the lesser known Eldar Craftworlds, known to be located close to the Eye of Terror between 989.M39 and 341.M40. Yme-Loc Eldar are talented artisans, and their armies are supported by powerful Engines of Vaul and Titans. Though it is not openly spoken of, the Craftworld also possesses an arcane engine of destruction that can destroy a continent in a single night.
The symbol of Yme-Loc, the Crucible of Souls, reference the crucible within which the smith-god Vaul forged weapons of purest Wraithsteel alloy with the spirits of the victorious in order to wage the War in Heaven. It was in this crucible that the original Swords of Vaul were created. Yme-Loc finds this rune appropriate for they claim that the Eldar’s fate is theirs to forge.
- 794.M41 – The Craftworld is ravaged after Khornate Flesh Hounds followed the scent of explorer Caelec back to his home.
- 801.M41 – An Adeptus Mechanicus fleet attacks the Craftworld in search of its technological secrets. Millions die before the Imperials seize enough technology to sate their curiosity.
Il-Kaithe is one of the lesser known Eldar Craftworlds. Being located close to the Eye of Terror, Il-Kaithe is constantly warring against the forces of Chaos and willing to ally with the Dark Eldar, and even humans, to further their crusade against the Dark Gods. They are known for their talented Bonesingers, who are said to be able to practice their art even in the heat of battle. The traditional colours of Il-Kaithe are green, detailed with purple, and even its name is translated as Knowledge of Blood.
Il-Kaithe’s symbol is the magical helm of Eldanesh, the mythical folk-hero of the Eldar who received an all-seeing knowledge from the gift of Asuryan. Il-Kaithe uses the rune to remind themselves that knowledge can have terrible cost, for in the end Eldanesh foresaw his own murder by Khaine.
Lugganath (or Light of the Fallen Sun in Eldar Lexicon) is an Eldar Craftworld. It has ties with the Harlequins, for the Lugganath Eldar hope to abandon this galaxy and start a new civilization within the webway. They are perceived as little better then Corsairs by most other Craftworlds due to their tendency to host Corsair fleets and close ties to the Harlequins.
Lugganath’s symbol is the Black Sun, a reference to the lost glory of the original Eldar Empire star systems. It is said that if a viewer were to look far enough into the void he would see the last light of those dead stars – a metaphor that the Eldar of Lugganath find fitting.
When Lugganath was ravaged by the disease known as the Brittle Coma, its Farseers looked into the realm of Nurgle in the Warp to attempt to find the captive Isha and also end the deadly plague. They knew that they would certainly die in the attempt, but believed their souls would be drawn into their Spirit Stones upon death. At first, their astrally projected forms were able to penetrate into the Garden of Nurgle, but as they gazed upon the manse of Nurgle in the distance they were beset on all sides by hordes of Plaguebearers. The battle raged for days, devastating the garden. However, in the material world, the physical forms of the Seers began to shake and convulse, succumbing to the very plague they hoped to overcome. The souls of the Seers were eventually claimed by the Immaterium, sucked into Nurgle’s realm and forced to transform into wailing trees that bare Nurgling-fruit.
The Lugganath Craftworld is known to have been active in the western quadrant of the Segmentum Obscurus. In 801.M41, forces from Lugganath attacked the stronghold of the Steel Hearts and destroyed the Chaos Renegade Chapter in its entirety. Later, in 805.M41, forces from Lugganath aided in stymieing a Daemonic incursion on Cathox Prime and also in suppressing a Chaos Cultist uprising on Cathox Gamma. In 764.M34, Lugganath came under vicious attack from a psychically-shielded fleet of the Emperor’s Children.
Lugganath is home to the Fir Iolarion Titan clan.
Mymeara was originally a normal world that had escaped the Fall of the Eldar as its location was on the extreme limits of the Eldar empire and the corrupting influence of pleasure cults had barely reached them. However, in the end, the Mymearans descended into the depravity and madness of their race. The wisest of the Craftworld’s elders had foreseen this fate and spent the last decades constructing a mighty Craftworld. The world-ship was completed as the world began to descend into wholesale bloodshed and slaughter, and only half of Mymeara’s original population was on board when the Craftworld set sail. Lost in their grief for the death of their race and believing themselves alone in the galaxy, the Craftworld drifted through the stars for many years.
However, their assumptions were soon proven wrong and the Craftworld had to fight for its very survival against Orks. Hundreds of thousands of Mymearans died in these wars, and the only hope for Mymeara during this time came from Irillyth, the Phoenix Lord of the Shadow Spectres. Through his wisdom, the warriors of Mymeara learned how to combine the aspects of stealth, speed, and firepower to decimate their foes and soon set about clearing a safe path through the galaxy for their world-vessel.
Irillyth’s presence upon the Craftworld was short, and the Phoenix Lord left to fight the fledgling Imperium when he was certain Mymeara had been spared destruction. Mymeara then found a region of space that had not yet been infested by other races, and using their technology hid themselves away. There, they have remained for centuries.
Sometime in M41, Mymeara managed to locate Irillyth once more, this time upon the Human Ice World of Betalis III. Irillyth’s armour, which held his spirit, was intact. Mymeara would enter into an alliance with Craftworld Alaitoc as well as Eldar Corsairs to recover their beloved Phoenix Lord’s armour before it was discovered by human miners. In the ensuing Betalis Campaign, the Eldar alliance proved successful in recovering Irillyth
In 928.M41, the Phoenix Lords Arhra and Karandras of the Striking Scorpions would clash in the broken ruins of the ancient city. Outnumbered and unable to defeat his former master in combat, Karandras goaded his predecessor into a blind frenzy over a grueling seventeen day battle, and melted into a patch of darkness at a critical moment, disappearing entirely. That left Arhra in murderous rage, slaughtering all of his own disciples.
~Which lesser Craftworld is your favorite?