The Webway is a wonder of the Imperium, even if it is swarming with Aeldari, Dark Aeldari (sometimes called Drukhari or Spike Elves), and the occasional party of Thousand Sons. Let us look at this marvel of technology that allows mortals to thumb their nose at gods.
Today Loremasters, we turn our lectures towards a topic of great import to the galaxy. No, it’s not techniques for the growth and distribution of bioengineered wheat, nor is it about a dozen and one uses of Corpse Starch that you might not have tried–galaxy altering as those might be. Instead, we focus on a somewhat more glamorous aspect of galactic lore: The Webway.
Why we’re focusing on this is beyond me. It’s the only place more full of poncy Elves than one of their Craftworlds, and those at least have the decency to exist inside of our own space/time continuum. Usually. But inside the Webway, which the Eldar would have you believe they created (along with the process by which to grow munitorum-grade foodstuffs), you can find whole concentrations of them. Just wandering the tunnels that worm their way like a termite hive through our own reality with none of us ever knowing they’re there.
That’s right. There could be upwards of a dozen space elves looking down on you right now. Especially you Loremaster Wensleydale, so you can put your hand down. Yes even on Thursdays.
But where does the Webway come from? After all, our space/time continuum is one thing, but the Webway has more tendrils through our space than a Haruspex possessed by a Slaaneshi Daemonhost. The realm’s origins can be traced to the ancient race known as the Old Ones, who decided to circumvent the corrupting chaos of the Immaterium and instead created the Webway as a conduit through which they could travel to countless far-flung worlds without suffering from the risk of the tides of the Warp.
It became a tool of this species when they became the first race to cross the vast gulf of stars in a single step and learnt to manipulate alternate dimensions. This quickly led them to attaining a mastery over the use of Webway Portals. It would later be used as a way for the Old Ones to outmanoeuver the Necrontyr during the War in Heaven leading to that race being turned into a minor irritant in the span of a few centuries. This ultimately changed when the C’tan entered into the war on the side of the now metallic Necron armies. That ended about as you might expect, with everything on fire.
In the present day, the Webway is drastically different compared to its original form. War and disaster have left their scars upon it. Whether disaster in antiquity or ten(ish) thousand years ago when the Emperor Emperor created the Golden Throne on Terra as a means of entry into the Webway in order to remove the Imperium‘s reliance on Warp travel and astrotelepathy. This plan involved the construction of a new short section into the Webway and linking it into the abandoned Eldar network. After the psychic disturbance caused by the ill-fated attempt of Magnus the Red to warn the Emperor of Horus‘s betrayal prior to the Horus Heresy, the human-built sections of the Webway were invaded by Warp entities. Since that time, a psyker has needed to remain on the Golden Throne and hold the portal between the Webway and realspace. The Emperor fulfills this role.
The White Scars Space Marine Chapter believes that their Primarch, Jaghatai Khan, is lost somewhere in the Webway, forever cursing the Dark Eldar that lured him into it, although after 9,000 years of wandering, it seems unlikely. After all, people, and especially Primarchs who were slain milennia ago never come back from the brink of destruction.
So what exactly is the Webway? Well, it’s sort of everything. And also nothing? Our archives describe it as a realm of space that exists between the Materium and the Warp. It exists as a part of both yet existing in neither. Which is utterly useless, if you ask me. This sounds like heresy and tech heresy of the highest order. But the Emperor protects. And some say it’s more like a complex network of capillaries and arteries than a true dimension. Either way, everyone agrees that it weaves its way through the galaxy, like a spider’s web.
In the shattered portions of the network exist dead-ends, mazes that trap the unwary, abandoned or destroyed pathways and some even inhabited by Daemons. The doorways into these parts are sealed with runes of power in order to prevent whatever unknown horror populating them from gaining entry into a Craftworld. Knowledge of a Craftworld’s placement within the Webway is a secret kept by their Seers.
Which means that the average Aeldari couldn’t tell you where their homelands are any better than they could find their posterior with both hands and a map. So bear all that in mind as we experience higher than normal Aeldari activity–there is no need to worry. They are all likely to be lost, never able to return to their home dimension.
Be sure and join us next week when we investigate whether or not Aeldari haughtiness can be harnessed to repulse psychic entities.