Warhammer 40K: The Harlequin Solitaire
These soulless warriors are an important part of the Harlequin’s dance – but who are the masqued dervishes? Let’s chat.
Solitaires are one of the deadliest duelists on the battlefield. While your typical Harlequin is already a formidable opponent, the Solitaire takes the whole “killer clown” thing to another level entirely. Stat-wise, they are pretty bonkers:
Their wargear makes them close-combat junkies and their special rules take that even further. On top of all that, they also have the Character keyword, which adds a whole other layer of protection besides that 3+ invulnerable save.
But who are the Solitaires beyond their stats? Why are they set apart from the rest of the Harlequins? It all has to do with their ties to Slaanesh and the great ritual dance of the Harlequins.
Solitaires are Harlequins who have, through some means, lost their souls. At death they are doomed to be claimed by Slaanesh. Only through a gamble by the Laughing God can they be saved. They are outsiders, even among the Harlequins, and roam the universe alone, occasionally joining a masque for a single performance or battle as the fancy takes them. They almost always fight as individuals. In the Harlequin masques, they play the part of Slaanesh, as all others who attempt to play this part are driven mad by the experience.
The Solitaires seek out Eldar considered promising and able to survive the trial that all Harlequins must endure. Though they are capable of speech, they do not speak and are not spoken to, except in ritual form during a performance. It is said that any who accidentally addresses or touches a Solitaire is cursed, and would be better to take their own life outright.
In combat, a Solitaire is a deadly marvel, a dazzling blaze of light and colour that leaps, spins and attacks with blinding speed. Their art of dance is so advanced that the enemy’s bullets, rays and shells can not hit them and every graceful sweep of his weapon decapitated their terrified enemies. It is said that each Solitaire is the equal of a full squad of lesser warriors.
Solitaires have a feared reputation both on and off the battlefield. What’s strange is that while they appear to carry the typical Aeldari Spirit Stone (the ones that the Aeldari use to save their souls before Slaanesh can claim them), the Solitaires have somehow already lost their souls. Perhaps this is metaphorical and the Solitaire’s Spirit Stones aren’t what they appear to be. Whatever the case they are simultaneously shunned and welcomed by the Aeldari. Shunned because addressing them invites doom upon oneself, and welcomed for the role they are bound to play.
Beware the Solitaire. Their presence is the harbinger of so much more than death…