Welcome to Librarium Online!
Join our community of 80,000+ members and take part in the number one resource for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K discussion!
Registering gives you full access to take part in discussions, upload pictures, contact other members and search everything!
I'm starting to play an Iyanden Eldar army, however I have some issues with fluff...
Not only am I unable to find a good source of both Iyanden and normal Eldar fluff (organisation within the Craftworld itself, etc.) I also find myself with a conflicting situation:
I want to write stories. I've always been a writer. However, with limited knowledge of 40k fluff as well as a pre-determined fluff for a specific Craftworld, I find the opportunities for 100% original stories dwindling.
I've considered creating my own Craftworld, but Craftworlds are NOT like Space Marine Chapters - and I'll need a huge history and fluff backup on it, especially since it's extremely similar to Iyanden.
I would like to ask L-O for help. Whether it be to help me with story-type writing with Iyanden, providing sources of Eldar fluff (preferably to deal with organisation or Iyanden fluff), or helping me come up with my own Craftworld...any of it would be appreciated!
Well, I have never really been an Eldar player, but my best friend was obsessed with them for years and so I have heard just about all their is on the Eldar. The 40K Online forums have the old Eldar Online forum inside of it and there are some people who are obsessed with Eldar, and I think some of them might even speak elvish (:p) so there is a good place to look as well.
On Iyanden, its important to remember that the Tyranid Attack on Iyanden has completely overshadowed its true importance to the Eldar. Iyanden was a shining example of the Way of the Craft before the nids got ahold of it. It was the most populous and largest of all of the craftworlds, and more importantly it was the Shrine of Asuryan. Iyanden is the ancient home of Asurmen, the Pheonix King. He was the first of the Eldar to follow the Path of War, the very first aspect warrior. He was the first of the Dire Avengers and he created his shrine on his home Craftworld of Iyanden. Asurmen's brother, Tethesis, was slain by a daemon of She Who Thirsts (Slaanesh) and Asurmen afixed his soul to his sword. He then devoted his existence to perfecting the arts of war, embodying the vengance aspect of Kaela Mensha Khaine and seeking to avenge his brothers death. Many Eldar began to follow his Path of War and became Dire Agengers, but he had several gifted students who learned the Path of War from him but manifested other aspects of their war god. Ahra, Barharroth, Jain Zahr, and Maugen Ra were all his pupils and were all trained at Iyanden before returing to their own craftworlds to found their own shrines. I believe Iyanden was the first Craftworld to have a Shrine of the Bloody Handed God as well. So, as you see, Iyanden has been very important to all Eldar of the Craft.
But when the Tyranids attacked that all changed. Iyanden was crippled, 4/5ths of its population was killed. Dire Avengers flocked from all of the Craftworlds to defend Iyanden, but in the fighting the Dire Avengers of Iyanden were all but wiped out. Nearing the end of the invasion, they had no choice but to recall their long dead heros into the bodies of Wraithlords and the Wraithguard to fight for them, which is considered a horrible atrocity to the Eldar, and they managed to drive the Tyranids off. Whereas once Iyanden was thriving and even growing, its now dwindling and dying. The population is steadily decreasing and soon it will be an empty hulk drifting through the void. They mostly keep to themselves since they cant afford to lose any more Eldar and fight only in situations where their Farseers see that if they do not they will lose far more than they can afford. Most Eldar stay clear of Iyanden as theyre considered to be macabre and morally akin to grave robbers or zombie masters, and even Rangers tend to stay away. The only thing that Iyanden has going for it is that it has the largest and fullest Infinity Circuit of any craftworld out there, and many spiritseers and bonesingers. Iyanden takes the "dying race" theme of the Eldar to a whole other level.
I'm not sure what exactly youre looking for in terms of fluff or help, so if you need anything beyond that breif overview you'll have to ask specifically. Myself, and I'm sure the other fluff masters on LO would be happy to accomodate any questions you have.
And if youre looking for a description of the social organization and economy of the Craftworld, I'm definately your guy. Is that what youre looking for?
I am not an expert in Craftworld backstories, but I suggest picking up the Craftworld Eldar codex, if you haven't already.
Iyanden Eldar are, frankly, necromancers. To the Eldar, what they do is abhorrent, and the Iyanden Eldar know it: they consider it a necessity. The act of creating a Wraithguard is not nice. The Eldar spirit has to be captured into a Spirit Stone, willing or not, and bound to another body; the Eldar souls are never allowed to pass into the Warp and their final rest. As such, they are living a half-life, waiting to be destroyed all over. Some view it as a great sacrifice to safeguard those Eldar who still live. Others call what Iyanden does abomination. All Eldar craftworlds have Wraithguard and Wraithlords, but the Iyanden army is literally all Wraithguard. The craftworld has virtually no living people left. All that is left is the occasional Guardian milita and the Spiritseers.
If you wish to create your own craftworld, I cannot give you boundaries there. All I can say is that you keep it reasonable and remember that craftworlds are not everywhere. They are exceedingly rare and almost none are unaccounted for, so yours had better have a good reason for turning up at whichever point you wish it to. But otherwise, feel free. There are few rules you can really break with Eldar. As long as you know the basic background, you should be able to do it yourself.
I would recommend you simply play Iyanden since it is far easier and, like you said, craftworlds aren't like chapters. All the fluff is done for you and personally, I believe they are an excellent army to play, and one of the more unique ones available in 40k.
Just remember: all Eldar hate humans and if they are in any way related to Iyanden, they hate Tyranids more. But you probably know that already.
Thanks much for the replies, you two. Indeed, I really do want to play Iyanden and everything, but I'm finding a writer's block - what do you do when you want your own characters in a story, the feeling of being at least semi-important with them, but you are writing about a Craftworld that has so few numbers all of these characters should already be known?
For example, if a fellow Iyanden player and I both wanted to write stories about our Craftworld, but neither of us wanted to work together, we could completely contradict eachother. That would make the entire thing seem less "real" to both of us, because what happens when we both field our armies on the tabletop, etc.? I know stories are stories, but fluff is a hugely important thing to me as well as creativity and originality. I fear that playing an already pre-established Craftworld (with limited characters) might interfere with a player's right to come up with his own fluff/stories for it.
Does anyone know what I'm saying, or am I just rambling? :mellow:Yes, please. That would help a lot when writing a story, I believe.And if youre looking for a description of the social organization and economy of the Craftworld, I'm definately your guy. Is that what youre looking for?
And any other fluff, really, that has to do with Iyanden pre- and post-Kraken would do much to help. I know mostly about their being Necromancers, etc., but I would like more about their views, how many of each types of units they have, etc.
When I write fluff I base it on my own army (plus or minus the size of some units, of course) - for example, I have a full squad of Warp Spiders in my army that I would like to make important, as some of the few living Aspect Warriors left to walk upon Iyanden.
I appreciate all the help already! Any suggestions to get around that block of uncreativeness and unoriginality would really help as well.
Well, in all reality, there's no reason for two Iyanden Kraft-world armies to be fighting each other. Their Kraft-World already has pitifully low numbers of soldiers left in the first place and Eldar are not known for the same petty infighting that the Imperium and other races are known for.For example, if a fellow Iyanden player and I both wanted to write stories about our Craftworld, but neither of us wanted to work together, we could completely contradict eachother. That would make the entire thing seem less "real" to both of us, because what happens when we both field our armies on the tabletop, etc.? I know stories are stories, but fluff is a hugely important thing to me as well as creativity and originality. I fear that playing an already pre-established Craftworld (with limited characters) might interfere with a player's right to come up with his own fluff/stories for it.
If you are faced with playing your Iyanden Kraft-world against your opponents Iyanden Kraft-World then you are both going to have to put your fluff aside for the sake of just playing a fun game against each other. Consider it a "training simulation" where both armies are using blanks to test their battle prowess, or something like that. Real life armies do this all the time in order to test their troops and see where their weaknesses lie.
Hourglass, I cant get over your avatar. Those are my kind of women.
Alright, on to the social structure of the Craftworld. This is going to be fairly long.
First of all, Craftworlds are very similar to something that we have on Earth today. Have you ever heard of the Kibbutzim that are in Israel? Theyre anarcho-syndicalist communes based on true socialist communism. Theyre self-sufficient and the powerhouse behind the Israeli economy even though they predate Israel. But I digress. Craftworlds are slightly different, being oligarchic socialist communist communities. Oligarchic in that Craftworlds are lead by a council of its Farseers as those on the Path of the Seer have the ability to see the future and weigh their actions far above anyone else in the galaxy. Socialist in that the purpose of the socio-economic orgainzation of the Craftworld is based around the well being of its members rather than profit or power. Communist in that all property is held in common and distributed amongst the population according to need. There is no currency in a craftworld.
Ok, now the key to understanding the Craftworld social organization is understanding that their whole society is highly regulated to prevent them from feeling prideful or any excess of emotion at all, which would lead to Slaanesh devouring their soul. The Craftworld is as much a religion as an economy. The society of the craftworld is divided into several different Paths, and the Eldar are encouraged to change their path periodically to avoid them becoming obsessed with one particular Path and become prideful over their abilities. The most basic path is the Path of the Craft, which is what the majority of the citizenry are. They work in the factories and the farms of the craftworld and produce equimpent and food for their needs and for trade with other Craftworlds and alien species. These are the rank and file of the Eldar and the vast majority of Eldar on a craftworld follow this path. There is risk of becoming obsessed with any particular path and finding themselves unable to change paths. Those that become obsessed gain extrordinary ability with years of experience. It is very difficult to become obsessed with the Path of the Craft however. Although an Eldar may stay in this Path for milennium, there are many different jobs to do and they are rotated through jobs regularly to prevent them from becoming obsessed with one particular job. They may farm for decades, but then will be rotated into manuracturing, then rotated into janitorial services, then rotated into the nurseries, and rotated into one of the many jobs that need to be done all over the Craftworld.
Then there is the Path of the Warrior, where the Eldar become defenders of the Craftworld and join on of the many Aspect Shrines and learn to be a warrior. Most Eldar spend at least a period of time in their lives on the Path of the Warrior, but those who become trapped become Exarchs and lose themselves in the arts of war. Guardians are militias made up of those on the Path of the Craft that have spent time as Aspect Warriors and will use what they remember of their old training to defend their craftworld in their times of need. The Path of the Warrior also includes the Craftworld fleets, although these Eldar do not follow the aspect shrines.
Another path is the Path of the Outcast, these are the Rangers. Usually young eldar that find it hard to accept the strict rules of Craftworld life will pick this path and become Rangers. They travel the webway all over the galaxy seeing all that they can see until they become bored or find something they want to do more. Very few Eldar stay on this path for more than a couple of centuries, but those that stay longer become Pathfinders. Those that travel the Path of the Outcast dont always return to the Way of the Craft, however. Many find they like the ways of other Eldar groups much better, and will settle in the Dark City with their Dark Kin, join the Exodites, or join up with a Pirate Prince and live a life of adventure.
The last path is the Path of the Warlock. This path includes all of those that develop and use their natural psychic talents for the good of the Craft, such as Warlocks who are battle psykers, Bonesingers who maintian the fleets and the Craftworld's structure, and Spiritseers who maintain the Infinity Circuit and tend to the dead. Those who become obsessed with the Path of the Warlock become Farseers, those that use their highly developed powers to search the skeins of time and determine which course of action is best for them. This is a one way ticket however, as every Farseer will eventually pay with their lives. Their constant use of their psychic abilities slowly transformes their bodies to psychoreactive crystal, until they can no longer move and are placed in the Dome of Crystal seers, where they are attached to the Infinity Circuit and they do nothing but search time and space with their minds until they become nothing but crystal statues. This process takes a very long time however.
Reproduction is something that the Eldar have great difficulty with, especially with the strict rules of the Way of the Craft. Eldar males and females both have the possibility of going into heat once every 7 years, but this is dependent on forming a close relationship with a member of the opposite sex, much closer than humans could possibly ever feel. Then they have a short window in which to breed, and they get one shot at it. If the female isnt impregnated then they have to wait until the next opportunity. Extreme sexual desire and an estabilished close psychic affinity is required for Eldar mating, but since sexual desire is the realm of She Who Thirsts the Way of the Craft has a lot of restrictions and rules that make it difficult for the Eldar there to "get in the mood". Eldar also do not mate for life, but they do form close cross-gender friendships with other Eldar based on mutual admiration that appear to humans to be love, however this is rarely the Eldar that they chose to mate with. What complicates Eldar mating even further is that although they have two sexes, their gender is not based on the sex they are born with but rather selected by the particular Eldar based on their personal desires or their job. For example, all Howling Banshees are female, but sexually they are male or female, they just take on the female gender for the time they are a Banshee. Other eldar do this at will. Its entirely possible that Eldrad Ulthran was female but took the male gender. Or that Iyanna Arienal was a male but took the female gender. A male Eldar may find themselves approching their estrus and fall in love with a female eldar, only to find that its a male living as a female, and all though they still mate there is no hope of offspring. All Eldar are essentially bisexual. Eldar gestation is a very lengthy process, and miscarriage is quite common. Considering that Eldar have extremely long lifespans, perhaps a thousand years or more, so they have many chances to reproduce, but the overall difficulty means that the Craftworlds have a steadily decreasing population. Reproducing was much easier before the fall.
As for characters for Iyanden, there is only one character listed, Iyanna Arienal the spritseer. There is still plenty of room for you to make a farseer or other spiritseers or warlocks for your army, as as far as I know there is no fluff regarding any of the farseers that are in control of Iyanden.