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!
THE THRONE OF THE WAR GOD
At the core of every Craftworld is a sealed chamber. Inside this chamber, upon a throne of smouldering iron, sits an Avatar of the Bloody Handed God. The Avatar is as still as a statue of ancient metal, pitted with age and encrusted with the patina of corrosion. His eyes reveal only an empty darkness as if his whole body were a hollow metal shell. The chamber is built of gleaming wraithbone whose skeletal structure stretches throughout the entire Craftworld, its strands connecting every part of the Craftworld to the throne.
When the Eldar prepare for war the metal body of the Avatar begins to glow as the heat of his fiery blood is kindled. His metal heart begins to quicken and his iron flesh starts to pulse with life. Liquid iron boils through his veins, and his whole body crackles and hisses like a furnace. When he stirs upon his throne Exarchs and Aspect Warriors all over the Craftworld feel the vibrations reverberate through the gleaming threads of wraithbone which spread like naked ribs throughout its caverns and chambers. Recognising the Avatar's battle-call, the Exarchs and Aspect Warriors hurry to the shrines of the War God to begin the rituals of preparation.
As the Avatar's first stirrings are felt, the oldest Exarchs - one from each of the principal shrines on the Craftworld - gather outside the chamber and begin the ritual of Awakening. They wear their ritual masks and armour. They are accompanied by another Exarch called the Young King. The Young King is selected every year by the ritual divination of the Craftworld's Farseers - the psykers who guide the Craftworld's political decisions. The position is held only for one year, after which the Exarch steps down and another Young King is elected. The Awakening ceremony begins as the Young King is ritually disrobed and his body painted in blood with the runes of Kaela Mensha Khaine - weaving shapes that evoke the annual orbit of the sun, its rise in the solar dawn and its inevitable autumnal fall. With due ceremony the Exarchs bring the ritual regalia of the Avatar from its place in the various shrines of the War God, and present it to the Young King. Across his shoulders is draped the long mantle fastened by its golden pin. In his right hand he carries the long dark weapon of the Avatar - the Siun Daellae - the Doom that Wails. Into his hand is pressed the Cup of Criel - the bloody cup containing blood drawn from his own body.
The six Exarchs, the Young King, and a huge choir of Eldar Seers position themselves outside the massive bronze doors of the throne room, watching as its ancient metal grows hotter and starts to glow with a ruddy light. Behind them the Seer Choir sings the Hymn of Blood and the Exarchs take up its cry. From within the chamber come sounds of splintering metal and cracking flame. Very slowly the bronze doors begin to open. The interior is filled with brightness, in the very centre of which is the iron throne and, sat upon it, the Avatar himself, a great dark shadow amongst the unbearable light. The Young King steps inside as the Hymn of Blood reaches a crescendo of ritualised screams, seemingly random, but actually as carefully orchestrated and rehearsed as the rest of the ceremony. Slowly and deliberately the brazen doors close.
The music and the singing cease and the noises within the chamber become dull and bass like the sound of distant thunder. The Exarchs join hands forming a continuous circuit and begin their vigil. Groups of Exarchs take it in turns to maintain a continuous humming chant. Sometimes they must wait for several days, but usually an hour or two elapses before the Avatar awakes. He awakes without any warning. Suddenly there is a loud inhuman scream and the bronze doors are thrown aside by an explosion of energy and light. The Exarchs struggle against the hurricane of force trying desperately to remain on their feet and maintain their closed circle. The Avatar walks from his throne and at that moment in shrines throughout the Craftworld the Aspect Warriors don their helmets in the culmination of a ritual that has paralleled that before the throne room.
THE AVATAR WALKS
The Avatar's previously empty shell is now filled with a powerful energy. His eyes glow like coals and as he moves his whole surface crackles and spits like smouldering metal. Molten iron flows through his veins and bubbles of fiery ichor burst and solidify upon his skin. Dark tendrils of smoke and flying cinder enwreathe him. Mixed with the hot smell of brazure and coal is the unmistakable taint of blood. He wears the mantle fastened upon his shoulder with its dagger-pin. His long powerful arms are covered with blood up to his elbows. Thick red blood oozes from his hands and drips from his fingers and leaving steaming red droplets behind him. In his right hand he carries the Doom that Wails. The runes etched upon it appear to writhe and struggle inside the weapon, as if tortured by the heat of the Avatar's bloody grasp. Of the Young King there remains no trace - unless it is the sickly seeping blood that drips from the Avatar's gory arms.
The Avatar's outer shell resembles a suit of war armour and is encrusted with individual spirit-stones which pulsate with vermilion light. These contain the spirits of all the Young Kings that have ever entered the chamber. The personalities and memories these spirit-stones contain fortify the Avatar and enable him to call upon the experiences of the Young Kings themselves. In a sense, therefore, Exarchs who become Avatars never die - they are united with the Avatar himself and continue to live in him forever.
The Eldar blame the Fall, in part, on the intensity of their character and mind, and the heightened potential for intellectual and emotional gratification that their psyche allows. Because of this, and to prevent themselves from recreating the mistakes of the past, the Eldar Path was embarked upon. Throughout their long lives the Eldar follow a number of different 'paths', where they participate in various areas of society. Each path allows the Eldar in question to devote itself entirely to perfecting a given function. By concentrating on only one facet of their complex and overwhelming character at a time, the Eldar are free to explore that area in depth without danger of distraction. Due to the proliferation of Aspect Shrines on Biel-tan, it seems that many of these paths on that craftworld are strictly military. Because of this, Biel-tan is better prepared for conflict than any other craftworld, as evidenced by the civilian levies of Biel-tan only entering battle in truly dire situations.
Biel-tan places an unusual importance on the role of the warriors within their society. Whereas in many craftworlds the Farseers hold sway over important decisions, on Biel-tan a warrior council, referred to as the Court of the Yong King (cf.xe.335.Court), appears to be at least the equal of the Farseers. This cadre reveres the idol of the Eldar war god and takes its name from the ceremony in which they awaken the Avatar of Khaine. A strong and dynamic political faction, it is often the Court that makes the decision to go to war or negotiate as they see fit. Every member of this court is an Aspect Warrior trapped in one particular path.
Unable to move to another path and gain new experiences, these Exarchs, as they are known, are perhaps the most potent political force acting in Biel-tan as well as its most deadly warriors. It is speculated that the Court is what drives the craftworld to war over and over again.
FOR THE EMPEROR!
Congratulations. Youve been picked up thrice in one post. Your mother would be proud.
Numero Uno - Plagiarism. Thats copied in its entirety.
Numero Dos - Not only that, its in the wrong place.
Numero Tres - Your sig is too large. Please read our rules, and try again.
"It fits like clothes made out of wasps!"