My Eldar have been through a few iterations, however with the appearance of a new Codex, its probably time to dust off the pixies again. Given that this is my second Eldar army, I think some updated background is in order…
Some of the scattered craftworlds of the Eldar are well documented in the Imperial archives and even today remain active among the stars. The craftworld of Rath-Torhan is not one of these.
Rath-Torhan was a trading vessel at the very edge of their civilisation. From those distant stars, the Seers of Rath-Torhan barely noticed the gradual descent for their kin. For thousands of years this craftworld seeded a great many maiden worlds, spreading life throughout the void in additional to being one of the main trading hubs in this region of space.
In the space of one breath, the Eldar race had changed forever.
At the moment of the Fall, a full quarter of Rath-Torhan’s population died. Some passed as they slept, but most simply stopped living, collapsing lifeless where they stood. In the space of one breath, the Eldar race had changed forever.
Despite the tragedies on Rath-Torhan, this craftworld escaped the worst of the disaster. Around them, many worlds were wiped clean of all life. In the days following the calamity, Seers from Rath-Torhan ranged far and wide throughout the webway struggling to find any survivors.
As days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, pockets of refugees where found. Rath-Torhan welcomed as many as she could, incorporating more and more vessels into the craftworld. Eventually bloated to three times its original size, the webway portals to Rath-Torhan were sealed, and it fell itself into legend.
For over seven thousand Terran years, Rath-Torhan glided silently among the stars on the southern arm of our galaxy. After most of their own race had long forgotten them, the seals to the webway were broken and the Council Seers determined to master as much of the scattered system of paths as they could.
They ranged far and wide, always careful to avoid others of their own species, or the many mon-keigh that now infested the galaxy. In the deepest parts of the webway they found the terrible city of the Dark kin and many other relics of the old Eldar Empire, including some of the darkest of all.
It is even whispered in the crystal dome, that the Autarch Neath Leanan, even set foot on the world the mon-keigh call Holy Terra.
In these years, the seers of Rath-Torhan used guile and foresight to ensure the craftworld’s safe passage among the stars, but they had reckoned without the most random of events.
The Dying Suns
Such is the distant between stars, Rath-Torhan had glided through heart of the Imperium since before the Emperor’s Great Crusade.
At the dawn of M37 a chance encounter between the Eldar cruiser ‘Isha’s Tears’ and a small Imperial Battlegroup in the Illustris sector changed all that. Although badly damaged in the encounter, the cruiser escaped, Imperial forces pursuing it almost all the way home to Rath-Torhan.
Convinced the eldar had a larger base in the sector, Vice Admiral Carthane demanded reinforcements to continue the search. Soon, the sector was home to a huge armada of warships, and for the first time since the fall, Rath-Torhan was directly threatened.
Far from defenceless, the Council of Seers foresaw that if the mon-keigh found their home, they would emerge victorious, but that would lead Rath-Torhan itself in the path of a greater doom. While Autarchs counselled war, the Seer Council presented a more ambitious plan. They would move the entire craftworld out of harm’s way.
To do this, the Seers proposed to move their home through the webway to a distant point in the galaxy. The energy required to create this warp tunnel would be enormous, but with the technology gathered during their long journey, it could be harvested from a collapsing star, or more likely several.
Autarch Leanan and Rath-Torhan’s few ships were tasked with harassing the Imperial fleets while a suitable destination was found and two huge wraithgates were constructed.
Admiral Carthane had no idea he was pursuing an eldar craftworld when stars started blinked out of existence across the sector. And then the eldar were gone.
The Sands of Sindar
On the Eastern Fringe, the sun rose over the only continent of a maiden world the eldar called Sindar. Set into a great plain in the middle of the continent, was a wraithbone circle over 20km in diameter.
On that morning, a single point of light appear in the exact of that circle. In an instant, that point had become a vortex, a hole through the galaxy, and through that hole Rath-Torhan emerged and struggled against gravity into the heavens.
“I weep for those left behind and everything that was lost, but here above a broken world, is a our only chance for survival.”
– Farseer Nanathera
Although safe from the mon-keigh, the trip half way across the galaxy did not leave the craftworld un-scarred. After millennium in space, a trip through a warp tunnel and then a planetary atmosphere ripped large parts of the hull off. Some of these followed the ancient vessel into orbit, but many more fell to the ground. Once in orbit, more emergency repairs were required to stop the whole vessel collapsing under its own gravity.
And the ecological damage to the planet itself was even more catastrophic. The craftworld displaced a huge amount of atmosphere upon its arrival and the radiation from the dying sun scoured much of the plant life from the surface. Over the following centuries, Sindar’s great ocean dried to less than ten percent of its previous size and the planet, once rich with life, became a desolate desert world.
Three thousand years later, Rath-Torhan still orbits Sindar and its wreckage forming an artificial ring around the planet. The presence of the craftworld has gone unnoticed by the other denizens of the Eastern Fringe, and even great the Tyranid incursions in this region have avoided the system.
In the years following their arrival, the eldar of Rath-Torhan have continued to explore the webway, always looking for a permanent home. In the early days on Sindar, Autarch Leanan personally led this search, but in recent times Rath-Torhan’s most famous leader has retreated to one of the larger pieces of broken wraithbone above the planet, with only his bodyguard of wraithblades as company.
“Let the stars forget us. We will walk the secret places for all time if it means we will endure.”
– Autarch Neath Leanan
Among the eldar of the other craftworlds, there is a legend that the mysterious Rath-Torhan will return to the galaxy in an hour of direst need, with a dark figure as its herald. Unknown to most, they never left…