Please note that Games Workshop hold much of the copyright for this fiction, with me holding the rest 2009
This is taken from a submission I made to Black Library. I didn’t hear back so I guess they didn’t like it. I’ve written 59,000 words so far (you need maybe 150-200,000 words for a decent sized novel). The book was a three way story between Chaos, Imperials and the Eldar.
If any of you guys like the first section I post, I’ll post more.
Lanthe was amongst the first Eldar craftworlds to escape when the Fall rushed headlong into the homeworlds of their corrupt brethren. The decadence and self-absorbed ways of many of the Eldar had reached such a powerful energetic level, that its effect in the Warp became catastrophic. The manifestations in the Warp of the entity that Chaos know as Slaanesh, heralded the end of the Eldar as a super-power, and as a prime force in the universe. The Fall as it was later called, sundered the Eldar, destroying much of their society, and dividing what was left.
Since then, the Eldar of Soulworld Lanthe have lived a relatively untroubled existence for millennia. To date the Elanti as the Lanthe Eldar call themselves, have managed to avoid most of the great wars between man and xenos, or man and Chaos. Unfortunately as turmoil spreads across a multitude of galaxies, even the Lanthen Eldar can feel the coming rush of battle. They have begun to reinforce their outreach stations, planet bound way gates and trading bases.
Originally involved in merchant trading, like their scattered brethren, the last millennia has seen their lives disturbed by the activities in the rest of the galaxies. With their merchant ships raided, and their trading outposts frequently ravaged, the Eldar of Lanthe have decided that they can no longer ignore the rest of the multi-verse. Angry but dismayed, High Hierophant Jenn’arrel marshals her forces, ready to protect Lanthe, their small colonies and to take the fight wherever it is needed.
In a distant corner of Soulword Lanthe
Hierophant Astrallan quietly entered the temple. She didn’t like the place, but necessity dictated that she hid her emotions for the time being. Some things just had to be done. The light was dim, the smoke dense, and her keen senses overwhelmed by the sheer size and power of Karillion. The Rage poured from his giant frame so powerfully that she feared it would take her too. Spotting Illemar, she quickly moved towards him.
Illemar, Exarch of the Blessed was deep in thought. Being an exile in your own land was enough to bring the Rage to the front of his mind, without having to tend the most powerful Soul Saint he’d ever experienced. It took immense concentration and discipline to control. He heard her soft footfall, and broke from his trance. If a Hierophant, however junior entered the temple unannounced and informally, something must be amiss.
Astrallan stalked through the deep shadows till she reached Illemar. His lithe steely frame and aquiline features always took her breath away. She gestured for him to follow, and headed towards the Chamber of Resonance, knowing they would not be disturbed there. As soon as they arrived she launched ‘What’s going on?’ at him. Her hissed sharp tone surprised Illemar, mainly because he had no idea what she was talking about. Unfortunately his immediate reply was ‘Huh’. He saw her hackles rise, and quickly added ‘I don’t follow your question, what’s going with whom?’ ‘Where have all the Rage units gone?’ she demanded. She spotted a flicker of something cross his brow.
‘As you can see, we haven’t deployed anywhere’, he looked directly towards Karillion, as if to illustrate the obvious. ‘Are we launching another attack’ she replied. Astrallan knew she was being affected by the Saint’s raw state, ‘How do they survive here’ she thought. Illemar’s mood immediately changed to a cross between excitement and politically motivated defence. ‘How would I know, nobody tells us anything anymore’ he lied. They both knew that he sat on the war council from time to time, and should be in the loop over the deployment of the Rage units. They also both weren’t too sure whether he was the beast or the beast master.
Ephrella could hear whispered conversation and broke of from tending to Karillion. Trained all her adult life for stealth, and being particularly good even for an Eldar, she quietly moved towards the conversation. ‘Oh come on Illemar, you know something’. I know you’re always trying to get involved in something’ he replied. ‘I hope we’re going to go again soon, it’s about time they learned some manners. If they want a turf war, then we should finish it, soon’. For once Astrallan agreed, but she was so worried that the Rage would end up turning her people, and create another Fall in miniature. Other members of the council were much less concerned with this, and wanted to stamp Elanti authority on their enemies and rivals. Their stated view was that just because the bulk of Eldar society had fallen, didn’t mean to say that the rest had to roll over and beg for forgiveness from the rest of the universes.
Ephrella was in rapture, maybe they where to go to war again. Maybe she could ease the pain inside, with purification through senseless, maddening, crazy violence. The deployment of Rage heavy forces meant only one thing, that the enemy was unlikely to be Mon-Keigh. The Rage were most often used to smash aliens such as the so called Tyranids and Orks, creatures with little sense of self-preservation or pain. It took a special kind of Eldar to hurl themselves at ranks of mindless psychotic biomass. Sometimes older Elanti Guardian units where also used against such foes. Many true Elanti didn’t feel much pain and hadn’t retained all the deep sensual emotions of the Eldar. For this reason they could also cope better with the turmoil created by the Rage units. Being true Elanti and Rage was both complex emotionally, and difficult to handle for both the person and society. There weren’t so many of these Elanti though.
Ephrella nimbly returned to her post, and stroking the massive boot that hid her from view, whispered ‘Soon my lord, soon we will march again’.
- - -
Soulworld Lanthe, warm and humid, is almost entirely forest. So settled and peaceful has been their lives, that many Lanthen Eldar have bonded with this flora to become Elanti, creatures part Eldar and part sentient plant. These Elanti are still Eldar, but with some physiological and psychological changes. Primarily, they are less quick but hardier than other Eldar, with their skin becoming a darker hue, normally of blues, browns and greens. Over time, Elanti numbers have steadily increased, and now make up a significant proportion of the Lanthen population, so much so that the Eldar of Lanthe now call themselves the Elanti.
Eleshariel was feeling old and woody. His Elanti nature was taking hold, or taking root as his people called it, but he was not a ‘True’ yet. He placed the recently painted Scout helmet on his head. It was huge, so he removed it, and padded the inside with leaves. He tried again, and it was much better this time. He hated the lo-tech headset comms system linked to this Mon-Keigh (human) helmet. It was poor quality and had a very limited range. Still grumbling, he watched his soul-brethren as they kitted themselves out in the captured equipment. His Scout’s rifle was so heavy he could hardly lift it. At least it had a sturdy bipod, as he could not have supported its weight while firing it.
Yanniner was even older, and had almost ‘taken root’. She remembered the first Rage, and was held in awe by some of the younger Lanthen Eldar. She too was struggling with the man-ware, and Eleshariel came to help her. She could barely keep up in her Elanti wargear, and he wondered whether she could even move in all this heavy ‘human’ armour. He approached Sissur, his team leader, whispering ‘I think we’ll need to leave sooner. She will take more time than usual.’ Sissur gave a very slight nod of his head and checked his sundial. ‘We leave in five scouts’ he announced to the team. This raised a muted laugh from his soul-brethren.
Yanniner knew she would slow them down. She cried inside for her loss, and for their loss too. But the High Hierophant Jenn’arrel had specifically picked her for this task, and she would try her hardest to complete it, even if it would be her last mission. If it was to be her last, she hoped she would return to the homeworld, to become one with her bond-tree. Most Elanti returned, but maybe there were extenuating circumstances that could block this. Yanniner shivered, and determined to ask the Warlock about this when they both had some free time.
She marvelled that Hierophant Astrallan had so accurately foreseen the arrival of the space marine Mon-Keigh, the big humans. From her previous experiences, she was well aware that space marines bore little resemblance to the humans they once were; Marines were a much more complex and difficult prospect altogether. Still, Astrallan’s foresight gave the Elanti a strong initial advantage. Wondering why the Elanti called their Farseers Hierophants, and groaning with the weight of her load-out, she joined the rest of the team. Yanniner reporting ready for action team leader.
Sissur counted off his team; they were twelve strong. Their task; to lead the vile creatures of Chaos in a useless dance – a merry-go-round to keep the destabilised and busy. He would allow them to follow him, picking off a few to anger them. His team were perfectly suited for the mission. Experienced, and well trained, the only issue was the Imperial equipment they were forced to wear. It was a primary requirement of the task that their target believed they followed Imperial forces; hence the use of space marine Scout’s gear. Especially important were the bullets they would shoot, and he wondered if they really had enough rifle rounds. If needed he had some bolter ammunition too, but the space marine’s bolters were so heavy, than no one wanted to carry one. Thankfully Warlock Berylynn had tasked another small group to leave a few bolters at ambush points two and six. Sissur felt sure he could lead the hell’s spawn into one or other of those locations. He was a good shot, as were all of his troops. They would cause havoc in the ranks of the enemy, and Sissur was determined to cause some damage to their vehicles, without disabling them. Of all the enemies of the Eldar, Chaos were the most hated. And the reason for this …… Though few Eldar ever spoke of this, all the survivors of the Fall knew their race had fallen into the arms of the Chaos daemon-god Slaanesh, and that many had been forever lost to it.
Like Eleshariel, he too hated the headset comms, but understood that if Chaos had a skilled electronic warfare servitor with them, they might be able to deduce what kind of communications system was in use; therefore the old world human tech had to be used. Of course, using this and then speaking the Eldar tongue would be self-defeating, so he had spent time creating a system of communication using words that the Imperial forces used, and a series of clicks. The Mon-Keigh words stuck in his mouth as he tried to voice them correctly, but as the billions of humans came from billions of worlds, he assumed that their local accents would create a plethora of pronounciation and linguistic variation.
At least he now understood why Hierophant Astrallan had ordered his team to bulk up in the homeworld’s soul-gyms. To aid the deception, he was glad of the extra muscle he’d put on, but disliked its bulk and how he felt in his own clothing and armoured body sheath. Lanthen Eldar who wished to become Elanti, drank glade-sap as part of their regime. Eleshariel had stayed off the glade sap for a while, worried that sap and gym would cause him to lose too much speed, and make him too powerful. More worrying, the soul-gyms when tuned to model human exercise programs, increased the chance of The Rage in his troops. Still, Pathfinders very rarely raged, they just weren’t that kind of Eldar. He really shouldn’t worry. Mounting the squad’s vehicle, a Wave Serpent, Sissur knew they would meet the enemy soon. Good. He would bring a small rage to them. Let them have their false god, but bless me Khaine and let me meet your enemies.
Before the Fall occurred, after millennia trading across the galaxy, the Elanti had brought their Soulworld back to the Eldar homeworlds. Their desire was strong to re-connect with the other Eldar. The Elanti Shamanic Council wished to speak to the Farseers, especially with regard to new races and the naked aggression they had experienced. What the Elanti witnessed at their return shocked them to the core. Their brethren had turned into abhorrent, decadent wastrels, hedonistic and lacking all that was good in the Eldar. The Shamanic Council of Lanthe quickly realised that their kinsmen were bent on self-annihilation. High Hierophant Jenn’arrel’s divinations showed a horrific vision of the impending Fall; and Soulworld Lanthe fled the homeworlds, never to return.
The self-destructive nature of their Eldar kinfolk had a pervasive, initially unseen effect on the Elanti, who just couldn’t believe that their race had come so low. Throughout the colony anger began to grow; anger at the nihilistic homeworlds, anger at their own flight, and then anger at their gods for allowing this situation to develop so deeply and corrosively. Within the warrior cults and many of the Defenders, this anger simmered for generations, boiling into violent uncontrollable rage. Known simply as The Rage, the Hierophant council became so concerned, that all the Aspect warrior Exarchs were banished to one specific, sealed off area of their world. The Hierophant council ruled that forever more, these lands would belong to the Exarchs and their Aspect shrines. They also ruled that those warriors were only to leave this area when needed for defence of the Soulworld, or for missions outside it. Even then, they could only be released by order of the High Hierophant herself. The final decree commanded that all of the Shaman must use their powers to keep the raging warriors in check.