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Craftworld Kianshemas - The Inferno of Tears
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Old 23 Apr 2010, 17:38   #1 (permalink)
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Default Craftworld Kianshemas - The Inferno of Tears

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Kianshemas
The Inferno of Tears

Of the humans that are aware of the existence of the alien race they call the Eldar, only a comparatively small number are aware that not all Eldar are created equal. To them, alien is simply alien, whether corsair, Craftworlder or Harlequin means naught to them. However, amongst those who are aware that differences exist, the Eldar of Kianshemas are most often mistaken for the Dark Kin, rather than their craftworld cousins, but their connection to either is loose at best. Even more so than those who fled to Commorragh and embraced lives of debauchery - nevertheless denying Chaos in the process - the Eldar of Kianshemas are pariahs amongst their people. The name itself, meaning "inferno of tears" - reflecting the sadness and hatred they engender in other Eldar, is not a name they chose for themselves; it is the term the other Eldar applied to them, though it has since been appropriated by these most evil of aliens to use of themselves.

"I wield power of the kind others of my kin would have never dared dream of even in their lowest days. I am beyond a soldier, beyond a slaughterer, beyond a Daemon - I am Death itself."
- Darkseer Atraithis

The darkest of days witnessed the Fall of the Eldar. Millions died, and while the race endures through various means of evading the silky grip of Slaanesh they have never regained, and will never regain, their former glory. Some Eldar accept this with grim, stoic determination, characteristic of their self-imposed limits that now define the race, while others rage against this dying of the light in a desperate attempt to return to their old power - or perhaps simply because they are angry, though if that were the case the Eldar in question would never admit it. What seemed to be the most effective means of escaping the Dark Prince was the creation of the Craftworlds, vast world-ships to carry the Eldar who were pure of heart away from the mad excesses of their kin. Others had left sooner, colonising new worlds and living a life of labour, and others still were saved by the Laughing God himself, in addition to those previously mentioned who retreated to the webway's arcane city. Less talked about, and a subject of shame for all Eldar regardless of creed, are those who, in their last moments, pledged themselves to any one of the three other Chaos Gods - or indeed all three as a whole - to save their souls from Slaanesh. This is the kind of bargain only the most desperate would ever make.

But the Eldar of Kianshemas did not make it, at least, not at first. They fled the debauchery on their Craftworld - whose name has been lost to the mists of time - like so many others. In these early moments of Slaanesh's existence, even some of the Craftworlds were ravaged by murderous Daemonettes, Fiends and nightmarishly alluring Greater Daemons and the newly incarnate legions of the Dark Prince left no Eldar alive. Except on Kianshemas. It is uncertain why the daemons departed when they did - perhaps Slaanesh had simply ordered the seizing or destruction of the Craftworld's waystones - an objective that was almost fulfilled - rather than the wanton slaughter of the Eldar, perhaps intending at some point to corrupt them to his will once again at a later time. Or perhaps it was the machinations of Tzeentch, having a plan in mind for these refugees from the ill-fated Eldar Empire. Perhaps it was simply that the Kianshemas Eldar were more skilled than some of their brethren and managed to drive off the daemonic invaders. For whatever reason, they were not annihilated by their Great Enemy, but their supply of waystones was dangerously low; even for a race with a birth rate so low as the Eldar, they would run out.

If it was indeed Slaanesh's intent to corrupt the Kianshemas Eldar, to twist them into distorted parodies of their former selves and into his service, then he failed. For when the waystones dried up, rather than consulting the Harlequins or even fleeing to the webway like the Dark Eldar had done, the Kianshemas Eldar turned to the only power they could think of who hated Slaanesh as much as they did - the Triad.

The Triad is the collective name the Eldar of Kianshemas and other "Chaos Eldar" give to their patrons - the three remaining Gods of Chaos - Khorne, Tzeentch and Nurgle. None of these Gods wishes to see Slaanesh dominant any more than they would see any of their other brothers dominant, and Khorne's hatred towards the younger God is so barely controlled that his rage at the Prince of Excess can shatter planets. The Craftworld pledged itself wholly to the Triad, and as a result of this gained access to power and protection they had hitherto only dreamed of. After this, those other Eldar who turned to the Triad in the moments of the Fall flocked to Kianshemas, for it is the single haven for Chaotic Eldar in all of realspace. Thanks to the protection of their patrons these Eldar can travel the warp freely and without fear of Slaanesh, but Kianshemas has become a base of operations of sorts for them. It is located in the galactic west, right on the tip of the Cygnus Arm, where there isn't much of anything - but their ships can strike out and hit any target they please.

These Eldar are desperate beings, drunk on power and many are quite, quite mad with the weight of Chaos on their shoulders. Some fall foul of horrific mutation, but mostly this is contained within their armour and they care little of it, for they are indeed a careless race in the truest sense of the word. They do believe the time of the Eldar will come again, but not in the image of the fallen Empire - no, they believe it will come in their image. They still believe in the coming of the Rhana Dandra, yet they have twisted the legend such that, in their version, they will unite with their former brothers to obliterate Slaanesh and then turn back to their dark masters and return the favour on all Eldar who do not accept the glorious majesty of the Dark Gods. Shockingly, it is not an impossible interpretation.

"My Lord Khorne cares not from where the blood flows - so why should I care who stands beside me, so long as more blood can be produced by his axe than by his neck?"
- Lady Faralein, Eldar Princess of Khorne

One significant change to the Eldar racial personality brought on by pledging allegiance to the Triad is one that may at first seem superficial until one realises how vital it is to the Eldar collective consciousness - their arrogance. The Craftworlders, Dark Eldar and even the Exodites in their own way express intense arrogance towards all "lesser" races, yet the Kianshemas Eldar do not - at least, if the race in question is pledged to a member of the Triad. As illustrated in the above quote, a servant of Chaos is a servant of Chaos, and whether it be Man, Space Marine, Eldar or Daemon, so long as it fulfills its purpose to the standard required by its patron, who is to argue? This caused some great confusion amongst the Imperial Inquisition during the 13th Black Crusade who believed that, at least for the duration of the war, these aliens were their uncomfortable allies. They did not take kindly (and neither did many Imperial commanders) to the sight of Eldar taking to the battlefield alongside Chaos Warbands and butchering planets for their amusement. This was the cause of some intense infighting between the two factions that could have easily been avoided, were it not for the Craftworlders' arrogance.

Following the 13th Black Crusade, the Chaos Eldar of Kianshemas go from strength to strength, striking without warning and retreating, sowing confusion, death and terror in a way that not even their Dark Kin can surpass. If they continue to strike out at this rate, the expansion of Chaos may simply be too unstoppable to halt.
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Old 23 Apr 2010, 17:46   #2 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Craftworld Kianshemas - The Inferno of Tears

Yet again another great piece of fluff from you! Very well thought out and well written article although I must admit, I don't like the thought of my precious eldar turning to chaos!

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