Iyanden is an Eldar Craftworld. Once the most populated and largest of the Craftworlds, it is now on the brink of extinction after being invaded by Hive Fleet. This article is about the Chaos invasion; for the Tyranid invasion of Iyanden, see The Battle of Iyanden was a major Chaos invasion of the Eldar Craftworld of. Background: Iyanden is an Eldar Craftworld, the greatest worldship of the Eldar empire that was.
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I actually tweeted Pete Foley about this just now. Caught between the cold fury of the Dark Angels and the relentless vengeance of the walking dead, Zhemon’s bodyguard were swiftly overwhelmed and their wretched master taken alive. Yet despite this, Eldrad Ulthran was poorly received, for many thought he had come to mock Iyanden for its misfortunes.
Bright sparks of light flared as the Craftworld’s firestorm defence lasers sought to engage the torpedoes. For a short while, scans showed no new Tyranid vessels, and the Eldar dared to hope that they had weathered the storm. He warned them that he was almost certainly sailing into the jaws of death, and bade only the willing to follow him. By maintaining a telepathic link with both the Autarch and the ghost warriors, an Iyanden Spiritseer can ensure that the wraith-constructs react swiftly to changes in the battle-plan; more swiftly, sometimes, than the Aspect Warriors and Guardians who make up the remainder of the warhost.
Unless there is a Spiritseer present — and they are all too often not, especially during the upheaval of battle — communication between the dead and the living can be likened to that between a sightless man and one who cannot hear; progress is slow, at best, and often maddeningly imprecise.
Yriel evaded every blow with effortless grace and darted forwards to land his own immaculate strikes whenever the opportunity presented itself. The symbol of Iyanden is a reference to the ever-burning shrine of Asuryan to signify a flame of hope that Iyanden will one day recover.
Twisted forms struggled to emerge from the beautiful harmony of Iyanden’s architecture. Spirits were raised even more when it transpired that the next assault wave was tiny in comparison to what had come earlier. Alas, this was not the case.
Only one threat in all this time came close to ending Iyanden: This unexpected assault shattered the Fortress of the Red Moon and sent its defenders reeling. To their credit, Iyanden, and its sister Craftworlds of Malant’tai and Idharae, responded almost immediately, but even so, they were too slow.
These sleek craft had been hidden since Iyanna had first made planetfall on Antellas Prime. For a moment, both Craftworld and hulk were silently in mutual shock at the other’s presence; then, as if at some prearranged signal, weapons batteries on both vessels lit up and missiles flared across the void. Yriel knew that three cruisers was a laughable force to send against an entire Craftworld, but he assumed that Kallorax had known it too, which meant some deeper ploy was at hand.
Now, his followers numbered thousands of cultists, renegades, betrayers and scoundrels — the dregs of a dozen star systems. The Tyranids advanced as never draftworld, but still Kelmon remained hidden in the Chambers of Starlight. Such is only possible because of the psychic bond between each Wraithknight’s twin pilots. Iyanden’s graceful course had taken it far into the east, and so its armies focussed their efforts along the galactic rim.
Thousands of light years away, the High Lords of Terra noted that the Forces of Chaos seemed far less active along the eastern rim and briefly wondered crafworld.
Iyanden – Warhammer 40k – Lexicanum
Now, it is but a shadow of its former glory, a sombre and desolate vessel crartworld the dead walk and the living dwindle. As Zhemon and his bodyguard fought like cornered rats to keep the vengeful Dark Angels at bay, the Maulerfiends thundered into the ghost warriors.
Such weapons were famously inaccurate, and of little use against warships, but a Craftworld was a much larger — and much slower — target. Thus it was that Idharae ended their alliance with Iyanden after their warning had fallen on deaf ears.
Only when the Council foresaw that Zhemon would suffer far more at the Dark Angels’ hands than craftqorld ever would at those of the Eldar, was the matter settled.
Ponderous though Kallorax’s ships might have been, their sheer firepower was devastating.
She drove home to all present that the hive fleet was far greater in size than Naga had been; it was too vast to hide from or for the Eldar fleet to defeat on its own. No few of Iyanden’s starships had been destroyed, and every single vessel was in need of substantial repair.
The only hope remaining to the Eldar of Iyanden was for them to unleash a pre-emptive attack on Rekkfist’s empire. At the heart of the battle line, the Flame of Asuryan vied with Kallorax’s newly-promoted flagship, the Riot Hunger. Iyanna’s warriors were faster and far more manoeuvrable than the Orks, but the Eldar had another advantage too; the ghost warriors were tireless and could continue the fight long after their flesh and blood kin grew weary.
It was not enough. Through it all, the Craftworld held its course along the eastern rim; the Council never once considered following Eldrad’s advice.
Ghost Warriors perceive the physical world only dimly, and can be slow to react to — or even acknowledge — instructions issued by non-seers. Early battles successfully crippled the Waaagh! The Eldar spacecraft were faster, more manoeuvrable and had longer ranged weapons than their opponents, but this was not their only advantage.