The Altsain Craftworld

Though a dedicated Imperial player, I have been known to dabble with the Xenos from time-to-time…

 

Homeworld

Drifting listlessly through the southern most sectors of the Imperium, the gigantic Altsain Craftworld follows a seemingly indeterminable course through the remotest of uninhabited systems.  No Imperial scout or Battlegroup has ever seen the immense ship and those that have tried to close with the strange readings on their sensoriums have always been met with the most fearsome defence of Eldar ships.

The Altsain Eldar on board take a typical disinterest in the lives and affairs of Mankind and will go to great lengths to avoid any form of contact with any alien race.  For over a thousand years, they have had to contend with a severe lack of resources in almost all areas.  This has made them far more insular and provincial than most other Craftworlds.

The Craftworld itself has been constantly rebuilt over the centuries with just one thing in mind; invisibility.  Only the most advanced of alien ships has any chance of detecting the Craftworld’s passage and these are turned back by Altsain’s substantial fleet, the main military arm of the Craftworld.

 

Origins

The creation of the Altsain Craftworld came from The Fall as with the other Craftworlds floating through the depths of space.  However, the Altsain Eldar were very keen to protect the Maiden Worlds they managed to find and when they located the Serenity Star Cluster with over a dozen of them, the Craftworld was halted in its course, to serve as guardian to any threat that may come to these precious worlds.  Alien raiders and pirates soon learnt to stay far away from the Craftworld’s watchful forces and even the fledgling Imperium declared the Serenity Star Cluster impassable after many of its scout ships failed to return from their exploratory missions.

The status quo of the Star Cluster was shattered irrevocably over a thousand years ago when the forces of Chaos turned their baleful eye to the peaceful Maiden Worlds.

A large fleet of space hulks ripped their way into reality right in the midst of the Star Cluster. Dispatching multiple fleets of ships, the forces of Chaos spread their way throughout the Eldar worlds like a cancer, dropping landing craft on all the worlds to deploy innumerable hordes that swept the landscapes bare of all life.  Whether these armies of Chaos had intended the Serenity Star Cluster as their target, or whether their arrival was mere chance was never learned, but the Altsain’s fleet of warships were to immediately engage all Chaos vessels they located.

From the start, it was a losing battle for the Eldar.  The titanic hulks spewed forth a seemingly inexhaustible supply of battleships, cruisers and raiders that quickly wore down the Eldar’s technologically superior ships.  Helpless before the marauding invaders, the Maiden worlds were set for ruin as the hulks moved inexorably towards the Altsain Craftworld itself.

Wave upon wave of Chaos assault craft blasted through the Craftworld’s defences, with many capital ships actually ramming their way through the hull of the Craftworld in an effort to disgorge more armies into the heart of the Eldar.  Daemons and Treacher Marines rampaged throughout the Craftworld, cutting down every Eldar they could find and causing severe damage to the Wraithbone Core itself.

For millennia, the Farseers and Exarchs of Altsain had never been in need of aid from the Bloody Handed God, an aspect of their faith they were fearful of.  As more and more of the Craftworld fell to the forces of Chaos, the Farseers moved to a lone chamber within the deepest reaches of the Craftworld, a sacred place that no one had visited since the Craftworld had been created.  The Avatar of Kaela Mensha Khaine was to be called to war.  Only the personification of the Eldar’s darkest bloodlust could save the Craftworld in its final hour.

The forces of Altsain rallied time and again in the face of the most unimaginable horrors of Chaos, desperately trying to buy time for their Avatar to awaken, but only at the most dreadful of costs.  Broken Eldar bodies littered the corridors and forests of the Craftworld, testament to the Eldar’s will to hold back the Chaos hordes.  With a thunderous roar that shook the whole Craftworld and gave both armies pause, Kaela Mensha Khaine, the Bloody Handed God, entered the battle.

With a terrible and murderous rage in his fiery heart, the Avatar strode forward with the Wailing Doom in his grasp.  Raw anger and the need for vengeance consumed him as he smashed into the hordes, carving a bloody trail of carnage that checked the advance of Chaos.

Though many more Eldar were to perish in the battles that followed, the terrible presence of the Avatar broke the back of the Chaos assault, forcing the invaders to retreat.  Repeated strikes of Eldar Aspect Warriors mounted on their rearguard finally routed the forces of Chaos, driving them back to their ships and from there, to the safety of the Warp.  The Eldar had won and their home still stood, but the cost had been so very high.  The Maiden Worlds had been ravaged beyond any hope of repair and the Craftworld itself was all but crippled.

 

Beliefs

The Altsain Craftworld now drifts through space, but its people have not lost heart, despite the grievous hurt they suffered a thousand years ago.  They view the attack of Chaos as a baptism of fire, a new beginning and the start of a new purpose.  Every Eldar on the Altsain Craftworld swears a binding oath that they believe transcends death itself.  They have become dedicated destroyers of Chaos in all its forms, pursuing it with a vengeance rarely seen anywhere in the galaxy.

 

Combat Doctrine

Though the population has been drastically curtailed, perhaps permanently, and resources are rare, the Eldar of the Altsain Craftworld have dedicated themselves to the destruction of Chaos.  What little they have has been forged into weapons of war, grav tanks, titans, ships so the Craftworld has lost none of its fearsome edge in combat.

The invasion of Chaos on the Craftworld and the planets it protected has left its mark on the way the Altsain wage war.  Most of the Warrior Aspects thrive, though the single Shining Spear shrine was destroyed in the Chaos attack.

Throughout the dreadful assault, every able bodied Eldar rose to the defence of their home, but the young, sick and injured were quickly ferried away from the probing Chaos thrusts on board many Falcon grav-tanks.  The crews of these vehicles, believing every Eldar life to be precious beyond price, risked facing entire warbands alone to save the lives of their people.  These brave crews who saved thousands of Eldar are today honoured by the Baptism of Fire Falcons, a series of small squadrons of grav-tanks crewed by the most highly trained crewmen the Altsain Craftworld possesses.

 

Warcry/Motto

‘Bringing the sword to the stars, we travel.’

 

Paint Scheme/Unit Markings

The Aspect Warriors of the Altsain Craftworld follow the typical colours of their shrines religiously, with little variation.  The armour of the Guardians and vehicles are coloured deep purple with black helmets and shoulder pads, or black striping.  Head pieces of Wraithlords and Wraithguard are bone-coloured, whilst the baptism of Fire Falcons break completely from the scheme of the rest of the Craftworld and are brightly decorated with radiating flame designs.  The weapons of both troops and vehicles are constructed from a possibly unique gold-tinted metal.

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