Hello 40k (and 30k) fans! Chris Morgan, Chief Librarian of the Forge the Narrative Podcast, is here again with the next weekly segment of Tomes of the Librarius. Also, check the Tactics Corner for more great articles!
This article series is here to add some depth and narrative dimension to our hobby and the games we play by calling upon the rich lore to highlight some of the cool stories, theories, and characters in the universe. These are meant to be easily-digestible snapshots for people new to the lore, and I hope they serve to kindle further interest and study.
It is time for another character spotlight in the xenos variety. Prince Yriel is a favorite of mine from the Eldar book (largely due to the rivalry some of my Blood Angels had against him as my dad put him on the table when I was younger). Iyanden craftworld is also a favorite of mine, and Yriel’s story tied together with that tragic tale makes for some of the best Eldar lore has to offer.
Yriel was a young prodigy in his craftworld. At a young age (by Eldar standards) he was assigned the Path of Command. As Asuryani, the Eldar stave off the excesses of their heritage through dedication to these paths, and it was odd for one such as Yriel to so quickly be chosen for a path that would put him in a position to lead the craftworld in a dangerous galaxy. Some questioned the wisdom of this action.
Yriel’s ability was soon tested, as he led a fleet action against a chaos warband that threatened the craftworld, however his more conservative peers and critics did not approve of his tactics. Though only briefly, his strategy had momentarily left the craftworld undefended. His strategy, while risky, had been an overwhelming victory that crushed the chaos invasion before it could threaten the craftworld.
When he was condemned by those left behind, he swore to never set foot on Iyanden again, and sailed off to forge his own destiny. Many of those Eldar inspired by his command ability sailed with him, and collectively they became known as the Edlritch Raiders, and were the most feared Corsair fleet in the galaxy.
Hive Fleet Kraken’s Invasion
Yriel’s oath notwithstanding, he was moved to action upon hearing the craftworld was in imminent danger from hive fleet Kraken. At what seemed to be the last moment, Yriel’s fleet emerged to find the craftworld in dire peril and nigh unto defeat. Kindling the hope of his beleaguered people, Yriel led a masterful fleet action that saw the hive fleet decimated.
The Tyranids were still in danger of killing every soul on the craftworld. Landing his armies on the surface, Yriel took the dread Spear of Twilight from the Shrine of Ulthanash – a weapon that curses the wielder and saps their life force in exchange for great power. Slaying the synapse creature in command, he saved his craftworld from annihilation, though the cost had been severe. The craftworld would never be the same, and the death toll had risen so high that now the majority of its defenses had to come from wraith constructs. So it remained until the coming of the Ynnari…
The Spear’s True Nature
War is no stranger to the galaxy of the 41st milennium, and Iyanden once again found itself beset by a terrible foe. The forces of Nurgle assailed the craftworld from a massive space hulk, and the situation was dire. Seeing his doom was nigh, the cursed Prince Yriel took the fight to the hulk itself, sacrificing himself in combat against a might demon prince before his body was ejected into space. The Ynarri prophetess, Yvraine, sensed the true nature of the spear as one of the Croneswords of Ynnead, and drove the spear into Yriel’s chest. The stolen life force surged back into the prince, and he was revived by Ynnead’s power. While it is only a matter of time before the spear takes back what was returned, Yriel is still here to dynamically lead his people in some of the galaxy’s darkest days to come.
I hope you guys enjoyed this week’s Tomes article. I now have an urge to paint up this model (I love the Samurai theme he has). What is your favorite Yriel moment on or off the tabletop? Let me know in the comments below!
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