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The Mourning Blades: A Secret Report


Ioldanach
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CLASSIFICATION: DARK GAMMA

DATE: 78.M42

AUTHOR: gallery_44777_16092_1237.gif

SUBJECT: Report on recent eldar activity in Segmentum Tempestus

RECIPIENT: Inquisitor Rohzan, Ordo Xenos

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Subsequent to the Fall of Cadia, a new eldar group was encountered operating in the Segmentum Tempestus. This group of eldar was first thought to be from one of the so-called eldar 'craftworlds' due to the composition of their fleet and certain stylistic elements of individuals' armor and weapons. Indeed, due to several incidents there is speculation that this group may have some relationship with the eldar craftworld codified as ‘Biel-Tan’ by the Ordo Xenos. After further encounters and analysis of data, although the group appears to operate with a high level of military discipline, this eldar group is best classified with other similar groups that are called ‘pirates’ or ‘corsairs.’

Pictured at right is an individual in the typical colors of the group – silver armor with green embellishments, usually the arms and helm. Typical of the eldar corsairs, there are wide variations in modes of dress so that it is difficult to codify unit types. While reports haven’t identified individuals wearing the colors commonly associated with the specialist warriors commonly found in craftworld armies, multiple individuals have been sighted wearing armor in some of the styles of those specialists.

The first recorded instance of an encounter with this group was by Count Khoji of House Orpheus in 12.M42. The rogue trader’s fleet was continuing exploration of the sector named for his famous ancestor when it came under attack by xenos forces identified as Necrons. The eldar fleet appeared suddenly, destroying or disabling several of the Necron vessels and allowing the rogue trader fleet to escape. Before departing, the eldar vessels contacted the rogue trader, identifying the leader (in the exaggerated style common to the corsairs) as ‘The Most Puissant Aecallion of the High House of Soluire, Lion Son and Lord Protector of the Shrine of the Viridian Claw, Knight of the Burning Wing, Hierarch Admiral of the Blades that Mourn the Broken Tempest.’ The being that Count Khoji presumed was Aecallion sat impassively upon his command throne, all communications being conducted by an unidentified underling. The xenos informed the rogue trader that the area to which the rogue trader’s fleet had been headed was under the protection of the eldar and that no intrusion by lesser species would be allowed. With much of his fleet, including his flagship, suffering extensive damage in the encounter with the Necrons, Count Khoji gave the impression of acquiescing, returning to the forge world of Myre for repairs. It was during the period in which his fleet was under repair that Count Khoji submitted the report of his encounter with the eldar fleet. Upon completion of fleet repairs and refitting for the threats he expected to face, including expansion of his fleet with a force seconded from the Adeptus Mechanicus, Count Khoji set out to renew his exploration. No further communication has been made with the rogue trader’s fleet.

Another verified encounter with the group occurred in 43.M42 in the Forsarr Sector. As you were present at that encounter in the company of your predecessor, I will omit further commentary and defer to your recollection except to state that it was from the reports of this encounter that I have cataloged this fleet by a shortened form of its given name: "Mourning Blades."

The most expansive of encounters with the eldar fleet occurred upon the nascent Imperial colony of Nayatera IV in 65.M42. The colonist fleet was able to establish a landing and settlement site and had just initiated delivery of supplies from orbit when they were attacked on two fronts. The colonist fleet itself was engaged by eldar craft that arrived seemingly out of nowhere. Shortly thereafter, though no xenos ships were seen to deliver forces to the planet, the settlement was attacked by eldar. Among the eldar forces were troops that have been identified as belonging to Biel-Tan craftworld. In addition, the silver-armored troops of the Mourning Blades as well as eldar fighting from the backs of reptilian mounts were observed. The colonists put up a valiant fight and were able to transmit pict captures from the fighting to their orbiting fleet, but they were quickly overrun and wiped out. The colonist fleet, too, was destroyed in its entirety, though not until after the limited report of its demise was sent via astropathic relay.

The being known as Aecallion is theorized to be the same as that which led the Biel-Tan fleet in the battle that has come to be known as the Thymiere Incident. The Mourning Blades fleet, too, has a clear relationship with Biel-Tan craftworld, though whether they are a subordinate or allied element is unknown. Despite the relationship between the two, the Mourning Blades operate in a manner representative of the eldar corsairs. Indeed, it is thought that the Mourning Blades have assimilated some smaller corsair bands into its ranks during the short period that it is known to have existed.

Below are some graphics depicting Mourning Blades individuals that have been observed in verified encounters with the fleet. At the far left is what is thought to be a common trooper. The two in the middle appear to have been small unit leaders. The individual on the right appears to have been in overall control of the ground forces that attacked the conveyor fleet transporting the Rigel XXVIIIth to the muster site for the Indomitus Crusade.

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I remain your obedient servant,

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When you said that you were working on the background for your Eldar Corsairs and that it would appear in the Liber Xenos sub-forum (link :wink:), I inferred a full-blown Index Xenos article. Is this just a teaser of things to come (regarding background)?

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I decided that I was going to limit the information presented to the incomplete picture that the Imperium would derive from encounters and sightings. The article above is kind of a first draft. I've already seen some things that I need to fix, and a related side project is driving at least one other change. I'll probably expand the article with brief descriptions of battles, and those will be based on batreps. For that to happen, I'll need to get an army painted up first, and that will start with a kill team. Those batreps will be limited, though, to battles against IMPERIUM armies. Battles against other armies will only add to the article if I can work in an angle for a human viewpoint, and they are likely to be much more limited.

 

This article will eventually link to a WIP discussion for minis (whenever I get started on them - the current WIP is more of a planning topic) and to the batreps.

 

What I will probably do is write an Index Xenos on the anhrathe and include these guys as one of the corsair fleets that is described/shown in some way. That article will be much more extensive (and will probably link back to this article).

 

So what you see above will be refined somewhat over the next few days, but is basically all of the information that the Imperium will know about these guys. I have a detailed picture of their background and other information, but I don't think that anything will be revealed in an omniscient voice.

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