Balora rose from her spirit-trance and floated softly from the Wave Serpent, towards the tiny knot of Eldar warriors gathered below.
The Seers of the other peoples wove delicate rune-lattices from wraithbone to bear the protective wards that they wore in battle. But the Ancient Mothers of Iybraesil knew that the most primal and eldritch of ways were ways of blood and sacrifice. Balora’s slim body had been marked by the handmaidens with runes of blood, wept from the living branches of the Tree of Woe that sulked in the heart of Iybraesil. These were her Runes of Witnessing and Warding, turning aside weapons and evil intent with equal efficacy. Her staff was wound with dark blossoms from the same tree. Her cruel witchblade lurked in it’s charm-shackled sheath on her back.
To one of the brute races the Farseer and the Autarch would have looked much the same – both slender, ethereal waifs, quick and terrifying. To Skaia’s eyes though the Ancient Mother was old, her movements almost imperceptibly slower and more syrupy than the young warrior’s own. She watched as Balora removed the pitted wraithbone ghosthelm that held the spirits of many Ancient Mothers of legend. Tangled snakes of white hair tumbled over the old Eldar’s shoulders, glued with divinatory blood at the tips. The Farseer turned her yellow eyes on Skaia, and the Autarch bowed her head, unwilling to look into the primeaval past within. Balora’s voice coalesced in her mind.
*Autarch. The Ancient Mothers have revealed to me the true name of this world. The oldest among us has been here . . . before. You will open your mind to the pathfinder Illia-Khai, and he will guide you. There will be death, and I will follow in it’s wake, to claim what is ours from the corrupted ones.*
Skaia dropped to one knee and bowed, smiling to herself. Her dagger hummed at her side, resonating with her own desire for war. Her ancient scorpion armour shivered on her skin, as though coming to life. It was only narrowly that Skaia had avoided the fate of the Exarch.
“Control yourself Autarch.” The Farseer admonished gently, using her own thin voice for emphasis. “Your Path is first to bring us to victory, not to bring the enemy to peace.”
*Yes, Ancient Mother.* Skaia silently returned. She would not forget her Path. The will of the Goddess would be done.
I wrote this little bit to get myself in the mood for painting the first of my Eldar. I’m really busy with everyday life at the moment (I’m trying to prepare a paper for my first academic conference in three weeks), and I’ve been spending a little more time than I’d like thinking and posting serious thoughts about the games industry, meta-gaming, etc. Really, the actual hobby is the thing, so it’s time to get refocussed on that.
I guess I’m an RPGamer at heart, so I like to start with a character or two to get the inspiration going. This story introduces the Farseer and Autarch of my Iybraesil Warhost.