Iyanden was once the most populated and largest of the Craftworlds, now is on the brink of extinction after an invasion by Hive Fleet Kraken.
Via our good friends at Lexicanum
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 Kraken. Iyanden barely repelled the attack, losing thousands upon thousands of Eldar warriors in the process. With so few remaining, Iyanden must now rely heavily on Wraith-constructs inhabited by the spirits of their dead, such as Wraithlords and Wraithguard, to form the backbone of its armies. Hence, the people of Iyanden are often referred to as the “Ghost Warriors”. Despite suffering such a significant loss, the Eldar of Iyanden are determined that their Craftworld will shine brightly once again. Following the Fall of the Eldar, those Eldar remaining on Iyanden immediately felt Slaanesh thirsting for their souls, and the Craftworld’s Seer Council immediately ordered the recovery of Waystones from Crone Worlds as well the construction of an Infinity Circuit, restricting the Dark Prince’s ability to claim their souls upon death.
With their small victory in hand, Iyanden began a loftier goal of rebuilding a new realm that would one day rule the Galaxy as the Eldar Empire had once done. However, many Craftworlds such as Alaitoc and Ulthwé took other missions and would spare no resources for this quest, but Biel-tan proved willing to join Iyanden and the two Craftworlds became inseparable allies for many years with the common goal of not only rebuilding Eldar civilization but also defeating Chaos. Together, Iyanden and Biel-Tan scored many victories against the forces of Chaos. The Farseers of Iyanden focused entirely on predicting the machinations of Chaos, blinding them to much else that occurred within the galaxy. In time, the Exodite Worlds of the Ybaric Cluster joined Iyanden’s cause, bringing with them many thousands of Dragon Knights. However, when it became clear that Biel-Tan fought not to defeat Chaos but to bring to heel all those who they deem as in the way of Eldar ascension, tensions between the two Craftworlds flared. While the alliance was never officially dissolved, joint operations between the two Craftworlds became rarer and rarer until one day communications ceased altogether. Iyanden lost yet another ally when the Ybaric Cluster Exodites became isolated by a Warp Storm, and attempts to investigate their fate by Iyanden resulted in none of the scouts returning.
Eventually it was not the forces of Chaos that threatened the Craftworlds the most, but that of the Tyranid Hive Fleet Naga. In 810.M41 to 812.M41, Iyanden helped to eliminate one of the two main tendrils of Hive Fleet Naga. As the Tyranids were besieging Iyanden’s old Exodite comrades in the Ybaric Cluster, Iyanden, Malan’tai, and Idharae struck to defend their allies and many Maiden Worlds. On the Exodite World of Halathel, defenders fiercely held their World Spirit shrine from a Tyranid siege. A fresh fleet from Iyanden commanded by Admiral Draech arrived to aid the Exodites and engaged the Hive Ships orbiting the planet.
Draech’s flagship, the Auspicious Illumination of Eternity was destroyed early in the battle. Command of the fleet was quickly seized by his second-in-command, a young Prince Yriel, who successfully led the Iyanden fleet to victory. However, on the planet the shrine was overrun. In less than an hour the Eldar defenders were massacred and the World Spirit destroyed. Yriel, overwhelmed by rage, gave the order to scour all life from Halathel. Despite their victory, eventually Malan’tai was destroyed by the abomination known as the Doom of Malan’tai.
Kelmon Firesight, leader of Iyanden’s Seer Council, had become concerned by the Tyranid menace and supported Prince Yriel during his campaign against Argan Kallorax. Kelmon never told anyone why he supported the rise of Yriel, simply that he foresaw the Prince would be pivotal to the Craftworld’s future. Iyanden heeded Yriel’s and Kelmon’s advice and deployed its full force against Argan Kallorax. However, in his desire to throw everything he had at his enemy, Yriel foolishly stripped Iyanden of all of its defense ships during the Battle of the Burning Moon, leaving the Craftworld virtually defenseless when a Chaos Cruiser of Kallorax’s defeated fleet launched 36 Cyclonic Torpedoes at Iyanden as a final act of defiance. Though Iyanden’s point defense lasers intercepted 35 of the Torpedoes, one still struck and killed tens of thousands of Eldar along with their Spirit Stones, dooming them to the torments of Slaanesh. In the aftermath of the disaster, an embattled Yriel left Iyanden.
In 992.M41, Iyanden suffered its greatest tragedy at the claws of Hive Fleet Kraken. In the end Iyanden was victorious, but only narrowly. After the conflict, Iyanden stood in ruins and four-fifths of its inhabitants were dead or dying. Later, a remnant of Kraken thought lost to a Warp Storm emerged once more and apparently attempted to fuse with Hive Fleet Leviathan, but it was defeated by the combined forces of Iyanden, Biel-tan, and Dark Eldar in the Battle of Duriel.