An Avatar is the term normally applied to the physical form that the spirit of an Eldar God has managed to possess and animate. This term is most often applied to the physical body possessed by a fragment of the spirit of the Eldar God of War Kaela Mensha Khaine, though the term can actually apply to any divine entity of the Warp that has found some way to take on a corporeal form within realspace.
During the Fall of the Eldar, Khaine fought with the newborn Chaos God Slaanesh shortly after "She Who Thirsts" birth, following the destruction of the other Eldar Gods by the newly emergent Prince of Chaos. During the battle, Khaine's essence was shattered and scattered across the universe, ultimately coming to reside in the psychically-reactive Wraithbone hearts of the remaining Eldar Craftworlds. Wherever his essence landed, a wraith artefact was created, allowing future Eldar to be able to summon the spirit of Khaine back into the Materium to defend his race when a Craftworld faces a particularly dire crisis.
At the heart of every Craftworld sits the Avatar, its own incarnation of the Bloody-Handed God of the Eldar, Kaela Mensha Khaine. Aroused from his throne of smouldering iron, the Avatar leads the warriors of his Craftworld to battle. Huge and all-powerful, the Avatar is a god incarnate, the embodiment of the Eldar racial soul, and a deadly opponent even for the most mighty powers of Chaos.
Avatar of Khaine
It is said that after the birth of the Chaos God Slaanesh during the Fall of the Eldar in the 30th Millennium, she fought and killed the ancient Eldar Gods one-by-one in the Immaterium. But the God of Blood, Violence and Death, Khaela Mensha Khaine, was too strong to be destroyed forever. So Khaine's spirit fled the Warp and found refuge dispersed among the Infinity Circuits of the Eldar's Craftworlds. The fragments of his spirit can be summoned in times of great danger by the Eldar from the Infinity Circuit where it rests to inhabit a physical body that will fight on their behalf. These are the Avatars, a single fragment of a true Eldar God. The Eldar call forth the Avatar in times of dire need by sacrificing an Exarch to Kaela Mensha Khaine on the eve of battle. The Avatar becomes a fiery, animated manifestation of the God and leads the Eldar armies into battle.
- The Wailing Doom - Each Avatar of Khaine carries a mighty weapon, known in the Eldar Lexicon as the Suin Daellae, the Wailing Doom. This massive blade is many feet long, and shrieks as it tastes mortal flesh, wailing and crying and hurling murderous bolts of force as the Avatar strides to war and reaps a brutal tally at close quarters. Upon its surface, ancient runes writhes as they struggle to escape from their bondage as if tortured by the heat of the Avatar's grasp. The Wailing Doom is no mortal weapon, but the manifestation of a dark and sinister god -- a part of the Avatar imbued with his divine power.
Imperium of Man
While only the Eldar have actually made use of physical Avatars to date, the Thorian faction of the Inquisition searches for the Avatar of the Emperor of Mankind who they believe will actually be born somewhere in the galaxy at the time of the greatest need for the human race among the teeming billions of the Imperium of Man. There are numerous factions within the Adeptus Mechanicus, including the Khamrians, who pursue the forbidden science of artificial, or "abominable" intelligence. The Omnissiads of the Cult Mechanicus seek to summon the Machine God into an Avatar called the Omnissiah. In the early days of the Great Crusade, the Emperor of Mankind was recognised as the Omnissiah by the leaders of the Adeptus Mechanicus, prompting the Treaty of Mars and the alliance of the Cult Mechanicus with the nascent Imperium of Man, but the Omnissiads refuse to recognise the Emperor as this physical extension of the Machine God, and instead create their own.
- Codex: Eldar (6th Edition), pp. 7-8, 26
- Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pp. 6, 9, 11, 24-25
- Codex: Eldar (3rd Edition), pg. 8, 17
- Codex: Eldar (2nd Edition), pp. 4, 7, 15, 22, 33, 56, 72, 85
- Fulgrim (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- Aurelian (Novella) by Aaron Demski-Bowden
- Dawn of War (PC Game)
- Forge World - Eldar Avatar
- Forge World - Eldar Avatar with Spear