The most martial and aggressive of the Eldar Craftworlds, Biel-tan constantly strives to return the ancient Eldar Empire to its former glory. Consumed with bitterness, they wage an endless campaign of xenocide against those foolish enough to cross their path. The world-rune used by Biel-Tan is the Eldar rune of rebirth (The Reborn) and its name actually means the "Rebirth of Ancient Days." This symbol stands for the principle of reincarnation, a fate thought to have been reserved for every Eldar before the Fall. For the Biel-Tan, winter has fallen on the Eldar, but they are convinced that spring will soon return. The Biel-tan Craftworld is currently located on the Southern Rim of the Milky Way Galaxy in Segmentum Tempestus.
Each Craftworld carries the seeds of Eldar culture. Not all are identical by any means, as each reflects the cultural heritage of its long dead Eldar world of origin. Biel-tan is renowned for the strong warrior ideals of its people. For the Eldar of Biel-tan, the Way of the Warrior, the life-stage that encompasses the Aspect Warriors of the Eldar, is considered the first step upon the Path of the Eldar. Upon reaching physical maturity a Biel-tan Eldar becomes an Aspect Warrior and only once he has fulfilled this role can he continue along the Path. As a result of this cultural predilection, the Biel-tan Craftworld is famous for the militant and aggressive warrior ways of its Eldar population, and for the large number of Aspect Warriors it maintains, who often incorporate the traditional green and white colours of the Craftworld into their armour as well as the colours of their Aspect.The Eldar of Biel-Tan have a strong martial honour code and believe that the best way to die is in battle fighting the enemies of Biel-Tan.
The Eldar of Biel-tan are honourable warriors who have taken it upon themselves to rebuild the lost glory of the ancient Eldar Empire, through the destruction of the lesser races like Mankind and the Orks who have "usurped" the galaxy, and they believe it is glorious to die fighting the enemies of the Craftworld and the Eldar people. At the centre of Biel-tan is the Chamber of Heroes where the Spirit Stones of dead Aspect Warriors are placed. Farseers often come to this chamber to consult the dead of the Craftworld on their proposed courses of action. The dead of particular battles that the warriors of Biel-tan participated in are arranged together and are often referred to by the name of the battle in which they fell -- for example, the Dead of Corrus fell fighting the Forces of Chaos on the ancient Eldar colony world of the same name.
As the Eldar of Biel-Tan see it, when the time comes for the Eldar to reclaim what is rightfully theirs, the paradise Maiden Worlds and the planets of the Exodites will be the first staging points for their conquest. Due to this, the Biel-Tan Eldar see any colonisation by other races of these worlds as a threat to the future growth of the reborn Eldar Empire. The incautious Explorators of the Imperium have often made planetfall on an Exodite world, only for their successors to find nothing but corpses that have been hacked to pieces and subsequently picked clean by indigenous scavengers.
- "We bring only death, and leave only carrion. It is a message even a Human can understand."
- — Reqhiel of the Sons of Fuegan
When the Eldar of Biel-Tan go to war they assemble a warhost known as the Bahzhakhain which means "Swordwind" -- also "Tempest of Blades" or "Frozen Leaves Falling to Cut" in the Eldar Lexicon, depending upon one's inflection. The Swordwind's tactic is a single, swift strike that takes the enemy by surprise. This tactic works considerably well with the elite fighting skills of the many Biel-Tan Aspect Warriors, who eliminated the enemy's main body of resistance before they can respond. The Biel-Tan therefore make expert use of the speed and manoeuvreability of their Craftworld's complement of Wave Serpents and Falcon Grav Tanks. The Swordwind Court's battle colours are green and white, often with flowing vines painted on Biel-Tan vehicles. Each thorn of these vines represents the death of a hated enemy at the hands of the vehicle's pilot.
The main target of Biel-Tan aggression are non-Eldar colonists -- particularly non-Eldar occupying the Maiden Worlds. Maiden Worlds are the lush paradise planets originally terraformed into existence by the Eldar before the Fall of their race. The creation involved seeding barren, dead planets with life, gradually leading to their transformation into lush, life-supporting worlds perfect for the settlement of Eldar colonies. This terraforming of worlds was part of a program of colonisation which was intended to take many thousands of Terran years to reach fruition, and the result would only be seen by later generations of Eldar. It is especially galling to the Eldar who created these paradise worlds that they are often overrun by the settlements of the "lesser" starfaring species of the galaxy. The Eldar of Biel-Tan believe the success of other alien races like Mankind is a threat to the future progression of the Eldar Empire reborn. For this reason, the Biel-Tan particularly hate the Orks, as the Greenskins are completely dedicated to expansionism and their occupation of a world quickly becomes permanent. In many cases the warriors of Biel-Tan have assisted Imperial forces that were under heavy attack by Orks and to hunt down Ork Roks before the tide of Greenskins can overrun a planet.
The Swordwind possesses a vehicle that is unique to the Eldar of Biel-Tan. It is a super-heavy gravity tank called a Void Spinner which is armed solely with a huge monofilament cannon which works just like any other Eldar monofilament weapon except that it incorporates a techno-virus that sterilises the ground that it touches. This makes it extremely useful against the Orks due to the Orkoid physiology's spore-based method of reproduction, preventing further reinfestation of a world by Greenskins.
Court of the Young King
As well as its Seers, Biel-Tan is also governed by a military council known as the Court of the Young King. The Court's number is made up of Exarchs who have banded together to create this formidable military force. The Exarch designated the "Young King" is ritually sacrificed on all Eldar Craftworlds to awaken the raging spirit of the Avatars of Khaine but on Biel-Tan, a Young King who survives the year in office will join the Court rather than return to tend their Aspect Shrine. The Exarchs of the Court are deeply hostile to all outsiders, as one might expect, and it is their influence which has produced the unusually aggressive and xnophobic culture of the Biel-Tan Craftworld. The duties of this elite cadre include awakening the Avatar at the Craftworld's core when mustering for war. Led by the embodiment of Khaine, the Aspect Warriors of Biel-Tan fight as if possessed, their barely harnessed rage driving them to acts of bloody slaughter.
The name of the Biel-Tan Craftworld is a variation of the ancient Celtic holiday of Beltane (also known as Bealtaine or in modern times, May Day). Much Eldar lore has been drawn from Celtic mythology.
- Codex: Eldar (6th Edition), pp. 14, 75, 82-86
- Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pp. 12, 15-16
- Codex: Craftworld Eldar (3rd Edition, Revised Codex), pp. 3, 9, 14, 20-21
- Codex: Eldar (3rd Edition), pp. 18, 20, 24, 28
- Codex: Eldar (2nd Edition), pp. 21, 34