The Fire Dragons are Eldar Aspect Warriors who seek to embody the writhing, sinewy dragons of Eldar Mythology. No Eldar Aspect Warriors revel more in destruction than those who serve the Shrine of the Fire Dragons. Taking as their totem the fierce, fire-breathing creatures of Eldar legend, they epitomise the brutal, wanton destruction of war. When called to arms their goal is the total annihilation of their foes, to the exclusion of all else. Fire Dragons are aggressive and warlike close combat fighters who utilise heat-based weaponry to destroy enemy armoured vehicles and drive the foe from his fortified strongpoints. They have an unsurpassed mastery of their chosen and highly dangerous weapons, and take savage delight in the devastation they create. For this reason, the Eldar believe that the Fire Dragons are the embodiment of the Eldar War God Kaela Mensha Khaine's penchant for pure destruction. It is said that Fire Dragon Exarchs generate a corona of lambent flame around themselves when the battle lust is upon them.
The Fire Dragons Warrior Aspect can trace their origins to Fuegan, the Burning Lance, the Phoenix Lord of their Aspect. Following the Fall of the Eldar, Asurmen, first of the Phoenix Lords, was the Eldar who led the Craftworlds away from the ancient Eldar homeworlds at the time of the Fall and it was he who founded the first of the Aspect Shrines upon the barren world of Asur, where the Eldar setled for a short time. Fuegan was one of the first students of Asurmen to study at the feet of the master at the Shrine of Asur, eventually losing himself upon the Path of the Warrior as an Exarch and then pursuing his own chosen combat specialties. Fuegan eventually went on and founded the Fire Dragon Aspect, schooling those Eldar warriors who chose to follow him in the art of war with flame and a merciless appreciation for destruction, modelling his Aspect upon the dragons of Eldar myth.
When the Fallen Phoenix Arhra betrayed his fellows and attacked the Shrine of Asur, Fuegan refused to leave and was thought lost when the shrine was destroyed until he reappeared many Terran centuries later. Eldar tradition has it that it is Fuegan who will call together the Phoenix Lords for the Rhana Dandra, the Final Battle of Eldar myth, and be the last of their number to fall in this epic confrontation.
Fire Dragons take an unbridled, savage delight in the destruction they cause, and nothing short of the complete annihilation of the enemy will satisfy these embodiments of war's capacity for wanton destruction. Fire Dragons specialise in assaulting enemy war machines and fixed fortifications, as well as rooting out heavily-armoured infantry and weapon emplacements. In this role each Fire Dragon wields a potent Fusion Gun, capable of reducing an enemy to a cloud of superheated vapour in a second, or a battle tank into a pile of molten slag. Against targets too formidable to be damaged by even these fearsome weapons, the Fire Dragons carry Melta Bombs, disc-shaped fusion-based explosives which can be attached to any surface and detonated on command. However, the short range of their fusion-based weaponry limits the Fire Dragons' effectiveness, especially when speed and tactical flexibility are needed. It is also the reason Fire Dragon Aspect Armour is thicker compared to that of many of the other Aspects, including many spiny protrusions which make it stiffer and more resilient, so that the wearer can properly close with the enemy and deliver death and destruction upon him. Fire Dragon Aspect Armour is painted in fiery colours, such as red or orange.
While these warriors excel as demolition experts, they may also be called in should a transaction or negotiation turn bitter; few protective armours, including the mighty Tactical Dreadnought Armour of the Adeptus Astartes, can withstand the concerted attention of the Fire Dragons. Rumours abound of Rogue Traders who run afoul of Eldar dignitaries finding themselves stranded after the sudden and brilliant destruction of their transportation. In one notable incident, a Rogue Trader in the Calixis Sector found out first hand how treacherous the Eldar can be when he arranged a meeting with a particularly elusive Autarch on the desiccated ruins of the world of Jerazol. The Rogue Trader left his Aquila Lander in a sheltered vale for the meeting, only to have his negotiating position severely weakened with its fiery destruction moments later.
A squad of Fire Dragons can number between five to ten Aspect Warriors, typically including an Exarch who will command the squad, and may be delivered into battle within the protective hold of a Wave Serpent transport.
Notable Fire Dragons ShrinesEdit
- The Blazing Fang Shrine - The Blazing Fang pierce enemy armour with focussed blasts from their fusion guns. Should a vehicle survive the initial assault, the warriors deliver a payload of melta bombs into its glowing wound, finishing the job in a huge explosion that sends gobbets of molten metal in all directions.
- The Burning Wing Shrine - The Aspect Warriors of the Burning Wing rarely enter battle without Wave Serpent support, enabling them to visit swift destruction upon foes anywhere on the battlefield.
- The Red Wyrm Shrine - Exarchs of the Red Wyrm make heavy use of flamers to reduce masses of the foe to glowing embers.
Fire Dragons ExarchsEdit
Every Aspect Shrine of the Eldar is led by an Exarch, an Eldar who has been called permanently to the Path of the Warrior. An Exarch has travelled so far down that Path that he or she can no longer leave it and so dedicates him or herself fully as a high priest of Khaine in service to the Aspect of the War God that he or she represents. Exarchs wear more elaborate and ornate versions of Aspect Armour which incorporates the spirits of their past wearers, granting an Exarch not only wisdom and knowledge stretching across the millennia but a raw pool of potent psychic energy that can be used in combat.
This permanent acceptance of the Eldar's "war mask" provides Exarchs with enhanced skill and dedication to their craft and entitles them to access their Shrine's oldest and most advanced wargear. As befitting their Shrine's tactical focus, the Fire Dragons' Exarchs are masters of destroying enemy strongholds, well-armoured troops or emplaced weapons. Exarchs often have versed their squad in the art of stalking armoured vehicles and being able to spot weak points in their armour with uncanny speed. Fire Dragons Exarchs are crack shots and can pinpoint targets with unerring accuracy, even if the foe is protected by cover. Fire Dragon Exarchs use a more elaborate weapon that the standard Fusion Gun known as a Firepike. This is a sophisticated Melta Weapon, with a distinctive long barrel that can project its deadly fusion-based melta beam a considerable distance. They are also known to utilise a master crafted Flamer weapon known as the Dragon's Breath Flamer, which can unleash a raging inferno upon a nearby foe.
The Phoenix Lord of the Fire Dragons is Fuegan, "The Burning Lance." Fuegan learned the arts of war in the Shrine of Asur, under the eyes of the first Phoenix Lord Asurmen in that distant time millennia ago when the Warrior Aspects were first born. Fuegan founded the first Aspect Shrine of the Fire Dragons, and schooled the first Aspect Warriors of the shrine in the art of war with flame and savagery. He was thought lost when the Shrine of Asur was destroyed by Arhra, the Fallen Phoenix. Fuegan disappeared for many centuries, before reappearing during the final battle at Haranshemash, "The World of Blood and Tears" in the Eldar Lexicon, to fight alongside his fellows. After that conflict Fuegan vanished into the Webway, and has travelled its most secret passageways ever since, tracking down the enemies of his ancient forebears.
Fire Dragons WargearEdit
- Aspect Armour - Like other Eldar Aspects, Fire Dragons wear lightweight synthetic bodysuits, reinforced with plates of psycho-sensitive bioplastics that will instantly harden to resist impacts. As well as providing protection, those plates can alter their shape in accordance with the wearer's movements, meaning the armour does not encumber the wearer in the slightest, affording good protection as well as excellent mobility. Fire Dragon Aspect Armour is thicker than that of a Dire Avenger or most other Aspect Warriors, and has many spiny protrusions which help to make it stiffer and more resilient. This is important because the Fire Dragons' weapons have a relatively short range, so they must close with their enemies in order to deliver a murderous blast of heat from their fusion-based weaponry. The reinforced breastplate of the Aspect Warrior's armour bears his Spirit Stone, a precious item for all Eldar. This psycho-receptive gem is attuned to the individual so that at the moment of death, when the Eldar's spirit is released, it is captured instead within the stone. Otherwise it is believed by the Eldar that the spirit would be released into the Warp, where the Chaos God Slaanesh, "She Who Thirsts," awaits to consume it. Contrary to popular belief, the small domes and blisters on Fire Dragon Aspect Armour are not extra gems, but small compartments that contain the suit's technical systems. A tabard is a common addition to the Fire Dragon's Aspect Armour. Its runic inscriptions name the Aspect Shrine for which the Aspect Warrior is fighting and identifies the shrine's allegiance to its particular Craftworld. Regardless of a shrine allegiance to a particular Craftworld, all Fire Dragons wear distinctive scaled and spined armour which always reflects the colour of flame. Different combinations of red, orange and yellow mark the armour of the different Aspect Shrines of Fire Dragons.
- Aspect Helmet - Each warrior Aspect has its own distinctive helmet, and within each shrine of the Aspect the helmet may vary in form slightly, with correspondingly more elaborate versions for the shrine's Exarchs. A standard Fire Dragon Aspect Warrior's helmet is distinctively tall with a long top crest. By custom, it is this helmet that marks the Aspect Warriors as the protectors and avengers of their Craftworld. It bears the rune of the Fire Dragons traced upon its forehead.
- Fusion Gun - The Fire Dragons possess an unsurpassed mastery of heat-based weapons, and take savage delight in the devastation they create. They utilise a deadly Melta Weapon known as a Fusion Gun, a weapon that is unique to the Fire Dragons amongst the Eldar. Though it can only be used at short range, it possesses a sophisticated targeting system, as befits high status troops like Aspect Warriors. Like most Eldar technology, the weapon is psychically activated, its resonant Wraithbone construction being sensitive to the Eldar's innately psychic mind. A Fire Dragons' Fusion Gun is linked to its targeter via its handle.
- Firepike - A Firepike is a variant of the Fusion Gun used only by Fire Dragon Exarchs. These potent weapons pre-date the existence of the Imperium of Man, having been created by Eldar artisans long millennia ago. Operating similarly to most Melta Weapons, Firepikes project a lance of intense heat and radiation over a considerable distance that is capable of melting flesh and steel and carving through the toughest armour with deadly precision. Rare even amongst the arsenals of the Eldar, they are most often borne by the mightiest champions of their kind, relic weapons beyond contemporary means to reproduce even for the Eldar Craftworlds.
- Dragon's Breath Flamer - The Dragon's Breath Flamer can unleash a ranging inferno upon a nearby foe. They are similar to the Heavy Flamers employed by the military forces of the Imperium of Man.
- Melta Bombs - Fire Dragons are also known to carry additional equipment such as Melta Bombs. These discus-shaped fusion-based explosive devices are attached to any surface and detonated by verbal command. This weapon is used when assaulting an armoured target to ensure its destruction.
- Codex: Eldar (6th Edition), pg. 34
- Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pp. 32, 57, 62
- Codex: Eldar (3rd Edition), pp. 10, 20
- Codex: Eldar (2nd Edition), pp. 9, 23, 37, 40, 74
- Rogue Trader: Hostile Acquisitions (RPG), pg. 52
- Rogue Trader: The Koronus Bestiary (RPG), pg. 50
- The Art of Clint Langley, pp. 68, 71
- Warhammer Rulebook (5th Edition), pg. 157
- White Dwarf 173 (US), "Eldar Pheonix Lords", pp. 6-9
- White Dwarf 127 (US), "Eldar" by Rick Priestley, Jes Goodwin, William King & Lindsey D. Le Doux Paton, pp. 13-52
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