- "Let fire reign. Burn it. Burn it all. There is nothing here for us now."
Prince Yriel, High Admiral and Autarch of Iyanden, was a brilliant if reckless commander in Iyanden's fleet. He is not of pure Iyanden blood but is honoured as one of the greatest defenders and servants of Iyanden. He was originally exiled when he led a successful and pre-emptive attack on a Chaos fleet that left the Craftworld open to attack. He and his crew formed a Corsair fleet, the Eldritch Raiders, and became infamous throughout the galaxy in only a few decades, a testament to Yriel's skill.
He and his fleet saved Iyanden at its time of greatest need, at the height of the Tyranid invasion by the Hive Fleet Kraken in 992.M41. As the Craftworld was about to fall, Yriel and his Eldritch Raiders blew a sizeable hole in the Tyranid's fleet and reinforced Iyanden's forces within the Craftworld's corridors and on its surface. Yriel himself slew the leader of the hordes, a supposedly invincible creature, with the Spear of Twilight, a cursed artefact that contains the harnessed power of a supernova. Yriel was then restored to his position as an Autarch of Iyanden and the Craftworld's High Admiral, and is currently searching for a way to rid himself of the Spear, which is slowly killing him as he struggles to contain its raging energies.
Yriel first appeared in the Warhammer 40,000 universe as the "self-styled 'Lord Prince Yriel,'" where it is mentioned that Imperium-fostered rivalries between Yriel and other pirate bands resulted in factional fighting; his conquest and absorption of two of these rival groups (Xian's Black Raiders and the Scarlet Command) transformed him into the single most powerful Eldar pirate operating in the galaxy.
High Admiral of the Eldritch Raiders and bastard scion of the House of Ulthanash, Prince Yriel is a consummate Eldar commander. In his youth, despite his lack of years, he was chosen to walk the Path of Command; a level of trust that many speculated was unwarranted, especially in light of future events.
Yriel is a scion of the House of Ulthanash, one of the oldest and noblest lineages of the Eldar race. In Eldar mythology Ulthanash was friend to Eldanesh, the greatest hero of the mortal Eldar, and fought at his side in many perilous battles. Alas, Ulthanash came to quarrel with Eldanesh, and thus walked a path that brought much woe down upon the nascent Eldar race. Though the two heroes fought as brothers once more before the end, there has ever after been mistrust between those Eldar on Craftworlds who can trace their lineage back to the House of Ulthanash, and those that claim descent from the House of Eldanesh.
In 131.809.M41 Eldar fleets from the Craftworlds Malan'tai and Idharae had gathered to attack the leading elements of Hive Fleet Naga. The Naga responded by splintering its forces into two tendrils, the first continuing ahead to the Exodite world of Halathel, and the second turning back rimwards towards the Maiden World of Eth-aelas.
The Exodites of Halathel were unable to abandon their kin's souls contained in the planet's World Spirit and so began to fortify Halathel's World Spirit shrine while begging with nearby Craftworlds for assistance. The first tendril outstripped the crippled Malan'tai fleet to arrive at Halathel first, and in 801.809.M41 launched waves of Mycetic Spores onto the planet. The defenders withdraw to the World Spirit shrine to make a desperate last stand. Thousands of Termagants and Hormagaunts hurled themselves at the shrine's walls to deplete the enemy's ammunition stores, but the Exodites held out for three days and three nights until the Tyranids ceased their assault. When the Tyranids launched their second siege on the shrine, it dwarfed the first in numbers and fury. By dusk, Naga had broken through the outer defences and began pouring through the breaches. Exodite Lord Wei-yannil stood against the Hive Tyrant, leading the assault to buy time for the Eldar to withdraw. Both combatants were slain in the fight -- Wei-yannil slew the Hive Tyrant, but was then torn apart himself by the beast's rampaging Tyrant Guard. With the synapse creature's death, the Tyranid swarm lost cohesion and withdrew.
Above Halathel, a fresh fleet from Iyanden commanded by Admiral Draech 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 lead the Iyanden fleet to victory. On the planet, the World Spirit shrine was finally taken by the forces of the Great Devourer when dozens of Trygons emerged from burrowed tunnels beneath the shrine's walls. In less than an hour, the remaining Eldar defenders were massacred and the World Spirit was destroyed. Yriel, overwhelmed by rage, gave the order to scour all life from Halathel. The survivors of the Malan'tai fleet arrived to join in the cleansing.
The incident that shaped much of Yriel's life came when he led a bold attack against an encroaching Chaos warfleet. His victory over the scions of Chaos was complete and overwhelming, but it temporarily left Craftworld Iyanden all but unprotected. Instead of accolades, Yriel earned bitter censure from those who had remained behind. Driven by pride, he chose to become an Outcast, vowing never to set foot on Iyanden again. When he left, his followers -- the Eldritch Raiders -- all left with him. Under Yriel's leadership, they were to become te galaxy's most feared fleet of Eldar Corsairs.
In 919.M41 Yriel and Iyanden warriors made planetfall on the backwater planet of Yurk and eliminated its Ork Warboss, who was mustering Ork forces on the planet, along with all of the Warboss's ruling caste of Nobz. Yriel then withdrew without having lost a single Eldar life.
It is likely that Yriel would have never returned to the home that spurned him had Iyanden not faced annihilation in the face of the assault of Hive Fleet Kraken in 992.M41. As the claws of the Kraken dug deep into Iyanden's defences, the flame of Iyanden's defiance was all but snuffed out until the corsair prince led his Raiders in a glorious return. In a daring series of strikes, Yriel won a titanic space battle that crushed the tendril of the Tyranid fleet assaulting the Craftworld, before leading his warriors onto Iyanden's surface. There, Yriel drew the ill-fated Spear of Twilight from the Shrine of Ulthanash, a weapon so potent it curses the soul of any who near it. With this weapon of legend, he slew the Tyranid leader-beast, another Hive Tyrant of unusual size and strength, and in so doing vanquished the horde of the Great Devourer.
Before his successes as the commander of the Eldar fleet that successfully assaulted and destroyed Hive Fleet Naga in 812.M41 following its destruction of all life on the Exodite world of Halathel, Yriel had always been something of an outcast on Iyanden, isolated from the broader community for his status as a half-blood. The prince's mother, an Eldanar of the blood of Eldanesh, might have hailed from the noblest of lineages on Iyanden, but his father was a different matter. Though few speak on the matter in Yriel's presence, rumours abound that the prince's sire was an outcast from another Craftworld, a title-less walker whose feet and soul followed the Path of Exile. Such would likely mean that he carried the blood of both Eldanesh and Ulthanash, which would well account for his monstrous pride. However, there are a few who whisper that Yriel's father was not an outcast from a Craftworld at all, but rather that he hailed from a darker realm by far -- Commorragh, the Dark City of the Dark Eldar within the Webway. Those same whispers suggest that it is Yriel's loathing for this half of his nature that drives him to continually strive for fresh challenges. Even though Yriel proved himself in the campaign against Hive Fleet Naga, it would take many years, and much spilt blood, before Iyanden truly accepted him as one of its own in the wake of the defeat of Hive Fleet Kraken.
Yriel was later restored to Admiralship of Iyanden's fleet in the wake of his successful defence of the Craftworld. However, in saving his people, Yriel had doomed himself, for the Spear of Twilgiht is no mortal weapon, and cannot be abandoned save by the bearer's death. Though he holds the office of Autarch of Iyanden to this day, Yriel still plies the stars, seeking a way to restore his Craftworld to its former glory before it finally fades into myth. Whilst he lacks the modesty and temperance of the majority of his peers upon the Path of Command, he is the best and brightest of all Iyanden's leaders. Though he has only years left to him, if that, because of the Spear of Twilight's curse upon his soul, he intends to live them to the full in the defence of his Craftworld.
Following the Battle of Duriel in 778.999.M41 in which the forces of Iyanden defeated the remnants of Hive Fleet Kraken, Yuriel felt that his time had come and his continuing struggle with the Spear of Twilight had sapped the last of his strength. As he intended to return the weapon to Iyanden's Shrine of Ulthanesh and be consumed by its energies once he rid himself of the artefact, he was stopped by the mysterious Shadowseer Sylandri Veilwalker who he had not seen since first taking the relic. The Shadowseer told the prince that his time as Iyanden's greatest protector was not yet over and showed him violent visions of what might yet become the future: Daemons loose amongst the stars and the ancient Eldar Gods reborn in glory to lead their race to a new age. Yriel felt his soul grow strong again in the face of the hope presented by these visions, and he decided to take back up the Spear of Twilight and continue his struggle with its curse to lead his people through the future trials that awaited them.
- Eye of Wrath - A monocular device worn over Yriel's left eye that can unleash a tempest of lightning upon those under his gaze.
- Heavy Aspect Armour - Incorporating thick armoured plates but retaining much of the vaunted Eldar flexibility, Heavy Aspect Armour is amongst the finest forms of personal protection in the galaxy.
- Forceshield - A Forceshield is a wrist-mounted device that contains a powerful gravitic projector that can deflect almost any ranged or melee attack. The force field projector's small size sets it apart from the more clunky and restrictive armour used by other races.
- Plasma Grenades - Eldar Plasma Grenades use a small amount of exploding plasma that is deliberately released from an electromagentic containment field held within the grenade's core to blind the enemy and prevent them from properly using their terrain to defend their position against advancing enemy forces.
- Spear of Twilight - Eternally bound to this Cursed Blade of the House of Ulthanesh, this weapon is said to contain the baleful energies of a dying sun. Yriel constantly battles with the sentient energies of the Spear of Twilight to prevent them from consuming him, his Forceshield allaying the worst of the weapon's effects. However, the day will come when he no longer possesses the willpower to master the Spear, and on that day he will be consumed by the weapon's raging internal fires.
- Battlefleet Gothic Resources, "Doom of the Eldar", pp. 6-8
- Battlefleet Gothic Resources, "Yriel's Raiders" by Matt Keefe
- Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pp. 29, 52-53
- Codex: Eldar (6th Edition), pp. 54, 65-66
- Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition), pp. 16-17, 24-25
- Warhammer 40,000: Chapter Approved - The Book of the Astronomican, pg. 43
- Iyanden: A Codex Eldar Supplement (6th Edition), pp. 13-16, 18, 20-23, 25, 31-32, 34-35, 37, 39-40, 42-44, 48, 55, 99
- Warhammer 40,000: Planetstrike (5th Edition), pg. 56
- Rogue Trader: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 126
- Games Workshop Online Catalogue - Iyanden: A Codex Eldar Supplement