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Reavers (Dark Eldar)

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DE Reavers

Dark Eldar Reavers engaged in a death race in one of the toroid arenas of Commorragh

The Reavers of Commorragh are those Dark Eldar fascinated by bringing death to others at high speeds. They ride to war upon the most streamlined and pared-down of all Eldar skycraft -- the Eldar Jetbike, the perfect fusion of motion and lethal power. The Eldar experience sensations and emotions to a far greater degree than any other sentient race and their psyches are given over too easily to obsession. Reavers, having first gotten a taste for high-speed violence during raids into realspace, are those Dark Eldar consumed with achieving the maximum-impact kill. It is not enough for them to simply carry out acts of mayhem and murder or to soar through the air at overwhelming speeds. These savage sadists must accomplish both at once to have their vile obsession truly sated. When they accomplish a well-placed and mortal blow delivered at an obscene rate of speed, they feel that spike of pure joy that Reavers consider the ultimate thrill in life.

In the toroid racing arenas that girdle the highest spires of the Dark City, the Reavers duel amongst themselves for supremacy. These vain and mortally-competitive riders engage in death races each night, their Jetbikes screaming around each arena in a high-stakes battle that brings screams of ecstasy from the bloodthirsty crowd of spectators. No quarter is ever asked for or given in these races, for to come in last is literally a death sentence. Reavers will pull every trick they can on the back of a Jetbike to secure even a fraction of a second's advantage over their competitors. The arena champions endlessly modify their craft's vanes and blast-engines, install targeting holograms for their Jetbike's built-in weapons, pierce their craft's fairings so that the shriek of the air created by their passing is of a pitch that distinguishes them from their peers and wear flexible suits akin to "second skins" to eliminate air resistance.

Reavers, like many Dark Eldar warriors, use artificial narcotic stimulants to enhance their performance and capacity for sensation in the death races or in combat. They are cheats and liars like so many of their kin, and give respect only to those who can pull of an "elegant kill". It is considered improper to simply maim a fellow rider during the death races, while a well-executed decapitation while riding inverted can bring a smile even to the frozen face of the most jaded Kabal Archon. Because of this no-holds-barred approach, weapons are extensively employed during the death races in the most prestigious of the toroid arenas. The most infamous and celebrated Reavers employ underslung Grav-Talons to push their rivals into the artfully bladed contours of the arena's walls, or release clusters of proximity-sensing anti-gravitic caltrops that detonate in spectacular chain explosions behind them to the crowd's applause. Reavers are so attuned to their beloved Jetbike steeds that in combat on a realspace raid they will use them as if they were extensions of their own bodies. Though a Reaver Jetbike usually incorporates a Splinter Rifle, the craft itself is the rider's most favoured weapon. Reavers pilot their Jetbikes with such uncanny precision that they can take off a head or even slash open a throat with a single pass of their finely-sharpened keels. A favorite tactic is to dive down from the clouds, corkscrewing the craft so that the razored edges of its blade-vanes dismember those unfortunate enough to be caught in the pass or rip through them head-on.

Arena ChampionsEdit

The most skilled of Reavers are those who have consistently proven the victors in the nightly toroid arena death races of the Dark City. During Dark Eldar realspace raids which make use of Reaver squads, they are often led by an Arena Champion who possesses enhanced wargear and represents the pinnacle of the already preternatural Reaver skill with a Jetbike.

WargearEdit

  • Reaver Jetbike - Reaver Jetbikes are highly customised and extremely variable in their configurations, with the frontal canopy, rear canards and keel blades all often shaped into different, but equally lethal, forms. It is unknown if these differing formations actually aid a bike's combat performance and maneuverability or are simply aesthetic choices of the individual Reaver. The standard primary armament for a Reaver Jetbike is a Splinter Rifle mounted on the hull, which can be upgraded to a Shredder, Blaster or Heat Lance. Some Dark Eldar, particularly the more successful Reavers, add Cluster Caltrops and Grav-Talon which are intended to destroy pursuers in the air or on the ground and slam their opponents into the walls of a toroid arena or the surface of a planet. A Reaver Jetbike is equipped with Turbo Boosters that are always engaged by the rider before he attempts to use his craft's Bladevanes to slash apart opponents on the ground.
  • Wychsuit
  • Splinter Pistol
  • Artificial Combat Stimulants
  • Dark Eldar Close Combat Weapon (Reaver's choice)
  • Bladevanes - These hooked, razor-sharp blades jut from the sleek hulls of Reaver jetbikes. In battle the riders crouch low over their steeds before streaking through the midst of the enemy ranks, using their bladevanes to lop off heads and limbs with every pass.
  • Grav-talon - The grav-talon is an adaptation of the traditional Reaver jetbike bladevanes. As well as slicing its way through foes unlucky enough to feel its bite, a grav-talon can discharge a localised pressure wave. This smashes the enemy flat with a dull boom, forcing them to abase themselves and leaving them at the mercy of their predatory foes.
  • Cluster Caltrops - Some Reaver jetbikes are modified to mount micro-bomblet dispensers within their sleek hulls. These can be triggered as the jetbike passes through the midst of the foe, stitching them with vicious point-blank blasts. Some riders even learn to spin as they discharge their cluster caltrops, hurtling through the foe’s ranks amidst a whirlwind of razor shrapnel and lethal explosives.

SourcesEdit

  • Codex: Dark Eldar (7th Edition), pp. 15-16, 20, 43, 48, 52, 56-57, 60, 68, 90, 92, 98, 123, 179-180, 227-228
  • Codex: Dark Eldar (5th Edition), pp. 29, 91
  • Codex: Dark Eldar (3rd Edition)

GalleryEdit

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