The Shining Spears are one of the rarest and most specialised of the Eldar Aspect Warriors. The Shining Spears possess a bright and clear virtue that marks each one out as a warrior hero and a champion of the Eldar race. Eldar mythology is replete with examples of noble heroes at one with their steed and in the Shining Spears, the glories of legend are made manifest once more. In battle, they fight as the Spear of Kaela Mensha Khaine, the invincible weapon of the Eldar God of War that struck like lightning and killed any foe with a single blow. Shining Spears can be distinguished from all of the other Eldar Warrior Aspects for they are the only Aspect Warriors to make use of anti-gravity Jetbikes. The identity of the Shining Spears Aspect's Phoenix Lord Drastanta is not known to Imperial scholars.
The Shining Spears Aspect also have only a tiny presence on a few Craftworlds, including the major ones such as Ulthwé, but are regarded as an elite force, glittering exemplars of the warrior way. Shining Spear squads are relatively small, just three to five warriors, a number which sometimes includes an Exarch to lead them. Yet even a small unit of Shining Spears can turn the tide of a protracted battle, for their legendary charges hit home with the force of a thunderbolt. Few enemies can withstand such a devastating charge.
Shining Spears ride sleek, gleaming Eldar Jetbikes to war, their vehicles' anti-gravitic motors allowing them to skim over even the roughest terrain at a breakneck pace. Each Aspect Warrior is so in tune with their Jetbike that they can execute complex, high-speed aerial manoeuvers with a single gesture. Even a small unit of Shining Spears can turn the tide of a protracted combat, for their legendary charges hit home with the force of a thunderbolt. Apart from the twin-linked Shuriken Catapults incorporated into their Jetbikes, the ritual armament of the Shining Spears Aspect Warrior is the Laser Lance. This elegant weapon can deliver intense short ranged energy blasts, and is usually used just as the Shining Spears deliver their charge. These Aspect Warriors specialise in delivering hit-and-run attacks, careening past the foe and returning for another attack in much the same way as the dueling Dragon Knights of the Exodites.
Notable Shining Spears ShrinesEdit
- The Blooded Blade Shrine - The Blooded Lance frequently ride to the defence of Maiden Worlds under threat of invasion by the lesser races. Just as their Exodite wards slay the great beasts of their homelands, so too do these Aspect Warriors lay low the mightiest of foes.
- The Riders of Khaine Shrine - Where the Riders of Khaine race into battle, the Eldar are swept up in visions of past glories, joining the fight with renewed vigour. These Aspect Warriors know well that a single devastating charge can both break the foe and bring hope to their allies.
- The Swift Kill Shrine - The Shrine of the Swift Kill are known for their daring charges, and they wear dark azure helms harkening to the tale of their lost Phoenix Lord Drastanta, Tempest of Starlight, and his prized helm, the Crown of the Seventh Sky.
Shining Spears 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 focus, the Shining Spears' Exarchs are masters of the lightning attack, able to execute the most complex high-speed aerial manoeuvres. Instead of the usual ritual armament, they utilise a more potent version of the Laser Lance known as a Star Lance, an extremely powerful Laser Lance, or even an Eldar Power Weapon if the Exarch prefers close aerial combat. The Exarch's secret knowledge and supernatural abilities also allow Exarchs to enhance the abilities of the Shining Spears squads they lead. The Jetbikes ridden by Exarchs swap out their Shuriken Catapults for a more potent Shuriken Cannon.
Under the guidance of their Exarch, a Shining Spears squad can deliver devastating hit-and-run attacks, careening past their foe and returning for another attack in much the same way as the duelling Dragon Knights of the Exodite worlds. Exarchs are such skilled riders that they can lead their squads unerringly around battlefield obstacles such as tree trunks and branches, and down through twisting gorges and through rubble-strewn corridors. In combat, they watch the tides of battle closely for the best moment to withdraw from a fight, so that the squad is ready to attack again later.
The Phoenix Lord of the Shining Spears is Drastanta, the "Tempest of Starlight." In the time before the Fall of the Eldar, he was one of the first warriors of his race chosen to serve at the side of the first Phoenix Lord, Asurmen, becoming an Exarch, those Eldar who can never leave the Path of the Warrior for they can never take off the war mask of Khaine. Drastanta was ever over-proud and much given to needless lone battles. During the Fall, which heralded the birth of the Chaos God Slaanesh, the Eldar world of Asur was destroyed and Asurmen's first incarnation ended in battle against the Chaotic legions of Slaanesh. Drastanta came late to Asurmen's final stand and found his mentor already fallen before the foul might of the Keeper of Secrets N'Kari. Keening with rage and sorrow, Drastanta slew the Greater Daemon, the energies of his legendary crystal lance, known as the Celestial Lance, shattering the creature's vile spirit. Drastanta emerged from the fires of Asur where his mentor had not, but he soon vanished into the tumult of the war-torn galaxy. Before he vanished, he founded the Shining Spears Aspect Shrine. In the centuries since his final recorded battle, the Phoenix Lord's Celestial Lance has passed from shrine to shrine and Craftworld to Craftworld, the better to keep alive the ancient tales.
Shining Spears WargearEdit
- Aspect Armour - Like other Eldar Aspects, Shining Spears wear lightweight synthetic bodysuits, reinforced with plates of psycho-sensitive bioplastics that will instantly harden to resist impacts. Those plates can also morph their shape in accordance with the wearer's movements, meaning the armour does not encumber the wearer in the slightest, affording good protection while still maintaining unparalleled mobility. 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 psychic 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 the Shining Spears' Aspect Armour are not extra gems, but small compartments that contain the suit's technical systems. A tabard or pennants are a common addition to the Shining Spears' Aspect Armour. Its runic inscriptions name the shrine for which the Aspect Warrior is fighting and identifies the shrine's allegiance to a particular Craftworld. Regardless of a shrine's Craftworld, the Aspect's colour scheme is always blue and white.
- Aspect Helmet - Each Warrior Aspect has its own distinctive helmet, and within each shrine the helmet may vary in form slightly, with correspondingly more elaborate versions for the shrine's Exarchs. For the standard Shining Spears Aspect Warrior, the helmet is distinctively shorter than the typical Aspect Helmet, which makes its more aerodynamic. By custom, it is this helmet that marks the Aspect Warriors as the protectors and avengers of their Craftworld. It bears the Shining Spears Aspect's rune traced upon its forehead. In battle, the Shining Spear is assisted by an advanced, computerised targeting device built directly into his or her helmet. This pan-spectral targeter finds and tracks multiple targets, feeding the target information directly to the Aspect Armour's helmet display. It is likely that it can also differentiate between enemy and ally.
- Laser Lance - Shining Spears wield the Laser Lance as their only weapon. The Laser Lance shoots a powerful short-ranged laser beam that is strong enough to be used to run down any enemy units. In this way the Shining Spears are meant to operate similar to high-technology, anti-gravitic heavy cavalry units.
- Star Lance - A variant of the Laser Lance and only wielded by Shining Spear Exarchs, Star Lances are extremely powerful Laser Lances that are named for the weapon wielded by Asuryan himself from the back of his flying steed.
- Jetbike - Shining Spears utilise Jetbikes, highly advanced anti-gravitic vehicles. Eldar Jetbikes are able to use subtle manipulation of the anti-gravitic field they generate to combine high speeds with incredible agility and maneuverability. Jetbikes can even climb up the smooth faces of buildings and other edifices using this anti-gravitic field. Shining Spears Jetbikes are commonly armed with a pair of twin-linked Shuriken Catapults, although those used by Shining Spears Exarchs can be upgraded to carry a single Shuriken Cannon instead.
- Codex: Craftworld Eldar (3rd Edition), pg. 11
- Codex: Eldar (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pp. 115-118
- Codex: Eldar (6th Edition), pg. 38
- Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pp. 37, 65
- Codex: Eldar (3rd Edition), pp. 13, 26
- Codex: Eldar (2nd Edition), pg. 23
- Iyanden: A Codex: Eldar Supplement (Digital Download)
- 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
- Warrior Coven (Novel) by C.S. Goto, pg. 61
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