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- "A warrior may become as skilled with a blade as he wishes, but he is still subject to the fickle whim of his destiny, and his doom. We who walk the Path of the Seer take destiny into our own hands, and wield doom as our blade."
A Spiritseer is an Eldar psyker who walks the Path of the Seer in a way that allows him or her to commune with the souls of the dead Eldar preserved in the Craftworld's Infinity Circuit. In times of peace, the Spiritseers serve as a bridge between the living and the dead, ensuring the wisdom of the past remains available to those still able to influence the present. In time of war, the Spiritseers entreat the souls of the dead to empower Wraithguard and Wraithlord constructs, using the dead to protect their living kindred.
After the cataclysmic Fall of the Eldar in the 30th Millennium following the birth of the Chaos God Slaanesh, the Craftworld Eldar began to walk both the Eldar Paths and make use of Spirit Stones to protect their souls from being devoured by the eternal hunger of Slaanesh, She Who Thirsts. When an Eldar dies, his or her Spirit Stone is reverently grafted to the Wraithbone core of his or her Craftworld in the place known as the Dome of Crystal Seers, joining and mingling with the countless souls of the past Eldar already present within the Craftworld's structure. The resulting gestalt psychic entity is known as the Infinity Circuit, and is an integral part of a Craftworld's life, subtly providing guidance to the living Eldar dwelling within the Craftworld and protecting them against Warp-spawned perils.
With the souls of the deceased "trapped" within the Infinity Circuit, and with their numbers dwindling rapidly, the Eldar eventually turned to their deceased kin as a source of knowledge, wisdom and in time of dire crisis, even combat assistance. The Spiritseers are those Eldar who walk the Path of the Seer who specialise in communing with the spirits of the dead present in their Craftworld's Infinity Circuit.
The Path of the Spiritseer is one of the most difficult of Paths to walk for an Eldar. Like all variations of the Path of the Seer, it requires the Eldar to call on his or her psychic powers with all the risks that usage entails. The Spiritseer must possess a mental discipline and fortitude beyond compare, for communing with the dead is extremely taxing. Depending on the spirit's past life and manner of death, it might be cooperative, but often is either unresponsive, racked with grief, jealous of the still living or even malicious. The Spiritseer must adapt himself to commune with the intended spirit without being refused or even worse, possessed. Another, more subtle danger of this Path is that the Spiritseer must be self-possessed enough to always ask and never demand assistance from the dead, no matter how dire his and his people's need might be. Making demands of the dead, forcing them to serve the will of the living, is a practice considered anathema amongst the Eldar, who view it with the same loathing that humans reserve for necromancy. It is for this reason that many Eldar view Spiritseers with some suspicion. Although the line between spiritseeing and necromancy is sometimes very fine, the Spiritseer must always remain aware that the dead must only give assistance to the living willingly. The combined pressures of resisting the dead and enduring the cultural censure of the living makes the Path of the Spiritseer an uneasy road that few Eldar dare walk.
In time of peace, the Spiritseers oversee the reverent addition of new souls from the Spirit Stones of the newly dead to the Infinity Circuit, and serve as interlocutors when an Eldar requires the assistance of the deceased. In times of war, the Spiritseers beseech the spirits of the warriors of the past to lend their assistance, and install them in specially prepared Spirit Stones that are bound to the war machines of the Eldar. The experience of the dead is a much-needed assistance for the Guardian pilots of many Eldar combat walkers, ranging from the War Walker to the Eldar Phantom Titan. If the situation is terribly dire for the Eldar, exceptionally strong spirits can receive an artificial body of their own, be it a Wraithguard, Wraithlord, Wraithseer or even Warlock Titan with which they can participate in the fighting. The Spiritseers themselves accompany these haunted constructs on the battlefield to heighten their perception of the material world and focus their perspective, next to the more mundane assistance of their own martial and psychic prowess. The very concept of providing a material body, no matter how synthetic, to the spirits of the dead is disturbing in the extreme to most Eldar, who consider it no better than true necromancy despite the careful ministrations of the Spiritseers. It is for that reason that the Eldar reserve the use of undead warriors to those times where their very survival is threatened.
Amongst the Craftworld Eldar, it is the inhabitants of Iyanden who makes the greatest usage of Spiritseers and their undead wards. The population of Iyanden has been threatened with total extermination for some time because of the losses the Craftworld sustained against the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Kraken in 992.M41, and the few remaining inhabitants have simply no choice other than to let the dead fight their battles, lest that proud Craftworld fall to its many enemies. Strike forces composed exclusively of Spiritseers and Wraithguard are a common sight where the Eldar of Iyanden are concerned, to their great dismay. Their collective angst at this situation is actually so strong that it has attracted the attention of their Dark Eldar kin, who intervened in 995.M41 to assist Craftworld Iyanden against an assault by the Ork WAAAGH! Rekkfist. Iyanden was forced to awaken even more Wraith-constructs in order to hold back the invasion. As events become desperate, a Webway portal at the rear of the Craftworld activated and Dark Eldar from the Kabal of the Wraithkind and the Cult of the Flayed Hand emerged to aid in slaying the Orks. After Iyanden was saved, the Council of Seers questioned the Dark Eldar as to why they had intervened, and they replied simply that they gained great entertainment from watching Iyanden's angst-ridden use of necromancy.
- Iyanna Arienal - Iyanna Arienal, called "the Angel of Iyanden", is the greatest and nominal leader of Iyanden's Spiritseers. Despite the psychic angst and the censure of her kin, she is steadfast and resolute in her task, and never hesitates to lead squads of Wraithguard into battle, devoting every one of her waking moments to the restoration and betterment of her Craftworld.
The rune used by the Spiritseers is sometimes associated with Ynnead, the nascent god of the dead, and the mysteries of the Infinity Circuit. Spiritseers wear these runes to show that they stand astride two worlds, but do not truly belong to either.
- Codex: Eldar Craftworlds (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 72
- Codex: Eldar (3rd Edition), pg. 4, 15, 40
- Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pg. 20
- Codex: Dark Eldar (5th Edition), pg. 23