Path of Awakening
From an early age Valara was a perceptive and sharp child, both with her eyes and her words. She would often get in trouble with the authorities of Craftworld Iertare, prying where she wasn't wanted and speaking out against her elders at any occasion she would get. Proud of her own haughtiness and rebelliousness, she took pleasure from standing up against the elders. As she grew older however, Valara felt the urge to focus herself into some direction. She soon grew fond of the Eldar artists. She was taken as an apprentice to one such Eldar and learned to closely analyse her surroundings and environments, while growing her passion and appreciation for art and beauty. Focusing on what is without rather than within she followed the Path of Awakening for most of her adolescence. This experience made Valara into a very sharp albeit judgmental person, often failing to see fault in her own actions.
Path of the Artisan
Shadowing from her previous teachings and experiences as an 'awakened' Eldar, Valara was drawn to the artisans and their graceful art practices, much like her mentor. Naive and young, she turned to the path of the painter trying to exuberantly express herself in the form of painting. She would often recluse herself in her chambers painting for days on end, covering the floors and walls with artistic envisionings.
At this time she also met an Eldar warrior - Andar, who she was immediately enamored by. Starstruck by the brave and charming warrior, Valara fell in love with him and began devoting her art to her new-found love. With time Andar answered young Eldars advances and soon they became lovers. Taken into the passion of this relationship, Vala was more inspired than she ever could be. She would go to great lengths to express her art, covering even herself in beautiful paintings and posing in front of mirrors, enamored by herself and the vision of beauty. A practice the other Eldar found bizarre to say the least, some even concerned with her deep devotion to her path. She found solace in the comfort of her lovers arms, however, as Andar seemingly understood her as no one else did. Taking Valara with him on several expeditions the Craftworlds defenders would take, as per her request, one such time would end in tragedy. A Dark Eldar pirate force overwhelmed the Eldar and killed most of them while taking the rest as slaves.
Path of Damnation
Both her and her lover were imprisoned by the cruel and devious Dark Eldar. The sadistic Eldar recognized the love between the two and would torture Andar in front of Vala, in attempts to break her mind. Eventually killing the warrior the torturers strung up his tortured, disfigured corpse in Valara's cell, petrifying young Eldar ever further. Eventually after what felt like a year of horrors, she succumbed to what the Eldar call Path of Damnation, due to the torture she experienced and turned more akin to her captors. Taking pleasure in her own pain and suffering as well as in torture of other slaves, it began spiraling down as the time went by and she lost herself in the strange, delirious gluttony of self-indulgence.
Years later of what almost felt like an out of body experience, she fell into the hands of a Haemonculi Nadirist Xendrath who attempted to psychologically torture the Eldar to further his own perverted knowledge. He took the young woman under his wing, torturing her both physically and mentally in ways she had not experienced even in the hands of her previous captors. The bliss of getting lost in the pain and suffering had a grasp on her like nothing else and she nearly became a mindless husk and slave to her new master. The madman as part of the torture, brought to life a creation made of the dead remains of her past lover. What he did not count on was that this would awaken something within his captive. This reminder of Valara's past allowed for a moment of self-reflection that brought on great rage and anger. Vala slashed the surprised and unsuspecting Haemonculus with his own blade, ripping into the dead mans flesh for minutes after life has left his body, crying out and shouting until she lost her voice.
Path of Grief
Escaping the clutches of her captor she got stranded on a Feral World and was forced to survive there for years. Forcing herself to forget what had happened, Vala suppressed her feelings and lead a life of solitude among the wilderness of the feral worlds, foraging for food and living in peace. All up until she was discovered by a passing Eldar Warship. The now solemn and monkish Valara told them she had been stranded from an Eldar expedition, ashamed of her past and afraid of what the Eldar would do had they heard the truth. Feeling for the dismal and downtrodden Eldar woman, the warriors delivered her back to her home Craftworld where she began to mourn and isolate herself.
Reminiscing in melancholy and penance of her long lost lover and her own tortures and sins, she spent many dozens of years in this solitary state. Helping both herself and other Eldar who were set upon the path of grief, she spent more than a 100 years on this solemn, spiritual journey.
Path of the Warrior
Eventually, after many years of repentance, mourning and grief, Valara had overcome her own pain and felt once again that she had purpose in her life as the imminent threat of Orks and Imperials was threatening her Craftworld. Setting upon the path of the Warrior she joined the Aspect of the Dire Avengers, taking the fight to the enemy once again feeling purpose and life within herself, forgetting the shame and loss of her past. Releasing the anger and rage she had been locked in the very first battles she took part in, Valara feared this emotion and that it could bring her back to the life of depravity and darkness she had known before. Instead of unleashing the fury and relying on it, like some other Eldar warriors, Vala honed her ability to control her emotions instead, relying on her experiences and tactical acumen.
Taking on the teachings of the Dire Avengers she moved on through the other warrior aspects of her Craftworld, taking on their teachings and upon completion participating in the Covenant of Wargift. For hundreds of years Valara honed her skills in different aspects of warfare becoming an expert of many styles of combat and a veteran of many battles. Often valiantly leading her squads into battle and employing her calculating, sharp wit to outsmart and outmatch the often larger enemy force. After all this time defending her home and fighting with unparalleled skill, as well as earning the Craftworld Eldar's admiration as a war hero, Valara took her sights to command and becoming an accomplished leader.
Path of Command
Convinced her experiences and service to the Eldar made her a prime candidate as one of the Craftworlds leaders, she took on the path of Command. Accruing her tactics and strategies learned from walking the path of the warrior, Valara became an Autarch of her Craftworld, leading the defenders into battle with great alacrity and brilliant planning and earning a seat on the Council of Eldarii - the ruling government of Craftworld Iertare. The council that she was a part of, did not however, approve of the influence she wielded and saw her as a threat to their power.
High Farseer Thala revealed to the Council of her visions, how Valara had been exposed to the taint of Chaos and Slaanesh, how she succumbed to the corruption hundred years in the past and that the seeds of deceit are still within her. The council members jumped on the opportunity and excommunicated the Autarch, declaring her unfit for duty. Hearing of this, Valaras arrogance and defiance overcame her, having been reminded of horrors she experienced and seeing the jealousy in her opportunistic comrades.
Valara organized a coup within the Craftworld, gathering soldiers loyal to her and appealing to the masses, convinced the Council was jealous of the peoples approval and love for the Autarch. Within a month the council was all but assassinated and if not for the timely intervention of those still loyal to the original council, Valara would have gained control of the Craftworld. Despite her love for her people, she was at a stalemate. The Craftworld was all but split into two opposing factions, and she had to make a choice. Begin an all out civil war that would take lives she cherished to protect this whole time or exile herself and risk corruption and fall to Chaos. She chose the latter, gathering a host of her most loyal warriors and a Warship, leaving her home for good, having fully realized the burdens of command.
Path of the Outcast
Taking the Star-shadow Void Stalker, Valara and her loyal cadre of warriors moved away from the Craftworld. Now free of any responsibility, the Eldar feared they would succumb to temptation and fall to the Devourer of Souls. Only through their Renegade Autarch's peerless leadership, they managed to keep to their duties and paths. Vala had found a purpose for her warriors in recovering ancient relics of the Eldar before the Fall of their Empire. Traversing the stars in their solitary ship, they were seen by Imperials as corsairs and bandits, while their intentions were not so. Despite their noble intentions, Vala's orders were often to execute ruthless operations and go to any lengths to recover what they are searching for.
On one such expedition the expedition came across a dead world that housed a Warpgate of considerable size. The gate itself was damaged and out of order, but Vala was convinced this prized artifact could and should be repaired. Putting her followers to work, the Eldar soon noticed that the world was housing remnants of a splinter Hive fleet, and soon realized that a Space Marine Chapter was hunting these xenos. Desperate to keep either Tyranid or Space Marine forces away from the artifact, Vala ordered her warriors to take the fight to them, in hopes to drive the enemies attention away from the Warpgate. These Blood Wights chapter of marines were not in full force, seemingly only deploying their veteran company, and the Tyranid forces turned out to be deceptively harmless. As it turned out the Tyranid Hive Ship had burrowed in the soft soil of the dead world, secretly producing large amounts of Tyranid organisms, unbeknownst to the marines and Eldar. Ending upin three way battles, where the Tyranids would vastly outnumber both Eldar and the marines, both would end up fighting the wild xenos together.
Valara approached their leader - Chapter Master Agathus Colchian in hopes of allying with them, recognizing that the Tyranids would eventually find the Warpgate. Deceiving the Chapter Master into believing that the Eldar got stranded, Valara convinced Agathus into joining forces to destroy the xenos. However the Tyranids forced the allies back, overwhelming them with sheer numbers. The Blood Wight chapter master eventually found out about the secret the Eldar had been hiding. Agathus ripped through Valara's guards with his lightning claws and came to blows with the Autarch. Valara fought the marine for what seemed like an hour, as his tactical alacrity and cunning rivaled her own, until they were both left wounded and exhausted. Having a moment of self-reflection and remembering the imminent danger of the Tyranids, Valara stepped forward, swallowing her arrogance once again and proposed a plan to the Chapter Master.
Agathus sent a fake signal through his companies Battle Barge, feigning a signal of a much larger Imperial force to the worlds surface in hopes that the Tyranids take the bait. Meanwhile, the Eldar had repaired the Warpgate, gathered all their forces aboard the Star-shadow and launched into the Webway. As planned, the Tyranid Hive Ship burrowed out of the ground and traveled towards the Warpgate in a self-preservationist fear that the fake Imperial force will eradicate their Splinter fleet. With the Star-shadow in the Webway, searching for lost Eldar glory and the Hive Ship on their heels, Valara was left hoping that the Blood Wight Chapter Master would keep to his promise. The promise that if Eldar bring the Tyranids into the Webway and away from Imperial space, Agathus will keep the Warpgates location a secret and leave the Eldar artifact alone.
To this day the Star-shadow is traversing the Webway in search of artifacts and fighting off both forces of Chaos, Dark Eldar and Tyranids alike.
Valara was always a rebellious and defiant Eldar, not lacking any arrogance and deviousness her kin almost uniquely possess. This always got her in trouble with the elders of her Craftworld. Even as she pursued the path of the Artisan, her extravagant art rubbed a lot of Eldar the wrong way, perhaps seeing it as a descent into the darker paths of the Eldar and reminder of their lascivious ways that brought about the Fall.
During her time as a prisoner, Vala devolved into a more animalistic state. Taking pleasure from receiving and dealing out pain, in her twisted and tortured mind it all seemed like the continuation of her art and the natural evolution of what she could achieve. Only after being haunted by her lovers reanimated corpse of a monstrosity, she was able to snap out of this delirium and break free of this stranglehold over her mind.
After more than a hundred years of grief and learning discipline as well as helping other Eldar, Valara managed to regain sanity of her mind and sense of purpose. As she joined the warriors it took her a while to reign in her anger in fear that it would bring her back to the darkness. She learned to take pleasure and release anger in 'doses' as to keep it in check and not bottle it up, only for it to resurface later.
She is very involved in the well-being of her people and most of her passion goes to cherishing her followers in a sort of motherly way. Despite this she knows when to be cold and calculating, as an Autarch should be in times of war.
Valara is a beautiful and gracious Eldar like most of her kin. Since her time as an artisan, she took great time and pleasure into her appearance, being heavily narcissistic and self obsessed in her youth. Her light brown hair are cut short at the back with bangs in front reaching down to the base of her neck. Her custom made heavy Aspect Armor is light grey in color.
Abilities and Traits
Valara Vendel is an accomplished warrior of renown and considered the best swords-woman of the Craftworld Iertare. She underwent several aspects of the Path of the Warrior, making her an expert on the battlefield able to adapt her tactics depending on the situation.
Having been an aspect warrior of Dire Avengers, Fire Dragons, Warp Spiders, Striking Scorpions and Howling Banshees, throughout several hundred years walking the path of the Warrior, she learned to adapt the learned techniques to become extremely effective in combat. Preferring stealth, hit and run and melee style of combat, she harasses enemies shifting in and out of cover, weakening the opponents and skillfully slashing though lightly armored opponents.
Her past love for artistry and painting has astonishingly transferred into her style of fighting. Gracefully dancing in and out of combat, she is a deadly painter upon the canvas of battlefield, exclusively using red.
- 'Dragontongue' Fusion Gun - This customized Fusion Gun was granted after completing the Covenant of Wargift of the Fire Dragons. The lighter version of a regular Fusion Gun it is a hybrid of it and the lighter Fusion Pistol. It is capable of rendering armored enemies incapable after just a few salvos.
- 'Snake's Bite' Mandiblaster - These Mandiblasters were granted to Valara after completing the Covenant of Wargift for the Striking Scorpions. Modified to be hidden at the back of her helmets neck, they retract after neural activation at will to release a hail of deadly metallic shards.
- 'Horns of Iertare' Jump Generator - This ancient Jump Generator was granted to Valara upon the completion of the Covenant of Wargift by the Warp Spiders Exarch. Retrieved from the Craftworld's reliquary, this ancient piece of tech resembles a set of mechanized spikes protruding from an energy generator attached to the back of Vala's armor. Functioning on the same principles of a typical Warp Spider Jump Generator, this model is lighter and capable of higher maneuverability as the spikes turn and weave to the users own body movements.
- 'Pride' Power Sword - This power sword was retrieved from one of the lost Eldar worlds, during one of the Star-shadows expeditions. The ancient blade was retrofitted to modern standards and has been Valara's weapon of choice since.
- Targeter/Rangefinder - Received by Vala upon completion of Dire Avengers Covenant of Wargift. The rangefinder is a typical model of those used by Avengers themselves. Giving the Autarch greater perception of the battlefield it is a subtle and invaluable tool.
- Heavy Aspect Armor - This piece of armor has been modified throughout the hundreds of years Valara Vendel has been fighting. The psycho-sensitive material that reacts to the users movement has seemingly molded to Valara's reflexes throughout the years, becoming an integral part of the warrior.
Star-shadow is a Void Stalker of some renown and the only ship at Valara's disposal after she was exiled from her Craftworld. This vessel was the flagship of Iertare fleet since the Gothic War in which it took part and survived the ordeal. Valara proved to be an expert admiral throughout the years she lead Iertare fleet in engagements commanding them from within the Star-shadow. The ship itself is armed with two Pulsar-lances and a dozen Weapon-batteries. Within its launch-bays await the ever vigilant Darkstar Fighters and Eagle Bombers.
- Crimson Hunters - Many Crimson Hunters sided with the Autarch during the civil war even as their Exarch remained loyal to the Craftworlds council. After the war, most who survived followed their Autarch in confidence and loyalty into exile. There are currently 22 Nightshade Interceptors stationed on Star-shadow.
- Dark Reapers - The entire Dark Reaper shrine followed the Autarch in the civil war under their Exarch - Beleron Dral. Having become loyal to each other throughout many previous campaigns the two Eldar survived the civil war and Beleron decided to follow his Autarch into exile out of respect and loyalty. He split his shrine in half leaving with 30 Dark Reapers in his retinue, leaving the rest to serve the Craftworld.
- Striking Scorpions - Striking Scorpions were among the first to show support for their Autarch and under the command of their Exarch they struck at the Council, attempting to end the war in a quick ambush. The assassination attempt failed and the Exarch was slain by one of the Seers. After the war, those who remained loyal to Valara joined her into exile. Currently there are 15 Scorpions in the Autarchs retinue.
- Howling Banshees - It took a lot to sway Banshees, as most of them were fervently loyal to their Exarch, but there still were those who saw the rule of a Seer council as going against their traditions and feared corruption. Under the leadership of Mehkia - one of the more veteran banshees, they joined their Autarch in the bloody conflict. After the war the Howling Banshee shrine remained split and those who sided with Valara followed her into exile. There currently are 41 of these fierce warriors in the Autarchs retinue.
Friends and Allies
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