All of the Eldar alive today are essentially a refugee population, the scattered remains of a formerly vast interstellar empire. Even in such straits, however, they are still a deadly and influential force in the galaxy. Once, over ten thousand years past, the Eldar were perhaps the most powerful race in existence, dominating a significant portion of the galaxy and secure in their prosperity. Although there were other intelligent races who possessed advanced technology and potent military power in the galaxy, none were in a position to seriously threaten the state of the Eldar empire. When it came, the disaster for the Eldar people was self-inflicted.
Because an Eldar spirit is reborn into a new body upon death, one individual was able to live countless lives. This, coupled with their already nigh-eternal lifespan and their ability to experience the highs and lows of emotions more powerful than that of any human, rendered the Eldar nearly immortal, consumed by arrogance and dedicated to the pursuit of their own pleasure. With no need to perform substantial work or labor, the Eldar began to pursue their curiosities and desires with all the dedication that only their species could muster. In the later days of Eldar civilization, cults devoted to exotic knowledge, physical pleasures, and ever-more outrageous forms of entertainment sprang up. It did not take long for many of the Eldar to pursue a darker path to achieve instant fulfillment as they came to revel in unbridled hedonism and violence.
Many of the Eldar grew uneasy with the actions of their comrades, and the wisest of the Seers warned that this path could lead only to evil and suffering for the entire species. Disgusted, some of the Eldar left the central worlds of their empire to settle in the outlying regions of the galaxy, where they built great starships of such tremendous size that they could be considered aritificial planets and were called Craftworlds. Other Eldar stayed on the homeworlds to try and alter the path their race had taken.
The torture cults eroded the future of the Eldar as a viable galactic empire. While this debauchery would have been destructive within any society, it was even more damaging for the Eldar because of their powerful psychic abilities. Within the parallel dimensional realm of the Warp, the psychic emanations of these perverse activities began to gather, strengthened by the souls of departed Eldar hedonists and cultists. As the Eldar's vices grew, this dark mass of negative psychic energy did as well, producing the terrible Warp storms that defined humanity's Age of Strife and made all interstellar travel and communication impossible for the human colonies of this period. Eventually, this growing mass of negative psychic energy came into a life of its own and came to consciousness over ten thousand years ago at the end of the Age of Strife as the newborn Chaos God Slaanesh, the Devourer of Souls and the doom of the Eldar. The psychic scream of Slaanesh's birth tore the souls from all the Eldar within a thousand light years of it, sparing only those sheltered in the wraithbone hulls of the Craftworlds. The Prince of Pleasure's awakening was so forceful that it tore a hole between the physical realm and the Immaterium, plunging the Eldar homeworlds into a nightmare existence, trapped within the realm of Chaos. This region is now known as the Eye of Terror, and is the home of the forces of Chaos in the 41st millennium.
Since this time, which is known as The Fall, the Eldar have been a broken and scattered people, lacking both political cohesion and true purpose. Many of the outlying Eldar colony worlds, whose people are known as the Exodites, have slipped to a more primitive technological level similar to that of some feudal human worlds, while the survivors of the Eldar homeworlds drift through the stars in colossal nomad fleets and their Craftworlds, each independent of the others. All the Eldar have been greatly changed by The Fall and the rise of Slaanesh.
Superficially, the Eldar appear very similar to humans in their anatomy, though they are generally taller, faster, thinner, more lithe of limb and slim of face with sharp features and pointed ears. The Eldar possess essentially the same appearance as the elves of classic high fantasy literature. They are long-lived by human standards, and most will live for more than a thousand standard years unless they die from accident or disease. As a species they have a high level of psychic ability, which serves as the foundation of their technology, though a side-effect of this neurological make-up is that an Eldar experiences emotion, both pleasant and painful, far more intensely than any human being. The Eldar that actively cultivate their psychic potential seem to exhibit a much-extended lifespan as well, one proportional to their prowess. In this way the leaders and Seers of the Eldar may live for several thousand standard years. One matter of note is that the Eldar have sometimes referred to humans as "mammals" typically with a derogatory label like "the mon-keigh", implying that the for their part, the Eldar evolved from something else. Their physical attributes and physiology have indicated potential ancestors as far-ranging as aquatic organisms or bird-like creatures, although some type of reptile seems most likely (despite their current human-like appearance, their ancestors may not have had a head with two eyes, or an upright body with two arms and two legs at all considering they were genetically altered by the Old Ones!) However, given the Eldar's legendary arrogance, this may also simply be a way for them to put themselves above the other intelligent races of the galaxy, particularly the humans who are currently the most dominant intelligent species. They likely see themselves as completely separate from the normal classifications of animal groups. Indeed, they may not even have naturally evolved at all, as they are actually creations of the Old Ones, much like the Orks.
Attribute Dice: 12D
Size: 1.5-2.0 meters tall
Low Light Vision: Eldar eyes see better in low light and near dark conditions, and they receive a +2D bonus to Perception Rolls to counter penalties for these conditions.
Natural Agility: Eldar are a nimble and agile species, and gain a 2D bonus to acrobatics.
Light Step: Due to their much lighter build, and natural agility and grace, Eldar tend to move very quietly, and gain a 1D bonus to Sneak rolls.