"You dream to understand us, but where my prophecy has guided my people, your thoughts cannot follow. Believe we are lost, for we see you as such."
"Ilyn... you speak as if they are already dead. Remember, these are our siblings, too, no matter which Craftworld or faraway star they have come from."
"And would you say the same for those who craft their destinies with the lusts of our ancestors long ago? Would you give our darker kin the same courtesy?"
"If they were willing to abandon their hedonistic paths to save their souls, I would."
"Sometimes such optimism for those who are lost can truly be pointless to share, Kaeth."
"It is better than denying them outright that of which we are selfish to keep hidden, seeress."
"I disagree. What we keep hidden is fragile, and the Yah'yr would slay us all if we were to shatter it."
"So you say. But it was also the Yah'yr who said to keep our eyes open and save those who could be saved."
"... I sometimes wonder if Isha had us bound as mates merely because she felt I needed your wisdom at times like this."
"As I've needed yours, my love. Never forget... without you, my path would have ended long ago. As would have Ishayr's."
-- Ilyndrae & Kaethyr
The Ishayr Craftworld, as some might call it, is a myth. A legend. There are few known tomes that can give evidence to its existence and, even to the Eldar of other Craftworlds, they understand very little of their kin that disappeared from their awareness centuries ago, only to re-emerge like wisps watching them from the shadows. Yet as it has been seen, the Ishayrians are as mortal as anyone else and their sightings on several worlds across the galaxy are now even being recorded by the Imperium of Man. So to say that the Ishayrians do not exist could arguably be an ignorant fallacy...
The idea that the Ishayr Craftworld was destroyed by some unknown enemy long ago continues to be believed by the Eldar of other Craftworlds, although this does not encourage them to believe that its people died with it. In truth, the lost Craftworld rests peacefully on an unknown planet, so far estranged from the rest of the galaxy that no one knows where it is, and are unlikely to ever find it in their lifetimes. Why, then, that there are modern sightings of Eldar who belong to it is a question simply answered with the message that they merely do so with other space-faring vessels. No outsider has ever seen these constructs, yet according to one Eldar seeress of Ulthwé origin, they are alien in the eyes of normal Eldar and use a method of travel not known to them or their inferiors.
One thing is for certain, however. The Ishayrians live, and they know not the fears of their other brethren.
How they came to such a fate, little is known. According to one tome, the Ishayr Craftworld was conceived long before The Fall, built in an age when galactic trade was at its most prosperous and the creation of Craftworlds were initially for hundreds of Eldar families who looked to them for favourable housing on long voyages when the domestic luxuries of their native planets were well beyond their reach and irrational to travel between.
This was no different for the Ishayr. Its creation took place on one of three moons orbiting their homeworld, once known as a favourable retreat destination that limited industrial growth only to its moons to allow the resistance of herding its populace into larger communities. Predominantly, their homeworld was an agriculture planet, which established the need for a Craftworld to transport its produce safely in mass to faraway worlds in need. Because of this, the Craftworld was known for its rural-esque nature within. The Ishayrian's strong sense of devotion and respect to Isha, the Eldar Goddess of healing, fertility and the harvest also helped shape the nature of their Craftworld's design. The vessel was never intended for war, and as such it was escorted by a small fleet of armed vessels to its many destinations across the stars, starving ruin from the Craftworld in those times.
A time came, however, when trade was no longer the concern of the Craftworld's leader, Farseer Arannen. Favoured among his people and a prince to his homeworld, Arannen received dark visions that foretold The Fall of the Eldar, as his Craftworld was returning to their planet after a centuries long journey. His wife, Maiayne, was well with his first child by the time they returned home and was disbelieved by her husband's sudden change of character. Wealth, as she had favoured it, was no longer a concern of his as he began a pilgrimage across his homeworld and saw firsthand that the places he once loved as a child were secretly becoming lost in matters of decadence. The capital of his world, Ilsehra, was wrought with the interests of pleasure cults that extended to the heart of his own family. His father, once wise and a traditionalist, longed for intimacies brought to him from the Eldar of other worlds. His mother and siblings, too, were caught up in their corruptible nature, save for one of his younger brothers, an Autarch, who always travelled with him as commander of their fleet.
And so it was that Arannen and Eironah began the desperate undertaking of rescuing those of their homeworld who believed the words of their princes and saw their Craftworld as their only hope of avoiding the ruination of their families. They rejected the sins of those who saw them as worrying fools and, by the time the Craftworld had left the embrace of its homeworld for the very last time, Arannen lamented over those who would not join them, knowing they were already lost and were destined for a fate he feared even they could not escape from.
By then Maiayne had given birth to his firstborn, a daughter. Her name was Ilyndrae.
When The Fall arrived, their Craftworld fortunately survived the birth of the Great Enemy and was well beyond the clutching forces surrounding the Eye of Terror. Arannen's foresight saved them, although he himself was not able to survive a prophecy he divined, believing it a lie for what it entailed. Such was when Maiayne, long known for her peerless beauty and passion for many things her husband abstained from, was deceived by whispers in her mind she thought were from Isha's own lips. She followed them, believing she was chosen to hear the voice of their enslaved goddess others could not hear, believing she could help her beloved husband to communicate with their surviving deity and know better the path their Craftworld was destined to take with her wisdom.
Sadly, Maiayne acted alone in seeking it where she heard the whispers in her mind with the greatest clarity. They eventually lead her to being possessed by a awaiting daemon of Slaanesh, and it was not long before her body was used to lure Arannen into a false sense of security for his own wellbeing. Such was the day when Arannen, neglectful of a single prophecy, was murdered by his possessed wife as she stole his seed into her.
Maiayne was already lost by the time guards found her with her husband's corpse. It was Eironah who ended her madness through death.
With Arannen's death, fear quickly spread throughout the Craftworld and its fleet. Without their wise leader, the path of salvation they sought was quickly lost and left many looking to Eironah for guidance. To his credit, the Autarch restored calm throughout their fleet before anymore lives were lost, but it was not enough to abstain their thoughts from hopelessness, believing themselves doomed to forever drift in space without purpose.
Ilyndrae, Arannen's only child, would find it again for them with the help of her loved ones.
It is truly unknown what happened to the Ishayr Craftworld after she and her two most beloved companions, Kaethyr and his half-sister Esther, left it in search of a prophecy Ilyndrae divined centuries ago. They travelled to many worlds, some believe even Terra itself, before their centuries long journey brought them to a world far beyond the ken of man and its many dreaded enemies-- especially Chaos itself. It is here where the Ishayr Craftworld now rests.
This is all that is currently known of its fate, although in time more may be revealed...
The symbol illustrated here is perhaps one of the only certain things the Eldar of other Craftworlds know of the Ishayr. It predates The Fall, originally being the mark of the Ishayr noble family that Arannen was born from. Since the Craftworld belonged to his bloodline before he inherited it, it is safe to assume this, although some believe the symbol extends beyond his family and was the mark travellers used to acknowledge his homeworld, given the nature of its design and its favouring of one of Isha's tears as the focal point. It has also been dwelled upon that the three circular marks do not in fact pay tribute to the Three Seers, Ilyndrae, Kaethyr and Esther, but the three moons that once orbited their homeworld. Of course, granted the nature of the Three Seers, many can argue that their great influence over the Ishayrian's history as a whole has replaced the original meaning of some of this symbol's details. Yet regardless of these findings, it is still used by Ishayr armies.
Annnd... if you managed to read all that, congratulations! You've just finished reading my longest ever lore entry for a DA description. ... sorry. x_x
Fun fact, though: if anyone is curious, I've already made a badge for this symbol in use for my Eldar armies in DoW2 - Retribution. Artwork & Lore & Characters - © Kristopher P. Love // Eldar - © Warhammer 40,000