More codex titanicus expansion..
Presiding over the carnage like renegade gods were the Titans. Huge Warlords incinerated hundreds with fusion fire.
Like insectrs warming out to defend their hive, Marines surged forward. A hundred thousnad voices were raised, crying loyalty to the Emperor or to the Warmaster. Ten thousand men moaned as they died.
Their comrades fought on round their corpses. Some had no time to scream or pray or plead. They vanished in expanding clouds of super-heated steam as the plasma bolts of the Titans fell among them.
One battle, 100,000 marines, not including Casualties. Warlords incinerating hundreds suggests at least triple digit GJ/low TJ firepower employed, though durations/numbers aren't specific enough to say mor ethan that.
Imperial transprots are huge tracked vehicles, ,used to carry large bodies of troops and machines such as Dreadnoughts into battle. There are various types in service, but most are almost as big as a Titan, and capable of carrying large forces.
One of the larger Imperial transports, the Behemoth, is almost as heavily armed as a Battle Titan, and is protected by two banks of power fields. With its heavy armour and powerful weaponry, the Behemoth is able to move Marines to the front in relative safety, protecting htem from barrages and long-range attacks...
Imperial transports sometimes have a battlefield role, deploying their fores and taking up supporting positions where they act almost as semi-mobile fortifications Most Imperial transports carry some defensive armament, and some variants can mount almos tas much firepower as a Titan.
An Imperial transporrt can carry up to 8 stands of ifnantry or the equivalent, as shown on the following table. [Table is the same as with drop ships.
I dunno whether these exist or not still, but the LEviathans and Capitol Imperialis get mentioned, so I'd say yeah they do. It is interesting to note that some of them are "near titan levels" when it comes to firepower (thus indicating Titans carry many times the firepower of their superheavy cousins, as these vehicles presumably are more heavily armed than superheavies.)
They also mount powerfields rather than void shields, which gives them some protection, but still less than what a void shielded vevhicles has. They also have the inherent benefits accrued from "not being a bipedal walker."
The Eldar are an ancient race; their spacefaring history predating humanity's by many thousands of years. In the distant past, the Eldar encountered the Old Slann, ,the greratest of all spacefaring peoples, and learned many arcane secrets about the universe from them. Aftr the passing of the Old Slann, which itself happened thousands of years before man's first stumbling attempts at spaceflight, the Eldar continued to flourish and theri civilization expanded throughout the galaxy.
Eldar space travle, like that of hte Old Slann, is based around the principle of warp-tunnel engineering. Tunnels were constructed from star to star, passing through the warp and allowing spacecraft a means of moving rapidly throughout the galaxy. Warp drive, as used by human spacecraft, were not used by the early Eldar and this kind of travel within the warp rather than thrugh tunnels was regarded by the Eldar as dangerous and impractical.
Mention of the Eldar and the Old Slaan. I believe its been mentioned that some theorize the Old Slaan are the "old ones" talked about in the Necron Codex, although I believe this theory has been discounted. It would seem likley that the Slaan simply taught the Eldar at some point (taking over for the Old Ones perhaps - they may be another one of the engineered races ilke the Orks and Eldar themselves.) Chronologically this seems to take place sometime before the Eldar's rise to power (suggesting they were being trained by the Slaan to take whatever mantle the Slaan might have been passing on, perhaps from the Old Ones) but sometime after the war between the Old Ones and Necrons.
It's also interesting to note that even before Slaanesh's birth, the Eldar considered warp travel via warp drive highly dangerous.
They [Old Slann] taught how every living thought and feeling creates an echo in the warp, and how like characteristics re-echo together, creating a unified circulating wave of energy. Such waves form vortices of pure energy manifesting a collective consciousness and will. The Slann called these conscious warp creatures the Powers of Chaos.
The Eldar fell victim ot the monster crated by their own racial inclinations: a Power of Chaos raised by their common ambitions and motives. As the Power grew stronger, its echoes began to permeate the minds of the Eldar themselves, reinforcing the qualities upon which it fed and furrthering its own growth. The natural ambitions and ideals of the Eldar, healthy enough in moderation, were soon reinforced to a point of obsession and insanity.
The Slann give perspective on the creation and manifestation of warp entities, particularly what are called daemons. We also learn that Slaanesh's birth was preceeded by effects which were largely synergistic - the Eldar were influenced as much by Slaanesh's creation as they influenced that creation, creating a nasty sort of self-perpetuating cycle (much like other phenomena like daemon summoning or Warp storms - the emotions triggered by large scale conflicts can sometimes prolong or even indefinitely sustain some forms of warp activity.) This phenomena echoes the Avatar of Khaine and its influence on the Craftworld Eldar (and vice versa, probably.)
In any event, this "self fufilling prophecy" sort of thing lends an interesting aspect to the Fall - a sort of "trap" they fell into - that it was as much due to infleunce by outside forces as well sa Eldar stupidity.
Today the entire Eldar civilization is located on board the giant craft worlds which float throughout the galaxy. The size of these worlds varies tremendously, some are almost the size of a small planet whilst others are little more than a city floating in space.
The craft worlds still preserve the warp tunnel technology of the Eldar, and every craft world has many entrances to warp tunnels inside it. Some warp tunnels are large enough only to admit a single Eldar, others are large enough to drive a substantial vehicle through. The largest of all are located outside the craft worlds, either contained within or suspended in space nearby. They are virtually invisible of course, little more than a patch of darkness, but they allow whole spacefleets to move between the different worlds, and from craft worlds to solar systems throughout the galaxy. In this way the Eldar can move easily and quickly throughout the galaxy.
Craftworlds "the size of a small planet" might suggest hundreds or evne thousands of kilometers in diameter, while city size suggests maybe tens of km or less. The "warp tunnels" mentioned would obviously be the webway, prior to the invention of that name.
While the Old Slann taught the Eldar about the dangers of the warp, they also taught them about its many positive aspects. They taught how the mind of a living creature passes upon death into the warp, wher eit may, if the individual mind has achieved power, remain whole and immortal as a spirit in the warp. The Old Slann believed that the object of life was to perfect the mind, and thereby achieve conscious immortality as a spirit in the warp. Once created and immortal spirit could reincarnate as a living creature, and would always return to the warp as a whole spirit upon death. However, the Old Slann also warned that such existence was impossible if an individual's own thoughts were too close to those of a Power of Chaos, for when that happened a deceased consciousness woudl be devoured by the greater Power, losing its identify and melting into it.
The Old slaan basically sound like the Shamans of Earth who reincarnated as the GEoM. Also, we learn here about the gestalt-like nature of Chaos entities - they consume/compose themselves not just of the energies of their minions, but also their souls, which presumably provide more substantial strengthening than the former does.
Today the Eldar know that upon death their consciousness will not survive, but will be devoured by Slaanesh and further invigorate that which is the eternal shame of their race. THey can have no immortal life as a spirit, and in death can only hope to serve the creature they regard as their most potent enemy. It was as a response to this fate that the Eldar developed the Infinity Circuit.
The Infinity Circuit is a repository of Eldar minds, a collection of objects called Spirit Stones. The consciousness of one or more Eldar is preserved in each Spirit Stone. OF course, a consciousness is not quite a living mind, so many Eldar minds can occupy a single Spirit Stone manifesting a collecitve consciousness, or pool of knowledge. Althoguh STones are individual reposittories, all share the energy of the entire Infinity Circuit, and are linked by the energy flowing between them. When an Eldar dies his spirit passes into a small temporary spiritual repository called a way Stone. The Way Stone can only hold the spirit for a limited time, during which the Eldar's spirit must be transferred to a spirit stone for it to survive. All Eldar wear a Way Stone, a small stud or decorated emblen which will hodl their spirit if they die, usually on their breast.
Each craft world has its own Infinity Circuit, spread over many Spirit Stones where the consciousness of its past citizens resides. The craft world's Infinity Circuit represents a vast repository of wisdom and expeirence, and it is treated with ultimate respect by the Eldar who live upon that craft world. Every Eldar knows that his fate is to join his forefathers in the Infinity Circuit when he dies. If an Eldar dies before his spirit can be gathered, this is regarded as a great loss and terrible fate. The Infinity circuit of the craft world is regarded in many respects like a living creature, which in some ways it is, contributing its own undying wisdom to the government of the living
There are many small Spirit Stones containing one or only a few collective minds. These smaller Spirit Stones sometimes lie at the heart of machiens, spacecraft, or toher mechanical devices in such as way that the consciousness they contain can conjoin and harmonize with the minds of living Eldar. The relationship is a useful one to the surviving Eldar, and one which has grown to be entirely natural for them.
The infinicty circuit and spirit stones. The spirit stones and IC as we know also form teh cornerstone of Eldar power generation and computer tech (or what passes for it)
The ultimate examples of Eldar meshing with Spirit Stones is that of the craetures called Avatars. Every Craft World has a number of Avatars, battle suits build around a Spirit Stone housing the idealised spirit of an Eldar principle. Such stones contain only the parts of consciousness which most embody an aspect of the Eldar character. An Eldar who becomes an Avatar melds his own personality with the idealised spirit of a racial principle, becoming a living manifestation of that atittude of the Eldar character. Once an Eldar has donned the suit of an Avatar, he and the Spirit Stone are united until he dies, the Eldar simply forgets he has its own personality and becomes enmeshed within the single-minded thoughts of the Avatar. Upon death, the Eldar's own spirit passes into the stone and awaits a new Avatar. The Avatars are important to the Eldar, they are liviing virtues, the embodiment of what they see as worthy about their ace. The AVatar sare the most important occupants of a craft world.
A further example of this melding of Eldar and Spirit Stone is the Phantom Titan, where the minds of its living crew meld into the Spirit Stone of the Titan itself, and are governerd by its vast fighting experience. Unlike the Avatar the melding is only temporary, but it still enables the crew to fight with all the battle-wisdom and ferocity embodied by the s pirit in the stone.
Out of universe, this sounds like in earlier times the Exarch concept was merged with the Avatar of Khaine. In practice though, this isnt neccesairly inconsistent with the more modern understanding of what the Avatar is. After all, something happens to the body of the Young King, and its likely that its spirit does go into the Avatar the same way an Exarch's spirit joins the infinity circuit of the suit. And as noted, Khaine basically is a manifestation of the warlike natures and emotions of the Eldar, so the idea that he might "absorb" souls is plausible. This of course highlights that the more modern "Avatars" also have properties quite similar to the summoning of daemonic creatures (eg blood sacrifice). except that the body being possessed isn't flesh and blood (its more like a daemon engine/vehicle or some construct like the Brass Thief from Ravenor.) Hell in this manner the Avatar is more like a really powerful sort of Wraithguard/Wraithlord/Dreadnought. That the Avatar is likened to a Eldar Titan is a further reinforcement of that idea.
They believe that when the Infinity Circuit hold all the spirits of their race, all of the craft worlds will unite into one Infinity Circuit, and the collective spirits of the Eldar will join to form a new Power of Chaos that will battle and subdue Slaanesh, ,so that Eldar spirits may once more be able to merge with it and form a single, balanced entity. By doign so, if such a thing is possible,t hey hope that this will allow the Eldar race to be recreated in a better form. Meanwhile the Avatars of the craftworlds must guard the Spirit Stones from harm and continue to survive, so that all Eldar can see and form in their own minds a concept of the Eldar virtues that will enter along with their spirits into the Infinity circuits.
Eldar version of the Star child basically, which we probably could refer to as "Plan A." Their meddling with the Illuminati and Sensei and the whole Numen concept is probably their "Plan B" for dealing with Chaos.