The eldar arrive on day eight of Black Library’s 2016 Advent Calendar in Wraithbound by JC Stearns, in which a combined force of craftworld and corsair eldar make a daring webway assault onto an Imperial world that’s been overrun by orks. Among the first wave is Crimson Hunter pilot Seoci, firmly on the path of the hunter but not yet lost to it. Donning his war mask as he goes into battle, he pushes aside thoughts of his previous path until his past comes back to haunt him when his craftworld’s wraith constructs take to the field.
Stearns may be a new name for Black Library but on the basis of this he clearly understands the 40k universe, and the eldar in particular. Seoci nicely demonstrates the knife edge that all eldar balance upon, especially the Aspect Warriors, wrestling with his place on his path even while he’s gunning down orks with sneering distaste. For a character introduced in a short story he’s remarkably well formed, which means the story’s high tempo and well choreographed action scenes don’t dominate, but provide an engaging backdrop to the arc he moves through as events play out. Well worth a read, whether you’re an eldar fan or not.