THE CRAFTPLANET – ART AMONG THE GARDEN BORN

Wraithbone, the solidified substance of the immaterium; psy-reactive psycho-plastic conductive crystalized psychic-energy existing in realspace. Brought from the Warp and shaped by concentration of a Bonesinger’s thought and intention, strung along strands similar to the Seer and the Artisan, called the Path of Shaping. The Bonesinger’s Path had drawn me here … but the CraftPlanet shaped me.

Called the Artful planet by the Exodites, I could feel her power like I had the Earth’s had once been … how many years now, a psy-shielded and self-healing crystal, with self-contained bio-systems and breathable atmosphere like that of the Craftworld that had once breathed alone in realspace, and now they breathed together like some Tantric lover, her sphere penetrated by it’s obelisk when in shadowy histories it crashed inside her.

Exodites, Rangers, those who left this Craftworld after the crash and since seldom take to the stars, rather they wander the pathways of their kindred spirit with the planet, so often both Exodites and Rangers are all referred to as Ranger rather than Outcast. There are no Outcasts as those who leave the Craftworld’s ruins are best at home in the forests, and the forests have long since grown into the Craft, thus often the Path of the Rangers often loops in knotted whorls to dive them deeper into the Craftworld itself, not further away. Still, as they wander often hunting the odd and eery psychedelic plants the Rangers here have been known even by the Dark Eldar for wildcrafting and trading in, the Rangers, Dark Eldar, and pirates alike find themselves playing out the lore of the world in stories enhanced by the dream plants of the Artful planet, so even those truly without mask other than tails of Troupes of olden lore, come home. Often Alaitoc Rangers visit the CraftPlanet for sport and thus the local Rangers glean many skills from them as well, trading both wildcraft and psychedlic dreams for various skills.

But perhaps it is the Bonesingers who know best the lore of the CraftPlanet for they were the ones first to lay healing hands upon her, if for no other reasons first than hope of salvaging their Craft, and although there are Exodites in the truer sense who prefer to live outside the actual Craftworld, some flying the clouds upon dragons out of human mytho-history, some delving the crystal caves to her heart, many are the Bonesinger who now marshal the terrestrial forces in crystal caves; just as many are the Guardians who live between the two that are one, with armor and weapons readied to defend their homes and kin both on planet and off.

When I came, I had not yet become kin, only kindred in heart, having lived long ago on Terra before the lore of all but that in the memory of the Emperor and other ancients, when it was called the Himalayan mountains. And that is what they call us still, the humans that have been sung here … kindred, sung into the heart-stone of the Artful planet. There exists a favorable relationship in this Pacific Sector, between those of the Artful planet and, certain members of the Inquisition radical such as myself, and always it is the same relationship, a keening call from the crystal core, her heart a symbol of unity here. Yellow and black, the Sun and Moon, but some say they are simply two suns, one visible the other hidden. And yet few it is among the Inquisition who’ve drank a ladel of the the waters of the Well of Healing, the deep waters of the planet infused with the vital energy by the marriage of the heart-stone at the crystal core and Wraithbone psychic-force, a well fed as the planet is shrouded, by the clouds of phsychic energy storms.

There is concern the leisure lifestyle on the CraftPlanet may lead to it’s military might weakening and/or worse a falling of the perceived pleasure planet’s population into avarice, however what is known clearly to the Ranger, Heartsinger-Bonesinger, and Spirit Seers is that as the planet and Craftworld merge, entwining crystal and Wraithbone like tentacled lovers, and the Craftworld is made fully operational again, it will become a void traveling planet, leaving the Eye of Terror completely for a more permanent rest in the Pacific Segmentum; but for now just as she exists as the union of Craftworld and planet, she exists in two states at once, a mystery even to those who’ve glimpsed the insane reaches of Commorragh, straddling the webway her tentacles reaching far indeed.

Speaking of the Dark Eldar, those of the Artful Planet have just such a sporting relationship with Saim-Hann, and the their jetbike riders are fond of sporting with Those Of The Art as we (may I take the liberty here) are called, although those of Saim-Hann are notorious risk takers and considered “unruly” by the more true Ranger considering the planet surface home, being literally on alert constantly within the Eye of Terror actually the Eldar of this craftplanet are more thankful and grateful for any respite from hard work and warfare.

Those Of The Art are known for hope in the face of battle and misery, the seed for the Seed of Hope can be found beginning with the nature of the planet, which sustained them after the collision with her bountiful food, until contact with other Craftworlds (and eventually travel through the local Webway portal) opened up trade and resources, which attracts pirates, rogues, Dark Eldar and even the Harlequin to this day.

It is rumored that among the diversity of the CraftPlanet’s inhabitants, and among it’s various hidden places, many solitaire reside. Often called the Laughing Planet for the respite it offers and the fabulous dances of the Harlequin Mask of the Hidden Treasure – Sarva-Guhyatamam in my language, the interplay of mirage and oasis the swampy wastes are known for, weave together like the stories of the Shadowseers … whom it is said favor the company of the most Artful Rangers and their sacred plants; so the story of Ve’r and Kin’dar’esh, “The Love of the Ranger and His Shadow” is told around fires at night when the young couples (of course Eldar are young even after hundreds of years) sit around playing instruments and singing. Knowing your drugs and songs for someone whose life is an act, discerning what is mundane play from sacred isn’t a curiosity, considering as I do, that Vect and Eldrad are possibly two of the greatest Troupe Masters ever, cleverly pulling the strings of their civilizations … but then that’s the drugs, the fire, and the song talking.

But it was the keening in my psychic mind of the runes of the Artful Planet that drove me, relentlessly at times, to find her. When I first discovered those runes, or perhaps realized I’d always known them, is a long mysterious tale. But, having found her, I’ve listened close to the Bonecrystalsingers in their caves, the Rangers in their forests, the Spiritseers in their meditations, and the Harlequin at their dance, this is what I gleaned: within the rune is also found the symbol of unity, that of a shared story, this rune is divided to show both a division between the planet and the Craftworld, the Rangers and other Eldar, also the dawn and dusk of this twilight world like a dance caught between terror and peace; the arcs of mastery are also symbols of the splitting open of the seed and blossoming of hope, a hope hinted at by the Harlequin dancing the Artful Planet’s herstory, and depicted in their darkened-in symbol of unity veiling what they really know; yet contained within this seed of hope is the Sygil of the Serpent, a reminder of the serpent power and the cycle of birth and death, profoundly demonstrated by the nature of the planet, the event of the crash, and return to realspace of the Craftworld itself. How the serpent links the upper and lower triangles, connects them as they form the symbol of unity, the lower triangle surrounded by a sphere in some depictions, hold further keys.

The colors of the Craftworld are that of Wraithbone itself, often blending well with the actual bare Wraithbone of their armor and weapons, and the Wraith constructs such as Wraith Knights are thus mainly unpainted; the world-rune also contains a hint at the original world-rune, that of a white and black sun combined, references of this black and white duality may be found embellishing the armies of the CraftPlanet, as well as red or bluish-purple flourishes symbolizing the spiritual power of dusk and dawn, as well as saffron colors of robes similar to the ancient sadhus of human mytho-history.

Fertility vs. perversion of the two Masks, and their balance but also how these sustain life, a weaving play of the local Harlequin, and this is after all relatively a minor Craftworld (10 to 100 times smaller than most Craftworlds) and once lost after the Fall of the Eldar, either rune choice the name has remained the same, the Ranger-like Exodites of this world actually refer to themselves as the Adi-Shesha’nagai (those who first crawled on their bellies from the wreckage to become the first of the elders of the Eldar to step foot on the Artful planet’s surface after the crash of their void-ship, the ancestors who first delved beneath the planet into the underworld and installed the world-crystal heart-stone known as the Ma’durg.

Drawn to Ma’durg, the Dark Eldar have been known to sport on the planet in precariously dangerous ways, bringing with them dangerous xenos species many of whom could irreversibly endanger not only the natural habitat (what remained and grew back after the crash) but all life of the CraftPlanet. Genestealers and Orks, occasional warpstorms and rare demonic incursion are the greatest threat, still the ‘nagai toil terraforming the damaged ecosystem, and many there are now, the Garden Born, children of the elders born on the surface, called the Lilaethanai-naga (children of the Maiden or Maiden World), they generally spend much time on the Path of Dreaming, their local drug culture is rampant and fueled by visits of Dark Eldar pirates, and some who get their drugs from the notorious Artful Planet Eldar Ranger known only as bandhu (friend), or other notorious pirates such as Wildlaser (whom some think is a rogue Wraith Seer or other psyker). It is actually true that Space Wolves accompanied by Inquisitors have been invited and hunted together on the planet, but just as likely Space Wolves have been brought to the Craftplanet for sport … it happens.

The Artful planet simply doesn’t fit categorization as either a Craftworld or Maiden World nor is it a Crone World (you could say it’s a fusion of Crone and Craftworld although it doesn’t completely exist in phase with the Warp) so it is often overlooked by encyclopedias and/or glossaries, what fabled documentation is heavily recorded in Black Library tomes better the songs of the Harlequin tell and dance.

Some settlements of humans may have occurred, migrations from offworld colonies in the Warp … however the whereabouts of these are definitely guarded against the Dark Eldar pirates, as all who are mysteriously drawn to the shelter of Ma’durg are given reasonable obeisance. The CraftPlanet called Sarva and also colloquially called Sharva and thus Shar’va by the T’au, is visited by many pirates and voyagers; those T’au I’ve met embrace the purports hidden within the World Rune reminiscent of those human mytho-histories called the I’Ching, Yin-Yang and Tao.

Probably one of the most notorious of the rogues that have visited Sarva, allowing me some introduction, is the Inquisitor Zohar’el, although some refer to me as the pirate Chaos Lord Zoharion. I’m known to frequent the Craftplanet and generally to keep company with the Harlequin (some whisper rumors of me being an Illuminati lol; I try not to downplay conspiracies as often they may serve a purpose true or not), the Rangers, especially those who dwell in the jungles call me Kapishrestha (foremost among the Monkei – monkeys) and the Harlequin call me Chiranjivi (immortal), the Dark Eldar pirates I consort with call me Chill’um, possibly a play on the epiphet Chiranjivi I do not know, but all who know me are fond of my Lho-leaf strain named Zo [note this is the only public connection between Zohar’el and Zoharion I’m aware of; on the agri-world of Dreah this strain is called Zoharion, which Zo is short for, thus me, and my leaf, are circulated by pleasure cults, including but not limited to, The Rainbow Family on Sarva]. My abode along the ocean, in the Forest of White, is often where I may be found, when other work hasn’t dragged me kicking and screaming from the CraftPlanet. Often I may be found performing rituals with my, um, dancing friend – Li-a-Leth. I call this particular home Hammer House, there are many various Regicide games I’ve collected, many rare indeed, it’s often nice to play and sip magical tea. Most evenings with a fire gleaming in the hearth, I invite a game of Regicide with friends who drop in, and perhaps you’ll find your way to the Hammer House as well and smoke some Zoharion, or … just Zo.

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