Index Apocrypha: Dain Mir

Index Apocrypha: Dain Mir


'Child-of-Earth, come. You, too, are children-of-our-fathers – but as the elder, we must protect you from the things-in-the-iron. Withdraw, and you may sing with the silver stars themselves.'

[//Announcement before the Raid-on-Usermaatre, Hubris; attr. Caoimhin+] 


Xenos in the time of the False Primarch

In the thirty-fourth Millennium, as the War of the False Primarch dawns, conflicts between different species are generally local, minor and far between. Two principles are account for this. Firstly, the galaxy is dark and full of terrors – but it is also cobweb-thin. Lacking both vector and velocity, species without warp travel – and a means of navigating same – are limited to their local space; space that may never be traversed by another species. Even aggressive species, like the Endrill or the ever-present Orks, are far more likely to find empty worlds than those belonging to the Imperium. For all its might, the idea of 'borders' to the Imperium is conceptual more than actual.

Secondly, Mankind is dominant once more. Those cultures that do possess the means and motive to travel across the galaxy are, if not contained, generally wary of trespassing where they might meet humanity. 

As a result, most men and women of this time will live their whole lives without meeting with xenos. A term redolent with sinister undertones, it originally meant 'outsider' or 'stranger', and was applied equally to human travellers from other planets as non-humans. During this period, the word xenos has shed many of its subtleties, and come to mean simply alien.

So cloistered and shuttered are most denizens of the imperium that even this truncated concept is hard to grasp. The idea of powers outside of the monolithic Imperium seem historical, almost abstract. The 'Space Marines' are spoken of in the alien equivalents of hushed tones by species from the Janii to the Absectos; and in the region local to the crisis precipitated by the False Primarch, the Segmentum Pacificus, more than three hundred and fifty Chapters stood sentinel, proof of mankind's dominance – at least, that is, until the majority were drawn into the Annulus Umbra...

[//designate: janii 'Varden'+]

The men and women of the Sectors Morqub and Helipolis are thus not alone in regarding xenos, if they think of them at all, as metaphors or allegories. Their only contact with the word is through the Ecclesiarchy, where xenos is used in catechism alongside other, more insidious and less obvious enemies: traitors, heretics, mutants, recidivists, the non-compliant.

'Compromise is kin to treachery.'

[//Thought for the day+] 

If confronted with an alien, to the citizens of most worlds in the region, reluctance is likely to be the most pressing sensation. Mere association, let alone contact, would imply venality or corruption.

With all this said, it is important to not lose sight of the context of the threat posed by xenos. While the Imperium as a whole is safe – from the point of view of the High Lords of Terra – individual settlements, world or even clusters are still attacked by xenos fleets. Conflict is not all-encompassing, nor yet an existential threat to the Imperium, but alien invasion is catastrophic on the scale of humanity, and many species are well-capable of utterly scouring a world of human life before help can be mustered. 


The Eldar

[//Surufesh Silvertongue+]

Even in the context of the rarity and unfamiliarity in which xenos are held in this period, the Aeldari – or Eldar – are exceptional. Millennia might pass without major conflict between the Imperium and the drifting artificial planets of the Eldar, and it is not uncommon for centuries to pass between even contact being made. On at least two occasions in the annals of the Ordo Xenos they have been declared functionally extinct, or demoted from subsectorial threat to xeno minoris; only to unexpectedly demonstrate once more their deadly capabilities.

The Eldar, it seems, have concluded that contact with humanity is best avoided – and in turn, humanity is more than willing to ignore the lessons of that alien empire, built in a time unimaginably ancient to most of mankind, and lost before the rise of the Imperium.

Possessing a superficially similar body structure, the Eldar appear to mankind as beautiful, even idealised, versions of themselves. This is deceptive. The Eldar possess minds, means and motivations as alien as any other species. To attempt to rationalise their actions during the War of the False Primarch is difficult, perhaps impossible.

'A child of your god! How wonderful [/pointless?]. As if that profligate corpse had not already spent his spoor across our [/personal possessive] broken galaxy, five for each spiral! And to what end? Savaging one another, play-acting [/child-like mimicry] at the War in Heaven [/ref: unknown]; repeating the cycle. You might have learned from us; as we might have from the Eldest [/ref: Old Ones?], and so on, to when the stars were puffs of breath in an empty void [/tautology deliberate?]. 

And yet you [/specific: interlocutor] think this time will be the last? This is just a tiny play, for you villagers [/tiny community unaware of the greater], an echo to remind you of how far you have come, and how small your prayers. Cast them not to him-on-earth, for he cannot intercede. Instead, pray that the actions of Riagan [/ref: unknown] do not distract blind Doroinnte [/ref: unknown] from the Péist.[/ref: unknown]'

[//Meara, captured Asuryani; presumed 'aspect warrior' of the 'Laughing God' subsect.]


Dain Mir

'Their persistence in the face of Humanity Dominant might almost prove admirable, were they not so monstrously alien. For the Eldar have ever been infamously elusive, their taste for open and honourable warfare thin. In this, the Dain-Mir are typical of their kind. Many theories for their presence here have been extended to me – aiding the Abomination; opposing it. Some even claim they created it – but all theories are ultimately pointless. To attempt to understand one's foe is a blasphemy. I, and therefore all of you, need know only one thing of the Dain Mir: that they are unwelcome here, and should be prosecuted with all possible vehemence.'

[//Master Enoch, Ordo Astartes+]


The Eldar rarely act openly against humanity in these times – though that should not be taken to mean that there are never conflicts. Indeed, even within the Sector Morqub, for the five decades preceding the War of the False Primarch, the Inheritors had been conducting a series xenocidal battles (for, while they were vicious, they were so infrequently fought that it is difficult to consider them an organised campaign) against an unusually stubborn, elusive and determined Craftworld seemingly dubbed Dain Mir


Following the collapse of their pagan empire before the succession of our own, the Eldar fragmented into distinct cultures. Dain Mir is one of the Craftworlds built by the asuyrani Eldar, who developed an ascetic rejection of their forebears' paganism, possibly to avoid further degradation. There are no records of Dain Mir itself being sighted by Imperial eyes, not even our vassals in the Mec[...]

[//appendnoteedit: Quotations of earlier recensions in other works indicate that Confronted may have referred here to aprocryphal Rogue Trader reports, but this section of material has been obliterated.+]

[..]balance of evidence remains that the state-ship haunts the so-called Nonesuch Rift. Dain Mir warlord-psykers apparently regard the northern regions of Sector Morqub, possibly the Pieride Waste, as part of their protectorate. Confessions secured by peregrinating Inquisitors have shown that Dain Mir has links with other Eldar cultures beyond the Rift, possibly including asrai primitivist colonies or barbaric maighdean domhain which remain as-yet beyond the pale of Imperial space, and possibly even moirai lurking in ancient rimward citadels. Indeed, some early reports refer to the Dain Mir as halator eldar, despite the distance of Sector Morqub from the rim.

Certainly, the Dain Mir have affiliations with less-organised pirate groups. While some of these are undoubtedly linked by kinship ties to the Craftworld state-ship itself, others could be part of a network of alliances with such corsair groups [cf. Kabal of the Sun Betrayed; Black Suns; Hands-out-of-Night].

[//Testament, Agentident 'Confronted'+]



While the primary sources have, like so much else, been scoured from the record, the struggles between the Dain Mir and Inheritors seems to have attracted particular significance in the later War of the False Primarch. This is attributed to a fascinating resource, the Testament of Confronted, a formal Inquisitorial document that detailed what little was known about the Dain Mir. 

Classified and sequestered by the Ordo Chronos at some point during the conflict, the Testament and two near-contemporary reviews of it avoided redaction during the Edict of Obliteration. All three unaccountably came to light during the so-called 'Alien Wars' of the 36th Millennium, during an anonymous auction as part of the estate of a minor Rogue Trader dynast.

The Testament itself is full of surprising detail and insight, although the two accompanying reviews are united in regarding its conclusions as the unwarranted result of hindsight. This highlights the difficulty in determining almost anything with certainty in the eight decades of the War of the False Primarch: even during its unfolding events, much was rendered secret, unintentionally lost or redacted – and what little remains is often inconclusive.

[//Dain Mir warriors conduct a raid+]

Nevertheless, the Testament remains a fascinating document, whose author – cryptically known as 'Confronted' – is otherwise unknown. One of the reviews of the Testament alludes to a 'Br. Broderic', which may point to the identity of Confronted, but this cannot be ascertained. A number of extracts are presented, together with commentary, below.

[...]written in detail about the 'Eldar' at length. Inquisitor Troke's treatise on the Asuryani of the gaoth claíomh may be nearly two centuries old, but is still the most reliable of the surviving Indices Xenos outlining the habits and military strategy of a specific Eldar cultu[...]mary of the Eldar form has influences his successors, including the redoubtable Inquisitrix Ba[...]ills's summary of the Eldar xenocultures in her collected Anatomy of the Eldar wa[...]. 
I will thus assume a base knowledge of these invidious creatures, and focus upon the Dain-Mir {trans: unknown} and its relationship with [the matter at hand].

[//Testament, Agentident 'Confronted'+]

So opens the (regrettably fragmented) first book of the Testament of Confronted. Assuming a clearance level of Saffron and above are obtained, the remainder of the Testament is remarkably unredacted. Apparently written during the closing stages of the Myrean League campaign, the Testament outlines the author's theories surrounding the Eldar's involvement in the broader war of the False Primarch, including his sensational belief that the Dain Mir had been involved in – or were the direct cause of – the 'Primarch' making an appearance in the sector.

Transliteration note: 'Dain Mir' remains the most common transliteration into Gothic script of the Craftworld, but other common variants include 'Dain-Muir' and 'Dhan-Muir'. As with most Eldar concept-nouns, 'true' pronunciation is implicitly impossible for the tongues of non-psykers, and the holy script of Gothic, whether High or Vulgate, likewise cannot readily convey their pollution. I beg the reader's indulgence for the stylistic choices I have made herein.


While the Testament stops short of suggesting that the Eldar were at the root of directly causing the War (a theory that a number of monodominant Ordo Xenos agents appeared to have championed) Confronted draws together dozens of seemingly unrelated incidents to build his argument that the Dain Mir, far from being a bit player in events, were instrumental in extending the war.

In particular, Confronted claims that the Eldar's involvement began at least a century before the normally recognised date that the war began in 780.M33.

This is critical, as it would imply foreknowledge of the Silver Stars' arrival in the region – and contact with the being they knew as Riagan; better known to archeohistorians as 'The False Primarch'.

'Níl ann ach cleasanna. I gcás duine nach cuimhin rud ar bith, cheapann sé go leor de féin.'

[//Surufesh Silvertongue+] 

[//Surufesh Silvertongue was associated with a number of Dain Miri assaults; though his direct relationship with the Craftworld remains ambiguous+]


Fleet actions

[//Sector Morqub, pre-War disposition ca. M33+]

For the vast majority of the war, encounters with Dain Miri assets were limited to Morqub, and principally in the spinwards reaches – that is, at the top of the above map. While the Craftworld itself was never sighted – the inevitable rumours being attributable mostly to Imperial Naval personnel – substantial fleets were deployed in wilderness spaces, where they occasionally came into conflict with Imperial forces; primarily Partisan. 

Dain Mir void craft varied a great deal in structure and apperance. Typically blue in colour, this was far from uniform; many were coloured in a similar pale rose to their infantry fighting forces; though the siginificance of this is unclear.

[//A Riven Lords squadron harries a Dain Mir ship in the Pieride Waste+]

Insofar as any Eldar's actions can be considered typical, conflicts had been wide-ranging, intermittent and astrographically varied. No substantiated records remain, but occasional evidence is brought to light that Dain Mir squadrons engaged many assets in and around the Nonesuch Rift over a long period; including those of both Partisan and Orthodox Naval fleets; as well as the Jade Talons, Riven Lords, Red Fish and Death Eagles. How this affected the overall war is unclear.


By far the greatest source of information on fleet actions is the infomration submitted by the Inheritors prior to the war. Initially accompanied by squadrons drawn from Battlefleet: Morqub, the Chapter had fought a number of fleet engagements, initially in the wilderness space region of Venture's End, then latterly in the Pieride Wastes.

[//Tentatively identified as the Hellebore-class frigate Cearbhallain. This pict-capture bears now-scrubbed Jade Talon identmarks.+]

Their presence in the Pieride Waste was noted (in a fragmentary missive of Unius Kot of the Riven Lords) as unusual, as both approach and retreat from the region would likely have brought the Dain Mir perilously close to the picket lines of the Chapter Worlds Frith and Chernobog. It is particularly galling to have no further detail on this, as the Testament includes the following tantalising fragment:
It has been hypothesised that the Dain Mir's relentless aggression against the Inheritors chapter of  the Emperor's holy Astartes was due to the 'Anomaly' sequestered deep in the iron heart of their domain. Unfortunately, [obliterated].

Given the later prominence of the 'Spear of Atom', its bearer, Pazuzu [ref. Wormwood Sons] and its part in the climax of the Myrean League campaign, one is left wondering whether the route perhaps suggests an intentional avenue being drawn that led the Eldar to significant positions realted to the Wormwood Vault, and the Anomaly


The Dain Mir's strategic doctrine during the conflict with the Inheritors emphasised 'targeted strikes, raids and smaller skirmishes'. Analysis from the Officio Tacticorum indicates that the Eldar – while a serious and pernicious threat – were pursuing a strategy common to their kind, and well-known to Imperial strategists: that of trying to prevent an escalation to total war with the forces of the God-Emperor. 

This was at odds with their continued needling of the Chapter. Provoking a fully-fledged Imperial Crusade against their world-ship would likely have caused a catastrophic loss of life, possibly even their extinction, an end that the Dain Mir were seemingly unwilling to contemplate. Their continued campaigns against the Holy Imperium thus implied that Morqub held something of value to these 'wretched pagans'.

Time itself is no barrier to the might of the Emperor, and eventually the Amritsar Crusade was called, rousing the Inheritors to their full strength against the alien aggressors. This war is attested by the ink of other adepts, and it suffices to quote the Testament once more:

'although the Inheritors fought with the honour and skill of their forebears, they were laid low by the underhanded tactics of their cruel enemy at Hong Qi. Devastated and forced to withdraw, the Inheritors were betrayed by heretic pirates hiding behind false colours at Choreopsis. We know the succeeding events.'

[//Editrix: The above interpolation by an unknown hand may be the last substantial edit to the text as we have it. From here, the author becomes relatively frank regarding the events of our study.]

Despite their victory at Hong Qi, the Amritsar campaign was a pyrrhic conflict for the Dain Miri. Their primary fleet was shattered after the intervention of the Silver Stars. For much of the remaining War, the Dain Mir kept themselves hidden until the oft-murmured Engine Walk against Legio Validus and Punica in the latter days. 

After their spectacular actions prior to the War – without which, some argue, the Partisan alliance could never have formed – the Eldar seem to have withdrawn almost entirely. Their ground forces would rarely engage Imperial soldiery, whether Partisan or Orthodox, on an even footing, instead returning to the pre-Amritsar tactics of ambush, evasion, and even political manipulation via assassination or psycho-propaganda. 

[//'Rangers', sometimes called 'Pathfinders' or 'Blazers', (the latter term common amongst Partisan Imperial Guard), were infamous amongst the Regiments of the Delphurnean League. Their presence commonly led to greater than average attrition rates for officers.+]


On the Ground


The material from the Testament provides a great deal of excellent information on the ground forces fielded by the Dain Miri. 

'On the ground, Dain Mir showed a reluctance to deploy excessive numbers of militia pedites, their raid-forces favouring the utilisation of their religio-martial orders, such as the Spiders, Spears, and Arleccino. Over two dozen such martial organisations are known to the Officio Tacticorum, although others are suspected. These more elite pagan soldiers – some of whom were mounted on speeders or aeronautica – were supported by flexible auxiliaries, including scouts, corsair raiders, and similar deniable assets.'

[//Testament, Agentident 'Confronted'+]

That the Dain Mir largely functioned in a manner similar to that seen in other Asuryani – the Craftworld-borne nomadic Eldar – is little surprise. Eldar culture is stilted and formal, and over the thousands of years that humanity has borne witness to them, they have altered little. Dain Mir seems to have been unexceptional in terms of the balance of its forces, with perhaps a slight preference for the deployment of  their 'Corsair' mercenaries – thought this may be some quirk of the Guardians' personal appearance – and a preponderance of heavy armour in the form of grav tanks in their larger strike forces. 

It is difficult to make this assertion, for so many of the reports contained within demonstrate a marked prejudice for smaller-scale skirmishes – presumably because Confronted was simply more likely to have been in a position to experience these than the few grand ground battles in which the Eldar may have fought. 

While the Dain Mir warrior cults restrained themselves to the traditional colours of their shrine founders [original: Exarchs], their pedites wore more uniform colours across Craftworld ground forces. These were combinations of coral pink, parchment whites, and an occasional flash of yellow or sea-green, possibly religious or cultural in origin. The reasons for these colours are unknown, although there are reports from Mechanicus xeno-linguistic specialists that white is an Eldar colour of mourning. 


The similarity between the pink-tinged armour and sea-green flashes of the Eldar, and the SIlver Stars' own scheme draws occasional comment. No direct correlation can be drawn, and little is conclusive. It remains, nevertheless, a tantalising thread – one that is pursued in the related Index Apocrypha: Silver Stars append-document.

[//'Guardian' warriors. While not deployed lightly, the Guardians were neverthless by far the most numerous soldier-type faced by the Imperium during the War.+]

Equipment was almost invariably constructed from the versatile psychoplastic compound used by asuryani eldar across recorded space, with heavy emphasis on shuriken anti-personnel weaponry, along with heavier plasma- and warp-containment weaponry. Melee weapons were especially common, for such a conflict-averse people, and inevitably are honed to monofilament edges, often self-powered.

[//Testament, Agentident 'Confronted'+]

We must consider the Orthodox leanings of the author in analysing the ground forces of the Dain Mir, for the Dain Mir operated in a very restricted way in Heliopolis, where Confronted seems to have been conducting his research. It must be considered likely that Eldar raiding on Morqub during the middle part of the war accounts for much of the absence of certain Partisan companies or individuals in the later war. It is likely that at least two Void Baron Captains – Omos and Kanidat – for example, were lost in combat with the Dain Mir during the Sorrowful Years.
The Testament expands in quite some detail on battles in which the Dain Mir were involved, though frustratingly, few of these are attested elsewhere. In particular, it makes the curious assertion – hinted at elsewhere in the generally accepted texts related to the War of the False Primarch – that the Eldar were not merely present on Null, but formed a significant host. 

Alas, the detail of this is one of the rare excisions made to the original text by one or other of the Ordo Xenos reviewers. This is in itself of interest, for it implies that the Ordo Xenos were considerably more concerned about details of the xenos emerging than details of what was then a relatively run-of-the-mill campaign against a seemingly minor false prophet.

[//Rangers were common in Dain Mir attacks+]


Leadership and aims

Eldar, as is well-attested, are peculiarly psy-sensitive, and the psykers of Dain Mir were commonly in positions of power:

Dain Mir strategic operations were hypothesised to be overseen by warlord-psykers, the Fadradharcacha [s. fadradharcach lit: long-sighted], although it is obscure what status these may have had in Dain Mir politics. These seers were rarely seen on the field following the events of Amritsar, tactical-level combat being generally conducted by conventional military commanders. It seems that these were generally former members of the religio-martial orders, 'Those-Who-Had-Walked-The-War-Paths'.

[//Testament, Agentident 'Confronted'.+]

[//'War-seer', reportedly present on the backwater world of Krot+]

Few individual commanders are known, and none are well-attested. A single Red Fish after-action report states that 'Ríchathaoir' – possibly a personal name, possibly a title – led an assault on Pao Fung after the Marines Saturnine's Third Company had successfully driven off a Flesh Eaters raid. The individual is believed to have been the same leader present during the events of Krot.

Pictured below is a pict-capture from Pao-Fung; taken by one of the jungle warfare specialists in the Partisan ranks.


An extant quote from Inquisitor Indigence Ormus survived until M38 in the possession of the Guard Hermetic, one of the Chapters that had undertaken the Annulus Vow. Ormus stated that the Dain Mir leadership were 'unquestionably acting in small and significant ways to take advantage of the systemic chaos of the War to shift things their way'. In evidence, he referred to the execution of a planetary governor whose son was noted to be well-disposed to the High Lords, in contrast to his Partisan-leaning father.  He also noted that evidence pointed to the Dain Mir spending more than three decades persecuting and assassinating an entire geneline that had on at least two occasions in the past produced candidates for the Culexus Temple of Assassins. 

This, to some extent, is in line with expectations of Eldar behaviour more generally – but whether they were better-disposed towards the High Lords or the 'Primarch' is utterly unclear. It seems likely, at root, that the Eldar were typically self-serving. Nevertheless, their repeated small interventions seem to indicate at least some agency and interest in the outcome of the broader war beyond mere survival.



Besides the Testament – rather compromised by its dubious appearance many years after the events – little remains in evidence of Dain Mir's efforts during the War of the False Primarch. Following the Amritsar Crusade and the catastrophic fleet action at Hong-Qi, the Dain Mir appear to have either lost their taste – or their capacity – for mass deployment of citizen-soldiers or foederati such as might be expected of Iyanden nomads or Demi-Nui halatori

[//An Ymblammi mother-cult statue of Imperatrix Fecunda – that has rested here for centuries – is the focus of a skirmish between Dain Mir eldar and power-armoured baseline human mercenaries. Note the similarity of the yellow-armoured mercenary's scheme to the later Caracharodon scheme.+]

This perhaps necessitated the deployment of tiny strike forces and small-scale skirmisher groups at platoon strength to tip the scales in the field of interest in subtle ways – by deploying in the rimwards regions of the Segmentus Pacificus, they drew the Inheritors into a particular field of influence; which arguably caused the commencement of the war – perhaps to the 'Primarch's' advantage, and perhaps to his detriment. 

Clean answers are, as ever, impossible. For every action attributed to the Eldar, the signs can be read as working equally in favour of the Orthodoxy or Partisan cause The Dain-Muir have occasionally been implicated as somehow influencing the warp storms that sheltered the Argent Heralds marines from the early stages of the War. They also brought low the Inheritors – both crucial actions that, through foul means or fair, resulted in critical alliances for the Silver Stars.

The entire Sector was destabilised during the War of the False Primarch, with the final victory of the Imperium coming at the cost of more than ten Chapters of marines, a critical reduction in a number of key Forgeworld's productions for more than a century, significant political and theological ramifications, and the wasting of dozens of entire systems. Few clear-sighted analysts would agree with Master Enoch's assertions that the losses were an acceptable cost to destroy an 'Abomination' – especially those who look back in following millennia.

From our position in M42, and with the benefit of hindsight, we can see that the efforts of the High Lords of the day stripped a Segmentum of its Astartes, and as a direct consequence, opened Pacificus up to the cataclysmic losses of the centuries that followed. Within four hundred years of the end of the War of the False Primarch, the Imperium's 'second golden age' of the thirty-fourth Millennium was over, and the Imperium was on an unalterable course towards decline.

Was this cost worth the price of silencing word of a potential returned Primarch? Given the influence and power that Volnoscere was able to gather in scant decades, perhaps it was. Whatever the truth, the influence of Dain Mir, and of their relationship with the peculiar and mysterious False Primarch, will remain enigmatic and uncertain.


"Ask not the Eldar a question, for they will give you three answers, all of which are true, and horrifying to know." 

[//Inquisitor Czevak+]