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The night is dark and full of monsters, but the dawn is coming - and it will be fucking glorious. All we have to do is survive until sunrise.

Srg. Marcus Albus, Mustavaar 3rd Rifles Regiment, 845.M40.

It is the 41st millennium. For more than a hundred centuries the Eternal Emperor and Empress have been joined in their holy union. He is the last relic of a lost age when hope and wisdom ruled the galaxy, still clinging to his purpose of forging a better future, and she is the last remnant of an ancient pantheon, a mother watching over dying children brought low by their own hubris.

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Together, they are the Masters and Guardians of Mankind and Eldar, the keepers of the Last Alliance, the embodiments of the Imperium to which a hundred sapient species swear their fealty.

At the core of the Imperium is Humanity, its teeming multitudes ever resilient, stubbornly carving out a future amongst the hostile stars. The greatest of Man’s allies are the Eldar, ancient and wise, their shared bond forged in battle and sealed in blood millennia ago. Since then, others have been judged worthy to join in the light of the Imperium, to stand with Men and Eldar as fellows: the industrious Demiurge, enigmatic Tau, countless strains of Abhumans, and many more.

Yet for all the Imperium’s numbers, it is barely enough to stave off the forces that would tear it down. United under savage Beasts, the Orkish hordes throw themselves at the great edifice of the Imperium. The Necrons are awakening to a changed galaxy, and seeth at the primitives who would dare harbor their greatest foes the Eldar. From the galactic east, the Tyranids have made landfall and sweep over countless worlds in their hungering tide. In the shadows lurk the Dark Eldar, reveling in the carnage of a galaxy at war. And from the Immaterium, the Chaos Gods brood and plot their eternal vengeance, served by the twisted Chaos Eldar.

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To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold trillions. It is to live in the last bastion of civilization as the darkness draws near. These are the tales of those times. Forget the stories of peace and harmony, for they are fables of a gentler time, when the world still made sense. Remember the stories of struggle and defiance, full of brotherhood and sacrifice, for those are the ones that really matter.

Peace is a distant dream growing ever fainter, and there is only war as Men and Eldar hold the line for the promise that has been whispered through the generations, from father to son, from mother to child: that there is good left in the world, and that is worth fighting for.


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This fic includes the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Badass: Every faction gets at least some buffing in this story.
    • Special attention should go to the Tau. They're doubled in size from in canon, and their territory is about the same size as Ultramar is now. And since there's much less xenophobia, they're able to spread their word of "The Greater Good," peacefully now. In fact, in a change from their status in canon as a very minor xenos species, they're the third most populous demographic in the Imperium, behind Humans and Eldar, respectively.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Humanity, the Craftworld Eldar and Tau are all way easier to identify as the good guys in this story. On an individual level:
    • Also, the Void Dragon, while a Mad Scientist on a scale that puts nearly all others to shame, is hardly malevolent here. Mostly. Unless you make him mad (in which case, start praying).
      • He's also the only C'tan to actually try to live up to the ideal that "We're the gods of the Necrontyr, we should act like it." He regrets that the Necrontyr souls were stolen (once he learns that those were something that Necrontyr kind of need). That being said, he doesn't really get people and has no sense of restraint.
    • Kor Phaeron was Katholian (essentially a distant descendant of Christianity) instead of a Chaos worshipper like his canon counterpart. He was also a Good Shepherd who raised Lorgar well.
    • No Primarch turned traitor, and Horus at one point explicitly rejected Chaos' offer. Most of their legions followed suit, although some marines turned traitor.
    • Inquisitor Kryptmann is definitely dangerous, obsessed with revenge against the Tyranids, and widely feared, but he's still on the Imperium's side.
    • Legienstrausse (canonically the sole assassin of the Maerorus temple, a project intended to make a superior assassin via genetic modification) is sane (the only sane product of the project, in this timeline) and remains on the side of the Imperium, while her canon counterpart went rogue immediately.
    • Oscar himself is far more of a genuine hero than the canonical Emperor, being more humble and generally more connected to the Imperium he rules.
  • Adaptational Species Change: The Squats, in canon (back when they were canon) were their own separate race of abhuman, similar to the Ogryns or the Ratlings. Here, it's made clear that the Squats only have their short stature and physical traits because they were raised on their homeworlds, and that children born of Squat parents in more human-normal environments are basically indistinguishable from baseline humanity.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Fyodor Karamazor, a notably hard line and ruthless Inquisitor in canon who is still loyal to the Imperium, is a traitor here, and much worse.
    • Most of the Orks have been suborned to Chaos.
  • Adaptational Wimp: The Primarchs in this timeline were not the geneforged sons of the Master of Mankind, but normal humans who were simply Oscar's greatest generals.
  • The Alliance: The Imperium, as stated above, is a mass alliance between humanity, the eldar, tau, demiurge, Watchers in the Dark, and dozens, if not hundreds, of other species.
  • Ascended Extra: Lady Malys, canonically a Dark Eldar character and rival to Asdrubael Vect, becomes the “chosen” of the Chaos Gods and basically is the setting’s Abbadon.
    • The Beast, while still a major Ork in canon, essentially took the place of Horus.
  • Bash Brothers / Sibling Team: An Orkoid fungal womb spewing out fraternal twins, one Gretchin and one Ork, is a very bad sign, as those two siblings are Brain Boyz; living hubs of the WAAAGH! who increase not only the competency of other Orks by an order of magnitude (and they are nothing to sneeze at sans Brains) but are extremely adept commanders themselves who will never betray each other and can easily pick up the slack if one falls.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In the Happalachian Hill Race, it's stated this is what happened with the Tau. When the Tau finally joined the Imperium proper, many of their Fire caste officers looked forward to the opportunity to show what they saw as the backward, stagnant forces of the Imperium the obvious superiority of the Tau's way of doing things. To their abject horror, the reintegration campaign of Happalachia gave them exactly what they'd been asking for.
  • Berserk Button: Colonel-Farseer Taldeer (leader of the Cadian 412th) tends to get very angry when people theorize about her having an Interspecies Romance with various humans around her – mostly because she’s in a relationship with LIIVI, and gets twitchy when she thinks people might know.
  • Byronic Hero: Ahzek Ahriman is believed to be this.
  • Dances and Balls: The Dark Carnival, an everlasting party that is hosted by the Harlequins and travels the Imperium from world to world.
  • Dark Secret: The higher-ups of the Adeptus Mechanicus who are in on the existence of the Void Dragon are, as a whole, aware that it is the Omnissiah, but keep it locked up out of fear. The Void Dragon doesn’t appear to mind being locked up too much, though…
  • Defector from Decadence: The Craftworld and Exodite Eldar as in canon, as well as the Dark Eldar (such as Yvraine) that left Commoragh.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: The Squats, when one of their worlds was being invaded by the Tyranids, didn't focus on fighting, instead focusing on evacuating everyone they could. Then, when the rescue fleet arrived and helped evacuate, the governor, who remained on the planet, pulled a switch - and collapsed the planet's crust into the lava-filled mantle.
  • The Dreaded: The Night Lords, (who remained loyal to the Imperium here), are apparently infamous enough that even the daemons of Chaos are scared of them.
    • Lady Malys, even to the Chaos Gods- though not because she could hurt them directly, she's just crazy enough that they realize if they tried to depower her, and it wasn't all four working as one (which is difficult to achieve on a good day) then she'd use the powers of the other three gods she had to destroy the forces of the one who removed their blessing.
  • Enemy Mine: The Harrowing, whatever it was, pretty much got almost everyone working together to stop it. Even if they weren't sure what was happening (the Harlequins said flatly that it beat them when asked, and Isha and Cegorach didn't seem to know either).
  • Even Evil Has Standards: It’s rumored that the Chaos Eldar who serve Slaanesh engage in acts that even the Dark Eldar have been disgusted by.
    • To expand on this later, Asdrubael Vect and Lady Malys (here the “Abbadon” of the setting), allied Commoragh and the Crone World Eldar by invoking Unholy Matrimony. Part of the fallout from this was a mass exodus from Commoragh by the Dark Eldar who decided that allying themselves with Chaos crossed the line.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The best way of summing up how Konrad Curze replied when Chaos tried to tempt him to join them. Though perhaps, For the Evulz Cannot Comprehend Knight Templar would be more accurate.
    The dark whispers of Chaos began to tempt his mind, the fallen Eldar of the Crone Worlds assailing his dreams with tantalising offers of untold riches and endless power. Yet every offer was found wanting; every envoy cut down, every promise met with scorn. They had made the mistake of assuming that one such as Curze had become would revel in their depraved debaucheries, without considering that he would find them every bit as repulsive as other, better, people found him. He was a monster, this was true, but he was a monster who ripped and tore and tortured in the name of order; by the Emperor he was the Imperium's monster and nobody else's.
  • Fallen Hero: Goge Vandire, instead of being Obviously Evil nearly from the getgo here, was actually chosen by Oscar himself to be the Emperor, and did a good job of it for quite a while.
  • Fantastic Racism: Much less prevalent than in the canon timeline, where the typical reaction of a human to an eldar is "Xenos Witch, Five Rounds Rapid." That said, racism does still exist, despite the near ten thousand years of the alliance. It's more similar to modern-day racism, though, with prejudices and people treating each other badly, but not anywhere near what it could be.
    • Common problems include that many Eldar were raised on stories of the Old Eldar Empire and how it covered the galaxy, and they haven't had many generations living outside of that empire. While many do understand that there were problems with it (see also how said Empire led to the birth of Slaanesh and the creation of the Crone and Dark Eldar), the long life spans and tendency of the Eldar to fixate on things mean that many still believe their species is superior to their supposed allies, and want to beat back the Dark Eldar and continue the days when they ruled the galaxy. It is noted that this is a particularly hardline stance, and that there are many friendly Eldar in the galaxy, but two whole craftworlds have refused to join the Imperium because of these beliefs.
    • The Tau, as a young, naive race, tend to look down on the other races of the Imperium until they get smacked in the face how things actually are. They initially assumed that the first reports of Terra's wonders and the size of the Imperium were exaggerations, things designed to make the Imperium look good (thinking that the Imperium was about the size of Ultramar, which is the same as their own empire in size). They had to severely rethink a lot of their beliefs once they realized that if anything, the initial reports downplayed how huge things were.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: While the eldar and humanity initially made their pact out of convenience, both sides have become this over time.
    • The inhabitants of Terranis managed to hold out against a Tyranid invasion thanks to the Hrud, who are capable of sniffing out genestealers and had just as much invested in not getting devoured by the Hive Mind as the other inhabitants.
  • Genius Ditz: The Void Dragon is one of the most advanced Mad Scientists possibly ever created (he was behind a lot of Necron tech), and has been stated to have a lot of trouble with the concepts of "collateral damage", "potential consequences", "subtlety", and "proportional response."
  • Gone Horribly Right: A renegade inquisitor once found out about the existence of the Void Dragon, and took several Guardians of the Dragon hostage and threatened Mars if the Mechanius didn't let him see the Void Dragon. Eventually, the Mechanius just gave him what he wanted and took him to the Void Dragon- who was pissed at the guy for harming his followers. What happened next was apparently so disturbing that the Guardians invoked Let Us Never Speak of This Again.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Kryptman's reason for continuing existence in a nutshell. He's a monster, and everyone knows it. Its stated that the two reasons for the Kryptman Institute are to stop the Tyranids, and to keep Kryptman himself in check. Oh, he gets the job done, and is totally devoted to the destruction of the creatures. But he's willing to make sacrifices- horrible, nightmarish sacrifices. Look at the Kryptman Line (where he destroyed an entire line of star systems in the path of Behemoth to starve it of resources) for a great example of this.
    • To end the Harrowing, humanity focused the Astronomican from a psychic lighthouse to a psychic death laser. This nearly broke the thing entirely, stranded hundreds of ships in the Warp, and caused madness in every system it passed, but it did do something to stop the Harrowing.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Played with: it’s stated early on that the eldar and humanity are not genetically viable, and there are no known exceptions (if not for lack of trying). However, given the relationship between Farseer Taldeer and LIIVI, and the former’s current Pregnant Badass status, as well as the Starchild Prophecies and Ynnead, this has a good chance of changing…
  • Happily Adopted: The APEX Twins refer to the Inquisitor who looked after them as "mom", and there's a writing piece that mentions a human-eldar couple who adopted a pair of orphans since they couldn't have children.
  • Happily Married: While it's debatable whether they became a Perfectly Arranged Marriage or remain Just Friends despite their wedding, Oscar and Isha are stated to be happy with each other.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Ollanius Pius, just like in canon, sacrifices his life to try to slow down a seemingly invincible foe. What could (arguably) be more awesome than standing up to Horus when he was empowered by all the Chaos Gods? Ramming his ship into the Ork’s Attack Planet when Ullanor came to the Sol system, in a grand example of Ramming Always Works.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Due to there being much less For the Evulz lunatics and Moral Myopia present in the Imperium, Eldar, and Tau, this is far more present.
  • Insanity Immunity: Nemesor Zandrekh cannot be controlled by the Silent King because of this; he's absolutely convinced that he's still living, and only robots can be controlled like that. Funnily enough, because of this, all the other Necrons under his command are still free- they could only be overridden if their commander was overridden, since he can't be overridden, they don't have to give up their free will. Ironically, it also means that none of them will try to backstab him, as it would mean that they lose that protection instantly.
  • Interspecies Romance: Apparently, known to happen at times between humans and eldar, with the highest proportion of relationships coming from the world of Cadia and Craftworld Ulthwe. The rulers of the Imperium are an Eldar-Human couple... sort of, the Eldar in question being the mortal host of the goddess Isha, while the Emperor is a Man of Gold.
    • Farseer Taldeer and LIVII from "Love Can Bloom" had their story play out from that series. However, what makes their coupling unique is that now, Taldeer is pregnant with a half-human, half-eldar child.
  • Last of His Kind: The Emperor, instead of being a shaman fusion/superhuman Perpetual/something else, is the last known Man of Gold, who was found by Malcador on an expedition to the Ringworld of Cthonia, the old capital of the human empire during the Dark Age of Technology.
    • Also, Elmo, the only remaining AI from the Dark Age of Technology that is loyal to the Imperium, along with possibly the Ark Mechanicus AIs.
  • Loon with a Heart of Gold: The Nemesor Zandrekh is one of the only Necrons who's allied with the Imperium, and is probably the most likable killer robot in the galaxy. He's also insane and thinks he's still flesh-and-blood.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The Imperium panics when the core Tyranid fleet arrives near the end of M41. For reference, here the 3 main Hive Fleets were the vanguard.
  • More Than Mind Control: Defied with the Tau, since unlike in canon there's no ambiguous Eldar uplifting giving their Ethereal caste psychic powers. They worked their way up to where they are by their own effort.
  • Mundane Utility: The Void Dragon is... weird, that way.
Early on in the War in Heaven Mag’ladroth, despite being one of the most physically powerful of the C’tan, was sidelined into building devices for the Necrontyr and the other C'tan. He had more of a taste for it, though the other C'tan all made fun of him behind his back. Among the things he invented were the designs for the Cadian pillars and other such devices. Sure, he made a whole boat load of what might have appeared to be doomsday weapons, but never as actual weapons. Case in point, he made a long range mega gravitation inverter. Charge it up, point it at a thing and press the ominous red button. It makes a portion of the objects gravity turn into anti-gravity, usually resulting in an explosion and if you point it at a star can cause a supernova and irradiate whole swathes of space.
He said it would be useful in future mining endeavors. For when you want to mine a black hole.
  • Odd Friendship: Dorn and Perturabo, who in canon Warhammer hated each other, actually got along (sort of) here, despite being opposite in many ways.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Chaos Warband that tries to abduct Isha gets one when they realize that she isn't running at them to embrace them, she's running at them because she's in the midst of a PTSD-fueled rampage... which they realize once she punches their leader in half and starts beating his companions to death with his upper half.
    • The rulers of the Tau get one when they realize that all those things they threw out the window as "The Imperium trying to suck up and look more impressive," like having an Emperor married to a literal goddess, or the scope of Hive Worlds, or the moon-sized Craftworlds... not only are all those things real, but there's so much weirder and more horrifying out there. In another sense, they thought the Imperium was the size of Ultramar, and were unprepared for the true, utter vastness of the Imperium.
  • Only Sane Man: Caiaphas Cain still exists here, but after his posting with the Valhallan 597th, he became the Imperial Ambassador to Craftworld Biel-Tan. His main job is to act as the one guy in the most warlike Craftworld who says "Maybe we should try not going to war at the drop of a hat, and save some of our precious lives for actually worthy fights?"
  • Praetorian Guard: The Adeptus Custodes (as in canon) and the Handmaidens of Isha are the personal guards of Oscar (the Emperor) and Isha.
  • Quintessential British Gentleman: How Nemesor Zahndrekh comports himself, largely due to him being crazy. He once asked the Imperium for help because of "A spot of trouble with a group of insectoid life forms," before contact was broken... which for those who read between the lines, means that he was under attack by a Tyranid Hive Fleet.
  • Ramming Always Works: How Ollanius Pius took down the Attack Planet Ullanor/Armageddon. The description really drives it home how dangerous this is.
    When Ollanius Pius slammed his ship at a third of lightspeed into the Attack Planet and knocked it off its collision course with Old Earth, the force of impact broke the stone crust like a dropped vase. Immense volcanic fissures opened up swallowing vast sections of the gun-continents, mountains that should have taken millennia to form were thrust up in a day, the oceans rushed back to their former positions, and everything not covered in lava was covered in ash.
    Enough of the teleporter system survived for just long enough for the Mekboyz to hit the big red button and teleport the Attack Planet one last time.
    When the Imperium re-encountered the world which had once been Ullanor, it was shattered almost beyond recognition. Vast plumes of ash carpeted the continents. The rust oceans were filled with toxic metals from flooded war machines and boiled from undersea volcanoes. The continents were speckled with standing seas of molten metal where volcanic heat met mind-boggling amounts of steel. The air consisted mainly of volcanic gasses, with occasional pockets of breathable air scattered throughout the mangled planet-spanning superstructure.
    • This is later averted, as the official Imperial Doctrine is stated as saying "No, do not do this. All it does is cost us lives and resources." It even specifically mentions Ollanius Pius and the Astral Knights (who did their canon stunt of ramming a World Engine to take it down) as very, very rare exceptions where this worked and should not be considered official policy.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: A rare heroic example with the Imperium - after the Great Crusade, the Imperium rarely, if ever, forces other solar nation-states to join them (unless things are bad enough that intervention is needed - in one case, the Imperium had to rescue the Tarellian race from a Tyranid Hive Fleet and inducted them afterwards). However, if said nation-states do join of their own will, they are in for good - whether they like it or not.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: The first major action of the Human/Eldar alliance was to send in their best forces, including the likes of the Phoenix Lords, Space Marines, and Oscar the Steward/Emperor, into the Webway to rescue Isha.
  • Sensing You Are Outmatched: Ork Warboss Ghazghull is stated to be a worshipper of the Ork gods Gork and Mork, but a large portion of the Ork race now serves and worships Chaos. While Ghazghull knows that most of the Orks would work for him if he promised enough fighting, he also knows he can’t defeat the forces of Chaos in a straight fight, so he works with them. For now, that is…
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran:
    • Isha is stated to at times have PTSD flashbacks to her time spent in Nurgle's garden.
    • Sly Marbo is still a legendary implacable badass of the Imperial Army, but he isn't well adjusted. After a mission to track down a rogue Imperial Colonel deep in enemy territory Marbo came back deeply affected, and has been drifting from unit to unit in the front line of the Imperium's long war ever since.
  • Shout-Out: The Tau are referred to in side notes as having the same character arc that humanity did in the first Mass Effect game- that of a growing power who wants to be part of the big table making the big decisions, but is only now starting to see the true scope of the galaxy at large.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Abbadon of all people (he's got Adaptational Heroism) gets this at the start of the first Black Crusade when Lady Malys gives her "Let the galaxy burn" speech.
    I send this message on behalf of the Imperium. Let those who threaten the galaxy burn.
  • Space Age Stasis: Slightly averted, as the technology of the Imperium is advancing... it's just at a very slow pace. Part of this is that Survivor Civiliazations (groups that were already strong empires on their own before joining the Imperium, such as Ultramar, the Imperex, or the Tau) are allowed to keep their own technology, and that tends to spread to the Imperium as a whole. The other, much darker reason, is that the higher levels of the Mechanicus are absolutely terrified that the Void Dragon is influencing human society and technology (which it is) and want to make sure that any advancement made is absolutely safe.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: The Squats were besieged en masse by the Orks when the Imperium arrived with backup, were all too happy to join the Imperium when the dust settled, and have so far survived till the 41st millennium.
  • Stopped Caring: The Tau have a "problem", to say the least, with the Dark Eldar, who tend to raid their space whenever they're having issues. Especially with the Archon Klax of the Kabal of the Hand of Deft Spite. It's flat-out stated that normally the Tau see bounty hunting as essentially selfish greed, and that killing should be done for defense. With Klax, they just want him dead and no longer care how it's done.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: While most of the Imperium's factions are closer to Fire-Forged Friends, there's still issues in the alliance where this pops up.
  • Token Good Teammate: The Void Dragon seems to have been the only C'Tan to actually care about the Necrontyr, and only helped turn them into the Necrons because it didn't realize that the soul was more than some sort of immaterial appendix (C'tan do not have warp presences). Apparently the reason it's currently pinned down on Mars is because it confronted its brethren about what they were doing to the Necrontyr and lost.
  • Took a Level in Badass: While individual power levels are reduced somewhat, as a whole each faction is more powerful than its baseline counterpart, for various reasons.
    • The Imperium has both increased competence levels all around, as well as the aid of the Craftworld and Exodite Eldar (plus the occasional Dark Eldar defector), the Tau and their many client races, and a few of the Necrons.
    • Chaos has not only additional servants in the form of the Chaos Eldar and the corrupted Orks, but has also managed to recently recruit the Dark Eldar.
    • The Necrons have started to wake up en masse, and current estimates say that at least 60% of the Dynasties have awoken.
    • The Tyranids... have truly arrived. As it turns out here, the Hive Fleets were just the vanguard - and the main fleet "Jormugandr" just made it to the Milky Way.
    • Orks are very much tactically minded as well as being the screaming berserks they are in canon, and a critical mass of them will result in the birth of Brain Boyz, who are not only some of the best natural commanders in the galaxy but amplify WAAGH! energy to the point where Orks are regularly known to weaponize moons.
  • Underestimating Badassery: After the War of the Beast, Chaos initially thought the Imperium would be permanently crippled. They found out by the end of the First Black Crusade that they were wrong.
  • Unholy Matrimony: The Dark Wedding between Vect and Malys. They do apparently love each other, to the extent that they're capable of it.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: The Primarchs, who instead of being the Emperor's sons he created are simply his 20 greatest generals. Due to this, the majority of them had more natural-ish lifespans and are long dead by the time of the forty-first millennium. While this did reduce the "sibling infighting" aspect greatly (as did the Emperor's increased honesty in this universe), this also has the effect of making many of them Demoted to Extra compared to their canon selves.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Humans have many strengths, but we're also the single most vulnerable sentient species to chaotic corruption in the galaxy.
  • Wild Card: The APEX twins are Alpha plus-tier human psykers on par with Oscar and Eldrad, and while they're more or less on the side of the Imperium, they're somewhere between Chaotic Good and Chaotic Neutral at best.
    • While the Void Dragon seems to be fond of the Imperium, there's no total confirmation what side he will take if he's ever freed.
  • A World Half Full: By the end of the 41st millennium, most of the Necrons have awoken, the Tyranids are arriving en masse, and Chaos is preparing for the 13th Black Crusade. However, the Imperium still has hope in the form of the potentially-coming Starchild and the visions of Eldrad Ulthran, which both imply that it is very much possible for things to turn out good.
    Widening his gaze, the farseer looked further into the future. Looking past all the potential timelines, withered and horrible, like decaying petals of a flower. Until he found the one he wanted. It was a vision of his granddaughter, the one whose face he had never seen, except in his visions. She was a young woman in his vision, standing on the edge of a harbor, a tiny creature on her shoulder. He knew she was waiting for someone, he never knew who, for the vision always ended before he could see. Behind her stood a citscape that seemed to be constructed of wraithbone, of steel, of Earth Caste sculpture, yet none of these things, and around her walked humans, Eldar, and a hundred other races both alien and familiar. Eldrad could never tell what time it was in the vision, but he knew it in his heart. Dawn, the dawn so long awaited after the end of the long night.
    Eldrad had seen so many things, great and terrible, in his long life. Supernovae on the horizon. Shrieking forms of things that should not be clawing forth from the abyss. And yet, in his old age, this is what kept him going. Hope. He was always a good farseer, but this was to be his masterpiece. A future for the Eldar, free of despair, tyranny, and dark gods. Peace, in a galaxy that for so long had known only war. It was a long shot. He had only seen a few visions like these, on the order of billions to one.
    Eldrad smiled a half-smile. He always did like playing the long odds.
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