And now a small departure from the normal content of this blog which is, apart from reviews, usually pretty analytical. Partially because I’m exhausted at the moment, so complex analysis just isn’t going to happen, and partially because something struck me while reading the new Dark Eldar codex that I thought I would share.
The short version? Vect is gone, but there may yet be hope.
First, a disclaimer. This isn’t news. It isn’t even a rumor. This is idle speculation. A musing. Take it as such.
The 7th Edition of Warhammer 40K right now is rocking a distinctly “Five Minutes to Midnight” feeling, with the 13th Black Crusade revving up (and the previous 12 being ret-conned into totally working just as planned), Hive Fleets descending, and Necron Tomb Worlds coming out of the woodwork. Things care clearly Right About To Get Serious ™. And in may ways, the current – and well received – End Times material for Warhammer Fantasy can be viewed as a dress rehearsal for the concept of making setting-shaking alterations to a beloved franchise.
But the problem with that, from the perspective of the Dark Eldar, is that there’s very little reason for them to come out and play. A Craftworld can be cornered, and Exodite world attacked, but the Dark Eldar can just decamp to the webway until things calm down. The fluff, as they’re establishing it, is that Dark Eldar raiders are profoundly slippery, so even if they do raid for captives, they can easily be where the fighting is not. So how do you draw the Dark Eldar into the story line?
Enter the missing Vect. And another character who I think gets lumped into the pile of models that are missing because they don’t have a figure and GW doesn’t want anyone else playing in their sandbox: Lady Malys. None of the other deleted characters are mentioned much, but for a character without either rules or a model, Malys gets an awful lot of screen time in the new codex. And she’s the only character whose being billed as a potential counter to Vect, being able to understand his plans well enough to interfere with them to some extent.
So there’s my hope for the future: a War in the Webway. The Dark City in turmoil. A resculpted Vect vs. Malys and whoever else is tagging along inside her. Vect bringing out some of the menacing toys (if I recall correctly, Wrathguard-like troops) that he used to put down the latest disjunction. Such a war could force the Dark Eldar to at least engage with a setting in chaos, as Malys (or Vect) triggers the failure of Khane’s Gate and the apocalypse comes to them.
Or at least that’s what I’m hoping. It feels like the perfect setup for a supplement or campaign book, but then a lot of things in the setting do.