(It's Ahsoka, for the record)
("You killed my punishment beast", said Jabba without rancor)
The Force is a beacon. A comfort to the widow and a light to the child. It is life, but that is far from all. It is hope. It brings hope for tomorrow to those it touches. And across the Merged Galaxies, scything through tunnels in the infinite darkness, are those who have not felt hope in a very, very long time.
The Asuryani of the Craftworlds have been slowly growing more despondent in the years since the Fall and the birth of She Who Thirsts. The forces of Slaanesh grow ever stronger, and the god's machinations ever more intricate and potent. By 980.M41 in Imperial reckoning, hope is all but gone from the ancient world-ships and the Aeldari within. Even the master Seers of Ulthwé can foretell little beyond a slowed pace of doom. The sun sets. The Asuryani are dead; they just linger still, fading streaks of blood-red sunset in a starless night. And so they travel despondent through the Webway in their giant psychic crystal tombs, concerned only with keeping themselves alive one more day at a time.
Then the galaxies Merge. It deserves the capital letter.
The transposition of a whole other galaxy into their own massively disrupts the three pillars of the Aeldari's home space. Realspace is made vastly more populated, with masses of star systems and worlds. For the Drukhari, this is a golden opportunity, an influx of souls to render unto Slaanesh with raids against which no defence can possibly be mounted; one particular Haemonculus abducts a small army's worth of Wookiee madclaws for whatever deranged purpose suits his fancy. The Asuryani, by contrast... feel little. All remains in place, and aside from putting down any Imperial Stormtroopers fool enough to set foot upon a Maiden World, they care little for the new worlds.
The Webway, by contrast, is quite shaken. Not damaged, no; despite the tide of souls coming into being from far away and the ripples it sends through space and time, the Labyrinth is quite safe. If anything, it is safer. The Warp around certain parts of these places is far calmer, and the delicate capillaries of the Webway are given respite from the turmoil of the Empyrean. Damage once thought catastrophic begins to slowly be repaired, as the paths no longer have to fight unending battles against the tempestuous Immaterium to remain stable enough for use. This has benefits for the Drukhari too, as Commorragh can send its raiders to spaces and gates far removed from their usual hunting grounds. The Asuryani feel it, and assume it is but a calm before a greater storm, that this too shall pass, as shall they themselves.
Greatest by far, however, is the effect upon the Immaterium itself. Specifically the Eye of Terror. The mass influx of trillions of souls sends a shockwave through the tortured rend in the fabric of the material universe and explodes across the Warp from that fell point in a grand and devastating blossom of presence. While the Warp might be calmer to the galactic East, to the West it is maddened as a snake-bitten bear. The Eye screams, terrible and incessant, and its weak hold on the real grows thinner. There is one Aeldari in particular who senses a golden opportunity - and Maugan Ra's most fervent hopes are answered. He takes a dreadful and dangerous sojourn into the Warp, his presence masked by psychic trickery and the boiling waves of the Empyrean, and while he enters alone he leaves with the greatest prize he could ever hope to know: his home. The Craftworld Altansar had been lost to the Eye during the Fall, and the Merging was a golden opportunity to get them out of the Immaterium while its grip was at its loosest. Ten thousand years in the Warp has changed Altansar, yes, but the Aeldari of that world have not been corrupted, and their great ship rejoins the Webway and skitters off to safety right from under the nose of the Prince of Lies.
Even this great victory is marred by distrust. How could the Altansari not have fallen to Chaos in the ten millennia of their incarceration? The Asuryani of the other Craftworlds are wary and diffident of the returned worldship and her children, despite the protestations of no less a personage than a Phoenix Lord vouching for them. One world, however, aligns itself with the returned Altansar much more closely, and it is far-sighted Ulthwé and her greatest ever Farseer. For the skeins of fate are the fourth great pillar of Aeldari cosmology, and now the future shows Eldrad Ulthran great and terrible things. Terrible indeed are battle stations the size of moons that move with the speed of a striking snake, its fangs piercing stars to render great vomiting bloody bursts of energy unto She Who Thirsts. Terrible is a burning hail whose names are stolen from them by a man with two faces and none, born from a sun that rises to the East. But most terrible of all, and greatest of all, is that demon thing with feathers called hope.
Ulthran knows well the tears of Isha. It is the symbol of his home and indeed of his whole life. He knows she languishes in the feculent plague gardens of Nurgle, her silver tears giving medicine for each of his ever-deadlier plagues. Perhaps this is her greatest elixir yet. For this Force is life, as Isha is life, and its appearance in the galaxy like the first snowdrop after winter is great indeed. Its energies seem to calm the Warp - slightly, too slightly, but they do. He can feel it. It calls out to him. And not just to him. Ulthwé herself answers.
It takes him many years. Bizarre performances by Harlequins of the Fall cover strange and almost imperceptible thefts. The elaborate ritual upon Coheria occurs as it did in canon, with Eldrad channelling the great spirits of fallen Seers through an entire moon of psychic sand. It is disrupted by the Deathwatch, the Imperium's most Xenos-hating clone troopers, but the ritual has a little more effect than in canon. Perhaps Eldrad was aided by this mysterious Force, his sight into the far future guided by its own. Ynnead is that bit closer to wakefulness. The Night of Revelation comes to Commorragh that bit earlier and that bit stronger. The Eye opens for Abaddon's Black Crusade, and Cadia shatters, but the Aeldari endure this latest deathblow and have counterpunched with one of their own, the Yncarne scything down an entire House Traitoris of Chaos Knights on her own with a mystical soul-shredding blade. And through it all, Eldrad has learned. Learned of how a people with no psychic abilities can see further than he ever could. His last act, before disappearing from the surface of Coheria and reappearing in blue-edged holographic form back upon Ulthwé is to truly stretch out with his feelings.
For all that it comes from Mon-Keigh, Jedi teachings are extremely compatible with the Paths of the Asuryani. Even Ynnari Dark Eldar can use its teachings to find peace, though their butchered, shriveled souls cannot touch the Force themselves. But they're not the only ones. The youngest, the bright dawn of the Merged Galaxies, have taken to Jedi ways easily. Eldrad has met with some of them, albeit briefly. They are base people, yes, but industrious and hopeful. They are truly youthful. Biel-Tani call them Young Kings, and the fact that it is only mostly an insult is praise indeed. Eldrad sees in their contact with the Force a new power arising to combat the Great Enemy, and in them a future for his people that finally has the sparks of hope. Not the old hopes of an old race, but a new hope, for a new era.
And that is why, emerging on the very borders of the T'au Sept itself, the Craftworld Ulthwé appears with its millions of Aeldari souls aboard, and stretches out with its own feelings.
This is Star Warhammer, but it might be the first time every one of the Force-sensitives in the Tau-Rebel Alliance has a headache all at the same time. =]