The Starblade story started back in 2005 when I acquired my first Corsair Eldar Battlefleet Gothic models. Among them was the Flame of Asuryan, Yriel's Flagship. As I did not want to use an Iyanden or otherwise Yriel-led fleet I created my own admiral going by the name of Akaeris Starblade. Before the Spirit of Arina got its current name it went for a time by the name Cerulean Dream. But at the very beginning I created a background for Akaeris, which I wanted to tell in a linked set of scenarios. For some reasons, mainly because my skills in writing 'Eldar', the story never really progressed.
On dozens of papers I wrote tidbits and ideas for scenarios, the story itself only changed slightly from its original inception, but it was always more a lingering state then an active one. There have been times I did not touch the project for many months. At moments when I went back I only re-arranged scenario set-ups for most part.
It was only after Chris Lautermilch and I wrote the Art of Command and Distant Sun, the two supplements to Project Distant Darkness, I finally felt the click for Starblade in 2009. What also helped was the fan community at the Black Library forums (currently under construction, meanwhile you can go here: http://z6.invisionfree.com/bljunkies/index.php?act=idx). Through them my skills at writing (hopefully!) improved and suddenly I knew how I would want Starblade to take form: in the manifestation of a poem. Inspired by the Elves poems in Tolkien (I would never dare to say rivalling them) I wrote the Starblade poem within two weeks from the beginning to the end.
What is left to tell about the poem is that a small addition, maybe the final click, has rooted the story within the storyline Chris and I created for Project Distant Darkness. An ever-growing storyline, which gets more and more life into it, the upcoming supplements will finally reveal more about the direction we took within this storyline.
When the poem was completed I finally had the motivation to finish and clean up the scenarios I had in mind. And now it finally all came together. Starblade has been finished. I hope you will enjoy this piece in its finest essence as I have intended.
After the poem was written I felt it needed some fine crafted black and white art to make it come to live. On Deviant art I found some images, which I could use, but no Eldar ships. But on Deviant Art I also approached Karneth if I could use a picture from his gallery. His response was more then I could hope for! He offered to draw various new pieces for Starblade as well as Distant Sun, the sophisticated page design is also from his hand. In the end these new pieces, including various drawings of the Spirit of Arina, were so good and useful only two additional drawings by other artists, which I really liked, have been used in addition to Karneth's work.
In this Starblade publication I tried to give the art a fine treatment and prominent role. All in all I can say that I must thank Karneth immensely for his work, as this publication would only be a glimpse of what it now is.
You can download Starblade here:
note: I advice to download the document and view it as a book. Thus start page 1, then page 2-3 next to eachother, then 4-5, etc.