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Index Xenos: The Kabal of the Shattered World

Ace Debonair Dark Eldar Glastheim Rifts Liber Xenos Xeno-Blasphemy Kabal of the Shattered World DIY

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#1
Ace Debonair

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The Kabal of the Shattered World



Early History:

"You are a worthless coward, who only stabs his foes in the back!" - Last words of Edariphel Blacksword
"Correction: I have others stab my foes in the back." - Kalios Rhidainyan, at the Battle of Ardanu


The Rhidainyan family has long been one of Commorragh's noble class, famed for producing numerous talented warriors over the millennia, many of whom are even primarily loyal to the lords they choose to serve.

When the youngest son of Irnach Rhidainyan, the ancient and cruel Master-Patriarch of the Rhidainyans, proved to be essentially worthless as a warrior, Irnach carefully arranged a suicide mission for his son to lead, in the guise of a 'daring raid' at the head of a number of other lacklustre warriors. In this way, Irnach planned to avoid tarnishing the reputation of the Rhidainyan family.

Accompanying his son were a handful of Irnach's personal enforcers, to ensure the youth 'died heroically' in the coming battle, as well as their personal enoturages of skilled veteran warriors.

But the son in question, one Kalios Rhidainyan, was no fool, and laid his plans to counter-act his father's death sentence.

While he was, in truth, a poor combatant, Kalios' real strength lay in his natural charisma and cunning. Whilst en route to the planned 'raid', on the Imperium-held world of Ardanu, Kalios was able to win the loyalty - if temporarily - of not only the bulk of inexperienced troops, but several of his father's veterans, promising them a glorious future if he survived the inevitable betrayal.

Sure enough, the Imperial World of Ardanu was much too heavily defended for a raiding party to make much progress, but Kalios was prodded into leading the battle from the front by his father's enforcers.

When the Imperial defences began firing, the enforcers were supposed to cut Kalios down. Instead, the enforcers themselves were torn apart by the rest of Kalios' army. Kalios immediately ordered the retreat, but the webway portal used to access Ardanu was damaged by Imperial artillery, and did not lead the Drukhari home.

Instead, the portal spat them out in a dark, forgotten corner of the webway, the way out behind them sealed by the destruction of the webway gate on Ardanu. In this un-natural realm of twisted and broken paths, Kalios and his party were lost. Only the constant threat of attack by monsters both terrifying and malign kept the raiding party from fracturing into squabbling fragments, along with the slick charisma and guile of the wily Rhidainyan son.

After an interminable time wandering the broken paths of the webway, the raiders happened across what was, unmistakably, the ruins of a long-forgotten Craftworld. Long-bereft of life and covered by the undisturbed dust of countless aeons, the raiders were at last able to find shelter against the monsters that dwelt outside. At the Craftworld's heart, the raiders found a webway gate, that, in response to their presence, flickered into fitful life.

Kalios, fearing what could happen if he returned alive to Commorragh, swiftly made the proclamation that this broken shell, dormant and forgotten in a nameless, dark corner of the webway, would be their new home. He swayed the raiders and their leaders with promises of a glorious future, one rich in prisoners and treasure, where they would rule this broken city as kings.

And thus, the Kabal of the Shattered World was created.

Recent History:

"We are no longer simply soldiers to die at Lord Irnach's will. We have become the destroyers of worlds - and no foe can stand before us." - Archon Mephirion the Bleak

The Kabal of the Shattered World operate mostly around the region of space called the Glastheim Rifts. Nominally an Imperial territory with thinly-spread defences, Kalios' aptitude at picking his fights carefully has seen the Kabal grow considerably in strength since their creation.

The Rifts are anything but a soft target, however. No fewer than Six Chapters of Space Marines encircle its borders, embroiled in an eternal battle not only with alien invaders, but against the God-cursed servants of Chaos. Besides these arrogant giants, the Rifts boast a myriad of Imperial regiments, fleets and even an Order of the Adepta Sororitas.

Nevertheless, Kalios is adept at reading the flow of the eternal wars that rage around the Glastheim Rifts, and is most often found guiding his Kabal to battlefields of his own choosing, away from impossible odds. Hundreds of worlds have felt the poisonous wrath of the raider-kings of Kalios' Kabal.

This is not to say the Kabal of the Shattered World are afraid of the Imperial war machine, however.

Notably, in the dying years of the 41st millennium, the Kabal of the Shattered World completely enslaved the population of the Space Marine recruitment world of Kynasa, formerly in use by the Chapter called the Champions of Athlum. Those who were not taken by the Drukhari were slain, their skin torn from their corpses and used as banners by the Kabal. This act has earned the undying hatred of the crimson-clad Champions, who have since devoted themselves to intercepting and destroying the Kabal wherever they can be found.

Most recently, the Kabal of the Shattered World have managed a successful raid on the world of Talhon, the homeworld of the White Hawks Chapter of Space Marines, burning a town to ashes and taking many prisoners for their experiments.

While it is surely inevitable that the Kabal of the Shattered World will eventually either be rediscovered by the keepers of Commorragh, so far the Kabal of the Shattered World remain isolated. Kalios is building the power and grandeur of his Kabal with the eventual intent of returning home a conquering hero, at the head of the most elite military force ever to grace Commorragh. In this way, the unwanted heir of the Rhidainyan family hopes to supplant his father as the leader of the family and it's strongest political force.


Homeworld

"Don't you see? We've built something here that nobody can take away from us - not even my Father!" - Kalios Rhidainyan

The Kabal of the Shattered World live in the crashed ruins of an ancient Craftworld, deep in some dark, forgotten corner of the Webway. Access to and from this ruined ship's webway gate is generally limited to areas around the Glastheim Rifts.

The vessel itself was, originally, covered in runes so ancient that even the most learned amongst the Kabal struggled to decipher their meaning. Time had at least partially eroded many of the runes, but those that remained seem to speak of sombre despair and the pain caused by grief.

This is, of course, of scant regard to Kalios and his Kabal, who have converted most of the remaining sections of the ancient ship into something more befitting the Drukhari. Gladiatorial arenas, slave pens, and twisted laboratories dominate much of the vessel, surrounding Kalios and his generals' personal quarters inside a large, metal tower at the ship's centre.


Organisation

"We were all supposed to die. That's the truth of it. Instead, countless worlds cower at the thought of us. This is the destiny we were born to achieve."  - Morrlagh the Dreaded

As noted, Kalios Rhidainyan is not a warrior. He leads through cunning and guile rather than brute force. He holds the rank of "High Archon", allowing his lieutenants to claim the rank of Archon for themselves.

Interestingly, Kalios always makes sure to treat his generals and most prized fighters well. This is but one of the reasons none have sought to overthrow him - nobody in Kalios' inner circle can be truly sure the rest of the Archons would back anyone else attempting to usurp the Rhidainyan Scion.
 
In other respects the Kabal is organised mostly as one would expect a Drukhari force to be organised - factions vying for influence and power have sprung up between the Kabalites, all competing for the "right to raid" under one of Kalios' Archons.


Battle Doctrines

"Death comes for them, in a blaze of violent glory!" - Idarileth Skinsplitter

The Kabal of the Shattered World prefer to face unprepared foes, or those already weakened through hard-fought battles. But when forced into action against a competent foe, they have proven to be fierce foes. Focusing mostly on superior speed and mobility, the Kabal typically use Scourges, Hellions, Raiders and Ravagers to strike at a foe's flanks whilst the bulk of their infantry, beasts and haemonculus-created monsters march forward at the centre, crushing any foe unfortunate enough to be caught in their way.

The Kabal uses lots of Wracks in support of their Warriors and other units - there is much evidence to suggest these Wracks are created mostly from human prisoners, primarily the ones taken from Kynasa. These lumbering shock troops are treated as utterly disposable, since the Kabal make a point of breeding their prisoners to ensure there is always plenty of "fresh meat" available.



[+--++ Pict-Captures of the Kabal of the Shattered World's forces are currently Pending ++--+]


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Edited by Ace Debonair, 15 July 2019 - 06:02 PM.

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#2
Messor

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Love the picture painted of the abandoned craftworld, turned into a Drukhari stronghold. I don't know much about the webway, but the discovery seemed very convenient to me. The idea of an heir sent to die beating the odds through guile is also a great take on Dark Eldar political play. Is Irnach Rhidainyan going to be relevant in the future, or are they pretty isolated from the Shattered world?


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#3
Ace Debonair

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Love the picture painted of the abandoned craftworld, turned into a Drukhari stronghold. I don't know much about the webway, but the discovery seemed very convenient to me.


I'm not entirely happy with the ease of discovery either. sweat.gif

I just haven't been able to come up with anything better, truthfully.

I did originally have the Kabal leave Ardanu via spaceship and only find the ruined Craftworld after drifting into the Warpstorms of the Glastheim Rifts.

But it turns out I'd over-estimated the size of most Webway portals, and they wouldn't necessarily have the size required for a spaceship to fly through.facepalm.png

I suppose I could have one of Irnach's enforcers deliberately sabotage the portal when it becomes apparent that Kalios has outwitted his father's men? The idea being to stop them returning to Commorragh, followed by some frantically attempted repairs by Kalios' new crew as the Imperial artillery barrage batters their position.

 

It still seems mighty convenient, but it does play nicely into Kalios proclaiming the escape was his plan the whole time. laugh.png

 

The idea of an heir sent to die beating the odds through guile is also a great take on Dark Eldar political play. Is Irnach Rhidainyan going to be relevant in the future, or are they pretty isolated from the Shattered world?

 

I honestly only invented Irnach for the sake of Kalios' backstory.

I don't currently have any further plans for Irnach or the other Rhidainyan family members to show up again.

But if any of my family decide they're going to start a Dark Eldar force also, then there's plenty of ways I can link them to the Shattered World. ph34r.png



#4
Messor

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I think what makes it so convenient is the speed of the find. Your idea of them being left adrift is a good one, even without the space ship. You could, instead of them basically being spat out right on their new home, have them spend some time wandering the webway before discovering this exit. The downside is it would also mean retooling the idea of Kalios claiming "this was part of my plan all along", but at the same time, it opens that up as a period for him to apply his charisma and political acumen in other ways.
 

I honestly only invented Irnach for the sake of Kalios' backstory.
I don't currently have any further plans for Irnach or the other Rhidainyan family members to show up again.
But if any of my family decide they're going to start a Dark Eldar force also, then there's plenty of ways I can link them to the Shattered World. ph34r.png


Gotcha. It just made me curious how immediate or permanent the fear of returning to Commorragh was, like if they're always looking over their shoulders, or have any concern about knowledge of their band reaching their former home.


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#5
Ace Debonair

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I think what makes it so convenient is the speed of the find. Your idea of them being left adrift is a good one, even without the space ship. You could, instead of them basically being spat out right on their new home, have them spend some time wandering the webway before discovering this exit. The downside is it would also mean retooling the idea of Kalios claiming "this was part of my plan all along", but at the same time, it opens that up as a period for him to apply his charisma and political acumen in other ways.


I like that idea a lot more than what I've currently got.

I'm definitely going to be using that! biggrin.png
 

Gotcha. It just made me curious how immediate or permanent the fear of returning to Commorragh was, like if they're always looking over their shoulders, or have any concern about knowledge of their band reaching their former home.


The way I see it: Kalios probably figures sooner or later someone will either find his Kabal or they'll find a way home. Ideally, he wants to make a grand entrance, at the head of his own decorated and powerful warrior clan, with offerings of great loot for the rulers of Commorragh. In this way, ideally, Kalios will supplant his father as the head of the Rhidainyan family.

But that is a super, super long term goal, since all the humans around the Glastheim Rifts are being very un-cooperative.tongue.png

 

I'll make reference to Kalios' ultimate plan (and his acknowledgement of how unlikely it currently seems) in the next draft.happy.png


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#6
Messor

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But that is a super, super long term goal, since all the humans around the Glastheim Rifts are being very un-cooperative.tongue.png

Humans, man. So belligerent. You wouldn't believe the time we've had trying to get them to embrace the Greater Good.


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#7
Ace Debonair

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Humans, man. So belligerent. You wouldn't believe the time we've had trying to get them to embrace the Greater Good.

Not exactly the same goal the Kabal of the Shattered World has in mind, if I'm honest. laugh.png

 

But rather than debate semantics, I'll instead mention I've updated the First Post with some more stuff!

Now the Kabal don't just immediately walk into a Craftworld, and Kalios has a vague plan in place as long term goals.happy.png



#8
Brother Lunkhead

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Finally had a chance to read this in detail..... nice work on your Kabalthumbsup.gif

 

The craftworld home-base is something I like a lot and I think Messor's idea takes care of the "convenience" problem nicely. 

 

Hope you get around to doing more with Kailos and his merry band of Drukhari rascalsyes.gif



#9
Ace Debonair

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Finally had a chance to read this in detail..... nice work on your Kabal:tu:
 
The craftworld home-base is something I like a lot and I think Messor's idea takes care of the "convenience" problem nicely. 
 
Hope you get around to doing more with Kailos and his merry band of Drukhari rascals:yes:


Many thanks! biggrin.png

The next update will greatly expand the inconvenience factor of being stuck in the webway, to try and balance out how awesome having a dead craftworld for a base is. laugh.png

As for doing more - the Kabal of the Shattered World is just one of many (planned) factions around the Glastheim Rifts. I intend to expand on quite a few of them, and no doubt the Rhidainyan heir and his motley crew will cross blades with more than a couple of them.



#10
Knight of the Raven

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You've managed not only to make me feel sorry for dark eldar of all things, but sympathize (for one fleeting moment) with them as well. Unexpected.

The introductory quote was glorious, too.

I liked the whole story and the setting you've written for them, though I'll specify I've only read the version updated after Messor gave advice. I like the entire thing with the derelict craftworld in the Webway in particular.

One thing that leaves me puzzled is the population of your Kabal, however. I have no idea where their new recruits come from; in fact, I don't even know if they have new recruits.

They certainly do, mind you, whether they're the children of Kalios' original followers or they hail from beyond the Glastheim Rifts. But I didn't find it specified in the article. Commorragh also apparently doesn't even know they exist, so I'm not sure the latter option is even plausible.

If the entire Kabal does descend from Kalios and his merry murder-band, it's extremely fitting that they set shop in a craftworld, because they've essentially become one. A self-contained, self-sufficient people.

I'm also curious about whether the haemonculi and scourges who are still around after siding with Kalios were among the enforcers' "personal entourages of skilled veteran warriors" or the "number of other lacklustre warriors."

(I'm reasonably sure the hellions were all part of the latter.)


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#11
Ace Debonair

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I won't lie - I honestly haven't given nearly enough thought to how the Kabal maintains\increases its' numbers. wallbash.gif

 

I figure they certainly have their own descendants, but either Kalios was leading one heck of a large raiding party before everything went wrong, or the Kabal of the Shattered World has to get their recruits from elsewhere. Not sure from where yet - I'll mull this over and see if I can think of anything decent. happy.png

 

I suppose if at least one of the Haemonculi accompanying Kalios to start with was decently skilled, the Kabal would eventually get their own homegrown scourges. laugh.png

 

There's probably a lot of mileage in developing a Haemonculus character to go along with the Kabal's crazy 'make-prisoners-into-mindless-genetic-abominations' antics, but that'll have to wait a little while until I come up with a character concept I like. ph34r.png

 

 

EDIT:

I'm glad someone other than me likes the introductory quote, it's probably my favourite thing about the entire article! biggrin.png


Edited by Ace Debonair, 20 July 2019 - 09:56 PM.


#12
Knight of the Raven

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Planetary raids can be extremely big affairs, sometimes including thousands of warriors or even more. As a family that has "long been one of Commoragh's noble class," house Rhidainyan probably has an impressive amount of manpower; enough for those found wanting to be numerous enough for a genuine real-space raid on their own, even without adding the enforcers and their troops. Considering they straight out have a reputation for talented warriors earned and upheld over millennia, it's very easy to make the number of washouts increase to the tune of Irnach's exacting standards.

The raid would need enough soldiers at the start to look genuine and not tip Kalios off, as well. He can plausibly have started with a big warband and, being known for picking his fights wisely, kept casualties to a minimum.

Dark eldar are also functionally immortal, so these few casualties added to their natural birthrate can be enough to grow in numbers. They might even take a page out of the Fellheart family from the World that Was and actually have some kind of filial loyalty, perhaps even taking care of their children (while still being dark eldar, of course) as long as these same children don't plot to kill them first.

Many aboard the Shattered World are painfully aware of how it feels to be found wanting, after all.

But I'll talk about the other part of the Kabal now.

Seeing as Kalios was scheduled for a heroic death by a very powerful family in Commorragh, what in the world did the turncoats among the enforcers' troops see in his offer? I know he's described as having some 'God-Emperor of Conmankind' level charisma, and that dark eldar on a whole are literally psychologically incapable of imagining not coming out on top whatever the circumstances, but this strikes me as 'didn't think this through.' What did they think would happen if the webway portal wasn't damaged and they did come back to Commorragh, with an entire house's worth of warriors reputed for their uncharacteristic loyalty to their lords waiting for them?

Mind you, it led to a good story. And as I said, dark eldar have an ego the size of the Virgo supercluster that blinds them to the truth that there's always someone better than you. But I thought it was worth mentioning, to give some food for thought about that Kabal.

I also have one example of a good offer, specifically for the haemonculus. If there was only one among the enforcers (or even among the rabble), being the sole flesh-artist in a new kabal is certainly an enticing future compared to having to compete for Irnach's favors.

 

Speaking of fleshcrafting, 'make-prisoners-into-mindless-genetic-abominations' is par for the course for kabals (well, for haemonculi to be accurate). They might be notable for breeding their slaves as opposed to capturing more of them because they have a finite, well-defended hunting ground, but that's all.

 

And about that quote, trust a dark eldar to take "Well, achually—" to the next level. The awesome level, to be more specific.


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#13
Ace Debonair

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Planetary raids can be extremely big affairs, sometimes including thousands of warriors or even more. As a family that has "long been one of Commoragh's noble class," house Rhidainyan probably has an impressive amount of manpower; enough for those found wanting to be numerous enough for a genuine real-space raid on their own, even without adding the enforcers and their troops. Considering they straight out have a reputation for talented warriors earned and upheld over millennia, it's very easy to make the number of washouts increase to the tune of Irnach's exacting standards.

The raid would need enough soldiers at the start to look genuine and not tip Kalios off, as well. He can plausibly have started with a big warband and, being known for picking his fights wisely, kept casualties to a minimum.

Dark eldar are also functionally immortal, so these few casualties added to their natural birthrate can be enough to grow in numbers. They might even take a page out of the Fellheart family from the World that Was and actually have some kind of filial loyalty, perhaps even taking care of their children (while still being dark eldar, of course) as long as these same children don't plot to kill them first.

Many aboard the Shattered World are painfully aware of how it feels to be found wanting, after all.


Hmmm. I suppose a very large initial raiding party could be quite plausible, then. happy.png

 

I'm trying to shy away from exact numbers since I find they can make or break an article, but a lot of the points you make would certainly add to the idea of the Kabal having enough bodies to be a real threat to Imperial worlds.

 

I'm also liking the idea of actually introducing a degree of filial loyalty - Kalios himself has a certain respect for his father, I think, and so having a similar value instilled in all of his followers seems like a fitting thing.

 

But I'll talk about the other part of the Kabal now.

Seeing as Kalios was scheduled for a heroic death by a very powerful family in Commorragh, what in the world did the turncoats among the enforcers' troops see in his offer? I know he's described as having some 'God-Emperor of Conmankind' level charisma, and that dark eldar on a whole are literally psychologically incapable of imagining not coming out on top whatever the circumstances, but this strikes me as 'didn't think this through.' What did they think would happen if the webway portal wasn't damaged and they did come back to Commorragh, with an entire house's worth of warriors reputed for their uncharacteristic loyalty to their lords waiting for them?

…Would it surprise you to know I really haven't thought that through? laugh.png

I suppose the general idea is that Kalios would force any confrontation with his father to be public, so that House Rhidainyan's honour is on display for all to see. Then he'd insist to one and all that proven himself as a warrior by surviving what turned out to be a death-trap (without in any way implicating his father or shaming house Rhidainyan of course), he'd point out his father's vaunted enforcers were in fact out-performed in the act of survival by their new replacements.
 

I also have one example of a good offer, specifically for the haemonculus. If there was only one among the enforcers (or even among the rabble), being the sole flesh-artist in a new kabal is certainly an enticing future compared to having to compete for Irnach's favors.


That is actually a very good point, and would give Kalios a very valuable ally in the early days of the Kabal.
I'm definitely going to be adding a Haemonculus as soon as I come up with a name I like. happy.png

 

Speaking of fleshcrafting, 'make-prisoners-into-mindless-genetic-abominations' is par for the course for kabals (well, for haemonculi to be accurate). They might be notable for breeding their slaves as opposed to capturing more of them because they have a finite, well-defended hunting ground, but that's all.


Oops. I guess I don't know as much about the Dark Eldar way of life as I thought - I hadn't realised that was a widespread thing. sweat.gif

 

That's fine though, I just won't have to try so hard to establish the Shattered World's reliance on genetically adjusted cannon fodder.

 


Edited by Ace Debonair, 24 July 2019 - 05:25 PM.


#14
Knight of the Raven

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I'm trying to shy away from exact numbers since I find they can make or break an article, but a lot of the points you make would certainly add to the idea of the Kabal having enough bodies to be a real threat to Imperial worlds.

The only faction that "needs" exact numbers in the setting, as far as I can tell, is loyalist space marines. Capping them at roughly one thousand brothers is the keystone of the Codex Astartes.

I'd call it necessary to determine their vague numbers though, in order to know what they can and can't do. For example, having a good idea of what it'd require to break or wipe them out should allow you to adjust their rampage across real-space accordingly; how many of the six chapters guarding the Glastheim Rifts would it take to storm the Shattered World if they found a way in, that kind of things.

 

I'm also liking the idea of actually introducing a degree of filial loyalty - Kalios himself has a certain respect for his father, I think, and so having a similar value instilled in all of his followers seems like a fitting thing.

I suppose the general idea is that Kalios would force any confrontation with his father to be public, so that House Rhidainyan's honour is on display for all to see. Then he'd insist to one and all that proven himself as a warrior by surviving what turned out to be a death-trap (without in any way implicating his father or shaming house Rhidainyan of course), he'd point out his father's vaunted enforcers were in fact out-performed in the act of survival by their new replacements.

It's possible Irnach eventually learned about his son's kabal. He sent him to die after all, and received absolutely no confirmation about it. No one ever came back from the "daring raid," if I understand the article correctly.

No body means no death. That is even more true with dark eldar, who can grow back from a charred finger bone if they have an amiable haemonculus on their payroll.

It's also possible Irnach will never learn about the Shattered World and spend the rest of his life seeing his son polishing a blade in every corner and in every shadow.

If he does become aware of his son's whereabouts, he may actually find himself impressed. His good-for-nothing son not only survived his best enforcers, but is now inflicting pain and terror upon an entire realm. Kalios may return to Commorragh only to find a long-planned parade waiting for him and his warriors.

But not necessarily. Irnach sentenced his son to death for being "essentially worthless as a warrior;" leadership never came into consideration (probably because he has Kalios' older siblings for that). Since he's apparently still "not a warrior," Irnach may want him dead more than ever.

Either way, he might want to keep the intent behind the whole Ardanu business to himself. The troops of the Rhidainyans are noted to be unexpectedly loyal for dark eldar; I don't think they'd appreciate learning this loyalty isn't as two-way a street as they believed. Then again, they may consider that a "worthless warrior" is owed no loyalty and that Kalios and his merry band of failures deserved the fate they so narrowly missed.

 

That is actually a very good point, and would give Kalios a very valuable ally in the early days of the Kabal.

I'm definitely going to be adding a Haemonculus as soon as I come up with a name I like. happy.png

Considering haemonculi are the key to the dark eldar's refusal to stay dead, this one may end up with considerable power, with everyone in the kabal owing their survival to them.

Or maybe not, if they take a few apprentices who can make a few deals on their own.

And that heamonculus may not even end up abusing his power and being the man behind the man. Kalios does treat his fellows handsomely, why ram a knife between the status quo's shoulder plates when they already get all they want?

 

Oops. I guess I don't know as much about the Dark Eldar way of life as I thought - I hadn't realised that was a widespread thing. sweat.gif

I only own the 5th edition codex, which may or may not be outdated. And it was a long time since I last read it. It's possible I mistook Urien Rakarth's little practical joke on the Tau as something done by all haemonculi rather than only he.


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#15
Ace Debonair

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I'm trying to shy away from exact numbers since I find they can make or break an article, but a lot of the points you make would certainly add to the idea of the Kabal having enough bodies to be a real threat to Imperial worlds.

The only faction that "needs" exact numbers in the setting, as far as I can tell, is loyalist space marines. Capping them at roughly one thousand brothers is the keystone of the Codex Astartes.

I'd call it necessary to determine their vague numbers though, in order to know what they can and can't do. For example, having a good idea of what it'd require to break or wipe them out should allow you to adjust their rampage across real-space accordingly; how many of the six chapters guarding the Glastheim Rifts would it take to storm the Shattered World if they found a way in, that kind of things.

 


Hmmm.

 

I've got it in mind that it'd take probably somewhere in the ball-park figure of two thousand Space Marines to completely eradicate the Kabal of the Shattered World's home, and even then it'd be with a goodly number of dead Marines in the aftermath.

The Chapters around the Glastheim Rifts are, of course, chronically under-strength, so not only would they need to find a way into the Shattered World, they'd have to rally two or more of their brother Chapters to the task and hope the Kabal doesn't sabotage or disable the way in somehow.
 

It's possible Irnach eventually learned about his son's kabal. He sent him to die after all, and received absolutely no confirmation about it. No one ever came back from the "daring raid," if I understand the article correctly.


Yeah, that's the intention. Irnach's left guessing at the result, but since he more or less got what he wanted (i.e. Kalios is gone) he hasn't given the pursuit of the matter much thought or energy.

 

Commorragh has more than enough dangerous politics and intrigue to keep the head of a warrior clan occupied, after all!

 

No body means no death. That is even more true with dark eldar, who can grow back from a charred finger bone if they have an amiable haemonculus on their payroll.

It's also possible Irnach will never learn about the Shattered World and spend the rest of his life seeing his son polishing a blade in every corner and in every shadow.

blink.png

 

Forget what I just said, this is now canon what's going to happen.

I know Irnach doesn't really play much of a part in the story of the Kabal of the Shattered World, but having him forever twitchy about if his scorned son is waiting for revenge sounds like epic-level karma coming around, and I like it.devil.gif
 

If he does become aware of his son's whereabouts, he may actually find himself impressed. His good-for-nothing son not only survived his best enforcers, but is now inflicting pain and terror upon an entire realm. Kalios may return to Commorragh only to find a long-planned parade waiting for him and his warriors.


In as far as I've given Irnach any character (in my head at least), it's to have exactingly high standards for his family. Kalios might have easily surpassed those standards by turning a dead shell of a world and a host of low-grade henchmen into a fortress and an army of dedicated, merciless warriors.

TL;DR - That is a possibility.
 

But not necessarily. Irnach sentenced his son to death for being "essentially worthless as a warrior;" leadership never came into consideration (probably because he has Kalios' older siblings for that). Since he's apparently still "not a warrior," Irnach may want him dead more than ever.


…That is also possible.

Kalios hasn't really grown as a warrior, per se, and thus is an aberrant amongst the Rhidainyans. I don't know if Irnach would be impressed, or simply see a new challenger to his authority as patriarch of the Rhidainyan clan.

 

Either way, he might want to keep the intent behind the whole Ardanu business to himself. The troops of the Rhidainyans are noted to be unexpectedly loyal for dark eldar; I don't think they'd appreciate learning this loyalty isn't as two-way a street as they believed. Then again, they may consider that a "worthless warrior" is owed no loyalty and that Kalios and his merry band of failures deserved the fate they so narrowly missed.


That is a last resort weapon Kalios has in his political arsenal; attempting to prove that his father's loyalty lies only with himself. Other Commorragh-dwelling nobles would, at least, take notice of such an accusation, and it might even destabilize the Rhidainyan's prominence amongst the warrior clans if the ensuing waves made by such a claim become big enough.

 

It's last-resort stuff because if the clan falls, then obviously Kalios won't be able to rise to the top of it so easily in the future.
 

Obviously, Irnach also wants to avoid his noble house being destabilized, so he'd have to be careful with Kalios, or at least be far-removed from any potential accidents that might befall his son.


Overall, I feel like any reunion that takes place in Commorragh is likely to be a carefully balanced and intensely political affair, in which both Kalios and Irnach adeptly claim everything that has happened was their mutual goal the entire time.

Anywhere else? Probably a massacre, one way or another.

In theory Irnach has the might of all his associates in Commorragh to call on. But with Dark Eldar loyalty being what it is, it's hard to say how many of these 'allies' would answer Irnach's call, especially if Kalios can make the Shattered World powerful enough beforehand.


 

Considering haemonculi are the key to the dark eldar's refusal to stay dead, this one may end up with considerable power, with everyone in the kabal owing their survival to them.

Or maybe not, if they take a few apprentices who can make a few deals on their own.

And that heamonculus may not even end up abusing his power and being the man behind the man. Kalios does treat his fellows handsomely, why ram a knife between the status quo's shoulder plates when they already get all they want?


Kalios being chill with his Archons is definitely going to be the big balancer for the haemonculus - everyone at the top has done pretty well out of Kalios running the place, and another hand on the figurative wheel may lead them down some worse roads.

 

So now I read that again, he's basically Discworld's Lord Vetinari, but a Dark Eldar.

 

I only own the 5th edition codex, which may or may not be outdated. And it was a long time since I last read it. It's possible I mistook Urien Rakarth's little practical joke on the Tau as something done by all haemonculi rather than only he.


Well, it makes sense for the Dark Eldar to have prisoners used as weapons, if only because the haemonculi need to test their latest experiments on something.laugh.png No point wasting Drukhari lives if you've got expendable meat sacks to practice on, after all!



#16
Knight of the Raven

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I realize most of my contributions are more about Irnach than about his son, when he's only supposed to be the reason Kalios found himself where he is, an explanation for the setting who'd remain forever in the background. Sorry about that, but that's where my inspiration and knowledge of the dark eldar lie at the moment; the former always proves extremely finicky in particular.

That said, thanks for the answers about Irnach and Kalios' interactions, and I hope our discussion helps you with fleshing out the Kabal of the Shattered World.
 

Kalios being chill with his Archons is definitely going to be the big balancer for the haemonculus - everyone at the top has done pretty well out of Kalios running the place, and another hand on the figurative wheel may lead them down some worse roads.

 

So now I read that again, he's basically Discworld's Lord Vetinari, but a Dark Eldar.

I just find it nice to see the greedy, forever power-hungry dark eldar contenting themselves with what they have for once. And sociopaths though they are, even they may enjoy some stability in their life, in the form of '0,0002 percent fewer threats to deal with' because of that surprising restraint.

It'd probably lead to derisive touristic leaflets the day Commorragh learns about them, of course. 'Go on vacation on the Shattered World!' and things like that.

I can't comment on Lord Vetinari, not being familiar with the Discworld series. You may find you have much to discuss with Hasoroth of the White Towers, though, since he described his chapter master as 'Havelock Vetinari in power armor.'

 

Well, it makes sense for the Dark Eldar to have prisoners used as weapons, if only because the haemonculi need to test their latest experiments on something.laugh.png No point wasting Drukhari lives if you've got expendable meat sacks to practice on, after all!

As a matter of fact, if there weren't any expendable meat sacks to practice on, the dark eldar wouldn't stay long enough to be experimented upon. They'd try to slip through the cracks of the patrols encircling the Glastheim Rifts or take their chances with the horrors of the webway in order to find a better hunting ground, because no slaves means becoming a starving husk at best or throwing their so very precious souls in Slaanesh's waiting maw at worst.


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