"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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, 08 November 2021 - 08:48 AM.