'Remember my kin, that silence is golden. Those who listen, will learn, and that knowledge is power. Choose your words carefully lest they betray you and lead to your own undoing.'
- Kha'lir, Warden of Whispers
The Kabal of the Tainted Word are renowned as the most highly regarded information brokers and spy network in the dark city. Founded during Vect’s original rise, it was the messenger Kha’lir who used the opportunity to strike vengeance against the old elite. Having spent many years in the service of the old aristocracy, his hatred and distain for them grew to a deep bitterness and lust to betray these withered and aging relics of a stagnant era. As Vect began to seize power, Kha’lir sensed an opportunity. Drawing together information from his many contacts and forming dark pacts with the denizens of Aelindrach, he began to filter vital information, secrets and artifacts to the soon to be Supreme Overlord. As the chaos grew and his masters sensed their imminent downfall, Kha’lir and his followers sprang their traps, assassinating or imprisoning their former masters with all of their fury, bloodlust and malicious intent.
They formed the Kabal of the Tainted Word, a decentralized spy network whose numbers are impossible to ascertain to anyone other than Kha’lir himself. Despite their considerable wealth, they have no particular spire or central fortress. Instead, a series of elaborate safe-houses known as Vaults are connected to each other via a complex labyrinth than spans across the webway and even into realspace. The Vaults themselves are great libraries of information and relics, fiercely protected by some of the cruelest and most dangerous creatures and warriors that Commoragh has to offer for Kha’lir and the Kabal guard their assets with vigilance bordering on obsessive paranoia. This is not without good reason. Information is king and Kha’lir has been known to bring down even the most powerful rivals with little more than a word delivered to their chambers. They are few Archon’s who have no dangerous secrets and most are discovered and archived in the Vaults, however well they think they have protected them. It is even rumored that Vect’s assassins were only able to get to their target due to information provided by the Tainted Word, though no one would openly suggest it.
Initiation into the Kabal contains numerous trials but all with one common element. The tongues of the aspiring warriors are cut out and their vocal chords burnt out during the proceedings and it will only be replaced after 100 years of faithful service to the Kabal. In order to relay their messages to one another; spies have developed a myriad of methods of non-verbal communication, not known to anyone outside of the kabal and so complex that no code-master or interrogator has gained a single piece of information from even a willing captive.
When planning a realspace raid, the Kabal of the Tainted Word usually has an ulterior motive other than simply the gathering of slaves and resources. They only target worlds which contain secrets or relics of immense value to add to their libraries and collection. What may appear to the rest of the dark city as a fairly substandard strike, bearing only middling success in the harvesting of survivors, will in fact have been a distraction from their real goal and the extermination of any who are aware of the true value of the intended target. As such, stealth and speed along with overwhelmingly powerful destructive weaponry are the hallmarks of a Tainted Word raid, employing Mandrakes who spend months, years or even decades preying on key targets, spying on defenses and kidnapping those holding valuable information on the whereabouts of their desired plunder is key. When the raid begins in earnest, it is kept small, for wagging tongues and spies may lurk anywhere and Kha’lir’s heightened paranoia is what has kept him out of rival Archon’s and even Vect’s grasp for so long. Supporting the warriors of the kabal, scourge and voidravens are favored highly, the eyrie known as the heralds of the last breath have ceased to be an independent body and are wholly integrated into the Kabal providing aerial support and key information as the battle is joined.
Over the centuries, the Kabal has formed an alliance with the Cult of the Shadowed Talon who's own talents for misdirection and the perfection of the stealth kill compliment their own. It is said that it is near impossible to gauge the true number of informants, mercenaries and cutthroats enlisted on Kha'lir's payroll and this is of course by design.
Persons of note:
Kha'lir is the overlord of the Kabal of the Tainted Word, known more commonly as the Warden of Whispers. Malicious, cruel any utterly obsessed with the accumulation of knowledge, he uses the secrets of his enemies to gain the upper hand. A tactical genius with an talent for subversion that could rival even the Alpha Legion, he sits like a spider in the center of his carefully growing web. Despite winning Vect's favor on occasion, his loyalty can certainly not be assumed and it is said that he is in possession of artifacts and secrets that even the living muse would not want to become common knowledge. However, he is aware that to overstep the line could invite ruin upon him, his kabal and his plans.
Their need for scourge messengers has prompted the Kabal to enlist the Haemonculos, Srilor, a member of a splinter-faction of the Prophets of Flesh known as The Shattered Mirror. This shadowy being is well known to be a perfectionist in their creation, but his own interest is in the blending of different forms of organic matter. He often accompanies the Kabal on their raids, either for the purposes of research and sample collection, or to test his newest creations in a different environment.
The Succubus Ta’til is the mistress of the Cult of the Shadowed Talon, consort and greatest ally of Kha’lir. Her grace and beauty are highly respected in the arena and she is doted on frequently by Kha’lir, who gifts her with fine artifacts and poisons to further her deadly art. The synthesis between the Kabal and the Cult has become so strong that there is barely a distinction. Indeed it is required that a wych and kabalite work together seamlessly on the battlefield, the kabalite giving ranged support to his or her partner wych. From these duos, there is an increasing number of Trueborn that are birthed and allow both groups to grow with strong offspring. These bonds however, should not be mistaken for perfect pairing or affection. Drukhari are by nature devious and although the partners may give themselves to each other in duty to their Kabal or Cult, a potential knife in the throat or poisoning is certainly not uncommon, even among their leaders. Many is the time that Srilor, the Kabal's ally among the Haemonculus, has had to resurrect Kha’lir or Ta’til following a dispute or simply the pleasure of slaughtering each other. The constant threat of danger often stimulates the partnership further, staving off ennui and providing an outlet for their fickle aspirations, while keeping them occupied enough that Kha’lir and Ta’til rule their respective groups with relatively few uprisings or challenges.
Veris is the first born daughter of Kha’lir and Ta’til. Although trueborn, his life has by no means been one of privilege such as many of his birthright. The distain for elitism that accompanied the founding of the Kabal has influenced all of its members, regardless of their background. Trained from an early age, Veris was cast into the realm of Aelindrach just as a half born is and told to find her way back. When she emerged, it was as a shadow and a specter, moving through the darkness like she was born to it and bringing with her the severed heads of 5 rival Archons in tribute. Following her success, Veris has become the Kabal’s most infamous assassin and is feared even among other ranking Archons.
Melsir is the 6th born daughter, following the deaths of several offspring in their initiation rituals. Of all of these, only Melsir survived the brutal training and has spent her entire life honing her skills. Fiercely ambitious, Ta’til knows it is only a matter of time before her daughter challenges her and despite herself, feels an overwhelming pride in knowing it is possible that she may even be defeated.
Watchers in the Shadows
The Kabal of the Tainted Word spend a significant proportion of their lives stealthily gathering information from their rivals. So adept are they, that it is said that they can hide themselves even from the ever watchful eyes of the Supreme Overlord himself.
Units with this obsession that are in cover add +1 to their cover saves.
Communications disruption: 2CP
The spy network of the Kabal of the Tainted Word is insidious in nature and will spread misdirection throughout enemy forces both prior to and during the battle.
Use this stratagem when an enemy unit enters the battlefield from the reserves. After your opponent has placed the unit, you may move this unit D6” from its intended position.
This blade is a direct gift from the Mandrakes, when it claims a victim, it activates, drawing light to it to shroud its surroundings in pure darkness.
Archon with a venom blade only. Replaces the venom blade and has the following profile:
Weapon: The SIlencer
Abilities: Poisoned weapon (page 87). Add 2 to wound rolls made for this weapon, unless it is targeting a VEHICLE. If a model is slain in the fight phase by this weapon, all attacks from enemy units within 1” suffer -1 to hit when targeting the warlord for the remainder of the phase.
The Archons of the Kabal of the Tainted word are masters of gathering crucial information, studying their techniques and using it to expose the weaknesses of their opponents. When they enter the battlefield, it is with an intricate knowledge of every individual of note in the enemy forces.
The Archon can reroll saving throws against wounds caused by CHARACTERS in addition, the Archon may reroll to wound rolls of 1 against enemy CHARACTERS
Enjoy creating fluff and story lines for my armies and making some rules just for fun.