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 Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull

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Thor665
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PostSubject: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Tue Dec 03 2013, 06:20


Pull up a chair there, young bloods, slice off a face and wear it as a mask, and welcome to the first of my talks. I got to thinking the other day what between all the raiding and the killing and other stuff that some of you kids don't know about all of the mysteries of the Dark Eldar because so few of you are ancient enough to remember us from back in our ancient birth in...3rd edition.

Yes, it's a fabled time, a time when maybe the hatred GW has towards WWPs can be explained. A time where our commanders didn't always decide to walk on foot like chumps. A time when some old Archons dare to whisper was more about the 'hobby' and less about the 'sales' though you may feel free to debate the pros and cons for that one elsewhere.

That said, I decided it would be a good thing for young Archons to know a bit more about who we are, and where we came from, so I'm going to do up a few discussions about ancient mysteries of our race that are being lost to the eons of...a decade ago.

Ask yourself, how many of you played the best army ever at that point? How many of you ever had to keep a slave talley count so that you knew how many extra points you earned on a raid? Not too many of you whippersnappers I'll bet.

So, sit back...and place that back firmly against a solid wall, this is Commoragh after all, and let me tell you stories that you may not even be aware of.

Old Archon is going to discuss...The Kabal of Flayed Skull!

=====================================


So who are these guys, and why should you give a hang about them?

Well, these guys are pretty much the coolest damn Kabal in all of Commoragh, that's who they are. And why is that you ask?

That's because they've been the #2 guys in Commoragh for FOUR EDITIONS and, on top of that, they are a riddle wrapped in an Enigma. To understand them we need to grasp at straws;


The Original 3rd Edition Codex, hints of the darkness; Little mention is made of the Kabal, but their distinctive paint scheme is present - black armor with silver highlights, and a dark red helmet. Also present is a symbol of The Emasculators - more on this later. Vect and the Black Heart are clearly established as the penultimate Kabal of Commoragh.

White Dwarf batrep, the Skull is Flayed; Their first real mention to my recollection was back, not in the original dex, but rather in an early White Dwarf batrep (241 I believe). It was a brief mention when discussing the overwhelming power of Vect and the Black Heart within Commoragh. Yes, they were unquestionably the most powerful, but it was established that there was another Kabal.

The *second* most powerful.

The Flayed Skull.


Codex Dark Eldar, Revised Edition - Kruellagh The Vile; Now, this threat to Vect's power gets a bit more interesting as a few layers of secrecy are peeled away. One of our brand spanking new special characters is listed as the Archon of the Emasculators...but is also listed as affiliated with...Flayed Skull.

Now, I think there is an important distinction to make here, because it's a common line of thought that Kreullagh is/was the Archon of Flayed Skull.

This is not really supported in fluff in my opinion.

Note that she is listed as affiliated with them, and she is *never* called their Archon until erroneously cited as such by websites like Lexicanarium or Warseer or something. She was/is the Archon of The Emasculators. As a quick sign of what this perhaps means, I will note that in the same codex we are introduced to a Dracon (and back then this didn't mean a Trueborn Sarge, think of it like the Space Marine Captain to the Archon's Space Marine Chapter Master), but a Dracon of the Destroyers...in service to Bloodied Claw (another article that may be worth writing up). But this clearly establishes that you could be the leader of an organization in service to a Kabal and still basically be in service to the Kabal.

I think this suggests that Ms. Vile was never the Archon of Flayed Skull.
Take that as you will.

That said, she is certainly affiliated with them in some manner, I submit as a leader of one of their more famed warbands, The Emasculators.


Codex Dark Eldar, 5th Edition - The Rise of Vraesque; The Kabal finally stepped fully into the light with the new Codex. It was again noted that they were second in power to Black Heart (albeit militarily...which does leave open the question of politically (a new challenger!).

We also learned the name of their Archon, Vraesque, and that he had fought his way up from a Reaver Jetbike rider to lead his Kabal which features powerful air forces.

-------------------

So that is the ancient and hidden history of this secretive Kabal that dares to stand second to Vect, which...really is pretty badass when you think about it. Considering that Vect and Black Heart are the big dogs on the pile, and are also a bunch of paranois sociopaths who have murder as their domestic policy and send housewarming gifts of black holes and daemon invasions while Vect sort of cackles to himself.

That's pretty impressive to still be standing there at the end of so many editions and still be the second dog.

We still don't know too much about Vraesque, though he is clearly a beautiful option for them to expand on if we ever get RJB Archons back, and, indeed, he could serve as an excellent special character in his own right.

Kruellagh is also still potentially out there serving her Kabal if you accept that she was always an underling. If you are convinced that Emasculators = Kabal of Flayed Skull in some manner then Vraesque is probably responsible for her meeting a rather unkind end is a rather new Archon at that stage. Again, I don't buy into that, myself.

I think Kruellagh just got 'Doomridered' as it were.

But that's the Kabal of Flayed Skull and all their hidden history that I know of. If you know something else, please add! Also, if you ever get an itch to make an 'official' Kabal then remember the surprising history available for this one, really they are almost one of the most storied Kabals, and also hold a unique position of likely being the only credible threat to Vect's rule.

The Kabal of Flayed Skull.
Old Archon remembers...

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Last edited by Thor665 on Tue Dec 03 2013, 16:08; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Tue Dec 03 2013, 14:52

*gathers around grandpa to listen to his stories*
(In a tiny child voice):
"Whoa, that was cool! All I ever heard of the flayed skulls was that tiny info box on the codex!"

uhh im not a good child actor.
So seriously though, I had not literally known anything of Kruellagh the Vile until now. Still don't know much.
Also, darn those claws and pistol on that archon look good!
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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Tue Dec 03 2013, 16:04

Mngwa wrote:
So seriously though, I had not literally known anything of Kruellagh the Vile until now. Still don't know much.
No one really does. We know she leads a group called The Emasculators (and there's a name to make men wince) and has weaponized her arms (because...y''know...BECAUSE!). It is unclear of her real relationship with Flayed Skull, and for all we know she might have been deposed, or might have split off from them, or still be working loyally.

She's also clearly a brilliant combatant and at least a solid battlefield general. I actually always liked her picture in the Codex and the exceedingly minor bits of fluff she had, but she was saddled with a sub-par ruleset and...well...one of the worst models of any range (that wasn't aided by how most people painted it). Though I never expect her return, I do think the basic idea of a DE with soul/liquid sucking spikes in her hands that grows stronger as she kills is not only flavorful, but also a pretty obvious precursor to the current Pain Token system.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Tue Dec 03 2013, 19:56

" How many of you ever had to keep a slave talley count so that you knew how many extra points you earned on a raid?"

I still do...and they give me those weird glances as I laugh with smile on my face after a lost battle ....they dont know....they dont know....

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Tue Dec 03 2013, 20:39

GrenAcid wrote:
I still do...and they give me those weird glances as I laugh with smile on my face after a lost battle ....they dont know....they dont know....
Twisted Evil 

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Tue Dec 03 2013, 20:45

Ah, I remember them... I also remember the Kruellagh model. That didn't leave much to the imagination and how did she get any saves at all?

Anyhow, this was a good article. It's been good to reminisce about things I haven't given much thought to for the last couple of years.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Tue Dec 03 2013, 21:15

That's the paintjob I'm talking about - if you look at the original art and also the studio paintjob you can see some differences in what we expect to see from Kruellagh;



And what the reality was supposed to be;



Don't get me wrong, I am a huge defender of the old GW models, and even I will readily admit that it is not only an ugly sculpt, but perhaps one of the worst 40k sculpts period. It's just not supposed to be a 'yay, naked!' sculpt is all.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Wed Dec 04 2013, 15:13

Thor665 wrote:


MY EYES! affraid
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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Wed Dec 04 2013, 15:46

I really enjoyed this article. I started to love the Dark Eldar back in 2008. Before that I was a major Ork fan. I loved the fluff of the warhammer universes, and mostly just played the video games. Upon the release of soulstorm expansion for dawn of war I was introduced to a race I never knew existed. And no it wasn't the Tau.

I was fascinated by this race, even though I always found Eldar to be posh pansies. Their role in the grim future was one I could get behind. They weren't fighting out of xenophobia and expurgation like the space marines. They weren't as boring and as the IG who did much the same thing but only because they were ordered. They weren't there to absorb the planet into their empire, like the tau, and they weren't there to just kill everyone like the necrons.

No, they were just their for the party. To use the distraction of all the chaos to get what resources they could and leave. And even in the ending, you see them leaving the bare planet with spoils in tact. Even their starting point wasn't landed, they carried out their raids from a nearby moon. In this grand war, they played the part they play even now in tournament: Spoiler.

That's one problem with the central concept behind the Dark Eldar. In a game about holding objectives and killing your enemies. We don't want to hold objectives, we want to take them back to Commoragh. We don't want to kill our enemies, every enemy killed is a resource lost.

Back in 2008 things were pretty bleak, at the time a new Codex for Dark Eldar was only rumored but had been rumored for 10 years so no one took it serious. I was't playing the actual tabletop game back then. I just started collecting models last year, and just started playing this year. So I kind of gave up on them after Soulstorm. Until my friend talked me into starting an army, so we could learn and start playing the game. And once he had, there was only one army I could choose.

So I never got to play the 3rd edition army. I read about them thoroughly though. And while I do miss the flesh mask, I might dig up the old codex and learn how to count slaves. Because I know what my true objectives are in every game. Guard for labor, Tau for experiments, Marines and Orks for the arena. And Eldar? Eldar satisfy another niche.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Wed Dec 04 2013, 23:52

Thanks for trip down the old memory line. Yes records of slaves, individual combat drugs for every unit, the old drug box for characters. Good times.

A actually had to have a look in the old codex, and can´t help to wonder, in an alternative universe, there our current codex was nonexistent. How to you think we would do in 6th edition?
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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Thu Dec 05 2013, 01:02

Pretty well in my opinion.

The Old Dissies were amazing, we still would have haywire v.blade Wyches, we would lack Trueborn but would have Blasters on Wyches and cheaper Blasters overall, the Archon would be superior in assault, the old retinue rules would make people weep and gnash teeth, cheap Lelilth would still be fielded in droves.

The notable losses would be Beast Packs and our fliers, neither of which really have an alternate in the Old Dex to fill the same gaps.

People would also, in general, feel that DEldar Seer Councils were less broken because they could be locked in assault.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Thu Dec 05 2013, 04:11

Omg great thread, I've gotten into the Dark Eldar fluff this year. What Level or Teir would you put the White Flames into, how far below? Also I love the slave tally think and I believe I will start doing that now. xD

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Thu Dec 05 2013, 05:20

I haven't read Path of the Renegade yet, so don't really have a smart frame of reference there. All I'll say is...Flayed Skull never bent the knee to Vect Wink

I am definitely getting a positive response to this thread, so there will doubtless be a handful more. I know I still want to talk Webway Portals, No'akei, the Torturer's Tale, and the Slaanesh thing. After that I might be out of ideas for viable and important old stories, but I'm always game for ideas if anyone thinks of something I have overlooked.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Thu Dec 05 2013, 06:21

Thor665 wrote:
the Torturer's Tale
Still one of the best pieces of Dark Eldar fluff, imo. It's a shame they didn't put it in the current codex, because it would fit right in, mirroring Vect's unit entry orso.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Thu Dec 05 2013, 14:02

Thor665 wrote:
The notable losses would be Beast Packs and our fliers, neither of which really have an alternate in the Old Dex to fill the same gaps.
My notable losses llist would have to also include:
-Venoms with 12 poisoned shots (I know you're more of a Raider guy, but these would be missed)
-Poison EVERYWHERE. Remember S3 Splinter Rifles? Mad 
-New Wracks and Grots

That said, I'm a nostalgic old codger and love the hell out of this thread. Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil 

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Thu Dec 05 2013, 19:05

Evil Space Elves wrote:
My notable losses llist would have to also include:
-Venoms with 12 poisoned shots (I know you're more of a Raider guy, but these would be missed)
-Poison EVERYWHERE. Remember S3 Splinter Rifles? Mad 
-New Wracks and Grots
The answer to Venoms was that every squad could take a Splinter Cannon even as a 5 man build.

I do remember S3 rifles - I would begrudge their loss but I don't think they're the be-all end-all of our strength. Do you remember when Wyches could have 2 Blasters and Warrior 5 man squads could have a Blaster and a S.Cannon and a Raider for less than we pay for a minimum squad now?

I think old Grots filled an interesting mid-way point with new Wracks and Grots. I certainly remember their ability to ignore Str 5 or less shooting. I mean, just ignore it. They would be perfect tools to use for disordered charges nowadays to deny enemy Overwatch. I will agree that the new Grots and Wracks are better, but it's not like old Grots were bad, they were just never played because they competed with Wych slots, and only a fool didn't take Wyches.

Evil Space Elves wrote:
That said, I'm a nostalgic old codger and love the hell out of this thread. Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil 
I hope the others please you as well, I've already written 2 and will probably try to keep posting one a week for as long as ideas last.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Thu Dec 05 2013, 20:59

S3 Splinter rifles? confused 
Tell me more!
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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Fri Dec 06 2013, 03:04

Splinter rifles used to just be las rifles with a different name stat wise. S3, AP5 24" rapid fire.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Fri Dec 06 2013, 04:01

Used to pray for 5s to wound the plebs! Dark lances for the cost of a Liquifier, the Liquifier was called a destructor and Blasters were the cost of a venom blade. The new codex was both awesome and brutal with its changes.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Fri Dec 06 2013, 04:26

This thread is giving me a really bad idea for the Archon's Challenge Stage 6.....

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Fri Dec 06 2013, 11:14

Fantastic article Thor!

I did a modern version of Kruellagh's rules back in the day here:

http://www.thedarkcity.net/t1691-kruellegh-the-vile

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Fri Dec 06 2013, 22:56

Oh this is so devilishly wonderful! I miss the old dex. Oh how I miss it so! This is great, Thor. Keep up the good work. I am adrift in a sea of nostalgia and loving it, and cannot wait for your next few forays into Old Commoragh.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Kabal of Flayed Skull   Sun Dec 08 2013, 03:37

I wont' deny it, I miss the old codex. I mean i love the new one, its just that the old one was soo grim and ghoulish! It had soo much more character in a strange way.. I dont know if it was the models, the rough sketches, I do Know that it WAS the awesome little short stories.

The little pockets of stories and paragraphs of Inquisitor's notes on the Dark Kin were very sombre (Epecially that one about the Imperial guy who escaped Commoragh as a slave!)

Very very engaging pieces in there. Even the special wargear. C'mon who DIDNT love the Nightmare Doll? or Dracons when they were the real deal! and who can forget the Incubi and their Striking Scorpian-esque backround with the Dark Father?
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