Ka'Bandha is a Greater Daemon of the Blood God Khorne, known as a Bloodthirster. Ka'Bandha is recognised as amongst the most powerful and most feared of the Blood God's servants and he played an important role during the events of the Horus Heresy when he became the enduring nemesis of the Primarch Sanguinius and his IX Legion.
He was also responsible for the destruction of the majority of the Tyranid Hive Fleet Leviathan after the formation of the Great Rift in 999.M41 during the Devastation of Baal that saved the Blood Angels Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, his most hated foes, from annihilation. Ka'Bandha was determined that only he, and he alone, would be afforded the pleasure of bringing the sons of Sanguinius to their final ruin.
Within the pantheon of the Blood God, Ka'Bandha is regarded as one of his most prolific killers. He is a murderous engine of destruction, slaughtering in exalted joy for his lord Khorne. He first appeared during the dark days of the Horus Heresy in the early 31st Millennium upon the planet of Signus Prime located in the triple star system known as the Signus Cluster during the Signus Campaign. For untold generations this system had been a centre of human civilisation and industrialisation. But it soon fell prey to the whims of the Chaos Gods, whose hidden witch-cabals and summoned daemons rose up in violent insurrection and seized power. Overnight, they turned the once industrious star system into an extension of the Realm of Chaos, and a dominion of daemons. The entire system became a charnel house and a place of evil. To rid himself of a potentially troublesome Loyalist Legion, the recently-corrupted Warmaster Horus despatched his brother Primarch Sanguinius and his Blood Angels Legion to the sector where they would be caught unawares and destroyed by the Forces of Chaos. The valiant Space Marines were quickly assaulted by the daemonic host as they entered the system. Despite the fact that they had never before fought against such a supernatural foe, the Blood Angels were sure that they would prevail. Discovering the rotten heart at its centre, Sanguinius and his Blood Angels assaulted the world of Signus Prime and its daemonic hordes.
Amidst the carnage, thousands of loyal Blood Angels were cut down by the foul hordes of daemons. Soon the Plains of the Damned were awash in gore as the Blood Angels forced their way into the very heart of the Daemon Lord's realm. On the battlefields of Signus Prime, Sanguinius came face-to-face with the powerful Ka'Bandha, a Greater Daemon of Khorne, for the first time. The daemon taunted the Primarch, revealing Horus' planned treachery against the Emperor. Enraged, the angelic Primarch fought the brutal Bloodthirster in single combat. Seizing the initiative during the battle, he surprised Ka'Bandha with his frenzied assault, stabbing his Power Sword into the daemon's chest, ripping open a gaping wound. The massive creature roared in fury and pain, lashing out with his whip at the Primarch's legs. Sanguinius was momentarily unbalanced as his legs were crushed in the whip's coils. The daemon then smashed Sanguinius to the ground with the flat of his axe. The winged hero of the Imperium was stunned, helpless before the Bloodthirster's wrath. As his vision cleared, he looked up at the monster that towered over him. The Greater Daemon taunted the Angel one final time, let out a mighty bellow and then struck out across the battlefield, slaughtering 500 Space Marines with huge swathes of his massive axe. They psychic backlash of the deaths of so many of his sons traumatised Sanguinius, and the Primarch fell into unconsciousness.
It would not be until the closing days of the Horus Heresy that Sanguinius would once again confront the savage Daemon Lord. During the Battle of Terra, the Bloodthirster confronted the Primarch atop the Eternity Gate of the Imperial Palace which guarded the way to the Emperor's throne room. The Greater Daemon struck Sanguinius, casting the angel upon the broken stone. Preparing to strike a killing blow, the Primarch called upon his last reserves of strength and power. With a massive effort, he confronted the Greater Daemon for the final time and leapt upon the Bloodthirster, seized him about the wrist and ankle and rose up high into the air. Sanguinius slammed the great beast across his knee, breaking the creature's back with a powerful crack. He swung the body of Ka'Bandha around and hurled the broken behemoth into the midst of the daemonic host, slamming the Eternity Gate shut against the ravening hordes of Chaos. The servants of the Ruinous Power would not claim Terra that day, and the Traitor Legions were ultimately defeated when the Emperor bested their Warmaster Horus in single combat aboard his flagship the Vengeful Spirit.
The Darkest Hour
The vile Greater Daemon would not be seen again until 10,000 standard years later. In the year 999.M41, Ka'Bandha returned from the darkness of the Immaterium at the head of a mighty daemonic host at his command, striking a blow against his hated enemies, the Blood Angels, upon the world of Ammonai, the outermost planet of the Baal System. To compound matters, a tendril of Hive Fleet Leviathan was on a direct course for the Blood Angels' homeworld of Baal. Faced with the dual threat, the Blood Angels' Chapter Master, Commander Dante, made hasty preparations, uniting both Imperial and non-human worlds in a desperate bid for survival. Even with such a substantial host at his command, Dante knew that it would not be enough to repel both the daemonic onslaught and the Tyranids. Therefore, he recalled the Blood Angels' 3rd Company from Armageddon and sent requests for aid to the Blood Angels' Successor Chapters. Despatching their full fighting strength, the Flesh Tearers were the first to respond without hesitation. Ultimately, all of the Sons of Sanguinius save for the Lamenters lent aid to their progenitors. Even the Renegade Chapter, the Knights of Blood, heeded the call, though they took great care not to fight alongside the other Successor Chapters.
Ka'Bandha met his fate on the world of Khartas, where he was confronted by The Sanguinor, the Exemplar of the Host, the legendary protector of the Blood Angels. The daemon and the angel fought a mighty battle, reminiscent of the combat fought thousands of standard years before during the Battle of Terra at the Eternity Gate. Both combatants took a multitude of terrible wounds, neither willing to acquiesce to the other's victory. Worn and weary, the Sanguinor's light shone a bit dimmer and the Greater Daemon's foul black-ichor oozed from a score of wounds.
Weaponless, the two combatants confronted one another for the final time. In a desperate act, the Sanguinor hurled himself towards the mighty Bloodthirster and hauled the foul creature high into the atmosphere, his Jump Pack blazing. As Ka'Bandha reigned bludgeoning blows down upon him, the Sanguinor ignored them, flying higher into the sky until the air began to thin. Only then did he release his hold on the Daemon Lord. His wings rendered broken and useless, the Greater Daemon plummeted from the heavens like a meteor, until finally he impacted with the surface of the planet. Lying in a massive crater, his body broken beyond repair, Ka'Bandha's spirit was cast back into the Warp to grovel at the feet of the Blood God's Throne of Skulls. As for the Sanguinor, he vanished in the final moments of the battle, leaving the field as mysteriously as he had arrived.
The Devastation of Baal
After the Blood Angels sacrificed the Shieldworlds of the Cryptus System in 998.M41 to fend off the Tyranids' earliest advance on the Baal System, the Chapter's homeworld of Baal itself came under intense attack by Hive Fleet Leviathan in 999.M41. The Hive Fleet was of such mass, even after its considerable losses at Cryptus, that it blotted the stars from the skies. Lord Commander Dante, Chapter Master of the Blood Angels, bolstered the formidable defences of the Blood Angels' homeworld and its moons like never before. Not one to await attack, he also sent forth scores of preemptive strike forces to delay, mislead, and whittle down the living armada. Hundreds of splinter fleets were thus defeated. Dante's call, beseeching the Blood Angels' Successors to send immediate aid to their parent Chapter, did not go unheeded. The Flesh Tearers were the first to arrive, and ultimately all the Successor Chapters save the Lamenters answered the call. Even the Knights of Blood, who had been declared Excommunicate Traitoris by the High Lords of Terra, arrived to bolster the defences. It was still not enough.
Learning at an exponential rate, Hive Fleet Leviathan could not be thwarted by the same strategy twice. Advancing steadily, their superior numbers cleared the entire surrounding sector of life before the xenos made planetfall upon Baal and her twin moons. The first nineteen waves, each larger than the last, were driven off at great loss to the Blood Angels and their Successor allies. Five Chapter Masters fell in that bitter fighting, three in the Battle at the Dome of Angels alone. The Tyranids began the process of absorbing all biomass from Baal and its moons, absorbing even the radiation-poisoned deserts of Baal Secundus. With their defences in ruin and Baal's moons stripped and broken, the remaining Space Marines retreated back to the rubble of the Blood Angels' sprawling fortress-monastery.
There, they prepared for a last stand as the next wave swept downwards. Doom, it seemed, had at last come to the Sons of Sanguinius. It was then that the Great Rift cracked open the galaxy in the wake of the fall of Cadia to the 13th Black Crusade, and the withered Baal System was blasted by the aetheric storms. Although, strangely, no further attack waves came from the Leviathan Hive Fleet, not a single Imperial defender remained alive upon the last moon, Baal Prime. On Baal itself there were already enough Tyranids there to destroy the Imperial troops many times over. Even with no chance of victory, Commander Dante led his troops, each fighting retreat seemingly more hopeless than the last.
Yet, as the final perimeter was broken, the stars reappeared. Looking skywards, the Tyranids on the surface of Baal sought contact with their Hive Fleet, but it was gone, replaced by a newly arrived Imperial fleet. Like an angel of vengeance came Roboute Guilliman and his Indomitus Crusade. After many more battles, Baal was finally cleared of the xenos threat. A great rebuilding of both world and Chapter was undertaken, for the Blood Angels and their Successors were sorely needed elsewhere in the beleaguered Imperium. What became of the Leviathan is a mystery, although a clue was found upon the now-barren moon of Baal Prime. Xenos skulls were piled impossibly high in the much-reviled, eight-pillared symbol of one of the Blood Angels' most terrible and ancient nemeses: the Bloodthirster Ka'Bandha and his army of Khornate daemons, who had come to his most hated foe's rescue in the time of their greatest need -- for their destruction would be his alone.
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Blood Angels (8th Edition), pp. 21-23
- Codex: Blood Angels (5th Edition), pp. 17-158
- Codex: Tyranids (8th Edition), pp. 28-29
- Horus Heresy: Collected Visions, pp. 177, 341, 359
- Fear to Tread (Novel) by James Swallow
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (8th Edition), "Devastation of Baal", pg. 52