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"Another flawless victory. Ah well. It almost makes one long for a loss, just to keep things interesting. Almost, but not quite..."
— Lady Aurelia Malys, the Dhenial Massacre

The Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue is a Kabal of the Drukhari that is extremely powerful within the murderous politics of the Dark City of Commorragh and is closely allied with the ruling Kabal of the Black Heart controlled by Supreme Overlord Asdrubael Vect. The Poisoned Tongue has insinuated itself throughout Commorragh, its agents working like subtle toxins in the Dark City's necrotic veins. The Poisoned Tongue are perhaps the most insidious of the Kabals, yet when their schemes call for it, they are more than capable of flexing their violent might.

The Kabalites of the Poisoned Tongue are universally sharp of wit, with a flair for duplicity so pronounced that they can tie their rivals in knots and dissect them with words alone. They have carved their own niche in the Dark City through constantly misleading and wrong-footing their rivals, ensuring their "allies" bear the cost in blood whilst they plunge the knife into the foe's delicate underbelly.

They even use failure and mischance as weapons, elegantly scapegoating and framing others to achieve their means. Many an opposing Archon has been torn to shreds by their own Kabalites due to the campaigns of misinformation spread by the Poisoned Tongue. Nobody trusts the honeyed words of this infamously sly Kabal, but seeing as no Drukhari trusts another in any case, this is not much of a handicap.

During their realspace raids, the Poisoned Tongue put their skills of deceit to deadly use. On worlds where the Kabal have trained their eye, inhabitants are often supplied with false signs of an impending attack, as well as fragmented messages and fleeting signatures of Drukhari raiding craft. They position their defences as best they can to repel the impending invasion, but when the Poisoned Tongue finally strikes it is inevitably where their victims least expect.

The Kabal regularly employs infiltration tactics, assassinations and massed poisonings to ravage their enemies before ever meeting them on the field of battle. The result is that the raiding parties of the Poisoned Tongue are able to swiftly run through the disordered ranks of their prey before spiriting back their captives to Commorragh.

History

Poisoned Tongue Kabal

Kabalite Warrior of the Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue

Led by the intellectual titan Lady Aurelia Malys, the Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue enjoys a position right at the forefront of Commorrite society. Their number includes many Trueborn -- the closest to nobility in the Drukhari society that Vect's mercilessly enforced Kabalite system will allow.

The whispersmiths have it that the Lady has her own mysterious patron, for those bold or foolish enough to eavesdrop on her personal chambers have reported two distinct voices when only one life-sign registers within. Few such spies survive long, for Lady Malys has her little ways, and she is invariably several steps ahead of the competition.

The accuracy with which Lady Malys can predict her enemies' moves borders on supernatural, leading to the belief amongst many of her detractors that she has a degree of psychic ability. However, the truth is that she simply has a mind like a steel trap. So astoundingly complex is her psyche that she was once taken by Asdrubael Vect as one of his consorts, until the Supreme Overlord eventually cast her out.

Outraged, Malys and most of her Kabalite Warriors left Commorragh and struck out into the Webway. There it is said she encountered the god of the Harlequins, Cegorach, who banished her followers and challenged her to a duel of wills. When Malys successfully answered all of the Laughing God's riddles, Cegorach vanished with an amused chuckle, leaving behind a semi-sentient blade and a pulsating crystal, which was the trickster god's own heart. Determined to gain enough power to undo Vect, Malys used the blade to cut out her own heart and replaced it with that of Cegorach. The heart has continued to beat within Malys' chest ever since.

Lady Malys returned to Commorragh, where she reinstated herself as Overlord of the Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue. Since then she has deftly led the Kabal through the Dark City's most deadly intrigues, including the great treacheries that have occurred in recent years.

Following Vect's murder in the wake of the birth of the Great Rift, the partial awakening of Ynnead and the subsequent Dysjunction that struck Commorragh, many suspected the hand of Malys was involved. Rather than wait around for the reprisal that the Black Heart had inevitably planned, she took the vast bulk of the Poisoned Tongue and ventured out into the Webway, there to await the coming storm.

Malys' foresight was once again vindicated when those Archons who attended the Great Wake for the Supreme Overlord in Commorragh were butchered one and all, and Vect himself arose once more, alive and triumphant. For now, the Poisoned Tongue are content to watch the Dark City from afar, plotting and planning.

Notable Campaigns

  • The Slow Death of Graegus (345.M37) - The Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue came into conflict with a fleet of Ork Freebooterz stationed out of Graegus. Lady Aurelia Malys was incensed that mere barbarian pirates should deny her will. Personally capturing a musclebound Ork Nob, Malys instructed her Lhamaean poisoners to prepare a suprise for the Greenskins upon Graegus. Lady Malys' Kabal made planetfall Terran weeks later, fighting their way into the centre of the Ork capital city and impaling their barely-living captive upon a half-built Gargant before melting away into the night. The corpse began to shed millions of Orkoid spores into the air, each of which bore a cargo of terrible wasting toxins. As the infected spores corrupted the Orkoid reproductive cycle, the population of Graegus grew weaker and weaker. When Malys returned it was a simple matter to slaughter the survivors.
  • Raid on Greyshroud (944.M41) - Overseen by Aurelia Malys herself, the Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue launched a massive realspace raid on the Imperial Hive World of Greyshroud. Through the use of treachery and deception, the Poisoned Tongue easily overwhelmed the human world's defenders, confusing them long enough for the Drukhari raiders to harvest millions of souls from Hive Morlavia, returning them to an abysmal fate in the Dark City.
  • Malys' Rebellion (995.999.M41) - Fearing that Asdrubael Vect planned to intentionally trigger Khaine's Gate, a portal from Commorragh's region of the Webway into the Warp that lay in the bowels of the Dark City, and drown his rivals in daemons, the Lady Malys, Archon of the Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue, activates assets all across the Dark City. Waves of empyric energy rolled from the Eye of Terror to batter Commorragh, collapsing sub-realms and breaching portals. Bands of Kabalite Warriors, Wyches and Harlequins loyal to Malys or Vect engage in increasingly bitter skirmishes around the Undercore of Commorragh, oblivious to the irony that both factions are fighting to achieve the same end. Meanwhile, in a chamber filled with swirling madness, hairline cracks spread across Khaine's Gate. In time, the gate will shatter, unleashing a Dysjunction that will be marked by the semi-awakening of Ynnead, the Aeldari god of the dead, and his chosen prophet, Yvraine.

Notable Poisoned Tongue Kabalites

  • Lady Aurelia Malys - Aurelia Malys is the current Archon of the Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue. Though less than a thousand Terran years of age, Lady Aurelia Malys is the only Archon who has proven able to match Asdrubael Vect's soaring intellect time and time again. Even before the fateful events that led to her ascendancy with the aid of the Laughing God, Malys' mind was built like an incredibly complex timepiece, a latticework of tiny golden cogs each clicking away in its place. She is consummately cunning, but at all times she conducts herself with perfect decorum and even a frosty politeness that hides her lethal intentions. Her hauteur and aloof manner is echoed throughout her court, for only the quickest of wit are admitted to the Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue.
  • Witherchill - Witherchill was the former Archon of the Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue who led the Kabal and its allies in raiding Hive Alarum for human slaves. However, the hive city was defended by the Delta Company of the Astra Militarum's 92nd Cadian Regiment and in the battle that followed, Witherchill was killed by the Tempestor Prime Caltus and the Tempestus Scions of the 55th Kappic Eagles. Despite his death, the Drukhari Kabal went on to inflict massive casualties on the Delta Company and forced them to retreat. Without the Guardsmen to defend the hive city, its population was harvested by the Kabal and Witherchill's body was recovered and placed within a regeneration tank of the Haemonculi for his eventual return to life.

Sources

  • Codex: Drukhari (8th Edition), pg. 20
  • Codex: Dark Eldar (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Kabals of Commorragh," "Blades for Hire," "The Age of Plenty"
  • Codex: Dark Eldar (5th Edition), pp. 21, 53
  • White Dwarf 372 (UK), "Kabals of the Dark Eldar" by Phil Kelly, pg. 56
  • White Dwarf 35 (2014), "Battle Report: The Razing of Hive Alarum"
  • Colours of the Kabals (Defunct Site)
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