Star of Chaos

The Star of Chaos

Nadzybar was the Archon or overlord of the Forces of Chaos within the Sabbat Worlds Sector from approximately 634.M41 until his death in 765.M41 during the Sabbat Worlds Crusade at the hands of the Imperial Warmaster Slaydo. He successfully organised the disparate and fractious Chaos Cults and warbands that existed within the Sabbat Worlds into a potent fighting force able to extend the rule of the Dark Gods over the entire sector. Nadzybar then kept a massive Imperial Crusade at bay for over a solar decade until he met his death at the Warmaster's own hands on the world of Balhaut.


Nadzybar was a powerful sect-leader who came to preeminence over a number of other powerful "Magisters", or lesser warlords, in the sector. He commanded a large, unified coalition of tribes and clans, often referred to by Imperial forces in the Sabbat Worlds as the "Archenemy", that was zealously dedicated to the service of the Ruinous Powers and the maintenance of their hold on the sector's people. Little is known of this vile man's origins or background, nor is it known how he rose to power over the other ruling warlords within the sector. From what little intelligence could be gathered on the Archon by the Imperium before the Sabbat Worlds Crusade began in earnest in 755.M41, Nadzybar had been in overall command of the Forces of Chaos in the Sabbat Worlds since at least 634.M41, and it is possible his rule and influence predates even that time. There is even speculation that Nadzybar may have been the charismatic Chaos Lord who first rallied the Forces of Chaos within the sector into retaking the Sabbat Worlds from the rule of the Imperium of Man during the first centuries of the 41st Millennium. If this is true, then it would suggest Nadzybar has an unnaturally extended lifespan gifted to him by his service to the Dark Gods.

The Archon effectively orchestrated a massive resistance to the Imperial Crusade that was scattered over many worlds, quickly dispelling for Warmaster Slaydo and the Imperial forces the notion that the Archenemy forces were merely a disorganised rabble of Chaos Cultists. Under Nadzybar's leadership they were able to prove to the Imperials that they were far more disciplined and capable than had been initially imagined. Nadzybar was able to effectively control his dispersed and fractious forces by delegating authority to a number of powerful local Chaos Cult leaders called Magisters. These were the lesser warlords who commanded their own regions and worlds of the sector in the Archon's name. The Magisters were often charismatic and deadly individuals in their own right, drawing on their private Chaos Cults or regional tribal forces to enhance their personal power in the local area of the sector where their word was law. As the Crusade progressed, it became apparent that each Magister commanded the complete loyalty of the troops who made up their Chaos Cults, and often expressed in vile ways their own depravity. This confederation of Chaos worshippers were driven forward by their zealous adherence to the belief that the Dark Gods were the rightful divinities of all Mankind and their influence should be spread across the galaxy.

Nadzybar would prove to be a thorn in Slaydo's side for the first decade of the Crusade. Just as the Warmaster was beginning to believe that his overall plan would succeed in winning him enough ground to strike at the heart of the Heretics' control of the sector which was located on the world of Balhaut, the Archon would once again launch a successful counter-strike, impeding the progress of the Crusade. This game of wits and strategy would culminate in 760.M41 in the campaign known to Imperial chronicles as the Fabian Ruse. Nadzybar hoped to draw the Imperial forces towards the world of Fabia, where he would annihilate the Crusade in one fell swoop. But the Archon underestimated the Warmaster, who was also a master of subterfuge. Slaydo recognised the Archon's attempts to draw his forces towards Fabia, and so ordered a series of false Imperial fleet dispositions and troop movements in order to suggest that he had taken the bait and fallen into Nadzybar's trap.

Gathering his forces for what he hoped would be the final assault on Fabia, the Archon made a fatal error. In 765.M41, he had brought a substantial portion of the Archenemy forces within the sector to the central world of Balhaut where they would be rearmed and resupplied for the coming campaign of Fabia. As such they were caught by complete surprise when Warmaster Slaydo unleashed his own surprise upon the Archon and the Imperial Crusade unexpectedly assaulted the planet with almost the entirety of its forces present in the sector. The Warmaster personally led the first Imperial attack wave against the Archon's Palace of the Oligarchy, where he hoped to come face-to-face with Nadzybar. On the tenth day of the campaign on Balhaut, at the eighteenth hour, Slaydo's command force encountered the Archon and his elite bodyguard on the Western Palisade outside the Palace. The Warmaster and the Archon soon joined in furiously intense single combat, their hatred for one another nearly palpable.

The fight between the two small forces was brief and lasted for between 6 and 11 minutes, witnesses later estimated. During the hand-to-hand fighting, Slaydo took two mortal wounds but somehow managed to push through the pain to deliver his own lethal blow to Nadzybar, who fell to the ground dead. The Archon's personal Chaos Cult followers, unaware that their warlord had already been slain, stormed the Palisade to retrieve their fallen leader and carry him away to safety. Imperial Guard units valiantly defended their own mortally wounded commander, and sent many cultists to their deaths. The Warmaster was found by his troops already close to death, lying on the marble floor of the West Atrium of the Palace. He was far beyond any medical help and died later that day from the grievous wounds inflicted upon him by the Archon. In rage and grief, the Warmaster's bodyguard of elite Imperial Guardsmen stormed the Palisade and slaughtered any Archenemy forces they came across. Archon Nadzybar's corpse was later discovered amongst a heap of massacred bodies near a fallen palanquin. Slaydo's men had indiscriminately cut down the fleeing cultists, and only afterwards established the identity of the burden they had carried. The loss of Nadzybar was a terrible blow to the Forces of Chaos within the Sabbat Worlds and represented a major turning point in the Imperium's ultimately successful pacification of the sector. But the Dark Gods were not yet ready to relinquish control of the Sabbat Worlds to the servants of the Corpse Emperor.


  • Sabbat Worlds Crusade (Background Book) by Dan Abnett
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