Dark Hybrids are a form of Derkallen. They are those creature that suffered from a flawed Conversion when they were turned into Derkallen. As a result of this Dark Hybrids retain their souls as well as many of their racial and personal traits. The Dark Hybrids make up the Derkallen Half Breed.
There are times when a Conversion does not go quite as planned. In these cases the subject undergoes a transformation where some of their old traits remain. They are still Derkallen, they just have a little of whatever they were before mixed in.
The resulting Dark Hybrid will often have a random assortment of traits from their previous species. For instance an Ork Dark Hybrid might keep it's stupidity, brute strength and savage nature. A Tau might retain their affinity with machines. Regardless, these physical traits and talents are only a part of what they retain. Most importantly the Dark Hybrid maintains their soul, something lost to the proper Derkallen, which allows them to feel true emotion. Furthermore a Dark Hybrid will retain its personality to a certain degree. Despite this there is almost no chance of a Dark Hybrid going rogue. This is because their Palash strongly supresses the memories of their former life. Furthermore it instill the individual with obediance and devotion towards the Purpose.
These imperfect transformations can come about via two different ways. The first way is unintentional, with unforseen circumstance resulting in a flawed Conversion. The second is purposeful, with the Derkallen themselves trying to produce a hybrid. Naturally the second is very rare.
A number of things can make a Conversion go wrong. At times a Conversion can be incomplete by pure chance. More often there is some factor that makes the Conversion falter for some reason. Often individuals or species with unusual traits will end up as Dark Hybrids. Another factor that can alter the course of a Conversion is the state of the subject's mind. The Conversion is a mental and spiritual transformation just as much as it is physical. Individuals with strong will or faith can often resist the Conversion, sometimes for days. Their stubborn resistence to the change has soemtimes caused the Conversion to be imcomplete.
The second version is where the Derkallen purposefully attempt to make the subject a Dark Hybrid. This is extremely rare, as the Derkallen usually see no use in leaving anything left of the Convert. The Derkallen only attempt to make a Dark Hybrid in instance with extraordinary individuals or species. These subjects will often have traits that could be of vital use to the Derkallen war effort, but would be lost if the subject were to be perfectly Converted. another contributing factor to the rareness of these cases is the low success rate. The process of intentionally creating a Dark Hybrid usually ends in failure, and results in the death of the Convert, a waste in the eyes of the Derkallen.
The Dark hybrids represent a unique element in the forces of the Derkallen. They do not fit in with the rest of the Derkallen organizational structure. They are often used as specialists in various fields.
Where the respective roles of the other Derkallen ranks and Breeds are pretty much set in stone this is not the case with the Dark Hybrids. An imperfect Conversion rarely bestow the traits of the intended Breed upon the Hybrid. However they are left with the skills that they possessed before being converted. As a result Dark Hyrbids of all types can be found working amongst any of the Derkallen Breeds.
Tau Dark Hybrids are typically found working with the Scholar Breed in order to further Derkallen technology. This is especially the case if the Hybrid was formerly of the Tau's Earth Caste. Ork Dark Hybrids are almost always found on the battlefield with the Warrior Breed. Basically a Dark Hybrid will do whatever work that best fits their individual skill sets.
Dark Hybrids are outside of the typical Derkallen organization. As such Dark Hybrids rarely have anything resembling rank amongst their Derkallen peers. However there are rare cases in which a Dark Hybrid will become a high ranking member in whatever Breed they usually work with. Such was the case with Magacelia, a Converted Eldar Farseer that came to replace the Sovereign of the Vanishing Star Coven.
While it is true that their Conversion is flawed, and as such they are partially still whatever they were before, Dark Hybrids are still considered true Derkallen. This means that those that have been turned into Dark Hybrids are no longer considered a part of their original species, whether by their old comrades or their new ones. As they are considered proper Derkallen despite their flaws, they recieve no discrimination from the rest of the Derkallen.
Since the imperium is so massive there is no shortage of humans to Convert. Inevitably some fail to fully Convert, and end up as Dark Hybrids. Human Dark Hybrids are generally unpopular with the Derkallen as they are inferior physically. Where other kinds of Dark Hybrids tend to be type-cast into particular jobs, human Derkallen can be found in just about every Breed. It is noted that human Dark Hybrids have the highest chances of suicide if they become Bereft.
Space Marine Dark Hybrids are highly prized among the Derkallen due to their natural abilities in battle. Derkallen will often purposefully try to make captured Marines into Dark Hybrids. These Dark Hybrids are rare. The Gene-seed that makes a human an Astartes seems to hamper the the Conversion process. Combined with the high chances of fatality that comes with trying to purposefully make a Dark Hybrid, this makes the death rate very high. These warriors go into battle with the best derkallen weaponry, and special Power Armour made from Derkallen Technology. Where the Derkallen follow the Higher Authority with cold reverance, Astartes Dark Hybrids follow it with fanatical devotion.
There are times when the Eldar become Dark Hybrids as well. Eldar Dark Hybrids are versatile in their roles. Former Aspect Warriors make for great troops on the battlefield with a number of tactics. Eldar scientists and craftsmen come to work under the Scholar Breed, enhancing the Derkallen's arsenal. Most notably Eldar Seers are highly sought for, and are often purposely Converted to Dark Hybrids. Dark Hybrids maintain their soul, and thus can still use traditional Warp energies to fuel their Psychic powers as well as those of the Palash. The Derkallen have found that combining these two can allow a Hybrid to use powers that surpass either kind of power. This means that the former Seers within the Dark Hybrids make up the Derkallen's highest psychic potential.
Ork Dark Hybrids are almost type-cast to a battlefield role. Ork Dark Hybrids maintain their savagery, aggression and reliance on pure force. However their Conversion has changed the way that they operate slightly. With the Conversion the former Orks are subject to a slight increase in intelligence. Furthermore the obediance imposed by the Palash causes them to be more disciplined than Orks. This tranlates to them being slightly more tactically flexible than most Orks. Another interesting thing to mote is the effects of the Palash on the Psychic energy field known as the Waaagh!. Due to the field Ork Dark Hybrids have a stronger connection with one another, with their Palash's being even more sychronized. As a result Ork Dark Hybrid squads operate with a level of co-operation and unity that is unrivaled within the Derkallen.
Tau can also become Dark Hybrids. As Dark Hybrids Tau usually do not do as well as other varieties on the battlefield due to their weak physique. For this reason Tau Dark Hybrids are usually found in the Scholar Breed working on technology, this is especially true of Tau Earth Caste. However there are many Fire Warriors that make good soldiers. These warriors find it easy to rededicate themselves to the Derkallen Purpose. After all many Tau have come to look at the Purpose of the Derkallen as a dark reflection on the Greater Good.
As a whole the Derkallen have been unable to Convert the Tyranids. Indeed it seems that the entire Tyranid species is immune to Conversion. However there is one exception to this rule, Genestealers. It seems that as the Genestealers are a breed that is meant to mix with other species they are able to be converted. Genestealer Dark Hybrids usually act as shock troops or infiltrators for the Derkallen. They are no longer capable of creating Genestealer Hybrids, but retain the hypnotic stare, four limbs and rending claws of their origin.
Kroot Dark Hybrids make for excellent warriors with their strength and speed. Kroot Dark Hybrids can be very diverse, as the traits that the Kroot had assimilated before being Converted often carry over. On the Battlefield these Dark Hybrids usually act as skirmishers or scouts.
A Derkallen that is Bereft is a Derkallen that has lost it's Palash. With the loss of it's Palash comes a loss of purpose that often drives a Derkallen insane. Dark Hybrids have a Palash as well, and thus can also become Bereft. However the effects of becoming Bereft are very different for them than it is for the other Derkallen.
One of the primary roles of the Palash is that it instills the devotion towards the Purpose, and the complete obedience that is central to all Derkallen. As such when a Dark Hybrid loses its Palash it also loses its loyalty to the rest of the Derkallen and their cause. However in Dark Hybrids the Palash has another function, it supresses the memories of who the Dark Hybrid was. So when a Dark Hybrid becomes Bereft it regains it's former identity.
Many Dark Hybrids find that they can not face what they have become, often committing suicide. This is especially true of Imperial humans, as they have been indoctrinated with extreme Xenophobia. Those that do not kill themselves or lose their sanity from the shock will often leave the Derkallen and set off into the galaxy on their own.
Bereft Dark Hybrids are lonely creatures, as they no longer know where they fit in. They no longer feel the mindless devotion toward the other Derkallen and their Purpose. Conversly the radical and permanent changes they have undergone alienate them from their original species in most cases. As such most Bereft Dark Hybrids either wander about on their own, or group together with other Bereft for survival.
There are exceptions to this however. One such exception is Vondunk, an Ork Dark Hybrid. Upon becoming Bereft Vondunk returned to the Orks. Instead of mourning his change Vondunk capitalized on it, using the advantages his transformation gave him to become a Warboss. Another example of this is Inquisitor Hectorus. Hectorus purposefully changed himself into a Dark Hybrid in order to further his research. He is a key member of the Purgatory Program, having earned both the respect and fear of his colleagues for his dedication.
Notable Dark Hybrids
- Magacelia - Magacelia was an Eldar Farseer before she was captured and Converted by the Derkallen. She was a part of the Vanishing Star Coven, and served in an advisory role to the Coven's Sovereign. This changed when her former Craftworld attacked the Coven's City Fleet. During the battle the Sovereing was killed by the Craftworld's Autarch. Since then Magacelia has taken over the Coven as its acting Sovereign. Magacelia is considered the most powerful Derkallen Psyker in existense.
- Vondunk - Vondunk was an Ork Nob who was Converted by the Derkallen. He would later have his Palash destroyed in a battle with Space Marines, becoming Bereft. He returned to the Orks, and using the increased intelligence and physical enhancements caused by the Conversion, he would become a powerful Warboss. He is considered a threat by both the Imperium and the Derkallen.
- Hectorus - A Radical Ordro Xenos Inquisitor that was a leading member of the Purgatory Program. He and his men managed to attack and board a Derkallen vessel. There he used the Conversion equipment of the Derkallen to Convert himself into a Dark Hybrid. He then had his colleagues surgically remove his Palash. He now works deep within the Program, experimenting on himself in order to become a perfect being.
- "The great Higher Authority has decreed that all creatures shall become his divine Derkallen. I am here to execute that holy mission. All will Convert or die, For the Higher Authority!"
- —Astartes Dark Hybrid
- "Come join us, and serve the Purpose. Can't you see it is the only rational choice?"
- —Tau Dark Hybrid
- "WHAT HAVE I BECOME!?"
- —Human Dark Hybrid on becomeing Bereft
- "Ge-Gerard! That was Gerard! What did those abominable Xenos do to him!? It was like he did not even recognize us!"
- —Anonymous Imperial Guardsmen