- "They come out of darkness, their souless hearts filled only with domination. They seek not only to steal our worlds and our lives. They come to steal our humanity itself. May the Emperor have mercy."
- —A Survivor of a Derkallen raid
The Derkallen are a mysterious species of Xenos of an unknown origin. The race as a whole possess a unique mindset that make it nearly impossible for other aliens to relate to them. They utilise numerous technologies that are not commonly employed by the rest of the galaxy. Due to their Purpose, they are seeking to become the only sentient force in the material galaxy, giving all other races only one choice, Convert or Die.
The basic Derkallen is approximately the same size as a human being with a very lean physique. The Derkallen Have a darkly colored exoskeleton that serves as their skin. The exoskeleton is formed of hard overlapping plates that provide the Derkallen with protection. As such the Derkallen have no need to wear artificial armour. They have no orifices on their body to be seen and it is widely believed by those Imperial scientists, who have had the fortune to study a Derkallen specimen, that their bodies have perfect Homeostasis. This means that they have no need for gas exchange or the consumption of nutrients to continue to live. As such they have no mouth, nose or indeed any external opening in their body. They are able to survive due to their complex internal anatomy that constantly recycles and resynthesizes the chemicals within the Derkallen's body. The body is completely air tight and as they do not require to breath, they can survive underwater and in a vacuum indefinitely. They have two rows of three small spikes on their heads that are parallel to one another. It is a commonly held belief that these are how the Derkallen communicate amongst themselves as they lack a visible mouth. Instead the Derkallen 'speak' to other organisms with a form of telepathy, using these horns to project their thoughts for anyone in range to hear. When a Derkallen speaks its thoughts, the one who is hearing them naturally translates the message into their own language, only ever hearing foreign words when something is spoken of that the listeners language does not have a word for. The Derkallen's eyes are usually the only facial feature present. They are completely white, lacking any pupil or iris. They glow faintly with violet light when in complete darkness. Derkallen are said to possess perfect night vision. Their hands possess three fingers and a thumb on each hand and usually sport sharp claws that the Derkallen use as the tips of their fingers. The feet possess two large taloned toes. Derkallen are said to have excellent dexterity. Finally Derkallen are genderless possessing no sexual organs, though Derkallen use male pronouns for convenience in conversation with aliens. The anatomy described above is the basic anatomy of a rank and file Derkallen of the Warrior Breed. Derkallen of other ranks and Breeds may sport different characteristics. Due to a number of unusual biological attributes, it is widely believed by Imperial biologists that the Derkallen are a race that was genetically engineered.
The Derkallen are separated both socially and biologically by their Breed. Each Breed has its own function, contributing to the the welfare of their race as a whole in different ways. For instance, the Warrior Breed are the Derkallen that specifically fight other races on behalf of the race as a whole. They generally do not interact with Derkallen of other Breeds and have their own leadership and chain of command that does not apply to Derkallen of other Breeds. Meanwhile the Worker Breed is entirely concerned with carrying the manual labour and menial tasks for the race. The members of each Breed are perfectly adapted for their particular job, both physically and psychologically. This means that members of different Breeds have considerable physical differences and think in fundamentally different ways from each other.
This Breed is in charge of all military action that the Derkallen take. They operate in large military forces called Covens. Each Coven is lead by a high ranking Warrior Derkallen called a Sovereign. The Covens typically act independently of each other. As they are the instruments of The Purpose, the Warrior Breed are given high favour and authority.
The work horses of Derkallen society, the Worker Breed is in charge of manual labour. Physically, the Worker Breed have a heightened strength and an increased endurance compared to Derkallen of the other Breeds. However, this is offset by the Worker's low intelligence and poor reflexes. This is why they do not take part in warfare. Of course, they may be pressed into fighting if a Coven finds itself too depleted of Warrior Breed Derkallen. Their primary function within Derkallen society is construction and maintenance. As such, they are the most lowly of the Derkallen Breeds with even the highest ranking among them having little authority.
The exact function of this Breed can be hard to define. The most accurate way to describe their job is "Greasing the Wheels" of Derkallen Society. The Arbiter Breed generally act as a liaison between the various Breeds. This role is important because, in general, the other Breeds do not directly interact with one another. This is primarily due to the fact that the members of the different Breeds have radically different ways of looking at things. As such, Arbiters, who are given a more flexible mindset and diplomatic skills, facilitate when members of two Breeds need to interact. Also, in each City Fleet, there is always a form of senate made up of the Arbiter Breed that act as an administrative body and make decisions about the daily workings of Derkallen Society. However, it is important to note that these councils must still defer to the Sovereign of their Fleet's Coven.
The Scholar Breed are the Derkallen whose job is to perform scientific study in order to advance the Derkallen cause. They are generally the most intelligent of the Derkallen Breeds, as intellect is essential for their job. The studies performed by these Scholars take numerous forms. Some Scholars devote themselves to the research of new technology in order to further develop new weapons and tools. While others study the logistics of battle, hoping to scientifically produce a strategy that will assure a Coven's victory. There are even some that will attempt to develop new Sub-Breeds in order to respond to a troublesome new situation. Regardless of what a Scholar devotes itself to, the ultimate goal is always to further the cause, and as such a Scholar's research will always have immediate practical applications.
These are those Derkallen that suffered from Partial Conversion. The reason why these Partial Conversions happen is still a great mystery, even to the Derkallen. Still, these Dark Hybrids are fully functioning members within Derkallen Society and maintain loyalty to The Purpose. A Dark Hybrid maintains many traits that it had from before it's conversion. These traits include their soul, parts of their personality, and some physical traits of their previous species. As a result, the skills of Dark Hybrids tend to vary wildly and they may be found working with just about any of the Breeds. However, due to the fact that the Half Breed has no place in the command structure of the Derkallen, Dark Hybrids are subordinate to just about every other Breed besides the Worker Breed.
The High Breed are an extremely rare Breed that has authority over all of other Derkallen. They are the closest thing the Derkallen have to nobility and even the Sovereigns are subject to their authority. There appears to be two different types of High Breed. The first are the Void Princes, these Derkallen are those that rule over the few planets that the Derkallen settle on. Due to the fact that there might only be one Derkallen world in a sector, and that there will only ever be one Void Prince on that planet, it is extremely rare to encounter one. The only other time in which a Void Prince will be present is when they are commanding a large campaign composed of multiple Covens. The other variety are the Void Kings. These are the highest ranked of all Derkallen and are the ones that act as the leaders of the race as a whole. There are only five Void Kings. They make up the Council of Five that acts as the mouth piece to the Higher Authority. The Void Kings have never been encountered by other races because they never leave the Derkallen homeworld. What information the Imperium have on them is entirely based upon references by the other Derkallen.
Derkallen Sub-Breeds are are groups of Derkallen that are adapted for a specialised function within their Breed. While each member of a particular Breed is perfectly adapted for the general necessities of their job, sometimes there are also situations that require a specialised Derkallen. An example of this are Infiltrators. These Derkallen are still members of the Warrior Breed, and as such their job is to ensure martial domination of other species by the Derkallen. However, they are of the Infiltrator Sub-Breed that specialises in the espionage, infiltration and sabotage of worlds in preparation for a full scale invasion and other covert operations which require stealth. As such, Infiltrators have adaptations which are most suited for stealth. Their bodies are able to blend with their surroundings in a similar fashion to a chameleon. They are also more sleek and lightweight than the average warrior, allowing them to move very quickly without making much noise. Finally they have extremely sharp senses in comparison to the rest of the Warrior Breed. This allows them to sense nearby hostiles so that they can avoid them or launch a surprise attack, track and effectively glean more intel from their surroundings. As one can see, the Infiltrators are warriors but they are specialised warriors which are perfectly adapted for covert warfare.
A Derkallen's rank within his Breed or Sub-Breed also effects what kind or anatomy and attributes they have. A higher ranking Derkallen will always have superior adaptations to those below them. Adaptations include stronger armour, increased speed or strength and numerous other possible adaptations depending on the Derkallen's Breed. The highest ranking Derkallen are even allowed to make use of B.E.T.s (Biologically Engineered Tools), giving them access to to further abilities and adaptions for different situations.
As stated above the Derkallen have no sexual organs. Initially, It confused the Magos Biologis as to how the Derkallen were able to reproduce. The answer was eventually discovered by Inquisitor Artos Relatas when he made the first ever raid into a Derkallen capital ship. He managed to rescue some captured Imperial citizens, who then informed him that the other captives were being transformed into Derkallen. It became apparent that the Derkallen cannot reproduce by themselves. Instead they capture other species and put them through a process called Conversion. The end result is that the victim loses it's former identity and becomes a full Derkallen themselves. The Derkallen keep a small population of various species in order to breed for the purpose on Conversion. It is believed that Conversion can only take place with intelligent life forms because as of yet there have been no reports of Derkallen Converting animals.
While usually being Converted results in an individual losing their identity and becoming a complete Derkallen, it is possible for an individual to undergo a Partial Conversion, causing the individual to retain some of their racial traits, their personality or both. These occurrences do not happen often and are a point of interest to many scientists. Regardless of the fact that the individual remains partly themselves, the process inevitably changes them both physically and psychologically. There are only two ways that a Partial Conversion can occur. The first involves an abnormal Conversion done by the Derkallen. The other involves a species assimilating Derkallen traits. The second type is almost always done by Tyranids or Kroot. Regardless of what method is used and the results the Derkallen consider all Partially Converted entities to be a part of their Half Breed.
The subject of the first form of Partial Conversion are called Dark Hybrids. The Hybrids are creatures that became Derkallen but retained particular traits from their own species. Technically speaking they are considered full Derkallen but they are too different to be classified into the other Breeds. Just like the other Derkallen they have a Palash, the Derkallen's surrogate soul. However, unlike most other Derkallen they also retain the soul they had before. This means that Hybrids have the capacity for actual emotion instead of the faux-emotions that other Derkallen are subject to. They also retain their physical abilities and personality. Ork Hybrids for example are large and well muscled, and they remain considerably stupid and violent as they were when they were just Orks. Due to the range of skills that these Hybrids may have they are often incorporated in to the work of the Other Breeds. This Partial Conversion can occur by accident or induced purposely by the Derkallen. In the case of the first instance, the individual simply does not Convert properly, though it is said that it helps if the person is of strong will and mentally resists the change. The other case is when the Derkallen find a person of particular worth, Having traits that could help the Derkallen but would be erased during a normal Conversion, these individuals are allowed to keep a part of themselves so that the same skills and personality that made them great before can now be used for the Purpose. Despite the increased individuality of the Hybrids, they are all still loyal to the Derkallen.
The other type of Partial Conversion happens when other life forms somehow assimilate Derkallen traits. This Primarily happens to Kroot that eat too much Derkallen. As with all Kroot, as they eat more of a particular species they begin to become more and more like what they eat. The same goes for Derkallen. In this case the Kroot that eat them gain in intelligence, grow a carapace like armour and more often than not show a decrease in their emotions and an increased need to dominate other species. As such shapers tend to be cautious about eating the Derkallen. Eating the Palash will cause an accelerated change in the Kroot, that is why the Kroot have made a practice not to eat that particular part.
The Tyranids are susceptible to Partial Conversion when they devour the Derkallen's Palash. Despite this there have been few instances of this happening. The Derkallen act as a bit of a catch 22 for the Tyranids. On one hand they are all wonderfully engineered and because they convert their number from a large number of species they provide Tyranids with good genetic material. On the other hand, should a Tyranid force consume too many of the Derkallen and their Palash, the Tyranids can be effected by them. There is only one major instance of this. Hive Fleet Rakhasa managed to locate one of the Derkallen's few colonies. In this particular instance the Tyranids won an overwhelming victory and devoured the world. However, the large number of Palash that were devoured began to effect the Hive Mind. In the end Hive Fleet Rakhasa split off from the Hive Mind and developed one of it's own. Since then the Hive Fleet has undergone massive changes.
It is important to understand the difference between the Dark Hybrids and the Kroot and Tyranids that have been Partially Converted. The Dark Hybrids do show traits of their original race but are still Derkallen and are a part of the Derkallen forces. The others are not. They have merely taken on the traits of the Derkallen and have changed. They have no allegiance to the Derkallen and in turn the Derkallen actively hunt them down. This is because a Partial Convert cannot be fully converted anymore and as such these creatures stand in the way of the fulfilment of the Purpose.
- "I touched the mind of a Derkallen once. It was the mind of one oftheir commanders I believe. The first thing that occured to me was how cold its mind was. It lacked any emotion or empathy. The second thing that I noticed was how ordered it was. There was no uncertainty or randomness in its thoughts. It was not like the highly desciplined mind of an Eldar, as it was not controlling its thought patterns. They were simply that ordered, and the mind reminded me of clockwork. Even the so called emotions were part of an ordered system. The mind was utterly alien."
- —A Sanctioned Psyker recalling probing a Derkallen's mind.
The Derkallen are a race that possess a very unique mindset. Other species find it nearly impossible to interact with the Derkallen and are at a loss to explain their behaviour. The first thing that an individual must realise is that the Derkallen have no soul. This makes them unable to feel proper emotions like most other species do. The only notable exception to this rule is the Dark Hybrids, who retain their souls and some of their traits when they are Converted. Unfortunately Derkallen nature is far more complicated than simply having no soul. This is because all Derkallen possess something called a Palash which is a surrogate for a soul. While the Palash does not allow the Derkallen to feel emotion, It does allow them to feel something. Instead of emotions the Palash generates instincts and urges that the Derkallen will act upon. So while a Derkallen cannot feel anger, it has been seen that they can go into a berserk state that resembles rage. The fact that Derkallen can go into these irrational states of mind without being able to actually feel anything is a very disturbing concept for other species. Besides these fits of irrational behaviour, The Derkallen think with a cold logic and are extremely intelligent.
At the lower end of the hierarchy Derkallen become less intelligent and independent. Conversely, higher ranking Derkallen show an increase in both intelligence and independent thought. Members of the same Breed who possess the same rank tend to think the same way. This means that a Derkallen would almost never have any dispute with another Derkallen of the same circumstances. However, disputes do occur when two Derkallen of an extremely high rank come together, as each is highly intelligent and have their own independent thoughts, unlike Derkallen of a lower rank. Another important psychological aspect of the Derkallen is their obedience. A Derkallen will never disobey or even question an order given to it by it's superior. This has caused many to believe that the lowest ranked Derkallen are similar to Necrons, having no will of their own. However, this is completely false, as even the lowest rank of Derkallen can think independently if they are forced to.
Another interesting part of their mindset is in the division of the Breeds. Derkallen tend to think about problems and situations in terms of their function. Derkallen of two different Breeds will usually come up with different solutions to the same problem. For instance, if there were an incoming invasion of a Derkallen world a Worker Breed Derkallen would think of building a shelter to survive. Meanwhile a Warrior Breed Derkallen would most likely conclude that the best solution is to destroy the hostile force before it arrives. This is a result of the fact that the members of each Breed have a mindset that perfectly fits their function.
Finally one of the most important things to understand about the Derkallen is that the species as a whole has a psychological need for purpose. Derkallen find that they crave a purpose to give their life meaning. Without one a Derkallen will slowly go insane and likely commit suicide. Luckily the species as a whole has been given The Purpose by the Higher Authority and so they rarely need to worry about this problem. It is not uncommon for an individual Derkallen of high rank to make his own personal purpose. This purpose is always something that will aid in the Completion of The Purpose. A Derkallen will do whatever it can to further it's purpose, even sacrificing themselves if they believe it will be of any value.
The Palash is the pseudo-soul that all Derkallen possess. It is a thing of great significance as much of the Derkallen behaviour and mindset is shaped by the Palash. The primary function of the Palash is to produce the false emotions that shape Derkallen behaviour. These false emotions are not felt by the Derkallen themselves but rather acted upon by the creatures. The Palash can send a Derkallen into numerous states of mind resembling things such as rage, joy, melancholy and even compassion. These states of mind are produced by the Palash based on their usefulness in a given situation. For instance if a Derkallen is taken prisoner by a hostile force and the creature is trying to manipulate it's guards into letting it out, the Palash might cause the creature to go into a state resembling depression in order to gain sympathy.
The Palash itself has several unique properties that make it differ from a proper soul besides it's use. The Palash is a physical part of the Derkallen body. It takes the form of a small iridescent, crystalline orb that rests somewhere in the Derkallen's chest. The Palash is implanted into a sentient being during Conversion and while it takes more than just the Palash to fully convert, it does bestow upon the unfortunate being Derkallen traits. As the false soul is still technically a soul, it does have a presence within the Warp. This means that Derkallen are as susceptible to Daemonic possession as any other species. However The Palash's presence within the Warp seems unnatural to Daemons. The broad majority of Daemons choose to avoid the unusual and somehow sinister looking Palash, making possession of Derkallen a rarity. Still, some Daemons choose to ignore their instincts and possess the Derkallen anyway. This is a poor choice on their part and the consequences will be discussed later.
One of the most important states of mind produced by the Palash is a passive one. That being complete and utter devotion to The Purpose. The Palash is what makes the Derkallen docile before their superiors and devoted to The Purpose which they never chose for themselves. In other words the passive states that are induced by the Palash make a Derkallen rebelling against the rest of their society utterly impossible.
Another important thing to understand about the function of The Palash is that when several Palash belonging to Derkallen of the same Breed and rank are in close proximity to each other, the effects become connected. That is to say that the states produced by the Palash of one Derkallen can effect the state of the other Derkallen's Palash. This can manifest in numerous ways. An example is that a Derkallen warrior goes into a berserk state, there is a chance that the rest of the Derkallen's squad will go into the same state. Conversely, The state of one Palash may cause another Palash to go into a complimentary state. For instance when interrogating a prisoner one Palash may cause a docile state while the other Derkallen exhibits hostile behaviour. In other words "Good Cop, Bad Cop". Squad leaders can sometimes trigger these reactions at will.
As stated in the Behaviour section, higher ranking Derkallen have a greater degree of individualism. This does not only apply to freedom of thought but also to the sates produced by the Palash. Low ranking Derkallen are essentially enslaved to the whims of their Palash and will respond immediately and accordingly to any state that has been induced. However high ranking Derkallen can control there actions even when under the effects of their Palash. It can be simply put that just as a man feels an emotion strongly does not mean that he has to act on it. Basically high ranking Derkallen have a high degree of self control. Furthermore these Derkallen can even control the Palash themselves, inducing states by their own will in order to suit their purposes.
One would think that because the Derkallen are soulless that they would not possess any psychic potential. Unfortunately this is not the case. It is true that Derkallen do not use the Warp to fuel their powers. Instead the Palash is the source from which Derkallen derive their powers.
All Derkallen have some degree of Psychic aptitude. The Psychic abilities mostly depend on the rank of the Derkallen. Low ranking Derkallen can only project their thoughts as speech and operate the Telepathic Control devices that the Derkallen make use of. Derkallen of a high rank, on the other hand, can use abilities like a normal Psyker. This means that any Derkallen commander has some degree of Psychic power that they can put to practical use. The Warrior Breed has a Sub-Breed called Magisters. These are Derkallen whose sole purpose is to unleash their full Psychic potential in a combat role. They usually assist Conquerers and Sovereigns.
As a Derkallen's psychic abilities revolve around their Palash this gives their powers some unique and special qualities. Derkallen Psykers tend to be weaker than traditional Warp based Psykers. That is not to say that a Derkallen can not be a particularly potent psyker. It simply means that if a Derkallen Psyker were to face off against a Psyker of another species who is at a similar level, that Psyker would pack more energy into their powers. Because of this, Derkallen Psychic powers usually focus on effectiveness over raw power. It is also important to note that the Palash slightly changes the mechanics of their powers. This makes Derkallen Psykers less vulnerable to the predations of Anti-Psykers such as Blanks and Pariahs. Furthermore Derkallen are immune to the instinctive fear that Pariahs produce in Psykers, due to the fact that The Derkallen themselves are Soulless.
As previously mentioned, it is possible for a Derkallen to be possessed by a Daemon, just like any normal creature. The Derkallen that was subject to the possession will undergo the normal symptoms, mostly being driven insane and eventually perishing. The unique aspect of Derkallen possessions is that they have an effect on the Daemon as well. Daemons that attempt to possess a Derkallen become trapped in the Derkallen's Palash until that Derkallen dies. This usually does not take long. However, the little time spent in the Palash drives the Daemon mad and warps their nature. they emerge as one of the Broken. The Broken can be summoned to battle by Derkallen Psykers.
While the Palash and the effect it has on a Derkallen's everyday life are essential to functioning properly in Derkallen society, Derkallen can survive upon losing their Palash. As the Palash is a thing that is not only spiritual but also a physical part of the Derkallen's bodies, it can be removed or destroyed by many methods. Those Derkallen that have lost their Palash are known as the Bereft.
The effect on the creature in question is very drastic. The Palash does not simply produce the pseudo-emotional states, it also maintains the standard Derkallen's frame of mind. This includes the Derkallen's utter devotion towards The Purpose and the passive states produced by the Palash, which are maintained by the species as a whole. It is also what ensures obedience towards Derkallen of higher rank. Any being that has only rationality to fall back on would not follow orders that could harm them. This means that the Bereft lose a large part of the Derkallen mindset, particularly the part that keeps them proper Derkallen citizens.
The Bereft lose their connection to The Purpose and their blissful obedience so they will begin thinking strictly for themselves. The independent thought gained by the Bereft does not bother high ranking Derkallen as they were, more or less, doing that already, Conversely, this loss of guidance can be extremely traumatic for lowly Derkallen which have never had to think for themselves. The real problem lies in their loss of purpose. As stated above in the Behaviour section, the Derkallen have a deep psychological need for a purpose. Without it, a Derkallen will almost certainly go insane. This is the fate of most of the Bereft. Despite this there are a few who manage to survive their loss.
These Derkallen are those that are able to cope with the initial psychological pressure of becoming Bereft. They use their own reasoning to make a purpose all their own in order to fill the gap. The Bereft often leave the rest of their kind and venture out into the galaxy. They usually become mercenaries or pirates. The latter is far more common because most of the galaxy has learned to despise the Derkallen and not to work with them. The mainstream Derkallen look at these creatures with indifference as they are at least Derkallen and thus pose no threat to The Purpose. Though if a Bereft were to act in opposition, the Derkallen would most certainly hunt them down.
An interesting thing happens when a Dark Hybrid becomes Bereft. With the Palash gone the Dark Hybrids regain their former state of mind. They regain their former identity and memories, which the Palash would normally suppress. Unfortunately this does not reverse their transformation into a Derkallen. It is perhaps due to this that most Dark Hybrids that have become Bereft commit suicide. This is especially prevalent in human based Dark Hybrids as they would rather die than live the rest of their life as a Xeno.
Derkallen have a society that is entirely built upon function. Each and every part has a job to do. There is no crime or turmoil. In this way it is very similar to the Tau's society as each aspect works for the greater good of their society. That is primarily because obedience and devotion to a higher cause is inherent to Derkallen nature.
The Derkallen have no concept of culture. Design is always built upon functionality, with little or no aesthetics incorporated. This applies to all things that the Derkallen design whether it be a weapon, building or any other piece of equipment. As a result the Derkallen have no such thing as art or music. However, the Derkallen will include aesthetics to their creations if they too have a function. That function will almost always be to have a psychological effect on members of other species.
An interesting aspect of the Derkallen is that they settle on very few worlds. This seems unusual to Imperial scientists, as the Derkallen have the means to settle on planets and can freely use warp travel, unlike the Tau. Furthermore, their anatomy means that the Derkallen can survive on all but the most hostile of worlds. Despite all of this Imperial researchers have only found a few recorded instances of Derkallen settled worlds. The general estimate is that there might only be one Derkallen world per sector if that and if there are more they will never be close together.
The Derkallen colonise so few worlds for the same reason that they do not have art or music, functionality. Each and every Derkallen world was settled because it would have key strategic importance in the Derkallen's war efforts. Having more planets than are required only creates more targets that hostile forces can attack. The Derkallen see no point in maintaining or defending unnecessary colonies and, as a result, they do not control many planets.
Instead, the vast majority of the Derkallen live in City Fleets. These fleets are constantly on the move in some part of space or another. The fleet is always centred around it's Coven. The Coven is the primary component of the fleet. The rest, including all non Warrior Derkallen and any ships or equipment that accompany them are merely attached to the Coven, acting as it's support. This is similar to how Chapter serfs service their Space Marine Chapter. The size and prosperity of these fleets depend on the success of their Coven, with successful Covens being able to acquire more resources and Converts, thus increasing the size of their fleet.
Those few planets that the Derkallen do choose to settle on are of vital importance to the race as a whole. They are usually in a stellar position where the Derkallen can easily access them and these planets are also usually lie within a reasonable distance of other habitable worlds. These worlds will almost always be rich in resources. In other words, Derkallen planets serve as everything from supply depots for the many wandering Covens to staging areas for major Derkallen campaigns. These planets also contain the shipyards where new fleets are constructed and new Covens are formed to run them, in order to further the Derkallen cause.
As these planets are of critical importance to the Derkallen, they take extensive measures to protect them. From the moment these Planets are settled, all of the cities and other centres of population are constructed with warfare as a factor. The cities are constructed with military strategy in mind. Even the position of each city and outpost is positioned strategically in regards to each other. In other words, from the moment the Derkallen settle a world they construct the settlements with an impending invasion in mind. This is only the beginning of the measures taken by the Derkallen to protect these worlds. The Derkallen go so far in keeping their planets secure, that they will use their technology to cloak the light of the system's local star, making that star disappear from the night sky. Each planet also has a dedicated military force called a World Guard that exists strictly to protect the planet. The World Guard is made up of multiple Covens that are permanently stationed at the planet. The Sovereigns of these Covens spend the time they could have been conquering other species by trying to come up with a strategy for every possible scenario that could occur during an invasion.
Should a Derkallen world ever be located and invaded by hostile forces, the response is usually of an epic scale. If whatever force is not immediately destroyed The Derkallen will usually assume that they are facing a knowledgeable invasion force and that their position has been compromised. Any Covens in the immediate vicinity of the planet are duty bound to give aid. Furthermore distant Covens might engage in attacks on enemy worlds in order to distract hostile forces. Basically invading a Derkallen world is an exceptionally difficult task and very often results in large scale conflict.
The Derkallen are a very ordered species of Xenos. Every Derkallen knows it's place and purpose in society and is completely devoted to it's function. In order to maintain optimum efficiency in all areas of society, the Derkallen have an established hierarchy that includes both individual Derkallen and the Breeds themselves. A Derkallen will be absolutely submissive before a Derkallen of higher rank.
Each and every Derkallen has a direct superior and often subordinates that they report to and command respectively. This way the Derkallen maintain control of their members to a fine degree. Essentially each Breed on a City Fleet has it's own chain of command, with Worker Breeds reporting to and commanding only other Worker Breed Derkallen and so forth with each Breed.
In addition to the hierarchy inherent within the Breeds, each of the Breeds in turn conform to a hierarchy based upon their importance to Derkallen society. At the very bottom of the Breed hierarchy are the Worker and Half Breeds, who are subordinate to the Derkallen of more important Breeds. The Scholar Breed is slightly higher up in the Hierarchy, followed by the Arbiter Breed. Ultimately the Warrior Breed is the seat of power within any City Fleet, with the leaders of all the other Breeds reporting to the Sovereign of the Fleet's Coven. However, it is the members of the High Breed who command the highest authority among the Derkallen, with even the most respected Sovereign bowing before them.
The Council of Five
The Council of Five is the ruling body of the Derkallen as a whole. The council is made up of five Void Kings, the highest rank among the High Breed. They are in direct contact with the Higher Authority, and they act as living conduits who relay his will to the rest of the species. While they often leave the Covens to work on their own, they will sometimes give them specific commands to follow and it is the Void Kings who authorise large campaigns. The council is based upon the Derkallen homeworld, Enkaletra, and they never leave the planet.
The Purpose is the great work that every Derkallen aspires to complete. Handed down to the Derkallen by their creator, the Higher Authority, the Purpose is to replace every other sentient being with the Derkallen. Essentially the Derkallen seek to convert or kill off every other race in the galaxy and become the sole intelligent lifeforms. to this extent they also seek to destroy anything that poses a threat to their mission and their supremacy. The Derkallen have not considered what they will do once they have completed their goal and most simply believe that the Higher Authority will reveal their next task once they have finished with the current one.
The Higher Authority
The Higher Authority is the closest thing that the Derkallen have to a deity. Supposedly, it was this shadowy being was the one that designed and created their race in the first place. The Higher Authority gave it's creations The Purpose so that they would seek to dominate the galaxy. Why this being created the Derkallen and why it subsequently let them loose upon the rest of the galaxy is a complete mystery.
The Higher Authority supposedly exists upon the Derkallen homeworld, living in a massive temple like palace. From here it gives it's creations orders so that they may better serve the Purpose that it has given them. It does not speak to the Derkallen as a whole, instead it gives these commands to the Council of Five. They are the ones who relay his will to the rest of their kind. With the exception of the Void Kings, no other living being has ever stood before the Higher Authority, not even other Derkallen. Despite the fact that it's subjects have never seen it during their lives, the Derkallen still revere the Higher Authority just as much as humanity venerates the God-Emperor of Mankind.
There has been much speculation by the other races of the galaxy about what exactly the Higher Authority is. Most Imperial officials believe that the Higher Authority may be some kind of Daemon that fashioned the Derkallen to bring more woe to the material universe. Some people have also thought that the Higher Authority may very well be a long lost C'tan. The Derkallen's lack of a soul and unusual technology seem to support this theory. Still others believe that it is an Old One that managed to survive and go mad. For all the Galaxy knows the Higher Authority may very well be something else entirely, a horror that the galaxy has yet to face. Regardless all of these theories are just speculation and none have been proven. The mystery behind what what the Higher Authority actually is, causes many more unease than the theories.
Derkallen are known for their technology. While it is fairly advanced, it should be noted that the Derkallen are more known for the uniqueness of the technology that they utilise. Many of the things that Derkallen put to use incorporate complicated and ill understood physics. Others are unusual due to their unique design or function. Regardless, all of the equipment used by the Derkallen are high-tech and practical.
One of the special aspects that is incorporated into much of their technology is psychic manipulation. Much of their equipment have interfaces that allow one to work the machines by thought alone. This allows a Derkallen to use machines without their hands and sometimes at slight distance. This is also the reason that Derkallen fighter craft are renowned for their agility. It is not that the craft is particularly agile or that the pilots are skilled, it is simply that the fighters react as quickly as their pilots think. Recovered Psychic Interface technology has recently become popular with both Inquisitorial and Renegade Psykers.
Derkallen are also very skilled with genetic engineering. As their sole means of reproduction is to Convert other sentients into Derkallen, this is not a surprise. To this effect, many Derkallen use Biologically Engineered Tools. These are implants that the Derkallen manufacture for use. They can come in many forms including extra limbs or appendages and special organs. B.E.T.s can be implanted and removed as the Derkallen see fit. However only Derkallen of sufficient rank have access to them. The Derkallen also engineer their own animals to serve their purposes.
The Derkallen use many kinds of unique and dangerous weapons in order to dominate the other races of the galaxy.
Spark weapons act as the standard issue weapons of the Derkallen military forces. It seems that these unusual weapons, that combine characteristics of both energy based weapons and slug throwers, are exclusively manufactured and used by the Derkallen. All other instances of these weapons being used outside of the Derkallen are weapons which have been recovered from battles with the Derkallen.
Derkallen are one of the few species that make use of these rare and unusual weapons. They are certainly the ones who make the most use of them among the denizens of the Milky Way. These weapons can often be found with Infiltrator squads or when the Derkallen expect close quarters combat.
Specialised sonic weaponry employed by the Derkallen. They are primarily used in order to destroy heavily armoured units, and for destroying buildings.
Derkalli Pattern Grenade Launchers
These launchers were originally Imperial Grenade Launchers, but the Derkallen managed to modify the Grenade Launcher to fulfil their needs, and there are three versions, the first being just a grenade launcher with a different look, the second making bigger explosions but is lower range, and the third one, which is long range, but makes lesser explosions.
Fracture Cannons are weapons for use against armoured targets. Utilising kinetic energy, the cannon excite molecular movement to the point where intermolecular bonds break and the targets literally explode
Magnetic Resonance Electrical Assault Weapons
These weapons are one of the Derkallen's more sophisticated anti-vehicle weapons. The weapon fires a bolt of electricity. The bolt fries the circuitry of most vehicles. The most unique part of the weapon is it's special targeting system. The weapon is pointed at it's intended target, and then the system is activated. After a few seconds the device causes any metallic objects on the target to become magnetized. The Magnetic feild generated by the target has a charge that is the opposite of the bolt fired by the weapon. This means that the bolt actually seeks out the target. The weapon can also be fired without locking on, but the accuracy is severly reduced. The mechanism of the weapon makes it ideal for vehicles, and heavily armoured troops, but it takes ten seconds to recharge after every shot, making this a poor anti-infantry weapon.
Derkali Death Weapon
A form of Derkallen melee weapon. The Derkallen use a number of more common weapons in close combat, including Power and Force weapons. However they also use some more exotic blades and bludgeons. Derkali Death weapons are forged of an unusual metallic alloy. The Derkallen sharpen or forge this alloy to a density that easily allows the weapon to deal damage to those in Power Armour. However that is hardly the extent of what the weapon can do. The alloy is surrounded with a controlled aura of intense radiation. A foe cut with a Derkali Death Blade will recieve a cut, but will also suffer from rapid cell death around the wound, causing much more damage than simply being cut.
This lightweight antigravity vehicle acts as the primary engine for scouting and Hit-and-Run tactics. They are usually armed with twin-linked Spark Guns. The pilots of these sppedy craft have been modified for increased reflexes, allowing them to effectively steer at high speeds.
Vertigo Battle Tank
The primary battle tank of the Derkallen forces. Reasonably well armoured and Armed. It's usually armement consists of a Spark Cannon, though there have been various configurations with a variety of weaponry. It is an anti-gravity vehicle.
Hellscream Super Heavy Tank
A powerful super heavy tank with a powerful R.A.W. mounted upon it. The Hellscream is extremely proficient at destroying heavily armoured targets. This means that it is a prefered warmachine for tank hunting, bunker busting and Titan hunting when applied correctly. Due to the destruction that it can cause, Imperial commanders often focus their Anti-Armour assets on these vehicles.
A large three legged combat robot. The Arachnea is large, tough and armed to the teath. While there are many different configurations for this nightmare, its base design is oriented towards anti-infantry warfare. It is usually armed with twin-linked Heavy Spark Guns mounted near its arachnoid head. It also possess special weapons that shoot out lines of adhesive filament. It then uses these lines to drag its unfortunate victims back to it. It also has a holding compartment for those it capture alive.
The Derkallen military is very efficient. Due to the fact that the majority of the species' forces are fleet based, and thus do not have worlds that they need to protect, the Derkallen rarely fight defensive wars. As they are usually the attacking force, the Derkallen plan and prepare for their campaigns sometimes years in advance. Many planets have sleeper cells of infiltrators, feeding intel to their respective covens, and sabotaging planetary defences. Once in battle the Derkallen are opportunistic fighters, using every resource to exploit their enemies weaknesses.
The fighting forces of the Derkallen are divided among their various Covens. Each Coven is given carte blanche to move and wage war as they deem fit. However, they are still required to follow orders when they are given by the High Breed.
Each Coven is lead by a Derkallen of the Warrior Breed called a Sovereign. The Sovereigns are the highest ranked Derkallen outside of the High Breed. They are also the reason for the differences in battlefield strategy between Covens. This is because they can manipulate the Palash freely, essentially allowing them to create their own personalities.
Underneath the Sovereigns are Derkallen known as Conquerers. They command the Battle Cells that further divide the Coven. Each Cell tends to have it's own unique composition. This is because they are formed in tandem with the other Cells to compliment each other in accordance with the Sovereign's overall plan for the Coven. A Conquerer is to a Sovereign what a Dark Eldar Drakon is to an Archon.
The size and composition of the Covens are not uniform. A Coven's numbers and resources are acquired by the Coven itself, so a Coven tends to become larger and better equipped if it does well in battle. The Coven will go to a world and gather both what supplies it needs, and Converts if the planet is inhabited. These Converts are then Converted into new Derkallen, with their Breed and Sub-Breed determined by the individual genetic markers of the subject, and the needs of the City Fleet.
Among the many covens of the Warrior Breed their are a few who have distinguished themselves in advancing the Derkallen cause.
Fear Killer Coven
With out a doubt the most infamous of all of the Derkallen Warrior Covens, these soulless warriors have come to blows with many of the galaxy's residents. Led by the great strategist Sovereign Arlocrom, the Fear Killer Coven has conquered numerous strategic worlds which are key to the Derkallen's expansion and they have been responsible for the conversion of untold millions into Derkallen. To date, they have achieved the greatest numbers of victories of all the other Covens and they have had the most encounters with the Derkallen's greatest military threat, the Imperium of Man.
Soul Crusher Coven
The Soul Crusher Coven is one of the most powerful active Covens. It has participated in numerous significant military operations. The Coven, and it's Sovereign Haktan are known for being particularly brutal and heavy-handed in battle. They prefer the use of overwhelming force to defeat their enemies.
Dark Herald Coven
Led by the Sovereign Vergaz, the Dark Herald Coven is relatively new in it's founding. However, as their planet of origin lies on the border of Tau and Imperial space they have furthered the Derkallen cause tremendously along the Eastern Fringe. Due to their usual location of operations they have also come into conflict with the extra-galactic Tyranids on several occasions. Consequently they have a high number of unstable Dark Hybrids which are the result of many attempts to assimilate the Tyranids they have encountered.
Burning Sky Coven
Once a rival to the great Fear Killer Coven, the Derkallen of the Burning Sky ravaged large swathes of the galaxy in the name of the Higher Authority. Their impulsive Sovereign Vitrion was daring enough to launch a large full scale offensive against the Margos Empire, even going as far to bring the conflict directly to Magellan, the Empire's capital. Although the Burning Sky Coven was completely destroyed their legacy lived on to inspire the Derkallen to pursue more attacks on the Margos.
Moon Shadow Coven
A small Coven. Despite it's small size, and lack of overall force it has contributed enormously to the Derkallen's military efforts. The Coven is lead by it's Sovereign, Merlaht. Merlaht and his men prefer to use subtle methods such as infiltration, espionage and subterfuge to accomplish their goals. The Coven usually goes into battle with a larger Coven. The other Coven does most of the fighting while the Moon Shadow supports from the shadows. They are also known to field an extremely stealthy form of Infiltrator called Shadow Walkers.
Coven of Ruthless Progress
They were one of the most prized Warrior Covens of the Derkallen who were responsible for many of their preliminary expansions. The Coven of Ruthless Progress were one of the first Covens to be formed when the Derkallen set off from their Homeworld to conquer the galaxy under the guidance of the Higher Authority. Their destruction at the hands of the Orks during the Xeno War of the Morinta Sector served as a great loss to the Derkallen cause.
Coven of Relentless Expansion
Rumoured to be one of the first Derkallen Covens. It was this Coven which spearheaded the first Derkallen expansion (alongside the Coven of Ruthless Progress), conquering new strategic worlds for the Higher Authority. They also took part several of the initial attacks made by the Derkallen on the inhabitants of the rest of the Galaxy. Most notably, it was a branch of the Coven of Relentless Expansion which encountered the savage Rixari on the world of Aguaj. After realising that their position within the Aguaj System was compromised, Sovereign Aeytovan opted for a tactical withdrawal from Rixari space. At the close of the 41st Millennium, the entire Coven has opted to regularly launch attacks on the planets which belong to the Rixari Empire, in an attempt to weaken the aquatic race while gleaning more intel on their weaknesses.
Vanishing Star Coven
The Vanishing Star Coven is an average sized Coven. What is not average about them is their leadership. After their Sovereign died in a battle with an Eldar Craftworld the Coven came under the command of Magacelia, an Eldar Dark Hybrid. Surprizingly this proved to their advantage, as the former Farseer was an excellent commander. The Coven makes heavy use of Magisters and Broken.
Swift Claw Coven
A small but dangerous Coven. The Coven is known for its fast and lethal attacks, hit-and-run tactics and its ability while scouting. As such the Swift Claw Coven has numerous Fast Attack options. Its Sovereign, Krive has made a name for himself. Krive is a Derkallen with a true hunters mentality. Due to this the Swift Claw Coven is often tasked with hunting down and eliminating specific targets.
Heart Breaker Coven
The Heart Breaker Coven is a renegade Derkallen Coven that has become entirely Bereft. During a battle with Imperial Guard forces a Primaris Psyker unleashed a massive Psychic wave as a last resort, killing him in the process. The wave shattered the Palash of every Derkallen in the Coven. After that the Sovereign, Borlodos came to the conclusion that the Derkallen race was being enslaved by the Higher Authority through the Palash. He and his Coven have made it their purpose to destroy the Palash of the other Derkallen, and free them from the Higher Authority so that they can take their places as a supreme race.
The Dark Space Campaign
The Dark Space Campaign was the first major military action that the Derkallen had taken. It occurred near the end of M41. Before this other factions knew relatively little of the Derkallen. The Eldar and Ordo Xenos were only vaguely aware of enigmatic Xenos that occasionally attacked a small colony or trade route. The Campaign was composed of three separate battles, each with it's own target. The targets were the Imperial Vorpus Sector, the Eldar Craftworld of Telandras and the Ork empire of Urgrock, each of which was attacked by three Covens. Imperial strategists believe that the campaign was the Derkallen's way of testing the military power that they had accumulated.
The Vorpus Sector Offensive
Of the three conflicts that made up the Dark Space Campaign, the attack on the Vorpus Sector was by far the most successful. Arlocrom was in charge of this part of the campaign, with his Fear Killer Coven taking the lead out of the three that were sent to attack the sector. It is also the campaign that put Arlocrom on the map, establishing him as the most infamous Derkallen Commander.
Imperial strategist have noted that Arlocrom's strategy was a masterpiece of strategic manoeuvring, opportunistic aggression and large scale co-ordination. Arlocrom spent years sending infiltrators into the sector in order to gain valuable intel, and stir up unrest. He even supported the activity of Chaos Cults. He then had the other two Covens attack trading ships, and raid the outer worlds within the sector.
This of course was very minor aggression in the Imperium's eyes. Still forces were redeployed into the outer fringes of the sector in order to deal with the problem. This left some of the sore worlds extremely unprotected. This is when Arlocrom pressed his attack. He and one of the other Covens struck deep into Imperial space, sacking numerous worlds. They even managed to attack the sector's capital. The resulted in the Imperial forces becoming disoriented, as the Derkallen took out numerous planets that housed the command elements of the sector's Imperial Guard. The lack of command was made all the worst due to the fact that cultist activity had attracted Chaos Space marines.
In the mayhem of the conflict the derkallen forces opportunistically ravaged all forces. All three Covens left the fight with numerous Converts. They left the sector ravaged, and open to further attacks.
Assault on Craftworld Telandras
The second of the three targets of the Dark Space Campaign was an Eldar Craftworld named Telandras. Unlike Arlocrom's successful attack of the Vorpus sector this battle was a massive failure. The names of the Covens involved in this battle are unknown, as two of them were completely destroyed and the third was so irreparably ravaged that it's remnants had to be assimilated into the Fear Killer Coven.
The Derkallen began the Conflict by targeting an Exodite world that had ties to Telandras. They did this in hopes of luring the Craftworlds forces away so that they could destroy the craftworld itself more easily. This initially worked. However, the Derkallen had underestimated how quickly the Eldar could redeploy with the use of the Webway. The moment that word was sent to the forces protecting the Exodite world, they immediately set off to counter the Derkallen threat.
Now faced with the full military might of the craftworld, the Derkallen attempted to defeat them with force. Certainly with three Covens they could still claim a victory. This was dashed as Telandras contacted other nearby Craftworlds for support. With the forces evenly matched the battle went on. However the battle went badly for the Derkallen. The Eldar's advanced technology, and powerful Psykers gave them an edge in the battle. Furthermore the mobility of the Eldar forces, both Ground and Naval, allowed the Eldar to outmaneuver the Derkallen.
The three Covens were crushed. While the battle was unsuccessful, and would be the first major military failure the Derkallen would experience, it was not in vain. The Derkallen were able to learn much from having fought the Eldar. They would become more proficient against these foes in future engagements.
The Fall of Urgrock
The final target was the Ork empire Urgrock.Where the other two engaements had a clear winner and loser, this conflict had mixed results. Among the three Covns that attacked Urgrock was the Soul Crusher Coven. It's Sovereign, Haktan was effectively the leader of the force.
Where the other two commanders preferred to disorient or misdirect their enemies before engaging, Haktan took the direct approach. The three Covens slammed into the Urgrock with great force, burning the first few planets they encountered to the ground. Once the Orks realized that they had a fight on their hands they immediately struck back.
The fight turned into a stalemate, with both sides slaughtering each other by the thousands daily. In the end the Sovereigns of the other two Covens decided to end the campaign, as continuing would cause the three Covens to be annihilated. Haktan had not wished to retreat, but was forced to by his peers. Despite the Derkallen having to withdraw Urgrock collapsed due to the Derkallen killing off a number of their Warlords, with Haktan having personally killed the Arch-Brawler of Urgrock.
The Destruction of Malbakor
MAlbakor was the first Derkallen world ever to be identified, and destroyed by the Imperium of Mankind. It was located in a normally isolated area within the Toolocke sector. The planet was discovered by accident by a Rogue Trader by the name of Korbatus Crisk. When Crisk's ship entered the system they were immediately attacked by Derkallen forces in large numbers. It goes without saying that Crisk did not stand a chance. Crisk noted that the forces were being deployed from one of the nearby planets. Before his ship was destroyed his Astropath sent out a message.
When word of this incident reached the Imperium it came as a shock. Until that point it had been believed that the entire Derkallen race was space-bound and nomadic, as the Imperium had never encountered a Derkallen occupied world. The Imperium immediately mobilized a force to investigate, and to remove the Derkallen threat.
Once again when the Imperial vessel entered the system they were attacked by Derkallen ships. Initially the Imerial forces suffered horrendous casualties, but as more of the fleet showed up to fight the tide started to turn in the Imperium favor. They eventually manged to land on the planet which was designated Malbakor by the Imperium. What they found there proved their suspicions. The Derkallen had built extensive cities and bases upon the planet, something that the Imperium had not encountered before when dealing with the Derkallen. The Imperial command in charge of the campaign, Lord General Kabatz came to the conclusion that it was the Derkallen homeworld. They immediately began a campaign to wipe the Derkallen out.
After a few moths of continuous fighting it became clear that the Imperial forces present were not enough to finisht the campaign. Reinforcments were called in to support the Imperial war effort. While the fighting on Malbakor was intense, the real problems begain to appear in the sector at large. Derkallen forces were macking aggressive maneuvers all over the sector, sowing mayham and confusion amongst the Imperium. With multiple Planetary Governors sending out distress calls, the Imperial forces were forced to spread theiur assets out. This hurt the attack on Malbakor severly.
Relief came in the form of numerous Space Marine Chapters. Many of them spread out amongst the sector in order to counter the attacks of the Derkallen, and allow the Imperial Guard forces to be redeployed to Malbakor. Mant of the Astartes went to Malbakor to join the fight and provide relief for the beleaguered forces there. This turned the camapign around, especially when one of the Chapter masters managed to kill the Void Prince in charge of the planet. Eventually the Imperial forces managed to execute an Exterminatus on the planet.
After the battle Derkallen activity completely vanished within the Toolocke sector. It was believed by the Imperium that they had wiped out the Derkallen homeworld, and the forces that were involved in the campaign were postumously honoured. Five decades later the Imperium encountered another such planet, and it was realized that Malbakor was not the Derkallen homeworld. The Imperium gbegan to realize that it was not that the Derkallen did not populate worlds, it was just that they populated incredibly few worlds, and kept them well hidden because they were substantial military assets. To this day the Toolocke sector is ffree of Derkallen activity.
The War of Dark Iron
The War of Dark Iron was aa Derkallen campaign against the Iron Warriors affiliated planet, Argkak. The Iron Warriors had long used this planet as a staging area for their raids in the surrounding space. Naturally this was a problem for the Imperium, who suffered from frequent raids, but it was also hampering the Derkallen in the area. The Iron Warriors had ambushed several Derkallen war forces, causing considerable damage. The straw that broke the camel's back was when the Iron Warriors attacked the Derkallen during a raid on a particular planet. The Derkallen had spent years spying, and infiltrating the planet in order to prepare for the attack. The Iron Warriors drove off the Derkallen forcess on the eve of their operation, and took advantage of their ground work to ravage the planet themselves.
The Derkallen could no longer tolerate the Iron Warriors sabotagingtheir efforts in the area. The Void Prince nearest to the area ordered a Coven to go and deal with the problem. The Coven attempted to send infiltration units in to better prepare for the attack, but they found that the defenses of the Iron Warriors' fortress were nearly impenetrable. Without any other option the Derkallen attacked head on, hoping to catch the Iron warriors off guard and end the conflict quickly. This failed spectacularly, as the Iron Warriors not only weathered the Derkallen attack, but began to dominate them militarily for months on end.
The tide changed when the infamous Sovereign Haktan joined the fray. Upset by the failures of the Coven sent to deal with the situation, Haktan decided to take charge of the campaign personally. The first act that the Sovereign performed was to kill the Sovereign in charge for his inability to complete his task, an unheard of action within the Derkallen that lends creedance to the Rumours of Haktan's insanity. Haktan then took over the Coven, and drove them forward relentlessly as meat shields for his own warriors. The Soul Crusher Coven attacked furiously for months on end, never once ceasing their reckless assualt. Eventually the Iron Warriors defenses crumbled. Without their protection the Soul Crusher Coven butchered the Iron Warriors, literally making it rain blood before Haktan ordered his ships to raze the entire planet.
The Derkallen took part in the Xeno War of the Morinta Sector. An Ork Waaagh! stirred up the Morinta Sector, an area with a number of Xeno species inhabiting it. Most impotantly the Sector had worlds that belonged to the Mutacrat and Vralgazi. These species started a conflict with both the Orks and each other. Furthermore the Imperium got into the middle of the conflict. With so much mayhem the Derkallen saw a chance to take advantage of the situation, and ravage all sides.
The Covens involved were the Fear Killer Coven, the Soul Crusher Coven and the Coven of Ruthless Progress. Initially the Derkallen did very well during the war. However their good fortune ended when the Ork Warlord leading the Waaagh! destroyed the Coven of Ruthless Progress. In retaliation the two remaining Covens defeated the Orks, but things became worse when the Soul Crusher Coven suffered heavy casualties at the hands of Mutacrat forces, and was forced to withdraw.
The Fear Killer Coven remained in the war until near its end. During the Space Battle that would turn the campaign in the Imperium's favor Arlocrom too decided that it woulkd be best to withdraw.
The Margos Derkallen War
A conflict between the Margos Empire and the Burning Sky Coven. At some point near the end of M41 the Margos caught the attention of the Derkallen. The Void Prince nearest to Magellan ordered Vitrion, the Sovereign of the Burning Sky Coven to attack the Margos in order to ascertain their military abilities, and convert them if they were weak enough.
At this time the Burning Sky Coven was one of the largest and most powerful of the many existing Covens, rivalling the Fear killer Coven of Arlocrom. The Coven then set out to attack the empire. Due to the fact that all Derkallen are psychic to some extent the Margos felt their approach. However, the unusual nature of the Derkallen's Palash based Psychic abilities confused the margos, who did not know what to make of it.
The Margos sent several ships out to figure out what they were sensing. These scouts were quickly destroyed by the Derkallen, who then began to spread out across the Margos Empire. The Margos were taken by surprise due to the stealthy, efficient and co-ordinated attacks on their systems. In fact the Margos had received severe casualties before they even realised that they were being invaded.
Once it was clear that they were dealing with a strong and extremely hostile force, the margos began to organise a counter-attack. they managed to quickly push back the Derkallen forces, and protect many of their planets from being depopulated. They also took steps to cut off the Derkallen's escape routes, determined to utterly wipe out their aggressors.
without any means of escape the Burning Sky Coven attacked Magellan directly, attempting to rip the heart out of the Margos Empire. Malyth the Vengeful took command of the forces there in defence of the Margos Homeworld. The battle was extremely costly, with high casualties on both sides. In the end it was the Margos that won, wiping out the Burning Sky Coven.
Before the Coven was destroyed Vitrion managed to send a message to the nearest Derkallen world, detailing his finding on the military capabilities of the Margos. As a result the Margos have been subject to small Derkallen raids often since the conflict. The Margos learned from their first conflict with the Derkallen, have taken measures to identify and counter any Derkallen activity within their domain. Malyth has made locating and destroying the nearby Derkallen world a priority.
While en route to conquer a strategic planet located within the Relthan System the Derkallen encountered a small fleet which was aligned with the Ruinous Powers. As these renegades appeared to have the same interests in the same planet as the Fear Killer Coven, Sovereign Arlocrom ordered an immediate strike against these usurpers. The strategist hoped to eliminate the competition in a swift space conflict and his coven were successful in eliminating all of the enemy ships. However, unbeknownst to Arlocrom astartes from the 4th War Legion of Syrath's Warriors had already made planet fall.
The Sovereign sent his forces down to the world Relthan II in preparation for the planet's colonisation expecting an easy victory over the few human settlers which roamed the Feral World. To Arlocrom's surprise he received reports that his ground teams were being slaughtered by a mysterious foe. Intrigued by these latest developments and determined to eliminate all threats to the colonisation the Arlocrom decided to enter the fray with a squad of loyal Abyssal Guard. The Sovereign also ordered his Infiltrator teams to redouble their efforts to identify the hostile forces.
Leading from the front Arlocrom was able to develop a more flexible strategies at dealing with the now identified threat. The strategist deduced their weaknesses and calculated that the best way to eliminate the Chaos forces would be to slay their leader. Arlocrom played cat and mouse with the Commandant of the Fourth War Legion, Ultakar Hernav and made an extreme effort to separate the Chaos Lord from the rest of his forces. After hounding Hernav for days the Sovereign and his Abyssal Guard managed to corner him. Arlocrom decided that he would personally slay the Lord for the trouble which the scum had cause his colonisation forces. The Sovereign subdued the Commandant with a barrage of psychic attacks before beheading the devotee of Syrath with a single strike from one of his spiked arms.
With Hernav slain the Chaos forces scattered. The Fear Killer Coven were able to eradicate the survivors with ease before fully brining the planet under their control. However, due to the fact that their location within the system, plans for settlement of the planet had to be abandoned, much to the chagrin of Arlocrom.
Hive Fleet Rakhasa
A Tyranid Hive Fleet that was dubbed Rakhasa by the Imperium came across a Derkallen world. The Tyranids laid waste to the Derkallen on their planet. The Derkallen that were defending the planet fought back ferociously, but were unable to stem the relentless onslaught of the Swarm. The Tyranids consumed the Derkallen and the rest of the world as well. Oddly that would be their undoing. Due to having eaten too many of the Derkallen and their Palash the Hive Fleet under went a transformation. The Transformation resulted in the Hive Fleet severing its connection to the Hive Mind. It has since disappeared and has not been heard from by any forces.
Derkallen Army List
Members of the High Breed; Void Princes are the highest ranked commanders that the rest of the galaxy has seen so far. Each Void Prince has a considerable Psychic talent and natural abilities as a warrior and a commander. This is due to the Void Princes being bred to lead the rest of the Derkallen. They have full access to the Derkallen Armoury and their presence on the battlefield makes lesser Derkallen more driven to be victorious. As Void Princes are only put in charge of valuable Derkallen worlds or major campaigns; other species should take the appearance of a Void Prince on the battlefield to be a sign that it is a battle the Derkallen are determined to win.
The Sovereigns are the leaders of individual Warrior Covens and are the highest ranked among the Warrior Breed. Sovereigns are gifted commanders, mixing the machine like efficiency of the general Derkallen strategy with their own original, and imaginative, skill. Each and every Warrior in a Coven puts their faith in their Sovereign second only to the Higher Authority. Due to their skill in manipulating the Palash, Sovereigns can force them to produce a permanent passive state. Essentially Sovereigns can make their own personalities. A Sovereign enters the field when the entire Coven goes to war.
Conquerers are Derkallen officers under the command of Sovereigns. They each command their own Battle Cell. They are the most common Derkallen commanders as they are in charge of smaller conflicts. While they pale in comparison to the Sovereigns, the Conquerers are still dangerous foes on the field of combat and savvy strategists.
Magisters are a Sub-Breed of Derkallen Warriors that focuses on using Psychic powers on the battlefield. They will often be accompanying Derkallen commanders, predicting the future, allowing the commander to address all his troops telepathically or simply destroying the enemy with his Psychic power. Magisters are also capable of summoning the Broken bolstering Derkallen forces. While they are not as suited to the command role as Sovereigns or Conquerers they soemtimes command small forces of Derkallen.
The Lazarus is a special robot used by the Derkallen for medical purposes. A floating orb with servo-arms equipped with medical tools. The Lazarus uses genetic manipulation to heal, much like that of the Conversion. So long as its patient is not dead the Lazarus can fix them to perfect health, making them regenrate to p[erfect health even on the doorstep of death.
The Abyssal Guard represents the most elite fighter in a Derkallen army. Where a normal Warrior has the stature of a tall human, the Abyssal Guard jas the size and bulk of a Space Marine. They are no less threatening either. Abyssal Guards are daunting opponents, carrying the best Derkallen equipment and being the best fighters. Abyssal Guards often act as bodyguards for Conquerers and Sovereigns. They also are assigned to attack the most critical enemy strongholds, and guarding high priority areas for the rest of the army. When not under the command of a commander Abyssal Guards follow squad leaders called Abyssal Knights.
The Infiltrators are the covert operatives of the Derkallen. They are usually sent to a planet, or target well before any attack. They use this time to gather important intel, sabotage the target's defenses and assassinate key personel. As such locating them is often the focus of Ordo Xenos investigations. The Infiltrators themselves are light, quick and have a higher average intelligence than most other Warrior Breed Derkallen. On the battlefield they utilize Derkallen cloaking tech, and a number of specialized weapons to perform scouting, ambush and assassination roles.
The Dark Hybrids are those that had an imperfect Conversion for one reason or another. As a result they maintain much of the racial and personal traits of their former selves. Depending upon the previous race, and individual skills of the Dark Hybrid they may be put into any number of roles on the battlefield, or off of it. Dark Hybrids are sometimes valued as they can think in ways that normal Derkallen are incapable of.
Daemons that made the mistake of trying to possess a Derkallen. For their trouble they become trapped within a Palash, and their nature is slowly twisted by the unnatural facsimile of a soul. Once realeased upon the Derkallen's death they are no longer the beings they were, and are no longer bound to Chaos, but rather cursed to an eternal, pointless existence. Magisters can summon these Warp entities, and allow their Coven to use their supernatural might.
A basic squad of Derkallen Warriors. These act as the mainstay of the Derkallen force. Warrior squads are typically quite flexible. Furthermore they possess a natural ability to fight in battlewithout training, as it is what they were designed to do. As a result the basic level of competency within the Derkallen is fairly high. This combined with the Derkallen's advanced weaponry make these soldier deadly.
Skirmishers are a Warrior Sub-breed that has been designed for close quarters combat. They utilise melee and other Close quarters weapons to slay their foes up close. Skirmishers are very agile, allowing them to avoid the blows of their enemies at a certain distance, and close the gap between them and their targets quickly. This agility does make them slightly more fragile however. There is a variant of Skirmisher known as the Brawler, which is more bulky, armored and strong.
Worker Breed Conscripts
While the Derkallen rarely do so, they will sometimes press members of their Worker Breed into combat. This is usually only done when a Coven has sustained severe losses among their Warrior Breed, or when the Derkallen are in need of troops to fit the role of cannon fodder. Derkallen workers a slow witted, and have reflexes that are just as slow. They make up for this with physical hardiness, numbers and sheer expendability.
Furies are Derkallen Warriors that have been modified to use the Derkallen Flight Packs in battle. The Flight Packs are implanted directly into the body of the Fury. They are also modified with improved eye sight, and lighter bodies to improve their abilities. In battle Furies are opportunistic fighters, striking when they see an opening, and quickly retreating if the situation becomes too dangerous.
The Skimmer is often used as a scout vehicle, or in a cavalry role. Lightly armed, armoured and very quick, the Dissent roves ahead of the Derkallen armies to strike at the enemies lines. The riders of these vehicles have been modified with enhanced reflexes.
Derkallen make use of Jetbikes as well. They play roughly the same role as Jetbike squads in other armies.
A Sub-Breed of the Warrior who's purpose on the battlefield is to provide heavy firepower for the rest of the Derkallen army. Baliista are larger, stronger and better armoured than their smaller cousins. However they are also slower. Ballista have a stalwart approach to battle, never retreating or giving ground unless ordered to by a superior.
The Primary battle tank of the Derkallen forces. The Vertigo is an efficient Grav-tank that can be equipped with a wide vaiety of equipment depending on the situation. They are armed with devastating heavy weapons, with the Spark Cannon being the favorite.
A devastatingly powerful Super-heavy tank. The Hellscream is armed with an explosively destructive RAW. As a result it can easily destroy building, other tanks and even Titans given enough time. The Hellscream is a relatively new vehicle in the Derkallen arsenal, but it has already gained a terrifying reputation amongst the enemies of the Derkallen.
The heavily armed robotic walker is one of the Derkallen's most effecient infantry killers. Designed with neutralizing enemy infantry in mind, the Arachnea is armed with Heavy Spark Guns, and a webbing launcher. The fiendish A.I. will seek to capture as many enemy soldiers for Conversion as it can, and will kill the rest.
Arlocrom is by far the greatest commander of the Derkallen. He leads the Fear Killer Coven in their conquests. Where other Sovereigns adopt various personas to match their style, Arlocrom never dons these masks. In fact he believes the facades to by futile and empty. Instead he retains the natural Derkallen mindset, cold, emotionless and calculating. His brilliant strategic mind has contributed to countless victories on the part of the Derkallen.
Haktan is the Sovereign of the Soul Crusher Coven. Hakten most often dons the persona of a viscious savage. He has shown himself to be prone to extreme acts of violents, often to the point of irrationality. Many of the other Sovereigns have speculated that Haktan may have had some sort of error in his conversion, and there have been rumors that Haktan may feel actual rage and blood-lust. Of course despite his overly brutal tendancies there has been no real evidence to support this. Regardless of how the other Sovereigns think of him haktan has proven himself to be a powerful combatant, and Arlocrom has noted that there is little that can stop the force of Haktan, and his Coven
The Sovereign of the Moon Shadow Coven. Merlaht seems to enjoy playing the part of the mischevious trickster. However behind the playful charade is a cold, ruthless Derkallen mind. Unlike many other Sovereigns that have met with success, Merlaht has decided to keep his Coven small. He does this because it allows him to perform more subtle actions on the battlefield. Merlaht is a genius when it comes to unorthodox strategy and inventive tactics. Despite the fact that he does not see eye to eye with Haktan, the two often work in concert with Arlocrom, with each Coven utilizing it's abilities to compliment the others. When fighting together the trio and their Covens form what the Imperium calls the Black Triad.
- "The flotsam and jetsam of of our creator's vision. They were intended to be the ones that championed our Purpose, but one by one they failed and were cast away. Despite this they still cling to something that they have no right to. Life. They were created with a meaning that they could not fulfill, and thus have no right to exist. We shall ensure their destruction."
- —Anonymous Sovereign
The Corrasque are a set of Xeno species with a profound connection to the Derkallen themselves. Each of the species that have been categorized as Corrasque were in fact created by the Higher Authority, the very same entity that brought the Derkallen themselves into being. More specifically the Corrasque are the prototype species that were created in the experiments for the Higher Authority's chosen race, the Derkallen. Each race failed to meet the expectations of their creator and were cast aside until finally the Higher Authority got what it was looking for in the Derkallen. The Corrasque have now spread throughout the galaxy, having in a sense become galactic refugees. The Ordo Xenos of the Inquisition have begun to hunt these species down. They do this not only because the Corrasque are Xenos, but also because they may provide valuable insight into the Derkallen and even the Higher Authority itself. The Derkallen for their part are intent on exterminating the Corrasque, as they are the failed results of their creator's genetic experiments, and thus can not be Converted.
- "You may fight back as much as you want humans. In the end your struggles are futile. Your species has had it's time, now it is ours, and while your empire is still mighty, it is only a matter of time before it crumbles before us.
- —Arlocrom, Sovreign of the Fear-Killer Coven
- "Fear is a symptom of living with a soul. Even the bravest warriors fear something, even if it is not death. The only cure to fear is death or the loss of the soul. I assure you, once you have faced my Coven you will know no fear."
- —Arlocrom, Sovreign of the Fear-Killer Coven
- "WHAT THE FUCK!!! Why are these Xeno scum going berzerk?! These bastards were as cold as Valhalla not two seconds ago!"
- —An Imperial Guard Sergeant
- "As cold as the Necrons. As unrelenting as the Tyranids in their need to consume. As cruel as Chaos in their methods. Industry without culture, intellect without compassion, purpose without soul. That is the Derkallen, and that is what we must save ourselves from becoming."
- —Inquisitor Artos Relatas
- "There is no need to manipulate that crystal lodged in your chest. I can assure you, Derkallen, you will find no compassion here!"
- —Selena Bloodkiss to a captured Derkallan, shortly before it was taken into the Haemonculi coven.
- "The Derkallen are a threat, that is certain. The problem is we don't know what kind of threat yet. Certainly they have dangerous technology, skilled strategists and eldritch abilities, but that is not the problem. We have faced those kinds of threats before. What makes the Derkallen a unique threat is that we know so little about them. Their City Fleets stay out in wilderness space, and are continually moving. We don't know how many planets they occupy, or where they are located. Then there is this mystery behind the Higher Authority and their origins. There are simply too many questions left unanswered, and we had better start answering them before they become a problem that we can't deal with."
- —Inquisitor Artos Relatas on the Derkallen
- "Now I'm not a magos, I'm just a man with a lot of money, but I'm calling it: the Derkallen are an engineered species. That means they're potential commodities."
- "Captain, the Derkallen, they are rounding up the Imperial Guard survivors, they appear to be processing them through some sort of machine. They are... By the throne... Emperor save them..."
- —Unknown Obsidian Blades Marine observing the conversion process on a recently dominated world.
- "The psychic screams they emit during vivisection were so pleasing that it took destroying 8 of their covens for the novelty to wear off. Clearly an engineered species, they are different in that it clearly was relatively recent. They show no signs of having been created during the War in Heaven, and their recent creation rule out the Necrons. I have found a few flaws in their design..."
- —excerpt from Captain Snow's Grimoire of the Stange