- "Battered, broken, left for dead. But tell me, and be honest sir, did you really, even for a second, think us defeated?"
- —Colonel Jeremiah Kruger, Dark Commandant of the Sons of Kruger, prior to the execution of Planetary Governor Vicktor Salakov III
Resting to the Galactic North of the Sea of Storms lies the vile Warp Storm known as the River of Exiles. Shrouding a quarter of a Sector's worth of star systems, this lost and damned hollow of stars is a place of intense corruption and madness. Since the days of the Great Crusade this seething scar in reality has blighted the stars of the Exile Sector, seeding them with the likes of foul daemons and traitors. It is a place in constant flux between the material realm and that of the empyrean, where stars long dead suddenly blast back into life and the laws of physics only loosely apply. A place where Daemons and Warpspawn walk freely amongst both wrenched xenos monsters and depraved human barbarians. It is host to thousands of blighted worlds, homes to daemons and mutant hordes. Damned kingdoms rise and fall, and wage endless war amongst the stars. None but the lost and damned dare set foot in the River of Exiles, those hunted and hated by so many that only this disastrous realm would deter most would be assassins.
Here is the blasted home of countless vile Warbands, from the mighty Storm Draugar and innumerable Sons of Kruger to the nightmarish raiders of Othello's Raptors and the relentless Host of the Blood Brothers. These bastard traitors of traitors and madmen cast out by madmen constantly battle for supremacy when they are not crusading across the galaxy, spreading doom and destruction wherever they march. For the River of Exiles is aptly named, only the most desperate and ruthless dare to ply the will of the Dark Gods here, and only the strongest survive.
The War in Heaven
In the most ancient eons, before mankind's ancestors stood straight and discovered the power of stone and fire, the region of space that would become the Exile Sector was ruled by elements of the ancient Necrontyr and later Necron Empire, namely home to significant holdings of the infamous Sakhrut Dynasty. During the War in Heaven, the Sakhrut Dynasty's forces, under the command of their C'tan patron and ruthless Phaeron, made great gains for the Necron within the region that would become the Exile Sector, and their once meager Dynasty grew to grand proportions.
There are still worlds in the Exile Sector that bear the scars of Sakhrut rule, ancient tomb cities and catacombs deep within the crust of countless worlds, once monuments to the Dynasty's everlasting glory, now hollow and vacant of all but the barest Scarabs. Few of the Necron remember the Sakhrut Dynasty as anything less than a den of honorless vipers, for when the Silent King turned on the C'tan and shattered them, the Sakhrut remained loyal to the Star Gods and did battle against their erstwhile comrades. For this betrayal of their oaths and loyalty to the Triarch, they were cast down by the Silent King's armies, their tombs shattered, their cities burned, the very name of their Pheron struck from the minds of all Necrons.
Few Tomb Worlds survived the Silent King's purge, and still fewer the predations of the Eldar and Triarch Praetorians. But as is the way of the Sakhrut. they endured, and now rest beneath the crust of Warp blasted worlds within the River of Exiles, awaiting the day they will rise again under the command of the Phaeron, known now only by the moniker the barbarians of the river have bestowed upon him in their terror... Old Bones.
Empire of the Black King
Eons before the Emperor united Terra, at the beginnings of the Old Night, an as of yet unnamed warlord rose from obscurity to conquer vast swaths of the Exile Sector. Scattered artifacts and records from this ancient time speak in both awe and terror of this great despot king, a man oft considered a living god by those his armies crushed beneath his boot. He was known by thousands of names in as many now dead languages, Kul'Dhak the Unmaker, Baddoc the Arch Despot, Arerrgean the Conquer. But to most, he was known simply as the Black King. But at some point, the Black Kings cruel and merciless reign was ended by an unnamed savior. Under the command of this unknown individual, the various peoples subjugated by the Black King and his monstrous armies rose up and drove their oppressors back.
It is at this period that any history regarding the Black King's lost empire is closely guarded by agents of the Inquisition, for these records telling of the decline of the Black King paint a picture the Inquisition would rather not allow the vast population of the Imperium to understand in full. As the Black King's empire fell, he was believed to have consorted with the forces of Chaos, and became a Daemon Prince of terrible power. Whether he was always an agent of the Dark Gods or only turned to them in desperation is hotly debated by elements of the Inquisition, but the Black King leveled all his terrible powers and his armies now imbued with the power of the Gods against the mounting rebellion. Regardless, the Black King and his forces were eventually forced into one final stand within what would be known as the Exile Sector. It is here, upon an unnamed world, that the Golden One was said to have slain the Black King at the cost of his own life, and that the armies of the ancient tyrant simply vanished into the ether.
Often this tale is followed by scattered reports. Some ancient records say that the united people turned upon one another over scraps of the defeated overlords empire, while others tell of the Men of Iron attacking shortly after and scattering the freed peoples to the stars. Regardless of the true series of events, shortly after this triumph, the River of Exiles itself formed, likely a result of the influence of the Black King and the great psychic instability that was created with his demise, though, as with many things surrounding this ancient legend, those few who know the whole truth debate the veracity of the claims often.
The River of Exiles was formed at some point during the closing eons of the Age of Strife. Ancient and scattered reports gathered from heathen empires that existed on the outskirts of the River tell tales of its disastrous birth, and how it consumed what was at the time a heavily populated region of space. Ever since then it has been a bleak scar across the bend of the Cygnus Arm, home to both native nightmare horrors and later the most vile betrayers of Imperial history.
Since that time the River has ebbed and flowed, its borders roiling with the tides of the Warp itself. The more turbulent the Warp, the more the River's malign influence has spread, consuming worlds and exposing others in its wake and retreat.
First Exile Wars
Though the River itself was of little value to the burgeoning Imperium of Man during the age of the Great Crusade, the Exile Sector that it inhabited was home to a sizable population of inhabited and strategically viable worlds. Thus, Roboute Guilliman led his Ultramarines in what would become known as the Exile Wars, later referred to as the First Exile Wars. What was considered an easy conquest quickly turned sour however, as the Legion encountered the foulest horrors from the River of Exiles itself. Hundreds of Ultramarines lost their lives, and Guilliman himself was said to have lamented the Exile Wars as one of the more wasteful conflicts his proud legion had been involved in. But eventually the grueling wars came to a halt as the Ultramarines forced the crass menagerie of horrors back into the hellish rift from whence they came, and secured the Exile Sector for the Imperium of Man for the remainder of the Great Crusade.
Age of Exiles
For the remainder of the Great Crusade, the Exile Sector remained a tenuous but prosperous realm of the Imperium of Man. Under constant threat from brigands and Lost and Damned forces, the Exile Sector brought forth hardened populations ideal for service within the Imperial Army and even recruits for the Legio Astartes. Her manufactorum worlds cranked out tones of war materials, and her Agri-Worlds produced around the clock to provide fuel for the ever marching armies of the Imperium.
However, the specter of corruption and evil hung like a bleak cloud over the Exile Sector. True to its name, she soon became host to hordes of pirates and renegades, outcasts who once ruled great empires, reduced now to common criminals by the might of the Emperor's armies.
Seeds of Contempt
It was during the later years of the Great Crusade that the Word Bearers, still smarting over the destruction of Monarchia, sent agents to the Exile Sector. In a vile plot to sew unrest and eventually turn the region over to their control in preparation for the long awaited Horus Heresy, the minions of the Word Bearers first brought the more unruly elements of the sector, pirate lords and former rulers of now Imperial worlds, to their beck and call. With these agents, the Word Bearer's minions spread dissent like a plague across the sector. While many of these rebellious elements remained covert, some broke into early rebellion. In response, the Word Bearers deployed a sizable force of their Legionaries away from the various fronts of war to "put down" these rebellious elements.
Instead, as was according to Lorgar's master plan, these units of Astartes became embroiled in further seditious acts against Imperial power within the region, putting down rogue elements of their secretive cults and raising more obedient and efficient ones in their place. By the time the Horus Heresy broke out, the Exile Sector had been all but a puppet for the Word Bearers Legion, garrisoned Astartes ruling from behind the thrones of nobility and stockpiling weapons and troops for the great civil war soon at hand. These elements were led by a Dark Apostle who would later go on to be known as the infamous Nethrurias the Black.
Rise of the Imperial Cult
Reign of Blood
Bastions of Faith and Valor
Second Exile Wars
The Artinian Crusade
Third Exile Wars
The Twin Headed Swarm
The End March
Astral Phenomena/Regions of Note
The Blackspawn Dominion
A collection of star systems carved from the River by the savage blade of the Storm Draugar, the Blackspawn Dominion holds several worlds whose natives regularly accompany the brutal forces of the Storms in their raids across the stars and whose resources are used to fuel the insatiable war lust of their dark masters.
The Fire Mandrill Fiefs
A region of the Lost Shore that borders the River of Exiles, the Fire Mandrill Fiefs are a loose confederation of worlds carved up amongst the various Troop Lords of the Fire Mandrills, their so-called Legion Vast having devolved into a loose and bickering coalition of renegades and pirates beholden only by oath to the Legion Patriarch, the former Sandard Bearer of the so-called 'Primarch' Klaad Hilgra, Mengsk Dralgan. Numbering several star systems and several more lone planets and orbital stations scattered within their loose borders, the Fire Mandrills launch raids and desperately fight against the Greenskin hordes and incursions from River of Exiles, brokering no allies amongst the disciples of the Dark Gods, but treating the alliances of various scavenger flotillas and techno-barbarian principalities.
A blasted and unforgiving tract of mad space littered with vacuum swept planetoids and graven asteroid fields littered with the wrecks of ancient vessels, the Brittle Sub-Sector is known only by name to the good, wholesome Imperial people of the Exile Sector, but its true horrors have only been witnessed by the outcasts and thrice damned traitors that inhabit the Lost Shore and the River itself.
|Kaydensworld||Daemon World||400,000,000||The Host of the Lord Kayden|
|Pyrrish||Dead World||6,000||Scrapmine Tribesmen|
Chaos Space Marine Warbands
The chosen of the Dark Gods, and most vile of traitors, the Chaos Marines of the River of Exiles are bands of depraved and savage butchers the likes of which could only be forged in the nigh endless crucible of war that is the 41st Millennium.
- "Come, you usurpers, you dogs, you legions of whores! Come at me!"
- —Malak Blackspawn, the Greatest of Draugar Lords, roaring abuse at his foes
The largest and arguably most powerful Chaos Space Marine Warband in the River of Exiles, the Storm Draugar are a fearsome force of savages and butchers. Led by the fearsome Blackspawn brothers and their select Draugar Lords, the Storm Draugar are a collection of the most vile and brutal traitors. Desperate and power hungry, the Storm Draugar carved out a considerable empire known as the Blackspawn Dominion, and now prosecute the Long War against both the Imperium and their fellow traitors.
Few within the River of Exiles can muster a force so large or so well armed, equipped with fleets of armor and packs of Daemon Engines, not to mention hellish weaponry crafted from the fiery forges of Lupercal's Folly. But most considerable is the Storm Draugar's close alliance with the Dark Forgeworld of Shear and the Daemon World of Deredrum, giving them exclusive access to the formidable Legio Ferrox and the assistance of the innumerable tide of the Burning Hordes of Deredrum.
- "We are the most blessed worshipers of the Dark Gods, their most honored disciples and proven crusaders. While they might choose to test our faith from time to time... we are most assuredly the most blessed upon this long path to eternal life and glory!"
- —Uldan the Everchosen, formerly Uldan the Spear, Master of Rites of the Everchosen
All that remains of the once mighty Host of Nethruias, the Everchosen are still one of the largest and most fearsome warbands of the River of Exiles. Borne of a zealous fire and penitent purpose that makes them both organized and fearsome, they stand as a united bulwark of True Faith against the myriad bastard cults and xenos faiths of the River of Exiles.
With their vast armies of the faithful and elite bands of Legionaries, these Sons of the Urizen wage an endless war to unify and purify the River of Exiles, seeking to conquer it and subjugate the renegade cults to the true words espoused in the Book of Lorgar.
Children of the Twisted Lash
- "I see you, my brothers, my sons, humbled before me. Such a sullied state shall not stand. Such weakness shall be culled. We will be what we were, unto gods in our own right!"
- —Vorule the Omnipotent, Lash Lord and Daemon Prince of the Children of the Twisted Lash
Once a powerful Warband whose dominance within the easternmost edges of the River of Exiles was unquestionable, after their defeat at the hands of the Storm Draugar and the loss of both their Daemon Prince Vorule the Omnipotent and their throneworld of Nosta, the Children of the Twisted Lash are a shadow of their former glory. But these devout of Slaanesh will not bow to oblivion, and with their lord and master returned to them, they are now on a great warpath, seeking to reclaim all that was lost.
They are masterful warriors, armed with fell weapons blessed by the Prince of Pleasure and hardened by their crucible, they will stop at nothing to achieve glory and pleasure in the name of Slaanesh. Most dangerous however is their mighty Daemon Prince Vorule, the infamous Lash Lord. With the powers of nothing less than a god, Vorule the Omnipotent is a flawless warrior and powerful daemonic entity that is almost peerless in the amount of exquisite devastation he can wreak.
- "Do not fear little one, your eyes have simply yet to open. Please, allow the Eldest to show you."
- —Zochathkul, Keeper of the Eldest Texts, lord and master of the Unborn
A mad cult of only a couple hundred bastard souls, the Unborn are a force feared by all, not because of the warband itself, but the eldritch horror it worships. The Unborn were once a force of disciplined and deadly Sons of Corax, known then as the Desolate Wings Chapter. But during the so-called Amity Prime Calamity, they were exposed to the mind shattering voice of the Eldest, and ancient warp entity of such power that only the Dark Gods themselves can be considered above it. Pulled into the Warp itself by this monster, the Space Marines were broken and transformed into the horrid cult now known as the Unborn.
Now the Unborn spread the truth of the Eldest, that the thin veil between realspace and the Warp must be pierced. For the Unborn see reality as an imperfect lie, a fragile veil over the eyes of all living things. They must reveal the truth of creation, and cast down this false world. And to this end, the Unborn wage a clandestine holy war across the stars, creating cults and insurrections on thousands of worlds, arriving only to summon forth their master to swallow whole these doomed planets so that their people may know of the truth and be united in bliss with the Sea of Souls.
- "Look upon my works, ye meek manlings... and tremble!"
- —Aluduan, Blade Lord of the Vile Blood
Wracked by hideous mutation and unfettered battle lust, these devotees of the Blood God are a band of bombastic butchers and madmen. And yet, few have climbed to such ranks of martial honor or prowess, even the mighty Storm Draugar hesitate to close ranks with the likes of the Vile Blood. Their pirate fleet marauds across the stars, spilling blood and sewing death in the name of almighty Khorne. However, they are no mere slathering berzerkers, but instead strange knightly crusaders of Chaos, focusing not on mindless slaughter but on glorious combat against worthy foes.
Considered gods by lesser beings, the Vile Blood are a force of unmatched devastation in close quarters combat, mutant claws and fangs ripping though both armor and flesh alike, snapping bone and buckling plate with ease. Such ferocity and power make up for their small numbers, for they are certainly the chosen of the Blood God here in the River of Exiles.
- "Ahhh... a Slaaneshii vessel, good. We will drink and feast well tonight men!"
- —Lord Barkah
Led by the infamous Pirate Lord Barkah, the Star Jackals are a piratical force of ruthless raiders and mercenaries, striking fear into the hearts of all who dare face their small but infamous pirate fleet. Masters of the void, the Star Jackals once served as Abaddon's chosen raiders, but the ambitious Barkah made an enemy of the Warmaster, and was cast from the fold.
Now, having found refuge within the hellish storm of the River of Exiles, the Star Jackals bring doom and death to all foolhardy enough to ply the space lanes of the River of Exiles, even the ships of the Storm Draugar and Everchosen are not safe from the Star Jackal's guns.
The Black Hammers
- "We were cast down from the ivory tower on wings of flame, our vestments and honors burned away, now we are all that remains. Reborn of fire... fear us, for you know not what an Astartes is capable of when you have taken all from him... yet."
- —Abieshu, Chapter Master of the Great Hammers, now known as the Black Hammers
Once loyal servants of the Emperor, the Black Hammers now serve the Ruinous Powers as a mighty vanguard. Once they were honored Scions of Dorn, bringing their hammers and cannons down upon the heads of those foolish enough to resist the Imperium, now they break the skulls of those who dare stand against them, unfettered by loyalty and honor, betrayed by all they swore to protect.
Stalking the stars in their mighty warfleet, the Black Hammers wreak havoc with their great Chapter Barque, The Hammer of Doom. Grim and disciplined to the rigorous standards of the Codex Astartes, the Black Hammers are a rising force in the River of Exiles, and should the leadership of their Chapter Master, Abieshu, continue to pay dividends, they could very well surpass both the Everchosen and Storm Draugar in their war for supremacy.
- "Faith? I require not faith. Twice I have felt the cold of what you would call the afterlife. Twice I have fallen. And, by nothing less than the works of mortal hands, I have twice risen. The Gods are nothing, for we are as machines, unerring."
- —Clan Lord Irdrviris the Cold, the Twice-Slain
A bleak band of ruthless warriors borne of the Iron Hands, the White Devils warband were once a famed Chapter of the same name. Created during the Third Founding, they had long served the Imperium of Man, their eldest Dreadnoughts having served in the Great Crusade and later Horus Heresy. They would serve for centuries with loyalty and honor, though often they were marginalized due to their utter ruthlessness and callous disregard for their allied and civilian casualties. Regardless, their cold fury and murderous precision saved countless worlds and brought low innumerable tides of the enemies of man, particularly the forces of the Archenemy. But, they had long been vocal opponents of the Imperial Creed, and still carried out iconoclastic assaults on faith of any form that they found within the Imperium, seeing such worship as nothing short of spitting on the Emperor's grave. When the Nova Terra Interregnum reared its ugly head, they joined with the separatists. Eventually they were cast out, and in their bitter hatred turned upon the Imperium they had once so loyally served.
Now, among the treasonous and damned, the White Devils have few allies. Their continuous adherence to the heretical Imperial Truth and their bellicose natures, not to mention their long history of slaughtering heretics, has made them many, many foes within the River of Exiles. Still, the Warband carries out various ruthless coordinated raids and assaults upon both their fellow traitors and the outlying Imperium, their doctrine of superior weaponry and ruthless tactics earning them a fearsome reputation. Even as the Dark Gods invariably corrupt them, the White Devils maintain their stalwart dedication to the Emperor's ideals, cutting away all mutation and replacing it with cold, immutable steel. The White Devils usually reside at the farthest reaches of the River, along the edge of the wild space known as the Lost Shore.
The Fire Mandrills
- "Tremble in fear before our might! Tremble before the great roar of the Mandrill! The roar of the Legion Vast!"
- —Brother-Captain Higarl's famously uttered words during the Kodhesh Raids
A fractious and piratical band of Renegade Space Marines, much of the Fire Mandrills history was lost to the purges following their betrayal of the Imperium of Man. What is known that, in ages past, before the foundation of the Justicarium proper, the Fire Mandrills were stationed at their homeworld of Miank along the very border of the Lost Shore and Golden Cordon, and were famed for their fearsome resolve in battle and fiercely independent nature. However, their clannish behavior and pride eventually turned to arrogance and tribalism, adopting an outwardly dismissive stance of many of the edicts of the Adeptus Astartes. Were they not so relegated to regions beyond the Imperium's control, such deviation would have been dealt with swiftly and without mercy, but in the Fire Mandrills the seeds of dissent festered and grew. Slowly, century by century, their Gene-Seed tithes became fewer and fewer, and their contact with the worlds of the Golden Cordon waned. Eventually, Inquisitorial agents were dispatched to investigate, only for a handful of survivors to return with grievous news. The Fire Mandrills had betrayed the will of the Emperor, and had set to building their own Legion. In their hubris, the Fire Mandrills thought themselves above the will of the Imperium, and siphoned off resources in secret raids disguised as Traitor Marines and utilized forbidden archotech discovered within the lost reaches of the Lost Shore, bolstering their ranks to unprecedented levels. Their rationale was simple, they held that they no longer required the Imperium to carry out the will of the Emperor, and planned to conquer the whole of the Lost Shore as their own fiefdom.
Thus commenced the Great Purge of Miank and the subsequent scattering of the Fire Mandrills. Forces of the Great Hammers, Knights Exile, Lightbringers, and Scarlet Serpents, alongside a contingant of forces from every single local Lesser Militant Order of the local Sisters of Battle, and several regiments of the Imperial Guard, descended upon the Fire Mandrills home system and after a grueling five year long campaign eventually broke the back of the so-called 'Legion Vast' of three thousand traitors, scattering them to the wildest depths of the Lost Shore. Now little more than a loose coalition of raiding fleets and murderous brigands, the Fire Mandrills have more or less resisted the touch of Chaos, having remained tied to their own deluded propaganda that their rebellion somehow serves the will of the Emperor, even as they raid settlements across the Golden Cordon and squabble with the Orkish hordes over basic resources.
- "Beseech your Emperor, that he may save you. Then, do the wise thing, and beseech our bolters. For they are a much more efficient means of release!"
- —Gerard Siegbald, King of Carrion, lord and master of the Venom Warriors
Vile plaguemongers and death dealers, the Venom Warriors are brutal devotees of Nurgle, spreading suffering and slow death where ever their plaugefleets travel. However, unlike the jovial or melancholy who usually follow Nurgle on the putrid path of damnation, the Venom Warriors are ruthless sadists, taking pleasure in the slow, painful demise of pox and plague. They revel in the hideous suffering of young and old, the deathless death their bodies hold, their supremacy over all that still breaths.
For this black evil in their hearts, Nurgle has blessed them with the means to keep their ego, at the cost of what they held most dear. The Venom Warriors never show outward signs of corruption, their armor remaining pristine and shining, but their bodies are naught but sludge and muck, gene-seed having long since become nothing more but bile, much like the Venom Warrior's very souls. However, they manage to survive by spreading their corruption to others, and infecting gene-seed stolen from both warbands and loyalists. Practically immortal, the Venom Warriors wade into combat, laughing at the foes petty attempts to slay them as both their bolters and virus bombs butcher them in their pathetic fortresses and trenches.
The Ashen Hand
- "Fire is a weapon of peace... for it leaves no trace of war."
- —Dambaskain proverb
Grim followers of Chaos Undivided, the Ashen Hand are an indomitable force of heartless warriors, iconoclasts and destroyers of faith. Once the Ashen Hand served within the Host of Nethriaus the Black, now known as the Everchosen. The Ashen Hand's founders, a council of ten former members of the Word Bearer's elite Ashen Circle and several units of Word Bearer's Legion Destroyer Squads, defected. They took umbrage with Uldan the Everchosen's command, considering him a craven demagogue as opposed to a faithful devotee. Thus, Ashen Hand seek to utterly unmake all but what they deem the "One True Culture". This true culture is that which they built upon the graven world of Dambaska, one of stoic and devout worship in the Pantheon of Chaos under their fanatical interpretation of the words laid down in the Book of Lorgar.
With Flamer and Axe-Rake they tear down the false idols of the Galaxy, from the heretical monotheistic cults dedicated to but one God to those who foolishly praise the Primordial Ones with false practices and inferior ritual. But most important is casting down the Great Pretender and His minions, the God-Emperor of Mankind. With their vile phosphex grenade launchers and flamers, they swiftly and mercilessly bring low all those who deviate from the One True Culture.
- "War has a face... allow me to show it to you."
- —Wukda Purm, Lord of Crusades, Master of the Crusade Eternal
Warriors who revel in the unending carnage of the bleak galaxy, the Crusade Eternal were once a fearsome weapon, leveled at only the most dangerous enemies of the Imperium of Man. But shortly after their inception in the cursed 21st Founding, the Crusade Eternal turned upon the hand that held them leashed, and went on a bloody, unending warpath, that still rages today.
Believed to be of Black Templar's linage by way of the honorable Imperial Fists, the Crusade Eternal were designed to love war. Taking a form of perverse joy in wanton and mindless devastation, possessed of remarkable regenerative capabilities, and armed with perhaps the largest force of Terminators in the whole of the River of Exiles, the Crusade Eternal are few but a foe of apocalyptic proportions. They wade headlong into battle, heavy weapons roaring, great blades and axes brandished, and Thunderhawks raining fire from the skies.
Fallen Adeptus Sororitas Warbands
Though few and rare, these far fallen warriors of the Emperor are now some of the most terrifying servants of the Dark Gods. Fanatic and fearsome to the extent that they can easily stand amongst the likes of the Chaos Marines and hordes of Lost and Damned, these Fallen Sisters routinely raid other warbands and strike out against the Imperium they once served so devoutly.
Sisterhood of the Dark Messiah
- "Repent now old man, and you will get the bolter. Carry on though like this though... hmm Sister Jessica, should I go with the Flamer or Chainsword? "
- —Two Dark Sisters ready for their ritual blood sacrifice
A bleak coven dedicated to the mysterious entity known only as the Dark Messiah, the forces of this Sisterhood are known for their lighting fast raids and ferocious forces of both Warp Entities and mutants that serve as their deadly shock troops. Much of their history prior to their fall has been purged, the Order these fallen Sisters now belong to likely expunged from Imperial records by the Inquisition. What is known is that the Sisterhood of the Dark Messiah believes that their liege is in fact the Emperor reborn, and under the influence of the malefic Warp Entity has brought ruin to several hundred worlds of the Exile Sector in various raids, often aiming to corrupt and enslave vast swaths of the population, to further their bastard cult's spread across the stars.
Though relatively few, the Sisterhood of the Dark Messiah's agents and assassins are many, and their ferocious raiding bands well armed. Acts of subversion and sabotage are often the heralds of their invasions, in which their Jump Pack equipped Deliverance Squads swoop in and their Rhino transports roar forth, enhanced by blasphemous sorcerery to double their speed so as to keep up with their horrific sweeping advance. The spearhead of this assault, flanked by legions of deformed mutant hordes, are the Absolved, former Sisters Repentia who, now in the name of their Dark Messiah, are presumably washed clean of their sins, and thus take to battle in their rags and markings of devotion branded upon their flesh as symbols of utter devotion as opposed to repentance.
Daughters of Damocles
- "Vengeance is nigh sisters! Rip them apart! Open every vein! Break every bone! Make them rue the day they were born!"
- —Sister Superior Illius Bask during the Battle of Bauhaus
Abandoned to perish in the infamous 2nd Exile Wars, the Daughters of Damocles are all that remains of the once mighty Order of the Crimson Soul, ferocious warriors of the Emperor turned to the wicked will of the Blood God in their march for vengeance. During the 2nd Exile Wars, forces of the Imperium sallied deep into the Lost Shore, seeking to reclaim key worlds of this buffer zone in light of the fall of the Fire Mandrills Space Marine Chapter. But the zealous Order of the Crimson Soul delved far deeper, and were cut off by Greenskin hordes and elements of the Fire Mandrills Legion Vast. They Daughters of Damocles claim that they were then abandoned, when in truth their supply lines were so stretched that it was impossible for support from the main body of the Crusade to reach them. Surrounded and largely decimated, this once might order was reduced to tattered remnants, forced to flee into the River of Exiles.
Emerging from that mire of madness as the Daughters of Damocles, under the thrall of their fallen Cannoness, now a Khornate Daemon Prince, the force of fearsome devotees of the Blood God tore their way through the Lost Shore. Flanked by daemons and bolstered by Daemonic Blessings, the Daughters of Damocles were only defeated by forces of the Order of the Heroine's Lance, Knights Exile, and Order of the Unbroken Seal. These forces combined drove back the Khornate horde, but marked forever the Shrine World of Mirial in bloody conflagration.
The Brides of Vandire
- "Death to the heretics! Death to the heathens! Death to the betrayers! Death! Death!"
- —Mistress Ivo, Arch Matriarch of the Brides of Vandire
During the Reign of Blood and the subsequent civil war, various forces of the then Brides of the Emperor crusaded across the galaxy, dispensing with the false lord's ruthless purges. One such unit was under the ruthless, iron fisted command of the now infamous Arch Matriarch Ivo Schindler Wolfgang Canterbury III, commander then of well over three thousand Brides of the Emperor dispatched on orders of Goge Vandire himself to secure the Exile Sector during the Reign of Blood, during which the entirety of the Justicarium rebelled against Vandire's rule.
Mired in the civil war, the Brides of Vandire, supported by the legions of the Frateris Templar, did battle with the six Chapters of the Justicarium for the duration of the Reign of Blood, ending only with Vandire's execution. Slowly finding themselves without any support, heretics within the Imperium they once served, the Brides of Vandire were forced to flee into the River of Exiles, where they remain to this day, corrupted and twisted, worshiping Goge Vandire as the reincarnation of the Emperor, and supposedly serving his will directly as he supposedly speaks to their mad Mistress from beyond the grave. Their legions of corrupted Frateris Templar are still well equipped, in spite of their corruption, and their Sisters are nigh innumerable, attrition meaning nothing as they have a regular supply of ready converts from their ranks of slaves and cultists.
Traitor Guard Warbands
Maruaders and vile raiders who were once servants of the Imperium of Man, the Traitor Guard Warbands of the River of Exiles are some of the most craven and ruthless of their kind known in the Galaxy. They are many and they are ravenous for both wealth and power. Some are armies of raving fanatics, beholden only to their evil and eternally hungry gods. Others are but heavily armed pirates, roving the ever shifting starscape of the River of Exiles, plundering for power and glory. Still others are ruthless mercenaries, fighting only for the highest bidder. Be the conquerors or sell-swords, the Traitor Guard of the River of Exiles are a force to be reckoned with.
Sons of Kruger
- "Off we went, to fight the rich man's war. Off we went, to die on alien shores. And for what? A fucking medal or two? Some addaboys' and pats on the back from men who don't know what its like to watch your friends die? Well son, them days are over. Now, we fight for us. We fight for our own. I don't give out medals, but I sure as hell know what its like out there on the front lines. They will say a lot of things about me, but let it be known, that Jeremiah Kruger was no Rear Echelon Motherfucker."
- —Dark Commandant Jeremiah Kruger
One of the largest and best organized warbands in the River of Exiles, the Sons of Kruger is a massive force of Traitor Guardsmen, mercenary bands, and pirates. Obstinately controlling the largest human empire of outsiders in the River of Exiles, easily over twenty star systems, the Sons of Kruger have the manpower and resources to openly defy the Chaos Space Marine Warbands of the River of Exiles and do so very successfully.
They are made up of broken and lost souls, veterans of innumerable wars, some having survived for centuries due to the maddening effects of the Warp. These are desperate and ruthless warriors, gathered under one banner by their mighty warlord, the Dark Commandant Jeremiah Kruger. With discipline and the blessings of the Dark Gods, the Sons of Kruger have stood against thousands of enemies, crushing them all beneath their boots and treads as a nigh endless tide of malice and spite. Though broken body and mind, the Sons of Kruger are far from defeated.
Warriors of the Vermilion Damask
- "I can kill with a lasgun, I can kill with a grenade, I can kill with a knife. What I kill with is not important, its how many I kill with what I have."
- —Hareesh Dez'Makuda, The Butcher of Antuk Fields
A ruthless raider mercenary band dedicated to Khorne, the Warriors of the Vermilion Damask are a force feared by even the mighty Chaos Space Marine Warbands of the River of Exiles. Known for their vicious fast attack methods and close combat ability in spite of being mere mortals, the Warriors of the Vermilion Damask are noted experts in urban warfare. Generally acting as hired guns and extra muscle for the myriad empires and warbands of the River of Exiles, the Warriors of the Vermilion Damask are also well known for undertaking their own vicious campaigns of slaughter, putting whole worlds to the torch and ceaselessly raiding merchant fleets across the Segmentum Ultima.
The Warriors of the Vermilion Damask gain their namesake from the blood red and elaborately patterned bandannas they employ. These are worn by members in various ways, either as a headband, facemask, or armband. Regardless this simple piece of cloth is a symbol of such butchery that only the most steely hearted or mad native of the River of Exiles would resist the urge to turn and run at the mere sight of it.
Scullions of Decay
- "Ours is the long march, the march without end."
- —Gunnery Sergeant Hector Korbluo
Foul devotees of Nurgle, this genocidal band ply their trade across the bleeding stars of the River of Exiles, sewing death and destruction for their Charnel Lord. The Scullions of Decay are well known for their endless genocide crusade, spreading the foul gifts of Nurgle to various worlds, leaving only dead spheres in their wake.
They are easily identifiable by their charnel fleets, vomited forth from the hellish void of the River of Exiles. The Scullions themselves fight with an eerie discipline, their corrupted and diseased forms marching forth, weapons belching forth slow death and suffering while they themselves suffer the enemies attacks with little compunction.
- "We gave those Imps just what they always wanted, to die peacefully in their sleep... minus the peacefully bit."
- —Pvt Lesh Kage on the infamous Baris Reach Massacre
Nightmarish reavers and fearsome fighters, Othello's Raptors are an elite warband of Traitor Guard who specialize in airborne assaults and lighting fast attacks. These craven murderers strike where the foe least expects, or where the most collateral damage can be wreaked. Equipped with advanced wargear and daemonic weaponry, Othello's Raptors are easily one of the most well equipped and trained force of Traitor Guard in the River of Exiles. However, they are also one of the smallest warbands, and thus rely on their training and skill to overcome any rivals or foes they come across.
Generally Othello's Raptors act as sell-swords for other warbands, but occasionally they undertake their own vicious raids, razing and looting settlements across the surfaces of countless worlds. They are vicious, without honor or mercy, striking in the dead of night, slitting the throats of men as they sleep and taking captive their women and children as trophies of war.
The Order of Zalimuch
- "Bombs and bullets are but paltry toys compared to what I can do with a pint of Horror blood, Bloodletter teeth, and a hand grenade."
- —Battle-Sorcerer Horace Schulz
A terrible occult order brought about on the sorcereous world of Zalimuch, the Order of Zalimuch is a powerful cabal of apostate psykers and sorcerers with a sizable army of deadly traitor guard armed with powerful daemonic weaponry and monstrous mutations.
Once part of a force numbering in the millions, now the Order of Zalimuch is but a few paltry thousand. They are made up of the remains of the disastrous Artinian Crusade, which saw thousands upon thousands of Imperial Guard Regiments and Imperial Navy Fleets dive into the River of Exiles, never to return. Now the survivors, under the thrall of the Primaris Psyker, turned Apostate Sorcerer Lord, Nathanial Bleak, lord over the world of Zalimuch. With their ranks led by the Tzeetchen sorcerers of the Cult of Bleak, and their weaponry imbued with the power of the Warp itself, the Order of Zalimuch are a force so feared that even the almighty Storm Draugar and Sons of Kruger balk at the prospect of meeting them upon the field of battle.
- "Enemy gunline? Phosphex. Tank battalion? Phosphex. Chaos Marines baring down on your position? Phosphex. There is literally nothing, in the whole of this vile galaxy, that cannot be taken care of with Phosphex."
- —Colonel Geive
Formerly the 989th Krephush Guard, the 989th Firesworn were born when a sudden bloom in a region of the River of Exiles consumed their homeworld of Krephush. There on routine recruitment detail, the battle hardened but depleted 989th and several other Krephush Pyreguard Regiments fought for their Hive World. As the planet became infested with daemons and mad cults, the order was given by acting Colonel Geive. The Damascus Protocol was initiated, and the hives were scoured with blasts of Phosphex, placed in all levels of the hives should the day come that the River of Exiles swallowed this border world whole. What remained now scoured the wreckage of Krephush, eventually devolving into the savage pyromaniacs known as the Firesworn.
Since those days the Firesworn Regiments have long since departed from their homeworld, most joining larger bodies or dying off, but the 989th still stands to this day. They keep an eternal vigil over Krephush and her neighboring star systems, going to war against all who would dare transgress against their sovereign land, and occasionally going to war in order to secure resources to keep the populations under their control alive. These grim butchers freely use deadly gas, phosphex bombs, and tainted flamers to scorch away their foes, taking all that is left untouched by the flames for themselves.
The Red Horde
- "C-can't... get away. Must... keep... running. No, God-Emperor, no no no no!"
- —Final Vox cast from Battalion Communications Officer Trent Vought of the Cadian 421st Light Infantry Regiment
A blight upon the stars, the Red Horde are a fearsome renegade band who strike with speed and savage fury. Once the Red Horde went by another name, the 621st Attilan Rough Riders. They, along with several other regiments of Imperial Guard, were lost to the River of Exiles during the 3rd Exile Wars. But unlike so many of their slain comrades, the 621st survived, fighting for their lives on the frozen Death World of Tungra.
But survival in body did not ensure the survival of the soul, and the Attilans that remained of the 621st were utterly corrupted by the sheer brutality of the war they fought against the forces of Chaos. Now they are nought but savages, mounted upon their mutant steeds, armed with fell weapons of Chaos, they ride for blood, and the Galaxy's ending. They took up the name granted to them by their commander, Temer, who says that such a name was granted to them by non-other than their sacred patron, Khorne.
The Immortal Golden Host of the Almighty Master Orlez
- "Bass... UNLIMITED BASS!"
- —Maestro Artillery Commander Giuseppe De Pazi of the Immortal Golden Host of the Almighty Master of Orlez 23rd Artillery Brigade
A fierce and devastating force of traitor guard hailing from the former Dark Forgeworld of Beaize, (now the Fortress World of Orlezia) the Immortal Golden Host of the Almighty Master Orlez is a force so infamously well equipped that even bands of Chaos Space Marines within Orlez's territory gladly pay allegiance to the Almighty Master than even dare the wrath of his "Undying Host".
Once sworn soldiers of the God Emperor, the Immortal Golden Host of the Almighty Master Orlez was once known by the much more succinct name of the Grailian 45th Foot. Hailing from the wealthy and advanced world of Graili, the 45th was tasked, along with several other regiments, with capturing the Slaaneshii aligned Dark Forgeworld of Beaize during the failed Artinian Crusade. Though the 45th and their allies succeeded in their mission, they were abandoned when the Crusade eventually devolved into warring bands that scattered to the winds. Intent on surviving, the 45th's Colonel, Colione Orelz, named himself Imperial Governer until proper Imperial authorities arrived. Not but a century later, the Immortal Golden Host made its first march on their fellow heretics. Armed with arcane sonic weaponry and great sonic artillery pieces, not to mention blasphemous carapace armor and gaudy bionics forged in the tainted fires of Orlezia, the Immortal Golden Host of the Almighty Master Orlez is a brutal wall of screeching pain and armored forms, dedicated to spreading delicious sorrow and suffering in the name of their Flawless Patron.
Dark Forgeworlds/Traitor Titan Legions
Vile hosts of hereteks and madmen, the Dark Forgeworlds of the River of Exiles are few but powerful bastions of madness. Each possesses its own Traitor Titan Legion, and are essentially immune to all but the most severe assault, for their weapons and power is such that even the great Daemon Princes and Chaos Lords must pay homage to them for their arms and armor. It is the Dark Forgeworlds that provide the material for the endless conflict, and it is they who profit the most from this state of unending war. While the Warbands and apostate Empires squabble, the Dark Forgeworlds watch from their black spires, plotting their next great achievement in the endless quest for blasphemous knowledge.
- "Quite a thing, that ancient Xenos weapon you have there. Shame it misfired. Rather unlike the Stig Pattern Bolt Pistol, isn't it?"
- —Heretek J'valan as he stands over the slain form of Heretek Kuldar
Vile, opportunistic, and arguably one of the stronger Dark Forgeworlds in terms of raw military might, Shear and its cabal of Heretek Magos, known as the Circuit, commands considerable influence due to it's close alliance with the Storm Draugar. Shear trades regularly with the other worlds of the Blackspawn Dominion, and enjoys the protection of the Blackspawn brothers and its own formidable Titan Legion, Legio Ferrox. Though more of a Terror Force designed to combat smaller ground forces, Legio Ferrox does host the sole Emperor-Class Titan in the entire Exile Sector, Yangin Marka. Thus they can easily face off with their rival Titan Legions within the River.
Shear's technology is considerable, but lacking in imagination, being simply perfections on existing materials. While this leads to a very formidable Dark Skitarii army and Titan Legion, the Circuit is in no way the most inventive Dark Forgeworld, simply the most forceful and well funded. For where the Circuit lacks in imagination, it most certainly does not want in raw manpower or might.
- "Fire, a tool of creation, a tool of destruction, the tool of both men and gods past."
A fiery pit of nightmares and hellish constructs wrought by madmen, Gorgokush is host to the largest arms forges in all of the River of Exiles. It is here, in the magma forges of Gorgokush, that the majority of the arms that are sold into the hands of renegades and heretic empires are made. Thusly, Gorokush is one of the very few "neutral" zones within the River of Exiles. For the Magos Lord Krakatoga cares not where the arms of his Hereteks go, so long as the tribute is sufficient.
Such is the influence of Gorgokush that even fleets of most bitter rivals dare not come to blows within orbit nore on the obsidian surface of the great Hell Forge, for neutrality is ruthlessly enforced by both the awesome fleets of Gorgokush and the guns of Legio Gargantua. Gorgokush's armed forces have been known to go to war against those who have offended the Hell Forge, but such folly on the part of other factions is rare, for few wish to incur the wrath of those who arm them... nore face the godlike force of Legio Gargantua's fire spewing cannons.
- "Awful things above, but as always, there is much worse things below."
Eternally wreathed in thunderous storms and its surface covered in churning seas, the sinister floating factories of Hadus Prime are a place whispered of only in the darkest corners of the River of Exiles. Here, on the ever churning surface of Hadus Prime and even on the bleak seafloors below, tools of penultimate evil are crafted. For Hadus Prime deals in both xenos techno sorcery and daemonic hell craft known only to its crazed Hereteks.
Such tools of pain and suffering are often the linchpins of entire armies, tools of such unique horror and evil that only madmen would sanction their use. From the infamous Ruin Flare to the legendary Blade of Horextion, all originated from one of the many mysterious forges upon that world of crashing tides and bellowing lighting. Hadus Prime's own Titan Legion, Legio Tonitr, bears an equally sinister reputation for its strange capabilities. Each Titan of Legio Tonitr is not only capable of functioning deep beneath the waves of any ocean, but also possesses terrifying cloaking devices, allowing them to close with any rival Legion unnoticed until they unleash the full might of their exotic weaponry designed for brutal close quarters engagements.
- "Hey! Easy with that thing! That's a Borcaidian Phasesword, one wrong swing an you can say goodbye to the hull integrity of this blasted tub!"
- —Vox log taken from the derelict pirate vessel This End Up
A polluted wasteland broken only by towering factories borne on the backs of colossal Borcaidian Thunder Spiders, the hell blasted wastes of Borcaide provide endless amounts of raw material for the manufactorums of Borcaide to produce nigh limitless amounts of exotic tools of death and destruction.
Noted for the bizarre and finely crafted weaponry, Borcaidian arms are always in high demand from various powerful individuals and wealthy armies. Mighty Borcaidian Murderglaives, hellish Borcaidian Breathstealers, and the ruthless Borcaidian-Pattern Gladiator Servitor are but a few of countless hundreds of dire tools of destruction that can be purchased, at considerable cost, from the dread forges of Borcaide. Borcaide itself is noted as supremely wealthy, and its Titan Legion, Legio Aranea, are armed with strange one of a kind weapons the likes of which make even the mighty Legio Ferrox and Gargantua tremble in their wake.
The Knight Clans
Borne of the dark will of the Dark Mechanicus and the treachery of their formerly loyal lines, the so-called Great Knight Clans of the River of Exile are the terrifying minions of the Dark Mechanicus and the Dark Gods within the Exile Sector. Though some were once loyal Houses, most have been founded after the defection of their parent Forgeworlds, the Dark Mechanicus installing the rule of the Clans in order to keep valuable resource producing worlds in line.
Most Clans were borne from Feral World savages, barbarians whose worlds were of value to the Dark Forgeworlds as both buffer state and resource producing world. Gifting these tribes with mighty Knights and educating them in their use, the Hereteks secured the loyalty of their charges with blessings of grand weaponry and agents capable of maintaining their mounts. However, as the Dark Forgeworlds are not supported with the same supply structure as those loyal to the Imperium, they could only produce limited numbers of Knights. This, combined with the constant attrition the Clans suffer, means that they are usually under-strength when compared to their loyalist counterparts. Such a discrepancy is usually compensated by the use of Daemon Engines such as Defilers and Maulerfiends to fill the gaps in the Clan's ranks.
The Knights themselves are seen as little more than useful pawns, a helpful byproduct of the subjugation of these worlds. Each Clan has at least twenty vile Knights to its name, ranks of powerful Daemon Engines, and a vast army of House Troops enhanced with the blasphemous technology of the Dark Mechanicus. These daemonically charged engines of destruction march to war alongside Daemon Engines and Traitor Titans, giving pause to the even the mighty Chaos Marines of the River with the sheer destructive potential of their war engines. Often, a young Clansmen may act as a mercenary with the approval of his masters, selling his skills to the highest bidder in both glorious invasions and petty vendettas.
- "With Teeth Bared."
- —The creed of Clan Wolfe
Famed for their sheer wealth and capriciousness, the Knights of Clan Wolfe hail from the icy Feral World of Ulv Majoris. Originally little more than squabbling mountain tribes obsessed with collecting and hording treasures and baubles from the ruins of the half buried Hive Cities that rest within the mountains, the warriors that would become the Knights of Clan Wolfe were uplifted by the eccentric Hereteks of Borcaide to serve as both test subjects for their more exotic and unstable weapons and to be their ever loyal minions. Modern conveniences brought by their benefactors, along with the fanciful weaponry and resplendent war machines, were more than enough to "civilize" the chosen tribes and merge them into one Clan. Now ruling from the decaying, gaudily decorated warrens of the ancient hives, Clan Wolfes Lances stride into battle with much pomp and ceremony, armed to the teeth with uniquely blasphemous weapons and driven on by avarice and pride.
Clearly under the thrall of Slaanesh, the Knights of Clan Wolfe prize bombast over practicality, ideal considering the arms they are regularly outfitted with. While their exotic wargear may not always be reliable, Clan Wolfe can often rest assured that their weapons will most certainly be devastating enough to warrant the risk. Weapons like the frightful Royal-Pattern Phasesword and Bezle-Pattern Graviton Cannon are just some of the truly horrifying weapons Clan Wolfe can bring to bear. Clan Wolfe is noted to have no real distinct classes of Knight, each war machine being outfitted to match its pilot's often eccentric tastes in both weaponry and style. Broad classifications can be made, such as the Bombast Pattern Knight, (Crusader) which relies almost solely on ranged firepower, or the Avarice Pattern, (Paladin) which comes armed with a Close Combat Weapon and ranged weapon for the sake of flexibility.
- "None shall stay our Wrath."
- —The creed of Clan Mastodon
Once neolithic savages upon a barren, mineral rich world of plains and plateau, Clan Mastodon were uplifted by the Hereteks of Gorgokush to act as their enforces and a powerful buffer state to the murderous xenos scourges that infest the region. While having taken on some of the chivalric codes and honors of the Knights, most of these are merely perverted tribal ritual and diluted shamanistic practices. Savage sacrifices and rituals of tattooing and self-mutilation in the name of the Dark Gods carry on much the same as they did thousands of years ago, though now with a strange courtly veneer that only accentuates the true brutality of Clan Mastodon.
Savage and blood crazed, Clan Mastodon is very much in the sway of the Blood God, their Knights outfitted in what is known amongst their ilk as the Brave configuration of Knight Armor. The Brave charges into battle, twin Reaper Chainswords roaring like daemons of the Warp as its hull mounted Heavy Stubber mow's down what few infantry are fortunate enough to be targeted before the hulking monstrosity closes with its prey. Other, more balanced configurations like the Warrior and the Firewalker (identical to the Paladin and Errant respectively) are encountered as well, but not with the same frequency as the Brave. Clan Mastodon's Knights are easily recognizable due to their totems and tribal fetishes, great elephantine skulls and tusks mounted to their twisted metal forms.
Clan Mastodon is a large Clan, hosting roughly eighty-eight Knights and over a hundred different Daemon Engines, though the mainline is mostly made up of Kytan Daemon Engines with Maulerfiends and Forgefiends acting in a support role. The forces of the Clan are also accompanied by the Clansworn infantry, savage tribal warriors armed to the teeth with forbidden technology and outfitted with combat-grade bionics.
- "Out of the Darkness, Into the Breach."
- —The creed of Clan Bodark
A Clan whose legacy of terror still echos eons after their first appearance during the Scouring, Clan Bodark's origins are the subject of countless fearful legends. Some say they were risen by their patron Dark Forgeworld of Hadus Prime from a terrible ritual bonding of man and daemon, while others state that they are the remains of one long lost House or another. In truth, Clan Bodark's origins are of a far more humble nature. Before the arrival of Hadus Prime's Hereteks on the industrial Night World of Scillic, life was run by the Families, powerful crime syndicates that for eons ruled the world behind a weak puppet government. However, when the Hereteks of Hadus Prime came bearing Knights, they selected the Families to be their enforcers, both on this newly conquered world and beyond. The Families accepted, and a savage war of succession errupted. For eleven years the war ground on, Knights rampaging through the perpetually dark cities, armed with the fell weapons of Hadus Prime. By the end of the Family Wars, there was one Family left, the Bodarks. Risen to the status of Clan by their masters and adopting some of the courtly ways, Clan Bodark came into their own as a powerful force within the River of Exiles.
Though the exact number of Knights they seized in the Family War is unknown, and the advanced Cloaking Devices upon their Knights make exact approximations impossible, it is believed that Clan Bodark is a large Clan, likely having dozens of Knights at their beck and call. Thanks to the heretical techno-sorcery of their benefactors, Clan Bodark's Knights can become all but invisible, the Cloaking Field only dispersing once energy is diverted to the weapons and shields of the Knight. Though not a perfect illusion due to the way light bends around the Knights form, in low light conditions it is all but impossible to tell even at close range. Thus, Clan Bodark prefer to strike at night, their Enforcer-Pattern Knights, armed with twin Thunderstrike Gauntlets, annihilating the enemy in brutal surprise attacks. Their Striker (Errant) and Foot (Paladin) configurations are likewise devastating, as their sudden, close range strikes and ambushes strike utter terror into the hearts of their foes.
- "What we cannot take, We burn."
- —The creed of Clan Brannsonn
Led by their ruthless High King Yngvarr Brannsonn, the Knights of Clan Brannsonn have terrorized the Galaxy for thousands of years under their oath to the Dark Forgeworld of Shear. Noted most for their sheer numbers and utter brutality, Clan Brannsonn has raped and pillaged its way through the Exile Sector since the days of the Horus Heresy, initially conscripted by the fallen Magos of Shear from the savage seafaring tribes of the Death World of Lothbroke.
The unstoppable armies of the Dark Gods themselves, the Daemonic Hosts of the River of Exiles are arguably the most potent within the entire region. When the mortals of the River go to war, the border worlds of the Exile Sector tremble in fear, but when these deathless, fearless, horrific forces of the beyond come crashing forth, entire Sub-Sectors fall to panic and anarchy long before the Hosts arrive themselves. Led by mighty Daemon Princes or Greater Daemons, the Daemonic Hosts of the River of Exiles are a force mankind can only hope to repel. But as is the timeless nature of the Daemon, the Hosts will always return, for their ranks know no defeat, only the delay of feeble mortals.
The Host of the Blood Brothers
- "And lo, the warhorns blared, and the armies of King Ushmale trembled in terrible fear, for the Blood Brothers had come upon wings of fire, and all that stood before the them were torn asunder."
- —Apocrypha of Skantos, excerpt believed to have been written circa M29
Led by the brutal trio of Daemon Princes known as the Blood Brothers, this Host of Khorne scours world after world in a tide of screaming hellblades and roaring horrors, bathing whole worlds in oceans of boiling blood. The Blood Brothers, Boghos the Shield-Bearer, Vahram the Avenger, and finally, Kesag the Headsman, were all once mere mortal warriors, but together preformed feats so glorious and bloody that the Blood God took notice and blessed them with almighty daemonhood and their own host of his Bloody Legions to command.
Together, the Blood Brothers and their ferocious host march every onward, every hour spent in glorious combat, warhorns blaring and blades rising and falling. Boghos is the master tactician of the band, showing a surprising amount of restraint and cunning for a beast of the Blood God's favor, but when he executes his masterful slaughters, there is no doubt as to the favor with which Khorne holds him. Meanwhile, Varham is the ruthless lance of the Host, his arrows smiting those too weak willed to face him in close combat while his bladed bow decapitates those who do with contemptuous ease. Finally is Kesag, the last to attain Daemonhood but far from the runt of the pack, wielding his mighty greataxe, he dives into the thick of the battle, spilling oceans of blood and crushing the enemies lines with the fury of a thousand charges.
The Shimmering Host
- "Mmm yes, I see boundless potential within you child, I could make you the warlord of all the stars. Your enemies will kneel at your feet... if you would only kneel at mine."
- —Drachnaer the Glorious corrupts the soul of a loyalist Space Marine
A roiling army of deamons dedicated to the Prince of Pleasure, the Shimmering Host is a corrupting tide of excess and evil. Led by the infamous Keeper of Secrets, Drachnaer the Glorious, the Shimmering Host is a maelstrom of torture and defilement, striking with speed and ruthlessness beyond mortal understanding. But worse, the Shimmering Host is also known for its subtle intrigue and corruption, infiltrating both higher Imperial society and even the lowest slums of the Exile Sector. Under the command of their Greater Daemon, the Shimmering Host have brought low several prominent Shrine Worlds from both without and within, corrupting their clergy and invading via the summoning of their mad cultists, sweeping forth in a lewd tide of blades and daemonflesh.
The Shimmering Host is more prone to joining with other Warbands of Slaanesh, acting both as a force of Daemonic spies and infiltrators and of savage assault units, leaping forth with claws and blades to rend the enemy to pieces. The Glorious one herself is a vile example of Slaaensh's creation, cunning and ruthless, but ever beguiling. Unlike many of her kind, Drachnaer is known to look upon mortal followers and worshipers of Slaanesh with a sicking mix of maternal care and hungry lust. Thus she is known to consort closely with mortals and take interest in the careers of particular Champions of the Prince of Pleasure, taking pleasure in both their trials and victories, all done at her whim and the whim of her glorious Host.
The Old Host of the Black King
- "Upon a black world, within walls of bone and upon a throne of malice, the dead king sleeps eternal."
Once an army of men in the times of the Age of Strife, the infamous forces of the Black King have been so corrupted by the touch of the Warp as to become immortal specters, living soul pyres still clad in aeons old armor and wielding ancient weapons that have drunk deep of blood for untold centuries. Bearing age old marks of Chaos Undivided, the Old Host harbors all kinds of daemons and warp entities, marching to battle under the command of their undying liege, the Daemon Prince known only as the Black King.
Once a mere warlord, the Black King and his armies ravaged great swaths of the Exile Sector during the Age of Strife, sewing such destruction and madness that he was risen to the powerful position of Daemon Prince by the wills of all four Chaos Gods. He continues now as he always has, seeking to conquer the galaxy and rule over it as a charnel empire of anarchy and misery. For many millennia he has sat upon his throne on the blight world of Loghtargrots at the center of the River, but now, in these dark times, he now awakens once more, roused from his slumber by the will of the Dark Gods to make war once again upon the stars.
Lost and Damned Empires
Unlike the roving Warbands that pollute the River of Exiles, the Empires of the Lost and Damned are usually Multi-Planet or Multi-System organizations, some of which long predate the Imperium. The people of these vile kingdoms have likely never seen what exists outside of the hellish realm they call home, and the only interaction they have with outsiders tends to be war. Thus, these are lost souls, those who will never know the light of the Emperor, for their souls are forfeit the moment they are born.
Their vast and considerable armies are battle hardened and blessed by the Dark Gods with various boons and gifts. Should these warfleets ever venture out of the River of Exiles and into Imperial territory, the destruction and bloodshed will rival that dealt by any of the warbands who hide behind the shroud of the River of Exiles.
The Confederacy of Moorn
- "Oi! Let's play a drinking game! One swig for every sod that screams 'Emperor save me!'"
- —Weapons Specialist Shamus Briggs of the pirate vessel Warp Blown
Little more than a desperate smattering of loosely united Pirate Princes and Warlords surrounding the Brittle Sub-sector, the Confederacy of Moorn is less of an empire and more of a ragged blotch of space populated with naught but asteroid clusters and half dead worlds. But these locations are fantastically rich in rare ores and precious metals, some of which have qualities that far outweigh the risk of flying a fleet into the Confederacies Territory.
Though the Confederacy is not a force as impressive as the likes of the Sons of Kruger or the Storm Draugar, their skilled and numerous pirate fleets, combined with the hazardous nature of their turf, create a nightmarish place for any fleet to travel. And planetside, the eclectic pirate armies are not to be underestimated, for their ranks range from warbands of mere pirate scum, to elite squads Chaos Space Marines long since cast out from even the traitorous bands of the River of Exiles.
The Confederacy of Moorn has a "captial" of sorts in the mobile Space Station known as Moorn's Mansion, and while it at first appears to be little more than a run down Gas Mining Platform with several Hab Blocks crudely welded to it, she is a formidable vessel and host to the infamous Pirate Lord Christobel West, a man whose ruthless ambition for power saw him become the "King" of the Confederacy.
The Kingdom of Iblis
- "My goodness mankind has only gotten uglier and uglier as the centuries passed."
- —Jakobus Arventii Mekkalna Kondorte XXVI, Viceroy-General of the 45th Ghlom Light Infantry Levy
Ruled by the royal Kondorte bloodline since time immemorial, the Kingdom of Iblis is an empire on the wane, an ancient and decrepit collection of technologically advanced worlds kept under the boot of an inbred line so ancient that they no doubt predate the Imperium itself. Once the Kingdom of Iblis ruled a considerable fief, much of the ancient Exile Sector having known its cruel lash, now it holds but a paltry sphere of territory, beset by corruption within and mighty foes without. So ancient is the Kondorte bloodline that its base and vile essence has crept into the gene-pool of every human being still within the borders of their empire, though without a doubt every human being within the Exile Sector has a distinct chance of being distantly related to the inbred mutant swine that lord over this kingdom of depravity and heathen technology.
However, their armies of Ghlom Syntho-Warriors are a force still to be reckoned with even as their insipid rulers drive their empire into the ground. Armed with deadly scraps of technology from Mankind's Dark Age and the knowledge of sages long since forgotten to the mists of time, the Kingdom of Iblis may still survive, and perhaps rise again if the Dark Gods so favor it.
The Burning Hordes of Deredrum
- "Sweet merciful God-Emperor, those bastards are on fire!"
- —Final recorded words of Lt. Grauss of the 45th Brausaus Grenadiers
Though considered a protectorate of the Storm Draugar, the daemon hives of Deredrum and its slave worlds within the Deredrum system is still very much an empire in its own right. Ruled by their immensely powerful sorcerer queen, Lady Barbarossa, the fanatical slaves of Deredrum and her neighboring worlds regularly make war upon their neighbors.
The Burning Hordes are an army of mad cultists, sworn to the Cult of the Lady of Pain, they worship of Lady Barbarossa as nothing less than a living goddess, a blessing to the people of the Deredrum from the Dark Gods themselves. To show their utter devotion to her every whim and word, they will freely throw themselves upon the blades of the enemy, crushing them beneath a tide of millions. The most zealous of these teaming ranks, so devoted to the Lady of Pain, inject a vicious cocktail of lethal combat drugs, and set themselves alight. These burning hordes charge the enemy, screaming like daemons from the Warp itself, weapons brandished and flames licking their bodies.
The Brotherhood of Blake
- "He who gives his life in service to the Brotherhood is sure to be generously rewarded in the hereafter at the table of the Gods! Now with this in mind, your orders are to charge the enemy position. Glory to you and your men, general!"
- —Intercepted transmission moments prior to the infamous Battle of the Gates of Durton
A newcomer to the ranks of the Lost and Damned, the Brotherhood of Blake is a fundamentalist state formed under the teachings of the outcast Cardinal turned Demagogue, Gregory Blake. Controlling a sizable territory and the resources of the final remains of the ill-fated Artinian Crusade, the Brotherhood of Blake has access to a wide variety of both mighty Imperial weaponry and vile techno-sorcery captured from various other factions during the Crusade itself. However, the bulk of its forces are the Lost and Damned, for the Traitor Guard that once made up this vast force are now but an elite handful of hardened veterans, serving the will of the Demagogue directly.
The Brotherhoods zealous forces are well armed and can be depended on to fight to the very last man regardless of the force stacked against them, such is the way of the Cult of Blake, which instills such fervor in the Dark Gods that even fanatics such as the Word Bearers balk at the faith of their mere human opponents. Even more concerning is the fact that the Brotherhood of Blake have the former Legio Destructor under their control, a mighty Titan Legion once belonging to the Forge World of Gladius, now corrupted and under the thrall of the Dark Gods.
The Quothian Conglomerate
- "Acquisition 97.6% complete, the Astropath and his attendants are locked in a panic room of sorts and the men are having a damnable time getting them out. "
- —Final vox transmission from the Rogue Trader Vessel, Pride of Talia, as her bridge is breached
A wealthy merchant-militant empire on the galactic western edge of the River of Exiles, the Quothian Conglomerate is a powerful player in both matters of military might and political intrigue. Though most see them as little more but pirates with the trappings of civilization, the Quothian Conglomerate is far more ambitious than any mere pirate nation.
Through their various contacts outside the River of Exiles, particularly those with the Imperium of Man's Rogue Traders, the Quothian Conglomerate have grown supremely wealthy by acting as a middle man for both the Dark Forgeworlds and peddling rare xenotech and corrupted indulgences that only the most depraved Imperial Noble would pay for. With these funds in hand, the Quothian leadership has managed to secure the infamous Rogue Inquisitor Jake Haggard as a "Foreign Adviser" and deadly ranks of Rogue Imperial Assassins. With these assets, the Quothian Conglomerate wages political and economic warfare just as often as it wages conventional war against is various rival powers, making and breaking alliances so long as there is profit and power to be secured.
The River of Exiles is not home to only the lost and damned of mankind, but also host to various dark and mysterious alien empires as well. These strange and deadly hosts of hideous xenos have lived within the River of Exiles for centuries, some predating mankind's golden age while others have only recently found the means to leave the boundaries of their homeworld. These alien empires are usually armed with ancient weaponry and abominable biology such that even the most powerful of the lost and damned balk at the prospect of going to war against these horrors.
The Dread Swarm of Burchis
- "Those are some big frakking bugs!"
- —Pvt. Johnathan Grayson of the 343rd Ventrez Volunteer Guard
Home to the nightmarish Burcharian race, the Dread Swarm of Burchis is arguably one of the most technologically advanced xenos empires within the River of Exiles, having adapted a form of faster than light travel and a devastating arsenal of graviton weaponry. The Burcharian is a xenos creature the likes of which even the mighty Chaos Space Marines must be weary of, standing easily head and shoulders over the average astartes and bearing powerful weapons such as the Burcharian Swarmblade and Swarmgun. With such potent weapons and soldiery, it is no wonder these locust like creatures control such a sizable empire, with a total of thirteen worlds under their control and several more asteroid clusters.
As the Burcharians have no known means of communicating with other races, it can be assumed only from their actions that they are invariably hostile to any non-Burcharian the encounter, laying waste to entire worlds with their graviton weaponry and devouring their populations with their slicing mandibles.
- "S-storm Draugar?! Here? But this is... no! No! This. Is. Impossible! "
- —Attributed to late Inquisitor Hol Tyzman of Ordo Hereticus, recovered from the remains of the Black Ship Tacitus drifting in the uncharted depths of the Halo Stars
A mysterious and powerful race of Sorcerers, the Yull are arguably amongst the more ancient inhabitants of the River of Exiles, their homeworld of Tuo located deep within the burning heart of the River. Dedicated to the worship of the Chaos God Tzeentch, (or as they know him, Ull'Mak'Zeull) the Yull have long explored the mysteries of the Warp and its inhabitants, becoming a mighty race of Sorcerers with few equals within the whole of the Galaxy. Their society is one of enlightenment and knowledge, fraught with conflict in their never ending march to what they term "The Final Reveal" in which the whole of their species shall become omnipotent beings themselves. Some outsiders interpret this as an apocryphal prophesy that fortells the Yull eventually overcoming and in essence becoming their patron god, while others hold it as a simple allegory to daemonic ascension and possession. The Yull prefer to be as inscrutable as their liege in most things, and thus what is known about their people and culture is but myth and allegory rendered moot by often contradicting interpretations.
In spite of the grand power of their Sorcerer Enclaves and the might of their Kull'Tak warriors, the crustacean-like Yull inhabit but one system within the heart of the River of Exiles. The hulking creatures are believed to have once inhabited various colonies and holdings across the galaxy, the earliest known records of creatures matching the Yull form having been from the conquest of the scattered conflicts of the Oort Cloud in the infant days of the Great Crusade. How the Yull became so wide spread is unknown to Imperial Scholars to this day, and to most contemporary Imperial understanding, the Yull were considered extinct as of the closing centuries of M31, explaining their wide spread and disjointed colonies as nothing more but the remnants of a vast empire that had fallen into degeneracy during the Long Night. However, the truth of the matter, common knowledge by most of the Lost and Damned of the River, is much more concerning. Within their home system of Kuo'Tuo, the Yull have long held a means of traversing the farthest reaches of the galaxy, the Gate of Ull'Mak'Zeull or as the common people of the River call it, the Yull Portal. This strange, yawning maw of pitch black space ringed by a smoldering red nebula has supposedly been within the Yull's power since they first developed the means to leave the foggy atmosphere of their bleak plains covered land, or discovered and settled the planet, depending on who's story you believe.
This odd stellar anomaly appears to have the power to shunt a ship through the Warp at unparalleled speeds, arriving near instantaneously at almost any location in the Galaxy. However, it seems only the Yull know how to traverse this alien rift in reality, and those who have tried to navigate it without the support of a conclave of Yull Sorcerers have vanished never to be seen again. With their mighty fleet and sizable armies, the Yull hold the Yull Portal hostage, demanding vast tributes in slaves and wealth before loaning their services. Thus, the Yull are supremely wealthy and influential, having alliances with several major factions of the River without fearing reprisal for working with rivals of their patrons. The Yull Portal is the means by which many of the River's most fearsome Warbands, from the Everchosen to the Storm Draugar, are capable of reaching so far and wide from their usual haunts, and the means by which they return to the River, as the Yull that embark with them are also capable of creating a return wormhole. Through this uniqe asset, the Yull have flourished, their profits allowing them to comfortably continue to study the mysteries of Chaos without fear of war or strife interrupting their all important march to the Final Reveal.
- "By... By the Dark Gods! The one's that die. They get back up! They get back up and they kill! The don't die! They kill! The bones don't stop! The bones don't die! The bones ki-"
- —The final raving words broadcasted from the Votive World of Shen'Mototh
While limited to only a small handful of systems, the Sakhrut Dynasty represents easily one of the most dangerous group of Xenos within the River of Exiles. Led by the ancient Phaeron known only by the name the fearful local population of the Exile Sector have given it in their horror, Old Bones. Ironically, Old Bones is likely the only name this ancient warrior king enjoys, as he and his Dynasty were one of the very few who remained loyal to the C'tan during the rebellion against the Star Gods following the defeat of the Old Ones. Though historians debate this fact at length, one thing is for certain, Old Bones and his once mighty Dynasty, which once hosted hundreds of thousands of worlds, was reduced to a pittance by the combined arms of his erstwhile allies and his name and linage struck from all Necron records and even the minds of the common Necron Lords. Thus, the Nameless King and his remaining servants went into hiding, resting upon the backwaters of his collapsing empire, awaiting a time when they could return and reinstate the rightful rule of the Star Gods who had graciously granted the Necrons their power, namely that of their patron god, Bhat'Ghol, the Obsidian Monarch.
Now reawoken amongst the swirling, reality defying depths of the River of Exiles, the Sakhrut Dynasty seeks to reconquer what was lost and prosecute its war against the rebels who dared dishonor the Necron race with their betrayal of their sworn lords. To this end, Old Bones prosecutes countless campaigns of extermination and decimation, seeking to destroy all of these foul barbarians. The Sakhrut Dynasty is no longer beholden to the laws of the Triarch, instead claiming that they alone have held to the core of Necron honor, and thus they freely utilize any and all tactics, no matter how under handed or conventional. This is befitting the Sakhrut Dynasty's precarious position, surrounded on all sides by warring barbarians wielding eldritch power that are an anathema to the soulless Necron. Regardless, Old Bones and his undying legions remain a horrific foe of such power that even the likes of the Storm Draugar and Sons of Kruger have had limited success in battle against them.
Kabal of the Red Dawn
- "Commorragh be damned! Vect be damned! May all of their simpering, cowering, filthy lines be scourged by a thousand daemon fangs! I will have my vengeance! I will have my glory! I will have my Red Dawn!"
- —Archon Bakshurish the Witch Lord
Cast out and hated by many, the renegade Kabal of the Red Dawn has taken to frequenting the River of Exiles and the surrounding Exile Sector, regularly raiding world after world for slaves and treasures. Having been driven to near extinction by a brutal internecine war with several rival Kabals, and later cast out of Commorragh for the use of sorcery in their attacks of vengeance.
A savage and utterly bloodthirsty Kabal relying on the lowest and most desperate dregs of Dark Eldar society, the Kabal of the Red Dawn strikes with swarms of Hellions and Half-Born Kabalites, rapidly drowning the foe blades and splinterfire. The Kabal also depends heavily on Xenos mercenaries, such as the savage Archon Bakshurish's elite honor guard and personal strike force made up of solely Sslyth mercenaries.
Now the Kabal hide within their secret satellite fortress of Khessorah deep within the lost tracts of the Webway, emerging only to inflict horror and suffering upon the damned inhabitants of the River of Exiles or occasionally act as mercenaries. Either way, the Red Dawn still delusionally cling to hopes of vengeance, hoping to one day set all of Commorragh alight and stomp on the throats of those who cast them from such heights and brought them to this low state of barbarism that is their current existence.
Kabal of the Split Tongue
- "What? You thought the Kabal of the Split Tongue was finished? You're even more dim witted then I could have ever imagined, Archon Lutruash. I believe I will take back my father's ship now. Farewell. Forever."
- —Archon Lohzaqore as she casts the former Archon of the Kabal of the Bladed Jewel into the madness of the Warp
A terrible shadow and rival of the Kabal of the Red Dawn, the Kabal of the Split Tongue was once one of the most fearsome in all of the Dark City. Ancient and influential, the Kabal of the Split Tongue had contacts and minions across the whole of Realspace and the Webway, but they were brought low by a mad band of Astartes. Their Archon and much of their remaining leadership dead, the Kabal of the Split Tongue was swiftly slaughtered in their moment of weakness, leaving only a handful of survivors.
Though a shadow of their former glory, the Kabal of the Split Tongue has managed to maintain several client factions upon their hidden Satellite Realm, each the remains of Wych Cults and Haemonculi Covens that had supported the Kabal at their height and suffered equally harshly from the Kabal's fall from grace. These remnants are still utilized freely by the Kabal, with elite strike forces of Wychs and the masterful Grotesques supporting their small but capable core of Trueborn Kabalites.
Now, under the command of their new Archon, Lohzaqore the Half-Born Queen, the Kabal of the Split Tongue eek out an existence as mercenaries and pirates, utilizing their few remaining ties and ancient pacts to bring forth force of foul horrors from the depths of the Webway and regions of the Galaxy no man has ever known. They inhabit their own satellite realm, the stolen solar system of Lutoriak, deep within the forgotten recesses of the Webway.
Dark Craftworld Kaisugia
- "All events are intertwined, nothing is coincidence, everything is of consequence. Every action we take is yet another maneuver within the great web of opportunities. Each soul led astray, every stroke of the blade, all the worlds brought to ruin or glory at our fingertips, it is all merely next step in our glorious path to flawless ascension. Soon the Galaxy will know our lash again, but for now they will have to rest, knowing that our blades rest in the dark places of their souls, forever awaiting their final poor maneuver."
- —Warlock Ganrdotem as he educates a cadre of young Sorcerers
Once one of the few remaining beacons of the old Eldar Empire, Kaisugia was unfortunately caught in the Warp Storm during its formation, its Farseers misled as to the safety of the region. Rather than lose their souls to the depraved lusts of She Who Thirsts, the Eldar of Kaisugia threw themselves at the feet of a rival Chaos God, Tzeentch.
Now Craftworld Kaisugia is a specter fortress, an aimless shadow dreaded by all. For while there are surely powerful sorcerers within the River of Exiles, they all pale in comparison to the cataclysmic power wielded by the Warlocks of Craftworld Kaisugia. While not often involved in direct conflicts, the Dark Craftworld has been involved in thousands of wars across the breadth and width of the Exile Sector, their agents constantly influencing galactic affairs to benefit the Mad Councils twisted designs. They are bitter rivals with the ranks of the Order of Zalimuch, not to mention sworn enemies of the Unborn due to the damage they and their cursed god did to the Infinite Library upon the Dark Craftworld.
- "Wot? Ya tink ya can foight me wif magikz? Ahahahah! Youz a 'ard pointy ear I'll give ya dat!"
- —Weirdboss Skarbad prior to immolating Warlock Sha Yill of Craftworld Yilm Slai
A crazed mass of savage zealotry and madness, WAAAGH! Skarbad is an upstart band of Greenskins that supposedly hail from the very borders of the River's ever ebbing and flowing rim. Emerging from the damned celestial waters of the River like a horde of green Daemons, WAAAGH! Skarbad's robe clad Boyz and powerful Weirdboyz cut a savage swath through the Lost Shore, conquering world after world until their advance was momentarily stalled against the border worlds of the Fiefdom of the Fire Mandrills. Now one of the larger concentrations of Greenskins within the Lost Shore, the mad, gibbering hordes of Skarbad now contest WAAAGH! Uglyface and the Iron'Ed Empire for domination of the Lost Shore.
A strange and cultish lot of Greenskins, the robe clad Orkz of WAAAGH! Skarbad worship their Warlord, the "Weirdboss" Skarbad, as a divine vessel of the very essence of Gork and Mork, a scrap of their very being entrapped in a massive green body. And were one to look upon the path of destruction the Weirdboss leaves in his wake with both his mighty Choppa and sorcerous powers, one might not fault them for believing in such mad ramblings. Their ranks overflowing with Madboyz and Weirdboyz, the endless ranks of WAAAGH! Skarbad are as unpredictable as they are devastating, and it is likely a combination of both luck and the sheer might of Skarbad himself that has kept his unstable lot of psychopaths from imploding this long.
- "Da boyz need to be tot da old wayz! Back when we Orkz fought wif choppaz and rode da great boarz! I'm gunna bring dat bak, wif da shootaz and burnaz and even da zapgunz. Da old wayz are da best, but da only way wez gonna bring dem bak iz if we bring in som of da newer bitz, which, while being new an' all, are still ded killy. An' Ork ain't nuthin if he ain't killy."
- —Uglyface Frakka
Led by the wickedly powerful Warlord Uglyface Frakka, WAAAGH! Uglyface has devolved from a "proper" WAAAGH! and is little more than a constantly shifting blob of Ork infested territory that skirts the edge of the River of Exiles, terrorizing the Imperial controlled worlds on one side, and making war on the savage inhabitants of the River on the other.
Uglyface seeks to eventually control all of the Exile Sector, and has earned such renown for his victories that he now commands a WAAAGH! of monstrous proportions, with thousands of tribes under his beck and call. The relentless Uglyface leads his forces onward, grinding through world after world, a pitted green scythe sweeping through all it comes across.
- "Dere ain't no un 'arder den Iron'Ed, ya 'ear dat!? NO UN! WAAAAAAAGH!"
- —The Terror-Barron of Uxlag himself as he stares down the Warlord Titan Mons Magne of Legio Maxima
Gruurg Iron'Ed, the Terror-Baron of Uxlag and Warlord of the Empire bearing his name, is a fearsome Ork whose sheer might and military prowess is nothing short of legendary. Having sat upon his pig-iron throne within his impregnable mountain fortress on the world of Uxlag for thousands of years, Gruurg Iron'Ed commands the single largest concentration of Greenskins within the Exile Sector, rivaled only by WAAAGH!s Uglyface and Skarbad, and even then the Empire of Gruurg Iron'Ed is easily older and better established as a force to be reckoned with within the River of Exiles. A surprisingly bright, if not disturbingly twisted and ruthless, example of the Greenskin race, Gruurg commands his nigh endless horde of Orks in equally countless wars across the Exile Sector.
Iron'Ed's massive armies number in the millions, ceaselessly marching forth from their borders within the southern reaches of the River of Exiles to make war against both the forces of the Imperium and their rivals within the River. Most notable of these conflicts was the infamous Green Wars, in which the forces of the Storm Draugar, WAAAGH! Uglyface, Sisterhood of the Dark Messiah, and Sons of Kruger clashed with the armies of the infamous Terror-Baron.
Hive Fleet Orthros
- "It comes! By the Dark Gods and all beings of the most blessed Warp... it comes! It comes with claws sharp! With fangs bared! We have been forsaken! Emperor, may you choke on our sou-"
- —Looped transmission from the Vox system's of the derelict raider vessel known as Twin-Headed Hound
A nightmare swarm that tore its way through the River in early M40 and finally broke through to the Exile Sector proper in 555.M41, though sightings of elements of this Hive Fleet have been recorded by Inquisitorial authorities as early as M39. Supposedly entering the River of Exiles from the darkness of deep space between the arms of the Galaxy to the east, Hive Fleet Orthros has been a terror to the damned worlds of the Exile Sector for centuries now. Regarded with near mythical levels of horror and fear, the Hive Fleet utterly annihilated all but the most stalwart resistance to its onslaught for hundreds of years until finally breaching the western borders of the River. However, it would be many years after the first encounter at the Shine World of Martellos before the Inquisitorial forces of the Exile Sector officially declared Hive Fleet Orthros Tyranids.
For the long time within the River has so irrevocably mutated and twisted the bioforms of Hive Fleet Orthros that they seem more akin to daemon than xenos. Centuries of being bathed in seething Warp energies has shaped the already daunting forms of the Hive Fleet's monstrosities into shapes of such horror and magnitude that even the most stalwart of the Imperial Guard pray for death rather than fall into the claws of the misshapen swarm. However, it seems that Hive Fleet Orthros has some modicum of control over these horrific mutations, for none have been seen to be so mutated as to impede their designed function. Inquisitorial xenologists fear that the Hive Mind may have explicitly allowed these horrible forms to linger due to the utterly ruinous effect they have on the morale of the Hive Fleet's prey, the multiple screeching maws and whipping tendrils of entrails adding shock value to the rank and file bioforms.
Following Hive Fleet Orthros' savage rampage, the remaining forces within the River launched a massive Black Crusade, capitalizing on the massive gap it tore in the Imperial cordon around the River, throwing the entire Sector into jeopardy. And though the Hive Fleet's twin main tendrils at the Last Stand of Saturnus and Battle of Kephis, the threat of Hive Fleet Orthros has been severely reduced, rogue tendrils still abound within the Exile Sector.
Feel free to add your own!
- "Like my great-grand pep pep Sabretache used to say: always drink upstream from the herd."
- —Douchard Bagge[src]
- "A lovely place to vacation. Would I recommend it to a friend? Most certainly! "
- —Dolfdir of the Crusaders Once Crossed
- "Behold! Here lies the prize earned by the weak of mind: realms of madness and corruption. Let it imprint on you, for by doing so, you all should remember what await you if you falter and turn your back on our sacred duty."
- —Kardan Rauth, the Inflexible, Chapter Master of the Sons of Iron talking about the River of Exile and other warpstorms to his first cadre of officers from Suami.
- "Remember brothers, once we enter that hellish place, we are on our own. There will be no reinforcement, there will be no resupply. We will have no allies, and innumerable enemies. We remain undetected and complete the mission, or we will die... Move out. "
- —Lophess Ovair of the Obsidian Blades, M41.785, last recorded statement, whereabouts, unknown.
- "So foul a place. I thank the Emperor I have never seen it, however, I have seen what it does. What degradation it wreaks upon men, once human, once faithful. I cannot describe it with words any longer. It is by His grace alone that I still have my mind."
- — A soldier of the Olea 22nd Infantry describing his battles upon the Eporias Islands on Caritas
- "Beautiful place, if I say so myself. Then again, I find all places touched by the Warp beautiful. I just wish the Everchosen and Ashen Hand would answer my call to Crusade! We are all sons of the Urizen, after all, I would love their company!"
- —Azunar, Dark Prophet of Chaos, Apostle of the Word
- "Yes, quite a shame indeed. For a moment I thought you were more than just a petty warlord wielding an over-embellished mallet."
- —Captain Ancifités Morgancia of the White Lions, facing off against Koldur the Immense, Lord Executioner of the Black Hammers