- "They are expensive, somewhat unreliable, arrogant, overbearing, dreadfully aware of their capabilities and employing this Xenos princess can get the Inquisition on your tail. Would I recommend them? As much as I would love to deny that, I can't. Because in the end, they are worth their money."
- — Imperial Governor Kuhlan Vando's conversation with members of the Furavau Trade Council
A patched together mercenary band with origins in the Segmentum Pacificus, The Wild Kin has gained a reputation as an efficient and if demanded discrete fighting force. Being known to do almost every kind of work for almost every kind of employer, the group has become home to outcasts, nomads, escaped prisoners, deserters, soldiers of fortune, Exodites and everyone else with no place to go and no idea how to pay their next meal.
The Noble Origins
- "These people, my people, are already dead, they just have not realized it yet. When you look at them, you realize that their schemes, their plans, their hope for Ynnead, all of that is just a masquerade, a masquerade to not accept the inevitable demise of our kin. At the same time, the Mon Keigh, equally threatened by doom, are so much more lively. They fight and scream and shout and struggle while most of my brethren have already accepted their end, somewhere deep down in their hearts. In the end, I think I have more in common with the Mon Keigh than with most other Eldar."
- — Boryael, leader of the Wild Kin
- Main article: Boryael the Swift
After their Fall and the birth of Slaanesh the remaining Eldar recovered slowly from the aftermath. In order to prevent such a thing from happening ever again, they restructured their society. In place of hedonism and excess, rules of self-restraint and mental focus were established. This has led to very reserved social life, focused on preparing the Eldar's minds to endure their heightened senses without succumbing to them. Sometimes, however, young Eldar suffer the urge to leave their home, the Craftworlds and experience the galaxy. These young Eldar deem the Warrior Paths as restriction and seek to make full use of the heightened senses of their kin. In consequence, they are either indirectly forced to leave or do so on their own accord.
Boryael, a daughter of Alaitoc, a Craftworld known for the strict interpretation and execution of the Eldar Paths, suffered such a fate. Born as Boryael Illuriel, she was expected to excel as an Aspect Warrior. However, being unable to fit herself into the strict and restrained life of an Eldar Craftworld, she led an erratic youth. After decades of learning the art of war and following different Paths of the Warrior, it became clear to her and everyone else that was not fit for the restrictive and disciplined Eldar society.
Testing and stretching her limits time and time again, Boryael's escapades eventually lead to her being urged to leave the Craftworld as her behavior was deemed dangerous. This eventual decision was made after her lack of restraint had endangered several missions she had been assigned to. It is said that although a surprise for the young Eldar, it was a welcome one. Taking her favorite ship, the Solaris Light Cruiser Void Dancer, Boryael left Alaitoc along with a few of her brethren that shared her ideals and disposition.
The Pirate Queen
- "Our fleet was attacked, so we hired these Eldar to protect them. Our goods weren't exactly...anyway, we couldn't turn to the Navy. So, we meet up with this Eldar witch and she smiles and says 'no problem, your ships will be safe'. Of course the attacks stopped, our wares reached their destination. Sure, we sunk loads of money into it, but at least we were safe. Or so we thought. The next shipment was attacked again and guess who offered me her protection again."
- — Conversation overheard in an Imperial trade station in the Pernicum system
After her more or less voluntary leave, Captain Boryael dubbed her group of pirates The Wild Kin, to set them clearly apart from the usual level-headedness of her brethren. It did not take long after they had become notorious pirates, operating all throughout the Segmentum Pacificus and it's borders. Though engaging in the typical criminalities such as fraud, piracy, blackmailing and and protection racket, the WIld Kin was also known for lending her services to numerous traders, mercenary leaders and even Imperial Officials. Those alliances did usually not last very long, however, before the pirates left the system or sector in search for new 'entertainment'.
Eventually, in decades of living as soldiers of fortune, the Eldar of the Wild Kin reinforced their lines with recruits of all kinds, as there were simply not enough of their brethren to fully cover their losses. More and more, the Wild Kin turned from a group of rebellious young Eldar to a melting pot for outcasts of all shapes and sizes. Renegade but not traitorous Space Marines, the remains of forgotten or nearly destroyed regiments of the Astra Militarum, even some rare Tau deserters eventually gathered under the banner of Boryael the Swift.
An Unusual Ally Is Gained
During the later events of the 39th Millenium, somewhen around 999.994 M38, the Wild Kin received the offer for employment from a group of rogue traders operating in the Nithis system in the Segmentum Pacificus. The local governor had employed them to defend one of the system's planets, Nivastis, from the constant attack of Eldar Raiders. The imperial navy in the system had been unable to keep up with the Slavers' speed.
As of today, the Wild Kin has become a home for a multitude of people, each of them with different backgrounds. Renegade humans, refugees, Outcast Eldar, even some stray Tau. Not all of these groups are part of the Wild Kin's fighting force, but all of them are welcome. Basically, the Kin has become a somewhat safe haven for all of those who don't know where else to fit in.
The Wild Kin is currently active in the Nithis system, fighting a group of Dark Eldar raiders in order to prevent them abducting the indigenous population of Nivastis.
Boryael is the one and only leader of the Wild Kin, reigning with both charisma and an iron will. Though having an open ear for the wishes and desires of her subordinates, it is ultimately her that makes the final decisions. Her efforts are supported by a small group of advisors, friends and companions, acting as substitutes and secondary commanders of the specialized groups they lead or represent.
Over the centuries, different smaller mercenary groups have been absorbed by the Wild Kin, effectively turning them into specialized troops that may be deployed individually on demand. These troops keep their original structure and command, though receiving their orders from their Eldar commander.
As it started as an Eldar corsair band, the Wild Kin's primary forces were and are Eldar of all kinds. Initially, Boryael was accompanied by those thinking like her or sharing her ideals in freedom and free exploration of the galaxy rather than secluding themselves within a Craftworld and dedicating themselves to a single path. On their travels, she gathered Eldar with similar thoughts and dispositions from other Craftworlds and outposts. However, given the long life-span and slow rates of birth of the Eldar, there were less and less of those with each consecutive visit. Some Craftworlds would even drive her away, not wanting any part endangering their young inhabitant's life and souls in pointless battles.
Due to the dangerous nature of their new life and work, the Wild Kin was always looking for recruits willing to join them. When the Craftworlds provided less and less, Boryael looked for other ways to replenish her forces, eventually turning to the Exodite worlds. Having turned away from the rest of the Eldar empire long ago, they now lived secluded and comparably primitive lifes on the fringes of the galaxy. Though different in society and lifestyle, there were slo Eldar among them seeking glory and excitement. It were these Eldar that Boryael turned to, promising a life full of excitement, battle and exploration.
At the same time, the Wild Kin became a shelter for many travelling outcast Eldar, such as groups of Rangers looking for company of their brethren. Some stayed, some didn't, but all of them were provided with a safe place to stay, people to exchange stories and news with, an opportunity for trade of goods and information or simply the feeling of being surrounded by others of their kind.
The Isidar Betrayal
During the last quarter of the 38th Millennium, the Wild Kin received employment from Rakus Vognir, the imperial governor of the Isidar system in the outskirts of the Segmentum Tempestus. The task, getting rid of a group of human pirates, seemed simple enough. Once they had eliminated both the pirate's leader, Ghiston Larus and the majority of his forces, they returned to Isidar Primus to collect their payment. However, as they attempted to descent on the planet like before, they were greeted by anti-aircraft fire and forces of the Ordo Xenos of the Inquisition, including a Death Watch Kill Team under the command of Inquisitor Mauve Delaris. Outnumbered and on the defense, Boryael ordered and immediate retreat, expecting to find shelter in the webway. As it turned out, though, the local gate had been discovered and consequently blocked, forcing her troops on a lethal game of hide and seek with the forces of the Inquisition, which pursued them with unexpected tenacity.
Unbeknownst to Boryael, her employer had used her very effectively to cover up his own corruption. Isidar Secundus, a moon of the system, had proven to be a rich vault of Eldar artifacts which were excavated and transported to a Forge World in the neighboring sectors. Though the Adeptus Mechanicus paid large sums to the Governor for receiving these artifacts for studies, this was not enough for him. Employing Ghiston, he passed on coordinates, times, meeting points and locations to the pirate captain, who would then proceed to ambush the transport vessels and plunder the artifacts. He would then sell them on the vast black market and share his earnings with the governor.
This went on for years, with PDF forces being either bribed or threatened into cooperation respectively submission. Eventually though, one of the raids led to the death of Lemir Korn, a PDF officer unwilling to play along with the ever-growing corruption around him. He stood no chance, though, lacking not only experience but also the support of the men around him. This alone would have meant little, if he had not been the son of Mestoff Korn, Vognir's second-in-command. Faced with his son's death and the knowledge that his own silent consent to his superior's actions played a significant role in what had happened. Consequently, he called for the Inquisition, tragically being interrupted by the Governor's henchmen. Vognir was not able to call of the Inquisition's black ships, yet he succeeded on making up a threat that would divert from his own actions. Being a quick thinker, he knew that it would be most believable to blame the missing artifacts on vengeful Eldar, he was quick to hire the group of corsairs closest to him.
Unbeknownst to Boryael, she destroyed any evidence for her innocence as well as any possible witness herself. On the run from the Black Ships, Boryael initiated several measures to disperse her traces. At first, she had the Mercenary's color pattern changed, along with changing the name from 'The Wild Kin' to 'Blade Dancers' for the time of her escape. Lastly, both to disperse her reputation as 'Eldar corsairs' and replenish the recent losses, Boryael decided to merge with several small human mercenary groups, which provided both fresh recruits and supplies. This phase lasted for around fifty years before the hunt for her head was called off due to a lack of results. Afterwards, the Kin reclaimed their original name and decided to keep up the practice of working with humans as they had proven to be both valuable additions to their forces and convenient mediators with imperial forces.
Occasionally, individuals are recruited and integrated into the band, either out of necessity or due to Boryael's personal interest in them. These will either be assigned to a specific task or may join a group of their own choosing.
Wargear And Tactics
As most, if not all corsair forces, they sport a much lower number of heavy and special weapons than their Craftworld counterparts. The reason for this is simply their lack of steady supply lines. To compensate this disadvantage, all fighting members of the Wild Kin are highly adapt at maintaining their weaponry as well as being trained on a multitude of weapons rather than a single one. The last point, combined with the integration of non-Eldar weapons into their arsenal provides them with a high tactic flexibility when it comes to facing different situations, though it cannot entirely make up for the lack of heavy support.
In return, the Wild Kin features a high number of light to medium vehicles in their battlegroups, like Hornets replacing the Falcon as the main battle tank, Firestorm anti-grav tanks, Venoms, Vypers and of course regular jetbikes combined with the Wild Kin's large aircraft forces including Nightwings, Vampire Raiders and Void Phoenix Dragons.
Valuing speed and ferocity over all other combat virtues, it is the signature move of the Wild Kin that Boryael and her Wind Dancers descend on top of their howling jet bikes and hover tanks into the heart of battle. Attacking core positions, command troops or key supply lines, they use quick shock attacks to overwhelm the enemy in a storm of shuriken projectiles, followed by engaging in melee combat.
During these crucial moments, other parts of the Kin lay down suppressive fire. Effectively grinding up opposing troops between a wild, battle-thirsting melee unit and precise, lethal cover fire, a tactic that has proven very effective in combination with the aerial units of the Kin.
When in combat against forces that aren't as vulnerable to the effects of shock and terror, such as demons or Astartes, Boryael usually refrains from a direct assault. Instead, a campaign of preemptive strikes are launched to stop the enemy in their momentum and prevent them from reaching key positions. Should the Kin be pushed into a defensive position, they'll most often exfiltrate, regroup and then relaunch an attack at another time and location.
- "Money, guns, ammo, ships, men, women, power packs, cables, screws, food...they'll really take anything instead of money. Emphasis on 'take' instead of 'accept'."
- — Report from the Imperial Navy patrol ship *Watchful Avenger*
The Wild Kin usually prefers parts of their payments being made in supplies such as food, medicine, ammunition or resources necessary for the repair of their spaceships or other gear. This is a safety measure as not all words are willing to trade or do business with them. In rare cases, Boryael will demand specific personnel to be put into her service, either to replace losses, stock up the crew of a ship or simply because she wants to have a specific person under her control.
Allies & Relations
- Mazathan's Last: The remains of an Imperial expedition force under the command of Seargant Hector Baez. Conscripted as a penal legion to punish their homeworld's cooperation with the Tau, the vast majority of the regiment was lost while exploring the rediscovered Mazathan sector. As Boryael was the first to interact with them in years, parts of the fighting forces decided to join her forces as they saw their loyalty to the Empire void. Specialized in combat engineering, they provide a bit of defense expertise to the otherwise offense oriented Wild Kin.
Tough highly adaptable to any kind of combat situation, Boryael has developed a few basic strategies to deal with different kind of situations and enemies over the centuries. The distinction between them is fluent and several my be applied in a single campaign and to the same enemy.
- "Defense? As in, staying in one position, having bullets, shells and grenades rain down on me before a blood-mad attack force breaches the walls ready to murder me in exchange for months of siege? I will never understand why the Mon Keigh practice this kind of warfare."
- —Pathfinder Shiso Nader in exchange with a captured imperial officer
During the first encounters with the Chaos Legions, Boryael saw the need to deal with their superiority in armor and firepower. In response, she developed simple yet effective tactic to focus the effort of her forces on taking out leading members of the enemy. Relying on ambushes and assassinations, it soon proved effective to take out specialists, support troops and officers rather than facing the enemy force head on.
With some refinement, The Wild Kin has been able to extend this kind of tactics on other enemies with a similar focus as the Traitor Legions, such as their loyal brothers or the Tau who similarly rely on high armor troops.
Depending on the situation, these attacks usually involve Boryael herself leading either the attack herself or a distracting force, allowing Snipers or infiltrating melee commands to strike where the enemy's guard is the lowest.
- "We are paid to fight, not paid to die. The Imperial Guard may hold a position to their last breath, eventually blocking their attackers with their corpses, but we are not the Imperial Guard. So, since you pay us to fight and not to die, we retreated, it is indeed just that simple."
- —Boryael explaining her retreat from battle to an employer
Like any other Eldar force, the corsairs usually face an overwhelming difference in numbers when engaging their enemies. As much as their leader prefers assaults and spearhead attacks, Boryael is well aware that running against the organized lines of imperial Lasfire is a certain way into an early grave.
Tough not innovative, Guerilla tactics work extremely well with her soliders' focus on speed and agility. Hit and run tactics, ambushes, traps, all of that was quickly adapted into the Wild Kin's repertoire of performable warfare. The idea is utterly simple: Avoid direct confrontation and use stealth to strike at night at support lines, communication units and ammunition depots. Bit by bit, ever so slowly, the enemy will eventFleetually bleed out or at least be significantly weakened to other forces.
- "Speed is the essence of this group and Boryael values it above all else. Fast thinking, fast acting, fast strikes, fast retreats, fast victories. It's astonishing how she is able to overwhelm and surprise an enemy that has been aware of her presence for weeks, even months. I suppose it's that difference between slowly wearing them down and then suddenly breaching right into their lines that leaves our enemies unable to react. Like the metaphorical rabbit before the snake."
- —Milian Sandros,explaining his new employment to an old friend.
The main difference of the Wild Kin compared to a Craftworld Eldar force is the lack of heavy support vehicles, putting them at a major disadvantage against fortified enemies. To compensate this to her best ability, Boryael came up with the idea of using her major advantage in such a situation, her speed.
The basic idea is to break up the enemy's defense in a single, all-out attack. Often, long campaigns of subterfuge, sabotage and cutting off support lines come before this, aiming to both decrease their supplies and undermine their moral. Tough seemingly random, this pre-emptive strikes aim to create a weakness in a specific spot of the enemy defense which will be the target for the final attack. Bearing high risks, this tactic can be highly effective if properly applied, though.
An exact number or list of ships is impossible to provide. Not all ships and their respective owners and inhabitants are permanently allied with the Wild Kin. Some just value the safety of a larger fleet, some seek to hide themselves and some simply have temporary business with other members of the fleet. However, there are a few outstanding because important ships.
Boryael's personal ship, the Solaris Light Cruiser features both exceptional speed and firepower while, as most Eldar ships, sacrificing protection in return. True to her character, Boryael is usually the first to lead the attack, either launching a boarding attack or distracting the enemy with erratic movements. The latter tactic is aided by the ship's colorfully painted hull, further mocking the enemy as the ship dodges torpedoes, rockets and gun shells only to return fire from it's own weapon batteries.
Milian's Pride and Glory
A Sword class frigate under the command of the former navy captain Milian Sandros. Originally heavily damaged and designated for being salvaged, captain Sandros, having served his whole life on the ship, prevented it's fate while simultaneously resigning. After getting the ship back into shape with personal fundings and a myriad of favors, he tried himself as a rogue trader, with little success. During the events in the Nithis sector, he became a part of the Wild Kin's fleet, stating to have been 'adopted' by Boryael.
- Boryael's Wind Dancers: Often led by Boryael herself, this unit consists of herself as well as the most capable and most trusted jet bikers under her command. Their engines modified to produce a distinct, howling sound when approaching the enemy. Making sure that the enemy is able to hear it long before the riders even appear in sight, the unnerving noise is known to throw even trained soldiers into panic and disarray before the Dancers crash into their lines. They act as both an escort for their commander as she descends into battle, they are also perfectly able to act as an independent unit of their own.
- They Who See: A group of Rangers under the lead of Shiso Nadar, an experienced Eldar fleeing his failed heritage and the misfortune experienced at his home. Their numbers vary, as members come and go as they please. Featuring 'conter- and aggressive reconnaissance', they act as a fusion of scouts and guerilla forces. While gathering information, they voluntarily inform the enemy of their presence at the same time, leaving killed guardsmen and destroyed supplies and equipment behind.
- The Immediate: Led by Ymani, an outcast Farseer and now Void Dreamer of Ulthwé, her Warlocks share their leaders disdain for the usual method of laying out long-lasting schemes and plans. For their demand to take immediate action to save their kin and open opposition to the Craftworlds council of Elders, they were exiled, a fate they accepted as grim proof of representing a just opposition. Not by coincidence, their exile was timed with Boryael's visit on the Craftworld. The Wind queen was more than pleased to integrate the powerful Psykers into her merry band of outcasts.