Background


Rise to Power

Born a daughter to a Patriarch of the Noble House of Demarrah of the Exodite world of Khorras, Drael'kaen Kaenian quickly became proficient with a blade during the nascent civil wars which plagued her home world. Civil war was common place on Khorras, as even the slightest insult to a rival family would end in bloodshed, bondage and servitude for whichever House became too weak.

In this way, Drael'kaen Kaenian quickly learned to survive on her own wits and battle prowess, quickly earning her the honorific title of Blademistress within her own House by the age of twenty when she lead an attack which subjugated the Rival House of Nulnae.

That all changed one afternoon. Whilst Drael'kaen's family were travelling with their attendant bodyguard to garner trade talks with another House, they were ambushed by the House Orelin. Despite a hard fought battle, the ruling elite and bodyguards of House Demarrah were all butchered. Drael'kaen's life would have ended then and there were it not for a young Eldar Ranger from the Cha'Los Craftworld who saw her plight. With precision, the Ranger cut down all of Drael'kaen's attackers, one after another until only Drael'kaen was left alive in a circle of enemies slain from afar by long rifle.

When the Ranger approached Drael'kaen, she rebuffed his offers of food, protection and friendship. Learning his name, Talachi of Cha'Los, she said he would be forever welcome in her lands and she strolled off into the wilderness, alone.

The Fall of Orelin

When Drael'kaen returned to her own lands, she roused an army from what remained of her House, knowing that only in blood of her enemies can the debt from Orelin be met. Despite fierce opposition from the House Elders, Drael'kaen Kaenian roused her army none-the-less, plotting 'accidents' for anyone who spoke out openly or held opposing views.

Drael'kaen's army quickly marched across the lands and entered Orelin territory. Finding little opposition at first as the ruling elite of House Orelin had grown complacent. By the time Orelin realised their own plight, it was already to late and the ruling family of Orelin fled to the safety of their southern territories with whatever army they could muster in time.

The two armies met on the fields of Tray'in Bay. Orelin's army was meagre shadow of that wielded by Drael'kaen and the night before the battle, Ranger Talachi approached Drael'kaen in her tent alone. He begged for mercy for the Orelinians but she refused. The following morning was a massacre for the Orelin's and the entire Noble House was wiped out in the following weeks as every Exodite who had sworn allegiance to Orelin was put to death before Drael'kaen herself.

The New Emergent Threat

By the time Drael'kaen had finished with House Orelin, little could stand in her way. she sent envoys to the other Houses, pledging the same fate for anyone who opposed her and safety and protection for anyone who willing to join her. Many of the smaller Houses quickly capitulated but many more didn't. Drael'kaen's army marched north and then east, destroying those Houses foolish enough to face her in battle.

It wasn't until the night before the battle against House Haranesh that it all changed. Emerging out of pits of darkness high in the sky, emerald green skiffs darted between the trees. Dark particle weapons discharged, destroying Drael'kaen's army in a blaze of darkness whilst warriors in clad in emerald armour dropped from transports and begun to slay or capture Drael'kaen's army wholesale.

Even as the new threat encircled Drael'kaen's ever dwindling army, she held fast, taunting the newcomers with threats and slaying anyone who dared come close, both friend and foe with her blade. When the leader of this new enemy emerged off her green skiff to land in front of Drael'kaen, the two warriors locked eyes and Drael'kaen knew her her fate would be decided in the next few heartbeats.

Drael'kaen emerged alive, and her opponent attacked. Her opponent darted aside at the last instant but by then Drael'kaen was expecting it. The battle lasted for several minutes until a shot from afar distracted Drael'kaen's opponent long enough for Drael'kaen to land a telling mortal blow. As her opponent lay bleeding to death on the ground, Drael'kaen beheaded her swiftly and raised it so all the raiders could see clearly.

One by one, the raiders bowed to Drael'kaen until all in sight had bowed. The Cult of the Emerald Talon had been re-born.

The Arena in the Sky

When the raiders returned to the Dark City, bolstered by the remnants of House Orelin, they met with open hostility in the streets of the Dark City. The other Wych Cults openly looked down on the new Mistress of the Emerald Talon.

It was only when Drael'kaen slew Archon Luran Hexen during the public displays on the Day of Iraintide that the rest of Commorragh took notice of the Cult of the Emerald Talon. Luran had become known for his strange fetishes and it had been whispered for some time that he had been trading is psykers, a commodity forbidden in the Dark City. Vect himself had offered a bounty of Luran's head which Drael'kaen collected by bringing the Archon's head before the grand master of the Dark City herself and presenting the immaculate head.

For her service, Vect himself gave the Cult an arena of their own amongst the high spires of High Commorragh. Drael'kaen wasting no time in making her mark on her new realm, instead of the polish obsidean stone arena, she had them replaced with a vast field of floating blocks, iron cages and cunningly lethal man-traps, tethered together with toughened chains and set adrift above the colossal vertical drops found amongst the spires of High Commorragh.

Within weeks of the Cult's new arena being complete, roving gangs of Hellions, Reavers and their ilk sought an audience with Drael'kaen, offering their services for the chance to partake in her grand displays of martial skill. It became a regular occurrence for Emerald Talon Wyches to engage in martial combat with speeding Reavers as they shot passed the floating blocks, often with blades no more then a heirs breadth away from their slaying their foes and Drael'kaen encouraged the rivalry between her Wyches, the Hellions and Reavers that inhabited her arena. That was until it was time to mount a real-space raid for new meat for the arena and she openly invited the Reavers and Hellions with a promise of shared bounty if they pledged their, albeit temporary, allegiance to the Cult.

The Drucii Triplets

In the fall of the twelve year since Drael'kaen came to power within the Cult, she went into seclusion for many years, only emerging during high feast days and never partaking in the blood sports that her Cult performed in her honour. As the day turned to months and months turned to years, rumours begun to circulate that Drael'kaen had grown weak and become unfit to lead the Cult.

Then, on the eve of the fourth year of seclusion, Drael'kaen emerged from her lofty boudoir with not one but three young new-born children. That night, all the dissenters were put to death in a grand display forever known within the Cult as the haraithane (trans: bloodtide).

The triplets grew and learned quickly, partly due to the mix of hyper-steriods Drael'kaen laced their food with and partly due to the work of a coven of Haemonculi Drael'kaen paid handsomely for their experience and service. Over the course of the following years, the triplets learned of the greater intrigues of the Dark City and more importantly, learned how to fight, often taking part in the arena games as regular fighters so they can pit their lithe skills against those of their wyches.

The Death of Fraellaen

Throughout their lives, the triplets vied for the succour and favour of their mother in all things, and neither Duaellaen nor Hulae could out-do their sibling, Fraellaen. A rising star amongst the Cult, Fraelaen was always at the fore-front of the Cult, right behind their mother.

The darkened hearts of the other siblings saw only one way to put an end Fraellaen's assured ascendancy to Archite within the Cult and conspired to slay him with vile poisons. Their ploy worked but rather then the rewarding the remaining siblings, Drael'kaen banished them to the streets of Lower Commorragh, to perish nameless and forgotten amongst the low-born denizens of that dark realm.

They did not perish and instead clawed their way out, fighting every step of the way against the horrors found there, and eventually finding their way back to the Drael'kaen's arena mere weeks after being banished.

Seeing her daughter and son before her, Drael'kaen held her blade as so many other Archites would have had them put to death there and then. She instead gave them a chance, to fight her for control of the Cult or die in attempt. Word spread fast of the event, and within days, the arena was thronging with activity the invigorating displays of martial skill were eclipsed by the spectacle of Drael'kaen and her siblings. The fighting continued for several minutes, neither the two siblings could land a telling blow nor could Drael'kaen land a strike, such was the skill and speed of all the combatants, all the time Reavers were sweeping in and out between the floating blocks of the arena, their keen blades hunting for any exposed weakness.

It ended when Fraellaen lost his footing, and nearly falling to his death amongst the jagged rocks many leagues below. The crowd held their breadth as Drael'kaen's blade hovered above Fraellaen's head, just as Hulae's hovered at Drael'kaen's throat. The stalemate held for several minutes until Drael'kaen withdrew her blade and instead helped Fraellaen up. Expecting the blade at her throat to strike at any moment, Drael'kaen heard the crowd roar in their expectation of the kill to come. It never came.

As the realisation hit home, the blood-lust of the crowds hit fever pitch and they begun to descending to the arena itself in their droves. The Cult, Reavers and Hellions mobilised themselves, turning their blades, spikes and weapons on the former spectators, bathing the arena of the Cult in crimson until only the warriors of the Cult remained standing with Drael'kaen, Fraellaen and Hulae at the centre of the blood-bath.

The Time of Wandering

As time went on, Drael'kaen became increasingly distant in the dealings of the Cult until eventually, she became little more then a myth amongst the Cult, a phantom whose will was strictly enforced by Hulae and Fraellaen.

Rumours begun to circulate that she had grown tired at the pinnacle of the Cult and that she had begun to travel the webway alone, looking for a new purpose.

Anyone who openly spoke of such rumours were swiftly put to death, which only fed the half-truths and fake information being traded across the Dark City.

Whatever the truth, only Fraellaen and Hulae know the mind and location of their mistress and mother.