OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
Intent: Expand on the Shadow Knights and the Qadiri.
Image Credit: Here.
Role: Shock troops, elemental air warriors.
Unit Name: Sky Shatter Cabal.
- Cylix Bolt Pistol
- Magnetic Revolver
- Renegade Blaster Pistol
- Sonic Disruptor
- Verpine Shattergun
- SSB-1 Static Pistol
- Flame Projector
- Holdout Bolter
- Force Focusing Visor
- Jet/jump packs.
- Wrist Bolter
- BCC BC-11 Comlink (purchase request here, permission here).
Description: Sky Shatter Cabal is a somewhat flowery name for a group of Force-Sensitive Qadiri warriors in the service of the Shadow Knights. Though a low tech race until the coming of the 'sky people', the Qadiri have never been primitive or backward. Warfare is a fact of life for them, and outsiders have learned to their peril that being technologically backward does not mean foolish or weak.
They are particularly adept at utilising Force-Sensitive warriors and integrating them into an overall battle plan and military structure. It helps that the Qadiri have a higher ratio of Force-Sensitives compared to say humans. Like all members of the Eldorai family of races, Qadiri Force-Sensitives tend to have an affinity for elemental abilities. In the case of the Sky Shatter Cabal, they are composed of aeromancers. Their powers allow them to manipulate the air and wind, enabling them to wreak havoc on enemy forces.
The Cabal is a sworn covenant of sword sistren and brethren. They have a history of being raiders and mercenaries. Their personal code dictates that one must provide for one's family and clan and that you hone the skills that let you defend them. This is the ideal a Cabalist is expected to live up to. In the old days, they fought on ships on the waterways of Tygara. Using air powers to either create or mitigate storms and fog, they can get close to the enemy and attack them in melee. Only skilled aeromancers are recruited into the inner circle, which constitutes the actual Cabal as it is described here. However, they recruit regulars and other Force-Users into their regular troops to give them more muscle and complement their skills.
The members of the Cabal have a justified reputation for being loose cannons. They are loyal to themselves and the members of their covenant, but other parties are secondary. Having made plenty of enemies with the establishment and being unwilling to kowtow to the new bosses, they have instead made a pact with the Shadow Knights. The Cabal see themselves as allies and contractors who have agreed to work for the Shadow Knights for a fixed amount of years. After that the renegade coalition may renegotiate their deal, or they will move on elsewhere. As a result, certain elements among the Shadow Knights view them with distrust. The Cabal receives payment in form of credits and loot.
The Cabal has a rivalry with the Celestial Dragons, a fellow cult of Qadiri aeromancers. Broadly, the Dragons focus more on employing their air abilities as elemental artillery by calling upon the 'sky dragon' to smite the enemies with storms. By contrast, the Cabal prefer to use their powers to throw the enemy into disarray or blind them so that they can get close and wet their blades with blood. The Cabalists are not as destructive as the Dragons from afar, but more flexible. Their differences go beyond their tactics though.
Both groups are devoted to Kashara, the supreme deity of the Qadiri, in her aspect as the goddess of the skies and stars. The Celestial Dragons insist that the Cabal is composed of faithless unbelievers who only pay lip service to the Great Goddess. After all, their dedication to the Goddess did not stop the Cabal from raiding merchant ships from Krolis, the residence of the Saoshyant, Kashara's high priestess. For their part, the Cabal views this as hypocritical since the Dragons are now affiliated with Firemane, which fought a war against the League of Krolis to put a compliant Saoshyant in power.
Each member of the Cabal is thoroughly trained in harnessing and controlling their elemental air abilities. They have complex initiation rites and expect their members to swear a blood oath. The leader of the Cabal is elected by the warriors. Every warrior gets a vote. However, the word of more experienced or high-ranking Cabal members obviously counts more. This system is a reflection of the Cabal's Khaimari roots. By and large, Khaimari reject hereditary monarchy, though this has not stopped some raiders from doing their best to establish dynasties. They are still rather disparaging of 'kneelers'. Detractors point out that candidates often try to sway the electors by bribing them with plunder.
On the conventional front they focus on melee and close quarter combat. In their original loadout they had (occasionally Force Imbued) blades, leather armour with primitive face masks and bunderblusses. But they have moved on with the times since then. Thus they carry Sarixi, Force Imbued melee weapons, shotguns and pistols and wear modern body armour. Contact with the Shadow Knights and other outsiders has allowed them to broaden their arsenal to include modern weapons.
The higher-ranking members of the Cabal are capable of using the Force to raise themselves into the air and achieve Force Flight for a finite period. However, this is limited to the upper ranks and thus not a universal ability in the unit. Most members can levitate themselves, but tend to use jet or jump packs. This is a lot less draining and thus more practical, after all.
Tahaza Jai Nasara is one of the prominent members of the Cabal. Rather than being born into the group, she is a war orphan who was adopted and raised by an older, established Cabalist, whose clan name was adopted by her. She has a tempestuous nature and a stormy temper that matches her elemental air abilities. Being an outsider, Tahaza had to prove herself, but the aeromancer aspires to lead the group and guide them toward great things. While young, she has made herself a name as a reaver.
For someone who has only recently been exposed to the greater Galaxy, its many wonders and horrors, she has a good grasp of how things work. Tahaza is headstrong, independent-minded and has assimilated into the culture of the Cabalists. She lives by their code, which stresses clan loyality and martial prowess, but is open-minded enough to accept outside innovations. She was one of the Cabalists who negotiated with the Shadow recruiter. She has a grudge against the Qadiri establishment, as her home was destroyed in a feud. Apart from the standard arsenal of the Cabalists, she is fond of using a bowcaster as she likes the power and accuracy the weapon has.
Unit Size: Medium
Unit Availability: Unique
Unit Experience: Elite.
Combat Function: The Sky Shatter Cabal utilises a combination of preternatural and conventional infantry tactics. Their Force abilities give them control over air and winds. They can generate powerful winds, create or mitigate storms as well as thick fogs. They are fond of summoning storms on sea and sandstorms in the desert. This can make them a powerful support unit for allied troops, enabling them to act as a force multiplier. They can absorb, harness and channel lightning. Mist and fog allow them to conceal themselves and carry out surprise attacks.
However, their preferred combat method is to use their aeromantic powers to get close to the enemy. While descending from the sky, they assault enemies with grenades, Force attacks and ranged weapons before landing and hitting them in melee. Ideally the enemy will have been thrown into disarray, allowing the Cabal to smash them in melee. Thus their tactics focus on surprise, confusion, elemental air power and rapid strikes. They are useful for ambushes, especially when they act in concert with snipers or illusionists. They are good swimmers and divers. Their inherent navigational talents make the Qadiri raiders good pilots, even under hazardous weather conditions.
As mentioned above, the upper crust can use their air abilities to fly, but most of the members of the Cabal are not capable of doing that in any meaningful way and thus use jet or jump packs instead. However, their air powers can help them stabilise and steer themselves in difficult weather conditions. In short, this keeps them from getting knocked around by their own winds, provided they have the focus. Aside from elemental air abilities, they have an affinity for Force Sight, Force Weapon and physical enhancement abilities. They can use Force Meld to enhance their coordination and boost one another.
They are equipped with potent melee and close quarter combat weapons, such as Sarixi, Force Imbued melee weapons, shotguns, light repeaters, hand grenades and so on. The Cabal lack support forces such as tanks and conventional artillery. They also forego snipers, as they rely on their elemental powers to keep enemies from being able to snipe or bombard them. However, their lack of conventional heavy firepower is still a weakness a canny enemy could be able to exploit. The Cabal relies on allied support forces to make up for these vulnerabilities.
Ideally they will hit an enemy where it hurts and then withdraw before their adversaries are able to muster a serious counterattack. If bombarded from afar, the Cabal's best tactic would be to withdraw, using thick fog to obfuscate targeting. Their air powers can obviously also be used to crash gunships, starfighters and so on trying to strafe them. However, careless use of their abilities can spoil their retreat, turning their greatest asset into a danger to them. If they are careless and do not time their actions well, they may be left stranded and without support.
To stay mobile they also forego heavy weapons such as anti-tank missile launchers or rotary cannons. They do not wear heavy armour for the same reason, as their tactics require mobility and agility. In short, they are fast and can hit hard, but lack staying power in protracted engagements. This is in keeping with their background as a raiding force. A raider does not plan on sticking around for an extended period and face hordes of enemy troops. The Cabal is not composed of irrational fanatics who will fight to the last Cabalist. If needs be, they will conduct a tactical retreat to fight another day.
- Powerful aeromancers. They can manipulate the wind, create or mitigate storms, fog and so on.
- Close quarter combat specialists.
- Conventional capabilities focus on close quarter combat. They lack snipers, armoured vehicles, heavy weapons and so on.
- Careless or poorly planned use of their abilities can put allied forces in danger. Require protection while they are casting and trying to do something big with their aeromancy.
Unlike their Eldorai cousins, the Qadiri have never been united under one ruler. Rather than having a central government, they are divided into a plethora of monarchies, oligarchies, theocracies and free cities. Time and again, a ruler who has tried to unite the Qadiri under one banner has been checked by a coalition of states. This does not only apply politically, but also religiously. While the Saoshyant is the religious head in theory, many alternate religions and heresies exist and secular rulers often meddle to put a Saoshyant amenable to their goals in power. Warfare between the Qadiri states has a fact of life.
Until recently, the Qadiri were isolated from the rest of the Galaxy. This put a check on their progress. However, despite being low tech, they were not simple primitives. The technology of war became very sophisticated over time. It was based on a complex interplay between cavalry, infantry, Force-Users and primitive artillery. They compensated for their backwardness on the technological front by making ample use of Force-users. The Qadiri's impressive skill as sailors and navigators made fleet battles on the manifold seas and oceans of Tygara common.
Wars between the Qadiri states provided ample opportunities for raiders, sellswords and corsairs to make their mark by exploiting divisions between the rulers. Some of these soldiers of fortunes experienced meteoric rises, becoming monarchs themselves. Many fell as fast as they had risen, but some founded lasting dynasties.
The Sky Shatter Cabal is one of the groups that has managed to withstand the test of time. They originated as an island based group of mercenaries who fought on ships. Their founders were Khaimari, an ethnic group of Qadiri who alternated between being peaceful farmers and fishers and cunning, brutal corsairs depending on how good the harvest was. However, over time they let Qadiri from other ethnic groups into the fold. Some of their members were escaped slaves who had proved they were tough enough and had sufficient strength in the Force or, as the Qadiri call it, Zari.
The Cabal traces its origins back to a great sea battle with the Imperial forces of the Amikarese Empire. A group of the raiders were caught and the situation was dire. But then a storm blew up and the leader of the corsairs Caspara Jai Alizada called on her power and harnessed the storm to scatter and destroy the enemy. This allowed the raiders to turn the tables on their foes.
Engaging them in melee, they were able to strike down many of their foes and escape with prizes. However, Caspara gave up her life in the process. Her comrades did not forget her sacrifice though. The Cabal declared that she had been ascended by Kashara and composed ballads that celebrated her valour. Even today the head of the council table is reserved for the noble First Captain.
The members of the Cabal worshipped Kashara Arcitrax. This is an aspect of Kashara in her role as the great goddess of the sky and stars. This did not stop them from carrying out raids against merchants from Krolis, the residence of the Saoshyant. The Cabal made their share of enemies among the establishment. For a while they were on the payroll of the Amikarese Empire before having a falling out with the Shahbânu.
Sometimes they would rally for holy crusades against the Xioquo, the avowed enemy of the Qadiri and their rival for dominance over Tygara. At other times they would raid Qadiri settlements and ships. The group recruited only skilled aeromancers into their inner circle, but recruited regular and other Force-users into their regular troops. The Cabal gained a reputation as loose cannons. They were useful to have in your corner, but difficult to control.
Outside of combat, the Cabal also earned coin by using its powers for peaceful means. For instance, they could be hired to mitigate or banish storms that threatened cities. Or conversely help out with a river storm when there was a drought. Some of these ventures put them in competition with the Celestial Dragons. There were times when their competition erupted in violence. Of the two groups, the Dragons were seen as more 'respectable'. For their part, the Cabal would claim that the Dragons simply paid more bribes to Kashari temples and monasteries, but had exactly the same business model.
Firemane's arrival on the scene led to a confrontation with the sky people. The corporation sought to impose a new order. Its campaign to impose order and implement a Clear Seas policy ran counter to the Cabal's interests. The Qadiri group perceived it as an encroachment upon their freedom and way of life. Moreover, Shahbânu Semiramis was a Firemane ally and the Cabal had antagonised her. They backed the League of Krolis during its war against the Amikarese Empire and Firemane.
Their air powers, skill as ambushers and melee combatants made them a powerful force. But in the end the League was forced to the negotiating table. Unwilling to kowtow to the new bosses, the Cabal went underground to evade internment and possible retribution from their Qadiri foes. Around this time the Shadow Knights were carrying out a covert recruitment drive on the lost elf planet, seeking to augment their numbers with Tygarans.
It went without saying that they attracted groups dissatisfied with the status quo. The Cabal made contact with a Shadow recruiter, who arranged for them to be taken off-world in return for an exclusive contract for a certain amount of years. Though new to spaceflight, the Qadiri adapted quite well to the 'sky-ocean'. Many of their members learned how to pilot small starships and transports, and the Cabal soon made themselves a name as raiders. However, their presence was not without controversy, as they were viewed as loose cannons for seeking to poke Semiramis and raid the established Qadiri.
Edited by Kaida Taldir, 06 September 2019 - 04:57 AM.