- ...whether you hide in the heavens or on earth, I will bring you down from the spinning spheres; I will toss you in the air like a lion. I will leave no one alive in your realm; I will burn your city and your lands. If you wish to spare yourself and your family, listen to my advice with the ear of intelligence. If you do not, you will see what God has willed.
- -Hulagu Khan, to the Caliph of Baghdad
- Some men just want to watch the world burn.
- -Alfred Pennyworth, The Dark Knight
- Horus was weak, Horus was a fool. He had the galaxy in the palm of his hand, and let it slip away.
- -Abaddon, who would go on to fail conquering less than a quarter of what Horus did over 12 consecutive campaigns.
The Hebrew term Abaddon (Hebrew: אֲבַדּוֹן, 'Ǎḇaddōn), and its Greek equivalent Apollyon (Greek: Ἀπολλύων, Apollyon), appears in the Bible as both a place of destruction and as the name of an angel, but this article is about Ezekyle Abaddon, known as Abaddon the Despoiler to the people of the Imperium and Abaddouche, Abaddabadoo, Failbaddon the Armless or Failbaddon the Harmless to the people of /tg/, is Horus' successor as leader of the Black Legion and Warmaster of Chaos. He is renowned as the single greatest threat to the Imperium in the galaxy. This says more about the Imperium than Abaddon as his raging incompetence is now well known; he has launched thirteen consecutive Black Crusades against the Imperium, most of which originally had the objective of taking Cadia and launch an assault on Terra. All of them (except the 13th one, and only partly) failed miserably at achieving those objectives. As is well known, the ruinous powers don't tolerate failure from their servants, unless said servants have copious amounts of plot armour, and Abby has that in spades, so GW retconned the objectives of the crusades to simply causing a fuckton of mayhem and random mutilations as exactly the thing the Chaos Gods wanted, which is why Failbaddon has been rewarded with the mark of every Chaos God instead of being turned into a mindless that-which-shall-not-be-named.
The only thing that makes him better than his Warhammer Fantasy counterpart is the fact that his model is relatively much cheaper in actual money terms. Seriously, Archaon costs about as much as
a whole FIVE fucking codices! That and his depiction in Lord Lucan's epic webnovel Story:The Shape Of The Nightmare To Come 50k and Story:Warhammer 60K: The Age of Dusk. He doesn't look even remotely as cool as Archaon otherwise. But then Archaon is probably the coolest looking Chaos character ever, and Abaddon has a silly topknot that mostly serves to deflate whatever intimidation his appearance may have and in more recent portrayals, Perturabo syndrome where he's got a tiny head in his big terminator armoured hood.
- 1 Overview
- 2 On the Tabletop
- 3 Assorted Trivia
- 4 Miserable Failure? Or Greatest of Trolls?
- 5 The "No Arms" meme
- 6 Appearances
- 7 The Talon of Horus
- 8 Gallery
- 9 Abaddon's 14th Black Crusade
- 10 The Despoilers plan.
- 11 See also
During the Great Crusade, Ezekyle Abaddon was the First Captain of the Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus, and Horus Lupercal's right hand man (well, at least after his more balanced comrade Hastur Sejanus was murdered by a treacherous enemy). All the Cthonian recruits to the Luna Wolves were influenced by their origins among the criminal gangs, Abaddon was more than most. In 200 years as a Luna Wolf he demonstrated a street-fighter attitude and a desire for dominance, typically favouring the most violent option (he even had a straight-up row with Horus over whether or not to attack the Interex on first contact). Like most legionaries, he had a father/son relationship with his Primarch, but Abaddon is noteworthy in that his devotion and loyalty to his primarch was so great that it puts Lorgar's previous devotion to the Emperor to shame. To the point that he'd get every bone broken down one side of his torso and refuse Horus' suggestion that he take a breather (in a battle with Orks). Turns out that his legendary daddy issues go right back to Cthonia, when he killed his biological father in a disastrous coming-of-age ritual. This, along with the subsequent exile, probably go some way towards explaining why he was so devoted to his gene-father and Legion. He also retained his heritage more than any other Mournival officer, scratching gang-marks onto his armour (which worried Sejanus a little).
When Horus was wounded on Davin, Abaddon agreed to First Chaplain Erebus's idea that they heal Horus at the Serpent Lodge. When Horus came back corrupted by Chaos, Abaddon didn't notice a thing and was corrupted along with his Primarch, gladly following him into the Horus Heresy, in fact he was the first Son of Horus to stand by this decision (well if anything, the change was more Horus moving closer to Abaddon's views than the other way round,particularly when it came to elevating the SMs above ordinary people). From there, Abaddon was at the forefront of many of the major events of the Horus Heresy, from the Isstvan massacres to the siege of Terra.
He however, wasn't with Horus during his duel with the Emperor, as he was busy keeping the rest of the Emperor's retinue under control while the two had their fight to the death. When Horus was killed by the Emperor, Abaddon
panicked, ordered the Sons of Horus to retreat, earning the hatred of the other Traitor Legions. completely lost his shit and led a frenzied counter-attack against the loyalist remnants on the Vengeful Spirit to recover Horus' body, before promptly running away (knowing that the Space Wolves, Ultrasmurfs and Dark Angels, probably with elements of the Shattered Legions, were burning promethium towards the Traitors).
After Fabius Bile made a clone of Horus, Abaddon became enraged and ordered the Sons to attack the Emperor's Children, destroying the clone and Horus's body. After this, Abaddon, suffering great hatred for his mentor after what he perceived to be Horus' failure, declared himself the new Warmaster of Chaos and renamed the Sons of Horus the Black Legion, ordering them to paint their armour black and expunge the memory of the "failure" from their name (in a vain attempt to try and remove the stain of Abaddon's flight at Terra).
Abaddon somewhat fulfills the role of your typical, Saturday-morning cartoon villain, like Dr. Robotnik from Sonic or Dr. Wily from Megaman: He comes up with some extremely diabolical plan to take over the galaxy/planet,
but ends up getting foiled by the hero EVERY fucking time, which always achieves the underlying objective Abaddon has set for with, albeit always ending in a defeat for his forces. Despite this however, the High Lords of Terra still fear Abaddon as he might unite all of the traitor legions in a single attack that would destroy all of the Imperium......but with his inability to get shit done correctly, Angron, Cypher, Ahzek Ahriman, and a half-a-dozen-or-so nameless Chaos Lords are more likely to get this done than Failbaddon. Even Bale and Carron get more done, even though the latter is too busy shouting about METAL BAWKSES and the former too busy shouting about our favourite sorcerer. (Except all of those work or worked for Abaddon at one point or another so still a win for dead Abby.)
He also has a model in the tabletop game. It eats everything in front of it in close combat faster than an obese guy would eat his McDonald's super-sized meal and is one of the most powerful challenge characters in the game, with only Jain Zar and Asurmen consistently beating him. The only reason those two can beat him is Jain Zar's disarming strike (no, this is not a joke, she does actually have that) meaning that Abaddon would be fighting without his sword or claw, and Asurmen winning because of his one-hit-kill "fuck your eternal warrior" sword.
His 7th Black Crusade was technically a "success" because he set his goal very very low this time, he basically freaked out Cadia with the threat of a massive invasion but was actually no more than a couple of skirmish runs on certain cities. Oh yeah, and once he massacred an unknown number of marines from the Blood Angels, but mostly it was to do with the fact he got an army of Khornate Berzerkers to fuck the Blood Angels over. OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE, how is getting an army of Khornates to do anything while not being Angron or Kharn not considered a success ?. Success is in quotes because even sending a whole crusade to target a single chapter is sad, especially when the chapter's still around at the end so yeah, it's still a failure by long-term accounts. The closest thing he can come to success is really just like those evil guys in cartoons who just laugh evilly and say "I have won!" while twirling their mustaches even though all they've managed to do is take over Wyoming or become the mayor of CWCVille or something.
His 5th Black Crusade was also technically a success since it managed to wipe out 2 Space Marine chapters, but only with the help of Doombreed, the second angriest daemon entity in the universe. However all he managed to do was burn a city down, which isn't really that much of a feat since there isn't a Chaos Champion who hasn't burned some kind of major populace down either. However, this is still technically the greatest victory he has even achieved, and the most competent action of his life was basically pointing Kharn in a direction and letting Kharn kill everything in his path.
He also enjoys calling Horus a weakling and a fool, which is ironic, because Horus actually came close to killing the Emprah and caused the biggest heresy in Imperial history, whereas Abaddon has barely managed to take Cadia,
which is step one to getting any fleet of value out of the Eye of Terror, which is kinda of a big deal with the Pylons and all. All the more hilarious considering a single Waaagh! lead by Warboss Tuska Daemon-killa managed to force the Cadian blockade to get inside the Eye of Terror in order to stomp some Daemon Worlds.
OI! YA DUN DOUBTIN UZ OF DA POWAH OF DA ORKZ WAAAGH NA AIN' YE ?! WAAAGH!!!
I's means. Even more dead 'ard factz proovin' dat da orkz iz da best, an' even da runtiest o' boyz can krump anyfing lotz more betta den any o' dem spikey boyz can! WAAAGH!!!
On the TabletopTarpitted, but even this isn't guaranteed - his balls-out toughness and sheer volume of attacks if you roll well means he will mulch through formations in a turn or two at the most by himself. If Abaddon gets near something, that something is going to wind up raped in a matter of seconds. So, copy his statline into your homebrew Chaos Lord.
The actual rules for him often get changed between editions, typically regarding exactly what Drachn'yen actually does in combat. During 2nd edition, it was basically a titan close combat weapon, auto-wounding with instant death, no armor saves, and auto-penetrating vehicles regardless of their armor. He also had terminator armor in the days when it made a save on 2D6, with
3+ save 2+ save thanks to Khorne's blessing (the rules back then had weapons that could modify an armor save, so that wasn't as completely broken as it sounds), or he could use the Talon of Horus, which was still a strong weapon. 3rd edition watered him down heavily, he'd attack with the Talon of Horus and make an attack with Drachn'yen, which aside from that it couldn't be re-rolled worked the same way it used to. In 4th edition, it functioned like other Daemon Weapons, rolling a D6 and adding the number to his attacks, but no attacks if he rolled a 1 (assuming he charged, this could mean 11 attacks) and he took a wound with no armor save (still got his invul save though), and the sword made his attacks S8 with him able to re-roll any failed wounds due to the Talon of Horus. He was briefly nerfed by the 6th edition changes to power weapons that made his stuff AP3, but FAQ made them AP2. If a Chaos army didn't field a Daemon Prince, then it usually fielded Abaddon or Kharn. 6th edition codex, with Phil Kelly trying to actually get CSM players to include some variety in their units, changed the rules so Drachn'yen now only have him plus 1S, and for heavier targets (still gives D6 attacks, though its not quite the terror the Fluff makes it out to be), he uses the Talon of Horus, which is now a S8 lightening claw.
However, see Horus Vs Abaddon
As a note of mockery (and a testament to GW's abhorrent and perpetual lack of imagination when it comes to naming things), his full name is Ezekyle Abaddon... Get it? You see what GW did there? His first name is an Armenian contraction of Ezekiel, as in the Hebrew Prophet Ezekiel, and his last name is Abaddon, which was the ancient Canaanite word used for ruin, perdition and destruction (none of which seem to actually occur when Failbaddon and his Try-hard Marines are involved, but we digress). Ha. Ha. Funny... This can of course be mollified, and indeed made awesome, by assuming that Kharn, Huron Blackheart, Ahriman, and all the other competent chaos lords call him "Zeke", "Abby", or some variant thereof to his face.
Who's next, then?
There's an ongoing betting pool on which Chaos Lord or Sorcerer is finally going to have enough of Abaddon's shit and Sindri Abaddon so someone more-competent can take command. Given Abaddon's progress and number of failures, it's entirely possible he'll be turned into a Chaos Spawn and.. WAIT OH GO--GRABLAAWRASDAFGSFDH
Ahem, as the previous writer was saying... and save every single stripe of Chaos the trouble of putting a few dozen Daemon weapon strikes into the douche. Most bets are on Eliphas the Inheritor, a revived Araghast the Pillager, just about any Tzeentchian Lord, Dranon of the Word Bearers, or Huron Blackheart of the Red Corsairs.
Also, it is tacitly known that Doombreed > Abaddon. Mostly because he actually succeeded during a Black Crusade and wiped out 2 chapters completely, unlike Abaddon who couldn't even do one. Fitting, considering that Doombreed, being the most ancient Daemon Prince of Khorne, is stronger than all the Daemon Primarchs combined,
and perhaps stronger than the Empra himself!! This would be true if the Emprah didn't banish Doombreed by simply telling him to fuck off and go back to the warp. <-- Word.
Further, he is, in fact, probably pretty much the oldest non-daemon and non-xenos left in the galaxy- he was First Captain at the same time that Bjorn was a regular marine. This is true for just about all of the Chaos Characters. But as he was First Captain of the legion the first of the Primarchs to be found, it can be safety assumed that he is older than the lot of them (though nowhere near as old as folks like Kor Phaeron or Luther, who couldn't even be astartes and needed extensive gene-implants), depending upon when he was found.
Miserable Failure? Or Greatest of Trolls?
Abaddon's Black Crusades generally fail due to the same reason - and it is always the same reason. When a Black Crusade gets going, Abaddon's forces bribe/coerce/intimidate other Chaos forces to accompany them, in a similar manner to an Ork WAAAAGH!! absorbing other Ork tribes as it gets going and building momentum. Many of the forces Abaddon winds up forcibly conscripting in this manner serve one purpose, and one purpose only - an expendable force of morons whilst Abaddon goes on to accomplish whatever the fuck his objective is, which may not be the same as what everyone else thinks it might be. Once he's gotten what he's gone out for, he effectively SINDRIIIIIIIs his erstwhile allies and leaves them to rot whilst his forces make off with cargo holds full of slaves, loot, and whatever the fuck else Abaddon was headed out for. This is, again, similar to how Orks operate - as a WAAAAGH!! loses steam, little bits will break off from the main force to do its own shit. Abaddon uses these force castoffs in pretty much the exact same way, using them to keep his enemies busy whilst his forces float back to the Eye of Terror so they can prepare for another attack.
Whilst Huron Blackheart of the Red Corsairs uses similar tactics, there's a difference - Huron doesn't abandon his followers to die for no particular reason but the lulz, an advantage which has allowed Huron to garner something precious from his troops: loyalty. It is this reason (amongst others) that many believe that Abaddon's days are numbered if Huron ever gives enough of a shit to go give Abaddon a stern talking to. That and he's stuck in the Maelstrom similarly as Abaddon is stuck in the Eye.
Whilst it can be argued that Abaddon's failures are just that - failures - especially when directly measured against the victories of the Thousand Sons during the Obscurus Purging or the World Eaters' exploits during the Dominion of Fire - a more adequate description is that he got what he wants and then leaves. In this regard, he kind of serves all the chaos powers at once - his dicking over his allies appeases Tzeentch, the death toll these little raids of his cause appease Khorne, the sheer volume of slaves and plunder they take please Slaanesh, and the destruction left in the wake of their crusades (which often end with virus bombings to cover their tracks) pleases the Plaguefather greatly.
Though even the staunchest of Abaddon's defenders will point out he's overpriced and that the arms on his model break fucking constantly. And that he generally sucks at extreme long-term planning. Tzeentch must enjoy fucking him over.
Failure no more?latest edition of the 40K rule book describes Abaddon's Black Crusades as "repeated blows to gradually weaken the Imperium as part of a greater plan" and "Definitely not 13 separate failed attempts to march on Terra, you would be mad to think that".
Thus far their attempts to fix Abaddon's reputation have been met with about as much success as their attempts to fix his arms (See below).
To elaborate: Abaddon's new plan is something called The Crimson Path. The idea is to zerg Cadia with enough daemons to destroy the Pylon network, and envelop the planet in the Warp. After Cadia, he intends to use the strategy to burn/slaughter/impress his girlfriend the whole way to Terra, by bringing the Warp to it. At the same time deploying minor warbands ahead to disorganize and plunder, kill, maim, burn, and do
bad totally sweet stuff to stir up the Warp. He is preparing for the next stage of the plan, when Cadia finally falls gets potted like an eight-ball, in the wrong damn pocket. Game Over.
It wouldn't be so bad. Ya'know, a planet lost in the Warp is not so uncommon these days. The bad thing is that Cadia has the ONLY warp-restraining system in thousands of light years(the aforementioned Pylon system). Why is this bad? This is when the vanguard of Chaos lackeys mentioned previously enters stage right. With the Warp getting
high turned into a nightmare shitstorm worse than any previous time in the last ten millennia, the Eye of Terror itself will expand at the hilariously snuff-y pain of the already plundered ravaged and raped planets. The CSM apparently NOW CAN resist warpstorms to a degree; thus making a scar where daemons will be a common sight, warp travel now more dangerous than ever. Abbadon and his brohams could advance without opposition, the "Crimson Path". Ah, and he plans to take the path directly to Terra, hoping that the Imperium, Eldar, Tau&Allies, Orks, Rak'gol, Perpetuals, Dark Eldar, Necrons and rival Chaos Space Marines *Cough* Alpha Legion *Cough* don't get their shit together. Not to mention the gods themselves, who are pretty OK with a status-quo, as a current rotten decadent backstabbing warmongering Imperium fuels them with all the bad emotions they need.
Note, that not all these groups are even required to work together to stop Abaddon. Sub-Sector Aurelia was saved from Abaddon's competing pawns Eliphas and Kyras, by the loyalist remainder of the Blood Ravens, assorted local PDF forces and an Imperial Guard Regiment from Cadia in all irony, an Eldar Warhost and an Ork Freeboota ship crew hired by an Inquisitor in return for in the former's case access to Eldar ruins in the system, and in the latter case dakka 'n parts for their ship (and the inquisitor's hat). During all this, the Tyranids are running around, and the Necrons nor the Grey Knights nor the Adepta Sororitas even appear to take on the second of the only two known Khornate Sorcerers, Azariah Kyras having also become the second of such to be a Demon Prince, larger and more powerful than any other ever seen (he can blow up a division of tanks with but a blast of his wrist-imbedded laser cannon/conversion beamer/CHAOS HYPERBEAM OF DEATH). The Tau were similarly still derping around completely unaware of all of this.
Although this pretty much defeats the entire purpose of controlling the Cadian Gate, that being the only stable means of passage in and out of the Eye of Terror, Games Workshop has again done the literary equivalent of shitting on proper strategy and tactics. Ehh, while it does require a war of attrition that the Imperium is good at any planets conquered cannot be retaken. Rather than just conquering the planet and then swarming out once he has consolidated his forces, they have Abaddon use a ridiculously costly, painfully slow method of advance that gets kneecapped if any planet holds him off, like what Cadia has done for the past 10 millennia. And it would certainly go belly up if he runs out of chaos space marines, but then, between the fickle ways of the Warp, the Alpha Legion, and Fabius Bile, we have absolutely no clue how many Chaos Space Marines there are, let alone their recruitment rate, not to mention the fact the Ruinous Powers can and seemingly do resurrect whatever notable peons Abaddon demands, like Lord Eliphas, who has actually died several times. It would work out on paper, especially now that the Emprah is too busy dying to really take care of as many of his worshipers as he was once able to; but if he takes Cadia this way, good job, now you just have to find another orifice to crawl out of. This is assuming, of course, that he's not just shooting parts of the Eye of Terror at the fucking planets, and thus not depending on being able to get in and out of the Eye at will.
This is like trying to finish one Crusade by launching fifteen more each time you take a step forward. But somehow, it's actually working - the Techpriests have already noticed cracks forming in the pylon systems that are growing worryingly large. Advantage goes with nonsense strategies to the one who aligns with the Powers of Batshit Lunacy. As is only right and proper. If Ork tech works because they want it to, there is no reason that this couldn't (Don't say it's because Orks are the comic relief; we all know Abaddon became that a long time ago).
By the time he gets to the third planet the Tyranids will have eaten everything and Abaddon will find Terra stripped to the slag heaps either by them or the Orks, prompting him to scream in frustration until he gets stabbed by a hundred lictors and or meganobs. Hence the vanguard assault in multiple directions, to avoid being held in place completely in one strategically bottle-necked position while the Imperium regroups using all available resources around the Gate. (Resources they have built up for this scenario for thousands of years. The Munitorum is good for something.) Hence, the centuries-long plans of supporting local Chaos warbands out in the Ultima Segmentum like the Alpha Legion (at least, that's what Abaddon and everyone else but the Alpha Legion thinks he's doing) on endeavours of unleashing Warp Storms and ancient greater daemons of Chaos that the Eldar locked up, specifically, the Maledictum, which is the Greater Demon of Khorne that becomes a Daemon Prince with both the Alpha Legion Sorcerer Sindri and centuries later the Blood Ravens Chief Librarian and then Chapter Master Azariah Kyras. Thus, there is actually some genius to Abaddon's plan, but the problem is the Imperium is such a massive bureaucratic state that it will slow him down as much as it slows down the ideas of brilliant Loyalist idealistic reformers. If he doesn't take on every planet on the way, every goddamn Space Marine Chapter, Adepta Sororitas Order, Titan Legion with a ship, the entire Ordo Malleus, the trillions of Imperial Guard and Ordo Tempestus, most of the Imperial Navy Fleets, all the Navigator Houses, every Ark Mechanicus Fleet, every Knight House and Freeblade worth their power lances and a fair amount of Rogue Trader and mercantile/civilian volunteers would be able to stuff the entire Solar System from safe Sun proximity to Oorf Cloud with dakka, and Abaddon would have to fight most of the military force of the Imperium at once instead of one by one.
However, he actually did conquer Cadia as per the results of the Eye Of Terror Campaign but then the Imperial players threw a bitchfit saying it was a corporate conspiracy or that chaos somehow cheated. Then GW's executives threw a timeline roadblock because apparently the writers aren't allowed to go past year 40999 (although it's far more likely that they were just afraid of losing their customers). So Chaos controls the core of Segmentum Obscurus and maybe Pacificus (Night of 1000 rebellions) but its never clear what the the whole situation is because GW won't advance the storyline.* So, I guess that means the Imperium wins by default.
Then again seeing how the Ciaphas Cain books are written about a hundred years after the 13th and everything seems fine it would look more like Abaddon failed again.
To add to the above, only the 13th of Abaddon's crusades has directly targeted Cadia, according to the 6th Edition Chaos Space Marine codex's Black Legion supplement. His first ever Black Crusade was to recover his fancy sword and cement his position as Warmaster. His fourth Black Crusade was directed against the Citadel of the Kromach on the planet El'Phanor, which was a success (and the gates of the Citadel were even broken by Abaddon himself). His sixth ended in the betrayal and elimination of the Sons of the Eye, another warband derived from the Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus that he viewed as a threat to his claim to be Horus' successor. His ninth was directed against Cancephalus, an Imperial naval base of strategic importance (which he not only destroyed, but bombed it with Cyclonic Torpedoes for good measure). The tenth was a strategic success, as he was able to assault Medusa with the help of Perturabo and the Iron Warriors; even though the Iron Hands were able to survive their siege, Abaddon and Perturabo learned a lot about Medusa's defenses and left the Iron Hands at a fraction of their original strength. His twelfth might also be considered a victory, considering he managed to acquire two Blackstone Fortresses (though it's arguable if this was his objective all along, a win is a win, pick up the chips and leave the table). Only his thirteenth Black Crusade is him directly invading Cadia, contrary to popular opinion. While he has sent forces there before then, they were primarily intended to distract the Imperium while he could accomplish his real goals.
TL;DR Skub aside version. The current discernible status of the 13th Black Crusade is that the forces of Chaos have accomplished their greatest feat yet by conquering most of Cadia and conquering swathes of Segmentum Obscuras but has yet been able to meaningfully breakout of the initial warzones. The Night of 1000 Rebellions in Pacificus while major is hard to assess because they are almost certainly the work of Alpha Legion, who though nominally heretics have on numerous occasions enacted plots that ran counter to the goals of Chaos. Whether this kind of double crossing was for LOLs, a genuine attempt to sabotage the forces of Chaos from within or shit-if-anybody-knows is up for debate.
What Really Made Failbaddon?
Abaddon is clearly conceptualized as one bad motherfucker. He leads the Black Legion, which remains the largest and most coherent Legions of Chaos(apart from the Word bearers whom are space Isis and fight holding hands),he is the one that makes Imperial Commanders quake in their boots, he beats Draigo in one-on-one about 70% of the time, and his minions regularly sack Imperial worlds. So what happened?
Games Workshop and its inability to write worth shit happened.
Despite the fact that they wanted to make a dude who was the magnetic and indomitable personality that managed to get Chaos to get its shit together 13 times, and the fact he rewrote the book on evil after Horus went down, and the fact that he is the #1 threat to the Imperium at large, he's little more than a joke to the fanbase except for when he's in close combat (and even then, depending if the players modeled him with arms or not).
Instead of depicting him as a scheming and successful general, they instead chose to depict him as making thirteen separate attempts to march on Terra, each and every one stalling out in the same place, no matter how much stupidly powerful force he had managed to cajole behind him, this was quite evident in the Liber Chaotica, an old book most of you youngster haven't even heard about.
As a result of his 12 failed crusades, his reputation is a victim of the company that's trying to prop him up as a major threat. To save face for their number one "threat", GW has made him moderately more useful on the tabletop since he buffs his army and is slightly stronger, and since 6th ed. was released he's now immune to power swords as well as thrown a bone in the form of a cynical attempt to salvage his reputation.
And in one story, Abaddon's incompetence was made canon. He built a massive space fortress named the Planet Killer, stuffed full of lance batteries and Armageddon cannons and Chaos Marines. Then he told all his escort craft to fuck off, and was promptly sniped to death by Imperial Lunar Cruisers with long-range torpedoes. He learned nothing from this and rebuilt it for the 13th Black Crusade.
Is there hope?
Still, there is hope that GW will make him look like a legit threat, with 6th ed. and ADB writing up a series about the Black Legion pretty soon, Abaddon might find some respect from each and every fa/tg/uy.
The Black Legion supplement does give him some of his cred back and explained what he actually did during the other 12 Black Crusades (which were actually fairly successful, albeit not incredibly so), and out-trolling a Daemon Prince of Tzeentch by taking advantage of the fact that time flowed backwards on the planet it was stuck on to deliver a message to his past self has got to be worth something. (He bet all his artifacts that he couldn't guess its true name; when he lost, the daemon prince told him its name as per the bet he made, and Abaddon was able to go back in time and inform his past self of the Daemon Prince's name before being erased by the ensuing paradox so he'd get the answer right and bind it to his will.)
A simpler way of looking at it is that Abaddon is a strong leader, albeit one with flaws and starting from a trickier point than Horus. In the Heresy, he was in charge of speartips (an elite assault force typically made of Terminators), and while he certainly advised Horus on larger scale wars, he typically left logistics to other members of the Mournival, and largely to Horus himself. Thus, while he is the best warrior of the Chaos Space Marines, and perhaps the most charismatic (we're given fluff about other Chaos Lords just going to see what he's like and end up spontaneously signing up to the Black Legion), he is not suited to the intricacies of planning a large scale crusade (though really only Horus and the Emperor have had any real success with that- the post-Heresy Imperium had the Macharian Crusade, which ended in anarchy. Also we do have Abaddon leading multi-Legion forces during the Heresy while Horus dealt with logistics for the broader push to Terra, so he clearly has strategic nous). Horus himself failed to take over the Imperium, and he was said to be the greatest of the Primarchs; certainly the best warlord among them. He commanded the respect and unity of the Traitor Legions, whereas Abaddon must prove his authority by force of arms again and again. This is also backed by his own rules, he's a close combat monster but barely buffs his army (only his warlord trait really). At the same time, while the Imperium struggled to get their heads around the concept of Legions rebelling, allowing Horus to spring all sorts of nasty surprises on them, plus all the Chaotic tricks up his sleeve, in 40K they know Abaddon's overall goals and have taken a shit-ton of precautions against it.
And let's not forget that forces under Abaddon's command aren't the disciplined legions of old - with the exception of the Black Legion, his armies are full of batshit insane lunatics who would happily poison, murder, eat and rape each other (In no particular order) at a slightest provocation, and as so detailed strategic planning for these madmen have as much sense as a planning for an Ork WAAAGH! Think about it; do you have any idea how hard it would be to command several hundred thousand Marines -not to mention several million or even billion renegades and cultists- with their own agendas, dogmas, beliefs, and levels of discipline to work together in unison? Everyone in your army, especially those of rival gods, are gunning after each other's heads and probably even your own. Also, everyone seems to forget that with such a large army there is a practical bureaucracy to things, where superiors have a whole slew of underlings and those underlings might even have their own mobs of cackling maniacs to look after, and in the heat of battle shit gets hairy when a leader gets whacked. And there are the Chaos Gods themselves; dicking over their rival's and their own forces at random times and giving their followers random "blessings", which may or may not be just mutating horribly, the sudden urge to go nuts and collect skulls, become a walking corpse, grow a dick and tits, or becoming a Chaos Spa... a Thing.
It also seems that Abby is the only person in entire galaxy who figured how to properly use prophecies and future telling powers in a military campaign planning. When you average Thousand Son sorcerer or an Eldar Farseer search through the waves of possible timelines, he usually seeks the answer to the question "How would I win?", while Abaddon orders his own diviners to ask "How would I lose?" and then use the intel they get to, well, avoid losing. So far it seems to be paying off, seen as none of his Black Crusades inflicted any lasting damage on the Black Legion or the forces of Chaos as whole, while the Black Crusades run by other guys like Doombreed inflicted way more damage to the Imperium, but ended up taking as much or even more beating in return.
ADB has also noted that Abaddon is not truly loyal to anyone other than himself, not even the Chaos Gods; if he ever does get to Terra and conquer the Imperium, he's likely to cut all ties with the Ruinous Powers and declare himself the new Emperor of Mankind. Naturally, the Chaos Gods don't want this to happen, so they make sure he's just successful enough to accomplish most of his goals while ensuring that he's still reliant on Chaos to do so. After all, the last thing they want is their favourite champion deciding that he doesn't need to serve Chaos to get what he wants any longer. Given how Abaddon hates that Horus was willing to pay any price to get himself onto the Throne, it's highly likely that this is his plan. It says something that he's avoided daemonhood or any powers that would tie him to any or all of the Chaos Gods. And that's the difference between him, Ahriman, Kharn and the others. Either they'd swear allegiance to one God for greater power, or they already did and therefore have different priorities.
Plus, ADB's also pointed out that Abaddon's got to work a lot harder to get and keep his allies on side. Most of the Daemon Primarchs are "above" mortal matters these days (read: bone-idle fucks), and their Legions hate each other so much that it gets in the way of fighting the Imperium. The World Eaters hate the Emperor's Children's fancy clothes, the EC hate the Slaanesh-worshiping contingent in the Black Legion, and so on. Added to that he lacks Horus' element of surprise- the Imperium can deal with the idea of daemons and Traitor Mahreens now.
Retcon'd once and for all
As of November 2013, GW has made one last ditch effort, one final If This Doesn't Do It Then Nothing Will throwdown to vanquish the lingering stigma of "Failbaddon" once and for all. Codex: Black Legion officially retcons/clarifies ten of the thirteen Black Crusades so that NONE of them, save number 13, were aimed at or went Cadia. They spiraled out in every direction, fucking up just about everything they could reach. Numbers 7 and 11 actually cut a pretty vicious path through Segmentum Ultima. Check it out for yourself (it's an updated version of an old map, with some neat fluff throughout the rest of the book).
Abbadon also shows up in the fluff for a new event called the "Pandorax Campaign". It's an Apocalypse event like the Rematch at Damnos was, but Abby seems to be doing pretty well. (Even if Huron Blackheart does show up at the last minute to steal his thunder...)
Speaking of which, he appears to have developed quite the rivalry with the Red Corsair lord, if this passage is any indication:
"There are a thousand men under my command who would lead my fleet before you entered into my consideration, Blackheart. Until you take to your knee before me, you will not so much as set foot on one of my ships, let alone command one. Are you prepared to do that, pirate? Here and now. Bend your knee and bow before me to pledge your allegiance and that of your band of renegades to the Black Legion? Willingly, and without query or reward, make a gift to me of your spacecraft and engines of war? (...) Of course not, for you are nothing more than an aspiring usurper. One eye constantly on my mantle of Warmaster, the other on your back lest you find a blade sticking in it. For the time being, you are useful, Blackheart. The instant that situation changes, our arrangement will be at an end and you will be considered an enemy once more." Spoiler: Huron then takes over what's left the the Black Legion fleet (as he saved their ass) and only reason why Abaddon even got his objections was thanks to Huron. If anything he's worse than a failure, he's a failure who thinks he's being smart.
Of course this may all backfire and resulting in a "trying too hard" viewpoint, and cries of "Abby Sue" and whatnot. (It did backfire)
Which means GW tried to avoid a fuck up and still fucked up. Good job you stupid
Cashgrabbers. I hope your company dies in your hands! *Blam* HERESY!
And of course there is the little question of "wait, wasn't Cadia targeted because it was the only reliable way out of the eye of terror? What gives?" So the retcon has gone and introduced a rather gaping plot hole as making everything but Cadia the target for the prior twelve crusades has called into question why Cadia is even special at all. The answer is Abaddon made Cadia to appear as a primary goal of each Black Crusade, so the Imperium would think of it as "special" and fill it with bajilons of soldier he's gonna need as a sacrifice to fule his Blood Path plan. Also while waiting for his final crusade maintaining stupidly expensive Cadian gate fortress-world network would bleed the Imperium off the much needed resources that could be used to defend against shit like Tyranids or Waaagh Ghazkull so the later can weaken the Imperium even more.
All that aside, given that the newest campaign supplement is named "Fall of Cadia"...well,
it doesn't look like he'll fail to take it this time HE DOES.
The "No Arms" meme
While the exact origin of why /tg/ continues to depict Abaddon without his arms is unclear, these are some rumors; It all started when some drawfag made a picture of Abaddon painting, being the failure that he is he depicted him without arms and so now he fails in the ability to paint. Another is how someone posted a metal figure of Abaddon in some forum without his arms, complaining that his arms fall off/break very easily. Thus, the joke eventually caught on.
For all we know, a certain metal kleptomaniac nicked them from him when he was sleeping, having drawn a funny moustache on his face and left him a polite yet condescendingly trollish note and a bomb. Knowing him, Trazyn has put it in his gallery with Sebastian Thor's head and other shit in his "Body Parts of the Big and Fighty" gallery. Next up, Ferrus Manus's hands. Another explanation points to a certain dick, who actually fought Abaddon and defeated him (in a White Dwarf issue where Abaddon was trying to wipe out the Ulthwe Seer Council but was driven off, actually defeated/killed alongside his retinue by Eldrad and his council, but 'teleported to safety'), cutting off both of his arms in the process, which further points to Abaddon's incompetency and lack of arms.
But actually, it's mostly due to the fact that his model's arms are fragile and thus tend to BREAK ALL THE TIME, FUCK.
Recently, the Abaddon model has been remodeled in Finecast, affixing his pauldrons to his torso and socketting the arms into them. In other words, GW may have actually solved Abaddon's arm problem. At least, that was the theory. In practice the arms still fall off like no tomorrow until the glue dries, especially his Sword arm. So all this did was to make sure Abaddon didn't have to sacrifice his pauldrons, even though he doesn't have arms. The good news is that Finecast resin is soft enough for a pin vice and some wire to fix the problem entirely, but there's no pleasing some people.
And with his arm problem
solved perpetuated, Abaddon can go back to (trying to) destroy the Imperium.
Abaddon makes a brief cameo during any of the endings, who's about to torture Eliphas for his failure to kill the Blood Ravens (Dark Crusade's after action reports for Chaos mentioned Abaddon having some unexplained beef with them that the Imperium can't make sense out of). For a second, it would appear that he ACTUALLY had arms, but it was later revealed by the camera crew that another Chaos Terminator with a lightning claw was behind Abaddon to act as his arms.
Abaddon finally gets his big break in Dawn of War II: Retribution. He appears in the Chaos Campaign and serves no purpose than to screech about killing Kyras. Again, no explanation for what he has a against the Blood Ravens. The camera is conveniently positioned and several filters are employed in his portrait to avoid showcasing his lack of arms. This would explain why all he ever does is screech. At one point after Eliphas fails to dispatch Kyras, Abaddon declares how he will make him suffer. Eliphas, no doubt unaware of his armlessness, bargains for mercy. Realizing that he can't do anything to him because he has no arms, he quickly lets Eliphas go under the guise that he wants to see him suffer.
Nurgle, Khorne, Slaanesh and Tzeentch all collectively went; 'Son, I am disappoint."
...But we all know better than that. And this is because, even with his retinue, Abaddon still could not kill off the Ulthwe Seer Council and a certain dick. Eliphas has, by this point, killed the entire Biel-Tan Seer Council with their Farseer by himself. Thus, we come to the obvious conclusion that Eliphas is probably the one who should be running the Black Legion. To be fair, /tg/ has had an ongoing betting pool on which of the Chaos Lords is going to be the first to up and try to SINDRIIIIII him, with the most common executioners listed being Ahzek Ahriman of the Thousand Sons, Erebus and/or Kor Phaeron of the Word Bearers, Eliphas the Inheritor, and Huron Blackheart. Of course, since GW considers tectonic speed to be a blisteringly fast pace for setting progression, we'll likely never know.
Rules for Abaddon were included in the Armada expansion for Battlefleet Gothic, along with his flagship, (or rather, ex-flagship. He's probably built a new one since he somehow let the last one get destroyed) the Planet Killer. Crunch-wise, he's pretty good, and the planet killer is excellent. However, there is the problem of him costing 195 points, which is overpriced. He gives his ship Ld10, one Ld test re-roll per turn for his fleet, and a bunch of special rules, including one that makes his ship more difficult to be crippled by hit-and-run attacks, like having your enemy teleporting into it when the shields are down. His ship doubles its strength in boarding actions. Also he can become angry if his side fails a leadership check, firing his own guns on the ship that failed it, which pleases Him. His ship has loads of dakka (though still not enough, obviously). It also has the Armageddon Gun, which has a special rule that lets it destroy planets as if the planet killer was an exterminator ship, only better. Also, the Armageddon Gun, designed to destroy planets, can be fired on things as small as enemy ships. It cost 505 points, so fielding both Abaddon and his prized possession costs you 700 points, which is still less than one Blackstone Fortress, which ought to give some indication as to why he wanted to get those blackstone fortresses so much in the first place. Fluff-wise, Abaddon's twelfth black crusade involved him invading the Gothic sector, capturing three out of six blackstone fortresses and firing their warp cannons at the same time in order to destroy the entire Tarantis star, killing pretty much everyone in the system. He then, in true Abaddon style, managed to get his flagship blown up (by long-range torpedoes from imperial lunar-class cruisers), and then lost the gothic war. He ran back to the eye of terror, built a new planet killer, and launched his thirteenth black crusade. The rest, as they say, is(n't) history.
The recent Video Game adds to the failure by having him get his ass kicked by a rookie Admiral and having him as a C'tan puppet.
The Talon of Horus
Also see awesome. Basically a book written by the biggest Abaddon fanboy of them all, Aaron Dembski-Bowden. Though the book is mostly about Iskandar Khayon, a former Thousand Son who's really
Ygethmor (except he wasn't, there never was a Ygethmor). It has a lot of the Big Bad 'Un in it.
And Abbadon kills Horus...
Yeah. In summary, in this book, the dude actually gets shit done.
His rule 63 version.
Everyone has hobbies... What's odd is the fact that the box has the World Eaters icon... Demonic kittens?.
Abaddon's 14th Black Crusade
(Too important; moved here.)
The Despoilers plan.
Some random short story, writen by some random anonymous, on a random day:
“Do your marines speak true captain? That the Despoiler is weak and pathetic.“ When he heard the question, captain of Sons of Malice tenth company started laughing. He turned to face the renegade that was following him. The warrior stopped, his pure black eyes, clashing with his white skin, unblinkingly looked at the renegade marine.
“Only a fool dismisses the Despoiler as a weakling. Only a fool would believe what the warmaster wants him to believe.”
“What does he want us to believe?”
“For past millennia, he crusaded twelve times, each time defeated, he returned to the eye, laughing, for the worshippers of the emperor thought that they won. Each time he fell, he looked less of a threat, each time he fell, generals and chapter masters, captains and inquisitors, started dismissing him as a smaller threat, than he is. But they are fools. Despoilers plans were never to win, if he wanted, he could have crushed segmentum pacificus, solar and tempestus during his first crusade, but he waited, why? He knew, the victory would be short lived, six primarchs were still alive, his forces weren’t fully replenished, he could have crushed any army which tried to stop him, but he couldn’t control the massive territory. So he waited, gathering allies and weapons. Each of his crusades was just a fraction of the endless armies of the undivided and the four. But he waited, each crusade weakening the might of the imperium, each crusade plunging the dagger deeper. But now the thirteenth has started, full legions are now moving, armies of such might, that the great crusade would look pathetic Where hundreds of marines roared in the name of Khorne charging emperors dogs, now millions roar in bloodthirst.
Where tens of sorcerers invoked the name of Tzeench, casting arcane powers, now thousands walk, their power darkening the skies. Where small groups of Slaaneshii slaughtered, driven to ecstasy, now battalions march, their perversion driving mortal men insane. Where only few squads of Nurgles plague sons walked, their diseases poisoning the air, now uncountable armies march, bringing endless death, as even the earth brakes under their feet. The Despoiler planned this, now it’s his time to strike. The imperium besieged from all sides, each enemy requiring more than entire might of what can be given, they can’t win this battle. The Despoiler has at least nine legions of astartes. Black legion, Word Bearers, Iron Warriors, World Eaters, Thousand Sons, Death Guard, Emperors Children, Night Lords, Alpha Legion. And his ally Blacheart has his legion of Red Corsairs. For hundreds if not thousands of years these legions grew impossibly huge. Not caring about their purity, not having a tithe, they increased to tens of millions. Endlessly increasing armies of cultists and traitor guard march with them bringing endless destruction. Deamons rip to realspace with every death, bringing even more of it, slaughtering enemies easily and endlessly.
And now is the time of the end. The Imperium would have already fallen. Even the first assault was incredibly brutal the only reasons, that the empire is still holding are the genius of a general that is leading the Cadian regiments, and Necron and Eldar support. Only with this, the Imperium endures, but even so the Despoiler advances. Nothing can and will stop him, that’s why we joined him, on this crusade. We will get our homeworld back from loyalist dogs. And then the Legion of Scelus will rise again. And so you ask if the Despoiler is a fool? The fools are those, who didn’t hunt him down millennia ago. For he is the reason the Imperium shall fall.” The captain turned around and started walking, his steps, the only sound echoing in the silent corridors.
- Abaddon at the Therapist
- Black Crusade
-  In which, Abaddon becomes a god among men. And this is only the start!
- The entire Abaddon Quest archive, read on and laugh hard.
- true story of how Abaddon lost his arms.
- Abaddon's epic battle with Eldrad
- Failbaddon is no more ;_;
- Abaddon's lines in Retribution.
- Thanquol, who is basically how Abaddon would be portrayed as a Skaven lord if the writers where the denizens of /tg/ (And thanks to Chaos winning at The End Times can be considered more competent than Failbaddon...)
|Famous members of the Traitor Legions|
| Originating from
| Abaddon - Ahzek Ahriman - Cypher - Doomrider - Erebus |
Fabius Bile - Honsou - Kharn - Kor Phaeron - Lucius - Lugft Huron
Luther - Sevatar - Shon'tu - Svane Vulfbad - Typhus - Ygethmor
| Originating from
| Araghast the Pillager - Bale - Crull - Eliphas The Inheritor |
Firaeveus Carron - Kain - Nemeroth - Neroth - Sindri Myr - Varius