Expect huge amounts of derp and rage, punctuated by /tg/ extracting humor from it.
"...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 intentionally fail conquering, in over 13 consecutive campaigns using a fraction of his actual army through the better part of ten thousand years, less than a quarter of what Horus did in around seven years.
"I always knew he was a bad ‘un !"
- – Rouboute Guilliman, Eighth Annual Primarchs’ Celebrity Revue and Roast Gala
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 of the abyss, but this article is about Ezekyle Abaddon, also known as Abaddon the Despoiler, The Dark King, Easy-Kill, Failbaddon the Harmless, Aba-Dabba-Doo, Abbaderpadon, Disappointmaddon, Failbaddon the (H)Armless, Armless the Harmless, Ablobloddon the Blubbering, Oblomdon, You again - really? Again?, Crapaddon, That Incompetent Fuckwit, Horus' Little Failson, and various assortment of different names, to the people of /tg/, is Horus' successor as leader of the Black Legion, Warmaster of Chaos, and the most disappointing son in the history of children.
Like Khaine, the canon states him to be the single greatest threat to the Imperium in the galaxy, probably tied with such malevolent forces as the Necrons, Dark Eldar, Tyranids, Lorgar, Perturabo, Mortarion,
the Imperium itself *BLAM*, and Games Workshop. However, if you were to actually tally up his victories vs his defeats and compare that to other characters in the setting, he becomes a raging cesspit of incompetence, which is now well known; he has launched thirteen consecutive Black Crusades against the Imperium, most of which originally weren't aimed at taking Cadia and launching an assault on Terra. None of them (except the 13th one, and only partly) actually succeeded in getting what he wanted, and then he usually got chased away immediately after as if he was in a cartoon, then doing fuck all until next week's episode. As is well known, the Ruinous Powers don't tolerate failure from their servants, unless said servants have copious amounts of Plot Armor, and Abby has that in spades.
It is worth mentioning that his 4++ invulnerable save derives from an ability called "Dark Destiny". This means that he literally has plot armor. The fluff explicitly stated that the Dark Gods will not allow him to die to explain his Eternal Warrior in older editions.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Abaddon's Plan
- 3 In Abbadon's Defense
- 4 The "No Arms" meme
- 5 On the Tabletop
- 6 Appearances outside the tabletop
- 7 The Talon of Horus
- 8 Assorted Trivia
- 9 The Despoiler's Plan.
- 10 On his personality
- 11 See also
- 12 Gallery
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 more so than most. In 200 years as a Luna Wolf he demonstrated a street-fighter attitude and a desire for dominance, typically favoring 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. At one point, he'd gotten 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. In this, he was meant to kill the "oath-companions" who he had fought alongside since he was a boy. Abaddon refused the kingship he was offered, gutted his father and then went into an exile in which he killed everyone who remained in his old clan and many more besides. The Luna Wolves eventually found him after a battle which took out several whole gangs, and it was the promise of brotherhood that persuaded Abaddon to submit. He also retained his heritage more than any other Mournival officer, scratching gang-marks onto his armor (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.
In the Solar War, Abaddon led a fleet against Luna itself, killing Jubal Khan en route (though Jubal nearly killed him posthumously with a Caestus Assault Ram). He and his warriors stormed the Selenar fortresses that the XVIth Legion earned their old name conquering, and secured them for the Warmaster. Though arguably his biggest struggle was resisting the temptation to dismember Zardu Layak. It was during the early stages of the Siege of Terra that Abaddon began losing faith in Horus, seeing his increasing disinterest in the materium and chaos fugues as a sign of weakness. For all respects and purposes, he took over the role of his Legion's master as it became obvious that Horus was no longer able to form a coherent plan of attack. Taking matters into his own claws, Abaddon attempted to convince Perturabo to accept an accelerated plan of attack that would make victory come faster, albeit without Horus's direct knowledge. It involved using the entirety of the Emperor's Children legion as a distraction whilst several elite Sons of Horus company's launched an underground assault on an apparently unprotected section of Saturnine Wall. Rogal Dorn however, had been canny enough to spot the gap and set a trap for whoever came knocking. Despite taking total casualties (and his plans for a quick assault ruined by multiple parties), Abaddon and his squads managed to kill almost everyone at the ambush sites, fighting balls out and going through every stage of grief back to front before being glad that this fight would end him. Just as he was about to be killed, he was teleported away by his transport, begging to be sent back to die with his brothers. According to Zardu Layak, he had already been chosen as Horus' successor as Warmaster by the Chaos Gods at this point and they had no intention of letting him die so soon.
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 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, Ultramarines and Dark Angels, probably with elements of the Shattered Legions and every other army that remained Loyal, were hurling burning promethium towards the Traitors).
During the Slave Wars, he basically wandered the Eye of Terror feeling sorry for himself/exploring. Not until Fabius Bile made a clone of Horus did he actually start caring; whereupon he became enraged and launched an attack on the Emperor's Children, destroying the clone and Horus's body. After this, Abaddon, utterly disillusioned with his mentor with 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 armor 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)… or so the Imperial histories claim. In truth, Abaddon considered the Sons of Horus long dead and conceived the Black Legion as a wholly new army, one that would take in every Traitor willing and able to fight for his cause. Their first battle was fought to prevent Fabius from trying to repeat the past.
Most other Traitor Legions didn't take his claim very well, and so he spent his first millennium-or-so beating the shit out of other Chaos Space Marines and Chaos Primarchs until they all recognized him as a new Warmaster. Though this process wasn't completed until after the First Black Crusade, at which time he was still vying with Thagus Daravek for the right to lead the various armies of Chaos. And with a strength of all Legions behind him he started to launch his Black Crusades against the Imperium...
V 1.0 "The Twelve Failed Crusades"
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, the Iron Warriors who, while broken into warbands, are internally very well-organized,
and maaaaaybe the Alpha Legion no such legion exists, please follow this link instead...and the Death Guard, who have somehow managed to grow to at least Heresy-era numbers, but will only fight at legion strength under their Death Daddy). He is the one that makes Imperial Commanders quake in their boots. He beats Draigo in one-on-one about 70% of the time. His minions even 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 has 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 modelled him with arms or not).
Instead of depicting him as a scheming and successful general, they chose to depict him as making thirteen separate attempts to march on Terra, each and every one supposedly stalling out in the same place. However this is far from the truth if you know anything about the objectives of each Black Crusade. This was quite evident in the Liber Chaotica, an old book most of you youngsters 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.
However, the poor reputation of the Black Crusades is built on the community believing that they all have the same objective of reaching Terra and destroying the Imperium (despite this never having been the case even back in 3rd edition). The Black Crusades had clear cut goals in mind and had them all accomplished in each one (with some complications). Besides, even if the Black Crusades had this goal in mind, GW can hardly kill off the "main characters" of the setting, who have the most lore, the most units, and probably the most players.
A more adequate description is that he gets what he wants and then leaves. In this regard, he kind of serves all the chaos powers at once - his ambition and lust for power appeases Tzeentch, the death toll the Crusades leave behind 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.
V 2.0 "The CrimsonPath"
Apparently GW realized how thoroughly they fucked up their BBEG's reputation and made a massive rework/retcon of his plans and his crusades with the 6th edition CSM codex and subsequent Black Legion supplement.
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 right 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 snuffy pain of the already 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 along the "Crimson Path". Ah, and he plans to take the path directly to Terra, hoping that the Imperium, Eldar, Tau, 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.
To add to the above, now only the 13th of Abaddon's crusades has directly targeted Cadia. 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 and hilarious name (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, given that 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. What's interesting is that we probably should have seen this coming, as his title, "the Despoiler", literally means "looter". At the very least, it explains why he wants the Bloody Magpies dead so badly.
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. One possible answer is that Abaddon had Cadia appear as a primary goal of each Black Crusade, so the Imperium would think of it as a major defensive point and fill it with the bajillions of soldiers that he needs as a sacrifice to fuel his Crimson Path plan. Also while waiting for his final crusade maintaining the 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 WAAAAGH! Ghazghkull so as to weaken the Imperium even more.
It also retconned the reason Abaddon wanted to take Cadia. In the old fluff the Cadian Gate was one of the few places where a huge fleet could exit the Eye of Terror (and the only one where it could be done without top-grade sorcery or direct divine intervention) without being scattered all over the place and hunted down by Imperial cordoning fleets one by one. This piece of fluff was already quite dubious, considering Abby did take the full might of the Black Fleet for his 12th Black Crusade that took place thousands of light years from Cadia. In the new fluff the Imperium still does (somehow) think Abaddon needs Cadia to get his fleet out of the Eye, but his new "actual" plan is not so much as to conquer Cadia but to destroy it since it houses a pylon system that stops the Eye of Terror from expanding no matter how much death and suffering he causes to disturb the Warp.
V2.1 Gathering Storm: Electric Boogaloo
Starting early 2017 GW launched a new massive event about the Biggest, Blackest Crusade of all, starting with a Fall of Cadia in which (surprise) Abaddon fails to take over Cadia for the 13th time. Because he blows it up. By smashing it in two with the blown-up remains of one of his Blackstone Fortresses.
Later it was retconned that blowing up Cadia was his plan all along, but he just needed to blow up all the other pylon-housing planets around the Eye before that. Destroying them was the true goal of most of his previous crusades (along with the other stuff noted above), and most of his activities, including early half-assed assaults on Cadia served to distract the Imperium and hide his true agenda. So in other words, he was only pretending to be unsuccessful. Or so he tells himself - the retcons make it look like he still fucked around so long that it took him millenia to blow up a planet, something that happens any time an Inquisitor sneezes, whereas the previous reason for not destroying Cadia (gaining a fantastic fortress world and making it nearly impossible for the Imperium to take back so he'd have a base of operations, making it the evil counterpart to Terra) was a good enough reason for why he never tried firing one of a million ways of destroying a planet at it.
Anywho, as of the 13th Black Crusade Cadia was the last pylon-world (or the last Abaddon is aware of), and with its destruction the Eye of Terror has started to grow, allowing Chaos Fleets to leave the Eye en-masse pretty much anywhere. The end result was the creation of the Great Rift, which has been fucking up the Imperium in horrible new ways. Of course, that also is not counting that the Necrons are rapidly waking and are fully capable of constructing additional Pylons. They, unlike literally everyone else, have not lost any of their technological knowledge and capabilities and absolutely hate the Warp.
V2.2 Cicatrix Maledictum and Vigilus
Now the Great Rift does not outright destroy the Imperium like the loss of Terra and Mars would, but the difference is akin to that of drowning in shit and merely being neck-deep in it. The "Northern" parts of the Imperium aka "Imperium Nihilus" are cut off from Terra and the Astronomican, left at the mercy of Chaos with but two constantly contested corridors of stable space that loyalists can pass through; millions of worlds are lost in the depths of the Cicatrix as it spilled out; and random armies of daemons are invading realspace all over its borders. That being said it's not all (dark) sunshine and (chaos-infested) lollipops for Abby, either - the majority of his forces went all "Fuck yeah we won!" and left his crusade to pillage random undefended Imperial worlds, so Chaos forces are tugged in all directions, and with the collapse of his command structure, he cannot fully capitalize on the Imperium's weakened state.
Additionally, Roboute Guilliman came back swinging and more-or-less stabilized the Imperium Nihilus. So while Abaddon did give the Imperium a nasty wound, they still managed to hold on long enough to avoid bleeding to death. Plus now he has to contend with an actual honest-to-Emperor living loyalist Primarch directing the Imperium, so Abby's conquests are likely to devolve more and more into stalemates at this point. The War of Beasts is no exception despite things nearly looking like a victory for him until he's thwarted at the last minute. There are some highlights, he handily defeats Marneus Calgar in single combat in spite of the latter's Primaris enhancements, after getting knocked off his feet by an uppercut from the one of the others gauntlets (after getting his jaw cracked by Calgar's bare fist) and cleaving through Marneus's chest with Drach'Nyen, cleaving one of his hearts in the process and damaging the other enough to nearly kill him outright. Abaddon is prevented from finishing Calgar off as the Vengeful Spirit was on the brink of being destroyed by a scheme involving an Eldar stealth ship filled with Vortex Missiles. In his haste to retreat he accidentally wipes out a full third of his own fleet, costing him the victory he almost had, which allows the Imperials to slowly retake the planet. It seems like Abaddon has already begun work on his backup plan so even if Vigilus would not be captured he might still be able to take the Nachmund Gauntlet as reports speak of the dreaded Planet Killer reappearing.
In the latest development in Abaddon’s story to seize the gauntlet he apparently teamed up with an unaligned and unusually straightforward Chaos Daemon named Vashtorr who gave Abaddon enormous super ships called the Arks of Omen in exchange for Abaddon’s help. See Vashtorr was the guy in charge of the Forge of Souls aka the place where a daemon can become a Soul Grinder, but apparently he was no longer was happy in being just an arms dealer for the Chaos Gods and wanted to become one himself. To do this he needed a certain piece of tech left by the Old Ones called the “dissonance engine” to serve as a key to reach and open a vault in the Webway full of powerful artifacts and knowledge behind from the War in Heaven. Unable to acquire these things on his own Vashtorr decided to forge a deal where he would give the Arks to Abaddon to keep and use to seize the Nachmund Gauntlet in exchange for Abaddon helping Vashtorr gather up the artifacts, a deal which Abaddon accepted. So over the course of a 5 book campaign the pair set to work and in the end actually managed to rebuild the engine…which as it turns out was actually just another name for the destroyed Dark Angel home world of Caliban…needless to say the Dark Angels were pissed upon finding and tried to stop this plan from happening only to fail miserably even with the aid of a returned Lion El'Jonson. In the end Abaddon and Vashtorr succeeded in rebuilding Caliban into a Daemon World called Wyrmwood and then used it to open a massive portal which allowed all the chaos aligned folks to escape, and leaving everyone else to pray that SOMEONE will be able to track down and stop Abaddon and Vashtorr before the latter can find and open that damn vault.
In Abbadon's Defense
A more generous 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 one of the best warriors 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. 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 obedience 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, out-scheme, and rape each other (In no particular order) at a slightest provocation and all believe that leadership belongs to whoever can take it from the guy currently in charge, 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, let alone potentially trillions or more other mortal assets? 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 rivals 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 military campaign planning. When your average Thousand Son sorcerer or Eldar Farseer searches 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 a crushing defeat. 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. To this end Abaddon puts much effort into collecting all sorts of sorcerers, mages, prophets, seers and diviners and actually runs the largest the most potent sorcerer cabal outside the Planet of Sorcerers and uses it as his intelligence-gathering agency.
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 Abaddon won't make the same mistake and will just bide his time. 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, Erebus, and the others. Either they'd swear allegiance to one God or to Chaos Undivided for greater power, or they already did and therefore have different priorities.
What's more, Abaddon does actually respect his foes as shown in his duel with Sigismund. Sigismund managed to significantly wound Abaddon before Abaddon killed him. He kept the scar of the wound as a sign of respect to Sigismund and had his body safely returned to Terra. In the same vein, when Thalastian Jorus managed to pull a fast one on him on Mackan and severely wound him, he ordered his body and those of his Death Company to be left unspoiled, enthroned upon the remains of those Black Legionnaires they'd slaughtered.
It's also worth pointing out that it's not like the other notable Chaos and Xeno leaders are much more successful than Abaddon, if it all. Angron is famous for two major wars with the Imperium, that he lost, and made no long term gains while losing the force he brought with him (and keep in mind that, until Bobby woke up, he was the only Daemon Primarch doing anything while the rest of his treacherous brothers sat on their hands). Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka lost the first war he launched against Armageddon, and abandoned the second one after getting bored. Despite all the threat Ghazghkull was supposed to pose, he hadn't actually won a war until he got to Octarius and even that victory was swiftly undone by the Tyranids. The list goes on, but due to the nature of the setting it's hard to find any enemy of the Imperium who has actually made long term strategic gains. In this context, Abaddon only looks like a failure because he was the only antagonistic force in 40k doing anything for over 21 years, or at least the one GW was shining the spotlight on so his screw-ups looked more pronounced.
So Abaddon is actually just playing the long game. Finally, he may even be aware of the fact that the Chaos Gods want to keep him dependent on them, so he could be trying to not actually win but spill enough blood to satiate them and continue this forever, guaranteeing his own existence in the face of the Warp.
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 may have 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 theory postulates that
someone the Bri-ish left the "H" out of "harmless failure" and it stuck. Yet 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 (which they do). 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.
Abaddon was remodeled with the advent of 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 accomplished was ensure that Abaddon didn't have to go without his pauldrons, even though he doesn't have arms. This being 40k, clearly meaning he had to choose and was left with the more essential out of two different options. 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.
In 2019 Abaddon finally received a glorious new plastic mini. And with his arm problem
solved perpetuated, Abaddon can go back to (trying to) destroy the Imperium.
On the Tabletop
To his credit, Abaddon is a hilariously destructive force on the tabletop - between his Daemon Sword, Drachn'yen (which houses an extremely powerful Chaos Undivided daemon born from humanity's first act of murder), Combined Chaos Mark, and Talon of Horus rules, there are very few units in the TT game which can go toe-to-toe with Abaddon and hope to come out on top. Truthfully, most forces lack entire squads that can do much more than offer him more than a token resistance. He can be tarpitted, but even this isn't guaranteed as his balls-out toughness and sheer volume of attacks (if you roll well) means he will mulch through formations 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 get changed quite a bit 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 a single attack with Drachn'yen. This attack could not be re-rolled in any way, but if it hit would cause an auto-wound with no armour save allowed, and if the enemy failed their invuln (or didn't have one) then whatever he hit would be immediately removed from play (vehicles still suffered just a penetrating hit). 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.
For 6th edition, Phil Kelly tried to actually get CSM players to include some variety in their units and changed the rules again. Drachn'yen is now a hell of a lot weaker, only +1S and AP2 with the Daemon Weapon rule (essentially a daemon power axe without unwieldy). For heavier targets, he uses the Talon of Horus, which is now a S8 lightning claw. He also has the Mark of Chaos Ascendant, which gives him all marks and allows him to benefit from all Icons, and has Hatred (Everything) if fielded in a Black Legion army (which you'll do of course.)
See here for some mathhammer on how he does against his own Primarch.
Abby has always been a melee powerhouse, and 8th edition isn't an exception: WS2+ BS 2+ S5 T5 W8 A6 Ld10 2+ 4++, any weapon that successfully damages him has its damage halved (rounded up, so he can still be chipped away to nothing by small arms (At least they HAVE arms). His weapons are basically the same as 6th and 7th ed but adjusted for the new rules; Drachnyen is S+1 AP -3 D flat 3 with the same Daemon Weapon bonuses as before, Talon of Horus is Sx2 AP -4. The Talon, and the Talon-mounted bolter all deal D3 damage. Whatever he gets his hands on will feel the pain.
What really makes him an attractive choice in 8th edition, though are his command auras: Black Legion units within 6 inches of him (which includes himself) re-roll failed to-hit rolls and any heretic astartes within 12 inches of him auto-succeed morale tests. Cherry on top, if he is the Warlord, he also becomes an Icon of Excess (DttFE triggers on 5+ instead of 6+) for all Black Legion units within 6 inches. It is the first time Abby has ever really done anything for his army, but ho boy does he do it well now!
On top of that, the Chaos Space Marine codex upgraded him by having him give two extra Command Points to your army if he's the Warlord, which ironically enough is identical to 8th Edition's interpretation of his arch-enemy Creed's infamous Tactical Genius rule as well as his Loyalist equivalent Marneus Calgar. Plus, he's finally got a new model. If his model base is any indication, he is as much fed up of Primaris lieutenants as some of us. Also now comes with an off-switch, for some reason. That should make things easier for team Emps!
Holy shit. Abaddon gets an immense power boost here.
|Abaddon the Despoiler||6"||2+||2+||5||5||8||6||10||2+||220 pts.|
Already he has great stats, but here comes the kicker. His weapons are the Talon of Horus, which both shoots and swings, and his sword Drach'nyen. The Talon in shoota mode is a Rapid Fire bolt weapon that fires two shots up to 24" at S4, AP-1, for D3 damage each, and in choppa mode it can do anywhere from 1 to 6 swings at S10, AP-4, for D3 damage again. But the sword is the reason for the holy shit at the beginning of the section. Every time Abby fights (NOT for each attack, meaning the ability triggers no matter what if he attacked at least once with Drach'nyen) you roll a D6. On a 1, Abby eats a mortal wound and cannot fight anymore that phase. However, for any other result, you get to make that many additional attacks with Drach'nyen. Rolled a 4 and swung twice? You get a grand total of 6 swings with the sword. Drachnyen only hits for S6 at AP-3, but it's a flat 3 damage as opposed to the Talon's D3. Now for his abilities: Like all Chaos Marines, Abaddon has Death to the False Emperor, Bolter Discipline, and Hateful Assault. But Abby has a few more. For one, because of The Warmaster, you get a bonus 2 CP if he's your Warlord in a Battle-forged army. Next up is Dark Destiny. This one gives Abaddon a 4++ save, as well as halving all incoming damage. That Seraptek wants to shoot you with its obliterators? Any shot you fail to save only does three damage, not six! Lord of the Black Legion allows you to reroll failed hits for any BLACK LEGION units within 6" of him, and any BLACK LEGION units within 12" of Abaddon auto-pass Morale tests. Finally, Abaddon can deepstrike himself. His Warlord trait? It's First amongst Traitors, which causes DttFE to go off on a 5 or 6 while the unit is within 6" of him.
FUCK ALL THAT HE WAS REDONE AGAIN!
|Abaddon the Despoiler||6"||2+||2+||6||6||9||8||11||2+||300 pts.|
While hefty at 300 pts., he's gonna break every bone in every body. Like always the claw has a ranged option. Now its 4 assault shots at S5 AP-1 D2. The melee options are easily distinguishable: the claw for enemies with one wound, Drach'nyen for everything else. He's so loaded with perks, its unreal. 4++, can't lose more than 3W per phase, first wound per is nullified. So he's tanky af. He buffs his subordinates quite a lot. Black Legionaires (Core and Chars) can reroll all hits and wounds in 6". Through his 3 Warlord Traits he can generate even more Attacks and reroll charges.
Appearances outside the tabletop
Dawn of War 2 : Chaos Rising
Abaddon makes a brief cameo during any of the endings, where he'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 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.
...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 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 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...
Well, not the real Horus. You see Fabulous Bill decided to clone Horus's corpse after the Emperor's Children stole it from the Sons of Horus. Then Abaddon and his merry crew showed up and blew Fabius' base of Harmony to kingdom come with a fucking ship used as a makeshift missile. They then board Fabius' ship and whoop ass until they eventually come across a lab containing the failed clones of all the Primarchs which they, of course, destroy. However, after Fabius goes full drama queen, he brings out the fully formed clone of Horus. The clone proceeds to open a can of whoop ass of its own on the assembled Black Legion until finally Abaddon says "Enough!" and engages Horus in a father and son duel. In said duel, Horus swung his massive mace, the Worldbreaker, which Abaddon not only parried but caught in the goddamn Talon. What's more, he shattered the fucking mace, which was known as one of the most canonically overpowered weapons. At this point, Horus finally recognized Abaddon and said "Ezekyle. My son. My son."
Of course, rather than being a tearful reunion between father and son, Abaddon—in typical Chaos fashion—rammed the Talon into Horus's chest and fired six shots into his body. Just before the clone of Horus died, Abaddon replied:
"I am not your son."
Yeah. In summary, in this book, the dude actually gets shit done
… if you ignore that most of a Primarch’s power is engrained in the Primarch’s soul and, since Big E atomized Horus’ soul, the soulless clone was the equivalent of a very large & very intelligent Space Marine. Yet another instance of GW saying, “Look how cool he is” while simultaneously drawing a mustache on his face with a marker. Also how did Horus recognize Failabnaddon?
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 there of to his face.
In the Legions Card Game he has a Scottish accent for some reason. And it's hilarious.
A Fangless, Venom-less, non-silk producing arachnid in Australia is named after him (Abaddon despoliator). Fitting since even in the most dangerous continent, he is still fangless and of course, arachnids only have legs and no arms.
The Despoiler's Plan.
Some random short story, written 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, the captain of the Sons of Malice's 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 worshipers 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. The Despoiler's 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 that victory would be short lived, that six primarchs were still alive, that his forces weren’t fully replenished, that 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 in comparison.
Where hundreds of marines roared in the name of Khorne charging the Emperor's 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 Slaaneshi slaughtered, driven to ecstasy, now battalions march, their perversion driving mortal men insane. Where only few squads of Nurgle's plague sons walked, their diseases poisoning the air, now uncountable armies march, bringing endless death, as even the earth breaks under their feet. The Despoiler planned this; now is his time to strike. The Imperium besieged from all sides, each enemy requiring more than the entire might of what can be given. They cannot win this battle. The Despoiler has at least nine legions of Astartes - Black Legion, Word Bearers, Iron Warriors, World Eaters, Thousand Sons, Death Guard, Emperor's Children, Night Lords, Alpha Legion. And his ally Blackheart 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. Daemons rip into 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 reason that the Imperium 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.
On his personality
For a very long time, Abaddon's character has been in flux. You see, he has had the BBEG tag and all the related tropes ascribed to him over the years: being cruel, a bully, prone to outburst of rage when things don't go well, and all in all looking like your classic Saturday Morning cartoon villain. However, more recent fluff has tried to give more depth to his character.
Before his fall, the most important thing for Abaddon was loyalty, not to institutions or figures of authority, but to those who were at his side fighting. This quality is evident when you see how he reacted to the wounding of Horus, the man who had been fighting with for decades, more than the Emperor. Abaddon saw in Horus the true representation of the Imperium, that of a band of brothers fighting for survival against a hostile universe.
But then, Horus started his path downward. By the time of the Siege of Terra, it became obvious to Abaddon that Horus has become a deluded puppet of an uncaring power, exactly what he had claimed to be freeing everyone from when waging war against the Emperor. Ultimately the death of Horus proved to Abaddon that no soldier, no warrior, should ever put himself at the service of some so called higher power. In this sense Abaddon came to understand Chaos can never be allowed to reign over him. He would always be his own master, even if he bargained with the Ruinous Powers. But then, what is left for him?
Only war. Abaddon is at core a warrior, a creature who thrives in conflict. He probably can't even contemplate himself in a situation where peace reigns. It eventually becomes evident in his title, the Warmaster: from laying low Marneus Calgar in a brawl, to planning and executing the grand strategy to unleash the Great Rift upon the Galaxy, this is where his heart and soul is. He doesn't really fight for the Chaos Gods, unlike, say Kharn, Typhus or Lucius. At best he deals with the Ruinous Powers, at worst he is the one calling the shots. Even while the Pantheon enjoys what devious plans he is going to pull next, Abaddon's main fight is against the Imperium. The very concept of warriors being used as pawns under the pretense of serving some higher power is just an opportunity for him to be what he is, a warrior-general who will always look for a challenge. He is the antithesis of Archaon, who was made a slave to the Dark Gods and loathes his destiny as the Everchosen, wishing for everything to be destroyed so he can be free.
But wait anon, why would Abaddon treat his own troops like cannon fodder and sacrifice them just like the Emperor and Horus did? This is a tricky question, and it really comes down to the fact as a warrior Abaddon will indeed always be willing to sacrifice others to achieve his goals. Does it make him a hypocrite? Perhaps to others, but for him it's a matter of giving his followers what they want: conflict, vengeance against Emps and his legacy, and the chance to achieve even greater power. The astartes who follow him will always have a choice, even if it means their deaths. Of course, that's the whole point of a warrior's existence. As for those who let themselves be taken by the Chaos Gods, well, even Horus was eventually slain by such folly. Let them glut in the powers of the Warp; they either will learn to master it or die consumed, undeserving of its power just like the Emperor and Horus. That's the line Abaddon will never cross.
All these traits become evident when you see some acts in the novels where he is featured as anything but a moronic bad guy. He inspires those he calls his brothers, to the point they are willing to die for his ideal; and he certainly has shown to honour those who have fought well enough. Although rare, these gestures are important to illustrate the character of Abaddon, the Warmaster of Chaos.
- Abaddon at the Therapist
- Abaddon's 14th Black Crusade
- 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 were the denizens of /tg/ (And thanks to Chaos winning at The End Times can be considered more competent)
His rule 63 version.
Everyone has hobbies... What's odd is the fact that the box has the World Eaters icon... Demonic kittens?.
|Famous members of the Traitor Legions|
|Canon||Abaddon • Ahzek Ahriman • Argel Tal • Cypher • Doomrider • Eidolon • Erebus • Fabius Bile • Haarken Worldclaimer • Honsou • Horus Aximand • Iskandar Khayon • Kharn • Kor Phaeron • Lheorvine Ukris • Lucius • Lugft Huron • Luther • Madox • Maloghurst • Necrosius the Undying • Occam • Sevatar • Shon'tu • Svane Vulfbad • Talos • Telemachon Lyras • Typhus • Ygethmor • Zardu Layak • Zhufor|
|The Games||Araghast the Pillager • Azariah Kyras • Bale • Crull • Eliphas The Inheritor • Firaeveus Carron • Kain • Nemeroth • Neroth • Sindri Myr • Varius|