Kayvaan Shrike, Chapter Master of the Raven Guard (AKA Captain Beakie/Beakie McAwesome or any other variation of such) is a former Shadow Captain of the 3rd Company. A fucking badass that wears the lightning claws once owned by Corvus Corax himself, he also has a supremely epic Beakie helmet to round out his old-school style. He's a sentimental old sod; when the rest of the company pushes off to deliver righteous asskicking on other foul xenos, Kayvaan prefers to stay behind and spend his time rescuing pockets of surviving civilians and soldiers, or assist the local Imperial forces in killing off any left-over resistance. This makes him a goddamn PSEUDO-HERETIC for valuing human life above killing the Emprah's enemies, but hey, that's life in the grimdark future of the 41st millennium for you. Judging by his interactions with Ko'sorro Khan, he's even willing to look past the Ravens' millennia-spanning rivalry with the White Scars.
Back in 4th Edition, he even had a rule to lead a unique custom unit called Shrike's Wing, which were lightning-claw-wielding Veteran Assault Marines that Shrike personally trained. Pity they aren't available anymore, though you can take Vanguards for the Shadow Captain and call them Shrike's Wing.
He's also fucking awesome because he's named after one of the most hardcore birds in existence, the shrike, who are known for impaling their prey on brambles instead of outright killing them. Hence why they are known sometimes as butcher birds.
As of the 7E Warzone Damocles campaign, it's revealed that the Raven Guard Chapter Master, Corvin Severax (whose crowning achievement was... nothing, really), got blasted by Commander Shadowsun. As they regrouped, the remaining Captains began debating over who'd be next and Shrike decided to take the initiative. Only time will tell whether or not this will reflect on his statline or with a new model... but as of right now he's Chapter Master of the Sons of Corax. And he's getting his own book.
Shadow Captain Shrike appears to be an underwhelming character, and unless you're playing with your mates and are willing to fudge your way through the issue discussed below, he really is useless. Shrike comes out of the tin with a typical captain's stat line and a few extra bits. He has ATSKNF and Chapter Tactics (Raven Guard tactics give him shrouded on the first turn, plus they allow him to use his jump pack for movement AND assault and he can reroll wounds on his HoW attacks). His warlord trait, Angel of Death, gives him fear, which your opponent must test on 3d6. He has a unique special rule, "See, but Remain Unseen", which gives him infiltrate and stealth, but he is only allowed to join jump infantry squads BEFORE deployment. His infiltrate rule fucks with this, but more on that below. For wargear he gets frag and krak grenades, power armor, an iron halo, a pair of relic master-crafted lightning claws, and a bolt pistol (fuck if I know how he uses the damn thing when he's got those giant gloves on - maybe he just throws it). His Chapter Master upgrade will need less derpy rules. Games Workshop should at least give him artificer armor, an Assault 2 ranged weapon mounted on one of his lightning claws and the appropriate stat-line.
- Rules Conflict
- If you're playing by strict RAW standards, Shrike can't join squads, because of some fucked up sentence structure in the codex. His "See, but Remain Unseen" Rule says he can only join a squad of jump infantry before deployment, which would be great if characters were allowed to join squads before deployment (yes, that means his special rule is quite literally useless). The infiltrate rule was also FAQ'd to mean that in order to use the rule, all members of a squad must have the rule. IE, a character who doesn't have the Infiltrate USR can't join a unit that does, and vice versa. The commentary below is based on the assumption that you'll be playing RAI (don't be That Guy) and allowing Shrike to infiltrate with a squad, which is literally the only reason players have ever brought this character. If you are operating under strict RAW, Shrike is useless. You're paying thirty points above what you would if you just made your own jump/lightning claw captain.
In true Raven Guard fashion Shrike is more tricky and evasive than hard or killy. If you're just looking at his stats and gear he'll seem overcosted. After all, he's essentially just a captain with a jump pack and lightning claws. Obviously he's pretty mobile and reasonably good in a melee, but his real strength comes from his ability to infiltrate a squad in to wherever you want them. Being an independent character he doesn't actually have to stick with whatever squad you brought in, which can open up a lot of fun options. I think this guy actually fits his fluff really well, because, while he is a badass, he specializes in clever strikes and guerrilla warfare rather than raw, balls out power. If this guy sees your special snowflake killy character he isn't going to challenge him, in fluff or in crunch; he's going to withdraw and hit him at the least convenient possible time.
Raven Guard Chapter Master
The above profile is Shrike's old Captain profile, but he's a Chapter Master now. Warzone Damocles: Kauyon gave us a way to make a very effective Raven Guard Chapter Master, which is simply a Raven Guard Chapter Master with a jump pack and the twin artifacts Swiftstrike and Murder. This profile is affectionately named MURDERWINGS, and may be effective/manly enough for you to pretend he's Chapter Master Shrike until we get actual rules for him. Don't be a cheapskate and buy him Artificer Armour along with a Storm Shield to up his survivability. You might also want to put him in a unit of jump pack Vanguard Veterans with Lightening Claws to represent his Command Squad. Emphasis on might because he almost costs as much as a Land Raider with this load out.