The Enshrouded

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The Enshrouded
Enshroudedbadge.jpg
Number At least six full haemonculus covens
Strength Unknown
Allegiance Dark Eldar, Themselves
Colours Various

Part of /tg/ 40,000, the Enshrouded are a homebrew Dark Eldar secret organization. The ranks of this shadowy alliance are filled by Haemonculi covens whose experiments and research are dipping into dark enough paths that they have a justified fear of persecution even from fellow Commorites. Pooling their considerable resources, the Enshrouded have established a safe haven outside of Commorragh within a dark cranny of the Webway (but for how long?...). From this shrouded facility they continue their work unmolested, emerging only to gather needed materials and influence crucial players.

Due to their preference for secrecy, the Enshrouded do not walk openly within Commorragh, preferring to work through a network of fronts and intermediaries in order to preserve their anonymity. Such is their skill at this industrial-level duplicity that a force chosen to fight for them is entirely unaware of the society's role in the matter.

Main Covens[edit]

The Red Slivers[edit]

A placeholder name for the original coven these ideas sprang from. The Red Slivers are an old and embittered Haemonculus Coven, believed by most of Commoragh to be long swept away by the predations of upstart rivals. They lurk in the fringes of Commorite society, their works unpraised and their mark unknown save to some who have the foresight to have the history of the Dark City obsessively recorded. No Kabals answer to the Red Slivers, at least overtly, but the truth is this society of torture-surgeons has a far more sinister way of spreading its influence.

The Red Slivers have bent their craft to the creation of a flesh-creature, a sinuous and barbed worm which burrows into the base of the victim's spine and rapidly threads its body with invasive fibres through which the victim may be controlled at will. From the moment of symbiosis the victim is as good as dead, for removal of the parasite causes irreparable damage to the host's innards, literally ripping their blood vessels out with it. The only way to tell if someone is a host is a series of pinprick-like scabs on the host's collarbone, from which the Coven gets its name. Through the horrid science of the Haemonculus' art the Slivers may control the newly assimilated victim, and often the first sign of a Sliver attack is when a portion of the population goes berserk at the worst possible moment.

The parasites themselves feed upon their host, draining the nutrients from its body until the host is emaciated and bony. The worms also continue to grow, and they shift within the body to accommodate themselves. Thus hosts which have survived for a good while will be horrid, utterly dysmorphic things, lurching forward single-mindedly while the rippling form of their massive parasite is seen pushing against their flesh.

The Red Slivers themselves are not immune to the sapping effects of the parasites themselves, however, as controlling any more than a few at a time takes its toll upon the mind of the controller. This becomes especially true when the worms come of age and develop a terrible sentience of their own. This goes so far as to warp the bodies of those who regularly use a great deal of the parasites at once into freakish, thin beings not unlike the parasites themselves.

The Enlightened[edit]

An extremely secretive and select coven. Its highest echelon of authority are The Reborn, a group of six deserters from various other covens who abandoned them to seek the fruits of intellectual pursuits taboo even within the psychopathic reaches of Commorragh. The focus of their research involved unlocking the psychic potential of the eldar race and using the insane science of the haemonculi to push it to the most absurd levels possible, and seek to tamper with their own bodies and souls that they too may tap into this limitless potential.

But Commorragh is an unfriendly place to the psyker, and these six intellectuals were well aware that any such move on their part would quickly see them on the operating table of their superiors. So, after many slow centuries of gradually locating each other as kindred spirits, whilst all that time keeping a low profile, they chose to abandon their names, their faces, and all their former prestige.

In a hopeful attempt at replicating the Craftworlders' psychic disciplines and technologies, they founded a new category of Haemonculi, and are now referred to as "Dark Seers". Wicked and insane parodies of the Farseers, they are psychic vampires in constant need of sensations to absorb, whose extreme magical practices require the use of inconvenient and powerful restraints, charms and seals, that barely prevent them from falling at any instant under the influence of the Dark Gods.

Working closely with the coven of the Final Eclipse, they envy the safety of their psychic techniques, but do not share their project, which they consider a loss of time and resources at best, an unsuspected danger at worst.

The Hollows[edit]

A coven that has devoted itself to the goal of physical and spiritual purity, with the stated aim of freeing themselves from the eternal tug at their spirits that plagues all Eldar. Looking with disdain upon the frenzied, eternally ravenous antics of their kin, as well as the absurd attempts of the Craftworlders to direct the ferocity of their emotions down narrow channels, the Hollows have focused their time and energy towards freeing themselves of these emotional shackles that were both the cause of their cursed state as well, so they believe, of its protraction.

The Hollows thus strive to achieve a state of soullessness; they void themselves of emotion and feeling until their souls become so twisted and bare that they become something ‘other’ than Eldar, and in so doing seem to be able to escape the attentions of She-who-Thirsts entirely. It is this fact that attracts many old dark eldar weary of the constant back-and-forth struggle for their souls, who are drawn towards the somber, droning preachers littering the streets who whisper of their ancient masters who have survived for millenia without needing to sustain themselves on the soul of another.

But for many Dark Eldar, the price to pay for such tranquility is too horrible to even imagine. New initiates are mutilated and experimented on in much the same way as the Wracks of other covens, but amidst the cloisters of the Hollows so too is the soul twisted and dissected, as its owner is slowly compelled towards expelling all senses of feeling and emotion from its mind and form. Gradually, the soul diminishes completely, leaving a blank, a soulless abomination in its place, one who appears as an empty hole in the warp and engenders feelings of irrational hatred, fear and loathing in those around it. The most ancient of this coven, the very Haemonculi who conduct these experiments, are far more twisted than any other.

Only in the most superficial sense can they be considered ‘kin’ with the denizens of Commoragh, for their bodies have become supremely large, elongated things of cold and sallow flesh, covered in filthy bandages and wrappings that trail through the dirt. Towering over their minions, these creatures are utterly alien, even to the Dark Eldar. Their spirits are a gaping void that threatens to engulf those around them, and some of the more powerful of their number project such a heinous presence that weaker souls in their vicinity simply disintegrate a their passing. Free of all the emotions and drives that shape the rest of Commorite society, the Hollows are truly immortal in both body and soul, yet their motives are impossible to know. They only seek to exist and to induct more lost souls into the silence of their fold.

Of course amongst a race as warp-sensitive as the Eldar, the presence of blanks in their number is unthinkable. Even amongst the mysterious and respected ranks of the Harlequins, the soulless Solitaires live as outcasts, unable to connect at all with their ‘kin’. It is for this reasons that the Hollows, rather than face the murderous stigma of the Dark city, sought refuge amongst the Enshrouded, and came to make their home inside the hidden realm of the Ark. Offering the use of their sophisticated regeneration chambers, the Hollows have accepted a niche in tending to the dead of the other fugitive covens, reanimating their fallen without any cost and concern for whom it is they reawaken. The Hollows bear no ill will towards any of the other factions, although they remain keenly aware of the precariousness of their position amongst the more warp-sensitive covens that share their home.

The Gatekeepers[edit]

A coven devoted to webway technology, repairing damaged portions of the webway, improving them, and finding new ways of utilising them. They are big on using all things teleporters in battle. In the open they act much like public servants for all of Commoragh, construction workers if you will, being responsible for improving the transport mechanisms throughout the dark city, and perhaps even assisting in the construction of realms.

Secretly however they use their technology to build up a strong powerbase both within and outside Commoragh, their own tower complex containing many hidden portals that lead to enclaves hidden in the farthest reaches of the webway. their ultimate goal is to construct another city, another Commorragh where they can rule in secret, away from the stupid backstabbing politics of the Kabals. They are the main responsible for the creation of the Ark, where they keep in close touch with the other covens that dwell in its bowels, in spite of the defiance their peers inspire them.

Due to a fancy of their schizophrenic Elder Haemonculus, a large proportion of the Gatekeeper's wracks and test subjects are female, that may or may not actually be mass-produced clones. They often feature very advanced systems and devices that the Haemonculi constantly evaluate and modify, being driven by the appeal of scientific progress rather than artistic ambitions.

The Devouring Maw[edit]

The Devouring Maw was once a prosperous and prominent coven that commanded respect and envy alike due to their pioneering the study of tyranids. They experienced much progress in their early history, including the successful cloning of lesser Tyranid species, disconnected from the Hive Mind, that would then be sold to coliseums to be used as fodder in gladiatorial battles or to Kabalites looking for an exotic pet.

However, as the centuries wore on they began to delve deeper into the mysteries of Tyranid biology that would lead to their fall from power. They saw in the Tyranids a way to transcend the limitations of their forms and wretch themselves free of the hunger of Slaanesh. In their eager haste with splicing Dark Eldar and Tyranid together they started to disregard safety protocols in favor an ever more rapid pace of progress. Their sizeable brood of enslaved Tyranids and Tyranohybrid Wracks somehow reconnected to the Hivemind, leading to the beasts outbreaking into the streets of Commorragh.

Such an event would have been easily ignored had the rogue monstrosities not managed to actually guide a sliver of a Hive Fleet into the webway homing on the Dark Capital. This is one of the few times in the history of Commorragh that it was actually placed in danger, requiring the mobilization of hundreds of Kabals, Covens, and Cults alike to neutralize the threat.

After beating back the Hive Fleet, the populace turned their fury on the Devouring Maw and almost came close to eradicating them, reducing them to a meager fraction of their power and forcing them into hiding. Not content to disappear, the survivors soon encountered the Enshrouded and continued their tests in secrecy.

Like other covens of the Enshrouded, the Devouring Maw operates through countless front organizations and by worming their way to influence in mainstream Dark Eldar society. For those aware of their existence, it is rumored they have actually managed to create a hivemind of themselves and that most of the upper echelons of the group are really a blended gestalt entity feigning individuality. But such claims have yet to be confirmed.

In battle the Devouring Maw fields a bizarre mix of Dark Eldar technology and Tyranid derived biotech; if not Tyranids slaved to their hivemind or grotesque hybrids themselves. The Coven have avoided confrontation with the tyranids, uncertain of the effect the Hive mind would have upon their creations. Fortunately, thanks to cooperation from the Hollows, they do have fail-safe devices designed to shield noise in the link.

The Final Eclipse[edit]

Fascinated by the mysterious shadow dimension of the Mandrakes, the coven of the Final Eclipse seeks in their study the accomplishment of their artistic views. Their goal is to produce the ultimate work of art, a peremptory and sublime revelation, an end to all aesthetic research, that shall obscure every wonder of Commorragh by its absolute evocative power, the Final Eclipse of art. Believing that such an apocalyptic event can only be brought forth through a union of sorcery and psycho-sensitive technology, but unwilling to lower themselves to the wretched level of psykers as The Enlightened have so pitifully chosen to do, they chose instead to study the enigmatic, shadowy creatures called Mandrakes.

These creatures with their inexplicable capacity to perform strange and unnatural feats as teleportation and the baleblast without attracting daemons, and the alien nature of the energies they manipulate soon became objects of obsession for the coven, who sought to harness these bizarre forces for themselves, so that one day they can use it to unleash their ultimate production onto the webway.

With time and patience there came alliances with Mandrake cults who were, surprisingly, quite eager to assist the Haemonculi in their pursuits. With the mandrakes sharing their secret traditions with the deranged scientists, the two groups were able to slowly and clumsily work to each others’ mutual benefit. From the workshops of the covens there emerged distorted, shadowy fiends that stalk their prey silently from the darkness, their vast bulk no longer a hindrance as they slip in and out of reality at whim, the only sign of their presence often being the sharp intake of deep breath before they bellow a roiling tongue of balefire from their massive, deformed gullets.

Stalking alongside these abominations are the other servants of the Haemonculi, similarly twisted and adapted to blend into shadow and out of sight and mind. The mandrakes too have become a part of the coven’s workforce, though they do not lower themselves to base servility such as the pitiful wracks who toil away for their masters. Having their natural abilities twisted and enhanced, these mandrakes form an elite cadre of deadly soldiers, their strengths pushed far beyond the limits of their ‘ordinary’ kin. They stand in the coven as allies to the haemonculi, declaring themselves equal in their overall station. Whether the haemonculi believe this or not is unknown, for they seem to vaguely recognise the mandrakes enough to entertain them, ensuring their continued allegiance to the Final Eclipse.

Why exactly the mandrakes pursue the fulfillment of these strange and esoteric rituals they teach to the Haemonculi remains a mystery. Surely this perverse blending of the realms between that of the material and the half-real dimension of they hail from would be a powerful event, enough to shake the foundations of the entire webway were it to ultimately come to pass, but whether the mandrakes and the haemonculi truly understand the intentions of the other remain a mystery.

Perhaps the mandrakes hope to affect some world changing calamity through the assistance of their allies and the great ‘Final Eclipse’ of their ultimate art, unleashing the fearsome work of raw shadows and malice to change the webway into an environment more fitting for themselves and their kin . Perhaps the haemounculi are simply toying with the fiends, exploiting them for what secrets they have to offer, and enslaving them for their own purpose.

What is definite however is that early forays into this ritual science, and the disastrous effect it has had on the realm of the Dark City, have earned the coven the murderous ire of various factions of their kin, both kabal and coven alike. One enemy in particular, the great and terrible Kheradruakh himself, seems to have some kind of insight into the ultimate pursuits of these interlopers, and has made it a personal mission to hunt them down and slaughter them all, eldar and mandrake alike. Perhaps the coven seeks a goal that runs rival to his own cryptic machinations. All that can be guessed is that if any of these factions fulfill their ambitions, it will be the dawn of a new age in Commorragh.

Forced to flee from their enemies, The coven of the Final eclipse was driven by a curious twist of fate into an alliance with another rogue coven, known as the Gatekeepers. Working together with these weavers of time and space, the Final Eclipse turned their knowledge of the shadow world of the mandrakes towards assisting in the construction of a secret realm, hidden in the deepest bowels of the webway.

Able to exist both in and out of reality at once in a way that kept it hidden from all manner of eyes up to and including the teeming hordes of chaos itself, and only connected to the dark city via a series of secret web portals that periodically shifted and moved location in response to the manoeuvres of the realm itself, the two covens created the Ark. Able to find refuge in this clandestine citadel, and having taken more rogue covens into their midst to increase their mutual strength and protection, the collective entity known only through whispers as The Enshrouded was born.

Relatively safe in the midst of this inter-factional armistice, the Final Eclipse is now free to indulge themselves further into their elaborately arcane science and witchcraft. As a result, the insane Haemonculi overseers of the Final Eclipse have come perilously close to bringing their ‘ultimate art’ into reality, and as such every side in the loosely knit coven sits on the edge of their seat, waiting for the time of reckoning they each individually prophesize to arrive.

Crunch[edit]

Special Rules + Wargear[edit]

LACERATOR WEAPONRY
  • Lacerator Pistol: 18" range S4 AP5 Pistol
  • Lacerator Rifle: 24" range S4 AP5 Rapid Fire
  • Lacerator Canon: 36" range S5 AP4 Heavy 4

All Lacerator Weaponry is Rending

  • Mind-Scourge: Template range S8 APd6 Assault 1

Wounding rolls from the Mind-scourge are taken based on the target's Leadership characteristic regardless of Toughness.

  • Soulspitter

The Soulspitter may be fired in addition to another weapon.

  • Level 1: Range 18", S6, AP2, Heavy 1 Pinning
  • Level 2: Range 24", S6, AP2, Heavy 1 Blast Pinning
  • Level 3: Range 36", S7, AP2, Heavy 1 Large Blast Pinning

The Soulspitter gains a level for each Independent Character or Monstrous Creature killed by the wielder in Close Combat.

Hollow Haemonculus/Ancient[edit]

65pts/95pts

Hollow Haemonculus: WS4 BS4 S4 T5 W2 I4 A2 Ld8 Sv6+ Hollow Ancient: WS5 BS5 S4 T5 W3 I4 A3 Ld9 Sv6+

Wargear: Close Combat Weapon, Lacerator Rifle, Gnarlskin

Options: Replace close combat weapon and/or lacerator pistol with:

Venom blade: 5pts
Power Weapon: 10pts
Haywire Blaster: 10pts
Mindphase Gauntlet: 10pts
Lacerator Cannon: 15pts
Dark Lance: 15pts
Disintegrator: 15pts
Flesh Gauntlet: 20pts
Agonizer: 20pts
Electrocorrosive Whip: 20pts
Huskblade: 35pts
Twin-linked Lacerator Cannon, Dark Lance, Haywire Blaster or Disintegrator (No other option from this section may be taken): +10pts

-Take up to two of the following pieces of Wargear: Wails of the Damned: 10pts Casket of Flensing: 10pts Mind-scourge: 15pts Soul-trap: 10pts Vexator Mask: 10pts Archangel of Pain: 15pts Hexrifle: 15pts Shattershard: 15pts Crucible of Malediction: 20pts Orb of Despair: 20pts Dark Gate: 25pts Soulspitter: 35pts Webway Portal: 35pts

Special Rules: Night Vision, Feel No Pain, Independent Character, Slow and Purposeful, Stubborn, Soulless, Nightmarish Growth, Psychic Abomination (Ancient Only)

Nightmarish Growth: Hollow Haemonculi are significantly larger than their contemporaries. They may use Rapid Fire and Assault weapons with a close combat weapon for +1A as though for a pistol, and they count as 2 models for the purposes of transport capacity.

Hollow Wrack[edit]

Ws4 Bs4 S4 T4 W1 I4 Ld8

15pts/model

Composition: 3-10 Hollow Wracks

Wargear: Poisoned CCW and Lacerator Pistol

Options:

  • May exchange their Poisoned CCW and Lacerator Pistol for Lacerator Rifle: Free
  • For every 5 models in the squad one Hollow Wrack may take:
Lacerator Cannon: 15pts
Mind-Scourge: 15pts
  • One Hollow Wrack may be upgraded to a Hollow Acothyst: 10pts
  • The Hollow Acothyst may take one of the following:
Venom Blade: 5pts
Mindphase Gauntlet: 10pts
Hexrifle: 10pts
Flesh Gauntlet: 20pts
Agoniser: 20pts
Electrocorrosive Whip: 20pts

Special Rules: Feel No Pain, Night Vision, Slow and Purposeful, Soulless

Transport: The squad may take a Raider or a Venom as a dedicated transport.

Gallery[edit]

External Links[edit]