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The Cabal (Legiones Astartes)
At least M31-Present
Cabal Space, Dark Space, Hidden across the Milky Way
The Cabal is a collection of disparate alien species not readily identifiable to Imperial authorities. They are known to include mechanical life-forms as well as those that are energy-based and non-corporeal. Other member species variously resembled insectoid, avian or reptilian creatures. One species definitively identified as having a member in the Cabal is the Eldar. The Cabal is also known to have made use of a number of human agents, with at least one, John Grammaticus, active at the time of the Horus Heresy.
The Cabal is a secret organisation dedicated to the eradication of Chaos whose operatives are drawn from more than a thousand different intelligent xenos races, including the Eldar and humanity. The Cabal claims to have battled the forces of the "Primordial Annihilator" (Chaos) for a time longer than the existence of Mankind as a thinking species. The Cabal is a hidden organisation, covertly predicting the future and steering the intelligent races of the galaxy towards their ultimate goal of wiping Chaos from existence within the Empyrean.
Having studied the development of the human Primarchs over some decades, the Cabal was able to determine that the most important of them in the determination of galactic events were the "oldest" (Horus) and the "youngest" (Alpharius Omegon). They foresaw that the Chaos Gods would ignite a galactic-level civil war within the Imperium of Man by corrupting and using Horus, and claimed that what "Horus would do, Alpharius would undo". They also claimed that, while the outbreak of the Horus Heresy was inevitable and could not be altered, the Alpha Legion was perfectly placed to control and direct it to one of the two possible outcomes the Acuity had foreseen for humanity and the galaxy. The Cabal's Inner Circle tasked John Grammaticus, a human Perpetual agent of the Cabal, to arrange a meeting with the Alpha Legion's Primarch, which eventually took place on the planet Eolith about a standard year-and-a-half before the start of the Heresy at the Battle of Istvaan III.
The Cabal, operating with its knowledge of the extreme long view through the power of the Acuity, sought to bring about Horus' victory by convincing Alpharius Omegon of the truth of their predictions. They asked the twin Primarchs to place themselves and the forces of the XX Legion under the banner of Horus and Chaos Undivided, despite their sworn loyalty to the Emperor, and do all they could to ensure the Warmaster's victory, thus sacrificing humanity to destroy the Chaos Gods once and for all. The Primarch of the Alpha Legion appears to have acceded to this request, believing that such a sacrifice is what the Emperor would have himself wanted if he had been presented with a similar choice. As the Heresy ended with the victory of the Emperor's Loyalist forces and the second outcome foreseen by the Acuity, it appears that the Cabal's machinations failed and that, if they are to be believed, the galaxy is ultimately doomed to be consumed by Chaos not long after the end of the 41st Millennium.
Slau Dha - Eldar Autarch who served as a member of the Cabal's Inner Circle and offered John Grammaticus the chance to become an agent of the Cabal and to become a Perpetual in the 30th Millennium.
Gahet - Gahet was a member of the Inner Circle of the Cabal and a member of a xenos race whose origins predated even that of the Eldar.
G'Lattro - G'Lattro was an unknown xenos who was a member of the Cabal's Inner Circle.
John Grammaticus - Human psyker who served as a Perpetual, a being genetically engineered by the Cabal to possess the ability to reincarnate whenever death occurred, granting him functional immortality.
Athithirtir - Athithirtir was a xenos and a Cabal representative to the Alpha Legion who informed the XX Legion that the Raven Guard was to come into possession of the undifferentiated Primarch gene-stock. He was slain after the Alpha Legion stole the genetic material from the Raven Guard.
Warships: Large powerful warships that seem to be equipped with some sort of A.I. technology. Their design is remarkably similar to that of the Mortis Reapers' warships. Equipped with hydrothermodynamic weaponry, large leg-like limbs, a device capable of creating a large echoing horn sound, also creating an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), and some form of neurological inhibitors/stimulizers to effectively indoctrinate smaller beings below it.
Disc Cruisers: Huge, hive city-sized flat disks that are capable of atmospheric operations, including planetary landings and take-offs. They have a stealth or cloaking mode that is undetectable using Imperial auspexes, and the ability to interrupt and jam all communications, both physical and psychic. These vessels also posess the abiltiy to unleash an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that can temporarily disable the systems of any other spacecraft in their vicinity.
The Acuity: The Cabal's most important creation is an enhanced form of psychic farseeing called the Acuity, through which they attempt to foresee the course of events across thousands of Terran years of galactic history. The Acuity is far more potent than the more limited and uncertain precognitive abilities available to Eldar Farseers and could be accessed while ship-borne.