- "Wherever you tread, tread lightly. We are closer than you think, and our blades are sharp."
- — Shadow Captain Kayvaan Shrike, Raven Guard 3rd Company
Kaayvan Shrike is a famed officer of the Raven Guard Space Marine Chapter and the Shadow Captain of the Raven Guard's 3rd Company. A master of stealth and infiltration, Shadow Captain Shrike strikes from the darkness, fast and lethal. By the time his foes can react, it is too late and darkness has claimed them.
- "From the darkness we strike, fast and lethal, and by the time our foes can react...darkness there and nothing more."
- —Shadow Captain Kayvaan Shrike, Raven Guard 3rd Company
Shrike was born on the Imperial Forge World of Kiavahr, and as a boy, demonstrated a preternatural ability for stealth and espionage. As a youth, he worked as a runner for the Tarkal Guild, a gang that operated within the hive city Shrike lived in. But it was an incident in his late teenage years that set him on the path to destiny -- he had been pursued by a rival gang for days on end. He'd managed to evade them for a week, feeding on rancid fungi and brackish water as he fled his pursuers. But the gang members weren't the only ones following Shrike; high above, in the gargoyle-studded spires of the city, the Chaplains of the Raven Guard, who often traveled stealthily through the cities of Kiavahr, looking for Neophytes for the Chapter, were observing the progress of the hunt with growing interest.
When Shrike was finally cornered, he fought viciously and killed four rival gangers before being overwhelmed. His captors took him back to their base and tried to torture him for information, but he resisted, and escaped after killing three more of his captors. Realizing he was a prime candidate for recruitment into the Adeptus Astartes, the Raven Guard Chaplains descended from the spires using Jump Packs to rescue the boy before his pursuers caught and killed him.
Shrike resisted the Chaplains, believing them to be another gang, but in his weakened and exhausted state, the boy was no match for the Space Marines, and was taken back with them to the Raven Guard's Fortress-Monastery on the moon of Deliverance to be trained. But Shrike proved to be no passive pupil, and often resisted and evaded his tutors within the depths of the fortress. But as time went on, and Shrike learned more about his duty to the Emperor of Mankind, he directed his energies more appropriately and became one of the Raven Guard's most promising Neophytes in centuries.
Kayvaan Shrike rose to fame after actions in the Imperial campaign on the world of Targus VIII against the Orks of WAAAGH! Skullkrak. After leading his 3rd Company in a mission to destroy the Orks' orbital defences, he found himself and his company stranded in Ork territory after their Thunderhawk transport was destroyed in near-orbit. Despite this setback, Shrike remained in Ork territory with his company for over 2 years in which time he led a guerrilla war against the Ork forces, destroying encampments, ammunition stores and the like, while providing the forces of the Imperium with valuable tactical information which helped bring the campaign in Targus VIII to an end long before it had been previously predicted by Imperial Strategos. The survivors of this ordeal formed an elite Veteran unit of Assault Marines within the 3rd Company of the Raven Guard known as "Shrike's Wing" who were highly adept at guerilla and hit-and-run tactics and were armed with Jump Packs and Lightning Claws much like their captain. Upon return to Deliverance, the Raven Guard homeworld, Shrike received the Laurel Imperialis, for having upheld his honour and exemplified the virtues of his Chapter.
During this time, Kayvaan Shrike also led the 3rd Company for a brief campaign to the world of Quintus, which had been infiltrated by the Night Lords and Alpha Legion Traitor Legions and been led into rebellion against the Imperium by Kernax Voldorius, a Daemon Prince of the Alpha Legion and the leader of the Chaos Space Marines and the other Forces of Chaos on Quintus. Kayvaan Shrike joined with Kor'sarro Khan, the Captain of the White Scars Chapter's 3rd Brotherhood (Company) and that Chapter's Master of the Hunt, to bring down Voldorius and restore Quintus to the light of the Emperor in a campaign later made famous as the Hunt for Voldorius.
By the time Shrike had extracted his company from the ruins of Targus VIII he was hailed a hero systemwide. After his subsequent assaults on Ork conquests in the Donara and Yakhee Systems, Shrike became nothing less than a saviour. Amongst the besieged ruins of Aldeb, Sulphuron and a dozen other worlds, desperate men beseeched the God-Emperor to send Shrike to deliver them from the terror of WAAAGH! Skullkrak. Fleet Commanders and Lord Generals of the Imperial Guard pleaded with the Chapter Master of the Raven Guard to assign Captain Shrike to their sector of the campaign. But if the sombre captain was aware of either petition, he gave no sign.
Under Shrike's direction, the Raven Guard 3rd Company continues to assail WAAAGH! Skullkrak. They go wherever they are most needed, not to battlezones where Imperial Commanders struggle to contain the Ork menace, but to worlds whose populations have been abandoned to their fates by an overstretched and uncaring Imperium. Shrike and his men are legends on these worlds, as revered as the greatest heroes of old.
On every planet under threat from the Orks, Guardsmen grasp their guns tighter and fight more fiercely, knowing that every minute they hold out is a minute in which the Raven Guard's 3rd Company might arrive to deliver them from hopeless peril and the endless tide of Greenskins. Meanwhile, beyond the ravaged defences, Skullkrak's Boyz keep a wary eye on the shadows cast by ruin and undergrowth, knowing that Shrike and his company might be lurking in the darkness, just waiting for the right moment to strike.
- Power Armour
- Frag Grenades and Krak Grenades
- Bolt Pistol
- Raven's Talons - Kayvaan wields a pair of Lightning Claws called the Raven's Talons, which are said to have been crafted by the Primarch Corax himself on Deliverance, after the Raven Guard retreated there following the Istvaan V Dropsite Massacre. The Raven's Talons can rend even terminator armour as easily as silk, in addition to the normal effects of Lightning Claws. In battle he is normally seen at the head of an assault force of Veteran Raven Guard Astartes, personally trained by himself during his time on Targus VIII and known as "Shrike's Wing". These Veterans also carry Lightning Claws, albeit normal ones. In all his endeavors Shrike upholds the tradition of the Raven Guard in excelling at rapid action and guerrilla warfare. Shrike is armed with Frag and Krak Grenades, a Bolt Pistol, an Iron Halo and the Artificer-made Raven's Talons Lightning Claws.
- Jump Pack
- Iron Halo
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 113
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pp. 25, 42-43, 49, 69, 92, 109, 130
- Codex: Space Marines (4th Edition), pg. 26
- Hunt for Voldorius (Novel) by Andy Hoare