Is Caiatl a True Villan?

It seems she only wants to exterminate the Hive.

She wants to grab her forces and return. She has no need for endless slaughter like Ghaul or infinite enjoyment like her father. She even freed the Psions, a race that were enslaved and forced to work for the Cabal.

I believe “villain” is not the right word to describe Caiatl. To herself and to her people, she is not at all a villain. I think a more apt word(s) to describe Caiatl would be “possible major threat”. Yes she freed the psions but was it a progressive choice or a strategic action? Yes, she wants an alliance with the guardians in an attempt to exterminate the Hive but what will she do when the Hive are exterminated. We cant forget the fact that Caiatl was one of the conspirators who allowed Ghaul to rise to power. She betrayed her own father. Things like this make it hard to consider Caiatl a definitive “ally”.

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Well, when one has to choose between lazy and over military I would go with over military as well.

I don’t think Calus would describe his empire as “lazy”, even though Ghaul and Caiatl would. Even under Calus, the Cabal army was impressive.

But Xivu Arath was able to invade Torobatl because of the Cabal’s almost-worship-like belief in war. I wonder, if Calus was still on the throne of Torobatl, whether the events with Xivu Arath would have unfolded in the same way.

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I think that even if Calus was still in power Xivu Arath would have been able to invade, mainly because even before Calus, the Cabal are a people of war, so there is still the entire rest of Cabal History supplying Xivu Arath with war. I do think however that Xivu would not have been as powerful if Calus was on the throne, because while Calus still had a strong military, but he didn’t use it, therefore not supplying Xivu with power. But, because Calus was overthrown and Ghaul put in power, Ghaul used the ample supplies to invade our Solar System, giving Xivu plenty of power and war, causing her to become almost all-powerful on Torobatl.
But, now we have Caiatl in power, who likely doesn’t know if she wants to rule like her father or Ghaul. She is in a very difficult position, as seen in the Empress lore book, where she has to decide between acting like her father and fighting with the Guardians, or following Ghaul and fighting the Guardians for their system.

As she says in one of the seasonal armor pieces,

“Ghaul commanded you to die for his vanity. I ask only that you fight at my side for the empire. The choice is yours.” —Empress Caiatl

I feel that Caitatl doesn’t respect her father as much as she does or did Ghaul. After all, like @LordSaladPan stated, Xivu Arath was going to come whether the Cabal had a military leader or a more relaxed one. After all she was driven to spread the darkness in their hunt for the Traveler, and Torobatl would have been basically a stop on the way to Sol. Whether the inhabitants wanted Xivu Arath to arrive or not was not a determining factor.

Therefore a more military approach would have been a better defense against the Hive.

And in response to @baxter, I believed Caiatl saw her own father as “lazy and incompentent”, and Ghaul as a stronger figure for power. This is probably why she overthrew her father in the first place.

I feel all of this is true. She grew up adoring the war-filled history of the Cabal, and thus disliked her father, Calus, for his desire for peace. She is an honorable warrior. But, we cannot forget what the fall of Torobatl was, a paracausal force waging full-scale assault on a non-paracausal species. No matter how Xivu Arath got there, it was going to end all the same. The cabal stand no chance against a true offensive from the Hive. Which is why, I think, she wanted an alliance with us. We too are paracausal, an equal to the Hive.

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