"Una salus victis, nullam sperare salutem." - "The only safety for the conquered is to hope for no safety."
- – Aeneis, Publius Vergilius Maro
"Truth made you a traitor as it often does in a time of scoundrels."
- – Lillian Hellman
HE'S COMING, HE'S COMING, HE'S COMING!...
Yeah, Right. He came. He's here.
Cypher is a pretty impressive Independent Character who Games Workshop neglected releasing rules for despite his model being available for fucking ever and being referenced every 12 seconds in Dark Angels fluff. He was originally notable for having a 4+ on 3D6 completely unmodifiable proof against everything bullshit saving throw on death that served no function but to prevent the other player getting the victory points for killing him since he was still removed even if he passed it. Thanks, Second Ed Codex: Chaos! With the Dataslate from Digital Editions, nearly everyone can now field this bastard in their 6E army.
He's basically a Fallen Dark Angel who dual-wields pistols - one Plasma, one Bolt (radlad), both master-crafted, and both possibly archaeotech - and wears a sweet bone white hoodie over his power armor (which is green and not black for some weird reason). Whenever he pops up on the Dark Angel radar, the Inner Circle loses its shit and dispatches the Deathwing and Ravenwing to bring the fucker in but they never can. They've claimed kills, but he always fucking shows up again.
Cypher’s continued existence bears testimony to his seemingly mystical ability to avoid capture. Every time pursuers get close, he has shown an uncanny ability to escape. Down the ages, the Inner Circle of the Dark Angels have suggested that Cypher is under the protection of some higher power. The fact that his lifespan has continued since the days before the Horus Heresy speaks of unnatural powers at play, but then again Cypher was originally an inherited title, and it's possible that it still is.
- 1 Who is he?
- 2 What he's up to
- 3 List of Cypher's Achievements / Troll-List
- 4 The Lion Sword
- 5 Necromunda: Hired Gun
- 6 6th (and 7th) Edition
- 7 8th edition
- 8 Gallery
Who is he?
"He weaves in and out of my vision- I see one who is many. I see they who will test the Unforgiven. In one Hand he carries hope, in the other despair. I speak of Cypher. He is coming closer all the time."
- – Luther, the Dark Oracle
"Cipher: a secret or disguised way of writing; a code. "
- – Dictionary
Given the above citation, it is unlikely that GW ever wants to pull down their own pants. Cypher is as elusive as Robert Denby, a living urban legend who either has the patronage of a Chaos god to grant him immortality until he finishes his long mission, a title passed down among agents of the Fallen, a son of a bitch who sold us out to the Machines, or a bunch of random dudes pulling the Spartacus Maneuver. The issue of his identity becomes even more complicated when one considers that "Lord Cypher" was a title used by The Order of Caliban (and by extension, the Dark Angels) who was assigned to embody their traditions and customs and ensure that they would be adhered to at all times. It was specifically mentioned that the Lord Cypher was to completely abandon his old identity upon assuming his position and was given a cloak and hood to keep his appearance concealed at all times- given the nature of this role, it is possible that there has been more than one "Cypher" since the Horus Heresy, with each new one inheriting the equipment and personality of his predecessors.
Knight of Lupus / Green Knight
Thankfully we have more than just theories to go off, and something that is known for certain: his history with the Order of Lupus. If there has been more than one Cypher since the Horus Heresy, we know who the very first one was. Anyway, the Order of Lupus was a Calibanite Knight Order that was actually a cult that studied and collected knowledge of Chaos. They were wiped out by Lion El'Jonson, save for a single survivor who was allowed to join the Order and later the Dark Angels and became The Lord Cypher, a rank of the Dark Angels. He is the person who introduced Luther to the "truths" of chaos, but kept Luther and the other Dark Angels on Caliban ignorant of the Horus Heresy at large that was going on around them.
Through Zahariel's eyes: "Where there had been an armour-clad warrior there stood a man garbed in a robe of bark and leaves, a tree given human form. More than a tree, a whole forest, his hair its spilling canopy, his muscles powered by the strength of millions of deep roots…" This may seem weird but it seems to be a reference to The Green Knight of Arthurian legends.
The Green Knight can appear as one of Arthur's greatest champions where he is often portrayed as an exorcist and one of the most powerful knights in Arthur's court, or he is transformed into the Green Knight in order to test Arthur's court. His major role in Arthurian literature includes being a judge and tester of knights, and as such the other characters see him as friendly but terrifying and somewhat mysterious. He was also a Bretonnian rather obviously. Or as a reference to the green man, a vegetation being in medieval art; a recollection of a figure from Celtic mythology; a Christian symbol; or the Devil himself. very fitting for Caliban don't you think.
In any case, this Lupus-Cypher was "killed" (we see him fall, and the body removed by Zahariel's men) during the Fallen uprising, and the Librarian Zahariel took his place as Lord Cypher. The whole young Knight of Lupus thing might just be some kind of elaborate cover story though as when he was unmasked by Zahariel just before his death, Zahariel was able to recognize him as someone from his own past, he may not have even been a space marine given he was still able to feel fear, though he almost certainly was not human.
See also: Zahariel
One thing that is known for certain is that the Librarian Zahariel becomes the Lord Cypher during Luther's declaration of independence. So far he is the last known person to hold the role, since the fluff hasn't identified anyone else to occupy the role after him.
However, at this point Zahariel is consumed by the power of the Ouroboros, essentially making him possessed and therefore a pawn of Chaos.
Holguin - Voted-Lieutenant of the Deathwing
At the end of “Angels of Caliban” Holguin has self-appointed task of looking after the broken Lion Sword and planned to reforge it and make it whole once again.
However, looks like Holguin did succeed in reforging the sword, because the Lion was once again in possession of it in the space between the Horus Heresy and the Scouring. After the fall of the Emperor, the Lion met his brother Russ in the Imperial palace, and resolved their grievances with each other thrown up on Dulan, with both of them admitting their guilt over putting pride ahead of their duty by being away from Terra at the time of the final battle. The Lion Sword gets thrust through Russ's chest with the Wolf King not making any move to resist, but the Lion turns the blade aside without striking any organs and leaving his brother alive. Russ then believed that they finally understood one another after that and grew to respect and admire his brother (but not envy, never that), calling him the best of them all.
So unless Holguin took the sword, gave it to the Lion, then took it back again then he's not any more likely to become Cypher over any other officer of the legion.
Additionally, Holguin was put in command of the forces of the Dark Angels on Macragge after the Lion's imposition of martial law during Imperium Secundus, so you'd think Guilliman would recognise him when he met Cypher in the 41st millennium, but instead only recognised the sword that Cypher carried.
A potential candidate based on loose circumstantial evidence (which is par for the course for Cypher). Despite being the Lion's second-in-command during the Heresy and a famous champion of the legion, Corswain is essentially unaccounted for after the Fall of Caliban. The modern Dark Angels continue to venerate him as a hero of The First, but there is no actual indication that he died at Caliban, or that he continued to lead the chapter in some capacity after the Second Founding, and we know that command of the Dark Angels fell to Farith Redloss in the wake of Caliban's breaking. Corswain's last known position was kicking Fallen ass in orbit when the legion finally made it home and found everything had gone to shit. Beyond that, he seemingly disappeared into the aether. And let's not gloss over just how noteworthy that is; Corswain is a hero of the Imperium, a warrior known across the galaxy for his martial prowess, and a leader during the Siege of Terra. Make no mistake, his name was and is known galaxy-wide, just like Sigismund or Raldoron. In the case of previous two examples, the wider Imperium even has some vague, albeit sanitized understanding of their eventual fates. Under the circumstances, the death of Corswain would be a hard thing to cover up, but the death of Zahariel and later "disappearance" of Corswain would be much more plausible.
According to Luther himself, his Lord Cypher (Zahariel) was killed by Corswain at some point during the orbital battle, though when he mentioned this, Supreme Grand Master Morderan gave him a funny look, as if it did not fit with his understanding of events, potentially meaning that either Luther was incorrect or the Dark Angels record of events was incomplete. Its worth mentioning that Morderan seemingly blew his own brains out in Luther's cell after some kind of disastrous meeting with Cypher. It also may have been the Watchers in the Dark protecting Luther instead of a suicide, but either way, the encounter with Cypher clearly rattled Morderan beyond Astartes levels of self-control.
If this is the case, it's possible that Zahariel broke the Ouroboros' influence over him and passed the title and knowledge to Corswain, with Zahariel either dying or being shipped off to the Grey Knights to become Epimethius. Also considering that he had direct knowledge of Tuchulcha and Typhus' involvement with the Warp device, Corswain is pretty well placed to become Cypher and stop Typhus and Astelan further down the timeline.
Another circumstantial piece of evidence pointing towards Corswain comes in the novel Unforgiven where Cypher tells Azrael that he would have made a good Seneschal for the Lion; a role that Corswain himself was groomed for. Unless Cypher was giving false flattery, it means he was personally familiar with the Lion at the very least; which rules out nearly all of Luther's Fallen on Caliban (except for a small handful) as they never knew their Primarch.
Corswain as Cypher is also symbolically interesting. He was one of The Lion's most loyal sons, the first outside Loyalist to reach the Solar System during the Siege of Terra, and one of the few individuals the Fallen still regard with utter dread. It's been said that Cypher holds the key to redeeming the Fallen, but that forgiveness could easily be a double-edged sword. Neither the Lion nor the Emperor were known for their forgiving nature, and Corswain was called the Hound of Caliban for a reason. In short, him being Cypher could represent final, merciless absolution a long time in the making.
Grey Knight Founder
It seems that one of the Cyphers was originally destined to become one of Malcadors Knights Errant and one of the first grand masters of the Grey Knights. In the Pandorax novel Grand Master Epimethius of the original Grey Knights and one of the Fallen Angels is awoken after a ten thousand year sleep and is confronted by a Lord of Change, who is confused at the turn of events by expecting a different person and actually fears the consequences of the change in fate. Epimethius himself states "someone switched places with me. That is now his path to walk". Granted, they don't mention Cypher by name in that book but it does go great lengths in explaining Cypher's motivations in that he selflessly CHOSE to become fallen with the rest of his brethren and is attempting to rewrite his destiny for some unfathomable purpose.
It is not entirely known when Epimetheus was recruited from Caliban prior to the fall, although the Knights-Errant were on Caliban trying to figure out what Luther was plotting and found him in the middle of a downward spiral, but Cypher helped them escape, so the opportunity was there for him to get out or potentially send someone in his place. Not to mention the fact that Epimetheus is an Alpha-Plus Psyker, so if he was a "proper" Fallen he could purge the Dark Angels if they even looked at him funny, and would probably make the entire Inner Circle collectively shit themselves right through their Termie buttplates if they knew about him.
Another theory is that he is being cast through time in a similar manner to the Legion of the Damned appearing wherever and whenever he is needed. This is subtly hinted at several times in the fluff, first with the minor inconsistency of his phase knife which exists outside of the space-time continuum, so Cypher has it in some instances, but does not have it in other encounters. Secondly, he can fuck with the established timelines and somehow confuse Lords of Change whose JOB it is to know the future (see above) and thirdly, Cypher/Zahariel is somehow connected to the Ouroboros which was concealed on Caliban, which if you know your philosophy is the representation of time recycling itself eternally. So he could be time traveling, or waiting for eternity to swing back around to try things a little bit better each time round.
- According to certain Arthurian legends merlin’s wisdom and knowledge came about because he was ageing backwards through time and so already knew what was going to happen because he had already lived it. In a way Cypher could be playing the part of the Dark Angels version of the Eldar phoenix lords; traveling back through time in order to set up events in preparation for the final battle. Whatever the final plan might be according to the Lord of Change in the “Pandorax campaign” it is directly interfering with the great game of the ruinous powers; when it finds out that two of the players have somehow swapped destinies it is terrified about the implications.
Unless the Watchers in the Dark can pull some resurrection shit they CAN, or Lupus-Cypher is a Perpetual, (or Cypher never actually "died"), given that the Ouroboros plotline only gets resolved at the end of the 41st Millennium before the opening of the Great Rift, and we have no further known candidates with any connection to the creature, and no evidence of anyone else taking the mantle from him, then it is likely that either Zahariel remains as Cypher through to the 41st Millennium, or that perhaps (as is looking increasingly more likely in the fluff) the role has since been taken by Corswain.
During the talk between Azrael and Luther in Luther: First of the Fallen, Luther mentions that his Cypher was slain by Corswain during the destruction of Caliban, and evelopments throughout the Siege of Terra increasingly seem to be setting this up. And though anecdotal, Cypher's disposition as shown in Cypher: Lord of the Fallen, as well as just little characteristics, seems to have a lot more in common with Corswain, rather than Zahariel.
Though with respect to the Grey Knight angle, it is possible that Zahariel passes the mantle on to someone else further down the line, allowing Zahariel to become Epimetheus whilst "Cypher" became the Fallen Angel we know so well. But the question remains: who?
What he's up to
His actual allegiance is a mystery- he's been just as likely to fight Chaos as he is to assist it and there have been multiple incidents where he showed up to save an otherwise doomed Imperial force or even turn on the very cults he helped create. (He even managed to steal the identity of an Inquisitor at one point without anyone noticing until he had long since gotten away with it.) His intentions regarding the Dark Angels are equally bipolar; for every time the Dark Angels have been led astray by him, there's another time where Cypher's trail just happens to lead to the capture of one of the other Fallen or even the discovery of a new recruiting world. Some members of the Inner Circle even theorize that he may be an emissary sent by the Emperor himself to test the Dark Angels' resolve (which is supported by several of Cypher's own statements, including a message he sent to Azrael).
Either way, he is slowly heading in the direction of Holy Terra, a bizarre mission that has the Dark Angels worried as hell. He may even want a word with the God-Emperor. "OH SHIT HE'S GONNA TATTLE ON US!" As if Big-E somehow didn't already know.
In truth it's believed that he has the Lion's sword, and that he intends to return it to the Emperor, ergo earning his/their absolution. Or maybe he's going to assassinate the Emperor. Or maybe both somehow considering the whole Perpetual thing, which to the best of everyone's knowledge tells us that if the Emperor kicked the bucket then he'll just reincarnate and finally get off the throne and get back to business. ...Or Cypher could be betting on Vulkan's Talisman of Seven Hammers acting as a dead-mans switch for the Throne and causing Terra to explode in a fiery inferno the moment it ceases to function, possibly also resulting in the entire human race becoming unprotected warp gates for daemons and enveloping the entire galaxy in a warp storm that makes the Eye of Terror look like an anthill.... Cypher just might be the bearer of the end times. Who knows? Either way, the Dark Angels want him dead before they can find out.
During Abaddon's 13th successive failure, he had the balls to walk onto his capital ship, talk shit, and shoot the only friends Abaddon made in ten thousand years. This happened when Abaddon blinked. As in, closed his eyes and when they opened, corpses. Then he walked out again. Clint Eastwood ain't got shit on this motherfucker. Thus it is now a known fact that Abaddon also fails at blinking.
Also, he is sometimes depicted with green armour even though pre-Heresy Dark Angel armour was black. The Dark Angels who rejected Luther painted their armour green during the Heresy, and were fighting him before the Lion ever showed up on Caliban (this is evidenced by Merir Astellan, who hated both El'Jonson and Luther alike and kept his armor black). The Unforgiven confirms that Cypher changes colour scheme whenever he needs to. His armour is black during that book, but Belial notices that there are still traces of green paint on it (presumably left over from when he played loyalist dress-up during the attack on Piscina in Angels of Darkness). That would at least explain why he shows up all over the place, dressed exactly like a Dark Angel, rustling their collective jimmies.
In one instance in the fluff he was being pursued by the combined efforts of a single Black Templar vessel and a Dark Angel fleet. Even though the Black Templar single-handedly managed to apprehend Cypher because they get shit done, the Dark Angel fleet threatens to destroy the Black Templar ship if they won't hand over their prisoner. Begrudgingly, the Templar ship hands over Cypher, starts to send a short message to their High Marshal and then "mysteriously disappears without a trace". Likely ++they were lost in the warp++. The smug Dark Angels then proceed to fly back home, thinking mission accomplished until they arrive and find the cell containing Cypher to be empty. Poof motherfuckers.
According to Gav Thorpe's latest novel, Cypher tracked down a Ravenwing squad, killed an enemy Fallen, willingly threw down his pistols, and demanded to meet with the Inner Circle. There followed a series of events where Cypher reveals that The Rock has secretly been host to the Tuchulcha Engine for all this time, and it is part of a triumvirate of entities that, when brought together, can cross the bridge of time, the other two being the Ouroboros buried within the core of Caliban (and later remains in Caliban's ruins) and a third device/entity held by Typhus. Cypher's involvement in bringing the three together is accompanied by unusual behaviours from the Watchers in the Dark, which serve to convince the Dark Angels of Cypher's importance, if not his sincerity. When they are brought into proximity in the Caliban system, they open a rift which appears to stretch back in time to Caliban's destruction, to the interest of multiple factions: Azrael skeptically but hopefully wishes to use the rift to prevent the catastrophe, while Astelan thinks to help his rebels win, while Typhus thinks merely to use time travel to cause carnage in the name of his dark master. Cypher, as we'll get to in a second, seems to want the overall picture to stay the same.
- On an amusing sidenote: Cypher seems to actually like and think rather highly of Azrael, saying that he would have made a fine seneschal for the Lion.
- It's actually revealed that this is not the first time that Cypher has been a prisoner on the Rock. He has over the last 10,000 years presented himself many times as a prisoner and each time he has walked free. The shocking thing is that he has never actually escaped, rather each time the current Supreme Grand Master has "let him go". Of course, this is kept all very hush, hush or Asmodai would literally explode in anger.
When shit hits the fan, it appears that the enemies are closer to the rift than the Dark Angels; Ezekiel is the one who convinces Azrael to destroy the rift, since the Fall of the Lion was simply meant to be, and who-knows-what could happen if their enemies traveled through, or brought something back forward in time. However, in the aftermath, there is the implication that destroying the rift in the 41st millennium may have been the causal factor in the event which broke apart the planet of Caliban and which initially scattered the Fallen across time in the first place. Cypher escaped into the time-rift, adding yet more evidence to the theory that he is traveling back through history trying to change events, but his entire motivation for bringing the Dark Angels back to the ruins of Caliban (and therefore uniting the three pieces and destroying 30k Caliban) remains uncertain.
Cypher somehow shows up again later at the close of the 41st Millennium, presumably either traveling back forward through time or by waiting 10,000 years (which considering what we already know is actually quite plausible). This time, he shows up on Macragge, at around the same time Roboute Guilliman is miraculously resurrected. While the "Terran Crusade" is making their way back to Terra, they are set upon by the Red Corsairs, and Guilliman is imprisoned by Kairos Fateweaver on a Blackstone Fortress. Cypher is brought to the fortress by Harlequins and pointed in the direction of Guilliman's cell, offering to save the Terran Crusade from the Red Corsairs and guide them away, on the condition that Guilliman takes Cypher and the Fallen to Terra and to the Imperial Throne, for undisclosed reasons. Guilliman promises to do so, but swears that if Cypher is up to any trickery or deceit he will regret it. Cypher then guides the crusade through the webway, while being pursued by the forces of the Thousand Sons, eventually getting to Luna, where Guilliman has a showdown with his brother Magnus.
However, when they eventually get to Terra, Guilliman recognises the sword on Cypher's back, and has no intention of letting him anywhere near the throne room. He double crosses Cypher, and orders him arrested by the Custodians. Cypher and his fellow Fallen were put into the Blackstone's equivalent of police cell booking (the Warden's were understandably rather preoccupied with the Deamonic invasion on the surface and had skeleton staff). A series of cooincidences (including a Dark Angels strike team infiltrating the Palace, deliberate damaging it's defenses along the way because catching Cypher was apparently more important than the aforementioned deamonic invasion) led to his escape, whereupon he recovered the Lion Sword from the Assassin's - who also have a beef with him for killing so many of their operatives - and came within feet of entering the Throne Room. The sole sane person in the whole affair - the last remaining Warden Custodes - had been given a psychic vision order directly from the Emperor and told Cypher to stop as the message was for him. Cypher, a little pissed off at being stopped when he's so close, straight-up tells the Custodes that nothing he says will stop him from finishing his ten millennia-long quest of whatever the hell he wants with the Emperor. The Custodes proves him wrong with just two words: "Not Yet". Cypher, genuinely surprised by this (when everything else had gone to almost Mary Sue levels of Just As Planned) grudgingly accepted this and somehow managed to escape Terra.
After his miraculous escape, Cypher is apparently being chased by (or more likely leading) a force of the Adeptus Custodes. You know you've made it big when the guardians of the Emperor of Mankind himself have been tasked with catching you; although it's unlikely that they are heading towards a happy ending, as they themselves are being unknowingly shadowed by an, as of yet unidentified force of ships.
Cypher: Lord of the Fallen
List of Cypher's Achievements / Troll-List
- Circa M31 Cypher presents himself at the Rock to the Dark Angels and their twelve successors, explaining that Fallen Angels are going to be dropping out of time and spilling the beans. So they form the Unforgiven to keep the secret under wraps.
- 632.M32 Destroyed/Disappeared a Dark Angels successor chapter (the Lions Sable) and a Dark Angels Supreme Grand Master, then returned the Lion Helm & Sword of Secrets to the Dark Angels.
- 822.M33 Once again, gave back the Lion Helm & Sword of Secrets after the Dark Angels lost them to Orks.
- 997.M33 Corrupted the Angels of Redemption's recruiting world for some reason (more than likely exposed corruption, but since the planet paid its taxes on time, no one cared). At some point Cypher also guides the Dark Angels to the Feral World of Kimmeria, where Azrael is from.
- M34-M35 Was on the Ur Council during the Nova Terra Interregnum and RULED HALF THE IMPERIUM.
- 624.M36 Fought the C'Tan Deceiver IN THE WARP. The paradox of that shit caused his phase knife to exist outside of the space-time continuum and so he has it, but doesn't have it. Cypher broke physics.
- 665.M38 Impersonated an Inquisitor and deleted the Imperial records about himself and the Dark Angels.
Hangs out with the Alpha LegionNOTHING HAPPENED, A PERSON WHO DOES NOT EXIST DOES NOT ASSOCIATE WITH PEOPLE WHO DO NOT EXIST
- 518.M39 Betrays
the Alpha LegionPEOPLE WHO DO NOT EXIST and the Dark Angels incidentally reclaim a hundred planets from them while hunting for Cypher. The High Lords of Terra give them a whole bunch of medals which they wear with pride.
- Late M39 Kills the Grand Master of the Interrogator Chaplains, Belagor, delivering this bad ass line "Luckily for you I do not equate justice with torture so I promise you this will be swift."
- 976.M41 Single-handedly saves a planet from Chaos, leaves one loyalist survivor who becomes Cypher's fall guy when the Dark Angels come checking.
- 989.M41 Pisses off Lugft Huron and the Red Corsairs swear to kill him. Get in the queue guys.
- 997.M41 The High Lords of Terra get worried about broadcasts from the "Voice of the Emperor" and send SEVERAL members of the Officio Assassinorum to deal with it. None return.
- 998.M41 Ophidium Gulf Incident
- 999.M41 Gets into a fight with Belial of the Dark Angels who is the chapter's greatest warrior. Belial's weapons fail.
- Late M41 Cypher attempts to kill an Inquisitor who is close to figuring out the secret of the Fallen Angels, the Ravenwing spoil the kill, potentially causing themselves problems later.
- The aftermath of 13th Black Crusade While the "Voice of the Emperor" has caused a lot of uprisings, it becomes clear that the Cadian sector is now more faithful and prepared than it has ever been (much to Abaddon's irritation). The Dark Angels discover the source of the broadcasts was the ruins of Old Caliban and switch it off.
- 999.M41 (again) Rescues Roboute Guilliman from the Red Corsairs and leads the Terran Crusade to Luna. But gets arrested on Guilliman's order when they reach Terra and placed in an impervious Custodes prison that has never had a break out. Cypher then breaks out in the following sentence. HE AND THE FALLEN WERE SEEN BY EVERYONE IN THE IMPERIUM WALKING IN A PARADE ON TERRA WITH GUILLIMAN.
How the Dark Angels plan to cover this one up is a mystery for the agesBY SENDING AN INNER CIRCLE SUICIDE SQUAD AT HIM AND THE FALLEN OF COURSE. +++I can confirm that this is indeed the case. At this point, I am starting to doubt if Cypher is even loyal to Chaos.+++
- M42(?) (Some years after the battle of Koth Ridge) Cypher presents himself to the Dark Angels and precipitates a sequence of events whereby it is implied that the Dark Angels of the future are involved with the destruction of Caliban.
The Lion Sword
There is no item more mysterious than Cypher’s sword – for it has never been seen unsheathed. Even in the press of close combat, Cypher has never yet been observed to wield the blade. Both psykers and auspex readouts report strange feedback that seems to emanate from the sword within the scabbard, as if it were the source of some barely veiled power. Varying legends have arisen over this never-drawn weapon, claiming it to be the Lion’s Sword once borne by the Dark Angels Primarch. The fact that Roboute Guilliman recognized the sword gives further credence to this theory, as it would have had to have been used during the Great Crusade for him to know, and that it shouldn't belong to Cypher.
During the events of “The Unforgiven” Asmodai attempted to remove the Sword from Cypher. As soon as he made contact with the blade his mind was assaulted by visions of the destruction of Caliban from a first-person point of view, even experiencing the final moments of the person he was viewing the events through. The feelings of hurt and betrayal were so intense that even someone as mad and as zealous as Asmodai was overwhelmed. Asmodai decided that it would be better to allow Cypher to keep the sword and made every effort to never come in contact with the blade again.
During the “Gathering Storm part 3” Cypher accompanied Guilliman to Terra but was refused entrance to the throne room. Guilliman might not recognise who Cypher was but he did recognise the blade Cypher carried on his back, the sight of which made him shudder with dread and there was no way he was allowing that near his father.
Obviously Guilliman has some idea of what it could do, and was either protecting the Emperor by ordering Cypher arrested (bearing in mind that the Golden Throne is already protected by the Companions, psychic wards and Mechanicum safeguards, not to mention the consciousness of the Emperor himself) or because he worries of any future implications surrounding the Dark Angels "Forgiveness".
After the release of the Lions' character model for "The Horus Heresy"-gameline, the part of the mystery which sword it is can be counted as cleared: The model of the Primarch of the First has options for both the Lion Sword and the Wolf Blade used after Guilliman snapped the original weapon of his brother. The Lion Sword is modelled with the exact same crossguard as is the blade Cypher lugs around. Its possible, that the backstrapped one of Cypher is shorter than the one on the Lion himself, but if one assumes, that the blade is either still in pieces or was reforged (it actually has a slight resemblance of Narsil/Anduril from the LotR Jackson films)then it would make sense, that the ornate new scabbard Cypher uses for it is a little shorter than the original weapon, which has a rather utilitarian looking scabbard on the Forge World model.
Necromunda: Hired Gun
Interestingly, the bounty reward planet named Tregrom was named after a ship owned by a rogue trader named Tregor from the Space Hulk: Deathwing, which just so happened to be rediscovered by the Dark Angels as a space hulk in the same game.
6th (and 7th) Edition
His Dataslate comes with some insane(AWESOME) changes and were updated along with the limited edition of the 7E Dark Angels codex.
For one, he can be a non-FOC HQ (But never Warlord) for a Sisters of Battle (eh?), Blood Angels, Grey Knights (Meaning that Kaldor Draigo's even more of a dick than Azrael thought), Imperial Guard, Chaos Space Marines, Space Wolves (How?)(Because an Enemy of an Enemy is a friend), Vanilla Marines and Inquisition (WOT)(Read the fluff, the fucker was an Inquisitor at one stage) army. I mean seriously, how would even HALF of these armies accept this bastard as an ally?(master of disguise) And the kicker is that he'll cost -1 Ld on your real warlord. He can't join a Dark Angels army, and if he's up against Dark Angels, every model with the Deathwing rule gains Hatred (Everyone).
As an Independent Character, he gets ATSKNF, Fleet, Hit & Run, frag & krak grenades and Infiltrate. His sword also gives him Eternal Warrior and Shrouded. Also note that he has BS 10. THE SHIT, GEEDUBS.
Also, that old rule about his daring escape is around again with three modes if Dark Angels are on the field:
- If a Dark Angel is within D6" when he goes down, he's worth 3 flippin' Victory Points for being caught alive.
- If anyone else is within D6" when he goes down, he awards no extra Victory Points for his capture. If there's both a Dark Angel and another dude around when he drops, it becomes a random roll who gets him.
- If nobody's around D6" when he goes down, he'll just leg it and nobody wins a Victory Point.
- If Cypher's still alive at the end of a game, his side wins d3 extra Victory Points.
If no Dark Angels are on the field then Cypher does not award his kill/victory point unless an enemy is within D6" of him when his last wound is lost or he is otherwise removed from the field.
His guns manage to gain some major use, as his plasma pistol ignores Gets Hot! and they allow him to overwatch at full BS. He can also shoot both pistols twice or shoot them once each before or after running. In assault, he'll also make half his attacks (rounding up) at S4 AP5 (using his bolt pistol) and the rest at S7 AP2 (using his plasma pistol), which usually means 2 plasma shots and 2-3 bolt pistol shots as he have 3 base attacks, +1 for two pistols and +1 on the charge, meaning that anything without 3+ wounds and solid invuln in challenge with him is pretty much dead. Note, that this happens on initiative eight.
He also can bring up to 3 Chosen of Chaos squads with himself, to represent his Fallen subordinates/puppets. Those Chosen does not take any slots, have ATSKNF and Infiltrate and can use Cypher's Ld if he's around at the cost of being unable to take any Chaos-y upgrades, like marks or icons, as well as no dedicated transports.
So, looking back, we can summarize the following:
1- he's awesome
2- he's the dark angel equivalent to my little pony on /tg/
3- his rules are cool, do the fluff justice, and will make DA player you face lose. Their. Mind. Just as planned.
In the new edition his bolt pistol is range 16", strength 4, AP-1 and 1 damage whilst his plasma pistol is range 12", strength 8, AP -3 and damage 2 (notice how it gets overcharge statline for free with no overheat risk). Pretty damn good considering he can shoot even if he has retreated or advanced due to his 'Blazing Weapons' rule. He also has Frag and Krak grenades. His two other powers are 'Mysterious Protection' which grants him a 4+ invulnerable save and the ability to 'not be slain' on a 2+ once he loses all wounds; he is still removed from play but he does not count towards victory points. He also has 'Lord Cypher' which grants re-roll of 1's for every Fallen within 6". All this for 110 points less than last edition too!
|Famous members of the Traitor Legions|
|Canon||Abaddon • Ahzek Ahriman • Argel Tal • Cypher • Doomrider • Eidolon • Erebus • Fabius Bile • Haarken Worldclaimer • Honsou • Horus Aximand • Iskandar Khayon • Kharn • Kor Phaeron • Lheorvine Ukris • Lucius • Lugft Huron • Luther • Madox • Maloghurst • Necrosius the Undying • Occam • Sevatar • Shon'tu • Svane Vulfbad • Talos • Telemachon Lyras • Typhus • Ygethmor • Zardu Layak • Zhufor|
|The Games||Araghast the Pillager • Azariah Kyras • Bale • Crull • Eliphas The Inheritor • Firaeveus Carron • Kain • Nemeroth • Neroth • Sindri Myr • Varius|
|Forces of the Fallen|
|Command:||Cypher - Fallen Champion|
|Flyers:||Stormtalon - Thunderhawk|
|Allies:||Chaos Space Marines |
Space Marines (Dark Angels Exempted)