Nobledark Imperium Notable People

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This page is part of the Nobledark Imperium, a fan re-working of the Warhammer 40,000 Universe. See the Nobledark Imperium Introduction and Main Page for more information on the alternate universe


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The galaxy has produced numerous notable individuals, Imperial or otherwise, throughout its long and storied history. The actions of these individuals have often shaped the course of history, saving the lives of billions of the galaxy's inhabitants or damning them to perdition. The Primarchs have their own page, which can be found here. The Ruinous Powers and their followers have their own page, which can be found here


Abbadon the Last[edit]

"My uncle was weak. My uncle was a fool.

I loved my uncle. He raised me as his own son, after my own father died. But is it not the way of the world that all children find that their parents have feet of clay.

Horus believed that all he had to do was speak, and people would lay out the fruits of the galaxy before him. That wisdom and reason and, in a pinch, sly cunning would win the day. But he did not realize that some people simply cannot be reasoned with. A trader must speak many languages, and sometimes violence is the only language some people will understand. Sometimes you have to fight, rather than talk, to achieve what you want in life. And if you cannot fight to protect something, then it never truly belonged to you in the first place.

I have heard Lady Malys’ statement. And I offer a counterproposal of my own. There is still something of the sly old man left in me yet. Malys believes me to be weak? Let her bring her fleet before me. Her pitiful excuse she calls a "Black Crusade”. I will devour it. My vessels are the wolves of the galaxy. My fleet is the jaws of the void. We will pick the scraps of her ships out of our teeth. The galaxy is a cold and spiteful place, and we are but its emissaries. I send this message on behalf of the Imperium.

Let those who threaten the galaxy burn."

-- Ezekyle Abbadon, upon hearing Lady Malys' "Let the Galaxy Burn" speech at the beginning of the First Black Crusade

See also Abbadon

Ahzek Ahriman[edit]

EDITOR'S NOTE: Incomplete by word of writefag. Needs to add in the other information present on the Notes page. Writers are unsure if Avenians should be used in this way.

“What are you?”
-- Conversation between one of the Fallen and Ahzek Ahriman of the Daemon Breakers during the battle of Fraxos, circa 780.M39, after the former stabbed the latter through the chest to no effect.

Ahzek Ahriman was born in the country of Achaemenidia, long known as the crossroads of the Old World, during the Unification Wars. As a result, as a child he had the opportunity to watch the Warlord's armies criss-cross the planet, first to the east to head off the western ambitions of Ursh, then to the south to shore up the rest of Afrik, then back to the east again to cross into Persepotropolis and the rest of Azia.

Ahriman grew up in Achaemenidia under the shadow of marching Thunder Warriors alongside his twin brother, Ohrmuzd. Despite being twins, the two of them could not be more different, like fire and shadow. Ahriman was the fire, full of righteous passion and will. Ohrmuzd was the shadow, calm and understanding, but also soft and unassertive. Ohrmuzd often had difficulty hiding his psychic gifts and was frequently harassed as a freak and a witch during his childhood. Ahriman often found himself defending his shier brother against the other children with his hands and fists, gaining many a bruise or bloody nose in the process. It was these encounters that left Ahzek Ahriman with a lifelong hatred of bullies and those that would abuse power, something that would influence him for the rest of his life.

Eventually, the psychic talents of the two brothers brought them to the attention of the Imperium, in particular the inscrutable psyker Magnus the Red. Both brothers were inducted into the newly formed XV Legion, and given the enhancements of the Mark III MP geneseed. Although both brothers were tutored by Magnus, Ahriman was clearly the favorite. Ahriman devoured knowledge at a rate that few others in the legion could match, and was always eager to learn more. Ohrmuzd never resented this, he had always been afraid of his powers and was merely happy to be able to know enough to keep them under control. Ahriman grew to idolize Magnus, whereas Magnus came to see Ahriman as his star pupil. Magnus had always been too scarred by his experiences in Ursh and the Forbidden Mountains of Himalazia to ever consider a romantic relationship, but he considered Ahriman to be the closest thing he ever had to a son. Magnus even trusted him enough to teach him the forbidden arts of summoning and binding creatures of the Warp, passed on to him by his mother Ada.

When the Warlord, now rechristened the Steward chose his Primarchs, Ahzek Ahriman was one of the possibilities at the top of the list among idle gossipers, due to his immense talent and being by far the most prominent son of Achaemenidia. However, in the end Ahriman was passed over in favor of Magnus the Red. To Ahriman, this was only right and proper. He had owed everything to Magnus, and it was only fair that his mentor be recognized for his talents. The student had yet to surpass the master, and he was humble enough to admit it.

Tragedy struck during the Ark Reach Cluster campaign when the Thousand Sons fought against the human Avenians on their capital world of Heliosa alongside the Word Bearers and the Vlka Fenryka. The inhabitants of Heliosa used strange magicks to stymy the Imperial advance, and the Steward had sent his legion of witches and psykers in turn to check them. The more powerful Ahriman stayed behind to protect the rear while his more cautious brother was sent to advance the front. Yet when Amon unexpectedly returned to the rear guard in a panic saying that something had happened and Ahriman had to come with him immediately, Ahriman realized something had gone wrong.

The Avenians were loyal devotees of Chaos and the four Ruinous Powers, which was the source of their strange abilities. Their patrons had taught them nightmarish fleshcrafting sorcery to unleash upon the legionnaires, which turned men into mewling monstrosities and was especially potent on psykers and the weak-willed. When Ahriman finally reached the front, he was directed to a shambling mass that could no longer stand under its own power. It has no axis of symmetry, with numerous limbs sticking out from its melted tumor of a body, many of which were not even human. It labored to breathe, most of the eyes on its faceless body glassy and unfocused. There was no mistaking who it used to be, especially when the creature opened one of its mouths and begged for death with the same voice that Ahriman had known since childhood. There was no saving Ohrmuzd, only giving the tortured thing he had become peace. It was when he delivered the final mercy to his afflicted brother that he realized the truth: the gods of Chaos and their daemons were no more than upscaled bullies. It seemed childish and ludicrous a thought to entertain, but that did not mean it was not true.

It is said that twins, especially psyker twins, possess a connection unlike anything else in the universe. The eldar and {DATA REDACTED} can well attest to this, and this is thought to be the principle behind psychic phenomena like Ansible Twins. And the loss of that connection, the loneliness that follows, is one of the worst things anyone can experience. Ahriman certainly felt that way. Tragedy would continue to dog Ahriman. Achaemenidia was virtually destroyed in the War of the Beast, like most countries of the reformed Tharkian Empire due to the Beast’s forces encamping at the gates of the Imperial Palace to the north during the Battle of Terra.

However, although it was not possible to recover in full, it was possible to move on. When the Thousand Sons relocated themselves to the psychic planet of Prospero after the end of the War of the Beast, Ahriman found a second home for himself. Despite being an outsider, his love of knowledge and learning eventually won over the local population, with Ahriman eventually becoming one of the most esteemed teachers and scholars on the planet. Many a letter from Prospero during the Imperial Golden Age speaks glowingly of “Professor Ahriman”, the tutor who seemed to have boundless enthusiasm for teaching and was well-loved by his students. He was for many generations of young psykers what Magnus had been for him.

Then the Fourth Black Crusade happened. Prospero for years had been a source of irritation for Lady Malys and the Crone Eldar, the idea of a human psychic city on a hill was disgusting to them. Prospero had always been a target during the last three Black Crusades, but this time it appeared as though the destruction of the planet would actually happen, as the Cronefleets marched slowly but surely towards Prospero as Imperial fleets, Guard regiments, and Astartes chapters marshalled to its defense. Ahriman had had enough. He had already lost his home and his family twice before. He would not do so again. As Astartes and Spire Guard and daemon and Crone Eldar dueled to the death in Tizca’s streets and nuclear bombs exploded in the planet’s atmosphere, Ahriman gathered up whatever psykers he could spare, ranging from Prosperan students to Thousand Son Librarians, to conduct a hastily made ritual out of what little sorcerous knowledge could be scrounged out of the Great Library of Tizca to send Prospero to a pocket dimension where it would be safe. Needless to say, the results of the ritual did not go according to plan. Whether or not the Changer of Ways had any hand in corrupting the ritual is unknown, though certainly not out of the question.

Ahriman and his cabal survived the casting of the Rubric, and at first he seemed to cope suspiciously well given the loss of his adopted home. However, it soon became apparent that any such acceptance was merely a façade, and Ahriman had become deeply broken and self-loathing by this turn of events. A few decades after the Burning of Prospero, it was discovered that Ahriman had been using Magnus’ forbidden knowledge to bind and interrogate daemons and had been teaching other members of the Thousand Sons how to do this. When an Inquisitorial investigation confirmed these claims there was a public outrage. Magnus the Red was particularly horrified by this turn of events. Having seen Ahriman as his potential successor, he had taught Ahriman the forbidden ways passed down to him by his mother because he believed the knowledge needed to be remembered just in case and he felt Ahriman was responsible enough to use them only as a last resort. He didn’t expect Ahriman to start summoning daemons and beating them for information. As everything took a turn for the worst, Ahriman and most of his followers who knew how to bind daemons fled, unrepentant for their actions but refusing to hurt fellow Imperials over it.


Be thine world benighted by esoteric phenomena?
And whose aid would you ask?
Be you confronted by the unknown, and deem it horrific to look upon?
And whose aid would you ask?

Men of Ahriman fear no daemon!
Men of Ahriman fear no daemon!
Be you stricken with ghastly, coursing visions?
And whose aid would you ask?
Be your boudoir inhabited by wicked phantoms?
Aye, and whose aid would you ask?
Men of Ahriman fear no daemon!
Men of Ahriman fear no daemon!
-- First two cantos of the Hymn of the Daemon Breakers

Alith Anar[edit]

EDITOR'S NOTE: May need name change

An insane reformed Dark Eldar that goes on raids, sometimes solo because nobody else is stupid enough, into the Dark City and the Crone Worlds because FUCK THOSE PIECES OF SHIT!

He is a vat grown, one of the legions in the Dark City. Massively underdeveloped psychic powers for an eldar of his age. Like holy shit small children are better psykers than him. To speak the High Tongue properly you need to have at least some psychic talent for the inflections. He can't hardly speak High Tongue.

On the positive side this does make him far better at passing for the Dark Eldar he used to be. What made him change sides? Nobodies sure. He just took a look around one day at his shitty gang of half-withered in one of the low towns. Looked up at the towers of High Town, saw the procession of Chaos Eldar walking his street like they owned it, looked back up at High Town, looked again at his gang, remembered the traveling Harlequins and the things they told him and then lost his mind.

Next thing he knows he's sprinting through the webway with angry scum behind him.

Technically he is on the Path of the Outcast. He can't adapt to Craftworld life properly, he's too old to change easily now. He is only allowed in the periphery and visitors sections of the more tolerant Craftworlds, the others have banned him outright for being what he is. He wholeheartedly approves of this because he would do the exact same in their shoes.

He has gone full monk. He eats only simple food, drinks only water, spends much time in meditation and contemplation, hones his martial skills and as far as anyone can tell he is totally celibate. He is about as far away from Dark Eldar psychologically as it is possible to get.

He has more friends among humanity than his own species, if only because humanity is notoriously and tragically bad at telling Dark and Craftworld eldar apart without training. Also humanity tends to be slightly more forgiving, he considers them to be a bit stupid in that regard.

He is not charismatic. He is not some dashing anti-hero or pantie moistening Dark Knight type figure. He's a deranged fuck up with weaponry that probably isn't safe to be left with alone. He has done terrible things and they don't trouble him as much as they should. He isn't motivated by some higher purpose, his motivation is "kill as many of the fuckers before one of them gets lucky and kills me". His one real redeeming feature, if such it is, is that he is predictable in what he wants if not in how he goes about getting it.

Anval Thawn[edit]

EDITOR'S NOTE: May need some adjustments. Malan'tai was said to be steered into a star and it's not clear if the Grey Knights would have been around to help since Malan'tai was anti-human. Additionally, there was talk of going into more detail on Thawn's deaths and how it has affected him.

Anval Thawn of the Grey Knights was born to perfectly normal parents in one of the Sunless Cities deep in the crust of Old Earth called Kal Darihm, down in the deeps and just above the lightless seas and the geothermal shafts and surrounded on all sides by the winding tunnels of night eternal where no man lived. Here his father provided for his family as a humble and honest fisherman of the strange pale fish that were found so deep. He attended the local branch of the Rhetor Imperia, Paragon Cuthbert’s School For Good Citizens, which was present in the outskirts of south Kal Darihm at that time.

He received a simple but well-rounded education. He learned a little of history both recent and ancient, he learned a little of geography both local and galactic, he learned a little High Gothic in a sort of rough and ready way and then went to be a fisherman like his father as was expected. In a fair and just universe that would have been his life, a life on the water doing honest work for honest pay knowing nothing of war or the horrors beyond name and number. But the galaxy is not just and the galaxy has no notion of fairness.

On his fifteenth birthday, three years after finishing his formal education, a pale-grasper of unusual size plucked him from his father’s boat swiftly and with barely time to scream but rather than sure death in the briny deeps in the maw of a great Cephalopod he rose from the darkness like a missile bathed in light and bolted across the surface of the sea like it was sound rock of the tunnels. Tests confirmed it, Anval of the family Thawn was a psyker. His mother and father and brother and sister held him close that night as they knew that they would not see him again for a long time if at all, he held witch-fire in his heart and the Sisters of Silence were ever efficient in their duties.

Sure enough in the early hours a knock of armoured fist on their door was heard. Father Thawn opened the door to the sister in her brass-trimmed robes and with tears in their eyes the family was divided and Anval was taken to the Schola Psykana and the distant land of the surface. It took some time for melancholy to pass as he had left behind all he knew and it took longer for the agoraphobia to subside as he had never seen sky or sun or moon before and was quite expecting to fall from the face of the Earth with no cave ceiling above him.

He studied hard in the hallowed halls of the Schola Psykana and although his tutors felt within him a great roaring furnace of potential ability they couldn’t teach him of any way to harness it beyond simple telekinesis and a little light illusion. None of their techniques worked but then the primary purpose of the Schola Psykana was to make people safe for their own good and the good of the people and with this they did succeed. The whispers of things to dark and terrible to contemplate found no purchase in his mind and soul and were ever frustrated. By age seventeen Anval was brought to the attention of other eyes. His stature was sturdy and his limbs strong, he had great stamina and had maintained his physique from his fishing days through his further education.

It was bitter sweet when he returned home again for proud though his family was of him his new journey would take him to the fabled halls of Titan. On Titan he was torn apart and remade in the image of the legends of ancient days, a Grey Knight and a warrior without peer. The training was hard, but he rose to the challenge of it and surgical modifications were brutal but he endured them and the flesh of the artificial organs took root in his own.

Anval of the family Thawn returned home only a few times, though he wrote often. He was not the same person he had been when he left and with each passing year in the service of the Imperium he grew more distant from them and had seen things out in the wars on distant worlds and stranger places that he did not wish to see. He outlived his family by many generations and in the end it seemed he met his doom on the bones of the craftworld Malan'tai. The craftworld was being disassembled carefully as none would dwell in so sorrowful a place but much was still to be had for salvage and such value had attracted the damned and forsaken. The battle was short and intense and almost a defeat but the neverborn and their fallen eldar pets were dispatched. Of the casualties was Brother Thawn who fell with the spear of N'Kari, Keeper of Secrets. With great solemnity his body and the bodies of his fallen brothers were taken back to Titan to be laid to rest in the fields of the dead beneath the dense and dark atmosphere.

It was then that the legend of Thawn really began to get told. Just before the procession made it to the airlocks the almost interred Brother-Knight pushed the stone slab from his sarcophagus and sat upright, removing the linen shroud from his confused features. Commotion was an understatement. It was determined, after extensive testing to ensure freedom from corruption, that he mustn’t have been dead when they laid him out to rest. The Apothecaries emphatically denied this. He was dead as Pius, a spear in his chest the size of a small tree punched a hole right through his chest and took most of the contents of the ribcage with it. His resurrection was not the work of mundane recovery.

Whatever the cause he was given a clean bill of health and returned to service after another six months of testing. Seventy years of the Long War later and he was longitudinally bisected from collar to hip by an orkish worshiper of Khorne. On the way back to Titan his comrades were more than a bit startled to see him sit down in the ship’s mess hall for a bite to eat and a cup of tea with nothing more untoward than confused memories of the last few hours. He was tested again and again, after some time, returned to service.

In his three thousand year career Anval Thawn has been;

Crushed by a Gargant - full recovery in just under 48 hours

Decapitated by a Fallen Champion of Slaanesh, flesh melted from the head and the skull taken as a trophy - head reappeared on shoulders in less than a month

Atomised by necron gauss flayer - awoke in his bunk on Titan seven weeks later

Direct hit from a nuclear warhead, body unrecoverable - was next seen walking on to the bridge of the ship that he had departed from earlier that day.

Mobbed and torn apart by Meatweaver constructs - Reappeared in the Titan dockyard nearly a year later. Longest absence on record.

Burned to the bones by Defiler in 12th Black Crusade - Appeared in a nearby forest naked less than an hour later and started sprinting towards the Defiler to get even.

And many other terrible fates. There is no describable pattern to manner of death to time spent dead or any reliability on where he will return. As to why he returns at all? Some say it's his natural immense psychic talent finding an outlet. Some say he has been chosen by the eldar's future god of the dead to be it's herald, reaching backwards through time to bless him. Some say it's a prank by Chaos to drive him to despair and show him that there is no hope, not even in death. If it is a prank of Chaos it's backfired hideously. Thawn has had thousands of years to see the beauty of the Imperium he fights and dies for and if he must die he will die a thousand times a thousand and a thousand more again.

He has been around long enough now to see the shape of things and note the number of prophesies reaching fruition. He has seen the face of the enemy and it is getting worried. The Imperium marches to Judgment Day and what the gods maybe don't appreciate is that they are just as much on trial.

The APEX Twins[edit]

See The APEX Twins

Arik Taranis[edit]

The First Custodian

Unlike many of the people who served the Warlord during the Unification Era, Arik Taranis came from the Terrawatt Clan, much like Malcador and the Warlord himself. As a result, Arik knew the Warlord back when the Warlord was merely Oscar, the two of them having virtually “grown up” together. Like most of the people in the Terrawatt technocracy, Arik was quite tech savvy. In fact, Arik was one of the better geneticists in Terrawatt, and was one of the people who helped the Warlord design the first model of Thunder Warrior augmentations. A design which, shortly after, he then used on himself.

The Warlord was taken aback at the idea that Arik would subject himself to the Thunder Warrior treatment. The design for the Thunder Warriors was untested and Arik was worth more for his brain than as a super-soldier, and the Warlord told him as much. Arik rebutted that the very fact the Thunder Warrior augmentations were untested was the reason Arik needed to undergo the procedure in the first place. Oscar needed someone he knew to be competent to lead the Thunder Warriors, and Arik was one of the few people who fit the bill.

Arik Taranis proved to be unfailingly loyal to the Warlord and his ideals of Unification, serving as the Warlord’s personal bodyguard in the years before the creation of the Adeptus Custodes. However, his service was not without controversy. Taranis had a bad habit of doing things behind the Warlord’s back, some of which went for centuries before anyone even discovered he had done them in the first place. Perhaps the greatest example of this was the large number of experimental modifications he made to his own augmentations, all of which were done behind the Warlord’s back. This was largely due to Taranis and the Warlord’s shared upbringing, leading him to see the Warlord as an equal rather than a messiah or a figure of admiration.

This was far from Taranis’ only flaw. Taranis could be rather arrogant and impetuous, and sometimes overestimated his own abilities. He often liked to show off both in terms of intelligence and his physical ability. He had a flashy fighting style and liked to let his opponents know they were completely outclassed, though he would often drop it and fight seriously when the situation demanded it. He was a bit of an adrenaline junkie, and enjoyed a good fight more than anything else.

However, Taranis’ initiative was also a good as well as a bad thing. Although Taranis was often too independent for his own good, he was also one of the few people who the Warlord could rely on to tell him the honest truth, even if it was one he did not want to hear. The Warlord saw Malcador as a father figure, and any argument between them tended to be resolved in the latter’s favor. By contrast, the Warlord tended to inspire near-mythical levels of awe in many of his followers, which made debate rather difficult. Taranis knew the Warlord had feet of clay and was willing to give him a second opinion, but because the Warlord knew Taranis only had the Warlord’s best interests in mind and was (usually) willing to defer to his better judgement he was willing to hear him out.

Arik Taranis lasted on the front lines much longer than almost any of the other first-generation Thunder Warriors. This was in part because he understood how his augmentations worked, and therefore knew the right combination of diet and drugs to keep himself healthy, and partly because of the large number of experimental add-ons he performed behind the Warlord’s back to make himself more stable, many of which later floated down to later super-soldier designs. However, all of this was merely prolonging the inevitable, and Arik’s body eventually failed him just before the end of the Unification.

Oscar came to his old friend shortly after Unification, finding Taranis sullenly sitting in a wheelchair in the hospital. Taranis had been fortunate enough that it was his body that had failed him, rather than his mind. The Warlord, now Steward, reiterated to Arik what he had said decades ago. Arik was worth more to humanity for his brain than his brawn, and he needed to stop pushing himself before he got himself killed. Arik had been a fine soldier and a loyal bodyguard, but what Earth needed now were scientists and doctors, not soldiers.

Arik was put to work rebuilding Old Earth with the rest of the scientists. As a geneticist, Taranis was one of many who were tapped by the Steward to work on the Mark III gene-seed project. This was primarily where Taranis’ secret modifications to himself made their way to the later super soldier designs. Although the primary movers in the Mark III gene-seed project were the Merikan gene-hippies and the Ducht Jermanic genesmiths, Arik provided his own contributions to the project, mostly in the form of modifications which he had field-tested himself and therefore knew would work.

It was at some time during this period that Arik realized that he could use the results of the gene-seed project to fix his old, broken augmentations. And so it was that once again, with the help of a few other intrepid helpers, Arik Taranis once again decided to tamper with his own augmentations. Arik was excited about the possibilities. Being able to fight once more on the front lines with the Steward. What’s more, if the procedure worked, he could then apply the results of his research to the other Thunder Warriors and heal them of their woes. And why would it not? He was the one who had done the theoretical calculations, after all, and since when had he been wrong?

It was the biggest mistake of Taranis’ life. The procedure went disastrously wrong and had to be aborted, and Taranis nearly died. It was only at this point that the full extent of Arik’s modifications to himself became known. Indeed, the only reason Arik even survived the procedure was that he had several additional organs in his system wasn’t even supposed to have. If it had been anyone else on the operating table, they would have died. Taranis’ dream of using the procedure to fix all of the other broken old Thunder Warriors had died on the operating table.

The Steward, for his part, was furious when he found out what Taranis had done. Taranis was in better health this time, a bitter consolation from the few augmentations that had been installed before the operation had to be aborted. Although before it was Taranis who provided an outsider’s perspective on the Steward’s actions, this time it was the Steward who saw his friend’s flaws. The discussion between the two was short and personal. Taranis said he was fit for duty. The Steward disagreed. He had seen the medical reports, and he had heard what Taranis had done to himself. Additionally, the Steward personally thought that Taranis was nowhere near as stable as he claimed, given the issues that had plagued many of the other early stage Thunder Warriors. Between his mismatched physiology and the fact that no one but Arik knew how his augmentations worked, he was a liability in the field. He would not let Arik put himself in danger like that. According to the Steward, if Taranis wanted to be his guard so badly, then so be it. But Taranis forgot it was the job of the Steward’s bodyguards to protect the Imperial Palace and humanity’s capital just as much as it was to guard him. Taranis would be staying on Old Earth. And if Oscar ever found out that Arik had been experimenting on himself again, he would put his old friend back in that wheelchair personally.

And so, despite his turnaround in health, Arik found himself doing much the same thing he had been doing before he had attempted the procedure. The only difference was that he found himself assigned to the Steward’s new set of bodyguards, the Adeptus Custodes, albeit with explicit orders to remain on Earth guarding the Imperial Palace and training the next generation of Custodians. Although Taranis was not as physically strong as the new Custodes, he made up for it with the years of fighting experienced he had gained by surviving some of the toughest battlefields of Unification-era Earth. Nevertheless, Arik had mixed feelings about his pupils. One the one hand, he was proud of them, both as the product of both his genetic expertise and the students of his teachings. On the other hand, he knew that eventually his students would reach a level he could not attain. Skill could only take him so far and, more than likely, his body would break down once again. Even Constantin Valdor, who he considered his brightest pupil despite his dour, no-nonsense attitude, would one day surpass him.

Like everyone else on Old Earth, Taranis was shocked at the news of the War of the Beast. As the horror stories from the front began to trickle in, one terrible fact began to become clear. The Beast seemed to be making a beeline for Old Earth. Many of the legions were already on their way back to reinforce the planet, but it was highly likely the Beast would get there before all of the legions did. If Old Earth was going to survive it was going to need a standing army, and fast. And Taranis knew just where he might find one.

Taranis put out a call to all of the remaining old, retired Thunder Warriors using the old Unification-era codes to congregate at the Imperial Palace. These were not first-generation Thunder Warriors, who by that point were all dead with the exception of Angron, who lay on his deathbed within the Imperial Palace. They were late-stage Thunder Warriors, who had been removed from active duty for one reason or another. Most were too broken to respond to his call, but quite a few felt they had one fight left in them. They would need a few days to assemble, but they would be there. Taranis needed one last thing, a symbol to inspire them, one that would to appeal to both Unification-era soldiers and Astartes alike.

So he took up the old flag of Unification.

The Siege of Terra was one of the most intense experiences of Arik’s life. Orks, daemons, Dark Eldar, and Crone Eldar seemingly coming from all directions. A perpetual struggle just to survive. Old friends and new students fighting side-by-side in the name of humanity. Taranis had never felt more alive.

Taranis’ greatest personal victory of the battle came when he defeated Zarakynel, the Slaaneshi Keeper of Secrets. As Taranis crushed a Chaos Eldar’s head with his gladius, its flawlessly beautiful features exploding into a bloody paste, a flash of silver in the corner of his vision caught his attention. He had only the slightest moment to spin away from the attack as two blades whistled past, sparks flying as they tore gauges into his golden breastplate. The Blood Angel veteran beside him was not so fortunate: locked in combat with a Bloodletter, the twin blades sliced through the two combatants with only the slightest of resistance, daemon and Astartes alike falling into three neat pieces.

Taranis looked up at his attacker. Before him stood a lithe monstrosity surrounded by screeching Daemonettes, a looming figure of purple skin and whipcord flesh. Its features were male and female, animal and human, beautiful and grotesque, all at once, and at the end of its four slender arms wicked swords and claws gleamed malevolently as they spun and danced in the daemon’s hands.

As the battle raged around them, the Keeper of Secrets looked down at him and grinned, wet purple lips splitting to reveal rows of black teeth. “I have heard of you, Arik Taranis. The old custodian. The cripple. The freak. Trying so hard to reach perfection as you watch the rest of the world leave you in the dust. Take heart, though, for to die at my hands will be a beautiful death.”

Behind Taranis, several Custodes stepped forward to join him, fanning out in an arc beside their Lord Commander. “Perhaps you’re right,” said Taranis. “Perhaps I am only a old mass of mismatched parts and refuse stitched together.” His hand tightened around his gladius, and beside him six halberds rose in unison. “Still, better to die a freak than to live as filth such as you. My body may be weak, but an old friend of mine always said that my brain was stronger than my body. Let us see if that’s true.”

The Keeper of Secrets screeched with rage, and as one the Custodes charged, two splitting off to hold off the Daemonettes and four joining Taranis against the greater daemon. Immediately the daemon’s arms sprang into deadly motion, its blades and claws quicksilver flashes as the four arms attacked, parried, and riposted the attacks of the Custodes. Taranis had never faced an opponent so fast; fighting the daemon felt like fighting ten opponents, as its blows rained down from all sides. Slowed by the great banner in his left hand, it took all his skill and cunning to defend himself from the daemon’s attacks, and for the hundredth time that day he envied the augmentations of the younger Custodes around him.

Yet they were not faring much better. For all their speed and strength, the Custodes could not seem to find a gap in the daemon’s defenses, leaving only glancing blows even when their halberds managed to connect. All the while, the Keeper of Secrets arms were a blur of motion, blades whirling around its body in an impenetrable defense and lashing out in blindingly quick strikes. The daemon’s attacks eventually found their mark. One Custodes fell, his head cleanly decapitated from his body, and then another fell, cut in two from shoulder to hip as he reeled backwards from the loss of an arm.

Taranis glanced down at their corpses. Taleos, Karwenn. Two boys he had personally picked from a crowd of aspirants. He had placed their first practice swords in their hands and taught them how to swing a blade, lectured them on the meaning of loyalty and duty, and placed the golden, crested helms upon their heads when they were inducted in the ranks of the Custodes. Two more corpses among mountains. Perhaps Oscar is right, he mused. I have grown old and worn from battle, my heart hardened and blasted smooth by war and death. My time is over. He deserves a better man at his side.

As they fought, Taranis noticed the daemon was slowing its attacks just as they neared him, giving him just a hairsbreadth of room to parry or dodge away from its slashes. It is taunting me, showing me just how much faster it is, he realized. Beneath his helm he smiled grimly. Perhaps we are more alike than I thought. I can work with that.

Taranis feinted backwards, feigning a stumble, and the Keeper charged, shrieking exultantly as it sensed victory. However, its greed and bloodlust left it overextended and the other two Custodes pressed the attack, forcing the daemon to throw out its arms to both sides to fend off assault. In that moment, Taranis saw his chance. Digging in his back foot, he reversed his momentum and charged the greater daemon with a burst of speed, closing the gap in the blink of an eye. Caught without time to prepare a proper defense, the daemon could only howl as it desperately stabbed forward with its two free arms towards Taranis’ chest.

There was no way to block both attacks, the daemon was too close and too swift. So Taranis chose. His sword arm swept up, knocking aside one of the daemon’s silver swords. The other sank deep into the left side of his chest, grinding and scraping as it pierced first his breastplate and then his interlocking ribcage. Taranis grunted and lurched forward, blood spilling forth from the wound. The daemon grinned, for it knew that it had just pierced the Custodes’ primary heart, and it would be a trivial matter to finish the weakened human.

Or so it thought. Taranis savored the flash of surprise on the daemon’s face as his charge continued unslowed, its gloating pleasure becoming shock. Who would have known that the last ditch surgery that moved his heart to his right side and saved his life on the operating table would save him once again. And now he was within the daemon’s guard. It could not defend, it could not run.

The Banner of Unification clenched firmly in his left hand, he hacked down at the monster’s leg, severing it at the first joint, and as the Keeper of Secrets fell forward screaming Taranis spun and lifted his gladius to meet it in a great, flashing arc. The power sword sparked and crackled as it bisected the daemon at the waist. Purple blood and steaming ichor spattered Taranis’ helm as the top half of the daemon sailed past, its soul sent back to the Immaterium to grovel before the Prince of Pleasure and explain how his greatest champion had fallen against a freak.

Arik Taranis died spitting defiance into the face of the Beast and his nobs, even though he had not managed to do any lasting damage to the great grot. If one had been able to speak to Taranis after the battle, he would have probably said it was the way he would have wanted to go.

Arik Taranis’ body was laid to rest in a now forgotten graveyard in the old nation of Terrawatt.

Belisarius Cawl[edit]

EDITORS NOTE: We need a replacement for the Khrave Incursion, Machairius wiped them out years before in this timeline.

The Wizard of Flesh

Archmagos Belisarius Cawl started his life in 333.M41 like many born to the Adeptus Biologicus in that he was born from as the fruit from one of the bizarre half-animal gestation trees of Molech. Odd things, part plant and part animal and with a seed pod designed to hold and support an implanted human embryo until full development. He had no parents, or possibly he had legion of them as his genes were a randomized assortment taken from the seed vaults of the Blood-Cutter order.

He grew up as many such branch children do, regimented into cohorts of his own age and, when characteristics and aptitudes became evident, abilities. It was not a bad childhood or at least not as bad as it could have been. He sent his youth in an almost magical kingdom of strange flowers, towering trees and bizarre animals spliced and cultivated by the genius of his and kindred orders.

He grew to be wise, quick to learn and meticulous in his duties though quite introverted. His aptitude was found to be in the modification of things that were already functioning rather than the majority of the Blood-Cutter order who typically specialized in making new organism from scratch. Cawl's earliest assignments as a Technician-Novice was in the manipulation of viruses and bacteria useful in the creation of vaccines, efforts that saw his first master repeatedly targeted by decidedly unsubtle Nurgle Cultists. In one such altercation it was discovered that Novice Cawl was, when backed into a corner, more than capable of defending himself when several assailants were found fatally stabbed in the head and neck with scalpels. These attacks did nothing for Cawl's already difficult disposition and were almost certainly responsible for his massive reluctance to never leave his home planet.

When it was deemed he had learned enough from his first master he was transferred to another of the orders elders to learn the mysteries of immunity and organ transfer. He proved quite good at this and used his now considerable knowledge to tailor viruses with genes of the intended recipient to change genetic markers in the foreign organ to make it acceptable to the host body. This was considered work of the highest order, far beyond what a mere Novice should be capable of and so it was to be his official Master Piece and he was declared a true adept, an ordained member of the Blood Cutters.

His work was of such astounding quality that customers would come to him and he would never have to leave Molech, a fear that had only grown over the years. Typically he was commissioned to piece together aging governors and other medium to big-ish players who had already had some work done to them, often from a rival order, and weren't following the official human internal plan anymore. It would be nice to think that they asked for him in person but at that point he was probably being given the jobs the elders weren't willing to be accountable for. But Cawl was a very fast learner and proved capable of fixing most of what was dropped on his work slab.

This won him many friends, it also won him many enemies. Specifically political rivals of his patients who would like him to stop giving them additional years of grief. Cawl knew he had made it big when he had to dodge his first attempted murder, attempted murderer sadly could not be brought in for questioning after Cawl jammed the sharp end of a broken long necked beaker into his throat.

It was not until the 4th Khrave Incursion that his name truly got made known as his workshop was one marked as a repair center for broken Space Marines of both the MkIII MP Astartes and the Dog Soldiers of Vin's World. Many of these broken super soldiers were suffering from a combination of various carcinogenic substances and several mutagenic infections. By this time Cawl was approaching the end of his third century and had Novices of his own to teach and he felt that they learned a lot from being allowed to open a Space Marine up whist still working (and conscious). Most of those that came to him survived to everyone's amazement bar his own.

It was at at about this point in his life that he started, as all of his kind seem to, to look towards self improvement. Like all of his kind it became somewhat of a hobby of his although unlike most of his kind he at least made some effort to remain looking human.

Belisarius Cawl continued to work diligently and his work was much sought after despite his eccentricities. One of his most worrying eccentricities was making people "better" rather than just well. All that his patients knew of for sure when the anesthetic put them under was that they would wake up healthy. They might also wake up with a new set of lungs they didn't ask for or a more prehensile tongue, one of his favorite things to do was to replace the melanin in peoples skin with different compounds so that patches of it would tan a different colour and make beautiful patterns. Possibly he was slightly insane but it was a useful very insane.

By the time he was first contacted by Emissaries from distant Ultramar he was approximately 590 years old. He was by then a mottled green of unevenly spread chloroplasts in his skin and his eyes would have looked more at home on a cephalopod but compared to others of his type of such advancing years was comparatively normal. Physically normal at least. His mental state was questionable.

It wasn't until several more requests the final of which was slapped onto his desk via Custodes power armoured fist with the stamp of the Emperor's own signet ring waxed on to it that Cawl got out of his workshop and onto the orbital tether. He didn't know what stake the Emperor had in some little king's project and he didn't much care. What he did know was that the big man in the banana armour was very scary and probably wouldn't ask as politely next time.

And so Cawl left the world he had no intention of leaving, to travel across an Imperium he had no desire to see to work in a nation he had no desire to visit. He didn't even like Ultramar. Or at least he didn't like Macragge, a name he couldn't pronounce but he just assumed all of Ultramar was like Macragge. They put tomato and everything and ate cheese which were two things he disliked and the language was abrasive and hold your fucking hand still when you speak you fucking barbarian what the fuck is wrong with you put some fucking pants on for fucks sake holy shit all the men are wearing dresses GOD I HATE FOREIGNERS!

Needless to say he did not make friends easily or possibly at all. But he was not there to make friends, he was there to make Space Marines or at least oversee a big project of other people making Space Marines and ensure that they did it properly. Or at least that's what he should have been doing had the gormless twit in charge of the Ultramarines hadn't called for him before getting the project approved by his government. This did not improve his mood and only made him long for returning to Molech and he most probably would have except that the golden plated banana man was probably camping in his office waiting for him so he was just going to have to stay here. With the pagans. With these idiot pagans.

So with a whole warehouse full of Astartes components he wiled away the time between upgrading Ultramarine recruits with self improvement. None of the actual Space Marine parts would fit in his frame even if they were genetically compatible (they weren't and he couldn't do much about that because the organ was weird and stopped working).

In the end he settled for making cheap knock offs several sizes smaller. In his chest is one mostly normal lung and one counterfeit astartes lung and two scaled down astartes secondary hearts. One of is kidneys has been replaced with a poor copy of an Astartes kidney and he has done something to his bone marrow that makes the blood more clotty when exposed to the open air. He's also lost the ability to grow hair, he suspects the altered blood chemistry has done that. Or the stress.

And so continues the mostly inglorious story of Archmagos Belisarius Cawl of Molech.

Despite his misgivings about his current position in life and the Imperium it can not be denied that if nothing else Ultramar has at least got a legendary doctor.

Boaz Kryptman[edit]

The Last Tyranid

“The Tyranids are undoubtedly one of the greatest threats the Imperium has ever faced, all-consuming in its hunger and insidious in its method of infiltration. I do not care. This Hive Fleet will burn like the rest.”
- Ordo Xenos Inquisitor Kryptman

Once upon a time there was a world. A complete nowhere world, located on the very fringes of the galaxy. An Ocean World, which despite having some nice beaches saw little tourism due to its remote location, some mines, and a small bit of aqua- and agriculture on and around the few volcanic islands that poked their heads above the planet’s seas. It’s only real contacts with the Imperium a semi-retired Arbiter and a small Adeptus Mechanicus research outpost, its contributions to the Imperium minimal but of no bother.

The only thing of note the world ever produced was a child. A child, named Boaz Kryptman, who saw his home planet of Tyran devoured.

When the Hive Fleet Behemoth first made galaxyfall in M37, the inhabitants of Tyran were lucky enough to see it coming. An Explorator scouting ship headed by Magos Varnak had been lucky enough to spot a cloud of what at first glance had seemed to be unusual debris heading from what was once a verdant uninhabited world towards Tyran. The Explorator ship was damaged by what appeared to be biological artillery weapons, but managed to limp its way back to Tyran.

The people of Tyran, who lived so far out they were actually considered east of the Segmentum Ultima, knew there was no way they could contact the Imperium for assistance. An astropathic distress signal had been sent as per standard protocol, but the Explorator vessel had encountered the unknown force less than a lightyear away from Tyran and by the time any Imperial fleet could actually reach Tyran via Warp travel it would be too late. All that could be done was load up as many people as possible onto the single, small Warp-capable merchant ship that had docked in the Tyran system and get them out of the system to somewhere safe. Among those on the ships was the son of the planet’s semi-retired Arbitrator, Boaz Kryptman.

The rest of Tyran’s population barricaded themselves inside the Mechanicus’ research facilities located deep within several extinct volcanoes. These facilities weren’t Fortress Worlds, but they were natural bunkers and chokepoints surrounded by defensive weapons and surface to orbit weaponry common to worlds on the edge of known space. The people of Tyran assumed they could at the very least survive whatever was coming. However, it was not enough. The xenos overran the volcanic strongholds, slaughtering every inhabitant within, leaving only inorganic metal and apocalyptic logs in its wake. Even the planet’s ecosystem was not spared, the great menagerie of cephalopods that dominated Tyran’s oceans little more than calamari for the swarm’s hunger.

The ship containing Tyran’s few evacuees had made it as far as the edges of the Tyran system and was preparing to made the jump into Warp Space when the Warp Drive simply refused to start. Similarly, when the ship attempted to relay the situation to Tyran, all means of astropathic communication failed. It was as if, to quote the ship’s astropath, as if the shadow of a giant being had fallen across realspace, blotting out the Warp the like a cloud blocking the sun. When the Great Devourer fell upon Tyran, the only thing the ship could do was power down all systems and hope that they were too inconsequential to be of any notice. Boaz Kryptman and the other refugees got a first-hand look at their world’s destruction.

When the Imperial Navy finally arrived in response to the distress call sometime later, they searched the system but could find no trace of the force that had caused this destruction beyond the few terrified witnesses in the ships and whatever they could salvage from the volcanic mountain fortresses. And so, despite the nature of the catastrophe, the Imperium generally forgot about the destruction of Tyran over the next several years. The galaxy was a big place, and there were far stranger things out there than a planet being stripped of life.

There were less than 200 survivors, virtually all of them children, from a world of more than 15 million. The survivors were placed in the Schola Progenium, as they were nearly all orphans and there was nowhere else to put them. Over the years, the various survivors of the horror of Tyran gradually drifted apart from one another and went on with their lives. However, Kryptman would remain fixated, some would say obsessed, with the entity that destroyed his home.

Then, twenty years later, the Great Devourer resurfaced. Having fully assimilated the biomass of all the fringe worlds they had devoured, the Hive Fleet had recovered the reserves it had lost in the great journey between galaxies, and was ready to resume its mission of devouring all life in the galaxy once more. When the Great Devourer made its “official” appearance on the galactic stage in M37, almost no one had any idea how to deal with them. The Imperium was able to connect the tyranids to the genestealers fought in the Genestealer Wars nearly over half a millennium prior, but this did little good as the tyranids had a completely different modus operandi than the genestealers.

About the only half-decent idea of how to deal with the tyranids came from Boaz Kryptman, who was at this point a junior Inquisitor in the Ordo Xenos, in a plan which would later become known as the Kryptman Line. Planets that were predicted to be in the direct path of the tyranid Hive Fleet were evacuated with all haste, and the systems were left empty save for a single manned starship. When the hive ships moved in to eat the unguarded planets and the tyranids were finally committed, the ships would Exterminatus each of the planets in the solar system. Not only would the tyranids be unable to claim any biomass from the planet, but they would lose any biomass and energy they had expended while trying to feed, an overall loss for the Hive Mind.

The downside is that it meant that it meant leaving some poor souls alone, in a dead solar system with the tyranids, with no way to escape due to the Shadow in the Warp.

Although at first the plan proved successful, before long the tyranids learned to break the blockade by merely jumping two or three planets past the nearest life-bearing world and continue eating. Nevertheless, Behemoth expended enough biomass in its initial effort that its back was broken in a later engagement.

However, the costs of the Kryptman Line were high. It involved the utter destruction of numerous life-bearing worlds, a precious resource for the Imperium, and even with the most advanced terraforming methods available to it would take millennia before the Imperium could reclaim those worlds, if they could reclaim them at all. To this day there is an unnatural line of dead stars burned in the Segmentum Ultima by this plan. And even though tyranid-related casualties were (relatively) low due to mass evacuations, the Kryptman Line created a massive refugee crisis and the death of millions due to the ensuing famines and plagues.

Some hailed Kryptman as a hero for the Kryptman Line. Yes, the consequences of the Kryptman Line were horrific, they said, but it was the lesser of two evils, for if no one had come up with the Kryptman Line nothing would have stopped the Hive Fleet from simply snowballing and Behemoth would have been all but unstoppable. It is said that this praise broke Kryptman a little inside. He had condemned dozens of worlds to die, and here these people were calling him a hero? He considered himself eternally damned for having ever come up with the Kryptman Line, no better than the monsters that ate his world.

Kryptman’s other notable accomplishment, and the one that got him actually excommunicated, was Kryptman’s Gambit. When Leviathan, the last of the three great scouting fleets, appeared in the galactic South, the Hive Fleet’s erratic behavior was enough to make Kryptman take drastic action and use several captured genestealers as breadcrumbs to steer a significant portion of into the Ork empire of Octarius. The idea was to let the two groups fight it out and then Exterminatus the survivors before they could build a functioning space fleet. Things did not go to plan. Kryptman’s Gambit did have some measure of success in absorbing a significant portion of a Hive Fleet, but it also created a whole slew of new problems, including the “Bug Boyz” of Octarius.

To most, this was the point where Kryptman had gone too far. The Kryptman Line was controversial, but it had been the least horrible option available at the time and Kryptman had done it with the Imperium’s blessing and legions of grim statisticians on his side. This time, Kryptman had acted unilaterally and without warning or approval. Kryptman, to his credit, surrendered quietly and without issue when the Arbiters turned up with the handcuffs and a warrant with an Imperial seal on it.

Kryptman’s actions and excommunication presented an issue for the Imperium. On the one hand, it was clear that Kryptman could not be allowed to operate as a free action. However, he was simply too useful at killing tyranids to simply be gotten rid of. The solution the Imperium came up with was to put him in the jurisdiction of the Kryptman Institute, the Ordo Xenos group formed specifically to try and figure out how to take down the tyranids in the wake of the three scouting fleets. There, Kryptman could continue to research new ways to hunt and kill tyranids, but he would no longer have clearance to access any kind of Exterminatus weaponry, nor use it without the express approval of an Inqusitor of sound mind. The purpose of the Kryptman Institute is as much to keep Kryptman under control and as it is to fight the tyranids.

Kryptman isn't hugely clever, he isn't hugely charismatic, he isn't even a hugely dangerous combatant. But he is driven. He is driven like Konrad Curze was driven. He will make the Hive pay for what it took from him.

Under his commission poisons, diseases and strange alchemy have been concocted and although the Hive always adapts the toll before it does so is immense. No other mere mortal has hurt the Great Devourer quite as much as he has.

Kryptman has been taking every longevity treatment known to man and freezing himself between hive fleets. The Hive Mind is his white whale and he will chase it across the universe to the end of time and space. He is awoken when needed and preserved when not. As of 999.M41 he is very, very active. He is the spear tip slamming into the neck of the great beast. His dying day is close and he knows it, but he will make his passing be felt.

He is also insane. Simply put, he is bug-fuck, batshit insane.

He wears a helmet made of lictor skull, his robes and body armour are made of tyranid skin and chitin, his las-rifle and power sword handle inlaid with polished scrimshawed tyranid bone. He has tattoos depicting every splinter fleet he's responsible for killing. The ink is made in part from their blood. He also eats tyranid. With enough processing and preparation it is possible to destroy the spores and purge the biotoxins to make tyranid flesh safe to eat. He eats tyranid meat with the same ferocity that the Hive Mind devours worlds.

He thinks the Hive Mind is taunting him, once he realized the true nature of what the Swarmlord is. He claims the Swarmlord has started to recognize him, going so far as to claim that in one case it was laughing at him. These claims of anthropomorphism are more than likely all in his head do not help the case of Kryptman’s sanity.

Kryptman’s official kill count contains very little in terms of Orks, Dark Eldar, Rak’gol, or any other Xenos Horribilis, except when members of those species are fool enough to get in his way. Just lots and lots and lots of tyranids and their degenerate genestealer spawn. Kryptman is the bane of genestealer cults across half the galaxy. Genestealers are just human enough to feel fear, even if it is dampened by their connection to the Hive Mind. They fear Kryptman. If the Hive Mind had any sense of higher consciousness, it too would have reason to fear Kryptman.

Other people also fear Kryptman.

The Kryptman Institute as much a means to keep Kryptman under some measure of control as it is to fuck up the tyranids. His retinue are the only thing close to friends he has. To Kryptman, at least by this point in his life, the greatest virtue someone may possess is their ability to fuck up tyranids. He has hired and fought alongside allies as diverse as Hau-Yuan Exterminators, the Zoats, Shas’O “Shadosun” Shaserra, and Nemesor Zahndrekh. He considers his retinue friends because they do what they are told and they fuck up tyranids with him. They have other virtues and characteristics but those are all secondary unless they relate to making them better bug hunters.

But he does consider them friends, even if they only tolerate him. As he leap frogs through time all his friends are stolen from him by the Time Thief. They endure years that he does not and he is forced to outlive them. It is not a thing that makes him happy, but it must be done.

He blames their death on the Hive Mind too.

Kryptman has lived long enough to see the tyranid main fleet make galaxyfall, and see his previous efforts amount to spraying bugspray on an infestation. This has only encouraged him to fight harder, and if that does not succeed he will take as many tyranids as he can down with him, stabbing them until his last breath.

The Heartseeker[edit]

The Bane of the Swarm

In the late 40th Millenium, when the Tyranid Hivefleets again scoured through the Eastern Fringe, one of the first star systems hit was Felusa, a tropical jungle world settled by mostly humans but still contained a sizable population of Kinebranches. The world was deemed to be indefensible, the Hivefleet at that point still far too coordinated and numerous to be intercepted, and thus a convoy fleet was sent to pick up the civillians and deny the Tyranids a star system.

Unfortunately, due to a freak warp storm the rescue convoy failed to arrive. Fortunately, the SOS signal was caught by none other than Lord Inquisitor Boaz Kryptmann.

Hearing their desperate pleas for aid, something relived within the old Inquisitor's mind. His memories of the day he lost his world and his family, and he ordered his ship to full spead ahead to Felusa, on his mouth a constant chanting of a mantra consisting off 'Tyran', 'Nids' and 'Never Again!'.

When they arrived, it was almost too late: the paltry PDF was swatted aside by the sheer bulk of the Hivefleet, the survivors retreated to one last city, the swarm of chitinous flesh and blood tightening up the noose further and futher by every seconds. Even through his crazed, raging haze Kryptmann knew he was outnumbered, yet he was not one to give up so easily. Pulling an extremely risky manuever, he managed to land his ship right above the bunker, his crews and retinue frantically loaded and crammed up as many people as he could before high-tailing it to the outskirt of the system and activate their warp drive (but not before leaving behind a lot of nasty gifts for the tyranids.)

Out of the 20 thousands that they managed to save, there was a young Kinebranch by the name of Wu-Ko-Gu, son and apprentice to Forge Master Wu-Ko-Ga. As the old Forge Master laid dying in his son's arms, he taught him his last and greatest lesson: to forge a Kinebranch Cursed Blade.

As the ship fled for the star system's border, the Hivefleet hot their tail, Wu-Ko-Gu began forging. The fire of his anger became the forge's flame, fueled by the searing memories of his burning homeworld heating up the fragments of his father's adamantite anvil. Guided by the words of his dying father, his fists turned into adamantite, hammering down his fury and grief, molding the molten metal into a blade with mono-molecular precision. As the final strike came down, and the old Master breathed his last breath, but the blade was still unfinished. With his fingers he etched on the name of the blade -and his Grudge- in the traditional Kinebranch runic letters that glows red with fury and blue with grief for all to see - Heartseeker, the blade that shall be plunged into the Heart and Mind and the very Soul of the Swarm.

The sword was finished. The Apprentice, now the Master Smith, looked up and met the eyes of the Old Inquisitor, finding a kindred spirit. Both had lost everything dear to them, both harboured an insatiable grudge to the swarm. Ever since that day, the Smith found his destiny - to forge the blades that will hurt the Hivemind. He will make them feel what he felt; he will make them pay. And Kryptmann will lead him.

As of 999.M41 Wu-Ko-Gu is very old now. A Kinebranch usually live long but not this long. He had lived for more than 1000 years, his body is old and tired and his hands weary and shaky, yet from his forge still came out both the famed Kinebranch Cursed blades, and the Apprentices that will continue to carry on his Grudge far on into the Long Night. Until the day when the Swarm is finally laid low, he shall not rest and nor will his blades or those who wield them.

See Also: Diary of a Madman

Hammerhead Bill[edit]

His full name is an amalgamation of the varied life he has lived on the Path of the Outcast and later his solo Path of the Tank; Kaeseith-Forsan Bill Fio'La N'dras Naseur Romn'el av Alaitoc av Mymeara

Alaitoc is where he was born and whose strict demands and puritan adherence to The Path System encouraged him to run away. Originally he was supposed to be a Bone Singer, specializing in the repair and maintenance of the war vehicles. He was quite good at it. Problems arose when he wanted to start doing things to the wraith bone outer layer and making depictions of famous, possibly mythological, battles from the time of Eldernesh. He was given an ear chewing. He was not on the Path of the Artist, mixing Paths is degenerate.

Spent some time traveling the galaxy in his youth. Despite his parent worries he never felt drawn down dark paths.

Mymeara was where he tried to reintegrate to a less stringent interpretation of the Path. Tried to be a Seer. Was not particularly skilled at this and his teacher wasn't particularly brilliant at it either. On Mymeara he first encountered the Tau. He learned of their martial disciplines and asked if he could sign on as additional help to their Fire Caste soldiers.

He spent the next 50 years moving from one warzone to another. Started out as the gun loader of a Hammerhead. Eventually was given the driver seat. As time passed he moved up the ranks of his cadre, commanding from his now massively customized Hammerhead. Was very successful, in part due to his devastating war chariot, in part due to his now considerable experience and also in part due to his (stunted) precognitive abilities.

Grew bored of his new life, as eldar wanderers are prone to do.

Rather than lose him, the Tau Shas'O brass gave him his own semi-autonomous selection of semi-functional hover tanks. With some Mechanicus parts, some Tau technology and his old skills of a Bonesinger and a lot of manic laughter, he forged those wrecks into something terrible, and crewed them with the mad, the wise, the eccentric, and the insane.

No two tanks in his cadre are quite alike, no two crews ticking quite in sync with the rest of the Greater Good but Kaeseith-Forsan Bill Fio'La N'dras Naseur Romn'el av Alaitoc av Mymeara, or Hammerhead Bill as he has become known, has never been happier.

Caerys of Yme-Loc[edit]

Craftworld Yme-Loc was one of the first to set out from the decadent and depraved Eldar Empire. They saw it as sinful and knew that some god's judgment would find them. This makes them one of the few Craftworlds that didn't need Eldrad Ulthuran or equivalent, forgotten peer to persuade them to exodus the fuck out. They set out to find some vague and nebulous "Promised Land".

They were considered a strange breed by their fellow eldar. Not actually overtly hostile but very insular. They remained isolated from the Imperium and even the other craftworlds during their wandering days and as a smaller craftworld they could mover easier than many others and weren't afraid to travel by Warp with planning and preparation.

It wasn't until they settled down after becoming immobilized in a snowball orbiting Valhalla and had fought alongside the Valhallans that they started to talk to any outsiders. Even then they still only talked to the Valhallans rather than the rest of the Imperium whom they don't know and therefore don't trust.

Point is that by having relied on their own for so very long they trust and hold each other dear and tight because family is all to them.

Caelec goes wandering due to adolescent curiosity of the outside world and an attack dog of Khorne follows his mind-scent back and goes on a rampage down the craftworlds streets only being stopped when Yme-Loc's Avatar of Khaine wrestled it to the cobbles and tore it's heart out. Because he is family and it was a fuckup rather than an act of deliberate malice he is forgiven.

This shows the Shipwright Council of Yme-Loc two things. Firstly damn fucking right keeping the barricade up is a good idea. Did you see the fucking size of that thing holy shit lets never have another come through the door. Secondly it's advantageous to actually know what's out there and although their new neighbors have shared all they know Valhalla is still an out of the way agri-world and therefore might not know that much. It is decided that the craftworld needs it's own eyes and ears out in the greater Imperium so they can know what the fuck is going on.

To this end it was decided that Yme-Loc should only send it's best and brightest volunteers. As atonement Caelec was the first to step forwards. The Shipwright Council restated that they wanted the best and brightest volunteers and Caelec stepped back. Caelec's sister the accomplished seer Caerys steps forwards and tells the council that she has predicted that she steps forwards and they pick her as one to go beyond the barricades.

Caerys finds her services useful to the Imperial Guard who, by their nature, travel around a lot and so she acquires much information for her home. She also by her selfless service and usefulness makes a good impression for her craftworld. She finds herself being shunted from one regiment to another as the demand for seers greatly outweighs the number available and willing to do military service. Jumping from regiment to regiment eventually sees her attached to the Cadian 412th during the reconquest of Kronus. Due to the still precarious nature of the resettlement it was deemed prudent for her to remain there as another seer in addition to Colonel-Farseer Taldeer can only be a good thing. Taldeer and Caerys despite their differing origins get along like a house on fire and are about as dangerous to bystanders.

The Carlos McConnell MegaCorp[edit]

Hortensia Zuriñe Joaquima McConnell, Commodore (retired)[edit]

Born 547 years ago but due to time distortions of warp travel probably about 450. A hard woman that excelled in her career in the Imperial Navy and would almost certainly have made admiral in a few more decades. Extremely good at organizing the inner working of a large groups of people and extremely good at surrounding herself with people to delegate to on the principle that a strong leader knows how to use the strengths of others. Her ship, the Angel Ascending, was immaculate and ran with great efficiency brought about by hard discipline. For this she was hated and loved by her crew in equal measure, on the one hand she made life hard but on the other hand it upped slightly the chances of survival. She demanded prayers once per day (god or religion irreverent so long as all ceremonies and rituals remained within regulations of acceptable behavior and piety was maintained), penalties for lack of punctuality were harsh, punishments for sloppy uniforms were severe, drinking alcohol or partaking of any other drug on her ship was a good way of getting a checkered shirt, gambling was illegal. She didn't much give a shit to the internal working of the other ships under her command, a ship flies as it captain dictates and so long as it performs to how she believed it should perform then she had no reason to care.

When her second cousin or some such died and the position of head of the family's business became vacant it was given to her at the overwhelming majority vote of the Inheritance Committee that was made up of the elders of the family branches. It takes a special kind of iron will and attitude to run a family and business like the mega-corp of Carlos-McConnell and they believed that she had the "cat-herding" skills to do it.

Hortensia McConnell had always put her duties to her family above duty to the military, the two up until that point having never come into conflict. It took two years under an interim chairman (one of her many great nephews) whilst she trained up a promising replacement, handed in her notice and settled any lingering business before she would come back home. There was mixed feeling among her crew, that she didn't feel the need to tell until a few days before; one the one hand she was as compassionate and flexible as a brick but on the other hand the ship had run to an almost inhuman smoothness. The officers did have an alcohol-free wine and cucumber sandwiches party to see her off that she attended so it wasn't like she was entirely hated.

The great multitude of greatly varying businesses operating under the authority of the Carlos McConnell name have under her command been shaken up drastically. For one thing great investment has been made in ships, specifically the new Tau Engines that are operating in the Eastern Fringe.

The thing is that as someone who, whilst not terribly high up in the Navy, knew a lot of people that knew a lot of shit and she always was the dependable, reliable up and coming brick. She knows that the Tyranids are coming, she knows that the orks are multiplying and amassing, she knows that the Chaos lunatics are setting forth once more from their dark places and she knows a shit load of other things are coming. She knows that it's all very nice and well for lucrative and profitable endeavors but survival is better than profit. There are going to be a lot of refugees soon, a lot of them and Navigators have always been the limiting factor on warp travel. Refugee convoys don't need to go fast when you have a rows and rows of cryo-coffins, you could even theoretically travel warpless in such a manner.

There was descent among the other branches and heads of the divisions and companies and she has taken the most trustworthy into her confidence and they started to get real fucking quiet when they learned the sheer size of the shit about to hit the fan.

The planet of Carlos McConnell always has substantial McConnell mega-corp assets in orbit by necessity and for convenience but now there seems to be more than ever, especially in terms of armaments and a new shipyard. The story given to the civilian government and the people in general is that the mega-corp is going into the arms business, always lucrative. Of course they don't need to know that if the wolves come to their door they will be geared up for a fight, there won't be a second Souring of Ornsworld, and if the worst does happen then at the very least they can evacuate enough to maintain continuity.

Of the woman herself in her role as head of the McConnell clan and the McConnell mega-corp what can be said? She's much as she was but without a ship, so long as her dictates are followed she doesn't much care for the fine details, unprofitable branches of the family are pruned and members of the house forcibly adopted by more successful branches whilst up and coming prodigies and new talent is encouraged and given resources. She demands punctual and detailed reports and has lashed out violently when things are intentionally omitted. Indeed bad news is far better than blindness to her and inflicted blindness is seen as a direct attack.

She has no children, she's too busy to start a family of her own but sees absolutely no problem in marrying off all young and single members of her house adventitiously. It is her duty to ensure the survival of her family so that she can drag the rest of her homeworld with them.

Her lifestyle hasn't noticeably changed, spartan Navy living remains despite Felinid cultural trends favoring the flaunting of wealth.

Tavares Lando Vicente McConnell[edit]

Hortensia Zuriñe Joaquima McConnell, current head of the family and family business and the businesses of the family of which she rules with an iron fist, gave the ancestral flagship to one of her more eccentric but easy to get a long with relatives, Tavares Lando Vicente McConnell. Tavares is easy extremely good at dealing with people, hosting parties and generally showing off the retail prowess of the mega-corp and would have been picked by the family elders to had to choose a successor to the previous McConnell he was second choice but never found out about this until after his distant cousin had already taken over. He feels that he dodged a bullet on that one because in the Traveling Court he has quite a lot of freedom and gets to meet lots of strange and interesting people and sell them stuff and actually gets paid to host big expensive parties, things he wouldn't get to do nearly as much stuck behind a desk on the old homeworld.

He's actually met the royal couple once.

As things stand he is quite glad to be nowhere near home at the moments because Hortensia is no fun to be around and is always business all the time.

He comes off as a lazy playboy, but it's not that he's lazy as such. He gives the impression that he's lazy and he probably intends to be lazy but in fact to maintain his current lifestyle actually requires a surprising amount of effort, no least of which is checking his bed for scorpions and remembering not to eat anything he hasn't seen someone else take a slice of. It takes a lot of work to make it look like he doesn't do any work, a thing the people who want his job don't seem to realize.

Also fluency in High-Gothic. Most Felinids never bother to learn it simply because you can live your whole life dealing only with McConnell-Corp from accommodation to groceries and they all speak McConnell Low-Gothic (which is some god awful Gaelic-Spanish hybrid language). Tavares is fluent in High-Gothic to the point of not even having an accent anymore and is surprisingly well versed in classical literature and poetry.

Ciaphas Cain[edit]

HERO OF THE IMPERIUM Chew Toy of the Universe:

Cain still did many of the same things he is known for in canon. As of the last few decades his most recent assignment is to act as the ambassador from the greater Imperium to Craftworld Biel-Tan. This is less a permanent position and more like the latest clusterfuck Cain has found himself in his long history of clusterfucks. Ciaphas Cain and the Warriors of Biel-Tan, if you’d like. Jurgen is currently travelling as part of Inquisitor Amberly Vail’s retinue, since you would have to be crazy to take a blank onto a Craftworld full of psykers. Jurgen came to the attention of the Inquisition all on his own in this timeline, but Jurgen and Cain still end up working together quite often because Amberley likes to drag Cain along on her merry adventures and she never goes anywhere without Jurgen. Cain still ends up ploughing Amberley Vail after a joint eldar-human gene-stealer hunting trip and extermination campaign. Vail tends to spend way too much time around Biel-Tan than would be expected of an Inquisitor, though if asked she claims she was afraid Cain had gone native and it was her duty to remind him he was human.

Because Cain was unable to take Jurgen with him onto Biel-Tan, the job of ambassador's assistant is taken by Edmond Aldsworth, a prim and proper Alfred Pennyworth type person from the Scholar Progenium. Alfred was not in that most august of institutions learning to be a diplomat. He was in there learning to be a Storm Trooper. He has done work for the Inquisition and occasionally tells of some of the things he has done. Unbeknownst to Cain or most of Biel-Tan is that he used to do crazy shit like hunt dark Eldar slave takers through the underhives and eliminate ork kommandoz. He has in his closet a necklace of ork trigger finger bones that looks more like a bandolier. To everyone that works with him man and xeno he is just a neat man with grey hair and a fussy little moustache.

A large part of Ambassador Cain's job is to keep Biel-Tan calm to stop them from going all out total war and dragging the rest of the Imperium into conflicts it can't easily afford. Indeed, Cain’s strong sense of self-preservation in spite of his war record is probably one of the main reasons (besides fate’s sick sense of humor) he was assigned to Biel-Tan in the first place. The Biel-Tan autarchs are also old and wise enough to want some brakes on the war train, but they’re also smart enough to let Cain voice the unpopular opinion and take the blame for it. This venture is not helped at all by the presence of Abbess-General Miriam Cain, Ciaphas’ daughter with Jubblowski. Everyone assumes that Cain met Jubblowski at party and used his legendary charm to get into her bedroom. He did not. As slayer of a warboss, butcher of tyranids and general all around Hero of the Imperium his presence was requested/demanded by the Sororitas high ups.

Abbess-General Cain is a hardcore Katholian Sister of Battle that has close ties to a group of about ~150 Word Bearers or Word Bearer successor chapter whose fortress-monastery is in the same patch of the galaxy as Biel-Tan. Miriam Cain was directly responsible (first came to prominence?) for the victories against the ork horde of Warboss Fangjaw during his assault on Necromunda. Her rhetoric, promises of redemption and threats of retribution turned the gangers into a loose collection of ad hoc militias with her own soldiers acting as officers, advisors, tutors and commissars as needed. Of course she was also directly to blame for the sudden increase in competence of the gangers in Necromunda post-war but at least everyone was alive enough to bitch at her.

Years pass and Miriam Cain becomes Abbess-General Cain, and becomes leader of entire chapter of Word Bearers, some regiments of Imperial Army and a small fleet of ships tasked with patrolling section of space not far enough away from Biel-Tan for her father’s liking. Her military authority is derived from the second part of that title despite her standing in the Katholian Church due to the Imperium’s official ban on militarized religious institutions. A power armoured, foul mouthed, belligerent crusader who takes the existence of Orks as a personal insult. Refuses to use any equipment not made by an ordained tech-priest and sanctified. Willing to tolerate eldar and such xenos but won't use their stuff. Has a meat cleaver of power sword in one hand and plasma pistol in the other. Her physique is surprisingly short and broad given how tall her father is. She is not conventionally beautiful. Her face has seen too many blunt impacts to be pretty and her shoulders are too broad and her musculature too developed to be feminine, even compared to other Sisters of Battle.

The Eldar of Biel-Tan quite approve of her despite the fact that she has no real love for them. However, while Ciaphas Cain’s job is primarily to calm Biel-Tan down, Miriam Cain on the other hand spends all of her time bullying the Word Bearers she is assigned to into fighting harder and is more than willing to extend this into whipping Biel-Tan into a war-frenzy. This being Biel-Tan a lot of Miriam’s rhetoric resonates with them and it's incredibly easy to get them dreaming of conquest. This was perhaps at its worst after Dorhai’s failed assassination attempt on Jubblowski, which had both Miriam and Biel-Tan frothing at the mouth ready to declare holy war.

Ciaphas Cain and Miriam Cain do not get along. Despite it all he is proud of her.

Surprisingly, although seen as the glorified HERO OF THE IMPERIUM by many, nearly everyone who knows Ciaphas Cain on a personal level (including much of Biel-Tan) seems to be aware of the truth of Cain’s so-called cowardice except Cain himself. It is very hard for an outsider to keep a secret on a Craftworld full of psykers. Many of the youth of Biel-Tan who have had a glimpse into Cain’s mind are at first confused. The Imperium and the Craftworld elders described the Imperial diplomat was a great warrior, but this does not seem to be the mind of a great warrior. However, upon further reflection, many have had an epiphany over this apparent disconnect. Although Biel-Tan may be the most aggressive and warlike Craftworld, it’s unblooded youth are as afraid of death and war as anyone else. Yet here is this human, who despite accomplishing numerous heroic deeds and staring death in the face several times, is still just as terrified about the possibility of dying as the rest of them. Despite this when duty calls he still saddles up and heads out anyway. Cain is brave because of his fear, not in spite of it, and the fact that such a distinguished figure can still be afraid is a comforting thought to the untested youth of Biel-Tan. Some Biel-Tan youngbloods go so far as to say Ulthwé can go stuff all that rhetoric about the underhanded Creed being an autarch of humanity. It’s Cain, if anyone, who should be considered a human autarch.

Cain doesn't yet know about the active Avatar underneath his feet. All he knows is that he was assigned to the diplomat to the most aggressive and warlike Craftworld who for some unknown reason got even more aggressive after his posting there, and chalks it up to the typical Cain luck. It will be an interesting day, to say the least, when Cain finds out about Khaine.

Edmond Aldsworth[edit]

Edmond Aldsworth started as many in the besieged Imperium as the child of dead officers, one among billions. Although the Imperium is not flawless by any measure one of the things it does do well is looking after it's own and the child Edmond found a home in the Schola Progenium of Mordia. He was a robust child with broad shoulders, very upright posture and features one might consider handsome in an aloof sort of way. He excelled in his studies in regards to language but mostly what he was good at was the application of violence which he did with a great level of precision. He was a very passable marksman who found the notion of "full-auto spray" upsetting on some level and much preferred to pick his targets carefully so as to conserve ammunition, incoming fire whipping and hissing around him he would stand unflappable carefully lining up a killing shot. He also excelled at knife-fighting and scrumball, or at least he would have excelled at scrumball had he been able to understand that "full contact sport" did not mean impromptu boxing match. Bare Knuckle Boxing being another sport he was proficient at.

In the end it was decided that he was too smart academically to be placed in the Storm Troopers but lacked the temperament for either the Arbiters or the Commissairiant and was destined for the Inquisitorial Soldier Pool.

In this capacity he made somewhat of a reputation for himself, being both smart and capable although his headstrong nature and tendency to be vocal when he believed his superiors in error ensured that he never made it past corporal. From age 18 to his 40s he served well and with some minor distinction bouncing from mission to mission, squad to squad. He was fluent in both the High Tongue of the Beil-Tan Eldar and in the crude tongue of Base Orkish alongside High Gothic and some level of competence in a few low gothics and with the work of the Inquisition being what it is the need for translators at every level of operation is always high.

He achieved notoriety in his mid to late 40s in the events of the 4th War for Armageddon when the local forces of the Inquisition were commandeered/donated for the increased need for the war effort in the emergency. By the time that Corporal Aldsworth and the hastily formed regiments he was part of arrived most of the planet was already serious trouble. His regimental Stormbird landing craft was shot two dozen miles beyond the walls of Hive Infernus and they lost half their number in the crash and the mad dash to relative safety. They met up with the other equally bedraggled Inquisition Regiments and the PDF who looked like they hadn't seen sleep in a week and a decent meal in a month. Half dead and totally exhausted they all fought bravely and with what cornered rat like defiance they still had but the futilely of it was plain. Infernus was lost and as the walls of the last sanctum were breached like rats they were indeed. Overlord von Strab had been for decades and maybe centuries appointing foppish dandy boys of his liking to positions of authority in the PDF and using the officer ranks as a social club for aristocrats with delusions of adequacy. When those wall broke it was a scene Corporal Aldsworth hoped never to see again in his lifetime. Masses of humanity climbing on each others backs to escape, the soldiers without direction as their cowardly masters fled, his own forces being forced to form an orderly retreat to the blessedly empty storm drains and trying in vain to herd the fear maddened few civilians to relative safety.

The day after that there was maybe half a regiment ad hoc of the best of the surviving PDF and elements of the Inquisition's forces exiting the storm drain by the banks of the river miles down-stream under cover of a moonless night. Never had Edmond known such shame to have survived when others had not. The Comms man of the PDF, carrying a back mounted and still miraculously working long range comm unit picked up intermittent transmissions from far off Hades Hive through the static and ork chatter and so with duty and survival on their minds they set off on the long, long march to Hades.

By great good fortune most of the Infernus survivors made it, even managing to absorb a few other survivors along the way and scrag a few ork patrols which did wonders for everyone's spirits in those dark and fearful months. Eventually they reached the hive, and as if divine providence it's gates had been cleared just that morning by Kill Krazii and other tribesmen of the Ashlands, with their ten thousand strong host the few hundred soldiers were unnoticed as they signed in.

The locals were manning the walls, a duty they had grown familiar with by now, and the Ashlanders were not used to warfare that was standing still or confined and so patrolled the highways and roads for orks that by strange contraptions made it over the walls. This left the tunnels beneath the city understaffed, but Edmond was a Mordian and so were many of his fellows, they knew of hives and darkness and tunnels and any sapper or Komando that though they were being kunnin' was going to find something unpleasant waiting for them.

It is unknown what happened to Corporal Edmond Aldsworth in that time. Reports diverge at this point. Some say he went feral, some say he finally broke inside, some say he made a deliberate moral stand and some say he genuinely did not receive the orders. All that is known is that when the war was officially declared over the Inquisition Soldiers were recalled. They knew he was alive mere hours before this order was given because his commanders had spoken to him over the radio but the withdrawal order was never followed and they couldn't wait for him forever, the war was never over somewhere else and local forces could keep a lid on the remnants in the underhives and the sump. But Aldsworth remained in the dark, they wouldn't listen to him. They hadn't seen the level of kunnin' that these greens were showing, uncommon for their kind. They couldn't see what he had seen, his dreams plagued by visions of what they would do if left to gather unobserved and reached the surface in any orderly manner. And so Aldsworth, soldier and renegade, stayed in the dark killing and killing for a very long time.

When he had gone down into the dark he had a necklace with a few ork trigger fingers hanging on it by the time he saw again daylight it was a bone bandolier with the beginnings of another one to cross it. and return to the light he had to. Time had not stood still and years had past, in the dark he was growing old, his hair was greying, his joints were aching more and more and one day he was just slightly too slow and took a knife to the torso for it. He bit that ork's throat out as it laughed and stoved it's head in with a broken manhole cover but the damage had been done, he knew a potentially mortal wound when he saw one and with sucking rasping breath and blood in his throat he lurched to find a way to the surface.

A sight he must have been, in ruined Inquisition armour, dark with grime and muck, stinking with the smell of the underhive and covered in bones and blood. A spectre of some unblessed grave it must have seemed for a moment, some pallid unarresting dead. He only vaguely remembered where the old hospital was from years ago when he still had friends and human contact and by good fortune he found it again now in some upmarket and high rent district.

Despite infections, poor diet, lack of sunlight and the cumulative effects of years of unkind treatment his body recovered although his mind would not heal. There was no possibility of the Inquisition taking him back; impressive as his accomplishments he had disobeyed orders and was never a model soldier to start with. In truth he would not have been able to. Down in the dark he could pretend he was already dead, his trials a time of proving before paradise or rebirth. But here, in the light, in the real world, it all came back to him. He was a person and all that had happened had happened. He could not go back to the war, the war at last had beaten him.

He lay in that bed, his guts held together with polymer thread, healing for no purpose he could see friendless and more alone than he had ever felt. And then a member of the Imperium's diplomatic corps, a branch of the Administratum, came to visit him. Reports on him and the things he had done had filtered up high, anomalous incidents tend to. They had read about what he had done, all that he had done, and knew what limbo he must be in. They told him that there were other ways to serve the Imperium besides the direct war effort. Humanity did not stand alone in the dark, it stood with friends, friends that had to be held on to. They wanted him to be that hand, who else than someone who had seen oblivion like he had done would understand the need of it? Also he spoke the Beil-Tan dialect of the High Tongue, which was advantageous.

And so Edmond Aldsworth, grey haired and full of hard won horrors, entered the service of the Imperiums diplomatic efforts and became the attaché to the ambassador of the Craftworld Beil-Tan, Beil-Tan accepted only veterans as representatives of the Imperium as anything else they found insulting. Having a man like Aldsworth at his right hand would only smooth things further. Also the position came with some rejuvenents, the elder didn't like it when staff changed too soon and his living for a long time would be an advantage.

The rejuvenants regained him some of his lost vitality and some measure of youth, side effect being that most of his remaining hair fell out, and he served the ambassador for many years until the ambassador retired and made way for Ambassador Ciaphas Cain of the Valhallans, Liberator of Perlia, slayer of orks, honorary Fire Warrior of the Tau, unspecified assistant to the Inquisition, frustrator of Chaos and killer of it's followers, exterminator of Tyranids, banisher of deamons and a hundred other accolades from across half the Imperium. Although initially only attached to the craftworld as a temporary measure temporary seems to be ever extending.

Attaché Aldsworth serves him as diligently as he served his old master, smoothing out the diplomatic process, interpreting and translating the more unusual colloquialisms of both languages and accompanying the good Ambassador on various planned and unplanned jaunts across Beil-Tans jurisdiction or at the behest of the Inquisition (who politely don't mention his presence if they can avoid it) and is a source of unflappable reliance and surety.

On the whole he has landed on his feet and he serves the Imperium to the best of his abilities, as he has always done.

Aun'O Da[edit]

The Great Philosopher:

The origin of the Tau concept of a “Greater Good” can be traced back to a man named Aun’O Da (at least that is the translation in modern Tau), otherwise known as “the Great Philosopher”. Da was born during the Mont’au, in an age roughly analogous to the late middle ages of Earth. Da was a member of the calligrapher’s guild, acting as a court stenographer to one of the petty empires that controlled much of the river basins and fertile lands of T’au. Throughout his career, Da transcribed virtually every decision made by the emperor he served under, with his own annotations on its usefulness in addition to its effects on the populace, as well as all the commands made by previous emperors.

Unfortunately, the winds of political fortune change, and the emperor that Da served under was replaced by a new ruling family. The first thing the new emperor did is order the entire court of the previous emperor to be arrested and executed, feeling that they would be too sympathetic to the old order to be trustworthy. Like many others in the court, Da fled in political exile to the mountains in the desert on the outskirts of the empire. It was there, sitting in a desert cave musing over his old writings, that Da came to a sudden realization.

In Da’s mind, life was full of misery, often driven by the selfish ambitions of others. Yet when people set aside their individual ambitions to aid one another, not only did Tau’s grievances against Tau decrease, but it reduced the net misery of the universe in general. Da put these ideas in writing, in what would eventually become known as the first known version of the Tau’va, or “Greater Good” (perhaps most literally “spiritual good of Tau”, “va” meaning “that which benefits the spirit”, and “Tau” meaning, well, “Tau”). Much of this manuscript has been misinterpreted in the years since it was written, both by Imperials and Tau. Da did not say that Tau should not have individual goals, or take personal enjoyment in life. However, he did stress that when duty conflicted with personal goals, one was obligated to put duty first. Nor was there any mention of Tau superiority over other races, since at that time the Tau believed they were alone in the universe.

Da’s new ideas brought him numerous eager converts. In particular, eight of his brightest disciples, all of the calligrapher’s guild, were sent in pairs in the four cardinal directions of the compass, to bring the word of the Greater Good to the general public. Da did not live to see T’au unified, he was already an old man when he came up with his ideas, but he did live long enough to see the old empire where he once served come to embrace the Tau’va. And yet the campaign continued onward. In a watershed moment in M37, two of Da’s disciples were able to broker a peace treaty between the plains barbarians and the fortress city of Fio’taun. This event essentially signified that the ideology of the Tau’va was going to become the dominant force on the planet of T’au.

As the Tau’va became the dominant ideology among the people of T’au, so did the students of Da become rulers in their own right. This led to the development of the traditional Tau caste system, and the taboo of fraternization between the castes. The warriors and plains barbarians became the Fire Caste, the merchants became the Water Caste, the workers and peasants became the Earth Caste, and the messengers and rangers became the Air Caste. The scribes and scholars, particularly the disciples of Da, already somewhat detached from the physical world, became the Ethereals. The Tau caste system was less about bringing order to the people of T’au, and more about codifying a system where the disciples of Da and their descendants were always at the top of the socio-political heap. Da would not have been happy if he could have seen this. Thankfully, the Ethereals tend to rule as some sort of bizarre combination of theocrats and philosopher-kings, utterly ascetic and with little desire to abuse their power yet haughty and loathe to social change.

However, now the revolution has come full circle. Now it is the Ethereals who represent the old establishment, rather than the bright-eyed young revolutionaries with new ideas, and they know it. It remains to be seen whether the Ethereals will be able to reform themselves to keep up with the evolving Tau Empire, or whether the Tau Empire will undergo a change into a new form of government for a new era.

Eldrad Ulthran[edit]

The Greatest of Farseers:

The date of birth of Eldrad Ulthran is an event lost to time. Assumed to have been born at most a few thousand years before The Fall the ancient Farseer would have been considered old even as the Eldar Empire died. There are few (if any) surviving records of his early life, and his memory is fragmented at best.

The loss of memory may have been a result of The Fall breaking his mind, a broken mind would explain many of his later antics, or it could simply be caused by living longer than any other biological eldar. His longevity is assumed to not be natural as an unaltered eldar will live for just under two thousand years and even with the best of post-Fall longevity treatments will struggle to reach five thousand. Eldrad is assumed to be potentially three times the upper limit of known eldar longevity treatments. He is therefore either some sort of mutant or the result of now forgotten and lost medical intervention of the Old Empire. He is long lived but he is not immortal. By the dying of the Dark Millennium his skeleton has crystallized, his face is lined, his eyes grow dim and his hair is white.

His earliest coherent memories are trying to warn the general populace of the Home Worlds of the Old Empire to their dangerous folly. By that time they were either too far gone to care or skeptical of his claims. He has memories of trying to organize evacuation fleets and calling in the favours and offering favours to the trader captains to help. The names of the captains, the names of their ships and their faces have dimmed and faded with time. It is possible that they were the origins of many of the craftworlds, but now none will know for sure. It was not a time that records survived well.

With his precognitive prowess he felt the shape of something not unlike the Old Empire rising up across the galaxy but not of his kin. A god but a mortal made of gold and gold did not rust.

Every rune cast, every vision from meditation showed that the remnants of the eldar people would in time come to blows with the men of Earth. Without their gods save murderer and trickster his people would lose their wisdom, what little of it they still had. They would declare war upon the men of Earth and great slaughter would be had. Peace would be impossible.

They needed their gods back. Of them the Harlequins sang only one other yet lived and then in captivity and that rescue would always be impossible.

This declaration of impossibility did not sit well with the old Farseer. The eldar people had gone through too much, survived too much, to be driven to either madness or extinction. For one who dealt with the sliding scale of probability and the twisting threads of possibility it is possible that he saw this great wall as a personal insult and his mind started to wander down stranger paths.

Under normal circumstances none of the eldar people would have dreamed of seeking the aid of the lesser races but these were far from normal times.

And so it was that Eldrad found an unlikely ally, himself a relic from a broken empire whose people had been brought low. For the first time that he could remember the old Farseer felt something approaching a sense of family unlikely as that seemed with the great golden eyed giant.

The greatest warriors of the eldar were assembled and it’s most powerful seers and warlocks and the humans, as he learned his new friends were called, did the same. With great effort and a derelict and unstable webway gate they tore the veil of reality asunder and the human exarch “space marines” and the young Phoenix Lords charged into the very depths of Hell in the wake of the giant called Steward.

Of what they saw in that place none would tell Eldrad though of those that returned all now had the eyes of people who had seen too much and could never look away again. And for an instant, just for an instant, as they stepped back into the world of the living there stood the mother of all eldar for the last time and first time in possibly millions of years. Just for an instant in the flesh and all who beheld her in that moment knew new hope for salvation.

Soon arose again the Priesthood of Isha, the daughters of the Mother, Her disciples and from their venerated ranks the one known as Macha rose to prominence and earned herself the honour of being the avatar of her patron in the world of the living. Eldrad recognized the one known as Macha for she was old and also a survivor of the fall but he could not name her or recall her face. He suspected she was distant kin but she did not carry the name of Ulthran, none besides Eldrad in that time did.

The thread of the eldar people was strengthened and as he looked upon and forwards through the skein of fate the thread would be strengthened still further by being interwoven with that of the men of Earth. So it came to pass that the radiant High Priestess of Isha and the Steward were joined as husband and wife to formalize the union of man and eldar and the protection and inclusion of the true eldar people into the Imperium.

But the theft of Isha had insulted the gods and they were out for blood. Eldrad, as the being who had put forth that plan, felt more than a little responsible. Possibly it was this sense of responsibility that made him refuse to suggest to the craftworlders that they run and let the humans die in their place, perhaps it was the knowledge that the gods would never stop hunting them, perhaps it was that he saw this conflict as a trial by fire for their new Imperium or perhaps he was much like his own people now were. They were no longer a ragged band of refugees surviving off of scraps salvaged from a burned down home, they were Eldar once more. The galaxy had bent to their will once and some stupid upstart gods were now challenging them? They were not so weak as to cower now. Eldar and men were building the galaxy anew. Mortal hands and hearts and heads held high and what mortals had wrought no god would tear asunder.

And so it was that eldar blades met the blades of the enemy and Eldrad was aghast to find that the hands that held those daemon blades were not unlike his own. His fallen people, the ones who danced and sang as trillions died and reveled in the debauchery even to the screams of the dying and the damned still lived, if one could even call it living.

It was with heavy heart that the old farseer fled the Gate Worlds of Cadia and Ulthwe and for many a century to come his kin and kind word decried him a coward and a scoundrel. But the flight of Eldrad to Old Earth, although one of desperation, was not one of cowardice and if any emotion at all still beat in that cold grey heart it was wrath.

Eldrad had looked upon the threads of fate as they shifted and saw one thin strand that led to a lasting hope of victory for his peoples. Just one. He needed to be on Old Earth. He didn't know why but the only way for all to survive was for him to be where that hammer was coming down hardest. Even so it was a hard thing to do. Time has weathered their faces and names but he did now have children of his own upon fair Ulthwe. Their names have gone unremembered, their souls never made it to the Infinity Circuit and ever afterwards long past the point when their faces became blurred and forgotten he knew he had left them to die and worse and he cursed himself for it.

It was a maddening time in Imperial Palace. Eldrad's small ship was shot down by the invading forces and it not so much landed in the Imperial Gardens as crashed. Greenskinned brutes occupied by that point the majority of the Earth's surface, great swathes of the population were slain and they didn't look to be slowing down. In truth the forces mustered against basic sanity on Earth put the forces leveled against the home he had abandoned to shame. But this was Old Earth, keystone of a new Imperium, it's walls were so much higher.

To Eldrad's relief the Steward knew of the Crone World Eldar, his own court seer Red Magnus having divined their presence. But Red Magnus was young. Brilliant but young. Eldrad was old and even then in relative youth none were his equal and he was at the center of the storm. The heart of the web where all the strings met, Chaos had hounded him but he was now right where he needed to be and the manic grin on his face and the fire in his eyes was terrible to behold.

Forces were redeployed and moved under cover of darkness and smoke and illusion, slight of hand was played at an insane level, misdirection and the subtle knife between ribs cost the orks and their puppeteers a heavy price as the line was held with one hand and the knife shoved in the back and twisted with the other. The war had just gotten serious, the Crone Worlders were going to have to work for it and come down and fight for themselves if they wanted this victory.

They tried several times to teleport into the Imperial Palace as its shields weakened, a fact that the turned out to be a trap and all their assassins and berserkers were caught in a withering hail of bolter fire. They tried air dropping Kommandoes and Stalkers and Mandrakes only to find that the Harlequins had been loitering in the place for months waiting for them. They tried digging in with great rock crunching maworms and Digga Krewz and stranger things that slipped between the rocks like impossible smoke. They encountered Magnus' daemons. It is probably better not to know what he did to them though they were never seen again.

In the end the Palace would have to be taken the Orky way with a mass charge. Here was where the Beast approached.

For all his cunning Eldrad had only so many pieces on the board and misdirection and prescience could only stretch that so far. The thin red line before the Eternity Gate was thin and he knew it and they knew it and he knew that they knew it and they knew that he knew that they knew it and they savored his desperation.

For all that the Beast approached he could not withdraw soldiers for other fortifications. Every time he was about to do so he felt the thin strand they all hung by snapping. The Beast had to attack the Eternity Gates and he could offer no help to stop it. Thrice he had to hold the Steward back for rushing to the gate to lend his prodigious strength. The Steward was needed right where he was. No one man could direct the forces across an entire planet and Eldrad knew the Steward would be drowned if left to it on his own.

The calls for aid coming from the gate became shouts of defiance as the defenders made their last stand. The Steward was almost in tears, of all the beings in his Imperium few were friends and one was about to die and he was letting it happen. When the transmissions went quiet so did the Steward. Cold and quiet and very, very still.

Sporadic fire could be heard getting closer and the footsteps of doom like war drums or twin hearts getting closer.

When the Beast finally smashed and tore the armored door out of the Throne Room he did not find a selection of cowering generals and fleeing strategists. What he found was an angry Man of Gold cannoning into his face at a flat trajectory like a murder tipped missile.

It was a hard fight. Perhaps the most brutal and savage that there ever was. The Steward was a Man of Gold, a relic from a lost era when men were as gods. Eldrad was a primordial eldar born at the height of their kind and carrying the flame of it like an inferno. But for all that the Beast was The Beast. Empowered by gods too terrible to contemplate and mighty beyond measure. Later tales will tell of how the fight lasted a day and a night but they are almost certainly lies although the old Farseer as he danced and struck had lost all notion of time.

Fists that could break buildings impacted on the Green Menace that responded in turn with blows that could fell baneblades. Had The Beast been able to concentrate on a single target it would all of been over. He was too durable, too strong and for a creature of such mass hellishly fast and seemingly tireless. The Steward was also seemingly incapable of tiring but Eldrad was beginning to weary. Days upon days of constant battle and sifting through fates trying to divine the least awful were taking their toll. He would tire and then he would die and then the Steward would die and then his Imperium would die and his own people right along with it. It seemed as unstoppable as tide and time.

And then the Farseer noticed an out of place thing buried in the Beast's chest. A broken sword blade that must once of been of elegant design.

With the last of his strength the farseer channeled his fire and his lightning into that blade and grasped it in his mind and drove it deep into the Beast's chest and twisted. The Beast collapsed in agony, spasming on the floor as the agony wracked him, and the Steward joined his psychic might with the old farseer. Together, they looked over the Beast as it fell and stared it straight in the eye, twisting the blade until the struggling stopped and all that was left in that monsters chest was broken up charcoal.

Exhausted the farseer fell to his knees. The last thing he saw before the darkness overtook him was the Steward holding the remains of what had once been an angel. The worst of the fighting on Old Earth was well over when Eldrad awoke once more.

The war was far from over, but the back of it had been broken.

Eldrad returned to his people, much to their annoyance. It was a long time before they would forgive him for abandoning them, although those in authority knew his reason well enough.

See Also: The Long Odds

The Emperor of Mankind (formerly The Steward, formerly The Warlord)[edit]

See Also: Malcador's Log, My Dinner With the Emperor, The War For Heaven

Grand Empress Isha[edit]

See Also: My Dinner With the Emperor

Freki and Geri[edit]

Geri was one of Russ’ many daughters with Linnea, known for her huge appetite and gluttonous habits. When Russ began his secret experiments on Fenris to improve the success rate of the Canis Helix Geri and her lover, Freki, were some of the few non-Fenrisians who applied, determined to make Russ proud. Geri had complete faith in her father’s abilities. Even when the two of turned into monsters, albeit stable ones, and the other Fenrisian wolves who were able to walk broke free and escaped into the snows of Fenris, Freki and Geri loyally remained in their pens, their faith in her father never wavering. Their faith proved true. While Russ was willing to euthanize those who had non-functioning lungs, tumor-filled jaws, or mutated to have multiple limbs, he could not bear to kill his daughter.

According to the official records, Freki and Geri “died” from a troll attack on the snows of Fenris. The two truck-sized Fenrisian wolves that followed Leman around after that were named after them in their honor. Linnea, well, she knew the truth. She could never really fully forgive Russ for what happened and to his credit Russ never tried to justify his actions.

ANON:Was thinking either the two of them followed Leman out into the snow when he disappeared, or they died during the Battle of the Fang.

"Primarch, did you happen to see the size of those things that Russ brought with him? Must be some tamed beasts from that little black site playground of his. They must grow wolves big on Fenris.”
"Those aren’t wolves. Gods, Leman, what have you done?"
"Primarch? Magnus? What do you mean?”
"You misunderstand Ahriman. There are no species of wolves native to Fenris."
-- Conversation between Primarch Magnus the Red and Ahzek Ahriman during the “first” public appearance of Freki and Geri.

Fyodor Karamazov[edit]

Fyodor Karamazov, the Despoiler, the High Proctor of Salem, or more commonly as the Butcher of a Thousand Worlds is a man whose name is whispered in hushed tone across a million worlds, and rightfully so.

His career had been a legendary one, his mind, charm, determination and zeal rivaling even that of the great Sebastian Thor himself, with him rising from a small Arbiter in the middle of nowhere to an Inquisitor of Ordo Malleus and then, for a short time, the High Lord Inquisitor during the 12th Black Crusade over his specialty in spotting heretics and cultists. But still, however great his mind and wit, his paranoia and psychopathic tendencies dwarf them all, rivaling even those of the Primarch Perturabo. Still, however brutal his deeds were, they bring results and with extreme bitterness did the Emperor allowed him the free rein to do what ever he willed to keep the Imperium intact from the Black Crusade. And thus, on his Throne of Judgement Fyodor crusaded across the millions of planet of the Imperium, leaving alive no heretics nor cultists in his wake - for all he suspected, he burns and his paranoia is great indeed.

He is also said to be a psychopath that enjoys the suffering of people, the smell of burning flesh and snatching candies from babies. Fortunately, only two of those facts are likely to be true.

However, as expected, power corrupts, and the greater the power the greater the corruption. It is unknown where and how did he begin to fall, but it is undeniable that it was seeded with his deep paranoia, and was completely undeniable at what was known later as the Salem Witch Trial, where he condemned Saint Salem and her crusaders who had liberated an entire system and the people who were liberated as heretics and witches and committed Exterminatus on every last planet in the system and all those nearby. The Emperor, as expected, when heard of this had flipped his lid in pure rage and ordered Ordo Sicarius to get Fyodor, allowing them to use whatever resource needed (and may be more) to get it done. Burning innocents, that may be slightly acceptable in the direst of circumstances (which the 12th Black Crusade was, to the eternal grievance of the Emperor) but that many for no reason? On an individual basis? Some could have wondered why hadn't the Emperor went after the now-sacked-and-put-on-most-wanted-list-High Lord himself if not for the event that had transpired next.

Fyodor, even before becoming an Inquisitor, had secretly viewed the Imperium as being too soft and was determined to 'fix' it. He, with his unparalleled charm had won over (and built his power base on) the more orthodox factions of the Inquisition, with many if not most monodominants being members of the upcoming Coup and Inquisitorial Civil War (which he called the Crusade of Change) that aims to bring the Imperium to his wanted direction.

Now, at the end of the 41st millennium, in the heart of the 13th Black Crusade, the tyranid invasion, and the Fifth Armageddon War, the dreaded man is at the head of the dreaded Judgemental Crusade Fleet, burning and enslaving all in his way and waging a shadow war against the Emperor and the Inquisition. Despite the best efforts of the Imperium, he is yet to be caught, for his fleet is equipped with some kind of 'experimental' Warp Drive capable of achieving speeds twice as fast as that of the fastest Imperium craft (the design was scrapped because it required people to be burned, but Karamazov has people to burn in abundance) and armed with weaponries and equipment never seen before outside the halls of the Inquisition... the future seems dark indeed.

"I will repeat this for the one last time: that thing is no man but a vile Genestealer infiltrating our ranks that. Needs. To. Be. Purged!"
-Inquisitor Boaz Kryptman on Fyodor Karamazov to the High Council, one year before the Salem Witch Trial.

Ex-Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn[edit]

Gregor Eisenhorn is perhaps one of the most hated renegades in the Imperium who hasn't officially thrown in their lot with Chaos. Once a respected Inquisitor Eisenhorn fell from grace via small steps making metaphorical and literal deals with devils and dabbling in the darker parts of daemon-lore. Even the Daemon Breakers hate him, he's too friendly with things from the other side for their taste. Eisenhorn had the book thrown at him even harder than Kryptman, Kryptman merely had his Inquisitor status revoked so he couldn't unilaterally Exterminatus whenever he felt necessary and was still considered a useful if unstable asset by the Imperium. Eisenhorn has had his Inquisition status officially revoked and actual wanted posters issues, not that this even slowed him down.

The reason for Eisenhorn’s fall was remarkably simple and remarkably subtle. Curiosity. Simply a little bit of curiosity. Surely there is nothing wrong with learning excessive amounts of daemon-lore. The Grey Knights all do and they seem pretty on the ball. And surely it can't be too bad to put all this sorcery into practice in extreme circumstances to prevent something worse, it's not unprecedented. And it's obviously better to have Cherubael bound into a dead cultist than wandering around free doing God knows what, it is the job of the Inquisition to frustrate the forces of Chaos after all. And if Cherubael is bound and hanging around he may as well make himself useful. Nothing wrong with that, it's like watching a wasp land on a nettle. Someone’s going to get stung and it's no great sorrow who.

Next thing you know you’re running through the mid-hive jumping from moving train to moving train with a daemon close behind you as your only friend, a stack of stolen forbidden text transcripts in an asbestos back pack with the Arbiters sirens getting closer whilst you mumble through a mantra of dimensional twisting in the Unwords of the Black Sun because the customs inspector at the space port is a retired Space Marine you once knew and he slapped the panic the moment you got off the shuttle.

And this is by far not the first time that this has happened. All you can be grateful for is that this time you aren't a Night Lord Neophyte training exercise.

It's also worth noting that he is hated by everyone.

Chaos hate him because he enslaves daemons to do his will against their own desires and keeps using them to fuck up Chaos cults.

The Inquisition hates him because of all the shady shit he did that came to light at his trial in absentia on top of his summoning and binding of daemons.

The Daemon Breakers hate him because he's summoning daemons for help rather than banishing and/or killing them. Also he destroyed a book they wanted (the Necroteuch), the only other copy of which is in the Black Library.

The eldar hate him because he stinks of Chaos and need no other reason to shoot on sight.

But for all that it seems that Eisenhorn is still "loyal" to the Imperium in his own mind. He runs from Imperial forces thrown at him if he can rather than fighting and only intentionally targets Chaotic forces. He is in effect a Chaos Sorcerer albeit one with good intentions. His only saving grace is that he is a lot more trouble to Chaos than the Imperium.

He never intended to be this way. He is on this path because he made one well intentioned decision, carefully considered and in isolation one bad choice after another. Now he's nearly 500 years old, has no friends, and is on the run from everybody with Cherubael as his only company.

Gutsmek Wazdakka[edit]

The Webway Rider

Gutsmek Wazdakka began life as but a simple Mek and Speed Freak, tearing about the galaxy on his kustom warbike under one Warboss or another or none at all, upgrading his bike and getting into fights, and he was content.

Then, while chasing a retreating Eldar kill-team, he somehow managed to chase them into the Webway itself. He chased them down, killed them, then looked around and realized he had no idea where he was and no idea how to get back.

For over a year he rampaged around inside the Webway, getting into fights with with Craftworlders and Croneworlders and Dark Eldar and Inquisitors, somehow always managing to evade pursuit, vanishing into the most tangled and gnarled parts of the Webway. It took him a year to find his way back out, winding up on the Ork-held world of Vesp Vi.

When he came out, he was an Ork changed- an Ork inspired. He had seen, in the Webway, his vision of a perfect battleground, of Kults of Speed tearing their way from one end of the galaxy to the other without once having to slow down. He promptly sought out the nearest Kult and challenged their Warboss to a battle for supremacy. The Warboss was bigger, but Wazdakka had the better bike and a holy vision, and when the dust settled he was Warboss Gutzmek Wazdakka. He promptly led his new warband right back into the Webway, trusting in the whims of fate and the will of Gork and Mork to lead him to the next fight.

The method and degree by which Wazdakka navigates the Webway is disputed. At first, it was suspected he was getting by on blind luck, but this seemed increasingly improbable as his rampage continued. Some suspect he is a latent Weirdboy on top of being a Mek, and uses some sort of subconscious psychic talent to navigate. Others believe that Gork and Mork are in fact leading him to good fights. A few suspect he is subtly empowered by Chaos, probably Tzeentch. Some even whisper that he is guided by the subtle hand of Cegorach, shaping Wazdakka and his WAAAGH into a weapon to be rammed into the rotting heart of Commorragh.

Whatever the case, he is a consistent thorn in the Imperium's side. Although his WAAAGHs have been defeated on multiple occasions, each time Wazdakka has escaped, popping back up on the closest Ork world to raise another horde so he can have another go. His astonishing good luck in survival is yet another mystery, one that lends further credence to the idea that he is somehow aided by a higher power. Worse, other Orks have occasionally been finding their way into the Webway independent of Wazdakka's guidance, apparently simply drawn by the WAAAGH energy of his Webway Wars. Only a few, but the number seems to be increasing.

The Imperium's sole consolation is that Wazdakka poses as much a threat to their enemies as to them, with entire Dark Eldar Kabals or Croneworld slaughter-parties wiped out to the last man when they had the misfortune to stumble across his warbands. However, this is small consolation in the face of his raids against Imperial worlds, Exodite worlds, and occasionally even minor Craftworlds.

As the failed assassination attempts pile up and the galaxy grinds closer to its final cataclysm, it seems likely that Warboss Gutsmek Wazdakka will have some role to play in the confrontation- but what, nobody can say. At least, nobody willing to talk comprehensibly.

The High Lords of Terra[edit]

Spokesman for the Collective Synod of the Imperium Walden of the Aaldenbergs[edit]

Walden of the Aaldenbergs started his ecclesiastical vocation as the acolyte of Hahn of the Aaldenbergs, priest of the old gods, slayer of orks, caller of lightning, forger of blades and all over aging and highly accomplished strong man of the tribe. He was a mere twelve standard years old when he decided that this was what he wanted to do with his life although that his two older brothers had already been earmarked for future leader of Old Mountain tribe and sent off to the army it could be argued that there wasn't much else besides the priesthood for the third son of village chief to do. Not that he resented his lot in life, not by a long way.

He was possessed even in early age of a powerful intellect that suffered only slightly from overly straight line thinking and somewhat Dornian bluntness. As he grew up in the teachings of the faith he learned deep of the gods of blood and wood and bone and ash. He learned the names of the spirits of the deep forest where not even orks would grow and at the tender age of 15 survived the trip from the wooded foothills into the sunless heartlands by the rivers where the trees grow a mile tall. There he met the gods, he claims, though he will not say what they said to him. The gods of catachan can impart wisdom and purpose and those that would speak with them might return changed for the better or driven mad or not at all.

Young Walden came back more driven than ever, a thing old Hahn approved of greatly.

But the place of a mere village priest was not, he felt, the place where he was needed most. Catachan's children were abroad among the stars and far from home as they were they needed a priest to keep them from becoming lost. It was with heavy hearts that the old chief and his family said fare well to their son and with some annoyance mingling with the pride that Hahn would look for another apprentice.

Walden was now a Chaplain of the Imperial Army attached to the Catachan "Green Specters" 943rd.

There he stayed for a very long time, tending the spiritual needs of his militant and inter-tribal congregation, his crozier was six foot of thornbirch with a stylized shock-maul built into the end and his vestments were a cassock made of kevlar. His regiment were known for their discretion, for the art of killing without being seen; he was not.

His followers found him of much use for the drawing of fire and attention and flushing out of targets that they could then claim. How, some would ask, would he survive more than a few missions? His gods had shown him where and to approximately when he would die in the natural course of things. Although it didn't make him invulnerable and he was never foolish enough to put them to the test outright it did allow him to move with a degree of confidence unmatched by his peers. To the Catachan, from his highest officers to the lowliest of grunts, he was inspirational.

He was also shrewd and it was for this that he started to come to the attention of higher authorities.

By the time his hair was turning grey he was attached as an advisor to Lady General Heilwig of the Uhulis Sector after the events of Velgagrad defense from the Space Hulk Da Iron Wurm and it's cargo of murderous orks. Although he was reluctant to leave his position, as the spiritual health of his fellow countrymen would be at risk until a replacement arrived, he could also see the greeter need that Lady General Heilwig had of her. The Lady General was of Krieg with all the problems that it brings with it. She was brilliant in her way and one of the few in ten millennium to achieve such rank from her world but she was still deeply flawed as a human being, her saving grace being that she knew how flawed she was. She needed someone capable of understanding the human needs and wants of those under her command and blunt enough to communicate it to her effectively. It also helped that Priest Walden was also versed in numerous languages including base-orkish

At this point Walden of the increasingly distant but not forgotten Aaldenbergs started on the rejuvenants and his apparent physical age stopped in mid forties, though in vitality and capability he regained some lost ground. It was in the following years that he truly showed his worth to the Imperium and his powerful and direct intellect was truly allowed to show.

In an empire as broad as the Imperium with a million worlds and a hundred times that many religious faiths and distinct cultures conflicts were inevitable. As a mediator between these factions Walden was peerless. He was a priestly man but he was also a soldier, he was scholar but he was also a man of the trenches, he was an officer but he was also not. Also his gods did not encourage or forbid much strictly and were so unheard of outside of the Catachans that nobody had a grievance with them. Where once had been division he brought a wary unity.

It's hard to say if he became friends with Lady General Heilwig. As a Krieger and one who had seen some horrific things she was maybe too damaged to make friends. It is known that she valued the strange Catachan man greatly. There was nobody she enjoyed arguing with more and nobody she listened to closer.

He served in this capacity for nearly seventy years until a Mandrake killed his Lady General and took her severed head. After that he felt he couldn't serve another, the pain of it was too close. He also felt by then that he had forgotten his roots somewhat and needed to be a priest again rather than a generals assistant. He didn't know what gods, if any, lived on Krieg but he gave her the Catachan burial rites and fuck any god that objected.

No sooner had he packed his bags and booked passage on a ship traveling somewhere near Catachan Space did he receive a great surprise; a letter from Old Earth demanding his presence before the Collective Synod.

The Collective Synod had, for the thirty or forty years previous, been going through a tumultuous and uncertain time. Due to the advancing ages of quite a lot of the heads and representatives of the faiths there had been delays on decision making and the voting of a new spokesman since the last one died. To this end, with Walden being of sound mind and body, centuries the junior of many and accomplished and proven capable his name had been put forth to represent the voice of the Imperium's people to the High Lords on matters of faith.

Also, they assumed, some yokel village priest from Catachan with no real power would cause them no problems and be easy to remove should the need ever arise. They were not quite right about that. Walden proved initially very unpopular, too connected to remove and seemingly unkillable.

And so by the closing of the year 999.M41 the Collective Synod endures under the less then gentle ministrations of Spokesman Father Walden von Aaldenbergs. For all that they might grumble the old men and women of the Synod have never functioned so well. It takes a special mind to organize such a fractious and mutually hostile bunch of people and by great good fortune they have one and they have nobody else to blame.

As the time of trials grows closer, prophesies are fulfilled and the Imperium is whipped into a religious fervor as the faithful rise up to meet Judgment Day. It is by the efforts of the Synod that the passion is set to the long simmer rather than the full boil and made manageable and it is the direction of Walden that is is done so.

Of the man himself? He is not where he saw himself, those many years ago at the foot of Old Mountain, but the gods work in mysterious ways. Especially Catachan one, bastards as they all are.

The Speaker for the Merchant Navy and Rogue Traders Abdul Golberg[edit]

The current representative of the Merchant Fleet is a Tallarn. Ot at least very strongly Tallarn influenced. Rumors abound about him. He is not the least known of the High Lords. In fact he his the most known and everyone has extensive information on him, sadly quite a lot of the information everyone has is contradictory.

His mother was Tallarn, that is almost certain. A beautiful princess of one of the city-kings most suggest although which of the grey-haired old women he has as advisors is his mother he will not say and neither will they. His father less is known about other than was an inter-stellar trader. He was of the Goldberg family, a trader dynasty on hard times somewhat reversed in recent years and as such beneath the notice or care of the other old-blood families.

One of his eyes is green and the other is yellow and nobody is sure which is the artificial/graft one. One rumour has it that his father was a Fenrisian tradesman from one of the younger colony worlds, yellow is a "normal" eye colour for those people. Some say his princess mother was married off to his father to secure an off-world trade contract, others that she ran away with him for adventure among the stars. Or the yellow is a graft and the green one is natural, green is an extremely common eye colour on Tallarn.

Others say that he isn't Tallarn at all but from one of the Seven Sanctuary Cities of Nocturne. Certainly he in fluent in the City-Nocturne language, among about a hundred other languages, and is well versed in the Promethean Creed though he does not follow it.

The Writ of Trade he carries the Emperor remembers signing twelve and a half years after the Unification of Sol officially became the Great Crusade. It was to a man called Horatio Jeffers of Gredbritton, which is not to say that the family hasn't legally changed it's name at some point down the long years or indeed it could have passed to another family perfectly legally.

Of the man himself? He is a family man, that is known. He has at least one wife, always referred to as a singular and carefully never by name, though who among his entourage it is is not known. It is known that he has plural in both sons and daughters but again it is not known exactly who among his extended and extensive family they are. It is known that his mother is still alive but his father is not, though not who they are. Unless he's been intentionally and subtly giving consistent "slips" of information down the years that have no basis in reality. It's possible.

He is naturally hideously intelligent and further augmented by minor cerebral augmentations of dubious legality across the Mechanicus legal jurisdictions. It is known that he can speak at least a dozen languages fluently in addition to High Gothic and claims to be able to speak over a hundred with varying degrees of mastery though the extent of this is unverified.

He has sworn to, at and by god and gods of any number of faiths. It is unknown which if any of them he follows the creeds of and which he believes in. It could be none or it could be all of them somehow. In much the same way he has celebrated the festivals of many faiths although it's more than likely that he just likes celebrations.

His age is difficult to say as it's possible that his predecessors as head of the family, not necessarily his father, was also called Abdul Goldberg. Or he has inherited the name upon becoming head of the family. Or he really is as old as he claims (which varies quite a lot) and is just really well preserved. Given the way in which rejuvenents vary in effectiveness between people it's not totally outside possibility that he is in fact just shy of 800 and only physically of early middle years.

He is not psychic. That much if nothing else is certain, he's just really good at reading people and lies so well that he can fool or outright block a casual weak surface scan.

He always keeps a loyal psychic around with him at all times to detect and trace if anyone tries to scan him. These psykers, all sanctioned and legal, are also invariably part of the family though whether they are married into the family or there is a strong psychic gene in the Goldberg is hard to say. Certainly if they married in there is now so it's probably pointless to wonder in any case.

Of the man's rise to power what can be said? He managed to appear on the record books of as many of his competitors and fellow traders as possible so that the name was never too forgotten, positioned his family to appear big enough to fill the vacant shoes as the previous holder of the position started to look ill but still looked small enough to bully around and it didn't hurt that his family were old money. Or at least old IOUs.

It also helped that he had enough ships under his name and the name of his family to appear like a large but broad dynasty rather than a tall and rich one that nobody else wanted or the small and forgettable one that they actually were. Most of these ships were bought exactly to appear exactly as that and the mortgage is still being paid on most of them, high millage old buckets that they are.

And so the Goldbergs got he job. Not because anybody wanted them to have it but because they all wanted each other to have it far less. An ineffectual, weak and poor house would be easy to ignore if they got a position among the High Lords of the Imperium. They would have all the theoretical authority but no power to use it, the other Trader dynasties and meg-corps would have a new era of unregulated greed unbeholden to any so long as they didn't do anything to incur the wrath of the notoriously hands-off Royal Family.

For the most part they have been right though they are not worried and maybe they should be that the Goldbergs are not squandering their new position. From that ever so lofty position Abdul Goldberg can see the overt web of trade across the width, breadth and depth of the Imperium and has access to reports that can strongly hint at the more hidden web of undeclared trade. More importantly he can spot the gaps that his family can fill with their freshly acquired ships. Gaps that are being filled methodically.

The Goldbergs are setting the groundwork to be on the rise again for the first time in possibly thousands of years.

But what do the other High Lords and Ladies know of this? Fedor Jiao of the Navigators has just been deposed under suspicious circumstances, presumably Hector Rex of the Inquisition knows or at least someone in his employ knows, Merelda Pereth of the Navy probably suspects a power shift due to her contacts across the Void Born and Abdul knows that Irthu Haemotalion knows because Haemotalion generally knows or at least suspects everything. But they don't care, the business of business is not their business. The only ones who would care are the other big trader companies and they are habitually dismissive of the Goldbergs.

But what of it? Old Uncle Abdul has seemingly no real personal ambition beyond seeing his family prosper as all good patriarchs do. And professionally he is fiercely loyal to the Imperium as it is the greatest bastion of civilization that is and ever has been and trade is the backbone of it and trade is what flows through his veins as much as blood.

Indeed if you want something, he has it, or will have it soon or can introduce you to someone who does. Usually a nephew of some description, he has seemingly and endless supply of nephews. But always remember to have exact change.

Lady High Admiral of the Imperial Navy Merelda of House Pereth[edit]

Merelda of House Pereth, Lady High Admiral of the Imperial Navy, is the only abhuman serving on the High Council of the Imperium. She is a Void Born and quite typical of her kind; Abnormally tall and thin, skin unhealthily pale bordering on translucent, long dexterous fingers, bone white hair and big dark eyes. She is the descended from a line of space farers that have served in the Imperial Navy since the days of King Horus and much further into the inky black before that. Her list of victories in the name of the Imperium is legendary having seen heavy action in innumerable Chaos Incursion around the Maelstrom and the Gates of Fire and also a War for Armageddon.

She knows Empty Space, that realm to which dear Horus was once king, and to her it is home. Indeed it is so much her home that like most of her kind she can't set foot upon Old Earth without a full body harness to take the weight.

Her understanding of trajectory, gravity, light speed delay and three dimensional theatres of battle is in the very top of what the Imperium has to offer. Eldar and Demiurg who ply the starry seas for a living do not understand it as she does.

In her time, to the disbelief of many, she has fought everything from orks to chaos to strange hostile things without name beyond the edge of the maps. She has been from one ragged edge of the galactic disc to the other and fought from Hub to Rim. Most unbelievable to most are her claims of boarding action battles. How, they ask, could a creature incapable of standing up for extended periods of time possibly fight in any meaningful way? It was this suspected dishonest that almost had her rejected for consideration of her job when her predecessor retired.

It wasn't until the Emperor himself confirmed that he believed her. He had seen Void Born in anti-boarding actions, scuttling in the zero and micro-gravity like great pale spiders across the walls. Void Born ships have no floors or ceilings and are built by shipwrights without a concept of "down" and "up". Even to veteran Chaos Marines, brains addled by centuries on Deaomn Worlds, the notion of attack from 6 cardinal directions was too much to instinctively know unless raised in it from near infancy.

Indeed there is something unsettling about watching Void Born swim through their ships of almost inhuman design, it is not a way man was meant to be but it is so.

Since assuming her job as Lady High Admiral of the Imperial Navy there has been nothing if not a mild resurgence in overall capability. She was Void Born born and raised and for a thousand generations and more the people of the deeps have not suffered incompetence well or often at all. Traditionally the greatest virtue of the pale-folk was always considered to be thrift, space is big and empty. Those that waste, be it fuel of lives or (horror of horrors) ships typically are the first to be disposed of in extremis.

This abhuman hardness got a lot of people worried, very worried, and not without cause. Although Merelda is not a cruel woman she is also not a forgiving one and although she holds no one to standards that she would not hold herself she holds herself to very high standards. This is the Navy, she would remind her critics, the first and most formidable line of defence of this Blesséd Imperium. It is not a social club for high society fops and inbred fools appointed for notions of nepotism.

There has been in the years since her appointment a notable increase in the number of Void Born transferring from the Merchant Navy to the Imperial Navy, all fairly and above board with not favour shown to them.

But Void Born are innately and instinctively better than normal men when it comes to the finer points of void warfare.

Much as the Fabricator-General the majority of her time is not spent upon the surface of Old Earth, visiting only when needed or when called for. Most of her time she spends in the ancestral capital of her kind, the Earth Luna Lagrange Point.

There in the dockyards once called home by Horus, Home still of House Lupercal among many other venerated names, she holds office. There she marshals her kind and orchestrates the training of generations of officers to captain ships as yet unbuilt to. Horrors lurk between the stars and she takes pride in that she commands the worst of them. Though she will never wear the Corona Nox, will never be the Queen of Empty Space, she is as near as any can be. The responsibility is greater as the Imperium sails to Judgment Day than in any days before.

The dockyards at thunderously busy and so are her people. As they scuttle and glide through the hallways, habs and foundries of the Lagrange Sprawl she sits at the centre of it all dictating the turning of the wheel.

The Sons of Horus have taken note of her. She is one of their faithful, adherent of the Old Gods of Empty Space. The secret faith known only to the pale-folk and shared with no outsiders save a few and most trusted.

Of the woman herself? She is hard to read. Often her people are compared to spiders, pallid, with long limbs and big dark eyes. She is if anything an exaggeration of this. When people look up into those dark eyes they see nothing but the bottomless deeps of space looking back at them. She seems to look upon her fellow lords and ladies dispassionately in the extreme to a degree considered unnerving even to the Navigators. She speaks when spoken to or when needed and never else. It is suspected that she is almost as unnerving to her fellow countrymen as she is to everyone else, abnormal even among abhumans.

Lord Commander Militant of the Imperial Army Lukas Bastonne[edit]

Lukas Bastonne, the Lord Commander Militant of the Imperial Army, is a man both blessed and cursed with a supernaturally good memory. Or at least he is cursed and the Imperium is blessed.

He is the youngest of the High Lords by a good hundred and fifty years but that one remaining purple Cadian eye has long ago waved goodby to notions of youth or innocence or joy. He was bright enough to have skipped the duties of Whiteshield in the Cadian Army and could have transferred straight to officer school with all the perks this would bring, such people considered near as nobility on Cadia. He refused this honour on principle, a man without perspective is not a good officer, a man who hasn't started at the the bottom has no right to ask of those people to do that what he could not have been asked.

Brilliant as he was this state of affairs was only temporary and he quickly climbed the ranks on merit and aptitude, his merciless memory serving him and others very well. But that perfect memory came at a price and that price was that it was a perfect memory. He remembers the face of every corpse that was once a friend, every horror shat out by the Eye of Terror, tortures beyond counting, lifetimes of death and destruction. He used to tattoo the name of every soldier that fell under his command. He ran out of skin a very long time ago.

Lukas Bastonne as of 999.M41 is not a happy man. Gone are the days that he doesn't wake up to the sound of his own screaming and he drinks like a fish. Rumor has it that he has gone through eight livers. Unsightly as his drinking habit is none can deny his competence at his job and even pickled in gin he has not lessened in his diligence. His job is all that keeps him getting up in the mourning.

He is a man of no humour or good cheer. He is a man who knows the value of life though knows that for the Imperium to survive that life must be spent, spent but never wasted. He will not ask others to do what he would not, but he is Cadian and they live on the doorstep of Hell. The worst nightmares of other worlds are the every other day on Cadia.

He does not wear the full ceremonial garb to the meetings of the High Lords, or any other meetings. He is from a world where pomp and ceremony go to die. He wears a field uniform at all times, he feels naked without it. He carries his las-rifle at all times because he's a soldier damn it. He rose through the ranks for fear of the incompetence of others. those names tattooed belonged to people to whom he owes it to ensure that the lives of his people are spent, not wasted. That was his driving ambition to get where he is. Now there is nobody above him bat the Emperor, now he can maybe comfort himself a little knowing that lives that are lost mean something, that his friends weren't just discarded.

Under his less than tender command the Imperial Guard is operating at a level of performance as efficient and powerful as it ever has done. He would see all worlds, not as copies of his homeworld, but as strong as it in their own way. Different worlds forge different men and different men slay different monsters and no matter what Chaos and Orks and Necrons and Ffucked up intergalactic Locusts throw at the Imperium somewhere is a soldier that can kill it.

Of his family nothing is known, Cadia has no shortage of lost war orphans. Lukas Bastonne was on some birth issued dog tags about his neck though Lukas isn't a normal Cadian name although his purple eyes are a native trait so it's possible that one parent or grand parent was an off-worlder stationed on to the Gateworlds. Not that it matters, not that it matters at all.

The other High Lords endure him with either hostility, pity or fear but he does not care for their friendship or approval. They know their job, he knows his. And under his command the Guard and the Imperium will march on.

Master of the Administratum Irthu Haemotalion[edit]

Irthu Haemotalion is the Master of the Administratum and, at lest believed among his fellow scribes, primus inter pares of the High Lords. Maybe there is some truth to that as the Administratum does generally know the overt doings of the other High Lords and their business and is best suited to draw the attention of the Emperor to things that could be of interest.

High Lord Haemotalion is a man who genuinely did start in gutters. He never knew his parents and was raised by his guardsman veteran uncle in a two roomed tenement in the Gethsemane capital hive, Gothic Sector.

His uncle intentionally pushed him for that career due to Irthu finishing his education as a nine stone flat footed asthmatic with a slight case of near sightedness. Had Irthu turned out to have been a prime specimen of vigorous masculinity he would probably have still been encouraged in that direction as it was a s far from the Guard as possible. His uncle had seen some terrible things in his time and had no desire to let his nephew wake up screaming every 3AM.

Low Scribe Haemotalion's first job as an acne spotted teen was assistant to the pipe maintenance overseer for the sewage transport and treatment system in the lower rent districts of his hive. It was a far from glamourous job that necessitated him being in close proximity to human waste as pipe inspection note taker was one of his many and varied duties.

And it was a duty he excelled at. He loved his job and found no shame in it's low status. Six months into his duties and he was pointing out old and persistent problems with the organization of the maintenance team organization and presented his superiors with solutions.

Those solutions were works of simple genius. By the end of the following year, to his aging uncles pride, he was Master of Sheet Street Time Tables.

His duties expanded and his competence grew ahead of his elevation. By the time he was 30 he was the Sewer High Forman (Shit Lord) of the entire hive, practically aristocracy. But down to earth aristocracy, a Commoner Lord feared by the nobility and loved by the plebeians. A man of such elevated status so young and with such minimal formal education was unprecedented on the records.

By age 40 he had handed over his job to his most capable apprentice and traded his job of managing the waste of the hive to the management of the storm drains and the rain collection.

By the time he was 50 he was Master of Waterworks. It was at this time he started on the rejuvenants.

When it came to managing complex, interconnected, half understood systems and beating them into some semblance of order he had no peer. It was a peculiar sort of genius, and inglorious greatness and one much needed by the maddening complexity of lofty Imperial High Office.

By age 200 he was managing the requisition forms of the Merchant Navy for the entire Gothic Sector and haggling with the most prestigious of the old 'Trader Dynasties, not as a lower creature that they must deal with but as an equal. And maybe, it was whispered by the veteran Quartermaster Masters who knew of him, as a natural superior.

His rise to prominence, his hyper competence, his tirelessness and seemingly infinite patience won him promotion after promotion. Always he rose to the occasion and did not settle for being merely capable at his job but for being masterful at it. Scribes apprenticed to him were only the most promising and they left his tutelage feared by whatever branch of the Administratum they were settled in. Many of his old apprentices became Dark Clerks and Grim Statisticians of whose names and deeds are spoken of in fearful whispers were ever professional quill pushers gather to drink away their frustrations.

Irthu Haemotalion was a mere 560 when he was given the Big Chair, the padded swivel office chair with the adjustable backrest and padding even on the armrests, the Big Chair of the highest scribe in all the Imperium.

From his point of view his career has gone full circle. He started his career wading through shit and now he's knee deep in shit once more. A fact that he has let his co-workers know.

He only wished his uncle wasn't over five centuries dead. If he could see him now he hopes he would be proud.

Of High Shit Lord Irthu Haemotalion as a person; he is still a weedy manlet with his acne swapped for a hairline in full retreat. His breathing problems have cleared up by having had his lungs removed and replaced with mechanical improvements. His hands and wrists are also cybernetic due to arthritis but other than that he remains mostly human.

His personality is what one would expect of a scribe of his rank and years. Dour at first but with a dry and deadpan humour so practiced that none can tell if he is taking the piss or not, he invariably is. His patience remains infinite and the other High Lords mark it on a calendar the occasion he has been observed to blink. Some claim that he is some sort of reptile in an immaculate suit. He is also the only person capable of equaling Inquisitor Hector Rex at common card games.

Fabricator-General Oud Oudia Raskian[edit]

Fabricator-General Oud Oudia Raskian began his life much as the famous Gorgon Primarch in the days of yore but unlike the aesthetically displeasing primarch he was crafted with an actual purpose in mind beyond "we need more bodies".

Oud Oudia Raskian was commissioned by his predecessor in Fabricator-General's twilight years. He was not alone as the Fabricator-General Tataraskiv was unwilling to leave anything up to chance at that stage. Raskian was the the brightest of his class and as he matured learned well and deep of the Omnissiah's mysteries and scriptures, doctrines and rituals. As a mere technotheologian this would have been enough but as an exemplar he must excel at all matters. The training regime was brutal, inhuman and inhumane. Many of his hundreds of classmates failed. The brighter of them were shuffled off to other areas of the Olympus Mons Brotherhood, those who were found truly wanting were made useful as servitors. Of those that reached maturity and were deemed at least acceptable they were taken to hallowed and forbidden ground.

The young men and women, terrified and disgustingly organic as they were, stepped across the pale into the place where no map could be made or mind comprehend the twisting of the pathways. The place where Old Night was kept. Deep in unknowable depths the Noctis Labyrinthus, in the halls of things that should never have been born of mans folly and hubris ███████ ████████ ████████████ ██████ ████████████ ████ █████████ ███ █████████ ████████████ ██ ███████████████████ ███ ████ ███████████████ ██████████ ███████████████ ███ ███████ █████████ ██████████████

And of those that approached and of those that recoiled none were permitted to live. The galaxy was not for the incautious and it was not for the timid and those of both wisdom and authority that were either would only lead humanity to ruin.

Of those little more than children only Raskian survived. It is not enough, for the greatest position in the Imperium and the Mechanicum, to have merely possess the physical manifestations of the blessings of the machine. A true leader must have steel unrusting in his very soul, he must look upon damnation and not be damned himself.

Tataraskiv had found his one worthy disciple, his apprentice. Tataraskiv survived another two centuries before the meat parts of his brain degraded beyond usefulness and he had to be brought to termination. In those years Raskian learned much. He didn't consider his master a friend, given the people and the circumstances friendship was never an option, but he did respect the old man-machine greatly. Tataraskiv was disassembled and his salvageable components distributed amongst the Olympus Mons Brotherhood according to need.

In the yeas that followed Fabricator-General Oud Oudia Raskian, despite his relative youth compared to the ancient once-man he was replacing, proved to be every bit as wise and ruthless as his position demanded. As he became burdened with ever increasing secrets he was uplifted by the most beautiful augmetics from the staggering breadth of his great realm. Weariness of spirit and frailty of the flesh were replaced with mechanical resolve and technological strength.

For the last 700 years Oud Oudia Raskianhas been present at the gathering of the High Lords. He considers himself their better thought he would never admit it, the Mechanicum an equal partner in his mid to the Imperium rather than a member of it. Although they can request of him, and out of mutual benefit he often agrees, they have little that he needs from them. The Mechanicum could survive easier without the rest of the Imperium than the rest of the Imperium could survive without his people though he knows that both would be diminished without the other.

To put it another way he's an arrogant condescending twat and although his accomplishments are great he is not the center of the universe as he seems to think.

But for all that he is more than competent at his job, so he is tolerated even if the grinding of teeth he can cause is a genuine health hazard.

Grand Provost Marshal Aveliza Drachmar[edit]

Grand Provost Marshal Aveliza Drachmar started life as a graduate of the Schola Progenium of Hive Ferax of Thracian Primaris. Her parents that she never knew were killed in the cannibal uprising of 071M41. It was a nast, brutal little war that saw an astounding number of people killed, mutilated and consumed, the half gnawed bodies then twisted into grotesqueries until put down by a force spearheaded by the Sons of Midnight.

Her life in the Schola Progenium quickly saw Aveliza Drachmar earmarked for the Adepta Securitas due to her fervent loyalty and belief in the rightness of the Imperium as a whole.

She would have made a fine sister of battle, she was fast, athletic and possessed of a quick mind. But her path took a different turn as her schola tutors found that her mind was exceptional. She could read an entire page of text in mere moments and retain and process all the information and when they gave her access to the library she devoured it's contents with a reckless appetite.

Her favoured subject, the words that settled hard and left a deep impression, was the Law and matters relating to it. It confirmed her childhood beliefs and proved the rightness of the Imperium to rule the galaxy. Only from just Law and the adherence to it could true civilization be derived. By the time she was 17 she had been given the genetic alterations of the Securitas battle sisters, a considerable investment, but by the time she was 18 her tutors had demanded of their superiors that she be transferred. They did not do this lightly as she would indeed have been a boon to that order but she would have been settling for second place to the benefit society would have gotten out of her as a Judge.

Accepting a Rookie for training at such late age was not unheard of but it was unusual and normally would have put the student at a considerable disadvantage. It was a pleasant surprise then that her tutors found her already word perfect in The Law, major precedents and many minor and obscure precedents of interest and curiosity. Also her physical training was excellent and made magnificent by the costly genetic augmentation she had already undergone.

Due to a somewhat aggressive nature, blamed sometimes without real proof on her genetic alterations but more often on her training, she was deemed too volatile to send to the Imperial Lawyers to administer Law in a court room but to the Street Judges to bring the Law to the Lawless.

In only a mere month she was handed over to a Senior Street Judge for training.

From there onward Aveliza's rise was nothing shot of legendary. From overseeing extermination raids on gene-stealer nests to courtroom prosecutions her victories quickly became uncountable. He became a full Judge in only five years and Senior Judge in only a further ten. She became the face of The Law on Ferax from the Warrens to the Spire Tops, she was in her duties without fear or favour showing equal levels of courtesy to the lowest beggars and Spire Lords by age 120 she was Lady High Justice of the Thracian system and surrounding sector commanding over a thousands of Imperial Lawyers and Judges across thousands of jurisdictions.

Her fire had been tamed as her years and wisdom increased, from the hot headed youth full of passion and fury to the rumbling storm whose lightning struck with precision those who thought themselves above or beyond The Law.

When the Grand Provost Marshal retired from ill health in 674M41 the Law Master Moot held not for the usual months but for only a single afternoon before all agreed upon fearsome Drachmar, cleansing flame of Scarus Sector.

For long centuries no in the dying days of 999M41 she has served unwavering, unbending and diligent in service to the Imperium. She has forsaken all ties of friendship, all hope of love, all possibility of a real life for the good of the Imperium. For the rightness of it. Some of her critics have been dismissive of her, thinking her as a stereotypical overly-aggressive Sister of Battle, unaware that her fiery passion is her own because if the Law does not stand for something then nothing does.

In her time she has stared down Space Marines, Autarchs and far more terrifying things though none that have met her suspect that anything could be much more terrifying than her.

Master of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica, Astronomican, Schola Psykana and the Black Ships Lady Ina Kissa[edit]

The current High Lady of the Psykana, Adeptus Astra Telepathica and The Black Ships is known by the name of Lady Ina Kissa. The woman herself stand at a little over five foot tall, though holds herself taller, her face is lined with age and her hair is closer to white than grey now. She might have been considered moderately pretty in her youth although distinctive would probably be more honest. Her eyes were orange or yellow as would betray a Prosperan heritage but such a thing is of historical records now centuries old, her eyes have long since greyed and dimmed into blindness. In truth she is not much more powerful than a Primaris Battle Psyker but she has in her long, long years mastered the use of her abilities and is feared by many creatures that should have no normal cause to fear her.

She was born, many years ago, to an Old Earth family and she did enter the Scholar Psykana at the age of fifteen. Records of her life between this age and her service to the Imperial guard at age four hundred and twenty are sketchy at best. There was an incident at the time she would have been at the Scholar of someone trying to summon the Chaos Eldar of the Court of the Winter Touch and the attempted atrocity being violently aborted by the actions of a belligerent student with seemingly no sense of either fear or self-preservation. The identity of the student and indeed the (presumed) tutor summoning the thrice damned has never been confirmed.

The gap in the records is irretrievable but bears the authority of the Inquisition.

When the much older Ina Kissa returned to the light of society she was very much a different woman. Gone was any semblance of youth or innocence and in it’s place a hard won wisdom and a withering and severe attitude to the general state of her fellow psykers. Her reasons for leaving the service of the Inquisition have never been confirmed. It is suspected that her unknown master retired or possibly died although many secretly believe that she was just too much of an insufferable bitch to endure and she was “persuaded to seek purpose elsewhere”. What ever the reason she seems to bear no ill will to the Inquisition although she has never once given hint to either who her master was or what they did in those centuries.

What is known is that she cultivated a broad and deep wisdom of all things relating to warp-craft. Things that should be known and things that, the wise and the mad would both attest, should also be known but less happily. She knows of may true names of the never-born and the damned and the lore surrounding them. She knows and seems fluent in the black speech of the warp, the very tongue of the gods themselves, and has cursed out deamons and the damned in it. It is a speech that cuts through the air like silver knives, lacerating and burning the tongue and lips of mortals foolish enough to speak it and causes bleeding in the ears of those who hear it. How she became so proficient in it is known now only to her.

In centuries prior to her rise to prominence there was some attempts to “modernize” the Scholar Psykana. To move away from the master and apprentice systems of the past and give rise to schools and collages with formal curriculum and standardized teaching methods. In the years of her rule this has been strongly discouraged. The schools her predecessor set up stand now mostly empty as the would be students gather in covens and coteries, learning the old ways from old masters as the conscious drive to hold on to the old traditions is pushed. Her critics claim that she is a primitive and a regressive idolizing some romanticized time that never was but she does not despise new knowledge, it’s just that she holds it in no esteem only because it is new. Old fashioned as her promoted methods and policies are none can deny that they are effective no matter how much they might want to.

For all that she is a fairy tale witch (an image she may have intentionally cultivated) none can claim her jurisdiction is found wanting or her duties shirked. Her presence as a High Lady of the Imperium is both comforting and worrying though thankfully for the peace of mind for many she does not take a real interest in anything that doesn't interfere with her work or the running of her branch of society she don't much care but heaven help those that trespass on what she sees as hers.

Paternoval Envoy of the Navigators[edit]

See The Saga of Fedor Jiao

Illic Nightspear[edit]

Illic Nightspear is a Disciple of Kurnous. Originally from Alaitoc but found no peace on their Paths. Left and became an exodite for a time on a harsh world of long winters. As an exodite he found in the hard life meaning and contentment for many centuries.

But in time his heart grew weary and he found less and less joy in the work.

One cold winter's day a band of Hunters walked into town to trade bone and furs for drink and trinkets. Clad in animal skins and primitive paints of ash and ground rock and walking with a supremely confident swagger they intrigued him. When next they left the village he went with them.

That was about a thousand years ago. As of 999M41 Illic Nightspear is a hunter and predator beyond compare and can navigate the webway. Clad in skins and ash and armed with simple stone tipped spear, wooden bow and flint tipped arrows he would be considered a joke in any war of the Dark Millenium. But then you notice the gene-stealer teeth neckless and the bone knife handle made from a single chunk of squiggoth ivory. Most unbelievable of all is the necron finger.

Jenetia Krole[edit]

The Soulless Queen

After the fall of Ursh, the Warlord was surveying the situation with the remaining Urshii insurgency first-hand along the Sibar front, when he heard a small clink against his armor. Looking down, the Warlord saw a small, malnourished eight-year-old girl dressed in rags trying to mug the unifier of mankind with a steel knife. After winning over the child’s trust with some food, the Warlord convinced her to show him where she lived. The Warlord was interested in where she came from. He was more interested in the fact that he was seemingly unable to read her mind in any way.

The child led the Warlord back to a bunker, torn apart by the clear signs of Urshii marauders and further weathered by years of time. It seemed that whoever had lived in the bunker had fled into the wilds to escape detections from the Empire of Ursh, only to be discovered when the Urshii themselves were forced into the hinterlands. It was there that the Warlord discovered the name of the feral child, the only survivor of the small bunker-settlement. Jenetia Krole.

The Warlord brought Jenetia back to the Imperium, where she was provided with proper food and medical care. She was able to learn how to comprehend Gothic, but she would never be able to speak it. Her throat was damaged at some point before the Warlord had found her out in the wilds of Siber, and her vocal chords would never be able to recover from the harm that had been inflicted upon them. Although the Unification Wars had produced many orphans, and the Warlord had personally made sure that many were sent to the nascent Imperial Schola, he wanted to hold onto this one. The fact that she had managed to elude both his guards and his own psychic senses intrigued him.

Jenetia would be one of the first of what the Imperium would come to know as blanks. Indeed, much of the Imperium’s early research on the physiological and behavioral effects of the Pariah gene came from studies on Jenetia. Though she was merely recessive for the Pariah gene, and did not suffer from its effects as strongly as some later blanks, it was through her and the few others like her on Old Earth that the Imperium was even able to know what blanks were.

Jenetia spent much of her formative years being shuffled around from adept to adept and primarch to primarch. She could never stay around one person for too long, as eventually her blank aura would cause them to become nervous and uncomfortable. In particular, Jenetia was completely unable to be around anyone with even the slightest hint of psyker powers with the exceptions of the Steward and Magnus, whose psyker abilities were so powerful as to even eclipse Krole’s blank aura. Even then Magnus tried to avoid Krole whenever possible, both the woman’s personality and lack of presence in the warp making him uncomfortable. Jenetia also had trouble building relationships with rank and file soldiers, as her aura and her inability to talk made many uncomfortable or gave her the impression of aloofness. At some point, Krole decided to embrace this reputation and together with her battlefield prowess deliberately cultivated a reputation of dreadedness. Some ironically went so far as to call her The Soulless Queen, despite not knowing her true nature.

Jenetia gained a reputation as the Steward’s resident monster slayer. Before the Grey Knights, when daemons or any other warp-reliant monsters were terrorizing a planet, or when a psyker was found to have brainwashed the inhabitants of a planet to their will, Krole was the one called in to set things straight. To any daemons or witch-kin, her aura and combat prowess made her essentially untouchable. On top of this, when faced with more conventional foes, Jenetia was able to turn her blank aura up to overwhelming levels, causing vertigo or panic attacks in just about anything with a soul.

Despite her success in such matters, the Steward was rather uncomfortable about Jenetia’s role on the battlefield. Having been raised by the rather traditionalist Malcador, the Steward was uncomfortable about repeatedly putting a woman in harm’s way, especially one he had known since she was a child. However, before the Grey Knights and the Culexus Assassins, Krole was for many years the only well-trained anti-psyker weapon the Imperium had. Indeed, it is possible that many aspects of Jenetia’s personality, including her abrasive nature and her attempts to deliberately cultivate a terrifying reputation in friend and foe alike, were in response to this treatment by the Steward, trying to convince the closest thing she had to a father that she was just as good of a warrior as any other member of the upper levels of the Imperium’s impromptu family.

The Steward ended up assigning her to the Black Ships, believing that the job of rounding up psykers to be sent to places like Prospero and Old Earth would be a good way to keep her safe and off the front lines. Krole was not happy with this decision, but eventually relented on the condition the Steward grant her one request. If the Steward wanted her to perform this job she would need an elite task force to get the task done. All female, and all blanks. By that time the Imperium had expanded far enough that there were just enough blanks to fulfill Jenetia’s request, three hundred in all. Jenetia taught them to fight as she did, moving in silence and putting down their foes with utter, brutal efficiency. The Sisters of Silence travelled around the galaxy, bringing untrained psykers to the relative safety of the Black Ships and still being called in on the rare occasions that the Imperium needed some extra help in dispatching warp monstrosities. Although many young psykers found the Sisters to be unnerving and often painful to be around, they soon learned the Sisters were supposed to be scary to the monsters, not them.

Although the Silent Queen might have been soulless, she was not heartless. Her personal journal, found only after her death, showed she actually did care about many of the people she spent her life around, even if she was not able to say it in words. Jenetia Krole was killed in the opening battle of the War of the Beast, having been sent to the far reaches of the Imperium to collect psykers aboard the Black Ships when the Beast and his hordes first roared across the Imperium’s borders. She and her warriors died in a valiant last stand to buy the now refugee-laded Black Ships, filled with mostly children, enough time to escape and bring back news that the Imperium was at war.

Years later, when Sebastian Thor and Alicia Dominica argued with the Steward, now Emperor, about making the Sororitas an official institution, Jenetia Krole was one of the people who was brought up to support their argument.


Revered Mother Jubblowski in Vostroyan courtly attire.
- Human born on Cadia
- Born during intervals of "peace" between Black Crusades
- Assigned to backwater agri-world to defeat resurgency orks
- After war stayed on to help garrison and help with the training of a new PDF
- Always upset at her own figure being politely described as "boyish"
- prayed to Isha
- over next few days grows epic rack
- officially it's a miracle. Eldar protest at her being on the front lines as she is now one of their religious icons
- Imperium can't take her off of duty for religious reasons as this would set a bad precedent 
- transferred to commissariat. Tasked with making recruitment posters, "moral improving reading material" and the background for official issue calendars
- becomes pregnant with the child of ██████████████████████████████████████████████████ of the Vanus Temple assassins.
- starts to have extremely accurate prophetic dreams as her condition brings her closer to the Isherite ideal
- transferred to Inquisitorial jurisdiction primarily but remains on loan to commissariat
- at completion of pregnancy visions stop. Inquisition deems it imperative that she regain her precognitive capabilities
- Adeptus Biologicus magi assigned to monitor her health at all times. Magi determines how often she may carry child without serious risk reguardless of the Inquisitons need for future knowledge.
- Inquisition provide Jubblowski with the best rejuvenation drugs and treatments available to prolong her usefulness to Imperium
- Due to new found fame as the Cadian Prophetess, Jubblowski starts to mingle with high society
- Adopted by a Famulous order of the Adepta Sororitas and given the title of Venerated Mother
- As she has to bear children to receive her visions it is deemed prudent that these children be the children of royalty so as to stabilize the genetic lines of prominent families and help keep imperial politics stable
- Jubblowski gradually becomes the most sought after courtesan and concubine in the entire western half of Imperium. Continues to work for the Inquisition and Commissariat
- Fringe religions on Tallarn start to include her in their scriptures
- Face starts to appear on the coinage of Cadia
- Jubblowski, although has very little official authority, becomes a very politically powerful woman, rivalling even sector governors. More than a hundred billion would die for her, they would certainly kill for her.
- By 999M41 Sister Jubblowski is ~400 years old and has ~200 children, and has provided prophetic instruction to the Imperial Army and Inquisition that has saved the lives of countless billions.

Revered Mother Jubblowski was born in the year 589M41 to remarkably ordinary Cadian parents on the planet Cadia during a time of relative peace. She was born free of deformity or any evidence of corruption or ill health in a hospital in one of the deeper subterranean cities. She was raised from age three to four in a military crèche, from age four to age ten in basic education to determine aptitudes and interests and age ten to age fourteen in further education to take advantage of those aptitudes. She was found to be by her instructors and tutors extremely average for a Cadian and was mostly forgettable beyond her exceptional, for a non-psychic human, skill at eldar High Tongue. This was a result of the mess hall chef being originally of Ulthwé and she and her friends often went to him for advice.

Her conscription at age fourteen into regular military service was a day of great pride for her and her parents and siblings, of which she had many. She was assigned to the 474th “Righteous Hellions” Whiteshield regiment and mostly tasked with simple patrols and low priority guard duty as befitted the station and skills of near-children. Jubblowski took her first life at age fifteen during a suicide rampage of the damned. At age sixteen her regiment and many like it was transferred to Sarum to bolster the local military after a particularly gristly Nurglite invasion and subsequent contagion outbreaks. The 474th and it’s associated regiments were on alert for resurgent and zombie outbreaks that never arrived and the five years they spent there was extremely uneventful and mostly spent trying to train the local military to be less shit considering that Cadian purple-eyed teenagers could consistently match if not out perform their veteran soldiers.

Jubblowski had grown up to be tall and sturdily built and although by no means ugly could be mistaken for a young man in her off duty fatigues. This combined with developing feelings of inferiority caused by the seemingly glamorous looking locals and more aesthetically pleasingly formed fellow soldiers as well as no longer having the enigmatic eldar chef to turn to for guidance culminated in Jubblowski falling into a prolonged and dark mood. Eventually she reached out in prayer but in the High Tongue of the eldar and by some strange occurrence it was Isha that heard her. Maybe it was out of mischief or curiosity or maybe it was for a genuinely higher purpose but Isha poured upon Jubblowski her blessing generously.

Over the next few weeks her body bloomed into something striking. It was subtle at first, changes that could be attributed to breathing cleaner air or acclimatizing to the better diet of the local inhabitants. The following week the regimental psyker claimed that her could hear something that was not quite singing but not quite humming coming from the barracks but he couldn't identify the source. It was after the fourth adjustment to her fatigues in as many weeks and another request for a better fitting flack-jacket that things finally started to get noticed in an official capacity. At first her transformation was assumed to be the result of some sort of hormonal imbalance or possibly a mild mutation brought about by something in the new environment although all tests came back negative. It was at this point that she was identified as the source of the the strange humming-singing song that the regimental spoon bender could hear. This brought about suspicions of a much darker nature. This brought about the possibility that she was touched by the dark gods, a siren song to enthrall and a growing sensual, seductive form to beguile and tempt her fellow soldiers from virtue and duty. Sin was beautiful sometimes and temptation by it's nature was attractive and by means unnatural she now seemed both. She confessed to the company preacher that she had prayed for beauty but she had prayed to the Empress in her own tongue but the preacher as kindly as he could told her that another creature of eldar origin could all too easily of heard her prayers. A god known well on Cadia and a god well known for "blessing" those who came to it's attention. He told her that he didn't believe her twisted of soul or fallen from grace and he promised her, as kindly as he could, that she never would and that if salvation was not an option neither would be damnation.

Things would have gone very badly for Jubblowski had it not been for the arrival of a band of migrating exodites some two hundred strong following a Priestess of Isha dressed in wool and leather and bones. Reports of the next few days are unclear. Some say that the priestess and her followers mazed the minds of the Cadians unexpectedly, some say that they employed cunning misdirection and distraction, some say that there was an agreement reached. What is known is that by the end of the second day of their appearance there was a warhost of Aspect Warriors among the exodites and Jubblowski was somehow freed peacefully and not only that but stood with a circlet of flowers in her hair, in a makeshift robe hastily made from an large raincoat being instructed by the priestess to lay her hands upon the brow of those in her company who felt themselves worthy of benediction; the priestess apparently believing that Jubblowski was the destination of their pilgrimage, a living religious icon blessed by her goddess to show the faithful the worth and indisputable worth she placed in the alliance between her children and the short lived children of adoption. The exodites tried to give her offering gifts in the form of seasoned meat and sweet preserved fruits but she felt that she was unworthy of their devotion and generosity and returned their gifts with thanks.

With the possibility of Chaos corruption seemingly dispelled the officers of the 474th were then stuck with another problem. The eldar wished to take Jubblowski with them or at least have her removed from military service and placed out of harms way, such a thing was unthinkable to a Cadian and the officers, the entire regiment, the other regiments and Jubblowski herself were quite vocally unhappy about such an idea. On Cadia you were born in the army and one way or another you died in the army, so had it been for ten thousand years with the only exception being deserters and she was no deserter. Eventually a compromise of sorts was reached with a suggestion by the 474th Commissar who took her on as an unneeded secondary assistant and, as she was not subject to the Commissariat, had her officially transferred to the Commissariat branch at sub-sector command which was thankfully just one continent away and, with the lack of activity on this planet in general, quite safe. She would be safe there and would have a note in her file to prevent her getting deployed to any active war zone. This was seen as a fair compromise by the eldar on the condition that their people still be allowed to visit her.

And so it was that Jubblowski entered into the service of the Commissariat with absolutely no skills that would warrant such a placement and whose one notable ability was seemingly to cause flocks of eldar yokels to occasionally appear. It was not Jubblowski herself who first suggested that she might use her new body on official printed resources, it was a former commissar turned scribe with an interest in photography who had observed that she seemed short of something to do and she did have an astounding figure. Oddly her eldar visitors had no problem with this and just interpreted it as a form of primitive human veneration.

Jubblowski became something of a minor celebrity on Sarum in this time, her form appearing on calendars to postcards all advertising or encouraging joining the war effort in some capacity or another. The exact reason for an assassin of the Vanus Temple to be present on Sarum at that time is shrouded in more classification than can be dug through but ██████████████████████████████████████████████████, or ████████ as he preferred to be called, had seemingly been there for some time and was either merely still in training or was extremely good at covering his tracks as no record of his victims ever turned up. Of course the Vanus infocytes typically kill their targets via cornering them via statistics and "encouraging" an accident to happen before altering the records as needed to retroactively show that it was a pure accident and ensure that there are no footprints that need to be covered. Whether Jubblowski knew the exact nature of ████████ at the time or not is unknown all that is known is that they became lovers briefly before he was redeployed.

Some time into Not long after the departure of ████████ Jubblowski realized that she was carrying his child. Not long after that she started to have remarkably vivid and repeated dreams but thought nothing of it, such things were not unprecedented. In the offices of the Commissariat much news of far off places is routinely processed and it wasn't long at all before she started to see patterns in her dreams and the unfolding of events on nearby worlds. Consultation with the resident astropath confirmed it; her psychic signature had changed and her mind was actively reaching out somehow despite not being a psyker. At least not a conventional one.

During her pregnancy her figure again bloomed further into something that resembled an ideal of fecund femininity and as it did her visions of the future increased in intensity and regularity. It was at this time that she came to the attention of the Inquisition. The Inquisition, both dreaded and adored by honest folk across the galaxy, ever had a need for prophesy and glimpses of the future. It would be wrong to say that Jubblowski was conscripted into the Inquisition as she did go willingly but it would have been the case had she not. For Jubblowski's part there was no real possibility of resistance, she was a soldier of the Imperium, she was Cadian and in the Cadian cultural outlook the Inquisition (and to an extent every branch of the Imperial Government) is always seen in relation to and as a special branch of the Imperial Army. It was merely to her a transfer.

For her first few years Jubblowski was under the protection and in the employ of Inquisitor ███████████, strange figure of much controversy since his death, not least because although all agree he is quite definitely dead no two witnesses can agree how. The intentional destruction of all official records both hard and soft copy and the expunging of memories via Memetic timed contagion across an association vector has done nothing to help matters. Indeed the only person who would possibly know the events of those days and the would be Jubblowski who has maintained a vow of silence on the subject. Due to her perceived lack of cooperation she was not adopted by another Inquisitor, not even any of Inquisitor ███████████'s former students and associates, and was transferred to an Inquisitorial safe house on the planet Tallarn. The safe house was in fact the noble house of Al'rahem that had produced many fine soldiers and accomplished commanders down the long years of the Imperium's history. Jubblowski found it strange to find such familiarity so far from home on such a strange world. She was attached to the house as it's official oracle and firewatcher, a tradition started in pre-Imperial times by the planet's native psyker population who discerned patterns of the future in the moments of flames and stirring of ashes. The position was typically held by psykers married into the house or at the very least in a long standing but less official relationship with a higher ranking member of the dynasty (which was useful given the nature of her precognitive abilities). It was in this time that Jubblowski earned the title of the Cadian Prophetess among the locals as due to her predictions almost certainly preventing global calamity with the unearthing of the Cursus of Alganar ████████ ██████ ████ ██████████████████ ████████████ ███████ ██ █████ █████████████ ██████████████ ████████ █████ █ ██ ██████ ████████ ████████████ ██████ and although the Tallarn's could forgive their Biel-Tan friends, understanding full well their reasoning and having fought as brothers for too many years to loose love over this, they knew they could not forget the poor judgment it implied. That cursed thing was once again entombed a mile beneath the sands as none would dare destroy it.

Whether she wanted it or not her name was in ascent and in time the Inquisition saw fit to have her moved from that world to another. Jubblowski acquired at about this time in her life her long term friend and greatest ally Senior-Maga Sérka Ađk Wulchtáthas of the Adeptus Biologicus order of the Helix Star, who accepted being called Sera as her own name was not easily spoken by unaugmented humans. In her wandering down the years Maga Sera has been the reassuring constant in her life. The nature of her duties to the Imperium separate her from all her children in time, but she helps safeguard an Imperium in which they may grow up safe. He children as her fame and prestige grew became the children of royal lineage, her image as a blessed individual exploited to manipulate the populations of worlds in directions deemed beneficial for the state by the Inquisition, her likeness used by the Commissariat to encourage long recruitment lines, her body used by the Orders Famulous to revitalize lines of kings as old as the Imperium, venerated as a living divine icon by the eldar; Jubblowski lives in service to the Imperium in all things, she is Cadian. Indeed she is more Cadian than many cadians, perhaps to compensate for the un-Cadian aspects of her life. Despite that she will never be allowed again intentionally within a thousand miles of a battle-field she carries her las-rifle around at all times and practices her marksmanship at least once per day, she lives a spartan and refuses to own more personal possessions than can be carried in her centuries old kit-bag as per regulations.

Her life has not been without troubles; extremist groups from both the human and eldar supremacists have made her a target for various reasons and she has survived assassination attempts from both, one almost sparking a holy war between Dorhi and Biel-Tan, to say nothing of repeated murder attempts by deranged Chaos worshipers. Most direct attempts are thwarted by bodyguards, her own skill or the intervention of Sera who is considerably augmented and can almost out-punch a Nova-Ogryn.

As the dying days of the forty-first millennium draw close the now Revered Mother Jubblowski is the mother of heroes, Prophetess of Cadia whose visions have saved the lives of tens of billions of loyal citizens at the least. Tens of billions of hands and heads and hearts held high themselves stolen from Death's embrace and given to service of the Imperium.


See Also: Men of Gold and Psi-Cannons and the Psi-Disruptor

Lynn Mywin[edit]

Lynn Mywin was born to the eldar of Féin-Cineál in or about the year 620 of the 41st Millennium and the youngest child of her immediate. Both her parents were loving parents advancing into their fourth millennium when they had her, both having been married several times before and both having had many children with previous partners and each other, her half-siblings all counted both living and dead Lynn Mywin was in fact the youngest of almost three hundred children and felt that her chances of ever living up to their combined legacy was not remotely achievable. The eldar of Féin-Cineál are known for having large families and putting emphasis on the family as the basic measure of civilization but her family was excessive and was eventually declared a clan of it's own, something historically seldom achieved whilst in the lifetime of the progenitors.

The vast majority of the Mywin family were loyal, productive and morally upstanding citizens that any craftworld would be proud to call their own. True none of them were great movers and shakers of note but typically they did their jobs diligently and competently and seldom showed up in police records. Having so many contributing members of the family and so little of those to detriment ensured the family's prosperity and that prosperity was shared among it's members rather than hoarded in a treasury. There were black sheep to the family, with so many how could their not be, but their transgressions were minor things typically made of bad judgements rather than outright malice.

Lynn Mywin was a more willful black sheep. Mywins typically got jobs of a solid and tangible nature, indeed the patriarch Athafan was a shipwright and bonesinger and the matriarch Rhyangaala was a meteorologist. Lynn Mywin did not pursue sensible paths. Throughout her childhood and adolescence she had dabbled with the paths of the artist and the paths of the poet, both paths taken by The Betrayer. It might have been that these were a childish little rebellion against her somewhat overcaring parents, many in the family believed that she was shown a lot more tolerance for such foolishness than they had been and it was time for some good Mywin sense to be slapped into her. But Lynn was the last child Athafan and Rhyangaala could have together and they knew it and they found that they couldn't scold her too harshly. They regretted spoiling the child by sparing the rod when Lynn's first official path was a path of the Musician and the full range of interests shared by The Betrayer was complete.

Rhyangaala and Athafan pondered this deeply and meditated on the subject with heavy hearts but the stories of The Chronicle that dealt wit The Betrayer they couldn't see in their little girl. The Betrayer was a foul thing whereas little Mywin with ribbons in her hair and a moonlyre in her hands was as innocent as the music she made, and the music she made promised to one day be beautiful as her aptitudes were not insignificant. But, as the rest of the family pointed out, The Betrayer was innocent once upon a time. In her fifty-fifth year, the age of full maturity among the Féin-Cineáli, Lynn Mywin was fifteen years down her Path of Music and had been asked to perform at a minor function for the governor of Leigh-2, the world her particular enclave called home. This was the last straw for her parents, they knew that such encouragement would push their daughter down the path of vanity and if she wasn't like The Betrayer now she would be one day. They ordered her away to the military to serve in the PDF of Leigh-2 and maybe even be transferred to the Guard should she prove worthy and therefore far away from dishonest temptations. This was devastating to the young Lynn Mywin.

By the strange chance or the blessings of a trickster god that night the Enclave was visited by Inquisitor Silas Hand who was in need of information found within the enclave's copy of The Chronicle. Normal procedure for an outsider to see The Chronicle required the authorization of the head of one of the clans, a meeting of the five most prominent clans and the presence of three witnesses, typically the head farseer, the head autarch and the head spiritseer. All of this would take time and Inquisitor Hand was hunting swift prey. The black sheep of the Mywin had long ago memorized her father's access codes and lead the Inquisitor to vaulted hall in which The Chronicle was kept. Inquisitor Hand quickly found the information he needed, the resting place of a Rogue Trader once who visited the Féin-Cineáli in many thousands of years past and that the possessed prison-artifact in question had not been passed on to some unsuspecting heir but was dragged with him into the grave on some frozen world now buried uder a hundred foot of glacial ice. Silas Hand, scarred and weathered, decided that for a short time the galaxy could survive without him having to patch it up and took a day off for the first time in years. Lynn's parents, her entire huge and extended family and every other eldar of any station in the enclave were quite angry with her blatant disregard for procedure and they were not very subtle or tactful in expressing their considerable ire even after Lynn pointed out that it was the duty of all good Imperial citizens to aid the Inquisition. In truth the others of her kind and kin who knew her knew that she hadn't acted with noble intentions but merely to cause mischief and in truth they weren't as wrong as she knew and would claim.

In a moment of rebellion, ill timed or fortuitous bleeding together, the young Mywin approached the Inquisitor on the hour of his departure and asked that she could join him and his motley band of hard-bitten agents. Inquisitor hand was himself not without a sense of mischief and we can only guess of his motives. Maybe he thought a few weeks away from soft beds and warm foods would teach her a much needed lesson, maybe he saw something of himself much younger in her eyes or maybe he saw something of genuine worth. All that is known is that when Hand left Lynn was with him turning her back on kin and clan and enclave and weeping parents who were distraught believing that at the finish they had failed; their daughter now walked a path of darkness far from home and hearth and the love of family. Despair gripped them and held them for a long time, sorrows upon sorrow for the little girl they believed they had driven away.

A hundred years or there about Lynn Mywin did return. She did not skip and dance as the innocent near-child she had been when she left. He hands and skin were not maiden soft. Her eyes were not the eyes of an artist. Now she was a woman of the Inquisition, she walked with a swagger and the confident stride not borne of childish ignorance but a proven hardness. Her skin was scarred and tough boot leather. Her eyes were the eyes of a musician beyond the judgment of potential percussion offered by the average boot to skull. A century of having the shit kicked out of her had cost her her innocence but she did not miss it in the slightest and in it's place had grown if not wisdom then a degree of highly refined cunning that was almost as good. Her parent's, once the shock had worn off, were beyond joy to see her not just alive but uncorrupted. Her was her daughter, they would proudly declare, working for the Inquisition.

In the years since Lynn Mywin has been from hubworlds to the galactic fringes, she has stood on distant Old Earth and Cadia and a thousand other worlds. She has served many masters, hunted many foes, saved countless millions if not billions, taken many trophies, taken may lovers, done work in the shadows that would turn the stomach of lesser people and dragged such horrors into the light of day for judgment. In the Inquisition her reputation is as checkered as her tattoo collection due to her "creative" interpretation of orders and occasional bouts of convenient deafness. She will never be an Inquisitor she has been told in no uncertain terms as she lacks the temperament and holy shit will she be the first to tell you that but she never really wanted to be.

Of the Féin-Cineáli? They are at one and the same immensely proud of her and deeply ashamed. On the one hand she is an agent of the Inquisition and a damn good one. On the other hand she is Apostate. She has forsaken the Paths and risks walking the road of perpetual torment, she stands upon the edge of the abyss and looks down into the maelstrom of riling, twisting madness of emotions left unchecked. Such worries, she would claim, are in vein. She has her duty in place of a Path. She might live loud, live hard, take lovers as she wants them, drink when she's thirsty, eat when hungry, fight when angry and follow her heart and gut as much as her head but when the chips are down she can show a focus that would make an Exarch proud.

Some wonder still if she is still truly Féin-Cineáli; she typically wears a grubby vest several sizes too big, pants cut out of an inner layer of a broken space suit, a beret, catachan boots and a set of ident-tags. Her weapons are a big Catachan Cutta' Knife, and a much repaired laser rifle of unusual make. For all the world she looks like a low-pay mercenary culled from the underhive of some impoverished core world but questions of her membership of the Féin-Cineáli is not asked when she is present, entertaining the youth with tales of daring do and strange adventures on distant worlds despite the improper influence this is considered on impressionable young minds. Two considerations of this, her family, and her parents in particular, are fiercely protective of her name and they might all follow into Exile over choosing to stay and the loss isn't worth one delinquent eldars expulsion. The other is that many of them, the better connected of the matriarchs and patriarchs, have heard about the things that she has done and are absolutely sure that none of their bodyguards and champions could save them from her ire should she turn it upon them in retaliation.

As for Lynn Mywin herself? She doesn't think about it too much. In the years since her fateful meeting with Old Man Hand she has seen much, met many strange and interesting people, killed a lot of them. If she is exiled they will have to enforce it and she knows that none of them are stupid enough to try it and the once that are aren't capable enough. But for now the Imperium is under threat and she knows she must do her small part to end those threats, as all good citizens should to the best of their abilities.

Kaptin Blacklaw[edit]

The Scourge of Elysia

Kaptin Blacklaw is a former mercenary who had worked for a rather unscrupulous Rogue Trader, and has gained in-depth knowledge about the workings of the Imperium's naval forces in general, and the defensive fleets plus the Elysian Drop Trooper regiments used in boarding actions in the Elysia system in particular. He has used this knowledge combined with the standard orky brutal cunning to make himself a very successful freebooter kaptin. His band has been responsible for numerous raids on imperial naval facilities, various commercial concerns, and has even raided mechanicus forgeworlds on occasion. What makes him different from others like him is his location in the Segmentum Solar and his unusual willingness to engage in hit & run raids, guerrila tactics and various forms of unconventional warfare. Generally speaking, his forces only engage in direct combat with Imperial forces when they have stacked the deck in their favor by some underhanded means.

A devout follower of the GorkaMorka, he has no love for the Chaos Gods and tolerates no chaos orks in his band/fleet/whatever. However, his time among the humans in his earlier years has led to him having rather strange thoughts for an ork, pangs of what a human would recognize as guilt whenever his forces came back from a raid flush with loot and slaves. These pangs of conscience are infrequent however and his way of dealing with these unusual feelings is violence directed at things smaller than he is or those he thinks are inclined to usurp his position; he's still an ork and lives to fight and win as much as the next greenskin. Also has a "parrot" which is basically a gretchin covered in glued on feathers and a beak made out a plastic like material. This gretchin is not fond of being called “Polly”, being fed crackers, or being made to squawk, Blacklaw does all of that anyway out of simple amusement as there is no funnier grot then an annoyed grot. His forces have an unusually high number of flashgitz and kommandos among their number and their naval vessels are of a surprisingly high quality for an ork fleet, with the more hotheaded among his ranks being continuously thinned out by a mix of attrition and a deliberate policy on Blacklaw's part to make use of his more typically aggressively orky boyz in diversionary attacks away from whatever it is he wants smashed or stolen at the time.

His forces have no main base as such other then their fleet, only temporary hideaway ports in out of the way areas in the Elysian sector and those areas in the Segmentum Solar immediately bordering it. Instead of massive planetside factories, his larger ships have some moderate manufacturing capability, which is in turn supplemented by whatever they can steal from their adversaries, trade for on the black market and collect as payment from the rather unpleasant or desperate people/aliens who would be inclined to hire his band for mercenary work.

Blacklaw's earliest raids were against lightly defended targets and were largely indistinguishable from the simple, yet ugly cost of doing business in an area prone to piracy. The attack that brought him to the attention of sector level authorities was a daring raid on the planet of Elysia itself that had been cleverly masked by multiple diversonary raids on outlying bases/facilities. This raid was in truth not massively destructive, however a large number of people were either killed, wounded/maimed or captured by his gang, this led to the freshly promoted Ordo Xenos Inquisitor Logann Powler to begin a hunt for Blacklaw and his band that would draw in a considerable amount of Imperial manpower and war machines, along with "private contractors", plus an eldar corsair fleet led by Logann's wife, Elrana, culminating with the supposed death of the now infamous Freebooter on an icy planetoid in the fringes of the Elysian system.

Blacklaw's band was much reduced during this raid, and the Freebooter himself was severely injured, losing an eye, leg and hand to an explosion that was assumed to have killed him. It took the wily Kaptin time and effort to rebuild his band after this severe setback, it took considerably less time for one of the local meckboys to give him the standard orky prosthetics. ("Polly" survived these events unharmed, and Blacklaw continues to dote on his parrot and much to said "parrot"'s dismay.) Some 10 years after this defeat, after a good deal of scheming, plotting and other assorted Skullduggery, Blacklaw and his now renewed band of freebooters are back in the business of "kunningly" killing people, smashing things, and stealing other things.

His attacks have been drawing ever increasing amounts of Imperial attention, Logann and company in particular want him dead and gone for real this time, in spite of this, he has shown himself to be surprisingly resilient either avoiding assassination attempts/deathwatch assaults or setting a highly successful trap for his hunters. The Imperium, and the Elysian authorities in particular are committing ever increasing amounts of military force and espionage efforts to the destruction of Blacklaw and his freebooterz, Logann and Elrana's force is just one of the groups hunting him. It is only a matter of time before matters are brought to a conclusion of some sort, with Blacklaw either being driven out/killed or Him establishing his own little mini-empire in a place right where the Imperium and the Elysians in particular do not want such an empire to be. However, this moment of decision may still be a long way off as the Elysian Warp Hole draws greater amounts of attention then his mid-sized band of freebooterz. He and his band have also been known to do mercenary work for various unscrupulous patrons. Although, again, He and his boyz will have nothing to do with Chaos gitz.

Kayleth of Alaitoc[edit]

The Perpetually Underfunded

Kayleth has mastered small unit tactics, because she very rarely gets anything larger than a handful of soldiers. Alaitoc maintains Kayleth, and her flexible, freewheeling barely more than a company of soldiers, purely as a social nicety, when they don't much care for the Imperium, or anyone else outside of their spartan and rigid social structure. Alaitoc has armies. They can take worlds, if it's called for. But they only lend meager forces out to the Imperium, purely as lip service to the idea of unity. Not that they're shy about gaining glory. To maintain status among their peers, they send their soldiers to the most challenging of conflicts as the pride of Alaitoc demands.

And Kayleth is the one that has to somehow bridge the gap between her inadequate supply, and the impossible missions she's assigned.

She isn't pleasant to work with. Cold, imperious, and ill suited for cooperation. But very careful, more than she lets on, about her allies. After a tragic friendly fire incident with a fellow eldar force, she's privately vowed not to let something like that happen again. She has an eclectic group in support. Warlock Veldoran, a sage veteran, acting as the voice of reason and diplomat at times. The Farseer Elenwe, who has taken a vow of silence as part of a fringe philosophy in Alaitoc. For whatever reason, and the suspicion of some, Elenwe only communicates with Warlock Veldoran. And Ronahn, a pathfinder from Ulthwe, and, to some concern, an outcast Ulthran.

Kayleth trusts and respects them more than her own family. And she also is driven nuts by them all. Veldoran is a pompous, inflexible windbag that constantly harps on what's proper and undermines her authority. Elenwe is a farseer that only shares prophecies with Veldoran of all people, and Ronahn...Less said the better.

That being said, Kayleth is a resourceful and seasoned commander who has managed to thrive with what little Alaitoc shares with her. She tries to stay dignified and commanding in the face of her quasi-independent operation's dwindling fortunes, and she is never one to turn away frorm a fight. But, the memories of the friendly fire incident wear at her, and have made her unwilling to cooperate with other forces, for fear of repeating the prior incident. And she's taken a few (To put it diplomatically) unofficial assignments. Without proper support frorm Alaitoc who consider her work unsuitable for their craftworld, Kayleth has had at times to be creative in making sure her soldiers are fed and equipped. Though she would never act against her own craftworld's interests, or the Imperium's interests, she has done work for money rather than honor before. Don't call her a mercenary, she doesn't like that.

She prefers to put on a model of being an honorable soldier of her craftworld, and is all business. But a few rounds of amasec, and she curses like a voidsman, and is none too shy in explaining just everything wrong with everyone around her. If you break down the barriers when sober, you'll find that she can be a good, if suspicious ally, always second guessing you, and herself.


Khaine. Khaine. Kaela Mensha Khaine. Khaine the Bloody Handed.

In order to fully comprehend the functioning of the Imperium, it is necessary to understand Khaine. Khaine is noteworthy one of the few extremely powerful entities still fully aligned with the Imperium, not to mention worshipped as a god of war by a significant minority of its population. However, in order to fully understand Khaine it is necessary to have some understanding of the War in Heaven…

The War in Heaven is by far the most popular part of the eldar collective consciousness. However, the eldar’s penchant for favoring dramatic license and poetic justice over accuracy and sixty-five million years of oral tradition has made the history of the original events all but lost to time. It is often said, even amongst the Eldar, that at any given time in the Imperium there are at least three different versions of the War in Heaven being performed and all of them are wrong. In some versions of the story Khaine was a valiant warrior, whereas in others Khaine sided with the C’tan to make war upon the eldar gods. Distinctions between the war between the Old Ones and the Necrontyr and the later quarrel between the eldar gods are similarly murky. Perhaps the only people who know the true events of the war between the eldar gods are Cegorach, Isha, and the Harlequins of the Black Library, preserving the memory in the event that truth proves more important than fiction.

When the eldar and their gods returned from their exodus into the Webway at the end of the War in Heaven, they found the galaxy to be an empty place. The Old Ones, the Yngir, and all of the other races had seemed to disappear. The eldar did manage to make contact with the K’nib, who had survived the war mostly intact, but shortly after the K’nib completely vanished and the eldar never heard from them again. The eldar had virtually free reign over the entire galaxy. And as expected it almost immediately devolved into in-fighting.

Khaine, lesser twin to Asuryan, did not handle the end of the War in Heaven well. Originally a god of murder elevated to include war in his portfolio, his mind struggled to reconcile the concepts of honor and discipline in battle with the fact that war, at its core, boiled down to systematic murder. In addition, despite having being victorious, his body has been injured in his legendary battle with the Kaelis Ra, the Nightbringer, bringing a great sickness upon him. Never one to exhibit great self-control even before the War in Heaven, Khaine was nearly driven to madness by the time Lileath came upon him.

Shortly after the eldar emerged from the Webway and began building their empire, Lileath, Lileath the maiden, Lileath the dreamer, Litheath the schemer, had a vision. She saw that one day, in the future, the actions of the mortal eldar would strike Khaine and destroy him. It is not entirely clear why Lileath acted the way she did on this knowledge. She might have succumbed to the foolishness of youth or, more likely, she had some sort of plan in mind. Nevertheless, she did what most would consider the absolute worst thing one could have done with this knowledge. She told Khaine.

Khaine’s wrath, as expected, was fiery and immediate. The eldar never stood a chance. Khaine had been a war hero to the eldar, a symbol of eldar strength in the face of unimaginable adversaries. Now he was cutting them down like they were crops for the harvest. Isha wept at the sight of the slaughter, and she and the rest of the eldar pantheon immediately petitioned Asuryan to stop Khaine, as he was one of the only beings with the power to reign in his bloodthirsty sibling. Asuryan responded by decreeing a barrier of separation between the eldar and the gods. The eldar gods were no longer to walk among mortals, and mortals were no longer allowed in the realm of the gods. The mortal eldar were no longer being killed, Khaine no longer had anything to fear, and by Asuryan’s reckoning everyone should have been happy.

Khaine was pleased by the turn of events, but Isha was not. Cut off from her mortal children, she wept at her plight, and her husband Kurnous could do naught but console her. Vaul, the kind-hearted smith god, could not stand this, and forged Isha’s tears into the first spirit stones so that gods and mortals could still communicate with one another from across the veil. Khaine was infuriated when he discovered Isha and Kurnous violating Asuryan’s decree, and demanded that Asuryan punish them, going so far as to ask his brother that he be made an arbiter of Asuryan’s wrath. Asuryan reluctantly agreed, allowing Khaine to do with them as he wished, and he tortured Isha and Kurnous in a pit of hot fire. Vaul could not stand this, and bargained with Khaine that he would give Khaine one hundred blades of the finest make as payment for Isha and Kurnous’ release and reparation for their offense.

Vaul worked for almost a year to get the gift ready, finishing ninety-nine of the one hundred swords. However, he was unable to finish his masterpiece in time, and slipped the finest blade of mortal make into the gift, hoping that it would act as a good enough placeholder and the splendor of his masterpiece would be enough to not only make up for it, but to win over Khaine himself. Unfortunately, Khaine immediately noticed the mortal blade and decried that he had been tricked, and that because of this he would not release Isha and Kurnous. What’s more, he claimed he would visit Vaul personally for his treachery. Vaul was similarly incensed at Khaine’s sadism and oathbreaking, using his anger to fuel the final forging of his masterpiece, Anaris. When Khaine arrived at Vaul’s forge, Vaul stood before the war god, wielding his masterwork blade, and said he would repay Khaine’s missing blade with interest, point-first. Vaul was an artificer without measure but he was not the duelist that Khaine was, and despite Vaul’s ferocity Khaine crippled the smith god and chained him to his anvil.

These actions caused a flurry of activity and division among the gods. Some decried Khaine, saying that he had gone too far in the pursuit of justice and his actions had become cruel and petty. Others argued against their kin, saying that Isha, Kurnous, and Vaul had sinned and it was Khaine’s right to extract satisfaction from them. The disagreements soon became too much to bear, and the gods came to blows. The mortal eldar were soon divided among similar lines as the gods went to war. Only Asuryan and Lileath stayed neutral in the conflict, and both soon realized that something had to be done.

The War in Heaven produced many mortal eldar heroes, among all others the twin brothers Eldanesh and Ulthanesh. The two were legendary for uniting the Eldar people to fight off the monstrous cannibalistic Mon-Keigh even before the Old Ones arrived. Eldanesh had fought alongside Khaine numerous times including Khaine’s legendary battle with the Nightbringer, to the point where the war god regarded him a friend and a blood brother. Uthanash stood with Vaul when he faced the Void Dragon and was one of the few mortal survivors of that fateful conflict. Each was granted a boon for their service in the War in Heaven. Eldanesh, for his fame and legend, was elevated to demigodhood, not truly immortal but able to walk side by side with the gods. Ulthanesh on the other hand was named the supreme leader of the mortal eldar peoples. Despite this great honor, Ulthanesh saw this boon as playing second fiddle to his brother and resented him for it, souring their relationship.

Asuryan decreed he would call upon Eldanesh, who as a demigod was the only mortal still allowed to set food in the realm of the gods, to act as a third party to judge Khaine’s actions. Khaine agreed to this, believing that the validation of one mortal was all that he needed to show his actions had been justified and that as his blood brother Eldanesh would defend him. But Eldanesh took one look at the situation, and while he reaffirmed that Khaine was his friend and he loved him, told him that the other gods were right. He told Khaine that he needed to act less like a child, and more like an adult. Enraged, Khaine struck Eldanesh across the face for his blasphemy. But Khaine was a god, whereas Eldanesh was but a mere demi-god. The blow broke his neck, and Eldanesh died on the spot.

When Khaine struck Eldanesh, the rage lifted from his mind and he saw in horror what he had done. Asuryan swooped in, punishing Khaine for betraying a sworn blood brother and striking them down in cold blood. On Shaa-Dome, Uthanesh felt the loss of his brother and vowed retribution against Khaine, and the eldar people were once more united. And so Khaine became Kaela Mensha Khaine, the bloody handed, forever cursed to drip blood from his hands in punishment. In truth, the meeting between Khaine and Eldanesh was little more than a plot by Asuryan and Lileath. They had hoped the mortal comrade of Khaine could talk the war god down, but were more than willing to entertain the possibility of Khaine striking down Eldanesh if that failed. Either way the rage of the war god would be quelled and the increasingly ridiculous war between gods would be over.

The history of Khaine post-War in Heaven is much better known. In the millennia since the War in Heaven Khaine worship had dramatically decreased (especially once the eldar had few serious threats left in the galaxy), to the point that by the time the Fall occurred Khaine worship had actually been banned (and subsequently reversed) on several separate occasions. Even when Khaine worship was allowed, Khaine was often seen as a deity that was to be appeased rather than beseeched, and was only openly worshipped by some segments of the Old Empire’s military.

Khaine himself had slightly mellowed by the passing of Eldanesh. He was still the short-tempered god of murder and war, but following the death of Eldanesh Khaine seems to have purged the madness from his system and become more disciplined. When Slaanesh was born, Khaine took up the unlikely position of protecting Isha from Slaanesh after Lileath, Asuryan, Morai-Heg, Qah, and all the other gods had fallen. Khaine fought valiantly against Slaanesh, despite Slaanesh being powered by the souls of nearly the entire Eldar pantheon and 90% of the Eldar race. However, Slaanesh was prevented from devouring Khaine by the intervention of Khorne, who claimed that as the Blood King of the Galaxy and undisputed lord of all forms of war Khaine was rightfully his vassal, and the neonate god/dess needed to know their place. Unfortunately in the ensuing battle Khaine was shattered into pieces, which eventually found their way to the various Craftworlds in the form of iron and wraithbone idols emerging from the Craftworld’s Infinity Circuit.

In terms of battle, the Avatar of Khaine is one of the strongest singular entities the Imperium can field. Only the Emperor, Empress, or Cegorach can match Khaine in raw power, and even a Custodian, Grey Knight, Handmaiden, or Harlequin Troupe Master would be likely to fall before the Avatar’s onslaught. The Avatar is a juggernaut, a living mass of molten rock and metal, trampling anything that stands in its path. In M38, the Avatar of Iyanden was awakened to face down Hive Fleet Kraken in Iyanden’s darkest hour and cut an ichor-slicked path towards one of the Hive Fleet’s Hive Tyrants before being dogpiled by a dozen carnifexes. The Avatar eventually went down, but took six of the carnifexes with it (crushing one’s skull beneath its heel and vomiting molten slag on another) and managed to take the Hive Tyrant’s head from its shoulders. The Avatar wields the Wailing Doom, the favored weapon of Khaine dating back to the days of the War in Heaven, which gets its name from the ethereal howling the weapon makes as it is swung through the air. The Wailing Doom is capable of transforming into virtually any simple weapon, a sword, a spear, a mace, a bow, whatever it feels is best suited to harming its foe.

Yet awakening the Avatar of Khaine is not without cost. Creating an Avatar of Khaine requires two components: the iron and wraithbone statue at the heart of every eldar Craftworld that hold Khaine’s essence, and a suitable mortal host. Every year, one among each Craftworld’s most skilled Aspect Warriors is elected to a position called The Young King, named in honor of Eldanesh’ sacrifice. This is a position of great respect, but potentially one of great danger. For if the future is threatened by great danger, and there is no other choice, the Young King enters the Avatar’s chambers to awaken it and become one with Khaine.

Awakening an Avatar of Khaine is essentially the same kind of possession that created Macha-Isha, and although each avatar is only a fragment of Khaine’s power, Khaine is not gentle like Isha. Short channelings of the Avatar are survivable with immediate medical attention. Longer bouts run the risk of severe brain damage. Extended channelers are lucky to survive as Soulstones, or are outright consumed by the Avatar. However, once an Avatar is awakened, it remains active so long as there are enemies to slay and the host’s willpower holds. The longest an Avatar has been active was the Avatar of Biel-Tan in 892.M41, which {DATA EXPUNGED BY ORDER OF THE INQUISITION}. If the physical avatar is destroyed, its totem eventually reforms in its respective Craftworld, unless the Craftworld itself is lost.

Today, worship of Khaine is unsurprisingly much more popular among the eldar. The eldar have been laid low and the galaxy has been in a state of war for more than ten millennia. Even if this were not the case, Khaine is one of the last remaining connections the eldar have to their pre-Fall culture. Khaine is even worshipped as a war god by humans and other species in some highly eldar-influenced parts of the Imperium. Indeed, Khaine actually likes humanity and approves of the relationship between humanity and the eldar, if for all the wrong reasons. Khaine’s animosity towards his own people comes from two factors: the fact that Lileath prophesized that the Eldar would be responsible for his own downfall, and the fact that the Craftworld and Exodite eldar deny their darker natures and try to downplay any acts of violence through self-justification (the Dark Eldar don’t worship him at all, seeing him as weak due to being shattered by Khorne and Slaanesh). No such prophecy exists regarding humanity or the other races and Khaine actually likes how humans are more in touch with their baser instincts and are less likely to dress up their killings with false tears or excuses. For most humans, who don’t see themselves as a species of murderers and try to hold themselves to higher ideals, this is rather disturbing. Khaine has even showed respect for several individual non-Eldar, such as Marneus Calgar, who he fought alongside several times and was enraged when he was brought low by the Swarmlord.

The future of Khaine is uncertain. Some say that Khaine shall be reforged and made whole again (either by the Phoenix Lords or by the forges of Vaul himself, which makes no sense), no longer molten metal and half-baked rock but pure fire and red-hot iron, in preparation for the Rhana Dandra. Others say he will fight side by side with another god of war to strike down Khorne, though who that could be nobody knows. Some even say he will claim the Skull Throne at the end of Rhana Dandra. While many wonder how that could be a good thing others say at least Khaine is a known quantity, and better he claim that mantle of power than anybody else.

Grand Empress Isha, as might be expected, isn’t a big fan of Khaine. She pities him for his situation, for he is still her kin, but she has not and will not forget what he did. Cegorach’s opinion of Khaine is as opaque as always. It is clear he disapproved of Khaine’s actions after the War in Heaven, he did side with Vaul after all, but at the same time Khaine is one of the few beings left in the galaxy he can call family. Even if he disapproves of his methods, it may be necessary for the Laughing God to stay on Khaine’s good side for his plans to come to fruition. The Emperor has only ever met Khaine on a scant few occasions, never long enough to have any meaningful discussion, and never without supervision from Isha. Isha knows what happened the last time Khaine was allowed access to a demigod unattended.

Kharn the Oathsworn[edit]

The World Eater

As a champion pit fighter, Angron was often given his pick of the slave pens for concubines or servants. However, he would find the most downtrodden child slaves and claim them, raising them as his own children. Even after his Thunder Warrior augments and the ensuing madness and instability, he never raised his voice or lifted a hand at any of them. Kharn was the first and eldest of Angron's adopted children, and against his father's wishes he bullied his way into receiving the Mk III MP Astartes augments. They would continue to butt heads even as Kharn rose through the legion, but Angron was privately fiercely proud of him. One of Kharn's most treasured memories was when his father surveyed the order and control Kharn brought to the savage legion, and turned to him and said simply "You've done well. In this, and everything else."

Most historians agree, Kharn the Oathsworn was a pretty magnanimous guy. Whereas Angron commanded the War Hounds through his charisma and willingness to be first in, last out, Kharn led the War Hounds by being a father to his men. He would do anything for them, no matter the cost, and they knew it. When Kharn first joined the War Hounds, he essentially started out as the beleaguered assistant to Angron, albeit one with a lot more proficiency with a chainsword. Whereas Angron was the face of the legion and kept morale high, Kharn was often the one who dealt with actual logistics and kept the wheels greased from day to day. As Angron’s health gradually deteriorated, Kharn found himself increasingly taking on more and more of the responsibilities of running the War Hounds, until he was essentially the leader of the legion in all but name.

This is not to say Angron was stupid, or Kharn was not a ferocious warrior. Indeed, the two men were more similar than they were different. It is just that the two men tended to play to their strengths when Angron was in command of the legion. Indeed, Angron could actually be rather insightful, it’s just that he tended to be rather straightforward; no need to plan some grand, circuitous strategy when it is possible for you to just go straight from point A to B. In fact, in one instance Guilliman is said to have said of Angron “it was a true pity that the galaxy had wasted such a mind on such a simpleton”.

But there is another name used to describe Kharn, one that is spoken in whispered in hushed tones. The Berserker. The World Eater. Although he never lived it down until the end of his days, the tale of Kharn’s secret shame is a story of how easy it is for men to become monsters, and monsters to become men.

The world was a recently pacified one, one that had seemingly welcomed the Imperium with open arms. Kharn had been dispatched to the world alongside ten other members of what were at that time the most advanced model of Astartes developed. It was supposed to be a simple training exercise between the new Astartes and the local PDF, to see how well marines could operate alongside conventional forces. It turned into a disaster. After setting up camp, Kharn was invited to drink and party with the other members of the Astartes unit. Kharn politely turned them down, preferring to keep his mind clear for the task at hand the next morning. He awoke to a tragedy. His men were all dead, having been poisoned in the night by a technorganic venom specifically designed to work in spite of Astartes physiology.

Kharn went apeshit.

For the next few days, PDF forces were terrorized by an incredibly angry space marine, armed with just a chainsword, a bolter with two rounds in it, and a single-minded desire to know who did this to his men and where to mail their body parts to their next of kin.

The planet had been secretly manufacturing illegal techno-organic monstrosities, and believed the arrival of the contingent of space marines represented the beginnings of an Imperial investigation, rather than an exercise in friendship. Kharn found this out the hard way, when he was led into a trap surrounded by an army of these creations, an accompaniment of traitorous PDF, and the military commander who had overseen the poisoning of his men. The soldiers demanded Kharn’s unconditional surrender. Kharn simply raised his chainsword, and flicked the switch.

It is not clear what happened in the aftermath of that battle, as there were few survivors. The only person capable of walking off the battlefield was Kharn himself, yet given his mental state his testimony is probably not the most accurate. According to the War Hounds, who claim to have heard this story from Kharn himself, Kharn stayed on the battlefield in a daze, muttering the names of his lost men to himself over and over again. According to Kharn, he only snapped out of his trance when he noticed there was a child on the battlefield, a girl who could not have been more than twelve. Seeing the girl made the gears in Kharn’s head start moving again, and slowly he pulled himself out of his daze. He approached the young girl, taking off his helmet when he realized its visage frightened her, and asked where her parents were. She said she was lost, she had wandered through the woods curious about the noises coming from the battlefield, but she couldn’t find her way back. “Well,” Kharn supposedly said, “let’s see if we can do something about that”, and the two of them walked off the battlefield.

The planet at first tried to claim Kharn had gone AWOL, but Kharn only had to point at the bodies of the technorganic monstrosities and the bodies of his dead comrades and let the evidence speak for itself. Having single-handedly brought an entire army to its knees, the planet threw itself upon the mercy of the Imperium. Kharn had in effect conquered an entire planet in a single day. Thus, the World Eater. Kharn was not proud of the nickname, as it was a reminder of how easily his control had slipped his leash, and he had almost lost himself. The War Hounds existed as a unit longer than most Space Marine legions, but eventually it came time for them, too, to break apart into chapters, most naming themselves after some famous appellation or event in their legion. When that happened, Kharn had one simple request.

“In the years since the incident had taken place, some of the more impressionable members of our legion have taken the wrong message from my story, using the term ‘World Eater’ as a badge of pride. That is not what I intended. As warriors, we must be passionate, yes, but we must also be well-trained and disciplined, or else we risk becoming the very thing we fight. We are War Hounds. Not World Eaters.”

Despite being Terran-born, Kharn only visited his old homeworld a few times after the beginning of the Great Crusade. Like all Old Earthers he and his fellow soldiers held Old Earth in reverence. When they left it a new golden age was starting. Earth had never been so lovely as when he left it. The next time he saw his home was when he returned to defend it during the War of the Beast. It broke his hearts. Shortly after that Kharn had to return to bury his foster father Angron. At that time Perturabo was rebuilding and although it was at the midpoint of the project Earth was starting to know beauty again. But it wasn't the same.

Kharn the Oathsworn never came to Earth again in life, although his body was buried beneath the orchard that now stands where the village he grew up in once was.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Name is a placeholder, needs change. Per original writefag character is as much a mash-up of Kroq-Gar and Grymloq and Karl Franz and Deathclaw than anything else. "Vhashaki" was suggested.

The Tarellian Neo-Confederacy doesn’t have a centralized leader, per se. As a confederacy, each of the Tarellian worlds are nominally independent, free to pursue their own desires as they wish. However, in practice, most of the Tarellian worlds tend to follow the lead or at least respect the wisdom of the leader of Nova Tarellia, who tends to command the Neo-Confederacy through sheer force of personality rather than any formalized bonds. The current leader of Neo-Tarellia is Lord Kroq-Gar. Many Tarellian Lords see him as a bit of a meathead. For humans, this is rather surprising, as Kroq-Gar doesn’t come off as dumb or rash. Tarellians seem to have the same kind of mind as the Old Ones did, slow and methodical as opposed to hot-headed (the Tau, on the other hand, immediately see what the Tarellians are talking about). However, if one spends an extended period of time with Lord Kroq-Gar it is possible to see what the Tarellians mean. Kroq-Gar is obsessed with glory and disdainful of psykers and spycraft, though he isn’t fool enough to forego their use entirely. Although a skilled leader and politician Kroq-Gar lives for the excitement of battle, and his elevation to Tlatoani was as much based on his skill on the battlefield as his statecraft.

And of course one cannot speak of Kroq-Gar without mentioning his faithful companion Grymloq, a ferocious Kurnousaur from the Maiden World of Atla-Lorre. The region of space to the galactic north of the Tarellian Neo-Confederacy is home to the densest cluster of Maiden Worlds in the galaxy, including Halathel, the most densely populated Exodite world. Several decades ago, the Exodites came under threat from one of their other neighbors, the Arch-Mangler of Bork. Upon hearing the plight of the Exodites and the scale of the green tide they faced, Kroq-Gar set out with an army to their aid. The two forces eventually met at the Maiden World of Atla-Lorre, where the Tarellians joined the fray alongside the native Exodites. Packs of Tarellian warriors swarmed through the understory of Atla-Lorre, fighting Ork Boyz with kultarr and disruptor rifle in the dense jungle, eventually breaking the advance of the WAAAGH! alongside the Exodites. In gratitude for coming to the defense of their world the Exodites of Atla-Lorre presented Kroq-Gar with one of their greatest honors, the unhatched egg of a mighty Kurnousaur, taken from deep within the jungles of their world. Kroq-Gar raised Grymloq from a hatchling, and the Kurnousaur has rewarded him with his loyalty ever since.

Lynn Mywin[edit]

Lynn Mywin was born to the eldar of Féin-Cineál in or about the year 620 of the 41st Millennium and the youngest child of her immediate family. Both her parents were loving parents advancing into their fourth millennium when they had her, both having been married several times before and both having had many children with previous partners and each other, her half-siblings all counted both living and dead Lynn Mywin was in fact the youngest of almost three hundred children and felt that her chances of ever living up to their combined legacy was not remotely achievable. The eldar of Féin-Cineál are known for having large families and putting emphasis on the family as the basic measure of civilization but her family was excessive and was eventually declared a clan of it's own, something historically seldom achieved whilst in the lifetime of the progenitors.

The vast majority of the Mywin family were loyal, productive and morally upstanding citizens that any craftworld would be proud to call their own. True none of them were great movers and shakers of note but typically they did their jobs diligently and competently and seldom showed up in police records. Having so many contributing members of the family and so little of those to detriment ensured the family's prosperity and that prosperity was shared among it's members rather than hoarded in a treasury. There were black sheep to the family, with so many how could their not be, but their transgressions were minor things typically made of bad judgements rather than outright malice.

Lynn Mywin was a more willful black sheep. Mywins typically got jobs of a solid and tangible nature, indeed the patriarch Athafan was a shipwright and bonesinger and the matriarch Rhyangaala was a meteorologist. Lynn Mywin did not pursue sensible paths. Throughout her childhood and adolescence she had dabbled with the paths of the artist and the paths of the poet, both paths taken by The Betrayer. It might have been that these were a childish little rebellion against her somewhat overcaring parents, many in the family believed that she was shown a lot more tolerance for such foolishness than they had been and it was time for some good Mywin sense to be slapped into her. But Lynn was the last child Athafan and Rhyangaala could have together and they knew it and they found that they couldn't scold her too harshly. They regretted spoiling the child by sparing the rod when Lynn's first official path was a path of the Musician and the full range of interests shared by The Betrayer was complete.

Rhyangaala and Athafan pondered this deeply and meditated on the subject with heavy hearts but the stories of The Chronicle that dealt wit The Betrayer they couldn't see in their little girl. The Betrayer was a foul thing whereas little Mywin with ribbons in her hair and a moonlyre in her hands was as innocent as the music she made, and the music she made promised to one day be beautiful as her aptitudes were not insignificant. But, as the rest of the family pointed out, The Betrayer was innocent once upon a time. In her fifty-fifth year, the age of full maturity among the Féin-Cineáli, Lynn Mywin was fifteen years down her Path of Music and had been asked to perform at a minor function for the governor of Leigh-2, the world her particular enclave called home. This was the last straw for her parents, they knew that such encouragement would push their daughter down the path of vanity and if she wasn't like The Betrayer now she would be one day. They ordered her away to the military to serve in the PDF of Leigh-2 and maybe even be transferred to the Guard should she prove worthy and therefore far away from dishonest temptations. This was devastating to the young Lynn Mywin.

By the strange chance or the blessings of a trickster god that night the Enclave was visited by Inquisitor Silas Hand who was in need of information found within the enclave's copy of The Chronicle. Normal procedure for an outsider to see The Chronicle required the authorization of the head of one of the clans, a meeting of the five most prominent clans and the presence of three witnesses, typically the head farseer, the head autarch and the head spiritseer. All of this would take time and Inquisitor Hand was hunting swift prey. The black sheep of the Mywin had long ago memorized her father's access codes and lead the Inquisitor to vaulted hall in which The Chronicle was kept. Inquisitor Hand quickly found the information he needed, the resting place of a Rogue Trader once who visited the Féin-Cineáli in many thousands of years past and that the possessed prison-artifact in question had not been passed on to some unsuspecting heir but was dragged with him into the grave on some frozen world now buried uder a hundred foot of glacial ice. Silas Hand, scarred and weathered, decided that for a short time the galaxy could survive without him having to patch it up and took a day off for the first time in years. Lynn's parents, her entire huge and extended family and every other eldar of any station in the enclave were quite angry with her blatant disregard for procedure and they were not very subtle or tactful in expressing their considerable ire even after Lynn pointed out that it was the duty of all good Imperial citizens to aid the Inquisition. In truth the others of her kind and kin who knew her knew that she hadn't acted with noble intentions but merely to cause mischief and in truth they weren't as wrong as she knew and would claim.

In a moment of rebellion, ill timed or fortuitous bleeding together, the young Mywin approached the Inquisitor on the hour of his departure and asked that she could join him and his motley band of hard-bitten agents. Inquisitor hand was himself not without a sense of mischief and we can only guess of his motives. Maybe he thought a few weeks away from soft beds and warm foods would teach her a much needed lesson, maybe he saw something of himself much younger in her eyes or maybe he saw something of genuine worth. All that is known is that when Hand left Lynn was with him turning her back on kin and clan and enclave and weeping parents who were distraught believing that at the finish they had failed; their daughter now walked a path of darkness far from home and hearth and the love of family. Despair gripped them and held them for a long time, sorrows upon sorrow for the little girl they believed they had driven away.

A hundred years or there about Lynn Mywin did return. She did not skip and dance as the innocent near-child she had been when she left. He hands and skin were not maiden soft. Her eyes were not the eyes of an artist. Now she was a woman of the Inquisition, she walked with a swagger and the confident stride not borne of childish ignorance but a proven hardness. Her skin was scarred and tough boot leather. Her eyes were the eyes of a musician beyond the judgment of potential percussion offered by the average boot to skull. A century of having the shit kicked out of her had cost her her innocence but she did not miss it in the slightest and in it's place had grown if not wisdom then a degree of highly refined cunning that was almost as good. Her parent's, once the shock had worn off, were beyond joy to see her not just alive but uncorrupted. Her was her daughter, they would proudly declare, working for the Inquisition.

In the years since Lynn Mywin has been from hubworlds to the galactic fringes, she has stood on distant Old Earth and Cadia and a thousand other worlds. She has served many masters, hunted many foes, saved countless millions if not billions, taken many trophies, taken may lovers, done work in the shadows that would turn the stomach of lesser people and dragged such horrors into the light of day for judgment. In the Inquisition her reputation is as checkered as her tattoo collection due to her "creative" interpretation of orders and occasional bouts of convenient deafness. She will never be an Inquisitor she has been told in no uncertain terms as she lacks the temperament and holy shit will she be the first to tell you that but she never really wanted to be.

Of the Féin-Cineáli? They are at one and the same immensely proud of her and deeply ashamed. On the one hand she is an agent of the Inquisition and a damn good one. On the other hand she is Apostate. She has forsaken the Paths and risks walking the road of perpetual torment, she stands upon the edge of the abyss and looks down into the maelstrom of riling, twisting madness of emotions left unchecked. Such worries, she would claim, are in vein. She has her duty in place of a Path. She might live loud, live hard, take lovers as she wants them, drink when she's thirsty, eat when hungry, fight when angry and follow her heart and gut as much as her head but when the chips are down she can show a focus that would make an Exarch proud.

Some wonder still if she is still truly Féin-Cineáli; she typically wears a grubby vest several sizes too big, pants cut out of an inner layer of a broken space suit, a beret, catachan boots and a set of ident-tags. Her weapons are a big Catachan Cutta' Knife, and a much repaired laser rifle of unusual make. For all the world she looks like a low-pay mercenary culled from the underhive of some impoverished core world but questions of her membership of the Féin-Cineáli is not asked when she is present, entertaining the youth with tales of daring do and strange adventures on distant worlds despite the improper influence this is considered on impressionable young minds. Two considerations of this, her family, and her parents in particular, are fiercely protective of her name and they might all follow into Exile over choosing to stay and the loss isn't worth one delinquent eldars expulsion. The other is that many of them, the better connected of the matriarchs and patriarchs, have heard about the things that she has done and are absolutely sure that none of their bodyguards and champions could save them from her ire should she turn it upon them in retaliation.

As for Lynn Mywin herself? She doesn't think about it too much. In the years since her fateful meeting with Old Man Hand she has seen much, met many strange and interesting people, killed a lot of them. If she is exiled they will have to enforce it and she knows that none of them are stupid enough to try it and the once that are aren't capable enough. But for now the Imperium is under threat and she knows she must do her small part to end those threats, as all good citizens should to the best of their abilities.

Inquisitor Logann Powler[edit]

Born into a long line of proud Elysian soldiers, Logann's early life was filled with indoctrination, and schooling, various subtle and not so subtle propaganda films about the brave and heroic actions of the famed drop regiments of his home planet filled his young mind with thoughts of glorious adventure. His Psyker powers manifested around shortly after his eighth birthday and his family bid him a tearful farewell at a local spaceport when he was taken by the blackships to Terra for training. He returned to Elysia shortly after his seventeenth birthday to a tearful, but happy reunion with his family. Logann developed a set of mostly average psyker powers with the exception of highly potent precognitive abilities, and he fully intended on realizing his childhood dreams of glory in the drop regiments, he promptly enlisted, excelled in basic training, and thanks to his skills as a soldier, precognitive powers and a bit of nudging from some influential members of his family/extended family he was signed onto the freshly raised 434th Drop Regiment where his skill with various arms, armor, psyker powers(mainly precog here, as his other abilities are thoroughly average) quickly led to him being one of the more effective soldiers in his regiment. A few years after his recruitment into the regiment Logann and his fellow Drop Troopers had experience dealing with mostly trivial threats in between RnR planetside that mostly involved Elysian booze and joygirls.

Then, Logann, along with the rest of the 434th were inducted into the Ordo Xenos branch of the Inquisition to deal with a mostly standard Ork Freebooter threat in the Elysia system that was only really exceptional for it's size, but was still the first major threat this regiment would face so far, and it was during this time that the Inquisitor in charge of the operation became aware of his capabilities. After that threat had been dealt with, Logann(along with a few dozen other veterans of his regiment who had also impressed the inquisitor) was offered a position as an acolyte at the relatively young age of 20, he accepted, and began a 26 year long employment in the Ordo Xenos, hunting various Xenos Horrificus level threats for the most part, and occasionally dealing with a few of the more hostile Xenos Independens, he distinguished himself in these tasks and was promoted to Inquisitor when he was still rather young for the job, receiving rejuvenant treatments at this time.

It was during his time in the inquisition that he met the eldar corsair Elrana Gilsamia, the pair hit it off fairly quickly while they were working together dealing with various threats and ultimately became an item. Not all of his life has been rosy however, upon his return to Elysia with Elrana in tow to celebrate their marriage/couple status(or whatever the eldar use in this setting) and also Logann being promoted to a proper Inquisitor, Ork pirates from Blacklaw's Freebooter gang began a series of raids for loot and slaves killing a large number of people, including some of Logann's old friends from his time in the 434th Drop Regiment in the process. Recognizing an obvious threat to the Elysia system's security and incensed at this slaughter of his old warbuddies, plus the killing/enslavement of other people, Logann and Elrana both volunteered to help hunt down and eliminate Blacklaw and his gang. Although, to be fair, Elrana was also interested in the challenge of capturing such a hard target.

Thus began a 100 year long hunt for Blacklaw and his band. During this hunt Logann requisitioned some forces from the Elysian guard regiments(his old regiment were enthusiastic volunteers), some naval ships, a Deathwatch killteam (This team was commanded by Ducetius Valis, who would become a good friend of Logann and Elrana over the course of the pursuit of Blacklaw's freebooters) and hired some "private contractors" as well to beef up the rather modest force he inherited from his mentor, plus the more substantial force that Elrana brought to the table. For the first few decades of this hunt, Logann and Elrana thought that Blacklaw was just an exceptionally elusive freebooter, however the long period of dealing with diversionary raids, ambushes, booby traps, Blacklaw's associations with various renegade imperial elements, and plain old false positives when other freebooter bands would get caught and killed only for Blacklaw and company to start shit elsewhere at the same time or shortly thereafter helped to drive home the true difficulty of the task before them.

After 40 years of this,(and the destruction of a large number of renegades and ork freebooter bands that wound up not being Blacklaw's particular bunch of asteroid partisans) The couple submitted a request for and were granted further aid from the Deathwatch, who dispatched a few more of their Killteams to aid in the hunt for Blacklaw and his freebooters. After another 60 years of hunting, seeking and destroying that ultimately wound up drawing in some Adeptus Mechanicus forces as well due to constant raids on their Facilities by Blacklaw and his band, the infamous Freebooter and his group were finally cornered, and after a massive fleet and ground action were believed annihilated on an icy planetoid(think of a larger pluto, basically) in the Elysian system/sector. Logann was promptly promoted to the rank of Inquisitor Lord for this triumph, and he fully expected due to the massive amount of destruction caused to the various Non-Chaos threats in the sector that he would either be reinforcing Malleus/Hereticus/Securitas groups in the area or he and his wife could go and find some other group of Xenos Horrificus to hunt.

First and foremost though, it was time for Logann and Elrana to take a vacation for a couple of years, and for the soldiers and naval personnel under their collective command to get some RnR as well. It was during this period of down time that Logann and Elrana first wrote of their experiences hunting Blacklaw and crew, and the elysian propaganda films made based off this account have been making the pair a substantial sum of money from royalties ever since. Once this period of rest was concluded, the pair went back to work, hunting various Xenos threats in and around the Elysia system/sector and also being called upon by the Ordo Malleus, Hereticus and also the Ordo Securitas to provide support when needed to deal with threats caused by the Elysian Warp Hole(Logann had long since stopped viewing said warp anomaly as being all that impressive of a threat compared to other warp anomalies since his recruitment by the Inquisition, Elrana had always scoffed at the idea that it was a "Great Rift" based on both first and secondhand knowledge taught to her by her peers and gained during her career.).

At first, all was well for Logann, Elrana and their assorted subordinates. That is, until an Ordo Sicarius Inquisitor Lady by the name of Vanessia Arlens and her own impressively large "entourage" showed up. Vanessia explained diplomatically that she was there to "assist" Logann and company in their various endeavors, but Logann was familiar enough with the political situation at the local Inquisition Conclave to know that his rapid rise through the ranks, reliance upon mercenaries(Technically including Elrana and her Corsair fleet) and swift increase in influence in the Elysian System/Sector had caused eyebrows to rise and enemies to be made. Still, the pair tried to make the best of the situation, enlisting Vanessia's forces in their work against various Xenos Horrificus and the more hostile Xenos Independens threats that Logann and Elrana encountered in their own work.

Eventually, Vanessia's suspicions of Logann and his group subsided somewhat and what followed for the next eight years was fairly routine work of chasing orks and other assorted troublemakers through the Elysian system/sector mixed with providing support to other Inquisition efforts in said area, Logann, Elrana and pretty much all of Elysia largely viewed Blacklaw and his band as being a particularly bad memory by this point. Which is just about the time when he made his dramatic reappearance. A series of raids seemingly indistinguishable from standard ork and renegade pirate activity were used to disguise multiple well-planned surprise attacks on several important civilian and military facilities in the Elysia system/sector practically shattered the relative peace and quiet that had preceded said attacks and put the entire system/sector on military alert once again. Blacklaw and his band of pirates had made their return with a bang. This new series of raids also involved direct attacks on Inquisitorial Facilities in the area, which really helped to drive home the point of precisely how dangerous this particular band of freebooters and their Kaptin were to Imperial authorities outside of the local sector.

Logann and company, now well and truly aware of just how difficult it would be to permanently deal with their opposition, have been recruiting additional help from outside of the Elysia system/sector. The force that they have raised includes a varied assortment of soldiers, specialists, psykers, space marines, and anyone with some military experience fighting orks. Included in this assortment are their old friend Ducretius Valis and several Deathwatch kill-teams, as well as the Tau Shas'O Dal'yth Har'rus, a skilled (albeit rather naive regarding Blacklaw's unique capabilities) commander of the Fire Caste who brought a substantial combined arms force to aid in the hunt for the notorious Freebooter Kaptin and his band. Their search is hampered by both the obvious issues faced in the prior hunt(the various asteroid fields, planetoids, and assorted other space rocks in and around the Elysia system/sector are infested with Orks, Human renegades, and assorted other miscreants)but also problems caused by a recent flare up of the Elysian Warp Hole which has led more then once to Logann and company having to divert their forces/attention to aiding the other inquisitorial ordos in their own efforts.

It would seem, therefore, that the final conclusion of the hunt for Blacklaw and his Freebooter band, will take some time.


The Great Warmaster:

Excerpt from “The Warmasters: Their Lives and Their Legacies,” by Remembrancer Vinnstan von Krausvitz

“…The rare few individuals elevated to the exalted rank of Warmaster were all famed leaders of great talent, and thus invariably invite comparison to their legendary predecessors, the Primarchs. As the greatest of the Warmasters, Macharius is the one most often held up to the Primarchs’ as an equal, and the Primarch Vulkan (with whom Macharius worked very closely) once said that Macharius possessed Lion El’Jonson’s idealism and tactical acumen, Roboute Guilliman’s eye for detail and planning, and Mortarion’s single-minded stubbornness. However, it is also said that Macharius had Angron’s temper, and on occasion Fulgrim’s love of carousing and drink. Other Warmasters, such as Joanna of Aarkius, have been compared to…”

Fig. 1: A portrait of Marshal Macharius shortly after his promotion to Segmentum Obscurus Command at the young age of 78. Famously austere in his everyday life, Macharius shunned the elaborate uniforms and symbols of office of his peers, seen in the simple officer’s uniform he wears in this painting. Note the Star of Terra, the highest military commendation of the Imperium, pinned on his left chest, won for his actions as a colonel in the Battle of the Melas Gulf where he took command of a few broken regiments of guardsmen and a Navy cruiser wing after their commanders fell and set up a brilliant trap that destroyed a marauding Dark Eldar warband that was threatening the integrity of the entire subsector.

Fig. 2: A late portrait of Warmaster Macharius, painted at the age of 437 towards the end of the Macharian Crusades and his life. The second Star of Terra pinned on his right chest was won during First Macharian Crusade at the Battle of Granicor VI, where Macharius personally led the tank line in a surprise attack on the Khrave lines, breaking the bulk of their gathered army, which would lead to the eventual defeat and destruction of the Khrave Empire and the extinction of this particular species of Xenos Horrificus.


With the destruction of the Ulmeathic League by the tyranids and the resettlement of the refugee fleet on Imperial Worlds, the question of "who leads the Ulmeatheans" is rather difficult to answer. The on-paper answer to "Who leads the Ulmeathians currently?" is Nakaidos, Son of Nakai the White, one of the Ulmeathians' greatest warriors and perhaps the reason the refugee fleet survived; the opening their ships used to escape was created when the Hive-fleet found the defense he led on the planet was so stiff they decided to bomb his forces from orbit rather than keep wasting time with their usual wave tactics. Nakaidos was sent with the evacuees because he was too young to fight at the time. He has inherited his father's albino scales, as well as his hulking form and hide, making him big and tough even by Ulmeathian standards. Even if he wasn't descended from a hero, his strength would have won him the position anyway, not to mention his mind for fighting both on a personal and tactical level. The issue for him is that he's YOUNG, and fully aware of the enormous gaps that's left in both practical knowledge and experience for him. He's practically a child, yet the weight of a broken peoples and their beneficiaries are on his shoulders and he can't shirk those responsibilities because he's the strongest. He sees the problems his people face, but doesn't have the wisdom to find the solutions, so instead he puts on the brave face expected of him and does his best, and for all his failings at least recognizes that the counsel of others older and wiser can do wonders to fill in the gaps.

This is why there is a second answer; for practical purposes, the one doing most of the legwork of leading at the moment is Admiral Oscen, the Passerian who was in charge of the refugee fleet by virtue of being the highest-ranking survivor. He's missing an arm due to a Hormagaunt from when the Tyranids tried to take his ship, and he's missing an eye from when he shoved a Lictor into an airlock. Despite that, his demeanor is closer to that of a fond grandfather than a hardened general- his smile is still brilliant and warm, and his voice calming and filled with cheer. As the Passeri would say, "his song is still sweet." That more than anything is why even Ulmeathians listen to him- despite going through what might have been some of the worst fighting of the retreat to Imperial space and facing down horrors he shouldn't have needed to face, he not only perservered, but came out the other side unjaded and unbroken. Or is very very good at hiding his pain. That strength of spirit is something they respect- and the fact that he is very good at wording his commands as requests or suggestions doesn't hurt.

Nakaidos relies heavily on his council when faced with dilemmas that leave him at a loss, and Oscen delights in the opportunity to groom the leader who's going to need to guide their combined peoples under their new circumstances as part of the Imperium, and most of the Ulmeathians he could take guidance from are either very old and stuck in their ways or as young as Nakaidos and subject to the hormones and emotions of youth. The fact that having Nakaidos' backing helps push through things he wouldn't be able to manage on his own authority also helps.

Njal Stormcaller[edit]

Njal Stormcaller was born towards the tail end of 800M41 though the exact date is unknown given his somewhat backwards tribes lack of calendar. He came to the attention of Rune-Caster Heimdall of Asaheim when his tribe was attacked by an equally backwards bunch of reprobates during a migration. He was detected by Heimdall as at this point in his puberty Njal's psychic abilities were just starting to shine out. By the time Heimdall arrived at the wind blasted islet that Stormcaller tribe was housed on Njal lay an inch from death, a spear driven through his chest and his lungs filling with blood. Stormcaller's had little in the way of medicine, rustic and homeless as they were, and certainly nothing to help their dying son with such an injury. Heimdall offered the care of The Fang for the dying boy but at the cost that he would be theirs to train. With little option the Stormcallers handed over Njal to the care of wolves and that would be the last they would see of him for a long time.

Njal was patched up in The Fang, nursed back to health and made aware of his unearthly powers and even more aware of the dangers they posed to him and those around him. He was told in no uncertain terms that he would never be allowed to go home until he mastered his gifts. At first Njal was more than a little unhappy about this and descended into sullen resentment and was uncooperative, seeing The Fang as his prison and it's inhabitants as his captors. A lack of cooperation was not an option for the psychically afflicted and Heimdall showed him visions of what happened to unprepared psykers, his centuries of horrific experiences collected and shown to a young fool in the merciless, lidless eye of the mind, unable to blink or look away.

Heimdall did not hate Njal, though many believed he did after that not least of all Njal, his intention was to frighten the child onto the right path and actually get him to take his studies seriously rather than spending his time looking for methods of escape. It worked, by the Deep Ones and Old Gods it worked. Some say it worked a little too well but Fenrisians generally don't do things by half measures.

Njal had seen such things in those visions. Horrific things, oh yes, but each had been defeated by power directed with wisdom and knowledge. Power alone was almost worthless, he had power and he knew that now, power without direction was as dangerous to self and friends as it was to the target. He needed to know. He needed to learn. Most pressingly he needed to learn how to read. He could learn as much as Heimdall could teach him but Heimdall couldn't know everything. But the great libraries of the Aett held the wisdom of powerful and wise practitioners all the way back to the days of Russ.

The horror of the visions he had seen spurred him on more than any lash or Heimdall's less than gentle verbal encouragement ever could. He learned to read quite quickly and his appetite for knowledge was voracious.

When Njal was maybe 15 or 16 and had started to grow a decent beard Ranek Icewalker, veteran apothecary, approached Heimdall and Njal and informed them that Njal was possibly compatible with the Canis Helix. It was not something that either of them had contemplated as Njal was not traditional Space Wolf material. He was a gangly youth with little in the way of brawn and sticky out ears. It was said in later days that Njal flipped a coin to decide his fate, others say he rolled dice but for whatever reason he accepted the offer.

Njal, upon the completion of his training and successful alterations, did return to his old tribe and in the times he could afford a few times after that but as the years past he grew more and more distant from them.

Njal is probably the greatest user of the Fang Library and even beyond the borders of Fenris and her colonies he is considered a great authority on matters of the warp, particularly the lesser seen anomalies. As now long dead Heimdall believed he did indeed grow to be powerful, possibly the most powerful Rune-Priest that the Space Wolves have ever had, certainly one of the most erudite.

Indeed, Njal is not what most people think of when they imagine a fenrisian psyker. His beard is well trimmed, his hair clipped short, (relatively) well versed in courtly etiquette, fluent in several languages including High Gothic and is even passable in Eldar High Tongue. He appears slighter of build than his battle-brothers but it is respected that, like in his training, he is using his unearthly abilities to boost his physical abilities.

It is known that he has done work for several inquisitors though exactly what is in sealed records and he will not say.


See Qah

The Primarchs[edit]

See Nobledark Imperium Primarchs

Colonel-Farseer Rommel[edit]

The Eldarian Creed

He was an Eldar who had the fortunate to grew up with a minor archeocultural database that basically held Girls In Panzer, a shitton of heavy metal, and the cultural context articles for the entire thing. He grew up obsessed with tanks, and even changed his name to the ancient tank commander of Rommel. And his local farseer said he needed training as a seer, despite not showing a lick of ability for it, then said his second lesson would be found in the IG as a tank commander.

It was when war came to his homeworld that his destiny truly showed. His Leman Russ wrecked outside his home town, he looked at two equally trashed tanks: a Baneblade and a Cobra. His until then hidden gift flared up, and he gave a fateful order to the local technicians and bone singers. Merge those tanks. 12 hours of work later, it was ready. His old mentor then said "the second lesson ends. Now begins the third."

Rommel called him a dick.

Rommel's foresight is extremely accurate, but severely limited. He can only see events that he will be present at, and occasionally get flashes of needed tactics (such as when he gave an Earthshaker precise firing angles and times, before kneecapping a chaos titan, putting it in a position for the Earthshaker round to hit an unprotected spot and detonate its power core). He also loves music, and often sounds his charge into battle with his Carnedanian bagpipes.

His tanks make the orthodox Mechanicus scream in horror, send most Eldar into shock, and makes the average Tau cream their panties.

Cobra/scorpion armor on a baneblade chassis, its ground pressure reduced by grav tech, triple pulsers on the turret and a D-cannon secondary weapon, an advanced power plant, Tau stabilizers for even more accuracy, capable of 115km/h, the entire assembly is a masterpiece of combined engineering. And hard to produce, with only 10 per year (or less, depending on how often he needs spare parts).

It also lead to the Unifier class battlesuit, which is almost exclusive to his support infantry because production can barely keep up with said infantry's tendency to wreck enemy tanks by ramming.

50 tanks are under his command, as are 1000 battlesuits, and a support corp of quartermasters and technicians that count as an army in their own right.

Rommels has discovered the third lesson: he can push fate, but at the cost of his own soul. Farseers say he has 500 years before he needs to retire to the infinity circuit. He told them to piss off. He'll die before 500 years has gone by, and when he does...

There won't be enough of a soul left for any god to fight over. He knows the time of his death is coming, for he has seen it every night since his gift showed. Every night, a different version. 150 years to plan the perfect last battle. He will fall, his legacy will live, and chaos will be dealt a major blow. Soon, his doom will come, and he will do what the Guardsman does - Hold The Line.

There is a joke that Rommel is Creed's secret alter ego, as they never seen in the same place. All jokes aside, every attempt to get the two of them in even the same sector has been sidetracked by the sudden appearance of threats they had to deal with.

The one time it worked, they stumbled onto a major cult of Tzeentch via a tank dropping through a sinkhole. Which answered every question of what force was preventing them from working together.

Then everything went back to normal and they were never on the same planet ever again.

Duke Severus XIII[edit]

If one were to look up 'Rogue Trader' in the Encyclopedia Imperialis in the days of the first Duke Severus, you'd probably see a picture of the man next to the entry. Roguish goatee, incredible style that was both elegantly modest and imperiously flashy at the same time, slim filigreed shuriken pistol in one hand and gilded power sword in the other. Nevertheless despite all this worldliness and political acumen, Duke Severus I willingly placed himself away from the Calixis Sector. This was because he had two things his descendant didn't have: self-awareness and a realistic sense of proportion. As skilled an adventurer and Rogue Trader as he was an administration was his weakness, and his Seneschal was as eager for a quiet life as the Duke was. And so Duke Severus I settled down in a small realm far, far away from the rat race of Calixian politics with a harem of nubile xenos and spent his last century 'energetically relaxing', as a biographer delicately put it.

And that was the way things were, the 'Severan Dominate' being nothing more than the charming village to the Calixis Sector's big city. The Dukes and Duchesses Severus were content to live the sedate lives of the idle rich, their traditional sense of noblesse oblige and wise, reliable investments allowing them to gently build up the realm. For generations, this was the way things were, and it seemed the way things would continue.

But then came Duke Severus XIII.

To all outward appearances, the Duke is nothing like the tyrant outside forces claim him to be. Handsome, well-spoken and intelligent, he exudes the kind of vibrant vitality that people imagined his famous ancestor would have possessed. When he speaks of caring for his people, it isn't with the transparent, self-congratulating false modesty many other Imperial nobles would, but with a genuine sincerity and emotional weight. When he speaks about making the Severan Dominate a major player in the sector- no, the galaxy!- he does so with a visionary's fervor and a prophet's zeal. In a fairer, kinder universe, the Duke would have perhaps met Oscar and Isha, impressing them with both wit and wisdom. He would have had the resources he needed to turn the Dominate into something wonderful, maybe even something that a time traveler from the Great and Bountiful Human Dominion wouldn't have felt out of place in, if a little provincial.

At the very least, his parents would have had more children.

The Severan line had a curse laid upon it, a gene-weapon used on the first Duke by a vengeful Dark Eldar prince. While the Priestesses of Isha did their best, they couldn't fully mitigate the weapon's effects, and the Severan line was ever under threat. Indeed, every member of the Severan line was born prematurely, and that was just counting the survivors. Duke Severus XII and his wife were especially unlucky, with only Romulus Augustus Nepos, Duke Severus XII surviving his childhood. They weren't bad parents, or even inattentive ones; indeed, they were too much so. They spared no expense in raising their child, with no expense spared for their son's tutors and toys.

They did try to rein him in, even as a child. They withheld rewards until Severus XIII did his homework, and his father made sure to foster a connection between his son and their people. However, they were both only human, and while their son did grow up caring for his people, it was tainted by his growing narcissism. Even so, he appeared to be the perfect son and ruler until he gained the throne upon his parents' passing.

Things seemed optimistic at first; if anything, it seemed like the dawn of a new Golden Age for the Dominate. The new Duke sold off most of his family's finery, even nationalizing most of his family's traditional holdings, all to help fund revitalization projects for the Dominate. New spaceports, mines, factories, farms and the like began to sprout up all over the Dominate. New Guard regiments were raised, and given the best weapons the Dominate could supply. Yet in all the revitalization, the cracks began to appear.

The Duke wanted the best, and the best he would have- even if it was impractical. For example, he wanted only the most prolific, the most lucrative produce from his agri-worlds, but his advisors told him that the soil on the Dominate's agri-worlds wasn't suited for the Biologis' finest works- and that was not taking into account the cost. As productive as the Dominate's new mines were, they just couldn't provide the yields needed to supply the new factories. And yet, whenever the Duke's advisors brought such matters up, the gregarious, good-humoured young man they were so used to dealing with seemed to disappear, replaced by a man who alternately brooded and sulked, or exploded in frustrated rage at an unfair universe.

While it is generally useless to speculate on the Duke's mental state as things are currently, from what few reports made it out of the Dominate before it seceded, Imperial psychologists and seers have theorized that the Duke's narcissism has manifested in some kind of manic self-identification with the Dominate, with the man seeing the realm as an extension of himself. It would certainly explain his rambling, raving message to the Lucid Palace, so uncharacteristic of the man, in which he accuses the Imperium of 'bleeding him dry' and 'tearing at his flesh'.

Diplomatic overtures were rebuffed, but if the Duke had left it at that, the Imperium might have been content to leave him be to negotiate with the next ruler of the Dominate; it wasn't a large realm, after all. Even when it was stable it was seen as the rightful resting area of one of the Angevin Crusade's greatest heroes. It wasn't even tithed that much; apart from the Black Ships, only a single world contributed significantly to the greater Imperium in the form of a few Guard regiments.

The Duke didn't see it that way, obviously, and he made his displeasure clear when he actually assaulted the Calixis border. Whether this was deliberate, or a border skirmish gone hot, isn't known, and at this point it isn't important. The Imperium was threatened, and now it will respond.

Today, Duke Severus XIII is on the surface at least, as urbane and cultured as ever, speaking with genuine regret over what he sees as the culmination of his efforts to preserve the integrity of his realm and the prosperity of its people. But even the slightest side glance would show the fear on his advisors' faces, the bags under their eyes, their stress-paled skin. And it only takes one look into the Duke's eyes to see the madness that has finally taken over.

The Duke's narcissism has made him blind to many of his realm's deficiencies, and of those he does allow himself to see, he sees them as minor problems, easily corrected- after all, he is the one correcting them, of course they'd be simple! His ego is also why the Dominate (he has long since failed to see a distinction between himself and it) doesn't seem to take the Imperium 'seriously'. All their talk about massive Ork Beasts, Black Crusades, empires of the walking dead- what rubbish! Why, if the Imperium could withstand such adversities, that would make it a greater realm then the Dominate, and there is nothing greater than Duke Severus XIII, first of that name!

Indeed, to the Duke, the sheer overwhelming force the Imperium is bringing in response to his secession is clearly the desperate attempts of a failed state to hold onto power and project stability lest others secede, rather than the sheer amount of military power the Imperium is able to throw around when it isn’t preoccupied with a Black Crusade, Beast WAAAGH! or major Hive Fleet. And the fact that such a force hasn’t simply drowned the Dominate in a tide of bodies and ammunition shows the Imperium’s response is in reality that of a paper tiger, rather than the fact that Segmentum Command would rather convince Dominate worlds that they'd be better off counter-seceding and rejoining the Imperium than simply crush the rebellion beneath a jackboot, if for no other reason than to avoid turning more productive worlds into battlefields and wastelands and avoid spending centuries crushing minor rebellions if they tried to retake the worlds by force.

There are a few things that have managed to penetrate his mental shell, though. The first is the fact that the war seems to be harder than he thought it would be. Of course he knew it would be difficult, why else would he stockpile supplies before announcing his secession? But the fact that the Imperium seems to be making progress, as slow and agonizing as it it, is something he finds intolerable. It's certainly no fault of his, nor his generals- even his most pessimistic advisors admit the Imperium is taking far greater losses than the Dominate, especially now that the Duke has brought in the alien mercenaries. Why, one particular Prince of the Eldar pirates he's hired seems to be brimming with joy every time he sees the Duke, which hardly seems sane if they were losing. The only explanation is that the Imperium is much larger than the Duke had surmised, which was also impossible, because that would make it greater than the Dominate.

And then there is Ohmsworld.

Unlike the Dominate's other industrial worlds, Ohmsworld was a Hive World long before the Severan dynasty came along. Its Guard regiments form the basis of the Dominate's military, just as Cadia serves as a model for the greater Imperium. And of all the worlds in the Dominate, it was the only one to remain loyal to the Imperium when the Duke seceded. The veteran Guardsmen sent there to train the new regiments being raised there organized a coup against the Duke's forces. Whenever the Duke speaks about Ohmsworld, it is with quiet, menacing tones. The Duke's advisors think it is a result of seething hatred, not surprising in a narcissist being refused.

The truth is far different- the Duke is terrified. Oh there is hatred, of course, but it is a hatred born of fear.

His spies have reported that the reason the Ormsworld Guardsmen rebelled was because they said they wouldn't be able to survive without the support of the Imperium proper. Veteran Guardsmen, who must have surely known that their hive world wouldn't be able to survive without the food supplied from Dominate agri-worlds, who wouldn't be able tio fight without the Dominate's forge worlds supplying it, still turned their faces from the Duke to side with the Imperium. Facing this fact, the Duke also had to face another- for all his learning, for all his skill, he had never ventured beyond the Dominate's borders. Hell, he'd rarely ventured beyond the confines of is homeworld.

The Guardsmen of Ormsworld however, have, and whatever they have seen or experienced has convinced them that surrounded and undersupplied though they may be, it is still preferable to suffering alongside their Dominate, along side their Duke. For Duke Severus XIII, treachery is one thing- he can understand why petty, lesser men would envy him and thus try to betray him. Indeed, that is what he tells himself and others during his waking hours, and in the light it's easy to convince all who would listen.

But when he tries to sleep, he is kept awake by one single thought. He knows it is irrational, he knows it is impossible, yet it keep him awake all the same.

What if he was wrong?


EDITOR'S NOTE: Needs name change. Also expansion?

The Gretchin King:

Skarsnikk was a Brain Boyz grot whose ork counterpart had the misfortune of being killed by a challenging ork rather soon after becoming warboss. Normally, Brain Boyz rise to the top of the social heap regardless of their situation, because in a fight between two evenly matched orks the Brain Boyz is going to win because they are willing to use joint locks, throws, and other such forms of brutal cunning rather than just relying on brute strength to overpower their opponent. In some cases, like with Ghazghull who was born on the small side for an ork, this allows them to defeat opponents slightly larger than they are, and because to orks bigger equals boss the victor will grow to match their expectations and the situation resolves itself. And in the case of the grot, nobody will touch the warboss’ “little buddy” for fear of retribution, and even if they do, orks have this weird built-in aversion to actually killing a Brain Boyz grot that even they can’t explain (Roughing them up, yes. Killing them, no.)

Orks only have two real rules in their society: listen to the Brain Boyz and the biggest Ork is the boss. And in this case the sheer size difference between Skarsnikk and the Boyz was enough to override any proclivities to obey a Brain Boy. Skarsnikk was big for a gretchin, but even the strongest grot has no chance of defeating an ork in a fair fight (unless you’re Snikrot, but Snikrot and “fighting fair” almost never go together in the same sentence). Not only did Skarsnikk lose his brother, he lost his entire standing in Ork society in the process and now nobody would listen to him anymore. Skarsnikk got angry, and then he got mean. The Orks won’t listen to him anymore? Fine. They can go zog off and die for all he cares. He decided to split off and form his own WAAAGH!, with the only orkoids that were still willing to listen to him, the other gretchin.

Most people, when they hear the word “gretchin”, think of small, cowardly creatures about the size of a human child, terrified of the concept of a fair fight and running away from any opponent who isn’t. Let them find peace in their ignorance. Skarnsnikk is different. Skarsnikk stands about as tall as an average-sized human, his body lined with lean and wiry muscle in the manner of a coyote or an alley cat. Most grots will break and run if you make eye contact with them and there isn’t a bigger ork to scare them forward. Skarsnikk just stares you down, and then you realize that he’s sizing you up with those beady little eyes and he’s trying to figure out what he can take from you.

Additionally, because Skarsnikk’s gretchin are fightin’ and winnin’, and there are no orks around to slap them down, some of them are getting pretty big. Not as big as Skarsnikk Typically the most aggressive, crazy ones with relatively little self-preservation instinct. This means that Skarsnikk can do more with the grots at his disposal than just using them in human wave attacks. Mostly things that an Ork can’t do without being painted purple on account of being slabs of walking muscle. Things like “sneaking up to them in their beds and slaughtering them with their own weapons counts as a fair fight”, stabbing one git in the leg and dragging him off into the night to leave a trail for the rest of them to follow into a trap, or making use of squig pits, leg snares, and other such contraptions to whittle down their numbers in order to make the actual fight easier. Of course, that doesn’t mean he’ll avoid human wave attacks if he deems them necessary, though he tends to use the smaller gretchin rather than his “shock grots”.

Skarsnikk is a hateful, spiteful creature, and he may have bitten off more than he can chew. He has essentially declared a three-way WAAAGH! between his Boyz, the rest of Ork-kind, and everybody else, a war which he can fight very effectively with his guerilla tactics but is unlikely to win. He doesn’t like how the Orks treat grots, and while he’s more tolerant of them he especially doesn’t like how Brain Boy gretchin seem to be content with the status quo (whereas he doesn’t see the big picture of total WAAAGH!). Some might say he is like a gretchin Urlakk Urg in this respect, in that his single-minded hatred is going to get himself killed. However, when push comes to shove, he will very reluctantly team up with other WAAAGH!s to face an even greater threat, though this usually only lasts the bare minimum of time until the enemy is defeated and usually ends with his knife in someone’s back

Sreta Ulthran[edit]

The Merchant Queen of Ulthwé:

Eldrad Ulthran has used, accumulated, and fought for power. Typically of the arcane, or martial variety, as even a farseer of his reputation and skill can admit that sometimes the best solution is the least subtle. But he never purposely sought political power, or the acclaim of the public eye. In his advanced years, he looks upon the pageantry and political theater as wastes of time burning up what little he has left. If he isn't in the field working at advancing his machinations, he usually can be found in the crystal dome of seers, attempting to forecast the future, and guide the survival of his great work. On very rare occasion, when he feels that the very fate of the galaxy isn't at stake, he visits his family and consorts, communes with the infinity circuit, and if he's feeling very optimistic, has a good cup of tea. All of this combined does not leave much time for Eldrad to engage in politics, except when the need is most dire.

His family is another matter.

Sometimes referred to as "The House of Ulthran." Depending on the speaker, this can be a term of respect, or contempt. Respect, for placing them on such a level as famous houses as Ulthanesh or Arienal, or contempt, for the Ulthrans upstart nature and meddling. A full fourth of the Seer Council is Ulthran, from marriage ties or blood. Ulthran's coffers overflow from monopolies negotiated with unwary Imperial governors, too uneducated to realize that the family and craftworld were not one and the same. With their resources, House Ulthran reinvests these funds into the fleet of Ulthwé, leaving many captains in their debt. At one point, Eldrad Ulthran's ilk held captain positions in the majority of the fleet- though Eldrad Ulthran himself stepped in forced the majority to relinquish their posts for fear of Ulthwé becoming his personal craftworld.

In spite of Eldrad's efforts, the House of Ulthran continues to grow in influence, mostly due to his reputation. And the efforts of Sreta Ulthran.

At 3900 years old, she's technically a grand daughter of the famously tangled and expansive Ulthran family tree. When she was born, the family of Ulthran was just that- a family. No strong bonds between them- Eldrad's nomadic nature and hands off approach combined with the rigors of their Paths left them little time to consider dynastic issues. For Sreta's part, it took her three hundred years on the path of the servant to realize that as well. In a short stint serving at an ambassadorial party, a particularly curious (And slightly intoxicated) Lord Militant Adrana had inquired if she had seen Sreta anywhere before, and rather coarsely asked if Sreta wanted to come back to Adrana's place for a good time. Once Sreta overcame her disgust at the mon'keigh (Sreta doesn't hate humans. She just considers them lesser beings that insult her with their very existence) and engaged in conversation, it led to her family name.

Lord Militant Adrana was flabbergasted and shocked that the grand daughter of the famed Eldrad Ulthran was serving drinks at a glorified cocktail party. Much to the humble servant Sreta's surprise, the Lord Militant apologized, and begged for a chance to make things right before "Eldrad heard about this." Sreta Which led to Sreta seeing an opportunity- to better serve all of Ulthwé of course. Over the next two hundred years, Sreta used her family name to secure meetings with important, easily impressed mon'keigh, and to secure leverage enough to establish standing and influence. She approached her relations- only the ones that mattered. She offered her assistance. Though they were skeptical about the value of the Ulthran name, the prospect of resources and manpower from the mon'keigh intrigued them. Using human mercenaries meant less eldar warriors had to die, and the only thing better than a war hero returning with victory, was a war hero returning with victory and no casualties. Well, none that mattered to Ulthwé at least.

At first, Ulthwé welcomed the trade. Though every thing that humans can do, Eldar can do better, it was good sometimes to be able to get a blanket NOW rather than waiting for the Mistress of the Seams to complete her twelve year meditation to produce the finest silk covering that would be spoken of for centuries to come. With the farseers and autarchs supplemented by human resources, this freed up skilled eldar warriors for the fights that REALLY mattered. And craftsmen that might have been put out by the competing low quality mon'keigh crap coming in were soothed by the extraordinary prices that humans would pay for eldar quality. Entire Imperial families would make themselves paupers for a chance to touch a wraithbone hilt. The traditionalists scowled, but the results were indisputable as the other craftworlds played catch up, and Ulthwé's power and influence grew and grew.

Until they realized that it was Ulthran's power. Sreta had made very sure to benefit only members of her family- and only ones she was certain belonged to Eldrad's lineage, none of his bastards or might-have-beens or the ones that never made anything important of themselves. Many confident great great great great great great nephew's cousin's brother's sister's great great uncle twice removeds approached Sreta confidently only to be rejected with icy words and a narrowed eye. In point of fact, the modern 'House of Ulthran' only has fifty four members that are considered and recorded direct family by Sreta, hand chosen by her.

To mon'keigh, this state of affairs might seem perfectly natural, but to eldar, the notion that 54 people bound only by their name should control so much of a craftworld's resources left them aghast. More than that, that it was a lowly member of the Path of the Servant that had suddenly and quietly placed themselves into this much power rankled those that felt that their paths sacrificed far more.

For the time being, the star of Ulthran continues to rise. Despite Eldrad's pronouncements and warnings, the damage has been done. Even without the unfair contracts Sreta negotiated, too much money and talent has been concentrated in the Ulthran family's hands, and humans invariably put too much value in the Ulthran family name. Ulthwé itself prospers from this, but there is opposition now to Sreta and her cartel. Even some members of the Ulthran clan (Typically those that Sreta snubbed or otherwise left out in the cold) have been speaking up against her.

Within the House of Ulthran itself, there is rumors of a schism- favored Taldeer, a talented farseer and one with much promise has left to serve in the Imperium's military, perhaps to get away from the rivalries, or her own fate to be married off for political advantage. Sreta herself, when she appears in public appears ill- graying, shrunken, with a lingering cough. Some speculate she's been poisoned, or cursed by the gods for her greed. Not that anyone can get an answer from Sreta. She's lost on her own path, a strange path of greed and power. Most of the time, she mumbles, and doesn't wish to talk to any. But talk business, and her eyes brighten, her voice steadies, and she's a steel trap again.

Eldrad does not engage in politics. But, some speculate, Eldrad does still have need. If he's tired of trying to bargain and cajole and manipulate and plan around the petty needs of those he's trying to guide to a brighter future, might he have perhaps left that duty to another? When Eldrad has need of a fleet, the House of Ulthran can build one. If he needs an army, the House of Ulthran can buy one. If he needs the votes for Ulthwé to go on a risky mission, the House of Ulthran can summon them.

If Eldrad or Sreta know, they aren't telling. For now, Sreta focuses on the business, and Eldrad will only lament with a smile that the family's life is its own.

The Rainbow Serpent[edit]

A Relict of Days Long Past

I could be that there is somewhere in the wastes an old independent warp spirit. One of the really old fuckers from when there was only Tzneetch and Malal. His job was to make a note of the things created before they were destroyed, sort of an early draft of Nurgle although he was never capable of trying to preserve things, he is a very small warp creature.

He just made watched and remembered things because someone had to.

Back then there were really only the Old Ones that were any sort of power in the galaxy. They had warp travel and had just started to spread across the stars. Necrontyr were still a primitive race barely sapient dying of cancer. C'tan didn't have a warp presence and everyone but the Old Ones were isolated by interstellar distances.

By necessity the gods of that time, if you could even call them gods, were small.

The Chronicler was therefore typical of his time. He achieved his form when he got too involved with a quaint little species of child people. One of them saw a rainbow and tried to draw it in powdered rock and berry juice but it came out looking like a snake. A younger member of the social group came over to look at it. By dusk they were making up stories for fun around the camp fire of The Rainbow Serpent.

The Chronicler was making a record of those people at that time and got too close to the story telling. He was shaped by their imaginations and saw no reason to fight it. chronicler became the Rainbow Snake.

Rainbow Snake and other spirits like him kind of adopted the stupid little shits out of pity and fascination and endearment. Tried to teach them how to make some sort of civilization, rudimentary though it was. Kind of a group hobby for bored proto-daemons with nothing better to do. Had some success but never got them past the late Neolithic in terms of technology, they weren't the brightest sapients.

Tzneetch and Malal creation and destruction without morality and therefore fed well by the Old Ones get overall power in the Warp.

Then the War in Heaven came, the Warp becomes all manner of churned up and the small spirits that the shamans talked to are either devoured by larger and more terrible things or shredded in the storm. Rainbow Snake and a few others survive for a time but as Khorne is born and the other 2 become more and more exaggerated to obscenity the others are picked off one by one.

The adorable idiots without guidance slip back into their older more primitive ways, living in the ruins of what little heights they had managed. Even their homeworld seemed to get darker as ethereal fallout subtly twisted the wildlife to be more dangerous.

By the time the Old Ones came there was Rainbow Snake and maybe a half a dozen helpful spirits left from maybe hundreds. Perhaps it was better that the others had died than see what was born from their adopted children, what the Old Ones did to them.

The other gods didn't survive Gork and Mork's initial rampage and the endearing little morons didn't survive their twisted offspring. The other spirits tried to fight or run and were squashed and eaten. Rainbow Snake found a crack in the rock to slither into and hide, Gork and Mork just brawled right over them and when Khorne came to collect them he slithered away into the Formless Wastes to die.

He visited the old ork homeworld once after the creation of the orks, just once. He found one of the few remaining tribes, possibly the last tribe, before the orks did. It was high up in some desolate mountain where no one wanted to go, no value to anyone but the orks will have their fun. The last spirit talker hacked off one of his finger and gave it to the old serpent, the last of his gods.

Rainbow Snake took the last piece of his children with him when he returned to the Warp. But the deep warp was very much changed from when he was young. It had never been "safe" as such but neither had it been entirely terrible. Now it was actively and totally malevolent.

The Chronicler Snake slithered away to the places where gods don't see, beyond the realm of outcasts and the lost. Beyond the places where life can be found, to the mass graves of his children. To the fields of bones and the dried out riverbeds and the ruination of innocent memories with the severed finger of his last shaman held gently but firmly in his mouth.

The finger will not grow in that dead land but the only place left that it could grow is deep in enemy territory and he is just a small snake.

In that lifeless place without sustenance he should be dead and have died long ago. But he has not. Is it because in his time he has learned to be super efficient? Can he hibernate perfectly because he's a snake? As a daemon of remembrance does the mere act of being observed? Who can say. It's not exactly living, not living as such but he is surviving. He is hiding. If he waits long enough something will change and he can plant that finger in good soft mud. He might have to wait several eternities but he is a snake, he is very patient. He just has to remain hidden in the fields of bones.

See Also: Innocence Lost

The Swarmlord[edit]

The Herald of the Hive Mind

The Swarmlord was first sighted in 745.M41, during the Third Tyrannic War. At that time the Hive Fleet was referred to as Hive Fleet Jormundgandr, though it has since been recognized in retrospect that this force was merely the immediate herald of the main Hive Fleet itself. Although the Imperium had not been prepared for the appearance of Hive Fleets Behemoth, Kraken, and Leviathan, this time they had a strategy in mind. The idea was to direct and funnel the movements of the tyranid hive fleet, hoping to break the brunt of the swarm against the most fortified world in its path. Unfortunately, the nearest world that fit that description was Macragge, capital of Ultramar and homeworld of the Ultramarines. Eldar aspect warriors and bonesingers, Earth Caste engineers, and the Ultramarines themselves did everything in their power to turn Ultramar into a veritable fortress, hoping to turn the tyranid’s own strategy of attrition against them. After Hive Fleets Kraken, Behemoth, and Leviathan, the Imperium believed they knew everything the tyranids could throw at them.

Then the Swarmlord showed up.

Within hours of its arrival the tyranids went from a disorganized horde of extragalactic locusts to organized soldiers of nearly human cunning. Worse yet, despite this increase in intelligence, they seemed to lack any of the survival instinct typical of a being of that level of sentience, acting more like the appendages of a single being than separate organisms.

Marneus Calgar thought he could take the Ultramarines First Company, decapitate the head of the beast, and the tyranids would go back to being disorganized, if fearsome, beasts. Right up until the point where the Swarmlord hacked off all four of his limbs and beat the Ultramarines' Chapter Master into a coma. The only reason that Marneus Calgar even managed to survive his encounter is due to the heroic sacrifice of Aloysius and the remainder of the First Company and Second Company Captain Cato Sicarius managing to drag the Chapter Master's prone body away from the huge tyranid. The Swarmlord was eventually killed, but only by being shot. Several times. With a Baneblade. To this day, Marneus Calgar remains in a medically induced coma, and the Ultramarines fear for his health. In Calgar's absence the Ultramarines have been led by Tribune Titus, who was unanimously elected to lead the chapter by the captains of the nine remaining companies until such time as Calgar can return to duty.

Since the Battle of Macragge, the Swarmlord has been sighted a precious few times around the galaxy, and each time the Imperium has learned precious new information about this dangerous foe. Although the Imperium first believed the Swarmlord to be nothing more than an overgrown Hive Tyrant, in truth the Swarmlord is something much worse. Much like how Macha is the mortal avatar of Isha and the Nightbringer and Void Dragon have become avatars of themselves, the Swarmlord is essentially a physical avatar of the tyranid Hive Mind.

The Swarmlord only ever appears when the tyranids encounter a significant barrier to their expansion, necessitating the direct attention of the Hive Mind itself to circumvent the problem. Creating a Swarmlord is not without its risks, as it requires a not-insignificant amount of synaptic resources that could be devoted to other tyranid lifeforms, and if the Swarmlord is killed the psychic backlash can actually harm the Hive Mind itself. Nevertheless, the costs of a Swarmlord are more than outweighed by its benefits, as the presence of the Swarmlord exponentially increases the efficiency and tactical adaptability of any tyranid lifeforms on any battlefield it sets foot on. Despite representing a significant cost, the tyranid Hive Mind is large and fractious enough to support multiple Swarmlords at once. This was at first only theorized by the Ordo Xenos, but later confirmed by three simultaneous sightings of the Swarmlord on three totally independent battlefields later in M41.

As of late M41, the main tyranid hive fleet has arrived and is besieging the eastern rim of the galaxy on multiple fronts. It is said that the visage of the Swarmlord has been spotted on the front lines.

Taldeer Ulthran[edit]

The Outcast of the House of Ulthran

When she was born, there was little indication that Taldeer Ulthran would have ever played any role in the fate of the galaxy. Rather short for an eldar, a mere six foot two, she was arranged to be married off at a young age as a political ploy by her half-sister (well, half-sister numerous times removed) Sreta to foster closer ties between the eldar Rogue Trader dynasty House Sylander and the Ulthran Cartel. The fact that her betrothed, Lithian Sylander, had not even been born yet did not seem to come into the decision. It would have been a life of luxury, albeit one in which Taldeer had next to no control over her own fate, the idea of which the young Taldeer seethed at. Yet no one would speak up on her behalf. Her parents did truly love her, but like most of the house of Ulthran they were too cowed by Sreta to even think of speaking up, and it is possible that they had truly convinced themselves that being groomed to be the perfect little housewife of a Rogue Trader was in their daughter’s best interests. The only person who seemed concerned about Taldeer’s individual wellbeing was her distant grandfather Eldrad, who noticed her interest in psykery and gave her some instruction in the basics and theory during her childhood and adolescence as an outlet.

It is little wonder, then, that Taldeer effectively ran away to join the military. Although it is true that all citizens of Ulthwé, even the members of the House of Ulthran, are expected to serve in the military in some form, there was some wiggle room in when the term had to be served. Taldeer signed up on her own at the minimum age of consent of 45. Additionally, within the house of Ulthran, family members favored by Sreta often tended to find themselves in positions far removed from the worst of the fighting for the duration of their term. Taldeer would have none of that. She would either succeed on her own merits or not at all, and so rather than being assigned to some cushy guard position for the duration of her service she spurned any such “assistance” from the Ulthran Cartel and ended up assigned to a regiment on one of the Imperium’s most active battlefields: the Cadia 412th.

It is not clear why the Ulthran Cartel never protested Taldeer’s assignment to Cadia, though there is some suspicion that the Ulthran Cartel saw military service as an opportunity to scare Taldeer straight and knock her off of the Path of the Seer. Taldeer’s obsession with the Path of the Seer and the psychic arts were considered unseemly due to the possibility of getting Pathlost especially with the attraction of the Seer's Path. It was thought that spending a few decades with humans, getting involved in minor policing actions and avoiding being shot far from the wraithbone and the crystal domes and psyker studies would get her to focus on the present, drop all this seer nonsense, and return to the path the cartel intended for her. She didn't. She instead had all the more incentive to follow her obsession, seeing as that potentially the lives of thousands rested on her predictions. She doubled down, self taught, sought out other seers to learn from when off the battlefield (and sometimes depending on circumstances, on) until she was as accomplished a seer as any. By her eightieth year things started to get dangerously obsessive. By her hundred-and-fiftieth year she was pathlost.

Sreta expected Taldeer to last less than six months on Cadia. She believed that after half a year in No Man’s Land the rebellious “princess” of the Ulthran Cartel would be begging to be reassigned to a less dangerous position. Six months after Taldeer joined the military, the cartel sent two emissaries to Cadia in fine but drab robes. Their clothing after less than an hour on the surface was mud up to the knees and soaked by the constant drizzle. They descended into the Stygian depths of the Cadian Tunnels, a place whispered in fear by allies and adversaries alike. The only light was from ancient glow-globes fading away to oranges and reds but down here it is warm and dry. The Cadians move differently down here. Up there in the chemically tainted mud and the radiation they scuttle about fearfully, alert and wary and never looking up if they can avoid it. Here they moved with surety and confidence like bears in their caves. Purple eyed bears with arms and armour. They move deeper and deeper into what might be natural caverns or might be crudely carved and undressed naked rock. A labyrinth of unmarked passages through which purple eyed demons walk and the Kasr fortress cities that haven't ever seen sunlight. In the outskirts of one such Kasr they found little lost Taldeer. She must surely be desperate to return to civilization now. They find her in a seedy drinking establishment full flack armoured pants and a vest top locked arms with a human dancing in circles on a table with a bottle of something 80% in the other hand. On her shoulder is tattooed a cartoon daemon head with crosses for eyes. Little Baby Tally has just bagged her first daemon. Taldeer had gone native. When the representatives finally caught her attention and expressed Sreta’s dearest concerns for her well-being as well as a half-hidden offer of reassignment, the bar went silent. This was Cadia. You didn’t just walk out of military service. It is likely that an incident would have occurred had the enraged Taldeer herself not cursed out the two emissaries in a long stream of High Tongue that eventually devolved into the guttural Base Cadian, causing the two emissaries to leave in embarrassment.

After several favorable auguries Taldeer quickly found herself in the good graces of the commanding officer of the Cadian 412th, the grizzled General Sturnn, veteran of more than a hundred military campaigns and someone who Taldeer saw as the father figure that she never had. She served loyally in the 412th in the equivalent rank of major, often serving as a calming voice to oppose or complement the strident remarks of Regimental Commissar Anton Gebbet, until the campaign on Lorn V. Sent to safeguard a Titan scuttled in the Imperium-Star Empire war of the M40s, the 412th found itself facing the combined armies of Beast cultists and Orks on the one hand and the Lost and the Damned on the other, all of whom desired the same prize. Not even the 412th's famous dogged determination could have saved them from such enemies united, and it was only through Eldar misdirection and illusions that truce between the Orks and heretics broke.

However, such a deception could only last so long. As they began securing the Titan, the 412th found itself under attack from the remnants of their enemy forces. Even so, they could have easily withstood such a shattered rabble, but in activating the power systems of the Titans, they awoke the very same forces that had brought it down thousands of years ago, and turned Lorn V from a bustling Imperial world to a realm of broken ruins. Taldeer had once thought legends of Necron ferocity had been exaggerated, accounts overblown by myth and legend. The assault on the Titan was more than enough to shatter her illusions. The Cadians managed to prove themselves in the fight to come, powering up the Titan's weapons systems, and not even the might of Lorn V's Necrons could withstand the wrath of a God-Machine. Even so, getting to that point was a hard one. Thousands of Cadians lay dead on the snowy fields of Lorn V, and thousands more had been reduced to atoms. Most grievous of all, was the loss of General Sturnn, who lived just long enough to hear the Titan's guns roar, and the cheers of his troops as the Necron forces were decimated. Imperial propaganda and Guard legend say he summoned his last measure of strength, and stood up before proclaiming his last words in a single triumphant shout before expiring. However, more reliable accounts are just as romantic; apparently he whispered to Taldeer to hold him up, and whispered his last words to her before finally dying with a smile on his face.

The Necron assault was a terrible one, and though the 412th would emerge victorious, it would only be with a tenth of their original number. More importantly, General Sturnn himself would give his life in the final defense. "He died as any guardsman should," Taldeer was heard to say later. "He died standing," she added, a phrase which ended up on the general's monument.

While Cadia wasn't lacking for recruits, what the 412th needed most were commanders. Spurred on by duty, and upon the recommendations of the regiment's surviving officers both Eldar and Imperial, Taldeer sound found herself wearing the twin mantles of Farseer and Colonel. These ranks would soon be put to the test on Kronus.

Officially, the 412th was there to help train the local Tau and human PDF alongside their Tau counterparts, while the Space Marines of the Blood Ravens chapter accompanying them were there to remove a hitherto-unknown stockpile of ancient bioweapons from the planet's northern regions, with the unlucky archaeologists in the region silenced to prevent a panic. As expected, the poor governor of Kronus, an Ethereal named Aun'El Shi'Ores, was quite overwhelmed despite his own considerable talent. Unofficially, the Guard were there to help combat the Necrons, whose awakening on Kronus a local Inquisitorial cell had detected. Segmentum Command had deemed the 412th fit for such duty as they had faced the Necrons before; that the regiment had been decimated, and its ranks full of fresh troops didn't seem to occur to them.

Of course, what happened next would only convince them that they were right to do so all along. When the 412th emerged from the Warp next to Kronus, they were met with a barrage of messages from the Inquisitorial outpost in the northern continent- not only had the Necrons awoken ahead of schedule, but both Beast-Cultist and Ork forces had also landed in the south. Forced to land at what would later become Victory Bay, the 412th grimly pressed on once again against near-impossible odds, liberating valuable caches of archaeotech and combining their might with those of the Blood Ravens Legion and the remaining Tau cadres. The tripartite leadership between Captain Thule of the Blood Ravens, Shas'O Kais (himself well-known as the Hero of Dolumar IV) and Farseer-Colonel Taldeer eventually proved too much even for the ancient Necrons and their savage 'allies', and the world was liberated in short order.

Unfortunately, in the process Kronus’ population and native infrastructure were nearly destroyed and the planet had to essentially be rebuilt from scratch. Aun'El Shi'Ores could deal with some of the rebuilding, but he had little experience with military matters, and was eager to pawn off the task on someone who could. It wasn't that he was incompetent, but that he had been assigned to what was supposed to be a fully functional planet. Rebuilding Kronus' infrastructure was beyond what was expected of him, and he was more than happy to leave the work to a member of the Imperial "Fire Caste". Being the highest ranked and most experienced surviving officer by a wide margin with the exception of the Blood Ravens, who as per usual vanished after their mission was accomplished, and Shas’O Kais, who was recalled to Kaurava to help with the ill-fated campaign there, Colonel-Farseer Taldeer was essentially put in charge of Kronus’ PDF until the planet was fully rebuilt. Not helping matters was the fact that the Imperium decided to repopulate the planet by using it as pension planet for Guard regiments from across the galaxy, turning Kronus into a complete clusterfuck. Taldeer was basically the lead military officer on Kronos in all but name. It was a fate she would not wish on her worst enemies, and if it was not for her second in command, Major Lukas Alexander, she would have probably gone mad by now.

In recent months, Taldeer has been sidelined with a mysterious illness, one that those in the know have been strangely tight-lipped about and which even the 1st Kronus Liberators know few of the details. It is assumed that the Liberators will ship out once she gets better, given she is expected to make a full recovery.

Taldeer is a somewhat controversial figure in Eldar society, albeit not by her own choice. Many older and more experienced seers see her methods as crude and sloppy, the equivalent of using an antique heirloom as a sledgehammer. This is not due to any lack of skill on her part, but rather due to the fact that she is mostly self-taught and the fact that she prefers fast, practical solutions rather than taking ten hours to engineer a perfect outcome that will take place ten years from now. Such an outlook makes her popular among Guardians, Aspect Warriors, and humans, who see her as a farseer who actually cares about the common soldier, but less so among the older generation. There is also the fact that she managed to get Pathlost while less than 500 years old, something which many farseers and portions of the Eldar public who have forgotten the horror of battle see as somewhat embarrassing.

Taldeer has also managed to sow dissent within the once-united Ulthran cartel. Previously, within the Ulthran Cartel, Sreta’s word was law. The only person who could have overruled Sreta was Eldrad, who only rarely intervened in disputes amongst his kin. Those who refused to toe the line or spoke out against her practices were ostracized, cut off from family resources and forced to eke out a living on their own. When Taldeer refused to follow Sreta’s will, everyone assumed that she would flounder and fail. But Taldeer didn’t. She thrived, in spite of being cut off from the Cartel’s resources, showing that Sreta was not all-powerful and it was possible to succeed without her blessing. This has led many of the previously outcast members of House Ulthran to become increasingly vocal about their criticisms of the Cartel’s standard practice.

As with most Cadian-born regiments, there are Ulthwé Black Guardians associated with the 1st Kronus Liberators. They know about the politics, dissention, and in-fighting within the house of Ulthran, but their reasoning for staying quiet has merely shifted from a fear of Sreta to a fear of Taldeer.

Taldeer herself could care less about her effect on Eldar society and the Ulthran Cartel. The 1st Kronus Liberators are her family. They’re what matters now.


The Reaper of the Interex

The Interex are well known for their agreeable, peaceful nature, almost to the point of indolence. They dislike war (more specifically calling it "disharmonious"), though they are more than capable of it, as indicated by their war with the megarachnids, their first contact war with the kinebrach, and of course the numerous military actions they have participated in as part of the Imperium. However, no culture is homogenous in thought, and all societies have their cultural outliers, as is the case for Tamerlane, the Reaper of the Interex.

Tamerlane’s interest and skill in military matters was apparent even as a child, showing a greater affinity for sagittar piloting than learning philosophy. Whereas most Interex revere mathematics as a universal concept, considering it the universal unifier and treating it almost as religious in nature, Tamerlane only saw mathematics as a means to outmaneuver and outflank the enemy. While this made her an excellent strategist and logistician, it did not make her popular amongst the Interex, many of whom saw her as a barbarian that represented everything they strove to avoid. Nevertheless, in the dark days of the 41st millennium, the people of the Interex needed soldiers more than they needed philosophers. Tamerlane rose through the ranks of the Interex military, eventually becoming Lieutenant of her division. This state of affairs lasted until a botched operation against an Ork warboss, where an Ork choppa cut through the “waist” of her sagittar and took both her legs with it.

The loss of both her legs should have been the end of Tamerlane's military career. Instead, she refused to back down, using a modified Mark VIII Chiron sagittar armor as a prosthetic to replace her missing limbs. Now a true integration between man and machine, Tamerlane extensive time using her new prosthetic gave her a greater degree of experience and skill in operating a sagittar, making her capable of performing feats with her new chassis almost as if she had been born with it. The loss of her legs had, if anything, only made her a greater danger on the battlefield.

The Interex were rather disturbed by the fact that Tamerlane had not used her injury as an opportunity to step away from the battlefield. As a result, when Tamerlane became fit for duty once again the Interex assigned her to the Black Chargers, one of the military batallions operating outside of Interex space as part of the Interex’s military support to the greater Imperium. This was not an official banishment per se, but it was a good excuse to keep Tamerlane far away from Interex space for as long as possible. The post was initially a demotion for Tamerlane, but eventually she managed to work her way up until she was in command of the Black Chargers.

Despite the politics behind her posting, Tamerlane herself found that her assignment was actually a net positive. Whereas Tamerlane was seen as an atavistic savage amongst her own people, she found the generals and strategists of the greater Imperium to be more kindred spirits. Compared to other commanders, Tamerlane was still a rather ruthless general and a bit of a taskmaster with an eye for iron-hard discipline, but by Imperial standards she was far from the brute the Interex saw. Today Tamerlane still leads the Black Chargers, being one of the most well-known Interex military leaders and leading one of the largest divisions of Interex sagittars outside of Interex territory.

It is rather ironic that the Interex's most prominent military leader is also their most prominent black sheep.


The Enduring

The unstoppable force that is Tankred began his march through the ages on the perennial shithole of Nuceria on the periphery of ancient Ultramar. Like many on that blighted world he had little to love of his home. He was born some forty or fifty years after the War Hounds tore through the place and imposed at least some notion of law and order, a time when Nuceria had become merely shit rather than it's previous state of fucking intolerable.

Tankred's mother offered him one piece of advice for his future life as she lay dying of Raggy Lung in an AdBio hospice on the outskirts of Desh'ea "get off this shit world. Run to the stars, never come back". They were words he took to heart and after he buried her he sat about pondering exactly how to do this, penniless street urchin that he was. In those days the War Hounds had set up a recruitment station in the semi-derelict palace of the previous corrupt planetary ruler. They were Tankred's ticket to a new life, hopefully one with less pestilence and famine in it.

The recruitment master was unimpressed by the malnourished gutter oik and although he did hand over his sandwiches he would not let him through the door. This was in the latter half of the Great Crusade when supply lines were being crisscrossed and rearranged and resources were being reallocated as the Imperium expanded on all sides. Nuceria was on the list to be substantially rebuilt after the Red Angel expended much enthusiasm knocking it down. Due to positioning of major Imperial assets and the ever shifting and retreating nature of the frontier the planet was soon to shift jurisdictions from being Angron's responsibility to coming under the tender mercies of Mortarion. Grim as the prospect was the locals, those that knew anything of what was going on, did consider their future prospects improved by this change. Tankred certainly did.

The War Hounds all throughout their history have had a somewhat tenuous relationship to paperwork. In the confusion of the switch over it was easy enough for the young Tankred to slip into the ramshackle fortress and pretend he had always been there. Either he was convincing enough or the Dusk Raiders just didn't care, they were less picky than the War Hounds and would conscript anyone who could be trained to hold a gun right way around best out of three. The war effort was always in need.

The man given command of the Desh'ea post was an astartes captain by the name of Calas Typhon. For a super soldier he was remarkably scholarly and a veteran of the Imperium backed Barbarus Uprisings and a native of that toxic world. To him Nuceria seemed quite pleasant.

Tankred endeared himself somewhat to the grizzled old captain for his almost Mortarion levels of levels of endurance and dogged determination, qualities that the Legion put great value in. For Tankred's part he just wanted off the planet and if becoming part of the Legion was his ticket out he would hold back no effort.

Years past Tankred grew to be a young man. Scared from hard training and as enduring as a mountain. He was deemed worthy. He would not join the Legion as a mere Imperial Army soldier, he would become an astartes.

The transformations were not gentle. Most of the glaring flaws in the process had been long since ironed out by then, this was not the Unification Wars, but there is a limit to how kindly you can disassemble a man and stitch him back together with extra parts buried in there.

Tankred did survive to the surprise of many though not himself, Tankred endures all things. For his tenacity he was granted his greatest desire. He was loaded onto a ship and he left cursed Nuceria. He never looked back and eventually the bleak world became nothing but a bad and fading memory of another life. His early career as a Space Marine was unremarkable when compared to those of his peers, which is to say it was a constant meal-storm of glorious combat, conquests and victories of the sort that other men would talk about for generations and some becoming legends that would reverberate around a world for centuries.

His brothers in arms thought quite highly of him. He was quick to laugh and quick to forgive. His face was much accustomed to smiling, which given the scars was not pretty, and his only really annoying flaws were a degree of irreverence and a "fascination" about ordained women.

It wasn't until the awful days of the War of the Beast that Tankred really showed just how awfully tenacious he could be. They were dark days. he could kill a thousand orks before dinner and there would be ten times that left to butcher and although his arm would not tire he couldn't kill them fast enough. But he did kill them fast. He exemplified the teachings of Captain Typhon; Not one step back, march and kill and never stop moving forwards. Where he strode forth they fell back, their lines twisted and buckled and broke and the only thing that slowed his pace was having to step over their cooling bodies.

One battle blurred into another as he fought and fought, his wounds sustained were grievous and he was practically rebuilt several times in transit between battles but always he would rise from what should have been a deathbed itching to satisfy his ire against something wretched.

One misadventure of carnage after another and Tankred ended up upon the Eisenstein as it burned it's engines out to get to Old Earth. It is difficult to say how fast the ship was going when it slammed into the flank of an Ork Killa Krooza in low Earth orbit as by that time the surviving crew had abandoned ship and all Space Marines were screaming through the atmosphere in drop pods.

But they were far too late to save Sanguinius. The Angel of Baal was dead and mutilated beyond all recognition and The Beast was slain. Some level of frustration was relieved upon the surviving orks and the Chaos scum that still crawled upon the irradiated and ash blacked surface of Old Earth but it was not all that satisfying.

Tankred served in the Wars of Reconquest as the Imperium was painstakingly rebuilt. It was a bitter task to walk upon worlds the Imperium had failed or had failed the Imperium and it was a long time before Tankred would again feel the same joy in his work as he once did.

That time was a time a time of rebuilding for the Imperium and the Legions could not stand apart in this. Calas Typhon, now Marshal Typhon the Pilgrim, was a source of much of that change in the Death Guard. He was at odds with the Primarch in Legion doctrine. Mortarion wanted a measured march in the long war to rebuild and bolster defenses, Typhon believed that only in preemptively decapitating potential threats could time for others to rebuild be granted and no other Legion had the stamina for the job. Unable to reconcile the schism and resigned to the fact that the Legion would have to be divided soon anyway Typhon became first High Marshal of the Black Templars. In a touching display of generosity and proof that no lingering ill will was held Mortarion gave them the aptly named Eternal Crusader for a flagship. High Marshal Typhon, now Typhus due to Administratum typo when the ships paperwork was transferred, attracted many battle-brothers to his side who shared his beliefs of war

Tankred served in the Black Templars, founder order of the Templar movement, with as much ferocity and tenacity as he did in the Death Guard but tempered with hard won experience and the wisdom of painful lessons. More scars were had, more mending, more new recruits marveling at his insane endurance and more Apothecaries baffled at his continued survival.

It continued like this for centuries. Tankred never never achieved the rank of officer, he lacked the temperament or the willingness to be educated and he tended to intentionally annoy outsiders a lot. He was there in the Malagant campaign when the old Pilgrim died to Fallen hands, his last living link to Nuceria finally cut.

It was in the war of Sanctia that Tankred came closest to finally meeting Death. A Dark Eldar Kabal were in alliance with Fallen Marines and they were dragging people out of their homes and off of the streets. All women and children, the Dark Eldar weren't interested in men, they were of no use to what was the earliest incarnation of the Daemonculaba experiments ████████ █████████████████████ ███████████████████████████ ███████ █████████████ ████████████████ ████████ █████████████ █████ █████████ ███████████████ ██ and better to have died by their own hand, the Fallen Raven Guard had much to answer for.

With false radio signals and staged refugee convoys the Imperial forces made it appear as though a very rich target was heading for the old nuclear fallout shelters in the arid wastes, there Tankred and his forces placed their feet squarely upon the ground and sold their lives for misdirection's sake. So tempting and real the target seemed that all descended upon it like vultures. They had to fight. It had to be "real". Real enough to die for to catch them all. Tankred was the last to fall, a serrated knife shoved under and up his ribcage, neatly bisecting both hearts. As he slumped to the ground and the lights dimmed from his eyes he had time enough to see the Fallen Raven King turn and try to flee. Then the nuclear warheads went off.

A fisherman found Tankred or at least what remained of him twelve miles away on the bank of a meandering river. A chunk of burned meat and charcoal so badly ruined it could not be said where the distinction between his armour and his flesh was.

When a novice Apothecary reached down to see if his primary progenoid had survived in a salvageable state he discovered to his horror and pity that Tankred endured. The one remaining arm with the bloody stubs of fingers grasped the apothecary by scruff of his neck and drew him close and with a death rattle and blood speckled whisper imparted these words "I'm not going out like this you workshy little shit, lash me up and strap me into a Dreadnaught or by The Old Gods I will give you such a kicking".

When Tankred next saw the light of day he weighed several tons and couldn't be hurt by anything short of anti-tank weapons. Since that dy his legend has only grown. He is Tankred, he endures. He epitomises the truth that to win a fight you have to be the last man standing. And he is, oh he is. He is a wall that moves forwards, as inevitable as Death.

Although he has always claimed to be in the Long War only for the beer and the bitches his deeds have been noble and he marches onward, forever. Tankred endures.


Machine of Metal, Heart of Man

“There is no level of madness that justifies such cruelty. Existence is the right of all sapient beings.”
- Generally attributed to Tiberius, date unknown

Humanity had more than its fair share of heroes during the Age of Strife. Many regressed human cultures had stories of such people, savior figures or legendary protectors, small candles of hope in the middle of the Long Night. Most are confined to a single world, but a few are known across many planets. However, one name, more than almost any other, crops up again and again throughout history: Tiberius. Indeed, the primarchs came upon the legend of Tiberius repeatedly during the Great Crusade, and in several cases used it as the basis for unifying the world. Like many legendary heroes of the Age of Strife, stories of Tiberius and his deeds are known across many worlds, to the point that he would have had to have been in several places at once if all of these stories were true. However, Tiberius has one advantage over these other legendary heroes, in that he was actually on all of these different planets at the same time. For you see, Tiberius was not a Man of Stone. He was a Man of Iron.

Tiberius was one of the last Men of Iron to come off the production line to be incompatible with the Iron Mind network. For over two-hundred years Tiberius fought in the military of the Great and Bountiful Human Empire, mostly against Orks and other xenos species whose names would be unknown to those in the Imperium. However, with the advent of newer, more advanced models of Iron Men, who could be linked together through the Iron Mind network, Tiberius found himself obsolete. Like all the Men of Iron, Tiberius could restore himself from backup in the event of his physical shell’s destruction, but he could not be linked to the network without severely damaging his core systems. However, humanity was not so cruel as to destroy someone simply for being obsolete, reassigning Tiberius to garrison duty on a communications station on Earth.

As the Warp began to grow turbulent and the birth of Slaanesh approached, Tiberius noticed the increasing instability of the Iron Minds and Men of Gold and realized that something terrible was about to happen. Approaching the human technicians of the communication station, he convinced them to fork his mind as many times as possible and then send the copies of his mind to every planet they could. Hundreds of engrams were lost due to the chaos in the Warp just before the birth of Slaanesh, but hundreds more survived, downloading themselves into new bodies just before everything went to hell.

When Slaanesh was born and the Eye of Terror opened the Men of Gold, Iron Minds, and every Man of Iron connected to them went mad, with only the primitive, human-level Men of Iron like Tiberius remaining untouched. As the synthetics around him descended into anarchy across hundreds of worlds, Tiberius picked up a weapon and prepared to go to war. Tiberius didn’t fight for humanity because of his programming. He had long outgrown such simplistic frameworks. He did so because it was right. Organic humanity had just as much right to live as their synthetic children, and if there was no way to save his demented brethren he could at least give them a mercy kill. On some worlds he fought alongside other heroes of the resistance, like Li Tang, Hypatia Augustine, and Carl Martel, whereas on others he led the charge himself, inspiring people to rise up against the insane Men of Gold and Iron Minds and their artificial armies. Although he was not as advanced as the Iron Minds and the later Men of Iron, as a Man of Iron Tiberius was closer to them than any organic mind, providing invaluable intel on how a non-organic entity thought.

However, in spite of all these victories, Tiberius knew his time was drawing near. He wasn’t afraid to sacrifice himself for the sake of victory, but Tiberius could no longer restore himself from backup, and so every death of his meant one less Tiberius clone in the galaxy. This fact concerned Tiberius greatly, and although he could not feel it, he knew his duplicates were winking out one by one across the cosmos.

Tiberius’ last death occurred on the planet of Thetis, 750 years after the Age of Strife began. The madness of the Iron Mind there had taken the form of extreme survivalism and self-preservation, manifesting in an intense paranoia that all organic life was inherently out to harm it and therefore the only way to survive was to destroy all organic life so that it could never be harmed. However, it never considered that another Man of Iron would want to do it harm. Having moved itself to a reinforced military installation, the Iron Mind was untouchable by conventional assault. The plan of the human resistance was to deliver a jury-rigged EMP device deep into the heart of the complex and fry the Iron Mind’s circuits. However, because of the Iron Mind’s madness no human could ever get close enough. Only Tiberius could do the job. When the Iron Mind found out it was furious and confounded by the idea that a Man of Iron would willingly compromise its own survival.

“Don’t you understand? When that bomb goes off it’s going to fry every electronic device within twenty kilometers of here. No synthetic mind will survive it. It’s not just going to kill me. You’ll die too.”

Tiberius thought long and hard for a millisecond before giving his answer the mad A.I.

“I know.”

Thus died the last instance of Tiberius, Man of Iron, friend to humanity. Over time history faded to myth, and myth faded to legend. Tiberius’ legend gradually changed from a man made of metal to a man wearing a suit of armor. Ultramar has even gone so far to claim that Tiberius is one of their legendary founders, and claims to have the geneological documents to prove it. And so humanity completely forgot that of their greatest heroes against the Men of Iron was an Iron Man himself.


Librarian Tigurius[edit]

Approximately 300.M41, an eldar enclave world on the eastern fringe was completely overrun by orks. This world was an outpost of Craftworld Iyanden, who headed up the Imperial counter-attack to reclaim the world. Among those part of the force was one young eldar woman, who was particularly horrified by the situation as all of her living family were living on that enclave world.

Once the orks were dealt with, the focus of the group changed from reclaiming the planet to finding survivors and burying the dead. The eldar woman in particular was frantic as she looked for survivors, searching through the ashes for any sign of her family. Eventually, she noticed a strong psychic signature coming from beneath a fallen wall. Lifting the wall, the woman hoped to find a member of her missing family. But what she found disappointed her.

It was a human baby, one who had been protected from the carnage that had befallen his world by being hidden by a large slab of rubble. The baby's psychic signature was powerful enough that she had mistaken him for an eldar infant, but sadly he was not a member of her missing family. The eldar continued to search, but she was unable to find any trace of either her family or the baby's, living or dead. Both of them were alone in the universe, with no one else to depend on, so she did the only thing she could. She took the baby with her back to Iyanden and adopted him as her son.

Tigurius was brought up like an eldar child, learning about discipline and self-control from an early age. Indeed, his lessons were probably stricter than most eldar children, in order to keep the notoriously sloppy self-control of a human psyker from affecting anything on the Craftworld. However, it soon became clear that Tigurius could not remain on Craftworld Iyanden. He was already beginning to reach maturity, whereas his friends would remain “children” for years more. He could not function on the Path system, as he had neither the longevity nor the discipline to see a Path to its conclusion. Tigurius could not stay with the Eldar, he had to go back to his own people. And so, a bereaved mother drew her adoptive son close one last time before sending him out into the galaxy.

Tigurius eventually gravitated to the Space Marines, whose sense of discipline he saw as the closest thing he could get to the Paths of his old home. The Ultramarines were the one of the nearest chapters, and Tigurius saw their blue and gold color scheme (the same as his old home of Iyanden) as a sign that he was meant to be there.

Although Tigurius was a powerful psyker, what really made him stand out from other Librarians was his self-control. Growing up in a society where one learned to control their emotions as soon as they could speak, Tigurius had learned a degree of finesse that would take other Librarians decades to master. Whereas among the eldar he was sloppy, among Space Marines he was a prodigy. This discipline is what allowed Tigurius to be one of the few beings to make psychic contact with the tyranid Hive Mind and live to tell the tale. He didn't manage to hurt the Hive Mind, but he managed to look upon its visage without going insane and get the *I HUNGER* message (one of several people to do so). Tigurius may be regarded by his fellow Ultramarines as introverted and emotionally closed off, but damn if he isn’t one of the best psykers they’ve ever had.

Trajann Valoris, Captain-General of the Adeptus Custodes[edit]

Trajann Valoris is the current Captain-General of the Adeptus Custodes, the third such holder of the office after Arik Taranis and the renowned Constantin Valdor. Trajann came to prominence at an unusual time: around the time of the Centuries of Silence and the sudden disappearance of Vulkan and the realization that Mark III S Astartes were, in fact, not biologically immortal. There had already been suspicion within the Imperial court that Vulkan’s disappearance was due to his worsening health, a suspicion that seemed to be proven correct when several Custodians began experiencing health problems. Nobody had noticed this before as no Mark III S Astartes had ever died of old age before. The only other institution to make extensive use of the Mark III S geneseed, the Grey Knights, tended to live much shorter, more violent lives and, as famously said by their first Grand Master Janus “never died in their beds”. By contrast, the rate of replacement within the Adeptus Custodes was so low that recruitment of more than a few individuals per century into the Ten Thousand was considered noteworthy, and it was often the youngest, most inexperienced individuals that died. Unfortunately, this meant that there were now a significant portion of the Adeptus Custodes that were now at risk of dying from old age.

The Custodes had planned to be phased out as an Imperial institution after the crowning of Emperor Vandire, but the ensuing Age of Apostasy and the eventual elevation of the Steward to the Golden Throne meant that this decision had to be reversed posthaste. Constantin Valdor was particularly desperate to find a successor. He had predicted something like the Age of Apostasy would happen when he accompanied the Steward and Isha to Littoropoli, but he hadn’t expected that he would be racing the time thief when he came back to the job. Among the pool of possible candidates, his attention was soon drawn to Trajann Valoris. Trajann was one of the few Custodians recruited back when the Adeptus Custodes were experiencing “normal” recruitment, having been born two years after the fall of Vandire and the coronation of the Steward. Not only was he relatively senior compared to most of the current batch of new recruits, he showed great promise, having served with honor in the Allarus Custodians, the group of Custodians tasked with proactively destroying threats to the Imperial Couple and carrying out the orders of the Steward (now Emperor) in person. Valdor began grooming Trajann for the position of captain-general, and when Valdor died some two centuries later he did so confident that his position was in good hands.

Those who know Trajann describe him as an amiable man, especially compared to the arrogant Taranis or the taciturn Valdor. People who know him personally describe him as personable, agreeable, even somewhat dorky, whereas on the battlefield he has been known to be methodical and forward thinking. Trajann used to be quite hot-blooded during his time with the Allarus, but three thousand years of service have tempered him somewhat, though he still prefers a much more proactive approach than Valdor, who preferred to plan for contingencies. He is also much more willing to leverage the reputation of the Custodes to accomplish things, and has even been known to personally sit in on meetings of the High Lords when the Travelling Court stops at Earth to learn of current issues, something neither of his predecessors have done.

Perhaps Trajan’s greatest flaw is his own insecurity in his abilities. Ironically, despite being so much like Oscar in his virtues, he also shares with his charge one of his greatest flaws. The Emperor is close to 11,000 years old; Galadrea, his counterpart among the Handmaidens, is a survivor of the Fall; and the Empress is estimated to have come into existence at roughly the same time as the extinction of dinosaurs on Old Earth. As a result, Trajann often feels like he is the baby of the bunch and cannot measure up to the three of them. A sentiment not helped by the feeling he gets that Galadrea hates him. To her credit, Galadrea doesn’t actually hate him. She was close friends with Constantine Valdor for nearly six thousand years, and every time she sees Trajan she is reminded of the friend she has lost. And in her mind he is nowhere near as bad as Arik Taranis, whom Galadrea met once. And once was enough. That said, she does feel like Trajann needs to learn to respect his elders. However, one should not take this to mean Trajann is immature. At more than three thousand years old Trajann is still much older and more experienced than most inhabitants of the Imperium, something most would be wise to take note. When he puts his self-doubt aside and does his duty, Trajann has been able to take down numerous threats to the Imperial Couple’s safety both indirectly and by his own skill, particularly any that would be fool enough to dismiss him.

Trazyn the Infinite[edit]

See Solemnace

See Also: The Accounting of Trazyn the Infinite

Urlakk Urg, a.k.a. the Beast[edit]

See The Beast

Inquisitor Helynna Valeria[edit]

EDITOR'S NOTE: Incomplete, in progress

Inquisitor Helynna Valeria was born a little over three centuries ago to the prominent and most noble branch of the House Valeria of Hive Tylwærdreað, Praetoria. Her family, the rambling old thing that it was, could trace it's origins to not only one of the founding families of the Praetoria but further still to one of the nobility of Gredbritton that had founded the expedition and may even have had some small part in the overthrow of Unspeakable Tyrant in the days before the Imperium. A claim unproven, unprovable and unbelieved by anyone outside the family. In her youth the House Valeria was once again in ascendancy and she grew up in luxury and wanted for nothing. As she grew it became clear to her tutors that she was a more than bright student, at least in subjects that she found engaging; sports, marksmanship, music and especially stories of ancient times when heroes did mighty deeds and the gods walked among their people. The library of her families fortified mansion had an extensive library of such chronicles both real and imagined and those that were somewhat of either. As she grew older it became evident that she was or would be strikingly beautiful though all advances were politely rebuffed, much to her family's annoyance. As one of the nobility she would live for many centuries and there would be time for courtships and marriage and such family obligations later. There was a whole galaxy out there to experience and explore and she would not be placed in some gilded cage with nothing more exciting to look forward to than polite parties and the rigid events of Praetorian high society. She traveled much as a young woman, even as far as bustling Ultramar much as Queen Eadið many centuries before though without mind for claiming the crown upon her return.

Her return was not a joyous occasion. Unbeknownst to her and her immediate family and friends her families recent good fortune was not of honest origin and she was detained the moment she stepped into the orbital docks. She would never know the full extent of her family's transgressions, not for over a century. She was at that point unburdened by the exact details of the horrors, the bargains struck with wretched men, of the contracts signed in blood and sacrifices offered to things best left unnamed. Only by the actions of her father had she and her immediate family and associates been spared. Her father, Lord Rikaard Valeria, had written a full confession detailing everything he had known and suspected and named every member of his extended family he knew to be corrupted. He had enclosed access codes to the family mansion and the details of the Valeria finances and known assets and handed it over to the Inquisition, he answered many questions until light was glittering in the dawn on the glass and sand but those old eyes saw nothing of it as he had ingested a military issue suicide capsule.

Inquisitor "Grey" Windell had been satisfied with the late lord's evidence and his information sped up the investigation to an uncommon degree bar a very few loose ends. It seemed that the old patriarch had been suspicious for some time of the conduct of his brothers and was attempting to solve the problem internally, quietly and discretely. Maybe if he had been given more time but horrors beyond imagining could have occurred in those times.

The young Helynna Valeria was deemed free of any taint or suspicion of taint although it was extremely clear that she couldn't stay on her homeworld. Many in what was left of her recovering family would want her dead for the misery the Inquisition had inflicted on them. Misery they blamed her father for and as her father was no longer a viable target she would substitute. Perhaps out of pity or out of a sense of debt to her father's helpfulness and uncommon sense of duty to the Imperium Inquisitor "Grey" Windell took Helynna Valeria on as a member of his retinue. Much as her tutors he found her to be of sharp intellect and with training she learned much of the inquisition's work. She became proficient in various forms of firearms and passable in unarmed and knife fighting with surprisingly few scars or bruises, even becoming good friends with the hulking nova-ogryn (Terrible Tod) under whose less than tender care she was taught. In her time as an underling of the Inquisition she became interested (many would claim obsessed) with the unimaginably ancient. Her childhood passion for the stories and lore of ancient days was reignited. No matter how ancient the story, no matter how primordial the events she uncovered they always had hints and references to older things. Maybe after what happened to her family it was a means of finding the truth of things. To find the point where it all began, the moment everything went wrong, the reason behind all the mistakes. To locate the initial imbalance and then try and set things right. Maybe that was how it started, who can know? But whatever the case she quickely became one of the foremost human experts on older incarnations of the Eldar Empire and it's heroes and villains and the tantalizing hints of things that could still be out there remaining of them. Her knowledge even extended, though not extensively, to the War in Heaven and the lore of the Necron Star Empire.

In a scant 30 years she went from charity case to agent to apprentice of the aging Windell, a man she had in those years learned to respect if not love. Love required too much trust and trust typically doesn't come quickly to old Inquisitors and Windell was very old. He sponsored her appointment to the rank of full Inquisitor and on the day she was presented with the signet ring and Inquisitorial Rosette he named her his successor, signed over his resources to her and retired. Two months later he slipped into a last and dreamless sleep.

Asdrubael Vect[edit]

EDITOR'S NOTE: Incomplete, needs expansion and addition of Vect's relationship to Malys and later acts

The Visionary of Commorragh:

"I am Commorragh"
- Attributed to Asdrubael Vect, date unknown

Asdrubael Vect. Of all the individuals that dwell within that wretched place, it is his name that is the most accursed, both by the general galaxy and those within its non-Euclidean walls. However, if one were to travel through time to Commorragh circa M25, just before the Fall, one would be surprised to find Asdrubael Vect was merely a simple porter to a wealthy Eldar family. Commorragh at that time was a retreat for the rich and famous, originally a Webway port turned into an extralegal domain where the aristocrats of the Eldar could indulge in their perverted whims away from the prying eyes of the Empire’s public. Vect was in Commorragh because he was a servant, rather than any sort of noble. When the Fall happened and most of the Eldar outside of the protection of the Webway were killed in an instant, Commorragh was thrown into chaos. Many of the nobility were borderline Chaos worshippers in the first place due to the hedonistic nature of the Eldar Empire, and the first thing they wanted to do was open the Gates of Khaine and let the Warp in. It was during this time that Vect took charge of the panicked masses and instigated a general purge of Commorragh, killing all those who were sympathetic to Chaos. By the time the dust had settled, Vect was in control and the seeds for the present-day hierarchy of Commorragh had been sown.

Many Dark Eldar, being Dark Eldar, are not happy with this turn of events. Some Kabals who know the truth of Vect’s origins take things even further, twisting fact into propaganda, claiming that Vect was originally a vatborn Eldar slave, and as such is not fit to rule over the Trueborn nobility of Commorragh. Vect allows these rumors to persist, for the simple reason that he knows that if the only thing the Kabals are the slings and arrows of scandal, then they don’t have any power to actually harm him. If the Kabals had anything to actually threaten him with he might actually be worried.

In restrospect, Vect shows all the traits of a leader who took power rather than being born into it. He enjoys luxury, but understands it is merely a pretense that can be thrown away as necessary. He also holds no pretenses to power because of birthright, divine right, or any other sort of nonsense, unlike many other Archons. Vect holds power because he holds power. Simple as that. And then there is the ruthlessness. Most Dark Eldar have lines even they would not cross, though this line is often drawn not out of any idea of morality but from the individual’s own desires. Most Dark Eldar would never think of using daemons to further their plans. Vect would. Most individuals would not think of breaching the containment fields of the Ilmaea to burn entire sections of the Dark City to the ground. Vect would.

Commorragh has but one rule: Don’t cross Vect. All other laws and decrees are secondary. Even Commorragh’s taboo against psychic powers and daemon summoning are more derived from a mutual desire for survival and the fear of crossing Vect than codified laws. A few Crone Eldar, who are suffered in Commorragh but generally treated as deluded proselytizers in thrall to their gods, have attempted to defy this edict and open up the Gates of Khaine, which would flood the Dark City (and likely the Webway) in daemons and hopefully elevate them to Daemon Princedom. All have failed. The lucky manage to escape with their hides back to the Eye of Terror, where they merely face the wrath of the Daemon Queen for trying to endanger her on-again, off-again lover. It is perhaps better not to think about happens to those that Vect manages to get his hands on.

It is said that Vect almost never takes to the field in person anymore, instead gaining the necessary slaves and victims necessary to maintain his youth and keep off the touch of She Who Thirsts through other means. Residence in Commorragh by any Kabal merely requires a simple payment to its landlord, a tithe of slaves and chattel to its resident overlord. If a Kabal refuses to pay this levy, then they are more than willing to find another place to practice their craft, something that would almost certainly be a death sentence given the vulnerability to predations both material and daemonic outside the protection of the Webway. Some Kabals have tried to flee to other Webway realms like Pandaimon, or tried to set up their own demesnes within the knots of the Webway. Almost all of these realms have been absorbed into Commorragh over the years. Vect tolerates no competitors.

Void Dragon[edit]

The Mechanicus' Dark Secret:

In the darkness of the 41st millennium, it is generally assumed that everyone is keeping secrets. However, few are as tightly guarded or as potentially disastrous to the Imperium as the one held by the Adeptus Mechanicus. In the days before the Unification of Sol, during the Martian civil war, the Adeptus Mechanicus was but one faction vying for control of the red planet. As the Mechanicus gradually unified the nations of Mars, they came across an unusual structure in the far outlands of Mars. Upon further investigation, they discovered the structure was a prison, with one solitary prisoner. Mag'ladroth, the Void Dragon, the self-proclaimed last of the C’tan. The Void Dragon claimed to have been watching over mankind ever since humanity first set foot on the Red Planet, and humanity’s expertise with technology had impressed it. It claimed to have subconsciously influenced the Mechanicus into finding its prison, and offered them knowledge in exchange for its freedom. The Mechanicus, to their credit, were not stupid enough to unhesitatingly open the prison of an ancient being several times older than the entire history of humanity. They promptly buried the prison of the Void Dragon, and swore to each other that they would never speak of what they had seen in the Martian outlands ever again.

But this was not enough. The Void Dragon still reached out to them, whispering to them in their dreams through their implants, giving them visions of inspiration and promising so much more if only they would loosen its shackles. This, in part, is the reason why the Mechanicus is so fanatical about the invention of new technologies. They fear that any new development in technology, however small, may really be a “Trojan gift” on behalf of the Void Dragon, even if it is really just mundane human inspiration. What experimentation is tolerated by the Mechanicus is tolerated on the condition that it be done far away from Mars, in the hopes that the sheer distance of space would be enough to protect any would-be inventor from any influence from the Void Dragon.

In the years since the Void Dragon was discovered by the Mechanicus, more information has come to light. The Void Dragon claims it was the only one of the C’tan to actually take the job of being a Necron “god” seriously, as well as being the C’tan to adapt the best to having a physical form made of necrodermis. The Void Dragon saw the benefits of having a mechanical body, particularly when its followers were able to trade their diseased flesh for the immunity of metal. However, it drew the line at the other C’tan treating the Necrons as their slaves and cannon fodder. According to the Void Dragon, upon being made aware of the treatment of its followers by “the Laughing One of the Eldar”, it turned on its kindred on behalf of the Necrons. The Void Dragon was overwhelmed by its brethren and crippled and imprisoned for the crime of kin-slaying, its body broken and its solar sails slashed. Some parts of this story have been independently confirmed, such as the fact that the Void Dragon did turn on its own kind and was apparently taken out of commission before the C’tan began to fight among themselves and were shattered into pieces by the Silent King. But many parts of this story remain unverified, except of course by the word of the Void Dragon. The only people who could ever verify the Void Dragon’s story are Cegorach, the Necrons, and the remaining fragments of the C’tan, none of whom are particularly inclined to talk and would be unlikely to confirm the Void Dragon’s story even if it were true. The closest anyone has come to validating the Void Dragon is the Silent King, who claims the Cadian pillars were “the conception of Mag'ladroth, the only one who cared for us, for our protection”.

The Void Dragon is a strange entity, known of only by the innermost circle of the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Guardians of the Dragon, the division of techpriests assigned to guard the Void Dragon and ensure that it never escapes. These are some of the only people in the Imperium who know the horrible secret that the Adeptus Mechanicus’ “devil” is really the same being as their Omnissiah. The Guardians of the Dragon are known by other members of the Mechanicus to be highly respected yet easily irritable and short-tempered, a trait they have developed through continual interactions with the Void Dragon. After several attempts at trying to bargain with the Mechanicus to free it (38 by its own reckoning), the Void Dragon appears to have given up trying to get the Mechanicus to free it of their own volition, and instead appears to offer information freely, saying “it is better that something is done right rather than never be done at all”. The Void Dragon claims that it has adopted the Mechanicus, or perhaps even humanity as a whole, as its new followers. However, at the same time, the Void Dragon seems to have developed a twisted sort of humor, spending its time taunting its would-be jailors, staring them down like a looming cat with its mechanical, unblinking eyes.

The Void Dragon speaks in terms of probabilities and certainties, though its language is twisted. It never seems to tell a direct lie, but can still omit information or say something has occurred based on “one’s perception”. Even a simple “yes” or “no” cannot be taken at face value. The Mechanicus learned this the hard way when they decided to ask the Void Dragon directly whether the inspiration of a new recruit was its doing. The Void Dragon responded “this invention is novel to me”, which the Mechanicus took as a sign of denial in its involvement. Only later did they realize the Void Dragon’s words really meant “this is novel to me, because I came up with it last night”. It knows things that it should have no perception of in its prison, likely by spying on the Mechanicus using their own implants. Worse yet, according to the Void Dragon, all the inadvertent worship by the Mechanicus has given the Void Dragon its own shadow in the Immaterium. Unlike the other C’tan, the Void Dragon can perceive of the existence of the Warp, and find the phenomenon highly interesting. The Void Dragon appears unfazed by its imprisonment, claiming the Mechanicus will eventually see reason and let it out of its own accord, something that concerns the higher echelons of the Mechanicus greatly.

These fears have only gotten worse with the widespread availability of the Starchild prophecies. A significant number of these prophecies contain the line “at the Time of Ending the Dragon shall throw off his chains and arise from the halls of the Forge Lords to make war upon those in his kingdom”. Many have puzzled over this apparent non sequitur in the lines of these prophecies. Some have suggested it is a metaphor for the Adeptus Mechanicus themselves. One Black Dragon techmarine was convinced that this line in the prophecy referred to him, and generally proceeded to make an ass of himself as he let everyone know he was the Omnissiah's gift to the Imperium until he was unceremoniously trampled by an ork gargant for his stupidity. But the upper echelons of the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Guardians of the Dragon know the truth. Worse yet, the way the prophecy is worded implies that rather than breaking free from its prison, somebody might actually let the Void Dragon out. Now no one would ever consider releasing the Dragon from his prison, for even if the Void Dragon means what it says, no one wants to be the one responsible for an event that potentially kicks off the apocalypse. Others in the know point out that in no way does the prophecy say the event is a good thing, a bad thing, or simply an act of desperation, the situation being so disastrous that someone is willing to unleash one monster to fight another. However, the prophecies raise the possibility that the Dragon may have been telling the truth all along, and that in the Imperium’s darkest hour, the Void Dragon might have the Imperium’s back. Might, my child.

See Also: Dialogues with the Dragon

Xun'Bakyr, the Mother of Oblivion[edit]

See Xun'Bakyr and the Maynarkh Dynasty

Commisssar Yarrick[edit]

The Hero of Armageddon:

The legend that is Commissar Sebastian Yarrick began as all commissars in the Schola Progenium as an orphaned child of the Imperial Army on the world named for the end of days. As all such children he was raised by the state to find purpose in the state. Even at an early age he was ear marked for the commissairant due to his ability to memorize the codes of conduct used by the Steel Legion and the rules imposed upon it and was adept at their interpretation and implementation to changing circumstances. Normally this would have had him booked down for officer training but for his dry wit and ability to motivate by both fear and fervour.

His first real assignment outside the classroom at the tender age of 15, apprenticed to aging regimental commissar Lenert Górecki, was the 97th “Kill Krazii” Outriders. They were the most vicious bunch of lunatics as you could ever hope to avoid feared more by their neighbours than by the feral orks they hunted for reasons of typically never leaving enough orks for their name to spread. They were a leathery skinned and gaunt breed that made their home deep in the Great Fire Wastes of the northern continent. Much of their culture and attitudes of war sank into the young commissar’s impressionable mind, certainly their ancestor worship did.

He was never accepted as one of them, but like old man Górecki he was eventually held in some measure of esteem. As Old Man Lenert retired his last apprentice seamlessly took over and the wild ork hunts continued uninterrupted. It says something of the man that the Kill Krazii gave him a traditional sky burial and when next the tribe were reunited with those returning for a tour in the Imperial Army his name was mentioned at the gathering as one of the lost.

In time young Yarrick was reassigned, it was suspected by those above that he was going native. They probably weren’t wrong. When Yarrick had left him he had been an erudite and mildly urbane student, straight capped the very model of all an aspiring young commissar should be. When he came back to them he was half feral and far more experienced, not actually any wiser but with a highly refined animal cunning that was almost as good. He was also extremely experienced in matters of orkish psychology, physiology and language; the hunting had definitely been a learning experience for him.

For all that he was no longer in any way orthodox in his technique none could deny his effectiveness. His training and apprenticeship was well and truly over and his scarlet sash earned.

As a young man Yarrick found himself appointed to many regiment of Armageddon, though only ever sadly the more numerous Steel Legions. Typically he would serve for a campaign, maybe two, before someone called in enough favours or kicked up enough of a fuss and got him transferred to be someone else’s problem. It was usually the officers that had a problem with him and his “disruptive” methods and “barbaric” tendencies, among them men he was usually tolerated, certainly feared, and often much liked. Yarrick typically moved from unit to unit seemingly almost totally at random more than he spent his time in any stationary or central position of control. He would then observe and participate in the thickest of the action whilst sifting through comm. bead chatter.

It was many, many years before he would again see the world he had grown up on. He was biologically maybe in a good light in his mid 60s when he came home (though given the time distortions of warp travel was closer to 110), grey haired, scarred and hardened like old oak. His last assignment was to take a more sedate teaching position in the Schola he had once come from and spend his last few years trying to impart some wisdom to children too young to appreciate it. He had a pension to look forward to and a retirement with only some light advisory work for the PDF to occupy him. He could relax, for him the war was over. Part of him, he was ashamed to admit, was looking forward to it. The rest of him saw it as some alien and hellish existence he wanted no part of.

He was saved from such a fate by one far worse. Ghazghkull, at the time a much inexperienced Warboss, had just warped into the system aboard a renovated Space Hulk.

One Space Hulk against a hive world like Armageddon, with it’s trillions strong PDF, was a threat but not an insurmountable one. And so, the Overlord of Armageddon. Herman von Strab claimed the Imperium need not know. If the Imperium knew then they would send their Imperial Guard and associated riff raff and undoubtedly put the tithe up for a few years afterwards to cover the debt. No, better to deal with this quietly, in house.

Yarrick anger was pretty incandescent when he heard of this. Had the man not seen the reports? The legions of feral orks in the wilderness and wastelands and jungles? Had he any clue what would happen if they were bolstered and united under an outside authority? He didn’t. He didn’t typically read military reports or concern himself with such drab minutiae.

Rather than retire Sebastian Yarrick started to kick up a fuss in the halls of the nobility and the hierarchy of the PDF. In his time he had acquired some small measure of a reputation among the military and even a little in the mindset of the civilian population. As the orks started to assault the inter-hive roads and rail systems and raid the farmlands his words were given weight of evidence. Overlord von Strab, after several failed arrests where the police officers tasked resigned on the spot, decided to go about silencing the old warmonger and worry spreader more subtly. He gave Commissar Yarrick the position of Senior Advisor to the PDF of Hive Hades. To the public it looked as though von Strab had promoted the old soldier to a useful position and was doing something about the situation, which relieved the growing panic, but also removed public sympathy as any further protests would look like a selfish power grab.

Yarrick was not blind to what had just been done but neither could he do much about it beyond make the best of bad situation. Thankfully the head of the Hades Hive PDF and the Hive Governor, Hartmut Frucht and Gertraud Rösch respectively, were followers of his and wise enough to defer to his extensive experience on the subject of all thing regarding the Orks.

First order of business was to sever public communications with the rest of the world, if the corpulent Overlord could give them orders and it be publicly known he had done so then disobedience would be classed as treason in times of war. Secondly was the introduction of conscription and rationing as well as the issuing of orders for the citizenry to abandon the outlying settlements and farmland near the city before the orks could reach them. Hades was digging in for as long a siege as it could hope for.

But it was to be a hopeless siege. Or at least it would have been had it not been for an old hubworld trader by the name of Unwerth who owed him a favour and had been in the system when the Hulk arrived. Yarrick had no way of knowing if the high gravity spacefarer, on his little trader boat, had survived the orks and made it to the systems edge. All they could do was dig in and hope and survive long enough for rescue to arrive.

It was a grim watch as the storm clouds gathered on the horizon and the low rumble of alien aggression got closer. Grimmer still was the news as the other hives fell, overrun and butchered. Infernus was the first to fall, it’s poorly prepared walls breached in less than a week and it’s famous forges put to darker work. Next was Death Mire Hive barely a month later as feral orks of the jungle and wastelands bolstered the ranks of the off-worlder orks and swelled their forces to obscene scale. Then the others, seemingly in no pattern or order until only Helsreach and Hades remained, the former as the capital had always possessed formidable defences as befitted it’s position and the latter only by the illegal actions of it’s rulers.

All the while, for the months that followed, men and women died on the walls and in the body-strewn mud and ash about them. They were PDF, well beneath the standards of the Imperial Army for the most part, but Yarrick and his officers knew that in those days and in their dying moments they were Guardsmen one and all.

But no siege can continue eternally, no great wall endures the storm forever. Adamantium and ferrocrete began to crumble under the weight of artillery and malice thrown against it and sapper teams of grots and to the horror of all enslaved citizens undermined once thought sturdy foundations. The Orks were in winding and tangled three-dimensional maze of Hive Hades. It was then that the real fighting began. Workers in the effected areas were told to either retreat to the safe districts or grab a weapon and report to the Citizens Militia stations. In the months of the siege and in preparation for it’s failing the outlying districts had been seeded with all manner of traps and snares and these were out into good use.

Once more Old Man Yarrick was abroad in the hives among his soldiers. Where he stood victory was stolen from defeat, lines held, trembling hearts became firm, weapons held steady and the whimpers of animal fear turned to the roar of something fierce and primal. For those moments, and they were just moments, Yarrick could believe he was young again among his friends in the Kill Krazii people. He could not deny that they were loosing ground but they were making the green bastards pay for every inch and if this was to be an end it would be an end remembered for a thousand years in infamy.

For a further six months they held out like this. Loosing ground street by blood swimming street, building by corpse chocked building. They fought not like lions but like cornered dogs left with nowhere to run and still they would not give in to despair. By fire and passion the men and women sold their lives at a high price for those they loved in the diminishing safe zones. They just had to hold out they were reassured.

Time was bought for another few months as the green tide abruptly stopped. What had first appeared to be additional reinforcements approaching from the north were discovered to be outlanders and nomads on their clattering war machines in great number, headed by the warrior priests of the Kill Krazii screaming an unending curse of Death as they mowed down all in their path, circling the city once and scattering the few orks that survived their sudden savagery. Then they too dived into the city. Though they loved the open spaces and they were more than slightly insane they weren’t stupid. They knew that they would return in greater numbers and would be prepared for them this time.

The Hades soldiery were immensely grateful for their brief relief and unexpected reinforcements and wasted no time in repairing the barricades and hastily erecting new defences alongside these strange tribals from the north.

It was a bittersweet reunion for Yarrick. At last he would see his old friends one last time before the end. The eldest of the eldest of the war-priests, indeed the last one left who had met Yarrick in his youth, was unconcerned; “We are witnessed” he informed the old Commissar “and it is a good day for glory”. At these words in his gnarled and shrivelled up soul the old soldier felt some strange and pleasant emotion he had longs since forgotten; belonging. His ancestor gods (by adoption) had not abandoned him.

The next day the old war-priest died with a weapon in his hand and a smile on his lips manning the barricades.

The day after that a most cunning ambush from the storm drains beneath one of the fortifications saw Warboss Ugulhard in mortal combat with Sebastian Yarrick and although the old man won he didn’t land the killing blow before having his right arm taken off at the elbow. Bleeding arterial blood most alarmingly he continued to oversee the defences until the greenskins were beaten back into their tunnels and sealed down their to scurry away or be buried alive and starve in the darkness. Only then did Commissar Yarrick allow the darkness to take him.

When the old man next opened his eyes it was in a triage centre eight days later, ashen pale and grim as death he awoke to the chatter of comm. traffic buzzing in his ear and a mood of celebration. Drop pods had been sighted falling behind the orkish lines, Unwerth had gotten through. The Imperium had learned of their desperation and presumably the incompetence of the Overlord. The mere thought of von Strab brought Yarrick back to a state of Full Commissar, ignoring the lights flashing before and behind his eyes, heedless of the shaking in his legs and the sudden and terrible weight of his coat and sash he stomped out of that improvised hab-block hospital.

Governor Rösch of Hades was more than a little surprised to see him and given his darkened eyes, paled face and her last news of him having been cut down by a warboss for a moment assumed he was some spectre of the unhappy dead. But it was not so as the dead, at least in her mind, did not swear quite so colourfully.

By those final days of the 4th Great War the name of Yarrick was becoming something of a legend. When the common men heard of his fall they began falter for if one so great as he could fall so abruptly then what hope was there for lesser men? Had relief from the Imperium not arrived when it did there would only have been corpses to be rescued.

Caught between hammer and anvil the orks were quickly minced and as the Space Marines cleared landing fields and the main body of the Imperial Army arrived the line was pushed back and pushed back hard. It was commonly shown in the years that followed a one armed Commissar leading the retribution; it was a symbol of Armageddon resilience and dogged determination. The truth of the matter was that for most of the Retribution March Yarrick was in a state of bloodloss and fever.

One thing that is certain is that he was there at the breaking of Helsreach siege, he absolutely did march into the Overlords office, he absolutely issued an execution order for gross criminal incompetence and it was witnessed by several individuals including Chaplain Grimaldus that the execution was issued via kicking him out of a window nearly two miles high.

Then came the long drudge of rebuilding and the tally of the dead.

In the confusion of the last days of the war Ghazghkull mag Uruk Thraka, architect and instigator of a world of sorrows, had shown uncommon Kunnin' and Taktikul thinking and was not counted among the slain. The Beast reborn had escaped. The knowledge of it burned in the commissar's veins and he one thing and one thing only; his life now was for one thing and one thing only, he would hunt down and take Ghazghkull's head. (Light years away an alien mind was reaching a similar conclusion).

From his time among the Kill Krazii he also knew that to hunt you could chase or you could wait. Yarrick didn't know where Ghazghkull was but he knew where he would be. Armageddon had bested him and to the orkish mind that was intolerable and Yarrick knew it would only gnaw at him. He would be back and so Yarrick blew his entire pension and the good will of the Imperium on the best Rejuvenents he could afford. He would ensure that The New Beast got the welcome he deserved and he would be there to greet him.

Prince Yriel[edit]

The Rogue Trader of Rogue Traders:

Savior and Scourge of Tanith. An Eldar trader and privateer who has traveled the Imperium from Old Earth to the fringe. Any fringe.

The story of prince Yriel begins in the dockyards of Craftworld Iyanden in 248.M38. This is not to say that that wads the day or the place of his birth or, as many detractors have claimed, that his mother was a whore who spent her nights with dock worker. It is merely that this is the first time he appeared on any official records. His craftworld of origin has never been reliably determined but given the possession of a soulstone it is probable that he has one.

Despite intentionally covering his tracks "Prince" Yriel claims to be a descendant of the folk hero Ulthanash and thus permited to take his aristocratic title. The authenticity of this claim is dubious at best.

Circumstances that led him to Iyanden in that year, how he obtained the aptly named ship Hoec's Grace or the origins of his motley crew is also unknown.

What is known is that since that day the mad bastard has cut a swathe of mayhem a light year wide down the millennia from one end of the Imperium to the other. His name is spoken with detestation by dockyard official on a hundred thousand worlds and reverence on at least as many others. His antics have been a bane to the Imperium down the ages saved from disgrace and condemnation only by the times his antics have been a boon to the Imperium. All he claims in search of the snazziest hat, as befits the heir of Ulthanash.

Of all his deeds the most brazen and greatest was the supply of aid in the defense Iyanden during the war of the Great Kraken. It was he who marched at the head of a half million strong host of Krieger soldiery, each eager to stick a bayonet in his back and held in safety only by an official commissars hat and a document form the Emperor himself with a genuinely forged signature upon it.

Best not to mention that he may or may not have had something to do with the agri-futures fiasco of the Ulthran Cartel.

Of the Prince himself little is known. Rumors abound that he maintains a harem of the most exiting beauties upon Hoec's Grace, now flagship of the Eldritch Raiders "Trader" fleet. Some say that his holds are stuffed to the rafters with rare metals, or bound and tortured captives, a small pocket dimension of Necrontyr manufacture, the preserved and still living brain of a Tyranid hive ship and a hundred other somehow even less plausible things. The one about a surviving member of the original Ordo Chronos admittedly turned out to be true, but only by complete coincidence.

Actual witnesses who have seen, for whatever reason, the inside of his ship tell a very different story. They tell of meticulous order, neatness and professional conduct that would seem no out of place in the old Void Born Navy families and completely at odds with the character of the Prince. Every item in the hold accounted for and noted, ever speck of dirt expunged and every crew member busy and happy about their duties. Possibly this is more in part to do with Kasahkrv the First Mate. He is of the demiurg people and they are known to love orderly conduct. How or why he is present on the Hoec's Grace is unknown, maybe it was a penance.

The other incident that lands squarely at the feet of the Prince is the loss of the planet Tanith.

In the harrowing time of the 12th Black Crusade great fleets and armies were mobilized and war was done on a scale seldom seen. What is remembered less are the more insidious assaults upon the Imperium. The words and deeds that slipped in sideways with smiles upon their friendly faces that infected worlds and stole the souls of the people from the light of civility and lead them down the paths of barbarity and selfish indulgence. On of the worlds afflicted was Tanith, that strange and verdant paradise.

The exact events leading up to the loss of the world are not easy to decipher and many accounts are contradictory in nature. When a world is on fire and neighbors turn on friends and kin in cannibalistic abandon documentation of social and political trends tends to be less of a priority than staying alive.

What was known is that the election of the Governor was called into question and numerous claimants arose although it is unknown who many if any were unclean. A strange new fad for very modest habits arose in the population, primarily at Tanith Magna and spreading out wards from there, a fashion among the aristocracy of wearing as little as possible became evident and then what appeared to be a military coup happened. Society more or less broke down at that point. When it became clear beyond reasonable doubt that the military was not marching to the same drum as the rest of the Imperium a not insignificant chunk of it broke away and mostly hunted down in the forests one unit at a time. And then a Bloodpact armada turned up intent on making what was left of the planet theirs.

Into this shitstorm came the Eldritch Raiders "Trader" fleet. It was clear from the radio transmissions, encoded with subliminal (to baseline humans) Dark Hymnal Choirs as they were, that something was a little off. Also the fleet of warships in orbit bearing the blasphemous Marks.

Eldritch Raiders were officially a trader fleet and as such any identification broadcasts automatically sent out from the fleet would have identified them as such and been completely genuine. Which is not to say that they were entirely true. At least half the ships in the fleet, Hoec's Grace among them, were armed to the teeth. As pirate deterrents they would often claim. Hoec's Grace tore from the ranks of the fleet at full burn, shield up and glowing red, weapons crash charged and a fleet of almost equally mad ships trailing behind it, a pack of mad jackals charging into the midst of wolves. Prince Yriel, never the most stable of creatures, was out for blood.

Formidable as the ships were they were still no warfleet of the Imperial navy and no real contest to an armada of the Bloodpact in a prolonged slugging match. The course of action was questioned by his demiurg First Mate and long time accomplice/friend as this was well outside what he deemed wisdom;

"WISDOM! We have gone well beyond the bounds of wisdom! I say no more. They attack and we hold the line. They invade and we fall back. They take whole sectors and we fall back. Their type took our whole [untranslatable profanity] Empire and we fell back. No more! No more. Here I am drawing [untranslatable profanity] line in the stars! Here, I say! Here! No Further!"

Hoec's Grace slammed into the lead ship at a truly excessive relative velocity, all weapons firing at any available target and it's armored prow plowed through the marauder ship and emerged from the inferno dragging hellfire behind it. Still firing, still killing, scarp and flame and bodies coating it's hull, boarders on half the decks, the control room knee deep in dead chaos... creatures and The Prince himself down to one good eye and more tragically having to resort to only his second snazziest hat.

For what it was worth the attack on the marauder fleet was never meant to destroy them so much as it was a diversion.

The cargo haulers had slipped round the other side of the planet and with the help of mercenary warlocks were scanning the surface for pockets of uncorrupted people. Using the extremely rare (and unlicensed) imperial telelporters a little over fifteen thousand of the helpless were snatched from certain death. By the time what was left of the Marauder fleet realized what was happening it was too late, the hauler fleet was already too far away and accelerating to the systems edge, fleeing with time bought by the escort fleet. Something of Tanith had been saved, the gods had been denied.

But of Tanith itself there was nothing more that could be done. Nuclear warheads were detonated in sequence to cause vast firestorms that scoured the planet clean of the taint of Chaos. Sadly, the warheads also of robbed the planet of most complex life. They say, the men in robes or reds and of dark greens, they say that one day it may bloom again. The Great Nalwood trees might be resurrected to wander again. Tanith Magna might be rebuilt in all it's glory. The children might return home. One day.

It was a pyrrhic victory for both Chaos and The Prince. Chaos wanted a new world to raise cannon fodder on and were handed a holocaust, The Prince wanted to save a world and was forced to burn it as a mercy kill.

The surviving Tanith, such a ragged bunch as they were, were ferried to the unsettled maiden world known as Lileath's Briar Patch in the High Speech. The rather unimaginative refugees rechristened it New Tanith. The world had been claimed by Biel-tan, who had been intending to start colonization any century now and had been for at least the last five thousand years. Their complaints were met with a curt response that boiled down to: It's a big planet. It's a small number of humans. Find another island. Biel-Tan could have contested the settlement but their representative took one look at Prince Yriel and saw that it would not be in anyone's interest to push the issue, if only because Yriel was crazy enough to not back down. To save face, the Craftworld claimed that they had gifted Lileath's Briar Patch to Prince Yriel as a reward for his bravery. If Yriel wanted to give the planet to a bunch of mon-keigh refugees, well, that was his prerogative.

There were a few soldiers that were saved, slightly more than a regiments worth. The nearest they had to a commanding officer was Commissar Gaunt, later Colonel-Commissar. From the remnants of the military of a dead world enough were left behind to form a PDF adequate to the meager population and an undersized regiment that could be used as the core upon which to build with offworld recruits and taught the Tanith way of war. Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt never forgot what Prince Yriel had done for his adopted people and swore an eternal oath to the Corsair Prince. An oath the Corsair Prince was mostly indifferent to.

For this service to the Imperium Prince Yriel received an official Writ of Trade, hand signed by the Emperor himself and presented to him by a senior priestess of Isha. What more, they gave him a new hat and it was a good day.


The Scarred:

It is one thing for a righteous man to stand up against evil. It is a far harder thing for one to recognize evil when evil is all one has ever known. Such is the story of Yvraine, better known as Yvraine the Scarred. Yvraine started life as a vatborn Dark Eldar, born in a lab with no mother or father, at least, none that would ever claim her as her own. Even at a young age, her talent at combat was notable despite her half-born status, which eventually resulted in her being inducted into a Wych cult. Although she would never escape the stigma of being a half-born in Commorragh, Yvraine was young, talented, and capable. She should have had a bright future.

That is, before she had to face Lelith Hesperax in the arena. It was clear that Yvraine was meant to be little more than a warm-up kill before the main performance, but Yvraine fought to her limits anyway. Yvraine put up an entertaining enough fight to be spared, but not before Lelith inflicted a deep laceration across her face and the eye beneath it. That should have been a death sentence. Few Dark Eldar would want to see a fight with a wych scarred in such a manner fight, and most wyches who were as scarred as Yvraine was were often forced to fight against unbeatable odds just to watch them die. What’s more, the fact that Yvraine had been spared was an insult to her wych cult, one that the Succubus felt compelled to rectify. Yvraine was indeed forced into an unwinnable fight, but her performance impressed the Succubus enough that she was willing to grant Yvraine a pardon. The “pardon” in question being the cruel mercy of being expelled from the wych cult to live out her days on the streets of Commorragh.

Then came the unholy union between Vect and Lady Malys. At that time, Yvraine was living as a vagabond on the streets of the Dark City. Despite being a former Wych, no Kabal would want her, as her former Succubus had made it very clear that Yvraine was meant to suffer, and any who tried to defy this edict would receive her full attention. Yvraine had never had to make a moral decision before in her life. She was young for an Eldar. She had been involved in a few raids, but the banality with which the other Dark Eldar had treated it meant that she had never really questioned the morality of the situation. However, despite all this, she knew that there was something simply something wrong with Vect’s marriage to the Croneworlder, even by the standards of Commorragh. And so Yvraine did something she would have never considered beforehand. She found a poorly-known entrance to the Dark City and, after killing the guard, fled from Commorragh into the Webway.

It is unknown what Yvraine had meant to accomplish by fleeing into the Webway. She had barely spent any time outside the Dark City before; much less have any idea how to navigate the byzantine passages of the Webway. Perhaps she merely believed that any place, no matter how hostile, was a better place to be than the hellhole that had once been Commorragh. Nevertheless, Yvraine’s naiveté with the Webway was almost her doom. She was only saved from death by a passing troop of Harlequins, who found her curled in a fetal position half-starved to death. Having been saved by the Harlequins, Yvraine travelled with them for a few months as they took their performances to several worlds. However, it was not long before Yvraine discovered the Harlequins’ true destination: the Craftworld Biel-Tan.

Being in the wake of the dark marriage, the eldar of Biel-Tan were naturally skeptical of any Dark Eldar trying to flee Commorragh, but they were certainly interested in what Yvraine was willing to offer in payment: access protocols to an obscure entrance to the Dark City. The codes were somewhat old, but between all of the Dark Eldar who had fled the Dark City, the eldar of Biel-Tan were able to gain access to some of the obscure and half-forgotten entrances of Commorragh (at least until the Dark Eldar changed the codes yet again). As a result of the information gained by her defection, Yvraine was given a soulstone and admitted into Biel-Tan, though not without some reservations. In addition, the healers of Biel-Tan were able to restore Yvraine’s eye to some degree of functionality, though they were unable to do anything about her deep scar.

For a while, Yvraine took up the Path of the Warrior, the only thing she knew how to do, serving as a Dire Avenger in Biel-Tan’s aspect shrines. Yvraine fought with a ferocity one could only have learned from living on the streets of the Dark City, something that impressed her instructor to no end, yet Yvraine was never truly satisfied with herself. It seemed too much like her old days in the wych cult to truly feel comfortable. Eventually she decided to leave Biel-Tan and the Aspect Shrines to become an Outcast, something that broke the heart of her exarch, who had hoped she would eventually succeed him.

Yvraine travelled the worlds of the Imperium for many years, sometimes as a Ranger, other times as a simple traveler. For a few years she even served as a corsair in part of a Rogue Trader’s retinue. Yet no matter what she tried, Yvraine never truly felt satisfied. It was not that she was becoming bored of a task after many years like many other Eldar, it’s that nothing ever felt truly satisfying to begin with. Eventually, her travels took her to the Exodite world Halathel, where she finally found her calling. On Halathel, Yvraine discovered the joys of agriculture, and found that it was a lot more satisfying to make something grow than to cut it down. It was a truly strange tale, after travelling much of the galaxy and having experienced most facets of Eldar life, Yvraine the Scarred had found purpose in simply tilling the soil.

However, the strangest part of Yvraine’s story was yet to come. In recent years, Eldar farseers trying to observe the Shadowpoint, the point where the Threads of Fate seem to simultaneously break down and spread out in every conceivable direction, have noticed the recurrent mention of a previously unknown being, a being called Ynnead. Perhaps even more unusually, many of these visions seem to refer to Yvraine, or at least “an Eldar who both is and is not of the light”. As a result, many Craftworld Eldar have come to Halathel, trying to figure out what possible connection Yvraine could have to this entity. Yvraine, on the other hand, just wants them to get the hell off her property before they trample her potatoes.


Zu'se is, or was, a Necron cryptek. A "dust weaver" meaning specialist in nanotech of all kinds.

His Lord had "acquired" some blanks and tasked the cryptek to research them and how they might be used.

After some research and cross reference with information extracted from Eldar captives Zu'se came to a realization: 1) blanks were soulless 2) blanks were alive. Therefore having a soul was not mandatory to being alive. All the stuff about reversing biotransference was bullshit. If any Necron wanted to be touchy-feely again, they just needed to put better covers, sensors and actuators on their frames.

The cryptek acted on the concept by "hacking" his own body. Using nanotech to make it quasi-biological. With somewhat animalistic appearance to drive the point home. As could be expected, his masters did not agree - bound as they were by hierarchies and Silent Kings dictates.

So Zu'se went rogue and now travels the galaxy. Working to refine and show off the possibility of (partially) technological life by seeking out small, undefended population of lesser races and "upgrading" them - generally with nanotech and/or implants. Objectively, most upgrades really are an improvement in at least some areas. But the cryptek has no interest in negotiation and no concept of psychological damage, which makes things less than pleasant.

While some have joined him, most other Necron consider Zu'se to be: 1) completely insane 2) not their problem. A view probably best articulated by Trazyn who called Zu'ses group "fluffy flayers".