Talos (Warhammer 40,000)
"I will not see my life whored away without meaning. Do you hear me? Do you understand me, prince of cowards? I want vengeance against a galaxy that hates us. I want Imperial worlds to cower when we draw near. I want the weeping of this Empire's souls to reach all the way to Holy Terra, and the sound of suffering will choke the corpse-god on his throne of gold."
- – The Soul Hunter losing his shit.
Talos Valcoran, also known as the Soul Hunter, was a traitor Astartes of the Night Lords Legion. He was "gifted" with foresight, just like his batshit insane daddy. When said "gift" was realized, he would succumb to a seizure and black out for hours or even days in the worst cases. Unusually for a seer of any stripe, Talos' visions were objective, clear, usually stuck in his memory, and centered around what he would be seeing and doing in the future--usually fighting or looting or trying not to get killed. Quite understandably, he was having issues coping with this and he was left with an emo streak akin to a father in mid-life crisis. That's not to say he gave up on his goals. He was always reminiscent of his Legion's past glories and he had not fully given up (like most of the Night Lords had) on the ultimate goal of taking Terra and Big E down. The irony of it was that his legion had never been truly glorious. Furthermore, he lacked the drive and vision for uniting the Night Lords, who were by this time scattered across the galaxy and frankly did not give a shit about anything other than terrorizing, murdering and terrorizing while murdering any unfortunate Imperials they stumbled upon. Left with insurmountable obstacles like dying by his unstable geneseed (thanks Batdad), an unwilling warband and his own conflicting ideals he made the best out of it by taking over his warband, stealing a ship only to lose his, and leading them onto a suicidal trip down memory lane at their old batcave.
Talos was born on Nostramo after psycho Batman was long gone and the planet had once again lapsed into its decadent ways of crime, corruption, and lack of general decency. He was picked as a Space Marine candidate (after already committing his first kill) which was not really that different, since the Night Lords were already filled to the brim with murderers, rapists, and all the other scum Nostramo had to offer. He was only ever an apothecary of the Night Lords' 10th Company, but he got to hang with Marines who outranked him along with their Primarch, who'd invited Talos into the inner circle because of his abilities as a seer. Konrad even gave him the title of Soul Hunter because when he foresaw his death, he also saw that Talos would hunt down M'Shen, the Callidus Assassin who would kill him, for revenge, while the rest of the Legion would hunt her for the loot she'd take from his corpse. The inevitable happened, Konrad Curze let M'Shen kill him to prove the point that evildoers should be destroyed, and Talos lit out after M'Shen. A Callidus Assassin is normally able to take an Astartes Apothecary in a straight fight, but Talos was a Night Lord and believed a fair fight meant someone had screwed up. He blinded M'Shen with acid spit in the eyes when she got overconfident, then blew out her eardrums with his vox-amped scream trick, and then he cut her to bits.
Fast forward some millennia because of timey wimey warp shenanigans, and Talos was serving in the warband of the Exalted, the former Tenth Company captain and now Daemon Prince of Tzeentch who was trying to curry favor with Abaddon. Said armless failure developed an interest in Talos because of his visions and made him a job offer; Talos turned him down, things got dicey, and it ended up with the whole Tenth Company getting the hell out of Dodge. After ditching Abaddon, the warband would cooperate with the Red Corsairs to fuck with the Marines Errant and right after that they stole a former Night Lords strike cruiser back from Lugft Huron with the help of Variel the Flayer (after Talos sweet-talked him into betraying the Corsairs and joining the Night Lords). Needless to say the Corsairs didn't appreciate the joke and chased after the warband, destroying their first ship with the Exalted inside (and lost a ton of ships in the process because space naval combat was the Exalted's thing.)
After this event, Talos assumed command of the warband and headed for their old base of operations on the planet Tsagualsa in order to rebuild their strength. Much to their disbelief, they found that the planet had been colonized by Imperials, which went swimmingly for the colonists. In the meantime Talos decided to make death and torture into a weapon, so he orchestrated an astropathic blackout the Night Lords way.
He gathered all the astropaths on the planet, and kept them around while his company tortured thousands of people to death around them, letting them soak up the psychic agony from the populace. Then he tortured them in all the slow and horrific ways he could manage (and Talos once skinned a woman so neatly she lived for six days afterwards, only dying of infection; the man knew what he was up to). When they were all broken husks of roiling agony, he used his Navigator's eye to kill them all--the most excruciating death any of them knew of, and he did it at one end of an astropathic communication route. The wave of pain and death and madness rolled down the line, frying out the astropaths of planets along the way (and thereby getting stronger as their own pain was added to the wave), and the warp forces involved destroyed some entire worlds--either tearing open the Warp and letting daemons in, or by touching off earthquakes and volcanoes and warp storms. Dozens of planets were cut off from Imperial communications and warp travel for months, and plenty of them were found to be completely dead by the time the Imperium got there. This stunned his crew. He'd taken facts everyone knew--(1) torturing an astropath stirs up the warp something fierce, 2) astropaths absorb emotions and feelings from people nearby, 3) looking a Navigator in the eye is the worst death anyone knows of, 4) astropaths pop when you hit them with enough psychic trauma fast enough--and put all these facts together into a superweapon that destroyed worlds (and did it on a low budget: DIY destruction, how to kill billions with everything you already had on a ship and a planet!), and he did it by having the Night Lords do what they would do anyway. He was finally the sort of leader the Night Lords needed: someone who understood how to turn the fear and pain the Night Lords inflicted randomly into a weapon you could aim at the Imperium.
That victory was short lived, since the Eldar came for Talos in their old fashioned dickish ways. They had a prophecy that foresaw the Prophet of the Night Lords would destroy Craftworld Ulthwe, and the Eldar have no chill for that, not even a little bit. They went after Talos with everyone they could scrape together, even the Banshees and the Phoenix Lord Jain Zar. In the ensuing battle the Eldar ground forces were eradicated, along with all but a handful of the Night Lords. In the final duel Talos went out like a badass, letting the Phoenix Lord get in close and stabbing him so he could set off some krak grenades on top of both of them. So he got shit done after all. His geneseed was later implanted into a young Marine named Decimus, who inherited Talos's seer abilities and the ability to control and sort through what he saw (and was maybe the son of Septimus, one of Talos' servants, and Octavia the Navigator). Decimus managed to round up a gathering of the Night Lords and he made them a pitch: since the Eldar from Craftworld Ulthwe were going to be a big help to the Imperium in the Black Crusade, why not do the forces of Chaos a favor and take out the Eldar before the Imperium, since they were an easier target and all...
|Famous members of the Traitor Legions|
|Abaddon - Ahzek Ahriman - Argel Tal - Cypher - Doomrider |
Eidolon - Erebus - Fabius Bile - Haarken Worldclaimer - Honsou - Horus Aximand
Iskandar Khayon - Kharn - Kor Phaeron - Lheorvine Ukris - Lucius
Lugft Huron - Luther - Madox - Maloghurst - Necrosius the Undying - Sevatar
Shon'tu - Svane Vulfbad - Talos - Telemachon Lyras - Typhus - Ygethmor - Zhufor
|Araghast the Pillager - Azariah Kyras - Bale - Crull - Eliphas The Inheritor |
Firaeveus Carron - Kain - Nemeroth - Neroth - Sindri Myr - Varius