I do not own Warhammer 40000 nor any of its characters. They belong to Games Workshop.

Inspired by the Dornian Heresy, by Aurelius Rex.


Index Astartes – Dark Angels : Lords of Secrets and Lies

Armed with lies, shrouded in deceit, and twisted by betrayal, the Dark Angels are the favorite servants of Tzeentch, the Changer of Ways. Their cruel tortures can break the will of even the most devout imperial follower, and the will of their dark master, the Daemon Prince El'Jonson, spreads across the galaxy like a poison. The once noble Primarch, first to yield to the temptations of Chaos, has been reduced to infamy and horror, his hands forever red with the blood of the brother he has slain. None can fathom his plans and designs without knowing his darkest secrets, and those would drive any soul into madness and damnation ...

Origins

The world of Caliban is now lost, and little remain of its long history. Fragments of it, however, have survived both the destruction of the planet, the passage of time, and the frequent purges perpetrated by the Dark Angels themselves. These fragments, carefully gathered along many centuries by the faithful agents of ever vigilant Inquisition, have revealed much of the Traitor Legion's past.

Ten thousand years ago, Caliban was a world that oscillated between the medieval classification and that of death world. Almost the entirety of its surface was covered in dense forests, and creatures of nightmare stalked these woods, preying on the planet's population. Orders of knights defended the humans, using technological relics of the planet's long lost past. To the Calibanites, Terra was little more than a myth, upon which they had little time to dwell in their daily struggle for survival. For all of the Long Night, Caliban had endured, a precarious balance maintained by the knightly orders' unceasing work.

Then the Dark Gods robbed the Emperor of his twenty sons, and scattered them across the stars, upon worlds populated by humanity. One of them, the first born, landed on Caliban, in the deepest parts of its dark forests. While any mortal infant – and most if not all adults – would have died in short order, he survived. Nothing is known of the Primarch's infancy in Caliban's forests : his story begins when he was found, already a grown man, by a party of Calibanite knights.

The knights, wary of what they saw – a feral young man, in a place where no human could possibly survive for long – wanted to strike him down, but their leader, Luther, stayed their hands. He brought the young man with him to his order's fortress-monastery, and raised him as his own son. He named him Lion El'Jonson, the Son of the Forest, for how he had survived where no one else could.

In a few months, the Lion had grown to surpass Luther's height, and had learned all the arts and skills required for knighthood. He became a member of Luther's Order, and quickly rose amongst its ranks until he became its Grand Master. Then, he launched a campain of extermination against the beasts of Caliban, claiming that it was time for Mankind to claim the whole planet for themselves. To this end, he tried to unite all of Caliban's knightly orders under his command, but his inner superiority often passed off as arrogance to his peers, and it was only thanks to the restless efforts of Luther, his second-in-command, that the alliance became reality. Only one order, the Knights of the Lupus, refused the alliance, claiming that the Lion didn't know what he was doing, and was going to doom the world. They were defeated by the Lion and Luther's coalition, and as it was discovered that they had studied the dark arts and attempted to breed the beasts of Caliban, their warnings were considered the excuses of men clinging to their heretical power even as it was beginning to wane. All members of the Knights of the Lupus were executed, the beasts they had bred slain, and their extensive library of forbidden lore was put under seals – the reason it wasn't simply put to the torch was that Luther firmly believed that burning books, no matter their subject, was something barbaric that they shouldn't commit if they were to bring illumination to Caliban.

With all the remaining orders under his command, the Lion purged Caliban of the beasts entirely. When the final part of the planet was finally purged, there was a great celebration, and it was then, as Lion El'Jonson rejoiced over having finally the entire world under his rule, that the Emperor arrived.

The Master of Mankind congratulated His son for his pacification of his homeworld, and revealed to him His grand design for Humanity. He told the Lion that they were many worlds left to bring back to civilization, that the Imperium would bring light to the galaxy in the same way the Lion had brought light to the people of Caliban. He told him that he had brothers, who shared the Emperor's blood. And, most importantly, He told the Lion that he had sons, sons that the Master of Mankind had brought with him : the first of the Legiones Astartes, the Dark Angels. It was the Lion's birthright to command them, and lead them to glorious conquest across the galaxy.

'He is lying ... He doesn't care for you, Lion ... He let you be taken from him ... He let you be sent to the darkness of the woods ... He abandonned you, and now, he wants to take what you have built for himself ...'

Lion El'Jonson bowed to his father, and vowed to do His will. He took the reins of the Dark Angels, and added many of the younger knights under his command to their ranks. Luther, his foster father and trusted comrade, was by then too old to become an Astartes. Instead, he received many of the most advanced treatments and enhancements available to the Great Crusade's high command. While he was physically less apt than the rest of the Legion, his strategic talents and close relationship with the Primarch granted him a post high in the Legion's chain of command. Then, while Caliban was brought up to date with standard Imperial technology, the Dark Angels left the planet to begin their part in the Great Crusade with their Primarch leading them.

The Great Crusade

The first planet to receive the Dark Angels after they were reunited with their Primarch was the world of Saroshi. While this world's human denizens weren't hostile to the Imperium, their bureaucratic government also prevented them from joining the Emperor's dominion, slowing the process of assimilation to a painstakingly slow crawl. The Dark Angels accompanying the Primarch were to take the place of the contingent of White Scars already on place, in the hope that the presence of a son of the Emperor would speed up the negociations.

However, that was not to be. When the leader of the Saroshi journeyed to orbit to welcome the Primarch, it was revealed that the planet's people had never had any intention of joining the Imperium. They had deliberatly slowed the process of integration in order to buy time for their preparations, and the arrival of the Lion had provided them with such a high-value target that they had finally made their move. While the people of the planet rose in open rebellion, a nuclear bomb that had been brought aboard the Governor's craft went on, and disaster was only barely avoided when Luther and one of the Calibanite Dark Angels, a Librarian named Zahariel, cast the bomb into the emptiness of space.

'Luther is lying, Lion ... He wanted to let you die. He wanted to be the one to lead the Legion. He always resented being in your shadow, always wished he had left you when he first saw you ...'

With the true intentions of the Saroshis revealed, the Primarch began the assault of the planet. The Astartes witnessed terrible things there, horrors from beyond the limits of reality. For the Saroshi had long kept hidden their worship of the Warp entities they called the Melachim, and were now unleashing their forbidden sorceries against the might of the First Legion. The battle was terrible, and in the end, the Saroshi culture was exterminated, the planet bombarded from orbit until nothing remained on its surface.

On the surface of the planet, the Primarch and his retinue confronted a group of Saroshi sorcerers, who were about to use the energies accumulated through centuries of human sacrifices to perform some terrible ritual. The ritual was foiled, though no record remains of what happened there. The aim of the ritual is still speculated to this day, with theories going from the summoning of a Greater Daemon to the creation of a Warp Storm. Some even say that the ritual did not fail, that its aim was to corrupt the Primarch of the Dark Angels and that it succeeded.

After the Legion left Saroshi, for reasons unknown at the time, Lion El'Jonson sent many of the Astartes under his command back to Caliban, ostensibly to help train the next generations of recruits for the Legion. First amidst these exiled was Luther, his second-in-command and the man who had raised the Primarch like his own son.

With his foster father back on Caliban, the Lion pursued his work of conquest, bringing countless worlds into the fold of the Imperium. Most of the times, the Dark Angels would operate alone, but on rare occasions they would cooperate with another of the Legions. Guilliman would often praise the Lion's tactical insight, though he would regret just as often that his brother did not extend any trust to his comrades on the battlefield, not confining his plans into them until long after the fact. In contrast, the Lion and Russ's own relationship started badly, as the Wolf King considered the secretive ways of the Dark Angels to be unworthy of warriors. On the world of Dulan, this tension came to a peak when the Lion denied the Wolf the kill of the planetary leader, who had insulted Russ. For a day and a night, the two Primarch fought in a brawl, until they stopped and fell in the arms of each other, laughing at the absurdity of the situation. Since that day and until the Heresy itself, the two Legions enjoyed bonds of brotherhood rarely equaled in the Legions, fighting at each other's side as often as circumstances allowed it.

'He is a fool, Lion ... He struck you first by treachery, and now he claims to be your friend ? You cannot trust him ... You cannot trust anyone ...'

The rest of the Primarchs generally didn't have much contact with the Lion, and though they respected his martial prowess, there were always whispers about his upbringing and his arrogance over his so-called 'firstborn' statut. Horus, for his part, was in a tense relationship with his brother, as they were rival of a sort for the statut of best strategist of the Imperium. When the Emperor named Lupercal Warmaster, it was said that only the Lion could have been a contender for such a title. Seeing his brother favored over him, and feeling bitter over what he thought to have been a choice biased by the Emperor's proximity with his first-found son, the Lion left Ullanor to prove his worth once more, by going where no Imperial expedition had gone : into the Ghoul Stars. He called all of his sons to him, into a force rarely seen before in the Great Crusade. Tens of thousand of Dark Angels massed, a force capable of bringing entire Segmentum to heel.

The forces stationned at Caliban asked to be part of this gathering, but the Lion refused them, claiming that they were needed at the homeworld. Still, he stripped the fortress of the Order of aspirants and resources, leaving Luther at the head of those of the Legion who had been exiled with him – and the others who had followed during the years of the Great Crusade. The Lion had, over two centuries of galactic conquest, sent many of his sons on Caliban – most of them Terrans who had been in the Legion prior to his taking command. Rumors abonded as to the reasons of these exiles, and some of them were probably warnings of what was to come, that went tragically unheeded before it was too late.

'You see ? He didn't choose you, just as I said ... He doesn't trust you ... He never did ... He favors Horus over you, as ever ...'

'Come to me, Lion ... Come find me amidst the coldest stars ... And I shall grant you the glory you desire ...'

The Ghoul Stars

Deep into the Ultima Segmentum, the Ghoul Stars is possibly the most hostile region of the galaxy to exist in real space. There, dead worlds orbit around cold, dying stars, once populated by xenos races so alien to Mankind that the mere sight of them would drive a man insane. The Dark Angels fought a long war in the Ghoul Stars, trying to bring the few human settlements that had endured the Long Night under the Imperium's aegis. Some of these worlds welcomed the Astartes with open arms and tears of gratitude, begging the warriors' protection against the nameless horrors that stalked that region of space. Others had fallen into madness and barbary, and denied the Dark Angels victory by any mean their twisted minds could conceive.

After a particulary gruesome war against a xenos empire, the details of which have long been lost, the Dark Angels' fleet was trapped by a Warp Storm, too far from Terra for the light of the Astronomican to guide them. For months, they wandered in the hellish realm, fighting back boardings from daemons that had been born from the dreams and nightmares of ancient, long-dead xenos races. Then, finally, they found a way out of the storm. The fleet of the Dark Angels emerged out of the Empyrean, but they weren't back into true real space : they were instead somewhere inside a Warp anomaly, stranded between realms.

There, on a world of crystal and dust, the Dark Angels met the creature which would be the instrument of their fall to Chaos. There, they met Kairos Fateweaver.

Kairos Fateweaver

In the days that followed the Heresy, many attempts were made to understand just what had driven the mighty Astartes and their Primarchs into corruption. While such research was strictly monitored as to avoid contamination, it was discovered that the warp entity responsible for the fall of the Dark Angels is the daemon known as Kairos Fateweaver.

Kairos Fateweaver is a Greater Daemon of the Dark God known as Tzeentch. He is recorded as appearing to be a two-headed giant with bird-like features. While he claims many titles, his most proeminent ones are that of Architect of Fate, or Oracle of Tzeentch, which refer to his alleged ability to see freely into the past and future. One of his heads always speak the truth, while the other always lies, and there is no way to distinguish between the two. He does not appear to be associated with the Dark Angels any more, but is still a plague on the Imperium, and the Grey Knights have searched a way to seal him permanently for millenia.

According to the forbidden texts of the Elegies of the Dark Ones, Fateweaver showed different futures to the Primarch of the Dark Angels. He showed him a future where his Legion was dead, executed by the Wolves for their secrets, and another where Caliban had burned under the fire of Imperial ships, destroyed for the corruption that lurked beneath its surface, with his foster father Luther dying with it. He showed the Lion his Legion divided between light and darkness, tortured by one great, titanic secret for ten thousand years, seeking a redemption they could never achieve for a crime they did not commit.

He showed him the future of the Imperium : a galaxy where countless trillions lived under the tyranny of the most absurdly bureaucratic regime in all of history, where the blood of innocents was spilled by the righteous and the corrupt alike, where war was never-ending and where the Emperor sat on the Golden Throne as the Carrion God of a rotten Imperium of Man that had turned its back on all the values of the Great Crusade. It is said that Lion El'Jonson, when he saw all of this, knew it to be true. While his mind had held when confronted with visions of atrocity unleashed upon his Legion and his homeworld, seeing all he had ever thought for, the illumination he had dreamt to bring to the galaxy, being cast aside by his father, broke his heart.

It is said that the Lion wept as he witnessed the death of hope. And as, for the first time, the Primarch of the Dark Angels cried, the Oracle of Tzeentch told him with both its mouths that there was a way to avoid this future. The Primarch, said Kairos in its twin voices, had to turn from the destiny that had been set out for him. If he refused to walk the path that had been prescribed, then what he had seen would never come to pass.

'You will be the first, but you will not be the last,' said one of the heads.

'You will be the first, but your part should have been last,' said the second.

And there, facing the source of the voices that had plagued him since his childhood on Caliban, long before he had learned the language of men, the Lion, firstborn son of the Emperor, forsook his oaths of loyalty to Terra and pledged himself and his Legion to the Architect of Fate. In return for his allegiance, the Primarch of the Dark Angels was promised power beyond human comprehension, and the ability to shape fate to his will. This power, however, would not come without sacrifice. What form that price would come exactly, the Lion wasn't told.

The thousands of Dark Angels that had accompanied him had suffered through the same ordeals, though many of them had been driven mad by the visions, and almost all of them followed the decision of their Primarch. One of those who refused the Primarch's will, a Chaplain called Namiel, was slain by Lion El'Jonson when he tried to convince his gene-sire that they were being deceived. The sight of their brother turning against their father made the seeds of doubt and paranoia sown in the minds of the Dark Angels long ago blown. They started to question each other's loyalty to their Primarch and their Legion, and the corruptive touch of Tzeentch spread across the ranks as they began their journey out of the Ghoul Stars.

The Heresy

The Dark Angels were the first to turn from the Emperor's light and into the darkness that is Chaos, but the Lion knew that they weren't enough to avoid the nightmarish future he had seen. They returned to Imperial space and started planning. As they retablished communication with the rest of the Imperium, they learned of the Nikaea edict and Russ' refusal of it. Seeing this as an opportunity to turn his brother against his father, the Lion sent emissaries to Leman Russ, obstensibly to help him repair his relationship with other Imperial forces – for the Wolves were becoming increasingly isolated amongst the Imperium of Man, their savage ways inspiring fear and defiance.

Other emissaries were sent, with specific missions that changed the destiny of entire Legions. The extent of the Dark Angels' corruptive work is unknown, and it is probable that some of the Primarchs fell without the help of the Lion's plots. It is certain that they had an hand into what happened to the White Scars, and probably nudged Guilliman himself toward his ultimate path. Lion El'Jonson may also have been the one that sent Sanguinius and his Blood Angels to Signus Prime, where their own tragedy unfolded, and be the one that stirred the rage of Corax against his tormentors and that of Vulkan against the rest of humanity, but there is no definite proof of that. He most certainly wasn't involved in the fall of the Iron Hands, as they ended up aligned with the Dark God opposing the one he had dedicated himself to.

'Let him walk his path ... He is destined for greatness, but so are you ... And you will always be the first for us, Lion ... No matter what they say, no matter how history remember this ... You are the first ...'

When their Primarch judged that everything was in readiness, the Dark Angels returned to the Ghoul Stars. There, the Lion challenged the Oracle of Tzeentch, commanding it to reveal the secrets it had promised. Kairos apparently claimed that the Lion hadn't yet proved his value, that the power he coveted would be given to him only after he had shown his true allegiance to the rest of the galaxy. Enraged at the daemon's refusal, the Lion sent his Astartes against the Oracle's minions, and a great battle occured, where Dark Angel fought against daemon, and daemon fought against Dark Angel. The details of the battle are lost to even the most knowledgable Inquisitor or the most depraved cultists of the Ruinous Powers, but it is obvious that the Lion won, for he returned to Imperial space just in time to play his part in the Isstvan Atrocity.

The Lion Sword rose, and fell. Its blade pierced the shrieking daemon's rotting heart, and black blood spurted out, dissolving at the touch of reality as it left its host. Lion El'Jonson roared in primal rage and joy as he finally took down his most ancient enemy.

'You ... you fool ! You dare to turn against the Architect of Fate ?! You dare disobey the will of Tzeentch ?! You will die for this ! You will burn for all eternity !'

'I am doing the will of Tzeentch, old bird,' spat the Lion in response to the daemon's bile. 'See, I have finally understood something very important : you are the power I was promised !'

Kairos Fateweaver screamed and tried to fight back, but the spells engraved upon the Lion Sword were too powerful for even the Greater Daemon to resist. Its essence was drained, its power absorbed by the blade that had been forged from the fang of a Calibanite lion so long ago. Bluish warp-fire engulfed the daemon and the Primarch, and for a fraction of second the Dark Angels witnessing the scene thought that their father was dead ...

Then the fire abated, and Lion El'Jonson was revealed to them, standing alone atop a montain of the daemons he had slain before confronting the Oracle of Tzeentch. In his hands, he held the Lion Sword, the runes upon it burning with warp-fire. His armor had been changed, the white that had colored it gone, replaced with the blue of the sorcerous fire that had erstwhile engulfed him. Looking at him, the Dark Angels fell on their knees ...

At Isstvan, the Dark Angels were part of the second wave. They were the first to open fire on their loyalist brethren, cutting down thousand of Death Guards. It is said that Captain Alajos of the 9th Order was the one who gave the order that would all but destroy the Fourteenth Legion, cripple the Alpha Legion and behead the Night Lords.

Lion El'Jonson was on Isstvan himself, and he fought alongside his warriors against the Night Lords that had followed Curze on the planet. Him and the Savior of Nostramo fought a brief battle amidst the madness of the fratricide, and while the Dark Angels claim that the Lion and his foe were separated by the tide of battle, the Night Lords affirm that the traitor Primarch was outmatched, and forced to flee to avoid being slain at Konrad's hands. Whatever the truth, Konrad went on to confront Vulkan, and fall in battle against the Black Dragon.

Once the dust settled on the greatest act of slaughter ever committed upon the Legiones Astartes, the Lion met with the rest of the Traitor Primarchs. The renegades discussed their next move. With one loyal Legion all but dead, one now without a Primarch and another reduced to less than a fifth of its strength, they clearly had the advantage, but they needed to press on before the shocked Imperium could gather its strength and strike back. All agreed on that, but had different ideas on how this could be achieved. Guilliman lacked the charisma necessary to truly unite his brothers, and he was forced to compromise. He let his brothers who wanted it go on their own journeys, while he would advance toward Terra. Once their forces were close to the Throneworld, they would gather and launch the final strike of the war.

The Lion approved of his plan, and then met Guilliman in private. He and the Arch-Traitor spoke of the events of Prospero, of Russ's defiance of the Emperor's edicts. While the Wolf King hadn't yet declared where he stood in the civil war, there was no doubt that he and his Legion could be convinced to join the side of the rebels. Thus, considering the friendship between the Lion and the Wolf, Roboute sent his brother to find Leman Russ and bring him to their side.

Whether or not the Arch-Traitor knew then what would happen, none but the Emperor knows.

The Thramas Crusade and the Battle of Tsagualsa

After the battle of Isstvan, the Night Lords scattered through the galaxy, following the directions of their new Legion Master Sevatar. Sevatar himself engaged a sizeable contingent of the Dark Angels in a bloody conflict known as the Thramas Crusade that engulfed the Ultima Segmentum's northern end. The objective of the Night Lords, who numbered almost a tenth of their Legion's total number, was to prevent the Dark Angels from making full use of the resources they had gathered in their fortresses of the Ghoul Stars. The war there lasted for most of the war, until one day, the Night Lords were ambushed in orbit of the planet Tsagualsa, where they had hidden one of their supplies caches. How exactly the Dark Angels knew where to look is not known, though there are rumors of forbidden, xenos technology involved as well as daemonic help.

The forces of the Eighth Legion were heavily wounded, though they gave as much as they got. In the end, Sevatar ordered a retreat, using the flagship of the Legion, the Nightfall, to provide cover for other ships to escape. While most expected the Legion Master to die with the ship, he managed to survive, and rejoined the rest of his fleet at their reply point, just in time to receive a mysterious astropathic message. The news it contained are unknown, but it made him gather the fleet with him and leave the Segmentum. The next time he was seen was during the Siege of Terra, when the Night Lords' and the Emperor's Children's full gathered might emerged from the Warp together to enact retribution upon the traitors. While the Dark Angels technically won the Thramas Crusade, that he left Sevatar escape and thus probably rescue the Emperor's Children cost the commander of the First Legion forces in the Thramas Crusade his life when the Lion emerged from the Maelstrom and discovered his son's failure to deal with the Night Lords.

The Greatest Betrayal

The Lion found Russ easily, following the trail left in the Warp by his fleet as they had left Prospero in flames. The Wolf King had made a journey back to Fenris, taking everything of value and importance, before running for the Ultima Segmentum, where he believed he would be safe from the Emperor's retribution. He had heard of Guilliman's treachery, but hadn't moved because he wasn't sure that the Lord of Ultramar would welcome him.

Lion El'Jonson reassured his brother, telling him the Guilliman understood Russ' actions all too well, and that the Edict of Nikaea was a foolish thing that had to be defied. He promised Russ that once Guilliman had conquered the Imperium, things would be very different. Russ believed his brother's words, and declared himself for Roboute, swearing himself and his Space Wolves to the cause of the rebellion.

What happened next is at best speculation drawn from the observations and studies of Interrogators who were then surveyed for the rest of their lives and savants who were executed after they submitted the results of their research. While the final result is known, it is the details that have eluded the Imperium for ten thousand years. Perhaps there have been times when we knew, but if that was the case, the Dark Angels have since destroyed that knowledge.

The Lion spoke with the Wolf, and told him of a place of untold power, a place where they could claim weapons and puissance that would enable the two of them to challenge the Emperor himself. That had been one of the reasons Russ had hesitated in joining Guilliman : for all of his brother's forces, who amongst them could slay the Master of Mankind in combat ? Though He then denied His divinity, He may as well have been a god, such was His might.

The place Lion El'Jonson spoke of was the Warp anomaly in the Ultima Segmentum known as the Maelstrom. Many legends circulated in the Expeditionary Fleets about the Maelstrom's origin, but what mattered to Lion and Russ was that on one of the myriad worlds lost within its grasp laid the remnants of a civilization that was older than any other race currently in existence in the galaxy. The Lion claimed that these remnants held the key to defeating the Emperor, to break His power and leave Him still powerful, but mortal once more. But a Primarch could not brave the dangers of this quest alone – two, however, stood a chance. This appealed to Russ' attraction for sagas and legends, and he accepted his brother's offer. They both dispersed their Legions, Russ in thirteen Great Companies, the Lion in a multitude of Orders, took what is estimated to be thirty thousand Astartes with them, and started their journey toward the Maelstrom.

On their way to the Warp anomaly, they were attacked by a Night Lords fleet, led by Legion Master Sevatar himself. The former First Captain had somehow learned of the Primarchs' goal, and seized the opportunity to kill two of the traitors commanders. The ambush failed, but it took out most of the Space Wolves' ship, forcing those of the Sixth Legion to go aboard the ships of the First. Seeing that the Night Lords were present in the Segmentum, where the Dark Angels had massed much resources in preparation for the war, Lion El'Jonson ordered one of his Captains, Holguin of the Deathwing, to take command of the bulk of the First Legion forces and purge the Ultima Segmentum of the Eighth Legion. Thus began the Thramas Crusade, while the two Primarchs and their honor guards entered the Maelstrom.

Of the two demigods and their hundreds of warriors who crossed the treshold of this hellish region of space, only one being that had once been a Primarch and nine times nine Astartes emerged. Leman Russ was lost, or dead : no one know safe for those who were here, and neither the Lion nor the few warriors who survived ever spoke of the events that occured there.

Russ was gone. The strange weapon of the creature of black, cold metal had struck the Primarch of the Space Wolves, and he had not been here anymore. Lion couldn't even begin to imagine where – or when – his brother had been sent, nor if he had survived the transition. He could feel the malevolent joy that came from his blade as the entity within rejoiced over his despair at the loss of his brother. Even here, cut off from the source of its power, the captive Oracle was taunting him.

Of all the warriors they had brought with them, only a few remained. They had faced tens of thousand of the skeletal automatons since they had first set foot upon this world, the only one in the Maelstrom that wasn't submerged by the Warp, and they had paid the price of reaching this inner sanctum. The Librarians especially had suffered, unable to call upon their abilities in this accursed world. But now, at least, he had arrived.

Behind the remnants of the dead construct stood an altar, upon which was placed a strange device that radiated with a greenish, sick light. Looking at it made the Lion want to puke, so alien and removed from the reality he knew it was.

Lion El'Jonson dragged his wounded body toward the altar, and rose high the Lion Sword. With a feral shout, he swung it down, and broke the device apart in a blast of blasphemous energies that sent the entire catacomb reeling.

With the cornerstone of the mausoleum's engines removed, the shield that had cut the planet from the Empyrean disappeared, and the raging tide of the Warp struck the world like a tsunami. It swirled around the sparks of power that still lurked in the machines, twisted and turned, following impossible angles and laws that didn't stay in effect for more than a thought's time.

It all came to him. It went into him. It remade him. And as his mortality was flayed from him, he saw, through the cracks in the universe's frame. He saw ...

Everything.

Lion El'Jonson had found what he had come for. He was no longer blood and bones, no matter how masterfully engineered they had been : he was now a prince of the Warp, given flesh in the Materium by his own will and empowered by the Dark God of Change and, some say, by the stolen life-force of his brother, treacherously slain on a Daemon World within the Maelstrom.

The Fate of Caliban

Having obtained daemonhood, Lion El'Jonson was now more of a threat to the Imperium than ever. Had he joined back with his traitor brothers then, the course of the war could have ended very differently indeed, but he instead travelled back to his homeworld, for reasons and motives unknown. Scholars have speculated that he wanted to add the Dark Angels stationned on the planet to his forces before the assault on Terra, while a few whisper that his goals involved reinforcements of a much darker nature. These are those in the right, though only the highest-ranking Inquisitors are allowed to know the truth of what happened on Caliban.

The Dark Angels fleet had been gathered in full strength, ready to move on to Terra once what they had come to do was done. Hundreds of ships of all size emerged from the Warp at the same time, sending ripples through the Sea of Souls. They approached Caliban in perfect synchronization, sending hails to their brothers on the planet. No answer came. Worried, the Dark Angels went closer, repeating their calls, noticing that there were a lot more orbital guns and platforms that there had been when they had last seen their homeworld.

Then Caliban's defences opened fire on them. Luther, the Primarch's foster father, knew what the Lion had done. But he and his brothers had remained true to the Emperor. Even if the rest of their Legion turned its back on the ideals of the Imperium, even if the name of the Dark Angels was to be forever stained by the sin of betrayal, they would stay loyal. They needed no reward, no recognition. For them, loyalty was its own reward.

Enraged at his father's perceived betrayal, Lion El'Jonson descended upon Caliban like an avenging god. The ground of the planet trembled upon his feet as he walked right through the loyalists' defences, ignoring the many shots directed toward him. He walked right toward Luther, and found him atop the fortress of the Order. In each hand he held a sword, each the twin of the Lion's own blade, but untainted by the Warp. After a short exchange, father and son dueled, unleashing terrible energies in both the physical and spiritual plane. Luther, a mere human, had somehow become the equal of a Daemon Primarch.

'You were the brightest of us all ! You should have led us into the light ! It was your destiny ! Yet you squandered it, and for what ? Look at you ! Look at what you have become ! You were a hero once, a knight who protected his people from the beasts that roamed the darkness ... And now ? Now, you are the beast, Lion. Magnus had warned me, but I couldn't truly believe it ... and yet, look at you ! A twisted abomination, animated by powers that should never have been allowed to exist ! Did you come back for more of these powers, Lion ?! Hear my words : the great serpent is gone ! We banished it, us who are loyal ! And I so swear that I will destroy you too, even if it costs me my mind, my life, or my soul !'

Luther, last vox transmission before his duel against Lion El'Jonson (allegedly).

But it wasn't enough. Though Luther broke one of his swords destroying that of the Lion, and pierced his fallen Primarch's chest with the other, he was unable to slay the Daemon Primarch in the end. His adoptive son, his rage fueled by the madness of the Warp and the whispers of the two-headed daemon, which was at long last free to make him suffer once more, tore him in two with his bare hands, howling his fury at the burning skies. However, even as he died, Luther had his final triumph, as he turned his last breath into a spell of unheard of potency.

Lion El'Jonson's agony at being pierced by Luther's blade was so great that Caliban, its structure already weakened by the events that had occured before the Legion's return and further destabilized by the duel, burst apart. The homeworld of the Dark Angels was destroyed in a planet-wide vortex of Warp energy. The traitors on its ground died horrific deaths, their body and soul rent apart by the currents of the Empyrean, but the loyalists didn't perish. Instead, protected by Luther's last spell, they were able to pass through the Sea of Souls untouched, preserved as if in stasis. They emerged back into reality instantly from their own point of view, only to find that not only they were far from Caliban, but a varying amount of time had passed since their exile through time as well as space. Alone in a galaxy that hated what their Legion had become, these Fallen, as they call themselves in reference to the honor they have lost because of their Primarch's betrayal, kept on fighting. Loyal to the end, they are sworn to fight Chaos and protect Mankind, no matter the situation, no matter the odds.

The Watchers in the Dark

As great a man as Luther was, he was still only a man, not even fully an Astartes. That such a man managed to battle a Daemon Primarch has intrigued the Ordos for centuries, and they attempted to find out how exactly he had been able to accomplish such a supremely unlikely feat.

It appeared that Luther had had help, help of xenos origin. While this is forbidden now, and already was at the time, it is generally understood that Luther hardly had a choice, and even Inquisitors of the most puritanic factions grudgingly admit that he was right to do what he did.

For thousands of years, Caliban had been under the protection of an unknown xenos breed calling themselves the 'Watchers in the Dark'. These xenos were ensuring that the great evil emprisonned within the planet would not escape, and that the beasts that were born because of its influence could not overrun the world and plunge it into the Warp, where the daemon would have escaped its bounds. When the Lion left Caliban, the beasts had been exterminated, and without them to soak up the creature's touch, the entire planet was slowly falling into corruption. Luther and his Dark Angels had to fight more and more uprisings and daemonic incursions, years before the declaration of the Heresy. Strangely, the first recorded of these intrusions coincides with the estimated date of Lion El'Jonson decision to turn against the Emperor.

When Luther tried to learn more of the secrets of the Warp by using the books of the Order of the Lupus, the Watchers in the Dark grew alarmed that he would be corrupted by the knowledge the tomes contained. They approached him by the intermediary of one of his soldiers, the Librarian Zahariel – who, along with Luther, had saved the Lion's life during the Saroshi's incident. They gave him knowledge, and empowered him, so that with his Librarians' help – including the former Chief Librarian of the Dark Angels, Israfael – and that of the xenos themselves, he was able to banish the daemon into the deepest recess of the Warp, breaking its hold on reality for at least ten millenia.

After this success, Luther had become a very powerful being, no longer merely an augmented human – if anything, he was something very close to the greatest Inquisitors of the Holy Ordos' long history. While it is encouraging to know that a being who was, ultimately, just a man, could fight a traitor Primarch on equal ground, the cost of his battle and the compromises he had to make to reach these heights stand as a warning to all Inquisitors – do they dare believe they are as pure, true and uncorruptible as Caliban's one true champion ?

The Sorcerers' Duel

With their homeworld destroyed and the power they coveted lost to them, the Dark Angels received their orders from Guilliman : the time had come for the Traitor Legions to gather and strike at Terra herself. A great many of the Legion's numbers had been lost, be it by refusing to follow their Primarch or by the fire of Caliban's defences, and the power the Lion had sought to harness from the planet was lost forever, but the Dark Angels answered Guilliman's call.

Despite its wounds, the First Legion was still a powerful force, and the Dark Angels fought well on Terran soil. Their Librarians – who now deserved the name of Sorcerers – unleashed mighty sorceries against the defences set by the Thousand Sons, forcing many of the sons of Magnus to stay in the Palace to maintain them instead of fighting on the frontlines. The rest of the Legion fought at the side of the Ultramarines, pressing on the Palace's walls from all directions, trying to make use of their superior numbers to pierce the loyalists' defences. For weeks they fought, until Sanguinius killed Horus and ascended to daemonhood. Then, just as it seemed that the traitors were about to win, the fleets of the Emperor's Children and Night Lords emerged from the Empyrean. The battle could still be won, but the Legions trapped in Ultramar were also approaching, and if they joined the fight, there was no doubt what the outcome would be. Besides, the recently anointed Daemon Primarch of the Blood Angels had just be struck down by his dead brother's favored sons, and his Legion was now useless to the traitors. It was time for one last gambit.

Thus, Guilliman called his brothers to him, and they walked straight into the Imperial Palace, ready to confront their father and end His immortal life once and for all. The energies of Chaos surrounded them, and to Lion El'Jonson blasphemous perceptions, Roboute appeared as a being that was impossibly stronger than even he had ever been. Truly, thought the Lion, none could match the power that had been bestowed by the Dark Gods upon the Thirteenth Son. But he was wrong.

In the dephts of the Cavea Ferrum, Lion El'Jonson faced his brother Magnus, and lost. Guilliman died, at the Emperor's and Fulgrim's hands. The Roboutian Heresy was over, and the traitors had lost.

The chamber was in ruin. Time and space had been torn, and the raw subtance of the Empyrean was dripping through the cracks of reality. In the middle of the room, two demi-gods stood facing each other. The Crimson King held in his hands a mighty sceptre crackling with arcane power and carved with runes that shone with pure, untainted light. In front of him, his enemy carried no weapon safe those granted to him by his dark master, and the cyclops saw with his inner eye that the one true weapon his brother had ever held had been taken from him, broken by a blade that had once been its twin but had been pure when the two had finally crossed.. But this wasn't what interested him the most, beyond the pain of seeing one of his brethren reduced to such an abominable state.

'I can see it,' said the one-eyed crimson giant.

His opponent, a being of shadows and mists, with a face that looked like that of some ancient, mythical creature, did not respond. While the Daemon Primarch's body was the color of the sky at dusk, there was a dark fire within its chest that burned endlessly, gnawing away at the creature's very core. The Crimson King continued, his voice containing a hint of sadness and another of vengeful joy :

'The wound. It is Luther's gift, is it not ?'

The misty daemon roared in anger, and threw itself at the cyclops ...

Post-Heresy : the Hunt for the Fallen

When their Primarch was defeated by Magnus, the Dark Angels felt that their father lived yet, though he was diminished and far, far away. Although their moral was low, they kept on fighting, hoping that Guilliman would kill the Emperor and win the war. But soon, news came that the Lord of Ultramar had been defeated and slain. The Ultramarines started to run, abandonning their allies to the Imperials. Seeing the debacle, the Dark Angels retreated to their ships, teleporting back by sorcery, and ran. They followed the call of their father through the Sea of Souls, and like most of the Traitor Legions, they arrived in the Eye of Terror. There, they reorganised, rebuilt their forces, and waged war against the other Traitor Legions for spoils, territory and pride.

Then, from the Warp, came the first whispers of the Fallen. The Dark Angels learned that their loyalist brethren had somehow survived the destruction of Caliban, and had been scattered through time and space. Enraged beyond measure, they left the Eye of Terror, determinated to find each and every one of the Fallen and bring them to the Primarch, that they may beg for mercy at his feet, or kill them themselves if necessary. Hundreds of the Fallen have already been caught, their fate better not dwelled upon, but there are many more who defy the First Legion with their every breath, and oppose it with their every waking moment. Every time one of the Fallen is brought to the Primarch or slain, the Dark Angel responsible for his capture or kill receive a Black Pearl, formed from the coaguled blood of the Lion himself. It is a mark of great honor to possess even one of these relics, and the Astartes of the First Legion who already have one strive endlessly to earn yet more.

Cypher, Guardian of Order

Of all the Dark Angels who remained loyal and were scattered through time and space when Luther sacrificed his own life to rip Caliban apart in his attempt to slay the Lion, Cypher is perhaps the most mysterious – and the most dangerous. At its origin, the title of Lord Cypher was a position within the First Legion, that of the keeper of traditions. But the holder of that title was amongst the exilees on Caliban. Who exactly wore it when the loyal Dark Angels discovered the truth of their Primarch's betrayal is unknown, but what is certain is that he was a key figure amongst them.

The first records of his appearance date of the thirty-first millenium itself – soon enough for some to speculate that he was never cast away by Luther's spell in the first place. They described 'a warrior, his face hidden by a cowl, clearly of the Astartes, yet bearing none of the sigils of the loyal Legions, who wielded a weapon in each hand – a bolter and a plasma gun – while never using the great sword on his back' . His first appearance helped turn the tides against a warband of Dark Angels who had risen half the population of the planet to rebellion.

Cypher journeys across the galaxy by means unknown. He always appear at the moment when all things seem to be lost, and vanish as soon as the threat has been taken care of. Every time he does so, Chaos suffers a defeat, though the true scope of some of them is only made clear at a much later date. The Dark Angels have hunted him down for ten thousand years, and have claimed to have killed him many times, yet always he has reappared to defeat them once more.

The Inquisitors have recently grown more concerned with his actions, however, as each sighting of Cypher is a little bit closer to Terra itself. Given that every time the Dark Angel appears, it is to foil some plot of the agents of Chaos, their concern is most varranted, but they cannot fathom his motives, and no one else can. The Lion himself doesn't seem to be able to trace Cypher's moves, and psykers who have come to close to the wandering Angel during one of his apparitions had to be put to the sword after they started to repeat endlessly the same words :

'One who doesn't die, one who doesn't live ... He walks in shadows, yet he shines with light ! His path is unknown to all, his will that of the Throne, and he spits in the face of the Architect of Fate with every breath he takes ! He comes ! He comes ! To distant Terra, with salvation he comes !'

Homeworld

Caliban was destroyed in the Lion's final confrontation with Luther. Nothing remains where the world of green forests and mighty fortresses once stood, only an asteroid field that still shimmers with Warp energy – the remnants of the cataclysmic battle that took place, still felt ten thousand years later.

But the Dark Angels have found a new home in the Eye of Terror. Called the World of Shadows, it is a realm of lies and deceit, where even the most basic laws of physic play trick on the mind of the unwary. Every shadow is a gateway by which a Daemon may suddenly attack, and all that is not under watch has changed by the time the eyes return to it. This makes maintaining the fortresses of the Dark Angels difficult, as the Chaos Marines are forced to keep prisonners all around their walls, watching the stones until they die so that they will not go away. A few such fortresses exist, but their number vary, as they are built by successful warlords and fall when their master fail to provide enough slaves to keep watch on their walls.

The Imperium and the Fallen

Very few know the truth of Caliban's death and the fate of those of the Dark Angels who stayed true to the Emperor. To most of the Imperials who meet them, they appear to be Astartes wearing unknown heraldy, but undeniably allied to the Imperium – and that is enough. Since the Fallen still wear the original color scheme of their Legion, rather than the modified one used by their traitor brethren, they are rarely associated with them.

Without a Legion to support them, many of the Fallen have become knight-errants of a sort. They wander from world to world, fighting for humanity wherever they go. The Inquisition is always looking for them, and some have been found. While many have refused to associate with the Holy Ordos, instead prefering to pursue their own crusade in the hope of one day redeeming their Legion, a few have pledged their allegiance to high-ranked Inquisitors, and act as their agents across the galaxy. Their knowledge of the Warp and their long experience in fighting its minions make them great allies, and they are more flexible of thought than the Grey Knights, if somehow lacking in martial capability in comparison.

Organisation

Atop a tower of mist that was as high as a continent was broad, the Lion waited. The wound on his chest still ached, as it had ever since Luther had pierced him with thad cursed sword of his, as it would until his quest for his wayward sons was over.

It had been a cunning trick, he had to give his former lieutnant that much. The spell was bound to the souls of the thousands of Dark Angels that had been dispered through the galaxy : as long as they lived, the Daemon Primarch's power would be diminished. Only when the final one had finally been slain would he regain his true power, and enact his vengeance upon his father's failed empire.

For ten thousand years in the material plane, he had kept that secret. None could know, not even his sons. Should word of his weakness spread, the servants of the other Gods would surely move against him, and the plans of his master would be thrown down. Better to let them think that he was still pursuing petty revenge agaisnt the sons who had refused him, no matter the cost to his actual operations. Even now, his loyal servants scoured the galaxy for any trace of his traitor spawn. In time, they would find them all. In time, the curse would be lifted. And then ...

The Dark Angels are still under the command of their Primarch, though some reports speak of independants warbands. But these warbands are regularly revealed to be simply agents of some long-term plan of their original Legion, and thus, all Chaos Marines who bear the Lion gene-seed are likely to ultimately answer to him. Nevertheless, since he doesn't leave his Daemon World in the Eye of Terror, Lion El'Jonson must leave field command to others. But the favorite agent of Tzeentch is nothing if not suspicious and paranoid, and he would never trust anyone with full command over any part of his Legion. Thus, in keeping with the Dark Angels' traditions of secret offices, when the Dark Angels move to war, there is always more to their chain of command than meet the eye. Inquisitors and Imperial commanders have tried for centuries to understand just how the First Legion organises itself during its actions against the Imperium, but to no avail.

What is known is that any substantial gathering of Dark Angels has at least a military commander tasked with the force's apparent objective, and one or more of the fearsome Interrogator-Chaplains, who are tasked with advancing the force's true agenda alongside with their servants. It has been speculated that the Lion tasks specific individuals with special tasks, all advancing some grand scheme of his, and there is enough evidence to support that theory that it is now standard Imperial tactic, when dealing with Dark Angels, to treat every single Astartes as a target of the same priority, regardless of their apparent position. It is probably what the Lion intended in the first place, since it makes combat a lot harder for the loyalists. Of all the loyalists Legions, only the Alpha Legion is able to fight the Dark Angels on equal grounds, and battles between the first and last of the Legiones Astartes are truly things to behold, as layer after layer of traps, feints and counter-traps spin into motion. Given the secretive nature of Alpharius' sons, it is often only decades after the fact that the truth of these wars is revealed.

Outside of the battlefield, the Legion is very hierarchised – a consequence of both Lion El'Jonson's rampant paranoia and the very nature of the Dark God they are dedicated to – and more is known of the traitors' organisation. The ranks used are similar to those the Legion used before its betrayal, which were themselves inspired by the Calibanite orders. Nine Grand Masters stand beneath the Primarch, and only they may meet him and hear his command. Each of them command a part of the Legion, and is responsible for transmitting the Primarch's will to them. The exact number of Astartes under a Grand Master's command vary depending on his influence in the Legion, his prestige, and the tasks he had been entrusted with by his Primarch. It is at the feet of the Lion's throne that the Grand Masters learn of their lord's will, and of the impossibly complex plots that are born in his god-like mind. It appears that the Lion himself must lower his intellect to the level of his most favored sons in order for them to be able to comprehend his command, and the Grand Masters act as a buffer between him and the rest of the Legion, their already enhanced minds pushed further by the gifts of Chaos and the ruthless competition and intrigues amidst a Legion of secrets.

Rank-and-file battle-brothers – if such a term has any meaning amongst the Dark Angels – are organised into companies of about a hundred warriors, who pledge fealty to a Captain. That Captain himself pledges his allegiance to a specific Grand Master, though such bonds can be bent or even broken. Companies depend on the Grand Master that directs them for supplies, recruits and wars to fight, but each of them is a small warband of its own.

Grand Master Azrael, the Lord of Lies

Azrael is the youngest of the current Grand Masters. Nothing is known of his life prior to becoming a Dark Angel, but the Inquisition believes that he may very well be the most dangerous Dark Angel in existence safe for the Daemon Primarch himself – though none know whether Azrael's fiersome reputation is but another plot of the Lion or not. The Daemon Primach could have ensured that deeds from other traitors would be attributed to his son, or even created the identity of Azrael entirely, a role played by several others.

Regardless, what is known is that Azrael's star is in the ascendant. He is a master of deceit, capable of weaving webs of treachery that take even the most habile members of the Inquisition decades to unravel while he pursues other plans. He has been granted guardianship of the Sword of Secrets, one of the four blades alledgely forged from the fragments of the Lion Sword when Luther broke the weapon on Caliban. He has personnaly led many raids on Imperial space, and is considered responsible for the death of at least twenty billions Imperial citizens during the Sephlagm Atrocity, when the Inquisition was forced to perform an Exterminatus on the planet due to the corruption he had sown upon it. The current Master of the Assassins is rumored to have sent a dozens kill-teams on Azreal, yet the Lord of Lies, as he is known by those wretched souls that debase themselves with Chaos worship, still lives.

Combat Doctrine

'Emperor protect us ... It is the Dark Angels ! Don't let them take you alive ! No matter what, DON'T LET THEM TAKE YOU ALIVE !'

Typical Imperial reaction to a Dark Angel's strike

The Dark Angels had been the first of the Legions to be created, and as such, they had performed all the duties that were expected from the Astartes until the others had been brought into existence by the Emperor's gene-crafters. Thus, prior to their betrayal, they had no speciality, training instead in a broad variety of warcraft that enabled them to face any situation with the optimal response. After they cast their lot with the Architect of Fate, however, things changed.

Before going to battle, the Dark Angels will gather as much intelligence about their enemies as possible. This takes the form of divinations, sending cultists for infiltration, and the interrogation of prisonners. Only when the commander of the warband has a proper understanding of the situation does he start to plan for the battle proper.

In battle, the Dark Angels are often accompanied by the Broken Ones : the poor wretches who fell in their clutches during the preparation of their assault and passed in the hands of the Interrogator-Chaplains. Their minds broken by the extensive tortures, physical and psychic, most of them launch themselves at the enemy lines with reckless abandon, eager to finally die at the guns of their erstwhile comrades. Dressed back into their loyalist uniform, they show the defenders what it is exactly they risk by opposing the will of the Dark Angels. But as devastating as these Broken Ones can be to the Imperial moral, the true threat comes from those whose individuality has endured the Interrogator-Chaplains' attentions. These can return to their former brothers-in-arms and claim to have escaped by miracle (though this particular tactic does not work anymore, as the Imperium has grown wary of any who claim to have fled from the Dark Angels – to the cost of many actual survivors) and then wreck havoc in the loyalists' defences. Even if they only fight alongside the Dark Angels, to be faced with such an undeniable proof of Chaos' corrupting influence is an experience that can break even the most battle-hardened veteran. Entire regiments of the Imperial Guard have had to be purged after a conflict against the Dark Angels, some by over-zealous Inquisitors, but others because of genuine corruption, fostering in the doubt and fear left by the traitors in the faithfuls' souls.

The tactics of the Dark Angels are often confusing to an Imperial commander. On the larger scale of things, their actions appear random and meaningless, but are later revealed to cause uncalculable damage to the Imperium : this principle of war is mirrored by their strategy on the battlefield. The Dark Angels commanders always appear to be four or five steps ahead of their enemies.

Beliefs

'You may have a part in Tzeentch's great design, but do not think yourself untouchable. Pieces on a god's chessboardare just that : pieces, and if you fail to perform adequatly or refuse to play your part, you will be removed and another will fulfill your duty. The fate of men is preordained by the Architect of Fate, and while there are parts that can be rewritten if needed, minor and insignificant stories that do not impact the whole, the greater design of the God of Change is the only thing that cannot be altered. Ask for what your purpose is if you will, but do not turn against it, for your are but Tzeentch's puppet, and if you do not dance to His tune, then another will in your place.'

The Vision of the Architect of Fate, author unknown, declared Hereticus by Inquisitor Holtonorius (deceased) in M34.1457.

While the Dark Angels have always been a secretive breed, the events of the Roboutian Heresy have made them almost impossible to study. The Daemon Primarch of the First Legion was driven quite mad by the events of Caliban and the ultimate result of his betrayal for the Imperium, and has now embraced his role as agent of Tzeentch, and encouraged his sons to do the same.

Now, having failed to prevent the visions of their Primarch to come to pass, the Dark Angels want nothing more than to erase all signs of their failure. They seek to bring about the ultimate reign of Tzeentch, when all things will be mutable and nothing will ever be constant. Then, they believe, they will be able to erase the shame of their failure and their Fallen brethren's betrayal. To this end, they follow the dictates of their Primarch, for through him speak the God of Change. They plot and scheme amongst themselves, both because it is in their nature, but also because it is expected of those who follow the path of Tzeentch. They have so completely embraced their Chaotic nature that their presence can be unnerving even to other Traitor Marines, who see their zeal with the same suspicion they once saw their secretive nature.

'We all play our part, Night Lord ! Surely you must see that ? I know you do ! Our roles are ordained by the Gods, and only by embracing them can we find our true place in this universe !'

Extract from the recording of Apothecary Talos, seconds prior to the speaker's demise.

Geneseed & Recruitment

The Dark Angels gene-seed is ripe with random mutations, the cost of pledging one's Legion to the Great Mutator. Most of the time, these mutations aren't deadly, and often prove beneficial to their recipient : a Dark Angel may have a third eye on his forehead, which allows him to see into the near future, or his body may be shrouded in warp-fire that make him all but invulnerable to common weaponry. However, these 'gifts' always come at a price : the third eye may never close, denying the Dark Angel the ability to truly sleep, just as the warp-fire would prevent its host to ever get too close to his comrades or attempt to infilitrate an enemy position. While it is rare that a Dark Angel succombs to his mutations and become a Chaos Spawn, it is not entirely unheard of, and is considered amongst the ranks of the Lion's sons to be the mark of failure and the displeasure of Tzeentch. Those who suffer this fate are generally emprisonned in a great vault on the Dark Angels' homeworld, where their never-ending wailing is orchestrated by Daemons to sing the praises of Tzeentch.

Recruitment is, to the Dark Angels as to all Legions trapped in the Eye of Terror, a difficult yet necessary task. They take the children of the cultists of Tzeentch that they use during their assaults, and bring them back into the Eye of Terror. It is there, on the World of Shadows, that these younglings are tested by the Architect of Fate's minions. Those deemed worthy receive the gene-seed of Lion El'Jonson, and are placed within great incubators where the secrets of the Legion are poured into their brain as their body matures into that of an Astartes. By the time they emerge, they are Dark Angels in body and mind, their souls irremediably dedicated to Tzeentch.

Battlecry

The Dark Angels use a broad variety of battle-cries, changing them according to whatever their current objective is. They will often use them to claim a goal different from their actual one, and sometimes shout the plain, naked truth. But two calls are used regardless of the situation : 'Bow to the will of Tzeentch !' and 'For the Lion and the Great Mutator !'. When they are hunting for one of their loyalist brethren and know that they are in hearing range, their voices endlessly repeat the name of their quarry alongside promises and threats, in an unnerving tone that speak of a single-mindeness alien to any sane soul.

As for the Fallen, they use the traditional call of 'For the Emperor !' as well as the more personnal 'For Luther !' and 'No mercy for the Unforgiven !' when facing their corrupt brethren.


AN : and here it is. The first of the Legions, twisted by the whims of fate.

First thing : thank to those who expressed their support for the idea of the Roboutian Heresy, and those who said they enjoyed it in their review.

Second thing : to the one who told me this was bad canon ... is that supposed to be a joke ?

Third thing : I have a lot more respect for Games Workshop's authors, now. Ensuring that there weren't any contradictions is already difficult, and I only have two documents to synchronize !

Fourth thing : the next Legion should be that of the Emperor's Children. Yes, I am not doing the Lost Primarchs. Sorry.

Fifth thing : yes, I kept the character Zahariel. What ? He is the one I took my pseudo after ! I wasn't doing to erase his part in the Heresy !

Sixth thing : yes, I didn't kill Russ. Yes, the creature he and Lion faced is of Necron origin. No, I am not saying more. You will probably have to wait until the Space Wolves' turn, or perhaps a short story that will only be written after all eighteen Legions have been depicted. MOUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA !

Seventh thing : if you enjoyed it, please review ! If you saw incoherences with the previous entry that escaped me, tell me ! If you have idea for the other Legions, tell me !

That's all for now.

Zahariel (the writer, not the Librarian Dark Angel) out.