Some spoilers for Blood Reaver and Lord of The Night may be unmarked, and all events occurring in Soul Hunter are unmarked.
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Tropes applying to the Night Lords as a whole
- Arch-Enemy: Several contenders for the position of the Nights Lords' arch-enemy exist:
- The Raven Guard are generally seen as the Loyalist Counterpart to Night Lords, where the latter caused serious casualties to the former during the Drop Site Massacre. Konrad Curze being Corax's Evil Counterpart is heavily played up in the latter's story arch in the Horus Heresy.
- The Dark Angels spent the better part of the Horus Heresy tracking down the Night Lords during the Thramas Crusade. By the third year the Dark Angels had killed as much as 1/4th of the Legion and destroyed as much as 1/5th of their fleet.
- The Ultramarines and their Successor Chapters from the Second Founding absolutely destroyed the Night Lords at the Tsagualsa Reprisal during the Great Scouring, where the Night Lords didn't so much fight as run in terror for the Thunderhawks and Stormbirds. It was extremely humiliating for the Night Lords.
- The Blood Angels have a pretty bitter history with 10th Company in particular over Raguel the Suffer and Talos stealing Aurrum.
- Army of Thieves, Rapists, Sadists, and Murderers: In an effort to meet the demands of the Great Crusade, Konrad Curze was forced to start recruiting from the prisons and hive gangs which littered Nostramo. This in turn resulted in a Legion whose rank and file battle-brothers (and more than a few captains) didn't accept his philosophy of "order through fear" and simply killed and terrorized because they were stronger and would face no retribution. It's why Curze ultimately destroyed Nostramo.
- Black Eyes of Evil: Night Lords have enormous pupils, along with black irises and scleræ. Justifiable for the same reason as Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette.
- Brown Note: Justifiably, bright light causes them severe discomfort and the occasional bout of ocular bleeding. What is blinding for a Night Lord may only mildly glaring to another marine or an unmodified human.
- They are also capable of inflicting a different form of Brown Note themselves: They would take deep breaths, filling each of their three massive lungs, crank their helmet speakers' volume settings up to eleven, and scream. It's described as being so loud that those who hear it had no idea when the Night Lord stopped screaming, as they were deafened almost immediately, even from a distance. The pain is more than enough to reduce a hardened soldier to a gibbering wreck, and even a Calidus Assassin was momentarily disoriented and permanently deafened.
- Crippling Over Specialization: The Night Lords reliance on overwhelming force, and specialization in guerrilla and terror tactics have left them more or less unable to take on anybody in a fair fight. This makes them especially vulnerable when fighting groups they cannot strike fear into or fight on uneven terms, like Space Marines, Skitarii, or Eldar.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Following the death of Konrad Curze the Night Lords pretty much only fight when they possess overwhelming force. Makes their flight during Tsagualsa Reprisal all the more ironic.
- Dirty Coward: Though it's arguable whether they feel the panic or not, they do — surprisingly for Astartes — fit this trope. Night Lords are some of the first into the fray against Imperial guardsmen, PDF, and innocent civilians, but the moment they realize something equal to or stronger than them, like Imperial Space Marines or the Eldar are on their way, the members of the Eighth Legion run for their Thunderhawks in a rather undignified manner. More than a few will abandon their own battle-brothers in the name of self-preservation.
- The Dreaded: Night Lords specialize in brutal terror tactics, and stealth (both in infiltration and slipping deep into enemy space), so they are naturally one of the most fear-inspiring forces in the 41st Millennium.
- Drunk with Power: Most Night Lords ended up terrorizing planetary populations simply because they were strong and the populations were weak.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: The Night Lords are all brunette, (unless they shave their head) and their planet is in perpetual darkness, resulting in pale skin.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The Night Lords are evil, no two ways about it, but when Konrad Curze was wounded by Lion El'Jonson in Prince of Crows, the vox-net was filled with Legionaries weeping over his wounds and praying for his survival. Sevatar lampshades an army of rapists and flayers showing such love for a man they've never had any real devotion to.
- Evil Sounds Deep: As expected from huge super soldiers. Xarl in particular, and the Exalted's unnatural voice are of particular mention.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Night Lord epithets tend to be short and brutally descriptive.Black Legion Terminator: You give yourselves a lot of titles.
Xarl: We kill a lot of people.
- Fantastic Racism: The Night Lords are extremely biased against psykers and those touched by the Warp. After the Drop Site Massacre they wouldn't let any of the Word Bearers near them. However, as time has gone on, a few have become more favorable to the Dark Gods. Konrad Curze being a psyker is just one of the many contradictions within the Night Lords.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: A bunch of adolescent hive gangers taken into a Legion which prided itself on its terror tactics.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: A favorite phrase of their primarch, and an accurate descriptor for the legion as a whole.
- Karma Houdini: The Night Lords took to excessively terrorizing civilian populations because they would face no reprisal for their actions. This philosophy continued into the years of the Great Scouring so much that the Imperium decided to send the XIII Legion on them. As in, the Ultramarines and their successor chapters from Second Founding.
- Know When To Fold Them: Somewhat unique to the Legiones Astartes, the Night Lords would up and leave a fight if they knew they couldn't win it. Though by the 41st millennium, it's degenerated into more of a Dirty Coward mindset.
- Mildly Military: As the Night Lords were always more a collection of hive gangers than a legion of soldiers, things like discipline and camaraderie were never really enforced on them.Sevatar: This is why the Imperials always win. They don't get in each others way. Discipline may be dull, but it has undeniable military application.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Night Lords show a special fondness for cranking up the output amplification on the vox speakers in their helmets, and screaming literal and figurative bloody murder until the humans in the area are curled in the fetal position clutching bleeding ears.
- Mark of Shame: Sinners red gauntlets, taken from a hive ganger tradition of tattooing condemned members of a gang's hands.
- Pretentious Latin Motto: Ave dominus nox. "Hail to the Lord of the Night."
- Primal Fear: What they aspire to be.
- Skeletons in the Coat Closet: They frequently have severed heads hanging from their waists as a terror tactic.
- Survival Mantra: During the Tsagualsa Reprisal:"Get to the ships! Get to the ships!"
- Token Evil Teammate: Even before they turned bad, to the extent that whilst every other traitor legion had it's loyalist (or, at least, not completely evil) contingent, the Night Lords have been shown to have none. Even the two examples thus far that could be considered loyalists are still avowedly murdering terror junkies.
- Torture Technician: Somewhat of a hat for the legion to go with the extensive terror tactics. Both protagonists so far have shown a proficiency in interrogatory cruelty.
- Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty: A core Night Lord tactic. Unfortunately for the Legion, the Night Lords have been doing this for so long that their ability to fight fairly has dropped to the point that they're running in fear from Imperial Space Marines.
- Undying Loyalty: Played with. During his life, many rank and file Night Lords weren't all that interested in listening to Curze's orders, but following his death M'shen passes Night Lords which are visibly having trouble restraining themselves from disobeying Curze's last order and joining Talos in hunting her.
Konrad Curze/The Night Haunter
"Death is nothing compared to vindication."Son of the God Emperor of the Imperium of Mankind. Primarch and original head of the Night Lords
- 0% Approval Rating: Given his tactics and the horrifying, horrifying methods he used to send warnings to rebellious worlds, he was universally despised by his brothers. His only friend among them was Fulgrim, and even he was more often than not creeped out by the Haunter.
- A Father to His Men: Literally, but also figuratively when he was sane. Later averted when he privately admitted that he despised his legion and wouldn't even know where to start purging it of it's bad elements.
- Atop a Mountain of Corpses: His throne in the Screaming Gallery was made of bone.
- Badass: Horus said it best: "Night Haunter is a moody bastard but handy in a fight."
- Badass Boast: Provides the main Night Lords page quote, along with a few others.
- One from The Dark King: "Death haunts the shadows! And he knows. Your. Name!" Said to Space Marines no less.
- Badass Cape: Made of feathers. Or at least M'shen thought it was.
- Badass In Charge
- Badass Nickname: The Lord of the Night. Whether "Night Haunter" was a nickname or a separate personality is up to the reader.
- Four-Star Badass: And according to Sevetar, he wasn't cut out for the life of a general.
- Badass Boast: Provides the main Night Lords page quote, along with a few others.
- Body Horror: He was slowly turning into... something else.
- Captain Ersatz: He's the 40k-verse's Batman. His preferred CQC weapon also gives him a resemblance to the Amalgam Universe character Darkclaw.
- Cool Crown: The Corona Nox, used by the rulers of Nostramo which came to be seen as the symbol of his status as Legion Master. Taking it for her own honor was probably M'shen's biggest mistake.
- Cool Sword: Although Curze never liked swords, he did carry a relic power sword on his person. M'shen thought it would impress the High Lords, so she swiped it after killing him.
- The Cowl: How he presented himself to Nostramo.
- Double Consciousness: Acerbus implies that he would constantly switch between the well meaning Konrad Curze, who became a monster so that others would not have to, and The Night Haunter, who lives only to terrorize and kill.
- The Dreaded: Being the leader of the Night Lords tends to make you this. There's also the fact that in The First Heretic, Corax, who had previously been wiping the floor with Lorgar, immediately bailed when Konrad Curze showed up to fight him instead.
- Evil Counterpart: To Corvus Corax. Especially played up during the latter's story arc in the Horus Heresy.
- Fangs Are Evil: By the time he'd taken up residence on Tsagualsa, he had filed his teeth down to points. According to Cyrion, Curze apparently kept biting his lips on them.
- The Fatalist: A side effect of having visions of his own death since childhood. He was very, very right about darn near everything he foresaw.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: However, many of his visions came about partly due to his own actions.
- Gollum Made Me Do It: The Night Haunter persona was quite capable of either justifying itself whenever Curze did something against his moral code or simply suppressing any moral objections he might have. By the end this verged on Split Personality Takeover.
- Hanging Judge: According to Sevatar, Curze was not a general, but a justiciar, able to look killers and traitors in the eye as he sentenced them to death. Of course, Curze was more of a Flaying Judge than a Hanging Judge.
- He Who Fights Monsters: A classic example whose decline mirrors that of his legion and his homeworld.
- Informed Attribute: For all his and the Night Lords' talk of playing dirty in a fight, we've never actually seen Curze fight dirty in any of the books he's appeared in. In fact, during their battle together, the Lion played dirtier than he did.
- Does come more to the fore in The Unremembered Empire, where Curze infiltrates the Fortress of Hera and goes on a rampage, booby-trapping the dead and using stealth attacks and vox-distortions soften up the Ultramarines and Dark Angels before attacking them.
- King on His Deathbed: Most series flashbacks depict him during his period of hiding out on Tsagualsa, slowly crumbling into madness.
- Knife Nut: When rules were released for him in Forge World's Horus Heresy line, instead of a Volkite or Plasma pistol like the other Primarchs had for long ranged combat, Curze was given throwing knives known as "the Widowmakers".
- Known Only by Their Nickname: Canon wavers a bit, but the populace of Nostramo only ever called him Night Haunter. "Dominus Nox" was another fairly common form of address for him among legion members, who rarely called him Curze. The only people to ever commonly use his birth name were his brothers and father.
- Leeroy Jenkins: In Prince of Crows he ends up ordering an attack on the Invincible Reason despite the Night Lords fleet trying to break out, so that he can personally take on Lion El'Jonson. Apparently, his earlier barely-won victory over the LionFor Details blinded him to the fact that he was heading straight into enemy territory with no hope of victory or retreat.
- Looks Like Cesare: Best described in The Dark King
- Machiavelli Was Wrong: Profoundly averted. Nostramo was a Wretched Hive, and Night Haunter brought it to heel through fear and chillingly brutal and plentiful murders. His method worked fantastically, but when he left Nostramo to prosecute the Great Crusade and Nostramo found itself without fear for the first time in years, they swiftly reverted into anarchy and crime.
- Mood-Swinger: Between morbid fatalism, charismatic leadership, and bestial, subhuman bloodthirst.
- Named After Somebody Famous/Meaningful Name:
- The Nicknamer: Responsible for the epithets some of his sons carry.
- Off with His Head!: M'shen was bringing his severed head back to Terra as confirmation that Curze was dead, though whether decapitation is what killed him isn't said.
- Parental Issues: Oh boy...
- Archnemesis Dad
- Offing the Offspring: A victim of this indirectly via the Officio Assassinorum.
- Parental Abandonment: Bonus points for raising himself on a hellhole of a planet.
- The Unfavorite: Depending on who you ask, everything he did (at least at the start, before he lost it) was an attempt at gaining his father's approval through the only means he knew, and even when the Emperor sent assassins to kill him, he remained silent about the fact that the Emperor had not only sanctioned his tactics, but had even ordered them. In response, the Emperor tried to silence him by sending the entire Officio Assassinorum after him. However, this account was given by a Night Lord, who would be understandably biased, and even other, more cynical Night Lords have refuted this, so this should be taken with a grain of salt. This being 40k, we can probably assume that nobody was guiltless.
- Perpetual Frowner: In compliment to his mantle as The Stoic.
- Psychic Powers: He possessed divination abilities, allowing him to know when someone he was looking at would die. After meeting the Emperor he was constantly plagued by visions of the Emperor murdering him.
- He had some amount of telekinetic power as well, as shown in The Dark King audio drama.
- Scars Are Forever: Despite his near divine levels of healing capacity, Curze retained the throat scars from his duel with his equally divine brother Lion El'Jonson on Tsagualsa until his death.
- Serial-Killer Killer: Grew up as one on Nostramo, where he killed so many criminals that the sewers were clogged with their body parts. His actions were considered an improvement.
- Shadow Archetype: What makes this instance of the trope scary, is that he appears to be his own shadow archetype, with his Night Haunter persona had likely been the one to fall to Chaos, while Curze had remained likely untainted.
- Slasher Smile: Worn only in the bloodiest of moments, it is positively terrifying even to the honor guards of other primarchs.
- The Stoic:"He was amused by nothing. He enjoyed nothing. Even the bloodiest moments of war set his features in a grim mask of concentration and infrequent disgust."
- Super Power Meltdown: Talos theorizes in Blood Reaver that his slow memory loss, physical/moral degradation and mutation were the result of permanent flux in the Emperor's modifications to his body.
- Thanatos Gambit: "Death is nothing compared to vindication."
- Then Let Me Be Evil: The Imperium denegated him for his style of warfare for so long that his rebellion took the form of living up to his monstrous image.
- This Is Your Brain on Evil: Not by choice, which may lead some credibility to his status as The Fatalist.
- True Companions: His only real friends among the Primarchs were Horus, Fulgrim, and Mortation.
- Vigilante Man: In one of the most horrible plays of this trope, Kurze inflicted genocide on the criminal elements he found on Tsagualsa.
- Villainous Rescue: Saving Lorgar from Corax during the Drop Site Massacre. However, after seeing the Gal Vorbak, Curze (who hates warp-corruption) thought he should have let Lorgar die.
- Wolverine Claws: Most mentions of him in combat include Lightning Claws. They were known amongst the Night Lords as [[Mercy and Forgiveness. Perhaps, these aren't so ironically named when you consider Kurze's general attitude towards mercy and forgiveness.
Those captains and warriors from various companies.
- Aerith and Bob: Every other legion member so far mentioned has had either a Nostraman or pseudo Latin/Greek name, leaving Shang standing out like a sore thumb. He doesn't even have being born offworld as an excuse. His name is also inconsistently spelled both "Shang" and "Sheng" from book to book.
- Black Cloak
- The Consigliere: The job description of an Equerry.
- The Generic Guy: Not much is described about him other than that he's typically Nostramon.
- Malevolent Masked Man/Skull for a Head: His death mask.
- Master Swordsman: Inverted, he's noted as being average at best when it comes to formalized combat. However, he fights like a Nostraman, so classical swordsmanship isn't a priority.
- Number Two: Split the job with First Captain Sevatar
- With Due Respect
Krieg Acerbus, Axemaster
Former Night Lords Captain, now a Daemon Prince.
Leader of the largest Night Lords warband currently active.
- An Axe to Grind: The source of his epithet, and presumably quite handy with one.
- Blood Knight: Known to be one of the most aggressive captains of the Legion.
- Large and in Charge: Notable before his ascension, which exaggerated it in the way only Chaos can.
- The Magnificent: Like many of Curze's captains.
- Meaningful Name: In Gratuitous German and Latin, to the tune of "Rough/Severe War"
- One-Winged Angel: Taken Up to Eleven, he's now a Daemon Prince.
- Casting a Shadow: As a Daemon Prince.
- Emotion Eater: Invokes the idea that the Legion feeds on fear; given what he is this may literally be the case.
- Evil Makes You Monstrous: He's a particularly horrifying example. Most daemon princes are semi-corporeal monsters with power armour, but his transformation has turned him into something entirely more monstrous.
- Voice of the Legion: His voice is described as a chorus of screams modulated into coherent speach.
- The Rival: To Zso Sahaal.
Captain of Third Company, and commander of the battle-barge Hunter's Premonition.
Leader of the other Night Lords warband engaged at Crythe.
- Cool Ship: The Hunter's Premonition, one of the Eighth Legion's last battle-barges.
- It Has Been an Honor: When Vandred offers to retrieve the Astartes he has remaining on Crythe:Ave Dominus Nox, Vandred. Glory to the 10th. Die well, all of you.
- No One Gets Left Behind: He refused to leave his warriors behind on Crythe.
- Oh Crap!: He has a massive one when he learns that Talos is having a vision of the Blood Angels arriving within hours. He is perfectly justified in this response.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: He immediately advocates that the Night Lords leave Abbadon to die when he refuses to order a retreat.
Captain of the Ninth Company and officer of the Kyroptera
Rival of Sevatar.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Due to bolter fire.
- Perpetual Sneerer
- Revenge Before Reason: Wants to go back into the Thramas Crusade right after the Dark Angels defeated them.
Captain of the 27th Company.
Officer of the Kyroptera.
- Genre Savvy: He knows Sevatar's chain-halberd has a teleport homer inside.
- Properly Paranoid: Trusts no one, least of all his battle-brothers. Knowing the Night Lords, this is wise.
- The Strategist: Described as more of a tactician than a murderer.
Captain of the 114th Company.
Officer of the Kyroptera.
- Artificial Limbs: He was born without a hand, but he passed the Legion's physical trials and was given an augmentic hand. It doesn't always work properly.
- Childhood Friends: He and Sevatar were in the same gang. Or at least he's as close to a friend as Sevatar can have.
- Red Baron: Torvac Lackhand.
Captain of the 13th Company.
Officer of the Kyroptera.
- Noodle Incident: The Compliance of 809-5, which was achieved without shedding a drop of blood. He and his company were sworn to secrecy about how they achieved aforementioned compliance. Given the fact that Sevatar finds the story hilarious, that should be all you should want to know.
- Red Baron: The Bloodless.
Captain of the 39th Company.
Officer of the Kyroptera.
- The Generic Guy: Nothing really to distinguish him beyond the basic levels of honor (or at least what the Night Lords consider honorable).
- No One Gets Left Behind: Refused to leave Sevatar behind when he ordered the Nightfall to remain and rescue legionaries whose ships had been destroyed or had abandoned. Sevatar considers a display of courage among a Legion which embraces "tactical cowardice" something to investigate. And Ophion later refuses to leave when the Dark Angels ambush the Night Lords a second time.
Captain of the 103rd Company.
Officer of the Kyroptera.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Even for a Night Lord, his skin is extremely pale. Sevatar suspects a gene-seed failure.
- Klingon Promotion: Krukesh killed his former Captain in a murder duel before the Horus Heresy.
- Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Immediately decides to flee when the Dark Angels arrive to ambush the Night Lords again.
- Slasher Smile
Chief Librarian of the Night Lords before the Heresy.
- Token Good Teammate: Only in very bleak comparison to the rest of the Night Lords. He strongly believed that the acts of torture and terror had to have a purpose and willingly accepted his punishment when the Edict of Nikea was enacted. Then again, it seems that he is to be recruited into Malcador's Knight's errant.
Zso Sahaal, Talonmaster
Captain of First Company at the time of Curze's death, and his designated heir.
Unusually for a high ranking member of the Legion, he is Terran-born.
- Bad Dreams: About the loss of the Corona Nox
- Break the Haughty: The first half of Lord of the Night
- Covered with Scars: This isn't uncommon among space marines, but Mita notes this specifically about him.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Zso Sahaal is, by any normal human standards, a complete monster. That being said, over the course of the story you see that he is disciplined enough to resist the chaos-induced urge submit to mindless bloodshed and depravity. After calling upon the dark powers, he notices that he is slowly losing control of his own mind and breaks free from it. Naturally, he is horrified by his long lost brothers, who failed this test 10,000 years prior and are now less human than daemon.
- Fish Out of Temporal Water: He was in stasis for approximately 9,600 years between the death of Curze and the start of Lord of the Night.
- The Magnificent: Presumably his epithet refers to his mastery with Lightning Claws and/or the common Great Crusade-era practice of having the First Captain of a legion as the second in command.
- Morality Pet: Arguably Mita by the end of the book.
- The Neidermeyer: Not due to incompetence, glory seeking or disregard of his troops. Instead his youthful arrogance, status as a foreigner and inability to live up to Sevatar's reputation lead to portions of his company simply up and leaving to join other companies as honor guards for their captains.
- Physical Scars, Psychological Scars
- Psychopathic Manchild: Somewhere between type B and type C.
- Screaming Warrior
- Villain Protagonist
- Wolverine Claws: Favors lightning claws in combat.
Jago "Sevatar" Sevatarion, The Condemned, Prince of Crows
Captain of First Company prior to Zso Sahaal.
Died in the siege of Terra.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Averted. While many Night Lords are mentally abnormal in one way or another, the way Sevatar is written in the Prince of Crows novella makes him seem like a textbook example of antisocial personality disorder. He shows a modicum of empathy in the Long Night.
- Badass: Sevetar was regarded as one of the most formidable Space Marines of his day, up there with Ezekyle Abaddon of the Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus, Sigismund of the Imperial Fists, and Raldoron of the Blood Angels. His actions in These Savage Weapons and Prince of Crows have proven those claims are justified.
- Further emphasised in Sigismund: Templar. Considering that Sigismund was considered to be the greatest mortal duellist in the legions (and who had never lost a duel) and usually concluded such fights in short order, it's a testament to both warriors that both were able to fight eachother to draw over almost a day.
- Badass Boast: "I am Sevatar the Condemned, and I will wear your skin as a cloak before dawn ruins the sky."
- Badass In Charge: As First Captain.
- Badass Nickname: The "Prince of Crows".
- Blade on a Stick: Fights using a chain halberd with a meter long blade. And a teleportation homing device in it.
- Broken Ace: The narration emphasizes that Sevatar is one of the best fighters in the Legiones Astartes. He's also just as screwed up as one would expect of a Night Lord from Nostramo especially one suppressing psychic powers. It starts to get to him during The Long Night.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Does one to the Night Haunter himself. Sevetar questions the ruling from fear doctrine that shaped both Nostramo and the fighting style of the legion, noting that the moment the Night Haunter was gone, the planet (and people/new recruits) changed for the worse. The Night Haunter denies this, claiming it was the only way, leading Sevetar to point out the other ways that other Primarchs had made compliant, productive, and orderly worlds (without having to broadcast the screams of flayed children over the planetary vox network). The Night Haunter doesn't take it very well.Curze: There was no other way.
Sevatar: No? What other ways did you try?
- Dark Secret: In ''Prince of Crows" we learn that Sevatar's a repressed psyker in a Legion which was up there with the Death Guard and Space Wolves in hating psykers.
- Dead Man Walking: The arterial red color of his gauntlets marks him as condemned, living only on the whim of his primarch.
- Deadpan Snarker: Responds to most problems, threats, and insults with bone dry one liners. Even by the standards of the Night Lords he snarks a lot.
- Do Not Call Me "Paul": Angrily refuses to answer to Jago; although almost no-one calls him Sevatarion either.
- Everyone Calls Him Sevatar: He refuses to answer to "Jago", but no one ever calls him "Captain Sevatarion".
- Averted whilst he is captive on the Invincible Reason. Altani only calls him Jago.
- Famed In-Story: His fame during the crusade era was nearly equal to that of Abaddon.
- Faking the Dead: In Void Stalker, Mercutian confides to Octavia that he believes Sevatar is still alive, something which a number of Night Lords believe. Talos, however, dismisses it.
- Faux Affably Evil: Speaks with mock cheer and courtesy the majority of the time, even when addressing a former flaying victim he intends to... finish off.
- Flashback to Catchphrase: Originated the phrase "Death to the False Emperor!", which cultists and Chaos Marines of the modern day use constantly.
- Flaying Alive: He's capable of taking off in long continuous ribbons of human skin in one go, despite the size and power of his chainblade.
- Genuine Human Hide: He wears the results of his flayings bolted to his armor.
- I Have Many Names
- I Gave My Word: Takes his oaths of loyalty to the Atramentar and his primarch with a seriousness bordering on Honor Before Reason. Pretty surprising from a self-admitted liar and murderer.
- Leaning on the Furniture: Serves to highlight his almost universal irreverence.
- The Magnificent: "The Condemned" and "Prince of Crows". We learn why he got the latter in "Prince of Crows": as a child, he used to bring corpses for some crows to feed on, as their wings fluttering was the only thing that could keep his psyker induced headaches back long enough for him to sleep.
- Mark of Shame: Wears gauntlets painted in sinner's red. He doesn't view them as much to be ashamed about, however.
- Morality Pet: A very mild and slightly twisted example with Flight Commander Taye. He lets her get away with talking to him with far less respect due to an Astartes, let alone a First Captain. The end of Prince of Crows reveals that he keeps her (and a few other people in the fleet) around because she resembles members of his long dead family. They might even be related. This said, he has no idea what to think of this, emotionally speaking.
- And again when he is captive on board the Invincible Reason, taking great risk to hunt down and bring justice / punishment to the people who maimed Altani the young astropath girl who soothed the pain in his head after his psychic power runs out of control.
- No Social Skills: Astartes aren't known for their social interaction, but Sevatar actually has trouble joking and bonding with his own brothers in the Atramentar, actually expressing (private) envy of Sigismund for his ability to bond with his brothers in the Imperial Fists. This seems to be due to his antisocial personality disorder than any Astartes conditioning, though.
- Number Two: Split between him and Shang. Curze associates the role with him so strongly that in his senile moments after Sevatar's death he would demand his presence in war councils.
- Psychic Powers: Revealed to be a pskyer in "Prince of Crows" short story for Shadows of Treachery.
- Skull for a Head/ White Mask of Doom: Wears a skull faced helm in the manner of Talos.
- Softspoken Sadist: All the more jarring given how much he pisses off his enemies.
- Troll: He will not miss the chance to dick with you For the Lulz, and he's extremely good at it. He even managed to piss off Lion El'Johnson, a warrior who was notoriously difficult to provoke.
- The Unsmile: It's described as "hooks tugging at the flesh of a corpse". Probably related to that antisocial personality disorder of his.
Chief Apothecary of the Night Lords during the Heresy.
Primus-Medicae of the Atramentar.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Uses his narthecium in combat. Particularly the bone-saw.
- Combat Medic: But what do you expect from an Apothecary?
- Facial Horror: Got half his face sliced off by an Iron Hands' chainfist during the Drop Site Massacre.
- Frozen Face: As a result of the aforementioned Iron Hands' chainfist, his facial augmentics are permanently locked in a blank expression. It reminds Sevatar of Terran death-masks.
Alastor Rushal, "The Raven"
Raven Guard traitor, honorary member of the Kyroptera.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: At the hands of Sevetar. And considering that He is the only marine from a Loyalist Legion to turn fully against his legion, this must have taken some doing..
The Exalted/Vandred Anrathi
Captain of Tenth Company following Malcharion's entombment.
Previously Sergeant of First Claw.
- And I Must Scream: Vandred is trapped powerless in his own body as a daemon abuses his beloved ship into deeper and deeper disrepair, violates his memory for its own purposes and amusement, and ruins or discards his men.
- Bad Boss: Tends to swat bridge officers and other Mooks around when irritated.
- Body Horror: The Exalted has caused extreme mutations in Vandred's body, including teeth at various angles. Makes sense for a daemon of Tzeentch.
- Daemonic Possession: From approximately his ascension to Captain onward.
- Dying as Yourself: Subverted into Taking You with Me
- Fighting from the Inside: Vandred will occasionally lash out at The Exalted psychically.
- Frozen Face: As a result of the constant mutation of the Vandred's skull structure.
- The Gift: Its/His grasp of void warfare.
- Guttural Growler: Fully demonstrated in Throne of Lies
- Hair-Trigger Temper:Lucoryphus: "The Exalted is wrathful"Cyrion: "The Exalted is always wrathful"
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: Type two very firmly applied, lampshaded and justified
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Made even more alien by the black gums, and the strange angles at which the teeth are set.
- The Neidermeyer: Aside from its personal guard (and even then it's just a few of them), none of the Night Lords feel any particular loyalty to the Exalted beyond the chain of command. It's willing to sell them out to Abaddon the Despoiler for advancement. It is more the daemon's influence than Vandred however.
- Orcus on His Throne: The Exalted has left The Covenant of Blood exactly once within the main narrative, during Throne Of Lies
- Overly Long Tongue: It can lick its own eyeballs, among other things, bonus creepy points for being black.
- Phlegmings: All the time, in exhaustive, nauseating detail.
- Telepathy: Its favored form of daemonic power.
- That Man Is Dead: Standard response to being addressed as Vandred.
- Spell My Name with a "The": Though it will respond to "Exalted One" or "Exalted of the Dark Powers".
- The Strategist: The Exalted in the arena of void warfare, and Vandred before him. Deconstructed in that it achieves consistent, immaculate victory through means which usually put the crew and occasionally its beloved ship in danger. Being possessed by a daemon of Tzeentch tends to cut down on the physical risks to the ship, but danger to the lives of the crew—or even to the dwindling supply of Astartes—is moot in its eyes. Blood Reaver reveals this to be the result of The Exalted scraping Vandred's memories from him. Without that, it is incapable of void warfare.
- Tears of Blood: Due to facial paralysis, any act which requires strain on those muscles causes its tear ducts to leak a dark, bloody, oily substance.
Malcharion, The War Sage:
Former Captain of Tenth Company
- Big Book of War: The Tenebrous Path, his treatise on Night Lords warfare. He even got Sevetar to quote a preface for one chapter. Curze found it pointless but amusing.
- Deadpan Snarker: Most of his dialogue is either snark or threats.
- Man in the Machine
- The Mentor
- More Dakka: His twinlinked Reaper Autocannon mount, which he uses to great effect on Terminator Vraal, at point blank range.
- Not Quite Dead: Almost permanently as a result of being a dreadnought. Ultimately subverted, when he dies at the climax of Soul Hunter.
- Until it's revealed that Malek, the Terminator Champion of the Atramentar, ordered Deltrian to preserve the Warsage. Talos found out and was not pleased, though did not enter a berserker fit that Deltrian expected.
- Pet the Dog: Protecting Marlonah from the Eldar and keeping her company in the oppressive darkness of Tsagualsa's ruins, even activating his built-in searchlights to help her see when her own lamp runs out of power. Keep in mind that Marlonah is an unaugmented human and a slave to the Night Lords, and only alive because the two Night Lords who hijacked her escape pod didn't want to waste any time killing her.Malcharion: Who would ruin their legend with one last, untold tale? Who would cast aside the slaughter of an imperial hero in favour of saving a single human from death in the infinite dark?
- Reasonable Authority Figure: In sharp contrast to The Exalted.
- Red Baron: The War Sage. Because he wrote about combat tactics Curze gave him this nickname mockingly, and even joked that he should go join the Ultramarines.
- Take Up My Sword: He gives Talos his old storm bolter after Talos lost his own. Many Night Lords regard this as a sign that Malcharion believes Talos would be a better leader than Vandred, or as a sign that Talos is attempting to usurp the position of Tenth Company's captain. Talos refutes this and even when he ends up with command, he is still very reluctant.
Lucoryphus of the Bleeding Eyes
Head of the Bleeding Eyes Raptor Cult acquired at the end of Soul Hunter
- Aloof Ally: Typical of raptors.
- Anthropomorphic Zig Zag: He constantly behaves like an animal, particularly a bird, he walks on all fours surprisingly well, but can be persuaded to stand on his feet, though the notion bothers him. He often chides his men for speaking too much in raptor clicks and hisses, though he does it himself sometimes.
- Armed Legs: His armor has a pair of claws where the feet would be, typically used for hanging from things, but in one instance he uses them for leverage to snap a loyalist Marine's neck, and later he show's that they are also lightning claws.
- Death from Above: Comes with being a raptor, really.
- Due to the Dead: Despite the fact that he'll strip his fellow Raptors corpses of their flesh, he will be sure to preserve the progenoids, even when fighting the Eldar on Tsagualsa, when he realizes that it's probably pointless to gather their gene-seed. Some things are too engrained in Astartes.
- Dwindling Party: When 10th company gets them, the raptor cult number thirty members. Roughly 10 or so at the end of The Core, and five at the beginning of Void Stalker. He is the only survivor by the end Void Stalker (at least of the 10th company Bleeding Eyes), the rest having been killed by Eldar
- Evil Makes You Monstrous: Obviously so, he has developed Chaos mutations which gave him his title and rendered him practically inhuman.
- When we finally do see under his helmet, he's described as a drowned corpse, complete with decay and vigor mortis.
- I Am A Humanitarian: Unlike most of 10th company, who have demonstrated a tradition of selective dining on certain fallen enemies, the Bleeding Eyes have proven to be less selective on what or who they eat. Variel hypothesizes that it helps sustain them from their own mutations.
- Leeroy Jenkins: As demonstrated in The Core, which cost him about nine of his raptors and forces him to flee when he takes on a group of Salamanders Terminators.
- Loyal to the Position: Lucoryphus is ultimately loyal to his commanding officer, regardless of who that is, be it Halaskar or the Exalted or Talos.
- The Magnificent: Bleeding Eyes. This gave his raptor squad the title of "Cult of the Bleeding Eyes".
- Nightmare Face: Variel notes that his face has the appearance of a "drowned corpse", which quite simply shouldn't be seen in a living person.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Towards unmodified humans.
- Rage Helm: His helmet is often described as a screaming daemon's face. The models of raptors often have an avian motif.
- Tears of Blood: Constantly, resulting in his epithet. Though later, they are described as being red and silver lightning bolts from the eyes lenses rather than actual tears of blood.
- 24-Hour Armor: Of all the Space Marine characters, he is seen without his armor only once, and even then all he removes is his helmet. Being a legitimate Chaos Space Marine he may not be able to take it off.
- Verbal Tic: Raptor speech. He often clicks, whistles, or hisses, though he is not as bad as some of his men who have stopped using normal words altogether.
- Wall Crawling: Raptors typically hang upside down from the ceiling or something they can hang onto, but the Bleeding Eyes have demonstrated a few times that they can move along walls or ceilings with little trouble.
- Was Once An Astartes
- Yes-Man: He acts as this for the Exalted for a time, being his messenger and his eye on matters. Subverted, however; after the Exalted's death, he is loyal to Talos, so he appears to be loyal to his Legion commander, whoever that may be.
A member of the Bleeding Eyes Raptor Cult
- Aloof Ally
- Death from Above
- Evil Makes You Monstrous: Though it's never seen in Vorasha.
- I Am A Humanitarian
- Mauve Shirt
- Straight Man: Something of this to Lucoryphus, since he doesn't share Luc's Leeroy Jenkins personality. However, in the Bleeding Eyes, Asskicking Equals Authority, so Vorasha still defers to Lucoryphus.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Downplayed, he is something of Lucoryphus' Dragon, the one who Lucoryphus speaks to the most, and the only named member of the Bleeding Eyes who survives for more than a few paragraphs.
- 24-Hour Armor: He isn't seen once without it. Given what little we saw of Lucoryphus, however...
- Verbal Tic: His raptor speech is less pronounced than the rest of the Bleeding Eyes. There's also the "yes, yes" he adds at the end of sentences.
- Wall Crawling: Again, as a raptor.
Former sorcerer to Tenth Company
- Break the Haughty: Found in the mercilessnote grip of the Red Corsairs at his reintroduction in Blood Reaver. He doesn't learn an ounce of humility, though.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Betrayed, in turn, his birth legion, the Black Legion and the Red Corsairs.
- He claims he was cast aside by the Black Legion, and that the incident which landed him in trouble with the Red Corsairs wasn't his fault. Talos hardly believes either story, considering that Ruven's an unapologetic liar.
- Epic Fail: Threatening Talos' three slaves in Blood Reaver. They simply point their firearms at him, convincing him to leave when they show they're not scared of him (although he could probably have just killed them all easily). Octavia threatening him with her Navigator eye, probably helped too.
- Even Evil Has Standards: It says a lot that even The Exalted despises him.
- Evil Sorcerer: The only reason anyone tolerates him is because of his abilities.
- Face–Heel Turn: After the death of Konrad Curze, but far before Soul Hunter.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Once the Echo of Damnation is safely away from the Red Corsairs, and the 10th Company has no further use for him, Talos slices him at the waist with Aurum, letting him bleed out.
- Smug Snake: It isn't uncommon for marines to look down upon humans, but Ruven feels his mastery of the Warp allows him to look down on just about everyone. 10th company was willing to tolerate this when he still loyal to the VIII legion, but as of Blood Reaver even Talos' slaves find him insufferable.
- Welcome Back, Traitor: Violently subverted, and with good reason given his history.
- Yes-Man: To Abaddon the Despoiler.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He claims he was discarded after he failed Abaddon in order to survive, and it was mentioned he was reaching this point when Huron's sorcerers couldn't Mind Rape much more information from him. Then, with Ruven's duties complete in the retaking of the Echo of Damnation, Talos is the one that finally kills him, both in revenge for the killing of Secundus, and in confidence that Ruven would betray them again.
Champion of the Atramentar, the Exalted's bodyguard.
- The Ace: The only warrior in the entire Night Lords Legion that Xarl thought might be able to beat him. And considering that the only combat the Atramentar have seen since the fall of Tsagualsa is counter-boarding actions this is pretty impressive.
- Even Evil Has Standards
- I Gave My Word: He may hate the Exalted, but he swore an oath to serve Vandred and will keep it.
- The Masquerade: Ordered Deltrian to preserve Malcharion in defiance of both the Exalted and Talos.
- Never Found the Body: It's unknown what happened to him or the Atramentar when Vandred gave the order to abandon ship.
- Shown alive at the end of Void Stalker, as well as several members of the Atramentar.
- Number Two: Officially to the Exalted, as head of his bodyguard.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Of all the Atramentar, is the most sympathetic to Talos.
- Wolverine Claws
Member of the Atramentar.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Sees everything Talos does as plot to usurp the Exalted.
- The Dragon: Closer to this than Malek.
- Drop the Hammer: Uses a daemon maul.
- Never Found the Body: Until the last epilogue of Void Stalker, where it's revealed he's alive.
- Red Baron: The Hammer of the Exalted.
Member of the Atramentar, sent to disrupt Malcharion's reawakening.
- Armor Damage: Invoked, Vraal chooses not to repair his armor as a sort of display of honor. He believes it's more badass to show what it had protected him from, which tied in nicely as his role of The Brute.
- Bearer of Bad News: Yet he's so happy when he delivers it:''Brothers! Everyone in this room is going to die!
- Of course, in this case he's the bad news.
- Boom, Headshot: Performed on him by a Reaper Autocannon. Despite the fact that he's wearing Terminator Armour, there's barely anything left of his torso afterwards.
- The Brute: A surprisingly acute version.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He knows that he's been sent on a Suicide Mission to stop First Claw from raising Malcharion, but he believes that killing First Claw is for the good of the Warband.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Exalted.
- Wolverine Claws: Like many Night Lords, he uses lightning claws.
Astartes of the Tenth Company's Sixth Claw.
Foreseen to be killed during the Battle of Crythe.
- Bling of War: Wears his ceremonial helm.
- Combat by Champion: He advocates that the Night Lords settle Claw leadership by honour duels.
- Doomed by Canon: Talos has a vision of him being killed at Crythe, but it never comes to pass. It happens at Tsagualsa.
- Half the Man He Used to Be
- With Due Respect: Tells Deltrian, in the name of all that is sacred, to shut the hell up.
- You Are in Command Now: Takes over Sixth Claw when Carahd is killed by Genesis marines.
Member of Third Claw, the Branded.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Requests to join First Claw when all of the Branded are killed.
- Boom, Headshot: Courtesy of Talos, using Malcharion's storm bolter.
- Combat Pragmatist: Shoots Garisth after he killed Vejain to ensure that they didn't get another Berserker leading them.
- Energy Weapon: Uses a plasma pistol.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Cyrion notes that he was a murderer by 13 and a rapist by 15.
- Reluctant Ruler
Sergeant of Sixth Claw at the start of Void Stalker.
- Boom, Headshot
- Duel to the Death: Argues that murder duels will solve the problem of Claw leadership easier than honour duels. Talos tells 10th Company that any warrior who wanted a murder would receive a full claw if they managed to kill Xarl. Everyone backs down.
- Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: Surprisingly for a Great Crusade era Space Marine, subverted. Carahd is convinced that Tsagualsa is cursed.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Sounded like he was willing to assist Deltrian in his repairs to the Echo of Damnation, but the Genesis marines killed him before he could make a decision.
Tenth company's first squad, and the protagonists of the Talos saga.
Tropes relating to all of First Claw
- Badass Crew: They may hate each other, but they're still badasses.
- Even Evil Has Standards: They may be traitors, but they are not devotees of the Chaos Gods. Uzas simply sees Khorne as an advantage, and Cyrion does not want Slaanesh's "gift" of feeding on fear.
- Five-Man Band/Five-Bad Band: Depending on how you see it.
- The Hero/Big Bad: Talos
- The Lancer/The Dragon: Xarl, also possibly Cyrion.
- The Smart Guy/Evil Genius: Mercutian and Variel
- The Medic/Evil Genius: Variel
- The Big Guy/The Brute: Uzas
- The Chick/The Dark Chick: Cyrion, inasmuch a messed up Soace Marine can be, as he is the most cheerfully emotional member of First Claw, and the friendliest to Talos.
- The Squad: Their basic relationship dynamic.
Talos Valcoran, Soul Hunter
Tenth Company's apothecary.
Default leader of First Claw by the time of Soul Hunter
Heads Tenth Company following Vandred's death
- Appropriated Appellation: After years of being named as such by The Exalted, Talos finally begins to call himself a prophet.
- Artificial Limbs
- Badass Boast: In Blood Reaver while taking Maruc captive:"I made this Imperium. I built it, night after night, with my sweat and my pride and a blade in my hands. I bought it with the blood in my brothers veins, fighting at the Emperor's side, blinded by his light before you entombed him as a messiah. You live, mortal, only because of my work. Your existence is mine. You know what I am. Look at me. Look past what know cannot be true, and see what holds your life in his hands."
- Bald of Awesome/Bald of Evil: He's shaved his head. Whether it's primarily awesome or evil depends on how you view Talos.
- Blessed with Suck: His seizures render him "a prophet of the VIII legion". However they also cause him so much trauma that he bashes his Astartes strength skull into the walls hard enough to dent. In addition, he suffers periods of paralysis and visions throughout it all which leave him screaming constantly when not paralyzed.
- In Blood Reaver, these trances could result in Talos' death, especially if he already suffers heavy combat trauma. The extremely invasive surgery into his skull during his stay at Hell's Iris reveals that the Legion modifications did not take well, and coupled with his foresight, can inflict damage on his body, leading to eventual degradation. Much like what happened to Night Haunter.
- Catch Phrase: Not used often, but when he abducts somebody he invariably says:"My name is Talos, and you're coming with me."
- Cheshire Cat Grin: When someone or something has drawn his sardonic amusement—which is never a good thing—Talos will smile his rare, usually hidden, always specifically worded, "crooked smile". All that's keeping it from being a full blown Psychotic Smirk is the lack of intensity of emotion.
- Combat Medic: He's still an apothecary, even if he lacks the tools.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: In conjunction with the seizures.
- Earn Your Title: Inverted, he received his title before the event in question. Prophetic powers are funny that way. He doesn't particularly enjoy being called Soul Hunter however.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Xarl's death clearly hurts him deeply— not only does he go out of his way to pursue and destroy the Genesis Chapter ship ultimately responsible for his death, he also takes it upon himself to recover Xarl's gene-seed personally and cremate his corpse afterwards.
- Gatling Good: makes use an Assault cannon in the last few chapters of Void Stalker. Cyrion expresses a fair amount of envy of that weapon
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Aurum is almost archetypically heroic.
- And before that, he used a standard chainsword.
- Human Notepad: Along with the walls of his cell, his armor is covered in prophetic etchings.
- I Gave My Word: Talos lives up to every promise he makes, even if it takes a few thousand years (except for Curze's death at Tsagualsa, although his genesire knew that would happen). He's also one of the few members of the Legion to still wear oaths of moment on his armour.
- Innocent Prodigy: He was a very bright child, but his lack of participation in school caused most adults to think he was "slow".
- It's What I Do: He admits that even if his cause will never fully be reached, he is still an Astartes and all he knows how to do is wage the Old War.
- Knight in Sour Armor
- The Magnificent: Konrad Curze named him Soul Hunter for his prophesied role in Curze's own death."‘One soul’ [Curze] said. ‘You will hunt one shining soul while all others turn their backs on vengeance.’"
- Noble Demon: For all that he is a consummate example of his legion, he will always be kind to his slaves. Additionally, he is firmly entrenched in a standard of honor most of his legion has discarded.
- Reluctant Ruler
- Skull for a Head/White Mask of Doom: His helm is painted bone white in the shape of a skeletal face. A single Nostraman rune is etched into the forehead area.
- Son of a Whore: Though he averts most of the baggage which usually comes with it.
- Taking You with Me: detonates five frag grenades and his armour's power pack, to annihilate the Void Stalker.
- Villain Protagonist: Of the main sequence of books.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Whether they realize it or not, Talos and Xarl. They might not be especially fond of each other, but they're still brothers, and they do trust each other.
- The Wise Prince
- Wrecked Weapon: At some point during 'Void Stalker' Talos will break Aurum as seen by the prologue.
- it is broken when the Void Stalker herself impales Talos with his own sword.
Member of First Claw
- The Ace: The best fighter of First Claw, and arguably the entire company.
- Artful Dodger: As a child he was much more enthusiastic about joining a gang than Talos.
- BFS: And very proud of it. He uses a two-handed chainsword (one-handed variants are much more common).
- Big Damn Heroes: Pulls this when he engages in a duel with a Chapter Champion of the Genesis Chapter to save First Claw. He wins spectacularly.
- Bling of War: Unlike the rest of the Legion (except for Talos), Xarl still wears oaths of moment on his armour. When the Covenant of Blood docks at Hells Iris and starts working with the Red Corsairs, Xarl starts wearing his ceremonial winged helmet, telling Talos that there is "no harm in a little pride".
- Childhood Friends: Not quite, but with Talos. He and Talos have known each other since they were boys. They associated with each other and acted as friends because they were all but expected to, but they never became earnest friends.
- Combat Pragmatist: taunts an Imperial Space Marine, till he can no longer hold back his wrath, and when grappling in close combat, headbutts him into submission.
- Commander Contrarian: Uzas can identify him over the vox entirely through his complaining.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Xarl may be a Traitor Space Marine, but he is not a Chaos Space Marine, openly hating warp corruption and viewing Uzas, Cyrion, and the Exalted as little more than animals who need to be put down.
- Heroic Sacrifice: succumbs to crippling wounds after fighting the Genesis Chapter Champion.
- Honour Before Reason: Despite hating Cyrion for his daemonnic corruption, when Talos warns him that in a vision he saw Cyrion being beheaded by Uzas, he promises that if Uzas is responsible he will kill him.
- Jerkass: Generally the most abrasive of First Claw.
- Only Sane Man: Considers himself to be one, regarding anyone who believes that Konrad Kurze was a Noble Demon as an idiot.
- Properly Paranoid: He trusts next to no one. In the Enemy Civil War of post Horus Heresy Chaos legions, that is a wise decision.
- That said, he has admitted that he does at least trust Talos.
- Screaming Warrior: "and Xarl likes to howl."
- Skull for a Head/Rage Helm: Before he began wearing his winged ceremonial helmet constantly, his regular helmet had a daemonic skeletal face.
- Surrounded by Idiots: How he feels about those who regard Konrad Curze as a Noble Demon.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Whether they realize it or not, Talos and Xarl. They might not be especially fond of each other, but they're still brothers, and they do trust each other.
Member of First Claw
- Admiring the Abomination: Found the fortress on Tsagualsa to be "hauntingly beautiful".
- Affably Evil: Unlike the rest of First Claw, Cyrion is genuinely friendly, as well as respectful to Talos' servants. He's still a brutally evil Night Lord though.
- Averted horribly in Void Stalker, where he is revealed to have hunted serfs and crew members to slake his corrupted thirst for fear. It is revealed that he is responsible for most of the deaths laid at Uzas' feet
- A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: His "gift" of feeling the fear of all sentient things tends to come back to bite him during combat.
- Until he displays something akin to addiction to this in Void Stalker.
- Artificial Limbs: He needs an augmetic arm towards the end of Soul Hunter. He needs some time to get used to it, and promises himself to get a better one since it was a rushed job.
- Catch Phrase: "So, how are you?" It's even his Last Words.
- The Conscience: Will serve as Talos' moral compass at times.
- Deadpan Snarker: Usually the first one to snark at whatever terrible situation First Claw is presently in, regardless of where, when or to whom he is speaking.
- Dying Alone: Averted, Talos stays with him till he expires after being critically wounded at the end of Void Stalker, where he apologises to Uzas for hating him, and thanks Talos for all he has done.
- Power Incontinence: Cannot turn his mind reading ability off in any way.
- Pragmatic Villainy: When he needs to feel "the flood" (feeling his victim's fear) he mainly targets those on the lower decks who don't provide the Legion any important service (it's implied this is done by other Night Lords, as well). He considers that a point of pride over Uzas's rampage in the upper decks in Blood Reaver.
- Psychic Powers: Slaanesh claimed to have given him his ability to feel the fear of all living things. Very appropriate for a legion which runs on terror tactics, but not exactly appreciated. Not openly, at least.
- Sarcastic Devotee: He may be the closest thing Talos has to a friend, but that doesn't stop him from making jokes at his expense.
- Serial Killer: Like the much of the Legion, Cyrion was a murderer before he joined the Legion, and is responsible for the deaths of hundreds by the end of the trilogy. What makes him stand out, is that he kills to feed his psychic vampirism. And those numbers are just the ones he let Uzas take the fall for.
Member of First Claw
Former sergeant of Fourth Claw
- The Atoner: Marked as living only to serve Talos' purposes in attrition for his killing a favored slave during Blood Reaver.
- Axe Crazy: He's accepted the gifts of Khorne, and all that implies.
- Though by the end of Blood Reaver, he appears to be resisting them and has lengthy scenes of lucidity. Notably, he also begins to take blood and skulls for the Eighth Legion instead of the Blood God.
- An Axe to Grind: Like many warriors of Khorne, Uzas uses a chainaxe.
- The Berserker: Uzas is a deconstruction of Khornate Berserkers, showing that service to the Blood God gains great power in fighting enemies, but off the battlefield are wracked with pain beyond even what Astartes can endure and a frequently deteriorating mind. The end result is a near-mindless brute who will cause disgust in those who have not submitted to Chaos like the rest of First Claw.
- The Big Guy/The Brute: Uzas is the most aggressive of First Claw, and as a rampaging berserker, he is arguably one of their best hand-to-hand combatants.
- Blood Lust: Somewhat of a justifiable addiction for a Khornate.
- Bloody Handprint: A symbolic one is painted onto his helm in reminder of a particular kill he was fond of.
- Butt Monkey: Justified, as centuries of his degenerating mind have left the rest of his Claw with little patience for his... idiosyncrasies.
- Dead Man Walking: As a result of his condemnation at the end of Blood Reaver he is alive only on Talos' whim. If and or when Talos orders Uzas to give his life for the Legion, he must.
- Determinator: He had survived being flung into a wall by a neverborn with enough force to crack power armour, he still gets up five seconds later and throws his chainaxe at the daemon's face!
- Dumb Muscle: Double Subverted. He was a competent warrior before Khorne got him, and he has a few moments where he shows surprising insight. But at the end of the day, he's still damaged goods.
- Dying as Yourself: When impaled by Talos, he thanks him for freeing him from the demands of Khorne, and dies with a smile on his lips.
- Facial Horror: Lost his eye and a good chunk of his skull during the 10th Company's last stand against Jain Zar. The really scary thing? The resulting trauma allows him to think clearly for the first time in centuries and figure out that Cyrion killed Arkiah. That's right, folks, accepting the gifts of Khorne is about as bad as brain damage.
- Genuine Human Hide: It's said that most of First Claw have cloaks of human skin, but Uzas' is mentioned in the most detail. Apparently it used to be the entire royal family of an Imperial backwater.
- Hearing Voices: He often hears Khorne demanding him to kill.
- Hidden Depths: He used to be sergeant of Fourth Claw before the Blood God took him. He still has surprising moments of lucidity.
- In addition, he displays an incredible amount of knowledge regarding Eldar tactics and religion and warrior aspects, much to the disbelief of his squad mates.
- In the Back: Done to him by Talos when he tries to kill Cyrion at the end of 'Void Stalker'.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Much to the annoyance of the rest of First Claw.
- Madness Mantra: He's shouting the usual "Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne!" mantra of Khornate Berserkers, but he also adds a new line "Souls for the Soul Thief!" into it. By Void Stalker, he's starting to switch it up a little, instead talking blood or skulls for the Eighth Legion.
- Mark of Shame: Painting his gauntlets sinner's red at the end of Blood Reaver
- Phlegmings: Oozes drool during battle like a ruptured abscess leaks pus.
- Psycho Party Member: Clearly. Uzas is perhaps the most Ax-Crazy member of his company. Possibly subverted, he has been known to have moments of lucidity, and they seem to be increasing by the end of Blood Reaver.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Goes on against Cyrion, for the murders he has committed that Uzas has been blamed for, until Talos stopped him.
- Room Full of Crazy: His room is filled with little more than Skulls. Again, because of Khorne.
- Sanity Slippage: The demands of Khorne are often too much for him to bear, causing him to frequently forget where he is and what is happening around him. In Blood Reaver after getting his slaughter on at Ganges Station, Uzas goes on a rampage in Blackmarket, killing thirteen serfs and Tor Xal of Third Claw (who was a Berserker like Uzas) which convinced even the Exalted (who has been trying to lead 10th company into the service of Chaos for over a century) that he needs to die. And unlike Cyrion letting him take the fall for other kills, this was legitimately his fault. In Void Stalker he forgets that Xarl just died and that Sevetar is long dead, and also forgot why he had stained his hands in sinner's red.
- Screaming Warrior: Much more so than Xarl. Goes with being Khornate.
- Troubled Fetal Position: While trying to resist the demands of Khorne.
Joins as a member of First Claw during Soul Hunter.
Former Sergeant of Seventh Claw.
- Badass Boast: Towards the Atramentar."We just crippled a Titan, so don't think raising those weapons is a deterrent to us telling the truth."
- Badass Beard/Beard of Evil
- Heroic Sacrifice: Takes a melta-blast meant for Mercutian and Uzas.
- Manly Tears: Wept tears while being forced to preserve the rest of Seventh Claw's progenoids.
- Old Soldier
Member of First Claw as of Soul Hunter
Formerly of Seventh Claw
- BFG: He appears to specialize in heavy weapons, operating First Claw's heavy bolter, and he used a missile launcher with Seventh Claw.
- Conspiracy Theorist: He's confided to Octavia that he believes Sevatar is still alive, which is apparently a popular theory among the Night Lords. Talos dismisses it.
- Cultured Warrior: As a result of a superior education from a wealthy childhood upbringing as the son of a rich crime lord. Still seems more refined than many of his brothers hundreds of years later, and Blood Reaver shows he writes in his spare time. In Void Stalker it's revealed he's writing a chronicle of his brothers deeds and history.
- The Eeyore: Justified in Soul Hunter, as he is the only survivor of Seventh Claw. Lampshaded in Throne of Lies.
- Establishing Character Moment: His first appearance is an act of defiance in the face of near certain death, when he fires his last missile at a Titan. It serves as a near perfect example of how he would go down.
- Foil: To Xarl. Mercution is well-spoken, refined, relatively calm, and quietly proud of what he feels the Legion did out of necessity during the Great Crusade. Needless to say, he and Xarl bicker quite often.
- Knife Nut: A quietly understated one, especially when compared to his brothers. Mercutian is skilled enough with a gladius to puncture the vulnerable seams of terminator armour, and inflict wounds on the Void Stalker
- The Quiet One: Amid the vox roar of snark and arguing that is the rest of First Claw, Mercutian is nearly inaudible most of the time.
- This Is Gonna Suck: If anyone's going to say it, he's going to say it first.
- In fact, when the Night Lords encounter a Space Marine tactical squad bringing their weapons to bear on them, he is the only that reacts vocally. In contrast to his noble upbringing, his reaction is a simple, "Oh, shit."
- Undying Loyalty: Best demonstrated in the Eldar nightmare sequence at the end of Blood Reaver, where he is the last to die aside from Uzas; he fights past the limits of his body protecting the corpses of his brothers, before falling with an apology on his lips for failing. "Miserable, loyal Mercutian" indeed.
- Demonstrated even further in Void Stalker when wounded by the titular Eldar, he elects to stay behind to buy Talos and First Claw time to escape. He takes three strikes from her spear to kill him, but not before he injures her leg, slowing her down greatly.
Variel the Flayer
Ostensibly a member of First Claw as of the end of Blood Reaver
Formerly Apothecary Secundus of the Red Corsairs
Serves as acting Apothecary now that he has joined 10th company.
- Artificial Limbs: He lost his leg to a Genestealer Broodlord, and has a prosthetic in it's place. He lost the other at the climax of Void Stalker.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: His Narthecium (the Apothecary's vambrace). Amongst other medical devices, it hold laser cutters, a bone saw, a spike meant for euthanasia...
- Blood Brothers: With Talos. Cross legion/chapter bonds like this are fairly unusual.
- Combat Medic: Goes with being an Apothecary.
- Deadly Doctor: Also, comes with being an Apothecary. Especially of as a Chaos Space Marine Apothecary.
- Evil Genius / The Smart Guy: Quite probably the smartest member of 1st Claw.
- Faux Affably Evil: He is generally polite and courteous, but in no way kind.
- Flaying Alive: It's his epithet for a reason. He also uses it as a threat, reminding several characters that he could do with a new cloak, and he often decorates his pauldrons his victims' faces.
- Hand Cannon: When he does go into combat, Variel's signature weapon is a good, old bolt pistol.
- Hates Being Touched: So much that at one point resolves to remove the fingers of somebody who was grabbing at him to plea for help. And later, he does remove the hand of somebody pleading for help.
- Heel–Face Turn: Turns his back on his birth chapter due to a blood debt to Talos. Not that he shows a particular fondness for his genebrothers in the first place.
- Icy Blue Eyes: An almost unnaturally pale polar blue. He notes they serve well to intimidate chapter serfs.
- The Magnificent: He does, in fact, flay people, though the epithet could also be considered a dark nod to his skills as a surgeon.
- Master Race: Variel loathes unmodified humans and their weak, primitive emotions. This was standard philosophy among the Astral Claws in the years leading up to the Badab War. Additionally, if he feels a dead marine was unworthy he will outright refuse to harvest their geneseed or even destroy it.
- Neat Freak: Admittedly one of the trademarks of the Red Corsairs is filth and disarray, but he is more upset by it than most. Somewhat justifiable for a master surgeon, but it seems to just be a form of Super OCD.
- The Older Immortal: Played with; Variel is at the oldest, maybe 300 years old. The time dilation of the Warp and all of the time the Covenant has spent there, the 10th company has spent about 100 years of time onboard, while about 10,100 years passed in realspace, putting them more around 200-300 years.
- Sixth Ranger: Moreso than Mercutian, given his status as a foreigner.
- The Stoic: He is one of the most unemotive characters in the Talos saga, which is saying something.
- Super Doc: Due in part to his enhanced physiology, and in part to being an apparent master of medical knowledge he can tell what's wrong with somebody just by looking at them. Talos even acknowledges that Variel is a better apothecary than Talos ever was.
- Super OCD: Let's count the ways: he's a neat freak (barring blood and viscera covering his armor from necessity from time to time), he hates to be touched, and prefers not to leave others to do things what he can do perfectly.
- Demonstrated further in 'Void Stalker'' where he uses his narthecium's chain blade attachment to remove an Astartes arm because he wouldn't let go of him.
- Sword and Gun: A variation, where he uses a bolt pistol and his narthecium as a weapon at times.
- Technically a Smile: Talos notes a sneer is as close to a genuine smile as he will come. He will smile in mock courtesy to chapter serfs, but the gesture never reaches his eyes in the slightest. It's been so long since he last laughed that Talos has difficulty recognizing the action at first.
- Torture Technician: This was one of his duties when he was still with the Red Corsairs:"We fought the eldar countless times. Captives were not unknown, either. You have one chance at guessing who extracted information from them through excruciation."
- Undying Loyalty: To Talos and First Claw. Despite being first a Red Corsair, he truly believes himself to be a member of the 8th Legion because of their brotherhood.
- The Unfettered
- Member of First Claw who is dead by the time of Soul Hunter. Killed during the Tsagualsa Reprisal.
- An Axe to Grind: Wielded a chainaxe in melee, which is now in currently Uzas' possession.
- BFG: He was First Claw's heavy before Mercution, and Sar Zell wielded a lascannon.
- The Pilot: He's First Claw's pilot at the time of Tsagualsa's fall, though Cyrion, under stress, says that he's the worst pilot in the Tenth Company.
- Disposable Pilot: Ultimately this. He died at enemy hands, and ultimately somebody else could pilot a Thunderhawk.
- Posthumous Character: He is only mentioned only once, until he appears in a few flashbacks.
Decimus, Prophet of the Eight Legion.
The Inheritor of Talos' prophetic gift.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: Is noted to be incredibly young, even by Astartes standards, being barely a few decades old.
- Take Up My Sword: He's Talos' genetic descendant, giving him Talos' power without the downsides. He even uses the reclaimed wargear of all of First Claw. Talos' Power Sword Aurum and his chestplate with a cracked Aquila, Malcharion's Storm Bolter, Uzas' skin cloak, Xarl's ceremonial winged helmet with Cyrion's "black-lightning tears" and Talos' Soul Hunter rune painted on it.
- Theme Naming: Based on the similarity in his name to "deca" (i.e. the tenth).
Human Associates of Tenth Company
Tenth Company's Head Techpriest
- Collector of the Strange: Deltrian has the 10th Company's the Dreadnought sarcophogi, at least one occupied person jar, and all sorts of odd scientific devices and artifacts
- Cyborg: Natch.
- Electronic Eyes: Along with the sensory apparati, he's capable of changing out his eye lenses for different colored gems.
- Evil Genius: As a traitor techpriest, he has this down to an art form.
- Gadgeteer Genius: To be expected of a high ranking Techpriest as old as the Horus Heresy.
- Mad Scientist Laboratory: His sanctum certainly counts.
- Mecha-Mooks: While they are mostly for ship maintenance and manual labor, a squad of servitors can take down a space marine squad; and they are described as being "a work of love, if he could feel that".
- Implacable Man: He machine body makes him immune to pain and resistant to injury, apparently if his body retains enough inegrity. For example, Deltrian had been at two points, impaled by a lightning claw and "gutted" with a bolt shell, and he still finishes his job.
- Ludicrous Precision: Asking him to do otherwise is as close to a Berserk Button as he gets.
- Machine Worship: Still a fervent, if twisted, worshiper of the Machine God, despite his willing cooperation with a Traitor Legion.
- No Sense of Humor: At one point, he tries to use understatement to defuse tensions among First Claw. Not only does he immediately regret it, he arranges to have all memory of the word he used ("unlucky") deleted.
- Skele Bot 9000: His cyborg body was worked into this image by choice, ultimately because it inspires fear.
- The Spock: As per usual for a techpriest. Ultimately Downplayed, however, since he gets emotional over technological assets, had felt what he hadn't quite recognized as worry for his best adept, and ultimately understands pain and anguish from influence from the Legion.
- Spock Speak: As a part of him thinking more like a computer than a person.
- Verbal Tic: He sometimes lets out blurts of binary code, especially when agitated.
- Villainous B.S.O.D.: Has an almost literal one when Talos destroys the machinery trying to bring Malcharion back to consciousness.Deltrian: [while pacing back and forth] No. Unacceptable. Simply unacceptable. No. No. No.
Talos' personal slave and artificer.
- Ace Pilot: He flew shipping craft before he was kidnapped, and afterwards he became the pilot of First Claw's thunderhawk. He's attached enough to Blackened that he refers to it as "my ship".
- Artificial Hand
- Battle Butler / Personal Mook: Depending upon perspective.
- Badass Normal: Compared to his masters Septimus isn't very tough, but he's held up through fifteen to twenty years of legion slaverynote including considerable combat.
- Cannot Spit It Out: His feelings for Octavia. He manages to eventually
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Both he and Octavia, or Coreth and Eurydice, manage to survive the massacre at the end of the trilogy and both escape to the Imperium where, since Eurydice is a Navigator and therefore of value to the Imperium, they will be taken to Terra where all the Navigator's live to raise their child in peace and where nobody can get at them. One of the very rare and few unambiguously happy endings in 40k, and one that made this troper's eyes watery.
- Electronic Eye: After getting half his face shot off in Soul Hunter. The lens is violet.
- The Engineer: Responsible for fixing all of First Claw's weaponry and armor.
- Fantastically Indifferent: Best demonstrated in Hell's Iris, although living aboard a ten thousand year old space ship with a company of chaos space marines will desensitize one to anything.
- Fingerless Gloves
- Green Eyes
- Contentment In Slavery: Type one. He admits he's not happy, but is probably better off aboard The Covenant than he ever would have been if he'd lived his life on an imperial world.
- Machete Mayhem
- The Musketeer: Two Imperial laspistols at his hips and a machete strapped to his shin.
- Perma Stubble: He's generally described as "scruffy" for a reason.
- Slave Brand: Has the pre-heresy Night Lords insignia tattooed in black ink and astartes blood across his upper back.
- Say My Name: When he reveals his true name to Octavia at the very end of Void Stalker: Coreth
- Those Two Guys: With Octavia. A rare romantic example.
- You Are Number 6: Rather, number seven. He embraces this to the extent that he refuses to tell Octavia his birth name.
Another of Talos' personal slaves.
Navigator of The Covenant of Blood later The Echo of Damnation
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Both she and Septimus, or Eurydice and Coreth, manage to survive the massacre at the end of the trilogy and both escape to the Imperium where, since Eurydice is a Navigator and therefore of value to the Imperium, they will be taken to Terra where all the Navigators live to raise their child in peace and where nobody can get at them. One of the very rare and few unambiguously happy endings in 40k, and one that made this troper's eyes watery.
- Fallen Noble: Downplayed. Distant daughter of a rather low Navis Nobilite house, becomes navigator of an anonymous Rogue Trader, becomes a slave.
- Fish out of Water: In Soul Hunter and to a lesser extent in Throne of Lies. By Blood Reaver she seems to have mostly accepted her place in Tenth Company.
- Meaningful Rename: From Eurydice Mervallion to Octavia (meaning, in this case, the Eighth Slave) signifies Octavia (reluctantly) embracing her role in a Traitor vessel.
- Importantly, Octavia appears to have chosen to embrace this role, rather than barely accept it since the alternative was an ignominious death.
- Coincidentally, she is the eighth of her father's daughters.
- My Secret Pregnancy: Septimus and Octavia conspire to do this, but fail miserably on account of the Night Lords' super-senses.
- Plucky Girl
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Her hair's more of a chestnut, but with the pallor living in Nostraman conditions induces, she fits the bill.
- Those Two Guys: With Septimus. A rare romantic example.
- Third Eye: Like all other navigators, she was born with a warp eye.
- Tsundere: Complete with the occasional mental "idiot" directed at Septimus.
- Ultimate Job Security: Following Etregius' death in Soul Hunter, the ship cannot move through the warp without her.
- Unkempt Beauty
- The Watson: Her lack of knowledge of Nostraman, Night Lords' history and culture, and their general point of view often requires her to ask Septimus for explanation, and helps expands on the Night Lords' actions.
- You Are Number Eight: Goes with the Theme Naming of Talos' slaves.
Talos' most recently acquired slave.
- Accidental Misnaming: First Claw has already taken to calling him Nonus.
- Action Survivor: Holds out the longest of the crew against the Night Lord's invasion of Ganges Station. He wanted to join the Guard when he was younger, which may explain some of his survival skills and ability to think on his feet.
- Also why he demonstrates some skill with a lasgun during ''Blood Reaver'. Shame the target he was shooting was a neverborn.
- Big Brother Is Employing You: He worked as a mechanical technician of sorts on an Imperial mining station.
- The Engineer: He worked on machines as a living before being taken, and later trained by Septimus as an artificer for repairs and maintenance for First Claw's equipment.
- The Everyman
- Fish out of Water: Takes over this role just as Octavia starts to adjust.
- Innocent Bystander
- Older Sidekick: To Septimus
- Right Man in the Wrong Place
- Your Head Asplode: Killed when Daemon Calab throws him head first into a wall.
Octavia's chief attendant.
- Badass Grandpa: He's from Nostramo, which would make him over three hundred years old. Quite impressive for a mutant serf on a Night Lords' vessel.
- Heroic Sacrifice
- Mutant: Unspecified as to the extent of his mutations, but definitely there.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: He doesn't seem to have any other name besides "Hound". When Cyrion calls him a "little rat", he replies with "Hound" almost sulkily.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Except when used against Daemon Princes.
- Undying Loyalty: Absolutely devoted to Octavia.
Servants of the Imperium of Man
Assassin of the Callidus Temple.
Responsible for the assassination of Konrad Curze.
- An Arm and a Leg: Zso Sahaal cut off her right hand during the fight on her ship.
- Decapitation Presentation: Took Curze's head as proof that she had killed him.
- Eye Scream: Talos melts her eyes out of her sockets with his Betcher's Gland spit.
- Fatal Flaw: Pride. Taking Curze's head would have been enough, but her desire for glory overdid it, as taking his relics is what got the Night Lords chasing after her.
- Glory Seeker: What got her killed.
- Human Pincushion: Talos utterly destroyed her body with his chainsword.
Captain of the Blood Angels 9th Company during the Horus Heresy.
Mortally wounded by Malcharion during the Siege of Terra.
Interred in a Dreadnought.
- Badass Boast: "Even in death I will avenge myself!" Too bad it doesn't work out that well.
- The Captain
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice
- The Magnificent: The Sufferer.
- Time Abyss: Raguel is at least as old as Bjorn the Fell-Handed at the time of his death.
Champion of the Genesis Chapter's Third Company.
Led the boarding of the Echo of Damnation.
Killed in battle with Xarl, who was in turn killed by Tolemion.