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The Horus Heresy is an Age of Legends, and so they must be recorded.

Here you may add both characters from the Horus Heresy book series, and the Forgeworld ones.

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The Legiones Astartes

     The Two Lost Primarchs 

Primarchs II and XI

Two Primarchs who were, along with their Legions, completely erased from all records and history so thoroughly, nobody knows what happened.

  • Ambiguous Ending: At some point, they simply disappeared from all the records, and the only people who know what happened are quick to cut off any train of thought that would lead to answers.
  • Historical In-Joke: They were originally a reference to Rome's 17th, 18th, and 19th legions, who's numbers and symbols weren't used again after being wiped out.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Don't expect to be actually knowing for sure about these guys anytime soon. However, there are theories:
    • The Space Wolves apparently were involved in wiping out their Legions. It would explain their sobriquet 'The Emperor's Executioners', but it seems that they nominated themselves.
    • Another implication, that comes up occasionally, is that they were genetically compromised in someway.
    • A justification for the size of the Ultramarines (and some deviations amongst their successors) is that the lost Legions were absorbed by Guilliman's sons. However, the author who suggested this has said that he wished he never wrote it, as fans were taking it as gospel rather than in-universe gossip like he intended.
    • A description of the Rangdan Xenocides in Forge World's seventh Horus Heresy rulebook mentions that "entire Space Marine legions [REDACTED SECTION] lost to the Imperium". This may mean that the two Legions were lost during the campaign, which is supported by an article on the Regimental Standard website confirming that they at least participated in it (although it naturally cuts off just before the Legions' names can be given). However, since part of the quote is missing, other interpretations, such as Legions simply being believed lost, are also possible.
    • In Fear to Tread, Sanguinius considers that the genetic flaw his Blood Angels are subject to would result in the Legion's extermination if it were revealed and that he personally would become a "third empty plinth" on the ceiling of the Hegemon, referencing the statues of the Primarchs that were put there, with the exception of the missing Primarchs.
    • Fabius Bile: Clonelord, a novel set in the 40K era, mentions that one of the Lost Primarchs (implicitly the second due to the timeline of events) led an expedition to the Ymga Monolith early in the Great Crusade, and that no records of what happened during the expedition survived to the present day. Since the Monolith has been discovered to be an insanely powerful piece of Necron technology during the aftermath of the Fall of Cadia, this raise some questions as to whether it may have been involved in that Primarch's disappearance.
    • Roboute Guilliman's comments on the two Lost Primarchs suggest that they "failed" in some unspecified way, yet he still saw fit to quietly honour them by marking their absence on his ceremonial Primarch table. This points to their failure not being an act of treason, unlike the actions of Horus and the other Traitor Primarchs.
    • The Chamber at the End of Memory reveals a substantial amount about them, mainly that the reason they were eradicated was so horrible that both Dorn and Malcador considered it worse than the Horus Heresy up to this point, and that Dorn was willing to lie and willingly alter his own memory to preserve the truth of it, rather than destroy everything. Additionally, their tombs are protected by extremely powerful wards and it is detailed that the Missing Primarch's Marine Legions were spared their Primarchs fate and given to the Imperials Fists and Ultramarine legions with their memories of their gene-fathers wiped in a scheme enacted by Dorn and Gulliman with the blessing of the Emperor.
  • Un-person: The primarchs of the II and XI Legions were at some point completely expunged from Imperial records on the Emperor's order, and the reasons why are completely unknown. They are alluded to a couple of times (usually as a tragedy). but whenever they are the person who brought them up is very quickly reminded not to talk about it. In The Chamber at the End of Memory, it is even revealed that Malcador used his power to telepathically erase everything but the faintest memory of them existing from the Primarchs who personally knew them. Ultimately downplayed trope in that the missing Primarchs are still notable by their absence. The Astartes Legions have two obvious missing numerals and the absent Primarchs are still noted by empty plinths among decorations featuring the Primarchs as a whole.
  • Watsonian vs. Doylist: You can understand that they are intended as blanks for the players and readers to fill in. Or you can spend hours on discussing online what has happened to them.

Others

Imperium of Man

    The Emperor of Mankind 

The Emperor of Mankind

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/t-be-Wr.jpg
The Emperor of Mankind is the unquestioned ruler of the Imperium. Not much is known about the Emperor, but it is stated that he suddenly appeared during the Age of Strife on Terra, leading armies of Thunder Warriors to unite the different tribes of the war-ravaged Terra, and continued his conquests on a galactic scale at the head of Legions of Space Marines. This galactic conquest would be known as The Great Crusade. The Emperor established the Imperium and many of its core institutions, conquering thousands of planets alongside his Primarchs and uniting most of mankind under a secular Imperial Truth. Allegedly needed to prevent human extinction, it resulted in the deaths of billions. Ironically, the god-like powers of the Emperor made him the object of a nascent religion.
  • Abusive Parent: Not deliberately, but the Emperor has difficulty understanding or empathizing with his sons in any meaningful way, which has caused some to hold and cultivate the grudges that would cause them to turn on him.
    • As some characters interpret His words, He doesn't consider himself to be the Primarchs' father, seeing them as his creations rather than his family. He was willing to entertain the notion, since it made them useful. Before he left the Crusade, he grew to appreciate at least Horus as an individual rather than an asset.
    • The Emperor had also been very secretive about the existence and nature of Chaos. If the Emperor had given his sons even rudimentary knowledge about Chaos and his plans of how he planned to protect humanity, it's possible that he could have avoided the Heresy altogether.
    • He left Horus as Warmaster and left for Terra, publicly to consolidate the Imperium's gains, privately to work on a project important to the Imperium's survival. He left Horus with little information about it, and the hurt from the implicit lack of trust, and the enormous responsibility thrust upon him was too much for even Horus to handle, giving the Word Bearers enough leverage to influence Horus into throwing in with Chaos.
    • He whisked away Angron from his army on the eve of their Last Stand, instead of fighting with them or intervening on their behalf, and didn't bother to even explain himself to Angron. Angron felt cheated out of a dignified ending and out of the extended family he had gathered around himself. It wasn't until much later that we, the audience, learned that the Emperor made a deal with the rulers of that world to take Angron for a bloodless compliance, though he could have easily interceded or taken the world by force. In the end it was a demonstration that the Emperor would allow his priorities to override that of his sons.
      • Similar to Angron, Mortarion never forgave the Emperor for saving his life. When Mortarion nearly died in a duel against his adoptive father (whatever he was), the Emperor saved the day at the last minute by killing Mortarion's adoptive father, saving Mortarion's life, and collecting on Mortarion's oath of fealty. While this should have ultimately been a positive experience, it was colored with resentment. Mortarion, not being a very pleasant individual, probably felt that he should have died for being too weak to follow through on his goal, and saw his new elevated position as a form of humiliation.
    • The Emperor took a long time to censure Lorgar for spreading religion, and nobody's quite sure why it took so long. When the Emperor did, it was abrupt, heavy handed, public, and he used Lorgar's most bitter rivals to do it. In spite of his attempts, the Emperor didn't address the core of Lorgar's behavioral problems nor give him reason to swear off religion; but he did give Lorgar reason to look to a very different religion.
    • Perturabo, being cold and mercurial when he wasn't consumed with rage, resented that his talents at siege warfare would be put to use in tearing down fortresses. Though destruction matched his temperament, his passion was creation, and he wanted to be an architect rather than a destroyer. Seeing his brother and personal rival Rogal doing this kind of work he wanted to be doing and being showered with accolades and glory for it, while Perturabo was given the hard and costly work with his efforts often overlooked by the Emperor and the public gave Perturabo a profound sense of jealousy, an inferiority complex, and deep bitterness. Then his homeworld Olympia rebelled, a great humiliation for Pert, and his anger caused him to respond with disproportionate force, which was implied to give him great shame over how his anger overwhelmed his better judgment and lead him to destroy a precious resource, doing the very thing which was the root of so much resent. When it came time to sever his loyalties with the Imperium, Olympia would have been the straw that broke the camel's back, but it was more of a bale or two.
    • Interestingly this trope is somewhat muted with Curze. The Emperor seemed to have shown a degree of tolerance for Curze's heavy handed tactics (something he also gave in regards to the Space Wolves and the World Eaters) as well as Curze's psychosis, and the reason for Curze turning against the Emperor was partly because of a vision of his death coming from the hand of the Emperor when they first met. In the end, that would become a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. Curze strongly believed that humanity would go feral if not for the promise of retribution, and thus in order by bloody dictatorship. By the time the Heresy rolled around, his Legion was already considered Renegade because they constantly went overboard in violently punishing defeated enemies and even turning on allies who tried to force him to show restraint. And thus Curze would eventually let the Emperor's agents kill him, something he felt would ultimately vindicate him. It's curious to wonder how much Nostramo left a mark on him, and just how much of a mark he left on Nostramo.
    • Then comes Magnus the Red, who was one of the Emperor's most loyal sons right up to the Burning of Prospero. The Council of Nikaea was, on paper, a debate about the worth and usefulness of psyker Librarians in the Space Marine Legions. It's not entirely clear if the Emperor was willing or planning to take up a show trial, or if it was political maneuvering by Magnus's brothers, or how much Tzeentch had tipped the scales. Either way the reality of the Council was the same: the way the Emperor conducted the proceedings made it more of a character assassinating Kangaroo Court that left Magnus humiliated and even more determined to prove the worth of psychic powers, despite now being illegal. When Magnus tried using sorcery to warn The Emperor about Horus' rebellion, he destroyed the Emperor's plan to create an access point to the Webway and didn't even get the warning out before realization and shame forced Magnus to retreat. The Emperor sends the Space Wolves to Prospero to bring Magnus and his legion to Terra to answer for their crimes, giving Horus the opening to alter the orders to completely annihilate Magnus and his legion.
    • Further illustrated in the backstory regarding the Imperial Palace: beneath the deepest halls were built 20 apartments that were to serve as homes for the Primarchs after the end of the Great Crusade. While they are describes as huge and luxurious enough to make even a Vanderbilt salivate with envy, it's very clear by the description that they were Gilded Cages, where the Primarchs would be contained, having served their intended purpose and no longer needed. Forget Horus, how would any of them have reacted upon learning they were destined to basically be prisoners once their usefulness ended?
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: As the real form of the Emperor may cause everything from sudden outburst of religious adoration to serious brain problems, he often uses human guises. He even claims to Corax that he doesn't have a true form, as even his face varies from moment to moment, but he tends to dim his glow when appropriate.
    • To Space Marines and Primarchs His armour is superlatively ornate, while the Custodians' image of it is more practical. To Arkan Land, who believes Him to be the avatar of the Machine God, He appears more a man of science than a warlord or ruler.
    • Even His words differ depending on who He speaks to, and he lampshades this. A member of the Mechanicus and a Custodian hear Him refer to the Primarchs by number and "It". To another Custodian, He speaks of Horus by name and as a "he."
  • The Ace: The Emperor is the most remarkable individual in the Imperium and perhaps in the history of Mankind. He is a brilliant scientist as his work on post-human modification suggest, a talented commander who managed the Great Crusade for a long period of time without a hitch, the most powerful psyker of Mankind and a very charismatic leader when he needs to be one. The one reason his plans for the Imperium fail is that he's operating on a galactic scale even he can't perfectly manage, with untold numbers of parties and parameters to think about.
  • A God I Am Not: Spends a lot of time trying to convince people he's not, in fact, a deity of any sort. It seems to work on the outside, but as the Heresy goes on, Emperor-worshippers are coming out of the woodwork in increasing numbers.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Pretty much runs on this, even in-universe. Depending on how you look at him, he's any or all of an autocratic tyrant, a flawed idealist, power-hungry conqueror, bringer of peace, usurper, liberator, superhuman or divine.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: He won Terra because he had the mightiest armies, and he had the mightiest armies because he fought for them and won.
  • Badass Bookworm: For all his physical prowess, he's also an excellent engineer and biologist.
  • Been There, Shaped History:
    • Largely averted, as the Emperor has pretty much kept quiet for the long span of time he's been alive, though he has popped up a few times when humanity needed him, and no one is really sure where and when these events were, or the identity he took on at the time.
    • However, by 40K's "present day", he took on an enormous role in the events that shaped humanity's past and the galaxy at large, as the founding of the Imperium is basically ancient history.
  • Bling of War: His prime self is almost always depicted wearing an insanely elaborate suit of golden armour. That being said, it's not entirely sure if he's actually wearing it or if it's a glamour.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Most of the Primarchs would probably stay loyal if it wasn't for his actions. Among his pearls of brilliance are things like:
    • Kidnapping Angron just as his extended family was about to make their Last Stand and letting them die.
    • Pegging Perturabo - a talented engineer, architect and diplomat - into siegecraft instead of actually listening what he'd want.
    • Leaving Horus to run the Crusade without giving proper explanations about the dangers of Chaos.
    • Responding to Lorgar's fervent belief in him with razing the Urizen's most successful city to the ground.
    • Not believing Magnus' tale of Horus' betrayal, instead siccing the Rout at the Thousand Sons.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Twice.
    • His sons grew up without him because they were kidnapped by Chaos and he spent years searching for them.
    • He leaves the Great Crusade to work on another of his "stop using Warp" projects.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Who would've thought? And yet, in Deliverance Lost, when all people present fall to their knees in reverence as he arrives, his only reaction is:
    Occupational hazard.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Deconstruction of Time Abyss. His age and powers made him pretty much impossible to sympathize with - or for him to sympathize with anyone, for that matter - gave him a raging case of wiser-than-thou and led to him acting in ways that may seem natural to him, but come off as jerkass to others.
    • Some Word Bearers were confused as to why he took so long to rebuke them. He told Lorgar not to worship him, Lorgar took it as modesty, the Word Bearers spread his religion for a century, then the Emperor burned their most successful planet. It is possible that to him, he had just told Lorgar a direct order.
    • A theory out-of-universe has it that he never told Horus about Chaos and didn't explain his absence because for him, leaving for two decades or so is the equivalent of a bathroom break, while for Horus is a tenth of his life.
  • The Dreaded: The one and the only thing to ever make the Gods of Chaos ever cooperate on anything because of how much they feared him. Chaos Gods and Daemons have a special nickname for him: The Anathema, suggesting that they do consider him the greatest threat to them.
  • The Emperor: As His name suggests, the Emperor is the unquestioned ruler of the Imperium of Man, maker and leader of his Space Marine Legions for most of the Great Crusade. Depending on the person, he could simply a brilliant Evil Overlord who is committing massacres for power, or The Good King who is protecting Mankind from the alien threat. Nothing is so simple as the Emperor has mankind's best interests in mind but doesn't think about the fate of individuals or even mere planets.
  • Emperor Scientist: The Emperor has worked to create several breeds of transhumans specialized in war, mastering subject like genetics and biology to turn humans into super soldiers of varying strength, the most common ones being the Space Marines while the Thunder Warriors being imperfect prototypes, and then his Custodians who are to a Space Marine what a Space Marine is to an ordinary man. In addition he created the Primarch who are only nominally human, having a wildly different biology compared to mere men, resulting in each of them being superhuman in all aspects. The Emperor also oversaw the creation of a Webway gate and the Golden Throne, suggesting a mastery of psy-tech.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": If he ever had a name, it's lost to time now; at present, he's simply "The Emperor".
  • Flaming Sword: His signature weapon is a power sword he fuels with his mind to keep it on fire.
  • Four-Star Badass: During the Unification Wars and later throughout the Great Crusade he was very much a frontline general.
  • The Ghost: Because of his commitment to stopping the daemons from spilling over into the Palace, he rarely leaves the cut-off underground areas and thus almost doesn't appear in the series except as a memory, a vision or a psychic voice.
  • God-Emperor: The Trope Codifier. Despite his own distaste for religion, the Emperor's psychic might and incredible displays of power resulting in several people developing a religious fervour for him. Even his son Lorgar thought for a time that he was a god in human form and wrote the Lectitio Divinatus which would ironically become the Imperium's foremost religious text for the Imperial Faith. People's faith in him is already strong enough to cause the occasional miracle and ward off Daemons, but the religion has yet to be fully formed during the Horus Heresy.
  • Good Is Not Nice: The Emperor is the closest thing to a Big Good the Horus Heresy had, but he is responsible for countless human and alien deaths, mistreats some of his Primarchs, and is generally so convinced he's right that he doesn't hesitate to raze and execute anything and anyone who doesn't follow his plans.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Probably his worst flaw. His might and age make him pretty much unable to empathize with mortals and even his own sons, and he believes they will follow his every word without really wondering what they might think about it.
  • Humanoid Abomination: A rare positive example, in that people view him with awe and admiration, rather than the horror this trope usually provides. While he's considered the best Mankind has to offer, it's questionable how human he really is. He's functionally immortal, gifted with amazing psychic powers, his mind glow sends psykers into spasms, and no-one except for his sons can look directly at him.
  • Hypocrite: Uses his powers on daily basis, bans the use of psychic powers in the Legions (Astropaths and Navigators are still very much allowed). Then again, the Emperor is an immortal psyker of godlike power who's fully aware of Chaos and its dangers, something that cannot be said for the Librarians, a group founded by Magnus, the same Magnus who in his arrogance had his Legion summoning Warp entities for menial jobs like cleaning armor and bolters.
  • I Have Many Names:
    • On different worlds he's known under different names, among them Golden King, Allfather and Outlander, and different imperial organizations also have different names for him - Mechanicum calls him the Omnissiah, while Navigators use Cartomancer. Whenever he adopts the guise of an ordinary man, he also names himself Revelation.
    • Old canon from 40K implied that he was also Jesus, but the implications were poorly thought out and it was quietly dropped from the canon. This appears to have been dumped.
    • What is still canon is that he was Saint George.
  • Lack of Empathy: Said to be one of his greatest problems; he's pretty much unable to understand the feelings of others.
  • Large and in Charge: Varies, and it's speculated out-of-universe he can change his size somehow, but when seen next to his sons, he's often at least as tall as them.
  • Naytheist: Proclaims that there are no gods despite knowing perfectly well that Chaos exists. Hence he instated the Imperial Truth, which made a pro-scientific, atheistic world view the official orthodoxy, and it eliminated uncounted religions, including Chaos cults. While the Emperor did legitimately endorse the world view, the Imperial Truth was essentially a well-meaning lie, which caused a number of problems as the Heresy unfolded. This was a justified trope at the time, as his limited understanding lead him to believe that starving the Chaos Gods of worship would eventually kill them.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: There are various interpretations and conflicting stories about who he is and what he was doing before he became known as the Emperor. For three possibilities given throughout the series:
    • He was a Perpetual, but otherwise normal human being like Oll Persson, who for thousands of years guided humanity in the shadows. Eventually, he entered the warp on the planet Molech, and was able to steal some power from the gods of Chaos, gaining awesome power and the ability to create the Primarchs. However, it's important to note that this story is open to interpretation, and may in fact be wrong.
    • He's an extremely rare and lucky combination of being born a both a Perpetual and a psyker. Or he's just a Superpower Lottery winner and it's his psychic powers that have kept him alive all those centuries.
    • Lore dating back to the first edition states that He's an amalgamation of thousands of old Terran shamans who banded together into one soul to protect themselves and Mankind from Chaos. However, it hasn't been confirmed since then.
  • No Social Skills: Played With. Despite his Lack of Empathy and being a Horrible Judge of Character, he's very charismatic, can be diplomatic and easily gives grand speeches. One presumes it comes with experience.
  • Orcus on His Throne: A heroic example and an unwilling one, but Magnus putting a dent in reality underneath the Palace forces the Emperor to remain there and keep the daemons locked in.
  • Parental Favoritism: One of his flaws; he clearly puts some of his children above others, and he clearly puts Horus above them all.
  • Parents as People: To paraphrase Guilliman, one of his children, for all his might and greatness, he's a deeply flawed human being and a terrible father. To Arkan Land, he didn't view the primarchs as his actual children, analogising himself as Gepetto to 20 different Pinnochios.
    • It's worth noting, however, that this may be an extension of A Form You Are Comfortable With; Land sees a perfectly emotionless avatar of the Machine God, who confirms his preexisting beliefs.
  • Physical God: Inasmuch as he tries to deny it, his power level pretty much puts him in this bracket.
  • Poor Communication Kills: He has a... huge problem telling people important stuff they should know. He'd save Himself a lot of grief if He educated people about Chaos and told His children why He's taking a break from the Crusade.
  • Pro-Human Transhuman: He may or may not be Human, but very much on the side of Humanity, and it's greatest guardian against the Gods of Chaos and the multitudes of other horrors that dwell within the galaxy.
  • Psychic Powers: The most powerful psyker out there. He's so powerful his psychic signature shines across the Warp and can be used as a beacon in the entirety of the galaxy. For comparison, Magnus can melt Titans with witchfire but the Emperor can create a maintain a star in the middle of his Webway gate. It's likely that the only being with greater mastery over Warp than him is Tzeentch, a literal god of magic.
  • Red Baron: Master of Mankind. The daemons of the Warp, including the Gods of Chaos, dubbed him as the Anathema. The only one they ever feared. They initially claim to Lorgar that they call him that because he is Anathema towards humanity, while they are the true path. Right.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Whatever he'd been doing before he showed up and begun uniting Terra is a matter of much speculation, and he's not talking.
  • Stop Worshipping Me: He has to stop people from setting up cults and cathedrals in his name and is willing to go to great lengths to make others realize he doesn't want to be treated as a god. His most notable action against the worship of his person was to have a city named Monarchia and which worshipped him destroyed, as well as proclaiming in the Word Bearers' face that he was no god, all the while forcing them to see Monarchia being razed and kneel to him.
  • Time Abyss: He's over thirty thousand years old and still kicking ass. The Emperor was born around 8000 BC in Anatolia and had a hand in building the basis of human civilization. It is also implied that he's spent thousands of lifetimes accomplishing deeds and guiding humanity toward a brighter future under several identities. The "Emperor" is merely the latest in a long list of personas he's adopted.
  • Unwanted False Faith: How he sees the budding Imperial Cult. The Emperor is against the worship of his own person but is so busy he's only made a couple of symbolic actions that don't prevent the human population to begin worshipping him.
  • Wolverine Claws: Among his signature weapon is a yet to be named lightning claw he wears on his left hand.

    Malcador 

Malcador

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/malcador_the_sigillite.jpg
The Big E merely rules the Imperium. I run it.
The one who makes the Imperium work. Emperor's right-hand man from the times of Terra's unification, Malcador takes care of all the things that don't look very glorious, but are necessary part of setting up and running a working nation.

  • Age Without Youth: By the time of the Heresy, he's several centuries old, and he's visibly aged.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: He runs the Administratum and his word carries as much authority as if it came from the Emperor himself. He also rules the Office of Assassins and the Knights Errant, and has considerable psychic powers of his own.
  • Cincinnatus: Before leaving for the Webway War, the Emperor makes him the Regent of Terra, effectively turning him into acting Emperor. Malcador puts the position to good use keeping the Imperium together.
  • Collector of the Strange: He spends his own money founding archeological expeditions and excavating remnants from the past. Among his collection there's Mona Lisa and Sunflowers.
  • Cool Old Guy: Malcador is very old because he's a Perpetual, but manages to remain a well-intentioned man who works for the betterment of mankind and is able to snark from time to time to keep interactions from becoming too formal.
  • Dirty Business: Does a fair bit over the course of the Heresy. Most visibly he is prepared to sacrifice Arvida by fusing him with a shard of Magnus. He might have promised to cure him of the flesh-change, but if it gets Terra a protector and frees the Emperor to act against Horus, he's willing to do it.
  • Fan of the Past: Malcador's a huge history buff, collecting old paintings and searching for things like Rosetta Stone.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: He can knock people - such as Angron - out with a touch.
  • First-Name Basis: With the Primarchs, which dismayed a number of other officials who couldn't fathom that a man could be so familiar with the Emperor and his Primarchs.
  • The Good Chancellor: Malcador is the Emperor's right hand. Among his chief responsibilities are to actually rule the Imperium in the Emperor's stead and to manage the Administratum and keep the Imperium running. Indeed, the Emperor is a military ruler and oversaw great scientific projects but it is Malcador who decides on most of the Imperium's policies and enforces them. Without his relatively efficient bureaucratic work, the Imperium would split in days.
  • Honest Advisor: Probably the only person who truly speaks his mind to the Emperor and the only one the Emperor would actually listen to. Despite it all, the Emperor claims that Malcador may have failed in his role as an advisor by trusting the Emperor too much on several crucial matters, leading to the impending doom of the Imperium.
  • In the Hood: Part of his formal garb is a hood he usually keeps on.
  • Just the First Citizen: Even after becoming Imperium's second-in-command, he insists on wearing robes of simple Administratum Adept.
  • Last of His Kind: Malcador is the last living member of the order of the Sigillites, which was dedicated with preserving knowledge of the past.
  • Muggle Best Friend: To the Emperor, to the extent that the being such as Master Of Mankind can have friends. The Emperor certainly trusts him more that He does His own children.
  • Number Two: He's sometimes described as equerry to the Emperor, and certainly carries the authority one could expect from this.
  • Older Than They Look: Malcador looks to be in his sixties or eighties despite being almost four centuries old. There are theories that he may be older than that, a member of the Illuminati of old. Malcador himself claims to be over 6,700 years old by the Heresy; though the conversation is framed as a deathbed confessional with one of Malcador's friends, whom he was comforting as they lay dying.
  • Old Retainer: He's been around even before the Emperor has begun the Unification Wars.
  • Psychic Powers: He's one of the most powerful psykers out there. It seems like the only humans surpassing him would be the Emperor, Magnus and maybe Lorgar post-fall.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: More reasonable than the Emperor at times. He's pragmatic, he tries to be the Primarchs' cool grandpa and he realizes that some of the Emperor's actions go against his goals, something the man himself has troubles understanding.
  • Secret Keeper: Apparently the only person the Emperor has told about the Chaos threat.
  • Servile Snarker: Certainly isn't above bursting someone's bubbles when it comes to dealing with the Emperor or Dorn. Borders on Brutal Honesty at times.
  • Shrouded in Myth: It's unknown what he'd been doing before becoming Master of the Administratum and how he and the Emperor became friends.
  • Staff of Authority: It's a symbol of his office, but because of his advanced age, he uses it for support as well. For some reasons, every single picture of him with it has it on fire.
    • Turns out there is a very good reason it's on fire all the time ; it can shoot nuclear fire.
  • The Chessmaster: Malcaldor worked alongside the Emperor to try and prevent the fall of the Imperium through various plans.
  • The Magnificent: The Sigillite, the title which comes from a phrase "Keeper of the Seal", meaning someone the ruler trusts not to abuse power given to him.
  • The Spymaster: Commands all forms of Imperial espionage services - the Knights Errant, the fledgling Inquisition and the Assassinorium.
    • He even has spies in the Webway army.

    Euphrati Keeler 

Euphrati Keeler

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/keeler.png
Libraries can be dangerous places.
A Remembrancer sent to accompany the Luna Wolves and chronicle the Great Crusade, she soon converts to Imperial Cult and starts preaching divinity of the Emperor.

  • Badass Preacher: Preaches the Emperor's divinity, banishes daemons.
  • Butt-Monkey: Loken notes that she used to have a knack for getting herself in trouble.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": "Imagist" is 30K-speak for a photographer.
  • Camera Fiend: She carries her camera everywhere and makes photos even when it's explicitely forbidden. As a jutificiation, she points out that her skills as an imagist are exactly the reason she's there in the first place.
  • Convenient Coma: She wakes up just in time to find an escape vessel from Istvaan III.
  • Continuity Nod: Outside of the Horus Heresy series, a comet she took a picture of is named after her. It returns millenia later, warped by it's time in the Eye of Terror and leads a Khornate Blood Crusade behind it.
  • Easy Evangelism: Averted. After witnessing a demon first-hand, her entire worldview is completely broken. It takes weeks of help from her friends and the influence of a lover for her to become a worshiper of the Emperor.
  • Herald:
    • To Nathaniel Garro, inspiring his faith in the Emperor and getting him back on his feet when he has his Crisis of Faith.
    • To Sigismund, when she sends him to Earth rather than Phall.
  • Holy Burns Evil: Her tool of daemon-banishment is an aquila which Imperial Cult appropriated into its symbol.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: She banishes an accidentally-summoned daemon back into the Warp.
  • Intrepid Reporter: She often wants to head straight into battlezone with Astartes battling around her to get the best shots.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Seems to be one to Garro, as she's the only one who can restore his sense of purpose.
  • Living Legend: Becomes this as the Saint, the prophet of the buddying Imperial Cult.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In universe and out. She's suspected of being a psyker by the Sisters of Silence but it's never confirmed. She definitely has some kind of supernatural ability but it's never specified exactly what it is.
  • Mystical Waif: As the Saint, she loses a lot of her earlier Intrepid Reporter and down-to-earth qualities, instead becoming something more transcandent and mystical, with her very presence swaying hearts of many.
  • Oracular Urchin:
    • Warns people that something bad's going to happen on Istvaan III before anyone else has an inkling of it.
    • Tells Sigismund to return with Dorn to Terra before fleet is sent to Istvaan V, as if she knew that if he went with Retribution Fleet, he probably wouldn't come back alive.
  • Paparazzi: Astartes, who are against Remembrancers from the get-go, seem to consider her this, although this changes after she manages to find gold material.
  • Psychic Powers: The Sisters of Silence believe her to be an unrecognized psyker. Whether she is or isn't is left ambiguous.
  • The Stoic: She's rather chill about becoming a prophet, being hunted down by Horus' assassins and the many visions of her impending death. It's suggested that she is in some way a vessel of Emperor's power, which would explain this.
  • The Magnificent: She starts to be called "The Saint" by those who believe in her.
  • Turbulent Priest: For both sides.
    • After she banishes a daemon from Vengeful Spirit's library, Horus' equerry tries to have her killed, with little success.
    • Back in Sol, she's going from orbital plate to orbital plate, preaching Emperor's divinity, to dismay of Imperial authorities.
    • Averted when she is eventually tracked down and arrested by the Knights Errant. Only she is taken and the rest of her followers are left alone. She goes with them willingly and claims she will be exactly where she needs to be.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Two of her namesakes return to haunt the Imperium 10,000 years later. The first is a comet named after her that enters the Eye of Terror and comes back on an erratic course past Imperial worlds and leading a Khornate crusade in tow. The second is an image she took of a pre-heresy Horus Lupercal (which some would judge as being dangerous enough itself) along with her notes and journals detailing how she basically started the modern Imperial faith, explicitly against the Emperor's wishes - something that could potentially destablise the entire Imperial creed.
  • Willing Channeler: It's implied she's a channel for Emperor's power in some way, although whether it's true - or intentional - is left vague. In any case, she embraces this fully.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: She's perfectly aware of all of her possible futures, and claims that only one of them lets her survive.
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    Lotara Sarrin 

Lotara Sarrin

The commander of Angron's flagship, the Conqueror, often noted for her near-total lack of fear and absolute bloodthirst - which, of course, make her a perfect match for World Eaters.

  • Action Girl: She takes active part in defense of her ship when it's boarded.
  • Badass Boast: "No one runs from the Conqueror"
    • Becomes a rather more ghastly one later on in the Heresy. It doesn't just refer to her enemies...
  • Blood Knight: She doesn't care much what side she fights on - for her, war is the end in and on itself.
  • Bloody Handprint: Wears a badge of one on the uniform as World Eaters' mark of courage.
  • Fearless Fool: It'd probably be wiser not to talk back to angry, Nails-bitten Astartes, but she does so nevertheless. One starts to wonder whether she is actually capable of feeling fear.
  • Hot-Blooded: She's very choleric and easy to anger.
  • Insane Admiral: She's rather cocky when commanding World Eaters' forces.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Giving chase to a fully-staffed Ultramarines vessel with her Astarte-less ship on a whim? But of course.
  • Like a Duck Takes to Water: She was put with the World Eaters because she's too bold and fearless to command anything else, and soon found out that she fits with their nature perfectly, rising to become one of Angron's very few favourites. In fact, those of the Legion who like her consider her a honorary World Eater.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: Most World Eaters dismiss her as a weak mortal, but she has the entire arsenal of the Conqueror at her fingertips, the support of both Kharn and Angron and the guts to hold her supposed-betters at a gunpoint.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • With Kharn. She's a mortal Blood Knight, he's an Astartes who tries to avoid sliding into Blood Knight, but they get along seamlessly, likely because of the below.
    • With Angron, oddly enough, though it's less pronounced. He respects her for her boldness and general commanding style, while she doesn't consider him "broken one" like many, even in his own Legion, do. She changes her mind after Angron becomes a Daemon Prince, insisting it should be jettisoned into space. She eventually changes her mind... or has it changed for her by the Conquerer, but later he still has to stay outside of the hull.
  • Only Sane Woman: While she's quite taken with the World Eaters' methods, she's not blind to the shrieking insanity of some of their tactics. Later on in the Heresy... not so much...
  • Sanity Slippage: Becomes gradually more worn down and erratic after Angron ascends. She eventually adapts to it.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Part of the reason she's not afraid of World Eaters is that she has Angron's support.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: You do not escape the Conqueror.

    Cyrene Valantion 

Cyrene Valantion

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/red_by_noldofinve_d4s6vg9.jpg
One of the handful of survivors from the destruction of the "Perfect City" of Monarchia on Khur, Cyrene became a symbol to the Word Bearers of their foolishness in worshipping the Emperor, and a witness to the XVII Legion's fall into the embrace of Chaos. She's murdered by the Emperor's Custodians for the sin of being a firsthand witness to the Word Bearers' fall to Chaos, only to be resurrected by Erebus as a favour to Argel Tal.

  • Blatant Lies: Claims she has no memory of her time in the Warp while she was dead. For her sake, Argel Tal claims to believe her.
  • Came Back Wrong: One of the side-effects of Erebus resurrecting her is that she's now a Perpetual.
  • Due to the Dead: Subverted: after her murder, the Word Bearers entomb her body aboard the Fidelitas Lex, but the mortal crew, who consider her the first saint of the Ruinous Powers, raid her tomb and cannibalise her body to use for relics.
  • Foil: She has more than a few similarities to Euphrati Keeler, but is on the other side. Both originally believed in one form of orthodoxy and then came to different conclusions, and both are source of religious inspiration.
  • It Is Pronounced Tropay: Insists that her name is pronounced "Sih-renny" and not "Si-reen". Oddly, the audiobook for The First Heretic (which was released after Betrayer's audio adaptation) pronounces it as "Sy-reney" throughout.
  • Lady in Red: Wears an extensive red gown which takes on another level of meaning when the Word Bearers use the same shade of red to symbolise their renouncing of the Emperor.
  • Morality Pet: To the Word Bearers in general, particularly Lorgar, Argel Tal and Xaphen. Coincidentally, she seems to have been kept away from the less wholesome aspects of Chaos worship, despite other mortals serving with the Word Bearers being fully inundated in it.
  • My Greatest Failure: Argel Tal thinks like this of his inability to protect her, first from the Custodians who murder her, then seemingly from going down with the Fidelitas Lex.
  • Older Than They Look: Her aging's been artificially stunted by rejuvenation procedures, to keep her looking young as part of her symbolism.
  • Put on a Bus: Hasn't been seen in the storyline since Betrayer.
  • Rape as Backstory: Implied to have happened to her in the time between Monarchia's destruction and her rescue by the Word Bearers.
  • Red Baron: Is commonly referred to as "The Blessed Lady".
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Even the asexual Space Marines and Lorgar consider her beautiful.
  • The Load: Erebus considers her this to Argel Tal, feeling that the latter's obsession with her is making him a liability to the Traitors' cause.
    Erebus: [to Argel Tal] In every one of the Ten Thousand Paths, your erratic, emotional foolishness leads us to lose the war. You had one last chance to turn away from this fate, if you could just overcome the death of that worthless whore-priestess. But no. You begged me to bring her back and in doing so, proved you were as worthless as she was.You cannot be relied up. You cannot be trusted. You cannot, for want of a better word, be controlled. And if we are to win this war, we need control.
  • Walking Spoiler: The events surrounding her after her death are rather spoilerrific.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Word Bearers presume she died aboard the Fidelitas Lex when their flagship was shot down by the Ultramarines above Nuceria. It's implied Damon Pyrantis might have rescued her before the crash and taken her to the Cabal, who are implied to be interested in just how Erebus managed to make her a Perpetual.

    Tarasha Euten 

Tarasha Euten

An equerry to Roboute Guilliman's adoptive father Konor and pretty much an adoptive mother to the Primarch. She retained her position throughout the Great Crusade and continues to be Roboute's civil affairs specialist during the Heresy.

  • Action Survivor: Being an old woman, she survives Curze's attack through hiding and Vulkan's timely intervention.
  • Almighty Janitor: She can easily command Astartes despite her official function being the aide of the house.
  • Almighty Mom: The only mortal to ever sass a Primarch about a hangover. She also tells off Curze and the Wolvesnote .
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: She's pretty much unseen after Unremembered Empire.
  • Cool Old Lady: See the two "Almighty" tropes above. She's also a foster mother and closest advisor to a Primarch and her "I am disappoint" moment when she sees Roboute with a hangover is short-lived, but great.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: She must be the only person in the entire galaxy to tell Konrad Curze to "Go to hell" to his face.
  • Fan Nickname: Gulli Mom
  • Friendly Address Privileges: She calls Roboute "boy", and he calls her "mam".
  • Good Parents: Notably, she's the only mother figure in life of any Primarch, and Roboute turned out to be one of the most stable of the bunch. Seeing how hard it can be to rein in a superhuman to end all superhumans, it tells a lot about her parenting skills.
  • Last-Name Basis: She's pretty much never referred to as "Tarasha" after her introduction, even in parts written from her POV.
  • Like a Son to Me: Considers Roboute to be this for her, as she helped raise him.
  • Muggle Foster Parents: For Roboute, as she's pretty much a normal, if longer-lived human.
  • Number Two: Served this way for Konor Guilliman, and after his death, for Roboute.
  • Parental Substitute: A mother Roboute wouldn't have otherwise.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Konor Guilliman, apparently, to the point that she's his most trusted confidante and Roboute considers her and Konor to be his mother and father.
  • Older Than They Look: Her aging's been artificially stunted by rejuvenation procedures, so she's over two hundred years old.
  • Old Retainer: She's been a longtime servant of Konor before the consul even found and adopted Roboute, and it's been almost two centuries since Macragge was added to the Imperium.
  • The Consigliere: During her time as Konor's equerry, and to some extent for Roboute as well.
  • The Good Chancellor: She provides a much more humane and distanced perspective on events that vex Roboute.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: Part of the reason why Roboute keeps her around is because he knows she'll tell him the things as they are. She also doesn't even try to hide Vulkan's presence and state of mind, although this may be because she's still in shock from Curze's attack.

    Ilya Ravallion 

Ilya Ravallion

An almost-retired general and Departmento Munitorum bureaucrat sent out to liason with the White Scars to sort out logistical problems their methods of war were causing with the wider Imperium, Ravallion becomes a key part of the Vth Legion's fighting efforts following the outbreak of the Horus Heresy.

  • Affectionate Nickname: Many amongst the Legion call her szu (sage) as a term of endearment.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Despite White Scars' infamous aversion to logistics, she manages to keep them going, and over time becomes their advisor, heart and equal partner.
  • Badass Normal: Ilya's just an ordinary human woman, but she has no problem with calling out the White Scars (up to and including their Primarch) when she thinks they're doing something wrong, and has no qualms about putting herself in danger if it serves a greater cause.
  • Going Native: Befriends many of the Legion and starts adoption many of their idiosyncracies after her time with them.
  • The Heart: Yesgeui flat-out calls her "the heart of the Legion" when telepathically saying goodbye to her before his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Morality Pet: To the White Scars in general, but particularly Shiban, Yesgei and Jaghatai Khan.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • With Jaghatai Khan. She's a bureaucrat; he's the Primarch with the least patience for bureaucracy, yet they get on quite well and often spend time in private drinking, debating and playing board games.
    • With Yesgeui as well. The Space Marine always treats her respectfully, considers her a close confident and is always willing to listen to her suggestion.
  • Oh, Crap!: A minor one compared to other examples, but during her first audience with Jaghatai Khan, Ilya is trying to impress upon the Khan the importance of the Munitorm having a logistical supply line to the Fifth Legion, only to realise he's not listening, already bored with talk of such matters, before explaining that such terms are not a part of how the White Scars prefer to fight.
    Ilya Ravallion: As soon as I used the words "revised framework for logistics liason", I knew I'd lost him. He looked at me, half-bemused, half-irritated. He shifted in his chair, and even in that miniscule movement, I sensed something of the futility of what I was trying to do. He hated being seated. He hated talking. He hated being cooped up inside the walls of his battleship. He wanted to be on campaign, lost in the pursuit, deploying his phenomenal strength in the eternal hunt...I understood then why all our delegations had failed to make an impression on him. The White Scars were not hard to organise because of carelessness- it was a point of principle for them, a doctrine of war.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: Like all those Yesgeui telepathically contacts to say goodbye before sacrificing himself, Ilya begs him to not go through with what he intends.
  • Team Mom: She's somewhere between this and an older sister to the Scars by the time of Path of Heaven.
  • Underestimating Badassery: When the White Scars attempt to break past the Alpha Legion fleet blocking them from leaving Chondax, Ilya criticises the Scars for seemingly throwing away their good position and flying blinding into the Alpha Legion's guns. She is then completely caught offguard when it is revealed the White Scars were simply feigning weakness to lull the Traitors into a false sense of security, as well as get their ships into position to break through the Alpha Legion blockade in a single strike.
  • Wham Line: A trailing-off-into-internal-monologue one in Scars when she realises the warriors around her have been expecting another fleet to join them above Prospero - unbeknownst to the Khan.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Is not above doing this when she thinks the White Scars are doing things that are detrimental in the long run. Examples include:
    • Calling the Scars out for remaining out in enemy territory for four years, hampering the progression of the Traitors to Terra, pointing out that while they've succeeded in slowing down and hurting their enemies, it has come at the cost of essentially trapping themselves in enemy lines and goading Horus to commit ever-greater amounts of resources to their destruction.
    • Chews Shiban out for his treatment of Torghun.
    • Angrily tells Jaghatai Khan to not make Yesgeui's sacrifice meaningless and use the portal he's created to get back to Terra when the Khan is toying with staying behind to confront Mortarion.

    Harpocratica Morn 

Harpocratica Morn

An old, old mortal general, Morn accompanies Sigismund on a misssion to kill Word Bearers in the Sol System.

  • Badass Boast: When Rann tries to get her to be quiet, she delivers one that shuts him up:
    Rann: "Be-"
    Morn: "Be what? The representative of the Emperor and his Regent? The emissary of the Council of Terra? Or merely a general who has stood on fields of blood and victory since before this Imperium was won?"
  • Four-Star Badass: She's a veteran of centuries of constant war, and not afraid to go into a firefight.
  • Older Than They Look: If what she says is true, she's been a soldier longer than the two centuries for which the Great Crusade has been running.
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    Andromeda- 17 

Andromeda-17

A member of Luna's Selenar gene-cults, recruited by the Imperial Fists Archamus and Sergeant Kestros to aid them in countering the Alpha Legion's assault on Sol.

  • Because It Amused Me: This is part of the reason why she decides to work with the Space Marines; the idea of sussing out and thwarting the Alpha Legion intrigues her, and she seems to enjoy interrogating perps.
  • Bringing in the Expert: Archamus recruits Andromeda because the Selenar cults helped create the Legiones Astartes, and therefore have special insight into the legions' individual natures.
  • Cloning Blues: She is the seventeenth Andromeda, and seems rather fatalistic about the fact that she may well be the last version of herself ever to exist.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She likes dropping sarcastic remarks at the expense of the two Imperial Fists she's working with.
    Andromeda: "Your master is barely competent at interacting with something that does not have a trigger, but at least he has identified that my weakness is curiosity rather than ego."
  • Fatal Flaw: Downplayed. Her weakness, as she notes, is her sense of curiosity, which Archamus exploits in order to get her to agree to help them hunt down the Alpha Legion agents that have infiltrated Sol. She even knows what he's doing, but she can't resist the lure. Fortunately for her, it doesn't get her killed.
  • The Gadfly: She initially refuses to work with the Imperial Fists, apparently purely out of spite. Even after Archamus is able to convince her to aid them, she constantly needles them with insults and snarky comments, up to and including tacitly insulting their primarch.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Andromeda has no love for the Imperium, and she makes this very clear to Archamus and Kestros. A previous Andromeda was killed by Space Marines during the pacification of Luna, so she has good reason to be bitter. That said, she also eventually realises that, as bad as the Imperium is, Horus would be a lot worse and by the time of the short story Now Peals Midnight, her relationship with Kestros seems to have evolved into an Odd Friendship.

The Custodes

     The Custodes in General 

The Custodes

The Emperor's order of personal guards.

  • Always Someone Better: To the Astartes and Thunder Warriors. The Custodes don't have the numbers or armoury to take on any one Legion meaningfully, but they and their weapons are deadlier than their counterparts.
  • Bling of War: Clad all in aurumite, matching the Emperor's armour.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: It speaks to the ferocity of the Great Crusade that the Emperor considers them necessary.
  • Elite Army: In an Imperium they share with the Astartes, Solar Auxilia and Mechanicum taghmata, the Custodes are the most elite of all.
  • Soldier vs. Warrior: Firmly on the warrior side. They are much more individualistic than the Astartes in their fighting styles.

    Constantin Valdor 

Constantin Valdor

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/constantin_valdor.jpg
The Emperor snaps his fingers, and Valdor snaps you.
Chief-Custodian of the Adeptus Custodes, superhuman bodyguards to the Emperor. Along with Malcador and Rogal Dorn, he keeps the Imperium together in his master's absence.

  • Badass in Charge: Leads the Badass Army of Custodes and is certainly one of them.
  • Blade on a Stick: Standard Custodes weapon is a power halberd, and Valdor makes good use of it.
  • Bling of War: Like all the Custodians, he wears shiny golden armour.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: The Emperor is so above everyone else in power levels, he could probably wipe the floor with any enemy Valdor would be capable of stopping. Probably why the Emperor treats Custodes as his rapid strike force.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Has nothing against sending a team of assassins to off Horus.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Comes in conflict with Dorn in matters of how resistance against Horus should be run. He sends assassins, but Dorn believes it to be unwise.
  • Large and in Charge: Bigger than an Astartes, leads the Custodes.
  • Number Two: Wherever Malcador or Dorn doesn't quite cut it, Valdor goes.
  • Praetorian Guard: Leads the Custodes, honour guard of the Emperor.
  • Super Soldier: As a Custodes, he's said to be better than your regular Space Marine, albeit still not on Primarch level.
  • The Extremist Was Right: Played with. While his plan to assassinate Horus obviously fails, it turns out that the traitors are trying to do the same and both groups end up annihilating each other, not to mention all the intel the assassins obtain.

    Aquillon 

Aquillon

Leader of the Custodians sent to keep watch over the Word Bearers.

  • Badass in Charge: A Prefect of the Ten Thousand, and leader of the observers overseeing Lorgar's fleet.
  • BFS: Favours a colossal sword over the customary guardian spear.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Despite him and his men being universally hated by the Word Bearers, Erebus insists Aquillon and the other Custodians be kept alive, in the hope studying their genome for similarities with the Emperor's might yield a weakness the Traitor Legions can exploit.
  • Dual Wielding: When his Blade on a Stick is out of ammo, he switches to a pair of "Meridian swords".
  • Foil: To the Emperor.

    Ra Endymion 

Ra Endymion

A Tribune of the Custodians, and commander in the Webway War in Master of Mankind.

  • Demonic Possession: Drach'nyen doesn't end up controlling him, thanks to his immense willpower, but he will have it bound to him for the rest of his life.
  • Hero Killer: He takes Chaos Space Marines apart, seemingly with little effort.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He doesn't initiate it, but with Drach'nyen bound inside him, he doesn't even give the Emperor a What the Hell, Hero? but just races off into the depths of the Webway. By doing this, he keeps the Daemon of the First Murder away from his master.
  • The Watson: A large part of his role is to be exposited to by the Emperor about the Webway Project, the nature of Chaos and Drach'nyen.
  • You Are in Command Now: Everyone in the Webway who ranks above him has been killed when we meet him.

The Mechanicum

    The Mechanicum in General 

The Mechanicum

The only religious movement permitted in the Imperium, the Mechanicum worship the Emperor as the avatar of their Machine God. Having access to technology that Terra lacked and many "Forge Worlds" scattered across the Galaxy, the Emperor brought them into the Imperium at the beginning of the Great Crusade.

  • Artificial Limbs: Ubiquitous among the priesthood.
  • Cyborg: Part and parcel of being a tech-priest. Their senior priests are, to a man (or woman - it gets very hard to tell) a long way removed from common humanity by the extent of their augmentations.
  • A House Divided: A religious schism accompanies the Horus Heresy for them.
  • Machine Worship: Human technology is sacred to them, Titans are avatars of their god and AI is unholy.
  • Scary Amoral Religion: Certainly many of their higher-ups, who think nothing of having millions of people slaved to their scientific vision and tend to view them as a handy resource. Certain battle robots were actually create to wipe out excess thralls. Note that the more unscrupulous leaders were the ones to actually side with Horus.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: They do this to convicts, and sometimes surplus slaves, turning them into servitors and battle-automata.

    Kelbor Hal 

Kelbor Hal

Fabricator General of Mars, and, by extension, Leader of the Adeptus Mechanicus. He is convinced to side with Horus when the latter offers him more freedom to explore certain topics that Emperor did not want examined (for good reason).
  • Cyborg: To a greater degree than most Tech Priests. As befitting the ruler of Mars, there's almost no flesh left in him. He is even missing half of his brain, because that was the "emotional" half. The Emperor had him wear a golden mask to seem more human, which he discarded.
  • Driven by Envy: While he may truly fear that the Emperor won't allow the Mechanicus to operate its own empire within the Imperium, he's also plainly jealous of the Master of Mankind's power.
  • Evil Genius: Several of the things he creates with the Technology from the Vaults of Morevac are absolutely nightmarish.
  • The Fundamentalist: He still adheres to the pre-Emperor belief that no area of research should be left alone. It gets him corrupted by Chaotic "scrapcode" soon enough.
  • The Leader: Becomes this as the Founder of the Dark Mechanicum. Before this, he was the overall leader of the Adeptus Mechanicus.
  • Mad Scientist: He created an entire cult of these, called the Dark Mechanicum, and they make the normal Mechanicum look tame in comparison.
  • Magic from Technology: Assumes this applies to his universe, dismissing concerns that the Vault of Moravec is tainted by something... other.
  • Mission Control: The art books that came out before the Horus Heresy novels have him end up as this next to Horus on the Vengeful Spirit during the Siege of Terra.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Not that it wasn't justified, but the Emperor's decision to make certain fields of research forbidden did not sit well with this guy.
  • Not So Stoic: For all that he may seem to have no emotions, he is openly stated to feel rancour and frustration toward the Emperor. Also, during the opening of the Vaults of Moravec, he is openly horrified for a moment when he realises the code released is corrupt.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Kelbor Hal is the Lord and Founder of the Dark Mechanicum. His contemporary, Anacharis Scoria, lord of the Forge World of Xana II from the Siege of Vraks campaign, has rules that make him on the level of a Primarch.
  • The Resenter: Resents the Emperor's ban on several fields of research, as well as the sealing of the vaults of Morevac.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: One of the things that convinces him to side with Horus is that the Warmaster offered to open the Forbidden Vaults of Morevac, which were apparently sealed because of this trope. Specifically, they were meant to contain warp-tainted machinery. When Hal opens it, Chaos-infected code surges through Mars, causing planet wide devastation. Hal thinks it was Worth It, though, as he now has access to the forbidden technology within the Vault.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • While he is an Evil Genius, he correctly points out that the Emperor essentially strong-armed the Mechanicum into serving the Imperium, something Hal resents.
    • On the Emperor's side, Kelbor did constantly raid Terra for technology.
    • He also believes that the Emperor is a false prophet and that the Machine God still slumbers beneath Mars, waiting to be found. Dahlia's arc in Mechanicum proves that he is absolutely correct. However, considering that said Machine God is Mag'Ladroth the Void Dragon, the most powerful C'tan in existence, it might be better in the Machine God stays asleep.

    Zagreus Kane 

Zagreus Kane

A Fabricator-Locum who remains loyal to the Emperor, and becomes the Fabricator-General in exile.
  • Bad Boss: Forge thralls mistake him for the Omnissiah and start praying. His response is to shoot one, and he thinks nothing of promising that thousands of them will be turned into servitors and automata.
  • Cyborg: With crawler treads for legs, and he resents having to actually speak rather than communicate electronically.
  • Man in the Machine: Post Schism, most of his human parts are either replaced with, or hidden behind mechanical parts.
  • More Dakka: After arriving on Terra, he "sanctifies himself" with an impressive array of cannons.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Has four arms after his decision to go full Cyborg.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Dislikes these greatly, believing that no machine should perfectly replace/replicate a human being.
  • The Resenter: He's not happy to be stuck on Terra while Kelbor Hal continues to rule Mars.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Subverted. Arkan Land is not impressed by Kane's modifications on Terra.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Wasn't exactly the nicest person before Mars fell, but become far more of a Jerkass afterwards. See the Bad Boss entry above, for an example.
  • You Are in Command Now: After every other senior Loyalist on Mars has been killed.

    Hieronyma 

Hieronyma

A priestess of the Mechanicum Ordo Reductor, who becomes the "Archimandrite" which will lead the relief effort for the Imperial Webway.
  • And I Must Scream: Self-inflicted in her conversion; she removes her vocal chords prior to surgery.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: She's less than entirely human when we first meet her. Conversion takes her further down that road.
  • Cyborg: Very little of her original form is retained as the Archimandrite.
  • Demonic Possession: Drach'nyen seizes control of her body.
  • More Dakka: Almost enough dakka. She's outfitted with previousky forbidden archeotech.
  • Power-Upgrading Deformation: The surgery that turns her into the Archimandrite vivisects and decapitates her.

    Arkan Land 

Arkan Land

A techno-archeologist of the Mechanicum.
  • Jerkass: He's arrogant and rude. The effect is heightened by the fact that he's being disrespectful of characters usually held in high regard.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Not that some of his criticisms of Primarchs and Astartes aren't valid.

    Arook Serotid 

Arook Serotid

A Skitarii officer caught up in the Battle of Calth.

  • Cyborg: A long military career has left him heavily augmented.
  • Last Stand: Offscreen, he heroically stays behind to cover Remus Ventanus' escape.
  • Large and in Charge: He rivals Space Marines with his augmented size.
  • Not So Different: A heartwarming example: a Skitarius finds that his sense of duty compliments Remus'.

    The Kaban Machine 

The Kaban Machine

The pet project of Mechanicum Adept Lukas Chrom, it is the first Artificial Intelligence created by man since the Dark Age of Technology. Naturally, it ends up on the side of the Traitor Legions.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Averted, it functions perfectly well, it's just that its creator wanted it to be evil.
  • Ascended Extra: Initially appeared in a short story before taking a much larger role in Mechanicum. Due to the limited publication of the short story, the backstory comes much later in the main series.
  • Book-Ends: It's first appearance in Mechanicum has it fight the Knights of Taranis. It's final appearance in the story has it fight those very same knights and, ultimately, lose to them.
  • Combat Tentacles: Several of its weapons are attached to mechadendrites.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Inflicts this on Raf Maven and his Knight in their first meeting, defeating his knight without suffering any damage.
  • Deflector Shields: Has void shields. This lets it dominate its first battle with the Knights of Taranis, because they don't have the firepower to easily break said shield.
  • Freudian Excuse: How do you program a true AI to be evil? You don't. You get it to be friends with a fundamentalist who views the Emperor as a god and its existence as an affront to his laws.
  • The Heavy: Fulfils this role in Mechanicum: it kicks of the 'Knights of Taranis' arc by attacking a reactor they were guarding and joins Dahlia's arc when it is sent to hunt her down, but it ultimately is subservient to Lukas Chrom and Kelbor Hal.
  • It Can Think: It learns from its mistakes and actively works to avoid repeating them. This almost let's it achieve its goal in Mechanicum, until The Knights of Taranis arrive to fight it.
  • Made of Iron: It's a robot, but even then, it still takes an absolutely colossal amount of firepower to take it down. Justified, due to a mix of heavy armour and Void Shields being equipped on it.
  • More Dakka: Has enough firepower on it to make an ork jealous.

Non-Imperial

    John Grammaticus 

John Grammaticus

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/johngrammaticus.jpg
An enigmatic psyker, John is actually a Perpetual and an agent of the Cabal, Ancient Conspiracy hell-bent on saving the universe from Chaos. Due to nature of his arc and character, even trope names may be spoilers here.

  • Ace Pilot: A variety - he's capable of flying all types of vessels, whether human, xeno or Astartes.
  • Battle in the Centre of the Mind: Tries to have one, but his enemy being Legion Librarian, he's severely outclassed and lives only on Numeon's mercy.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Twice in the same book.
    • Narek puts a psyker collar on him to stop him from smooth-talking his way out.
    • By "killing" Vulkan with fulgurite, he seemingly robs himself of Perpetuality.
  • Compelling Voice: Part of his logokine powers is ability to do this, although a sufficiently aware and focused victim can fight this back.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Uses this as a way to cope with universe around him.
    John (to his "rescuers"): I actually felt safer when I was on my own.
  • Double Agent: For some time, he plays for both sides while trying to wrench himself free of the Cabal.
  • Driven to Suicide: When he realizes that what he has done may've put into motion extinction of humanity, he throws himself out of the airlock. His Perpetuality proves to be a problem, though.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Averted, they're necessary in Traoris' environment.
  • Guile Hero: He's pretty much nothing when it comes to combat abilities, but watching him work his charms and mind to get around obstacles and fool the chase is a pure pleasure.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: The Cabal doesn't let him come over to good guy's side and his attempt at helping Vulkan ends up killing him, albeit thankfully, only temporarily.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Rather than pass the fulgurite to Curze to kill Vulkan for good, he does the deed, believing that if a Perpetual does it, it will instead cure victim's mind.
  • Herald:
    • For Alpharius and Omegon, as he's the one who brings Cabal to their attention.
    • For Oll Persson, setting him on a mission to save the Imperium.
  • Hitman with a Heart: He's tasked with killing Vulkan, but finds himself questioning his cause.
  • Go Among Mad People: He's said to have spent eighteen years in an insane asylum.
  • Master of Disguise: Probably the most powerful tool in his arsenal. He can become pretty much everyone, and that's before he starts using his logokine powers.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Has this moment after engineering Alpha Legion's Face–Heel Turn.
  • Non-Action Guy: Despite being an ex-soldier, he's next to nothing in terms of physical powers and instead relies on his smooth talking and guile to make it through.
  • Odd Friendship: It's curious how him and Oll Persson managed to get together and become friends enough for John to turn to Oll when world-saving is required, given how Oll is just trying to live out his lives beneath notice while John is always out on a Cabal mission.
  • Older Than They Look: He looks about thirty, but has fought in Unification Wars, so he must be at least two centuries old.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: His digital weapon, a ring that can be worn on a finger and can blast a Legionary into a wall.
  • Pro-Human Transhuman: Who he tries to become.
  • Psychic Powers: John's a logokine, a psyker with abilities centred around speech and language, which somehow translates not only to Compelling Voice, but also Master of Disguise and Talking in Your Dreams.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Turns out the Cabal doesn't accept employees retiring.
  • Resurrective Immortality: The Cabal turned him into an artificial Perpetual (somehow), and he always comes back to life when killed.
  • Rogue Agent: Tries to defect from the Cabal and follow his conscience. Also, he was initially an Imperial commander before the Great Crusade left Earth, but joined the Cabal in the interim.
  • Sour Supporter: He's not happy about following the Cabal, but doesn't know what else to do. It translates to his demeanour.
  • Super Senses: He has some sort of psychic sense enabling him to find people over large distances.
  • Talking in Your Dreams: How he communicates with Oll.
  • The Eeyore: When accompanying the Salamanders, he's the one to voice the most fatalism and preach of incoming failure.
  • The Needs of the Many: His ideology while in Cabal, but he begins to question it when he realizes that the "many" doesn't equal "humans".
  • The Social Expert: He can easily smooth-talk people and slide into any part without a problem.
  • Swiss-Army Superpower: John is a logokine, an incredibly rare type of psyker whose main repertoire of powers relate to language. It's actually really versatile.
  • Transhuman Treachery: How he comes to see his service to the Cabal, and what it is, really - he helps ensure Mankind's extinction to save the rest of the world.
  • Wild Card: He'll work with you whenever it suits his goals and will turn against you whenever it suits his goals. This applies to both the Imperium and the Cabal.

    Eldrad Ulthran 

Eldrad Ulthran

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/eldrad_ulthran_6th_ed10.jpg
Whatever this big thing behind him was, he's had enough of it.
An Eldar Farseer and member of the Cabal, Eldrad seeks to save the galaxy from Chaos, even if it means getting creative.

  • Badass in Charge: He's the chief Farseer of Craftworld Ulthwe, meaning he has immense psychic powers.
  • Cassandra Truth: While his own people treat him seriously, the Imperium has notoriously bad track record with believing him:
    • It's rumoured that he tried to warn the Emperor that Chaos was going to become bigger threat than xenos, only to be rebuked.
    • Attempts to warn the Imperium of Horus' impending treachery, only for his listener to be Fulgrim, who at the time is already being consumed by Chaos.
  • Chewing the Scenery: He sure does that during his formal dinner with Fulgrim.
  • Herald:
  • I Do Not Drink Wine: He does not eat... meat. Albeit this may be just him trolling Fulgrim.
  • Psychic Powers: He's one of the most powerful psykers out there and no-one would be surprised if his power would be equal to Malcador's. His speciality lies in foreseeing the future, though.
  • Rogue Agent: Seems to be working against the Cabal somehow.
  • Seer: He can predict the future with chilling accuracy. This could be the reason why he fights the Cabal, he knows that their actions against the Emperor would result in the ever-present hell-hole that that is modern 40k and the grinding stalemate between the Emperor and Chaos that could potentially result in Chaos Gods' final victory.
  • Spirit Advisor: How he appears to both John Grammaticus and Vulkan.
  • Take a Third Option: Apparently finds a way to save the universe without killing off humanity.
  • You Are Too Late: He attempts to warn Fulgrim of Horus' treachery, only to realize that Fulgrim is already corrupted.
  • Young Future Famous People: He's quite famous in 40K as a Really 700 Years Old Eldar Farseer who goes missing fighting Chaos.

    Oll Persson/Ollanius 

Oll Persson/Ollanius

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ollpious.jpg
The classic 40k Badass Normal, reborn. Once again.
A Perpetual, Oll has been living for a long, long time and is actually a peer to the Emperor. Despite wanting nothing more than calm and continued existence, he's sucked into the plot as the Heresy comes to the world he's chosen to call home.

  • Adult Fear: His son died in infancy and Ollanius could do nothing to save him. He's said to have taken three centuries to cope with the loss.
  • Beneath Notice: How he's gone through millenniums - he's not changing the world, he's not using his knowledge, he's not standing out, he's simply one of those guys doing their jobs about whom the historians won't bother writing. Emphasised by one of his earliest interactions with the Emperor.
    Oll: I just want a normal life.
    The Emperor : My friend, you'll have as many of those as you want.
  • Call to Agriculture: After retiring from the Imperial Army, he's been working as a farmer on Calth.
  • Camp Unsafe Isn't Safe Anymore: He moved to Calth hoping it'd be his safe haven. Some time later, Word Bearers roll around and bring Heresy with them.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Takes his time to rescue a bunch of people he does and doesn't know in the chaos of Calth, despite the fact that their lack of knowledge of daemons may end up dooming his mission.
  • Exposition of Immortality:
    • He's often reminiscing about his past actions, such as battle of Verdun or journey of Argo.
    • He uses phrases that have long been out of use in the Imperium, such as "Okay".
  • Foil: To the Emperor, actually. They're both immortal, both have lived for thirty thousand years and both are somewhat apart from the rest of Mankind, but while the Emperor ended up arrogant, took charge of mankind and pretty much forgotten how to relate to normal people, Ollanius clings to his humanity and passes beneath notice.
  • Hunk: If the pictures are to be believed, yes.
  • Glamour Failure: He can see daemons for what they really are.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: He's tired of immortality and just wants to live a normal life.
  • Julius Beethoven da Vinci: Averted. While he was present in many historical and mythical events, he's never been anyone famous during them. That's part of his character's point, really. For instance, he was one of the Argonauts, but not Jason himself.
  • Living Relic: He has attitudes and instincts of a bygone age, and sometimes uses turns of phrase more fitting to our times and history than world of Imperium. 'Okay' is a Verbal Tic of his, to a point that John Grammaticus replicates it to impersonate Oll.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Pious, as in "Religious Bruiser".
    • Oll Persson, if you read it quickly, sounds like "Old Person", which describes him perfectly. Probably justified, as it's likely he made it up for his latest "life", though it seems that it is similar to his actual name, as he went by "Oliver" for a while in WWI.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • Seemingly the only basis for friendship between him and John Grammaticus is their shared Perpetuality, yet they seem to know each other well.
    • His also one of the few Perpetuals loyal to the Emperor despite the Cabal trying their best to recruit them all against him.
  • Really 700 Years Old: He's as old as the Emperor. Or, in some accounts, even older.
  • Reconstruction: To Emperor's Deconstruction of Time Abyss. He shows that even though time does its best to alienate such person from mankind, and brings centuries of experiences, it's possible to remain a member of society and not forget one's roots.
  • Religious Bruiser: He's devoted Catharic (Catholic). In fact, the very reason he's decided to settle on Calth is because it's easier to be a believer further away from Terra.
    • How do you fight a horde of deamons? By reciting the prayer O Lord and Master of Mankind that is derived from an actual christian prayer.
  • Resurrective Immortality: As a Perpetual, he comes back every time he dies. This being said, he's apparently lived for many thousand years without a single death before Calth.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Going by his flashbacks, he's been a soldier for his entire life, and there's pretty much nothing that can terrify him anymore. He's got quite a baggage from that, too.
  • Talking in Your Dreams: How he has his conversations with Grammaticus of a recent.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: He moved to Calth to avoid the call, but then the planet became new daemon hotspot.
  • The Magnificent: You may know him better as Ollanius Pious.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Ollanius just seems... tired of his endless existence, as if each of his lifes weighted heavily on him.
  • Young Future Famous People: While not "young" by any means, in 40K he's known as the saint who stood in Horus way when the Warmaster tried to get to the Emperor, perishing instantly. It remains to be seen how Horus Heresy will retell this tale.

    Alivia Sureka 

Alivia Sureka

An adventuring companion of the Emperor before he was empowered into what he was during the Unification Wars. Left behind on the Knight World of Molech to guard the portal into the Realm of Chaos that the Emperor used years ago, she proved no match for Horus, but survived due to her Perpetual nature.
  • Action Survivor: Goes through a ringer through the Heresy.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Old Wounds, New Scars
  • Adult Fear: Her life is full of this. Begins with her attempts to save her family during the Battle of Molech, and with her rescuing her daughters after their captivity by the hands of refugee Slaaneshi priests from Molech.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Liv
  • Almighty Janitor: Able to get Astartes to work with her.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: An assassin who commanded ships in the era of Old Earth and racked up a bodycount of hundreds.
  • Berserk Button: Mess with her kids and a messy death ensues.
  • Demonic Possession: Uses her Perpetual powers to survive it with the least damaged aftermath of anyone in the Heresy, and the only person shown to be able to do so.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: She defies Horus Lupercal at the Hellgate on Molech and nearly closes it. Nearly is not quite sufficient.
  • Dirty Business: Protects the Emperor's secrets on Molech for millennia. Then Horus and his Heresy happen.
  • The Empath: Her main Psyker ability, more of a curse than a blessing.
  • Guile Hero: Able to manipulate her way through things aided by her empathy.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Tries this with Horus at Molech. Doesn't work.
  • Julius Beethoven da Vinci: Was Artemisia at the Battle of Artemisium in the past.
  • Living Relic: Both is one and has one, a semi-magic book of Hans Christen Andersen tales, no less.
  • Mama Bear: One of her main focuses and the source of much of her badassery.
  • Morality Pet: Her two daughters, who she devotes far more time and concern to than she does her husband.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: Racks up an Astartes-tier body count on Molech prior to the invasion.
  • Only Sane Woman: Did not consider it wise to hide the existence of the Warp.
  • Pro Human Trans Human: The most explicitly pro-Human Psyker besides the Emperor and the only one actively involved in supporting his schemes without direct involvement in the Imperium.
  • Psychic Powers: Empathy.
  • Really 700 Years Old: At least as old as the Biblical Deluge.
  • Reconstruction: As with Oll Persson, of the Time Abyss trope, showing that it's possible to endure for millennia without becoming inhuman.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Dies the most of any Perpetual on screen not named Vulkan.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The person whose original task was to guard the Hellgate on Molech. Did so successfully for millennia until Horus Lupercal hit Molech like an orbital bombardment.
  • Sour Supporter: By the time of the Siege of Terra, if not before, is utterly disillusioned with the Emperor and disliked the Astartes from the beginning.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Seeks to avoid Malcador and the Imperium's elite when she arrives on Terra
  • Time Abyss: Old enough to have survived the Flood of Noah.
  • Token Good Teammate: The only person involved in the Imperium's Shadow Wars who actively tries to avoid amoral actions.
  • Walking Spoiler: In Vengeful Spirit. And with her friendship and ex-boyfriend status with John Grammaticus, to say nothing of Grammaticus predating when the Cabal supposedly made him.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Outlived her original family and does not relish surviving daemonic possession on Molech's Enlightenment.

    Uriah Olathaire 

Uriah Olathaire

The priest of the last church on Terra, Uriah appears only in the short story The Last Church.

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe, Uriah regards the Emperor as just another insane, brutal tyrant in humanity's long history, who just happens to have a bit more brains, ambition, and gumption than most. And he foretells that, just like all those other tyrants, the Emperor's own faults will be the ruin of him.
  • Badass Normal: In his youth, he was one of the few survivors against a battle with Thunder Warriors, and as an old man, he does what even Astartes haven't: rejected the Emperor and told him to his face what a tyrant he is.
  • Badass Preacher: He is best known for telling the Emperor how flawed he is to his face and declaring he wants no part in the Great Crusade.
  • Break the Believer: The point of his story is the Emperor trying to talk him out of relying on faith, while ultimately succeeding, Uriah chose not to live under the Emperor.
  • Crisis of Faith: The Last Church is about the Emperor trying to get Uriah to reject his beliefs, but in the end, Uriah refuses and dies loyal to his faith. Or rather, in defiance of the Emperor.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: His faith, though left vague, is all but stated to be a form of Christianity, probably Catholic. The titular Last Church is probably the monastery at Lindisfarne.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: He gives a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the Emperor.
  • Dramatic Irony: Neither he nor the Emperor is aware at the time, but his speech foreshadows the Emperor's ultimate fate.
    Uriah: And if you succeed in this grand vision of yours? What then? Beware that your subjects do not begin to see you as a god.
    • Uriah thought he had an encounter with an angelic figure in his youth, which lead him to his faith. At the end of the conversation with an agent of the Emperor called "Revelation", Revelation revealed himself to be none other than the Emperor in disguise, showing him that he was the one Uriah encountered which awakened his faith, showing that it was built on a false premise. The irony comes from Uriah's continued rejection of the Emperor and his tenants, favoring of the outlook promoted by his faith, and walked back into burning church rather than live under the Emperor.
  • Driven to Suicide: At the end of his story, he walks back into his burning church after rejecting the Emperor.
  • Heel–Faith Turn: He served in a rebellion against Imperial rule, followed a madman who led thousands of civilians against the Emperor's Thunder Warriors and regiments of the Imperial Army. Barely survived the battle, met the Emperor and dedicated himself to good work and peace for the rest of his life
  • Hijacked by Jesus: In universe. Hours after narrowly surviving a local revolt against the Emperor's regime, he had an encounter on the with a "glowing, golden figure" who asked Uriah why he didn't "follow me." This lead to Uriah turning to faith. It was quite a shock when "Revelation" dropped his guise and revealed himself to be the Emperor, the figure who Uriah met in his youth and lead him to faith. Once he gets over the initial shock he decides the event that led him to faith being a misunderstanding is irrelevant compared to the good he did in its name over the following 50 years. He reaffirms his faith, telling off the Emperor in the process, and dies a martyr in his burning church.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He gives one to the Emperor, which provides the page quote for the God-Emperor page.
    Uriah: You are a madman. And you are arrogant if you believe you can subjugate the stars with warriors such as these. They are powerful to be sure, but even they are not capable of such a thing. [...] It is a dangerous road you travel. To deny humanity a thing will only make them crave it all the more. And if you succeed in this grand vision of yours? What then? Beware that your subjects do not begin to see you as a god.
  • Strawman Ball: The conversation between Uriah and the disguised Emperor can read like an Author Tract on religion; considering the arguments between the two are amateurish, it can read one as a tract going either way. Word of God from Graham mentions that Uriah has no formal theological training, as he's just a guy who had a call to faith after a personal experience as a young man. And the Emperor might just have been patronizing. In the end, Uriah's main point of contention was that, regardless of good intentions, the Emperor's authoritarian drive made him no better than the tyrants he claimed to oppose, and Uriah had something of a point.
    • The Emperor condemning religion for the Crusades and then calling his own conquests a crusade in practically the same breath, using the justification "the difference is, I know I am right," is what convinces Uriah he's just another hypocritical madman.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Uriah's own opinion of his younger self. A highlight was drunkenly taunting a group of Thunder Warriors until one of them got pissed enough to throw him off a cliff.
  • You're Insane!: Said to the Emperor.
    Uriah: You are a madman.

    The Interex 

The Interex

A federation encountered by the Luna Wolves, the Interex differs from the Imperium in that it seeks to ally with and coexist with alien races peacefully. They also actively recognise the threat of Chaos (though they name it Kaos), and strive to educate their citizens about its dangers. They attempt to ally with the Imperium, but these efforts are sabotaged by Erebus stealing an anathame, one of their most taboo weapons, and ultimately the Interex enters a war with the Imperium which they lose.

  • Attack Drone: They have automated combat drones, notably this sets them apart from the Imperium which don't us A.I. of any kind.
  • Elegant Weapon for a More Civilised Age: The Interex's weaponry is pretty much exclusive to them, but is so elegant that the Luna Wolves dismiss it as ceremonial at first. They quickly learn how brutally effective Interex technology is once the battle begins.
  • Energy Bow: Some Interex soldiers are armed with bows which fire energy arrows strong enough to go straight through a Space Marine's Power Armor.
  • The Federation: Their primary difference from the Imperium.
  • Foil: They're very clearly intended as one to what the Imperium would become, and essentially exist to show what the Imperium could have been. They ally with alien species where the Imperium is absolutely xenophobic, wield highly advanced technology where the Imperium's becomes bound in superstition and decay, and actively understand the threat of Chaos where the Emperor attempted to conceal the truth from his subjects. Also, their armed forces are Greek-themed, while the Luna Wolves are more Roman.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: In a way - after a brief mention in the second book, they're barely ever alluded to.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: Their warriors wear combat platforms to increase their mobility which also makes them resemble centaurs. It also goes with their greek theme.
  • Poor Communication Kills: This is ultimately the Interex's downfall. They hold the Imperium expedition at arm's length, fearing that they are corrupted by Chaos, and even when one of their soldiers converses with Loken and realises the truth, Erebus' theft of the anathame quickly destroys any chance of an alliance because both sides refuse to back down once the fight begins.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Kaos, anyone?

Daemons

    Samus 

Samus

"Samus is the man beside you. Samus will gnaw on your bones. Look out! Samus is here."

A daemon, and the very first one ever seen in the series.


  • Butt-Monkey: He is no pushover, but he is summoned into multiple battles only for his host to destroyed in each time. It gets to the point where a traitor character lampshades that it dies a lot.
  • Demon of Human Origin: His tabletop model states he's a daemon prince, which means he was mortal at some point.
  • Demonic Possession: Possesses Sergeant Xayver Jubal during the last part of the Battle of Sixty Three Nineteen.
  • Non-Human Head: mostly humanoid, but has the head of a dog.
  • Paranoia Fuel: In-Universe, he's this, gradually driving the forces fighting him insane by talking to them over their voxes (radios), even if they don't have voxes.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He has a small appearance in Horus Rising, but his actions are directly responsible for the rise of the worship of the Emperor and the start of Loken's arc. Additionally, he's also the one who ends up informing Loken of the continued existence of the Warrior Lodges, as Loken finds a lodge badge when examining Jubal's corpse.

    Drach'nyen 

Drach'nyen

A daemon born from the first human act of murder.

  • Demonic Possession: Visits this upon servitors, automata, a dead Custodian's corpse, the princeps of a Titan and finally the Archimandrite.
  • Eldritch Abomination: One of the forms it takes is a vortex of mouths and fangs and nothing else. Possessing the Archimandrite, it becomes an unholy monstrosity of metal and flesh.
  • Evil Counterpart: To the Emperor, in a sense. It views killing Him as the purpose of its existence.

    Ingethel the Ascended 

Ingethel the Ascended

A Daemon Prince of Chaos Undivided who guides Lorgar and the Word Bearers into the worship of the Dark Gods.

  • Evil Smells Bad: Post-ascension, she smells so bad that she causes mortal crewmen to vomit. She also leaves a trail of green slime.
  • Psychopomp: Serves as one to first Argel Tal and then Lorgar in guiding them through the Eye of Terror and enlightening them as to the nature of Chaos and the plans of the Dark Gods.
  • Snake People: In her daemon form, Ingethel has a humanoid torso and a serpentine lower body.
  • This Cannot Be!: Ingethel has a moment when she cannot believe Khorne has violated the agreement the Dark Gods have regarding Lorgar as their champion, and wants to pit one of his Bloodthirsters against the Word Bearers' Primarch, curling up, clutching her head and muttering "Kharnath has violated the accord" over and over.
  • Was Once a Man: Was once a female human shaman of the original human population of Cadia.
  • Wham Line: "I am Ingethel, and this world is Cadia".

    Lord of the Flies 

Lord of the Flies

A powerful Daemon Prince of Nurgle with a personal grudge against the Death Guard.

  • Amputation Stops Spread: Subverted: after being injured by a Plague Marine, Decius cut his arm off in the hopes of stopping the spread of the infection. Unfortunately for him, Nurgle's Rot can't be stopped by such measures...
  • Arch-Enemy: To Nathaniel Garro after Decius's apotheosis.
  • Came Back Strong: How he views his restoration by Nurgle.
  • The Corrupter: The Lord of Flies reappears in The Buried Dagger as this, raising and inducing Chaos cults and terrorist cells on Terra to sow panic and destruction ahead of Horus's invasion.
  • Deal with the Devil: When no treatment the Imperium has available makes a difference against his infection, Decius sells his soul to Nurgle in exchange for release from the pain.
  • Kill It with Fire: The first time Garro killed him, the daemon's remains were hurled into the sun to destroy them. In another encounter, Malcador incinerates the Lord of Flies with nuclear fire. Unfortunately, the daemon returns.
  • One-Winged Angel: His apotheosis at Nurgle's hand twists Decius into a humanoid-insect creature with a serrated insect limb in place of his missing hand.
  • Was Once a Man: Was originally Solun Decius, a Space Marine of the Death Guard Legion under Nathaniel Garro's command.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Decius was slashed across the arm by a Nurgle-corrupted knife, infecting him with Nurgle's Rot, slowly corrupting and mutating him.

    Manushya-Rakshasi 

Manushya-Rakshasi

A Keeper of Secrets that the Emperor's Children summon to assist them in hunting down the White Scars.

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