Background


PATH TO CHAOS

Corros

Few would have guessed that the jungle death world of Corros would become the place of birth of a legacy spanning millennia.

Predators roamed the deep depths of jungles, each fully capable of killing and devouring any human they were lucky enough to encounter.

Counted amongst the many horrors roaming the world were the Orks, However, the fighting took on a turn for the worse as a dark portent came to pass.

High above, the space hulk, known as the Unholy Ravager, settled into orbit. Visible from the ground for thousands of miles, the Orks heralded it as a sign from their twin Gods, and all across the world, the shattered clans buried deep within the forests awoke into a fitful Waaagh.

Within the first few hours of the attack, hundreds of the smaller villages were raised to the ground. Only the larger and more fortified villagers and settlements stood against the green hordes.

It was during this time that Lysander Ulrain came to the fore. During an attack on his settlement by Ork raiding parties, Ulrain rallied the surviving villagers and then lead them to victory against the rampaging Orks, driving them back out of his home village of Curn. During the battle, Ulrain acquitted himself well against the Orks.

However, it would all change after that.

Drawn by the sudden appearance of the space hulk in orbit, an Imperial Exploratory Fleet, joined by a small fleet of Astartes from the Dark Angels Legion settled into orbit around Corros.

As they scanned the surface of the planet below, they discovered the turmoil and vicious battles raging across the surface. Seeing their long lost cousins battling for their very survival, the Imperial forces descended at once.

When the Orks returned to the village Curn, the attack by the Imperials above was already underway, and although the situation looked bleak at the time, Ulrain inspired the few survivors who were still in fighting condition and prepared to sell their lives as dearly as possible.

The end never came for Curn.

Black armoured warriors descended upon steel war birds and their advanced weaponry blasting apart the primitive Ork raiders with contemptuous ease even as villagers fought for their homes alongside these new arrivals.

When the last Ork was slain, the Captain of the Astartes found out who had inspired the villagers to fight so bravely and desperately despite the odds.

Seeing in the young boy known Ulrain a remarkable leader and his unquestioning sense of duty, Ulrain was taken from Corros to begin his training as an Astartes.

Deathworld of Ballix

After completing his transformation to full Battle Brother, Ulrain chance came to prove his worth.

Plighted by rebellious and vicious warrior cults, the world of Ballix was thought lost to the Imperium, fit only for the final sanction of Exterminatus.

Despite the accentors, Ulrain spoke out that the he could save the world. He was given the chance to prove it. Taking a wave of Stormbirds down to the surface from both the Dark Angels and the Death Guard Legions, Ulrain laid waste to all those before him until he eventually forced his enemies back into the polar defence fortresses.

In a series of bloody battles, Ulrain led his warriors deep into the polar defence fortresses to cut out the heart of the rebellion.

It was in the deepest catacombs of the northern fortress that Ulrain met the source of the rebellion.

Battle was join, and his enemy, aided by the powers of the Chaos Gods, was eventually slain and nearly at the cost of Ulrain’s life.

Taking a trophy from his slain enemy, a potent axe of fearsome power, Ulrain sowed the seeds to his downfall, although at the time he did not know it.

COMING OF AGE

Dirge

Over the course of the intervening years, Ulrain was elevated to Captain of the 23rd Company through martial prowess and countless acts of bravery. Each time Ulrain met battle, he would acquit himself admirably but it was quickly noted that Ulrain was quick to anger, often risking the lives of not only himself but also his warriors in reckless attacks where less risky and potentially more effective means of attack where available.

One such engagement, the Battle of Dirge, Ulrain led a vicious frontal attack against their principal citadel after a full week of peace talks. Although the attack was a resounding success, it left the Astartes involved bloodied and a great many of Ulrain’s Battle Brothers dead. It was only revealed later that the world could have been brought to compliance without bloodshed, and by the time of the Battle of Dirge, such a feat was within sight.

The exact reasons given by Captain Ulrain for his attack have since been lost into history, long forgotten, but it highlighted his tendency to rush into martial action.

Return to Caliban

When the Lion returned to Caliban, it was at the head of the Legion’ s fleet. Placing Ulrain in command of the True Heart, Ulrain was amongst the first to enter the home system of the Dark Angels.

As the orbital guns surrounding Caliban opened up, the True Heart was caught out in the open. With his vessel badly damaged, Ulrain was forced to make a choice. Retreat back behind the lines of the loyalist Dark Angels, or force his way forwards.

Driven forward by some unknown force, Ulrain was caught within enemy lines when the Lion finally brought is full fleet to bear. When Ulrain’s vessel was fired upon by the Lion’s forces, believing him to be an enemy, it became apparent Ulrain was fighting on two fronts.

When Ulrain’s vessel was finally crippled beyond repair and the forces of the Lion closing in on Caliban, Ulrain saw his chance for revenge for the betrayal of the part of the Lion. Taking a Storm Bird to the surface of Caliban, Ulrain was greeted with a scene of devastation. Orbital bombardment rocked the ground whilst Dark Angels met in open conflict around the last bastion of Luther’s men.

Joining the battle, Ulrain and those loyal to him attacked, and although fate would choose to ignore their contribution to the butcher’s bill, Ulrain was there in amidst the fighting whilst the Lion faced down Luther in single combat.

When the final blows came, Ulrain was still stranded outside the bastion, knee deep in the blood of his former Battle Brothers. Ulrain still stood there, revelling in the carnage he had caused whilst the Warp storm tore through Caliban. Fighting his way back to his Storm Bird in time for the last tendrils of the warp anomaly to swallow Caliban, leaving only the fragment, this would later become the Rock as the last significant remnant of Caliban.

Iunsan

Ulrain awoke onboard his Storm Bird, finding himself in orbit above a cold and freezing world of blues. Using the last of his fuel, Ulrain descended and what he found on the surface of the world was war and death.

Roving war bands of red armoured warriors waged war with each other for dominance and when Ulrain emerged from his Storm Bird, he was challenged by the Champion of Chaos. Meeting his foe in combat, Ulrain quickly gained the upper hand and beheaded his foe with a quick sweep of his blade, sealing his fate forever.

The death of the Champion of Chaos $page_content .=ed in Ulrain’s ears, and something buried deep inside surfaced, using the seeds of hatred fanned at Caliban to consume him, and whilst the blood from is fallen victim still fresh, Ulrain was no more.

Lord Arnell was born.

In a flash, the daemon world of Iunsan was changed forever. No longer was it a world of ice and freezing climes, but a red, dusty world girdled by flowing rivers of blood.

The Oracle of Canin

Drawn by the promises of a weapon of almost surpassed power, Lord Arnell traveled to the world of Canin; his goal was to seek an audience with the Oracle residing there.

Despite several weeks of fruitless searching by Arnell himself and his most trusted Lieutenants, Arnell came upon a chance shard of information. With this new knowledge, the Khorne Lord quickly surmised that the only way to flush the Oracle from her underground cult that was protecting her was to decimate the world, and catch her as she made her attempt to flee.

Arnell unleashed his army upon the world of Canin. For two weeks, the blood ran in the streets of every hive city until the Oracle was found and brought before him.

Blind, deaf and senseless in all except her Warp-sight, the Oracle was repeatedly beaten until the last shred of his self remained and then, to Arnell alone, she told him the information he wanted to hear.

Arnell now knew the location of Draek’Juin.

With no further use for the old Oracle, Arnell slew her and set a course for Cathos.

Attack on Yunor

The voyage across the galaxy was an arduous one; the Eldar Maiden World Cathos lay across the galaxy, bordering Tau space.

Knowing that he could not make the journey without re-supply, Arnell brought his fleet around the world of Yunor.

The orbital defence platforms were quickly overrun by Arnell’s forces, and the picket defence monitors were easy prey as the fleet consolidated its hold on the world below.

The end would come quickly for the Imperial Guard forces as they were assailed from orbit by Dreadclaw assault pods and orbital fire rained down from above to destroy any real resistance.

With the world under his control, Arnell’s fleet made ready for the last leg of its journey, using Yunor’s extensive Adeptus Mechanicus forges to repair and create new war material for their new, temporary master.

The Death Hands

Arnell’s forces were not quick enough. The Death Hands Chapter Battle Barge, the Ominous Sorrow, closed the gap, effectively stopping the Chaos fleet from entering the Warp by trapping them within the gravity bubble of Yunor. To risk transit then would invite destruction, and the two fleets exchanged fire across the skyline of Yunor.

Arnell’s fleet quickly got the upper hand on the Astartes fleet as his vessels repeatedly made use of teleport attacks at such close ranges, effectively crippling half the enemy fleet in the first day of fighting.

It was not until the teleport attack on the Ominous Sorrow itself that the battle took on a new turn. Arnell’s Chosen Terminators managed to cripple the engines of the Ominous Sorrow although it cost Arnell over half of his most loyal Chosen in the process.

The Ominous Sorrow floundered in orbit; its momentum was not enough to prevent its inevitable fall into orbit. In a last bit to escape a fiery death, the Death Hands fled the Ominous Sorrow, descending to the surface in waves.

Arnell finished the survivors by deploying his forces.

Cathos

The barren rock of Cathos was a world of half-light and despite the hidden dangers, Arnell made planet fall alone. Using the knowledge gleaned from the Oracle of Canin, the Khorne Lord came upon his prize, Draek’Juin, in a deep crypt.

Arnell was not alone in the crypt, where he would be tested. Even before Arnell lifted the ancient alien weapon, he was assailed by the whispers of long dead Eldar. Each voice spoke of forbidden power, warning against the power of Chaos. With each passing second, the voices grew more urgent, more filled with sorrow. The voices continued to assail Arnell’s senses, driving out every conscious thought until Arnell lashed out, driving the axe he had taken from the defeated warrior during the Attack on Ballix into the podium where the ancient alien weapon rested.

The blow shattered the pedestal, and silenced the voices and now Draek’Juin lay on the floor. As he grasped the ancient weapon, he felt the weapon shift beneath his grasp, its form corrupting as the taint of Chaos spread though the long shafted weapon, and he saw the axe from Ballix merge with the alien weapon and he felt the daemon inside the weapon grow stronger, as did the daemon inside Arnell.

PATH TO ASCENSION

Evacuation of Torrin Massacre

Under the guidance of both the Tzeentchian Lord Adual and the Nurgle Lord Damius, Arnell sent his most trusted Lieutenant, Calistro to the Imperial world of Gurin.

Calistro’s vessel was loaded with viral warheads after entering orbit, the viral bombard begun. A few short hours passed whilst the virus turned all life onto rotting matter, filling the atmosphere with highly combustible gases.

With a single torpedo, Calistro sealed the fate of another world torpedo exploded, igniting the volatile gases.

When the Tyranids arrived, they saw nothing but a ball of inert rock, the Tyranids who had been destined to consume Gurin drifted on, eventually coming across the Imperial world of Torrin.

The Imperials were unable to stem the tide of Tyranids, and with each passing day, transports would take off, ferrying high value officials and those who could afford to pay the extortionate fees ship captains were charging.

As the Tyranids devoured Torrin, Arnell struck. Using the Warp to hide his fleet, Arnell plied his murderous trade to every transport from Torrin he could find. As thousands died onboard Imperial transports at the whims of the Khorne vessels attacking them, Arnell came up a chance encounter.

The Holy Benefactor

Something about the vessel known as the Holy Benefactor caught the Khorne Lord’s eye, and a prophecy given to Arnell by Adual spoke of this vessel.

Leading the attack personally, Arnell came upon a young girl, a being of powerful potential, but equally devoid of any presence in the Warp. The girl was a blank, a null, a bearer of the pariah gene.

It was then, when Arnell stood before the girl that Khorne granted him the knowledge of what he must do next. Killing the girl, the very act cost him the use of his weapon, for the young girl absorbed the daemon bound to his daemon weapon.

With the Holy Benefactor disintegrating around them, Arnell fell back to the docking bays and withdrew in stolen transport.

Finding his bridge open to the vacuum of space, Arnell saw the body of the girl floating in space outside and the Holy Benefactor now had broken up completely.

Morbid curiosity drove the Khorne Lord to let the body in through integrity field keeping the thin atmosphere of the bridge intact.

What he found was to change his fate forever. The girl was still alive, and the daemon that had been bound to his weapon was still alive and strong within the girl.

What was to happen next would become part of Arnell’s legend for he would die to the very daemon that had given him his power, and when he came before his patron, he learned that to truly ascend to daemonhood in the eyes of the Blood God, one must know that which he gives so freely to his enemies, he must know death.

Arnell returned to the mortal realm stronger and more resolute, and he became one with the daemon that killed him, their two conciseness merging the instant Arnell returned.

Daemon Prince Arnell had been reborn.

The Great War of Walfen

Few conflicts involving the Four Winds of Chaos neither lasted as long nor had truly involved all four Lords, but Walfen was one such campaign.

Walfen was a strategically important world and was the principal forge world in the area. Not only did it house a number of sacred relics belonging to the Ecclesiarchy, but had a significant portion given over to the production of Imperial war materials ranging from Leman Russ Battle Tanks to Imperial Sororitas armour.

Despite the many layers of protection Walfen boasted, included hundreds of orbital missile silos, military dockyards capable to refueling and refitting even the largest vessels serving in the Gothic sector, Walfen was quickly stripped of its outer lying defences within hours of the attack commencing with Arnell’s fleet destroying many of the defences themselves.

The battle on the surface was equally bloody for the Imperials and despite a relief force of Dark Angels and Fists of Flame Astartes, the surface campaign was going in the favour of Chaos with Imperial commanders being rendered deaf and blind early on as orbital fire rained down upon key military relay stations within the first few hours of settling into orbit.

The Chaos forces would not have it all their own way though, as Lord Arnell was reported dead twice, only to be found fighting in another theatre of war on entirely different continent days later. Despite these conflicting reports, Arnell was a hunted warrior. The Dark Angels on the planet, under the command of Interrogator Chaplain Asmodai, although numbered less then two hundred were successful in cornering Arnell and cutting him off from the rest of the army using the renowned Ravenwing bike as vanguard for the more experienced and battle hardened Deathwing Terminator squads held in reserve.

Arnell would not be captured, not by these foolish mortals and he would die before letting himself get captured by the Dark Angels who still remained loyal to the traitorous Lion’El Jonson.

As the Khorne Prince broke out from the Dark Angel blockade high in the mountainous regions, the two Deathwing Terminator squads assigned to capture him teleported in. Arnell was forewarned by both Damius and Adual prior to travelling the galaxy to Walfen, and he was fully aware of the tactics the Dark Angels would employ.

Facing down the first five-man strong Deathwing alone, Arnell signalled for his own reserves. He had given orders at the outset of the Walfen conflict that his forces were to capture an orbital docks and he could only hope that his tech adepts would be able to activate one of the ancient mass teleporters dating back from before the Horus Heresy which were used to ferry materials up to the shipyard. With a third of the Deathwing dead at his feet, Arnell’s hand picked Chosen Terminators appeared behind the Deathwing and in a torrent of slashing blades, the two squads of Terminators met in vicious close combat.

Death came quickly as Arnell dismembered the last of the Deathwing Terminators, but before he could press his attack on the other Deathwing survivors; he was stopped in his tracks by Asmodai. The Chaplain’s attack forced Arnell back and nearly ended in Arnell being incapacitated by the Blades of Reason that Asmodai wielded.

Caltox

Arnell retaliated, his blow nearly destroying the weapons Asmodai used and it was only the skill of the Chaplain that stopped them shattering beneath the impact, but that was all Arnell needed to consolidate his position. Killing his opponent quickly as he attempted to counter-attack, Arnell saw that his Chosen had succeeded in their task in dealing with the Deathwing, but Lieutenant Calistro was the sole survivor, and was bleeding excessively from a near mortal wound that not even Calistro could likely to survive.

As his most trusted Lieutenant stood there in his Terminator armour, it was Champion Caltox who put the seasoned Khornate disciple out of his misery with a quick blow from his Axe of Khorne, severing his head completely in one clean upward sweep. Just by that very act, Caltox was elevated to full Chosen and earned the right to wear the precious suit of Terminator armour but such petty matters were below Arnell.

By then the sky was beginning to darken, and Arnell could tell the end of the world was nearing its end and it also heralded the beginning of the daemonic incursion. Leading his army back down into the fields of Culjit below, the last true battle for Walfen had begun and with it, Arnell would be able to take the war to the remaining Dark Angels fighting the forces of Canoness Gemiel.

The storm finally broke, and the legions of daemons spewed forth from the Immaterium as the fields of Culjit swam and faded to be replaced with a maze of formed out the very earth itself that stretched as far as the eyes of could see. Somewhere in the maze, Arnell knew he would find the Dark Angels and somewhere else were Adual and Gemiel.

The Blood Wind hunted through the maze, as did the daemonic and Arnell’s prey.

Only when Arnell was sure he had fully eliminated every Dark Angel on the planet did he retire from the slaughter, eventually returning to the True Domination and then back to Iunsan.

Strife on Iunsan

Caltox’s sudden rise to power to within the ranks of the coveted Chosen, the Terminator-equipped elite warriors, sparked off spears of jealousy within the temperamental and often caustic warrior bands vying for Arnell’s favour, for to garner such favour allows them a chance to once again attack the Imperium, as Arnell only takes the strongest and battle proven upon his raids.

Unlike the rest of the Chosen, Caltox played an active part in the politics of Iunsan, favouring warrior bands with his presence when disputes were fought. Many of Caltox’s own accentors were his brethren Chosen and although the Chosen often acted as Arnell’s eyes and ears, in this matter, he took no council.

When the conflict erupted between the Chosen, Arnell let the opening moves escalate, but quickly intervened when the first Chosen Terminator was killed. Announcing that he was satisfied and that honour had been served, he declared Caltox was the one favoured by Khorne himself and placed a promise of death to anyone contravening his declaration.

With the strife between the Chosen resolved, Arnell planned his next offensive.

The Danitun Guard

The world of Danitun Prime was a secluded world, hidden from the wider Imperium behind the swirling warp storm dubbed Hilion. When Hilion finally abated in the late months of 102.M39, Arnell was the first to rediscover Danitun Prime and Secondus.

At first, the people of Danitun saw Arnell as a herald of the long lost Imperium, but his dark purpose became clear as Arnell’s minions begun laying waste to the great Hives of Danitun Prime. The twelve Danitun Guard regiments in service at the time retaliated, launching brutal offensives against the Blood Wind, but they could not hope to stem the tide. Only when thousands lay dead on the fields surround Hive Majoris on Danitun Prime following the last offensive of the War did the Danitun Guard concede defeat and surrendered to their fate.

Against all previous precedents, Arnell was lenient, calling off his Khorne Berserkers and stopping the bloodshed with a single word, the Danitun Guard were saved from their fate. Pledging themselves to Khorne and his murderous ideals, Arnell left the system, and the five surviving Danitun Guard regiments followed suit.

The Imperium eventually came upon the Danitun system themselves and found its worlds picked clean and the few survivors they found spoke of the Danitun Guard and its new master. Fearing that Arnell could use the Danitun worlds as staging posts, the Imperium destroyed both planets using cyclonic torpedoes. The Danitun Guard menace was born and took strength from the fact the Imperium they had died and bled for so long ago had turned its back on them and pledged to exact revenge on the Imperium.

The Tau

Brought to the Tau world of Cha’Mont’Yr at the request of Adual himself and told of the future involvement of the Dark Angels in the Cha’Mont’Yr War, Arnell brought war to the foul Tau.

The bodies of the slain were piled high when Arnell’s minions made planetfall. The Imperium had already mustered a small excursion fleet to aid the Tau, but such was not enough to slow the Blood Wind from cutting a bloody path across Cha’Mont’Yr.

The Dark Angels eventually got involved and Arnell came face to face with the Deathwing once again. This time, Arnell was prepared.

Battle was joined on the ’Fields of Skulls’, an area dubbed so because of all the bodies littering the ground from previous engagements.

Dark Angels clashed with followers of Khorne and by the days end, the battle was over.

Three hundred Dark Angels, four hundred Adepta Sororitas and two thousand Tau warriors lay dead, and almost as many Khorne warriors had been killed. Despite the casualties, the Tau lines remained, and Arnell loathed withdrawing, but his hand had been forced, his Chosen urging him to withdraw whilst the forces of the Tau and the Imperium threatened to close in and cut the forces of the Blood Wind off from the rest of the forces of Chaos.

Arnell was forced to make a fighting retreat back and he returned to the Eye of Terror, vowing to return to Cha’Mont’Yr and finish what he had started.