Alpharius Omegon (also known as the Aleph Null, The Hydra, the Threefold Serpent, The Final Configuration and the Last Primarch) was one of the twenty Primarchs created by the Emperor of Mankind in the earliest days of the Imperium of Man, just after the end of the Age of Strife in the 30th Millennium. In truth, Alpharius Omegon was actually a pair of identical twin brothers, one named Alpharius and the other Omegon. Of all the Primarchs of the Legiones Astartes, Alpharius was without a doubt the most steeped in mystery, legend, contradiction and deliberate falsification. The Primarch of the Alpha Legion shrouded himself in mystery, often moving unseen even amongst the ranks of his own Legion. However, when the time came to cast off the cloak of misdirection, Alpharius was as awe-inspiring a being as any of his other brother Primarchs. Clad in armour forged in the manner of some terrifying beast of ancient Terran myth and armed with a fearsome panoply of weapons of unknown provenance, Alpharius bestrode the battlefield like a figure from legend. Like the hydra he and his XX Legion had taken as their symbol, Alpharius fought by repeated attacks from multiple and unexpected quarters. None could predict where or how the Primarch would strike, what weapons he would bring to bear or which of his many different forms would fight at his side. In many cases, the enemy were not even aware they were fighting the Alpha Legion until the very moment battle was joined, at which point they were already doomed to total and utter defeat at the hands of this most cunning, devious and duplicitous of all the Primarchs of the ancient Space Marine Legions.
Like the other Primarchs, Alpharius and his twin brother Omegon were transported from the Emperor's gene-lab beneath the Himalazian (Himalayan) Mountains of Terra through the Warp by the Chaos Gods and placed on a far-away world in an attempt to prevent the coming of the Age of the Imperium and the expansion of the ordered Imperium of Man across the Milky Way Galaxy. Alpharius Omegon was eventually rediscovered by the Primarch Horus and sent to meet his father the Emperor on Terra, who placed him (and secretly, his brother) in command of the XX Legion, the so-called Alpha Legion, during the Great Crusade of the late 30th Millennium.
It should be noted that the Alpha Legion's trademark secrecy extends to the records of their Primarch. There is little recorded information on his biographical background or where his homeworld originates, and almost all of what is currently known by the Imperium about this enigmatic Primarch comes from the information provided by former Inquisitor Kravin of the Ordo Malleus. Inquisitor Kravin was subsequently believed to have been tainted by the Alpha Legion and his current whereabouts are unknown. Hence, much of the Imperial data concerning the Last Primarch could be considered suspect, and indeed there are some who believe the whole Kravin affair was an Alpha Legion plot to plant misinformation in Imperial records.
The greatest secret of the Alpha Legion's Primarch is apparently told to no one outside the XX Legion, and has always been thus. For, unlike any of the other Primarchs, Alpharius actually has an identical twin: Omegon. It is unknown if the Emperor intended this when He created the Last Primarch, or was ever even aware that His final Primarch's engineered embryo had split into two identical fetuses during their gestation before they were stolen away by the Ruinous Powers. Alpharius and Omegon are both the co-equal Primarchs of the Alpha Legion, although "Alpharius" was the public face of the XX Legion and appeared as the more senior of the two. Though as both Primarchs were physically identical it is possible for them to switch places and have "Omegon" play the public role of the Alpha Legion's Primarch. They have been described as "one soul in two bodies" and collectively have been referred to as simply "Alpharius Omegon". While the Astartes of the Alpha Legion made attempts to all look alike, both Alpharius and Omegon were still somewhat distinctive. Taller than the rest of the Legion, slightly copper-skinned, bald and possessed of a heavy brow, they somewhat resembled their brother Primarch Horus. Unlike him, Alpharius and Omegon had piercing eyes that seemed to glitter, appearing to shift colour from a cold arctic blue to a shimmering green. The overall impression given by Alpharius Omegon was one of nobility and intelligence. One way to tell the two twin Primarchs apart was when Omegon was serving as the commander of his Effrit Stealth Squad; large portions of his Power Armour and other gear were painted black and otherwise darkened. The armour worn by Alpharius was not particularly different from that of an ordinary Alpha Legionary.
Of the many mysteries that surround the Alpha Legion, the most fundamental and key enigma is the question of the Alpha Legion's Primarch, Alpharius. Of all of the Primarchs who remained to draw blood against each other in the Horus Heresy, of Alpharius the least is known for certain. Furthering this mystery and the outright deception perpetrated by Alpharius, many reliable accounts of his origins differ. One such account of the finding of Alpharius circulated secretly between the houses and factions of the Imperial Court on Terra, which states that his discovery was an accident of the Luna Wolves Legion prior to the end of the Great Crusade and the beginning of the 31st Millennium. By this, Alpharius was the leader of a confederation of human systems whose fleet of warships, no match in size or scale to Imperial vessels, managed through trickery and ambush to ingloriously lay low one of the outlying Luna Wolves battleships as it entered an unnamed star system. Responding to this unforgivable defeat, Horus himself and his fleet gave chase, only to find themselves mired in ambush after ambush, tricked into deadly traps and chasing shadows until Horus' own flagship, the mighty Vengeful Spirit, came under attack. In the ensuing confrontation, the Luna Wolves smashed the enemy fleet's desperate attack aside, but in the confusion a single assassin broke into the flagship, and through stealth and murder managed the impossible task of fighting his way clear to Horus' command chamber and slaughtered his Justaerin bodyguards before Horus himself was forced to confront him. But Horus did not slay the attacker but recognised him instead for a brother. He had found the last Primarch! The new arrival called himself Alpharius and claimed to have been travelling this region of space for many years. However, he remained tight-lipped as to where he had come from. Various worlds in that locale were subsequently brought into the Imperial fold, but Alpharius always denied that any of them were his home of origin. The conglomeration of planets he had been leading was persuaded to join the Imperium with little bloodshed.
Another account torn form the mind of an Alpha Legion Centurion captured by the Legio Custodes after the Fall of the Seraphin tells the story of the finding of Alpharius. It speaks of a nameless Dead World at the edge of the Mandragoran Stars whose civilisation rose and was wiped out by bloody hands long before Mankind first walked on Terra. On this nameless orb, the nascent Primarch fell into the shattered ruins of a fallen city murdered long ages ago. Utterly alone, voiceless and without aid, he was forced to survive against the tortuous elements of the desolate world and the predations of the hungry ghosts of the charnel pit into which he had been consigned. His solitude was only broken after many long years by a new star falling from the heavens; a corsair ship of degenerate half-human renegades and alien mercenaries intent on plundering the dead ruins for whatever worth might remain amid the shatters. Instead they found only death at the young Primarch's hands, and Alpharius gained their weapons, their knowledge and their vessel as his own, and with it he set out in search of he who had made him.
Two other accounts, found encrypted within the pages of certain volumes of the suppressed work of memetic corrosion known as the Transit of the Human Soul through Strife, or the Codex Hydra as it is sometimes known, offer differing contentions. The first is that the lost Primarch was deposited on a thriving tech-oligarchy world known as Bar'Savor, but before his first decade of life there was done, the skies of Bar'Savor darkened as the nightmarish [[xenos] worm-creatures known as the Slaugth descended to feed. Capturing the young Primarch, a being alone strong enough to resist them, the Slaugth kept Alpharius as a curiosity, twisting his mind with their horrors and enslaving him and tutoring him as a living weapon to sow strife and discord on their victim worlds before they fell upon them to feast.
It was the Emperor himself who at last liberated him, his gold Battle Barge ramming into the heart of the vast stone ship of the foul xenos to break it open, the Emperor's wrath like that of a vengeful god of legend in retribution for what had been done to his son. For long years after, Alpharius remained at his father's side as the Emperor undid what had been done to mar his creation. This account also offers a contradictory version of events, saying that Alpharius alone, unfinished in some way, had been spared or at least some part of him had remained behind though gravely injured when the rest of the Primarchs were scattered across the stars by unknown hands. Here, in the shadow of Terra, he grew and was nurtured alone of the Primarchs by the Emperor himself, his existence a jealously guarded secret even from those closest to the Emperor, lest the dark fates move against him. Upon his maturity he became the Emperor's own secret hand and his greatest shield, until he was at last parted from his father, his destiny to fulfill. It is unknown which one of these accounts are true and which are lies. The recorded facts suggest none of these accounts are real and they are but a few of the phantasms that purport to be the secret truth of Alpharius' past. Like the most potent of falsehoods, perhaps they contain a grain of truth within them, a hint at a greater secret yet.
The Emperor & Alpharius
Following his discovery, eventually Alpharius was taken back to the epicenter of the ever-expanding Imperium and reunited with his father, the Emperor. There was the usual rejoicing, pomp and circumstance, but records on Terra suggest that the two spent little time together. Alpharius was quickly sent to take command of his Legion, while the Emperor had many pressing affairs of state by this time. Alpharius and his twin-Primarch brother Omegon shared the same physical appearance and together served as joint-Primarch of the Alpha Legion. The Emperor was aware of Alpharius Omegon's secret; but whether the creation of the twin Primarchs was intentional or not remains a mystery. The two Primarchs supposedly shared one soul, with Omegon acting as Alpharius' second-in-command of the XX Legion. The existence of the twin Primarchs of the Alpha Legion was known only to the members of the Legion itself, and was a well-kept secret even from the other Legions. The new Legionaries under their command were tall and strong, and were reminiscent of their Primarch, and possessed their gene-sire's cunning intelligence. When Alpharius Omegon took command of the XX Legion, it was eager, zealous and completely committed to embracing the Primarch's command and combat philosophy. Alpharius led his Legion, created in his image, to the outer reaches of the Imperium and was eager to join battle and emulate the glories of the older Legions. In battle, this "youngest" Legion, driven by its mysterious and taciturn Primarch, became renowned quickly for its discipline and strict and impenetrable organisation and regime, which emphasised the unity of the Legion and its wider actions over the individual Astartes in every aspect. Its hallmark was a relentless application of force and a terrifying level of co-ordination between its warriors and war machines. This capacity for combined arms warfare, speed and surety of attack, were matched only by a mastery of the darker arts of war -- of sabotage and ambush, stealth tactics and assassination. Also evident was its desire for secrecy and talent for misdirection. It kept its distance from its fellow Legions, even when tasked to directly fight alongside them, and it is certain many fostered a sinister wilfulness, and beneath the facade, the shadow of mockery.
The Great Crusade
Although its history as an active Legion is a short one compared to many -- at least under its own name -- the Alpha Legion proved quickly determined to match any of its brethren in glory -- or perhaps more accurately prove itself superior to them -- and its tally of victories mounted with surpassing speed. The Alpha Legion, ever watchful, was far from adverse from studying the strengths of their fellow Legions, and their weaknesses, and adapting the weapons and tactics of the other Legiones Astartes to their own ends. In this the Legion was not so different in strategic observances as the Ultramarines Legion and their master Roboute Guilliman, although it is doubtful that the Lord of Ultramar would have cared much for the comparison, even before the two Legions later came to bitter bloodshed. Such zealousness to prove themselves as part of the Great Crusade at any cost, and the often over-elaborate and needlessly complex and malign way in which the Alpha Legion chose to wage war, saw them quickly gain infamy more than fame. This, coupled with growing distrust due to their insular and deceptive nature, brought rivalry and acrimony between the Alpha Legion and much of the rest of the Legiones Astartes. As time passed, the relationship between the Alpha Legion and its peers soured further. The nature of the Alpha Legion's way of war and their lack of alliance to the commands of other Legions placed over them in the field brought Alpharius and his brothers Guilliman of the Ultramarines and Mortarion of the Death Guard into conflict on several separate occasions, with incidents notably occurring both in the aftermath of the Ullanor Crusade and a later campaign soon thereafter.
After Alpharius' disagreements with Roboute Guilliman over the supposed "dishonourable ways" of his Legion's chosen methods of warfare, the Alpha Legion threw themselves even further into their preferred method of operations, largely cutting themselves off from standard Imperial military practices and orchestrating greater and greater victorious examples of their approach to the Great Crusade, even when more conventional attacks would have been more efficient. The most notorious example of this took place on the world of Tesstra Prime, where the Alpha Legion, instead of taking the opportunity to capture the planetary capital city and thus force the world's surrender, allowed the enemy to dig in and defend it so that they could then expertly take the defending forces apart in a number of different ways. After a week of suffering seemingly random mishaps and deadly sabotage as well as brutal ambushes, the defenders were forced to capitulate, having taken 90% casualties. When asked why the XX Legion had not taken the simpler strategy, Alpharius is reported to have replied that they avoided it as "it would have been too easy." This campaign brought Alpharius censure from almost all of his brother Primarchs; Guilliman in particular raged at Alpharius' conduct of the war, labeling the drawn-out operation as "a waste of the Emperor's bolt shells." Only the Warmaster Horus, always impressed by Alpharius and his work, praised the Alpha Legion's skill.
The Horus Heresy
It has long been supposed that since Alpharius was only familiar with one other Primarch, Horus, it was self-explanatory why he chose the side he did at the outset of the Horus Heresy. Indeed, the very plan at Istvaan V where Horus struck his first blow against the Loyalist Space Marine Legions by destroying most of the Iron Hands, Raven Guard and Salamanders Legions in a massive ambush, was very reminiscent of plans that Alpharius had created in the past. However, it is possible that there is another reason for Alpharius leading his Legion to the side of the Traitors, a secret known only inside the Legion. Approximately two years before the beginning of the Heresy, Alpharius Omegon was apparently contacted by members of a xenos organisation led by the Eldar but comprising an alliance of individuals drawn from a host of different intelligent species, called the Cabal, who brought to him visions of the impending civil war within the Imperium, and expanded knowledge of the nature and designs of the Ruinous Powers of Chaos. It is believed that the Cabal convinced Alpharius Omegon that the only way to permanently defeat Chaos in the galaxy was to ensure that Horus was victorious in his rebellion against the Emperor. It is perhaps for this reason that Alpharius Omegon, secretly true to the Imperium and loyal to the Emperor, may have chosen to join the Traitors who swore their souls to Chaos.
The Cabal, through its only known human agent John Grammaticus, explained that the Cabal had foreseen two possible outcomes to the coming Heresy. The first vision had the Alpha Legion remaining loyal to the Emperor and fighting against Horus, ending in the Emperor's victory. However, the Emperor would be gravely wounded and entombed inside the cybernetic sarcophagus of the Golden Throne, neither alive nor dead and no longer able to actively guide humanity. Ten millennia would pass and the Imperium of Man would be fated to slowly decay, until ultimately Chaos would return resurgent and defeat mankind, condemning humanity to eventual extinction. The second outcome had the Alpha Legion joining forces with Horus and Chaos Undivided and fighting the Emperor. In this vision, Horus was victorious and slew the Emperor. The Traitor Legions would defeat the Loyalists and Terra would belong to Horus, now the greatest Daemon Prince of Chaos. The vision continued with Horus, after slaying his father, shocked into sanity by his conscience and violently freed from Chaos' corrupt hold over him. Disgusted with himself and loathing what he had done, Horus would seek to exterminate the Chaos-corrupted human race in a vast orgy of bloodshed which would consume the entire Imperium in a single century. Though humanity would become extinct, the Chaos Powers would also be destroyed by the destruction of mankind, since ultimately their existence largely depended upon the collective psychic emanations of humanity in the Warp.
The Cabal, an alliance of xenos Eldar and a somewhat unwilling human psyker named John Grammaticus, burdened the Alpha Legion with these two visions which they promised would come to pass. The Alpha Legion were told the fate of the entire galaxy rested upon their Legion's decision alone. The Cabal had no time to reach or to attempt to convince another of the Space Marine Legions of what was to come. Either the Alpha Legion ensured the human race died in a century of incredible violence, sparing the other races of the galaxy, present and future, from Chaos forever, or they ensured the human race and the Imperium lived on for ten thousand years of bloodshed and decay, dooming the entire galaxy to brutal war and the eventual triumph of Chaos.
The Alpha Legion decided to join Horus' rebellion and made the decision that they believed the Emperor would have chosen, to sacrifice humanity for the ultimate eradication of Chaos from the universe. Yet their sacrifice seems to have been made in vain, as Horus did not find victory and the Imperium persevered despite the Alpha Legion's decision to support Chaos. This can only lead one to wonder if the Cabal and their future predictions were wrong, if the Cabal secretly served the interests of Chaos and lied to Alpharius simply to corrupt yet another Astartes Legion or if something else occurred that has yet to be discovered. It is noteworthy to mention that John Grammaticus, the human agent who made first contact with the Alpha Legion on the Cabal's behalf, was a man very similar to the Emperor himself. John was a powerful mutant psyker who had been alive for thousands of years, and had even met the Emperor face to face once, before the Emperor had finished uniting the various factions of men on Terra during the Unification Wars of the 30th Millennium.
During the Horus Heresy, Alpharius Omegon appeared more interested in proving his own Legion's worth by fighting, at every chance he got, the best of the Loyalist Legions. In the aftermath of the Horus Heresy, the Alpha Legion did not retreat to the Eye of Terror like the other Traitor Legions; instead they moved on into the galactic East, following new objectives of their own devising. Whether or not being brought to battle with the Ultramarines was one of these objectives is unknown, but it occurred all the same. It was on the world known as Eskrador that Alpharius and Roboute Guilliman would meet for the last time. Believing that Guilliman would adopt his standard deployment procedures as later outlined in the Codex Astartes, Alpharius was surprised by the Ultramarines, as a splinter force including their Primarch made a quick strike at the Alpha Legion's headquarters. Alpharius was reportedly happy with such a development, as it allowed him to demonstrate the superiority of his flexible, multitudinous and unexpected military strategies over the notoriously precise, methodical and perhaps even tactically moribund Ultramarines. Both Primarchs met in combat and Alpharius was killed. Believing the combat over, for what Astartes Legion could ever survive the loss of their Primarch in battle, the Ultramarines were taken by surprise by the remaining elements of the Alpha Legion, when they struck back a day later. The Ultramarines who had launched the attack on the Traitor Legion's headquarters were harried so mercilessly that by the time they had returned to the main body of the Ultramarine force their casualties were almost total. After a week of constant fighting and heavy losses, the Ultramarines' strike force managed to reunite with their main elements, and quickly evacuated the planet. Even though they had lost their Primarch, the Alpha Legion had soundly beaten the Ultramarines, who proceeded to bombard their foes' position from orbit. It should be noted, however, that Alpharius' death is still considered suspect even by the Ultramarines, and he may still be at large. On the other hand, it is possible that "Alpharius" did indeed die and his twin "Omegon" took sole command of the Alpha Legion.
Unlike the other Traitor Legions, most of the Alpha Legion does not reside in the Warp, but rather roams the galaxy in warbands of warriors, each of which is trained to act independently of each other in pursuit of their greater cause. In this way the Alpha Legion was by and large the only Traitor Legion not to succumb to the mutations of Chaos, an outcome that may also have been dictated by their continued secret loyalty to the Emperor of Mankind.
Following the Battle of Eskrador, the Alpha Legion fractured in order to hide from the Imperium. Small, autonomous warbands were left in Imperial space where they set up secret bases in asteroid fields, Space Hulks and barren, unpopulated worlds. These units launched frequent attacks against military targets that were weakened by the Heresy and even today still pose a threat to Imperial starships, settlements and garrisons. The Alpha Legion's warbands further spread and coordinate Chaos Cults throughout the galaxy in order to instigate massive planetary revolts against Imperial rule. These insurrections are often used to lure Imperial forces away from worlds the Alpha Legion wants to attack, paving the way for large-scale assaults of Chaos Space Marines from the Eye of Terror.
The Alpha Legion's role in spreading heretical Chaos Cults across the Imperium has earned them the loathing of the Inquisition, whose Ordo Malleus and Ordo Hereticus have devoted considerable resources in finding and destroying their secret bases. The Alpha Legion has been declared wiped out by the High Lords of Terra no less than three times, in the 31st Millennium, the 32nd Millennium and the 39th Millennium. These claims have always been disproved by the continued assaults of the Legion. The Alpha Legion has suffered heavy casualties on many occasions since the end of the Heresy, yet its continued large numbers has led many Imperial observers to conclude that they are recruiting new members into the Legion and thus have managed to maintain a supply of untainted gene-seed, also a rarity for Chaos Space Marines.
Contemporary accounts record Alpharius as a masterful tactician and strategist whose skills were rated by the Imperial Stratagos as akin to the legendary abilities of the Iron Warriors' Primarch Perturabo or the Ultramarines' Primarch Roboute Guilliman. His erudition was said to be astounding, but one whose great intelligence was as cool and as watchful as a viper's gaze. His is recorded as having sought out the comradeship and council of none of his brother-Primarchs save perhaps Horus, although some reports that place him also on Caliban, home of the Dark Angels' Primarch Lion El'Jonson, and Terra at various times cannot be easily dismissed. He is said to have encouraged his commanders to operated with extreme independence of thought and action, and yet the Alpha Legion was known to pride itself on its unbreakable unity of purpose and will. Such are the paradoxes that abound in the wake of the shadowed figure of Alpharius, and in this he can be said to encompass his Legion.
Furthering the mystery of the Alpha Legion Primarch and the outright deception perpetrated by Alpharius, many reliable reports of the Primarch's physical appearance differ. While he is noted on many occasions to be of similar stature and countenance of many of his Legionaries and able to pass unnoticed in their ranks, other records show him as a towering and fearful figure as were the other Primarchs, bedecked in a sinisterly ornate, hydra-chased battle plate and wielding a mighty double-headed spear. There was a certain likeness in the cast of features to both Horus Lupercal and the face the Emperor wore, which made sense if the gene-legacy theory was true.
- The Pythian Scales - Although frequently recorded as entering battle in the semblance of a regular member of his XX Legion, Alpharius -- or perhaps an individual carrying that name -- was also known to have led his Legion to war armoured in sinister and baroque reptialian-styled Power Armour whose stature left no doubts in the mind of onlookers that a bloody-handed Primarch had entered the fray. This armour, faceless and fashioned after the style of the shadowed mythic age of Ancient Terra, was known as the Pythian Scales, and could turn aside blade, energy blast and alchemical attack with equal ease.
- Venom Spheres - Venom Spheres were specialised assault grenades utilised only by the Alpha Legion. This deadly weapons upgrade replaced the more commonplace Frag Grenades employed by the Space Marines for advanced variants which contained toxin-impregnated crystalline splinters that have been darkly claimed to be based on xenos technology.
- Master-crafted Plasma Blaster
- The Pale Spear - This was one of a number of strange and esoteric weapons associated with the Primarch of the XX Legion and rumoured to be a strange xenos artefact whose forging predated even the rise of the Eldar. This double-bladed spear flickered seemingly out of phase with the material universe when wielded, emitting an eerie and otherworldly howling, and was able to pierce any physical defence it encountered without impediment, ripping them apart at a molecular level. Against living matter, it inflicted hideously gaping bloodless wounds as the flesh where it struck dissolved into oily smoke.
- Cognis Signum
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pp. 42-43
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition), pp. 20-21
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, Revised Codex), p. 40
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 1st Codex), p. 32
- Codex: Chaos (2nd Edition)
- Deathwatch: First Founding (RPG), p. 78
- Imperial Armour Volume Five - The Siege of Vraks - Part One
- Inquisitor: Core Rulebook (RPG)
- Index Astartes IV, "The Enemy Within - The Alpha Legion Space Marine Legion"
- Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness
- White Dwarf 310 (US), "Battle Report: The Defense of Cephian IV", pp. 94-113
- White Dwarf 277 (US), "Index Astartes: Alpha Legion"
- Legion (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- Fulgrim (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- Deliverance Lost (Novel) by Gav Thorpe
- The First Heretic (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- Age of Darkness (Anthology), "The Face of Treachery" by Gav Thorpe
- The Primarchs (Anthology), "The Serpent Beneath" by Rob Sanders
- Legion of the Damned (Novel) by Rob Sanders
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm
|Horus • Leman Russ • Lost Primarchs • Ferrus Manus • Fulgrim • Vulkan • Rogal Dorn • Roboute Guilliman • Magnus the Red • Sanguinius • Lion El'Jonson • Perturabo • Mortarion • Lorgar • Jaghatai Khan • Konrad Curze • Angron • Corvus Corax • Alpharius Omegon|