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Arkos the Faithless

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Icon of the Alpha Legion Traitor Legion

Arkos the Faithless, also known as the Scion of Alpharius, is the Chaos Lord of the Alpha Legion warband known as The Faithless. Since the Horus Heresy, this vile Chaos Lord has continued the Long War against the "Corpse Emperor" and his unwitting servants. Arkos continued to stir up dissension and rebellion within the realm of Mankind until he met his eventual fate during the Siege of Vraks late in the 41st Millennium. Confronted by a strike team composed of Loyalist Astartes drawn from the Angels of Absolution and the Dark Angels Chapters, it is believed that Arkos was eventually captured and brought back to the Dark Angels' mobile fortress-monastery, The Rock, as a prisoner. His actual fate remains unknown.

HistoryEdit

Akos was once a loyal Space Marine Captain, a proud officer of the Alpha Legion during the Great Crusade, but during the Horus Heresy, he, along with the rest of the XXth Legion followed the Arch-Traitor Horus into damnation. As would later be discovered Arkos became one of the most trusted elements of the Primarch Omegon, twin to Primarch Alpharius, and acted as his equerry while the Alpha Legion conducted its own campaign against the Emperor of Mankind’s Loyalist forces. After Horus' defeat at the hands of the Emperor at the Battle of Terra, he fled alongside the remains of his Legion to the Eye of Terror and continued the Alpha Legion’s Long War against the False Emperor at every opportunity that has presented itself ever since. He lead a powerful warband of Alpha Legion Space Marines from his personal Despoiler-class Battleship, Anarchy’s Heart. Arkos had spent the long millennia after the end of the Heresy raiding Imperial space from the Eye of Terror, attacking Imperial shipping lanes, and cultivating agent provocateurs who spread discontent, sedition and false rumours, especially in sectors close to the Eye of Terror. His Alpha Legion warband were also known to supply captured weapons and training to selected Chaos Cultists units.

Arkos’ warband had been known to masquerade as Loyalist Space Marines in order to infiltrate small units onto Imperial worlds. These units then acted as saboteurs and commandos behind enemy lines. Arkos planned such daring missions very carefully. Usually he preferred to orchestrate attacks from his warship and allow his lesser minions to do the fighting. Arkos was a master of subtle and devious schemes. He planned carefully and rarely fought a battle in which he did not already possess a tactical advantage. As a true son of Alpharius, his Primarch’s gene-seed ran strong in his blood, making him a master of the more shadowy arts of war. Like his Primarch, Arkos was a potent inspiration to his Astartes and those lesser mortals he lead into battle.

Siege of VraksEdit

The Faithless took part in the Siege of Vraks, a 17-year-long campaign of attrition waged by the Imperium to retake the important Imperial Armoury World of Vraks Prime from the Forces of Chaos. Seven standard years after the first shots were fired, in 820.M41, new reports reached the commanders of the 88th Siege Army on the world of Thracian Primaris that the Vrakisian Renegades had been reinforced by unknown Space Marines garbed in dark blue Power Armour. These mysterious Astartes launched swift attacks that destroyed an entire regiment of the Death Korps of Krieg when they attempted unsuccessfully to breach the Traitors' lines.

In truth, Arkos’ Battleship Anarchy’s Heart had crept into the Vraks System and its Chaos Space Marines had landed openly at Vraks Prime's starport. Disguised as newly deployed Loyalist Space Marines, The Faithless had infiltrated through the Death Korps' lines and, under the guise of launching an attack, crossed no-man’s land to reach the Renegades' lines before making for the Citadel, the headquarters of the Apostate Cardinal-Astra Xaphan, the leader of the Renegades and the man whose corruption by Chaos had initiated the conflict. Arkos and his followers presented themselves at the Citadel, offering his support in the name of all the Chaos Gods. Arkos offered not only his superb Veteran Astartes, who were masters at conducting bloody raids that generated disruption behind enemy lines, but also training for the Renegade's less-skilled militia forces. Arkos himself could add his own tactical experience to the defensive campaign. He also promised more allies to follow, other warbands who would hear of Vraks, and they too would join their cause against the False Emperor and his corrupt Imperium. His aid gratefully accepted, Lord Arkos and his veteran brothers were immediately put to work.

Battle of the Vraks StarportEdit

In 821.M41, Supreme Grand Master Azrael lead nearly half of the Dark Angels Chapter to the beleaguered world of Vraks Prime to aid the Imperial war effort. The Dark Angels force arrived on board the Battle Barge Angel of Retribution, the Strike Cruisers Sword of Caliban and Salvation and a small number of Escorts to bring the might of the Loyalist Astartes against the Forces of Chaos that had seized the small Imperial planet. Without communicating his intentions to the other Imperial forces, Azrael simply set about his self-assigned mission -- the destruction of Vraks' starport which would sever any easy access to off-planet reinforcements for the Chaotic occupiers. Needing no assistance, Azrael saw no reason to involve the Imperial Guard regiments engaged on Vraks in his operation. Moving in a lightning assault, the Dark Angels' vanguard was led by Azrael himself. As the Dark Angels strike force moved through the starport they unleashed unrestrained destruction upon it. The Dark Angels fought for Vraks' starport for eight days before Azrael ordered the final assault.

Leading elements of the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th and 9th Companies the Supreme Grand Master led his Dark Angels to finish the enemy's resistance and finally overrun the starport. Dismounting his Land Raider, Azrael led the assault as he plunged into the enemy ranks of militia men, his black blade, the Sword of Secrets, cutting a bloody swathe. As the Dark Angels were about to achieve victory, the duplicitous Alpha Legion sprung their trap. The Chaos Space Marines had been lying in wait, using the militia as bait to draw the Dark Angels on. As the fighting intensified Azrael saw brother Anmael fall, riddled with fire, and the Sacred Standard he was brandishing toppled. Azrael knew he must recover the banner for it could not be allowed to lie in the dust. Racing through enemy fire he reached the banner just as the enemy did. The Dark Angels and Alpha Legionnaires fought over the fallen body of brother Anmael, neither giving ground. While the other Dark Angels fought to escape the Alpha Legion's sudden ambush, Azrael cut down the last of his enemies and plucked up the sacred standard. As he did so, a massive armoured figure stroke through the smoke, his ancient power armour decorated with blasphemous runes and the heretical eight-pointed star of Chaos Undivided. As he did so an Assault Marine launched himself into Arkos' path, only to be cut clean in half by the stroke of the Chaos Lord's Warp-powered blade. The two mighty heroes clashed.

Azrael was confronted by Arkos, and soon the two were engaged in furious combat. In one hand Azrael held his Chapter's Sacred Standard of Devastation, in the other the Sword of Secrets. The two rained down smashing blows upon each others' armour, until blood seeped through the joints of Azrael's suit of Artificer plate. The weight of Arkos' mighty blows had badly wounded the Supreme Grand Master in the one-sided duel. The Chaos Lord had the combined power of the four Chaos Gods with him this day. Arkos' blows forced Azrael ever backwards, weakening his opponent until a shoulder charge and a fast, low sweeping cut sent Azrael sprawling to the ground, the Sword of Secrets skittering from his grasp. Prone amongst the rubble, the banner still clutched to him, Azrael saw death approaching as Arkos loomed over him, raising his Darkblade for the killing blow.

As he reached out to strike the blow that would see Azrael's reign as Supreme Grand Master end, the impacts of an Assault Cannon sent Arkos staggering backwards. Racing up the street came Deathwing Terminators led by Interrogator-Chaplain Belphegor, who, enclosed in his black Terminator Armour, charged into Arkos, his Crozius Arcanum swinging. Belphegor managed to strike the Traitor to the ground with a blow that cracked his Power Armour. Arkos fell dazed and bleeding. Concerned for his wounded commander, the Chaplain turned to aid him. When he turned back to face Arkos, the Traitor had vanished. Though the ambush had inflicted painful losses upon the Dark Angels, the Traitors were unable to carry the day, and soon drifted away as they had been recalled by their thwarted commander. The Dark Angels proceeded to hunt down and destroy the remnants of surviving militiamen. Their ambush had inflicted painful losses on the Dark Angels, with the loss of 200 Battle-Brothers, but the traitors could not win this battle alone. The Dark Angels had failed to take a single Traitor Legionairy alive, although their Battle Barge's cells did contain many captured Renegade militiamen who would face the formidable Interrogator-Chaplains on return to The Rock. After ten days the starport was securely in the hands of the Dark Angels. They set about destroying the facility with demolition charges. Two days later, the starport was damaged beyond repair. Upon completing their mission, the Dark Angels strike force departed Vraks Prime.

Summoning ChaosEdit

In 822.M41, The Faithless' Chaos Sorcerers sent a psychic signal through the Warp to call forth their old allies to Vraks Prime. Lurking around the Eye of Terror, those forces that heard the call were drawn to the Imperial Armoury World like moths to a flame by the flickering psychic light that promised battle, slaughter and plunder in the name of the Dark Gods. Fortunately for the Imperial forces, the tides of the Warp did not favour the intentions of the Renegade forces on Vraks Prime. The Warp Storms that continually engulfed the star systems of the Eye of Terror at this time were fierce, raging without end and making interstellar navigation all but impossible. Most of the ancient Chaos warfleets that received The Faithless's psychic signal were comprised of raiding ships and their supporting troop transports. These vessels constantly skirted the Eye of Terror, emerging to launch bloody raids against Imperial colonies or poorly defended Imperial shipping convoys. Many splinter groups from these vengeful Traitor Legion warfleets heard The Faithless' clarion call to war, and began to make their way to the Vraks System.

TreacheryEdit

The mighty Chaos Lord Zhufor of the Khornate warband of Chaos Space Marines called the Skulltakers, was charged by his master Abaddon the Despoiler to run the campaign on Vraks Prime to his liking. Zhufor first began subjugating the various Chaos warbands and factions present on the worldin an attempt to unify them under his leadership. All of the Chaos Space Marine warbands submitted, save for Arkos and The Faithless. The Faithless would not submit to Zhufor but in order to save his warband from being attacked by the Khornate Chaos Champion, Arkos cut a treacherous deal with Zhufor. Of all the Chaos Space Marine warband leaders present on Vraks Prime, Arkos alone held the trust of the Apostate Cardinal-Astra Xaphan, who was hidden away inside his nearly impregnable former Departmento Munitorum fortress, the Citadel. Arkos knew that the Apostate-Cardinal was already little more than a symbolic figurehead for the Chaotic forces on the planet, and that Arkos had been really directing the war effort for years. Yet many of the Vraksian Renegades saw the Cardinal as their messiah, particularly since Xaphan had already proclaimed himself as such, and control over Xaphan was needed to fully motivate and command the forces of the Vrakisian Renegade Militia. Arkos agreed to allow Zhufor to capture Xaphan in return for Zhufor's guarantee that The Faithless could remain independent of his command. The treacherous pact was made, and Arkos proved true to his word. In secret, the Alpha Legion allowed Zhufor and his personal bodyguard of Chaos Terminators into the Cardinal's Palace within the Citadel. The palace became a charnel house, as Zhufor and his men slaughtered nearly everyone within. Xaphan was captured alive by Zhufor himself. He had played his part on Vraks but now Khorne had one final use for the Renegade Cardinal -- as a sacrifice.

Last Stand of the FaithlessEdit

As the final Imperial siege of the Citadel ground on, the battle began to turn against the Forces of Chaos with the arrival of the forces of the Ordo Malleus and another Space Marine Chapter. The Angels of Absolution had come at the behest of Supreme Grand Master Azrael of the Dark Angels, their force ferried to Vraks by the Battle Barge Liberatorii Delictum, the Strike Cruiser Repentant and their two Escorts. The Angels of Absolution were a Chapter with close ties to their progenitors. At the Supreme Grand Master’s request, the Dark Angels’ Interrogator-Chaplain Belphegor was attached to the strike force alongside the Angel of Absolution’s Company Master (Captain) Yafnir. The strike force presented themselves before Lord Inquisitor Hector Rex, the new commander of the Imperial forces on Vraks Prime, who permitted the strike force to make an attempt to capture the Traitor Arkos the Faithless after the Astartes of the Unforgiven had narrowly failed to capture him during their mission to Vraks nine standard years earlier. The Inquisitor had some misgivings, as he felt that an asset like a high-ranking Alpha Legion commander -- with all the sensitive intelligence he could reveal -- would best serve the Imperium by remaining in the hands of the Ordo Malleus. He feared that once captured by the notoriously independent and secretive Dark Angels, Arkos would vanish into the depths of The Rock and never be heard from again.

With their explicit orders from the Supreme Grand Master of the Dark Angels and the Chapter Master of the Angels of Absolution, Interrogator-Chaplain Belphegor and Master Yafnir remained determined that if captured, Arkos must be returned to the Rock, otherwise Yafnir would be forced to withdraw his vessels and Battle-Brothers from the Vraks theatre. No Inquisitorial interference would be tolerated in pursuit of their mission. Eventually, Hector Rex relented and allowed the Unforgiven strike force free reign to plan and execute any operation they deemed necessary. Master Yafnir’s Battle-Brothers launched a Drop Pod assault directly into the Citadel, then Belphegor and his Battle-Brothers descended upon the forces of the Archenemy in a lightning strike. Their target was the Basilica of St. Leonis, the heart of the Citadel. The Liberatorii Delictum and the Repentant began their own operation to find and destroy the Anarchy’s Heart, wherever it was hiding in the Vraks System.

The Faithless were one of the last lines of defence for the Forces of Chaos within the Citadel. Interrogator-Chaplain Belphegor led the Sternguard, the Veterans of the Dark Angels elite 1st Company, the Deathwing. It was they who intended to face down Arkos. Though the Chaos Lord’s warband had been much reduced by the Long War, the potent Traitor Marine officer remained a dangerous opponent even for these vaunted Space Marines. The Angels of Absolution's squads spread out and began their search of the rubble, looking for any sign of the Arch-Traitor, but the Basilica was vast. The Loyalist Space Marines fought on, capturing as many of the The Faithless' Chaos Space Marines as they could. Even those Traitor Marines who had been grievously wounded were kept alive by the Angel of Absolution’s Apothecaries until they could reach The Rock for interrogation. Most of The Faithless died during the fierce fighting. Driven on by their master and the Interrogator-Chaplain, the Angels of Absolution hammered at the surviving Traitors and cut them down.

In the midst of the battle, Master Yafnir finally found his target, surrounded by the last remainign Chaos Space Marines of his warband. Though sorely wounded, Arkos still grasped his Dark Blade in his armoured fist. A puncture in his chest plate seeped blood. Bellowing his defiance, Arkos cursed his enemies as the Angels of Absolution moved in, surrounding their dangerous foe, Bolters levelled and ready for the order to attack. Arkos stood little chance. Trapped with nowhere to run, the Chaos Lord attacked the servants of the False Emperor in a rush. Master Yafnir and Arkos met one another in vicious close-combat. Master Yafnir was sorely wounded as the devious Arkos rammed his blade forwards and upwards as fast and deadly as a snake into Yafnir’s face plate. Standing over the wounded and barely conscious Yafnir, the Chaos Lord killed any who attempted to rescue him. As Arkos stood over the bleeding Yafnir, Chaplain Belphegor finally arrived at the scene. The last two survivors of Arkos’ warband flanked him, blood-spattered Chainswords in hand. The Interrogator-Chaplain ordered the Chaos Lord to yield, but he flatly refused. Raising his fell blade in challenge, the Chaplain stepped forwards, and beside him came the Dark Angels Sternguard Veterans, ready to spring into action.

The two champions met once again, for it was Belphegor’s intervention at the Vraks starport that had saved the life of Supreme Grand Master Azrael from Arkos nine Terran years earlier. Arkos showed no sign that he recognised his old foe as he bellowed his defiance at Belphegor. The Interrogator-Chaplain immediately launched his attack, as the Angels of Absolution closed in about the two remaining survivors of Arkos’ warband. Though Arkos fought fiercely, the Emperor was with the Chaplain as the Dark Gods were driven from the Citadel. With a vicious blow from his Crozius Arcanum, Belphegor struck Arkos full in the face, staggering the Chaos Lord, and then the Chaplain slammed his Crozius down, cracking Arkos’ skull. The Chaos Lord sank to his knees, his tainted blood pouring down his neck and onto the floor. The Interrogator-Chaplain ordered his Sternguard Astartes to seize the vile Traitor, as he saw that both Arkos’ surving Traitor Marines had also been cut down. Though the strike force had succeeded in capturing Arkos, the victory had come at great cost. Master Yafnir died from his wounds, bleeding out before he could receive any kind of medical assistance. Their mission complete, the Angels of Absolution disengaged and withdrew, their prize in tow, to be handed over to the Interrogator-Chaplains of The Rock. The final fate of Arkos the Faithless remains uncertain.

Destruction of the Anarchy’s HeartEdit

As expected, the final assault flushed the Anarchy’s Heart from its hiding place. The war on the ground had been lost, and the Traitor Marines aboard the ancient Battleship desperately sought to rescue their master and their fellow Battle-Brothers. The Repentant’s long-range augurs detected the energy spike as the Despoiler-class Battleship powered up its engines. The Liberatorii Delictum immediately moved to intercept the Chaos vessel and the two colossal capital ships met in a duel of titanic firepower. The Liberatorii Delictum’s Lance batteries made short work of the enemy vessel, as the Repentant and their Escort vessels joined in, attacking the massive Chaos vessel’s flank. The bombardment cannons of the Liberatorii Delictum hammered the Chaos Battleship into burning debris as it was torn apart by internal explosions. The ancient Traitor Battleship would never again threaten the Imperium’s shipping lanes.

Fate of ArkosEdit

Following his victory, Interrogator-Chaplain Belphegor immediately withdrew from Vraks Prime, taking with him 15 surving Alpha Legionaries of The Faithless warband as prisoners. It is unknown whether Arkos the Faithless was amongst their number, as neither the Dark Angels or the Angels of Absolution would disclose the truth of the matter. Master Yafnir’s body was returned to his Chapter's Battle Barge for transport back to the Angels of Absolution's catacombs. Soon after embarkation, the Liberatorii Delictum vanished from the Vraks System, and no further communications to the other forces of the Imperium were received. At present, the whereabouts of Arkos the Faithless remain unknown, but the Ordo Malleus regards him as having been captured on Vraks. He is officially listed by the Inquisition as a prisoner of the Dark Angels. What secrets he has revealed to them, if any, have so far been retained by Grand Master Azrael’s Inner Circle.

WargearEdit

SourcesEdit

  • Imperial Armour Volume Five - The Siege of Vraks - Part One, pp. 47, 54-58, 160, 178
  • Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two, pp. 6, 26, 36
  • Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of Vraks - Part Three, pp. 18, 79, 82, 84, 88, 140, 198-199
  • Praetorian of Dorn (Novel) by John French, pp. 429/430

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