Artekus Bardane was the Commander (Chapter Master) of the Relictors Space Marine Chapter before they were declared Excommunicate Traitoris for their continued dabbling with Chaos artefacts and weaponry, despite an Inquisitorial mandate expressly forbidding them to do so.
A fierce warrior from the wilds of the Feral World of Neutra, Artekus Bardane was the son of a battle chieftain of one of that world's barbaric tribes and learned the way of war as soon as he could hold a sword. On Neutra a child learned to fight quickly or he died, and this resulted in the development of a warrior people who lived a precarious existence plundering neighbouring clans for sustenance. Artekus' confidence and courage saw him easily best his rivals, and he was chosen by the Librarians of the Relictors to become a Space Marine, quickly adapting to the ways of the Imperium and its advanced weapons of war. His supreme confidence, some would say overbearing arrogance, saw him rise rapidly through the ranks of the Chapter, accepting each new mystery revealed to him by the Chapter's Librarian Conclave with ease.
His skill in mastering the weapons and artefacts of Chaos led to his being given command of a company that penetrated deep into the Eye of Terror on a mission to hunt down and capture Chaos weaponry. On the world of Eidolon, Artekus defeated a mighty Champion of Slaanesh, taking up his accursed weapon, a screaming flail of daemonic faces, and destroying the fiend's warband with the howling daemon weapon. This Screaming Flail was placed in stasis at the heart of the Relictors' mobile fortress-monastery, where it was kept until needed. Before wielding the daemoning weapon, its bearer was required to spend many days in penitent fasting and prayer, purifying his soul and steeling his faith to resist the whispered imprecations of the imprisoned daemon within.
Artekus Bardane continued to serve with great distinction, earning yet higher rank, learning more of the Chapter's secrets and unearthing more and more Chaotic artefacts. After the destruction of the Cult of the Scarlet Vein, a bloody battle with a Chaos Cult of which Artekus was the only survivor, he was finally elevated to the rank of Chapter Master at the recommendation of his predecessor, who was mortally wounded in the final battle against that cult. In 998.M41, when the call for aid came from the beleaguered Hive World of Armageddon at the start of the Third War for Armageddon, the Relictors mobilised their entire Chapter and set off to serve in that great system-spanning conflict. Artekus ordered his captains to gather their warriors, and the entire Chapter journeyed to that war-torn world.
Artekus led his men deep into the heart of Armageddon's Equatorial Jungle, where he believed the greatest potential lay for the study of Chaos, given that the cursed Monolith of Angron, the Daemon Primarch of the World Eaters Traitor Legion, squatted in its haunted depths, having been constructed by Angron's forces during the First War for Armageddon. All through the Third War for Armageddon, the Relictors remained within the depths of the jungle, famously refusing even the personal commands of Lord Commander Dante of the Blood Angels. When the war on Armageddon drew to a close, the Librarians of the Relictors claimed to have had visions of a giant eye, dripping with blood, and Artekus immediately withdrew his Chapter from the warzone. Following the Conclave's vision, he began the journey towards the Eye of Terror, where his Chapter participated in the 13th Black Crusade and ultimately was declared "Extremis Diabolus" by the Inquisition. Bardane had little patience for the Inquisition and believed that the Relictors were still pursuing the right course, a course that would ultimately lead the Imperium to accept the Relictors back into its good graces, despite the stiff-necked opposition from the Puritan factions of the Inquisition.
- White Dwarf 295 (UK), "Chapter Approved: Extremis Diabolus"
- White Dwarf 286 (UK), "The Eye of the Storm: Space Marine Chapters fighting in the Eye of Terror "
- White Dwarf 249 (UK), "Emperor's Shield: Space Marine Chapters of the Armageddon War"
- Third War for Armageddon Worldwide Campaign - Imperial Forces, Relictors
- Angron's Monolith (Novella) by Steve Lyons