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- "Damnation is eternal. All souls cry out for salvation. There is no salvation without suffering."
- — Attributed to Interrogator-Chaplain Asmodai
Asmodai is the High Interrogator-Chaplain of the Dark Angels Chapter of Space Marines. Also known as the Master of Repentance, Asmodai is at present the oldest and most successful Interrogator-Chaplain within the ranks of the Dark Angels. He is single-minded in his determination to force any of the Fallen Angels that come into his hands to repent. During his long career, he has only been able to make two Fallen repent of their sins. But those that fall into his capable hands cannot resist his finely honed and wicked craft, for it is said that his enemies would rather die than fall into his clutches. Asmodai is rumoured to be able to horrifically torture a victim for weeks, keeping him or her alive to suffer the unspeakable torments of his brutal ministrations. Asmodai's relentless nature and single-minded pursuit of the Fallen balances on the border of what is defensible. Though Brother Asmodai's determination to force the Fallen that fall into his clutches to speak their secrets has aided the Chapter's most crucial and secret mission immeasurably, more than once Supreme Grand Master Azrael has been forced to censure Asmodai's demands, counteract his orders or cover up some of the Master Interrogator-Chaplain's more flagrant excesses. No other Dark Angel exemplifies the maxim "the end justifies the means" more than Asmodai, for in his unquenchable obsession, he is willing to sacrifice anything or anyone to capture another of the Fallen, and there is no boundary he will not cross to add another black pearl to his Rosarius.
Brutal, uncompromising and succinct, Brother Asmodai is the most sinister of the Dark Angels and is the Chapter's oldest and most successful Interrogator-Chaplain. Asmodai does not suffer fools, nor does he tolerate idleness of mind or spirit. The older he gets, the more his obsession grows. Asmodai has become the living embodiment of duty, openly disdaining all that does not pertain to battle, the goals of the Chapter, and ultimately, to the secret hunt for the Fallen that drives him. Whether on the field of battle, at council with the Inner Circle, or in the dungeons of The Rock administering to one of the heretical Fallen, or anyone that possesses an iota of information about them, Asmodai is a merciless bringer of death, a true Dark Angel.
Called to PurposeEdit
Fighting in Tactical Squad Ishmael of the 8th Company, Brother Asmodai was a well-regarded but unremarkable warrior. In late 405.M41, the Macharian Heresy was in full flow, with dozens of Imperial star systems in revolt. Asmodai was numbered amongst the seventy Dark Angels tasked with the suppression of a rebellious hive-moon orbiting the world of Ceti Albus. The task force landed upon Hive-Moon Sigma without confrontation, but upon entering the upper reaches of the mine-cities delved into the moon's rock they encountered swift and stern resistance. The populace, estimated to be several million in number, had been roused by some unknown demagogue to throw off the rule of the planet below. Many of them armed with little more than las-picks and rock claws, the labourers of Hive-Moon Sigma were nevertheless fervent and fearless in their attacks against the Dark Angels.
Veteran Sergeant Elijah, commanding the punitive force, quickly realised that, while seventy Space Marines might eventually inflict enough casualties to break the will of the mutineers, it would take far too long; dozens of worlds in neighbouring systems were breaking from the Imperium following the collapse of Macharius’ Crusade. The Dark Angels needed to swiftly locate and eliminate the ringleaders if the rebellion was to be halted in time to confer a strategic advantage. Taking prisoners from amongst the worker gangs that assailed their position, the Dark Angels elicited such information as the rebels could reveal. Brother Asmodai proved at this occasion to have a talent for exerting pain and influence in equal measure, and it was from his questioning of a cell leader that the Dark Angels learned of the existence of the headquarters of the rebellion in the lower hive. They also had a name to attach to the firebrand rebel commander: Malvine Rhemell.
The expedition into the hive depths was costly. The hive city extended five kilometres beneath the surface and every level was contested bloodily by miners and their families who had been led to believe the Dark Angels had arrived to destroy their world. During two solar days of non-stop fighting, the Dark Angels slaughtered a path to within reach of the headquarters but had lost nearly a third of their number. Breaching the rebel stronghold, Asmodai and the rest of the force were met by the most fanatical of Rhemell's followers. These were the most able and devoted, hundreds-strong. Some of these die-hard Renegades drove ore grinders armoured with metal plates and armed with powerful Lascutters, plunging directly into the Dark Angels without relent or fear. Others fought within hydraulically-powered lifting suits stronger even than a Space Marine, fitted with plasma-burners, whirling chainblades and energy hammers capable of cracking open Power Armour. It was too late for the task force to withdraw, and with tens of thousands of hive workers close on their heels, Elijah ordered his Dark Angels to press on, though only thirty of them now remained. Asmodai was one of the first to break into Rhemell's inner sanctum. What he found there shaped the rest of his life.
He was astounded to discover that Malvine Rhemell was another Space Marine. Worse still, he had been a Dark Angel long ago, but now he was one of the Fallen. The ancient warrior cut down Elijah with three strikes from his Power Sword and crippled Asmodai with a lancing blow through the Space Marine's thigh. As more Dark Angels poured through the breach, Rhemell retreated under the cover of a prepared Melta Bomb explosion, collapsing part of the ceiling upon his pursuers. The surviving Dark Angels had no chance to follow as they came under repeated attack from Rhemell's followers. Minutes later, they received a transmission from their warship in orbit. The crew had registered a huge energy spike in the reactor-chain powering the Hive-Moon. Rhemell had set the plasma generatoria to overload to cover his escape.
There was no option but to withdraw. Limping badly, Asmodai fought his way up through the hive levels with the other survivors, racing against time to elude the Hive-Moon's destruction. Incensed by the treachery of Malvine Rhemell, Asmodai fought with a rage he had never felt before. Even wounded, he gunned down and hacked his way through the press of rebels that came upon him. One by one, the other Dark Angels fell, yet Asmodai was so possessed by his ire that he alone made it back to the surface. Returning to the ship, the Battle-Brother learned that a craft had been detected leaving Hive-Moon Sigma, but the Rapid Strike Vessel had lost its power signature amongst the many orbital platforms and colonies. As the Dark Angels warship powered away from orbit, Hive-Moon Sigma destroyed itself, killing millions instantly and dooming millions more as debris showered down onto Ceti Albus. When Asmodai's superiors learned of his exploits, there was no option but to induct him into the higher echelons of the Chapter. He declined invitation to the Ravenwing and Deathwing Companies, and instead demanded that he be initiated as a Chaplain. When his induction was finally complete, as he finished his oaths of dedication to the Hunt, Asmodai added his own vow. He would find Malvine Rhemell and make him repent, or he would die in the attempt. It is an undertaking that he has yet to fulfil.
Asmodai was soon elevated to the position of Interrogator-Chaplain, having shown more desire to bring the Fallen to justice than lead the warriors of the Chapter. With a determination that shamed others much his senior, Asmodai accompanied the Deathwing on any expedition that might bring rumour of his quarry. It was this dedication that saw Asmodai capture his first Fallen Dark Angel in 411.M41. His name was Cephesus, and though Asmodai turned his considerable skills of excruciation and coercion upon him, he died without repenting his treachery. Frustrated, Asmodai became even more active and devoted, going to extraordinary lengths and risking himself and his warriors in extreme situations to capture his prey. He took captive three more Fallen over the next twenty-five standard years. Still, none would renounce their past heresies and Asmodai's superiors feared for the Chaplain, whose fervour was verging on the self-destructive.
In an attempt to appease Asmodai's desperation, they granted him access to Sorl Mebbon, a Fallen who had been captured before Asmodai’s rise who had stubbornly refused to die or confess. For eighteen solar days without rest, the Chaplain interrogated Sorl Mebbon, inflicting hurt without measure, haranguing him constantly. Where others had failed, Asmodai finally succeeded, breaking Mebbon's spirit after one hundred and twenty-nine hours of unrelenting torment when thirty standard years of efforts by others had failed. Mebbon pleaded for forgiveness and repented every act he had committed against the Lion and the Emperor. It is said that these words elicited a satisfied smile from the Interrogator-Chaplain; an expression that has been repeated only once -- when Asmodai drew forth the repentance of another Fallen, Ganiel.
In his quest to bring every Fallen to answer for their heresies, Asmodai has frequently stretched the patience of others in the Dark Angels' Inner Circle. The Supreme Grand Master has censured him often for his zealotry and has been forced on numerous occasions to move swiftly to protect the Chapter's reputation or cover up the Interrogator-Chaplain's actions. It was Asmodai that gave the order for the Battle-Barge Spear of Truth to open fire on the city of Hostengard, driving the Fallen Angel Sark Andour out of hiding and into the wilds where he was located by the Ravenwing and taken prisoner during a Deathwing teleport assault. When challenged on the fifty thousand deaths the bombardment had caused, Asmodai told Azrael, "Better fifty thousand innocents die than one Traitor escapes justice."
Azrael did not take kindly to this and, in rebuke, withdrew the Chaplain's command status for three standard years, sentencing him to serve under the Master of Recruits in the 10th Company so that he might learn some humility. The punishment lasted only six solar months, ending when the Captain of the 10th Company revealed that Asmodai had demanded the execution of every Scout drawn from the world of Narcium, accusing a whole generation of being gene-tainted due to their tardiness in answering his questions during instruction. It was also Asmodai who, upon hearing the frivolity of laughter in the halls of The Rock, placed the Penance of Silence upon the 7th Company for a standard Terran year. The company was unable to utter a sound save for hymnals and in-battle communications. However, such ardent discipline has its uses. Like any Adeptus Astartes Chaplain, Asmodai chants the Liturgies of Battle, preaching the purity of hate to help each Dark Angel focus his rage and become a killing machine. In combat, Asmodai further exemplifies his zeal, inciting the fighting spirits of his Battle-Brothers to a fever pitch. It was Asmodai who led the forlorn hope to break into the Traitor of Rhun's palace and who inspired the impressive stand when his forces were isolated on the Daemon World of Amity.
This, and similar episodes, have not softened Asmodai's approach in the slightest. He has made enemies of countless Imperial servants of all ranks, attracted the unwelcome attention of the Inquisition and even brought the Dark Angels to the brink of war with several other Space Marine Chapters. Most perilous of these latter events followed a foray into the Narthex Nebula that saw the Dark Angels fighting alongside companies from the Silver Eagles Chapter to cleanse several Imperial worlds from Ork enslavement. The campaign began well, with four planets liberated in the first year. During the joint attack on the fifth system, Calva Senioris, Asmodai heard word of a remarkable warrior leading the resistance against the Ork oppressors. Asmodai took command of the Dark Angels force, usurping Master Charon with threats of censure when the Company Captain protested. Abandoning the offensive against the Ork-held capital, Asmodai led the Dark Angels against the resistance encampment, killing everybody they found. The "remarkable warrior" was not one of the Fallen, and turned out instead to be an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos who had been on Calva Senioris to warn of Ork aggression when the Greenskins had attacked. Meanwhile, the Silver Eagles had been surrounded, their flank left unprotected by the Dark Angels' absence, and half of them had been slain. Master Charon reasserted his command and led the force on a desperate counter-attack to relieve the beleaguered Space Marines, arriving in time to assist the last one-hundred-and-ninety warriors.
The matter might have ended there had not the Inquisitor returned to the Silver Eagles' homeworld with the devastated companies, informing their Chapter Master of what had happened and requesting the Silver Eagles assist him in chastising the Dark Angels for their behaviour. Understandably reluctant to declare war on the I Legion of ancient fame, Chapter Master Periphas first sent emissaries to The Rock to ask for an explanation and recompense. Azrael himself was forced to attend to Periphas' demands, taking him away from the Tower of Angels for a considerable time. Meanwhile, during Azrael's absence, Asmodai was restricted to his chambers and the chapel. On his return, the Supreme Grand Master asked if Asmodai had any regrets over what had happened, to which the Chaplain replied that he regretted not killing the Inquisitor when he had the opportunity.
For all the ill caused to the Dark Angels by Asmodai's uncompromising manner, his zeal also brings success. Whether by example or exhortation, the Interrogator-Chaplain has turned defeat into victory on numerous occasions. His utter contempt for anything other than total dedication ensures that commanders fighting alongside him apply themselves with nothing less than absolute fidelity. Space Marines may know no fear caused by the enemy, but the Dark Angels perhaps fear rebuke from Asmodai, dreading his wrath far more than death in battle. At Scarn's Bluff, when the Dark Angels' 5th Company found themselves with their backs to mile-high cliffs following a counterattack by a warband of World Eaters, it was Asmodai that led the breakout; he concluded the battle by chopping the head from the warband's Chaos Champion with the Traitor's own Chainaxe. Asmodai single-handedly stormed the barbican of Helican's Citadel when the Meta-heretics of Alicantus Nocturnis unleashed the power of their moon-singers. He took the towers and opened the gates to allow the Ravenwing to pierce the heart of the enemy fortress, slaying the despicable Sorcerers.
Again and again, Asmodai has proven to be the unstoppable force needed to break the enemy. He insisted that the Dark Angels respond to the encroachment of Hive Fleet Leviathan, leading several companies against the Tyranids. He met briefly with Chaplain Cassius of the Ultramarines during this expedition and said of his contemporary, "He knows a lot about killing aliens, which is no bad thing" – one of the few compliments Asmodai has ever paid to anybody. The Interrogator-Chaplain led the boarding attack against the Desecrator-class Battleship Sorrow's Embrace, storming the engine decks to place Melta charges on the plasma reactors before withdrawing. He also held the line at Carpathia Sound, with only two dozen fellow Dark Angels. They fought on for three solar days against a screaming tide of Asteorian scentfangs, rasptongues, slitterwings and daggerclaws whilst the soldiers of the Imperial Guard's Cadian 64th were rallied for a counter-attack. Whether on the offensive or defensive, Asmodai's unyielding righteousness continues to inspire the Dark Angels to victory after seemingly impossible victory. Across countless battlefields, his reputation alone has struck fear into the hearts of the most hardened foes. With his matchless determination and will of iron, Asmodai ensures the Deathwing's mission is always completed.
- Power Armour
- Crozius Arcanum - The Crozius Arcanum is the sacred rod of office carried by all Space Marine Chaplains. Within the Crozius Arcanum is a gravitic generator that produces a powerful energy field capable of disrupting matter in the same manner as a Power Weapon. Chaplains are powerful warriors, and the blows struck with a Crozius Arcanum can overwhelm nearly any defence.
- Rosarius - A Rosarius is a gorget or amulet worn by Space Marine Chaplains which traditionally bears the symbol of the Imperial Aquila or Crux Terminatus and is the Chaplain's "soul armour" bestowed upon him by the Ecclesiarchy of Terra. Asmodai's Rosarius also contains a Conversion Field generator that adds to his protection from the blows and weapons fire of his foes.
- Skull Helm - One of the most iconic elements of a Chaplain’s wargear is his macabre skull helm, a stern visage that depicts the face of the Emperor mordant upon the Golden Throne, evoking the Emperor's wrath. These helms may take many different forms and have been crafted by numerous Space Marine artificers across the galaxy. Universally, however, they are all fearsome in aspect.
- Sacred Standards - Interrogator-Chaplains are the custodians of the Dark Angels Chapter's holy relics, including such sacred standards as the Standard of Fortitude, the Standard of Devastation, and the Standard of Retribution.
- Bolt Pistol or Plasma Pistol
- Frag Grenades
- Krak Grenades
- Blades of Reason - This is an ancient and horrific bladed device, full of arcane cruelty and the sorrow of Mankind. Its many sharply honed and well-polished blades are etched with scriptures of repentance in the tongue of Old Caliban, and criss-crossing the weapon's head are cables and fine neural-wires, mystic science that amplifies pain to agonies beyond endurance. With this archaic weapon of torture, Asmodai attempts to extract confessions from captured Fallen Angels during interrogations in an attempt to save the doomed prisoner's soul through his expert and painful ministrations.
- Codex: Dark Angels (6th Edition), pg. 55
- Codex: Dark Angels (4th Edition), pp. 37, 80
- Codex: Dark Angels (3rd Edition), pp. 7, 20
- Codex: Angels of Death (2nd Edition), pp. 15, 26, 35, 41, 72, 82
- Index Astartes II, "For the Emperor - Space Marne Chaplains", p. 59
- Warlords of the Dark Millennium: Asmodai, pp. 3-4, 6-10, 12-17, 23-27
- White Dwarf 266 (UK), "Angels of Death"
- White Dwarf 227 (US), "Chapter Approved - Space Marines: Dark Angels, Asmodai, Interrogator-Chaplain", pp. 73-80
- White Dwarf 208 (US), "Faith and Vengeance: Space Marine Chaplain Background and Tactics - Interrogator-Chaplains: Dark Angels", pp. 78-86
- Pandorax (Novel) by C.Z. Dunn