Asterion Moloc, known as the Master of the Minotaurs, Satrap of the Daedelos Krata, Bringer of Wrath, The Brazen Warlord and Spear of Judgement, is the current Chapter Master of the fearsome and brutal Minotaurs Space Marine Chapter. This paranoid and bloody-handed Astartes commander revels in his dark reputation and his name is a byword for death and mayhem carried out in the name of the benevolent Emperor of Mankind. Lord Asterion Moloc is a brutal tactician and enjoys the utter destruction of his foes, but has little patience for councils or strategic planning when forced by circumstance to work with other Imperial forces. Instead he chooses to remain aloof, as is his Chapter's nature, often sending his Reclusiarch (High Chaplain) Ivanus Enkomi as his Chapter's emissary and his personal representative in such matters. During the conflict known as the Badab War there was no record of Asterion Moloc ever being present for a war council of the Loyalist Astartes Chapters involved in the conflict. The only record of his presence in the war came from pict-footage recovered from battle scans and fearful stories spread by the few Secessionist survivors of the Minotaurs' brutal attacks. Later, Moloc would lead his Chapter to the Orpheus Sector of the Segmentum Tempestus to assist the Imperial defence of that region from the Necrons of the resurgent Maynarkh Dynasty.
The fell Master of the Minotaurs, Asterion Moloc, is a bloody-handed and paranoid Chapter Master who revels in his dark reputation, and his name is a byword for slaughter and destruction carried out in the Emperor's name on a score of worlds. A veteran of hundreds of battles, his body has been heavily rebuilt with cybernetic augments and his sheer spite and malice is enough to allow him to shrug off wounds that would fell a lesser Space Marine. A brutal tactician, Moloc takes pleasure in the utter destruction of his foes, and is most often found in battle at the head of his Chapter's Terminators slamming into the enemy line. He is also a diligent and disciplined logistician and strategist, and a master of siegecraft. Outside of battle he can be found on his brazen throne at the centre of the maze-like chambers of the heavy Assault Carrier Daedelos Krata, surrounded by datafeeds, tabulation Servitors and casualty reports, measuring the drops of blood spilt in pursuit of his Chapter's strategic goals.
The Minotaurs Chapter has been used often in the past to prosecute Traitors, iconoclasts and Renegades from within the ranks of the Adeptus Astartes by the High Lords of Terra, and as a result, Moloc has long been an expert in the systematic destruction of other Space Marine forces that have strayed from the path of righteousness. He views such targets as both worthy of the Emperor's wrath and the ultimate test of the Minotaurs' skills in battle. This was the fundamental reason why the Minotaurs joined the Loyalist effort in the Badab War. Perhaps the most noticeable of their efforts during that conflict was the savage engagement of 908.M41 in which they devastated the Lamenters Chapter in a bloody battle that lasted seventeen standard hours and was fought in the most brutal ship-to-ship fighting imaginable and upon the surface of Optera V. The Minotaurs suffered heavy casualties but overpowered their enemy by virtue of their own brutality and sheer weight of numbers, forcing the Lamenters' surrender. This notably savage battle has become a legend amongst the annals of the Space Marines.
Asterion Moloc would also serve as the commander-in-chief of the Space Marine forces deployed against the Necrons of the Maynarkh Dynasty during the Battle of Amarah Prime in the Orphean War, though the Chapter Master of the Minotaurs had grown to become a dark legend among the Adeptus Astartes long before the horrors of that conflict erupted. Regarded as brutal, ruthless and indefatigable by his peers within the ranks of the Space Marines, he was also marked by his actions in a score of warzones across the 41st Millennium as a byword for slaughter and destruction carried out in the name of the Emperor of Mankind. This legend was further shadowed by rumours of paranoia and brutality seldom evidence by those who remain in the service of the Golden Throne. As such, by the time of the Orphean War, Asterion Moloc had, to many within the Imperial military hierarchy, come to symbolise and personify the Minotaurs Chapter itself. Their complex reputation both as defenders of the Imperium against the alien and the degenerate served as a counterpoint to darker fame as feared executioners of internal dissenters and wayward Space Marines, and had already assured them a place in Imperial myth before the epic conflict at the world of Amarah had taken place.
Of the true character and history of Asterion Moloc the man little is known to outside observers, even to those in the ranks of the Inquisition and Militaris, save at the higher-most levels, and as with much of his Chapter such tales that abide are shrouded in mystery, rumour and contradiction. What can be said for certain is that he is a powerful combatant and is known to have personally slain several Renegade Chapter Masters of the Adeptus Astartes, alongside the ranks of Ork Warbosses, xenos corsair princes and Chaos Champions of the Dark Gods who have all fallen before him.
In the void battle which raged in the Amarah System against the Necron Maynarkh Dynasty during the Orphean War, the Terminator Squad of Sergeant Ixthalion sacrificed their lives fighting their way to the main control vault of the massive Necron Tomb Ship Dead Hand. This sacrifice allowed Asterion Moloc to perform a precision teleport strike with his Honour Guard and personally lead the desperate assault on the command vault of the Necron Tomb Ship. Moloc confonted, struck down and severely damaged the Necron Overlord present there, believed by the savants of the Ordo Xenos to be none other than Kutlakh, the war leader of the Maynarkh Dynasty. But Moloc himself was cast badly wounded into the void and later recovered by the remaining voidships of his Chapter fleet. In this last incident, Moloc was reported initially to have been lost and remained so for some time, which corresponds to at least six other incidents known to wider Imperial record over the last five standard centuries where the Chapter Master of the Minotaurs is thought to have been killed only to later reappear. This, coupled with the Minotaurs Chapter's insularity and the very high level of cybernetic rebuild their master is known to have undergone, has led to the rather extreme supposition by some observers that Asterion Moloc has not been one Space Marine, but many down the centuries, each inheriting not only a name and panopoly as some have suggested but also, and somewhat blasphemously, an engramatically-enforced personality and recorded memories taken from many different lifetimes. Others dismiss this as a slanderous accusation of the use of forbidden technology designed to smear a Chapter whose actions and use have already garnered them many enemies both in the Imperium's political and martial spheres.
The following numbers all correlate to the image of Asterion Moloc displayed above:
- Tartaros Pattern Artificer Terminator Armour - Moloc's customary panoply of war is a highly modified suit of Artificer Tactical Dreadnought Armour, considered to be based upon the Tartaros Pattern Terminator Armour design. The Tartaros Pattern itself is a relic design among its kind, developed in the latter stages of the Great Crusade in the late 30th Millennium, and is marked for being lighter and more streamlined in its construction without reduction in its phenomenal durability.
- Heraldic Storm Shield - Further improving his armour's already formidable defences, Moloc carries as part of his wargear a Storm Shield which generates a defensive energy shield capable of annulling tremendous kinetic impacts and electromagnetic energy attacks. The shield bears the heraldry of the Minotaurs Chapter and as part of this heraldry, archaic Terran Helac (Greek) glyphs can be seen which find common use in the Chapter. However, these do not translate directly into High or Low Gothic as expected and are likely once again to reflect some arcane and idiosyncratic use by this highly secretive Chapter.
- The Black Spear - The Black Spear is a relic blade in the form of a sharp-bladed spear that also houses a powerful single-shot laser weapon. This ancient artefact is steeped in blood and said to have once been used by the Legio Custodes. A truly deadly relic-weapon of unknown provenance, the Black Spear is similar in some regards to the sacred arms used by the Adeptus Custodes. The spear is a Power Weapon of remarkable potency, able in Moloc's hands to pierce even Terminator battle plate. Its incorporated single-shot laser weapon is sufficiently potent to be used as an anti-tank weapon if needed.
The etymology of the name Asterion Moloc hails from ancient Greece. 'Asterion' (Ancient Greek: Ἀστερίων) or Asterius (Ἀστέριος) was the legendary minotaur of Crete, born to king Minos and his wife Pasiphaë and locked away in a Labyrinth. "Moloc" (also known as Moloch, Molock, Molok, Molekh, Molek or Molech) hails from ancient origins, being the name of an ancient Ammonite god worshipped by the Canaanites, Phoenicians and related Semitic cultures in North Africa and the Levant. Moloc is described as being close in physical appearance to that of the Greek minotaur; the head of a bull and the body of a human.
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pg. 43
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pg. 177
- Imperial Armour Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus, pp. 52-53
- Forge World - Space Marine Badab War Characters Update Version 2 (6th Edition)