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- "I stand before you, the Holder of the Keys. A great many of the mysteries of our Order are known to me. Our secrets are laid bare before my eyes. It is I and I alone who can grant passage to our most inner circle, who can judge the weak from the strong, the truth from falsehood. I alone bear the Book of Salvation, the sacred record of our unforgiven past and of the tortuous road we had trodden to absolve our great sin. I alone known the names of all those who have Fallen from the Emperor's grace and have been returned to him, through repentance of the soul or absolution of the body. I alone bear these most terrible burdens, for on my shoulders sit the sins of the Dark Angels Legion and I cannot rest while they still remain to stain our honour."
Ezekiel is the Grand Master of all the Librarians of the Dark Angels Chapter of Space Marines. Along with the Supreme Grand Master and the Master of Sanctity, the Grand Master of the Librarium is one of the most important individuals in the Dark Angels and the Unforgiven Chapters. It is the Grand Master that oversees the psykers of the Chapter and judges the strength and loyalty of those that lead the hunt for the Fallen. Ezekiel is the current incumbent of this role, a quiet and sinister figure who inspires as much fear as respect from those who serve with him. He bears the Book of Salvation, a tome that contains the names of all the Fallen Angels who have been captured by the Chapter or the other Unforgiven Chapters. Ezekiel also oversees the elevation of any Dark Angel into the Chapter's governing Inner Circle, and it is he who judges the worthiness of those candidates.
The Dark Angels arrived at the world of Delphyna III in 516.M41, responding to bleak visions of destruction witnessed by their Librarians. Contact had been lost with the world for many centuries, and upon their arrival, the four companies of Dark Angels found a society that had devolved into the worst kinds of superstition and barbarism. Human sacrifice was rife, though carried out in the name of the Emperor. All technology was shunned and the cities had fallen to ruin. Of the Imperial Commander, Adeptus Arbites and other authorities, only charred bones remained to decorate bloody altar-towers that stood high above the stretches of wilderness. The Dark Angels brought retribution with bolter and blade, the regressed inhabitants no match for the superhuman warriors of the Adeptus Astartes. There was no hope for the populace of the planet, but once cleansed of their taint, Delphyna III was ripe for recolonisation. Every day, the crude keeps and castles of the Delphynians fell to the onslaught as hundreds of thousands were slain.
In the largest keep-town, Serenghast, the warriors of the Dark Angels were confronted not by raving blood-spattered savages but placid, mute folk who opened the gates of their settlement and silently welcomed the Space Marines. Taken aback and fearing sorcery, Master Astophael of the 4th Company ordered his warriors to stand down and sent for assistance from the Librarium. Codicier Meroth detected the psychic presence within Serenghast from several miles away. Alone, he entered the citadel at the heart of the town, his mind protected by his psychic hood and all manner of soul-enchantments. Yet no attack came. He found the inner keep deserted, room after room filled with shelves and tables packed with scrolls and scraps of parchment. Examining these, he discovered nonsensical proclamations and half-hysterical rantings. The psychic presence was strong and he continued his investigations.
In the deepest dungeon, within a lightless oubliette, Meroth found a child no more than ten Terran years old, chained on a floor strewn with filthy straw. His flesh was marked by brand and scar. The psychic potential of the boy was as plain to the Librarian as his wasted state; a throbbing in his psychic sight. "You could have slain them all," Meroth told the child, guessing rightly that it was he that had pacified the people above. The mad scribblings now took on a more sinister edge; transcriptions of the tortured boy's ravings, accounts of visions ripped from him by hot iron and blade. "Why did you endure this?" The boy looked at Meroth with dark brown eyes, his stare aged beyond his meagre years. "I saw salvation coming on wings of fire. Now it is here."
The boy that would become Ezekiel submitted meekly to every test and torment the Chaplains and Librarians visited upon him, never once protesting as they sought to find some physical, mental or psychic weakness that would render him unsuitable for transformation into a Space Marine. Though physically debilitated, he was genetically ideal and was passed into the 10th Company for training and implantation. After long years learning the craft of the warrior and the mental discipline to hone his psychic potential, Ezekiel was presented with one final challenge. To be admitted from the 10th Company to the Librarium, he had to face the Testing. A senior Librarian would delve into his innermost thoughts to visit upon him the worst terrors he had ever feared. Only by surviving this mental assault would Ezekiel prove himself strong enough to become a Librarian.
It was Meroth that volunteered to conduct his student's testing, taking him to the Well of Sanctuary deep in the heart of the Rock. In a chamber lined with protective runes and crystal psychic matrices, Meroth began. Ezekiel did not resist at all, but opened up his memories for the Librarian to see. Meroth's mind touched for the briefest moment, experiencing a tiny fragment of what had happened to the young boy. Meroth howled like a wounded beast of Old Caliban and collapsed. It took eighty days for him to recover, during which Ezekiel waited patiently for his mentor's assessment. Meroth never spoke of what he had encountered in those memories, but simply pronounced Ezekiel fit for the Librarium. There was, he said, no nightmare the Librarians could visit upon Ezekiel that he had not already endured.
It was plain that Ezekiel was one of the most naturally powerful psykers the Dark Angels had ever recruited. He was passed to the rank of Codicier immediately, bypassing Lexicanium, and within ten years had attained the position of Epistolary, surpassing Meroth, who had endeavoured to teach him. Despite his obvious power, or perhaps because of it, Ezekiel was always treated with some suspicion by the Dark Angels that fought alongside him. No rumour was spoken outright, but the Chapter's battle-brothers learned of his origins and the incident with Meroth. Though none dared even think it in Ezekiel's presence, they wondered what manner of mind hid behind those calm brown eyes? What kind of child could have suffered as Ezekiel had suffered without going insane?
Ezekiel proved himself more than capable in battle, and though his battle-brothers had misgivings, he did not return them, showing a loyalty and regard for his fellow Dark Angels that only unnerved them even more. While they were keen to benefit from the psychic storms he could unleash on the battlefield, ever were they wary of keeping his company outside of war. Ezekiel did not mind this at all and spent what few occasions he had for peace studying and meditating in the Librarium.
Ezekiel earned the trust of his fellow Dark Angels, if not their companionship, at Sularian Gate, which lives long in the memories of the Chapter's battle-brothers and is hailed as one of their greatest victories of the last five hundred years. In 949.M41 the WAAAGH! of Ork Warlord Groblonik had captured the sprawling manufactories of Argentoratum, swept through the hive cities of Kholorn, slashed across the plains and forests of Zamarobriva and despoiled the temples on the Cardinal World of Reminius, killing and enslaving billions. At the world of Honoria, the forces of the Imperium drew together to face the coming greenskin tide. While the Imperial Navy sent a flotilla to intercept the hulks and ships of Groblonik, Imperial Guard regiments from Vostroya and Mordia were mustered alongside Skitarii from the Forge World of Atanix Triumvirae. In response to requests for aid, the Dark Angels dispatched their 5th Company, supported by elements from the Deathwing and Librarium.
The bulk of the greenskins crashed onto Honoria south and east of the capital and advanced quickly, seeming to aim straight for Aurelianum. Groblonik did not throw his warriors carelessly at the Gates, but spent several weeks testing the defences of each; rare planning unseen in other Ork attacks. When the main assault came, it was directed at Sularian Gate, and to this battle rushed the Dark Angels in Thunderhawks and Rhinos. Ezekiel was amongst the first Dark Angels to arrive and found the defenders already nearly overwhelmed, the void shields of the Gate overloaded by strange energy weapons and the towers battered by immense cannons. The Librarian plunged into the fighting on the walls at the head of the Dark Angels squads, his force sword slaying greenskins with every swing. Almost single-handedly, Ezekiel threw back the Orks from the southern wall, driving them from the Gate with bursts of lightning and gouts of cleansing psychic flame. Groblonik sent his warriors and war machines back against Sularian Gate again and again, subjecting the defenders to four days of continuous bombardment and assault. Ezekiel seemed to be everywhere, always appearing with his command squad where most needed, guided by prophetic visions of the Ork attacks. For four days, the Imperial Guard and 5th Company held, guided by Ezekiel's foresight.
As the sun fell on the fourth day, the Librarian's prophetic skills failed him. A stray bullet from an Ork Shoota ricocheted from the parapet and struck him in the left eye, almost penetrating to his brain. With Ezekiel felled, the defenders were stretched thin during the night, as Groblonik sent waves of Stormboyz jump-packing up to the walls and had Blitza-Bombers strafing the streets behind. Without Ezekiel to predict where the next attacks would come, the 5th Company, and their Mordian and Vostroyan allies, were unable to hold, and as the sun rose on the fifth day of the battle, the Orks finally gained a foothold on the walls and surrounded the main gate tower. If they managed to seize control of the mechanism, the Sularian Gate would fall and the horde would pour down the valleys into Aurelianum.
The Dark Angels gathered about the great portal towers, the 5th Company forming a dark line against the tide of vicious aliens pouring up the pass and over the walls. Sensing victory, Groblonik himself led the attack, butchering Imperial Guardsmen and Space Marines with a fire-wreathed two-handed axe. Just as it seemed the defenders would break, Ezekiel arrived at the walls, his face still bloodied and a crude augmetic eye freshly attached to his wound. The Orks fled from his approach, their small minds filled with terrifying visions that overwhelmed even the power of the WAAAGH! energy coursing through them. Those that did not run in panic were cut down by sheets of golden flame coursing from Ezekiel's blade.
The Eye of VengeanceEdit
In the wake of the psyker's attack, the defenders rallied, following Ezekiel as he fought his way through the press to confront Groblonik. The Warlord, incensed by the cowardice of his minions, swung his axe at Ezekiel's head. The flaming blade met the edge of the Librarian's sword and shattered. Shards of razor-sharp metal slashed into the warlord's face. Many of the Dark Angels who witnessed the fight later said that it was remarkable how these jagged slivers seemed to tear out Groblonik's left eye. Blinded, the Ork reeled back and Ezekiel took up his sword double-handed to cut the beast's head from his neck and fling it out into the horde of greenskins. Already filled with dread by Ezekiel's psychic assault, the Orks routed at the death of their leader. He has since refused to have a more sophisticated bionic fitted, choosing to bear the original replacement in honour of the warriors that fought and fell beside him at Sularian Gate. Following this feat, the Grand Master of the Librarium, Danatheum, took the unprecedented move of standing down from his position, returning to the rank of Epistolary so that Ezekiel could take his place. The welcome from the Inner Circle was unanimous but guarded.
Personality & AbilitiesEdit
A dour individual, Ezekiel is the foremost psyker and senior Librarian of the Dark Angels Chapter and Grand Master of its Librarius. He rarely speaks except during the solemn rituals of the Inner Circle or when aiding an Interrogator-Chaplain in the execution of his duties, and even then, his voice hardly rises above a sinister, dry whisper. Earning a reputation as an uncompromising and ruthless individual, Ezekiel is said to have the uncanny ability to read the intentions of both friend and foe alike, and acts upon these readings without hesitation. Ezekiel also bears the title Holder of the Keys in recognition of his vital role in guarding the dungeons that lie within the bowels of the Dark Angels' mobile fortress-monastery known as The Rock. He is also privy to a great many of the mysteries of their Order, and most of the Chapter's secrets have been laid bare before his sight.
Ezekiel is also the Keeper of the Book of Salvation, which lists the names of all of the Fallen Angels that have been recaptured by the Chapter. This book is of deep cultural significance to the Dark Angels, and it will ever be at Ezekiel's side whilst he still draws breath. Only in the event of his death will it be passed on to a worthy successor who will become the new Grand Master of Librarians. Ezekiel alone bears these most terrible of burdens, for on his shoulders sit the sins of the original Dark Angels Legion. He cannot rest while the Fallen still remain to stain the Chapter's honour.
A formidable psyker, this Grand Master is always found at the forefront of combat, felling his enemies with his dreaded Force Sword Traitor's Bane, or decimating his foes utterly with his command of Empyrean energies. Since his elevation to the rank of Grand Master of Librarians, Ezekiel has fought against some of the Chapter's direst foes, battling the Heretic, the daemon and the xenos across the length and breadth of the Imperium.
It is one of Ezekiel's many tasks to test the loyalty and dedication of any who rise to the rank of Master or Grand Master, to seek out weakness and ensure that they are pure of purpose. So intimidating is this prospect that fully a third of the Dark Angels selected for such promotion have politely refused the honour and chosen to remain as warriors of the Deathwing, Ravenwing or as Veteran Sergeants. Ezekiel's formidable psychic abilities allow him to peer within the deepest recesses of a candidate's body and soul, revealing to him any signs of taint or weakness that might endanger the Inner Circle or compromise its sacred mission to hunt and capture the Fallen. Chapter legend maintains that the Grand Master of Librarians can judge a man by merely a glance.
Perhaps the cause for this is the case of Sergeant Cadraellon, who was selected to become Master of the 10th Company not long after Ezekiel's accession. Ezekiel probed Cadraellon's thoughts and memories for a day and a night. As soon as the Chief Librarian finished, the prospective Master drew his pistol and killed himself with a bolt through his temple. Ezekiel claimed he had seen nothing that would have prevented Cadraellon's promotion to Master, but there are those that think it unlikely the Chief Librarian's prophetic abilities would have failed to foretell such a devastating consequence. Whatever the cause, the incident has ensured that only those truly pure of heart and intent consider themselves worthy of leadership. To Ezekiel's credit, every member of the Inner Circle inducted during his stewardship has remained steadfastly dedicated and loyal to the Dark Angels' secret mission.
- Book of Salvation - This revered tome records the names of those Fallen Angels that have been captured by the Dark Angels. Their names are entered within its ancient, desiccated pages with their own blood. Only the Inner Circle know the contents of the book, but the whole Chapter understands that its protection is paramount.
- Deliverer - Deliverer is a master-crafted Bolt Pistol that has ended the lives of many an unrepentant Fallen.
- Psychic Hood - Like all Librarians, Ezekiel's Psychic Hood is an arcane construct of psychically-attuned crystals that allow him to amplify his abilities whilst at the same time disrupting the manipulations of the Warp by another psyker, making it easier to nullify their psychic powers. This device also allows a Librarian to extend their psychic protection to nearby allies.
- Secret's Shield - Ezekiel dons the blessed suit of Artificier Power Armour called Secret's Shield whenever he goes into combat. Embellished by the finest artificers in the Dark Angels armoury, this lavish suit affords its wearer protection to rival even Terminators.
- Traitor's Bane - Traitor's Bane is a potent master-crafted Force Sword wielded by Ezekiel in battle and radiates fell power. This sword was made to slay those who dared turn their back on the Emperor. Phased crystalline patterns along the Force Sword's blade coil iridescent psychic energy around it like a snake. This fell blade is rumoured to possess the trapped spirits of those Fallen it has slain in battle. The rage of those betrayed is bound within this blade and, from the shrieks emitted by the traitors slain by it, their end is painful indeed. It is said that the blade grows darker in aspect, the shadows drawing in around it, whenever one of the Fallen Angels are near.
- Codex: Dark Angels (6th Edition), pg. 54
- Codex: Dark Angels (4th Edition), pp. 40-41
- Codex: Dark Angels (3rd Edition), pp. 16, 20-21
- Codex: Angels of Death (2nd Edition), pp. 80-81
- Warlords of the Dark Millennium - Ezekiel, pp. 3-4, 6-10, 21-30