- "You stand before this brotherhood as a Renegade and a Traitor. Your actions have brought shame on the Primarch and on the Unforgiven. Your suffering shall be but a beginning to your penance and your screams shall be the harbinger of your contrition."
The Fallen Angels, also called simply the Fallen, are those Renegade Space Marines who followed the First Legion's second-in-command, Luther, into damnation when they split off from the Dark Angels Space Marine Legion ten-thousand Terran years ago in the aftermath of the Horus Heresy. The final climatic battle between Primarch Lion El'Jonson and the Arch-Betrayer Luther resulted in the destruction of the Dark Angels' home world of Caliban when it was engulfed by a Warp Storm of titanic proportions. Those "Fallen" Dark Angels who had served under Luther were sucked from the broken surface into the Warp and cast throughout time and space. The Grand Masters of the nascent Inner Circle swore that so long as even one of the Fallen remained alive and unrepentant, the Dark Angels would be "Unforgiven", cursed by their brothers to atone for all eternity. So began the secret mission that would prove the driving force behind the Dark Angels' actions for millennia to come. The Fallen are the secret enemy of the Unforgiven - the present-day Dark Angels and their Successor Chapters who relentlessly pursue their ancient foes.
The dark secret behind the Dark Angels' millennia-old shame is difficult to penetrate. To outsiders, this is an insurmountable quest, for the Dark Angels Chapter hides its secrets well, masking all activities in a shroud of ritual and clandestine operations. Indeed, even amongst their own Chapter, only the Company Masters and most distinguished veterans -- the self-styled Inner Circle -- are privy to the truth. The origins of the Fallen began in the dying days of the Great Crusade in the late 30th Millennium. Sar Luther was once an acclaimed knight of a monastic brotherhood of techno-medieval knights known simply as The Order, who discovered the young and wild Primarch Lion El'Jonson living in the forests upon the Death World of Caliban. Luther was a remarkable man, perhaps more so even than most people gave him credit for. He possessed phenomenal talent in a number of fields, not least as a leader, a warrior and a huntsman. With the exception of Lion El'Jonson, Luther had completed more quests against the Great Beasts than any other man in Caliban's history.
In any other era, Luther would probably have been acclaimed as the greatest hero of his age. He was a tireless champion of the people of Caliban, marked out as much by his inner qualities of humour and cool thoughtfulness in times of crisis as he was by the valour of his deeds. It had been Luther’s tragedy to be born in the same era as a man against whom all his endeavours would be judged and forever found wanting in comparison. From the day he had encountered Jonson in the deep forest of his world and decided to bring him to civilisation, Luther had sounded the death-knell of his own legend. From that point on, he had been condemned to live in the Lion’s shadow. To some of his brother knights, this spoke even more highly of Luther that his affection for the Lion seemed genuine and unforced. Many a man in his situation might have been tempted to succumb to jealousy and begun to resent Jonson's achievements. Not Luther, for he was not of that ilk.
When Lion El'Jonson rose to become the Grand Master of The Order, he vowed to rid his world of the Great Beasts that roamed his world terrorising the populace. In the tenth and final year of Jonson’s genocidal campaign against the Great Beasts, nearly all the beasts had been killed. Only a few stragglers remained in the less hospitable and more thinly populated regions of the planet. As word of The Order's victories spread throughout the planet, their ranks swelled with willing recruits. Soon other knightly orders aligned themselves with The Order, until they had become the single-most powerful monastic order on all of Caliban. There was only one exception -- the Knights of Lupus. After evidence came to light that the Knights of Lupus had actually been protecting the Great Beasts in their portion of Caliban, The Order had little choice and moved to destroy that wayward order.
Luther's achievements during the ensuing battle were overshadowed by the Lion's feat of arms. Amidst the celebrations and honours bestowed, a shadow fell upon the heart of Luther as he watched the Lion revel in the honours heaped upon him for this latest victory. Although Luther did not openly begrudge Jonson these great honours, he still felt a twinge of jealousy. The first crack had appeared in Luther's psyche, a crack that would one day become a great schism that would tear the Dark Angels Legion asunder.
Not long after the Lion's reunification with the Emperor of Mankind he was given command of the I Legion of the Legiones Astartes. Shortly after their entry into the Great Crusade the 4th Expeditionary Fleet of the newly renamed Dark Angels Legion reached the orbit of the planet Sarosh, which had formerly been commanded by an officer of the White Scars Legion. The Saroshi -- ruled by a massive bureaucracy -- had expressed their interest in peacefully becoming part of the Imperium after they made first contact with the servants of the Emperor, and the Imperials were eager to allow them in, believing that these people seemed to possess the same secular beliefs as expressed in the Imperial Truth. But in truth the Saroshi secretly worshipped daemonic Chaos entities they called the Melachim, and saw the anti-religious stance of the Imperial Truth as a malevolent evil that threatened their way of life and deepest beliefs.
The Lord High Exacter, the leader of the Saroshi bureaucracy, denounced Lion El'Jonson and the Emperor to the Primarch's face aboard the Dark Angels' flagship, the Battle Barge Invincible Reason, and the Lion responded by ramming his Power Sword through the fanatical Saroshi leader's body. Unknown to the Dark Angels, the Saroshi had secreted a nuclear device aboard the primitive shuttle they had used to reach orbit, intending to assassinate the fleet's entire command structure, including Jonson; however, Luther and a junior Librarian named Zahariel managed to eject the shuttle into space, causing only minor damage to the flagship from its ignited engines. After this incident, Luther, Zahariel and five hundred other Dark Angels were sent back to Caliban in disgrace as punishment for allowing an enemy to get a nuclear device aboard the Primarch's flagship. In truth, Luther had been aware of the device's existence and had been tempted to allow it to explode so that the Lion might be killed and he could take the Primarch's place as the greatest of Caliban's warriors, a destiny that had been denied him by the Lion's arrival on that world decades before. Only at the last moment had Luther, ashamed of his temptation, recanted and aided Zahariel in getting the shuttle off of the flagship. But the incident would break the trust that had once existed between Luther and the Lion. Luther and his new garrison command were ordered to oversee the recruitment of new Space Marines into the I Legion from the Calibanite population.
Officially, Luther and his 500 Astartes had been ordered back to Caliban because the Great Crusade was about to enter a new operational phase, and the I Legion was in dire need of new recruits to meet the tasks the Emperor had planned for them. The Lion declared that experienced warriors were needed at home to speed up the training process, and a list of names was drawn up and circulated throughout the fleet. Though supposedly accorded a great honour, Luther felt he and his Astartes had been exiled by the man he had raised as his own son. The departure of Luther and the rest had been sudden, almost businesslike, and at the time it had been assumed that they would be back with the fleet before long. But five decades had passed, and Jonson had never spoken of them again – he no longer even read the regular despatches from Caliban, relegating that task to members of his staff. Luther and the rest seemed to have been entirely banished from the Primarch's mind, and as the years lengthened into decades, rumour and speculation had begun to circulate through the ranks.
Luther involved himself in every aspect of planetary administration, from tithe structures to industrial and arcology construction, and Brother-Librarian Zahariel was drawn along in his wake. Caliban's once extensive forests dwindled, replaced by mines, refineries and industrial sprawls. Huge arcologies rose like man-made mountains across the landscape as the planet’s population swelled. Civilization spread across the globe, and the ranks of the I Legion increased as Luther found ways to reduce the training cycle for new Dark Angels Astartes from eight Terran years to only two. Meanwhile, reports of Jonson's exploits made their way back to Caliban, swelling Calibanite hearts with pride as the Dark Angels marched from one victory to the next. The members of the training cadre admired each and every token sent back by their Battle-Brothers of the Expeditionary Fleets and made comradely boasts of how they would exceed them all when Jonson summoned them back to the fighting.
Yet as the decades passed, no summons came. Jonson had never returned to Caliban; two planned visits had been cancelled at the last moment, citing new orders from the Emperor or unexpected developments in the current campaign. With each passing year, Luther's promise to the cadre in the castle courtyard sounded increasingly hollow, but not a warrior among them faulted him for it. If anything, their loyalty to Luther had increased during their exile. He shared their burdens and praised their successes, inspiring them by virtue of hard work, humility and personal charisma. Though they would deny it if asked, some amongst the cadre believed that many of their Battle-Brothers owed more loyalty to Luther than they did to their distant Primarch.
None could not say why it was so important for Luther to return to Jonson's side. They had all borne their exile with stoicism and dedication to duty, as any Astartes would, and Luther more than most. Of course, Brother Zahariel knew why; the Legion’s second-in-command was seeking redemption for what he'd nearly done aboard the Invincible Reason. Luther had discovered the bomb that the Saroshi delegation had smuggled onboard the Dark Angels' flagship and had done nothing about it. For a brief time he'd let his jealousy of Lion El'Jonson's achievements overcome his better nature, but at the last moment he’d come to his senses and tried to make things right.
If Luther left Caliban and sought out the Primarch to demand a fair accounting and a return to the frontlines, he would be in direct violation of Jonson's orders, and that would be construed as an outright rebellion against his commanding officer. Luther could never countenance such a thing. But if Jonson did nothing – if he let these loyal warriors sit unblooded on Caliban while the Great Crusade came to a close, it would leave a scar within their brotherhood that would never truly heal. Such wounds tended to fester over time, until the entire body was imperiled by a cancerous rot.
In the aftermath of the Horus Heresy, the surviving loyalists rallied the reeling Imperium. The Dark Angels took a significant part in these battles, which later came to be called the Scouring. As they pursued the rebels, the Legion diverted to nearby Caliban, which had been enshrouded by Warp storms since Horus' betrayal. For Lion El'Jonson, one final act of treachery remained to be discovered. The Dark Angels arrived too late to take part in the epic Battle of Terra, where Horus was defeated and the Emperor grievously wounded, his shattered body placed within the life-support mechanisms of the arcane device known as the Golden Throne. Grief-stricken, Jonson returned to Caliban.
As the Dark Angels fleet moved into orbit, they were met by a devastating barrage of planetary defence laser fire. Stunned by the ferocious attack, Jonson withdrew his vessels from orbit and attempted to find out what had happened on his homeworld. A nearby merchant starship soon provided the answer: Luther had apparently ordered the approaching fleet fired upon. His reasoning for this action was unknown to the Primarch, though it was suspected that Luther, like many of the Lion's brothers in the defeated Traitor Legions, had been corrupted by Chaos. The fury of the Lion and his Dark Angels at what they perceived as a terrible betrayal knew no bounds; Jonson himself immediately ordered a sustained orbital bombardment of the Traitors' positions and led an attack against Luther's bulwark at the Dark Angels' fortress-monastery personally. In the resulting battle, the two adversaries struck blow upon blow against each other, tearing down the Dark Angels' fortress-monastery around them until nearly the whole massive edifice had been levelled by their battle. Meanwhile, the massed guns of the Dark Angels' fleet pounded the planet, until the very surface of Caliban began to crack under the strain of the bombardment.
As the planet itself started to break apart, the battle between the Lion and Luther reached its climax. Luther, apparently aided by the Ruinous Powers of Chaos, unleashed a furious psychic attack that knocked Jonson to his knees and left him mortally wounded. But as the dying Primarch struggled to stand, his noble features wracked with pain, it was as if a curtain had been lifted from Luther's eyes and he realised the full extent of what he had done and the duplicity of the Chaos Gods. Devastated, the realisation shattered Luther's sanity and he slumped down beside Jonson, no longer willing to fight. Soon after Luther's breakdown, a Warp Storm of unprecedented fury engulfed Caliban as the Ruinous Powers sought their revenge for Luther's failure to slay the Lion. In an uncontrollable flood of psychic energy, the Warp rushed into the physical universe. The immense strain these forces placed upon the planet, in combination with the tectonic shifting and cracking caused by the Dark Angels' orbital bombardment, caused the horrific destruction of the entire planet; Caliban itself shattered, breaking into countless chunks of dead and dying rock.
The Fallen Dark Angels who had served under Luther were sucked from the face of Caliban into the Empyrean by the Warp Storm and effectively scattered throughout space and time. To the great frustration of the Dark Angels, there is no full list or account of who or how many had heeded the dark whispers of the Ruinous Powers and turned against their brothers. Caliban itself broke up under the strain, until all that remained was a small portion of the world that hosted the ruins of the Dark Angels' primary fortress-monastery. The Dark Angels would reclaim this fortress and transform it into a mobile fortress-monastery and a sophisticated work of Imperial engineering known as The Rock. These events remain a secret to all in the Imperium save for the Inner Circle of the current Dark Angels, the leaders of their Unforgiven Successor Chapters and the Emperor of Mankind encased within his Golden Throne. Even within the Chapters themselves very few Battle-Brothers know the full story. It is only when Dark Angels and Astartes of the Unforgiven Chapters gain entry into their Chapter's Deathwing Company that they learn that many of the Fallen Angels who followed Luther are still alive.
The days following the Horus Heresy were the most turbulent of times, for the galaxy-wide empire of Mankind had teetered on the very brink of total collapse. Although Horus was defeated and his remaining followers were on the run, the armies of the Imperium were full of bitterness and recrimination. The unforeseen betrayal of Horus had profound after-effects that are still in existence today. Shorn of the Emperor's guidance, the condemnation of the guilty was totalitarian and egregious, and the Imperium grew ever more repressive. The grim realisation that the Space Marines –- the ultimate warriors of human kind –- had proven vulnerable to corruption was a severe shock. Fully half of the Space Marine Legions had betrayed the Emperor. If the Dark Angels had admitted that some of their members had turned, their entire legion would have been condemned. In this paranoid atmosphere, the surviving Dark Angels debated their options even as they paid tribute to their lost Primarch. In the end, they felt there was no choice but to hide the truth of their brothers’ betrayal. It was decreed by the most senior members of the Legion that no outsider must learn the dreadful truth – none must know that members of the Dark Angels had proven corruptible and turned to the Ruinous Powers.
In the wake of the Fall of Caliban, there was much to do, and many secrets to keep. The Dark Angels found that it was easier to avoid the barrage of questions by fully immersing themselves in rigorous duty. However, they were eventually forced to explain the loss of their Primarch and their home world of Caliban over and over again, telling their fabricated tale to the High Lords of Terra, and eventually the newly established Inquisition. As no fighting formation carried the war against the rebels forward with more furious resolve than the Dark Angels, no one pressed the grieving warriors too closely. The Sons of the Lion continued the fight, chasing the remnants of Horus' armies into the Eye of Terror and enacting many savage acts of revenge.
It was at first believed that all their traitorous brethren had been destroyed at the Fall of Caliban, yet it was not so. Eventually, the Dark Angels Librarians picked up the telltale traces of their lost brethren. Thus it was revealed that those defeated Dark Angels traitors -– known as the Fallen Angels, or just the Fallen –- were not all destroyed when they were sucked into the Warp. Instead, the Fallen had been cast across time and space, for the Librarians picked up evidence that many of the traitors had returned, their psychic signatures shining out briefly from many scattered places across the galaxy. That the traitors escaped their loyal brethren's vengeance was a torment for the surviving Dark Angels. As long as the Fallen lived, the Legion’s great shame would live on as well. They might spread knowledge of the Dark Angels' treachery. Any who encountered the Fallen would bear witness not only to the original betrayal, but also the Legion's ensuing cover-up.
In an instant, when Caliban was breaking apart from cataclysmic battle, the Fallen were cast into the Warp. Anywhere from mere moments later to thousands of years in the future, many of the Fallen awoke to find themselves on some far distant and unknown planet. The eddies of the Warp are fickle. As time in the Realm of Chaos does not flow according to any rules, the time in transit for the Fallen might have felt like it was mere seconds, although millennia would have passed. Conversely the individual may have spent ages in the Immaterium experiencing untold torments and long journeys through nightmarish landscapes, only to awake back in realspace within seconds of Caliban's destruction. To this day, there are even some of the Fallen that have not yet been released back into the galaxy. Truly, the Ruinous Powers are cruel; their capricious plans beyond the ken of mortal understanding.
Not all of the Dark Angels' Fallen brethren succumbed to the Gods of Chaos to the same degree. Some individuals were driven completely mad by their exposure to the Warp, others broke only upon their return. After all, to some Fallen, they had only just been plucked from the disintegrating surface of Caliban –- although that deed now lay many millennia in the past. Some of the Fallen, those who most fervently followed Luther, were now nothing less than Chaos Space Marines. These rebels did not gather together as did the Legions that rebelled during the Horus Heresy, such as Angron's World Eaters. Instead, the Fallen were scattered as individuals or small groups across the Imperium. In a flash, they riddled the vast realm of Mankind –- thousands of new canker cells ready to sow further betrayal. From out of these seeds of malignancy spread new tendrils of corruption, for many of the Fallen began to form their own warbands, cults and even armies.
Although some of the Fallen had been mere novices-in-training at the destruction of Caliban, most were seasoned Space Marines. Indeed, some were first generation troops created in the First Founding, as overseen by the Emperor himself. These were veteran warriors, many of whom survived multiple actions during the Great Crusade. With their wealth of combat experience and superhuman attributes, these individuals found it easy to carve their own paths to greatness out in the wider galaxy. Some rose to rule over planetary empires while others sought immediate revenge against the Imperium. Across the galaxy the Fallen set planets, systems or even whole sectors ablaze with war. Yet more ominously to the Dark Angels, they raved aloud of those very secrets that the Sons of Lion El'Jonson had sworn to keep silent. Those Fallen carried on from the teachings of Luther -– believing the Emperor to be false and thinking that their own superhuman abilities gave them the right to seize what they wanted, and to rule over the weak. The Fallen saw no reason not to fight for themselves. It offered a better fate than acting as enforcers for a thankless and repressive regime.
Not all the Fallen were so corrupt. Some, freed from Luther's compelling oratory, became cognisant for the first time of just how far they had been led down paths of betrayal. Once cast back into the galaxy, disgusted by their own corruption, these individuals attempted to blend in amongst human society. Some did nothing more than hide while others sought out some form of redemption. No few became mercenaries –- masterless men who roamed the galaxy as soldiers of fortune rather than as crusaders fighting for a cause. In the many frontiers of the Imperium, it was easy to disappear. Across the stars were uncounted colonies -– lost communes, deep space mining facilities, lawless spaceports –- all outlying communities that had slipped through the cracks of the monolithic Imperium of Man. But the subsequent actions of the Fallen are irrelevant in the eyes of the Dark Angels, who believe that the only way they can rid themselves totally of their shame, and restore their honour and trust within the Emperor's eyes, is if all the Fallen are found and either made to repent or are slain. This is by no means an easy task. The Fallen are dispersed throughout space and time as either isolated individuals or in small bands, and the Dark Angels can go for years without hearing any rumours that might lead them to one or more of the betrayers.
Those Fallen that are captured are taken back to the Dark Angels' mobile fortress-monastery, The Rock, where the Dark Angels' Interrogator-Chaplains attempt to make them repent their crimes. Occasionally they do and so die quickly. More often than not, though, the captured Fallen refuse and suffer long, agonising deaths at the hands of those who destroy their bodies in order to save their souls.
The Dark Oracle
Near the heart of the Rock resides a single cell. It is deep in the bowels of the asteroid, where only the Watchers in the Dark and the Supreme Grand Master are allowed to venture. There, past locked gates that are shielded with dozens of feet of adamantine plating, is an oubliette. Its walls are inscribed with the most potent runes of warding known to men, and they have been inscribed to keep creatures out, but also to keep something within. There, sustained in life for ten thousand years by a powerful stasis field, languishes the broken man who was once known as Luther. Down the ages, the Supreme Grand Masters have had some success in using Luther as an oracle. Although his Warp-contaminated and deranged mind often wanders or attempts to deceive, during moments of lucidity the Luther-thing speaks of events that will be, or might be, or drop hints at what is hidden and where.
Since the Fall of Caliban, each Supreme Grand Master has, in turn, taken the long dark walk down to the heavily psi-warded cell. Each has tried to extract a confession form the arch-heretic, each has tried to penetrate the madness that clouds him; none have succeeded. The thing that was, and may still be, Luther has divulged many secrets -- from the names and locations of members of the Fallen, to the whereabouts of relics from the Legion secreted in the underworks beneath the old fortress-monastery. Mostly, however, all that can be gotten out of Luther are mad ravings -- over and over again he repeats that he has no need of repentance or confession, for one day Lion El'Jonson will return and absolve him of his sins. He claims that day is near and that he can feel the Lion is already close at hand.
Descent Into Darkness
During their millennia-long quest to hunt down the Fallen, the Chapters of the Unforgiven have tracked down and captured hundreds of their damnable brethren. To aid them in this task, they have modified their Chapter organisation. Although the Deathwing and Ravenwing are unique to the Dark Angels, most of the Unforgiven Chapters have their own equivalents. The Unforgiven will capture any Fallen, any suspected of being a Fallen, or even any who have are believed to have had contact with a Fallen. They are placed in the stasis-crypt of a Dark Talon and ferried to the Rock. Once there, they are led in solemn procession into the highly secluded dungeons. Deep in the underbelly of the fortress-monastery of the Dark Angels, in the catacombs where only the highest of the Inner Circle may tread, all these prisoners meet their doom.
Interrogator-Chaplains, aided by the psychic powers of the Grand Master of the Librarians, seek two things from the Fallen. First, they want to hear a full account of the betrayer -– his history, his purpose and his actions before and during the Fall of Caliban. Secondly, and most importantly, they seek contrition from the guilty party –- for only upon full repentance will the Fallen be granted his final release. The torments are long, the methods are brutal. With each passing year, the Dark Angels have strayed further, although some individuals are far worse than others. Cruel acts once considered despicable are now a standard part of any Interrogator-Chaplain's method. To elicit a confession, there is no torment to which Asmodai, the current Master Interrogator-Chaplain, will not subject a prisoner. It is this fate that waits in store for Cypher, the most hated of all Fallen, should he ever be caught.
A Fallen Perspective
A record of the apparent motivation for the actions of those Dark Angels who would become the Fallen exists: the confession of Astelan, once a Dark Angels Chapter Master. This testimony, extracted by Interrogator-Chaplain Boreas, contains the following claims: Astelan himself is supposed to have ordered the attack on the Lion's approaching fleet, with the approval of Luther, because the Dark Angels on Caliban believed that El'Jonson had fallen sway to the Ruinous Powers of Chaos. Astelan claimed that while the Lion had been lost in the woods of Caliban as a child, he had had a brush with Chaos and had never quite lost the taint of darkness from the incident. He pointed out that while El'Jonson had moved through the Warp towards Terra to join the defence of the Imperial Palace from Horus' Traitor forces, he had moved at what was believed to have been a deliberately slow pace; a pace slow enough to determine who the true winner of the conflict would be before committing his forces. In other words, Astelan believed that El'Jonson would not have hesitated to join Horus if it had seemed that he would have been the ultimate victor in the Horus Heresy. Why else would the Lion, a man renowned for his strategic brilliance and speed of attack, have waited so long before leading his troops to Terra? Astelan believed that by attacking his fleet, the Dark Angels stationed on Caliban were doing the work of the Emperor.
Astelan further claimed that Luther never fell under the sway of Chaos but was driven by his duty to the Emperor, fearing the traitorous nature of El'Jonson. Also, he revealed that, apparently, the majority of the men who had been garrisoned on Caliban were the original members of the Dark Angels Legion, Terrans who had been inducted into the Legion by the Emperor himself before the discovery of El'Jonson on Caliban as the Legion's Primarch. This existing cultural divide within the Legion may have also contributed to the conflict on Caliban. Finally, Astelan claimed that, in the ensuing battle between the seemingly Loyalist Lutheran Angels and the possibly suspect Lionite Angels, Luther attempted to negotiate with the Lion before any more were slain. Refusing to talk, the Lion hastily ordered the bombardment of Caliban and descended to crush the Fallen in combat. Luther then apparently fought the Lion only as a last resort and mortally wounded him only when he had no other choice. The only thing that Astelan could not explain was the Warp Storm that then flung the Fallen far across the galaxy.
This entire point of view, as told by a member of the Fallen, should be considered suspect at best and complete fabrication at worst; it could simply be a series of malicious lies or just a warped, inaccurate view of the entire incident. Often, those who fall under the sway of Chaos do not even realize that they are serving its ends, except that at the end of the novel Angels of Darkness, Boreas asks for a transmission to be sent to a solitary cell in the Rock saying simply: "You were right." This cell is currently believed, by readers, to be that of either Astelan or Luther himself. This, from a Loyalist Dark Angel, throws into question the true loyalties of the Dark Angels, The Fallen and the Primarch Lion El'Jonson himself.
Another Fallen Perspective
In another record, Interrogator-Chaplain Uzziel was attempting to draw a confession from a Fallen in the bowels of the Rock. The Fallen decried Uzziel's attempts, saying that the Dark Angels sent to Caliban with Luther were abandoned by Lion El'Jonson and the Emperor and robbed of the glory of the Great Crusade. Eventually the Fallen made a false repentance that led Uzziel on a Crusade to recover the Lion Sword. Uzziel realized the repentance was false when he recovered the weapon only to discover it was in fact the Sword of Luther.
This perspective is backed up by another record of a Fallen known as Cephesus. When finally tracked down by Interrogator-Chaplain Bareus he claimed the same reasoning, that the Dark Angels on Caliban had been abandoned with Luther while the Lion claimed the glories of the Great Crusade. Bareus was mortally wounded by Cephesus, but eventually the Fallen was slain by Brother Kaelan of the Dark Angels who received a field promotion to the rank of Interrogator-Chaplain by the dying Bareus.
This also ties in with the perspective given in the novel "Fallen Angels" where Luther declares that the Lion has forgotten about the Dark Angels on Caliban. He then secedes from the Imperium and is joined by many of the Dark Angels stationed with him, including the Chapter Master Astelan and the Librarian Zahariel.
Notable Fallen Angels
- Luther - Luther was the knight of The Order who discovered the Primarch Lion El'Jonson on the Death World of Caliban. Luther was El'Jonson's mentor, saviour, comrade-in-arms and best friend. Luther raised the Lion as if he were his own child. Before the discovery of the Lion, Luther was the foremost hero of his times. Luther presented the Lion to The Order, the force of feudal knights on Caliban who helped raise the Primarch to fight the terrible mutant beasts of Chaos which plagued the myriad deep forests of the planet. Sadly, Luther ultimately betrayed the Lion out of a sense of jealousy towards his friend's accomplishments which overshadowed his own, and he rallied many of the Dark Angels on Caliban to his cause and killed any dissidents amongst their number who remained loyal to their Primarch. When the Lion returned to Caliban following the end of the Horus Heresy, Luther attacked his fleet. The Lion and Luther engaged in single combat on Caliban after this betrayal. In this battle, Lion El'Jonson wounded Luther but could not bring himself to kill his oldest and dearest friend. Luther, however, proved merciless and sent a sorcerous blast straight towards El'Jonson, which mortally wounded the Primarch. At that moment, finally realising how far he had fallen, Luther began to weep for what he had done to his friend, and the Dark Angels captured him and held him prisoner within the Dark Angels' Fortress-Monastery, which would become known as The Rock. At this point, the Chaos Gods scattered Luther's forces, the Fallen, through the Warp. The intense battle, however, had made the planet unstable, and Caliban was destroyed by the force of the Warp Storm that rescued the Fallen from their fate. At present, Luther remains chained within the most secure cell of The Rock, his existence known only to the Supreme Grand Master of the Dark Angels Chapter, Azrael, and those who held the rank before him. He is often used as an oracle to find the other Fallen. Azrael, like his predecessors, has attempted to make Luther repent for his crimes ten millennia earlier -- but, like his predecessors, he has failed to do so. Luther only continues to rant and rave, claiming that Lion El'Jonson would come and absolve the Fallen, and that the day of the Lion's return was close at hand.
- Cypher - Cypher is the most feared member of the Fallen whose true name is unknown. He has been on the run ever since the end of the Heresy and has been pursued by the Dark Angels for more than ten thousand standard years. Cypher is a being wrapped in shadow, an entity whose every move is cloaked in mystery. His motives and methods are themselves an enigma; even the name or title by which he is known seems to conceal something, although whether it is a metaphor or yet another conundrum is unknown. In ancient times, Lord Cypher was a title utilised by the ancient Calibanite feudal knights known as The Order. Traditionally, this individual would forsake his past life and identity, becoming the personification of the lofty ideals and traditions of The Order. To the Imperium at large, Cypher is either wholly unknown, or a being of shadowy rumour that seems to be somehow connected to or sought by the Dark Angels and their successor Chapters. To the Unforgiven, Cypher is a being of legend and untold speculation. Cypher is the one whom the Masters of the Dark Angels seek above all others, for he is their most hated foe.
- Merir Astelan - Merir Astelan was a Chapter Master of the Dark Angels Legion of Space Marines and is considered one of the Fallen Angels who betrayed the Emperor during the Horus Heresy. He has been recaptured by the Dark Angels in recent years and is secretly imprisoned on their mobile fortress-monastery, The Rock. He achieved his position as an officer of the Dark Angels after the I Legion was formed on Terra in the 30th Millennium and before it was reunited with its Primarch, Lion El'Jonson, on the Death World of Caliban. When some of the Dark Angels were left behind on Caliban, Astelan and the other Terran-born Dark Angels stood up beside the Arch-Heretic Sars Luther and offered him their support. Astelan stood by as Luther declared Caliban's independence from the oppressive Imperium of Man and its demands for Imperial Compliance and the acceptance of the Imperial Truth. Astelan only provided his support so that he and his brothers could get back to doing what they had always done -- fight the Emperor's enemies and force back the darkness that had consumed Mankind for so long. When the galaxy-spanning Horus Heresy erupted, Astelan and his Battle-Brothers did not know what their Primarch wanted them to do -- communication with the rest of the Legion had been cut off in the chaos of the ongoing conflict. Astelan and his fellow Dark Angels wanted to leave Caliban, to go and fight the Traitor forces of Horus, but they could be sure of nothing except of that which was in their own hearts. But there were some amongst the number of Dark Angels on Caliban, newly raised Battle-Brothers who perhaps slightly lacked the faith and zeal of the Old Legion, who opposed their leaving. Soon an inter-Legionary civil war presumed on Caliban between the two opposing factions. In the ensuing conflict, the dissenters destroyed most of the Dark Angels fleet and self-destructed a stolen flagship in orbit over Caliban. Untold destruction rained down upon the surface of the planet. The dissenters had not only marooned Astelan and his men upon Caliban, they had wrought untold destruction upon the planet that had now become their prison. When the the Dark Angels' Primarch finally returned, the Dark Angels left on Caliban were afraid of their Primarch's wrath. Luther contacted Astelan directly, seeking his advice. He was troubled because he had intercepted a communication that claimed Lion El’Jonson himself led the approaching ships. Luther did not know what to do, fearing the wrath of the Lion for what had befallen Caliban. Astelan told Luther nothing, and on his own initiative, gave the grim order for the batteries to open fire on the approaching starships. The Primarch immediately ordered a sustained orbital bombardment of what he saw as the Traitor positions and led an attack against Luther's position personally. Meanwhile, the massed guns of the Dark Angel fleet pounded the planet, until the very surface of Caliban began to crack under the strain of the bombardment. The immense strain these powerful psychic forces placed upon the planet, in combination with the tectonic shifting and cracking caused by the orbital bombardment, caused the entire planet to explode. After his interrogation, Astelan was taken from his interrogation chamber by Sapphon, the Grand Master of Chaplains, and placed in a cell adjacent to the the still-living Luther, the greatest of the Fallen Angels, within the deepest catacombs of The Rock. He still waits there today, desperate for an absolution that may never come.
- Zhebdek Abaddas - Zhebek Abaddas was a former Dark Angels Captain who became a willing servant and slave of the Dark Gods. Captain Abaddas wore heavily corrupted Mark III Power Armour and utilised a Bolter, Chainsword, and some sort of exotic weapon resembling a Kai Gun.
- Attias - Attias, known also as Attias the Untamed, is a notorious Fallen Angel said to have been at Luther's side during the final confrontation between Luther's Fallen Angels and Lion El'Jonson and his Loyalist Dark Angels. Over the course of ten millennia, Attias managed to elude capture by the Dark Angels. At some point in the late 41st Millennium, he was captured by the Renegade Chapter of Chaos Space Marines known as the Crimson Slaughter. Discovering the Dark Angels' secret shame, the Renegades attempted to use Attias as bait to lure the Dark Angels to the world of Stern's Rememberance. The Dark Angels' 5th Company, led by Master Zadakiel, arrived on the planet and discovered Attias, who then attempted to warn his erstwhile brothers that it was all an elaborate trap, and that they should take their leave. The Dark Angels took Attias into custody and attempted to take their leave, but as they made their way back to their Thunderhawks the trap was sprung, as a massive Drop Pod assault was launched by the Crimson Slaughter while their allied Chaos Cultists surrounded the outnumbered Dark Angels. In the ensuing battle, the Dark Angels reluctantly freed Attias, allowing him to fight by their side in order to survive the Heretics' onslaught. The Dark Angels narrowly escaped, taking their infamous prisoner back to The Rock to be interrogated by the Chapter's Interrogator-Chaplains.
- Baalakai - Baalakai was a particularly notorious Fallen Angel, a former Dark Angels Company Master. During the Defence of Gatlinghive, the Dark Angels Successor Chapter known as the Angels of Redemption abandoned their post just before the Orks' final assault to capture the Fallen Angel Baalakai. This resulted in the fall of Gatling hive and the massacre of all its remaining people by the Greenskins. The Chapter was never called to account for their actions, as there were no survivors to press any form of formal inquiry.
- Baelor the Imposter - An infamous Fallen Angel that was hunted down by the Dark Angels when he was tracked to the Nephilim Sector in late 40th Millennium. This led to the discovery of a Standard Template Construct for an improved engine that is now utilised by the Ravenwing's Nephilim Jetfighters.
- Cadmus - Cadmus was a commanding officer of the Hyades Planetary Defence Force when Ragnar Blackmane of the Space Wolves Chapter arrived to tour the planet's impressive facilities. The Space Wolf was thoroughly impressed with the commander's discipline and military proficiency as a soldier. But Cadmus was not what he appeared to be, for he was in actuality one of the Fallen. He had secretly concealed himself amongst the citizens of Hyades and changed his identity, hiding in plain sight, masquerading as a professional soldier. To make matters worse, Cadmus harboured a darker secret still, for he was in league with the infamous Thousand Sons Traitor Legion Chaos Sorcerer Madox. Unbeknownst to both Cadmus and Ragnar Blackmane, the Fallen Angel's whereabouts had already been tracked to Hyades by the Dark Angels. Captain Jeremiah Gieyus led an elite Deathwing Kill-team that had long pursued and now prepared to capture the Traitor Cadmus. Stirring up old animosities that burned within both Chapters, Captain Gieyus's Kill-team and Blackmane's Battle-Brothers of the Wolfblade soon fell into a confrontation with one another. Eventually the two Chapters set aside their differences and went after the errant Cadmus. They tracked down the Traitor before he could make good his escape and succeeded in capturing the Heretic. With a newfound mutual respect for one another, Ragnar withdrew his forces and let the Dark Angels conclude their Chapter business in privacy. Captain Gieyus then executed Cadmus.
- Obidiah Hrakon - Obidiah Hrakon was once a Standard Bearer for the Dark Angels Legion in the years before the Horus Heresy. In 495.M35, he had gained control over an upstart planet as a despotic ruler and key supporter of the Nova Terra Interregnum. In the Veiled Region, the Dark Angels finally cornered Hrakon, who took refuge on a piratical port world. Seeking to ensure that none escaped, the Dark Angels blockaded the planet and unleashed the entire Deathwing. Hrakon was eventually subdued after a titanic duel with the Grand Master of the Deathwing and was transported back to The Rock, where his death was not an easy one.
- Kaligar - During the Fourth Quadrant Rebellion, Sammael, the Grand Master of the Ravenwing, led the Dark Angels' 2nd Company in an assault upon the fortress of the pretender Kaligar, one of the Fallen, whose presence Sammael personally ferreted out. He ran the Traitor to ground after a mighty duel that is said to have lasted nearly a day and a night.
- Machius - Brother Machius, a notorious Fallen Angel, was a former lieutenant of the Apostate-Cardinal Bucharis. From 314-334.M36, the Dark Angels led a two-decade-long campaign beset with many battles to hunt down Machius. Despite several ambushes set by the Night Lords Traitor Legion, the Dark Angels eventually prevailed. The Ravenwing located Machius on the plague-ridden world of Gronmoth, capturing him at the Battle of Black Death.
- Abdaziel Magron - Abdaziel Magron was a former Sergeant of the Dark Angels Legion who disappeared sometime during the Horus Heresy whilst engaged with the Traitor Astartes of the World Eaters Legion near a small planetoid. The Imperial task force had managed to sustain the laser barrage on the doomed planet, but they were too successful, for the beams scythed through the world's crust and deep into the liquid core. The unstable planet exploded during the height of the battle which resulted in a large mass of debris impacting with the Dark Angels' capital ship Imperial Vengeance. The shock wave of the exploding starship hurled Sergeant Magron along with a large amount of wreckage into the void of space. As far as he could tell, he was the only survivor of the engagement, and he was cast adrift into space. With no chance of rescue, Magron used his Sus-an Membrane to shut down his vital functions and induce a state of suspended animation. The unlucky Space Marine floated through the void of space for over ten millennia, and eventually was pulled into the strong gravitational pull of the Eye of Terror. His comatose body drifted far into the Eye itself and he ultimately came to rest on one of the many Daemon Worlds of that benighted realm. Sergeant Magron was found by another Astartes, a Fallen Angel by the name of Zhebdek Abaddas. Abaddas was a former Captain of the Dark Angels Legion, until he threw in his lot with Luther and became one of the Fallen and a servant of the Dark Gods. He helped revive his erstwhile kin, and apprised him of the situation -- he was no longer in the 31st Millennium, but had in fact awoken far in the future, in the 41st Millennium. Abaddas than proceeded to feed Magron a stream of lies in regards to the outcome of the Horus Heresy; that Horus had won, killed the Emperor and that the Imperium of Man was no more. Instead, Horus now ruled a new Imperium of Chaos. He tried to corrupt his fellow Dark Angel, who slowly succumbed to the Abbadas' lies and the corrupting influence of Chaos and the Blood God Khorne. But in the end, Abaddas' deception did not avail him as Magron refused to acquiesce to his fate and fought Abaddas and killed him. Magron somehow found his way out of the Eye of Terror and was turned over to his former Battle-Brothers in the Dark Angels Chapter. Stripped of his Power Armour and placed in a holding cell, Magron contemplated his fate, and prepared himself to face any trials put before him. Taken to the great fortress-monastery of The Rock, the only remaining fragment of the Dark Angels' original homeworld of Caliban, Abdaziel Magron spent many months in a cold dungeon, interrogated by the Chapter's Interrogator-Chaplains and Librarians. The interrogation was exhaustive. Magron made a complete confession and repented his loss of faith in the Emperor. The harsher methods used on him dragged no complaint from his lips. He said nothing in mitigation of his sin. But finally he was allowed extreme unction, and offered the last blessings of a quick death and the respite of the Emperor's Peace.
- Marbas - Marbas is a loathed and reviled Fallen Angel, who alone of his kind has been raised to a Daemon Prince by the Chaos Gods.
- Solas - Solas was a Fallen Angel masquerading as the Imperial Planetary Governor of the world of Zambeque, a key Imperial planet sometimes called the gateway to the Golchis Sector. In 883.M37, the Ravenwing followed a trail that lead to the Imperial Governor of this world, but before they could apprehend the Governor for questioning, the planet declared open rebellion against the Imperium. The Dark Angels task force was surrounded upon Zambeque by the Chaos Space Marines of the Alpha Legion, and only a timely counter strike by half of the Deathwing prevented the annihilation of the 5th Company. Brother Solas escaped with the remnants of his Alpha Legion allies.
- Sytrx, "the Mauler" - During an unspoken period of their history, referred to as the Forgotten Wars, conducted from the mid-31st through the latter-32nd Millennia, the Dark Angels, along with successor Chapters the Angels of Vengeance, the Angels of Redemption and the Lions Sable, embarked upon the trail of multiple Fallen. The Angels of Vengeance came across an encrypted signal beamed from the mining world of Lemnos, which was embroiled in a bitter war over mining rights -- a battle of greed, rather than ideology. The mysterious message was sent in one of the older battle codes used by the Dark Angels and provided just the kind of clues that fit the modus operandi of one of the Fallen. According to the message, the leader of one of the mercenary warbands fighting on Lemnos was turning the tide of battle almost single-handedly. He also fought in what seemed to be an old mark of power armour. Their Chapter Librarians detected multiple readings of Fallen. The original target –- a towering man known as "the Mauler" -– had raised alarms with his superhuman feats of strength in battle. When subjected to a remote psychic probe by an Angels of Vengeance Librarian, the telltale signs of someone bearing Dark Angels Legion gene-seed appeared. Terminators from the Angels of Vengeance 1st Company were sent in to apprehend him. There were, however, other readings picked up from the vicinity as well. One of these signals flickered – a phenomenon associated with Warp storms, although none were reported at that time. This was the first recorded encounter with the unique signals that would later be associated with Cypher. Whether he had been there first and brought in another Fallen or was working with the Mauler from the beginning is not known. The strike team was successful in capturing the Mauler, although in doing so, they sustained high casualties. As the Rock was in an adjoining sector, it was not long before the Mauler was secured in its deep dungeons. Persuaded by the harsh methods of the Interrogator-Chaplains and the relentless mind-probes of the Librarians, the Mauler eventually revealed that he had been known by another, older name. Here was Brother Sytrx, a Dark Angel returned to the fold. Before finally recanting and being relieved of the burden of living, Sytrx revealed more. He named a dozen of the Fallen that he had seen in the sector. Elements from the Angels of Vengeance, the Dark Angels and the Lions Sable followed these trails. Each stop along this new journey –- from planetfalls to the boarding of a derelict hulk floating in the midst of deep space, led the Unforgiven towards still further clues. At each point, some new revelation was ascertained. As each new scrap of information was reported back to the Rock, a larger and more sinister plot was slowly revealed.
- Tylius - During an unspoken period of their history, referred to as the Forgotten Wars, conducted from the mid-31st through the latter-32nd Millennia, the Dark Angels, along with successor Chapters the Angels of Vengeance, the Angels of Redemption and the Lions Sable, embarked upon the trail of multiple Fallen. Acting upon the information extracted from the recently captured Fallen known as Brother Sytryx, the Dark Angels and Angels of Vengeance accomplished much deploying strike teams ranging in size from a few squads to a full company or more. This allowed them to continue their secret missions while still fulfilling all obligations assigned by the High Lords of Terra. However, the chase for Cypher stretched from years into decades, until it came to a grinding halt when the trail led to the densely populated world of Brigia. It had been determined that the commander of the Planetary Defence Force -– Grand Captain Tylius –- was most probably one of their Fallen brethren. He had certainly been in recent contact with Cypher. As if he had been forewarned that he was being hunted, the Grand Captain was wary. He remained within Brigia's most formidable fortress system, an entire army acting as his personal bodyguard. With his forces spread thin across the Gothic Sector, Purson, the Supreme Grand Master of the Dark Angels, gathered all the Unforgiven within range. The Angels of Redemption and the Lions Sable answered the summons. Well-timed Drop Pod assaults swiftly deployed troops and bunker-busting Dreadnoughts. Lance strikes from Land Speeder formations kept the foes on the ramparts down and eliminated key bunker-mounted gun turrets. With precision timing and deadly accuracy, the Unforgiven made headway through the outermost defences, working their way inwards. They were poised for the second phase of the operation –- a final attack on the central keep where Grand Captain Tylius was hidden –- when the unexpected happened. A new target of opportunity appeared on the battlefield -- Cypher. His appearance in the trench line immediately drew in Purson’s Terminator reserves, as they teleported in an attempt to surround their quarry. Grand Captain Tylius was a cunning tactician, however, and he chose this moment to release his hitherto unsuspected reserve force. A large formation of Chaos Space Marine Terminators from the Alpha Legion teleported to aid his fortress defence, while mobs of Cultists were called up from the nearby population centres. The war that erupted over the fortified bunkers was intense, prolonged and destructive. The clash of Terminators was at first evenly matched, but the Unforgiven were driven by righteous fury, and in the end that proved decisive. Eventually, the last squad of debased enemies was taken out by a single, well-placed burst of energy from a Land Speeder Vengeance’s Plasma Storm Battery. Only then could the Unforgiven return to the pursuit of Cypher and the final stronghold assault to prise out Tylius. Both ventures proved too late –- for Cypher and Tylius had made good their escape.
- Zeriah - Zeriah, known also as Elucidax the Keeper, was an infamous Fallen Angel. A former Captain of the 14th Assault Company of the Dark Angels Legion, Zeriah willingly followed the Arch-Betrayer Luther into heresy, and managed to escape during the ensuing conflagration that destroyed Caliban. Eluding capture for seven standard millennia, he was eventually tracked down to the colony world of Altid 156 during the Altid Crusade, a decade long Imperial campaign fought from 299-309.M38. This world was populated by ragged pilgrim-colonists who had long since rejected the rule of Terra. Acting upon information that they never disclosed to the Crusade's command council, the Dark Angels launched an assault by themselves. The Deathwing and the Ravenwing launched a joint operation to capture the notorious Fallen Angel. Surrounded by a bodyguard of Renegade Space Marines, Zeriah proved a formidable opponent, killing a dozen Dark Angels. The Fallen almost made good his escape before an Assault Cannon took him down, removing half of his chest in the process. An Apothecary rushed to ensure the Traitor did not die before he could be forced to repent his crimes. Too unstable to teleport, Zeriah was picked up by a Dark Talon and held within its stasis-crypt until the Dark Angels could make it back to The Rock. There, in one of the lowermost dungeons, the Interrogator-Chaplains awaited Zeriah's arrival. A confession was inevitably extracted from the Fallen Angel, although Zeriah refused to admit that joining Luther was wrong. For this, he was subjected to century-long torments; yet even to the bitter end, Zeriah remained unrepentant, a rare failure for the Interrogator-Chaplains.
- Citadel Journal 19, "Cypher & The Fallen Angels: Dark Angels conversions"
- Codex: Dark Angels (6th Edition), pp. 9-10, 12, 16-21, 23-26, 30-31, 44-45, 50-51, 53-55, 58, 62, 67
- Codex: Dark Angels (4th Edition), pp. 8-9, 11-12, 19-21
- Dataslate: Cypher - Lord of the Fallen
- White Dwarf 327 (US), "Hunt for the Fallen", pg. 116
- White Dwarf 326 (UK), "Dark Angels Design Notes", pp. 28-39
- White Dwarf 281 (UK), "Heroes & Villains of the 41st Millennium: Cypher, The Fallen Angel"
- Angels of Darkness (Novel) by Gav Thorpe
- Black Pearl (Short Story) by Chris Pramas
- Eye of Terror (Novel) by Barrington J. Bayley
- Fallen Angels (Novel) by Mike Lee
- Sons of Fenris (Novel) by Lee Lightner
- Unforgiven (Short Story) by Graham McNeill
- Ascension of Balthasar (Audio) by C.Z. Dunn
- Gathering Storm - Part Three - Rise of the Primarch (7th Edition), pp. 98-99 (Gallery Photos)