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Iskandar Khayon

Iskandar Khayon, a Chaos Sorcerer of first the Thousand Sons and later the Black Legion, wielding the Power Axe Saern

Iskandar Khayon (pronounced Sek-HANDUR KAIN), also known as the Kingbreaker and Khayon the Black, is a Chaos Sorcerer and was once the Lord Vigilator of the Black Legion. He is one of the Warmaster Abaddon's most trusted and valued lieutenants and a member of the Ezekarion, the elite brotherhood of the Black Legion. He was named the "Kingbreaker" by the Black Legion for he is the only mage ever to have brought the Daemon Primarch Magnus the Red to his knees. As of now, Khayon remains a prisoner of the Imperial Inquisition, to which he surrendered willingly, as a part of Abbadon's plans for the 13th Black Crusade.

History

Early Life

Khayon was born on Prospero and recruited by the Thousand Sons Legion at an early age. It was already apparent as a child that Khayon was a gifted psyker. During his youth, his sister Itzara Khayon fell victim to a Psychneuein attack, suffering irrecoverable damage to her brain. Unable to save her himself, Iskandar gave her to the Mechanicum for their Anamnesis project, which endeavored to create a gestalt artificial intelligence by merging a human mind and a machine vessel's Machine Spirit (artificial intelligence) to avoid the Mechanicum's proscriptions against creating a Silica Animus. All previous attempts had ended in failure, but Itzara's fusion with the machine proved a success, and she would later serve as the Machine Spirit of Khayon's warship Tlaloc and eventually become known as Ultio, the Machine Spirit of the Black Legion's flagship Vengeful Spirit.

Great Crusade and Horus Heresy Eras

During the Great Crusade, Khayon served with the 548th Expeditionary Fleet. He was nearly killed in battle while bringing a world called Varayah to Imperial Compliance, when his Drop Pod was shot down.

Khayon was also present at the Battle of Prospero, where he defeated a Space Wolves warrior, Eyarik Born-of-Fire, and acquired his Power Axe, Saern, that would serve him well in the centuries to come. Being gravely injured in his fight with Eyarik, Khayon once again survived a near-death experience when a Fenrisian Wolf came close to tearing him apart. He was saved, however, by his familiar Gyre, which possessed the wolf, obliterating it and assumed its shape permanently. Khayon was not taken by Magnus the Red to Sortiarius at the end of the battle, and wandered the surface of Prospero until he was found by Lheorvine Ukris of the World Eaters.

Khayon later made his way to Sortiarius and stood against Ahriman as he was trying to cast his eponymous Rubric of Ahriman. Khayon failed to interrupt the spell, and the Rubric was cast nonetheless. Khayon departed from Sortiarius on the warship Tlaloc with his brother Ashur-Kai Qezremah and the newly-turned Rubricae Mekhari and Djedhor. Together they formed the core of what became the Ka'Sherhan warband.

Khayon was present at the Battle of Terra, and bore grave resentment towards the Emperor's Children for their flight from the battle, thus leaving the Thousand Sons without reinforcements.

Post-Heresy

Birth of the Black Legion

During the years after Horus' defeat at Terra, Khayon spent most of his time as a warrior for hire. His favoured compensation for his services was either Battle-Automata to be used for defence of his starship, or valuable lore. For instance, Khayon spent six Terran years fighting for the Night Lords warband led by the warrior Dhar'leth Rul, in exchange for a map of parts of the Webway.

During those years, Khayon encountered and befriended a Drukhari Scourge by the name of Nefertari, binding her soul to her flesh after she suffered mortal injuries at the hands of the Greater Daemon Zarakynel. Nefertari herself remained oblivious to this fact, however, never realising her soul was now permanently bound to her dead body.

Khayon answered the call of his old friend Falkus Kibre of the Justaerin, who was requesting aid in a search for the lost Sons of Horus flagship the Vengeful Spirit. After the fall of the XVI Legion's stronghold, the Lupercalios, and the theft of Horus' remains by the Emperor's Children, finding the lost flagship seemed the last hope of redeeming the Legion's honour for its remaining warriors. Understanding the possible threat that cloning a Primarch as the Emperor's Children intended would pose, Khayon agreed to help Falkus in retrieving the flagship and striking against the Emperor's Children base of Canticle City, where the remains had likely been taken after the theft. They were joined in this effort by Captain Lheorvine Ukris of the World Eaters.

The meeting was interrupted by the arrival of Emperor's Children vessels, whose Astartes demanded Falkus' surrender. A small-scale skirmish ensued, which saw both the World Eaters and Sons of Horus warships seemingly destroyed. As a result, Lheorvine and some of his surviving World Eaters escaped with Khayon aboard the Tlaloc, alongside the captured Emperor's Children swordmaster Telemachon Lyras.

Khayon and his warband later reunited with Falkus and his men, who had survived the previous encounter, and had been daemonically Possessed. They later managed to find the Vengeful Spirit, along with its captain, Ezekyle Abaddon. The warband that would soon become the very first faction of the Black Legion struck at Canticle City, successfully destroying most of it. Afterwards, the warriors boarded the Emperor's Children's vessel Pulchritudinous, where they discovered that Fabius Bile had succeeded in cloning Horus. The fight with the resurrected Primarch saw both Khayon's familiar Gyre and his bloodward Nefertari slain. The Horus clone also used its great Power Mace Worldbreaker to shatter Khayon's great axe Saern. The fight only ended when Abaddon finally managed to kill the clone, ironically delivering the killing blow with the former Imperial Warmaster's own Talon of Horus.

Khayon would later pledge his allegiance to Abaddon's Black Legion, becoming the third of its elite Ezekarion. Soon after, the newly formed Black Legion ended the Legion Wars in the Eye of Terror. One by one the Daemon Primarchs bowed before Abaddon as the new Warmaster of Chaos -- with Magnus the Red having to be brought to his knees by the psychic might of Khayon.

Abaddon's Blade

Khayon acted as "Abaddon's Blade" or assassin, for many years, though he initially failed to kill Abaddon's rival Thagus Daravek, a Death Guard Sorcerer of the Death Guard Legion. Khayon later recovered the mad prophetess Moriana for Abaddon, and only then at her urging did the new Warmaster of Chaos launch his 1st Black Crusade in order to recover the mighty Daemon Weapon Drach'nyen.

As the war between Abaddon and Daravek continued, the two soon met on the dead Craftworld Taial'shara and each brought several of their warbands' leaders. Before they began negotiations, Daravek suggested they hold a duel between two of their warband Champions, which was customary when opposing Chaos Lords met with each other within the Eye of Terror. Abaddon once again agreed and selected Khayon, while Daravek selected the Iron Warriors Chaos Lord Ulrech Ansontyn.

During the duel between their Champions, Daravek gloated to Abaddon about how his warband had invaded the Black Legion's worlds and slaughtered the forces left to defend them. This enraged Khayon and he defeated Ulrech with a frenzy of attacks. Khayon did not kill the Iron Warrior and instead offered Ulrech a place within the ranks of the Black Legion, but before Ulrech could accept the offer Daravek decapitated him. In his outrage, Khayon attacked the Chaos Lord, but Daravek shockingly used his own psychic powers to completely dominate the Black Legion Sorcerer and forced Khayon to kneel before him. Dravek laughed and told a dismayed Khayon, that he had defeated the Black Legion Sorcerer during the battle of Drol Kheir and then had bound Khayon's spirit to him before making the other Sorcerer forget their encounter. Before further conflict could break out between the two warbands, the Warp Ghost Saronos suddenly appeared and deescalated the situation.

When both groups confronted the unexpected interloper, Saronos offered them a deal: he could lead one of the warbands out of the Eye of Terror for the first time, but only the one whose Chaos Lord met the Warp Ghosts' price. Saronos refused to detail what exactly the Warp Ghosts wanted, but though Daravek offered them warships, slaves and many of the things he possessed, it was Abaddon who won the deal. The Despoiler simply told Saronos that the Warp Ghosts could take what they needed from him. An enraged Daravek threatened Saronos, but returned to his fleet after the Warp Ghost Chaos Lord left with Abaddon's group to return to the Black Legion's flagship Vengeful Spirit. The Death Guard Sorcerer Lord then watched as Abaddon's fleet entered the Warp and escaped for the first time from the Eye of Terror.

Despite this setback Daravek still maintained a psychic connection with Khayon which he used to guide his fleet out of the Eye of Terror as well. When Daravek's warband neared the Cadian Gate, they discovered Abaddon's fleet engaged in battle with the Black Templars Chapter of Loyalist Astartes and quickly fell upon the Black Legion's ships. Now trapped between two foes, Khayon, who was acting in Abaddon's stead aboard the Vengeful Spirit, ordered the Black Legion's fleet to break through the Black Templars blockade and escape into the Warp.

Khayon ordered the Vengeful Spirit to attack Daravek's fleet, in an attempt to goad the Death Guard Sorcerer to board the Black Legion flagship. Daravek did not hesitate to do so and led a massive assault on the Vengeful Spirit, personally slaying many of its defenders. Before Daravek could reach its bridge, he was confronted by Khayon and the two fought deulled each other once more -- though this time Daravek's attempt to psychically dominate the Black Legion Sorcerer failed. Khayon had prepared himself for their encounter and finally realised how Daravek had been able to best him in their earlier encounter.

It was not Khayon's soul that Daravek had bound to him, but Khayon's past daemonic familiar Gyre who had been destroyed in battle with the clone of the Primarch Horus at the time of the Black legion's founding. After Gyre had been banished into the Warp, Daravek secretly summoned it and bound it to him, which forced the daemon to turn upon Khayon, though it still maintained a psychic connection to its former master. It was this connection that had allowed Daravek to force Khayon to do his will, but with Gyre drawn out from the Death Guard Sorcerer, that weapon was blunted. Without this hold on Khayon, Daravek was easily overwhelmed by the Black Legion mage and decapitated, ending his threat to Abaddon's leadership of the Forces of Chaos once and for all.

The Grey Knights

During the fourth year of the 1st Black Crusade, Khayon was drawn to the Dead World of Palis II by a Thousands Sons distress signal. The world and the surrounding Palis System had been destroyed in an ancient battle during the Horus Heresy, in which hundreds of Thousand Sons Legionaries had been killed. Leaving his Rubricae behind, Khayon took only his daemon familiar Nagual with him to investigate the mystery.

The planet was empty and desolate, in the midst of a nuclear winter that had come about as a result of the planet's final moments. In the depths of the dead city of Tysak the trap was sprung when five Grey Knights dropped the psychic barrier hiding them, revealing the distress beacon to be false. The Grey Knights named Iskandar Khayon Diabolous Traitoris and sentenced him to death. However the five were no match for the Sorcerer of the Black Legion, and Khayon killed all but one. After psychically draining the information he needed from the dying Knight, Khayon left him to die alone, having recovered knowledge about a new threat that had emerged against the Black Legion. The surviving Grey Knight was Abel Sarthas, who would go on to plague Khayon "with fire and fury" as Grand Master of the Grey Knights' Third Brotherhood centuries later.

The Ghost War

During the 7th Black Crusade in 811.M37, the full might of the Blood Angels Chapter fell upon a vast Black Legion warband on the world of Mackan. Although the conflict ultimately ended in the near-extinction of the Blood Angels at the hands of Abaddon the Despoiler and his primary lieutenants -- the Sorcerer Lord Iskandar Khayon and the swordmaster Telemachon Lyras -- the Blood Angels Reclusiarch Thalastian Jorus became one of the few Imperial heroes to ever land a blow against the Warmaster of Chaos.

With his Chapter devastated, the Chaplain endured solar weeks of hardship in the wilderness and the constant trials of keeping his crazed warriors undetected on Mackan. When the time was right, Jorus led his Death Company in a lightning raid behind enemy lines, butchering the unprepared sworn warriors of the Despoiler's honour guard, and allowing the Reclusiarch to lock blades with Abaddon himself. It is said the Warmaster still bears the scars of that battle, even over three millennia later.

Whatever the truth of the matter, it is known that the Despoiler honoured Jorus once the war was over -- perhaps in mockery, or perhaps with nothing but sincerity. After Mackan, thousands of Blood Angels corpses were desecrated, their gene-seed ruined beyond recovery. Of all the Chapter, only a handful of bodies were left undefiled: Reclusiarch Jorus and his Death Company, clad in their battered and broken black ceramite, seated in makeshift thrones made from the armour of those Black Legion warriors they had killed on that fateful night.

The Crimson Path

In the final days of the 41st Millennium, Khayon surrendered himself to the Inquisition to tell them his tale. Blinded, shackled, and deprived of his sixth sense, he was invited to confess his sins. He was intended to be the Herald of the Crimson Path, Abaddon the Despoiler's 13th Black Crusade, and he was confident that nothing he told the Inquisitors could ultimately change the Imperium of Man's fate.

Wargear and Abilities

Khayon was a psyker powerful enough to survive the Rubric of Ahriman and was capable of tearing holes in realspace using a Force Weapon which could also be used to teleport himself or others through the Warp. He carried a deck of leatherbound tarot cards containing bound daemons, including the Ragged Knight.

  • Artificer Armour
  • Saern (Force Axe) - Between the Battles of Prospero and Harmony Khayon carried Saern (meaning "truth" in several Fenrisian dialects), a Power Axe decorated with a golden wolf's head and runes telling the saga of Eyarik Born-of-Fire whom he slew on Prospero. Khayon transformed Saern into a Force Weapon by threading the haft with black, psychically-attuned crystals from a world found within the Eye of Terror.
  • Sacrementum (Force Sword) - After Saern was shattered by Worldbreaker, the great Power Mace used by Horus' clone, Chariz Terenoch forged the Force Sword Sacramentum for Khayon.

Sources

  • Index Astartes: Death Company, pp. 10-11
  • The Talon of Horus (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Prologue, Chs. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 13, 14, 16, 19, Epilogue
  • Ahriman - Unchanged (Novel) by John French, pp. 134-161
  • Black Legion (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Ch. 3
  • A Flash of Silver Among The Corroded Ghosts (Novella) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden