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Khalophis was the Captain of the 6th Fellowship during the latter days of the Great Crusade and the beginning of the Horus Heresy in the late 30th and early 31st Millennia. He also served as the Magister Templi of the Pyrae Cult. Khalophis was present during the Burning of Prospero, when the Space Wolves Legion, accompanied by elements of the Legio Custodes and Sisters of Silence, were sanctioned by the Emperor of Mankind to punish the Thousand Sons Primarch Magnus the Red for his blatant violations of the Imperial Decree Absolute rendered during the Council of Nikaea forbidding the use of psychic powers and the pursuit of sorcery. During the defence of his homeworld, Khalophis sent his consciousness into the inert Battle Titan Canis Vertex, that stood sentinel before the Pyramid of the Pyrae Cult. Initially, the now-living Titan seemed to turn the tide of the battle, but ultimately, Khalophis' victory was short-lived as he was caught in the tremendous explosion of pent-up aetheric energy released by the dying Phael Toron. Khalophis fought to sever his connection to the doomed war engine, but the aetheric feedback lashed back upon him, the fire consuming him utterly, and the entire pyramid of the Pyrae exploded in a searing fireball of glass and steel.
Khalophis was born on the world of Prospero, and joined the ranks of the XV Legion, newly renamed the Thousand Sons, after they were reunited with their lost gene-sire. He was a member of one of the earliest intakes of potential Neophytes. The first time he appeared in recorded history was when he served with the Iron Warriors, a Legion he admired and ranked second only to the Thousand Sons. As part of their training, all Captains of a Thousand Sons Fellowship undertook a secondment to another Legion to learn its ways and further the Thousand Sons' understanding of the galaxy.
By the early years of the Great Crusade Khalophis had already risen to the esteemed rank of Captain of the 6th Fellowship. He also served as the Magister Templi of the Pyrae Cult. The Pyrae were pyrokinetics, meaning that they had developed the ability to both generate and control fire, the power for which was drawn from the Warp. The Pyrae could both generate lethal bursts of fire from their bodies that they could shape into a number of different forms, including projectiles fired from their hands, as well as fire shields that could hold back foes and melt away incoming weapons fire. The Pyrae could manipulate existing or standing sources of fire and with their connection to the Warp could lower the temperature of flames striking their own bodies or the bodies of others, effectively making them immune to the effects of fire or great heat. The Pyrae also developed secondary psychic abilities that allowed them to control and manipulate mechanical automata like the robots of the Legio Cybernetica and even the massive Titans of the Collegia Titanica. These secondary abilities were known as technopathy.
Khamenka Troika CampaignEdit
On Prospero, the cult temple of the Pyrae was a vast pyramid of silvered glass with an eternally burning finial at its peak. Where the other cult temples of Tizca raised golden idols of their cult symbols before their gates, the Pyrae boasted a battle-engine of the Titan Legions. Supplicants to the pyromancers approached along a brazier-lit processional of red marble towards a mighty Warlord-class Titan. Bearing the proud name Canis Vertex, the war engine had once walked beneath the banners of the Legio Astorum, its carapace emblazoned with a faded black disc haloed by a flaming blue corona. Its Princeps was killed and its Moderati crushed when the war engine fell during the bloody campaigns of extermination waged in the middle years of the Great Crusade against the barbaric Orks of the Kamenka Troika. The Emperor had issued the writs of war, commanding the Thousand Sons, Legio Astorum and a Lifehost of PanPac Eugenians of the Imperial Army to drive that savage race of xenos from the three satellite planets of Kamenka Ulizarna, a Forge World claimed by the Mechanicum of Mars. Imperial forces had been victorious after two standard years of fighting and earned a score of honours for the war banners, but the campaign was savage, the slaughter and relentless, grinding attrition leaving tens of thousands dead in its wake. Victory had been won, but the cost had been high. Eight hundred and seventy-three warriors of the Thousand Sons had died, forcing Magnus so reduce his Legion from ten Fellowships to the Pesedjet, the nine Fellowships of antiquity.
Canis Vertex had been brought down on the killing fields of Coriovallum in the last days of the war by a gargantuan war machine of the Greenskins, crudely built in the image of their warlike gods. Defeat seemed inevitable until Magnus stood before the enemy colossus, wielding the power of the Warp like an ancient god of war. Two giants, one mechanical, one a flesh and blood progeny of the Emperor, had faced each other across the burning ruins, and it seemed the battle’s conclusion could not have been more foregone. But Magnus raised his arms, his feathered cloak billowed by unseen storms, and the full fury of the Warp unmade the enemy war engine in a hurricane of immaterial fire that tore the flesh of reality asunder and shook the world to its very foundations. All those who saw the giant Primarch that day would take the sight of his battle with that bloated, hateful, war machine to their graves, his power and majesty indelibly etched on their memories like a scar. Ten thousand warriors bowed their heads to their saviour as he returned to them across a field of the dead. The Legio Astorum contingent had been destroyed, and Khalophis of the 6th Fellowship had "honoured" their sacrifice by transporting Canis Vertex back to Prospero and setting it as a silent guardian to the temple of the Pyrae. The raising of such a colossal sentinel was typical Pyrae Cult showmanship, but there was no doubting the impart made by the sight of the dead engine sheened in the orange firelight of the temple.
Khalophis took part in the Imperial Compliance action of the world of Aghoru (officially codified in Imperial records as 28-16). This action was carried out by units of the Thousand Sons Legion who managed to achieve Compliance through simple diplomacy without bloodshed and was thus considered a great success. Secondary combat operations were carried out against apparent Warp denizen infestation (beings known to the local population as "Elohim") within the subterranean passages of a titanic peak that stood taller than Olympic Mons on Mars. The Thousand Sons forces were further enhanced by a small unit drawn from the Space Wolves Legion during this operation. At the height of these combat operations, the joint-Astartes forces faced off against a pair of unidentified Chaos-corrupted xenos combat walkers similar to Titans.
Ark Reach Cluster CampaignEdit
The Ark Reach Cluster had been discovered by the Word Bearers Legion's 47th Expeditionary Fleet; it was a group of binary stars occupied by a number of belligerent human planetary empires that rejected the Imperium's offer to become part of the Emperor's growing demesne. This Imperial Compliance action of the Great Crusade was carried out through the combined efforts of the Thousand Sons working in concert with elements from the Space Wolves and the Word Bearers Legions. The first four star systems fell to the Word Bearers and Space Wolves. But the fifth and sixth proved more difficult, especially on the world of Helios, the cardinal world of the Avenian Empire. The Avenians were graceful and fine-boned, their facial features sharp and angular, like the mountains in which they lived. Their bodies appeared weak and fragile, but that was a lie. Autopsies had discovered bones that were flexible and strong, and their armour was augmented with fibre-bundle muscles not dissimilar to those within Astartes Power Armour.
Ark Reach Secundus was the Imperial Cartographe designation for this world, a convenient label that began the process of assimilation before envoys were even despatched or shots fired in anger. Its people called it Heliosa, but the Imperial Army had another name for it, a name synonymous with the razor-beaked killers that were the bane of soldiers forced to assault the aerie fortresses. They called it Shrike. The Thousand Sons soon proved to be instrumental in breaking open the defences of the Ark Reach Cluster, their additional weight of force tipping the balance of war in favour of the Imperium. While the Word Bearers quelled the civilian population of outlying mountain cities, the Thousand Sons cleared a path for the Space Wolves to deliver the deathblow to the heart of the Avenian Empire. Only the settlement of Phoenix Crag remained and the world would be brought into successful Compliance.
The Primarchs had met the previous evening to discuss how best to assault Phoenix Crag, Leman Russ and Lorgar were both eager to utterly eradicate the city, though for very different reasons. Russ simply because it stood against him, Lorgar because its ignorance of the Emperor offended him. It would be hard to imagine three more different brothers: Russ with the bestial mask he thought fooled everyone with its bellicose savagery, and Lorgar with his altogether subtler mask that hid a face even Magnus could not fully discern. They had spoken long into the night, each of his brothers vying for the upper hand. Phoenix Crag would not be like the other mountain cities of Heliosa, its records destroyed, its artefacts smashed and its importance forgotten. Magnus would save the history of this isolated outpost of humanity, and reclaim its place in the grand pageant of human endeavour. This world had survived the nightmare of Old Night, and deserved no less.
The following day both the Thousand Sons and Space Wolves Legions, each lead by their prospective Primarch, assaulted the final bastion of resistance. As one of the Pyrae he was also an accomplished technomat. During the campaign, Khalophis controlled multiple Maniples of Imperial Robots known as Cataphracts. Leman Russ and his 1st Great Company had dropped directly onto the silver mountain's highest peak, extinguishing its eternal flame and toppling the symbols of rulership. The hearthguard of the Phoenix Court valiantly opposed the surging, unstoppable force of the Space Wolves, but they had been torn to scraps and hurled from the mountaintop. The defeated Avenian kings offered terms of surrender, but Leman Russ was deaf to such pleas. He had sworn words of doom upon his Legion's Grand Annulus, and the Wolf King would never break an oath for something as trivial as mercy. The Space Wolves tore down through the mountain, an unstoppable force of nature, their blades and bolts gutting the defenders' ranks like a butcher with a fresh carcass. Nothing was left in their wake, the mountain city a work of art vandalised by thoughtless brutality and wanton savagery. Behind the warriors of Russ was only death, and before them was their next target for destruction: the Great Library of the Phoenix Crag, where Magnus the Red and Phosis T'Kar's 2nd Fellowship stood in ordered ranks. Finally, the Space Wolves rampage was halted.
Enraged at what he perceived as his brother's betrayal, the Wolf King let forth with a howl of pure rage, cold jagged and merciless. It was the rage of a hunter's fury denied. The force of psychic might was too powerful for any normal mind, and killed many battle-brothers within the ranks of the Thousand Sons. Khalophis and the rest of his fellow battle-brothers were nearly overwhelmed by the powerful psychic shockwave. Quickly, Ahriman's, Hathor Maat's, Baleq Uthizaar's and Khalophis' forces linked up with their fellow battle-brothers to assist in forming a line of defence against the battle-crazed Space Wolves. The Great Company of Amlodhi Skarssen charged the implacable and immovable bulwark formed by the Thousand Sons, their charge unstoppable, elemental power. Enraged by his feral brother's shortsightedness, Magnus was more than willing to kill every last Space Wolf in order to preserve the knowledge within the Phoenix Crag. For though the Thousand Sons had not started this fight, they would more than be happy to finish it. Magnus ordered Maat and the Pavoni of the 3rd Fellowship to take the Wolves down. The captain of the 3rd Fellowship hammered a fist into his chest and directed his ferocious will to aiding his battle-brothers. Brother Hastar stood next to him as his fellow warriors of the Pavoni unleashed the full force of their bio-manipulation. Unseen currents of aetheric energy sliced into the Space Wolves, blocking neural transmitters, redirecting electrical impulses in the brain and rapidly deoxygenating the blood flowing from their lungs. The effect was instantaneous. The Space Wolves' push faltered as their bodies rebelled. Limbs spasmed, heart muscles fibrillated and warriors lost all physical autonomy, jerking like the maddened dolls of a demented puppeteer. Chief Librarian Ahriman tried to talk some sense into his gene-sire, before the situation spun out of control.
The fighting only ceased when Hastar, an Astartes of the 1st Fellowship, underwent the cursed "flesh-change" during the battle. Ahriman and one of his fellow Captains fought to hold Hastar's body down, but the changes wracking his body were as apocalyptic as they were catastrophic. With the gurgle of wet meat and the crack of malformed bones, Hastar's body was suddenly upright, though any semblance of limbs was impossible to pick out in his erupting flesh. Swelling bulk and crackling energy patterns writhed across his flesh, and his screams turned to bubbling gibbers of maniacal laughter. The Thousand Sons scattered from Hastar's terrible new form, horrified and terrified in equal measure. This was their greatest fear returned to haunt them, a horror from their past long thought buried. A dreadful, wracking sickness quickly seized all the other Thousand Sons present and their innards began to rebel against their fixed shapes, their entire bodies trembling with desire for new form. A surging wave of power erupted as Magnus the Red stepped towards the hideously transformed Hastar. Unchecked energy had destroyed the warrior of the Pavoni, but it empowered Magnus.
The creature Hastar had become reached out to Magnus, as though to embrace him, and the Primarch opened his arms to receive him with forgiveness and mercy. But before the Crimson King could help his stricken son, a thunderous bang sounded and Hastar's body exploded as a single, explosive round detonated within his chest. This was one of the first ever recorded acts of violence of an Astartes killing another and the first known time a member of the Thousand Sons Legion was killed by a member of the Space Wolves Legion. Only through the timely intervention of Lorgar did the two Primarchs not come to blows. This act of calculated brutality was the first wedge to be driven between Leman Russ and Magnus the Red.
Triumph of UllanorEdit
Four solar months after the collapse of resistance on Shrike, word came that the last text of the Phoenix Crag library had been copied into the archive stacks of the Photep. A day later, the 28th Expeditionary Fleet broke orbit, and Magnus the Red gave the order to make best speed for an isolated shoal of spatial debris in the galactic east of the Ark Reach. The various shipmasters of the 28th Expedition queried the coordinates, as they were far from the calculated system jump point, but Magnus’ order was confirmed. This region of space would allow their vessels a calmer entry to the Great Ocean, and only when the fleet had reached this newly declared jump point did Magnus reveal their ultimate destination. The 28th Expedition had been summoned to the Ullanor System, and excitement spread through the fleet at the prospect of joining the war against the Greenskin. More thrilling was the prospect of joining forces with the Emperor Himself, who fought in the forefront of the Ullanor Crusade, smiting the savage foe alongside Horus Lupercal. Hopes of glory to be earned and battles to be fought were dashed, only to be replaced by awe, as it became known that the campaign was already over. The war against the Greenskins of Ullanor had been projected to last for standard years, decades even. The Emperor's summons was not in the name of war, but of victory.
The Thousand Sons were to stand with many of their brother Legions in a Great Triumph honouring the Emperor's victory, a spectacle the likes of which the galaxy would never see again. Under Magnus' expert direction, the fleet Navigators plotted a razor's course for the Ullanor System. Fourteen Space Marine Legions had answered the Emperor's summons, a 100,000 of the greatest warriors in all human history, and nine of the Primarchs were in attendance, the rest too scattered by the demands of the Crusade to reach Ullanor in time. Eight million soldiers of the Imperial Army had come, and a dizzying plethora of banners, battle flags, trophy standards and icon poles were rammed into the ground in the centre of each armed camp. They stood proud alongside thousands of armoured vehicles and hundreds of Titans of the Legio Titanicus. Towering above the mortal soldiers, the treads of the mighty battle engines were like a city of steel on the march. The Thousand Sons were amongst the last Legion forces to make planetfall. The entire continent sweltered like a blacksmith's forge, the hammer of history ready to beat the soft metal of existence into its new form. Only an event of galaxy-changing magnitude could warrant such a spectacle. Only the greatest being in the galaxy could inspire such devotion. This was to be a gathering like no other.
Horus was to be given the new honour of an Imperial title above and beyond any that had been bestowed before; a title, it could be said, that would forever carry the echo of his name. After declaring Horus as Imperial Warmaster and the new supreme commander of the Great Crusade, the Emperor, to the shock of those assembled, announced his own intention to return to Terra to pursue a secret project intended to benefit all Mankind. After more than 200 standard years of hard conflict by the early 31st Millennium, over two million human-settled worlds across the Milky Way Galaxy had been reclaimed by the Emperor in the name of the Imperium of Man. Beside Him stood the Primarch Horus, who had fought alongside the Emperor for the early part of the Great Crusade as His only rediscovered son and primary military commander, glorying in the singular attentions of his father. The long wars had forged a strong bond between them, and they were truly father and son. But now the Emperor had to consolidate His newborn Imperium, and undertake the next phase of His Grand Plan for humanity.
At this announcement there was much shock and outrage. Many of the other Primarchs did not understand why the Emperor was leaving them to fight the enemies of Mankind alone and, worse still, why Horus should be raised as the first amongst equals. The situation only grew worse when the Emperor announced that He would be creating a civilian administrative bureaucracy known as the Council of Terra that was comprised of Imperial bureaucrats and nobles to carry out the day-to-day governmental affairs of the Imperium, replacing the direct rule of the Emperor while He was engaged in his secret Imperial Webway Project. The Council of Terra would implement and administer the new galaxy-wide tax of resources and manpower called the Imperial Tithe and other matters of day-to-day law in the burgeoning Imperium of Man. The Primarchs would be relegated to a primarily military role as the Imperium's most preeminent commanders. Many of the Primarchs, including Horus, were deeply disturbed that their father would make them subject to normal men and women who had never shed blood in the establishment or expansion of the Imperium and that he would remove them from the political positions of rule to which they believed they were entitled. The Emperor had sought to create a civilian bureaucracy for the Imperium precisely because he wanted regular human beings to learn to govern themselves once more and not become beholden to a permanent, genetically-enhanced ruling class. The Chaos Gods would ultimately use the Primarchs' resentment as one of the all-too-human weaknesses they could exploit to corrupt half their number.
Council of NikaeaEdit
As the Great Crusade progressed, some of the Primarchs voiced their dissent that so-called "psyker" Astartes were allowed to exist and be a part of the Emperor's righteous Great Crusade. Rumours and condemnations began to spread about the Thousand Sons Legion amongst the other Expeditionary Fleets. The most vocal of these detractors were the Primarchs of the Death Guard, Imperial Fists and Raven Guard Legions. The majority of the Astartes of the XV Legion had been afflicted by the rampant genetic mutation within their ranks early in their existence. Those that still remained unafflicted had seen their psychic abilities increase dramatically in power level. Soon the Thousands Sons' detractors raised their objections to the Emperor Himself, calling for the XV Legion's disbandment and for the Legion to be expunged from Imperial records like the II and XI Legions.
The Emperor was also displeased by the Thousand Sons' dabblings in manipulating the corrupting powers of the Warp and later forbid the use of sorcery by either Magnus the Red or the members of his Legion after an Imperial Conclave was called on the world of Nikaea to deal with the question of psykers. When a consensus emerged among the Council of Nikaea's participants that psykers and their powers represented a potential danger to the people of the Imperium, the Emperor's edicts were that in the interest of unity, no one was to be censured for prior actions involving the use of psychic abilities. However, the future use of psychic abilities by the Imperium's military forces was banned (except the use of Astropaths, Navigators, and very strictly sanctioned and controlled psykers who were authorised to carry out Imperial business, like the Sisters of Silence). All Astartes Legion Librarians were to be disbanded, and their members returned to conventional combat duty. In effect, Magnus and the Thousand Sons were banned from practicing "sorcery" or using the psychic abilities and knowledge they so coveted.
As one of Magnus' senior Captains, Khalophis had the honour of escorting his Primarch to the Council of Nikaea, and stood resolutely at his Primarch's side during the Emperor's pronouncement against the further use of psyhic abilities or the pursuit of forbidden knowledge in regards to the Warp. Following the Emperor's Decree Absolute, Magnus and his Thousand Sons could not depart Nikaea fast enough. The bulk of the XV Legion returned to their homeworld of Prospero, and unknown to them, events would soon transpire that would prevent them from ever leaving it again. Despite the Emperor's decree, Magnus continued his forbidden pursuit of knowledge into the arcane. Meanwhile the other Legions continued to earn glory in battle; the Emperor's Children were on Laeran, the Luna Wolves on One-Forty-Twenty, the Ultramarines at Mescalor. It had been over two years since the Ark Reach campaign and yet the Thousand Sons sat idle while their brothers made war. For his part, Magnus had all his warriors buried in their cults' libraries after they returned to their homeworld. Magnus had been keeping a monstrous secret from his captains while he worked feverishly and alone in his private library and the vaults beneath the Prosperine capital city of Tizca. Amon and Ankhu Anen, Guardian of the Great Library of Prospero and member of the Corvidae Cult, had shared Ahriman's knowledge that something was wrong, but even their combined power was unable to pierce the veils of the future to see what so concerned their Primarch.
Gathering the members of the Rehati within his private sanctum, Magnus revealed to his sons that he had foreseen a terrifying vision of the Warmaster Horus falling from grace and dragging the burgeoning Imperium of Man into a war more terrible than any of them could imagine -- an Age of Darkness that had been prophesied tens of thousands of standard years before by the ancient Aegyptos of Old Terra. Though he did not exactly know the means by which Horus would fall, all he could perceive from his vision is that something primordial and corrupt would take root in his soul. Magnus had foreseen that the Luna Wolves Legion would soon be making war on a moon of Davin, and the fates were conspiring to fell Horus with a weapon of dreadful sentience. In his weakened and blinded state, the enemies of all life would make their move to ensnare his warrior heart. Without the intervention of the Thousand Sons, they would succeed and split the galaxy asunder. The works that Magnus had Amon researching since the Council of Nikaea held the key to Horus Lupercal's salvation. With the help of his Fellowship Captains, Magnus projected himself across the Warp and attempt to shield his brother from his enemies. Unfortunately, the Primarch failed and Horus' soul was corrupted by the Ruinous Powers.
Burning of ProsperoEdit
When Magnus the Red learned of Horus' betrayal of the Imperium and his decision to give his loyalty to the Dark Gods, he used his own psychic abilities to get a message to the Imperial Palace on Terra by directly contacting the Emperor mind-to-mind, though this ruptured the Palace's considerable psychic defenses and killed thousands of people whose minds were unable to handle Magnus' potent psychic call. But the Emperor refused to believe that His favorite son Horus would ever betray His trust and so He assumed that it was Magnus who had been corrupted by the Chaos Gods since he was once again using the sorcerous powers that had been banned by the Council of Nikaea. Believing that Magnus sought to sow dissension in the Imperium to serve his masters in the Warp, the Emperor ordered the Space Wolves Legion to go to Prospero and bring back Magnus to Terra, so he could give account for his actions. But this was not to be, as the corrupted Warmaster Horus had intercepted the Emperor's communique with Russ' Legion and subtly manipulated their orders. Instead of just arresting the offending Primarch Magnus for his transgressions and bringing him back to the Emperor for censure and punishment for breaking his oath never to use his psychic powers again, Horus changed their orders to read that the Space Wolves were to assault the Thousand Sons' homeworld of Prospero. Magnus had psychically foreseen the Loyalist Space Marines' attack on Prospero, which was eventually carried out by the Space Wolves Legion, elements of the Emperor's Legio Custodes, and millions of Imperial Army troops, all assisted by the Sisters of Silence acting as psychic "blanks" in order to nullify the Thousand Sons' psychic abilities.
Magnus had finally understood, after his forced psychic entry into the Hall of the Golden Throne and his direct mental communication with the Emperor, that he had been manipulated by Tzeentch, with whom he had apparently unknowingly consorted with while desperately looking for a way to stop the emergence of the psychic mutations that were threatening to destroy his Legion. In an act of repentance and sacrifice, and to show his father that he and his Legion were loyal to the end, he did not warn the defenders of the planet or his Legion of the coming Imperial attack; on the contrary, he imposed a psychic veil on the planet so the Thousand Sons would have no clue of the impending assault. He also dispersed the Thousand Sons' Legion fleet far away from Prospero. He knew that Tzeentch wanted the Thousand Sons and Space Wolves to slaughter each other, and he wanted to stop these plans, even if it meant the sacrifice of his Legion and homeworld. Therefore, the Space Wolves' attack on the Thousand Sons' homeworld of Prospero came as a complete surprise. Because there was no warning, the invading fleet translated from the Warp into realspace practically on top of the planet, and quickly destroyed its orbital defences, initiating the great campaign of the Horus Heresy known as the Fall of Prospero to Imperial historians.
Hot on the heels of the orbital bombardment, the invaders came in their thousands. The invaders quickly established a beachhead in the spaceport area and the Space Wolves began slaughtering thousands of Prosperines, burning everything in sight. Yet the Thousand Sons' rank-and-file did not share Magnus' acceptance of defeat and punishment, so they took up arms against the Loyalist invaders. Khalophis was one of the first of the XV Legion's Fellowship Captains to advocate fighting back against the invading Space Wolves, despite their Primarch's pleas to accept their fate. When Ahzek Ahriman assumed command of the XV Legion in the Primarch's absence, he proposed a plan of fierce resistance to those that would dare invade their homeworld. T'Kar immediately offered his support to the First Captain. The Thousand Sons managed to hold Tizca (the only surviving city on the planet) for a period of time before they were eventually pushed back. Among the warriors of Fenris were warriors in gold and red. They carried long spears with ebony hafts and shimmering blades. These were the Emperor's praetorians, warriors of the Legio Custodes.
Khalophis raged at the Space Wolves, calling them treacherous bastards, but Chief Librarian Ahzek Ahriman knew the master of the Pyrae Cult had it wrong. In this conflict, it was not the Space Wolves who would be thought of as Traitors, it would be the Thousand Sons. Ahriman knew that since they had killed warriors of a brother Legion there was no going back from what had occurred. The Thousand Sons were now at war, and he knew that one fought a war until the bitter end. Either way, the Thousand Sons had to defeat the Space Wolves or else Prospero would be their tomb. Either way they would lose. Even if they somehow managed to miraculously survive the invasion, the Thousand Sons would no longer be able to remain on Prospero. Others would come and finish what Russ had begun. Desperate to find an edge against the feral invaders, Khalophis made his way towards the crystal throne at the heart of the Pyrae temple.
Utilising the arcane technology within, the gathered Astartes of the Pyrae Cult activated the throne which blazed with light, and Khalophis fought to direct the raging power that threatened to consume him. Concentrating with all the powers at his disposal, his Tutelary (Familiar) Sioda swept down and enveloped his body. Khalophis felt his consciousness torn from his flesh to fill another body, one of iron and steel, of crystal and rage. Like a mighty dragon woken from centuries of slumber, Canis Vertex marched into battle once more. Khalophis surveyed the battlefield with the eyes of a god, a towering avatar of battle roused to fight once more. Though his body lay recumbent on a crystal throne of golden fire, Khalophis marched through the ruins of Tizca with the strides of a mighty giant. The guns of Canis Vertex were functional, but with his Tutelary's connection to the Great Ocean, his pyrokinetic abilities were boosted a hundredfold and he had no need of them. The mighty fists of the Titan were wreathed in flames, and with every gesture, tank-sized fireballs slammed into the enemy. Khalophis laughed as he spat tongues of flame from both arms, burning the invaders back to their dropships. The attacking forces had cut a deep wound into Tizca, but Khalophis saw how far the invaders had extended themselves in their urgent need to break the defenders in two. Canis Vertex could cut them off from their reserves, and the Thousand Sons’ lines would drive them back to the ocean. Without voids, he would have been vulnerable, but a shield of flame turned shells to molten droplets of lead and detonated missiles before they could impact. He felt his Tutelary's savage joy, its power jostling for control, and he clamped down his authority.
Khalophis marched Canis Vertex towards the smoking, fire-blackened ruin of the Corvidae Cult's pyramid. Thick columns of smoke poured from the giant building as its priceless and irreplaceable tomes burned. Tiny figures in gold and grey fled from his titanic strides. Missiles and hard rounds melted on his fire shield. He was invulnerable and invincible. What his weapons did not burn, his enormous, splay-clawed feet crushed, and he left a trail of devastation more thorough than any the Space Wolves might have made. Khalophis did not care. He forced himself to concentrate on the battle, sweeping his gaze over the city to see where his immense firepower and strength would be best employed, quickly realising the port was the key. Heavy transports bearing yet more soldiers from orbit swooped low over the sea to debark warriors by the hundred with every passing minute. Further out, Tizca's northern perimeter was still holding. Ahriman and the Corvidae stood shoulder to shoulder with the Athanaean Astartes and the troops of the Prospero Spireguard, fighting with rare courage to hold the seaborne invaders at bay. To destroy the port would deny the invaders the beachhead they needed to complete the destruction of the Thousand Sons. Khalophis steered his mighty charge towards the port, fists spitting flame and death with every stride.
Khalophis did not perceive the environment around Canis Vertex as its long-dead Princeps once had. He felt the ebb and flow of battle more keenly than any Moderati. Warp energy washed from the battle at the Raptora pyramid and he smiled to know such power. No sooner had he attuned his senses to the battles raging below him than he felt the sudden surge of energy on the far side of the Corvidae Pyramid. He felt Phael Toron's presence, but his eyes snapped open as he felt the incredible power building in the Captain of the 7th. Too late, he halted Canis Vertex's forward momentum. During the defence of their homeworld, Toron, like many of his fellow Battle-Brothers, lost control of his Tutelary, Dtoaa, who became his devourer and filled him with more power than the greatest master of the Warp could contain. Unable to control the pent-up Warp energy within his body, Toron died spectacularly when his body exploded with the violence of a newborn star. Canis Vertex was caught in the tremendous explosion of pent-up Warp energy released by the dying Phael Toron. He drew on all his power as Magister Templi of the Pyrae to hold back the aetheric fire, but no power in the galaxy could withstand so monstrous a force. Khalophis had a moment to savour the irony of his death before the fire consumed him utterly, and the entire pyramid of the Pyrae Cult exploded in a searing fireball of glass and steel.
Khalophis was a tense and vociferous warrior. Though he was hotheaded and quick to anger, he was utterly loyal to his Primarch and would bow to his gene-sire's commands without hesitation. Khalophis was a true Pyrae, a warmongering student of conflict in all its most brutal forms. If an enemy was to be wiped from the battlefield with overwhelming firepower, it was to Khalophis that the Thousand Sons turned.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
Khalophis was the most powerful pyrokinetic within the entirety of the Thousand Sons Legion. As the Magister Templi of the Pyrae Cult, Khalophis was able to hurl aetheric projectiles from his hands as well as producing fire shields that could hold back foes and melt away incoming weapons fire. Khalophis was also known to use his innate abilities to shape these summoned flames into a fiery sword. He could even summon his innate pyrokinetic abilities and channel them into his fists, greatly enhancing his strikes when he fought hand-to-hand against his enemies. At the time of the closing years of the Great Crusade, the Pyrae Cult was in the ascendence within the XV Legion's hierarchy, while the Corvidae Cult was at its lowest ebb for nearly fifty standard years. For centuries, the Corvidae had been pre-eminent within the ranks of the Thousand Sons, but in the Legion's final decades within the Imperium, their power to read the twisting paths of the future had diminished until their seers could barely penetrate the shallows of things to come.
Like all his Fellowship Captains, Khalophis was attended upon by a psychic Tutelary (or Familiar). To those without Warpsight, Tutelaries were invisible, but to the Thousand Sons with power they were bright visions of exquisite beauty. Tutelaries were simply fragments of the Primordial Creator (Chaos) given form and function by those with the power to bend them to their will. Khalophis was attended upon by the Tutelary known as Sioda. With the power of the Pyrae in ascendance, his Tutelary was a winged essence of shimmering fire. His connection with Sioda allowed Khalophis and the 6th Fellowship to burn entire armies to ashes without firing a single shot from their many guns.
As the Magister Templi of the Pyrae, Khalophis was also an accomplished technomat. In battle, Khalophis was charged with leading Maniples of the Imperial Robots known as Cataphracts. Psychically resonant crystals within the Cataphracts which allowed the Captain of the 6th Fellowship to direct his mindless charges with complete precision, instead of relying on the usual doctrina wafers provided by the Legio Cybernetica.