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Mephiston SOB

Chief Librarian Mephiston of the Blood Angels Space Marines

Mephiston, originally named Calistarius, and also called the "Lord of Death," is the Master of the Librarius and the Chief Librarian of the Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter. He is the only member of the Blood Angels or their Successor Chapters known to have defeated the pull of the Black Rage not once, but twice in his life, regaining his sanity both times. He is a Librarian of potent ability, believed to be one of the mightiest psykers in the entire Imperium of Man.

Yet there are whispers that Mephiston paid a dreadful price for his resurrection, that when he mastered the Black Rage something altogether more terrible took its place. It is to be hoped that such rumours are baseless, mere carrion latching onto greatness, but Mephiston keeps his secrets close, and only time will reveal the truth.

History

Sin of Damnation

Lexicanum Calistarius

The young Lexicanium Calistarius in 589.M41

As a young Lexicanium originally named Battle-Brother Calistarius, Mephiston first served as a battle-psyker of the Blood Angels Librarium, and as an honourary member of the 1st Company under Captain Raphael during the cleansing of the infamous Space Hulk Sin of Damnation in 589.M41. The Librarian's powerful mind and supernatural abilities set him apart from his Battle-Brothers, an isolation he seemed to encourage. Calistarius had faced the horrors of the Warp and daily wrestled with damnation and temptation. As a result, Calistarius found it difficult to look upon his fellow Space Marines with any empathy. In truth, he inhabited an entirely different sphere of existence, but his precognitive powers and devastating psychic blasts were a priceless asset to Captain Raphael.

Armageddon

As Brother Calistarius, Mephiston was a Librarian of exceptional valour and strength of character. Yet the Black Rage cares not for the nobility of the soul, nor the deeds of the flesh. Whilst fighting before the walls of Hades Hive, during the Second War for Armageddon, the curse of Sanguinius finally stole upon him. Inducted into the Blood Angels' Death Company, Calistarius took part in the final assault on the Ecclesorium building at Hades Hive, and was amongst those buried when the complex collapsed.

Crushed but not dead, the fallen Librarian lay trapped for many solar days, screaming and raging as he battled the madness brought on by the Flaw. Finally, on the seventh night he emerged victorious, smashing his way out of the rubble as a new and terrible being. Gone was Calistarius. In his place stood Mephiston, one of the most powerful psykers ever to bless the Emperor of Mankind's name, and the only Blood Angel ever to conquer the Black Rage. The change in him was unprecedented, his physical and mental might pushed to extremes by his reawakened gene-seed. Indeed, Mephiston was soon named Chief Librarian of the Blood Angels, and he was viewed by many as a ray of hope in these dark days. After all, if one among the Sons of Sanguinius can conquer the Black Rage, so might others. Yet there are those that whisper that Mephiston may have paid for his resurrection in ways as-yet unguessed.

His resurrection did not go unnoticed, however. As Mephiston heaved aside the massive boulders from his makeshift tomb, the sound of scraping stone drew the attention of a band of Orks still roaming the ruins. Coming upon the stricken Astartes, the Orks thought Mephiston appeared to be easy prey, as he was weaponless and his armour was in ruins. They soon came to rue their decision to attack the "helpless" Space Marine. Outmatched by Mephiston's speed, five Orks died within seconds as the Astartes rained down powerful blows upon them that pulverised flesh and shattered bone and a dozen more swiftly followed.

Too stupid to realise that they were outmatched, the Orks pressed the attack. But the reborn Blood Angel continued to fight the brutal Orks until Mephiston punched a large hole clear through the chest of the largest Ork and ripped out his heart. His ruined armour slick with the blood of his foes, Mephiston began the long walk to the Imperial lines.

Since that day, Mephiston has risen swiftly through the ranks of the Blood Angels and now holds the office of Chief Librarian. He is a figure of awe and reverence to most of his Battle-Brothers, who perceive him as a saviour in these times of woe. Others are not so accepting, for they have difficulty recognising the Calistarius of old in Mephiston. Calistarius was voluble, yet Mephiston's tongue is silent save at times of great need. Calistarius sought the company of his brothers both on and off the battlefield, yet Mephiston spends silent hours alone in thought, and his face, though noble beyond compare, somehow speaks of a soul still ill at ease. Perhaps these changes were inevitable, given the trial of transformation.

Lord of Death

Shortly after defeating the Black Rage on Armageddon, Mephiston's strength -- psychic, physical and martial -- surpassed those of almost all his Battle-Brothers, and he quickly rose to become the Chief Librarian of the Blood Angels, granted the title "Lord of Death." His psychic powers are so great that few can surpass him, and no other member of the Astartes could best him. His skill in combat is comparable to the greatest of heroes that the Imperium of Man has ever known. Some say that a part of the true power of his Primarch runs through him since his defeat of the Black Rage, and he is indeed a true son of Sanguinius.

The Reborn Angel

Rafen vs. Arkio

Sergeant Rafen fights his brother Arkio to the death

Upon the world of Cybele, one of the most dire events in the Blood Angels' long history came to pass in the form of Brother Arkio, who possessed the sacred Chapter relic known as the Spear of Telesto, and proclaimed himself to be the reincarnation of Sanguinius. Fealty was given to the so-called "Reborn Angel" by many within the ranks of the Blood Angels' 6th Company. Unknown to the Blood Angels, an Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor named Remius Stele, a secret servant of the Ruinous Powers, manipulated the situation to cause a schism within the Chapter. After Gallio and Vode were both killed by Arkio's loyalists, Mephiston decided that he, not Commander Dante, should go and deal with Arkio. He reasoned that since he was a psyker, he could better detect the taint of Chaos upon Arkio and his followers.

Mephiston-postcard

Mephiston upon the world of Sabien.

Mephiston arrived on the Blood Angels' Shrine World of Sabien to judge Arkio, and turned the powers of his formidable witch-sight upon him. He saw the carefully hidden seed of Chaos that Stele had planted inside Arkio and denounced the "Reborn Angel" as false and Inquisitor Stele as a Heretic. Mephiston then challenged Arkio to a duel but before it began, Arkio's biological brother Sergeant Rafen, a fellow Blood Angel, arrived and offered to challenge him instead. Rafen was one of the few Blood Angels of the 6th Company who had doubted the veracity of Arkio's supposed resurrection, keeping faith with the Emperor and their Primarch, and formally denounced his brother as false.

Mephiston looked into Rafen's mind and saw that he had seen a vision of Sanguinius and that he was destined to fight Arkio. The Lord of Death allowed Rafen to take his place, and the two siblings duelled to the death. After Rafen wounded Arkio and fled, the corrupted Inquisitor Stele ordered the Loyalist Blood Angels and the warriors of the Angel Reborn to attack Mephiston and his entourage. Eventually, Rafen emerged triumphant, impaling Arkio through the heart with the Spear of Telesto. Arkio died begging for his brother's forgiveness.

After his sibling's death, the true master behind the nefarious Chaos plot revealed himself -- Malfallax, a Greater Daemon of Tzeentch. Malfallax and Inquisitor Stele had entered into a devil's bargain with Warmaster Garand of the Word Bearers Traitor Legion to turn the Blood Angels to Chaos by using Arkio as a false messiah. When Arkio was killed by his sibling Rafen, Stele attempted to summon Malfallax, intending to have the daemon possess his slave Ulan.

Instead, Malfallax betrayed the Inquisitor and possessed Stele's body, fully manifesting on the mortal plane as a Lord of Change. Malfallax then attempted to cause the Blood Angels to succumb to the Black Rage, but was in turn banished by Rafen using the Spear of Telesto. By the time Rafen defeated Malfallax, Mephiston's iron will had snapped, and he fell once more into the Black Rage. Rafen directed the power of the Spear of Telesto at Mephiston, breaking the hold of the curse upon the great Librarian for a second time.

Notable Campaigns

  • Cleansing of the Sin of Damnation (589.M41) - A Space Hulk codenamed Sin of Damnation dropped out of the Warp, dangerously close to the Blood Angels' homeworld of Baal. Strike Force Raphael moved to intercept the Hulk, the young Lexicanium Calistarius deploying alongside squads of 1st Company Terminators via Boarding Torpedoes. A vicious battle erupted throughout kilometres of tangled corridors, chambers and ducts as the Blood Angels battled furiously against the Hulk's Genestealer infestation. Finally, despite heavy casualties and much bloody hardship, the Sin of Damnation was cleansed and its secrets plundered in the Imperium's name.
  • The Hives of Hollonan (992.M41) - Chief Librarian Mephiston leads strike force Sanguinatus to exterminate a Genestealer Cult on the Hive World of Hollonan. Though the infestation is swiftly cleansed, a mighty tendril of Hive Fleet Kraken descended upon the Hive World. Mephiston, recognising that his force is outmatched, sent a distress call into the void before digging in for the inevitable assault. The Tyranid invasion is not long in coming, Hollonan's skies darkening with Mycetic Spores. The days that follow are horrific, long Terran hours dragging by as wave after wave of Tyranid warrior-beasts hurl themselves at the Imperial defences. Only Mephiston's leadership holds the defenders together as they are driven steadily back into Hollonan's sprawling underhive. Finally, during the desperate defence of the Chapel of the Emperor's Repose, Mephiston single-handedly holds off a mighty Tyranid swarm. He slays the Hive Tyrant at the attackers' heart, before being felled by a rampaging Trygon. However, Mephiston's fall only serves to drive the surviving Blood Angels and Planetary Defence Force troops to new heights of fury. So it is that, as fresh companies of Blood Angels and Angels Vermillion plunge through the tainted skies, the last of the defenders still live to be rescued. The Space Marines are not alone, for a force of Aeldari from Craftworld Ulthwé fight at their side. However, these enigmatic xenos allies remain just long enough to see the splinter fleet eradicated and Mephiston pulled broken but unbowed from the wreckage, before they vanish once more.
  • The Shield of Baal (998.M41) - News reaches Baal that the Cryptan Shield, intended to hold back the might of Hive Fleet Leviathan, has collapsed. Already Commander Dante has put plans in motion to defend the Blood Angels' homeworld, strike forces fighting hit-and-run battles with Leviathan's smaller splinter fleets throughout the Red Scar. Meanwhile, the defences of Baal and her moons have been bolstered like never before; indomitable fortresses rise above the sweltering sands, and the might of the Blood Angels' Successor Chapters gather from across the galaxy. Yet still it may not be enough, for the Tyranids were seemingly without number, and Hive Fleet Leviathan learned the weaknesses of its prey at an exponential rate. Knowing that the consumption of the Cryptus System would open the floodgates for an unstoppable Tyranid invasion of Baal, Commander Dante takes action. At the head of a mighty strike force that comprised the 1st and 2nd Companies of the Blood Angels, Brother Corbulo, Captain Karlaen, Chief Librarian Mephiston and the bulk of Gabriel Seth's Flesh Tearers, Dante struck out for the Cryptus System. The Blood Angels successfully delayed the Hive Fleet in the Cryptan System at the cost of much of the system's destruction, but this action only postponed the final reckoning between the Blood Angels and the Tyranids of the Leviathan that would come at the Devastation of Baal only solar months later.
  • Blood Angels Civil War (999.M41) - Upon the world of Cybele, one of the most dire events in the Blood Angels' long history came to pass in the form of Brother Arkio, who possessed the sacred relic known as the Spear of Telesto, and proclaimed himself to be the reincarnation of Sanguinius. Fealty was given to the so-called "Reborn Angel" by many within the ranks of the Blood Angels' 6th Company. Unknown to the Blood Angels, an Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor named Remius Stele, a secret servant of the Ruinous Powers, manipulated the situation to cause a schism within the Chapter. After Gallio and Vode were both killed by Arkio's loyalists, Mephiston decided that he, not Dante, should deal with Arkio. He reasoned that since he was a psyker, he could better detect the taint of Chaos upon Arkio and his followers. Mephiston arrived on the Blood Angels' Shrine World of Sabien to judge Arkio, and turned the powers of his formidable witch-sight upon him. He saw the carefully hidden seed of Chaos that Stele had planted inside Arkio and denounced the "Reborn Angel" as false and Inquisitor Stele as a Heretic. Mephiston then challenged Arkio to a duel but before it began, Arkio's biological brother Sergeant Rafen, a fellow Blood Angel, arrived and offered to challenge him instead. Rafen was one of the few Blood Angels of the 6th Company who had doubted the veracity of Arkio's supposed resurrection, keeping faith with the Emperor and their Primarch, and formally denounced his brother as a false reincarnation. Mephiston looked into Rafen's mind and saw that he had seen a vision of Sanguinius and that he was destined to fight Arkio. The Lord of Death allowed Rafen to take his place, and the two siblings duelled to the death. After Rafen wounded Arkio and he fled, the corrupted Inquisitor Stele ordered the Loyalist Blood Angels and the warriors of the Angel Reborn to attack Mephiston and his entourage. Eventually, Rafen emerged triumphant, impaling Arkio through the heart with the Spear of Telesto. Arkio died begging for his brother's forgiveness. After his sibling's death, the true master behind the nefarious Chaos plot revealed himself -- Malfallax, a Greater Daemon of Tzeentch. Malfallax and Inquisitor Stele had entered into a devil's bargain with Warmaster Garand of the Word Bearers Traitor Legion to turn the Blood Angels to Chaos by using Arkio as a false messiah. When Arkio was killed by his sibling Rafen, Stele attempted to summon Malfallax, intending to have the daemon possess his slave Ulan. Instead, Malfallax betrayed the Inquisitor and possessed his body, fully manifesting as a Lord of Change. Malfallax then attempted to cause the Blood Angels to succumb to the Black Rage, but was in turn banished by Rafen using the Spear of Telesto. By the time Rafen had defeated Malfallax, Mephiston's iron will had snapped, and he fell once more into the Black Rage. Rafen directed the power of the Spear of Telesto at Mephiston himself, breaking the hold of the curse upon the great Librarian for a second time. In the aftermath of this great tragedy, Arkio's remains were eventually burned upon a pyre out of respect for the fact that he had been duped into heresy through no fault of his own. The Blood Angels that willingly followed Arkio learned of the perfidy of the agent of Chaos, Inquisitor Stele, and tried to comprehend the awful realisation that they had been duped. For they had been turned into unwitting pawns in a grand scheme unleashed by the Chaos God Tzeentch to steal their very souls. The fallen Battle-Brothers were brought aboard Mephiston's warship, the Europae, stripped of their wargear and shackled in manacles. One of the Blood Angels strike teams loyal to Mephiston located the hardened steel module from the interior of the Bellus that housed the Progenoid capsules containing the genetic material of the traitorous Blood Angels who had followed Arkio. Many of the clerics aboard the Europae were of the opinion that this gene‐seed was now tainted and fit only for the fires of the fusion furnace, but Mephiston thought otherwise. The genetic material was placed in secure holding for the journey back to Baal; it would be Commander Dante alone who would decide the fate of this gene-seed. There were voices from Baal that counseled that Rafen should be executed along with the Loyalist survivors of the 6th Company. They were afraid Rafen might take the same path as his brother Arkio since they shared the same blood. The knowledge that he had been able to wield the sacred Spear of Telesto changed this opinion. Rafen's dedication and honour to the Chapter was unparalleled. Dante gave Rafen a personal audience once the Europae reached Baal. Though offered a promotion to the rank of Captain and the command of his own company, Rafen refused, choosing to earn the position on his own merits when the time was right. Rafen then made only made one request of the Lord of Death -- clemency and compassion for his Battle-Brothers of the 6th Company who had strayed and followed his sibling into heresy unwittingly. Blinded by their belief in Sanguinius, their faith had been turned against them and misused. Mephiston counseled Rafen that the rites of cleansing and purification that might be employed were quite arduous. Many of his Battle-Brothers would not survive the process. But Rafen informed Mephiston that they would endure and their faith would be twice as strong for it.

Wargear

Mephiston wargear

Mephiston, the Lord of Death, arrayed in his fearsome panoply of war.

Sources

  • Codex Adeptus Astartes - Blood Angels (8th Edition), pp. 33, 80
  • Codex Adeptus Astartes - Blood Angels (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pp. 16, 38, 66-67, 104-105
  • Codex: Blood Angels (5th Edition), pp. 47, 66, 68, 82
  • Codex: Blood Angels (4th Edition), pp. 7, 15
  • Codex: Blood Angels (3rd Edition), pg. 20
  • Codex: Angels of Death (2nd Edition), pp. 59, 94
  • Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition), pg. 28
  • Index Astartes I, "Psykana Librarius - Space Marine Librarians", pg. 60
  • Index Astartes II, "Angels of Death - The Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter"
  • Shield of Baal - Exterminatus (Campaign Supplement), pp. 10, 21, 27-28, 32, 42, 45-47, 49-50, 279-280, 317, 334-335
  • Space Hulk: Mission Book (3rd Edition), pg. 45
  • Deus Encarmine (Novel) by James Swallow
  • Deus Sanguinius (Novel) by James Swallow
  • Red Fury (Novel) by James Swallow
  • Bloodquest I (Graphic Novel) by Gordon Rennie and illustrated by Colin MacNeil
  • Bloodquest III: The Daemon's Mark (Graphic Novel) by Gordon Rennie and illustrated by Colin MacNeil
  • Eclipse of Hope (Novella) by David Annadale
  • Mephiston: Lord of Death (Novella) by David Annandale

Gallery