One of the most famous close-quarters fighters to have served in the bloodied warzones of the Spinward Front was Trooper Arden of the Catachan CCCI (301st) Regiment. As a son of the most lethal Death World in the known galaxy, Arden was already a formidable fighter before most men had even learned to spell (a skill that, according to his fellow Catachans, Arden never actually acquired).
It is reported that Arden once intercepted one of Catachan's lethal Flying Swamp Mambas and wrestled it to the ground before tearing its wings clean off, and that he once engaged a giant Blackback Viper, surviving a bite from this most poisonous of Death World predators and breaking its spine over his knee before collapsing from the effects of its (normally lethal) bite. These rumours are widespread but, like every story told of Arden before being recruited into the forces of the Astra Militarum, almost impossible to confirm. Records officially begin as soon as Arden was tithed into the Imperial Guard, and a whole new world of potential violence opened up before him.
Reports logged by the Commissars attached to the newly raised CCCI Regiment suggest that Trooper Arden resented the training he received in use of the standard-issue Lasgun, preferring to wield his "Devil’s Claw", a metre-long blade favoured by the people of Catachan. Despite his misgivings, Arden's Sergeant insisted he at least attempt to train in the use of basic ranged weaponry, as a vulgar report on Trooper Arden later confirmed. For reasons unknown, however, a second report was filed only a solar week later, simply reading "never mind." Trooper Arden's first taste of battle (at least as an Imperial Guardsman) was on the planet of Ashen Regis, when his regiment was tasked with blocking an Ork advance across that world's primary continent.
It was because of the bloody example set by Trooper Arden that the freshly formed Catachan CCCI exceeded all expectations, not only successfully blocking the advance of an entire arm of the Ork horde but pushing it back as well. Trooper Arden was to be found at the forefront of the advance, where reports credit him with slaying up to twenty-three brutal Ork warriors in hand-to-hand combat.
Trooper Arden is confirmed to have served in at least eight other major battles with the CCCI Regiment before vanishing during an assault on an Ork Warboss' camp. However, persistent rumours have since placed him in no fewer than thirteen other major campaigns after his supposed disappearance. Whether these are the tall tales of Imperial Guardsmen or an intervention by the will of the God-Emperor Himself, remain unverified.
- Only War: Hammer of the Emperor (RPG), pp. 55