From the command pulpit of the Battle Barge Manifest Destiny, one of two Battle Barges in the Silver Skulls' Chapter Fleet, Arrun patrolled the sector of space near the Silver Skulls' homeworld of Varsavia known as the Gildar Rift.
Arrun grew to young manhood in one of the more civilised tribes that called Varsavia home, but like so many others, he had fought for survival from an early age. Hand-to-hand combat gave him an adrenaline rush and sense of exhilaration like no other form of fighting he had ever known.
When he became a full-fledged Battle-Brother of the Silver Skulls, he would have become a Chaplain had he not demonstrated such aplomb and skill in the field of strategic planning. He always preferred to take responsibility for revving up his company's inner fire. The Silver Skulls thus lost a great Chaplain, but gained a frenetic, powerful warrior who eventually rose to become Master of the Fleet and Captain of the 4th Company.
Arrun survived over two standard centuries as a Silver Skulls Astartes, and nearly a hundred of those as a captain. He was Master of the Fleet for several solar decades and possessed a quicksilver mind and the ability of a true tactical genius. At any given time he knew the status of every functioning starship in the Silver Skulls' Chapter fleet.
His eidetic memory allowed him to bring to mind every flaw, every weakness and, conversely, every strength. He knew in seconds which ship was the most appropriate to deploy in any given situation when requests for assistance were received by the Chapter. He oversaw the Chapter's operations in the area of space known as the Gildar Rift from the very beginning of the Silver Skulls operations there.
The Silver Skulls managed to destroy the three grand cruisers and drive off Huron Blackheart's flagship. The surviving Renegades, led by Blackheart, made planetfall on several planets in the Gildar System, including the primary world in the system, Gildar Secundus, but the Silver Skulls were not to be thwarted so easily.
Assaulting the planet below, Captain Arrun led the 4th Company in glorious combat against the wretched Traitors from the Maelstrom. He finally confronted the Tyrant of Badab personally in a battle to the death. Despite his superlative skill as a warrior, Blackheart slew the Silver Skulls captain, severing his throat with vicious blows from his inordinately large Power Axe.
Yet Daerys Arrun still died as a hero of the Silver Skulls Chapter and the 4th Company succeeded in driving the Red Corsairs from the Gildar System.
Despite his death, the essence of who Daerys Arrun had been in life would live on in the next generation of Silver Skulls for it would only be the most favoured sons of that Chapter who would be chosen to receive Arrun’s Quintessence Sacred, his gene-seed.
The toll on Arrun's 4th Battle Company was a heavy price to pay for the liberation of the Gildar System from the influence of the Red Corsairs and despite the knowledge that duty came before anything else, there were still whispers; secret, forbidden whispers amongst the survivors that the decisions taken by their captain had been rash. That the Prognosticators' divinations had been read poorly.
They were words that were never spoken within earshot of the Prognosticators themselves. The Silver Skulls were brave but they were not foolish. From a company that had been 95 warriors strong, they had been reduced to barely 70. It was a devastating loss to a Chapter whose numbers were already dwindling.
When news of their efforts and the outcome reached Varsavia, it was not well received. For the Silver Skulls, the Defence of the Gildar Rift would prove to be an empty, hollow victory.
Arrun possessed a closely shaved head which did nothing to hide the mass of scar tissue on his skull. These scars might have been considered disfiguring on anyone else, but on a Space Marine they served as a mark of honour.
His face was also covered in swirling whorls of dark ink that all but obscured his flesh; these were the battle tattoos that all the captains of the Silver Skulls earned the right to wear when they assumed their commands.
This is a custom that the Chapter's Astartes had taken from the tribes of Varsavia. If his sheer size and forcible presence were not enough to provoke fear in Arrun's foes, his tribal brandings did the job admirably. Daerys Arrun also possessed piercing blue eyes which could freeze the heart of nearly any foe.
Arrun usually fought with a Bolt Pistol and Chainsword like many Astartes officers. But because of his penchant for close-combat which he rarely engaged in following his promotion to lead a company, he preferred to fight with an ancient set of Lightning Claws. His Lightning Claws always retracted from the gauntlets of his Power Armour with a smooth, well-oiled precision.
Like all Silver Skulls Astartes, Arrun spent a great deal of time scrupulously maintaining his wargear. There were, of course, Chapter serfs and Artificers indentured to the Silver Skulls who performed much of this work, but Arrun had always taken particular pride in doing the job himself. The slightest fault in his weapons' performance could spell the difference between life and death.
The gauntlets themselves were beautiful weapons, relics fashioned from the Chapter Armoury in a time so long before that none living could recall who they had first belonged to. Handed down from captain to protégé over the centuries, they had come into Arrun's possession a hundred Terran years previous to his death on Gildar Secundus.
Opulent and intricately designed skulls decorated the back of them, while the cabling for the Lightning Claws' energy field generators snaked through these insignia. Arrun had fought with them since his elevation to the rank of captain and whilst not every engagement called for him to make use of them in singularly brutal close-combat, they were always his preferred method of despatching the enemy.
Like most Varsavian-born Silver Skulls, Daerys Arrun had a core ferocity and fearlessness born of his tribal background that made him a terrifying foe in melee combat. Arrun normally wore a suit of Power Armour which had several components drawn from an older Mark VI suit of battle-plate, like the beaked helmet, which dated back to the time of the Horus Heresy.
- The Gildar Rift (Novel) by Sarah Cawkwell