Fafnir Rann was a ruthless and bellicose Captain of the Imperial Fists Legion during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy. He would take part in many notable campaigns during the Heresy, including the Battle of Phall, the Battle of Pluto and the climactic Siege of Terra.
Taking the title of "High Executioner," Fafnir Rann named his new Chapter the Executioners, as they came to believe that they were the headsmen of the Emperor who executed those who threatened His realm. Rann led his Chapter on a never-ending quest to seek out and execute Mankind's enemies.
This earned the Executioners a fell reputation as a bellicose and almost barbarous Chapter. Like their first Chapter Master, the Astartes of this Chapter came to disdain martial trappings and the ordered obedience of the more stalwart Codex Astartes-compliant Chapters such as the Ultramarines and their own genetic forebears the Imperial Fists. The Executioners shared little in common with their progenitor's culture and traditions.
Fafnir was born on Inwit, and as an infant was discovered at the bank of the River of Life. His mother was still clutching him, though she had died from starvation and a stabbing received while escaping from the House of Dorn.
It was reasoned by those who found him that his mother had fled the hold of the Dorn to protect the child, and he was subsequently taken in by a tribe known as the Rann.
He was raised by an adopted mother of the Rann tribe, who refused those who demanded Fafnir be returned to the Dorn in order to avoid the outbreak of a tribal war. He was raised to believe he was chosen to one day rise up and battle the Dorn.
When he transitioned to adulthood, he was chosen as the tribal chief of the Rann and waged war against the Dorn as he had expected. Yet not too long after the war began, the Primarch Rogal Dorn arrived from Terra and everything on Inwit soon changed under his rule. After the Emperor made contact with Inwit and it was brought into the Imperium of Man, Rann was among those natives of Inwit chosen for induction into the Imperial Fists Legion.
By the opening days of the Heresy, Rann had risen to the esteemed rank of Lord Seneschal and commander of the Legion's first assault cadre. He was reputedly one of Rogal Dorn's most ruthless captains, preferring to wield either a pair of Power Axes or a Power Axe and a large Storm Shield in battle.
When Dorn mustered the Retribution Fleet to be sent to assist the beleaguered Loyalists on Istvaan III, which initiated the Battle of Phall, Seneschal Rann's Chapter participated in the Blade of Perdition 's hit and run action against the Iron Warriors' Heavy Cruiser Sire of Sabaktes, teleporting into the warship's central armoury and planting a Melta charge that, when it detonated, set off a chain reaction and destroyed the entire vessel and its crew.
By the time the survivors returned to the Blade of Perdition, Fleet Master Alexis Polux had issued the order to withdraw and it was characteristic of Seneschal Rann and his warriors that the Blade of Perdition was one of the very last to obey.
Fafnir Rann served alongside First Captain Sigismund in the First Sphere of defence designed for the Sol System by Rogal Dorn. They would be the first wall to confront the approaching Traitor forces moving to assault Terra under the command of the Warmaster Horus.
He later took part in the Battle of Pluto and fought Horus' forces, particularly the Alpha Legion, when they came to claim Terra's outer defences.
When the Solar War reached its final phase, Rann was charged with commanding the Persephone, one of the "Three Sisters of Spite," a triumvirate of notable Imperial Fists' frigates including the Lachrymae, Ophelia and the Persephone itself.
During the Siege of Terra Rann was placed in charge of the defence of the Lion's Gate spaceport. He held the line for much of the battle, but was overwhelmed by a massive Traitor attack led by Captain Kroeger of the Iron Warriors, First Captain Khârn of the World Eaters, and First Captain Ezekyle Abaddon of the Sons of Horus.
During the battle Rann dueled with Kroeger and was wounded, but ultimately was saved thanks to the intervention of First Captain Sigismund.
Rann would continue to serve in the Imperial Fists Chapter until the 3rd Founding of 001.M32. Rann was selected at that time to become the first High Executioner or Chapter Master of the newly founded Executioners Chapter.
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pp. 84-86
- Praetorian of Dorn (Novel) by John French, Part Four, Ch. 3
- The Solar War (Novel) by John French, Extract, Chs. 1, 8
- The First Wall (Novel) (Limited Edition) by Gav Thorpe, Chs. 4, 25
- Templar (Audio Book) by John French