Once, Gahlan Surlak was an Apothecary who served as a Dominus Nutritor of the World Eaters Legion, his mission to heal the wounds of his Battle-Brothers that they might return to battle all the faster. As his Legion fell from grace however, this mission drastically changed.
At the orders of the Legion's High Command, Surlak focused his duties ever less upon healing the wounded and instead dedicated himself to the induction of Legion aspirants who cared so little for pain they would never have to be healed -- they would win the fight or they would die, there being no middle ground where a Legionary might require medical attention.
Surlak had also became obsessed with overseeing a viable way to successful install the Butcher's Nails cortical implants without killing their host. However, he continuously failed in his endeavours to successfully implement the Nails within his brethren, as it resulted in a 100% fatality rate.
But eventually, he made a breakthrough during the infamous campaign known as the Ghenna Massacre. Gahlan was able to successfully reverse-engineer Ghennan technology, and with the advent of this discovery, announced that he had finally discovered a viable method of mass implantation of the Butcher's Nails without killing their hosts.
This caused the Terran Veteran, Centurion Mago, to attempt to sabotage Gahlan's work. Sending Techmarine Korit to Gahlan's lab to destroy his work, the Apothecary had taken appropriate precautions for such a treacherous act. Gahlan subdued Korit with a poison dart given to him by Fabius.
Rendered physically unable to move, Korit was subjected to Gahlan's sadism. The Apothecary took his time in putting the Techmarine through an agonising death with his Chirurgeon drill. He justified his brutal methods as punishment for the attempted treachery committed against him.
Following the conspirators' failed attempt to sabotage his work, Gahlan went on to oversee the successful mass implantation of the Butcher's Nails throughout the XII Legion. Following the aftermath of the Istvaan III Atrocity, Surlak had revealed to him the hidden mysteries of blood and flesh, of genes and mutations, when he and a number of his peers were inducted into an inner circle of Apothecaries, their high-magus the Chief Apothecary of the Emperor's Children, Fabius.
What Surlak and his fellow Apothecaries learned from Fabius they carried with them to the World Eaters' thrall world of Bodt, where upon Angron's orders they began a program of rapid indoctrination intended to usher in a new generation of Legion Aspirants who, thanks to his bloody artifice, would have no concept of pain, fear or defeat.
As the Heresy spread across the Imperium, the traitorous World Eaters Legion became ever more insular and savage, the Legion's Apothecaries learning techniques to deliberately amplify the Butcher's Nail implants in their brothers, driving them to ever greater heights of homicidal madness.
- Narthecium Primus
- Master-Crafted Needle Pistol
- Power Axe
- Refractor Field
- Frag Grenades
- Krak Grenades
- The Horus Heresy Book Six: Retribution (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pg. 249
- Angron: Slave of Nuceria (Novel) by Ian St. Martin, Chs. 19-20