"I was never a Son of Horus. I was and remain a Luna Wolf. A proud son of Cthonia, a loyal servant of the Emperor, beloved by all. I am your enemy."
- — Garviel Loken's valediction to his former gene-father Horus Lupercal
Garviel Loken was originally the Captain of the Luna Wolves (later Sons of Horus) Space Marine Legion's 10th Company during the last days of the Great Crusade and up until the Istvaan III Atrocity that initiated the Horus Heresy.
Loken was highly regarded as a warrior and commander by both his brethren and his Primarch. Admired for his cool head and intelligence as well as his record in battle, he was given the honour of induction into the Mournival, his Legion's cadre of close advisers to their Primarch Horus.
However, after Horus' fall to Chaos on Davin, he was considered too loyal to the old ways -- the ideals of the Great Crusade and the Emperor, to be inducted into the dark conspiracy that was overtaking his beloved Legion.
Assigned to command the Sons of Horus contingent's attack in the first assault wave on Istvaan III, he rose swiftly to become one of the leaders of the Loyalist faction comprised of those Luna Wolves, Emperor's Children, World Eaters and Death Guard Astartes who refused to betray the Emperor of Mankind and serve the Ruinous Powers.
On Istvaan III, Loken and his fellow Loyalist Battle-Brothers cast aside the identity of the Sons of Horus, and proclaimed themselves Luna Wolves once more, extracting a heavy toll of dead on those they had once called brother.
But in the end, the Loyalists were overwhelmed and eventually destroyed. Loken faced his former brother, First Captain Abaddon in mortal combat, and was gravely wounded. At the time, it was believed that he died in the final orbital bombardment of the Loyalists' position.
Later, Loken was discovered as a half-crazed berserker Astartes who now called himself "Cerberus." Surviving his ordeal on Istvaan III, he was recruited from the undead-haunted ruins of the Choral City by his fellow Loyalist Space Marine Captain Nathaniel Garro, formerly of the Death Guard Legion, and the Agentia Primus of Malcador the Sigillite's Knights-Errant, to serve as one of the Knights-Errant.
After several Terran years of covert missions, including an attempt to assassinate Horus, Loken was chosen by the Sigillite as one of the 9 Astartes who would go on to be responsible for laying the foundation of the elite Grey Knights Space Marine Chapter which was later to become the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Malleus of the Inquisition. While Loken was intended to be the Grey Knights Grand Master named "Crius," he refused the honour so that he could instead face the Sons of Horus during the Siege of Terra.
Captain Loken's courage and strength made him an officer on the rise in the Luna Wolves from the start. Loken's close friend Captain Tarik Torgaddon mentored Loken in several aspects of his martial life and eventually was responsible for his induction into the Mournival, the group of informal advisers from the Luna Wolves Legion who served Horus as his closest companions.
Loken was inducted into the Mournival after the Luna Wolves' campaign on the world of Sixty-Three-Nineteen, bringing it into Imperial Compliance. Loken also had the distinction of being the only member of the Mournival not to share a direct facial similarity to the Warmaster Horus.
As a member of the Mournival, Loken was to be the Warmaster's "naysmith", offering a counter-argument to those plans of Horus he found fault with and was intended to provide an advisor for Horus who possessed a calm and imperturbable nature. During this time Loken enjoyed a privileged position within the Warmaster's inner circle.
When the Luna Wolves were conducting Imperial Compliance operations on the world of Sixty-Three-Nineteen at the end of the Great Crusade, a strange voice appeared on the Vox radio communication devices used by the Luna Wolves, which was actually the voice of a daemonic entity of Chaos.
The walls between the physical world and the Immaterium were unusually thin in that region of Sixty-Three-Nineteen where the remaining hold-outs to the Imperial conquest were holed up, though the Imperial forces during the Great Crusade had been kept deliberately unaware of the existence of Chaos or the terrible daemonic dangers of the Immaterium by the Emperor and his Primarchs. The voice only identified itself as "Samus" and warned against the oncoming invasion by the Luna Wolves.
The Luna Wolves chased the source of the communication into a mountainous region of the planet. While there, Sergeant Xavyer Jubal of Loken's 10th Company became possessed by a Chaos daemon, and transformed into what was described by witnesses to the event as a monster attacking his fellow Astartes.
After a fierce confrontation, Captain Loken was able to subdue and ultimately kill the deranged, mutated form of Xavyer Jubal. This confrontation would begin to stir within Loken a deep disquiet that perhaps the Imperial Truth was in error, as was everything he had been taught about religion and the supernatural being nothing more than superstitions rightly cast off by humanity.
After the terrible events on Sixty-Three-Nineteen, the Luna Wolves were sent to reinforce the Emperor's Children on a planet later nicknamed "Murder" by the Imperium for the sheer ferocity of the arachnoid xenos who called it home. The Emperor's Children had arrived at Murder in order to investigate the disappearance of a company of Astartes from the Blood Angels Legion. It was on Murder that Loken and his Mournival brother Tarik Torgaddon met and befriended Captain Saul Tarvitz of the Emperor's Children.
The relationship between Loken and his Mournival brother First Captain Ezekyle Abaddon was always strained as his calm, thoughtful personality constantly clashed with Abaddon's volcanic temper and gruff nature. Despite this, they stood together with Horus as he led an attack on rebel Imperial forces on the moon of Davin.
When the Warmaster was mortally wounded in battle there by the Nurgleite former Planetary Governor of Davin, Eugen Temba, who used a Chaos-infused relic blade known as the Kinebrach Anathame to poison Horus with a Nurgle-spawned toxin that not even his superhuman immune system could defeat, it was Loken who vocally and absolutely opposed the idea of taking Horus to a Chaos temple known as the Temple of the Serpent Lodge on the world of Davin to be healed by shamans who were essentially Chaos Sorcerers.
While Abaddon and Horus Aximand opposed him in their desperation to save Horus Lupercal's life by any means necessary, Tarik Torgaddon stood with Loken in believing that such a violation of the Imperial Truth could only lead to even greater harm than the Primarch's death. The rift in the Mournival over this issue nearly came to violence, but Loken ultimately gave into the broader Legion's feelings on the issue and he chose to wait and see the result.
Istvaan III Atrocity
This attitude cost Loken the trust of not only his two Mournival brethren but also of Horus himself, who emerged from his healing at the hands of the Chaos Cultists of the Serpent Lodge a changed man, one riven by jealousy, egotism, hatred for his father the Emperor and the lust for absolute power. He was a man who had given his soul to the Chaos Gods in return for the powers of the Warp.
It was at this time, after Horus' brush with death, that the Luna Wolves were renamed the "Sons of Horus," a suggestion originally made by the Emperor at the Ullanor Triumph, in order to clearly stake the Warmaster's claim to superior authority over all the other Primarchs. Horus had at first been reluctant aggrandise himself in such a manner, but finally made the change after consulting with his greatest friend among the Primarchs, Sanguinius.
Now falling firmly into the grip of Chaos, Horus chose the world of Istvaan III to dispose of those members of the four openly declared Traitor Legions -- the Sons of Horus, the Emperor's Children, the World Eaters and the Death Guard -- that he could not trust to follow him or serve the Chaos Gods in his new quest to dethrone the Emperor and rule the galaxy himself.
Loken and Torgaddon, as well as approximately one-third of the 4 Legions' Astartes who were judged to be Loyalists, were sent to the capital city of the planet of Istvaan III under the pretext of putting down a rebellion against the Imperium of Man by the Slaaneshi-corrupted Planetary Governor Vardus Praal only to be slaughtered by Life Eater Virus Bombs launched from the Warmaster's orbiting fleet.
A last minute warning about the imminent betrayal from their friend Captain Saul Tarvitz of the Emperor's Children provided some of the Loyalists, including Loken and Torgaddon, with enough time to seek shelter and thus survive the resulting virus plague and the firestorm that followed that killed all of Istvaan III's 8 billion people.
Even with Tarvitz's warning, at least a third of the Astartes Loyalists did not make it to shelter before the bombs dropped, or emerged from the shelter too early, believing the attack to be over, only to be obliterated in the subsequent firestorm that ignited all the noxious, decaying gases released by the virus victims' bodies.
With Horus' betrayal now in the open, Loken and Torgaddon and the other surviving Loyalists of their Legion took up the name Luna Wolves once again to symbolise their split with the Sons of Horus as they openly fought against the Warmaster's Traitor Legions.
They fought using a defensive strategy intended to bleed the Traitor Legions for several solar months to allow news of Horus' betrayal to reach the Emperor. They managed to hold out on Istvaan III for almost 2 months before the final battle, in which Horus Aximand and Abaddon traveled to the surface to confront Loken and Tarik face-to-face. Loken fought bravely against Abaddon but he was critically wounded, and lay helpless in the final orbital bombardment of the planet by the Warmaster Horus' fleet, which brought the resistance of the Loyalists to its end.
However, by some twist of fate, or through the will of the Emperor, Loken did not die in the bombardment. Solar months later, well after Horus' fleet had moved on to face the Emperor's Loyalists at the Drop Site Massacre on Istvaan V -- where 4 more Astartes Legions declared their open allegiance to Chaos and to Horus -- Loken finally managed to dig himself out of the rubble of the Choral City.
Unfortunately, Loken's mind had been broken by the trauma of the betrayal and his wounds and he had lost both his memory and his identity. Instead, he took up a new role and named himself "Cerberus" after the ancient Terran legend of the hound who guarded the gates of the Underworld. Loken chose this identity because he believed that death had rejected him.
He became the "monster" who now haunted the burnt and broken ruins of Istvaan III for over a Terran year, killing the other supposed "survivors" of the betrayal, believing himself to be the last Loyalist Space Marine in existence.
This changed when Battle-Captain Nathaniel Garro, formerly of the Death Guard Legion and now serving as Malcador the Sigillite's Agentia Primus after his escape from Istvaan III on the Imperial frigate Eisenstein, returned to Istvaan III. Garro was sent with the express purpose of searching for Loken as a recruit to join the Knights-Errant, the covert group of Loyalist Space Marines that Malcador intended to found on the Emperor's orders, which would later become one of the foundations of the Imperial Inquisition.
They encountered a handful of survivors who spoke of a beast that hunted them. Taking matters into his own hands, Garro went to the lair of the so-called beast of Istvaan III, and on discovery of the long-dead corpse of Tarik Torgaddon, he was attacked by the unkempt, nearly-psychotic "Cerberus." After a lengthy battle, during which Cerberus escaped, Garro and his companions discovered that the human "survivors" of the virus-bombing of Istvaan III were in fact daemonhosts who had been transformed into undead Plague Zombies of Nurgle when the virus-bombing had weakened the barrier between the Immaterium and Istvaan III, allowing the Plague Lord's influence to reign supreme.
Garro and his Loyalist Astartes managed to defeat the foul creatures with the aid of Cerberus; however, once the undead had been destroyed, Garro and Cerberus once more faced one another in mortal combat. It was during this final fight that Garro managed to reach through the amnesia and fractured awareness of Cerberus to the core of the good man that remained deep within his psyche, reminding him of who he truly was, and that the Emperor still had a use for him in rooting out the corruption that was staining the Imperium.
Aware of his true identity once more, Garviel Loken joined Garro and his team. With his assemblage of warriors now complete, Garro and Loken left Istvaan III for Luna to receive their first mission from Malcador the Sigillite.
Loken was brought to the Somnus Citadel as a broken, wretched thing; a madman Nathaniel Garro had dug out of the ruins of Istvaan III. Not until much later did Loken come to understand that he had been closer to death during that interrogation than any other time in his life, though those who wished him gone did not come with blades, bolts or orbital bombardments; they came with doubts and fear and suspicion.
Was he to be trusted? Could anyone -- even a Space Marine -- have survived what he survived? Had he been left in the ruins by their enemies for Garro to find? Was Garviel Loken a ticking time bomb left by Horus, primed to inveigle himself into the Imperial ranks only to wreak untold havoc in the days to come?
No one knew for certain, but powerful men had spoken for him: Garro and Malcador for certain, and -- Loken suspected -- the Primarch Rogal Dorn, the Castellan of Terra himself. But others -- he never knew their identities -- declared him a danger, a potential spy for the Warmaster or worse.
What followed was an indeterminate period of pain and misery, inflicted on his body and the depths of his mind to seek answers to those questions. That he still lived was not seen as definitive; merely that his interlocutors hadn't found anything damning enough to go against the wishes of the Regent of Terra and the Emperor's golden-armoured Praetorian.
Mission to Caliban
Now one of Malcador's Knights-Errant, Garviel Loken was sent by the Sigillite on his first mission to the Dark Angels' homeworld of Caliban, alongside his former comrade in the Luna Wolves, Iacton Qruze. Their vital mission called for the Knights-Errant to ascertain both the Ist Legion's strengths and loyalty to their Primarch Lion El'Jonson.
Infiltrating the Dark Angels' fortress-monastery of Aldurukh, Loken allowed himself to be captured by the Dark Angels. Shackled and bound, he soon found himself being interrogated by Caliban's Regent, Luther. Identifying himself only as "Cerberus," Luther was still able to accurately determine his captive's status as a former Luna Wolf based solely on his Cthonian accent. Loken's captor mentioned his prior experience fighting alongside the Luna Wolves at both Cardensine and Zaramund, which triggered Loken to experience flashbacks of those moments.
Upon further study by torchlight, Luther recognised Loken, but only vaguely, as he was still unsure of his captive's identity. Luther questioned Loken as to why one Legion would be spying on another, which showed Loken that the Regent of Caliban was still woefully ignorant of the broader events of the Heresy that currently raged throughout the galaxy. Though he wished to tell Luther the full truth, he felt that Caliban was surrounded by darkness and would eventually turn. Unsatisfied, Luther took his leave from Loken's cell.
The Knight-Errant was then confronted by a small hooded figure in his cell -- a Watcher in the Dark. Through telepathy, the xenos creature gave Loken a small fraction of his abilities to sense Luther's feelings. The creature would not offer an explanation as to its presence, and instead freed him from his bondage. He wanted Loken to explain to both Dorn and the Sigillite what he had witnessed -- that Luther was ignorant of the wider events of the Heresy, and that he was ambitious and felt resentment towards the Lion.
This only complicated Loken's mission, as Terra had no clue as to the Lion's true loyalties. During his escape, Loken was discovered by a mysterious figure who had snuck up on him and held a power blade to his throat. Startling the Knight-Errant, the figure said Loken's name. He explained that he was the Lord Cypher, and proceeded to assist Loken in his escape.
When they encountered a lone Dark Angels sentry, Cypher ordered the guard to hold, in order for Loken to subdue him. Unfortunately, this was not enough, and Qruze methodically killed the guard in cold blood with his Stalker Pattern Bolter.
Enraged over Qruze's callous disregard, Loken chastised the older Knight-Errant for the necessity of such a brutal action, explaining that with this one Dark Angel's death, it might now tip the scales of their loyalty against the Imperium. The veteran warrior dismissed Loken's misgivings, explaining that the sentry was not the first loyal servant of the Imperium he had killed, nor would he be the last.
With the help of Cypher, the two Knight-Errants made good their escape from the dungeon of the Dark Angels' fortress-monastery. Even though the pair of Knights-Errant hand failed in their original mission, they had perhaps, found something greater -- a potential recruit in the form of Cypher.
The Dark Angel was aware of the wider events of the galaxy, but explained that events on Caliban were complex. Qruze offered his old comrade the opportunity to become one of Malcador's agents, but ultimately, Cypher refused his generous offer, for he would continue to serve in the shadows -- loyal to the Emperor, but unremembered and unknown.
Having failed in their mission, Loken returned to the Somnus Citadel on Luna, the fortress-monastery of the Silent Sisterhood. Already appraised of the mission's outcome by astropathic means, the Primarch of the Imperial Fists had, nevertheless, taken time from the dismantling of his father's bejewelled palace in preparation for the coming invasion of Horus to hear the ill-news from Caliban first-hand.
Loken had seen Rogal Dorn's hope that the imperfect medium of astropathic communication had missed some subtle nuance to Qruze's report, some sign that the Lion's warriors of Caliban could be counted on to rally to the Emperor's banner. Dorn would return to Terra none the wiser, and Loken's heart had broken at disappointing him.
Loken had no time for the Sigillite's half-truths and subterfuge. He no longer wanted a part in his schemes within schemes. Though Loken had survived the horrors he experienced on Istvaan III, he was a man whose sanity was just a mask to cover the real horror of what was going on underneath the surface. After Caliban and the disastrous attempt to learn the Dark Angels' true allegiance, Loken retreated into his own little world of isolation, but the first cracks in what others believed to be his sanity started to show when he saw his former Battle-Brother Tarik Torgaddon.
Loken had taken to spending most of his time within an abandoned and disused lunar biodome. The previous custodian of this biodome had allowed it to grow wild, neglecting the task of prudent weeding and maintenance. He later learned that it was the former domain of a Silent Sister, long dead on Prospero, and no one had taken up her duties in the biodome, as the maintenance of a space that existed as purely aesthetic was seen as wasteful.
He devoted his time to tending to a small garden. Bred to kill, not to care, it gave Loken a sense of the wonder of creation. It also gave him a small sense of peace, as he was a warrior born and bred, wrought in the Emperor's gene-labs. That word, peace, was meaningless to him, for as far back as he could remember, he had never known any state of being that could equate to the concept. The madness that almost consumed him on Istvaan III had left scars that were slow to heal and quick to flare in jagged pain.
Loken had found the biodome by chance, staring vacantly through the armourglass window of the orbital shuttle bringing him back to Luna. He had spent the journey back from the Caliban fiasco in contemplative silence, isolating himself from the crew of the nameless vessel that crept into the Dark Angels domain before slinking away like a thwarted thief.
The abject failure of the mission weighed heavily on Loken, and he had struggled with his part in it through the long, cold nights in the dark heart of the vessel. He was a warrior who had turned his back on war, a man without colours or a Legion to call his own. In the depths of his despair, he had believed himself to be a Legion of one. Nathaniel Garro had shown him that that was no longer the case. He no longer fought alone, but he cared nothing for the warriors who stood with him. The brotherhood of his former life was no more than a ghostly memory now.
One day, while tending to his garden, he was visited by a mysterious individual. He had the bulk of a Legionary, though Loken couldn't immediately recognise who he was, though his appearance was maddeningly familiar. A cold hand clenched Loken's hearts as the man's previously unknowable features resolved into those of a brother from a previous life -- it was his long dead Battle-Brother, Tarik Togaddon. At first Loken believed that this so-called "Torgaddon" was a figment of his imagination -- some memory his damaged mind had conjured up.
But as Loken continued to talk to him, the more he was convinced that it was indeed his old friend. Torgaddon helped unlock the forgotten memories from Loken's fractured synapses. As Loken looked upon the garden, he recognised it for what it was -- it was a replica of the water garden where he had taken the Mournival Oath. Torgaddon reminded him what he had pledged when he had sworn this sacred oath -- to serve the Emperor above all Primarchs. To uphold the truth of the Imperium of Man, no matter what evil assailed it. To stand firm against all enemies, alien and domestic.
Loken had sworn to be true to the ideals of the Mournival. He was nearly overwhelmed by the surge of suppressed memories. Loken remembered it all -- the war on Murder, the blood spilled from misunderstanding upon the homeworld of the Interex; the horror of Davin; the slaughter of the Auretian Technocracy; and the final, monstrous betrayal on Istvaan III. He'd known all this, he'd always known it, but had found a way to keep it locked away in the depths of his mind. But no matter how hard he had tried to forget, he was unable to.
Togaddon reminded him that he was a Luna Wolf, and nothing was more dangerous than a cornered wolf. A man might have control of action alone but he never had control over the fruits of that action. He told Loken to take control of his actions. Before he departed, Loken inquired to Torgaddon whether or not he was real, to which the other Legionary couldn't easily answer.
Torgaddon didn't have an explanation -- he felt real, but he thought that something terrible happened to him after he died. Loken inquired what could be worse than dying. Torgaddon didn't know yet, but he was sure that Loken was the only one who could undo it. After imparting his warning, Torgaddon departed.
Soon, Loken was approached by another visitor, this time, one of his fellow Knights-Errant, Iacton Qruze. He brought a summons from Malcador himself. Reinvigorated by Torgaddon's visit, Loken was ready to depart to undertake whatever was required of him.
Essentially, Torgaddon's visit had shocked Loken back into reality, restoring a final sense of himself as wounded, but not broken. Though he went to Terra to meet with Malcador, deep down Loken still worried that the damage wrought to his mind left him untrustworthy. But he was still willing to serve to the best of his ability, and prepared to receive his next mission from the Sigillite.
Assault on the Vengeful Spirit
After his arrival on Terra, Malcador the Sigillite, together with Leman Russ, the Primarch of the Space Wolves, conspired with Loken to hatch a most audacious plan -- to send a Knights-Errant squad to infiltrate Horus' flagship, the Vengeful Spirit, at the time in orbit of the world of Molech. The Knights-Errants were tasked with preparing the way for an overwhelming Space Wolves assault on the vessel. It would be led by the Wolf King himself and its objective would be to kill the Arch-traitor.
Loken was charged by the Sigillite with this vital mission, and was allowed to select his own squad members. The former Luna Wolf recruited nine of his fellow Knights-Errant including: Tylos Rubio, Macer Varren, Iacton Qruze, Rama Karayan, Ares Voitek, Altan Nohai, Callion Zaven, and Tubal Cayne. At the behest of Leman Russ, he also sent one of his own sons, Bror Tyrfingr, to become a member of the Sigillite's Knights-Errant.
Loken also attempted to recruit his fellow Luna Wolf, Severian, but he refused to join the mission -- one he felt was a doomed prospect. Later, when the Knights-Errant prepared to depart Terra, Severian later changed his mind and joined them after all.
Utilising the technologically advanced stealth vessel Tarnhelm, and guided by Tubal Cayne's advanced sensors and strategic planning, the squad was able to successfully infiltrate the Warmaster's flagship undetected.
As they moved deeper into the bowels of the massive Gloriana-class Battleship, Bror Tyrfingr left Futharc runes at various points throughout the vessel to guide a future Space Wolves assault. Before long, the Knights-Errants' presence didn't go undetected, as they encountered various resistance throughout the massive warship.
Some of the Knights-Errant died during these skirmishes, and the remainder of the squad were captured and brought to Lupercal's Court, before the Warmaster himself. Horus attempted to tempt Loken into rejoining him, and though tempted by his father's offer, the stalwart Knight-Errant defied his former Primarch, remembering his sacred oaths to serve the Emperor above all others.
The confrontation between gene-father and son allowed Loken's fellow Knights to turn upon their captors. Several more of Loken's squad were slain in the subsequent fighting as the Knights-Errant made good their escape when the Tarnhelm shot out the windows of the audience chamber, sucking them out into the void where the stealth vessel rescued them from the vacuum.
Varren, Voitek and a rescued Ultramarines survivor from the surface of Molech, Centurion Proximo Tarchon, were put into Sus-an-induced healing comas while Rubio recovered from the ordeal. On the way back to Terra aboard the Tarnhelm, both Bror Tyrfingr and Severian convinced their squad leader that the mission's failure was not Loken's fault.
Battle of the White Mountain
Afterwards, Loken returned to Terra, where during the final days of the Horus Heresy before the Siege of Terra, Loken, alongside Nathaniel Garro, Macer Varren, Vardas Ison, and Helig Gallor were among the Knights-Errant assigned to put down outbreaks of Chaos infestation which were occurring all across the Throneworld in preparation for Horus' invasion.
Loken was assigned to oversee the project initiated by the Sigillite at the White Mountain. The White Mountain was an ancient subterranean fortress located in an irradiated and barren region on Terra. Malcador the Sigillite had ordered a group of Sisters of Silence who had been captured and tortured by the forces of Chaos and then recovered by the Loyalists to be held there while his researchers sought to determine what had been done to them.
In fact, the altered Sisters were simply part of a plot by the Traitors to assassinate the Sigillite by triggering a subliminal mental command that had been psychically embedded in the mind of Tylos Rubio by the Word Bearers' First Chaplain Erebus. Rubio was one of Malcador's Knights-Errant who had fought at the Battle of Calth, where the hidden changes to his mind had been made. The plot was initiated when the White Mountain came under assault by Chaos Cultists and the daemon of Nurgle known as the Lord of Flies.
Loken and the other Knights-Errant were deployed onto the slopes of the fortress to deal with the assault, while Rubio's mental conditioning was triggered by the Sisters of Silence kept within the White Mountain's holding cells. Rubio attacked Malcador while the Sigillite was bereft of his psychic powers due to the fortress' anti-psyker technology. The Sigillite managed to hold off the attack using his hidden Conversion Field and then psychically stripped the mental conditioning from Rubio's mind.
On the slopes of the White Mountain, Loken, Garro and the other Knights-Errant managed to defeat the Chaos assault, though Macer Varren was mortally wounded and then possessed by the Lord of Flies, who attacked the World Eater's comrades. But the possessed Astartes froze when he was confronted by Loken, who tried to remind him of their friendship and of who he was, a man who was never mastered or controlled by anything as foul as a Chaos daemon.
Loken's intervention summoned a spark of Varren's old defiance, and the World Eater found the willpower to force back the daemon's assault and destroy himself using a brace of grenades he ripped from Loken's armour. The daemon's hold on realspace was finally destroyed by the Sigillite himself, who had arrived on the exterior of the mountain and used his restored psychic abilities to burn the daemon and its remaining plague flies to ash.
Shortly after the end of the battle for White Mountain, Loken and eight other Knights-Errant were brought to a chamber deep beneath the Imperial Palace complex. There they met with the Emperor Himself, who revealed that the nine Astartes were intended to become the founders of a new order of Space Marines who would combat the horrors of the Warp to keep humanity free of the influence of Chaos.
But to join the new order, each of the chosen Astartes needed to be willing to leave their pasts and all that they had once been behind, and start anew. Each would take up a new name and identity as they became the leaders of the new order.
Loken was intended to become "Crius," one of the founding Grand Masters of what would later be known as the Grey Knights, but upon seeing the Emperor in person for the first time, he realised that this destiny was not his. He refused the new identity offered by Malcador and returned to the surface. He was unwilling to surrender his past, for he needed to face the Sons of Horus one more time and gain vengeance for the Warmaster's betrayal in the terrible battle of the Siege of Terra to come.
Loken was an unusually thoughtful, calm and rational Space Marine, referred to as "the quiet one" of the Mournival by Horus. While not a man of many words, he often surprised those around him with the depth of his mind and character, unexpected in one who had been bred for war.
Like most of the members of his Legion, Loken was a native of Cthonia, the ancient Mining World near Terra where Horus had been found by the Emperor of Mankind in the early days of the Great Crusade. Unlike his fellow Astartes, Loken spent a great deal of his time reading and studying ancient writings, such as the Chronicles of Ursh. These were loaned to him from the vast Librarium of ancient human texts aboard the Luna Wolves' battle barge Vengeful Spirit by his friend, the Iterator Kyril Sindermann.
It is the insights gained from this study that enabled Loken to see the corruption of Chaos for what it was as it took hold of Horus and most of the Legion around him. It was his devotion to the truth at all costs, and his loyalty to the Emperor that ultimately placed him at odds with those who followed Horus into darkness.
Loken had many friends within the XVIst Legion as well as outside it in the days before the start of the Heresy, an unusual quality for an Astartes, as the Space Marines of the Luna Wolves rarely took notice of the normal men and women many of their kind routinely dismissed as "mortals." He befriended the Remembrancers Mersadie Oliton and Ignace Karkasy.
Oliton, a writer, followed Loken and often met with him in his personal armoury to record the takes of his experiences in battle. Karkasy was a poet who, after landing in trouble with the Imperial Army and nearly being beaten to death for openly speaking his mind about the potential immorality of the Great Crusade's conquest of human worlds, caught Loken's attention.
Loken respected him for his unusual willingness to speak the truth even when he did not agree with his conclusions and the Luna Wolf captain sponsored him, allowing him to remain with the 63rd Expeditionary Fleet. Loken protected Karkasy, even when Karkasy's poetry became openly critical of the Astartes.
Another important figure in Loken's life was Kyril Sindermann, who as an Iterator was a member of the corps of Imperial propagandists who accompanied each Great Crusade Expeditionary Fleet to carry out the cultural incorporation of conquered human worlds into the Imperium by spreading the Imperial Truth. Loken often pursued in-depth discussions on a variety of intellectual topics, including religion, with Sindermann.
Religion had been dismissed as mere superstition by the rationalism of the official creed of the Imperial Truth. This association, along with his protection of the Remembrancer Ignace Karkasy, later led to strife for Loken with Horus and his Warmaster's new confidante, First Chaplain Erebus of the Word Bearers Legion.
The Warmaster, often manipulated by the long-corrupt Erebus, turned against all the Remembrancers accompanying the 63rd Expeditonary Fleet shortly before the Istvaan III Atrocity. He believed them to be of little use in his coming war against the Emperor, particularly as they began to tell the truth about the corruption induced in the Legion by Chaos.
For this reason, once the Loyalists were on Istvaan III and could no longer protect them, Horus has his Astartes execute all the Remembrancers in the Sons of Horus fleet. Sindermann would survive and escape to the Eisenstein with the aid of Iacton Qruze, and would himself later become one of the founding members of the Inquisition.
- The Horus Heresy - Book One: Betrayal (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 46, 48, 54, 57, 59, 249
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