Hyperion, born Zael Effernetti, was a potent Grey Knights Prognosticar of the Grey Knights Chapter of Space Marines. Hyperion was originally a low-hiver from the world of Eustis Majoris who at the age of eleven or twelve standard years, early in the 4th Century of the 41st Millennium, became involved in the banishment of the daemon Slyte by Inquisitor Gideon Ravenor. His nascent psyker abilities later led to his induction as Brother Hyperion into the elite Grey Knights, where he served as the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Malleus. Hyperion achieved early notoriety as the "Blade Breaker" amongst the Astartes of the Space Wolves Chapter as he had used his psychic abilities to break the sword wielded by the Daemon Primarch Angron during the First War for Armageddon, and he was eventually promoted to serve as a Prognosticar in the Chapter Librarium.
Zael Effernetti was born c. 390.M41 in the lower levels of Petropolis, a major hive city on the industrial Hive World of Eustis Majoris in the Angelus Sub-sector. His parents died in a hivepox outbreak when he was barely out of infancy. His grandmother, his last remaining adult caretaker, died when he was eleven years old, leaving Zael in the care of his sister, a known drug user. Like his sister before him, he became addicted to the illegal psychoactive drug flect around that time. A street urchin, and physically stunted because of the polluted environment and harsh living conditions in Petropolis' lower levels, he lived in abject poverty, using his wits to score the next flect hit or "look." It is likely that his addiction triggered innate, unique psyker abilities that eventually brought him to the attention of Ordo Xenos Inquisitor Gideon Ravenor.
Ravenor and Slyte
Ravenor and his retinue of Acolytes were investigating the flect trade in the Scarus Sector, which led to a larger conspiracy involving the recidivist Cognitae Zygmunt Molotch. They arrived at Eustis Majoris in 404.M41. Ravenor's team came across Zael Effernetti and was using him as a way to penetrate the lowhive flect-dealing syndicates when Zael's abilities were revealed -- Zael himself had been unaware of his unique "gifts." Ravenor described him at this time thusly: "A low-hab stack-runt from Petropolis, a vagabond kid, and also a nascent psyker, undetected by the periodic sweeps and examinations. Not just a psyker, a mirror psyker, that rarest of rare beasts." Mirror psykers can passively pick-up telepathic communications, even private ones, which they can amplify and "resend." This property is usually just the visible tip of additional powerful psyker abilities. Subsequently, Ravenor took Zael under his care in order to find out more, and possibly exploit his abilities.
Ravenor and his Acolytes had been given information that an extremely powerful daemon of the Major Arcana called Sleet or Slyte was going to incarnate into the mortal realm in the early years of the 4th century of M41 on Eustis Majoris. Furthermore, this event would be caused by someone close to Ravenor; interpreting a complex series of clues and events, Ravenor suspected that Slyte would manifest through Zael. In a typical move, Ravenor did not execute the boy outright on mere suspicion, as most Puritan Inquisitors would have done. In the meantime Zael collapsed under "psychic assault" during a Cognitae-related operation; with Zael in a coma, Ravenor tasked Wystan Frauka, a member of his entourage who was an individual possessed of the Pariah Gene and was thus an Untouchable, to guard him with instructions to kill the boy at the slightest suspicion of daemonic manifestation.
However, Zael's coma was self-induced. Zael was not a vessel for Slyte; on the contrary, he had realised that Carl Thonius, Ravenor's Interrogator, was actually Slyte-in-waiting, yet Zael had no tangible proof. He knew that Thonius/Slyte was suspicious of his abilities and would kill him as the only threat to the daemon's final incarnation, so he faked his collapse and coma, hoping to stay alive and take advantage of the situation at a better time. Thanks to his psychic ability and natural intelligence, Zael achieved an impossible feat: he managed, while under coma, to psychically communicate with Frauka, who as an Untouchable should have been incapable of such a feat, eventually imbuing him with psychic touch. Frauka, grateful over this proof that he had (or had acquired) a soul, kept their communication private, and vowed to protect Zael and help him in thwarting Slyte.
Eventually Frauka, psychically "worn" by Zael, managed to convince Ravenor that Slyte would use Thonius as a gateway into realspace, which led to Ravenor's subsequent banishment of the daemon in 404.M41. In the meantime Ravenor had been declared a rogue and a Radical by the Inquisition, and after the Slyte affair he was subject to an Inquisition trial on Gudrun. As Ravenor's retinue disbanded, Zael was put in the care of the Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor Lilith Abfequarn.
After initial processing, Inquisitor Abfequarn took Zael from Gudrun via Black Ship to Titan, the moon of the gas giant Saturn in the Sol System that served as a base for the Grey Knights and the Ordo Malleus. In her report, Abfequarn stated that his psyker potential could be "unlocked" in a controlled manner. The Grey Knights Prognosticars also had a favourable opinion of Zael's disposition for training and eventual acceptance into the Chapter. In 406.M41, after he had been "mind-wiped" as was required of all Grey Knights Aspirants who had passed the initial 99-day assessment, the 15-year-old was accepted as a Grey Knight Neophyte, and started the decades-long training to join the Chapter.
Following the start of his formal training Zael was given the new name of Hyperion to mark his rebirth as an Astartes of the Chapter. This was the name of one of the gas giant Saturn's many moons and it was considered a particularly auspicious name within the Chapter, where such names were psychically reactive against an existing daemon's truename, and a harbinger of great things to come for its bearer. Hyperion soon received the "Emperor's Gift," the gene-seed and Astartes organ implants crafted from the Emperor's own genome that defined every Grey Knight, though only in 443.M41 was he recognised as a full Astartes of the Chapter. By that time, his psyker abilities had been honed to a high degree. However, he was deemed to be lacking the necessary psychological self-control to become a Prognosticar, and was instead assigned as a Pyrokine (master of psychic flame) to Interceptor Squad Castian of the 8th Brotherhood, under the command of Justicar Galeo.
In 444.M41 Squad Castian assisted Inquisitor Annika Jarlsdottyr of the Ordo Malleus in investigating a Space Wolves vessel that was drifting powerless in the void. The investigation turned up evidence that Chaos was engaged in a hitherto unknown major campaign against the important Hive World of Armageddon. The magnitude of the campaign, eventually known as the First War for Armageddon, became obvious when it was revealed that the Daemon Primarch Angron of the World Eaters Traitor Legion was leading the invasion. The Grey Knights responded to a request for help from the Great Wolf Logan Grimnar, the Chapter Master of the Space Wolves and the only member of the Space Wolves to know of the Grey Knights' existence. The Space Wolves were at the forefront of the planet's defence.
Squad Castian joined an ad hoc "Ragged Brotherhood" of Grey Knights under Taremar Aurellian, the Brother-Captain of the 3rd Brotherhood, and along with a hastily mustered Inquisition force, made course for Armageddon at top speed. When the call came, the Grey Knights teleported into the midst of the advancing Chaos horde, surrounding the gigantic Daemon Primarch. Taking heavy losses from its enormous, tainted weapon (the "Black Blade"), the Grey Knights inflicted their own punishment, and eventually Squad Castian, including Hyperion, were at melee distance. After Angron mangled the squad, Hyperion was the only Grey Knight left standing. Trying to protect a still-surviving squad mate, in a tremendous display of faith, power, and effort, Hyperion used his psyker abilities to shatter the Primarch's blade -- while he collapsed into unconsciousness from the effort. Captain Aurellian then confronted the bladeless Daemon Prince of Khorne and managed to banish him back to the Warp for one hundred Terran years, though at the cost of his own life.
Hyperion was one of only 13 Grey Knights to survive the battle, out of 109 Astartes of the Brotherhood who had been deployed for the campaign. Found alive but in terrible shape by Space Wolves on the hellish field after the battle, he soon acquired the honorific "Bladebreaker" for his feat. He had to be put in temporary stasis in order to survive, and underwent surgery that replaced half his face and skull with augmetics, eventually reporting back to duty more than 4 months later.
"Months of Shame"
Hyperion was posted over Armageddon, in joint command of the Karabela, his squad's frigate. Following the end of the war, the Inquisition had no intention of letting the wider Imperium find out the true nature of the daemonic foe that had attacked Armageddon, or of the ways and means victory had been achieved; the Inquisitors present voted to sterilize and quarantine-for-life the remaining population of the Hive World in Adeptus Arbites work-camps scattered across the galaxy even though it was generally considered untainted and ignorant of the truth concerning the existence of Chaos. The valiant Imperial Guard and other human defenders of the world were to suffer the same fate or be liquidated.
Over the protests of the Space Wolves, the Inquisition followed through with the plan, and his superiors ordered the reluctant and demoralised Hyperion to have the Karabela destroy the first Imperial Guard troop transport to leave Armageddon, as it approached a Warp jump-point off-world. Following this first incident, a months-long cat-and-mouse campaign took place between the Space Wolves and their human charges on one side, and the Inquisition and Grey Knights on the other. It was characterised by increasingly deadly fratricidal actions by both sides, and rapidly escalated into a full-fledged war between the Space Wolves and the Inquisition. Frustration over these events mounted amongst the participating Grey Knights. Hyperion became involved in a conspiracy to assassinate the Inquisitor Lord Ghesmei Kysnaros, the leader of the Inquisition's campaign against the survivors of Armageddon, as the only possible way to end it. However he abandoned the assassination after a private meeting with Kysnaros, where his and the Inquisition's awful dilemma became more clear to Hyperion.
Finally, Kysnaros ordered his growing armada (including the Karabela) to Fenris, the Space Wolves' lightly defended Chapter homeworld, in a last-ditch gambit to force those Astartes to comply with the authority of the Inquisition.
Kysnaros' armada, including a multitude of Inquisition warships, Grey Knights vessels, and the entire fleet and strength of the Red Hunters Space Marine Chapter, arrived at Fenris and surrounded the planet in high orbit while targetting The Fang, the Space Wolves' fortress-monastery, for a devastating orbital bombardment.
The planet was virtually undefended as the vast majority of the Space Wolves and their Chapter fleet were dispersed on missions across the galaxy. Kysnaros again asked for a parlay with any ranking Space Wolves present. A delegation consisting of Kysnaros, Hyperion (who commanded respect amongst the Space Wolves as the "Bladebreaker") and Inquisitor Jarlsdottyr, a native Fenrisian, arrived at The Fang for the meeting. The Space Wolves had awoken the Venerable Dreadnought Bjorn the Fell-Handed to deal with the Inquisitorial party. The ancient warrior, who had once fought beside the Primarch Leman Russ during the Great Crusade, immediately received the unbidden respect and reverence of the Inquisitorial delegation, and was thought to be a more temperate and wise representative for the Chapter than Logan Grimnar.
Kysnaros asked for the Space Wolves' express obeisance to Imperial authority and chain of command, and a Penitent Crusade to be undertaken to expiate the Chapter's guilt for attacking the servants of the Inquisition. In exchange, the Inquisition and the Imperium at large would take no other action or censure against the Chapter. Before negotiations could go further, to the surprise of everyone, the Space Wolves' Chapter fleet under command of Logan Grimnar translated from the Warp near Fenris. As the Inquisition delegation made haste to their flagship, a short, brutal fight ensued over the planet. Eventually Grimnar and his Wolf Guard teleported to Kysnaros' flagship's bridge, where the Great Wolf unceremoniously beheaded the Inquisitor Lord. Grimnar then proceeded to maul the last survivor of Hyperion's brothers in Squad Castian. To save him, Hyperion confronted Grimnar, and in the duel that followed, he used his psychic powers to crack Grimnar's ancient, venerated Frost Axe, the Morkai. As Hyperion then confronted Grimnar and twenty Space Wolves, Bjorn the Fell-Handed teleported to the bridge and put an end to the fight.
Bjorn told Grimnar that the internecine war between the Chapter and the Inquisition on behalf of the survivors of Armageddon had to stop. The Inquisitorial force should be allowed to leave Fenris unscathed, and the Space Wolves should reach an understanding with the Imperium. He then addressed Hyperion and Inquisitor Jarlsdottyr, as the ranking Inquisition representatives present, and told them that no Inquisition vessel should ever again appear above Fenris. Additionally, the Space Wolves who had acquired knowledge of the existence of the Grey Knights would not be mind-scrubbed, as was customary, though the remaining Armageddon survivors would be handed over for mind-wiping and dispersion across the galaxy. The combatants accepted the terms, and shortly afterward, the Inquisitorial force left the system.
For Hyperion, the whole affair left a bitter aftertaste, especially because he could see that both sides' position and conduct had been in many cases flawed. However, both sides also had compelling arguments, yet Hyperion in the end tended to agree with the pragmatic attitude of the Inquisition more than with the perhaps misplaced idealism of the Space Wolves. The entire affair, while earning Hyperion the undying enmity of Logan Grimnar, matured him beyond his (relative) young age as a Grey Knight.
Eventually he was promoted to the Chapter Librarius, reluctantly leaving squad life and the close bond of brotherhood it represented behind. Some time after his promotion he started training as a Prognosticar. He trained under Torcrith, the last surviving Prognosticar (who died in 479.M41), and one of those who had originally marked him, when he was still Zael Effernetti, as a worthy candidate to join the ranks of the Grey Knights. Hyperion, now based in the Augurium, the Prognosticar Tower within the Librarium on Titan, enjoyed a decades-long career, and at the end of the 4th century of M41 was in charge of training the new generation of Prognosticar for the Grey Knights.
In surviving by himself as a drug-addicted child in the hostile environment of an industrial lower hive city, Zael proved that he had keen instincts of self-preservation and cunning. Some of this may have affected his early life as Hyperion, as he was admonished several times by his Justicar for going it alone, and not fully bonding with the rest of Squad Castian. He sometimes exhibited an impetuous character and lack of self-control, which prevented him from being considered for the Librarius at first. However he was also quick-thinking and innovative in battle, and supremely loyal to his friends. Hyperion was brought to Titan at a late age that would normally disqualify him from training as a Grey Knight; he was only considered for induction because he was physically underdeveloped. The late age of his induction may explain his lingering idiosyncrasies as an Astartes, at least during the early years of his tenure as a Grey Knight.
Despite the rigorous memory-wipe given to all Grey Knights Neophytes, Hyperion had fragmentary memories of his life as Zael, which mystified him. He was one of the few Space Marines to actually learn of his previous identity and history: Inquisitor Jarlsdottyr let him read some of the Inquisition's records on Effernetti, including Inquisitor's Abfequarn's report, which had been a deciding factor in shaping his course as a Grey Knight.
For a Space Marine, Hyperion showed uncharacteristic curiosity and sympathy about the ways of normal humans. He was not annoyed by their company, but often sought it out in order to gain some understanding of them. His human associates in the Inquisition reciprocated and also sometimes sought him out. Female associates especially seemed pleased in his company. Like all Grey Knights, he could understand over 600 Imperial dialects of Low Gothic, and often could converse with normal humans from many different Imperial worlds in their native language.
His more than thirty-five standard years of training as a candidate Grey Knight amplified and polished his psyker abilities, which kept growing stronger with age. He was a powerful telepath and remote mind probe, both passive and active, often acting as a psychic Auspex for his squad, and could carry "passengers" with him for the telepathic "ride" into the Warp and into the thoughts of others. Although he was not officially his squad's Telekine, he had powerful telekinetic abilities himself. Technically he was the Squad's Pyrokine, a witchfire adept of unique power. He was accomplished at combat Warp Jumps and often utilised his armour's Warp Generator to teleport in the midst of an ongoing combat, a tactic that sometimes favorably decided the outcome of Squad Castian's operations.
Conventionally, Hyperion was an expert marksman, often independently utilising two types of handguns, and had great skill with his Nemesis Stave. However he admitted that he was "worthless" with twin blades, and a "failed" long-blade duelist.
Throughout his candidacy and time as a Grey Knight, Hyperion was an ardent student of his order's vast archives. He accumulated extensive knowledge of the Archenemy and the ways to defeat it, and read of the actions of legendary Grey Knights and other heroes of the Imperium. He was disappointed by the political intrigue and small-mindedness of some of his masters in the Inquisition, but was also put off by the fanaticism and "heretical" idealism exhibited by the Space Wolves during the First War for Armageddon.
Hyperion was issued the standard Grey Knights Aegis Power Armour, including a Warp Generator that allowed him to effect position-displacement Warp Jumps during combat. He was additionally issued Terminator Armour when the situation warranted it (for example, during conflict on Armageddon). Following his induction into the Chapter Librarius, his armour incorporated a Psychic Hood. He carried the standard issue Grey Knights Storm Bolter and a Bolt Pistol along with specially consecrated ammunition. His excellent sharpshooting and gun-handling skills allowed him to shoot with both weapons simultaneously, while engaging a different target for each.
Hyperion also carried a Nemesis Force Weapon, a Warding Stave of great pedigree and significance. It originally belonged to Justicar Castian, who during the Horus Heresy was the founder of the Squad Castian that Hyperion was assigned to over 100 Terran centuries later. The stave was forged in the foundries below the Grey Knights' fortress-monastery on Titan. It was encased in Ceramite plate, inscribed with warding runes, and utilised several Refraction Fields, while also psychically bonding with the warrior it was assigned to. After Castian's death, his skull, plated in consecrated gold, was attached to the top of the stave. The stave was given to Hyperion by Justicar Galeo (who could rightly claim it). It was a great honour that recognised Hyperion's skill in handling the weapon as well as his ability to channel his concentrated psychic force through it.
Hyperion was not an accomplished swordsman, and in his early years as a Grey Knight he usually avoided short or long blade weapons. Following his promotion to the Librarius he started carrying a short Nemesis Force Sword, which he presumably put to good use. Finally, like his brothers, he was well versed in Trecenti code, an encrypted language also used as a battle cant amongst the Great Knights.
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