Marius Vairosean was once the Third Captain of the Emperor's Children Legion during the latter days of the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy in the late 30th and early 31st Millennium. He was present during many of the most infamous campaigns of the Heresy, including the Istvaan III Atrocity and the Drop Site Massacre of Istvaan V.
Marius' own quest for perfection would lead him and his entire Legion along the foul path of Chaotic corruption. Due to the influence of Slaanesh and the hideous ministrations of the Apothecary Fabius Bile, Vairosean was soon consumed by the corruption of Slaanesh and became one of the very first Noise Marines in service to the Prince of Pleasure. He eventually became the leader of the Kakophoni, the Noise Marines unit that formed within the Traitor Emperor's Children Legion after their fall to Chaos.
During the joint expedition undertaken by both the Emperor's Children and the Iron Warriors Legion into the Eye of Terror to seek out the forbidden xenos weapon known as the Angel Exterminatus, Vairosean was killed by the Drop Site Massacre survivor Ignatius Numen, an Iron Hands Morlock.
Marius Vairosean was the stern commander of the 3rd Company of the Emperor's Children Legion. One of the older warriors of the IIIrd Legion, Vairosean possessed salt and pepper hair and unlike many of the Astartes, had a narrow face, its features sharp and inquisitive, his skin dark and lined like old wood. The Emperor's Children Legion was defined by its struggle to achieve perfection in all things.
Immersed in his Legion's martial philosophy of the attainment of this perfection, Marius Vairosean prized this striving above all things. The idea of not being the best made him feel physically sick. To be less than the best was unacceptable, and Marius had long ago decided that nothing was going to stop him from achieving his goal. The idea of setting off without a detailed plan rankled Marius, a warrior for whom each advance and manoeuvre was planned with meticulous perfection and enacted without deviation. First Captain Julius Kaesoron had once joked that he should have been selected to join their perfectionist cousins, the Ultramarines, meaning it as a friendly jibe, but Marius had taken it as a compliment.
Marius was particularly stern and serious for a warrior of the Emperor's Children Legion, slow to take part in any sort of humour, and very serious about how to conduct war, for he believed war was a grim business; good men died and as leaders, he believed the line officers of the Legion were responsible for bringing them back alive, for each death lessened them. Making jokes about it, such as flippant references to gods of battle, did not go over well with him.
Second Captain Solomon Demeter, commander of the IIIrd Legion's 2nd Company, was a good friend of Captain Vairosean. But at times, Solomon felt Marius was so "by-the-book," that he had a tendency of needling him from time to time, even when he knew that he should not. Vairosean's 3rd Company often supported Solomon Demeter's 2nd Company in the heat of battle, and both commanders shared a long-time friendship as a result. At times, this friendship generated some friction between the two commanders, as Marius often found Demeter's cavalier tactics and brash behaviour unbecoming of a senior officer.
As a firm lover of discipline, formality and hierarchy, Marius was a proud member of the IIIrd Legion's Brotherhood of the Phoenix, the secret Warrior Lodge of the Emperor's Children. This confraternity of warriors was instituted after the IIIrd Legion had spent some time fighting alongside their brother Legion, the Luna Wolves, who were the first to adopt the custom of creating a Warrior Lodge following their conquest of the world of Davin, sixty standard years before the start of the Horus Heresy.
Given the Emperor's Children's love of formal hierarchy, the Brotherhood of the Phoenix was much more rigid in structure and behaviour than their brethren Legions' more egalitarian Warrior Lodges and was open for membership only to their Primarch Fulgrim, the Legion's eleven Lord Commanders, and its company Captains so as to maintain the Legion's strict hierarchical structure.
During the Great Crusade Captain Vairosean took part in many notable actions and campaigns, which included the Cleansing of Laeran, a xenocidal campaign conducted against the serpentine alien race who called themselves the Laer. The war for Laeran was fought across many varied battlefields, the warriors of the Emperor’s Children fighting on floating atolls and through the ruins of ancient structures that reared from the oceans, while foaming breakers crashed against walls that had once stood thousands of metres in the air.
During the initial assaults, Captain Vairosean fought numerous actions against Laer orbitals that had previously escaped detection, fighting boarding actions on alien vessels, controlled by Laer pilots telepathically linked to their ships in a loathsome parasitic manner. Underwater cites were discovered within days of the campaign's opening and detachments of Astartes took the fight to the abyssal darkness of undersea trenches, smashing into structures that had never known the touch of sunlight, in specially modified boarding torpedoes fired from Imperial Cruisers hovering above the sea. Solomon Demeter led the 2nd Company against the first of these cities.
He was present during the momentous final battle of the campaign to seize the last atoll, and his company encountered the fiercest resistance of all engaged units. On the southern spurs of the atoll, Marius Vairosean had had too many of his gunships shot down and he knew he was dangerously below the strength the Primarch had decreed necessary to seize his objective. The 3rd Company had failed to reach the battlefield in accordance with the Primarch’s meticulous plan. Marius suffered unbearable torments at the thought that he had failed in his duty. He and his warriors were shamed, but Fulgrim forgave him, though there was nothing to forgive. Marius became sombre and withdrawn from his fellow Captains, falling into a pit of self-loathing that he had dug for himself.
As a result, he confined himself to the armament decks of the Pride of the Emperor , the Emperor's Children flagship, after the conquest of Laeran, mercilessly drilling his company day and night so that they would not fail again. Ever since Marius had failed Fulgrim on Laeran, he had been the most devoted servant, ever eager to please and determined to obey any order without question. Seeking any means to achieve his objectives, he willingly accepted the use of new chemical stimulants created by Chief Apothecary Fabius for testing, despite not knowing the nature of the drug or its exact origins. The Primarch had authorised its use for those who wished to utilise it.
Solomon Demeter was not so sure, for he did not like the idea of some new chemical being pumped into him when he did not know where it came from. He could not understand why it was needed. Marius felt that his friend's objections were irrelevant. The word had been given, and they were duty bound to obey. Their ideal of perfection and purity came from Fulgrim, and it passed down through the Lord Commanders to the Company Captains, whereupon it was beholden on them to enact the Primarch's will amongst their warriors. Despite Vairosean's reassurances, to Demeter it still felt wrong.
During the Laeran campaign, Chief Apothecary Fabius discovered upon examining some of the corpses of the Laer that the serpentine creatures had been engaged in extensive genetic engineering to perfect their species, creating a multitude of different castes who were genetically designed to best serve their intended function in Laer society. Bringing his findings to his Primarch, Fabius explained that the Laer were not so dissimilar to the Emperor's Children in their approaches to perfection. He put forward the hypothesis that what the Emperor had crafted when He had created the superhuman enhancements of the Astartes was incredible, but he believed that it might be possible to go beyond what the Emperor had accomplished. Fulgrim inquired if Fabius truly believed that he could enhance the gene-seed of the Astartes.
The Apothecary admitted that he did not know for certain, but he believed that they had to at least try, for by doing so they would move closer to perfection -- and only by imperfection would the Emperor's Children fail the Emperor. The Primarch agreed with the Apothecary's proposition and gave Bile free leave to do what needed to be done. Through Fabius' ministrations, the Astartes of the Emperor's Children began undergoing surgical and chemical enhancements of their physiology. Vairosean willingly underwent these criminal and outlawed medicae surgical procedures which would eventually spread cancerously through the IIIrd Legion as the power of the Warp reached out to swallow the Emperor's Children.
Chief Apothecary Fabius rewired the pleasure centres of Vairosean's brain, which resulted in the previously dour warrior becoming constantly on edge as he experienced enhanced sensations, heightened emotions and stimulation through sight, sound and touch, especially through pain. Marius initially found that through the expression of rage, he felt the most joyous of pleasures, but kept himself in check in accordance with his Legion's martial philosophy of perfection and discipline.
Just before the campaign began on Istvaan III, First Captain Kaesoron accompanied his Primarch to the Iron Hands fleet, in an attempt to persuade their Primarch Ferrus Manus to join the Warmaster Horus' cause. But the proceedings did not go well, and the confrontation ended in violence. At a given signal by the Phoenician, the accompanying Phoenix Guard, Fulgrim's personal bodyguard, slew The Gorgon's personal bodyguard, the Morlocks, outside the Primarch's chambers. Julius Kaesoron struck out against his counterpart amongst the Iron Hands, First Captain Gabriel Santor, and very nearly killed him with his pair of Lightning Claws.
Taking their leave, the Primarch ordered Captain Vairosean aboard the Pride of the Emperor and its Escorts to open fire upon the warships of the Iron Hands' 52nd Expeditionary Fleet. Much to Marius Vairosean's disappointment, Fulgrim had called a halt to the attack before the destruction of the Iron Hands' flagship Fist of Iron was complete. Leaving the crippled Xth Legion's fleet becalmed, the ships of the Emperor's Children had disengaged and made the translation into the Immaterium to rendezvous with the forces of the Warmaster Horus once more.
Seduction by Chaos
During the lull between the Istvaan III Atrocity and the campaign on Istvaan V, Vairosean, along with the bulk of the IIIrd Legion's officer corps, attended the fateful performance of the famed composer Bequa Kynska of Terra aboard the Pride of the Emperor in the La Fenice auditorium. The theatre had been garishly transformed into a pale likeness of the corrupted Slaaneshi temple on Laeran.
Accompanying the Emperor's Children to the surface of Laeran, Kynska had been touched by the Chaotic corruption of that foul place, becoming enamoured by the sights and sounds she experienced within the Laer temple, and she sought to compose an orchestral piece that she believed would recapture the wondrous sounds she had once heard in that place of Slaaneshi taint.
Her ultimate masterpiece was a symphony she named the Maraviglia and which she performed for Fulgrim and all the assembled Astartes of the Emperor's Children and their mortal support personnel within La Fenice. To recreate the sounds she had heard, Kynska created new musical instruments whose sonic powers could also be used for destruction when employed by an individual already corrupted by Slaanesh.
As the Maraviglia began, the cachophony of sound unleashed by these instruments acted as a sorcerous ritual that opened a link between realspace and the Warp and allowed the power of Slaanesh to directly touch the audience. During the "performance" it was noted that the musical instruments were able to produce effects variously disorienting, stimulating and downright murderous.
Chaos mutations ran rampant through the audience and Astartes and mortal humans alike were so overwhelmed by sensation and uncontrollable emotions that they unleashed an orgy of both sensual hedonism and the most base form of murder upon one another. Ultimately, the music summoned five Lesser Daemons of Slaanesh known as Daemonettes from the Warp who possessed the bodies of several of Kynska's singers and joined in the slaughter.
During this part of the concert, several Emperor's Children Astartes, including Vairosean, left their seats and took up the instruments to try and keep the Chaotic music playing and in the course of their untrained fumblings with the instruments discovered that they could unleash waves of destructive sonic power filled with the energy of Chaos.
These Astartes became the first Noise Marines, who would eventually take to the field on Istvaan V wielding this strange weaponry as a new unit of the IIIrd Legion called the Kakophoni under the command of Marius Vairosean. It was during this performance in La Fenice that the Emperor's Children finally gave themselves wholly, both body and soul, to the Prince of Pleasure as his most dedicated servants.
Drop Site Massacre
During the Drop Site Massacre on Istvaan V, the tragic campaign that saw the near destruction of three Loyalist Legions, including the Iron Hands, Raven Guard and Salamanders Legions, Vairosean willingly took part in the slaughter of his former Astartes cousins. By this time, Marius Vairosean had embellished his armour with jagged iron spikes, and had torn the skin from the dead of La Fenice to decorate its blood-slathered plates. Like Julius Kaesoron, he had not walked away from the Maraviglia without a mutant alteration, the monstrous distension of his jaws locking his mouth open in a constant, howling scream.
Where his ears had once been were two great gashes carved in his flesh, and his eyes were stitched open, forever prevented from closing. He still carried the great musical instrument he had taken from Bequa Kynska's orchestra, modified to bear spiked handles and grips to render it into a terrifying Sonic Weapon. Marius Vairosean and his Kakophoni ploughed the bloody sand with their terrifying harmonics, ripping open flesh and metal with shrieking chords and howling scales.
Path of Damnation
As wondrous as Julius Kaesoron's blessed transformations were, they were subtle next to those wrought on Marius Vairosean. Where the First Captain had received his ruined visage at the hands of the enemy, Marius Vairosean had been gifted during the rush of power unleashed by the Maraviglia.
The captain's jaws were rigid and locked open with barbed cabling, as though he was forever screaming. Two great open wounds in the side of his head cut "V"-shaped gouges in his tapered skull where his ears had once been located. Vairosean's bare head was a mass of fresh surgical scars where resonating amplification devices had been worked into the reshaped bone of his skull.
His eyes were maddened black orbs submerged in pallid, doughy flesh, the skin flaking and veined with ruptured blood vessels. Both captains wore armour that had been wondrously embellished with spikes and draped with leathered hide stripped from the bodies that littered the parquet of La Fenice. Yet for all their gaudy finery and obvious mutilations, their fellow Traitor Lucius saw Kaesoron and Vairosean as relics of the past, officers of dogged loyalty who lacked the ambition or flair that would see a warrior burn brighter than a star.
Marius Vairosean continued to lead his company of shrieking Kakophoni in battle during the Horus Heresy, systematically razing his enemy's defences with grim, methodical dogma. Shrieking harmonics of dissonant vibrations tore the atoms of matter apart with resonant frequencies that echoed between worlds. Marius Vairosean's screaming squads of Noise Marines blasted what little was left standing of their foes to shredded atoms with jangling, interlocking blast waves of disharmonious sonics.
Many of the Emperor's Children Chaos Space Marines during the Heresy kept well clear of Marius Vairosean, for the Kakophoni eventually became virtually deaf and insensate to any but the most ear-splitting noises. The nerve-shredding rush of excruciatingly vivid sound was simply a pleasure many within the IIIrd Legion chose to forego.
Marius would later take part in the joint expedition comprised of both the Emperor's Children and the Iron Warriors Traitor Legions into the Eye of Terror to seek out the forbidden xenos weapon known as the Angel Exterminatus. It had been hidden in the grave of its doom, a weapon of such power that the stars themselves turned upon it rather than allow it to escape its prison. The destination of the joint fleet of Iron Warriors and Emperor's Children vessels was the lost Eldar world of Iydris, a world said to have been favoured by the goddess Lileath.
Iydris was one of the legendary Crone Worlds, which once formed the heart of the lost Eldar empire before they were consumed by the creation of the vast Warp Rift that was the Eye of Terror following the birth of the Chaos God Slaanesh in the early 30th Millennium. The lost world was located at the heart of the Eye of Terror, somehow remaining in a fixed position keeping it from destruction in the gravitational hellstorm of a supermassive black hole that lay at the centre of the eternal Warp Storm.
Their ultimate goal was within the Primarchs' grasp; the Sepulchre of Isha's Doom, which sat at the centre of the citadel of Amon ny-shak Kaelis. But Fulgrim had lied to his brother Primarch Perturabo, for in reality the reason they had come to the Crone World was so that the Emperor's Children Primarch could achieve apotheosis and become a Daemon Prince. During an epic climatic battle within the Sepulchre of Isha's Doom, Vairosean fought against a multitude of Eldar Wraith constructs as well as their former comrades from the Iron Warriors.
During the climax of the battle, Vairosean also faced a small Loyalist force from the Sisypheum, an Iron Hands vessel that had survived the destruction of the Drop Site Massacre and fled, waging a guerrilla war against the forces of the Warmaster Horus. They had tracked Fulgrim to this benighted place, intent on thwarting whatever foul plans he intended to carry out.
During the battle Vairosean was gravely wounded by the Iron Hands Dreadnought "Karaashi" Bombastus. But despite his wounds, he surged to his feet and unleashed a shrieking blast of sound from his swelling lungs and altered trachea, wounding the Iron Father Sabik Wayland. But eventually his rampage came to end.
One of the Iron Hands warriors stumbled to his feet, his armour torn and scorched almost bare of paint. Reeling from the earlier attack by Vairosean's Kakophoni squad, he staggered under the weight of a heavy Volkite cannon. As he struggled to make ready the unfamiliar weapon, Vairosean took the opportunity to unleash another deadly screaming bellow.
Incredibly, impossibly, the warrior remained standing. Deaf to all sound, the Morlock Ignatius Numen triggered the Volkite cannon. The searing ray punched through Marius Vairosean's breastplate, and explosively boiled his flesh and blood in the blink of an eye. He did not even have breath to scream as he was utterly eradicated from existence.
- Fulgrim (Novel) by Graham McNeill, pp. 14, 26, 37-38, 42-45, 52, 58, 74, 136, 139, 187, 241-242, 292, 315-316, 380, 384, 399
- The Primarchs (Anthology), "The Reflection Crack'd," by Graham McNeill, pp. 8, 11-12, 18, 26, 31, 33-34, 38-42, 44, 48, 52-53
- Angel Exterminatus (Novel) by Graham McNeill, pp. 48, 89, 98-99, 145, 161, 210, 260, 269-271