Thulsa Kane, also known as"Old Night," is the current High Chaplain of the Executioners Space Marine Chapter. He also carries the titles of High Mortiurge (or supreme judge) and Lord Speaker of the Dead -- the Executioners Astartes responsible for recording the deeds of his Battle-Brothers in battle. During the Badab War, Thulsa Kane carried the command of the Executioners Chapter in the Secessionist cause, charged with the blood debt they owed to the Astral Claws Chapter of old, also it was Kane that declared that debt of honour's breach by Lufgt Huron and led the Executioners Chapter's murderous rampage against his former allies.
The one-eyed Thulsa Kane is the current High Chaplain of the Executioners, a role of singular importance within the Chapter which also carries with it the titles of High Mortiurge and Lord Speaker of the Dead, which makes Kane responsible for recording the deeds of the Executioners Space Marines in battle. He is renowned as much for his scornful and macabre wit as his skill as a warrior, and is known (not unaffectionately) by his Battle-Brothers as "Old Night" (as well as a variety of other less savoury names), and there are many that would rather face the wrath of a daemon than catch the brunt of the High Chaplain's ire. Possessing a mind as keen as a Power Blade and a grim wisdom that encompasses the breadth of his bellicose Chapter's long history and its many secrets, this ancient warrior has long since lost count of just how many heads he has taken from his enemies in his long service to the Emperor.
The Battle of Carrion Deep
One of Kane's most notable actions occurred in 899.M41, when responding to a series of frantic astropathic distress calls from several Imperial deep-range outposts, the forces of the Executioners' 2nd Company, led by Lord High Chaplain Thulsa Kane, found themselves in a desperate struggle against an awakened threat stirring in the Dead Worlds near the Veiled Region on the edge of the Segmentum Tempestus. Upon investigation the Executioners discovered nothing but a trail of shattered ruins and empty bastions where Imperial watchposts should have been. The 2nd Company was ambushed in the wreckage of the frontier base on the Dead World of Carrion Deep. Surrounded and outnumbered by metallic foes that wouldn't die, it was only by the dauntless leadership and wise cunning of High Chaplain Thulsa Kane that they were able to survive. Leading the 2nd Company in a furious counter-assault, the Executioners came to grips with their foes, taking advantage of the inherent speed and ferocity only possessed by an Astartes. Kane himself sought and confronted the enemy leader, and after a titanic clash of arms, the battle left Kane's Crozius Arcanum broken and his right eye withered in his skull, though he struck the metallic creature down. Though his Battle-Brothers wanted to fight on to the bitter end, the High Chaplain's will prevailed. Less than a third of the Executioners' force succeeded in breaking out of the deadly trap of their undying foes. This is one of the first confirmed and detailed Imperial battle reports against the ancient alien menace later identified by the Ordo Xenos as the Necrons.
The Badab War
The Executioners Chapter was one of four Astartes Chapters that rebelled against the authority of the Imperium during the Badab War. Their involvement in Lufgt Huron's cause was the result of the unique consequence of a blood debt the Chapter owed the Astral Claws from more than a millennium before. By 904.M41 the Executioners had fully joined the rebellion on the side of the Astral Claws and the Secessionists. The Executioners force, under the direct command of the High Chaplain Thulsa Kane, was fully engaged in the Badab War by early 907.M41.
The Executioners steadfastly refused to operate under the direct control of the Tyrant of Badab, operating only as allies and never subordinates. By 909.M41, this resulted in much ire within the ranks of the Secessionists. The Chapter had a tendency to leave survivors of their attacks behind once their military objectives were met, even allowing the surrender of defeated foes with honour. This incensed Lugft Huron to no end. Because of the Executioners' perceived lack of resolve, the Tyrant of Badab instituted the policy of having his forces shadow theirs "to do what must be done" and to keep the Executioners Chapter as distant from his own machinations and actions as possible. But as the war worsened for the Secessionists, Huron was forced to rely heavily on the Executioners to contest the Maelstrom Zone. This would prove disastrous and result in the Executioners turning on the Astral Claws after the events surrounding the surrender of the Salamanders Chapter's Battle Barge Pyre of Glory. The Chapter became a rogue element, conducting their own private war with their former allies until they negotiated a surrender to the Loyalist forces and a withdrawal from the war zone in 911.M41.
Of all those that were caught up in the Secessionists' cause, the Executioners Chapter emerged from the conflict the least scathed and the least tainted. They had fought honourably and had lived and died by their oaths. The Executioners were granted the Emperor's forgiveness when the High Lords of Terra determined that they had mistakenly sided with the Traitors as the result of a deception, though they remained subject to undertaking a hundred-year-long Penitent-Crusade to atone for the Loyalist blood spilled and were forbidden from recruiting new Initiates during that time, much like the fellow penitents, the Mantis Warriors.
- The Aenigmata Ferrum - This sacred tome contains the accumulated battle-wisdom and ancient secrets of the Executioners Chapter culled from many thousands of years of chronicles. A copy of the Aenigmata Ferrum is carried into battle and further added to by every High Mortiurge of the Chapter.
- Grehdalin's Bones - A relic of the Chapter, this Artificer Armour was created from the nigh-indestructible skeletal remains of an ancient xenos beast that once slaughtered an entire colony world's population one-by-one. Slain by one of the greatest of the Chapter's High Chaplains in an epic struggle, the armour is said to both shield the flesh of the Chaplain who wears it, as well as remind them constantly of the high standards they are expected to set for the rest of the Chapter.
- Lifetaker - The Lifetaker is a massive black-bladed Power Axe of archaic design, carried by successive Chapter Masters of the Executioners and given to Thulsa Kane to signify his leadership of the Executioners during the dark days of the Badab War.
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pp. 88-89, 172