Dramatis personae

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Transcription datum +++ Sat, 2014-02-01 00:19

Arkan Istraufel

Dramatis personae

Psykers are rare on Ishil - extremely rare. Unsanctioned psychic talent is not tolerated, and so all children are screened at birth and through their early school years. Any who show signs of psychic latency are immediately segregated from their peers and inducted into a lifetime of training and service to their world. While this may seem draconian, psykers are in reality highly valued by the Ishilites, and so the vast majority survive their most dangerous formative years and live free from the persecution which hounds psykers unfortunate enough to be born on other worlds.

Arkan Istraufel was one of the tiny number who proved strong and disciplined enough to enter the Minaret Astral - the great temple of divination, and Librarium of the Ishilites. There he studied under the iron tutelage of Eregoth; possibly the greatest of all Ishilite librarians. Istraufel did not disappoint his master, and after twenty years' worth of mental and physical training he was declared Codicer-Adept and was assigned to the satellite Librarium of House Deshiril. Progress was swift and the Lord Deshiril was soon satisifed that Istraufel was ready to be assigned active battle duties.

His first out-of-system campaign experience was in the great Heretic Hunt to the Invictus subsector, where he excelled at leading tracking parties in pursuit of the hated Traitor marines, guiding the great crusading knights to their quarry. His mental duel with, and victory over the cursed sorceror Thengor was counted as one of the finest individual triumphs recorded by any who embarked on the crusade.

Having set out as a novice, he returned a decorated veteran and, after a brief leave of absence to resume his arcane studies with Eregoth, he began his first defensive tour of Ishil itself. During this period he learned the permitted texts which chronicled Ishil's discovery and the founding of the Ishilites - a crucial step in the development of any Ishilite. Though this tour coincided with an extremely peaceful spell in the system, his devotion to training and learning meant that he was appointed Adjutant to the Kingsmen - a position of high honour. He served in this role for the expected fifty years before the chapter's military rotation required him to be available for his next crusading campaign.

This took him out of the Antona Australis sector and deep into Ultima Segmentum where his battlegroup moved to support the Ultramarines in the century-old Orkoid Persecution. This was the beginning of a lengthy conflict which taught Istraufel valuable strategies for engaging with the Orkish hordes. As his experience grew, so did his capability for command, and he swiftly advanced from heading small strikeforces to being entrusted with the field leadership of entire battalions. Possibly his greatest success came on the planet Fold, when Istraufel's company intervened at the Battle of Rorgan to rescue a stranded squad of Ultramarines, before routing the Orks and driving them back. Istraufel's company pushed home their advantage, freeing city after city from slavery, until the ranks of newly-enlisted freedmen militia numbered one million. Istraufel's led this newly-formed, rag-tag army in one final assault to victory against Warboss Blackfang - Istraufel himself claiming the Warboss' head in single combat.

Though the Persecution was to continue for another fifty years, the Ishilite forces were required to take honourable leave of their Ultramarine comrades and return to Antona Australis. Their numbers were dwindling, many great warriors had fallen during the war, and the attendant apothecaries had much gene-seed to return to their homeworld. Upon arrival in the sector, the battered fleet received news of the 4th Great Cull. All Imperial servants were summoned to the cause; none were exempt. The fleet command - among whom Istraufel now was numbered - consulted with the King on Ishil. Though most of the apothecaries and wounded marines were to return to Ishil, those few who remained would rendezvous with a small battlegroup of Ishilites at the rimwards exit of the Hyperion warp corridor before setting a course for the Hyperion Front.

Istraufel would face the Orks one last time.

Associated military force