Garviel Loken was the Captain of the 10th company of the Luna Wolves Space Marine Legion during the latter half of the Great Crusade. After distinguishing himself in battle, he was inducted into the Mournival, the advisory council to the Warmaster Horus, and from this position was a first-hand witness to the series of events that would result in Horus' damnation and the beginning of the Horus Heresy.
|This page contains spoilers for:||Horus Heresy Series|
Long an upwardly mobile officer, and friend to senior Captain Tarik Torgaddon, Garviel Loken was inducted into the Mournival after the pacification of Sixty-Three-Nineteen, the first Mournival member not to be a 'son of Horus', the term for those Luna Wolves who bore a facial similarity to their Primarch. The bloodline of Cthonia was strong in Loken, and as a result he had pale, craggy features, short fair hair, grey eyes and a slightly freckled face. His tally of glories reckoned to be in line after those of Ezekyle Abaddon and Luc Sedirae1, Loken's martial record was unquestionable. His strength of character was vouched for by Torgaddon and no less a personage than the Primarch of the Imperial Fists, Rogal Dorn, who was said to appreciate Loken's calm attitude. Dorn went on to counsel Loken to be a 'naysmith' within the Mournival, and to always speak his mind as he saw it.1 For a time Loken enjoyed a privileged position at the Warmaster's side. His relationship with his fellow Mournival brothers was cordial, and he was encouraged from his oath of service to speak as an equal.1 Loken and the other members of the Mournival continued to get along well until the battles on Davin and Aureus, often in these happier times even play fighting with his brothers.2
However, as it became apparent that more and more activities amidst the Astartes of the legion were becoming increasingly clandestine and out of character, Loken became suspicious and began to investigate. After the Warmaster's botched attempt at peaceful negotiations with the Interex1, the Luna Wolves were renamed the Sons of Horus2, confirming Loken's fears that the old ways of the legion were being forgotten.
His research into the turbulent ancient history of Terra (in ancient tomes such as The Chronicles of Ursh)1 at the behest of his troubled mentor Kyril Sindermann, and his sponsorship of the rebellious remembrancer poet Ignace Karkasy put him at odds with some of the most powerful and influential Astartes in the 63rd Expeditionary Fleet, including Chaplain Erebus of the Word Bearers, and even the Warmaster himself.
Horus eventually saw fit to have Loken eliminated during the betrayal at Isstvan III, placing him at the front of the doomed invasion force alongside his friend and fellow marginalized Mournival member Tarik Torgaddon. When the virus bomb strike failed to kill all of the loyalist forces on the surface, the entirety of the traitor legions were eventually deployed to wipe out the survivors, who had fortified the Precentor's Palace under Loken's, Torgaddon's, and Saul Tarvitz's command. Given command of the loyalist Astartes of the XVI Legion, Loken declared that they were once again the Luna Wolves.
Loken fought to the last as a loyal servant of the Emperor and refused to give any quarter to those who had betrayed the Emperor in favour of Horus. After witnessing the death of Tarik Torgaddon at the hands of Horus Aximand he was wounded on Isstvan III by his old comrade Ezekyle Abaddon, and was believed to have perished in the final orbital bombardment of the planet, along with the last surviving loyalists3. Loken and Torgaddon's deaths (supposed in the case of former) marked the removal of one of the final obstacles to Horus' great ambitions.
Although it initially appeared that Loken perished in the final bombardment of Isstvan III, many months later a team of Astartes led by Nathaniel Garro on the orders of Malcador the Sigillite were sent to the planet to recruit a single warrior.4
The wars of the Horus Heresy had long since moved onwards, leaving Isstvan III a shattered and desolate graveyard. In these circumstances, the one surviving and abandoned Astartes left upon the world had fallen to a form of madness, believing himself rejected by death and unable to remember his name. He took upon himself the name Cerberus and believed himself to be the only remaining loyalist, (a Legion of One), until he was confronted by Garro and his men.4
Initially hostile to a group that he perceived as traitors, the lone astartes forced Nathaniel Garro to engage him in single combat, and Garro proved unable to overcome him physically. Thus Garro appealed to the warrior's faith and duty and reminded him of his name: Garviel Loken.4
In this moment of lucidity, Loken remembered himself and agreed to go with them. It is revealed that Loken is the final recruit for Garro's mission for the Sigillite and they return together to Terra to learn their fates.4
- Cerberus - the name adopted by Loken after the battle of Isstvan III - is the name of the gatekeeper of hell in classical mythology.