Kasper Ansbach Hawser
Kasper Ansbach Hawser, also known as Ahmad Ibn Rustah was a human academic of some significance to the Imperium of Man prior to the Horus Heresy. Hawser was noted to disappear under mysterious circumstances at about the age of 80 only to reappear years later as a skjald, or oral historian, for the Space Wolves around the outset of the Horus Heresy.
He was born approximately 862.M30. The earliest records pertaining to Hawser, at 3 or 4 years old, note that he was discovered by a surveying patrol in the radland flats near the outskirts of the great city of Ur, on Terra. His parents were believed to have been killed in an attack by a group of predators, likely wolves. Hawser was apparently spared the same fate by mere chance. He was brought to Ur's Catheric commune and raised by a Rector named Uwe. Hawser was given an education and was noted to have been a bright child. [1a]. Uwe named him Kasper Hawser after the folktale of Casper Hauser, noting the similarities of circumstances in which Hawser was discovered. [1b]
After graduating from the Univesitariate of Sardis with honours [1d], Hawser completed his education and earned a doctorate degree. While it is never specifically mentioned, it was likely in archaeology or a similar discipline.[1c] He is noted to have founded the Conservatory Project and served as it's director. He was awarded the Prix Daumarl, for steadfast contributions towards the definition and accomplishment of Terran Unification in 902.M30.[1c] He was acclaimed by academicians throughout the Imperium. He authored several research papers noted to have inspired new areas of research and development resulting in profound improvements for society.[1b].
Concerned that the Conservatory Project would be annexed by the Administratum, Hawser took a sabbatical. He proposed he would do field work for approximately a year. It was at this point that Hawser mysteriously disappeared from Imperium records and it was likely then that he was unknowingly compromised by Chaos and turned into a sleeper agent. [1b]
Hawser travelled to Fenris under the name Ahmad Ibn Rustah. He made numerous requests to land and was eventually given permission and specific coordinates by the Space Wolves. In error, Hawser's ship was shot down by Bjorn the Fell-Handed. He crashed on the surface and was found by the indigenous people of Fenris and kept safe until he was ultimately rescued by Bjorn. Suffering significant injuries from the crash, Hawser was given medical treatment by the Wolves and augmented as well. His physical strength and speed were enhanced. He undertook a procedure to replaced his right eye with an augmetic copy that was also an optical recording device. His real eye, surgically removed, is being held in stasis in the clinic’s organ banks, ready to be replanted upon his return. He was kept in stasis by the Wolves for 19 Fenrisian years (57-76 Terran years[1a]) after discovering he was a spy.
Awoken, Hawser, now a skjald of Tra (3rd Company) pursued his research into the Space Wolves Legion; while the Wolves observed his behaviour and further determined his motives as a spy. Hawser was present with the Wolves during their operations as part of the 40th Expeditionary Fleet[1e], the Council of Nikaea[1b] and the Burning of Prospero[1e].
It was at the Council of Nikaea, that Hawser met privately with Leman Russ. It was then he was informed by Russ of his status as a spy for the Thousand Sons. Hawser of course was shocked by these accusations and fully cooperated with the Wolves. It was suspected by all that the Thousand Sons had used sorcery to possess Hawser unconsciously and pass information onto that legion.[1b]
Hawser continued to have a recurring dream recalling his time staying in a luxury suite on the Lemuryan plate, above Terra. After leaving the Conservatory Project, Hawser had taken up residence on the plate to become acclimatized to his impending space travel. During the dream, Hawser would go through a routine of waking to an alarm and getting ready for the day. As he caught his reflection in a mirror, he would note that there was another reflection of someone behind him. At this point he would continue to wake up and was unable to recall who was standing behind him.[1e]
As Hawser worked with the Wolves to discover his true mission to Fenris, this dream became a focal point of their investigations. Ultimately it was discovered that the dream was actually a suppressed memory of his contact with an unknown agent of chaos (demon). It was speculated by the Wolves that Hawser may have been developed as a future agent for over 50 years—if not his entire life.[1b] It is understood that the contact on the Lemuryan plate appears to be the point he ceased being Hawser and became Ahmad Ibn Rustah and essentially turning him into an active, if unwitting, pawn for Chaos.
Hawser later encountered the demon two more times. First, during the Council of Nikaea, where the demon masqueraded as Captain Amon of the Thousand Sons. The purpose of this contact was to further the illusion that Hawser was in fact a Hidden One. The second encounter occurred during the Burning of Prospero. While participating in Space Wolves' assault of the planet, Hawser encountered the demon who this time masqueraded as Horus. The demon informed Hawser of its plan for him, suggesting that all along the goal had been to turn two loyal legions against each other in the hopes of their mutual annihilation. The reason being the Wolves were the only real threat to the Luna Wolves legion, and the Thousand Sons psyker abilities posed a great danger to Chaos' overall strategy. By negating these two threats in one stroke, Chaos' ability to destroy the Imperium of Man was assured. [1e]
The demon that had infiltrated Hawser was subsequently defeated by the Space Wolves and it's plan revealed. Unfortunately it was too late as Magnus had gone insane and the Thousand Sons had turned to Chaos and brought their legion to the banner of Horus. [1e]
At the conclusion of operations on Prospero, Hawser was classified as an unknown future threat to the Space Wolves and the Imperium. While they recognized his innocence and their respect for him they could not allow him to continue as an active member of the Legion. As such, he was placed in permanent stasis in the depths of the Fang where the dreadnoughts such as Cormek Dod are reserved to be awoken by future generations of Wolves to recall the accounts of the Heresy and learn from them.
The Prospero Burns novel gives an account where Kasper severs Bjorn's lower arm during the Battle of Prospero to prevent the spread of maleficarum. This differs from another tale stating that his hand was corrupted by psychic feedback from a sorcerer of the Thousand Sons he had just slain. As the corruption crept up along his arm, Chief Custodian Constantin Valdor cut it off, saving Bjorn.
- 1: Prospero Burns by Dan Abnett, Chapters 14 and 15
- 2: Horus Heresy (Artbook Series): Collected Visions Pg. 240