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Garviel Loken

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Garviel Loken of the Luna Wolves' 10th Company[1a]

"I was there, the day Horus slew the Emperor."[1k]

Garviel Loken was the Captain of the 10th company of the Luna Wolves Space Marine Legion during the latter half of the Great Crusade.[1d] After distinguishing himself in battle, he was inducted into the Mournival,[1b] 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.[1]

History

Like many Veterans of the Luna Wolves, Garviel Loken had participated in many conflicts prior to the Horus Heresy. Some, such as the induction of Sarosel, were done bloodlessly and are remembered by Garviel for the amusing hats of the locals. Others are remembered for their oddity, such as the Battle of Keylek some Eighty years prior to the Heresy, where the Xenos species fought in a way that ran counter to the Space Marines'. Garviel looks back on this conflict with some sadness.[1f]

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.[1b]

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.[1b] His tally of glories reckoned to be in line after those of Ezekyle Abaddon and Luc Sedirae, Loken's martial record was unquestionable.[1c]

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. During a brief visit to the Vengeful Spirit, before his Legion's return to Terra, Dorn counseled Loken to always speak his mind as he saw it, advising that his humanity would balance Abaddon's choler and Horus Aximand's "lofty disdain," when the Mournival was advising the Warmaster.[1e] During the Battle of the Whisperhead Mountains on 63-19 Loken witnessed the Daemon Samus possess his comrade Xavyer Jubal, an event which scared him deeply and served as his first exposure to Chaos.[1f]

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. He even was invited and welcomed in the warrior lodge of the Luna Wolves.[1h] 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.[1g] After the Warmaster's botched attempt at peaceful negotiations with the Interex, the Luna Wolves were renamed the Sons of Horus, confirming Loken's fears that the old ways of the legion were being forgotten.[1i]

Loken battles Abaddon on Isstvan III

His research into the turbulent ancient history of Terra (in ancient tomes such as The Chronicles of Ursh) at the behest of his troubled mentor Kyril Sindermann, and his sponsorship of the rebellious remembrancer poet Ignace Karkasy[1g] 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.[1i] When Horus was injured on Davin, Loken and Tarik Torgeddon landed on Davin to try and find the weapon used to wound him. Recognizing the blade as being of Kinebrach origin, he realized that it had been stolen from Xenobia, the Interex's capital city. [2a] He and Torgaddon realized Erebus's treachery, but were too late as the other Mournival members had already interned Horus into the temple Delphos, allowing Erebus to corrupt Horus.[2b]

Following Horus's recovery, Loken was further distanced from the rest of the Son's of Horus following Horus's murder of Emory Salignac, leading to the Auretian Technocracy War which lasted 10 grueling months, with Loken visibly aged from.[2c]

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 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.[3] 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 loyalists[3]. Loken and Torgaddon's deaths (supposed in the case of former) marked the removal of one of the final obstacles to Horus' great ambitions.[Needs Citation]

Recovery

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.[4a] 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.[4b]

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 true identity. In this moment of lucidity, Loken remembered himself and agreed to go with them. Before leaving Isstvan, Garro confided to Loken that he was the final recruit the Sigillite had ordered them to find, and that they would learn the true purpose of their order when they returned to Terra.[4d]

Knight-Errant

Loken's first mission for the Sigillite took him to Caliban, alongside his former comrade, Iacton Qruze. The mission was to ascertain the strength and loyalty of the Dark Angels under Luther and if possible the location and loyalty of Lion El'Jonson. Loken allowed himself to be captured by the Dark Angels, confident Luther himself would interrogate him. He was correct and during his conversation with Luther, one of the Watchers in the Dark gave Loken a small portion of its telepathy abilities to read Luther's mind. To Loken's shock it seemed Luther himself did not know where he fell in the Horus Heresy, only that he was against the Lion. This complicated the mission as no one knew the loyalty of the Lion. Loken escaped his cell with the help of the Watcher but encountered a lone Dark Angel sentry. Loken fought not to kill, but subdue and capture - he would not kill a possibly loyal Space Marine. Qruze intervened with the help of Cypher who was an old friend of both from their days in the Luna Wolves. Qruze shot and killed the Dark Angel, much to Loken's horror. He confronted Qruze about this unnecessary murder, telling Qruze this death may have tipped the scales of loyalty against the Imperium. Qruze casually dismissed it stating "He will not be the first loyal servant of the Imperium I've killed, nor do I think the last." The two made their escape from the Dark Angel dungeon with the help of Cypher, who ultimately refused their offer to join them as one of Malcador's agents. Instead he would serve in the shadows, loyal but unremembered.[5] With their mission failed Loken returned to Luna, vowing to have nothing more to do with the Sigillite and his secret machinations.[6]

Seeking a refuge, Loken occupied a small disused dome of the Somnus Citadel (formerly the domain of a Sister of Silence who had perished on Prospero) and devoted his time to restoring her small garden. In doing this, he also restored a small measure of peace to his fragile psyche. During his time here, he was "visited" by his old friend Torgaddon, still very much dead. Torgaddon reminded Loken of the oath he swore when he joined the Mournival, even if the Mournival itself no longer existed: to uphold the safety of the Imperium and to loyally serve the Emperor of Mankind above any Primarch. Torgaddon also warned, ominously, that the traitors had done something terrible to him after his death, and only Loken could right it. Loken, reinvigorated, left the garden and told Qruze that he was ready to undertake his next mission for the Sigillite.[6]

Loken's next mission was to be part of a band of Knights-Errant that would journey to Molech, where they would infiltrate and mark the Sons of Horus flagship Vengeful Spirit in preparation for a plan by Leman Russ to slay Horus. However Loken and his team were captured and brought before Horus in Lupercal's Court. After a tense reunion with Horus, Abaddon, and Aximand his former Primarch gave him a chance to return to his fold. Despite the immense temptation, Loken resisted by remembering the words of Euphrati Keeler and a battle broke out in Lupercal's Court. During the fight Horus killed Qruze, finally breaking the last chains Loken had with his Primarch. Loken vowed that he would never stop fighting Horus. Shortly after the beacons were activated and the Knights-Errant craft attacked the Vengeful Spirit. In the bombardment, Loken was sucked out into space but was rescued by the Tarnhelm.[9]

Loken returned to service in the Knights-Errant, fighting with Garro, Macer Varren, Helig Gallor, and Vardas Ison against Chaos Cultists on Terra shortly before Horus' arrival. During the battle, the Daemon known as the Lord of the Flies appeared and possessed the body of Varren. Loken was able to temporarily snap Varren out of his rampage, giving the former World Eater enough time to grab Loken's grenade pack and kill himself before the Daemon reasserted control.[10]

Loken dons his Luna Wolves armour during the Siege of Terra[12c]

Shortly after Loken was brought by Malcador along with 8 other chosen Knights-Errant to a chamber underneath the Imperial Palace. There, it was revealed by the Emperor himself that the nine would become founders of a new order which would fight against the depredations of the Warp in order to save humanity. However to go forward, each of the chosen would have to leave behind their pasts entirely and take up a new name. Loken was intended to become Crius, but upon seeing the Emperor understood that this was not to be his fate. He refused Malcador's title and instead returned to the surface to settle things with the Sons of Horus once and for all.[10]

Siege of Terra

Loken next appeared amid the final phase of the Solar War, having received a message from Mersadie Oliton of her need to urgently meet with Rogal Dorn. After scolding Malcador for giving an order to kill all prisoners to prevent them from falling into traitor hands, Loken sped across the Sol System as it was embroiled in violence. He succeeded in rescuing Oliton and brought her aboard the Phalanx to meet with Dorn, but this was was revealed to be a trap by Chaos to allow for the manifestation of Samus directly into the battlestation. Confronting Samus once again, Loken found himself at the Whisperheads on 63-19, witnessing Xayver Jubal's possession by the Daemon once more. Overcome with madness and rage, Loken reverted to his "Cerberus" persona and fought any Daemon he came across. Together with Oliton, they were able to briefly slay Samus but the creature would just soon be reborn into a new corpse. To prevent this, Oliton bid Loken farewell and committed suicide to close the portal from which Samus had entered the Materium.[11]

Loken next appeared during the battle for the Saturnine Gate, having been selected by Rogal Dorn and Malcador to lead a series of kill-teams underneath the quarter in order to ambush a subterranean assault by the Sons of Horus. Seeking vengeance for their betrayal, Loken, Garro, Helig Gallor, and other allies such as Bel Sepatus and Endryd Haar successfully beat back the traitor assault.[12c] During the fight, Loken managed to personally slay Captain Tybalt Marr, avenge Tarik at last by killing Tormageddon, and finally exacted his vengeance against Horus Aximand by eviscerating his former Mournival brother with his chainsword.[12a] After the battle Loken remarked to Kyril Sindermann that he was changing and becoming a conduit for the Emperor's power.[12b]

Loken next journeyed into Terra's ruins to find Euphratii Keeler, who had gone missing. He discovered her leading fanatical militias in a hopeless religious war against traitor forces. Loken initially opposed this helpless struggle, but was convinced by Keeler to allow her to continue her work. Loken agreed to stay with Keeler and make her see her senses before it's too late.[13] However, due to the chronological and spacial chaos that began to erupt on Terra in the final stages of the Siege, the two soon themselves moving to areas far apart from each other in short spans of time.[14a]

Nonetheless, Loken slew traitors wherever he found them.[14a] Soon enough, he began to notice patterns and followed them, eventually arriving inside the Hall of Leng and meeting with Kyril Sindermann and Hellick Mauer. Loken initially aided Sinderman in his quest to find anti-daemonic lore in the Emperor's own library, and speculates that Malcador himself must have been the one to lead him here.[14b] After researching a legend of The Dark King, Loken then notices a door that wasn't there earlier and goes through it alone. It shuts behind him, and Loken finds himself aboard the Vengeful Spirit.[14c]

As he explores the warp-stricken flagship, Loken is assaulted by the daemon Samus.[15a] Pursued and assailed relentlessly through the ship, Loken eventually destroys it's physical form with his force sword after being coincidentally guided by the words of Mauer who was reading a book of Samus' lore. The words were able to reveal Samus' presence to Loken without him having to fatally turn around and give himself to the Daemon.[15b]

As the powers of the Warp caused space and time to break down, locations on Terra and the Vengeful Spirit began to overlap and Loken found himself in the new maddened realm dubbed the Inevitable City.[15c] Loken stumbled upon Ollanius Persson, John Grammaticus, and Leetu, saving them from a group of frenzied Word Bearers.[15d] The group was then confronted by the Emperor as He began to transform into a god dubbed the Dark King, with Loken and Ollanius both proving able to talk the Master of Mankind down from the path of damnation and embrace His humanity.[15e] Afterwards, the Emperor let loose the Warp power He had built up and Loken as well as Leetu went with Him and Caecaltus Dusk to confront Horus.[15f]

Loken and Abaddon reunite on the Vengeful Spirit shortly before his death[16f]

Upon coming face to face with Horus, the Warmaster surprisingly wept tears at seeing his son come to kill him.[16a] However in the ensuing struggle Horus showed little mercy to all present, contemptuously blasting back Loken, Leetu, and Caecaltus Dusk as he focused on defeating the Emperor.[16b] Loken was guided by the dying flame of Malcador through the darkness he found himself in, eventually emerging back on Sixty-Three Nineteen and coming face to face with a mock Mournival consisting of three centaurs each with the face of Horus.[16c] Loken slew these foes then emerged in Lupercal's Court just as the Emperor slew Horus with the Athame before collapsing Himself. Loken looked after both bodies as Rogal Dorn and Constantin Valdor arrived.[16d]

Despite the urgings of Dorn and Leetu, Loken refused to leave Horus' body and return to Terra. He thus remained as the others left, and was eventually discovered by Abaddon and the surviving sane officers of the Sons of Horus. Abaddon forbade any present from striking down Loken, stating enough blood had been shed.[16e] For his part Garviel urged Abaddon and the others to surrender, promising to see to it that Dorn granted them amnesty for their crimes. As the two former brothers talked, Erebus emerged behind Loken and stabbed him in the back much to Abaddon's horror. Erebus explained that Daemons are created through moments of great betrayal and spite much like this, and that Loken's death would create an echo in the Warp that first spawned Samus. Thus, the cycle of events that had first led to the Heresy was closed.[16f]

Legacy

In conversation with Epimetheus, one of the original Grand Masters of the Grey Knights, during the Pandorax Campaign, Abaddon questions the Grey Knight's lineage. Abaddon quickly dismisses several possibilities, stating he knows he's "not the Ultramarine Rubio," nor any of the other 'traitors' from the Traitor Legions — e.g., Nathaniel Garro of the Death Guard or Macer Varren of the World Eaters.[8]

Abaddon also concludes that Epimetheus can't be his "erstwhile brother," as he personally saw that Grand Master dead. However, as Loken rejected membership to the Grey Knights, Abaddon was most likely referring to Severian (who became the Grey Knight Grandmaster known as "Iapto"), an old rival from the time of the Luna Wolves.[9]

Wargear

Loken wielded three blades during his career. These included the Chainsword he wielded as a member of the Luna Wolves, Tylos Rubio's Force Sword[12d] given to him after his brother left for Titan, and Horus Aximand's blade Mourn-it-All after he slew his former brother in the Siege of Terra.[12b]

Images

Garviel Loken Miniature[7]

Trivia

  • Cerberus, the name adopted by Loken after the battle of Isstvan III, is the dog who guards the Underworld in classical mythology. Torgaddon joked that it was an appropriate appellation for Loken, the last Luna Wolf standing sentry over the graveyard of Isstvan III.[6]

Sources