|Anchorite redirects here. For the type of Penitent Engine, see Anchorite (Adepta Sororitas).
|This page contains spoilers for:
The Anchorite is the name taken by a Word Bearers Contemptor Dreadnought, who has rejected the Daemonic teachings of his Primarch Lorgar and has once again embraced the worship of the God-Emperor.[1a]
His path began in the Great Crusade, when he was among the first Aspirants taken from Colchis, after Lorgar was discovered by the Imperium. The Anchorite would later join the Word Bearers in embracing the Chaos Gods and betraying the Imperium in the Horus Heresy, after the Emperor berated their worship of him and ordered the destruction of the Legion's sacred city Monarchia. As the Heresy raged, he would go on to take part in both the Dropsite Massacre and the Battle of Calth. However it was while fighting the Ultramarines beneath the surface of Calth, that the Anchorite was struck by an epiphany, as his Legion brought ruin to the world. While the Word Bearers and Ultramarines fought around him, the Anchorite realized the futility of his Legion's actions and became disillusioned with both Lorgar and the Chaos Gods. He looked back upon what caused his Legion's downfall and while the Ultramarines had broken the Word Bearers by destroying Moncharia, it had not killed them and in fact had made them stronger. Their actions on Calth would have the same result for the Ultramarines, who would then only try to break the Word Bearers once again. The Anchorite knew this would begin a never ending cycle of war between the Imperium and the forces of Horus, that would later spill across the entire galaxy. He wanted no part in causing that and though he could not stop the battle, the Anchorite immediately decided to end his part in the cycle and surrendered to the Ultramarines. Miraculously, the Primarch Guilliman ordered the remorseful Word Bearer to be spared and instead ordered the Anchorite to be imprisoned and he played no further part in the Horus Heresy. When his Legion later fought in the Siege of Terra, the Anchorite sat alone in a cell and prayed for their souls. As he did so, Daemons would try to tempt him and sway him to embrace the Chaos Gods again, but the Anchorite banished them and continued his prayers in penance. He also embraced the worship of the Emperor once again and cast off his old identity to become an Anchorite, both in name and in being. He then began preaching and writing the words of the Lectitio Divinitatus, which his Primarch had penned before his fall to the Chaos Gods.[1a]
The Anchorite continued doing so even after the forces of Horus were defeated, and he would become one of the voices that guided the newly created Ecclesiarchy, as his written words were given to its members. Both the Ecclesiarchy and the Imperial Cult owe much to the Anchorite's teachings, but only a select few knew of his existence. This included the forebears of the Cardinal Eamon dynasty, who became the Anchorite's gaolers and were charged with keeping his existence a secret. However the Anchorite was plagued by the part the Word Bearers played in nearly destroying the Imperium and he came to realize that the Emperor had been secretly testing them, with the destruction of Monarchia. The fact that not only did his Primarch and Legion fail to understand this, but had instead aided in ruining the future the Emperor had for Mankind, brought great despair to the Anchorite. In time, this proved to be too much for him and the Anchorite believed he would only find absolution for his sins in death. This led the Anchorite to try to commit suicide several times, though, his life was saved after each attempt. However the Anchorite nearly succeeded in his last attempt and he had to be interred within a Contemptor Dreadnought, in order to save his life. This brought an end to the Anchorite's suicide attempts and, though the Dreadnought still wished for death, he instead chose to continue preaching the words of the Divinitatus. In late M41 the current Cardinal Eamon, took control of the world Almace, in the Odoacer System, and the Anchorite was imprisoned beneath its main palace[1a]. Unfortunately the Word Bearer Chaos Lord Amatnim Ur-Nabas Lash, became aware of the Anchorite's existence after his invasion of an Imperial world, revealed it contained copies of the Dreadnought's writings.[1b]
This led Amatnim to begin tracking down the Anchorite's location and he eventually discovered it was beneath Almace's surface, sometime after the Great Rift's creation[1b]. After hearing of this, the Word Bearers' Dark Council charged the Chaos Lord with freeing the Anchorite and bringing him back to Sicarus. At the head of a vast armada, Amatnim swept aside the Imperial Navy fleet defending the Odoacer System and drove towards Almace[1c]. However Cardinal Eamon acted quickly and sent out a plea for aid, which included a code sequence Guilliman himself had created. The Primarch had known the Word Bearers would one day try to free the Anchorite and had given the code to the Cardinal's ancestors when they had been charged with guarding the prisoner. Now millennia later that time had arrived and once he received the message, Guilliman ordered the Imperial Fists Lieutenant Heyd Calder, to lead an Indomitus Crusade strike force in defense of Almace. The Primarch did not reveal the Anchorite's existence to the Lieutenant though[1a], as it would threaten the survival of the Ecclesiarchy[1c]. Though the Lieutenant discovered that Cardinal Eamon was hiding something from him, it was only as the Word Bearers neared Almace, that Eamon was forced to lead Calder to the Dreadnought's cell. There the Lieutenant learned of the Anchorite's history and now knowing why the Word Bearers had come, the Lieutenant began reorganizing his forces to defend the palace above the Dreadnought[1a]. This would not be enough, however, as the Chaos Lord Amatnim's forces outnumbered the Imperium's on Almace and the Word Bearers were able to advance upon the palace. Though the Anchorite had vowed never to return to the Word Bearers, as the Dreadnought knew he was the only one of his Brothers to see the damnation that Lorgar had led them to, he refused to take part in the battle. The Dreadnought still desired to die for his sins, which he felt was the true goal of the Word Bearers' invasion, and the Anchorite went so far as to promise Cardinal Eamon, that he would not raise hand against his brothers, even to defend himself.[1d]
However as Calder led a desperate last stand before the Palace's walls, Cardinal Eamon pleaded with the Dreadnought to fight the Word Bearers. The Anchorite would not relent on his vow and suggested that Eamon kill him, so the Word Bearers would stop their attacks. The Cardinal refused and said he would die fighting to protect the Anchorite, just like all the other Imperial forces on Almace would. This shook the Anchorite and when Eamon pleaded once more, the Dreadnought relented and went to confront his Brothers[1e]. He intervened in time to save Lieutenant Calder from dying at Amatnim's hand and then spoke a lost word of Colchis, which created a bright light that banished the Chaos Lord's Daemon allies back to the Warp. In the stunned silence that followed, the astonished Chaos Lord called the Anchorite an Anathema, and the Dreadnought realized he recognized Amatnim, from the time of the Heresy. He could see the Chaos Lord still walked the path Lorgar had set his Legion upon and refused Amatnim's offer to rejoin his Legion. Confused by the Anchorite's answer, Amatnim told the Dreadnought to stand aside, so the Word Bearers could kill those who had imprisoned him for millennia. Instead, the Anchorite attacked the Chaos Lord, all while he decried the lies the Chaos Gods and Lorgar told the Word Bearers, which began their damnation. He then praised the God-Emperor for saving his soul and in a rage, Amatnim destroyed one of the Anchorite's arms, but the determined Dreadnought still fought on. Though, because the Word Bearers were ordered to bring him back alive, the Anchorite was able to kill many of his brothers, all while roaring the words of the Divinitatus, before Imperial reinforcements finally arrived. With that, the Word Bearers' were defeated and the Chaos Lord Amatnim, was killed by Lieutenant Calder[1f]. Afterwards, the Anchorite stated he would return to the solitude of his cell to continue his penance, as the Imperials began hunting down the last of the Word Bearers' forces on Almace. What ramifications the Imperium will face, now that the Anchorite's existence is no longer a secret, is unknown though.[1g]
- 1: Apocalypse (Novel)