Arkhan Land was one of the most legendary and gifted members of the Mechanicum even in the age of the Great Crusade. By the age of five, he could speak over 50 dialects and quickly became a renowned Tech-Priest who was able to successfully navigate the hazardous catacombs and tech-vaults beneath Mars' surface and recover STC fragments and artifacts. Known to the greater Mechanicum as an unparalleled genius but also arrogant and disrespectful, he was also notable for having few outward bionic enhancements.[4a]
Land led a three-year expedition into the Librarius Omnis in search of a functioning STC database, resulting in the recovery of the blueprints for Land's Raider-Pattern Main Battle Tank, Land's Crawler multi-purpose heavy utility vehicle, the Mars Universal Land Engine (the basis of the Onager Dunecrawler), and the information on rare anti-gravitic plates used in Land's Speeder, all of which are named for him[2a]. In the 41st Millennium, some sources incorrectly state he died before seeing the practical implementation of the anti-gravitic plates he discovered.[2b]
Land's discoveries drew the attention of the Emperor of Mankind, his discoveries finding wide use in the Legio Custodes who used a variety of Grav-Tanks powered by Land's anti-gravitic plates as well as the Paragon Pattern Jetbike. Shortly after the recovery of Angron, Arkhan Land was personally assigned by the Emperor to aid Him in His attempt to cure the Primarch of the Butcher's Nails. Only Land could confirm the Emperor's belief that the Butcher's Nails were based on the ancient cruciamen, a technology referred to in profane texts in the Hexarchion Vaults.[4a]
Land revered the Emperor as the Omnissiah, and as such stayed loyal to him during the Horus Heresy. He was evacuated from Mars by Sergeant Nicanor Tullus of the Imperial Fists on the orders of First Captain Sigismund. As Land and Tullus made their way to the lander that would take them to safety, they were attacked by a Vorax Class Robot sent by the Dark Mechanicum to kill Land rather than let his talents be removed to Terra. Tullus gave his life to buy Land the time to escape along with other loyalist Tech-Priests.
Although he and Fabricator General Kane shared a mutual disdain for one another, Land's knowledge of forbidden weaponisation gleaned from the Hexarchion Vaults and good standing with the Custodes prompted Kane to seek his assistance in the ascension of Magos Domina Hieronyma into the Archimandrite[4a]. He accompanied the Archimandrite into the webway, bringing his personal Grav-Raider and Psyber-Monkey Sapien with him.[4b] When they arrived in Calastar as it was falling to the enemy, Land was visibly shaken by the sight of daemons.[4c]
Following the Webway War, Land began spending much time with fellow veteran Dominion Zephon of the Blood Angels. Zephon's bionic limbs were constantly rejected by his body, so Land agreed to repair them. To bypass the bodily rejection, Land inserted fragments of a Dark Age of Technology-era Artificial Intelligence into Zephon's limbs and brain. The operation was a success and Zephon's limbs were finally accepted by his body, and in exchange Land demanded an audience with Sanguinius likely to lobby for the reclamation of Mars from the Dark Mechanicus.
During the Siege of Terra, Land managed to narrowly survive despite the ever-decreasing loyalist territory. Declaring he was too important to die, he managed to attach himself to convoys which fled into the Sanctum Imperialis. During this, he managed to nurse the wounded Dominion Zephon back to health from his injuries.[7a] Arkhan barely survived the journey back to the Sanctum Imperialis, but was pressed into service against his will to take part in the final defense of the Eternity Gate against hopeless odds. The night before the battle Land was comforted by both Zephon and the Skitarii Transacta-7Y1, though the Blood Angel ordered him to protect his three Bloodthralls Eristes, Shafia, and Shenkai in the coming struggle. Should he abandon these thralls, Zephon pledged to hunt him down and kill him regardless of outcome.This combined with Sanguinius' rousing speech seemed to force some bravery into Land, who courageously took part in the defense of the Eternity Gate.[7b]
During the final stages of the battle, two of the three thralls he was charged with protecting were killed in action and Land, Transacta-7Y1, and the sole remaining Thrall fled back to the Eternity Gate.[7c] However both Transacta and Land's psyber-monkey Sapian were killed by the World Eater Kargos Bloodspitter before Land and Shenkai were saved by Zephon. As the Eternity Gate sealed shut, Land and his entourage managed to make it inside the Sanctum.[7d]
Land led a second expedition into the Librarius Omnis which went missing. Two centuries after his expedition was declared lost, his vox diary was found - it spoke of how his team had been picked off one by one by an unknown entity, believed to have been a psychic entity[2a]. Some contest the nature of the entity, claiming it was a sentient virus or mutant.
Land is so revered a figure in the Adeptus Mechanicus that his followers amount to a sub-cult that call themselves Landites (or Landists). They seek to continue the work of Land and research the many STC variants of his work.[2a]
Worthy Notes and Treatises of Direct Relevance to Land’s Raider-Pattern Main Battle Tank: The Rebirth of an Ancient Miracle - an essay in rebuttal of the trend among the Legiones Astartes of referring to Land's Raider-Pattern Main Battle Tank simply as a Land Raider.[2a]
- 1: White Dwarf 245 (UK), pg. 21
- 2: Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and Forces of the Inquisition
- 3: Codex: Skitarii (7th Edition) pg.31
- 4: Master of Mankind (Novel)
- 5: Into Exile (Short Story)
- 6: Bringer of Sorrow (Short Story)
- 7: Echoes of Eternity (Novel)