Despite holding the rank of Magister (an Archenemy commander's title analogous to lieutenant warlord) Asphodel preferred the title of "Heritor," in recognition of his philosophy and sworn intent to "inherit" Imperial worlds and return them to the "true state" of Chaos.[1a][2a]
Considered the most tactically gifted of the Magisters serving under Nadzybar (with the possible exception of Anakwanar Sek)[1a], Asphodel also possessed a talent in the design and usage of war machines. These machines (sometimes referred to as "woe machines") were largely unique to his warband and were a powerful force on the battlefield.[Needs Citation] His application of technology was so notable that there is some conjecture that he may have once had a connection to the Adeptus Mechanicus[2b].
Asphodel first came to Imperial notice during the liberation of Ashek II in 756.M41. Commanding the Chaos forces on the planet, he held off the Imperials until 757, when he was finally forced to capitulate and flee the planet in the face of heavy Titan Legion assault[2b].
Asphodel later participated in the battle on Balhaut, although he fled the world before the final collapse of the Chaos forces, and Nadzybar's death at the hands of Warmaster Slaydo.[Needs Citation] After the battle, the Imperial forces discovered the abandoned remnants of Asphodel's hellish experiments on thousands of human test subjects; along with the discovery of Sholen Skara's murder-camps, the sight drove many Guardsmen insane, and many more swore to track down the Heritor and destroy him.[2d]
After dropping out of sight for a period, the Heritor travelled to the Hive World of Verghast in 769.M41, where he corrupted the population of Ferrozoica Hive and led the entire population (approximately 13,000,000) in an effort to wipe out their former rival, Vervunhive (whose population was three times larger, but could only field about 500,000 troops). The Heritor led the assault against Vervunhive from a spire-like command vehicle that served as the mobile source of the comm chatter that enraptured the Zoican forces (as well as Salvador Sondar, High Master of Vervunhive, whose mind was connected to the hive's systems - which the Heritor used to his advantage)[1b].
Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt, commanding Vervunhive's defenses, led a group of Scratch Company troopers, Royal Volpone Bluebloods and his own Tanith First and Only against the Heritor's command vehicle, known as "the Spike"[1c]. Facing Asphodel in single combat, Gaunt ran the Sword of Heironymo through his enemy just as the Heritor's bolt pistol shot the Colonel-Commissar through the heart (only the chance location of a steel rose given to Gaunt by one of Vervunhive's nobles, worn at his lapel, prevented his death)[1d]. After the arrival of reinforcements led by Warmaster Macaroth, the Imperial Fists Space Marine Chapter ceremonially incinerated the Spike - along with the Heritor's corpse[1e].
- 1: Necropolis (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- 2: The Sabbat Worlds Crusade (Background Book) by Dan Abnett: