Lord General Mikal Curas was a man of great piety and formidable charisma, who earned the love and respect of the countless millions of men under his command. His career had seen him elevated to heights of power the likes of which defy the imaginings of most men, and he had risen to the challenge each and every time.
Born to a minor noble household on Luggnum, Curas served in the Imperial Guard for thirty years before the start of the Achilus Crusade, having reached the rank of Colonel. After serving as General Tetrarchus’ second-in-command during the conquest of Hethgard, his skill was rewarded further by being asked to join the General Staff — the youngest officer within that select group. In the years that followed, Curas went from being Tetrarchus’ adviser to a General in his own right.
When Lord Militant Achilus died and Tetrarchus was named his successor, he took the opportunity to further elevate the young officer to the rank of Lord General and Supreme Commander of the Orpheus Salient. Many felt that this appointment was foolhardy, for Curas was largely untried, and the remnants of Achilus’ old guard were uncertain of such a young and ambitious officer. However, Tetrarchus’ decision was proven to be a wise one when, within a few years, the Orpheus Salient had outstripped the Acheros and Canis Salients in victories and territory gained. Curas’ death and the loss of Battlegroup Argo was costly to the Salient’s forces, which were already depleted and demoralized by the demands of the other Salients and the early predations of the tyranids. Two dozen warships and more than a million crewmen died, and the man who had led the Salient’s forces for twenty-five years was lost. The decision was made quickly to keep the fact from all but the highest levels of Crusade command — most are still unaware of Curas’ disappearance, thanks to the communications blackouts caused by the tyranids’ advance.
This deception, perpetuated by Curas’ closest advisors, has maintained the illusion of the General’s presence, with orders being signed in his name and passed to those commanders who can still receive orders amidst the Shadow in the Warp. If any do suspect Curas’ absence, the need for reassuring stability to keep morale from slipping further has ensured their silence.
Lingering echoes of his command still remain. While most communication across the Orpheus Salient is stifled and hindered by the Shadow in the Warp, astropaths on dozens of worlds still report receiving fragments of orders, communiques and instructions from the General, bearing the identical-memes of Battlegroup Argo’s senior astropath in spite of its destruction five years ago. Most dismiss these echoes as being scattered remnants of old orders given before his death, but some are not so certain, claiming that they have received messages sent after the General’s death, and that they match no orders actually given by the Salient’s leadership.