A figure of some controversy amongst his peers, Lazaerek was widely regarded by Imperial authorities as a bitter and hubristic individual, although an undoubtedly competent general whose personal valor was unquestioned.
Evidence suggests that during his tenure Lazaerek led his Chapter into several feuds with both Imperial field commanders and other Astartes lords, and of particular note is that he is known to have held a prior personal grudge against the Astral Claws. The cause of this acrimony can be traced to the battles against the Chaos infestation of the Lycanthos Drift nearly a century before the Badab conflict. At that time Lufgt Huron had been acclaimed battle-leader in the Lycanthos Campaign by the assembled Space Marine commanders over the more senior Lazaerek, much to the Fire Hawk's displeasure. It is thought this bad blood between the two Chapter masters was a deciding factor in the Fire Hawks' involvement in the latter stages of the Badab Schism, sparking into a full-blown war.
At the outset of the Badab War Lazaerek was more than six centuries old and in failing health due to numerous war wounds accumulated in his long career. But this did not stop him from becoming actively involved in the politics of the Maelstrom Zone. At the direct request of the Karthan Satrap, Tanit Koenig, the Fire Hawks Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes agreed to investigate the disappearance of Karthan shipping in the areas of the Galactic south of the Golgothan Wastes. In the past, the Fire Hawks Chapter had used the vast orbital dockyards of the Karthan capital world Sidon Ultra for resupply.
The Fire Hawks were at the time conducting search and destroy operations in the Golgothan Wastes, and the Fire Hawks Chapter Master, Stibor Lazaerek, as likely for reasons of his own as other motivations, acquiesced to dispatching several ships into the northern Maelstrom Zone. One such vessel, the Red Harbinger, entered the Endymion Cluster in 350904.M41. Soon the Fire Hawks ship was intercepted and surrounded by Mantis Warriors strike craft, who ordered the wayward Fire Hawks vessel to stand down and prepare to be boarded. The Mantis Warriors, ever fierce and proud, and goaded by the Fire Hawks' refusals and threats opened fire and crippled the lone cruiser. Boarding and capturing the Red Harbinger the Fire Hawks made the Mantis Warriors pay dearly, with heavy losses on both sides. Less than twenty Fire Hawks were captured alive, and none surrendered, but their struggles brought time for an Astropathic message to be dispatched to their Chapter warning of their fate and who they fought. Thus the full-scale conflict between Space Marine Chapters that was to follow ignited with this single act.
Incensed by this base act of treachery, Grand Master Lazaerek ordered his entire Chapter to make best speed under Warp for the Maelstrom Zone. Matters soon swiftly escalated when the Fire Hawks fleet arrived and were met by a taskforce composed of both Mantis Warriors and Astral Claws warships. After a tense standoff during which the captives were returned and both sides traded threats, the Fire Hawks withdrew to await the arrival of their full forces dispersed across the Wastes, and in particular their massive flagship, the Raptorus Rex.
The Fire Hawks quickly became embroiled in the conflict, with nearly the entire strength of their Chapter and its extremely powerful fleet assets. Despite the power of their fleet, the Fire Hawks suffered terrible losses in the early years of the war, both in terms of battle brethren and war vessels. Near the end of the conflict the Chapter's total fighting strength was reduced to 22% by the third year of the war. The Fire Hawks were relegated to the sidelines lest the Chapter's extinction be risked.
Lazaerek successfully petitioned his Chapter's involvement in the final years of the war, using the Raptorus Rex, the single most powerful warship in the Maelstrom Zone as a lynchpin in the Angstrom blockade.
- 1: Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part_One (2010), pgs. 22–23, 68