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Vardus Praal

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Vardus Praal was the Imperial Commander of the Isstvan system, ruling from the Choral City on Isstvan III. His rebellion against the Imperium would precipitate the first major battle of what would become the Horus Heresy.[3]


Praal was an officer within the Imperial Army during the Great Crusade; specifically he was formerly a Major of the XIth Lastran Rifles. After retiring from Army service, he became a politician of the Ultima Segmentum Court.[3]

When Isstvan III was brought into compliance during the Crusade, the Imperium decided to install a new ruler for both the planet and the Isstvan system as a whole. As the system had required force to bring to heel, it was decided to appoint an outlander to the position, and Vardus Praal was selected.[3]

Records indicate that Praal was initially extremely successful in this role, despite the isolation of the Isstvan system (due to both turbulent Warp conditions and the sheer distance of Isstvan from Terra). However, reports eventually reached Terra of open rebellion on Isstvan III, believed to have been caused by Praal's heavy-handedness in trying to dismantle Isstvanian religious sects in an attempt to enforce the Imperial Truth. Eventually communications with Isstvan ceased entirely as local Warp Storms grew even stronger.[3]

Six years later, a Death Guard patrol fleet operating near the planet Neo-geddon picked up a faint astropathic echo from Isstvan.[3] Praal had declared Isstvan's independence from the Imperium; the Emperor, seeking to prevent other star systems from following suit, dispatched Warmaster Horus to quell the rebellion, unaware that his favored son had been corrupted by Chaos.[1][3] Under the Warmaster's command were his own Sons of Horus, the World Eaters, the Emperor's Children and the Death Guard. Horus, as part of his master plan for the coming war, sent select squads from all four Legions to the surface, under the pretext of crushing the rebellion at its source.[Needs Citation]

During the attack on the Choral City, Praal, surrounded by elite Warsinger bodyguards, met Emperor's Children Captain Lucius in combat. Despite his enhanced abilities (likely gifts from the Chaos Gods), Praal fell to Lucius' blade.[2]

See also