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This page contains spoilers for: The Lion: Son of the Forest (Novel)

Zabriel is a Fallen Angel who is among those who now loyally serve their returned Primarch, Lion El'Jonson[1b], as the Risen.[1h]


He was born in Terra's Stackhome Hive and was one of the earliest members of the Uncrowned Princes, which was one of the names for the Dark Angels Legion before they were reunited with their Primarch. As such, Zabriel has a long combat history which includes the scouring of the Oort Cloud while the other Space Marine Legions were still being formed. He also fought the Rangda in the Great Crusade's Battle of Advex-Mors and was part of Lion El'Jonson's forces that rescued the Ultramarines' garrison on Karkasarn when its population rebelled. All this saw Zabriel rise to become a Destroyer Marine in the second squad of the Dark Angels' 15th Chapter's Third Company. He was also simultaneously a Diacon of the Order of the Three Keys and an Initiate of the Dreadwing who was once a member of the Legion's Host of Bone. However, his service to the Dark Angels was essentially ended in the aftermath of the Great Crusade's Sarosh campaign. Though he could find no reason why he was selected, Zabriel was among the Legion's forces that El'Jonson placed under the command of Luther and then ordered to garrison the Dark Angels' homeworld Caliban.[1a]

This effectively became a banishment in time and Zabriel was among Luther's Dark Angels who began to resent their Primarch for this. This became doubt in the Lion's loyalty to the Imperium when the Horus Heresy began and still the Primarch did not allow Luther's Dark Angels to wage war against Horus's forces. Then their Primarch returned to Caliban after the Siege of Terra and Luther ordered his forces to stand ready, as they did not know where the Lion's alliance stood. Then the two sides began firing upon each other, though Zabriel did not know who began the battle[1a]. As the two sides fought on Caliban, he saw his wrathful Primarch strike down those Zabriel had served beside, including neophytes who had never even seen the Lion. Shortly afterward, their homeworld exploded due to the fighting and Zabriel was cast into the Warp. He emerged millennia later, into an Imperium that had degraded from the vision the Emperor had for it. It was also one where Zabriel was labeled as a member of The Fallen, and he became hunted by the Dark Angels now-Chapter and the Unforgiven. Despite this, he continued to serve the Imperium and defended its citizens when he was able to[1d]. Eventually, Zabriel learned he was not alone in this, as he discovered another of the Fallen named Sarius. It was through him that Zabriel learned of the symbols the Fallen leave to make their presence known to their brethren. However, despite now no longer being alone, Zabriel soon departed to be on his own once more, after tiring of dealing with Sarius's bitterness. He later met another Fallen named Priavel who was a Chaos worshiper. Zabriel could not condone this, though, and once more departed from his brethren[1f]. He found no more of the Fallen afterward, and eventually sought safety from the Dark Angels on Camarth.[1b]

The Imperial world was an outpost of the Ruby Crescents[1c], who were a Successor of the Blood Angels[1d], and the Chapter had left a garrison of its forces to defend Camarth[1c]. It was for this reason Zabriel knew he was now safe, as the Dark Angels would not risk trying to capture The Fallen if it meant outsiders would learn of their existence. This allowed Zabriel to hide for some time, until the Great Rift's creation shattered the Galaxy and left Camarth isolated within the Imperium Nihilus. The world now stood alone and this later allowed the Ten Thousand Eyes Warband to bring ruin to the world and destroy the Ruby Crescents' garrison. While most of the Warband would depart after the attack, the Ten Thousand Eyes left a sizeable force to hold Camarth. These Chaos Space Marines would hunt Camarth's surviving population for sport and this led Zabriel to become the protector of a large group of survivors. They soon created a hidden camp for themselves and Zabriel would save the survivors' lives multiple times from both the Ten Thousand Eyes' hunting parties and Camarth's corrupted wildlife. One day, however, three members of the camp brought back a massive figure who had saved their lives by killing three creatures that were attacking them. This was Lion El'Jonson, and upon seeing his Primarch Zabriel opened fire. In his mind this was truly his vengeful Father who sought to kill the Fallen or a Daemon of the Warp; regardless of this, though, Zabriel swore he would not be easy prey.[1b]

It was his Primarch in the flesh, however, who quickly pinned Zabriel to the ground and disarmed him. In order to save him, the camp's horrified survivors informed the Lion of how Zabriel had been protecting them; this gave the Primarch pause. He would then relent, after Zabriel swore he was still loyal to the Imperium and had only attacked the Primarch's forces on Caliban because he believed they had struck first. Zabriel would then get that same oath of loyalty from the Lion, who stated he was not there seeking vengeance, but was instead trying to defend the Imperium's people. The Lion sought to do this on Camarth and asked Zabriel for his aid in doing so. The Fallen agreed and Zabriel became the first[1b] of the Risen to serve their Primarch once more[1h], some four hundred years after he emerged from the Warp[1b]. With the aid of Camarth's surviving population, they were able to kill the remaining Thousand Eyes on the world and once more bring it into the hands of the Imperium. Afterward, the Lion sought to bring more worlds under his protection[1e] while also inviting other loyal Fallen to fight by his side, as long as they had not served with the forces of Chaos. Zabriel would then act as the Primarch's emissary in this matter and was charged with finding and delivering the Lion's message to his hidden sons.[1g]