He and his younger brother Musad were born in the spaceport city of Al’raadahim, raised in the care of a maternal uncle who took over their care after the death of their parents who were caught in a sudden sandstorm. He never knew them and never had the chance to say goodbye as their bodies were never found, beginning his lifelong struggle with depression in childhood.
As their uncle was a wealthy man, he received the best education available, supplementing his learning with personal studies of local folklore and family history as well as fragmented government records. Learning what little there was to learn about the Battle of Tallarn left him with an enduring hatred for Heresy and Cultists.
While not the most religious of men, he was still devoted to fighting Chaos however he could, understanding just how dangerous and destructive Heresy could be.
He and his brother Musad began to drift apart early in their lives, they were simply too different to completely understand each other.
His school experiences also introduced him to his one real friend. Misfar Wali, the only child of another wealthy family. They would become closer than brothers,Wali would follow him into service in the PDF and later the Imperial Guard but as children they enjoyed simple things, learning to ride horses together, to shoot from the saddle and other skills that would serve them well in years to come.
It was during these years that he would receive Ibitsam, the black mare that would remain with him for the rest of his life.
When the time came to choose their careers the separation between the Hanif brothers was complete. Musad chose to go offworld, fighting with the 49th Rough Riders on the Spinward Front World Sartorix, spending more than twenty years there facing one threat to the Imperium after another.
Asad chose to stay in Al'Raadahim, joining the local PDF,which also acted as law enforcement.
He and his friend They would use their connections in the rougher parts of town, the products of rebellious teenage years to establish a network of informants and spies, letting them track smugglers and criminals, allowing them to dismantle their operations with minimal effort. It made him enemies as well and their actions would cast a shadow over his whole life.
- " Haamida Mostafa my desert rose, what I felt in your presence, the sweet intoxication of love... How I miss you, how I wish to be with you again... "
- —From Asad Hanif's journal
Haamida Mostafa came from a wealthy family but they forced her to work so that she would understand the true value of money when she inherited her share of the family fortune, and she chose to do so by dancing in the Al'Raadahim Bazaar. But she remained unaware of the bodyguard her family had hired to discretely watch her and ensure her safety.
Hanif was sometimes assto watch the area on market days as it was rife with pickpockets and petty crime on such occasions. Despite his efforts to remain hidden her bodyguard caught Hanif's eye as he followed his charge home. Believing him to have hostile intentions the young PDF officer stepped in to confront him, accidentally starting a fight and revealing the deception to both parties.
From this meeting came a friendship that eventually grew into a committed relationship and mutual love. She would bring him a joy he had never before felt and could not live without, he planned to propose marriage certain she would accept but never received the opportunity.
She would die in his arms, the victim of an assassin's bullet meant for him. His loss sent him into another deep depression and only Misfar Wali kept him from suicide, urging him to fight crime and evil in her name. He would never really recover from the loss but he took his friend's words to heart, continuing to fight on.
He would never marry or show any interest in anyone else despite Wali's introducing him to several available women.
His greatest triumph came at age 32, his skill in dismantling the criminal groups of his city had earned him a Squad command, he would lead them into battle against a Chaos cult that had taken root in Al'raadahim. His network sent him word of their plan- a series of coordinated suicide bombings that would kill thousands in a mass sacrifice and cripple the city.
Without waiting for backup from any other PDF units he led his squad into their stronghold, counting on surprise to to carry the day. While this was an enormous gamble it paid off, allowing them to capture the explosives and kill or capture the cultists without any casualties of their own.
This act earned him a reprimand and a brief suspension but only because of regulations. Both his comrades and superiors respected the bold action. and this style of leadership would also be typical of his service in the Desert Raiders.
He received terrible news shortly after his 40th birthday,his brother had died in battle. This news prompted him to join the Tallarn Desert Raiders, demanding a place in the 49th to take up his brother's work- the family's honor and justice depended on it.
The fighting on Sartorix had given rise of a Chaos cult led by a former noblewoman who had started to call herself the "Ragged Lady". It was this cult who had killed Musad Hanif and the fact that they had given him a quick death out of respect for his fighting skill provided him no comfort.
He and Ibitsam would both die in their final battle.
He charged into a mass of her fighters killing thirteen, seven of them after both man and horse were wounded but his act of courage inspired his squad to ride forward and cut down the already routing fighters.
They would both be sent back to Tallarn and interred together in the Hanif family mausoleum. As he was unable to pass it to future children, the family fortune was divided between the poor of Al'Raadahim and wounded Tallarn soldiers who could no longer support themselves, while his sword was repaired and given to Misfar Wali
Abilities and Traits
Less than devout he nonetheless did his job, seeing that if he could benefit the Imperium in some small way then he would, especially when it came to stamping out heresy. While wealthy he lived a simple life, not caring much for finery in any form.
While he struggled with depression, he was able to keep it in check, remaining open and friendly to his colleagues and acquaintances. However it was always there- it was worse at the lowest moments of his life, threatening to consume him, in those times only his friend Misfar Wali was able to talk him out of doing anything rash.
His depression coexisted with a nihilistic streak- he knew he would one day die, he just hoped that his death would mean something and this likely fueled his reckless style of leadership.
- Tallarn Rough Rider uniform and wargear
- Ibitsam- not quite a piece of equipment, he saw his horse, a black mare descended from the Arabian horses of Ancient Terra as family, caring for her as he would for a child. She would be a lifelong friend to him in turn.
- The Sayf Albayt Hanif- as the eldest child of his father's family, he inherited the heirloom sword of the House Hanif. While largely a ceremonial object it was still a master crafted sword and more than capable of cleaving through a man. While broken on Sartorix it was repaired and given to Misfar Wali
Medals and Awards
- The Medallion Crimson
- Winged Skull(Imperial Guard)- as his last act in life was to drive his men to victory the symbol was painted on the armor he was buried in.
Friends and Allies
They were something more than friends, closer to brothers having grown up together- Wali was the one man able to bring his friend out of the deepest moments of depression. Intensely loyally to his friend he would follow him into the PDF and into the Tallarn Desert Raiders.
Like his friend he would die in battle and like him would be buried in the Hanif family Mausoleum, like Asad Hanif he was unable to inherit and so his money went to support the region's schools.
"Long live the Fighters!"
-often used to rally his PDF comrades
“Forward, Always forward, if you find yourself fighting on the defensive you have already lost.”
“I am Asad Hanif. If you do not know me then you soon will. Should you survive this tell them who defeated you and left you broken.”
- "He was always brave, but also rash and at times very, very stupid. reckless gambler but a brilliant man and an excellent friend. I will never know why he died the way he did. I think his brother’s death broke him once again, I only saw him behave that way once before, when he was mourning someone else he loved. He was always sad but I think that on the day he received news that his brother was lost he died in spirit as his brother did in body."
- —Misfar Wali speaking about his death