- "How many other mortals do you wager called out to the Emperor to save them? How many do you think he answered?"
- —Kulstov the Bloody-Handed
Vicious and sadistic beyond even the very loose standards of the Forces of Chaos, Kulstov the Bloody-Handed is an infamous Chaos Raptor Champion who has made a name for himself even in the imaginatively cruel Eighth Legion for predatory bloodlust. Lending his nickname to his warband as their champion, Kulstov rides the tides of the Eye of Terror with his fellow Night Lords, leading a small pack of Raptors, both more and less heavily mutated then himself. When the warband finds a target, Kulstov cares nothing for what he kills, so long as he spends the battle hunting screaming, terrified prey, before cornering them and watching the light die in their eyes.
Red Hand of Nostramo
A serial killer since the tender age of ten, Kulstov was once the son of a minor official who blended in among the untold millions in the night-shrouded city of Nostramo. His first few kills were other children and he became something of an infamous urban legend, dubbed the 'Red Hand' due to the marks of strangulation Kulstov left on their pale bodies. Enjoying the attention, and the parallel to the infamous 'red hand' tattoo that was common to doomed Nostraman hive-gangers that gave his killings a certain mystique, Kulstov continued to kill, moving from other children as he grew older to murdering adults, always keeping the same strangulation motif.
Eventually it had to end, and it did, as Kulstov found himself on Curze's personal agenda. It was the first time the young psychopath had ever felt fear, as he was hunted through the midnight streets by his soon-to-be Gene Sire. Curze caught him, tortured him for days, but eventually decided that the murderer's talents in hunting victims and spreading fear were things that could be put to a better use.
Kulstov was slowly, tortuously transformed into a Night Lord Astartes, and when the process was over, Curze ordered the Astartes to stain his gauntlets the Sinner's Red, to reflect that the killer lived only at his lord's suffrage. Should he disobey, or should his madness exceed his value, Konrad would descend on him once again, and this time, there would be no reprieve.
The coming centuries were like nothing the young Kulstov could have imagined, the raw power of an Astartes allowing him new ways to hunt and kill. Kulstov quickly became appointed to an assault squad, becoming one of the first Night Raptors. Even in the pre-Heresy days, Kulstov was vicious and cruel, even by the standards of his Raptor brothers, who were similarly maladjusted. While Raptors were there to bring terror into the heart of the foe, Kulstov always made sure the foe suffered, hunting them and enjoying their fear before zeroing in for an excruciating execution. As part of Seventh Company's First Claw, Kulstov participated in the subjugation of several worlds, who's major city's civilian populations dropped significantly when Kulstov and First Claw rampaged through. For Kulstov the spreading of fear was a secondary, though enjoyable side effect. The real fun was in the massacre.
Kulstov watched Nostramo burn with the detached eyes of a predator. He saw everyone he ever knew bathed in nuclear fire as the seas boiled and the land ruptured. As he would tell his pack later, Kulstov felt as if he held the entire world in his hand, and could feel each life end as he tightened his grip. Despite his resentment of Curze, Kulstov respected him in that moment for the first and last time.
When the Heresy came, Kulstov was instrumental in corrupting his brothers. Along with his commanding officer, Deimos, Kulstov managed to encourage the more criminal and psychotic members of Seventh Company to side with the traitors. During the massacres of Istvaan V, Kulstov led First Claw in hunting their scattered, confused Loyalist brothers, marking their shattered helms with a red palm print dipped in their own blood. Come the siege of Terra, First Claw flew over the chaotic battlefield like malformed falcons, finding weak spots and descending in a whirlwind of blades and claws. While they never managed to breach the walls into the citadel, Kulstov personally eviscerated hundreds of people, coating his armor in a dull sheen of ever drying blood and making him reek of viscera and fear-tainted sweat.
While never directly assaulting the Imperial citadel, Kulstov and First Claw caused havoc for the defenders outside, especially when they ran into a band of World Eaters and allied themselves to slaughter more loyalists. One of Kulstov's notable kills was Sergeant Vorteil of the Imperial Fists, who the Raptor crucified to the side of a church before disemboweling the Astartes and leaving him to bleed to death with his faceplate marked with the Red Hand.
Unlike most of the other Night Lords, Kulstov was overjoyed when his Primarch died. The only being in the universe that had ever made the psychopath feel true fear, Kulstov had spent the years of the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy living in fear, not that he would be struck down in battle, but that his service to the Night Haunter would prove insufficient. The memory of the Primarch pursuing him through the midnight streets of Nostramo haunted him throughout his immortal life and made each kill all the sweeter. When Curze died, it was like a great weight had lifted from Kulstov's shoulders, and he began to kill indiscriminately and secretly invoke Chaos in defiance of his lord.
Deimos would eventually pick up a young, vicious noble from the feudal world of Ubervald, and elevate him to an Astartes. This young noble, Vulkyr, would eventually become Kulstov's rival as he rose as another Champion. Despite this, the two would eventually reach an impasse when Vulkyr killed Deimos and revealed his weakness to the entire warband, ascending to become the new Chaos Lord. Kulstov acknowledged that he had no actual interest in leading, only hunting and killing, something Vulkyr could provide. In return for his support, Vulkyr renamed the Sons of Deimos the Red Hand in honor of their most bloodthirsty champion, who lead the most imaginative killers in the Long War against the Emperor.
Wages of Chaos
Millennia of murder, depravity and psychosis have left their scar on the Raptor, deep within his soul. Like many Raptors who take to their art too enthusiastically, Kulstov has begun the slow and painful road toward metamorphosis into a Warp Talon, a hideous, daemonic abomination. Kulstov is incapable of walking on two legs any more, and tends to crawl around on all fours, like a stalking beast. He is also partially melded with his mutated power-armor, his arm twisting and transforming into a biomechanical Lightning Claw. The degeneration has begun to take hold, and while he is certainly past the point of returning, Kulstov still retains his sentience, for the moment.
- The Hunting of the Ak'Hareth (Unknown.M30) - Kulstov, along with the rest of Seventh Company of the Nostraman Eighth Legion (then not yet known as the Night Lords) participated in the xenocide of the Ak'Haireth. Along with his fellow Night Raptors, Kulstov enjoyed hunting the terrified xenos through their jungle world.
- Compliance of Darrowmar (Unknown Date.M30) - Kulstov and the Night Lords aided the Lunar Wolves in bringing Darrowmar into Imperial Compliance. Seventh Company was assigned to spread terror in the civilian populace, which Kulstov did with gusto, strangling thousands and hanging bundles of their bodies from buildings, marked with bloody palm prints.
- Pacification of the Cheraut System (984.M30) - Kulstov assisted in the pacification, and provided part of the Night Haunter's guard before he was taken into custody. It was there that Kulstov first considered the possibility of Curze's death, a prophecy he would cling to until he would see it joyously fulfilled on Tsagualsa, hundreds of years later.
- Destruction of Nostramo (984.M30) - Kulstov was present at the burning of Nostramo along with the rest of his brothers in the Eighth Legion. He would later remark that seeing the world burn only made him feel a predatory satisfaction at the ending of so many innocent lives, as well as a mild frustration that his urban legend had ended.
- Drop Site Massacre of Istvaan V (006.M31) - Kulstov led First Claw in gleefully hunting the confused Loyalist brothers he had fought beside and resented for centuries. Kulstov personally marked each slain Imperial with a bloody hand-print, smeared across their shattered faceplates.
- Thramas Crusade (ca. 007-009.M31) - Kulstov and Seventh Company, unofficially known as the 'Sons of Deimos' participated in the fight against the Dark Angels. It was here that Deimos had begun to openly voice his opinions to his men, questioning Curze's sanity and ability to lead. When Curze was wounded, Kulstov watched in hope, knowing for the first time that even a god can bleed.
- Battle of Terra (014.M31) - Kulstov and the rest of Seventh Company played a part in the Siege of Terra. While they were not assigned to assault the citadel directly, the Sons of Deimos allied with the World Eaters, combining their imaginative use of slaughter and terror tactics to sow chaos in the lines of the Loyalist defenders. Kulstov crucified Vorteil of the Imperial Fists, nailing his disemboweled body to the walls of an Imperial Cathedral, and participated in hunting the defenders and ambushing them with his Raptor and World Eater allies.
- Eastern Fringe Genocide (Unknown Date.M31) - Kulstov and the rest of the Sons of Deimos joined their fellow Night Lords in the campaign of terror they subjected the Eastern Fringe to, murdering untold thousands. Throughout this time, Kulstov watches Konrad become more unstable, as he plans to strike him down. This plan is rendered moot when the Imperial assassin M'Shen managed to kill the Primarch first, a coincidence that hid Kulstov's burgeoning betrayal from the rest of his brothers. Upon the death of their Primarch, Deimos ordered the Sons to depart Tsagualsa, not bothering to seek revenge for the death of the madman their Primarch had become. It is here that Kulstov begins to secretly invoke the Ruinous Powers.
- Culling of Grendel's World (843.M34) - Kulstov and the Sons of Deimos answered the call of their fellow Night Lords and attacked Grendel's World.
- Tenth Black Crusade (001.M39) - Under new management, the newly christened Red Hand Night Lords participated in the Tenth Black Crusade, once again joining with the World Eaters in cutting a bloody path through the Imperium of Man. Here several members of the Red Hand, especially the Raptors, fall to Khorne.
- "Run, little rabbit. Prolong the charade. The beating of your little heart amuses me."
- —Kulstov the Bloody-Handed
Cold, brutal and vicious, Kulstov attaches himself to any warband that allows him to indulge his urges in relative peace. A stealth expert and operative for thousands of years, he is a master at planning small scale assaults, hit and run and terror tactics but his weakness is that he is not a big picture planner. He seeks simply to enjoy his Astartes immortality and personally vivisect thousands of innocents himself, becoming a figure of shadowy dread like his days in Nostramo.
Kulstov is animalistic and sadistic, like many other Raptors, and crawls around on all fours when not flying. Despite this, he is eloquent and well-spoken, though always in a monotone, while staring with blood-red-eye lenses. He enjoys toying with people even in conversation, similar to a cat, and enjoys provoking people when they can't fight back. These traits make Kulstov notably more inhuman than even other Raptors, and those who know of such things can recognize a man in the process of slowly degenerating into a Warp Talon.
Kulstov does have a certain nostalgia for Nostramo, seeing it as his first hunting grounds. He bristles under the command of non-Nostramans, though he plays this up more around Night Lords of non-Nostraman descent, just to irritate them.
Kulstov, under Vulkyr now openly worships the Ruinous Powers, and keeps his armor stained in gore in tribute to the 'apex predator,' Khorne, though he pays tribute to all four when he can. Like many Night Lords, Kulstov is firmly of the opinion that he uses Chaos as a weapon. He is firmly a Raptor Champion of Chaos Undivided.
- Mutated Mark IV Maximus Power Armor - Kulstov's power armor has twisted and mutated according to his cruel and bestial personality in the Warp, becoming more spiked, streamline, and akin to an immense bird of prey or daemonic beast. This gives him a greater degree of flexibility than most Astartes, while giving the protection of power-armor. The helm can be removed but the Night Lord's arms and legs are fused into the suit. The suit is permanently coated in dried gore in tribute to the Blood God.
- Lightning Claw 'Last Gasp' - An ancient Lightning Claw that has melded with Kulstov's arm, forming a curved biomechanical talon that protrudes from his power-armor's elbow. It is capable of rending through thick armor and ceramite, and can cut through flesh and steel with ease. When activated, it sends arcs of electricity across the Raptor's armor.
- Jump Pack 'Wings of Nostramo' - An ancient and unknown pattern of Assault Marine Jump Pack, now partially organic and melded to the Night Lord's back. The two turbines have mutated into immense fanged maws that belch fire.
- Mark of Chaos Undivided - For his service to the Ruinous Powers, and spreading slaughter in their name, Kulstov bears the mark of Chaos Undivided, carved to the bone in his chest. This mark makes him superhumanly strong, fast and agile even compared to other Chaos Astartes. It also marks him as an ally to any Daemon or Chaos Lord.
- Warp Talon Mutations - Kulstov's sociopathic and predatory personality, even greater than that of his brother Raptors have begun to take physical form as he slowly fuses with his armor to become a Daemonic beast known as a Warp Talon. While Kulstov maintains his sentience, he has developed the strength and speed of a Warp Talon, as well as the psychic ability to hunt by sensing fear.
Feel free to add your own!
- Red Hand Night Lords - Kulstov's warband, formerly the Seventh Company of Night Lords. Like Kulstov, their gloves are marked Sinner's Red and they are openly users of Chaos.
- Vritra the Howler - The Screaming Rapture Noise Marines have an uneasy alliance with several Night Lord warbands, including the Red Hand. If nothing else, Slaaneshi are the only ones who can match Kulstov's depravity.
Feel free to add your own!
- "You should be very afraid. Each beat of your heart guides me to you, little one. Each beat, like a grain of sand in your life's hourglass."
- —Kulstov the Bloody-Handed
- "I have feared one man in this universe, and that man has taught me my most valuable lesson. Nothing is invincible. There is a knife made for every throat."
- —Kulstov the Bloody-Handed