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This article, Lycastos, was written by BrowncoatMando. Please do not edit this article without their explicit permission.
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"I am an Adeptus Astartes- It is all I have wanted since childhood and for more than a hundred years I have carried out the will of my Emperor- it is a hard life but I am content."
— Lycastos' comments about his life

Early Life

Born on Ithaka in 789 Lycastos wanted nothing more than to be an Adeptus Astartes Battle Brother having heard the stories of their mighty deeds from infancy and so when he came of age he obtained passage to Karybdis seeking them out.

What transpired next is unknown to all but Lycastos himself but he was accepted as a "petitioner' upon completion of his right of passage, killing one of his homeworld's great Water Wyrms with a signature Iron Snakes weapon, the Sea Lance. He kept one of its teeth and to this day he wears it on a leather band around his neck. He acted as a servant to a full Battle Brother in keeping with their traditions. Upon his master's death in 849 he was able to take his place in the squad after defeating several other claimants to the vacancy, the rest remaining servants for a while longer.

Battle Brother

The Reef Stars- Ayrus 852M41

As the newest member of his squad he was sent to planet Ayrus alone. He found an impoverished people hiding underground to protect themselves from Dark Eldar raids on their villages. He met with the village elders who reported that the "Primuls" always came in large numbers and always on a set schedule as there was little their victims could do to fight them. Lycastos knew there was little he could do against a large enemy force who expected him and so just hours before the Dark Eldar were due to arrive he set his plan into motion. He sent all but a few volunteers back into hiding while he calmly walked toward the lake next to the village.

"Trust in The Emperor and trust in me." He told them before vanishing beneath the waves. The Dark Eldar arrived took the volunteers and began the trip back to their vessel. He chose that moment to act- emerging from the lake with water pouring off his armor in sheets. He opened fire while roaring his chapter's battle cry. He caught them completely by surprise cutting down more than a dozen with his first salvo. With his Bolter empty he switched to his knife and engaged the xenos at close range, cutting through them before reaching their leader. Lifting the xeno with his empty left around his head Lycastos crushed the Dark Eldar's skull, dropping the lifeless body to the ground.

The remaining Dark Eldar retreated taking their dead with them lest their weapons fall into the villagers' hands. Lycastos watched them go, anointing the earth beneath him with the sacred water of Ithaka before returning to his squad.

Crusaders Once Crossed (899M41)

The Traitor Warband, the Crusaders Once Crossed found themselves in need of more men to replace recent losses and so they came to the stone quarries of the Penal World Gerizim. They easily overwhelmed the guards and called on any willing to fight for them and the dark gods to join them in doing so they quickly raised an army thousands strong. They threatened to overrun the entire planetoid and so the governor called for aid.

Ithaka answered, deploying three squads to retake Gerizim. They landed in the largest quarry only to be surrounded on all sides by waves of frenzied heretics and Chaos Space Marines. Lycastos killed six Traitor marines and countless numbers of their lesser servants in the fighting forcing them offworld after a nine hour firefight.

Hevada Underhive(910 M41)

The lower levels of The Hive City Hevada were under threat by creatures living in an area of the underhive abandoned millennia earlier. With revolution imminent the city's leaders could no longer ignore the problem and called for help. They received their aid when Lycastos and his squad arrived. They entered the catacombs later the same day, unsure of what they were hunting. Seeing movement in the darkness Lycastos fired, hitting one of the dark underhive's inhabitants- an enormous population of Hrud that had likely been there for centuries.

They kept going, traveling for more than a day purging thousands of the Xenos while marching through foul water that came up to their knees. They discovered a natural promethium well and a single grenade set the catacombs aflame. They emerged just ahead of the wall of fire that engulfed the confined passages and vaults. They reentered once the fires died, finishing off the few survivors. They also found a Khornate cult operating in the lower levels of the hive and destroyed it, solving a future problem.

Blakkhat(933M41)

The Ork freeboota Blakkhat was once considered little more than a nuisance but that changed in 933. He defeated a much stronger rival by "kunning meens' and captured his flagship dubbing it Da Terrarizor and immediately set out to prove his vessel worthy of the name. He attacked shipping routes around the Reef Stars, capturing vessels and adding them to his fleet drawing in followers with every victory. Chapter Master Seydon decided a pitched battle would be far too costly to the chapter and so he asked for volunteers- a single squad would infiltrate the freeboota's flagship, assassinate him and retreat letting the Freeboota armada tear itself apart.

Taking a cruiser from the chapter fleet not far from the Ork's last known location Lycastos piloted a Thunderhawk the rest of the way hoping to avoid detection.

The attempt at stealth failed and so they chose the opposite approach, setting their craft on a direct course with the bridge and firing all their weapons at once. Lycastos, a gifted pilot, was by The Emperor's Grace able to dodge any return fire until a single stray shot connected. Abandoning the stricken vessel only moments before its fuel and weapons detonated they walked along the enemy vessel's hull until they found a weak point and entered through a breach they created with focused fire from their weapons.

They fought their way through hundreds of Orks before facing Blakkhat himself. Even an Ork Warboss could not stand against the fury of ten Astartes and he quickly fell-riddled by Bolt shells. The Squad took the Freeboota’s signature headgear as proof they had completed their mission. They needed only to escape, and raced to the Ork ship’s flight deck while the Orks began to fight amongst themselves. The battle quickly spread to every ship in the fleet as word of Blakkhat's death spread.

They escaped the following battle aboard a reclaimed transport vessel and were picked up by their cruiser several hours later. They returned and discovered that none of the Orks had survived their internal conflict.

Hevada Upper Hive(954M41)

The Hive city Hevada once again came under threat one day in 954M41. A worker in an upper hive building reported that his coworkers were falling ill en masse and that dozens of his coworkers had collapsed only seconds earlier. The call for help grew more and more desperate before trailing off.

Only moments later all communications went dark. After several attempts to restore contact failed they feared the worst and so sent in several teams of PDF and Arbites but none of them emerged. With no further options the city leaders were granted permission to call for aid elsewhere. Lycastos' squad, on their way back to Ithaka, responded and returned to the hive only hours later.

The PDF and Arbites command working on the problem discovered that this was not just an isolated event, power outages had affected buildings in other areas of the hive and taken together they formed an 8 pointed star. It could mean only one thing- Chaos cultists had taken the buildings for some as yet unknown reason.

Hevada had given rise to another large Chaos cult in the squad's long absence and they now sought to atone for their mistake. Each member of the squad would assault one of the buildings with the other two standing by in their Thunderhawk, making the decision by drawing lots. Lycastos was chosen to assault one of the skyscrapers. Entering on the ground level and climbing hundreds of flight of stairs he found countless dead Imperial citizens poisoned via gas forced through the air vents.

Each of those 8 buildings hid another secret- the cultists had done this only with the aid of Dark Eldar who would take their pick of slaves in exchange. Lycastos interrupted some dark ritual and hardly bothered with his bolter, he gave into anger and cut them all down with his knife and shattered their bones with his own hands. He set a fire to purge the last of their evil and called for extraction as it spread behind him, consuming the skyscraper's entire top floor.

Strovos(971M41)

A call for aid reached Ithaka- the people of Strovos were being stolen from their homes by tall pale xenos with long dark hair and pointed ears. Chapter Master Seydon recognized the description and so Lycastos and his squad were chosen to respond, bringing with them their newly acquired dogs.

This would bring him into contact with both the Kabal of the Screaming Heart and one of their victims,Commissar Taldor Von Harbrech the only survivor of the newly founded Strovos 33rd. The unit was raised to fight the xenos plaguing their region of space in ever more daring slaving raids but every member of this new unit was killed or enslaved before ever leaving their homeworld.

Lycastos found the man half mad amidst the ruins of a city emptied of people by Dark Eldar activity missing an ear and covered in his own blood but somehow still alive. Calling the rest of his squad to his position and leaving the gravely wounded Commissar in the care of the Apothecary, Lycastos his brothers and their dogs sought out any survivors. They found the city totally empty but were able to receive encrypted communications from PDF units scattered throughout the area. The Squad parted ways to find them each taking several dogs to detect any hidden Dark Eldar.

Lycastos was the first to return bringing back a dozen troopers who followed without question. The others returned as well having found only a few, bringing their total numbers to thirty men and twenty dogs. The sergeant put out a call on all vox frequencies challenging the Dark Eldar to face them.

"We are Adeptus Astartes, we know no fear. We do not fear you Primuls. Come and face us cowardly Xenos!" He then insulted them in their native tongue, goading them to fight.

The Dark Eldar emerged from hiding hoping to kill the marines and enslave their allies but the Imperial forces, warned by the dogs quickly surrounded them and the wounded Commissar and fired several las shots striking their targets by sheer luck.

The Dracon Eyeri Shadowcaller attacked The Sergeant, cutting through his armor and delivering a deep wound but he was able to fight through his pain delivering a vicious backhand that shattered several bones in the Dracon's face. They left the stunned Dark Eldar commander to focus on the remaining warriors. The dogs did as they were trained to do, pointing them out and dragging several down allowing their masters to finish them off.

This was only the first wave of the raiding party- they soon faced dozens more and they fell back into the ruins. Shadowcaller recovered and led them personally but he underestimated the squad, all of whom had more than a century of experience against his kind. He once again challenged the sergeant and while they dueled both sides fought around them. One of the PDF troopers saw an opportunity, putting a las shot into the Dark Eldar and nearly severing his left leg. The others left him to die and fled as there was nothing to be gained. One of the PDF troopers broke his jaw with a series of strikes with the stock of his lasgun.

Lycastos and his brothers held him in place, allowing the Commissar to deliver the single fatal headshot. They left the body to be torn apart by their dogs and then burned the bodies before departing with the Von Harbech, who was sent to the Agri world Syprios upon his recovery. The PDF returned home to warn their government about the Dark Eldar's return and inform them of the fate of the 33rd.

13th Black Crusade

At present Lycastos is fighting with his squad brothers as part of the Imperium's response to the latest Black Crusade. Sent to the worlds near the Eye of Terror he and his squad once again face endless waves of cultists.

The Crimson Company

"This is what we were made to do- face difficult odds and prevail. Let none stand- we are Astartes, they are the minions of Chaos-let our righteousness show itself in our bolts and blades"
— Lycastos encouraging his brothers

They have not seen combat against traitor Astartes but they did face a force of Traitor Guard dedicated to Khorne. They called themselves The Crimson Company, taking the name from their clothing, dyed with the blood of their enemies. Having stolen a transport vessel and killing her crew they headed for Cadia but before arriving they met an enemy they did not expect and were ill equipped to fight. The Squad and their dogs boarded undetected and began purging them, taking one deck at a time. Despite forty to one odds the Iron Snakes prevailed and set the now corrupted vessel on a collision course with the nearest sun before evacutating

Appearance and Skills

3 studs marking his 150 years of service to his chapter occupy places above his right eye.

While many Space Marines display grisly facial scars he does not his helmet has stopped many deadly wounds and he still wears it proudly, his skin has instead taken on an unhealthy pallor since he rarely removes his armor or helmet and this makes his dark eyes all the more prominent on the rare occasions they can be seen. He lacks hair, he chose to shave it off rather than lose it as a side effect of his various augmentations.

While very proficient with every piece of wargear in the Iron Snakes arsenal having learned them through a century and a half of constant use he is also a gifted pilot. His long life has given him the time to learn most Imperial craft though his true skills lie behind the controls of a Thunderhawk, a skill his squad is truly grateful for.

He has developed an intense hatred for the Dark Eldar after fighting them for so long and since the events on Strovos he has begun a count on how many he has killed- scratching tally marks into his shoulder plates, those he killed before beginning his count are still included.

Equipment

  • Mark VII Aquila power armor
  • Cailenos and Otsanda - While technically equipment Lycastos sees his current dogs, born of the same litter, as friends and brothers. They have saved his life on several occasions, warning him of hidden enemies, once killing a Dark Eldar warrior who was able to catch him off guard.
  • Godwyn pattern Bolter- it has never left his side across his decades as an Astartes and like its owner it has seen many battlefields and so bears the scars of war, as well as a pair of purity seals displayed just behind the barrel.
  • Combat Knife- another weapon that has never left its owner's side, it has been stained by the blood of traitors and xenos alike countless times over the decades but he is almost obsessive in keeping it clean.
  • Water Wyrm tooth- a personal momento he has kept since his teenage years he has had to replace the leather band holding it many times.
  • Two Sea Lances
  • Shield

Despite not always carrying these 2 pieces of wargear he is more than capable of using them, practicing whenever he finds the time to do so.

Quotes

You think of any... go for it.

About

"Enjoy your petty victory while you can. You'll soon discover that a snake with a severed head doesn't manage to make it very far!"
—Ashrol the Mauler during the fight on Gerizim

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