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This article, Mikael, the Laughing Swordsman, was written by Kephn. Please do not edit this article without their explicit permission.
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"You speak so eloquently of art and music brother, but the only music I know is the buzz of a chainblade. The only art, the gushing spatter of blood."
—Mikael


Ancient veteran of the Horus Heresy, the Slave Wars and Skalathrax, Mikael is the definition of one of the Phoenician's sons. A former Palatine Blade and supremely skilled with a Chainsword, Mikael was rumored to have trained under Lucius the Eternal, Saul Tarvitz, and other famous duelists of the era. Serving under Lucius until he was defeated in an honor duel with Fulgrim's Champion, Mikael has served under the Noise Champion Vritra the Howler. Ever since then, Mikael has developed a twisted obsession with Lucius, his vision of perfection, and is desperate for a rematch.

History

"Perfection is a razor's edge. Do not expect to walk the path and not be cut open."
—Mikael

Mikael fulfills the stereotype of the arrogant duelist, popularized by his hero, Lucius. His past is unknown and forgotten in a haze of combat drugs and hypno-indoctrination. When he became an Astartes, Mikael became known for his skill, but also his friendliness ad sportsmanship, earning him the title 'The Laughing Swordsman.' His training and dedication to his art paid off when he was taken under the wing of the great duelist Lucius himself, who he served under for many centuries.

In the years of the Heresy, Mikael gladly followed his brothers and his mentor Lucius into Chaos and Slaaneshi worship. Adopting the culture of his brother swordsman, Mikael constantly tested himself, experimenting with combat drugs and other blasphemous means to hone his senses to a razor's edge. He was one of those who first submitted to Fabius Bile's genetic experiments, intending to push his form to the limits of Astartes physiology.

Mikael challenged his hero, Lucius, to an honor duel because he felt that he had to. Perfection and its pursuit demanded he test himself against his mentor, who promptly crushed him, skewering him through the chest and shredding one of his hearts. Lucius did not understand Mikael's motives for challenging him, but cast him out of his personal warband, the Cohors Nasicae for his treachery. Alone and abandoned, Mikael found succour in Vritra the Howler and his eccentric band of Kakophoni and quickly became the group's close-combat champion, submitting to the surgeries that would make him a Noise Marine. With Vritra, Mikael took part in many famous battles of the Emperor's Children, including the Slave Wars and the Battle of Skalathrax. On that frozen world, Mikael discovered his hatred for disciples of the Blood God and after his helm was damaged, he wears a repainted World Eater helmet.

Since the years of the Heresy and the the Traitor Legions within the Eye reaching something of an unstable equilibrium, Mikael has sailed with Vritra aboard The Flayed Lady. Over a thousand battlefields, hundreds have fallen to Mikael's sword, though he seeks only the worthy to add to his list of kills. Despite knowing his abilities, Mikael is obsessed, some might say dangerously, with Lucius the Eternal, viewing him as the embodiment of perfection and desperately seeking a rematch. Mikael views it as an honor that Lucius would usurp his flesh, and dreams of being added to the Armor of Shrieking Souls, an eternal testament to his victory over his idol.

Personality

"Hate me if you must, but I bear you no ill will. In truth, you should be flattered. My blade tastes air for none but the best."
—Mikael

For a Chaos Space Marine, especially one devoted to Slaanesh, Mikael is an easygoing individual. He manages to get along with mortals and Astartes alike, always ready with a razor-sharp wit and bombastic camaraderie. Despite being an exceptional, graceful and deadly fighter, Mikael sees nothing antagonistic in combat. To the Slaaneshi, dueling is a dance between lovers, an intimate act of grace and precision. Mikael dueling an opponent is the greatest compliment he can give them, and he sincerely loves a foe that can challenge him and make him push himself.

Nothing triggers Mikael's wrath more than a poor fight, and because of their lack of specificity and finesse, he has a special enmity for World Eaters. Mikael killed many World Eaters and fellow Emperor's Children on Skalathrax, performing what he considers his greatest dance after he disemboweled Captain Torivolus the Bloody. He commemorates the occasion, and pays homage to his favorite opponents, by wearing a repainted World Eater helmet.

Mikael is obsessed with Lucius the Eternal, declaring him more perfect than Fulgrim himself. Mortals may mistake this for the Astartes being in love with the Soulthief, but that is far too human a concept. Mikael sees Lucius, his old teacher, as perfection incarnate, and desperately wants to prove himself by fighting the Eternal again. He dreams of killing Lucius, seeing the Eternal's possession of his body as the ultimate honor. Mikael's ultimate ambition is to be added to the trapped souls in Lucius' armor, to serve his former commander once more with the knowledge that he had been great enough to best him once.

With the dawn of M42, Mikael has encountered, fought, and even struck down Primaris marines, who quickly have begun to replace World Eaters as his favorite opponents. Unlike many Astartes his age, he is not spiteful, hateful or even jealous of the Imperium's newest defenders. He simply views it as a new addition to his legend. He is uninterested even in becoming a Primaris marine. In Mikael's eyes, he will be unworthy of the honor until he has struck down Lucius, at which point, it will be irrelevant.

Wargear

"There is no measure of a man like how he treats his weapons. Love them, nurture them, and feed them blood whenever possible."
—Mikael
  • Mark V Heresy Power Armor - Mikael's power armor is a scavenged suit, like many members of the Traitor Legions. Like most Noise Marines, his armor is garish and painted in many striking and clashing colors. His helm is a World Eater helmet, repainted and blasphemed to mock the Blood God.
  • Artificer Pattern Chainsword, 'Killer Queen'- Killer Queen is an ancient pattern, adamantine Chainsword, favored over a power-sword because Mikael enjoys the spray of blood drawn forth by the roaring teeth of the blade. While not daemonically possessed, Killer Queen's machine spirit is vicious and bloodthristy, and will only work to its full potential when wielded by an expert swordsmaster.
  • Legion Pattern Bolt Pistol, 'Deadshot' - an ancient bolt Pistol, made to be Mikael's long-ranged weapon if needed.
  • Fabius Bile's Augments - Like many of his brothers within the Emperor's Children, Mikael submitted to many of the Apothecary's genetic experiments. Because of these, he is strong, fast and dextrous even by Astartes standards, rivaling even the swiftest and most deadly swordsmen of the Traitor Legions.
  • Combat Drugs - Like his mentor, Mikael indulges often in combat drugs, especially favoring it when the Screaming Rapture can successfully raid the Dark Eldar and steal theirs. Mikael unfortunately is an addict, and suffers if he goes for extended periods without taking a dose, and can only reach his full combat potential when intoxicated.

Relationships

Feel Free to Add Your Own

Vritra the Howler

Vritra is Mikael's commander, and even among the Traitor Legions, the closest thing the arrogant duelist has to a friend. Vritra often spars with Mikael, and Mikael admires that his leader can admit his own inferiority with a blade. Because Vritra saved Mikael after he was abandoned by Lucius, he is fiercely loyal to the Noise Champion, and will bleed, kill and die for his lord. For his part, Vritra views Mikael as his most capable warrior, and often offers the swordsman accolades and honors that he cannot resist.

Avaric the Unworthy

A fellow scion of House Avaric, follower of Slaanesh and master duelist in his own arena, The Bastard Avaric and Mikael were happy to meet at the side of their most recent mutual employer, Lucifero the Unmarked. Mikael takes a deep familial fondness and protectiveness toward his 'little cousin,' and where the Knightkiller strides, the Screaming Rapture walks at his heels, spreading death in the name of the Dark Prince.

Quotes

Feel Free to Add Your Own

By

"I will relish the day the Eternal's scars line my face. I will howl in ecstasy as I join those damned to dwell in his warplate. It is enough to know that I was, for one shining moment, perfect. "
—Mikael

About

"I must say I am impressed. Most Mon'keigh cannot even keep up with an Eldarith infant, but after ten millenia of practice and selling your soul to the psychic afterbirth of my people, I shall concede you are adequately passable."
Cruel Glee
"Captain Lucius was an amateur in the day. When you can challenge Sevatar or Szo Sahaal, then you will have my attention."
Kulstov the Bloody-Handed
"It is good to see that I am not alone in my deviancy. I will make our name feared, my kin."
Avaric the Unworthy

Trivia

  • Like all Noise Marines, Mikael has a supernaturally refined ear for music. Because of his obsession with close combat, Mikael composes strange, avant-guard pieces of music using a vox-recorder embedded into Killer Queen's hilt. To mortals, this simply sounds like a deafening crescendo of buzzing chainswords, rending flesh and bone and the screams of the dying. To Astartes senses, however, the noise is a hypnotic symphony, hauntingly beautiful as it is viscerally unnerving. The Screaming Rapture greatly admire their brother for his work and keep a gallery dedicated to him aboard The Flayed Lady.
  • Mikael never replaced the heart that was shredded by Lucius during their first duel, permanently handicapping him in terms of stamina compared to his transhuman brothers. Despite this, Mikael's agility, blessings and raw skill with a blade have more that closed the gap. He still struggles with fights that go beyond his tolerance, which will break before his opponent's almost invariably. Naturally, this is irrelevant to human opponents as he still is a superhuman warrior.
  • Mikael's theme song is The Only Thing I Know For Real

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