Variel Reeve was a Mortitat of the Night Lords Legion and a member of the now disbanded Kyroptera during the latter years of the Great Crusade. A warrior of ill repute among a Legion of murderers, Variel was inducted from the eternal night of Old Terra and escaped a life of petty murder to commit even more horrific acts to the galaxy itself.
Strangely, Variel was in fact possessed with latent psychic abilities, which he forcibly repressed for half his life. While not used at will, they did grant him semi-precognition and decreased physical degradation. As a result, Variel has survived for far longer than a usual Space Marine through the many threats of the galaxy. Unfortunately these powers took a tole on his already weary mind, further unbalancing the already insane Night Lord. As such, Variel became an ill omen to friend and foe alike.
To the relief of the galaxy at large, Variel was eventually hunted down by a Execution Squad of Officio Assassinorum operatives. The resulting bloodbath concluded the Chaos Space Marine's reign of terror.
Born to the darkest pits of the ancient Terran prisons, Variel enjoyed a status as one of the near mythological "night's children". Actively avoided by even the most callous killers, the powder skinned youth travelled silently through the hellish night-scape. Surviving with fear and superstition as his weapons, Variel carved out a life amongst the pain and suffering. At this early age his psychic talent first manifested, but was swiftly suppressed by the child, who knew it could lead to his death instinctively. However this constant weight of suppressing ones nature would eventually eat away at his mind and soul.
So it was the cold minded child was lifted from that pit, and moulded into one of the fearsome Adeptus Astartes. At this time the Great Crusade was well underway, with the Night Lords establishing themselves as a brotherhood of brutal killers. In fact, it was less then seven standard years before the Night Lords were united with their Primarch. In those intervening years Variel distinguished himself as a talented and cool headed marksman. Variel eventually ascended to a position as a Destroyer Sergeant, enjoying the irony of his own weapons slowly killing him. Oddly, this very duty and doom accelerated the subconscious use of his psychic abilities. As such, his body repaired even as the constant radiological damage scarred his physique. Wether this was out of some desire for a quicker death or some strange masochism, Variel nevertheless continued in his role, launching his squad directly into the heart of an enemy again and again. Eventually, his slow quest for self destruction gained his position as a Moritat, placing him on a slow path to destruction.
The Night Haunter's Ghost:
For reasons unknown, the Night Haunter placed some measure of value in the life of this strange Moritat. Maybe he saw him as a kindred spirit, a being longing for absolution and a cleansed soul. Possibly he simply valued his skills, whatever the truth, it is now forever lost. What is known is that the standing Kyroptera were less then pleased at this new addition. Some saw the warrior as weak, a tired Terran who was to cowardly to die with any semblance of dignity. Regardless, the Night Haunter's approval rested heavily on Variel's shoulders.
Variel stuck close to his gene-sire, doggedly shadowing him in every field of battle. The Astartes seemed as immortal as his Dark King, blessed by uncanny luck that would see him survive well beyond the Great Crusade. Much to Variel's chagrin, the very part of his being that he longed to be rid of would constantly save him from death. Most summarised that Variel sought to learn from his gene sire, to understand how one could continue the fight with no purpose. Whatever the truth, it became clear that Variel grew apathetic towards the universe.
The Moritat became significantly more withdrawn towards the last years of the Great Crusade, serving as a silent phantom lurking in the shadows. Even the other Kyroptera were united in their mistrust and paranoia over their brother, all except Sevatar. The First Captain saw the ruthlessness and unwavering loyalty deeply entrenched in Variel's soul. While the two would not share a bond of any major significance, a level of mutual respect lay between them.
Variel's mental and physical state had worsened by the time the Night Lords were dispatched with their brother legions to eliminate Horus's rebellion. As soon as the Night Lords made planetfall the Moritat was gone, vanished into the shifting wastelands. It was only at the time of vilest treachery he emerged, leaping from the shadows in a blaze of bolter fire and to the howls of pain and anguish. The survivors of the Drop Site Massacre say that the Night Lord was untouchable, dodging bolts and swords with delivering a swathe of death in return. The bat winged helm and dark cloak were jarred in the minds of the survivors, forever haunting their vengeful thoughts.
The infamous Moritat disappeared for a time, even from the ranks of the Kyroptera. His fellow Night Lords suspected some cowardice or treachery, with only Sevatar speaking otherwise. When Variel did return, he did with trophies of a long war in the shadows, hunting down bands of shattered legionnaires from their trails at Istvaan. While many of his fellow Astartes admired his dedication, his Sire considered it foolish. He was certain it would inspire greater rebellion by his sons, and so Variel was marked for death. His blood red gauntlets were a display of shame, he was to await his execution once he had reached his potential within the Legion. It is said that Variel smiled when his gauntlets were marked, but this is likely no more then rumour.
Variel would only resurface at the Battle of Terra, where he took his quest for vindication and was fielded with a full force of Destroyers and Moritats. This suicide force was designed for maximum damage to vital locations on Terra, and was all but wiped out by the end of the event. Unfortunately for Variel, he survived. His brethren found him trapped under a pile of rubble, crawling his way out with damaged armour and cracked bones. One attempted to end their hated Moritat brother right there, but amazingly Variel dodged the blade and snapped the man's spinal column, through the Night Lords power armour. His remaining brother-legionnaires helped him extract from the ruined planet, fleeing loyalist vengeance.
Tsagualsa And The Dead Men:
As the majority of the Night Lords began a destructive rampage across the Eastern Fringe, Variel disappeared into the void for the longest period yet. Some say he went to the Planet of Sorcerers, to control his psychic talents. Others say the Moritat went on a deep quest for vindication. What is known is that the treacherous Legionnaire was not seen for many a year, not until the death of his once beloved Primarch. Variel would arrive soon afterwards, drawn by what he stated was "a vision from our sire". The Moritat arrived just before the Primarch's death and instantly sought a final audience. What transpired between those two is to this day unknown, but reportedly the Night Lord left in a fury. After Variel left he, like his brothers, did not join The Soul Hunter in pursuit of Curze's assassin. In fact, Variel did not leave Tsagualsa for some time. It was only when the Night Lords began to fracture with the loss of the Cornona Nox, which would determine Curze's successor, did he leave the Carrion World.
The Moritat had few friends among the Night Lords at this time, commanding a few nihilistic renegades through mutual distaste of life. Their small band became known by the Traitor Legions as The Dead Men, and became a name synonymous with remorselessness and unpredictability. The Night Lords appearances were seemingly random, with the exclusive force and brutality many came to associate with the Legion. However, any fragment of nobility or pride the group once possessed as Destroyers or Moritats slowly degraded as they became pirates and murderers over soldiers. Variel himself bore no hate for his corrupted brothers, but was beyond apathetic towards their existence. His distaste for their eventual oaths to Chaos was more obviously pronounced however.
The Assassinorum and Death:
Eventually, the Imperium took notice on the exploits of Variel and his band of psychopaths. Headed by Inquisitor Greyon Autaris, a lone Vindicare assassin was dispatched to eliminate the Chaos Space Marine. That same Vindicare was interrogated and thrown from an airlock several days later.
From that point a large scale manhunt was undertaken by the Ordo Sicarius, out of sheer principle more than any desire to eliminate a potential threat. Three more Operatives were sent after The Dead Men, with each being slaughtered, deceived and left to die on a poisoned Death World respectively. After the elimination of the three Eversor's and Culexus Assassins, Autaris would eventually assemble an official Executor squad.
What followed was a brutal duel as the assassins hunted their quarry. The Assassin's boarded the Dead Men's voidship, secretly gathering intel while the crew simply carried out their duties. While it is entirely possible Variel sensed the presence of the team, he did little to prevent his companions executions. While the Dead Men fought like gods of war, the Assassins had the element of surprise and furious zealotry. The fiercest of fighting occurred in the armoury, which resulted in the complete slaughter of the Dead Men and leaving only Culexus Operative Omega 4.
Omega 4 found Variel on the bridge, the Night Lord whispering and rambling to himself in some form of paranoid fit. Omega 4's recording device showed him stab Variel from behind with a power sword mounted on the bridge wall. Somehow, the bridge was then holed and both men were sucked into the vacuum of space. The recorder was then salvaged from the ruins of the ship after it's crash into an asteroid field.
Personality And Traits
Variel was an apathetic, sadistic sociopath, but not devoid of conviction or code. Originally holding himself to the same ideals of justice that had run through the culture of his Legion and his Primarch, these ideals gradually faded with age. To the end of his life, Variel's sanity and even physical state was heavily degraded, likely due to constant exposure to rad weapons and the strain of his psychic abilities. The reports from Culexus Assassin Omega 4's recording device showed that Variel's physical appearance had become near daemonic, with exposed yellow veins, greying eyes, fanged teeth and pitch black eyes.