- "If you continue to shame the Dark Gods, I will not suffer you to live. Draw your sword so that you might find salvation in death."
- —Xaphuris, to the Chaos Lord Nazrath the Tormentor (deceased)
Known by many names amongst the forces of Chaos, Xaphuris was once a proud Coryphaus of the Word Bearers Traitor Legion, fighting against the Imperium in the name of both Lorgar and the Ruinous Powers. But, he eventually became disgusted by how many weaklings and cowards clung to the Dark Gods, leeching of their power for their own self-absorbed ends. Thus he slew his own Dark Apostle and embarked on a personal crusade; to cull the weak from the forces of Chaos, so that the Imperium might finally fall to Chaos once it is rid of all its unworthy followers. Xaphuris now leads the Dark Covenant, a Chaos Warband formed of not only Word Bearers, but the devout from various Traitor Legions and Renegade Chapters, his loyal followers in his never-ending quest.
The Holy War
Born on the Feudal Word of Colchis, Xaphuris was the only child born to a pair of Covenant Priests, the descendants of a long line of Colchisian clergymen and women. While his parents had originally intended for their son to follow them into priesthood, fate it seemed had other ideas. Xaphuris was only eight standard years old when the Colchisian Wars of Faith began, as the Primarch Lorgar began to convert the Old Faith of Cochis into the worship of the prophesied "One God". Nearly half the Covenant turned on Lorgar in the process, including Xaphuris' parents, who took up arms against the so-called "heretics" known as the Godsworn.
Thus Xaphuris was trained to be warrior from the tender age of nine, learning how shoot a gun, how to wield a sword, and most importantly how to kill his fellow man. By his tenth birthday, he had done exactly that, gunning down a Godsworn soldier who threatened to kill his parents, only to watch as they died in the fires of an ill-timed artillery strike. Lost, confused, and alone, Xaphuris aimlessly wandered the ruins of his hometown, running into a patrol a Godsworn through pure accident. Zealous though they were, the soldiers could not bring themselves to harm a child, and thus brought Xaphuris to their base camp to see what was to be done about him. It was there that Xaphuris met Lorgar in person, and the sheer sight of the Primarch caused Xaphruis to drop to his knees in fealty, swearing himself to the Godsworn right then and there. While somewhat baffled by the boy's sudden change of heart, the Godsworn took him in nonetheless, always having use for new converts.
From their Xaphuris was retained by the Godsworn as a sort of errand boy. He'd deliver messages, clean weaponry, and perform other menial tasks in and around their basecamps. During that time Xaphuris learned much about warfare, taking a particular interest in military strategy and tactics. Sometimes he'd beg to be made a full soldier, demonstrating his ability to fight to his superiors, but he was always turned down, being told that the battlefield was no place for a child. That cycle of demonstration and refusal would continue until eventually Xaphuris decided he would take his dilemma up with the man himself. Fourteen years old, he strode into the command tent and right up to Lorgar himself, demanding that he fight alongside his fellow Godsworn. To his surprise, Lorgar actually humored his request, admiring the adolescent's boldness. With the Primarch’s approval, Xaphuris fought in the final assault of the Colchisian capital of Vharadesh, much to his joy.
A few weeks afterwards, Xaphuris knelt in the presence of the "One God" as the Emperor of Mankind was reunited with Lorgar, his lost son. All of Colchis rejoiced at the coming of their new deity, and yet Xaphuris felt strangely... empty. Caught up in the exhalation of battle, he had almost forgotten that by aiding the Godsworn, he had dishonored his entire bloodline by turning against the Old Faith, the faith that his family had served for generations. Had he done the right thing by joining Lorgar's crusade? Was he doing the right thing by accepting this "God-Emperor" into his heart and soul? Those questions troubled him even after being accepted into the newly-formed Word Bearers Legion, having been put forward by Lorgar himself as a potential recruit.
Bearer of the Word
- "Forward into the breach brothers! The will of the Lorgar guides us and by Terra, I would see it done!"
- —Xaphuris, during the Melkeji Salvation
Years into the Great Crusade, Xaphuris still had no answer for himself. By that time he had already become a full Space Marine of the XVII Legion, posted as a member of the 5th Company within the Chapter of the Osseous Throne. Quickly establishing himself as a tier above the rest, Xaphuris slowly but steadily made his way through the ranks, rising to the rank of Sergeant in just ten years. Due to his upbringing, Xaphuris established himself as far more martial minded than his colleagues, and unlike many Word Bearers at the time, he did not secretly worship the Emperor of Mankind as a God. Make no mistake, he was a loyal and devoted warrior, but his decision to deny the Old Faith of Colchis still haunted him, and thus he whispered the same prayers and chanted the same rites, but in his heart he still questioned whether it was right to worship the so-called "God-Emperor".
Fearing what the repercussions of this belief might be, Xaphuris separated himself from his fellow Legionaries in order to hide his secret, becoming aloof and distant. As a result, Xaphuris may have had some admirers during his ascent through the ranks, but never any friends. While it certainly was a lonesome existence, it did help in one respect, he never grew too attached the Space Marines under his command, and thus could efficiently lead them. In fact, his skills as a leader became quite apparent during that time Chapter Master Badis Kar, leader of the Osseous Throne, personally promoted him to the rank of Captain, placing Xaphuris in charge of the Chapter's 5th Company.
From there Xaphuris' reputation only grew. He became known as a master strategist and a charismatic leader, his oratory skills able to inspire even during the most hopeless of campaigns. Not many expected this from him, as until then his fellow Word Bearers had seen Xaphuris as an extremely competent Sergeant, but little else. Truth be told, not even Xaphuris himself was aware of his talent for leadership, but with each victory in battle his confidence only grew further. Xaphuris also earned many honors during his time as Captain. He was awarded an Iron Halo at the Battle of Stronsmark, where his ardent battle-planning crushed the Eldar that had plagued the planet for so many generations. He earned the right to wear holy Terminator Armor after he saved the life of a Chapter Master Deinos on the techno-barbaric world of Sixty-Three Nineteen. Xaphuris was even named the official Coryphaus of Chapter Master Kar, serving under his direct command as chief strategist and sub-commander of the Osseous Throne.
But the rise always comes before the fall, and the fall was forthcoming as the Chapter of the Osseus Throne was called upon to fight alongside it's brethren on the planet Khur. During the battle, Xaphuris fought alongside such infamous figures such as Kor Phaeron and Erebus as the Word Bearers conquered the Khur's capital city of Monarchia, and from the ashes raised a glittering paradise of devotion and worship of the God-Emperor. Looking upon the newly-created "Perfect City", Xaphruis couldn't help but feel a tinge of guilt. Once again memories of his parents and his upbringing amongst preachers of the Colchisian Covenant haunted him, but he pushed his guilt away, telling himself that Lorgar believed in the Emperor's godhood then he should believe as well. His genefather couldn't possibly be wrong, could he?
The Seeds of Heresy
Years after the conquest of Khur, the entire Word Bearers Legion was summoned to Monarchia at the behest of the Emperor himself. He watched as the Ultramarines raze the Perfect City to the ground, and felt the psychic might of the Master of Mankind as he and the rest of the Legion were forced to bow before him. The Emperor rebuked the Word Bearers, Primarch and all, saying that they had failed both him and humanity by spreading this "false worship" in his name. Then he departed, leaving an entire Legion of Space Marines shell-shocked, their universe crumbling around them. Like the rest of his battle-brothers, Xaphuris was dazed, shocked, humiliated, but he felt ashamed for a very different reason. He had been right all along, his faith the Emperor as a deity had been misplaced and deep down he had known it. He had shamed his bloodline, fought and bled in the name of a man who punished their worship of him, and for what? No answer was forthcoming, and so Xaphuris collapsed into a deep melancholy, much like his Primarch.
From there the Word Bearers continued in their conquests, but Xaphuris' heart was no longer in it. What was the point? What were he and his brothers fighting for anymore? Even their own Primarch had seemingly abandoned them out of shame, going out into the greater galaxy alongside the Serrated Sun Chapter. All seemed hopeless.
Then Lorgar returned from his pilgrimage, bearing the Words of a very different kind of faith. He told his Legion that he had gone into the Eye of Terror, and he had seen true gods, deities that were worthy of their devotion. With the revealing of the "Primordial Truth", Xaphuris fell to his knees in shock, for he recognized these gods as the same that he and his family once worshiped. His gods were real! With that pronouncement, Xaphuris wholeheartedly fell into the service of Chaos, seeing this as his chance to redeem himself in the eyes of his childhood deities. No longer would he be troubled by theological qualms, no longer would he question his faith. Xaphuris belonged to the Gods of Chaos, and no other would command his devotion again.
Against the Ultramarines
- "A thousand Ultramarines fell to me at Calth, cursing the name Xaphuris. Now you to shall scream my name!"
- —Xaphuris, facing off against the Ultramarines during the Shadow Crusade
By the time the Horus Heresy began, Xaphuris and his Legion had already prepared the ground for war. Aboard the monstrous battleship Furious Abyss, Xaphruis and the Chapter of the Osseus Throne struck against the proud Ultramarines, determined to gain vengeance for the Razing of Monarchia and their humiliation on Khur. Appointed Coryphaus of his Chapter once more, Xaphuris spearheaded the assault on Calth alongside First Captain Kor Phaeron, commanding on the battlefield itself. While the first assaults on Calth were minor victories at best, Xaphuris’ true triumph came of a massacre where neither he nor any of the Word Bearers under his command fired a single shot.
Xaphuris wanted to strike a massive blow against the Ultramarines, something they would not forget, and what better way to do that to use their own ideals against them? Sending a message to the enemy front, Xaphuris told the Ultramarines that he was tired of the pointless bloodshed, and that all he requested was an honorable duel. He struck a deal with the Ultramarine Captain Atreus, commander of the 46th Company (whom had been a particular thorn in the Word Bearer's side since the beginning of the Battle of Calth), telling him to meet at the downed Strike Cruiser Wrath of Colchis where the two would fight one-on-one like warriors. If Atreus won, then Xaphuris' men would surrender unconditionally. Fearing a trap but knowing the offer was too good a chance to turn down, Atreus agreed, but his Company came with him in case of deception. Little did he know, that was exactly what Xaphuris was counting on.
When the Ultramarines did arrive at the wreckage of the Wrath, all they found was a small group of Word Bearers that fired upon the Ultramarines on sight before ducking into the ruins. His honor offended, Atreus and his Company gave chase, oblivious to the fact that they were being led into a trap. Unbeknownst to them Xaphuris and the bulk of his forces, now safe behind the lines, had planted proximity charges on the downed Strike Cruiser's still-active Warp Drive beforehand. When the Ultramarines walked ran into the ruins, they unknowingly set off the charges’ timers. Just before detonation, Xaphuris sent one last vox-message to Captain Atreus, taunting him by revealing just how easily they had played into his hands. Then the Warp Drive detonated, the resulting explosion vaporizing everything within a mile of the wreck, even Xaphuris' own battle-brothers who had offered up their lives to be bait for the overzealous Ultramarines.
The Battle of Terra
Much to his regret, Xaphuris was never present for the slaughter that was the Drop Site Massacre of Isstavan V, but he and his entire Chapter were amongst the first Word Bearers to lay siege to the Imperial Palace. Fighting with a fervor matched only by the most passionate of zealots, Xaphuris abandoned his role as commander so that he might experience the battle firsthand, laughing with joy as the Palace's walls crumbled before the advance of the Warmaster's forces. He and his chosen warriors fought through waves of loyalists with the words of the Book of Lorgar upon their lips, driven ever forwards by their faith in the Dark Gods.
But with the death of Warmaster Horus, the Traitor's advanced crumbled, and thus Xaphuris was forced to retreat alongside the remainder of his forces. As the fleet set course for the Eye of Terror, Xaphuris gazed back at where Terra serenely floated in the void, swearing that one day he would return to finish what the Traitor Legions had started.
Re-establishing themselves on the Daemon World of Sicarus, the Word Bearers began to slowly build up their forces, their newly ascended Daemon Primarch sealing himself within the Templum Inficio to ponder the infinite mysteries of Chaos. With Lorgar in self-imposed exile, the Dark Council was formed to fill the power vacuum. Xaphuris meanwhile was given the rank of Coryphaus once again in recognition for his deeds during the Horus Heresy, and posted as the lieutenant to the Dark Apostle Gar Sagrond, a novice member of the Apostle's dark priesthood striving to prove himself in the eyes of his Legion. After all he had wrought in the days of the Heresy, Xaphuris was hardly thrilled to be placed under the command of what in his eyes was an inexperienced whelp of a Word Bearer, but he went along without complaint, telling himself it was in Lorgar's name that he received this post.
Lately, Xaphuris had been telling himself that many things his Legion was doing were in the name of Lorgar, for there was quite a few things he objected to. Their sudden reliance Chaos Cults for one, as he hardly saw the need to weaken a planet from within when his own Host possessed more than enough Space Marines to obliterate any resistance, and he had always considered mere mortals to be unworthy of the Ruinous Powers in the first place. And then there was the formation of the Dark Council, that ruling body that every day seemed more and more intent on replacing their Primarch as master of the XVII Legion. Most of the zealous Word Bearers obeyed their commands without question, but Xaphuris was of a more military bent than his brethren, and thus his discontent grew.
Eventually the sheer incompetence of his own Dark Apostle would eventually drive Xaphuris over the edge, for while Sagrond may have been both a zealous orator and a capable fighter, he was an absolutely terrible commander. Every time his Host went into battle Xaphuris would watch as Sagrand ordered thousands to blindly charge into the enemy, sending them right into the teeth of coordinated ambushes and implacable defenses. Casualties mounted, and yet the only victories the Dark Apostle had to his name were the victories that Xpahuris had won him in the scarce times when his Coryphaus had been forced to take direct control, victories that Sagrond would always take credit for. After nearly a century of serving under the deplorable idiot, Xaphuris decided to take matters into his own hands. On the eve of an important planetary raid, Xaphuris marched up to the Dark Apostle on the bridge of his own flagship, and smashed his skull to bloody pieces with a single blow of his Power Maul.
A Traitor Amongst Traitors
Upon returning to Sicarus with what was left of Sagrond's war-ravaged Host, Xaphuris was immediately accosted by a squad of Terminator-armored Anointed, who demanded he surrender into their custody. Knowing full well that he had most likely angered the Dark Council by killing Sagrond, Xaphuris lay down his weapons and was brought before the ruling Apostles of the Word Bearers, who demanded to know why he had slain the leader of his own Host. The Coryphaus explained to them in detail of Sagrond's actions since the formation of his Host, stating the late Dark Apostle's incompetence for all to hear. At this the Council gave pause, for if what he said was true, than Xaphuris had most likely done the Legion a great service by killing Sagrond. However, the Council could not have Xaphuris live as an example for other Word Bearers to rebel against the priesthood, and thus Xaphuris would be made into a different kind of example.
It was decreed that Xaphuris' flesh would be put to new use as a controlling component of a Dreadnought, in which he would spend the rest of his days trapped within an adimantium shell, a weapon to be used by his betters and nothing more. In the name of Lorgar, Xaphuris would become a grim reminder of what became of those who defied the Dark Council. As the proclamation was made and the ex-Coryphaus was dragged away by the Anointed, Xaphuris raged that he was the only one that still honored Lorgar's name.
Xaphuris was stripped of his armor and placed under heavy guard on the Idolator-Class Raider Infernal Aegis, to be transported to the Word Bearer-controlled Forge Word of Ghamlek, where is punishment would take place. However, half way through the journey, the Infernal Aegis was attacked by another Word Bearer vessel, the Desolator-Class Battleship Righteous Blasphemer. To Xaphuris' surprise, the attackers were none other that the remains of Gar Sagrond's Host, led by none other than his former First Acolyte Raidrius "the Iconoclast". Inspired by Xaphuris' example, Raidrius had gathered together the remnants of the Host to save his former Coryphaus from what he considered to be an unjust punishment.
Zealot fought against zealot as the Word Bearers fought against one another in an orgy of violence and bloodshed. Though better armed, Xaphuris' captors ultimately lacked the numbers to effectively fight back, and thus Raidrius' forces steadily gained ground in their boarding action. During the ensuing chaos Xaphuris managed to escape his bonds and reclaim his weapons and armor, leading the final charge against the crew of the Infernal Aegis. Knowing that he could not to return to his Legion, Xaphuris turned to his former Host and found them bowing before him. Like their former Coryphaus, they too saw the XVII Legion as inherently corrupt, having lost their way in the absence of Lorgar. They looked to Xaphuris as an example of what they should be, and he in turn saw them as a means to enact his greater plan: to become the purest expression of the Dark Gods' disciples; to one day tear down the gates of Terra as the Traitor Legions did all those years before. Thus they swore new oaths, shedding their allegiance to the Word Bearers and becoming the Dark Covenant, the Crusaders of Chaos. With two new battleships, a new lieutenant by his side, and over over 400 Chaos Space Marines at his back, Xaphuris departed with his new warband in tow.
Lion of the Warp
Xaphuris and his crusaders did reap a bloody toll on the Imperium, striking at unfortified planets throughout the galaxy. Though many believed these attacks were the minor machinations of yet another run-of-the-mill Chaos Warband, in truth the Coryphaus Errant was attacking only to withdraw, as to test the Imperium's reaction time. He was not left unsatisfied by the results, as he and his Dark Covenant eventually developed an system of attacking in which they could lay siege to a planet, devastate it's inhabitants, and then withdraw before the eventual retaliation. Obscurity was their ally in this case, as the Imperials had far more wide-spread threats to deal with, and thus the Crusaders of Chaos could practically attack anywhere with impunity so long as they withdrew at the right time.
Yet Xaphuris was left unsatisfied, for he had not rebelled against his own Legion just to conduct meaningless hit-and-run strikes against his hated enemy, and yet he could not successfully besiege any more strategically important areas without grievous losses on his own part. Thus the Dark Covenant did try to recruit new blood into it's ranks, raiding outlying settlements to steal away any viable adolescents to be transformed into Chaos Space Marines, but that presented new problems. The few Apothecaries his warband had reported that most if not all the Covenant's gene-stock had become hopelessly corrupt due to the sheer amount of time spent within the Eye of Terror, and thus implantations would result in failure. Displeased, Xaphuris had his warriors vent their frustrations upon the captured children, and vented their bloody remains into the void after the slaughter had concluded.
Taking refuge upon the Dead World of Icharis, Xaphuris paused in his attacks to ponder his dilemma. He needed manpower, and yet didn't have the resources nessacery to recruit new members into the fold. Even his calculating mind could not find a solution... until a new opportunity arose from a surprising source. According to his Sorcerer Acetrakh, the Warp was beginning to hemorrhage, as if it were disgorging something into the Imperium. Intrigued at the possibility of Daemonic allies, Xaphuris and his warband departed Icharis, carefully following the ripples through the Empyrean to an unknown source. Along their journey the Dark Covenant discovered a cluster of dead world similar to Icharis, each one shorn of life apparently in correlation to the unknown anomaly. Setting down on a nameless world in the later stages of it's destruction, Xaphuris could practically see the Immaterium tearing into the the fabric of reality, and as the gates of the Warp opened, the Coryphaus Errant beheld the most monstrous creature he had seen in all his years.
It might have once been a Space Marine, it's form somewhat reminiscent of the suit of Terminator Armor it once wore, but that was where it's resemblance to anything human ended. It's body was covered in cancerous lesions of fleshmetal, crawling and reforming before his very eyes to form all manner of weapons both mundane and exotic. It's face was ripped from a nightmare, it's lipless mouth filled with fangs, strips of writhing scar tissue decorating it's scalp like the stripes of a tiger. The detritus of the warp followed it like scavengers trailing after a preadator, vulture-like Furies, twisted Possessed, and all manner of chaos-touched mutants gathering behind it in a great horde of the damned and daemonic. Upon seeing Xaphuris and his warriors, the creature roared, it's screaming warcry echoing through both the material and immaterial planes.
(MORE TO COME)
- "Blind faith? A byword for stupidity."
Calculating, callous, and utterly ruthless, Xaphuris is certainly not what one expects given his origin within the Word Bearers, seemingly more of a military commander than a zealous crusader, and yet the Coryphaus Errant is exactly that. Every action he takes is in the name of the Dark Gods, for he fights and kills not for fame or riches, but simply because it will please the Ruinous Powers. The only difference between him and other such zealots is that Xaphuris never allows his devotion to cloud his judgement, one of the reasons he has been so successful in his conquests. To him, faith is all well and good, but it's no excuse for stupidity. As a result despite all outward appearances Xaphuris is a surprisingly measured individual, putting great stock in strategy and planning when commanding his crusaders, and yet fighting with religious fervor while in combat.
However, Xaphuris still shares some demeanors with his former Word Bearer brethren, most notably their hatred of the so called "God-Emperor" and the religion that idolizes him. The Coryphaus Errant finds no sweeter joy than tearing down the False Emperor's shrines and slaughtering his followers in droves, one of the reasons that the Dark Covenant often targets Shrine Worlds or other places of significance to the Ecclisiarchy. Controversially, Xaphuris also shows great disdain for those who devote themselves to a single Chaos God, seeing them as foolish and narrow-minded. After all, why favor a single member of their unholy pantheon when you could gain the favor of all four?
Finally, Xaphuris abhors those who lack sufficient faith in the Ruinous Powers. In his eyes there is no greater folly than to harness the power of the Dark Gods for ones own selfish needs, for to do so is to leech off their majesty like a parasite. As a result of this belief Xaphuris has been known to wage war against other Chaos Warbands if he should find them wanting, completely obliterating them regardless of the cost, for if they do not serve the will of the Gods then they have no right to exist in the first place. This has earned him the title "Arbiter of Chaos" within the ranks of the Archenemy's followers, a name that some find laughable, until Xaphuris comes to claim their lives in the name of his unholy deities.
Standing at almost eight feet, Xaphuris is considered a massive specimen compared to other Chaos Space Marines, and while clad in his Terminator Armor he is a giant amongst giants. Said Terminator Armor is an ornate masterwork of blasphemous symbols, unholy iconography and other sinister fetishes of Chaos, making him appear as a walking shrine to the glory of the Dark Gods. Surprisingly the armor still retains the crimson and silver trim color scheme of the Word Bearers, though their symbol has long since been stripped from the armor, replaced the twelve-pointed cross of the Dark Covenant.
Xaphuris' features are hard and cold, to the point where they could have been carved from stone. Needless to say the Coryphaus Errant is not a handsome individual, far from it, as the flesh of his face is criss-crossed with scars, most of them intentionally carved into his skin as a sign of devotion. Of course most do not live to see his face, as in battle Xaphuris is always seen wearing his horned helm, for despite his zealousness even he knows the risk of exposing one's bare skull in combat.
- "Like the Warmaster of old I shall rule the battlefield before me as if it were my kingdom. No flesh shall move lest I say it, none shall die save by my command, and if blood is to be shed, it shall be shed in rivers of crimson on my direct orders. My enemies shall weep at the coming of my chosen warriors, and know despair as I take to the field myself. That is how I shall wage war."
As a military commander Xaphuris possesses an innate knack for strategy and tactics, much to the dismay of his opponents. For him formulating battle-plans is almost like a sixth sense, and thus under his guiding hand the Crusaders have flourished on the battlefield, all their zealousness focused and coordinated by the Coryphaus Errant's calculating mind. Many an enemy commander have underestimated Xaphuris based on the fanatical nature of his followers, and thus have made the error of assuming that the tactics he will employ will be direct and brutal, when oftentimes the exact opposite is true. Xaphuris knows there are many other ways besides throwing oneself at the enemy to prove one's worth to the Dark Gods, and thus he only emerges on to the battlefield when his direct influence is needed.
When on the battlefield, Xaphuris is a juggernaut, clad in heavy armor and bearing weaponry of massive destructive potential. Despite his tactical cunning his attack methods are quite simple: a direct assault. Given the degree of defense his wargear affords him, he can whether most attacks through sheer endurance until he reaches his target and paints the walls with their blood and viscera. So durable is his defense, that Xaphuris has taken on tanks singlehandedly and won, though admittedly he prefers not to suffer through the arduous task of hammering through armor plating to get to the soft targets within, instead preferring to fight his way towards enemy commanders so that he might cut off the head of their war machine, in some cases quite literally.
- Chaos Terminator Armor - Reforged from scavenged pieces of a dozen different models of Tactical Dreadnought Armor in the hell-forges of Ghamlek, this mighty suit of unholy plate has been thrice-blessed with the power of the Dark Gods, allowing for extra mobility and and and defensive plating strong enough to resist even armor-piercing firepower.
- Infernalis - A mighty Power Maul given to Xaphuris during his first promotion to the rank of Coryphaus amongst the traitorous Word Bearers, this ancient weapon features a corrupt power-field generator that channels the destructive energies of the warp into the Maul's flanged head, making it burn with spectral warpflame when activated. Because of this unique power-field, Infernalis carries nearly three times the destructive power of a standard Power Maul.
- Stygialis - A massive slab of rune-carved ceramite molded into the shape of a snarling daemonic face, Stygialis is a Storm Shield whose powerful gravitic field generator renders all but of the most powerful of attacks useless, adding to Xaphuris' already formidable defense.
- Hecaton-Pattern Storm Bolter - Mounted on Xaphuris' right wrist, this Storm Bolter is belt-fed ammunition from an ammo-feeder mounted next to Xaphuris' power-supply generator. With it, the Coryphaus Errant can lay down devastating volleys of bolt-fire to target those who shy away from facing him in close quarters.
Feel free to add your own!
Having faced off against the brutal Draugar Lord during the famous Battle of Firehold, Xaphuris is one of the few beings that has survived a one on one battle with Malak Blackspawn. The war for the fortress world of Firehold was a bloody one, Xaphuris' Dark Covenant being one of many warbands vying for control of the valuable planet of fire and steel citadels. But of all the warlords battling for this hell world, only Xaphuris can claim that he was the one who dealt the killing blow to the conflict itself when he personally slew the xenos warlord Hul'Dak'Shoka, who had ruled this fortress world deep in the heart of the Maelstrom for as long as time immemorial. The planet should have rightfully been his, had the Storm Draugar not made their surprise assault on the xeno's royal palace following Xaphuris' daring raid. Caught between the remaining forces of Hul'Dak'Shoka's cyborg bodyguard and the elite forces of the 1st Storm, lead by Malak Blackspawn himself, Xaphuris had little choice but to engage in a brutal battle that is still told of by veterans of the Long War to this day. Xaphuris descended the steps of of the xenos lord's palace, flanked by his honor guard, slaying scores of Storm Draugar as he fought his way down to the main battlefield. But when he reached the main streets, he found, not his astartes with a battle ready position, as ordered, but a hulking beast, clad in terminator armor and wielding a great black blade. He witnessed Malak Blackspawn cut down his men with ease, killing with blade, volkite, and fist alike. As he waded through the last of Xaphuris' astartes, Malak locked eyes with the Apostle. It is said that Xaphuris' glare was venomous enough to mach even the fiery gaze of Malak's horned helm. Malak was first to issue challenge, while Xaphuris decried the Draugar Lord's zeal as foolishness, for only a fool would dare Xaphuris' wrath. With that the two Chaos Lords crossed blade and maul, crashing about the body strewn pavilion like two primordial war gods of Terran myth. While Malak outmatched is opponent in size and raw power, Xaphuris was borne of greater doctrine and skill, allowing him to match Malak strike for strike. The fearsome duel would only come to an end when the forces of the Word Beareres 14th Great Company, lead by an old rival of Xaphuris' by the name of Hektor Varas, interrupted the battle with a potent artillery strike. The barraged forced both lords to abandon combat, and in the end Xaphuris' forces would be pushed off world as the Storm Draugar took over the planet. In spite of this defeat, Xaphuris gained much from the battle, namely, the ancient xenos blade known only as, Doomspitter.
Azunar, a Dark Apostle of the Word Bearers Legion and lord of the Consecrators Warband, Azunar is a mysterious and enigmatic figure. However, to such a Chaos Lord, the existence of the Dark Covenant simply cannot go unnoticed. Though Azunar is not a member of the multi-facited Warband, he does much to support them, including sending them troops, slaves, artillery and other needed supplies to fuel the fires of war.
Being mercenaries who sell their services to any who offer them new chemical and physical sensations, Vritra the Howler and his Screaming Rapture band of Noise Marines have been known to work for the Dark Covenant on occasion. Though obviously wary of the predilections of Slaaneshi, the warband accepts this as a necessary evil when it comes to bringing the specialized talents of the Screaming Rapture to the field.
Kōruru the Dark
An enigmatic human sorcerer of Tzeentch, the arrival of Kōruru and his single silent Rubricae has become something off a bad omen for The Dark Covenant. Although his advice seems sound and his visions come true more often than not, many have lead to devastating results for the forces of Chaos, especially when they pertain to the Imperium. In the 41st Millennium, Xaphuris has set a death sentence on Kōruru if he approaches his forces again.
- "Why bother fighting back? Your "God-Emperor" is a lie, an undead corpse sitting on a decrepit throne waiting to die, while ours laugh and cavort in the face of your suffering. They drink in the sum of our devotion while yours does nothing but rot! Even as I sacrifice your flesh on his own defiled altar he will continue do nothing, for he is nothing!"
- "Even after my death I will be remembered, held forevermore in the memory of the Dark Gods. Khorne will remember me for all the blood I have shed, Nurgle for all the despair I have created, Slaanesh for all the pain I have inflicted, and Tzeentch for all the violent change I have wrought. But you? You will die and be forgotten as your flesh decays and your bones turn to dust. A corpse is all you will leave behind to mark your passing."
Feel free to add your own!
- " Ah, Xaphuris, we meet at last. I see you dedicate yourself to leading a Crusade to destroy the realm of the Anathema. Impressive. I too lead a similar crusading force, though most likely smaller in size. Perhaps we should join forces to spread the will of Chaos to more worlds."
- "Xaphuris... We have no need to be enemies, we both desire the same things, the worship and supplication if the galaxy to the dark gods. But dear Xaphuris, you, you are incomplete, yet to accept chaos into your heart and merge with your soul... Let it in Xaphuris... Let the glory of chaos suffuse you."
- "Xaphuris, we meet at last. I hope you have not found my Astartes wanting in this battle of ours. I have found yours lacking in constitution but not in zeal. An acceptable trade I suppose. Perhaps you will be more interesting. Ready yourself, for by the end of this battle you will know the Dark Gods quite personally."
- —Malak Blackspawn challenging Xaphuris on the burning surface of the world of Firehold[src]
- "This is a dangerous one, brother. Do not seek him out, and if you do find him on the field, let the Sciatha Fuath deal with him."
- —Ingar Blackspawn, prior to the War of Firehold
- "Silence! You filthy crapsacks... The Soother speaks..."
- "XAPHURIS! FACE ME! FACE ME DOG! YOUR FAITH WILL NOT SAVE YOU FROM MY BLADE! FACE ME!!"
- —Unknown Wings of Salvaxes Captain, shortly before duelling, and losing to Xaphuris.