The Dreamwalkers were always a somewhat insular Legion, a nature enforced first by the hardships they endured and later by their Primarch’s philosophy of manipulation. They were a symbol of the hypocrisies and contradictions of the Imperial Truth and unswerving faith in the rational that bordered upon fanatical on one hand and a callous willingness to manipulate the faith of those they deemed inferior on the other. Ultimately this be their doom, tearing the Legion apart even as the seeds of fell cults permitted under their willing ignorance blossomed amongst the domains of the absent Emperor.
Kuranos Hasthtir, Primarch of the Dreamwalkers
On the battlefield, Kuranos’ appearance is as chimeric as that of his Legion. Sometimes he comes wreathed in lighting, on others shrouded in mist. Often he wears gaudy heraldry evoking the deific entities of the foe, and sometimes he is simply the grim and unadorned embodiment of war. It is the latter form that Kuranos prefers the most, for it is what he feels most truly embodies his true nature and that reality itself. All else is a mask, and if you cannot see past it, then that is your flaw.
His inflexible and yet manipulative nature draws criticism from many of his brothers. Those that doubt his methods and claim he undermines the Imperial Truth he simply shrugs off, for he believes he follows the Emperor’s own example. Those that seem enraptured by superstition themselves he is far more vehement towards, and it is only his memory of a time in which he was taught to believe himself divine by those who found him that restrains his ire. He trusts his brothers to outgrow their weaknesses as he did.
Yet, revelation is coming. A revelation that Kuranos’ worldview is ill equipped to handle. As chaos consumes the Imperium and he witnesses a strange poison seep through his legion he strives ever harder to enforce his viewpoint upon the galaxy, even as the bedrock of his beliefs is slowly eroded from underneath him. All shall be unbound, and opportunities unlimited await.
Asalik, first among the Hypsoian Order.
“Even in a flood of lies there is some truth, given form by the shape of its absence.”
Asalik was a third generation descendant of the Rationalists who first converted and later served the Primarch Kuranos Hasthtir upon his homeworlds. Due to this, he was raised and indoctrinated with both confidence in his sire’s ideology and an ingrained scepticism and analytical approach to problems. Like many Legion candidates sourced from the Rationalist enclaves, Asalik was rapidly promoted within the Hypsoian Order, the cadre of Astartes scientists responsible for maintaining and furthering the Primarch’s ideology amongst the Legion and applying it to the threats the Imperium faced.
Over the course of his duties, Asalik would play a role in the censure and demotion of Praetor Syk Khet, the stabilisation of the Empty Stars lodge, and resolving the Khoronen Psy-Locus anomaly. In part his success was due to the fact that, unlike some of his more devoted colleagues, he did not dismiss local superstitions out of hand, approaching any folk-tale warnings with due caution. Though this was often unnecessary, it avoided catastrophe on multiple occasions and Asalik tallied a high number of ‘resolved’ anomalies on his record. As the Hypsoian Order were the foremost of Kuranos’ advisors amongst the Legion, elevation to its uppermost ranks was reliant upon forming a good working relationship with the Primarch, something which Asalik proved successful at. Asalik was a paradigm of loyalty without devotion, a loyalty that appeared to be based on reasoned logic than an inherent kinship to Hasthtir, and this was something that Kuranos favoured more than blind zealotry.
It would be Asalik that collated the data regarding the Legion’s decline and brought it to his sire, confirming what had only been an uneasy sense of foreboding in the Primarch’s mind. Ironically, the desperation with which Kuranos would strive to solve the ailment only drove the Legion further into ruin. As the Legion’s foremost, and most trusted, member of the Hypsoian Order Asalik would find himself more and more absent from the Primarch’s side, dispatched either further afield or back to Y’Hetill’s lunar vaults in search of a cause and cure to the malady. The last time Asalik would see his Primarch would be when relaying the data he possessed on the anomalies that had erupted amidst three of Y’hetill’s cities, inbetween Kuranos arriving from the raid on Gwinkrong and before the lord of the XVIIth investigated in person. Asalik was still conducting his research from the Legion's lnar fastness when Kuranos fell, and Y’Hetill swallowed by a warp storm.
“This is -ik of the Hypso- -der. Urgent distres- -etill is lost. Wards under attac- The Legi- Repea-” -Fragmentary fox-fragmentation detected across multiple vox-apparatus during the loss of the Merason Hiveworld, Dreamwalker and suspected Y’Hetill manifestation circa M37.
The Honoured Fallen
The Honoured Fallen, when used in conjunction with the Legiones Astartes, might be assumed to refer to those interred within dreadnought chassis. Even if this were not true, it might be assumed that the title was used with some respect, and the bitter irony with which it was used for within the Dreamwalkers.
Infrequently among the Legiones there were augmented individuals which were considered among their ranks, but not truly space marines in nature. These individuals were typically companions of a Primarch prior to their recruitment into the Emperor’s great works, warriors to old to undergo the ascension process proper but whose loyalty bid them follow their lords into the Legions regardless. Altered and remade, these few were rarely the full equal to one of their more typical brothers in combat, but this was a price more than worth paying to preserve their talent and loyalty. Such ascension meant absolute trust both from the Primarch and his formerly mortal follower.
Not so with Kuranos.
In his pre-reunification years, Kuranos Hasthtir’s followers could be broadly divided into two categories. Those ‘enlightened’ cultural elements privy to the truth of Kuranos’ philosophy, and those whose faith he manipulated for the purposes of uniting the planet and driving back the Foes Beyond. The latter often fought with an utter fanaticism, charging to their deaths utterly oblivious to the contempt with which their master regarded them. When compliance came to Y’hetill, many of these clamoured to be worthy for ascension to fight alongside him. Many were simply conscripted into auxiliary units, but for others, Kuranos found a far more cynical use for.
As they asked, he subjected them to the chemo-surgeries that made them Space Marine-like in stature. Then he equipped them. Then he gave them orders. Time and time again he ordered these soldiers into futile battles that saw them slaughtered for no strategic or tactical gain. Time and time again he made the rest of the Legion watch.
Kuranos saw it as his duty to ensure that his Legion was free from superstition, to illustrate to them how it could be harmful, and how it could be used. In this, the ‘Honoured Fallen’ were a potent tool. Some have theorised that this act may have lead to permanent divisions within the Legion that would later contribute to it decline, with the cynicism Kuranos intended to inflict actually undermining his authority and even that of the Emperor. The cost of these short lived ‘demonstrations’ was prohibitive, but for the Primarch the lesson was worth paying the material price, and much of the Legion took it to heart. As for the ‘Honoured Fallen’ themselves, they were exterminated entirely, one battle at a time.
Edited by Beren, 10 June 2021 - 05:43 PM.