|This article, Arturian Vardataar, was written by TrashMan. Please do not edit or 'acquire' this fiction without the writer's permission.|
|This article, Arturian Vardataar, is currently under active construction. The author, TrashMan, apologizes for the inconvenience.|
Current Chapter Master of the Phoenix Knights.
|Artist sketch of Arturian, on the balcony of the governors office|
|Position||Chapter Master of Phoenix Knights|
Early Life Edit
Son of a Rouge Trader, Arturian spent his childhood accompanying his father Ruben on his ship.
Ruben schooled Arturian in history, subterfuge and diplomacy, while his bodyguards taught him the basics of combat and handling weaponry. All of this was necessary, for Ruben operated on the fringes of Imperial space and often dealt with pirates, smugglers and xenos, and didn't hesitate to bring his son with him to learn first-hand. The experiences and lessons he learned from those deals would impact Arturian forever.
Arturians cushy life would end with a meeting gone bad on a planet beset by orks. Ironically his assailants were human. His father fell in the opening exchange and the bodyguard ran with Arturian in tow. He managed to protect him, but succumbed to his wounds later.
Stranded on a planet, he was found by an Imperial Guard regiment who quickly took him in. There he served as the errand boy and messenger, but the realities of war had him actively fight on occasion. When the Dark Angels arrived to fight the orcs he caught their eye and they took him with them. There Arturian excelled, reaching the rank of sergeant in record time. When the Knights of Vengance were formed he was sent among their number.
During the fight in the warp Arturian was injured while fighting on the heavily damaged strike cruiser Vindictive. Unable to follow the chapter master in his counter-boarding action, he helped organize a retreat when the chance presented itself. When the time came to select a new Chapter Master, the librarian Avernus was selected, but he immediately stepped down, naming Arturian as his successor.
The Re-Birth Edit
The abandonment of the Dark Angels came as a death blow to an already wounded chapter. What the heretic forces couldn't manage with all their might, their own brothers did with words. Despair and doom gripped the Knights and calls could be heard for a last crusade to die fighting for the Emperor.
Arturian was lost and retired to meditate. There he saw a vision of a beautiful and deadly bird, it's feathers radiant and vibrant, it's presence imposing. Then it was struck by an arrow and plummeted to the ground.
It struggled to get back in the air only to be hit by another arrow. Then another. And another. The once majestic creature was reduced to a mass of meat and blood, before being set ablaze. The skies themselves darkened and nothing was left but ashes, barely visible in the endless void. But then, suddenly, the tiny ember still visible in the ashes sprung to life and in an instant created an impossibly mighty blaze, greater than the greatest funeral pyres. A sea of fire pushed back the void and from it rose a new form. The bird, greater, stronger, more vibrant than before, wreathed in flames that eclipsed the sun, soared into the sky and set the heavens themselves ablaze.
In a moment of perfect clarity, Arturian knew what it meant. He swore to never let despair find purchase in his heart again and with renewed vigor and determination, set out to to save the chapter.
They had no allies? He would make some.
They had no purpose? He would give them one.
He gave every brother as much duties as possible - simple tasks, often considered beneath an Astartes - but it gave them focus. Remembering the help received earlier, he traveled to Ultramar to seek audience with the Lord of Macragge. From there he returned with advice, resources and five ultramarines to help train the new recruits. Contacting the Mechanicum, he pleaded for help with the mutation, offering his chapters eternal support in the hunt for archo-tech. The Mechanicum, eager to experiment on the gene-seed, accepted and supplied them with more necessary resources and knowledge.
Forging of a Kingdom Edit
Shortly after that the chapters arrival to their new homeworld, Arturian made contact with a radical inquisitor Dvorak, who was investigating a supposed chaos cult on the planet, but found corruption and incompetence of a normal kind. The planetary governor was dealing with pirates and slavers, spending vast resources to satisfy his every decadent whim. After a long discussion with Arturian, Dvorak decided to remove the governor by force.
The cleansing was swift and brutal, with the Phoenix Knights leading the way. Upon the defeat of the governor and his supporters, vast hidden treasuries have been unearthed. With Dvoraks blessing, Arturian was made the new governor and he used the recovered resources to start the transformation of the planet.
Emulating Ultramar, he established a meritocracy. To make maximum use of everything at his disposal, minor criminals were fully pardoned if they agreed to become engine-seers or tech-priests in his service.
Death penalty was removed and all serious crimes were punished by conversion to a servitor.
This not only gave him a large technical base and work force with which to re-vitalize the planet, but also pleased the Mechanicus.
In the following years things moved quickly. Vast architectural wonders were built. Industry flourished and Avalon Primes prosperity skyrocketed. Arturian begun investing in, and courting other planets in the system. His greatest opponents all backed down for various, often mysterious reasons. Some died in accidents. Other were killed by insurgents. While there were plenty of accusations and rumors of foul play, no concrete evidence to support them ever surfaced and over the years they were mostly forgotten. Other planetary governors relied on his counsel and help more and more. Soon Arturians influence covered the entire system and begun spreading into the sub-sector.
With his power base secure, Arturian undertook a pilgrimage, visiting many other notable chapters to try to learn as much as he could of their ways, cult, training and methodology. Upon his return he instituted many changes to the chapters practices. Impressed by the Salamanders, he encouraged his brothers to interact with humans more and he re-worked the recruitment process to minimize the death toll as much as possible.
Knowledge is Power Edit
From the moment he became Chapter Master, Arturian knew that he knew little. Out of contact with the galaxy for 300 years and abandoned, he desperately needed information. Knowledge is power after all.
With that in mind he set in motion what might be his greatest work - training a cadre of human intelligence operatives that answer only to him, he sent them to all corners of the galaxy. There they would create intelligence cells whose goal would be to gather information and create more cells. Trade routes were the most preferred insertion points - where there is a flow of money or goods, there is a flow of information.
The self-sustaining, independent cells system meant that no cell knew about the existence of others. New cell leaders themselves didn't know whom they were reporting too, only the original dozen agents knew that, making the loss of any cell a minor inconvenience at best. While this made the information network grow with amazing speed,it also often pitted cells against each other. The occasional loss of cells to such battles was something Arturian regretted, but saw as an inevitable cost.
Arturian made it his mission to find as many allies as possible. For this reason he eagerly put his chapter at the service of the Inquisition and made it known they are ready. The chapter has become known for providing bodyguards to Inquisitors operating in the sector. The Chapter also constantly hunts for archotech with the Mechanicum and so far has had great luck in finding it. Whenever news reaches him that another chapter has suffered great losses, he immediately seeks them out to offer help. Few know if he acts that way because of calculated political gains or honest concern for his brother astartes, but the truth is likely both.
Combat & Leadership Edit
Arturian himself is a capable warrior, but so focused on his roles as administrator, diplomat and spymaster, that he rarely takes to the battlefield. Because of this his captains have a high degree or autonomy and make most operational decisions themselves. For larger operations or emergencies, a Gathering is called.
It is a round table where all captains attend and discuss larger strategies and plans.
On rare occasions Arturian does do battle, he does so in a clinical and detached manner. A peerless logistician and strategist, his strength lies in planing. In a duel he swiftly analyzes his opponents, their gear and fighting style, the environment and his own gear. The longer he can study his enemy, the better he can fight them.
Still, Arturian is not as marital as many other noted chapter master. Despite training as much as his busy schedule can allow, he readily admits he would loose in a straight-up fight against most of them.
True to his Dark Angel heritage, Arturian is an often paranoid man, but he hides it well with the acting skill of a true politician. With a far greater understanding of normal humans than an average astartes, he also emotes and interacts with them better. While he has large number of aids, advisors and helpers, there are only a handful of people in whom he truly confides, chief of them being the librarian Avernus. Always weighing the risks and benefits of any action, he prefers to take time to think and make plans, or stall for time if necessary. Arturian is very headstrong and set in his ways, but also very aware of his flaws, hence why he surrounds himself with individuals that compensate for those, and won't hesitate to get him to reconsider his course of action. Involved deeply in politics and espionage, Arturian has sharpened his observational and deduction skills as well his tolerance in dealing with irritating or objectionable individuals.
Appearance & Wargear Edit
Arturian has a plain, angular face with a short, neatly kept beard and piercing blue eyes.
He is of average height for a space marine.
He wears a artificer power armor with winged motifs and wields the fiery power sword "Phoenix Blade", a gift from the Fabricator-General of Mars
For long-range combat he uses a master crafted bolter with specialized ammo.