Ahriman

Chief Librarian of Thousand Sons

Ahriman was among the foremost of the Thousand Sons when they set their feet upon the long path of learning the secrets of magic. Like his Primarch, Ahriman had become obsessed with arcane mysteries as he fought through the galaxy on the Great Crusade. He had encountered isolated cultures where magic had re-emerged as the dominant form of power after the machines had died. Magnus the Red's thirst for knowledge was imprinted into all of his sons and they pursued the quest with equal fervour.

Towards the end of the Great Crusade the Primarch compiled a truly monumental tome of sorcery called the Book of Magnus, sometimes known as the Book of the Thousand Sons, filled with arcane lore from across the galaxy. As Chief Librarian, Ahriman was keeper of this book on the Thousand Sons' home world of Prospero and he studied its inner mysteries extensively. His power gradually grew and expanded as he grasped the subtle nuances of magic discovered by wise men across the galaxy over millennia of study. Like all of the Thousand Sons, Ahriman came to believe that the untapped power of the warp could be harnessed for the good of mankind. Only weakness of mind and spirit prevented ordinary men from controlling the warp utterly.

Over time, the most powerful and influential of the Legion's brethren began to think of themselves as sorcerers, and they devoted more time to uncovering the mystical secrets of the universe than to fighting the Emperor's wars. But the Emperor could not tolerate the gradual shift of the Thousand Sons towards Chaos. He knew no man, or Primarch, could master Chaos. The Legion's warning that his most trusted Warmaster was plotting against him seemed to confirm the Emperor's worst fears that the forces of Chaos had insidiously corrupted the whole Legion and now sought to fragment the newborn Imperium.

Ahriman by hasinaka The Emperor unleashed the Space Wolves Legion on the Thousand Son's tranquil home world of Prospero. Ravening, grey-armoured assault squads of Blood Claws seized Prospero's neglected orbital lasers and missile batteries within hours of their arrival. After that, the Thousand Sons were almost bombarded out of existence. Delicate towers of vast antiquity were smashed to rubble by energy beams from above, vast libraries of incalculably precious works burned beneath a rain of fusion fire. Stunned by the magnitude of their betrayal the Thousand Sons saved what they could and fled, breaking through the Space Wolves' blockade to seek sanctuary with the Warmaster.

The Thousand Sons soon dedicated themselves to Tzeentch, the Power of Chaos who is the greatest master of magic. He became their patron god, and as they fought their way through the Heresy, Magnus and the Thousand Sons used their dedication to Tzeentch to avoid the deeper corruption suffered by the other Traitor Legions. After Horus' defeat, the Thousand Sons escaped to the Eye of Terror. Only then did the other aspects of their patron's nature begin to impinge on the Thousand Sons.

The first visible signs were the grotesque mutations which began to manifest themselves among the battle brethren. Ahriman and the other Sorcerers were even more horrified when some of their own number began to warp and change. They had failed to master Chaos - instead Chaos was mastering them.

Ahriman was determined that the long path to knowledge they had trodden would not end in madness and abomination. He formed a secret conclave consisting of many of the most powerful sorcerers that had resisted the insidious spread of mutation. Secretly, he began to study the Book of Magnus again, seeking some way to prevent the Legion devolving any further. In time he prepared the Rubric of Ahriman, a spell so potent that it would unleash forces far beyond the sorcerers' control. If it worked the Legion would be rendered immune to the terrible warping effects of Chaos.

The cabal of sorcerers refused to help Ahriman at first, but when Magnus himself was elevated to the ranks of Tzeentch's daemon princes it became clear that the last vestiges of humanity were being driven from the Thousand Sons. Soon they would be nothing but mewling Chaos Spawn robbed of all their hard-won knowledge and power. The destruction of their home world, the Heresy, it would have all been for nothing. At last the sorcerers agreed to join their power together and a terrible cataclysm of magic was summoned about the Planet of the Sorcerers.

It is said that even the daemons fled before the roaring maelstrom of magic Ahriman and the others sent against their world. Crackling clouds of multi-coloured energy descended from the skies and enveloped the great silver towers of the Thousand Sons, forking bolts of blue and yellow lightning struck down the corrupted Space Marines one after another. No sorcerous protection or physical defence could keep the powers at bay. The storm of magic raged for an eternal night which could have been days or centuries until finally Magnus the Red himself used his unearthly powers to end it.

In the aftermath it was clear that the Rubric of Ahriman had both surpassed his expectations and failed horribly. Those of the Thousand Sons with sorcerous powers had either survived, and had their knowledge and powers greatly augmented, or they had been utterly destroyed. The battle brethren whose powers had been slight or non-existent had been changed. Their armour was sealed shut as if every clasp and joint had been welded together. Inside the heavy shell of ceramite and adamantium the physical bodies of the Chaos Space Marines had been reduced to a handful of dust, but their spirits remained, trapped inside their ornate battle armour for all eternity.

The battle brethren had been reduced to little more than automata, but Ahriman was satisfied. The physical corruption of the Thousand Sons had been halted, even if it was at a terrible price. The cyclopean eye of Magnus soon fell upon Ahriman and his cabal as the culprits. The daemon Primarch was furious and summoned Ahriman and the others before him in order to destroy them utterly. But, as he raised his fist to crush the unrepentant sorcerers Magnus heard a distant, sibilant voice: "Magnusss, you would ssmash my pawns too readily."

Tzeentch, Changer of the Ways had guided the plot to its fruition for its own purposes. Who can say what the most enigmatic of the Chaos Powers planned to bring about? Whatever the dark god's reasoning, Ahriman had been its unknowing puppet. Magnus was secretly pleased by the arcane skills exercised by his cabal. But still they had to be punished, and so the daemon Primarch banished Ahriman and the others from the Planet of the Sorcerers for all eternity. He doomed them to forever wander the Eye of Terror and beyond in an eternal search for perfect understanding.

Over the millennia Ahriman has sought out magical artefacts, ancient arcane books, talented psykers and any aspect of sorcerous knowledge or power. He has led raids specifically to acquire such things, even going as far as to attack museums and the private collections of antiquarians, much to the mystification of his victims. In many instances magical artefacts are acquired by local Chaos Cults, and Ahriman merely comes to take them away together with any humans who might make promising servants. It often comes as an unpleasant surprise to a Cult Magus to find that his efforts to summon help from the Thousand Sons merely result in the loss of his sorcerous artefacts and most of his coven.

Untouched by the warping influence of Chaos these ten thousand years, Ahriman still believes that Chaos can be mastered with knowledge and cabalistic strength. Deep in his black heart Ahriman believes that he can find the final pieces of the puzzle within the hidden dimensions of the Black Library of the Eldar. The Eldar fear him greatly, and live in tenor of him finding his way into the ancient labyrinth of the Webway. Somewhere within its secret ways lies the Black Library, a vast repository of arcana from across space and time which details the Realm of Chaos.

Most recently, Ahriman has been seeking the psychic spoor of Inquisitor Czevak, one of the few humans to have entered the Black Library and lived. Should Ahriman succeed in capturing Czevak his arcane powers would mean there was little the Inquisitor could do to conceal the path to the Black Library from him. Ahriman would hold the keys to the vast accumulated wisdom of the Eldar race about Chaos. Such knowledge would make Ahriman a new and deadly god.