Here is my character, finally. Sorry about his massive background. He's been around a while so...
Coeus the Seer, "The Nameless One", "The Other Twin", Chief Magister of the XIX Grand Company of the Iron Warriors
Coeus' head is kept perpetually bald by the presence of dozens of interface ports in his skull that allow him to link his formidable mind directly to his armour. His skin is brown and leathery, with stress contours which seem to be permanently etched into his brow from a lift-time of concentration. This gives him the appearance of being perpetually displeased or scowling, which is not far from the truth. He sports a short salt-and-pepper goatee and his eyes are a dim shade of forest green, contrary to his brother's. However they are not dimmed like a dying like but rather a collapsing star just before it goes supernova, a faint light emanating from them as a promise of near limitless power. His nose and facial shape are also similar to his twin brother, Iapetus's. His lips are usually kept in a hard line, although there is a slight curl on one side that give the impression that he is always dangerously close to a snarl.
His entire left arm and shoulder are bionic, but lined with psycho-conductive veins of material which allows him to channel his powers through his bionic limb as well as his natural limbs. His body, much like his face, shows signs of constant stress of channelling the powers of the Warp. However, any appearance of withering is deceptive, for in his body and mind's constant battle for supremacy Coeus derives his strength. He also bears adamantium reinforcement of his skull and chest, offering greater protection against his most vital organs.
Coeus' mind is inscrutable, for it is protected by the mightiest battlements of will and fortitude. Even those possessed of the gift of telepathy cannot breach the areas of his mind that he has not given them access to. There is perhaps one Astarte who truely knows Coeus' mind and even that is not certain. However there are a few things that can be discerned by watching him. He is possessed of a towering self-belief, past the point of arrogance. He is not quick to speak, but when he does he expects it to be heeded without question. He is not likable, but his determination and willpower are admirable. Finally, he has a particular hatred for the new crop of Iron Warriors who do not carry Perturabo's seed not are from Olympia, referring to them as half-breeds and "bastard children".
Armour and its appearance:
Coeus' armour bears closest resemblance to the Mark III Iron Pattern Armour, however alterations have turned this artificer wrought suit of armour into something more than that, it's raw protective capabilities rivalling Tactical Dreadnought armour. He sports a set of ram's horns attached to the sides of his bleached white helmet. The majority of his armour is the deep cerulean that marks him out at a member of the Librarium, except for his shoulder guards and knee guards, one of each being marked with the burnished iron of his Legion and the customary yellow and black chevrons. On his left shoulder he sports the destroyer helmet insignia of the Legion, similarly marked with ram's horns curling round. On his right shoulder he bears a time known as "The Iron Grimoire". It is an heirloom of the XIX Grand Company's Librarium, borne by each Chief Librarian in turn. It is a compendium of the most potent pieces of knowledge gathered by the Librarium since its inception. Molecular bonding studs carved into viscous spikes dot his chest and shin guards. Whisker thin ridges mark the inside of Coeus' armour, gently pressing into his skin as he wears his armour. These are a compilation of spells and wards of potency and warding, both increasing and safe-guarding his powers. He wears a tabard that falls loosely between his legs. The final, incongruous, part of Coeus' armour is an Inquisitor's seal set just below his throat. This serves a dual purpose, it is both a potent ward against the forces of chaos and a symbol that nothing is hidden from Coeus' baleful gaze.
Weaponry and equipment:
Coues wields two melee weapons. His force axe called "Eternal Schism", his symbol of office and a weapon he wields to deadly effect, is one. Along it's blade and haft it is etched with a panoply of runes, some recognisable and others which offend the eyes to even try to read. His other weapon is a lightning claw named "Insatiable Hunger". He carries a bolt pistol at his hip, a relic from the Great Crusade, but he rarely uses it as he finds it far more efficient to simply rend his foes apart with his mind or direct the shots of those he accompanies. He has a refractor field incorporated into the inquisitorial seal he wears.
When not in battle-plate, Coeus is usually found in a simple monastic robe. However, he is never found without 'Eternal Schism', The Iron Grimoire or his inquisitorial seal. The former two are usually found at his hip and the seal hanging between his breasts on an iron and adimantium alloy chain.
Before Coeus' life is told there is a fact that must be first understood. The Astarte who now leads the Librarium was not always known as Coeus. Ages ago, he had a different name. This name he has gone to great lengths to erase from every living mind including his own in order that no one may know his true name and use it against him.
In his past life, the man known as Coeus and his younger twin brother, Iapetus, were born into the house of the Tyrant of Lochos, not long after Perturabo had been visited by the Emperor. Whilst it was customary for all eligible boys to take part in the trails to become part of the IVth Legion, Coeus and Iapetus practically obliged to. They were both expected to follow Perturabo since their father, Pellas, had served alongside Perturabo in his wars for the Tyrant and their grandfather, Astraeus, had been one of the members of the Tyrant’s Guard that had been sent to find Perturabo as a boy. Whilst the Lord of Iron was probably unaware of these twins grasping at his heels, the importance and pride of following him as their ancestors had done was monumental for the twins.
However, their ascension through the ranks was markedly different. Iapetus was met with praise and advancement in the ranks, whereas Coeus was largely relegated to the Libarium and shunned by almost all save his brother and his immediate subordinates, who came to value having a psyker in their midst when it came to breaching defences and directing attacks. So it was for some time that the twins continued to serve each other in dyas, where Coeus would offer his considerable powers in exchange of a measure of asylum and, in some cases, even acceptance.
However when Iapetus was given command over the 7th Company and went back to Olympia, where he would earn his name as The Shipwright, Coeus was left with none but the other pariahs of the Librarium for company. He did not wallow in self-pity or merely wait for his brother to return so he may once again fall under his shadow. Instead he determined that he too would make a name for himself. So it transpired, since both Perturabo and Magnus had a mutual affinity with knowledge, Coeus was aligned with the Thousand Sons for a time.
There were many things that Coeus and his brethren within the XV legion did not agree on. Much of their warfare seemed inefficient and unnecessary, they relying almost entirely on their sorcerous might to carry the battle. In turn, many of the Thousand Sons found him dreary at times and his watchful eye unnerving, even in a legion in which several members could read your thoughts outright. However, their mutual love of knowledge and the hoarding thereof provided enough common ground for Coeus’ tenure there to be enjoyable as well as highly informative. He moved freely between the sorcerous cults of the Legion. Although his refusal to adhere to only one cult’s teaching, as many of the Thousand Sons did, earned him the ire of a few of Magnus’ sons it also allowed Coeus greater depth of experience and knowledge. Although he never aligned himself with any one cult, he did find a particular affinity within the Corvidae and Raptora cults.
When Coeus returned to his legion, he was a changed man. There was a new-found surety in his step and clarity of purpose. He knew what he was and was no longer concerned with the worries or muttering of those to foolish to heed what he had, regardless of their rank or stature. Even once the Nikaean Edict had been announced, Coeus along with many of the other psykers continued to practice using their powers, often at the behest of their leaders who were loathed to let such weapons go to waste. Especially the Captain of the 7th Company, Iapetus the Shipwright, to whom Coeus was almost permanently assigned and assisted in several matters, such as the choosing of Astropaths and Navigators.
Like all members of the Legion, Coeus was there on Olympia when it burned. He himself had lead several charges against the civilian populace, tearing foes apart with blade, claw and mind. As the battles drew on, Coeus’ grew more savage. It was the same with all the Legion’s Librarians. So much hate, from their Legion and the population of their homeworld, boiled and reflected in the warp and it threatened to overwhelm them all. It is rumoured that was when Coeus acquired his veiled snarls, a muscle memory from the roars of thousands of Astartes murdering their own kin.
This event was to be eclipsed by the ensuing civil war that the Imperium came to know as the Horus Heresy. Whatever Coeus personal feelings about the rebellion were, he kept them to himself. However, fresh from putting one empire he had helped to build and protect to the sword, it was safe to say that he was ready to do so again.
In the Dropsite Massacre, Coeus was put in charge of the ground elements of the 7th Company whilst Iapetus took part in the void war that erupted suddenly. To start with, Coeus used his powers of precognition to help the support squads, heavy weapons squads and artillery of the 7th Company to destroy vital targets. It wasn’t long though before he was wading through the Loyalist Astartes crushing them with nary more than a thought as those similarly gifted individuals fought to reawaken the powers they had closed off before Coeus reached them like a vengeful god. However, after the mere three hours it took to all but exterminate the forces of the three loyal legions gathered, Coeus was called back into orbit to lend his powers of perception to the hunt for the straggler ships that sought to escape their eventual doom.
When the Iron Warriors ambushed Alexis Polux’s retribution force a Phall, the 7th Company were among Warsmith Golg’s vanguard. Whilst void warfare was his brother’s sport, Coeus stood at the right hand of Iapetus’ Ceremite Throne, watching the fates for the paths of vessels and munitions launched at the 7th Company’s fleet, particularly the ‘Wandering King’ and the ‘Lonesome Queen’. On occasion, when the need arose, he also lead several boarding actions aboard Imperial Fist vessels and repelled boarding actions attempted by the VIIth Legion. It was in the cramped confines of these vessels that those who had missed the Massacre on the ground began to truly see the power Coeus wielded.
It was during these dark and turbulent years that Coeus became to be hailed as “The Seer” amongst many of the 7th Company, to whom he had become a permanent fixture and with whom the rest of the Librarians could more easily find companionship. Such fondness of the psyker-folk was not without its price for the men of the 7th Company. Rumours persisted, and even persist to this day, that the members of the 7th Company are somehow tainted. Some rumours imply that the whole company consorts with spirits, whilst the most heinous insisted that they perform blood rituals on the eve of battle. However, the fearsome reputation of the twins and lack of substantial evidence were enough to dismiss the rumours as empty gossip, although a few still mutter them in the absence of men from the 7th Company.
The title became official after Horus had failed to kill the Emperor and the traitorous legions were forced to flee Terra. A large portion of the 7th Company were assigned as one of the most forward elements of the XIX Grand Company and so when the attack failed and the rebellious legions retreated, the remainder of the 7th were left ahead of the main force with little hope of getting off-world. It was only by Coeus’ ceaseless scrying that the remaining Iron Warriors he was leading, and any he found along the way, were able to avoid costly ambushes meant to stall and take the quickest route back to the Wandering King, which Iapetus had kept waiting for them.
After the debacle at Terra and then the Iron Cage Incident, were Coeus collected an impressive tally of gene-seed to be offered to the Lord of Iron, the XIX Grand Company retreated to Olympia. Both Coeus and Iapetus were engaged in other matters and other battles wehen Pelegon slew Endymion and claimed the Grand Company for himself and took the title Warsmith. This in itself did not particularly offend Coeus. What did was the fact that a Night Lord was appointed at Captain of the Tyranthikos. Whilst the Night Lord had been at Pelegon’s for some time, it was outrageous that an outcast from another legion should take the position below the Warsmith.
It was from then that what Coeus would term as “the infestation” started. Several battle brothers were implanted with gene-seed not of Iron Warrior stock. Since Olympia had fallen, it was harder to maintain Olympian stock in the Legion, except by a steady crop of slave offspring and cloning, but degrading the purity of the gene-seed was reprehensible in Coeus’ mind. To make matters worse, several of these bastard born Astartes began to fill the positions of leadership within the Grand Company, including the Chief Librarian.
In the 32nd millennia, nearly two millennia after the death of Horus, on one of Iapetus’ real-world raids which Coeus frequently accompanied he encountered an Ordo Malleus retinue under the leadership of Inquisitor Artemis Farth. This branch of Imperial authority intrigued Coeus and so he captured the Inquistor and her retinue and brought them back Medrengard. There he visited all manner of tortures on them, devoured their notes and writings on the daemonic. It was curious that two enemies on the opposing side of the Long War should find themselves united by a hatred of the daemonic and the powers of Chaos. From these reading and his tortures of the Inquisitor and her servants Coeus discovered many mechanisms of binding and warding away daemonic infestation.
These were not the most important discoveries that Coeus made, although they have been and continue to be useful to him. The most important revelation that Coeus had was the nature of true names and the power one being had over another if they knew the other’s true name. So began a scheme which took almost a millennia to complete. Gradually members of the Grand Company began to forget Coeus’ name or become unable to speak it. Some Coeus approached, like his brother and the Warsmith, and asked for permission to remove his name from their memories. The only explanation he gave was “that I might better combat the forces of Chaos”, although for such a purist Grand Company that was often enough. Some simply found themselves forgetting simply by being around Coeus or his kin. Others merely died on the field of battle, as is the inevitable end of all Legiones Astartes.
Whilst this subtle shift was taking place, the rising start that had been the Chief Librarian of the XIX Grand Company was waning. Increasing pressures of command took him away from his brothers of the Librarium and as such Coeus was often left in de facto command. As older Librarians died, new ones replaced them. They all curiously inherited Iron Warrior gene-seed, and with it a distaste for all things not pure and of the IVth Legion. Worse still, with increasing regularity visions for him would either prove false or not come altogether. Increasingly, he took time to meditate in his chambers alone. Coeus is known to have visited him and pleaded with him to rejoin the brotherhood of the Librarium, citing that perhaps he would find solace there and his gifts would flourish again. However, determined to push through and emerge victorious, or so Coeus relayed after his councils with him, the Chief Librarian committed to meditate and search for an answer for himself.
Increasingly, the man was not seen at all. It became common for Coeus to stand in his stead at War Council meetings and to preside as head over the Librarium. As the Chief Librarian became more absent and Coeus became more enigmatic, other cognomens circles Coeus; The Nameless One, The Seer, The Other Twin. Eventually, after a period of several months without seeing the Head of the Librarium, his chambers where exhumed. Inside, the rigid corpse of the previous Chief Librarian sat, curled into the foetal position. His body was drained of all fluid leaving nothing but a dry husk. His room had been torched by what Coeus confirmed to be sorcerous fires and strange runes were etched into the walls and floor. Rumours began to circulate that the failing Librarian had sought to allay himself with the daemonic in order to regain his powers.
On his part, Coeus let the rumours circle and fester. If anything they proved to him and other purists that only that which was truly Iron Warrior could be called ‘Unbroken’. However, with the previous Chief Librarian’s demise at what seemed to be his own hubris, it came to appoint a new Chief Librarian of the XIX Grand Company. Several saw Coeus as the natural successor, for he had essentially been filling his master’s shoes for some time now. Others, particularly the remaining half-breeds of the Librarium, felt that a different leader should be chosen. Coeus challenged them. Those with any sensibility stood down.
However, there seemed to be something of an undercurrent of resentment within the Librarium. The remaining Librarians not of Iron Warrior gene-seed, along with all those of ‘pure’ gene-stock, came to Coeus and demanded that he step down and allow another to take his place. When he refused they insisted that he challenge them. Coeus agreed and said that any who would challenge him for position as Chief Librarian of the XIX Grand Company should step forward. The remaining Librarians not of Iron Warrior gene-seed, of which there were only four, stepped forward in arrogant unison. However, their surety turned to horror when they realised that no one else had stepped forward with them. Whilst each was a powerful psyker, Coeus was more so and was leant the mental fortitude of his pure brethren.
After dispatching those who challenged him, Coeus was given a public naming of his position as Chief Librarian of the XIX Grand Company. When they came to name him as such, no one present could remember his name. It was then offered to anyone who might know to name him as Chief Librarian, but none of the gathered Great Company could, not even Iapetus. It seemed that the last remaining souls who knew Coeus' true name had died. It was only after everyone else’s memory had been exhausted that Coeus stepped forward and named himself as Coeus, Chief Librarian of the XIX Grand Company. Everyone accepted this new name Coeus wore as if it had always been so, their memories inserting that name where previously they had called him by another. For four millennia Coeus has presided over the Librarium and its numbers can still be found in greater frequency amongst the 7th Company than any other company, although both the 7th and the Librarium remain purely Iron Warrior forces.
Edit: Here's my emblem for the hierarchy. Lovely bit of MS paint