By Brandon Beacom
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Project XVIII was one of the early members of the moderating team of the Dark ANgels forum at the Bolter + Chainsword chat board. He was also one of the founding members of the Inner Circle. The venerable Project XXVIII has now retired to one of the deepest dungeons of the Tower of Angels to continue his deep slumber and meditation until such time that duty requires him to awaken.
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It was quite common to have council with Azrael, over the millennia I have discussed tactics, doctrines, Imperial history as well as the future with no less than 11 Supreme Grand Masters. All of them have regarded me as a holy relic. Someone to draw ideas and teachings from, after all when one is the Supreme Grand Master of the 1st Legion, one looks to his ancestors for guidance. I have told each in turn all I have ever known, drawing upon my time as the Chapter's Grand Master of Chaplains, as well as the centuries endured within this adamantium shell. All of them have taken my words as wisdom, and I have enjoyed parting them to each in turn, though with Azrael I take keen interest.

Though I shall not delve too much into the history of our current Supreme Grand Master, I will point out that I find within him, the spark of El'Jonson. Of all the history logs I have read of the accounts of the Lion, and the psychological reports I have accessed from the Chapter's Apothecarium, it would appear that Azrael is the closest representation we have ever known of the Lion. For that I am eternally grateful, as I was to learn at this council that Azrael had called.

The Council began with Azrael visiting me, he alone called me out of stasis. An ordinary occurrence, though as he discussed the growing situation around the Eye of Terror, I could see a weary look in his eye. His usual collected demeanour had been washed away and replaced by a solemn slate. His eyes told a story of unfathomable stress and pain, he held in his power the future of the 1st Legion, a responsibility few could fathom, and even fewer maintain. I envied him not, and as the council slowly gathered, we discussed recent chapter history instead, his composure returning.

The council gathered was the likes of which I have never witnessed. All of the Company Masters were present, as well as Sapphon of the Chaplains and Ezekiel of the Librarians. This could only mean one thing, the Chapter had amassed in the Tower of Angels, and event I myself had only been privy to twice before. If the full chapter of the Dark Angels were needed in the current campaign, then grave times were upon us.

The conclave discussed at great length, the current situation. The unification of the Legions within the Eye, the creation of the Astartes Praeses Chapters, and finally the most important topic of all, the Fallen. It would appear that Master Gideon of the Ravenwing had investigated what he had been led to believe as heavy Fallen activity in the Agripinaa sector. A large Ravenwing force had recently returned from the sector having followed rumours of a cult started by a false oracle bearing a ornate sword sheath, and a pair of finely crafted pistols. Though the description matches that of Cypher, Gideon could not confirm his presence.

Strategy was deduced, and oaths made. This was to be the greatest hour of the Chapter's history. Azrael gave word of the Unforgiven Chapters making way to rendezvous with the Tower of Angels, truly indeed was the time of action at hand. To have the entire Dark Angels chapter unified was an act of the most dire circumstances, to conscript the efforts of the entire remains of the 1st Legion. That was a spectacle not wrought since the black days of Caliban's breath. Indeed the darkest hours were upon our Brethren, the future was in the hands of the Supreme Grandmaster, and I, as the eldest Dreadnought of our most holy chapter, would follow him to the very heart of the damnable eye.

The gathering came to its conclusion, each Master's servo-scribe capturing the important data that would be later cross-referenced, and again used in conclave just prior to the Chapter's actions. I bade them all the Lion's blessings, and each in turn gave thanks with bowed head and quick prayer. I had given them all the knowledge I had, and yet I still felt as though I could have done more. Doubt. Blasphemy. I contemplated requesting Sapphon's personal council, though he approached myself first. He like many of the others were brooding over the future, and hours after the chamber had long been emptied of the gathering's quiet council, Sapphon and I reflected upon the times. Drawing inspiration from times long past, even for me. Tales of the Lion, of Luther's past and finally, discussing how to keep the faith of the Lion's Pride, in times as dire as this.


Though I have strode across countless hostile worlds, and smote enemies in the name of the Lion and the Emperor, I felt apprehensive. The times were grim, the enemy grand, and the cost of failure too grave to comprehend. I spent the days until my mission's briefing dispensing tasks for my servitors to complete. My mind was a random sketch of thoughts, keeping organisation of my servants kept me occupied, helped me to focus.

The sarcophagus had to be readied, my armaments checked, my dreadnought's alloys inspected for weakness. Indeed this would be a moment of truth for the tech-priests who fashioned this behemoth many millennium ago. All of this was common procedure, and each servitor fulfilled his task with utter precision. The variable was not in the construction of that holy shell, but rather in myself. I had once hesitated on the field of battle before, with it nearly costing me my life.

How close I had come to meeting the Emperor again, yet the blessed Techno-Magi of the Chapter had kept my soul in this realm, as the instrument to give life to a Chapter Dreadnought. In his honour his name is etched on my hull, a token of appreciation to Radoslav, perhaps the finest Magnus our chapter had ever known. It is with him in mind that I completed the prayers to keep my personal vassal pure. With the Dreadnought shell fit for battle, I disbanded my servitors and requested the the head Techpriest to not disturb me until duty called.

It is within these moments I reflected back on my final moments when my physical body was able to operate under its own power. It had been at the hands of a Fallen in which my body was shattered, against my Chapter's most hated foe in which I had failed. Yet I was given a second chance, I was placed within the amniotic fluid that would keep me alive for millennia to come. Combined with the stasis field in which I was placed during slumber, I have served the 1st Chapter for over four thousand years. But in all those years, I have never lost my fervour to smite the traitors of the 1st Legion, never have I forgotten my duty, never will I forgive my own weakness.

It was with these thoughts that I made my way to docking bay 04. There I was to meet up with Master Sheol, who had been given charge of pre-striking the Agripinaa sector, and rooting out the Fallen which had gathered there. Our force was to meet up with Interrogator-Chaplain Phaleg, continue the search for the fallen with his assistance, and give word if Fallen 1-0-0 was present. Never had I felt so alive with energy, and my anticipation showed as Ezekiel himself approached, placed a gauntleted hand upon my Sarcophagus and bade me the Lion's Blessings. He knew at great length my feelings of self disappointment, and only prayed that I could find the resolution to ease my pain in the Agripinaa sector. I thanked him for his words of goodwill, and asked only that he keep good watch of the Lion's flock, as his guidance will be of grave importance in the coming weeks. With a simple prayer and nod of his head, he went on to address the congregated 4th company, before stepping aside for Sapphon and Azrael himself to give us all the words of the Lion.

Aboard the Battle Barge, The Lion's Pride, Master Sheol and I, as well as Interrogator-Chaplain Asmodai quickly drew up council. The information gathered by Chaplain Phaleg was poured over for hours. Each map, report, video recording and vox cast was referenced and compounded into what was to be the largest open battle against the Fallen since days long before my existence. Our primary target, was a Fallen by the name of Dragien a reputed leader of a Fallen sect, and was believed to be a cohort of Fallen 1-0-0 himself. None of the reports could confirm the presence of 1-0-0, though a vox-cast recording interrogation of an Imperial Adeptus Arbites included a description of a large hooded man carrying a pair of ornate pistols, and carrying a sword scarbard of exceptional craftsmanship.

While only hearsay, none of us could deny the possibility of this man being the one we have hunted for so long. Only once had I come this close to this man, only once had I gazed into the soulless eyes of such a heretical traitor, only once had I come this close to capturing the man who plunged our chapter to its knees, only once before had I battled the renegade known as Cypher.
We await in anticipation for the day when the Venerable Dreasnought Project XXVIII awakns to share more of the glory of our past in the form of the next chapters of the Chronicles of a Dreadnought.