Dramatis Personae II: Jan Velghor of the Flesh Eaters

[//Lord Jan Velghor+]


[//Allegiance: Flesh Eaters/Pentarchy+]

I watched as the war dragged on. I watched as he became more cavalier; more reckless with his tactics and use of our swollen number. Routs of the enemy, bloodthirsty even by our high standards, became even more commonplace. I could see him falling, hear it in his voice and his anger. The shadow of the Primarch grew stronger. Upon the eve of that final persecution, the Death Vision’s came and he was taken back to the Great Betrayal. Lo, did he walk the bloody path to honourable righteousness, the moripatris echoing in his soul.

[//Reflections Within and Without; First Chaplain Constantine+]



Jan Velghor; son of war

Unearthly Sanguinius. The sobriquet was applied to the Primarch by the Jovan poet Postuo; and struck to the heart of both Sanguinius and his sons. Simultaneously evoking both his ethereal nature and his unsettling aura, all the Chapters that have splintered from the Blood Angels Legion have been forced to confront the two warring natures of the Great Angel: that of the warrior, and that of the pioneer.

The brutal label of 'Flesh Eaters' would suggest that the Chapter favours one aspect; but Jan Velghor, Chapter Master during the event of the War of the False Primarch (or Voivode, to use the term of his homeworld, Karpathia) would disagree. 

Prior to his ascension to the rank, the Flesh Eaters' had been led by the storied Carabas the Scarred; a famous warrior who fell fighting the orks of Honesty's Reach. Velghor had long been Carabas' heir-apparent, a warrior of rare intuition and equally fell reputation. The Captain of the Fourth Battle Company, Velghor ascended to the rank a scant few years before the High Lords' 'request' to the Flesh Eaters to form part of the Pentarchy Sanction. 

All but worshipped by the Astartes under his command, Velghor's forbidding aura and dark charisma made him simultaneously the best choice to head the coalition of Chapters, and a suitable avatar of the High Lords' ire. 


The early war

Obedient to the will of the High Lords, Velghor assembled the might of the Chapter, depleting the Desmodan Keep, Fortress-Monastery of the Flesh Eaters, and assembling the might of the Chapter into an immense fleet. Travelling across the galaxy, Velghor was the first of the five to answer the High Lords' call and sign the Bull of Obliteration. He was therefore granted regional command by the High Lords, a matter which met with no small initial objection from the Red Talons and Death Eagles.

Single-minded but with a cryptic talent for grand strategy, Velghor was instrumental in many of the successes of the early war, throwing the Flesh Eaters into battle across a vast swathe of Sector Heliopolis. Arriving in the region at the head of an assembly of ships that also included the Charnel Guard and Death Eagles, Velghor moved swiftly.

He appointed the Red Talons and Death Eagles to reinforce and establish a web of fortresses and keeps across the rimwards worlds of Heliopolis – much to the consternation of the local Chapters, the Storm Tyrants and Iron Guard, as-yet unengaged and neutral. Velghor himself, meanwhile, led the bulk of the Flesh Eaters, Charnel Guard and Death Eagels towards Sector Morqub, taking advantage of the Carcharadons' advances in the galactic west and the work of the entrenched Vigilants.

Openly dismissive of the Inquisition's efforts prior to the Astartes' arrival – a matter that caused tension between 'Master' Enoch, the Inquisitor who claimed overlordship of the Pentarchy by divine right – Velghor led his combined fleet, headed by the Teeth of Damnation, into the Nonesuch Drift, the wilderness space between the Sectors, from which he launched strikes with virtual impunity across the corewards reaches of Sector Morqub. 

The Acylus and Hubris systems, both half-hearted in their support of the Partisan cause, quickly capitulated, and it was from within the unblemished cities of Acylus that Velghor hatched that masterstroke of the early war: the Methuselan Affair. Aware that their enemies were striking and capturing navigators wherever possible, Velghor gathered his forces and laid an ambush, using a delegation of House Methuselan as their bait.

The battle is recorded elsewhere, but the attack led to colossal losses by the Marines Saturnine and Jade Talons; earning Velghor himself two implacable enemies.


'It was after Gurro. I entered the Chapter Master's chambers and that smell hit me. The iron-laced tang of blood had been noted by me and my staff throughout the Teeth of Damnation – such an apt name for their flagship – but only as a faint undertone. As I enter Velghor’s personal chambers behind his guard, it was palpable and strong. It was overwhelming; almost dizzying. I could taste it in my throat. 

The Guard parted ahead of me and I first set eyes on the Lord of Flesh as he sat in his throne in the centre of the dimly lit room, the smouldering eyes of his deathmask regarding me as I stood before him. Lord of Flesh. Grand Voivode. The Sorrow of Karpathia. His many titles had amused me before our meeting, but stood before him, any humour seemed distant. Acutely aware that my own entourage were under guard outside the chambers, in his presence I felt the unwelcome – the unfamiliar – tang of fear for the first time in an age. It would not be the last time.

We spoke at length about the persecution of the Abomination and his allies; Lord Velghor never removing the golden death mask. As we had been speaking, I picked out details of his armour in the half light. The Cruoris Plate Indomitus, as it was known, was wholly at odds with the serene visage of his mask. It had the look of muscle flayed of its skin, still wet to look upon. It reeked of old blood and vitae as moved, almost emanating from his armour joints and seals. All the while, those damnable eyes remained fixed upon me. I felt very small as I sat there before him.

He stood after what seemed like hours. My ire rose as he proclaimed, “You are now dismissed, Inquisitor.” I stood to face him. I would not be cowed by one of the Five, and made to speak. I am not yours to dismiss. It was to remind him of my standing within the Inquisition. My place at the head of this war. I would not be spoken to as a menial. 

No words emerged. The moment stretched, and the Lord of the Flesh Eaters removed his helm. The figure loomed over me, his horrifying visage the stuff of nightmares. Am I to live ten centuries, I fear I will never forget his irisless eyes piercing me. As he pulled me close, the smell of blood was repugnant. Old blood. New blood. 

I left those haunted chambers reprimanded. I left them and I was under no illusion of who was in control. It was not me. What had the High Lords ordered? What had I unleashed?'

[//Fragments – Notes of Master Aramis Enoch, published posthumously+]


” I have learned to hate all traitors, and there is no disease that I spit on more than treachery.”
Attributed to Commander Velghor, Lord of Flesh; Grand Voivode; The Sorrow of Karpathia - former Chapter Master of the Flesh Eaters.


Velghor's arms and armaments


The Spada Lunga

An ancient glaive the size of a man, this enormous blade was forged on Old Karpathia. Rumoured to be of pre-Imperial origin, the blade dripped plasmic energy and hummed with a disturbing keening that set one's teeth on edge when activated. It was, by tradition, the weapon of the Grand Voivode; a symbol of lordship and majesty amongst the Flesh Eaters. As it was recorded in the annals of the war, it was wielded with 'fell effect' by 'that bastard Velghor. Lo, did it have a thirst for the blood. Traitor blood. During the darkest of days, it’s thirst was slaked many times over.'

The Cruoris Plate Indomitus

This suit of power armour was built for Jan Velghor, to accommodate his exceptionally tall build. Upon his ascension to Grand Voivode, the talented techmarine Igor Grulev painstakingly fashioned it from the finest materials in celebration of the new Master of the Chapter. It resembles the musculature of a flayed body, adorned with golden Imperial Eagles, and is ringed in a halo of light. To look upon, the armour appears unsettlingly glossy and wet; as though lifeblood seep from its joints across the taut muscle. Whether this is intended to represent the Chapter Master's own vitae, or that of his quarry, is open to the viewer's interpretation.

Velghor's fell appearance was mitigated somewhat by the golden helm he wore on all unavoidable visitations by allied forces. In battle, however, his pale skin and tormented expression made him amongst the most terrifying and dreaded enemies of the Partisans.


The late war

Aware that his presence caused nearly as consternation amongst the orthodox population as the Partisans – particularly after the bloodthirsty campaigns of the early war, in which the reputation of the 'Pentarchy of Blood' was forged – Velghor avoided appearing in person on loyal worlds; instead pursuing a policy of relentlessly aggressive campaigns against the Partisan Chapter homeworlds. Rather than direct strikes, Velghor favoured splintering his forces across the sector, the aim being to cut apart any links between sympathetic worlds that the 'Primarch' could foster.

As the war went on, the Grand Voivode continued to lead his forces from within the halls of the Teeth of Damnation, his communications becoming increasingly scanty and erratic. By the late stages of the war, Velghor refused to see outsiders with the exception of the Charnel Guard's assigned delegate. 

Alas, for all his talent, Velghor did not survive the end of the war, though his fall is worthy of a separate missive.