Index Apocrypha: Spacewolves

Index Apocrypha: Spacewolves


"Of all the reports recompiled before the fateful Second Expiation that sealed the history of the War of the Returned Primarch once and for all, few were stranger than those relating to the death of Lucan and its inhabitants. Secured with a ritual seven-times-seventy wax seals, the vault is noted both for the revelatory nature of the data contained therein – and the utter lack of primary sources or verification. 

"Maddeningly open to interpretation, the origin of the Chapter that called the Deathworld of Lucan home has been the subject of at least two top level Remits of Censure and Redaction; and yet references repeatedly re-emerge. Such peculiarities do the reports show that numerous Inquisitors, including the influential Maximilian of Trent, have dismissed the entire collection as an elaborate hoax; a fatuous test of feasibility for credulous Inquisitorial staff. Others have named it a form of black propaganda – though aimed against whom, and to what avail, given its seven-times-seventy levels of censorship, is unclear. To further muddy the waters, it is clear that at least three intentionally misleading reports have been painstakingly (and elaborately, given the difficulty of the feat) forged, falsified and added to the 'thin gruel' of the vault's contents. Doubtless the existence of these intentionally misleading additions has forever tainted those few small revelations that study and analysis of the documentation might once have allowed.

"In short, the truth remains opaque; and is likely ever to remain so. Presented here, therefore, is the entirety of the Imperium's knowledge of the so-called Spacewolves, sanctioned by the Pentarchy of Blood during the opening stages of the mythical War of the Returned Primarch. I leave it to the learned reader to draw their own conclusions."

[//The Golden Age of Imperium, a History. Prof. Cvin Liquis, M35; burnt as Recidivist. Extracted from redacted appendix to the second edition.]



Alone of the Chapters Heliopolitan – those groups of the Adeptus Astartes that made the Heliopolis Sector home – the little-known inhabitants of the Deathworld Lucan played little to no major role in the War of the False Primarch. This was owing to the fate doled out to the planet during the early stages of the war; prior to the mysterious Chapter's declaration for or against the Partisan cause. 

As the Pentarchy assault reeled from the sudden revelation of the sheer size and strength of the False Primarch's forces in Morqub, Chapter Master Autek Mor of the Red Talons took his concerns to Master Aramis Enoch directly. What passed in private conference is unknown, but a substantial proportion of the Extinction Armada stationed in the corewards reaches of Heliopolis translated to the Lucan system and unleashed Exterminatus on the planet with no warning.

[//Detail of the Lucan system and surroundings.+]

None of the inhabiting Chapter are known to have survived; but rumours of red-armoured warriors  operating alone or in twos and three continued to dot the scanty records until a broader veil was drawn over the shameful period of the entire War.


An Ending on Lucan


Running my hands over my face utterly fails to alter my situation. Swallowing drily, I force myself to breathe out – slowly, evenly. Adrenaline is making me anxious; unbalancing me. 

need balance. To survive this interrogation, I need balance. 

The world is Lucan, Chapter Planet. The masters of this world are plate-clad barbarians. That they are Astartes seems utterly secondary. 

There are no manacles, nor fetters. The implication of the situation is clear. Fear of my captors is intended to keep me in place.

The place is a holding cell, windowless and cold, deep in a vast fortress called simply – and rather theatrically, to my ear – 'The Fang.' 

Conscious that it will do nothing productive, I answer a primitive urge to cover my eyes and run my hands over my face. I give a dull, mirthless chuckle as I open my eyes again. As though that would have spirited me away, or made these monsters disappear.

I am alone; but the footsteps echoing down the cold corridor suggest their imminent return.


"In the third time of asking; let it be recorded that I have asked the Inquisitor to once again recant his claims."

Even unarmoured, clad as he in a simple grey shift and heavy cloak, Chapter Master – Jarl, I am brusquely corrected – Enoch is a massive presence. The contrast between him and his namesake, Master Aramis Enoch; the Inquisitor that heads the High Lords' fell Extinction Armada – a fleet that even now gathers at the metaphorical gates – could not be more marked.

Far from the periwig and grandeur of the slight-figured orthodox Inquisitor, Wselfyrre Enoch is a powerfully martial presence, muscular and predatory; his stature as overwhelming an impression as the musk in the cold room. Charms are braided into the Astartes' blond hair and beard. Even the dull gold of his ornaments looks more like shrapnel than jewellery. His face is drawn; as though constructed  from chips of flint. Beside him are an honour guard; and these are more recognisable as Space Marines. Both are standing, both are armoured, both are unhelmed. The first has a half-shorn head, one side a mass of braids, redder than my own, the other a bristly, part-shaven tangle. The second  figure glowers from beneath a thick straight-cut fringe of long hair, black and glossy as a crow's wing. It contrasts with their armour, a striking red-umber set off with silver chasings.

"And so, Inquisitor, we come to the question once more. You tell us that a force approaches us. You tell us that the force is made up of our cousins. Five Chapters on a warpath; intent on destruction. And that", he checks a parchment in front of him, though I suspect for effect rather than a need to recall details. "They are bearing down on our home."All three have an unmistakeably bestial air, golden eyes set beneath judgemental brows that tally well with the gold wolf-icon that stares out, confrontationally full-face, from their pauldrons. Their jaws and cheekbones are thick and heavy; more so than most Astartes I have met.

A pause lengthens.

"All these things I can believe. We have been persecuted by the misled before."

A second pause.

"What I cannot believe is that the High Lords themselves have... sanctioned us. And thus I ask you once more to recant your claim. If it were so, why would you present yourself to us? Why submit yourself to us?"

I have no answer for him. At least; none that makes sense to me.


It is later. I have recovered somewhat. I am no longer in the dungeon; but I may as well be. Lucan is an ice world, a Death World; as inimitable to life as any in the Sector. Though the hall I have been housed in is unguarded, more than a few minutes – more than a few metres – from the roaring hearthfires that stud the hall would kill me. Manlike shapes prowl the shadows, besides.

The hall is vast. Bewilderingly so. Racks of armour and weapons, dating back beyond my ken, are housed and displayed behind armourglass. It is an impressive sight, redolent with war. Indeed, the house Navigator, Occilenti, told me that an entire Battlebarge hangs suspended above me. I can believe it, though all I can tell for sure is that the ceiling is so distant as to be indistinguishable from the sky. It is merely an absence of stars that marks its brooding presence.

The situation is surreal. A Chapter that should not exist – at least, not here – and seemingly not merely unaware of the other Chapter that bears the name, but defiantly insisting that they are the only true Sons of Russ. The claims have all been the same. I detect no churlishness or dissembling from the marines who have deigned to speak with me. Their answers have been, if anything, almost cockily dismissive.

'We have whelped no others'; 'Only the children of Lucan can bear the geneseed of the Russ.'; 'We can trace our history unfallibly through the sagas of our forebears.' Bold claims. Sincere claims; at least they seem to me as I think back on them.

It is night; as it always is on this world, distant from its wan sun. They believed me, in the end; though I fear too late. The ships of the Red Talons and Death Eagles have been assembling for more than three nights now, judging by the warpwash that has been causing the atmosphere to flare with witchlight. It won't be long now; and the Extinction Fleet that has been assembled will not care for their claims.

Afterwards, it will not matter. What matters now is finding a way off this doomed world; away from these strange, proud warriors, and their bold claims of primogeniture.


Index Astartes: [//ident unconfirmed+]

[//The Whorled Wolf; a symbol that appears repeatedly – though far from universally – in pict-records supposedly relating to the lost Chapter.+]

Warcry  "Løpp dem ned!" [//Regional low gothic. approxtrans. "Run them down!"+]

Cognomen  As with all historiographical records relating to the War of the False Primarch, cross-referenceable ident. is difficult to establish. The Chapter under investigation is perhaps the zenith – or nadir – of this uncertainty, with the scanty available records making even a solid name for the Chapter unknown. The only terms that appear in more than one record are 'Spacewolves' (four mentions) or 'Vlka Lucana' (two mentions) – compare this with over seven hundred and eighty secondary sources for the Iron Guard, another Heliopolian Chapter whose records were redacted. 

The remaining four known records are all tertiary or quaternary sources; third-hand copies of Lucanian epic poetry written by second or third generation descendants of inhabitants of the lost planet. As such, they were famously 'drowned in metaphor and opaque cultural references', according to the Great Terentius. Extant texts and scrolls hint at, obliquely reference, or outright state the Chapter variously as the 'Soleborn', 'Vlka Fenryka' or 'Brothers of the Wolf', 'Ancenned', and 'The Red Death'. One makes the ominous reference to 'interfectores fratrum'.

Founding  [//vacil. incerto+] First [+//pre-Imperial dating/+] [posit.]

Gene-Seed  Generune markers: [+/VI leman_r/+] 

Successor Chapters  [//vacil. incerto+] posit. Wolf Brothers 

Chapter Master  Wselfyrre Enoch

Homeworld  Lucan, Deathworld.

[//ident: Lucan. Deadworld. appendnote: Former Chapter homeworld. tithegrade=Aptus Non+] 

Fortress Monastery The Fang

Chapter Appearance  [//vacil. incerto+] The Spacewolves' livery is variously recorded as 'red and gold', 'the red of burnt offerings', and 'russet and silver'. As with all records, supposed vis- and pict-captures  of the Chapter are of dubious origination; and as such little can be gleaned. 

[//'Jormun Blackhowl, fighting during the Narok Cleansing. It is not a xenos abomination that kills him.'+]


The Apocrypha of Malwit

The records of the Vlka Lucana’s founding remain a mystery, lost either to imprecise record keeping or to direct obscuration – as is the case with so many of the Astartes Chapters. Evidence presented in the so-called 'Apocrypha of Malwit', a tome that emerged in M34 and was swiftly supressed, suggested that the Lucanians were descendants of the Sixth Legion Astartes, the Space Wolves, or Vlka Fenryka. Similarities in cultural customs and visual appearances – armour colour aside – were clear and striking, but the Apocrypha's detractors pointed out that there are many examples of such 'cultural inspiration' across the galaxy where no link beyond the most fatuous and coincidental exists. 

Scant reports of wayward warriors – ‘Space Wolves’ in red livery – serving as bodyguard and renegade forces haunted the reports of the War. None were corroborated. 

Supporters of the Apocrypha point to the fact that the document records such a wealth of improbably precise behavioural tendencies exhibited by the Vlka Lucana (the term the Apocrypha uses) that it is all but impossible that they are anything other than related to the Primarch Leman Russ’ gene-line. Simple expediency then insists the Chapter must be a descendant of the Legion. While aberrant mutation occurs in both body and fact, most notable of all these coincidences is the Chapters' shared war doctrine: total destruction, routing their enemies and running them to ground. 

A handful of third party accounts in the Inquisitorial vaults on Terra made references that were ultimately believed attributable to the Apocrypha. The most salacious was the Witness of Scalo, a clear and unequivocal testament of an ex-Lucanian condemned criminal. The Witness made it clear that the Vlka Lucana believe themselves to be not merely an offshoot of the Sixth Legion, but the only one, with no active knowledge of the parent Chapter’s existence. The premise is hard to entertain when the Vlka Fenryka are such a renowned example of the Astartes, and known to be active across the Imperium. 

[//Haltaf's Pack, Vlka Fenryka+]

Nevertheless, the combination of the Apocrypha of Malwit and the Testament have proved compelling and convincing evidence to a number of Inquisitors, who have opened investigations working upon the premise that the Space Wolves of Fenris are imposters – or at least not the direct heirs of their Primarch.

There has been some speculation that this is a result of direct manipulation, that the Vlka Lucana and Vlke Fenryka were intentionally kept in the dark as to the existence of the other. If true, the motive behind this remains stubbornly unknown. Furthermore, as the actual gene-line of the Chapter is speculative, with no recorded geneseed examination to back up the claims either way, it will likely remain ever thus.


The Dauði silfurstjörnunnar

A lone holo-recording, scratchy, audio-only and incomplete; includes the following extract, purportedly part of a Saga of the 'Warrior-bards of the Lost Wold of Lucyn' that was recited by an itinerant nomad family resident on Moreaumunda. How the family is supposed to have learned the Saga is unrecorded in the extract or supporting documentation, and many regard it as a modern recreation styled in the heroic mode of the lost planet; a vulgarly high romantic and regrettably common trope for Imperial poetasters. The spotty quality of the verse lends credence to its being a later recreation by a poet of little talent.

"Tales for the hearthside//

Hero-feats and xenocide//

Angels Dark and Stars beside//

There fought Vlka alone//

'Gainst eaters of brain-and-bone//

'Cross black-tidefield and wilder beside//

'Til wearisome doom befell our Lord allie[...]// 

 [+audiolog lost+]

[...]tears, with ashen skin//

on shield borne aloft by his kin//

Those Great Lords sworn to silence ever after//

Was the Silverstar returned to the Allfather//"

[//Dauði Silfurstjörnunnar. Oral record.+]


Vescot's Ark

In M41, the following missive was found in the post-mortem effects of Inquisitor Vescot, chrono-dated to M33. No further records emerged; nor was an corroborating evidence provided for her claims. That the casket was found at all was astonishing, for it had drifted at subspace speed into Wilderness space between Sectors Heliopolis and Venture; chanced upon by a passing scavenger vessel; itself perilously moored and drifting.

[//Ordo Astartes Inquisitor Vescot and Vigilant Jaqu of the Red Hunters, searching the abandoned command bunker under Ramilies Hive for vox records between PDF officers and suspected Astartes advisors.+]

The records provided supposed first-hand evidence of the inhabitants of Lucan, from an Inquisitrix supposedly granted rare access to the Chapter. The sensational nature of the report – which bore all the hallmarks of being genuine – was swiftly hidden by the Ordo Redactus as part of the ongoing Edict of Obliteration relating to all material even tangentially associated with the affair of the False Primarch. 

The material is presented here in its entirety, with square brackets denoting areas reconstructed through psychic nudge.

'Ye vlka lucana suffer anne [ordeal] utmost; inwhich bouts of geneseed [instability] arisse. Suffer [they the presence of mutated] and warriors beastialle amongst yon ranks in great numberres. Lines may be drawn therewith twixt the vlka lucanan (Spacewolves) and ye vlka bror (Wolf Brotherres); the only documented successor to the Chapterre hyte Space Wylfs. Herewit ken ye Wolf Brotherres are documented [as a failed successor, a Chapter] rife with mutation. it would not be [incerto. posit: 'a stretch'/'beyond the bounds of chance'] to fathom that [the Wolves of] Lucan are by my oath and heart [that is, in truth] a later Grate Foundyng, taken from the genestock of the Wolf Brothers or a surviving byblow thereoffe, rather than a lead offspring of the Spacewolves.'

'however, the lie has been put to this byye many learnéd and greyherred scholarres, who cite wordde of the Wolfes of Lucann are of a Founding most secretivve and one instructed under sheerly unsanctioned orderrs. The [inference] herewith would be that the Wolves of Lucan are in truthe a Successor Unsanctionned, and potentially created as a puppet tool of a rikish political power. 

'It ysse mete, however, to point that the armourre and hystory shownne to me in grayve truth that I believe the Wolf Brothers to be not [the childrenne but the father/parent.] And so while they are not the Space [Wolfes of the Sixthmost Legionne]; that ysse because they were fyrst.'

Alas, the most salacious and potentially revealing aspects of the record are precisely those excised and retrievable only through warp-won means; throwing their likelihood and accuracy beyond reasonable means and use. This has – predictably – been ignored by the few Inquisitors that have come to gain access to the vault in which the so-called Emisses Vescot are held.


The Liber Narok


Thirteen stained pages, transcribed hurriedly – and apparently reluctantly, judging by the frustrated and borderline defamatory marginal notes – by a scribe believed to be a scholam child copying it by rote; the Liber Narok (named after its most famous extract) is broadly adjudged to be a hoax. Those who instead believe it to be a fragmentary extract of a lost original history of the War of the False Primarch are known as the 'Sect Narok'. The scribe's handwriting and the poor quality of the writing tile on which it was inscribed make its legibility frustratingly imprecise and open to interpretation.

The extract begins:


Organisation  While a solitary chapter and somewhat unwelcoming of outsiders, the Vlka Lucana have been observed to possess Thirteen Companies, all at diminished strength. These [illegible] appear to operate independently from one another, holding vassalage of void-craft and with their own armouries. Although different specialties have been noted; void assault, covert operations, and so forth, the Commanders of each company appear to hold equal weight and it has been speculated that they operate as a council of Alderman. However, they are known to have a Chapter Master; [illegible] Enok. 

The Cleansing of Naro  Notable as the sole reliable record of a war in which the Wolves of Lucan fought alongside [illegible], Naro was a campaign to crush a wayward Imperial Subsector that had strayed from the Emperor’s light under the influence of an aberrant xenoform. Two attempts were made by combined Imperial crusade forces to quell the uprising and subsequent xeno foothold. Both failed with all souls lost. With word reaching the greater Imperium that not only were these forces lost, but that they had been subverted by the xenos threat and subsumed, a response was required. That response came in the form of the Vlka Lucana, their whole Legion [sic.] committed to the war effort, intended as a merciless and swift end to a terrible chapter in the Imperium’s history.


wye must i bewrite thysse wearisome scitte threefold tymes? Mystress Scun wil niver rede this. Stap my balocs if sce dose so silly bicce


Given the extent and scale of forces lost to this xeno threat, to commit even a single Chapter in its entirety spokes of one of three things: utter confidence in their martial prowess; desperation in the face of a terrible threat; or [illegible] that this was a convenient way of removing the [illegible] from the board.

The former proved its mettle, with the might of Vlka Lucana fleet cleaving through the lost system in an unstoppable spear thrust. The Chapter lost more than half of its martial strength to the ongoing conflict, but vanquished all who dwelt there in fire and bladework. The [illegible] of Narok has since been cordoned off and access restricted, a desolate and haunted place.  


War Of The False Primarch  This came to pass as the last true act for the Vlka Lucana, their allegiance in the war is still speculated upon by all who study them and the conflict. All that is truly known is that both the Chapter and its homeworld of Lucan were extinguished from the galaxy by the Pentarchy of Blood. Speculation is rife as to whether this was as a result of other machinations, manipulation of potentates  wanting their destruction. Other accounts suggest that they sided against the Imperium, an unforgiving act of defiance. 

Ending at this point, the Liber Narok is notable for that sole reference to 'Legion', used in place of 'Chapter'. The Administratum puts this down to a slip of the pen by the clearly distracted scribe responsible; but Inquisitor Hubrand, who made a career of the record's analysis, made the sensational claim that the reference was not the sole one; that numerous details of the Liber were falsified; and that it stemmed from a far older record, with the 'xenos' an intentionally misleading mistranslation of the true enemy: Narok being a gloss for the regional numerator II – variously interpreted as a '2' or '11'. 




The identify of the Chapter that dwelt upon Lucan is uncertain – as indeed is whether such a Chapter even existed. Decades of misdirection. obfuscation and deliberate redaction are layered upon the partial history of a Chapter that – if it did exist – was certainly secretive; and clearly lost or forgotten by even their closest regional allies. 

That Master Enoch responded so immediately to Autek Mor's part-known demands is used by some to support the claim that a sanction from the High Lords themselves was issued to smother the 'Spacewolves' Chapter – but so mercurial was the Inquisitorial Master that even such extremes of action as declaring Exterminatus on a loyal Chapter homeworld was not beyond the realm of possibility.

Secrecy, of course, also breeds hysteria, rumour and sensationalism. There are various extreme sects and cabals within the Inquisition that believe the most ludicrous and extreme claims; some with more compelling arguments than others. The decision, as always, must be placed not in the hands and mind of a select few Inquisitors but amongst them all, for such is the bet way for the hidden hand of the Emperor to reach a final conclusion; or at least agree upon a universal 'truth' to disseminate.  


"You strive for victory. That is obvious. What may be less obvious is the nature of victory. There are circumstances in which you can destroy the enemy utterly, without loss to your own forces, and yet the victory may be his. In all situations, you must first decide on the nature of victory, and then take steps to secure it. Avoid the instinct of fight first and think later."
[//The Primarch Leman Russ, Meditations, Book VI+]