|Ordo Xenos Inquisitor Kryptman|
|Affiliation||Imperium of Man, Ordo Xenos|
Kryptman, also known as Hero of the Macharian Heresy, is or was an inquisitor for the Imperium of Man, most notable for having formerly recognized the Tyranid race as a galactic threat. He has fought in all three of the Tyrannic Wars.
The First Tyrannic War Edit
Inquisitor Kryptman received word about the mysterious attack upon the planet Tyran months after the attack actually occurred. By the time he had arrived there, a year had passed since the attack, and he initially could not equate the barren planet that he discovered as the ocean-bound Tyran. However, after a long search, he unearthed a hidden data-codex from deep below the planet's crust and, in doing so, discovered the full horror of the galactic threat that would come to be known as the Tyranids.
The data-codex revealed that Magos Varnak, a member of the ruling elite of the Cult Mechanicus, had been involved in the survey of worlds on the Eastern Fringe when Tyran Primus detected a cloud of close to a thousand unidentified objects entering the star system. Varnak's own ship had been crippled by a ring of fleshy mines on the outskirts of this cloud, and though he had managed to return to base, less than a week later the first alien attacks began. Kryptman and his aides watched grimly as footage of the storm-wracked skies of Tyran was split again and again by the blinding flash of the defense lasers striving to drive the invaders away. The uneven battle raged on for more than an hour as the brave laser crews blasted at the hundreds of invaders descending upon Tyran before, amazingly, the enemy simply withdrew. But Kryptman knew there was worse to come.
Varnak had sent his three remaining system ships in pursuit of the foe, and static-riddled records of their auguroptics were just sharp enough to show Kryptman the face of the enemy. The invaders appeared to be creatures of alien origin, vast armored organisms with thick carapaces that were apparently fully adapted for life in space.
One by one, the system ships were quickly crippled or destroyed by the invaders. The defenses of Tyran had damaged or destroyed only a dozen creatures out of a swarm of close to a thousand. Varnak had been forced to conclude that should the invaders attack again, the base on Tyran was doomed.
But for some reason, Varnak's Astropath had broadcast no messages. Kryptman's own staff psyker, ashen-faced at the implications, announced that the disruptions in the Warp left by the creatures' arrival were making it almost impossible to use astrotelepathy. The data-codex was the only way Varnak had found to preserve the knowledge they had bought with the life of an entire planet.
Kryptman watched in silence as the grainy footage showed thousands of alien pods raining through the atmosphere of Tyran. Though the laser defenses were destroying any pods that would have impacted on the base, many more were falling into the sea around it. The water around the base thrashed and boiled as alien shapes emerged from their pods and hacked their way through the voracious native beasts that swarmed around them. Through the eyes of a servo-skull pict-capture, Kryptman watched Magos Varnak monitoring the advance of the aliens from the heart of the complex on his own crystal data-screens. The static-laced screen showed creatures that were upright, six-limbed, clawed and fanged. Scattered defensive fire ricocheted off their thick hides and heavy carapaces like hailstones.
On-screen, the aliens smashed their way through the electro field and armorplas shutters of the base as if they were made of paper and glass. Servitors guarding the dock fought with flamers, but screaming alien giants with arms like great scythes waded forward and Kryptman watched in horror as they shrugged off the searing fires and hacked their way through the Servitors.
Soon, every screen on Varnak's display showed a flood of aliens spreading through the base, destroying everything the found. The Magos' finger hovered over the switch that would send the data-codex plummeting into the depths of the base. Kryptman found himself willing Varnak to wait, knowing that every moment of footage might give some additional insight into the enemy.
The data-codex ended with one final, garbled message, a fervent prayer for the Emperor's grace over a chorus of agonized screams and desperate gunfire. Varnak's last words were a dire prophesy accompanied by a lasting image of the skies over Tyran turning black with swarming monsters. Kryptman felt hollow as the realization of what he had discovered sank in. From the doomed world of Tyran the dread invaders acquired a name at last—Tyranids.
Kryptman immediately ordered his Astropath to project a vision to the Imperium, but the psyker could not penetrate the Warp turmoil left by the passing of the alien fleet. Even the nearby Thandros Adeptus Telepathica relay matrix was obscured. In desperation Kryptman set course for Thandros in hopes of re-establishing communications there.
But the Tyranids had attacked Thandros and moved on long before the arrival of Inquisitor Kryptman. Thandros was not as well protected as Tyran. The miners living in tunnels on Thandros II and III could not hide from the Tyranids or escape into space, and died in the darkness beneath the planet's crust, hunted through labyrinths of their own making by unspeakable terrors. The telepathica matrix orbiting Thandros I was later found to have emptied all of its turret magazines and burned out its defense laser batteries before it was overrun. As with Tyran, the Telepathica adepts manning the base were unable to send word of their plight to the Imperium because of the Tyranids' psychic blockade. The Thandros system had fought and died alone.
Kryptman and his retinue salvaged the telepathica matrix and sent a message of warning to the unsuspecting Imperium of the magnitude of the Tyranid threat. His Astropath, red-eyed with weariness after days of concentration casting Varnak's codex and Kryptman's report into the ether, gave the Inquisitor orders from the Lords of the Ordo Xenos to travel to the planet Macragge in the Ultramar system, the empire of the Ultramarines Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. There he would assist the Master of the Chapter in locating and eliminating the Tyranid fleet. As dictated by Imperial tradition, the alien hive fleet had been codified with an ancient and forbidden name from legend: Behemoth.
The Battle for Macragge Edit
In the Macragge system, a dozen ships already hung in orbit and each day more arrived from the warp. Orbital fortresses and ponderous system-defense monitors surrounded Macragge with a ring of firepower. Lumbering Space Marine battle barges hung over Macragge like gigantic azure monoliths etched with the gaping maws of weapon bays, launch tubes and heavy bombardment turrets. These leviathans dwarfed the sleek strike cruisers arriving from the Ultramarines' furthest outposts.
The Ultramarines were readying themselves for all-out war with the Tyranids, and Kryptman allowed himself a glimmer of hope when he heard the news that Battlefleet Tempestus had finally been dispatched from the orbital docks at Bakka. Kryptman had met with Marneus Calgar, Chapter Master of the Ultramarines, and after long discussion agreed that Macragge was the system most immediately threatened by Hive Fleet Behemoth. Macragge itself, already well-protected, was being even more heavily fortified and would be held tenaciously by the Ultramarines and planetary defense auxilia until the combined Ultramar and Imperial fleet arrived to take on the hive fleet.
A month later the Tyranids attacked Macragge, and a fleet of bio-ships now numbering well over a thousand vessels swept aside attacks by Ultramarines' strike cruisers defending the outlying worlds as they pushed in-system. A large section of the Tyranid fleet then descended upon the garden world of Prandium, a paradise once referred to as the jewel in Ultramar's crown, and left a barren ruin in its wake.
Despite Kryptman's warnings, Calgar was shocked to the core by the fate of Prandium. With no sign of the Imperial fleet from Bakka, he was forced to use the Ultramar fleet in a risky ploy. By leaving Macragge and retreating out-system, Calgar drew the Tyranids onto the defenses of Macragge as they sought to encircle and invade it. The Ultramar fleet struck the aliens while they were spread out and vulnerable, successfully carving a bloody swathe through the bio-ships as Calgar tried to fight his way back through to the protection of the big guns of Macragge.
The Second Tyrannic War Edit
A New Threat Edit
Late in 997.M41, contact was lost with several systems in Segmentum Tempestus. Lord Inquisitor Kryptman picked up on the tell-tale signs of Tyranid invasion well before his contemporaries in the Ordo Xenos. Having fought the Tyranids for over two and a half centuries, Kryptman knew full well that they excelled at adapting and evolving, and this held just as true for the strategies of the hive fleets. So it was that the infamous Kryptman Census was implemented, a grand Astrotelepathic augury that eventually made contact with every documented world on the fringes of the Imperium. The census saw dozens of high-grade Astropaths burned out under the strain, their minds ruined forever by their attempts to reach far-flung worlds that had not been contacted for hundreds of years. But as the weeks turned into months and the worlds that ceased to respond began to form a pattern, Kryptman was able to chart the approach of a new hive fleet of terrifying size.
This pattern threw the normally unflappable Kryptman into a profound state of apprehension. The worlds with which they lost contact spanned Segmentums Tempestus, Ultima and Solar, indicative of a galaxy-wide offensive that had already claimed the lives of billions. More disturbing still was the realization that this hive fleet was concentrated below the galactic plane, attacking through the underbelly of the Imperium instead of the battle-hardened Eastern Fringe.
But that was not all. Codenamed Leviathan, the principle attack of this hive fleet formed two great tendrils hundreds of light years apart. Slowly, but with gathering speed, contact was lost with the worlds in the great tract of space between the prongs of this forked attack. Strangely, traffic still passed from those worlds to the deeper regions of Segmentum Tempestus, oblivious of their impending doom. There could be only one conclusion. The psychic void that accompanied the Tyranids had grown so strong that it spanned the vast distance between the two tendrils, completely blocking off any contact with that area of space and making it impossible for reinforcements to navigate through the Warp toward the beleaguered systems. The jaws of Leviathan were open wide, cutting off an enormous section of Imperial space that, should those jaws close, it could then devour at its leisure.
Kryptman knew that unless one of the main tendrils of attack was destroyed the lives of all those in this stranded region of space were forfeit. It mattered not how many reinforcements were mustered, if they could not dissipate the smothering shadow over the guiding light of the Astronomicon they would not arrive at all. Worse still, the projected course of the new hive fleet's invasion would eventually lead it into the heart of the Segmentum Solar, the birthplace of the Imperium and seat of the God-Emperor himself. But the victim systems were not without their defenses. Tarsis Ultra; a fertile and devout planet that stood directly in the path of one of the tendrils of Leviathan, was host to a company of Ultramarines who were honoring an ancient pledge to defend it. The Mortifactors Chapter, based on the nearby night world of Posul, joined the Ultramarines in their preparations to stand before the encroaching Hive Fleets. Deathwatch Kill-teams were dispatched to the Tarsis sector, led by Kryptman himself; the better to learn about the foe and defeat it with cunning as well as force.
The Defense of Tarsis Ultra Edit
Most of the Imperial armies reached the Tarsis sector scant weeks before the Tyranids. The Ultramarine veterans drilled the Imperial Guard and Planetary Defense legions stationed there in anti-Tyranid doctrine as the teeth of winter begun to bite, and a fleet was assembled above the planet to repel the bio-ships of the invaders. Then the snows came, and with them, a torrential rain of spores.
The Imperial forces fought a fighting retreat in the face of the unimaginable vastness of the Tyranids swarm, falling back towards the core planet of the system, where there was a desperate final battle. Tarsis Ultra was under siege for several weeks, the defenders only just managing to hold back the alien menace under the command of Uriel Ventris of the Ultramarines 4th Company and, later, Kryptman himself. But despite the defenders fighting to deadly effect, the numberless aliens kept on coming. It was only when Ventris and his Kill-team captured a Lictor from the original wave of the invasion that the tide began to turn.
With the Lictor's genetic code, Magos Biologis Locard - a gifted scientist and member of Kryptman's staff - reverse-engineered a biological plague that could destroy the Tyranids if delivered to the heart of their swarm. Captain Ventris undertook this perilous task, leading the Deathwatch into the heart of the alien fleet and delivering the plague-toxins into the Norn Queen itself. At first, nothing happened, and the Imperials upon Tarsis began to believe that all was lost. Slowly at first, but with gathering speed, the Tyranids began to fall upon each other, their synaptic control stripped away. The Imperial counter-offensive destroyed thousands of Tyranids on the fields of Tarsis Ultra, and the invasion was stymied once and for all.
The Unstoppable Advance Edit
After the dissipation of the tendril of Leviathan pushing toward Terra, the worlds in the great tract of space between the jaws of Leviathan began to register on Imperial augurs once more. Kryptman's plan to reestablish contact had worked. But the relief was short-lived, for reports of the slaughter of whole systems that the Shadow had covered began to trickle into the datacores of the Ordo Xenos.
Valedor, a world populated largely by pilgrims and sackcloth-robed monks, had been overrun in a matter of hours. Rivers of blood now stained the naves and cloisters of its cathedrals. St. Capilene, another Ecclesiarchy-controlled world defended by the Sisters of Battle, had held out bravely for weeks, falling a mere handful of days before the Tyranids were driven off at Tarsis Ultra. Now its holy soil belonged to the alien; its architectural masterpieces torn down and its missionaries devoured and reconstituted as yet more alien beasts. The message inherent in these new conquests spread through the Imperial ranks like a disease - Faith was no defense against the alien.
The morale of Imperial forces began to plunge as more Imperial worlds were consumed. Kryptman and his allies could not be everywhere at once, and with every world devoured by the Tyranid swarm the hive fleet grew stronger. Forces could not be spared from the east as a burgeoning Ork Waagh! from the empire of the Arch-arsonist of Charadon took advantage of the lessening presence of Ultramarines on the borders of their territory.
With a grim finality, the venerable Inquisitor Kryptman ordered that a galactic cordon be established. His plan was that a band of worlds should be evacuated across the path of Leviathan's main advance, with many of them razed to the ground in order to deny the hive fleet any further raw materials for its ships. This would slow its advance long enough for Battlefleets Solar and Tempestus to muster. Any worlds already under invasion within the bounds of this cordon were to undergo Exterminatus just at the point when the Tyranids descended to feed upon the doomed populace. Kryptman theorized that in this manner the swarms would expend great resource to claim a world, only to have every living thing upon it reduced to ash by barrages of cyclonic torpedoes and virus bombs. With one stark and callous decision, Kryptman had condemned billions of souls to extermination. To this day it remains the single largest act of genocide ever inflicted upon the Imperium upon its own since the Horus Heresy.
The decision to abandon hundreds of worlds in the face of the alien advance was met with howls of outrage. Many influential Inquisitors called for Kryptman to be declared Excommunicate Traitorus. When these barren worlds were swiftly claimed by the Orks migrating ahead of the Tyranid invasion, Kryptman's detractors cursed him for a radical, a traitor and a fool. A Carta Extremis was issued, stripping him of his title and forcing him into hiding as a criminal of the worst kind.
However, the fact remained that the inexorable advance of Leviathan was slowing to a crawl. Amongst the abandoned worlds was Tesla Prime, a weapons testing planet once controlled by the Adeptus Mechanicus of Gryphonne IV and now lay in the hands of the Orks. The Greenskin occupiers were delighted to lay their hands on a deserted planet full of extremely destructive and unreliable weaponry, and great blossoms of fire could be seen from space as they 'tested' their new toys.
When the great bio-ships of Leviathan descended upon Tesla Prime, they got far more than they bargained for. The raging war between Ork and Tyranid, monitored in the troubled dreams of the Astropaths still loyal to Kryptman, seemed to be exhausting a high percentage of both of the invading races. Even on the nearby agri-world of Rigant, a once-peaceful planet of golden plains and little else, a battle of monumental scale was taking place between the two alien forces. This discovery, and the lessons learnt from the insidious advance of Kraken, were to prove vital to the desperate Kryptman's strategy.