Monday, February 16, 2015

Cypher's Identity Revelaed?



Do we have a clue now who Cypher really is?

This is a reprint of a blog from Leicester All Scars, a gaming blog.  It is really a fantastic piece and I hope you will all enjoy it as much as I did.  

PictureMy kit based Cypher.
Before I explore that point in greater detail, it is worth noting that the Prologue at the beginning of Descent of Angels is Cypher referring to himself before the Heresy. After that Zahariel is the protagonist for both Dark Angel Horus Heresy novels (and one audio book where the then-current Cypher flees from Caliban's ancient terror). Throughout Zahariel is constantly contrasted and often pitted against his grimdark Legion and Chaos.
It is also worth noting that Zahariel is one of three characters in the Horus Heresy confirmed to have both contact with and assistance from the Watchers in the Dark (the others being Primarch Lion El'Johnson & Captain Garviel Loken of the Luna Wolves). Due to the aid of the Watchers in the Dark, Zahariel's power-set accounts for Cypher's tabletop rules, such as his ability to slow time Matrix-style (BS:10, I:8) and his ability to phase through objects (so can escape from pretty much anywhere you lock him up). 


Of course
Zahariel is a Librarian and Cypher's tabletop rules do not have the Pysker rule. However if we view Cypher like the Eldar who are all pyschic, the Pysker rule only applies to those Eldar who use the warp to cast spells. Also the Watchers in the Dark have demonstrated the same powers as Cypher when breaking Loken out of jail.

In the Wilds, Zahariel's apotheosis into Cypher was forseen by the Wachers in the Dark. Even though they warned him to turn back, Zaharial's latent psychic powers manifested fighting the Calibanite Lion, altering his time perception to the point where he could see through the animal's defenses and find an opening. Finally, Zahariel killed it using a secondary ability which allowed him to 'phase' his arm and pistol inside its chest.
Zahariel achievements are an echo of the Lion, but more potent because he is not a Primarch. He also owned his own Lion Sword, a gift from the Lion and a reminder from him that they both killed a Calibanite Lion.

An interesting point pulled from the novels 
Legion and Betrayer, is that a person brought back from the dead becomes a perpetual (John Grammaticus by The Cabal, Selene by Erebus), that could account for his longevity for ten thousand years. Zahariel's refusal to divulge the name of a daemon, Caliban's ancient terror to Luther is an example of Cypher future dealings with Chaos. 

There is a picture of Zahariel and his cousin Nemiel in the hardback edition of "Fallen Angels" by Mike Lee. Zahariel looks like 40k Cypher and has the same pattern of armour. Though this is not entirely conclusive surely the other evidence shows that Librarian Zahariel is Cypher?
Knowing Games Workshop there in fact may NOT be an identity for Cypher after all, keeping his origins shrouded so they can use him as a plot device like in our recent campaign. Who ever Cypher is, I for one cannot wait to learn Zahariel's fate.

Thanks to Gary Walker from Leicester All Scars!

Loken


4 comments:

Daniel Grundy said...

Fairly sure the current cypher (as in the 30K era one) is running round with the pair of pistols with at least some mention of them. So I'm fairly sure the Cypher won't change in the Heresy.

armel said...

Hmmm, not convinced. There are two different cyphers already in the current novels, the previous one who recently died and a newer one, who is also the last survivor of that knights order which was destroyed by the Order shortly before the Emperor came. He seems like a mentor to Zahariel, true, though a mysterious one, but he fits the description as well as Zahariel does. Until that Cypher dies Zahariel is just a disciple, not the new Cypher.
Also, it is possible that the Cypher who's been around for 10k years is actually a line of individuals who have one after the other taken the mantle. Though I doubt it.

Dark Angel 2020 said...

The blogger has taken all of their information on the 1d4chan article on Zahariel, I can recognise my own work. They have only moved a few lines/words here and there and added no new information. You can even go check the page itself and the edit dates.

I have even moved on from that point, and actually believe now that Zahariel would become Epimethius from the Pandorax series, and that Cypher remains that mysterious knight of the Order of Lupus which was an organisation dedicated to collecting and studying the influences of chaos.

Alex Garcia said...

Nailed it.

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