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.
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?
Thanks to Gary Walker from Leicester All Scars!