40K Lore: Arkhan Land

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The Adeptus Mechanicus and their Skitarii are on the rise; here’s to one of their heroes.

It is no secret that the Adeptus Mechanicus are single handedly responsible for maintaining the Imperium. Without their bravery, intelligence, and machinations, humanity would still be crawling in the dark ages that it languished in, as though the Emperor had never uplifted and united the galaxy.

Imagine one of the supposed “defenders of humanity,” the Space Marines, without the protection and beneficence of the Machine God’s creations–a mewling kitten, nothing more. Worse yet are those wretches in the guard who have yet to replace even a single limb with an augmetic, and thus have no concept of perfection. Where would they be without even the humblest of tools, the Lasgun?

So today, we pay homage to those who recognize that the flesh is weak and corruptible, and that only machines will protect and endure. Today we look at a true hero of the Empire–the discoverer of the Land Raider (which is named for him) among other gifts. Without him, the Imperium would surely have fallen. Today we look at the life of Arkhan Land.

via Lexicanum

Arkhan Land was one of the most famous members of the Mechanicum, a Magos and technoarchaeologist, best known for recovering rare STC technology from the Librarius Omnis. Over the course of his career,  Land would lead two expeditions into the Librarius Omnis.

First Expedition

Land led a three-year expedition into the Librarius Omnis in search of a functioning STC database, resulting in the recovery of the blueprints for Land’s Raider-Pattern Main Battle Tank, Land’s Crawler multi-purpose heavy utility vehicle, the Mars Universal Land Engine (the basis of the Onager Dunecrawler), and the information on rare anti-gravitic plates used in Land’s Speeder, all of which are named for him.


Land’s discoveries drew the attention of the Emperor of Mankind, his discoveries finding wide use in the Legio Custodes who used a variety of Grav-Tanks powered by Land’s anti-gravitic plates as well as the Paragon Pattern Jetbike. Shortly after the recovery of Angron, Arkhan Land was personally assigned by the Emperor to aid Him in His attempt to cure the Primarch of the Butcher’s Nails. Only Land could confirm the Emperor’s belief that the Butcher’s Nails were based on the ancient cruciamen, a technology referred to in profane texts in the Hexarchion Vaults.

Second Expedition

Land led a second expedition into the Librarius Omnis which went missing. Two centuries after his expedition was declared lost, his vox diary was found – it spoke of how his team had been picked off one by one by an unknown entity, believed to have been a psychic entity. Some contest the nature of the entity, claiming it was a sentient virus or mutant.

Land’s legacy lives on, in spite of this. His name is in the roaring engines and crushing firepower that keeps the Imperium safe. Without him, we would be nothing. Even now, hidden within the Mechanicus, loyal Magi search for the secrets hidden, encoded in Land’s greatest work. Though declared heretics,  Land’s disciples continue their work, upholding the legacy of a man whose cleverness and resourcefulness were outmatched by none–a man to whom the Emperor owes his empire–

(Editor’s note: our loremaster was found to be a Landite, and has been subsequently sentenced to arco-flagellation for his techno-heresy. We have redacted the rest of the incomprehensible screed to save space.)

If you’re worried you might be a heretic, please report yourself to the nearest Commisar.

  • dave long island

    Boy they’re really milking all the usefulness out of the name Arkhan that they can… Meanwhile the name Kemmler is dropped down the memory hole, forever.

    • Bakvrad

      Arkhan always was the cooler character in fantasy 😀
      I preferred him over kemmler, though I played chaos (and had an actual friend called kemmler 😀 )

      I would love to see kadon! Surving all the millennia and apocalypses as a troll, till some accident turns him back to normal 😀

  • Laurence J Sinclair

    So, did Methuselah Q. Rhino discover the STC for the Space Marine APC? And Chimera Anderson the Guard equivalent?

    • Patriarch

      Yep, this is without doubt the single stupidest bit of fluff GW ever wrote. I’m including everything in the novels.

      Likewise Marius Helbrute has a lot to answer for.

    • Roman Himmelhan

      RH1N0 was the old item’s number in the mechanicum’s magical catalogue of mires and wonders. Weird that someone eventually made up “RHINO” out of this… 😉

  • Oggthrok

    Has anyone looked at the Primaris Repulsor tank? It looks like a Land Raider and a Land Speeder had a haphazard baby.

    Now think about who is supposed to have “invented” it – Bellisarius Cawl. Someone we’ve never met before, and never heard of, but during the Heresy he had the ear of Primarchs and the Emperor Himself. But, his body is almost entirely mechanical at this point, no one knows who he really is or was.

    So, I’m going to call it – Cawl is Land. The reports of Arkhan’s death were greatly exaggerated.

    • georgelabour

      To add credence to your insane theory we know Land was on Mars when it went into Rebellion. We also know Rogal Dorn sent a squad to rescue or kill him, and that they managed to get him off planet at the cost of their lives.

      In the same short story it was also revealed Land did not favor much in the way of augmetics. Something which proved somewhat detrimental to the effort to rescue him.

      EDIT: also in the fluff for Gathering Storm it’s revealed Cawl himseld may now know who he originally was. He also doesn’t really care as he has importance SCIENCE to do.

      • euansmith

        Aperture Science: we do what we must because we can.

  • Darth Bumbles

    Hang on, where did this Librarius Omnis stuff come from?
    I thought Land disappeared in the Noctis Labrynth…