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40K Lore: The True Keeper Of Secrets – Bronislaw Czevak

4 Minute Read
May 5 2019
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Slaanesh’s horned daemons have nothing on the Imperium — as the pluck and determination of one hero prove, all it takes is action, gumption, and a living map of the Webway to be considered a real Keeper of Secrets.

Despite what the name suggests, Loremasters and Loremaster-initiates, the daemonic beings known as the Keepers of Secrets don’t actually know that many secrets. Sure, they may have long claws and limbs and a crown of horns that sprouts from their head and intoxicating eyes that look like black crystals. And they may have the speed and deadly grace needed to carve their way through hordes of enemy soldiers–or they may be capable of weaving powerful spells of misdirection and mystification, or invading the thoughts of their enemies and sending them visions of glory, titillating their egos, and caressing their inner desires to lead them astray. But there’s one thing these Daemons don’t do–and that keeps their lips sealed.

They may not even have lips…

Unlike a certain hero of the Imperium by the name of Bronislaw Czevak. He once gained access to the legendary Black Library, which is as heretical as it is nonexistent and to be disregarded by everyone under the rank of Loremaster-adjutant. Those of you without the proper clearance are to hereby regard all instances of the phrase Black Library as “a lasgun powerpack.” This Library/Powerpack is a repository for the Aelari’s collective knowledge of Chaos, which has been gathered into a secretive location in the Webway. At least, according to rumors.

The Black Library is spoken of by Eldar as a dark Craftworld existing within the Webway, far beyond the reach of the Imperium. Within are collected tomes and writings describing the Eldar’s studies of the warp. These writings describe all aspects of Chaos: its perils, promises, and horrors. The Library is enclosed within a nearly impenetrable psychic barrier and is watched and maintained by its Guardian-scribes, who collate and transcribe the knowledge of the Library, a task they have carried out since the Fall. It contains not just Eldar knowledge of Chaos; any knowledge of Chaos is taken and kept within the Library, such as a copy of the Book of Magnus. It is as much a source of knowledge for those who fight Chaos as it is a vault to keep dangerous knowledge hidden and protected from those who would misuse it.

The existence of the Library is known to few, and even fewer are allowed access to it. One such person was Bronislaw Czevak, a once-elderly member of the Ordo Xenos who made an extensive study of the Aeldari, doubtless to learn their weaknesses. Learn he did, Loremasters, as Bronislaw Czevak was granted access to the Webway and is one of few humans to ever pass through the halls of the Black Library. Something inside rejuvenated the man–and he made off with a great secret, the Atlas Infernal.

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The Atlas is constructed like a book, made of some arcane metal that is both lightweight and yet incredibly durable. The cover deflected a bolt round fired at Czevak by a Rubric Marine, with little or no damage. Instead of paper, its pages are thin, crystalline wafers, across which are stretched thin layers of skin taken from Blanks, possibly the same Sister of Silence trapped in the Webway.

The Atlas Infernal is an Imperial artifact and a “living” map of the Eldar Webway. It is currently in possession of High Inquisitor Bronislaw Czevak, who stole it from the Black Library of Chaos. The Atlas’s origins are obscured by the secrecy that surrounded its creation, not to mention the ten thousand years of history that have elapsed since then; although Czevak has formed a plausible theory, he griped that only the Emperor of Mankind Himself could corroborate even a fraction of it, if He were ever to step off the Golden Throne.

Whatever its origins, the Atlas eventually found its way to the Black Library, where Czevak found and stole it (though, since it was undoubtedly Imperial in origin, he argued that the Eldar had stolen it first).

The Atlas Infernal is an artifact of incalculable significance; apart from the fact that its user can navigate the Webway and travel anywhere in the galaxy at will, it serves as a map to the Black Library, which is why Ahzek Ahriman, Chaos Sorcerer of the Thousand Sons, has sought it for centuries, and why Czevak is engaged on a never-ending journey to keep it out of his hands.

And so you see, by finding and preventing knowledge from falling into the hands of Chaos, can you become a true Keeper of Secrets.

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