Warhammer 40K: Technoarchaeologist Arkhan Land
Today we look into the life of one of the Imperium’s greatest curious minds, Arkhan Land – blessed be his name.
Arkhan Land was one of the most legendary and gifted members of the Mechanicum even in the age of the Great Crusade. By the age of five, he could speak over 50 dialects and quickly became a renowned Tech-Priest who was able to successfully navigate the hazardous catacombs and tech-vaults beneath Mars’ surface and recover STC fragments and artifacts. Known to the greater Mechanicum as an unparalleled genius but also arrogant and disrespectful, he was also notable for having few outward bionic enhancements.
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. In the 41st Millennium, some sources incorrectly state he died before seeing the practical implementation of the anti-gravitic plates he discovered.
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.
Land revered the Emperor as the Omnissiah, and as such stayed loyal to him during the Horus Heresy. He was evacuated from Mars by Sergeant Nicanor Tullus of the Imperial Fists on the orders of First Captain Sigismund. As Land and Tullus made their way to the lander that would take them to safety, they were attacked by a Vorax Class Robot sent by the Dark Mechanicum to kill Land rather than let his talents be removed to Terra. Tullus gave his life to buy Land the time to escape along with other loyalist Tech-Priests.
Although he and Fabricator General Kane shared a mutual disdain for one another, Land’s knowledge of forbidden weaponization gleaned from the Hexarchion Vaults and good standing with the Custodes prompted Kane to seek his assistance in the ascension of Magos Domina Hieronyma into the Archimandrite. He accompanied the Archimandrite into the webway, bringing his personal Grav-Raider and Psyber-Monkey Sapien with him. When they arrived in Calastar as it was falling to the enemy, Land was visibly shaken by the sight of daemons.
Following the Webway War, Land began spending much time with fellow veteran Dominion Zephon of the Blood Angels. Zephon’s bionic limbs were constantly rejected by his body, so Land agreed to repair them. To bypass the bodily rejection, Land inserted fragments of a Dark Age of Technology-era Artificial Intelligence into Zephon’s limbs and brain. The operation was a success and Zephon’s limbs were finally accepted by his body, and in exchange Land demanded an audience with Sanguinius likely to lobby for the reclamation of Mars from the Dark Mechanicus.
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.
Landites, also known as Landists, are a sub-cult within the Adeptus Mechanicus who are disciples of the Techno-archaeologist Arkhan Land following his discovery of STC knowledge in the Librarius Omnis, which in turn led to the creation of the Land Raider vehicles. They are known to continue their founder’s mission and research the many potential variants of Land’s discovery which in turn led to the development of both the Prometheus and Helios patterns.
Within the inner circle of the Landist cult, the most senior of Mechanicus artisans are rumored to have evidence of a new vehicle but are keeping their discovery a secret. These rumors include that the cult’s esoteric research produced an armored vehicle during the Great Crusade that was heavier than a Predator but lighter than a Land Raider.
Both the Sicaran and the Kratos tanks are possible fruits of the Landite’s efforts.
These claims brought a dispute from others within the hierarchy of the Adeptus Mechanicus, which led to the Landites being declared techno-heretics in M39. This saw several of their members being arrested and condemned to Arco-flagellation for their crimes. Since that time, the surviving Landists have become very secretive about their work, though they have come to believe that the missing pattern for the mysterious vehicle is hidden on a microscopic level within the blueprints of the Land Raider. Many of the Landite disciples have become obsessed in this quest but so far, the missing pattern eludes them and remains an enigma to the Imperium at large.
All Hail the Omnissiah!