The shadowy nemesis, Somnius Halbrel
At first glance, the Heretek seems to appear as any other member of the Adeptus Mechanicus and is clad in the crimson robes of their order. Only upon closer inspection is the heretical truth revealed.
The Heretek’s body is covered in all sorts of runic scarring, illegal augmentations, and blasphemous genetic modifications. He seems to almost hiss when speaking, his serpentine tongue lashing back and forth between needle-like teeth.
He is heavily armoured and may still carry an arm-mounted plasma pistol. He is regularly surrounded by a small retinue of initiates that he has corrupted to his cause. The Heretek has recently lost his left arm. What procedures he has undergone – if any – to repair the damage is unknown.
First encountered by the acolytes on Desoleum, the Heretek seems to be involved in all sorts of nefarious activities including daemonology and the smuggling of heretical and xenos artifacts.
Under Port Gyre, the acolytes witnessed the Heretek attempting to control The Crow Father‘s daemonhost using arcane rituals and chaos magicks. It is assumed that the Heretek was involved in the creation of the host or in a possible transaction to acquire it. During the clash against the daemon, the Heretek managed to escape from the acolytes’ grasp.
Later, after recovering a dataslate from a group of Inheritors aboard The Oath Unspoken, the acolytes learned that the Heretek was crucial in refining the techniques of processing the cult’s bizarre xenos artifacts into a liquid called the Blood of Izumat. It is believed that this substance had psychoactive properties and was key in the summoning ceremonies that brought forth Izumat, the Crow Father again, deep within Thaur’s catacombs.
Ten years after the Thaurian Incident, Valdane’s acolytes encountered traces of the Heretek again. In a vid-log recovered from a servitor aboard the doomed Combine refinery Tertia-12, the acolytes learned that the Heretek has involved himself in some way with genestealer hybrids.
In their subsequent investigation of Praxos Station, they learn the creature’s true name is Somnius Halbrel. Although the specifics are unclear, Halbrel had been brought in by the hybrids to help them in some way – possibly to spread their taint across Askellon. His exact goals remain unknown.
In the mines deep inside Praxos, the acolytes got a first-hand visual confirmation of the Heretek’s presence for the first time in over a decade. During the ensuing “Battle of Praxos”, Halbrel again managed to slip their grasp.
Whether or not he managed to escape Praxos Station is currently unknown.