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St Lukian

A portrait of Saint Lukian.

Saint Lukian (Often known as Saint Lukian the Pious) was a humble soldier in the 108th Imperial Guard Army sent to liberate the people of the Severan Dominate from the rule of the former Arch-Cardinal Azariah Severus who had carved out a small empire West of Terra.

Expecting little resistance, the poorly-prepared taskforce was slaughtered at the Battle of Tyrok Fields with only a handful of survivors fleeing the field, including Lukian who rallied the routing troops under the banner of the Cadian 242nd regimental colours. Knowing that it would be weeks before enough soldiers could be mustered to bring the Cardinal to heel, Lukian and his comrades travelled throughout Leonus' Empire, inspiring uprisings and rebellion wherever they went. Famed for his oratory skills, Lukian's speeches could inspire awe or hate, deep introspection or bezerk fury. One by one, the realms of the Dominate rose up against their oppressors and declared their loyalty for the Emperor.

Word soon reached the Cardinal that Lukian was travelling to Leosus, the site of the Cardinal's ecclesiarchal citadel and the lynchpin of his crumbling empire. Determined to let his populace have their first glimpse of their supposed saviour bound in chains and whipped through the streets, he sent out his elite corps of soldiers to bring him to his palace. Soon enough, Lukian arrived in Leosus and was ambushed by the Cardinal's troops and taken to be paraded through the streets, while soldiers whipped the preacher with flails and hurled stones at him. They stuck hooks into his flesh and hung them with weights, driving him onwards with kicks and punches. However, the crowds that lined the streets were sullen and wary- there were no cheers, but there were no cries of condemnation either.

Over an ordeal lasting over six months, he was constantly tortured, deprived of sleep, and had only a handful of water a day to live on, yet all the while he remained defiant. ordered a public trial of the upstart, charging him with blasphemy and heresy, along with treachery, sedition and rebellion for good measure. He wanted Lukian dead, but didn't want to provide the people with a martyr to rally behind. He had to force Lukain to submit, so that he could be killed, painfully and over a long period of time.

The trial was broadcast across all of Severus' domain. After five months, the prosecution had completed its case, and Lukian was allowed to present his defence - the trial had to appear fair after all. For days he spoke; and inflamed countless cities, explaining Severus' tyranny and encouraging the people to rise up in arms. At the end, Severus himself spoke. He said Lukian's own testimony had condemned him, he had admitted his part in the uprisings and had not refuted a single word against him- he was to be taken away to the dungeons. After eight months, Lukian had still not given in to the would-be Cardinal's torturers. When he finally died, his body was maimed beyond recognition, and thrown over the palace's walls to be left to the wolves and vultures. The carrion never had their banquet: the preacher's body disappeared soon after.

However Severus' plan to shame Lukian backfired- in allowing him to speak, he allowed his message to spread further across his realm than it would ever have done otherwise. On the proclamation of Lukian's death, the Severan Dominate erupted into revolt. Almost as one, the tyrant's grip on city after city was overthrown. The palace itself was stormed, and traitors in his household opened the gates to let them in. Severus made his way to the landing pad, where he had a transport ready to evacuate should the need arise but he never made it.

Again, his own closest followers betrayed him, hoping to save themselves from the savagery of the mob. Warned of Severus' imminent departure, the inhabitants of Leosus surrounded the landing pad. The great mob, supposedly led by the resurrected Lukian himself, threw themselves at its electrified walls until the generators short-circuited. Severus never reached the safety of his plane, the mob found him even as he was boarding. Swallowed up in a mass of hundreds of thousands of former slaves crying for revenge and his blood, he was torn apart limb for limb.

When words of the overthrow of the dominate reached Terra, the Emperor himself declared Lukian to be a saint and ordered that an entire city be created to honour his memory. This city was Maccabia, home of the Maccabian Janissaries.