Lord Commander of the Lamenters, The Luminary.
Zayin was inducted on a small agri-world during the Lamenter’s galactic core crusade some three hundred years before arriving in the Badab System to join the Maelstrom Warders. Through sheer force of will, this singular child was able to complete a task that not even a squad of Space Marines was capable, a deed worthy enough to be admitted into the ranks of the Lamenters. Just before the onset of the Badab War, Zayin Esh was made a humble Reserve Captain in the 6th company. His career was typical for an Adeptus Astartes at his age: he had left the scout company early due to dwindling numbers, serving as a battleline marine, a sergeant, then a company Lieutenant, but no one would have ever thought him worthy of leading the chapter.
This assumption was not based on any inability. Zayin is a leader, through and through. He earned his position as a captain, many believing he would rise through the ranks to a company of prestige, but Zayin had not served with the first company veterans. He had not heaped for himself uncountable victories or trinkets of valor, the usual trappings of a rising chapter master. Those who had served side by side with him knew he was an inspiring mentor, an extremely competent warrior, but also he was persistent, focused, patient, passionate, and innovative.
During the Minotaurs siege of the Lamenters chapter barque, Mater Lachrymarum, Chapter Master Malakim Phoros was lost abruptly during an explosive decompression. Upon his loss, the tide of the battle quickly shifted to the Minotaurs favor. As the only remaining officer, Sixth Company Captain Zayin Esh was thrust into a desperate situation. Esh took charge of the remnant Lamenters forces in the wake of the calamitous loss of Phoros, but the momentum was already lost, the Lamenters collective will was broken.
Rallying the disheartened elements of the Chapter’s shattered companies, Zayin lead them to the gene-seed vault aboard the barque. Esh watched his brother’s die around them, their chapter dwindling with every minute they held out. Despite their lack of ammo and their depleted equipment, every remaining member of the chapter fought back against the sheer brutality and overwhelming numbers of the Minotaur’s assault. Funneling theMinotaurs into a killzone, the Gene-Seed’s only entrance, the Lamenters were able to extract a bloody toll on the notoriously aggressive chapter. But, the Lamenters losses were still mounting. Protecting the Gene-seed vault, the future of their chapter, and watching his brothers die ultimately compelled Zayin to surrender the battle for fear of losing everything over what amounted to a matter of pride. The future of the Lamenters needed to be safeguarded at any cost, even surrender.
During the latter stages of the Badab War, while interred on the prison hulk above Sagan II, the incarcerated Lamenters began to lose their sanity. The hulk, forever shrouded on the night side of the planet, caused a deep seeded hatred to swell within the hearts of the chapter. The Black Rage had already manifested within their ranks over the course of the Badab War, with those affected by it having sacrificed themselves over the course of the war. If the Lamenters were not careful they could succumb to its effects behind bars. Zayin gathered the remnants the Calix priesthood and began the chapter in discipline building techniques that would aid in calming their uneasy souls. Zayin fostered a mutual support between the battle brothers and encouraged them to support one another and stay active, to keep their thoughts on other activities rather than dwell on a situation they could not change. He guided them through mediation and remained with them through each of their darkest moments. When sanity and reason seemed far away, Zayin guided his brothers back from that brink. When not fighting their own psyches, the Lamenters were being beaten by the Minotaurs guards, who had been brutal in their dealings with the disgraced chapter, looking down on them for their surrender and rebellion. For all that were beaten, Zayin was there as a calming voice during their recovery. Esh worked tirelessly to keep what little morale remained within the Lamenters ranks.
Over the grueling months of their internment, the Lamenters elected Zayin as interim commander of the three hundred and eleven battle brothers remaining. The men looked up to Zayin for guidance and fellowship earning him the title, The Luminary. Zayin had proven himself capable of curbing their innermost demons and being a spiritual leader, earning the respect and admiration of his men. Zayin stood up as a voice for the chapter in all its dealings while imprisoned. Only Zayin and his chief vassel, Almund, would be allowed to maintain the precious gene-seed of the chapter, elected as such by the men, a duty Zayin embraced with great honor. Within those vaults, Esh would dedicate himself to preserving a future for his chapter and seeing it into better fortunes – if the Emperor permitted the chapter to endure.
With the loss of former Chapter Master Malakim Phoros was also the loss of many of the chapters most prized heirlooms including the Glaive Encarmine, the Catechist, an Iron Halo, and Malakim’s own, unique artificer armor. The history lost with these items was a blow to the Chapter. Like Zayin, the chapter is birthing a new history and with this new history is Zayin’s own personal weapon, a double-headed axe called Misery’s End.