“‘If you set yourself against me you will die, it is inevitable.”
Brother Missionary Coriolanus Vestra was a loyal, even revered, Imperial Missionary who fought to bring the light of the Emperor to those who knew it not. His zeal was marked by his superiors---Cardinal Fortis noted on several occasions how Vestra undertook missions in totally uncharted regions of space, always returning to bring news of thousands of new followers of the Imperial Creed. The final mission undertaken by Coriolanus Vestra records that he ventured into the Halo Stars in search of human communities lost for millennia. He did not return and was presumed to have perished.
What exactly occurred to Vestra on his journey into the Halo Stars is not known, but it can be easily inferred that something occurred that caused him to break his faith and turn him against the Imperium that he had so devoutly served. The fact that Vestra uses the phrase “bathed in the light of the black sun” in some of his blasphemous addresses, has been the focus of much analysis and may pertain to some dark revelation that turned Vestra into the arch-heretic he is today.
Fifty years after his disappearance, Coriolanus Vestra secretly returned to Imperial space. He slipped onto the world of Lassiv in distant Hecuba, a disheveled shadow among many. Two years of meticulous and brutal endeavor saw Vestra dedicating Lassiv and the souls of its people to the ruination of the Emperor’s realm from beneath a banner topped with the planetary governor’s severed head. It was not, however, until after ten more years, three befouled worlds, and countless acts of heresy that the true identity of this arch-corruptor was uncovered. The anger and shame of the Ecclesiarchy has not abated in the eight decades that have passed since that revelation.
Coriolanus Vestra’s chief treachery is his association with a great number of cults and heretical organizations, including the Serrated Query, the Brotherhood of the Horned Darkness, the Pale Throng, and the Masqued of Malfi amongst many more. He is, however, only ever a peripheral figure and an intermediary who prefers to work alone as a freelance agent of sorts for the duration of a particular task or objective. He often incites rebellion through demagoguery and acts as a go-between and facilitator for different heretical and malefic cults in order to create a larger force of disorder. He is also responsible for the corruption of an Adorian sect of the Cult Imperialis, founding of the Bearers of Mirrored Visage and inciting the second rebellion of The Lost on Baraspine.
Coriolanus Vestra’s spite and zeal in persecuting his personal war against the Imperium cannot be doubted. It is unknown if Vestra, beyond a desire to simply bring anarchy and destruction, has any discernable grand scheme.