Ardan, The Scout

Scythe Scouts in close quarter fight, Space Hulk Expansion.

The Inspiration (the very images which caused me to begin the Scythes of the Emperor in 1997 even..) In the artwork you can see the original style of SM Scouts, the flowing arm cloth, half power armour carapace. Mohawks and so on. This led me to think, I need at least one example of the Scouts. In doing so I thought about scaling him right up, to the heights similar to that of my future Marine work. But, I decided against that, to focus on his enhanced physique sure.. but ultimately denied full emergence as a complete bio-enhanced marine and therefore, be slightly shorter in stature to his fully armoured brothers.

Ardan painted, Front Ardan painted, Rear

Ardan, sole survivor from the Tenth Company of the Scythes, 1st Platoon, Fourth Squad.
Based upon the imagery of Scouts from Tyranid Attack, Lost Patrol and Adv. Space Crusade era.

In current times, since the Fall, he is the only Scout among the Astartes survivors. Ardan has long put aside his original tunic, much of it rags after several years of Tyrannic Warfare. Armor wise he has only one pauldron left from the original armor and his left knee plate is reinforced with a trophy, chitin from a Lictor, which even today impresses his Brothers no end. Retaining his original Bolt Pistol and Chainsword, freshly issued from the Chapter Forge on Sotha before the Fall, one can see Ardan has a deep sense of connection to these items and armor by the manner in which he tends to them. The necessity of eventual replacement seems far removed concept to him.


Snap rolling aside by intuition alone, Ardan avoided the double strike of twin mantid-talons. But only just, his left pauldron ripped away, rent straight through the Chapter emblem artwork. He shouted out in anguish, feeling a deep level of dismay at the loss, as if a limb had been torn away. The Lictor stepped back to pounce anew, but found it’s prey stationary and snarling back. Before even a chance too finish the human occurred to it, the bipedal mammal launched it’s own attack. Seeing the folly in this, the Lictor let the play thing come; parrying each swipe of the small creature’s buzzing metal talon despite being wielded with some expertise and unexpected ferocity.

All too late, the Tyranid realised, Ardan had not meant to lay it low with a flurry of blows. No, the parries had allowed the mammal in close; and now, having clambered upon the Tyranid’s upper torso, the Scout reared back swiftly. Ardan drew forth, primed then shoved a cylindrical object straight into the sensitive maw of the Lictor with a single fluid motion. Mashed sensory tendrils recoiled in pain, the odd mix of human blood and the tang of machined metal were the last sensations the alien ever knew; the explosion obliterating the alien’s bulbous head across the jungle floor. Ardan himself was knocked across the clearing, but rolled through the fall, rising up smartly, although slightly singed.

Observing the kill for a moment, the Scout walked back with a purpose whilst drawing a mono-molecular blade from it’s sheath. Carving carefully, Adran removed his coup from the alien corpse with a skinner’s eye.  The chitinous plate would be a small but satisfying compensation for the loss of his original Chapter emblem.


Ardan WiP, Oblique Ardan WiP, Front Ardan Comparisons

Overall, for a Scout, he is heavily equipped with Enhanced Fragmentation grenades and Krak Grenades (The original ‘coin’ grenades having proven largely ineffectual against the Tyranid). The kitbag he utilises on Hiveship raids, contains a myriad of traps and explosives designed solely for eradication of Tyrannic organisms. Similarly Ardan’s ammunition is a myriad of personally crafted rounds, from Chitin piercing, Biophage and even High Explosive rounds. Whilst not a practice promoted within the original Chapter, his success rate speaks volumes for his craftsmanship. Recently, he made the addition of a Melta Bomb (non-standard), his only explanation being; “They’ve gotten bigger”. Most suspect it is a last resort; his death, when it comes, shall be a final defiant act.

Since his biological enhancement never reached it’s full potential before the Fall however, there is clearly an underlying tone of a Marine realising he will only ever be, half what his brothers are. Any spite over this issue seems redirected upon the Tyranid and not his own thankfully. It has to be said, it clearly does not affect his combat ability. Further, his tactics and prowess are utterly lethal, honed against some of the most dangerous creatures in known space. In the training halls of their only Gladius Frigate, he is a match for any of the Battle Brothers. With remarkable agility, borne of heightened reflexes, he can dodge strikes that would invariably kill him if they landed. Which is no surprise given the foe he continually seeks to fight.

Ardan remains one of the most accomplished members of the Survivors and an exceptional point man during Hiveship raids and Counter-Insurgent Tyranid hunting that make up the Tenax’s Salvation Team.



About Sebastian

Site owner and creator, Sebastian Stuart has been updating and maintaining the Scythes of the Emperor webpage since 1997. He is canonised as 'ForgeMaster Sebastion' by Richard Williams and LJ Goulding in the Scythes of the Emperor novels by Black Library.