Hi, thought I'd use this thread to take a look at the various chaos/renegade characters given to us by the Black Library and what an aspring Black Crusade GM might find useful in the books in which they feature.
1. Zygmund Molotch - Evil Genius extraordinaire. Possible Inspiration: Professor Moriarty of Sherlock Holmes
Despite being effectively the main antagonist in the Ravenor series, Zygmund only comes into his own in one incredible scene in the third book, Ravenor Rogue, when he clearly shows the true extent of his malign genius. I expect him to be the mold for many would be diabolical masterminds to come. He also illustrates that you don't have to be a superhuman or obvious macho bad-ass to be profoundly scary, even when pitted against an Inquisitorial warband. The series is also worth noting for its introduction of Eunica, a way to ultimate power through esoteric means that does not require the blessings of the Dark Gods.
2. Talos, Night Lord - The Dark Mirror
The protagonist in Aaeron Demiski Bowden's incredible Soul Hunter, Talos is perhaps the purest example of an anti-hero, in that in terms of personality, he's not a million miles removed from marines such as Loken or even Uriel Ventris. The power level in Soul Hunter, is in my mind, the closest out of all the Chaos Space Marine heavy books, closest to what I see as a typical "Black Crusade" campaign, if everyone wishes to play Chaos Space Marines.
3. Honsou, Iron Warrior - The outcast
Honsou, the main character in Graham McNeil's excellent Storm of Iron and who features in several short stories and later becomes the main antagonist in the Uriel Ventris/Ultramarines series, is interesting for two main reasons. The first is that his story could well be that of a Black Crusade character, rising up in the ranks before eventually becoming head of his own Chaos invasion force. The second is his drive comes from flaws that regularly have dramatic consequences. For example, in Dead Sky, Black Sun, his refusal to tithe geneseed to other Grand Companies, costs him most of his force and the Iron Warriors a sizable chunk of their numbers and their ability to replenish casualties.
4. Marduk Word Bearer - The betrayed
Despite being clearly subordinate to his superiors, (his Dark Apostle in Dark Apostle) and later Erebus in Dark Creed, the Dark trilogy by Anthony Reynolds, shows us a potential example of Black Crusade at its most Epic. Marduk, although perhaps less interesting than Talos or Honsou (by virtue of being a more generic ambitious evil warlord), has vast resources at his disposal and participates in conflicts that have the fate of the galaxy in the balance and result in the deaths of billions. Here in this series, you can see a good example of how betrayal occurs and is resolved in the context of a large and powerful Chaos Warband.
5. Golgoth - human warlord (Daemon World) - The Oddball
Ben Counter's excellent Daemon World provides some great insight into running a radically different form of Black Crusade chronicle, one as its name suggests, having the players start out as tribesmen on a daemonworld. Depending on player and GM choices, this approach could be used to provide deep background prior to being inducted into a Chaos Legion or could serve as an entire campaign in its own right, with the players looking to other worlds, once they have conquered their own. Golgoth's path to power and its calmitious consequences can serve as the spring board for GMs, thinking of creating a volatile situation in which the actions of the player characters can be magnified a thousand-fold.
6. Zhao Sahaal - The insurrectionist
Perhaps the most emotionally disturbed of the lot, Sahaal manages to at times express a certain nobility, while laying waste to the forces of the false Emperor. In Lord of the Night, despite being isolated on an Imperial world, he manages to reduce a Hive to utter vulnerability. A major theme is that Sahaal is being manipulated by forces unknown to him and this combined with a horrific revelation, further erodes his fragile sanity.
Worthy mention: Eisenhorn. The cult dedicated to obtaining the Necroteuch is a good example of a potential Black Crusade Cabal. With an interesting mix of characters of varying power levels, (psyker, Chaos Space Marine, archeologists) and a concrete goal that is achievable and offers undreamt of power.