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GENESEED (PREDECESSOR):- Dark Angels* FOUNDING:- 23rd Sentinel Founding CHAPTER MASTER:- Grand Master Sephalion CHAPTER WORLD:- Etzabaidat FORTRESS MONASTERY:- Eternal Task MAIN COLOURS:- Iron Grey, Crimson SPECIALITY:- Naval Boarding BATTLE CRY:- Nos vero per bellum/We are cleansed through battle CURRENT STRENGTH:- Full strength (~1000, exact figure unknown) KNOWN DESCENDANTS:- None *See Geneseed, below. Formed during the 23rd Sentinel Founding (Late M.37 or early M.38, depending on sources), the Angels of Contrition are a Dark Angels successor Chapter that have developed a focus on ship-to-ship boarding actions and naval combat. The Chapter maintains a nominal presence on the feudal world Etzabaidat, although outside of recruiting purposes the Chapter remains fleet based. Formed in response to dire portents foretold by the Emperor's Tarot, the Angels of Contrition have made a name for themselves tackling Space Hulks and other Chaos vessels ejected from the Warp near the Eye of Terror in large-scale boarding assaults. The Angels of Contrition wear grey armour, with crimson hands and details; their badge is a downward pointing crimson sword, flanked by two crimson blood drops. Already reeling from six Black Crusades launched by Abaddon, the Imperium's grip on the Segmentum Obscurus was tenuous enough by the middle of the 37th Millennium. The Emperor's Tarot was consulted time and time again, and each reading came with the same dire portents: plans beyond the comprehension of the Imperium, an attack that would leave them trailing in it's wake, confused and bloodied. A rapid reaction force was ordered into creation by the High Lords of Terra, and not long afterwards the Angels of Contrition were created as part of the 23rd Founding. Created from the gene stock of the Imperium's most resolute warriors, the Dark Angels, the Angels of Conviction were given a sizeable fleet, a powerful armoury, a world from which to recruit, and a particular goal: to patrol the Segmentum Obscurus, responding to any confirmed reports of Chaos activity outside of the Cadian Gate, to meet the foes that slipped through the net cast by the Astartes Praeses. It is unsure whether or not the Angels of Contrition were created in time to try and halt the 8th Black Crusade - since accepted as the cause of the readings that led to the creation of the Chapter – but they have nonetheless continued their patrols of the wider Segmentum Obscurus, meeting the forces of Chaos wherever they can be found. Since their inception, the Angels of Contrition have also taken on the more sinister duties of the Unforgiven, hunting down the Fallen that betrayed their progenitor Legion millennia ago. Over the thousands of years since, the Angels of Contrition have forged themselves a reputation of an aloof, distant Chapter that rarely interacts with outside organisations other than the Dark Angels and their other successors. Nonetheless, they have explored and destroyed scores of Space Hulks, and fought in numerous campaigns against the forces of Chaos. Notable victories include the destruction of the Infernal, a Chaos Repulsive-Class Grand Cruiser, in 422.M39; a dozen defeats of Chaos raiders in the final actions of the Gothic War; and their finest hour to date, the assault on the daemon-infested Space Hulk Eternal Perdition in 961.M41, in which the entire Chapter deployed to the Space Hulk, battling through a horde of Nurgle cultists and daemons to destroy the gigantic vessel. The Angels of Contrition have a recognised homeworld in Etzabaidat, a tribaliustic feudal world in a far-flung system on the edges of the Segentum Obscurus. Etzabaidat is a planet split into two distinct environments; the lowlands are a desert wasteland spotted with the ruins of a bygone age, barren and inhabitable, plagued by great seas of radioactive gas that are blown about the planet in swirling storms. Meanwhile, the population of Etzabaidat is divided into a series of city-states known as Hiri-Handiko (high cities), each occupying a separate mountain or mountain range, living off the arable highlands that rise from the tides of gases like islands. Status in Etzabaidat's cultural system can be measured by the location of one's holdings: the wealthy and elite populate the highest reaches of the townships, furthest away from the toxic clouds below, and the population grows poorer as the settlement descends towards the planet's lowlands. With living space on Etzabaidat limited, slums often spring up outside the boundaries of the mountain city's walls, forming sprawling settlements of their own perched precariously on steep slopes. In line with the strains put on their society and the measure of socio-economic status, those who inhabit Etzabaidat worship the stars; each one, they say, is another brave soul ascended above the hellish climates of their homeworld. The emphasis on the cultural ideal of the Lgoera (the ascension) – a belief that only through sacrifice can one provide for themselves and others, an idea in keeping with the planet's limited resources - leads to communities that have tight-knight family institutions. Unlike many feudal worlds, the farmers and providers are found among the nobility rather than the lower class, with especially those producing food to sate the ever-burgeoning populations of their cities given a high status within society. The culture of self-sacrifice also can be seen in Etzabaidat's military traditions, with family members bartering their service and lives in order to secure resources for their families. The city-states are locked in an eternal conflict that consumes the planet; a conflict born of necessity as much as pride or hatred. The farmlands of Etzabaidat are not in abundance, and the planet can only able to support a limited population; wars are fought as much as a method of controlling population growth as they are about trying to acquire more of the limited farmland of the planet. Battles are fought, invariably, as a series of hellish sieges, defending armies largely unwilling to commit their forces to the deadly lowlands, whilst the attacking force tries to force it's way to higher ground before the unpredictable radioactive storms bear down upon them. Occasionally more conventional field battles break out on the lowlands, but prolonged engagements are rare; the lowland atmosphere makes them and unreliable gambit at best, leading to a history of rushed, violent wars. Numerous alliances are formed, usually lasting only as long as the short wars that follow them before dissolving again, and many are shorter still. The Chapter does not maintain a base on the planet itself, preferring to distance itself from the planet's occupants and instead holding a small installation on the largest of Etzabaidat's sixteen moons. All of the remaining moons have been turned into either orbital weapons platforms to defend the planet should it ever come under attack, or docking stations the Chapter uses to make repairs to it's fleet when it returns to the world for recruiting. The natives of Etzabaidat see the Angels of Contrition as Altzairu Aingeruak, steel angels from the stars that come when the most promising of the planet's young warriors ascend to the heavens above, to gain eternal glory in an endless battle that is the reward of those who live proud lives. Etzabaidat culture has a strong emphasis on the pride of the family unit, and so to have a member of the family ascend with the Altzairu Aingeruak is seen as significant proof of the family's worth and esteem, enough in itself to provide a stepping stone into nobility. Despite having an official homeworld, the Chapter is for the most part fleet-based, as befits the task issued to them upon their creation. The Battle Barge Eternal Task functions as the Chapter's mobile fortress-monastery, accompanied by two other Battle Barges (Repentance and Cleansed By Fire) and ten Strike Cruisers, along with numerous Escort vessels. The Hildako The nature of the rapid and brutal ways of war on Etzabaidat have led to a culture among the planet's aspiring warriors of the Hildako-Bizidunak, the dead that walk. Part fuelled by the belief of the honourable death that wars bring, and in part an acknowledgement that to war on Etzabaidat is to invite death upon oneself to an almost-certain degree, those who join the Hildako-Bizidunak give up rights to all their possessions; going so far as to give up their name to be henceforth referred to simply as 'the Hildako', seen no longer as a person but as a living spirit of war. This is done in a raucous funeral ceremony (the Hiltzen) that concludes with the tattooing of tribal masks on to the faces of the newly-made Hildako, marking them among the ranks of the already lost; for to be Hildako is to have forfeited more than your clothes, home, or name; it is to have forfeited your life. Those who pledge themselves to the Hildako-Bizidunak are pledged their city-state, promising to fight for their kin whenever called upon in the deadly battles of Etzabaidat. They take up serrated curved blades known as a Zizalia, going to war clad in nothing but tribal markings painted upon their bodies in ash. In return, their families are provided with food and land until their next generation comes of age; their lives pay for the guarantee of life for their families. It is considered a great honour in Etzabaidat society to join these warrior groups, ensuring sustenance for their families, and freeing up living space and resources from others. The need to tightly regulate population and the benefits conveyed on the family for having a member join the Hildako also has the effect of family members being pushed into the order at absurdly young ages, with many of Etzabaidat's wars being fought by those barely in their teens – or younger. The youngest Hildako in records was the equivalent of six Terran years old. The Chapter's recruits are taken exclusively from the ranks of the Hildako, with the youngest and fiercest of the Hildako-Bizidunak providing the Angels of Contrition with their numbers. Their tattooed faces make for fearsome visages, and their promise to give up their lives for those they lived with on Etzabaidat now becomes a solemn oath to do so for the entire Imperium. Having relinquished their name upon induction into their fearsome order, those Hildako that prove themselves fit to join the Angels of Contrition take a new assumed name; many of the Chapter's recruits choose names styled after the heroes of their original legion, the Dark Angels, leading to names that are often at odds with the warrior's actual heritage, and many of the Chapter's other naming conventions. Since their founding, the Angels of Contrition have assumed a role that focuses on sudden overwhelming displays of strength, which coupled with their fleet-based nature, has gravitated them towards a specialism in large-scale boarding actions of enemy fleet vessels or orbital platforms. They focus on close-range anti-infantry weapons, favouring plasma weapons and flamethrowers; only rarely do the Chapter find themselves facing enemies at range or with significant amounts of heavy armour support, making long range weaponry such as lascannons and missile launchers a rare sight throughout most of the Chapter. Notably, the Chapter's Assault Marines also forgo jump packs, which are obsolete in ship-to-ship boarding actions; they will deploy via drop pods when engaging ground forces. This focus on naval warfare and boarding actions also extends to the way in which the Chapter's Reserve Companies organise themselves, with no Scout Company to speak of; new recruits, labelled Initiates, fight alongside full Battle Brothers in mixed units known as Probator Squads. The Angels of Contrition favour the use of Caestus Assault Rams when boarding hostile vessels, with the Caestus' magna-meltas able to pierce the thickest Space Hulk's armour to leave boarding points for successive waves of Thunderhawks and Stormravens carrying reinforcements. Despite their fleet-bound nature, the Angels of Contrition still maintain a fully-equipped Ravenwing equivalent, the Ghostwing. This fast attack element often forms the core of any efforts made by the Chapter to hunt down the Fallen, along with spearheading any assaults on ground forces that may have retreated from space after assaults by the Angels of Contrition. The Ghostwing also can operate as a scouting force in lieu of the Scout Company in ground engagements. The Chapter armoury operates with more limited tank support than many Chapters; some vehicles are used alongside Ghostwing forces, but generally they are unsuited to boarding actions, and as such the Chapter maintains only a minimum of armoured vehicles. Should the Chapter find itself fighting on a more conventional battlefield, the Chapter employs numerous aircraft from it's fleet to provide ground forces forces with mobility and fire support. The Angels of Contrition do, however, have a strong contingent of Dreadnoughts, with thirty four of the venerable warrior machines as of the start of the 13th Black Crusade – including three of the uncommon Mortis-pattern Dreadnoughts. Unlike the other Chapters stemming from Lion El'Jonson, they also make use of Ironclad Dreadnoughts to provide armoured close-range support, along with flights of Stormraven gunships to ferry these venerable warriors to battle. Straying in places from the guidelines of the Codex Astartes, the Angels of Contrition are for the most part organised in the same manner as many Chapters of the Unforgiven. They are currently led by Grand Master Sephalion, who rules over the Chapter's Inner Circle; consisting of the ten Company Masters, Master Chaplain Alazar, and Master Librarian Tharzial. The 1st Company of the Angels of Contrition, known as the Bloodwing, functions in the same manner as the Deathwing of the Dark Angels; the Angels of Contrition's 2nd Company, the Ghostwing, is their equivalent to the Ravenwing. The 3rd, 4th and 5th Battle Companies are formed in the same manner, a mix of Tactical, Assault and Devastator squads, like any Codex adherent Chapter. The Angels of Contrition's 1st Company, named the Bloodwing, are the Chapter's equivalent to the Deathwing of the Dark Angels. Always found at the forefront of any attack, the Bloodwing (so named for the blood-crimson they paint their armour) are the finest warriors the Chapter has. Unlike the Deathwing, the Bloodwing is not solely comprised of Terminator squads; originally well-equipped with Tactical Dreadnought armour to suit their main occupation, the Bloodwing lost over half it's number during the assault on the Space Hulk Eternal Perdition in 961.M41, with no chance to reclaim the suits before the Space Hulk was destroyed following the overloading of the ancient reactor system at it's core. Forty three suits currently remain to the Chapter, those that survived the Eternal Perdition and the handful of suits that have been obtained since. The rest of the Bloodwing deploys in Veteran squads much like more conventional Chapters. In place of the 2nd Company found in Codex adherent Chapters, the Angels of Contrition operate a Ghostwing that functions largely like the Ravenwing of the Dark Angels. Armoured painted pure white where the rest of the Chapter sports a dull grey, the Ghostwing lead any ground engagements the Angels of Contrition find themselves in, much like the Bloodwing do for boarding actions. When examined closely, it is apparent between the Bikers and the Pilots of the Ghostwing, the Company is kept over-strength, allowing the Ghostwing to strike with the same speed and overbearing force on the ground that the Angels of Contrition utilise in ship-to-ship combat. In purely naval engagements, the Ghostwing often act as attack craft pilots or commanders, working alongside the Chapter's techmarines. Much like the Ravenwing, the Ghostwing hold a position of great honour among the Angels of Contrition that know their true purpose; their function as a rapid attack force means that it often falls on them to chase and capture or destroy any of the Fallen the Chapter come across. There is one main structural difference between the Angels of Contrition and other Dark Angel successor Chapters, found among the reserve companies of the Chapter. Being a Chapter primarily formed for the purpose of large-scale naval boarding actions, the Angels of Contritions have little need for a Scout Company; dedicated scout squads are seen as unnecessary in the tight confines of a Space Hulk, where stealth has less importance than a traditional battlefield; quick application of force is more useful than stealth, as every moment spent on the unpredictable vessels adds to the risk of the Hulk dropping back into Warp space. Instead, the 6th Company has become the Chapter's Assault Reserve Company, and the 7th the Chapter's Devastator Reserve Company. The 8th, 9th and 10th Companies form the Chapter's Tactical Reserve Companies, each formed of Probator Squads, a mix of Tactical Marines acting as both mentors and assessors to Initiates in a similar manner to the Crusader Squads of the Black Templars. In Lion El'Jonson, the Angels of Contrition revere the first among the Emperor's sons, and one of his staunchest supporters. They consider Lion El'Jonson being the first found Primarch to be more than simple coincidence; Lion El'Jonson was destined to be the first among Brothers, and as such is held above the other Primarchs. This has led them to hold a slightly distasteful view on Chapters descended from the other legions, many of whom who they view as noisy upstarts that waste time boasting whilst the Sons of the Lion act. This has earned them no friends among the Astartes outside of the Unforgiven. Like many of the Dark Angels successors, the Angels of Contrition are seen as a very insular Chapter among other Imperial organisations, including other Space Marines Chapters; their fleet-based nature and preference towards naval warfare only serves to heighten this, as they rarely find themselves working in concert with any of these outside organisations. Their view of the Emperor as not a God, but simply the one amongst mankind who best knew the value of sacrifice – the trait held most esteemed in their roots on Etzabaidat – further serves to isolate the Chapter from the wider Imperium. Considering themselves honoured to have joined the descendants of the First Legion, the Angels of Contrition fully embrace their role as one of the Unforgiven, using their fleet-based nature to rapidly redeploy according to any rumoured sightings of one of the Fallen. This, along with their proximity to the Eye of Terror and their experience in destroying Space Hulks and other corrupted ships, has left the Chapter well-versed in combating all forces of the ruinous powers. Their time spent battling Chaos forces has left the Angels of Contrition with a deep-seated mistrust of Abhumans and Radicalists, and they have in the past refused to work alongside forces containing abhuman detachments, or with certain members of the Ordo Malleus who might employ less than pure means in combating the forces of Chaos. It is not only in this that the Angels of Contrition are considered haughty; they rarely interact with their homeworld, considering themselves to have completed their Lgoera and having escaped Etzabaidat's petty struggles. The Chapter embrace the belief of their homeworld that they are the Altzairu Aingeruak, largely keeping to their star-bound fleet, and although their duties require it, the Chapter often express a mild distaste for formulaic ground warfare, prefer to arrive from the stars in trails of exhaust fumes and flames, ending fights rapidly and violently before withdrawing once again to their fleet; this continues even during protracted wars, with the Angels of Contrition often neglecting to deploy permanent ground forces, rather acting as a rapid reaction force striking repeatedly from orbit. A consequence of their roots on Etzabaidat is the Angels of Contrition's somewhat aberrant views on the conflicts the Imperium sees itself drawn into. On a planet where life is often thrown away in bloody battles for little gain, the lower levels of Eztabaidat society have developed a belief that only through testing oneself in the most extreme circumstances can mankind better themselves. Being drawn largely from the poorer classes more likely to nominate family members to the Hildako, the Angels of Contrition carry this belief with them; that only through war can mankind learn to flourish and take it's rightful place as ruler of the stars. This view, while earning them no allies among forces they consider weak and unworthy (which accounts for most Imperial forces outside of other Chapters of the Unforgiven), has earned them some respect amongst Inquisitors who follow the Isstvanian school of thought. It always find the Angels of Contrition all too-willing to engage in the hostile environment presented by many warped Space Hulks, often when the far safer option would be to destroy these vessels through a simple massed bombardment; more pragmatic Chapters view this as needless risk-taking and glory hunting, where the Angels of Contrition view it as a necessary test of their skills. Squads within the Angels of Contrition are viewed in a slightly different manner than might be the norm among the Astartes. Owing once more to the Chapter's roots on Etzabaidat, where upholding of the family unit is seen as the highest virtue, Angels of Contrition squads hold closer bonds than most, almost becoming family units in their own right. Much like the honour bestowed upon a family by one of it's members joining the Hildako, a member of a squad that ascends to the Bloodwing confers significant honour not only on the Marine in question but also the squad from which he came from. Conversely, Angels of Contrition have been known to be driven into a terrible frenzy considered unseemly by some of their Space Marine brethren, should one of their squad members fall in battle. Another belief stemming from their base among the Hildako is the Chapter's liberal use of Dreadnoughts – whilst a select few are piloted by heroes of the Chapter who were dealt mortal blows, the majority of these machines are piloted by talented recruits selected shortly after they have ascended to the ranks of a full Battle-Brother. Being Hildako, they are already considered as dead by the standards of Etzabaidat, and so have already satisfied the chief requirement most Chapters have placed on being eligible for internment in a Dreadnought. This is a large part of the reason why, despite the dangerous engagements the Angels of Contrition engage in, they still have a larger contingent of Dreadnoughts than most Chapters. It is speculated that they trade relics found on Chaos vessels and Space Hulks with the Adeptus Mechanicus in return for an increased number of Dreadnought chassis for them to make use of, along with an increased number of Terminator armour suits and fleet assets; although this has never been directly proven, the Chapter does sport an unusually powerful fleet for a comparatively new Chapter, and has a larger than would be expected contingent of Techmarines tending to it's powerful armoury. Relics of the Chapter The Angels of Contrition have a number of relics and objects that they consider as sacred. Like their parent Chapter, the Angels of Contrition have three sacred standards - the Standard of Penitence, the Standard of Reproach, and the Standard of Castigation - gifted to them upon their founding by the Dark Angels, alongside the ancient Fire Raptor gunship Divine Providence that often accompanies the Ghostwing to battle. These standards are usually carried into battle by the three Battle Companies, filling the Brothers around them with purpose and wrath. Each Company bears some marker or emblem of their devotion to the 1st Legion, usually carried into battle by servitors or serfs alongside the Company Master (in the case of the Ghostwing, it is carried by a Spiritshroud – the equivalent to a Darkshroud of the Ravenwing). The Grand Master of the Chapter carries two badges of office: the first, and the most sacred of the Chapter's relics, is an ancient scarred shield known as the Untiring Vigil, said to have been carried to battle by one of Lion El'Jonson's closest retainers on Caliban during his youth. It is carried by a Watcher in the Dark, an ever-present shadow to the Grand Master, and signifies the relationship between the Angels of Contrition and their founding legion. The second badge of office is the Grim Confession, an ornate double-bladed glaive wreathed in crimson arcs of energy, that features an inbuilt plasma-blaster of a long forgotten design. It is suspected that the weapon may be an altered design of a Nemesis force weapon; the Angels of Contrition refuse to explain where they might have obtained such a weapon, although it is not outside of the realms of possibility that it could have been salvaged from one of the many Space Hulks they have boarded. The Angels of Contrition are thought to be descended directly from the Dark Angels Chapter, although given they are part of one of the more recent foundings, this may not be entirely accurate; rumour often link them to either the Angels of Absolution or the Guardian of the Covenant, although when questioned directly the only answer the Angels of Contrition is that they are “descendants of the first legion”. The Chapter's gene-seed has no significant defects, as is the norm with descendants of the Dark Angels. Recruitment Recruitment on Etzabaidat is a simple process; the Chaplains of the Chapter, unarmed and unarmoured, will descend upon the city-states of Etzabaidat accompanied by retinues of serfs. A great ritual known as the Arima Galdu Topaketa (the Gathering of Lost Souls) will be organised, during which the Chaplain will watch as the the serfs form a tight unit, and are set upon by any of the city's Hildako that choose to participate (this is usually all of them; Hildako are not known for their fear of battle, no matter how outmatched). Many of the young Hildako suffer terrible damage or death at the hands of the older, stronger serfs, but those that show particular resilience or resolve are paraded through the city before being shepherded away to the Chapter's recruiting station within Eztabaidat's moons. Although there is some pattern to who is chosen for recruitment, with fortitude favoured over direct strength, there is a lack of defined criteria that only serves to heighten the mystical awe those of Etzabaidat hold the Angels of Contrition in. Imperial observers have called this practice barbaric due to the high possibility of death among the hopefuls, but it continues as one of Etzabaidat's stranger rituals. The Angels of Contrition usually fight in cold silence, eschewing the bombastic battle cries of other Chapters. Their motto is said to be Nos vero per bellum! - “We are cleansed through battle!” - which comes from the response to the Chaplain's pre-battle litany of Sanguini, ignis, et in morte - “In Blood, In Fire, and in Death”. Grand Master Sephalion Hailing from the Hildako of Hiri-Handiko Barazimor, the young warrior who assumed the name of Sephalion was already widely-known as a fierce and grim youth before he was picked as a potential recruit for the Angels of Contrition. As a child, he was easily excitable, quick to laugh and anger, and seemed a peculiar fit for the Hildako. His wild nature came to the fore during his Hiltzen ceremony, during which he blinded a man who questioned his worthiness in a savage and bloody duel despite the man being twice the age of the wiry youth. Shortly after, Barazimor went to war with a nearby rival, Jolthaki, and the child went with them. The armies were not heard of again – not until the child returned, a year to the day after the army departed from Barazimor, the only survivor. Gone was the expressive, fiery youth; a sullen, grim-faced thing came back, that refused to speak of what had occurred on the toxic wastes below, and would often be found thrashing about in his sleep, caught in an unspeakable nightmare. Many tried in vain to persuade the child to answer to what had happened during the battles below, but he refused to speak a word. When the Angels of Contrition next sent a delegation to Barazimor for recruitment, the child fell into a sudden fit before attacking the Chaplain present, stabbing the colossal warrior in the leg with his Zizalia and kicking and biting those who tried to subdue him, terrified that the fearsome Chaplain would kill the poor mad creature in retaliation. Impressed by the child's ferocity and undaunted nature, the child was instead taken away by the Angels of Contrition, marked for greater things. Sephalion's dour nature has carried with him, exacerbated by the secretive and pious nature of the Dark Angels successors. A formidable warrior, his resolve drove Sephalion to greater and greater feats until, in 951.M41, he was inaugurated as the Grand Master of the Angels of Contrition. Sephalion led the Chapter in it's greatest victory, a Chapter-level assault on the Eternal Perdition, during which he personally fought and killed a Great Unclean One in the assault of the ancient reactor core of the Space Hulk. Following the assault, Sephalion led the Chapter in two hundred and fifty-nine days of prayer, one for each life they had lost aboard the Eternal Perdition, to cleanse the Chapter of any lingering taint. In recent years, Grand Master Sephalion has been haunted by the nightmares that ailed him as a youth. Convinced that these dreams have some sort of prophetic value, the Grand Master has become even more of a recluse, spending larger periods of time in fervent prayer and self-reflection. Guiding the Angels of Contrition against the forces of the 13th Black Crusade, some of Sephalion's recent behaviour is beginning to mark him as erratic even among his most ardent followers; the recent decision to gift the Grim Confession to Interrogator-Chaplain Alazar (a weapon carried by the Grand Master of the Chapter for thousands of years) and recent bouts of fatalism have the Grand Master currently under close scrutiny even among his own Chapter. Interrogator Chaplain Marzuviel Interrogator Chaplain Marzuviel was the most prominent of his order to serve with the Angels of Contrition. Having served the Chapter from the early years of M38, Marzuviel rose quickly through the ranks of the Chaplaincy, the strength of his faith glossing over a nature often said to have been bloodthirsty to the distant extremes of acceptable behaviour among the Astartes. Despite this cruel streak (or perhaps because of it), Marzuviel holds the honour of having been the only Interrogator Chaplain within the Chapter to have forced the repentance of more than one of the Fallen in his lifetime. Marzuviel was present for the Assault on Koram, when the Angels of Contrition were part of a multi-Chapter task force aiming to retake the planet that had fallen to Chaos. Marzuviel led the Angels of Contrition's forces in an assault on the orbital defence stations surrounding the planet, and although the stations were taken, they came at a heavy cost; almost all of the two hundred-strong task force perished, and Marzuviel himself was gravely wounded after being cut off from his forces and surrounded, fighting his way free but sustaining a number of mortal wounds in the process. He was interred in one of the Chapter's Dreadnoughts, a source of knowledge and guidance to the Interrogator Chaplains that have served the Chapter since his internment. In battle, Marzuviel is often to be found leading his brother Dreadnoughts of the Bloodwing, venerable warriors all, in sudden and savage assaults against the sternest resistance. Brother Haephus, 3rd Battle Company, 1st Squad Veteran Sergeant Barbariel, 3rd Battle Company, 1st Squad Sergeant Ekias, 5th Battle Company, 4th Squad Company Master Laraziel, 9th Tactical Reserve Company Unknown Initiate, colour scheme designation 'Probator' Unknown, colour scheme designation 'Ghostwing' Unknown, colour scheme designation 'Bloodwing' Chapter Badge Angels of Contrition Chapter emblem Chapter Banner Angels of Contrition Chapter banner
Index Astartes CHAPTER NAME: ..............THE KNIGHTS VINDICANT FOUNDING: ..................26TH [738.M41] CHAPTER WORLD: .............N/A FORTRESS MONASTERY: ........MONUMENT OF AWE GENE-SEED (PREDECESSOR): ...BLACK CONSULS [uLTRAMARINES] KNOWN DESCENDANTS: .........NONE "May our deaths be glorious, that our foes remember our wrath." Harlan Skorus, Master of Sanctity; to Battle Brothers at the Battle for Talacra Prime. The Knights Vindicant are a Space Marine Chapter, created as descendants of the Black Consuls Chapter, and through them the Ultramarines Legion, during the 26th Founding. Originally intended as a replacement Astartes Praeses Chapter for the destroyed Black Consuls, the Chapter instead was diverted to patrolling the Eastern Fringe in the wake of Hive Fleet Behemoth's attack on Ultramar. The Chapter notably suffered heavy losses battling Hive Fleet Vritra twice between 992.M41 and 001.M42 and functioned at minimal strength for just over a century, until being brought back to full strength by absorbing Primaris Greyshields from the Indomitus Crusade. The badge of the Knights Vindicant is a black eagle head over white crossed swords. Their colours are silver with blue. On most marines, the blue is displayed on the shoulder pads, kneepads, helmet, belt, and backpack. The Company colour is displayed on the left shoulder pad trim, and also on the chest decoration. Veteran marines also paint their helmets gold, the colour of the 1st Company. Colour scheme for Librarians, Chaplains, Apothecarions, and Techmarines are according to Codex Astartes. The Knights Vindicant battle cry is Memento Ira!/Remember our wrath! “Security breeds complacency, and we will know no rest.” Brother-Captain Maekor Eltas of the 1st Company, addressing new recruits, 102.M41 Originally intended as a Crusading Chapter, the Knights Vindicant were fleet based. The Battle Barge Terrible Vow served as their mobile fortress-monastery, and recruits were taken from whichever suitable worlds they were granted recruiting rights to. This led to the Chapter's new recruits having a variety of cultural and societal beliefs, a lack of any one domineering cultural bias ensuring the Chapter has not had reason to deviate from the Codex Astartes. As the Chapter has largely been based near the Eastern Fringe since its inception, most of those who are not founding members of the Chapter hail from this area of Imperial space. For a brief period between the Poriphon Wars against Hive Fleet Vritra at the end of M41, the Knights Vindicant based themselves on the Ocean Planet of Talacra, forming a floating Fortress-Monastery from the ruins of their destroyed flagship, the Battle Barge Terrible Vow. The planet was abandoned when overrun at the start of the Second Poriphon War however, and the Chapter once again resumed its spacefaring nature, basing itself across Darina’s Fire and Excisor, their two remaining Strike Cruisers. The arrival of a Torchbearer fleet bearing reinforcements in 102.M42 also brought with it the Battle Barge Monument of Awe, which now serves as the Chapter’s headquarters. Having spent the prior 120 years defending the Barus Sector, they have been granted access to a number of recruiting worlds within this sector; primarily, the feral world of Obol in the Har Myrae system, where the Chapter has taken it’s recent stock of aspirants for assessment and induction. “From my vigil on the Watch Fortress, I looked on, helpless, as my Brothers fell to the Great Enemy. By the Emperor's divine will, I have been given a chance to change what I could not. We will not end, not yet.” Brother Antedes, Venerable Dreadnought; during a council held by the remaining Knights Vindicant following the end of the Poriphon War. The Chapter was founded as part of the 26th founding, in 738.M41, primarily using the geneseed of the all-but extinct Black Consuls Chapter. The Chapter's founding leader was Oris Antedes, a Black Consul who had been serving as a Watch Captain of the Deathwatch; the Chapter's recruits were initially trained by Antedes, the few remaining Black Consuls he could muster, and a detachment of the Ultramarines Chapter. Although originally intended to patrol the Cadian Gate, the Knights Vindicant were instead diverted to the Ultima Segmentum almost as soon as they had reached battle strength due to the incursion of Hive Fleet Behemoth. Although not arriving until after the major battles had been fought, the Knights Vindicant worked in concert with numerous other Chapters and Imperial forces in hunting down any remaining elements of Hive Fleet Behemoth. The Knights Vindicant then started on a long patrol into the Eastern Fringe. Encountering numerous Tau colony worlds, they won significant victories over the Tau at the Battle of Madragast VI (796.M41) and the Irusci Insurrection (802.M41). Chapter Master Antedes was gravely wounded during the Irusci Insurrection and was interred into a Dreadnought, as the Chapter continued it's crusade into the Eastern Fringe under Chapter Master Molon. Of note, they defeated a sizable Ork Waaagh! under Warboss Grazgar Rendklaw at the Battle for Isadoni (845.M41); and the Dark Eldar Kabal of the Wild Light, defeating them on the surface of the moon Maroch (878.M41), before destroying the Kabal aboard their fleet in a mass boarding action led by the young Captain Indrus Baeloc and the 3rd Company (879.M41). Since the victory over the Kabal of the Wild Light, the Knights Vindicant were involved in a score of minor conflicts of little note, up until the outbreak of the Poriphon War. The Poriphon Wars Whilst on route to Sotha to assist the forces battling Hive Fleet Kraken in 992.M41, the Knights Vindicant had stopped to resupply in the little-known Poriphon system when a splinter of Hive Fleet Kraken was discovered on the outer edges of the system. Dubbed Hive Fleet Vritra, it rampaged through the outer planets of the system before Captain Indrus Baeloc, with the help of four regiments from the Heralic Armoured Infantry, managed to halt the Tyranids on Heral. The war spread to consume Talacra, another planet in the system, where the Chapter sustained grievous losses including most of their fleet, hundreds of Marines and most of their Command staff, including Chapter Master Molon, in an effort to destroy the bulk of the Tyranid threat.[/background] The Hive Fleet was eventually destroyed with the intervention of Battlefleet Barus, although not until Heral had been abandoned and subjected to Exterminatus. The Knights Vindicant suffered catastrophic losses in the war, with little more than a hundred Space Marines and only two of it's Captains surviving the battles with Hive Fleet Vritra, alongside the losses of much of their armoury and all but two Strike Cruisers of their fleet. From 993.M41, the Chapter based itself on the planet Talacra in the Poriphon system whilst it tried to rebuild, forging a floating Fortress of the remains of the Battle Barge Terrible Vow. The Knights Vindicant also took responsibility for combating the unexpected resurgence of the Tyranid threat on Talacra; a very small number of Xenos having seemingly survived the bombardment of Talacra that ended the Poriphon War, seeming to grow in numbers despite efforts to eradicate them. Chapter Master Indrus Baeloc did all he could to deflect requests for the Chapter's presence elsewhere by the Imperium in the period up to 999.M41, fueling speculation that the Knights Vindicant were a crippled Chapter; some onlookers going so far as to cast aspersions as to the stability of their gene-seed. In the dying days of 999.M41, the Second Poriphon War broke out. Without notice, the Terrible Vowcame under attack by swarms of Tyranids rising from the deep; having evidently spent years breeding and adapting to their underwater environment. The Knights Vindicant fought a bitter battle, desperately holding out until less than a Chapter’s worth of survivors could be evacuated from Talacra aboard their Strike Cruiser, Darian’s Fire. Those left were led to the nearby agri-world Ymirica; also experiencing a resurgence of Hive Fleet Vritra that nearly overwhelmed the local PDF and Heralic Mechanised Legion regiments stationed there since the end of the First Poriphon War. Under Baeloc’s leadership, Ymirica was also kept safe, and Vritra was defeated for the second and final time when an artillery company attached to the 212nd Heralic Armoured Infantry sacrificed itself to destroy the Bio-Titan at the core of the Xenos swarm. Age of the Dark Imperium With the fall of Cadia and the birth of the Cicatrix Maledictum, what was left of the Knights Vindicant were set to policing the wider Barus Sector by Baeloc, knowing that with limited numbers they balanced on the precipice of extinction. Spreading themselves thin in order to bolster as many Imperial defences as possible, they forged a legend as heroes of the sector as new battlefields came alive one after the other, foes of the Imperium seeking to capitalise on its weakness and confusion. Over the next century, the Knights Vindicant would notably lead the defence against numerous attempts of the minor Tau Pa’shel sept to encroach on outlying planets of the sector, and were instrumental in the defeat of Waaagh! Gurgor, Indrus Baeloc slaying the Ork warboss himself after the remnants of the Chapter launched a lightning strike on Gurgor’s personal retinue of Nobs. Meanwhile reinforcements trickled in; but with the Imperium in Chaos, they did not come quite as fast as the Chapter lost its strength. Small losses across numerous battlefields added up, and when the Torchbearer ship finally found the Chapter battered and bloody in the wake of Waaagh! Gurgor, just seventy Knights Vindicant and a handful of tanks remained. Under these circumstances, Baeloc had no choice but to willingly accept almost an entire Chapter’s worth of Greyshield Primaris marines under his leadership, retiring or recommending obsolete vehicles to the Deathwatch in return for an armoury of Impulsors and Repulsors, and receiving a new Battle Barge and two new Strike Cruisers for it’s fleet. One last tragedy would strike, however. In order to integrate themselves with their new Brothers, the remaining Knights Vindicant held a council in which they decided as one to all submit themselves to the Rubicon Primaris. Perhaps the Rubicon was as dangerous as first feared, or perhaps the naysayers of late M41 had been correct when they doubted the worth of the Chapter’s geneseed. Regardless of the reason, over half of those who had survived over a century of almost endless combat died undergoing the arduous surgeries required. “Strike not without purpose; strike hard, and strike fast, and find your next foe before the first realises he is dead. Brother-Captain Orstan Larentes of the 2nd Company, Battle of Hive Fraxxis Largely adherent to the guidelines laid down in the Codex Astartes, the Knights Vindicant have a preference for surgical armoured strikes; not the overwhelming force of those such as the Aurora Chapter, but using their mobility to strike with speed and precision against key targets in tactics reminiscent of the White Scars. This developed through the Chapter's link to the Black Consuls and their favoured tactic of mass Drop Pod assaults, through an approach of heavy armoured assaults. Although the Chapter lost much of it’s armoured strength in the years following the Poriphon Wars, these too have been replenished by a large stock of Primaris Repulsors and Impulsors, in return for the Chapter offering what few tanks remained to them for service in the Deathwatch. The Chapter has even benefitted from a detachment of the Astraeus super-heavy grav tank which form the core of its armoured strength. “Some days it is hard to remember all that Vritra took from us. Some days it is hard to forget.” Carve Sorris, Chief Apothecarion; from conversation logs with Chapter Master Baeloc. Recent reinforcements have led to a period of re-adjustment within the Knights Vindicant, operating at full strength for the first time in over a century. Indrus Baeloc retained those of the Chapter who survived the Rubicon Primaris in key command positions across all companies, relying on those he knows the abilities of whilst assessing the leadership and prowess of his newer Greyshield recruits. Reverting to a Codex-compliant structure, there are few differences of note from standard Chapter organisation. Owing to the Chapter’s doctrine of focused armoured strike, each Company will have a core of vehicles dedicated to it, rather than being assigned from the Chapter’s armoury. This allows vehicle crews and squads a closer bond, and the Knights Vindicant infantry and armoured elements are known to work particularly efficiently in concert. The armoury in the meantime retains the battle tanks of the Chapter, assigning detachments of Repulsor Executioners and Astraeus tanks as they are required. The 1st Company, usually expected to consist of Chapter veterans, does not yet have considerably more combat experience than the rest of the Chapter. Due to the recent influx of Greyshield reinforcements, admission to the 1st Company is currently fluid; two squads have been picked of the most aggressive Primaris, forming them into Excelsor-units who enter battle carrying Eviscerator Chainswords. The remaining strength of the 1st Company is made up of 10 Parimaris marines each nominated from the 2nd through 9th Companies, who are technically slightly overstrength as a result. It is expected that in time, identification of a 1st Company ‘core’ will form and this practise will cease as units are permanently absorbed into the 1st. Where traditional Chapters might have the 10th Company consist of Scout initiates, the Knights Vindicant operate theirs as a Vanguard company. New recruits are expected to gain experience in Battleline, Close Support and Fire Support roles in this Company, before being moved into one of the other Companies to gain more specific, in-depth experience as normal. “Gulliman held the Imperium together as it threatened to shatter in the wake of his predecessor. I must do the same.” Indrus Baeloc, Chapter Master; from conversation logs with Chief Apothecarion Sorris. Chapter Master Indrus Baeloc Formerly Captain of the Knights Vindicant 3rd Company, Indrus Baeloc was instrumental in the Chapter's defeat of the Kabal of the Wild Light in 878-879.M41, and further distinguished himself in the battle against Hive Fleet Vritra. Despite their inevitable defeat, Baeloc's rearguard held the planet of Heral long enough for Battlefleet Barus to arrive and destroy the Tyranid ships in orbit before they had a chance to consume the planet. Baeloc assumed leadership of the Chapter following the First Poriphon War, and was instrumental in saving the system from a resurgent Vritra in the Second Poriphon War of 999.M41-001.M42. A solid warrior and an exceptional tactician, favouring lightning strikes against key targets, Baeloc was forced to spend his forces as efficienlty as possibly across the Barus sector, watching his brother's numbers dwindle with every engagement. Leading the Imperium to victory against numerous incursions from the Pa'shel Tau, and marshalling the defence against Waaagh! Grugor before slaying the Warboss in combat, Baeloc has become something of a hero to the local militarum regiments. With a new influx of Greyshield Primaris finally putting the Chapter back at full strength, Baeloc has set about defending the embattled Barus sector with a renewed ferocity. Venerable Brother Antedes Originally of the Black Consuls, Ores Antedes was serving with the Deathwatch at the time of the Black Consul's destruction at the Siege of Goddeth Hive. Antedes had risen to the rank of Watch Captain through various tours of service at Indomitus Point Watch Fortress, and had resigned himself to life as a Black Shield before he was offered the opportunity to head a new Chapter. Antedes served as Chapter Master of the Knights Vindicant until suffering a mortal injury in an ambush by a Tau Crisis Suit team during the Irusci Insurrection of 802.M41, and was interred within a Dreadnought. Antedes has continued to fight alongside his brothers, providing heavy fire support with the pin-point accuracy that he had become known for. Brother Antedes was one of just two Dreadnoughts that survived into M42, and with centuries of experience, has become one of Baeloc's most valuable advisors. Known for his fierce temperament, in recent years Antedes has been content to see the Knights Vindicant re-established a a full-fledged Primaris Chapter, knowing as he freely admits that it will make him one of the last of his kind. Venerable Brother Cantekles The second of the two Castaferrum dreadnoughts to still exist in the Chapter, Cantakles' scroll of honour is not quite as long as Antedes, but he is a redoubtable foe no less. Armed with two twin-linked autocannons, he is most often found reinforcing the fire support elements of any force he is attached to. Stoic where Antedes is fiery, Cantakles offers little interaction with his brothers until they reach the battlefield, where he truly thrives. Carve Sorris, Chief Apothecarion Carve Sorris has served in his post since before the First Poriphon War, where much of the Chapter's geneseed was lost. Facing the monumental task of keeping a Chpater most thought doomed to inevitable loss from becoming extinct, Sorris had been prone to bouts of severe melancholy. However, sis demeanor has been tempered in recent years by the introduction of the new Primaris reinforcements, and he expresses a warm, if sometimes intrusive, curiosity towards them. 1st Company Captain Maekor Eltas Previously a Sergeant in the 1st Company, most often found leading a detachment of Terminator-clad warriors, Eltas recieved a sudden and unexpected promotion after his predecessor fell tackling an infestation of Genestealers. He has taken to the role well, using any opportunity he can to remind the new influx of Primaris marines of the storied history of the Chapter, and casting a keen eye to identify any aspirants he thinks suitable for the vaunted 1st Company. 2nd Company Captain Orstan Larentes A veteran of many battles, Larentes has led units since the first engagements against Hive Fleet Vritra. One of Javas Varantis' trusted sergeants, he took over command of the 2nd Company after Varantis fell in battle with the Warboss Grugor. Known for being even-tempered, his mood has been soured somewhat by the Rubicon Primaris, a difficult transition leaving him with intermittent pains in the head. 2nd Company Lieutenant Gor Nayvir Seen as the most promising of the Greyshield recruits, Gor Nayvir is a veteran of the Indomitus Crusade. A noted veteran of the Battle of Ophelia VII and the Cleansing of Pyros, he was quickly identified as a future leader of the Chapter, quickly adapting his favoured tactic of overlapping static gunlines to the Knights Vindicant's more mobile approach. Knights Vindicant Chapter Banner. Knights Vindicant Brother Argo, 2nd Company, Squad Firaxes (M41)