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  1. +++ Warcallers +++ ‘We stand on the shoulders of giants.’ +++ Original Post Original Outline WIP Timeline Current thoughts: As always, C&C is welcomed. Thanks for reading.
  2. Devotion beyond Death - The Infinity Knights "Take this broken shell, and harvest from it anything that may still function to give my brothers the strength to continue our Primarch's legacy." - The last request of Chapter Master Cassar Thadrus, Infinity Knights History: "Sometimes in death, we can exceed our achievements in life." - Captain Rall Hamir, Infinity Knights Second Company http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/sm.php?b62c=@i1HDG_hAbQO.i8TzJ@@@@@@@hnVFB@hd0fp@@..@__@@@@____.@.______@@@@@hCmX3hd0fp______@@_____hr3ufiakk7&grid=TRUE Pictured: A tactical marine of the Infinity Knights 4th Company. Created in the 9th Founding, the Infinity Knights were blessed with the geneseed of Rouboute Guilliman via his sons the Ultramarines. Their given mission was straightforward - reinforce the Imperial presence in the area of space close to the border between Segmenta Obscurus and Ultima. The new Chapter would be led by Captain Cassar Thadrus, formerly of the Ultramarines' Second Company. Somewhat surprised by the honour, Thadrus vowed to take his mission to heart, setting forth as soon as possible to put his new brothers to work. The Infinity Knights were assigned a homeworld, Ashar, in the Saias system. Previously noted by Inquisitor Tarret as an eminently suitable world for Astartes to recruit from, Ashar was only a short distance from the space that would later be claimed by The Storm of the Emperor's Wrath. Almost as soon as they arrived there, the Infinity Knights departed in search of battle. All throughout the sector, Space Marines and Guardsmen alike found the call for help answered by the Space Marines of the Infinity Knights. The Chapter seldom fought alone in these early years, instead reinforcing Imperial forces across a hundred battlefields. Chapter Master Thadrus' tenure as an Infinity Knight was regrettably short. He met his end on the surface of Laucus' World, fighting the vile Dark Eldar. His last wishes were simple, if unusual - Thadrus implored that his body to be frozen, and any worthwhile organs harvested to replace damaged ones in his brother marines. This unorthodox request struck a chord within the Chapter - numerous dying marines would plead for a similar fate, until eventually the Chapter's Techmarines were forced to modify a chamber on each Strike Cruiser and Battle Barge to accomodate the willing dead in a form of cold storage. The practice of replacing damaged organs spread throughout the Chapter over time. Eventually, this practice expanded - lost limbs would frequently be replaced with arms or legs taken from fallen warriors of the Chapter, rather than replaced with bionic parts. Although outsiders find the practice unnerving, or even reprehensible, the Infinity Knights see it as a way of honouring the dead - even past the boundaries of their mortality their strength of arm, or keenness of eye earns them honour after honour. Dreadnoughts, too, became prized by the Chapter, for a similar reason. Using these sacred machines, a Space Marine could essentially conquer the domain of death, and defiantly live on past the time alloted to him. Over time, debate rose in the ranks of the Infinity Knights, calling their mission into question. Some amongst the Chapter felt that they should be travelling further afield, aiding Imperial Forces over a much larger scale. Others felt that the Chapter should stay true and steadfast to the original mission dictated to it by only fighting in the sector surrounding their homeworld. Some amongst the dissidents proclaimed that the Infinity Knights could never be true to their mission without expanding their area of influence. The numbers of those in favour of travelling afar grew with each recruitment cycle, and unrest threatened to rear its ugly head. Eventually, after years of debate, and with the consent of the Infinity Knight's Captains of the time, a new, altered interpretation of the Codex-approved Chapter formation was put forward. Now, the Fourth and Fifth Companies were re-designated 'Wandering Companies' and dedicated to ranging further afield than the other companies, seeking out battle wherever they might find it. Since that time, the Infinity Knights have earned a reputation for honour and valor, the Wandering Companies throwing themselves into conflicts alongside Imperial forces across almost the length and breadth of the galaxy whilst their brothers earnestly protect their homelands. Beliefs: "Death is not the end of honour." - Chapter Master Algren Irames, Infinity Knights The death of Chapter Master Thadrus, all those millenia ago, left a profound mark on the Infinity Knights, who found a deep and satisfying meaning in the simple request of their mentor. The spread of marines donating their bodies to the apothecarium rose with startling quickness, but quickly became just another part of ordinary procedure for the Chapter, and is now surrounded with ritual customs and practices both seen as ancient and hallowed by the Infinity Knights. Cybernetic parts are infrequently seen within the Chapter, although organic replacements are quite commonplace, especially amongst older marines. The Chapter's views on death are also somewhat unusual - marines whose organs or limbs are used after their death to repair injured brothers are said to gain a portion of every honour that the repaired marine earns from that point onwards. Dreadnoughts are seen as an extension of this - allowing a worthy marine to surpass his alloted lifespan and continue to serve the Emperor in defiance of the boundaries of death. Battle-Brothers whose limbs or organs have been biologically replaced frequently engrave or paint the names of their donor-Brothers on their armour. An evolving tradition within the Chapter is to paint or engrave the names of organ donors on the inside of a marine's armour, rather than the outside. In recent times, one increasingly frequent behavioural fault has surfaced within the Chapter; sometimes older Infinity Knights suffer from mild bouts of schizophrenia, sometimes borrowing mannerisms or personality traits from their donor-Brothers, or answering to their donor-Brother's names as well as, or instead of, their own. Occasionally, afflicted Battle-brothers also find themselves using 'We' rather than 'I' as a personal pronoun. The Infinity Knights' fervour in the pursuit of their mission has also burnt itself into the Chapter psyche. They respond to any Imperial call to arms with zeal and haste, diving into even the most dangerous of battles without further thought. Though this approach has cost them dearly in lives, through these actions the Infinity Knights have forged good relations with the Adeptus Mechanicus, Imperial Guard and even some of their brother Chapters. On some occasions, Strike Cruisers have returned with barely any marines alive after desperate battles. Sometimes the Cruisers never return at all, leaving their true fate unknown to the rest of the Chapter. The losses of life on these missions, so far from home, is still a cause of some tension within the Chapter, for some Infinity Knights still disagree with the decision to wander so far abroad. The Infinity Knights, like most Space Marines, venerate the Emperor as the pinnacle of Humanity's potential. Guilliman, as the Chapter's great ancestor, is held somewhat above the other Primarchs. However, the Knights hold all the loyal Primarchs in good esteem, feeling each represents both a being of truly steadfast honour, and a legacy of great servitude to humanity. Organisation: "Our mission should be to protect the whole Imperium, not simply one portion of it." - Chaplain Sedris, Infinity Knights 4th Company The Infinity Knights, while fundamentally reverent of the Codex, tenuously adopted an altered Chapter formation to better deal with their changed perception of their mission. The 4th and 5th Companies would take up the mantle of 'Wandering Companies', using the Chapter's Strike Cruisers to reach further out into the stars. Whenever a Wandering Company returned home, they would replenish their ranks and exchange roles with another Battle Company, allowing a fresh division the chance to serve Humanity and The Emperor further afield. The most notable difference is that each Wandering Company is given the right to induct any worthy recruits discovered on their travels into an ad-hoc Scout formation. These recruits are then admitted to the Tenth Company on their return to Ashar. When a Wandering Company returns home, there is usually a brief celebration in honour of their success, then a period of re-arming and re-organizing before the Company leaves again. Often the returning Wandering Companies will rotate various members back into the ranks of the Battle Companies. This serves the dual purpose of allowing more marines to experience combat in faraway places against a myriad of new foes, and allowing the marines with that experience a chance to utilize their new knowledge in defence of their home. Apothecaries are highly prized in all companies, for only they can perform the difficult surgeries used to replace damaged or failing bodyparts with those of the fallen. Such is the importance of the role to the Infinity Knights that the Chapter has expanded its Apothecarium to accomodate a greater number than commonly seen in Codex-adherent Chapters. The Infinity Knights also boast a higher than average number of Dreadnoughts, gifted over the centuries by the Adeptus Mechanicus as rewards for battles fought alongside explorator fleets. These treasured machines are always treated with utmost reverence and looked after with extreme dilligence - a practice that has earned much respect from various factions within the Mechanicus. Combat Doctrine: "Only victory lives forever." - Captain Bruc Haedar, Infinity Knights Seventh Company The doctrine of the Infinity Knights on the battlefield is simple - strike enemies hard and fast. The Chapter, to this end, often engineers its strategies in favour of a single, fatal attack, most frequently revolving around the deployment of the Chapter's Dreadnoughts to 'tear the heart from the enemy' and break down their strongest forces. It is worth noting that the Infinity Knights sometimes take higher losses than other Astartes Chapters, as this strategy is occasionally employed even when not an optimal way to achieve victory. The Infinity Knights' unusual views on death, however, mean that they do not neccesarily view this as a drawback. After victories, the Infinity Knights are known to linger for long enough to gather their dead and bring them before the apothecaries, a duty usually supervised by a Chaplain who chants litanies to ensure the continued purity of the lost marines. Homeworld: "My life began and will end here on Ashar, but it will be spent waging war amidst the stars." - Sergeant Raul Dussan, Infinity Knights Fourth Company Ashar, the main recruiting world of the Infinity Knights, is a large planet, substantially bigger than Holy Terra. Much of its landmass is barren desert, with widely scattered mountainous regions. Humans mostly survive in two ways on Ashar. Either by seeking cover in the mountains, on the slopes of which vast, sheltered cities have evolved; or by travelling in tribes across the desert. War between cities, or between tribes, is commonplace on Ashar. The Infinity Knights themselves have taken an active hand in influencing their homeworld. Junior members of the Apothecarium are required to spend several months travelling from city to city, or from tribe to tribe, practicing and teaching such medicine as required by the Asharans. As such, the people of Ashar have an inbuilt respect for doctors and medicine, and to raise a hand in anger against one can have dire consequences. It also means the Asharans have advanced in the field of medicine - in many cases showing an understanding of biology and medical science that belies their primitive technology. The Infinity Knights hold recruitment trials out in isolated, desolate locations, accepting volunteers from all walks of life to try and earn their way into the Chapter. Those that arrive at these trials in the deserts are made to work with members of other tribes or cities, and pitted through gruelling challenges designed to test the limits of the human body. Those that pass these tests are considered eligible for recruitment, and taken via thunderhawk to the Fortress Monastery, built into the side of a cliff near the north coast of the largest continent. An old Asharan tradition amongst the city-dwellers is that dead warriors are buried in the valleys that run between the mountains, their graves marked by a spear driven into the ground. Whilst the Infinity Knights have taken to ritually freezing the bodies of their fallen brothers, the technology used to do so is not perfect, and over time even those carefully managed and frozen body parts can suffer damage that renders them useless. In homage, perhaps, to that Asharan warrior tradition, whenever a Company returns to Ashar, the remains of any dead Infinity Knights borne by the Company are buried in vast caverns beneath the Fortress Monastery. Most frequently, the bodies have many functioning organs removed prior to the burial, and kept for as long as possible in the specially modified storage rooms aboard the Company's vessels. A popular rumour amongst Asharans is that on the day the Emperor walks again, he will restore the dead Astartes from the depths of Ashar, made whole and incorruptible, to serve alongside him once again. Geneseed: "In life and death both, we embody the legacy of our Primarch." - Apothecary Asir Sciran, Infinity Knights Tenth Company The geneseed of the Infinity Knights comes directly from the lineage of the Ultramarines, the sons of Roboute Guilliman. It is considered a link not only to the Primarch, but to all heroes from any Chapter descended from this noble lineage. However, over the centuries, a minor flaw has revealed itself in the geneseed - older Astartes are occasionally prone to a slow degredation of the organs that mark a Space Marine. For the most part, the failing organs can easily be replaced with working ones via surgeries, so as yet this flaw has not directly claimed any lives within the Chapter. While much study has gone into determining the cause of this degradation, Apothecaries, Librarians and scholars alike are yet to find the source of the problem. Theories that the geneseed's recent degredation are linked to the schizophrenia developing in the Chapter's veteran circles are presently considered groundless. Battle Cry: "Victory Eternal!" -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Updated 05/04/2016 (English date) Thanks for reading! See any mistakes? Think something needs to change? Give me a shout! All opinions and criticism welcome, as always.
  3. 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)
  4. Index Astartes: The Emperors Blade Chapter name: The Emperor’s Blade Founding: 11th Chapter no: 394 Homeworld: Threskeia IV Chapter motto: “Defensor Fidei Veritas” Origins Early in the m.33 a vast host of the followers of Chaos spilled forth from the region of space known as the Maelstrom under the command of Traitor Marines of the Word Bearers Legion. This unholy crusade swept unchecked through several sectors, pillaging and desecrating dozens of Imperial systems. On every world, loyal inhabitants were forced into slavery, labouring under their cruel masters to raise vast cathedrals in praise of the Dark Gods. The response of the Imperium to this invasion was one of horror and fury, particularly among the pious members of the Adeptus Ministorium. The leader of the Church at the time, Ecclesiarch Benedictio II, demanded of his fellow High Lords that a punitive campaign be launched immediately to free the faithful servants of the Imperium. Thus the mighty war machine of Man began to move into action. A crusade force gathered from numerous regiments of the Imperial Guard and accompanied by many hundreds of preachers, confessors and priests to counter the Word Bearers unholy beliefs, was placed under the command of one of the Ecclesiarchy’s own war leaders, Lord Militant Davram Tolemias, a man of both strong faith and strategic wisdom. Further to this, the High Lords declared that one of the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes being formed as part of the 11th Founding would be assigned to act as a spearhead for the Crusade. Chapter 394, whose genetic lineage was that of the Primarch Roboute Guilliman, was selected to join the fight against the Word Bearers and Captain Septimus of the Ultramarines was chosen to lead them. Born and raised on the world of Calth, Septimus carried in his heart a particular hatred of the sons of Lorgar, making him an excellent choice to bring the Emperor’s judgement against them. When he left Ultramar to take command of the Chapter he brought with him a priceless gift from the shipyards of his home world, a newly commissioned Battle Barge named “The Wrath of Guilliman” that would act as a Fortress Monastery for the crusading Astartes, along with several Strike Cruisers and escort vessels. Once embarked, Chapter Master Septimus brought his cadre of veteran warriors to Mars, where the new Chapter along with the Crusade Fleet and Army under Lord Tolemias was mustering. Even as Septimus arrived at the edge of the Terran system, a great and holy discovery was being made in the deep vaults beneath the Ecclesiarch’s palace, a fragment of script apparently composed by the hand of the God Emperor himself. Claimed to have been written shortly after he had first learned of the betrayal by his most favoured son, Horus, it read: “If I do indeed sharpen my glittering blade, And my hand takes hold on judgement itself, I will pay back vengeance to my adversaries, And render retribution to those who intensely hate me.” That such a piece of writing should be found even as the Emperor’s finest warriors readied themselves to fight in his name could not be simple coincidence. The leaders of the Church insisted that the discovery was a sign of the Emperor’s blessing on their great undertaking. Benedictio II, although old and frail, personally carried the fragment to the gathering fleet, requesting of Septimus that he might speak to the assembled Battle Brethren. Septimus agreed and soon the Ecclesiarch stood before the Astartes force. He spoke to his listeners of the ancient document and then read it aloud to them. As he finished reading, there was a hush in the vast Hall, and then he spoke again. “You are the Emperor’s glittering blade! Carry forth his vengeance on his enemies!” Immediately, there was an almighty cheer from the assembled Marines that echoed back and forth across the Hall. Septimus, deeply moved by the blessing, pondered silently for a few moments then spoke to his men. He told them that this discovery was surely not only a portent of great favour but also a revelation. It was clear to him that the Emperor was disclosing to the Chapter the name which they should take up – The Emperor’s Blade. This announcement was greeted with an even greater cheer and over the following days the brethren began to mark their armour with their new badge. The script was placed in the care of Lord Davram, to be used as a symbol to inspire the soldiers of the Imperium as they fulfilled their duty. Days later, the Crusade Fleet moved out into the Ultima Segmentum, heading for the borders of the Maelstrom. As the fleet passed through Imperial systems, the priests of the Ecclesiarchy preached their message of the Emperor’s divine glory and his holy retribution upon his enemies. As they did so, from among the populace of countless different worlds, a vast throng of devout volunteers gave themselves willingly to the Emperor’s great cause. They came forth from every avenue of Imperial life in their hundreds of thousands; whole squads of Planetary Defence Force soldiers, brave hab-workers and even whole families of the fervent faithful, mothers and fathers with children at their hips. The local Churches of the Ecclesiarchy paid for vessels to carry these devoted followers of the Imperial Creed and soon the Crusade Fleet was followed by a huge rag tag armada of smaller vessels that carried the pilgrim army behind them. The Crusade As years passed and the Malatoth Crusade, named after the Sector the Word Bearers had attacked, progressed towards the Maelstrom, Septimus began looking for new recruits to replace losses among the Emperor’s Blade Space Marines. Among the innumerable host of loyal pilgrims that travelled behind the crusade army were countless families with sons who were of appropriate age. The life of such pilgrims was a harsh one, full of hardship and strife, making them ideal candidates for becoming Space Marines. Moreover, their faith and conviction in the Emperor and the Crusade were ingrained from birth itself. The campaign began well, with decisive victories against the Word Bearers vanguard taking back two Imperial systems in as many weeks. Septimus led his Marines with courage and skill, continuing their training in the strategies and strictures of Guilliman’s great work, the Codex Astartes. However, once the Word Bearers recovered from the surprise of the first overwhelming attacks, the battles of the Malatoth Crusade became far harder and on Jotas IX, tragedy struck the Emperor’s Blade Space Marines. Brother Balius, a veteran Chaplain of the Ultramarines and first Master of Sanctity for the young Emperor’s Blade Chapter was attacked and killed by a cult assassin, presumed to be an infiltrator under orders from the hated Word Bearers. The Chapter mourned for many days. Master Septimus, full of sorrow and rage in equal amounts over the loss of his friend, was unsure of how to reconcile the loss of the Chapter’s only spiritual leader. Balius had not yet appointed any other Marines to the honoured position of Chaplain who could take his place as Master of Sanctity, but according to Septimus’ own strict interpretation of the Codex, while the Chapter Master could assign Marines to serve within the Reclusiam, only the Master of Sanctity could appoint a Marine to the post of Reclusiarch. Finally, after much deliberation, Septimus accepted that there was nothing he could do but request of the Ultramarines that a new Master of Sanctity be selected and sent to take the place of Balius. With a heavy heart at the dishonour of having to ask for help so early in his career as Chapter Master, Septimus commissioned one of his veteran cadre, Brother Ardias, to carry Balius’ Crozius Arcanum and Rosarius back to Ultramar to be taken up by his replacement. The death of Balius would prove to be a catalyst for great change within the Chapter, although this would not become apparent for many centuries. Brother Ardias would likely not return for many years but the spiritual needs of the youthful Brethren must still be met, especially when they must face the unholy dangers of the Chaos Gods. In his humility, Septimus knew that while he was well able to teach the Brethren the value of the Codex Astartes, he was not a spiritual leader. Therefore he spoke to Lord Militant Tolemias, who suggested that some of the priests of the Crusade army be assigned to minister to the Battle Brethren of the Emperor’s Blade. While Septimus knew that these servants of the Ecclesiarchy did not hold to exactly the same beliefs as his former Chapter did, they were men of faith and their ministry would give his brave warriors courage and strength to face their dark enemy. As long years passed and more and more new members of the brethren were selected from the pilgrim fleet, the combination of their background and the teaching of the Adeptus Ministorium gradually brought the Emperor’s Blade Chapter closer and closer in faith and fraternity with the Church of the Ecclesiarchy. The Warden of the Faithful One of the first initiates chosen from the pious followers of the Crusade was a youth named Malchus, a strong young man with a fiery zeal for the Emperor’s glory. As Malchus progressed within the Chapter, he came to build a reputation as both a talented warrior and a masterful tactician. However, it was his skills as an orator of the Imperial Creed that became truly famed among the Battle Brethren, his rousing rhetoric inspiring his squad mates to greater and greater feats of heroism in the Emperor’s service. In time, his abilities brought him to the attention of Septimus himself, who inducted him into the 1st Company and honoured him with the guardianship of the sacred Chapter banner. Soon after this the Chapter Master was able to observe first-hand his subordinate’s faith and conviction, when Malchus’ stirring oratory led the Brethren in one of their most decisive victories of the entire campaign. Septimus recognized that in Malchus he had a devoted priest who could care for the spiritual needs of the Chapter until such time as a Chaplain arrived. He honoured Malchus by assigning him to the Chapter’s non-existent Reclusiam and commanding that he repaint his armour from Chapter blue to pure black, marking him out for special service to the Emperor. Though Septimus could not give him the title of Reclusiarch, he did create a new position within the Chapter HQ, that of ‘Warden of the Faithful’. Though he considered himself utterly unworthy, Malchus humbly accepted his Lord’s commission. Two years later the Crusade against the Word Bearers reached its climax as the Emperor’s Blade drove their hated enemies back into the Maelstrom. The final battles took place in the Threskeia system, the loyalist forces under Septimus throwing the traitors back from each of its inhabited worlds in turn. However, tragedy was to strike the Emperor’s Blade once again. On Threskeia VI, Septimus personally commanded the besiegement of the last of the Word Bearers fortifications, a dark bastion as much a temple as a citadel. The Traitor Marines held their position for many days but were finally forced to admit defeat. In order to escape the encircling Imperial battle lines, they summoned a vast horde of their warp-spawned servants and attempted to break out of the siege. Septimus led his men forward to bring final vengeance on the leaders of the unholy crusade. The Emperor’s Blade Master fought bravely, slaying dozens of the enemy, but was mercilessly cut down by a mighty warrior in the blasphemously ornate armour of a Dark Apostle. The Chaos Marines escaped, fleeing into the Maelstrom and the Malatoth Crusade finally ended. More than one hundred and fifty years after their mission began, the Emperor’s Blade had achieved their goal, but it was at great cost. Septimus was gone. The Chapter mourned for their lost Master for several weeks but knew that they must select his successor and continue in the Emperor’s work. This crusade may have been completed but there would always be more enemies to bring His judgement upon. When it came to choosing Septimus’ replacement, the devout Brethren were of one mind; that pious Brother Malchus, already the Chapter’s spiritual leader, should also lead the Emperor’s Blade in battle. Malchus was honoured by his brothers’ trust but at first refused, citing the holy Codex and stating that officers of the Reclusiam should only command warriors inducted into their number and therefore one of the Company Captains should be chosen as Master, with Brother-Captain Saul of the 1st Company being the obvious choice. Saul replied immediately that he was certain that Malchus was the right choice, that his unmatched zeal for the Emperor would make him the best leader for the Chapter, and that if it would satisfy the requirements of the Codex, he and all his company would gladly join the Chapter’s Reclusiam. The other nine Captains and all the Battle-Brethren roared their agreement and Malchus finally acquiesced to their demands. At that time, in accordance with patterns laid down in the Codex Astartes, the entirety of the Chapter signified their loyalty to the new Chapter Master and the Reclusiam by repainting their right arms and shoulder pads in pure, holy black. Homeworld When the Malatoth Crusade ended, the Imperial army that had fought in it was disbanded, different Regiments of the Imperial Guard being sent on to battle in countless other war zones. Davram Tolemias, however, would not leave the vast pilgrim army that had faithfully followed the Crusade for so many years. After much deliberation he decided that he and they would remain on Threskeia VI and that together, on the very ground where the Word Bearers dark citadel had stood, they would construct a great cathedral to honour the Emperor’s glory and commemorate the great victory his forces had fought so hard to achieve. The Emperor’s Blade also moved onwards. Malchus declared that while the forces of the Emperor had been fighting the hated Word Bearers, worlds across nearby sectors had suffered the attentions of other enemies, vile xenos like the brutish Orks or arrogant Eldar. These too must receive the Emperor’s judgement. However, before leaving the Threskeia system, Malchus was approached by Lord Tolemias. Davram explained that at the very heart of the great shrine it was his intention to place for all time the fragment of script that had given the Chapter its name, where it could be seen and honoured by devout citizens from across the Imperium. Further to this, he made a petition of Malchus that the new Chapter Master would allow the remains of his predecessor to be laid out in state within the cathedral, out of respect for all Septimus had done in the prosecution of the Malatoth Crusade. Malchus was delighted with this offer and accepted it immediately. The Emperor’s Blade Chapter left the Threskeia system and did not return for more than a century. At this time, satisfied that all opposition in the Malatoth Sector had been crushed and that the area was safely back under the rule of the Emperor, Malchus led his men back to Threskeia VI to pay their respects to their first Master and to recruit new Marines to replace their losses. When he arrived it was to find the Emperor’s holy shrine completed in all its glory, with Septimus’ remains lying as promised in a position of honour within its sacred walls. Malchus was taken aback by the sheer blessedness of the hallowed building and the world around it. Threskeia VI had become a Shrine World in every sense and its people, former pilgrims all, had dedicated themselves entirely to the Emperor’s service and to care for his Church. They lived a life of self-imposed asceticism and hard labour, along with an unending program of religious activity. In addition, every year thousands of other devout pilgrims from across the Imperium came to worship at the great Shrine. Malchus had known that the pilgrims would be an ideal source of faithful aspirants, as they had for long years past, but now he realized that there would be no better place for the Emperor’s Blade to settle permanently than their spiritual home. He ordered that the Chapter would remain in the Threskeia system and select a suitable site to build a Fortress Monastery from which to carry forth the Emperor’s word against his enemies. After much consideration, Malchus chose Threskeia IV, a barren, airless world that would provide an ideal defensive position as well as a perfect space dock from which the Emperor’s Blade fleet could take to the stars. Here the Chapter built its Fortress Monastery, both terms an accurate description of a structure that is both a mighty and a holy place. The Emperor’s Blade continue to recruit from the populace and visiting pilgrims of Threskeia VI, such youths providing an excellent source of devout aspirants, worthy to become part of the Emperor’s divine instrument of retribution. Beliefs Given the origins of their recruits and the Chapter’s early history, it is unsurprising that the Emperor’s Blade wholeheartedly accepts the Imperial Creed as expounded by the Holy Church of the Ecclesiarchy, acknowledging the Emperor for what he truly is, the Immortal God of Mankind. They also venerate all of the loyal Primarchs as the greatest of the Imperium’s Saints, in particular their own Primogenitor Roboute Guilliman. The Marines of the Chapter view themselves as an instrument of Divine judgement, the ‘glittering blade’ in the Emperor’s mailed fist with which he metes out vengeance on his enemies. They are in the fullest sense warrior-priests, pious and devout in their worship and acting as the Emperor’s ministers on the battlefield, bringing salvation to those who hope in him and death to those who deny him. As such, the Chapter has a close relationship with the Adeptus Ministorium, often fighting at their request beside the Church’s Ordo Militant, the Adeptus Sororitas, when anything may threaten their loyal adherents across the Imperium. In contrast, the Emperor’s Blade’s relationship with other Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes has often become less than cordial, almost all refuting their claims of the Emperor’s Divinity. While the majority will happily fight beside the Emperor’s Blade, many view them with something approaching contempt for their belief that the Emperor was more than a man. This disagreement has never led to outright conflict, but often when a Company of the Chapter fights alongside another Astartes force, champions will be chosen to duel for the honour of their Chapter Cult. The Age of Apostasy: The Age of Apostasy was a dark time for the Emperor’s Blade. Before High Lord Vandire took power, the Chapter’s relationship with the Ecclesiarchy could be compared to that of a loyal retainer serving an ancient and wise master. However, as Vandire’s cruel acts of tyranny caused him to fall further and further from the ideals laid out in the Imperial Creed, Philemon, the Warden of the Faithful at that time, was forced to make a difficult decision. Like many Chapter Masters during that terrible time, Philemon cut his ties with Holy Terra, ordering his men to take full control of their home system, along with several of its neighbours. While still protecting the God Emperor’s realm from his enemies all along the edge of the Maelstrom, the Emperor’s Blade closed their borders to the servants of Vandire and the rest of Mankind. This state continued for several years, until the rise of Sebastian Thor. The Emperor’s Blade were among the first to join with his Confederation of Light, their goal to restore true faith to the Church of Man. After many years of fighting this goal was realised and the Imperium returned for a time to a state of internal peace and unity. Since that time, however, the relationship between the Ecclesiarchy and the Emperor’s Blade has changed. Never again would the Chapter blindly follow the Church as an infallible servant of God, but now the Warden of the Faithful would have to carefully consider the requests of the Ecclesiarchy to ensure they were in harmony with the Imperial Creed. While this has led to some minor conflict between the Chapter and the Church, for the most part the bond they share is still strong and enduring. Combat Doctrine On hearing of the Emperor’s Blade’s utter devotion to their God, one might picture them as a rampaging force of fanatics, hurling themselves en-masse against the heretical foes of the Imperium. However, this could not be further from the truth. Chapter Master Septimus instilled in his Chapter a deep and abiding reverence for their Primarch and his work, the Codex Astartes. The Emperor’s Blade view these tomes as a holy book, inspired by the undying Emperor himself, and therefore make war in perfect accordance with its words, although all the while declaring aloud their unending devotion to their God. They march to battle under great banners proclaiming the Emperor’s glory and decorate their armour with numerous purity seals and litanies expressing their faith. The Brethren also paint the casings of their weapons, most commonly the mighty bolter and cleansing flamer, in pure white, signifying that the warfare that they undertake is both holy and righteous. Over the course of the seven millennia since their Founding, the Chapter has faced every kind of foe plaguing the Imperium. However, their primary concern is guarding the borders of the Maelstrom and defeating the pirates, renegades and Chaos-worshipping traitors who emerge from its swirling currents to pillage and destroy. Therefore, while not becoming overly specialized, the Emperor’s Blade has developed an aptitude for boarding actions, learning to engage and destroy their enemies before they can become a real threat to the worlds of the Malatoth Sector. Chapter Organization The Emperor’s Blade Chapter is for the most part organized exactly as the Codex Astartes dictates, with the Battle Brethren, or ‘The Faithful’, being formed into 10 Companies of one hundred Space Marines, plus their various command and support units. Each Battle Brother of the Emperor’s Blade Companies aspires to be found worthy to join the heroes of the Chapter’s 1st Company. The veterans of this Company, ‘The Anointed’, are the most courageous, skilled and devoted warriors within the Chapter and are therefore honoured by being allowed to use its limited amount of Tactical Dreadnought Armour, holy artefacts that are as much battlefield shrines to the Emperor as they are suits of armour. Since the days of Malchus himself the entire Chapter has technically been part of its Reclusiam, signifying this by painting their right arms pure black but, oddly for a Chapter so devoted in its faith, the Emperor’s Blade have no Chaplains. This stems from an event that occurred a little over a century after the Emperor’s Blade had moved into their new Fortress Monastery on Threskeia IV. Finally, after long years of travelling, Brother Severian, Chaplain of the Ultramarines had arrived to take up the post of Master of Sanctity. Malchus eagerly received his new brother and conducted him on a tour of the Chapter’s home. While Severian was initially impressed, after a time he began to grow concerned at the Chapter’s view of the Emperor as a God. He mentioned this to Malchus and the Warden of the Faithful responded coldly. The disagreement quickly became an argument and Malchus finally declared that Severian could leave as soon as he wished. Severian was shocked, demanding to know who would care for the spiritual needs of the Brethren. Malchus is said to have laughed and challenged the Chaplain. He stated that if the least of the Chapter’s ‘Faithful’ could not equal Severian’s religious understanding, Malchus would place himself and the rest of the Chapter under him for religious instruction. Severian accepted and an opponent was chosen for him, a young Brother named Epaphras, newly attached to the 7th Reserve Company. In the Great Hall, before all the members of the Chapter on Threskeia IV at the time, they disputed for long hours, matching wits on the deeper doctrines of the faith, understanding of religious texts and quoting of litanies. Finally, Severian had to accept that he would never change the deeply held views of the Chapter. He left Threskeia IV in a rage, still insisting that Emperor’s Blade were misguided fools. From that time onwards, the Emperor’s Blade has had no Chaplains, but every Battle Brother must follow the example of Epaphras and be fully versed in the Imperial Creed. Squad leaders, Company Captains and the Warden of the Faithful himself must therefore, in addition to being strategic commanders of their troops, be paragons of faith and virtue worthy of leading them in the worship of their God. Like any Chapter, the Emperor’s Blade utilises a large Armoury of weapons and vehicles and these are cared for and maintained by the Master of the Forge and a legion of other Techmarines, Tech-Adepts, serfs and servitors. Battle Brothers trained to provide for the Chapter’s needs in this way often become isolated, rarely leaving the Chapter Forges except when they must accompany their war machines into battle. They are viewed as strange and set apart by their former Brethren, simply because their devotion to the God Emperor of Man is now by necessity balanced with their loyalty to the Machine God of Mars. If the Marines of the Armoury are seen as set apart from the rest of the Chapter, the Astartes serving as part of its Librarium are viewed with outright suspicion. Paradoxically, however, the Emperor’s Blade Librarians are at the same time held in a position of high honour. This stems from the Chapter’s feelings about psykers and mutants, such as Astropaths or Navigators, sanctioned by the Emperor Himself at the dawn of the Imperium. The Emperor’s Blade believe that being gifted with such power is a sign of a special link with the God Emperor himself. However, they also believe that power of such magnitude can only truly be the province of a God, not mortals, and that therefore these gifts are equally a dangerous curse. Thus, while Chapter commanders will listen carefully to the words of the Librarium, they are also ever vigilant to ensure that no taint ever stain the purity of the Chapter’s faith. The Librarians themselves tend to become among the most fanatically devoted to the Imperial Creed, as though to prove their continuing loyalty to the Emperor. Geneseed As scions of the Ultramarine Legion, the geneseed of the Emperor’s Blade is that of the Primogenitor, Roboute Guilliman. The Chapter’s deep respect for the Codex Astartes includes a profound reverence for its numerous strictures regarding the initiation and genetic implantation of new aspirants. Thus, even after more than seven thousand years since its Founding, its warriors perfectly maintain the purity for which the offspring of their Primarch are known. Several of the Chapter’s recruiting Sergeants, along with numerous members of the Apothecarium, are permanently based on Threskeia VI in order to examine and select the youths who may eventually become part of the Emperor’s Blade. The criteria for successful aspirants can be summed up in one word: purity. Firstly, physical and genetic purity are essential for such ones to be found worthy to be inheritors of the holy seed of Guilliman. Equally the candidates must be spiritually pure, proving themselves to be virtuous and devoted followers of the Imperial Creed and as such suitable to become defenders of the true Faith. Unusually for a Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, the Emperor’s Blade place more emphasis on such spiritual qualities over an aspirants level of combat training, believing that fighting skills can be learned but that the devotion needed to carry out the Emperor’s Will, to the death if necessary, must come from the heart. Battle-Cry While the Emperor’s Blade acknowledges that there are times when silence on the battlefield is necessary, for the most part when they go to war it is accompanied by the raised voices of all the Brethren present singing praises to the God Emperor, their vox-casters ringing out a chorus of hymns and psalms that form a marked counterpoint to the screams and death cries of their enemies. ”My Lord, surely not? They are as bad as the zealots of the Ecclesiarchy! Worse, for they should know better! I respect and value you as much as any man living, but their reaction to your arrival was… was… it bordered on heresy!” Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines and Lord Commander of the vast armies of the Imperium, sighed softly. “What else would you have me do, Marneus?” “Censure them! Put them back on the right path! But do not reward their misguided notions of divinity with access to Cawl’s technology?” “I understand your concerns, my son. Their attitude concerns me deeply, perhaps more so than any others who proclaim my father’s godhood… and I have my doubts about the many ‘coincidences’ that led to the Church’s influence upon them… but we are in no position to be selective, especially where a Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes is concerned. The Indomitus Crusade needs warriors. Whether we approve of their beliefs or not, the Emperor’s Blade are both capable and loyal. Do you see any reason to doubt either their proficiency or their devotion to our cause?” Marneus Calgar, Chapter Master of the Ultramarines, frowned thoughtfully and then shook his head. If one ignored the hymnals and rhetoric – more suited to the Sororitas than the Astartes – the Chapter had proved itself as disciplined and effective in war as any of the Ultramarines’ many Successors. Guilliman nodded back and continued. “As to censure, I have given it in… similar… circumstances. I have seen what it can do. It can break a man, destroy him utterly. If we had chosen another path, found another way…” the Primarch paused pensively… “You cannot imagine how different things might be.” There was another long moment of silence. Finally Marneus bowed his head. “As you will it, my Lord. The Emperor’s Blade will have the Primaris technology. I will have the Tech-Adepts begin the transfer of data and supplies.” Guilliman nodded again and Calgar moved to leave. At the portal of his Lord’s Sanctum, he turned back with a mirthless grin. “Apparently they all want to cross the Rubicon, every last one of them! They’re calling it a test of their faith and purity, whether they can accept the gift of the Emperor! Maybe the process will kill them all off and we can start over?” Guilliman smiled back wearily. “I hope not, my son. Whether their views are wrong and whether some day we can lead them back to the truth… for the time being, we need them.”
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