Scythes of the Emperor
|Scythes of the Emperor|
|Battle Cry||"For the Emperor! We are his Scythes!"|
|Founding||Third (though they had been around longer)|
|Successor Chapters||Unknown, likely none|
|Homeworld||Sotha (Destroyed) Now fleet-based.|
|Strength||1000 marines (>90% Primaris)|
|Colours||Black arms, legs and helmet. The rest yellow.|
"It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war."
- – Unknown
"Quite aside from the secret shame of Imperium Secundus, the existence of the Aegida company could be seen as proof of his wilful and deliberate flouting of Imperial decree - a decree that he and his surviving brothers only agreed upon after much conflict."
- – Ultramarine Chaplain Segas justifying the founding of the Scythes of the Emperor
The Scythes of the Emperor are a Codex-compliant chapter of Space Marines. Not a huge amount is known about them, except that their homeworld and original fortress monastery was omnomnommed by Hive Fleet Kraken. Their new monastery is also their flagship, the Heart of Cronus, making them a now fleet-based chapter. They also have a pretty kick-ass colour scheme. They are not to be confused with the Astartes Chapter, Emperor's Scythes, which have kickass purple armor and are even more mysterious than The Scythes of the Emperor.
While not that much is known about the Scythes of the Emperor themselves, much of their early history can be extrapolated from the Horus Heresy:
Their homeworld of Sotha was a key world in Roboute Guilliman's Imperium Secundus, being the site of the Pharos, which was a xenos device that aided warp travel and communication, but operated in a fundamentally different way to the Astronomican. Instead of illuminating the world like a lighthouse for all to navigate by, it acted more like a lantern that allowed travel to selected worlds within its range.
The device was fortified by the Ultramarines 199th Aegida Company, along with a small contingent of Imperial Fists and loyalist Iron Warriors, although level of Fortification was kept discrete as to not attract attention to the importance of the precious artefact that was maintaining Guilliman's pocket empire. The rest of the planet was populated by farmers who were kept ignorant of Pharos' true purpose, ostensibly making Sotha an Agri-World of little significance.
Despite the efforts of the Night Lords, the world clearly remained under Imperial control after the Horus Heresy, and after battle the 199th company garrisoned on Sotha were allowed to bear the crossed scythes icon to represent their duty of protecting farmers. Following the Second Founding, in an act of Double Heresy; Roboute Guilliman allowed the Aegida company to remain on Sotha as an eleventh company of Ultramarines to ensure the secret of the Pharos was not revealed, and with it the shame of Imperium Secundus.
Later, when the Third Founding was ordered by Rogal Dorn, the Ultramarines knew they would fall under intense scrutiny and offered Aegida Captain Oberdeii a choice: either leave Sotha and join the Ultramarine 5th company properly with the implied intention of allowing him to martyr himself and take the secrets of the past with him. OR quietly join the third founding as a new Chapter, but give up his status as an Ultramarine. His choice was to form the Scythes of the Emperor.
During the aforementioned struggle with the Night Lords, the Pharos was overloaded in an attempt to purge the traitors from the planet, a course of action which succeeded but that brief flash of energy was bright enough to seen from outside of the galaxy and caught the attention of the Tyranids, practically sealing the doom of the planet when they inevitably arrived ten thousand years later.
Nearly 10,000 years later the chapter was devastated by their defeat on Sotha. Only about four hundred marines survived. Though the bulk of the Chapter Fleet managed to escape. They evacuated to the world of Miral which they hoped to make their new homeworld. Alas, Kraken caught up to them and they were forced to escape once more after losing 3/4th of their number including their Chapter Master and First Company. Shortly after their escape, Captain Thracian of the 3rd company took the mantle of Chapter Master and immediately started launching hit and run attacks against the hive fleet. They kept this up until they learned that the Ultramarines had finally halted Kraken at Ichar IV and were greatly disappointed that they weren't present.
Chapter Master Thracian later set about to rebuilding the chapter and avenging his fallen brothers. Low on Astartes, as well as limited amounts of equipment, the chapter could not completely follow the Codex Astartes while they were regaining their strength. At one point they only had four suits of Terminator armour left, one of which was only partial.
In the Space Marines: The Omnibus story Orphans of the Kraken, the Scythes of the Emperor are shown working in so-called Saviour Squads, which board Tyranid hive ships to search for battle-brothers (Both dead and alive) and equipment to bring back to the Chapter, as well as using the opportunity to train recruits. While some in the Chapter, understandably, think that doing this is retarded, it is revealed that Thrasius was actually using the information brought back from the expeditions to construct a hive ship simulator on one of their ships, so that they can train recruits without risking their lives.
Overall, they are kind of like an Ultramarine equivalent to the Crimson Fists.
Current status & Future
In M42, their luck seems to have finally improved. When Guilliman returned from his Indomitus Crusade, he announced his intention for the Scythes of the Emperor to be one of the 10 Ultramarine successors pledged to guard Ultramar. The Primarch brought thousands of Primaris Space Marines to form 8 new Primaris-only chapters and fully reinforce the Ultramarines and Scythes several times over. Although equipment and fleet losses may take longer to replace, they now have a Chapter nearly full of Primaris Marines who brought brand new armor, weapons, and more importantly, the ability to produce more Primaris Marines with them.
In a rare case in the grimdarkness of 40k, the Scythes of the Emperor seem to have gotten a pretty good reward for all their hard work.
- The Corinth Crusade (698.M41 to 705.M41) - The Scythes fought alongside several other chapters, among who were the Ultramarines, Lamenters and Marines Errants as well as over fifty regiments of Guardsmen, against the Orks of Waaagh! Skargor. The Imperial forces defeated the Orks and delayed further attacks for over three decades.
- Damocles Gulf Crusade (745.M41) - The chapter led the first landing in Tau territory. The chapter later deployed alongside the Ultramarines and Iron Hands and participated in several spearhead assaults. They also maintained constant night patrols to defend against Tau infiltrators. At the end of the crusade they withdrew together with the rest of the Imperial forces to help defend against Hive Fleet Behemoth.
- Second Tyrannic War (992.M41) - The Scythes of the Emperor didn't partake in the Second Tyrannic War until Hive Fleet Kraken came home to them and politely asked for a cup of tea (read: eat your face). Even though planets with fortress monasteries are some of the most heavily defended in the Imperium, the Scythes were soon defeated and were dangerously low on both manpower and equipment. About a company's worth of marines and a small amount of support managed to escape on the chapters flagship Heart of Cronus, which now serves as their new fortress-monastery.
- Battle of Hamagora(M42) - Reformed and re-stocked with Primaris Marines, the 2nd Company of the Scythes of the Emperor battled against the forces of Nurgle on the Hive World of Hamagora. Assailed by an endless swarm of Nurgle daemons their casualties began to mount before a Grey Knight strike team bailed them out by send the Great Unclean One leading the chaos invasion screaming into the warp.
Secret of the Scythes
Remember that Last Stand on Miral? Yeah it was actually a lot less 'noble' than you think.
Before this battle, a suspicious Space Marine named Hadrios (who no other Scythe had any memory serving with) repeatedly requested an audience with the Chapter Master. Denied, he took his case to 3rd Captain Thrasius instead. Apparently he knew why the Hive Fleet came to Sotha and the reason behind the formation of the Chapter in the first place. Upon hearing of this revelation not only does Thrasius fly into a rage, he takes the Battle Barge Heart of Chronus and half the Chapter's fleet away from Miral, leaving his Chapter Master and the bulk of the Scythe's forces to face the might of Kraken.
Thrasius does come back later with his forces but by then the Chapter Master is dead and only a company of Scythes are left alive. It is heavily implied that he did this on purpose as not only does he become Chapter Master after this, but the most vocal opposition to him including the Chapter's 1st Company is now dead. It leaves him free to chart what he believes is the 'true destiny of the Chapter.'
His more sinister machinations are also put into play as he has Hadrios kill the Chapter's Chief Apothecary due to that fact that he 'knew too much'. It is also heavily hinted that Hadrios had a hand in the Chapter Master's death as well. Hadrios then goes on to become Thrasius' right-hand man and gets tasked with carrying out his more questionable orders out of sight.
Now that the Scythes have re-emerged and once again become a full-chapter (due to Primaris reinforcements) as well as one of the 10 Chapters dedicated to guarding Ultramar, it raises questions on how they would be able to keep that secret. Not to mention doing so in the face of their reborn Primarch.
Of course, there's also the question of "who the fuck is Hadrios and how the fuck does he know secrects from the 31st millennium". Alpha Legion spy? Night Lord dicking around with Thrasius? Tzeentchian psychic bullshit? You decide.
Besides that, wishful thinking won’t keep Guilliman from knowing the secret since he’s the one who made it. Also, why did Thrasius care about the secret? Shouldn’t he be honored to be either a descendent of or in a Chapter inspired by an incredible hero (loyalist Iron Warrior badass)? Sure, he accidentally attracted the Tyranids, but the Imperium does shit like that all the time, sometimes on purpose. And Chaos getting the device would have been infinitely worse than being eaten by Tyranids. At least the bugs merely kill you.
- Chapter Master Thorcyra - Chapter Master before Kraken attacked Sotha. He was killed on the death world of Miral in the aftermath of the attack.
- Chapter Master Thrasius - Current Chapter Master. Promoted after Thorcyra fell and determined to rebuild the chapter. Possibly left his Chapter Master to die in order to sieze power for himself and protect his Chapter's secret.
- Lieutenant Hadrios - Currently Thrasius' closest advisor. Mysterious individual who no one has any memory of being in the Chapter before. Convinced Thrasius to abandon his Chapter Master and take command of the Scythes for himself. Teamkiller and currently in charge of assassinating anyone who gets in Thrasius' way as well as procuring geneseed by any means necessary.
- Forge Master Sebastion - Promoted to Master of the Forge as he was the highest ranking Techmarine still alive in the chapter. Responsible for the training of new Techmarines and is also working on restoring and acquiring Terminator armour.
- Captain Vosok Dall - At some point turned renegade and swore allegiance to Khorne. He was slain on New Badab by Honsou.
- Commander Cassios - An officer in the fifth company who survived for three years aboard a Tyranid Hive ship. He was later killed when he returned to the same Hive ship.
- Battle Brother Eesall - A Battle Brother known for riding a Tyranid Harridan bareback in the Black Library audio drama Daedalus.
Warning for large amounts of Awesome. Viewer discretion is advised. Just look at the tiny little feet on the Terminator! Dawwwww!