21st Founding

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One of the many Space Marine Chapter Foundings since the Legions were created for the Great Crusade. This one in particular is noteworthy because it was the largest since the Second Founding, and also called the Cursed Founding.

Fresh with the start of the 36th Millennium, five millennia after the First Founding, the Adeptus Mechanicus felt that it was about time to tinker with the gene-seed of the new Chapters and correct the many errors that had accumulated over the centuries.

They failed.

For one thing, many of the resulting Chapters had entirely new mutations introduced, like the Flame Falcons, who actually were covered in flames, until the Inquisition wiped them out.

Even when the Mechanicus managed to avoid creating mutated Chapters, it seems that their other creations were cursed with bad luck. For example, the Fire Hawks became the Legion of the Damned after they were lost in the Warp (maybe), and the Lamenters, who apparently managed to end up cured of the Black Rage and Red Thirst, are apparently the most disaster-prone Chapter in the Imperium, and then turned out to fall to the Black Rage anyway. Only two canon chapters seems to be doing pretty well: the Black Dragons, who the Inquisition wants to erase in the same way as the Flame Falcons, and the Minotaurs, who are the Space Marine-killing headsmen of the High Lords of Terra that may not even be the original Chapter. (Well, three if you count the Lamenters, at least they're still alive...)

Several active traitor warbands, especially the Blood Gorgons are alive and kicking (even if their author's career isn't) and pretty awesome, too, but, you know, evil chaos men and stuff. They were declared Excommunicate traitoris by the Inquisition; it's not clear if they actively opposed the Imperium, decided to just go and do their own thing, or were (this is perhaps very slightly implied) unjustly implicated and swept up in the whole scandal of the disaster that was the "cursed" founding to begin with.

Because of these many misfortunes, the 21st Founding has come to be known as the Cursed Founding. Those Chapters unfortunate enough to have been founded at this time are barely tolerated by the Inquisition, if at all, and are mostly shunned by the rest of the Imperium. It's not exactly known why the 21st founding was cursed of all things, but it was probably Tzeentch getting his dose of lulz. Given the extensive genetic engineering involved, it is also possible that Fabius Bile was somehow involved. Or perhaps, Belisarius Cawl was tinkering around.

On the tabletop[edit]

Games Workshop actually released rules for the different cursed founding chapters way back in 2004 during the transition between 3rd and 4th editions. The summary for them is found here.

Fan-made chapters may also use this Founding to justify some peculiar genetic quirk.

Alternative take[edit]

It's called the cursed founding, by apparently introducing more mutations and flaws. However, how the fuck is creating the Legion of The Damned a bad thing? The Black Dragons got a kickass Wolverine thing (more like Baraka), among many other actual improvements.

...Oh right, mutations are synonymous with the involvement of Chaos.

Actually, the Black Dragons and Legion of the Damned were a small amount of loyalist rarities in a large founding (the largest since the 2nd Founding). Although we're given only a small amount of specific examples, it's explicitly stated that the vast majority of Cursed Founding chapters fell to Chaos, went renegade, went INSANE, or had ridiculously bad luck and went extinct from it (the Lamenters apparently weren't the only ones. They're just the only ones that managed to survive in spite of it). And even the Black Dragons get a ton of crap to dodge in exchange for the advantages of their mutations. Not least Dark Eldar wanting them for science experiments.

Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes
First Founding
(M29):
Blood Angels - Dark Angels - Imperial Fists
Iron Hands - Raven Guard - Salamanders
Space Wolves - Ultramarines - White Scars
Second Founding
(021.M31):
Angels of Absolution - Angels Encarmine - Angels Porphyr
Angels of Redemption - Angels Sanguine - Angels of Vengeance
Angels Vermillion - Aurora Chapter - Black Consuls
Black Guard - Black Templars - Blood Drinkers
Brazen Claws - Crimson Fists - Destroyers
Doom Eagles - Eagle Warriors - Excoriators
Fists Exemplar - Flesh Tearers - Genesis Chapter
Inceptors - Iron Snakes - Libators
Lions Sable - Marauders - Mortifactors
Nemesis - Novamarines - Obsidian Glaives
Patriarchs of Ulixis - Praetors of Orpheus - Rampagers
Raptors - Red Talons - Revilers
Silver Eagles - Silver Skulls - Soul Drinkers
Storm Lords - White Consuls - Wolf Brothers
Third to
Twelfth Founding
(M32-M35):
Astral Claws - Angels Revenant - Charnel Guard
Dark Paladins - Executioners - Flesh Eaters
Halo Brethren - Howling Griffons - Iron Knights
Mantis Warriors - Marines Malevolent - Night Swords
Sable Swords (initial) - Scythes of the Emperor - Space Sharks
Sons of Guilliman
Thirteenth Founding
(M35):
Death Spectres - Exorcists
Fourteenth to
Twentieth Founding:
Angels of Fire - Avenging Sons - Celebrants
Twenty-First Founding
(991.M35):
Black Dragons - Blood Gorgons - Fire Hawks
Flame Falcons - Lamenters - Minotaurs
Sons of Antaeus
Twenty-Second to
Twenty-Sixth Founding
(M35-M41):
Angels of Vigilance - Celestial Lions - Dark Hunters
Disciples of Caliban - Emperor's Spears - Fire Angels
Imperial Harbingers - Iron Lords - Knights of the Raven
Marines Errant - Mentors - Fire Claws/Relictors
Star Phantoms - Subjugators
Ultima Founding
(999.M41):
Angels of Defiance - Blades of Vengeance - Castellans of the Rift
Fulminators - Knights Cerulean - Knights of the Chalice
Knights of Thunder - Necropolis Hawks - Nemesors
Praetors of Ultramar - Rift Stalkers - Silver Drakes
Silver Templars - Sons of the Phoenix - Storm Reapers
Umbral Knights - Unnumbered Sons - Valiant Blades
Void Tridents - Wolfspear
Unknown Founding: Absolvers - Accipiters - Adulators
Angel Guard - Angels Eradicant - Angels of Retribution
Astral Knights - Blood Ravens - Blood Swords - Brazen Drakes
Brothers Penitent - Crimson Castellans - Crimson Consuls
Crimson Scythes - Dark Hands - Dark Sons
Death Eagles - Fire Lords - Guardians of the Covenant
Graven Spectres - Hammers of Dorn - Harbingers
Hawk Lords - Invaders - Iron Crusaders
Iron Talons - Jade Dragons - Knights of Blood
Knights Unyielding - Marines Exemplar - The Nameless
Night Watch - Rainbow Warriors - Reclaimers
Red Hunters - Red Scorpions - Red Seraphs
Red Templars - Sable Swords (refounded) - Shadow Wolves
Solar Hawks - Sons of Orar - Star Dragons
Stormwatchers - Storm Giants - Storm Wardens
Valedictors - Viper Legion - Vorpal Swords
White Templars
Unsanctioned Founding: Consecrators - Sons of Medusa - Steel Confessors
Others: Astartes Praeses - Deathwatch - Grey Knights
Judged
Timeline of Warhammer 40,000
The Times of Old Wars of Secession - War in Heaven (60.000.000 BC) - Fall of the Eldar (M30)
Pre-Heresy Age of Terra (M1-M15) - Dark Age of Technology (M15-M25) - Age of Strife (M25-M30)
Great Crusade (M31) The Last Church - Rangdan Xenocides - Interex - Faash - Council of Nikaea
Horus Heresy (M31) Battle of Isstvan III - The Burning of Prospero - Drop Site Massacre - Thramas Crusade
The Battle of Phall - Battle of Calth - Signus Campaign - Imperium Secundus - Siege of Terra
Time of Rebirth (M31-M32) The Great Scouring (M31) - Start of The Long War (M31) - The Legion Wars (M31)
The Battle of Skalathrax (M31) - Creation of the Codex Astartes (M31) - Second Founding (021.M31)
The Forging (M32-M34) The War of The Beast (544.M32-546.M32) - The Beheading (546.M32)
Nova Terra Interregnum (M34-M36) 21st Founding (M36)
Age of Apostasy (M36-37) Plague of Unbelief (310.M36)
Age of Redemption (M37-M38) Abyssal Crusade (321.M37-121.M38)
The Waning (M40-M41) Gothic War (143-151.M41) - The Macharian Crusade (392-399.M41) - The Macharian Heresy (400-470.M41)
Wars for Armageddon (444.M41, 941.M41 and 991.M41) - Damocles Crusade (742.M41)
Time of Ending (M41) The Vaxi Atrocity (731.M41) - First Tyrannic War (745-746.M41) - Sabbat Worlds Crusade (755.M41-780.M41)
Siege of Vraks (813.M41-830.M41) - Massacre at Sanctuary 101 (897.M41) - Badab War (901-912.M41)
The Vaxhallian Genocide (926.M41) - Second Tyrannic War (990.M41-993.M41) - Third Tyrannic War (997.M41-999.M41)
Taros Campaign (998.M41) - Octarius War (999.M41) - 13th Black Crusade (999.M41-M42)
Age of the Dark Imperium (M42-ongoing) Indomitus Crusade (999.M41-111.M42) - Ultima Founding (M42) - War of Beasts (001.M42-025.M42) - Plague Wars (~111.M42) - Psychic Awakening (M42)