War Scribes

From 1d4chan

"What meaning has conquest if the next day brings only ruin?"

Quote attributed to Primarch Arelex Orannis, upon assuming control of the II Legion

War Scribes
War scribes icons2.png
Battle Cry "Humanity Ascendant!"
Number II
Founding First Founding
Successors of N/A
Successor Chapters Numerous
Chapter Master Ulreg Astelos
Primarch Arelex Orannis
Homeworld The Atalantos Worlds
Strength 100,000 at peak
Specialty Small-unit tactics, tunnel-fighting, boarding actions, Archeotechs, Enforced compliance of void-faring civilizations
Allegiance Imperium of Man
Colours Grey and purple, later gold, purple, and turquoise

This page details people, events, and organisations from the /tg/ Heresy, a fan re-working of the Warhammer 40,000 Universe. See the /tg/ Heresy Timeline and Galaxy pages for more information on the Alternate Universe.

History of the War Scribes[edit]

"From the ashes, glory."

- Motto of the Second Legion

As with the other First Founding Chapters, the War Scribes' history is long and often shrouded in the mists of time. Before the Reformation, the War Scribes went through some of the most savage fighting of any Legion. They recovered from the brink of annihilation on multiple occasions. Sometimes considered an unlucky lineage, nevertheless the gene-sons of Arelex Orannis have proven over the millennia that they are survivors above all else. Despite their blood-stained history, they constantly exhibit a curious optimism and fearlessness.

Beginnings: Legio Secundus[edit]

"We were fortunate indeed to have found our Primogenitor so quickly. Not for us the confusion and soul-searching which many other Legions endured. It was as if Lord Arelex had never gone missing, and each War Scribe felt truly blessed among the Legions."

-Maestro Ferrorum Polix Creel, Master of Fellblade "Orkburner"

Like the other Legions, the War Scribes first saw combat action as a squad of the Sacred Band of the Primarch Hektor Cincinnatus. Though Hektor was not their gene-father, the ten members of Second Squad greatly respected him as a military leader and, in a way, their uncle. The Sacred Band's success in the Pacification of the Merican Hives won the Space Marines their place as the Emperor's favourite soldiers. As the Second Squad expanded into a Legion, they recruited heavily from the Gangers who dwelt in Nord Merica's crowded Hive Cities. These men were naturally wild and savage, and were cunning urban warriors. Under Hektor's supervision, Orend Ymoro and his officers molded gang-scum into Space Marines with great success. Throughout the Unification Wars, the fresh-minted Legio Secundus acquitted itself with honour. The Legion also began to develop a more technical mindset, adding the skills of combat engineering to their prowess in built-up areas. "Dirty, Dangerous, Deadly!" became their unofficial motto.

Unfortunately, things became dangerous indeed during the war with Nathaniel Dume's Pan-Pacific Empire. Second Legion were deployed to storm fortifications commanded by Dume's vassal, Vuthros Khan, but were met by a barrage of concealed nuclear missiles. Many Marines were killed instantly, blasted into vapor. Due to the short-comings of the primitive Mark I Power Armour, even the more fortunate battle brothers suffered terrible burns and radiation poisoning. Though the Legion would survive, the resultant gene-seed anomalies kept the Second Legion from major engagements during the last decade of the Unification Wars and held up their deployment to the Great Crusade. The Emperor was greatly busy but devoted what time he had to repairing the damage from Vuthros's rad-weapons. Most of the mutations were minor, but soon Melanchrome organ mutations began emerging, causing a wide and worrying variation in skin coloration. The timely conquest of Luna won the services of a host of skilled genetors, among them the supremely brilliant Pallas Eugenesis. Without the burdens of command that sapped the Emperor's fathomless mind, Pallas and her minions were able to conduct a major repair the Second Legion's gene-seed, though the Eclipse Queen warned that its long-term stability was still in question.

As soon as they had received their conditional bill of health, the warriors of Second Legion went into action for the battles of the Solar System. Due to being stood down for the last years of the Unification Wars, the Second were rested and eager to prove themselves. They fought with distinction across the inner planets and the asteroid belt, earning great honour for their part in the Volemar Gamma Campaign. After the Treaty of Mars in 805.M30, Legio Secundus formed the backbone of the 4th Expedition Fleet, taking the Emperor's Great Crusade to the stars beyond Sol. But an even more significant event was just around the corner.

Notable Battles[edit]

  • c.780.M30 The Cleansing of Calverna Although the disaster in the war against the Pan-Pacific Empire is better-known, for a time the Second Legion's victory at Calverna marked them out as rising stars among the Emperor's servants.
  • c.785.M30 Dalvan Atrocity Nathaniel Dume's henchman, Vuthros Khan, unleashed nuclear weapons on the Second Legion and inflicted terrible casualties.
  • 800.M30 Volemar Gamma Campaign. After healing the atomic wounds of the Pan-Pacific campaign, the Second Legion were called on to help the First Legion purge an Orkish outpost menacing Terra.

The Rediscovery of Arelex Orannis[edit]

Arelex Orannis, Primarch of the War Scribes

In just the eighth year of the Great Crusade, the Emperor left his First Expedition Fleet in the command of His deputy and traveled to the newly-compliant world Whitestone. Fabricator-General Kalkas Tygian, the Primarch Hektor Cincinnatus and Legion Master Napotiel Greybeard were called on to attend their lord in his mission to this obscure planet. From the bridge of his flagship, the Emperor explained his purpose at Whitestone. A Primarch, one of Hektor's lost brothers, was soon to appear. The Master of Mankind pointed out into the void, and on cue a great hulk burst forth from the warp.

The Emperor commanded his servants to wait, then vanished, borne into the space hulk by an ancient teleporter. Kalkas, Hektor and Napotiel stood silent, their thoughts abuzz. When their lord returned, he had with him the stout, ragged figure of Arelex Orannis. On being introduced to his gene-father, Napotiel could not resist an envious look at noble Hektor. But he saw in the eyes of the first Primarch a look of compassion and warmth towards Arelex. During the short journey back to the Solar System, Arelex had only a passing interest in speaking to Napotiel about the Second Legion and their hard-won victories to date. He was far more eager to talk to the Lord of Mars, Kalkas Tygian, a man whose every word carried the weight of mankind's ancient knowledge. Hektor, as ever the peacemaker, counselled patience among all parties and recommended that his brother take some time on Mars to learn more of the new Imperium before taking command.

While his gene-father studied on the Red Planet, Napotiel returned to command of the Fourth Expedition Fleet. His mind was greatly troubled in those months, especially as the discovery of Arelex Orannis was as yet a closely-guarded secret. But the rigours of campaign helped to keep Napotiel distracted from his concerns about the future of Legio Secundus. When the news of the Primarch's rediscovery and imminent reunion with his gene-sons became public, Napotiel put on a brave face and celebrated with his command, but in his own quarters he worried. The man he had met above Whitestone seemed ill-suited to lead. Would the stay on Mars truly have improved him?

Late in 807.M30 Arelex Orannis formally took command of the Fourth Expedition Fleet on the newly-compliant Civilized World, Makkia. He arrived at he head of substantial reinforcements, mostly Solar Auxilia raised from the stations of the outer Solar System, and he cut an imposing figure in his Mars-forged power armour. None the less, many in the Legion were alarmed to see the bionic replacements that Arelex had received from the Mechanicum. Some wondered if they were to be led by a man or a machine. Napotiel alone saw the bionics as an improvement, knowing how ravaged his gene-father's body had been when he was first discovered, and was quick to lead a cheer for the new lord of the Second Legion. Over time, the Second Legion came to learn and admire the true character of their gene-father. Like the many Legionnaires who had spent their childhood fighting for survival in the Hives of Merica, Arelex Orannis knew what it was to struggle for life from an early age. He impressed on his sons the importance of self-sufficiency while forging tight bonds between squadmates. Arelex also taught Legio Secundus to seek out the lost wisdom of mankind, for a relic that could not be understood today might be of great use tomorrow. Survival, after all, is a long game.

Those who met the reforged Second Legion often remarked on their twin character as Warriors and Scribes, fierce fighters in the Great Crusade and tireless scholars, but it was the ever-caustic Fifth Legion Primarch Gaspard Lumey who first, mockingly, described them as the War Scribes in one of his dispatches. It is unclear whether Arelex Orannis realised his men were being insulted and decided to redeem the epithet or if he simply didn't see a problem with the name in the first place. Regardless, by the second century of the Great Crusade, the name of the War Scribes was famous across the Galaxy. Great victories such as the "Burning of Volganis Beta", the "Scourging Beneath Twin Suns", the "Black March Crusade" and dozens more were added to the Legion's honor rolls. A harder-won battle, the so-called Second Sagittarius Crusade to lead the expansion of the Imperium into the Atalantos Worlds would have a great effect on both the War Scribes and the Imperium.

Notable Campaigns[edit]

Legion Culture[edit]

"These are the words of our Primarch and gene-sire, Lord Arelex Orannis. Here are the codes we live by, recorded for all time. Let there never be doubt in your minds of the correct path to take, in any given situation. We know the truths of the universe. We have seen the terrors that lie beyond the path of righteousness. The evidence is insurmountable and clear, and to defy or ignore it is the purest folly. Now, Initiates, repeat after me, the Oath of Orannis!"

- "First Address" recited by the Chapter Master of the War Scribes for each new graduating class of Initiates, at the completion of their training and gene-seed implantation.

The Oath of Orannis
  • We solemnly swear and affirm that we shall uphold the ancient traditions of the Chapter, of the Primarch, of the Emperor and his Imperium.
  • Never shall the War Scribes use the tools of the Xenos, for those corrupted devices will betray them.
  • Never shall the War Scribes use the sorcerous magics of the Warp, for those heresies will consume all.
  • Never shall the War Scribes use the powers of the Mutant, for those who embrace impurity defile Mankind.
  • We shall serve with our whole hearts, our whole bodies, and our whole minds. Though unholy powers of the Warp howl about us, though vile Xenos swarm from the Galactic Core, though the Mutant ever lurketh in shadow, forever onward will we carry the Imperium's torch.
  • We seek the enlightened future promised us by the Emperor, and we seek the glorious past promised us by the Primarch.
  • The glories of Mankind are our sacred quest, and nothing will stay us from that goal.
  • Our righteousness will shake the stars, and our will shall be done, for it is the Emperor's will that we do so. Ave Imperator!

"Good, Initiates! Now, repeat after me the Five Truths of the Primarch, as passed down through the Chapter Masters of old, to remind you that a War Scribe's greatest weapon is his disciplined thoughts! A true Scribe sees beyond the veils that blind lesser warriors, and peers deeply into both past and future! Rededicate yourselves to the ideals of the man who would reshape the Galaxy itself! Honor the precious gifts that our Primarch has granted his children!"

- "Second Address" recited by the Chapter Master of the War Scribes for each new graduating class of Initiates, at the completion of their training and gene-seed implantation.

The Five Truths of the War Scribes
  • FIRST TRUTH! All things flow from the highest scale to the lowest, from the Galaxy to a single grain of sand. So too assembles our Legion, one indomitable body binding countless soldiers as one!
  • SECOND TRUTH! All that exists is part of the whole, naught exists independently. By this truth we shape our battle stratagem. From the Void we emerge, within the atmosphere we fight, upon the ground we crush all opposition! Space, Air and Land, all are but facets of War!
  • THIRD TRUTH! To master the Galaxy, we master its resources. All that is shall be ours, in the name of Humanity!
  • FOURTH TRUTH! We are stewards of the Emperor's Imperium! Our solemn duty, to nurture His empire! The War Scribes shall always build as well as we destroy!
  • FIFTH TRUTH! Our Primarch mastered the technological realm, so shall his sons. Whatever hardships may befall us, we shall restore the relics of greater eras to the Imperium's service!
  • This we swear in the immortal Emperor's name, in the beloved Primarch's name, and the name of the eternal Imperium! Ave Imperator!

Legion Colors


"Purple and grey? Those are our colors. Always have been, maybe always will be. Everyone in the Hives had their colors. It's your identity. Friend and foe."

Quote attributed to Napotiel Greybeard, choosing the Second Legion's livery prior to Arelex's arrival.

The Legion's original livery was unpainted ceramite gray, with a small amount of purple trim. They went about their business garbed in thick shrouds, cloaks, and robes, kept in memory of the rags the Nord Mericans wrapped around themselves for protection back on Terra. A warrior of the Second Legion was also never caught without at least a few pouches or satchels on his person. They remembered the harsh times from childhood when food or water were scarce, and any supplies discovered on their scavenging must be returned to the clan.

When Arelex rejoined his Legion, he permitted these traditions to remain, seeing no harm in wearing cloth over their armor, or keeping multipurpose containers on their belts. He merely upgraded them, creating heat-dissipating cowls, chamelioline cloaks, or thickly constructed flak-weave tabards capable of deflecting shrapnel.

After the Legion's victory over the Craftworld, Arelex took their colors as his Legion's own as a kind of trophy befitting their achievement. In addition to their purple garb, their Power Armor took on brilliant hues of turquoise and golden gilding. It was a bold, awe-inspiring heraldry, and served as a key step in unifying the older Terran-born warriors with the new recruits. Finally, every War Scribe had a "color" they could truly call their own.

And so it has been ever since.

The Atalantos Worlds[edit]

Main article: The Atalantos Worlds

The Atalantos Worlds are Primarch Arelex's crowning achievement. Though progress was slow and the lives lost were many, no other Primarch managed to push the Imperium's boundaries closer to the Galaxy's Core. The Atalantos Worlds span several dozen major worlds, and countless mining colonies, from which the Galactic Core's resources are plundered with abandon, and shipped outwards to fuel Imperial industry across the Ultima Segmentum.

Necrons are here in great number, and other xenos as well, and the hazards of radiation and stellar cataclysms are always a deadly risk. Nevertheless, the lure of treasure draws in prospectors and explorers from across the Imperium, and there is never a shortage of slaves and convicts to labor in the crushing pressures and hellish temperatures inside the mines.

Because of the Atalantos Worlds' vast mineral productivity and Arelex's gift for management and logistics, the War Scribes were able to sustain the largest fleet of any Astartes Legion. Though the Legion was never the most numerous, their influence was felt across the Imperium, heralded by the sound of macrocannons pounding planets and the silent lash of lances spearing across the void.

Notable Legionnaires[edit]

The Sacred Band: Squad II

  • Orend Ymoro, b. c.765.M30, d.803.M30. He was one of the first Space Marines an was selected to lead the Second Squad of the Sacred Band and led the Second Legion in the Unification Wars. Orend was a brave and inspiring leader who died too young.
  • Ereleius the Red, Blood Scribe. One of the most fanatic War Scribes, practicing ritual scarification on his own body as a means of recording the most important bits of knowledge granted him on Terra. The words of the Emperor, he engraved on his very bones. Ereleius's work led to the establishment of the "Inscribed" Armor that all War Scribes Chaplains would eventually wear, and Ereleius himself would do great service to the Legion as their Grand Chaplain, ensuring that all remained pure. After the Heresy, his work would continue as the Grand Chaplain of the War Scribes' Chapter.
  • Mohxes, the Warp Scribe. This Marine was and remains the only true Librarian of the Scribes, a valuable and highly skilled Marine who achieved the rank of Sergeant just before his Primarch was found. Mohxes' attunement to the Warp was enormous, steadily growing stronger as the Marine became more practiced in its use, and so Arelex was forced to send him before the Emperor himself for judgement for he was still solidifying control of his Legion and establishing their doctrines. In those early days, Arelex had yet to develop the fanatical hatred of Psykers he would exhibit in the future. Because the request was so unusual, and came directly from one of His sons, the Emperor actually took some time to train Mohxes, certifying him pure and performing a ritual similar to what would later become Soul-Binding, though with much more finesse. This eased Arelex's concerns immensely. Mohxes' final gift to his Legion was to stifle his own powers after the Council of Nikaea, upon hearing his Primarch's rejection of people such as himself. He disobeyed his Primarch at Isstvan, unleashing his stored power to ensure that the Legion's naval arm could escape the blockade by casting an enormous force shield into space to cover their retreat. It is said that Mohxes' sacrifice was the one and only time Arelex even considered the idea that he might have been wrong about Librarians and their potential benefits. Regrettably, Mohxes did not survive his herculean effort, and died in orbit over Isstvan.
  • Bilzaion, the Delver. Bilzaion spent most of his time on Terra digging through the savant's databases, practicing his Primarch's art. His efforts would prove crucial during the Heresy and the rebuilding of the Imperium afterwards. Later, he would become Chapter Master of one of the War Scribes' Second Founding Successors.
  • Wolzhi Steelblood. This Marine was once a being of simple flesh, but integrated bionics into every part of his body over time, laboring many years in order to prefect himself as an engine of war. Wolzhi's cybernetics are works of art, integrating ancient sciences with medical technology from distant, half remembered eras of Man. For many years, he was responsible for maintaining the War Scribes' most precious weapons of war, but despite his enhancements, the betrayal at Isstvan claimed this brave man's life.
  • Pluthach He had suffered severe burns at Dalvan but the wound to his honour was much harder to heal. When the Second Legion was deployed to combat operations again, Pluthach showed increasing signs of mental instability. This troubled soul had the good fortune to find a noble end during the Volemar Gamma Campaign.
  • Hellakonis, the Earth Striker. Hellakonis is a master of planetary assault, the Legion's foremost expert on planets and how to properly subjugate them, even beyond his own Primarch. He's also the Marine who named Arelex's melee weapon, for it was said that Hellakonis is the mattock with which Arelex cleaves planets. Fell at Isstvan.
  • Celsam, the Xenos-Crowned. The War Scribes fought long and hard to overcome the Necron threat, and none more so than Celsam, who personally led eight missions to infiltrate Tomb Worlds and destroy what lay within. His armor is bedecked with broken shards of dead Phaerons and Crypteks, and a metallic Imperial Laurel adorns his helmet, made of their melted-down Resurrection Circuits, ripped from their unliving bodies before he slew them. Celsam still fights on in the Galactic Core, piloting an advanced Cavilier Dreadnought with great gusto. He has not been awakened for almost two thousand years though, for reasons the Chapter cannot fully explain. They fear the damaged warrior inside may have finally died a natural death, though they dare not open the sarcophagus and risk killing him to find out.
  • Ang-Quos This valiant officer led the first assault at Dalvan and was slain by Vurthros Khan's nuclear weapons. His name was the first inscribed upon the Second Legion's cenotaph for the vaporized dead.
  • Lygrammon, the Martyr. Lygrammon led the second echelon at Dalvan and although his indomitable will carried him through to the end of that campaign, his body succumbed to radiation poisoning just twelve days after Vuthros Khan's surrender.

Other Notable Legionnaires

  • Napotiel Greybeard. Napotiel was the first aspirant recruited from the Hives of Merica to win a place among the Battle Brothers of the Second Legion. He was an exemplary warrior and a fine officer, epitomising the War Scribes dual nature as warriors and scholars. Following the death of Orend Ymoro in 803.M30, Napotiel was appointed as Legion Master by order of the War Council. His brief tenure at the head of the Legion perhaps led to bitterness between Napotiel and his gene-father, and they often differed. A particularly notorious argument, never resolved, emerged over the decision to take the Atalantos Cluster which consumed so much of his Legion's time. Though he respected his Primarch, Napotiel would forever remain a Terran born, full of a fire for conquest that few other War Scribes could match. Napotiel would later distinguish himself as the War Scribes' foremost explorer, ranging far and wide across the Galaxy in the quest for relics, and the hunt for new threats to eliminate. His records are required reading for every War Scribes Scout.

Legion Doctrine[edit]

"Be unafraid, my children, when facing that which lurks among the stars. Know that always your brothers stand beside you, behind you, and above you. We are as one mighty being, all parts in place and united in purpose. Let the foes of Man beware our inevitable advance, for we shall betray no weaknesses, and no treachery shall prevail against you."

Short speech given by Primarch Orannis to inaugurate the War Scribes' advance into the Galaxy

Arelex grew up aboard a colossal Space Hulk, now known as the Palaestram Matyas. That unusual upbringing left a deep imprint upon his Legion, though in truth the men of Merica's hives were unusually well-suited to the Primarch's vision. Men and leader alike knew what it was to live in a small band, reliant on the alertness and loyalty of a handful of humanity. Although the War Scribes were not blind to the reality of large-scale warfare, they emphasised the bond of the squad to an extent found in no other Legion.

The tactical and spiritual unity of War Scribes squads made them outstanding fighters in conditions that might have disorganised other forces. As noted in their battle history, the Second Legion excelled in tunnel-fighting and urban warfare. They were also renowned for their night-fighting, even when in thick atmospheres that imposed limited visibility on the Astartes. Although the War Scribes were not noted as being superior warriors to their brothers in other Legions, their devotion to one another frequently drove them to acts of great heroism. Unfortunately, that same bond could also see entire squads wiped out when some might have been able to withdraw.

Perhaps surprisingly, this focus on small units complemented the War Scribes' use of void-going warships. Just as a sergeant on the ground would have only a double-handful of men to maneuver through the battlefield, the commanders of War Scribes' squadrons typically found themselves with a few heavy vessels and a handful of escorts to consider. Almost as important was the quality of the Second Legion in boarding actions, another tactically-difficult situation that suited their focus on small, self-sufficient squads.

Legion Organization[edit]

While their formations had a definite uniformity of spirit and generally held to similar equipment standards, the War Scribes fielded two quite different kinds of unit to serve their dual purposes. Like all of the Space Marine Legions, their forces formed the core of mighty Expedition Fleets. In addition, War Scribes forces could be found spread wide across the Galaxy, nominally organised as Imperial Compliance Groups.

Expedition Fleets

No uniform structure for an Expedition Fleet existed. Each fleet was expected to be militarily self-sufficient and its commanders directed assets ranging from void-going warships down to ordinary human auxilia. Until late in the Great Crusade, all of the Expedition Fleets under the command of the War Scribes were based around at least one Chapter of Space Marines, supported by sizable Auxilia forces. Typically, an expedition fleet also fielded a detachment from the Cult Mechanicum.

Befitting their focus on smaller units, the War Scribes' Chapters were smaller than the norm for a Crusade Legion. Each was divided into two Battalions of 500 men each, rotating the Battalions into and out of war zones to spread the attrition on both. At the lowest level, the Battalions were divided into five Companies of 100 Marines. Squads varied in size depending on their competency, with the smallest being five men and the largest numbering twenty warriors.

Compliance Groups

From early in the Great Crusade, the War Scribes fielded very small independent bodies, sometimes just individual squads, as Compliance Groups. In theory, and sometimes in practice, these detachments were tasked with carrying out crusading actions on ill-defended worlds and counter-insurgency operations behind the Imperial lines. The reality was that these groups were roving salvage teams, who chased after rumours of advanced technology and relics. Naturally, these groups developed very close ties with Rogue Traders Militant. In addition to working with Rogue Traders granted Warrants of Trade to ply the whole scope of the Galaxy, War Scribes Captains began the custom of giving out Letters of Marquee to empower agents to work in more tightly defined areas.

Specialist Ranks[edit]


Chaplains of the War Scribes are honored indeed. Even before the Council of Nikaea, the War Scribes were extremely wary of the corrupting influence of the Warp, and they were heartened by the Emperor's anti-psyker decrees. The establishment of Chaplains was zealously taken up by the Second, and those chosen to shoulder this weighty responsibility received the pick of the Legion's extensive arsenals.

Sky Hunter Formations

Perhaps because of their clannish roots, the War Scribes have a great love for the Jetbike. Despite the difficulty of maintaining these rare vehicles, they are among the most frequently deployed of all of the Legion's treasured technology. Those chosen to join the Sky Hunter squads are among the most highly honoured in the Legion and are entrusted with critical reconnaissance and fast strike missions.

During the Heresy, the overwhelming firepower arrayed against their depleted forces prompted a change in Jetbike deployment. The Marines began to coordinate a handful of Jetbikes with a single Javelin Attack Speeder equipped with heavier armor and a special Force Field that could shield the entire formation for short periods. The Javelin gives up the second crewman and pintle bolter, as well as some of its missile carrying capacity, in return for this increased durability.


As a Legion long-beloved of Mars, Techmarines occupy proud role in the Second Legion. With the blessing of the Fabricator-General himself, those inducted into the ways of the Techmarine are permitted to pass on some minor understanding of the holy rites of Mars to their squadmates. This indulgence has led to a widespread technical know-how throughout the War Scribes.

Destroyer Squads

One might think that their history would make the War Scribes averse to deploying Destroyer Squads, but the sons of Orannis hate little more than to give away a possible advantage. Every Chapter held a small reserve of deadly rad weapons, ready to use in extreme situations. During the Heresy, such situations became routine.

Maestro Ferrorum, Lord of Armor

The small scale of War Scribes Chapters led to considerable specialisation. The Maestro Ferrorum is an honorific reserved for commanders of the Legion's three super-heavy tank Chapters. Though these Chapters were rarely deployed as individual units before the Heresy, at full strength each would have been able to field over a hundred massive war machines. Due to the demands of this position, a Maestro is invariably one of the most experienced Techmarines in the Legion.

Legion Equipment[edit]

From single squads up to entire Expedition Fleets, every War Scribes formation was keenly aware of the importance of their equipment. Battle salvage was invariably a priority, and it was common for the War Scribes to claim that they were engaged in "seek-and-destroy" operations to cover up extended searches for loot. Arelex Orannis' friendship with Kalkas Tygian ensured that the Second's candidates were always welcome to learn the arts of the Techmarine on Mars and its subordinate Forge Worlds, ensuring a large pool of technical experts to decipher rediscovered relics.

As a result of their methods, the War Scribes Legion is far better-equipped than almost any other Imperial force. In their arsenals are large quantities of Jetbikes, Fellblades, Rapiers, Cerberus Tank Destroyers, Contemptors, Javelins, Sicaran Tanks, Typhon Siege Tanks, and Deimos-Pattern vehicles. Where other Space Marines might have lost such patterns of equipment, the War Scribes are expert record-keepers. Their barracks and arsenals are just as much centers of learning as they are military installations. In addition, the Legion scattered secret stores of data and material, known as Orannis Caches across the Galaxy.

Unlike most Legions, the War Scribes were able to equip full chapters with Volkite weaponry even as the Heresy began. Despite the difficulty of manufacturing these weapons, the careful preservation of existing stores and a steady trickle of new Volkite equipment from the forges of the Atalantos Worlds gave the War Scribes an unparalleled arsenal. More terrifying still were the War Scribes many Destroyer Marine squads, armed with nuclear, biological, and chemical weaponry from the Age of Strife. Like their old nemesis Vuthros Khan, the Second Legion know the value of these devastating weapons and deploy them discerningly.

Even in the 40th Millennium, the Chapter and its successors will have access to much that the rest of the galaxy has forgotten. Though their armies have changed greatly since the days of the Great Crusade, the gene-sons of Arelex Orannis have stores of ancient weapons to draw on in times of crisis.

War Scribes Legion Naval Arm[edit]

The War Scribes Navy is the largest of all the Legion navies, blessed with a Primarch who recognized the utility of orbital firepower and the necessity of building an infrastructure base for his Legion. Fueled by the raw materials mined from the Atalantos Worlds and the processing facilities of its Forge Worlds and Narhadul, the Legion Shipyard, the War Scribes have built their forces to roughly 1500 vessels. The Scribes prefer larger ships like Strike Cruisers and Battleships whenever possible, as these ships are hard to totally destroy, and can be repaired at Narhadul.

It is well known that the War Scribes, thanks to the profligacy of resources in the Galactic Core and their Primarch's administrative skills, had the facilities readily available for ship building. These shipyards were never idle throughout the Great Crusade, and by its end enabled the War Scribes to be almost fully self-sufficient, replacing combat losses without need of any other power. This greatly eased the resource burden their Legion placed on the Imperium's supplies, and allowed the Emperor to dedicate more resources to Legions in greater need. When the Heresy occurred, the War Scribes counted nearly 1500 vessels of all kinds in their naval arm, the largest Legion navy of all. They counted more Battle Barges and Battleships in their ranks than many other Legions.

After the Heresy, though many ships were lost at Isstvan and in other conflicts, the War Scribes' fleet became the backbone of Battlefleet Atalantos, defending the Core against Necron and other threats. Many of the vessels went to their Successor Chapters, and quite a few even wound up much farther afield, across the Ultima Segmentum. And though the shipyards of Narhadul took great damage during the Burning Crusade, they were repaired and are now one of the primary naval yards for the entire Segmentum.

Salvage is also important to Arelex's strategies, and recovering Imperial vessels is given high priority. Those who sail under the War Scribes' banner know that their Legion will go to great lengths to ensure their crippled ships are brought home safely. Many of the War Scribes' escort vessels are salvage ships, tugs, and shipbreakers, converted from damaged destroyers and similar ships.

The War Scribes' fleet is split between Battleships, Cruisers and Escorts along roughly 10:30:60 ratios, in contrast to the 7:23:70 ratios more common to other Legion fleets. While the bulk of the numbers are still Destroyers and other Escorts, the Scribes have a greater proportional tonnage at the high end than most.

Battleships: Approx. 150 vessels. Cruisers/Grand Cruisers: Approx. 450 vessels. Light Cruisers/Destroyers/Escorts: Approx. 900 vessels.

Notable Vessels of the Legion[edit]

Sol Invictus, Fortress-Monastery of the War Scribes

Sol Invictus
Sol Invictus.jpg

Mobile Fortress-Monastery


1,000,000 Chapter Serfs and Support Staff, Several Companies of War Scribes

Planetary Governor

Chapter Master



Sub Sector



Ultima Segmentum

The Sol Invictus is the greatest treasure of the War Scribes, the supreme monument to their merit as a Legion. Primarch Arelex himself wrested the immense vessel from a close orbit around the Galaxy's central black hole, a struggle lasting the better part of a year. The Sol Invictus was awash with radiation and gravitic tides, and only the Primarch's unconquerable desire to see this Dark Age relic restored to Humanity's service allowed Arelex to survive the hellish descent towards the singularity. Even when the behemoth vessel was removed from the gravitic tidal zone and all its deadly energy, the War Scribes could not even approach the vessel to assist their Primarch for three more years, so intense was the lingering radiation. For those three years, Arelex dwelled on the Sol Invictus alone, every day being injured and burned, every day healing himself back together with his Primarch's vigor and the ship's medical bay. Eventually, the fires of the Core cooled, and the War Scribes Legion took their first steps into a true technological marvel.

Upon being presented with the vessel as a trophy of war, the Emperor was so impressed with Arelex's determination to capture the behemoth fortress that he gifted the ship to the War Scribes to be their Monastery forevermore, the orbital counterpart to the Basilikon Atalantos. The Scribes would have a permanent residence within the Atalantos Worlds in order to eternally defend the Imperium against Necron threats from the Core, but the Sol Invictus would carry the Legion to the farthest corners of the Galaxy to enact the Emperor's justice whenever required.

In the glory years of the Great Crusade, the Sol Invictus was seen far and wide, leading many of the Crusade's thrusts into unknown stars, serving as an enormous safe haven for the fleets to rearm, refuel, and repair. In the waning years of the 40th Millennium, the Sol Invictus rarely leaves the Atalantos Cluster because the Necron threat has reached such a fever pitch, but when it does, for the briefest of moments the galaxy is reminded of the ancient strength of the Imperium and Humanity.

Equipment: The Sol Invictus is almost as large as Triton, Neptune's largest moon, though it lacks the internal volume of a spherical body. Endless reserves of material are stored within, everything needed to subjugate a planetary system and then prepare it for Imperial colonization. Though backups of all the War Scribes' carefully gathered knowledge are scattered in secret locations across the Atalantos Cluster and worlds beyond, the Sol Invictus houses a central repository where all is gathered in one place. Everything the War Scribes have ever learned is here, at the Primarch's, and later the Chapter Master's disposal.

The Sol Invictus contains row upon row of archaeotech foundries, some are original to the vessel and some were installed by the Primarch in later years. Though they are ever more resource-hungry with each passing year, these facilities are capable of keeping the War Scribes high-tech armies in fine condition and resupply, as well as the majority of their Successors.

Everything else one could want in a Monastery or a space station is present here as well. Conference rooms, training halls, barracks, medical facilities, communications arrays, laboratoriums, sensor equipment, rank upon rank of nested void shields, power cores capable of nearly limitless vigor, mighty engines and titanic Warp Drives, and every type of ship-based weapon one could imagine. The Sol Invictus is a world unto itself.

The primary armaments are a trio of colossal energy projectors at the vessel's prow. Two are smaller devices, useful for punching holes in enemy capital ships and more rapidly rechargeable for combat situations. The central energy projector, much larger than the other two combined, is used primarily for planetary subjugation and destruction. While not capable of outright destroying a planet, the main cannon is more than capable of scorching a continent with a single burst.

For the direst of circumstances, a Chapter Master is one of the few individuals authorized to perform Exterminatus. The Sol Invictus produces and stores two-stage Cyclonic Torpedoes for the War Scribes' use, generally against Necron Tomb worlds at the Galactic Core. These worlds contain no life upon them, so the Cyclonic weapons carry little risk of collateral damage, and the Scribes are not shy about their use. More than one Dynasty hiding in the Core's glare has been snuffed out thanks to the timely intervention of the Scribes, but dozens, if not hundreds, still remain. And some have awakened.

Ascent of Man, Gloriana Class Battleship, Flagship of the War Scribes

The Ascent of Man was the flagship of the War Scribes for many years, and served the Legion faithfully. It is regrettable that the retreat from the Isstvan Massacre resulted in the death of the mighty warship, but it was the sacrifice of her and all who served upon her that allowed the remnants of the Legion and their Primarch to escape with their lives. Without that surviving reserve of veteran troops, the War Scribes surely would have been wiped from existence.

The Ascent of Man is designed as a command vessel first and foremost, and its place is not at the head of the battle lines, but in the middle of the fleet. From this central position, its main cannon can reach out and pierce the enemy's heaviest armor, and its endless ranks of Thunderhawks can swarm in all directions to reinforce any weakened part of the War Scribes fleet. Should the enemy overcome even these defenses, the Ascent of Man bristles with exceptionally dense, though short ranged ranks of weapons batteries, both lances and macrocannons. Any foe thinking the War Scribes' flagship cannot defend itself from close assault is foolish indeed.

After the Ascent of Man was destroyed, the Battle Barge "Final Verdict" stepped in to take its place at the head of the War Scribes' fleet.

Battleship/14 20cm 45° 4 6+ 4
Port Macrocannons 30cm 10 Left
Starboard Macrocannons 30cm 10 Right
Dorsal Lance Batteries 30cm 10 Left/Front/Right
Port Launch Bay Thunderhawks:20cm 8 N/A
Starboard Launch Bay Thunderhawks:20cm 8 N/A
Prow Armageddon Gun Range: Extreme 1 Front
Notes: Cost: 810 Points. The Ascent of Man has a War Scribes crew and an Honour Guard included in its points cost. You must assign the Fleet Commander to it.

Final Verdict, Battle Barge of the War Scribes

"Final Verdict", a Legatus-Class Battle Barge assigned to the First Chapter of the War Scribes Legion.

This mighty Battle Barge carried the Chapter's most veteran troops into battle, and was responsible for the deaths of many worlds during the Core Conquests and the Heresy. The blood of uncounted billions of xenos is on this ship's records of honor, and at least as many heretics and traitors. Currently, the "Final Verdict" serves as the War Scribes Chapter's flagship, when not operating from the Sol Invictus.

The ancient vessel is well stocked for war, carrying enough armaments and vehicles of destruction to keep the entire Chapter in the field if need be. Most of its armaments are standard Battle Barge fare, though of higher quality because of its age. The War Scribes have modified the Barge by removing the massed banks of boarding torpedoes in the prow and replacing them with an enormous Mars-Pattern Nova Cannon, for use against Necron vessels which are difficult to damage with lesser guns, and pointless to board with Marines.

Other Battleships:

Lord of Storms (Apocalypse Class), Force of Arms (Apocalypse Class), Justified Avarice (Apocalypse Class), Reclamator (Emperor Class), Firewind (Oberon Class), Infinitas Rex (Retribution Class), Imperion Volant (Retribution Class), Spiritus Excoriat (Nemesis Class), Incendio Xenologica (Nemesis Class)

Battle Barges:

White Death, Farthest Star, Sundown, Pathfinder, Trailblazer, Repentance, Arelex's Pride, Legion's Hope, Shield of Atalantos, Emperor's Justice, Immolatios Heretico, Creed Bearer, Dawn Hunter, Void Predator

Strike Cruisers:

The War Scribes Legion maintained a force of Strike Cruisers several hundred strong, using them as much to escort the Battleships and Battle Barges as planetary assault vehicles in their own right.

Escort Vessels:

The Legion used very few Escort Vessels as part of their actual fleets. Those that were built were largely deployed to secure recently conquered systems after the Legion had gone. Standard procedure was to be constructing Escort Vessels continually on the march, leaving one or two behind after every conquest. Though this slowed the pace of the War Scribes, it greatly heartened the colonists and warriors left to bring the conquered worlds into the Imperium.

Narhadul-Pattern Voidcraft[edit]

As a whole, the Imperium is not known for being an innovative power, preferring the surety of traditional methods. But from time to time centers of learning nonetheless establish themselves and for the Atalantos Worlds, Narhadul is that place. Being one of the largest shipyards outside of Sol System itself and having deep historic ties to the Mechanicus, hundreds of aspiring shipwrights and learned scholars have spent their lives here pushing the boundaries of Imperial shipbuilding. The vast majority of these experimental designs fail to take root amongst the Imperial fleets, being too expensive, too temperamental, too high-maintenance or simply badly planned, but several remain in production to the modern era.

In general, when a spacer talks of a "Narhadul-Pattern" vessel, he speaks of a specialized tool. The Imperium has basic ships like Lunars, Swords and Dauntlesses aplenty, and Narhadul already produces many of these ships to reinforce Battlefleets across the Imperium. But a true Narhadul-Pattern voidship is designed for a specific purpose, solve a particular problem, or counter a single type of threat. They are rarely all-purpose ships, and Battlefleet commanders do well to keep this fact in mind. Properly supported in their task, few if any enemies can withstand them. Wielded poorly or without thought, a Narhadul-Pattern starship struggles to claim victory.

Spindle (Narhadul-Pattern Voidfighter)

Amusingly enough, the most widespread product of Narhadul's world-circling forges is the extraordinarily tiny "Spindle" fighter, a two-man strike craft far smaller than anything else in the Imperial arsenal. The Spindle is little more than a set of thrusters with some basic control mechanisms and a cluster of laser cannons in the nose. Tuned for armor penetration, these las-weapons punch far above their weight at the cost of poor accuracy, low battery life, and abysmal heat containment. A Spindle can remain in combat for no more than five minutes or so before either running out of fuel, depleting its laser capacitors, or simply overheating and melting down internally. The Spindle also has virtually no armor whatsoever, depending on speed and maneuverability exclusively. In those categories it does excel, easily outrunning and outmaneuvering every other Imperial voidcraft during its short sprint to the enemy lines.

Imperial officers use the Spindle primarily as first-response units. Where Thunderhawks or Lightnings might take 30 minutes to reach the combat zone, a Spindle can do it in 10 and remain on site just long enough to buy crucial time for heavier Imperial troops to arrive. This breakneck speed does come at a high cost to the crew's long-term health, but with an average active lifespan of eighteen total minutes, few Imperial Admirals bother to concern themselves, simply staffing these strike craft with expendable convicts.

One oft-overlooked advantage of the Spindle is its diminutive size. A docking bay which might fit a single Marauder bomber can hold three or four Spindles. Even the tiniest, most pathetic Imperial vessel can carry significant quantities of Spindles, and so long as they keep coolant and extra batteries on hand to refresh the overheated strike craft, decent fighter cover can be maintained.

Aggrandizement-class Battleship

At the very, very opposite end of the naval scale from the tiny, cheaply built, expendable Spindle is the Aggrandizement-class. Larger than Emperor-class battleships, they approach the size and grandeur of the Glorianas of old. Ruinously expensive and incredibly time-consuming to build, there is an entire sector of the Narhadul world-circling dockyards dedicated solely to assembling these vessels, one handcrafted piece at a time. Hundreds of learned magi make their homes and livelihoods building Aggrandizement ships, spending their entire career assembling a single masterwork warp engine or macrobattery. These then are pieces of art as much as tools of war, where every detail is lovingly attended to and no expense is spared. To call this a class of ship is somewhat misleading, each is assembled according to whatever wild fantasies their unimaginably wealthy masters desire. There are those which boast paired Nova Cannons, or entire batteries of torpedo launchers. Still others look more like mobile docking bays than battleships, disgorging thousands of strike craft into the void. Some are meant for propaganda or subjugation, bristling with laud-hailers and vox-casters capable of being heard across dozens of sectors.

One thing remains consistent though, if you have to ask the price you can't afford it. The Aggrandizement-class ships are the personal chariots of High Lords, of the absolute pinnacle of Rogue Trader dynasties, of financial moguls whose reach spans entire Segmentums, and even of unknown criminal demigods who rule the Galaxy's shadowy back alleys and black markets. Narhadul sells to all who have coin and the rejuvenat treatments to see such a prolonged process through. No Forgeworld save perhaps Mars would dare try to construct such vessels in less than a human lifetime, but while Mars has greater technical capabilities, Narhadul has far, far more assembly room. It is simply unfeasible to segment off 20% of Mars' operating space to build a single battleship, but in Narhadul's orbital ring there is elbow room to spare. And so the wily dockmasters have learned to leverage their advantages to counter their deficiencies in order to cater to all markets.

A single Aggrandizement voidship might cost more than an entire battlefleet, but to their owners no less of a personal statement will do. Even seeing one in person is the height of many spacer's careers, to say nothing of serving aboard them. It is also said that entire planets worth of Administratum scribes and record keepers die from stress-induced heart attacks whenever the High Lord of the Administratum purchases one. But when all is said and done, they are truly wondrous vessels. Through sheer brute force and overwhelming capital investment, humanity produces something like an echo of better days when Mankind was at its peak. The Aggrandizement-class is a wildly inefficient use of resources in an Imperium already stretched thin, and many Inquisitors have threatened to assassinate anyone who places an order for such vessels, but there is something to be said for making the biggest statement a man can make. And money talks.

Firehammer-class Cruiser

The Firehammer Cruiser is an unsubtle beast. Bristling with short range Magna-Melta cannons, its sole purpose is to close with the enemy and destroy it in a fiery embrace. Its engines are tuned for maximum acceleration and in a dead sprint its overthrusters allow the weighty cruiser to catch up to much swifter craft. Once the boosters expend their plasma charge though, the Firehammer drops down to regular speed and is highly vulnerable to fast enemies kiting it from long range. Its armor is decidedly above average, but with enough incoming fire it will still buckle and shatter. Originally the Firehammer was designed to chase down and breach Necron craft which normally evade lumbering Imperial vessels, but in recent years Firehammer captains have seen modest success against Eldar ships as well. Against such nimble foes all assaults become "do or die" maneuvers, but if the Firehammer can score a hit on the fragile Eldar engines they make easy prey. If the charge fails, the Eldar pick Firehammers to the bone like the xenos vultures they are.

Guardian-class Cruiser

"Unusual craft, to say the least" -Lord Admiral Justinus Von Mullen, observing the first Guardian Cruiser's test trials, M34-

With a silhouette unlike any other Imperial Cruiser, the incredibly rare Guardian class vessel dances at the edge of extinction. A radical departure from all Imperial ship designs, this voidship is the brainchild of an entire cabal of renowned Magi known for their specialization in void-shield technology. The Guardian carries only a few small macrobatteries to port and starboard, everything else is dedicated to a Void Shield Generator ten times larger than even those found on Imperial Battleships. An absurdly oversized projector on the Guardian's prow can transmit a working bank of Void Shields across thousands of kilometers in space, doubling or even tripling another vessel's defense until the capacitors overheat and the failsafes shut them down. In a pinch, the Guardian can even project its shields against an enemy vessel, shrouding them in hazy energy and preventing the foe from escaping or maneuvering, though they are likewise shielded from Imperial ordnance. Should the Guardian itself come under threat, the captain may redirect its energies and deploy a nearly invulnerable bulwark against any foe. To defend against torpedoes and bomber craft which can penetrate shields, an array of point defense turrets exceeding even an Emperor-class Battleship's complement bristle across the hull.

While potentially paradigm-altering, the Guardian is also wildly, overwhelmingly, wastefully expensive. A single such vessel costs more than two Battleships, and as such they are so precious that few Admirals dare even bring them to combat zones. The long attrition of ages and the steady budget-crunching of the Administratum has sidelined all but two Guardians, one serving with Segmentum Solar's Battlefleet, the other defending Ultima Segmentum. Three more stand in idle mothballs, stationed in the other Segmentums. Regrettably, it is unlikely that any more Guardians will ever be built, and someday her class will pass into Galactic history.

Shackle-class Light Cruiser

This variant of the venerable Dauntless-class light cruiser is immediately distinguishable from its brethren by the bulging bow which houses a pair of disruption macrobatteries. To port and starboard, the Shackle-class carries docking bays full of voidcraft, perfect for running down all manner of opposition and defending the parent vessel from attack. The strike craft bedevil and ensnare opponents, and one-two volleys of electrical energy shred their vulnerable systems. As its name would suggest, the Shackle-class makes an excellent heavy police vessel, and it also sees service in a number of Rogue Trader fleets who value its ability to bring in prize ships mostly intact. Unfortunately the Shackle-class is very poorly armored for its size, a necessary consequence of the expanded forward weapon bays and enlarged engine. A couple stiff hits can easily cripple this ship, and as such most Battlefleet commanders shun the design.

Detonation-class Light Cruiser

Ill-starred, worryingly named and considered a suicide posting by most Imperial voidsmen, the Detonation class was designed from the frame outward, wrapping an entire ship around a single Nova Cannon weapon. It is weakly armored, it has no secondary weapons and its engines impress few observers, but as a mobile artillery piece the Detonation performs more than adequately. It treads the fine line between usefulness and crippling over-specialization, more often fielded as an intimidation weapon during planetary compliance wars rather than an actual combat tool owing to its fragility. Still, a Nova Cannon cannot be ignored by any vessel, and among all Imperial ships the Detonation class is the most accurate of them all by far. Because it was built solely for the purpose of moving and firing this weapon, the Detonation class does not suffer the targeting problems normally faced by other Imperial voidcraft. Where macrobatteries would normally be mounted, the Detonation class instead has rank upon rank of massive cogitators, constantly feeding firing solutions to the bridge in almost real-time speed. If a commander needs to place a Nova shell in a specific place at a particular time, he would do well to bring a Detonation class to the battlespace. So long as he can protect it, of course.

Prediktat-class Light Cruiser

Only five of these strange voidcraft are known to Imperial records, all built from salvaged hulls of the Detonation class light cruiser after their Nova Cannons broke down or were destroyed in combat. The Detonation class is well insulated against internal munitions detonations, it is strangely better armored on the inside than the outside. As such, they often survive their ammunition exploding in the bays, being gutted out rather than completely destroyed as would most Imperial vessels.

Without the massive Nova Cannon occupying most of the ship's volume, Mechanicus technicians instead filled that open space with yet more computing and sensor equipment, essentially turning the hapless cruisers into gigantic mobile observatories with a colossal auspex-scope as large as some scout vessels filling the ship's bow. The focusing lens for this beast alone is nearly a kilometer in diameter! The Prediktat class then is one of the only true "command and control" vessels in the Imperial Navy. Almost nothing can hide from its all-seeing eye, and it can feed pristine firing solutions to dozens of Imperial ships at once, guiding each of them unerringly to their targets. Were it not for the incredible expense of this derivative ship, it is likely that many more would grace the Imperium's battlefleets. At least there is a good reason for the Prediktat to stay well back from the front lines, the Detonation class it descends from has no such excuse.

Brutality-class Battleship

Armor, armor and more armor, this is the hallmark of the Brutality-class. Overwhelming numbers of macrobattery emplacements are low tech but use very little reactor power while still hammering enemy vessels into debris. With such a huge energy surplus to work with, Narhadul's technicians crammed the Brutality-class' aft decks with many extra thrusters, giving it speed no other battleship can match. Its internal structure is reinforced and compartmentalized, protecting the crew inside to the very last and making the ship well-suited for receiving and delivering ramming actions. These mighty voidships were commissioned as Ork-breakers, matching a Rok's incredibly thick hull and endless "dakka" with Imperial versions of the same. Slugfests between Brutality-class ships and Ork vessels are spectacularly violent, filling the space between each other with unimaginable quantities of ordnance. Should the enemy turns tail to flee, deeply recessed ports in the battleship's prow open up to disgorge a heavy volley of torpedoes, the Brutality-class' only concession to long-range combat. Some aggressive captains will even strap extra volleys of one-shot torpedo launchers directly to the outer hull, trusting their extra armor to protect themselves from premature detonation in the hope of achieving a decisive opening strike.

Vanguard-class Frigate

The Vanguard class is at the high end of frigate sizes, tipping the scales at 2.1 kilometers in length. Its armor, speed and maneuverability are generally considered average among Imperial ships. Much of is size is empty space dedicated to a single modest docking bay, which dumps voidcraft into space from the Vanguard's belly. At the front is a single lance battery, intended to cut through enemy armor at range once the strike craft have knocked out the enemy's shields. While effective in theory, the Vanguard class performs very poorly by itself, a key task for most frigates. Oftentimes the limited number of strike craft cannot deploy enough ordnance to deplete enemy shields, and then the lance battery splashes harmlessly across the enemy's bow. In general, the Vanguard class is exactly what its name suggests, a flanking support craft intended to operate alongside dedicated gunboats and assist them on patrol. Rogue Traders tend to appreciate this ship more than Navy officers, since even a single squadron of strike craft can be a very useful support tool for the family cruiser.

Glutton-class Refinery Vessel

Derived from the same templates that produced the Universe-Class Mass Conveyor, the Glutton class is designed to engulf entire asteroids or comets in a single gulp, drawing them inside wholesale to be broken down and processed on-site. Huge internal forges and plasma smelters break down whatever the Glutton consumes into processed packages and an army of voidsmen lash cubes of refined materiel to the outer hull to make room for yet more raw ore. It is a truly spectacular sight to see the Glutton at work, its entire gigantic prow splitting straight down the middle to permit entry. Being a civilian ship it is slow and poorly armored as might be expected. The Glutton doesn't even carry any weapons to defend itself beyond a handful of point defense turrets! All else has been sacrificed in the name of gathering interstellar wealth.

Many Rogue Traders and interstellar conglomerates rely on these ships and more than one Imperial noble has made their fortune in this way. A single fully loaded Glutton can refuel a Forge World with ease. Primarch Arelex himself made good use of the very first Gluttons, ordering dozens of them into service for the growing Atalantos colonies. With the colonial phase at its end, many of those original Gluttons have passed into the civilian market, and they have the unusual status for a non-combat ship of having carried Astartes on board. Their captains are justly proud of this historical oddity.

Nightmare-class Destroyer

If there was ever a vessel that Imperial voidsmen feared being assigned to as crew, the Nightmare class would likely be that. Only minds treading dangerously close to heresy could have conceived of such a monstrosity, and if the current masters of Narhadul remember who these mysterious designers were they do not speak of it. It is easy enough for learned observers to guess that the Inquisition must have had a hand in the Nightmare's construction, for it shares many external similarities with the notorious Black Ships, though it is much smaller. But where the Black Ships' mission is to contain and control, the Nightmare's task is purely offensive. The Nightmare was designed to answer a simple question, how could the Imperium strengthen the combat potential of its smallest vessels? Adding more ordnance was out of the realm of Imperial science, no destroyer or corvette could ever hope to mount a Nova Cannon or a Godsbane lance battery. But a psyker taps directly into the Warp, and requires neither space nor reactor power to unleash their perilous strength. Accordingly, the Nightmare class forgoes any standard macrobatteries, studding its prow instead with hundreds of aetheric wave-spars, psychic control vanes, focusing crystals and transpathic lenses of arcane and terrible wonder.

Inside the destroyer are row upon row of ward-scribed chambers, layered in unimaginably fine silver, gold and adamantium filigree according to the finest Astropathic and Martian sciences. Psykers seated within these walls can hear each other's thoughts and combine their powers to activate the ship's psy-weaponry. In theory they are well protected from hostile Warp powers, but eventually the Warp shall collect its due. The passengers aboard merely pray that someone else is chosen. The Nightmare class is not particularly swift in realspace, nor is it strongly armored. Instead it relies on a blisteringly fast Warp Drive to evade predators, using the psyker cadre to assist the Navigator in forming stable Warp bubbles through even the worst Warp storms. In realspace, the psykers cast a shroud over their vessel, cloaking it from all but the very most sensitive eyes.

In combat the Nightmare approaches targets as silently and as closely as possible, then unleashes all manner of mental attacks. Possession of crew members, driving the enemy to mad berzerker rages, sabotaging crucial components, all these and more are possible tactics. The Nightmare class is also adept at using its powers against planetary populations, sowing terror and discord before Imperial forces arrive to bring a rebellious world into compliance. Though given official Inquisitional approval, few Battlefleet Admirals will bring their precious vessels anywhere near a Nightmare class. Nor will most Sector Governors tolerate their presence in territory they control. The Adeptus Astartes are particularly distrustful of these voidships, and on more than one occasion have attacked and destroyed Nightmare class voidships on sight, deeming them corrupt and defiled.

No one knows how many Nightmares exist in the Imperium, save perhaps for the Inquisition. Truthfully, no one wants to know, lest the Nightmares pay them a visit.

Ballista-class Cruiser

Salvage and repair are as much a part of Narhadul life as assembling new vessels to fight the Emperor's wars. Scrap hulks, vessels pried from planetary crash landings or Space Hulks, derelicts so old and worn out that even the ever-thrifty Imperium cannot rebuild them, all manner of expended craft enter Narhadul's dockyards on a daily basis. Some are broken down for scrap, many that were deemed unsalvageable can be rehabilitated with Narhadul-bred genius, but there exists a strange middle class held in limbo. Neither fully repairable nor completely worthless, these become the catchall known as Ballista-class star cruisers.

A Ballista-class mounts no weapons. It has no point defense. There are no great cathedrals, no mighty windows looking into the void, no revolutionary technology or bays of strike craft. There are no troop bays or salvage arms, no stealth equipment or wondrous auspexes. Instead there are grav-couches and shock harnesses. There are colossal springs, cushions, inertial dampers and power field projectors. And there is armor, endless thicknesses of cheaply made armor.

The Atalantos Sector and associated worlds produce more raw metal than almost anywhere else in the Imperium, consuming stellar debris uninhabited and untouched since the Galaxy's birth. A small fraction of the less valuable metals are devoted to making new Ballista-class ships, cladding them in dozens, sometimes hundreds of meters of low-quality armor. Like an arrow slung from a bow, the Ballista-class voidship activates linked banks of cheaply built engines, sends reactor energy to multi-layered void shields and a Power Ram, tells the crew to brace for impact and simply slams its entire mass into an enemy target as forcefully as possible.

If somehow the ship fails to break all the way through, then it detonates thousands upon thousands of cheaply made krak charges facing outward, buried just under the first layer of armor. Should an enemy vessel withstand even that, the Ballista's convict crew takes hold of whatever weapons the Munitorium could spare, fixes bayonets, and charges into boarding actions with Commissars snapping at their heels.

And should victory still elude them, the captain, always a high-ranking Commissar of unquestionable loyalty, gives the order to detonate his vessel's perpetually unstable plasma reactors, striking a final blow from which there surely can be no escape. Mankind serves the Emperor even unto death. The machines which Mankind employs are expected to do no less. For this purpose, a Ballista is born.

Secundus-pattern Battle Barge

Almost all of Narhadul's production quota is earmarked for the Imperium as a whole, including its many variant patterns. The War Scribes and their successors generally receive few benefits from the Atalantos Worlds' vast industrial output beyond that which they control directly on Atalantos itself. However, ten thousand years of close association do breed certain understandings between allies, and the Dock Lords of Narhadul certainly do their part to keep their most important customers happy.

The Secundus pattern is unusual among high-end Imperial ships. Where most advanced or improved designs get larger, the Secundus is significantly smaller than its predecessor, intermediate in mass between a standard Battle Barge and a Strike Cruiser. More nimble, stealthier and more efficient, the Secundus can enter and exit combat zones much more easily than most Astartes voidships. Firepower is slightly reduced as it mounts no energy-based weaponry, and troop capacity is roughly half that of a standard Battle Barge. As befits the War Scribes, all components are of the highest quality and reliability, seen to by the best engineers money can buy.

None of these modifications would truly distinguish the Secundus from other Battle Barges, even taken as a whole. Quality does not determine a new class of ship, and carrying less soldiers fits the Legion's tactics so they do not consider it a loss worth noting. What makes the Secundus so special are the immense banks of thrusters lining its underbelly. By sacrificing much of the under-structure's armor and reducing the weapons load on the power core, a Secundus-class is one of the few Imperial vessels capable of landing on a planetary surface and taking off again under its own power. This orbit-to-ground capability allows the Scribes to use the Secundus like a mobile operating base, lifting and landing as the front lines shift.

Still, size matters. And to most Chapters, the Secundus-pattern is simply too limited, the benefits not outweighing the penalties. Few if any Secundus-pattern vessels have seen operation beyond the War Scribes and their Successors. In recent centuries, the Necron threat has grown to such an extent that even the War Scribes themselves have abandoned the Secundus, which simply cannot hope to hold its ground against Necron vessels. Innovative as it is, the Secundus may be on its way to the dustbin of history, though it is likely to see continued use for some time within the Galactic Fringe where self-sufficiency is king. Most of the Secundus-pattern voidships still in operation are being transferred to War Scribes Successors in the Fringe for just that reason.

Long Arm-pattern Cruiser

One of the many weaknesses inherent in Mankind's galactic colonization strategies is population density. Many worlds are too thinly populated to be held, and many others are so crowded that they cannot be controlled. On every world the Adeptus Arbites does their best to police humanity's teeming masses, but sometimes they need extra support beyond what is available on-planet. Accordingly, in M36 High Lord Grand Provost Marshal Tezeri Venerbus issued a personal request to the Dock Lords of Narhadul for a support vehicle which could rapidly deploy enough Arbites forces to strangle any Hive World riots in their infancy. In return, Marshal Venerbus pledged to significantly increase Arbites presence across the Atalantos Worlds in order to suppress growing agitation in the face of increasing Necron and Dark Eldar predations.

The Dock Lords and their Mechanicus co-designers invented the "Long Arm" cruiser, taking a standard Dauntless-class light cruiser, lengthening the keel and adding massive detatchable oblong pods within the opened section of hull. From the outside, it looks rather like a Dauntless-class was split in half and two giant chambers of slug-thrower rounds were loaded into the middle, each consisting of six huge pods around a central spindle. Imperial criminals often call them "corncob cruisers". The macrobatteries were also removed because fully armed Arbites vessels would cause friction with the Imperial Navy, and in their place were mounted strike bays filled to the brim with assault boats of every kind.

What the Long Arm class offers is a mobile battalion of Adeptus Arbites. On command, the Long Arm can deploy hundreds of Arbites squads loaded for any occasion, whether to subdue riots, invade an orbital station held hostage, break open an entrenched den of heretics or smash their way through an underhive full of loathsome mutants. Each of the assault boats are internally reinforced to contain every possible criminal captive, and when they return to the Long Arm a specialized docking collar ejects the criminals into the twelve gigantic holding tanks without any Arbiter having to actually touch them. This modification was made in M37 after one notable instance when many freshly captures convicts turned out to be harboring the dreaded Nurgle's Rot disease and more than 5,000 Arbites enforcers lost their lives needlessly, compromising operations across their Sector.

When the Long Arm finally fills itself to capacity, the cruiser travels to one of the Emperor's many Penal Worlds where the expendable convict chambers can be ejected from orbit. Once they have fallen to the earth, the surviving criminals may use whatever remains intact to try and eke out a living on-planet. Many do not survive since the pods' braking thrusters are minimal at best, but this is of no concern to the Arbites. They simply return to Narhadul for reloading and refitting, and the cycle continues. The luckiest criminals who are deemed "low risk" are often transported wholesale to various recruiting worlds and Fortress Worlds to be impressed into the Imperial Guard en masse. Occasionally even Rogue Traders of a particularly callous nature will rent a pod or two for their own use, delivering cheap manpower to their fleets whenever enough are captured.

This ship has become one of Narhadul's most successful patterns for export, much to the surprise of Narhadul itself which considered the Long Arm more of a novelty item. Ever since their introduction, Long Arm vessels have been requested by beleaguered Sector Governors across the Imperium and as times grow harder, business is booming beyond all expectations. Several other Forge Worlds have petitioned for and been granted access to build the Long Arm cruisers themselves, mostly in Segmentum Obscurus. Even Mars itself constructed two Long Arms to increase security around Terra in late M39.

Legion Gene-Seed Status and Successors[edit]

The War Scribes and their Successors exhibit a handful of genetic abnormalities. While their genetic stability has been called into question during millennia gone by, the Mechanicus' official records state that there are no dangerous mutations inherent to Arelex's descendants.

Cosmetically, the War Scribes are known for their general hairlessness. It is very rare for them to have more than peach fuzz on their heads, and they are almost always beardless and bald. Their skin color varies wildly depending on how recently they've been exposed to radiation due to an overactive though highly effective Melanchrome system. A War Scribes Marine might begin the day as a bone-white albino, but end the day appearing as if carved from pitch black obsidian. Occasionally, reddish or purplish hues may appear as the Marine's body processes cellular damage and expels dead cells through the bloodstream. Notably, no War Scribe has ever been recorded as developing cancer or other tumors, though the reason why is unclear.

On a more fundamental level, the Legion's gene-seed has broader tolerances than most when creating Marines, an unanticipated benefit of Pallas' genetic manipulation early in their history. Post-Heresy, the Scribes came to view this boon as fruits of a poisoned tree, but lacking the Lunarian's technical skill could do nothing to remove her influence from their gene-seed. Where other Legions must recruit children younger than 13 or 14, the War Scribes have shown success with adolescents as old as 16 or 17. This advantage, though slight, lets the Scribes recruit from a broader pool of aspirants than the other Legions and helps to maintain their numbers.

Notably, the Scribes maintain the same rate of recruitment as a Chapter as was normal for their Legion, greedily drawing from all available pools of manpower. During the struggles to claim the Atalantos Worlds and the Sagittarius Arm, their casualty rates rose and fell erratically, so Arelex mandated that his Legion should at all times recruit as if preparing for a prolonged war of attrition. What began as mere practicality became habit and then ironclad tradition for the Scribes. Compared to other Chapters their recruitment rate is many times higher.

But the Codex must be respected, and Legion-building must not be permitted, so during times of plenty the Scribes fission into smaller units, seeding new Successors far and wide as the main fleet wanders the Galaxy. Some fail to thrive, and some are simply lost to the mists of history, but with the passing of ten thousand years the Scribes are very well represented in terms of descendants. They have few Second Founding Successors compared to other Legions, but quite a few more younger descendants than most. Accordingly, Foundings have little meaning to the Scribes though they do participate when called upon. Most of the time the Chapter simply splits Marines off whenever it feels necessary, honoring the ancient Legion tradition of Wandering Chapters.

Notable Successors[edit]

Not many War Scribes survived the Heresy, but post-Heresy, their numbers began to grow rapidly. Eventually, a small number of Successor Chapters were split off during the Second Founding, and the Scribes were one of the last Legions to formally disband.

As it now stands, the War Scribes are a fleet-based chapter, operating within the loose confederation of worlds known as the Atalantos Worlds. The War Scribes Chapter of the 40th Millennium looks much like it did in the 30th, wielding Crusade-era weaponry alongside small handfuls of even more ancient relics.

Brothers Itinerant

Brothers Itinerant
Brothers Itinerant.jpg
Founding Splintered after Dropsite Massacre
Successors of War Scribes
Primarch Arelex Orannis
Strength Unknown
Specialty Piracy
Allegiance Renegade

Pirates, cowards and traitors. The first Master of Brothers, Neheziah Bo'ash, had been a middling officer of the War Scribes legion. His accomplishments were hardly worth mentioning until his first commission to the command of an escort squadron. The man's prowess in ship-based combat became well noted over the years leading up to the Isstvan Massacre. It was the beginnings of the Massacre that truly forged the brotherhood. Their fleet had come under attack and in the confusion Neheziah ordered the squadron to retaliate against any ship that fired upon them. Having heard reports of the massacre on the planet, the fateful command of Neheziah came through to the other ships of the squadron: they were to quit the field until they could ascertain the best course of action and regroup with their legion. In the aftermath of Isstvaan, when the squadron made their way to link up with the rest of their legion, they were fired upon. It was assumed they were in league with the traitors, or worse they were cowards.

Through out the duration of the Heresy, the Brothers raided loyalists and traitors alike, looting for supplies and materials for their ships. Any legionnaire unfortunate enough to have survived their attack and refused their offer to join the brotherhood were press-ganged into service.

Those who were swayed to join the brotherhood would paint white their face plates and gauntlets, to represent their mockery of honour and loyalty, having been betrayed twice over. The lenses of their helmets are either replaced or dulled into a dark black to represent their merciless or soulless nature. Over the years since the Heresy, the brotherhood has acclimated to a number of sorcerers or seers captured from their raids, who are sought after for their ability to guide their raids to success. Should however their fates be wrong one can only imagine the vicious repayment that would be visited upon them...

Iron Scribes

Little is known of this Chapter, only that the War Scribes annihilated the entire Chapter, for reasons that remain unknown. The Inquisition believes the Iron Scribes to have transgressed by using and possibly even reverse engineering xenos technology, though they have no proof.

Blood Heritage

Unusual amongst Chapters, the Blood Heritage Marines almost never stand as a united whole. Their numbers fluctuate widely, sometimes dipping well below Codex standards and sometimes rising well beyond it during times of growth and prosperity. By ancient tradition, this Chapter operates in a completely dispersed fashion, moving about the Galaxy as individual squads of 10 Marines or so. They are the unseen thread which binds most of the former Legio Secundus together, roaming far and wide to keep the various Successors in contact with one another and spread news of triumphs and perils. Periodically, a War Scribes Successor will hear news of a Blood Heritage squad approaching and take heart knowing that a band of elite Marines has come to support them. Of all the warriors that carry Arelex's gene-seed, perhaps none are so skilled or well-equipped as these Marines. It is not uncommon for a Blood Heritage warrior to go his entire career, perhaps many hundreds of years long, without seeing another squad from his own Chapter.

The one exception to their rule is the Blood Heritage 1st Company which owes fealty to Terra itself. Continuing a tradition passed down from the Heresy, Chapter Master Ikan Ulam, 58th of his rank, stands eternal guard in Sol System with his Company. The War Scribes were kept away from Terra in her darkest hour, and it was the Legion's will that at least some War Scribe descendants should help stand the watch forevermore. Their home base is a large icy rock tumbling in the darkness far beyond Terra, in that rarified spatial region from which most comets dwell. From this forward operating base, the 1st Company makes sure that they will be the first to fight should any hostiles threaten Terra again.

The Blood Heritage is ill-favored by the Inquisition and several Inquisitorial Agents follow their members at all times. While the Chapter's benefits to the Imperium cannot be denied, the Inquisition takes an exceptionally dim view of their community focused attitude. They also know full well that Chapter Master Ulam's private discourse reveals that he would gladly return all the sons of Arelex under one banner again and reform the Legion if he could. Though nothing has ever been explicitly proven, it is almost certain that the Inquisition has ordered the death of many Blood Heritage squads when they feel the Marines have stepped just a little too far out of line.

Sons of Whitestone

Responsible for defending the Atalantos Worlds against the Necron threat. Generally fights the Ulkhesh Dynasty.

Sons of Atalantos

Responsible for defending the Atalantos Worlds against the Necron threat. Generally fights the Zelrakh-Khemta Dynasty.

Sons of Orannis

Responsible for defending the Atalantos Worlds against the Necron threat. Generally fights the Il'Kholas Dynasty.

Lore Bearers

Known for their tendency to engrave their armor and weaponry with words of antiquity, everything from old poetry, to technical blueprints, to mathematical equations. Notable for having extremely good memories.

Shrouded Host

One of the few War Scribes Successors that is not stationed in or near the Core, the Shrouded Host is said to have uncovered some tidbit of data in the Primarch's records that says they will be needed in the fight against Chaos. Accordingly, they are fleet-based, in the space near the Eye of Terror, and maintain little contact with their parent Chapter.

Sky Renders

Notable for their use of Teleport Homers in conjunction with Drop Pods.

Because the Necron threat is so dangerous, and the planets near the Core so inhospitable to Scouts not wearing Power Armor, the Sky Renders have found the traditional deployment of homing beacons via infiltrating Scout Marines almost useless. Though many of the sons of Orannis have adopted this tactic, the Sky Renders are best known for it, using massed Drop Pod barrages to conceal a handful of Pods containing beacons.

The Pods land and the Marines deploy as normal, forming a beachhead, and they are rapidly followed by a massed teleport of Terminators to reinforce the assault point. They also make *extensive* use of Deathstorm Drop Pods containing Whirlwind Launchers and Assault Cannons rather than troops to provide additional weight of fire.

Venom Quills

A 26th Founding Successor of the War Scribes, the Venom Quills fight xenos threats on the Galactic Fringe, and despite their relative youth are quite well traveled. This Chapter favors the use of toxic weapons to rapidly subdue threats, and they keep a reserve of deadly poisons on hand at all times for any occasion or task. When they encounter and destroy a new species of xenos, the Chapter's Apothecaries take great pleasure in rending them down for useful components, sending most to the Genetors or the Inquisition, but keeping any novel toxins for themselves.

Currently they are very busy assisting in defense against the Tyranids. Their toxins are proving useful for now because of their sheer variety, but the Tyranids in their area are rapidly evolving countermeasures. Soon, the Venom Quills will have to come up with a new strategy, or perish.


Known for using laser weapons almost exclusively, renowned for relentless campaigns and resistance to attrition. Masters of foraging and using weapons that require little ammunition or repair.

Belleron Thrashers

Stationed on their homeworld of Belleron Tertius, the Thrashers are charged with bolstering Imperial defenses in the Pacificus Segmentum. Practically still Neophytes, the Chapter was only recently founded less than 100 years prior to the present day. While Imperial commanders in their area appreciate the support, the Thrashers have yet to truly temper themselves and find that iron will so critical to Astartes. What they lack in tenacity they try and make up for in zeal however, and eagerly hurl themselves into any and all conflicts within their reach. Accordingly, they have the dubious distinction of sustaining the highest casualty rate of any War Scribe Successor in the modern era, but are also adding battle honors to their banner at an exceptional rate. Adversity forges the finest warriors, but in a galaxy ablaze the Thrashers may very well disintegrate and be lost to history. Only time will tell.

Blue Swords

The Blue Sword Marines exemplify both the best and the worst aspects of what it is to be a Marine. One the one hand, they are nearly peerless when it comes to defending a planet or breaking a siege's grip on Imperial worlds, and their loyalty is beyond question. Chapter Master Wenden Elstrom is said to have almost a sixth sense for his opponent's weaknesses, and drives his Chapter to exploit these points like a surgical instrument. This Second Founding Chapter has delivered hundreds of Imperial systems from certain destruction and their victory banner is laden down with all manner of honors and decoration.

But though respected, few Imperial regiments relish the thought of fighting at the Blue Swords' side. These Marines are ruthless to a fault, and they think absolutely nothing of laying waste to everything around them if it means the enemy is destroyed. Though no precise tally can be obtained, the Administratum privately estimates their friendly fire casualty count over the past ten thousand years to exceed one trillion souls. They also use their allied forces like utterly expendable pawns, sacrificing entire regiments of Guardsmen if necessary.

Perhaps the only reason the Administratum has not declared the Blue Swords traitors is that in every case (so far), the Blue Swords have been able to prove that necessity in exacting detail, citing endless amounts of well-crafted documentation. After all, they are children of the Second Legion, they do not act without careful consideration.


Once a loyal 5th Founding Successor Chapter known as the Ebon Clan, these Successors betrayed the Imperium in such a fundamental way that thousands of years later even the disciplined War Scribes have been known to abandon active theaters of war in order to pursue them. The Men of Gold remain a terrible reminder that while the strongest bonds are forged in blood, so too can family betray someone worst of all. Chapter Master Adren Tomassinov stood head and shoulders above his Marine brethren, peerless in his mastery of lore and ancient records. He peered deeply into Humanity's past, convinced that by doing so he carried out the will of his Primarch. In time, he learned many secrets of the Dark Age unknown even to most Second Legion Successors and began showing his findings to his Captains.

In particular, the dream of Men of Gold, avatars of thought who ruled over lesser men and the Men of Iron, forbidden AI servants. Chapter Master Adren began to dream himself the master of such beings, and plunged ever deeper into rightfully forbidden tomes. Enhancing themselves with all manner of arcane technology, the Ebon Clan won victory after improbable victory, shattering enemies of the Imperium across the Galactic North. Even the forces of Chaos fell before their might on many occasions, and the Chapter Master began attempting to sway other Marines of various Chapters to embrace his way of doing battle. Eventually, the red-robed acolytes of the Machine God began to take notice, for a Chapter succeeding this easily violated their statistical predictions severely.

After a short investigation, the Mechanicus spotted the tell-tale signs of forbidden technology immediately. Even worse, some of the higher-ranking Marines were suspected of using AI in the making, training and growing them as part of their armor and implants to assist them on the battlefield. While none had breached that final barrier of sentience yet, it was more than enough for Mars to act. After seventeen years of bloody struggle the Ebon Clan was shattered completely, but Adren stole his Chapter's cache of resources and technology, escaping into the Galactic Fringe with a handful of loyalists on a single Strike Cruiser.

The hunt continues for these men, but their forbidden technology gives them a crucial advantage in staying ahead of their pursuers. Golden-painted Marines have been spotted in different areas of the Segmentum, aiding Imperial forces and leaving behind "gifts" of a distinctly heretekal nature. Invariably, these packages unleash some sort of horror upon the populace, slaughtering millions but elevating a handful of "fortunates" to become the next Men of Gold, disappearing into the void by means unknown.

Adren is clearly building an army, likely backed by Abominable Intelligence. Eventually he will surely unleash it, but the relentless AdMech pursuit will do anything to ensure his plans never bear their tainted fruit.

Third Wave/Bloodgrinders [EXCOMMUNICATE TRAITORUS]

The Third Wave were 3rd Founding Successors of the Scribes, tasked with pressing into Segmentum Obscurus and taking the fight directly into the teeth of all the traitor Legions who fled there. They held great promise and were led by several of the War Scribes' finest recruits, men who had proven their worth a hundred times over during the Great Crusade and the Hektor Heresy. For almost 200 years the Chapter slaughtered their way across the Segmentum destroying many enemies of the Emperor and striking terror in the hearts of all who opposed them. Zealotry all too easily leads the zealot into dark places though, and so fresh and potent was the hatred of the Chapter's veterans that they slowly forgot the reason why they killed, only that they had to kill. Even as they cut down loyalists of Khorne, the Blood God slowly turned his attention ever more upon them. Without even truly noticing that they had changed, the Chapter fell from grace and turned to Chaos in their hearts.

The Bloodgrinders lost the ability to discern friend from foe, so all that lives became their foes. They sing no praises to Khorne, not once have the words "Blood for the Blood God!" left a Bloodgrinder's lips. They emblazon no marks of Chaos upon their armor and do not dream of Daemonhood, only of the next moment their swords may taste flesh. Indeed, it is difficult even to tell that they have fallen to the Dark Powers when first their ships emerge from the Warp. Externally they appear as loyal as any other Marine Chapter, though they eternally m aintain vox-silence. Some within the Inquisition hypothesize that the Chapter is completely unaware of what they've done, lost in some twisted fantasy realm from which there is no awakening, dancing for the black amusement of Khorne.

Even the name "Bloodgrinders" is not truly their own, it was given to them by the Administratum upon recording the Chapter as traitorous. Shortly after their fall became complete, the Third Wave struck a Hive World called Adler's Covenant, a backwater world used mostly for agriculture and famous for its hydroponics. Imperial citizens were murdered in their billions, one hab-block at a time. The Third Wave's two voidships, a Battle Barge and Strike Cruiser whose names have been struck from Imperial records, fired lance strike after lance strike into the planet's crust, carving Chaotic sigils five hundred miles across and dozens of meters deep into the soil. En masse, the Third Wave bled Adler's Covenant dry, severing the populace's heads, grinding the bodies to sludge and storing the blood in their very own hydroponic reservoirs to keep it fresh and liquid while they worked. After all, even fallen to Khorne the Marines were still of Arelex's gene-seed and industry their watchword. It was from this abominable act, unprecedented in Imperial history that they received their new name.

To culminate the mad ritual the Marines emptied billions of gallons of hot, rich blood into the soil, filling the sigils to the brim and charging the entire planet with dark energy. A Warp Rift opened above the planet's surface and every dismembered body gave up its skull, plunging into the Warp like an apocalyptic reverse blizzard of flensed craniums. Strange creatures emerged from the void in return, not known to any Imperial scholar or heretical daemonologist. Even other chosen of the Blood God have not been able to identify the beasts, nor are they known to have answered any other summons. Giant leech-like beings nearly five feet long and about six inches thick wrapped themselves around each Marine in turn, latching onto the back of their necks and fusing their lower bodies with the Marines' stomachs. From that day forward they have never been separated save in death, and it is unclear if one or the other or both are in control of the body.

The leeches feast on the blood shed by the Chapter, as the Marines gorge on fallen flesh the leeches swell with blood and Warp energy, healing the Bloodgrinders from almost any injury short of outright incineration. When fully fed the Warp-leeches can also project a blood-hued sphere of Warp energy to protect their host body as it charges fearlessly into combat. It seems the leeches grant a twisted immortality as well, for no Bloodgrinder has ever been seen to suffer from old age despite never dwelling within the Warp or the Eye of Terror. Whatever sort of life a near-mindless leech-bearer can be said to possess, they shall have it forever. The Lord of Slaughter surely feels satisfaction in such a punishment for those who dared strike at his followers.

The Space Marine Legions of the /tg/ Heresy
Loyalist: The Entombed - Eyes of the Emperor - Scale Bearers - Silver Cataphracts
Steel Marshals - Stone Men - Thunder Kings - Void Angels - War Scribes
Traitor: Black Augurs - The Justiciars - Eternal Zealots - Heralds of Hektor
Iron Rangers - Life Bringers - Lions Rampant - Mastodontii - Sons of Fire