The time of the Thirteenth Founding is shrouded in dark rumours and conjecture. Little is known about the events surrounding it, let alone the chapters created. The Adeptes Mechanicus does not divulge information on Foundings easily in the best of circumstances but the Thirteenth's mere mention will cause stony faces and silent responses to any requests for information. This occasionally leads to active prosecution of any rumourmongers by the adepts of the the Machine God as their rabid desire for silence on the issue prevails. A number of Inquisition investigations have been ordained and numerous Data Probes launched but none have found anything substantial. The collapse of these investigations seems to be more due to internal conflict and frustration rather than any other factor.
By contrast, the Fourteenth Founding was seemingly a time of hope and success. The most stringent measures were used. Almost 80% of the chapters created used the holy geneseed of Roboute Guilliman. From these measures, a new chapter was born. With the geneseed drawn from the Ultramarines' line, the honour of commanding the fledgling chapter was given to Captain Damoret of the Aurora chapter’s Tenth Company. Accompanying him was a cadre of veterans and with these marines, Damoret forged a new chapter. He instilled his traits of stubbornness, honour and zeal into his chapter. The marines took their vows to the Emperor and to their new chapter as one, swearing loyalty as brothers unto death. Seeking to inspire his new charges, Damoret named them the Sublimators, for their purpose was to purify the galaxy. Taking a battle barge, the Apotheosis, newly forged in the fires of the forgeworld and a number of strike cruisers gifted from Damoret's old chapter, the Sublimators set course for the Eastern Fringe.
Damoret set out an ambitious plan of conquest. He vowed that the chapter would cleanse a great swathe of space plagued by raiders and xenos. It took the first 90 years of his command but eventually, his zealous plans were realized. Establishing a number of chapter keeps for resupplying his marines with munitions and recruits, Damoret continued on his crusade, forsaking a homeworld to continue on the liberation of planets from the rule of the impure. He swore that these planets he conquered would be never be sullied again by alien or heretic rule.
When Damoret fell in combat against the Dark Eldar on the plains of Cythra, his last words anointed Protus, the captain of the Second Company as the one to take up his mantle. A native of the Eastern Fringe, Protus had been one of the first recruits the chapter had taken. It was he who set down how the chapter was to defend the territory that Damoret had conquered. Having studied how to protect the Emperor’s territory, including such examples as the Cadian Gate and the realm of Ultramar, he lay out how the Sublimators were to defend the planets that they had sworn to protect. His strategy involved many elements, with many defensive and offensive measures. This included establishing a number of outposts on strategically important planets, the patrolling of space by the fleet and an altered company structure with rotation of duties. The strategy is still in use and has evolved remarkably little.
Protus anointed Sibus, the Captain of the First Company as his successor. This caused a little concern among the other captains. Master of Recruits, Captain Jorkan, was considered to be the first choice for Chapter Master. Sibus was a close friend of Protus, having risen through the ranks under him. Jorkan was seen more as a careful strategist and possessed a steel mind while Sibus was a commander who had a reputation for thinking on his feet and a brash personality. However, the other Captains' doubts were allayed by Sibus' actions in the Holding of Olot and the management of Protus' plans expansion. However, this faith was about to be undone.
The call for assistance came from the Planetary Governor of Girant, a world that the chapter had sworn to protect. He reported an attack by a vast force of Craftworld Eldar. Sibus immediately responded by sending the Second and Sixth Companies, under his command, to deal with the alien menace. The tides of the Immaterium were favourable and the strikeforce arrived in system mere seconds after the telepathic broadcast was made. The two companies made planetfall quickly while the two strike cruisers and escorts that had brought them safely to the world engaged the small Eldar fleet. Sibus commanded Captain Morkan to reinforce the main city's defenses with half of the Sixth Company while he led an offensive to the embattled PDF forces nearby with the remainder of the force. Morkan protested that he did not have enough marines to hold the city if any true force attacked it. Sibus dismissed these concerns, saying that the fleet that they had witnessed could not bear enough warriors to defeat even half a company. The mechanized force departed, not knowing that this would be the last time they saw their brothers alive. The force quickly reached the area where the PDF had been reported. The remnants of this force was pinned down in a valley. The Astartes had to conduct a number of missions to clear out the Eldar snipers that was keeping the PDF in the valley. The main Eldar force was nowhere to be seen but the commanding officer said that the PDF were driven here by a great host of Eldar. Sibus was seized with a sudden foreboding and ordered a swift fall-back to the city. The sight of their slaughtered brethren and the corpses of the citizens of the city greeted them as they returned.
Sibus was enraged. The xenos had killed his marines without any retaliation. He vowed this would change. Throwing caution to the winds, he ordered all the marines to mount once again and moved out to the last known location of the foul aliens. Chaplain Mortheus counseled against it, calling it the chapter master's duty to ensure the marines' bodies were recovered and to keep the strategic situation in mind. These words fell on deaf ears. Suddenly, the armoured column came under fire from all sides. Sibus' Land Raider was hit and he was forced to bail out. With his anger still at the forefront of his mind, he led an assault on the nearest enemy position. At first, it seemed so be working as the Eldar warriors were driven back. However, this only led them deeper into the aliens crossfire. The position seemed lost. Mortheus had survived the slaughter so far but could see his brothers falling around him. It was by his actions that the remaining marines were saved. Calling in orbital strikes on the enemy, an emergency orbital assault was conducted by the speeders and the remaining marines onboard of the fleet led by Librarian Azural. This was the turning of the battle and at the end of the day, the Sublimators banner flew forlornly from the main city of the planet, though only marines walked within its walls.
Sibus immediately withdrew to his quarters aboard the Righteous Blade. He spent a week alone, attended to by Mortheus. He emerged a broken marine. He had asked absolution of Mortheus, who had denied him it, saying his sins of pride and arrogance had betrayed his oaths to the Emperor, the chapter and the cost too many lives to be forgiven in his judgment. Sibus was to be taken before Reclusiarch Seuth for his fate to be decided. The prospect of his honour being stripped and his failures shown to those who he had commanded did not appeal to the Chapter Master. Trying to salvage what little honour he could, he resolved to exile himself and seek a honourable death in battle. Attended to by his command squad, whose vows bound them to him until his or their death, the Chapter Master fled the judgement of the chapter, taking a Thunderhawk to the planet's spaceport. He left his journal behind him to explain his actions and give the chapter one last command. Research by the Sublimators Librarium tracked him through a number of battles and campaigns until the Battle of Jirtan, where the trail grows cold.
Mortheus returned to the chapter along with the remaining marines, bearing the geneseed of the fallen and the Annals of Sibus. Contained within this tome were the last commands of Sibus as well as the rest of his feelings of guilt and hate. Among his last commands was the order for the office of Chapter Master to be abandoned. Mortheus presented this to his superiors. Great deliberation ensued as the leaders of the chapter considered their options. Following the commands of a madman and a traitor to his chapter made no sense, some argued while others agreed with the commands, pointing to Sibus’ own case and the excellent arguments that had been put forward. It was Jorkan, Master of Recruits and who was considered to be the next most likely Chapter Master, who led the argument for the command to be carried out. After many days of debate, it was decided that Sibus' last command would be carried out. A council was formed out of the marines who had been among the deliberations and the post of Chapter Master removed from the chapter's structure. With new purpose, the chapter looked to the future, determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
The Sublimators have not had a Chapter Master since Sibus. Instead, a council makes all the decisions a Chapter Master would make. This is to prevent the same mistakes that have been repeated in the Astartes’ history from the time of the Legions. The power of a thousand marines is too greater force for just one man, even a marine, to wield in the Sublimator's mind. The council is comprised of the Captains of the First and Tenth companies, the Master of Sanctity, the Chief Librarian, the Master of the Forge, the Chief of the Apothecarian and the eldest Dreadnought of the chapter. It was not until the tied vote on the issue of the Exterminatus of Mondas that the eldest dreadnought of the chapter was given a place on the council.
The chapter is split into ten Companies as per the Codex. Interestingly, the dreadnoughts of the chapter are also part of the First Company ever since the first dreadnought of the chapter was inducted into the First Company by Damoret. They are assigned as needed to the Companies, though it is not uncommon for a Dreadnought to adopt a Company as its own. These ancient warriors are much respected by the other marines. They have fulfilled their vows in duty to the Emperor by their death and thus no longer have need of vows.
The Sublimators still possess all the equipment and arms as of any Codex-adherent Space Marine chapter. This enables them to wage any form of warfare. However, as any fleet- based chapter, they have become very efficient at boarding actions and repelling them. In defensive measures, the chapter refuses to give ground to the enemy, relying on their brute strength and armour to protect them as they fight under the watchful eyes of their commanders. This also is seen in other matters. The Sublimators have only ever virus bombed one planet. They will often fight to clear a planet, although strategic estimates by Collegiate Tactica have marked it as lost to the Imperium.
The chapter defends a great swathe of Imperial space through the use of its fleet and of a number of outposts maintained by the chapter. The Sublimators are notoriously hazy of their fleet strength and the make up of their fleet. Imperial authorities estimate that the chapter has more than the average amount of Nova and Gladius type escorts. The prospect of these space combat ships in the hands of Astartes is regarded by the Inquisition to be a major problem, violating the charter of the Codex Astartes that Marines would possess ships but the vessels used to carry them to and ensure their insertion onto a planet. These ships trawl the space through a number of systems in the Eastern Fringe, transporting marines to combat zones, checking on planets and actively seeking enemies.
The Sublimators presence in a number of systems has come under scrutiny, particularly after the Warlords trial. Investigations by Inquisitor Valcan, a former acolyte of Maltheus found no evidence of empire building by the Sublimators. This is most likely due to the fact that they are a fleet bound chapter and have at most a chapter keep or fortress on a world. The purpose of these keeps is merely to keep watch on the planet and provide a staging or restocking area for the chapter should they ever need to strike from or defend the planet.
The Sublimator’s geneseed has degenerated remarkably little over the millennia. This undoubtedly comes from the extremely strict measures used at their birth and the continuing work of the chapter's Apothecarian. All of their organs are in working condition. This is fairly remarkable considering the amount of time spent in space and the Warp by the marines.
The Sublimators still maintain a good relationship with their primogenitors, the Ultramarines and the chapter they drew that provided their first Chapter Master, the Aurora chapter. A celebratory feast after every time the two chapters encounter each other marks the depth of their relationship. The chapter also previously did not send any marines to the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos, the Deathwatch. This changed as the council realized that they could use the information provided by such service. In most recent times though, brethren serving within the Deathwatch have returned home to the chapter to help in the fight against the Tyranids. The expertise in these veteran brothers has proved vital in the Sublimators' success against the aliens. It is rare for the Sublimators to commit any forces anywhere else other than the Eastern Fringe. The only recurring exception to this is the Vocates Honour Company whose purpose is to hunt down the renegade Reapers chapter.
The Fall of the Reapers came as a grievous surprise to the Sublimators. The now renegade chapter had proven a close friend to the Sublimators. When news first came to the chapter, it was greeted with disbelief and hostility, coming as it did from the Inquisition. However, once the force now dubbed the Harvestors attacked the Execrators homeworld, the Sublimators saw that no remnant of their once proud brothers remained. Vowing vengeance, the chapter dispatched
The Sublimators honour the Emperor as the Guardian of Mankind as do the majority of other Astartes. Roboute Guilliman and Damoret are also honoured as the Founders of the chapter. Damoret’s values of self-dependency, honour and stubbornness have been enshrined at the centre of the Chapter’s value system while Protus’ defensive strategies has ensured the safety of the planets under the Sublimators' protection. All of these men are honoured each day with prayers. It is not uncommon for a marine to pick one as his personal guardian and honour them over all others. This has led to conflict with the Ecclesiarchy as the equal position that the Chapter Masters can take with the Emperor in devotions. However, this has not been expressed formally since the threat of the Sublimators to stop the protection of the space around the Cardinal world of Brant.
Sibus' Annals are kept in the Librarium. Every brother is required to read it as part of his initiation into the Chapter. It shows them what damage can be caused by hubris and the danger of power. Many of the Sublimators key tenants have arisen from this book. Sibus' sins of pride and arrogance
In the past, the Sublimators bound themselves to worlds with pledges of protection. These worlds form fortresses and watch towers from which the chapter defends the systems around the planets. It is these worlds from which the chapters recruits hail from. Each world will often have their own trials, dependent on the tech level and terrain of the respective planet. Whatever world it is, the trials are extremely dangerous and rely on the recruits willpower and ability to operate on their own. It has been noted that while the Sublimators do protect the prison world of Goldur, they have never recruited a single prisoner from that particular place. Another point of interest is their often usage of feral or undeveloped worlds for recruits, rather a number of hive worlds that lie under their protection. Speculation by a number of sources point to various statistics and motives, but no definite answer has been found.
The Sublimators have no set warcry, although Imperial scholars debate this. Marines will often take up the cries of their captains or start their own chants as they march into battle. Particularly spectacular warcries are recorded by Librarians and entered into the Librarium’s annals. It has been known for captains on the eve of battle, either stuck for inspiration or looking to inspire their charges, to take a warcry from the history of the chapter. As such, it is not unheard of for one warcry to have sounded all across the Eastern Fringe.
Edited by Sigismund Himself, 10 October 2008 - 08:32 AM.