In the days following the aftermath of Abaddon's 13th Crusade, a group of humbled
minds from the highest echelons of the Ecclesiarchy struggled to come to grips
with the blow that had been dealt. Abaddon had challenged their faith and
faith had lost.
They studied in detail the accounts where the loss of several planets
in the Cadian system were due to the direct result of small, but inflammatory seeds
of heresy planted by contingents of the extremely dangerous Alpha Legion and Dark Apostles
of the Word Bearers. These seeds separated untold millions of souls from the Emperors' blessing
and as a result, a new hatred was born.
The leaders, now named the Apocalypse Council, acknowledged that it is a more
efficient use of resources to deal with heresy in its infancy, rather than
waiting for the festering cancer to engulf an entire planet or worse yet,
a system. They also came to the conclusion that had the available
resources been adequate, then the disastrous consequences of the Black
Crusade would not have occurred.
A decision was made.
Overtures to the High Lords by the Ecclesiarchy began and a case was made
for the creation of a new chapter, whose sole purpose was to uncover and eliminate the
multitudes of active agents and dormant cells of future rebellions.
The Ecclesiarchy desperately wanted the new chapter to implement
its specific decisions and decrees, believing that only they, the keepers of
the faith were able to efficiently root out heretics. Recognizing that there
are two types of control, the Ecclesiarchy did not challenge the authority
of the High Lords nor the Adeptus Mechanicus. They realized that the founding
would never be allowed to be created, let alone exist outside those conditions.
However, the sponsors lobbied and were granted what was initially believed
to be an innocent concession.
The concession, simply enough, was to provide the chapter leadership through Chaplains trained by
the Ecclesiarchy on Terra. Without a prior connection to an existing chapter, there wouldn't be any battle
brothers lent to the new founding. Able Commanders would not be available for several centuries, and there
were concerns that a Chapter Master would soon want his chapter to pursue his priorities, which could not be
assumed to be the same as the Ecclesiarchy. There couldn't be any Librarians in the command structure either. It
was also felt that any potential psychic ability inherent in Librarians could present a weakness that would be
exploited by their chosen enemy.
To alleviate any suspicions raised by the High Lords, the chapter suggested an
attachment of Inquisitorial overseers for a period of two centuries to ensure that
the new founding would not seek in some way, to circumvent the Decree Passive. Several centuries
would pass before any whispers of the collusion between Puritan factions of the Inquisition, the Ecclesiarchy, and
the Apocalypse Lords would surface.
With the agreement in hand, the Ecclesiarchy took steps to ensure that the
proper levels of leadership, piety, and most importantly, "allegiance" would be
enforced. As new leaders were developed from within the chapter, the candidates
for chaplaincy would make a pilgrimage to Terra to submit their souls to Ecclesiarchial rituals. Those that passed the Soul Cleansing,
would return back to their chapter spiritually renewed and prepared to lead their brethren in the unending search for the heretic. However,
not all those who undergo the Soul Cleansing survive and of those that survive, not all return.
Those that do not return have their names stricken from the Chapter records.
To support their operations, a spaced based fortress was constructed and
appropriately named, "Apocrypha". From this base, Strike Cruiser operations could
rapidly shift to newly identified hot spots, allowing the Apocalypse Lords the freedom of movement
to engage heresy where ever it raised its corrupt head. An extensive suite of electronics were integrated
into not only the fortress, but the Chapters Strike Cruisers as well. The chapter has developed an massive
cadre of servitors whose sole purpose is to listen for heresy.
The Chapter is instilled with the following belief which echoes their method of
Heresy covets the cloak of night,
but Heresy speaks, and that which speaks can be heard,
that which can be heard, can be found,
and that which can be found, will be destroyed.
Chapter Motto: "Apocalypse has come, let the End begin"
The Apocalypse Lords were created as a rapid strike force to support the
application of pin point attacks on suspected cult leaders or Word Bearer acolytes.
Decapitation strikes, that is, removing the head of the beast, is believed to be the most efficient
use of force. Great efforts are put into locating leaders and their accompanying elites or coven
and striking them with overwhelming force.
The Apocalypse Lords use a higher than normal level of scouts, who are
tasked with locating the command structures of the heretic, so that
follow on forces may then descend from the deep of the night to deliver a
blow and eliminate the festering sore. However, whether justice is served
by a single bullet, or the tip of a blade, precision is the guiding
principle of each blow.
Much of the chapter operates in small teams that specialize in surveillance,
stealth, and mobility. The chapter Scout brethren are the surveillance and light
attack arm, specialists that could be considered among the "elite" of any chapter.
The tactical and terminator squads are the follow on forces to the scouts, using their
higher mobility and increased firepower to destroy the heretics resistance points, once
they have been identified. The Assault brethren equipped with either Jet packs or Landspeeders
represent the mobile hammer that quickly appears with a focused fury, often times inducing confusion
in the enemy by their sudden appearance.
Due to the need for rapid deployments in their operations, vehicles are rarely seen when the
Apocalypse Lords conduct their operations. Instead, the brethren who have been entombed in dreadnought
armor provide any local heavy fire support required, always in close proximity to the follow on forces. Their
presence in operations only adds to the firestorm of righteous fury that characterizes an operation.
The chapter colors of the Apocalypse Lords represent their Puritan outlook on the
Imperium and their operations. All questions and perspectives can be resolved
down to the most simple of components.
Their livery is white and black, vertically bisecting the trooper, with
white on the left side. The shoulder pad rims are bronze. The chapter symbol
is the Greek letter Omega, which is displayed on the left shoulder. The motto,
"Let the End Begin" has been seen overlaying the Omega symbol on occasion. Squad and
company markings do not appear to be in evidence, in many cases replaced by litanies and
declarations of faith.
In their world view, all things are black and White, Good or Evil, for the Emperor,
or against. There is no "in-between". Their charter is the elimination of
heresy within, no matter what form it may take.
Each squad or team is led by a Deacon. The Deacons' responsibility is to lead by example, exhorting
his squad of brethren to ever greater levels of belief in the continuing war against heresy. Those deacons
that distinguish themselves on the field of battle are then nominated to make a pilgrimage to Terra.
To provide the additional spiritual strength required to battle the heretic,
the chapter is led by a command structure known as, "The Triarchs". This command
structure is composed of the first three surviving chaplain candidates who were
culled from the initial chapters founding.
The Triarchs, once returned from Terra, developed into warriors possessing
unprecedented levels of belief in the Emperor, their mission, and their capabilities.
Heresy would find no foothold in their hearts or souls…nor would mercy.
Benkei, was the first from the initial culling to survive the Soul Cleansing
ritual and became the Head Chaplain of the Apocalypse Lords.
Benkei has very little in the way of memories prior to, or during the cleansing
ritual. Very little that is, except for a burning vision of sobbing uncontrollably at
the feet of the Emperor while being showered in his blood. When he regained
consciousness on a high mountain plateau, in his hand was a small vial of a dark
red fluid. This totem now adorns his neck and is a constant reminder of the
great sacrifice made for mankind. Benkei is adorned in armor colored a deep
Benkei feels driven to redeem the Emperors loss through the blood of traitors in the
hope that someday, the ultimate debt will be repaid.
Cephas, is an orator of extraordinary ability. He is known by the rest of
the chapter as the "Bringer of the Word". Clad in white armor, Cephas leads
the entire chapter in the daily prayers and is responsible for selecting potential chaplain
candidates from the deacon body. Cephas is as deadly with the sword as he
is inspiring with the word. Cephas was the second candidate to survive the Cleansing
and return to the Chapter.
Justinian, also known as the Angel of Justice, is clad in armor of gold. Like an
avenging angel, Justinian sweeps through the unclean, the agent of swift redemption. Should
any escape his wrath, he also sits in judgment of those heretics who somehow survived and administers
the Emperors justice. Unfortunately for those who come before Justinian, it is a justice that is delivered in
slow measured steps. In some instances, it is brought out one drip at a time. All too soon those judged wish
for the instant release of their co-conspirators.
New chaplains that return from the Cleansing, adopt a role that is modeled after one of the three original
Triarchs. When that decision is made, the new acolyte's armor is painted to match the color of the Triarch
they are dedicating their service to. Their armor communicates not only their alignment, but also a personal
style in the war against the heretic.
Benkei Acolyte: A chaplain that seeks to follow Benkei will continually struggle with the blood debt that
he feels he must repay to the Emperor. Never satisfied, a Benkei acolyte will seek to push himself and those
around him to impossible levels of heroism.
Cephas Acolyte: An acolyte who follows Cephas will be known as a fierce defender of the Truth. Should
those around him struggle in the midst of a battle, he will renew their vigor with his uplifting exhortations and his sword.
Justinian Acolyte: Adorned in armor of gold, a chaplain who follows Justinian will become a proponent of
swift justice. Favoring rapid deployments to quickly bring an end to blasphemers, Justinian acolytes are known
for their unconventional, yet linear thinking.
Other heroes of the Apocalypse Lords
Kensai, Sword saint
Deacon Bond <forwarded to the Death Watch>