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The Knights Seraphic were formed during the Seventh Founding from the geneseed of the venerable Dark Angels. Interrogator-Chaplain Atonius led the training cadre that sought to build the fledgling Chapter. Initial recruits came from a number of planets in the Segmentum Tempestus, but after Atonius named the feudal world of Ciasus as the Chapter's home world it was the children of that world's chivalric knightly orders who provided the strong warriors the Chapter needed. Atonius was impressed by the reverence for duty and chivalry prominent in the culture of the world, and so named the Chapter the Knights Seraphic, after the fiery angels of local myth and the darker angels of the Chapter's superhuman ancestry.
The first Chapter Master of the Knights Seraphic was young Auriel Karnak, who had proved instrumental in repelling an Ork incursion on Ciasus and demonstrated an aptitude for leadership and strategy throughout his training. With Atonius' mentorship and guidance, Chapter Master Karnak embarked on a successful crusade against the Ork systems which dotted the space around Ciasus. Though the fighting was fierce and the greenskins were dangerous foes, careful assaults on clan leaders broke the back of the petty Ork kingdoms, driving them into the anarchy and infighting which always lurks below the surface of greenskin culture. Divided and weak, the Orks fell to the Knights Seraphic, who returned in triumph to Ciasus. At full strength and hardened by battle, the Chapter was by any measure ready to serve the Emperor, and so Atonius confessed to Karnak the terrible secret of the Dark Angels - the tale of the Fallen and of the Unforgiven's sacred duty to force their repentance.
Shortly after the secret was made known to Karnak, the Knights Seraphic were engaged in conflict against the piratical Dark Eldar. In the middle of the campaign, Atonius received a communiqué from the Dark Angels detailing the location of one of the Fallen in a nearby system. Reminded of his duty to the Dark Angels, Karnak reluctantly ordered the redeployment of his forces. However, upon arrival Karnak discovered that the information was false, there was no Fallen. The planet they had been defending was soon overrun by the Dark Eldar, and the civilian population slaughtered. Having passed this final test, Atonius was satisfied that Karnak would be able to lead on his own, and departed for the Dark Angels with his veteran cadre. Karnak was left on Ciasus, deeply troubled by the recent events.
When he emerged, Karnak called together his Inner Circle, and told them of his meditations. The Knights Seraphic were torn by twin duties - one to their heritage and their brethren, the other to the people of the Imperium. Forsaking either was impossible, and could only damn them further in the eyes of the Emperor - the guilt of Caliban already stained their souls, but so would forsaking their duties to pursue a fraternal vendetta. But no man could serve two masters - and Space Marines are still men, for all that they are heroes.
So Karnak split the Chapter. Drawing on the Deathwing and Ravenwing of the Dark Angels, he formed two independent formations within the Chapter, calling them Redemption Fleets. Formed from the first and second companies, and lead by the newly honoured Redemptor Captains, these fleets would react to the presence of the Fallen, while the main body of the Chapter devoted itself to its primary purpose and duty - the protection of the Imperium of Mankind. To the outside world, the Redemptor Fleets would seem nothing more than quick-response formations, but to the Knights Seraphic they would be a hope for salvation.
Over the millenia many Fallen have been hunted down by the Redemptor Fleets of the Knights Seraphic. Some have died screaming, but others have repented. Those few who repent face a Redemptor Champion in single combat, to purify their souls in battle. The even fewer who win such fights take the place and name of their slain opponent. They receive one more chance to die for the Emperor, one more chance to be an Angel of Death, and one more chance to redeem themselves from the damnation that all Dark Angels face.
Within each state there exists a rigid caste system. Nobility rule over small estates, with families of farmers, blacksmiths and more taking their place beneath them, seeing to their needs. Few people question this system; instead it is seen as duty to perform their best according to their standing. Loyalty to one’s state and personal honour is held in high regard, which proved attractive to the fledgling Chapter.
The Knightly Orders of Ciasus are the planet's most prominent defenders. Though originally they were dedicated to the defence of the states which founded them, many have grown to be more powerful and important than the cities they are sworn to protect. Different orders have their own methods of recruiting - some induct only from the nobility, others hold trials to induct the strongest youths, and others have more esoteric selection methods which make little sense to outsiders. The results are the same, however, with each Knightly Order training and producing some of the best warriors on the planet. Once a youth becomes a knight, his life is dedicated to the pursuit of his personal honour and the service of his Order and his city.
After the Ork Empire was destroyed by the Knights Seraphic, the Knightly Orders remained, and continued to feud among each other. The Knights Seraphic allowed this to happen, so that the warriors created on Ciasus would be strong enough to join the Astartes. Once per decade the Chapter hold a series of trials in the planet’s capital Caliphus for potential aspirants, taking only the best so that the future of the Chapter can be ensured.
The Knights Seraphic do not intervene in the affairs of Ciasus unless the planet's safety is in question, preferring to have the people learn from their own mistakes. The Chapter's attitudes have over time been influenced by the knightly orders which provide their recruits, adopting many aspects of the various orders' philosophies. Most notable has been a growing emphasis on honour and duty.
A small group of the First Company do know of the Hunt, but have made their choice to continue fighting the enemies of the Imperium alongside their less informed brethren. They are spread out among the Battle Companies offering their experience alongside the other Marines.
It should be noted that as the Captain of the First Company is often removed from the Chapter, the honorific title of ‘First Captain’ does not belong to him, but rather the foremost Captain of the Battle Companies, often the Third Company Captain. Despite this the numbering of the Battle Companies starts at three, as the two Redemption Fleets are considered to be the first two Companies.
The people of Ciasus have also taught the Knights Seraphic about honour, and it has become an important part of the Chapter. All the decisions made by the Chapter are based on what they are duty bound to do, protecting the people of the Imperium. For a Knight of the Chapter, honour is one of the most important parts of their daily life, but personal honour must not be placed before the honour of the Chapter. Therefore, the Chapter frowns upon selfish acts of heroism that endanger or prove detrimental to the Chapter.
Furthermore, the Knights Seraphic view their duty to the Lion and the Unforgiven equal to their duty to the Imperium as a whole. The Knights Seraphic are true knights in that they will not allow the people to suffer while they still live. They believe that while past failures must be atoned for, they shouldn’t compromise their duty to others to do so. Such actions would only compound their earlier failures. Therefore, they believe that redemption will not come from the Fallen, but rather through duty to the Imperium. This explains why they let those Fallen who confess a chance to live and serve once more. Through their actions protecting the Imperium they may be forgiven by the Emperor upon their death.
Edited by DarkGuard, 31 October 2010 - 05:13 PM.