”May whatever gods you worship have mercy on your wretched souls, for we shall not!”
- Chaplain Devon Merik, to the last rebels of Telfar III
Their home world lost to flames, the Sons of Pyron crusade to rid the Imperium of Man of all manner of savage, impure, beasts. Not satisfied to simply drive the impure from their beloved Imperium, the Sons strive to purge it with holy fire. They have pledged to burn all that stand against Holy Terra. Where the cleansing flame strikes next, only time can tell.
As part of the 17th Founding, the Justicars, honored descendents of the Ultramarines, were given the high honor of siring a new chapter of Space Marines. A training cadre was assembled and sent to the volcanic world of Pyron. There they began the long process of turning the worthy few into Angels of Death, defenders of the Imperium.
Originally discovered sometime during the Dark Age of Technology, the first colonist to arrive noted the large number of towering volcanoes dotting the planet's surface and aptly named it Pyron. As more and more colonists arrived, several distinct kingdoms developed and their location near the edge of what is now the Imperium of Man and on the border of Segmentums Ultima and Tempestus, Pyron thrived as a hub for galactic trade.
Generation after generation the Pyronites persevered as the wars raged around them and chaos ruled the land. Following each major war was a period of uneasy peace, but it never to lasted more than a few decades. The cycle of small conflicts escalating into global wars continued uninterrupted for millennia. It was not an easy life, every day was a struggle to survive. The Pyronites became as hard and cold as stone.
The Great Crusade reached Pyron during one such period of peace. Pyron was added to the Imperium of Man and the leader of the dominant kingdom was named as Imperial Governor. With the urgency of the Emperor's Crusade, little time was spent researching Pyron's history. As the Crusade pressed on, they could not know the course of havoc they'd set for Pyron. The wars began anew. Only now the fighting was over a new prize, the right to rule in the name of the Imperium.
Games of Fire
Only the strongest, smartest and most able are pressed into competing in the games. Their reward, should they perform well, is the chance to become a part of the Chapter now known as the Sons of Pyron. Under the direction of the training cadre, the games were established as an initial test for recruitment. They involved tests of strength, stamina and intelligence. It would be difficult for most adults to successfully complete the challenges, for the youths that would take part in the games it was a life and death trial. The path to become a Son was a long and arduous one and few would find the strength and spirit to move on to the next phase and become Space Marine Initiates.
The Daughters of Pyron
Remembering the struggle the Justicars had enduring finding suitable recruits, Master Heronus had conceived a novel idea to alleviate that problem. Now, as leader of the Sons' training cadre, he was in a position to put his idea into action. He saw no reason for Chapters to be limited to just finding recruits, when they could create and groom them from birth.
The recruitment process for the Adeptus Astartes had always been dependent on letting a child's environment develop them into worthy recruits. It was a proven method and had always worked in the past, but Heronus saw no reason for it to be the only option. Although the games and normal recruitment of boys remained the only way for the Sons to grow to a full chapter with any relative speed, Master Heronus set about to put his idea to the test. If it succeeded, it would give the Sons an option most other chapters would never have considered, and if it failed it could easily be ended with no harm done.
Heronus began to press worthy young girls into taking part in the games. Those that proved themselves worthy were added into the growing number within the Sons training program. As part of his plan, these girls would be taught combat, both hand to hand and ship to ship, and someday man the Sons' fleet of ships.
As the first of these girls began to reach maturity, Heronus initiated his Eugenics Program and moved on to the next phase of his plan by adding adult men to the games. The men who excelled in the games would of course not be eligible to become Space Marines, as they were much too old to take part in the conversion of their bodies using the geneseed, but they were perfect for the Eugenics Program. The men who excelled in the games would have their genetic material harvested. Under Heronus' direction, chapter Apothecaries used the genetic material to impregnate the girls. In this way, finding worthy recruits was no longer to be left to random environmental chance, for the first time since the Primarchs … Space Marines were created from worthy parents and trained from birth to be ultimate warriors.
Both boys and girls were produced in the Eugenics Program and by the time the Sons were up to full strength, with recruits raised in the conventional way, the first of the true Children of Pyron were ready for training.
By the time the first of the Sons companies was able to return, they found Pyron a smoldering rock devoid of life. In orbit above their home world was an Imperial cruiser. Thinking the Imperial Navy had caused the destruction of their home world the Sons flew into a rage and prepared to attack them. Only the quick report by the Commander of the cruiser held their vengeance and revealed the truth.
An Imperial task force had responded to the call for aid only to find Pyron in flames, its surface covered in molten lava. It appeared as if every volcano had erupted at once. Messages intercepted from the remaining Orks as they fled, claimed the planet itself had seemed to have turned against them. It appeared that rather then fall into the hands of the Orks, Pyron had fought back, destroying itself in the process. All that remained was a lifeless planet. The task force pursued the Orks, leaving only the cruiser to guard till the Sons return.
As more and more ships of the Sons returned, the crew of the cruiser was witness to the great lamentation of the marines. The Sons' Chapter Master, two full Reserve Companies, as well as many of their Scouts and the young Children of Pyron still in training had all died with the planet. Only the intervention of Pyron itself that had finally stopped the Ork invasion. For a full week the Sons and Daughters wailed in sorrow over the loss of their brothers and sisters, their people, and their world. They vowed never to forget the great sacrifices all had given to stop the Orks.
After the time of weeping had ended, the Masters all gathered and it was decided that there would be no new home world for the Sons, for no other world could replace Pyron. The Master of the 1st Company assumed command of the Chapter and set it on a course of vengeance. Dividing the remaining Sons' into five new companies, the new Chapter Master sent them out with two distinct missions. First, to destroy the alien forces that had caused the death of their home world, and second, to cleanse other worlds as Pyron had done … with fire.
Following the great sacrifice of Pyron, it became necessary for the Sons to find alternate worlds to recruit from. The Sons were fortunate to find planets suitable for recruitment very early in their Crusade of Vengeance against the Orks. Two of the companies discovered worlds that, though they would never replace Pyron, would provide suitable adult males for the Games to continue. The Chapter alternates its visits to these worlds and the Games of Fire now take place there.
The Feral World of Ryntor Secundus in Segmentum Ultima was first encountered by the 2nd Company as they chased a Warband of Orks from the Blood Axe Clan through the system. The Warband escaped after suffering great losses and splintering into much smaller groups.
The Company returned to Ryntor Secundus, having taken note of it in their pursuit. The small planet was covered by lush grasslands and freshwater seas, it also swarmed with large reptilian creatures. The humans tribes of the grasslands had reverted to roughly Stone Age technology and constantly battled the reptiles to survive. The Sons found it to be suitable for recruitment.
The native humans saw the Space Marines as gods. The Sons introduced them to the Games of Fire, and they eagerly began to take part in the Games to honor the new gods and goddesses.
The 5th Company discovered the Feudal World of Ulrati in Segmentum Tempestus during their search for Orks. The numerous kingdoms on the planet were at constant war with each other, making for a large warrior population suitable for recruitment in the Games.
The Sons did little to reform the warlike nature of the native inhabitants, in fact they encouraged it. Warriors from all the kingdoms travel to the Games, competing in combat to win favor of the Sons.
”We will hunt them till they are no more. We will purge them from existence. The last Ork will die at our hands, only then will vengeance be served.”
- Grand Master Lans Mobius, Master of the Sons of Pyron, Commander of the 1st, addressing the Chapter
Since the destruction of their homeworld, the Sons' hatred of the Orks has reached a near fanatical level. Their primary goal has become one of genocide, the complete annihilation of the Ork race. Many of the Sons' unique beliefs, that set them apart from their progenitors, are built around the perceived sacrifice of Pyron, and the vile creatures that caused its destruction.
The Sons of Pyron are quick to show compassion to other humans but equally as quick to crush the savage aliens and any that stand against the Imperium when they are encountered. They strive by their actions to mirror the purity of the Emperor. They also believe that sacrificing oneself for purity, as Pyron did, is a most honorable death. The Sons do not allow compromise on this matter, one is pure or one is to be cleansed.
The Emperor created the Sons to defend the Imperium of Man and, even with its shortcomings, they are honor bound to do so. Though they see themselves as more pure then most of the Imperium's inhabitants, and even a few of their fellow Adeptus Astartes Chapters, each Battle Brother will gladly lay down his life to carry out the Emperor's orders.
A True Family
Where every other Chapter can rightfully claim brotherhood through their geneseed, the Sons and Daughters of Pyron are, as a result of the Eugenics Program, a true family. Every member, from the Chapter Master down to the youngest initiate, is related by blood … the blood heritage of Pyron. This family atmosphere can be witnessed in how they fight in battle, to how they operate daily on board the Chapter's fleet of ships.
Those outside the Chapter see the idea of family as a contradiction to the harshness that the Chapter sometimes is forced to deal upon its own young initiates. The Sons, however, see that perceived harshness as a sign of true family affection. It is better for an crippled or weak youngster to die early then be forced to suffer a life of pain and dishonor.
The anniversary of the Sacrifice of Pyron is a day of reverence for the Chapter. Those seeing one of its Sons on this day will find them quiet and reserved with a solemn tear on their face. Duty seldom allows the Sons to mourn in peace, and those finding themselves in combat against the Sons on this day, find the Sons of a single mind … purify with fire, without mercy.
With the vile Orks holding the position as most hated for the Sons, the Chapter has become severely Xenophobic, hating anything inhuman. Having a nemesis that is anything but pure, neither animal nor plant, has led the Sons to despise any form of impurity. Only the cleansing fire can rid the universe of the impure.
The Chapter's Crusade of Vengeance has put the Sons on a course that they can never accomplish. To exterminate the Orks as a race is more a thousand Chapters can do. For the Sons to do this alone is unimaginable. Yet they will continue to try, for an eternity if necessary.
The Emperor holds the title of Most Pure in the beliefs of the Sons, and all strive to move closer to his example. The loyal Primarchs hold the next level of purity in their beliefs, and are called the Children of the Most Pure. They see themselves, and other Space Marines, as the Pure Ones. But some Chapters they find to be less then pure. Those that have fallen to Chaos are to be hunted and cleansed, and those whose geneseed has become tainted or warped are not above suspicion and to be watched closely.
The Cleansing Flame
In the eyes of the Sons, only fire can remove the taint of Chaos and impurity. Whole populations under suspicion have found themselves facing the Cleansing Fire at the hands of the Sons of Pyron. Their fervent burning of the impure has made them a favored Chapter of Inquisitors desiring to see worlds purged.
A Pure Body and Mind
Recruitment for the Sons has been refined to the point of perfection. Recruits are no longer found, through Heronus' Eugenics Program they are created and trained from birth to be ultimate warriors.
Children born to the Daughters of Pyron are closely examined upon birth for any defect, physical or mental. Defective young are slain to save them from the curse of impurity. Aspirants that fail the tests to become Space Marines are also considered impure and slain.
The surviving males become exceptional Space Marines and the females become the sisters and mothers of future generations of the chapter, as well as manning the fleet of the Sons of Pyron. Throughout their lives, the Sons and Daughters are watched and tested. Impurity is not tolerated in any form.
The early years of the Chapter saw them as many of the Ultramarines successors. They were brash, bold and arrogant. Like their brother Chapters, they proudly followed the Codex Astartes to the letter. All that changed with the loss of their homeworld the the Orks.
Without the support provided by the Fortress Monastery, it was assumed that the Sons would be going to their deaths when they split into five separate forces following the loss of Pyron. Perhaps that was their plan. They no longer had an armory, no forges, and had lost their entire gene-stock, all they could do was seek vengeance and die like true warriors. Yet not only did they survive their crusade of vengeance, they came out the stronger for it.
Early in their crusade, the new Chapter Master ordered that the 1st Company Battlebarge be renamed Igneus Punitor and converted to be their new Fortress Monastery. With new genetic material harvested from Ryntor Secundus and Ulrati, the Eugenics Program continued and the chapter was able to maintain its numbers. The arrival of Techmarines from Mars that had been in training when Pyron was lost greatly boosted the number of Techmarines in the Chapter, and new forges built aboard the new mobile Monastery allowed the Sons to survive and grow, albeit slowly at first.
The Sons remained separated in their quest to avenge the loss of their homeworld for many centuries. Due to the loss of Pyron and the marines there, the companies were only slightly over normal strength at the time for many years. Over the years the Chapter's Veterans, Reserves, and Scouts were incorporated to become part of the five companies, with each company appearing as a micro-Chapter within the greater Chapter of the Sons of Pyron.
Many Orks were slain over the years, but vengeance always eluded them. After many years, and many battles, the five companies rejoined into one cohesive unit to continue their crusade on a much larger scale. But the years apart had changed them, the companies had become more independent, in thinking and action, and that remains true to this day. The organizational structure that was adopted by the Sons in those centuries apart remains the same now that they have rejoined, and though they are one Chapter it's not unusual for them to separate into five fleets again when situations warrant.
The size of the Chapter's fleet has grown to better fit its new crusading doctrine. Following the Chapter limits set forth in the Codex Astartes, the organizational structure of the Sons now allows each company to maintain 200 combat ready marines. However, due to their aggressive combat doctrine, the actual number of combat marines is more often closer to 150 per company. The Chapter Master maintains command of the 1st Company.
Young Daughters of Pyron train alongside their brothers who are destined to become Space Marines. The young women continue to train and as they mature they are put into the Eugenics Program. After birthing two children they fill the role of the serfs of other chapters. Older women return to the Eugenics Program where they raise, and alongside their Space Marine counterparts, train the young ones.
”Merciless … its the only word I can find to describe the Sons of Pyron. Then again, they do get the job done.”
- General Esa Dyum, Commander 12th Grenadiers, following the purge of Orks from Galia IV
Other then their preference for fire based weapons, the combat doctrine of the Sons of Pyron is mostly dictated by the Codex Astartes and remains inline with their Adeptus Astartes brothers. The Sons are known to never have given ground to their most hated enemy, the Orks.
The Sons combat doctrine closely mirrors the old adage, “the best defense is a good offense.” They prefer to use the overwhelming force of their oversized companies to crush those that stand against the Imperium, rather then sit and wait behind bunkers for enemies to attack them.
The Geneseed of Roboute Guilliman, by way of the Justicars, was used to create the Sons of Pyron. It remains pure with no defects apparent. A level of purity that is seen as the greatest gift their Primarch could bestow upon them.
“Let them burn!” The most used battle cry of the Sons relates to their belief that only fire can cleanse impurities from body and soul.
“For Pyron!” Another common battle cry deals with their reverence of the Sons' fallen home world.
Edited by Ecritter, 03 June 2011 - 07:54 PM.