Twenty veterans of the Blood Angels and their successors were selected to form the Council and oversee the creation of the new chapter. Captain Japheth of the Lamenters was accorded the honor of becoming the first Chapter Master of the Emperor's Angels. As captain of the 3rd Company, he had distinguished himself in the fight against the Fra'al empire and was considered by many to have been a better successor to the Lamenters than their 1st Company commander. An efficient and calculating individual, his surgical strikes were the basis for a revision of the Lamenters' tacticae on assault. It fell to Epistolary Mareus of the Blood Angels to become the Chief Librarian while Sanguinary High Priest Aeolus of the Angels Encarmine was named “Custodian of the Grail” and Master of Sanctity Bhaalus Ares of the Flesh Tearers became the Head Chaplain and the “Voice of Truth.” The four companies were broken down into three battle companies and a single company of reserves along the guidance set by the Codex Astartes. A fifth company was created and staffed only by the leadership and would be responsible for screening, selecting and developing the youths in what would eventually become the 10th Scout Company.
The recommissioned battle barge Angelus Ira, which had been almost destroyed in the defeat of WAAAGH! Medruk, was provided as the chapter headquarters as well as the strike cruiser Imperator Ulciscor and three rapid strike vessels of the Cobra class. In addition, a colony ship with hopeful settlers and prospectors was sent with the force as well as a small but powerful detachment of three vessels from the Adeptus Mechanicus, led by Magos Explorator Eris Kre’val and Genetor Asocryxis, their mission two-fold; continue the Quest for Knowledge in the unknown depths of space and to carefully monitor the progress and genetic stability of the Emperor’s Angels. Genetor Asocryxis would also be responsible for overseeing the expansion of the Emperor's Angels into a full Chapter before yielding complete control of the creation of new Space Marines to the Chapter Apothecarion. Composed thusly, the Emperor’s Angels were initially assigned to the eastern edge of the Ultima Segmentum where reports of Ork incursions were growing.
What they found instead, was a system devastated by warfare. An Ork Waaagh! had evidently struck thousands of years prior and then been stranded by the last ditch efforts of the defenders, both sides suffering horrendous losses; the humans nearly wiped out and the invading Orks eradicated, only to be replaced by feral Orks spawned from their spores that had infested the planet. Nine human city-states were all that remained of the once planet-spanning society and these were reduced to largely bronze-age technology, for the Waaagh! had destroyed the vast majority of the infrastructure. The regimented militaries of the city-states, however, were fighting a losing war as more and more Orks attacked each year. Weak signals, barely strong enough to make it out of the atmosphere, requested aid in a ceaselessly repeating cry for assistance.
Seeing the opportunity to not only restore the Imperium to the system, but to also give his new charges invaluable combat experience, Chapter Master Japheth ordered the immediate deployment of all forces to defeat the greenskins. The feral Orks were no match for the Emperor’s Angels and it would take but a few days of intense fighting to eliminate the Ork leaders and shatter the largest warbands. In what would later be described as “a manifestation of the Emperor’s wrath,” the Emperor’s Angels systematically annihilated every trace of the Orks upon Ajax IV. The cleansing of the planet would take much longer, but in the shattered remains of a once-prosperous system, the Emperor’s Angels would establish their homeworld.
Within the deep forests, tribes of feral Orks still roam, never quite fully expunged, but they are a minor threat to the people as the planetary defense force patrol the outskirts and the scout Marines of the Sanguinary Phalanx frequently test their mettle against the deadly and cunning greenskins. Every now and then, in the deeper forests, an Ork boss or chieftain will manage to raise a full grown squiggoth and cause a minor disruption, usually successfully raiding a town or two, but then is quickly destroyed by rapid response teams.
In space, the once defunct space docks have been refitted and expanded, capable of sustaining the entire chapter fleet of the Phalanx. Shortly after its re-commissioning, the docks laid the keel to a new Space Marine battle barge and two strike cruisers. Since then, one additional battle barge and three more cruisers have been constructed, expanding the fleet as the chapter has expanded as well. The Adeptus Mechanicus utilize a retrofitted orbital defense platform as their primary base of operations from which the small, but growing, exploratory fleet sets out on forays into the surrounding star systems, charting the unknown portions of the segmentum that surround the Ajax system.
The settlements on Ajax V and Ajax VII have also been re-established, both mining communities and factories that funnel their finished products to Ajax IV for export to the rest of the Imperium.
The chapter was committed in strength to support the Seventh Suppression Force under command of Lord General Donalvan Badalis as Imperial forces sought to regain control of the war-torn Dariuzyn, Corona and Losinio sub-sectors. These regions were difficult to suppress because there was no central cause, but a series of independent internecine conflicts, secessions and outright revolts that engulfed the three sub-sectors in a blaze of violence. The Emperor's Angels were sent to Ince, a vital promethium-producing system, to break the deadlock between Loyalist forces and a secessionist group that had managed to turn three of the five major terminal cities away from the Imperium and gain control of the two largest fuel distribution terminals. In a series of punishing raids, the Chapter annihilated the secessionist forces, sweeping them from the first two cities in a bloody massacre that left nothing of the rebel forces in it's wake. A message of capitulation was received seventeen minutes before the attack began on the third rebel-held city, but no record of such a message was ever found in the data repositories of the Emperor's Angels. When Imperial Guard regiments, supported by the beleaguered PDF forces arrived at the gates to the third city, nothing stirred and blood flowed through the streets, swirling into the gutters. The terminals were fully operational, but of the Space Marines, there was no sign.
Stories of the Slaughter at Ince swept through all three subsectors and many of the rebellions and secessions died as soon as the news arrived that the Adeptus Astartes had gotten involved. The picts of three completely empty cities, each housing tens of thousands of people, were incomprehensible to most and earning censure from the Adepta Sororitas detachment that accompanied the Suppression Force. That censure would grow stronger as the Emperor's Angels continued their brutally effective brand of warfare, often deploying right into the middle of the enemy's command echelon and shattering it within minutes, followed by the complete eradication of any rebel forces. It was upon Dremoss V, capital of the Dariuzyn sub-sector and the site of the largest civil war, that Canoness Estrella of the Order of the Valorous Heart declared that she would seek an Inquisitorial investigation into the purity of the Chapter. The Adepta Sororitas and the Imperial Guard had established a buffer between the two factions and engineered a tenuous cease-fire, both sides zealously loyal to the Imperium. As leaders from both factions negotiated terms for a complete cessation of hostilities, a massive explosion destroyed both cadres and the senior Guard and Sororitas commanders. Taking action, the Emperor's Angels initiated an immediate combat drop and systematically annihilated the two opposing armies that occupied the fields. Even as Imperial commanders attempted to ascertain the situation, the Chapter rolled immediately into a second coordinated ground and orbital strike that simultaneously destroyed each of the military bases held by the Dremoss V opposing factions. Unfortunately, Canoness Estrella and the Imperial Guard regiments that had been on the surface were lost in the fighting.
Even as the last Valkyrie departed, the governor's gunship was struck by a barrage of missiles that knocked the aircraft from the sky to crash into the throngs of depraved worshippers. What the Chaos lackeys assumed would be a quick salvage turned into the moment of greatest triumph for any individual within the Chapter, before or afterwards. With ten of his Sanguinary Guard and Venerable Pyros cradled in the rear clamps, Lord Judicator Japheth swore that the Governor would not die. Unleashing the dreadnought from the rear clamp, he and his guard exited the Stormraven's rear hatch while it executed a devastating strafing run to help clear a path to the downed Valkyrie. Catching the enemy by surprise, the Emperor's Angels extracted the living from the wreckage and directed Pyros to lead them to a remote auxiliary landing pad for extraction. The Chapter Master then took to the skies, disappearing into the smoke and haze and using the evading Governor and his escort as bait. With the librarian dreadnought using his sense of premonition and considerable pyrokinetic skills to keep the most threatening forces at bay, Japheth proceeded to wage a campaign of guerrilla warfare that would redefine the teachings of the Chapter's masters.
For a hundred twenty-seven hours, the Chapter Master and his charges conducted lightning raids into the pursuing warbands of cultists and traitors, punishing them with brutal assaults and then taking back to the skies, never re-attacking from the same direction. Raids upon the light armor columns with their Infernus Pistols provided them with ammunition supplies to sustain their fight until the survivors of the crash and Venerable Pyros made it to the auxiliary pad. The guardsmen set up what perimeter they could manage with Pyros anchoring the defense of the access ramp as Japheth and his Sanguinary Guard continued their hit and run tactics until their packs finally ran out of fuel and forced them to the ground. Signals from orbit indicated the imminent arrival of a gunship to extract them from the surface, but not before a massive throng of enemy forces would reach them. Clinging to his oath, Japheth and his remaining guard grabbed the powerlances of the governor's praetorians and readied themselves at the access ramp for a final stand, Pyros behind them for firepower.
When the Thunderhawks finally touched down on the pad, a ragged Governor and his retinue emerged from the mists around the pad, followed by a slow-moving figure in ornate power armor. As aides rushed to assist the Governor, Japheth dropped to one knee and uttered the simple phrase, "The Emperor Protects!" and finally succumbed to his wounds, his oath fulfilled.
It was as the Imperial Guard forces were completing their withdrawal from the system that the battle barge Angelus Ira translated into the system with more than four hundred Astartes aboard. In a purge that reeked with retribution, the Emperor's Angels laid waste to the planet and all upon it. Not a single life was spared amongst the population and the entire world was put to the torch as the Chapter vented its anger. The bodies and recordings of the fallen brothers were recovered as was the shell of Ancient Pyros, to be restored for future battle brothers; over 8,000 had died at the hands of the Chapter Master and his retinue. After reviewing the recordings, it would later be decided to honor the fallen with the formation they had used for their final stand, the Phalanx. After his induction and with the urging of the increasing number of battle brothers hailing from the Ajax system, the new High Judicator, Artaxes, petitioned the Adeptus Terra for a name change of the Chapter which was finally granted in 994.M37; the Emperor's Angels became known as the Sanguinary Phalanx.
Selected for their thoroughness and exemplary battle record, the Sanguinary Phalanx was sanctioned by the High Lords of Terra, along with two other Chapters, to "...reinforce the example set by the Manus Irae. Enact upon the Clois Sector the full wrath of the God-Emperor and illuminate their heresy for all within the Imperium to see. By the flame of example, stoke the fires of Faith and Duty in the hearts of all Mankind." The specifics of the undertaking remain catalogued and sealed under the highest levels of classification within the vaults of Holy Terra, but what is known is the results and the names of the three Chapters tasked; the Sanguinary Phalanx, the Flesh Tearers and the Marines Malevolent. The spoils of the 35-year campaign are evidenced in the vessels that the fleets of the Marines Malevolent and the Sanguinary Phalanx have expanded to include and the silence of a entire sector bears testament to the thoroughness of the campaign. It is noteworthy that not a single Exterminatus decree was carried out, every planet in the sector put to the sword and scoured of life on a personal level. It is also of particular note that, following the Redemption of Clois, the Marines Malevolent unilaterally declared that they would refuse to fight alongside the Sanguinary Phalanx in any future undertakings.
While they eschew the use of long-range weaponry, they do realize that it is a tactical necessity and, as such, field such squads regularly with heavy weapons troopers rotating in and out of tactical squads so as not to inordinately punish battle brothers by withholding them from meeting the Emperor’s foes eye-to-eye. If possible, the chapter prefers to strike by use of combined drop pod and Thunderhawk or Stormraven gunships, engaging the enemy in a sudden and immediate flurry of close combat, not affording them the opportunity to reconsolidate.
The Companion, as the 1st Company is known, is comprised of the Chapter’s veterans and are often found with power lances and combat shields in both an honor to their heritage and for the increased power offered by many of the weapons. They also use them in much of the same manner of the Grey Knights, effectively fighting enemies in close combat with a dazzling array of moves and weaponship. All members of the Chapter’s senior leadership must attain election to the Companion and serve in its ranks before even being considered for their postings. The preferred armor is power armor, equipped with a jump pack, the mobility it provides over terminator armor in keeping with the Chapter’s traditions of lightning strikes and flowing combat. While they do not frown upon the use of Tactical Dreadnought armor, it’s immobility is oft considered a hindrance, despite the stability and superior protection it provides. The sole member of the Phalanx constantly found in terminator armor is the Master of Sanctity and Bearer of His Word, bearing the armor of Bhaalus Ares, proclaiming the fealty of the chapter and focusing the spirits and minds of those about him.
As the Emperor had faith in his primarchs, so too, does the Phalanx have faith in the people of the Imperium, whom they have sworn to defend. Whether it is a product of their gene-seed or not, it is this faith in Humanity that also drives their wrath, for there is nothing that the Phalanx despises more than the traitor. They understand that for humanity to survive, it must be united and to that end, they show no mercy in their application of force to excise the cancer of traitors and heretics. It is this belief in the idea of a united Mankind that also fuels their hatred for Chaos in all of its forms, for they recognize the fractious nature of the Dark Powers and the threat that it poses to Humanity. It is because of this that the wake of destruction they leave behind them is accepted and their near-excess accepted, for it is well known that where there is the taint of Chaos or the stench of traitors, only devastation remains after the Phalanx passes.
It is typical for strike forces to deploy for many years, although they typically return immediately after their task is complete to refit and replenish. The exception to this policy is the Fourth company. It has been noted with some curiosity by various officials within the Administratum and the Mechanicus that the fourth company, aboard the battle barge Angelus Redemptio, has been on extended combat duty for the last four centuries, never once returning to the Ajax system for supplies or to replenish their ranks. Instead, small re-supply convoys consisting of a number of strike vessels will ferry supplies and replacements to the Fourth at the request of Executor Alastor, the commanding officer. This is dismissed by the chapter leadership under the auspices that the company is engaged in a prolonged mission and the unique experiences of the Astartes within the Fourth mean that they are the only ones capable of accomplishing the task. Of particular note is also that Executor Alastor is accompanied by two chaplains at any given time, one the second-most senior of the Phalanx, as well as four high-ranking members of the chapter’s librarius. Truly the task set before the Fourth must be incredible.
In addition to the companies, like their Blood Angel brethren, the Sanguinary Phalanx maintains a Sanguinary Guard, the personal bodyguard of the chapter master himself. Led by the one of the Phalanx's most accomplished warriors, Brother Sabaoth, they have been named the "Deimosan" or Dread Warriors for the fury that they bring to bear against the enemies of Mankind. These thirty individuals typically are the very best Astartes in the chapter, selected for their devotion, purity and martial prowess and answer only to the chapter master or his designated representative. They are often individuals who would have made company captains were there an opening and their counsel is called upon by many of the existing chapter leaders. When a company is deemed too great a response, it is often left to a Sanguinary Guard to lead the task force.
The various ranks within the Sanguinary Phalanx carry different names, based upon the Chapter's traditions, but they are commensurate with their counterparts in the organizations of their brothers amongst the various other Astartes
Chapter Master – High Judicator
Master of Sanctity – Voice of Truth
Sanguinary High Priest – Custodian of the Grail
Company Commander - Executor
Vice-Commander - Strategos
Cry: “Implacable is the Phalanx!”
Reply: “Ever forth unto victory!”
It was upon the cursed world of Ivgodrosil that the Fourth earned their title amongst the brothers of the Phalanx and forced the chapter to hide its darkest secret, far from the prying eyes of the Imperium. Known only to the battle brothers of the chapter and their closest allies amongst the various agencies of the Imperium and the Mechanicus, the truth behind the Fourth could very well damn the entire Chapter should it fall into the wrong hands. The Phalanx bears this hidden shame with a stoic resolve and a relentless pursuit of perfection that can be seen in every aspect of their existence and carry with them a deep humility that is rare amongst the Adeptus Astartes.
Amongst the Phalanx, there is no living battle brother (save two of the revered ancients interred within the dreadnought sarcophagus) that carries as impressive a tally of victories as Executor Alastor. Amongst the Phalanx there is also no battle brother that has a deeper sense of shame nor as great an air of humility as Executor Alastor, for it was the battle brothers under his command that brought to light a terrible truth.
Ivgodrosil was the seventh planet of a prosperous system located to the galactic north of Baal and west of the Ghoul Stars, settled during mankind’s expansion into space during the Dark Age of Technology. With the darkness that came with Old Night, the system was cut off from humanity and left to its own devices, the records of its settlement lost in the archives of history or simply buried so deeply beneath ancient tomes that they cannot be found thousands of years later. Sometime in the latter half of 564.M41, the system was rediscovered by a far-reaching patrol of the Death Spectres and it was quickly discovered that time had not been kind to the system. While the cause is not known, a massive increase in the number of children born with psychic mutation had led to devastation across the entire system. The powers of the untrained minds had run rampant in the hundreds as their emotions fed their psychic talents and caught the attention of the fell intellects lurking within the Warp. Possessions by minor daemons had been but the beginning and as they consumed their hosts, they brought forth their kin, opening the gateway to hell and turning a trickle or warp energy into a raging torrent.
Those who could flee, attempted to return via the ancient star charts that had led them to Ivgodrisil and its sister planets, but the foul entities that were consuming the populace were not ready to release their playthings. Sabotage by possessed individuals crippled countless vessels, weakening their Gellar fields, exposing the crews and navigators to the predators of the Warp, dooming the populace to lives of eternal damnation. It was only with the coming of the Emperor that the warp storms abated and, unbeknownst to the people of Ivgodrisil, the vast intellects of the Warp turned their attentions to other regions of the galaxy.
By the time the Death Spectres rediscovered the system, Ivgodrisil and its sister planets were engaged in open warfare between the descendants of those who had managed to largely escape the corruption of Chaos on the outer planets and those who fed the daemon cults upon Ivgodrisil and the planets of the inner system. Captain Crixus of the Fifth Company immediately went to the aid of the outer planets, while sending a call for help back to the Death Spectres fortress monastery. For months, the 5th Company cleansed the outer planets, one by one, bringing their populations into the light of the Emperor and assisting with the establishment of ever more effective defense forces, meanwhile fighting off the piratical predations of the Chaos cultists and their daemon masters that inhabited the core planets. Eleven months into the undertaking, nine Imperial Guard regiments and a deputation from the Adeptus Sororitas arrived to assist and the invasion of Ivgodrisil was planned.
The fleet established orbit above the planet and easily swept aside the Chaos warships as they were but gunships and light tenders, the remnants of the civilian fleets that had long ago settled the system. Even as they prepared to make landing upon Ivgodrisil, their sensors detected the arrival of a substantial fleet, heralding the arrival of the Sanguinary Phalanx’s 4th Company under the command of Executor Alastor. The request for assistance by their fellow Astartes had not gone unheeded and the relative proximity of the Phalanx battle fleet enabled them to respond in force.
Quickly incorporating themselves into the battle plans, the Sanguinary Phalanx and the Death Spectres began a series of surgical strikes aimed at removing the most powerful of the Chaos cults. Even with their daemonic allies, the pawns of Chaos stood little chance against might of two battle companies of the Emperor’s Astartes and the first two surgical strikes were nearly flawless with Imperial Guard regiments following closely in their wake to secure their gains. However, as the two largest covens were eliminated, the organization of the others failed to deteriorate, instead becoming ever more effective. On the third strike against the mountain fortress of the Sycophant of Skalarn, a sudden spike in psychic energy was detected by the psykers of the Imperial forces. The feedback was crippling and the astropathic choirs on three of the vessels were silenced as the protective devices, prayers and wards failed, blasting the minds of those within into oblivion.
In a chamber that defied reality, constantly shifting and impossibly vast, too vast to be contained within the physical limits of the mountain, the entire population of Ivgodrisil was affixed to the walls, their skin flensed from their bodies and their torsos gaping wide. Their organs were arranged in visceral patterns and all fluids drained to the floor creating a sea of blood that came to the knees. Each body had been suffocated by its own entrails and ritually engraved with forbidden sigils that were painful to look at, inducing nausea, even within the Astartes, but even more damning was the fact that each and every face bore a smile. All of this was taken in at a glance for hands rose from the blood to grasp at the space marines and they were beset upon by a gibbering horde of foul warp xenos.
It was as Executor Alastor fought side-by-side with Captain Crixus that he suddenly was beset by a rage he could not control. A mocking laugh filled his thoughts and he felt his control slipping away. His blood pounded in his ears and he felt his body tense, even as a surge of immense power flooded into every fiber of his being. The laughter continued unabated and he became more and more incensed, striking out and tearing through the daemonic horde as if possessed, quickly leaving Crixus in his wake as he rampaged through the horde. Visions swam before his eyes and he lost the ability to tell what was real from what was not, daemons mixed with the hated marines of the traitor legions. All about him he slew, his blade stopping only before striking his fellow battle brothers until none stood before him and the sea of blood lay strewn with the innumerable corpses of his enemies and yet still the mocking laughter continued.
It was only then that the rage receded and the truth of what had happened lay before his eyes. Even as the warp forms of the daemons dissipated into nothingness, the slaughtered forms of the Death Spectres and the Adeptus Sororitas became more and more visible. He could see the battle brothers under his command shaking their heads as if awakening from a dream and the horror of what the Phalanx had done nearly drove him to madness. He fell to his knees, mired in blood and unleashed a scream filled with the agony of a man who had lost everything that he held dear and still the laughter rang in his ears. At the center of the chamber, atop a throne fashioned from the ribcages of Ivgodrisil’s populace, sat the hulking form of a laughing daemon. Suddenly, every member of the Phalanx that had survived was beside their commander, looking to him for direction in the wake of their slaughter and Alastor knew rage once more. He embraced it this time and felt himself fall into the hate, a wellspring of strength once more surging into his body. He shook as he stood and, with a roar of anger charged the laughing daemon.
Even as his rage took control, Alastor knew that this was different and suddenly he was Alastor no more and upon the damned throne was not some casual daemon, but his brother, Horus Lupercal. Even the daemon sought to take back control of the vision it had visited upon the Astartes of the Sanguinary Phalanx, so too did the legacy of their primarch awaken within their geneseed. Daemons sprang into existence as the daemon prince realized that he had lost control of the visions being seen by Alastor and his battle brothers, but Alastor cut through them with the same ease that his primarch had until he had reached the summit of the throne and stood before Horus. With a cry of grief that echoed the despair his gene father had felt upon the Vengeful Spirit Alastor took the fight to the daemon prince. The two were similarly matched in skill, but the daemon prince was stronger and Alastor took repeated hits that would have felled an Astartes were he not gripped with the Black Rage. After a swift feint, the daemon prince slammed his sword into Alastor’s chest, the blade erupting from his back, but Alastor was beyond mere pain and through a fast dimming world as his life force drained away, he returned the favor, driving his lightning claw up into the chest of the daemon prince and taking to the skies on his jump pack, ripping the chest from the warp creature and banishing it to realm of Chaos. With the daemon prince banished, the chamber began to lose stability and the lesser daemons fell swiftly to the fury of the enraged marines and with a sudden shriek of tortured rock and metal, the fortress collapsed in on itself, burying the 4th Company and its commander.
The official records of the Battle for Ivgodrisil indicate that Executor Alastor sustained grievous wounds, but was recovered, alive, along with fifty seven battle brothers of the 4th Company. Every member of the Adeptus Sororitas and Death Spectres that were on the mission was killed by the daemon prince Esh’aklaor. The planet was deemed to be too great of a moral threat and, once all Imperial forces were recalled into orbit, a sentence of Exterminatus carried out under the authority of Executor Alastor. Geneseed was recovered and returned to the Death Spectres chapter, although they have declared that they will never again fight alongside the Sanguinary Phalanx. There is a standing query amongst the Ordo Hereticus as to the events that occurred upon Ivgodrisil, but as there are no living witnesses, the incident remains unresolved. All attempts to contact the 4th Company, with the assistance of the Sanguinary Phalanx, have proven to be unsuccessful.
The aftermath of the Ivgodrisil Intervention forever haunts the Sanguinary Phalanx as the Black Rage’s sudden manifestation at the hands of Esh’aklaor triggered a psychic backlash felt by the entire chapter and ever increasing numbers of battle brothers are transferred from their companies to the Fourth as “reinforcements.”
Edited by exetus, 31 March 2011 - 12:31 PM.