The Penitent Sons
"Never forget. Never Forgive."
Pict File: #RV019724 - The Penitent Sons
The origins of The Penitent Sons are shrouded in mystery. Many believe that their current designation is not their first but if this is the case then all trace or record of their previous existence is lost to us. References to their existence only begin to appear in Imperial Records after M37, giving rise to a popular series of rumours that they are from the Cursed Founding, though we at the Administratum are loath to countenance anything less than fact, the prevalence of these whispered claims are such that they must be accounted.
When the Chapter came to their attention the Inquisition launched a full scale investigation into their faith and allegiance. They were perturbed when, at first, their requests for a meeting went un-answered.
Approaching the Chapter Fleet, which was traced down after many weeks of work by thousands of operatives across the Segmentum, they came with caution on their minds and fear in their hearts. Once again attempted communications with the Flagship and were surprised to receive an answer, though it came in the form of a frail, elderly human voice rather than the expected deep bass growl of an Astartes warrior.
Following this initial contact and careful meetings and talks, the Inquisition were allowed to begin their investigation. All present breathed a collective sigh of relief.
The Inquisition came to the conclusion that The Penitent Sons were loyal and pure sons of The God-Emperor descending from the Primarch Dorn. Their testing however did uncover an odd and strange quirk of their geneseed which would explain their lack of communication since their first attempted meetings.
Upon implantation, the recruits are overwhelmed by the grief and misery that Dorn experienced upon conclusion of the Heresy and they are placed into a sleeping state for 14 days. Each recruits experiences during this time are unique. Some speak of harrowing images of Sanguinius and the Emperor lying prone upon the deck of Horus's Flagship, some tell of the awe of hearing from the Emperor the words upon his return to Terra as he was entombed in the Golden Throne, though the power of these words is too awesome for the marines to recollect the content, and still others speak of the mighty war of the Iron Cage and the frustration of being pulled back by the XIII legion.
This has led to small but noticeable changes to their chapter make up, their Chapter Cult asking nothing but absolute penance until they are forgiven by the Emperor of Mankind himself.
Since their entrance into the records of the Imperium, The Penitent Sons have gained a host of accolades and left a trail of destruction wherever they have been deployed. They have over the many centuries been deployed against a wide range of the Imperium’s enemies, ranging from the Arch Traitors of the Chaos Legions to the many and varied xenos species that roam the galaxy. However it is against the lithe and unnatural Eldar race that they hold the greatest depths of hatred for.
Over the course of their existence they have crossed paths with a force, united in colour and focus but as yet unknown by the Imperium, that seems intent on harassing The Sons at every turn. Their attempts wax and wane with no seeming pattern. In 357.M38 alone they were attacked on 3 different occasion, but it was then a century before another attack came. They attack without regard for their own welfare, suicidal in their attempts to create carnage and discordance within the ranks of the Adeptus Astartes but each time rebuffed by the silent warriors. Indeed such is the curiousity around the intense and venomous attacks made by this mysterious faction that Imperial Scholars for several millennia have dedicated their lives to investigating this fascination which the xenos have with this particular chapter, however it has been without success. On one thing they are agreed… Whatever force or reason that drives these vile aliens it must be a tremendous one, for the Eldar are not known for throwing their few remaining lives away without cause.
The Penitent Sons’ history of warfare is also beset with altercations, both minor and more substantial, with other forces of the Imperium. Their silent and aloof exterior is known to rub Imperial Commanders of all strips up the wrong way and their refusal to speak personally, either relying on psykers or feeble serfs, is taken by some of the more belligerent commanders as an insult. Some have even made moves to expel the serfs from their Strategiums, only to face the full physical wrath of an angered Penitent Sons officer for their troubles. Those that survive have made sure to show the proxies of these immense warriors due deference.
Even the rank and file soldiers of the Imperial Guard are not as welcoming of the Sons’ presence as they would be of other Adeptus Astartes forces. Far from the rowsing and triumphant welcomes given to forces of more resplendent chapters such as the Iron Snakes or Genesis Chapter, The Sons are greeted with whispers and shady looks. Their quiet and uncommunicative nature leading to resentment building in their allied forces.
As noted above, The Penitent Sons are extremely insular. They believe that they must atone for the failure of the Adeptus Astartes to protect the Emperor and that one day he will rise from the Golden Throne, reborn, and judge them worthy for their efforts. This has led to two things; the first is history of recording every kill, action, battle, war and crusade that the chapter has undertaken or assisted with. The task is performed by the Recordists, who act much as chaplains would in any other chapter;
The second result is that the entire chapter has taken on a seeming vow of silence. Once a scout has been deemed worthy of full battle plate, it will be the last time that they will hear their own voice speak their words. It is thought by some that this is because the marines feel unworthy of talking to those unafflicted by their burden, whilst others speculate that is to show that their sins are theirs to carry alone. The real reason is unclear.
All battle brothers have their organic vocal chords replaced with artificial device. These simple yet effective vox units are activated only on the eve of battle by the force commander. The units allow effective battlefield communication but betray no sound to the outside world and are de-activated as soon as the mission is complete. This system allows the chapter to operate as a functional army whilst not betraying their vows.
In order to facilitate discourse with other chapters and armies of the Imperium, Officers of the chapter have a linked serf through which they speak, their mouths moving in frail monotone, unable to relay the passion or intensity of a space marine commander. This has led other forces to see them as aloof or distant, not realising the true reasons behind the act. However their brothers under Dorn have seen past this and, despite an otherwise tense relationship with many parts of the Imperium, The Penitent Sons are still treated as stalwart allies and respected warriors by their gene-brothers.
The Penitent Sons were gifted the planet designated as Megil after fighting a decade long campaign in the surrounding system to push back xenos invaders and secure vital imperial supply chains.
Megil is land of foreboding crags, treacherous ice and ferocious winds, located in the far spiral arm of the Segmentum Obscurus. It's primary function before the 'arrival' of the Sons, and continuing since, is as a mining and refinery planet, with several pre-, combined with newer facilities to create several distinct cities.
At the pole lies the great Chapter Keep of The Penitent Sons. A tall and imposing obelisk of black and steel it lacks the adornments and outward of many other Chapter Keeps. The Keep is well armoured and armed like any would expect an Adeptus Astartes Chapter Keep to be but it is also said to house in it’s lower levels a massive library. Attended by thousands of servitors and chapter serfs, it keeps record of almost every action the chapter has ever committed. Even, some say, down to individual battle brother kills.
The planet is subject to severe atmospheric disturbances known locally as Megil's breath. This innocuous name belies its lethal nature, where winds of up to several hundred miles an hour race through the narrow valleys and crags of the planet, carrying with it harpoon-like shafts of ice.
Pulled from the atmosphere these shards can reduce a human to a cloud of vapour in seconds and have been known to puncture astartes armour on rare occasions. The local population both revere and fear this occurrence seeing it is as a chastisement from the Holy Emperor Himself, a punishment from above that pushes them to ever greater shows of piousness. This has been officially sanctioned as an allowable method of Worship by the Ecclesiarchy.
This natural hazard was evidently a factor in the placement of the refineries, built as they were into the sides of the peaks and protected by void shields, powerful enough to protect the citizens from a violent end but not capable of preventing a full bombardment from orbit.
As well as the natural and unnatural protection, the refinery cities are joined by vast tunnels through which most traffic passes. The cities and the tunnels do, due to the nature of their work, generate immense clouds of smog and filth and it is unusual to see a member of the civilian population outside of their habs without rebreathers and eye protection. Indeed it is not unusual for rains of thick, sticky chemicals to fall inside the tunnel from the gathered black clouds of the chemical output.
The Gene-Seed of The Penitent Sons, whilst distorted slightly beyond it's original purity, has been verified by the Adeptus Mechanicus as being Dorn's.
The Penitent Sons are Codex Adherant, though some elements of deviancy can be seen in their nomenclature for certain rankings or positions. Due to the nature of their unique vows, it has led to something of a change of role for their Librarians and Chaplains.
Their Librarians are held in the highest esteem, their inner voices viewed as a gift from Emperor and they are viewed as exemplars. They suffer the very worst of the visions gifted to the initiates of the chapter. They see and experiences sights which even I cannot bring myself to put into type. This turns them into the most zealous of warriors, roaring ferocious warcries and oaths to The Emperor and the Imperium via their inner voices that touch and ignite the very souls of the marines around them.
Many take to wearing pain gloves, a form of penance they believe brings them closer to the Primarch, and some even sew their physical mouths shut, relying entirely on their psyker abilities.
The Chaplains, on the other hand, have lapsed into a more sedate role. As the Librarians have become the firebrands of the chapter they have moved into ensuring the duties of penance of each marine are kept up to date. Theirs is the handwriting carefully carved adorning each marines’ armour and carefully inked into the books of the Chapter record. They march the lines ensuring the Vows of Silence are adhered to and that each marine is undertaking the prescribed hours of prayer each day (battle permitting).
Edited by Retributis, 01 May 2013 - 06:42 AM.