I originally wrote this at the end of 2007 after the previous codex came out and the Frater of that time wanted more information about their beloved successors. As one who liked to write science fiction for fun, I took to the boards with my own interpretation of each of the Successors and allowed the community to shape them into what became the original article that has since been added to the Librarium. Now it is 2013, little more than five years has passed and a new Codex has come out. With it, the canon for the Successors have intentionally been kept to a minimum to let us the gamers add the missing details with our creative imaginations. Now all of us here have our area of the hobby we enjoy more than the others, be it gaming, painting, converting or writing narratives. For those that enjoy other aspects of the hobby besides creative writing and would like to know more about the Successors, I present this UNOFFICIAL background to you for your use. Take from it what you like, discard what you don't. Use this as a framework to add more depth to your Successor and enjoy!
THE ANGELS OF ABSOLUTION
The brothers of the Angels of Absolution appear to be a very close-knit chapter. As such, they are not as secretive as the Dark Angels within the ranks. However, they become as tight-lipped as the rest of the Unforgiven when linked with other forces.
The marines of the Angels of Absolution follow an unusual battle hierarchy as they take to the field of battle not in companies but as a collection of individual squads. This organization while unorthodox is highly effective as the marines maintain a chain of command between the squads.
The Scouts of this chapter tend to be more apt at close combat and have a distinctly larger physique than scouts of other chapters. All it is said when questioned is that the Scouts use their increased strength to aid in their intelligence gathering. Considering the number of disappearing acts of the Angels of Absolution documented in numerous Imperial Campaigns, this is probably a testament of their Scout's skill in the gathering of that intelligence.
The Angels of Absolution are a fleet-based Chapter based on over a hundred ships. Of prominent note are the three travelling docks that were built by the chapter. Designated as a chapter ship, each is home to a number of squads from each Company or Order as they are called. These are also the primary place where the Scouts of the Chapter are trained.
Under their normal operation, each chapter ship is accompanied by a pair of battle barges and a number of hunter-class destroyers and escort ships. Each fleet patrols various areas of the Segmentum Obscurus for new recruits and battling the forces arrayed against the Imperium. Smaller groups of ships usually carrying no more than 150 marines split off from the fleet to undertake smaller missions for the chapter. Only as the threat grows does the Chapter commit the battle barges to the fight. It is extremely rare for the chapter ships to commit to battle for they hold the chapter’s life blood. The loss of a single chapter ship is a devastating blow for the Angels of Absolution. The last time they were committed to battle was during the Third War of Armageddon where every ship was needed to try and stop the Ork Warlord Ghazghkull Thraka from making planetfall. With no facilities save the Fortress Monastery of the Dark Angels to make repairs, the chapter ships Cleansing Chalice and Atonement still travel with significant battle damage taken from the engagement. It will be many decades before both are fully repaired.
Due to the space faring nature of the Chapter, every brother of the chapter takes on shipboard duties when not committed to a campaign. While the majority of the tasks fall to the Scout Company and those still undergoing the surgeries and training to become marines, it is not uncommon for the marines to work in the various areas of the ships. Often this secondary duty has helped the Angels of Absolution in a number of boarding actions where a brother’s proficiency with a ship system turned the battle in the favor of the Angels.
The Angels of Absolution have a unique style of fighting in combat based upon their organization. Instead of a number of squads from a single company fighting in any particular battle, squads from numerous companies, or Orders as they call them, assemble to fight in any given campaign. Only their battlefield demeanor seems to denote a difference between the Orders as they appear to perfect a series of Metaphysical skills along with the common ballistic and weapon skills.
It is believed that due to the number of small ships used by the chapter, squads of Angels of Absolution are scattered across the segmentum. When a call to battle is made, the squads in the vicinity converge to form a cohesive force. In this way, the Angels of Absolution can respond quickly to any call they receive.
The Angels of Absolution is organized in a fashion similar to the Dark Angels with one significant difference. Though they name their companies as Orders instead; they fight as a single unit regardless of the size instead of maintaining a division between the Orders. In this way, it is conceivable for a single Master to lead an element of Angels of Absolution marines numbering larger than 100 marines and containing not only marines, but scouts and terminators as well. Only the Armory section with the Chapter’s Techmarines seems to remain separate from the rest of the Chapter.
In deference to the Dark Angels Organization, the entire 1st Order is considered to be a part of the Angels of Absolution's Inner Circle. Unlike the Dark Angels, the Angels of Absolution are told different levels of the Legion’s shame as they progress through the Orders. This slow release of knowledge reduces the shock to the marine’s advanced psyche and reduces the risk of the marine succumbing to the mental anguish and falling into madness. While this has been reduced greatly by the exploits of the Librarians in the other Unforgiven Chapters, the Angels of Absolution have not had any incidents of this madness in its long history.
Progression through the Order is done through Rites of Passage and Atonement. As each brother gains experience and knowledge they must also show through their actions both on and off the battlefield that they have purged themselves of that which allowed their Fallen brethren to be seduced.
As marines progress form the Scout Order to one of the four Reserve Orders, they learn that there was a sundering in the Dark Angels before the formation of the Legions. It is not until they reach the 5th Order that they learn that the Sundered Marines actually embraced Chaos instead of just falling sway. As they join the 3rd Order they learn of Luther but they do not learn of his close kinship with the Lion until they join the 2nd Order. In this way, the oldest, most knowledgeable and most experienced marines are in the 1st through 3rd Orders.
The Angels of Absolution believe that knowledge is power. But with that power becomes great responsibility. As such, they go to great lengths to harden themselves from the temptations that come with power. While those of the lower orders focus on tangible knowledge with only the merest taste of the knowledge held by the higher orders, it is in the higher orders that the marines would devote equal time to the studying of history, grand strategies, meditating to purge themselves of frivolous thoughts and emotions as they perfect their mental awareness to achieve total clarity on the battlefield. As a consequence, marines of the higher orders shun ornamentation.
"Atone your sins!"
Edited by Grand Master Belial, 05 February 2013 - 11:05 AM.