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 GUARDIANS OF THE COVENANT
The Guardians of the Covenant have extensive battle arenas above and below the surface of their mountainous world where they extensively train in the many different arts of war. Their followings of the tactical writings of the Lion and other prominent Astartes allow them to see the patterns of war even before the first enemies have set foot upon a world. Through the study of an enemy’s culture and military drill, they know their enemies as well they know themselves. In battle, they attain victory with very few casualties.
Many an Imperial Commander has benefited from their advice. Shortening what would normally be a very lengthy conflict to one lasting only a matter of weeks or months. To that end, many Imperial units and even some other Astartes Chapters have requested their help in devising new training procedures and to develop new battlefield tactics. Though this knowledge comes with a hidden price; for the Guardians study their fellow allies as well as their foes.
Unusual for a marine chapter, the Guardians of the Covenant make use of non-psyker Librarians or Chronicler to record the activities of any that might be deemed a threat to the Imperium or the Unforgiven. This process is not without risk and it is up to the Interrogator-Chaplains and the true Librarians to verify the reports and to check the purity of the Chronicler. Once the report pasts these rigorous tests, the Guardians of the Covenant proceed to develop and adapt new methods of conquering the threat.
The mountainous world of Mortikah VII lies near the Western Rim of the Imperium in the Segmentum Pacificus. However, below the surface of these majestic mountains lies a darker realm. A realm with noticeable signs of artificial activity, but to as to what lies in those caverns is a matter of speculation for the Guardians of the Covenant like their progenitor are very tight-lipped about themselves. Some of the wild speculation suggests subterranean forges, perhaps made by the Adeptus Mechanicus itself.
Yet the wildest speculation does not even come close to the mark. During the times of the Great Crusade, the Dark Angels Legion was led personally by the Emperor until the Lion was found. They captured Mortikah VII with little resistance. The warriors amongst the indigenous humans were receptive to the Star Warriors and began an exchange of knowledge. The Emperor was moved by their knowledge not only in war but of the arts, culture and history that they possessed and their desire to learn in an effort to refine themselves to a level of perfection. The Emperor decreed that the world would be a place of knowledge and art. To that end, he set to work to create a massive repository for the works of the Great Crusade and the History of Man. The residents seeing the gift for its true value blessed the Emperor by constructing the largest fortress ever constructed on the planet to protect the only entrance to the repository and to tightly control those who dared to learn such knowledge for anything but noble gains.
When it came time to continue the Crusade, the Dark Angels left behind a small contingent to guard the repository. During their time acting as a garrison, the Dark Angels kept a cordial contact to the citizens. They noted the piety and sophistication of their warriors. Sadly, after the events of the time known only as Horus Heresy, the planet of Mortikah was forgotten and lost for a time. The Angels garrisoning the planet died at their post, with no responses for their pleas for assistance.
It would be several millennia until the planet was rediscovered by the Imperium; the Explorator team found a world little changed over time. It was during a meeting with the leaders that a single question was asked. “Where are the Dark Angels? For only with them will we speak.” Within a short time, the Unforgiven returned to Mortikah VII and learned of their ancient orders and even more so, the secrets of the hidden repository of knowledge.
For a time, members from several Unforgiven chapters returned to the duties of protecting the world until the High Lords of Terra declared a need for another Founding of Space Marine Chapters. The Unforgiven honored their duty by establishing a Chapter on the world made up of warriors taken from the populace. Tasked with upholding the Covenant the Emperor made to the people of Mortikah VII.
The Guardians of the Covenant will study their opponents before committing to action. During this time they study patterns within patterns, terrain features, and equipment all the while formulating plans to counteract any perceived strengths and exploit the most minor of weaknesses. So that when they do act, they fight as though they can read their enemies thoughts. So perfect is their executed plans that many an enemy fall before firing a shot in return.
The Guardians of the Covenant seem to be the least likely to follow a rumor regarding the Fallen Dark Angels. Though in truth, the scholarly studies of the Guardians have yielded many of the Fallen that have turned away from fighting altogether to enjoy a simple life in a remote part of the Imperium. Their downfall typically is in a single legendary battle where a simple man of the village faced off and defeated a nigh impossible foe.
Of particular note, the Guardians of the Covenant have become a particular bane for the agents of the Traitorous Alpha Legion. Many a plan had been unraveled by the discrete intervention of the Guardians, educating the wayward agents back into the Emperor’s Light and revealing the folly of the Alpha Legions plans.
They maintain a rigid coherence to the Codex Astartes and the Requiem Angelis and as such they follow the standard structure of most Unforgiven Chapters.
Two subtle variations appear in the Guardians of the Covenant. First is the size of the Chapters’ Scout Company. There appears to be a higher number of Scouts within the Guardians then is common for a Chapter of their size. Some may attribute it to the very low casualty rate while some are more critical. Saying they are using the undefined size of the company to house their Chroniclers - Full marines who stay within the Company in a reconnaissance role to study other forces. There are even reports of Chroniclers performing secret missions for what purpose none can say.
The second variation is in the Techmarines. While the number of Techmarines is not unusual, their aloof character seems to be absent. There are a number of records where the Guardians of the Covenant fight with their Techmarines to complete a mission as a cohesive unit. Of particular note is the occasions where the marines would assist the Techmarine in working on an assortment of machines, indicating that the even the secrets of the Adeptus Mechanicus are not hidden from the scholarly Guardians.
The Guardians of the Covenant attempt to learn all that they can so that in combat they will be unsurprised by anything that they may encounter. A belief which has served them well for there are legends told throughout many guard units of the nigh unshakable demeanor of a Guardian of the Covenant. One particular legend had a combat squad of Guardians on a world targeted by the Tyranids. This particular squad stood motionless as a Lictor was terrorizing the local PDF regiment sent to destroy it. The PDF troopers were in a state of panic but the Guardians stood resolutely still save for a single shot. The Lictor was found dead some days later from the bolt wound, but by then the Guardians of the Covenant had left.
“Power through Knowledge”
“Strength through Thought”
Time to update this venerable old document to take into account some changes from the new Codex. But I will let the Frater to suggest any modifications or additions. I left the photos out for the moment so I could see some painted models.
Edited by Grand Master Belial, 05 February 2013 - 11:18 AM.