UPDATE - Fixed some grammar, put in a new origins section and tried my hand at some layout editing including adding a colorscheme. 19/04-2013.
Hi guys, thanks for stopping by!
So, this is the fourth (and hopefully final...) draft of my Emperor's Immortals.
They have been a long way comming and were somewhat derailed when GW decided to flesh out the Abyssal Crusade in the 6th ed. BRB.
I've change a small number of things since the last draft and have tried to adress a lot of the feedback given to me by the kind people of the Liber.
I would like to thank all of the people who have helped me with feedback and critisism this far and I hope some of you will take your time to review this edition so that I might finally complete this article satisfactionally
Be mindfull that I still need to do something to the layout, making headers and such, but I'm not quite sure if the coding works the same as before. I'll sit down and see to it when I get the time.
Also I've debated including a sidebar or two on the Oracles of the Emperor and the Apothecary-chaplains. I think they could use some explanation, but I'm not quite sure where to put them. For now I'll post the finished one about the Apothecary-chaplain right beneath this post.
Here we go:
Chapter Name.....................: The Emperor's Immortals
Founding..............................: 20th Founding
Chapter Master....................: Spiro Tyranus
Home World.........................: Ithakka
Gene-seed:..........................: Jagathai Khan
Chapter Motto......................: Purity through adversity
“They stalk the earth and the wind
Like the cruel sun
travels across the heavens
Older than the stars and the mountains
they live forever
Their hides are stone, their wings fire
with weapons of storm
and great thunder
They are kings of both beasts and men
and death does their bidding”
"The past is prologue."
- Magos Exploator Ludvig Ritter von Kötzchel
Not much can be said about the earliest days of the Emperor's Immortals. If the chapter itself ever kept any records of these times, it is likely they were lost in the perilous days of the chapter's exile, or perhaps the Immortals simply does not see fit to share them with strangers.
The few facts which have been pieced together by diligent Inquisitors suggest that little of note took place between the chapter's founding in the 36th millennium and its involvement in the regrettable moment of Imperial history know as the Abyssal Crusade. The Kötzchel Archives of Prius V, confirm the chapter as part of the 20th Founding and describe the chapter as codex-adherent with regards to titles and heraldry. Beyond this the chapter appear in few records and seem to have been fairly unremarkable. Indeed it is not the chapter's origin, but the subject of its later history which marks the Emperor's Immortals for inclusion into this the holy Index Astartes.
“One by one the others fell, yet we stood true.
When they succumbed to betrayal, corruption or the ravages of war, we held our banners high in defiance.
And when darkness came to test us it found that the light in our souls could not be quenched.”
- Lord Oracle Carjen Zola
When the mad Goge Vandire was overthrown, and his 'reign of blood' finally ended, the victorious Sebastian Thor and his Confederation of Light set about the arduous process of reforging the sundered Imperium. Of the many tasks carried out in the name of justice and progress, none was undertaken with as much vigor and persistency as the persecution of those deemed unable to fit within the new Order Imperium.
Of greatest concern was the culling of those space marine chapters whose loyalty to the new High Lords was in question.
Therefore, in the year 321.M37, Saint Basillius the false declared 30 chapters of the Adeptus Astartes to be wanting in the eyes of Him-on-Earth.
Not expected to succeed, nor survive, the chapters were sentenced to embark upon a grand crusade to reconquer the hellish cesspool, known as the Eye of Terror.
Begrudgingly accepting their punishment, the Emperor's Immortals, along with twenty-nine other brotherhoods of the Adeptus Astartes, threw themselves wholeheartedly into the Abyssal Crusade.
Not much is known about the horrid events that transpired during the ill-fated crusade, and most of what is known exist only in the secret archives of the holy Ordo Hereticus, but it is certain beyond doubt that the Immortals were among the battered survivors that emerged from the Eye of Terror in 112.M38, nearly eight-hundred years after their departure.
While some chapters, the Vorpal Swords foremost among them, sought revenge against the cursed Saint Basillius, the Emperor's Immortals quietly slinked back to Ithakka, their ancient home world. Undaunted by the machinations of priests and inquisitors, the Immortals set about recruiting and rebuilding to make up for the horrendous losses they had suffered in their exile.
Since then the Immortals have reestablished themselves and earned a reputation as brutal and efficient enforcers of Imperial justice. Showing a special aptitude for hunting renegades and pirates, as well as an affinity for ship-to-ship operations, the Immortals have become highly appreciated by the sector-command of the southernmost Segmentum Obscurus.
“This skull I have taken so Amballaya will not end our world, I give it back to your tribe with thanks that you have raised a warrior and pray that he will be reborn stronger in his new life!”
- Ithakkan prayer of appeasement
A lonely world of deep unending jungles, Ithakka is rich in nothing but venomous flora and equally poisonous predators. Circling its sun in a flat elliptic circuit Ithakka is shrouded in a perpetual gloom that only lessens to welcome the light of a raging sun once in a septennia. When it does the sunlight scorches huge swaths in the jungle canoply, causing wide-scale destruction and fertilizing the sun starved earth and undergrowth.
The people that dwell on this world are hardy warriors that wage bloody wars for territory, food and to appease their cruel and vengeful sun god.
The Ithakkans live in hunting-tribes; a group consisting of a chief and his extended family, numbering somewhere between thirty and fifty people. If a tribe becomes too large it will usually split up, the chief’s son or brother setting off in search of new territory. Because of this it is common for the tribes, especially the older ones, to sustain a network of allies and relatives throughout the jungles.
When the tribes do come together, more often than not it is for matters of war.
The tribes of Ithakka all share the worship of a callous but formidable sun god, known by many names, among them Amballaya; 'He burns the ground' and Ngotu; 'No weapon can harm him'.
The tribes believe that in ancient times their forefathers made a pledge to their god, that with each turn of the septennia, when the sun breaks through the dark, they would send their greatest warriors to spill blood under his terrible gaze, satisfying his thirst for destruction and keeping him from ending the world.
It is because of this pledge that with every pass of the sun, the tribes of Ithakka meet to make war upon each other.
For thirty days the tribes set aside all hostility; feasting, singing and dancing according to traditions as old as the beginning of the world. Each tribe brings stores of food to be shared with their rivals, as well as valuables to be shown off and exchanged during the long revel.
Then, at night before the thirtieth day, great bonfires are build and the remains of slaughtered animals burned in great heaps of dried flesh and dusty bone. The warriors paint themselves in frightening patterns of bright colors, clenching their weapons and howling curses at each other.
The next morning, as the sun rises they fall upon each other, hacking, stabbing and tearing to sate their vile god. Inevitably alliances come into play, as brothers avenge their fallen relatives and tribes seek to settle old feuds. Blood-bonds are forged and alliances made and broken between the warring tribes.
When night falls the warriors return to their tents, bearing with them the heads of the enemies they have killed. They next day, when the warriors go to fight again, the women of the tribes will cut the flesh from the skulls taken by their husbands and pile them in front of the entrance to their clearing. When seven days of war have passed, and the skull piles have grown large and horrifying, the fighting ends. The warriors clean themselves and remove the war-markings on their bodies.
Bringing the skulls they have gathered each warrior go humbly to the tribes of those he has vanquished, at each tribe he returns the cleaned skull of the warrior he has killed and offers a small prayer of gratitude to the family of his slain enemy.
After all skulls have been returned the remaining tribes pack up and travel to their homes. Some tribes may have lost so many warriors that they perish shortly after the Skull War, others choose to merge with one of their allies or even, if all it's warriors have been lost, seek out and become a part of the tribe that defeated their own. Such are the tribal bonds of Ithakka constantly renewed and the blood of its people kept strong and pure.
From the people of this world the Emperor's Immortals recruit.
Since they first strode the stars, the Immortals have ever kept a secret watch over Ithakka, defending it from all enemies in exchange for a toll of it's children. Though the Ithakkans weep for the sons they lose in the trials of manhood, it is considered a great privilege for a son to be chosen by the dreaded spirits of Amballaya, and much honor befalls the tribe that have raised such a child.
Above all things it is this unwavering devotion to their deity that the Immortals value in the Ithakkans. For while strength and determination can be broken, the Emperor's Immortals recognize that faith is eternal.
“As we have returned, so shall He!”
- Spiro Tyranus, reigning lord-tyrant of the Emperor's Immortals
The Immortals, unlike most chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, venerate the Emperor as a true omniscient god; the source of mankind and all light in the universe.
Calling him by secret names of power, many of them synonymous with those of the bloodthirsty sun-god of Ithakka, the Immortals hope to one day reawaken their slumbering father.
Within the chapter lives an ancient tale, passed down from the first Oracle of the Emperor, of how and why the Immortals came into being. It is a secret story conferred through ritual, from mouth to mouth, since times immemorial.
The legend holds that many millennia ago before the age of the Imperium, the God-Emperor walked the stars, battling back the primordial darkness and replacing it with his unconquerable light.
However, at the brink of success, when darkness was nearly vanquished forever, he was betrayed. Cut down by his eldest son, who wanted his power for himself; the Emperor was brought low. So horrible was the crime of the traitorous son that he was destroyed in the very instant he committed it. Yet the Emperor was gravely wounded. Knowing that he was too weak to continue his battle against the darkness, the Emperor sent for those of his sons still loyal to him.
Imbuing each of them with a shard of his divinity, the God-Emperor tasked them with keeping back the darkness until the day he would awaken and end the eternal war.
With his last power before he fell into his long dream-sleep he created the light of the Astronomican to shine over his children, a guide to aid them against the darkness and a promise of what is to come after his return and final victory.
While some chapters of the Adeptus Astartes are content in defending the realm of the Emperor, thriving in their role as holy protectors, not so the Emperor's Immortals.
Beyond merely waiting for the awakening of their God-Father, the Emperor's Immortals actively seek out mysteries and secret knowledge that might serve to aid his return. Aware that such a search might see them chastised by their fellow chapters, the Immortals have gone to great lengths to keep their quest hidden from their peers and few outside the chapter suspect that everything is not as it should be. In charge of the search are the inscrutable Oracles of the Emperor, their every action guided by portents and omens from the dreaming Emperor. What secrets their search have thus far uncovered is unknown to anyone outside the chapter, but among those few inquisitors that know of the chapter's search it is rumored that during their exile, the Immortals gleaned many secrets from the tides of the warp.
”I am immortal, the dearest son of a war-god – why should I care for orthodoxy? – my word is law!”
- Kunye Tyranus, first lord-tyrant of the Emperor's Immortals
Like so much else within the chapter, the organization of the Immortals owe much to the traditions of their home world. At the beginning of their exile within the Ocularis Terribus the Emperor's Immortals were known to closely follow the Codex Astartes. This was evident both in the combat doctrine of the chapter, as well as in its use of ranks, titles and heraldry.
However, sometime during the long centuries that the Immortals fought the Abyssal Crusade, the chapter began to revert to a state where more and more of its rituals and traditions resembled those of ancient Ithakka.
The companies became known as 'tribes' and practices of Ithakkan blood-bonds and ritual duels became widespread. Eventually, due to the increasing difficulty in attaining supplies and new recruits eight of the chapter's ten companies entirely lost the focus impressed upon them by the Codex Astartes and instead adopted forms more suited to the unsupported wars in the Eye of Terror and, perhaps more significant; the whims of their respective captains. The only tribes to remain as penned in the holy codex were the veterans of the first and the scouts of the tenth.
The Emperor's Immortals have always been a proud and headstrong chapter. However, during the Abyssal Crusade, many battle-brothers changed from proud into prideful and from headstrong into unruly. When the ruling chapter master disappeared in the brutal battles around the hell-world Styx, the stubbornness of the remaining captains threatened to tear apart the chapter.
Each unwilling to surrender their newly gained independence the captains took their tribes to the edge of inter-chapter war, before they were finally brought to heel.
With the support of the Oracles of the Emperor – the chapter's mysterious librarians – the 1st Company-Captain entitled himself Kunye Tyranus, 'the first tyrant'. Taking control of the first tribe as well as the tenth, Kunye Tyranus, effectively retained control over the flow of recruits within the chapter, as well as over the chapter's warrior-elite.
Summoning the chapter council he declared that the captains would henceforth organize their tribes as prescribed in the Codex Astartes or renounce their vows and face the wrath of the God-Emperor. Two captains were unceremoniously killed by terminator veterans, when they spoke out against the decree and replacements loyal to the lord-tyrant instated in their place.
Thus empowered, and backed by the Oracles of the Emperor, the first-captain of the Immortals have ever since retained both the title and the complete sovereignty of Kunye Tyranus.
The only body with comparable authority to the reigning lord-tyrant is the Oracles of the Emperor.
Not only does the Oracles see to every responsibility of an Adeptus Astartes Librarium, performing purity-checks, re-invoking the secret history of the chapter, seeing to inter-stellar communications and navigation, but more than this the Oracles are responsible for choosing and initiating the lord-tyrants of the chapter. Already on the same day as an aspirant is initiated to the office of lord-tyrant, does the search for an heir begin.
Through secret trials and rituals the Oracles seek out the will of the Emperor to ensure that only the worthiest candidate is entrusted with the supreme power that being lord-tyrant of the Emperor's Immortals entail.
What would happen in the event that a conflict should arise between the ruling lord-tyrant and the Oracles of the Emperor is unknown. This far both sides have proved willing to compromise, but it is a widely known secret that Spiro Tyranus, the current lord-tyrant, have harbored ill will towards the Lord Oracle Carjen Zola since the purging of Cérces Strait where Zola refused to pursue the renegade Iron Blades chapter, into the wilderness space past the Job's Point anomaly. How this conflict shall be resolved, time will tell.
”To destroy them quickly and utterly, such is my plan for all heretics.”
- Umakhonya Ngutu, lord of the fourth tribe
The Emperor's Immortals emphasize a brutal, yet fluid and expeditious doctrine, consisting of crushing strikes of opportunity and rapid dominance.
This combination of speed and brutality became prominent during the chapter's exile within the Eye of Terror, where no other branch of the Imperial war machine could be counted upon for support. Forced to fight without reliance on anything but themselves, the Immortals could ill afford to be bugged down in the wars of attrition, so often employed by Imperial commanders.
Realizing this the chapter began to employ a style of hit-and-run, designed to confuse and demoralize their enemy, as much as it was to destroy them.
Those who dwell within the Eye of Terror, however, cannot all be defeated through such means.
While most of the corrupted 'humans' living within the warp-cursed regions beyond the Cadian Gate, are just as susceptible to fear and confusion as those who live throughout the wider Imperium, the true denizens of the Ocularis Terribus are not.
Many of the wars fought during the Abyssal Crusade, were not against xenos and secessionists, loathsome though they may be, but against the perverted heretics who long ago sided with the traitor-son, rather than the glorious Father-Emperor.
Made fearless by the horrors witnessed in their prison, these servants of darkness; daemons and traitor-marines both, can be destroyed by nothing but faith, fury and the roar of weapons.
When engaged such an enemy the Immortals will deploy in overwhelming force, using any and all means, up to and including virus bombs and planetary murder, to crush the heart of the foe as quickly and brutally as possible. Though such disregard for collateral damage has seen the chapter chastised on several occasions none can deny the results.
To this day, the Immortals take a special pride in their skills fighting those who have given up their vows of loyalty to serve the darkness of Chaos.
However thorough and efficient the Immortals are in exterminating the alien and the mutant, it is nothing compared to the hot, burning rage with which they carry out their pogroms against the forces of the Arch-Enemy.
“The Emperor made us to win his wars, and in his great wisdom he made it so we cannot die.”
- Apothecary-chaplain Lambeya Roha
Though the gene-seed of the Immortals was subjected to vigorous examinations, upon their return from the Eye of Terror, no taint was found. By all acknowledged accounts their gene-seed is kept pure and stable through the vigilant efforts of the Apothecary-chaplains of the chapter.
These examinations also established the Emperor's Immortals as descendents of the mighty Jaghatai Khan. In spite of this revelation the Immortals have since maintained that they are sons of the Father-Emperor himself and have refused to honour their Primarch as anything but a mighty warrior. This has caused some animosity to develop between the Immortals and the more bellicose successors of the White Scars, but as of yet no direct confrontation have ensued from this.
Probably more so than any chapter not threatened by extinction or genetic degeneracy, the Emperor's Immortals cherish and venerate their gene-seed. Tended to by apothecary-chaplains unique to the chapter, whose rituals are as much spiritual as biological, the gene-seed of the Immortals is considered by the chapter to be the very essence of the Emperor-Sun, embedded within them by their God-Father in the aftermath of the great heresy.
The gene-seed of the Immortals, referred to as the God Shard, is tied to a strong belief in the notion of rebirth. The apothecary-chaplains insist that every novice of the chapter, upon being blessed with the final implant and given his suit of holy armor, is possessed by the spirits of the chapter's fallen who will guard and watch over his soul from that moment onwards. Thereby does the novice become one with those who have served before him, forever elevated as a child of the great Father-Emperor and a hero of the Imperium.
“Our blood; glory!
Our hearts; vengeance!
Our name; death! death! death!”
- Call and response
Edited by Malthe, 19 April 2013 - 11:35 AM.