CHAPTER NAME: ..............The Children of Eternity
FOUNDING: ..................4th [M.32]
CHAPTER WORLD: .............Marifah
FORTRESS MONASTERY: ........Unknown
GENE-SEED (PREDECESSOR): ...Brazen Claws, gene-seed bond to the Sons of Medusa
KNOWN DESCENDANTS: .........Scions of the Infinite, Sons of Idaeon, Steel Disciples
"Born in the aftermath of Horus Heresy, The Children of Eternity watch over the northern borders of the Ultima Segmentum. Searching the stars for signs of the Omnissiah, their devotion to the Machine God harbours on the peculiar and extreme. They are an enigmatic chapter, combining both mysticism and technology to achieve union with the Machine God."
With the Fourth Founding, the Children of Eternity were born. They were forged from the gene-seed of Ferrus Manus, and the new Chapter’s training cadre hailed from the brave remnants of the Brazen Claws 7th Company. Under the command of Captain Idaeon, the 7th had crusaded against the Thousand Sons Traitor Legion, battling them for the control of several Forge Worlds within the Altruia Sector. After five long years, the 7th company were finally declared the victors. Shortly afterward when the 4th Founding was initiated, the Fabricator Generals of Altruiax, Altruia’s prime Forge World, insisted that Ideaon and his remaining men should be honoured for their heroism and granted the right to lead one of the new Chapters. So it would be that Captain Ereas Idaeon, hero of the Altruia sector, would command a thousand strong Astartes; his longtime friend, the mysterious Mahavajra as his Chief Librarian and the 7th company's zealous Chaplain Ezriah, at his side. The strange Mahavajra spoke at length to the young Chapter, explaining that an Astartes never truly died, and would live eternally within the Omnissiah. Those under Ezriah's spiritual guidance took these words as an eternal declaration of the chapter's favour in the eyes of the All Machine. Thus did The Children of Eternity come to be.
Over a century after the bitter war in the Altruia sector, the newly created Children of Eternity were called upon to defend the worlds once again. Archmagos Maedos of Altruiax called for Idaeon to repel the Chaos incursions once and for all. Unbeknownst to the Children, their future would forever be tied to Altruia and an isolated frozen dead world on its outskirts.
The worlds of the Altruia Sector burned in the fires of war for over a decade. Forges were destroyed and populations decimated. The temples of the Omnissiah were razed and their tech priests slaughtered by the mysterious Thousand Sons. The traitors were famed for their search for knowledge, and attaining it by any means necessary. All that was stopping them from reaching their goal were the Children of Eternity. Astartes clashed against Astartes. Bolters chattered and tanks roared as soulless Thousand Sons battled with the vigilant Children of Eternity, unyielding in their belief that one could never die on the path of the Machine God, even when the body ceased to be.
The traitors were routed at Kelvara and Altruiax. Yet all was not as it seemed. As the Thousand Sons retreated, a battle ship marked with the blue and gold of their legion appeared from warp space on the outer fringes of the sector, headed towards a desolate frozen planet known as Marifah to the people of Altruia. Upon learning of this, Archmagos Maedos ordered the entirety of his Skitarii forces to abandon Altruiax and plot a course for Marifah. He relayed his urgency in a transmission to Commander Idaeon:
"Commander Idaeon, you and your men have been honor bound to our protection since the moment you entered our system those many years ago. Let it be known Marifah must be saved at all costs. Forges can be rebuilt but Marifah must not fall! It is more precious than any of us could fathom. I am no astartes, yet as a fellow servant to the Machine God, I implore you. My word carries the weight of the Lord Fabricator General of Mars itself. Marifah must not be lost."
Idaeon and his men landed on Marifah within days of receiving the message. Landing on vast tundra with a large mountain formation to the north, Idaeon and his men were perplexed at what could possibly be so valuable on such a frozen wasteland. Maedos and the skiitari were still several days away and the Thousand Sons would be making planetfall within a week. Taking heavy losses on Kelvara and Altruiax, Idaeon was prepared for a final stand as he was those many years ago as Captain of the 7th company of his former Chapter. Now a commander, he was honored to lead so many to such a glorious end. Ezriah had instilled in the chapter a belief of an existence after death, an existence where one could know the Omnissiah, or ‘All Spirit’ as it was known to the chapter. Those under his command were the most zealous within the chapter, and they clung to his passionate words with a fervour that every Battle Brother in the chapter sought to exemplify. Mahavajra, sensing what only one gifted with the psyker gene could feel, was made aware of what Marifah truly held. He named the landing site the Plain of a Thousand Veils, for nothing was as it seemed on this desolate planet that screamed with frigid gale force winds. So it is true, he thought, Marifah must not be lost. When Maedos and his forces arrived, Mahavajra's foresight proved true upon a private counsel with the Archmagos. The bond between the chapter and the Tech Priests of the Machine God was now forever sealed.
The oribal strike of the Thousand Sons' battle ship struck the frozen soil of Marifah with a thunderous cacophony. As Skiitari looked on, Idaeon's men stood firm, statues of flesh, steel and ceramite, poised for a glorious end. Soon the laser battery ended, and the screams of drop pods slammed into Marifah. The traitors had landed and they were prepared to fight for the knowledge they sought.
It is said that during Yan al-Qeeyam, those within the chapter who bore the psyker gene, were flooded with a foresight that shook them to the core. None could describe the ghostly after image of all they saw. Skitarii forces heard the Astartes say that it "was like staring into a sun and then looking upon the land, everything had a pattern, a self within a self." Chaplain Ezriah's zealous squads spoke of hearing the Omnissiah call for them, an unearthly communication that the Machine God was embodied in their flesh and steel. The rest of the Astartes spoke of stillness. The weapons and armour of each Astartes was described as merging with the marine. No hand grasped the sword which eviscerated the enemy, it was the "knife edge of the hand," that ran the traitors through. A bolter was no longer separate but alive. Ezriah's squads struck like lightning and died with the words of the Machine God on their lips. Others died upon the frozen tundras in utter silence, human towers in purple ceramite falling with no scream or shout being heard from them. It is said that later, when the apothecaries removed the helmets of their fallen kin, each had a face that was stoic and his eyes white with illumination. Ever since that fateful day, the Chaplains of the chapter have said: "The Machine rose on the Day of Rising, and it took the flesh of life as its guardian for all eternity."
The Thousand Sons assault on Marifah broke against the loyalist Marines. The Sons retreated with only a few squads left standing. Marifah stood and Idaeon and his men were once again the heroes of Altruia.
Within days of the aftermath of Yan al-Qeeyam, the Mechanicus of the Altruia Sector declared the chapter to be the protectorate of their region of space, and Idaeon accepted this responsibility with pride. This agreement would mutually benefit and protect both sides and show recognition of the sacrifice the Children endured in the name of the Omnissiah. The Magos' further promised to provide the Chapter with suitable young males to rebuild their losses and even gifted the Chapter with the world that they had fought so hard to protect, Marifah. Yet this world was no ordinary world of solitude, for as the Chapter had found out, the Mechanicus had gifted them with not only a homeworld, but with a solemn duty that would forever form a bond between the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Adeptus Astartes of the Children of Eternity.
Marifah is a desolate world found in the Altruia Sector. It is the furthest planet from the system's sun and its lack of flora and fauna is testament to its isolation. The world is made up of frozen tundras and icy desert plains. The winds are severe and in certain areas, they are known to shred the flesh off bone. Those few animals that do survive are scavengers and can be found in the central tundras.
Dar ul-Burad, the Fortress Monastery of the Children of Eternity is situated in the northern regions of the planet. Located in the area known as the Plains of a Thousand Veils, it is carved into the central mountain that stands in defiance of the mysterious plains that surround it. Within the catacombs of the chapter's Fortress lies the Hall of Ancestors. Here, the deeds and honours of the Chapter are kept in archaic tomes; old tattered battle standards lie motionless upon the vast cathedral ceilings, and statues and paintings of the chapter's glorious past are captured. However, within these halls lies a secret known only to the Chapter and the Adeptus Mechanicus. In the very depths of the vast fortress lies an archaic machine of monstrous proportions. The Chapter calls the machine Qalb Ar-Ribat, or 'Heart of Preservation'. For the Adepts of Mars, it is known as the Reminisce Device and it is one of their most ancient and best preserved mainframes of digital data that dates back to even before the creation of the Second Founding Chapters and possibly before the Horus Heresy itself. This machine is a storehouse of the most secret information, knowledge so mysterious that not even the Children of Eternity know the true value of what they protect or revere.
In exchange for the Chapter's status as protectorate, the Mechanicum manufactured a "spiritual mainframe" within the Reminisce Device. Here, the Chapter's fallen are reborn again. Though their bodies of flesh and blood are long gone from the physical world, their spirit continues; for the machine allows a battle brother to be reborn as a digital engram of their living self. This is accomplished through the uploading of a data-chip implanted into an initiate's brain upon his induction into the Chapter as a Scout. Throughout their life as an Astartes, a Marine will be in constant prayer, his every litany recorded, every remembrance of the Great Father and the Omnissiah forever acknowledged. Upon their death, this chip will be uploaded into the machine.
This mainframe is thus a gateway to the ancients. Long dead, these Astartes have merged their human soul with the Omnissiah. Their voices are now heard forever in prayer and utter devotion to the Machine God of which their soul has now become a part. This union makes one inherently one with the Machine, and hence, they are no longer living, yet no longer dead. Death is impossible for those who reach this spiritual perfection of machine and man. Those who have achieved this mechanical merger are forever a psychological and ghostly veil of the Omnissiah itself.
For the Children, death is the final release; for with a Brother's passing, the Chapter Reclusiarchs preach that the fallen Brother’s spirit is uploaded into the Qalb Ar-Ribat, the ancient machine known only to the Chapter and the Mechanicus itself. Here their individual engram lives on eternally with the Librarium, guarding its secrets. In essence, the spirit of a Battle Brother cannot die, and will live for an eternity as one with the Omnissiah.
The Children pity Mankind, for it is their belief that only those souls lifted above human form can truly become one with the Machine God. As superhumans of the Adeptus Astartes, they feel it is their duty to protect those whose existence is less fortunate. After the wars fought in the Altruia Sector, the Chapter pledged a solemn oath to the Omnissiah to watch over His creation, both flesh and machine, within its borders.
The Chapter's cult is a blend of mysticism, and fanatical belief in the spirit of technology and flesh. They see the Emperor as the Omnissiah in the flesh for his infinite knowledge and superhuman qualities. The Chapter sees their Primarch as the embodiment of the word and faith in their god through his sacrifice.
Due to their intense devotion to all things technological, the Librarians of the Chapter are able to unite their own human mind with that of the machine spirit. From the simplest of vehicles in the Rhino APC to the behemoth tank of the Land Raider, the embodied machine spirit becomes an extension of the Librarian's mind. The machine spirit becomes less mechanical and more animate, giving the Chapter a view of kinship with the machines that fight alongside them. They look to their vehicles as mechanical embodiments of the Omnissiah. A vehicle's existence or any technological creation is just as important, if not more so, then a Battle Brother himself. When a vehicle is destroyed, the Chapter believes they have lost one of their own.
Because of these spiritual beliefs held by the Children of Eternity, Dreadnoughts are considered a miserable destination; Brothers viewing the Dreadnought chasis as a tomb of never-ending hell and blasphemous to the intentions and desires of the Omnissiah. No Brother should ever be made to suffer being entombed inside such a mechanical prison. Flesh and machine may meld and mix when needed such as bionic replacments, but never become one; the spirits of each are unique and separate entities. Some reckless recruits and more fanatical members of the Reclusiarch within the Chapter have even attempted to "free" the souls of Dreadnoughts of other Chapters, causing considerable tension between the Children and other Adeptus Astartes, most notably their cousins in the Iron Hands.
Making war is the very purpose for which the Omnissiah and the Emperor created the Astartes, and therefore the Children view such war as a form of worship, one that can bring them ever closer to the Machine God. When in battle, the Children of Eternity consider it a spiritual experience akin to prayer, something to be entered into both reverently and meditatively.
The Chapter favors close combat assault tactics, believing that a Brother Marine's faith can only truly be tested, his will properly tempered and his honour proclaimed when blade clashes against blade. Only when a marine experiences close quarter fighting does he glorify the superhuman abilities gifted to him by the Omnissiah. When making war in this way, the Children of Eternity also recall the martyrdom of their Great Father, Ferrus Manus, against the Daemon possessed Fulgrim. To die by the blade of the enemy is thus to emulate the Great Father in his heroic sacrifice and unite with him until the day when the Emperor calls upon his chosen sons and their progeny to overcome the forces of Chaos once and for all.
The Children of Eternity largely adhere to the Codex Astartes, fielding ten companies of one hundred Space Marines organized as Veteran, Battle, Reserve and Scout formations, although Captains are more commonly known as Masters and the Chapter Master as the High Master.
The Chapter's First Company, however, breaks with the Codex slightly in its command structure. While the First Company Master commands the Chapter’s Terminator and Sternguard squads, a Chaplain leads the Vanguard squads. These elite assault squad members are known as the Zealots and are led by the Chaplain-Zealot. Since the days of Chaplain Ezriah, these brothers have been drawn from the Chapter’s most skilled fighters, and those whose zealous demeanour far surpasses the rest of their brethren. It is this very nature that requires the leadership of the Chaplain-Zealot, for only a brother of the Reclusiarchy is able to control and guide their religious fervour and fundamentalism for the Omnissiah and Primarch Manus into a devastating charge. Whereas the other Veteran squads are a symbol of glory and honour for the Chapter, the elite Assault Squads represent the faith and zeal which the Chapter was founded upon. To be part of the First Company garners much respect and thus those who wear Terminator Armour are accorded the status of Brother-Elite and those of the Assault Squads are aptly titled Brother-Zealot.
However, what is most unique in regards to the Chapter's command structure is that their leaders are able to look to the tactical wisdom of their former brethren embodied in Qalb Ar-Ribat. These ancient souls, with their countless years of experience, still offer sound advice and counsel to the High Master and those in positions of command. The Chaplain-Zealot in particular traditionally spends a great deal of time when not on campaign in communion with his predecessors, most notably the High Chaplain Ezriah himself.
The Chapter fields easily twice as many Techmarines than other Codex adherent Chapters due to their reverence for the Omnissiac perfection of machine technology. Techmarines are highly respected and work closely alongside the Reclusiarchy. Because of their quasi-religious nature with technology and their oversight of the holy sancutary of Qalb Ar-Ribat, Techmarines are more commonly known within the Chapter as Techseers.
When a Brother of a high rank falls in battle, a council formed of the High Master, the Company Masters, the Chief Librarian and Chaplain-Zealot, aided by the wise spirits of Qalb Ar-Ribat, will come together to select a replacement . In such situations, many days may pass as those of Qalb Ar-Ribat and the Chapter Command meditate together. Only a new Chaplain-Zealot or Master of the Forge will be chosen solely by their peers; the Chaplain-Zealot being named from amongst the Zealots themselves, guided by their recently passed Chaplain, now an embodied spirit himself, and the ancient spirit of Ezriah. Similarly, the newly appointed Master of the Forge is elected by a council of the Techseers themselves.
The Chapter's gene-seed is that of Ferrus Manus of the Iron Hands, descended inititally through the lineage of the Brazen Claws Chapter. During the Hyperion Crusade, the Children of Eternity sustained heavy losses. On the verge of chapter annhilation, their closest allies, the Sons of Medusa tithed hundreds of progenoid glands so that the Children of Eternity could continue to fight in the name of the Emperor.
The two chapters advocate a more Omnissiast theology originating in the Moirae Schism, though the Children maintain an extremely esoteric understanding of the Machine God, a cohesion of both the Omnissiast and Traditionalist schools. Several millenia later, the Children of Eternity were able to repay their brothers by tithing a larger number of geneseed to the Sons of Medusa after they took losses in the Badab War.
The sharing of geneseed only further cemented the unbreakable bond between the two chapters of Ferrus Manus. Apothercaries from The Children of Eternity estimate that approximately 35-40% of their present day genestock and the Sons of Medusa estimate 15-20% of their genestock originate from their respected counterparts.
Like the Iron Hands, the Chapter follows the doctrine that the flesh is ultimately weak and fallible. However, the Children of Eternity believe that one must live and struggle through these weakness in order to understand the greatness of the All Machine. It is due to this variation of doctrine that the Children bear no more bionics than an ‘average’ Chapter, and any augmentations are only those that are deemed necessary in keeping a Battle Brother fighting at peak efficiency or in furthering their knowledge of the Omnissiah. Only when one's human spirit finally passes from the weakness of flesh can one be initiated and received into the majesty of All Knowledge.
"Death is the beginning"
Reply: "We are Eternal..."
Edited by XKhalilX, 19 April 2013 - 11:16 PM.