The Knights Seraphic
The Knights Seraphic were formed during the Seventh Founding from the geneseed of the venerable Dark Angels. Interrogator-Chaplain Antonius led the training cadre that sought to build the fledgling Chapter. Initial recruits came from a number of planets in the Segmentum Tempestus, but after Antonius named the feudal world of Ciasus as the Chapter's home world it was the children of that world's chivalric knightly orders who provided the strong warriors the Chapter needed. Antonius was impressed by the reverence for duty and chivalry prominent in the culture of the world, and so named the Chapter the Knights Seraphic, after the fiery angels of local myth and the darker angels of the Chapter's superhuman ancestry.
The first Chapter Master of the Knights Seraphic was young Auriel Karnak, who had proved instrumental in repelling an Ork incursion on Ciasus and demonstrated an aptitude for leadership and strategy throughout his training. With Antonius' mentorship and guidance, Chapter Master Karnak embarked on a successful crusade against the Ork systems which dotted the space around Ciasus. Though the fighting was fierce and the greenskins were dangerous foes, careful assaults on clan leaders broke the back of the petty Ork kingdoms, driving them into the anarchy and infighting which always lurks below the surface of greenskin culture. Divided and weak, the Orks fell to the Knights Seraphic, who returned in triumph to Ciasus. At full strength and hardened by battle, the Chapter was by any measure ready to serve the Emperor, and so Antonius confessed to Karnak the terrible secret of the Dark Angels - the tale of the Fallen and of the Unforgiven's sacred duty to force their repentance.
Shortly after the secret was made known to Karnak, the Knights Seraphic were engaged in conflict against the piratical Dark Eldar. In the middle of the campaign, Antonius received a communique from the Dark Angels detailing the location of one of the Fallen in a nearby system. Reminded of his duty to the Dark Angels, Karnak reluctantly ordered the redeployment of his forces. However, upon arrival Karnak discovered that the information was false, there was no Fallen. The planet they had been defending was soon overrun by the Dark Eldar, and the civilian population slaughtered. Having passed this final test, Antonius was satisfied that Karnak would be able to lead on his own, and departed for the Dark Angels with his veteran cadre. Karnak was left on Ciasus, deeply troubled by the recent events.
After Antonius had left, Karnak remained cloistered in his chambers for weeks, neither eating nor sleeping. Here he pondered the mission of his Chapter. Antonius had told Karnak that the Knights Seraphic were meant to be an extension of the Dark Angels, pursuing redemption for all the Unforgiven by hunting down the Fallen. Although he and his brethren had not committed this crime, Karnak was well aware of the blood of the Legion flowing through his veins, and knew that this duty could not be cast aside. But while a squire of the Knights of Sieraph, Karnak had been taught to abide by the most important duty of all: a knight must defend the people from danger, even if he gives up his life to do so. Torn between these two duties, Karnak remained in his tower and was not seen until a month later.
When he emerged, Karnak called together his Inner Circle, and told them of his meditations. The Knights Seraphic were torn by twin duties - one to their heritage and their brethren, the other to the people of the Imperium. Forsaking either was impossible, and could only damn them further in the eyes of the Emperor - the guilt of Caliban already stained their souls, but so would forsaking their duties to pursue a fraternal vendetta. But no man could serve two masters - and Space Marines are still men, for all that they are heroes.
So Karnak split the Chapter. Drawing on the Deathwing and Ravenwing of the Dark Angels, he formed two independent formations within the Chapter, calling them Redemption Fleets. Formed from the first and second companies, and lead by the newly honoured Redemptor Captains, these fleets would react to the presence of the Fallen, while the main body of the Chapter devoted itself to its primary purpose and duty - the protection of the Imperium of Mankind. To the outside world, the Redemptor Fleets would seem nothing more than quick-response formations, but to the Knights Seraphic they would be a hope for salvation.
Over the millenia many Fallen have been hunted down by the Redemptor Fleets of the Knights Seraphic. Some have died screaming, but others have repented. Those few who repent face a Redemptor Champion in single combat, to purify their souls in battle. The even fewer who win such fights take the place and name of their slain opponent. They receive one more chance to die for the Emperor, one more chance to be an Angel of Death, and one more chance to redeem themselves from the damnation that all Dark Angels face.
Ciasus is a feudal world of rolling plains and forests divided into separate city states, each surrounded by smaller townships and agricultural land. Each of these states maintains its own army, supplemented by the Knightly Orders. Relations between states are complex, and only when under external threat can the cities be relied upon to cooperate.
Within each state there exists a rigid caste system. Nobility rule over small estates, with families of farmers, blacksmiths and more taking their place beneath them, seeing to their needs. Few people question this system; instead it is seen as duty to perform their best according to their standing. Loyalty to one's state and personal honour is held in high regard, which proved attractive to the fledgling Chapter.
The Knightly Orders of Ciasus are the planet's most prominent defenders. Though originally they were dedicated to the defence of the states which founded them, many have grown to be more powerful and important than the cities they are sworn to protect. Different orders have their own methods of recruiting - some induct only from the nobility, others hold trials to induct the strongest youths, and others have more esoteric selection methods which make little sense to outsiders. The results are the same, however, with each Knightly Order training and producing some of the best warriors on the planet. Once a youth becomes a knight, his life is dedicated to the pursuit of his personal honour and the service of his Order and his city.
The Knightly Orders of Ciasus have never been truly at peace with one another. Vast webs of alliances and treaties ensare them, and should one be insulted it can bring to battle many other Orders. Only when faced with an external and alien threat, often Orks from the nearby Ork Empire, would the Knightly Orders ally together, old grudges and bitter rivalries put aside for the defense of the planet. After the Ork Empire was destroyed by the Knights Seraphic, the Knightly Orders remained, and continued to feud among each other. The Knights Seraphic allowed this to happen, so that the warriors created on Ciasus would be strong enough to join the Astartes. Once per decade the Chapter hold a series of trials in the planet's capital Caliphus for potential aspirants, taking only the best so that the bright future of the Chapter can be ensured.
The Knights Seraphic do not intervene in the affairs of Ciasus unless the planet's safety is in question, preferring to have the people learn from their own mistakes. The Chapter's attitudes have over time been influenced by the knightly orders which provide their recruits, adopting many aspects of the various orders' philosophies. Most notable has been a growing emphasis on honour and duty.
The Knights Seraphic are generally a Codex Chapter. The notable exception to this are their Redemption Fleets, created for the Hunt. Each Redemption Fleet contains a full Company of Veterans- equipped similarly to the Eighth Company and the Dark Angels' Deathwing, though with only a few dozen suits of Terminator armour. Each Fleet consists of one or two Strike Cruisers and they are referred to as the First Fleet and the Second Fleet. Their command is given over individually to the First and Second Captains. Known as Redemptor Captains or simply 'Redemptors', they are considered equals in the Chapter. Though their primary goal is the capture of the Fallen, the Redemption Fleets can be and are deployed alongside the Battle Companies to provide support and the benefit of their experience.
A small group of the First Company do know of the Hunt, but have made their choice to continue fighting the enemies of the Imperium alongside their less informed brethren. They are spread out among the Battle Companies offering their experience alongside the other Marines.
It should be noted that as the Captain of the First Company is often removed from the Chapter on a hunt for the Fallen, the honorific title of 'First Captain' does not belong to him, but rather the foremost Captain of the Battle Companies, often the Third Company Captain. Despite this the numbering of the Battle Companies starts at three, as the two Redemption Fleets are considered to be the first two Companies.
The Knights Seraphic largely fight according to the dictates of the Codex Astartes, with the only notable divergence the battle style of the Redemption Fleets, which utilise power armoured veterans as infiltrators to seek out the enemy's weak points. Once the enemy's weaknesses are fully documented, these squads will set up a perimeter, and call down reinforcements in the form of more veterans from the Second Company and Terminator-armoured veterans from the First Company. These combined forces then proceed to crush the enemy, capturing any Fallen if they are present. Due to the flexible nature of the Redemption Fleets, these tactics can be used alongside other Companies in the Chapter, often tearing out the heart of the enemy's army, leading them to disarray.
Like all Astartes, the Knights Seraphic view and venerate the Emperor as an extraordinary and powerful man. They also venerate Lion El'Jonson, their Primarch and first leader of the Dark Angels for his excellent leadership and strategic skills.
The people of Ciasus have also taught the Knights Seraphic about honour, and it has become an important part of the Chapter. All the decisions made by the Chapter are based on what they are duty bound to do, protecting the people of the Imperium. For a Knight of the Chapter, honour is one of the most important parts of their daily life, but personal honour must not be placed before the honour of the Chapter. Therefore, the Chapter frowns upon selfish acts of heroism that endanger or prove detrimental to the Chapter.
Furthermore, the Knights Seraphic view their duty to the Lion and the Unforgiven equal to their duty to the Imperium as a whole. The Knights Seraphic are true knights in that they will not allow the people to suffer while they still live. They believe that while past failures must be atoned for, they shouldn't compromise their duty to others to do so. Such actions would only compound their earlier failures. Therefore, they believe that redemption will not come from the Fallen, but rather through duty to the Imperium. This explains why they let those Fallen who confess a chance to live and serve once more. Through their actions protecting the Imperium they may be forgiven by the Emperor upon their death.
The Knights Seraphic are descended from the Primarch Lion El'Jonson, and so share the same geneseed as the Dark Angels and other Unforgiven Chapters. They are aware of this link to the Lion, and so hold him as the greatest Primarch to have lived due to his tactical genius, matched by none other save the Emperor. The Lion was also a knight once, and sought to protect his people from the monsters of Caliban. The Knights know this and try to emulate his noble example. Like all Dark Angel Chapters their geneseed is still pure, with no
The battle-cry of the Knights Seraphic is older even than the Knightly Order its use was inherited from. "Non nobis sed patriae" has been the last thing to echo in the ears of many of the Chapter's foes. The cry roughly translates as "Not for ourselves, but for our charges," and well reflects the Chapter's dedication to their duty and the people who represent it.
I do have a colour scheme set up for the Chapter, as a well as a couple of sidebar pieces, but until I can remember the appropriate BBC code they won't be on for a bit.
Now this is actually an old article, some of you may remember it. It's here for now since the Librarium is still being worked on, when that's all sorted out it'll get it back there. I'm only posting it here because some have expressed interest in reading the article, I'm very happy with it, and am not likely to change it. If people really do want to comment on it, then please do, but I again, I may not change something unless it's a really good idea.
Edited by DarkGuard, 18 September 2013 - 05:48 PM.