Index Astartes: Sons of Aetius
Sons of Aetius
The precise origin chapter is unknown, but it has been established that the source comes ultimately from Roboute Guilliman. There are no known genetic deviations in the Sons of Aetius from Ultramarine base stock.
The Sons of Aetius are a recently founded chapter, set up with the specific intent of shoring up the imperium against the ever-increasing threats that assail it in these dark times. Accordingly, the High Lords looked back in the history of the Terran archives to find noble warriors that defended great empires in their darkest times. One such man was Aetius, a general in the service of an ancient autocrator that defeated a ravening horde of barbaric invaders and prolonged the twilight years of the great Rumenyi nation. Even when the hope of the empire seemed exhausted, this commander achieved victory, and so the high lords took his name to inspire great deeds in the new chapter. Like so many other chapters, the Sons of Aetius owe their genetic heritage to the Ultramarines although it is not recorded which of the many successors of that noble legion donated geneseed for their creation.
The new chapter were well-equipped and supplied, and their training cadre were provided by a contingent from the Novamarines, fierce adherents of Guilliman's noble codex and proud bearers of his genetic legacy. The Sons of Aetius took to the strictures of the great tome eagerly, revelling in its tactical flexibility and learning rapidly the lessons of war.
After decades of training, the new chapter was unleashed upon the north-eastern quadrant of the Galaxy and tasked with the eradication of the many Xenos threats that abound there. The first chapter master, Trigetius, was an able commander but prone to impulsive action when caution might have seemed the wiser course. It was under his leadership that an early disaster was to shape the course of the chapters development.
In late M39, the Sons of Aetius happened upon a stricken and drifting spacecraft of immense size and unknown manufacture. Meandering on the shifting currents of the stellar winds, the vessel had strayed into the Dargonel system, home to a hiveworld with a population in excess of 80 billion and manufactorums producing vital hardware for the Imperium's campaigns. An investigating strike cruiser could not open communication and so a decision was taken to board the vessel. The boarding action was a disaster. Two squads of experienced astartes were ambushed and torn apart by lightning fast six limbed predators leaving the few survivors to frantically flee to their transports and report back to the chapter command.
Many argue that the prudent course would have been to annihilate the hulk with cyclonic torpedoes, but Trigetius was incensed at the loss of his men to mere xenos, and his pride led him to assemble a formidable force to secure the ship. Four hundred astartes prepared to launch a shattering assault, with elements from the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th and 9th companies led by the entirety of the veteran 1st under the personal command of the chapter master. No less than 60 veterans in terminator armour would lead the vanguard, teleporting deep into the hulk to secure the command and control centres, while the power amoured forces assaulted from boarding craft to devastate the xenos footsoldiers and draw the enemy from the interior core.
The operation was not a success. The main assault was able to make reasonable gains for an acceptable casualty rate, before withdrawing in good order when it became apparent that the mission was unacheivable. The terminator spearhead however was scattered when their teleport homers were ineffective, and found themselves swarmed and picked off piecemeal by the xenos. After more than two days of bloody and protracted combat, Trigetius and twenty of his terminators were holed up in a reactor vent chamber under effective siege by scuttling hordes of xenos. Fully two thirds of his strike force had been pulled down by the aliens. Every attempt to break out was met with failure and casualties mounted further. Only when sergeant Clodio used his thunder hammer's power cells to overload the reactor venting systems were the remaining terminators spared the fate of their comrades. The ancient ship's machine spirit was intact enough to sense a threat to its very fabric, and believing an overload to be imminent vented the chambers into the void, sending the few remaining veterans tumbling into space.
When the chapter master and his companions were recovered by thunderhawk, it became apparent that the scale of the losses were dreadful. From the entire first company only nine men had survived, and of those, three wore terminator suits so damaged that they would be reduced to mere relics or worse still, spare parts. The loss of so many veteran marines was a disaster for the Sons of Aetius. While not representing a numerical catastrophe for the chapter, it was in experience and battle craft that they had been hobbled, as well as in honour; The loss of so many treasured suits of tactical dreadnought armour was a stain upon the chapters pride. So ashamed by the disaster was Trigetius, that he resigned his position in the chapter and departed to take up the role of a blackshield in the deathwatch, renouncing his chapter and indeed his very name.
Following the debacle a new chapter master, Avitus, resolved to rebuild the honour of the chapter through introspection and the cold fury of battle. When offered resupply by the Mechanicus and Administratum, Avitus accepted all materiel with the exception of the dozen offered terminator suits, requesting instead that they be assigned instead to a more deserving chapter. To this day, the chapter field no terminator squads and indeed hold a mere seven suits of tactical dreadnought armour, which are used only in the direst of circumstance. It is also extremely rare to see veterans fielded at squad strength or above. Instead the first company members are more usually assigned as veteran sergeants seconded to squads in the battle companies, where their experience can be diffused throughout the chapter and is less likely to be lost en masse as happened aboard the space hulk.
Reclusiarch Cicero is the leader of the chapter's chaplains. None of the Sons of Aetius still living remember him as a recruit, so long has he marched to war. Cicero wears one of the only remaining suits of terminator armour held by the chapter and carries a formidable chainsword that rips apart the enemies of the imperium with contemptous ease. It was Cicero who forged the chapter's close bond with the Gatekeepers, when he held a breach in the walls of Fort Calumnus against waves of cultists for twenty-six hours to prevent the flank of the Gatekeeper's positions being overrun.
Brother Coronus is the chief librarian of the Sons of Aetius. His psychic gifts are exceptional, if subtle. He can be found in the depths of combat, warding away blasts and bullets to protect his men as they take the fight to the enemy.
Colour Scheme and Chapter Symbol:
The Sons of Aetius wear battleplate of gleaming white, accented with bright green and golden trim. Their symbol is a silver gladius, often wrapped in laurels.
Edited by Stercus, 12 October 2015 - 01:14 PM.