Aftter nearly a century and a half, the Legion’s self-inflicted troubles culminated in the Ulgion Rebellion, which marked their nadir during the Great Crusade. The world of Ulgion, only recently brought to Imperial Compliance, had declared open rebellion against the Imperium's rule. Due to the world's high industrial value, the XXth had not been assigned the task of suppressing this rebellion; indeed the embattled governors had made a point of requesting aid from elsewhere and had been answered. Antonidas, First Captain of the Scions Hospitalier, had brought a force of his brothers and their auxiliaries to halt the unrest.
But Kallast, then Master of the XXth Legion by dint of killing his predecessor, scorned his counterpart’s approach and vowed to show the people of Ulgion true retribution. The majority of the XXth were called together, by the only warrior who could bend them all to his will, and set loose.
Antonidas could not order his equal to desist, and what began as a surgical strike against the renegade government's palaces in the capital city rapidly degenerated into a killing spree as the XXth moved out into the wider city, with intent to eradicate the city’s inhabitants despite the end of the fighting. Spreading across Ulgion Prime, they began to slaughter all they encountered, to the extent that the preservation of the civilian population and industrial capacity of the city was put at risk.
Only when the Scions Hospitalier barred their path and demanded that the XXth stand down was the slaughter halted. A longtime critic of the XXth Legion, Antonidas had resolved to draw a line in the sand. Rather than void his oath to Pionus Santor - that the rebellion would be subdued cleanly - he ordered his warriors to bar the way into the central hab-districts, threatening violence against their cousins. But even then, the blood-bathed Legionaries of the XXth defied him.
Kallast stepped forward and challenged Antonidas, mocking the First Captain. Antonidas stood his ground and returned his counterpart's scorn. Finally Kallast demanded an honour duel - to the death. Against the protestations of his warriors, Antonidas accepted and, through his clinical self-control, bested and slew the master of the XXth. The Scions then faced down Kallast’s men over the corpse of their master, ready to execute their cousins should they not make an end to the bloodshed. After a moment of hesitation, the XXth caved in and returned to their ships. Antonidas never referred to the incident in public, regarding the act of kinslaying as a necessary but grave sin.
With the Emperor enraged by the unnecessary casualties, the loss of Ulgion's productivity and outright hostility between two Legions, the XXth Legion were summoned to the world of Concor Tertius. Detachments of Lightning Bearers and Eagle Warriors arrived to serve as witnesses and, as they embodied the twin sigils of the Emperor's authority, a symbolic rebuke to their cousins. Finally there came one other Legion whose identity is unknown, but who are spoken of in darker terms; an axe to fall should the Emperor decree it.
On the barren earth of this pitiless world, accompanied by some of their most vehement critics, the Emperor confronted His last Legion. There were many who implored Him to disband an army who wasted His resources and soiled the name of the Great Crusade. The Emperor did not take this path, but His words for the XXth were full of condemnation. With the force of His unrivalled will, the Master of Mankind had them abase themselves in the dirt of Concor Tertius. They were given a year to right themselves and prove worth of their mantle. With no obvious leader to unify them, the Legion fell to further infighting within their encampment under the appalled eyes of the Emperor’s retinue.
The Legion seemed set to end its own existence without any further assistance. Brother fought against brother, trying to gain the upper hand. Before the Emperor and his cadre of advisors could react, a voice rang out; a young captain of the XXth Legion calling for an end to the madness. His name was Cassus and he demanded an end to this madness once and for all, beating bloody any who contested his writ, but not slaying them.
Cassus spoke to his brothers of the glories they had sacrificed on the altar of misplaced pride. He raged at their folly, denouncing the wilful ignorance of how the Imperium was changing around them. The Legion’s myth of itself as unconstrained and peerless had brought them to this state. Now they must renounce their folly. With the bulk of the Legion under his control, Cassus was given a last chance by the Emperor Himself to redeem his Legion. Else the XXth Legion would be withdrawn from service, effectively going dormant until such time as their Primarch emerged to master them - and with no guarantee that its current members would be preserved for that time of renewal.
Edited by bluntblade, 23 October 2019 - 06:41 AM.