FILE NAME: IA FOR THE FORCE KNOWN AS THE SPECTERS OF THE PURGED
AUTHOR: INQUISITOR BLIND OF THE ORDOS ORIGINATUS
++WARNING: THIS INFORMATION IS TOP SECRET. SECURITY LEVEL ALPHA-0. ACCESS LATCH-KEY AND DNA IMPRINT REQUIRED ++
++UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS IS CONSIDERED A CRIME AGAINST THE EMPEROR HIMSELF++
+IF YOU HAVE ACCESSED THIS FILE WITHOUT PROPER AUTHORIZATION PLEASE REPORT TO YOU NEAREST IMPERIAL INQUISITION MEMBER FOR INTERROGATION AND EXECUTION+
+PRAISE THE IMMORTAL EMPEROR OF MANKIND+
+DNA IMPRINT CONFIRMED+
+CALLING OFF INQUISITORIAL INTERVENTION TEAMS+
++BEGIN DATA IN-LOAD++
+DATA IN-LOAD COMPLETE+
Force Name: Specters of the Purged
Founding: ++REDACTED++ (What little concrete data that could be gleamed from the first-hand account by the half crazed guardsmen I interviewed in regards to iconography and what the interviewee described as “The voices in his head,” lead me to surmise that this force originated from the ++REDACTED++ Legion, as impossible as that is, and would thus place their founding at some time before 950. M30)
Chapter Master: N/A (All accounts seem to indicate that the force is led by three unique “individuals” known as Death, Despair and Disbelief.)
Chapter World: N/A (Almost every account has made mention of a place/realm? Known as “The Void.” Could this possibly be their place of origin?)
Combat Specialty: Unrelenting advance and overwhelming force. (Reports are that the Specters move through walls and any other barriers that might impede them…like ghosts)
Gene-Seed: ++REDACTED++ (The ++REDACTED++ Legion’s Gene-Seed was derived from the Primarch ++REDACTED++, considering the appearance of the Specters I find it doubtful that their Gene-seed is even present, let alone intact.)
Known descendants: None
Current Strength: Unknown
Battle Cry: N/A (All reports indicate that the Specters act in silence, similar to the anomaly known as the Legion of the Damned. However those that fall to Specter weapons and rise again as “Wraiths” have a propensity towards moaning things like “Embrace the Void,” or “Join us.”)
++REDACTED INFORMATION RECOVERED FOR THE PURPOSE OF A MORE CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD REPORT++
The Specters of the Purged are for the most part blanketed in superstition and fear, the situation perpetrated by the deranged ramblings of those who are (perhaps unfortunately) left alive after the battles that have played host to the ghostly force. Few facts are known outright, leaving many (including myself) to theorize their origins based on iconography and the few scraps of intelligible information that eventually comes out during the interrogations of guardsmen who have seen the Specters and lived to tell the tale. I have spent the larger part of my adult life researching the stories of the Specters, chasing after each and every sighting and searching through mountains of data-slates looking for any reference I could find, no matter how obscure, that would lead me to a greater understanding of these apparitions.
The first known sightings of the Specters by Imperial forces go as far back as the Second Founding, though these early cases were exceedingly few and far between. Each time the Specters would arrive and wash over the enemy like a black wave alight with blue flames, disappearing just as suddenly and leaving their target torn asunder and utterly defeated in their wake. While this information alone was barely enough to warrant attention from the Inquisition, (Many Xenos and even some Codex compliant Chapters have been known to utilize similar shock and awe tactics) the fact that the sightings were being reported all over Imperial held space (in some cases at the same time) piqued their interest. Many agents of the Inquisition (myself included) were sent out in order to identify, and if possible, bring these Specters in for questioning. Each attempt was met with failure, battlefield situations and accidents conspiring to keep us from accomplishing our mission. There were even reports of some agents going missing, and one vague report of the agent coming under fire by the Specters themselves when he got too close, losing more than a few of his retinue in the process. Few concrete facts were gleamed from those ill-fated encounters, and what was learned did little to set the minds of the Inquisition at ease.
Ultimately it was determined that the Inquisition knew three things about the Specters with any amount of certainty. One: That the Specters were truly spectral in nature and were thus able to defy many of the laws of reality, phasing in and out of reality and rising again from even the most grievous of wounds; two: That they held no allegiance to the Emperor or the Imperium of Mankind, proven by more than one report of them turning their blue fire spewing weapons on his servants whenever they came too close or attempted to impede them; and three: That after acquiring pic-captures of Specters in the field (many of which were heavily distorted or possessing of other inexpiable abnormalities) and delving into even the most secret of vaults for reference it was determined that the Iconography present on the armor of the Specters was almost identical to that of one of the lost Legions, The Ethereal Legion, purged on the Emperor’s own command alongside their twice cursed Primarch Eidolon Von Ruin by the Primarch Leman Russ and his Space Wolves in 969.M30. The overwhelming rise in sightings in the days following the return of the Emperor’s son, the Primarch Roboute Guilliman, would lead to an increase in the Inquisition’s efforts to confirm this final known fact and the ramifications that came with it.
All evidence points at the Specters of the Purged originating from the now extinct XI Legion, otherwise known as the Ethereal Legion, renamed thus by their Primarch Eidolon Von Ruin upon his being placed in command by the Emperor. The XI was a strange Legion from inception, obsessed with death and mortality of mankind. Before their reunion with their Primarch sometime in the late 940’s M30, the XI Legion was known as the Ghosts of Europa. They lived life as if it were a burden and took no joy from battle, and it was said an aura of sadness and cold permeated anywhere they remained for any period of time, permanently scarring the place. They were used primarily in campaigns that involved a considerable amount of city fighting due to one of the unique gifts granted to them as a result of their genetic connection to their Primarch. Legionaries of the Ethereal Legion could reportedly phase through solid objects at will, though the limitations of that ability were never recorded, granting them countless avenues with which to outflank and destroy the enemies of mankind. Additionally, it was recorded that an aura of extreme cold preceded the Legion wherever it went, covering everything in hoarfrost. This aura meant the XI generally fought alone, for the safety of the human auxiliaries that risked exposure by serving alongside them in battle, and even their fellows in the other Legions avoided their company to escape the discomfort of the cold. The XI Legion colored their armor ash grey edged in silver with pauldrons painted an Ice-Blue, a coloration their Primarch felt no reason to alter after their re-designation as the Ethereal Legion, though he did add a grey skirt to complete the somber appearance. Their mannerisms and mentalities turned out to be a perfect match for their Primarch, an individual many simply called the Wraith, and so there was very little in terms of friction when they discovered him and began the process of adapting to their Primarch’s culture.
What little record could be found hidden deep in the vaults of the Imperial Palace, locked behind countless doors, shared very little data in regards to the Primarch of the XI. For example it is known that Eidolon Von Ruin was found on a light-less planet that quite literally sat right on the edge of the Galaxy as there was naught but void beyond the system. That he had alabaster white skin and hair, as well as milky white eyes reportedly devoid of pupils, (and life if the record is to be quoted) and that he wore armor that was so absolutely black it seemed to draw it the light around him and caused those who looked at him for too long migraines and mild aneurysms. His only concession to the discomfort of those forced to be in his presence was to wear a drab, unadorned grey robe which covered the majority of his armor. Like his brother Mortarion, it is recorded that Eidolon too was fond of carrying a scythe into battle, though there is a frustrating lack of data about said weapon. Of curious note are reports that many found it difficult to focus on the Primarch of the XI because it seemed as though he was constantly phasing in and out of solidity, and that a pall of white fog clung to him wherever he went, through wither this piece of data is factual or simply exaggeration will never be known. Impossibly enough (and believe me when I say I cross referenced this piece of data extensively) it is reported that Eidolon Von Ruin floated rather than walked, that his feet had never once in his life touched the ground. Given the number of reports that attest to this and considering that many of the Emperor’s other sons were reported to have similarly unusual abilities I am incline to accept this report as fact. These traits would heavily contribute to Eidolon’s reputation as one of the Emperor’s strangest sons, putting even the sadistic excesses of Curze quite far into the realm of normalcy, but none of them seem to have been damning enough on their own to warrant the fate that befell the XI. No, in truth it would appear a far greater crime would draw forth the Emperor’s wraith upon the heads of Eidolon and his Legion, heralded by the howls of his Space Wolves.
One must ask themselves what crime could have possibly been heinous enough to be deserving of utter annihilation, to be wiped from the annuls of history and time. For the Primarch of the XI and his Legion we find that it was superstition and a stubborn unwillingness to accept the wisdom of the Emperor. Eidolon seemed a being drawn to the void beyond the stars. So much so that he was well and completely obsessed with it long before the Emperor found him, convinced that the stories of a great intelligence beyond the stars and the dogmatic beliefs of the people of his cradle world were true. This irrational belief would cause him to disappear with his Legion for great spans of time, his flippant disregard for the Emperor’s orders leading to censor on numerous occasions. This friction between the Primarch of the XI and the Emperor would led to a series of events that would culminate in Eidolon breaking his vows of loyalty and denouncing the Emperor as nothing more than an insignificant speck compared to the immense power of “The Void.” This declaration left the Emperor with little choice and the fact that the XI Legion stood with their Gene-sire sealed their fate as well. Unfortunately no record remains of what was surely a battle of unimaginable destruction, such as it must have been to result in not only the death of a Primarch but his Legion, Fleet and even his home world. All that is known is that where there was once a world, a fleet, a Legion and a Primarch, there was now nothing. Now it seems we are haunted by the ghosts of this destruction, though we know not how it was that they came to be. How could a Legion purged return from the void from which it was cast to bring death in the realm of mortals once again? Or even a more chilling question yet, wither the Ghost of their Primarch leads them?
An ancient pic-capture of the Primarch Eidolon Von Ruin's home world
As of yet this topic lacks any form of quantifiable information and so lies strictly in the realm of conjecture. There are two popular theories within the Ordos. The first is that the Specters lack a Home World as they have no need for one, being that they are spectral in nature and thus wouldn’t require a place of origin that they could return to in order to restock and recoup. The second theory suggests that this “Void” that the thralls created by the Specters are constantly going on about may in fact be a place, maybe not a planet per say, but a point of origin for the Specters and thus a place that might hold the key to banishing them from our galaxy. If this is true it stand to benefit the leaders of the Imperium to endeavor to locate this “Void’s” location as soon as possible. I on the other hand would submit a third theory which would be that it is possible that the original Home World of the Ethereal Legion may still exist, possibly in a sort of pocket reality, and that it was transferred there by some unknown entity at the very moment before its’ destruction by the Space Wolves (which will be expanded upon in the later section describing the beliefs of the Specters) known as the “Void.” Unfortunately there is an infuriating lack of data on said planet. (The early Inquisition seems to have been quite through in removing any mention of it.)
This topic is based entirely off of first-hand accounts as there has yet to be a situation where a Specter was kind enough to lay such nuances of the force’s ways of making war out to a member of the Inquisition. All jest aside, the reports from Imperial forces on the front are truly the only source of data I’ve had to pull from in order to compile this Index and as such is limited in its’ scope. That being said, there are a few facts that have proven true in every account of the Specter’s presence. Firstly (and probably mentioned unnecessarily) is that the Specters in no discernible way adhere to the Codex Astartes and in fact it is almost as if they lack any conventional structures of rank or command at all. They spread across the battlefield like an outstretched hand, a wave of spectral wraith, unhindered by the obstacles in their paths and unfazed by the weight of fire being poured into their numbers. The exception to that rule is the apparent difference by the Specters reported by Imperial forces towards the individuals self-identified as the “First Three.” It is these three that can always be found leading the forces of the Specters into battle, though not always together. It is unknown by what providence these three lead other than by virtue of being quite literally the first three Specters in existence, but it appears their authority is absolute as there has been no reports of there ever appearing to be dissent within the Specter’s ranks.
All known current reports indicate that the Specters lack any form of vehicle support, including all variations off of the base Rhino, Land Raiders, Drop Pods, aerial support, support platforms and even Dreadnoughts. However there have been rumors of extremely rare cases of the machine spirits of vehicles becoming “possessed” and turning on their operators and those around them. To all extents the Specters appear to be a wholly infantry based force though they have been sighted carrying devastating anti-vehicle weapons and other specialist weapons and there have even been rumors, whispered in hush voices filled with dread, of Specters clad in terminator plate and grey dusters that blow in an otherworldly wind. Terrible apparitions that seem to be focal points for the biting cold that proceeds the advance of a “normal” Specter, as everything they touch is instantly covered in hoarfrost.
There have been sightings of what appear to be Chaplains, Techmarines and even Apothecaries within the ranks of the Specters, yet it is unknown wither or not they serve in the capacity that they did when alive. (Of curious note is the absolute lack of Librarians, seemingly indicated that they were not present within the Ethereal Legion before they were purged.) What is known is that in every case these individuals are encountered they are accompanied by fell auras. The Chaplain emits an aura of terror, driving many a brave man to flee or even worse, to suicide. The Techmarine’s presence causes malfunctions of both tech and vehicles, sometimes to explosive results, and the Apothecary’s aura has been known to cause sickness and has even be rumored to cause maladies like blindness and physical weakness. What gives these Specters their powers are unknown for it surely cannot be Warp based, considering the effect their presence has on those who draw from that source.
An attack from the Specters could be described as resembling a hand slowly closing into a fist. Multiple fingers moving to wrap around their prey while the palm moves relentlessly forward. Though every encounter is different in many ways, this tactic seems to be the norm as a large primary force moves up the middle, attracting the attentions of their enemies while smaller forces move to flank and strike at targets left exposed.
The Specters masterfully control the flow of battle, and often strike from unexpected directions while the main force of the defenders are preoccupied. There have even been reports of Specters making strikes in the middle of the target force's positions, infiltrating the enemy lines to strike at important targets, though how it is they do this is still yet to be made clear. Various reports indicate that they simply emerged from the shadows where a moment ago there was nothing. Such mad ravings are usually silenced by the commissars before they can sow superstitious fear in the common soldiery.
Each element of the Specters attack is led by one of the "Special" Specters, one of the few proven facts known about the force, and it is believed by this humble servant of the Emperor that this tendency should be taken particularly seriously by the commanders of our forces as it appears to indicate a structural weakness within the Specters. What would happen if these unique Specters were eliminated is not fully understood but in the few reports I've reviewed that report their elimination it has been seen to have numerous debilitating effects on the Specters forces such as apparent confusion or lessened capabilities , and in rare cases was followed by the disappearance of the Specters altogether. It such a thing could be proven true it would be a considerable boon to our forces whenever they find themselves under attack by this ghostly force.
It should be noted that there have been almost no attacks from the Specters against the forces of the Adepta Sororitas. The reason for this is not completely understood but it is my opinion that it could be due to the Adepta Sororitas' propensity towards the use of Promethium based weapons, which the Specters have been known to avoid in other forces as well. (Or in rare cases showed considerable interest in eliminating the threat.)
It is unknown wither or not the Specters hold true to any sort of beliefs or values, though honor appears to be a virtue they hold to. There have been three known instances of one of the “First Three” accepting a challenge from one of the Emperor’s servants, and even one known case of one of the special Specters that resembled a Chaplain accepting a challenge from one of the leaders of the Traitorous forces of Chaos. In each case the challenger was defeated by the Specter that accepted the challenge, the loss by the servant of Chaos being particularly brutal.
Additionally this theory is reinforced by the reports that state that the Specters do not attack unarmed civilians, and in many cases seemed not to even see them as they move against their targets. That is not to say that there are no civilian casualties in battles involving the Specters, cities that they attack are almost always left completely devoid of life, the defenders slain and the city’s population found lying undisturbed and unharmed as if they simply lay down to sleep, frozen solid. What’s even more disturbing are the reports that each and every one of these casualties was found with smiles of contentment frozen forever on their faces.
It is believed among my contemporaries in the Ordos that this is evidence of the “Void” that the Wraiths raised by the Specters are referring to, though it is still not known if this is in reference to a place or to something altogether more insidious. It is in this vein of thought that I return to my previously stated theory based around the reason the Primarch of the XI Legion was purged.
Legends state that Eidolon Von Ruin always had an overwhelming fascination with the dark space beyond the borders of the Galaxy, even before his discovery by the Emperor. Some sources state that this obsession was born from a religious cult that existed on the Primarch’s adopted home world before being stamped out by the Emperor’s Truth. Others believed his interest was purely scientific in nature. Unfortunately neither theory will ever be proven, as there are is no factual data from which to draw a conclusion. What is known is that once Eidolon took command of his Legion and its ships he frequently made expeditions beyond the borders into the blackness, each time coming back in silence to persecute one campaign or another. It wasn’t until his last voyage into the beyond that something changed. The XI Legion stopped responding to calls for reports or requests for aid, and it wasn’t until an escape pod was found floating lifeless in a system the Legion had been reported to have passed through that the horrible truth that something was very wrong became apparent. Inside the Life Pod were the frozen remains of over a hundred crew members, shattered into millions of tiny shards. Soon after a message was received by the Emperor’s court, sent by Eidolon himself, denouncing the Emperor’s Truth as false and went even further in its heresy by declaring the Emperor himself a despot that sought nothing but total dominion over mankind. The Primarch of the XI Legion offered an alternative, embrace the void…find peace. He claimed that the void welcomed mankind, and that it would embrace them happily if they would only allow it. This declaration would prove that Eidolon did in fact find something in the void, some sentience perhaps, and had sworn his allegiance to it as did his Legion and their ships. It would be for this reason that Eidolon Von Ruin as well as the entirety of the XI Legion, for they would refuse to stand against their gene-sire, would be purged from existence.
Since it is generally accepted among my fellows in the Ordos that the Specters are the spiritual remnants of the Ethereal Legion one must conclude that their motives haven’t changed and that they seek to spread the influence of this unknown entity.
Generally speaking the Specters resemble Astarte in appearance, adorned in badly damaged black space marine armor of various marks with blue flames flaring out from any opening in the armor. Many appear to wear Aquila pattern armor, though if they are in fact remnants of the Purged Legion it is unknown how they would have come about acquiring said armor. One theory is that their appearance is an illusion of sorts, and that the viewer is simply seeing what is most familiar to them. Given the wide spread use of the Aquila pattern this would make sense. Many wear drab grey dusters over their armor, while some have only tabards or loin cloths. They wear very few adornments on their armor, though chains have been noted as being commonplace, hanging haphazardly from them as if anchoring them to the mortal plain.
Disturbing as their appearance is fully armored, those that have been see helmet-less are more disturbing still. Flesh-less, fire blackened skulls wreathed in blue flames stare eyeless at those unfortunate enough to have gained their attention, jaws clenched in morbid grins or hanging open is silent screams. Such a feature only serves as testament of their ghostly nature.
There is some variation in the appearance of the Specters. There have been reports of Specters seen without heads at all and even of some missing limbs. Some are considerably more ethereal in nature, appearing as ghosts and lacking any real substance. Though they seem little more than apparitions, the loyal servant of the Emperor should still be wary of them, for their attacks lack none of the bite of the attacks made by their more substantial companions.
Like the mysterious Legion of the Damned, The Specters of the Purged march silently into battle, and utter no bellowing challenges when charging. The only known cases of speech come from the Wraiths that the Specters raise from those that have fallen to their bolters and in even rarer cases, from one of the First Three. The words uttered from the Wraiths are usually drawling nonsense, and are repeated constantly. Those uttered by the leaders of the Specters are considerably more seditious in nature. Often they offer peace to those that fight them, if they would only embrace the void and lay down their arms. As abhorrent as it may seem to a truly loyal servant of the Divine Emperor, it pains me to report that there have been cases of traitorous commanders doing just that, only to be found frozen solid, kneeling as if receiving a benediction from one of the Priesthood. A warning to any who even begins to consider such an option, death does not save you from the Emperor's Judgement.
Edited by TheBlindPrimarch, 01 May 2017 - 05:19 AM.