Making some refinements on the Wiki, I decided to go on a serious tweaking run on the EW's early years:
The Emperor’s Eagles
The earliest known records of the XIIIth Legion date back to the days of the Unification Wars in Kentral Amerik. A region of radioactive jungles, the inhabitants of this region had put up a highly effective defense against the forces of unity when they had attempted to conquer it, hitting them with repeated hit and run assaults and then fading away into the irradiated jungles before a significant Imperial response could be mobilised. While they were eventually conquered, the Emperor had been impressed with this tenacity and ingenuity in war, so he drew the first recruits of the XIIIth Legion from the region.
As so often, time would prove the Emperor wise in his decision to recruit these tribesmen. The early Astartes of the XIIIth Legion proved well suited to the lightning strikes that they had utilized against the forces of unity, being both quick on their feet and well disposed toward racing across plains atop a jetbike. While worse suited to being part of the main battle line, the XIIIth were frequently used in the late Unification Wars as a flanking force, springing sudden attacks on enemy flanks and rear as other forces held the enemy in place. Many times, it was a charge to the enemy’s rear by the XIIIth that decided the fighting in favour of the forces of Unity.
It was in this way that the Legions earned their name at the battle of Madagac. The battle spanned the northwest Indsen Wilderness, with tens of thousands giving battle in the Emperor’s name. Yet it was the XIIIth Legion whose charge proved critical, overwhelming even . Beset at his command post, the Madagac general beseeched his false gods, "Who are these eagles who descend upon me?" It is said that this was the very moment when the Eagle Warriors broke the lines of his bodyguard, the Master of Mankind at their head, and Emperor replied: "They are my Eagle Warriors - and they come for all of you."
It was following the battle of Razkev that the newly named Eagle Warriors received their greatest accolade and honour however. At the battle of Razkev, the massed regiments of Imperial Prussan foot and the IIIrd Legion had clashed with the berserk hordes of the tyrant Kalaggan. The fighting lasted three days and three nights before it was finally decided by a final charge by the XIIIth who, freshly arrived upon the field, crashed into the flanks and rear of Kalaggan's massive horde and breaking the back of the Emperor's great foe even as the Blood Wolves claimed his head.
The Eagles Soar
An unbroken roll of glories followed, through the battles for Sol and then the first great wars fought beyond its light. The XIIIth was one of the most powerful Space Marine Legions in the early years of the Crusade, winning great victories and expanding the boundaries of the Imperium. Though not as powerful as some of their fellows grew, as Primarchs were found, the Eagle Warriors maintained an enviable record and strength. At times they were placed under the command of another Legion's sire, but carried their duties without complaint, as when Pionus Santor called them to his banner for the Liberation of Yamatar.
At this time the Eagle Warriors already evinced several of the tendencies which would define their way of war later on. Particularly of note was a use of armoured units that, as a proportion of their size, exceeded that of the Halcyon Wardens and Iron Bears. Lacking their cousins' close allies among the Collegia Titanica and Knight Houses, the Eagle Warriors developed several tactical doctrines which revolved around the deployment of tank squadrons to effectively combat enemy Titan-analogues.
That mastery was proven on Henua, where the ruling Autocracy anchored their formations with tracked behemoths, precursors to the Capitol Imperialis now employed by the Excertus Imperialis. These machines served as both mobile bases and immense gun-platforms, with weapons equal to a Warlord Titan. The Henuan Autocracy had used their strength to throw back two Imperial Army offensives with heavy losses. The Eagle Warriors were undaunted however, and descended upon the Autocracy with all their armoured might. With super-heavy tanks and gunships they tore into the Henuan army, destroying their squadrons of Predator tanks and breaking open their towering command vehicles before deploying assault marines into them.
Following this victory, the Emperor declared that the XIIIth would henceforth have the right to bear his personal symbol, the Palatine Aquila, upon their standards and their armour. This constituted an enormous honour and one not dispensed lightly, for the Eagle Warriors were the only Legion to be acclaimed in this manner. From that day on, the XIIIth swore to never falter in their duty and to carry the Aquila to the darkest corners of the galaxy in the newly declared Great Crusade.
The XIIIth's rise seemed unstoppable, and none imagined anything other than continuity with the finding of their Primarch. No one could have expected the events that soon followed.
Edited by bluntblade, 17 May 2019 - 08:23 PM.