++++++ The Praetorian Crusade ++++++
((This is the start of the fluff for my crusade. CC welcome.))
After High Marshal Helbrecht acquiesced to Roboute Guilliman's order to defend various shrine worlds, Marshal Siegfried was sent to the world of Mithron with a formidable fighting company. Many of Siegfried's company we're already veterans of the war that resulted in the Great Rift. Helbrecht knew the world had seen the touch of the Great Enemy once before, and suspected it might be a target once again.
The warriors of the Mithron Crusade arrived on the shrine world and found that their brother chapter, the Imperial Fists, had been much revered for their centuries of defense of Mithron. An entire wing of the planet's grand cathedral was dedicated to the seventh legion, including many artifacts and pieces of wargear.
Amongst the venerated displays was a ceramite tomb. The faded heraldry identified the occupant as “Venerable Brother Niklas.” His year of internment was listed as 617.M32.
Siegfried was fascinated with the Astartes history on display, and quickly set serfs and servitors to work restoring the abandoned cathedral to its former glory, particularly the wing honoring his fellow Sons of Dorn.
Elements of the restoration required skills far beyond what servitors and human serfs could provide. Andreas, a marine trained in the ways of the Priesthood of Mars, and Gaius, Master of Sanctity, oversaw the work. Andreas was immediately drawn to the tomb. After many days of study and performance of the appropriate rites, he rushed from the chamber with unusual haste to summon Marshal Siegfried.
Andreas had discovered something amazing. After untold centuries, the sarcophagus of Brother Niklas still registered power readings.
Marshal Siegfried summoned his crusade's apothecaries and followed Andreas to the reliquary wing. What the apothecaries discovered awed them all, Brother Niklas lived. Unlike members of their own chapter, his sus-an membrane was fully functional. That, combined with the seeming impossibility of the tomb's barely functioning power core, meant Niklas had survived for more than eight millennia in his tomb.
Even before entreating the marshal, Techmarine Andreas suspected that this was no ordinary tomb. The apothecaries’ findings had confirmed that Brother Niklas was entombed within a dreadnought's sarcophagus, though of a pattern he had never seen. Andreas spent three days cloistered in the Imperial Fist reliquary until he found a way to connect an external power source to the nearly-dormant device.
After all that time spent with no sound but the clicks and whirs of his servo-harness mechadendrites, and the shuffling steps of servitors, Andreas’ work-fugue was shattered by a synthesized voice.
“Only in death does duty end.”
Marshal Siegfried rushed to the reliquary of the Seventh Legion. At the door, he quickly performed the prayers to the Emperor and the Primarch that he had ordered everyone perform before entering. His supplications were somewhat distracted, however, as he heard a booming, artificial voice coming from within.
“Adept of Mars, tell me, how long have I slept?”
If Andreas responded, it was inaudible at this distance. As Siegfried completed the required ritual and walked quickly inside the holy place, silence reigned. Even the servitors seemed to have stilled their constant activity. The only sound in the great chamber was the humming generator jury-rigged to the sarcophagus.
Siegfried came to a stop beside Andreas. Unlike the Techmarine, who wore his battle plate to support a servo-harness, he was clad in simple monastic robes, his scarred face and head bare. He gazed up at the tomb containing the ancient warrior.
“Venerable Brother, I am Siegfried, Marshal of the Mithron Crusade. You have slept for many centuries.”
The synthesized voice was almost deafening, even to an Astartes, in the echoing reliquary.
“So your techmarine says….but that seems impossible.” The phrases came slowly, as if the ancient space marine inside was having to remember the Gothic language.
“I would have thought so as well,” replied Siegfried. “Still, Andreas and the crusade’s apothecaries say it is so. I have much to tell you of the realm of our glorious Emperor.”
Siegfried hesitated, not wanting to insult the living monument, “Do you require rest before we speak, Brother?”
A harsh, grating sound emanated from the external vox units wired to the tomb. “Marshal Siegfried, I think it fair to say that my rest has been far too long.”
Edited by Crovan, 18 May 2020 - 10:49 PM.