GENE-SEED (PREDECESSOR): Dark Angels Legion
CHAPTER WORLD: Pervigilium
FORTRESS MONASTERY: The Watchtower
KNOWN DESCENDANTS: None
CHAPTER MOTTO: "Victory to the strong!"
+++ INCOMING MESSAGE +++
+++ DECRYPT CYPHERS ORDER ACCEPTED +++
+++ PRIORITY SIGMA-4 +++
RECEIVED: The Rock, Agripinaa sector
TELEPATHIC DUCT: Librarium-terminus Jophiel
SUBJECT: After action report
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The hunt is the crucible of our will
35th Chapter dispatched on Operation: Crucible
Command post established on orbital docks
Codex Astartes adopted per plan
35th Chapter re-designated “Angels of Vigilance”
The Death Watch initiated
+++ MESSAGE ENDS+++
The Angels of Vigilance were once the 35th Chapter of the First Legion.
Prior to the tragic events of the Horus Heresy, the 35th Chapter had been one of several First Legion expeditions that had utilized the Imperium’s orbital docks at Pervigilium. In the rare instances in which the legionnaires of the First Legion observed the inhabitants of Pervigilium, they noted marked similarities with the customs and culture of Caliban, especially within the ruling castes of the world. Despite their compliance with the Pax Imperium, however, the ruling castes of Pervigilium remained aloof from any overtures of communication with the First Legion. Consumed with the requirements of the Great Crusade, little thought was given to the resemblances, though reports were submitted to the Legion headquarters.
It wasn’t until after the destruction of Caliban and the loss of the Lion that further consideration was given to Pervigilium and its strange resemblance to the Legion’s lost homeworld. With the Hunt for the Fallen recently declared and the memory of their Fallen brothers fresh, the Dark Angels subjected Pervigilium to considerable scrutiny. This scrutiny was a combination of scouting by the Legion’s Reconnaissance squads and scrying by the members of the Librarius. Analysis of the resulting intelligence revealed a terrible truth to the Dark Angels – somehow, one or more of the Fallen had been carried through the dark eddies of the Warp and deposited upon Pervigilium in the past, arriving during the Age of Strife.
Superior in all ways to normal humans, the transhuman Dark Angel had wrested control of the world, insinuating himself as the secret power controlling the ruling castes of the world. Over time, he had shaped the warriors of the castes into military orders. Whether or not this member of the Fallen still lived was unknown, but the leaders of the Dark Angels were determined to recover him at all costs. A contingent from the 35th Chapter was rapidly dispatched aboard the strike cruiser Darkclaw with orders to capture the Fallen and ascertain the extent of his influence, destroying all evidence of his taint.
The 35th Chapter ultimately succeeded in their mission, capturing a member of the Fallen who had grown ancient. In addition, they exterminated the ruling castes after determining that the influence of the Fallen, once Knight-Sergeant Bohriel of the 8th Chapter, extended too far within their esoteric practices. The strike force returned to the Rock with Bohriel held in stasis deep within the most protected vaults of the Darkclaw. The interrogator-chaplains of the Legion succeeded in extracting an admission of guilt from Bohriel after seven full days of torture. Bohriel’s confession also included information about the recurrence of warp portals within the caverns of Pervigilium.
Deliberating over a course of action, the Dark Angels received news of the Second Founding. Fearing for the fate of the First Legion, the Dark Angels committed themselves to a course of action that would result in the Angels of Vigilance being created in secret. While the rest of the Legion underwent the Second Founding, splitting into separate Chapters, the 35th Chapter was rapidly dispatched with orders to secure a foothold and establish a watch over the planet. Adopting the personal heraldry of Chapter Master Rammahel as their livery. Rammahel swore a mighty blood oath that the fortress monastery of the newly-formed Angels of Vigilance would remain ever pure, and that oath was sworn by every other member of the Chapter, continuing to this day.
Unlike the other Unforgiven Chapters, the Angels of Vigilance have adopted a Chapter structure that follows the Codex Astartes quite closely. The 1st Company is composed of the Chapter’s veterans and, in common with the other Unforgiven Chapters, only ever takes to the field of battle in tactical dreadnought armour. Within the Angels of Vigilance, this mighty company is called the Sentinels and is led by a grand master known as the Master Sentinel. The name is also applied to all veterans of the Chapter, all of whom must be inducted into this company in order to earn the title. The 2nd through 5th Companies are Battle Companies. The role of the Ravenwing, normally assigned to the 2nd Company of other Unforgiven Chapters, is instead split between the 6th and 7th Companies. These two companies and their members are known as the Errantors. Uniquely, each of these companies is led by a company master, with a grand master known as the Master Hunter presiding over the combined Errantors. The 8th, 9th, and 10th Companies follow standard Codex Astartes roles.
Progression through the Angels of Vigilance will see neophytes trained as normal in the 10th Company. Upon reaching the rank of full battle-brother, most members of the Chapter will be assigned to one of the battle companies, though those that demonstrate an affinity for assault may be assigned to the 8th Company while those with an affinity for employing heavy firepower may find themselves assigned to the 9th Company. It is not uncommon for a battle-brother to transition between the battle companies and the 8th and 9th Companies based upon the operational needs of the Chapter.
Experienced battle-brothers will then be transferred to either the Sentinels or to the 6th or 7th Companies, with each path having its own progression. Within the Sentinels, the most senior will become Sentinel Knights, from whose ranks the majority of the Chapter’s officers are drawn. Within the 6th and 7th Companies, the most senior will become Knights Errant.
As with the other Unforgiven Chapters, the senior officers of the Angels of Vigilance are members of the Inner Circle.
The basic livery of the Angels of Vigilance Chapter is yellow power armour with black aquila and badges. Squad numbers are displayed in white over the squad badge, and company affiliation is typically displayed on the left kneepad. It is also common for members of the Chapter to wear black tabards.
Angels of Vigilance Battle-Brother in Chapter Approved livery for power armour
The Chapter has retained only two visible links to the 1st Legion. The first can be seen in the company affiliation markings, which follow the pattern of the parent legion while being modified to use the colors of the new Chapter. The second link is the crucible element of the Chapter badge, which was derived from the heraldry of the 35th Chapter and whose origins lay with the Order of the Death Watch, a minor knightly order from Caliban that had been assimilated into the Order prior to the discovery of the Primarch.
The Chapter still incorporates other minor elements from the iconography of the 1st Legion into its panoply, including frequent use of the lion and angel motifs. The Chapter has also developed its own distinct system of markings, blending those of the 1st Legion with markings from the Codex Astartes as well as markings that appear to be peculiar to the Angels of Vigilance. Most common among these peculiar markings are red or black chains and the obsidian skull. The Angels of Vigilance hold the significance of these markings as a closely guarded secret, refusing to reveal them even to the other Unforgiven Chapters.
Angels of Vigilance Sentinel in Chapter Approved livery for tactical dreadnought armour
Angels of Vigilance Scout in camouflaged livery
The Angels of Vigilance claim Pervigilium as their homeworld, maintaining an eternal watch over the world from their orbiting fortress monastery. A world with a moisture-rich atmosphere, Pervigilium has large polar ice caps that cover almost fifty percent of the world’s surface. The narrow temperate zone across the equator features rich plant life and teems with wildlife. It is within this temperate zone that the human populace has created numerous cities.
The inhabitants of Pervigilium are kept at a pre-industrial technology level by the Angels of Vigilance, who are specters of fear to the humans. The mortal inhabitants of Pervigilium fear and revere the Angels of Vigilance as the Watchers, messengers of the Emperor’s wrath and the bringers of justice. Though largely left to their own devices, the humans of Pervigilium will occasionally witness a skull-faced giant appear to visit death upon those that have transgressed the laws of the Watchers.
Constantly patrolling the Segmentum Obscurus and launching forays in the Eye of Terror when the situation permits, the Angels of Vigilance maintain a large fleet. Though they have only one battle barge, the Herald of Caliban, the Chapter possesses six strike cruisers. The most prized vessel is the Darkclaw, a continuing reminder of the Chapter’s origin and mission.
The venerable strike cruiser Darkclaw remains in active service with the Angels of Vigilance.
In most ways, the Angels of Vigilance observe a strict application of the tenets espoused within the Codex Astartes. They maintain forces trained, organized, and equipped for maximum flexibility. The Chapter leverages the Errantors to a greater degree than is normally found in Codex-adherent Chapters and their usage of the 6th and 7th Companies. These forces are frequently deployed as sizeable contingents in support of strike forces. The Angels of Vigilance often employ Errantor units in mixed forces, resulting in units that resemble the composition of the Ravenwing of other Unforgiven Chapters.
The other divergence from the Codex Astartes is the veteran company operating solely in tactical dreadnought armour, identical to the Deathwing of other Unforgiven Chapters.
The core of the Chapter’s warrior cult is the blood oath to keep watch over Pervigilium and extinguish any signs of the influence of the Fallen. Upon becoming a full battle-brother, each member of the Chapter swears a mighty oath to protect the fortress-monastery and preserve the purity of Pervigilium. The Chapter has never foresworn this oath, ensuring that the fortress-monastery is guarded at all times. The Interrogator-Chaplains supervise the long watch over Pervigilium and will dispatch one of their number to kill or capture any that exhibit trace signs of the teachings of Bohriel.
The Chapter’s refusal to deploy in full strength has brought it to the attention of the High Lords of Terra on several occasions. The Angels of Vigilance have proven their loyalty time and again in their service to the Imperium, however, and their peculiar practice has been repeatedly explained as a cautious protective measure to ensure the preservation of their most important resource – their gene-seed.
Beyond these unique practices, the Chapter is known to follow their own variation of the warrior cult of the First Legion, a derivation of the teachings of the Order and Lion El’Jonson, though dramatically influenced by Luther’s Betrayal and the Hunt for the Fallen.
The Angels of Vigilance are unique in that they have never been known to recruit from the populace of their homeworld. No reason for this has ever been offered, and it is especially curious because the populace of Pervigilium suffers an extremely low number of mutations, despite their proximity to the warp storm known as the Eye of Terror. Instead, the Angels of Vigilance draw their recruits from a number of other worlds in the Segmentum Obscurus, periodically visiting each world in turn in order to take in a new crop of recruits. The methods of recruitment vary from world to world. On the primitive world of Dathregi, the Angels of Vigilance will identify candidates from the warring tribes, rescuing those with potential from the battlefields (indeed, some suffer near mortal wounds in the battles and are nursed back to health by the Apothecaries of the Chapter before being subjected to the trials of a neophyte). On the hive world of Lorelei’s Hope, the Angels of Vigilance will enter the hives and draw from the gangers that infest the depths. A number of other worlds provide ready recruits for the Chapter, each unique and deadly in its own way. Drawing upon multiple recruiting worlds has resulted in members of the Chapter having a variety of genotypes. The trials and training that neophytes undergo follow the strict dictates of the Codex Astartes, with the Chaplains and experienced battle-brothers subjecting their neophytes to a harsh regimen that quickly weeds out the weak, leaving only the most hardy of specimens to become Adeptus Astartes of the Angels of Vigilance Chapter.
The gene-seed of the Angels of Vigilance has remained absolutely pure over the millennia, despite the Chapter’s proximity to, and frequent operations within, the Eye of Terror.
With a battle history stretching back to the Second Founding in M31, the battle honours of the Angels of Vigilance fill tome upon tome. They are noted for over a dozen defensive actions against Chaos forays from deep within the Eye of Terror; and they have launched almost the same number of raids into that warp storm. Most recently, a force of six companies participated in the recent war upon Armageddon when the Ork Warboss Mag Uruk Thraka returned to that world in force.
The Angels of Vigilance are currently preparing a force to answer the call to defend Cadia.
Master Lisoniel served the Angels of Vigilance for four centuries, serving in the 3rd and 8th Companies before becoming a Sentinel. As a Sentinel Knight in 905.M40, he was awarded the Sable Lion as his personal heraldry in recognition for his steadfast pursuit of his duty despite being grievously wounded. He was later appointed as Master of the 3rd Company, in which role he led a raid into the Eye of Terror in which two members of the Fallen were captured. He was killed in action a decade later, succeeding in killing the Eldar war leader even as the xenos struck him down.
Company Master Lisoniel at the Battle of Redhark IV
Venerable Brother Gauvain
A member of the Angels of Vigilance who gained renown among the Adeptus Astartes was Venerable Brother Gauvain, who served three secondments to the Ordo Xenos Deathwatch. Though advanced to the ranks of the Sentinels after his second tour with the Deathwatch, he returned to serve the Inquisition two decades later. His actions took him across the length and breadth of the Segmentum Obscurus, facing numberless xenos threats and serving alongside members of four dozen other Chapters. He later returned to the Angels of Vigilance in time to join the strike force dispatched to the Armageddon system. In recognition of his service to the Deathwatch, he has been allowed to retain the silver arm and badge. His experience fighting xenos proved invaluable in combating the Ork menace and he served as Master Roahmiel’s lieutenant, leading half of the third company in the ship-to-ship fighting. He joined the ranks of the Sentinel Knights upon returning from Armageddon and is among those preparing to journey to Cadia.
Venerable Brother Gauvain, Veteran of the Ordo Xenos Deathwatch
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