Re:.................Adeptus Astartes - Heralds of Ash
CHAPTER NAME: .............. THE Heralds of Ash
CHAPTER WORLD: .............Fellheim
FORTRESS MONASTERY: ........Accusation
GENE-SEED (PREDECESSOR): ...Unknown (Blood Angels Suspected)
KNOWN DESCENDANTS: ........."NONE"
Allegiance: Imperium of Man (Fedelitas Constantus)
Chapter Master: Magister
Size Estimate: Unknown
Specialty: Psychic attack, Predictive Understanding, Religious Purges, Policing Actions, Suppression of Ideological Revolt, Targeted Decimation
Battle Cry: " "
Fellheim's surface is Ashen Wastes full of the graves of the dead and the structures to house them. With nearly every square metre of dirt on Fellheim devoted to the dead, even the capital city was considered an extravagance. This world is full of feral Tribes who live outside the processing center cities. Mountains full of Cairns and Tombs fill the world while very large cities act as the points of contact with the greater Imperium.
The narrow alleys and passages were steep and cobbled, leading up to the crowning monument -- the heart of the main hive city in both a physical and spiritual sense -- the Memorial Mausoleum. Nestled at the heart of the devotional architecture and adorning the metropolis like a crown was the enormous roof-dome of the sacred vault that dominated the city skyline. A colossal archway-barbican decorated the entrance to the memorial mausoleum. The pillars of the stately sepulchre were thick and tall, and the darkness of the threshold beckoned Imperial pilgrim and cleric alike.
The funereal beauty of the Mausoleum was astounding: the intricate scrolling on the wall internments; the silver lettering adorning the floor slabs, recording the names of past pontiffs and cardinals of the Ecclesiarchy; loggia supports and fat sculpted pillars reaching up to the exquisite detail of the Mausoleum’s domed ceiling. Candles and incense burned from a thousand suspended sconces, and stern statues of Ecclesiarchs already elevated to sainthood by the Imperial Cult adorned the sepulchre space in a ring around a simple block-crypt of obsidian brick.
A silver-plated elevator was used to transport clerics and Adepta Sororitas guardians deep below the sepulchre to a small complex of condition-controlled crypt chambers residing behind a thick vault door. A circular gallery spiralled about the sepulchre’s exterior, made up of marble steps and landings, providing access to the wall-combs, vaultia and the upper stories of the Mausoleum.
Imperial mortuary lighters brought an unending supply of the Imperium's noble dead from necrofreighters down to the Fellheim surface. The prestige of spending just a century in the precious earth drew cadavers from light years around. Senior officers of the Imperial Guard, the Imperial Navy, members of of Hive World noble houses, powerful merchant lords, Navigators, other planetary nobility and devoted members of the Ecclesiarchy itself were all buried in Accusation’s sacred topsoil. Coffins and sarcophagi are dug up for shipment back to the families following the expiration of their leases in an unending cycle of inhumation and exhumation on a planetary scale.
The Accusation is a structure in the center of the ruined city of The Unredeemed that is under the "protection" of the Heralds of Ash. The tower has since become a symbol of judgment by the Heralds of Ash as the city of The Unredeemed was built around it. For over the millennia, the tower cast a great shadow down on the inhabitants of the city which became a site of daily persecutions with the lower class living in tents outside the city and either dying of torture or from starvation and plague. Only the Strongest survive going through the ruined city of the downtrodden to make their way to the Accusation. Their they have to pledge sacrifice and loyalty to even undertake trials to become one of the Angels of Death who were above the prosecuted.
They deviate significantly from the Codex Astartes. Ash is considered sacred by the Chapter, and when Heralds of Ash Battle-Brothers are called to go to a distant war they perform one last act before leave-taking, a ceremony known as the Rite of Ash Claiming. This ash is carried in a flask by every member of the Chapter, to anoint every planet that they step foot on in a ritual ceremony called the Rite of the Ash Giving.
Knowledge was power but needs to be seen through the lens of the Emperor. They believed there was no discipline their intellect could not master, no secret he could not unlock and make serve their purpose. For the Ashen Heralds, knowledge is salvation, the means to controlling the psychic legacy of their Primarch's gene. Every book was sacred, every writing worthy of study, every document a resource to be drained. The Ashen Heralds are publicly dogmatic, swearing oaths of loyalty and singing the Imperial hymns. They fight for the expansion of the Emperor's realm with diligence. To further this Vision Journeys to understand the future and their connections to it as blessed by the God Emperor.
Heralds make use of fire in many of their rituals and ceremonies and believe that they must be cleansed by the pain of fire before every major undertaking or initiative. The Chapter Cult that governs the beliefs of the Heralds, placing great emphasis on self-reliance, loyalty, and self-sacrifice. They hold a firm belief in isolationism, the tenet that only through spiritual meditation and exploration performed alone and in isolation from others can a person gain a true understanding of both themselves and how they can best serve the will of the Emperor.
Heralds are an extremely devout group whose faith ventured into fanaticism. They are completely dedicated to the Ecclesiarchy and an ardent followers of the God-Emperor. They greatly emphasized religion in everything they do and act with great zeal in their quest to purge the worlds of "heretics". They are portrayed as a considerably dangerous zealots and are known and feared around the Imperium. They possess an intense proclivity towards the use of torture to "purify" those they saw as heretical and are infamous for using painful and varied forms of execution. They have tried and questioned hundreds using brutal and intense methods of religious interrogation, but only a traumatized few had lived through the treatment.
The Heralds of Ash have a preference for close-ranged fire fights and use many Melta and Flamer weapons to burn whole swathes of infantry troops and to smash armoured foes. Their coming was nothing less than apocalyptic judgement delivered upon the guilty from on high, as descending from the skies on wings of fire. Against the xenos, no such quarter was given, and the wrath of the Chapter was made manifest as a tide of unrelenting carnage that only gave way once complete extermination had been achieved. The Chapter's tactical doctrines are heavily focused on the use of powerful shock assaults to shatter an enemy's resistance in a single, devastating blow. However, they cannot be counted upon to hold a position in the same disciplined way as the Ultramarines or Dark Angels, as any Marine in the midst of battle could suddenly him to charge forward in an attempt to tear the enemy limb from limb. This often has the benefit of creating victories in the unlikeliest of situations through sheer aggression.
Before battle, the Heralds of Ash gather in ritual prayer, chanting hymns and doctrines to affirm their faith in the power of the Emperor burning great effigies of the enemy and invoking blood rights to engage their primal instincts. Once done groups of Hearlds charge forth in Berserk fury as remainder pick up the standards and chant holy prayers for guidance and victory to a steady drumming of war. The relentless advance of the Heralds is a terrifying sight, as the monotonous chant and beat of drums can break even the strongest will. The night before battle, the enemy can hear mutterings emanating from all around, echoed in the pounding drums, stretching the nerve and instilling every man with fear. The unshakable belief of the Heralds of Ash, that they alone can save the galaxy. Any victory won over the Heralds of Ash is only won at a terrible cost, as their fanatical attacks will only ever end when all are dead.
Groups of Heralds are charged beyond the battlefield with hunting down works of false doctrine and those who purveyed it, consigning both to destruction and eradicating flame. On the battlefield, they are tasked with seeking out those things which gave the foe the heart and courage to fight: charismatic leaders, priests, battle flags and champions. Once singled out, they are destroyed with brutal fervour, often far in advance of their own lines in order to do so, with no thought as to their own survival.
A high percentage of Heralds of Ash manifesting some level of psychic ability. A small, but significant percentage are prone to physical mutation. The rate of fatalities among aspirants is frighteningly high. There are also those who argued that the mental scars suffered by those who survived the change were just as deep, instilling a sense of cause and purpose that manifested as unflinching, unreasoning fanaticism bordering on madness, a certainty which could in mere moments turn to insane fury when that purpose was challenged.
A tendency for skin pigmentation to permanently darken and appear Ashen often adopting an unnatural granite-like or ash quality. The Heralds of Aah have a grim determination to do their duty. This is not so much a desire to die as it is an acceptance that death is the only end to the path a Space Marine treads, and everything he does is another step along that path and one closer to his eventual demise. As this condition increases, the Battle-Brother can become more and more fatalistic about his chances. These black moods will not affect his willingness to do his duty nor makes him turn from his brothers, but it can press in upon his squadmates all the same.
Deep within the psyche of every Herald of Ash is a destructive yearning, a battle fury and hunger that must be held in abeyance in every waking moment. Few Battle-Brothers can hold this in check unceasingly -- it is far from unknown for Heralds of Ash to temporarily succumb to its lure at the height of battle. This craving is the Heralds of Ash darkest secret and greatest curse, but it is also their greatest salvation, for it brings with it a humility and understanding of their own failings which make them understand their connection to the Emperor as humanity's warriors.
The Heralds of Ash suffer from a psychic imprint left upon them they don't understand. This can cause them to go insane prior to or during battle and feel a terrible rage that is almost all consuming. Rather than let them face a slow, insane death, Heralds of Ash will form those who have newly succumbed to the Rage into a special unit known as Breakers.
Edited by TechCaptain, 13 November 2020 - 08:44 AM.