~ The XX Legion - Veilwalkers ~
Legion Number: XX
Legion Size: ~65,000 at Ullanor - Wide autonomy and deployment make accurate estimates impossible.
Rift-Strider: long periods from legion contact and the highly independent nature of the courts lead to non standard modifications and adaptations. The gold splatter present on many units indigenous to the Veil is as a result of curious interaction with Aether winds of unknown origin.
Legion Modus Operandi: Widespread use of unconventional auxiliaries in standard operations. Reliance on personal combat prowess and psychic gifts. Use of various archeotech and xenotech encouraged. Known for judicious deployment of real-space and chrono distortion devices. Every member of the legion exhibits at least low level psychic ability.
Primarch Name: Oberon Ve'Argent, The Eternal King, The Whyche-King of the Silver Citadel, Consort to She who is Shattered.
Homeworld: Dite - exoworld located just beyond the galactic rim, artificially moved during the dark age of technology, it’s proximity to what locals refer to as the 'Veil', a series of bizarre realspace/warpspace phenomena possibly point to its placement as being a deliberate move in order to further study the area, a darker rumour suggests that Dite is the last remnants of an empire, a border world saved from the reality shattering weapons unleashed on the core, the Veil left behind in the aftermath.
The surface of the world is devoid of flora and light, the only landmarks being twenty-seven citadels, the largest, oldest and template for those that followed being The Silver Tower: a vast moonlight clad edifice reaching out into space, its highest reaches now playing home to docking facilities of the Veilwalkers fleet. At its apex sits a great brazier, the light it emits a glimpse into the core of the world below. Before discovery the concentric rings of walls at the base of the Tower played host to a semi constant conflict between the Paladins of the Eternal king's court and various forms of twisted xeno beast. Behind these walls cavernous openings lead deep into the planet, each rift leading to ship manufactorum and staging grounds; further still lie great man made caverns, hewn from rock, each hiding towns and barracks, cities and great forges; until at the root of the tower above sits a space so large that its roof disappears from view and should one wander lost among the glades and finely wrought palaces that dot the landscape you would think yourself on a paradise planet of old humanity. It is here at the origin of the tower where the beating heart of Dite dwells; a fusion reactor of ancient providence, root like cables feeding all life on the planet with power, its light harnessed and allowed to bleed out and illuminate the caverns below and the tower above.
The planet's population is to the outside viewer, split in two parts: its living masses, its hosts of armsmen and craftspeople fall under the remit of the Eternal King, as do the astartes of the Veilwalkers and the ships of the fleet; to the Shattered Queen belong the tech adepts, and the golem-smith, the stargazers, rift makers and the dead; whose bodies are willingly given to the Queen, to be used as the raw scaffold upon which to build her hosts.
Below the King and the Queen serve their courts, some greater and some lesser, each a pale reflection of the beings to whom they owe fealty.
The great lie of Dite, one known only to the highest classes, is that the masses ruled over by the courts of the aristocracy have never been truly human in aeons, instead their flesh and bodies grown in vast laboratories in the depths of the tower; the vat born babies carried by the Queen's handmaidens to deserving parents in the metropolis' below.
Pre-Primarch History: created after the unification wars were all but won from the stock of Franc and Europa before being split up into pioneer companies and attached to smaller expeditionary fleets, they gained a close relationship with magos of minor explorator sects often functioning as security during the investigation of real space tears and long dead alien civilisations. Their culture at the time was rough and superstitious, the size of the pioneer companies requiring little in the way of concrete command structure, their psychic gifts muted compared to what they would become, wielded in the manner of rough blunt tools of death. Their preeminent master was named Bedwyn Gelt, a doughty and brutal commander who exemplified the culture at the time, indeed it would be inaccurate to name him as legion master for any reason save expediency, for as the great crusade reached out into the stars the legion would never gain the sense of cohesion or identity as the others, Gelt's Bone Eaters casting a shadow on the pages of history distinct to that of Athtar Misandral’s Sepulcral Guard. The sorcery of the XX at the time was considered more an oddity of their geneseed: gifts of foresight poorly understood and employed, psychic power channelled into mighty blows and gouts of energy.
Post-Discovery History: Upon discovery of their primarch, a call to reunite the legion was issued, but would take over a decade before the whole host was assembled, Oberon would make no effort to break up the bonds of brotherhood that bound sections of the fledgling Veilwalkers together, instead pioneers companies would become Courts, taking on their names and their holdings; for example Misandral’s Sepulcral Guard would be reborn under the name of Fortebraccio, and the matriarch of that Court would be charged with arming and supplying the 26th going forward. One change Oberon did impose on the legion as a whole was the pursuit of the strict code of honour held by the nobles with whom he was raised; no longer would strength be wielded like a cudgel against friend or foe, nor the psychic gifts all legionnaires possessed be left to wilt or flourish at the whimsy of chance. Indeed the legion’s prolonged stay in the Veil during this reorganisation would see their innate psychic powers grow under the baleful light overhead. Although battle would still see the Veilwalkers set sword and axe against the foe, bolstered by their gifts, Oberon would instruct them in clairvoyance and far-sight, in bending the fabric of the Veil and tearing at the skin of reality; the forced isolation of Dite giving way to an alternate perspective, removed from the act of building a new world, one could come to consider the kind of world to build. In the Courts the Veilwalkers found a dual purpose, no longer simply the brutish guardians or dispossessed orphans of the pioneer companies, their opposites in the Dite nobility saw them become more: Artists, poets and craftsmen, hours and days spent in the company of soft spoken wrights and alabaster skinned maidens exploring their identities beyond the nameless attack dogs of yore, their roles as guardians and creators of peace, the necessity to destroy but afterwards to rebuild and to teach, the fruitlessness of a world built on by an unenlightened conqueror on the back of unlearned populace. Even after the fleets left the Veil and took their place once more in the Great Crusade, the relationship between mirrored halves continued, the ships and forces now bolstered and crewed by all aspects of the Courts.