'Let us light the way, Brothers!' - First Chapter Master Alcaeus Rex
On the first day of the thirty-second millennium, the historical third founding was initiated. Created from the genetic material of the old Legions, completely new Chapters would bolster the numbers of the overexerted Adeptus Astartes. Spurred by Abaddon the Despoiler’s first Black Crusade, several of these Chapters were drafted into the Astartes Praeses, tasked with reinforcing Imperial forces in the troubled Segmentum Obscurus and protecting the Imperium from further invasions from the Eye of Terror. One such Chapter was made from the gene-seed of Rogal Dorn's Imperial Fists, chosen for his Legion's unflinching bravery during the defense of Terra. They were named the Heralds of Light and would bring the Emperor's radiance to the darkest corners of the galaxy.
Captain Alcaeus of the Imperial Fists was honored to oversee the birth of this new Chapter and accepted without hesitation. A native of Holy Terra itself, Alcaeus lived by the example of Rogal Dorn and considered himself a true servant of the Emperor. He was renowned for his frontline leadership and his almost optimistic nature, a rare trait in the dark times following the Heresy. With a hand-picked cadre of his most trusted brothers, Captain Alcaeus began molding the first recruits into the ultimate champions of humanity. Gifted with a mighty Battle Barge, the Undying Light, and several Strike Cruisers from the forges of Mars, Alcaeus lead his Chapter towards Segmentum Obscurus.
After nearly two centuries, their initial crusade came to an end with the First Defense of Lucerna. The battle saw the entire Chapter deployed on and above Lucerna, a planet cut off from the Imperium during the Horus Heresy, now occupied by a large warband of Word Bearers. Although the losses were grievous, the Heralds were victorious and recognized as saviors by the Lucernan people. The Lucernan had been defiant in the face of Chaos and fought bravely, despite their inferior training and equipment. Impressed, Alcaeus took Lucerna under his protection and claimed it as the Chapter’s new homeworld.
Since that time the Heralds have made their name in the fight against Chaos. During the Age of Apostasy, the Heralds were nearly wiped out fighting the traitor hordes taking advantage of the internal power struggle. The Chapter was spread thin during the Gothic War trying to contain the invading forces, hunting down bands of Raiders who managed to slip through the Cadian Gate. For nearly nine millennia the Heralds of Light have stood their ground, and Lucerna has been a bulwark in the defense of the Imperium. Unyielding as a lighthouse; a symbol of humanity in a dark tempest. Time after time, the Heralds have suffered horrible losses and their morale has been pushed to the limit. Yet, when the Thirteenth Black Crusade poured out from the Eye of Terror, the Herald’s resolve was not enough to save their homeworld.
Settled during the Great Crusade, this prosperous civilized world became a testament of the Emperor’s vision for the human empire. Due to its isolation during the Heresy, Lucerna was unscathed by the fires of war, and remained a tranquil world until it was rediscovered. Even in times of conflict between the various Lucernan states, the people raised great leaders, able to unite the whole population and uphold the harmony. The great Lucernan library, cherished by both the people and their Astartes protectors, contained art, relics and documents from the times before the Heresy, ensuring that knowledge of the Imperium survived. Lucerna never forgot about the Emperor, and in time the people came to believe that He would one day return.
After rejoining the Imperium, the planet became the primary source of recruits for the Chapter and the Lucernan Planetary Defense Force evolved into a formidable military organisation. Fighting side by side with the Heralds on many occasions, even off-world when necessary, defending the Lucernan system and beyond. Fully aware of the Astartes presence on their world, the Lucernan populace looked towards their guardians with great reverence. To have a member of the family join the Chapter’s ranks was an immense honor.
No matter how capable the Lucernan PDF was, it would not be enough. As the Thirteenth Black Crusade laid waste to the Segmentum, the Heralds divided their forces over several battlefronts. In the turmoil that followed the opening of the Great Rift, Lucerna was cut off from the bulk of the Herald’s strength. Contact was lost and only a handful of Astartes remained on the planet. The Heralds themselves never learned the exact details of what happened, but when they finally returned to Lucerna, the planet was overrun by Chaos forces and warp storms threatened to consume the system.
Although bled dry from the Black Crusade, what remained of the Heralds of Light charged into the fray in a desperate attempt to save their people. They managed to temporarily secure their Fortress-Monastery, evacuating as many as they could from all over the planet while turning ancient cities to dust with orbital bombardment to keep the enemy at bay. Stubborn as they were, even the Heralds realized that staying would mean their doom. And so, they left Lucerna, their home for millennia, barely escaping with less than three companies’ worth of Astartes, spread among the battered remains of their fleet.
'They will be remembered! They will be avenged!' - Current Chapter Master Marcus Savvor
Following the fall of Lucerna, the Heralds of Light became a fleet-based Chapter. The Undying Light, the flagship of their fleet, once again serves as the Chapter’s home. This venerable Battle Barge bears the scars of countless battles and is one of their most valued assets. Of the rest of their once impressive fleet only four Strike Cruisers survived and a handful of support vessels. Aside from the few artifacts they managed to secure during their escape, many priceless relics of the Chapter's long and glorious history were also lost.
The Chapter might have been disbanded at any other point in history had it not been for the arrival of a Torchbearer task force from the Imdomitus Crusade, carrying Primaris Astartes and the technology to create more. The Heralds embraced the reinforcements as what it was called – the “Primarch’s Gift”. When presented with the opportunity to cross the Rubicon Primaris, all who could did, seeing it as the final test to prove themselves worthy to continue as a Chapter. Some fell to the procedure, but many more survived.
The Heralds of Light remain a Codex Adherent Chapter, having followed the traditional ten company structure for most of their existence. While still under strength, the companies have nearly recovered their numbers. Armed with renewed strength and purpose, the Heralds have vowed to avenge their fallen brothers and hope to one day retake their homeworld.
'We fight the battles others can not win. We suffer the pain others can not endure. We face the horrors others can not withstand.
For we are Astartes; This is our duty and we embrace it.' - Chapter Teachings
As members of the Astartes Praeses, duty requires the Heralds to frequently fight alongside other Imperial organizations. They have gained a reputation for throwing themselves into combat to support their allies, occasionally forgoing comprehensive planning in favor of providing aid as fast as possible. As a consequence, the Heralds do not always fight on their own terms, having participated in numerous defensive operations as well as other tasks unusual for Astartes. This approach has proven to be very strenuous and often stretches the Chapter thin as they strive to answer every call for aid. The Heralds themselves see this as a natural part of their responsibilities, not a strategic weakness, but a tactical challenge to overcome.
Whilst they have been known for their lack of planning, it is in the heat of battle the Heralds have gained their renown. The Heralds have always been a flexible fighting force, able to quickly react to an ever-changing combat situation and have become famous for their ability to adapt and improvise. Cooperation with allied organizations has always been important to the Heralds, and to effectively work together with another fighting force, one must be able to take advantage of each other’s strengths. As such, they strive to excel in all areas of combat so that they may better support their allies.
Like many descendants of the Imperial Fists, the Heralds have inherited a reluctance to accept defeat. This can sometimes blind the Heralds to risk, as they fight on where other Chapters would fall back. The Heralds themselves view it as absolutely necessary for a servant of the Emperor to be willing to die in battle, and the Chaplains constantly preach of self-sacrifice. Only by the supreme sacrifice of some of the greatest Imperial heroes, like Rogal Dorn or the Emperor himself, does the Imperium still stand. It is their resolute nature that keeps them fighting on where others would give up.
During their existence, the Heralds have developed a conviction that the Emperor will one day rise from the Golden Throne, and unite humanity against Chaos. Their duty is to keep the Imperium safe, until the Emperor returns and leads them in a second Great Crusade. With the advent of the Indomitus Crusade, the Heralds belief has only strengthened, fueling their actions with a near zealous fervor, unlike anything they have displayed before. Although this is undoubtedly influenced by their recent losses as well.
The Heralds of Light bear an intense hatred for Chaos in all its forms, and it is abhorred for its corrupting touch. Too often has the influence of chaos, manipulating the minds of men, been witnessed by the Heralds, and often is the corruption of one man enough to throw an entire planet in devastation. Falling to the Dark Gods is the greatest betrayal to the Emperor and cannot be tolerated. The Ruinous Powers is considered to be the ultimate threat to the human empire, and the Heralds show no mercy when it comes to the annihilation of Chaos. They have been especially vigorous during the various Black Crusades over the millennia, and this in turn has earned them the hatred of many Chaos worshipers. To them, Lucerna was the greatest provocation, a torch burning with the flame of the False Emperor.
Like all successors of Dorn, the zygote cultures required to grow both the Betcher's gland and the Sus-an membrane have been lost or damaged over the millennia, but the Heralds do not mourn these losses. Despite their close proximity to the Eye of Terror, the Heralds' geneseed has remained stable with no signs of mutation. Now, with the integration of the Primaris technology, the geneseed’s integrity has been solidified. The Heralds are once again ready to fight against the endless horrors of the universe, and bring light to the darkness.
Edited by Codex Grey, 16 March 2022 - 01:28 PM.