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Index Astartes: Heralds of Light

- - - - - Codex Grey DIY 3rd Founding Imperial Fists Successor Loyalist Astartes Praeses

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Index Astartes: Heralds of Light



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T
he Heralds of Light are steadfast defenders and servants of the Imperium. As members of the Astartes Praeses, they were created with the express purpose of guarding the regions surrounding the Eye of Terror, and have taken their task to heart. Where other Chapters are free to seek fame and glory, these unsung heroes have stood valiantly against the traitor hordes since the thirty-second millennium. Even now with the galaxy split in half and their homeworld in ruins, the Chapter keeps fighting and refuse to abandon hope.






Origins

 

'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.


Homeworld


The Flame of the Emperor
The Watchtower, the now ruined Fortress-Monastery of the Heralds, sits dark and silent surrounded by ice and rock near the northern pole..

Built in the architectural style of Rogal Dorn, undeniably inspired by the defenses of Terra, the Fortress-Monastery was an impressive sight. The outer layers consisted mainly of massive walls and defense mechanisms, while most of the Chapter facilities were below the surface, as an added protection against orbital bombardment.

But in the center, on the highest point of the Watchtower, a great fire burned for millennia, kept alive by a constant stream of a natural gas that produced a bright blue flame. Reflected by the ice of the surrounding tundra, melding with northern lights, the Fortress bathed in an ethereal aura.

Known as the Flame of the Emperor, this fire was of great symbolic importance to the Heralds, representing the light of Mankind in the darkness of space. Though the great fire atop the Watchtower has gone out, a remnant of this flame still burns in the inner chambers of the Undying Light, fueled by a dwindling supply of gas from their lost homeworld.
Lucerna is located in Segmentum Obscurus in the galactic north, south of the Eye of Terror in the Turbatus sub-sector. A beautiful terrestrial planet covered in wide oceans, deep forests and high mountains, similar to Holy Terra of ages long gone, Lucerna stood in stark contrast to much of its surrounding systems. To the Heralds, Lucerna was the very symbol of everything the Emperor fought for and made it their sacred duty to forever protect Lucerna, no matter what.
 
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. 
 
 
Organisation

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'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.


Combat Doctrine

 

'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.
 
 
Beliefs

 
Venerable Brother Morpheus
Reclusiarch Morpheus had served for almost two centuries when Abaddon's third Black Crusade was unleashed upon the Imperium, and the Heralds of Light became engaged in the defense of the Kurrak system. On the ice steppes of Hive World Kurrak Prime, Morpheus was mortally wounded defending the largest Hive against a massive chaos offensive.

Though many of his brothers had fallen, Morpheus refused to give in to his wounds. When he finally returned to the battlefield a year later, entombed within the armored shell of a dreadnought, his presence reinvigorated the Imperial defense, leading to the total destruction of the chaos forces in the system.

In the end, the Imperium stood victorious, and the forces of chaos retreated back to the Eye of Terror. As the Heralds of Light returned to Lucerna to rebuild, Morpheus was placed deep within the vaults of the Watchtower where he would rest. His only request was to be awoken when Abaddon returned. For every subsequent Black Crusade, Brother Morpheus has risen from his slumber to defend Humanity from the servants of the Dark Gods.

It is said he is still active, sealed within the innermost chambers of the Watchtower, waiting for the return of his brothers.
The cult of the Heralds places great emphasis on humility, self-sacrifice, and loyalty. They see themselves as servants of the Emperor and therefore protectors of humanity. All who live under the light of the Emperor are worthy of their protection, and the Heralds are known for their tolerance of both ordinary humans and even ab-humans. Unlike many Chapters, the Heralds are not exceedingly proud or self-absorbed, but humble and reserved. They exist to serve mankind, not the other way around. The Heralds value the division of power in the empire as absolutely necessary, but they also strongly believe that if mankind is to be victorious, the forces of the Imperium must work together. Their humbleness and willingness to collaborate has earned them many allies within the Adeptus Astartes and other Imperial organizations.

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.

 
Geneseed


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.


 

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Original Discussion Topic


Edited by Codex Grey, 16 March 2022 - 01:28 PM.

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Insignium Astartes: Heralds of Light




 

'Friend or foe, let them all know - we carry His light for all to see.' - Reclusiarch Zuros


Organized closely along the lines set out by the Codex Astartes, the Heralds of Light use many of the most common heraldic conventions among Codex Adherent Chapters. But throughout the millennia the Heralds have forged their own heraldic traditions that set them apart from their brother Astartes. The most notable markings include the way they denote the different Companies. Each Company has its own honorific name and symbol, usually displayed on the left knee, often symbolizing the special duties of their Captains. Each Company and it's members might use their symbol in different ways, as in the case of the Flame Keepers of the Veteran Company. Several of the more zealous Flame Keepers, including Company Chaplain Zuros, have almost covered their entire armor in blue flames since the fall of their homeworld. 


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Edited by Codex Grey, 07 March 2022 - 03:38 PM.

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