The CastigatorsOrigins and Founding
"We are the Emperor's will made manifest!"
Data-File: Chapter symbol, Adeptus Astartes Castigators.
Staunch and stalwart guardians of Humanity, the Castigators were created in the fourteenth great founding of the Legionnes Astartes. As with fully two-thirds of all Space Marine Chapters, the Castigators were formed from the gene-seed of Roboute Guilliman's Ultramarines. In the millennia since their inception, the chapter has carved its name into the annals of Imperial History on countless occasions, ensuring their name is spoken with respect by friend and foe alike. Many glorious Imperial victories can be attributed to the Castigators, including the Zarathustran Crusade, the cleansing of the Symien Expanse and the eradication of the Cult of the Silver Blade.
It is clear to all that the Castigators are loyal and true servants of the Emperor. They are possessed with a purity of purpose that reflects the chapter's genetic purity. When the Adeptus Mechanicus created the Castigators, only the purest progenoid glands were used - an almost excessively paranoid measure considering the exemplary nature of Guilliman's gene-stock. Indeed, many perfectly usable progenoid glands were considered and then discarded by the Genetor-Magi.
The reasons for these measures would seem to be rooted in the thirteenth Astartes founding, the so-called 'Dark Founding'. All records of the thirteenth founding have long since been eradicated or lost, leaving behind only assumption and supposition. Few know exactly what transpired during this period of Imperial history, and none seem prepared to divulge their secrets. Still, it is clear that the Imperium's focus on genetic purity appears to have deeply affected the Castigators to this day.
The Chapter's first Master was a Black Consul by the name of Baraquiel. He was known by his men as 'The Castigator', and was possessed with a fervent desire to purge the enemies of the Emperor for their transgressions. When given the command of the nascent chapter, he bestowed the name 'Castigators' upon the marines, hoping to inspire the same righteous fury in his men.
Once the chapter was founded, the Adeptus Mechanicus gifted them with a newly-crafted Battle Barge from the forges of Mars, the Imperius Excelsis
. Other craft were donated by established chapters such as the Ultramarines. The Castigators headed deep into the Ultima Segmentum on a campaign to prove their worth as servants of the Emperor. Homeworld
After a decade of campaigning, the Castigators found a home on the world of Losanco Secundus. The planet was a celestial anomaly, one of only a handful of planets in the Imperium known to have a 'tidally locked' orbit. The time the planet took to rotate on its axis and the time it took to orbit the system's star were exactly the same. This odd circumstance meant that one half of the planet was shrouded in perpetual darkness whilst the other basked in permanent light and debilitating radiation. The planet should never have sustained life. But it did.
It appeared that millennia ago, an Imperial vessel had crashed onto Losanco. The descendents of those few survivors clung to the barely habitable dark-side, subjected to intense cold. Many of the planet's highest peaks were swathed in ice. Life was an unending struggle against the elements for survival, a struggle that ensured only the strongest could survive. Food was scarce, grown by dim moonlight in areas where streams of warm air reached the dark-side.
By contrast, those few cursed individuals that existed in the eternal day were mutated almost beyond recognition. Losancan legends suggested to the dark-siders that one day the Emperor would appear, bringing light and tranquillity to its troubled people and transforming the planet into a verdant paradise. The legends continued to state that He would only appear when the planet was 'deserving' - when it was freed from the blight of mutants and witches.
The dark-siders had grown to blame the mutants for their predicament, learning to fear and hate the mutants with an almost instinctual loathing for imperfection and disease. Malformed babies were killed rather than be left to survive, suffocated often by their own mothers or family members. This hatred of mutation extended beyond the physical form - those children that displayed burgeoning psychic abilities were killed in public ceremonies of devotion to the Emperor. Small bands of brave and pious individuals would often lead expeditions to the bright-side to try to eradicate the mutants' blasphemous scourge from the planet's surface. Although these primitive individuals had no concept of radiation, they knew that should they spend too long on the bright side, they would weaken and die. Only the hardiest (some would say most fool-hardy) undertook such missions.
This dichotomy between light and dark struck a chord in Baraquiel's soul. Their eternal fight against corruption convinced him that they could serve as a potential source of future Castigators. He ordered a series of rigorous tests to confirm their genetic purity and then began the construction of a base upon the planet's moon.
The Losancans saw the Castigators' actions and came to see them as terrible angels, ferocious emissaries of a God-Emperor that watches over them all the time to ensure they carry out their divine task - the purification of their homeworld. The Castigators are fully aware of the native legends, and have even fostered them simply because they help promote hatred of the mutants. Those children amongst the bands that travel to the light-side to fight the mutants are secretly observed by the Castigators' Chaplains. If one is found worthy, the Chaplain will approach the warband and take the child to become one of His angels.
The Fortress-Monastery of the Castigators, known as the Sanctuary, is buried deep within the moon of Losanco Secundus. It is here that all the records of the Castigators' actions are kept, where the trophies won by the chapter are stored, and where the marines of the chapter train. A large part of the fortress-monastery is given over to places of worship; indeed, each company maintains an extensive chapel. These massive structures provide both a place of worship and a record of war. Campaign banners and company standards drape the walls; the armour and accoutrements of long-dead heroes remain displayed to inspire the living. Many of the chapels hold the spoils of war. It is here that every marine whose body has been recovered has been laid to rest. These sacred crypts are also where the Dreadnoughts of the chapter are allowed to rest; remaining alongside their dead comrades until the chapter calls them into service.Battlefield Doctrine
The Castigators fight as one would expect from a successor of the Ultramarines; by following the dogma of the Codex Astartes as laid out by Roboute Guilliman himself. As a result, the chapter is flexible and can respond to most battlefield situations that may arise. Before each battle, the force gathers together in prayer to affirm their faith. The higher ranks of the chapter - especially Captains and Chaplains - are skilled orators and put these skills to good use rousing a righteous fury in the hearts and minds of those beneath them. When the chapter fights, it is sustained by a deeply-held belief that they are the guardians of humanity. It is their divine duty to defend the Emperor's flock, and they will not accept failure in this, the holiest of all endeavours. As battle is joined, icons of faith and sacred standards are raised high and then planted into the ground, the chapter vowing to make the enemy pay a heavy price for each step taken.
Because of the chapter's unflinching bravery, even the Collegiate Strategos has paid tribute to the Castigators, its annals acknowledging them as one of the finest examples of the Imperial maxim 'death before dishonour'. The Castigators are ferocious warriors, known on occasion to fight to the last man rather than admit defeat. Battles against the chapter are always bloody and hard-fought, simply because the Castigators refuse to retreat unless their commanders order such.
Some have criticised the Castigators, claiming that such tactics waste valuable manpower and resources. The Castigators have - thus far successfully - refuted these accusations, claiming that rather than single-mindedly fighting their way into certain death, they judge their fights well to ensure that the enemy is eradicated. To the Castigators, a wasteful death is pointless, but a justified death is the greatest honour. Chapter Organisation
The Castigators adhere to the Codex Astartes for the most part, although slight adjustments have been made over the millennia. There are ten companies; the first consists of the chapter's veterans, the most skilled warriors who have received additional training, particularly in the use of Terminator armour. The chapter possesses only twenty-one venerated suits of Terminator Armour, and these are worn by the greatest warriors in the chapter. When not in use they occupy positions of honour in the First Company's Chapel of Heroes. Should a Terminator fall, the techmarines will painstakingly repair the armour so that it may see battle again. The first company typically disperses to fight alongside the battle-companies, allowing the more experienced warriors to impart their wisdom to their brethren.
The second, third, fourth and fifth companies are the battle-companies, each with a mixture of tactical, devastator and assault squads. Castigator battle-forces have been often observed to use far more Dreadnoughts than equivalent forces of other chapters. This is in part because chapter reveres these warriors for the heroic deeds they achieved in life, and also because they echo the Emperor Himself - their bodies are shattered but still they continue to fight the enemies of Humankind. Their courage, determination and tenacity are an example which every marine in the chapter strives to emulate. The ancient warriors encased within these sarcophagi can prove devastating on the field, and company Captains often seek their counsel before committing their forces.
The sixth and seventh companies are tactical reserve companies; the eighth and ninth are assault and devastator reserve companies, respectively. These companies also have the honour of serving alongside dreadnoughts. It is here that these ancient warriors can impart their wisdom to educate their kin. The Castigators' tenth company, the scout company, is small when compared to other chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, mainly due to the chapter's extremely thorough recruitment processes. Much like the first company, the scouts almost never fight as one force. Instead they are assigned to the battle companies where they can gain experience alongside their elders.
The newly-created Castigators chapter had a number of Librarians, drawn from the Black Consuls. During their initial ten-year crusade, the Castigators also recruited a number of psychically-gifted initiates from the worlds they fought upon. As the original Librarians died out, and the Castigators continued to recruit from a world where the pyschic population was eradicated, the chapter began to absorb the Losancan belief system. They could no longer countenance 'witches' sullying the chapter's name, and as such the responsibility of keeping a record of the chapter's history was given to ordinary brother-marines who adopted the role of 'Librarian'. Now each of the Castigators' brother-marines will undertake a period of service in the chapter's Librarium once every decade, working to duplicate ancient texts and to pass on the stories of the Castigators' past. These 'Librarians' accompany Company Captains, recording the chapter's history, recounting tales of battles fought throughout the millennia, and learning lessons from the actions of others. This allows every battle-brother to be intimately familiar with the chapter's history of warfare.
Like the majority of Space Marine chapters, the Castigators honour ancient pacts with the Adeptus Mechanicus that stretch back millennia to their very founding. Those amongst the Castigators with an affinity for technology are dispatched to Mars, where they are initiated into the Martian tech-cults. This is acknowledged as a necessary process - without the techmarines, the Adeptus Astartes would be left unable to tend to the machine spirits, to observe the rites that ensure continued operation of their wargear, or to repair damage taken on the field of battle. But the process comes at a lamentable price - the loss of battle-brothers to the worship of the Omnissiah. The techmarines are mysterious and capricious, aloof and distant. Their inscrutable ways are not easily understood by most of the battle-brethren. Indeed, some of the more zealous factions among the chapter distrust the techmarines. To them, the worship of the Omnissiah is at best dangerous, and at worst heretical. It is a duty of the Chapter Master to ensure that these ideological tensions are defused and that no blood is spilt.
It is said that some of the Castigators' techmarines struggle their entire lives to resolve the differences between their chapter's creed and the dictates of the Liber Mechanicus. These tortured souls keep their distance from their beloved battle-brothers that hate them so, seeking solace among the lobotomised servitors and the machine-spirits that inhabit the chapter's equipment.Chapter Cult and Belief System
The harsh lifestyle of Losanco Secundus's people ensures that they are strong, used to hardship and skilled at hunting and destroying deviants and mutants. The chapter fosters this intolerance for mutants in its recruits, regarding them as an abomination against the Emperor, to be exterminated with extreme prejudice. The threat of the mutant is so great that the Castigators put themselves, and their greatest prize - their purity - in harm's way to battle the enemies of the Emperor. Much like the people of Losanco Secundus fighting the mutants of the day-side, the Castigators sacrifice all that is dear to them to rid the Imperium of a greater taint. It is a thankless task, but the Castigators undertake the challenge willingly.
The Chaos powers are abhorred by the chapter, despised for their warping touch. Those that have allowed themselves to submit to temptation and fall to Chaos are especially hated by the Castigators. As far as they are concerned, it is unthinkable to allow oneself to stray from the Emperor's path and into the worship of the Dark Gods. Those that submit to the dark powers are weak and must be killed before their heresy can corrupt others. The Castigators are known to have participated in several protracted engagements against Chaos Space Marines, including the so-called 'Hands of Hashut' chapter and the Word Bearers legion, for whom the Castigators harbour a special hatred.
The Castigators are known to adhere to philosophies that could be compared to Inquisitor Goldo's principles of Monodomination. They are utterly ruthless and unforgiving when it comes to those they perceive as aiding the enemies of the Imperium. Mutants, aliens, psykers and religious deviants are all to be called to account for their activities. The only punishment for those who stray from the Emperor's path is death. The Castigators are utterly devoted to this belief and have in the past even been openly hostile towards loyalist Space Marines they have perceived to have a mutated or debased gene-seed. They utterly refuse to work alongside aliens such as Eldar or Kroot.
Whilst some have called the Castigators overly aggressive, narrow-minded, or bigoted, none can deny the fervour with which they go about their tasks. The Castigators have influential allies that allow them to continue unmolested; some traditional and puritan Inquisitors have gone so far as to openly applaud the Castigators, seeing their actions as those of the truly faithful. The chapter has worked in concert with puritan elements of the Emperor's Inquisition on several occasions throughout its history. It is not uncommon for such Inquisitors to work with militant cults in the Imperium such as the Redemptionists to create frenzied mobs and stir up hatred, intolerance and xenophobia amongst planetary populations. These beliefs are similar to those of the Castigators, and this has lead to them aiding such cults at the urging of an Inquisitor.
Above all, the Castigators revere the Emperor for His sacrifice and for all He had to endure to ensure that humanity survived the dark days of the Horus Heresy. He surrendered more than most can even imagine. Many of the chapter's marines commit acts of self-mutilation in an attempt to further their own spiritual growth. These acts are overlooked by the Chapter's commanders, as they encourage piety. The pain is welcomed, and is a small price to pay for understanding even a small sliver of the Emperor's suffering and sacrifice.
It has been noted by Imperial observers that the Castigators tolerate both the Astropaths and those of the Navigator Gene. This has led some to criticise the Castigators' belief system as hypocritical. The Castigators roundly refute such allegations, arguing that both institutions were created and sanctioned by the Emperor - just as the Adeptus Astartes were.
In memory of their auspicious founding, every fourteen years those companies not currently engaged in battle meet at the Sanctuary. Battle-brothers, comrades and friends are allowed to meet and honour their success together. Great trophies are brought back to the fortress monastery and relics are paraded in front of the assembled marines. Each and every dreadnought in the chapter is awoken and great prayer services are held to honour the fallen, to remember the great moments of the chapter's history and to reaffirm oaths of loyalty, piety and faith. The ceremonies last for fourteen days and then the chapter disperses once more to where they are needed to continue the protection of the Imperium of Man. Neophytes inducted into the chapter during this two-week period are seen as blessed and are usually predicted to become great warriors.Gene-seed
The Castigators are able to trace their lineage back to Roboute Guilliman of the Ultramarines. The Ultramarines are renowned for possessing the purest of all loyalist legions' gene-seeds, and that purity has been passed on to their successors.
The Castigators' Apothecaries demand absolute and total excellence in ensuring this purity is maintained. Great stead is placed on health and purity, and the Apothecarion makes sure that only the strongest and healthiest of Losanco Secundus' populace are selected to become marines. The trials for neophytes are particularly stringent, and the Apothecaries take great care to ensure that the gene-seed does not develop flaws or mutate in any way. Any neophytes that exhibit signs of mutation are usually inducted as serfs or dissected as subjects of study in an attempt to determine what went wrong. Progenoid glands extracted from dead marines may not be implanted if there is any suggestion that they may be tainted.
This (arguably excessive) thoroughness means that the Castigators replace losses at a slower rate than in most marine chapters. In recent years there have been few occasions when the Castigators have been at full chapter strength. The Castigators contend, however, that their rigidly maintained purity makes them more than a match for their foes.
Data-File: Veteran Sergeant of the Fifth Company, Adeptus Astartes Castigators.
-----------------------Acknowledgement and Thanks go to:
The Literati; Aurelius Rex, Brother-Librarian Akritedes, Joker, Nine Breaker, Rogue Trader and Several Concerned Cricketers. The Illuminati; Captain Seato/Penitent Dreadnought, Cpt_Tiberius and Tubal.
Edited by Commissar Molotov, 08 December 2006 - 12:54 AM.