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Index Astartes: Depthwatch

- - - - - Messor Loyalist DIY Cursed Ambush

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The Depthwatch Chapter
Risen From the Unknown


here exists only a small, albeit dedicated, sect of Imperial scholarship that still gives credence to stories of the Depthwatch Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. Though a number of references to marines bearing the armor and heraldry associated with the Depthwatch exist, they are only that: references. No reputable accounts, much less recordings, have been found that would truly confirm that the Chapter existed. It has only been through the sponsorship of a small and relatively insignificant dynasty of Inquisitors that the search for information regarding the Chapter still continues. There is still much debate within their circles, but the majority belief among these scholars and Inquisitors is that the Depthwatch was created during the 24th Founding and came to be stationed in the Segmentum Tempestus, where most of the myths originate, and which aligned with the need for fresh Imperial defenses at the time. It is generally assumed that the Chapter must have restricted itself to patrolling reaches of empty border space, regions that might make tempting openings for xenos incursions. This fits with the few existing records of materiel requisitions to the region for which any notation on the recipients has been lost.

Many of those searching for the truth behind the Depthwatch have long held the belief that somewhere in the galaxy, its progenitor may still hold records that would finally solve the puzzle, but between the reticence of many Astartes to allow Inquisitorial interference in their affairs, and the lack of any hint even to what genetic lineage the Depthwatch bore, no search has yet proved fruitful, and the trail has long been cold. The search has recently been rekindled, though, following reports of the bodies of Primaris marines vanishing from the battlefields where they fell, and the strange Astartes that always seem to be present when it happens.

The Blasphemous Truth, whispered from tomes in the Black Library

Home World

t would be a great triumph for those pursuing knowledge of the Depthwatch to ascertain even what might have been their home sector, let alone a home world. In the past the stories and legends attributed to the Chapter have originated in the Segmentum Tempestus, and new attention has been brought to the region as separate forces of multiple space marine chapters, including the Champions Eternal, the Wolfspear, the Moritficators, and the Raven Guard have raised claims of unidentified, but ostensibly loyalist astartes, absconding with the bodies of fallen Primaris marines. With the voice of the Raven Guard involved, more groups within the Inquisition have begun to take interest, while the Champions Eternal have vowed to find and punish the desecrators themselves.

Turn the pages. Go deeper.


ho or where the Depthwatch recruited to their ranks is impossible for Imperial scholars to know, given the much more fundamental questions that they still cannot answer. If some feudal world ever contributed its youth to their ranks, no record of it has been uncovered, though not for lack of trying.

Read, mortal, know the truth hidden by the Empyrean.

Combat Doctrine

ollected myths and songs associated with the Depthwatch paint a picture of a force focused on ambush tactics. Epics, their origins lost to oral tradition, tell of "star sailors" who made use of celestial bodies like asteroid fields and nebulae to strike unexpectedly at invading enemies. More than a few of the tales describe them striking from all directions, always seeking to remove any chance of retreat in order to utterly destroy their foes, rather than simply repel them.

That truth is dark should come as no surprise.


ike their recruitment methods, the scant information that researchers have gathered over the centuries is not nearly enough to support guesses as to how the Depthwatch was organized.

Like knowledge, survival demands sacrifice.


ccasionally the debates that take place about the chapter broach the subject of their beliefs, more specifically their loyalty, but the discourse is only questions, never answers, and from decade to decade popular opinion sways on whether this lost chapter was traitorous or true.

Reality and belief, eternally intertwined.


he genetic origin of the Depthwatch is as lost to the Imperium as the rest of the Chapter's history, a subject of endless discussion among the tiny faction of scholars that still defend the Chapter’s existence. While a few go as far as to try inferring lineage from the scant descriptions of the Chapter’s character, most others deride anything less than verified genetic data, something that most researchers have given up ever finding.
The same seed engenders both truth and lies.

Chapter Tactic

Warrior Apparitions
Unnatural mist and improbable pools of water seed the battlefield moments before the Depthwatch arrives. Their sudden appearance, and the strange occurrences that seem to accompany them keep their enemies off balance until it's too late.
When resolving an attack with a ranged weapon against a <Depthwatch> unit more than 12" away, the unit counts as having the benefits of cover. Enemy units within 3" of a unit with this tactic suffer -1 to their Leadership.
Memory woven from the recollections of Men and Aeldari

Discussion thread: HERE
A semi-formal pdf version is now available in the downloads section HERE.

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