|This article, A House Divided, was written by Algrim Whitefang and BadHoplite. Please do not edit or 'acquire' this fiction without the writers' permission.|
A House Divided is the name of one of the darkest chapters in the Astral Serpents' Chapter history. Following the death of their former High Chief (Chapter Master) Bryn, who died due to unknown causes, a Clan Council was gathered upon their homeworld of Viperae to discuss who next to elect to the esteemed position of High Chief. During the ongoing discussion, one of the Chapter's captains revealed his perfidy and attempted to stage a coup in order to seize the position of High Chief and turn his Chapter to the worship of the Dark Gods. Whispering promises of prestige and power to the ever-prideful Captain Velrog, the proud warriors was twisted by the corrupting influence of Chaos. Following the failure of his attempted power grab, Velrog and his followers fled the wrath of their former brethren. Two years later, they were tracked to the Acorid System upon the agri-world of Clovis, where the might of the entire Chapter was brought down upon their traitorous former kin. A massive battle ensued, and Velrog was killed, Quilon, the traitorous former Seer of the 5th Company, and the remaining traitors managed to teleport aboard a strike cruiser and fled the system. The Chapter has vowed to hunt their traitorous kin until they are all eradicated, and their Chapter vindicated in the eyes of the Emperor.
In 781.M41, High Chief Bryn died at the age of 1,012 due to unknown causes. Following his death, the Clan Council gathered in their fortress-monastery to decide who would become the next High Chief. It was during this meeting that Velrog, Captain of the 5th Company conspired with several of his fellow battle-brothers and launched a coup in a brazen attempt to turn the Chapter to the Ruinous Powers. Soon, several squads of other companies whom he had earned the loyalty of, turned on their own companies and attempted to seize control of their ships. Velrogs so-called "Baptists" were only able to seize control of five of the twelve ships they had targeted, although Velrogs was able to kill the Chapter Champion, three of the Serpent Guard and the Captain of the 2nd Company, his failure to capture the majority of the fleet and to kill the Clan Council caused him to flee from Viperae and go into hiding. In 783.M41, Velrog and his Baptists were discovered upon the world of Clovis in the Acorid System, and soon the full might of the chapter was brought down upon the traitors. A battle quickly ensued upon the agri-world of Clovis. During the battle, Velrog was slain by Ganvan, Champion of the 6th Company, in single combat. Following his death, the rest of the Baptists, led by Quilon - former Seer of the 5th Company - fled Clovis by entering a warp rift summoned by Quilon aboard the Strike Cruiser Pale Hand. Following this massive battle, Vetek Ulkan, Captain of the 1st Company, who had taken up the mantle as leader of the chapter, was officially named High Chief of the Astral Serpents by the Clan Council, and as his first act, he nominated Ganvan to be the Chapter Champion of the Astral Serpents.