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Aulus Caelius is an infamous Veteran Decanus Brother-Initiate of the Ordinators Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. He was seconded to Deathwatch and the Ordo Xenos as a penitentiary sentence for his costly failure in a battle against a raiding fleet led by the Dark Eldar Kabal of the Screaming Heart in a raid on an Imperial Chartist Convoy carrying pilgrims and wounded patients to the Azuran Sector Ecclesiarchial Hospital and Shrine world of Encendion while fleeing unrest in the Southwestern Segmentum Pacificus that was deemed to have resulted in the death of his Inmintanii (Veteran Ranged-Combat Specialists) Squad, 6 other Ordinators, over 400 serf crew, and nearly 60,000 Imperial pilgrims and voidsmen.
Aulus was born to a peasant family on the Knightworld of Tharan V in the early 8th century M41. Recruited by the Ordinators in the annual Tournament of the Aspirants held each year on his homeworld, he quickly proved himself highly adept with both the bolter and combat blade. In discovering this natural skill - greater than most in the chapter - he also developed arrogance and a love of bloodshed. Punished for it severely as he progressed in the three decade long Neophyte stint of service required of each Ordinator aspirant, he was eventually forced to see his failings and overcome them in the brutal and secretive Rite of Purification in which he was forced to overcome a Bloodletter of Khorne in spirit and willpower.
Though this did not abolish his capacity to make these same mistakes, he began to develop an intimate understanding of the mind of those that served Chaos. In his years since his initiation into the line companies and true brotherhood of the Cult of Ordination, he has developed a sense of humility, introversion, and proclivity for brutally critical introspection that often comes off as brooding to outsiders, earning his nickname by other brothers of the chapter. Despite this, when faced with battle, he has proven to be an able and even charismatic (if only by virtue of his bravery and concern for his brethren) leader, imbued with a sense of tactical acumen and armed with great personal skill in battle. He was among the first of the Ordinators ascribing to the Pragmates school of thought regarding the Primaris, and successfully underwent the surgery to add the new gene-seed organs in 127.M42. He quickly adapted to the new combat styles and showed himself highly adept with both the Bolt Rifle and Auto Bolt Rifle, as well as the Stalker Bolt Rifle.
Though he has fought in some of the most brutal combat of the chapter against Chaos and Xenos alike, and traveled upon the tides of the Immaterium as far as the Calixis Sector on various classified missions, he developed a sense of subconscious arrogance allowing for an eventual failure to anticipate the workings of the Dark Eldar mind that allowed him to fall for a trap in leading a squadron of Gladius-class frigates and Hunter-class destroyers against a roughly equally sized Dark Eldar raiding fleet that attacked a pilgrim convoy emerging from a Mandeville Point in the Valdorus Subsector en route to refuge at his birthworld. Tricked by the then-Dracon Jizai Hellsun, he boarded a ship attempting to kill the Dracon only to find a group of Incubi and Blaster-armed Kabalite Trueborn on the bridge as the Dracon snuck onto his own flagship and those of the convoy using Impaler Assault Boats to seize slaves. The ambush was brutal, and, with the aid of Hellpurger Bolter rounds and his power sword, he emerged as the only survivor of the raid. Dragging the bodies of his fallen squad back to their Caestus Assault Ram, he retreated back to his ship without enough time to mount an effectual defense of the fleet. His serf First Officer in command of the ship and his fellow Astartes ship commanders were slain by raiding parties and the force left leaderless.
As the raiding party departed as quickly as it arrived, Caelius realized a bitter truth. His failure to truly understand his enemy had led to the deaths of countless of innocent humans and far too many of his brother Ordinators and their faithful serf crewmen. Upon returning to Arx Numinex, the Ordinators First Captain, Marius Ferox, summarily sentenced him to a century of service to the Deathwatch as a form of exile and lesson in understanding what he had failed to study before - the mind of the Xeno. His hatred for them has only grown since. His determination to never fail his brothers around him has grown even more, and his study of their Xenos enemy continues relentlessly.
Wargear & Equipment
In his Deathwatch serivce, Veteran Sergeant Caelius typically fights with a unique Special Issue Firestorm-pattern .75 caliber Auto Bolt Rifle as his primary weapon. He carries Vengeance- and Dragonstorm-pattern bolts as well as two magazines of Psycannon bolts obtained somehow through his chapter's Ordo Malleus "allies", though he has yet to use them in his time in the Deathwatch. He carries a Bolt Pistol, shortened Power Sword, frag, and krak grenades. A standard Combat Blade is mag-locked behind his belt.
He bears strange runes along the trim of his pauldrons, and anyone who has seen the interior of his armor pieces will have noticed strange, arcane glyphs covering the interior. A wrist-mounted holovid-vox system with unique communication systems is mounted over his left vambrace. His helmet is one of the rare Mk. Xb Shadowsight variants produced by his home sector's Forge World of Ferunus - its eye lenses are ice-blue and a vid-capture recorder is mounted on his helmet alongside built in pupil-slaved autotrackers in the photolenses which would have enhanced functionality for his squad if the rest of them had similar submark helmets.
He often wears a short purple tabard cloth hanging from his waist as well several Purity Seals granted by the Ordo Xenos and Ordo Malleus, and the Ordinators. He goes into battle with a crimson band of silk is wrapped around his right bicep.