|This article, Champions of Mortis, was written by Mortis96. Please do not edit or 'acquire' this fiction without the writer's permission.|
|This article, Champions of Mortis, is currently under active construction. The author, Mortis96, apologizes for the inconvenience.|
The Champions of Mortis are a semi-Codex compliant Successor Chapter of Adeptus Astartes created during the 3rd Founding from an unknown sire. They report direct descendance from the Imperial Fists, though this First Founding Chapter strongly disputes this. The Champions are currently located in the southern fringe of the Imperium of Man, and they have devoted themselves to fanatically target and purge Heretic Astartes emerging from the Scourge Stars, though they are known to fight with even more vindictiveness than normal against the forces of Chaos, with a talent for those worshipping the so-called "God" of pestilence. These Astartes are a fleet-based Chapter, though why they operate like this is unclear, presumably in order to make their patrols of the two Southern sectors more efficient.
This Chapter numbers approximately 600 fully fledged Astartes, and a healthily sized scout company. Their organisation is Codex compliant, save for the reserve companies being understrength, and so often seconded to the main battle line forces. One last distinction, is their maintenance of breachers as a standing force, which are still assigned to ground based operations.
It is finally worth noting, that in homage to their founder, Mortis, every subsequent Chapter Master forsakes their name, to adopt that of their founder. It is considered an honour, to continue their founding leader's great legacy. This has its roots in the mysterious disappearance of the original Chapter Master, millennia ago. It is rumoured that his absence was concealed from the Chapter at large, until the conclusion of the Campaign, to avoid any unnecessary distractions.
- 1 Chapter History
- 2 Notable Campaigns
- 3 Chapter Organisation
- 4 Recruiting Practices
- 5 Combat Doctrine
- 6 Chapter Culture
- 7 Chapter Gene-Seed
- 8 Notable Members
- 9 Chapter Fleet
- 10 Chapter Relics
- 11 Chapter Appearance
- 12 Relations
- 13 Notable Quotes
- 14 Gallery
This chapter has been considered by many to be relatively obscure. Records are scarce, and only begin in great detail after the recent events of the invasions of the Scourge Stars by the traitor Primarch, Mortarion, and his despicable Legion. It is in these punitive counter attacks that they made their name known.
It is known, that the entire chapter was named after an ancient Adeptus Astartes hero, and to this day they honour his name. On the rare occasion this practice is spoken of, it is supposedly to hide the original Chapter Master's absence after he disappeared within the Warp, to boost morale within the newly founded Chapter, and hide his movements from the Traitors he hunted. As to why they continue this tradition, is unclear.
They were highly under strength, and so were unable to participate in the sheer numbers that other chapters performed in. As a result, they became known for their expertise in stronghold defences, through stubborn endurance and the ability to inflict damage unproportionate to their force size.
The earliest records begin shortly after the initiation of the third founding. It was noted, that due to administorial errors, records of their founding and original purpose was in fact, non existent. The Chapter itself, claimed lineage of the Imperial Fists, something which is strongly disputed. It may also be noted, they have never been offered the chance to compete in the Centennial Feast of Blades.
Unusually, limited evidence indicates the Chapter had been in service for many millennia, possibly dating back as far as the early 34th Millennium. The Chapter states they have been patrolling the Eye of Terror and the surrounding area of realspace since the Third Founding, although efforts to obtain any absolute evidence, besides from their many ancient suits of armour have proven futile.
Originally, their flagship, The Defiant, was supposed to have been decommissioned. As an ancient relic of a bygone age, it had an unstable machine spirit, and no void shields. An Iron-clad class Heavy Cruiser, that had been retrofitted at some stage in its existence, to accommodate the Astartes and their operations. It was a wreck of its former glory, and the data required for maintenance and repairs had long been lost to the Imperium. It's restoration, was a bone of contention, the Chapter's few remaining Techmarines working extensively to return The Defiant into an operational vessel, in what many considered a waste of time and valuable resources.
During the Indomitus Crusade, many however, were pleased with the Chapter's stubborn refusal to replace their vessel, as both it and the Champions fought to stem the tide of foulness from the Cicatidrix Maledictum. The Chapter, and the vessel were mere shadows of former glory, yet succeeded time and again to grimly cling to their existence, bleeding their foes for every metre of ground or space lost.
This virtually eradicated chapter, was investigated, and ultimately gifted three companies of Primaris reinforcements. It may be noted that the said process, took a considerable length of time. The reinforcements themselves were sent from Terra, rather than the Crusade itself, causing further confusion to surround this chapter, some whispered the delay was supposed to see the chapter destroyed.
Shortly after the reinforcement, the Champions of Mortis were active on several fronts. Upon one such engagement, they were reunited with several lost members of the Chapter, who had been separated from their brethren many years ago. It may be noted that the few survivors of these lost remnants, suffer from the degradation in their geneseed. Upon thorough examination, many were returned to active duty in the First Company.
This has made their First Company the largest in the Chapter, and it is rare for any force not to contain at least one squad of these "lost" veterans.
Since this occurrence, the Chapter has fought against the Eldar on several occasions, but are most infamous for their actions against the heretic astartes. They have since grown to a reasonable number and seem set to eventually breed out their geneseed flaw, and return to a full strength Chapter.
Nowadays, they perform their ancient duty of patrolling the Southern Sectors, however, they now have staunch allies in the Steel Scions, who have sworn a knightly oath. Their patrol routes are expanding every further with the emergence of the Great Rift, as they attempt to shield the Imperium from foes, that should have remained a footnote in the pages of history.
The Fall of Kelchovis II
Upon the receival of a damaged and unclear distress cal from the planet of Kelchovis II, a mere handful of lightyears from the proposed patrol route, the Champions of Mortis divert the Vanguard Strike Cruiser "The Indomitable Spirit".
En route warpstorms and a microsecond overload of the Gellar fields led to the detachment being too late to prevent the near total destruction of the planet at the hands of the combined might of the Weeping Legion vectorum, and Typhus himself. Only a handful of scattered survivors remained, mostly inmates of the planet's many prison complexes, pressed into service to stem the tide of heretics, traitors and Neverborn as sailing the planet from numerous warp rifts.
The under strength company, landed in fire, Thunderhawk descending in the wake of a devastating orbital bombardment, using the remaining ruins and hastily assembled defences to bolster their positions. So began a long attentional war, with the few Astartes holding the last loyalist held spaceport open.
Supported by the Steel Scions Chapter, the line was held for wave after unending wave, entire trench lines engaged by the foe for as long as 3 days at a time, of continuous gunfire. When ammunition ran dry, the Chapter resorted to chainswords and fist. Once the chainswords had been blunted, Fists were turned on traitors with nothing but defiance. Digging in deep, the loyalist Champions refused to yield, or fall to the gunfire, forcing the traitors to advance on their positions to claim the Spaceport, upon where the survivors would proceed to hold to the last man.
Were it not for the arrival of the entire First Company, the campaign would have been disastrous. The arrival of the First Company turned the tides enough for the Chapter to secure their own retreat and that of numerous Companies of the PDF.
Freed from the planet, "The Indomitable Spirit" ran the gauntlet of the enemy fleet, by none other than the Terminus Est. When the ship finally reached the Mandeville point, it was almost beyond salvaging, only the defiance of the vessel itself keeping it operational. With a final oath of vengeance, and proverbial flipped finger, the Cruiser made the warp jump, knowing that they would return with the full might of the Chapter at their back.
Upon a routine patrol, the main Fleet of the Champions of Mortis, rediscovered a System, previously considered lost to the warp. It had seemingly re-emerge from the Eye of Terror as it corrupted planet. Regular transmissions in honour of the foul God's were raised and declarations of war broke out between the rival heretics in equal measure. Of course, there would be only one response to such blatant displays of heresy. The Battle barge, the Defian and her escorts closed in to the surface of Desul VI, only inhabitable planet remaining in the system. The fleet face no resistance as the first wave of troops were sent.
Upon planetfall, it became apparent that all was bit as it should be. The usually mild environment of the former agriworld, has become a nightmare of choking fumes, and iridescent lighting, prismatic pyramids rising from the toxic fog, banishing it with their presence. Instead, the pyramids were surrounding by arcs of electricity, that flickered from the Astartes armour, and weapons.
The Librarian attached to the exploratory force, was overcome by headaches, and convulsions, his usually potent powers restrained for fear of what he would unleash. His calls for a general retreat were ignored, as were his general advice to Exterminatus he planet. Hell bound on reclaiming this world for Imperial colonists, the Champions of Mortis began to march on the main capital.
The capital, Osirus Major, was a small cry compared to the hive cities of other worlds, being a comparatively small sprawl of urban land stretching a scant twelve kilometres of reasonably spaced housing, storage containers and food processing plants.
The chapter maintains the unique system of ranking that was originally used in the Heresy. The Chapter Master, is referred to as the Praetor. Centurions are the term used to describe Captains, with Lieutenants being known colloquially as Consuls, officially designated Demi-Centurions. They encourage a flexibility in the ranking structure, whereupon with the death of a superior, any ranking officer may take his place automatically upon the battlefield. This is also applied on a squad level, so at no point is a squad cut off from the chain of command.
- Praetor - Chapter Master equivalent.
- Centurions - Captain equivalent.
- Consuls - Also known as Demi-Centurions, this rank is Lieutenant equivalent.
- High Chaplain - Reclusiarch equivalent.
- Apothecary Primus - Chief Apothecary equivalent.
- Apothecary Minoris - Due to the Chapter's unorthodox methodology of war, and the requirements to reclaim as much gene-seed as is reasonably possible, Chapter Apothecaries are held in great regard. As a result, the Chapter assigns more apothecaries to companies than is otherwise common, investing heavily in the Apothecary Minoris project, where senior members of the Apothecarion will take responsibility for training a class of up to 5 students.
- Master of the Forge
- Chief Librarian
- Veteran Sergeants
- Sergeants - Sergeants are the mainstay of the Chapter, each expected to possess the necessary skills to be able to assume a Lieutenant's role, in a dire circumstance. Furthermore, every Astartes within a squad is also expected to be capable of assuming the role of Sergeant, in unforeseen circumstances. The theory remains, that a force is as strong as its chain of command. A fluid and adaptable chain of command should always be maintained, to ensure a disaster never results in poor leadership hindering a campaign. In every squad, at least one Astartes is expected to have served as an Apothecarion apprentice. As a primarily heavy infantry force, expected to work in isolation without access to resupply or rest, it is essential that emergency first aid and basic surgical procedures can be carried out in the field, even with subpar conditions, or equipment.
- Scout Marine
Specialist Ranks & Formations
- Resolute - Multi-task Breachers assigned to offensive ground based duties in addition to the protection of the fleet from boarding actions. These veterans are part of the enlarged First Company, and are recruited from those considered eligible to wear Terminator Armour.
Order of Battle
The Reforged (First Company Equivalent)
The First Battle Company - "The Dauntless"
The Second Battle Company - "The Faithful Sons"
The Third Battle Company - "The Resilient"
The Fourth Battle Company - "The Linebreakers"
The Reserve Companies (Usually spread out across the Battle Companies, it is a rare circumstance that the understrength companies are mustered in force. The Reserve Companies are very much honorific, and contain those few Primaris of the Vanguard).
"The Untested" (Scout Company, no Vanguard Marines present in this Formation)
As a fleet-based chapter, with notoriously unstable gene-seed, they have been forced to recruit from virtually any given habitable planet they come across. Penal colonies and hive planets, are particularly well sought after for the quality of the recruits, particularly those that display tenacity, and a propensity for survival in extreme circumstances. Feral and Death World survivors are paid particular attention, although given the small numbers of inhabitants generally found there, recruitment from this sources is at best considered opportune. It may be noted, those from toxic death worlds experience the greatest chances of successful gene seed implantation, and generally higher survival rates overall.
Much of their training practices, is a well guarded secret. What little is known, indicates that at any given time, the number of successful recruits is considered extremely small, due to the high intensity the training program appears to have. What little is divulged, indicates extreme pain tolerance examinations, and an attitude of culling the weak. Poisons and exposure to toxic environments features heavily, full Astartes being expected to hold their ground, or maintain their steady advance in spite of any environmental concerns or bodily injury.
Once elevated to fully fledged scouts, they are trained by first company veterans, seconded to the 6th Company. Training said recruits is considered a great honour, and only those most suitable to passing on the best of the Chapter's traits are permitted to become Scout Squad Sergeants.
Heavy emphasis is placed on self sufficiency, and being versatile. Survival in harsh conditions and climes is considered standard practice. One well known peculiarity, is to abandon said aspirants for their preliminary test before elevation, upon a Death World for a prolonged time. Any survivors, are finally grafted with the Chapter's organs.
Before being rewarded with the Black Carapace, and elevation to the ranks of the Untested, a final challenge is in order. A powerful neurotoxin, referred to as the "Crucible Toxin" is administered. This neurotoxin targets primarily the pain receptors, rendering the unfortunate recipient a convulsing mess of muscle contraction and agony. It is said that the senior members of the Chapter reveal themselves here, by enduring such torture without uttering a word.
However, this isn't the end of the ordeal. The neurotoxin will continually remain active, eventually driving the bearer insane, unless the antidote is administered. The antidote itself is very rare, containing elements of the Astartes anti-inflammatory and auto immune responses, produced from previous participants. However, one of the main chemicals involved is distilled from a particularly rare plant, believed extinct in the galaxy at large, the last surviving specimens being bred on the Defiant.
It's purple flowers, beautiful to the eye, hide its own toxic properties. The antidote contains powerful psychoactive properties, which in its own way, can be just as deadly as the toxin it cures. For the several hours while it takes effect, it renders the Astartes semi-conscious, lost in their own hallucinations. Most 'enjoy' traumatic experiences, involving them defending something precious to them, alone. Their foes, although varying in form or species, will always be numerous in number. The psychological stress of wounds taken on this mental battlefield takes its toll on the scout, mentally and physically. The mental trauma, has been known to cause physical reactions, known as sympathetic backlash, like heart palpitations and failures, organ malfunction and blindness. Only those with the mental fortitude to survive the most grievous of wounds they endure in their hallucination, will survive to be finally elevated to the ranks of the Champion of Mortis.
The first notice a foe receives of an invasion from this Chapter, is the orbital strikes, Lance's, macro and bombardment cannons reaping a toll on the predicted areas of heaviest resistance, often with little head paid to civilian casualties.
Hot on the heels of the devastating strike, the Thunderhawk gunships, and their smaller brethren, Stormtalons descend from the sky, braving the aftermath and the disorganised return fire to disturbed their troops within their target locations.
Infantry, many of whom are mounted in the ubiquitous Rhino, begin to make their first combat sweeps, clearing a landing zone for the heavier weaponry. These Rhinos serve as more than just a transport, but a moving fortress for their assigned squads, holding reserves of ammunition, weapons, armour and medical supplies. This allows the forces to spread out relentlessly, enduring the enemy counter assaults, and breaking apart pockets of strong resistance near the landing zones.
Heavier armour and weaponry is brought in from orbit in the second waves of drops, accompanied by such heavy infantry as the Centurion battlesuits, and Gravis armoured troops. Elements of the armoury are also deployed, Whirlwinds, Vindicators and Land Raiders being the Chapter's specialties, though Predator Tanks, of course, are the mainstay of the force.
With the gathering force, the Champions of Mortis begin to methodically and calmly expand their area of control, purging all encounter hostile with the ruthless efficiency and deliberate slowness.
Marching Astartes, mounted transports and Devastator squads fire on the move, expected to endure anything the foe may throw at them, and rise to overcome them. Heavier elements proceed to add their weight to this steady moving force, an almost unstoppable trail of destruction left in their passing.
The landing zone itself, is fortified through the use of a drop fortress, Thunderfire cannons set up by the Techmarines while servitors begin to dig trenches, and raise walls from the surrounding rubble. Bunkers may be used if the area to secure is large, and this considerable redoubt is left as a rallying point for those who encounter injuries even their abnormal resilience cannot handle, as well as any vehicles that have been rendered unfit for duty.
Like a plague, the Champions of Mortis proceed to purge their vicinity, their paths leading further away from their landing zone, until it is unfeasible to use it as a supply point. If further assistance in a campaign is required, the aerial transports or relatively unused drop pod will be used to maintain a support route.
When the lines become stretched too thin, the Champions of Mortis will withdraw to their base of operations, and prepare to repeat the process.
Known for their acts of defiance and ruthlessness, the Chapter will prosecute a war with the exacting standards of no less than the total eradication of a hostile force, travelling further afield and enduring greater risks with each subsequent foray.
When a counter attack inevitably comes, the Chapter will seem to relent, falling back with deliberate slowness, consolidating their forces as they bleed the enemy for each street, road and building. As they fall back closer to their Fortress, the Astartes will hold the line with bitter ferocity, never turning their backs on the foe, forcing themselves through extremely prolonged combat, ensuring the enemy advance is under constant fire, from either the infantry, or artillery. As they begin to make use of the prearranged defences prepared for them, they dig in.
At this stage, after feigning weakness, the true strength of the Chapter is brought to bare, the enemy having committed significant resources in order to overwhelm the Astartes attack force. Orbital bombardments, artillery and an unyielding line of Astartes, many sporting injuries that would have killed a some from other chapters outright, force their foes to a bloody standstill, before they inexorably rise from the dust, smoke and flames of their besieged land to resume their inexorable advance.
The Champions of Mortis are a chapter of Astartes that typically eschew "unworthy" combats, searching for the most folorn of engagements, and harness their almost suicidal tendencies, many refusing to leave an active battlefield while they still deem themselves capable of combat.
As the Battle Brothers are keen to remind one another, "A Champion of Mortis is capable of combat, provided he can still draw breath." This causes unnecessary complications to the Chapter's Apothecarion, and so those capable of providing medical attention whilst still fighting, are afforded considerable respect. This has led to the Chapter adopting the standard of maintaining the Apothecary Minoris scheme, encouraging the recruitment of Apothecaries far in excess to the standard Chapter.
Endurance, in both the mental and physical capacity are seen as the most valuable assets a warrior can maintain, the argument for the creation of the Astartes, being stated as "The Emperor needed tanks to go, where only infantry can." As a result, this has an immense impact with the Chapter's recruitment and training processes.
This is further compounded with the Chapter's unusual fascination with pain. It is a widely held belief, that pain is both a blessing and a curse. It exists to remind the bearer that he is still alive, and serves no other purpose than to test the will. In their spare training time, every Astartes will undergo additional training against toxins and pain, in preparation for the next Campaign.
Though none would openly admit it, the Champions have a very active competitive spirit with one another, further feeding into their obsessions. Within each squad, the quiet pride of enduring the most pain, torment or strife carries with it surprising weight.
To outsiders, particularly mortals, the Champions of Mortis come across as silent and threatening, acting with almost disdain and indifference. Indeed, they are so arrogant as to believe that any without the strength to fight for themselves, or endure that which they can't, are undeserving of assistance.
Beneath this appearance, a vestige of honour remains within the Chapter. Though willing, and in some cases, eager to use potent toxins and viruses to remove all life from a problem planet, if the populace have displayed remarkable fortitude, defiance or have the propensity to challenge them, the Chapter will do its best to award them the dubious "honour" of a "fair fight".
As a result, the Champions of Mortis have several unwritten rules, that apply not only to combat, but social interactions. Firstly, one must never show his back to an enemy. It is considered dishonourable to retreat, and by extension, it is considered dishonourable to kill a foe from behind. This causes a number of social "quirks" an outsider could fall foul of. The Champions of Mortis, will usually speak using the battle sign of their Chapter to one another. In the rare cases they are using verbal communications, they will, amongst close brothers, turn their backs to indicate trust. As they never turn their backs to an enemy, and never kill a foe from behind, this is seen as a reciprocal show of trust.
However, were someone "outside" the Astartes limited circle of close friends to do the same, it would be seen as a grave insult. For anyone to turn their back on an individual who isn't a close ally, is perceived to indicate that they believe the foe too weak, cowardly or incompetent to harm them, even with their back turned towards them.
This isn't the greatest insult the Chapter had to offer. The greatest insult for a Champion of Mortis is to be informed they "Are in need of protection," or "Unable to endure". The response for a perceived slight, is a challenge to one of the Chapter's "Gruelling Rites", something few but the Champions of Mortis would enjoy.
The Champions of Mortis place great emphasis on the records of an individual's achievements. These are commemorated by the damage of their wargear, and the scars on their flesh. For every great achievement, the Champion is expected to have taken at least one minor wound, for if an accolade comes too easily, then there was clearly no achievement at all.
At one point in time, the gene-seed was heavily damaged, due to prolonged exposure in the warp. The remnants of the chapter, discovered during the Indomitus Crusade, suffered from a number of flaws. This included a chronic failure of the Lyman's Ear. This caused a loss of tactical versatility. No marine could used a drop pod, due to intense and crippling motion sickness, and very few could stomach the use of bikes and jump-packs. As a result, this had a direct impact on Chapter doctrine, further compounded by their lack of numbers.
A second fault was discovered some time later. The warrior's skin, which was already unnaturally pale, began to wither, giving their faces an almost emaciated appearance. This was a degenerative condition, exacerbated by warp exposure. It can cause further issues with their speech, as in extreme cases, speaking may cause the skin of their faces to split in open wounds, which instantly scar. Over time, said scar tissues accumulates around the mouth, impeding communication.
Not all members of the chapter display these flaws. The Primaris Marines, possess pure gene-seed, and so are not hampered by this development. A number of the chapter, do not possess this flaw, and have been assumed to hold "pure" gene-seed. Recruits are now only grafted with pure gene-seed harvested from either Primaris marines, or non-affected Firstborn. As a result, it appears that eventually this flaw will be bred out of the chapter.
Chapter Master Mortis
Chapter Master Mortis, the Immortal, the Lord of the Undying, Chief amongst the Unbroken, the Master of the Chapter, the Praetor, the Lord Defiant. The position itself holds many titles, and an unwavering legacy of almost 10,000 years. There has always been a Chapter Master of the Champions of Mortis, and it has always been Mortis. Upon elevation to this position, the Astartes gives up his name, deeds and previous titles. He becomes an mere extension of the legacy of the original Chapter Master.
The elevation of the newest incarnation of the Lord Defiant, was not without its own mystery. For the first time in known history, a Praetor stood down, reassuring the mantle of his old name and position, forsaking the mighty burden that is to walk in another's shoes. Garrus' reasons for such an action remains his own. The most likely successor, was furthermore scorned for a mere Consul, who had led the remains of his forces from the warp, after an indeterminate time lost. He has served with distinction, and drive. Always at the front lines of a defence, always the last to leave, Mortis has garnered a level of fame and infamy almost unheard of in this usually stoic Chapter. What he has planned for them, is a secret held close to his chest...
The current iteration of Mortis has the honor of being the winner of the Extreme Endurance competition, three times running, being the first Chapter Master to reliably win against all other veteran members of the Chapter.
Chief Librarian Gurroloz
Gurroloz is a young Astartes, wizened far beyond his age. His very flesh is withered and thin, the gene flaw of his Chapter much more distinguished as a result of his closer relationship with the corrupting energies of the Warp. Despite his best efforts to control and minimise the risks to himself arising from his powers, there can be no guarantee that his psyker abilities are accelerating his geneseed degradation.
Despite this, it is a price he willingly pays, regularly using his powers of foresight to pluck knowledge from the depths of the Warp, and to steer his Chapter away from disaster time and time again. On the battlefield, he is a somber sight, his face withered to the point of being skeletal, an electric blue light shining from his eyes, as he proves time and time again that his size and apparent physical frailty, is no handicap in the dealing of judgement to the Emperor's foes.
Despite recommendation of honourable euthanasia, or retirement from active service, Gurroloz can still be found on the battlefields of the 41st Millennium, his foresight and visions pushing him ever onwards as he seeks the death he has foreseen, referred to as his Final Destiny.
Chief Apothecary Antola
Antola is a distinguished veteran of the Plague Wars, his rise to prominence based as much on his stubborn nature as it was his medical prowess. After serving amongst the rearguard, tending to the wounded for as long as possible, whilst under heavy fire, he attracted the attention of the Chapter's senior leadership. The unfortunate demise of his predecessor on the same battlefield ensured his elevation. Antola remains the only Primaris Astartes to hold a senior leadership role , with the exception of several Captains. Known only to those privy to the greatest secrets of the Chapter, Anatola has finally succeeded in his efforts to isolate the damaged gene code strands within the affected flawed geneseed. Despite the public stance that the Champions of Mortis' gene flaws can in fact be bred out, Anatola has been studying the process of geneseed degradation carefully, and working tirelessly in the gene labs of The Defiant, for reasons that remain his own.
High Chaplain/Master of Recruits Araniti
The Unending Vigilite
An ancient and weathered company champion, suffering from a near total crude bionic reconstruction following a multitude of battle injuries over the years, Ladmonius wields one of the Chapter's 7 power scythes, and sports a distinct limp. He is often dangerously underestimated by his foes, appearing slow and injured. His uncommon skill with the unwieldy weapon, however, soon dispels such notions.
First Captain Garrus
Garrus, a previous Chapter Master who stood down under mysterious circumstances. One of the older members of the Chapter, he served with brutal efficiency, if not finesse or tactical brilliance. Reliable and steadfast, it was no surprise when Garrus found himself elevated to the rank of Praetor, and inheriting the names and titles associated with this rank. However, he retains the infamy of being the first and only Praetor to ever step down from the role, and forsake his position, or to reclaim his old name and deeds. Many whisper this was due to a secret failing, although the nature of this is unknown.
Others, speculate it had less to do with Garrus' personal skills as a leader, and all the more to do with the mysterious arrivals that have finally returned to the Chapter after an indeterminate time lost in the warp. Both praised and criticised in equal measure among the Chapter, Garrus retains the dubious honour, of being the only First Born Astartes in the bloated First Company, to remain completely free of the genetic gene flaws that plague the chapter.
Revered Honourable Ancient
The eldest member of the Chapter. Rumoured to be the first Chapter Champion of the Chapter, this ancient Contemptor pattern dreadnought boasts the oldest chassis still functioning in the chapter. Its ancient frame has been battlefield repaired several times, and evidence of each and every war of its 8,000 years can be seen on the frame. To compensate, the techmarine of the Chapter have maintained a constant spate of upgrades and enhancements, only barely tolerated by the disciples of Mars. This largely includes monomolecular bonding studs and ablative armour, giving the ancient machine an unkempt appearance at first glance. It can be seen in careful inspection, that every "major" encounter he's engaged in has corresponding damage that has been carefully maintained in a cosmetic manner.
The honoured ancient suffers from a severe form of dementia, his short term memory is plagued with considerable oversights, and it is generally concluded that he is no longer up to date with recent events. However, his long term memory remains unblemished, and so he remains the most accurate source of knowledge about the Chapter's history, although none are permitted to speak with him save the highest elements of Chapter Command.
As a result, he is rarely awakened for combat duties, and has only served three times in known history in the last 6,000 years.
The veteran whose name has been lost to the annals of time, is only awoken on the ascension of a new Chapter Master, to confer his recollections of the Chapter's oldest history, of which there exists no written documents. As a result, he remains one of the most valued relics in possession.
- The Defiant (Renovated Ironclad-class Battle-Barge) - Serves as the Chapter's flagship and mobile fortress-monastery.
- The Indomitable Spirit (Vanguard Mark I Strike Cruiser)
- The Unyielding (Vanguard Mark I Strike Cruiser)
Supporting escort vessels comprised of a Gladius-class Frigate Squadron, and Hunter variant escorts
- Tryant's Bane - A master-crafted power sycthe.
- Heresy Era Armour - The Chapter maintains a number of ancient marks of Power Armour, enough to maintain the entirety of the First Company, and a few seasoned heroes. These are painstakingly maintained, due to still functioning forges on board the Defiant. However, due to to heavy maintenance costs and the inherent superiority of the Mark VII and X, the majority of the Chapter still use these variants.
- The Reaper's Shadow - Artificer armour, traditionally worn by the Chapter Master. This work of art is said to be an almost perfect replica of the original, lost when the Chapter Master disappeared.
- Relic Contemptor Pattern Dreadnought
- '"The Tome of Chronixalus'" -
This book, bound in the leather of an ancient beast and penned using its' blood, was either discovered by, or written by, an Astartes Librarian from over 4,000 years ago, from an unknown Chapter from a Founding that was not taken note of. The etchings upon the cover depict what would seem to be one of the many iterations of death, and many notes are scrawled in the margins of the pages, one of which included the name of the Champions of Mortis' Lord Defiant
As this Chapter's origins are largely a mystery, so too, is their propensity for wielding all manner of ancient and sacred relics and holy patterns of armour, weapons and vehicles not seen in several millennia by the wider galaxy.
This Chapter has been observed to make wide use of several ancient variants of power armour, their exact origin unknown. This includes examples of venerable Marks II 'Crusade', III 'Iron', IV 'Maximus', V 'Heresy' patterns amongst the "Reforged", their First Company. In addition to bearing such venerated patterns, the Champions of Mortis carry many weapons and other items that would ordinarily be considered relics. This is attributed to The Defiant possessing a few forges still capable of producing Phobos boltguns, and Mars Pattern heavy weapons.
The Champions' elite 1st Company all wear venerated suits of ancient variants of Terminator Armour, including Tartaros and even Cataphractii patterns. Like their Chapter Master, the Battle-Brothers of this Chapter often bear armour of an ecclectic mix of styles and types, rumoured to have been gathered from unknown armouries and long forgotten Legiones Astartes depots scattered across the galaxy.
The Champions of Mortis primarily wear a halved purple and bone colour scheme with gold coloured trim. The Aquila or Imperialis displayed on their plastrons (chest guards) are also gold in colour. A black squad specialty symbol stenciled on the right armorial inset indicates a battle-brothers assigned squad specialty (Fire Support, Close Support, Battleline, Veteran or Command). A large white coloured gothic numeral stenciled on the center of the squad specialty symbol or the inset of the armorial indicates a battle-brother's assigned squad. A large black roman numeral stenciled on the left poleyn (knee guard) indicates a battle-brother's assigned company.
The Champions of Mortis Chapter badge takes the form of a stylised yellow sun. The central symbol, which is centered upon this background icon, takes the form of a six-pointed iron halo - a large white skull centered within - and a pair of large black scythes crossed behind it.
By the Champions of Mortis
- "Let them judge us. Our effectiveness upon the field will be maintained. Our loyalty will be assured. The Inquisiton may question our genetic security, but rest assured. No taint will be found within my chapter. As Mortis stood against heresy, so shall we remain the bulwark of the Imperium. Our results will speak for themselves, brothers."
- — Chapter Master Mortis of the Champions of Mortis to the Reforged
About the Champions of Mortis
- "The Emperor's Angels came for us, they were wrong though. They looked so horrid entrails and their very guts dangling. Their armor bore holes and wounds, flies swarmed around them. I ran and ran it seemed as though my house was their objective. Had they seen me too I questioned. Scared to look I hid and prayed to our God-Emperor, sheltering my family in the cellar of out rural cabin. Then I heard bolter fire, against my better judgement I peered out outside. They were the true angels. Their armor painted bone white and purple. They sought out and saved us. None could have known that was just the beginning of my damnation."
- — Imperial citizen talking to questioning Inquisitor
- "You've been devastating those Death Guard guys lately! Whaddya do to them? Make 'em wash their hands and shower? Whatever it is, keep it up!"
- — Executive Tedium Nugentus of the Emperor's Liberators to Chapter Master Mortis.
- "Yes, they share are hate for the Death Guard. But he who hunts the beast must insure he does not become it! The flaws in their seed, possibly Nurglish in nature! What is the origin of their multitude of ancient power armored suits? What is the origin of their hate for the Death Guard? And what is the origin of that flaw which corrupts their faces? And nary does a loyalist use a scythe. However, they are our brothers, and fought well by our side in that slog of a campaign, regardless of...suspicious origins."
- — Chaplain Mortigar rambling to Perciville shortly after sharing a campaign with the Champions of Mortis
- "They are kindred spirits who are shunned for taints that they had no control over. They understand that purity does not come from the sum of a warrior's parts, but the intent of one's actions. Fight on, Champions of Mortis."
- — Unknown Lightning Wraiths Astartes
- "Basilica, Basilica, this is Dropper Zero. Cancel reinforcement request, I say again, cancel reinforcement request. Position relieved by Adeptus Astartes, Champions of Mortis chapter. Right in the choosing nick of time too!"
- — Unknown Vox Operator of the Escalian Airborne, following their rescue by the Champions of Mortis.
|Third Founding Space Marine Chapters|
|Dark Angels Successors||Blades of the Lion • Lion's Praetorians • Silver Lions •|
|White Scars Successors||Falcon's Claws • Solar Falcons •|
|Space Wolves Successors||N/A|
|Imperial Fists Successors||Astral Paladins • Crimson Robes • Imperial Sentinels • Ironclad Templars • Tempest Knights • Temple Knights •|
|Blood Angels Successors||Blood Bearers • Crimson Impalers • Hussars Sanguine •|
|Iron Hands Successors||Atomic Gladiators • Embers of Istvaan •|
|Ultramarines Successors||Armageddon Sons • Astral Dragons • Imperators • Imperius Ravagers • Sons of Odin • Steel Hart •|
|Salamanders Successors||Ashen Knights • Brotherhood of Embers • Doom Sentinels • Ignitors • Iron Dragons • The Pure •|
|Raven Guard Successors||Astral Reapers • Void Ravens •|
|Unknown Lineage||Champions of Mortis • Golden Torches • Penitent Knights • Steel Harbingers • Zero Legion •|