(Some ambient music for your listening pleasure.)
- "Your offer to surrender has been received and rejected; we have not come to restore order or receive supplication, but to enact the Divine Emperor's judgement. Your loyalty has been weighed, measured and found wanting. Your fate has been writ by your own deeds. The time of judgement is at hand."
- — Murdering Sons multi-channel, world-wide vox-broadcast, at the outset of the Pacification of Mortikah V.
The 'Homicidialis Filios' (more commonly known as the Murdering Sons in vulgar argot) are a darkly-famed Space Marine Chapter created with a specific purpose in mind - retribution. This bellicose Chapter was created during the 11th Founding sometime during the dark times of the Nova Terra Interregnum, a period of extreme unrest and civil strife, when the Imperium of Man was split in half, during the early-to-mid 35th Millennium. During this time, there were multiple foundings of Space Marine Chapters created to counteract the many outside threats to the unstable borders of the Imperium during this tumultuous period in Imperial history.
Since the days of the Murdering Sons' inception, it has remained a Chapter apart from its fellow Adeptus Astartes, its origins shrouded in mystery, as it has garnered a fearsome reputation for its warriors' prowess as a shock-assault force as well as tireless pursuers and a peerless hunter-killer force. The first use of the Murdering Sons was to bring to heel those whom believed they could simply secede from the authority of the Imperium. These grim warriors were well-suited for the task at hand, displaying a propensity for moral absolution and a drive to enact retribution. They quickly garnered a reputation as terror troops - habitually adorning their battle-plate with grisly adornments such as hanging bones and the applying of death mask symbols to their helmets, lending these Astartes a fearsome aspect. When crimes such as insurrection, rebellion or heresy require not only simply crushing the guilty, but to exact fierce retribution, the High Lords of Terra deploy the Murdering Sons.
- 1 History
- 2 Notable Campaigns
- 3 Chapter Homeworld
- 4 Chapter Organisation
- 5 Chapter Beliefs
- 6 Chapter Gene-Seed
- 7 Chapter Combat Doctrine
- 8 Deathwatch Service
- 9 Notable Murdering Sons
- 10 Chapter Fleet
- 11 Chapter Appearance
- 12 Relations
- 12.1 Allies
- 12.2 Conflicting Chapters
- 12.3 Enemies
- 13 Notable Quotes
- 14 Gallery
- 15 Video
The origins of the Murdering Sons harkens back to a great period of upheaval in the Imperium’s history. This Chapter was created during an age of insurrection, known as the Nova Terra Interregnum, sometime during the 35th Millennium. During this tumultuous era, the Imperium was split into twin interstellar empires when the Ur-Council of Nova Terra denounced the High Lords of Terra and claimed rule over the Segmentum Pacificus. This age was marked by ongoing civil wars for reunification and disputes over old trade terms, tithes and wavering allegiances.
During this period, multiple Foundings of Space Marine Chapters occurred during this centuries-long period of civil unrest. One such Founding was the 11th Founding, which occurred sometime between the early-to-mid centuries of this millennium. Few records remain surrounding this Founding, which was believed to have been created to try to counteract the rapid erosion and contradiction of the Imperium's borders during this period of political and military division. The High Lords of Terra gave carte blanche to the newly created Chapter to bring rebellious worlds back into the Imperial fold, and to ensure that planetary governors who even thought of declaring independence to reconsider the wisdom of such actions.
The Murdering Sons took this task to heart, to re-impose the rule of Imperial law on the faltering galaxy. This uncompromising, brutal Chapter descended upon world after world only nominally still part of the Imperium, and brought both bolter and blade to those that would turn from the light of the Emperor. Planetary Governors were given an ultimatum - wholeheartedly submit to the Imperium or suffer dire consequences. Those that resisted were made brutal examples of, becoming bloody public exhibitions to the folly of resistance. The Murdering Sons took it upon themselves to do terrible things necessary to keep the status quo - to ensure that the Imperium wouldn't slip further into anarchy and rebellion - protecting humanity from its own dark nature. The Chapter did its duty, knowing full well that the price they paid was to be feared, loathed and reviled by the very people they were sworn to protect.
Though undoubtedly effective, the Murdering Sons' brutal ways were a source of friction with many of the other, more Codex-oriented Chapters, with many refusing to fight alongside such barbarous Astartes. During their early years of existence, the Murdering Sons quickly came to be seen as harbingers of doom, arriving as they did just ahead of either an invading Imperial crusade or as literal 'Angels of Death' - bringing swift and bloody vengeance. Their growing reputation was such, that soon, the mere rumour of their arrival of their Chapter fleet in-system, caused whole sectors to surrender wholesale rather than face the cruel retribution of these vicious killers.
During the first few centuries of their existence, the Murdering Sons garnered a dark reputation as being notoriously bellicose in temperament and bloody-handed in the execution of their duties, concerned only with bringing the message of swift and merciless retribution to those who dared to defy the Emperor. They wholeheartedly believed that their methods, though cruel and extreme, were necessary in order to bring those that had fallen into darkness, back into the light.
Since that time, the Murdering Sons have continued to tirelessly prosecute any enemy who might threaten the Imperium, carrying out terrible and public displays of brutality against those who would oppose them, and subjugating those who would ally themselves with such apostates or rogues. Only when their enemies are slain, their forces scattered, their fortresses cast down and their people made destitute do the Murdering Sons consider their duty done.
Throughout the millennia of their existence, many of the campaigns conducted by this ruinous Chapter are noticeably absent from official Imperial records, for the Murdering Sons' ruthless actions are something that are not commemorated. The few campaigns that have been recorded in the official archives (which are few and far between) read more like a condemnation. If their actions are remarkable for anything, it is for the depths of brutality reached in their prosecution:
- The Hellion War (870.M33) - In the wake of the anarchy that followed the murderous internecine conflict of the War of the False Primarch and its aftermath, the Hellion Sector declares its secession from the troubled Imperium. Bloodily attacking its neighbours, it becomes quickly apparent that the sector's rulers had fallen then to the worship of Chaos, and its millions of men-under-arms were corrupted and given over to darkness, while its mass manufactora were turned to churning forth twisted war machines consecrated to the dark gods. A massive Imperial Crusade is organised and launched to cleanse the Chaos-corrupted sector. The ever widening war swells to ravage more than eighty inhabited systems and uncounted billions die in the fighting. Extant records indicate that it is during this conflict that the Dark Angels' Successor Chapter, the Ebon Knights, first encountered a mysterious and unfamiliar Chapter of bellicose Astartes that wore sable coloured battle-plate and adorned their armour with fetishes of death. Though not explicitly named, many Imperial scholars believe that this unmentioned Chapter was none other than the darkly-fated Murdering Sons. The Ebon Knights' own Chapter records go on to state that their new-found allies were a bellicose and bloody-handed Chapter that meted out Imperial justice in the most brutal ways possible. The two Chapters found themselves of like-mind and temperament, and began working together during several joint operations, cleansing several recalcitrant worlds and bringing them back into the Imperial fold. The Ebon Knights continued to valiantly fight for another decade until inexplicably, and without explanation, they pulled their forces out of the conflict. By the dawning of M35, the Hellion Sector and its environs were reduced to little more than a waste zone of barren worlds and dead hive cities. If this account is to be believed, than the known inception of the Murdering Sons predates their known Founding date by nearly two millennia. As of yet, the validity of such claims has yet to be substantiated.
- The Mortikah Pacification (ca. 435.M35) - This is one of the first known, officially recorded engagements of the Murdering Sons following their inception, which occurred during the dark era known as the Nova Terra Interregnum. The Mortikah Pacification is not a campaign that Imperial history wants to commemorate. If it is remarkable for anything, it is for the depths of brutality reached in its prosecution. It is also not alone, however, but is merely one amongst many that the Murdering Sons would go on to prosecute during the so-called Retribution Crusade. This massive campaign of genocide and terror against secessionist forces across the Segmentum Pacificus would go down in Imperial annals, the likes of which had not been seen since the time of the Great Crusade. This particular campaign would cement the Murdering Sons' mark of horror as well as their savage reputation. Instead of a great victory, this particularly brutal campaign instead reads more like a condemnation. The Mortikah System lay closest to the borders of the Segmentum Solar, and so, this string of populous worlds was the first to feel the wrath of this ferocious Chapter. An ancient stele mounted within the Church of St. Pancratius recognises the services of the Murdering Sons for their actions against the heretic and the apostate, putting down the insurrections and rebellions that were rife throughout the populated the worlds of the Mortikah System in the 35th Millennium. This artefact praises the Chapter and credits them for having "brought the Emperor's retribution.." to "cleanse the corrupted with bolter and blade." On numerous worlds throughout the Mortikah System there are scattered and veiled references to "a dire threat that arose from the east..." and of "sable-clad" Space Marines who wore memento mori upon their battle-plate. Those incomplete records which have been uncovered from various fragmentary Imperial data-vaults suggest that this Chapter was none other than the so-called 'Homicidialis Filios', or in the Low Gothic tongue, the Murdering Sons. Much of the extant evidence relating to the Mortikah campaign has been censored or purposely destroyed, but there are consistent reports which describe the nature of the horrific acts carried out by these avenging 'Angels of Death' upon the worlds of the Mortikah System, and how the Murdering Sons swept away scores of worlds in a wave of violence unheard of, slaughtering whole sectors in their wake.
- The Nekhrun System Atrocities (510-515.M35) - A campaign whose true facts will never be known, when an Imperial Crusade led by the Ice Dragons Chapter was despatched in 515.M35 to the rebellious Nekhrun System to bring it back into compliance with Imperial rule, they discovered a nightmarish scene of carnage and destruction never before witnessed. Formerly vibrant and industrious Imperial worlds were left in ruins in the wake of a marauding force that had swept through the system in a swathe of wanton destruction. For five years, individual worlds within the Nekhrun System were slowly subjected to a brutal campaign of bloody retribution, leaving their capital cities as bloody abattoirs. The telltale signs pointed to an unknown Space Marine Chapter. The shell-shocked, wide-eyed survivors whispered in hushed tones of 'sable-clad' warriors who wore skull-faced helms and battle-plate that was adorned in the bones and flayed skins of their victims. These unheralded killers emerged to strike from the least anticipated quarter, delivering swift brutality and wanton cruelty which brought entire planetary populations to their knees in abject terror. Then, as suddenly as they arrived, they disappeared back into the void from whence they came. Though the Murdering Sons deny being the ones responsible for committing such heinous acts, their trademark calling card of murder and the pall of horror typically left in the wake of one of their brutal suppression campaigns, permeated every planet within the Nekhrun System.
- Culling of Darkfall (762.M35) - An Imperial retribution crusade is launched when the Darkfall System declares against the Imperial creed in favour of an independent principality, free of the Imperium's yoke. From out of the void, the Murdering Sons arrive and proceed to strike like a thunderbolt against the various worlds within the system. The renegades responsible are systematically exterminated, and the secessionist leaders are flayed alive and crucified from the hive capital spires. Soon, multiple reports of the atrocities carried out by the Murdering Sons filters back to the Segmentum's Inquisitorial Conclave, who quickly despatch an Inquisitorial representative to investigate the truth of the Chapter's actions. The Puritanical Inquisitor Uziel Dredd investigates the worlds that have suffered the Murdering Sons' brutal retribution left in their bloody wake, and is shocked by what he finds. While returning to the seat of his Inquisitorial Conclave, his vessel is beset by an unknown enemy. The last vox broadcast by Dredd's ship are garbled and nearly indecipherable - the sound of bolter fire can be heard in the background. The only Imperial force in the vicinity of his disappearance is the Murdering Sons' Strike Cruiser the Sanguinum Fidelis. They report no sign of the Inquisitor or his vessel. The Darkfall System is brought back under Imperial compliance within less than a year.
- Cataclysm of Souls (975.M35) - After almost a millennium of low-grade civil war and political manoeuvring, the event known as the Cataclysm of Souls in 975.M35 reunites the Imperium. In that year, the Ecclesiarchy tried to transform the Imperium into a theocratic state that transcended political differences and usurp the power of the rest of the High Lords of Terra. Their efforts ended in only stirring up massive religious wars against the Ur-Council who were denounced as Heretics who stood in defiance of the will of the God-Emperor when they rejected the Ecclesiarchy's attempts to increase its power over the state. Billions die in the religious wars when the Ur-council of Nova Terra rejects the Ecclesiarchy's teachings and the population of the Segmentum Pacificus rises up against them. It is a civil war the likes of which the Imperium has not seen since the Horus Heresy. The Murdering Sons are once again given carte blanche to do as they please, as they bring swift and brutal punishement to several worlds of the rebellious segmentum. The carnage and atrocities committed by the Murdering Sons during this tumultuous period in Imperial history has never been fully accounted, but it is believed that the Murdering Sons were responsible for the deaths of millions. The Ecclesiarchy ultimately proves successful and the Ur-Council is overthrown after much bloodshed, the Segmentum Pacificus reintegrated back into the broader Imperium. The power of the Adeptus Ministorum in Imperial politics reaches it zenith in the centuries afterwards, ultimately unleashing the events of the Age of Apostasy in the 36th Millennium.
- The Reign of Blood (ca. Early M36) - The brutal period of Imperial history, known as the Reign of Blood, occurs during the early centuries of the 36th Millennium, when the power-hungry tyrant, the Renegade High Lord of Terra Goge Vandire, gained direct control over the Adeptus Ministorum as well as the Adeptus Administratum by usurping the position of Ecclesiarch. This made him the single most powerful individual in the Imperium since the time of the Great Crusade, and this allowed him to place his own rule above that of the Emperor of Mankind. While Vandire ruled, he carried out massive purges of the Ecclesiarchy and the rest of the Adeptus Terra as well as a campaign of targeted killings and assassinations of countless perceived Traitors, Heretics and conspirators against his rule. This violent repression and wanton slaughter continued for seven standard decades after Vandire's ascension to the Ecclesiarchal Palace. The Adeptus Astartes and the Adeptus Mechanicus had both become estranged from Terra, fortifying their own fiefdoms while undertaking their traditional duties as best they could. Space Marines still stood against marauding aliens and the Forge Worlds of the Mechanicus still churned out the arms and armaments needed to defend humanity from its many enemies. Yet, both institutions did so according to their own judgement, rarely coordinating their long-term goals with those of Terra. The Mechanicus and the mighty Space Marine Chapters continued to play only a small role in the events of the Age of Apostasy. The vagaries of Warp travel made any long distance journeys hazardous at best and impossible in some areas. These organisations were on the defensive, protecting the few star systems they could from the carnage of Vandire's Reign of Blood. The Murdering Sons did their part, ensuring that multiple system within both the Segmentum Pacificus and Segmentum Solar were protected from the marauding armies of the Apostate High Lord. Those worlds that took up the false faith of worshiping Vandire above that of the God-Emperor suffered the terrible wrath of the Murdering Sons. These worlds were made into brutal examples for their lack of diligence and belief. In response, Vandire ordered what forces he had left to assault those of the Adeptus Astartes and the Adeptus Mechanicus who questioned his authority. Needless to say, most of Vandire's commanders refused such a suicidal course of action, and the insane High Lord condemned them as heretics.
- The Great Cull (020.M37) - Following the end of of Vandire's bloody reign, in their mercy, the High Lords of Terra begin a systematic extermination to ensure that such a corruption of faith can never occur again. The Murdering Sons launch a crusade of terror, the likes which had not been seen in many millennia. Multiple systems fall to the predations of the Murdering Sons' bloody-handed form of justice.
- Great Malagantine Purge (770-791.M38) - The Great Malagantine Purge was an Imperial military operation carried out by the Murdering Sons and four other Space Marine Chapters, collectively termed the Manus Irae who unleashed the Emperor of Mankind's wrath upon the heretical Malagant Sector in the Segmentum Tempestus. The details of this operation have been kept secret from the Imperial Adepta, including the Inquisition, with the records of the campaign sealed deep within the Celarno Vaults on Terra. What is recorded in fragmentary Imperial records if that the Manus Irae were charged by the High Lords of Terra of that era to "spare none and set a bloody, fearful example to the realm of Mankind." The death toll unleashed by the Manus Irae during the course of this 21-year long campaign is believed to have been enormous and to have cost hundreds of billions of lives. Whole worlds were put to the sword by the Astartes or were wiped clean of all life by Exterminatus orders. Due to their willingness to carry out such merciless exterminations of civilian populations whose guilt was not clear, the Murdering Sons would be shunned by many of their fellow Astartes Chapters, and a shadow would be cast over their already dark reputation.
- Cleansing of the Meratis Cluster (Unknown Date.M39) - Sometime in mid-M38, isolationist voider families fleeing persecution in the dynastic wars of the Ixaniad Sector settled the Meratis Cluster in the stellar dead zone between the abyss and their former home. In time their numbers were swollen by human Renegades, outlaws and worse, forming the Meratech Clans. Over the next millennia, this lawless region of the galaxy became caught beyond the light of the Imperium, as the outlaw Meratech Clans continuously launched raids upon Imperial worlds with impunity. Entire populations were slaughtered and stockpiles plundered, as any Imperial claim to the region was effectively severed. Though the wheels of Imperial bureaucracy turned slowly, they eventually did turn, as the eyes of the Imperium inevitably fell upon several Imperial worlds who had fallen behind on decades worth of quotas owed to the Administratum - a direct result of the constant raiding and destruction of these worlds' vital infrastructures. The High Lords of Terra immediately ordered the launch of an Imperial punitive expedition comprised of three bellicose and bloody-handed Adeptus Astartes Chapters, including - the Murdering Sons, Imperius Ravagers and the Wings of Salvaxes. Each Chapter was darkly famed in their own right, infamous for their similar savage mien and brutal heavy-handed tactics. Sent to enact the High Lords' judgement, these three Chapters were unleashed upon the unsuspecting worlds of the Meratis Cluster. The Astartes battlegroup launched a ruinous campaign of vengeance against the upstart heretic and renegade forces that inhabited this long-benighted region of space. As they fell upon world after world, they continued their relentless assault, which was both devastating and indiscriminate, as the ruthless Astartes were heedless of the loss of innocent lives. Though many Astartes fell in glory, the renegade warlords were slain and their forces fractured into hundreds of smaller, more manageable factions which were soon put down by supporting Astra Militarum regiments and Imperial Naval forces. In the wake of the conquest of nearly a dozen enemy-held worlds, the cluster of remaining worlds quickly capitulated with terrified speed, all willing to submit to Imperial rule under any terms as long as they were spared the wrath of the Emperor's Angels of Death.
- Long Night of Varonius (325-327.M40) -The Varonius Sector, a small and near-isolated region of Imperial space, located in the southern fringes of the Segmentum Tempestus, was once a bright star of Imperial majesty and the last vestige of Imperial dignity amidst the growing shadows that long assailed it. Much of the region had become plagued by mysterious "Warp Surges" - smaller, but highly unpredictable manifestation of the much-dreaded Warp Storms, causing the veil of reality and the Immaterium to become thinner over time, which allowed more and more daemonic incursions into the material universe. Attempted rebellions and conspiracies were common and the Imperium usually put most of these insurrections down swiftly and without fanfare. However, occasionally a few rebellions required a different response; not simply subjugation but retribution. The people of the Varonius Sector did not take easily to the Imperial yoke, as they submitted to the rule of the Emperor in sullen silence. However, over several millennia, as this region of space was subjected to more and more unstable warp activity, this allowed for several hidden Chaos Cults to take root, and bit by bit, they gathered more and more followers and resources, spreading a secret web across the worlds of the sector. The situation grew dire, as several worlds rose up in incurrection and bloody rebellion, refusing to acquiesce to the rightful rule of the God-Emperor and His servants. When word finally reached the High Lords of Terra of this dire threat, they immediately dispatched the Murdering Sons Chapter to this volatile sector, to enact their dark and savage retribution against the rebellious sector's populace and bring them to heel. Upon their arrival, the Murdering Sons encountered another darkly-famed Chapter of ill-repute - the Night Terrors. Though both Chapters preferred to operate independently, they found one another of like-mind and similar mein. Therefore, a hasty war council was held between representatives of both Chapters aboard the Murdering Sons' flagship, the Iustus Mortem. Both Chapter Masters laid out their objectives and decided upon which worlds their individual Chapters would launch their campaign. Once they both came to an accord, the Murdering Sons and the Sons of the Night began their own separate campaigns of retribution, bringing bolter and blade to those who foolishly resisted the yoke of Imperial rule. Fearful examples were made, as both Chapters committed horrific atrocities by slaughtering whole populations to serve as a dire warning to those who dared to obey the will of the God-Emperor and those who ruled in His stead. Both Chapters showed no mercy and accepted no surrender. The carnage unleashed by these two bellicose Chapters were legendary, even by the standards of the Adeptus Astartes, and as such, though this sector was brought back into the rightful rule of the Imperium, the entire region was left in ash and ruin - a charnel house of piled corpses and heaps of skulls - to serve as a stark reminder of the folly of resistance - and further cementing the dark reputations of these two Chapters' use of fear and terror as effective weapons of Imperial retribution and control.
- Felic War (682-670.M41) - An area key to the supply lines of several war efforts, the Felic Cluster consisted of a number of important worlds. These included the home planets of the Righteous Sons and Rift Warriors Chapters, the Forge World, Felic Proctor, and the Holdfast moonbase. Much to the detriment of connected war efforts, the system declared its independence from Terra's rule and seized control of the supply lines passing through the area. After losing contact with both Space Marine Chapters in the region, external forces were notified. To crush the new opposition, the Sons of Orar dispatched its 3rd Company, only to find their Strike Cruiser limping back with dire news. The regional Space Marine Chapters and the Forge World had added their forces to this rebellion, and were staged to defend against any attack. So it was, the Sons of Orar and Murdering Sons arrived, under the command of the Sons of Orar's very own Chapter Master Alavaan. Olovar prepared a plan to slowly constrict Felic Primaris in a tight noose, taking the key outer systems first then moving forwards. The entire campaign would last for eight bloody years involving many more Chaos warbands and Space Marine Chapters, including the Star Reapers, who were responsible for atrocities such as the bloodying of the Serenity jungle words and the destruction of Felic Proctor. The Murdering Sons themselves enacted their bloody-handed form of justice against multiple recalcitrant worlds within the Felic Cluster, leaving behind a path of utter devastation in their wake. Many of these ravaged worlds are still reeling from the losses of their devastated infrastructure, even three centuries later.
- Blood Wars (910-911.M41) - The so-called Blood Wars would become one of the darkest chapters within the annals of the Murdering Sons' history. During the campaign known as the Red Blade Wars, which occurred in 910-911.M41, the Murdering Sons fought alongside the Revenant Lords (later known as the Bone Reapers), a fearsome Blood Angels Successor Chapter, upon the hive world of Gloriam Secundus to cleanse it of the foul taint of greenskins. Throughout the campaign, the two Chapters vied with one another to claim the most victories. It was on the capital world of Gloriam Secundus where matters between the two Chapters would come to a head. During the Battle of Hive Ebonspire, the ferocious counter-attack was spearheaded by the Revenant Lords' 1st Company elite, the Necrophoroi, which helped to drive off the attacking Ork forces. But it is here that the fog of war obscures the truth of the events that occurred following the final counter-attack. It is not known, with any certainty, which Chapter was responsible for starting the feud that continues to this day. Evidence compiled from pict-captures, vox traffic, witness testimony and helmet feeds taken from fallen Astartes on both sides, would paint a general picture of the dire events that surround that fateful day. Many Imperial scholars believe that some of the Revenant Lords had fallen into the throes of the Blood Angels' genetic curse known as the Black Rage, and continued their indiscriminate slaughter even after the Orks had been annihilated. The afflicted Bone Reapers tore into the Murdering Sons' ranks, unable to distinguish between friend and foe, and so, the Bone Hunters brutally butchered many of their own cousin Astartes, including the Murdering Sons' Torture Lord (Chapter Master) Zaphon Evlon. Outraged by the actions of their supposed 'allies', the enraged Murdering Sons turned their wrath upon the rest of the Revenant Lords in a hail of bolter fire. When testifying before a formal Inquisitorial tribunal, many surviving Revenant Lords maintained that it was the Murdering Sons who had instigated hostilities between the two Chapters. They had a reputation for arrogance and would often provoke their fellow Astartes for their perceived failings, which sometimes resulted in violence. Whatever the truth of the matter, what is known, with any certainty, is that the resultant battle saw brother-fighting-brother, with the death of many dozens on either side. The fighting devolved into a savage war of attrition between the two Chapters, which resulted in the loss of over half their number on both sides. With the two combatant Chapters refusing calls to end their feud and aid with the pacification of Gloriam Secundus and its surrounding conquered worlds, an Ordo Astartes Inquisitor, leading three large Crusade forces from the Black Templars, were despatched to sunder the two and end the internal strife. In the decades after, both sides would claim that the other Chapter was responsible for setting in motion the terrible chain of events that led to their confrontation. This conflict is a source of pride for both Chapters, and a source of secret shame. Though both claimed victory, each Chapter feared that they had actually lost, and in truth, the battle proved bloody but inconclusive. In retribution for their disreputable actions, both Chapters were forced to undergo a fifty-year long Penitent Crusade for taking up arms against one another. This conflict has created lasting enmity between the Murdering Sons and Revenant Lords Chapters. Both have sworn vengeance upon the other should the opportunity arise and each Chapter has banned one another from entering their respective demesnes. This terrible event came to be known forevermore as the 'Blood Wars'.
- The Great Rift (999.M41) - In the final year of the 41st Millennium the 13th Black Crusade, a massive invasion by the Forces of Chaos led by Abaddon the Despoiler, erupted out of the Eye of Terror. The great Chaos Lord led the largest invasion of the Imperium since the Horus Heresy against the fortress world of Cadia. A chain reaction of warp cataclysms ripped across the Imperium, plunging its worlds into disaster and awakening the dormant powers of latent psykers across the galaxy. The Imperium was torn in two along its length, giving rise to the phenomenon known as the Cicatrix Maledictum - the Great Rift. Countless civilisations were lost to daemonic incursions as the galaxy burned. Still reeling from extensive losses sustained during their five decades-long penitent crusade, undertaken for their actions following the Blood Wars, the Murdering Sons arrived from the outer darkness, too late, to take part in the fighting against Abaddon's forces. The Murdering Sons had only just arrived in the southern reaches of the Segmentum Obscurus when the galaxy was torn asunder by the massive tear in reality, known as the Great Rift. Following swiftly in wake of the warp storm's shock waves came the Forces of Chaos and legions of daemons as their vanguard, followed hard by the fleets of the Traitor Legions and the ragged masses of Renegade Chapters and their associated Chaos Cults. Beset on all sides by rebellion, insurrection, cultist activities and daemonic incursions, the Murdering Sons launched their forces wholeheartedly into those systems that were heavily beset by Chaos. Though the Astronomican still flickered sporadically, the Murdering Sons risked only short jumps through the warp. They clove a bloody path through system after system, unleashing the full might of their Chapter against the Forces of Chaos, freeing several worlds from the enslavement of Greater Daemons and powerful Chaos Lords.
- A Light in the Darkness (999.M41) - Soon word reached the Chapter that a miracle had occurred - the long-dead Primarch Roboute Guilliman had been resurrected from his millennia-long slumber and now personally led his Indomitus Crusade outwards from Holy Terra to bring wrath and retribution to the unholy forces of the Immaterium. Though the Murdering Sons were elated to hear that one of the demigod-sons of the Emperor now walked the galaxy once more, they had no time to celebrate, as they were firmly entrenched in fighting the forces of the Archenemy. When the Chapter arrived upon the backwater world of Mortua Secundus to free the population from their daemonic overlords, they soon found themselves severely outnumbered by the untimely arrival of a large host of Heretic Astartes comprised of the Night Lords and the Word Bearers renegade warband known as the Host of the Truthbringer. Sending a desperate astro-telepathic cry for assistance, the Murdering Sons dug themselves in as best they could and vowed to make their last stand against the superior Chaos force, determined to sell themselves dearly and take as many of the Heretic scum with them. Their salvation arrived in the form of a small Imperial taskforce comprised of several Astra Militarum regiments and led by a small cadre of Adeptus Custodes and Sisters of Silence. Teleporting amongst the ranks of the foe, bolters roared and crackling blades tore through heretic battle-plate and flesh, as a Custodian Shield-Captain led the assault that saw the traitor forces' cohesion shattered. Inspired by the sudden arrival of the Emperor's most faithful servants, the Murdering Sons launched their own counter-attack against the heretic forces, and soon, the blood of both Loyalist and heretic stained the ground as corpses were piled in gory heaps as the Night Lords, Heretic Astartes and their daemonic allies fought back furiously. After two days and a night of unremitting savagery, the Chaos host was broken. The Shield-Captain then approached Lucius Mordua and presented the Chapter Master with a gift of the utmost importance - a company of newly created Primaris Space Marine reinforcements. He also presented to the Chapter's Techmarines and Apothecaries the secrets behind their creation and the means to continue producing more of these superbly-wrought warriors, so that the Chapter could replenish their sorely depleted ranks. The Murdering Sons understood the gravitas of what they had been offered and graciously embraced the Emperor's beneficence in their hour of need.
- Indomitus Crusade (999.M41-Early centuries of M42) - The Murdering Sons were grateful for the arrival of Primaris Space Marines bearing their own grim heraldry. Brought before the Chapter, it was akin to a meeting of long-lost brothers separated at birth. These new warriors' strength was most welcomed, for they had arrived at a time of great darkness and upheaval. Once the ranks of the Murdering Sons were reinforced with their newly created Primaris brethren, they proceeded to launch a crusade towards the galactic north, towards the so-called Imperium Nihilus, or the Dark Imperium. This region of the galaxy lay beyond the light of the Astronomican due to the formation of the Great Rift. Thousands of worlds were trapped within, coming under renewed assault from the myriad enemies of Mankind, including the Forces of Chaos and xenos alike. The Murdering Sons were determined to find a stable warp-route through the Imperium Nihilus. After several decades, the Chapter found the only known stable passage - the Nachmund Gauntlet - and successfully made the perilous journey through the warp storms and strange anomalies that plagued this region. Declaring their safe passage through the Nachmund Gauntlet a miracle, the Murdering Sons proceeded to conduct a massive campaign of genocide and terror, the likes of which had not been seen since the dark days of the Great Scouring, against those Imperial worlds who had seceded from the rightful rule of the Emperor of Mankind or who dared to make truck with the Ruinous Powers. The Chapter would go on to free dozens of systems from the tyranny of the Dark Gods with their trademark brutality and draconian form of dark justice, though inevitably, many of their campaigns would be unable to reach the vast number of imperilled planets. Despite these setbacks, it would be through the valiant efforts of such bellicose Chapters as the Murdering Sons that eventually saw Mankind persevere during the darkest hours the Imperium had endured since the Horus Heresy.
Having no home world to speak of, the Murdering Sons are a fleet-based Chapter, operating solely from its substantial warfleet as part of a perpetual crusade.
The ancient Avenger-class Grand Cruiser, the Iustus Mortem serves as the Murdering Sons' flagship and mobile fortress-monastery. This vessel is of ancient provenance, is believed to be pre-Imperial in origin and constructed some time during the Dark Age of Technology. This noteworthy but relatively uncommon type of warship is known as a 'pocket battleship' - something of a halfway house between a battleship and a cruiser in size and firepower. They are intended principally to be capable of operating on their own rather than as part of a larger fleet, however, like many vessels of this type, has been further designed for range. The Iustus Mortem is designed to undergo long durations of deployment without significant resupply or refit.
Often utilised as a 'line-breaker', when this mighty vessel closes with an enemy vessel, it will suddenly accelerate to maximum speed and race into the heart of an enemy's flotilla. Once there, it will sit in place and use its massive number of heavy broadside weapons batteries to trade barrages at point-blank range. Causing massive damage and disruption through this close-quarters slug-match, the enemy formation is reduced to disarray. The enemy vessels that are lucky enough to survive the guns of the Iustus Mortem then proves to be easy prey for the following waves of Murdering Sons warships to mop up.
This vessel makes for a formidable heavy raider and can use its range and speed to catch targets unawares, as well as being a powerful flagship for the Chapter's warfleet of cruiser and escorts. It is believed that the Murdering Sons were gifted this ancient vessel by the High Lords of Terra upon their inception in the 35th Millennium.
As a fleet-based Chapter, the Murdering Sons have no home world to speak of, and instead draw their recruits from a variety of different worlds throughout the various Segmentums while on crusade, preferably from feral or death worlds, where the harsh conditions of these inhospitable planets breed hardy genetic stock, ideal for becoming Adeptus Astartes. Representatives of the Murdering Sons visit each recruiting world once within a normal human's lifetime, and take the strongest juveniles from the population. Each Aspirant is thoroughly screened, and from the moment he is accepted into the Chapter as a Neophyte, his past becomes irrelevant. He will then undergo the normal rites to become a Space Marine. However, should he fail, he will face one of two fates -- become a Chapter Serf or be mind-wiped and converted into a servitor, the mindless cybernetic automatons that carry out the labourious tasks of the Chapter.
Surprisingly, the Murdering Sons adhere strongly to the tenets of the Codex Astartes despite their barbaric nature. The structure of the Chapter follows the Codex somewhat closely, with only a few minor changes and unique units not found in any other Chapter. Almost all squads within the Chapter utilise a name in place of the simple designation. Squads within a company are therefore referred to by a variety of names such as 'Revenants', 'Wraiths' or a number of other epithets often coupled with an indication of hierarchy or honourific - 'Tenebrous Wraiths', 'Third Revenants', 'The Seventh Tormentors', to name but a few amongst hundreds. The Company is the basic strategic deployment within the Murdering Sons Chapter and each squad belongs to a company which might number anywhere between 80 and 100 warriors. Most companies also utilise a title in addition to their numeric designation - the 2nd Company ('The Bloody Judges'), the 5th Company ('The Wraith Brethren'), the 8th Company ('The Baleful Executioners'), and so on. Unlike many Chapters, the Murdering Sons will often group multiple companies together, forming individual task forces. This provides the Sons a flexible approach to warfare which allows the Chapter to operate with a high degree of fluidity and to be readily separated into autonomous units or combined into ad hoc formations as their Chapter Master dictates. Just as squads and companies bear names to set them apart from each other, so too do the commanders of the Chapter adorn their names with secondary monikers and titles.
The Murdering Sons have access to a full range of war machines utilised by the Emperor's armies, and even though this Chapter favours their particular brutal style of punitive and excoriation operations, they still make use of various Astartes armoured vehicles and aerial transports available to them. Due to individual companies often conducting independent operations, the Murdering Sons vehicles are held at the company level. Squadrons operate in direct support of the company's squads. Utilising Rhino armoured personnel carriers and Land Raiders, the Murdering Sons strike when possible during hours of darkness - preferably at dusk or dawn. The Sons deploy their armoured vehicles much in the same way as the Chapter deploys as a whole - deploying these war machines at an enemy's weakest point and rampaging through rear zones in order to cut off communications, supply lines and isolate individual concentrations of enemy troops. They then rapidly deploy individual squads to destroy their chosen targets at their leisure. The Chapter also makes use of a standard complement of Thunderhawk and Stormtalon gunships in order to rapidly deploy individual squads during their planetary assaults.
- Tormentor Lord - Chapter Master equivalent.
- Excoriator-Captain - Captain equivalent.
- Castigator-Lieutenant - Lieutenant equivalent.
- Torture Master - The infamous Torture Masters are those veteran Battle-Brothers who specialise in the application and use of torture. This small coterie of specialists are made up of the most coldly dispassionate and darkly imaginative of the Murdering Sons brethren. As experts of their bloody craft, these specialists are apt at creating invasive punishments that keep their victims alive and lucid far longer than they would wish to be. Utilising specially selected implements of torture, they are able to carry out a variety of horrific torture techniques that can prolong the agony of their victims many hours or even days.
- High Persecutor - Reclusiarch equivalent.
- Persecutor Chaplain - These are the Chaplains of the Murdering Sons who lead their fellow battle-brothers in the morbid punishment rites in which the Chapter engages. Persecutor Chaplains are often recruited from amongst the Torture Masters of the Chapter. These fearsome individuals are as skilled in the arts of interrogation, torture and psychological manipulation as most experienced members of the Inquisition's Ordo Hereticus.
- Master Scryer - Chief Librarian equivalent.
- Scryer - Librarian equivalent.
- Forge Lord - Master of the Forge equivalent.
- Artificer - Techmarine equivalent.
- Primus Chirurgeon - Chief Apothecary equivalent.
- Chirurgeon - Unlike their more conventional Apothecary counterparts of most Space Marine Chapters, the Chirurgeons of the Murdering Sons are charged with other arts than mere healing, for they are also masters of twisted surgical arts, which their fellow Apothecaries would deem unnatural and barbaric. These masters of anatomy and the surgical arts are often charged with overseeing interrogations, conduct vivisections, oversee the flaying of the guilty and contrive inventively malignant punishments, keeping their "subjects" alive and lucid far longer than they wish to be.
- Chief Punisher Sergeant - Veteran Sergeant equivalent.
- Punisher Sergeant - Sergeant equivalent.
- Butcher Brother - Battle-Brother equivalent.
Order of Battle
The following represents the order of battle of the Murdering Sons Chapter as it stands in 999.M41:
|Veteran Company||Battle Companies|
|Reserve Companies||Scout Company|
The Murdering Sons believe they are the retributors of the Emperor, created for the sole purpose of bringing swift, merciless justice to those that would dare transgress against Him and the laws of the Imperium. They reserve a special hatred for those who reject the Emperor and embrace something else in His place - be it an apostate, a rebellious planetary ruler or more grievously, foul xenos or the servants of the Ruinous Powers. The eradication of such heresy is a prime goal of the Murdering Sons. When the High Lords of Terra have identified a world whose faith has been found wanting and turned their backs on both the Imperium and the God-Emperor, the Murdering Sons are unleashed. Such crimes require not simply crushing but retribution. These actions are well suited to this Chapter. The Murdering Sons feel it is their sacred duty to drag those found wanting back from the shadows of ignorance and discord, and into illumination. Imperial law is clear - the Emperor rewards thoroughness. If there is the slightest suspicion or involvement of such heresy, they must be purged through any means necessary. When it involves an entire world, the Murdering Sons are not so discerning as to single out just those responsible. In their eyes, all are guilty by association. The Sons show no mercy and offer no quarter. Their methods often leads to the destruction of entire cities and, if need be, entire worlds. Better a dead world than one that does not bow to the Emperor - or worse, serves His enemies and the enemies of all Mankind.
The Murdering Sons have no moral compunction performing the most barbarous acts in order to carry out the will of the Council of the High Lords. Their drive to enact retribution overrides all other impulses within them. It is not known if this is a result of some particular curse of their blood or if it was intentionally engineered into their gene-seed. Their ways and methods of war are geared towards the righteous drive to punish the guilty. Most disturbing of all, is the Murdering Sons' proclivity for torture and outright murder. They believe that the terrifying arts of murder and mayhem that they perpetrate in the Emperor's name are coldly calculated means to an end. In their skewed moral view, there is no such thing is innocence or guilt. The Sons believe justice is neither warm nor caring, and those who are judged and found wanting, only deserve swift retribution as cold and dispassionate as the sharpened edges of their flaying knives.
Serving as judge, jury and executioners, the Murdering Sons willingly enact their bloody form of justice against those whose crimes are deemed particularly egregious in the eyes of the Senatorum Imperialis. The brutal punishments carried out by the Murdering Sons are designed to be at their most visceral and personal which include - systematic mutilation, flaying, flogging, crucifixion and dismemberment. One of their more brutal traditions is the practice of habitually wearing totem-relics of significant enemies upon their battle-plate. They are also known to adorn their armour and vehicles with the bones, skulls and sometimes flayed skins of those who have resisted the rule of the Imperium - a psychological ploy utilised by the Murdering Sons to great effect. These grisly displays send a clear message to those yet to be punished that a similar fate awaits them.
Despite the Murdering Sons' nature and their barbaric reputation, the Chapter and its Battle-Brothers have been observed to be seemingly, almost incredibly, loyal. On the rare occasions when they have been encountered most of the Murdering Sons have been observed to show reverence towards the Imperial Creed and places of Imperial worship. Many have also been observed to make the habit of carrying devotional items such as prayer scrolls or a personal reliquary containing votive items such as the ashes of fallen comrades as a talisman. However, all this stands in contrast to the savagery they show to their enemies. Those who've had dealings with this Chapter have also observed that the Murdering Sons are respectful and quite formal when dealing with other agents of Imperial authority, such as members of the Ecclesiarchy or the Inquisition. However, this does not mean that the Murdering Sons are subservient to these authorities, as they only recognise the authority of the God-Emperor and those who rule the Imperium on His behalf. On rare occasions, this lesson has been learned too late by those who have tried to overstep their Emperor-given mandates - usually at great personal cost. Whenever the Murdering Sons have fought alongside the armies of the Imperium in force, they often display a propensity for being a bellicose and turbulent ally - unpredictable at best and dangerous at worst.
Like most of the history of the dark era that the Murdering Sons were created in, the origins of this Chapter's gene-seed has been lost to time. Opportunities to study the Murdering Sons' organs involved have been exceedingly rare, and the Chapter themselves are singularly unhelpful in this regard due to their continuous crusades undertaken across the width and breadth of the galaxy. Though required to submit a genetic tithe to the Magos Biologis, to ensure the genetic health of a Space Marine Chapter and to store it for future use for founding new Chapters if the need arises, what few samples the Murdering Sons are willing to provide, arrive to the Adeptus Mechanicus infrequently. The scant few samples they have received is surprisingly pure, bearing the least evidence of mutation, with all nineteen implants functioning with commendable efficiency. The only noticeable trait is that these Astartes tend to show a tendency for moral exoneration and a drive to enact retribution. It is not known if this is a result of the genetic legacy their gene-seed was derived from, or whether it was introduced long ago from some unknown genetic stock from one of the several worlds the Murdering Sons recruit from while on crusade. There are no common phenotypes amongst encountered Murdering Sons.
It is well documented that the divergence in programming and influence of the Primarch's genotype in the transformation of human to transhuman Astartes that, beyond any other factor, sets the various Space Marine Chapters apart from each other. In the case of the Murdering Sons, this factor shows clearly both in temperament and overtly in the psychological. The Murdering Sons display a propensity for the use of violence and calculated, cold-blooded murder in order to achieve their aims. They have a keen understanding of the human psyche, and willingly employ such brutal tactics in order to maintain Imperial order. When committing such horrible acts, they often display cold indifference when enacting their brutal forms of justice - as cold and uncaring as their ritual flaying knives. Though deemed barbaric and bellicose in nature by many of their fellow Astartes Chapter, the Murdering Sons are known to display unequivocal loyalty to both the High Lords of Terra and the Emperor to a fault.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Murdering Sons have utilised the same brutal tactics throughout their millennia of existence. Unexpected violence is their calling card. When they conduct a campaign it is both an unsubtle and bloody affair, but brutally swift. Unlike many of their fellow Astartes Chapters, the Murdering Sons are kept under the tight control of the Senatorum Imperialis and unleashed at the High Lords' command as often to chastise those who would renege on their oaths of service as to destroy those who resist the Imperium's manifest destiny to rule the galaxy. When called upon to do so, the Murdering Sons are often utilised to bring a rebellious world or defiant system back into the Imperial fold.
When enacting a retribution campaign upon a hapless world, the Murdering Sons often arrive without warning or being bidden to do so. Boldly announcing their presence, the Sons broadcast their brutal intentions to the doomed populace below, brushing aside any entreaties or supplications by those whom are to be judged. Striking seemingly from nowhere, they favour hit-and-run attacks to frontal assaults, before melting back into the darkness. Nowhere is safe from the Murdering Sons' wrath, as they systematically work their way across a planet's surface rounding up captives from every home, hab and shack. Those that resist are brutally killed. With bones hanging from their battle-plate and death mask symbols applied to their helmets, these sable armoured Astartes appear as death incarnate, come to claim those who have transgressed the Emperor's laws.
The fate of these wretched souls are given over to the Chapter's Torture Masters who place them in death pits. Placed upon flensing frames, the Sons use their ritual flaying knives to expertly remove the skin of their screaming victims, then display their bloody skins from the city's buildings, flapping in the breeze like gruesome flags. Over the course of many days, their victims are systematically tortured and slaughtered. The Sons variously flog their victims, break their limbs, cut out their eyes and roast them over slow fires. Soon a cloying, dense pall of black smoke and the stench of burning flesh permeates throughout the city. But always, the Murdering Sons will leave their victims' tongues, so that the screams of the dying and soon-to-be dead echo throughout the city - a wailing doom and dire warning to their wayward kin - "This fate will be yours. Thus perish all traitors." Never once, throughout this entire ghastly process, will the Sons' utter a single word. When they finally complete their grim task, they depart as swiftly as they have come, leaving the traumatised survivors to look on in mute horror at the price of their resistance.
When the Murdering Sons enact their final act of retribution, their assaults are calculated exercises in ferocity, aimed to tear and rend until the foe lies in ruins or is driven to their inevitable death. In a final, calculated lightning assault, hundreds of sable clad warriors will descend upon the planet's surface and hit a narrow portion of its defences with overwhelming brutal force. These objectives are usually densely populated and ill-defended cities. If necessary, the Murdering Sons will repeat this gruesome process on multiple worlds until a recalcitrant system finally surrenders out of abject terror. Their gruesome work done, the Murdering Sons will then vanish back into the void.
The Murdering Sons are an insular and taciturn Chapter. This only becomes more pronounced when they are amongst other Space Marines. They possess a well-deserved reputation for merciless slaughter. In battle, a battle-brother of the Sons does not tolerate any enemy, whether xenos, heretic, or even fellow humans who may have been misled into rebellion against the Imperium's rightful rule. They often grimly execute any opponents they encounter, even if they have surrendered, possess valuable intelligence, or are not front-line combatants. The other interesting and disturbing detail about the Murdering Sons in battle is that they conduct themselves in complete silence. It is assumed that the Chapter's senior leaders transfer any commands over a secured and encrypted internal vox net. When encountered, witnesses report that these Astartes abstain from issuing any word or sound to friend or foe. Instead, these silent warriors have been observed to seemingly make use of some form of communication through hand gestures with finger and thumb, presumably to convey concepts of great subtlety or intricate nature. The carnage the Murdering Sons enact in such eerie silence is known to cause those who have beheld such silent horror - both allies and survivors - to be chilled to the very core of their souls.
The Murdering Sons have a long history of service with the Deathwatch, the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos of the Inquisition. However, due to the crusading nature of this Chapter, they infrequently send individual Battle-Brothers to fulfil their obligations of the Long Watch. On occasions, lone Space Marines in sable and gold livery wearing grim fetishes of death, have been known to arrive at the Watch Fortresses of the Deathwatch within the Jericho Reach, unbidden and unannounced. When pressed, they reply that they hail from the Chapter known as the Murdering Sons. Many of these individual Battle-Brothers are experienced veterans who have won great renown amongst their fellow warriors.
Notable Murdering Sons
- Torture Lord Dargus Khaine - Patriarch and first Chapter Master of the Murdering Sons.
- Torture Lord Lucius Mordua - Current Chapter Master of the Murdering Sons.
- Torture Lord Zaphon Evlon (Deceased) - Predecessor of Lucius Mordua, Zaphon Evolon was one of the longest serving Chapter Masters of the Murdering Sons until he met his fate at the hands of the Bone Reapers Chapter during the internecine fighting that occurred during the Blood Wars nearly a century ago.
- Excoriator-Captain Than Mortane - First Captain of the Murdering Sons' elite 1st Company, he also serves as the Chapter's Master of Persecutions.
- Excoriator-Captain Rykos Saros - Current Captain of the Murdering Sons 2nd Company, he also serves as the Chapter's Master of Rites.
- Excoriator-Captain Janos Mortanus - Current Captain of the Murdering Sons 3rd Company, he also serves as the Chapter's Master of the Marches.
- Excoriator-Captain Sardu Turel - Current Captain of the Murdering Sons 4th Company, he also serves as the Chapter's Master of the Fleet.
- Excoriator-Captain Seth Audron - Current Captain of the Murdering Sons 5th Company, he also serves as the Chapter's Master of Relics.
- Excoriator-Captain Syras Malegant - Current Captain of the Murdering Sons 6th Company, he also serves as the Chapter's Master of Misery.
- Excoriator-Captain Ramiel Corvanus - Current Captain of the Murdering Sons 7th Company, he also serves as the Chapter's Master of the Watch.
- Excoriator-Captain Melchiah Nihilus - Current Captain of the Murdering Sons 8th Company, he also serves as the Chapter's Master of Executions.
- Excoriator-Captain Damian Nirgali - Current Captain of the Murdering Sons 9th Company, he also serves as the Chapter's Master of Ordnance.
- Excoriator-Captain Jerod Dumatros - Current Captain of the Murdering Sons 10th Company, he also serves as the Chapter's Master of Recruits.
- High Persecutor Balin Zantos - The senior-most Chaplain within the Murdering Sons and Master of Sanctity.
- Master Scryer Zane Lothar - Chief Librarian and Master of Knowledge of the Chapter's Librarius.
- Primus Chirurgeon Zaraphon Carnelian - Chief Apothecary of the Murdering Sons and Lord Medicae of the Chapter's Apothecarion.
- Forge Lord Nicodamius Entreri - Senior Techmarine of the Murdering Sons and Master of the Forge of the Chapter's Armoury.
- Mortuary Champion Daimion Aza'zel - chapter Champion and personal bodyguard of Chapter Master Mordua.
- Mortuary Standard Bearer Cerberios Maraduk - Chapter Standard Bearer of the Murdering Sons.
- Torture Master Primus Zephon Tántalos - Zephon Tántalos serves as the Chapter's senior-most Torture Master, who specialises in the creation of new methods, techniques and application of torture. A darkly malevolent soul, Zephon has earned a notorious reputation amongst the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes for his rampant use of torture, mutilation and mass murder. His unmatched cruelty and penchant for barbaric executions has contributed to his reputation as one of the Murdering Sons' most prolific and cold-blooded killers.
- Iustus Mortem (Avenger-class Grand Cruiser) - Flagship of the Murdering Sons.
- Stygian Herald (Warspite-class Battle-Barge)
- Cruciatus Voca (Battle-Barge)
- Tenebris Mortis (Battle-Barge)
- Angelus Ultorem (Battle-Barge)
- Divinum Absolutio (Strike Cruiser)
- Praeco Autum Dolor (Strike Cruiser)
- Delicatus Agonia (Strike Cruiser)
- Dolor Syphoniae (Strike Cruiser)
- Tribulatio Tormentum (Strike Cruiser)
The Murdering Sons also possess an unknown number of Escorts and other strike craft that makes up their substantial Chapter warfleet.
The Murdering Sons primarily wear black coloured power armour with gold coloured trim on their shoulder pauldrons. The open-faced gold coloured squad specialty symbol -- Tactical, Devastator, Assault and Veteran -- is located on the right shoulder pad. A gold coloured gothic numeral is stenciled in the center of the specialty symbol, indicating squad number. A gold coloured Aquila or Imperialis is displayed on the chestplate. It is unknown how they designate Company number. Kill markings, fetishes and grisly trophies are often displayed upon their battle-plate, further adding to the aura of menace that surrounds these brutal Astartes.
The Murdering Sons' Chapter badge is a large stylised skeleton holding a sword dripping with blood in one hand, and an hourglass in the other - a dire warning to their enemies that their time is up, and that death has come for them.
While the term 'ally' would be somewhat inaccurate, considering the insular nature of the Reapers, both Chapters share an affinity for brutality and an understanding of the dark nature of the Imperium. In addition, the melding of the two Chapters in terms of combat operations is almost faultless. Their relationship is further emphasised by their shared fanaticism for delivering the Emperor's retribution to those who would turn from His light for the seeming betterment of the Imperium. Though they may differ in their approach on how they mete out their particular brand of justice towards the various enemies of the Imperium, and they might not see eye-to-eye on their overall tactical objectives, these two Chapters do possess a grudging respect for one another, recognising that they are kindred spirits. No one is quite sure when such a warrior bond was formed between the Sons and the Star Reapers, but what is known with any certainty, is that the two Chapters will fight alongside one another, on rare occasions, when circumstances prove most dire.
The Marines Malevolent are a brutal and merciless Chapter who are deeply dedicated to the eradication of all of the Imperium's enemies. Their callous disregard for the fate of others and zeal in prosecuting wars against the those that transgress the Emperor's law is very similar to the mien and tactics practiced by the Murdering Sons. Though brutal and unforgiving, no one can gainsay this Chapter's effectiveness in battle, and while several other Space Marine Chapters might consider the Marines Malevolent belligerent and wanting in brotherhood, the Murdering Sons have somehow found commonality with their fellow brother Chapter, and have shown a willingness to serve alongside them in multiple campaigns, despite their unsavoury reputation.
Like the Murdering Sons, the Minotaurs are another similarly unforgiving Chapter of brutal repute that is seemingly deployed according to the highest level of pronouncements of the High Lords of Terra and rarely, if ever, answer calls to war from any other Imperial authority. The Sons, too, are only deployed by the will of the High Lords as a weapon of last resort. While the term 'ally' would be somewhat inaccurate, considering the insular nature of the Minotaurs, both Chapters share an affinity for meting out swift and brutal punishment to those that transgress against the laws of the Imperium. Despite their reputation for displaying open contempt for most other brother Chapters, the Murdering Sons have earned the Minotaurs' begrudging respect for their unforgiving and merciless ways - traits the Minotaurs themselves, often display when dealing with the enemies of the Imperium.
Sons of the Night
Both the Murdering Sons and the Sons of the Night share an affinity for brutality and an understanding of the dark nature of the Imperium. On several occasions, these two Chapters have campaigned together, as both share the same fanaticism for delivering the Emperor's retribution to those who would turn from the light of the Emperor. Despite their insular natures, both Chapters possess a similar brutal mien and dark reputation for dispensing particularly brutal forms of draconian punishment. When these two Chapters have fought alongside one another, their campaigns are both unsubtle and bloody affairs, brutally swift and unexpected in their violence. Imperial worlds that have fallen into insurrection or foolishly attempt to secede from the Imperium often face the most dire of fates when these two Chapters are sent to enact their dark and bloody-handed retribution. Though these two Chapters might not see eye-to-eye on their overall tactical objectives, they do possess a grudging respect for one another, recognising that they are kindred spirits. It is unknown when these two savage Chapters formed their warrior bond, but what is known with any certainty, is that they have fought alongside one another, on rare occasions, when circumstances have proved most dire for the Imperium.
Since the time of the lamentable event known as the Blood Wars, which occurred in the early 900's.M41, these two Chapters have had a lasting enmity that won't cease. The Murdering Sons claim it was the Bone Reapers who fired the first shot, by wantonly murdering their Chapter Master in cold blood. The Bone Reapers insist that it was the Murdering Sons who attacked them first, without provocation. Whatever the truth, both Chapters hate each other in extremis, and are forbidden, by order of the Inquisition, to be within the same warzone. Should they ever be in the same proximity, hostilities will most likely resume and the resulting bloodshed and collateral damage would be catastrophic.
The Howling Wolves are disgusted by the complete disregard for innocent life that is shown by the Murdering Sons. The two Chapters first met each other during a campaign to retake an agri-world that had started to rebel against the Imperium. When they initiated the campaign after their forces were ready, they started off with the task of capturing the world's capital city, whose populace was still loyal but kept in line by the traitorous PDF and local Adeptus Arbites who supported the Planetary-Governor, which served the purpose of convincing the remaining rebels to surrender. But before the Nova Wolves and Imperial Guard elements could arrive to begin the assault, it was discovered that the Murdering Sons had sent in a strike force and razed the capital to the ground, slaughtering all the civilians. It was only thanks to the High Lords of Terra that the rest of the planet did not meet a similar fate, and ever since this one incident, the Howling Wolves have despised the Murdering Sons.
The Lightning Wraiths despises the Murdering Sons for their brutality towards children. Although they do agree that a rebellious colony needs to be dealt with, wiping all the inhabitants of a world from the face of the universe is not a method that they condone. In fact, during one notable incident, there was a time where both Chapters nearly waged war against each other over a single child. The Murdering Sons wanted to burn the child and make an example of him while the Lightning Wraiths wanted to make him into a Space Marine so that his rebellious planet's history would not taint the child's mind. It was through the orders of the High Lords of Terra that the conflict was resolved, by killing the child so that no trace of his civilization would exist. Unable to go against the orders of the High Lords, the Lightning Wraiths reluctantly gave the child to the Murdering Sons and were forced to walk away as the child was slaughtered. This once act of cold-blooded murder has never been forgotten by the Lightning Wraiths, who have sworn to rectify this injustice one day.
The reason for the acrimony that exists between these two Chapters is not known with any certainty. Though many Imperial scholars theorise that some sort of crime was committed against one another, the truth is far simpler. During the long years of the Indomitus Crusade, when the forces of the Imperium were beset on all sides by the myriad of foes that beset the length and width of the galaxy, inevitably, many of the newly created Space Marine Chapters of the recent Ultima Founding often found themselves fighting alongside older and more esteemed Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. It was during one such campaign that the Feral Sons came into contact with the brutal Astartes of the Murdering Sons. Both Chapters participated in a joint campaign upon the world known as Nekruhn. During this campaign the Feral Sons became infuriated with their fellow Chapter and how they had conducted themselves.
During one notable incident, the Murdering Sons systematically rounded up the inhabitants of an entire hive city and slaughtered every man, woman and child. When the Feral Sons came upon the abandoned city, this once vibrant settlement had been turned into a bloody abattoir. The Murdering Sons had performed such a cruel act in order to sow fear amongst the world's populace and to demoralise the insurrectionist forces that were responsible for instituting massive uprisings and insurrection across the planet. When the Murdering Sons were confronted by the newly arrived Feral Sons about their actions, a brief scuffle ensued between the two Chapters. Though there were no serious casualties, several Astartes were wounded during the ensuing melee. Considering their task complete, the Murdering Sons took their leave and left the Feral Sons to their own devices.
Following the conclusion of this campaign, the Feral Sons reported the Murdering Sons' conduct to the High Lords of Terra, but as of yet, there has been no recriminations or punishment meted out to those responsible for committing such an atrocity, much to the Feral Sons' chagrin. This incident has sown the seeds of lasting animosity between the two Chapters, causing a rift that would further widen as the Indomitus Crusade wore on. The relationship between these two Chapters is a cold one at best. The Feral Sons vehemently refuse to serve within any warzone that the Murdering Sons are operating in. The latter Chapter cares not for such petty squabbling, and shows casual indifference to their offended, younger Primaris brethren.
The Murdering Sons are amongst the few Chapters that the Nova Wolves truly despise, exceeding even their hatred for the likes of the Marines Malevolent and the Minotaurs. Despite having relatively few encounters with these pseudo-Night Lords, the Nova Wolves have heard the stories from other Astartes of the atrocities committed by these monsters, and are disgusted that they are sanctioned by the High Lords of Terra. Their opinion of the Murdering Sons completely dropped as soon as both Chapters were operating in the same Warzone, with the Nova Wolves coming to blows with them as soon as they saw the atrocities being committed firsthand, with only the timely intervention of the Inquisition stopping the situation from escalating into an all out war. To this day the Murdering Sons are avoided by the Nova Wolves and their allies as much as possible, for they do not know what they would do next if they were to see these monsters operate in a warzone again.
The Salamanders are an ancient and heroic First Founding Chapter. They are most unusual amongst the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, as they are unusually concerned with the loss of innocent life. They believe that one of their most important duties is to protect the lives of the Emperor's innocent subjects whenever and wherever possible. The Salamanders do not approve of the brutal methods utilised by the Murdering Sons and other Chapters of their ilk, which has almost resulted in the Salamanders and the Sons coming to blow with one another on several occasions. The Sons' unnecessarily cruel methods and bloody-handed tactics are looked upon with great disgust by the Salamanders. This venerable Chapter looks down upon their younger cousins with utter contempt, seeing them as no better than a force of gore-splattered savages, little better than renegades, in the guise of noble Astartes. Whenever these two Chapters are within a warzone in the same proximity, hostilities between these two is always a distinct possibility. It is only through the efforts of the ever-watchful Ordo Astartes that an all-out inter-Chapter conflict has been avoided, thus far.
The Murdering Sons hate the Night Lords and everything they represent. The Sons fervently believe that their brutal methods, though cruel and extreme, are necessary. Their methods are merely a tool - a cold calculated means to an end. Whereas the Night Lords' proclivities for murder and destruction are employed simply for the sick pleasure of creating terror on a massive scale. The Sons' take extreme unction when their detractors insinuate that their Chapter is no better than this notorious Traitor Legion of mutilators and renegades. The Night Lords likewise, do not care either way, and are almost flattered in a way. They see the dark irony that the Imperium would utilise such monsters to instill 'order' upon the masses, even though they were damned for such actions themselves ten millennia earlier, during the dark days of the Horus Heresy. On the rare occasion when these two diametrically opposed forces have met - both darkly-famed in their own right for being savage and unyielding - they have fought each other to near-mutual annihilation.
Unhinged fanatics dedicated utterly to Chaos Undivided, the Host of the Truthbringer is a faction of Word Bearers considered insane even by the standards of their Legion. Thus they are filled with dark hatred at the sight of fanatics of another faith, especially faith in the Anathema. Enemies of actuality and desiring nothing less than the overtaking of the material realm by the Warp, the Dreadhost have lead many reckless, ferocious raids against the Murdering Sons, seeking to crush them along with all others who dare deny the supremacy and divine glory of Chaos.
By the Murdering Sons
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- "The purging is at last at hand. The day of reckoning is here! Heretic defilers...they shall all be cleansed as they drown in lakes of blood. Now they will know why they fear death. Now they will learn why they fear the night."
- — Dhargus Khaine, Patriarch and first Tormentor Lord of the Murdering Sons
- "Many Chapters go for the throat. We go for the eyes, the tongue. Then the hands. Then the feet. Then finally, we skin the crippled remains, and offer it up as an example for any still bearing witness."
- — Torture Master Primus Zephon Tántalos summarising the cruel methods commonly utilised by the Murdering Sons
- "You want freedom so badly? Tell me where your treacherous kin are hiding, and I'll free you from your torment forever."
- — Unknown Torture Master while interrogating an Agent of Liberty during The Reckoning
- "Strip the Flesh! Salt the Wound!"
- — Common saying amongst the Murdering Sons.
About the Murdering Sons
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- "Our bloody handed allies, hired killers over soldiers. Still, a blade of ill repute can be reliable. More so than his honourable brother."
- — Unknown Star Reapers Astartes
- "They are as brutal and remorseless as us. And yet, because they are lapdogs of the High Lords and are so lost, that they see a God in the Emperor, all their exactions are pardoned. I feel the need to torture some traitor to calm myself."
- — Yafrir Valqash, Void Lord of the Void Ravens Chapter
- "Blackened bones, blackened bones, lost are the dead, with ashen homes. Blackened bones, blackened bones, lost in the void, their echoed moans."
- — Unknown Mortarchs Serpentia Marine
- "The Murdering Sons have no honor. They are nothing but heretics and liars! They are failures to the Imperium and failures to the Emperor."
- — Bolerin Hallow, Chapter Master of the Bone Reapers
- "Those things are no brothers of mine, much less allies. Murdering millions of innocents for the actions of a few rebels is not what the Astartes stand for. We live to lay down our lives for the civilians who cannot fight for themselves against the threats of the galaxy. If we do the opposite, then we are no worse than the Chotgoriin Khog."
- — Vicar General Hanzao Lee-Rexiam of the Lightning Wraiths
- "Hee hee hee, yes... Yes I know Jeztabel, they remind me of them too. Oh Sable warriors, wont you come join me? Your fallen reflections are of paltry faith and vision, but you could be much more. Come and join me, and your trophies will rival the Blood God's own in majesty!"
- "You have committed the most abhorrent sin against the True Gods: Worship of the Anathema. Judgement comes down upon you! Lay down your weapons, Murdering Sons, and prepare to join the murdered!"
- — Vox signal from the Host of the Truthbringer, before a brutal Chaos assault
- "You're certain this isn't the handiwork of another Night Lords warband? I mean...the pits full of flayed bodies, the scorched bones, the crucifixions? Really? 'Homicidialis Filios?' Well, seems like the Imperium's begun to miss the good old terror tactics we used to bring to the table."
- — Osiris of the Eternal Revenants Chaos Warband
- "What fine chaps be these flayers of our Holy Emperor! Might most grand to their escapades!"
- — Carolus Imperator, of the Imperialists
- "...Is this to make an image for yourself, or are you actually this demented and uncivilized?"
- — A Feral Sons Battle-Brother to a Murdering Sons Astartes, during the Indomitus Crusade.
- "Ye 'ver 'een so boozed out of yer mind that ya star'ed seeing double of (Imperialists) one man? But then 'ealize of one 'em is liter'ally just dark'er and angrier? "
- — Bolli Löderfson, of the Varyags Chaos Warband
- "If given enough men and weaponry, I reckon these folks could literally kill an idea."
- — Executive Tedium Nugentus of the Emperor's Liberators following The Reckoning
- "I do not like how these 'Murdering Sons' kill."
"Are we no different? Do we not take such trophies and commit such slaughter ourselves?"
"When we do something like this, we allow our victims to die quickly and with dignity."
"Civilians will die. We're murderers, brother, murderers with different methods of killing."
- "I am thinking whether I shall add to the disorder in this room, by scattering your child murdering brains about the fireplace."
- — Company Commander "Oni-Kazan" of the Corpse Kings, to a Torture Master of the Murdering Sons.
- "Here the Homicidialis Felios vanquished fifty thousand Orcs and three hundred thousand of their lesser kin. Their Terminator armoured warriors led the charge. The foe was crushed, then captured, then flayed, maimed and gouged. They left them out in the open to the mercy of the elements. May the Greenskin heed this warning, and should he or anyone else seek to defile this or any other world of the God-Emperor, then may His holy wrath strike them down."
- — Inscription on a stele of an Ecclesiarchy church, located on a world saved by the Murdering Sons. Left as a stern warning against those who would defile a world of the God-Emperor.
|Eleventh Founding Space Marine Chapters|
|Dark Angels Successors||•|
|White Scars Successors||•|
|Space Wolves Successors||N/A|
|Imperial Fists Successors||Exalted Blades • Skull Takers •|
|Blood Angels Successors||•|
|Iron Hands Successors||Blood Guard •|
|Raven Guard Successors||•|
|Unknown Lineage||Murdering Sons • Howling Wolves • Night Terrors|