The Architects of Malice
A Chapter known to few prior to the Dark Crusade. It was intended to be created as a new Assault Chapter, but the Space Wolves chapter were against such a creation, and argued against, saying that new enemy tactics required new ones of their own. Instead of being the Lightning assault force, they are more heavy armour and assault themed, crossing a line between combat from afar, and then charging forward in a devastating rush attack.
Their Geneseed is thought to be made of Apothecaries attempting to create a hybrid Chapter. Russ’s interest in this Chapter came about because he had pledged Geneseed information so that they would be used, for the first time to attempt to continue his chapter’s strength. After literally hundreds of years of testing the first batch were ready. These 300 Marines would form the basis of the soldiers of the Sons of Malice. It is thought that the Imperial fists were used as the second chapter.
Due to their nature, they were kept as a secret by the Inquisition, to be used similar to an Chamber Militant. They were watched over by both the Ordo Hereticus and Malleus, while select members were taken away for numerous services in the Deathwatch.
During M37, they were called upon several times, and the Inquisition realised that due to their nature, they would require larger than normal chapter sizes. This is when the full chapter size was increased to around 3000, and the first company itself was 600 men strong.
There are no notable actions known at this time, as all records are kept under Code Black Inquisition restricted access. None, but the High Lords of Terra, or those with their seal may access these files.
The Chapter itself was fully deployed during the 13th Black Crusade to halt Abaddon, Mainly on the world of Kasr Partox, where the fortress world was in the grips of its Coldest ever winter. The cold weather training of the Marines would prove extremely useful in this situation. The World Night Lords and World Eaters who assaulted the world were not suited to coping with the different style of fighting, despite their extensive training and experience. The Marines under Chapter Master Andronus were particularly brutal in defence. All over the Planet, there were many losses, while the last Strongpoint, the Imperial Castellan there was bombarded by the Blackstone Fortress.
Overhead, the sizeable fleet of the Architects joined Admiral Quarren’s final desperate attack, the flagship Battlebarge “Indomitable Wrath” scoring a confirmed 21 Kills on escorts and 4 Capital Ships, while combining fire with the Grand Cruisers and Battleships of the Imperial Navy, and forced the Blackstone Fortress to abandon its bombardment of the fortress.
On the ground, fighting became desperate. The remaining 2000 Marines of the Chapter were forced to be spread thin to cover the gaps left by the dead. This was against the Chapters ethic – the Spear Point was to become a wide edged instrument, the knife exploiting the weaknesses now had to just batter the enemy. Knowing that each and every Marine was going to die on this planet steeled their 2 hearts, and with Howls of fury, and Cries of “For The Emperor!” the last Soldiers stood strong. Combining the fury of the Space Wolves with the methodical volley fire of the Imperial Fist tactics, the enemy were routed in wave after wave, each loyal marine claiming a dozen traitors for his soul. This was when the forces of Chaos tried a new tactic – the bombardment by the Iron Warriors siege vehicles and daemon engines destroyed the ruins. Cursing this oversight, Andronus ordered the renewal of the attack, this time the advance against the now static lines.
As his Comm feed linked to the Damocles Rhino’s positioned safely in the centre of the Castellan, he saw his soldiers vital signs begin to drop. The artillery were rapidly shifting aim, and targeting the Blue and White armoured loyalists. Seeing this suicidal assault, the Lord Castellan ordered 3 regiments to aid. These Shock Troopers were hidden from the Traitors sights, so intent on the destruction of the Marines in front of them. Thunderhawks from the Marines flew in formation with Bombers and Fighters with the Imperial Navy, Heavy Bolters shredding light armour, and bombs annihilating the closely packed heretics.
The unseen Shock Troopers hit the Heretic forces, blowing apart Artillery and tanks before the Iron Warriors knew what hit them. Assaulted on 2 sides, Abaddon was forced to sent the World Eaters and the Black Legion forward to aid the Iron Warriors and the Traitor Guard. Outnumber ten to one, the Space Marines and Guard fought valiantly, but then when the Blackstone fortress opened fire, the Architects of Malice realised the Battle was lost. Leaving his Honour guard as a rearguard, selling their lives dearly, Andronus ordered the Shock Troopers back, while his Space Marines made fighting withdrawals.
When they reached the Castellan, the walls were all but gone, testament to the fury of the Blackstone Fortress. However, it was time for the retreat of the forces from Kasr Partox – the world was lost. Calling down Landers and transports onto the training ground, the Marines fought a last ditch attempt. With less than 500 Marines left, the were taking a heavy toll on the numberless horde of Daemons and Traitors, Andronus himself banishing 2 Bloodthirsters, and several Chaos Lords, gifted by the gods, although he himself was heavily worn out. Finally, as the last of the Imperial Guard left the planet, the Chapter Master had to be fully restrained by 4 Terminators, as he prepared to make a suicidal charge, to avenge the death of his Honour Guard. Together, they walked back into the Thunderhawk, Tears running down their faces.
Less than 300 made it to the fleet up above, all of them a hardened cadre of warriors, each one having served for several hundred of years. These few remaining troopers would found the basis of 2 new chapters, based off this successful Geneseed trial.
Andronus still commands the Chapter, and directs his former members who became part of the new chapters, these new ones based off the hybrids of the Iron Hands and Ultramarines, while the second is a Blood Angels and Salamanders trait. Together, the y perform the role set down to their parent chapter, in the hunting down of the forces of Chaos. Both have a hardened core of Soldiers, one purely assault, the second tactically powerful firepower, but both refer to the laws set by Andronus.
He was discovered by the Black ship on the world of Fedrid; where upon the hunt for latent psykers came to his tribe. Despite the strength and weaponry of the Storm Troopers, the small tribe attacked the force. Many were slain, but under the command of the powerfully built Gur’tark. The inquisitor in charge of the expedition had to duck to avoid a razor edged spinning disc which had been launched by Gur’tark. Using his powerful psychic powers, he tried to make the men submit, and although he forced the other tribesmen to bow to their knees, the man stood defiant. Shocked, the Inquisitor realised he had no Psychic shadow in the warp, and would be unaffected by his abilities. Ordering the remaining Troopers to capture him, he charged, killing 4 of them, before being shot. Still he carried on, and inches from the Inquisitor, he managed to grab hold. A blow to his head by the Storm Trooper Major floored the heavily wounded man. Taking him into the hold aboard the ship, it was found that he would be perfect for the part of the new chapter he had been privy to making as a force that would serve similar to the Chamber Militant.
During his training he was implanted with a hybrid Geneseed, and it took to him rapidly, integrating itself with the Space Marine like no other. The Helix had been removed by the gentle gene cleansing, meaning he was now a fully fledged Marine. Going through training with the Deathwatch, he achieved a noticeable talent for getting close unseen, then opening up with Bolter fire, followed by a powerful charge. These talents were put to good use during his service with the Deathwatch Kill Teams, and he rose to being a powerful leader, leading by example, rather than by tactics.
This was one reason why when he returned back to the Chapter, he was dropped from the Captaincy position, and the first recruit he had trained became the Captain. This captain would then become the Chapter Master.
When the Chapter was released from the bonds of the Imperium he was organised with the Sternguard veteran squads.
During his time as a Sergeant, he fought on Darturian IX, where Abaddon launched a small strike against the planet with the hope that he would be able to steal and desecrate an Ancient Relic building, which had stayed loyal to the Emperor since before the Great Crusade, an ancient Astronomicom lighthouse, a relay station which Navigators would be able to lock onto as they neared.
As it happened, the Battle Barges of the Architects of Malice were there, picking up supplies after getting caught in a surprise Wolf Pack attack in the months after the 3rd War for Armageddon. They were returning back to the Chapter Fortress, a massive Ramilies Class Starfort over Fedrid. However, stopping off at the lighthouse, for a routine investigation, just as they were coming out of the warp, the two Massive ships were set upon by 3 Chaos Cruisers and their escorts. It was a close fought affair, the Chapter Master leading a teleport assault on the ship. A link up when the Thunderhawks connected with the vast ships meant that Andronus and his squad fought side by side with the Terminator veterans. From there, they fought their way to the command deck, and when the Chapter Champion was slain in combat with a Chaos Lord and the Chapter Master was beaten back by Psychic assaults. Andronus took advantage of the opportunity, and charged the traitor, picking up the huge Chain Voulge of the Chapter champion, driving the blade through the Sorcerers face, ending the fight.
As a reward, Andronus was given a place in the Honour Guard, and was allowed to wield the weapon.
After stopping for a few weeks at Darturian IX, while quick repairing went on, they received an astropathic communication, saying that Abaddon was on his way, with a small flotilla of vessels. The two Battlebarges would not be able to hold them off, so the Vessels withdrew out of system, and when Abaddon turned up a week later, he teleported almost immediately with his retinue of Terminators, right into the sanctum. The Architects of Malice gunned down a dozen of his retinue as they stepped out of the Warp, while Abaddon began to walk towards where the Chapter Master was hiding. Using the powers gifted to him by the Warp Entities, Abaddon started talking, the blatant psychic attack obvious to the Null, but the Master succumbed. Turning round, he slew several of his own honour guard. Andronus, seeing this treachery, and finally letting his anger at being passed over for Captain coming out, he slew the Chapter Master, decapitating him with one mighty swing.
Starting towards Abaddon, the Chaos Lord merely smiled, and as he was about to swing, the he teleported back to his ship, for at that time, the Battlebarges attacked. Leaving his chosen to attack, he commanded the fight from above. Seeing a traitor escort blaze its way into the atmosphere, Andronus charged, and personally slew 3 of the chosen, but not before almost all 50 Marines left on the World had been slain. Cursing Abaddon’s name, he requested a transport which took him up into the skies, to take part in the Battle. The tougher battle barges weathered the blows, while they moved close. Nearing the flagship, one of the Battlebarges blew up, debris destroying a couple more escorts, leaving the heavily damaged Flagship and a cruiser to take on the Battlebarge. The first Bombardment cannon shot hit the engines of the cruiser as it turned to flee, exploding spectacularly. However, the flagship had taken the opportunity to escape.
Limping home, the Battlebarge was welcomed into port, and after the trials, Andronus was presented the Armour of Feragon, the armour of the old Chapter Master, the armour newly anointed, and cleansed. During the inquisition investigation following the turning incident, it was found that the Space Marine had turned because of an inherent flaw not found during selection, not because of his Geneseed. The Chapter was safe.
While he continued to rebuild the Chapter, the next major call for action for the Chapter was the call to arms for the 13th Black Crusade. The hatred he felt for Abaddon returned again, and ordered the full mobilization of the Chapter, 3000 Marines, and 5 Battlebarges, with 12 Strike Cruisers and many escorts. Together, the Architects of Malice would stand. Together they would die.
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