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Founding

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A Founding is an occasion when several new Space Marine Chapters are created. A founding does not occur at any set interval, but is ordered when it is deemed necessary. As chapters are occasionally completely destroyed, foundings are often meant to ensure that a thousand chapters exist at a time. This also means that many chapters are created during unstable times of strife and rebellions which have caused many chapters to lose the knowledge of their founding or even the millennia of founding[11d]. This is especially common to chapters created before or during Age of Apostasy as during the Reign of Blood many Imperial records were shamelessly destroyed forever[11c].

The exceptions to foundings were the creation of the Grey Knights who were created before the Second Founding by order of the Emperor himself during the Horus Heresy[10a], and the Sons of Medusa, who were ratified by unprecedented edict in 011M37[3c].

Contents

History

At the beginning of the Great Crusade the Emperor created the Space Marine Legions after he had lost his twenty sons. Every legion was made at least 10,000 marines strong bolstered by the very best equipment and armoury the Imperium could offer and packed up with unflinching loyalty to the God Emperor of Mankind. This event, creation of Legions, is known as the First Founding.[11a]

Codex Astartes

After the Horus Heresy's aftermath the Primarch of the Ultramarines, Roboute Guilliman, wrote a mighty tome of wisdom that included strategies and tactics for the space marines. The Codex Astartes's, as the tome was known, most lasting and significant decree was that those then existed Space Marine Legions were to be divided into chapters of 1,000 marines strong. This was to ensure that no such rebellion as Horus Heresy was to happen again because no one man could command such a terrifying force as 10,000 space marines again. It also made space marine forces more flexible and tactical on their own as every chapter was fully independent and self-sufficient fighting force.[11b] After the remaining loyalist Primarchs accepted the Codex Astartes, the Legions were divided into chapters. One chapter of each parent Legion maintained the original colours, symbol, and name of the Legion, and became known as the Chapters of the First Founding. The other chapters took their own insignia and heraldry and are known as the Chapters of the Second Founding.[11b]

Subsequent foundings

It is believed that approximately one thousand space marine chapters exist at all times though extremely violent warzones, attrition, space phenomena and other factors change the number of chapters so radically no one can track them accurately. Over half (60%) of all space marine chapters today are descendants of Ultramarines genestocks.[11c][11d]

Creation of new chapters

The creation of new chapters can only be ordered by the High Lords of Terra[11c], and it is said ultimately only from the Emperor himself, although the actual process of creation is performed by the Adeptus Mechanicus.[1b]

The gene-seed used to create new chapters is stored by the Adeptus Mechanicus, originally tithed from existing chapters. New progenoids are created using human test-slaves. Zygotes are grown from gene-seed and implanted into the slaves; these then develop into progenoid organs and are removed. A single slave is used in this way to create two progenoids, which are then implanted into two more slaves, and so on. One thousand sets of organs - the notional number of Marines in a chapter - are created, after more than half a century of constant reproduction. Some chapters's geneseed is mutated in a way the zygotes grow in faster rate and therefore are able to recover faster from heavy loss of marines within their chapter.[1b]

Space Marine Foundings

Founding Date Notes
1st M29 The creation of the twenty Space Marine Legions.
2nd 021.M31 Many chapters were created as the Legions splintered into chapters.[11c]
Unstated M31 Creation of the Angels Porphyr. [8]
Unstated M31 In the glorious times of Age of Rebirth. [5b]
3rd 001.M32 Unconfirmed founding of the Executioners[3b], and the Charnel Guard[7].
Unstated M32 Creation of the Marines Malevolent[4].
Unstated 546.M32 During the climax of the time of The Beheading. [5b]
Unstated M33 Howling Griffons[2e]
Unstated 831.M33 [18b] Alongside the honoured dead during the Year of Ghosts. [5b]
Unstated Early M34 Right before the Howling 401.M34. [5b]
8th Mid-M34 [3a] Unconfirmed founding of the Mantis Warriors[3a].
10th Mid-M35 [2a] Unconfirmed founding of the Astral Claws.[2a]
Unstated M35 During the time of the Nova Terra Interregnum. [5b]
13th Late M35 / Early M36 [3d] The "Dark Founding," the only one for which the Adeptus Terra does not have a gene-seed sample.[9a]
Unstated M36 Founding of the Angels of Fire[4], Celebrants[4] and Relictors[4].
Unstated M36 Soon after the culmination of the Reign of Blood. [5b]
21st 991.M35 [18c] The "Cursed Founding" which created chapters which fell victim to mutation, heresy, rebellion, or simple bad luck.[2b]
Unstated Early M37 Right before the Great Cull in 020.M37. [5b]
23rd Late M37[2c] / Early M38 [3e] The "Sentinel" founding. Creation of the Marines Errant[2c], Imperial Harbingers[2c], Star Phantoms[3e] and Steel Cobras[2c].
Unstated M38 Creation of the Celestial Lions.[4]
Unstated M38 500 years after the deafeat of the Apostle of the Blind King. [5b]
Unstated M39 At the time when Age of Waning begins. [5b]
25th Late M40[2d] Creation of the Fire Angels[2d] and Star Scorpions[Needs Citation].
Unstated M40 Creation of the Omega Marines.[4]
26th 738.M41 [1a] The latest founding to date.[1a] [5a]

First Founding

Main article: Space Marine Legion

The twenty Space Marine Legions, also known as the Legiones Astartes, were created by the Emperor to take part in the Great Crusade in what was later known as the First Founding.[11a]

Second Founding

The Second Founding, of Space Marine Chapters, occurred seven years after the Horus Heresy[5a].

The remaining loyal Legions after Horus Heresy (sometimes referred to as the “Progenitor”) were divided into smaller Chapters that became known as the Second Founding Chapters. Each Second Founding Chapter initially shared their parent Legion's gene-seed - subsequently each chapter's gene-seed was isolated, forming new genetic lines and forged their own histories and traditions distinct from their Progenitors, while still remaining proud of their roots.[5a]

It is unknown how many Successor Chapters were created - exactly how many Chapters were founded and from which Legions is unclear. The Apocrypha of Davio attempted to categorize them all, but was never completed. Some survive to this day, the proud inheritors of their Legion's histories and the traditions of their Primarch. One of the earliest known accounts is found within a version of the Codex Astartes known as the Apocrypha of Skaros claiming that the Ultramarines Legion sired twenty-three Primogenitor Chapters, but omitted to list them all. [11c]

The vast majority of the Second Founding Chapters were created from the ranks of the Ultramarines Legion; Other Legions were not large enough to be divided more than once.[11c] The Salamanders, consisting of only 7 Companies at the end of the Heresy, produced no recorded successors in the second founding at all. The division of the Space Wolves Legion produced only one additional chapter known as the Wolf Brothers.[12a]

Below is a list of confirmed 2nd Founding chapters with the sources.

Name Parent Chapter Homeworld Notes Source
Angels Encarmine Blood Angels Unknown [11c] [16] [17] [18a]
Angels Sanguine Blood Angels Unknown [11c] [16] [17] [18a]
Angels Vermillion Blood Angels Corinal [11c] [16] [17] [18a]
Blood Drinkers Blood Angels San Guisaga [11c] [16] [17] [18a]
Flesh Tearers Blood Angels Cretacia [11c] [16] [17]
Angels of Absolution Dark Angels Unknown [11c] [16] [17] [18a]
Angels of Redemption Dark Angels Unknown [11c] [16] [17] [18a]
Angels of Vengeance Dark Angels Unknown [11c] [16] [17] [18a]
Black Templars Imperial Fists Fleet Based [11c] [16] [17] [18a]
Crimson Fists Imperial Fists Rynn's World [11c] [16] [17] [18a]
Excoriators Imperial Fists Eschara Legion of the Damned (Novel) p. 19,96
Soul Drinkers Imperial Fists Fleet Based [18]
Brazen Claw Iron Hands Talus IV [11c] [16] [17] [18a]
Red Talons Iron Hands Raikan [11c] [16] [17] [18a]
Black Guard Raven Guard Unknown [11c] [17] [18a]
Raptors Raven Guard Unknown [11c] [16] [18a] (Canon conflict)[17]
Revilers Raven Guard Unknown [11c] [16] [17] [18a]
Wolf Brothers Space Wolves Unknown Disbanded due to genetic instability. [11c] [12a] [17] [18a]
Aurora Chapter Ultramarines Firestorm [16] [17] [18a]
Black Consuls Ultramarines Unknown [11c] [16] [17] [18a]
Doom Eagles Ultramarines Gathis II [16] [18a]
Eagle Warriors Ultramarines Fleet Based [16] [17] [18a]
Genesis Chapter Ultramarines Newfound [11c] [16] [17] [18a]
Inceptors Ultramarines Unknown [11c] [17] [18a]
Iron Snakes Unknown Ithaka Brothers of the Snake (Novel) by Dan Abnett
Libators Ultramarines Unknown [11c] [17]
Mortifactors Ultramarines Unknown [18a]
Nemesis Ultramarines Unknown [17]
Novamarines Ultramarines Honourum [11c] [16] [17] [18a]
Patriarchs of Ulixis Ultramarines Unknown [11c] [17] [18a]
Praetors of Orpheus Ultramarines Orpheus [11c] [16] [17] [18a]
Silver Eagles Ultramarines Unknown [17] [18a]
Silver Skulls Ultramarines Varsavia [16] [18a] (Canon conflict)[17]
White Consuls Ultramarines Sabatine [11c] [16] [17] [18a]
Destroyers White Scars Unknown [11c] [17] [18a]
Marauders White Scars Unknown [11c] [16] [17] [18a]
Rampagers White Scars Unknown [11c] [16] [17] [18a]
Storm Lords White Scars Unknown [11c] [16] [17] [18a]

Thirteenth Founding

The Thirteenth Founding or Dark Founding was one of the instances where new Space Marine chapters were created. The details of the Thirteenth Founding are almost completely unknown; it is unknown to the Imperium how many, and which Chapters were created, and if they still exist. This founding is the only in which the Adeptus Terra does not possess the original gene-seed of the founded Chapters.[9a][11d]

Below is a list of confirmed 13th Founding chapters with the sources.

Name Parent Chapter Homeworld Notes Source
Exorcists Unknown Banish Designed to be most efficient in fighting Daemons Armageddon website
Death Spectres Unknown Occludus Genetic drift results in initiates becoming albino upon realistion of the marine creation process. Exhumed (Short Story), p.30


Twenty First Founding

The Twenty First Founding was the largest Founding of Space Marine Chapters since the Second Founding. It took place shortly before the Age of Apostasy, in M36.[11d] The focus of the Twenty First Founding was perfecting and removing deficiencies in flawed gene-seed.[2f] The Twenty First Founding is also known as the Cursed Founding, because of the appalling bad luck that seems to dog the Chapters created. Worse still, some Chapters have developed genetic idiosyncrasies, mutations that strain the tolerance of the Inquisition and threaten the Chapter's survival.[11d]

Below is a list of confirmed 21st Founding chapters.

Name Parent Chapter Homeworld Notes Mutations Source
Black Dragons Unknown Unknown Ossmodula zygote, bone crests on head and blades on forearms and elbows. [15a]
Fire Hawks Ultramarines (most likely) Zhoros (destroyed)/ Cousteau XI (destroyed None known. Noted to have extremely disasterously bad luck. [2f]
Lamenters Blood Angels None Temporary weakening of The Flaw, possibly a tendency towards depression. Revolted in Badab War, defeated, and sent on crusade of penitence. Almost annihilated and absorbed by Hive Fleet Kraken. Possessed a seemingly cursed fortune. [2f] [15b]
Flame Falcons Unknown Lethe Noted to have had spontaneus and extreme physical corruption which led the Flame Falcons to the point they were neither sane nor human. Was declared Excommunicate Traitoris due extreme physical corruption. They were also covered in flames that did not burn themselves, after the emerge of these flames they were destroyed by Grey Knights on their homeworld. [11d] [15b] [17]
Minotaurs Unknown Unknown None Berserkers [2f] [15a]
Sons of Antaeus Unknown Unknown Strong, almost metallic bone structure. [15b]
Blood Gorgons Unknown Unknown Unknown Turned Traitor Marines within a generation. Known to have developed a bizarre "bonding" procedure. [13]


Twenty Third Founding

Sometimes referred as "The Sentinel Founding". This founding of early M38 was established to aid Imperium's defences in many vulnerable fronts. Origins of many chapters of this founding are shrouded as they were even during the founding itself.[3e]

Below is a list of 23rd Founding chapters with the sources.

Name Parent Chapter Homeworld Notes Source
Star Phantoms Unknown. Haakoneth (destroyed), now Jaghda Are known to have clashed numerous times with other Imperial authorities and Space Marine Chapters. [3e]


Twenty Sixth Founding

The Twenty-Sixth Founding is the latest Founding of Space Marine Chapters, taking place in 738.M41.[1a]

Below is a list of known 26th Founding chapters with the relevant sources.

Name Parent Chapter Homeworld Notes Source
Mentor Legion Unknown. Unknown Replaced lost Star Scorpions chapter and is said to have entirely new generation of genetic material from the genebanks of Terra. [14]

Canon conflicts

As Games Workshop has made innumerable amounts of chapters, names and colour schemes, not to mention many other details, it is no surprise there are some canon conflicts from time to time. The lore explaines that many events and setbacks in the Imperium of Man have resulted in the destruction of the relevant articles and tomes. It is therefore said that some chapters do not know from which Founding they originate or that the Founding they believe they hail from is different from the one they actually do.[11c]

Here are canon conflicts that came up while creating this article:

  • Raptors (Chapter) - many sources ([11c][16]) claim the Raptors as the 2nd Founding chapter of the Raven Guard. However, Chapter Approved 2001 ([17]) clearly states that the Raven Guard has only two Successor Chapters and that the Raptors chapter is from a later Founding though it does not state which. It could be possible that there are two Raptors chapters as this is not unheard of in the history of the Imperium.[19]
  • Silver Skulls - this chapter is listed as from later foundings (not 1st or 2nd) in Chapter Approved 2001 ([17]) however in a later source, How to Paint Space Marines [16] it is stated, with a picture, that Silver Skulls are indeed a Successor Chapter of the Ultramarines.

Sources

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