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Sigismund

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2drones.gif This article is about the Space Marine, for the Battle Barge see Sigismund (Battle Barge)
Sigismund
First Captain Sigismund.[8]

Sigismund was the First Captain of the Imperial Fists Legion during the Great Crusade, and right-hand man to Primarch Rogal Dorn. During the Horus Heresy, Dorn appointed Sigismund the first Emperor's Champion, to defend the Imperial Palace during the Battle of Terra. After the Heresy, Sigismund became the founder and first High Marshal of the Black Templars Chapter.[1b]

History

The Great Crusade

Sigismund was born on Terra, in the drift camps on the Ionus Plateau.[7a]

Sigismund served during the Great Crusade as First Captain of the Imperial Fists and as an Adjutant to his Primarch Rogal Dorn.[2a]

During the Great Crusade, Sigismund demonstrated a cold, realist view of the future of the Imperium. While conversing with Captains Garviel Loken and Tarik Torgaddon of the Luna Wolves, he stated his belief that the Great Crusade would never end:


We will spend our lives fighting to secure this Imperium, and then I fear we will spend the rest of our days fighting to keep it intact... In the far future, there will be only war.[5a]


He also delivered a striking statement on the nature of the Imperium, perhaps even the nature of man:


Space is limitless, and so is our appetite to master it.[5a]


At some point prior to the Horus Heresy, the Imperial Fists and World Eaters served together for a significant period of time. During their campaigns, Assault Captain Kharn and Sigismund became close comrades, even going as far to refer to one another as "Oath Brothers". It was during their frequent duels in the cages of the World Eaters' flagship, the Conqueror, that Sigismund earned the name the "Black Knight" and adopted the custom of binding his weapons to his wrists with chains from Kharn[6] (after a duel with the Primarch Angron[9]. This custom would later be adopted by members of the Black Templars.[6]

The Horus Heresy

It was Sigismund who led the squad of marines that accompanied Rogal Dorn in a boarding action on the Eisenstein, under the command of Battle-Captain Nathaniel Garro of the Death Guard, bringing word of Horus’s rebellion.[2a][2b]

Once Dorn had absorbed the news, he ordered Sigismund as his "strong, right arm" to go on a mission to the Isstvan System to assist any surviving loyalists and evaluate the situation.[2c] During the time Dorn spent in isolation Sigismund struggled with the dark news, and felt he lacked purpose. He met Euphrati Keeler who told him Horus would, in fact, go to Terra, and that Sigismund would have to choose where to stand. She gave him a vision of the death of the Imperium, as well as his own. One choice would result in his death in space, in the light of an unknown star, forgotten. The other, to war without end. She also told him that his father would need him before the end. His resolve shaken, Sigismund was deeply affected by the conversation. As a result, Sigismund requested that he be allowed to remain at his Primarch's side, and so command of the Retribution Fleet was given instead to another. Dorn did not know why Sigismund made this request, but trusted him and did not question it. [7b]

Sigismund led four companies of Imperial Fists on a mission to secure resources from the forges at Mondus Occulam and Mondus Gamma on Mars.[3a] Enemy resistance was too intense to maintain control, and Sigismund's mission was to evacuate as much material and personnel as possible then withdraw from the planet.[3b] Upon hearing the news of the Isstvan V Massacre, Dorn ordered Sigismund to purge the Terra solar system of all remnants of the traitor legions. [7c]

Soon after his return to Terra, Sigismund confessed to Dorn his reasons for asking to remain on Terra rather than command the Retribution Fleet. Dorn became enraged, and rebuked Sigismund. He showed Sigismund why he had erred out of pride, and that his error was not unlike the pride that drive some of the Primarchs to rebellion. Shamed, Sigismund offered his life to Dorn, but the Primarch declined to take it. He retained Sigismund as his First Company Captain to avoid demoralizing the men, but disowned Sigismund as a son.[7a]

Later, Sigismund was placed in command of the outermost defenses of the Sol System during the Solar War. He led a fleet which battled the Alpha Legion during the Battle of Pluto.[13]

During Horus's attack on the Imperial Palace, Rogal Dorn chose Sigismund as the Emperor's Champion, and gave him the best armour and weapons available. He went forward to challenge the traitorous leaders to single combat, and triumphed over all he met in battle.[Needs Citation] When Rogal Dorn accompanied the Emperor of Mankind and Sanguinius in boarding Horus's flagship, he left most of his Imperial Fists behind to look to the defense of the Imperial Palace. Considering him his finest soldier, Dorn placed Sigismund as the leader of the ground forces until Dorn returned.[1a]

After the Traitors were defeated and retreated from Terra, an enraged Sigismund began a hunt to track down and kill the Sons of Horus First Captain Ezekyle Abaddon. Despite his efforts though, his path to Abaddon was always blocked by Traitors loyal to the First Captain, who then had their lives ended by Sigismund's hands. Sigismund was not deterred by these setbacks though and continued his hunt for Abaddon for the next several centuries.[14a]

The Second Founding

Sigismund was a mighty warrior and after the Horus Heresy and the breakdown of the Imperial Fists into Codex Chapters, Sigismund led the more zealous of the Imperial Fists as the Black Templars chapter and was elevated to the rank of High Marshal of the Black Templars. His personal heraldry, consisting of black and white, became the official colors of his new Chapter. Immediately following the Horus Heresy, the Imperial Fists and their Primarch Dorn came under suspicion as heretics for their refusal to back the Codex Astartes and break down into smaller Chapters. In addition, the Chapters and former Legions were laden with strife. Recognizing that only an act of supreme faith could quell such suspicion and restore the integrity of the Space Marines, Sigismund declared an eternal crusade, vowing never to cease his prosecution of the Emperor's enemies. All subsequent High Marshals of the Black Templars have renewed this oath, and so the Black Templars have waged their crusade, unbroken, for more than 10,000 years.[1b]

Fate

Eventually Sigismund realized that the Abaddon and many of the Traitor Legion survivors had fled within the Eye of Terror[14b]. He was not believed though by the High Lords of Terra and many other leaders within the Imperium, as they doubted the Traitors could have survived these long centuries since the Heresy's end within the Eye. Sigismund held firm in his belief that the Traitors lived though and he brought a significant Black Templars fleet to the Cadian Gate, where they maintained a vigil over the Eye of Terror[14a]. Not content to merely wait for the Traitors to make their return, Sigismund also sent ships into the Eye to scout for them and one such ship crashed into the Black Legion held world of Maeleum[14b]. This set into motion events that would grant Sigismund his wish of confronting Abaddon, as the Lord of the Black Legion eventually led his Warband out of the Eye of Terror and attacked the Black Templars' fleet in the First Battle of Cadia. At this time Sigismund was a thousand years old, but despite his advance age, his hatred of Abaddon and the Traitors had kept him alive; as he was too stubborn to die without ending their lives first.[14a]

He proved this when Abaddon and his Warband boarded Sigismund's flagship, the Eternal Crusader, during the battle and scores of the Black Legion were killed in their attempt to claim the High Marshal's head. Finally though Abaddon found Sigismund and his Sword Brethren fighting within a large chamber and their warriors stopped and gathered by their leaders' sides as the Lord of the Black Legion approached the Black Templars' High Marshal. Instead of drawing his weapons however, Abaddon instead spoke with kindness to a foe he had long respected and gave an impassioned plea for Sigismund to open his eyes to the Traitors' cause. He insisted that the Imperium rightfully belonged to the Space Marine Legions that had bled and died to build it during the Great Crusade and Sigismund should join them in reclaiming it from the Emperor's corpse. Sigismund pushed back against this though, stating that by beginning the Horus Heresy and nearly destroying the Imperium, Abaddon and his fellow Traitors were oath-breakers, who proved that they had not cared for the Empire they had built. Though Abaddon continued to state the Traitors' cause, as the Black Legion Lord had hoped to spare Sigismund life, the High Marshal finally stopped him from any further attempts:[14a]


You keep speaking, Ezekyle. Do I look as though I am listening?[14a]


With that, they both drew their weapons, but Sigismund did not wield the Sword of the High Marshals and instead unsheathed his Black Sword. The Sword of the High Marshals was then given to one of Sigismund's Sword Brethren, who quickly left the chamber as Sigismund and Abaddon began their duel. What followed was a fierce battle between two heavily experienced opponents, in which neither was able to gain an advantage over the other; as though Abaddon was still in his prime, due to how little time had passed within the Eye, Sigismund's sword skills were as sharp as ever. Eventually however, Sigismund's age began to work against him, and he began to tire under Abaddon's unrelenting assault.[14a]

Knowing that his life was at an end, Sigismund laid a trap for Abaddon by stepping away from the Lord of the Black Legion. Abaddon thought this was his opportunity to end their duel and arrogantly rushed forward to kill the High Marshal[14a], but this allowed Sigismund to strike a blow that left the Black Sword buried within Abaddon's chest. Doing so however, left Sigismund defenseless and Abaddon retaliated with a swing from the Talon of Horus, that severed the High Marshal into two pieces. Despite this horrific wound though, Sigismund still clung to life as Abaddon knelt down beside the High Marshal, while clenching his torn apart chest. Abaddon kindly told his old foe, that he regretted having to kill the High Marshal, but at least now Sigismund could finally rest. Sigismund replied not with an oath to the Emperor or his Chapter's creed, but instead he used the last of his life to rebuke the Lord of the Black Legion:[14c]


You will die as your weakling father died. Soulless. Honourless. Weeping. Ashamed.’[14c]


With that Sigismund, First Captain of the Imperial Fists and High Marshal of the Black Templars, died[14c]. Afterwards Abaddon's Warband gathered their mortally wounded leader[14a] and the slain High Marshal[14d] before quickly evacuating the Eternal Crusader; as another of the Legion's foes had entered the battle during their boarding attack. The Sorcerer Lord Thagus Daravek, commander of the Legion Host and main rival for Abaddon's claim as the new Warmaster of Chaos, had pursued the Black Legion out of the Eye of Terror and his Warband had begun attacking their fleet. However as the battle raged on, the tide turned in the Black Legion's favour: as the Legion Host forced the Black Templars' fleet to escape into the Warp and Daravek was killed while boarding the Vengeful Spirit, which caused his Warband to stop attacking the Black Legion.[14e]

As for Abaddon himself, though he was provided with the best care the Black Legion possessed, he barley survived the wound dealt to him by Sigismund[14c] and would forever keep the scar it left, as a sign of respect for the High Marshal. Before the Black Legion then left the Cadian Gate to begin their Black Crusade, they prepared to send a declaration of war to the Imperium's High Lords. Sigismund would bear this message and his corpse and Black Sword were respectfully placed in the captured Black Templars ship Valorous Vow, whose databanks were filled with information, feeds, and recording pics of the Fist Battle of Cadia. As the slave crewed Valorous Vow was prepared to be sent on its long journey to Terra, Abaddon had the Sorcerer Iskandar Khayon carve three simple words into Sigismund's Black Sword: "We are returned".[14d]

Description and Personality

Sigismund had dark blond hair and a patrician face. His build was thick and sturdy.[2a] He is described as having a face that "might have been handsome, but war and genecraft had carved it to a different end." He had a scar under his right eye that ran down his cheek to his jaw. His eyes were bright, sapphire blue.[7a] Sigismund also bears the Raptor Imperialis on the knee of his armour, indicating that he fought alongside the Emperor himself.[11]

Sigismund was known for being volatile and hot headed, a reputation known widely enough that even Malcador the Sigilite remarked on it in conversation with Rogal Dorn.[3a] He was also known for his superior swordsmanship, being regarded as one of the best swordsmen in the Astartes Legions.[4]

Images

Sigismund miniature[10]

See also

Sources