Scythes of the Emperor
|This article is about the Space Marine Chapter. For other uses of Scythes of the Emperor, see Scythes of the Emperor (disambiguation).|
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The Scythes of the Emperor (or Emperor's Scythes) are a Codex Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. The advance of Hive Fleet Kraken overwhelmed the Chapter's home world of Sotha and virtually destroyed the Chapter for many years. However in the Age of the Dark Imperium they have experienced a rebirth.[12a]
The Scythes of the Emperor's history originated during the Horus Heresy, where the 199th "Aegida" company of the Ultramarines fought bravely against the Night Lords in the Battle of Sotha. Subsequently, Roboute Guilliman honoured the company with the emblem of two crossed scythes, representing their defence of the farmers of Sotha.
After the Heresy and the Second Founding, the Aegida Company was maintained as a phantom 11th Company under the command of Captain Oberdeii, in defiance of Guilliman's own Codex Astartes. When Rogal Dorn initiated the Third Founding nearly a millennium later, Oberdeii was the last surviving member of the company. Nevertheless, the Ultramarines' Chapter Master, Tigris Decon, wished to remove the evidence of Guilliman's 'heresy', sending Chaplain Segas and Brother Wenlocke to offer Oberdeii the choice of being reassigned to the 5th Company or continuing to guard the Pharos by becoming Master of a new 'Aegida Chapter'. Oberdeii reluctantly agreed to found a new Chapter, but chose to name them the Scythes of the Emperor. In addition to Chaplain Segas and Brother Wenlocke, seventy-two veterans of the Orlan Conquest were assigned to the new Chapter.
The Corinth Crusade (698-705.M41)
The Corinth Crusade was led by Marneus Calgar, with forces from the Ultramarines, Angels of Absolution, Lamenters, Silver Skulls, Scythes of the Emperor and Marines Errant as well as more than fifty Imperial Guard Regiments. They fought against the Ork hordes of Waaagh! Skargor, in the Corinth system within the Ork empire of Charadon.
Damocles Gulf Crusade (745.M41)
It was in the years following the Damocles Crusade against the Tau in M41.742 the Scythes of the Emperor would come to the forefront of Eastern Fringe warfare. The Scythes led the first landing onto Tau territory, the world of Sy'L'Kell. After establishing the landing zone. The Brimlock Dragoons moved on to expand the Imperial foothold. The Dragoons were nearly destroyed by a Tau ambush which the Scythes, leading Imperial Storm Troopers, broke through averting a near disaster. After claiming Sy'L'Kell, the Crusade moved to cross the Damocles Gulf. After a brutal first fleet engagement with the Tau, the Imperials landed on the a major Tau world of Dal'Yth Prime. Joining members of the venerated Ultramarines and Iron Hands Chapters, the Scythes were part of several spearhead assaults and kept up constant night patrols against Tau infiltrators during the months long fighting.[Needs Citation]
With news of Hivefleet Behemoth bearing down upon the Eastern fringe and the stalemate between the two sides, the Crusade withdrew, though a mutual respect between both sides had been forged.[Needs Citation]
Verdeworlds Campaign (865.M41)
Second Tyrannic War (992.M41)
Among the planets overwhelmed by the locust-tide of Tyranid hive fleet Kraken was the chapter's homeworld Sotha. Even for a well-defended Chapter planet, there was little hope against such vast numbers and relentless hunger, and in the end due to Genestealer Cult uprisings[21c] the Chapter brethren were killed in the last stand on the planet. All brethren were presumed destroyed, but a small number had escaped in order to preserve their chapter and gene-seed.[Needs Citation]Sotha, along with so many other planets in the inexorable advance of the Kraken, was reduced to the state of an asteroid by the Tyranid swarms. Two hundred Marines broke through the Tyranid assault. With much of the region overwhelmed by the Tyranids, there was nowhere to escape. The last of the Scythes evacuated to the Miral System eventually landed on the death world of Miral.[22a][22b]
Somewhere on the surface of this planet, a huge rocky outcrop called the Giant's Coffin rose from the jungle. The surviving forces of the Scythes prepared to make this their final stronghold. The Giant's Coffin was a tremendous natural citadel whose steep cliffs would slow the invaders and the rocky promontories would provide excellent firing positions for heavy weapons. Although the defenses of the Scythes were strong they were still overwhelmed. Their Chapter Master Thorcyra met his end on Miral and the Scythes were forced to withdraw. The fate of Miral is unknown, although little more than a Company of the Scythes of the Emperor escaped with their lives.
Captain Thrasius became the new Chapter Master and planned a series of hit and run attacks against the Tyranids. This pattern of defense and retreat continued until they received word that Hive Fleet Kraken's unstoppable advance had finally been staggered by the Ultramarines on Ichar IV. At that time, the Scythes were engaged in the preparation of defences on Bosphor, and were bitterly disappointed not to have been present when that first great victory was won. Thereafter, Thrasius's strategy became principally concerned with the preservation of his Chapter and the salvaging of as much material as possible from the devastation wrought by the Tyranids.
The Scythes no longer have any Codex-approved Terminator squads, since they have only three remaining suits of Terminator armour. Forge Master Sebastion is known to have acquired a fourth partial suit, and is restoring it to combat-readiness.
Since the destruction of their homeworld, the Scythes have become a secretive Chapter. This is because many of their Battle-Brothers were infected with the Genestealer's Kiss during the invasion. The Astartes were strong enough to resist the calls of the Hive Mind, but wore psychic dampening hoods to lessen its power.[21b]
At the beginning of 999.M41 it is understood that the Scythes of the Emperor were still attempting to rebuild, and seek vengeance upon the Tyranid race.[12b] In 970999.M41 the Scythes unexpectedly re-emerged from the shadow of Hive Fleet Kraken and announced that their Chapter would be "born anew".[12a]
Later during the Indomitus Crusade the Scythes of the Emperor were formally reborn thanks to reinforcements of Primaris Space Marines from Belisarius Cawl's Ultima Founding. They have since gone back to fighting for the Emperor, such as in the Battle of Hamagora. After the Indomitus Crusade, the Scythes of the Emperor were among the Chapter's chosen by Roboute Guilliman to guard the reformed realm of Ultramar.
A force of Scythes later accompanied Belisarius Cawl to Sotha to study the Pharos, but were beset by a force of Genestealer Cultists that had infiltrated their Chapter Serfs. During the fight Chapter Master Thrasius died slaying the same Genestealer Patriarch that had originally led the assault on Sotha. All the remaining Scythes Firstborn died with him in the battle.[21c]
The previously abandoned orbital station of Scythes of Emperor above Sotha Aegida was rebuilt and assigned as their fortress-monastery until the planet would be fully revived. From there Scythes of Emperor will fulfill their ancient obligations of honour and watch the eastern marches of Greater Ultramar for various and numerous threats.[21d]
The Scythes of the Emperor did not restrict the recruitment of new Aspirants to their homeworld; even before the loss of Sotha, the Chapter maintained bastions on a number of Imperial worlds, which were used for resupply along with recruiting Marines. Planets known to feature such outposts include Miral Prime[22b] (which was consumed by the tyranids not long after they attacked Sotha), Brakur IV and Beremin.
Many of the Company Banners of the Scythes, along with the Chapter Standard, feature an armoured warrior clad in the Chapter's colours astride a horse. This is regarded by some as an unusual choice of animal, as horses are not native to Sotha and there are no records of any Scythes ever riding into battle on one. Each Company Standard features a legendary horse from the tales told by Oberdeii.[22f] Amongst the horses featured are Abrax and Conabos.[22f]
Prior to the Fall of Sotha, the Chapter fleet numbered over a hundred vessels in total.[Note 1] Following Kraken's attack, and the Chapter's evacuation to the Miral System, only twenty-six ships remained, many heavily damaged.[22a][22b]
- Aegida — Space Station, currently serving as the Chapter's Fortress-Monastery.[21d]
- Heart of Cronus — Battle Barge.[22a] Last flagship of the Chapter after the battle at Giant's Coffin (previously known as the Heart of Sotha in older publications).[Needs Citation]
- Honour's Might — Battle Barge. Chapter flagship around the time of the fall of Sotha.[22c]
- Atreides — Strike Cruiser. Participated in a gene-seed recovery mission to the planet Brakur IV, in the Brakur System.
- Callandra — Strike Cruiser.[22e]
- Gift of Enyo — Strike Cruiser.[22d]
- Nova Prospectum — Cruiser.[22b]
- Sterope — Light Cruiser.[21a]
- Xenophon — Hunter-class Destroyer. Destroyed before the fall of Sotha.[Needs Citation]
- Light of the Pharos — Destroyer. Severely damaged in the Chapter's evacuation from Sotha.[22a]
- Laodameia's Lament — Nova-class Frigate.[22g]
- Pale Rider — Nova-class Frigate.[22a][22g]
- Dromea Bathos[22a]
- Ionia — Severely damaged in the Chapter's evacuation from Sotha.[22a]
- Reaper — Vindicator. Fought in the defence of Miral Prime where was destroyed by Tyranids of the Hive Fleet Kraken
- Chapter Master Oberdeii — Warden of the Pharos, the old man on the mountain, Founder.
- Chapter Master Thorcyra — Chapter Master before the fall of Sotha. Killed on the death world of Miral.
- Chapter Master Thrasius (also known as Thracian) - Chapter Master, concerned with preserving and rebuilding his Chapter. Killed during Belisarius Cawl's expedition to Sotha in the Age of the Dark Imperium.[21c]
- Chaplain Segas — the Chapter's first Chaplain, whose remains were interred on the reliquary world of Egottha.
- Reclusiarch Hornindal — encountered a vanguard hivefleet while returning to Sotha after the general recall was given. His ship, the Xenophon, was subsequently lost.
- Forge Master Sebastion — highest ranking Techmarine after the fall of Sotha.
- Apothecary Aratus — Apothecary stationed on the world of Brakur IV to scan for potential recruits.
- Captain Theodosios — Captain of the Fifth Company, sent out to the Eastern Fringe before Hive Fleet Kraken was identified.
- Captain Vosok Dall — turned renegade after the fall of Sotha, and eventually swore allegiance to Khorne. Killed on New Badab by Honsou of the Iron Warriors.
- Captain Romonos — Captain of the single Battle Company after the fall of Sotha.
- Captain Agaitas — Captain of the Second Company. Killed on the death world of Miral.
- Commander Cassios — Fifth Company officer who survived for three years onboard a Hive Ship, to be discovered by the 21st Salvation Team led by Sergeant Tiresias. Killed after returning to the same Hive Ship.
- Sergeant Angeloi — originally Tiresias's superior, later assigned to the Deathwatch by Thrasius. Completed his tour and requested discharge afterwards.
- Sergeant Cassander — Assault Sergeant. Leader of Squad Cassander. Killed during the gene-seed recovery mission on the world of Brakur IV.
- Sergeant Quintos — leader of the 121st Salvation Team. He recovered the body of Sergeant Tiresias along with his gene-seed and that of Commander Cassios.
- Sergeant Remas — encountered the first hive ship to reach Sotha. His testimony aided Ultramarines Chaplain Cassius in the organisation of the Tyrannic War Veterans. 
- Sergeant Tiresias — leader of the 21st Salvation Team. Survived the fall of Sotha and the battle at Giant's Coffin, but was killed on board a Tyranid Hive Ship.
- Veteran-Brother Wenlocke - founding member.
- Brother Cadmus - Primaris Veteran who took part in Belisarius Cawl's expedition to Sotha to study the Pharos.[21a]
- Brother Harvan — member of Remas's squad, killed in the boarding action.
- Brother Tobias — member of Remas's squad, the only other survivor.
- Brother Domitios — saved by Tiresias during the fighting on Tan.
- Brother Hadrios — accompanied Thrasius when he left the Chapter to plan for the future, and served as his lieutenant.
- Brother Esau — newly promoted battle brother, member of the Assault Squad Cassander and one of the last recruits from Sotha. Together with Brother Galerius as the only surviving members of Assault Squad Cassander, successfully evacuated Apothecary Aratus with the gene-seed from the world of Brakur IV.
- Brother Vasilis — member of the Second Company. Presumed killed on the death world of Miral.
- Neophyte Narro — member of the 21st Salvation Team. Killed on board a Tyranid Hive Ship.
- Neophyte Hwygir (or Culmonios) - member of the 21st Salvation Team. Killed on board a Tyranid Hive Ship.
- Neophyte Vitellios — member of the 21st Salvation Team. Killed on board a Tyranid Hive Ship.
- Neophyte Pasan — member of the 21st Salvation Team. Killed on board a Tyranid Hive Ship.
- Neophyte Bokari — apprentice to Sebastion in the Forge.
- Neophyte Medon — member of the 49th Salvation Team. Honoured for the recovery of a partial suit of Terminator armour.
- Gricole — senior retainer under Sergeant Tiresias.
- Hannelore - Serf-lieutenant aboard the Heart of Cronus.[22a] Later promoted to shipmistress of the Atreides.
- Kaeron — commanding officer aboard the Xenophon. Lost along with the ship.
- Leviton Goss — Sub-lieutenant aboard the Xenophon. Lost along with the ship.
- Milus Ogden — Serf-sergeant. Chief security officer aboard the Xenophon. Killed by Tyranids during a boarding action.
- Tyek — security officer aboard the Xenophon. Killed during a ship-to-ship collision.
- 1: How to Paint Space Marines, pg. 88 - Codex Chapters
- 2: Codex: Tyranids (4th Edition), pg. 14
- 3: White Dwarf 218 (UK), pg. 80 - The Coming of the Great Devourer
- 4: Games Workshop - Farsight Enclaves (Saved archive page, dated 7 September 2008, last accessed 5 October 2019)
- 5: Orphans of the Kraken (Short Story)
- 6: The Shadow of the Beast (Short Story)
- 7: White Dwarf 306 (UK), pg. 52 - Index Astartes: Purge the Alien
- 8: Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pgs. 76–77
- 9: Last Watch (Short Story)
- 10: The Skull Harvest (Short Story)
- 11: Reclamation (Short Story)
- 12: Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition)
- 13: The Blood of Sotha (Short Story)
- 14: Pharos (Novel), Chapter 31
- 15: Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and Forces of the Inquisition, pg. 74
- 16: The Aegidan Oath (Short Story)
- 17: Codex: Space Marines (8th Edition), pg. 31
- 18: Heloth (Short Story)
- 19: Daedalus (Short Story) - Scythes of the Emperor (Anthology)
- 20: Dark Imperium (Novel), Chapter 20
- 21: Belisarius Cawl: The Great Work (Novel)
- 22: Slaughter at Giant's Coffin (Novel) - Scythes of the Emperor (Anthology)