The Emperor's Spears are believed to have come from the 25th Founding, also known as the Bastion Founding, in the latter half of M40. The first known appearance of the Chapter was in 594.M40, making them relatively young by the standards of Space Marine Chapters.
Even in their relatively short history, the Emperor’s Spears have clashed with their fellow Space Marines, notably the Aurora Chapter during the Eukari Insurrection. So vicious was the conflict that the Ultramarines sent representatives to quell it, ruling that the Emperor’s Spears had acted rashly and were to blame for the violence. It is only in recent years that High King Arucatas the Swordbearer has eased the tensions that exist between the Emperor's Spears and Ultramarines.
Since the opening of the Great Rift, the Emperor’s Spears have been beset by new dangers. The Rift is visible from Nemeton, and its influence has been felt across the Elara’s Veil region. Hard pressed by constant war and isolation following the loss of their fellow Chapters, the Emperor’s Spears now stand upon the brink of destruction, and it remains to be seen how its future will unfold.
- Eukari Insurrection — 330.M41
- Battle of Sythaur - in this battle one of the Emperor's Spears - Faelan - received a grievous wound that disfigured his face.[4c]
- War against the Exilarchy - 999.M41 - Present. The Great Rift cuts off Elara's Veil from the wider Imperium. The Spears alongside the Celestial Lions and rest of the Adeptus Vaelarii wage a slowly losing campaign against the forces of the Exilarchy. After of century of fighting, the Exilarchy has the upper hand.[4b]
The Emperor's Spears' homeworld is Nemeton, an aquatic planet with small landmasses. The chapter relies on a large fleet and focus on air superiority. The armour of the Emperor's Spears is often decorated, and many of the older legionaries decorate their equipment with the symbol of the Star Scorpions in honor of the destroyed chapter. Their Librarians and Apothecaries wear black.
For many centuries, the Emperor's Spears have been focused on guarding the region of space known as Elara's Veil alongside the Celestial Lions and previously the Star Scorpions. With the former hounded by the Inquisition and the latter having been destroyed, this leaves the Spears as the Veil's sole sentinel.
The Emperor's Spears benefit to the presence of the nearby Forge-Moon of Bellona, which allows their Druidic Techmarines to train there instead of Mars. Thanks to their pacts with Bellona, the Chapter is able to deploy a fleet far above that of most standard Chapters. In addition, many of their warships are guarded by Skitarii. However to other Imperials, the Chapter is unreliable and prone to put glory above prudence. Recent difficulties have forced the Emperor's Spears into being more cooperative with the greater Imperium.
The Emperor’s Spears are, for the most part, a Codex-compliant Chapter, with some exceptions. Rather than fighting as companies, the Chapter tends to operate as autonomous war hosts, often ranging far from Nemeton in defense of Elara’s Veil. The Chapter Master of the Emperor's Spears is known as the High King while Captain's are known as Warhost Lords.
The Chapter's First Company is known as the Paragons. These warriors forsake any chance to rise further in the Chapter, and it is believed that they must undergo blood rites and other hidden rituals to gain their position. On the battlefield, they are fierce hunters, focusing on the elimination of enemy leaders. Paragons wear no crest; their white helms are marked by inverted red tridents painted on their faceplates in barbaric echo of their Chapter symbol. It is said that to gain acceptance among the Paragons, a supplicant must be recommended by no fewer than three current veterans. He must then perform a number of feats of prowess in battle, as well as secretive blood-rites unknown outside the Paragon caste. Paragons are never permitted to serve as officers. They are outside the chain of command, each one a champion at arms who has forgone the chance to lead his brethren into battle. As a result they are usually used as champions who take out enemy commanders in battle.
Officers known as Druids replace the usual Librarians, Chaplains, Techmarines and Apothecaries of normal Chapters. These warrior-priests each stand ready to harvest the gene-seed of fallen brothers, as well as performing their own duties based on their specialist skills and esoteric abilities.
Hailing from the primitive world of Nemeton, the Spears continue to embrace the tribal nature of their Homeworlds. Several tribes on Nemeton exist, such as the Novontei, Kavalei, and Arakanii. These tribes each have their own unique traditions and customs, and even upon entrance into the Chapter the Spears continue to cling to their tribal identity. Spears often call each other simply by their tribe.[4d]
Contrary to the reverence for which most Marine world populations treat Astartes, the Spears are viewed by the population of Nemeton as cursed ghosts. Mothers shield their sons from passing Spears, and women will often spit or chant counter-hexes in their presence. The Spears in turn continue to maintain a degree of mysticism, interacting in rituals with witches and prophets of Nemeton.[4e]
Each warhost marks their azure armour with a range of Nemetese Ogham runes that are believed to comprise a mix of unit markings, honor sigils and other more esoteric icons. Some veterans who fought alongside the lost Star Scorpions or the dying Celestial Lions bear icons of those Chapters in honour of fallen comrades-in-arms. Most warriors bear personal heraldry on one knee pad, which is painted in a deeper blue. This heraldry usually reflects a specific campaign the battle-brother fought in, or the Manticora Bestia Fidelitas, a sigil representing the unity of the Adeptus Vaelarii. The Skitarii of Bellona and allied Imperial Guard regiments often also bear this sigil. Many Emperor’s Spears wear cloaks made from the hides of beasts they have hunted and slain on Nemeton.
Officers of the Chapter are marked out by the helmet crests they wear. Sergeants and Veteran Sergeants bear transverse crests in red, or red and black respectively. Longitudinal crests distinguish higher ranks. The vaunted Battleguard have black and red stripes and Warhost Lords black and white, while pure white is reserved for the High King, the master of the Chapter. The Chapter’s First Company, the Paragons, bear no crests – an inverted red trident is painted onto their helmets instead.
- Arucatas — High King & Chapter Master
- Brêac of the Vargantes - Lord of the 3rd Warhost
- Ducarius of the Kavalei - Druid Librarian of the 3rd Warhost[4d]
- Tolmach of the Novotei - Druid Chaplain of the 3rd Warhost[4d]
- Morcant of the Arakanii - Battleguard to Lord Brêac, 3rd Warhost[4d]
- Faelan of the Kavalei - Battleguard to Lord Brêac, 3rd Warhost[4d]
- Vadhán - 3rd Warhost
- Trystance — Lord of the 4th Warhost
- Yvas — Lord of the 6th Warhost
- 1: How to Paint Space Marines, pg. 87
- 2: Statements by Aaaron Dembski-Bowden
- 3: Index Astartes - Emperor's Spears (Limited Edition)
- 4: Spear of the Emperor (Novel)
- 5: Warhammer Community: Who Are the Emperor’s Spears?
- 6: White Dwarf 460, pgs. 40-46 - Index Astartes - Emperor's Spears: Warlords of Nemeton