The Lamenters are a Space Marine Chapter of Blood Angels descent. Long dogged by misfortune, they sided with the rebel forces during the Badab War, but were granted the Emperor's forgiveness at the conclusion of that conflict subject to the undertaking of a penitent crusade. That crusade eventually brought the Lamenters directly into the path of Hive Fleet Kraken, bringing the chapter to the brink of extinction.
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The Lamenters are a Successor Chapter of the Blood Angels, yet they have avoided the fate of others implanted with the gene-seed of Sanguinius. While they managed to control the flaws of their gene-stock, they still succumb to it in extreme circumstances. Even so, at the close of the Dark Millennium stories have begun to circulate that the Black Rage has returned tenfold after their flawed attempts to cleanse it from their gene-seed.
For much of their history the Lamenters have a record of effective and well-intentioned service to the Imperium, yet they have been subject to extraordinary levels of misfortune. Their ill-luck has seen them fighting in more desperate defences and last stands than any other chapter of its age, and they accept it with symbols of grief and lamentation. The Emperor's Tarot predicts that their misfortune will only going get worse.
A product of the so-called 'Cursed Founding', the Lamenters were long considered a successful result of whatever mysterious methods were used in the creation process of this Founding that so damned a number of their brethren chapters. Despite showing no signs of mutation or incipient madness, the noble Lamenters still found themselves shunned by a great number of the existing Astartes Chapters due to their association with the Cursed Founding. By the early years of M37 the majority of the surviving Cursed Founding chapters were embroiled in various disputes concerning their right to exist. As some of these became violent, the seemingly pure Lamenters decided to quietly relocate to the western fringes of the galaxy. A fleet-based chapter, they elected to go on crusade against the enemies of the Imperium, an endeavour that would take up much of the next millennium and a half.[5a]
Their self-imposed crusade was curtailed when the chapter was once again relocated en masse, this time on the order of the High Lords of Terra. The Lamenters - along with a number of other fleet-based chapters - were tasked with repelling Chaos incursions from the Eye of Terror. During one such defence against the Black Crusades the Lamenters' status as a Cursed Founding chapter worked against them once more, when the Mortifactors chapter refused to associate with them and abandoned the Lamenters during the defence of Corillia from the Black Legion. The Lamenters elected to remain and defend the populated Imperial world despite this change in situation, and suffered heavy casualties as a result. By the time a relief force made up of elements from the Ultramarines and White Scars made it to the planet to rescue them, barely 200 battle-brothers of the Lamenters were left. In an early demonstration of the kind of serious misfortune that would come to plague the Lamenters, the survivors of this campaign were immediately caught in a warp-storm and vanished, with the entire chapter swiftly being declared lost in the warp and presumed destroyed.[5a]
Having returned from the warp and built up their strength, the Lamenters returned to crusade duties, this time around the galactic core, before once again being reassigned by the High Lords in mid-M41. Along with the Astral Claws, Mantis Warriors and Charnel Guard the Lamenters were transferred to the Maelstrom Zone as the Maelstrom Warders, an Astartes brotherhood formed to defend local Imperial space against threats emanating from the Maelstrom. Close ties were formed between these chapters (although the Charnel Guard was withdrawn from the sector shortly after), particularly between the Astral Claws under Lufgt Huron and the Lamenters. It has been theorised that the demonstrations of friendship and bonds of brotherhood undertaken and shown by the Astral Claws to the Lamenters, things not familiar to the oft-spurned Cursed Founding chapter, may have had a great impact on the chapter's subsequent behaviour.[5a]
For early in the last century of M41 Lufgt Huron - the Tyrant of Badab - instigated the Badab War, drawing the Lamenters and Mantis Warriors with him into armed conflict with the wider Imperium. Somewhat unwilling combatants - the Lamenters refused to compromise the honour-bonds forged with the Marines Errant during the Corinth Crusade by firing at them, instead using manoeuvres and numbers to drive them off - the Lamenters were eventually removed from the war by the actions of the loyalist Minotaurs chapter, who managed to locate the Lamenters' fortress-monastery, baiting the entire chapter to rush to its defence. In the brutal ambush and shipboard fighting that followed, the Lamenters were mauled, eventually being forced to surrender with only 300 battle brothers remaining, most of whom were wounded.[5a]
It was found that the chapter's siding with the renegades was not from any notion of rebellion against the Imperium; rather they viewed the Imperial attack on the Astral Claws as a challenge to the sovereignty of the whole Adeptus Astartes. At the defeat of the rebellion, the Lamenters were granted the Emperor's forgiveness, subject to a hundred year penitent crusade.
Their crusade led them straight into the jaws of Hive Fleet Kraken. The Lamenters fought hopeless battles defending planets such as Malvolion and Devlan from the invading Tyranids, taking heavy losses in return. The last known census of the chapter reported that only 3 companies of Lamenters remained.
The Lamenters' believed success at avoidance of the Red Thirst and Black Rage recently prompted the Blood Angels to eagerly attempt to contact their brothers, to invite them to the conclave of chapters descended from Sanguinius to discuss the fate of their ill-starred bloodline. Ships that ventured to find the Lamenters have returned empty handed.
Despite their brutal war against the Tyranids, the Lamenters have emerged victorious and their Chapter Master claims that they have only grown stronger.
- M36 — Founded.
- M37 — Departed for the western fringes of Imperial space; initiated a whole-chapter continuous crusade against the enemies of mankind.[5a]
- M39 — Ninth Black Crusade; chapter reduced to around 200 marines in strength and lost in the warp for over a century during the Relief of Corillia.[5a] The Lamenters were only saved thanks to the efforts of the White Scars and Ultramarines.
- 587.M41 - Assigned to the Maelstrom Warders.[5a]
- 698.M41 - The Corinth Crusade; 300 marines and the battle-barge Daughter of Tempests. Two-thirds casualties in the Liberation of Slaughterhouse III.[5a]
- 812.M41 - The Achilus Crusade; the Lamenters first appeared in the crusade to settle an honour debt to a Kazandus Lan, a Rogue Trader and his Dynasty. Four squads that were on the vessel left them with little survivors after a catastrophic drive failure in the Falon's Lament System. Some of these survivors were recruited into the Deathwatch, on a single Kill-team under Watch Captain Brand by Watch-Commander Mordigael, while other continue their service alongside Space Marines of other chapters.
- 904.M41 - Entered the Badab War; approx 870 marines[5a]
- 908.M41 - Surrendered to Imperial justice; 311 marines remaining.[5a]
- 912.M41 - Sentenced to a 100 year penitent crusade
- c.992.M41 - Encounter Hive Fleet Kraken; contact subsequently lost
- 993.M41 — While Lamenters fought with the Hive Fleet Kraken, following them Red Hunters also suffered losses. The Lamenters eventually prevailed in the conflict.
The Lamenters were one of the chapters created in the Twenty First Founding, afterwards become known as the Cursed Founding. Created from altered Blood Angel stock, some in the Imperium believe that the Lamenters' inception was an attempt to breed out the deficiencies known to mar that otherwise superior DNA. If true, the experiment seemed to have been successful in its objectives for some time, as the Lamenters were long thought not to suffer from the Black Rage associated with the Blood Angels-descendant chapters. Of course, the Lamenters are thought cursed in another way, suffering the most appalling twists of ill fortune and tragedy.
The lack of typical Blood Angels deficiencies in their gene-seed meant that the Lamenters were considered as a Codex Astartes-adherent chapter for much of their history, although the nature of a fleet-based chapter does require some flexibility in this regard, with isolated fleet elements being forced to adapt their tactics to the resources available to them. Additionally, the Lamenters fought without direct Imperial support for most of their history due to their reputation, instilling in them a sense of self-reliance uncommon in many Codex-style chapters who are more comfortably meshed in the greater Imperial war machine. The regular outbreaks of misfortune that happened to the chapter also resulted in a great deal of flexibility and pragmatism developing in the Lamenters' philosophy, as well as in their recruitment procedures.[5a]
In combat the Lamenters favour shock assault and close air-support tactics, and are used to performing drop-assaults and boarding actions. Lack of contact, both practical and philosophical with the other sons of Sanguinius resulted in only a small number of Blood Angel-style arms and equipment existing in the chapter and beyond this the Lamenters also own only a small number of Tactical Dreadnought suits. The Apothecary department does operate like that of the Blood Angels, with a type of Sanguinary Priest referred to as a Calix existing as a senior officer. This Calix Priesthood has become more integral to the chapter in recent times as the curse of Sanguinius has manifested in the chapter, which in turn has resulted in the creation of a Death Company.[5a]
- Malakim Phoros — Master of the Lamenters, Lord of Ruin, Watcher of the Deeps[5b]
- Chyron — Interred in a Dreadnought, Chyron avoided the ultimate fate of the Lamenters due to being on assignment to the Deathwatch. Believes himself to be the last surviving member of the Chapter.
- The Banner of Tears — After the Lamenters' part in the Badab War, their chapter banner was a tattered remnant. When they were granted the Emperor's forgiveness, the banner was given to the Adepta Sororitas to be repaired and purified. Their handiwork was said to be inspired by the Emperor, and that they wept as they wove, contemplating the Emperor's great sacrifice for humanity. The banner became known as the Banner of Tears and was taken with the Lamenters on their penitent crusade.
- Glaive Encarmine — A two-handed, master crafted power weapon wielded by the Chapter Master.[5b]
- Catechist — A powerful Inferno Pistol wielded by the Chapter Master.[5b]
- Daughter of Tempests — Battle Barge, captured by the Minotaurs Chapter during the Badab War
- Mater Suspiria — Strike Cruiser
- 1: White Dwarf 101 (UK) "Badab War" by Rick Priestley
- 2: Warhammer 40,000: Compendium, [Needs Citation]
- 3: Red Fury (Novel) by James Swallow, [Needs Citation], pg. 89
- 4: Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition), pg. 22
- 5: Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One
- 6: Exhumed (Short Story) by Steve Parker – Hammer and Bolter 2, pg. 30
- 7: Deathwatch: Rites of Battle, pg. 63
- 8: Index Astartes: Death Company, pg. 4
- 9: Imperial Armour Volume Two - Second Edition, pg. 23
- 10: Codex: Space Marines (8th Edition) pg.29
- 11: Codex: Blood Angels (8th Edition) pg.19
- 12: Imperial Armour Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus, pg. 147
- Chapter Approved 2004 Cursed Foundings
- GW Campaign Weekends Site. GW UK's Campaign Weekends Badab War Rules (.pdf)
- http://uk.games-workshop.com/campaignweekends/assets/badab-war-rules.pdf (link removed, accessed 2006.12.11)