Sons of Malice
|Marine||Basic Data||Warband Symbol|
The Sons of Malice chapter was founded to watch over the Eye of Terror. Events leading to the chapter's excommunication began following the successful end of the Cilix 225 campaign against heretics who had threatened to depressurize three underwater hive cities.[1b]
As with many Chapters, it is unclear during which Founding the Sons of Malice were created or what their original Chapter name was before their corruption. It is suspected that they were one of the 20 Space Marine Chapters referred to as the Astartes Praeses, which, according to the Mythos Angelica Mortis, were Founded with the express purpose of guarding the regions surrounding the Eye of Terror. It is alarming that the Sons of Malice were not brought to the attention of the Inquisition sooner, especially due to their widely-reported custom of cannibalistically consuming their defeated foes.
Events leading to the Chapter's excommunication began following the successful end of the Cilix 225 Campaign against Heretics who had threatened to depressurize three underwater hive cities on that world, and ultimately led the Chapter to declare itself to be both enemies of the Imperium of Man and the Forces of Chaos even as it took up service to the Renegade Chaos God Malal, also called Malice, the Hierarch of Anarchy and Terror.[1b]
Kathal, Captain of the First Company of the Sons of Malice, led the chapter victory rites, which bordered on cannibalism, observed by Inquisitor Pietas, a senior member of the Ordo Hereticus. Although flesh-eating rituals are not uncommon among the Space Marines, Pietas was obviously unacquainted with the barbarous customs of Space Marines and mobilized a strike force of Adepta Sororitas Celestians to deal with the "heretics." The Sisters made planetfall right in the midst of the Company at the height of their celebrations. Kathal and his troops responded to the interference of their sacred Chapter rites by savagely attacking the strike force, defeating the Celestians. Kathal dragged the meddling Inquisitor before the chapter altar where she was ritually sacrificed.[1b]
The Sons of Malice were excommunicated and now reside within the Eye of Terror, from which they wage a hate-fueled war against the Imperium they see as betraying them, as much as against other followers of Chaos.[1b]
Their homeworld was Scelus, in the Cadian Sector, and the grisly tendencies which caused their excommunication were found to be rooted in the barbaric practices of the native, feral world population. These tribes were almost entirely eradicated by the Cadian 331st in a planet-wide campaign of genocide following the chapter's withdrawal into the Eye.[1a]
Kathal, who is now over 1000 years old, is the Sons' current Chapter Master. Every century the chapter returns to the Labyrinth, an old and scarred ship that has become the Chapter's holy ground and meeting place since the loss of their homeworld. Every warband attends at the correct time, regardless of their current status or who they are fighting. Slaves from every race encountered are then brought to the Labyrinth; each battle brother then retreats to a cell, where they eat alive the slave assigned to them. Every century, some Sons of Malice set off into the halls of the Labyrinth to compete for a place amongst the legendary Doomed Ones. Only one can make it to the end and escape; the rest will either die, or be transformed into the beasts that inhabit the ship as the Warp corrupts it. This challenge took place eleven times, eleven being Malice's sacred number, with each victor's body being stored in a casket until the final champion arose. The eleventh champion was Brother Invictus who, along with the other ten champions, was sacrificed so that Malice could appear and the Sons of Malice could begin their crusade to retake their homeworld.
Organisation & Doctrine
In comparison to the other Traitor Legions and Renegade Chapters of Chaos Space Marines, the general organisation of the Sons of Malice is not that far from the norm outlined in the Codex Astartes, though they maintain 11 companies of Astartes rather than the standard 10, as 11 is believed to be the sacred number of Malice.[Needs Citation]
The Sons of Malice are vicious, brutal and bloodthirsty in the extreme. Perhaps the Chapter's most eerie quality is that the Sons of Malice reportedly fight in utter silence, and those who have fought against them cite this as the prime source of the deeply disturbing aura surrounding them.[1b] They also capture living foes and civilians for their rituals and to feed upon, whether these captures are human or xenos is of little concern to them.
As followers of the Chaos God Malice, the Chapter hold the number 11 as sacred. Even before being declared traitors, the chapter would hold a cannibalistic sacrificial ritual on their homeworld of Scelus every 11 years.[1a]
After their exile, they started a ritual of returning to their former capital ship, the Labyrinth, every 100 years. Here, a ritual of cannibalistic feasting would take place using 1,000 humans and xenos captured across the galaxy. A volunteer team of Sons of Malice Astartes would then be tasked with surviving an expedition through the ship's long abandoned interior, using only what they can scavenge to fight off hordes of warp-mutants (secretly former Astartes who had failed this trial previously). The survivors would be deemed worthy to join the ranks of their elite "Doomed Ones". In this ritual, the Astarting, . However, no matter how many of the team survived, once the first of them walked through the teleportarium gate at the end of the ship, the gate would shut down leaving the rest of the team to become more of the horde for future rituals. The single survivor would then be sacrificed as a "Doomed One" as part of a ritual to summon Malice to the Materium. Once 11 Doomed Ones were sacrificed, Malice could be summoned.
- 1: Index Astartes IV
- 2: Codex: Eye of Terror, [Needs Citation]
- 3: Labyrinth (Short Story)
- 4: Cadia Stands (Novel), Chapter 2