Mansirius Thracian[3b][Note 1] was formerly the Captain of the 3rd Company and Master of the Arsenal[4b] of the Scythes of the Emperor Chapter, before being elevated to his current position of Chapter Master upon the death of the Scythes' previous Chapter Master, Thorcyra.
Hive Fleet Kraken and The Fall of Sotha
In 992.M41, the Eastern Fringe was overwhelmed by the locust-tide of Tyranid Hive Fleet Kraken including the chapter's homeworld of Sotha. Six companies led by Thracian, were able to return to Sotha in time to defend it against the xenos advance. Ultimately, however, the tyranids overwhelmed the Chapter's forces. The remaining Scythes prepared to make their stand at their fortress-monastery in order to give as much time as possible for the population of Sotha to evacuate. Before the planet and fortress monastery were completely over-run, the Scythes managed a breakout from the doomed planet, falling back to regroup in the nearby Miral System.[4a] Sotha, along with so many other planets in the inexorable advance of Hive Fleet Kraken, was reduced to the state of an asteroid by the Tyranid swarms. Fewer than three hundred Marines broke through the Tyranid assault and escaped their pursuers to the Miral system, where they rendezvoused at the jungle-covered Death World of Miral Prime, the site of a Chapter outpost.[4a]
In the retreat from Sotha, the Chapter's Master of the Fleet, Zebulon, was killed. Thracian assumed the mantle in addition to his other duties.[4a] It was initially feared that Chapter Master Thorcyra had died as well, but he eventually made it to the Chapter's muster point.[4c] Thorcyra declared that Miral Prime would become the Scythes of the Emperor's new homeworld, despite Thracian and many of the Chapter assuming that there was to be only a brief stop at Miral to resupply and collect the Aspirants and Neophytes being trained there.[4d]
The Battle of Miral
The last of the Scythes eventually landed on Miral and prepared to fortify their outpost, located on a huge rocky outcrop called the Giant's Coffin that rose from the equatorial jungle. The pursuing tyranid fleet caught up and encircled them, leaving the Scythes trapped and surrounded on the jungle death world. 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.[Needs Citation]
As the tyranids mounted their forces for a final push to wipe out the remaining Sycthes, Chapter Master Thorcyra ordered all of the remaining Battle-Brothers to withdraw from the world so as to avoid the complete extinction of their Chapter. In his last official act, Thorcyra passed the artefact known as the Emperor's Scythe (the Chapter Master's symbol of office) to Thracian, the only Captain of the Chapter still alive. As the rest of the surviving Scythes escaped the doomed planet in Thunderhawk gunships, Thorcyra and the remains of the Veteran First Company took up their positions as the last line of defense, to sell their lives dearly. Only a company-sized element managed to escape Miral before the defenders were wiped out to a man. Leadership of the nearly-destroyed Chapter passed to the new Thracian. The solemn ceremony of investiture was conducted on the bridge of the Honour's Might (the Chapter's only remaining starship, an almost-crippled Battle-Barge with severely depleted resources). Thracian then ordered the starship renamed The Heart of Sotha in memory of the Chapter's homeworld and the terrible sacrifices made there.[Needs Citation]
During the Scythes' retreat from Hive Fleet Kraken, Thracian instigated tactics of minutely detailed withdrawals and a constant fighting retreat, viewing every engagement without a casualty as a victory despite the Chapter constantly falling back from world to world ahead of Kraken. He realized that they had to recruit new Space Marine candidates to ensure the survival of their Chapter. On each planet the Scythes fought they would gather up those defenders with the greatest potential, especially those young enough to become Astartes and rescue them while the rest of the world fought and died. In this way hundreds, if not thousands of potential recruits had been gathered along with many others who would serve as Serfs to the Chapter, replacing those lost on their former homeworld of Sotha.[Needs Citation]
The Chapter's Future
With the news of Kraken's defeat, Chapter Master Thracian and many of his lieutenants disappeared, departing the Heart of Sotha abruptly and returning just as suddenly. What Thracian did while away is unknown, but upon his return over 300 Neophytes had already begun the implantation and training procedures. The recruits were those gathered from the many planets on which the Scythes had fought but the source of the gene-seed was another matter. Rumours persisted that perhaps the gene-seed had been secretly rescued from Sotha before the Tyranids attacked. Others believe that the gene-seed might have been stolen, pillaged from other Chapters in desperate measures. Still others persist that perhaps the gene-seed was bargained for, or that it was the payment for seconding over forty of the surviving Scythes to the Deathwatch. But the truth of the matter is unknown.[Needs Citation]
Rumors abound of Space Marines wearing the insignia of the Scythes still alive inside the Tyranid bio-ships. The rumours of scattered remnants of companies fighting has lead to the creation of "Salvation Teams" - small, autonomous units given the task of traversing the battlegrounds of the Eastern Fringe in the wake of Hive Fleet Kraken and running to ground every rumour, every indication of veteran Scythes still alive. In reality very few live Astartes are ever found; more often than not the "Salvation Teams" were merely reduced to salvage teams recovering the non-biological artifacts such as Power Armour and Bolters, and not just from the Scythes but many, many other Chapters as well. Still desperate times call for desperate measures and Thracian has ordered it all to be taken. Despite misgivings by some of the veterans of the Chapter, Thracian's strategy appears to be solid and succeeding, as the Chapter's Scouts eventually rise to full Battle-Brothers and lead their own "Salvation Teams" and all the while the Scythes gain invaluable experience in boarding actions against the Tyranids and perhaps know even more about this foul xenos and combating them than even the Ultramarines.
In the Age of the Dark Imperium,Thracian continued to lead the Scythes of the Emperor, which now had begun the process of rebuilding under a fresh influx of Primaris Space Marines. He led the expedition by Belisarius Cawl back to Sotha in order to study the Pharos.[3a] However, a force of Genestealer Cultists managed to infiltrate the Scythes Chapter Serfs, and they came under attack by foul Xenos hybrids. During the peak of the fighting, Thracian successfully slew the same Genestealer Patriarch that had previously led the assault on Sotha at the cost of his own life. His last words were Ave Imperator.[3c]
- 1: Orphans of the Kraken (Short Story) — Legends of the Space Marines (Anthology), pg. 445
- 2: Orphans of the Kraken (Short Story) eBook version, retrieved 2nd April 2012
- 3: Belisarius Cawl: The Great Work (Novel)
- 4: Slaughter at Giant's Coffin (Novel) - Scythes of the Emperor (Anthology)