The Jericho Crusade
Calm and charismatic tactical marine
Age: Around 100. 84 years of active service.
Lionus is tall, even for a space marine, topping most of his fellow Blood Angels by half a head. He is pale skinned and have long, black hair that is usually tucked back into a tidy tail. His eyes are a bright blue with a faint red tinge around the edges. The canines in his upper jaw is very clearly pointed.
When not armored he wears a simple garment consisting of a robe of black and red worn over a white tunic and pants, belted at the waist by a series of metal links. The belt supports a combat knife even when he is not on active duty. He prefers to go barefoot, but wears black leather boots when that is not practical.
Armor and weapons
The core of Lionus armor is a classic Mark 8, Errant power Armor. It is somewhat scarred and battered from it’s long years of service, but lovingly maintained. The standard chest aquila is replaced by the winged drop of the blood angels. One of it’s shoulders haver been replaced with the silver Deathwatch emblem, while the other proudly bears the Blood Angels sigil in red and black. One knee cap bears a green drop on a red field, the other a white X on black.
Two things set his armor aprt from most others. The greaves, from the knees and down, have been replaced with an older and much heavier set, giving the armor a solid and grounded look. And every edge of every plate have been covered with intricate engravings, imagery taken from the mythos of the Blood Angels and their progenitor, Sanguinius
In battle, Lionus carries the standard marine equipment: A bolter, a combat knife, grenades. He also habitually carries a chainsword with him. His bolter have been engraved like his armor along it’s casing, and the chainsword similarly bears etching down it’s sides. From the hilt of the chainblade, a small chain drops to hang a small golden icon of an angel.
Lionus is a calm and thoughtful man. He serves with a quiet pride that seems at odds with the personal humilty he often displays. He is well spoken and charismatic, and seems to take leadership naturally if no other obvious leader presents itself.
Watching peaceful vistas, engraving and doing things well. Enjoys conversation and contests of skill
Disorder, yelling, rudeness and ‘churlish behaviour’. Not fond of the colour yellow and flashing lights seem to annoy him
Tyranids, the smaller breeds in particular. Failure.
Giving in to the Black Rage, bringing shame to the Blood Angels
To earn the Crux Terminatus and a place among the First Company Veterans. To prove that he is worthy of command.
Personal score: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc1eirTklMI
I am asked to recount my life and service up until the point of my joining the Deathwatch, at the behest of the Ordo Xenos, While my service as a battle brother of the Blood Angels 4th company is a matter of record, a more personal recouting has been requested. I shall endevour to do this in a way to give an accounting of myself and my service.
I was born on Baal Secondus, and grew up knowing little but hunger, strife and the constant need to move and search the ancient ruins of our blasted homeworld for what scraps we could find to survive.
Our tribe was called the Dust Walkers, and our territory were the northern ash wastes of the moon. Salvage was not rich there, but enough that we could survive, and keep our Radiation Suits working. It is a grim life, and a hard one. But it breeds survivors. And inter-tribal skirmishing over the best places of salvage and shelter.
We are what can best be described as techno barbarians. Primitive firearms, the crudest of motorized weapons and vehicles barely worth the name, all of it cobbled together from the ruins of a race long gone. Every child learns to handle a piston-spear, to fire a barblauncher and drive the buggies we traverse the ash-lands in.
There is precious little else to say of my earliest life. Much of it is an ill remembered haze, with a few clear points.
My first conflict is the first. How old I was, I am not rightly sure. It was quick, and brutal. The scavenging team I was with was ambushed by a rival tribe. I remember it as terror, flashes of gunfire, ash kicked up by our scuffling feet. I fired my barblauncher at a barely seen shape in the ash, and missed. Horribly. I forgot everything about reloading and simply grabbed my piston-spear and pressed my back to a wall. I heard men scream and die, allong with the horrifying sounds of rad-suits depressurizing. Then a big, grey shape loomed out of the ash in front of me, and a roaring axe glittered in the half-light. I panicked, and simply stuck my spear out as hard as I could. And when it unexpectedly hit, I jammed the button by reflex, making the pistonlike spearhead crack through his suit and impale him.
We won, if such can be said. Two of us lived. None of them did. We salved everything we could, weapons, suits, boots. Everything useful. And left.
That night, I was made a tribesman. No longer a boy, and were allowed to wear the ‘wings’ upon my face, ash-stained images of gloriously spread wings.
The second is the death of the tribesman I had become. And the birth of Brother Lionus.
We all knew the stories. The olders talked of it, and the shaman had the tales inscribed in picts on brightly polished sheets of metal. How, once every lifespan, the Red Angels of the Skygod would come down to us, and select those most worthy to serve him in the eternity of afterlife. Any young warrior was free to attempt the journey, but only the best were encouraged. By that time, I had slain Fire Scorpions, fought to depend Home from mutant raiders and braved the most dangerous ruins for salvage. I was worthy.
I never knew how those who came from Primus or Baal itself arrioved. But they did. From all directions we traveled to Angels Fall, through the Burning Lands, and the Empty Vast. The trek is hell. There is no drinkable fluids there, only Thirstwater as will dry a man to death even as he is drinking, and no prey save the Fire Scorpions that hunt each other for domain there. I don’t know how many fell, but I believe it was more than made it through.
Angels fall is a high platou, with it’s centre shattered into a maze of tangled rock formations. As we arrived, we could only stare dumbfounded at the giants standing atop many of these formations, armoured red and with massive wings of smoke and flame burning from their backs.
When no aspirant came for two days, one of the angels descended to us on his wings of flame, and spoke grave words of valor and terror. That each who would become an angel must fight to prove his worth, until but fifty remained.
And so, we fought. One on one, in teams and in grand melees. Fire Scorpions were released for us to battle, and we fought and killed each other with a savagery born only from knowing that either you will succeed, or die. The details are… unneccessary. In the end, only fifty of us remained. All exhausted, all wounded. All proud.
The angels gathered us up in their vessel, and we left our lives behind. We slept, all of us, and when we woke were told but one things. Hold vigil, and consider the First Angel. For three days and three nights, our vigil laster. Some faltered and fell asleep. These were gathered by strange creatures of flesh and steel. We never saw them again.
Those of us who did not falter were met by a white angel, bearing a cup of blood. From this we drank. And then, we slept. And died. And were reborn.
Training and Scout Service
I awoke as a space marine. My time in the Sarcophagus had altered both my body and mind, taught me in my sleep many of the things I would need to know. But only so much can be learned while you slumber.
Upon waking, we were organized into scout units for training. Only 25 of us had survived the transformation and the vigil. Organized into squads, our training began almost immediately upon waking. I will forego most of the details, as they are likely to be of little consequence in this matter. Most of our training took place in the wilds of Baal, in it’s red, radiated deserts. Here, we learned what we’d need to become proper battle brothers. Those of us who survived of course.
The Blood Angels do not blieve in coddling their trainees. Most of our training were actual light missions, mostly to find and destroy small bands of mutants, making sure they did not band together in larger ones. Captain Borgio of the Redeemers, the 10th company, used these skirmishes to guage the temper of his recruits and their various abilities. I was never a superior warrior or marksman amongst our ranks, but I showed a capacity for leadership early on, which the captain fostered. As he said. ”Good commanders are rare. You might never be good, but you’re likely to be at least competent. If you survive. ”
It was during this time I learned what it meant to be a Blood Angel. About Sanguinius and his sacrifice, and about his legacy. Both the Sanguinary priests and the Chaplains taught us about our legacy, and it’s power. And it’s risks. I’ve been to the Tower of the Lost, at the highest peak of Mount Seraph, the apex of our fortress monestary. I’ve heard the howls of the lost, and to this day it still shivers my very core.
To combat this legacy, to calm the rage within, we are encouraged to find something to occupy us when we are travelling, or idle for any reason. Many among us are great artists. I am, at best, passable. But like many of my brothers, I find peace in my art.
My group of neophytes were not ready when Hive Fleet Behemoth came rampaging into the Eastern Fringe like a berserk train. All available marines were mustered, including neophytes, and sent to contain the threat. We were deployed to worlds on the fringes of the assault, to watch for signs that the xenos had landed on them. We saw little battle, but what we did see was as terrible as anything I have known. That’s when I had my first look at the Tyrranic Hordes.
What landed on Rheas III must have been a damaged scout ship, or a piece of a larger vessel destroyed somewhere. Had it been anything else, that moon would have died. As it is, we almost did. Reas III is a small Agriworld, a moon in orbit around a gas giant. It’s PDF is rudimentary to say the least. The actual small war fought there is a matter of Record. From my side, I will say this. I lost two Brothers to that swarm, and earned my first scars. I held a wall alongside ordinary men and saw my presence bolster their morale. In the end, we prevailed.
After this action, my two remaining neophyte brothers and I were formally accepted as full scouts, to serve our time as scout marines for the Chapter. While we saw numerous encounters during those years, there are few as vivid to me as that first one.
I served as a scout for 12 years, mainly by driving the a scout bike. As the forward eyes of my brothers, it was my sworn duty to find and foil enemy advances and ambushes. My final action as a scout was enganging the Orks of Warboss Skragga on the world of Perult, a mostly mechanized war that pitted Blood Angel assault vehicles against the ramshackle Ork Trukks. In the chaos, the relatively small and nimble bikes fought our own skirmish with the Ork bikers. It was my first real ‘loss’ to the Thirst, as I ended up giving in to it and ramming my bike in among the Orks, fighting with chainsword rather than my pistol as would have been wise. But we won the day, and there is little else to be said.
Full Brotherhood and service with the Knights of Baal.
Afer Perult, I was raised to full Battle Brother, and accepted by Captain Castigon into the 4th company, the Knights of Baal. Here I joined a Aegis squad, and have served with it since, for almost 70 years.
During that time, I’ve spent quite a while on Mouth Seraph. The Knights are the closest we have to a ‘home company’ and are often stationed on Baal or in it’s nearby systems. My cell overlooks the vast bowl of red dust we call the Crimson Sea, and I have spent many hours there meditating on the death of Sanguinius, on what our place in the Emperors service is, and how we best serve mankind, despite our flaws. And I’ve spent countless more hours maintaining my wargear, and engraving it with images from our holy tales. I have even been fortunate enough to hear Furioso Astramael speak on the nature of the Thirst, and how to hold it off. To be so blessed is truly rare, for the venerable Brother Dreadnaught ordinarily only wakes from his slumber to do battle.
I will, for the readers benefit list a few of our more memorable battles, as it may help you understand our battle doctrine, and why I fight as I do.
The Battle of Corael’s Pass. A Heretic force led by a warlord known only as the Grinning Skull descended on a the peaceful world of Kariss and quickly turned the northernmost continent to a warzone. When Imperial Guard regiments failed to dislodge the invaders and suffered massive losses in return, a plea was sent to the Blood Angels. Fully half of the Knights deployed to that world and engaged the main force of the Heretics in a massive battle in a mountainous region known as Coraels Pass. Most of our force assaulted their fortifications in Land Raider assault tanks with Baal Predators backing them up. And while the front burned, the Aquitainus Squad and Tauros squad deployed into their midst by Drop Pod.
My own role in this engagement was small, as I was the junior member of Aegis Squad. Our duty was to assault the many fortifications of the enemy, and I was given the task of laying covering fire for my brothers, along with the squad heavy bolter, as they charged.
I bring up this battle, as it was propably the most singular victory I had been part of. We lost no brothers that day, and suffered only a few severe casualties.
The Cleansing of Astor’s Reach. A protracted campaign of almost four years, to cleanse a system of Eldar Reavers. These xenos pirates raided settlemens and ships all across these systems. The Fleet fought a series of engagements with these pirates and finally drove them back to a point where an assault could be made against their home base. We were deployed as assault units, and from two small rapid response vessels we sent out our thunderhawks to carry us into battle. The Eldar base was an asteroid, hollowed out for the purpose, and in it’s dark confines we fought the apparitions in grim hand to hand battle. Three brothers had lost themselves to the Rage, and these we sent ahead, to to scatter the defense before they fell. One was of Aegis. I will never forget his eyes as he was strapped into his armor, like red pits, burning with fury…
In the end, we were partially successful. Many of the Eldar managed to escape on small, wasplike vessels, but their base was destroyed.
Trallion Hive Wars. The Trallion Hive Wars was a nightmare. In the wake of the Tyrranic War, infiltration organisms had spread like a disease, and Trallion system almost self-destructed before it became clear what had happened. Genestealer cults had sprung up all through two of the massive hives on the world, sparking civil wars, industrial breakdowns and general unrest. It all culminated in an all out civil war between the worlds massive Hives. Imperial guard detachments and a full hundred space marines from three chapters were deployed to end the conflict and it’s source. Almost a year went by, with fierce battle being fought in the vast chemical plains and inside the hive spires. The final month we fought a long, gruelling battle against the cultists and their purestrain masters, deep inside Hive Kol. I led a fireteam of Brothers into the hive, guiding us through skirmishes with the nightmarish half human, half xenos monstrosities. Eventually, a terminator squad of the White Consul’s chapter broke the back of the xenos. I do not begrudge them that glory. I simply would rather not have to repeat the deeds we had to do in the depths of that hive, to make sure we did not miss a single cultist.
The Assault on Baal, by the Waagh of Warboss Big Skorcha. One of our darkest hours. Orks fell on our worlds in a howling green tide, and rampaged across the surface of it. Despite our valiance and our superior training and weapons, there were simply too many of the brutes. We were forced back to the slopes of mount Seraph, where a desperate battle was fought. A battle we nearly lost. Only when Furioso Astramael woke every single Dreadnaught in the vaults and led us in a last, desperate fight did the tide turn. Aegis fought side by side with two dreadnoughts, and there was no time for tactics or finesse. We fired our bolters until they glowed and refused to fire, and then fought on with chainswords, knives and fists. I ended that fight with an ork Choppa lodged in my shoulder, and one leg crushed under a fallen Killa Kan. My survival was a miracle. Let this be a lesson to all: As mighty as we are, even we may fall. After that battle, only half of Aegis survived….
The defense of Brogens World. This is the pivotal battle of my career. The reason I am here, so to speak.
Once more, I will tell you of Tyranids. They fell upon Brogens World in a great swarm, and only sheer fortune had us nearby. A full company, aboard the Strike Cruiser Spear of Sanguinius. There was little time for finesse, and the entire company deployed in defense of the major settlement of the world, Landfall. PDF and Guard had dug defensive earthworks and prepared as much as they could. It was not enough. The Swarm simply ran over it, and we fouught a desperate, retreating battle, deeper and deeper into the city while the civilians crowded in behind us.
We broke into Fireteams to stem the tide where we could, walking among the guardsmen and bolstering their morale, killing tyranids by the hundreds. But it never seemed to be enough.
The only reason we held out was our fliers. They found the tyranid landing point, and our Cruiser blew it away with her batteries. After that, it became attrition. Possible, if barely.
My fireteam held a strongpoint, an administratum building near the centre of town. Behind our sheltering armour crowded administratum officials, women and children. And the line around us buckled and faltered. Nearby guard units retreated, and we were left alone. Captain Castigon ordered us to abandon our position and fall back to the next defensive point. Doing so… Doing so would have abandoned almost a thousand people to the tyranids. I refused. By my order, we stood, and we fought. Termagaunts and Hormagaunts swarmed around us, and to this day I thank the emperor that we held. I lost three brothers in that fight. By the time the line pushed back to us, I was reduced to sitting up against a door, crushing rippers as they swarmed around me, my armors legs torn to tiny pieces, and the flesh underneath torn and bleeding.
Seconding to the Deathwatch
I spent the entire trip back to Baal in the infirmary. I was well aware that I had cost the lives of three battle brothers by my choice, but I still believe it was the right one. The people that survived there knew the inner workings of Brogens World so well that they would be instrumental in rebuilding. Without them, the world might falter and die, despite our victory.
When we returned to Baal, I was called to attend upon Captain Castigon. He met me, attended by a Sanguinary Priest, a Chaplain and a Librarian. Not a tribunal, as I had feared. But close enough. What followed was a lecture on the Codex Astartes, the requirements of orders and the neccessity of knowing one’s place.
And then the Captain spoke the words that would alter my life irrevocably
”Your actions call for disciplinary action. And yet, they embody the highest ideal of what we are. We are the shield between man and the xenos that would destroy him. We are the Angels of Death, but also His instruments. Your action was noble. It was just. It was right. And yet, we cannot officially condone it.
Fortunately, I am saved for the need to decide between right and duty this day. A call has come from the Deathwatch, requiring us by oath to second them five marines. I have selected you for this duty. And the council of captains agree. You are among our finest. You would have made sergeant soon enough, of not for this. This is not punishment, Brother Lionus. It is a way past my conundrum. Serve with valor, servie with humility and serve, above all, with pride. ”
And so, my armour repaired with older and heavier greaves to ‘avoid repeat performances’ as the armoror called it, I was sent on my way.
And now, I write these words, in transit to a Watch Fortress at the other end of the galaxy. I will serve, and I will serve with Pride.