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Friday, 21 June 2013

The Emperor's Seraphim- Astartes Praeses

The tome known as the Mythos Angelica Mortis records twenty Astartes Chapters which it calls the Astartes Praeses. These Space Marine Chapters were founded to provide constant watch over the Eye of Terror against the incursions of Chaos. Among this list are the Marines Exemplar, the Night Watch, the Relictors, the Subjugators and the White Consuls. Not listed in the tome are the Emperor's Seraphim. The Seraphim were indeed part of the original founding- guardians of the Scelus Sub-Sector assigned to stand sentinel against the threat of the Black Crusades. The Seraphim are known to have been equipped for specialist ship-borne combat, with advanced Tactical Dreadnought armour and close assault weaponry issued as standard. It is also recorded that their Chapter Master, Leopus Nix, was a potent psyker and was reported to have forbidden the use of scanners in boarding actions when he was present, guiding his squads more accurately by sense alone. Yet the Seraphim disappeared from their posts and history does not reveal their fate.


My first Space Marine army was the Terminatrus Chapter- cheesy I know, but I was about 10! When I got back into 3rd Ed they were reinvented as the Emperor's Seraphim and were comprised as entirely of Terminators as the Army Lists would allow. Now just recently I have got inspired again to play some Space Hulk and, even better, some Space Crusade. To this end I have stripped the Emperor's Seraphim again, and as I have no real interest in picking up a Marine army (too busy with the Mechanicus) my plan is to paint up both sets as purely for use in the board games. I'll be doing Ultramarines and Blood Angels for SC- but there's a dilemma. I see SC as being set pre-Heresy, as part of the Great Crusade. I'm going to use Mark VI armour (not pre-Heresy I know, but my favourite armour type) but I've never been keen on the Imperial Fists so was going to switch to the enigmatic Mentor Legion which has always been a preference of mine. But ML aren't a part of the first founding so do I go for the Fists because it's more accurate to the fluff or for the Mentors because they're so much cooler? Hmm.

Anyhow, back on topic, I'm going to be painting up a squad of 10 Blood Angels Termies and 10 Deathwing Termies for Space Hulk but I've got some nice early metal Termies that I'm going to paint up again as Emperor's Seraphim, hopefully doing a better job this time. The Seraphim are a part of the Astartes Praeses who slipped up on one occasion, letting a Hulk drift through from the Warp, past their cordon and into Imperial Space.

Realising their mistake too late they pursued the trail of the craft, but by the time they reached it the Hulk had made landfall on a primitive but loyal Imperial world. The devastation was complete. The Seraphim were not equipped to carry out the rites of Exterminatus, but in the name of the Emperor they could not allow the abominations that were spawning upon that world to survive. The Seraphim spent a decade cleansing the planet thoroughly, square mile by square mile, preserving their ammunition by engaging at close quarters with merciful death. This was a scar which would never fade for the Seraphim. For shame they could not return to their posts, nor would they abandon other worlds to the same fate. They swore, standing among the wreckage of the planet, that they would suffer no Hulks to go unchallenged in Imperial space but to hunt and cleanse them until the darkness took them.

Other Chapters have reported the appearance of unmarked but distinctively Imperial ships in the vicinity of Hulks they have been dispatched to investigate. As squads board the Hulks they find themselves joined by mysterious Terminator-suited figures bearing the badge of a fiery, winged axe. These Marines offer no communication and stay hidden in the shadows but the evidence of their presence is always accompanied by carnage- Xenos of all manner; Orks, Eldar, Tyranid and the abhorrent forces of Chaos, slain in the most brutal of fashions, their threat utterly annihilated.

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