- "We have survived much, curses, accusations of mutation, and the split of the chapter but we will endure. None can break our will, not even the Dark Gods themselves. We Gaze into the Abyss. And we know no fear."
- — Man Farren, 4th Chapter Master
One of the Chapters founded in the "Cursed" 21st founding, the Abyss Gazers were founded to police the edges of the Eye of Terror and have only just managed to survive due to both bad luck, Mutation, and a section of the chapter breaking away and turning to Chaos. After nearly twice being declared ''Excommunicate Tratoris'' the chapter is now somewhat closely monitored by the Inquisition much to their ire.
One of the chapters of created in the 21st founding the Abyss Gazers were made with the intent to create marines especially resistant to the powers of the warp. Unfortunately 3 centuries later the curse of the 21st founding caught up with them in the form of an unusual mutation that lowered the body temperature of the marine significantly, while also causing a strange cryogenic liquid pool in their lungs, which occurred in nearly a third of the marines. To counteract this the Chapter Master had their artificers modify the armor of the afflicted marines to maintain a more comfortable temperature for them, all while doing their best to keep this fact hidden. It worked for a time, during which however the chapter faced other difficulties. Ill fortune plagued them, especially in the companies which had members of the afflicted marines. after a Captain with the mutation was appointed in 321.M37 the chapter had the worst disaster in its history up to that point, losing over half of its forces, including the Chapter Master, to a large Ork WAAAGH where their allies arrived to late to assist them and they bore the brunt of the WAAAGH.
After the devastation suspicion began to fall upon those who suffered the Affliction. Over the course of the next 2 centuries tensions would rise between those afflicted and those not afflicted. in 532.M37 the existence of the mutation was discovered by the Inquisition which attempted to declare them 'Excommunicate Tratoris under the grounds of mutation and possible corruption. Desperate to save his chapter, Chapter Master Cole Warrens called in every favor his chapter was owed in order to sway the ruling of the High Lords of Terra. He succeeded in saving the Abyss Gazers but remained unaware that the Inquisitors were right.
Unbeknownst to most of the chapter, those who were afflicted had been slowly corrupted by chaos in the form of whispering and dreams which had convinced the majority that their own battle-brothers would kill them to save their chapter. In 601.M37 the afflicted staged a coup in order to seize control of the chapter. for 6 days battles raged aboard their ships ending when the Ccapter Master Cole Warrens ordered the rest of the fleet that remained under his control to fire on his Battle Barge Forbearance where he and many of the leaders of the Afflicted were locked in combat. With the destruction of Forbearance the remaining traitors fled in what ships they controlled and vanished from Imperial space. At the end of the Abyss Gazer's civil war they were once again nearly declared Excommunicate Tratoris and only avoided it when the new Chapter Master Man Farren swore to never again to allow this with the mutation to exist within the chapter.
Through Hell and back
In 012.M37 the Abyss Gazers 4th Company was attacked by a large pirate fleet. While at first the battle looked even, more and more Corsair ships joined the fight till the Astartes were significantly outnumbered. With no reinforcements in near enough to give aid in time the Captain made a dangerous call; to escape battle by jumping through the Maelstrom so that the pirates could not follow. Each ship was fully prepared for the dangers that the warp presented yet, when they reached the other side, the vessels carrying Abyss Gazers were untouched and had encountered no difficulty. After careful experimentation, the chapters Librarians deduced that the presence of the Abyss Gazers anti-warp aura made it difficult for the horrors of the warp to attack or effect the vessels. By the time this had been discovered the Abyssal Crusade was underway and the Abyss Gazers Chapter Master Eric Masters decided to put it to the test by going after the chapters crusading in the Eye of Terror. While they were unable to save the chapters that undertook the ill-fated crusade they were successful in traveling through the Eye of Terror and bringing news of the Chapters back to the Imperium.
After this the Chapter began it's Oblivion Crusades, crusades into the Eye of Terror itself. While they ranged in success it led them to have a greater understanding of the Eye of Terror and the most coherent map of the Eye out of anybody outside of it. The only incident with warp travel in the Chapters history was in 782.M39 on the Strike Cruiser carrying the powerful Psyker Beor Achlin where, despite the protections given by the Geller Field and the Abyss Gazers, the forces of Tzeench desperately tried to claim the vessel. The end result was that the Strike Cruiser did not reemerge until late M41 and it effected the aging of everyone aboard, most especially Beor.
Return of the Primarch and the Primaris Marines
With the return of the Primarch Roboute Gulliman, a new hope was inspired in the Imperium. As the he took control, he revealed to the Imperium a secret long in the making. The Primaris Space Marines, designed to be larger and stronger than regular marines, as well as less prone to mutation. As the Primaris marines were sent to bolster Chapters across the Imperium, Roboute Gulliman offered to send some to aid the Abyss Gazers. The Abyss Gazers accepted, though with some hesitation, having already suffered from attempting to improve upon the Emperor's work and fearing a repeat of the 21st founding. By the time a year had passed the Primaris marines had almost be wiped out to a man as, despite their superior strength, they lacked the supernatural warp resistance of the Abyss Gazers and were far more vulnerable to the Daemons that the Chapter battles on a regular basis.
However, even as the Primaris marines from the Imperial Fists fell, those made by implanting the Primaris gene-seed in regular Abyss Gazers proved to retain a degree of their warp resistance.
Caancol WAAAGH 341.M37 - In 238.M37 a Large WAAAGH began forming in the systems around the Caancol sector near the Eye of Terror. Worried about the defense of the Eye of Terror the High Lords of Terra ordered for a force to be assembled to head off the WAAAGH before it spread to Imperial space. A force of Imperial Navy was assembled and the Abyss Gazers were recruited as well and a rendezvous was arranged to challenge the WAAAGH head on before it could spread to far. Unfortunately, due to the ways of the warp, the rest of the Imperial forces were delayed for nearly a solar month. by the time they got there the Abyss Gazers had been in combat with the Greenskins and actually managed to stop the WAAAGH by killing the warboss. As a result however their fleet had been decimated and a full 5 companies had been destroyed by the overwhelming hordes of the Orks. In commemoration of their valor the High Lords ordered ships to be built, or requisitioned, to bolster their fleet including 2 battleships to be converted into battle-barges; the Memory of Inwit and Fury of the Ancient
Schism of the chapter 601.M37 - In 601.M37 the head Chaplain, Arrancar, discovered what he believed to be the taint of Chaos in those marines with the Affliction. Upon discovering this Arrancar began a subtle investigation of the other Afflicted, to his horror he found that the same taint was to be found in every one of the Afflicted. In his panic to convey this to the Chapter Master he accidentally revealed his findings to what he thought was a loyal Battle-Brother. A battle erupted aboard the Battle-Barge Forbearance between the loyalist, and the newly revealed traitors. As news of it spread several of the Strike Cruisers suddenly fired on the rest of the fleet. Taking them by surprise the rest of the fleet suffered greatly from the sudden assault, and soon the Forbearance fell under traitor control. Things may have gone poorly for the loyalists if the Unchanging Fortress, their Fortress-Monastery had not showed up. With it's powerful defenses the battle quickly turned in favor of the loyalists. The leader of the traitor marine, 3rd captain Erikhas quickly assessed the situation and ordered his forces to retreat to the Eye of Terror.
Even though they won the battle the Abyss Gazers still had many difficulties. 5 Strike Cruisers, 6 Escort craft, and a Battle-Barge had been lost to the traitors, as well as roughly a third of their Astartes. However this loss was small compared to the Inquisition. Many of the Inquisitors of the Ordo Hereticus called for them to be declared Excommunicate Traitoris. Desperate to survive the Chapter Master called upon his parent chapter, the Imperial Fists, for aid. After thoroughly inspecting them to make sure no taint remained, the Imperial Fists exerted their political influence to save the Abyss Gazers.
Death of a Titan 774-781.M38 - in 774.M38 a powerful Dark Mechanicus force attacked the Forge World of Delta-theta-4. When Imperial forces arrive to free the world they are met with Chaos forces beyond what was expected. hordes of daemonic engines and worst of all a legion of Chaos Titans led by the Warmonger-class titan Earth Splinter. With control of the planets Defense Grid it made it all but impossible for Imperial ships to provide support for the guardsmen. Eventually the Abyss Gazer, who were in the sector were called in to aid the Imperial Forces. Arriving with the Unchanging Fortress, the 3rd and 6th companies made planet fall. After a month of slow armored advance, the Abyss Gazers were able to take several of the defense guns, their psychic resilience allowing them to easily overcome daemons summoned by the Hereteks. With the planetary defense guns down the Unchanging Fortress was able to provide fire support against the Chaos Titans, destroying Earth Splinter with a shot from the Dominus Cannon.
Alliance War 987.M41
As a fleet based chapter they maintain a larger chapter fleet than most allowing them to contend effectively against most other fleets, containing;
Apocalypse-class Battle-Barge Memory of Inwit
Retribution-class Battle-Barge Fury of the Ancient (lost during chapter schism)
Battle-Barge Agony of Failure
Battle-Barge Breaker of Adamant
12 Strike Cruisers
10 escort craft
As a fleet based Chapter the Fortress-Monastery of the Abyss-Gazers is the Space Station known as the Unchanging Fortress. While Smaller than such mobile fortress-monastery's like the Phalanx and the Rock it is still sizable. Protected by powerful Void Shields and powerful Point Defense guns the Unchanging Fortress is always accompanied by a portion of the fleet as well as 2 smaller space stations; Providence, devoted to producing food for the Abyss Gazers and their serfs, and Temperance, which serves as the main forge and vehicle depot for the chapter. While all three Stations are capable of warp travel it is typically slow and only used when the full might of the chapter is needed to be brought to bear. The final feature of the Unchanging Fortress is the Domnius Cannon. A modified Nova Cannon, it sacrifices power and size for accuracy and is used either for fortress breaking or destroying enemy capital ships. doing either is risky as it requires dropping a portion of the Void Shields while firing.
- "Going to the Abyss Gazers for conversation is like going to Greenskins for peace and quiet. Still you can count on them to remember everything you say and weigh it carefully before answering."
- —Inquisitor Kendel
Like their Primarch, Rogal Dorn, many of the Astartes of the Abyss Gazers are both stoic and quiet. As a result of their constant battles against Chaos and the schism of their chapter in M37 the Abyss Gazers are slow to trust, even other Astates. Almost as if to make up for it when they do forge alliances they will hold to them to the bitter end.
Because they are fleet based and recruit from no individual planet the recruits all come from vastly different cultures. To maintain unity among the chapter all the Marines are required to abandon the practices of their origins and hold strictly to the chapters own culture. One of strict vigilance, close bonds, and earnest sacrifice. As an Astartes chapter assigned to watch over the Eye of Terror they place great emphasis on maintaining spiritual purity as well as tight bonds between battle-brothers. Thus if one brother begins to crack under the enormous stress of their duty his brothers will notice the difference almost immediately. Every Astartes annually will undergo a strict mental and spiritual review with the chapter's Chaplains to ensure their purity.
Due to their extreme proximity to the Eye of Terror even lesser impure acts can lead to temptation and thus even for their serfs they go to extremes to make sure to activities occur that could lead to spiritual contamination. After an incident in M39 they no longer utilize the infamous pain glove after a battle-brother began to savor the feelings of pain as a form of enjoyment and became corrupted by Slannesh.
The Abyss Gazers, like many Imperial Fist successors value defense. When defending they have been known to construct fortifications strong enough to drive off even Reaver-class titans. Where they truly shine however is the slow advance. Compared to most chapters they have relatively low Assault Marines and instead prefer to attack using heavily armored vehicles to lead while they are supported by marines on foot. While such advances may seem slow compared to the charges of the Space Wolves, or the lightning fast attacks of the Blood Angels, they are so thorough in their advance and attack that even Orks struggle to recover.
Due to their expertise in siege breaking, they possess weapons capable of harming titans and as such are greatly valued by Mechanicus Titan Legions whenever they may think they will face enemy titans or their equivalents.
The genetic modification that was involved with their chapter was at least a partial success. The marines of the Abyss Gazers are highly resistant to warp powers, but it also proved impossible for the chapter to have Librarians as the gene-seed implantation proved fatal every-time the neophyte had any sort of psychic potential.
The final piece of combat doctrine of their that stands out is their usage of storm and combat shields. Unlike most chapters in which they are used almost solely by Terminators, the Abyss Gazers give them to what ever Battle-Brothers are assigned to lead the assault to be used with either bolt pistols or a close combat weapon.
In terms of war gear the Abyss Gazers do not have as much unique equipment as other chapters, though they do have more combat and storm shields than many others.
During the schism of the chapter many of it's relics were lost but they retain a few.
Chaos Bane- A 2-handed power sword wielded by the Chapter Master, it channels the anti-psychic abilities of the wielder slimier to how a force weapon channels psychic power.
Adamant Shield- Storm shields with above average power field durability, used solely by the Honor Guard and veteran marines.
As part of the 21st founding the Abyss Gazers have a Gene-Seed modified to make them resistant to the powers of the warp. It is only considered a partial success as while they resist psychic and demonic powers, they lack the complete immunity of psychic blanks. What's more it has rendered them incapable of having true Librarians, as any neophytes with psychic potential die during gene-seed implantation. Further study into the effects of the gene-seed reveled that the resistance is a result of the fact that, unlike blanks which neutralize or absorb warp power, they naturally produce a psychic field that provides a measure of protection against warp based powers. While strong enough to inhibit weaker powers like mild telepathy or background warp radiation, it only provides slight protection against directed and deliberate attacks. Even Lesser Daemons have been known to overcome their protection in a matter of seconds, while to things like Greater Daemons it will not provide any noticeable protection.
The Chapter also suffers from a strange mutation that occurs in up to a third of the battle-brothers. It causes the body temperature of the marine to lower immensely and for a cryogenic fluid to pool in their lungs allowing them to freeze enemies with their breath. Unfortunately it was eventually discovered that those suffering from the affliction are vulnerable to corruption to chaos. While mostly manifesting in neophytes it will occasionally take up to 200 years to manifest. Whenever the affliction manifests in a neophyte the he is doomed to either be granted the Emperor's Peace to maintain their deal with the High Lords or to be turned into a servitor. Whenever a battle-brother in good standing begins to manifest the affliction, he is instead sent on the warrior's pilgrimage, never to return. Most will die shortly in battle, some will be recruited by Inquisitors for their retinue, but a very few will turn themselves over to chaos.
The Abyss Gazers Chapter is somewhat Codex compliant, except in the case of Librarians due to their gene-seed defect and lower number of Assault marines than normal.
Most recently, with the return of Guliman, they have adapted their organization to have some of the new changes to the codex, such as Lieutenants. While they received relatively few Primaris Marines to replenish them, the non-altered Imperial Fist gene-seed allowed them to finally begin to utilize psyker Librarians.
Imperial Fists- As a successor Chapter of the VIIth Legion they maintain close ties with their parent chapter, to which they owe a great debt as it was through their influence that they were spared being declared mutants. Whenever the Imperial Fists are in need the Abyss Gazers will answer their call
Subjugators- as another Imperial Fists chapter tasked with guarding the Eye of Terror, they have worked together and the chapters maintain a bond.
Adeptus Titanicus- As masters of the Armored Assault and their powerful tanks, they often work with the Adeptus Titanicus to help counter traitor titan legions, Ork Gargants, and Eldar Wraithlords.
Traitor Legions- As a chapter created to fight against the forces of Chaos, their greatest foe is the Chaos warbands and renegade chapters that reside in the Eye of Terror. Their greatest foe is the Frost Wraiths renegades, comprised of the Afflicted marines who survived the Chapters schism as well as what new marines they still have the power to make.
Inquisition- The Abyss Gazers have a mixed relationship with the Inquisition as a whole with very different relations with each of the major Ordos.:
- Ordo Malleus, the Ordo which the Abyss Gazers work with most closely, given their specialization in battling Chaos. The only ordo which truly earns the Abyss Gazers respect, many Deamon hunter Inquisitors have paid a visit to the Unchanging Fortress or received aid from the Abyss Gazers.
- Ordo Hereticus, on the other hand has the opposite relationship with the chapter, the Abyss Gazers despising them for their accusations of treason and mutation, the Inquisitiors only refraining from declaring them excommunicate tratoris due to the Imperial Fists support. It is a rare day that the chapter answers a plea for help from an witch hunter Inquisitor.
- Ordo Xenos, has the least interaction with the chapter due to the fact that the Abyss Gazers only occasionally fight against Xenos threats.
Chapter Master Cole Warrens- The Chapter Master during the schism of the chapter, he was the last officer of the Abyss Gazers to have the affliction and remain loyal. After leading the loyalists to victory though the schism, he realized that those such as him with the infliction would never be allowed to remain with the chapter and would be lucky to escape without being executed under suspicion of corruption. In order to save his chapter he established a new practice among his chapter to deal with the Affliction; those neophytes showing the signs of the affliction would either be turned into a servitor or granted the Emperor's peace. As the Affliction could take up to 200 years to manifest, those battle-brothers in good standing are given a third choice, to take a Warrior's Pilgrimage, never to return. As he himself had the Affliction he was the first to leave on this Warrior's Pilgrimage. None among the chapter know what became of him, but for nearly 200 years, whispers were heard about a Deathwatch Kill-team that left naught but frozen corpses in it's wake.
Captain Borel- Captain of the 3rd company, in 713.M39 he lead his company on a raid on the Deamon world Corin to retrieve a powerful relic, where they were joined by an unlikely ally; the Eldar of an unknown Craftworld. After 3 weeks of hard battling to reclaim the relic the combined Abyss Gazers and Eldar forces made a final pincer advance on the Deamonic forces left. Captain Borel leading the Imperial Forces and an Avatar of Khaine leading the Eldar. When Victory seemed assured the Demons unleashed one last surprise, a Lord of Skulls Deamon engine. With many of the Imperial forces nearby when it was summoned the Deamon engine quickly decimated most of the nearby forces with only the Avatar of Khaine being able to survive close combat with it. Unfortunately even a being as mighty as an Avatar of Khaine could last against a foe as mighty as a Lord of Skulls. Seeing that the Eldar Champion would soon fall, Captain Borel chose to sacrifice it by having all the heavy weapons and Imperial vehicles fire on the 2 combating foes destroying both.
Veteran Sargent Helmm- Sargent of a Veteran Terminator squad of the 1st company whose deeds have become legend throughout the Segmentum Obscuris. A master of combat and serving as a father to the 2nd squad, he has served as Sargent for over 100 years and earned both the Crux Terminus as well as the Crux Argentum. In combat he wears a Taros-pattern Terminator armor with a shoulder mounted cyclone missile launcher and wields 2 power fists named Dorn's Embrace, with the right fist having an integrated bolter, the left a small flamer. Even now in the 42nd millennia he continues to lead his squad to new heights though time has begun to creep up on him.
Chapter Master Arthan Coldwin- Considered one of the more radical of the chapter's leaders, was a major proponent of seeking to alter a portion of their gene-seed to allow for psychic Librarians. Known for his efficient leadership and his battle with both the Inquisition and the Adeptus Telepathica over control of Beor Achlin. Killed in the final battle of the Alliance War.
Anders Solum- One of the few outside of the Adeptus Mechanicus to have a through understanding of physics and engineering, Anders Solum designed and led the construction of the Unchanging Fortress. In honor of him the Abyss Gazers have raised a statue of him in their hall of trophies. It is said that during the construction the Adeptus Mechanicus, in amazement of his knowledge, inducted him almost on the spot to the Cult Mechanicus. He would later rise to be a Magos among the Mechanicus but would always retain a close bond to the Abyss Gazers.
- "If the our brothers of the Imperial Fists form a last wall for Terra then we are it's first."
- —Chapter Master Arthan
- "There is no glory in our work. It is our job to erase the shame placed upon we Astartes by our traitor cousins. As long as any Marines serve the Ruinous Powers all of us will suffer the suspicion of the rest of the Imperium."
- —Chapter Master Cole Warrens
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