- "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 ''Excemmunicate 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 'Excemmunicate 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 whisperings 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 Capter 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 Excemmunicate 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.
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 battleship Memory of Inwit
Retribution-class battleship Fury of the Ancient
Battle-Barge Agony of Failure
Battle-Barge Breaker of Adamant
19 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.
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 man 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.
Mastodon Breakers- After recovering 3 ancient, relatively intact, Mastodon Tanks, the Master of the Forge used parts from the third to repair the other 2 while also modifying them. The Melta gun siege arrays, which were beyond repair, were replaced by double barrel Turbo-lasers. The Tanks are considered Virtually Irreplaceable and are only used by the chapter command and the first company.
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. Whats more it has rendered them incapable of having true Librarians, as any neophytes with psychic potential die during gene-seed implantation. While they still have Librarians to chronicle the chapters history, they also utilize Sanctioned Psykers.
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 almost completely Codex compliant, except in the case of Librarians due to their gene-seed defect. Some believe their zeal in adhering to the Codex is an attempt to remove some of the suspicion on their chapter.
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 Warband, comprised of the Afflicted marines who survived the Chapters schism as well as what new marines they still have the power to make.