The Gatekeepers are an Imperial Fists Successor Chapter and the leader of the five Astartes Chapters that make up the Hell Warders, a quintumvirate of five Space Marine Chapters, tasked to defend the Imperium against Chaos incursions from the 'Hellgates', the dual warp storms in the Segmentum Solar which are uncomfortably close to Holy Terra.
The Gatekeeper Chapter's original name was the Golden Castellans. They were founded from Imperial Fist gene-seed sometime in the 33rd Millennium. A fleet-based chapter in those days the Ramillies Class Star Fortress, Incursus Defensior, served as their fortress-monastery. They were stationed in the Gathalamor Sector in M36 which put them conveniently close to the action when the First Hell Crusade erupted from the Gates.
First Hell Crusade (110-199.M36)
The Hellgates are a pair of relatively small warp rifts located in the Thermopylae sub-sector. In M36, the Hellgates were still a part of the ancient Loculus sub-sector, located in the area of the galaxy known as Sector Occident Prime. These dangerous warp rifts are located only 1,000 light years from the Imperial Throneworld of Terra. This region has long been a haven for renegades, outcasts and the followers of the Dark Gods. Within the Hellgates, these hellish realms of Chaos are ruled by all four factions of the Ruinous Powers, who constantly vie with one another for absolute supremacy. Daemonic incursions and the predations by marauding Chaos warbands have been common for millennia.
In 110.M36, a massive Slaaneshi warhost led by the Daemon Prince, Xeraz the Exquisite, and his Chaos allies, erupted from the hellish pleasure realms from within the Ashaklun Gate, and soon the entire sector became embroiled in bloody conflict. Receiving multiple astropathic calls for assistance, the Golden Castellans Chapter, located in the nearby Gathalomar Sector, send their entire Chapter in response to this grave threat. Several other nearby Space Marine Chapters - including the Knights of the Anvil, Spartiate Marines, The Lightning and the Templars Moline - respond to the threat, rushing to commit their strength to the rapidly escalating war. Though several worlds burn in the fires of destruction, and the shadows gather close, throughout the sector, the Emperor's avenging Angels of Death stand fast, determined to save the besieged Imperial worlds of this sector or die in the attempt.
Leading the Imperial defence of the besieged sector, the Golden Castellans spearheaded the fleet of Battlefleet Loculus against the vast Chaos armada. Utilising their flagship, the Incursus Defensior, a Ramillies-class Star Fortress, this colossus of war utilised its formidable firepower to fight valiantly in many major battles against the Forces of Chaos. After nearly eight decades of bloody conflict, this mighty vessel becomes the lynchpin in the blockade of the Hellgates, and eventually plays an instrumental role in turning the tide of the conflict, driving the Chaos armada back into the swirling eddies of the Hellgates.
The Hell Warders
The establishment of the Hell Warders Chapter was fully documented in the ancient text known as the Codex Fuego or 'Book of Fire'. According to this ancient text, in 199.M36, following the end of the massive Chaos incursion known as the First Hell Crusade, the High Lords of Terra pronounced an Edict Imperialis in response to the dire predations, ordering several Adeptus Astartes Chapters to permanently base themselves near the Hellgates in order to protect the Imperium's interests and pacify the region. Assigned permanent overwatch over the twin warp rifts, the newly-renamed 'Gatekeepers' Chapter, would stand sentinel over the worlds of Sector Occident Prime. Once the Hell Warders were put in place, the Gatekeepers utilised the world of Pylos, building their fortress-monastery, and established the strategically located planet as their base of operations.
Second Hell Crusade
Third Hell Crusade
Current State of the Chapter
The Grand Castellan is governor of Pylos the entire population of which, excluding the Mechanus enclaves, are counted as Chapter Serfs. The inhabitants are concentrated in the five massive hive towers of Pylos Polaris the centermost of which is the Chapter's Fortress Monastery.
The Gatekeepers are masters of defensive warfare and possibly a little to defense minded as they have a tendency to think in terms of static defenses or defensive lines. Their seat, Pylos Polaris, is an impenetrable fortress the ceramite plating the outer surface of the five Towers scarred from the futile attacks of Chaos War Bands out of the Ashaklun Gate. Their forward or offensive defense is built around the Star Fortress Incursus Defensior, similarly scarred and battered, which forms the center and control for the Gatekeeper's quadrant of the cordon around the Hell Gates. They are huge fans of heavy weaponry and their section of the Cordon is studded with space platforms mounted with guns of almost unbelievable power. The strategic goal set long ago by the First Grand Castellan is to defeat Chaos incursions in space as close to the Hell Gates as possible. Failing that to contain the incursion within the outer cordon formed by the four Hell Warder homeworlds with the support of the Templar Moline Fleet and Sector forces.
The Gatekeepers are great builders and are responsible not only for the design and construction of the static defenses around the Hellgates but have contributed their expertise to projects throughout the Sector. In fact designing fortifications is the favorite pastime of Gatekeeper Battle Brothers who compete in the construction of marvelously detailed models of both planetary and space-borne fortresses. Once satisfied with his work, which can take years, the Gatekeeper submits his model to virtual assault by his Battle Brothers who seek to find and exploit any weaknesses in the design. Pitting their ingenuity against one another in this fashion is the form the passion for dueling implicit in Imperial Fist Gene-Seed takes among the Gatekeepers and though bloodless these virtual battles in miniature are no less fiercely fought.
Gatekeepers are also subject to dark depressions, like their moody Primarch, and thankfully rarer fits of icy destructive rage. The former affliction seems to descend totally at random and independent of any environmental cause. Brothers suffering from 'The Night of the Soul' carry on as best they can. If the depression becomes too severe or goes on too long the afflicted Brother's sergeant or captain may order him to the apothecaries for treatment which is painful but usually effective. The Cold Fury on the other hand almost always occurs in the field triggered by some enormity of desecration or atrocity on the part of the enemy. In such cases it is a group phenomena sweeping the Brothers en masse into vengeful battle in which the enemy is not merely defeated but obliterated. In is extremely rare for a Brother to fall into the Fury off the field. When it does occur he can usually be talked down by his brethren or if necessary physically restrained.
The Gatekeepers are less given to self torture than many sons of Dorn but not infrequently a Brother will be moved to sacrifice one of his hands either in penitence for some failure or as an offering to Souls of the Emperor and Primarch and those Brothers who have gone before. Brothers who express a wish to make this sacrifice are carefully screened by the Chaplains to establish the purity and soundness of their motivation. There is no shame in being denied or even in changing one's mind. The offering must be made not only in the right spirit but at the right time to have the desired effect. If the time is not now yet it will come and patience is a virtue cultivated by Gatekeepers. Brothers who have been permitted to make the offering of blood and bone and flesh feel strengthened and purified by the sacrifice and almost all will voluntarily undergo this ordeal at some point in their lives. The few who do not are those Brothers who fall in battle before they feel the need or inclination. A very few Brothers will make the offering twice. It is even more difficult to convince the Chaplains of the propriety of a second such sacrifice but occasionally they will be persuaded. Of course the removed hand is replaced by an augment so the Brother's battle readiness does not suffer.
The Gatekeepers are the leading chapter of the Hell Warders. Relations between them and the other four have not always run smoothly but Peter Symeon has proved himself a tactful over-all commander with a healthy respect for the talents and opinions of his fellow chapter masters. The Hell Warders are:
The Gatekeepers' defense mindedness is balanced by the highly aggressive tendencies of the Spartiates their closest neighbor and partner among the Warder chapters.
Golden armor with black face plate, pauldrons, knee pads and boots.
A golden portcullis
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