|Knights of the Saint|
Knights of the Saint Tactical Marine
Gene Seed Ancestry
"For the Saint and the Emperor!"
The Knights of the Saint are an unusual Space Marine Chapter, believed to have been part of the cursed 21st Founding, that has become devoted to serving the legacy of a Saint of the Imperial Creed - more specifically, St. Susan of Pure Devotion, born on their home world of Sylvanus. They are one of the few examples of a Space Marine Chapter that has accepted parts of the orthodox Imperial creed, and in many ways have come to worship the memory of the Saint as fiercely as any Ecclesiarch.
Founding and Ill-FortuneEdit
As part of the cursed 21st Founding, the Chapter was originally known as the Knights of Victory. The Knights of Victory were unremarkable for a Space Marine Chapter (which is to say, remarkable for everyone else), and the most notable thing about their service was that they had the misfortune during their career of their home system, the Sylvanus sector, becoming a target for a massive Waaaagh! invasion. As they had been honour sworn to defend the people of the Imperium, they fought tooth and nail to defend Sylvanus and it's population: unfortunately, this effort was fruitless in the face of such devastation. Though the invasion was eventually repelled, the Chapter was decimated and many millions of Imperials were killed.
At the time, the Chapter Master was one Maestor Pullus, and as he looked out upon a devastated world that he and his fellow Astartes had failed to save, he felt a failure himself: he took a brief leave of absence from the fortress-monastery of the Knights of Victory to walk upon the surface of Sylvanus, to try and, as he put it, "find a sign from the Emperor" that would somehow redeem himself and his disgraced Brothers.
Upon this walk he came upon a small, deserted village, apparently attacked by a splinter force of Orks, and despaired at yet more Imperial citizens he had failed to save. Little did he know that it was here that he would find the redemption he sought. As he searched the wreckage, he found a number of dead Orks and humans outside the village, and yet none within, and the town, though deserted, seemed structurally undamaged.
In the centre of this township, he found a small petting zoo of all things, as intact , and to his great astonishment, he found there a single old man, all the women and children of the township, and all the various animals of the small petting zoo, alive and unharmed in any way. In amazement, the Astartes asked what miracle had caused this, and the old man told him.
There had been a single Sister Hospitaller in the township, in service to the people of the town as their chief medicae, named Susan. She had loved the people of this town and dedicated her life to their service, but among all the things she had loved none were dearer to her than the many animals of the petting zoo, whose care she had made a personal responsibility of hers. When the Ork band descended upon the town, she - in desperation - sent the old man and the children to hide in the petting zoo, while she and the men of the town had led a valiant defence. Though the old man could not be certain what had happened to her, he knew one thing: the town had been fired upon, but not a single Ork had passed. Sister Susan had saved the women, the children, and her beloved animals.
Devotion to the SaintEdit
Inspired by this simple act of heroism, Maestor left the township and returned to his brothers bearing the tale. It was a simple story with a simple moral - that devotion and love motivated the people of the Imperium, and could be as strong as any steel and ceramite armour. This example would drive the warriors of the Chapter to rebuild their forces - and oddly enough, to aid in the reconstruction efforts of the people of Sylvanus as well. When asked why they aided the populace with their reconstruction (people naturally not knowing quite why a Space Marine would be helping rebuild a small house in a small town or lifting heavy equipment as part of a reconstruction effort), the Marines would reply, "in memory of Sister Susan".
Eventually, the chief representative of the Ecclesiarchy on Sylvanus, one Cardinal Ulis Hadrat, learnt the story of the Sister who had inspired the Marines to these simple acts of helping the populace. In recognition for this, he used his authority to have her made a Saint, named Saint Susan of Pure Devotion, so named because her pure devotion to her charges had led her to such heroism. A few weeks later, Maestor gathered his warriors together: such was the inspiration they had, to a man, taken from Saint Susan's example that they agreed that they would no longer be the Knights of Victory: they would be the Knights of the Saint, warriors fighting for the memory of one young woman who fought a hopeless battle to defend those who could not defend themselves.
Since that time, the Chapter has fought under that name and no further especial ill-luck has fallen upon them, reinforcing the idea in their minds that they were protected by the spirit of the Saint.
The Knights of ShuzhanEdit
There is a dark edge to the story of the Knights of the Saint, an edge they do not speak of, for they are a Chapter with many traitorous brothers. A strike cruiser carrying nearly two full Companies of Marines was travelling through the warp when it became foundered. The Gellar Field failed and these Marines were exposed to the warp: a Daemon came forth, in the form of a young Sister Hospitaller, claiming to be the same St. Susan, now a Daemon Prince of Tzeentch named Shuzhan.
The Daemon claimed that, as Susan, she had known the Emperor would not save her township and the animals and so reached out to another power, at which point Tzeentch had listened and granted her the strength to slay the Orks, field by the souls of the townspeople, after which she became one of his Daemon Princes. Though the tale was patently ridiculous, the Knights present on the ship (perhaps influenced by the Warp) swore themselves to this Daemon's service, believing her to be the Saint reborn. Now known as the Knights of Shuzhan, and led by their former Captain, Lokus, they are a blight on the purity of the Knights of the Saint (and the Saints memory) and the Knights of the Saint seek their destruction.
Sylvanus is an Agri-world with only a few major centres of population. It was at the time of the Ork invasion almost a paradise in terms of it's idyllic landscapes and small townships; the Ork invasion destroyed many of the smaller townships and burned much of the land, but with the aid of the Knights of Victory, and the continued aid of the Knights of the Saint, the planet has returned to it's former glory.
Structure and OrganisationEdit
Much like other Chapters, the training of a Knight of the Saint begins with a selection trial. In this case there are three stages: a combat tournament every ten years to decide the strongest fighters, usually resulting in between fifty and one hundred recruits. Next, three years of hard labour helping to till the land, harvest crops and build homes, teaching the recruits humbleness. In this time, many fail to meet the exacting standards of selflessness required by the Chaplains of the Chapter and are retained as Chapter serfs. At the end of the three years, there is a second tournament of the remaining aspirants, which usually ends with between ten and thirty recruits for the implantation process.
The Knights of the Saint are Codex compliant, with some minor differences: the Chaplains take a much greater role in the affairs of the Chapter, overseeing the three years of the recruits' hard labour in order to instil a sense of pious duty in the young men, and then repeatedly drilling into the aspirants as they become scouts and later full Marines that selflessness and devotion is the key. This results in very pious Marines - and perhaps not coincidentally, an extraordinarily large number of Chaplains in the Chapter.
The Companies of the SaintEdit
The companies of the Knights of the Saint name themselves after the animals of the petting zoo that she defended, in honour of their importance to her. Each represents a warrior virtue that the members of the Chapter aspire to.
- The 1st Company: Company of the Lion. Representing Command and Strength, this Company contains the veterans of the Chapter, the bravest and most renowned of all the knights.
- The 2nd Company: Company of the Hound. Representing loyalty and tenacity, the warriors of this company are known for never giving up, even in the face of the most overwhelming odds. It is they who hunt the Knights of Shuzhan.
- The 3rd Company: Company of the Donkey. Representing stubbornness, the warriors of this Company are the masters of holding ground and never giving it up to their enemies.
- The 4th Company: Company of the Tiger. Representing fierce attack, this Company is well known for daring lightning assaults on their enemies.
- The 5th Company: Company of the Horse. Representing honour,the Company of the Horse is at all times dedicated to fulfilling the honour-oaths the Chapter has to defend the Saint's birthplace.
- The 6th Company: Company of the Ox. Representing reliability, this is the first tactical reserve Company, always ready when no others are.
- The 7th Company: Company of the Beaver. Representing hard work, this reserve Company appends itself to Sylvanus construction efforts when not called upon to help in combat.
- The 8th Company: Company of the Deer. Representing speed, this Company is the reserve Assault Company, maintaining a highly flexible and fast-responding group of Assault Marines.
- The 9th Company: Company of the Turtle. Representing strength in defence, this company is the reserve Devastator Company, experts at holding the line.
- The 10th Company: Company of the Lemur. Representing the speed and cunning of the scout, this Company contains the neophytes of the Chapter.
Relationship with other elements of the Imperium.Edit
- The Ecclesiarchy: the Chapter has enormous respect for the Ecclesiarchs of Sylvanus who remembered St. Susan with her Sainthood, and in return the Marines are respected for their devotion to duty and the Emperor through His humble servant the Saint.
- The Knights of Shuzhan: the Knights of the Saint believe these profaned to be the lowest of the low, and consistently seek to eradicate them: the last three Chapter Masters, Erik Tiberium, Karoc Serill and Tyrus Dellinus have all sworn an Oath of Retribution to personally eradicate the Knights of Shuzhan once and for all. So far, none of them succeeded, though Serill was killed trying to fulfil the Oath.
- Battle of Sylvanus (as Knights of Victory).
- Maestor Pullus: Pullus was the last Chapter Master of the Knights of Victory and first of the Knights of the Saint, recognised as one of the Chapter's great visionaries.
- Tyrus Dellinus: Dellinus is the current Chapter Master, and holds the dubious distinction of being the third Chapter Master bound under the Oath of Retribution taken by Chapter Master Erik Tiberium to slay the Knight of Shuzhan.