- "...and on the break of dawn, all gathered to see what had become of the great armies of Tekutmhan... there was but ruin and blood. For the Angels had come and smote them in the night... A flaming blade that cleaved the great armies in twain, and turned their warcries into lamentation. Lo, heed the Angels of Death, for they are the Dawnbearers, they are the Duskbringers, and they shall shatter the earth and skies in their passing."
- —Deeds, Epoch 11, Verse 44, of the Imperitor Divinicus, the holy scriptures of Datis
A renowned if not somewhat maligned Chapter, the Lightbringers have long fought for the purity and tranquility of the Imperium of Man. Since their inception, they have acted as the Emperor's judgment upon the most damnable foe of the Imperium, the traitor. They were exemplars of such judgment when they spearheaded the great campaign of purges following the infamous Beheading, hunting down renegade Officio Assassinatorum agents across the breadth and width of the Imperium.
From this a swift and unrelenting style of warfare was cultivated, and the Lightbringers became known for their brutal search and destroy maneuvers. Even after the ranks of the Rogue Assassins dwindled and their threat became all but forgotten, the Lightbringers continued to hold to their learned style of warfare, finding it most effective against guerrillas and other fast attack forces. Thus, the Lightbringers have developed a preference for striking down the most hated foe in the Imperium, the rebel.
However, this reputation and stated mission is mostly a smokescreen, for the Lightbringers use their past deeds and the skills they are known for as a cover for their endless hunt for the Fallen. For they, as all sons of the Lion, are duty bound to find these renegades and force their confessions. Only then, when the last traitor has breathed his final confession, will they be forgiven for the failure of their brothers long since past.
The Lightbringers were founded at the climax of the Beheading, the violent takeover of the Imperium by the Officio Assassinatorum. Though the Lightbringers were not ready for the final great assault on Terra to reclaim the Imperium from these mad murderers, they would be the foremost prosecutors of the violent purges that followed as various branches of the Adepta Terra hunted down the surviving rogue assassins and their puppet masters. They tracked these elusive and resourceful butchers across the stars, from shape shifting Callidus Assassins to roving Eversors, the Lightbringers hunted them down, one by one. The Chapter was granted much in the way of honors and praise for their actions, but such a history lead to the Chapter becoming very distrustful of outsiders and the early development of their fast and brutal style of warfare.
Borne of the pure seed of Lion El'Johnson and his Dark Angels, the Lightbringers are devoid of any known mutations, though their aloof natures and refusal to appear unarmored in front of outsiders makes it almost impossible to be certain that they suffer from no outward physical abnormalities. However, the psychological effects of the Lightbringers Gene-Seed has been noted as conspicuous enough to warrant serious concern amongst several groups of Magos Biologis of the Adeptus Mechanicus.
First and foremost, Lightbringers are shown to be almost pathologically obsessed with purity, namely tarnish and filth. Their armor is always kept immaculate, and Battle-Brothers of the Chapter have been known to react with extreme disgust at the idea of getting the ichor of unclean xenos or heretical monstrosities upon their otherwise regal forms. Lightbringers are also brutishly orthodox, often refusing to act outside of what their Chapter considers "pure" tactical doctrines, usually holding to the dictates of the Chapter's own interpretations of the Codex Astartes. They are far from incapable of adapting their tactics, but doing so will sorely test their already markedly cold temperaments.
The Gene-Seed of the Lightbringers also brings with it a strange sort of sociopathy, Battle-Brothers reportedly becoming more and more emotionally dead as they age to the point of becoming almost as automatons. Eventually, all a Lightbringer can feel is shame, disgust, and bitter hate, the only driving force in their existence being their zealous loyalty to the Emperor, Unforgiven, and Imperium. Lightbringers are also noted as ruthless even by the already extreme standards of the Adeptus Astartes, instinctually going out of their way to destroy objects of religious and civil significance in order to sew despair amongst the enemies ranks.
Like their parent Chapter the Dark Angels and fellow Unforgiven, the Lightbringers have an uncanny arsenal of ancient archotech and unique war machines not seen outside of their ranks and those of their fellow Sons of the Lion. Unlike their fellow Unforgiven however, the Lightbringers seem to hold a particular fondness of ancient weapons of mass destruction and tools of lamentable power. Weapons such as Phosphex Bombs, ancient Plasma Batteries upon their warships, and even archaic atomic weaponry are all tools the Chapter has at its disposal. However, the Chapter is seldom liberal with such weaponry, considering leveling such items of unspeakable devastation at their foes only in the most dire of circumstances.
Beyond the world destroying weapons they hold within their most secret vaults and arsenals, the Lightbringers have access to ancient weapons such as Volkite Weapons, archaic Plasma guns of various otherwise extinct patterns, and access to a vast motor pool of exotic and esoteric vehicles not found anywhere outside the ranks of the Chapter.
A rare and certainly exotic war machine seen only amongst the ranks of the Duskbringers, the Arcane-Pattern Grav-Rhino is a potent rapid transport vehicle and devastating fire support solution for the Lightbringers elite forces. Borne across the field of war by a powerful anti-grav field and a potent quartet of thrusters, the Arcane-Pattern Grav-Rhino has been likened to a "flying brick" to those who have witnessed its potent speed an maneuverability, its swiftness seemingly at odds for its remarkable durability. The Battle-Brothers of the Duskbringers have been known to use such speed and weight to great effect in sudden "dynamic" deployments, smashing through enemy fortifications at high speed and rapidly disembarking in a brutal assault.
Armed with a pair of remotely controlled dorsal mounted Plasma Guns and a forward pair of nose mounted Grav Guns, the Arcane-Pattern Grav-Rhino is host to devastating anti-armor and anti-infantry weaponry. The standard model also comes equipped with a trio of stasis tubes at its rear and a pair of sponson mounted Grenade Launchers, usually outfitted to fire nonlethal blind grenades and smoke grenades to cover the elite strike teams departure. The stated purpose of the stasis tubes is the rapid evacuation and stabilization of wounded Battle-Brothers, but their true purpose is clear to any initiate of the Unforgivens Inner Circle.
Datis-Pattern Plasma Blaster
Thought to be a long-forgotten relic of the Horus Heresy, the Datis-Pattern Plasma Blaster is a twin linked Plasma Gun of considerable power. Wielded only by Illuminates and officers within the ranks of the Lightbringers, the Datis-Pattern Plasma Blaster is a formidable weapons that makes a mockery of any armor that stands before its righteous flames and searing fury. The Datis-Pattern is noteable for its unique ability to fire in a rapid volley, much like the Barrage-type Plasma weapons found within the Jericho Reach.
However, this powerful and archaic design is prone to dangerous and catastrophic overheating if utilized in prolonged combat or if fired in rapid volleys in quick succession. Furthermore, due to the weapons powerful internal battery and increased potency over standard Plasma Guns, the potential damage due to overheating is only exacerbated to levels that are potentially leathal even to a Terminator armored Astartes.
Divinitus-Pattern Power Sword
A mighty two-handed Power Sword modeled after the famed Beast-Slayer Swords of the fabled Order of Caliban, the Divinitus-Pattern Power Sword is only borne into battle by the chosen Champions of the Companies. Capable of cleaving through most armor due to its sheer mass alone, the Divinitus-Pattern Power Sword is designed to fell the mightiest foes and bring low the most horrific beasts.
Kalliope-Pattern Heavy Flamer
A brutal weapon of choice amongst the ranks Dawnbearers, the Kalliope-Pattern Heavy Flamer is a relic from the dark days of Datis' infestation. Originally designed by the native humans of Datis as a weapon of last resort should the hideous mutant scourges of the surface breach the walls of their underground fortresses, the Kalliope-Pattern Heavy Flamer comes not only with specialized Phosphex Canisters but also a built in Chain-Bayonet similar to the chainblade mounted on the average Chainfist. Armed with such an uncompromising weapon, the Dawnbearers scour the foe from the field with extreme prejudice, the green, living flames stripping flesh and turning bone to ash and the roaring, powered chainsaw blades rending through armor and fortifications with contemptuous ease.
In their earliest days, the Lightbringers were little different from the Dark Angels they spawned from, the gold and black warriors known today but a glint in the ash and green trim of the first Lightbringers. It was only after the Chapter took their homeworld of Datis within the perilous space of the Exile Sector that they became more than simply bellicose Dark Angels, daubed in a halving of black to remember those who fell to the vile blades of Assassins.
Datis was a world covered in sin and heresy, vile mutants striding freely across her irradiated surface, constantly bathed in the dying light of a trio of red dwarf stars. Those few who were still purely human resided in massive and ancient underground complexes, ceaselessly fighting breaches and only venturing to the surface to gather what scant resources the surface offered and to preemptively strike out against their mutant foes. Once every century, Datis surface is bathed in a month of dusk, the suns aligning behind the gas giant of Plual. At this time, when the heat ebbs and rains flood the planet, do the mutants go to war in the most cataclysmic conflicts, hoping to breach the vaults of humanity and flood them out, feasting once again on manflesh. But on one such night in M35, the Lightbringers came to purge the world of its mutant scourge, pirates from the planet having brought their wrath.
In what the native humans could only describe as a purge of biblical proportions, the Lightbringers annihilated the mutants, casting their barbaric overlords down and putting their crude cities to the torch even as thunder and rain poured from a grey sky. When the people emerged, they saw their saviors bathed in golden light, the eclipse lifted, the surface theirs. The people thence referred to the Lightbringers as literal angels, and still hold eons later that they are nothing less but divine warriors. The Lightbringers themselves, having inadvertently created a sub sect of the Imperial Cult that now worshiped them as the literal saviors of the planet, decided to adopt the shade of gold upon where only ashen hue had stood upon their armor, and to act as the people saw them, as true Angels of Death, deliverers of purest judgement and most righteous devastation. They saw the truth behind the wide eyed mysticsem of the peoples words... for they were the scions of the Dark Angels, bearers of the Emperor's Light. Were they not, in some small way, apart of the Emperor's own spark of divinity?
Thus the Lightbringers carry themselves with an air of purity and nobility that few Chapters can match, resplendent in their gold and black, certain of their causes. However, they have also adopted a deathly literal interpretation of Heresy, viewing any dissent as dangerous. They also remain secretive and aloof, considering their tasks of judgement to be their own sacred duties to carry out, with as little outside interference as possible. In their hunt for the Fallen they have become more and more zealous, to the point where some elements within the Unforgiven hold them as dangerously suspicious, their large and sudden deployments to seemingly unimportant theaters of war often drawing the eye of the Inquisition.
The Lightbringers style of warfare evolved as a natural consequence of the wars and rebellions in the aftermath of the Beheading, a fast and brutal method that emphasizes both mobility and raw firepower, along with lighting attacks on key enemy positions. This is usually achieved with a dedicated air contingent, the Lightbringers looking often to their Thunderhawks, Stormtalons, Nephilim Jetfighters, and even infamous Dark Talons for victory. However, this does not mean that their ground forces are lacking, their Fast Attack elements being especially potent, boasting squadrons of Plasma Cannon equipped Attack Bikes and flights of Land Speeders, some even of the rare Land Speeder Vengeance and Darkshroud variants.
In battle, the Lightbringers rank and file Battle-Brothers come armed with lethal amounts of plasma weaponry and other archotech, ranging from Grav Guns to Volkite weapons, and freely utilize tools of ancient annihilation as the situation demands. Rather than holding ground for extended periods, the Lightbringers prefer to rapidly deploy within the thick of the enemy, annihilate their forces and materiel, scorch the very ground they fought upon, and then rapidly redeploy via air transport to the next concentration of hostiles. In this manner, the Lightbringers do not form a singular battle line, but instead create deadly clusters within enemy lines, bombarding their positions and moving in to utterly annihilate them on the ground. Such tactics proved most effective against rebellions led by Rouge Assassinatorum agents, and especially against the petty guerrillas they now face on a daily basis, giving them no place to hide even amongst the constant churning fields of war.
Though the cover of putting down rebel scum is often believable, especially when the Chapter has made its extreme contempt for rebels in ages past clear in order to validate their large scale deployments, as of late certain Inquisitors have grown weary of the level of proficiency the Chapter's record seems to suggest, and have begun to ask questions. The Lightbringers too often seem to deploy in a manner that would suggest a great deal of long term planning and inside knowledge of the rebel factions they regularly exterminate, making a certain parties wonder if they had any involvement with these groups prior to their heretical uprisings.
Though ideally a Codex compliant Chapter, the Lightbringer's structure themselves much in the way of their fellow Unforgiven, the Inner Circle composed of the Lightbringers and Dawnbearers and Duskbringers while their rank and file Companies are equipped with uncanny amounts of highly advanced wargear. It should also be noted that the Lightbringers have specialized Interrogator Chaplains known as Illuminates, brutal torturers and spymasters whose purpose it is to relentlessly track down the Fallen at the head of elite Kill Teams, often acting outside the traditional authority of the Adeptus Astartes in secret deployments in order to find information as to the whereabouts of the Fallen within the Exile Sector. To this end, the Chapter has an extensive clandestine branch made up of loyal agents drawn from the Chapter Serfs. These spies and assassins are spread all throughout the Exile Sector, in the courts of nobles and staffs of generals, constantly on the lookout for traces of heresy and corruption that could be the work of either Rogue Imperial Asassins or, more likely, the Fallen.
Often arriving as a singular force, the Chapter Fleet of the Lightbringers is a force universally dreaded by all with any dissent against the Imperium in their hearts. Spearheaded by the trio of Battle-Barges, Angel of Light, Righteous Litany, and Dawn of War, the mighty fleet wants not for firepower. Boasting supremely powerful plasma batteries and macro canons, the Lightbringers Chapter Fleet has been likened to a blazing star, burning through anything foolhardy to try and stay the murderously righteous hands of the Lightbringers.
- "Assassins? Spies? Conspiracy? Why Inquisitor, I think you are dreadfully mistaken, I am but a Chaplain. How could I, from the bridge of a Battle Barge many light-years away, coordinate the coup of a man such as the late Governor Victus? Regardless, it is fortunate his rebellion was put to rest before it even began. Let us not dwell on how... fortuitous the arrival of my Battle-Brothers and I was to your campaign against the traitors and instead take solace in the fact that the traitor and his conspirators are no more."
- —Grand Illuminate Leufred Chasseur
Officially, an Illuminate is little more than a standard Codex Chaplain by another, more archaic title. Clad in the same black armor and bearing the same skull helms as Chaplains seen in every other Codex compliant Chapter, it would be a forgivable mistake to think them anything other than what they appear to be. But a grave mistake nonetheless, for Illuminates are the Lightbringers eternal hunters and purgers of the Fallen and their ilk, ceaseless pursuers of traitors and heretics against the Imperium of Man. Trained in the most secret chambers of the Dias' fortress walls, the Illuminates are not selected by outward devotion, but hewn as if from raw stone from promising recruits and shaped into the perfect warriors for combating heresy wherever it may lie. Outwardly their promotion to the rank of Illuminate would seem to even their closest Battle-Brothers as a matter of service and dedication, but in truth such a promotion was preordained years in advance during the initiates training. Trained in both mundane and unconventional methods by which the Fallen may be secured and steeped in the arts of interplanetary espionage, each Illuminate is not only an influential member of the Chapters Inner Circle but also a key figure in its intelligence gathering arm, directing the Chapters efforts based on the intelligence gathered by various agents scattered across the Exile Sector and beyond.
However, first and foremost, an Illuminate is an Astartes, and in spite of his extensive knowledge regarding the subject of military intelligence, is also an exemplar to his Battle-Brothers in the art of war. Often clad in a suit of Chaplain Terminator Armor and armed with archaic weapons from the most secret vaults of the Chapter arsenal, an Illuminate is a supremely dangerous foe to any would-be heretic or xenos brigand.
- "...and lo the sun rose upon the plains of Omagodden, and the dawn doth revealed what remained of the Arch Master's armies. There was but blood and smoldering ruin, smote to a man by these warriors of the Throne Eternal, struck down by they who brought forth the deadly dawn."
- —Deeds, Epoch 45, Verse 888 of the Imperitor Divinicus
The Dawnbearers are the Lightbringer's elite, Terminator-armored, Deathwing equivalent. Comprised of the entirety of the First Company, the Dawnbearers are considered Battle-Brothers with few equals. Resplendent in their shimmering Terminator Armor, armed with the most ancient weapons of the Chapter's arsenal, they stride into battle, sweeping all aside in a brilliant blaze of weapons fire and the glorious stroke of powerblades. But the gallantry of the Dawnbearers is only skin deep, for in truth they are the most grim and relentless of executioners.
In the dark days of the Beheading, the very first Dawnbearers were still very much as the Deathwing, clad in bone white. But as their brothers fell, they halved their armor in black, perpetually in mourning for each of the Chapters Inner Circle that was inevitably slain by rogue Assassins. They became the stuff of myth, a force of armored giants, bearing with them weapons of flame and purity, striking down all who dare laid eyes upon their grizzly work. This brutality is also due in part to the full knowledge of the true nature of the Fallen, and the Fall itself. Dawnbearers can afford no pity when they hunt down those who had at one time served the Emperor personally, and thus clad themselves in coldness and the rigors of duty, forgetting even the melancholy of the Duskbringers, becoming almost as machines in their manner.
- "And as the sun set, and night came upon them, the Warriors of Ephesties did set up camp for the night. But at the baying of the twilight hounds, did the shroud of doom come upon them. ...for there was not a man alive who could resist these giants of steel and fire, and they were all swiftly put to the burning blade. Lo did the shroud cover them, and their screams and lamentation became silence. For these ones brought the dusk, and with it, death."
- —Deeds, Epoch 11, Verse 36 of the Imperitor Divinicus
The Lightbringers whole 2nd Company is given over to the infamous warriors known only as the Duskbringers, an elite unit of the Chapter's fast attack specialists. More or less identical to the Ravenwing, the Duskbringers clad themselves in black robes and paint their armor a grim gunmetal grey, only their right shoulder pad bearing the icon of the Lightbringers. Finally, they adorn both themselves and their mighty mechanical steeds in icons of death and retribution, skulls, shattered bits of enemy armor, captured weapons mounted to the bike and power armor as trophies of war. This makes them at first appear out of place amongst the otherwise regal ranks of the Lightbringers, but regardless they are held in supremely high esteem by their Battle Brothers, considered equal to the mighty Dawnbearers.
The Duskbringers themselves are a stoic and insular group, often choosing to be apart from their rank and file brethren or alone in contemplation. Many Duskbringers even refuse the company of their fellow Duskbringers, preferring the company of their select Chapter Serfs or the cold presence of combat training servitors. Many attribute this aloofness and grim aura as a result of the utter dedication the Duskbringers hold in their hearts, longing for battle and duty and nothing more. But in truth, all Duskbringers are troubled souls, tormented by the wretched truth. All Duskbringers are initiates to the Chapter's Inner Circle, and have only recently learned of the truth of the Fallen. The shame and disillusionment push many to the edge, and for some, there is simply no chance of a return to normalcy. They spend the rest of their long lives tormented, knowledge of their forebears secret shame almost driving them mad with grief and doubt. Thus, they seek only to hunt down each and every Fallen, relentlessly they throw themselves at this task, caring not for life and limb, seeking only justice and forgiveness for the sin of betrayal that sits heavy on the blood in their veins.
Ruthless hunters and fearsome executioners, the Duskbringers are considered by some to be just as potent a tool of psychological warfare than they are a conventional one, their dark robes and death iconography regularly striking utter terror into the hearts of their enemies as the great charge of bikes and blades falls upon them.
Volkmar the Ashen
- "Unclean... All of it... Must burn... Burn... Burn..."
- —Brother Volkmar as he unleashes the souring blasts of Volkite fire from his twin-linked Volkite Caliver
A hulking Leviathan Pattern Siege Dreadnought, Brother Volkmar's life has been a saga of such woe and bloodlust the Chapter more often chooses to forget his sorrowful form exists, chained, deep within the bowels of the Dias' most secret vaults and dungeons. According to Chapter myth and legend, Brother Volkmar was one of the earliest Grand Masters of the Duskbringers, a warrior driven by his Chapter's obsession with the Fallen. Driven to madness, Brother Volkmar was brought low by an unknown force of Chaos Marines in late M33, surrounded and cruelly hacked to pieces after his Arcane-Pattern Grav-Rhino was shot down deep behind enemy lines. Having been on the tail of a Fallen known only by the given name Absolution, Volkmar had dared to push far beyond the support of his Battle-Brothers, and thus payed for his obsession with his life and the lives of those Battle-Brothers closest to him.
Now given over to utter insanity, as the malign machine spirit of his Dreadnought form twists his mind in tandem with his own psychosis, Volkmar the Ashen is unleashed as an area of denial weapon and living battering ram by his Battle-Brothers. Though still loyal to the Emperor and the cause of the Unforgiven, Brother Volkmar's destructive might is as unstable as his mind, his Leviathan Storm Cannon firing at the barest whims and his Leviathan Siege Claw rending and spitting Meltafire at the barest hint of bloodlust. His violence can only be contained by the guidance of the Illuminates or by the authority of the Supreme Grand Master himself, and thus Volkmar the Ashen is only summoned to the field when the day is most dire, and the foe most contemptible.
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- "It takes great skill to hunt a hunter as they did in their early days. I am proud to stand alongside them, for we are both children of the Lion."
- —Knight-Brother Johnathan Three-Rivers of the Angels of the Hunt
- "How many Space Marines does it take to screw in a...I mean how many Space Marines does it take to kill an assassin?"
- "Child of the Lion, you are so diligent in your quest, in your hunt, but your prey are those who are all too often the predator of your kind. I could help you, Child of the Lion Light, I know where they hide, I know where they lurk. I can show you, I can show you where the Traitors hide, both the Imperiums... And your own."
- —Valkyura Warpschild to Grand Illuminate Leufred Chasseur