The Praetorian Sons are a Successor Chapter of the Ultramarines formed during the Fifth Founding. They are extremely religious and venerate the Emperor as a God, once being fanatical protectors of the wider Imperium and embarking on crusades against heretics and xenos across the galaxy. However, now they have deemed the Imperium to be a corrupt and dying organization. They believe that they must break from this diseased Imperium before they themselves are tainted. They believe they are now duty bound to remake the Imperium from the ground up and they have set out to conquer the galaxy once again. The Praetorian Sons were once a Codex-Compliant Chapter, but now are a renegades whom have seceded from the wider Imperium.
Rather than specializing in a certain form of combat, the Praetorian Sons are well known for being some of the most capable architects, administrators, and tacticians. They are also famous for their adaptable war capabilities, keeping their foes off balance with the mixed strategies they implement during campaigns. They maintain very close ties to the Lions of Ultramar but have severed their ties to the rest of the Imperium and maintain a deep hatred for Orks and Tau.
Chapter Early History and Creation:
The Praetorian Sons can trace their roots back all the way to the 18th Chapter of the Ultramarines Legion of the Great Crusade. The 18th Ultramarine Chapter had a long and proud history during the Great Crusade. Being part of the 392nd Expeditionary Fleet alongside the Ultramarines 7th Chapter, they garnered much praise from Guilliman for their efficiency in battle and ability to rebuild worlds with great speed compared to other Ultramarine Chapters. The 7th would eventually be transferred to another Expeditionary Force, leaving the 18th to deal with a xenos held cluster of systems that would give the 18th its nickname Lions of Ultramar. The campaign was long and cost the Lions many Astartes lives fighting against the Xenos which called themselves the Knuthkraq, whose empire was designated Knuthraqi Domains. The 18th fought valiantly but simply did not have the forces to defeat the Empire head on without reinforcements. However, Dumnus Marsyas, the Chapter Master, devised a daring plan that involved a full scale invasion of the Xenos primary shipyards located on Thraq Secundus, bypassing multiple strongpoints and fortress worlds of the xenos. This would leave the invasion force to be easily outflanked and eventually overrun had the invasion been stalled in any way but that was the plan, to draw the xenos into a full-scale counter offensive against this invasionary force. While the xenos were preoccupied with dealing with the invasion, Dumnus would lead a secondary invasion on Thraq Primus, the Knuthraqi Capital World and kill the Matriarch of the xenos and disrupt the entirety of the xenos' leadership.
The invasion of Thraq Secundus would number 3,000 Astartes along with the entirety of the Imperial Army forces of the Ultramar Auxilia while the secondary invasion was solely 1,000 Ultramarines. The Fleet was greatly outnumbered and outgunned but was much faster and bettered armoured than the xenos. Its task was merely meant to provide cover for the first invasion force to make landing to begin the overall assault and once this was completed the Fleet would skirmish with the xenos vessels, occupying them while the xenos prepared to mobilize its total strength against this force. Once it appeared the xenos were fully committed, the Fleet would break for Thraq Primus and launch the secondary invasion along with a full scale bombardment of the planet before the xenos fleet would catch up. The plan would be executed with little variance from Dumnus' planning and xenos empire crumbled before the 18th with this daring tactic but cost the 18th many lives and resources. However, the losses the 18th endured would be trivial to the number of lives and resources which were spared cutting off the head of this xenos Empire, the lives of the 3,300 brothers lost in this campaign saved possibly tens of thousands of others along with countless mortals. This campaign would leave the 18th in a combat-ineffective status for years until the outbreak of the Horus Heresy wherein the Chapter had just been expanded incorporate an extra 1,000 marines to a total of 5,000.
The 18th was brutalized during the Horus Heresy, in particular, during the Great Scouring. Numbering 5 Battalions with 10 Companies each, the 18th Chapter would start the Heresy at 5,000 battle brothers, almost the entirety being raw recruits with several hundred veterans from the Great Crusade, rather than the original 4 Battalions during the Great Crusade. But, due to the homeworld of the Chapter being on the fringes of Ultramar, the vast Warp Storms kept the 18th from aiding Guilliman and their brothers during the Shadow Crusade or aiding the Emperor and the Loyalists on Terra. This led to great anger within the 18th but by the time the Warp Storm abated, the Emperor was mortally wounded and Horus defeated. In retribution the 18th went mad with lust for vengeance against the Traitors for what they had done to Ultramar and the Imperium, in particular the Word Bearers. Dumnus led the 18th in multiple successful campaigns against the sons of Lorgar but by the end of the Great Scouring, the 18th suffered around 80% casualties, most of which we sustained in a brutal campaign against the Word Bearers Legion known as the Lion's Cage. This campaign was where the 18th was ambushed and cut off from friendly forces when the Chapter Master Dumnus Marsyas had made a terrible miscalculation of the traitors' strength in the region around Colchis. The 18th was thought to be lost after Dumnus ordered the remainder of his forces to make a desperate jump into the warp once all hope had faded. For centuries the Lions of Ultramar were believed to have been defeated by the Word Bearers and great honors and ceremonies were held on Praetora for their lost sons and the Fortress of Hera would keep a shrine dedicated to the 18th with one of its ancient battle standards along with a tome of its accomplishments.
However, in the twilight years of the 33rd millennium, a handful of badly damaged ships entered realspace within the Macragge System. The entirety of the Ultramarines, Auxilia, and Imperial Navy were on high alert and prepared for attack but realized that these ships were ancient vessels of the Ultramarines that appeared to have recently just escaped from battle. Immediately hailing the vessels, Tigris Decon recieved an immediate reply from an Astartes claiming to be Dumnus Marsyas of the 18th Chapter of the Ultramarines Legion. Apparently, the members of the 18th had just jumped out of their engagement with the Word Bearers in their own "timeline" but those few hours for the Legionaries of the 18th was nearly a millennia for those in real-space. This was difficult for all present to grasp and took months of private discussions, meetings, and informing the High Lords of Terra of the situation. Eventually the survivors of the 18th were given a choice, they could either be split into two under-strength successor chapters, one maintaining Praetora as their homeworld while the other being granted another world to make their own, or the survivors were to be dispersed across the successor chapters of the Ultramarines as veterans and officers. The 18th chose the first option and were split into two successor Chapters, and so the Praetorian Sons and the Lions of Ultramar Successor Chapters were created.
361.M32 Liberation of Ullysarius
Shortly after the founding of the Praetorian Sons and the Lions of Ultramar, both Chapters were called upon for aid by an Imperial Hive World designated Ullysarius. Both Chapter numbered no more than around 400 Battle Brothers each at the time but answered the call to arms to prove their loyalty to the Imperium, for all were still wary of these Sons of Guilliman and their unexpected return from the void.
Ullysarius had been invaded and mostly conquered by a sizeable Ork Warband from the Blackskull Tribes led by Warboss Gizgut Yellowtoof. Only one hive remained under Imperial control and the entirety of the planet was blockaded by the Greenskin's Armada. The Praetorian Sons and the Lions of Ultramar had to deal with the Ork Armada but could not let the final Hive fall and they did not have time to wage a fullscale void battle to secure the space around Ullysarius before the final bastion fell. Dumnus devised a plan to both defeat the Orks in the void and save Hive Eraktion. Dumnus proposed to Chapter Master Themistoklitus, Chapter Master of the Lions of Ultramar and his former second in command, that the Lions and the Imperial Navy vessels lead a spearhead to attack the Flagship of Warboss Gizgutz Yellowtoof; the Laughing Skull, with the vessels of the Praetorian Sons in the rear. Once the fleet engaged the Greenskins, the Praetorian Sons' vessels would make all haste to the space above Eraktion, dropping 300 battle brothers and Chapter Master Dumnus into the middle of the Horde assaulting Eraktion. This was a risky plan, for it left the Praetorian Sons' fleet gravely exposed during the hours it deployed the Astartes planet-side but Dumnus hoped that the Greenskins in orbit would gladly join the fray against the Lions and Imperial Navy, realizing that they had left a hole in the blockade too late.
The Greenskins took the bait, launching a full-scale counter attack against the Lions and the Imperial Navy, granting the Praetorian Sons the time they needed to deploy planet-side. The Flagship of the Lions of Ultramar; Imperator's Lance, engaged in a duel with the Laughing Skull, exchanging furious broadsides and lance batteries blasting away at one another's voidshields. The rest of the Greenskin and Imperial fleets were engaged in similar duels across the void, titanic vessels clashed, boarding parties being launched by both sides, and fighters fought for void superiority. It pained Dumnus to leave behind his allies, his ships disengaging swiftly to the dropzone but he had his part to play and so too did his allies.
The sky was set alight with screaming thunderhawks and drop pods. The Orks bellow had no time to organize against the fury of the Adeptus Astartes and their lines were spread wide to encircle the Hive. Few had a chance to fire at the vessels that came down at them but little could be done. Within minutes, 300 Battle Brothers were disgorged into the heart of the Greenskin horde and the slaughter began. The Imperial defenders of Hive Eraktion hearts' filled with courage at the sight of the Emperor's Angels of Death coming to their aid and they launched their own assault against the Greenskins, the remained of their heavy armor and infantry cutting their way into the confused Ork ranks. After a day of fighting, the Horde that encircled Hive Eraktion was in full retreat both into the underhive or to the other Ork strongholds of the planet. Eraktion had been saved but Ullysarius was still firmly under Ork rule. Dumnus lost 37 battle brothers in the fighting and thousands of Imperial Guard died in their own assault, even with the combined forces, it would not be enough to liberate Ullyarius.
The Void battle continued as the Praetorian Sons engaged the Greenskin horde. The Imperials were heavily outnumbered and losing on all fronts and the Laughing Skull was fairing better than the Imperator's Lance in their titanic duel. An Ork boarding party led by one of Gizguts' Nobz was able to damage the void shield generator before being cut down by the marines aboard the vessel, leaving the Astartes Flagship completely exposed. However, before the killing blow was made, the Laughing Skull's hull was lined with explosions, the Praetorian Sons' fleet had re-engaged the Orks and the vessels launched all torpedoes at the Ork Flagship. Gizgutz was no coward but his vessel had been cripped by the mass of torpedoes that hit his vessel. He abandoned ship, dropping to the planet below, leaving the Ork Armada without an admiral. After a few days of fighting, the Ork Armada had been defeated, fleeing the system and leaving their comrades abandoned on the planet. The Lions of Ultramar had suffered grievous losses in the void battle, some 153 battle brother were either killed or grievously wounded, two of their vessels crippled and one destroyed, and the Imperial Navy fleet lost 7 of the 14 vessels it had brought to bare. Even with the damaged fleet, it could still bring orbital support and the Lions of Ultramar were not going to let their brothers fight alone on the ground. Themistoklitus brought 200 of his battle brothers with him to the planet and the Lions of Ultramar and Praetorian Sons fought side by side for 3 years before liberating the planet. This was the first major victory for both Chapters and would be one of the many experiences that would keep the Lions and the Praetorians as close allies.
M34 - M35 The Nova Terra Interregnum
During the Nova Terra Interregnum, the Praetorian Sons were used as a quick response force for the Imperium. With the multiple secessionist systems and planets the plagued the Imperium, the Praetorian Sons were sent on missions to either support Imperial loyalists that were fighting civil wars or to destroy rebels and bring their planets and systems back into the Imperial fold. The Praetorian Sons would see extensive service in void combat and siege warfare during the Millennia and a half of the Imperial Civil Wars. This would generate specialist squads within the 4 battle companies wherein 1 or 2 full squads would be dedicated as breaching and assault squads, stemming from the original 2 assault squads outlined in the Codex Astartes. The Praetorian Sons would also work extensively with the Lions of Ultramar Chapter, using their expertise in void warfare to help them in dealing with traitorous Imperial Navy fleets. The many engagements that these two Chapter would fight in together would cement the bond between these two for Millennia to come, forever being known as the Twin Chapters of the 18th.
In the early stages of the Nova Terra Interregnum, the Praetorian Sons Chapter had already gotten a reputation as being tactically superior to some of their cousins in other Chapters. This would mean that the Praetorian Sons were a highly sought after force, especially the 1st Company. Their tactical flexibility and ability to coordinate mortal units and heavy armor alongside their own Astartes forces meant that Imperial Commanders would give up overall command to the Chapter Master or even a Captain of the Praetorian Sons due to their tactical genius. By the early 35th Millennium, the Praetorian Sons had brought close to a dozen systems back into the Imperial fold. The Praetorian Sons were so successful and precise with their operations that even a number of the planets that would be reconquered by the Chapter pledged their allegiance to the Praetorian Sons.
The four Chapter Masters that would reign during the Nova Terra Interregnum would use this period of strife as a stepping stone for the Chapter's influence and resources. In the latter years of the Nova Terra Interregnum, the Praetorian Sons' realm expanded to encompass planets from 4 different systems and were able to form an agreement with a Forge World that was liberated from the yoke of the Dark Mechanicum. Chapter Keeps and forges would be built on these fiefs, allowing for extensive recruitment and rearmament should it be deemed necessary. By the end of the Nova Terra Interregnum, the Praetorian Sons had become heroes in the eyes of the Imperium. Acting like the Legions of old, the Praetorian Sons brought innumerable planets and systems back into the Imperium and bringing the light of the Emperor to these planets.
However, it would be within this period that the Chapter would start displaying strange religious beliefs. The Imperial Cult would spread throughout the ranks of the Chapter. The common interactions with the various Shrine Worlds and joint operations with the Black Templars and elements of the Teuton Brotherhood that the seeds of this cult were sown. The losses suffered by the Chapter and the recruits who replaced the fallen that came from the various worlds wherein the Imperial Cult was strong would be the catalyst for the cults to grow and take a hold over the Chapter. By the Age of Apostasy, the Praetorian Sons would be exemplars of the Codex Astartes like their Progenitors in battle and administration but also very much like the Black Templars, being religious fanatics but also preachers.
M36 Age of Apostasy
The Age of Apostasy would be a point of time in the Imperium where the fury of the Praetorian Sons would be almost unmatched by most of their cousins. Once they finally saw through the facade of Goge Vandire, the Chapter believed that it was their sworn duty to purge the Ecclesiarchy for it had now become corrupted beyond saving. They believed that it was the Chapter's duty to restructure the Ecclesiarchy, ensuring that it would never fall prey to the corruption again.
The Praetorian Sons were filled with such fury due to the betrayal of the Ecclesiarchy that the restraint and precision of the previous Millennia was thrown aside. The Praetorian Sons appeared unhinged by the circumstances of this war and showed absolutely no mercy to any one that stood in their way. For the early part of the war against the corrupt Ecclesiarchy, the Chapter sought to ensure that all loyalists be spared and that as little collateral damage be done. However, after one particularly grueling and bloody siege on the Shrine World of Lamia, a fief of the Chapter, the way the Chapter executed the war had vastly changed. The Praetorian Sons would learn in the lairs of the Word Bearers that multiple of their fiefs had fallen prey to the heresy spread by the Word Bearers and so too did multiple Shrine Worlds. This lead to the Praetorian Sons unleashing unchecked retribution against these traitorous people who they had once called their own. Multiple planets would be left little more than lifeless husks and billions would die in the fires of this crusade.
Many systems and planets would suffer this fate before the Chapter reached a planet known as Lukantes. Information regarding the loyalty of the planet was scant and communication with the astropaths on the planet was untenable due to the Warp Storms that had erupted in that region of space. Once the Praetorian Sons fleet translated into the system, the local vessels that were tasked with the defense of Lukantes opened fire. The Praetorian Sons would respond as they had in the past few years, without mercy. The Astartes fleet smashed through the defenders with no losses on their side and a full scale planetary invasion by the Chapter was underway. With orbital bombardments and cleansing of the population, the Praetorian Sons began to realize something was wrong. There were no Word Bearers here, no profane or heretical scriptures or preachers. They were not attacked by fanatics that threw their lives away for the Dark Gods. They were fighting loyal people of the Imperium who had believed the Chapter to have gone rogue after the devastation that had been wrought to the other worlds in nearby systems. This discovery would not lead to the Chapter ending their purge, they had to continue, unless they wished for the Inquisition and High Lords to censure them for this grave mistake.
Chapter Master Julius condemned this world to exterminatus, not for anything that people had done, but for the mistake the Chapter had made. This would be the end of the Praetorian Sons excessive bloodletting, forcing the Chapter to realize what they had done and that they had been so consumed with hatred and zeal, they had forgotten the tenets of the Imperial Truth and the words of Guilliman. Shame was rampant throughout the Chapter, as Astartes had to cope with the millions of people they had condemned to death for their mistakes. During the time they rebuilt their forces and restored the damaged vessels, the Astartes of the Praetorian Sons would enforce traditions of humility and caring for mortals. The idea that the Astartes must be the archetypes of humanity became second only to the devotion the battle brothers had to the Emperor. Never again would the Praetorian Sons ever sentence a world to death when even one loyal servant of the Imperium still lived on it. They would also never divulge the mistake they made on the planet, for to do so was to condemn the Chapter to death. The Chapter maintained its reputation as a preaching and caring Chapter but would never speak of what occurred during the Age of Apostasy.
M37 Age of Redemption
After the Age of Apostasy, the Chapter would embark on a near selfless mission to restore their domain, ensuring the people were protected and that their realm would flourish. Most of the 37th Millennium was spent by the Chapter rebuilding; advancing the various planets that were run by the Chapter as well as aiding the planets within their realm that maintained their independence from Chapter authority. They erected vast fortresses, helped build cities of immaculate beauty but with efficiency in industry, travel, and military capability in mind, took the role of teachers and preachers, raised and trained regiments in advanced forms of warfare, and acted as guardians; fending off pirates and Ork Waaaghs that would try to penetrate into their fiefdoms. There were no major campaigns during the 37th millennium within Esgarathos and this period would be known as the Golden Age of the Chapter.
M38 - M40 Age of Darkness
The Chapter's Golden Age would come to an abrupt end with the outbreak of the 1st War for Esgarathos. This war would ravage the Praetorian Sons' realm and catch the Chapter completely off guard. Wars would be waged consistently after the outbreak of this war, leaving little time for the Chapter to catch its breath. For the next 3 Millennia, the Chapter would engage in multiple wars to defend their realm from xenos and heretics before they could strike back at their enemies. Once the enemies of the Chapter were expelled from their realm, they would embark on multiple external crusades to purge neighboring realms and systems of xenos and heretic presence, thereby securing their borders. System after system would be added to the realm of Esgarathos during these Wars of Expansion. In defense of their actions, they argued that due to Imperial negligence and corruption, the Chapter needed to exert its authority over more worlds to secure the Eastern Fringes. The High Lords would allow this expansion but were suspicious of the motives of the Chapter. For the most part, the Chapter subjugated these systems to secure their core systems by creating a buffer zone of new systems added to the realm. These expansionist wars would give the internal systems time to recover from the ravagings they suffered from the wars beforehand. By the end of the 40th Millennium it appeared as though, finally, the Chapter had secured their realm and there would be peace for the people in Esgarathos.
M41 The End has Come
The beginning of Millennia 41 appeared to the start of a new age for Esgarathos. Multiple Waaaghs and Ork hordes were defeated and scattered in the previous millennia. The Tau had been cowed and their expansionary fleets crushed while the worlds they had taken were purged of human traitors and brought back into the Imperial fold. The infamous Dark Eldar Corsair Manthra'Ikil was slain by the 1st Company Captain Cleomenes of the Praetorian Sons, ending the Kabal's raids on the system of Antharax. Peace reigned for a few centuries and the Twin Chapters of the 18th were finally given respite from the age of war. But this peace would not last.
The 41st Millennium was to be the most brutal and unforgiving time in the Chapter's history. Wars would be waged all across Esgarathos once again; Orks, Eldar, and Tau would come and plague the Chapter and their worlds again, but new threats would also emerge. The Tyrannids would begin to invade the Eastern Fringes, attacking world after world, system after system, devouring all that lay in their path. The Necrons would awaken from their tombs, worlds once thought safe would become blood soaked fields as their deathless legions marched across their surfaces. The once proud and rich realm of the Praetorian Sons, Esgarathos, would be ravaged by war and brought to its knees.
The Praetorian Sons stand alone, only their brothers; the Lions of Ultramar, stand with them while their realm is beset on all sides. The Chapter has been abandoned, their realm not deemed worthy of external Imperial aid, Imperial Guard regiments and other Chapters have been diverted from aiding the Chapter to fight alongside other Astartes forces and on other Imperial Worlds. In the waning years of the 41st Millennium, the Chapter did the unthinkable, they seceded from the Imperium. They lost hundreds of battle brothers fighting to help other Chapters and save Imperial worlds, but no aid came for them when they needed it. The worst feeling of betrayal came from the Ultramarines stating that they could not aid their gene-sons despite their desperate pleas. Feeling abandoned by both their gene-fathers and the Imperium they fought so hard to protect, Chapter Master Cleomenes deemed that to save his realm and his Chapter; he needed to break the yoke of the Codex Astartes, expand his Chapter's fighting strength, and build a mortal auxiliary army to fight alongside his brothers. The Chapter has gone renegade.
Currently in 999.M41, the Praetorian Sons are a renegade Chapter, fending off multiple xenos incursions into their realm. Battles are being waged in every system they hold against both loyalists and xenos. Cleomenes has expanded the gene-seed implantation and recruitment into the Praetorian Sons to compensate for the losses the Chapter is enduring. The Chapter has been branded Excommunicate Traitoris but the Imperium is unable to send a substantial strike force to deal with the traitors due to the current state of the Imperium as a whole. The only Astartes forces that could be mustered were........... To act as the main body of this retribution force, the High Lords called upon the Lions of Ultramar to fight these traitors with the aid of the various Chapters' contributions, but the Lions have thrown their support behind their cousins and fight for the secessionists.
Multiple planets are under siege by various xenos races but the Praetorian Sons currently hold the majority of their realm. However, one false step by Cleomenes would make for a major reversal in the Praetorian Sons current predicament, therefore, the Praetorian Sons have adopted a cautious and defensive stratagem before they embark on major offensives once again. The battle brothers of the Chapter that were seconded to the Company of Honor of the Ultramarines and the Deathwatch were recalled in previous years before the secession to reinforce their battle weary brothers. The Chapter is currently battle-hardened from near endless war and very experienced in fighting within their realm, giving them an edge over most of their cousins. Small clashes with Loyalist Astartes within the realm have already occured but were of little consequence. Once more elements of loyalist Astartes' Chapters join the fray against the Secessionists, then the Praetorian Sons will need to deal with the Imperials, but first they must deal with the xenos on their very doorstep.
- M32 Liberation of Ullysarius -
- M34 - M35 Forging of Esgarathos -
- M35 Hrud Rising -
- M36 The Purging -
- M37 5th Black Crusade -
- M37 7th Black Crusade -
- M38 1st War for Esgarathos - The First War for Esgarathos was a major conflict that spanned the entirety of the Praetorian Sons' realm against the Tau and an Ork Waaagh. This war would catch the Praetorian Sons off guard and would leave the realm of Esgarathos ravaged by the wars. This would prompt the doctrine of preemptive strikes and securing the borders of Esgarathos in later years. The Tau and Orks would be defeated but at a great cost to the realm and the Chapter.
- M39 - M40 Wars of Expansion - After recuperating from their losses in the 1st War for Esgarathos, the Chapter would initiate a series of wars against corrupt Imperial Governors, Xenos held systems, and traitor worlds. These wars were not to be merely wars of subjugation for the Imperium, rather the Chapter would demand the fealty of every system and planet that they conquered, building large fortresses, space stations, listening posts, and training garrisons on each planet. This would be a bloody war, costing millions of human lives and hundreds of Praetorian Sons lives but was deemed a necessary sacrifice for the future of their realm.
- M40 Corsair Wars - The Infamous Dark Eldar Corsair Manthra'Ikil led a large incursion into the realm of Esgarathos. He did not look to conquer but rather pillage and enslave. He would scorch multiple planets and evade the Praetorian Sons for months, only fighting when he caught isolated ships of either the Chapter or the Imperial Navy. Manthra'Ikil would eventually lead his pirates to a planet that he did not realize had a fairly strong Praetorian Sons garrison and launched his usual raids. His losses would be substantial in the coming battles on the planet and would allow the Imperial Fleet to home in on his location. Eventually the Chapter was able to catch Mantha'Ikil and after a devastating void battle, Manthra'Ikil was slain in single combat by 1st Captain Cleomenes and his forces scattered.
- M40 2nd War for Esgarathos - The 2nd War for Esgarathos would erupt with another Tau force invading. This was to be another costly war for the Praetorian Sons, but with the new buffer zone they created and the vast defense networks they raised, the Tau were unable to drive a spearhead through Esgarathos like they had done before hand. The Praetorian Sons would fight multiple siege battles and skirmishes with the Tau on many planets in the Outer Systems, winning most. After a series of decisive victories by the Praetorian Sons and Lions of Ultramar fleets, the Tau armada was forced to flee and leaving the Imperial Forces to snuff out any remaining Tau xenos in their realm.
- M41 12th Black Crusade - The 12th Black Crusade would erupt in the Gothic Sector and The Praetorian Sons would answer by sending their 1st, 2nd, and 8th Companies along with about half of their fleet and with Chapter Master Lucianus Payne leading the strike force himself. The Praetorian Sons arrived in time to aid in the last major engagements against Abaddon's forces, sending hundreds of marines in boarding missions against the traitor fleets and purging planets that had fallen to the sway of Chaos. However, when the 1st Company and Chapter Master Lucianus Payne had boarded a flagship of one of the Despoiler's Lieutenant's in the decisive final engagement, Payne was slain in single combat by a Champion of Khorne. Many of the 1st Company would fall to the blades and axes of the heretics in that battle but Captain Cleomenes would rally his men behind him and fight on. He would eventually avenge his Chapter Master by slaying the Khornate Champion and later the Lieutenant of Abaddon, but would be forced to return back to his vessel when the Traitors were translating back into the warp to flee.
- M41 Iron Jaw Wars -
- M41 First Tyrannic War -
- M41 The Awakening -
- M41 3rd War for Esgarathos -
- M41 Wars of Secession -
Esgarathos is a realm similar to that of the Ultramarines Realm of Ultramar in that the systems within the realm of Esgarathos are the fiefs of the Praetorian Sons. There are two sections of the realm of Esgarathos, the core worlds and the outer worlds. The Core Worlds were subjugated by the Chapter during the Nova Terra Interregnum and are the wealthiest and most populated. The Outer Worlds were subjugated during the Expansion Wars and are more of a buffer zone for the Core Worlds than anything else. At its height Esgarathos encompassed 7 systems and boasted a highly disciplined and well organized PDF and Auxilia under the guidance of the Praetorian Sons. Now it is an embattled realm beset on all sides by xenos and loyalists now that it has seceded from the Imperium.
The Praetorian Sons' homeworld Praetora lies in the Illyrios System which is located on the fringes of the realm of Ultramar. Praetora is the seat of power for the Praetorian Sons and is the capitol of their realm of Esgarathos. Praetora is considered to be a paradise world, with large oceans, large green valleys rich with life of all sorts, snow covered mountains and a sky as clear as can be. Its sprawling and pristine cities filled with all manner of well to do people and wealth flowing in and out, tall towers and citadels of marble and stone lining the sky, marble statues of great heroes of the Imperium decorating plazas, rich courtyards, and massive villas all magnify the paradise that is Praetora.
Praetora is the heart of an empire within an empire. It's people a proud and honorable folk, completely devoted to the Emperor and his Angels. A web of trade, communication, and travel goes through Praetora's incredible port, collecting taxes and ensuring no scum or enemies of Praetora can set foot on the paradise without going through extensive security measures and protocol. A mighty fleet lays anchor at the port at all times, the Imperial Navy ensuring this vital planet and its port remain free from any threat. So to lies the fearsome battle barges and cruisers of the Adeptus Astartes, making any foe think twice of invading the system. Despite the beauty of Praetora itself, it is a mighty world with many bastions, fortresses, and a fearsome defense force to defend it if the formidable naval forces are defeated.
Fortress of Ares
The Fortress of Ares is the Praetorian Sons' Fortress Monastery. These successors of Guilliman ensured that fortress was to resemble that of the Fortress of Hera on Macragge, making the fortress both an impregnable bastion but also a capital for an empire. The Fortress of Ares is much like Praetora both beautiful yet fierce. The Fortress is of elegant and intricate architecture, built with many columns supporting much of the buildings which houses beautifully sculpted statues of various heroes of the Imperium. There are vast chambers whose purposes vary; some being for civil use, court rooms, meeting rooms, war rooms, armories, libraries, and many reliquaries. Despite being a marble beauty, the Fortress of Ares is a multi-tiered fortress with a set of five walls lined with heavy weapons, artillery emplacements, and anti-air guns. Large stone plazas can serve as both gathering grounds and meeting places for civilians and officials or as a parade ground for the Praetor Auxilia and the Praetorian Sons to marshal their full military might.
The Praetorian Sons recruit from the elite class of Praetora as well as the Praetor Auxilia. Like their gene-fathers, the Ultramarines, the Praetorian Sons never lack for recruits. They do not have any barbarous traditions like many of their brother chapters, rather, the Praetorian Sons look for the most fit, strong willed, and loyal servants of the Imperium and force them to endure agonizing trials that are meant to test their strength of will and loyalty above all else. Physical strength is not the primary focus of the Chapter, they want Astartes that whose loyalty is unwavering but are also compassionate and intelligent, capable of administrating their realm and not just acting a butchers like some other Astartes. By the time an aspirant who has successfully passed the long and arduous process and has joined the 10th Company, they will be highly disciplined, physically mighty, of the highest moral fiber, and of unquestionable loyalty to the Praetorian Sons and the Imperium.
In recent years, however, the Chapter has slackened their recruitment restrictions, now allowing for any and all people to test their mettle to become Astartes from throughout the realm of Esgarathos. The moral aspect of the recruitment has been thrown out and now the Chapter recruits based solely on physical strength and loyalty to the Chapter. Far less emphasis has been placed on well rounded Astartes and now they are focusing on creating the best killing machines that they can. Many of these recruits come from the Underhives, gangs, and feral worlds, bringing less civilized and more barbaric traditions with them, but still fanatically loyal to the Chapter and accepted by their brothers despite their misgivings about the lack of 'noble blood' and 'civilized' nature in these new brothers.
The Praetorian Sons prided themselves in being a versatile Chapter, capable in fighting in all forms of warfare proficiently. They do not specialize like many other Chapters but make up for this with their high coordination and discipline, strict adherence to the Codex Astartes, and ability to adapt quickly by using Guilliman's tactics. When facing an enemy that has an advantage over the battle brothers of the Chapter, the strategists of the Chapter will adapt their combat plans to turn their enemy's strength into a weakness.
However, their strength in adaptability is also their greatest weakness. Due to their attempts to be proficient in all forms of warfare, they are not masters of any kind. This means that should the Chapter be forced to fight a war that is their enemies' specialization, they will have a large disadvantage. This has meant that to ensure that they dictate the way wars are fought and can use their adaptable nature, the Chapter adopts an aggressive battle stance, keeping their foes on their back foot while they deploy various tactics and stratagems to keep their foes off balance. Decapitating strikes, mass ground assaults, armored spearheads, skirmishing, and many more tactics are used by the chapter simultaneously or in succession to keep their foes confused and unsure of how to fight the Praetorian Sons effectively. Even after the secession, the Chapter still adheres to this style of warfare and the usage of various tactics to keep their foes unaware of what to expect next, therefore unable to prepare effectively against the next attack.
The Praetorian Sons only geneseed deficiency is the inactive Beltcher's Gland, other than that it is considered to be highly stable. Over the millennia, no mutations have occurred to these successors of Guilliman.
The Praetorian Sons were a strict codex compliant Chapter that followed Guilliman's word to the letter. They maintained 10 Companies with 100 Battle Brothers in each. The 1st Company being the Veteran Company. The Companies 2nd - 5th are Battle Companies, 6th - 9th are reserve Companies, and the 10th is the Scout Company.
Now, since the secession, the Chapter has expanded its numbers and created more companies to compensate. There are now 14 Companies, 1 specialized siege company, 2 more Battle Companies, and another assault company like the 8th.
- Executioners - Executioners are a unique Praetorian Sons unit that is being added into every company in the Chapter since the Secession. A combat squad of 5 men, each carrying either a plasma gun, melta gun, or some form of power weapon, tasked with hunting and slaying Loyalist and Traitor Astartes alike. Their armor is customized to be able to weather multiple bolter rounds, forged to have overlapping ceramite plates in the torso and legs along with an armored collar added to their warplate. They specialize in killing opposing Astartes, be they loyalist to the corrupt Imperium or followers of the false gods. These squads are being led by veterans of the wars against the Traitor Legions and Warbands during the Black Crusades and the seconded Battle Brothers who served in the Ultramarines Company of Honor.
- Breacher Squads - Breacher Squad Astartes were Jump Assault that have been converted into a Ground Assault unit. These Astartes are issued heavy Mark III armor or modified Mark VII armor, boarding shields, and various close quarters weapons. They are also given extra grenades than usual so that they can clear out bunkers, rooms, and fortifications easier.
- Centurion - A Centurion is an Astartes within the Chapter that has proven his undying loyalty to the Chapter Master and is also a skilled warrior. Centurions are the new personal Guard of Chapter Master Cleomenes after he decided to expand the ranks of his Honor Guard. These men have no official rank within the Chapter and therefore do not have any say in combat deployment or strategy, their task is to defend Cleomenes at all costs. There is a specialist Centurion Terminator Squad, unofficially known as Cleomenes' Fist, whom are the elite of this new unit and are always by the Chapter Master's side.
- Legatus - A Legatus was a special rank during the time when the Chapter was once a member of the Ultramarines Legion during the Great Crusade. These Astartes are handpicked by Chapter Master Cleomenes himself, for they are given Theater Command and can theoretically command multiple Companies should they be tasked in fighting the Theater the Legatus has jurisdiction over.
- Tyrannic Veterans - These men are veterans of the First Tyrannic War and have been given special weapons and armor to deal with Tyrannid threats. They have been spread throughout the 1st, 8th, and 11th Companies to act as special units/squads to deal with Tyrannic threats and train their fellow brothers in ways to better deal with tyrannid foes.
Order of Battle
|Veteran Company||Battle Companies|
|1st Company||2nd Company||3rd Company||4th Company||5th Company|
|Reserve Companies||Scout Company|
|6th Company||7th Company||8th Company||9th Company||10th Company|
The Chapter does not specialize in any particular kind of warfare but rather aim for being extremely versatile. This means that the Praetorian Sons maintain a very wide array of weaponry and equipment to suite the various warzones they will participate in. As usual the Mark IV Boltgun and Chainsword are the mainstay of the Praetorian Battle Brothers but each Battle brother is also trained to use various other special and uncommon weapons should their Specialist Brothers fall and require replacement. There are a handful of relics maintained by the Chapter; gifts, trophies, and ancient weapons.
Pride of the 18th - A Sacred Banner of the Chapter when they served in the Great Crusade as the 18th Chapter of the Ultramarines Legion. It is brought into battle by the Sigil Bearer of the Honorguard of the Chapter Master and will always be found in the thickest of the fighting, raising the courage and strength of all the Praetorian Battle Brothers that fight under its ancient shadow. The banner itself is an artistic rendition of the an Ultramarine Legionary of the 18th Chapter standing atop a mound of bones and skulls, his sword raised to the stars. His armor battered and bloody but his posture filled with pride as the sun behind him shines brightly on this son of Guilliman. It symbolizes the costly victories the Chapter had itself had undertake during the Great Crusade, being gifted to the Chapter Master Dumnus by Guilliman himself. After every battle, the banner is repaired by the most skilled artisans of Praetora to ensure that it is never in poor condition when it is on display in the Fortress of Ares or when seen upon the battle field.
Praetora's Vengeance - Praetora's Vengeance is a Relic Sword wielded by Chapter Master Dumnus Marsyas during the Great Scouring. Chapter Master Dumnus had been defeated in personal combat by a Word Bearer Champion during the Ambush at Colchis leaving the Chapter Master badly wounded. Reclusiarch Nikantor stepped in to defend his liege's broken body and fought the Traitor Champion on the Command deck of the Indomnitus. Nikantor's weapon had been broken in the duel and was also badly wounded by the Word Bearer, having his left arm severed, helm struck in two, and right leg punctured. Kneeling before the Word Bearer before being executed, Nikantor grabbed his liege's blade which lay beside him and pierced the heart of the Traitor before the Champion's blade cleaved his head from his shoulders. Nikantor would soon die from his wounds, next to his wounded liege, gripping the blade firmly in hand with a satisfied grin on his face. This blade's original name was lost during the passage of time but it had been renamed on that day as Praetora's Vengeance. It is an elegant weapon of near intoxicating beauty. Its crossguard a golden pair of wing that connect the golden hand guard to the golden pommel of an eagle's head. The blade itself a shining silver, single edged and slightly cured toward's the wielder, ending it a long sharp point. Ancient runes of unknown significance line both sides of the blade that turn from a cold ebony to an electric blue once the powerblade is turned on. The grip being a crimson red leather that is wrapped around the golden steel.
[Esgarathos]: Great Crusade Era - Emperor Class Battleship - Modified with extra orbital bombardment weapons and increased hangar space to accommodate 5 Companies of Astartes and all associated gear, vehicles, and serfs at the expense of some weapon systems for void combat.
[His Will Incarnate] - Battle Barge
[Bloody Vengeance] - Cruiser
[Apostle] - Cruiser
[Disciple] - Cruiser
[Divination] - Cruiser
[Servant] - Cruiser
The Praetorian Sons venerate the Emperor as a God, like the Black Templars. They are preachers and fanatical, fighting with a frenzy in battle that is only outmatched by the Black Templars. They maintain similar numbers of Chaplains as normal Chapters but maintain unofficial 'lesser' Chaplain ranks, similar to that of the Librarian rankings.
Like other religious Astartes Chapters, the Praetorian Sons adorn their armor in sacred parchment, scriptures, relics, and religious idols. The most common symbols and artifacts that adorn the armor of most battle brothers in the Chapter are the Aquilas, Lions, Crosses, and parchment with either the words of the Lectitio Divinitatus or of the words of ancient Chaplains of the Chapter that have been preserved. They also sport chains of devotions on their arms, weapons, and chest. Tattoos of scripture and religious idols are also extremely common.
Before battle, battle brothers take oaths of the moment, like many other Chapters but are also 'blessed' by the Chaplains. Chaplains hold a special place within the Chapter and there are a significant number more than normal in an Astartes Chapter. Chaplains hold no official command within the Chapter but are adhered to as if they were Captains, even the Chapter Master does not act without the wisdom of the Reclusiarch.
Chanting before a battle is also customary, the battle brothers being led in song by their Chaplains. Even in the midst of battle, battle brothers will recite verses from the Lectitio Divinitatus or repeat the words of their Chaplains.
These practices have not gone unnoticed by their cousins in other Chapters and especially their primogenitors, who feel that the actions of the Praetorian Sons is highly similar to the Pre-Heresy Word Bearers.
Currently, the preaching and fanatical state of the Chapter appears to be a mockery of the Emperor and the Imperium to loyalists but the Chapter truly believes that they are doing the Emperor's will by seceding from the Imperium and trying to save the Imperium from its corrupt state.
The Chapter's symbol is a roaring Silver Lion with a Golden mane standing on its hind legs atop of a Crimson Fasces.
This is a reminder of the Lions of Ultramar title that the 18th used to hold and also the strict adherence of the Praetorian Sons to the Codex Astartes.
The Praetorian Sons maintain a Crimson Battle Plate and Pauldrons with Silver Trim and golden lenses. Each Company follows the Codex's coloring, so just like their gene-fathers, the Praetorian Sons' companies each have a unique trim for their pauldrons and their officer and veterans also make use of the same coloring schemes to mark them out from the average battle brother.