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. The Astartes of the Chapter decided 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 remainder 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 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 would liberate dozens of systems, entrenching their influence into these liberated territories by overseeing and aiding in the administration and restructuring of the various planets' rulership. The Chapter was even able to form an agreement with the Forge World of Korin which was liberated from rebel occupation. This agreement would see to it that the Praetorian Sons could always rely on the Tech-Priests of Korin to provide numerous resources and warmachines for the Chapter's use as well as bring their Skitarii Legions to the aid of the Chapter. Chapter Keeps and forges would be built on various worlds, allowing for extensive recruitment and rearmament should it be deemed necessary as well as being the most awe-inspiring and effective way to keep the newly subjugated worlds compliant. 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.
One particular campaign the Chapter would participate in would be the Hrud rising to the North of Esgarathos. The unexplicable rise of this xenos threat was a threat that could not be ignored even in the face of the rebellion that plagued the Imperium. Four full Companies would be dispatched to aid in crushing the xenos threat under the command of the 1st Company Captain Augustus Aurelian. Alongside thousands of other Astartes and millions of Imperial Guardsmen, the Praetorian Sons would prove their mettle in the fires of this campaign, adapting their strategies to these strange enemies of man and aiding achieve numerous victories against these foes. However, they did not come out unscathed and by the end of the campaign, almost half of the original force would have fallen in combat against the Hrud, including 1st Company Captain Augustus Aurelian. Whilst the campaign against this threat to the Imperium was being squashed by this mighty force, the rest of the Chapter continued their campaigns against rebellious worlds, slaying thousands of traitors and rebels whilst their kin fought the Hrud in the realms beyond the Imperium.
By the end of the Nova Terra Interregnum, the Chapter had secured vast swathes of space and had finally proven themselves as devoted sons of the Emperor and Guilliman. The Chapter's warriors would emerge battle hardened with the development of improved training techniques and traditions alongside battle tested and well tried strategies of the Codex the Chapter would favor in specific circumstances. Their officers became experienced in most matters of warfare during these millennia of fighting. In fact, they were so successful in their prosecution of the various wars they fought and the administration of recently subjugated planets that the High Lords saw it fit to grant the Praetorian Sons Chapter the high honor of being rulers of Sub-Sector Esgarathos. This was little more than a formality, for the Chapter was deeply involved in the restructuring of the administrations of these planets and reorganizing and reallocating resources of the various worlds to aid in their and the Imperial Guard's wars against traitors across the Imperium. This would grant the Chapter the legitimate rulership of the region and those nobles and aristocracy that had once enjoyed practical independence and held on to the hope that they might one day regain such freedoms finally died.
M36 Age of Apostasy
Whilst many of their cousins and kin would remain idle during the Age of Apostasy, the Praetorian Sons would not. They fought against this heresy with no remorse and no mercy, crushing those loyal to Goge Vandire with fury that only those betrayed could muster. Despite their misgivings of the connotations that a word such as Heresy held, it was the only word that properly described their views towards the Ecclesiarchy's actions during this period. The warriors of the Chapter would not rally around their allies to fight against Goge Vandire or his puppets in the center of the Imperium but had their own wars to prosecute at home.
Sub-Sector Esgarathos was torn into two by the Apostasy of Goge Vandire and the Ecclesiarchy. The Shrine Worlds of Lamia and Salem were bastions of the corrupt organization of the Ecclesiarchy and had spread their tendrils throughout various planets of the Sub-Sector, right under the Praetorian Sons' noses. Agents of the heretical movement along with multiple regiments of Militant Militia under the direct command of the Cardinals were raised along with the dispersing of Ecclesiarchy agents spreading lies and deception throughout the realm. To the Praetorian Sons, unrest and rebellion was springing up out of nowhere until the the Cardinals of Lamia and Salem revealed their allegiance to the Mad Goge Vandire. The realm of Esgarathos was split asunder by Civil War with those loyal to the Imperium being caught on the back foot. Militant Militia and Daughters of the Emperor fell upon Praetor Auxilia Regiments and other loyalist Imperial Guard Regiments with no quarter, destroying large contingents of loyalist forces in the area during the onset of the rebellion. Only the Skitarii Legions of Korin, the full might of the Praetorian Sons Chapter, and a handful of Praetor Auxilia Regiments were left in the wake of the heresy but Chapter Master Lothar wasted no time in launching campaigns of retribution to crush resistance and rebellion.
What had started out as a massive rebellion began to swiftly turn in the favor of the Praetorian Sons once the Astartes were unleashed to aid the Praetor Auxilia. Mechanicum forces marched alongside the Astartes, their ancient pact having been called upon for the Tech-Priests of Korin to honor so as to aid the Chapter in the war. The God Machines of the Titan Legions awoke and marched alongside the resplindent forces of the Praetor Auxilia and the Praetorian Sons with Skitarii Legions standing by their side. Loyalists and rebels clashed throughout the Sub-Sector, the rebels maintaining a stark numerical advantage throughout the war but the Loyalists had the advantage in the Void and in war machines.
The Civil War lasted for 23 years, for despite the Praetorian Sons' advantage with Astartes and the backing of the Mechanicum, the fanaticism of the heretics and traitors was difficult to cull. The culmination of the war would come with the sieges of Lamia and Salem, the bastions of the heresy. These sieges were the most brutal and devastating for both sides, with even the Chapter sustaining numerous losses against these shrine world fortresses defended by the best warriors the rebels had left. Eventually the Chapter and their allies would succeed and crush this rebellion, slaughtering the remainder of the daughters of the Emperor and all Ecclesiarchy personnel. Lamia and Salem would be converted into Fortress Worlds and the creation of the Vigil Operatii would come about as a result of this heresy to ensure that no such heresy can spread throughout the Sub-Sector without the knowledge of the Chapter. The Chapter would begin rebuilding its strength and rebuilding their realm after the costly Civil War that ravaged many worlds of their fiefdom.
Despite the end of the Civil War, the Apostasy of the Ecclesiarchy was still rampant throughout the Imperium and the Chapter would embark on numerous campaigns to aid Imperial forces outside of Esgarathos, though such campaigns were punitive and usually consisted of under strength Companies of the Battleline. The remainder of the Chapter would focus on the rebuilding of their realm and hunting down the last of the Ecclesiarchy rebels throughout the sub-sector. From hence forth, the realm of Esgarathos would slowly but surely become followers of the original Imperial Truth and be rid of the superstitious beliefs of the Imperial Creed. The Chapter would become the bastion of the Imperial Truth and did all in their power to ensure that no such religious superstition crept back into their realm.
M37 Golden Age
With the conclusion of the Civil War and the end of the Age of Apostasy, the Chapter finally saw relative peace and prosperity. The wounds of the wars that ravaged their realm healed and Esgarathos once again became a sub-sector of wealth, beauty, and prosperity. The Praetorian Sons would launch offensive campaigns out of the sub-sector, aiding Imperial Forces elsewhere or launching wars of conquest into the reaches of space not yet under the influence of the Imperium. The Fleet of the Chapter grew mighty and Esgarathos would not see one of her planets under serious threat during this Golden Age of the Chapter. Great fortresses would continue to be built on the various planets and so too would palaces, forges, and numerous other strategic buildings be erected throughout the fiefdom of the Chapter to not only shore up its defenses but keep the people feeling safe.
During this period, most of the Chapter's forces would fight outside of Esgarathos, aiding Imperial forces in various portions of the Imperium when needed. The most notable of these wars would be in the 5th and 7th Black Crusades. The Chapter's warriors would go forth and fight alongside their brothers in arms to fend off these traitors. These would be the first major wars that the Chapter would fight against the Traitor Legions and a deep seeded hatred would fester towards the traitors during these campaigns, like many of their kin. The taint of Chaos, which is not prevalent in Esgarathos or the surrounding regions, and the worshippers of the Dark Pantheon were the anathema to the very traditions and core beliefs of the Chapter and the vision of Guilliman and the Emperor alike. Chaos and its ilk were a blasphemy that the Chapter had never encountered before and from hence forth the Chapter would hold such fanatical hatred towards all Chaos taint that should they ever receive any call for aid against the Traitor Legions or forces of Chaos, the Chapter would always answer.
The Imperial Citizenry of Esgarathos, free and protected from any major incursions or threats, became completely bound to the Chapter, feeling more like citizens of Esgarathos than the wider Imperium due to the growing disdain of the Imperial Creed's influence. They viewed the Chapter as their leaders, not just the Emperor's wrath incarnate like other Imperial citizenry but as their lords and bowed to no one but the Praetorian Sons. Praetora's significance to the Sub-Sector as the Capital of this small empire, a trading hub, and the marshalling ground of the Sub-Sector's military might grew as the Praetorian Sons consolidated power and centralized their realm around their will. Those territories not under the jurisdiction of the Chapter but neighboring the realm would seek their favor and tie themselves either by trade or pact to the Chapter to share in the spoils of the prosperity of Esgarathos. As the prosperity of Esgarathos grew, so too would the power of the nobility of Praetora. The leading families of Praetora would become closely tied to the Chapter, becoming the major source of recruits for the Praetorian Sons as well as the majority of the administrative staff of the Sub-Sector. The vast majority of the Chapter's neophytes would descend from these houses which would number in the hundreds due to the feudal-like system of aristocratic rule of Praetora. For, the Noble Houses of Praetora encompass numerous cadet dynasties which would bear the same name but hoist a different coat of arms.
During the 37th Millennia, trade would grow throughout the period almost exponentially but so too would the animosity of nearby sub-sector and Imperial personnel that refused to be aligned to the Chapter. Despite the growing prosperity of the realm, Esgarathos was seen as a potential threat by those wary of the growing influence of the Chapter. Though many saw the Chapter as a force of good and not doubting their loyalty, there were those that began to wonder if it was wise to allow a Chapter to maintain such a rich and powerful realm without oversight. This speculation was only further exasperated by the lack of the Ecclesiarchy or Imperial Creed within Esgarathos, making it not only that Imperial Officials and Officers grew to distrust the Chapter, but it also caught the eye of the Inquisition. However, because the Chapter was the legitimate lord of the Sub-Sector by order of the High Lords, no outside force attempted to make their opinions known in the Public sphere nor sought to rebuke the Chapter for their atheistic ways. For, there was no hint of heresy from the Chapter, rather their record showed that they were warriors of the highest moral fiber and highly devoted to the Imperium and its defense. The few voices that whispered about the potential threat of the Chapter would be suppressed and ignored, but never silenced.
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. They would lead numerous crusades and campaigns into xenos and heretic held systems and worlds, crushing their foes with blade and bolter. Their erstwhile allies, the Lions of Ultramar would rejoin them during this period, having been deployed in the West for the past two Millennia to aid in the defense against Chaos.
The Twin Chapters of the 18th would wage countless wars to both defend Esgarathos and destroy potential and real threats to the Imperium. However, even with the might of two full Chapters, Esgarathos suffered tremendously during this period and the Praetorian Sons would slowly but surely be ground down by the attrition of war. Yet, by the end of M40, the Praetorian Sons and the realm of Esgarathos would finally find peace, a time to catch their breath and rebuild once more. Though, this peace would not last and M41 would prove to be an even more trying time for the Chapter and their people than even these previous 3 Millennia proved to be.
M41 The End of Times
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 Lucianus Payne 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. Yet, in the face of these grave threats, the Chapter's greatest heroes would emerge as warriors such as Cleomones Decius, Obidias Brutus, Demetrius Brutus, and others would rise to lead their brothers against the tide of darkness. However, these warriors are but men and what can men do against such darkness alone?
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 Chapter's warriors across the galaxy, fighting for those people they had no duty to defend and when they called for aid they were abandoned. For thousands of years the Praetorian Sons fought alongside their kin and not once had they faltered to aid them yet in their own time of need their kin did not come to their aid.
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. After 7 Millennia of following the Codex-Astartes and devoting themselves to the Imperium, the Praetorian Sons have broken their ties to the wider Imperium, feeling betrayed and alone. The Chapter has gone renegade.
M42 Rebirth of a Legion
The Praetorian Sons are a renegade Chapter, fending off multiple xenos incursions into their realm. Battles are being waged in every system they hold vile xenos. The Fall of Cadia and the emergence of the Great Rift would cut Esgarathos off from the rest of the realm of Ultramar and be blinded to the guiding light of the Astronomicon, making Warp Travel extremely perilous and adding new enemies to their list of foes, the Traitor Legions.
Chapter Master Cleomenes has expanded the gene-seed implantation and recruitment into the Praetorian Sons to compensate for the losses the Chapter is enduring. In fact, Chapter Master Cleomones intends to recreate the Ultramarines Legion under his command. This is in part because of his obsession of the Astartes Legions of old but it is also due to him being unsure whether anything south of the Great Rift still remains and, therefore, he has decided it is up to himself and his Chapter to rebuild the Imperium.
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. Interestingly, the Great Rift is both a gift and a curse for the Praetorian Sons. It has resulted in the rest of the Imperium believing Sub-Sector Esgarathos having become lost in the Warp, making it so that no Imperial Forces would arrive to the Sub-Sector any time soon, until it is discovered that the Sub-Sector still stands. It has also destroyed the incoming Tyranid Hive Fleet Hydra and ended the Tau's expansion into Esgarathos. However, now the Chapter is engulfed in a war against the Children of Barbarus and their allies along with fighting against xenos threats to the north and the emerging Necron threat to the West.
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. Whilst wars are waged across the Sub-Sector, Cornelius Payne and the officers of the Chapter's Apothecarion are working tirelessly to add warriors to their Chapter's ranks with the enhanced Gene-Seed cultivation and implantation into Neophytes, creating fully fledged Astartes at much greater speeds than before. The usage of Scouts has been abandoned and now Neophytes rise immediately to fully fledged battle brothers to join the fray against the foes of the Chapter.
- M32 Liberation of Ullysarius
- M35 War for Korin -
- M35 Hrud Rising -
- Age of Apostasy:
- M36 Subjugation of Salem -
- M36 Siege of Lamia -
- 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 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 pillaged and enslaved. He would scorch multiple planets and evaded 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 Scipio Julianus 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 Scipio Julianus 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 Lucianus Payne 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 - News of a new xenos threat emerging from the Eastern Fringes of the galaxy reached the Praetorian Sons Chapter late in the 41st Millennium from their primogenitors the Ultramarines. After the destruction of Tyran, the Praetorian Sons would send its 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 8th, and 9th Companies to fight alongside their cousins on Ultramar. Chapter Master Cleomenes would personally lead the warriors of his Chapter on Maccragge but handed overall command of his forces over to Marneus Calgar, who would use his warriors alongside the Cobalt Blue Ultramarines. The ensuing battle against the Tyrannids would be devastating for all present upon the planet but the Imperial Forces were victorious in the end despite the tremendous casualties they endured. Cleomenes and his warriors fought a skirmish war against the Tyrannids, slowing down their advance upon various cities so as to buy time for Imperial forces to further fortify their positions. They succeeded in buying time for their allies but paid a dear price for what they gained. The Praetorian Sons lost over 300 of their battle brothers, Cleomenes himself sustaining multiple wounds but the loss of so many battle brothers weighed heavily on his heart and affected him far more than his wounds. The Praetorian Sons would part with their primogenitors in good terms but the lack of recognition for their actions and the losses they endured for the Ultramarines deeply hurt Cleomenes and the warriors who fought at his side. The First Tyrannic War would mark a shift in the way the Praetorian Sons viewed the Imperium and their role in it.
- M41 The Awakening - Just over a century after the First Tyrannic War, the Praetorian Sons encountered a new foe, one which they were not prepared to fight. Still reeling from the casualties they endured on Maccragge, news came from the System of Naxium that xenos were ravaging the settlements and smaller foundries of the Forge World of Meandra. The Praetorian Sons would send the 8th Company to investigate when the Magos Consul requested the Chapter's intervention. Soon after the 8th made planetfall, it became apparent that this was not some minor xenos raiders but infact one of the new xenos threats that began emerging over the past century. Necron Legions began to pour forth from caverns all across the planet, clashing with Skitarii Maniples and the Titan Legion on the planet. The 8th immediately requested aid as they fought alongside the green and golden clad Skitarii maniples against the bronze mechanical terrors. It soon became apparent that the planet of Meandra was no mere Tomb World but was, infact, a Crown World of the awakening Necron Dynasty Ihm'Hek'Tarra. Endless undead legions of Necrons poured forth from the Tombs, accompanied by vast warmachines and many of the dynasty's elite warriors. Reports from the entire system reached the Chapter that tens of thousands of sentient machines were slaughtering all Imperial forces and citizens and the forces of the Mechanicum, Imperial Guard, and PDF had no hope of stopping them. The entirety of both the Lions of Ultramar and the Praetorian Sons Chapters marched to war and for seven long years, campaigns across the 6 planets in the Naxium system were fought. Despite the pleas for aid, no external Imperial forces answered the call of Cleomenes and in the waning of the seventh year of the war, the final Imperial foothold within the Naxium System had been overrun. Naxium had been lost and both Chapters suffered grievously in the conflict.
- M41 3rd War for Esgarathos
- M41 Hive Fleet Hydra
- M42 Plague Wars
- M42 Necron Wars
- M42 Indomitus Crusade
Realm of Esgarathos
The Realm of Esgarathos or as it is also known, sub-sector Esgarathos is the personal fiefdom of the Praetorian Sons Chapter. It is similar to that of Sub-Sector Ultramar in that all its resources are allocated to the Chapter's uses and it is the Praetorian Sons' charge to defend. Esgarathos is located to the galactic North of Ultramar at the very edge of Guilliman's Empire within the Imperium. It is a small cluster of systems fairly isolated from the rest of Ultramar and along the border of both the Tau and outer reaches of the Imperium's grasp in the region. It is a wealthy area of space and is considered vital to the defense of the northern border of Ultramar from xenos and pirate threats from the north and a way to contain the Tau and avoid their expansion towards the Ghoul Stars. Originally, the Chapter had sole rule over their home planet of Praetora, however, with growing threats from xenos and renegades the High Lords saw fit to place the sub-sector under the Praetorian Sons' protection.
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 capital of their realm of Esgarathos. Praetora is considered to be a paradise civilized 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 white 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 too 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 protect her if the formidable naval forces orbiting the planet 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 awe-inspiring yet fierce. The Fortress is of elegant and intricate architecture, built with many columns supporting a large quantity of the buildings which house 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 reliquaries being but a few. 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 Praetorian Auxilia and the Praetorian Sons to marshal their full military might.
The Praetorian Auxilia are the elite human defense forces of planets vital within the Sub-Sector. The worlds under the direct authority of a Tetrarch of the Chapter maintain these Auxilia. The reason Astartes are not garrisoned is because the Chapter's forces are better utilized as a rapid strike and rapid response force throughout the Sub-Sector but to trust standard PDF troops to defend such vital planets would also be fool hardy. The remainder of the worlds in the Sub-Sector maintain their own PDF since it would be considered a waste of resources to establish such a force on worlds of little importance to the region or Chapter. The Auxilia are solely used as defensive troops to ensure the defense of Esgarathos so as to not defy the order of the High Lords of Terra. These PDF regiments are trained under the direct supervision of some of the Chapter's Astartes to ensure that these troops are of the highest quality and can hold their own during a major conflict until the Chapter's forces arrive. They act as the first line of defense should an enemy of man make planet fall and they utilize combined arms tactics. These regiments are tasked with suppressing revolts or rebellions along with prosecuting minor conflicts such as planetary civil wars without Astartes help. However, the Praetorian Sons will come to their aid should a significant threat be seen to the sub-sector and will be under the direct command of the commanding Astartes in such cases.
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.
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|
Special Ranks ******
- Tetrarch - Utilizing the title of the ancient Realm of Ultramar, Tetrarchs within the Chapter are Officers charged with the administration of a planet or system within Sub-Sector Esgarathos. The number of Tetrarchs varies depending on the state of the Sub-Sector and its needs. To hold the title of Tetrarch is the second highest honor a Battle Brother of the Praetorian Sons can achieve, just short of being granted the title of Chapter Master. To be a Tetrarch is to be recognized as being a supreme administrator, diplomat, strategist, and loyal warrior who has garnered the trust and favor of the Praetorian Sons' leadership. The title of Tetrarch is not for life however and officers will be changed cycled in and out of positions so that their martial abilities are not dulled by bureaucracy and administration.
- Vigil Operative - Vigil Operatives are agents of the Chapter who oversee the Vigilatus Operatii, the Chapter's shadow organization formed to deal with enemies of the Imperium and the Chapter who have infiltrated the Sub-Sector. The Chapter despises the Inquisition and does not trust those unhinged dogs of the High Lords to make safe their realm and so the Chapter created its own internal organization to deal with such enemies. Those neophytes who survived the failed the implantation process due to minor genetic deficiencies but have proven their undying loyalty to the Chapter are majority of the Vigil Operatives. The Vigil Operatives would be noted as large men, for they would have been augmented to have enhanced muscle growth and various other Astartes "grade" biochemistry depending on what stage of implantation their bodies rejected the Gene-Seed. However, they are not so large as to match an Astartes and therefore they can go into human society without so much as a second look. They are meant to blend in and act as the eyes and ears of the Chapter as well as taking covert action when the Astartes of the Chapter have no jurisdiction to or would cause a scandal to do so. These operatives have a thankless duty but it is by their hand that the Chapter can enjoy the relative stability of their realm without needing to worry about heresy or threats fomenting under their very noses. These agents answer directly to the Chapter Master and the Chief Librarian and the true extent of their existence and service is known only to Captains and Masters of the Chapter. Battle Brothers of the Chapter know that the Chapter maintains a number of Chapter Serfs whose role is to act as spies but they know little else regarding the role these men play in the safety of their realm.
- Honor Guard - The Chapter's Honor Guard are veterans of the Chapter's 1st Company who have been seconded as the bodyguards of an officer of the Chapter. The Honor Guard have full access to the Chapter's armory just as they would due to being warriors of the 1st and arm themselves so as to best defend the officer whose life they are charged to protect. Common is the sight of Storm Shields and power weapons since many foes of Mankind attempt to slay officers of the Chapter in close combat due to the either pride, pleasures, or even sport. It is the Honor Guards' job to stand between his lord and the enemy, giving his life if need be to defend his brother. Long lists of honored dead have served as Honor Guards, valiantly giving their lives to protect their officers.
- Invictarii - The Invictarii are an elite bodyguard introduced by Chapter Master Cleomones which are inspired by the days of the Ultramarines Legion of old. They make up the Chapter Master's personal bodyguard and are the finest warriors of the Chapter, having been personally chosen by Cleomones himself from the Champions and Veterans of the Chapter. Eight members fill the ranks of the Invictarii and wherever they are found then one knows that their charge is not far off, for they must stay within 13 metres of his person so as to ensure his safety. These warriors are each are granted a specially made suit of artificer armor, replications of the Suzerain Invictarus suites from ages past, as well as master-crafted power axes, pale replicas of the Legatine Axes of the Ultramarine's Chapter. They are not the famed warriors of old they are meant to represent but they are mighty in their own right and only a fool would ever underestimate their ability.
- Tyrannic Veterans - These men are veterans of the First Tyrannic War and have been given special weapons and armor to deal with Tyrannid threats. These few warriors are the survivors of the Tyrannic War upon Macragge and they are part of specialist squads attached to the 1st Company. They are typically armed with Sternguard Pattern Bolters but utilize Hellfire bolt shells most often, even when not fighting Tyrannids. They are also typically seen utilizing Praetor blades, short power swords forged by the Chapter's Techmarines upon Praetora.
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 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 Chapters. By the time an aspirant 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.
Deathwatch Service: *******
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 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 battlefield.
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 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 die from his wounds next to his wounded liege whilst gripping the blade firmly in hand. 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 is a golden pair of wings 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 is a crimson red leather that is wrapped around the golden steel.
The Praetorian Sons' Fleet is not grand like some Chapters, though it is mighty in its own right. The anchor to their naval power is the Emperor Class Battleship that serves as the Chapter's Flagship: the Esgarathos. This ancient vessel can trace its service to the Great Crusade and has served as the Chapter's primary warship for the entirety of its existence. Despite the relatively small fleet, the Chapter maintains numerous supply vessels, transport ships, and support ships that aid in logistics of both the Chapter's Astartes as well as the Praetorian Militia in defense of Sub-Sector Esgarathos.
[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
[Praetora's Vengeance] - Battle Barge
[Iron Wrath] - Strike Cruiser
[Disciple] - Strike Cruiser
[Divination] - Strike Cruiser
[Praetora's Honor] - Strike Cruiser
[Aquilla] - Strike Cruiser
The Praetorian Sons can be considered fanatical followers of the Codex-Astartes but are also followers of the Imperial Truth. Despite the fanaticism of the Chapter's adherence to Guilliman's mandates, the Chapter is not religious like the Black Templars or superstitious like the Space Wolves. However, there is a sense of devotion beyond simple respect to Guilliman that few consider to be slightly more 'zealous' that usual. This is not seen as a problem by most of the Imperium for Guilliman is regarded as almost divine himself by the Ecclesiarchy but some fear that this reverence of Guilliman might somehow interfere with the Chapter's dedication to the Imperium as a whole. However, nothing in the Praetorian Sons' long history has proven any disloyalty to the Imperium or its ideals. It was only in the most recent of catastrophes wherein the Praetorian Sons seceded from the Imperium did those critics find bitter-sweet resolution in their suspicions. But, the Great Rift, onslaught by xenos, 13th Black Crusade, and the Plague Wars have kept most of the Imperium far too busy to deal with these traitors or understand why such seemingly loyal Astartes would turn their backs on the Imperium when the Empire needed them most. In fact, most of the Imperium does not know of the Chapter's secession and these warriors are considered to be still some of the most loyal warriors to the Imperium by those that do not know of their treachery.
Like other Astartes Chapters, the Praetorian Sons adorn their armor in sacred parchment, scriptures, and relics. 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 Codex-Astartes or quotes and sayings of the Chapter that have been preserved throughout the millennia. They also sport chains of devotions on their arms, weapons, and chest. Tattoos of various sayings and of the Codex are also extremely common.
What is quite strange is that the Chapter venerates Guilliman to near God-like status. His word is regarded in a manner as a zealot would view divine mandate and therefore the Chapter adheres completely to the Codex Astartes. All Guilliman's works and dreams have forever shaped this Chapter, his ideals of the perfect sons who are well rounded in all aspects have molded the Chapter to the point that they are so fanatical in their attempts to be perfect, the Chapter is similar to the Pre-Heresy Emperor's Children in their personality; appearing arrogant, aloof, and pompous to outsiders. However, the Chapter's Battle Brothers are not so, they appear as such because they are holding themselves to the standard of a Primarch, one that expects them to be as versatile and expert in all fields as he. They aren't just warriors, they must be artisans, politicians, logisticians, administrators, judges, architects, planners, and so on. This is an impossible standard for even the Astartes to hope to achieve yet the warriors of the Praetorian Sons hold themselves to such a standard despite this. Guilliman fought and was laid low, his vision for the future of Mankind threatened to be extinguished. Now it rests upon the Praetorian Sons and the other successor Chapters of Guilliman to carry on the sacred duty of seeing his vision through. It is this vision that was the groundwork that some in the Chapter used to convince their brothers that secession was the only way to save Guilliman's vision.
The Chapter is unaware of Guilliman's return, for they are busy fighting against xenos and traitors within their realm as well as dealing with loyalist Astartes Chapters bearing down on them. Should word that Guilliman has been resurrected reach the Chapter, it is likely that either the Chapter will itself undergo a civil war regarding the fate of the Chapter and how they should proceed.
Many of the Ultramarine traditions have been carried on by the Chapter, for the Praetorian Sons see themselves as brothers to the Ultramarines, not descendants. They believe themselves to be of equal rank when it comes to their lineage to Guilliman and that they only differ from their kin in name alone. In reality, this is in fact true, however they are not seen as such by the wider Imperium and this has resulted in a level of internal resentment by the Chapter. Few would ever consider the Chapter as equal to the famed Ultramarines in "rank" and various Chapter Masters of the Praetorian Sons have felt scorned by their kin when they felt they were not being treated as subordinates rather than equals. Resentment towards their "primogenitors" has festered within the Chapter but to any outsider such a state of mind is all but unnoticeable. Even the Ultramarines were unaware of such growing resentment by their kin since such opinions were to be kept within the Chapter.
Like the Ultramarines, the Praetorian Sons have a mixed reputation amongst the other Astartes Chapters. Those more 'barbaric' and war-minded see their self-imposed standards as pure arrogance and a waste of precious resources. Yet, there is grudging respect even from the most critical of outsiders, for the Praetorian Sons have been able to defend their realm with a vigilance and determination as well as having come to fight alongside numerous allies when they were called upon.
Word of the secession of the Chapter under the mighty Cleomones was received by many with great surprise and disbelief. The Praetorian Sons had been renowned for their self-sacrifice and devotion to the Imperium and now they turn their backs to the very Imperium they fought for thousands of years. Few believed that such an even could be possible but with the 13th Black Crusade, the Fall of Cadia, and the Great Rift appearing, the Imperium appears to truly be the dying empire the Praetorian Sons consider it and some have wondered whether the Praetorian Sons might be right in their rebellion.
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 Crimson Battle Plate and Pauldrons with Silver Trim and golden lenses. Each Company follows the Codex's coloring and so the Praetorian Sons' companies each have a unique trim for their pauldrons.
Officers and veterans are known to make use of extensive amounts of gold and silver to decorate their armor. Officer and Veteran helms maintain a high degree of personal decoration, winged helms, horse-tail plumes, gold plating, and so on are common sights. Pride in one's appearance is an underlying belief of the Chapter. It is expected of Battle Brothers holding positions of office within the ranks to maintain the most adornment upon their armor to not only mark them out on the field of battle but have lesser men acknowledge their superiority without even needing to utter a word, including other Astartes. This fact has been noted as an example of the Chapter's hubris and arrogance from their cousins, especially those who would consider themselves neither friends nor allies of the Praetorian Sons.
Notable Battle Brothers
- Chapter Master Cleomones - Cleomones is the current Chapter Master of the Praetorian Sons Chapter........