- "Damnation, for the Dark Gods!"
- — Sons of Damnation battle-cry
The Sons of Damnation are a mysterious renegade Space Marine Chapter of unknown Founding and origin. Formerly known as the Sanctors of Lightrim, this Chapter was founded to guard against the threat of the Traitor Legions attacking the Nosgothica Sector from the nearby Eye of Terror. The Sanctors were once counted amongst the most stalwart defenders of mankind. But the insidious threat of Chaos wrapped its corrupting tendrils around the very soul of the Chapter, instilling within the Sanctors' lore-seeking brethren, an unnatural craving for forbidden knowledge. Their betrayal began when they began using the power of Chaos on unwilling human test slaves, turning them into possessed horrors. They believed that only by utilising the very power of Chaos would one be able to ever truly defeat it. Alas, the Chapter overreached themselves, and soon their struggle to turn the dark powers of the Chaos Gods against themselves and their servants for the good of humanity, drove the Sanctors down a much darker path. Their views became twisted by the Dark Gods, who instilled within them an insatiable lust for acquiring power. Soon the Chapter came to believe that only through darkness would one be able to achieve this ultimate power.
Not long after, the Sanctors became wholly corrupted. They came to disdain those who did not have the courage to use the powers of the Warp, claiming that the power of Chaos was a weapon like any other, and that the myriad evils that threatened to engulf the galaxy merited its use. They wished to utilise Chaos to instill a new order upon the galaxy. However, their activities soon drew the unwanted attention of the Inquisition, which resulted in the Sanctors ultimately being declared Excommunicate Traitoris by the Ordo Hereticus. The surviving Sons fled into the relative safety of the Eye of Terror, where they continue their dark pursuits in acquiring ultimate power.
- "Thou shalt not consult the dismal texts...
Thou shalt not take up the tool of the damned...
Thou shalt not summon the daemon...
Thou shalt not turn your hand upon your brother..."
- — From the Ordo Hereticus' Liber Radicalis
Originally designated the Sanctors of Lightrim, it is thought the Sons of Damantion were created during an unstated Space Marine Founding sometime during the latter years of the Age of Apostasy. This event would have occurred sometime during the second century of the 36th Millennium, though Imperial records of events during this strife-torn period are notoriously ambiguous and difficult to uncover. Fragmentary records gleaned from long lost data-vaults speak of a foreboding time when there was a sudden rise in the number of daemonic incursions. A number of Chapters were created to help stem the tide of the daemonic threat. Many of these Chapters were placed at strategically vital points, throughout multiple systems, surrounding the Eye of Terror to guard against this dire threat. Along with the Sanctors, other Chapters such as the Invokers and the Relictors are also believed to have been created at this time.
The Sanctors of Lightrim became sentinels over the worlds of the Nosgothica Sector located to the galactic north of the Segmentum Obscurus, to guard against both Traitor Legion incursions and daemonic attack. Claiming the world of Lightrim as their Chapter homeworld, the Sanctors built their fortress-monastery, the Light of Truth, upon the planet's tallest mountain range. An exceptionally monastic Chapter in character, the Sanctors were known for being dedicated to the scholarly arts as to the ways of war. As true warrior-monks, they were assiduous in studying the teachings of the Emperor, the Primarchs, and Malcador the Sigillite. Over millennia of their existence they penned several tomes that they continuously added to their fortress-monastery's vast librarium. This attention to the wise words of these and numerous other important figures in Imperial history help them become masters of both the scholarly arts and the ways of war. The Sanctors often used their keen intellects as a weapon as sharp as their blades which saw them listed in the annals of Imperial history on many occasions, having taken part in many glorious victories.
The Path to Hell
It is not known exactly when the Sanctors began their fall from grace, but the path to damnation is rarely one set upon with deliberate intent. Over their centuries of service, many within the Sanctors came to the realisation that to illuminate the recesses of the universe one should not simply cast out the shadows, but to come to understand what truly resides in the dark corners. First and foremost, the Sanctors were seekers of knowledge and had compiled, over many centuries, a substantial repository of forbidden lore relating to the Warp and the Ruinous Powers. Continuously beset by the Forces of Chaos, little by little, step-by-step, the Sanctors' methods and outlooks changed. At first, only minor doctrinal compromises were made. Then Imperial law began to be interpreted by supposed intent. Forbidden texts were soon being consulted, and the sibilant words of summoned daemons were heeded. Before they were even aware of the path they were walking, the Sanctors were already being shunned by some of their previously loyal fellow Chapters.
But at what point in all the Sanctors' service, were they faced with a course of action that they knew to be questionable? For many Imperial scholars, such a realisation came to the Sanctors long after their peers had seen the rot setting in. Most likely, this first compromise occurred in 441.M41, during the campaign known as the Battle of Old. A vitally important mining world, Old was beset upon by a large warband of the Black Legion. The Sanctors were forced to hold off a substantial force of Chaos Space Marines bolstered by daemonic allies. Due to atmospheric interference, the Sanctor forces on the ground were unable to raise their vessels in orbit. Cut off and surrounded on all sides, the outlook looked bleak for the Imperial defenders, as they were faced inevitable annihilation. Reports are unclear as to what exactly occurred after this point, but miraculously, the Sanctors managed to snatch a decisive victory from the jaws of defeat, driving the Forces of Chaos from the planet. Only much later, following their excommunication, would Inquisitorial investigations reveal that the Sanctors' so-called 'miracle' was only achieved through dark means - by utilising the powers of the Warp itself.
It is human nature to desire power, be it power over themselves, their fellow man, or the world around them. The Ruinous Powers exploit this desire with Dark Pacts and unnatural gifts. These corrupted individuals, in turn, seek to increase their capacity for warp-craft by creating items designed to draw upon the power of the warp directly, without the need for extended rituals. Some go a step further, calling forth servants of Chaos and binding them into a human host to create daemonic weapons of great and terrible power. The Sanctors had become obsessed with the attainment of such ultimate power. Their continuous battles against the never ending tide of Chaos had opened their eyes to the truth - the Imperium was a cesspool of decadence and corruption. Humanity was rife with avarice, lust, and murder - a product of the four Chaos Gods' baleful influence - which had corrupted mankind throughout their long and violent history. The Sanctors had come to the conclusion that only by taming the powers of Chaos, one could harness such power and use it to defeat itself. The Sanctors also believed that the powers of the Warp could be bound to their will and put to use in the Imperium's service.
Only through such change could the Imperium hope to prosper, and in order to do so, it would need those with the foresight and strength of will to shepherd the masses of humanity into the dawn of a new era of glory. In order to achieve these lofty aims, the Sanctors delved deeply into their vast repository of forbidden lore kept within their Chapter's vast librarium. Contained within ancient tomes were found a staggering wealth of dark and forbidden knowledge. Most dangerous of all was the Sanctors' collection of so-called Dismal Texts - those ancient and forbidden tomes that described the beasts of the Warp, naming them and imparting the rituals by which they might be summoned. But alas, such baleful tomes radiate fell power, and whisper vile untruths to those who open their pages, almost as if possessed of some malefic intelligence. Even to touch such a tome was to court damnation.
Of all their many crimes they would commit, the Sanctors' most heinous was the summoning and conversing with daemons. In the course of their duties, the Chapter often faced such creatures, and had come to the conclusion that in order to combat them, they must seek knowledge of their foe. For the Sanctors, the daemon became another tool to be used against the enemies of mankind. The Sanctors purposely sought to entrap daemons and bind them to their service. The most hideous way in which this was achieved was by the deliberate possession of a living victim, accomplished by way of a forbidden ritual that created what is known as a daemonhost. Without a doubt, these vile abominations would be one of their Chapter's most powerful weapons within their arsenal. For those who would use the fell powers of the warp to achieve their goals, there is little that is more tantalizing than the thought of having a daemon bound to do one's bidding. However, the daemon is capricious, malicious, and above all, the daemon is a liar and deceiver. To create such an abomination, the Sanctors had to procure dangerous tomes full of such proscribed knowledge, as well as victims to serve as hosts. These actions alone would be enough to condemn them unto death and damnation in the eyes of the Inquisition.
Campaign of Damnation
The Sanctors of Lightrim embarked on a Crusade to explore the worlds around the Eye of Terror to uncover more Chaotic tomes. In 448.M41, the Chapter launched a campaign into the Aomra Sector, a benighted region of space that had formerly been a part of the wider Imperium, but was now a haven for Chaos cultists, brigands, outcasts and Renegade Warbands - the latter which had ruled this region for many long decades with an iron fist. The Sanctors did not launch this campaign with any good intentions - for they intended to use this expedition to raid the few human settled worlds that remained in order to acquire new recruits for their Chapter. They especially desired to obtain those with psychic potential that had given themselves over to the raw power of the Warp. The Sanctors looked for those that teetered on the brink of complete damnation and being drawn into the thrall of dark and thirsting gods. Though fraught with great risk and peril, the power that could be achieved by helping these tainted individuals further to the warp was immense. Despite the dangers of cultivating such raw warp power, it was a risk the Sanctors willingly took in order to put the abilities of these potential Aspirants to work for the ultimate good of the Imperium. To achieve their goal, the Sanctors assaulted the so-called Runic Worlds, located deep within this tainted region. Utilising their knowledge of prescience and foresight granted to them through the use of the Ruinous Powers, they were able to launch surprise lightning assaults within the midst of many Renegade Warbands' and Chaos cults' fell places of power, killing the majority of their foes, and then disappearing through summoned Warp portals with their foes' former captive stock of slaves.
These dangerous potential candidates were then brought back to the Sanctors' fortress-monastery on Lightrim. Here, the Aspirants were put through grueling and dangerous trials in order to assess their worthiness. Those with the greatest psychic potential were further tested by the Chapter's Librarians to determine their abilities and potency in the use of the Warp. Those that survived these brutal ordeals were further trained by the Sanctors to control their innate abilities and implanted with the Chapter's gene-seed. By introducing such dangerously powerful psychic individuals into their pool of Neophytes, the Sanctors intended to cultivate their psychic potential to be used by future generations of Battle-Brothers, thus creating the perfect walking weapons against the manifold threats that they must confront and to become masters of the raw power of the Warp.
Renegades of the Dark Gods
Within a few decades, the required submission of the Sanctors' gene-seed tithe to the Magos Inviglia of the Adeptus Mechanicus became infrequent and incomplete. This occurrence wasn't uncommon, particularly amongst those Space Marine Chapters deployed on the fringes of the Imperium's borders or on crusade. At first this was initially not a cause for concern, but as the omission persisted, this raised red flags with the Mechanicus that some dark motive was at work. This would later prove to be true with the Sanctors, as evidence later indicated. To further their designs of conquest of grandeur, their Chapter Master Colmev'um sought to expand his forces into a force equal of the Legiones Astartes of old. Further Inquisitorial investigations would later uncover that the Sanctors' Apothecarion were conducting heretical experiments in rapid zygote cultivation, and though largely unsuccessful, the Sanctors of Lightrim's numbers would eventually stand around an estimated 2,500 Astartes strong.
The Sanctors continued their raids on isolated Imperial worlds and shipping in order to acquire more host candidates for their daemonic-possession experiments. These small-scale raids went unnoticed at first, but soon reports began to filter back to Segmentum command of Renegade Astartes, bearing the livery of the Sanctors, were the ones responsible for these attacks. An Inquisitorial representative, Inquisitor Morum Fel, was sent to Lightrim to investigate the allegations against the Sanctors Chapter and to search for any signs of potential corruption. Inquisitor Fel was shocked by what he found. The Sanctors no longer wore their orginal sable and orange livery. They now wore dark grey and crimson colours on their battle-plate. But troubling of all, was that they now decorated their armour with strange eldritch runes, etched sigils and engraved hexagrammic wards. During the course of his investigation Inquisitor Fel quickly uncovered the perfidy of the Sanctors, but mysteriously disappeared shortly thereafter.
One of Inquisitor Fel's comrades, Inquisitor Tobias Von Göeben, received a coded communiqué from Fel just before his disappearance and was shocked by the allegations his colleague labeled against the Sanctors - consorting with daemons, harbouring forbidden knowledge, taking up the weapons of the cursed, and Legion building. Inquisitor Von Göeben immediately set course for the world of Lightrim with a strike force comprised of 100 Imperial Storm Troopers. He would discover Fel's fate and if possible, stamp out the root of the Sanctors' heresy. Von Göeben would discover for himself, whether or not the accusations were true, and if indeed the Sanctors were corrupt, determine their fate. When he arrived on Lightrim the Inquisitor soon had his answer, in the form of Morum Fel, now wholly given over, body and soul, to the corrupting influence of the Ruinous Powers. The fallen Inquisitor utilised his newfound dark powers, Fel summoned a cadre of lesser daemons to tear the interlopers apart and feast on their souls. Outnumbered and outmatched, Von Göeben was forced to order a fighting withdrawal back to his ship. Fighting a bloody, one-sided battle, only the Inquisitor and ten Storm Troopers made it back to the vessel. Beating a hasty retreat, Von Göeben vowed to bring the holy wrath of the Inquisition upon Fel and his traitorous allies.
Second Campaign of Damnation
- "Today we have been beset upon by those who we once called 'brothers'. We have been betrayed by all that we once held dear. No longer will be lapdogs to an uncaring and despotic Imperium! We are Sanctors no longer...for we are damned. We are the 'Sons of Damnation', and we serve a higher power. Blood will have blood, and we shall have our revenge!"
- — Self-proclaimed 'Tyrant' Kel'thuzad, during the Second Campaign of Damnation
Inquisitor Tobias Von Göeben quickly reported his findings back to his Inquisitorial Conclave, and soon thereafter, a High Conclave was called. This was a gathering of Inquisitors who called on the authority of one or more Inquisitor Lords. When the High Conclave was finally convened, Inquisitor Von Göeben presented the evidence against the Sanctors of Lightrim Chapter - consorting with the daemon, harbouring forbidden knowledge, taking up the weapons of the cursed, and self-aggrandisement. The Presidor quickly came to a decision and rendered a verdict - guilty. The Sanctors were deemed Extremis Diabolus, having trafficked with the daemon, were most likely under the influence of the Ruinous Powers, and openly practicing forbidden arts and heresy against the Emperor. A retribution Crusade, led by the Ordo Malleus, would immediately be despatched to Lightrim to ensure the eradication of the renegade Chapter. And so, the Inquisitorial Conclave requested assistance from the Adeptus Astartes. Their call to arms was immediately answered by three Space Marine Chapters - the Astral Claws, Bone Reapers and Void Ravens Chapters. The retribution Crusade was further augmented by several Imperial Guard regiments from the Blackhope Raiders. When the Imperial forces finally arrived at Lightrim, they were able to land their surface forces unmolested. As they made their way through the rugged mountain pass they were on their guard, expecting a hostile response from the Sanctors Chapter - an attack that never came. Eventually the loyalist forces arrived at a valley overlooked by the Sanctors' fortress-monastery, which was perched on the top of the planet's highest peak. The only way to reach their destination was through a narrow pass, which forced their armoured formations to bunch up into single file - a perfect place for an ambush. As they approached the pass, the loyalists encountered a large gathering of indigenous forces, which at first appearance, was thought to be Frateris Militia. These were irregular forces comprised of the masses of the Imperial Cult's most zealous faithful who often gathered to fight to fight for the God-Emperor against the enemies of mankind. But in reality, this rabble were comprised of Chaos Cultists, who had given their hearts and souls to the Dark Gods.
With a large roar, the Chaos Cultists let loose a volley of heavy weapons fire against the approaching loyalist forces. Across the verdant valley, battle was quickly joined on both sides, as warriors and armoured vehicles fought a vicious battle that saw casualties on both sides. Though the cultist forces outnumbered the loyalists by tens of thousands, they were no match for the ferocity of the Blackhope Raider Regiments and transhuman Astartes, who tore into the ranks of the mortal warriors, and rent them asunder with deadly bolter and blade. The ranks of the enemy forces contained many tainted psykers that wielded the powers of the Warp, granted to them by their fallen Astartes masters. Though they initially reaped a fearful tally with their powerful psychic abilities, they were countered by the powerful Librarians of the loyalist Space Marine Chapters. As the battle raged for many hours, the three Space Marine Chapters finally reached the capital city of Gloryrim. In order to reach the Sanctors' fortress-monastery, they would have to fight their way through the Chaos corrupted city. And so, the Astral Claws and Bone Reapers elite 1st Companies were deployed in a lightning assault as the Void Ravens, acting as outriders, created conditions of all-consuming chaos amongst the enemy's ranks, sowing confusion by eliminating key officers, positions and assets. This opened the way for the Terminator armoured veterans to approach the heavily fortified city unmolested. Over a period of four hours, the entirety of the city was purged of the Chaotic taint. This event would come to be known as 'The Dark Purging'.
Following the successful cleansing of the city, the Darkhope Regiments stayed behind to provide security, as well as providing medical aid to any civilians caught in the crossfire. Evacuation protocols were then enacted to move any civilians away from the frontlines. The Darkhope Raiders also ensured that those few Chaos corrupted survivors that escaped the Astartes' vengeful purge, were executed so that they could not spread their taint. The three loyalist Chapters pressed on, making their way to the base of the mountain citadel of the Sanctors, arriving at the ruins of ancient temples at the base of the mountain. Unfortunately, the Sanctors had reached the temples first, and digging themselves in, in highly defensible positions, caught the loyalist forces in a deadly crossfire. The Sanctors reaped a brutal tally, killing a large number of loyalists as they attempted to approach the temple entrances. The loyalists' superior numbers counted for nothing due to the narrow approach, which forced them to close ranks to only two-abreast. The Sanctors brutal 2nd Company Captain Kel'thuzad, led the defense against the encroaching Imperial forces, biding time for his Chapter Master Colmev'um to enact a dark ritual in order to achieve apotheosis as a Daemon Prince. Once completed, the loyalist forces would then face the nigh unstoppable form of an immortal avatar of the Dark Gods. But Kel'thuzad was ambitious and had other plans, for he wished to take Colmev'um's place and ascend as the chosen favorite of the Ruinous Powers.
Enacting his plan, Kel'thuzad abandoned his position and ordered a tactical withdrawal. As they pulled back, the Sanctors collapsed the subterranean tunnels with high explosives, in order to buy themselves more time. Now the loyalists' only approach would be an aerial strike. Kel'thuzad made his way quickly to the top of the mountain to the Chapter's renamed fortress-monastery, the Master's Domain, where he came upon Colmev'um about to complete his blasphemous ritual. Kel'thuzad desired power for himself. He no longer wished to be shackled as a servant to someone else. With both the Chaos Gods Tzeentch and Slaanesh corrupting Kel'thuzad's mind with promises of desire and forging his own fate, the Captain willingly obeyed their wills and slew his former Chapter Master with his power sword. Granted their favour, Kel'thuzad was gifted Colmev'um's formidable powers. Looking upon his gathered brethren, he proclaimed himself as lord and master, renaming the Sanctors the 'Sons of Damnation'. He then declared himself as 'Tyrant', as the Imperial title of Chapter Master was no longer fitting for one blessed by the Chaos Gods. Gathering his remaining forces, the Sons of Damnation made their way to the fortress's hangar, and boarded their vessels. They then made a desperate break-out for orbit, attempting to break the loyalist blockade. In one last act of base treachery, the Sons' overloaded their fortress-monastery's formidable geo-thermal reactors, causing a cascade of destruction that tore through the mountain edifice. In the anarchy that followed, the loyalist forces made a hasty retreat in order to avoid being caught in the destruction of the Sons' fortress-monastery. It is believed that at least two, or possibly three Warp-capable vessels managed to escape the system and fled towards the relative safety of the Eye of Terror. The Second Campaign of Damnation was over.
The Sons of Damnation were declared Excommunicate Traitoris in absentia - their names and deeds were deleted from the annals of Imperial history and the rolls of honour from all Imperial archives.
- Battle of Old (441.M41) - The Battle of Old was against a Warband of the Traitor Legion, the Black Legion. The Sanctors were forced to hold off against a large force comprised of a huge number of their fallen brethren. They were forced hold off the Black Legion for many weeks, before they were able to drive them off. However, later evidence compiled by the Ordo Hereticus sheds a darker light on this victory. There is ample proof that shows the Sanctors were utilising the fell powers of Chaos to achieve victory.
- First Campaign of Damnnation (448.M41) - The Sanctors conspired to create a campaign were they would try to attack the Sector of Aomra, a former Imperial region, were a huge number of Chaos cultists and Warbands had long ruled with an iron fist. But they were not launching this campaign for any benevolent reasons, but for purely selfish ones. In actuality, the Sons were using the campaign as a cover to gather recruits for their Chapter - especially those with psychic potential who could both wield and control the baleful powers of the Chaos, but preferably those who were somewhat sane who had not yet been driven insane by the sibilant whispers of the Warp. The Sons of Damnation's intent was to acquire a better understanding of the Ruinous Powers more than they already did. They assaulted the so-called Runic Worlds, killing the majority of the Renegade Space Marines and cultists that lurked there. After they had their prize, they brought these new Aspirants back to their Chapter homeworld. These Aspirants went under a series of thorough and gruesome tests, to determine their potential of becoming an Astartes. Those that survived these ordeals, were further trained by the Sons to control their innate abilities and implanted with the Chapter's gene-seed. Thus, the Sanctors took another step forwards down the path to damnation. One of these Aspirants was Hastur Kel'Thuzad, whose powerful psychic abilities would see his meteoric rise through the ranks to that of Captain of the 2nd Company.
- Renegades for the Dark Gods (500.M41) - The Sanctors' actions alert the Inquisition to their use of the Ruinous Powers. The Inquisition ordered a thorough investigation of the Chapter. Inquisitor Morum Fel was sent to the Sanctor's Chapter homeworld of Lightrim to investigate Chapter's practices and search for any sign of potential corruption. What Morum Fel found was that these Astartes blatantly used the fell powers of the Warp as well as dark sorcery, which was strictly forbidden by Imperial edict. The newly renamed 'Sons of Damantion', openly worshipped the Ruinous Powers. The Inquisitor did not return from Lightrim, having vanished under mysterious circumstances. A fellow Inquisitor received a secret transmission from Inquisitor Fel just before his disappearance and was shocked by the evidence his colleague had uncovered. This Inquisitor and a strike force comprised of 100 Inquisitorial Storm Troopers were quickly despatched to Lightrim in order to discover Fel's fate, and to determine for himself whether the Sanctors of Lightrim were either loyal or heretics. He soon had his answer, when he was confronted by Morum Fel, now twisted by Chaos, who summoned daemonic servants to the material realm in order to feast upon the interlopers. The Inquisitor ordered his men to make a fighting withdrawal to his ship before it was too late, however, only 10 Storm Troopers and the Inquisitor managed to survive. Making a hasty retreat, they Inquisition would return in order to bring their unfettered wrath down upon the traitorous Chapter.
- "Yes, the ultimate power is mine!!! I am the tyrant now, I am your master! Obey me my Sons of Damnation, and we shall be unstoppable!"
- — Tyrant Kel'thuzad of the Sons of Damnation
- Second Campaign of Damnation (501.M41) - During this campaign, the Sons of Damnation would finally face the Imperium's wrath for their transgressions, but this time they would not be facing heretic forces, but fellow Space Marine Chapters. The Sons of Damnation did not care for their old loyalty to the Emperor, for they were wholly corrupted and ready to kill in the name of the Dark Gods. The Inquisition ordered 3 Space Marine Chapters to take part in the eradication of the heretic Sons of Damnation - the Bone Reapers, Astral Claws and Void Ravens Chapters. This campaign would take place upon Lightrim, the Chapter homeworld of the Sons themselves. When the three Chapters landed on the surface, they first encountered what appeared to be Frateris Militia - masses of the Imperial Cult's most zealous faithful who often gathered to fight wars of faith against the enemies of the God-Emperor. But in reality, they were actually Chaos Cultists, wholly given over to the Ruinous Powers. There were many tainted psykers within their ranks who had been given fell power by the Sons of Damnation, making them formidable opponents and powerful with the malefic magics of the Dark Gods. The ranks of these ill-trained rabble numbered in the tens of thousands, but they proved no match for the transhuman Astartes that assaulted their ranks. In order to make their way towards the Sons' fortress-monastery, they had to fight their way through the capital city of Gloryrim. They purged the Chaos corrupted city with bolter, blade and cleansing flame of its foul denizens. This event would come to be called 'The Dark Purging'. Before the Loyalist Astartes were able to reach the fallen temples at the base of the mountain where the fortress-monastery was perched at its peak, the Sons of Damnation were able to reach it first, which would prove to be a bloody blow to all Chapters of the loyalist forces. Pre-positioned and dug in, the Sons set up deadly kill zones in anticipation of the loyalist assault. When the loyalists arrived, the Sons reaped a fearful tally, all but halting their advance. Captain Kel'Thuzad held the loyalist forces for about four hours. However, they were not able to control it for long, as the Loyalists eventually broke through the Sons' lines. Kel'thuzad was ordered to hold off the loyalist forces, to enable Chapter Master Colmev'um to reach his apotheosis as a Daemon Prince, however, Kel'thuzad had different plans, which would end the fighting quickly. Kel'thuzad took his men to the Master's Domain, were the Chapter Master was enacting a dark ritual, as the loyalists opened fire on their fortress-monastery. Kel'thuzad was done being controlled by bands of slavery - he wanted true power as well as the favor of the Dark Gods. Both Tzeentch and Slaanesh twisted the mind of Kel'thuzad to betray his master and take his role as the newly appointed Chapter Master. Kel'thuzad willingly obeyed the will of the Dark God and slew Colmev'um. He was then granted their favour and was given Colmev'um's dark powers, and quickly instilled himself as a self-serving tyrant. He gathered his remaining warriors and fled to orbit, were they would make good their escape and search the galaxy for yet more dark powers to attain for themselves.
- The Powers Call (553.M41) - The Sons of Damnation assault Watch Station Malochai, a Deathwatch fortress, which contained a powerful daemonic artefact, known as the Forbidden Book. Utilising their fell sorcery, the Sons of Damnation, and their Chaos Cultist followers erupted from Warp portals deep inside the Watch Station and began their deadly assault. After clearing an entire floor, some of the Chaos Cultist leaders initiated a ritual summoning while their Sons of Damnation overlords began their search for the malefic book. The Sons' forces were soon bolstered by an army of summoned daemons of Khorne. The Sons took advantage of the confusion caused by the conflagration, and made their way towards their objective. But the book was well protected within the Watch Station's vault. However, the Sons were able to bypass the automated defences, and utilising high explosives, blew the vault door open. Claiming their prize, the Sons began a hasty withdrawal. However, the Renegade Astartes did not count on the Deathwatch being bolstered by a Brotherhood of Grey Knights Space Marines. As the Sons' exited the Watch Station to reach their pickup points to be extracted by their Chapter's gunship transports, their way was blocked by the stalwart defenders of humanity. The ensuing battle between the two opposing forces was bloody in the extreme. Though the Sons took many casualties, they managed to affect their escape after First Captain Ner'zhul and his Terminator elite of the Sons' First Company, teleported amongst the Grey Knights and began to slaughter the loyalist Astartes in a deadly crossfire. But the Grey Knights were not so easily defeated, and soon, using their innate gestalt psychic abilities, quickly turned the tables on the Chaos Terminators. The Sons of Damnation had what they had come for, and Tyrant Kel'thuzad and what was left of his surviving Sons' were able to affect their escape. Ner'zhul and only ten of his warriors managed to survive the encounter with the Grey Knights.
- The Phantoms Strike (910.M41) - The Sons of Damnation assaults the world of Malphi IX, intent on making the vibrant Imperial world into a daemonic realm of Chaos. Summoning daemonic allies from the Immaterium, local sector Imperial Guard forces are hard pressed to halt the daemonic onslaught, and soon send a desperate astropathic distress signal. Their desperate pleas are answered in the form of an Imperial strike force comprised of three Loyalist Space Marine Chapters, including the Emperor's Phantoms, Wandering Serpents and the Angels Herald, who were sent to wipe out the traitorous Sons of Damnation from the planet's surface. An intense battle raged for three weeks between the Imperial forces and the Forces of Chaos. All three loyalist Chapters took substantial losses, especially the Angels Herald, who only had 300 surviving Battle-Brothers by the battle's end. Sensing their impending defeat, the Sons of Damnation summon Warp portals and depart the planet's surface. The resultant fighting and the release of the Ætheric powers of the Warp, cause Malphi IX to be engulfed in baleful darkness for over a century.
- Angels' Moment of Truth (956.M41) - The Angels Herald finally saw an opportunity to strike back at the Sons of Damnation, launching a vengeful assault against the Renegade Chapter to avenge their fallen Battle-Brothers who died during the Malphi IX campaign. After four decades of silence, the Sons of Damnation had finally revealed themselves, when they raided the Imperial world of Fourtheden. Their goal was to acquire more slaves for their gruesome experiments. The Angels Herald were a relatively young Chapter, impatient to mete out their anger against the vile renegades, and so, the loyalist Chapter wasted no time in launching a planetary assault. As the majority of the Chapter deployed to the capital city to prepare it for the inevitable assault, the elite veteran 1st Company and 8th Assault Company led the spearhead assault against the Chaos army, creating a thin cordon between the capital and the approaching horde of daemons and Chaos Cultists. These valiant defenders harried the Forces of Chaos, buying time for the Imperial forces to adequately prepare the city's defences. The Angels Herald stood shoulder-to-shoulder, orchestrating a valiant defence that stopped the Sons of Damnation's assault. The brutal battle rage for two weeks, until finally the Forces of Chaos managed to make a breach in the city's defences, and soon the heretic army poured into the city. Reinforced by the Chapter's war machines, the Angels Herald advanced upon the enemy. The ferocity of the Angels' counter-attack drove the Forces of Chaos into a hasty retreat. In the ensuing chaos, the Sons only managed to spirit away 100 Imperial citizens - a small price to pay, as billions more were saved, due in no small part to the valiant efforts of the Angels Herald. Sustaining few casualties and driving the Forces of Chaos from the planet, this campaign would go down in the Chapter's annals as a momentous victory.
Where the Sons of Damnation's current Chapter world is exactly located is unknown, but it is assumed to be a Forbidden World rumoured to be located within the inner rim of the hellish realm known as the Eye of Terror. Their former homeworld of Lightrim was thought to be a verdant Civilised World. The native flora of this lush world was known to grow with such virility that only the vast plateaus that pierced the evergreen canopy were free from their touch. However, the corruption of the Sons of Damnation unleashed the fell powers of Chaos, which slowly poisoned the citizens of Lightrim, body and soul, until they were wholly changed into foul subhuman Chaos Spawn. Following the Imperium's vengeful purge, the once-verdant world became a benighted realm of blackened forests dotted by the empty shells of once great dead cities. As a result of the Chaos corruption of the planet, the dead do not rest easily beneath the world's tainted soil. Lightrim was declared Perditas by the Inquisition.
When the Sactors first claimed Lightrim as their Chapter homeworld, they built their mighty fortress-monastery. Forged from the tallest peak, known as Mt. Zo-Kalar, the Light of Truth was an impressive fortification, rising hundreds of metres above the verdant valley of Lightrim's northern continent, where the planet's capital city of Gloryrim was located. The Light of Truth was built into the heart of massive mountain, taking advantage of its natural defence. Deep shafts cut into the mountainside conceal potent defence lasers, missile silos and macrocannons, capable of blasting apart an aerial assault or even orbital spacecraft. The monastery itself comprised dozens of ramparts, watchtowers and bastions. The monastery also incorporated powerful shimmering void shields which enveloped the entire structure to ward off orbital bombardments or assaults from the ground. The fortress-monastery was riddled with subterranean chambers, some of them enormous assembly grounds and sparring arenas, others tiny cells or shrines to heroes whose inscriptions were all that remained of them in the Chapter's memory. Natural volcanic tunnels had been enlarged to form the interior of the fortress, each constructed with a mind towards defending against a ground invasion. Following the corruption of the Sanctors, the once noble citadel became know as the Master's Domain - a foul and benighted place, as corrupt and twisted as the Astartes that dwelled within. During the final assault by loyalist forces, the Sons of Damnation purposely overloaded the citadel's powerful void shield generators, and the fortress-monastery catastrophically self-destructed.
The Sons of Damnation firmly believe in their minds that there were chosen to rule over man and to force upon them the ways of the Dark Gods. The Sons also believe that by discovering the secrets of the Ruinous Powers will lead them to unfathomable power, making them nigh unstoppable and able to take control over all of mankind. They continue to practice their dark arts and warp dabbling on captured human slaves in order to determine what is beneficial and what is deadly them. So far, they have managed to attain control over the empyrean far and above the average Chaos Space Marine, and yet, have somehow managed to cling to their sanity in the process. They have also displayed an affinity for summoning and controlling corporeal manifestations of the Warp.
The origin of the Sons of Damnation's gene-seed is not known, and before their corruption, it was believed to have come from the lineage of the Dark Angels, due to their monastic nature and secretive ways. Before their corruption the Sons of Damnation's gene-seed was once thought to be pure, with little degeneration or mutations. After their fall from grace and corruption by Chaos, these dangerous stocks of gene-seed were sequestered by order of the Inquisition and stored away in a secret time-stasis vault. The current whereabouts of this dangerous gene-seed is unknown.
- "The secrets within the warp, the realm of souls... will lead us to eternal power."
- — Anonymous Son of Damnation
Before their fall to Chaos, the Sanctors were regarded as a Codex Astartes-compliant Chapter, with a great deal of organisation, structure and tactical operations adhering to the tenets of the Astartes' holiest of tomes. Following their corruption and fall from grace, the Sons of Damnation no longer follow the Codex, instead opting to follow an unknown set of codes from a corrupted text thought to originate from a forbidden book called the Book of Damnation. This malefic tome is said to weave the tangled patterns of Ruinous Powers, that once deciphered, enables a user to utilise the skeins of destiny to deadly effect, causing their enemies to fall before the Sons' assault as if their deaths were preordained. This mysterious patterns supposedly pertain to how the Sons of Damnation now organise their Renegade Chapter - gone is the shiny metallic silver and crimson coloured surplices and standardised Codex-approved insignia. In its place is ebon-coloured armour and a near indecipherable schema of unit insignia, hexagrammic wards and specialised units which bears little resemblance to any standard Imperial pattern. When Tyrant Kel'thuzad assumed control of the Chapter, he imposed his own ideals of organisation and hierarchy upon its ranks. Informed by the mysteries of the Primordial Truth, these structures are typically impenetrable to those not privy to the complex and mystical hierarchies of the Empyrean.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Chapters, and all their dark damnation, still use standard Codex Astartes-approved templates, possessing Companies of 100 Astartes each. However, under the current organisation they are believed to possess up to Fifteen Companies. They are also known to possess a huge Scout Company on hand as well. However, the Renegade Chapter also has a specialist rank known as the Eternal Eye, which is small order of Space Marine overseers, comprised of the Sons' most powerful Chaos Champions that are utterly dedicated to Kel'thuzad. These overseers are in charge of promoting, recruiting and killing fallen brothers who have sworn complete service to the Dark Gods, which is forbidden in the Chapter at all times.
Notable Sons of Damnation
- Tyrant Hastur Kel'thuzad - Kel'thuzad was accepted into the ranks of the Sanctors of Lightrim during the First Campaign of Damnation. During this bloody-handed campaign, his meteoric rise was unheard of, as his used guile, cunning and outright murder to rise to the esteemed rank of Chapter Master in under a century. After he killed the Sanctors former Chapter Master, he subsequently changed the Chapter Master's title as 'Tyrant', earning this moniker a thousand times over.
- Chapter Master Colmev'um Azathoth - The former Chapter Master of the fallen Sanctors of Lightrim, Colmev'um Azathoth was held up as an exemplar and heroic champion of the Imperium. But after his fall from grace, he became cold, calculating and cruel. Becoming a dedicated Champion of Chaos, Colmev'um was heavily favoured by the Ruinous Powers granted great power. But when the Lightrim was assaulted by an Imperial Crusade intent on destroying the renegade Sanctors Chapter, Colmev'um was slain by his former Second Captain Kel'thuzad, who desired to usurp him and take his power for himself.
- First Captain Ner'shul - Ner'shul was a average recruit within the Sanctors Chapter when he first joined, however, he soon delved into the forbidden arts of the Ruinous Powers, learning the dark arts of thaumaturgy and necromancy, and becoming a master of both. In battle he utilises these fell powers in battle against his enemies.
- Guardian of Sin (Battle Barge)
- Black Death (Battle Barge)
- The Damnation of Hatred (Battle Barge)
- Pleasuring Wrath (Strike Cruiser)
- The Counter (Strike Cruiser)
- Bleeding Corpse (Strike Cruiser)
- Bleak Light (Strike Cruiser)
- Undying Hatred (Strike Cruiser)
Before their fall from grace, the Sanctors of Lightrim Chapter primarily wore silver coloured power armour with black coloured insets on the shoulder pauldrons. Their armour often had holy scripture praising the God-Emperor engraved on their armour or delicately painted on their on their battle-plate, weapons and vehicles. A white coloured squad specialist symbol on the right pauldron indicated Tactical, Assault, Devastator or Veteran. In keeping their status as monastic warrior monks, the Sanctors often wore dark red coloured surplice robes over their battle-plate.
After their fall to the Ruinous Powers, the renamed Sons of Damnation primarily wear light black coloured power armour with crimsom colours on the faceplate, inset of the pauldrons, lower plastron and groin guard. White coloured squad specialist symbols are designated on the right pauldron, but whether they are still utilised in this fashion is not known. Their power armour is also decorated with blasphemous runes, etched sigils and engraved hexagrammic words, readable only by those steeped in the mysteries revealed to them by the Dark Powers. These eldritch symbols and icons are believed to help protect themselves and ward off the depredations and influence of Warp entities. The Sons also adorn their war machines with a complex range of symbols, icons and markings, much of it entirely impenetrable to outsiders but which holds ritual and esoteric meaning to those privy to the teachings of the Book of Damnation.
The Sanctors of Lightrim Chapter badge was originally a golden coloured torch, centered between a pair of white coloured angelic wings, symbolising that only knowledge and truth would light the way for the ignorant and downtrodden. After their fall to Chaos, the renamed Sons of Damnation chapter adopted an ebon-coloured and unknown eldritch rune denoting knowledge and power.
- "The darkness within is a truth of your glory. You will control the Ruinous Powers, but the Dark Gods will always curse you for knowing forbidden knowledge. Read it or not..it won't change what will happen, for you will always return to the book."
- — Warning of the Forbidden Book
- The Forbidden Book - The Forbidden Book, known in some lore as the Naturom Demonto, is a daemonic artefact supposedly penned by the Dark Gods, bound in daemon flesh and inked in human blood. This text contains dark prophecies, runic incantations, and daemon resurrection passages. It was never meant for the eyes of mortals. The Forbidden Book is said to hold the darkest secrets of the Ruinous Powers, its forbidden words are said to drive those who read it insane, and most readers only read the book once.
The Sons of Damnation have no allies, preferring to stand alone.
During the campaign known as the Phantom Strike, the Angels Herald took substantial losses to their Chapter, losing over half their number of battle-brothers. Since that time the Angels Herald have sworn to hunt the Sons of Damnation down until their foul presence is eradicated from the galaxy.
The Red Corsairs, once known as the Astral Claws, were a lauded and stalwart champion of the Imperium. During the Second Campaign of Damnation the Sons of Damnation slew many veteran heroes and champions of their Chapter. The hatred between these two Chapters still remain, even after the Astral Claws fall during the Badab War, centuries later, when they too, were declared Excommunicate Traitoris.
Feel free to add your own
By the Sons of Damnation
- "Hatred, death and glory for the Dark Gods."
- — An anonymous Sons of Damnation Astartes
Feel free to add your own
About the Sons of Damnation
- "You stand accused of consorting with the daemon, with taking up the weapons of the cursed, and of self-aggrandisement. You will answer these charges, to the satisfaction of the Ordo Hereticus, and you will submit yourself to whatever censure is apportioned."
"And if I refuse to submit to the petty judgement of one Inquisitor?"
"If you do not comply, then your Chapter will pay for your folly, and be cast out, beyond the light of the Emperor, for all time."
"And what if I do not recognise the right of the Inquisition to excommunicate my Chapter thus?"
"Then you will not leave Lightrim alive. The choice is yours."
- — Vox transmission recording between Inquisitor Morum Fel and the Chapter Master of the Sanctors of Lightrim, ca. 500.M41
- "Run them down like the traitorous dogs they are, let none escape our fury, for we are the knights in crimson clad!"
- —Eilitus Ephrain of the Wings of Salvaxes
- "Once again hubris and pride have corrupted and twisted the Imperium's finest into a nightmare version of themselves. Were it not for their other, more serious crimes, I would say this alone earned them Excommunication and death."
- — Inquisitor Raziel Siebel at the Denouncement of the Sanctors of Lightrim, 501.M41
- "The Sons of Damnation stand as a warning to all of what we might have been. We stood at the same precipice as they, and where we took our stand at oblivion's edge, they stumbled, and are now lost to the darkness for all eternity. "
- — Invokers Chapter Master Zephyer Kize
- "Yes child... Yes... You are so close to your dreams, your desires... You seek the power of the Immaterium, it is but a word away. Speak the word, and I shall give you power beyond imagining, and make you one with the swirling vortex of the Warp, a true child of chaos."
- "Those imbeciles have forgotten the two simplest truth of the Universe. Fear and Terror are the servants of the mighty and the righteous. And nothing is more mighty or righteous than our beloved Imperium. It is because they felt no fear of retribution for their crimes that they have fallen. Let us remind them of how foolish it was of them."
- — Anonymous Void Raven Chaplain before the beginning of the Second Campaign of Damnation
- "Damnable fools."
- — Anonymous Star Reapers Astartes
- "You see, Hastur, you and I would have been the best of friends in any other situation. Our beliefs are the same, our methods are the same, our abilities are very similar. I hold great admiration for your Warband, and I would seek an alliance. Of course, there's just two problems. Firstly, you do not accept allies, and personally I'm offended by your high-and-mighty attitude. Secondly.... you stole MY book. Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. The Forbidden Book is MINE. I am the Prophet of the Gods, the physical embodiment of their will in this reality. So I'm only going to warn you once: GIVE..ME..THE BOOK!"
- — Azunar, to the leader of the Sons of Damnation, before engaging in combat
- "This is why we have the Inquisition"
- — Anonymous Bone Reapers Astartes