[Fluff] The Siege of Bruj - Introduction

Based on an adaptation of the Badab War Campaign, the result of 5 games of Warhammer 40k are being used to write a recount of 'The Siege of Bruj', a compendium for the background of the traitorous elements of the Emerald Fists; my homebrew chapter.  The results are being formatted with photographs of my models and the battles.  Enjoy.

Click here for more chapters, current links to the draft formatted (with pictures) version and more background.

Introduction - The Schism of the Fists

“Men are raised on high in order that they may fall more heavily”
Claudius Claudianus, In Rufinum, circa M1

Not all Word Bearers have a broad worship for the Pantheon of Chaos. In the pursuit of power an allegiance with a patron god has its appeal and although uncommon it is not unheard of for a Word Bearer to refine their prayer. The dark apostle Kor Ikthon is one such individual, a master orator whose silver tongue had been sharpened during the Great Crusade itself. With his mind on the long war, Ikthon sowed the seeds which led to the Schism of the Fists. How Ikthon swayed the Emerald Fists’ Chief Apothecary, Sextus Roscius to the dark powers is known only to the pair yet the result of their blasphemy ripples through the Imperium.

Some time in early 800M41 Roscius began tampering with the Emerald Fist geneseed; making minor alterations which lay dormant and unknown to any within the chapter. Gradually, as the crusading fleet suffered battle losses, the corrupted geneseed was implanted into new recruits and their training was enacted as it had been for 5 millennia. For nearly 100 years the chapter continued its campaign around the eye of terror persecuting whatever mission chapter command had ordered and slowly the composition of the chapter swelled with battle brothers host to a dormant corruption.

In 898M41, acting on intel suggesting a potentially massive incursion from the eye of terror, fully one half of the Emerald Fists were dispatched to meet this building threat. The 5th, 6th, 7th and portions of the 1st, 2nd, 9th and 10th along with Roscius travelled at speed through the warp to reach their target. During the journey the fleet became stalled within a savage warp storm and a plague of immeasurable horror was spread throughout the fleet. Escorts, strike cruisers and the battle barge Intangible Force were enveloped one by one. At this moment the truth of the introduced gene flaw became apparent; the Emerald Fists knew fear. As the plague ravaged crew and space marine alike, the marines with the corrupt geneseed felt anathema to the thought of rotting a slow and painful death. Apothecary Roscius spread word that his battle brothers could protect themselves from the plague by cutting a three ringed mark on their chest. The veteran marines knew this for what it was and steeled themselves against this threat for no true son of Dorn would cower before the hand of death. The marines carrying the corrupted gen seed however saw the result of the plague before them and their iron resolve crumbled. In scores they followed Roscius’ instructions as did most of the Imperial crews. The veteran marines moved to take Roscius but the plague had ravaged their strength and those marines now loyal to Roscius rushed to his aid. The plague slowly and mercilessly destroyed the bodies and minds of the veterans as the traitors held them at bay.

Witnessing these events from the bridge of the Dawn Imperitus and piecing together reports from the veterans aboard other ships in the fleet, veteran sergeant Titus Latinius of 1st company, 4th assault squad gave the order to disengage before the plague gained foothold aboard his vessel. Guided by the Emperor’s light the chief navigator aboard the strike cruiser managed to escape the warp storm and bring word of the treachery to chapter command.

Over the next 5 years as the chapter’s chaplains and apothecaries unearthed the depth of the corruption and nearly half of the remaining loyal marines were purged for the good of the chapter. Chapter master Gneaus Claudius swore vengeance and set the chapter about its last crusade, to bring the traitor fists to heel. This event would be forever recorded as the Schism of the Fists within chapter records; however, no word of this would be spoken to the Imperium.

The crusade fleet, now cleansed of the loyal marines was under Roscius’ control. He now led nearly one half of the chapter’s strength; materiel and men. Having escaped into the eye of terror aboard the Intangible Force, Roscius has led numerous campaigns by proxy of his Lords of Rot into the realm of man. The Siege of Bruj is one such campaign and is detailed herein. The following details the heroic intervention of the Raven Guard as they battle against a former ally long fallen from the grace of the Emperor’s light.

As reward for his patient deceit and the corruption of a chapter during the Schism Roscius was elevated to daemonhood. Roscius, Daemon Prince of Nurgle now directs his tainted marines from the warp, targeting systems seemingly at random. Though he cannot lead his fleet through realspace his Lords are more than capable of enacting his will and summoning him should the barrier between the realms be weakened.

A Glimpse of Rot

Brother Atius looked down at his dying brother and uttered a quiet curse. "Such a coward for fearing death and giving in to the traitor apothecary's temptation" he whispered as his bolter barked. Atius turned and stepped toward the exit lift heading to the next level of the ship.

Before he could take a second step he heard a rasping, wheezing sound and spun on his heel into a ready position facing the noise. His former brother began to rise, limping toward him. The marine took 2 bolter shells to the torso as the magazine ran dry; it closed the distance but showed no outward sign of the impact save for the smell of burnt flesh. As Atius brought his mono-filament combat blade up into a defensive position the blade began to disintegrate in his hand. He looked on in disgust and charged. The abomination welcomed the charge with open arms and closed its embrace.

"It is true, Brother," he wheezed "I have known the fear of oblivion and I have been shown a path without pain, without death . Now, accept this blessing..."

Atius struggled to rip free of the embrace but his strikes were weak. He felt himself thrown to the side. Splinters of ceramite pierced his flesh as he struck the bulkhead and slumped to the ground. Atius managed to right himself but a knee impacted his side sending him to his back once more. As the ceramite-encased plague straddled him he knew he would soon be with the Emperor.

"Perhaps not all are meant to walk the true path" the plague marine spit as he tore Atius' helm from its mountings.

Atius' eyes widened and he managed a last breath through ever withering flesh. "Traitor".

The plague marine stood leaving the desiccated husk of Brother Atius to its final resting place and stepped into the elevator.

The origins of the Emerald Fists are unknown; however records of their deeds can be traced back as far as M35 near the Eye of Terror. The Fists have functioned as a fleet based chapter as far back as records are available. They specialise in siege warfare and prefer frontal assaults to more subtle methods of war holding strength, fortitude and resolve as the three pillars of their training.

Sometime near 950.M41 stories of strange sightings began to trickle in to the Inquisition involving the Emerald Fists. The first of which involved picter-feed images relayed via distress beacon showing Emerald Fist forces seemingly fighting alongside invading forces against the Imperium. The fleet-born chapter has been persecuting a crusade for the last 100 years and have not responded to Imperial Summons to defend the images.

The Inquisition has not yet branded the chapter traitor as the wheels of Terra are ever slow to move especially with conflicting stories. Many in the Inquisition have their own thoughts on the matter.