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- "Bright Wardens! Here in the Maelstorm, the forces of the immaterium stand strong. We shall purge them one by one. With courage and chivalry we shall triumph over this beast! Charge!!!"
- — Captain de Raque before charging the Red Corsairs on the medieval planet of Orleas
The Bright Wardens are a Dark Angels Successor Chapter based within the Ultima Segmentum close to the infamous warp anomaly known as the Maelstorm. Created during the 13th Founding, the so-called 'Dark Founding' sometime during M35, this chapter has continued the martial tradition of honour and chivalry as well as displaying a strong desire to slay the forces of the immaterium - both Traitor Astartes and Daemons alike. The Chapter is known to possess ancient Chivalry Pattern Bikes more than any other chapters.
The Bright Wardens' history dates back to the early era of M35, when the Dark Angels ventured to the medieval world of Royeaux in pursuit of the Fallen. This group of Fallen, whom later renamed themselves as the Sons of the Dark Wing, planned to corrupt Royeaux into a daemon world and convert its citizens to the worship of the Dark Gods of the Chaos.
Surprisingly the Dark Angels saw that the planet was noble as well as its citizens, who were able to stand up against the Traitor Astartes and wage war against them for almost 3 years. The Dark Angels decided to aid the Royeaux citizens and within 3 months, the Sons of the Dark Wing were all put to the sword.
Realizing such strength, honour and chivalry of the knights and warriors of Royeaux, the Dark Angels make a request to the High Lords of Terra, whom decide to grant their request and authorise a successor chapter, and thus the Bright Wardens were born. The newly Founded Chapter was initially raised from the hardy gene-stock of the people of the medieval world of Royeaux. They were found to be free of Chaotic taint and genetic mutation and possessed an extreme adherence to the Imperial Cult, although in a more debased and primitive form. Their physical prowess and zealous faith in the God-Emperor made them ideal genetic stock for a newly raised Adeptus Astartes Chapter.
The Chapter's hatred against the forces of the immaterium become their weapon as they fought many worlds within the Maelstorm to destroy and diminish the power of Chaos. Adapting the ancient Royeaux knight order that fought on horses, each of the Bright Wardens, with the exception of their scouts, own a power sword, a bolter and a long lost Chivalry Pattern Bikes. Though the chapter often recruits their members from Royeaux and the surrounding planets, their Reclusiarchy are mostly tended by Interrogator-Chaplains from the Dark Angels whom sworn to maintain religious and spiritual needs of the chapter.
Chapter Home World
The Bright Wardens are a fleet-based Chapter that solely recruits their members from the planet Royeaux. This planet once was a medieval world located near the Maelstorm in the Ultima Segmentum. The population of the planet is nearly 12 million.
The green plains and forest dominate this world with one great sea called the Sea of Wraiths stretch across the Vellendiel shore. Villages, settlements, forts, and medieval cities dot the land. The villagers and the nobles live according to ancient Terran medieval lives during M1, and no Imperium weapons such as bolter, missile launchers or even lasguns are known to the planet's denizens. When their planet was invaded by the Forces of Chaos, the nobles raised their armies, armed only with medieval weapons -- swords, axes, spears, pikes, crossbows, arquebuss and gunpowder-powered cannons.
Royeaux met its end when the Word Bearers, under the leadership of Dark Apostle Keyran the Pious, laid waste to the planet, destroying everything in their path. Realizing the planet was lost, the Celestial Wardens began to evacuate its citizens and moved their command center upon the Battle Barge Tears of Joan. With the aid of the Inquisition and their Dark Angels' allies, planet Royeaux was sentenced to Exterminatus. The remaining citizen of Royeaux were divided into three groups and were sent to different medieval worlds in the Imperium.
After their planet was destroyed by the Word Bearers Chapter in M36, the Bright Wardens became a fleet-based chapter, though still recruited their members from surrounding feral or medieval worlds.
The Recruitment Process
The process of recruitment for the Bright Wardens is nearly the same as many other Chapters. Recruits are chosen from amongst the best warriors or from men with gifted military talents, be they settlement militia, orphans, sons from nobles, notable raiders, farmers, fisherman, thiefs and criminals. Amongst the most valued traits in a recruit are aggression, martial arts prowess, excellent swordmanship, a high sense of justice and an innate psychotic-level killer instinct.
After receiving several tasks to carry out, these Aspirants are armed with only a power sword and dropped upon an unknown untamed death world world called Yort. There the aspirants should hunt and slay every last heretic tribes in the planet. The planet is also home to the warring Chaos Cultist Tribes that led by a Sorcerer and a Clan Leader armed with lasguns, swords, chainswords, chain axes and bolt pistols. The aspirants should kill at least a Clan Leader or a Sorcerer in order to become a fully pledge battle brother. If the Aspirant succeeds in these chosen tasks, then they will ascend to become a Scout Marine, and given the first of many Adeptus Astartes' implants as a gift from their Chapter.
Notable Campaigns, Wars and Conflicts
Battle of Royeaux (Unknown Date.M35)
Siege of Hive World Sentrata (Unknown Date.M35)
Defense of Royeaux (Unknown Date.M36)
The Celestial Wardens though come from the Dark Angels, believe themselves to be as organized as the Codex Astartes. Thus they become one of the Dark Angels Successors to based on Codex Astartes although only consist of 5 companies and have their own special rank.
- Knight Marshall: The Bright Wardens' equivalent of a Chapter Master.
- Lord Commander: A Bright Wardens officer who is the equivalent of a standard Space Marine Captain and who commands one of the 5 (Companies) that comprise the full Celestial Knight Chapter's military force.
- Interrogator Chaplain: The Bright Wardens' equivalent to a Chaplain.
- Warden Wizard: The Bright Wardens' equivalent to a Librarian.
- Warden Smith: The Bright Wardens' equivalent to a Techmarine.
- Warden Cleric: The Bright Wardens' equivalent to an Apothecary.
- Knight Sergeant: The Bright Wardens' equivalent to a Sergeant.
- Knight Brother: The Bright Wardens' equivalent to a Battle-Brother both Tactical and Assault Marines.
- Knight Devastator: The Bright Wardens' equivalent to a Devastator Squad.
- Knight Mentor: The Bright Wardens' equivalent to a Scout Sergeant.
- Squire: A newly inducted Astartes of the Bright Wardens Chapter and the equivalent of a Chapter's Neophyte or Scout Marine.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Bright Wardens favour their old knightly order's traditions of venerating close-combat above all else. Each Battle-Brother is armed with a power sword, boltgun or a bolt pistol and a bike. Some Battle-Brothers have a preference for Jump Packs over bikes.
Through their unending quest to acquire long-lost technology the Bright Wardens have attained the archaic 'Chivalry' pattern bike, and have since replaced their standard bikes with it. It is believed they were able to replicate this ancient pattern of attack bike due to acquiring an lost ancient Standard Template Construct, and if so, they are reluctant to share this knowledge with anyone outside the Unforgiven Chapters. The Chivalry Pattern Bike possesses either a multi-melta or a frag launcher attached along the outside of the bike's frame. A smoke launcher is also installed at the back of the bike near the exhaust.
Across the worlds surrounding the Maelstorm, the Bright Wardens are well known for their swordsmanship and many forces of both Chaos and xenos wouldn't dare duel or wish to face them in a close-combat.
Like their forefathers, the Bright Wardens' gene-seed is one of the purest and least degraded of all. The Chapter's members have an unusually close bond, often working hand-in-hand with one another. But unlike their Dark Angels forebears and their fellow Successors' gene-seed, the Bright Wardens did not suffer the tendency of being highly suspicious of outsiders. This behaviour could be seen during the Defense of Royeaux and the Siege of Kelramata, where the Celestial Wardens cooperatively work alongside the Inquisition and the Black Templars.
The only mutation that grew within the Bright Wardens' gene-seed is a tendency of hoarding and claiming their forefathers relic and kept it safe within their vaults upon the flagship Tears of Joan.
- Knight Marshall Raymond de la Croix - First Knight Marshall of the Bright Wardens.
- Knight Marshall Michel de Miraval - Second Knight Marshall of the Bright Wardens.
- Knight Marshall Armand de Royeaux - Third Knight Marshall of the Bright Wardens.
- Knight Marshall Galus de Motierre - Forth Knight Marshall of the Bright Wardens.
- Celestial Wizard Getafix - Current Chief Celestial Wizard of the Bright Wardens.
- Interrogator Reclusiarch Mordael - Current Interrogator Reclusiarch of the Bright Wardens.
- Interrogator Chaplain Batnael - Interrogator Chaplain of the 2nd Company.
- Interrogator Chaplain Rizael - Interrogator Chaplain of the 3rd Company.
- Interrogator Chaplain Orphanel - Interrogator Chaplain of the 4th Company.
- Celestial Smith Bernardt de Sorbiex - First Celestial Smith of the Bright Wardens.
- Celestial Smith Eddard de Orleans - Current Celestial Smith of the Bright Wardens.
- Lord Commander Jean Luc Montferrate - Commander of the Elite First Company.
- Lord Commander Armand de Raque - Commander of the Second Company.
- Lord Commander Jean-Baptiste Lovertue - Commander of the Third Company.
- Lord Commander Laurent de Rochefort - Commander of the Forth Company
- Lord Commander Xavier de la Croix - Commander of the Fifth Company
- Tears of Joan (Battle Barge) - The Chapter primarily operates from the Battle Barge, Tears of Joan, which acts as the Chapter's de factor mobile fortress-monastery and Chapter command center.
The Chapter also possesses 3 Strike Cruisers and 5 Gladius-class Frigates.
The Bright Wardens primarily wear bone coloured power armor with dark forest green colours painted on the backpack, insets of the shoulder pauldrons, the couters (elbow guards), gauntlets, poleyns (knee guards) and sabatons (boots). The shoulder pauldron trim as well as the Aquila or Imperialis on the chest guard is a light bronze colour. A white-colored squad specialty symbol (Tactical, Assault, Devastator, or Veteran) painted on the right shoulder pauldron indicates an individual battle-brother's specialty. While the left shoulder pauldron prominently bears the Chapter's iconography. Company number is designated by a simply white coloured Roman numeral stenciled on the left poleyn. Company Captains as well as Sergeants wear dark forest green coloured helmets to distinguish their seniority within the Chapter.
The Bright Wardens are commonly found wearing blue coloured tabards, a symbol of their monastic lifestyle and a throwback to their world's ancient knightly order's traditions. Though tabards are worn by all ranks, Veteran Bright Wardens and the Chapter's Inner Circle are most commonly seen wearing dark forest green hooded cloaks because they have learned enough about the Dark Angels Legion's history, and thus their shame, prior to obtaining their rank within the Chapter. With the Veterans, this symbolises their shame over what the Fallen Angels had done near the end of the Great Crusade. To further distinguish themselves, Veteran Marines are allowed to wear small livery shields on one of their shoulder pauldrons which bear their own personal livery, in recognition of their heroic deeds and long faithful service to the Chapter.
The Bright Wardens Chapter Badge is a blue coloured shield bearing a pair of Fleur-de-lis surrounding a long sword pointing upwards and bearing a crown. This symbol originates from the ancient Terran kingdom of Franc which stood as a symbol of a knightly order.
By the Celestial Knights
- "Sons of Royeaux! To Arms! The heretics shall fall and never stand triumphant over us!"
- — Lord Commander Laurent de Rochefort