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Constantinus Iconoclasm

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Constantinus Iconoclasm
Constantinius the Liberator
Attacker Imperium of Man
Defender Iconoclasts of Constantinus, The Zealous & The Enlightened
Attacking Commander Inquisitor Gideon Lorr, Ordo Hereticus
Defending Commander Constantinus the Liberator
Date 746-981.M41
Scale Sector-Wide
Theatre Nova Terra
Strength (attackers) Iron Knights & 2 unnamed Chapters, 12 Imperial Guard Regiments, Battlefleet Pacificus, agents of both the Officio Assassinorum and Ordo Hereticus
Strength (defenders) Various Forces of Chaos
Casualties (attackers) Unknown, assumed to be High
Casualties (defenders) Extremely High
Status Imperial Victory
Outcome Constantinus the Liberator was assassinated, but the rebellion lasted another 300 years
"It has been calculated that there is one Space Marine for each of the million worlds of the Imperium, and that that number, though small, is sufficient to protect humanity from the foul schemes of the alien, heretics and the powers of the warp. But if even only one of those brothers should turn from the light of the Emperor's Truth and fall upon his fellows like a thing run mad, how can it be enough?"
— From the treatise Quis Custodiet Ipsos Angeles Mortes? by Gideon Lorr, Inquisitor, Ordo Hereticus

The Constantinus Iconoclasm was a rebellion led by the former Sergeant Constantinus of the 4th Company of the Sons of Guilliman Space Marine Chapter, which had been charged with freeing the world of Nova Terra, located within the Segmentum Pacificus from a Tyranid attack by remnants of Hive Fleet Leviathan. He was a part of a handful of units left behind on Nova Terra to combat any resurgent Tyranid organisms that had survived the war, and to monitor the populace for signs of Genestealer or other Tyranid infiltration or infection. For three years Sergeant Constantinus led his squad on endless patrols through the cave systems of Nova Terra's volcanic plateau where the Tyranids had made planetfall, cleansing nestling broods with flamer and chainsword, not once seeking reward. However, when rumours led Constantinus to possible infection in the capital city of Cirtus, he found a growing genestealer cult had pervaded the city's ruling aristocracy.

As righteous as ever, Constantinus and his squad hunted down the infected nobles and their families and swiftly ended the threat. Far from being grateful, the people of Cirtus were enraged by the summary executions of their leaders and rose up in revolt. Two dozen battle-brothers of the Fourth Company of the Sons of Guilliman had sacrificed themselves for this world, this Nova Terra, only for those who had remained behind to battle the tyranid threat -- unremembered and unrewarded -- to now have to suffer this final dishonour. That had been the final disgrace, the final injurious slight that had pushed Sergeant Constantinus beyond the brink. It was more than any mortal man, or immortal Adeptus Astartes, should ever had to endure. If the scum of Cirtus city wanted rebellion, to see their world burn, Squad Constantinus would light the fire for them.

There were those who had already sworn themselves to the sergeant, having seen what Constantinus and his brethren have wrought within the city sectors -- Guardsmen who had seen their fellow soldiers die to save Nova Terra from the tyranids, looters, rioters, the dispossessed, former servants of the Ecclesiarchy, members of the Adeptus Arbites stationed on this world. They appreciated what the sergeant and his men have done, what they had been forced to do and why. They willingly followed Constantinus, and even went so far as to calling him the Liberator. Constantinus led his squad on search and destroy missions throughout Cirtus, burning down entire city sectors. Soon the city was ablaze and the fume-choked avenues were awash with blood and rioting mobs, the palaces of the nobles nothing but charred ruins. He eventually turned upon those within his own squad who tried to stop him and cut them down. He then declared himself the new ruler of Cirtus, decrying the Emperor and his minions, claiming that his own Chapter had turned him into a murderous monster, and swore that he would lead the people of Cirtus to freedom and a better future, and his conviction is infectious. The old order is thrown down and statues of Constantinus the Liberator are raised in their place. Once the city is taken, the revolt spreads from city to city, until finally the Liberator storms the mansion of the world's Imperial Commander at the head of an army nearly three-million strong. Constantinus beheaded the Imperial Commander and declared that Nova Terra was now free of the Emperor's iron grip.

The renegade sergeant renamed the world Constantinium and under his rule the mob was given free rein. Constantinus plunged his newly conquered world into an anarchic age of darkness as bloodthirsty crowds bayed in the streets and sacrifices were made to the Ruinous Powers. Called by their dark gods, dozens of Chaos Space Marine warbands travelled to Cirtus to join the renegades. Constantinus fought the best Champions of Chaos to arrive and defeated them, claiming their warbands for himself. He then embarked on a terrifying pogrom of other planets in neighbouring systems, and within a decade, the rebel sergeant's megalomania escalates until it plunges the whole sector into open war. Eventually Imperial forces, including the Iron Knights Chapter, arrived to reclaim the world, and war raged for thirteen years, only ending with the death of Constantinus at the hands of Officio Assassinorum assassins. Even three hundred years later, pockets of rebels continued to still hold out in the volcanic plateaus, having made their lair within the labyrinthine lava tunnels found in that region. It was from these hidden cave systems that the rebels continued to carry out guerrilla raids against the Emperor-fearing folk of Nova Terra. It was within those haunted caverns that they continued to make sacrifices to their blasphemous gods in the name of Constantinus the Liberator -- a name that would forever after be a stain upon the reputation of the noble Sons of Guilliman.

During one notable incident of the conflict that occurred in 981.M41, the Night Reapers Chapter were assigned to defend the Shrine World of Salvation-Gamma. But instead, Their crime had been dereliction of duty for, when confronted by a massive counter-attack by a dozen Chaos warbands drawn to the Iconoclasm's revolt, alongside an unknown number of degenerate mutant hordes drawn from the edge-worlds of the sector, the Night Reapers had abandoned the Shrine World as both effectively indefensible and of "negligible strategic worth." Rather than allowing the world to fall, the Night Reapers turned their own weapons on the basilica-cities and granted the pilgrims and refugees who had sought harbour there a "merciful end." The rage of the Ecclesiarchy over this loss was boundless and ensured the Night Reapers Chapter's censure by the High Lords of Terra. Shorn of their Fortress-Monastery and Chapter homeworld, they were condemned to the perilous and thankless task of policing the outer reaches of the Laanah Rifts. The Night Reapers bore their punishment with grim impassivity and obedience but little contrition -- or at least appeared to. Within a decade, however, Imperial contact with the Chapter, which had long carried a reputation for ruthless efficiency, independence and technical aptitude, grew untowardly infrequent and within a decade, all official contact ceased.

Eventually, by the late 41st Millennium, the Constantinus Iconoclasm was ended and the capital world of Constantinium was liberated and renamed Nova Terra.

Forces of ConstantinusEdit

  • The Iconoclasts - The Iconoclasts are made up of former Sons of Guilliman Space Marines that willingly followed their former brethren, and later Chaos Lord Constantinus into damnation, which later served as his personal bodyguards, who helped shape the former capital world of Nova Terra, and the fate of a dozen worlds like it, into the nightmarish vision of their mad lord.
  • The Zealous - The masses of so-called 'liberated' Nova Terran humans who fought in Constantinus the Liberator's name, who were charged with the Chaos Lord's realms defence. They made the Imperial invaders pay for every metre they advanced in blood.
  • The Enlightened - The Enlightened were those who had witnessed first-hand the fate of those who had challenged Constantinus' domain.

Notable Followers of Constantinus the LiberatorEdit

  • Maimon and Pius - Former brethren, and later his personal bodyguards - the Iconoclasts. The pair of former Space Marines were the most loyal of all of Constantinus' devotees. They wore corrupted battle-plate that was red-black and gold like their Chaos Lord's, the eight-pointed star of Chaos raised from the ceramite of their left shoulder pauldron where once was displayed an altogether different insignia.
  • Kabiel, 'Skull-taker' - A Chaos Space Marine who had been drawn to Constantinus' rebellion. He later became one of his most faithful amongst the ranks of the Enlightened.
  • Gha'gur Nor the Slythian - A Chaos Space Marine who once served in the warband of Ghorgoth the Oppressor, who had been drawn to Constantinus' rebellion in the Viridis Sector, and later became known as the Herald of Constantinus, the most faithful of the Enlightened. He wielded the mighty weapon Foe-smiter in battle.

SourcesEdit

  • Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 24
  • Codex: Chaos Space Marines (4th Edition), pp. 18-19
  • Imperial Armour Volume Thirteen - War Machines of the Lost and the Damned, pg. 25
  • Treacheries of the Space Marines (Anthology), "Liberator," by Jonathan Green, pg. 157

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