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Cream and Crimson
The Crimson Consuls were a Codex Astartes-compliant Loyalist Space Marine Chapter of unknown Founding who were a Successor Chapter of the Ultramarines. The Crimson Consuls were destroyed entirely by the machinations of the Alpha Legion Chaos Space Marines, possibly on the orders of Alpharius (or Omegon masquerading as Alpharius) himself, who had targeted the Crimson Consuls for destruction so that their gene-seed stocks could be delivered to Abaddon the Despoiler and the Black Legion to help that Traitor Legion replenish its ranks before the unleashing of the 13th Black Crusade. The Crimson Consuls were based on the ice-covered Hive World of Carcharias in the Fortress-Monastery known as the Slaughterhorn, which lay at the peak of the world's capital hive city of Niveous.
The Crimson Consuls were destroyed as a Chapter through a series of intrigues and deceptions arranged by an Alpha Legion Chaos Lord claiming to be the Primarch Alpharius. The entire elite 1st Company of the Chapter was destroyed during their assault upon the Ork-controlled Space Hulk Revenant Rex. The 1st Company was destroyed when they teleported into the conglomerate starship's Enginarium space to prevent the Space Hulk from escaping into the Warp by destroying its Warp-Drive. But the Warp-Drive had already been sabotaged by the Alpha Legion, and the Space Hulk's Warp-Drive imploded, destroying the vessel in a cascading Warp rift as well as the 1st Company and every single one of the Crimson Consuls' irreplaceable suits of Terminator Armour.
Two further companies of the Chapter were destroyed on the Forge World of Phaethon IV when they were required to garrison this planet after the Celebrants Chapter was unable to meet its commitments. However, this transfer order had actually been given by Alpharius, masquerading as the Imperial Segmentum Command. Phaethon IV had the misfortune of bordering the Despot Stars and had long been coveted by Dregz Wuzghal, Arch-Mogul of Gunza Major. The Crimson Consuls soon found themselves placed in the way of the massive Ork WAAAGH! Wuzghal. While the Crimson Consuls nearly stopped the Greenskins' assault in their tracks, the fighting awakened the long dormant Necrons who had lain slumbering beneath the surface of Phaethon IV for aeons. Phaeton IV was in fact a Necron Tomb World. The two highly-decorated companies of Crimson Consuls as well as the Orks were utterly annihilated by the undying horrors.
The 3rd and 5th Companies of the Chapter had been engaged in the Damocles Gulf Crusade against the Tau Empire in the Ultima Segmentum and were wiped out decades before while seeking to hunt down the Tau Commander O'Shovah, but Alpharius had arranged for falsified astropathic reports to be continually sent to their Chapter homeworld of Carcharias so that the Crimson Consuls would not learn of the loss. The Chapter's 8th Company was destroyed by the Alpha Legion while hunting a warband of Black Legion Traitor Marines near Carcharias in the Sarcus Reaches.
By this point, the Crimson Consuls' Chapter Master Elias Artegall realised that the Chapter was coming under some form of assault. He ordered the Chapter's Fortress-Monastery, the Slaughterhorn, to be secured and fortified for an outside assault. But within moments of the order being given, the Crimson Consuls' remaining Battle-Brothers unexpectedly turned their Bolters upon one another. Artegall and his remaining officers, unaffected by their fellow Astartes' strange, trance-like killing frenzy, fought their way through the chaos of the internecine battles to reach the Slaughterhorn's heart, its Tactical Chancellorium. To their surprise, they discovered it was already occupied by a contingent of Chaos Space Marines from the Black Legion who were led by an Alpha Legion officer who claimed to be the Primarch Alpharius, though the truthfulness of this claim remains unknown. Alpharius explained that in the fashion of the Alpha Legion, he had worked for decades to lay a series of traps and intrigues intended to destroy the Crimson Consuls so that he might hand over their precious gene-seed stores to Abaddon the Despoiler and his Black Legion so that their ranks might be replenished before the unleashing of the 13th Black Crusade. Alpharius revealed that he had gotten the Crimson Consuls to turn upon one another by psycho-indoctrinating all of the Chapter's recruits before they were ever even Aspirants by lacing the walls of the underhives of Charcharias' hive cities with psycho-sensitive graffiti. These carefully-crafted phrases slowly over time transformed the Crimson Consuls' recruits into walking psychotics who only required a single command word to be detonated as living weapons. Since the Crimson Consuls only recruited their new Astartes from the gangers of the underhives on Carcharias, every Aspirant they chose was already corrupted before the first gene-seed organ was implanted. Only the officers, many of whom had been with the Chapter for many centuries, had been recruited before the Alpha Legion's insidious trap had been laid. Artegall managed to break free from the closing jaws of the trap and fled to his personal Armoury only to discover that his Bolter had been taken by Baldwin, his Chamber Castellan, a Chapter Serf recruited from the underhives, who shot his master in the head, eliminating the last of the Crimson Consuls. The Forces of Chaos won a great victory that day over the servants of the Emperor.
Carcharias is an Imperial Hive World, though this bleak planet's extreme cold temperatures, vast glacier fields and frozen wastelands make it closer in approximation to an Ice World. The Crimson Consuls Fortress-Monastery, known locally as the Slaughterhorn, formed the largest spirepeak of Hive Niveous, the Carcharian capital city.
Beneath the Slaughterhorn lay a lightless labyrinth of tunnels, cave systems and caverns that threaded their way through the pulverised rock and rust of the original hive city. Thousands of stories worth of spires and edifice had been erected on top of the ancient structures, crushing them into the bottomless network of grottoes from which the Crimson Consuls procured their most savage potential recruits. Far below the indifference of the aristocratic class and the habitat and industrial districts of the impoverished masses of the lower hive lay the gang savagery of the underhive. Below even this level of outlaws and brutal hive-gangers, lay a vast network of catacombs inhabited by feral tribes. Here, young Carcharian bodies were crafted by necessity: shaped by circumstance into small mountains of muscle and sinew. Minds were sharpened to keenness by animal instinct and souls remained empty and pure -- perfect for cult indoctrination and the teachings of Roboute Guilliman. The threats of these catacombs were very real, for even the full-fledged Battle-Brothers that ventured into the tunnels of the cave systems during recruitment sweeps maintained a healthy respect for the untamed dangers of the place. Not only would these barbarous brutes dash out their brains for the rich marrow in intruders' bones, their degenerate brothers shared their dark kingdom with Abhumans, mutants and wyrds, driven from the upper levels of the hive for the unsightly danger they posed.
On the planet's surface lay Archaphrael Hive which made up a triumvirate of hive cities called the Pale Maidens that stood like ancient monuments to the fickle nature of Carcharias' extreme weather and fierce polar cyclones. A thousand years earlier the three cities had been devastated by a freak polar cyclone colloquially referred to by the hivers as "The Big One". The ghost hives later served as an impromptu training ground for the Crimson Consuls. The region surrounding Archaphrael Hive was referred to as the "Dry-Blind"; so-named because of the ghostly vapour created from the rime of frozen carbon dioxide that bled into the atmosphere a white swirl of blinding mist in all directions. This ghostly vapour hid the true lethality of the surface, as a maze of bottomless crevasses, fissures and fractures riddled the ice beneath. The Dry-Blind was extremely dangerous to travel over, as the crevasses were covered by a layer of soft snow that could disguise their existence. The danger of falling into the great cracks in the ice to one's death is real and ever-present.
As a test of their worth and spirit, the Crimson Consuls' Scout Marines were forced to train in the harsh environment of their bleak planet, establishing and holding ambush positions within the bowels of the ghostly hive with their sniper rifles in the deep Carcharian freeze for three days. The Scouts would be bombarded endlessly with remembered readings from the Codex Astartes, faith instruction and training rhetoric across the open channels of the vox. As an added challenge the Scout Marines often faced packs of fang-face shredders. These deadly creatures roamed the Dry-Blind, making the environment an even more perilous prospect. The shredders were dangerous and ravenous, having perfectly adapted to their icy environment. They possessed razor-edged talons and needle-like fangs and were able to fracture the ice shelf itself. Their bodies were carried close to the ground and were flat, enabling them to slide downhill and toboggan after their prey.
The Crimson Consuls were not given to competitive rivalry. The Astartes of this Chapter did not desire success because others had failed. For them, serving at the pleasure of the Emperor was not a tournament spectacle, nor was the slaying of the enemies of Mankind an opportunistic arena. They were not a rash Chapter for they believed that to spill the precious commodity of Astartes' blood required them to carefully pick and choose their battles, spilling it wisely. For it was a Space Marine Chapter's prerogative to choose whether or not they fought. Not for the Crimson Consuls were the glory-seeking ways of other Chapters. The Crimson Consuls were staunch followers of the Codex Astartes. Within the pages penned by their Primarch Guilliman lay the wisdom of generations of those Astartes who had come before them. They put their trust in that accumulated skill and experience.
Notable Crimson ConsulsEdit
- Elias Artegall - The last Chapter Master of the Crimson Consuls
- Enobarbus - The last High Chaplain and Reclusiarch of the Crimson Consuls
- Fabian - The last Lord Apothecary of the Crimson Consuls
- Navarre - The last Chief Librarian of the Crimson Consuls
- Hecton Lambert - The last Master of the Fleet of the Crimson Consuls
- Maximagne Ferro - The last Crimson Consuls' Master of the Forge
- Talbot Fauks - The last Crimson Consuls' Master of Ordnance
- Bolinvar - Captain of the 1st Company
- Hereward - Techmarine of the 1st Company
- Baptista - Captain
- Mercimund - Chaplain
- Raughan Stellan - Lexicanium
- Notus - Sergeant
- Caradoc - Scout-Sergeant of the 10th Company
- Anno Tenebris (Strike Cruiser)
- Crimson Tithe (Battle Barge)
- Incarnadine Ecliptic (Battle Barge)
- Herald Angel (Frigate)
The colours of the Crimson Consuls' Power Armour was painted cream and crimson.
The Crimson Consuls' Chapter badge is unknown in current imperial records.
- Hammer and Bolter 3, "The Long Games at Carcharias" by Rob Sanders