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Reports describe the Chapter using a slow, chilling chant in a number of dark languages, mixed with litanies in High Gothic
13th ("Dark") Founding (Late 35th / Early 36th Millennium)
Red, Black and White
- "By my will I deny thee, by my heart I spurn thee, by my hand I destroy thee; fiend of emptiness, to the void I cast thy blackened soul..."
- — From the Liber Exorcismus
The Exorcists were created during the 13th Founding, the so-called "Dark Founding" which occurred sometime between the 35th and 36th Millennia, before the start of the Age of Apostasy. The Exorcists were founded as part of a highly-classified Imperial experiment to create Space Marines who were unusually resistant to daemonic possession and Chaotic corruption. As part of their initiation into the Chapter each Exorcists Astartes had actually been forced to serve as a daemonhost for a short time before having the foul creature expelled back to the Warp by the intervention of an Inquisitor.
The details of the Chapter's Founding are not simply lost to the mists of time, however, for they have never been accessible to even the highest ranked individuals. All that can be ascertained is that the records were sealed at the express and irreversible order of one of the High Lords of Terra -- none other than the Inquisitorial Representative on the Senatorum Imperialis. This has led some to postulate that the Exorcists were created on the order of the Inquisition, or perhaps as a result of their counsel. What dark mission could require the founding of an entire Space Marine Chapter is unknown, but certainly, the Exorcists are quite unique in many regards.
The Exorcists adhere in most ways to the precepts of the Codex Astartes, the only notable difference being the fact that they maintain not ten, but twelve companies. Instead of just a single Scout Company, the Exorcists maintain two extra for a total of three, and while the reason for this divergence has never been openly explained, it is thought to relate to the esoteric and arduous selection processes the Neophytes are subjected to. The exact nature of the Chapter's training and conditioning remains a mystery to the wider Imperium for good reason, but there are some Imperial savants who have correctly surmised that the Neophytes are deliberately exposed to contact with the foul denizens of the Warp in the hope that they will be made strong by the process, or killed by it. If true, this would certainly account for the high numbers of Neophytes who, for whatever reason, do not survive service in one of the Scout Companies to become full Initiates of the Chapter. This is largely speculation, for if such a practice were to be brought to light, not even a Chapter of the mighty Adeptus Astartes would be free from prosecution by the Inquisition for such a crime.
This mysterious but noble Chapter is at once the epitome of the values of the Adeptus Astartes and an enigma. The Exorcists have saved many worlds and defeated many great foes in the service of the Emperor of Mankind. The Exorcists are only the second known Space Marine Chapter to have been created during the mysterious 13th Founding (the so-called "Dark Founding"), alongside the equally mysterious Death Spectres. The exact nature and origin of the gene-seed used in the Exorcists' creation has remained classified by a special Bull Absolute of the Inquisitorial Representative to the High Lords of Terra issued by the Senatorum Imperialis at the time of the Chapter's Founding, but many speculate that they are in fact the only Successor Chapter of the revered Grey Knights.
What is known is that the Exorcists have maintained a long-standing link to the Inquisition. Some have even whispered that they are intimately involved with certain factions of the secretive Ordo Malleus. It is most likely that the unique character of this Chapter has been greatly influenced by the sponsorship and designs of the Inquisitorial Ordos, and the Inquisition may well have ordered the Chapter's creation, either as a grand experiment or for some singular purpose.
The Chapter was created through secret Inquisition experiments in which test subjects were deliberately allowed to be possessed by daemons for a time before the daemons were banished by Ordo Malleus Inquisitors. There were casualties, but the majority of test subjects survived and emerged unusually skilled in the ways of combating daemonkind as the Inquisition had hoped. This has also caused the subjects to have no psychic signature that psykers can detect. The original test subjects, some two companies strong (200 Space Marines) were released onto a daemon-infested planet where they displayed extremely impressive results, achieving a kill ratio of 97:1. Following this test, the Exorcists Chapter was fully chartered and allowed to begin recruiting until it had reached its full required strength of 1,000 Astartes, all of whom were subjected to the same test of daemonic possession before becoming a full Neophyte of the Chapter.
The Exorcists have since been sanctioned as an official Chapter and are often involved in operations overseen by the Ordo Malleus of the Inquisition, though the records of their creation were sealed at the order of the Inquisitorial Representative to the Senatorum Imperialis.
- The Aschen War (300-307.M40) - The Aschen War was a series of brushfire revolts and Chaos incursions that erupted across the Aschen Sub-sector in 300.M40, after a bloody Chaos Cult-inspired revolt on the Cardinal World of Dimmamar exposed how overstretched Imperial control over the surrounding region had become. Slowly stripped of much of its defences over the course of several generations to provide for the needs of other pressing conflicts nearby, this border region was ill-equipped to stave off catastrophe when it came. Very rapidly a three-way war developed between the beleaguered Imperial protectors of the Aschen worlds, Chaos Cultists who had subsumed several planetary defence garrisons to their cause and Ork marauders pouring across the border from the adjacent Blood-Maw Cluster. The Imperial counter-invasion was led by the combined forces of two Space Marine Chapters -- the Exorcists and the Dark Hands, backed by the Necromundan 54th and 60th Imperial Guard Rifles and the Battle-Sisters of the Order of the Valorous Heart. The Exorcists quickly realised that one of the keys to victory would be locating and destroying the single dark master of many names that lurked behind the divergent Chaos Cults in the region, a daemonic creature that on Dimmamar was known as the Horned God. A thing of shadow and malice, the Horned God was a master of hellish pacts who had become engorged on the souls its servants had slaughtered. When the Exorcists finally cornered the Daemon Prince in the maze-like pre-human ruins of the Dead World of Belphago, it was attended by a guard of thousands of its fanatical followers and several warbands of Night Lords Chaos Space Marines it had bound to its will. What followed was one of the hardest-fought and costly actions in the Chapter's history, as the Exorcists, with the aid of a hastily composed Ordo Malleus strike team, fought their way through suicidal attack waves of cultists and the skillful ambushes and vicious assaults of the Night Lords before confronting the blackly-burning daemons that served the Horned God. In the final, titanic struggle amid the fallen ruins of a xenos temple to the Dark Gods older than the history of Man, the Exorcists' elite Enochian Guard and a handful of surviving Inquisitors and their Acolytes confronted the Lord of Shadows in all its blasphemous and unholy glory. Shrugging off shot, shell and energy blast, the darkling beast slashed through the Exorcists' ranks, shearing Terminator-clad warriors in half with contemptuous ease and ripping asunder the Daemonhosts of Inquisitor Grey before devouring their master whole. The Exorcists refused to retreat from the horror that confronted them despite their losses, and slowly the weight of their attacks began to take their toll. The turning point of the battle came when one of the Chapter's Dreadnoughts, the Venerable Sybra, sacrificed himself to rip a great chunk of the Daemon Prince's smouldering body away and exposed its blazing heart. This noble act allowed the Exorcists to press their attack while the daemon reeled in agony. With a daring lunge, Librarian Malachite pierced the foul heart with his Force Spear, and with the utmost exertion of his powers and adamant will through the weapon severed the daemon's connection with the mortal plane, finally vanquishing it. As the Daemon Prince's cries of rage and frustration echoed into eternity, all across the Aschen Sub-sector, those who had bartered their souls for a measure of the Horned God's power paid the price and were consumed by black flames, shattering the power of the Chaos revolt. A full third of the Exorcists Chapter had perished, but the tide of the war was now in the Imperium's favour, and within a year, the sub-sector was brought back under Imperial control.
- The Gothic War (12th Black Crusade) (139-160.M41) - The Chapter participated in combating the invasion of the Gothic Sector by Abaddon the Despoiler and the encroaching Forces of Chaos during the Gothic War that ravaged the Gothic Sector in the early days of the 41st Millennium.
- Relief of Stonekraal (740.M41) - The Relief of Stonekraal was the defence of the minor Frontier World of Stonekraal within the Realm of Ultramar in the Ultima Segmentum from a small incursion by the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Behemoth. In 740.M41, a scheduled trader vessel, the Nostros Vex, appeared three weeks overdue and drifting, seemingly lifeless, on the edge of the Stonekraal System, and it was investigated by vessels sent out from the small Imperial colony in the system. This heralded the beginning of a nightmare for the colonists of Stonekraal. Soon a rapidly multiplying infestation of Hive Fleet Behemoth Genestealers broke out, and in an ever-growing plague, the horrific creatures hacked through the scattered, hardscrabble settlements of Stonekraal like a butcher's cleaver through raw meat. Alone, and realising their astropathic distress calls were unlikely to be unanswered, the remaining Stonekraal colonists did their best to gather their few weapons together and mount a defence, determined to sell their lives dearly if they could. When all seemed lost and only the last major settlements remained, all that was left for the terrified men and women cowering behind futile barricades was to pray for deliverance to the God-Emperor. Yet that deliverance came as deep crimson Thunderhawk gunships descended on plumes of fire above them. The Exorcists Space Marine Chapter's 3rd Company, driven off-course by the Tyranids' psychic shadow in the Warp, had heard the colony's cries for help. Their Strike Cruiser Hand of Glory, having already slain two encroaching Void Kraken in the outer system, now off-loaded its complement of Space Marines to make a stand on Stonekraal's broken ground. The battles that followed were swift but furious; the Genestealers first seeking to infiltrate by stealth only to be met by the firepower of the Exorcists Astartes waiting for them. The Tyranid broods quickly shifted tactics and sought to overwhelm their foes in a whirlwind of fang and claw. Inured as they were to the terrors of the Warp, even these nightmarish xenos, although deadly beyond measure, held little fear for the Exorcists Space Marines. With near-clinical efficiency the Space Marines set up interlocking fields of fire to trap their attackers into prepared killing zones in order to blunt the Genestealers' advantage in speed and numbers. Meanwhile the Exorcists' potent Librarian, Castor Machen, sought out the synapse creatures present within the brood and scourged them to ashes with coruscating soulfire. The people of Stonekraal survived thanks to the Exorcists' efforts; a small victory, perhaps, in the grand scheme of the greater battle against the Hive Fleets, but a victory nonetheless. After-action testimony taken by Ordo Xenos investigators record the fearful awe the surviving colonists felt for their saviours, and many spoke of how the sound of the baleful litanies the Exorcists chanted during battle still echoed in their dreams.
- The Badab War (908-912.M41) - The Exorcists Chapter participated in the latter stages of the Badab War led by Silas Alberec, the famed Exorcists 3rd Company Captain and heir-designate to the command of the Chapter. The Exorcists intervened in the conflict once the Secessionists had been declared Excommunicate Traitoris in 908.M41. Alberec, huge in stature even for a Space Marine, gained great fame and recognition for himself in the Badab War, leading his Space Marines in several noteworthy engagements. The first of these was the taking of the armed merchantman Soyuz-Maru during the Second Battle of Sagan, and the last was the bloody attack on the vital and heavily defended Sentinel-Sigma station during the Fall of Badab Primaris. In this latter battle, Alberec wielded the Hellslayer Power Mace to great effect, rapidly smashing his way through armoured bulkheads while under heavy fire from the Astral Claws. Alberec slew the Astral Claws' Chaplain Arkil Lionsmane in personal combat despite still suffering from grievous wounds earned in prior battles. The Exorcists' otherwise exemplary role in the Badab War was tarnished, however, when their blockade of the Badab System failed in the confusion of the final hours of the siege, as anarchy reigned on the surface of Badab Primaris after the Carcharodons fired the reactors of the world's hive cities and started a chain reaction that would doom the planet. In the scramble to flee the surface, both Loyalists and Secessionists struggled to escape in any spacecraft they could commandeer. In the confusion that followed, the Exorcists fired on and in some cases destroyed any vessel that could not prove itself to be an ally, unfortunately slaying many fellow Loyalists in the process. Worse, a vessel containing many Astartes from Lufgt Huron's inner circle escaped the blockade in the confusion carrying the badly wounded but still-living form of their master into the Maelstrom, who would return to plague the Imperium once more as Huron Blackheart, the Chaos Lord who commanded the piratical warband of Chaos Space Marines who called themselves the Red Corsairs.
- Cleansing of Opridia (972.M41) - Inquisitor Lord Coteaz of the Ordo Malleus lead the planet-wide exorcism of Opridia, casting out a million Daemonhosts and slaying the Daemon Prince Karpathi the Occludor. Crucial to the Inquisitor's victory was the deployment of the 2nd Company of the Exorcists Chapter, whose Librarians enacted Rites of Detestation unknown outside of their Chapter Cult.
- The Third War for Armageddon (998.M41) - The Exorcists deployed 12 companies -- the entire strength of the Chapter -- during the Third War for Armageddon.
- The Black Sun (672.999.M41) - The Exorcists Chapter rushed to confront the daemonic incursions around the sun Sirie.
- The 13th Black Crusade (999.M41) - The Exorcists also participated in the defence of the Cadian Gate against Abaddon the Despoiler and the Forces of Chaos during the 13th Black Crusade.
The Exorcists are regarded as a Codex Astartes-compliant Chapter, with a great deal of their organisation, structure and tactical operations adhering to the tenets of the Astartes' holiest of tomes. Much of the Chapter's common practices, insignia, honours and basic tactical doctrine is based closely on the Ultramarines and their Successor Chapters. There are, however, several noteworthy and substantial deviations from the Codex' prescriptions. The Exorcists are composed of a total of 12 companies as opposed to the standard number of 10. The 10th, 11th and 12th Companies consist entirely of Neophyte Scout Marines. The reason for this high number of Scouts is the highly unorthodox and dangerous training practices used by the Chapter, which some believe may even include controlled exposure to Warp entities and daemonic possession before a Neophyte can become a full Battle-Brother, just as was done to the Chapter's original Astartes by the Inquisition. If such practices are employed, then the Chaotic corruption and fatality rates would be extremely high for Exorcist Initiates, requiring a high influx of new recruits, hence the need to maintain three companies of Scout Marines. There exist within the Exorcists' ranks certain esoteric sub-cults which dedicate themselves to particular fields of expertise and knowledge, known as Orisons. On the battlefield, many of these Orisons manifest themselves amongst the various squads and divisions, whilst their inner circles are primarily made up of the Chapter's Veterans and other high ranking Battle-Brothers and officers. Acceptance within one or more of these sub-cults is a mark of high regard within the Chapter, and membership in one does not preclude one from involvement in another. Perhaps the most elite of these Orisons is known as the Enochian Guard, named after the Chapter's legendary first Chapter Master, Enoch Trismegistus, and is composed entirely of Veterans from the Chapter's 1st Company who usually fight as Terminators.
The Exorcists' Chapter homeworld is the ancient Feral World known as Banish, which lies within the borders of the Narasima Straits, a quarantined sector of space on the Eastern Fringes of the Milky Way Galaxy in the Ultima Segmentum. The planet serves as the Chapter's primary training facility and armoury, with their Fortress-Monastery, the Basilica Malefex, housing their gene-seed stores and Apothecarion as well as vast archives of occult lore on the nature of Chaos and the daemonic and the Chapter's battle honours. Banish also houses several secret Ordo Malleus research facilities under the Exorcists' protection.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Chapter shows a high-degree of adaptability and unpredictability in battle, both in terms of tactics and the weapons its Astartes employ. When an enemy counters one tactic used by the Exorcists, the Chapter plans accordingly, adapts, and changes strategy, enabling them to outmaneuver their enemies and catch them completely off-guard. Exorcists Astartes are known to utilise certain occult mental arts to enter an almost trance-like state of higher consciousness which allows them to become completely devoid of fear and pain, even when confronted by the sanity-destroying horrors of the Warp. This capacity is not unknown amongst the Space Marines, but the extent to which the Exorcists are able to employ these techniques to distance themselves from physical and spiritual hardships and continue to operate has become legendary. Exorcists Battle-Brothers are also masters of arcane lore concerning Chaos and the daemonic on a level unseen in other Chapters and unrivalled in the Imperium save by the Grey Knights and the Ordo Malleus itself. They are particularly adept at recognising the wiles of the daemon and its work and know how to combat them. To enable themselves to spiritually ward their arms and equipment against Chaotic influences, it is said that each Battle-Brother must master the use of all six-hundred-and-sixty-six verses of the Ordo Malleus' Liber Exorcismus, sunder the seven seals of Salomoneth and become adept at the use of unicursal hexagrams.
This degree of forbidden and dark knowledge is cause for grave suspicion of the Chapter by those within the Ecclesiarchy as well as certain Space Marine Chapters with a fervent hatred of witchcraft of any kind, even when wielded by the servants of the Emperor, such as the Space Wolves and the Black Templars. In contrast, the Exorcists have an unusually strong political alliance with the Inquisition, especially compared with the normal friction between the Adeptus Astartes and the Ordos, so they face fewer difficulties or obstacles than many other Chapters when dealing with the Imperial bureaucracy or the High Lords of Terra.
The character of the Exorcists is known to be studious, intelligent, highly honourable and above all calm outside of battle, but in war they undergo a transformation into an uncommonly aggressive force of Astartes. Their intellect is applied to rapid analysis and exploitation of conditions on the battlefield and on the decisive application of force to destroy the enemy. As a Chapter steeped in an understanding of Chaos -- and an unusual immunity to its temptations -- from the moment of each Astartes' full acceptance into the Chapter, the Exorcists are always at risk of pursuing what the Inquisition would classify as Radical solutions to certain problems, including the use of Chaotic weapons and strategies against the forces of the Archenemy. Even at its purest, the Exorcists are a Chapter who will often choose a pragmatic solution to a given problem rather than remain committed to the orthodoxies of Imperial doctrine. As such, the Exorcists retain close links with the Inquisition -- both for tactical reasons and so that the Ordo Malleus may maintain a close watch on this most unusual and potentially dangerous of Astartes Chapters.
Another area in which the Exorcists differ from many of their brother Chapters is their cultivation and propagation of forbidden knowledge. The Exorcists are highly intelligent and rational, and each Astartes is steeped in the lore of the daemon and of the Warp. Each is said to know numerous wards and can recite the most powerful of daemon-slaying texts. The teachings of the Chapter's Cult focus heavily on defeating the works of the daemonic, though it must be said that the Chapter is nowhere near as specialised as the secretive Grey Knights and regularly faces the entire spectrum of the Imperium's foes. Nonetheless, the Exorcists are especially adept at combating the denizens of the Warp and this is manifest in another of the Chapter's practices.
The Chapter Cult is divided into a number of sub-cults known as Orisons. Each serves as a lodge of warrior-mystics within the Chapter, the members of each privy to a particular, specialised branch of daemonic lore. When facing a threat that is the domain of a specific Orison, that group may be gathered together to confront it or to counsel others in doing so. The Orisons are not standing tactical formations and their existence does not contravene the dictates of the Codex Astartes, but they do allow the Chapter to focus specialised knowledge quickly and efficiently and thus defeat the servants of the Ruinous Powers.
Given their nature, it is perhaps inevitable that the Exorcists should maintain close ties to various bodies within the Inquisition. While it is far from unusual for Chapters to have special links with individual Inquisitors or with particular conclaves or other groups, the Exorcists go one step further. The Chapter's homeworld of Banish hosts several facilities belonging to Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus, though their exact factional leanings remain a mystery. If half of the suspicions regarding the Exorcists' indoctrination processes are true, then it is possible that these allied Inquisitors and their servants adhere to one of the more Radical factions within the Ordos, for no Puritan would countenance such practices.
- Enoch Trismegistus - According to ancient Chapter legends, Enoch Trismegistus was the Exorcists' first Chapter Master.
- Captain Silas Alberec - Also known as the "Wielder of the Hellslayer" and the "Keeper of Vigils", Silas Alberec is a mighty Space Marine whose Ogryn-like stature allows him to tower over even his fellow Astartes and who serves as the Captain of the 3rd Company of the Exorcists. Captain Alberec, who is also the heir-designate to become the next Chapter Master of the Exorcists, commanded a large force of Exorcist Astartes during the Chapter's involvement in the Badab War. He is a phenomenal warrior whose strength has become legendary within his Chapter. But it is not only for his physical power that Alberec has been hailed, for his brutish exterior conceals a sharp mind and an extraordinary will, both of which have been tested in the harshest circumstances imaginable. While still a Neophyte Scout Marine of the Exorcists' 10th Company, Silas Alberec was assigned to a small strike force assisting an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor named Kahzan in combating a suspected daemonic infestation aboard the Mars-class Battlecruiser Sundered Star. When the tainted starship began to phase in and out of realspace, plunging all aboard into the nightmarish realm of the Warp, the casualties were enormous, and Silas Alberec was one of the few to survive, dragging the maimed Inquisitor out to a salvation pod before the Sundered Star disappeared forever into the jaws of hell. This was but the first of scores of acts of courage and fortitude attributed to him, earning Alberec an eventual place as the Captain of the 3rd Company, the Chapter's Keeper of Vigils and the Adjutant of the Orison of the Broken Tower, one of the few non-psykers to be granted the title. Captain Alberec commanded the Exorcists contingent that served the Loyalist cause during the Badab War. The Exorcists intervened in the conflict once the Secessionists had been declared Excommunicate Traitoris in 908.M41. Alberec gained great fame and recognition for himself in the Badab War, leading his Space Marines in several noteworthy engagements. The first of these was the taking of the armed merchantman Soyuz-Maru during the Second Battle of Sagan, and the last was the bloody attack on the vital and heavily defended Sentinel-Sigma station during the Fall of Badab Primaris. In this latter battle, Alberec wielded the Hellslayer Power Mace to great effect, rapidly smashing his way through armoured bulkheads while under heavy fire from the Astral Claws. Alberec slew the Astral Claws' Chaplain Arkil Lionsmane in personal combat despite still suffering from grievous wounds earned in prior battles.
- Captain Waite Ryder - Captain Waite Ryder was the Exorcists' Master of the Fleet during the Badab War.
- Librarian Malachite - A Librarian of the Exorcists Chapter who fought during the Aschen War in 307.M40. Because of the noble sacrifice of one of the Chapter Dreadnoughts, Venerable Sybra, when combating the unholy daemonic monstrosity known as the Lord of Shadows, Librarian Malachite was able to press his advantage and strike at the Greater Daemon's burning heart with his Force Spear, finally vanquishing it back to the Warp.
- Epistolary Sabazius - The archives of the Deathwatch record that Brother Sabazius had served as an Epistolary in the Exorcists Chapter for almost a standard century when he was dispatched by his Chapter Master to fight alongside an Inquisition mission to scour a xenophage cult that had taken hold amongst the nobility of the pleasure world of Leucosia. The legends of that world still recount the day the vengeful Librarian and his Battle-Brothers descended from the pristine skies upon pillars of fire to deliver judgement upon the fallen. So effective was that operation that millennia later, Leucosia is counted as amongst the most pious of Imperial Shrine Worlds, entirely dedicated to the purest of the Emperor's saints. It was during this operation that Sabazius drew the attention of members of the Ordo Xenos, and a decade later he answered the call to stand a vigil of the Long Watch at Watch Fortress Erioch in the Jericho Reach. Epistolary Sabazius was gifted with several psychic abilities counted as rare amongst battle psykers, not least of which was the ability to discern the soul of an enemy in the Great Beyond, and to assault it directly with powers unleashed by his own spirit. Thus Sabazius was able to bear witness to the soul-death of his foes directly, and it was this aspect of his powers that led him to the conclusion that the beast of Andronicus Prime was not myriad foes, but a single entity. When he summoned a select Kill-team comprised of Veteran Deathwatch members, Sabazius and his entire team went missing, their fate unknown.
- Venerable Sybra - During the Vanquishing of the Horned God (during the Aschen War) in 307.M40, on the Dead World of Belphago, this Venerable Dreadnought sacrificed himself to rip a chunk of a Greater Daemon's body away in order to expose its blazing heart, so that his Battle-Brother Librarian Malachite would be able to kill the nigh-invulnerable daemon.
- Silent Cry - This Stalker Pattern Bolter forged by the Exorcists reaped a great toll on insurgent leaders and foul xenos beasts during the Angevin Crusade into the Calyx Expanse, striking through impregnable defences to slay the enemy before they even became aware of the danger. The commanders of the Achilus Crusade have recently learned that this famous weapon now rests in the hands of the Deathwatch, and lobby with all their efforts to see it put to similar use on their behalf in the Jericho Reach. Some in the Deathwatch are sympathetic, arguing that the weapon calls out to be wielded on Crusade once more.
- Serpent Staff of Sabazius - A Force Staff formerly carried by the famed Exorcists Epistolary Sabazius, this weapon was as much a symbol of office as a potent weapon through which he was able to focus his arcane powers. This master-crafted weapon was wrought for him by the finest Artificers of the Chapter, a weapon thought lost along with all traces of the Epistolary himself. The so-called Serpent Staff resided in Watch Fortress Erioch in the Jericho Reach, set into a niche within Sabazius' cell when the Epistolary disappeared during his last mission. Legends state that, at the very moment of its owner's descent into the raging fires of the crater on the world of Andronicus Prime, the staff came alive in its resting place, its rigid form twisting like that of a reptile, an event that earned it its title. Though the transformation was only temporary and witnessed only by Deathwatch Chapter Serfs, it was later declared a genuine phenomenon. The Serpent Staff was transplanted from its resting place in the cell of the lost Epistolary and placed within the Catacombs of Erioch along with countless other relics of the Long Watch. Within a day, however, the staff was found to be missing, and following an exhaustive search it was discovered in its original resting place, in the niche in its former owner's cell. Since that time, the Serpent Staff of Sabazius has been carried into battle by numerous subsequent generations of Deathwatch Librarians. Several have fallen in battle while carrying it, and in at least three known instances the staff has somehow returned to its resting place even when its bearer's body was unrecovered. The staff was even returned to the Exorcists Chapter itself at one time, yet a standard year later it was found back in its niche on Erioch. As a result, the former cell of Epistolary Sabazius has been declared sacred ground, and it is maintained as a shrine to the fallen hero of the Scouring of Andronicus Prime. This curious Force Staff possesses a number of odd qualities. First and foremost, this weapon refuses to be separated from the Deathwatch Librarian who has requisitioned it.
The Exorcists have an extensive long-range Chapter fleet which includes the unusually high number of 3 Battle Barges. During the Badab War they were able to deploy a sizable fleet composed of 2 Battle Barges, 4 Strike Cruisers and 3 squadrons of Escorts and attack craft numbering 17 spacecraft in total. The Exorcists' fleet is known to have possessed the following vessels:
- Redeemer (Battle Barge)
- Aleph Argentium (Strike Cruiser) - Destroyed in 911.M41 during the Badab War at Kritias Secundus during the invasion of the Piraeus System.
The Exorcists' Battle-Brothers commonly have etched sigils and engraved hexagrammic wards incorporated into their Power Armour and their personal weapons to help protect themselves and ward off the depredations and corrupting influence of Warp entities.
The Exorcists' original Chapter colours included yellow Power Armour. The right shoulder guard was yellow with a checkered-pattern border for the trim. The left shoulder guard was a dark purple colour and had bonding studs fastened to it. The then-standard Mark VI helmet was also coloured yellow with a black triangle pattern over the mouth of the helmet's "beak". The eye lenses were red and the backpack was coloured black.
The Exorcists' current Chapter colours include red Power Armour with black trim. Veterans of the Chapter often have white trim and wear helmets that are coloured white to mark their senior status. The elite 1st Company wears red Terminator Armour with black shoulder guards instead of the standard red.
The Exorcists' original Chapter badge was a dark brown-coloured, leering horned devil's head with red eyes. The Exorcists' current Chapter badge is a simple bone-white horned skull on a red background.
- Codex: Armageddon (3rd Edition), pg. 18
- Codex: Eye of Terror (3rd Edition), pg. 16
- Deathwatch: Honour the Chapter (RPG), pp. 114-115, 133
- Deathwatch: The Emperor's Chosen (RPG), pp. 45-48, 50
- Imperial Armour Volume Two (Second Edition) - "War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes", pg. 22
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pp. 43, 47
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pp. 37, 44, 48, 60, 63, 99, 124-131, 179
- Legends of the Space Marines (Anthology), "The Trial of the Mantis Warriors" by C.S. Goto
- Warhammer 40,000: Compendium (1st Edition), "The Badab War" by Rick Priestley, pp. 33-35
- White Dwarf Magazine #101 (UK), "Index Astartes: The Badab Uprising" by Rick Priestley
- Within These Walls (Ebook) by C.Z.Dunn