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The Halo Brethren are a Loyalist Codex Astartes-compliant Space Marine Chapter of unknown lineage created during the 4th Founding in 546.M32, following the disastrous events of the War of the Beast against the largest Ork WAAAGH! seen since the time of the Great Crusade led by the mysterious Greenskin Warlord known only as The Beast. The Halo Brethren were created alongside several other Chapters to help bring order to an Imperium rife with civil discord and insurrection, and to help restore Imperial law.
Following the disastrous events of the War of the Beast, the Imperium of Man lay in ruins. Only a thousand standard years after the Horus Heresy Imperial military forces were a fraction of what they had once been. The Lord Commander of the Imperium, Maximus Thane, the former Chapter Master of the Fists Exemplar, and now the new Chapter Master of the reconstituted Imperial Fists, decreed to the High Lords of Terra that a Fourth Founding would take place. They would raise as many new Chapters as they had gene-seed in the great vaults of Terra to sustain. All Chapters were ordered to release a portion of their Veterans to provide the initial basis for this Founding, the greatest since the First Founding. Gene-seed tithing was doubled for the next standard century to replenish the vaults. When it was done, there were hundreds of Chapters to ring the Imperium in adamanatium and ceramite instead of dozens. The Adeptus Astartes had sacrificed much to defeat The Beast and his vast Greenskin horde.
The Lord Commander also decreed that the Imperial Fists would no longer garrison the Throneworld of Terra, as they would become a Crusading Chapter, to bring their strength and Thane's authority as Lord Commander of the Imperium to the beleaguered worlds of the Imperium, free them from alien tyranny, and speed their reconstruction. Knowing that his labours would be long, and that he might never see the Throneworld again, Thane invested Drakan Vangorich as Lord Protector -- to be his personal representative and act his voice and his hand -- to be heeded and treated with as if Thane were present himself. To allay the High Lords' misgivings, he reminded them that the threat of his return would be enough to ensure Vangorich's good behaviour.
Shortly after Thane's and the Imperial Fists' departure, the catastrophic event known as The Beheading occurred when newly instilled Lord Protector Drakan Vangorich, the Grand Master of Assassins, had his Officio Assassinorum agents wipe out eleven of the High Twelve of the High Lords of Terra. He quickly moved to take complete control over the Senatorum Imperialis and installed puppet High Lords that he could control. Thane chose to ignore Vangorich's actions for the time being, and gave the Lord Protector of the Imperium a chance to reign. During this time, Vangorich ruled the Imperium with an iron fist. The Imperium was refortified and the Fourth Founding took place, in which the Halo Brethren were created.
While Thane pushed the Crusade ever outwards, to reclaim and rebuild hundreds of Imperial worlds, after some 80 standard years of rule, Vangorich had become unstable. He exhibited bizarre behaviour and began calling for random purges. Unnecessary massacres occurred all across the length and breadth of the Imperium. Thane received troubling reports from Terra and throughout the Imperium, and came to the conclusion that it was time for him to return to the Throneworld to remove the unstable Lord Protector. When the Imperial Fists arrived back at Terra, both the newly-founded Halo Brethren and the Sable Swords Chapters would take part in the retribution force that would see Vangorich removed from power.
Almost nothing else is known about this Chapter in official Imperial records.
- Fury of the Space Marines (626.M32) - In 546.M32, after the departure of Lord Commander of the Imperium Thane and his Imperial Fists Chapter, the internecine politics of the Imperium took a calamitous turn when the High Lords of Terra were slain to a man on the orders of Drakan Vangorich, the Grand Master of the Officio Assassinorum, and newly installed Lord Protector. This lamentable period of history came to be known as The Beheading which occurred in 546.M32. Though aware of the events that had occurred within the Senatorum Imperialis, Thane chose to temporarily ignore Vangorich's actions, and gave him a chance to rule the Imperium effectively, for once. At first, all was well, as the Imperium refortified itself and the Fourth Founding successfully took place. But after nearly 80 Terran years of rule, the Lord Protector began to display troubling behaviour and paranoia. Seeing enemies everywhere, he called for unnecessary purges and massacres, which only seemed to grow in number on a daily basis. Receiving troubling reports from abroad, Maximus Thane decided that the Imperial Fists would return to Terra to remove the troublesome Vangorich. When the Crusade finally arrived back at Terra, four hundred Space Marines were despatched to the capital world's surface. A company each from two of the newly-founded Chapters, the Halo Brethren and the Sable Swords, as well as two hundred Imperial Fists of the First, Fourth and Fifth Companies, took part in the efforts to remove Vangorich from power. The commander of the strike force, Qublicus Amar, Lord of the Sable Swords, was assassinated by a Vindicare Assassin's bullet soon after making planetfall. Seeing no other choice, the remaining Space Marines commenced their attack nevertheless. Assailed by hundreds of assassins, the Space Marines lost half their number securing the Imperial Palace from the agents of the Officio Assassinorum. Confronting the Inquisitorial Representative, the elderly Wienand, she convinced Thane of her loyalty, and gave the Chapter Master the necessary intelligence he needed in order to find and remove the mad tyrant Vangorich from power. The Grand Master of Assassins had taken refuge in the Eversor Temple at the north pole of Terra. Moving the retribution force there at once, the Space Marines proceeded with their attack. Within the Eversor temple, the Space Marines were assailed by a hundred Eversor Assassins. Only Thane managed to survive, to reach the Grand Master and deliver the Emperor's judgement with his Bolt Pistol. In the aftermath of Vangorich's fall, the Imperium would proceed to descend into a period of anarchy for some time.
The Halo Brethren's Chapter colours are not recorded in current Imperial records.
The Halo Brethren's Chapter badge is not recorded in current Imperial records.
- Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook (5th Edition), pg. 124
- The Beast Arises (Novel Series):
- The Beheading (Book 12) by Guy Haley