The Helion Legion is a Loyalist Space Marine Chapter of Ultramarines lineage created during an unknown Founding. Raised as they were from the vaunted lineage of Roboute Guilliman, the Helion Legion was founded to provide guardians for the furthest-flung Imperial worlds at the very edge of the galaxy. Due to this isolation, the Helion Legion is often forced to confront those Imperial worlds who attempt to break away from Terra altogether as well as the omnipresent threat of Orks. Many fringe worlds have also begun to display signs of Necron awakenings as well. Currently, the Helion Legion is defending the isolated Industrial World of Arkalli from multiple invasions by both the Orks and Nurgle's Plague Marines. Almost nothing else is known about this Chapter in official Imperial records.
Though its exact origins are unknown, the Helion Legion has continued to faithfully serve the Imperium of Man throughout its existence. A stalwart and dedicated Chapter, the Helion Legion is often isolated at the edges of the Imperium for long periods of time, working with scarce supplies and little reinforcement. The Chapter is often forced to hold several far-flung star systems together through its efforts. Facing the ever-present threat of the warlike Orks, the Chapter fights off wave after wave of Greenskin raiders who seek to plunder these war-torn Imperial fringe worlds. But the Orks are not the only threat the Helion Legion faces, for even now a new threat emerges on the horizon -- the ancient Necrons. Signs of Necron awakenings have begun to emerge on several of the furthest worlds in the sector where the Chapter is currently deployed.
- Defence of Arkalli (Unknown Date.M41) - During the final solar decades of the 41st Millennium, the Helion Legion took part in one of the most notable events in the annals of the Chapter's history, which came to be known as the Defence of Arkalli. This vital Industrial World is located in the heart of a cluster of several Imperial worlds that lie at the limit of the Astronomican's reach at the galaxy's edge. When the Helion Legion arrived in the sector, news reached the Chapter of a large Ork WAAAGH! that had made its way to Arkalli to steal its machinery and resources for its own twisted Mekboys. It was with haste that the Chapter deployed to halt this menace and free Arkalli's people from the savage Ork occupation. As the fighting on Arkalli began, the Chapter divided its companies between various regions on the planet's surface to combat the threat on multiple fronts with the aid of the planet's local Astra Militarum regiments while the Chapter fleet and 1st Company remained in orbit to combat the Ork presence in the void. After several solar months of heavy combat the Helion Legion was on the brink of victory when the unexpected occurred. At the same time the defence of Arkalli was underway, a Chaos Cult dedicated to the Plague God Nurgle had been forming in the festering darkness of the planet's hive cities. With the Ork invasion providing a distraction for the Imperium's finest warriors, an uprising soon began which attacked the planet's defences from within and allowed the Orks to increase the size of the Greenskin hordes besetting the besieged world. With the spread of death and despair across Arkalli, foul rituals were enacted by the cult to summon forth the Curse of Unbelief -- a supernatural plague that rots the mind, body and soul of the infected until the victim becomes nothing more than a mindless Plague Zombie hell-bent on spreading the plague to others by bite and scratch. As the fighting wore on, so too did the influx of Chaos reinforcements, as not only the human populace of Arkalli but the invading Orks fell victim to the plague. The increasingly dire situation was further exacerbated by the arrival of a Death Guard Chaos Space Marine warband. Though the Helion Legion fought valiantly, its Astartes sustained severe losses due to having to fight on two fronts, against Orks and Nurglites alike. To this day, the Helion Legion has not managed to replenish the losses sustained during this conflict. Now and forever, they burn with an intense hatred for both Orks and the followers of Nurgle.
As an Ultramarines Successor Chapter, the Helion Legion was originally a Codex Astartes-compliant Chapter, comprised of the proscribed 1,000 Space Marines broken down into ten separate companies. But due to its engagement in almost uninterrupted warfare on the Imperium's frontiers for millennia, the Chapter's numbers began to dwindle faster than they could recover, resulting in the ultimate loss of three full companies. The Helion Legion was forced to take drastic action to restructure the Chapter in order to maintain its military readiness and commitments throughout its assigned sector of the galaxy. The Helion Legion divided the Chapter into several self-sufficient companies -- each acting as a min-Chapter unto itself -- with its own Scouts, Veterans and support forces. The Helion Legion now possesses seven such autonomous companies.
The Chapter's Grand Master often travels between his far-flung domains, along with his own company of warriors, recruited from the best that the different Battle Companies have to offer. These Veteran warriors are often fitted with the finest wargear the Chapter possesses, bedecked in all of the ornate heraldry and history that the Chapter can muster.
A typical Helion Legion company consists of the following:
- 0-1 Captain
- 0-1 Librarian
- 0-1 Chaplain
- 0-1 Command Squad (Consisting of 1 Standard Bearer, 1 Apothecary, 1 Techmarine, 1 Company Champion and the Librarian and Chaplain listed above)
- 0-2 Assault Squads (Only one squad is equipped with Jump Packs)
- 0-2 Scout Bike Squads
- 0-3 Land Speeders
- 0-1 Land Speeder Tornado or Land Speeder Typhoon
Chapter Combat DoctrineEdit
Due to their limited resources and inability to call upon other Chapters for reinforcement, members of the Helion Legion have learned to make the most of their wargear and surrounding environment when fighting the enemies of Mankind. While their individual wargear is always properly maintained and ready before any conflict, it is not rare to see Helion Legion Battle-Brothers fashioning crude repairs on their battle-plate and weapons during prolonged combat in order to stay in the fight. These battlefield repairs can range from welding scrap metal onto damaged armour panels to incorporating armour pieces and weapons once belonging to the enemy. During the Defence of Arkalli, some Helion Legion Astartes were reported using Ork weapons while in the middle of a long siege when their own ran out of ammunition or were damaged beyond repair. These odious xenos items were eventually scrapped or discarded in favour of Imperial technology after the conflict ended.
As it is descended from the lineage of the Ultramarines, the Helion Legion possesses very pure gene-seed. This material is rigorously scrutinised, maintained and preserved by the Chapter's Apothecaries to ensure genetic purity and prevent unacceptable mutations.
The Helion Legion Chapter primarily wears black Power Armour. The Aquila or Imperialis on the chest guard is bronze, while the skull at the centre of the Imperialis is silver. Parts of their battle-plate are also silver, including the top and vents on the back pack, the top and ear protection on the helm and the trim of the shoulder pauldrons. The inset of the right shoulder pauldron is white, while the left shoulder pauldron inset is black. The inset of the right shoulder pauldron worn by a Squad Sergeant remains black, but the colour of the cross on the displayed Chapter icon is instead white. A white vertical stripe worn on the helm also designates a Squad Sergeant's rank.
Unique to this Chapter is that its Battle-Brothers place their Chapter badge on the right shoulder pauldron instead of the proscribed place of honour on the left shoulder pauldron in accordance to the dictates of the Codex Astartes. This is because the Chapter still utilises a large number of complete or mixed components of relic Mark VI Corvus Power Armour. As this particular pattern of battle-plate often had molecular bonding studs on the left shoulder pauldron, the individual Battle-Brother sometimes wore his Chapter's icon on the right shoulder pauldron, a tradition that began during the Horus Heresy. Even on newer sets of Mark VII Aquila Power Armour, this tradition has been maintained.
Unlike their progenitors, who maintain strict adherence to the Codex Astartes, members of the Helion Legion instead make use of heraldic symbols unique to their Chapter. These are used to designate squad type (Tactical, Devastator, Assault or Veteran). The white squad specialty symbol is located on the left shoulder pauldron. A white Roman numeral is placed on the inset of the left shoulder pauldron next to the squad specialty symbol and displays the designated squad number. The left poleyn (knee guard]] is white. A black, traditional Codex-proscribed squad specialty symbol adorns the left poleyn. It is not known how the Chapter designates company number, if at all. Due to their unique Chapter organisation, all Helion Legion Scout Marines receive squad specialty markings, like their full-fledged Battle-Brothers, depending on the assigned combat role. Those who are assigned as snipers or heavy support wear Devastator markings, while those Scouts equipped with close-combat weapons and Bolt Pistols are authorised Assault markings. In the same way, Scouts who are armed with Bolters or Shotguns display Tactical markings.
While the Helion Legion's overall colour scheme is standard for most of the Chapter, there is one notable exception. Due to the relic nature and scarcity of the few suits of Terminator Armour the Chapter possesses, and the fact that most of the Chapter's 1st Company Veterans were trained in the Ultramar Sector, all Terminators and Veteran Marines leave at least one or more portions of their Power Armour unpainted or repainted to display Ultramarines blue as a way to honour their genetic forebears. The Veteran elite are also known to replace the Chapter badge on their shoulder pauldrons with a roll-call of previous wearers of their individual battle-plate -- each one framed differently -- as a walking memorial. This "Roll of Honour" is meticulously hand-written and carefully maintained. Each Battle-Brother who inherits a suit of Helion Legion Terminator Armour from his fallen predecessor will add his own name alongside all those who have previously worn it before going on to avenge his fallen brothers on the battlefield. When he, too, eventually falls in battle and the armour is retrieved and handed down, it is up to his successor to continue enacting vengeance in the name of his fallen brothers.
The Helion Legion's Chapter badge is a stylised, black, four-pointed cross, overlaying a stylised, red sun and centred upon a field of white. Squad Sergeants wear a variant of the Chapter's badge, with the cross white and centred upon a field of black.
- White Dwarf 297 (UK), "Drawing a Line - Echoes from the Warp," by Steve Cuminskey, pp. 18-23
- White Dwarf 301 (UK), "Into the Wasteland," by Steve Cuminskey, pg. 90
- Helion Legion Terminators by Steve Cuminskey