- "Dark star, that hath no light;
Whither shalt thou wander,
If not back into the abyss
Where we must follow?"
- — Attributed to Saint Basillius the Elder
The Broken was a warband of Chaos Space Marines recently encountered by the Ultramarines Chapter as they investigated a Space Hulk that broke from the Warp close to the Agri-World of Iax. As they ventured deeper into the Space Hulk, the Ultramarines were horrified to learn that their foes were once a Loyalist Second Founding Successor Chapter of their own parent Legion -- the Viridian Consuls -- that had been declared lost in 321.M37 in the Eye of Terror as part of the ill-fated Abyssal Crusade. What horrors they endured in the Eye of Terror may never be known, but by the time they made their way back into realspace, they had become a fully corrupted warband of Heretic Astartes.
The Broken are believed to have been eradicated by the Ultramarines in the late 41st Millennium.
The Abyssal CrusadeEdit
Following the Ecclesiarchal Purges of 321.M37, a dozen star systems were engulfed by Warp Storm Dionys, its echoes rippling along the spiral arms of the galaxy as it raged through the Empyrean. Records of mutation and Chaos Cultist activity quadrupled virtually overnight. Worse yet, it was not only the citizens who were affected by the sudden influx of Chaos. Many of the Space Marine Chapters with homeworlds affected by the Warp Storm found that the secret imperfections in their gene-seed were writ large upon their new recruits, giving rise to a wave of disturbing manifestations both physical and psychological. The Viridian Consuls were one such Loyalist Chapter of Astartes that was affected by this Warp Storm.
When the Ecclesiarchy heard of this sinister turn of events, Saint Basillius the Elder demanded that all those Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes whose homeworlds had been touched by the Warp Storm be rendered unto his judgement. Such was the Living Saint's influence with the High Lords of Terra and the Inquisition that within a standard year this had come to pass. After a series of stringent tests and prognostications, hundreds of Chapters were deemed unaffected by the Warp Storm but no less than thirty were found wanting.
The Judged, as these fallen Chapters came to be known, volunteered for a redemptive Penitent Crusade. The most militant of their number demanded the right to purify their tainted flesh in the fires of battle, to make a noble end from tragic misfortune. To the surprise of his closest advisors, Saint Basillius agreed to this proposal. He saw it fitting to send the accused into the Eye of Terror, taking the fight for the Imperium's future to the Daemon Worlds inhabited by the Traitor Marines.
Representatives from each of the doomed Chapters held an emergency Council of Dismay to discuss the proposed Crusade. After scant solar hours of debate, they acquiesced to Basillius' demands, for they believed that martyrdom was preferable to an existence of suspicion and doubt. The last few days of 321.M37 saw a solemn procession of Strike Cruisers and Battle Barges pass through the Cadian Gate into the Eye of Terror, relay systems dormant and heraldic colours obscured by black mag-plates. One by one, the Chapters of The Judged disappeared into the iridescent dust nebulae that surrounded the Eye. As the Space Marine flotilla entered the Eye of Terror, they were set upon by a massive Chaos warfleet. The resultant battle was so fierce that the warships of The Judged were forced to retreat and were scattered to the furthest corners of the Eye.
After Terran centuries within the Eye fighting the Forces of Chaos, the Viridian Consuls began to lose all hope and felt that they had been forgotten by the Imperium they served. By that time they had encountered and taken possession of a large Space Hulk designated Fury. Some of their number, including their own Chapter Master Phrynon, lost faith in the cause of the Emperor and turned to the veneration of the Dark Gods.
The rage they felt at their banishment paved the way for the worship of Khorne whilst their despair attracted the baleful attentions of Nurgle. Embracing the teachings of Chaos, Chapter Master Phrynon began to corrupt his own troops, trying to break the Astartes' faith in the Imperium by torturing them through diverse means. For his efforts Phrynon was granted ascension to daemonhood and became a Daemon Prince. He shed his mortal name to become The Witness, a title taken in mockery of the Imperial justice that had condemned the Viridian Consuls to this fate. Having been broken both in mind and body before succumbing to the corrupting influence of Chaos, the remaining Astartes who became a part of the new warband took the name of "The Broken."
The Fury Comes to Iax Edit
Four thousand standard years after taking command of the Fury, the Space Hulk was detected by the Auger array of one of the many void stations guarding the Agri-world of Iax in the Realm of Ultramar. A patrol ship was sent to intercept the Space Hulk, but did not return after making contact with the Fury. Instead, a security officer of the void station received a Vox transmission which contained a single, short, High Gothic phrase: Insanista in tenebris. The security officer contacted the Ultramarines Chapter starship Rex Aeterna, commanded by Captain Galenus of the Ultramarines' 5th Company, to inform them of the rogue transmission.
Several solar hours later, Rex Aeterna appeared in the Iax System. Galenus had been the Captain of the 5th Company for only 18 standard years, and so chose to relay the latest Augur scans of the unknown Space Hulk to Macragge with a request for instructions from Marneus Calgar, the Ultramarines' Chapter Master. At the same time, Galenus needed to acquire more data on the nature of the threat the Space Hulk presented to the system. The 5th Company attempted a void insertion onto the Hulk, and sent a single squad to make an initial reconnaissance of the massive voidship. Despite their caution, the reconnaissance squad soon lost contact with their commander. In response, Galenus sent an additional squad aboard the Fury to track down the lost Veterans.
On Macragge, Calgar received Galenus' message and immediately made preparations to depart for the Iax System, escorted by Magos Fane of Forge World Gantz and by Inquisitor Lazarus Drake of the Ordo Hereticus. Calgar took the Ultramarines' 7th Company and led it alongside the Inquisitorial warband of Drake and the Explorator Team of Magos Fane and contacted Captain Galenus to offer their assistance once they reached the Iax System. The Chapter Master was soon informed that Sergeant Starn of the 1st Company, one of the Astartes who had gone missing during the Ultramarines' initial reconnaissance of the Fury, had been found. Calgar ordered Chief Librarian Varro Tigurius to remain behind to provide intelligence to the Ultramarines team that was about to reenter the Fury as needed.
After Starn was ministered to by Fane, he revealed that he had become lost within the Space Hulk's labyrinthine corridors and had discovered an ancient Space Marine helmet. There was no way to determine whether these mysterious Astartes were the remnants of some faithful Chapter's lost detachment, or the harbinger of something more sinister. Calgar asked Inquisitor Drake to determine the origin of the helmet and then chose to scout the Hulk with all his forces in order to discover the truth of the matter. The Ultramarines and their allies boarded the Hulk and were led by Sergeant Starn, who served as their guide as they made their way in towards the Space Hulk's heart.
Slowly but surely, the Imperials made their way deep into the Fury, installing Vox-relays every few Terran miles within the massive vessel's interior to keep in touch with their fleet. While exploring the Hulk, Magos Fane requested that he be allowed to lead a detachment of his Mechanicus personnel to investigate several systems they had discovered to still be operational aboard the Space Hulk. With the Chapter Master's permission, Fane left the main body of the Imperial force.
Inquisitor Drake and Calgar understood that the further they traveled within the Hulk, the harder it would be to withdraw, fearful that the enemy was observing their progress and waiting for them to travel so deeply into the Space Hulk's labyrinth that it would prove almost impossible to withdraw.
Inquisitor Drake eventually determined the truth surrounding the mysterious Space Marine helmet Starn had found within the Space Hulk. His savants informed him that it was three Terran millennia old and belonged to the Viridian Consuls Chapter, which had taken part in the Abyssal Crusade. Informed of this, Calgar asked Tigurius to gather intelligence regarding the Abyssal Crusade and the False Saint Basillius. Magos Fane suddenly interrupted, urgently requesting Calgar's presence over the Vox-caster, and informing the Chapter Master that he would be interested to learn what they had discovered about the Space Hulk.
Fane had recovered a digital map that laid out the system of tunnels that comprised the upper levels of the Fury. These tunnels were extensive and had been carved out through the bulk of the massive voidship over the course of several Terran centuries. Magos Fane was interested in studying the rest of the compartments of the Hulk, yet Calgar ordered him to copy the map and join the main column. Frustrated by this decision to short-circuit his exploration, yet unwilling to disobey the Chapter Master, Fane programmed his best Artisan, Alt-seven, to investigate the rest of the tunnels, while the Magos rejoined Calgar and the rest.
Meanwhile, the Scouts of the 10th Company were advancing ahead of the main force and ever deeper into the Hulk. It was then that a wave of thousands of Murder Servitors assaulted the Ultramarines Scouts. However, the beleaguered Scouts soon received reinforcements from the full Astartes of the 7th Company.
Seven Scouts were poisoned by the neurotoxins that the Murder Servitors employed, and two were slain by it. The second wave unleashed heavy weapons against the Ultramarines' 7th Company. Even the Devastator Marines of the 9th Company proved unable to force the Servitors back, since the enemy lay outside their direct line of sight. Captain Ixion of the 7th Company had little choice but to call for aid from the Ultramarines' Overwatch Flight. Those Thunderhawk gunships were tasked with identifying and eliminating the enemy positions. Unfortunately, one Thunderhawk of the flight was hit by fire from Heavy Arc Rifles carried by the Servitors and lost. Facing heavier than expected opposition, the remaining gunship retreated, promising to return with heavier air support.
It was then that Librarian Belisar of the 7th Company revealed to Captain Ixion that the enemy they faced was not the servants of Chaos, but forces of the Imperium's own Adeptus Mechanicus.
The Senior Artisan Alt-seven and his small party continued to explore the Fury. His orders were to gather enough data and return to Magos Fane before his absence was noticed by the rest of the Imperials. In the course of his wanderings, Alt-seven detected a code signature that had been activated for two thousand Terran years. He ordered two of his accompanying Skitarii to investigate the chamber from which the program had originated.
Meanwhile, Alt-seven continued to analyze the traces of an ancient battle he had discovered. Letting his auto-senses range over the area, he detected signs of Warp-damage, as though some gigantic force had taken the very fabric of the Space Hulk and shaken and twisted everything slightly out of frame.
But there was more. As the Tech-priest looked closer, he saw that some of the damage was explosive in nature; hull plates that were torn and blackened as well as buckled, and here and there a line of shell holes in the plasteel -- large impacts that had to be the work of Bolter fire. Interspersed with these traces were other relics of past conflict; including the long, searing furrows of Arc Rifle blasts. There had clearly been a battle fought on the Fury long ago, a combat fought between his own Adeptus Mechanicus and the Adeptus Astartes. Alt-seven knew Magos Fane needed to be informed of what he had learned. But while the mission lasted he had been ordered to maintain Vox silence. It would have to wait. Impatience seized him as he realised there had been no word from the two Skitarii; they had been swallowed up by the darkness ahead.
Suddenly, Alt-seven felt as if his brain had been filled with insects. Staggering at the sudden onset of the mental assault, he entered the next chamber and found the two Skitarii standing motionless without reacting to his presence. They stood before a vast, looming spire of wire-wrapped mechanica. The vid-screens on the pillar snapped into momentary life and displayed a haze of static. Reams of cable ran serpentine all around a floor from which billowed up a slowly boiling fog of vapour. The great pillar, composed of interwoven components of all kinds and drawn from many different eras, rose before them like some unquiet blinking icon, fifty feet tall, a machine tree with limbs of cable and wire and plasteel supporting struts that rose up to grasp at the tall ceiling overhead.
Alt-seven called up his internal Vox in an attempt to contact Magos Fane. But the techno-tree that stood before him took control of his augmetic components. Alt-seven's cybernetic hardware became useless as his mind was invaded by foreign code. The Mechadendrites attached to his body and those of the Enginseers who had accompanied him fell limp with metallic clangs.
Alt-seven's mind became a whirring blaze of uploading data, his head shaking on his shoulders as it flooded him. His warding incantations and protective protocols were swept aside like so much chaff, and a massive, blinding, enveloping stream of data coursed through him, realigning all his thought processes, rerouting programs, rewriting the sacred base code that made him who he was. It was over in only nanoseconds. The Mechanicus agents accepted the commands of their new master, who had finally shown them the true meaning of perfection.
Elsewhere within the Hulk, Marneus Calgar reviewed the reports of contact with an unknown enemy while most of his Ultramarines were still fighting the apparently Renegade forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus. The Chapter Master inquired of Magos Fane if he knew anything about these Dark Mechanicus forces that they had encountered. Fane objected that he and his techsorcist had detected no malign code that would indicate that the Heretek forces of the Dark Mechanicus were present on Fury.
But Fane did confess that he had sent a small party to investigate a major logistack of Cogitators nearby, though his servants had strangely not yet returned. Inquisitor Drake accused Fane of withholding vital data, but their quarrel was ended when by Chief Librarian Tigurius contacted Calgar. Tigurius informed his Chapter Master that the Fury was powering up its Geller Field and preparing to make a Warp jump.
Upon receiving this alarming news, Calgar ordered the remaining Ultramarines on the surface of the Hulk to evacuate back to the fleet. Calgar, Inquisitor Drake, Magos Fane, Captain Galenus, the 5th Company and the remaining Inquisitorial and Mechanicus forces left 6 Terran miles inside the Space Hulk had no hope of escaping it in time. As such, Calgar also ordered Tigurius to defend the Iax System no matter what happened to his fellow trapped on the Fury. Calgar also handed over command of the Ultramarines fleet to Tigurius, and ordered him to ensure that Captain Severus Agemman, the commander of the Ultramarines' elite 1st Company, became the new Chapter Master if he did not survive their jump into the Warp. Tigurius promised that he would find Calgar no matter what happened or where in the galaxy the Fury took him and his fellow Ultramarines.
The 7th and the 9th Companies were forced to leave their Chapter Master behind. All save for the Dreadnought Brother Forunus had boarded their Thuderhawks on the Hulk's surface and left the Fury behind. The Ultramarines fleet moved to rapidly put as much distance between itself and the Space Hulk as possible. With the last words of Tigurius to his trapped brethren, "courage and honour," still ringing in their ears, the Fury opened a portal into the raging tides of the Warp and disappeared from the Iax System, its destination unknown.
Warband Beliefs Edit
After fighting the Forces of Chaos for many years in the Eye of Terror, the Viridian Consuls lost all hope and felt betrayed by the Imperium who they believed had sent them into the Warp rift only to die. That anger and despair ultimately drove The Broken to turn to two of the major Chaos Gods to seek succor in their angst: Khorne and Nurgle.
The Broken accepted Khorne as the manifestation of their anger towards the Imperium that had betrayed them. Nurgle represented the sense of hopelessness that had come upon the Viridian Consuls as they fought within the Eye. Despite their veneration of the two Ruinous Powers, The Broken seem to hold Nurgle in somewhat higher regard and devote themselves to his worship more fervently. Those Astartes of the Virdian Consuls who refused to accept the Chapter's turn towards Chaos were crucified alive, Nurgle's maggots gnawing within their rotting innards while the Plague God refused to let them die.
Notable Broken Edit
The Broken warband's colours are not listed in current Imperial records.
The Broken warband's badge is not listed in current Imperial records.
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 19
- Calgar's Fury (Novel) by Paul Kearny