We jump back, through the terrifying vortex of time and space, to the army that started it all…
In 2007, I was introduced to the world of miniature wargaming by a high-school friend. During a day out at the mall, we stopped in Games Workshop where I was treated to a painting lesson from one of the “Red Shirts”. After spending an hour or so, slapping paint haphazardly onto three Battle for Skull Pass Goblins, I left feeling triumphant and excited. The little plastic spears stuck into my leg (I remember I had them in my pocket) and I knew then that I’d be getting stuck into the world of fantasy miniature creation from then on. There was just something so thrilling about bringing these sneaky little gits to life through my own effort.
A few weeks later I splurged and picked up a Battle for Macragge starter set, featuring three heroic Space Marines. One I painted in blotchy, crackling red and gold. The other, I attempted to paint white. The final became an Ultramarine, a true Games Workshop poster-boy.
I built up a small Ultramarines army in that year, however, no photos exist. This is probably for the best.
Of course, I wouldn’t be stopping there.
My next army, a ridiculously massive project for such an early point in my “career”, was a Black Templar successor army called “The Sons of Vergus”.
The Sons of Vergus employed an accidentally plagiarised Dark Angel’s colour scheme and a medieval knight aesthetic that I thought was super cool. The then current Space Marine codex allowed for the creation of DIY chapters with different styles of fighting, and so the Sons of Vergus became violent, up-close-and-personal bastards with a deep hatred for Psykers. Bit Black Templary, huh?
I remember signing up for a Dakka Dakka account in order to find inspiration and share my projects (which I egotistically thought were pretty bloody spectacular), and then writing a document, of about 4,000 words, detailing the bloody history of the chapter, from their formation under Black Templar Marshall Vergus on the ex-Forgeworld Benedictus, to their shattering at the hands of Necrons. Their later rebirth as “The Knights of the Ruin” saw them become a shadow of a Chapter, destroyed beyond all hope by merciless aliens.
I was a pretty cheery teenager.
So without further ado, here’s the complete gallery for “The Knights of the Ruin”, my first major Warhammer army, and basically, my first miniature wargaming army ever. As a bit of a bonus (cringe worthy though, I warn you), I’ve attached that background writing that first appeared on Dakka Dakka in a “read more” at the bottom of this post. Read this horrible history at your own peril!
Benedictus is a planet on the very outskirts of our galaxy, rich in valuable minerals which have made it a planet of vast importance to the Adeptus Mechanicus. In 789.M31 a Adeptus Mechanicus mining base was set up on the planet and continued to operate at full capacity until 506.M32, producing a vast amount of vehicles and weaponry to be used by Space Marine Chapters. In 507.M32 the facilities went quiet and all production stopped. Massive energy emissions where detected on the planet but even till now the knowledge of why production halted has been a mystery. In 634.M34 a Black Templar Crusade was passing through the star system when they happened upon the quiet planet. Upon landfall it was discovered that all buildings, manufactoriums and even wargear had survived intact and the planet was deemed habitable. During M35 Benedictus saw an influx of pilgrims and civilians ready to settle on the planet and soon the planet became an Imperial world once again. In M36 the Emperor and the High Lords of Terra saw it fit to create a new Chapter on the planet, utilizing the ancient weaponry preserved on the planet from the before times of the Adeptus Mechanicus. This chapter was named the Sons of Vergus, named after the great Black Templar Marshall that first discovered the planet. Vergus himself returned to the planet to aid in the founding of the Chapter, along with a small Crusade of Black Templars.
When the first 100 of the First Grand Company where ready, Marshall Vergus became Chapter Master and the rest is history.
++THE GREAT WARS++
+The Beast attacks+
In the late years of M36 the system of Hydrus Pass came under attack from a massive Ork Waaagh!!! This posed a great threat to the Sons of Vergus as, if the Orks could break through the poorly defended star system, Benedictus would be in the direct line of attack. Vergus had to act. Gathering the First 100 he set of to the Hades Pass in order to halt the Orks. The war was long and hard and the Orks greatly outnumbered the valiant marines. Although each brother fought like a god, it soon became clear that Vergus was losing the war. Vergus decided he would have to dispatch the Ork Warboss in order to halt the Waaagh!!! and that he did. In one fell swoop of his blade, Vergus clove the warboss in half, halting the Waaagh!!!
Although the loss was great Vergus returned a hero and was honored the Dues Ex Bellum, the symbol of a warrior god.
On that day that the First 100 where all but wiped out, the Orks have been held in the highest respect to the Sons of Vergus, a true test of their martial prowess, ever since.
Several years after Vergus had defeated the Waaagh!!! in the Hydrus Pass Benedictus came under attack again, but not from the vile greenskins. Exploding from the warp like burning arrows the cruisers and battle ships of Lord Karrions Chaos assault force besieged Vergus’ jewel. Orbital defenses where tested to their max as Chaos battle cruisers fired massive energy bolts and missiles at the planet. Fortunately the underground Fortress Monastery of the Sons of Vergus was well protected and sustained little damage. For three days the hell-born spacecraft dueled with planetary defenses, many civilian lives where lost as Hives around the planet where destroyed. It was on the third night that the Chaos Marines made landfall and Testra Dominis’ true power was summoned. From the vaults of the Fortress Monastery the first 500 where summoned. Like the angels themselves they cut a swathe through the Chaos forces, Vergus at the lead. With each hour the Chaos forces where dwindling. Cutlist’s bodies where piled up into massive wall to protect the inner sanctums of the Hive cities. On the fourth day the first 500 had secured the Hive City of Beta-Taurus and established defenses around the city walls (now heavily supported by rotting Cultists.) Vergus had secured his positioned and new that he had saved the lives of thousands, but they where not safe for long.
From all around Karrions hordes descended upon the defenders. Bolter fire could be heard for miles around as the Sons of Vergus defended the city with their lives. By the end of the day the pile of dead Chaos Space Marine was near 3 meters high, but Vergus was not pleased. Vergus had sworn by the Emperor that he would personally hunt down and kill Lord Karrion, and, on the fifth day, Vergus’ Librarians and psykers had pinpointed his location, heading towards the Fortress Monastery with great haste.
Leaving his finest 200 in defense of the city, he took off in his personal Thunderhawk and flew towards his castle. In an hour they had arrived and disembarked, Karrion would arrive any minute and Vergus had to be prepared. Standing at the mighty gate with nothing but sword and armour Vergus stared down his target as he descended the hills around, followed by a great horde of gibbering, homicidal warriors. With each footstep closer to the warrior god, Karrion’s horde exploded into great gout’s of plasma and flame as the Monasteries defenses flickered in to life. Soon their number had dwindled until they could easily be dispatched by any defense Vergus had organized inside. Seeing the battle lost Lord Karrion, Harbinger of Tzeentch stepped forward, bright blue flames shone from where his eyes once belonged and in a voice that sounded as if a choir of a thousand where speaking at one ushered a challenge to Vergus.
Vergus knew the Karrion must be killed and walked towards the Lord of Chaos with sword raised. Lord Karrions summoned all his might, flames of blue, red and purple shot from his fingertips at the warrior lord but still he advanced. Relentless and unforgiving Vergus marched forward. Although bleeding profusely from many wounds Vergus reached his target and a great battle ensued. The champions traded blows, arcane magiks on to the steel and power of the Emperor, but in a move as cowardly as a whipped snotling, Karrion attempted to summon a group of daemons behind Vergus, but instead opened up a rift in reality. Vergus fell to his knees as the shifting ether dragged him into it’s murky depths. Vergus would not die here, without completing his objective. He threw his blade far, the Chaos Lord raised a hand to stop it. Great bursts of flame erupted from the Lords hands, eyes and mouth as the blade skewered him. Toppling over, grasping the blade, the Chaos Lord’s soul was swallowed into the Warp and the rift closed.
Vergus, so weak from his injuries also fell, grabbed his sword out from Karrions body and held it aloft.
A great cry of victory erupted from the Monastery as the loyalists stormed forth, blowing apart the Heretics, but the Apothecaries of the chapter where at loss to save there lord. Vergus past his blade to his most deserved, Lord Aheizar, who would become the second Chapter Master of the Sons of Vergus. And with that he bowed his head and lay quiet.
It is said Vergus did not die that day, but his spirit was dragged into the warp along with Karrion and that they still battle to this day. It is also said that Vergus will return in mortal flesh once his enemy has been defeated and that he will lead his brothers on a galaxy wide crusade, slaughtering the xeno and heretical filth in the name of the Emperor.
+The Unquiet Dead+
Hundreds of years had past since the last great attack on Benedictus, one Chapter Master Marchus was now lord of Benedictus and it’s armies. It is widely believed that Marchus is Vergus returned to mortal flesh, having proved himself countless times in battle. The Sons of Vergus chapter has 1000 battle brothers in service, as is standard for Space Marine chapters following the doctrines of Roboute Guilliman, but separated in to a number of Great Crusades, as the Black Templars before them. All is good on Benedictus, production of weapons and vehicles is at a high and a planetary militia has been formed, the Testra Dominis Red Arms, but the manufacturing has awoken something long dormant and evil. Great cracks of green light appeared in the earth of Bendictus, whole buildings swallowed by the heaving ground. From the earth they came, metallic in colour and burning with an eerie green light, the Necrons of Benedictus have awoken.
All Sons of Vergus on the planet, including the 1st Grand Company, where readied for an all-out war, the planetary militia was raised and all planetary defenses where blessed and prepared for battle.
For two days the entire planet stood still and quiet, civilians where evacuated via any means possible, never to return, and the defenders of Vergus’ jewel stood valiantly as storm clouds grew overhead, ready to take on the Necrons.
On the third day the silence was broken as the metallic warriors strode through the desert towards to Fortress Monastery and the surrounding hive city. All defenses fired at the implacable foe but nothing slowed their advance. The first battle began in Alpha-Capricorn, a hive city to the south of the Fortress Monastery, the entirety of the planetary militia and a full quarter of the Sons of Vergus’ number where sent to intercept them. The battle lasted for a full three days and the hive city was all but leveled to the ground. A few men survived the battle, but did not return without life threatening wounds. On the 7th day Marchus led the 1st Grand Company, consisting of around 100 veterans, 100 battle brothers and a number of Scout parties into Beta-Capricorn where the battling was fiercest. The 1st company and Marchus himself fought of the skeletal warriors and massive movies fortresses with all their might and fire power, by the end of the first hour the sky was black with smoke and the city was crumbling. All over the planet the Necrons arose, Marchus and other planetary leaders where pushed to their absolute limits, the carnage of the battle was unbelievable, the planet itself seemed to be tearing itself asunder. On the 8th day the defenders where failing. More and more of Benedictus fell to the Necrons and all where ordered to fall back to the Fortress Monastery. Imperial fleets blasted away at the Necrons, as did planetary defenses, but it was not enough. The Sons of Vergus death toll climbed in to the hundreds as the Necrons advanced even further, it would not be long until they controlled the entire planet. Such odds seemed impossible to overcome but Marchus was a man made of sterner stuff. On the 10th day the last stand began. The entire Sons of Vergus chapter where stationed in and around the Fortress Monastery, prepared for a great siege. The ammunition supplies and Geneseed Banks where the most defended areas on the entire planet. Benedictus lay in waste, but Marchus would not let the ancient xeno scum take away the jewel of his ancestor. On the 11th day the whole planet shook as the Necrons attacked the Fortress Monastery. Marchus led a valiant counter charge against the foe and put to rest an unimaginable amount of Necron warriors. All around stood death and destruction as for a whole Terran week the Fortress Monastery was besieged. Death rained from the sky as the Imperial Fleets bombed the Necrons. The planet could not take much more without being turned into a useless rock.
On the 19th day of the attack all hell broke loose. Appearing in a mist of black the avatar of the C’tan showed itself. Like bugs where the Sons of Vergus to this new enemy, with each swing of it’s spectral scythe entire squads where cut down. Marchus prayed for the strength to endure and the Emperor answered. With a holy roar the sky of Benedictus ripped open and a hundred red Drop Pods descended. The Exorcists had arrived.
With the arrival of the new allies the Sons of Vergus gained much hope and courage flooded through the ranks. Marchus knew the Emperor looked upon this world with great pity and his men with great pride, ordering all strength on the Necron monster the Sons of Vergus slew it. A great earthquake shook the Monastery as the wraith fell and exploded in to great green flames. A psychic shockwave spread across the planet and thousands of Necrons fell silent, the burning green in their eyes had gone and their bodies faded away, into the great green mist.
It was unbelievable. The Sons of Vergus had won, against all odds, the Necrons where destroyed and Benedictus saved. Ever since that day the Exorcists’ Fifth company has stood guard to aid the Sons of Vergus remaining 300 brothers, it would be many hundreds of years before Benedictus will have been returned to its former glory, but return it would, under the guidance of Master Marchus, Black Knight of the Emperor, the Sons of Vergus would return.
Ever since the Necron uprising late in M.38 the Sons of Vergus chapter have been under-strength, mearly three hundred battle brothers of the original one thousand remain. The three hundred that remain are split in to three grand companies that are further split in to a number of crusades led by Marchus’ most trusted crusade veterans. There are currently four Crusades of approximately fifty battle brothers, supported by brothers from the Exorcists and Black Templar chapters as well as Inquisitorial and Imperial Guard force, that circulate the northern reaches of the stars. It has been said that a small band of battle brothers led by Crusade Captain Gallileous of the 2nd Grand Company have survived, with little or no causalities, for a number of Terran standard years in the most fierce battlezones on the war engulfed planet “Armageddon”.
Along with a specially trained force of planetary militia, the Testra Dominis Red Arms, and a small Inquisitorial force the Sons of Vergus First Grand Company led by Chapter Master Marchus himself have remained on their homeworld, Benedictus, in an attempt to protect her residence and manufactoriums from the Necron (and Ork) menace.
+Doctrines and Codex Adherence+
The Sons of Vergus are great believers in old-fashioned honour, favouring close combat fighting to ranged offense. By doctrine, the Sons of Vergus are vicious and blood thirsty warriors, following the lead of their Black Templar forebearers.
Being so far away from other chapters and all but forgotten for centuries the Sons of Vergus have created their own unique doctrine. Being so well known, the teachings of Roboute Guilliman are followed fervently, but the ideals put forth in the Codex Astrates conflict with the doctrines of their Black Templar for bearers, hence creating the doctrines of Vergus, a mix of the best, most organized and most feared teachings from each chapters teachings. Psykers and Librarians are greatly mistrusted in the chapter, so much so that Librarians are forbidden to even speak and forced to retreat in to solitary confinement in the Librarium archives when battle is complete. The Exorcist chapter, that have been allies of the Sons of Vergus since the Necron attack, have been thought of as untrustworthy by many battle brother of the Sons of Vergus because of their strange methods of induction of scouts and their practices in the battling of Daemonic forces. Despite this the alliance is strong and aid from the chapter is greatly appreciated.
The Sons of Vergus despise all forms of alien life and distrust greatly the word of xenos, never has this been more evident than the Massacre of Erthian when the 12th Crusade where contacted by a Tau expidition force, before the xenos first sentence was finished, bombardment of the force with orbital bombs had begun. In twenty minutes the xeno city had been reduced to rubble.
The Sons of Vergus adhere to many chapters of the Codex Astrates but disregard the tome in favour of their own doctrines in the fields of battle and force orginization. Although a chapter founded in early M.36 the chapter use a great amount of pre-heresy wargear which leads to a strong, well armoured and well armed armoured forces. The Sons of Vergus also make extensive use of planetary militia and allied forces, including the Testra Dominis Red Arms, the Exorcists chapter, Black Templars and Adeptus Mechanicus forces, all help must be taken in order to defend the manufactoriums of Testra Dominis and Fortress-Monestary of the Sons of Vergus.
+ The Battle for Esteban
+ The Defence of Hades Pass
+ The Battle of Armageddon
+ Battle for Benedictus, Death of Vergus, Karions Assault
+ Defence of Benedictus, Rise of the Necrons
+ Purging of Corix
+ Assault on the DaemonBorn Fleet
+ Purging of Beta Taurus Hive
+ Heresy of Librarian Ecnaphius
+Noticable Sons of Vergus+
+ Marshal Vergus
+ Chapter Master Aheizar
+ Chapter Master Marchus
+ Fleet Master Thor Borgir
+ Master Executioner Therion Daygar, Captain of the 2nd Grand Company
+ Master Castigator Blackhound, Captain of the 3rd Grand Company
+ Master of the Forge Arius
The Sons of Vergus are know for their iconography. Their chapter symbol is the result of combining Vergus’ personal heraldry (the red X) and the white sword, a symbol that reminds all Sons of Vergus of their Black Templar heritage