The Adeptus Astartes. The Emperor's shield and his spear, masterful weapons of perfection, the Astartes are His Angels, and they seek His retribution. 26 Foundings, all made to keep constant vigilance throughout the Imperium. But a new Founding arises, a Founding unlike any other. A stock of gene seed found leads to a creation of many chapters, but will these seedlings become great, or will they perish. Or perhaps an even darker destiny awaits them, one of betrayal…
Voices screamed as men and women began the meeting. The High Lords watched in silence as hundreds before them argued for the chance to have a space marine chapter in their sector. It was a dark time for the Imperium. Bastions of Imperial might had fallen. Cadia was nothing but a memory as Abaddon took world after world, his monstrous Black Legion in control of half of Segmentum Tempestus. The Eldar had collapsed completely, retreating to the Webway forever. Ork WAAAAAAGHHHHS! Had become more frequent. As Hive Fleet Leviathan finally collapsed, already another was on its way, designated Hive Fleet Hydra.
This Hive Fleet was so massive it had five tendrils speeding towards each Segmentum, hundreds of Hive Ships assigned to each tendril. The Tau had begun their Fourth Sphere of Expansion, taking the Damocles Gulf brutally and trickling into Segmentum Ultima. And racing to meet all these threats were the Adeptus Astartes.
All was being done to find the missing Primarchs. Vulkan was nowhere in sight, and neither were Jaghatai or Corax. All hope resided on finding Leman Russ, as rumors gathered that inside the Eye of Terror the Chaos Gods were in a power struggle. One of the High Lords stepped forward, and bellowed, his voice augmented. "SHUT UP" he screamed, before clearing his metallic throat.
The High Lord, named Varis, turned to a Space Marine standing silently next to him. The Space Marine was legendary; his name was Marneus Calgar.
Calgar stepped forwards and spoke. "Citizens of the Imperium! We stand on the brink of annihilation, but there is a path we can take! Recently, our 5th company discovered a stockpile of gene seed. Several Chapters worth, in fact. There is no need to bicker, as us Adeptus Astartes have mutually agreed with the High Lords to bring a new Founding into effect. These Chapters will join our brothers at the forefront of battle, fighting hard to return our Imperium to its former glory!"
He made the sign of the Aquila, as the crowd cheered with joy, a rare occurrence in the darkness of the 42nd millennium.
Somewhere in the Eye of Terror…
Isha screamed as the green energy impacted her, and a fresh new wave of disease overtook her. She immediately felt calm as healing spread over her and the pox erased from her physical features. Nurgle, her captor and husband, merely grinned and turned away. Isha's head stooped, and suddenly a realization hit her. It would be difficult, yes, but she could do it.
She reared her head and screamed at the top of her lungs. Across the warp, on the Plague Planet, Mortarion sat on his throne. He brooded in silence, sitting in eternal regret of the fate of him and his sons. He was used to the coughing and for the first time in nearly a century, he got out of his throne.
The two Plague Marines next to him turned to look at their primarch. Mortarion reached towards one before jolting still. Then, his mind was engulfed in pain as it washed over his body, he fell and kicked like a child having a meltdown. Then in a flash, he transformed.
It was like a miracle right before their eyes. The Plague Marines shielded their eyes as their father was washed away in white light. His robe turned from sickly green to black, His armor disintegrated and reformed into black Power Armor. His respirator grew into a mask of a skull, and the scythe the Primarch normally held, Silence, was restored to its former glory.
The Plague marines gasped at the sight of their transformed lord, as the area around him grew clean and the sickness dissipated away. Mortarion rose and reached outwards to the Death Guard. Their armor changed too as their disease became healed, and their armor was a near mirror image of their father's.
Their aged and cracked helmets turned into skulls and their armor blackened, as they turned clean. Mortarion, for the first time in his long, long, life, felt joyous and liberated as he turned his back on Nurgle.
He walked throughout the fortress, cleansing his few remaining followers left. He looked at his pitiful army, and then spoke. "I was a fool to accept Nurgle's 'gift'" Mortarion spat. He continued speaking. "We cannot go back to my father, we are traitors. We must forge a new empire, a legion of purification. We are not Emperor's Children, seeking perfection and twisted fantasy. We are not World Eaters either. We were formerly Death Guard, but now we are Skull Scythes!"
Mortarion turned and began to step towards the Endurance, his massive Gloriana-Class battleship. He stopped abruptly and turned, facing his sons. The red eyes narrowed through the skull mask as Mortarion's face darkened. "And one more thing. Whoever brings Calas Typhon before me is sure to receive a reward."