Legion "VII" the"Solar Wardens"

"We do our Duty and hold ourselves to His standard"- Rogal Mauer

Primarch: Rogal Mauer
Symbol: Golden Sun emblazoned on a shield
Colors: Gold, Red and Yellow
Capital World- Terra, the Phalanx and Thronewatch
Specialty: Defensive Warfare, Rear guard actions and Garrison Duty.
Battlecry: The Sun's Light!

The "VII" Primarch

Rogal Mauer is a man and so much more. While those words might describe all of the Primarchs, they are especially fitting for the Warden of Terra. Average in height and build among his brothers, skilled in myriad fields of war and governance. Rogal Mauer seems to lack a single memorable defining feature. None of his talents are unique, he shares expertise and responsibilities with many of his brothers. Physically he stands shorter than some of his brothers and built with the defined muscles of a career soldier. His hair and occasional beard are trimmed short and utilitarian. Framing a face suited to be captured in marble and paint. Not for its preternatural beauty, but the sturdy strength he radiates. The face of a General, King, or Emperor remembered for their strength of purpose. Fittingly the encompassing aura of this Primarch is not a blinding wave of awe or restless push on the mind. Instead, it is a steady strong psychic drumbeat of directed power. As indomitable and eternal as Sol itself. The Astartes and their Genesires were created to serve as mankind's shield against the Darkness. A duty none so fully embody as Rogal Mauer.

In many ways the Son of Sol, as some call him. Is the ultimate result of the Primarch project. A professional, dutiful demigod who understands his purpose. Mauer is a living legend of the rarest and most important kind. The layer of foundation, builder of Empires and defender of the gates. The type of Hero famous not for slaying a great beast or breaking an invading army. The type whose commitment and service formed the foundation and skeleton of something greater than thought possible. This sense of duty and unflinching commitment to the ideals the Imperium attempts to embody have formed a close bond between Primarch and Emperor. Each of the Anathema's sons have a unique relationship with him, but none perhaps Magnus have spent as much time with their creator. The two are kindred spirits in many ways, both seeing themselves as tools for the protection and service of humanity. This faith in his father and the galaxy he tries to make is the unbreakable bedrock of Rogal Mauer's soul. It is also the source of a great secret and power held alone by the Emperor's Shieldkeeper

The indomitable will and unshakable faith of Rogal Mauer are reflected in his psychic potential. When using his warp-born powers the Primarch becomes a living star of Anathemic light. Mirroring his father's own incredible aura of blinding, soul-scouring light. Daemons burn away, the laws of physics return and the corruption flees from his presence. Similar to his brother Marcus, Rogal can force Chaos and the Warps' insanity back to its side of reality. However this is not an act of psychic domination and oppressive control, it's something far more powerful and dangerous. For a lack of a better word, it is a miracle. Faith channeled by a Primarch in a way the God-Emperor's own Living Saints might. Allowing the VII Primarch to heal his allies, burn his enemies, and cloak them all in an aura of fervent strength. Rogal Mauer's devotion and willpower let him touch the enigmatic secrets of Chao's Anathema, taking up a fraction of his father's Mantle. Acting as Keeper and Protector of both Mankind and its Master.

While his strategic skills and talent for managing armies. Rogal Mauer fights most of his battles from a Command Center. But he is still a Primarch and when necessary will take to the field with sword and shield. Wielding an oversized Sentinel Blade known as Last Watch, a gift from Constantin Valdor himself. Paired with a wall of Adamantium sourced from the same vein as the Eternity Gate itself, a Stormshield called the Last Ward. In battle, Mauer fights in the style of Old Roma. Taking elements of Astartes and Custodes doctrine to make a personalized way of war. Relying not on the Primarch's considerable strength or skill, but using himself as a force multiplier for any allies around him. Among his brothers, Rogal can hope to match a few by himself. If Primarch and their honor guards both faced each other, then it would be a different story.

The duties of keeping the Imperial Palace might seem a strange gift for a Primarch. Much of his supposed duties fall under the Custodes purview and the 10,000 have never been eager to share them. While on the surface it seems the Emperor's gift makes Rogal Mauer a strange ancillary to Valdor, it comes with other duties and privileges. While the Custodes duties stray little from protecting the Emperor himself, the safety of the Throne World, and surrounding system fall to Mauer and his sons. The incredible resources of the Imperiums heart are at the Primarchs disposal and he puts them to good use. Under his eye the Palace is more than a government building or fortress, it is a seat of culture, enlightenment, and a microcosm of the broader Imperium the Emperor wishes to build. The construction of new Orbital Plates, more advanced Acrologies, and new Terraforming installations are products of the Primarch's influence and his desire to transform Terra into a better version of what it once was.
The Palace sits atop the center of the Human Webway and forms the other part of Rogal Mauer's responsibilities. While the XI and XV Legions and Primarchs handle the more esoteric elements of the Labyrinth Dimension. Mundane duties of protection, construction and administration often fall to the VII Legion and their Genefather. Linked to these duties is the Astronomicon and its evolution into (REDACTED) through the Webway. Interestingly the Primarch has shown a connection to the Soul Pyre, capable of channeling its power much like his father might. An ability that even eludes his brother Magnus. Hinting to greater secrets of the Psychic Beacon.

History of the Legion

There is a saying on some parts of Terra. "The Thunder Warriors took Terra for the Emperor, and the Solar Wardens made sure he kept it'' A bit of folk history with some truth to it. While the VII Legion recruited from all over Terra during its founding, a large proportion of its first neophytes came from the Hellhound clans of Merica. Techno-Barbarian military cults descend from ancient Golden Age warrior cultures. In those early days post-unity the Solar Wardens saw perhaps more action than any other Legion except maybe the first. Hundreds of fortresses and countless crucial pieces of early Imperial infrastructure were defended and designed by the VII Legion. With the VII Legion and its Primarch having the unenviable responsibility of putting down some of the worst rebellions post-unity. To their credit, the VII Legion left every pacified region with more than just dead bodies in their wake. Overseeing the construction of public works projects, defenses, and important infrastructure.

During the Lunar Crusade, the VII Legion defended Terra from the Chaos incursion and provided support for the Bucephalus during its duel with the Daemon King Hashut. After Luna was retaken the Legion saw some action pacifying the moon and rebuilding fortifications destroyed in the conflict. After that the Legion set to work building the first wave of fortifications around the Sol system. Earning them the name of Solar Wardens. Once the Great Crusade started the Legion became known for its consistent exemplary service. The VII did not earn its accolades hunting down Xeno monsters or discovering technological relics like its cousin. Through diligence and duty, the Solar Wardens brought hundreds of worlds into the Imperium in record time. Leaving every conquered or assimilated world with a Fortress. A marker of the Imperiums rulership and a tool to defend the planet from any threat.

Quickly gaining a reputation for reliability and dutiful service the Solar Wardens became a backbone of the Great Crusade. Its forces were divided between expanding Imperial borders and defending the growing Empire's most vulnerable arteries. Many pedigree worlds crucial to the wider Imperium trace themselves back to the VII Legions conquests and reconstruction. During this period the Solar Wardens earned a reputation for breaking Orkish offensives through preemptive strikes. While also putting down some of the largest scale Crusade-Era rebellions alongside the VIII and XX Legion. This would be the start of a subtle rivalry and dislike between the three Legions.

Once the twin threats of the Beast Bosses and Rangda Kindred became painfully clear. The Solar Wardens duties drastically shifted. Nearly the whole Legion was pulled from active Crusading and tasked with defending the Imperium's most important worlds. During the long years of the Beast Wars and Rangda Xenocides the VII Legion was spread thin across the Imperium Acting as the primary transhuman fighting force not invested in either war. While the Legions deeds in this era lack the epic gravitas or stomach-churning horror of their cousins. They kept the Imperium together and ensured the growing war machine of Mars and its sibling Forge Worlds could work undisturbed. Rogal Mauer and a core 10,000 elite Solar Wardens were however dispatched a few times from the Segmentum Solar. Tasked with securing a crucial world or striking down a rising threat. Infamously this elite force stopped the desperate raid of Orkish Beast Zabzab da Speedsta. Which punched past Imperial lines and managed to reach the Sol Sector before Rogal Mauer personally killed the Beast.

As the Great Crusade ended the VII Legion faced its next challenge during the Solar Triumph. Working alongside the Legio Custodes, Phoenix Blades, and Hydra Legion to ensure the safety of all involved. Hundreds of plots and attempted assassinations were foiled in months surrounding the Triumph. A secondary purpose of the grand celebration, luring out dissidents hoping to marr the Imperiums victory. As to be expected the Solar Wardens saw extensive action during the Webway Wars and subsequent Navigator Insurrection. The latter of which forced the VII and VIII Legions to work together. In the subsequent centuries, the Solar Wardens helped create the network of Webway Fortresses known as the Solar Bastions. Which defend the newly claimed labyrinth dimensions myriad gates. An important duty during the Doom Tides, when large-scale Chaos attacks attempted to breach the human Webway.

Astartes Biology

Appearance and Apotheosis- The Geneseed of the VII Legion is like the Legion as a whole. Utilitarian, practical, and without weakness. Requiring neophytes of strong will and a strong body. With no special requirements or extreme levels of genetic deviation, the Geneseed can be implanted in a large variety of recruits. However successful implantation requires more than genetic compatibility. The Geneseed reacts to the psych of the neophyte and will rapidly and violently reject them if their will starts to crack. Only those with great mental endurance can survive the painful process of Apotheosis and join the Solar Wardens. Once implanted the Geneseed keeps much of the neophytes original appearance but is known to "harden" features. To match the stony gaze of their Genefather. Genetic overshadowing is rare in the Legion, with the sons of Rogal Mauer reflecting their families than the Primarch.

Unique Organ- Ossuaric Forge. The Unique Organ of the Solar Wardens is an augmentation of the existing Ossmodula. Enhancing the Astartes ability to produce mineralized tissue of higher quality. Leading to the formation of bones much denser and stronger than other Legions. Granting a plethora of augmentations to the Astartes physical prowess. Additionally, the stronger bones allow for Muscle growth that would normally be too much for even Astartes bodies. Allowing Solar Wardens Astartes to build truly superhuman muscle density. These augments to the bone and muscular system increase with age, as the augmentation works deeper into the Astartes tissue. Resulting in some truly ancient Solar Wardens with bones and muscle stronger than many industrial metals.

Organization

Deployment- The Solar Wardens are experts in the economy of force. Committing enough firepower to win a battle with plenty leftover to win the war. As such the VII Legion deploys in standardized companies or chapters, each assigned to a particular goal on the battlefield. This policy of efficiency translates into Defense warfare as well. When defending the Solar Wardens do not measure victory in slain foes but in captured time. Every second the enemy is spending throwing themselves at their walls is a second of survival and possibility. The sons of Rogal Mauer fight not to win but deny the enemy victory. Then when the battle is done a fortress is built or improved wherever they fought. VII Astartes learning from the battle and ensuring a stronghold stands to protect against whatever threat they faced.

Homeworld: - Terra/Phalanx/Thronewatch - While the Solar Wardens, as sons of Rogal Mauer are stationed on Terra, to act as defenders of the Imperiums heart. The majority of the facilities and equipment one would expect from a Legion homeworld are not on Terra. While certainly an entire wing of the Imperial Palace is given over the Solar Wardens, and their gene father acts as Castellan of the Megastructure. The VII Legions' hearts are located nearby but not on Terra. The restored Golden Age Star-fort known as the Phalanx acts as the mobile headquarters and chief fortress-monastery of the Legion. Acting as a forward operating base, flagship, and homeworld all at once. The other heart of the Legion is Thronewatch. The first Imperial webway city and the central hub of the Imperiums expansion into the Labyrinth dimension. Thronewatch is built on the bones of an ancient Aeldari city and connects directly into the Imperial Palace. Acting as the prime defensive node in the Human controlled Webway. Unlike its sister Hellwatch, Thronewatch is more than a military structure. It is a true world built into the Webway and designed to be the nexus of the Imperium. Defended and maintained by the Solar Wardens, it is a linchpin that keeps the Imperial military, economy, and civilization secure and functioning.

Recruitment- At the start of the Great Crusade, all twenty Legions took recruits from the Throneworld. By the days of the Navigator Insurrection, only one legion maintained that privilege, the Solar Wardens. Terra and its sibling worlds provide much of the VII Legions recruits. The Solar Wardens do not rely on harsh environments to produce quality neophytes, instead of recruiting from the children of the Terran military structure. Most every Sol-born Warden can trace themselves back to some ancient and skilled regiment or cohort like the Lucifer Blacks and Saturnine Rams. Carrying the blood of mortal heroes only with the Primarchs geneseed. Additionally, the VII Legion also supplements its recruitment using children taken from Worlds holding a VII Legion Bastion. This ensures the tithe of young men into the Solar Wardens is never too draining on a singular world's genepool. While also making it so the VII Legion is composed of Battle Brothers from every part of the Imperium. Giving the sons of Rogal Mauer an inherited connection to the entire galaxy they are sworn to protect.

Unique Ranks and Roles-

The Champion Invictus- Every Legion has an official or unofficial Astartes champion. The most skilled duelist of the Legion. Battle Brothers who represent the Legion in honor-duels and are tasked with hunting down enemy champions and commanders in battle. The Champion of the VII Legion holds another important role. Acting as Champion of Terra itself. Where the III Primarch is the Emperor's own personal Champion, the Champion Invictus is tasked with defending the honor of the Throneworld from internal and external challenges. Dueling alien champions and acting as enforcer of the High Lords. The first and longest-serving Champion Invictus was Sigismund the Black Sword. Who established the title in the wake of the Keylekid incident.

Gatekeepers- Permanent stable Webway gates are difficult to create and the Imperium puts many resources into their defense. A duty which the Solar Wardens are tasked with, protecting Terra, the Heart of the Imperium and its Webway gates, its veins. Of the Astartes tasked with defending the Solar Bastions that house the Webway Gates, one has a unique and solemn duty. Chosen from the Legions librarius. The Gatekeepers are those entrusted with the power to shut the entrance to the Webway they guard. Gifted a shard of knowledge by the Emperor himself in a ritual similar to Soul-Binding the Gatekeepers are the ones who make the final call to shut the gate to protect the Webway from invasion or corruption. The act of forcing the Gate shut is incredibly taxing and will most likely kill the Gatekeeper, a fact they are aware of.

Oath-Bearers- Like all Empires the Imperium has mountains of secrets. Many of which require the watchful eye of skilled warriors. Warriors who can be trusted to never abuse the secret or fail in this task. The Oath-Bearers are specially selected Solar Wardens who are tasked to spend the rest of their existence acting as Warden of an invaluable secret that cannot be kept through more conventional means. Guarding a hidden section of the Webway, an impenetrable Vault in the void between Stars, or a lonely outpost on a planet not marked on Imperial maps. Oath-Bearers are selected from the eldest sons of Mauer, who wish to rest but cannot truly give up their duty. After ritually removing their own tongue and marking their armor with a Black Sun, they leave their legion for a monastic existence that might continue for millennia. Upon entering this secret brotherhood the Astartes is marked as having died valiantly in battle and bound with powerful Magik Seals. Serving alongside anywhere from a ten to a few hundred fellow Oath-Bearers in an eternal vigil.

Legion Culture

Personality- Only in Death does duty end. A powerful phrase that acts as an unofficial motto of the Imperium of Man. None among its warriors better exemplify this idea than the Solar Wardens. A brotherhood built around the idea of guarding the human race and paying the price of survival so others would not. The sons of Mauer do not bathe in glory, bloodlust, or fury like their cousins. Such things distract from duty and purpose. The Solar Wardens understand they have been given much and as such much is expected from them. This sense of duty and responsibility permeates the Legion and defines its Astartes. Who show little emotion in most circumstances, displaying a taste for the laconic. This philosophy of dedication does lead to clashes with other Legions and organizations. The Solar Wardens showing a tacit distaste for frivolous, eccentric, and otherwise unprofessional. That is not to say the Wardens are lacking in emotions, they are just kept under a mask of professional focus. A mask that may crack in the face of failure or great stress. Revealing a hidden side to the VII Legion, a vicious nearly psychotic fury. Backed into the corner and having failed in their duties a Solar Warden can display levels of vicious aggression even their most feral cousins might find shocking.

Customs- The stoic and taciturn Solar Wardens have a surprisingly rich number of Legion traditions. With perhaps most infamously the morbid habit of scrimshawing the bones of fallen brothers. The incredibly durable bones of the VII Legion are difficult to work with and require skill to not ruin them. Due to this, it is considered a great act of trust and faith to leave a bone to a Battle-Brother. Trusting them to make something good out of the Astartes death. Other traditions like the study of architecture and bladecraft naturally sprout from the Solar Warden's duties and personality. Being tasked with designing a fortress in the Imperium is considered one of the highest honors a Warden can get. Additionally, the Solar Wardens hold a great tournament of Martial skill every century. Where if possible the greatest swordmasters of the Legion congregate to test each other's mettle. This event is known as the Feast of the Sons. Additionally in rare occasions, the VII Primarch may call the Feast of the Brothers, where not only his Legion competes, but any other of its siblings as well. The Feast of Brothers has been held seven times over the millennia with the Solar Wardens winning three of those tournaments.

Unique Features- The Unique Organ of the VII Legion dramatically effects the muscular-skeletal system of its Astartes. Augmenting muscle and bone density, while also allowing for the metabolization of more exotic materials. This property is the origin of the Solar Wardens rite of passage known as The Crucible. Where a Battle-Brother after three centuries of service might undertake grueling challenges of physical and mental fortitude. To earn the right to become Sun-Touched. Consuming a sample of prepared Auramite, which will then graft on either the sinew coils or bones of the Astartes. Enhancing either muscle or bone to levels comparable to a Custodes. These two broad subgroups within the Legion are known as the Sword-Brethren, those with augmented sinew coils. Or the Shield-Brethren, those with augmented bones. Being part of either of these Brotherhoods is considered a sign of veterancy in the Legion

Battle Strategy and Equipment

Tactical Doctrine-. To the surprise of many the Solar Wardens prefer a proactive approach to Warfare. Not simply hiding behind walls and guns like outside observers might believe. Focused tactical aggression plays a huge role in the VII Legions doctrine. Those with insight into how the Legion fights have compared it to an avalanche. A wall of fury that crushes everything underfoot, virtually impossible to stop. Then even if you do somehow stop the momentum, the stony Battle-Brothers of the Solar Wardens will stand like a solid boulder, unmoving and weathering whatever faces it. Leaving enemies stuck fighting the infamous grit of the Wardens. Punching through whatever obstacle they face, then holding their position against virtually any foe. This is the method of the Wardens and it proves itself consistently across thousands of battlefields and every type of conflict.

Weapons and Armor- As fitting of the Defenders of Sol, the VII Legion is equipped with a large stock of quality equipment. Not the exotic tools of the I Legion or Custodes, but peerless versions of the standard arms and armor of the Legions. Although more unique swords claimed from ancient vaults or the genius of Mars are favored among the Wardens officers. The sword is seen as a symbol of power, duty, and fealty within the Legion. Armor-Skeletons and other more durable power-armor models are also commonly found in use among the Solar Wardens, as to be expected considering the Legions defense duties. One rather unique piece of wargear is also used by the VII Legion. A gift from the Zhao-Arkkad Forgeworld known as the Xuanwu-pattern Stormshield. Which possesses a built-in Kyropatris Field Generator. A type of energy shield that can overlap with its kindred to boost its effectiveness. Companies equipped with Xuanxu-pattern Stormshields can combine their shields effectiveness through a Testudo formation. Forming an energy shield strong enough to stop artillery fire.

Fleet and Transport- While the Moon-sized Star-Fort called the Phalanx is the first voidship many think of in context of the Solar Wardens. However, that monolithic vessel is not the Legions flagship, acting as a fortress-monastery and mobile citadel. The honor of bearing the Primarchs flag in void warfare falls to the Gloriana-class Iron Gold. Together these two craft act as the Sword and Shield of the Legion in naval combat. Capable of weathering any storm and striking down the Emperor's enemies. In terrestrial warfare, the Legion prefers a balanced mixture of vehicles, not relying on any particular craft. With the possible exception of Super-Carrier mobile command centers like the Leviathan and Capitol Imperialis. Who compliments the Wardens style of "aggressive defense" well. Returning to the topic of Void Warfare, the boarding craft of the Solar Wardens are perhaps the most modified aspect of the Legions arsenal. Designed to assist the VII Legions talent for boarding actions.

Trivia

The first Feast of the Brothers was held shortly after the Solar Triumph and has been the only one with all twenty legions participating. Champion Sigismund of the Solar Wardens was victorious in this and the second Feast of Brothers held half a millennia later.

The Phalanx was recovered from the orbit of Inwit shortly after the planet's compliance into the Imperium. Inwit has gone on to become a recruitment world of the Solar Wardens, with many sons of House Dorn joining the Legions ranks.

Boarding Actions are what all Space Marines are built for but the Solar Wardens are known for their skill in this type of warfare. Rivaling the II Legion in number of captured enemy Flagships.

Rogal Mauer holds the honor of being the only Primarch explicitly trusted by Constantin Valdor.

The League of Black Ships has a strong working relationship with the Solar Wardens and works alongside the VII Legion almost as much as it does the XI and XV.

Rogal Mauer has a good working relationship with all of his brothers but two. The methods and personality of Konrad Cruze and Alpharius Omegon clash with the VII Primarch.

The last test a Solar Warden takes before becoming a full brother to the Legion is known as the Crucible of Sol. Where the newborn Astartes walks one hundred steps across the exterior surface of the Phalanx without armor or oxygen supply.

During the worst days of the Rangda Xenocide the Solar Wardens and Imperial Heralds were dispatched in surprising numbers to the world of Ophelia VII. Both Legions Primarch fought in whatever conflict occurred on the planet's surface, and jointly gave the order for Ophelia VII to be Quarantined in perpetuity. All Astartes involved were mind-wiped and at least one Regiment of Auxilia was erased by the Gold Order.

The largest garrison of Oath-Bearers hides in the Halo Stars alongside a contingent of Lockwarden Custodes. Guarding something known as the Echoing Vault.

The Phalanx's hall of honors holds countless trophies, legendary among them is the Ragged Banner. An Imperial Flag recovered from the ruins of Solar Bastion Genaust, surrounded by six fallen Astartes who died protecting the Flag. Killing the Orkish warboss and stopping the attacking WAAAGH with their final acts.

The VII and XIV Legions are both heavily involved with the Gaia Project, an attempt to return Terra to its ancient green and blue state.