The Origins of the Crusade
The Crusade Badge and Motto
A skeletal arm, bent at the elbow, holding a sword.It symbolises the human dead, that the crusade seek to avenge and protect, defiantly fighting back against the hordes of xenos.
"Etiam mors non potest pohibere retributionem."
"Even death cannot stop retribution."
Founder of the Domus Crusade. Previously a Castellan within the Third war for Armageddon. After discovering a Necron plague had awoken and was spreading across human inhabited worlds, he fought a furious vanguard action, before speaking to High Marshal Helbrecht to request permission to instigate a new Crusade to pursue the plague and protect the innocent populations across the system with no pity, no remorse and no fear – preventing the distraught refugees from suffering further waves of assault and torment. He has led the Crusade for many years, chasing down the metal fiends and saving inhabited worlds from the Necron scourge. Since the start of his crusade, Clayton has sought out xenos who persecute native human inhabitants, fighting back against innumerable foes of differing xeno origin. His many forays into the melee have seen him challenging the biggest and most lethal overlords, never fearing that his faith in the Emperor or his skill-at-arms would let him down. Sometimes he has strode across the battlefield, spraying sacred rounds from Primarch’s Wrath, the sacred relic he recovered from a legion of Traitor Guard, before nobly calling out the enemy general for single combat. Other times he has focused purely on melee, aiming to crush the vile xeno threat with the might of his venerable thunder hammer, whilst turning aside blow after blow on the formidable defence of the relic Shield Eternal.
Brother Guildford has reached the rank and responsibility of Castellan at a much younger age than most. After his neophyte training, he spent his time as a close-combat initiate, specialising in use of the power sword. He was quickly elevated to being an assault marine in the Domus Crusade following great displays of ferocity, courage and devotion to his duty, thereby receiving special training in the use of jump packs, perfecting the art of slamming down into his foes from above like a wrathful hammer, before slashing left and right with his power sword. When out on a mission pursuing a ravaging horde of Dark Eldar, Guildford spotted a member of a sword brethren squad surrounded by his fallen comrades and a host of foes. Torn by his duty and respect for the sword brethren, he took the risky decision to quickly relocate. Leaving his assault squad, igniting his jump pack to carry him over the Eldar heads, he landed next to the solitary living member of the sword brethren squad. Grabbing a lightning claw that had been cut from the arm of a deceased comrade, he valiantly fought back-to-back with the veteran marine, punching through the leering faces, until further support could arrive to drive back the tide. Following the battle, Brother Guildford was called in front of Marshal Clayton to answer for abandoning his unit and allocated task. In the resulting hearing Brother Orpheus, the sword brethren member that Guildford had fought beside, stepped forward and exalted the effort and dedication that had been displayed in the face of such odds. Marshal Clayton elevated Guildford to the sword brethren after such a passionate display of praise from such a respected Templar. He was assigned to a Sword Brethren Vanguard squad and awarded a pair of lightning claws, with which he terrorised xenos and heathens and he fell from the heavens to deliver their judgement.
Brother Stag-Hill has always been an incredibly loyal and devout member of the chaplaincy of the Domus Crusade. A grim and bleak figure, he is known for his stern, commanding presence; there are very few brothers within the crusade who feel comfortable under the withering glare of Stag-Hill, let alone could stomach a lecture of disapproval. Despite being viewed by some as a terrifying and sinister figure, he is held in incredibly high esteem within the Domus Crusade, especially with regards to the heights of effort that he encourages from the initiates around him. Many tip him to become the official Master of Sanctity for the crusade; others whisper that he was due to be offered the honour, but it was withdrawn owing to a personal disagreement with Marshal Clayton, the commander of the Domus Crusade. A few tentatively suggest that the success of the crusade in the Corvus sector could well determine whether Stag-Hill becomes the Master of Sanctity, after Marshal Clayton has sent him off to prove his worth and quality.
Brother Chestfield is a passionate figure with a firey, dogged determination and tenacity, beyond even what is regular for a chaplain within the Black Templars chapter. He has served the Domus Crusade for many years, developing a reputation for thundering ahead of the main Crusade battle lines mounted on his blessed and anointed bike, supporting the vanguard action, shouting his sermons and prayers over the roar of his engines. When previously pounding the dusty combat zone and battling a fierce Dark Eldar rear-guard, Brother Chestfield was becoming increasingly frustrated by the speed at which the filthy, twisted torturers were able relocate and attack the weaker points of the Templar’s line. Spotting a marine bike lying in the dirt, Chestfield quickly ran over to it, pulled off the dead initiate, mounted it and gunned the engines. Racing after the Dark Eldar transports, he joined a Templar bike squad, rousing them into a frenzy and ploughing headlong into the fray, smashing the fragile ships apart before carving up the xenos as they sought their escape from the wrecked vehicle. He is often now accompanied into battle by a bike command squad, frequently including Brother Wilmington, the Emperor's Champion.
The Emperor's Champion
Brother Wilmington was always an exceptionally devote marine, strictly adhering to rigid prayer times and engaging in flagellation in order to purify his body and soul. He has since grown beyond the status of a mere worshipper, however, and is now an individual blessed with the Emperor’s holy light. With amazing frequency he receives a vision of the Emperor foretelling what is to come and the glorious actions that must be performed in his name. Initially Reclusiarch Stag-Hill of the Domus Crusade was immensely sceptical of the number of visions that Wilmington claimed to have, yet in time he and his fellow clergy saw the truth in the divine light that shone from Wilmington’s every action. The chaplains have come to recognise Wilmington’s devout intentions, consequently relishing the opportunity to anoint him with the Litanies of Hate whilst he dons the Armour of Faith. In battle Wilmington intones the words that the Emperor imparted to him, giving strength and a divine passion to the initiates around him. Amongst the whirling fury of the conflict he actively seeks out the champions of the enemy to challenge in single combat, just as Sigismund first did at the Siege of the Emperor’s Palace. Sometimes he will stride forward at the head of a crusader squad, pounding the dust of the earth beneath his feet as they charge towards the hated enemy; at other times he will join a squad roaring up the battlefield in a blessed land raider crusader, before pouring out to engulf the hapless foe; he has even been known to take to a bike and accompany Reculsiarch Chestfield in a command squad, gunning their engines to drive their lowered power lances into the heart of the enemy. Whatever the means, he always finds a way to deliver the just punishment.
Master of the Forge/Techmarine
Possessing a technical skill surpassed by few, Brother Bingley has earnt respect from all corners within the Domus Crusade as he ensures that every vehicle under his care is fit and ready to run whenever they are required. Seeming to have uncanny ways to liaise with and sooth the machine spirits, many times he has been able to carry out seemingly impossible repairs mid-battle in order to get vehicles back to a state where they can deliver their own retribution against foes who have too easily discounted them from action. Brother Bingley, as a true Templar, does not hide himself behind his care and duty or shy away from confrontation - he routinely strides beyond his vehicular confines, turning his plasma cutter and servo arms to a successfully bloody alternative use.
Brother Orpheus was the member of the sword brethren who fought back-to-back with Brother Guildford against a Dark Eldar host to delay them long enough for reinforcements to arrive. He was then trained in the use of tactical dreadnought armour, regularly taking to the field unleashing huge bursts of firepower to decimate his enemies, spraying forth deadly shots from his assault cannon or cyclone missile launcher, before charging in and crushing the skulls of foes with his powerfist. Many predicted that Orpheus would soon be promoted to Castellan and be the natural successor to Marshal Clayton; few have served the Crusade and the Emperor with such dedication. However, Orpheus’ future was irrevocably altered when a Necron doomsday cannon blasted apart his venerated terminator defences. Still Orpheus carried on, taking out numerous adversaries with his assault cannon whilst collapsed, dying on the ground. His broken body was reverently carried back to the Domus Crusade barge and entombed in an ancient and venerable sarcophagus to enable his personal crusade to continue. Many times since that fateful encounter has Saint Orpheus proudly strode into the midst of battle with a bloody-minded determination and weaponry specially selected for the task assigned – never have the words ‘no remorse’ been so apt.
Brother Hoades was a long standing member of the Sword Brethren, sometimes fighting in a Terminator Assault squad armed with thunder hammer and storm shield, alternatively in a Sword Brethren Vanguard squad. Either way he had charged into battle and laid waste to foe upon foe. In every single battle Hoades would keep a tally of each and every xeno or heretic that he had dismissed from existance, always in the knowledge that each kill was one less enemy of the Emperor. In his final battle before his entombment, he was thick in the melee with his Vanguard Brethren when a Necron wraith broke his power sword. His body was reverently led off the field of battle, the remains of his broken sword still clutched tightly in his hand, a sign that his task was far from over. Since his entombment in a sacred ironclad dreadnought carapace, he has not ceased his fight nor dedication to the cause, with techmarines continuing to document his prestigious kill count with honour markings and venerated sigils decorating his carapace. His prestigious melee skills shall never rest whilst the Emperor's enemies are still at large.
Already entombed in his dreadnought sarcophagus, Beckingham fought alongside Clayton on Armageddon, spraying forth decisive shots from his autocannons and covering the Templars hard fought advance. When Clayton commenced the Orpheus Crusade, he especially requested Saint Beckingham to accompany him, know his expertise in withering firepower.