Dark is the hour when the faithful fall from grace. But the night seems the darkest when His most loyal fall, His Angels of death. The Space Marines.
Of these dire tales you will not find in any recordings, no archives will house these awful truths. For they are removed from the History of the Imperium. Only a select few Inquisitors know the truth of the Eagle Warriors Third Company and their purpose is to conceal this from the public, by any means necessary.
Augustus Romulus surveyed the images projected onto his retinas. The reports coming in were dire. He had been tasked to pursue and destroy the enemy, a splinter force from the vast Chaos army holed down at the old Mechanicus fortress. But the captains hunt had been delayed by some sort of unholy tactics. His quarry had evaded his every attempt of capture. They had ambushed his marines from places which should have been impossible and they had disappeared as silently as they had appeared. Like mist.
Two more brothers had been wounded in the last attack, with poisonous weapons strong enough to harm even Astartes. Not even the powerful auspices in his command rhino could detect any traces of the renegade scum. In an act of fatigue Captain Augustus took off his battle helmet to scratch his long ragged scar running down his cheek, a habit unseemly for a marine. But as he unclasped his helmet and the air of this blighted planet rushed in, he felt it. Ozone hung heavy in the air and his skin crawled as if assailed by a toxic oil. Magic. Warp spawned magic, summoned by unholy pacts with unspeakable horrors from beyond. Now it all was clear, his path was before him and soon the enemy would be hunted down like the vermin they were.
With fire in their hearts the Third Company doubled their efforts and soon came upon a vast cave. The mouth of the cave had been fortified by renegades and the fighting became fierce. But the ill equipped traitors were no match for the mighty Astartes.
Braving the darkness the Third Company entered the cave, killing every traitor they could find. But the true enemy was not the corrupted guardsmen. No, the darkness bore down upon them. Playing tricks on hardened minds of Astartes. And a sound echoing around the walls, like a far away scream or a whisper, not quite audible for a man to hear. Soon enough, the sound turned into words. Words quickly forgotten, leaving memories of past glories and hidden truths.
Suddenly the words stopped, the Company had come to the end of the tunnel and a creature sat in the dark, in the middle of the room. A creature of impossible stature. It had taken the form of a spider, black and poisonous. It's gargantuan body stretching beyond the room and into the dark. It was death.
But it was also truth. Truth and lies. For within the form sat a man, aged and wizened. The spider faded away and left was only the man, clad in white robes and the cursed eight pointed star burnt into his forehead.
Raising his chain-sword, Augustus readied himself to strike down this agent of chaos, for every man in the cave felt the power within him. But looking into the clear blue eyes of the robed man, Augustus hesitated. In the eyes he saw no hate, nor evil. Only sadness.
-What are you? Augustus asked.
-Memories... Was the reply, in a voice of a scholar.
-... Of what?
-Your past... A distant past, of the heroes of a bygone age... And of the great lie.
Augustus replied with hate in hate in his voice
-Chaos is the great lie, scum! After a throaty laugh the old man replied
-Scum am I? Perhaps that is so. But at least I know the truth.
- The Truth? Speak plainly, heretic!
- That the Emperor is dead.
- LIAR! Roared Augustus, readying himself to strike down the white clad man. But something halted him. He could feel this man did nothing but speak of truth.
- Oh, but He is. Dead and betrayed... a betrayal that defines your corrupt Imperium. And so the man spoke, to all and to none. He spoke of the Crusade, and the shining path the Emperor laid before him. Of His glorious plans for peace. Of the great betrayal by his Sons, both the Traitors gone to Chaos and those who claimed to love Him. And all that heard his words knew them to be true.
The great betrayal by His beloved son, the Primarch known as Rouboute Guilliman. The great legion of the proud Ultramarines, numbering in their hundreds of thousands, could have ended the siege of Terra by sheer numbers . They could have driven back and beaten Horus and they could have saved the Emperor from death.
But they did not.
Instead they fortified their home, Ultramar, and prepared for the fall of the Imperium that the Emperor had created. For the cowardly Guilliman believed in the Emperors vision, but he did not believe in the Emperor himself. And that is a betrayal worse than that that of the Warmaster Horus.
The Emperor was dead… betrayed.
The words burned like fire into the hearts of the Astartes of the Third Company. Their own chapter, the Eagle Warriors was descendants of the traitor Rouboute Guilliman. As a successor chapter to the Ultramarines, their part of this heresy was unquestionable.
The Emperor was dead.
Augustus slumped down to his knees in disbelief. He tried to search his soul for corruption, but he could find none. The old mans words were true.
-So now you know the truth…
- And you know now why people rebel against this… Imperium of Man.
-…Yes, I do.
- No longer could you accept the lies of corrupt men. Of a regime deifying a lie… Out there, soldiers of truth fight against the corrupt. And you know what must be done.
And Augustus knew. They all knew.
As one, the Third Company rose, readying them selves. They strode out of the long, dark cave with the words of the old man echoing in their minds. The Emperor is dead. And those whose fault it was, fought in the valley below. The Third Company went down the mountain and after seeing the hated blue colour they spread out in attack formation. The Ultramarines would pay for their betrayal!
They struck hard into the lines of the soldiers of the Imperium, scattering the guardsmen like the filth they were. But Space Marines are of a different stock, for they are bred for battle. The Ultramarines rallied themselves heroically, like only Astartes could. And the battle turned into a melee between battle brothers, no more finesse or trickery. Only death.
Augustus came upon the captain of the Ultramarines and with a bellow challenged him to single combat. Great was Augustus skill in arms, but he was no match for the sheer brute strength of the Ultramarine captain. He swung a two-handed power weapon like it was a feather and Augustus chainsword could not last long against it. With a great seep of his blade, the captain cut off Augustus legs and readied himself for the killing blow. But the death of the Third Companys captain was not to be. With great sorcerous fire the Librarian, Ignatius, blasted the captain away from the broken Augustus.
As the life flowed from Augustus veins, he heard the voice of the old man from the cave.
-It is not time for you to die yet, captain. Augustus saw the sad blue eyes and the smiling face of the old man. And he saw the majesty that he was. The Great Spider.
Out of the ground crept, eight legged creatures beyond count. They enveloped Augustus with their black bodies, creeping in every crack and opening of his armour. Their venom burning through his armour like fit was no more than cloth. Tiny creatures crept into his mouth, his nose, his eyes and the pain he felt was beyond imagining. Fire and ice swept through his body, a great pain. But within the pain he found strength. He felt strong! The pain was only fleeting but the strength was forever. It was a gift from Chaos and Augustus would use this the destroy the corrupt Imperium that he once had served, like a sheep. He felt the strength creep down to his leg stumps, forming new limbs. And the the pain was gone and he stood. His lower body had been reformed to that of the spider and his armour had been scoured clean from the lies of his former chapter.
-My son, echoed old mans voice -The first of many...
With a roar Augustus rushed the captain of the Ultramarines and where he once lacked in strength he now was more than a match for the captain of their hated parent chapter. with lightning quick strikes from his broken chainsword Augustus skewered the once victorious captain upon his powerful taloned legs.
After that the battle lasted not long. the remnants of the Ultramarines were destroyed to the last man and the survivors of imperial guard was given the choice of sacrifice or service. Not many guardmen chose the blade and joined the just cause. The days victory was great indeed.
No more was the Eagle Warriors, Third Company. All cleaned their armour of the deceitful colours of the Imperium, branding their left shoulder pads with a white, eight pointed star. No more was Augustus Romulus, captain of leashed dogs once know as Astartes. He took a new name that day, as a symbol of the newly found freedom from oppression they all had found that day.
Crixus, Champion of the Great Spider God. Lord of the First Sons was born.