Yep, here I am, starting a new blog of my own. All the cool kids I know are doing it, so why not. Most of my friends with 40K blogs talk about gaming and painting, but none have blogs focusing on the lore, so I'll try to fill in that niche. And also shamelessly plug my own work in the process, of course.
I should probably start with an introduction, though. I got into 40K back in 2002, starting out with a normal Space Marine force. I was immediately attracted to the idea of creating my own Chapter and heroes, and thus the Lords of Oblivion were born. They were a bit light on background, but I've worked on tweaking and revising it over the years. The lore of 40K is the main thing that got me into it, and it's the main thing that keeps me interested in this hobby. I've since branched out into the competitive gaming and painting/modeling aspects, but the lore remains my main love.
I served on the staff of the Bolter and Chainsword's Librarium for several years, contributing several well-received articles and stories, and editing dozens of others. Unfortunately, the Librarium has been all but shut down in 2011 while the admins wait for a round of software upgrades that have been promised for several years. As such, I've gotten tired of waiting and have elected to stake out on my own with my own place for posting whatever I come up with, as well as sporadically rant about things and not be subject to the whims of admins with questionable logic.
Anyway, that's me, and here's the Lords of Oblivion! This is a re-write of my Index Astartes article, presented in the newer format found in the last couple Forge World books.
The Lords of Oblivion have steadfastly defended their worlds and beyond, proudly bearing the traditions of Ferrus Manus and surviving against horrors that would have destroyed the minds of lesser men. Formed towards the end of the 25th Founding in response to growing threats from Orks against the Sco’ken Cluster, the Chapter was based on the world of Firien, a lush but dangerous planet, and home to a hardy people who value strength and self-reliance.
The Brazen Claws, sons of Ferrus Manus, were selected to provide the officers to oversee the formation of the Chapter. However, tragedy struck as the strike cruiser bearing their detachment was ambushed by Chaos Space Marines on the edge of the Firien system. Most of the Brazen Claws were killed in the fighting, their minds destroyed by foul sorceries, but a handful survived by virtue of the protection of a Librarian named Allerka.
Continuing on to Firien, the surviving Brazen Claws began the formation of the new Chapter, under the leadership of Veteran Sergeant Simeon, now Chapter Master. In gratitude for his skills during the battle against the Traitors that nearly destroyed them, Allerka was given the honor of choosing the name and heraldry of the new Chapter.
After considerable research, Allerka chose a name from the mythology of Firien: the Lords of Oblivion, a term that serves as both the name of the Dremori, mythological protectors of Firien who once co-existed with humanity, and the masters of Oblivion, the otherworldly domain the Dremori and their chosen champions supposedly live in.
As the Lords of Oblivion grew in size and strength, the survivors of the Brazen Claws developed a preference for those aspirants with psychic potential. They were all disturbed by the ease with which the attacking Renegades had defeated their Brothers, and vowed they would not fall prey to such tricks again. As such, the hatred of weakness endemic to the sons of Ferrus was directed, not at weakness of the body, but at weakness of the mind.
After nearly a century, the Chapter neared full fighting strength, with a Librarium already larger than most other Chapters of Astartes, and their arms and armor supplied by the nearby forge world of Valtorek. Their readiness came none too soon, for reports came in that the Orks were massing to invade the Sco’ken Cluster at last. The Lords of Oblivion departed immediately for their first campaign.
Since then, the Lords of Oblivion have fought with relentless vigor to earn themselves a place of honor in the Imperium. They are always eager to fight alongside more senior Chapters and learn from those with longer histories, gleaning knowledge from these other Chapters to better forge their own legends. Though they are sometimes viewed with suspicion due to their numerous psykers, their hard efforts to maintain good relations with other Chapters, as well as the permanent presence of an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor with the Chapter, goes a long way towards allaying these suspicions.
It was not until the recent Salvation of Firien campaign, when their homeworld was subjected to a massive invasion by both daemons of the warp and Chaos Marines, that everything the Chapter had spent a millennium working for was destroyed in less than a year. Even now, almost a decade later, the Chapter struggles to rebuild both its fighting forces and its standing in the Imperium.
Selected Battle Honors
The Sco’ken Cluster Campaign
The Lords of Oblivion arrive in the Sco’ken Cluster as the Orks are attacking a half-dozen worlds at once. They engage the Orks across each of the worlds, and four are purged in short order. The Chapter regroups to attack the heart of the WAAAGH!!! on the world of Dorsyl, and two hundred Space Marines land in a span of minutes amidst the warboss’ main force.
Eager for a real fight, the warboss, Rayzor Gitsmacka, charges the main force of the Lords of Oblivion at the head of an entire mob of Weirdboyz, the Orks’ equivalent of psykers. The Weirdboyz decimate those Astartes unable to protect themselves against the psychic assaults, and Rayzor smashes through many of the survivors.
In an effort to keep the Lords of Oblivion from being routed, Chapter Master Simeon leads a counter-charge, but he and his honor guard are all killed in the fighting. Seeing Simeon fall, Allerka rallies the Astartes around him and leads a second charge, this time at the head of a force of Librarians. While the Librarians destroy the Weirdboyz with their own formidable powers, Allerka uses his powers to destroy Rayzor in a blast of lightning, in full sight of the Ork horde.
Leaderless, the Orks fall into disarray and are wiped out over the next several months. The Lords of Oblivion return to Firien with a third of their numbers dead, and the surviving Captains elect to make Allerka the new Chapter Master, deferring to his far greater experience.
The Sagrado Worlds Crusade
The Lords of Oblivion join in a crusade to reclaim the Sagrado Worlds, an entire sector that has broken away from the Imperium. En route, the Chapter is ambushed by Chaos forces, and Captain Nikolai Mal’fas, commander of the 3rd Company, falls in battle. His Command Sergeant, Valos Tiburin, assumes command. Strangely, the armor of the slain Chaos Marines matches descriptions of that worn by the Traitors who ambushed the Brazen Claws on their way to Firien at the birth of the Chapter.
Joining the Crusade, the Lords of Oblivion battle the rebel forces on a dozen worlds over the course of the year, but are frequently harassed and ambushed by Chaos Space Marines identical to those who attacked them en route to the battlezone. Eventually, the Lords of Oblivion learn the leader of these Chaos Marines is named Faldred, a champion of Slaanesh. The Chapter attempts to ambush Faldred and destroy him, but the traitor almost seems to have expected the attempt, and escapes into the warp, laughing.
Highly disturbed by Faldred’s seemingly prescient knowledge of their tactics, the Lords of Oblivion withdraw from the battlezone without a word. Captain Tiburin makes a public vow to destroy Faldred, no matter how long it might take.
The Thirteenth Black Crusade and the Salvation of Firien
Hearing word of a growing threat from the Eye of Terror, the Lords of Oblivion and their closest allies, the Storm Fists Chapter, make their way to the Cadian Gate. They come to a world called Andruin, on the outskirts of the warzone, and lend their aid to the Angels Paradox in their fight against the forces of Chaos and the Necrons.
During the fighting, rumors come of a Lord of Change directing the daemonic forces of the Chaos army, but the Lords of Oblivion do not encounter it. As the conflict enters its third month, Allerka is struck by visions of Firien in flames. Fearing the worst, he convinces the Storm Fists to return to Firien with his Chapter, and they set out.
They arrive to find the visions were correct, and Firien is indeed under assault by a combined force of daemons pouring forth from several tears in reality and Chaos Marines under Faldred’s command. The two Chapters rush to save Firien in a year-long campaign. Over time, two more Chapters, the Storm Giants and the Iron Angels, join the battle. Most unexpected, however, is the appearance of the Dremori to also aid the defense of Firien, in fulfillment of their ancient promises.
Emissaries of the Dremori approach Allerka and offer their hand in friendship. Knowing to refuse would turn the Dremori into enemies, Allerka accepts to the shock of his allies. The other Chapters demand he revoke his alliance, but Allerka refuses and the other three Chapters withdraw from the battle, leaving the Lords of Oblivion to their fate.
However, the Lords of Oblivion and the Dremori eventually prove successful, defeating both the daemon leading the invasion, a Lord of Change known as K’laernik, and the forces of Faldred, who had masterminded the entire attack.
The cost of victory is astronomical, however. Nearly half of Firien is warp-blasted ashlands, and over a third of its population is dead. The Lords of Oblivion have also seen the loss of over two thirds of the Chapter, as well as the loss of their best allies.
The Dark Crusade and Medusa V
Knowing alliances and the Chapter’s standing must be restored, High Paladin Allerka dispatches Captain Tiburin and his 3rd Company into the galaxy once again to fight alongside the Black Templars in a Dark Crusade. As they near the warzone, Captain Tiburin attempts to contact the Black Templars to see where his forces might aid them. The response they receive directs them to a world called Uijong, which has come under attack by WAAAGH!!! Stedmean.
The Lords of Oblivion arrive at Uijong and readily route the Orks, though discover the presence of Astartes weapons among the Orks, and quickly learn that the Orks have been supplied and directed by Faldred, who also falsified the orders for the Lords of Oblivion to lure them into yet another trap. Fortunately for them, Captain Tiburin’s peerless tactical acumen was sufficient to break free of the trap and inflict devastating loses on the traitors, forcing them to withdraw into the warp once again.
Giving chase, Captain Tiburin leads the pursuit across several worlds over the next two years until they come to the world of Medusa V, a world already embroiled in titanic warfare. Faldred disappears amidst the chaos, but Captain Tiburin’s relentless pursuit rediscovers the traitors after several months, and the two armies battle their way into space, leaving Medusa V behind only hours before the warp storms consume it entirely.
The Lords of Oblivion began as a Codex Chapter, owing to their being a Successor of the Brazen Claws rather than the Iron Hands, and have remained as such for most of their service. However, following the Salvation of Firien campaign, some organizational changes began to take place in the Chapter. After learning that Faldred the Foul was somehow able to obtain at least a partial, if not a full, copy of the Chapter’s Codex Astartes, the Lords of Oblivion realized how the knowledge gleaned was able to give Faldred valuable insight into the tactics and capabilities of the Chapter’s fighting forces.
Fearing future abuses of this knowledge, and realizing that Faldred could disseminate this knowledge to other enemies of the Chapter, High Paladin Allerka authorized his Captains to deviate from the Codex norms in regards to Company organization and size, as well as the tactical doctrine of each. It is his hope that this alteration will make the Chapter’s tactics and capabilities less apparent to its enemies. Squad and Company markings for every last unit in the Chapter were also altered to a scheme not present in the Codex Astartes, drawing on the written language of the Dremori.
Owing to the Chapter’s proclivities for psychic combat, the Lords of Oblivion also boast what is likely one of the largest Librariums in the Imperium. Even with the Chapter devastated and far below optimal strength, the number of Librarians at its command is greater than many other Chapters at full strength. In addition, most of the officers of the Chapter are junior psykers in their own right; though not powerful enough to become full Librarians, they are able to use their lesser talents to their advantage both offensively and defensively. These powers manifest themselves in a variety of ways, and the Chapter has divided its psykers into a dozen different Orders depending on the nature of their powers.
At the least, most officers have developed basic techniques to safeguard themselves and those around them from psychic assault. This defense is further augmented by the regular deployment of full Librarians with every battle force, who not only train extensively in protecting against psychic assault so much so that their ability to dispel the effects of the warp is nearly unrivaled, but are capable of bolstering the resolve of their Battle-Brothers. As such, it is far from uncommon for Librarians to serve as much as leaders as the Captains and the Command Sergeants.
After six years of rebuilding, the Chapter has nearly returned to half-strength, with five of its Companies active once again. Each is now significantly different from the other. Captain Tyrion’s 2nd Company is the only one that resembles a traditional Battle Company. Captain Tiburin has altered the training doctrine for his Company to have a far heavier emphasis on close-combat and the almost total eschewing of long-range weaponry, owing to his own personal style of combat. Captain Jor’hale and his 4th Company have gone in the opposite route, honing his Company’s long-range firepower to a deadly zenith. Captain Ith’mak has deviated the furthest from the Codex. Inspired by the effective results the cavalry units of Firien’s Imperial Guard had during the recent campaign, he has begun training his Astartes on how to tame the largest and most vicious of the sauroks, a massive reptilian predator of Firien, and ride these mighty creatures into battle. He has also collected a large stable of other deadly predators from Firien, which he deploys in battle alongside his Space Marines. Though highly unorthodox, he has experienced tremendous success with these tactics.
Addendum: High Paladin Allerka
Though highly visible in the first centuries of his Chapter’s service, eager to form alliances with other Imperial forces and learn from his more experienced peers, he has become increasingly reclusive as time has gone on, to the point where he is rarely seen outside the Chapter, except by his closest allies. And now with most of the Chapter’s allies having forsaken them after the Salvation of Firien, he is little more than a figure of legend or rumor. His Chapter retains their full faith in him, however, and will brook no insult or slander given voice by others.
Perhaps part of why Allerka remains so enigmatic are rumors concerning his age. If records are to be believed, the High Paladin who led the defense of Firien in 999.M41 is the same man who partook in the Chapter’s Founding over a millennium ago. While such a long lifespan is not unheard of among Space Marines, it has still made some with knowledge of this wonder if there is not some other reason for his longevity, particularly in light of his tremendous psychic power.
He has mastered five of the Orders, more than any other in the Chapter, and has even developed his skills in directions unique to him. Some of these rely on his sword, an arcane blade he calls Dremori. Where and how he obtained this sword, he has never said, but its effectiveness is beyond question, as it channels Allerka’s psychic rage to such devastating effect that not even warp-based defenses can stop it.
Addendum: Scriptum Oblivionis
Part of the drive of the Lords of Oblivion to expunge any mental weakness is to also counteract the fallacy of memory. To this end, the Chapter maintains the Scriptum Oblivionis, a massive tome detailing all the battles and successes of the Lords of Oblivion. Though all Chapters maintain a tradition of recording their history, the Scriptum Oblivionis differs from the norm. Rather than being compiled after a battle by the Chapter’s Librarians, its Battle-Brothers write the would-be entries, often while a campaign is still in progress and the memories fresh in their minds.
After a campaign is concluded, those Battle-Brothers who participated share and compare the stories they have written, with all semblance of rank temporarily forgotten as the best story is chosen. The chosen entry is then inscribed into the Scriptum Oblivionis, to serve as an epic chronicle of the Chapter’s deeds, and even a guide as past victories are looked to for inspiration in regards to a current problem. Therefore, the Scriptum Oblivionis serves as much as a tactical document for the Lords of Oblivion as the Codex Astartes.