The story of the Shades of Adrasteia, like that of any Chapter of the Ultima Founding is a brief one. It is a story of a brotherhood lost and of a destiny unfulfilled.
The Primaris Space Marines who would one day become the Shades of
Adrasteia were baptised in battle fighting as members of Roboute
Guilliman’s Unnumbered Sons during the Indomitus Crusade. For a
century they fought beside the famed Chapters of the Ultramarines and
the Imperial Fists as well as their relative successors. Their
greatest glory came in fighting alongside the risen Primarch himself
when the crusade crossed the Great Rift into Imperium Nihilus to
relieve the Blood Angel home-world of Baal.
Following the battle, and with the psychic disruption of the Great
Rift behind them, the astropaths of the Indomitus Crusade began to
receive the distress calls of a thousand worlds cut off from support
by the smothering of the Astronomican. Among these distress calls,
the astropaths were able to discern those of the Ashen Sentinels
chapter of the Adeptus Astartes.
Imperial records listed the Ashen Sentinels as a Raven Guard
successor chapter charged with oversight of the Duzakh Sector in the
Ultima Segmentum. The Ashen Sentinel’s distress calls were fractured
and strained but one thing was clear, they were on the brink of
annihilation. Before the Indomitus Crusade returned to Imperium
Sanctus, Guilliman dispatched Primaris Space Marines to the aid of
dozens of beleaguered chapters, the Ashen Sentinel’s included.
army sent to reinforce the Ashen Sentinels was led by Captain Henrik
Orn, a lauded leader and a committed follower of Lord Guilliman’s
teachings. Behind him was a force five companies strong. On the eve
of their departure from the crusade, Guilliman gifted Captain Orn
with a finely wrought weapon named the Spear
of Brotherhood. Guilliman
bade that once Orn had joined with the Ashen Sentinels he was to gift
the relic to their Chapter Master as a token of the Lord Commander’s
praise for their stoic resilience and as a symbol of his authority,
that Orn and the Greyshields were their brothers and should be
welcomed into the Chapter accordingly.
Greyshield’s journey was difficult. Navigation was challenging and
long jumps through the warp were impossible. Several times their
Strike Cruiser Ukko’s
was attacked by bands of heretical corsairs and hosts of daemons
empowered by their proximity to the Cicatrix Maledictum. After months
of travel they arrived at the Ashen Sentinel’s Fortress Monastery, an
ancient star fort named Adrasteia.
upon arriving in system, it soon became clear that something was
wrong. All attempts to contact Adrasteia
were met with silence
approached the Fortress Monastery it found it heavily damaged, barely
operational, surrounded by a debris field made up of the sundered
hulls of the Ashen Sentinel’s fleet. It was when the Greyshields
docked with Adrasteia
the true extent of the devastation became clear.
Fortress Monastery had been the site of a ferocious battle.
Throughout its halls, under flickering red emergency lighting, were
littered the bodies of the Ashen Sentinels. Their armour, as well as
the Fortress bulkheads, was rent open as if by claws or blades. But,
aside the destruction they had wrought, there was no sign of the
Ashen Sentinel’s enemies, not one body nor fallen weapon or drop of
blood. The Greyshields searched Adrasteia
and found none alive, until they reached a chamber deep in the
Fortress Monastery’s core. Its door had been inscribed with hundreds
of eldritch runes. They had been torn open.
as with the outer doors, the chamber the walls were covered in runes.
Here the Greyshields found the Ashen Sentinel’s Librarius. They were
dead, torn apart like their brothers throughout Adrasteia,
except for one. In the centre of the chamber, atop a raised platform
was a body, unconscious, but still living, his sus-an membrane
activated. The warrior was rushed to the Apothocarian aboard Ukko’s
There he was stabilised but remained unconscious.
the following months, while extensive repairs were carried out on
concerted efforts were made to contact any surviving Ashen Sentinels.
None were found. Finally, Captain Orn was forced to accept that they
had arrived far too late and the Ashen Sentinels were gone. This
acceptance in turn raised the question of the Greyshields own future.
Orn gathered the leaders amongst his brothers to seek their counsel.
The matter was debated for a day and a night. Some, led by the Chaplain Urho Valla believed the Greyshields should do as Guilliman had bade them and become Ashen Sentinels, replacing the lost chapter. Others, spearheaded by Aku Soturi, youngest and most bombastic of the Greyshield captains, argued that they no longer had a purpose and should seek a good death, hunting their enemies to the very last. An argument was made by the techmarine Rikhard Taja that they should seek to return to the Indomitus Crusade and receive new orders. In the end, the agreed upon action, proposed by Orn himself, was to replace the Ashen Sentinels in duty but not in name. Instead, the Greyshields would seek to honour their lost brothers. They would style themselves as the vengeful ghosts of the fallen chapter. They would become the Shades of Adrasteia.