The Deathwatch

The Space Marines of the Adeptus Astartes are the mightiest warriors in the Imperium and their fury in battle is legendary. Few can stand against the might of a Space Marine Chapter and the foes of Mankind tremble at their name. But there are alien races whose evil is beyond human understanding and beings that exist outside the realm of realspace that seek to plunge Humanity into the realm of Chaos. To face such foes demands warriors whose hearts and souls are trained to withstand extremes of pain and terror, whose faith in the Emperor is as unwavering as it is strong. Since the dawn of the Imperium specially trained Space Marines have fought these foes and defeated them. They are the Deathwatch.

The Deathwatch are a unique and specially trained Space Marine Chapter that dedicates its every hour to xenos hunting. They are the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos, charged with protecting it in its search of information, containment, and ultimate destruction of all xeno species.

Rather than following the standard Codex Astartes organization, the Space Marines themselves are drawn from many different chapters. These chapters have sworn sacred oaths to raise a unit of Space Marines specifically for this task. The warriors are then gathered together to fight where and when they are needed.

Giant fortresses orbit desolate worlds at the edge of the galaxy, keeping constant vigil over possible xenos forces. There are also several secret bases spread throughout the Imperium, which provide a launch site for their crusades.

The warriors who fight are given the honour of painting their armour black (to show their service to the Emperor), while leaving one shoulder pad with the original insignia of the Chapter from which the marine came. Although the armour is painted black, it is never all painted black as this action would dishonour the armour’s Machine Spirit. They also are equipped with a new shoulder pad with the symbol of Deathwatch onto their other side. Once in the employ of the Deathwatch, there is no set length of time for service, rather it is as long as the commander deems necessary. Each Space Marine may serve a discrete amount of time, or for the
duration of a mission, which may be a number of years. Once the mission is complete, the Space Marine is allowed to return to his chapter, under an oath of silence, as their duty has been fulfilled.

The orders of the Deathwatch are not merely the cleansing of xenos cultures. They also include the recovery and study of alien devices and artifacts. Sometimes it is necessary to use a weapon against the enemy who created it, although this is not taken lightly. The Deathwatch are constantly vigilant for sabotage, or to advise if it is truly safe to use a weapon of xenos origin. The Adeptus Mechanicus are always on the lookout for alien technology; the C’tan Phase Sword, used by the Callidus assassin was recovered from a Necron tomb world and successfully integrated into the arsenal of the Imperium.

Usually, a Deathwatch team is led by an Inquisitor or a Deathwatch Watch Captain. Their word is law, and they can requisition anything they desire to get the job done. They are the premier xenos fighting force in the Imperium. They might be deployed in areas where conventional methods are insufficient or if the troops available are not properly equipped or trained for the task. The presence of a Deathwatch team is always welcomed, even though they are feared by all those who know of them.

The Deathwatch

Sacrifice Fletcher