It is the sacred task of the Deathwatch to stand sentry against all of these terrible xenos races. They are ready to act when such ancient evils rise to threaten Mankind once more. The Space Marines of the Deathwatch form the first, and often only, line of defence against these inhuman horrors. Deathwatch Space Marines do not usually form the standard tactical groups like squads and companies generally used by the Adeptus Astartes. Instead, they operate as small special forces units in close-knit groups of specialists called Kill-teams. If a xenos threat is particularly dangerous, several Kill-teams may be assigned to deal with it, but if the threat is still too much for even the Deathwatch to handle, the Inquisition will be forced to turn to a full Space Marine Chapter or to multiple regiments of the Imperial Guard to deal with it.
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It is the sacred task of the Deathwatch to stand sentry against all of these terrible xenos races. They are ready to act when such ancient evils rise to threaten Mankind once more. The Space Marines of the Deathwatch form the first, and often only, line of defence against these inhuman horrors.
Deathwatch Space Marines do not usually form the standard tactical groups like squads and companies generally used by the Adeptus Astartes. Instead, they operate as small special forces units in close-knit groups of specialists called Kill-teams. If a xenos threat is particularly dangerous, several Kill-teams may be assigned to deal with it, but if the threat is still too much for even the Deathwatch to handle, the Inquisition will be forced to turn to a full Space Marine Chapter or to multiple regiments of the Imperial Guard to deal with it.
In general, if a group of Deathwatch Kill-teams cannot deal with a xenos incursion, that means that the Imperium has a major conflict on its hands and must deploy a full range of its military forces to meet the threat. Contents [ show ] Chapter History "We do not hate the alien because he is different, we hate the alien because he had naught but hate in his heart for us. The exact origins of the Deathwatch are uncertain in current Imperial records, but its inception can be traced to Led by the mysterious Warlord known only as The Beast , this Greenskin invasion threatened the very Throneworld of Terra itself.
During this conflict, it was the newly-elected Lord Commander of the Imperium , Chapter Master and sole surviving member of the Imperial Fists , named Koorland , who devised the concept of utilising small elite Astartes Kill-teams to eliminate vital strategic assets of the encroaching Greenskins and eventually, The Beast itself.
These Chapters suffered severe losses during the invasion. Thus standing in vigil over their fallen brethren, the seeds of the Deathwatch were sown. Lord Commander Koorland eventually came to an agreement with the Inquisitorial Representative Wienand, to assuage any doubts by the rest of the members of the Senatorum Imperialis , that the Deathwatch would fall under the purview of the Inquisition , but an Astartes would ultimately serve as Chapter Master. These records state that a conclave of Inquisitor Lords -- the Apocryphon Conclave of Orphite IV -- convened with the sole purpose of formulating an Imperium-wide strategy to combat the many xenos threats that assailed Mankind.
The members of this conclave were, in the main, drawn from the ranks of the Ordo Xenos , all of whom shared the belief that one day, there would come a time when Humanity would be consumed by slavering xenos beasts, or enslaved to creatures of unutterably alien origins.
They foresaw an age when every alien life form in the galaxy, and others from beyond it, might rise up and the Age of the Imperium would come to an end. They had no inkling when such a terrible age might come, but they knew with dreadful certainty that it surely would, and they determined that no effort should be spared to avert such an end.
The conclave sat for many standard years, and bitter debate raged back and forth between Inquisitor Lords of many different positions. Some believed that every trace of alien life should be purged from the galaxy, while a few advocated the formation of alliances with those alien races that could be tolerated. Some spoke of ancient, god-like beings that have slumbered since before the creation of Mankind awakening to enslave the galaxy, while others foresaw that death would come at the hands of invasion from other galaxies entirely.
While many Puritan Inquisitor Lords declared the conclave itself an admission of defeat for even countenancing that Mankind might not prevail against these threats, wiser counsel prevailed, and a strategy was eventually formulated. The conclave would request an audience with the assembled Chapter Masters of the Adeptus Astartes , and ask of them a solemn undertaking.
It is not known how many Chapter Masters assembled to hear the words of the conclave, for such an event has only occurred a handful of times in the long history of the Imperium. Nor were the words of the Inquisitors recorded for posterity. Certainly, enough Chapter Masters must have answered the call, for a quorum of sorts was convened.
The conclave presented its prophecy to the Chapter Masters, evoking the galaxy-wide threat of the ravening xenos. Each of the Masters and Inquisitors took a solemn oath together. They would form a new Chapter, consisting of Veteran Space Marines highly experienced in combating the xenos. This Chapter was dubbed the "Deathwatch", for it would stand guard against the doom foretold by the conclave.
Thus, to this day, this joint oath still stands. The Battle-Brothers of the Deathwatch take the war against the alien to the very darkest reaches of the void, bringing to bear such force as no individual Inquisitor could hope to muster.
In this mission, the Ordo Xenos and the Deathwatch are equals, the Inquisitors rooting out the foes for the Deathwatch to eradicate. While neither party is subject to the command of the other, both work in concert towards their common goal, according to those oaths made centuries ago. The two work closely together, ever watchful for that fateful day when the prophecies of the conclave are realised.
The Time of Ending has exposed how thin a line lies between the present and the alien apocalypse feared by all Mankind. War Upon the Brink — Inquisitor Apollyon The Deathwatch stand vigilant in the face of overwhelming odds As the 41st Millennium draws to a close, the shield of the Deathwatch has been shaken, shivered and brought to the edge of destruction.
A thousand horrors gnaw and tear at the fabric of destiny, foes old and new emerging to take their chance as Mankind is torn apart by its long war against Chaos. The Aeldari fight for a resurgence ten millennia in the making, taking no prisoners as they seek to burn brightly before the end. Their vile Commorrite cousins, the Drukhari , intend to line their larders before the apocalypse breaks, raiding in never-before seen numbers to leave once-thriving worlds empty of sentient life.
The Necron dynasties awake faster than the Deathwatch can put them down, long-buried armies lurching to life as ancient overlords attempt to restore a lifeless order to the era of mayhem that greets their awakening. Their green tsunami of violence is set to drown the stars. Further out drift the numberless Bio-Ships of the Great Devourer. Hive Fleets Behemoth and Kraken push their rapacious tendrils further coreward with every standard year, leaving nothing but scoured balls of rock in their wake.
Perhaps it is Hive Fleet Leviathan that should be feared the most, for its splinter fleets emerge from under the galactic core to menace Segmentum Solar -- the seat of human civilisation itself. With every standard year more requests are levelled unto the wider Adeptus Astartes by the Deathwatch, citing ancient oaths to claim tithe after tithe.
Yet the Astropathic messages flow both ways. Hundreds of Chapters are formally requesting their Battle-Brothers be discharged from their Long Vigils and sent back, despite the tarnishing of their honour that entails. In this time of woe, every Space Marine is vital in the war against the dark powers that seek to capsize reality itself. Whether Humanity will survive to see in a new age is unknown, but the Deathwatch is fighting with every iota of its strength to ensure it.
Unable to reach Endasch in time, the Grey Knights sent an astropathic pulse to the Deathwatch. Bludgeoning the enemy to death with crushing weapons proved no mean feat, and it cost the Kill-teams a full half of their number. Yet by limiting the blood spilt, the Deathwatch prevented the Warp breach from ever happening.
The surviving Ork Warlord led a Greenskin crusade out of the sub-sector. A solar week later, Augur beacons traced the Ork crusade into the Eye of Terror , and the matter was considered resolved. Bane of the Sslyth Unknown Date - The Slaanesh-worshipping Sslyth of the Vensine Sector were attacked in their nests when Kill-team Decurius descended to save the world from a truly disgusting fate.
Taking every Flamer weapon they could muster, they instead descended to the Maiden World of Yddylia at the height of summer and -- in conjunction with a firestorm barrage -- set swathes of the world aflame. The Exodites of the planet fought hard to repel them, but the Deathwatch stayed one step ahead. Drawn by the psychic distress calls of their backwater kindred, Craftworld Biel-Tan appeared in the night sky.
They found the Watch Fortress better defended than they expected, for though it is small, it houses only Venator Kill-teams. Hundreds of Eldar raiders were slain before the last of them chanced upon the chamber -- only to find it empty. It flowed into the nightmarish Shardmaze, and from there to the Mirrored Palace of Plenitia.
When the gangling predators proved strong enough to tear apart the Kill-team that hunted them, the Dreadnought Xenomortis was sent to reinforce its Battle-Brothers. Solar months later, the war machine stormed from the ruins of the now-empty Mirrored Palace, every inch of its hull covered in Ur-Ghul blood. They retreated to a safe distance, monitoring the simian aliens that clambered upon their star-frame as it slowly spun out of the cosmos into the cold void.
Dregsmasha , a small Kill-team was sent to assassinate the Big Mek leading the war. A misdrop left the team on the wrong side of a storm-swollen river, caught in the teeth of a ferocious blizzard, with Greenskins closing fast. Day of the Barghesi Unknown Date. M41 - After seeing the destruction meted out by Hive Fleet Leviathan across a wide frontage of Imperial space, Inquisitor Kryptman ordered a cordon of worlds in its path laid barren or actively destroyed to starve the Tyranids of sustenance.
This drastic measure saw Kryptman excommunicated, with many calling for the death sentence. The gambit was vindicated when the Hive Fleet followed the psychic spoor of its Genestealers into the biomass-rich Ork Empire , buying the Imperium time to regroup as xenos fought xenos across the system.
Extractio Extremis Unknown Date. M41 - Through their Rogue Trader contacts, the Deathwatch was alerted to the presence of a Space Marine Captain in the blood sport arenas of Commorragh. Though it cost the lives of all save Aldric himself, the gladiator Captain was freed in time to catch the Corsair ship as it left, still unaware of its Imperial cargo.
The Deathwatch sent to investigate found the system rife with undeath, both mechanical and biological. M41 - Chaplain Ortan Cassius led an Aquila Kill-team to the backwater Mining World of Ghosar Quintus , only to find an alien infestation spread not only throughout the planet, but the Segmentum -- and possibly beyond.
The Thief Inquisitor Unknown Date. He brought overwhelming force against the Deathwatch garrison before disappearing, with datacane in hand, taking Inquisitor Gao -- now trapped in a Tesseract Labyrinth -- with him as a cautionary lesson. Crown of the Beast Unknown Date. M41 - Whilst on a destabilisation raid to the war-torn Ork Empire of Octarius , the Kill-teams of the Eye of Octos witnessed a Mekaniak invention that disrupted the synaptic control linking Tyranid organisms to their Hive Mind.
Appearing much like a crown of electricity, it was used by the self-appointed King Mek Baddkrasha to break swarm after swarm. The Kill-teams waited for the two xenos armies to decimate each other before diving in, their Furor Teams cutting through to Baddkrasha before escaping with his decapitated head -- crown and all -- for further study.
Damnos Revisited Unknown Date. The Enclaves Struck Unknown Date. M41 - With Commander Farsight and his subordinates joining the war for Agrellan , the Deathwatch made an opportunistic attack on the Farsight Enclaves. Rise of the Alien Unknown Date. The Deathwatch find itself stretched to breaking point and beyond. For millennia, it has watched, waited, and fought amongst the lost stars and abandoned worlds of the Reach.
Its domains have stood since a time now long forgotten and lost to the oblivion of dead history. It has seen worlds conquered by the Imperium fall once again to darkness. Its watch has been a thing of millennia. Ancient secrets, long since locked and sealed, are now open, and there can be no doubt: the hour has come round at last, and the future, so long awaited and dreaded, is here.
These places are held by it and it alone, secret and well-guarded. These domains range from the vast and mysterious Watch Fortress Erioch , which circles a dying star, to the many lesser Watch Stations standing silent vigil on forlorn worlds, airless moons, and in the dead marches of space throughout the Jericho Reach. These domains best serve the Deathwatch by providing places where they can gaze into the darkness beyond, re-arm, gather information, or as a last resort hold the line against the many enemies of Mankind that infest the Jericho Reach.
The Deathwatch moves between these secret domains using rapid strike vessels and reconnaissance craft, often unseen by both enemies and allies. The Long Watch The presence of the Deathwatch in the Jericho Reach is the consequence of an ancient resolution and sacrosanct order.
To fulfil this compact, the Deathwatch built its hidden Watch Fortress in the dead system of Erioch on the ruins of an artefact ancient before man first walked the soil of Terra. For millennia, the Deathwatch has ensured that some of its number have remained in this dark place, there to stand watch.
Tempest Blades - A special class exclusive to the Storm Wardens , who wield massive two-handed Power swords around on the battlefield dueling worthy enemies, which will eventually end in their deaths. First Founding - Finally getting around to adding the remaining four First Founding Chapters and gives additional information about the other First Founding Chapters along with the Traitor Legions, along with ways to use the latter as antagonists. The Jericho Reach - Another fluff book, this one focuses on notable Deathwatch kill-teams and their locations in the Reach. Also comes with a pre-written adventure as well.
Deathwatch - Honour the Chapter