"The Hataeron are with the Emperor. They alone see Him with mortal eyes. Once inducted into the brotherhood, they never leave His side. And so the first step is greatest. Take it, and witness the most profound sphere of duty."
- — Tribune Heracleon, Adeptus Custodes Hataeron Guard
A Hetaeron Guard Squad is a part of the elite inner circle of the Adeptus Custodes, also known as the Hetaeron Guard or the Companions of the Emperor. The Hetaeron Guard serve as the Emperor's closest protectors, aides and in ancient times, confidants, leaving His side rarely save for the most dire of circumstances. Since ancient times there have been only 300 of these elite Custodians that serve as the personal guard of the Emperor. They are charged with maintaining the vigil over the the Emperor's Sanctum Imperialis chambers within the Imperial Palace at all times and are privileged to always be in His physical presence.
Only now, with the destruction of the Fortress World of Cadia by Abaddon the Despoiler during the 13th Black Crusade, and the unleashing of the galaxy-wide Warp rift known as the Cicatrix Maledictum, have the Custodians been charged with the unthinkable -- to leave His side and strike against those who would see the Master of Mankind dead. Unlike their fellow Custodes, the Companions remain within the Inner Palace, continuing to perform their sacred duties as sentinels.
The Hetaeron Guard serve as a part of the Custodian caste called the Hykanatoi, the main strength of the Adeptus Custodes. They serve as the personal bodyguard of the Emperor and the executioners of any who would offer threat or opposition to His will. The Companions of the Emperor are the most skilled fighters among a force of warriors whose martial skills are already beyond the limits of the merely human. During the early years of the Great Crusade, when the Emperor still walked amongst Mankind, the Hetaeron were a regular feature upon the worlds deserving of His attention. Yet as His actions were turned elsewhere, His personal guard followed, becoming almost a myth among the other Imperial forces in their absence.
Members of this elite cadre were originally selected individually for their service by the Master of Mankind Himself, but following His battle with the Warmaster Horus during the Battle of Terra and subsequent internment within the Golden Throne, the Hetaeron Guard were chosen through prescient dreams believed to have been sent to one of their own by the God-Emperor. Dreams did not mean the same to Custodians as they did to average mortals, for their minds were irrevocably changed by what they had become during their transformation into the elite guardians of the Emperor. Whatever purpose dreaming had for the mortal psyche was made redundant by their alteration. But there were exceptions -- legendary ones. These prescient visions were spoken of carefully, reverently, for it was in the form of dreams, long ago, that the Emperor's will was most clearly manifested to the Custodians. There are accounts, written in arcane script and buried in the deepest vaults of the Inner Palace, that tell of detailed testimony from the oldest of the Custodes' order, now all long dead. The greatest of them all -- Diocletian Exemplar, Thanassar, even Constantin Valdor himself -- were said to have had dreams in which knowledge was passed on.
The Companions of the Emperor were never more than three hundred strong. It was the highest honour to be chosen for duty within that brotherhood. There would be sacrifice, of course, but that counted as nothing besides the opportunity to serve in the most profound way imaginable. Following the internment of the Emperor in the Golden Throne after the defeat of Horus upon his flagship during the Battle of Terra, the Custodes outwardly wore the mark of their failure in the black robes that covered their auramite. It was a permanent reminder, replacing the traditional cloaks of blood-red that once adorned their battle-plate. It weighed heavy with every Custodian, for they knew more of the nature of the fall than most. The gold of their auramite was also blackened, as if charred by fire. It was said that the Companions' proximity to the Emperor did that, turning their pride into ashes.
This bleak colour change reflected that the Custodians had remained in permanent mourning for failing to protect the Emperor in His hour of need. But with the return of the Avenging Son, the resurrected Primarch Roboute Guilliman, the Adeptus Custodes cast off their black cloaks and now don their crimson raiments of old. Taking to the sea of stars, they now bring the battle to the Great Enemy, intent on absolving themselves in the baptism of fire and blood for their failure ten millennia earlier. But the Companions still remain beside their silent lord, ever watchful, ever waiting for any threat to make itself known.
Adeptus Custodes Hetaeron Guard Squad Composition
- 3-10 Hetaeron Guard
- Melta Bombs
- Teleportation Transponder
- Sentinel Warblade
- Solerite Power Gauntlet
- Solerite Power Talon
- Pyrithite Spear
- Adrasite Spear
- Paragon Blade
One member of the Hetaeron Guard Squad may exchange their Guardian Spear for one of the following:
- Magisterium Vexilla and a Master-Crafted Power Weapon
- Magisterium Vexilla and Sentinel Warblade
- Magisterium Vexilla and Praesidium Shield
- Codex: Adeptus Astartes (7th Edition), pp. 8, 17
- The Horus Heresy - Book Seven: Inferno (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 116, 260
- Watchers of the Throne - The Emperor's Legion (Novel) by Chris Wraight, Chs. 1-2