- "Go we into the darkness, there to bring the light of faith and the fury of Mankind's judgement on the Unbeliever, the Alien and the Mutant. War without end. Ave Imperator."
- —Vice-Cardinal Ichdien, Blessing at the outset of the Second Extra-Galactic Expedition
The Marines Errant is a Loyalist, fleet-based Space Marine Chapter credited in the Mythos Angelica Mortis as a successor of the Eagle Warriors Chapter, giving it Ultramarines lineage. It was created late during the 23rd Founding in the 37th Millennium, to repair the gap left in Imperial military forces by the loss of other Chapters.
The Chapter was well-named, for over the millennia since their Founding, the Chapter's Battle-Brothers have been active throughout the entirety of the Imperium and often far beyond its borders. The Chapter has shown a tremendous resilience and flexibility that have allowed it to participate in a broad range of Imperial Crusades even while its Battle-Brothers fervently venerate the dictates of the Codex Astartes.
A star-spanning Chapter of noble renown, the Marines Errant's own histories record them as one of the Chapters of the 23rd Founding of the Adeptus Astartes, which many sources place in the latter part of the 37th Millennium. The 23rd Founding is generally believed by Imperial scholars to have been one of a series of linked Foundings around this period designed to repair the power and reach of the Imperium's Space Marine forces which had suffered considerable losses in the preceding millennia. According to the Requiem Malesent of Saint Kybra, no fewer than fifty-seven Space Marine Chapters had been destroyed outright, turned Renegade or declared as lost during this troubled period, which had seen calamities such as the horrors of the Age of Apostasy, the disastrous Cursed Founding, the attacks of the Forces of Chaos and a rampage of Orks almost unchecked along the Imperium's frontiers.
The Marines Errant, along with several other Chapters, were from the outset conceived as Chapters that would spend their existence on continuous crusade and were to be created from the most stable gene-seed stocks available to the Adeptus Mechanicus. Articles laid down and enshrined from this time, preserved in the Marines Errant's archives on Vilamus, entreat the Chapter to, "... forever quest and give battle, knowing no home but the grace of the Emperor's mercy, finding purpose only in the destruction of the enemies of Mankind." Since their inception, the Marines Errant have dutifully pursued this course, ceaselessly travelling between war zones across the distant, far-flung stars of the Imperium, and are one of the few Chapters that are known to have crusaded far beyond the edge of Mankind's domains and returned.
Further details of this Chapter's origins can be found in the Mythos Angelica Mortis, the great work concerning the Space Marines of this age, which lists five such new-founded Crusade Chapters and their blood-progenitors, with the Marines Errant recorded as having the Eagle Warriors Chapter as their immediate forebears. The Eagle Warriors' gene-seed was drawn from the Ultramarines' lineage, although why the Eagle Warriors in particular were singled out for the honour of a "named" Founding being drawn from their ranks at this time remains lost to posterity.
The Marines Errant have forged for themselves a glorious series of battle honours by undertaking one Imperial Crusade after another in the name of the Emperor, some of which still burn in the pages of the Chapter's history, whilst others have been long forgotten. The Chapter was also notably involved in the many wars that made up the Age of Redemption in which the Adeptus Ministorum's Imperial Creed was reimposed on a wayward Imperium cleansed in the blood of the apostate. However, the Marines Errant are most famous for their later Crusades into the outer darkness of the galaxy.
From the very beginning, the intent of the Marines Errant was that they would engage in endless Crusades, cleansing the cosmos of any taint that might offend the Emperor or interfere with humanity's domination of the stars. Because of this, the Chapter designed its organisational scheme around the notion of independent stability for each of its companies. During its existence, the Marines Errant Chapter has never established a formal fortress-monastery nor has it designated a specific homeworld. Instead, the Chapter has known little rest as its members travel to constantly expand the boundaries of the Imperium. While this limits some of the fellowship between Space Marines assigned to different companies, the additional tactical flexibility has served them well in fulfilling their designated role.
The Age of Redemption, which lasted through most of the 37th Millennium, was a period in which the Imperial Cult first assumed its current levels of authority within the Imperium. In the centuries leading up to this time, the Ecclesiarchy had grown corrupt. Eventually, this corruption was identified and overthrown. With the change in leadership, faith in the God-Emperor became an increasingly vital element in Imperial life. Many who embraced their faith with tremendous zeal felt that penance was necessary for the terrible crimes that had taken place in the previous centuries. For some, the only imaginable service that could be appropriate was the idea of embarking upon a Crusade against the alien and heretical forces that contaminated the galaxy.
Through its initial centuries of organisation, the Marines Errant Chapter was a product of this era. Its Battle-Brothers participated in countless Crusades, which ranged in scale from targeting only a few worlds within a star system to enormous wars that extended across entire sub-sectors. As it participated in these countless efforts to make recompense for the Imperium's past sins, the Chapter continually proved its value as guards and warrior-ambassadors to those places where Mankind had not yet ventured.
During the years of 390.M38 through 433.M38, the Marines Errant Chapter sealed a covenant with the Rogue Trader House of Ecale. The reason for this agreement remains a secret tightly held by both parties. However, it remains clear that the ties formed at that time remain in place. To this day, there are always Battle-Brothers of the Marines Errant Chapter operating on detached service among the vessels of House Ecale. It may be that whatever task they agreed to at that time has not yet been completed. However, it might also be that the Chapter owes the bloodline some debt that cannot be repaid within a single lifetime. Service among House Ecale is regarded as an honour by members of the Chapter. Those who serve continue to wear the Rogue Trader's badge on their armour long after they return to the Chapter. Many also bear highly ornate Power Armour or armaments that they have received as gifts from the House.
In the early 40th Millennium, five companies of the Marines Errant Chapter formed the core military elements for the Kadyron Voyage into the Hazeroth Abyss of the Calixis Sector. This expedition, led by Inquisitor Lord Kadyron, is regarded as an unmitigated disaster. A lone Battle Barge survived the expedition. Through the course of the journey, the Chapter lost the majority of its Land Raiders, Dreadnoughts, and numerous Warp-capable transports, as well as countless Battle-Brothers. Were it not for its systematic storage of gene-seed, the Chapter might not have been able to rebuild from the losses. Even with an increase in the number of Initiates accepted, the Marines Errant Chapter is likely to suffer from the losses to irreplaceable wargear for millennia to come.
The Chapter recently participated in the Corinth Crusade against the forces of WAAAGH! Skargor within the Corinth System. Under the leadership of Marneus Calgar of the Ultramarines, the Crusade decimated the Ork Empire, and effectively eliminated the xenos threat to the region for several decades. During the course of the war, the 4th, 6th and 9th Companies earned tremendous recognition for liberating the Ultramarines' 3rd Company, when it was effectively pinned down by a vastly superior Ork fleet. Battle-Brothers of the Marines Errant engaged in boarding actions against dozens of Skargor's Terror Ships, providing the Ultramarines the relief they needed to swing the momentum of the battle in the favour of the Emperor's cause. Marneus Calgar went so far as to graciously award the Chapter one of the Ultramarines' sacred Relic Blades as a sign of their camaraderie.
- Kadyron Voyage (Unknown Date.M40) - Five companies of the Marines Errant formed the core military elements for this venture into the Hazeroth Abyss of the Calixis Sector. This expedition, led by Inquisitor Lord Kadyron, is regarded as an unmitigated disaster. A lone Battle Barge survived the expedition. Through the course of the journey, the Chapter lost the majority of its Land Raiders, Dreadnoughts, and numerous Warp-capable transports, as well as countless Battle-Brothers.
- The Corinthian Crusade (698.M41) - The Marines Errant Chapter served as part of a combined Space Marine expeditionary force comprised of the Ultramarines, Angels of Absolution, Lamenters, Silver Skulls, Scythes of the Emperor, and fifty Imperial Guard regiments, led by Chapter Master Marneus Calgar that launched the Corinth Crusade against the Orks of Charadon. During the heroic seven-year-long Crusade, these Imperial warriors inflicted a series of major defeats on the growing threat of WAAAGH! Skargor. The Orks were crushed, and their threat diminished for over thirty standard years.
- Badab War (901-908.M41) - During the Badab War, in 904.M41, the Marines Errant were recalled by the High Lords of Terra from the Eastern Fringe of the galaxy to reinforce the Fire Hawks Chapter. However, they soon found themselves fully engaged in protecting Imperial merchant ships in transit, which they would continue to do for the remainder of the conflict.
- Fall of Vilamus (999.M41) - In 999.M41, Huron Blackheart of the Red Corsairs hatched a plan to steal large amounts of Astartes gene-seed alongside the Night Lords warband led by the Chaos Champion called The Exalted to create new Chaos Space Marines to refill the Renegades' ranks, which had been depleted by the Badab War. The Marines Errant's fortress on Vilamus, created by the fleet-based Chapter to serve as a secure base for its gene-seed repository, was targeted due to its relatively small garrison size. The Red Corsairs lured the bulk of the Chapter away from the world, while the Night Lords infiltrated and disabled the fortress' Void Shields and launched a determined assault that neutralised the fortress' power network and its automated defences. This attack led to the loss of nearly all of the Marines Errant's stockpile of precious genetic material, dooming them to a long, slow demise as a Chapter, unless the gene-seed could be recovered. However, the Night Lords and the Red Corsairs soon fell upon each other as the Night Lords tried to reclaim one of their Strike Cruisers, the Echo of Damnation, and laid claim to all of the recovered gene-seed.
The Marines Errant is a fleet-based Crusading Chapter, and although it follows the tenets of the Codex Astartes in its basic pattern of organisation, in practice the Chapter has modified its tenets to better suit the needs and patterns of its deployments. An example of this is that the Chapter's company captains and high officers are also assigned flag command of a particular starship in the Chapter's fleet and expected to act autonomously of a higher authority for long periods if needed. The Chapter's Veteran 1st Company and 10th Scout Company are nominally based on their flagship Battle Barges with the majority of their number being dispersed as needed to individual commands which can vary considerably in size and operational terms.
To fulfil the mandate of aiding humanity at any time and in any place, the Marines Errant attempt to maintain as broad a reach as possible. Their companies regularly operate on independent duty dispersed throughout the galaxy. To enable such dispersion, each company commander is functionally the commander of a strike vessel. These ships are most commonly Strike Cruisers, though the Chapter has several Light Cruisers and one Battlecruiser as part of its armada. So that these companies can function independently, each of these vessels maintains a separate Armoury of vehicles, in addition to its normal complement of Space Marines. Each of the Chapter's vessels is supplemented by members of the 1st and 10th Companies. In this way, each has access to the expertise offered by the Chapter's Veteran Battle-Brothers as well as the opportunity to train Initiates and use them on infiltration missions. A side-effect of this approach is that newly recruited members often fail to grasp the full scope of their Chapter until the next major gathering. To overcome this, many Initiates are transferred to another company before their training is completed. In this way, some sense of connection between the different companies can be maintained.
Due to historical losses of irreplaceable advanced equipment that have never been fully replenished, the Marines Errant have learned to carefully shepherd their resources in terms of equipment such as Terminator Armour. The Chapter's Techmarines have become particularly adept not only in maintaining and repairing said equipment, but in reclaiming and restoring weapons and gear they might come across in their long crusades. This has led to some concern in the past over the Marines Errant's tendency to use non-Codex approved arms, and even of the incorporation of xenos technology within their ranks, though such heretical practices have never been proven.
As a fleet-based Chapter, the Marines Errant are rarely gathered en masse except at the commencement of a major Crusade called by the Chapter Master. Most often the forces of the Chapter are dispersed to multiple task forces deployed to various expeditions and war zones spread over the vast distances of space. It is not unheard of for individual task forces to be out of communication with the rest of the Chapter for years, even decades at a time. Given these factors, each company and battle group has to manage its own affairs and the recruiting of new initiates when and wherever opportunities arise. Since they have no single source of Aspirants, the Marines Errant recruit from many different worlds, returning their new brethren to the ranks of the 10th Scout Company to complete their formal training when practical.
Replacing a company is an extremely difficult process. In addition to reallocating and requisitioning extremely rare weapons, vehicles, and armour, the Marines Errant must also obtain a new Strike Cruiser. The Adeptus Mechanicus may take centuries to provide some of this basic wargear, while other requisitions may never be fulfilled. All other companies are expected to increase their initiation rates at such a time so that established Space Marines may be tithed to the new company. Unfortunately, on several occasions, once a company had been replaced, the original miraculously returned from an extended Crusade. This has resulted in the Marines Errant having more than 10 companies and stood well over the Codex-mandated strength of 1,000 Astartes in each of these instances. Because of this, it is virtually impossible to accurately gauge the Chapter's total assets at any given time.
Marines Errant Librarians
Like their fellow Astartes Chapters, the Marines Errant also maintain a Librarium of potent psykers who are highly talented and trained to master the power of the Warp at the highest levels. Each Chapter selects its Librarians in its own way, either from seed worlds, as it does with the bulk of its Initiates, or from the ranks of gifted psykers brought to the Scholastica Psykana of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica. Most Chapters train and test chosen psykers following the ancient ways laid out in the Codex Astartes. Librarians of the Marines Errant are trained in this way, and, with few minor traditional variances, have been taught to live by the word of the Codex. Marines Errant Librarians have a number of unique psychic abilities only used by the psykers of their Chapter:
- Darkness Gate - Summoning up the potent energies of the Warp, the Librarian folds space between points within the void and brings them closer together for an instant, allowing Space Marines to pass between them. Darkness Gate has effects similar to a teleportarium, allowing objects from one point to be transferred to another in a rapid instance via the conduit of the Warp. It only works for a small group of individuals and only across an airless space like the void, but it can be effective for staging hit and run attacks. The Librarian and a number of individual Battle-Brothers in a squad can be affected by this power. The Librarian picks a point in space which he can observe, such as a distant starship. Provided there are no obstacles or atmosphere between the point he can see and the point where he is standing, a momentary gate through the Warp will open, allowing him and his companions to step through. Perils of the Warp can be particularly dangerous when using this power.
- Shadows in the Stars - The Librarian can look out into the inky black of the void and see things mere sensors and Auspex cannot, reading the ebb and flow of the darkness and the Warp which lies beneath it.
- Void Hammer - Summoning up a brutal burst of psychic energy, the Librarian smashes objects and batters structures with raw psychic power. Against individuals, this power can knock them down and break their bones, but against inanimate objects it can rend apart walls and buckle bulkheads. The Librarian picks a point within range and line of sight as the impact point of the Void Hammer. Any individuals within 3 metres of this point will be hit by the concussive blast unless they can successfully dodge and leap out of the way. Objects such as walls, supports, and doors will suffer impact damage. This can be used to punch holes in objects (such as bulkheads) if it does enough damage to destroy them (creating a breech 3 metres in diameter), or bring down buildings by destroying supports. This ability can also be used effectively against vehicles, damaging them just as it would a bulkhead or blast door.
Normally, Space Marines serve with the Deathwatch for a tour of duty with a predetermined length of time. However, due to their broad deployment, it is often challenging for a member of the Marines Errant to return to his company at a specific designated time. His company's current disposition might be unknown or might be located in a portion of the galaxy that is extremely distant from the Space Marine's current Watch Station. To accommodate this difficulty, Battle-Brothers from the Marines Errant may serve with the Deathwatch long beyond their originally designated term. Then, when their company is once more at a known location within a reasonable transit distance, they can abruptly return to service with their Chapter.
During its existence, the Marines Errant Chapter has never established a formal fortress-monastery nor has it designated a specific homeworld. Instead, the Chapter has known little rest as its members travel the entirety of the Imperium, and often far beyond its boundaries, to constantly expand the boundaries of the Emperor's realm. While this limits some of the fellowship between Space Marines assigned to different companies of the Chapter, the additional tactical flexibility has served them well in fulfilling their designated role. The Marines Errant lack the resources or need to maintain a traditional homeworld. Instead, their Battle Barge serves as their primary location for command operations and Chapter co-ordination. This mobile fortress-monastery grants the Chapter a greater level of flexibility for those instances when it becomes necessary to assemble multiple companies prior to embarking upon a Crusade.
There are, however, a few limitations that the Marines Errant Chapter has needed to address over the course of their existence. The most vital of these is finding a secure storage location for their gene-seed. Even a mighty Battle Barge may be lost or destroyed during the course of a Crusade. These vessels also suffer from exposure to the Warp and potential Chaotic contamination at a much greater level than a more stable planetary body. Because of this, the Chapter designated the world of Vilamus as its gene-seed repository. The fortress the Chapter maintains on Vilamus bears massive Void Shields, anti-air defence lasers, and a small garrison for defence. The world was also chosen as its location is believed to be relatively stable from Warp incursions. During those occasions when a company of the Marines Errant must rebuild its strength due to an extended Crusade or substantial losses, it is usually added to the garrison on Vilamus, so that it can add another layer to the world's defences.
But in 999.M41 disaster struck, as the infamous Chaos Lord Huron Blackheart led his Renegade warband, known as the Red Corsairs, in alliance with a large Night Lords warband led by the mighty Chaos Champion called The Exalted, in assaulting Vilamus in order to capture the Marines Errant Chapter's gene-seed repository. The Renegades' intentions were to use the captured gene-seed to replenish their own ranks with new Chaos Space Marines. The Marines Errant's fortress on Vilamus was targeted due to its relatively small garrison size. Luring the bulk of the Chapter away from the planet, the Red Corsairs managed to disable the fortress' Void Shields and launched a determined assault that neutralised the fortress' power network and its automated defences. This attack led to the loss of nearly all of the Marines Errant's stockpile of precious genetic material. The loss of virtually all of the Chapter's gene-seed reserves represents an enormous catastrophe that may doom the Marines Errant to a gradual descent towards extinction, unless the gene-seed can somehow be recovered.
Due to the Marines Errant spending so much time on active Crusade, the Chapter's independently functional companies must be able to recruit while in the field. In this way, they need not wait for their return to a home planet in order to replace Battle-Brothers lost in battle. Consequently, the Chapter draws its recruits from the myriad human inhabited worlds of the Imperium. For many Initiates of the Chapter, the life of a Space Marine is the only opportunity they encounter to learn of the galaxy beyond their remote worlds. As they undergo their training, these young Battle-Brothers learn of the true nature of the Imperium at the same time that they learn the rites and combat techniques of their new Chapter.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
As a proud Successor to the Ultramarines Legion, the Marines Errant follow the dictates of the Codex Astartes as closely as possible. Their primary adaptations from its doctrines are all intended to grant them additional flexibility in keeping with their duties as constant Crusaders. With the exception of those changes, the Chapter fervently espouses the core of Primarch Roboute Guilliman's martial philosophy. The core of this adherence is represented in the Chapter's consistent use of combined arms. It maintains the necessary flexibility to address virtually any opponent. While Assault, Devastator, and Scout Squads are used in keeping with the prescriptions of the Codex, their proportionate numbers are carefully preserved. To the extent that they are available, vehicular assets are used as situations necessitate. Because such resources are not always readily available, Assault Squads are often used in place of lighter vehicles while Devastator Squads fulfil the role that would more commonly be played by most Space Marine tanks.
The Marines Errant do not have a favoured opponent. They have engaged in countless battles against xenos, heretics, and even the minions of Chaos. No matter what type of foe they might oppose, the Chapter's Space Marines adhere to the Codex' teachings as they dispassionately eliminate those who would dare to battle the Imperium of Man. This approach does leave the Chapter less capable against some foes than Chapters that focuses on learning the most effective means to overcome a particular target. However, it offers the advantage that the Marines Errant are less expectant of a particular enemy strategy or predisposed to use a specific -- and potentially predictable -- strategy of their own.
Due to the losses that the Marines Errant have sustained, they are often conservative in how they use their equipment and wargear. Heavy tanks, Dreadnoughts, and the rarest wargear items are only used when absolutely required in a given situation. The Chapter has sustained significant losses through the course of its many Crusades and can ill-afford to sustain additional ones. In some cases, this may leave the Marines Errant in the field less well-equipped than would be ideal for a given circumstance. However, through their devotion and understanding of the Codex Astartes, the Marines Errant are confident in their abilities to overcome any opponent.
It is clear that the Marines Errant go to extreme measures to repair any equipment that suffers damage in the field, due to the expertise of their Techmarines. A few fortunate discoveries from their countless Crusades have also enabled the Chapter to reclaim some wargear that would otherwise be irreplaceable. A few rumours suggest that some Marines Errant Battle-Brothers may have gone to the extreme of utilising xenos weaponry, but none of these tales have yet been substantiated.
- "Just as there are no limits to the Emperor's grace and mercy, there must be no limits to humanity's domain. We must persevere so that the crusade to expand the Imperium may never end."
- —Captain Magnar Tytus, Marines Errant Fourth Company
The Marines Errant place particular importance and reverence on safeguarding their Chapter's future and preserving its gene-seed. Although the Chapter is fleet-based, the Chapter's number of Apothecaries far exceeds the number normally present in a single Chapter. The Marines Errant's Apothecaries maintain a repository-fortress on the world of Vilamus in addition to their usual role. This secondary duty is for very practical as well as ritualistic reasons as the Chapter itself has often suffered severe depredations of its brethren in the past in situations where their precious gene-seed could not be recovered. Since all Crusading Chapters are often deployed beyond the Imperium into the unknown reaches of the galaxy or into the heart of enemy held territory, this is a very real risk they must all face. In such times of desperation the Chapter's safe-house stores of genetic material on Vilamus have saved it from ruin numerous times. This fortress is commonly garrisoned by a company in need of rebuilding its strength at the time.
The Marines Errant have been devoted to embarking upon endless Crusades since the time of their Founding. Historically, the Marines Errant Chapter has also sent companies to assist Rogue Trader Houses, other Space Marine Chapters, and even answered planetary emergency calls throughout the galaxy. This willingness to aid the cause of humanity at any time and in any place exemplifies their devotion to service.
It is only in preparation for a major Crusade effort or upon occasions of major Chapter import that the companies gather for extended interactions. Such occasions represent the only opportunity for established veterans to reunite with Battle-Brothers from other companies, often friends that they knew during their time as an Initiate. These gatherings also represent an opportunity for promotions and transfers between companies. In this way, members promoted to the 1st Company may transfer to work with another company so that their experience as a Veteran Space Marine may be more easily differentiated. This is also when Space Marines are most commonly tithed to service for other duties, including service at the Vilamus garrison, with House Ecale, or even duty with the Deathwatch.
The Marines Errant are devoted servants of the Emperor and never refuse the call to arms or the chance to join a Crusade against the enemies of the Imperium. Over the centuries, this has become a well-known aspect of the Chapter and elements of the Marines Errant have participated in hundreds of Crusades across the galaxy from the murky depths of the Eastern Fringe to the dark and turbulent sectors surrounding the Eye of Terror. As a fleet-based Chapter, this means that the entire Chapter is practically never in the same place at the same time, and though they might stay in contact, each fragment becomes a collection of companies and their vessels which can operate independently for great lengths of time. Though it means the Chapter is scattered across the stars, no member of the Marines Errant would ever refuse such a call to duty and each Battle-Brother takes it as a mark of honour and pride that their Chapter has such a valourous history.
As was the intent at the time of their Founding, the gene-seed of the Marines Errant remains stable and shows no signs of mutation or Chaotic contamination. Its purity is unquestioned. Some rumours indicate that because of its stability and relative abundance, it may have been used for the creation of at least one additional Chapter.
The Marines Errant Chapter maintains an exceptionally reverential view towards its gene-seed. The losses incurred during the Kadyron Voyage only served to reinforce this belief. The Chapter's command is well aware that its members could suffer considerable losses at any time, and so have taken extraordinary measures to insure that the gene-seed supply, as the most vital component of their continuity, remains securely preserved. Their repository-fortress upon Vilamus was established primarily to insure that this risk could be minimised. Similarly, the Chapter maintains a greater number of Apothecaries than the Codex requires. These brethren serve by maintaining the repository as well as insuring that the Progenoid Glands from younger Battle-Brothers are harvested in a timely fashion, and then sent to Vilamus for secure storage until needed. However, with the recent disaster of the Fall of Vilamus at the hands of Huron Blackheart and the Red Corsairs, the loss of virtually all of the Chapter's gene-seed reserves represents an enormous catastrophe that may doom the Marines Errant to a gradual descent towards obliteration.
Through their history, this philosophy has consistently served as an effective countermeasure to the risks the Marines Errant face as a Crusading Chapter. On several occasions, the Chapter has needed to replace more than a company of Space Marines who were designated as lost. In at least one instance, it was easier for the Marines Errant to find recruits and available gene-seed than it was for them to fit the necessary Power Armour and find available veterans to perform the training.
Primarch's Curse: Crusaders Call
The Marines Errant are devoted servants of the Emperor and never refuse the call to arms or the chance to join a crusade against the enemies of the Imperium. Over the centuries, this has become a well-known aspect of the Chapter and elements of the Marines Errant have participated in hundreds of crusades across the galaxy from the murky depths of the Eastern Fringe to the dark and turbulent sectors surrounding the Eye of Terror.
As a fleet-based Chapter, this means that the entire Chapter is practically never in the same place at the same time, and though they might stay in contact, each fragment becomes a collection of companies and their vessels which can operate independently for great lengths of time. Though it means the Chapter is scattered across the stars, no member of the Marines Errant would ever refuse such a call to duty and takes it as a mark of honour and pride that their Chapter has such a valourous history. When the Chapter's genetic curse manifests in one of its Battle-Brothers, it usually progresses in three stages:
- Stage 1 - Unending Valour: The Battle-Brother has become filled with pride in the history of his Chapter's bravery and devotion and sees his own existence as a vital part of continuing its traditions. When his squad is required to do its duty he will make sure that it is carried out, squashing any doubt his fellow Battle-Brothers might have or any weakness they might show in the face of honour.
- Stage 2 - Duty through Sacrifice: True duty can only be proven in death or an equally potent sacrifice, a fact which is known to all true servants of the God-Emperor. The Battle-Brother knows that to prove himself he must be the one to stand in the way of the blade or shield his comrades from the blast, so that there can be no doubt about his devotion or his loyalty to the Emperor.
- Stage 3 - Lead the Charge: In boarding actions, the greatest honour goes to those first through the breech and first to face the foe. The Battle-Brother accepts that he must take this role as his honour demands it, and it is just another way to prove his courage and loyalty in the eyes of his peers. If there is a choice or a chance to lead a charge or be the first to face the enemy, the Battle-Brother must take it. Furthermore he will seek out such opportunities, volunteering for dangerous duties if they mean he will get to lead others into the fray. In combat, the Battle-Brother will also seek out the most dangerous or powerful-looking foes, even at the cost of ignoring closer or more pressing enemies to his brethren's tactical disadvantage.
Notable Marines Errant
- Lieutenant Commander Anton Narvaez - Although a seasoned warrior, Narvaez was young for his rank and considered by some to be an untried leader when he was given command of the 4th Company, which also brought with it the flag-captaincy of the Strike Cruiser Star Jackal. For Anton Narvaez, the Badab War's unforeseen and bloody events would eventually see him survive against all odds and be appointed the de facto Chapter Master of the surviving Marines Errant contingent by the end of this conflict.
- Watch Captain Kail Vibius - Watch Captain Vibius has a burning desire for vengeance against xenos, which has marked him out even amongst the alien-hunting ranks of the elite Deathwatch. During the Corinth Crusade, Vibius and a squad of his fellow Marines Errant were captured by the vile Dark Eldar and taken away to the dark realm of Commorragh. Surviving the cruel treatment at the hands of his xenos captors, Vibius bided his time until he was able to seize the opportunity to escape, leading a slave revolt against his surprised captors. Eventually the Space Marines fought their way to freedom and returned to the Imperium. Vibius was swiftly nominated for the honour of representing his Chapter in the Deathwatch, and rose swiftly through the ranks until he led his own Kill-team. When his former commander Bron of the Dark Sons was mortally wounded, he recommended Vibius be promoted to the rank of Watch Captain in his stead, a role he has held ever since.
- Techmarine Orwell Domens - Watch Fortress Erioch has stood within the Jericho Reach for untold ages. Much of its technology has fallen into disrepair over that time, in spite of the concerted efforts of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Upon his assignment to the Deathwatch, Techmarine Domens immediately identified a number of the failing systems as consistent with artefacts that he had previously studied among his Chapter's many treasures. The majority of these were items identified through the course of Crusades, though many of these were known to be efforts that had occurred millennia apart and in dramatically different portions of the galaxy. Since his initial arrival, the Techmarine has managed to restore several of the Watch Fortress' previously inert systems to some degree of functionality. The long-term ramifications of these restorations remain unclear, for it is entirely possible that he might have repaired some equipment in such a way that it no longer functions as originally intended. However, due to his high degree of aptitude with such archeotech, Domens has worked closely with representatives of the Adeptus Mechanicus at the Watch Fortress, both in studying it and in analysing xenos-technology as it is recovered from fallen foes.
- Veteran Brother Donal Hageth - For twenty-three standard years, Brother Hageth has served as an overseer of Watch Fortress Erioch's Hunting Grounds, assisting the Master of the Hunt in his stewardship of the training facility. During his tenure, countless xenos have been introduced to the complex, so that hundreds of Space Marines might slay them as part of their Kill-team integration training. As he undertakes these duties in addition to his duties as a member of a Kill-team, Hageth must rely upon the efforts of other Battle-Brothers to aid in the identification and capture of xenos well-suited to the available environments. So that he might best acquire the xenos specimens that he requires, Hageth keeps an aggressive eye on the goings aboard the Watch Fortress. Some say he often knows what planets Kill-teams might visit before their assignments are even issued. All too often, he visits with a Kill-team preparing for a mission with a request that they capture a particular organism so that it might be used in the Hunting Grounds. By way of compensation, he can often offer insights into the anatomy of some of the creatures requested -- information he has had to learn so that he might fulfil his responsibility to the Hunting Grounds.
- Crusader Medallions - Many members of the Marines Errant have been part of an Imperial Crusade at some point during their lifetime. Those that come to the Deathwatch are usually veterans of such glorious endeavours and wear the badges of their valour on their armour. Crusader Medallions come in many forms, and are either symbols painted onto the greaves or braces of a Battle-Brother's Power Armour or can be actual medals fixed to his weapons, chest plate, or helm. The presence of these tokens marks out the Battle-Brother as a Crusader and will increase the respect of his peers, though it can also alienate others as every Crusade comes with both great victories and bitter defeats.
- Linebreaker - The Astartes shotgun is commonly thought of as a weapon for the Scout Companies, but the death toll wrought on enemy forces by the Veterans who have wielded Linebreaker speak to its effectiveness in other hands. The weapon's specially crafted, short barrel is reinforced to withstand a unique shot made of super-dense alloys. Even a grain of this ammunition impacts with the force of a slug from a lesser weapon, allowing for a devastating spread of fire.
- Naval Bolter - Marines Errant are used to fighting in the close confines of starships and in brutal toe-to-toe boarding actions. Some Battle-Brothers use cut-down Naval Bolters for such engagements where a full-sized weapon would be too large or unwieldy. A Marines Errant Battle-Brother may exchange his standard pattern Astartes Bolter for a Naval Bolter. If he does so, he reduces its clip of bolts by 8, but halves its weight and can use it both one-handed and in close combat without the usual awkwardness and loss of accuracy.
- Star Jackal (Strike Cruiser) - A Strike Cruiser and the principal warship of the Marines Errant's 4th Company. The Star Jackal was involved in the prosecution of Secessionist forces during the Badab War.
The Marines Errant wear a unique halved heraldry consisting of white (right) and blue (left) Power Armour. The Aquila or Imperialis on the chest guard is yellow. The black squad specialty symbol on the right shoulder guard designates operational specialty -- Tactical, Devastator, Assault or Veteran. A white Roman numeral is stenciled on the centre of the squad specialty symbol which indicates squad number. The colour of the left knee guard indicates company number in accordance with the dictates of the Codex Astartes -- i.e. White (1st Company), Yellow (2nd Company), Red (3rd Company), Green (4th Company), etc. A black Roman numeral is also stenciled on the centre of the left knee guard, further identifying the company number. The Marines Errant are also known to make use of camouflage. Such was the case when the Chapter's Second Outer Galactic Expeditionary Force was known to have used a black and white camouflage pattern with the Chapter badge located in a circle on the right shoulder plate that was halved in white and blue.
The Marines Errant's original Chapter badge was a red, five-pointed shooting star, the colour graduating from red to yellow. The Chapter's updated badge is a white star symbol with a yellow flaming tail like that of a trailing comet.
- Adeptus Astartes: Successor Chapters (Limited Released Booklet)
- Deathwatch: Honour the Chapter (RPG), pp. 42-49
- Deathwatch: The Jericho Reach (RPG), pp. 18-20
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pp. 26-27, 30-31, 39, 74-81
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pg. 23
- Warhammer 40,000: Planetstrike (5th Edition), pg. 57
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (5th Edition), pg. 146
- Blood Reaver (Novel) by Aaron Demski-Bowden
- Soul Hunter (Novel) by Aaron Demski-Bowden
- White Dwarf 101 (UK), "Index Astartes: The Badab Uprising" by Rick Priestley