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The Icon of the Adeptus Astartes

The Unnumbered Sons, officially known as the Unnumbered Sons of the Primarchs, and unofficially among themselves as the "Greyshields," were nine special formations of Primaris Space Marines created by Lord Commander of the Imperium Roboute Guilliman for service in the Indomitus Crusade.

Active into the 42nd Millennium of the original Imperial Calendar in the Era Indomitus, they were comprised of nine Space Marine Legion-sized armies of Primaris Space Marines, all drawn from the lineage of one of the 9 primarchs who had led the Loyalist Space Marine Legions during the Horus Heresy.

Approximately half of the Primaris Space Marines created during the Ultima Founding were formed into entirely new Primaris-only Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, while the remaining half were placed within the Legion-sized armies of the Unnumbered Sons.

However, unlike the new Chapters, Guilliman forced these armies to fight using mixed squads that contained Primaris Marines from multiple different gene-lines to better forge cooperation between the different lineages.

The Unnumbered Sons served as a reserve force for Guilliman during the Indomitus Crusade, their ranks slowly reduced by attrition and the need to replenish already-extant Chapters of the Firstborn Adeptus Astartes with the new class of Primaris Space Marines.

Other members of the Unnumbered Sons were eventually integrated into whole new Chapters comprised only of Primaris Marines like their brethren.

By the end of the first phase of the Indomitus Crusade at the Battle of Raukos in the Era Indomitus, the armies of the Unnumbered Sons had been reduced to approximately 20,000 Primaris Marines.

These were ultimately disbanded and divided up into a final group of new Primaris Chapters on the orders of Guilliman before he began his intervention in the Plague Wars of Ultramar.

History

Archmagos Dominus Belisarius Cawl had created hundreds of thousands of Primaris Space Marines beneath his forge on Mars during the 10,000 standard years he spent on the project at the direction of the Primarch Roboute Guilliman.

When that massive undertaking finally came to fruition after the resurrection of Guilliman and his return to the position of lord commander of the Imperium and Imperial Regent in 999.M41, the primarch directed Cawl to divide half of the newly-awoken Primaris Space Marines of the Ultima Founding into new Chapters of Adeptus Astartes.

Each of these Chapters were composed of Primaris Marines wholly descended from a single one of the nine original Loyalist gene-lines. The other half of the Primaris Astartes created by the Ultima Founding were divided up into nine armies the size of the massive Space Marine Legions of the Horus Heresy era.

Unlike those Legions, however, these formations were created from a mixture of Primaris Marines belonging to all nine of the Loyalist primarchs' gene-lines. Each of these Primaris Marines wore the livery of his progenitor primarch, and each Unnumbered Sons Legion was further divided into Chapter-size units of 1,000 Primaris Marines. These units were further divvied up into companies and squads, each of which was a mixed formation.

Guilliman had ordered the Unnumbered Sons to fight as mixed gene-line units in the hope that the Primaris Marines would learn how to deal with the differing temperaments and personalities of their brethren from the other Loyalist lineages in a way that had eluded their ancient predecessors.

The lord commander believed this might prevent the eruption of inter-Chapter disputes that had so plagued the Adeptus Astartes even after the great betrayals of the Horus Heresy.

The Unnumbered Sons proved to be a potent force during the course of Guilliman's Indomitus Crusade to retake the Imperium of Man from the ascendant forces of Chaos and the myriad xenos assaults that threatened to consume it.

However, as the crusade wore on, their numbers began to dwindle, both as a result of battlefield attrition and because large numbers of the force were increasingly detached to other duties on the orders of Guilliman.

Whenever the crusade encountered embattled Chapters of Firstborn Astartes, the lord commander ordered members of the Unnumbered Sons of the same gene-lines to become replacements for the depleted Chapter's losses. As such, members of the Unnumbered Sons who were scions of Guilliman himself could become new Aurora Chapter Primaris Marines, or Doom Eagles Primaris Marines, or even replacement battle-brothers for the Ultramarines themselves. Primaris Space Marine scions of Rogal Dorn became new members of the Black Templars, the Imperial Fists, and so on for each original Loyalist Astartes lineage encountered as the Indomitus Crusade pushed outwards from Terra.

At other times, Guilliman simply created a whole new Chapter of Primaris Space Marines from the Unnumbered Sons' formations to meet a given need such as the defence of a strategically important Imperial world. However, these new Chapters were not mixed and composed of only a single primarch's lineage like their Firstborn counterparts.

By the time of the Battle of Raukos at the end of the first major phase of the Indomitus Crusade, only 20,000 Primaris Astartes remained within the depleted ranks of the Unnumbered Sons. The fight to defeat the Chaos forces emanating from the ancient Warp rift in Wilderness Space known as the Pit of Raukos proved to be the last campaign of the Unnumbered Sons, for at its successful conclusion, Guilliman disbanded the remaining Greyshield armies as he moved to intervene in the Plague Wars of Ultramar.

Some were formed into new Primaris Space Marine Chapters such as the Knights Cerulean, the Praetors of Ultramar and the Wolfspear, which was tasked with defending the Pit of Raukos.

The remaining Unnumbered Sons were dispersed to already established Space Marine Chapters, where they would take the lessons they had learned fighting alongside Astartes of different lineages into units descended only from their own primarchs.

Appearance

Unnumbered Sons Badge

All Unnumbered Sons were marked with the same badge on their shoulder pauldrons regardless of their gene-line descent -- pale grey chevrons.

This badge set them apart from the other Primaris Space Marines of the Ultima Founding who were either placed from the start within new Chapters or were later assigned as replacements for already extant but badly depleted Chapters of the Firstborn Astartes during the course of the Indomitus Crusade.

This badge was the source of the Unnumbered Sons unofficial moniker, the "Greyshields."

Notable Unnumbered Sons

Genetic Lineage of Corvus Corax

  • Captain Hurak - Hurak was an Unnumbered Sons captain of Raven Guard lineage, who served in the Indomitus Crusade Fleet Primus' high command.

Genetic Line of Ferrus Manus

Genetic Line of Lion El'Jonson

  • Gnaeus - Gnaeus became an Inceptor of the Dark Angels Chapter after his service in the Greyshields.
  • Hadariel - Hadariel became a Primaris Chaplain of the Dark Angels Chapter after leaving the Unnumbered Sons and was mentored by Interrogator-Chaplain Raguel. They were among the Chapter's forces sent to end a rebellion on the Mining World of Muz. Its population lived aboard massive mining vehicles called "Deep-miners" and the Chaplains and several squadrons of Dark Angels were sent to cleanse one such Deep-miner that had been claimed by insurrectionists. While fighting with the Intercessor Squad of Sergeant Raum, however, Hadariel was greeted by the Intercessor Gnaeus, who greeted Hadariel as an old comrade of the Greyshields. He then remarked about the times they had fought together before, but the Chaplain strangely could not remember Gnaeus and awkwardly greeted him in return. Hadariel did not have time to dwell on this oddity, as the Dark Angels discovered that Muz's rebellious population was tainted by Genestealers. In one attack by the xenos, Gnaeus was killed and the Chaplain asked Raguel how they had known each other. The Interrogator-Chaplain told Hadariel that he and Gnaeus had served together as Greyshields in the Indomitus Crusade, before both were sent to join the Dark Angels. The Chaplain still could not remember any of their history together, but Raguel remarked it was likely due to the great ordeal Hadariel had just been through. Afterwards, Raguel tried to rely the information about the Genestealers, to the Dark Angels Company Master overseeing the attack, but his vox-unit was being jammed by the Deep-miner. The best way to deal with the jamming was to claim the Deep-miner's command centre. When they reached the command centre, the Dark Angels were met by a large Genestealer Cult horde, which included its Magus. In the battle that followed, the xenos-tainted psyker nearly killed the Interrogator-Chaplin with his powers, until Hadariel charged the Magus. Doing so drew the Magus' deadly gaze upon the Chaplain, causing him to collapse, but this gave Raguel the time needed to kill the Magus. Even with that dangerous foe slain, the Dark Angels were still heavily outnumbered, but luckily the sound of battle had drawn the other Dark Angels squadrons to the command centre. With their aid, the Genestealer horde was defeated, but the jamming of vox-channels continued and Hadariel had been badly wounded. As the squadrons left the command centre to continue their mission, Raguel chose to remain with Hadariel while Sergeant Raum promised to send an Apothecary to deal with his wounds. The Chaplain's memories had been jarred by the Magus' attacks and he remembered being sent on a mission to Malmar. There, he discovered a darkness that was eating at the Dark Angels, which caused the Chapter to mindwipe Hadariel's memory. While Raguel tried to to calm the Chaplain, Hadariel claimed he remembered everything and knew what the Chapter had done to him. This caused Raguel to immediately kill Hadariel, to keep the Dark Angels' secrets secured, though he deeply regretted having to do so. It was later revealed that Hadariel had been sent to Malmar by the Chapter's Inner Circle in order to undergo a trial to prove himself worthy of joining their ranks. He would have been the first of the Dark Angels' Primaris Chaplains to do so, but Hadariel failed under mysterious circumstances. The Inner Circle had the Primaris Marine mindwiped as a result and ordered Raguel to kill Hadariel should he ever remember what had happened. The Interrogator-Chaplain's conscience was stained by Hadariel's murder, and he bitterly speculated that the Chaplain's trial may have been manipulated to ensure Hadariel failed, as the Inner Circle still harbored grave doubts about the admission of the Primaris Marines to the deepest secrets of the Dark Angels.
  • Kalael - Kalael was an Inceptor of the genetic line of Lion El'Jonson and the Dark Angels.

Genetic Line of Leman Russ

  • Sergeant Bjarni Arvisson - Arvisson was a sergeant of an Inceptor Squad from the genetic line of Leman Russ and the Space Wolves. After the disbanding of the Unnumbered Sons, he became a founding member of the Wolfspear Chapter. Among the conflicts Arvisson took part in during the Indomitus Crusade was the Battle of Raukos where he served beside his friend Justinian Parris. While the Imperial forces were victorious, Lord Commander Guilliman ended the Indomitus Crusade after the battle and disbanded the Unnumbered Sons. Each of its surviving members were then assigned to a Chapter that was descended from their primarch save for those descended from the Space Wolves. To Arvisson's dismay, they were instead formed into the Wolfspear Chapter and were charged with guarding the Pit of Raukos from any future Chaos incursions. Further clouding the minds of Arvission and his Chapter was that although the Space Wolves have allowed Primaris Space Marines into their ranks, it was not known if they would accept the Wolfspear as true sons of Russ. This was settled after the Primaris Marine creation technology was brought to Fenris and the Space Wolves became aware of the Wolfspear's existence. The Space Wolves' Great Wolf Logan Grimnar subsequently granted the Wolfspear additional warriors from their progenitor Chapter and this forged enduring and unprecedented bonds of brotherhood between the two formations of Astartes.
  • Sergeant Gaius (Kjarg Iron-Oath) - Gaius was the squad leader of an Intercessor Squad dubbed "Lupus Six" that were sent along with a company of other Unnumbered Sons of Space Wolves lineage as part of a Torchbearer Fleet despatched to the Space Wolves Chapter. Before arriving at Fenris they relieved the Drakeslayers Great Company of the Wolf Lord Krom Dragongaze fighting Orks, which led to Gaius and his squad joining it. Gaius and his squad were therefore the first Space Wolf Primaris Marines to set foot on Fenris. Having a difficult time being accepted by their brethren of Russ' line, Gaius submitted himself to an impromptu Trial of Morkai, where he earned his new name "Kjarg," which was the name of the largest wolf in Fenrisian legend, said to have faced down Morkai himself, and the by-name "Iron-Oath" for keeping his oath to survive the trial. He is currently the pack leader (sergeant) of the Primaris pack called the "Firstwolves."

Genetic Line of Jaghatai Khan

  • Lei Jian - Lei Jian was a member of the Unnumbered Sons descended from the genetic line of Jaghatai Khan and the White Scars.

Genetic Line of Rogal Dorn

Genetic Line of Sanguinius

  • Sergeant Anthus - Anthus was a former Greyshield who became part of the Blood Angels Chapter and fought at the Devastation of Baal.
  • Solus - Solus was an Inceptor in Sergeant Rusticus' squad and was a scion of the genetic line of Sanguinius and the Blood Angels.

Genetic Line of Roboute Guilliman

  • Quentus Carmagon - Quentus Carmagon was an officer of the Unnumbered Sons of the genetic line of Roboute Guilliman and the Ultramarines. He later became the captain of the Knights Cerulean Chapter's 3rd Company after the Unnumbered Sons were disbanded.
  • Ciceron - Ciceron was a member of the Unnumbered Sons from the genetic line of Roboute Guilliman and the Ultramarines.
  • Cordus - Cordus was an Inceptor from the genetic line of Roboute Guilliman and the Ultramarines. He served in the same squad as Justinian parris. He was killed in action during the Battle of Raukos.
  • Decimus Felix - A former Inceptor Lieutenant of the Unnumbered Sons, Decimus Felix was a scion of the genetic line of Roboute Guilliman and the Ultramarines. He later became Guilliman's Equerry during the Indomitus Crusade and was also made the eleventh captain of the Ultramarines Chapter at that time, the first alteration of the Ultramarines' Codex Astartes-dictated order of battle in over ten thousand standard years. Decimus Felix was later named by Guilliman as one of Ultramar's new ruling class of Tetrarchs, an ancient rank that the Primarch had decided to restore to prominence. Felix was given rulership over the Ultramaran world of Vespastor, and charged with enlarging Ultramar's eastern expanse by whatever means necessary.
  • Sergeant Justinian Parris - Parris was an Inceptor Squad sergeant from the genetic line of Roboute Guilliman and the Ultramarines who served in the company under the command of Lieutenant Sarkis. He later joined the Novamarines Chapter as part of its new Primaris Space Marine contingent and took part in the Plague Wars.

Unknown Genetic Lineage

  • Captain Gerion (KIA) - Gerion was a Greyshields captain who led the Unnumbered Sons forces sent to reinforce the Brazen Drakes Chapter, as part of Shield-Captain Tyvar of the Adeptus Custodes Torchbearers strike force. When the fleet reached the Chapter's homeworld of Khassedur, however they found it gripped by a rebellion seemingly launched at the Brazen Drakes' hands. After discovering the Chapter's traitorous actions, Tyvar declared them to be Hereticus Diabolus Extremis and ordered the Greyshields sent to reinforce the Brazen Drakes to be detained on suspicion of heresy. When Gerion and the Greyshields tried to declare their innocence aboard Tyvar's flagship Lux-Imperatus, a battle broke out between the two sides. The Greyshield captain then informed his forces that they had been betrayed by the Imperium and the battle soon spread to the entire fleet. An enraged Tyvar killed Gerion and has now declared that his strike force will not rest until they have destroyed all of the Brazen Drakes, now a warband of the Black Legion called The Shriven.
  • Sergeant Rusticus - Rusticus was the sergeant of an Inceptor Squad in the Unnumbered Sons.
  • Captain Veisturm - Veirsturm was a Primaris Captain of the Indomitus Crusade Fleet Primus' Battle Group Retributus. Battle Group Retributus was ordered by Lord Commander Roboute Guilliman to free the worlds of the Iron Veil from the grip of the Night Lords Traitor Legion. Veirsturm's company was among the Retributus forces that were sent to free the Hive World of Caldon IV from the Heretic Astartes. When they arrived, its capital hive city of Holkenved surrendered to the battle group. It would be the only one on the world to do so and Retributus used Holkenved as a forward operating base to begin reclaiming the world. However as the battle group was transporting its forces to the city, they were ambushed by a large Night Lords warband led by the Chaos Lord called the "Dreadmaster." Rather than fight the Chaos Lord's fleet, the forces of Retributus acted as if they were fleeing. Retributus' commanders sought to draw the warband into attacking Holkenved, so that it could be destroyed. Retributus left its own troops and the hive's Planetary Defence Forces there as bait. In order to make the ruse as believable as possible, Veisturm held his Unnumbered Sons back from the frontlines of the battle so that the Heretics would see no Astartes among them. Despite the Night Lords' overwhelming their comrades and the mortals of the hive world's PDF, Veirsturm refused to give his company the order to attack until the Night Lords were deep within the hive, ensuring their destruction.

Sources

  • Codex: Space Wolves (9th Edition), pg. 15
  • Dark Imperium (Novel) by Guy Haley, Chs. 7, 13, 15, 20
  • The Test of Faith (Short Story) by Thomas Parrott
  • Avenging Son (Novel) by Guy Haley, Dramatis Personae
  • The Wolftime (Novel) by Gav Thorpe, Ch. 1
  • Warhammer Community - Psychic Awakening: Consequences
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