The Imperial Guardsmen of the Astra Militarum are recruited from hundreds of thousands of Imperial worlds across the galaxy, and each regiment has its own customs and traditions as a result. The Guardsmen recruited from Vigilus were known for one thing above all -- their unwavering faith in the Emperor.
The troops of the Vigilant Guard were already aligned with the Imperial Creed upon inception, for most of their number hailed from the Hive World's Hyperia hivesprawl, where the Imperial state religion was a way of life. The appointment of a standing body of Adeptus Ministorum Priests to their ranks saw their ever-burning belief in the God-Emperor fanned to a blazing inferno.
Sent to fight alongside the Vigilus-based Orders of the Adepta Sororitas on hundreds of occasions, they witnessed so many miracles over the years that they had iron-clad faith in the old Imperial maxim, "The Emperor Protects" -- and, if the logisticians of Hyperia were to be believed, they were quite correct.
Many are the stories of true and faithful Vigilants having enemy kill-shots turned away by their devotional medallions, lights in the sky guiding them to lost comrades, or ruined buildings suddenly collapsing upon ravening xenos raiders just before they could plunge into the Vigilant lines.
This intense belief manifested in several ways. Firstly, the Vigilant Guard were far more superstitious and reverent than their more pragmatic peers in other regiments. In the early 41st Millennium, when several battalions from the Cadian Gate were shipped to Vigilus and given the ongoing task of training the defenders to the high standard of the Cadian Pattern regiments, this dissonance was a cause of conflict between the more military-minded Cadians and the faithful of the Vigilant Guard.
The endless rites, services and obeisances that the high command of the Vigilants demanded of their men rankled many of the Cadian officers. Proctor Commander Hallatar of the 23rd Vigilant Guard was so unbending in his insistence that every tradition and rite be adhered to that some Cadian footsoldiers started to call him the Little Pontifex. For them, this behaviour was a drain on their resources, a drag factor on their teachings -- an unnecessary indulgence that would ultimately do more harm than good.
All that changed with the opening of the Great Rift and the start of the War of Beasts on Vigilus. The Vigilant Guard were not troubled by the nightmares that afflicted the rest of the populace; they awoke fresh and rested after each sleep. Where the Vigilants fought they fought hard, fixing bayonets and charging gene-cursed Aberrants and even Purestrain Genestealers when needed.
The Cadians grew to respect their allies, and even attended their religious services. Though they were strange company and believed every war hymn to be literal truth, something about the Vigilant Guard inspired hope in the time of war.
Notable Vigilant Guard
- Proctor Commander Venedar - During the War of Beasts, Venedar became the Proctor Commander, the overall leader of all the Vigilant Guard regiments stationed on Vigilus.
- Imperium Nihilus - Vigilus Defiant (8th Edition), pp. 73, 92