This is an accounting of the tragedy and glory of the Kingbreakers Space Marines and their fellow warriors and heroes descendant from the people of Forestway, particularly the hardened Forest Guard and the valiant Wardens of the World Tree.
The Founding [Fall-300]
A new chapter of Space Marines is founded, drawing recruits from the planet of Forestway. Its chapter lineage is little remarked at the time, and is unrecorded among what few documents survive to this day outside of whatever secrets might live within the immeasurable depths of the Imperial bureaucracy.
While on a long survival training expedition in the mountainous Wildlands of Forestway, Scout Squad Automnus discovers a deranged warlord who has enslaved the local populance and declared himself King Under the Mountain. Learning that the king denies the Imperium’s very existence, the vastly outnumbered squad fights through to the self-proclaimed monarch’s lair. Automnus smites him, barehanded, on the king’s very throne. In honor of their first, glorious combat action in service of the Emperor’s name, the chapter becomes known as The Kingbreakers. Automnus eventually becomes the first chapter master of the Kingbreakers.
Shadows of History [Fall-200]
Automnus is killed under mysterious and suspicious circumstances that have become unclear over time. Both outright enemy action and treachery from other Imperial factions have been suggested. The Kingbreakers in their early years are proud and devoted, unflinching in their scorn for those less dedicated to the Imperium, a trait that does not endear them to those judged to be wanting.
Celebration and Service [Fall-50]
The young chapter celebrates as it reaches codex half strength with the induction of a fifth company.
The Fall of Forestway
The Legio Apex descends on the chapter’s home planet of Forestway. The servants of Nurgle ravage the planetside, reveling in disease and rot as they lay waste to the abundant plant and animal life. The Kingbreakers and the Forest Guard planetary defense force fight valiantly, but can’t prevent the plague armies from feeding on the festering corruption and death produced by the fighting itself.
A detachment of Imperial Fists crossing the sector on return from a campaign heeds calls for help and reroutes to assist the defense.
Drawn by the growing scope of the war, other Chaos forces pour into the campaign, tipping the balance. The planet’s loss is all but inevitable with the arrival of Black Legion forces.
The great World Tree of Forestway is burned in the course of a Chaos thrust along the equatorial zone, the flames visible for half a continent. Knight Errant Greenheart, a Warden of the World Tree, survives but has not spoken since.
The Imperial Fists take command of the overarching battle, all of the Kingbreakers, Forest Guard, and local government leadership either occupied in combat or dead. The Sons of Dorn realize the end is near and call in more naval assets, beginning the evacuation of Forestway. The Kingbreakers refuse to accept this assessment.
The Kingbreakers chapter monastery in the High Mountains eventually comes under direct attack. Captain Folian of the 3rd Company, tasked with defending the fortress, uncovers an imminent sneak attack while supervising construction of new defense emplacements outside the perimeter. He raises the alarm in time to shift defenses and counter the mortal threat to the base, but is himself slain just short of safety after a running gun battle retreat over and through the boulders and spires of the surrounding rock fields.
With all other forces tied up in combat elsewhere and no reserves to come, the siege on the monastery eventually breaks through. The massive structure is all but wiped from existence in the ensuing cataclysmic battle that obliterates the combatants on both sides.
Heavy lifters launch with the last possible civilian, government, and planetary defense evacuations. Colonel Watts of the Forest Guard and a a small, ragtag band of hardened survivors from his company reappear just in time to join the evacuation, having trekked halfway across the planet fighting both invaders and the local fauna after being shot down in their transports early in the fighting and presumed dead. Commander Higgenbotham of the Forest Guard is the last unaugmented human to step off the planet.
The Imperial Fists command, in concordance with sector governance, order a full retreat and declare the planet Exterminatus. Nearly all the remaining Kingbreakers refuse to acknowledge the decree and continue fighting. In orbit for transit across the planet at the time, Captain Murder and elements of his 4th Company are repeatedly denied requests for transport back to the surface to rejoin the lost cause. Only veterans from the 1st Company lead by First Sergeant Scolirus and the shattered units they’ve absorbed heed the order to disengage and evacuate before the planet is bombarded.
Upon Scolirus’ urgent plea, a desperate last ditch mission is sent to the ruins of the Kingbreakers chapter fortress on the slim possibility that any geneseed may be salvaged. The mission window rapidly closing, Sergeant Bolingen of the Imperial Fists discovers a sole survivor of the battle for the monastery: Brother Angholan of the Kingbreakers 3rd Company, crushed under the rubble in the fortress’ collapse and all but dead at the doorway to the geneseed vault his squad defended to the last. Precious scraps of viable geneseed are retrieved by Bolingen, along with the dying marine.
Executing the Exterminatus order, Forestway is bombarded in extremis. With the planet now lifeless and beginning to crack, Chaos forces rapidly retreat back into the Warp. Captain Murder and his few remaining 4th Company units forcibly take command of an Imperial frigate and begin pursuit.
While preparing to break orbit, Imperial forces detect lifesigns in a half-broken shuttle adrift in space. Inside, alone and unconscious, is Kingbreakers Librarian Rorschach.
Forestway is declared exeunt.
Sergeant Bolingen requests and is granted permanent assignment for him and his squad as the Imperial Fists’ liason to the Kingbreakers. Bolingen maintains regular vigil over Brother Angholan as the latter clings to life.
After extensive reconstruction, Angholan miraculously recovers enough to start rehabilitation, slowly beginning to train and rejoin chapter affairs.
Librarian Rorschach wakes, with no recollection of events after the initial Legio Apex invasion of Forestway began. He is detained in indefinite quarantine and investigation by the Inquisition.
Warriors Adrift [Fall+2]
With no home, significant assets, chain of command, or even meaningful organizational structure, the remaining Kingbreakers are scattered as they drift in the winds of war throughout the sector.
Drawn into the apocalyptic battle by desperate pleas from sector governance, crippled by disarray and no centralized command, the Kingbreakers suffer devastating losses to their already grossly impoverished numbers in the loss of Rittenhouse Hive to Chaos.
Librarian Rorschach is grudgingly returned to duty by the Inquisition.
A death cult develops among the surviving Kingbreakers. The Ghosts believe that they should have died with the rest of the chapter in the fall of Forestway, living and fighting as if already dead. Adherents paint some or all of their armor black to acknowledge their living death. Sergeant Harmon and his veterans in particular become obsessed with suicidal tactics, frequently leading drop assaults directly into the heart of hopeless conflicts to strike at critical targets.
Politics and Rebuilding [Fall+3]
Political help from the Imperial Fists enables the Kingbreakers to begin acquiring a small fleet of naval ships as their dedicated base of operations. The chapter begins to re-consolidate.
Angholan emerges as a unifying leader of the chapter’s remnants as it rebuilds. With the backing of First Sergeant Scolirus, most senior surviving veteran of the chapter, and Sergeant Bolingen, heavily influential as the Imperial Fists’ representative, Angholan is overwhelmingly elected as the new master of the chapter. Out of respect for his lack of seniority he declines the title, instead labeling himself simply Captain.
The Ghosts continue to grow, with Librarian Rorschach looked to as the cult’s central figure even as he moves listlessly through life and barely recognizes its existence, showing little engagement with the outside world when not in combat. His sole personal attachment seems to be an unspoken friendship and mutual understanding with Captain Angholan.
The chapter begins reorganizing as a single understrength 3rd Company, the title kept in memorial of the final defenders of the chapter monastery on Forestway and their actions ensuring the last-ditch survival of the chapter. The process of inducting and training new recruits slowly begins throughout the sector.
Many of the recruits inducted since the fall of Forestway begin to demonstrate psychic abilities, with no previous sign of talent. Concerned, an Inquisition task force lead by Inquisitor Hersch begins shadowing the chapter.
A Chapter Resurgent [Now]
Coming to aid the remaining Forest Guard regiments, on deployment with the Astra Militarum, the Kingbreakers become embroiled in the defense of Kimball Prime against yet another Chaos planetary incursion in the sector. Small in number but determined and highly organized, the Kingbreakers begin to turn the tide of the war.