Deathwatch: Scything Talons
"So long as you stand alongside me, I swear that no harm shall come to you."
Name: Makaon Andromakles
Chapter: Iron Snakes
Company: N/A, Chapter does not adhere to Codex formations
Squad: Notable Squad Parthus, Sustained 70% Casualties In Purge Action
Rank: Phratry Warrior, Battle Brother Equivalent in Chapter
Chapter Demeanor Ithakan Reverence
Description: Standing at 7 feet out of his power armor, Makaon Andromakles displayed the classic hallmarks of a lean swimmer’s build prior to his induction. An unremarkable youth with sea-green eyes, the geneseed has altered his facial structure to display the looks of the Iron Snakes’ mythical primarch. However, as if to reflect the world of Ithaka, the patrician features of Guilliman are given a tanned and weather-beaten cast.
Formerly a clean-shaven warrior who kept his dark hair short, Andromakles wears his sun-bleached brown hair in a top-knot and sports a beard he tries to keep trimmed. Unfortunately, recent developments have stained his features noticeably and his grooming standards have fallen somewhat short.
The Battle-Brothers of the Adeptus Astartes are the champions of Mankind, but in becoming so they have surrendered much of what makes them human. When extremes of stress and trauma stretch even the prodigious mental and spiritual strength of a Space Marine, those qualities that make him a glorious exemplar of Humanity may turn him into the very opposite.
Level 1 (Contemptuous of Lesser Men): The Battle-Brother comes to regard all outside of the Adeptus Astartes as thankless curs, undeserving of the sacrifices he and his brethren have made in the name of Humanity. All Interaction Skill Tests with non-Adeptus Astartes suffer a -10 penalty.
Level 2 (Distrustful of his Brothers): Continued spiritual trauma causes the Battle-Brother to resent even other Space Marines, who he comes to believe are belittling the deeds of his own Chapter. The Battle-Brother even comes to resent those drawn from his Progenitor Chapter, perceiving slights in all they say and do. All Interaction Skill Tests with any character outside the Battle-Brother’s own Kill-Team or his own Chapter are at -10. Individuals of his Progenitor Chapter and not in his Kill-Team are at -20.
Level 3 (The Champion Stands Alone): Eventually, the Battle-Brother comes to believe that he alone can bear the weight of responsibility vested in the Adeptus Astartes by the Emperor of Mankind. He withdraws even from his own Kill-Team, and his temper flares at the slightest provocation. If his counsel is not heeded, he might fly into a rage, and if he is not appointed command of a mission, he considers his skill and his honor gravely insulted. When he is not acting as the Kill-Team’s Leader, its Cohesion is reduced by 2.
If His Tarot had been laid out differently, Makaon Andromakles might have ascended to a position in one of the Iron Snakes’ vaunted Notable squads, maybe even become sergeant of his own. In the trials that followed after his Presentation (of himself and proof of a water wyrm slain by his hand), he had proven to be a well-rounded, if somewhat unorthodox, combatant and possessed of a steady disposition. For his performance, the Master of Recruits had him earmarked as a “promising resource”. However, it was Andromakles’ quick and adaptable mind and clinical approach to bloodletting that soon attracted the attention of Chapter’s Apothecarion Majoris. And a position in the Notable Squad of Parthus.
Upon his assignment, Andromakles showed himself to be everything an Iron Snake Space Marine was held to be; an unstinting and dutiful defender of the Imperium, a bane to all His enemies and most importantly, the warden of his battle brothers’ health. His career took a glowing start thanks to his first undertaking; single-handededly slaying an ork warboss which had been skulking around the sewers of a hive city it had attempted to raze. To this day, the brutish alien’s flensed skull hangs in the Chapter’s Reclusiam as a mark of pride.
Near the end of his first century of service, after reaping a toll of xenos and heretics alike, fate laid a curve in his path. As part of a four-squad undertaking to eject a sizable cabal of Dark Eldar from a vital warp-transit hub, the men of Parthus found itself beset on all sides by the very enemy it had been tasked to draw out. Records show that while Sergeant Thraxes, commander of Parthus Squad, had taken all proper precautions when hunting Dark Eldar in narrow environs, it was Andromakles’ actions that spelled the doom of seven of his battle brothers. In an ironic twist, it had been the Apothecary who let himself be drawn away by the vox-calls of a wounded battle brother while xenos heavy weapons specialists and skirmishers set up a killbox.
As Thraxes repositioned his command to take into account Andromakles’ otherwise selfless act, the ancient enemies of the Sons of Ithaka sprung their trap and, in a storm of shurikens and dark matter, claimed the lives of seven Space Marines. The redoubtable sergeant, a veteran of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, would be one of the last to fall. Fighting their way through the trap with Andromakles storming at their head, the remaining warriors of Squad Parthus were able to call for aid and the Iron Snakes were eventually able to repay the primuls for their low cunning a thousandfold.
But the damage was done. Not only were lives lost because of his disobedience, but Andromakles was only able to save half the squad’s geneseed. Along with two others, the legacy of Sergeant Thraxes died in those narrow stinking pathways, as he’d been struck cleanly by a dark lance before the Apothecary’s horrified eyes. To his credit, Andromakles was not unmanned by the violent death of his commander, mentor and friend. In addition to saving his ensnared comrade, he accounted for a good number of the cackling xenos, including a pair of the elite warriors known as Incubi (a feat which would have been a good cause for celebration). In the subsequent withdrawal, he’d managed to link up with and safeguard Parthus’ standard bearer and, ensuring that the honor of Parthus would remain untarnished. Another small mercy was that he’d been able to retrieve (and wield) the relic chain blade that once belonged to the squad’s namesake. In those two acts, the Emperor’s grace guided them through and the spirit of Parthus had proven itself strong enough.
Parthus Squad would fight again, but the Apothecary would not be there to see that day. Instead, as he was bustled away to be shipped back to the Snakes’ fortress moon of Karybdis for his punishment, a passing Ordos Xenos vessel had just entered the system and was requesting to dock at the reconquered hub. Sensing an opportunity of clemency (and to pay back an old favor, it was whispered), the librarian attached to the undertaking took the Inquisition’s appearance as a sign. The remorseful Andromakles would have his redemption. But he would achieve it garbed in the black of the Deathwatch.