In this article, we’re going to show you 25 facts about the Deathwatch that you may not have known! And be sure to check out our celebratory article of the new Space Marine Codex titled 25 Space Marine Facts You Didn’t Know:
The first Chapter Master is believed to be Asger Warfist of the Space Wolves. The Chapter Masters hold the title of Watch Commander and multiple holders of the title exist at a time.
The Deathwatch as a Chapter was born during the 32nd Millennium.
There are conflicting records of the origins of the Deathwatch due to the intensely secret nature of the Inquisition and the Deathwatch’s vow of silence regarding their missions.
There are technically no founding members of the Deathwatch and as such, they don’t follow the standard Codex Astartes. The Deathwatch exists as a collection of members from different chapters that are only gathered together for special missions.
The Deathwatch paint their armour black to signify their service to the Emperor but to paint their armour ALL black would be a dishonor to the armour’s machine spirit. For this reason, they bear the insignia of their original chapter on one shoulder and keep the insignia of the Deathwatch on the other even when they’re not called to service.
They take an Inquisitorial Order to uphold an oath of silence after missions when returning to their respective Chapters.
Deathwatch teams are usually led by an Inquisitor due to their strict code of conduct regarding the extinction of Xenos and the handling of Xenos equipment.
The need for the Deathwatch was out of desperation to save the Imperium. The greatest Ork Warboss known as “The Beast” amassed a force of 6 Warbosses that surpassed the one Horus defeated in the Ullanor Crusade. It was known as the War of the Beasts.
Watch Masters usually prove so useful that they never return to their original chapters but rather stand watch in the various Deathwatch Fortresses across the galaxy.
Deathwatch do not form Squads and companies like most Adeptus Astartes, but rather form small specialized units known as “Kill-Teams.”
The Chamber Militant is a military branch of the Imperial Inquisition. The Inquisition first divided during the War of the Beasts into the Ordo Xenos (Alien Hunter) Deathwatch and Ordo Malleus (Daemon Hunter) Grey Knights. The third is the Ordo Hereticus (Witch Hunter) by the Adepta Sororitas.
The onslaught of the threats the Imperium faces from Xenos and Chaos is so severe that hundreds of Chapters request the Space Marines of their members back from the Deathwatch despite the dishonor it would bring. The time served within the Deathwatch is known as “The Long Vigil.”
The 2nd unconfirmed account of the Deathwatch’s inception occurred at an unknown time when members of the Inquisition known as the Apocryphon Conclave of Orphite IV saw a prophecy that foretold of the Imperium’s demise from a Xenos uprising. The Deathwatch was formed to stand watch against the doom foretold by the Conclave.
The Deathwatch are responsible for destroying Fabius Bile’s work in mutating alien lifeforms. They stormed into and burned his entire laboratory down.
The Orks had spilled so much blood that they were going to create a rift into the Blood god’s own realm until the Deathwatch intervened. The battle was so intense they lost half their members to the bloodshed but managed to stop another rift into the fabric of reality.
The Watch Fortresses are sovereignly ruled by Watch Commanders whose word is law. Entire sectors of the galaxy are set ablazy on a Watch Commanders word without question. They answer only to Inquistors.
The Watch Fortresses stand guard at the edge of Imperial territory often unknown and unmarked in Imperial records. They house and protect secrets unspoken and often unknown.
The Watch Fortresses are so efficient that they often destroy growing threats before the Imperium is even made aware of its existence.
Smaller outposts are known as “Watch Stations.”
The loyalist Space Marine legions are bound by an oath to the Emperor to provide troops to the Deathwatch which creates moral conflicts for Legions such as the Dark Angels and the Black Templars who believe the Inquisition to be a corrupt and perverse entity against the sovereignty of the Adeptus Astartes.
Iron Hands, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, and Blood Angels all have strained relationships with the Inquisition and when chosen to join the Deathwatch some radical Ordo Xeno’s Inquisitors will get the Ordo Hereticus involved to snuff out potential heretics.
There are more UltraMarines, Crimson Fists and Imperial Fists in the Deathwatch because of their good standing with the Inquisition.
The Kill-Teams take the name of who’s in command during the mission. For example: during a mission lead by Epistolary Galius the unit will be named Kill-Team Galuis.
The Deathwatch are not directly under the command of Ordos Xenos but rather work in close conjunction.
Concluding the 25 Facts about Deathwatch
Deathwatch Kill-Teams may be tasked with killing a rogue Inquisitor. Such notions are so forbidden and the treachery kept such a secret that even other Deathwatch members don’t know of these missions. All involved in such missions are sworn to even more strict oaths of secrecy.
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