One of the Chapters to be formed in the first half of the Ultima Founding, the Blades Exemplar have earned a reputation as stoic, efficient and unrelenting warriors.
They fought alongside their brother Chapters in the Indomitus Crusade, helping free numerous Imperial worlds from the yoke of chaos following the emergence of the Great Rift.
They are specifically recorded with honour in 2 engagements.
Early M42 at the Battle of Vorlese they boarded the Executor with Guilliman, despatching the Black Legion with clinical precision. They then landed their entire chapter across the northern continent, clearing out every incursion of Black Legion and its cultists with minimal losses to themselves.
Later in the crusade the Chapter deployed to the world of Pyros alongside Guilliman, the Ultramarines, Imperial Fists and Raven Guard, using their precise tactical stratagems to whittle down the Revenants of Umidia. During the final conflict at the spaceport Alaric himself fought the warband’s champion in single combat, defeating him.
After nearly 100 years of crusading at Guilliman’s side, the Blades Exemplar accompanied him to the Ultima Sector to aid in the Plague Wars.
Gifted with a fleet of ships to rival any other the Blades Exemplar base their fleet close to the Scourge Stars in Ultima Sector. Now entrusted with a sacred duty, they strive here to keep Mortarion and his Death Guard from infecting more Imperial worlds.
They seek to gain as much knowledge as possible about the heretics and their daemonic hordes, often taking part in actions that appear needless, however more often than not they return victorious. Due to their extremely precise execution of tactics, they triumph where others would fail.
The Inquisition’s Ordo Sepulturum are in regular contact with the chapter, using their constant war with the forces of Nurgle as a source of information on Plague Zombies and Poxwalkers.
As a Chapter they are more resilient to the forces of chaos and their Librarius has more high-level psykers than other Ultima Chapters. This is due to their gene seed origins; however it has been kept a secret from the chapter and is known only to Bellisarius Cawl, Roboute Gulliman and the High Exemplar. As far as the chapter are concerned, they are Ultramarine successors and organise themselves as such.
Although they defer to the Codex Astartes for their Chapter organisation, the Blades Exemplar have their own markings system. They do not denote their company via pauldron trim, but rather via a number on their left knee armour. Sergeants have grey knee flares and Lieutenants/Captains have red knee flares denoting their superior rank. Squad is denoted by a number on the right pauldron.
The Blades Exemplar allow heraldry for their Lieutenants and Captains. Rather than Red, Black and White the heraldry colours follow that of their armour (Red, Dark Grey, Light Grey and Gold).
The Blades Exemplar are fleet-based. However due to their current task of monitoring the Scourge Stars, their flagships are in orbit around Ichar IV and use that as their recruitment base. The inhospitable environment of the hives on this planet make for very tough recruits – perfect to fight the forces of chaos.
Recruiting rituals are trials of hardship and endurance following intense scrutiny of the neophyte’s genetic code. Only the purest genecodes are allowed to even attempt the trials.
Trial of 1st Degree (Purity)
The neophyte is hooked up to specialised cogitators and subjected to situations in a virtual environment to test their purity. They will be tempted with pleasures of the flesh, power and destruction. If the neophyte is able to resist all they will pass to the next trial.
Trial of 2nd Degree (Strength)
The neophyte is subjected to 30 days of fasting and isolation, if they are able to weather this without giving in then they are released, half mad with hunger, handed a gladius and pitted in a trial-by-combat with a member of the Chapter’s Scout Company. The Neophyte needs to show that they still have reserves of strength and endurance and at least attempt to save themselves.
Trial of 3rd Degree (Duty)
Subjected to deep mental scrutiny by the Librarius, the neophyte will have no secrets once complete. This scan will open any latent subconscious areas that could prove problematic in the future. Laid bare, the neophyte will live or die at this juncture.
22 Rituals of Becoming
If the neophyte passes the 3 trials they are then entered into the 22 Rituals of Becoming. This is when they will pass from being mere mortals and over the next few years they will receive their Astartes and Primaris organs, becoming superhuman.
The Ritual of Knowledge
During their tenure as scouts Blades Exemplar have fully dark armour; once they are deemed to be worthy of full marine status their right arm and pauldrons are painted light grey. This denotes that the battle brother has gained enough experience to write his name in the Chapter’s Tome of Knowledge. The brother then is also allowed access to knowledge of the true nature of the Enemy and the Empyrean.
The chapter venerate the Emperor as the Father of all (fitting given he is their Gene Father, albeit unknown to them). They are exceptionally loyal to the imperium, and unflinching in their devotion.
As with their unflinching loyalty to the Emperor, so is their hatred bottomless for the traitor Primarchs and legions. They persecute any actions against them with extreme prejudice and will destroy enemy forces down to the last.
The chapter view themselves as crusaders and guardians of the Imperium; willing to battle against all enemies and put themselves in the direst of situations if the outcome means the Imperium is kept safe.
Following his resurrection, Roboute Guilliman deferred to Belisarius Cawl for leadership of the new Ultima Founding Chapters.
High Exemplar Alaric is formerly Brother-Captain Alaric of the Grey Knights, however he has undergone painful specialised surgery by Cawl to grant him the extra organs and stature of a Primaris Marine. Rather than choosing from within the Chapter ranks, Cawl recommended Alaric to lead. During his time in the Grey Knights, Alaric had shown himself to be able to think around situations and was a born-leader.
He distinguished himself with his banishment of the Greater Daemon Ghargatuloth on Volcanis Ultor, the Daemon controlled Castigator Titan on Chaeroneia and as one of the only marines ever to return from the Eye of Terror alive and untainted.
On returning from the Eye, Alaric underwent many years of stringent physical and spiritual testing. Eventually he was declared pure by the Grey Knights and Ordo Malleus and given the full rank of Brother-Captain. He then continued in this position with the Grey Knights for many more years.