The Cerean Brotherhood was the secessionist state formed by Lancere Revoin during his attempt to break away from the Imperium. The Brotherhood was made up of the hundred plus Imperial Worlds that were located with the area known as the Cerean Sea. The Imperial war to crush the Cerean Brotherhood and retake the worlds under its control was known as the Cerean Crucible.
Lancere Revoin had been plotting to claim power for himself for many years. In his mad quest for more power he managed to convince the other Imperial planets in the Cerean Sea to defect with him.
Lancere proved his coercive skills in the time before the rebellion started. With a combination of bribes, blackmail, intimidation, assassination and numerous promises he managed to make the planetary governments of nearly every world in the Sea into accomplices to his plot.
Once he secretly controled the Cerean Sea Revoin focused his efforts towards preparation for the impending conflict with the Imperium. With the forces of the entire Cerean Sea at his command Lancere had a considerable military force at his fingertips. However Revoin had no illusions about his chances, and he knew that these forces would be insufficient. He had his new followers begin preparations for the conflict by reinforcing their militaries. The nascant Brotherhood also began to trade resources with Xenos in order to gain an advantage. Most importantly Revoin commissioned Rangor Malatron, and his Techpriests to begin experiments to provide potent weapons, and strengthen the Brotherhoods armed forces.
All of this was done in secret. Revoin knew that if his plot was unveiled too early, then the Imperium would crush him and his ambitions into dust. As a result the Regents were particularly active during this time, ensuring that Revoin's plans were not exposed. Every precaution was taken to ensure that the Imperium would suspect nothing. Despite the care taken during this period there were still the occasional close calls. The agents of the Inquisition would uncover the illegal activities on some of the planets from time to time. Despite this Revoin and the Regents made sure that these were passed off as isolated incidents, and they made sure that the planets that these discoveries were made on were not implicated as a whole.
Birth of the BrotherhoodEdit
The Cerean Brotherhood was officially formed in 835.M39 when almost the entirety of the Cerean Sea seceded from the Imperium to form an independent state.
The Cerean Brotherhood was a loosely bound republic. Each of its member worlds was more or less free to run the world as they chose, or at least this was the image that Revoin had been selling. It was true that technically member planets were given some autonomy, but in the end it was Revoin and his lieutenents that truly held the power in the Brotherhood. The Planetary Governments were only given leave to run their affairs until Revoin's inner cabinet gave an order, at which point the government would submit, or face the consequences.
Luckily for most of the member planets Revoin rarely imposed on how they ran their worlds, only making them supply resources and personnel for the war effort. As a result the people on those planets that were far from the front lines did not see much of a change from their daily lives in the new regime apart from the occasional propaganda, and some drafts.
However late in the war Revoin's hands off policy was abandonned. This was due to the fact that it had become common knowledge that the war was not going well, and in addition many of the people began to see Revoin for the power hungry despot that he truly was instead of a benevolent liberator. The result was wide spread civil unrest. In response to this Lancere declared Marshall Law, and instituted a totalitarian rule in which any sedition or defiance was punished by death. By the time the Imperial forces reached Margentia many of the planets had full scale uprisings as Brotherhood command weakened, and the citezens of the Cerean Sea had enough of the tyranny.
The Galvatek Priests were a sect of Adeptus Mechanicus that sided with the Brotherhood during the war. The leader of the Galvatek sect was the Fabricator General of Allormega, Rangor Malatron. At some point before the beginning of the war Revoin made Malatron an ally, and Malatron in turn began converting the Techpriests of the Cerean Sea to the cause. These rogue Techpriests would go on to commit countless tech-heresies. Many of these foul inventions would find their way onto the battlefield. The Galvatek adepts shed the traditional rust red of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and took up robes made from grey fibers that had a metallic sheen. The traitors named themselves the Galvatek because they believed that they were galvanizing the art of science which had stagnated under the Imperium.
The Cavalier Arcana was the division within the Cerean Brotherhood that managed, and was composed of Psykers. Revoin had known that Psykers would provide an indispensable edge that he would require if he ever hoped to succeed in his ambition. Thus he began gathering Psykers from all over the Cerean Sea, and had them trained and indoctrinated to serve his new Brotherhood. During the war the Cavalier Arcana served a number of roles including combat, and support roles. They also had a division that researched new applications of Psychic powers. The Cavalier Arcana were lead by Lady Castella, Revoin's extremely loyal, unstable and powerful Psyker lieutenent.
The Regents were the shadowy arm of Revoin's will. Each operative had the authority of Revoin backing him. The Regents played the role of the Brotherhood's Secret Police, intelligents officers and commanders of black ops. They also serves a similar role to Commissars on the battlefield. The Regents were feared by both the Imperials and their own allies for their ruthless proficiency.
Temple of the DivanusEdit
The Temple of the Divanus was the cult that formed the basis of the Cerean Brotherhood's state religion during the war. Early in the war an issue came up among Brotherhood forces. The soldiers and civilians of the Cerean Brotherhood had all been raised with the worship of the Emperor. Many within the Brotherhood felt uneasy with the rebellion, as they equated going against the Imperium with going against their god. Revoin eased doubts by claiming that it was the Imperium that had failed the Emperor, and that their cause did have his backing. Despite this he knew that this would prove a future problem for morale.
Revoin realized that his war needed to be viewed as backed by some divine power if he truly wanted to secure victory. He sought out the Temple of the Divanus for this reason. The followers of Divanus had been a cult that had been suppressed by the Imperium. They believed in a deity known as the Divanus that was born from the divine spark within humanity. Revoin chose them to be the spiritual force behind the Brotherhood.
The Temple was head by Father Remus Maxwell. Remus was an inspirational and cunning leader, no doubt brought about by years of running the temple while avoiding Imperial punishment. While he was not as clever as Revoin, he was even more charismatic. Feeling that Maxwell was a potential threat to his power, Revoin arranged for Maxwell to be assassinated by "Imperial Agents". Following this Revoin took Maxwell's place at the head of the temple.
When the Imperium first went to war they assumed they were simply fighting a band of renegade Planetary Governors, and thus what they expected to find was a poorly managed, poorly equiped army made up of various PDF forces. What they did found blew their expectations out of the water.
The Cerean Brotherhood maintained an effective military that had been preparing for conflict with the Imperium long before they formally declared independence. Revoin had made sure to take great care in organizing the forces he would deploy. Thanks to Allormega and the few other Forgeworlds that sided with the Brotherhood, the military was supplied with proper equipment that was more or less as good as that of the Imperial Guard. While a good portion of the Brotherhood Army was made up of PDF forces as the Imperium had expected, they were armed and trained to roughly the standards of the Imperial Guard. Furthermore the command structure of the Brotherhood Army and Navy was set up in a way similar to their Imperial counterparts.
In addition to the standard army and navy personnel the Brotherhood utilized a number of unique, experimental, or irregular troops to bolster the conventional forces, and give them an advantgae over the Imperial forces. These unique forces included clone troops, sentient machines, xeno mercenaries and specially developed super-soldiers among a list of other unique forces.
While the Brotherhood military proved a potent warmachine, and quite capable of holding its own, it still faced defeat in the end.
Cerean Brotherhood ArmyEdit
The Cerean Brotherhood Army was at the forefront of just about every battle during the war. The general rank structure and organization was based off of that of the Imperial Guard. Revoin had felt no need ot make any radical changes to a time tested and familiar organization. Despite this the CBA contained a number of unique traits.
The CBA was primarily made up of the planetary defense forces of the planets that had joined the Ceran Brotherhood. These PDF forces were re-equiped and retrained in order to make them more effective as military units. While the CBA was primarily made up of these soldiers, they also incorperated some Imperial Guard forces in the army. Revoin had gone to great lengths to persuade a large number of the Imperial Guard forces in the Cerean Sea to defect and back his new empire. These traitor regiments formed a strong, professional core with the ranks of the CBA.
In addition to normal soldiers of the rebel Imperial Guard Regiments and the PDF forces the CBA began to use scientifically produced Clone Troops part way through the war. These Clone Troopers were conditioned for battle and obedience. However they were also described by both the Imperial Forces and their allies as somewhat slow witted. Despite this flaw they could be produced at a rapid rate and it was thanks to this that the CBA was able to blunt the Imperial Guard's advantage in numbers.
The CBA had access to all of the same gear that the Imperial Guard. In addition they also had some exotic wargear and vehicles as a result fo the expermentation of the Galvatek and the resources that the Brotherhood traded with Xenos.
As well as these forces, the CBA had its own special warfare division. This division had been formed by Revoins orders, and he had recruited some of the best military men in the Cerean Sea to get it started. Numerous specilists within the CBA came from this division. The most dangerous of these were the Cerean Brotherhood's special operations soldiers, the Cerean Commandos. Trained by paid Eldar mercenaries and armed to the teeth, sometimes in alien weaponry, these highly trained and deadly soldiers would be a blight to the Imperial Forces.
The CBA was also seconded specialists from other divisions of the Cerean Brotherhood. It was common for members of the Galvatek, Cavalier Arcana and Regents to be present on battlefields for various reasons. These specialists brought their unique skills and abilities to the battlefield with them and were often invaluable to a campaign. There were even times when a CBA commander would be given access to one of the Brotherhood's devastating Harbingers.
The CBA utilized non-professional troops as well as the typical soldiers. While the majority of citizens that volunteered or were drafted into the war would be trained and placed within the conventional Cerean Brotherhood Army, many were put into militia forces. These forces were neither as well armed or as trained than the mainstream soldiers and were were for the most part used as extra cheap cannon fodder, though the Militiamen themselves rarely realized this and believed that they were making a difference.
During the war the Cerean Brotherhood took another page from the Imperium's handbook and looked to prisons for extra manpower. These dangerous criminals were placed into the Militia with the promise that if they fought well they may be pardoned for their crimes. They were given distinct uniforms and had control chips implanted into their brains that were fry their brain stem if they tried anything funny. The majority of the Militiamen were unaware that they were fighting alongside convicts and merely looked at the conscripted criminals as particularly viscious soldiers.
The Cerean Brotherhood Navy was the branch of the Brotherhood's military that was primarily concerned with combat in space, and with deployment of air forces. The Navy used a wide variety of ships and aircraft during the war. Most of these were standard Imperial models that sometimes had some minor deviations. Others were irregular or experimental ships that were specially developed by the Cerean Brotherhood, or acquired from outside sources. The CBN was under the command of High Admiral Victor Harne, a former Imperial Navy officer that defected to the Brotherhood before the war.
The War Fleet was the primary branch of the Cerean Brotherhood Navy. A large portion of the ships and personnel within this branch were made up of Imperial Navy forces that had been posted in and around the Cerean Sea. Lancere went to great lengths to convince or bribe these Imperial Navy forces into his service before the war. In addition to this more ships were raised from the foundries of the Galvatek Forgeworlds that sided with the Brotherhood. The crews of these ships were often recruited from the planets of the Brotherhood, though Harne insisted that these ships have at least a few Imperial Navy Officers per ship for proper training of the crew, and mainenance of the ships.
The Conscript Fleet was made up of non-military starships that were pressed into service by the Brotherhood by the war. These ships were drawn from the Civil and Merchant Fleets of the Cerean Sea, and while many of these ships voluntarily joined the war effort, many were pressed into service by threats of violence.
These non-military ships were then taken and equipped with more weaponry to suit the needs of the CBN. While these modified merchant ships did not have the combat potential of a proper warship, they could often provide a little extra firepower or cannon fodder to whatever formation they were a part of. Despite this these ships were not often placed in a combat role, and were rather used to maintain the Brotherhoods supply lines.
Revoin knew early on that some of the captains that he forced into fighting for the Brotherhood would attempt to surrender or defect to Imperial forces at first chance. In order to counter this he had Harne order his ships to occasionally use a specific tactic. The ships would pretend to want to surrender or change sides only to open fire when an Imperial vessel attempted to board. This tactic would ensure that the Imperial Navy would not trust any attempts to surrender, and that any within the Conscript Fleet that tried to betray would recieve no quarter.
This part of the navy was made up of pirates and mercenary ships that had been paid to fight for the Brotherhood. These roques were paid handsomely for their service, and were given additionalo resources such as weapons to aid them in their duties to the Brotherhood. While it was not uncommon for elements of the Privateer Fleet to participate in space battles or planetary assualts, the Brotherhood primarily deployed these ships in less dangerous work. The Privateer Fleet was primarily assigned to attacking the Imperium's supply lines, and ambushing Imperial Navy Scouts. These privateers became the bane of the Imperium's Merchant Fleet during the war
Black Star FleetEdit
The Black Star Fleet was made up of highly dangerous warships. A number of these ships were Xeno in origin, having been traded to the Brotherhood before the onset of war. Others were experimental ships created by the Galvatek. Regardless of the origin the ships of the Black Star Fleet represented some of the most valuable resources available to the Cerean Brotherhood navy. While elements of the other fleets would often be grouped together into units, the Black Star Fleet did not function as a single unit. Rather individual ships would be sent to other battlegroups within the Navy as needed. Many Imperial Navy Officers learned to dread the strange ships marked with black stars, as they would inevitably offer some advantage to the enemy forces.
While the members of the Galvatek sect were mostly concerned with their experiments, and supplying the Cerean Brotherhood with the resoucres needed to wage their war, they did in fact contribute their own unique forces to fight the Imperium. While the Galvatek weren't the massive war machine that was the Cerean Brotherhood Army, their forces were by far the most feared. Their unhindered and unethical pursuit of science allowed them to arm their forces with technology that was both foul, and extraordinary. As a result the forces fielded by the Galvatek caused a disproportionate amount of Imperial casualties during the war. It was no coincidence that the tide turned in favor of the Imperium after they sacked Allormega.
New Steel RegimentsEdit
The New Steel Regiments were mostly made up of the Skitarii that had served under the Techpriests that renounced their vows to the Mechanicus and joined Malatron. With the new freedom that these techpirests enjoyed came new Bionic enhancments and equipment for their Skitarii armies. Now armed with even more deadly equipment the New Steel Regiments went to war, and caused horrendous amounts of death within the Imperial Forces.
Children of the ForgeEdit
The Children of the Forge were a race of sentient machines created by Rangor Malatron, who viewed them as his crowning achievement. The Children of the Forge did not truly have any loyalty towards the brotherhood and their agenda. Instead they fought alongside the Brotherhood at the behest of their Father, who knew that siding with the Brotherhood was the best way to ensure that the Children of the Forge were not destroyed by the Imperium before they could reach their potential. Many a Guardsmen would suffer nightmares and vivid flashbacks of the damage these intelligent machines reaked.
The Lazarian Legion was a force that was lead by a particular group of Galvatek Priests. Lead by one of Malatron's top lieutenents, Mortivant, these Techpriests focused their attention on one of the most reviled forms of Tech-heresy, Anima Mori. Using scientific methods to revive the dead, the Lazarian Legion went to battle with massive armies of undead abominations. Almost mid way into the Crucible the Legion was one of the factions that was thoroughly hunted down and wiped out by the Inquisition. It was fortunate that they were destroyed as soon as they were or the Crucible could have been far bloodier than it already was.
Titans produced by the Forgeworlds of the Cerean Sea. These behemoths were meant to walk for the Imperium, but when the allegience of their creators shifted so did theirs, including the once illustrious golden Titans of Legio Cataphractos. Other Titan Legions such as Legio Tyrannicus and Legio Ultran would also follow suite. While a good number of the Titans fielded by the Brotherhood were standard Imperial variants, many of the Titans that had just or were yet to be finished when the Galvatek was formed recieved new patterns of weaponry and armor and technology. These rebel Legios served Revoin well, but the Brotherhood found something to replace even the God Machines. As the war progressed these war machines would be phased out in favour of the far more deadly Titan-class Children of the Forge. The Behemoth-class Autonomous Titans would be a nightmare that many Princeps learned well to fear.
There were a number of forces employed by the Brotherhood that were not a part of the normal chains of command.
Goliath Soldiers were super soldiers created by the Cerean Brotherhood meant to help the Cerean Brotherhood counter the threat posed by the Astartes. Rather than be recruited from any population, the Goliaths were fashioned from superior gene-wrote vat grown subjects. The Galvatek Priest reasoned that unlike the Astartes the Goliaths should be forged from a perfect source rather than any imperfect one. The Goliath Soldiers were grouped by their gene-model to form units known as Clans. Despite their gene-modeling the Goliath soldier were not as gentically refined as the Space Marines, and given that they were only made just prior to the start of the Cerean Crucible they also lacked the centuries of combat experiences that the Space Marines possessed. However they could be produced and trained quicker than the Space Marines, and had access to superior equipment thanks to the Galvatek. As a result the Goliath soldiers were able to fight on more or less equal ground with the Astartes of the Imperium.
Revoin made sure to go down every avenue to give his forces an edge during the war with the Imperium. Part of this was illegal exchange with Xeno lifeforms. Most of the contact came in the form of trading resources. However Revoin also saw the fighting abilities of Xeno soldiers as an asset, and thus hired large numbers of Xeno mercenaries during the war. These fighters came from a wide array of species. Amoung the mercenaries were Eldar Corsairs and Ork Freebooters. The bulk of the Xenos hired by Revoin consisted of the Qwolac and Isgrada, who were hired in such numbers that they were a common sight on the battlefields of the Cerean Crucible.
In a effort to further bolster their forces, the Cerean Brotherhood hired out numerous mercenary groups, bandits, pirates and criminal groups to fight for them. One notable group was the Sons of Cerberus, a mercenary group composing of sell-sword Astartes, Eldar and other renegades. These renegades were promised generous rewards for shedding blood in the name of the Cerean Brotherhood.
The Blood Kin were a militia comprised of countless mutants and Abhumans. These semi-humans were promised equal treatment and civil rights by the Cerean Brotherhood, commodities that they had been denied while under the Imperium. For the first part of the war they were little more than an unorganized mob that was used as cannon fodder. This changed when a mutant named Skallor stepped up and took the lead. They became more organized, started placing Mutants and Abhumans with similar talents into squads and in the midst of the war became a formidable force. They were the first to abandon the Bortherhood when things started to turn in Imperial favor. This is unsurpising as Skallor had never trusted Revoin to keep his word from the start.
The Sanguine Wings was a Blood Angels successor Chapter. The Chapter had been on the brink of destruction due to the Black Rage and Red Thirst when they were approached by the Brotherhood. They ended up turning traitor when Rangor Malatron offered a cure to their affliction. The Sanguine Wings proved to be a valuable asset to the Crucible. After the Cerean Brotherhood fell they struck out on their own. However the cure that they had been provided had apparently been imperfect, as the Red Thirst and Black Bage returned, and ravaged them like never before. They were destroyed by Imperial Forces.
After the end of the Cerean Crucible the Administratum's Historical Revision Unit went to work. They removed massive parts of the War from the Librarium Imperialis. When they had suppressed the history that they felt was damaging they begun to work at spinning what inofrmation was left.
The Cerean brotherhood were branded as traitors, and inhumane monsters of the worst kind. However very few details are actually known by the people of the Cerean Sea. With the exception of the fact that there was a rebebllion, and the name Cerean brotherhood virtually no records exist. However the Cerean brotherhood is far from forgotten. The peoples of the Cerean Sea remembered the war through word of mouth, telling stories and history by word of mouth, and passing it down the generations.
As could be expected of strictly oral accounts there has been some warping of the facts. Miscommunication, and exaggeration have caused a number of different versions of the actual history to exist. Some accounts painted the Cerean Brotherhood as virtuous freedom fighters attempting to overthrow oppression. Others exaggerate their evil. There are even some tales in which the Brotherhood and Revoin weren't even thought to be human.
As a result of some of the more romantic depictions of the Brotherhood there are elements within the Cerean Sea that still identifies with it. In backwater communities on a number of worlds in the Cerean Sea there are cases of natives flying the old Brotherhood flag. Naturally when the Arbites, or Inquisition catches wind of this ounishment is swift and brutal.
There are also a number of Anti-Imperial groups that have drawn their inspiration from accounts of the Cerean Brotherhood. Notable examples include the New Cerean Berotherhood, the Sons of Revoin and the Regents Reborn. These groups currently pose a threat to the Imperium in the modern day Cerean Sea.
However more dangerous than any of these groups are the actual remnants of the Cerean Brotherhood. After the sacking of Allormega the Galvatek was already splintering. When the final blow came at the Battle of Margentia the Galvatek completely shattered, and went underground. The Inquisition hunted down many of the Galvatek during the period directly following the war. However some managed to survive, and these renegade techpriests went on to covertly found numerous isolated sects and cults. Some of these remnants even managed to get out ofthe Cerean Sea, such as the Heretek that was behind the Ractra VII Incident. These groups still follow the path shown to them by Rangor Malatron, and dealing with them is one of the Brine Conclave's highest priorities.
To make matters worse the Temple of the Divanus managed to survive the purges that followed the Crucible. Near the end of the war the Temple had become a full blown Chaos Cult. When the war ended its members went dep undergrown to avoid persecution. Now the Temple operates within the Cerean Sea from the shadows, constantly seeking to corrupt the uncorrupted, and spread Chaos. Recent intel gathered by the Inquisition also hints at a far more sinister agenda than at first thought.
All of these elements have come together within the Cerean Sea to make it one of the most volitile areas in the Imperium.