Know Thy Enemy, Destroy Thy Enemy
Apothecary of the Crimson Suns Space Marines
Pale, gaunt, brown eyes, platinum blonde hair in 4-plaited queue down left, aquiline nose, scar on right jaw.
Apothecary, Rank 1
Chapter Demeanor: See But Do Not Be Seen
Personal Demeanor: Calculating
Fel 42 4
*Power Armour History Corvus (Mark VI Power Armour) Sole Survivor (5AG and +1Initiative).
Service Brief, Apothecary Sallust Azaleh, Sword Aurigae
Brief Composed by Inheritor Warden Batianus Carinae. 700.M41
Battle Barge Furnace of Azaleh, Quartermaster Varrus Chindi, 975,644.M41 Third Officer’s Personal Log Excerpt Follows+++
I just got word during my watch: Agrippina has given me a son! We have decided to call him Sallust, after the Lords’ Historian who introduced us during a Remembrance Ceremony on the main crew deck. The Medicae Deck reports that my son is healthy and without any obvious mutation, which was a concern as my dearest is a boat bay officer and nearer the Immaterium and the wilds of the Void than I would like.
One of the Lords has congratulated me on my good fortune as he overheard the rating make the report to me on the Deck. Proctor Sendarius Draconis is a good Captain, and a Lord of the Red Star Fleet, and a word of encouragement from him is fortune beyond measure. When he was told by the Lord who had addressed me what happy event had unfolded, he came to my station and congratulated me firmly. I will never forget those words.
“Varrus, I hope that in his least moment, your son is the equal of you and your wife, and that in his best moment he surpasses even we Brothers of the Crimson Suns. Who knows, he may even rise to become one of our number.”
I had hardly dared hope that the Proctor would know me, or my wife, but such a benediction from so Holy a person as a leader of our Lords in battle… I could not ever hope for more. The future seems bright even here in the darkness between the stars…
Battle Barge Furnace of Azaleh, Apothecary Tarquin Fomalhaut, 005,656.M41 Personal Log Excerpt Follows+++
The boy Sallust came to my attention during one of my many tours around the crew spaces aboard the Furnace of Azaleh, monitoring the health and disposition of the spacers below decks. Knowing that our viability as a Chapter relies on the service of our shipsmen, and that our Chapter recruits from among the voidborn of the Fleet, I was on the lookout, as always, for new materiel to send forward for consideration as Novitiates. On this particular tour of the crew spaces I came upon a young lad, no more than eleven standard years old, tending the wounds of an older spacer. The spacer had gotten himself caught, it appeared, in the outflow of a steam vent and was horribly burned, but the boy was diligent and attentive to the wound and was taking excellent, if somewhat uneducated care of the man.
Once he was finished with his ministrations, I made my presence known and approached the pair. I asked the youth his name, and he replied “Sallust, my lord.” When I enquired about his activities, he replied curiously, “Ensuring that the Lords will get to their next battle, m’lord.” I asked him to elaborate and he explained that the health of the ship and the health of the crew were one and the same, and that logic dictated that the better taken care of the crew was, the better the ship would perform, or so his father told him. I agreed and asked him if he would like to serve the Crimson Suns in another fashion. His response was simply that it was his duty and his destiny as told him by the Lady of Deck 14 (a harmless old woman who serves in the canteen and makes extra thrones doing the Imperial Tarot even though she has no taint of witchery). He also said that the Proctor had given his father a Benediction on the day of his birth and that assured a grand fate awaiting him.
I thus determined to keep watch over him and when he reaches an appropriate age I will send him for testing…
Battle Barge Furnace of Azaleh, Brother Sergeant Iolus Procyon, 124,664.M41 Personal Log Excerpt Follows+++
I received a batch of boys today for testing to see if they have the mettle to become Brothers of the Chapter. As usual, it was the standard mix of ship rats culled from below decks by Brothers who felt as though they might have seen talent. Most were hardly worthy of notice, but we must present at least one candidate to the Grand Proctor each cycle in the hopes that they might prove of value to our Chapter.
I lined them up and noticed an odd, tall, pale boy, no more than twenty years old with shocking white hair and an air of intelligence that one doesn’t see in underdeckers. Likely an officer’s son, but he seemed to have taken pains to dress in the same manner as the others. An interesting choice, that. I proceeded to test the lads…
In the second hour, one of the boys teamed with the lanky pale youth, whose name turned out to be Sallust, was gravely injured. Sallust quickly ordered his teammates to protect him while he tended the injury of his fallen comrade. Though they did not successfully complete the test, their group was the only one that made it through the trial with all members.
I asked the boy why he did what he did, and he looked at me dumbfounded and replied, “Would you leave one of those in your command behind when there was an opportunity to ensure his survival? Heurustic parse dictates that the whole of the group is only as important as its composition, and training and integrating a new member is just as disruptive, if not more so, than dealing with an injury. Leaving that aside, I felt it is what one of the Lords would do and if we are ever to improve it can only be by taking your example and trying to live up to it.”
This was an excellent answer, but I had another concern. The boy had fallen due to his own stupidity and foolishness, so why would Sallust believe that his presence might be important. He replied simply, “If he does not survive the test or see a better example, how can one expect him to improve?”
Of the lot, I sent Sallust to the Red Star for training. I have the feeling I will be taking orders from him one day, if he survives his novitiateship…
Star Base Red Star, Brother Sergeant Drussus Cygnus, 744,665.M41 Personal Log Excerpt Follows+++
The Cadres are proceeding quite well, and some are even ready for the field. Young Sallust’s squad seems best adapted to the rigours of the field, and seems likely to stay together if they all survive the remainder of their training. Sallust himself, while not particularly well liked, is very highly regarded as a Brother who takes the wellbeing of his squad very seriously. While many of the others have taken multiple losses in the year of training that led them to this point, Sallust’s squad has taken only minor injuries and has never once left a man behind in the field. Many of the Brothers and Novitiates have taken to calling the youth Sallust Felix, though he has yet to take a Star for his own.
Today’s exercise was particularly brutal, and was designed mainly to ensure that the weakest novices are purged from the ranks lest their weakness taint the Geneseed. As predicted, the calculating Sallust managed to bring his entire squad through intact, though there were a great many injuries, some even fairly grave. I have decided to second Sallust to the Apothecaries for further training…
Star Base Red Star, Apothecary Laurus Mizar, 617,666.M41 Personal Log Excerpt Follows+++
The boy shows some promise as an Apothecary. His devotion to the survival of his fellows and the retention of the Geneseed do him credit, however I fear that this may also be a problem for the young Brother. I dread the report of him in the field and losing a Squad Mate, or worse. I have done my best to prepare him for this eventuality, but the truth is that he will have a trial by fire and I can only hope that the scars do not permanently destroy him.
Battle Barge Flare of Iota Aurigae, Claviger Brontus Ushakaron, 909,669.M41 Personal Log Excerpt Follows+++
Damn! It has been twelve days since we last had report of the advance team deployed on the moon Carisor to investigate the deep mining on the airless surface. This was supposed to be a simple reconnaissance mission, and sending a green squad of Novitiates on their first run is the normal procedure. I have sent three full squads of Brothers to the surface, accompanying them personally with the Vanguard squad, but there is no other way into the mines at present. We are holding here for another three days in the hopes that our novices return, but there is little chance of that.
Battle Barge Flare of Iota Aurigae, Claviger Brontus Ushakaron, 917,669.M41 Personal Log Excerpt Follows+++
I would never have thought it possible, but Sallust has returned from the depths. His report was disturbing, and the fact that he emerged alone, battered and bloodied, leaves many with grave concerns. The fact that he returned with the progenoids of all of his fallen brothers speaks well of him, but such callous and cold-blooded logic has not been well received by his peers.
The utter obliteration of his squad by a force of Dark Eldar in the caverns has left an indelible mark on the young Marine, and I can only hope that it has not destroyed a promising Battle Brother before he has a chance to truly prove his worth. It appears from the Pict recordings of his Helmet that the squad was hit the moment it entered the mine and the entrance collapsed. Sallust did manage to save several of his brothers, but they were soon beset by dark-skinned creatures emerging, it seemed directly from the shadows and hurling bolts of energy from their fingers. Chapter records indicate that these are likely Xenos referred to as Mandrakes, and represent some foul cross of Dark Eldar and Daemon filth. The reduced squad bravely fought their way through the mines, harried by more Mandrakes, and even some of the Haemonculii’s horrible abominations before confronting their leader and something the records describe as a Talos Pain Engine. The few who survived the initial cave in and onslaught fell to the infernal contraption, leaving Sallust to face it alone. Sallust killed the Haemonculus, and without its vile will to direct it, the Talos began slaughtering the other Dark Eldar. When it was sufficiently weakened, Sallust destroyed it utterly using a Melta Bomb taken from one of his fallen Brothers. He then calmly retrieved the Progenoids and fought the rest of the way free of the tunnels.
In the mean time, the Curator has sent orders to bring the full force of Sword Ushakaron to bear on the mine. We will purge it shaft by shaft of any Xenos and bring the Emperor’s Light into the darkness there. Apothecary Sallust has demanded to be part of the expedition, and while I am hesitant, it is true that he is the only one with direct experience. Many of the Brothers are already grumbling that Sallust is cursed with ill fortune, and it may be difficult to assemble a new Squad to work with him. There is also talk that the sacred Armour that he was issued may be cursed, as Sallust’s predecessor was also the lone survivor of an ambush that destroyed his squad…
Battle Barge Flare of Iota Aurigae, Cursor Marcellus Ushakaron, 026,670.M41 Personal Log Excerpt Follows+++
I have confirmed Sallust as Apothecary following the purge of the Xenos infestation on Carisor, and he has taken the Star of Azaleh, in honor of the Battle Barge where he was born. An interesting choice, and, hopefully, one that bodes better than the results of his first foray in the field. Given that his first squad was wiped out with him the sole survivor, many of the men are loathe to have him in their ranks. After consulting with the Grand Proctor Justinian Aurigae, we have decided to send the youth off to join the ranks of the Deathwatch. His exposure to the Dark Eldar should help hone him into a specialist who will be instrumental to our ability to purge Xenos from a variety of places…