Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Crusade-Captain Aleksos - A Brief History (Part I)

Character bio time!

     Crusade-Captain Damion Aleksos is a great living hero of the Steel Revenants chapter, and one of the most respected members of the Chapter council. A native of the subterranean tribes of the Revenants' homeworld, Lucifer, Aleksos's life has been full of trial and hardship. Aleksos was considered too small and too weak by his family, and was sold into the serfhood to the Steel Revenants by parents who saw him as nothing more than a hungry little burden. They expected him to die on some far-off world or become a menial servitor. Xiphon Akefia, the Chapter Master at the time, took a personal liking to Aleksos and began to mentor the young boy, grooming him for a much more promising future as a battle-brother and, eventually, a leader.

     Thanks in part to his training under Akefia's expert guidance and in part to his own naturally keen mind, Aleksos swiftly grew into a clever tactician.  At first, the Chapter Master taught young Aleksos to play chess, but the young boy swiftly mastered the limited possibilities the game offered him. By the time he was twelve, Damion was facing off against Xiphon as a commander in the chapter's training exercises. At first, many of the neophytes placed under his command resented being subordinate to a youth, but his tactical acumen and adaptive command style were well-matched against his mentor's years of experience, and the boy earned the grudging respect of the men beneath him. When he was twelve, Aleksos was enrolled as a supplicant along with hundreds of other hopeful candidates. Though he began with much promise, training proved to be hard on young Aleksos.

      Having grown up among the Steel Revenants, Aleksos already knew many members of the chapter; indeed, some of the older supplicants, and even a few Neophytes, had served beneath him in the Chapter Master's wargames. It was something of a culture shock, therefore, for Aleksos to find himself at the very bottom of the ranks. Men he had commanded were now commanding him, and those who once treated him with a sort of amused respect now heaped upon him the most onerous duties in the fortress-monastery.  Determined to regain his place of honor and respect in the chapter, Aleksos poured all his efforts into his studies. Unfortunately for young Aleksos, he was still smaller than his peers, and though his marksmanship was more than satisfactory, he still found himself inadequate in the physical trials required for training. It seemed that Aleksos was doomed to mediocrity.
     The coming of the Tyranids changed a great many things for the Steel Revenants. The demand for military support grew all across the Imperium, and so Chapter Master Akefia began searching for ways of increasing his effective military strength while still remaining true to the letter, if not the spirit, of the Codex Astartes. Eventually he decided to enact drastic changes to the chapter's recruitment processes. Rather than training the chapter's supplicants on Lucifer or its moons before inducting them into the scout company, Akefia declared that Supplicants would be trained on the field of battle. Suddenly, his combat forces grew from roughly a thousand to nearly twice that. Though it was a gross violation of Guilliman's intent, it was technically legal.
     For Aleksos, the change was a fortuitous one. Now that supplicants were to be used in active combat duty, the emphasis shifted from physical strength back to tactical acumen and grace under fire, both of which the young supplicant had in abundance. Aleksos was called upon to lead men, not into skirmishes or training exercises, but into lethal combat situations. It was not long before the Revenants were called to war once more, and for the first time, their supplicants marched with them.

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