Dramatis Personae: Asklepios, Apothecari Praefectus

Dramatis Personae: Asklepios of the Death Eagles 

As the war prolonged, the importance of the Apothecarium grew. The need to secure the Chapter's geneseed made the members of the body both fearless and ruthless.

Raids led by militant apothecaries were enacted. While the majority have been confirmed as the standard reclamation of geneseed lost to the Chapter, a significant number made it explicit that capturing it from hostile Astartes was a secondary objective. [...]

That such raids should have been carried out against traitor legions even after the end of the War of the False Primarch can only be explained as myth.

[//Officio Censoris summary formally exculpating the Death Eagles I, following the Edict of Obliteration+]


The murky history and conflicted background of the Death Eagles was further muddied following the launch of Operation Gauntlet. The Death Eagles I and II were known to have made much of this, on occasiona even intentionally conflate their liveries to hide their numbers and sow confusion amongst the Partisans. The practise began to die out as the late war began, as by this point the two Chapters were stable and growing in numbers once more. 

The practical side of producing more Astartes at short notice fell to figures such as Apothecari Praefectus Asklepios. Heir apparent to the Death Eagles I's Apothecarion, he was promoted following the Chief Apothecary's death during a conflict on the Delphurnean League against a Riven Lords Company.


Resourceful and inventive, Asklepios was instrumental in recovering information long thought-lost on mass implantation of initiates. A survivor of the war, in his later debriefing by the Ordo Redactus, the Apothecari Praefectus remained cagey on how precisely this was achieved. 

The official line is that the Death Eagles (I) retained records that pre-dated their founding, presumably tracked from their supposed sires, the XIX Legion. When asked to produce the records, Asklepius replied that they had been lost during the war. Pressed on the matter, it transpired that he had undergone hypnogogic dememorisation during his capture by the Storm Tyrants and Silver Stars during the Myrean League campaigns, and was simply unable to recall the data. If it had been genuine, then it was certainly now lost, never to be recovered.

Of the myriad databanks, Chapter records and scroll-screeds that were analysed and partially redacted by the Ordo Redactus and Silent Sisterhood during the Death Eagles' turn under the Edict of Obliteration, none revealed any signs of deletions or obfuscations, however subtle. That no subterfuge was intended counted in the favour of Asklepius, who – unlike a number of the Death Eagles senior command cadre – were condemned and liquidated.

Nevertheless, rumours swirled that the Apothecari Praefectus had some unfamiliar expertise in geneseed manipulation, for it was during this period that the generune inconsistencies with the Raven Guard's test-template were highlighted. While similar, the geneseed of the two Chapters diverged on a number of key points that could not be explained by standard divergence – particularly given the purity of the Death Eagles' seed; a far cry from the ravaged and refined examples of the Raven Guard following the events of the Horus Heresy. This was never fully explained, though remaining purity dockets officially record the Death Eagle's seed as having been drawn from a forgotten store that predated the Primarch's desperate experiments upon the XIX's gene seed.



A squad of Death Eagles after the failed night attack at moonbase on Corinthia Triari. The planned operation was supposed to focus on the promethium fields and tankers, to put the defending Riven Lords off-balance. As if they had intercepted intel, all the assets had been moved off-planet before the attack was launched. 

The assaulting Death Eagles found themselves outnumbered and at a tactical disadvantage. After a bloody withdrawal the Pentarchy forces saw little choice but to scour the moon's surface, leaving the strategic base unusable for further operations. The failed attempt to take control over the moonbase and oil fields are thought to have prolonged to war by several years.


Perhaps of relevance is this point recorded by Exquisitor-active Sumerin Rast of the Redactus in his closing notes on the Chapter:

"In-field Omophageic rote-learning was a tactical choice ill-favoured by the Death Eagles, primarily driven [UNCLEAR] peculiar Chapter Cult practice of 'sanctification' – but also owing to the reports of madness and extra-galactic hallucinations reportedly experienced by those who engaged in the habit upon [the Pseudolegion]'s fallen [//cf. Flesh Eaters {cross-refVAL: 'Lark's Opus campaign'+]. 

Nevertheless, it is clear that the Apothecari Praefectus had enacted the practise – intentionally and repeatedly – on [Pseudolegion] casualties during the privations of Corinthia Triarii, and later the War on Bastion. How this tallies with his [FRAGMENT LOST]'

This cryptic clue was apparently never followed up; a peculiar oversight for the ever-thorough Redactus. This can perhaps be attributed to the lacunae within the notes itself; or perhaps it is simply a result of the inevitable difficulty in enacting an Edict of Obliteration.


"You who have not seen with the eyes of Asklepios, First-of-that-Name, cannot comprehend. It is a complex procedure even for a sanctified member of the Brotherhood to commune with our Self-as-Forebear; and thus opaque to the likes of you. You must simply accept my witness as objective fact in this, Exquisitor.'

[//Asklepios. Seventeenth-of-that-Name, Apothecari Praefectus+]