This article, Foundings, was written by Algrim Whitefang and T42. Please do not edit or 'acquire' this fiction without the writers' permission.
This article, Foundings, is currently under active construction. The authors, Algrim Whitefang and T42, apologize for the inconvenience.
*Note: This article concerns the various Foundings that takes place in the alt universe of the Legiones Astartes setting, where the Codex Astartes was never adopted, and the dissolution of the Space Marine Legions into separate Chapters never occurred. For information on the canon Foundings of the Warhammer 40K universe, please refer to the Foundings section, on the Warhammer 40,000 Fanon Wiki:How to create a Fanon Space Marine Chapter.
New Space Marine Legions are not created piecemeal as required by the Imperium of Man's strategic needs, but rather in deliberate groupings called "Foundings". The process by which a new Founding's creation is approved by the Imperial government is mysterious and arcane, subject to decades or even centuries of planning before it is announced. It is only by an edict of the High Lords of Terra that such an undertaking as the creation of new Legion can be instigated, for it requires the cooperation and mobilization of countless divisions within the Imperium's monolithic and vast governmental organisations. Establishing new Legiones Astartes on an individual basis is nigh impossible -- the mobilization of such vast resources is beyond the ability of any single segment of the Imperium.
The Mechanicum and gene-wrights of Luna play an essential role in the process of a Founding, for its highest echelons are tasked with creating, testing and developing the gene-seed samples that will provide the genetic foundation of the new Legions. Entire Forge Worlds may be turned over to the manufacture of the mighty arsenal of weaponry, ammunition, power armour, vehicles and starships that any such force will require. There are a myriad other concerns as well. A suitable homeworld inhabited by humans must be identified for the new Legion, which will likely provide not only a secure and defensible base of operations, but also a source of new recruits as well. Such worlds might have been reported by itinerant Rogue Traders and earmarked centuries before by Mechanicum Explorators as potential Astartes homeworlds. A degree of environmental terraforming might be required and the natives of the world (if they are to become the source of the new Legion's Aspirants) must be studied and tested by the Mechanicus' Magos Biologis and Genetors for many generations to ensure they are genetically pure and free of any strain of mutation that might later affect the Legion itself. The construction of a Legion's fortress-monastery may be one of the greatest undertakings of all, drawing on the genius of the Imperium's most accomplished military architects and engineers. If the Legion is to be fleet-based, then even more work must be put into the construction of a Legion Barque or unusually large Battle Barge to serve as the Legion's mobile fortress-monastery and all of the related capital warships and Escorts such a highly-mobile Legion will require.
The already extant Space Marine Legions may also have a role in this process, though to what degree can vary greatly from Founding to Founding. Many of the First Founding Legions maintain close links with Legions created using their own gene-seed stocks, and the Legion Masters might have a hand in planning future Foundings using that genetic material. In the more than 10,000 standard years that have passed since the First Founding of the 20 original Space Marine Legions by the Emperor of Mankind, there have been only a half dozen subsequent Foundings of new Legions of the Legiones Astartes; with the most recent, the 6th Founding, occurring in the year 738.M41, approximately 250 standard years ago. Even before a new Founding is announced, entire generations of Imperial servants may have toiled in preparation. Even once the process has been declared and is underway, it is likely to be at least century or more before the new Legions are ready to begin combat operations. In times of dire need for the Imperium, faster development has been attempted, but this has often resulted in disaster. Gene-seed cultured in haste is wont to degrade or to mutate, and a great many other factors may lead the entire process astray. And there is no foe more dangerous to the Imperium of Man than a Space Marine who has been corrupted by Chaos or gone Renegade for another reason.
New Legions are only created by an Imperial edict of the High Lords of Terra, and, some whisper, by the sole will of the Emperor of Mankind. The task of actually assembling these Chapters always belongs to the Mechanicum. The Mechanicum stores the gene-seed of all the Legiones Astartes which they receive in the form of a tithe. Using lobotomised human test-subjects (most of whom will later be converted into Servitors), the Mechanicum produces new Progenoid Glands. Zygotes of the necessary Astartes gene-seed organs are grown from the gene-seed stores on Mars and implanted into the test-subjects and the zygotes then develop into progenoids and are surgically removed. A single test subject is used in this way to create two progenoid Glands, which are then implanted into two more slaves, and so on. Ultimately, 1,000 sets of the 19 necessary gene-seed organs to give birth to a new Astartes are created, taking over half a standard century of constant culturing. To create enough gene-seed organs for an entire Legion can take over three centuries for smaller Legions, and upwards to over two millennia for the creation of a larger Legion comprised of 100,000 sets of organs! To offset any possible shortcomings, the Mechanicum constantly creates new gene-seed and sets it aside in surplus storage in carefully monitored stasis vaults until such time, as the High Lords of Terra deem it necessary to create a new Space Marine Legion.
The Second Founding of the Space Marines occurred in 091.M32. The High Lords of Terra ordered the Imperium's most brilliant gene-wrights and fleshcrafters to expunge certain identified genetic weaknesses found within the various Legions' gene-seed. Working in conjunction with the Selenar gene-cults of Luna and the Magos Biologis of Mars, they focused on perfecting and removing the existing deficiencies in the identified flawed gene-seed. As the dawning of the 32nd rapidly approached, the High Lords of Terra declared that a Second Founding would occur. This new and improved gene-seed was given to a new generation of Space Marine Legions created from existing Loyalist Space Marine Legions to replace those Legions who had fallen to Chaos, and followed Warmaster Horus into damnation and eventual ruination during the Horus Heresy. However, as the centuries dragged on, it became apparent that even the most capable genetors of the Imperium were no match for the Emperor of Mankind's genius, and the flaws inherent in the First Founding Legions persisted through to their successors, albeit in a diminished capacity. Legions of the Second Founding are known for their closeness with their progenitors, many of their first ranks having been drawn directly from the First Founding Legions. Legions of the Second Founding are often noted for their long, honored legacies and stalwart dedication to the Second Great Crusade. While other Legions will prioritize domestic defense or internal conflicts within the Imperium over border conflicts, the Second Founding Legions are often more concerned with conquest and recapturing the lost glories of the First Great Crusade. Many bear with them icons of the Unification Wars as rallying symbols, and hold stridently to the founding principles of the Imperium of Man.
The Third Founding occurred during the Nova Terra Interregnum (075-975.M33). This was a time of extreme civil unrest and rebellious conflict in the Imperium, when the Ur-Council of Nova Terra declared independence from the rule of the High Lords of Terra, and declared the whole Segementum Pacificus independent of Imperial rule. They had grown disenfranchised with the burgeoning Imperial state religion, in the form of the religious organisation known as the Ecclesiarchy, that zealously promoted the worship of the Emperor of Mankind as the one, true God of Humanity. As the power of the Ecclesiarchy waxed strong, the Ur-Council of Nova Terra foresaw the dangers of having a religious organisation possess so much power and influence over the citizens of the Imperium. They felt that the Imperium had lost its way and no longer followed the tenants of the Emperor's enlightened philosophy of the Imperial Truth. The Imperium of Man no longer upheld the core values of reason, science and secular progress. Instead, they had fallen back on the old ideas of religion, superstition and faith. To compound the secession of the Segmentum Pacifucs, two Space Marine Legions, the feral Space Wolves and the stoic Iron Hands joined the rebellious Ur-Council of Nova Terra. The two Primarchs are later followed by a number of Legion Masters as well, who also join the Secessionist's cause. In response, the High Lords of Terra call for a new Founding to take place. The Third Founding, known also as the 'Numroi Founding', takes place in 098.M33. Utilising accelerated gene-culturing techniques not used since the First Great Crusade, three Space Marine Legions were created in record time. These few Legions were created to be massive, hosting hundreds of thousands of Legionaries within their ranks. But the shortcuts taken in their creation would have unforeseen flaws. These particular Legions came to be characterised as being battle-hardened, and particularly bloody-handed and unforgiving. The primary purpose of their creation was to help bring the Nova Terra Interregnum to a brutal and swift conclusion. The conflict that ensued over the next eight centuries, threatened to tear apart all that the Imperium of Man had rebuilt following the Age of Darkness of the Horus Heresy. Not since those dark days, had Legion been pitted against Legion. Several of the Legions that had gone over to the Secessionist cause were annihilated by the rampaging Loyalist Legions. By 975.M33, an uneasy stalemate had been reached, as both sides no longer had the means or the will to further prosecute a conflict that would ultimately end in the mutual annihilation of both the Imperium and the Nova Terra pocket empire. Hundreds of millions of casualties had been sustained by both sides in the conflict, and neither side could afford to expend any more blood or treasure in its prosecution. An accord was finally reached between the two sides, and the Segmentum Pacificus was reluctantly recognised as the Nova Terra Regency, an empire independent of the rule of the Imperium proper.
The Fourth Founding, known also as the 'Shadow Founding', occurred during the Reign of Blood, the brutal period of Imperial history that occurred in the early centuries of the 36th Millennium. This terrible event occurred when the power-hungry tyrant, the Renegade High Lord Goge Vandire, gained direct control over the Ecclesiarchy as well as the Administratrum. by usurping the position of Ecclesiarch. This made him the single-most powerful individual in the Imperium, which allowed him to place his own rule above that of the Emperor of Mankind. During his brutal and bloody reign, Vandire authorised a new Founding of several small, elite Space Marine Legions to ensure his position as the Imperium's sole ruler would remain secured, should one of the Primarchs attempt to overthrow him. He had these Legions created from 'chimeric' gene-seed - genetic material that was either procured from a prohibited source, mixed with a heretical genetic pool, adulterated or somehow tampered with during its creation. At first sight, the Legionaries of these Space Marine Legions appeared blessed by superior strength, speed or resilience, but invariably they would later prove to be unstable in other ways. The secretive Grey Knights are stated to have been created during the Shadow Founding in official Imperial records, but in reality were most likely created in secret several millennia earlier. These so-called Shadow Legions were known for their fanatical belief in the Imperial Cult and faith in the God-Emperor, willing to do anything in order to uphold His glorious and divine will. Ultimately, Vandire would meet his end nearly a century later, when several Loyalist Space Marine Legions assaulted the Ecclesiarchal Palace during the Terran Crusade. Vandire was slain by the Legion Masters of his own Space Marine Legions. The new High Lords of Terra sat in judgment upon the these three Legions and declared that they would be absolved of their creator's sins, as they were forced to serve the will of Vandire. After these three Legions undertook a century-long penitent crusade, they were officially made a part of the Legiones Astartes.
Known as the "Mending", the Fifth Founding was intended to mend the scars of civil war and unrest within the Imperium. As the brutal wars of the Nova Terra Interregnum and Reign of Blood had sorely depleted the Legions and spread them thin across the Imperium's borders, a new Founding was called for in order to fill the gaps and bring order to a suffering Galaxy. These Legions would be characterized by their smaller, more mobile strike forces and being of a particularly civic minded character. These were Legions carefully crafted and raised under the watchful and now experienced eyes of the Primarchs and highest gene-wrights of the Imperium, and were created in a slow and deliberate manner, to ensure stability amongst the stock. Legions of the Fifth Founding are renowned for their precision and care of the Imperium's people, utilizing their small, manoeuvrable forces to minimize collateral damage in engagements. This Founding also occurred during an influx of marauding Ork WAAAGH!s, Genestealer Cult uprisings, and Eldar raids, making Legions of the Mending particularly experienced when it comes to combating the xenos menace.
Known as the "Resurgent" or "Rekindling," the Sixth Founding was to be one of the latest and largest Foundings in Imperial history. Scores of Legions were haphazardly raised in order to combat the sudden Tyranid and Necron threat, as well as support the ongoing Sol-Ultima Crusade against the burgeoning and rapidly expanding Tau Empire. Due to the desperate and somewhat haphazard process due to the relative suddenness of this Founding, many Legions lack proper documentation regarding linage and can range dramatically in size and equipment depending on the resources available during their particular Founding. Many of the Resurgent Legions cannot claim a Primarch, as their gene-seed often suffers from strange minor defects that make identification all but impossible. A few suffer from more outward and dangerous mutations due to the speed at which their gene-seed was cultivated, while others have simply had their records lost in the flurry of Imperial bureaucracy surrounding their Founding. Ironically, this lack of close ties to one of the old First Founding Legions and tendency towards mutation has resulted in a sizeable portions of the Sixth Founding Legions falling to Chaos or simply going renegade. In spite of this stigma as untrustworthy and unreliable, many Legions of the Sixth Founding are the heroes the Imperium needs, stalwart and zealous to destroy the enemies of man and reclaim the lost borders ravaged by xenos hordes and heretic uprisings.