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SpearofAetherius

The Spear of Aetherius was a noteworthy power lance valued by the Aetherian Warriors Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes as perhaps the most valuable of the Chapter's few hallowed relics. Adorned with a banner woven from a single, blessed thread as strong as adamantium, the Spear functions as a Battle Standard for the Warriors' Second Company, and its wielder is chosen by the Company's Brother-Captain only when the previous holder dies in battle. Currently, the Spear is born into battle by Veteran Sergeant Halius Aetherius.

DesignEdit

With a haft of nine feet long, and a blade of one foot more, the Spear stands even taller than most of the Astartes that fight beneath its flag. The adamantium haft is almost a half-foot in diameter, once the weapon of a formidable Ork Warboss, and within its hollow center contains a myriad of power cells to generate the energy fields which edge its blade. These extra stores allow the Spear to burn hotter and brighter than most other power weapons.

Hanging from a spar below the spearhead is the banner, a long, thin strip of blood-red cloth. The material, which is flexible yet able to hold the weight of an Astartes like a rope, has eluded all attempts by the Chapter's tech-priests to identify it, and depicts a lightning storm like that of the Aetherian Warriors' Chapter Badge, over a tapestry which shows the progression of the Aspilias Crusade, the Chapter's first undertaking of combat for the Imperium of Man.

HistoryEdit

OriginsEdit

The Spear of Aetherius was not simply created in any master weaponsmith's workshop or some forge world manufactorum, but rather assembled from the joining of three pre-existing artifacts, the blade, the staff, and the banner, to form one revered relic.

The BladeEdit

The first, while its history is unknown to the Chapter, is actually the point of the wonderous power sword Fireblade, crafted by the Iron Hands Primarch Ferrus Manus in competition with Fulgrim of the Emperor's Children and gifted to his brother Primarch upon completion. Said by Fulgrim to be the equal of the blade carried by the mythic hero Nuada Silverhand, the golden sword was eventually broken by its creator when Fulgrim used it to attack Ferrus Manus during the former's fall to Chaos. Gripped in Manus' necrodermis-infused hands, the golden blade turned silver and exploded into half a dozen pieces. In the wake of the battle, Manus recovered the hilt and several pieces of the blade to reforge Fireblade, and wielded it against his former brother in the battle of Istvaan V.

The very tip of the blade, however, was not used in its reforging. Considered unusable, Ferrus cast it into a scrap pile where it would have been melted down, if not for an appreciative member of the Iron Hands who spotted the mirrored-silver shard and rescued it from its fate, not knowing from whence it came. From it, the Space Marine created a knife which he dubbed Biter, but before getting the chance to wield it, exchanged the weapon to a Rogue Trader for an ornate bolt pistol. Biter would change hands for almost nine millenia, visiting thousands of different worlds in the hands of hundreds of different owners before finally coming into the possession of a Veteran Sergeant of the Blood Angels named Terzo Pesaresi, future Chapter Master of the Aetherian Warriors.

The StaffEdit

Early in the founding of the Aetherian Warriors, the sector around Atargatis II had to be purged of xenos pockets previously deemed inconsequential by the Imperium in order to make ready for the new chapter to begin its work. Among the worlds to be cleansed was Bakwatta, a desolate but inhabitable moon where Orks had continued to eke out a living without organic material of any kind to grow. Learning of the Imperium's intent, their Warboss, Bludrinka, knew his tiny WAAAGH! had no chance without the advantage of numbers, and made a gambit when the chosen Blood Angels who started the chapter arrived to exterminate them. Approaching the Astartes under a banner of truce, Bludrinka challenged the group's leader, prospective Chapter Master Terzo Pesaresi, to a sort of duel: with Bludrinka's massive stone axe, Pesaresi would have one free strike to attempt to kill Bludrinka; but if he failed to kill the Ork with the first blow, Bludrinka would then be entitled to one free strike of his own. Though the Astartes would have easily exterminated the Orks regardless and had no need to accept his challenge, Pesaresi elected to as a matter of personal honor.

He lifted Bludrinka's axe, a Choppa with a nine-foot-long haft of solid adamantium, made by the resourceful Weirdboyz of Bludrinka's WAAAGH! that had survived on the lifeless world for decades. Unknown to the Space Marine, those same Weirdboyz had the day before reinforced Bludrinka's neck with metal beneath his skin. Bludrinka's normally slack jaw stretched into an ugly grin as Pesaresi prepared to strike, thinking himself clever, and crossed his arms smugly while presenting his neck. But to Bludrinka's shock, Pesaresi chose not to strike him in the head; rather, the Space Marine brought the axe straight down, severing both of the Ork's crossed forearms in one blow. As Bludrinka roared in pain, Pesaresi dropped the Choppa at his feet and reportedly said, "Now, you may take your shot." Enraged, Bludrinka knelt down and took the axe up in his teeth, and true to his word, Pesaresi stood fast to receive the blow. When the Choppa connected with the helmet of his Terminator Armor, the axe's head broke and fell to the ground, weakened by the two powerful strikes. With the challenge finished and both of them still standing, Pesaresi swiftly drew Biter and slew Bludrinka at once. The rest of the moon's Orks would fall shortly after, and be renamed Veritas by the Imperium, while Pesaresi would take the Choppa's sturdy haft as a trophy.

The BannerEdit

A great many rumors and legends surround the Emperor of Mankind, becoming even more exaggerated as the same stories were retold over the millenia since His withdrawal into the Golden Throne, but in the banner of the Spear of Aetherius, there may be some proof of at least one of these stories. It is said that during the Great Crusade, shortly after the Blood Angels Primarch Sanguinius was reunited with his father on Baal and assumed his rightful place as commander of the IX Legion, the God-Emperor accompanied him on a crusade to better know his most recently-found son by fighting alongside him in battle. Descending upon a planet swarming with Ork infestation, Primarch and Emperor at once chose to test themselves against the largest of the Orks — Warboss Thikide, an Ork even larger than Urrlak Urruk, though less influential. Though a powerful brute, Thikide could not hope to stand against the combined might of Sanguinius and the Emperor. He fell quickly, but by an extraordinary stroke of luck, he managed to strike the Emperor with the blades of his massive Power Klaw as he fell.

The wound had nearly cut the Emperor's arm to the bone, and even His miraculous regenerative abilities were having difficulty. The only trained healer immediately available was a lowly medic from the Imperial Army regiment that had served as cannon fodder infantry for these two mightiest of champions. Having little in the way of sufficient equipment, the medic made do with what she could find: a thread cut from the Emperor's robes when he was injured, and a broken combat knife's blade for a needle. With these meager materials, she was able to stitch the God-Emperor's wound, sewing the flesh back together close enough for His body to subsequently heal itself. Within minutes, He had recovered enough to pull the stitches out himself, and commending the medic for her service, gifted the thread, dyed red by the Emperor's blood, to her. The thread, dubbed the Thread of Agamede after the woman who had sewn it, was enshrined in the planet's largest temple until in 486.M33, when it was thought lost along with the planet in an attack by the Eldar.

Centuries later, in 100.M41, a shady Rogue Trader suspected of bartering with xenos came into possession of a blood-red string which proved unbreakable by any means he had tested, using it as a rope in his personal adventuring kit. Brought back into Imperium territory, the Trader regretfully parted with the item when he cheated at Priest's Dice, and still somehow lost. The game's winner was a wanderer named Nahuel, an odd man known to deal in odd items. When Nahuel's life was saved by the Aetherian Warriors in the years ahead, he saw fit to repay them by contributing the thread, and crafting for them a weapon with few peers.

ForgingEdit

Notable Kills and TriviaEdit

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