The Scythes of the Emperor : A Factual History [PDF]

After a few snatched moments of spare time over two months, we have both served our penance for the odd historical inaccuracies that have persisted among Scythes of the Emperor players due to our notoriety as Scythe collectors. My original Scythes history of misremembered romantiscised facts and Andrew’s own very convincing Scythes history had many believing the very characters we wrote of were in fact, GW canon!

Now, after twelve years of collecting the Scythes I think I can say, this is the most accurate history compiled to date. Fully sourced and cited from Games Workshop and affiliated publications. We have often gone with precedent facts, due to GW’s penchant for some odd revisionist time line.

Download : The Scythes of the Emperor : A Factual history [18mb PDF]

What this is not
The Scythes of the Emperor : A Factual History is not a codex or even a hobby guide. It is a several page report on the history of one of GW’s most ill-fated but resilient Chapters. Our intention is for Space Marine collectors to explore the possibility of a Scythes’ force with the confidence of knowing the background with which they get inspired is accurate and presents a myriad of possible Scythe Chapter forces fighting and surviving along the Eastern Fringe. Much like my small warband of marines and Andrew’s complete Scythe Company with Battlebarge, there are various ways to represent them in the 40k realm.

The Future
This is the first edition release, as new facts may yet come to light. We will incorporate in later editions these new addendum. If you find something we have missed, please contact us and we will cite the source and add it to the next edition with credit.

In recent months a lot of Scythes of the Emperor fiction has been coming out of Black Library, check the Essential Reading Guide here.

UPDATE August,2015:
Unremembered Empire, a Horus Heresy Novel adds historical information for the Scythes.

Key things of note:
Excerpts and paraphrasing – From: Dan Abnett. “The Unremembered Empire.” Pg. 35, 36

Initially overlooked during the Great Expansion era of the Imperium, Sotha was finally colonised 127 years before the Horus Heresy.

Robute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines, led the expedition fleets of Ultramar to Sotha, which he had always considered a particular curiosity, the world was a particular curiosity: if there was one geo-type almost guaranteed to have been settled during the outward expansion of the Great Age of Technology, it was the rare and precious Terra-comparable planets. There was no evidence that any human presence had reached Sotha, not even a colony that had been established and then died out.

Considered a jewel of a world, one of the few Terra-comparable ecosystems discovered so far out in the galactic east. It possessed living oceans and densely forested, mountainous landmasses. There were lower-level animal-forms, avians and insects. Curiously, there were no higher forms, nor any obvious trace of attempted xenos visitation or colonisation.

Then the surveyors learned the truth about Mount Pharos, the tallest of all the peaks in the planet’s majestic mountain ranges. Plans for full colonisation were put on hold. A small agri-colony was approved instead, to be based on Sotha in support of a survey mission of archaeologists and xenoculturists assigned to Mount Pharos to study ancient quantum pulse engines which later revealed to be communication nodes and beacons which could illuminate other planets, such as the warp storm shrouded Utramar at this time, with possibility of more nodes to be found throughout the region of space.

Origins of the Scythes:
A dedicated company of Ultramarines, the 199th, was assigned to Sotha as permanent protection, and the world was given the classification ‘restricted’. The astartes took pride in their duty and later adopted a symbol upon their pauldron related to those they protected, the scythe wielding agriculturalists. (Page 37)

A ritual of clearing the area about the research site on Mt Pharos for over a century was the precept for the use of the Scythe symbol: “This simple, rural tradition, dating back over a hundred years, had given rise to the protection company’s choice of icon.”(Page 42)

Cultural Notes:
Early sothans used psaltery instruments, a form of horizontal harp and violin cross-instrument.

Sebastian & Andrew.


About the Author

Site owner and creator, Sebastian has been updating and maintaining the Scythes of the Emperor webpage since 1997.