Overview[ edit ] Definitions of complexity often depend on the concept of a confidential " system " — a set of parts or elements that have relationships among them differentiated from relationships with other elements outside the relational regime. Many definitions tend to postulate or assume that complexity expresses a condition of numerous elements in a system and numerous forms of relationships among the elements.
The nobles of Europa selected the finest of their youth and offered them up to the Emperor of Mankind as tribute and penance for their previous defiance after their systematic humiliation in battle at the hands of the Imperial Thunder Regiments. Among them were sons drawn from each noble family, a fact apocryphally said by some Imperial savants of the time to have given the Legion its lasting name, reaffirmed in later years by its Primarch after his rediscovery by the Expeditionary Fleets of the Great Crusade.
Of this tithe some Europan noble familes gave in grudging tribute, and thought of these young men as little more than hostages, while others cooperated with the zeal of true converts to the Imperial cause.
House Loculus of Komarg is said, for example, to have sent all of its sons to be transformed into Astartes at the time of their capitulation to Imperial rule, and to have given the firstborn son of each generation thereafter to the IIIrd Legion willingly.
In later decades, other Terran dynasties followed the example of Europa, filling the ranks of the IIIrd Legion with the flower of Terran youth who seemed well-matched with the aristocratic blood of its Initiates, forming a martial brotherhood whose ancestry in war stretched back into the lost ages of human history.
In these early wars the IIIrd Legion was used to support some of the more notable actions of the nascent Imperial Armyand in many instances to directly lead its troops in battle. This differed notably from many of the First Founding Space Marine Legion forces at this time, who were often deployed as unified commands en masse to serve as shock troops supported by heavy war machinery only.
Coordinating and leading such "lesser" troops seemed a natural fit for the former aristocrats of the IIIrd Legion. They had a profound ability to understand the strengths and manifold weaknesses of the diverse armies in service to the Emperor and drew on the long traditions of Terra's military aristocracies to command with surety and purpose.
The Antarctic Clearance campaign during the Unification Wars is, for example, marked as a victory for Army Group Antilles, but in truth any detailed analysis of the ancient conflict reveals that it was the IIIrd Legion which sculpted the tactics and strategy of the campaign, and led it to successful completion.
The examples are numerous, and through them all the IIIrd Legion proved their superb ability to execute and exceed the intent and expectations of their Emperor in war.
Palatine Aquila It was after the Proximan Betrayal early in the Great Crusade that the IIIrd Legion was granted the exclusive right to bear the Palatine Aquilathe Emperor's personal standard, in its own heraldry, the only Space Marine Legion allowed to display the Aquila on its arms and armour until after the Horus Heresy, when the practice spread to all the Legions that had remained loyal to the Imperium.
This honour was bought in blood as the IIIrd Legion's XVIth Cohort Chapterassigned to the Imperial Compliance ceremonies and as the Emperor's honour guard for Proxima's formal accession into the Imperium, fought and died to the last warrior alongside the Legio Custodesnever giving ground during the insurrectionist surprise attack on that world's ceremonial plaza.
By their sacrifice was the wounded Emperor, who had suffered injury through the use of a Vortex weapon by the enemy, bought time to recover and fight His way clear of the Proximan insurrectionists' trap.
In recognition of this, the standard of the Palatine Aquila so fiercely fought for that day was given to the Astartes of the IIIrd Legion by the Emperor's own hand, to be their relic ever after, along with the right to end the Proximan revolt by Exterminatus and so repay the blood that was owed them.
While the great Aquila in its variations signified both the Imperium of Humanity and loyalty to the Emperor as its master, and there is much allegory bound up into its form, for the IIIrd Legion it also now represented their own deeds as well, an honour never given to another Space Marine Legion before the Great Betrayal.
In situations of hazard and utmost danger, the Emperor often used members of the newly redubbed Emperor's Children Legion as aquilifers and equerries due to their singular character and mien, a responsibility the Legion was proud to carry.
Bearing the palatine eagle standard of the Emperor, members of the IIIrd Legion accompanied Imperial diplomatic missions and emissaries as bodyguards and agents into the heart of the foe, and in battle bore the standard and commanded the armies of the newly conquered as instruments of the Emperor's will and judgment if needed.
The sight of the Emperor's symbol carried by one of His favoured warriors was enough to keep many a wavering new ally or recently conquered human world in line.
These standard bearers, and the honour guards that accompanied them, symbolically coloured their armour with lacquer of imperial purple to mark their rank and mission. So arrayed, none could doubt that these Astartes were the chosen of the Emperor, and such was the record and esteem with which they functioned that for a time it became common for them to bear the Emperor's wishes and order to other Legions and Imperial military forces scattered across the new-born Imperium.
The nature of the IIIrd Legion's psychology meant that they would carry the precise meaning and intent of any order without deviation and with their last breath if needed. This would not change, even after the Emperor's Children were reunited with their long-lost genetic forebear and Primarch, Fulgrim.
Gene-Seed Crisis "Barring the miraculous, our Legion's demise not only seems inexorable, it is also inevitable. Any other conclusion is unlikely, any hope remote at this point.
This was the catastrophic loss of nearly the entire gene-seed stock of the Emperor's Children. Coming within a solar year of their great moment of triumph fighting at the Emperor's side at Proxima, it was to prove a turning point that was to forever alter the IIIrd Legion's future. As the Emperor's Wars of Unity broke the bounds of Terra, the pacification of the Selenar gene-cults of Luna and the Martian Compact allowed the Imperium to produce and equip new Space Marines at an unprecedented rate, and the Legions began to expand to meet the demands of the vast new war across the stars.
As the gene-forges of Luna began to implant recruits for all the Space Marine Legions, a portion of the IIIrd Legion's gene-seed reserve was dispatched to Luna for establishment there.
What happened next is not clear. Some claim that elements of the Selenite cults still resistant to the rule of the Imperium and the Imperial Truth hijacked a defence laser and destroyed the ship carrying the IIIrd Legion's gene-seed, while conflicting accounts recount that the ship lost control and crashed as it was attempting to dock, whilst others claim that it simply vanished.
The loss of the IIIrd Legion's gene-seed reserve was a severe blow to the Legion's development, but it would not have endangered the Legion's survival if a second calamity had not occurred in quick succession. From these organs a fresh set of gene-seed implant organs could be grown and a new Astartes created to replace the fallen.
This system was, however, far from perfect. The nature of battle, and the manner in which Legionaries died, did not always allow for such recovery.
To ensure that there were always organs ready to implant into new Aspirants, a reserve of gene-seed for every Legion was kept safe on Terra.
From this emergency reserve it should have been possible to keep the IIIrd Legion supplied with new warriors, and even with the loss of the gene-seed reserve sent to Luna the Legion would have endured and in time grown; its survival should have been certain.Although traveling with young children presents a laundry list of challenges which can become a very stressful affair, it doesn’t have to be.
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