After rolling Mk.IV armour for my BA Apothecary, I decided to write up the armours history to get more of a feel for it.
The Sagittarii Plate is the ninth of a set of Mk. IV Battle Plate commissioned at the outset of the Great Crusade by the Seraph-captain Javaniel of the Blood Angels XII Company. These suits were designed for the Javaniel’s Sanguinaries and collectively known as the Celestii, each one named for one of the signs of Old Earth.
Javaniel and his Sanguinaries survived through the Horus Heresy, machinations of the Warmaster ensuring that the XII company was not present at the Siege of Terra, and went on to distinguish themselves in the aftermath, successfully hunting down many bands of traitors as they fled to the Eye.
Even after surviving some of the fierecest battles of the Heresy, the Sanguinaries were not immortal. As each one fell, Seraph-captain Javaniel ordered their helms be resculpted into death masks to commemerate the warriors that had stood by him for so long.
As the XII company was folded back into the newly formed Blood Angels Chapter, the armour of the Sanguinaries was slowly shifted around from company to company, largely in order to simply ensure there were enough suits of battle plate to equip every marine until Mars and other Forge Worlds were back up to their former rates of production.
Currently, four of the Celestii are still functional and in use within the Blood Angels. The Cancii and Aquiarios suits are the hereditary suits of plate worn by the Heralds of the III company. The Leos plate is worn by Brother Sergeant Lorenzo di Amico of the V company. The Sagitarii plate is worn by Brother Sergeant Giovanni di Bellamine of the VIII company. The remaining eight suits have either been lost or destroyed. Two suits – the Tauros plate worn by Brother-sergeant Rathas di Lemure and the Capricorii plate worn by Brother-captain Methusael, the Angel of Falling Skies – were both lost within the Jericho sector when those notables were serving in the Deathwatch. The Virgae plate was destroyed by the overloading plasma reactor of the Archenemy war machine, the Atrocity Engine, in early M37. Records suggest the bearers of the Geminus and Ares plates were lost to the Black Rage mid way through the Sergenian Campaign when the V company were trapped for eight years on the Space Hulk Fall of Babylon after it reentered the warp unexpectedly. Of the remaining Celestii, records are vague.
The Sagitarii plate is the least intact of the four remaining suits under the auspice of the Blood Angels. While the suit is still in working order, many of the systems of the Machine Spirit are at dangerously low capacity, to the point that the Tech-marines of Baal have disabled nearly all of the system damaged warning runes within the helm in order to attempt to sooth the weakened en-djinn. Three installed archaeotech systems – the Eye of Antilochus, the Lazarine Sigil, and the Soul of Japeth – are damaged beyond repair. It is hoped that if the missing plate can be found, even if not intact, these systems could be in complete enough order to be salvaged. Much repair work using inferior armour has been undertaken, just to keep the Sagittarii plate functional. The most notable of these modification was replacing the original chest plate with a chestplate from a suit of Mk 7 Aquilla armour, after the original chestplate was destroyed beyond repair by no less than three direct hits from an Eldar heavy plasma weapon in the Saros engagement of 218.M39.
The machine spirit of the Sagittarii plate is an ancient and powerful spirit, even in its weakened state. It was crafted to best compliment the ninth Sanguinarii, a sanguine individual even for a Blood Angel. The spirit is quick to anger and often urges its bearer into rash actions. More than once, the bearer of the Sagittatii plate has reported a feeling that the ninth Saguinarii was guiding his hands in battle. Disturbingly, each bearer of the Sagittarii plate who reported these visions succumbed to the Black Rage soon afterwards. The Sanguinary Priests have suggested this is likely due to the fact that the ninth Sanguinarii often stood in the presence of the Lord of Hosts himself, and something of that proximity can spark the catastrophic memories of Sanguinius that leads to the Red Thirst.