The Battle of Castobel
Brother Chaplain Titus Strome
Chaplain of the Deathwatch. Black Shield.
“He is a straight, bright sword against the darkness. Duty and obedience are his only vices; no hubris, no ego, only a tireless drive and heartfelt devotion toward the duties of the Long Vigil and the ruin of the xenos.”
–Watch Commander Mordigael on Titus Strome
Titus Strome embodies everything Watch Fortress Erioch stands for: unrelenting duty, unshakeable faith and an abiding hatred of all things alien. Like the fortress itself, Strome also has many
secrets. Strome fi rst came to Erioch as a Black Shield, his past history and Chapter expunged. From the outset he made his every moment serve his duty to the Deathwatch, throwing
himself into a cycle of training, fasting and prayer that caused some Battle-Brothers to question his sanity.
Strome’s readiness was truly tested in his very first deployment when his Kill-team was caught in a xenos heretek ambush on Meniscus. Battle-Brother Zarkus, the team-leader, was killed outright and every other member seriously wounded in the opening salvoes of the engagement. Despite his injuries, Strome protected the survivors by making a ferocious singlehanded
counterattack that destroyed the heretek’s weapon-nest and scattered its crew.
After extraction, Strome’s armour was found to carry over two hundred impact hits sustained in battle, fully a third of which had pierced the blessed ceramite and drawn blood. Even Space Marines are not immortal, and their gene-enhanced metabolisms can only survive so much harm. The Apothecaries did not expect Strome to live through such injuries and the Deathwatch Chaplain was called to give final unction. It was at this time, according to Strome, that his path became clear to him. The quiet strength and unwavering sense of righteousness of the Chaplain kindled within him a lust for life that returned him from the brink of death. Slowly, painfully, Strome recovered from his injuries and was always pushing at the limits of his endurance. As soon as he became fit for duty, Strome sought apprenticeship with the Chaplains and was accepted as an acolyte. For many years Strome served under different Chaplains, being in effect reduced to a mere novice learning catechisms and legends of the Long Vigil.
He applied himself to every trial with fervour, winning the approval of every one of his masters before he was finally inducted into their ranks.
When seen without the silvered death mask of a Chaplain, Strome’s face is thin and aesthetic, his eyes lighting with fanatic fervour whenever talk turns to xenos. Despite his cadaverous appearance, Strome is a masterful close-combat fi ghter capable of trading blows with an Ork Warboss or overthrowing a Carnifex—just two of the feats to be found in his long list of battle honours.
Defeated by a hive tyrant in the last stages of the siege of Castobel, Chaplain Strome has been an exemplar of righteous fury and unrelenting zeal for the Deathwatch. His broken body was extracted by the kill-team and Brother Apothecary Raphael demonstrated a zeal worthy of a chaplain in the saving of the Chaplains life. Strome now a carries a debt of honour.