Monday, September 28, 2015

Executioners Captain Bran Mak Morn of the 8th Company: Background

Bran Mak Morn is an odd figure among the Executioners Command. With almost five centuries of service, he is one of the oldest Captains in the Chapter, but he maintains command of the Eighth Reserve Company. This position is traditionally given to young Captains eager to prove themselves. His lack of promotion to a battle company was originally due to his unusual combat tactics, both personal and in command.

Mak Morn is rare among the Executioners in that he favors a standard power fist over the Headsman's Axe, which has similar killing power but longer reach. Mak Morn bulls his way through his opponent's blows, using his storm shield to get inside their reach where his power fist has the advantage. This combat style has embarrassed many more orthodox Executioners in honor duels, even those of high rank. Among the Astartes of the Eighth Company, it is whispered that this is why their veteran Captain hasn't been promoted to a more venerated position.

Perhaps this was true initially, but Bran Mak Morn does have his supporters within the Chapter. Foremost among them is Amra of the First Company. Having seen several of Mak Morn's honor duels, Amra praised him for his unique fighting style, and decried any who impugned it as dishonorable. A true warrior, he declared, can adapt and overcome any enemy by changing their tactics to whatever is appropriate. He proved his statement by issuing a good natured challenge to Mak Morn; Amra quickly demonstrated how the Headsman's Axe could overcome Mak Morn's fist, though few other challengers have since duplicated his success, and none have done so easily. Even so, the two Captains became fast friends, and Amra named Bran Mak Morn "the Fist of Rann". Mak Morn bears the title proudly, and has incorporated it into his personal iconography.

Mak Morn has impressed the High Executioner, Tytos Solomon, for other reasons. Unlike many Assault Company Captains throughout the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, Mak Morn is even-tempered and thoughtful in battle. He commits his Assault Marines only when decisive, and he has no love for glorious charges into unbeatable foes. Under his command, casualties in the Eighth Company are the lowest they have been in more than a millennium. Furthermore, this has a trickle down effect, as young Astartes learn from Mak Morn and carry his lessons with them as they move into other Companies. High Executioner Solomon knows that if the Executioners are to survive their penitent crusade, they must learn from a leader like Bran Mak Morn. For this reason, Solomon leaves the elder Captain in command of the Eighth Company, where his teachings can one day reach the entire Chapter. 

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