The Longest Journey
Dynastic History, Foundation to Rebirth (M31-M32)
The De Winter Dynasty
Its founding and glorious history in the Age of Gods
A short summary compiled on the order of his Majesty Marcus de Winter for the education of his children.
Lord Marcellus de Winter of the Hellion Cluster
The first lord de Winter of recorded history rose to rule a petty stellar hegemony in the heart of the Hellion cluster named the Winter Hegemony, a forgotten region of space deep in what was to become Segmentum Obscuria. The exact details of these events has long since been lost to the darkness of time, indeed many scholars have disputed Marcellus to be the man’s real name. But the fragmented de Winter family annals speaks of Marcellus as the King of Winter upon Moravia, a man of great intellect and drive who used his armies and the Moravian’s unique technological advancements to force the surrounding worlds into compliance or alliance. What exactly this technology pertained to is not known, though ancient data-fragments of the Mechanicum mentions the Moravian’s as possessing terraforming archaotechnology. The hegemony of the Winter King was however short lived as the arrival of the victorious forces of the 719th Expeditionary Fleet, under the command of Master Zahariel of the Dark Angels, brought the Imperial Truth to Hellion.
Initial contact with the Hegemony’s outlying client states quickly turned violent as their leaders feared their master’s revenge and failed to comprehend the scale of what they faced. As news reached the core members of the alliance it fragmented and divide soon followed as the cowed worlds saw a chance for freedom or feared the Imperial Truth. As his Hegemony started ripping itself apart Lord Marcellus in his wisdom was the first to swear fealty to the Imperium and accept Compliance, calling the Expeditionary Fleet to aid him stem the uprising. What followed was inevitably short and brutal as the Space Marines enforced the compliance of the rebels, aided by the forces still loyal to de Winter.
It was at the conclusion of this campaign that Master Zahariel granted Lord de Winter the original de Winter Warrant of Trade, a document granting him extensive powers and rights in compensation for relinquishing his rule over the Hegemony and in recognition of his deeds to further the Imperial Truth. The lord Marcellus accepted this and it is later recorded that he explored and fought gloriously with the 719th Expeditionary fleet, pushing Rimwards towards the galactic north. Little is known of his later days and it is believed they ended in the Scarus sector at the dawn of the Horus Heresy, though the exact circumstances has never been known.
A legacy divided, Maximillian and Christian de Winter
The next generation of de Winter resurface in historical accounts towards the middle of the confusing days of the Horus Heresy as the brothers Maximillian and Christian, both Imperial Army fleet commanders, are recorded with distinction on several occasions by the remembrances of the 719th Expeditionary Fleet in which they served. They led the sub-fleet undertaking the Pacification of Hellion, more than half of which planets turned traitor, and the brutal Vengeance for Moravia, which had been subjected to atomic scouring, as part of the Purge of the Avignor Sector. My research also indicates they fought in defence of the Forge World Strygis VIII before being transferred to Ultramarine command and taking part in the ultimately futile Race for Terra. Christian de Winter was awarded the distinction of Cross and Laurel for felling the Word Bearer Battle Barge Sol Moriens in single combat during the Battle of Strygis. During the Scouring the brothers, still attached to the Ultramarine Legion, saw Colchis torn apart and the Hydraphur sector retaken from the traitors as admirals of the nascent Imperial Navy.
At the advent of The Time of Rebirth, as great reforms took place across the Imperium, the brothers finally saw their long work rewarded as their father’s Warrant, almost forgotten in the fires of the Heresy, was passed onto the next generation. In a bid to reward both brothers, and perhaps in an attempt to limit the powers the Warrant granted, it was decreed the de Winter Warrant of Trade was to be divided into two, a state known as the “Sister Marquis”. Legally both Warrants belong to the de Winter family but stipulates that in the instance of more than one heir any holder of both Warrants must divide them amongst the two most fit to serve. This fairly uncommon, though not unique, circumstance has seen the de Winter Warrant being held by two separate individuals for much of its history. Attempts at unification has however been many, both through force and more subtly, intermarriage of siblings being an especially favoured tool for keeping the Warrant on one line.
The two Warrant stipulate that any split should be followed by roughly half the families assets, though this has rarely been the case, as well as each legal part containing certain assets and alliances specific to it. Of particular interest to us is the stipulations of Christian de Winter’s Warrant, known as the “Lauracian Warrant” It notably incorporates a pact with the Adeptus Mechanicum signed as a sign of gratitude by the masters of Strygis VIII, a pact with originally included the provision of a single ship known as “The King of Winter”.