As Eternal Crusade trundles on with new updates and developments, fans of space marines have been treated with quite a surprise. The first of these is the identity of the overall leader of their faction and the warrior guiding them in battle. Given the revelation that Abaddon the Despoiler was unveiled as the warlord uniting Chaos, many suspected that Chapter Master Calgar or Chief Librarian Mephiston would be leading the loyalists. Guessing intensified after the revelation that the leader would not be a Chapter Master, Captain or Chaplain, nor even a Dreadnought. Earlier today this was confirmed as Belial, Grand Master of the Deathwing will be leading the astartes to war.
The use of Belial does coincide with the increased focus the chapter has been receiving of late, often replacing the Ultramarines as poster boys. It is nevertheless and interesting choice, given both his nature as a leader and the presence of the Fallen on the world. How this might lead to conflict with other chapters remains to be seen, or if there will be narrative threads attached to this in any way.
However, even more surprising were the choices for the fifth sub-faction for the astartes. With Dark Angels, Space Wolves, Ultramarines and Blood Angels already confirmed, and Black Templars ruled out, people were unsure as to what would follow. Many had hoped for the Imperial Fists, who have indeed been added to the running, but also the Raven Guard and Iron Hands. With many members of the community hedging bets on the likes of the Salamanders, this is an especially surprising turn. It certainly shows a willingness on the part of the dev team to select the less obvious choices. Quite how this will impact the game mechanically remains to be seen, but with siege masters, stealth experts and armoured assault cyborgs in this final contest, whoever wins is certain to fill a specialty which the astartes currently lack.
Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for an ungodly amount of badly made propaganda.