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The Red Templars reformed and rebuilt after their defeats at the hands of Abaddon. The chapter kept its focus on pilgrims and holy sites, however companies of the chapter stood ready to be deployed in strength should the need arise.
The need arose a few centuries after the crusade in form of the Tyranids. In truth what struck the system was just a sliver of shard of a hive fleet. Disoriented and off course, the Tyranid ships nevertheless arrived around He Protects in strength.
Thanks to heroic actions of a fleet comprising the Red Templars, Sororitas, and Adeptus Mechanicus, the Tyranid force was driven down to the surface of the planet, disgorging it ravenous host into the canyons of Wilderas before being destroyed above the planet. Thunderhawk Gunships of the Red Templars prowled the planetary skies, preventing any Tyranids escaping through the mountains, and so the host moved West towards the canyon exit.
Here over six hundred Astartes of the Red Templars waited, along with Sororitas, Adeptus Mechanicus, and PDF forces. Dust rose high into the sky from the scratching and clawing of the Tyranid host, making air support difficult at best. A red line stretched across the plains as the dust storm enveloped the forces of the Imperium.
Visibility within the dust storm was low, but at two hundred metres the Red Templars and their allies open fire. The Tyranids in the front rank were simply obliterated by the hail of bolter fire. Still the horde came onwards. The air was thick with bolter shells as the Tyranid advanced slowed, the beasts hunching as if bracing against a high wind. Thousands of Tyranids large and small died in the hail of fire.
The line of dying Tyranids came closer and closer to the red line of the Imperium as the beasts surged forward. Servitors trundles from the back lines to the front, keeping the Red Templars stocked with bolter shells to unleash on the enemy. Some marines stopped firing as their guns overheated from use, switching to chainswords or chainglaives.
The last of the host fell onto the red line, which held firm, as the fighting became hand to hand more of the beasts fell until only the dying were left. It was a stunning victory for the Imperium, and He Protects was saved from a force which could otherwise have devoured every human on the planet.
Of the six hundred and thirty-two astartes of the Red Templars who faced down the swarm, six hundred and twelve survived the momentous battle, as their ranks held firm and the tide of Tyranids broke under a relentless hail of bolter shells. In one battle, the Red Templars had fired bolter shells adding up to a year’s output of the nearby Forge World of Coppertek.
Among the dead was Chapter Master Astiru, his power sword buried in the head of a Hive Tyrant, its power still active even though its owner had expired. The sword of Astiru remains one of the chapter’s most revered relics, and few are granted the honour of wielding it.
If the chapter’s record was diminished by their defeats at the hands of Abaddon, it was restored after this battle, which became known as the Line of Wilderas. After the battle the Red Templars returned to their guarding and digging and seeking.