Void Lions: Names

I realized that in talking about the Void Lions, I use a variety of terms that are seemingly used interchangeably, and so I decided to write a brief blog about each of the names and the context they are used in as well as the significance behind them.

Etel-Mari, Queen of Leonicines by Liam Hammond Art

Zulupian A Zulupian is someone who was “originally” from the Zulup solar system. The Zulupian people themselves migrated from where they once lived, to the Zulup Solar system and settling on the planets Zulup IX and Zulup X. Due to unexpectedly powerful solar flares and the fact that the settlers who lived on both planets broke down their ships in order to build shelter on the worlds, those on Zulup X were isolated and annihilated by the planetary conditions caused by the flares. So, to be a Zulupian specifically is to be of descendance from the settlers who were on Zulup IX because out of those two groups, they were the only ones to survive.

When the Imperium returned to the Zulup solar system, and the Leonicine peoples reclaimed the other worlds, to be Zulupian meant to be Leonicine, who were the only Zulupian peoples to survive the Star Plague on Zulup IX.

Leonicine A Leonicine is another way of saying Zulupian, but is used in acknowledgement that it was the Leonicine Tribe that became the only surviving people on Zulup IX. Leonicine is a high Gothic translation of the original name of the surviving tribe. There were many other tribes on the world before the Star Plague came to the world, but only the Leonicines took refuge in the Sel’in Mountains and developed certain genetic mutations that made them physically different from the other zulupian peoples. All existing Zulupian peoples are Leonicines, and Leonicines are Zulupian by ancestry. To be a Leonicine is to be a specific kind of Abhuman that only evolved on Zulup IX, so it is impossible to be a Leonicine if not born one. Because Leonicine people have specific genetic mutations, it is not possible to have partial Leonicine Ancestry because they can only procreate with other Leonicines. Coupled with the usual earthy brown dark skin that Leonicines have ( less frequently Melanistic and more rare Albino skin complexion) another indicator that someone is a Leonicine, is their vibrant yellow colored irises, which all Leonicines have.

Inatrii the word Inatrii is one of the many High Gothic words that means “Void” but in a specific context. It does not refer to the Void of space, but the of “the void within” which is comparable with being empty. or having an inner quality absent or lacking. It is used by itself or paired with “Leonicine” to exclusively identify Adeptus Astartes of the Void Lions chapter. Inatrii is in truth a condition of the chapter geneseed, the Void Within being one of the genetic flaws that the chapter experiences. It is believed that the chapter inherited this psychological condition from the Excoriators Chapter- the specific Imperial Fists chapter from which geneseed was collected and experimented upon during the Cursed Founding. It was this geneseed that would be used to create the Lion Guards Chapter, and thus the Void Lions chapter. The Excoriators call this “Dorns Darkness”, but because the Inatrii do not know this or its origin, they attributed it at first to the existence of the Star Plague, and then to the devastating loss of their homeworld. To have Inatrii as part of the chapters High Gothic name is to state that the marines of the chapter experience this emptiness, this sense of loss and darkness and that they are defined by it as Astartes. Through their geneseed they have inherited a trauma older than they even understand (which is quite similar to the Black Rage of the Blood Angels and almost as old as it) and which they attribute to the loss of their homeworld and existence of their enemy, the Tyranids.

Praestes When a chapter was made from the Leonicine people in M37, it was called the Leonicine Praestes chapter, the “Praestes” meaning “Guards”. It was a word as part of the chapter name which denoted their responsibility as guardians of Perditions Causeway, a natural gravitational phenomenom which passed the Zulup Solar system, and carried along its length space debris including ancient space hulks originating from deeper in the Eastern Fringe. It was the chapters responsibility to serve the imperium of Wardens over Perditions Causeway, clearing the Space hulks of Xenos life and retrieving relics as part of an agreement with the Adeptus Mechanicus. At the loss of Zulup, the chapters name was changed to the “Leonicine Inatrii”.

Vesslyn’at Is the original name of the tribe of peoples who retreated to the Sel’in Mountains on Zulup IX as the Star Plague began to spread throughout the world. It was later transliterated into High Gothic as “Leonicine”. Vesslyn’at means “The people of the White Lion” and if not for the notes of Rogue Trader Leggi Nossis who first came across Zulup IX in M33, the name would not have been known.

Zulupian Predators This was what the Rogue Trader Antilonius Grey called the Vesslyn’at in the latter years of M35 when he observed them. He called them this because he thought that the Vesslyn’at were hunting the other tribes on the planet for sport or Rite of Passage. This was a misunderstanding on his part, because he did not understand that the other tribes had all become primitive genestealer cults. Before returning into the fold of the Imperium, the non-astartes Leonicine forces were the remnants of the Zulupian Planetary Defence Force. After the Decimation War in M41, the High Lords acknowledged the Leonicines as their own Astra Militarum Regiment, and it was decided amongst the elders of the people that they would adopt the name given to them during that time, because it was the name which brought the Imperium to Zulup IX. This is why the regiment is called ” Zulupian Predators Astra Militarum Regiment”.

Skeletal Host of the Zulupian Predators by Colrouphobia

Those are all the names that I can think of, that I have used to describe the Void Lions and the peoples from which they are made. Through these terms, you will be able to understand other terms such as ” Leonicine Inatrii” “Inatrii Astartes” and the history behind them.

It is commonly misunderstood that the name ” Void Lions” is due to the fact that they are a Fleet-Based chapter and peoples, but that was situational and not the basis of the name. The chapter has always been Inatrii, even when they were named ” Leonicine Praestes”. The Chapter experienced the Void Within, and their other genecurses even when they were called Lion Guard. The name of the chapter reflects the chapters beginning as who they were (Praestes or Guards) to what they were (Inatrii or Void). As we also see above, Leonicine does not mean “Lion” but instead ” The Peoples of the White Lion” and is the name of their tribe. A direct translation of the name “Leonicine Inatrii” would actually be “The Void Peoples of the White Lion” instead of the “Void Lions” but its abbreviation is better understood.

Last but not least, due to the abbreviated name and symbology of the Chapter, as well as the physical expression of their mutations and genetics, in can be misunderstood that the Void Lions are literally part Lion in the same way that Space Wolves are part wolf. This is not the case. The Void Lions do practice totemism in the way of their ancestors, identifying with the White Lion of Zulup. However, the White Lion was hunted into extinction well before the Star Plague arrived on Zulup and the Void Lions- while abhuman by mortal lineage and Homo Sapiens Novus due to their geneseed being made in the Cursed Founding- they do not have within them the Leo Helix and are not part lion. They are white lions only metaphorically, and the extinction of the creature is acknowledge in the Chapters Crest in the form of the Lion skull at the top.

Void Lion chapter Crest by Liam Hammond Art

Thank you for reading! I hope that this was useful in understanding the names used to identify the Void Lions chapter. Thank you for reading! The Emperor Protects and the Future is Successor.

  • (Credit: The name “Void Lions” was suggested by Ares Mofett and they are therefore the creators of the chapter name since I adopted the name to the chapter I was creating which was previously named “Maarsak’s Tribe”. “Leonicine Inatrii” was created by Stanislav Mass as a high gothic version of “Void Lions”. The Lore I built around the names I have created, however, I did not come up with these names myself and I wanted to give credit where it is due.)

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