Founded: The 13th "Dark" Founding
Successors of: Rumored, and accepted to be, the Imperial
Base of Operations: The Resolute, a massive and ancient
Space Fortress. Rumored to have been created during the Golden Age of
Current Chapter Master: Gideon Aden
The Praetorian's take the Codex Astartes to be advice and not holy mandate, which brings them into conflict with many other Space Marine chapters, most of whom are already suspicious of the Praetorians do to their unknown background. It's estimated, at any given time, that there's around 1500 Praetorians, broken up into seven different companies, each with its own unique color scheme. In addition to the seven "normal" companies, there's also one "elite" Honor Guard Company. The Honor Guard is highly secretive group handpicked by the Chapter Master. The chapter is also very displaced, each company is often in different sectors completing different objectives without the aid of the other companys; in fact, it's very rare to have two Praetorian companys deployed in one sub-sector.
The First Company (The Veterans)
The Second Company (The Pure)
The Third Company (The Bloodied Hand)
The Fourth Company (The White Knights)
The Fifth Company (The Iron Willed)
The Sixth Company: The smallest company within the Chapter, with only fifty members at a time.
They're often referred to as "The Damned" or "Redemption Company" by other Company's.
The Seventh Company (The Crimson Tide): The largest company in the chapter, with over 700 members.
Founded during the Thirteenth founding, labeled as the "Dark" founding, the Praetorians don't actually know who their founding chapter is; although the Praetorian's themselves believe that the Imperial Fists are their founding chapter and the Imperial Fists seem to agree, towards the beginning of their existence. Originally, they used the Codex Astartes as a setup for their Chapter, with ten companys made up of a hundred Marines to make a thousand Man Chapter. However, one single event would shatter the very core of the Praetorian Chapter.
In the year 562.M39 the Sixth Company was deployed to a small, lone planet orbiting a red dwarf, labeled as Planet 478-364. The Sixth was sent their by a unknown Inquisitor of the Ordo Malleus. For almost five years, the company was missing and assumed to be lost. A new sixth company was raised and a monument within The Resolute was erected. But in 567.M39, the sixth company returned. On the anniversary of the Sixth Company going missing, the entire Praetorian Company would meet in the sub-sector, Pari, within Segmentum Obscurus. Just as the chapter was about to meet up inside the Resolute, a new ship appeared, The Hawk, the former Strike Cruiser of the Sixth Company.
The appearance of the Hawk was met with suspicion, the return of the Sixth Company's ship on
the anniversary of them going missing, was far too much of coincidence for the Praetorian Leaders. A team comprised of Terminator Veterans, along with each of the Company Captain, the Chapter Master and the Master of Sanctity boarded the ship to search for any signs of the Sixth Company. They found nothing in the ship, save for ancient chapter Relics, the standard of the Sixth Company and a large square silver cube, inscribed with dark gold script. The Praetorian Strike Team brought all of the items back to the Resolute for further examination byt he Librarians of the chapter. As soon as the cube was brought onboard the Resolute, it exploded, destroying a large portion of the starboard port of the Fortress. It also, summoned a massive portal to the warp, which brought forth the former Sixth Company and their new allies. At the exact time, the Hawk sprang back to life on its own, as if it was possessed and more ships dropped out of the Warp, opening fire on the Praetorian ships.
The Praetorian companys, realizing that they were out matched by the traitors, they broke up and reached; every company found itself fighting against great odds. Most were forced to abandon their ships and land on the various planets in the system. Two companies where outright destroyed at the beginning of the ambush, the third was the first to be destroyed and the ninth the second. Massive wars broke out on the various planets, most notably on the Hive World of New Sahul, where the PDF and local Imperial Guard forces each broke off and joined different sides of the Civil War, not knowing which side was good and which was bad. In addition, various Praetorians turned towards the traitors in an attempt to survive.
As the war expanded, the distinction between friend and foe became more and more obscure, since both the loyalist and traitors where both still using the original white color scheme of the chapter. On every planet, the loyalists and traitors painted their armor, in an attempt to help eliminate that distinction, which led to each current chapter having a slightly different color scheme.
For almost six weeks, vicious battles raged across the sub-sector. But the Civil War was ended, with a daring attempt by the new Chapter Master, Malcom Malrone, who was elected by the small band of remaining Praetorians on New Sahul. Malcom approached the traitor encampment and challenged the former Sixth Company Captain, and leader of the Traitor forces, Furion Rafon, to a duel. Rafon accepted and after a quick fight, Malcom struck Furion down. At that exact moment, the handful of loyalist Praetorians struck at the traitors, breaking them on the planet of New Sahul. Across the subsector, the loyalist Praetorians all relentlessly assaulted the traitor positions. In addition, the third company from the Astral Claws entered the sub-sector, along with a regiment of Cadians and assisted the loyalists in beating the traitors back. The traitors Praetorians retreated into the Warp and have never been seen since.
No one truly knows why the Sixth turned traitor, and it was never truly proven that as a whole, they worshiped Chaos. In fact, some researchers and Inquisitors believe that the traitors actually where still loyal to the Emperor, something that the new Praetorians vehemently oppose.
Since the Civil War, the Praetorians broke up their companies. Since three companies,
the third, fourth and ninth, where completely wiped out they decided to stay with seven companies, each being completely independent. The Praetorians additionally decided to paint their armor black, with portions of their "Civil War paint" still remaining. In addition, each company was rebuilt with portions of surviving Praetorians. The Sixth Company was the only one that wasn't fully rebuilt. Towards the end of the war, fifty of the traitors decided to turn back to the Emperor and helped push back the remaining traitors. Their actions were considered to be vital to the Loyalist victory, but their company's honor would forever be tarnished and ever since, the fifty members of the Sixth have fought for redemption.