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  1. Messor


    From the album: IA Headers

  2. Messor


    From the album: IA Headers

  3. delete if needed...major changes to the chapter :)
  4. Index Astartes: Bright Lords http://www.fightingtigersofveda.com/BLSymbolV3.png "Lux Permanet!" Origins The Bright Lords' history begins with the 23rd Founding, also known as the Sentinel Founding. Following close after the disastrous Cursed 21st Founding and the infamous Age of Apostasy, the chapters of the 23rd Founding were created with a highly cautious eye towards ensuring that they would stay both pure and loyal. To lead one of these new Chapters, the High Lords of Terra selected Joachim Bornhald, an Imperial Fists captain of unimpeachable valor and integrity. Emulating in part the traditions and heraldry of Sigismund, Joachim swore his "Bright Lords" into being upon three mighty and binding Oaths: "To bring the Emperor's light to benighted places; To safeguard His faithful against all evils; and to take no Homeworld, that the Chapter might always venture where needed most." Thus the chapter would be fleet-based, like its founding cousins the Marines Errant; and range across the darkest and most remote areas of the Imperium, in accordance with its leader's selfless, knightly ideals. However, Bornhald's dream of making his mark in the annals of Imperial Fists successors would be dashed when, to his intense surprise, his new Marines all developed perfectly functional Sus-An membranes and Betcher's Glands. Though far too stalwart to question the High Lords' actions or turn away from his new responsibilities, he was dismayed by the realization that he had been supplied with marines from another Primarch's geneseed; and dismayed further by the prospect of misleading Astartes to revere another Primarch before their true sire. Thus, he resolved to teach them as best as he could to honor all loyal Primarchs; regarding Dorn only as a foster-father and looking instead to the examples of the Emperor and great Astartes heroes for guidance, rather than see his foster-sons brood upon an unknown lineage. Early Campaigns True to their oaths, upon their founding the Bright Lords fleet immediately embarked on a crusade from Terra to the Eastern Fringe. Under Bornhalds steely guidance, the new chapter cut its eyeteeth in both naval and planetary combat against pirates, traitors,and the ever-present Greenskin menace. During this period the Chapter began to hone the tactics which would become its specialty; ferocious boarding actions, orbital assaults, and bottleneck defenses that drew on their founding cadres Imperial Fist tenacity and iron bolter discipline to carry the day. http://www.fightingtigersofveda.com/BrightLords.jpg Chapter colorscheme Despite forging the fledgling Chapter a reputation as successful pirate- and ork-hunters, the pilgrimage to the Eastern Fringe would also see two of the Bright Lords most grievous losses, and the beginning of one of their most persistent troubles. Answering ceaseless calls for assistance during a relentless push towards the edges of Imperial space placed a significant drain on the fleet-based chapters resources, stretching supplies perilously thin and incurring losses of equipment that could not be easily repaired or replaced; the further from Terra they traveled, the worse these issues became, yet Bornhald pressed on regardless. Once their resources finally stretched beyond the breaking point, the Bright Lords suffered one of the most humiliating defeats in their Chapters history; failing utterly to stop a Kabalite invasion from laying waste to the Imperial shrine world of Astachor, destroying its temples and slaughtering or abducting the planets entire population. Ever since, the Chapter has nursed a particularly bitter and burning hatred for the Dark Eldar. Their next tragedy came in the form of a pyrrhic victory, when the chapter lent aid to the desperate defense of a hiveworld against the forces of the Ruinous Powers. TheBright Lords spent themselves dearly in guarding the gates of Aldorhive, holding back tides of daemons, mutants and cultists from reaching the countless souls within the city. Though they managed to hold out long enough for Imperial Guard reinforcements to arrive and save the planet, many Bright Lords fell for their stubborn refusal to give even an inch of ground among them, most of the Chapters veteran Imperial Fist founding cadre. Bornhald himself was felled by a Daemon Prince; though he ultimately slew the monster, his mighty power maul was shattered in the duel, and despite his resplendent Terminator armor he was dealt too many mortal wounds for even an Astartes to survive. In the wake of this loss, the reins of leadership passed to Solomon Ivrahim; previously Captain of the Second Company. Even as he and his brothers mourned and honored the memory of the fallen, Solomon became certain in his feelings that Astachor and Aldorhive were not just calamities, but bitter and vital lessons. The foundation the Bright Lords had received from Bornhald and his Fists was exemplary, but its rigidity and unyielding adherence to convention was costing them dearly and repeatedly. Attempting to emulate the Seventh Legion so directly was simply bleeding the Chapter dry, Ivrahim argued; it was time to both rebuild,and rethink. The chapter would need to swallow some of the stubborn pride theyd inherited, and admit that Bornhalds ideals of valor and tenacity needed to be alloyed with greater flexibility and resourcefulness. His thinking resounded amongst the Chapters surviving leadership, and his novel policy of actively seizing and reusing assets from renegade forces to ease their supply lines enabled key victories in subsequent campaignsushering in the paradigm shift that has defined Bright Lords combat doctrine ever since. Combat Doctrine Though the Bright Lords combat doctrine is deeply rooted in the Codex Astartes, it has been heavily shaped by two realities the Chapters fleet-based nature, and the frequent supply issues brought on by their relative obscurity and remote operation. The Chapters naval forces are formidable, as in addition to their founding complement of ships, the Bright Lords have since commandeered and recommissioned a handful of pirate and renegade vessels. Thus, when possible, the Chapter prefers to leverage this advantage by taking the fight to the enemies of Mankind in space; destroying as much of the foe as possible before they can ever threaten to make planetfall. This has led to an extensive emphasis on mastering the art of boarding actions and ship-to-ship combat. The uselessness of most ground vehicles in void combat, as well as the Chapters limited motor pool, has similarly pushed them to emphasize the use of heavy weapon teams, Dreadnoughts, and aerospace craft such as Thunderhawks or Storm Eagles for their greater flexibility in varied or cramped combat environments. Multi-role capability, reliable availability, and versatility are watchwords within the Bright Lords combat doctrine, as they firmly believe that rigid tactics and poor logistics are sure roads to defeat a philosophy reinforced by their early battles and their frequently-strained resources. Though most Astartes chapters tech-adepts will tinker to meet the needs of their chosen battlefields, the Bright Lords persistent supply issues have pushed them to improvise more than most. Bright Lords will frequently engage pirates and renegades or board space hulks as much for the precious resources and useful STC-tech they possess as to eliminate an enemy of Mankind. They will also happily scavenge the grounds of any battlefield they encounter or take part in, though this has occasionally lead to misunderstandings and even accusations of theft by Imperial allies. Over centuries of making use of such salvage to fill gaps in their own supply lines, they have adopted a number of nonstandard weapons systems into their armories, some of which are considered outright obsolete by most Imperial forces such as the iconic twin-bolters used by many boarding squads in lieu of rarer Storm Bolters. Similarly, they make unusually extensive use of laser weapons for an Astartes chapter; for, as the Imperial Guard long ago realized, a las-weapon has effectively infinite ammunition when adequate power supplies are available, and the metaphor of scourging, weaponized light pleases the Chaplains. Thus, for instance, scavenged multilasers are a common sight on many Bright Lords vehicles, and lascutters often take the place of fuel-hungry meltaguns. Another characteristic result of is the armor of the Marines themselves - it is often cobbled together with parts from many different Marks, or even components fabricated wholesale by the Chapter's armorers. The Chapter has also been known to engage in barter with other Imperial forces to obtain what they need. From an infantry standpoint, the Bright Lords approach is a well-rounded one. Eschewing neither ranged nor melee combat, the Bright Lords doctrine is to scourge the foe with heavy mid-range firepower as thoroughly as possible; so that by the time the fight devolves to close combat, the enemys strength is already broken and may be put to rout with ease by a countercharge of chainsword and bayonet. Constant combat experience on both sides of a boarding action has trained them to be equally comfortable digging in and tenaciously locking down a defensive position, or launching high-mobility assaults via drop pods and aerospace transport. Chapter Cult The Chapter's belief system contains two major divergences from the norm. The first is that, while they acknowledge that the Emperor was a mortal man in life, they consider him to have undergone an apotheosis as a result of his heroic sacrifice in defeating Horus and ascending to the Golden Throne. They believe that this apotheosis is itself a revelation: That as the emperor was once mortal but became divine, all of humanity is fundamentally capable of spiritual transformation into similar, if lesser, angelic beings called Elohim after death. This is accomplished by following the Emperor' mighty example, and thus having lived a suitably noble, selfless, and heroic life - a concept summarized as Tzedakha, or Righteousness. The Loyal Primarchs and many great Astartes heroes are naturally ranked among the highest and greatest of the Elohim, but tellingly, many human Imperial saints and champions such as Sebastian Thor are also counted highly among the ranks. Lacking knowledge of their own primogenitor, it is to the concept of the Emperor and his Elohim that the chapter give reverence. Because of this creed, they place particular weight on the holy duty of guardianship over Imperial civilians; knowing that even the humblest drudge contains a spark of potential Emperor-nature within. The second divergence lies within the chapter's Techmarine cult, and grew from its practice of Elohim worship. While they go through the proper motions to acknowledge Mars and the Omnissiah, the true object of their veneration is Ferrus Manus, the most technologically gifted of the Elohim, as their intermediary to the Emperor's divine technological knowledge. Marking their left gauntlets silver in their chosen patron's honor, they have become informally known as the Silverhands, and their membership is greater than the handful of officially Mars-approved Techmarines. To support the chapter's strained resources and tendency to salvage, Marines of suitable curiosity or modest aptitude are inducted into the cult as journeyman members, trained just enough to share the load of maintaining the Chapter's armories and safeguarding its relics. Understandably, this practice has led to some friction with certain elements of the Mechanicus. Homeworld Founded as a fleet-based chapter, the Bright Lords initially had no homeworld or central base of operations; and indeed swore an oath at their founding to claim no planet as their own. However, during the latter half of Chapter Master Ivrahim's reign, the Fourth Company stumbled across a derelict Ramiles-class star fortress while escorting a flotilla of Imperial pilgrims through an Ork-infested area of space. With a monstrous Ork fleet chasing behind them, Captain Shor Aharon and the pilgrim leaders decided it was their solemn duty to divert the fleet, in order to rescue the mighty fortress from falling into Orkish hands. Abandoning the flight to safety, Astartes and pilgrim alike shed blood together in a ferocious battle to repel oceans of greenskin boarders from the space station until the Forth Company's techmarines could reach the control sanctum and bring the Ramiles' defenses online. When the mighty installation finally stirred to life, its countless weapon batteries quickly began to turn the tide until only Imperial forces and drifting wreckage remained. The triumphant Bright Lords claimed the Ramiles as their own; and, in honor of the bravery shown by the mortals who had fought beside them to recapture it, offered the weary pilgrims sanctuary as Chapter Serfs. Ever since, the Ramiles - named Siyyon Shachar in the Iebrogothic dialect of its pilgrim settlers, and alternately known as "The Citadel" or the Fortress of Dawn in Low Gothic - has served as the Chapter's fortress monastery. The pilgrims now live on the station and crew the Chapter's fleets, serving as their primary recruitment population, and mortal and Astartes have become one seamless culture over time. The Star Fortress itself has been heavily refurbished and even expanded since its reclamation, with multiple internal cities; constant work over the course of the chapter's four millenia of existence has added extra power systems, defenses, industry, and even Gellar fields, all scavenged from hulks and combat prizes. The result is a mighty bastion capable of acting as a mobile homeland, shipyard, and factory for the entire Chapter. Though its largest city is named Sanctuary, the station is far from perfectly safe. During the battle to reclaim the fortress, places within its depths were so deeply seeded with Orkish spores that the station has had an intractable, low-grade infestation of squigs and gretchin ever since. The Chapter's serfs must launch intermittent raids into the fortress depths to prevent this infestation from getting out of hand, though they never quite manage to properly wipe the greenskins out; a state of affairs that keeps the recruiting population's martial skills honed. Organization For the most part, the Bright Lords are organized along the lines of the Codex Astartes. However, their larger-than-normal fleet means that they have more Captains than Companies; with each Fleet Captain afforded equal rank to a Company captain, plus a permanent retinue of Marines for ship defense. When a promising leader arises from amongst the Chapters veterans but no Captaincies are vacant, the individual in question will sometimes be promoted to the rank of Knight-Lieutenant. While some Knight-Lieutenants act as second in command to a Fleet or Flag (Company) Captain, others are given small independent commands of their own; which exist outside the Company structure. All together, this means that the Bright Lords are quietly pushing past the upper boundaries of Codex-compliant Chapter size, a fact the remoteness of their work and the desperate need of more Imperial strength has allowed to go overlooked thus far by the powers that be. Because of the Chapters severe shortage of Terminator suits, its First Company is organized somewhat differently to most. Only those Marines of such heroism that they might serve as Honor Guard in another chapter are allowed to wear Terminator armor; a small and sacred brotherhood known as the Dawnguard. The rest of the first company is composed primarily of squads of stormbolter-toting Torchbearers the Chapters most elite boarding specialists, who fulfill many of the roles of conventional Terminators via the combination of refractor field generators, heavy ballistic shields, and sheer grit. As of the present day the Chapter is without a reigning Master, following the loss and Dreadnought interment of their long-sitting and highly celebrated leader Leonhardt Victoriege roughly a century ago. During such times when the Chapter Master is missing or unable to lead, the Bright Lords are collectively led by the Sanhedrin; a high council of the Chapters Captains, plus ranking members of the Librarium, Apothecarion, Reclusiam, and the Silverhands. The final member of the Sanhedrin is the Chapter Paladin, a variation on the tradition of the Emperors Champion. As chosen exemplar of the Chapters creed and martial prowess, the Paladin bears its finest Relic Blade and rarest suit of Artificer Armor to war; and is afforded status akin to both a Captain and a Chaplain combined. Geneseed Though the Bright Lords geneseed was originally of the utmost purity, it underwent some genetic drift in the first few centuries after the Chapters founding before restabilizing. Members of the Chapters Apothecarion theorize this may have been the result of accidental cross-contamination of the Chapters stock by the Imperial Fists geneseed harvested from Bornhald and his founding cadre. Whatever the precise reason, two clear mutations have emerged. The first is atrophy of the Omophagea, to the point that Bright Lords are incapable of the fabled Space Marine ability to learn by eating. Combined with their creed, this has led them to regard the idea of consuming sentient xenos or worse, human flesh as both spiritually unclean and utterly barbaric. The second mutation is in the Melanochrome organ, causing it to tamper with a Marines pigmentation. Whatever their original complexion, Bright Lords tend towards an olive skintone, curly dark auburn hair, and bright green eyes over time; though sometimes individual genetic quirks interact in a manner that produces even more outlandish colorations. With their geneseeds original source unknown, and its subsequent mutations making identification essentially impossible, the Bright Lords merely thank the Emperor that its idiosyncrasies are neither crippling nor degenerative; then put the matter from their minds. They are grandchildren of the Emperor, foster-sons of Bornhald, and Elohim in the making; and that is good enough.
  5. "Emperor's Pointy Sticks, eh? Say, we're not one of those whacky "theme" armies are we?" - Cmdr/Gunner Kren Well, yes and no (but mostly yes). To anyone not familiar with the EPS from the webcomic Turn Signals On A Land Raider, you can check out there "historical documents" using this LINK. I may be incorporating other elements found at the TSOALR site & forum, and I will attempt to steer elements towards a normal sounding space marine chapter - perhaps unsuccessfully, but I'll try. Hey, if there can be angelic names, nordic names, etc why not a naming structure around trees, right? Adeptus Biologica should be represented somewhere! This will very much be a work in progress, as I'm also working on constructing an actual playing force of models. I've never done one of these before, and I'm looking to many others Index Astartes files for inspiration. So, if anything looks familiar style wise it's meant as a compliment not a rip-off. THE EMPEROR'S POINTY STICKS CHAPTER NAME: IMPERIAL SPEARS [Cognomen - Emperor's Pointy Sticks] CHAPTER FOUNDING: 2ND [1/821021M.31], Chapter 313 CURRENT CHAPTER MASTER: Sequoia (Sequoiadendron Giganteum) HOME WORLD: Fleet-Based (Ref: Adeptus Biologis, Forge V'ley, Geodesic Domes) FORTRESS-MONASTERY: Arx Arborvitae FLAGSHIP OF THE FLEET: Dies de Triffids CHAPTER SYMBOL: Brown Pointed Stick with Green Leaf ARMOUR COLOURS: Purple, Skull White, Blood Red COMBAT TRAITS: Cleanse & Purify, Die Standing STRENGTH: Less than 300 BATTLE CRY: "POKE 'EM INNA EYE!" REFERENCES The Octaguide 2.0 by Octavulg Founding of the Emperor's Sticks by SteveC86 Colour Scheme of the Emperor's Pointy Sticks by SteveC86 Army List for the Emperor's Pointy Sticks by SteveC86 Do the Emperor's Pointy Sticks have Traits? by SteveC86 Which Company is featured in the comic? by SteveC86 I'm thinking of drawing inspiration from the Roman Hastati. This will essentially be a vanilla style army (for now). The Hastae Pura was actually an award of merit, referencing a spear without an iron head (pointy stick?). Also thinking of a culture/origin surrounding an Old Earth Biologica ship that either settled on some previously lost world or found floating in space. Thanks for reading, Chapter Master Sequoia, signing off.
  6. HALLS OF THE BLIND: The Bronze Prophets They can see what you see not...vision milky then eyes rot...when you turn, they will be gone...whispering their hidden song... - Excerpt from the heretical ramblings of the 'prophet' Melchior Keb Long and strange is the saga of the Bronze Prophets of the Adeptus Astartes. Though once among the finest of marines, the calamities which afflict them have caused many to question their purity. There can be little doubt that their origins lie in that most benighted of times - the Cursed Founding. Origins Our wars are fought on the edge of Limbo, as its winds roar around us. The scars of our battles lie on the inside, not on our skin. The destruction those wounds wreak may leave nothing. We are the veterans of the wars of the mind, and we know no fear, for the Emperor is with us. - Inscription above the entrance to the Bronze Prophets' Fortress Monastery Bronze Prophet Like many Cursed Founding chapters, little or nothing is confirmed about the creation of the Bronze Prophets. Despite this, many horrific legends surround them, whispered in darkness by the fearful.. Whether these tales are created by the Prophets themselves or are whispers of truth that have slowly spread across the Imperium is impossible to say. These legends say that the Bronze Prophets, in the early years of their founding, were a mighty force. They were keen of eye, strong of limb, and sharp of intellect, even by the standards of Space Marines. The enemies of mankind fell before them, and each victory was cause for great rejoicing in the Auguria, their monastery on their home world of Pawrath. Many are the stories of their victories
  7. FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN: THE STONE HEARTS "Throughout humanity's history, stone has served. Stone has been a weapon. Stone has been a fortress. Mankind has built with stone, and stone has built mankind. Let us remember this, and take it to our hearts. Let our hearts be like stone - ready to serve humanity, and the Imperium of Man. For when all else has failed, stone will still serve." - Chapter Master Cambrius Vulk, The Book of the First" Origins ”Men of Cathe, oh stand ye steady It cannot be ever said ye For the battle were not ready Stand and never yield.” -Cathian hymn The Stone Hearts are products of the Sixth Founding. Upon their formal activation as a Chapter they journeyed to the home world which had been assigned to them, the tiny planet of Cathe in the galactic north-west, on the border between Segmentum Obscurus and Segmentum Pacificus. Cathe was a grey, rocky world, whose hereditary Duke had recently died, leaving no legitimate heir. The planet was relatively underdeveloped, and it's only city of any size was the capital, which housed the planet's only space port (which consisted only of a well-packed dirt field and a Naval fuel depot). The Chapter took the ducal castle as their fortress monastery, expanding and refitting until it (and the dungeons beneath it) were a fortress worthy of the Space Marines. Most of Cathe's population were hardy clansmen, accustomed to fighting for goods, honor, and land, and these doughty warriors made excellent recruits for the Chapter. There was one small problem with Cathe. Much of Cathe's populace resented the transition to Space Marine rule, and a number of the local nobles had nursed this resentment in hopes of somehow rebelling and taking control of the planet for themselves. This resistance had coalesced behind the person of young Tyrion Cathek, the Duke's bastard son, despite his personal apathy toward the rebellion. His support among the population was significant enough to make planet-wide revolt a distinct possibility, and rebellion would mean that the Stone Hearts must either leave or suppress this challenge to their authority, greatly damaging the planet's capacity as a base. Neither option was acceptable to Chapter Master Cambrius Vulk, who chose a third course of action. Stone Hearts Marine in Standard Heraldry Vulk offered to use his influence within the Imperium to help Tyrion obtain a Rogue Trader license. The brash and foppish young Tyrion was more than willing to trade his claims at ducal office for the chance to explore new worlds and stars - especially when Vulk offered to provide a company of troops as a perpetual escort for Cathek and his heirs. Tyrion left Cathe for the stars, and the Third Company went with him as his bodyguards – and to watch him closely. Ever since, one of the Stone Heart Battle Companies has escorted whichever scion of the Cathek family currently holds the commission to trade in the region, each mustering out upon the death of their charge. The Catheks have only rarely returned to Cathe, though the population still holds the memory of the Dukes closely in their hearts. With Cathek gone and the Stone Hearts demonstrating their martial prowess through combat exercises across the planet, the murmurs of rebellion faded away. The Stone Hearts and the people of Cathe each settled into the routines of their lives, slowly becoming accustomed to the new order. Precious Stones ”Vulk, I think this is going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” – Tyrion Cathek Of course, a new order only ever lasts long enough for its collapse to be surprising. A few brief decades later, the Chapter was on the brink of disintegration. Relations with the Adeptus Mechanicus had become strained when an irate Vulk explained to a senior Magos that the Techmarines of the Stone Hearts would be Stone Hearts first, and Adepts of Mars second. While most members of the Chapter Armoury personally agreed, the Tech-Priests took the alarming step of refusing to train further Techmarines. In itself, this was only a minor problem as the Chapter’s own Techmarines were willing and able to train others in the technical arts. However, at the same time, shipments of supplies to the Chapter dwindled to nearly nothing, with bureaucratic entanglements, piratical activity and production defects being only a few of the myriad excuses provided by the Adeptus Mechanicus. The Stone Hearts were being slowly starved of needed materials, their limited manufactory facilities simply unable to keep up with the demands of a full chapter. Vulk concluded that the Stone Hearts would have to turn outside the traditional methods of the Adeptus Astartes in order to survive. He consulted with Tyrion Cathek, whose foppishness and brash nature had grown into an appreciation for the arts of trading and commerce and an equal willingness to enforce the dictates of the Emperor. Vulk had expected that Tyrion would recommend some alternate sources for materiel and equipment which would sustain the Chapter until Vulk could determine some method of restoring the Mechanicus' favor. What Vulk got was a prolonged dissertation on the commercial possibilities of the surrounding sectors, and an equally long list of potential sources for starship parts, weapons, munitions, cogitators, and the sort of goods that would be wanted in trade. The stunned Chapter Master could only watch as Cathek sketched out a comprehensive plan by which the existing resources and assets of the Stone Hearts could be parlayed into formidable wealth – wealth sufficient to ensure that the Stone Hearts could be ever-ready to enforce the Emperor's will. Cathek's advice well-reflected the character of a Rogue Trader, but Vulk felt that whatever it might lack in orthodoxy, it compensated for with sheer practicality. It also allowed him a chance to keep the Chapter free from the influence of Mars, which appealed both to Vulk's pride and to his sense of caution – any pretense of reconciliation the Tech-Priests might concede in the future could hardly be trusted when it came. Better for the Stone Hearts to seek their own way, even if it might be an unfamiliar one. With Tyrion by his side, Vulk set out to seize the Chapter's future. Reiving Master Vulk was not the only one to find methods of dealing with the Chapter's logistical difficulties. Fiach Welf, then Captain of the Third Company, found himself far from Cathe, low on supplies, and equally low on prospects. He settled these difficulties by finding the nearest Space Marine Chapter and asking politely for aid. When his request was declined, Welf challenged his opposite number to a duel for the equipment he had requested. He triumphed, and the Company finished their patrol and returned to Cathe. Though the practice was not institutionalized (both Vulk and Welf agreeing that adopting such practices on a large scale seemed a good way to bring down the ire of other Chapters upon the Stone Hearts), various other Captains through the Chapter's history have indulged in the practice when necessary (or when so inclined), though modern duels rely less on insulting the opponent until they consent to fight and more on the wagering of trade concessions, resources, or debts of honor. Few are the Space Marine Captains who would decline such a challenge, and even some Imperial Guard commanders have been more than willing to test a dozen of their finest Guardsmen against a Space Marine. Most duels are non-lethal, and even when the Chapter loses they gain in knowledge. Though only a few duels are fought every decade, each one is seen as a mark of the warrior spirit of the Stone Hearts. Over the next few months, Vulk and Cathek moved from system to system in the region – and on each world, Cathek whispered golden promises to all who would hear. On Drak-Dum, they made contact with a Brotherhood of the Demiurg – and in exchange for cleansing several nests of Orks as well as the concession of mineral rights on Cathe's barren antarctic continent, they secured a steady stream of processed ores, munitions, and technical advice from the Brotherhood's wisest craftsmen. Through the gilded, pirate-wracked worlds of the Faroe Nebula they spread word of the safety of the vaults of a Space Marine Chapter, and the reasonable price of that safety. At Este, they offered the Grand Duke shares in future properties seized from heretics and traitors in exchange for favorable trade status and export rights for the famous Estian smokewood. The High Archon of Blackmere gave a half-share of the stellar mines around the dying red dwarf Micturic in exchange for the promise of Space Marine protection for the delicate mining platforms. The wealth of dozens of worlds twisted around the words of Cathek and the imposing presence of Vulk, and soon a web of contracts, trade routes and commercial interests stretched across several sectors – with the Stone Hearts at its center. Home World ”Call them to account, you say? The Stone Hearts own this sector. Their men guard half the palaces, their merchants buy the output of nearly all the worlds, and their fleets keep the pirates in check. Their failure is no longer an option.” – Inquisitor Tesseract D’Apothete The domain of the Stone Hearts stretches widely now. Commercial routes, trading enclaves, mining concerns, exotic manufactoria, and Chapter bases dot the systems and sectors surrounding Cathe. Nonetheless, the core of their realm remains Cathe and its people. Cathe is a rocky world, peopled mostly by hardy feudal tribespeople. The hereditary Duke and his attendant nobles each controlled vast tracts of the planet, and most of the population were members of various clans and tribes – with many nobles being clansmen and many tribesmen being nobility. Cathian society was usually embroiled in some form of low-intensity warfare, with clan obligations and feudal duties conflicting and interweaving in such ways that only the individual Cathian knew where his loyalties could truly be said to lie. Vicious skirmishes over land, cattle, honor, women, gold, and weapons were all common, and the allies of one battle were the enemies of the next. ”Tancred and Tyria” Though the bond between the Cathek family and the Stone Hearts remained strong for many millenia, the most recent scion of the family strained the relationship nearly to its breaking point. In his later years, Tyrel Cathek was best described as a madman, even by the standards of the Imperium. While the targets of his wrath had always suffered consequences disproportionate to offenses, his growing tendency to indiscriminately slaughter those who opposed him offended the Stone Hearts' sense of restraint, as did his lamentable personal habits and tendency to jump at shadows. The Fourth Company was his bodyguard, and sworn to his service, but even the relatively hot-blooded Captain Tancred Kintyre had often felt his hackles rise at the measures used by Cathek. But the Stone Hearts were nothing if not patient, and were content to bide their time until Cathek died and was replaced by his far more reasonable daughter. Tyria had obviously been unaffected by her father's insanity, and was a shrewd and dangerous young woman, dedicated to the Imperium. Tancred, one of her childhoold friends, had discussed her father's obvious flaws with her, and they had both agreed that waiting was the only prudent thing to do – if only to avoid explaining what had happened to Tyrel to the Inquisition. Tyria, as her father's favorite retainer, would handle much of her father's business, so that his madness might affect the Imperium as little as possible, and Tancred would do his best to ensure that when Cathek did force his soldiers into action, their targets would be deserving. However, Tyrel's twisted mind had other ideas. In 993.M41 the world of Tyrhennius failed to provide an agreed upon cargo of Mandrovian dates. Tyrel declared this to be a sign of heresy and rebellion against the Imperium, and ordered the Stone Hearts to destroy planet. Tancred stepped forward, and declared in ringing tones that "The Emperor's subjects are the charges of the Adeptus Astartes and the High Lords of Terra. To strike them undeserving is to strike at the heart of the Imperium itself." Tyrel was even more surprised when Tyria announced her agreement with the Captain, and invoked her authority as commander of her father's ship to have him confined to his quarters, "for his own protection". It was seen as a great tragedy when Tyrel hung himself later that day (or so said the notification to the High Lords). Tyria Cathek contacted the recalcitrant world and explained the tragedy, and the catastrophe which had narrowly been averted. The shipment was delivered on time. It was an unusual break with tradition when Tyria requested the continued services of the Fourth Company, but Chapter Master Adhemar was happy to acquiesce. Ever since, relations between the Catheks and the Stone Hearts have continued in their old vein of friendship and respect. The Duke and his capital at Longford were the only truly civilized parts of the world, and even there Imperial influence was relatively weak. The arrival of the Stone Hearts did little to change that initially, but with the Chapter's ventures into commerce Cathe has been transformed. The spaceport now hums with activity, the goods of dozens of worlds flowing in and out in the holds of ships from any number of ports. To facilitate mining and other undertakings in more remote regions of the planet, a system of roads now stretches across the glens and mountains, bringing all of Cathe into reach of the capital. Most clans, instead of spending their energies fighting each other, hire their men out as mercenaries offplanet, preferring a steady income and less risk to the cut and thrust of Cathian politics. Close to the capital clans have fallen away altogether, replaced by the far more important considerations of wealth and debt. Where once Cathe was barren, harsh and quiet, now it rumbles with the noise of commerce and trade. The Fortress-Monastery of the Stone Hearts, now known as the Golden Hall, serves as the center of the Chapter's extensive commercial empire in addition to its military duties. The original ducal castle has been much expanded to accommodate this, both above and below ground, and its counting houses, vaults, warehouses and offices now rival the fortress proper in size and scope. At any hour of the day or night, the clink of coins and the murmur of negotiations echo through the Chapter's halls. The people of Cathe, even as they revel in their new prosperity, long for the old ways. The loss of opportunity for raiding and skirmishing has been something of a disappointment to many, and it is common for young bravos to exhort each other with tales of the glorious golden age of warfare and honor which the crudities of trade and money have taken from the people. Though many on Cathe have come to rely more than they know on the peace and prosperity brought by the Stone Heart's commercial interests, this longing for conflict and honor still drives many Cathians to seek their fortunes off-planet as mercenaries, or even as pirates. The Stone Hearts view these tendencies as necessary to maintaining the population's viability as recruits, and so allow such excursions – though those foolish enough to turn to piracy are dealt with appropriately when they are encountered. The population’s military tendencies are also maintained by the various Chapter Keeps which dot the highlands of Cathe. There, grizzled veteran mercenaries and Battle-Brothers long past their prime teach those youths of Cathe who wish to learn skills at arms and the discipline needed to turn a warrior into a soldier. The cities of Cathe may smelt, mine and sell, but the people of Cathe’s uplands still know the ways of sword and axe. The fire of the Cathians may be less bright now, but it has not gone out, and it burns within the Stone Hearts as it always has. Beliefs "Cowardice is holding back when you could win. Practicality is holding back so they will lose." - Chaplain Duriel Hawker Above all, the Stone Hearts are practical. Their brush with starvation and dissolution early in their history has made them cautious in ways that most Space Marines are not – they are keenly aware that even Space Marines can be defeated, albeit not necessarily on the battlefield. They seldom take rash courses of action, and adopt well-balanced strategies which use the minimum force and equipment necessary to accomplish their objectives. This has on occasion resulted in disaster when an enemy or situation was underestimated, but it has generally served the Chapter well. Even the Chaplains of the Stone Hearts are relatively sedate compared to those of other chapters, and have somehow contrived to preach a more temperate zealotry. Of course, the headstrong character of the Cathian population still rears its head in the Chapter. Every Stone Heart, despite his practicality, dreams of glory and ferocious hand-to-hand battles like those of old. Every so often the Stone Hearts will give in to their natural ferocity and charge headlong into a frontal engagement with the foe. It is a testament to the abilities of Space Marines how rarely this results in disaster. ”We get up in the black, down the warrior's road And we hike along the track, as the dropships load And we'll kiss our wives and sons, though we never will look back For we'll not see them again, down the warrior's road We hear the Chapter call, down the warrior's road And we take our swords and all, as the dropships load In the pods we then will drop, 'til there's nowhere else to fall And we'll leave the stars behind us, down the warrior's road Around another sun, down the warrior's road We'll fight with sword and gun, as the dropships load When extraction finally comes, we're so thankful to be gone That we'll fight again tomorrow, down the warrior's road.” Cathian Ballad The Stone Hearts recognize that their embracement of trade and their dealings with the Demiurg might bring scrutiny upon them from some other, more orthodox, Imperial organizations. They are sure that any doubt that might be raised will be easily quashed by their record of service, and failing that, by pointed words and equally pointed blades. Combat Doctrine ”Conserve your resources. Hold back your forces. No one has ever won a war by spending his strength in the first battle.” – Captain Archimedes Frasier of the Third Company In the millennia since their arrival on Cathe, the Stone Hearts have continued to battle against the enemies of Mankind. On worlds across the Imperium they have faced down the ever-present threats of Orks, Eldar raiders, and heretical uprisings. The Chapter has also on occasion sent Battle Companies south to fight alongside their brother Astartes in the Chaos-wracked sectors around the Eye of Terror, and dispatched expeditions to the galactic north, along the rim of Imperial territory, where the light of the Astronomican can barely be felt. The Stone Hearts favor using the minimum force required in a situation – a legacy both of their lean early years and of their increasingly mercantile nature. They have even been known to attempt to find diplomatic solutions (though often only as a cover for military preparations), or to buy off enemy armies and turn them to the service of the Imperium. Often the Chapter will settle for a somewhat prolonged engagement which takes less casualties, using fortifications and terrain to limit their casualties and ensure the destruction of the enemy. This minimal approach has sometimes resulted in temporary defeat, but the Stone Hearts always simply reevaluate the situation and react accordingly. Like many Chapters, the Stone Hearts use equipment suited to the conditions on their home world – they favor rugged vehicles which can deal with a variety of terrain and the use of heavy firepower. They shy away from aerospace assets – in the mountains of Cathe, the only support you can trust is that on the ground with you. The Chapter's co-operation with the Drak-Dum Brotherhood has also brought them expertise in tunnel fighting and a penchant for some of the obscure artillery pieces often deployed by these aliens. This firepower is often emplaced in a strongpoint close to enemy positions, from which it rains down death until the enemy is either destroyed or moves to react – at which point more mobile Chapter forces move in. While the Chapter's commercial network has brought them impressive wealth, many of their purchased armaments are simply not equal in quality to those of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and their domestically produced weapons are generally simpler in nature – the Chapter Techmarines did not possess the skills to allow reverse-engineering and production of items such as plasma weaponry or assault cannons. The Stone Hearts thus favor easy-to-procure and easy-to-repair weaponry, and their stores of arcane items like plasma weapons and Terminator armor are quite limited compared to other Chapters of similar age and experience. Rogue Trader Tyria Cathek and Captain Tancred Kintyre of the Fourth Company Organisation "They made one mistake. They put their fortress where we could reach it." – Captain Tancred Kintyre The Stone Hearts adhere to the Codex Astartes, though each company is permitted to retain any unusual equipment they come across in their travels (after any necessary purification rituals have been undertaken). When combined with the Chapter's occasional practice of duelling for equipment with other forces, this has lead to some companies being rather eclectic in their armaments. However, the Chapter's formations remain entirely Codex, if only because (in keeping with their practical nature), there has not yet been any need to do otherwise. While the Chapter remains able to produce many minor items, and supplement their production with a variety of other sources, many Astartes products are simply unavailable to them. While this has somewhat restricted their equipment, their difficulties do not seem as pronounced as one might initially expect. It is suspected by several Inquisitors that the Stone Hearts maintain surreptitious trade links with several other Chapters, which are kept concealed through layers of middlemen and staged accidents or honor duels. Many Inquisitors have speculated that the Chapter’s occasional reivings are really artfully staged trade deals, and several Chapters which have ‘suffered’ a loss to the Stone Hearts have been noted to have been more than recompensed through fortunate discoveries of ‘lost cargo’ or ‘forgotten land grants’. Gene-seed "Those who say we have lost our way and compromised our security by allowing merchants to roam our halls have evidently never tried to reach our gene-seed vault." - Apothecary Taran Koga The Stone Hearts are scions of Guilleman's genetic line. Their geneseed remains pure and undegraded. The Chapter's seed is stored beneath even the banking vaults in their monastery, behind triple-secured passages which no visitor ever sees. The Stone Hearts take great care to ensure the purity of their tithes to the Adeptus Mechanicus – they will offer the Priests of Mars no excuse to cause them trouble. The Priesthood of Mars, conversely, simply cannot be bothered to return the Chapter's enmity - though they remain obdurate on the subject of Techmarines, the Stone Hearts stopped remitting their supply requests millenia ago, and it is very possible that the incident has faded from the Mechanicus' collective memory. This apathy has resulted in the Stone Hearts' tithes being accepted without complaint on every occasion. Battlecry Melior quam media. - Chapter Motto "Stone in heart! Stone in will!" * * * Opinions and criticism welcome. I think I've been moderately successful in updating in response to the last round of thoughts, but I'm not sure. smile.png Suggestions for quote subjects would be very welcome. Updated again to include revisions prompted by Shinzaren, Hrvat, Lysimachus, Ecritter and Cambrius. Edited one more time to add in Greyall's beautiful illustrations.
  8. FIRE IN THE SNOW: The Ice Lords A Space Marine's duty is to defend the Imperium. Though we are no longer men as they are, the people of the Imperium are our sacred trust, the people of our home world especially so. To forsake them is to forsake our honor and our right to serve the Emperor. Never forget this, or you forget yourselves. - from Chapter Master Taramant's Ascension Day address on the third year following the Ice Lords' mobilization The Ice Lords, though an obscure chapter of recent founding, have a proud history of service to the Imperium. Their just governance of Franklin's World is widely admired, and their reputation in combat is sterling. Tenacious, honorable, and dangerous, the Ice Lords are a credit to the Adeptus Astartes and to mankind. An Ice Lords Tactical Marine, Red Squad Origins Black were the first days of our history. But so are all days, until mankind is triumphant. - The Chronicle of the Ice Lords, III Canticle Formed as part of the 26th Founding, the Ice Lords have had a history spotted with misfortune. The chapter suffered a blow early in its lifetime when their training cadre, forced out of warp due to a drive malfunction, was ambushed by iniquitous traitors even as the cadre traveled to join their new charges. Though the enemy marines were repelled, the ferocity of the battle meant only three marines of the Angels of Absolution training cadre survived - Taramant, the senior Sergeant, Belicarius, a junior Chaplain, and Lahdemor, a Codicier. Undaunted, they continued on to join the Ice Lords, and pledged to do everything possible to ensure that the Chapter would be worthy of service to the Emperor. Their vessel, the Heart of Caliban, was ceremonially rededicated to the service of the Ice Lords, and remains a proud part of the chapter fleet today. Despite the loss of so many of their mentors, the Ice Lords performed admirably. It was remarked by observers how the remaining cadre made new use of seemingly archaic tactics, and on how they seemed to possess experience and capability far beyond their junior ranks. Soon the battle-brothers of the chapter were ready for active duty, and they proudly marched aboard their ships for transfer to their new home world. Chapter Master Taramant remained secluded throughout the journey, in consultation with the Emperor's Tarot, finally emerging just as the flagship left warp space. While the Chapter's new home world loomed, cold and white, in the viewport, he declared that they would henceforth be known as the Ice Lords. "For duty and honor are cold as ice. And when all else is gone, duty and honor will remain." Franklin's World is a cold and desolate planet on the northernmost rim of the Segmentum Obscurus. The harsh conditions do not matter, for settlement of the planet is confined to the large cities which float high above the surface. Arcane technology keeps the cities aloft, technology which has resisted the Adeptus Mechanicus' attempts to decipher it. Closer and simpler mysteries now command their attention, though the occasional enterprising team still returns for an exercise in frustration and disappointment. Geographical surveys of the planet below had been frequently thwarted by the raging winds and snows of the surface, making the workings of the world below as much of a mystery as those above. 798.M41 - Aboard the Angels of Absolution Rapid Strike Vessel Heart of Caliban The twisting currents of the Empyrean were whirling around the Heart of Caliban. Taramant could not see them, but he could feel them nonetheless, as he had been able to ever since the moment on Caliban when the planet fell to pieces around him and he and his opponents were ripped through time and space with it. Belicarius and Lahdemor - the three of them had spat curses at each other as their feet slipped across the nearly-molten surface of Caliban, but when the twisting currents of the Warp released them all they could do was collapse, sobbing with horror and pain. He remembered that day. In front of Taramant, at the Navigator's podium, Lahdemor's brow was knit with the effort of a duty that a Librarian never expected to perform. Belicarius was watching Lahdemor, drumming fingers on the pauldron of armor freshly painted with the white of the 'Angels of Absolution'. It was difficult to comprehend the magnitude of the blessing the Emperor had bestowed on them in the form of Prilbu Gossk and his training cadre, who had thought capturing three 'Fallen' a good start to their time with a new chapter. Taramant had briefly considered salvaging the armor of the training cadre, but holes of that size required the attention of proper artificers, not mere Marines. So Prilbu Gossk and his marines were drifting ever-closer to some half-forgotten moon, some day to reassure the inhabitants of the Emperor's favor as bright streaks in the sky, and Taramant and two men damned by the Lion as traitors were taking their place. Not that Taramant would have escaped such damnation - as he had watched Caliban burn, he had quickly realized that to the Lion, there could only be one treachery - betraying the Lion, surpassing the Lion, doing anything other than the Lion's will. While for Taramant the flames were burning honor, duty and home, all they burned for the Lion were those so bold as to cross their lord. The oaths they all had sworn to protect Caliban were meaningless, sacrificed to the Lion's pride, just like the people below. The honor of the Dark Angels had died with the people of Caliban. Taramant, Belicarius and Lahdemor would restore it, or die in the attempt. Death, Taramant admitted, seemed more likely. Three loyal Dark Angels were mighty, but they were not mighty enough. But then, soon there would be more than just three. The Heart of Caliban shuddered as it slipped into reality. Lahdemor opened his eyes, leaning against the podium in exhaustion. Belicarius weighed his Crozius in his hand. And Taramant smiled, cold as ice. The Ice Lords took Falconscott (the smallest and least populated of the cities) for their own, fortifying it and adding weapons emplacements across its hull and spires. They began inducting recruits from the population, whose adventurous pilot-knights and vicious tunnel-gangers proved excellent Space Marines. After the celebrations surrounding the Chapter's arrival on the world, Taramant promoted close association with the populace, exhorting the Space Marines to remember that these were the people of the Imperium, and their duty incarnate. The young marines took these lessons to heart, and the bonds between the Marines and their people grew. Small chapterhouses were established in the other cities, both to aid in recruitment and to promote the marines' association with the populace. The Fall of the Fortress Although I am not certain as to the cause, Sergeant, I think what may be far more important are the effects. - Techmarine Janos The Ascendant Festival on Falconscott marks the longest day of the year. The ice which typically covers the tips of city spires melts, and the cities are suffused with warmth and laughter. All Space Marines present on the planet are dispatched throughout the cities, to mingle with the population and observe those who might make good candidates for the Chapter. Games of strength and skill are common, and bloodless aerial battles between young pilots an entertaining diversion for the crowds. Although ordinarily a happy time, the hundred-and-twenty-eighth Festival after the Chapter's arrival on their home world was marked by calamity. As the revelers celebrated across the planet, the streets of Falconscott began to shudder. The strength of the spasms threw grown men from their feet, and even the Space Marines were hard pressed to keep their balance. Clouds whisked by, and the wind grew to a howling shriek as the mighty city began to plunge toward the surface of the planet below. Techmarines and officers raced into the bowels of the city, while the other marines attempted to contain the panic among the citizens. However, the arcane machinery which had confounded the best Techno-Magi of the Imperium was still loathe to give up its secrets, and the Marines remained ignorant of what might have caused the precipitous descent. They could only do their best to ensure that the city was not destroyed upon impact. Fortunately for the Chapter, ancient backup systems were functional. As the city approached the surface, its rate of descent began to slow. But impact was inevitable, and the population was thrown into confusion and panic as millions of tons of metal struck the ancient ice of the planetary surface. The buildings and lower tunnels of Falconscott were breached in dozens of locations, driven deep into the ice. Some were crushed, along with their inhabitants. Some were cut off from the rest of the city, the people within left to slowly starve with no chance of rescue. The regular, coherent levels of the lower city were gone, replaced with a crazed metal-and-ice warren of tunnels, chasms and precipices, while the upper city was a twisted wreck, shattered ice and building intermingled to form a strange and confusing new world. Master Taramant and many other marines were gone from Franklin's World, fighting the last of the Genestealers from the hulk Vociferous Abomination. The young Captain Telemachus of the Sixth was the senior officer in the city. He notified Taramant of what had happened and began to search for survivors in the undercity, leaving a few of his sergeants to organize the citizens above. Despite the many lives Telemachus saved, the Marines and their people were trapped, out of reach of the other garrisons on-planet, who possessed no ships capable of penetrating the howling winds on the surface. The Knights and the Wolves Your thoughts do not show us a new way, Telemachus. All they show are my failings as a teacher. - Taramant of the Ice Lords By the time Master Taramant returned, with powerful landers that could penetrate the winds below, conflict had arisen. In the months Telemachus and his men had spent trapped within Falconscott, they had lost all respect for the people of the city and grown to despise them for their weakness, coming to believe that the fall of Falconscott had been punishment from the Emperor himself. When a mighty wolf had leapt from the driving snow into the city, slaying a dozens of the citizens before being brought down itself, Telemachus had taken this as the final proof of the Emperor's displeasure with Taramant's beliefs. Further attacks by the beasts only reinforced this conclusion. These wolves had been unknown before, overlooked by unambitious Mechanicus genetors who feared the planet's harsh environment, but they soon became a common sight in the snow outside the city. They were great, hulking beasts, long of fang and powerful of limb, solitary and dangerous, and Telemachus admired their power. Telemachus and his supporters insisted that the way of the wolves was the way to true greatness for the Ice Lords. The Ice Lords should concern themselves with the Ice Lords, first and foremost. Consorting with the people of Falconscott hurt the people, for they could not become strong enough to stand on their own, and it hurt the Ice Lords, who were weakened by the need to defend the people, instead of using all their might to strike against the enemies of man. Using less than their full strength was a betrayal of the Emperor, as was weakening his subjects by not allowing them to achieve strength on their own. Thus, said Telemachus, the best course of action for the Ice Lords was to leave Franklin's World and its people behind. Though the people would find it hard at first, it could only strengthen them in the long run. His supporters, who had christened themselves the Wolves, agreed. Taramant did not, and his wrath was terrible to behold. He rebuked Telemachus in a public Conclave of the Chapter, calling the Captain dishonorable and little better than a traitor. Telemachus had confused personal glory with honor, Taramant said, and deserved neither. Belicarius and Lahdemor supported Taramant wholeheartedly, as did the majority of the Chapter brethren, who were christened 'Knights' by the jeering Wolves. Further incensed by this behavior, Taramant stripped Telemachus and his supporters of their rank in the Chapter and of their place in the Chapter's Roll of Honor, declaring that they had abandoned their duty, and must earn their honor back or be forgotten. Humiliated, beset by the Knights, and with their influence within the chapter greatly eroded, the Wolves subsided, at least for a time. Home World I understand what it represents, Taramant. I just wonder if there were not warmer worlds which symbolized our duty to humanity. - Chaplain Belicarius of the Ice Lords Franklin's World is nearly as cold as the empty space which surrounds it. Howling winds lash the snow and ice into strange and twisted forms, and life is rare and dangerous. The people of Franklin's World, however, are isolated from this in their expansive floating cities. Constructed in the Dark Age of Technology, their presence on this desolate world on the edge of the galaxy has been a question of great debate among Imperial scholars. Whether it was once a military base, a research station, or something far stranger, Franklin's World is now an isolated planet which has little contact with other systems. Its people are relatively happy, and the floating cities are ruled by powerful noble families, each of which maintain their own fortified towers within the cities. These nobles pride themselves on the mastery of their ritualized forms of war, and duels upon gliders which soar on the shrieking winds between the towers are a popular form of entertainment and an equally popular method of settling dispute. The tunnels beneath the cities, meanwhile, are home to few other than criminals and those forced down from the surface due to mutation or heresy. The vicious tunnel gangs which breed in this dark environment are the source of some of the Ice Lords' fiercest recruits, but that practice has come into question due to the marked tendency of former gangers to become Wolf adherents. Falconscott, of course, is now much different than the other cities. Always the smallest city, its population is now even smaller than it was. The old social order has remained much the same, but the introduction of the former residents of the undercity has sapped the power of the nobles, who now face organized, dangerous groups unfamiliar with obedience. Some few of the city's areas still have fully functioning environment systems, and these have become havens for commerce and community. The remainder of the city is increasingly moving into newly excavated ice tunnels, preferring to build anew rather than attempt to salvage the chaotic wreckage that most of the city has become. The surface of Franklin's World itself has lately been discovered to be far different than previously thought. The mighty wolves discovered after the Fall of the Fortress are just one of the dozens of newly discovered creatures which seem to make their homes in the freezing wastes. Mechanicus Genetor teams have expressed a pronounced interest in the makeup of the monsters, and have taken several corpses for study. They remain loathe to actually explore the surface themselves. Excerpt from Anecdotes of the 41st Millennium, Volume MCXVI by Stanforth McGramman, junior archivist to the Library of Sycorax The Medea Incident has been all but forgotten in the massive campaigns and vast slaughter of the 41st Millennium When systems are laid waste in swift and terrible campaigns by equally terrible forces, it is easy to lose sight of the slow bleeding of a world by the lesser enemies of Man. Nonetheless, the Medea Incident deserves to be remembered. The world of Medea is an unimportant planet in the far north of the Imperium, and its plaintive calls for aid against raiders had been overlooked in a galaxy where the forces of Man are needed everywhere. Hope had been forsaken by the Medeans when a single rapid strike vessel slipped from the Warp above their world, containing Chaplain Belicarius and a tactical squad of the Ice Lords. The vulnerable planet had become a frequent target of Orkin, Human and Dark Eldar raiders, all eager to steal what they could from the planet, all delighting in bloodshed and destruction. Such delight was quickly stemmed by the Ice Lords, who undertook training and equipping of the Medean population for war. Where raiders had once been met with flight and frantic pleas for mercy, they were now met with a hail of bullets and cries of havoc and war. The raiders began to make larger and larger forays, seeking security and strength in numbers, only to be met with greater concentrations of Medeans, supported by marines. As the raiders were forced into larger and larger groups for their own protection, the Ice Lords were better able to bring their strength to bear, along with the new-found strength of the Medeans. Soon enough, the raiders who had once wreaked havoc across Medea were simply a nuisance - and soon after that, they were gone completely, and Medea prospered, stronger than it had been before. Where other chapters would have sent a front-line company, thus being forced to allow some other world to fall, the Ice Lords sent a minimal group from a Reserve Company. Where some chapters might have leapt to confront one enemy, and thus left the planet open to others, the Ice Lords remembered their duty, and instead prepared the planet so that even together its enemies could not prevail. It was not glorious, exciting, or a grandiose display of power and the Emperor's might. But it saved the planet just as well, and that was enough for the Ice Lords. Beliefs You are no longer men. You are to be Space Marines. You now serve mankind, in a way that you could not before, because you were of mankind. You must defend them, help them, and die for them. That is as it should be. - Chaplain Belicarius, addressing a group of new initiates The Ice Lords subscribe to the typical Astartes belief that the Emperor is the savior of humanity, but not a god, and they hold to it with a vehemence equaled only by that of First and Second Founding chapters. However, they maintain no veneration for their Primarch, Lion El'Jonson, a quirk which has astonished Imperial observers. Unsurprisingly, they are reticent about this facet of their beliefs, and also demonstrate a marked aversion to associating with those chapters that refer to themselves as the Unforgiven. The beliefs of the faction known as the Knights were for many years the beliefs of the chapter as a whole. Taramant and the Knights believe that the role of the Space Marines in the Imperium is to defend the people of the Chapter home world and the people of the Imperium. Concerns of the chapter and of individual marines are subordinate to the demands of that duty. To reinforce these beliefs, Taramant encourages communication with the people of Franklin's World, often making use of civilian artisans or laborers. There are relatively few chapter serfs - most of the chapter's servants are drawn from the general population and return there after a period of service. The few serfs are generally drawn from the pool of failed aspirants, and are encouraged to maintain bonds with their families outside the fortress monastery. Most serfs direct ordinary laborers or serve in relatively honorable positions in the fleet or monastery. Space Marine participation in public rituals and in the administration of the world is common. The Captain of whichever company is serving to garrison the planet at any particular time also serves as the Lord Commander of Falconscott. The Lord Commander is the final court of appeal on the world (though it would be a fool who requested his judgment in a trivial matter), and a Space Marine also serves as executioner to the courts. On holy days, Space Marines often judge tests of skill and strength, and occasionally participate in bloodless melees where one marine confronts several challengers from the people. In addition to this, the marines are expected to wander the streets of whatever city they may be in, visiting family or friends from their old lives. All this had produced a remarkably close bond between the marines and the people, but the advent of the Wolves has soured it. Although Taramant's efforts to force the Wolves into submission have been mostly successful, their silent defiance and all-too-public initial protestations have greatly hurt the chapter's relationship with the people. Although no overt conflict has arisen yet, the people of Falconscott are noticeably less welcoming toward the marines. This appears to greatly trouble Master Taramant, and what course of action he will take to try and mend this breach with the populace is unknown. Wolf-based iconography is growing common among some of the more vicious members of the Chapter, while those who hold to Taramant's ways have begun to adopt the sign of a broken sword to show their allegiance to his ideas (and, the more cynical adherents note, the probability that they will come to naught). Taramant, meanwhile, seems to hope that a schism within the chapter can somehow be avoided, and appears to be trying to contain the schismatic beliefs to their current holders, while ensuring that new recruits of the Scout Company are firmly indoctrinated in the thinking of the Knights. There is growing worry among high-ranking officers that the Wolves may resent the attempts at suppression of their views even more than they already seem to. Although combat operations have in no way suffered as yet, it is a sign of the depth of the problem that several officers are beginning to express concern about the possible loyalty of their troops. Civil war may be unavoidable. Combat Doctrine Your enemy's realization that he watched every direction but above is the most gratifying sight you can see in this life. - Captain Darius of the First Company The Vociferous Abomination Campaign The Space Hulk Vociferous Abomination had drifted through dozens of systems before the Ice Lords discovered it. Cleansing it cost the lives of dozens of marines, but that was necessary to determine just where the vile construct had been. No one could tell in how many of those systems it had released foul Genestealers to pollute the purity of Man. Nonetheless, the Ice Lords did not leave the matter to the Imperial Guard, and they did not annihilate the populations of those planets as a quick and simple solution. Working with the Inquisition, three companies undertook the monumental task of ensuring that every planet that might have been corrupted by the Hulk was pure. The forces of the Inquisition would labor tirelessly to determine whether a planetary population had been corrupted, while the forces of Ice Lords waited in orbit. When the darkest concerns of the Imperium were confirmed, as they were all too often, the Ice Lords would land and carefully ferret out and destroy the Cult, even when whole populations turned against them. Twenty-three years of tireless work and near-constant fighting still resulted in a death toll of millions dead, including many Ice Lords, but billions were saved who might otherwise have been slain in an attempt to save the lives of Space Marines and Inquisitors. And why should men die to save those who should die to defend them? Most Space Marine Chapters rely heavily on a crushing orbital or aerial assault in order to secure their victories. While the Ice Lords are not unwilling to make use of such tactics, they seem far more comfortable on the ground, using more conventional tactics of maneuvering armor and infantry to secure victory. The superlative skills of Ice Lords pilots will be put to use in providing close air support where conditions permit, whether that be with lighter bombers and fighters or with the powerful Thunderhawks. This likely stems from the Chapter's early difficulties with their training cadre - rather than cultivate the broader skillset of other Chapters, Taramant and his compatriots appear to have decided that it was best for them to focus their limited resources on the cultivation of a mastery of the most basic methods of Space Marine warfare. Though time has obviously allowed the Ice Lords to broaden their capabilities and acquire a familiarity with what are seen as standard Space Marine tactics, the Chapter seems to retain a marked preference for the methods of their initial instruction. The combat doctrine of the Ice Lords relies on the use of fast elements to support a heavily armed, but less flexible, force. Speeders and aerospace craft are the favored means of providing this support, likely due to the influence of recruits who possess remarkable facility with both. Their experiences with clearing Space Hulks and with the monsters beneath Falconscott have also begun to shape the chapter into formidable close-quarters specialists. The Ice Lords have often displayed the Dark Angels' legendary tenacity, especially when defending civilian populations. However, they display none of the Dark Angel intolerance towards abhumans and non-humans, and equally none of the standoffishness or inscrutable tendencies to desertion of a combat zone the Dark Angels are infamous for. These traits have combined to make the Ice Lords popular with Imperial commanders, who appreciate tenacious and capable allies, but appreciate them even more when they do not suddenly depart the field of battle without explanation. Organization Slavish adherence to formal ritual is a sign that one knows the wrong rituals - Lahdemor, Master of the Librarium The Ice Lords are generally a traditional codex chapter, with all that entails. In exception to the norm, the Ice Lords Scout Company is hardly ever assembled as a formation, and usually operates as individual squads attached to companies fighting offworld. Captains are given relative leeway in the structure of their companies, and the reserve companies are generally not the monolithic organizations of specialists that they are in many other chapters, though they are expected to maintain facility with particular areas of expertise. The Reserve Companies often engage in pirate-hunting and other such exercises, to keep their skills fully honed. The First Company is regarded similarly to a normal Battle Company, and often undertakes similar engagements and serves a normal rotation in garrison on Franklin's World. The First Company is almost always under the personal command of the Chapter Master, and the post of First Company Captain is thus usually held by the least experienced of the Captains. Geneseed It will be hard to defend the Imperium if we succumb to corruption from within, young initiate. Harder still if that corruption involves tentacles. - Tull, Master of the Apothecarion The Ice Lords recruit from every city on Franklin's World. The nobles of the upper cities are trained in warfare from early ages, as are many of their adherents, and these youths make fine Space Marines. The glider duels common among city spires have made piloting almost second-nature to a warrior of Franklin's World, and many Space Marines retain this aptitude. The vicious gangers of the undercities are excellent hunters and close-fighters, but their overwhelming tendency to follow the beliefs of the Wolves has lead to a noted decline in their recruitment. Among the gangers, recruitment by the Space Marines was seen as recognition of one's prowess as a fighter, while recruitment in the upper city is looked upon as one of the highest honors a family can receive. Many commoners have found their other children sought after as husbands or wives for nobles after a son is taken as a Space Marine, while a failing noble house can find its popularity restored with such a coup. Thanks and Acknowledgements Thanks go to Sigismund Himself, Strike Captain Lysimachus, Telveryon, and the many, many, many others who have provided insights, told me when I was wrong, and helped me turn this from a bad idea into a good one. The Ice Lords bear the geneseed of Lion'El Jonson. It appears pure and uncorrupted, which is of little surprise considering their relatively short history and the notable purity of the Dark Angel seed. Quite why the Ice Lords do not maintain many Dark Angel practices has not been determined, but it clearly cannot derive from the geneseed. No record has ever been found of the Ice Lords referring to themselves as Unforgiven, and the Chapter actually seems to actively shun the company of such Chapters. Much speculation has arisen among some Imperial scholastic communities as to why this might be so. Battlecry Roar your defiance to the enemy. Let them feel the chill of fear, and let them know that they face the true defenders of Humanity - Chaplain Belicarius Honor and duty remain!
  9. So it's 2015 now, probably about 4 years since I used to frequent the Liber, and I finally got the inspiration to return. Unfortunately all records of my trademark DIY, the Angels of Perdition, have been lost to the warp. Rather than cry about it though, I see this as a chance to start anew and come up with an even better product. I'm very rusty, but I believe I have all the inspiration and drive I need to accomplish my goal and return the Angels to the mighty ranks of the Liber Astartes. I'll be progressing gradually. I have an outline which I will post and replace with the fleshed out sections as I go. As always, all comments, feedback, and critiques are welcomed and encouraged. Hope you enjoy! Angels of Perdition “We are the slayers of kings, the destroyers of worlds, bringers of ruination and death in all its forms.” http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z121/mnesimache/Vocates/angelsofperditionpy6.jpg The Golden Founding In the final days of the forty-first millennium, grim are all tidings. The armies of Man fall, the light of the Astronomicon has grown weak, and the well of Hope that the galaxy draws upon in dark times has all but dried. However, the Imperium of Man has occasionally been spared of its despair and known times of triumph. Ancient Imperial records show that the 14th Founding of the Adeptus Asartes was one such time of hope. It was to be a Golden Founding, and the High Lords spared no resource in raising the new champions of Humanity and arming them with the most mighty arms and armor with which to bring death to the foes of the Emperor. Even the careful selection of gene-seed during the Founding was meticulous almost to a fault, as the Adeptus Mechanicus insured that the vast majority of the fledgling Astartes Chapters were created from only the purest genetic stock of Roboute Guilliman and Rogal Dorn. Rumors abound as to why so much care was afforded to the 14th Founding in particular. The real reason has long been lost to time and the abyss of bureaucracy, but many Imperial Scholars and experts on the subject believe the momentous effort put into the 14th Founding in fact stem from the previous Astartes Founding: the 13th “Dark” Founding. That being said this is only conjecture, as all records regarding the subject have been replaced en masse by speculation, hypothesis, and superstition. Chapter 639, who would later be known and feared as the Angels of Perdition, were given life during the 14th Founding. They are scions of the Ultramarines through way of the Nemesis whom also also provided the nascent chapter with its initial training cadre. The honor of leading the chapter as its first chapter master was given to Lither Brahka, Veteran Captain of the Nemesis 3rd Company. Though described as an extremely humorless and dour individual, Brahka's service record was extensive as it was unquestionable. He was a commander known among the Nemesis as having an absolute intolerance for any breach in disciple, and that when it came to carrying out the Emperor's Will the ends always justified the means. Given command of 1,000 of the Emperor's Chosen and their mighty fleet, Chapter Master Brahka struck out into the Segmentum Pacificus without celebration. Bringing ruin to the mutant, xenos, and traitor at the alter of war would be their founding ceremony. For 14 years, Chapter 639 battled the enemies of Man without pause, exterminating heretical cult after traitor warband in the name of the Emperor. [add color battles and accolades here] EDIT:: Updated the outline. See below
  10. [basicheader=]CHAPTER NAME: Iron Heralds[/basicheader] SUMMARY ▪ GENE-SEED (PREDECESSOR): Iron Hands ▪ FOUNDING: 4th Founding ▪ CHAPTER MASTER: Chapter Master Seric Dasarro ▪ CHAPTER WORLD: Planet XVII-4R3 (Local Dialect: Megara) ▪ FORTRESS MONASTERY: The Desolate Spire ▪ FLAGSHIP: The Ultima Redemptio - Battlebarge ▪ MAIN COLOURS: Blood Red, Black and Iron ▪ SPECIALITY: Drop Pod Assault ▪ BATTLE CRY: Redemption through iron and blood! (Alt: Iron and blood! - Used as a greeting or battle cry) ▪ CURRENT STRENGTH: Nominal Strength ▪ KNOWN DESCENDANTS: None known The closing days of the 33rd Millennium were a time filled with both great promise as well as great foreboding. The horrors of the Horus Heresy and the subsequent Scouring were a distant memory and yet the Imperium still lay sundered. Many worlds and even whole systems had been lost in the chaos following the betrayal of the Emperor’s favoured son and the threat of the Traitor Legions still lurked within the Eye of Terror. Worse still the growing threat of a multitude of xeno races gnawed at the tattered fringes of mankinds’ domain. In response to this the High Lords of Terra declared a new founding of the Adeptus Astartes, the fourth of its kind. Gene-seed tithes and cadres of veterans were drawn from those Chapter’s still loyal to the Imperium. One such group was drawn from the Iron Hands, a Chapter still bitter and filled with hatred following the loss of their Primarch during the Heresy. Led by Former Captain, now Chapter Master, Dereo Fidel the cadre were placed in charge of a fledging group of marines, provided the requisite equipment by the Adeptus Mechanicus, and then sent out into an Imperium beset on all sides. Dereo, a man perhaps driven more to passion then most, strove to hape the marines given to him in the image of his Primogenitor. He taught his protege’s of a hatred of weakness, particularly of the flesh. He drove them to breaking point, filling them with the same bitterness and hatred that had filled the Iron Hands since the dark days of Istvaan V. Claiming a vision from the Emperor he named his fledgling Chapter the Iron Heralds. They would be as cold and unbreakable as the iron from which they were forged. They would be heralds of the Imperium’s will and a bane to those whom had fallen from the Emperor’s Light. It wasn’t long before the Iron Heralds became known as an uncompromising and merciless force of destruction. As the 34th Millennium dawned word came from the Fortress World of Cadia, Abaddon’s Fourth Black Crusade had begun. As a large force of the Traitors besieged Cadia Abaddon himself led the bulk of his forces into the wild space of Segmentum Obscurus. Imperial Command scrambled to meet the invading forces and any and all forces in the area were sent a desperate plea for aid and the Iron Heralds were one of the first to answer. Considered inexperienced by the Segmentum Command the Iron Heralds were tasked with missions outside of the main warzone. Embittered by what he saw as a blatant slander on both he and his marines Dereo threw himself into the missions assigned with a barely concealed rage. Tasked with hunting down and destroying a splinter of the Black Crusade that had ran deep into Obscurus the Iron Heralds struck like the hammer of doom. Worlds burned in their rage as they pursued the traitor force, led by a former Emperor’s Children Techmarine turned sorcerer known as Jydas the Forgotten, further and further from the Eye. It would be on the Forge World of Milvia Prime that the two forces would finally meet. Milvia Prime seemed to have been Jydas’ target all along and as his Traitor Forces rained down from his flagship, the Black Wrath, the Iron Wardens arrived in system and battle was joined. Dereo and his marines were eager to face their Primogenitors’ old nemesis and the forces of Jydas were eager as ever to fight loyalists. The battle was hard fought on the planets machine filled surface as Dereo and his brothers, driven by hate and sustained by their rejection of the flesh pushed the traitors back further nad further. It was then that Jydas’ plan was revealed. Unleashing a horrific blending of warp craft and sorcery upon the planets defenders that would become known as the Scrap-Code Malaise. Targeting any and all technology and possessing them with a near demonic in nature virus it rapidly spread across the planets surface and defenders. Suddenly weapons misfired and targetters went awry. Worse still the planets skitarii defenders suddenly turned on their masters and any and all bionics and vehicles suddenly acted with their own will. The Heralds, now beset by their mechanicum allies faces a further threat as, the parts they had replaced with bionics turned against them. Many were the marines cut down with their own weapons and others, those with cranial enhancements, fell completely under the sway of Jydas. Dereo himself, having large parts of his own body replaced in his pursuit of eliminating the weakness of flesh, fought against the voices that now seemed to tear at his very mind. Those of his forces still under his control retreated to their fleet where they prepared to withdraw, hoping that they could regain control of themselves elsewhere. It is unclear exactly what happened aboard his ship as they made to withdraw but Dereo’s own accounts claim he was again struck with a vision. In it the Emperor approached him and told him that he had failed the Emperor’s vision for his sons. Too much had he become embroiled in hatred. Hatred for the enemy and hatred for the flesh. But he would offer him a path to redemption. Purge himself of hatred, of his rage, and cleanse himself of the weakness of mind. Bring redemption to all mankind and in return the Emperor would help him overcome the curse that Jydas had placed on him and his men. When Dereo emerged from his meditations he was a changed man. Gone was the impulsive rage and deep hatred. Instead was a calm and cold purpose. Dereo’s face was scared and tattered where he had torn much of his bionics from him and instead only kept those that he needed to fight. He spoke to his marines and shared his vision and they too stripped much of their bionic enhancements. Then, after placing his second in charge, Pryden Falk, in control of the Chapter’s remaining forces, he led his most elite warriors in a do or die assault on Jydas’ flagship. The exact details of Dereo’s assault are lost to time, thee being so few survivors to recount them but in the end Jydas was slain aboard the bridge of his ship by Dereo himself. Jydas’ ship was sent spiralling into the warp to join the detritus of war and Dereo and the few remaining members of his elite cadre extracted via teleportation back to the planets surface. Their leader slain and their main in ruins the traitors withdrew as more reinforcements arrived from Imperial space, including forces of two other Chapters. The battle for Milvia Prime was won, but at a steep cost. Dereo’s wounded body was recovered amongst the rad swept dunes of Milvia Prime’s surface, surrounded by the remnants of his force. Each and all of them barely clinging to life. They were returned to the Chapter’s flag ship where they were rushed to the apothecarium. It was there that Dereo and those who followed him would be interred into stasis, their bodies too far lost to the Malaise to be laid to rest in Dreadnoughts. Here they would be held until such time as the Chapter found a way to finally purge the Malaise from the Chapter. The battered Heralds would drift for some time following the catastrophic battle of Milvia. Lacking the drive that Dereo had led them with and with much of the Chapter’s identity cast aside they roamed Imperial space, engaging foes where they found them but never truly committing to any particular campaign or battle. The losses suffered of Milvia had put the Chapter’s future into danger. It was then they arrived on the forgotten planet, known to its population as Megara. Megara had been left off Imperial star charts since the Age of Darkness and its population had faltered in isolation. Reduced to a feral state its people eked out a living amongst the shattered cities of the worlds glorious past. In its tumbled cities and forgotten glory Pryden saw something of his Chapter and declared that, as the Chapter needed a homeworld and Megara needed a defender, that henceforth the Chapter would call Megara their homeworld. The Iron Heralds had come home. Megara, a planet long forgotten by the Imperium that birthed it, is rightfully classified as a Death World. Hidden at the edge of Segmentum Obscuras Megara was once a thriving hive world, as evidenced by the tumbling ruins that dot the planets surface. The planets lethal forests survived between the towering urban spires and, when the planet fell, quickly reclaimed the urban sprawl. Its people degenerated from their hive dwelling past, becoming feral savages living as tribes in the forests around the cities. The Megaran’s regard the ruined Hive’s as cursed places, said to be haunted by the ghosts of those whom once dwelled there. Records on the rise and fall of Megara all all but non-existent, with references to the world being all but unheard of in Imperial Records. The planets ruins are similar in architecture to those from the time period following the Age of Darkness and the subsequent Great Crusade and, although their is little evidence suggesting a violent down fall, it has been supposed that the world was one brought into Imperial Compliance in the closing days of the Crusade, perhaps its re-settlement interrupted by the following horrors of the Heresy. Despite their superstitious distrust of the ruins around them the Megaran’s are greatly connected to their world. They believe that a persons soul is constantly reborn when someone dies and as such their bodies must be returned to the planet, to create an unbroken cycle of life. It is a belief of redemption and rebirth that has made its way into the Iron Heralds psyche. Whilst the natives hold the ruins in great superstition the Chapter does not. Making their home in what was believed to be the planets rulers palace at the heart of the largest Hive ruin the Iron Heralds have reforged the spire into their home. Known simply as The Desolate Spire the towering edifice bristles with defenses and thrusts into the planets sky like a giant spear piercing the heavens. It is from here that the Chapter has a commanding view of the ruined city and following jungles around. Visible for kilometres around The Spire acts as a grim reminder to the planets population of the planets overlords and a beacon to the planets youth who hope to one day join their hallowed ranks. Despite maintaining such an imposing fortress on the planet much of the Chapter’s facilities remain in part on board its massive fleet, particularly the Chapter’s flagship a Pre-Heresy Battle Barge known as the Ultima Redemptio. Although this is in part a relic of the Chapter’s crusading days it is as much a nod to the Chapter’s attitude that they are a weapon of the Imperium, nothing more or nothing less. They must be able to make war where ever they go and these assets enable them to do so. PRESENT ACTIVITIES:[/basicheaderhalf; padding: 12px 8px 12px 8px; border: 1px solid #DDD; margin-left: 0 auto; text-align: left; color: #fff; text-indent:10px; font-size:130%; width:50%;"> The Fall of Cadia was a death knell to the fragile stability the Iron Heralds had managed to achieve in Sub-Sector Megara. The arrival of Hive Fleet Titan to the north of the Sub-Sector, meeting the Chapter's forces already engaged against Traitor forces as part of the Ascarron Crusade, were already stretching the Chapter's resources thin, whilst a new WAAAAAGH was growing in the Bleak. When Cadia fell and the Cicatrix Maledictum burst into reality the Bleak errupted into hellish Warp storms that spilled forth, swallowing Megara and the entire sub-sector. Suddenly the Chapter faced daemons and traitor marines on every world as the servants of the Dark Gods took the opportunity to invade real space. Blood letters of Khorne cavorted in bloody slaughter on the world of Ascarron, slaughtering Imperial defenders and tyranids alike. Lucan Alerro, Master of the Fifth, battled the nauseating servants of Nurgle as they attempted to spread their rot on the agri world of Perditia. A legion of mindless power armored warriors led by sorcerers sword to Tzeentch invaded Milivia Prime, hoping to uncover the secrets of the Scrap Code Malaise. Worse still a Keeper of Secrets, servant of Slaanesh led an invasion onto Megara itself. Chapter Master Seric united what little of his Chapter remained on Megara to face the hellish forces, mostly those wounded in combat as well as elements of the tenth company and a portion of the reserve companies. Seric met the Keeper of Secrets in the Temple of the Waters where he faced the daemon in single combat. It is unknown what happened exactly in the Temple but it is said that the daemon of the Prince of Pleasure tempted the Chapter Master with his deepest desires but the aged commander resisted. Seric emerged from the Temple bloody but victorious, but has since been a changed man. He has become more and more withdrawn since his duel and has taken to spending more and more time in meditation and solitude. Iron Heralds Colour Scheme Victory on Megara was not the end of the conflict, however, and the Chapter battled all across the sub sector, working to safeguard those it was sworn to protect. Eventually the storms receded the Chapter emerged from the nightmarish toil battered and bloody, but not broken. Worse still contact had been lost with Terra and the Astranomicon. Chapter Master Seric didn't rest, however, sending out what little remained of the Chapter to continue to fight as Imperial forces reeled with the losses caused. Then forces of Guilliman's Indomitus Crusade arrived. Whilst the Primarch himself never visited the Chapter they were reinforced with elements of the Primarch's Primaris marines. Forged from untouched and untainted geneseed of the Primarch Ferrus Manus the Primaris marines were free from the Malaise. They were, however, still indoctrinated in the ways of their primogenitors, the Iron Hands. Whilst these new warriors were a relief to the Chapter murmurs of dissent have spread throughout the Chapter. Regardless these new reinforcements were the help the Chapter needed and they have committed ten fold to the wars that threaten their sector. [basicheaderhalf=]BELIEFS: The Iron Heralds beliefs are a combination of the final teachings of Dereo before his fall of Milivia Prime as well as an evolution of the beliefs of the Megaran natives. Dereo taught his chapter to abandon their hatred of the weakness of flesh and instead to focus on the hatred of the weakness of the mind. Instead of replacing their flesh with bionics instead the Chapter spends hours and hours in meditation and prayer, even more so then their brother Chapters. Iron Heralds shall spend hours, and sometimes even days, in silent prayer full vigil, contemplating over the smallest things. The Megaran people believe that the Emperor will one day return to the world and its fallen people will rise again to join him in a new paradise where they will be forgiven for the failings of their past. It was an idea that appealed to the wounded Chapter as offering a system of redemption. As the chapter drew more and more recruits from the world the beliefs of the Megarans began to infiltrate the Chapter. Soon the order of Keeper Chaplains was formed, taking the place of the Megaran Shamans. It is these Keepers that witness the recruits birth into the Chapter, baptizing them in the First Waters. And it is the Keepers that, upon a warriors death, return them to the same waters where their body is anointed, cleansing him of his failures and sins should he be worthy, before being laid to rest in the vast catacombs beneath the Temple of the Waters. It is this ritual which is said to return the warriors soul to the planet to wait for the Emperor's return to join him in Paradise. It is this belief in redemption through service that has made the Iron Heralds into the implaccable foe they are today. Despite having since settled on Megara the Iron Heralds still maintain the a strong fleet presence and, combat wise, have little ties to their homeworld or its people. The first warning foes often have of the arrival of the Iron Heralds is as their ships arrive in system. Sending no messages, offering no surrender or quarter they smash through whatever space borne assets the enemy have before striking as true angels of death, raining down in drop pods or, where circumstances prevent otherwise, arriving by thunderhawk or storm raven. They form a relentless aggressor. Known to keep pushing until either they or the enemy is destroyed they have been known to completely ignore fellow Imperial Commanders and it is believed that, for many, they simply do not accept defeat as an option. Despite having moved much from their Iron Hand primogenitors they have maintained both the merciless attitude to their enemies as well as their affinity with machines. To face an Iron Heralds force is to face an implacable, merciless and relentless foe, who expects no quarter and will offer none in return. [basicheaderhalf=]ROLL OF HONOUR: Incarnation of Despair - M39 It was in the closing days of the 39th Millennium that the Space Hulk, classified as the Incarnation of Despair, was vomited forth from the Warp above the Imperial Hive World of Oru Secondus. Imperial prognostication had the vessels flight path bringing it crashing down upon the densely populated world in an event that would have seen the important world plunged into a dust induced long night that would cause the loss of all life on the planet. With Imperial Navy assets commited elsewhere at the time the planetary governor of Oru petitioned the Iron Heralds for aid. Sending a strike cruiser with some of the Chapter's elite First Company armed with Tactical Dreadnought Armour and led by Chief Librarian Provatus Evette the Iron Heralds answered the call. Knowing that their only was to stop the vessel would be to destroy it from within Provatus led a series of boarding actions into the Space Hulk, only to find it densely populated with the Xeno biomorph known as Genestealers. As the scope of the vessels infestation became apparent Provatus realised that if he detonated the ship so close to Oru then parts of the hulk would still land on the planet and potentially carry the genestealers with them. Deciding on a last, desperate course of action he activated the Warp Drives board the ship, plunging it and his marines into the Warp with the hope of detonating the ship where-ever they arrived. Whether he ever arrived or not is unsure as contact was lost shortly after he entered the Warp and neither he nor the Incarnation have been seen since. What is certain, however, is that the Keepers insist that Provatus is alive somewhere still and so the Chapter waits in hope for his return one day. The Lament of Hercellium - M41 When the Iron Heralds were petitioned by the High Lords to assist Imperial forces in the space surrounding Hercellium against Eldar raids the Chapter answered with gusto. A detachment of a full three companies under the command of Chapter Master Thomut himself arrived in the system in a show of force. It was Thomut's hope that the enigmatic eldar, upon realising the massive force against them, would simply melt away as was their custom. He had no such luck however and a series of stinging attacks and ambushes by the eldar left the Iron Heralds forces reeling. Seeming to strike from a hundred places at once the eldar strikes were bleeding the Herald forces dry with the marines scoring little back against their Xeno foe. Thomut's chance seemed to come when he recieved reports of what appeared to be an eldar base on the world of Hercellium itself. Realising that sending his entire force would alert the Eldar to his plan he Thomut led an elite force at the Eldar base. Leaving the remaining forces under the command of the young Captain of the Third Company, Seric Dasarro, Thomut led his forces from the front. Little did he know it was cunning ambush to lure him in. Finding himself suddenly cut off and overwhelmed Thomut and those with him were killed to a man. With command of the forces now under Seric it was here that the young captain aptly demonstrated the tactical instinct that would become his reputation later in life. Taking a more intentionally reactive strategy then Thomut he used tactics similar to those the xenos employed against his own forces. Eldar strikes would suddenly find themselves over reaching their strike as Iron Herald forces simply melted away. It was a delaying tactic, for the most part, leading the Eldar force further and further forward. Seric had a plan, however. Using his famous insight and the data available to him Seric was able to predict the location of the Eldar Craftworld. He then drew his entire force together and struck a hammer blow at the raiders Craftworld. Drop pods rained upon the Wraithbone ship whilst Thunderhawks made devastating bombing runs. Seric himself led the ground forces, making a point to destroy everything in their path. Delicate spires were toppled and monuments destroyed. Despite their success, however, an assault on a craftworld was no small thing and the Heralds losses began to grow. It was a calculated move and, after causing massive destruction the Iron Heralds forces stopped their assault. Seric called for a meeting with the Eldars leader. It is unknown what was said during that council but at its conclusion the Iron Heralds withdrew and the eldar disappeared from the sector. A truce had been struck, as great cost to both forces. Upon returning to the Chapter Seric was unanimously voted to take the place as Chapter Master. The Harrowing of Mosicum - M41 When the worlds of Sub-Sector Mosicum declared themselves as succeeding from the Imperium a crusade was declared by Imperial High Command. Led by Inquisitor Lord Harlom Halt of the Ordo Hereticus the Imperial Crusade arrived at the fringes of Sub-Sector Mosicum to find that the renegade planetary governors had allied themselves with the forces of Chaos. Chaos cultists roamed the planets offering bloody sacrifices to their dark gods whilst elements of the traitor legions and other disparate renegade astartes ruled over the worlds. Realising he would need greater forces then what he had at his command he petioned for the aid of several nearby Chapters of the Astartes. One Chapter to answer his call was the Iron Heralds, sending the Second Company along with supporting elements from the rest of the Chapter. Pushing from world to world the Imperium forces were relentless and merciless. By the end of the campaign a full three quarters of the sub-sectors population had been put to the sword and the traitors had all been cast down. Those that remained were put back to work in the sub-sectors factories and mines whilst loyal forces were brought in to rule over the worlds. Many deemed the brutal culling too be going to far, particularly when in some occasions the planet had surrendered at the Chapter's arrival having heard of the fate of their neighbours. The fact that Sub Sector Mosicum remains a highly loyal and productive region of Imperial space since perhaps says otherwise. The Black WAAAAGH!!!! - M41 Sub Sector Megara, home of the Iron Heralds, is bordered on one side by a vast stretch of unchartable and unconquerable space known simply as The Bleak. It is home to all manner of Xeno forces. The most numerous and troublesome of these is the orkoid kine. Typically a disorganised and chaotic species the orks of the Bleak are regarded as typically a minor threat to Imperial interests in the area. It wasn't until the early days of M41 that the orks of the Bleak began to build towards a critical mass. As Warp storms through the Bleak subsided Ork tribes from various worlds that, until recently, had no contact with each other began to make war and, as the species is wont to do, grew from the conflict. As the threat the growing ork presence became apparent the Iron Heralds began to prepare an invasion force, hoping to cull the orks before they reached Waaagh!!!! numbers. The Iron Heralds entered the Bleak and began a systematic extermination of the orks. Little did they realise this preemptive strike would be the match that started the inferno that would consume much of Sub-Sector Megara. When the Ork warboss known as Drizog Blacktoof met the Iron Herald forces with his warband his brutal savagery caught the Heralds off guard and Blacktoof was able to crush the Iron Herald forces. Using this as proof to the other orks he bullied them into joining behind him and leading an invasion against the Imperium. Inspired by his success or bludgeoned into submission Drizog led a massive WAAAAGH!!!! into Sub Sector Megara. Despite the skill and might of the Chapter the Iron Heralds found themselves being pushed further and further back towards their homeworld of Megara. Even the legendary insights of Chapter Master Seric seemed unable to stem the tide. As world after world fell to Drizog's forces the Iron Heralds braced themselves for the inevitable invasion of their homeworld. It would be the timely arrival of reinforcements from both the Forge World of Milivia as well as a detachment from the Knight House Ysuelt that would halt the invasion. As legions of skitarii, platoons of guardsmen and squads of marines fought in the shadows of Titans duelling ork gargants Chapter Master Seric Dasarro met the ork Warboss Drizog in single combat. Despite all his years and skill Seric found himself on the back foot. Wounded and his strength fast fading it seemed Seric would fall but, by chance, he managed to fell the warboss with a shot from his combi melta. As the warboss' flesh melted away literally his great Waaagh!!!! did the same. Suddenly leaderless and pushed hard by the Imperial forces they began to fight amongst themselves over whom would lead. The arrival of those Iron Heralds deployed elsewhere came at a critical time and the ork forces were broken. It would take many years to fully purge the orks from the sub sector and longer still for the following strikes into the Bleak to eradicate as much of the orks as possible but the worlds that had suffered under the orks still bear the scars to this day. The Iron Heralds are, for the most part, compliant with the Codex Astartes as proscribed by Guilliman at the end of the Heresy. Although they are forged from the more divergent Iron Hands they have moved closer to the tome as laid down by the Ultramarines Primarch. The role of Iron Father has been divided into both separate roles of Chaplain and Techmarine. This has as much to do with the Chapters lack of obsession over the weakness of flesh as it does the need to have Techmarines fully devoted to their craft, due to the after effects of the Scrap Code Malaise which still haunts the Chapter to this day. The Primaris: A Brotherhood Apart The arrival of the Primaris wasn't an entirely welcome one. Separated from their Firstborn brothers by beliefs, lack of effect of the Malaise, as well as not being from Megara itself they struggled to fit in alongside their veteran brothers. Even Chapter Master Seric viewed them with dislike, stating they were "the wrong solution to the right problem" meaning they were addressing the weakness of the flesh when chaos won due to a weakness of the mind. As it stands they are an organisation apart, whilst part of the chapter they are organised into different companies and maintaining their own fortress monastary, the Sanctum Primaris, upon one of Megara's moons. On top of this separation of the role of Chaplain the Iron Heralds maintain an entirely different organisation of Chaplains. Whilst the regular Chaplains function much as they do in any other Codex Chapter, serving alongside the battle companies as both a spiritual guide for the brothers under his guidance, as well as advisor and warrior on the field of war. The other organisation of Chaplains, known as Keeper Chaplains, tend to both the recruitment and eventual death and interment of the Chapters warriors. The role of Keeper Chaplain is a hold over from the belief of the Megaran people, one of the few influences the population has had on the Chapter. It is the duty of the Keeper Chaplains to help raise a mortal into the ranks of the Chapter alongside the Apothecarium. Then, when a Brother falls, it is the Keeper’s who ensure his body returns to Megara where, after his gene-seed is extracted, it is annointed and laid to rest in the catacombs so that his essence returns to the planet.. [basicheaderhalf=]RECRUITMENT: For the most part the Iron Heralds draw their recruits from the feral tribal warriors of Megara, making the most of the populaces hardy nature and ferocity in battle. Although some recruits are drawn from elsewhere, often from worlds where the Heralds have fought, these recruits are often looked down upon by their Megaran counterparts. Regardless of where they are from all recruits start their journey to the join the Chapter on the Chapter’s homeworld. Starting out from one of Megara’s villages they must journey through the death worlds deadly forests to the heart of the Chapter, the Spire. Many of these recruits never survive the journey, falling prey to either the predators of the forests, the deadly plants or even each other as groups from rival villages have been known to fight to the death on the journey. Upon arriving at Spire they will be met at the gates by the Master of Recruits whom shall tell them the Spire is only open to those whom have passed through the flame and been judged worth. It is here in the ruins fo the ancient hive, in the shadow of the Spire, shall the recruits be trained. As they progress they will be given the various implants that raise them from the a mere mortal to that of an astartes. When they are finally judged ready they are sent on one their final tests known as the Iron Pilgrimage. They will be sent back into the world’s jungles, given only the location of a place known as the Eternal Fire. They will journey alone to the holy site, watched over secretly by the Keepers. As they draw close they enter another set of ruins, this time one bereft of any trace of the Chapter or Imperium. As the recruit makes this final approach the lesson of the ruins is a simple one. Without the Imperium, humanity falls, without the Chapter, the brother will fall. At last the recruit will come to a central plaza where the Temple of the Waters sits. In a secret ritual the recruit is baptised in the waters, representing him being washed of the failings of him as a mortal and his rebirth as a marine. From that moment on his is an Iron Herald. There is one last ritual that a brother takes before becoming a fully fledged marine. Once he is judged ready to join his brothers and be granted his Black Carapace and his Power Armour he is taken back to the First Waters to face a rite known as the Final Harrowing. Watched over by the leaders of the Chapter the brothers mind is laid bare by the Chief Librarian. The darkest recesses of the brothers mind are plunged and he is forced to face his darkest fears and the horrors hidden in his mind. Many brother’s are broken or driven insane by this final test. Worst still some will turn on those whom have showed them such horrors. Most, however, are hardened by this rite able to face all the darkness and evil that the galaxy has to offer without flinching. Redemption through iron and blood! Alternatively: Iron and blood (usually used as a greeting or benediction [basicheaderhalf=]GENE-SEED: The Iron Heralds are forged from the gene-seed of Ferrus Mannus and like their Iron Hand forefathers is relatively free of mutation and degeneration. Like their primogenitor they display a propensity for obsessive behaviour towards eliminating perceived weaknesses. Unlike their parent legion this has been turned from a hatred of the weakness of the flesh and more towards the weakness of mind. [basicheaderhalf=]CHAMPIONS OF THE CHAPTER: Chapter Master Seric Dasarro Lord of Megara, The Iron Lord, The Eternal Currently holding the title of longest serving Chapter Master as well as one of the oldest members of the Iron Heralds Chapter Master Seric Dasarro has led his Chapter for the greatest part of his long life span. Gaining the notice of his superiors early in his career Seric proved himself a capable commander as well as a formidable warrior. He was elected unopposed for his first captaincy, that of the Third Company, and led its warriors with distinction. It was only a matter of time before his rose to command of the First and then, when his predecessor was slain by the Eldar in an ambush, there was little opposition to his taking up the mantle of Master of the Chapter. Known for a near uncanny ability to predict the enemies movements, sometimes even before the enemy themselves realise it has won countless victories for his Chapter across the length and breadth of the Imperium. It is this almost supernatural foresight that has brought the attention of many of the more suspicious members of the Imperium and Seric has been examined thoroughly on three separate occasions for any taint of Warp based abilities. Once by his Chapter’s own Librarium and twice by the shadowy arm of the Inquisition. All three turned up no trace of psyker abilities what so ever and his abilities have just been passed off as a fortunate abnormality. Seric goes to war most commonly clad in an ancient suit of Cataphractii Terminator Armour, a relic of the Heresy once worn by the Chapter first Master, Dereo. He wields an ancient power fist and carries the combi melta known simply as Hearthfire, a gift from the Star Leopards following a joint action. (Acting) Chief Librarian Jorn Agrethan Lord of Mysteries The title of Chief Librarian is actually currently held by Provatus Evette. Provatus, however, disappeared along with the forces he was fighting alongside into the Warp aboard the Space Hulk the Incarnation of Despair. Despite the millennium since the vessel and with it Provatus disappeared the Keepers have declared that Provatus and those with him still live, as they have not seen his death in their flames. Because of this Provatus still officially holds the title of Chief Librarian but it was decided in his absence another needed to fill his role. Thus the Acting affixed to the title of Jorn and those whom filled the position before him. Jorn is a reserved and often cryptic member of the Chapter's council, tending to speak only when he deems it necessary. He takes a similar attitude with the Librarians under his charge. Seeming to rather they work on their own accord and stepping in only when it would be foolish to not do. When he does offer advice it is often in cryptic riddles, leaving those to whom he imparts his wisdom wondering if they were better of before or after the lead Librarian speaks. Chief Apothecary Nuuro Fenn If one was too say Chief Apothecary Nuuro Fenn was dedicated to his craft they would be making a dramatic understatement. Nuuro is highly protective of his charge, that of ensuring the continued preservation and implantation of the Chapter's geneseed. Such is his dedication to his charge that he has been known to regularly take to the field of battle, unlike many of his contemporaries. Clad in Terminator Armour and wielding both Narcelethium and an ancient thunder hammer he is known to be a veritable immovable object on the field of battle when it comes to protecting the gene-stock of his Chapter. His dedication to his craft continues off the field and when not engaged in battle he is obsessing over both the purity of his chapters stock as well as the treatment of his wounded brothers. Master of Sanctity Taron Baere Master of Hate From early in his career Taron proved a capable warrior and inspired leader. A master of hand to hand combat he was just as highly regarded for his ability to inspire those around him. It was this dedication and skill that fast saw him rise to a position of leadership and he became one of the youngest ever members of the Chapter to be raised to Captaincy. It is believed that Chapter Master Seric had even earmarked the young warrior for further advancement. Taron was granted one of the Chapter's most treasured relics, The Blade Eternum. A pre-heresy relic wielded by one of Dereo's companions at the founding of the Chapter the Blade Eternum was only to be wielded by those of outstanding ability and whom had sworn the most sacred oaths to unsure the blades safety. Rising from Captaincy of the Eighth Company to command of the Fourth Taron wielded the blade with brutal efficiency. It was the world of Veconna VI that prove Taron's downfall. Fighting against elements of the Traitor forces that had fled to the Eye Taron led his Company on a savage thrust, smashing aside the traitor forces. Thinking his enemy weak and allowing himself to be overcome with pride he pushed relentlessly forward, only to realise he had been drawn into a trap. As his forces pushed into an ancient temple on the planets surface the trap was sprung as thousands of Warp Rifts opened across the planets surface and Warp entities of all manner poured out. His forces drawn out and isolated, as well as hopelessly outnumbered, the Iron Heralds were cut down almost to a man. Taron himself fell in one on one combat against a Keeper of Secrets but not before the greater daemon deliberately broke the Blade Eternum in front of the striken Captain. It was only the arrival of more Iron Heralds as well as a detatchment of the mysterious Grey Knights Chapter that meant any of the Fourth Company survived at all. Taken back to the Chapters apothecarium Taron's wounds were treated with all the care deserved of one of his rank. His body soon healed but his mind not so much. Gone was the charismatic and noble Captain and in his place was a dark, brooding man prone to bouts of rage and anger. Taron refused to return to command in the Chapter, stating that he had no right following Veconna. Released from the Apothecarium but with no place to go he became a dark shadow, stalking the halls of the Desolate Spire. It was here that the Master of Sancity Desimund found him. Recognising that the wound to Taron's soul could be shaped rather then healed he took the young marine under his wing. Under Desimund's tutelage Taron soon learned how to shape his grief and rage into a weapon for the use of his Chapter. Hate was the one emotion the Iron Heralds allowed themselves if it was kindled properly and under Desimund Taron's anger became a smouldering ember that could, when needed, be turned into a raging inferno. It wasn't long before Taron donned the black of the Chaplaincy and fast became one of the more respected members of the Chapters Reclusium. When Master of Sanctity Desimund was slain during the Battle for Transcendence his mantle was passed onto a reluctant Taron. Desimund's final gift, passed to Taron after his death, was the remains of the Blade Eternum reforged into a new Crozius to be wieled by Taron in his new command and then any whom bare the title after him. Keeper of the Temple of the Waters Megara When a marine takes up the mantle of Keeper of the Flame they set aside their old name and take up the title Megara. Regarded as one with the Chapter's homeworld the Keeper tends to the rites over the First Waters as oversees the final Harrowing of all new recruits. The Keepers are regarded as an enigmatic and distant group, perhaps even more so then the Chapter's Techmarines. The Keeper of the Temple of the Waters is regarded as the strangest and most distant by far. Indeed many doubt if he even remains truly sane, prone as he is to long silences and random mutterings. Despite this he remains a member of the Chapter's Inner Council and Chapter Master Seric is said to highly regard the Keepers advice. At least, that is, when he understands it. Despite this the Keeper of the Flame and his Chaplains are regarded as a vital part of the Chapter still and as such most overlook their eccentricities. Master of the Forge Austilian Ferrum The Scrap Code Malaise still lurks hidden in the machine spirits of the Iron Heralds warmachines and, like all those whom held the title before him, Master of the Forge Austilian has dedicated his life and work to purging it. Between his duties tending to the Chapters armoury or organising those beneath him to do the same, Austilian spends large amounts of his time of the Forge World of Milivia Prime that suffers from the same fate. It is this seemingly neglect of his duties that has led many to question the true reason for his obsession with the Malaise Captain Dosje Ludovic Captain of the 1st Company, Regent of Megara A warrior without equal within the Chapter and a cunning strategist as well many regard Dosje as the obvious choice to succeed Seric as Chapter Master and it is said Seric agrees as the two have spent many hours in private conversation regarding the future of the Chapter. Dosje takes great time with his charges within the First, pushing to achieve the greatest results from them. His exacting standards and no nonense approach has meant he has ruffled a few feathers, particularly from those outside the Chapter besides which he has fought but he still remains a stalwart example of what it is to be a Iron Herald. Captain Lucan Alerro Captain of the Fifth Company, Master of Marches TBA SIDEBARS The Alliance with Rogue Trader Dynasty Why Their Heraldry - Blood Red for blood lost for redemption Nearby Forge World/Older Armour Marks The Scrap Code Malaise
  11. THE STORM BEARERS CHAPTER OF THE ADEPTUS ASTARTES Born of Man. Die for Man. Greater than Man. Origins Not all that is Man is created equal, and this stands true even for those who came of Man but have become far more than Man. The Emperor’s Angels of Death, transhuman warriors formed into Chapters, are Founded every few centuries. Not all of these Chapters are formed equally. Some are born poor, bereft even of a home world, bound to an existence of vagrancy across the stars. Auspiciously born from the blood of the 18th gene-line, in the 18th Founding, the Storm Bearers were more fortunate. To them were gifted an unconquerable fortress upon the orbiting moon of a world specially selected for suitable recruitment, as well as an immense Star Fort and numerous outer system planetary defenses with which to defend their home. The Aetna System was not only well placed to provide easy access and monitoring of several nearby subsectors, but had also come under a most unconventional siege. No enemy had yet been encountered, but evidence too substantial to ignore suggested a great threat had worked its way in. The Storm Bearers first action as an independent force was to root out and extinguish this threat, thought to be the Polyphemians, an ancient Etnaphemian myth that could potentially be the oldest known record of the foe. The Storm Bearers thought it superstition, and blamed the failure of the locals in locating and eliminating the threat on their superstitious nature. Superstitious though they may be, the threat was real. The enemy was real. The deaths of dozens of Space Marines attested to the power of the enemy, and yet such was its cunning and stealth that only the dead were left as evidence of its existence. Even the Steropes facility, a hub-bastion that coordinated the extensive network of defenses surrounding Aetna’s outermost planet, was susceptible. Analysis of recordings made on recovered Space Marine suits revealed the impossible truth. That the enemy was everywhere and yet the suit’s wearer would simply forget the creature’s existence once it had left the battle-brother’s sight. The recording was disseminated across the Chapter, and soon other recorded encounters were uncovered. Study of the creatures in the recordings commenced, and countermeasures were extrapolated and put in place. The Chapter’s Librarians began to concentrate upon the sensation of a sudden shift in their brothers’ memories; unable themselves to simply fixate and locate the xenos breed. This task fell to the Chapter’s Techmarine corps, who would modify the Chapter’s supply of suits to provide recognition whenever such creatures are witnessed, and log it so that the wearer would be reminded once the creature leaves sight. This advantage allowed the Storm Bearers to finally uncover and bring ruin upon the xenos hiding in their midst. The struggle against the xenos would last nearly two hundred years before the last uncovered nest could be put to the sword, though possible sightings and unsubstantiated reports would continue indefinitely. With the Polyphemian threat neutralized, the Storm Bearers would settle into their role as guardians, the superstitions and weaknesses of mortal man now laid bare. For millennia, the Storm Bearers would be the bulwark and the tempest both, as the Imperium required. Their exploits, particularly those of their long line of Lightning Bearers, would earn them great glory. In time, they would be given the greatest honor of providing the seed through which another Space Marine Chapter would be born. This Chapter would take the name of one who had fallen long, long ago, as the Storm Giants reborn. Home World Brontes was once a more civilized world, well onto its way into becoming a proto-Hive World. This did not suit the Storm Bearers, who wanted their world to inspire a more warrior spirit rather than simple genetic suitability. The Storm Bearers would be far from the only Chapter to affect directly the fate of their home world, but few would go so far as to reverse cultural progress and systematically destroy all evidence of an advanced civilization. The survivors, who were many as the Storm Bearers kept casualties at a minimum, formed smaller, local communities. Retained knowledge of metallurgy and other skills stalled regression in the equivalent of the Bronze Age. This setting has been encouraged and even violently enforced by the Storm Bearers. The planet of Brontes is a volatile one. Its large, harsh seas make for difficult ocean-faring, and traffic between its extensive, rocky island chains and small, isolated continents is light. The erratic orbit of its satellite moon of Mene, upon which the Storm Bearers’ fortress-monastery resides, plays havoc with the planet’s already fluctuating magnetic field. Storms of immense size and ferocity form with frightening regularity out among the tumultuous waters, their titanic fury when they hammer upon the shorelines inspiring the Chapter and giving them their name. Combat Doctrine In contrast to their Nocturnean kin, the Storm Bearers are deliberate and cumbersome, but far from slow. The Chapter maintains a large fleet of Thunderhawk vessels, preferring to arrive upon the enemy like a great storm cloud upon the horizon, though they are far from adverse to orbital deployments, drop pods striking the battlefield like bolts of lightning. Speed of delivery is imperative, their military strength gathered tight to lend the blow as much weight as possible. This preference has made them adept at offensive siege warfare, using their heavy, lightning assaults to shatter defenses, as well as to isolate and eliminate enemy commands no matter how deeply defended or concealed. Organization The Storm Bearers are strong components of the Codex Astartes, finding deviations as distasteful as any conservative Successor of the Ultramarines. Within the Chapter’s auxiliary forces there is, perhaps, a greater deal of communication and interaction than may be commonly found. Ongoing threats faced by the Storm Bearers has seen such internal organs as the Reclusiam, the Forge or the Librarium cooperate and partner for creative means of overcoming these challenges, such as the task to eradicate the Polyphemian xenokind requiring the services of the Librarium and the Forge in equal measure. Though these auxiliary formations remain separate within the Chapter’s chain of command, to an outsider familiar with other Space Marine Chapters the distinction may not be so clear. The Storm Bearers regularly maintain a crusader force tasked far beyond the borders to their realm and protectorates, and as such, the Chapter has been witnessed upon worlds and in battles across the breadth and width of the Imperium. Leadership over these crusades will fall to one commander, overseeing many companies in his command. These commanders are given the role of representing the Chapter well beyond its sphere of influence, and as such are given the rank of Lightning Bearer. This rank comes with exceptional honor and glory attached, as well as promises of future advancement. There have been more Storm Bearer Chapter Masters who had once served as Lightning Bearers than not. Beliefs The Storm Bearers came to the Aetna System bearing copies of the Promethean Creed, the spiritual treatise that continues to shape their Salamander brothers. Over time, the Storm Bearers would make changes and additions, inevitably coming to very different conclusions and the applications of their beliefs. The Cyclopean Creed, as the editions held by the Storm Bearers came to be called, has grown to place less faith in humanity than its parent Creed, finding them inherently weak and susceptible to corruption. Though such an assessment is often born of distaste, the Storm Bearers see this truth as due to their exceptional vulnerability and need for protection. The powerful gifts the Emperor and Vulkan provided the Angels of Death be not for mortal use, though it does instill a strong sense of responsibility. The Adeptus Astartes are gifted with the thunder and lightning of war, so that they can do what mortals cannot and should not. While the Storm Bearers see themselves as superior and above the general populace, their beliefs continue to bind them to humanity in service rather than in rule. Gene-seed The genetic material of the Storm Bearers remain effectively pure, what few mutative deviations exist are of little consequence. The most evident of the Storm Bearers deviations is in the improper function of their melanochrome organ. When operating at peak efficiency, the organ enables the Marine to shift skin tone for absorbing multiple levels of radiation. This organ within a son of the Promethean will malfunction, what should be temporary becoming permanent. The interaction between Brontes and Mene releases regular, periodic bursts of exotic forms of electromagnetic radiation. The Storm Bearers’ genetic legacy is affected, causing hair growth and eyes to pale and whiten, while the skin darkens in color, though far from the extent as seen by their Salamander brothers. These physical changes separate the sons of Vulkan from mortal kind, a divide the Storm Bearers embrace. Battle Cry “Fire and thunder!” http://i.imgur.com/H4zfnWk.jpg Pict-capture of a Storm Bearer survivor Outside the remains of the Steropes facility
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