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Found 17 results

  1. Version v.1.1

    80 downloads

    An Index Astartes article detailing the homegrown Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, the Heralds of Light.
  2. +++ Heralds of Light +++ 'Cut through the night!' + Lore + Index Astartes: Heralds of Light (Downloadable version) +Models+ Primaris Lieutenant Firstborn Captain (by @jah-joshua, owned by @DarkKnightCuron) + Art + Chapter Heraldry Battle-Brothers (by @Aerion the Faithful) Vengeance (by @Aerion the Faithful)
  3. The Argent Fists -= Deliverance of the Emperor =- The Argent Fists are a Ultima Founding successor of the Imperial Fists stationed in the Segmentum Obscurus sector. Like their parent chapter they are a chapter of patience and stubbornness making them excellent at siege warfare. Their home planet is in the Muk'sa system called Sairen. Sairen is a mixture of jungles deserts and swamp lands at the poles of the plant. The fortress monastery on Sairen is in the shape of a ring surrounding a lone mountain called Heaven's Fist. The mountain is part of the fortress monastery and houses the most sacred relics and equipment of the chapter which is protected by the ring structure around the mountain which creates a powerful void shield around both the mountain and ring structure. The Fortress-Monastery also houses an ancient terraforming engine with exhaust ports all over the plant. It has been modified into a defense system for Heaven's Fist and can alter the weather patterns of the planet if needed to help slow or even prevent an assault on the structure. -= Life on Sairen =- Sairen The planet Sairen was acquired by the Argent Fists shortly after the end of the Indomitus Crusade. The planet is located in the Segmentum Obscurus sector and the Argent Fists were stationed there to assist the Iron Hands in the region. The plant's south pole, viewed in the picture above is covered with a giant terraforming structure that surrounds a lone mountain known as Heaven's Fist. The rings around the planet are made up of ice, rocks and rare minerals and are filled with hidden planetary defense platforms. The rings are still gathering rare minerals from the system and are used to fuel the terraforming machine on the planet's surface when needed. Sairen is a planet of many climates and intense seasons. The planets rotates from East to West but also North to South. Only intensifying the random weather patterns on the planet. Once every two hundred years the poles swap from South to North causing slight disruptions of electrical equipment on the planet. The terraforming engine is protected by the void shielding but it is one of the main reasons the human population is still stuck in the hunter-gatherer stage of civilization. During spring, the deadly flora and fauna grow rapidly;carnivorous plants are known to attack, sedate and slowly digest animals of human size and smaller, battle-tank sized sized predators awaken from their hibernation ready to feast after their winter fast; and ice sheets melt causing the planet to be covered with two feet of water allowing the hunters from below to traverse upon land. During summer, the lands boil in sweltering heat and humidity; clouds cover the skies leaving the landscape in a perpetual haze; great lumbering beasts traverse the flat plains in search of food and torrential rains are common across the entire planet. During fall, the lands become dryer as the water is recollected at the poles and begins to freeze; fires are started from the dry lightning storms; the lumbering giants return to their nests for hibernation while scavenger packs of smaller but no less deadly species race across the planet in search of what is left; and the trees, having grown their polyps, release their seeds in a series of blasts with the sound of boltgun fire kill any living creates nearby. During winter, the lands become a desolate landscape; with the majority of life in hibernation or a state of starvation and the plant life returned to their roots, the dangers appear to have subsided. That is until the realization that water can rarely be found outside of the polar regions. Packs of gore hounds hunt most living things moving at this time. The humans of Sairen are in a constant state of threat. There are no cities, the majority of buildings are built high in the tree-lines giving the clans proper views of their surrounding areas but also keeps them safe from most hostile life. They hunt with bows and spears and range hundreds of miles as a clan to collect water and food for their clans to store for the fall and winter seasons. They build hidden nest-eggs of water and food that are spread out over the vast wilderness of the planet, moving from one location to the next to survive the harsh fall and winter seasons. -= Recruitment on Sairen =- Every year during the season of summer they are encouraged to send their strongest warrior to any of the many altars on the planet. These altars were built into the exhaust ports from the terraforming engine housed in Heaven's Fist. The plates have been and turned into shrines for the local population and remain a flat circle with the word of the emperor and his image inscribed into the plates. The local population views them as a sign that there is a god and that this man is it. They are broken of this belief when they are accepted as recruits. When the recruit arrives at the altar they are expected to fast for one week and meditate. They are only able to drink water during this time. What they meditate on is up to the individual, but if any break their concentration they are disqualified. This test helps establish those recruits with the focus and stubbornness to survive implantation. The second test is when training begins. After the week of meditation the recruits are picked up by the master of recruits and are allowed two days to rest and eat. They then being the second phase. This phase can take anywhere from 1-2 years. The recruits are trained in history, military tactics, languages, art, physical education, and many other fields of study. After passing several tests the recruits are prepared for the initial implantation. If a candidate survives the implantation process they are then assigned into existing groups. These groups are further trained in military tactics an and all forms of additional mental training. They also compete for position. The best units are chosen for missions and the others are left to mock battles and training within Heaven's Fist. A recruit is ready for their final implantation and promotion to brother after 4 years of training. From this point on they are a full brother of the Argent Fists and are shown the respect and reverence from all recruits. -= Chapter Colors and Organization =- Image Provided by Boldthreat The Argent Fists Chapter Badge The chapter badge was created by Chapter Master Suresh when he was chosen to lead his own chapter. The small group of lieutenants that he led during the campaign joined him and were promoted to captaincy of the 13 companies of the chapter. The ideology of purity of the flesh and painting of white on the hands and helm to represent the purity of a marine and chapter were also derived from him. The chapter colors of the Argent Fists are quartered yellow and black. The hands are white to represent the purity of the chapter and their will. As a marine moves up in rank his helmet will become white as well to represent purity of mind. The chapter badge, a white rotunda around a white fist on a black field, is an inverted representation of the Imperial Fists badge to show honor to their parent legion. This badge represents the purity of the chapter but also that they are the light in the darkness. A beacon of hope against the vastness of despair. The chapter is organized loosely following the Codex Astartes. Due to the Rites of Challenge their ranks are more fluid and their 1st company is broken down and usually fielded throughout all of the other 13 companies. Yes, thirteen companies. Company 1-10 are your standard companies outlined in the Codex Astartes and companies 11-13 are further reserve companies that are stationed on Sairen. When companies come back from a campaign with losses they will fill their ranks with the reserve companies from the 11th to 13th companies and head back out after restocking supplies. The chapter as a whole has only been fielded two times. Once during the Indomitus Crusade and the only other time was against WAAAGH Goresmasha in the Juran system. The full display of the might of the Argent Fists is still talked about in stories on the planet Fect in a yearly week-long celebration in conjunction with the celebration for the Emperor. -= Cult of the Argent Fists =- Captian Sifo-Dyas of 3rd Company Lieutenant Sifo-Dyas was promoted to Captain in the war against the renegade forces of the Jackel system. After several months of grinding siege warfare Lieutenant Sifo-Dyas issued a Rite of Challenge to Captain Durrant. The challenged Captain picked the contest of Go to determine the winner. It was a very close game but Lieutenant Sifo-Dyas emerged victorious and was promoted to Captain. Captain Sifo-Dyas moved quickly and ended the campaign two days later by leading a strike team into the heart of the renegade forces while using the companies entire supply of empty drop pods as distractions. They gutted the leadership of the renegade forces and the survivors quickly surrendered and were processed into the mining facilities as slaves. The Argent Fists reviewed and took after their parent legion in many ways. One of the many lessons they learned from the Imperial Fists Legion was how cults worked and helped excel personal and teamwork skills on the battlefield. They have taken this idea and formed a inter-chapter cult revolving around competition and skill. Veterans do not mean they are older than their brothers of non-veteran status like most other chapters. The Argent Fists consider veterancy a rank that is to earned through competition. If the older marine is not the best then they should be taking orders from the best. In this sense the Veteran Company, 1st Company, is never fielded unless the entire chapter is fielded in the same battle. This has only happened on a few occasions. The Cult of the Argent Fists focuses on all skills related to battle. From siege-craft to black-ops, all skills are tested and in constant competition with their brothers. Every position in the entire chapter is available for the Rite of Challenge and there have been many times where a chapter master had been demoted or re-promoted based off the needs of the chapter at the time. However, the current chapter master, Chapter Master Achaeus, has been not been beaten or removed from position for thirty years now and has not had a challenge in over fifteen years. These Rites of Challege can be issued at any time that the target is not currently engaged in battle. It has been known for captains to change entirely in the middle of campaigns allowing for the chapter to adopt and entirely different approach to the war. This sudden change in tactics usually unbalances their enemy and has led to some of the most notable victories of the Argent Fists. Another aspect of the Cult of the Argent Fists is that they view the loss of flesh a very dishonorable act. Hence their some-what heated rivalry with the Iron Hands and their successors. The Argent Fists believe that their flesh was made perfect by the Emperor and any adjustments not granted by him or his sons is just short of Heresy. They feel sorrow for their brothers of the Iron Hands and will go out of their way to help them achieve honor in the hopes of them realizing their wayward decisions and change their opinions about the flesh being weak. Because, in their opinion, the flesh is sacred. This idolization of their own flesh has caused some unique rituals to be performed on marines that neglect their duty. This punishment usually involves in one or both of the marine's armored fists being painted black. Upon atonement they are then allowed to repaint their fists white. -= Chapter Politics =- -= Dealings with the Iron Hands =- The Argent Fists patrol the same region as the Iron Hands and have had several opportunities to work with them in expelling vile traitors and xenos filth. However, their ideology of the flesh being sacred clashes with the Iron Hands' thoughts about the flesh being weak. The Argent Fists are always too honorable to point this out, they are also well aware of the Iron Hands being one of the original legions and that they stayed loyal to the Emperor. However, they still feel that the Iron Hands are deliberately shaming the Emperor every time they replace a body part with machines. In order to avoid conflict with the Iron Hands they have decided that when the two forces engage an enemy together they will pass all the honors to the Iron Hands in hopes that they will realize that the flesh is not weak and that they will retreat from their shameful ways. -= Dealings with the Astra Militarum =- The Argent Fists understand the vital role that the Astra Militarum play in war and they use it to their advantage. They understand that each brother is worth at least a thousand guardsmen and will not sacrifice themselves for them unless necessary. When on missions/campaigns with the astra militarum they have occasionally found some that they could respect. When they find these individuals they will offer them protection and even give them direct lines to their leadership should they ever need assistance. Even then, they know that their goal is the protection of the Imperium and that lives are the cost of the protection. -= Dealings with the Inquisition =- The Argent Fists know the importance of the role that the Inquisition has and do their best to oblige to the requests made by them. But they also know that they are not at the whims of the Inquisition. Dealings with them can be tough and verify dangerous, so when strange requests are made by the Inquisition they are usually passed around the entire chapter several times before the individual representing the Inquisition gets to speak with anyone of authority. Sometimes this process can take weeks. Most of their interactions with the Inquisition have been with Inquisitor Victor Vaughnbrattin and Cannoness Brunilda of The Order of the Steel Rose. -= Dealings with the Imperial Knights =- Imperial Knights hold a special place of honor for the Argent Fists. Having worked with the Knights provided by the Forge World Psyther several times, they have a keen understanding and respect for the machines of war. They understand that they are valuable assets on the battle field and will go out of their way to protect the Knights from stealth teams and assassination attempts. -= Dealings with the Adeptus Custodes =- Having worked with Guilliman in the Indomitus Crusade, the Argent Fists have several officers that had worked directly with the Adeptus Custodes. They view them as mirrors of the Emperor and will obey any request given to them from these champions of legend. The most recent request being that 4th Company deploy defensive positions around Cepium 5 -= Dealings with Forge World Psyther =- Forge World Psyther is located in a nearby star system, Juran. They have held good relations with the Forge World since they helped repair and rebuild the Argent Fists fortress-monestery on Sairen. The two forces have engages in several fields of battle together, the most recent being the ending of the treat of WAAAGH Goresmasha. Which met it's demise on the mining and fortress-world of Fect. Fect was designed and built off of a mineral rich planet for Forge World Psyther to gain supplies to fuel their massive forges as the Forge World is one of the larger suppliers of space marine armor, weapons and ammo in Segmentum Obscurus. -= The Companies of The Argent Fists =- -= 3rd Company =- 3rd Company is led by Captain Sifo-Dyas. A specialist in rapid assault and diversionary tactics. He has trained his company for rapid deployment with a focus on mobility and assaults. As such, the majority of the company has trained extensively with Phobos and Reaver based armors as well as Invictor Tactical Warsuits. Captain Sifo-Dyas has led the company on more than twenty successful campaigns since he was promoted. However, with their tendency to rush the battle, the company tends to suffer a higher casualty rate than most other companies. -= 3rd Company Organization=- Captain Sifo-Dyas Librarian Washburn "Wash" / Lieutenant Durrant / Tech-Marine Lafayette / Apothecary Leonard "Bones" 3(6) Infiltrator Squads/Reaver Squads** / 3 Eliminator Squads / 3 Inceptor Squads 11 Impulsors / 11 Drop Pods* / 6 Repulsor Executioners / 6 Storm Ravens / 6 Invictor Tactical Warsuits * (I know they can't use them but they have them and hopefully in the future they will be able to use them) ** (In some cases three of the infiltrator squads will gear up as Eliminator squads if needed) -= Combat Doctrines =- The Argent Fists have developed a love for bolt weaponry that boarders on fanaticism. This, mixed with the stubbornness that is often found in the sons of Dorn, has led to some rather bloody engagements as their lines moved into optimal firing range of the different bolter variants. Younger marines will see these orders and follow them as trained, but generally question them when the fighting is done. This has led to many Rites of Challenges within the lower ranks of the chapter but has also had a more positive side-effect allowing for the increased repair of power armor, vehicles and star ships as the losers of the Rites of Challenge are usually assigned to assist the companies Techmarines in repairs. However, this has been a gift to the chapter as more than the usual number find the work enjoyable. This has led to the chapter as a whole boasting three times as many Techmarines as normal chapters. Another quirk of the Argent Fists is that they are extremely focused on completing the task at hand in the shortest time possible with the least amount of effort. So, while they are highly trained in the art of siege warfare, they quickly grow bored of stagnant conflicts and will sometimes take positions in battle that put them in disadvantageous positions to goad their enemy to come out and meet in battle. This usually increases the causality rate of the campaign but it is viewed as an acceptable loss if they are able to complete their mission sooner. There are few in the chapter that enjoy the blood slicked battle fields caused by melees. As soon as they are found they are assigned to 3rd company. The 3rd company relishes getting stuck in with the enemy and the ensuing chaos that comes from that. It is this desire that has led 3rd company to be one of the most decorated companies in the chapter since Captain Sifo-Dyas was promoted. However, these decorations have come at a cost in lives and 3rd company has a casualty rate far higher than any of the other companies. -= Short Stories of the Argent Fists =- Brother Ashur: Short story involving 4th Company's assignment to the planet of Cepium 5. Kell's Last Battle: Short story involving SGT Kell of Fect's 351st witnessing the arrival of the Argent Fists
  4. Hi all, Apologies for the delay in getting this up, long story short I wrote a complete IA for an Ultima Founding version of this Chapter but when I was done as happy as I was, I just couldn't bring myself to do a Chapter with no Firstborn Astartes, and so weeks of work were put aside for further weeks of work to get this in for the deadline! C&C always welcome, please excuse any formatting errors, this is my first topic! Index Astartes - The Celestial Knights CHAPTER NAME: ..............THE CELESTIAL KNIGHTS FOUNDING: ..................4th[M.32] CHAPTER WORLD: .............URDU FORTRESS MONASTERY: ........THE CELESTIAL SANCTUM GENE-SEED (PREDECESSOR): ...VII LEGION/IMPERIAL FISTS [<<REDACTED>>] KNOWN DESCENDANTS: .........NONE Origins The Celestial Knights exact age, like so much knowledge in our proud Imperium has been lost to the intractable march of time. Records differ between the institutions of Man. The Adeptus Administratum first recorded mention of the Celestial Knights is during a brief excert with the Apocrypha Piscean as a proud member of the 4th Founding, the largest founding ever undertaken at it’s time, however the Librarium of the Chapter itself contains battle honours dating back to the War of the Beast. The Mechanicus, while reticent on the date of their founding, have been forthcoming on their first recorded battle honour of the Celestial Knights; the Morannan Cleansing of 012.M33. A bloody but brief conflict in which the Celestial Knights reinforced a beleaguered Martian expedition within the Morannan Reaches, beating back the predations of Craftworld Caom-Scéal, ending thousands of Aeldari lives in the process. The grateful Mechanicus bestowed upon the Astartes with the Auric Cog, a prestigious honour for defenders of the Martian Cult and the offer of custodianship of Morannan Prime’s primary moon Udan, which was gratiously accepted. Since those distant days the Celestial Knights have stood vigil over the Morranan Reaches protecting Mechanicum and Imperial fiefs alike A stalwart defence against the outer dark. Much like their primogeniture, The Imperial Fists, the Celestial Knights took to their stewardship with a cold efficiency, building Chapter Keeps upon the key worlds of the Reaches, with defences so expertly designed they could be held for weeks with but a handful of Astartes garrisoning them. While they inherited their primarchs acumen for the raising of great defences, it was in the offensive prosecution of siege the Celestial Knights found there true calling. Across the Imperium the Ultima Segmentum, and beyond, there are records of their famed mass infantry assaults supported by heavy ordanance breaking the fortresses of Xenos and Heretic alike. The Fresco of Serapis, while physically lost, was fortunately extensively recorded via pictograph, was a masterful marble rendition of one such assault, hundreds of Astartes can be seen pushing through the a breach in the enemy Xeno defences, with unmistakeable outlines of Whirlwind and Vindicator tanks can be seen beyond the masses. Unfortunately, the classification of Xenos has been long lost to the ravages of time, long assumed to be due to their utter destruction at the hands of the Celestial Knights, the shape of their broken pyramid and obelisks, seem all to familiar and can still be clearly made out in the surviving pictographs. THE MORANNAN CLEANSING The untouched wilderness worlds of the Morannan Reaches forbade the deployment of heavy armour, forcing The Celestial Knights into a bloody infantry war which culminated in their first mass infantry assault, a form of warfare they are now synonymous with. The Bridal War M36.279 – The Imperium is lost in political turmoil once again, the whispers of civil war between the Administratum and Ecclisiarchy have long since been replaced with the Reign of Blood of the new High Lord of both august offices, Goge Vandire. Over the course of his reign his edicts had become more and more extreme, erratic purges and pogroms were common. Over the years the divides within the Imperium grew greater and greater, with more and more regions being cut off by the drastic increase of warp storms through out Imperial demenses. It was in this climate that the conflicts now remembered within the Celestial Knights as The Bridal War took place; responding to reports of heresy on Coeus VI the 5th Company of the Celestial Knghts, under Captain Gail Gagern arrived in system and made planetfall to a sight both shocking and profoundy disturbing. In direct contradictions to the reports of both the Ecclisarchy and Administratum, Captain Gagern and the 5th found no signs of armed uprising, nor any indication of their turning from the Emperor. Instead they were greeted with garlands and impromptu parades and religious celebrations celebrating the arrival of the proud sons of Dorn. Concerned by the disparity between the apparent reality of the situation and the reports coming from Terra, Captain Gagern felt that discretion was the better part of valour, and elected stay to better ascertain the truth of the situation. Elements of the 10th Company were dispatched to seek out the truth, unseen and unheard by the denizens of Coeus VI whie the 5th returned to the Strike Cruiser Domitus. After a week the investigation still found no sign of treachery, raids on elusive cults within the city of Dumas found nothing but doctrinally acceptable death and redemptory cults. Such revelations did little to explain the order to punitively decimated the population, but a new arrival in the system would bring answers more terrible than Gagern had imagined, and with them a war for that would decide the fate of Coeus VI. A force of Frateris Templars led by a detachment of the Brides of the Emperor, under the fierce Sister Lylith, translated from the tumultuous warp broadcasting but one message repeated into the void, “People of Coeus VI, rejoice for your salvation has come. You have been found guilty of apostacy, we are here to purify your souls with blood and fire.” Shortly there after the new arrivals began to make planetfall, and they brought all that was promised. The Celestial Knights were faced with a dire choice, stand by and let the servants of an increasingly unstable, illigitamate regent impose their will upon a clearly innocent world, or take a stand to defend the mortal of a beleaguered world, at the risk of being declared the traitors they had originally travelled to purge themselves. Despite the repute of their progeny, Dorn’s sons are not the cold men of stone they are often believed to be, their stony countenance hides a fiery passion best shown through their rage, and enraged they were. Captain Gagern decreed that they would not stand idly as true, honest citizens of the Imperium were slaughtered on the whims of a madman, by fanatics and zealots. The 5th made planetfall upon Coeus VI for the second time, this time to act a balwalk between the people of the world and an outer threat rallying the Planetary Defence Force to stand with them in the defence of the populace. Much to their horror no cease of hostility occurred, in fact the servants of Vandire attacked with a renewed vigour and ferocity proclaiming the Celestial Knights traitors and heretics. The war raged for the better part of a Terran year, the Celestial Knights of the 5th had converted the capital city of Dumas into a grand bastion which proved all but impregnable to the Brides and their forces, but they were not the only agents Vandire had dispatched to Coeus VI, the Officio Assassinorum had arrived in secret to aid Lylith, and now they struck at the heart of the resistance. Captain Gagern died at the Strategium, to his eye by his trusted Brother-Sergeant Armus, but truly it was the Callidus Assasin Lenora. In a move of outstanding co-ordination within minutes the Brides and Frateris Templars launched what would be their final push to remove The Celestial Knights foothold on Coeus VI. The fighting on the outer walls was fierce with large swathes rent from heavy bombardment and swarms of Vandire’s zealots filling the breaches and venting their fury on the PDF. The forces of the Celestial Knights would bend no more, and breaking was not in their nature, the time had come for them to sally forth, led by the true Sergeant Armus, still filled with fury, even after killing the interloper Lenora. He had managed to assume command and co-oridnate the defence to meet the assault as well as it had thus far, pulling back the remaining 5th and 10th Company forces at the onset of the assault, it was now time to bring them to bear on the attackers. It was a final bid to break the back of Vandires purge, depleted after over a year of war, there was little hope of success if they could not break their enemy now, before any reenforcements arrived, then Coeus VI would surely be lost. The same was true of Vandire’s forces and both forces met with a fury usually reserved for the enemies of Man. After two days of bitter conflict the siege was finally broken when the entirety of the Celestial Knight Chapter arrived in system, bearing news of Goge Vandire’s death, the Reign of Blood had finally ended. Both sides were ordered to stand down and await further debriefing. In the face of certain annihilation it was thought that Lylith would relent, but fanatasism is not so easily quietened, she continued her assault taking advantage of the Celetstial Knights standing down, The 5th and 10th were caught unaware and almost entirely wiped out before the rest of the Chapter made planetfall and wiped out the attackers. So ended the Bridal Wars, unfortunately for the Imperium of Man the enmity between the Celestial Knights, and the forces of newly reformed Adeptus Sorriritas and Callidus Temple of Officio Assassinorum are still yet to fade to this day. The Great Rift Opens - The Reaches Burn The closing days of the 41st Millenium were some of the darkest the Imperium have ever known, although not present themselves the loss of Cadia was felt in the distant Morannan Reaches. With Cadia’s death came the birth of Cigatrix Maledictum, and with it a night without ending, Noctis Aeterna. The Morannan Reaches, now lying deep within Imperium Nihilus, found itself utterly cut off and alone. With no guiding light from the Astronomican and no astropathic communication The Reaches thought that Terra had fallen and with all hope was lost; anarchy spread through it’s worlds. The Celestial Knights Chapter Keeps became the last bastions of order within the reaches, isolated battle-brothers held out against raging populaces baying for blood in increasingly shocking displays of depravity. The Celestial Knights attempted to muster their dispersed Companies at their Fortress-Monastary on Udun, but far fewer companies answered the summons, if they received them at all, than Chapter Master Harrick Zobel had hoped, but even with only six companies present the Celestial Knights sallied out to reinforce their brothers holding out within their keeps. Then reality tore and everything changed. The turmoil in the Morannan Reaches had grown in intensity, building a preasure within the warp which now spilled out into realspace, and from this tear came the Bringers of Truth, a chapter of the XVII Legion the Word Bearers, seemingly disconnected cults and rebellions across the system suddenly began operating with a co-ordination that belied their true affiliations, now supported by the Neverborn and Heretic Astartes the worlds of the Reach were under sieige, and none more so than Udun. Zobel had remained upon Udun with 7th and the 9th Company to co-ordinate the counter offensive to quell the uprisings across the Reaches, these same reserves were now faced with defending the chapters home, from eight companies of the Bringers of Truth supported by the innumerable hordes of the Neverborn. The conflict that followed, was not not a war it was a massacre. Across the Reaches the Celestial Knights were outnumbered and losing more ground every day, and their list of allies were dwindling. Most disturbing of all Udun had fallen silent. Aid Arrives CHAPTER MASTER VARRICK ADELMANN A storied and honored hero of the Celestial Knights with over six centuries of experience. Varrick Adelmann was considered a legend within the Chapter long before the coming of the second, Long Night. The former First Captain of the Celestial Knights’s rise through the ranks was hardly meteoric, but rather much like his Chapter, through perseverance and determination. He was lifted to the rank of 1st Captain along with the ascension of his close friend, and mentor Chapter Master Harrick Zobel some two centuries before the fall of Cadia. To the surprise of some of his now fellow captains, the former veteran sergeant of the 1st rose to the challenges of command admirably and exhonerated the criticisms of his premature promotion. Well respected within the 1st for over three centuries service as a veteran sergeant the new Captain led the 1st with honour. With the birth of the Cigatrix Maledictum chaos reigned over the Morannan Expanse, Captain Adelmann was overseeing delicate negotiations with the Fabricator-General Xanthis on the forge world Ikenga when reality was torn asunder. Charged by Zobel to hold Ikenga at all costs, Adelmann did his duty, even when Udun fell silent and he was the highest ranking member of the Chapter still in active communication he kept to his duty, co-ordinating the rest of his brothers to fall back and hold what worlds they could. It was only when Shield-Captain Apollion confirmed the fate of Udun, that Adelmann reluctantly took on the role of Chapter Master. Despite the fury in is hearts and the hearts of his brothers, Adelmann was able to curb the fury of the Celestial Knights to regroup and rebuild, deciding it better to dispatch their reinforcements from the Imperium Sanctus, the Primaris Marines purge the worlds taken by the enemy. After nearly 6 years of fighting a brutal campaign of their surivial, the Celestial Knights were on the brink of extinction fewer than 150 battle brothers remained, and much of the Morannan Reaches had fallen under the sway of the Dark Gods of Chaos. Udun had been silent for the entirety of the conflict, and all but one of the Chapter Keeps had succumb to the Word Bearers continued assault. 1st Captain Adelmann had assumed command of the chapter, trying to co-ordinate what forces remained into a coherent defence of the remaining loyal worlds; the forgeworld Ikenga, and the fortress world Agrona. With the support of their Skitarii Legions and Imperial Guard the Celstial Knights had managed to hold out, but Adelmann knew the end was near. It was then that relief came, the Indomitus Crusade had come. Battlegroup Gamma of Indomitus Fleet Senimus translated into the system and struck deep into the system making their way to Udun. Their mission was to offer relief and reinforcement to the Celestial Knights, but when they arrived on Udun there was naught but ruin and ash. The Celestial Knightsvwere gone and their Fortress-Monastry the Celestial Sanctum broken, it was here that they learned of the Last Bastion of Agrona and Ikenga. Finally, after six years and four months alone the Celestial Knights received a much-needed reprieve. Led by Shield-Captain Apollion Nirah of The Emissaries Imperatus, Battle Group Gamma brought the combined forces of the Imperium to bear, better still they were accompanied by two lost companies of Celestial Knights. The joy of the reunion was short lived for Apollion brought new word from Imperium Sanctus, and its regent, the Primarch reborn, Roboute Guilliman. The news of a Primarch returned was a source of joy until Captain Adelmann heard what came with him. The Celestial Knights were to be reinforced by a new breed of Astartes, the Primaris Marines. Such heresy was abhorrent, the cursed 21st founding had been proof, that improving upon the Emperor’s work brought naught but ruin, and Adelmann could not believe he was being commanded an Emmisary of the Throne itself. Threatened with censure and extermination if they refused, Adelmann grudgingly relented. Within the solar month, the Reaches were cleared of the taint of the enemy, though there was no contact with The Bringers of Truth, Battle Group Theta and Epsilon arrived to further support the compliance, the heretical temple worlds they established were crushed and the embattled worlds lost to war were reconquored. With the region secured the Indomitus Fleet moved on leaving the Reaches to the Celestial Knights to fortify and hold until the Imperium could fully reintergrate the Imperium Nihilus. Home World Udun was never a kind land. Situated deep in the Morannan Reaches, a collection of some eight starsystems deep in the Ultima Segmentum. Udun itself, orbits the primary moon to the region’s capital world Morannan Primus. Udun was always a rocky inhospitable land. Never inhabited in its own right, it stood as a planetary scaled monument to the heroes of the Celestial Knights; all across its surface statues, monuments and cemetaries. Over the millennia these became grander in scale until it rivalled a minthe maor cemetery world. With no indigenous population of its own, Udun was inhabited by the denizens of worlds through out the Reaches, while a Space Marine homeworld, the majority of its population are made up by Chapter serfs: Artificers from Ikenga, Historitors from Morannan Primus and Warrior Serfs Agrona to name but a few. Each world within the Reaches offering up serfs that best suited it’s disposition. All of this ended with the burning of the Reaches. With the destruction of Udun, little remains of the once proud edifices of the Celestial Knights, the Celestial Sanctum fell, what little remains of its structure turned to glass by the heat of the orbital bombardment unleashed by the Bringers of Truth’s war vessels. The influx of personnel has stopped, worse still the land itself is haunted by the warp echoes of the fallen; while none can ascertain what happened upon the surface of Udun, in the darkness of Noctis Aeterna it is known that not one Celestial Knight’s body has ever been discovered upon its surface since it’s fall. Recruitment Unlike many chapters of the Adeptus Astartes the Celestial Knights do not limit their recruitment pool to one world, but rather recruit from numerous worlds through out the Reaches, in accordance with the accord struck with Adeptus Mechanicus during the colonization of the Reaches. On a dozen worlds the Celestial Knights established their Chapter Keeps, not only to better hold the Reaches, but to operate as centres of recruitment. Each keep is garrisoned with a skeletal staff led by a member of the Apothecarion and defended by a solitary squad of Astartes. The method of identifying aspirants varies from world to world, on more civilized worlds such as Nidaba III, aspirants often seek the privilege of ascension to an Angel of Death, fighting through the natural and mechanical defences along their pilgrimage to the Chapter Keep. On Morannan Primus potential candidates are taken in the night after careful observation of the conflicts of the underhive. The more primitative cultures like on Cammulus, the best of the clans young warriors battle in the rites of ascension, series of honour duals to the death between the gathered clans in which the victor and candidates granted their lives by the attending “Sky Giants” are taken back to ther Keep. Regardless of the method of identifying aspirants, once within the walls of the Chaoter Keep from that moment onwards all remenants of their former culture is slowly stripped away and supplanted via extensive hypno-indoctrination and pain enduced physical reconditioning. By the end of their training the neophytes have shed their former lives and take new names to better reflect their new, noble heritage. They are reborn as weapons to be wielded in the name of the Imperium, bound by duty and purpose like the knights of old. Combat Doctrine Perseverance through adversity, a simple doctrine which carries through all the Celestial Knights do, and it is reflected in their methods of war more so than anywhere else, while they follow the edicts of the Codex Astartes they do so with a marked preference for mass inaftry deployment, to best test themselves against their foes. Much like their primogeniture, The Celestial Knight’s planning is impeccable, though often it is reliant on their famed stubbornness to see their plans come to fruition. This has on occasion been criticized as an unimaginative method of warfare by those they have fought beside, but such a criticism is unfounded. To the Celestial Knights pain brings with it clarity of purpose and should never be avoided; if a plan has been implemented by field command then it is by its nature a worthy undertaking, pain and death does not lessen its merit, and the Astartes were created to endure the horrors mortal men cannot, so endure they will. That is not to say that the Celestial Knights are unable to adapt to changing circumstances, rather doing so is only to be done if it is the only way to ensure victory. Organisation The Celestial Knights are organized into ten companies, as per the dictates of the Codex Astartes, although they are referred to as Households in the style of the Imperial Fists Legion of old. Each Household’s heraldry is derived from a mix Codex ordained company heraldry and the personal heraldry of its captain. Since the arrival of the Indomitus Crusade there has been a slight deviation from their traditional organization. While as per Imperial decree, the Celestial Knights have welcomed the Primaris Marines into their chapter, all though to say their reception was cold would be an understatement. The initial influx of 400 Primaris Marines were organized into separate Households, the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 8th; the Households mainly operate as a supporting force within the Celestial Knights, many have claimed this is a sign of the Chapters acceptance being in name only, and that the spirit of the order was missed entirely, other observers whisper that this is a sign that the Celestial Knights recognize the heresy of these new creations and wish to maintain a distance from these new aberations. The truth of these claims is unknown. Chapter Fleet THE NOUADHIBOU DRIFT A vast interstellar graveyard of ancient Imperial vessels found on the boundary between the Ultima and Obscura Segmentums. Curiously all of the wrecks and scuttled vessels date to the later part M30. It is speculated to be the site of a large catastrophic naval engagement with an unknown Xeno force. Due to numerous failed attempts to salvage vessels from the site by the Adeptus Mechanicus due to malicious scrapcode, it is considered haunted by the many of the surrounding cultures. This has not stopped numerous criminal elements from attempting the illegal salvage of the site. The Fleet is led by the mighty Manifest Destiny, a battlebarge of ancient design, which is said to have been recovered from a region of space known as the Nouadhibou Drift. It’s 8KM long superstructure has been dated to the late 30th Millenium, filled with resplendent artwork depicting the divinity of Man. Capable of supporting multiple chapters of astartes, and attending mortal forces, it has been postulated it was once the flagship of one of the Emperors mighty expeditionary fleets before it’s scuttling in unknown circumstances. The rest of the fleet was made up of a roughly standard Codex complement, that was until dawn of the 42nd Millenium, shortly after the departure of the Indomitus Crusade. Finding themselves once again cut off from the rest of the Imperium and besieged on all fronts the Celestial Knights endured for many years, finding themselves the centre stone holding up the defences of the region. To better co-ordinate the defence of the Reaches they took the bold step to commandeer the surviving local Imperial Navy assets and incorporated them into their fleet. Vastly expanding their naval capacity beyond the tenents of the Codex Astartes, such an action would normally have been denounced as Heresy but during such dire times such an action was deemed acceptable when communicated back to Imperium Sanctus. Beliefs Like many of the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes the Celestial Knights do not believe the Emperor to be a God, but rather the embodiment of fully realized human potential, which is the closest to divinity anything can come. Such views have, on numerous occasions, resulted in conflict with the Ecclisiarchy. A relationship already strained since the Bridal War has only grown more hostile with each passing century. The Ecclisiarchy aware of the Celestial Knights beliefs posit that such a view would result in an increase in sedition on countless worlds should such a view be allowed to spread; if Man as a whole is divine then humans of all station are worthy of respect, such a view could only lead to strife. Such an interpretation is wholy incorrect, for the Celestial Knights merely believe the Human form itself is the closest to divinity within the universe, a rebuttal on the validity of all religion. Their interactions with baseline humans are far from that put forward by the afore mentioned elements of the Ecclisarchy, the Celestial Knights see themselves as living weapons, wraught to serve the Imperium, it’s citizens, and all Adeptus are seen in a similar vein. If one is not fulfilling its function it is better for it to be removed and replaced than upset the function of the whole. Such a view has often put the Celestial Knights in opposition to many other Imperial agencies, and the sacrifice of numerous civilians when found wanting. Chapter Motto The Celestial Knights often quote passages from the texts of their forebears, books such as The Verses of Sigismund and the Book of Five Spheres. One such example often recited before the meeting of battle is in actual fact a derivation of a passage within The Verses of Sigismund [book CIV, Verse I] found below: “We carry the Emperor's will as our torch, with it we destroy the shadows.”
  5. I need to update my Crimson Fists to take to the finals of the UKGT this year. They did kind of ok before but now, with the rules from CA, Vigilus and White Dwarf, I hope to do... kind of ok. But with a slightly different army featuring a load of veteran intercessors. Now all I need is a load of veteran intercessors! The army will be led by Pedro Kantor. Actually he probably won't be allowed to be Warlord due to his dreadful warlord trait, but he'll certainly be lending moral support - telling the intercessors to hit things again and the hellblasters not to blow themselves up. I've assembled the figure for him, based on some guy called Marneus Something. I've purged a bunch of old dead photobucket images and replaced them with my nearly finished Pedro Kantor. His arms are taken from the deathwing terminators in the old 7th edition starter. I'd never built them, but I like the studded power fist. He's got an aggressor shoulder pad from the IF sprue and the eagle one from his own kit. Banner is from an old Termie. The fist on his belt comes from the IF sprue's power fist. These are kind of crap - obviously too small for Primaris marines - but the badge was just the right size to replace the U that started there. I'm pleased I've been able to join the ammo feeds that he came with onto the Dorn's Arrow I made, which is just the bolter things off his power fists stuck together. More green stuff will be needed there to join it to his arm. This guy here is one of my existing Sergeants, with on of Calgar's fists (minus the U symbol and bolter). I reckon he looks like he means business! I've also stripped a load of layers of paint off these guys. They are from the starter set and had been used for various test schemes and things. Using these guys can save me from having to buy and build another box of Intercessors, and actually the models are pretty decent. The Sergeant is getting a pointing power fist. Stripping these guys took ages - several baths in Dettol, which left them with a nasty slime on. A final bath in some watered-down brush restorer got that off. They are pretty much as good as new now. Next step is to build everyone I think. I'll then spray them all and get started on the batch painting. I'm working on 30 guys. 5 are done (apart from the Sergeant's power fist), 4 are basecoated, 8 are stripped and that leaves 13 still to assemble. I'm thinking about how to represent the fact that these guys are veteran intercessors. One option is to paint both hands red for everyone. Another might be to give them rather more battle damage, bionics and wounds than they'd usually start with - but that would require a lot of work! There's only one bionic arm and no legs that I know of for Primaris guys so far. I do have some random necrons I could go to work on, but I worry that they'd be too obviously necron legs. If anyone's got a good way of doing this I'd be interested.
  6. Hey, everyone! It is I, Mehman. It's been a while since I've been on the B&C, but I figured it was time to do something new. This thread is for my Imperial Fists Successor Primaris Chapter, the Crimson Tusks. We'll see how it gets on. Basic information first, I suppose. The Chapter was formed during the Ultima Founding to protect the Aeschylus Sector, an area located to the galactic northwest of Hydraphur, from the insidious threat of Chaos incursions into the Segmentum Pacificus from the Gulf of Orestes. They oversee the sector from their Fortress-Monastery, Mount Hekatos, on their Chapter Homeworld of Meleager. Thousands of years ago, Meleager was an Imperial colony in unknown space. The people seemed to thrive well enough and eventually settled on the separate continents of the planet. A warpstorm or some other celestial phenomena engulfed the world and the settlers began to die. At the end of the event, the population was devastated and the people banded together into city-states. These tribes lost the ability to protect themselves from the many monsters that were birthed during the Trying Times. Normal animals, both domesticated and indigenous, became things that haunted the night. No sane person would travel the roads between the fortified towns alone after the sun went down and the sky turned black. The view of the world from space would look much like a star map, the realms of humanity tiny dots against the vastness of the once-tamed forests. Most ferocious amongst the creatures transformed during those days was the Meleager Boar, a giant, feral, Warp-spawned evolution of the once-domesticated pig. Gone were the days of mankind culling the animal from pen or forest. Where once the hunt was an exhilarating pastime for noble and commoner alike, the population now feared the prey-turned-predator. Grey in colouration and possessed with great cunning and strength, the average man was no match against one of the hulking terrors. Many tales were told by the hunting parties of these animals which claim they proudly bore the marks, and errant spears, of their battles with previous humans. If there was any reduction in combat prowess by these war wounds, the survivors couldn't say. Well, that's that. As you can see, I'm drawing heavily on Ancient Greek myth. I'd like to add a Persian influence, too, but I'm still trying to decide how to go about that. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Livery and Chapter Symbol Here's a computer-painted example of the Crimson Tusks' livery. (Their weapon cowling is white.) Crimson Tusk armour is the same grey as the ever-present Meleager Boar. The fact that the colour aids the Marines in city and rocky theatres hasn't escaped notice. Every brother bears a red faceplate symbolizing the blood that these animals can, and do, spill. Rank and position amongst the Chapter are denoted in the following ways: Rank Battle-brother - Dark grey helmet Sergeant - Black helmet, right knee guard, and reactor cover; bronze skull Veteran - Dark grey helmet with white stripe Veteran Sergeant - Black helmet with white stripe, black right knee guard and reactor cover, bronze skull Lieutenant - Dark grey helmet with black stripe inside white stripe, black right knee guard and reactor cover, silver skull Captain - Dark grey helmet, black right knee guard and reactor cover, gold skull Position Company Colour - Vertical stripe on the left knee guard Battlefield Role - As per the Codex Astartes; found on the right pauldron Squad Number - As per the Codex Astartes; found within Battlefield Role icon The visage of the Crimson Tusks' totem can most readily be found emblazoned in white upon their left pauldrons as their Chapter symbol: the head of a Meleager Boar. This dread icon imparts in an instant what these warriors are about without a word spoken: strength, cunning, defense, power. Whether they stand upon ramparts letting loose their Bolt Rifles' explosive payloads or smash aside the enemy's paltry defenses and attack with knife and stealth, their Chapter symbol echoes the Crimson Tusks' myriad battlefield strategies. Works in Progress There are two honoured brothers being painted as of this moment: a Primaris Ancient and a Primaris Lieutenant. Thank you for taking the time to look at my new endeavour!
  7. Defenders of Saint Chaste, Saviours of Sarment, Attack Dogs of the Cardinal... all these titles and more could once have described the War Wolves. However, all were set aside when they betrayed the Imperium on Sarment Prime and decimated the Ecclesiarchy's main powerbase in the sector. Where once their rage was seen as righteous, a manifestation of the Emperor's Wrath, it is now held in ignominy, a sign of their corruption and Heresy... Hello, and welcome to my new DIY project! After having suffered a fair amount of hobby burnout in the second half of 2018, Ive decided to start afresh, stripping my old Shadow Wolf models and ripping the core of my old DIY fluff out - I should therefore be able to start on a more stable base. I've decided to attempt a sort of a blog format here, where I'll take you through my thought process, as I think it could be of use for those who are starting out on their first DIY project and have no idea where to start. That doesn't mean I'm attempting to claim any knowledge that isn't already out there (quite the opposite - learning new snippets of fluff is a constant endeavour), or to have the best writing and/or creative skills (I'm not quite self centered enough not to realise that there are many better things popping out all over the place). Still, I do have a certain experience in writing Indices (that never quite get finished), and my short time as a moderator here forced me to examine the different pitfalls that are all too frequent (many of which I have fallen victim to more than once). As such, I hope this thread will be both entertaining and informative to you (even if it is just to see where I make mistakes). I welcome all (constructive) criticism - after all I wouldn't be writing this on a forum otherwise - but I still wish this project to be my own, so do not feel snubbed if I don't follow your recommendations. --- In terms of format, I shall attempt to maintain the index up to date in the second post, and the first "blog" entry should find itself in the third post. If you notice I haven't updated the IT in a bit of time after my latest blog entry, don't hesitate to poke me - I'm very bad at keeping the final document ship shape and sparkling ^^ And off we jolly well go!
  8. Greetings fraters, I´d like to present the concept of my personal space marine chapter here, which I carry around with me for years now (I actually made an IA under another name for them quite a time ago, but I think it´s now deleted (which is totally ok)). Anyways, let´s start: https://imgur.com/v6JlAWC (standard colour scheme) Twilight Wardens Chapter Name: Twilight Wardens Founding: 23rd Founding (Sentinel Founding) Homeworld: Enoch (Feudal World) Ultima Segmentum (bordering to the Ork Empire of Charadon and in relative proximity to the Forgeworld Metalica) System: Enoch System Geneseed: Unknown/ Imperial Fists (debated) Fortress-Monastry: Greatshield Colours: Fawn, sky-blue eyelenses, colour variations of the helmet based on battle-field role ("huts") Chapter Insignia: A feline paw, claws reaching through a sun, tips touching an encircling crescent moon Specialty: Scouting and stealth, Preferred enemy: Orks Strength: ~ 700+ Chapter Master: Chidi Tinashe Battle-Cry: "For our fathers, for Enoch, for the herd among the stars!" About: The Twilight Wardens are Space Marine Chapter of the 23rd Founding. Hailing from the world of Enoch, their main initial purpose was to protect the regions surrounding the Ork Empire of Charadon, eventually they were deployed in other warzones, mosty fighting greenskins and ocassionally other Xenos, if their absense is justifiable. They are a highly spiritual, some might say superstitious chapter, with many traditions rooted deeply in the culture of their homeworld. Quite frequently their own homeworld is attacked by Orks, but the invaders could always be fought back so far. Homeworld: Enoch is a hot, arid world, with a size roughly two thirds of Holy Terra, a hard place to live, but not as hellish as a typical death world. It was re-discovered at some point after the Great Crusade by the same name, but was of little importance, until it became the Twilight Wardens homeworld at some point early to middle M38. Though this particular individual is all but forgotten and the Wardens have full sovereignity over the planet and it little star system, it has never been re-named, because they see names as something holy. The landscape consists of savannahs, deserts and wastelands and the inhabitants are forced to change their place of living several times a year to sustain their herds of cattle. The Fauna brings forth several predators which could been found on Old Earth, like lions, hyeanas and even crocodiles which inhabit the few regions whith permanent water-supplies, as well as anitolopes, rhinos and more. It is debated, if those animals had been imported to be hunted in the Age of Strife or even before that. At present Enoch has a population of estimated 8- 12 000 000 inhabitants. The people of Enoch Inhabited by dark-skinned, tough peoples who mostly live of semi-nomadic herdsmen it´s technological level is generally quite low, but the population is capable of producing steel for weapons and low-tech firearms are not unknown, but cannot be reproduced. The main way of living is semi-nomadic, the tribes being herdsmen staying as long as possible on a place to sustain their cattle and then travel on established routes, claimed by them by tradition. A "Twilight Warden" is the honorary term for able-bodied men, guarding the herds for the dangerous period of twilight at dusk and dawn, then the gods sleep and hyenas, lions and other dangerous predators stalk the Night, ready to slay and eat the animals of their precious herds. Armed with a warriors equipment, a great round or ellipctic shield made of cow-hide and wood and a great spear, the Assagai. It is the main source of a mans honour to fulfil this honour and only men who fulfilled it with valour can hope of one day leading their clan or even great-clan. The societies are ordered in unities of family, clan, great-clan, and tribe, with the level of loyalty and allegiance being more significant and important, the closer an actual blood-relation is. Each family, clan, great-clan and tribes has it´s nominal leader, but is committed to the council of the priests and elders. Generally they live rather peacefully, while wars are not uncommon, solving conflicts with bloodshed is rare, because of the common knowledge that the waste of ressource and peoples in fights are simply very unreasonable in this hard and dangerous environment. Mostly rivalries between competing leaders and conflicted over conceived ill-behaviour, such as the stealing of cattle, are fought out in ritualized one-on-one, unarmed fights at the gahterings of tribes. Two exception of this general rule occur: Firstly, the inhabitants of regions known as the "shadowlands", there criminals, cannibals and other banished live are mostly attacked on sight, because they are believed to be cursed and to have lost the favour of the gods. Every couple decades or sometimes centuries the planet is attacked by Orks, hailing from Charadon. The tribes then band together under the leadership of the Twilight Wardens to meet this threat and destroy it for good. Though none as vigiliant defenders of their realm of space, the Twilight Wardens travel as fast as possible to their homeworld and it´s regulary the only occasion they reject distress calls from other theaters of war. This is also the only time the shadowborn, the inhabitants of the shadow-lands are somehow tolerated and sometimes fight with the main population against the deadly threat of the Ork hordes. The shadowlands and its inhabitants The "shadowlands" are a collective term used for a number of regions in which the unwanted of the societies of Enoch´s tribes are banished for one reason or another. They gain their common name from it´s location being often in wastelands under the shadow of big mountains, the most unhospitable places on the planet, salt seas and the most unrelenting deserts. The people living there are all outcasts for various crimes or shortcomings. Cannibalism, murder and other offences to the gods are either sentenced by death or banishment to the shadowlands. In turn cannibalism is mostly excepted there, mostly because the living conditions are so dire, that it is often a neccesity. There isn´t much organisation of a social life there, because herding is mostly impossible there, most live as hunter-gatherers and the only social entity of any value is mostly a nuclear family or small groups only hold together by the strength of a feared leader. Sometimes one part of a pair of twins are left and exposed to the elements after birth, because of the difficulties to raise two children at once in an unforgiving environment. Those found and raised by the shadowborn (if they aren´t just killed and eaten) then naturally become shadow-born itself. Other banished are individuals, showing psychic abilities, which are seen as foul witchcraft by the rest of the population. The shadow-born have a sinister, vile reputation and said to have an ill temper. Religion of the peoples of Enoch The people of Enoch are deeply spiritual and have many myths concerning the earth, animals and natural phenomena. Their pantheon is vast with a myriad of spirits, animal gods and an extensive cult of mythic forfathers and ancestors. Two vastly important gods which can be found with any tribes though, are the twin gods (who are also husband and wife) Nami and Iman. Mani, known as the Great Father, or the Demanding brings hardships to make his children, the people of Enoch strong, while Iman the Great Mother, the Caring, gifts them out of love. When both are honored through good, just living and their respective rituals an ideal state is preserved if not, ill will befell the people in one way or another. Mani shows himself through sunshine, storms and drought and is peronated by the sun, Iman through rain (or floods) and is personated by the moon, clouds and the birth of livestock, Manis time is the day, Inam´s the night. Dusk and dawn, when lions and other dagerous animals prowl to hunt cattle and kill men, is the time when both of them sleep and so men have to fight against nature in order to survive. "White Obsidian" A mysterious very durable, yet light material, dubbed "White Obsidian", is to be found on the planet, venerated as a holy substance by the locals and prized by the Wardens as a decent alternative to ceramite and sometimes used instead of it by the chapter serfs to repair damaged battle-armour or even used by Techmarines as a base material to produce suits of Artificer Armour. It is however, other than the name suggests, not very sharp in its natural form and - as it, just like ceramite, conducts almost no heat or other energy - unsuitable to be crafted into power-weapons. However splinters of it, formed into shards on a molecular basis and applied on combat knives or chainswords are a good way to give a weapon a very durable, decently deadly edge. White obsidian, reduced by extreme heat to a molecular level and compressed under great pressure several times, can even be a replacement for Adamantium, though the means to do it are most often beyond the chapter and it´s techmarines and can sometimes be made on Metalica, but for a hefty prize, mostly in the form of large amounts of this rare substance and so this method is only very rarely done. The population is organized in somewhat hierarchical structures such as families, clans, great-clans and tribes, with loyalty being more relevant the farther an actual blood-relation is present. Though conflicts do occur, they are rare, as people see the necessity of avoiding bloodshed as it is seen as an evil which most of timeonly cost scarce ressources in menpower and strength. White Obsidian plays a role to distinguish highly honoured persons, both in the Chapter as in the general population of the men of Enoch, aswell as their distinctive religious practices. As it is deemed to holy to be altered in it´s physical form by the people of Enoch, but the chapter sees it´s enorm potential as too valuable to totally miss it out, it is only crafted on the planets space station (and outer arsenal) Assagai. History: The Twilight Wardens were founded as part of the Sentinel Founding to protect neighbouring regions from the Arch-Arsonists of Charadons hosts. Requested in particular from Metalica to help protect it trading routes, they engaged in conflicts as they helped fight of greenskin attackers at the surrounding worlds. One on of this occasions by trying to defend a well-populated world, fighting at the for-front, the chapter lost it´s entire first company, which was at this point consisting of veterans in tactical dreadnought armour, like in a codex-chapter. Even worse, the rest of the accompanying forces of the Wardens suffered greatly, too, trying to hold an entry point to a town there the bulk of the population had entrenched itself. This brought a great change in the chapters organization, each company would know have access to veterans and specialists from this point on and tactics changed from direct engage to tactics of sabotage of supply lines and command structures, feint attacks and tactical retreats, if necessary. Culture: Opposed to many other chapters, the Twilight Wardens have no problem in considering the Emperor a god. Deep in their hearts though, they have a problem in considering him the only god, they still rever Nami and Iman in secret. Knowing that this would inevitably lead to conflicts with the Ecclessiarchy and the Inquisition, they have a policy of either denying their existence to outsiders or as telling others that they are simply figures of thought and very similiar to the Promethian Cult of the Salamanders. They also honour ancestors and dead battle-brothers greatly. They believe they live on in their songs, the war-poems, which are composed and sanctioned by the Chaplains, which enjoy even higher honours as in most other chapters. The singing of a war-poem can be initiated in battle by the squads leader and lead to a trance-like state of the squad, evoking past patterns of warfare. It can decrease heart rate, metabolism and even act as a surrogate for normal sleep to a degree increasing the Wardens overall fighting prowress in the long-term, helping them to stay in action over longer times. There is also a custom of claiming family relations among officers and troops, battle-brothers claim there captains as their nominal father, taking sometimes ven his last name. It has been noted that the Twilight Wardens also practice similiar bonds with warriors of other chapters and even guardsmen which impressed them with their valour and courage, claiming them as nominal brothers and including them in their ever expanding myths over time. Regiments or chapters with such members are often more likely to receive aid in need from the Wardens. The life of the Wardens is regulated with a lot of rituals and ceremonies for their gods, and a set of highly honoured chapter serfs, which are un-augmented priests of Nami and Iman always travel on their ships. They perceive themselves primarily as guardians and defendders of menkind, as their former flock as regular humans were cattle, goats and sheep now they watch over the citizens of menkind, the herd among the stars. Geneseed: The Geneseed of the Twilight Wardens shows little to no mutation .An exception is the often malfunctioning Betcher´s Gland. Its origin isn´t entirely clear, though the Administratum list them as Ultramarines successors, the chapter commands claim to be of Imperial Fists descend, specifically being founded by the nearly-extinct Celestial Lions, which they see as spiritual forbears. Though most imperial authorities see this as rather unlikely, it is unwise to denounce this openly while adressing the Wardens, who hold the Celestial Lions in highest regard. Beliefs: The Twilights Wardens rever the Emperor as a god (though it is unclear, if he is revered in the ideal way as wished by the Ecclessiarchy), as long with the local gods Nami and Iman, among many other divine beings, (though practices of worship to those are mostly hold in secret and this is not revealed to outsiders). They also believe heavily in fallen battle brothers becoming semi-divine beings, in an unique manner: After a period of time determined by the Chaplains they hold ceremonies, in which the bones of the fallen are burnt. Their legacy is then immortalized in war-poems. At this time their names are purged from official records and forbidden to be used in common language. Instead they are believed to live on in their poems and their names can only be sung. In this way they live on as spirits guiding their brethren. Organisation: Since losing their entire first company, while trying to save a great amount of civilians in a battle against the Greenskins, the former codex-adherent chapter changed tactics and organisation considerably. Using scouting tactics and infiltration as an important element of their battle plans, it maintains a regular scout company, but the other five companies contain ideally marines for every battle role, meaning Devastators, tanks, tactical squads and veterans are all part of a regular company, as well as a companies own scouts (which are mostly more experienced than their regular counterparts in the scout company). Each regular company is called a Kraal-Company, living as a nominable "tribe" and operate on strike cruiser. The Kraal Company consists of several clans, based on equipment and battle-field roles, named after predators of Enoch, which are the following: jackals are scouts (while the scouts of the "regular" scout company are sometimes dubbed "Fenneks" or "desert foxes"), Tactical Marines are leopards, Devastators and tank personel are Hyenas, Assault Squads, Bikes and Land Speeders are "Cheetas". Each of those units forms a close bond in their respective companies and are referred to as a "hut" (e.g. "the cheeta hut of Kraal Tinashe). A Marine spends the most time of his daily life with his hut and members mostly share a friendly rivalry. A special entity of the chapter is an elite corps of Greenskin-Hunters, mostly composed of Vanguard Veterans and Assault Terminators, the Eclipse Lions. Those Veterans hate and expertise in killing the Xenos, excels those of their common brethren, by they have also tendencies of recklessness and value human life sometimes less, than other Warden Claws and have a more sinister reputation among the majority of the chapter and the population of Enoch. Current status: Numbers are stressed by near constant campaigns against Orks and other Xenos, but do to a quite high recruitment rate, remain relatively stable. Equipment: The chapters tanks, mostly manufactured and maintained on the fortress-satellite Assagai, surrounding Enoch is of little to medium size and mostly of more common vehicles due to the chapters rather backwater status. It contains a considerable amount of Landspeeders though and keeps it number of drop pods high to quickly engage in battle in the various conflicts and distress calls it has to answer. Vehicles of note: Lion´s Paw: Landraider (mostly used as personal transport for Chapter Master Chidi Tinashe Rainbringer: Whirlwind Crack-Jaw: Hunter tank Lightening Spear: Landspeeder of the Cheetah hut of Chidi Tinashe Kraal Companys leader Abidemi Abessi Adisa Thunderstrike: Venerable Dreadnought Retribution of Mani: Land Raider Redeemer Chapter Relics: - Mercy of Inam: Stalker Bolter - Mask of Nami: Artificer-Helmet, used by the chapters Master of Sanctity, currently Samore Mussa - Beasts´ Woe: Power weapon, great spear ("lionspear") - Devourer of the Wicked: Heavy Flamer Arsenal: Fortress-Monastery: Greatshield is a 30,000 ft high mountain, with a flat plateau on it´s encrested with built in encampments and forticifcationss. Part of the chapters arsenal is kept in the mountain itself. It´s top can be "sealed" with overlapping great plates of bronze-coloured metal with an adamantium core, if needed to shield it from enemy forces from above. When attackers come, it is a bastion which can hold a large proportion of Enochs weak, children, women and elders. As I am already writing for hours, I call it a day, now. Hope you enjoyed my creation so far. Will fill in the blanks as soon as possible! Greetings, Velype!
  9. View File Index Astartes - Heralds of Light An Index Astartes article detailing the homegrown Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, the Heralds of Light. Submitter Codex Grey Submitted 03/16/22 Category Background (Lore)  
  10. OK, I've been asked by my brother if I would paint an army for him. He saw the Templars I did a while ago and wants me to do something similar for him! It'll be a purely Primaris project to start, I think has the intention of adding sisters of battle (he just loves the medieval religious look of both ranges!) I've done a test model and was hoping for some feedback: Templar Templar Templar Templar Templar As I said, he loves the idea of building a Crusade, with different elements of the Imperium ranges. Some of you may of noticed that he's used both Black Templar and Impeerial Fist iconography. That is intentional his main Inspiration was the Templar Brethren from the Horus Heresy range and he wants to bring that imagery up to present day 40k. He's going to write up some back story for them, I'll post it once it's done. All I know ATM is they're called "The Templars of Dorn" Thanks for looking, I'll update as and when I finish stuff!!
  11. The Cerberus Chapter The Edge of Chaos: Origins During the millennia following the Sentinel Founding, the Sons of Unity Chapter had many successful campaigns, repelling numerous Ork, and later Tyranid and Tau incursions on a number of fronts. On several occasions the Chapter performed joint operations with regiments of the Imperial Guard, as well as other Adeptus Astartes Chapters, and always to great effect. On other occasions, when the threat of the Orks or other xenos was too great and no Imperial allies were at hand, the Chapter fought alongside the forces of xenos which shared threatened worlds, even once at the side of the elusive Eldar. Many brothers grew concerned that the Chapter was compromising too much, and risked opening the door to xenos uprisings. It was from the fires of these battles with and against xenos allies, and from the fallen brothers along the way, that the first seeds of schism were sown in the Sons of Unity. One Marine in particular loathed the very notion that his Chapter had defended xenos worlds or interests; death was preferable to accepting xenos aid. After the disastrous and costly battle fought alongside the Eldar, the flame of hatred grew into a consuming and towering inferno. In the peace time of the months that followed, a message appeared in circulation among the worlds of the Systems Alliance, the council of worlds that answers to and supplies the Sons of Unity. The message appeared to be full of the Emperor's fervor. It called for humanity to rise from its squalid seat on scattered worlds and take back the stars as the Emperor had sought to do during the Great Crusade. It went so far as to decry the actions of Chapter Master Androssen and the Sons of Unity, demanding the immediate exterminatus of xenos races within their reach and a covenant between the Systems Alliance and its Chapter to never again accept the aid of the xenos unless to use them as the tools they were meant to be, for the furtherance of Mankinds interests. Needless to say, the message caused uproar throughout the systems, while Androssen and the Sons only watched silently and sternly from their ships above. Attempts to trace the message lead only as far as a dead Astropath on Rho, the Chapter Homeworld. Many were frightened or appalled that anyone would speak out against a Chapter Master with such force, others, a small but often wealthy minority, were inclined to agree. It was not long after that Androssen relinquished command of the Chapter, returning to the Veteran Company. However, the hierarchy leadership on Rho, together with the new Chapter Master Brahm Kahoku dismissed the message as the ravings of one "elusive and overzealous man." Unfortunately, it was more than just a man. Janus Maeleth of the 3rd squad and 5th company had been a non-native recruit to the Chapter, as well as of non-military parentage, a rare trait amongst recruits. Since his induction he had shown nothing less than an Astartes spirit. In private, though, he had a vision of a different Imperium, the undisputed power in the galaxy, an Imperium like the days of the Emperor. As he examined the galaxy's present situation though, the only future he could imagine for it was one ever grimmer and darker. The Sons' involvement with the Eldar prompted him to finally act. If he could only spread his vision to the larger Imperium, perhaps things could change. When his secret manifesto was disregarded by the Chapter Master, Maeleth prepared to take matters into his own hands. It began with a request for the Chapter's attention to a threat in the remote system of Akuze, a request coinciding with the first orders of the 25th founding. Janus, well known throughout his company for his skill at spotting an opportunity, convinced his squad sergeant to volunteer them for the contingent being dispatched to Akuze. To his fellow marines it was a good omen; whenever the squad followed one of Maeleth's plans they had never failed. Unfortunately for them, Janus was looking at a different opportunity. Arriving on Akuze, the five squad contingent found the small Imperial colony in ruin, no survivors and no sign of what had caused the destruction. Or so they had thought. Even as they had entered the system Janus, manning the sensor array, had detected the telltale signs of life still on Akuze, and before they had landed he had discovered a single, massive decomposing xenos corpse near the colony's edge. It appeared to be some sort of giant subterranean serpent. Janus later speculated that this was one of the first vanguard organism strikes by the Tyranids, but he left no evidence to determine the truth. Withholding this deadly secret from his brothers, the detachment scouted the ruins and found only a few broken, mangled corpses. Careful to lead the team away from the serpentine corpse, the marines prepared to leave. When they regrouped, Janus was missing. No sooner was the realization made, then the attack came. No less than seven of the massive burrowing serpents attacked the unit, claiming eight marines in the first seconds alone. The battle, if it could be called that, was over in minutes, leaving forty nine marines strewn on and beneath Akuze's surface. Janus had left his brothers long before the attack had come and returned to their dropship, damaging the ship till it could barely fly. As he commanded the ship alone back to Rho, he carefully sabotaged its systems, erasing essential reports and surveys. He then relayed repeated urgent messages to Imperial authorities in the vicinity, claiming that a vast, unknown xenos fleet was approaching, and passed on censored details of the mission on Akuze. By the time Janus had made it back to Rho to share his report with the Chapter, the Tarot were already being consulted back on Terra. While the Chapter Master was still reviewing Maeleths report for submission to the Chapter Librarium, the orders were returned from the High Lords: Janus Maeleth was to be promoted to lead a training cadre in the formation of a new Chapter meant to stall the xenos invasion. Terra had confirmed an impending threat from the subsectors surrounding Akuze and now meant to rely on Maeleths experience to defend Imperial space. Janus led the training cadre to the subsector of Akuze, where they began to recruit from the young colonial world of Shanxi. There they took the name of Cerberus, bound to guard the Imperium forever with watchful eyes in every direction. After nearly four decades leading and training neophytes, building up its arsenal, and maturing the necessary organs and gene-seed while the Chapter slowly grew, no sign of the fleet that Maeleth claimed destroyed his brothers ever appeared. The Sons of Unity soon withdrew from their successor. Kahoku hadnt trusted Janus ever since his return, and for all those years his report from Akuze remained under scrutiny. The two Chapters had cut ties before the first Cerberus marine donned Power Armor. Imperial authorities showed no concern or suspicion, relying not on the report of one Marine, but on the divination of the Tarot. It had promised a threat would rise from the Akuze subsector, and the Cerberus Chapter was the answer. Home World Assigned Home World: Shanxi Shanxis history in the Imperiums records is a small, tragic footnote. It had been colonized barely more than three centuries prior to the organization of the Cerberus Chapter, and enjoyed notoriety for housing the growing force. Colonists favored the world for having Adeptus Astartes protectors, although no colonist was ever allowed to see or interact with a Cerberus Marine. For several decades after the founding, Shanxi enjoyed unparalleled peace. After that, according to Imperial record, Shanxi was abruptly attacked and almost purged of life by an unknown xenos fleet which retreated only at the appearance of a sizeable Sons of Unity strike fleet. Why the Sons of Unity were in the area remains unknown, but they only opened communication with the colonial refugees upon learning that the Cerberus Chapter appeared to have been destroyed in its youth, leaving only the remains of a single Gladius frigate and a few attack craft destroyed by the xenos scattered in decaying orbit. Refugee accounts reported enormous plumes of flame erupting from the facilities of the fledgling Chapter, and indeed no corpse was found in the planetary fortress or the derelict fleet craft that was not charred beyond recognition. In time, Shanxis population recovered, but their pride never did, and the world has since been largely forgotten. Meanwhile, sector and segmentum authorities were left to wonder if the near loss of Shanxi was the threat Cerberus had been founded to forestalland if the Chapter had simply been doomed to destruction from the start. Second Home World: Akuze In truth Shanxi was only another ploy by Janus. The planets invaders had been enticed into attacking the planet by transmissions from the new Chapter Master. Sacrificing a few of the new marines and neophytes, as well as the frigate, the remaining Cerberus Marines departed Shanxi during the battle, and returned to Akuze. The planet had not been recolonized, but declared a death world. It had barely been habitable before, largely a rocky, mountainous mass with a sandy surface ill-suited for anything but small scale mining. From orbit Maeleth ordered the destruction of the dens of the serpentine creatures that had laid the groundwork for his plan all those years ago. For a little more than a century after, Akuze was the home of Cerberus. Potential recruits were kidnapped from surrounding systems and brought back for testing and induction, though Maeleth stopped the creation of additional marines well before the Chapter reached full codex strength. One final time, the Cerberus Chapter took to the stars, destroying their facilities, purging records and leaving no trace of their stay on Akuze. The Fleet: Despite abandoning any kind of homeworld, the Chapter is not confined to its fleet, which is modest in size. The Chapter maintains fairly rooted local bases wherever its cells operate. Most of the Chapters marines are concentrated in roving fleet detachments with the highest ranking marine overseeing two to three operations, which are largely staffed and run by serfs. Battle Barge: Anadius Strike Cruiser: Western Maw, Crimson Maw, Winter Maw, Fang of Orthus, Charon, Penumbra Apex, Strobilos Key Worlds: Cord-Hislop- Secret Manufactorum/Serf recruitment Eldfell Ashworld- Warp->Population experiment, Imperial Freighter Ter Alan Combat Doctrine The Cerberus Chapter is well and truly divergent from their progenitors. Where the Sons of Unity fight cohesively in sizeable forces and use codex organization, Cerberus troops often fight in thin and independent units, sometimes no larger than a combat squad. The Chapters cell organization has led to Cerberus Marines being accustomed to limited communication. In battle, the spread of squads will often use long ranged attacks to probe enemy weaknesses. Upon finding one, the squads redeploy with those facing stiffer resistance giving ground in order to support the rest of the force in striking the weak point. Often, by the time an enemy realizes that their targets have not retreated, but flanked them, it is too late for a counter. When two or more cells fight together, one commander will preside and give broad orders which squad leaders are free to accomplish as they see fit, making the force as a whole unpredictable. Cerberus strategies revolve around being rapid, and untouchable; altogether elusive, with only the rarest applications of brute force. Because there goals are best served by anonymity, large scale combat actions are rarely undertaken, and never alongside allies outside the Chapter. They do not employ devastator squads or battle tanks and have few transports. Through extensive research they have adopted a unique brand of Dreadnought known as the Atlas, which make use of highly modular chassis to house and conceal data cores. These have greatly aided in protecting Chapter data stores by giving them both mobility and defenses, but also made them the Chapters most important relics. Organization Current Chapter Master: Janus Maeleth- The Chapter Master lives up to the title by which the Chapter serfs identify him: the Illusive Man. Maeleth and Captain Corei disappeared in pursuit of an artifact less than a half a century after the Chapter left Akuze. Now almost six hundred years later, as the Sons of Unity become not only increasingly aware, but also more threatening of the Chapters operations, Maeleth and Corei have returned, claiming to have been enlightened by a sojourn in the warp. The brothers Arterius, who had shared leadership of Cerberus after the demise of the previous Master, insisted only on the tests of genetic purity, after which they relinquished command. Maeleths actions since then have managed to steer the Chapter away from the searchlight of the Sons, but the danger is still there. Masters/Company Captains: Master of Sanctity: Rei Ashe- Brother-Chaplain Ashe most often appears at the head of joint cell operations. He is the first among the Chapters Chaplains to have envisioned the threat posed by their parent Chapter, and has been personally responsible for multiple successful evasions. Forge/Fleet: Saren Arterius- A deadly void strategist, Arterius is sure to be present if elements of Cerberus fleet engage the enemy above atmosphere. In a juxtaposition of doctrine, Arterius will almost always attempt to maximize firepower and outnumber the enemy if possible. The sizeable fleet at the Chapters disposal complements this tactic. Saren led the Chapter for almost a century before Maeleths return. Apothecarion: Astrico Nurinos- Most frequently found working with the research Cell, the Chief Apothecary and his drastic methods are responsible for reviving the first marines from the Sleeping Death. Chief Librarian/Research Cell: Kai Lanius (Chapter Librarians, cerca. 75 Marines) The Research Cell is formed largely by Chapter serfs, who are mostly scientists, or medical personnel plucked from the elite of a number of worlds the Chapter has encountered. They are responsible for the maintenance and guard of stored gene-seed as well as finding ways to implement technology recovered through the efforts of the Artifact Cell. Working in concert with serfs of the Armory Cell, the Librarium pioneered advancements in the free-form power fields used in Sons of Unity digital weapons, leading to the mass distribution of effective power bayonets. Lanius delegates most recording and research duties to his understudies and prefers to oversee the testing of the Cells experiments, usually in combat. Notable Librarians: Paulus Grayson Telon Vasir Armory Cell: Don Pelos-Red (cerca. 250 Marines) When Cerberus deploys in force, it is the Armory Cell and Don Pelos that lead them. Pelos is a savage combatant with a more earnest hatred for xenos than most, including the Chapter Master, and also the first Armory Cell commander to lead the Chapter into battle against loyalist forceswho happened to be the Sons of Unity. The cell is divided into five equal groups led by sub-commanders. Pelos tends to depend on these and the squad leaders to execute appropriate tactics, as the Cell commander is only satisfied at the heart of battle, or personally maintaining the Chapters arsenal. Maeleths Personal Cell: Evarus Corei-White (cerca. 50 Marines) The highest rank a Cerberus marine can attain is to serve in the Chapter Masters personal Cell. These marines may be veterans of a thousand battles, but under Corei they spend most of their time coordinating the operations of other Cells. Corei remains silent as to the details of his time in the warp, and on the battlefield maintains the same icy demeanor. When Maeleths Cell takes to the field, it is an ill omen for the enemy indeed. Infiltration Cell: Fairn Drellius-Black (cerca. 25 Marines, 75-175 Scouts) As part of the second most active Cell, the troops under Fairn Drellius command are spread across many sectors. The missions handed down to them are frequently political espionage and politically motivated assassinations, though they serve just as well on the battlefield. The Infiltration Cell employs most of the Chapters serfs as secret emissaries to dignitaries, planetary governors and any potential allies or benefactors to the cause of The Illusive Man the serfs purport to serve. Maeleth goes to great lengths to put such players into power, and in return the Chapter has a significant flow of resources outside that of official channels and eyes spanning almost an entire Segmentum. Artifact Cell: Desolas Arterius-Yellow (cerca. 200 Marines) Desolas appeared particularly pleased to resume command of the Artifact Cell when the Chapter Master returned. The primary functioning Cerberus Cell, ordained to scour the galaxy for anything and everything that can aid in humanitys advancement, it has never seen more success than the years since Maeleth reappeared. These artifacts usually take the form of xenos tech, and usually must first be acquired from xenos possession. Artifact marines tend to be the most experienced in combat in the Chapter, but also have acquired substantial knowledge both of technologies and cultures. The debriefings following every operation are almost as important as the work itself, and protecting that knowledge is held as a sacred duty. Cell Operations: The Cells operate as independently as possible, with the Armory Cell being the most cooperative. Outside that, Cerberus fanatically guards their knowledge and, as often as possible, their identity from any and all organizations in or outside the Imperium. When private communication is necessary, steganographic messages are sent embedded in otherwise ordinary Imperial broadcasts. The ability to decipher these messages rests solely with marines, as no serf could be trusted to keep quiet if captured. Operation Shingle: Aimed at adapting varied Imperial assets, especially military resources, for Cerberus use. High value objectives are focused on assets and materials previously held exclusive by other Imperial organizations or Astartes Chapters. Op initiated by the capture of a Callidus assassin. Operation Phoenix: Attempts to awake/expand psyker abilities in different subjects. Eldfell turned to ashen Deathworld. Operation Doorway: Imperial citizens in useful positions across multiple sectors disappear, to be replaced by Chapter serfs, providing intel on local governments and cults both helpful and harmful. Essential in the subterfuge of the Blue Sons cult, whose radical beliefs culminated in an attempted mass sacrifice to reincarnate the Emperor from the Warp. Zero loyalist casualties. Indoctrination: The hypnotherapy of Cerberus marines extends beyond conditioning them against the horrors of war, but also subtly altering their attitudes, enhancing their loyalty, and ensuring no conflict of ideals with the Chapters oftentimes questionable methods. It is rumored among Chapter serfs that xenos tech may be used to achieve this end. Beliefs Since Janus original manifesto against the xenos, the Chapters views have evolved into the same. Xenos civilizations are seen as obstructions to humanitys progress, useful only for providing mankind with the resources and technology necessary to advance. The Chapter venerates knowledge only. Through the Chaplains, Janus has taught that the Emperor is no more, that while he was the pinnacle of humankind in his time, he will not return. Humanity must carve its own path in the galaxy, but is ill equipped to do so. The Cerberus Chapter is their strong arm, the one force truly looking out for mans best interests. To this end, life is a resource which sometimes must be sacrificed. To achieve its ends, the Chapter will overthrow an Imperial Governor or assassinate an Inquisitor in a heartbeat if they believe them to be a hindrance to the Chapters strength, believing that strength for Cerberus is strength for humanity. Unlike most imperial organizations, xenos tech is not abhorred but treasured and studied by the Chapter, who believe it is the key to ensuring mankinds dominance in the galaxy. The Chapter has cells researching Mind Impulse Unit applications, teams in every corner of two Segmentums searching for STCs, and machine cults working constantly at reverse engineering useful xenos tech. Much of this technology finds its way onto the battlefield, with frequent use of plasma and power weapons, and every scouts first weapon is the sniper rifle. The most frequent meeting of Cells are the Armory and Artifact contingents, the former often ensuring the security of the latter as lost relics and potentially useful tech is hunted down for the Chapters collection and study. Gene-seed Though still bearing the Sus-an Membrane failure known to the Sons of Unity as the Sleeping Death, the Cerberus Chapter has made far greater strides towards curing the condition. While their progenitors study and seek to cure the Sleeping Death within Imperial sanctioned parameters, the Cerberus Chapter cannot be burdened with such restrictions and much of its research devoted to correcting the Sus-ans forced coma is of questionable nature. Maeleth brought with him startling biotech research when he returned, which jumped the cure process centuries ahead of what Chapter Apothecaries had projected. Only seventy years ago, the first activation of the body of a comatose marine occurred, under the direction of Apothecary Nurinos. It appears, though that much of the mind is still beyond awakening, and the process produces little more than numb and volatile shock troops. The current technology of the Imperium has limited the research significantly. Unperturbed, Nurinos has approved many of these awakened marines for combat duty, and they have proved brutally efficient in the field. Battle-cry Battlecry: Humanity Prevails! Motto: Semper Vigilus Chapter Badge art of http://guardianoftheforce.deviantart.com/ wallpaper.
  12. The Sons of Unity Space Marines Chapter Origins It is a well-documented truth that during the foundings following the 21st a great deal of extra care was taken to ensure not only the purity of the genetic material used in producing new Chapters, but also to guarantee the faith and worth of recruits. Too long had the worlds of the Imperium waned under the ever growing xenos menace. Chaos continued to spread while the Emperor's Angels of Death spent their precious blood to stem its advance. During the next millennium, countless marines fell in glorious combat, defending mankind. The weakened reaches of the Imperium needed to be reforged and made strong again. So during the 23rd founding when orders were handed down from the seats of Terra to raise a new Chapter in the Dominion of Storms, Imperial agents could hardly have been happier to receive the reports of the Rho system. At the head of a coalition of smaller systems they call the Systems Alliance, the Rhoans claimed that their world could bring honor to a Chapter as its home world. Further investigation by a joint commission from Terra and Mars confirmed the hive world's claim. At the heart of the Dominion of Storms, Rho was ideally placed to house a Chapter of Space Marines. In the following decades preparations were made, and geneseed sought after. Here, problems began to occur. The initial batch of gene-seed, which records indicate was supplied by a successor of the Salamanders, vanished enroute to Rho, leaving no trace. After this the Chapter whose tithe had now been lost refused to provide any more genetic material. Between the late hour of the founding and the sheer volume of Adeptus Astartes already raised, support for the ordained Chapter started to dwindle. It was then that the gene-seed of the zealous Shadow Wolves fell into consideration. A proud example of Adeptus Astartes of Imperial Fists stock, the Shadow Wolves were more than willing to sire a Chapter, and from their stores a supply was formed. The Chapter's Master of the Forge was chosen to lead the training cadre, and with the blessing of the High Lords and the Emperor, the force set out to answer the needs of Man. Arriving on Rho, the training cadre found a world truly ripe for the birth of an Adeptus Astartes Chapter. The people of Rho were united, but had done so through their militancy. They had spawned a deeply disciplined and stringent society, and formed chains of command as much in their social structure as in their local military force, which until then had been largely devoted to supplying and manning nearby Guard formations. Provided with the great honor and responsibility of a Chapter of Space Marines reinforced their ideals, and they looked upon their world as truly blessed by the Emperor. Their education was strongly infused with military doctrine, their environment produced hardy children, and their dedication to the Emperor was unquestionable. Stefan Hacaitus, the new Chapter Master, made sure to personally oversee the first selection of recruits, and as they stood at attention beneath his calm gaze, he announced to the initiates and their people the name of their protectors. They would honor the symbol of their people, and be known ever after as the Sons of Unity Chapter. As the attending crowd exploded into cheers and celebration, the compliment of Neophytes overpowered them, bellowing the first sounding of the Chapter Battlecry, led by their Sergeants: "Strong alone! Stronger together!" History Throughout their history, the Sons of Unity have become known not only for their skill with combined arms, but also for the stigma of cooperating with xenos on numerous occasions. Specific records are spotty, but show that in nearly any instance where multiple factions have joined battle and a xenos foe has extended an offer of alliance in favor of crushing a common enemy, the Sons of Unity have accepted, and there have even been rumors that the Sons themselves have been the first to open communication. Such rumors are stifled where possible, but their shadow remains. As can be expected, there have been times when this has backfired and it has cost the Chapter dearly. On one particular occasion the Chapter allied with the elusive Eldar, whose Craftworld was hastening through their space to fulfill its own enigmatic objectives even as a tide of Orks descended on the system. Whatever the Eldar sought, it appeared they could not afford a long campaign against the green horde, and offered to aid the Sons of Unity in cleansing their home system. The Eldar, following their own unintelligible battle plans, were nearly impossible to coordinate with and despite successfully putting down the Ork threat, the companies involved suffered heavy losses. When Sergeants of the Sons of Unity attempted to detain the Eldar after the battle for debriefing, they were cut down as the Craftworld sought to continue its mad pace out of the system. In retribution the then Chapter Master, Davian Androssen, engaged the Eldar navy and cut a swathe to the Craftworld itself. Eventually the Eldar escaped with their fleet all but decimated, but not before again inflicting painful casualties on Unity forces and subjecting more marines to the Sleeping Death. Androssens masterful maneuvers with the fleet earned him the nickname Admiral among the locals. At the same time, systems belonging to other nearby xenos faction, and even former allies, began to foolishly entertain ideas of expansion. The danger posed prevented the Chapter from pursuing full justice on the Eldar. The efforts of the local xenos were eventually halted by Unity QRFs, and in the atmosphere of bloodlust, certain voices within the Chapter called for the exterminatus of these lesser races, but Androssen would not permit an action that would completely extinguish a race without an edict from the High Lords of Terra themselves. Admiral Androssens fame spread throughout fleets and navies in nearby sectorsbut his authority within the Chapter was irreparably cracked. It wasnt long before Androssen stepped down, but his legacy continues to be felt as the Sons of Unity became markedly more adept at employing Thunderhawk formations after transposing the his tactics.The consequences of the Eldar incident and the xenos incursions that followed were the defining challenges of the next Chapter Masters career. Despite being relatively new to the Veteran Company, Brother Kahoku, another very skilled void strategist, was elevated to lead the Sons of Unity. Special Hatred of Chaos (Reapers) Mistrust of Successor Chapter Home World Rho is an ocean hive world the Dominion of Storms, roughly between Tangar and Jhenna. There are a few small landmasses composed only of bare rock, and from and around the largest of these are the hive cities created. Contrary to most hives, the more luxurious portions(Or what passes for it among the spartan Rhoans) are deeper in the rock, beneath the waves, and include many transparisteel halls and rooms branching out into the deep, some of which are actually quite ornate. Above these, just out of reach of the tides and waves are the usual manufactorums and industrial districts, with the higher portions of the hives dominated by defensive bastions. On and below the water's surface the Rhoans employ gargantuan craft that house, train, and deploy their military forces. The largest of these constitute mobile planetary defense platforms whose ability to disappear beneath the sea have made the planet quite a fortress in its hostile sector. Indeed, all of Rhos most vital tech, its leadership, and most Sons of Unity facilities are hidden beneath the planets oceans. The Fortress Monastery of the Chapter is known as the Valley Citadel. The only valleys on the planet are the underwater trenches, and it is in the widest of these that the bulk of the Citadel is housed. Protected from direct attack by melta-type depth charges and torpedo emplacements, and guarded against indirect approach by one of the planets defense platforms and a suite of early warning and targeting systems housed on Rhos moon, there are few better defended strongholds for lightyears. The Apothecarion is separated from the Monastery, making use of multiple of the Rhoans submarine housing craft to stay spread out and hidden among the many other trenches crisscrossing the ocean floor. Rho is not without mysteries of its own, though. Artifacts have been uncovered in a number of places beneath the surface indicating that the system, or at least the planet was inhabited long before the humans' first arrival, though any actual record of a civilization has yet to be discovered. Recruitment All recruiting for the Sons of Unity is done on Rho, though it isn't required that recruits be native. The other systems in the Alliance frequently send children of Imperial Guardsmen to the planet for teaching and training, and these have the same opportunity to become recruits, though they must pass the same stringent tests to do so. While not always as successful as the native children of Rho, all the worlds of the Alliance have provided valuable lifeblood to the Chapter over the millennia. Gone Fishing Its said that the current Master of the Arsenal, Urdnos Rex, was confronted by a deep sea Parauc-Uda as he descended. Long, lithe monsters whose throats are lined with teeth as keen as a chainswords, and maws large enough to engulf a marine whole, they are the dominant predators on the planet, only hunted by the humans when they become a danger to their ships. If record is to be believed, Rex escaped the creatures first lunge and destroyed one of its eyes with his stone. Leaving the writhing beast to finish his task, the great fish came after him, catching up as he laid hands on the gauntlet. A deadly dance ensued as Rex retreated towards land and air while the Parauc continued to strike and harass him. Meters from the surface the beast made one final lunge at the very moment Rex discovered the use of the omni-blade contained in the gauntlet which he used to spear the predator through the other eye. That Rex returned to the surface with a dead Parauc-Uda in tow is indisputable, and he frequently makes himself present at trials to tell the tale. The process is grueling, as with any other Space Marine recruitment programme, and plays largely into the world's ocean surface. A common test sends the recruits to one of the few beaches on the planet with a more or less steady descent rather than a drop off, and entrusting each with a stone large enough only to weigh them down. Stripped of any equipment or protection, they are required to navigate along the sea floor, allowed to return only after retrieving a relic of the Chapter placed there for the purpose of the test. Participants are frequently forced to defend themselves from the marauding ocean life using only the boulder given them and their wits, or if the recruit is fortunate enough to be making the return journey, he may taste the might of the Astartes using the power armor gauntlet each successful aspirant must retrieve, equipped with the digital weapons unique to Unity Marines. Successful initiates join the Scout company for a minimum tour of ten years, during which they are exposed to the doctrines of the other specialist companies and assessed for transfer. Combat Doctrine Sons of Unity warfare is, naturally, cooperative warfare, units and brothers working in close coordination with one another to dismantle a threat. To speed the process along, the Chapter employs swift strikes, often by surprise and tends to use more force than is generally deemed necessary. This doctrine stems from the old maritime actions of the Rhoans, where a victorious battle depended on the speed with which a force could bring to bear its armaments, or, if possible, a surprise maneuver on the open water. To these ends the Sons of Unity make extensive use of their Assault Marines and advance their Tactical squads using Rhinos. There is a high proportion of vehicles in the Sons' companies as is common amongst Dorns successors, simply because those marines who are native Rhoans are well adapted to being inside a plasteel shell with a deck of some kind beneath their feet, and are well known for their attunement to a vehicle's machine spirit. Ranged and armored combat is preferred by the Sons, though the importance of hand-to-hand is not lost on them. As skilled tacticians, Unity Marines recognize that the best application of a close assault is to wipe out an enemy unit already withered by concentrated fire. The combined arms of tactical squads and ranged heavy support of devastator squads have a valuable place in every applicable Sons strategy. The principle shortcoming of the Chapter's combat operations, at least as viewed by outsiders, is how easily they allow those operations to be interrupted by extractions and rescue missions. Every marine of the Sons of Unity is loathe to leave a fallen brother behind; to do so is more than a dishonor to a fallen comrade, but to his squad, his company, and tantamount to friendly fire in severity. Preservation of troops is favorable to noble last stands, a philosophy adopted as much from the Shadow Wolves as the Rhoans for whom it has historically been considered an act of the highest depravity to leave someone, even an enemy, to drown in the ocean's waves. Rarely are Unity tactics applied to pitched warfare. Instead, commanding officers are expected to analyze every combat situation when possible to determine the best approach and timing for a precision attack, and the Chapter is not above well placed ambushes or small team infiltrations, though these must be performed by Scouts. Plans are made based on an ideal force size, and then usually a smaller secondary detachment is added to provide backup. Among the Sons, those functionaries frequently referred to in other chapters as serfs often include high ranking military officers and strategists from Rhos upper echelons, who volunteer service, often permanently. Their roles vary from simply receiving and prioritizing orders and requests from the surrounding systems and Terra, to occasionally even aiding in the strategic planning of attacks. Organization Current Chapter Master: Atlas Shepard Masters/Company Captains: Master of Sanctity: Thane Krios- As devout a Chaplain as can be found in such a dark galaxy, Thane lives for his brothers. He ensures that penances are not only paid, but that every marine understands that any sacrifice they make is of no consequence if it is not in the service of the Emperor and His people. If its not a suicide mission Here, The Forge Masters finger highlighted a part of the Tau ship below the engines, Its an emergency induction port, meant to deliver coolant to the reactors should they go critical, though it should be empty right now. Talius explained. The glowing orange halo of his servo-skull adjutant dimmed as it let the hologram flicker and fade, and when Zorah spoke again the Chapter Master was sure he heard a smile in his voice, Time it right and youll get in undetectedjust behind their battlesuit deployment bays. Forge Master: Talius Zorah- Forge Master Zorah is among the most proficient engineers in the Imperium, said to be able to assemble almost any piece of STC equipment, even tanks, without the aid of a template. With an extensive knowledge of the workings of multiple ship classes, both Imperial and Xenos, Zorahs expertise has proved a valuable tactical resource on many occasions. Apothecarion: Mordin Solus - Chief Apothecary Solus rarely leaves Rho, and is almost always at work with his prot
  13. The Alpha Hounds Space Marines Chapter Intercepted Inquisitorial Report regarding subject 'Alpha Hounds'. "I have my doubts whether or not these 'Hounds' can be relied upon or trusted in a time of Imperial need. Should our Lords on Terra call, the Chapter is beyond lethargic to answer. Citing the Emperor against them seems to be the only way to direct them with any kind of haste." -Unknown Inquisitor Available Imperial records have proved mostly reliable regarding the Alpha Hounds Chapter. Their creation was a standard issue order from the High Lords of Terra during the first years of the 26th founding. Their purpose at that time was to keep at bay any enemy forces in the tail of the Sagittarius Arm, which were initially limited to Chaos raids attempting to strike through the frequent warp storms of the region. There is but one noticeable hole in the Chapter’s history that Imperial records cannot fill, which regards their homeworld. The Hounds themselves appear to have these records, but no one outside the Chapter has ever been permitted to see them. Within three hundred years of their founding, the threats they faced evolved into something more substantial with the first expansions of the xenos Tau Empire. Because of the tenacity of the Tau in defending their worlds, the Chapter’s primary objective has become patrolling the border space to prevent them from gaining new foothold worlds and expanding further. This has also brought them into conflict with splinters of the Tyranid Hive Fleet Gorgon. Though they keep largely to themselves, the Chapter has been regularly sighted patrolling assigned space, from the coreward stars of the Tau Empire almost to the end of the Sagittarius Arm. The Triplex Phall forgeworld reports regular supply requisitions from the Chapter. Full Circuit "These systems are backwater, forgotten and unattended by the Imperium. With this last jump here, we have our course; a route to the Arm's end that follows endless night and offers free reign." -Fyvush Feyne The unfortunate mutation of the Alpha Hound gene-seed has at least complemented its fleet based nature, which allows them to avoid the would-be blinding light of a homeworld's sun. The fleet maintains patrols along a series of subsector to subsector planetary systems that has taken Chapter Librarians and Navigators the better part of a century to compile, and completed by a Navigator called Fyvush Feyne. The course, named the Feyne Circuit in his honor, consists of planets used as staging grounds and supply caches, largely uninhabitable and lost in shadow for most of their respective day periods. The Circuit also includes three asteroids which have been equipped to move, providing variables in the course that only the highest ranking Hounds can know. The Alpha Council considers this an essential precaution as all untithed gene-seed produced by the Chapter is kept in the facilities along the Circuit. While each of these 'Night World' bases is fortified, the defenses don't amount to much more than a few orbital defense guns and sensors for tracking activity in each system. The protection of the Night Worlds depends largely on the proximity of the fleet, and secrecy. The Battle Barge called Bastion Alpha houses the Chapter's monastery. Despite receiving supplies from multiple sources, the prolonged campaigns favored by the Hounds quickly drain these resources, and without the stockpiles on the Circuit, the Chapter would be regularly exposed with no means of retaliation, making the Feyne Circuit a necessary supply line asset to defend. Obscure archival footnotes mention a homeworld for the Chapter. Though older navigational charts note the planet as an agri-world, more recent visitors report the planet as destroyed. Cracked nearly in three, the few ruins still visible have clearly been the subject of intense orbital bombardment. No Imperial reports detail what transpired there, and the death of that world is remembered only by the Alpha Hounds. The history kept by the Alpha Hounds tells that less than a century following their founding the Chapter was drawn away from its wards by a chaos fleet, allowing the world to be invaded. The invasion forces did not count on nearby Imperial Navy elements, who notified the Hounds as they engaged the invaders, advising them to make the long journey back. Before long, the commander of the Naval forces began to report that the battle was going poorly, the planet was falling, and exterminatus was beginning to look like the only option. The Hounds still on the planet said otherwise, certain the world could be saved. The Chapter Master and his council of leadership petitioned more than once for more time to bring reinforcements, citing the loyalty of the natives and their faith in the Imperium, but were answered with silence. Sacrificing no more time to leave the Warp for reports, the fleet made all haste towards home. When they emerged from the Immaterium over the homeworld, they found a burning husk. An indelible mark was left on the young Chapter, but in the Emperor’s eyes and their own, they were still bound to serve…and so pressed on. However, not even the Hounds kept any record of what became of the Naval elements that oversaw the death of their homeworld. Rite of Passage Finally, an opportunity. Two of the Kroot had separated, leaving the camp to forage. Waiefei's long wait was ending. Sighting through the Stalker's scope, he led the pair for fifteen seconds til they were just out of sight of the camp. At their next step, he squeezed the trigger with trained precision. The bolt bored through the nearer Kroot's skull, then clipped the further Kroot's shoulder. Instantly adjusting, Darius fired again before the howl of pain could sound, his tactical display registering near simultaneous weapons discharges from his brothers hidden around the camp. The hunt was on. The Alpha Hounds see the honor of living and serving as a Space Marine as a privilege to be earned, not only for new recruits, but for the Chapter as a whole. If a mission should fail, or an engagement is lost and the Alpha Council determines that it stains the Chapter's honor, recruitment will cease until the Chapter distinguishes itself once more. Recruits are usually gathered as willing payment from worlds aided by the Hounds. They are brought to the Circuit for trials and training. The primary qualifications of character for Neophytes are loyalty and ingenuity, and the most frequent challenges throw groups of recruits into lethal situations such as the hunting grounds of nocturnal predators, or squad versus squad combats in different settings. Given few, if any resources, and only each other to depend upon, those recruits who demonstrate a willingness to sacrifice for their would-be brothers and can adapt to their surroundings on the fly are the only ones who have a chance at beginning the implantation process. These groups are often permanent, and the final test of the Initiates before joining the Scout Company is a test of their strength and prowess, and ability to hunt together. Alone on a shuttle, the team of recruits is dropped on a world occupied by the Tau's Kroot allies. Sometimes the Chapter has withdrawn forces to allow the Kroot to establish a presence, only to recover the lost ground with the Initiates. Each team must hunt down and consume a Kroot hunting party, which is usually twelve to fifteen Kroot in strength. If the squad succeeds without casualties, their trials are complete and they are fully inducted into the Chapter. Some initiates follow the Hound tradition, tracking the enemy by use of the Omophagea and forcing the Kroot to isolate themselves before picking them off rapidly, in small groups. Other Initiates are satisfied simply tracking the party, and then falling on them in a frontal ambush. These particular marines tend to become powerful close combat fighters, but are historically rare. After consuming the first kill, the interaction between the Kroot genetic material and the flaw in the Omophagea invariably begins a lifelong desire for Kroot flesh. While not as drastic as in other Chapters with similar gene flaws, the Alpha Hounds have never taken a Kroot prisoner, giving them the honor of dying on the battlefield before the battle-brothers prepare and eat them, usually in camps on the same battlefield. The tradition of Kroot hunting as the final Rite is believed to have supplanted the original indoctrination ritual of apex predator hunts. The change is a reverence to a battle during the Chapter's first encounters with Tau, in which a Kroot kindred ambushed and destroyed almost half a company of marines. Under the direction of their Shaper, the Kroot began consuming the fallen marines, but fled at the first sign of reinforcements. One squad sergeant alone, Brother Anton Windhark, was rendered unconscious, but survived the ambush and witnessed the Kroot feeding on his brothers' flesh. The following night, without orders, the vengeful sergeant tracked down and slaughtered the entire kindred save for the Shaper, who beheld the marine's first bite into the Kroot that had eaten his brothers, before being reduced to slag by Windhark's plasma pistol. Since then, Kroot are viewed as the ultimate prey and the Chapter relishes every encounter with Tau for the chance to scourge the Kindreds. The induction ritual itself is a subdued occasion. Successful recruits go under the Apothecary’s blade once more, and the second bone in the middle finger is removed and replaced with an alloy substitute. Following the operation the neophyte carves his name and the date of his induction into his bone and presents it to the presiding Chaplain. The bone is dipped in adamantium and placed on a chain, to be worn at all times. Over time Alpha Hounds will gather other bones, mostly from foes, but sometimes from brothers, on which to inscribe the deeds of battles and campaigns. These hang from the same chain, forming part of each brother’s legacy. Second Campaign against the Orks of Fi'rios "A riff from the heavy bolters on that hillside, NOW! Jameth, make it rain, brother!" The swarming Orks retreated from the blistering bolter fire behind a rubble-strewn hill, waiting for an opening. What they saw instead were the red tongues of flame falling towards them from the sky, ready to seal them in against any hope of escape. Though a fleet based Chapter, the Alpha Hounds have a marked preference for ground combat, and haven't developed the advanced boarding skills of other fleet based Chapters. They regard their fleet only as their essential conveyance through the void, and respect their original fleet elements as such. Captured ships or those taken as payment are not afforded such respect, mostly due to how rarely these ships mount the weapons or defenses needed to be useful to Astartes. This mentality has led to many of the fleet's lesser vessels often being treated as expendable and used in highly unorthodox maneuvers, including abandonment as battlefield debris or fireships, blockade running, and ramming enemy fleets. If it is possible to draw an enemy force into a land battle, the Hounds will choose a sunlit world over fighting in the confines of a ship's belly. While their tactics frequently make unpredictable changes, the constant is their preference for catching the enemy by surprise and attacking at night. Ambushes, troop lures, and trap laced fortifications are a regular part of Alpha Hound warfare. It can be noted that scouts are frequently at the fore front of an attack, pulling the main force behind them. Leading scout squads are often given the honor of the first shot fired at the enemy, and these first strikes are often combined with simultaneous drop pod assaults, and low altitude Thunderhawk strikes. The most planning goes into capitalizing on the confusion sown by the sudden loss of leadership and the element of surprise. Frequent maneuvers include 'Black Out' attacks aimed at cutting off enemy visibility to allow friendly forces to redeploy, 'Crush' ambushes meant to catch the enemy between two or more units, and 'Base Dropping', a shock and awe strategy that drops a heavy fire base made up of tactical marines, Terminators and Dreadnoughts into the heart of the enemy formation in an effort to scatter them and sweep them as they flee. The normally superior reflexes and enhanced senses of a Space Marine are all but nullified for the Hounds by the glare of sunlight, due to the oversensitive nature of their Occulobes. In daylight conditions, their reactions are hardly any better than a unit of Imperial Guardsmen, or even the Tau they so frequently fight. The battle-brothers of the Alpha Hounds appear to revel in extended campaigns; the longer lasting, the better. Kill markings are considered irrelevant, replaced by campaign marks distinguishing consecutive weeks or months of successive battles. With years at a time spent pursuing enemies across worlds with little time for concentrated maintenance, Hounds marines have made numerous modifications to their weapons and equipment, few of which would be sanctioned by a sane techpriest. These modifications are most commonly based on adapting to the environment of the world where the battle group is fighting. They are also skilled at using their surroundings to complement their weapons, or turning the environment itself into an exploitable asset instead of using specialized gear. The Chapter has trouble maintaining both its Terminator armor and Jump Packs units, and these are rarely seen on the battlefield. Called to serve Him "You are not the Imperium's marines, you are not the tools of Terra. You are the Emperor's Angels of Death, and you will trample His foes beneath your feet and rend them as you go over! We are the Alpha Hounds, and our crescendo will burn the galaxy clean in the Emperor's name! -Chapter Master Moonstride The Alpha Hounds stand at approximately nominal strength and are codex adherent, their only particular variance being the Chapter Command, or Alpha Council, composed simply of the Chapter Master and the Masters of the Companies. It is unknown how or if the companies not on the council are represented, but the will of the Council is unquestionably accepted by all. Neophytes spend at minimum the first ten years of their services as Scouts, integrated into the Battle Companies and rotated whenever a Reserve Company steps in to relieve their attachment. Likewise integrated are the Assault specialists. Because the Chapter so rarely deploys its few jump packs, the Assault marines can afford to go into battle with their brothers, where they not only lead charges, but excel at flanking on foot and serving as decoys for drawing the enemy into the open. The Devastator company remains separate, according to the Codex. The Chapter’s Devastators tend to be the loudest and most abrasive marines, to the degree that it is part of the reason they remain a separate company. It is also noteworthy that the Devastators have more experience with drop pod maneuvers than any unit in the Chapter, with the possible exception of its Dreadnoughts. A Cause for the Lost Sighing, the gray-headed Librarian closed his tome before answering his brother. "No, Sinef, they cannot know or understand that their Imperium is dead. They will never recognize this as the true root of their misery. That is why we watch over them. They have lost their Master as much as you and I." -Cheif Librarian Morianton The Alpha Hounds Chapter cult has never been observed, but what contact Imperial agents have had has made note of the regular absences and gatherings of Chapter members between combats, suggesting that whatever rituals the Chapter does maintain are regularly attended. While as a whole the Chapter appears to be of acceptable demeanor, their attitude towards serving the Imperium leaves much to be desired. The Chapter has never ignored or refused an order from Terra, but in handling local requests for assistance the Hounds have been known to refuse aid without the promise of payment, sometimes going as far as demanding control of a planet's warp worthy ships. Behind closed doors the Chapter Cult is a startlingly somber body, despite the usual boisterousness of its adherents. The Hounds praise one thing only, and that is the Emperor. Here any similarities with the Ecclesiarchy and most similarities with other Astartes beliefs end. The Hounds recognize the Emperor as a Champion of humanity, but a lost one. While they don't dispute that the Emperor may be sustaining his life from century to century, they have no delusions of any distant return or reawakening of their Master. They see their lives as gifts, fruits of the Emperor's labor and recognize no other hand, in giving thanks for their existence. Any semblance of ‘faith’ is seen as wasted. Older Chapter members know the root of this belief to be the result of the tragedy that destroyed the world meant to be their home. It could be said that the Chapter was reborn from this event. The once eager and obedient Hounds took to their fleet, and became lethargic to answer the call of Terra. If faith in the Imperium were of so little value, they would treat it as such. Likely because of this, the Alpha Hounds privately believe that the Imperium died with the Emperor, and is now an empty shell. In the eyes of the Hounds, the Adeptus Astartes exist only to soften the blow for the rest of mankind when the truth strikes them. Only out of respect for the Emperor do the Hounds follow any orders from the High Lords. For governments and leaders both military and civilian, however, they have no regard other than perhaps mild suspicion. While their responses to local requests for aid are justifiably frowned upon, they would never cruelly abandon a world in need, and have sometimes appeared without request to aid a planet in danger. They always, however, demand payment. The payment is always proportional to the planets resources, and is sometimes no more than commissioning a team of locals to collect the bolt casings from a battlefield, just so that they can appreciate the Space Marines' efforts. In truth, the Hounds have a grain of pity for the rest of humanity, even more lost than they without the Emperor. Great respect and reverence is also afforded to the Chapter’s dead. Simple tombs are maintained on several of the Night Worlds where the remains of the fallen are interred. The adamantine bone removed in the induction ritual ensures that something of each brother can endure even the most extreme destruction, and every chain is paired with a plaque displaying the date of the marine’s death. The Alpha Hounds have developed a strong relationship with, and faith in, the families of the Navis Nobilite, and greatly respect the Navigators in service to the Chapter, and these connections have contributed to nuances in the Chapter's beliefs. Some of the principles used by the Navigators are magnified in Alpha Hound beliefs and doctrines. They study the terrain more often than they study the enemy, knowing that while the enemy may change on the eve of battle, the battlefield itself is likely to remain the same. There are scouts in the Hounds who are rumored to know entire planetscapes from memory. As the Navigators say, the better one knows the territory, the more rapidly to traverse it. This study usually takes the place of prayers in the daily routine of other Adeptus Astartes, as well as a major part of the Chapter's tactical indoctrination. The Blind Lead Better So this was war by the light of day. It was truly hellish. Doing all he could not to squint at the filtered light that passed his optics, Brother-Sergeant Miantono fired a burst at the distant Tau squad, barely noting in time the battlesuits moving towards the right flank. Squad Uncas had fallen, then. Miantono rallied his marines, "Incoming on the right flank! Sergeant Requias, prepare your squad to spring a Crush on inbound battlesuits! Let us not leave Captain Longrun to clean up after us!" Cursed be this world and its xenos defenders, he thought as he caught himself squinting. With another five hours til nightfall, their position could not be lost. Records and tithes show that the Alpha Hounds were formed using the gene-seed stock of the Shadow Wolves, who also provided the cadre of warriors that trained the Chapter, making the Alpha Hounds marines of Dorn's lineage. Near the beginning of the Chapter's history, failed attempts by the Apothecarion to restore the flawed organs of Dorn's sons led, as it so often does, to further issues with the Chapter's gene-seed. Already lacking the Betcher's gland and Sus-an Membrane, the Hounds now suffer other defects as well. Most grievous was the mutation of the Occulobe, which has become the blessing and the curse of the Alpha Hounds. The organ has now become dramatically more sensitive, with the naked eye of a Hound able to see the landscape of a moonless night as if it were clear daylight, but barely able to stand the true light of day. Without the modifications made to the optics of their helmets, the Alpha Hounds would be useless on a sunlit battlefield. They can only adapt by seeking to strike first, at night, and inflict as much damage as possible before dawn. Very few individuals outside the Chapter can claim to have seen the face of a Hound. Another mutation has also been introduced through the Chapter's initiation rituals. After the discovery of the Tau, the tradition of hunting the deadly game of one of the Night Worlds was replaced with the more challenging task of hunting the Tau's tribal allies, the Kroot. Successful marines are required to consume the Kroot's flesh, but whether due to the tampering of the Apothercaries or the Kroots' own malleable DNA combining with the workings of the Omophagea, the Alpha Hounds now have something of an addiction to Kroot. Battlecry: Chaplain/Sergeant:"Rend the heel!" Battle-Brother:"Tear the throat !" Notes -Minor changes
  14. Dear Liber, more than half a year later, kindled by the upcomming 8th Editon, I took the time to go through my Index Astartes for my Chapter the Thousand Fists, and finalize the texts. I can't remember when or why, I came up with writing it as letters from an Apothecarius of the Thousand Fist to an Apothecarius of the Scythes of the Emperor, but that's the form it has now. Probably it's because, the whole reason for coming up with a homegrown chapter is, it have an own background to start writing more stories about. I'll be publishing a new letter every day in this thread (five are already written two others half way done and I have content for a ninth). As always: Please be kind, when it comes to orthography (English is not my first Language) and thanks in advance for any Feedback. I sincerly hope you enjoy it, your humble servant, Filius P.S.: Thanks everyone, who already helped me. I wouldn't have come so far without the people in this most amazing place of the Galaxy in the 40th Millennium. Thanks a lot! P.P.S.: I skipped that "publishing a new letter every day" thing. I'l just publish them here, when they are ready.
  15. Origins: Part of the 22nd founding of the Adeptus Astartes, The Knights Defiant have always fought with an unwavering determination that cannot be stayed except by direct order. Much like their Progenitor the Venerable Imperial Fists the Knights Defiant refuse to retreat from most any battle and much less one on their own territory. History: During the first centuries of service the Knights Defiant remained largely within their own star with few exceptions. It was during this time when Venerable Roland came to power as the first Chapter Master raised from the home planet of Eysines. Under his guidance the Knights Defiant became more aggressive and eventually this cost them dearly. During a particularly bloody Campaign in Ork held space near the Eysines System Venerable Roland was struck low by the Warboss Urgak this caused House Ferox to fly into a fury unseen by the chapter as they pursued vengeance against the Warboss Urgak who had injured their Master. This ended with House Ferox facing almost complete destruction against the Ork horde as they Recovered the body of Venerable Roland they discover he was alive although barely. House Ferox had suffered greatly at this point but due to the intervention of House Wayland the Knights Defiant had recovered Venerable Roland and some of House Ferox. Upon the flagship, The Sword of Eysines Venerable Roland was entombed inside a Contemptor Dreadnought chassis. In the aftermath of the battle that laid Venerable Roland low House Lord Wayland ascended to Chapter Master and Rebuilt House Ferox and upon its return to full strength he renewed the Campaign. Under Chapter Master Wayland the Ork horde was suppressed to only a singular planet now Known as the Cage to the Knights Defiant who now use it as a training ground for aspirants. This is all that is recounted of Venerable Roland who is the only Astartes privy to the knowledge of the Chapter’s beginning due to a rebellion within the Chapter Librarium where Chief Librarian Dordalus and a majority of the Epostolaries turned to chaos and stole with them much of the Chapters lore. Considering this the Chapter has ruled the only loyal Epostolary remaining to assume the burden of the entire Librarium and the task of hunting Dordalus and reclaiming the Chapters lore. Now Epostolary Naram is under direct watch of the Reclusiam always and during battle he must remain near a Chaplain or a House Lord always should he turn. Considering Primarch Robute Gulliman’s Indomitus Crusade and the reinforcing of front line chapters with Primaris Astartes. The Knights Defiant were sent an entire company of Primaris Astartes due to no updates on troop strength reaching Terra or Gulliman. As such the Knights Defiant have a total strength of 1,100 Astartes during the final days of the Indomitus Crusade. However, the Knights Defiant haven’t taken kindly to the Primaris Astartes and have thus kept them entirely separate from the Great Houses. Since receiving reinforcement the Knights Defiant haven’t deployed and therefore the Primaris group hasn’t experienced combat and is distrusted by the Chapter until their worth has been proven. Homeworld: Eysines is a planet capable of maintaining human life and was first colonized during the Great Crusade. During its colonization progress, it was found to be quite rich in minerals required for manufacturing of Astartes vehicles and weaponry. Eysines had its own Imperial Army regiment founded for self-defense and transportation of minerals to the Blood Angels for use in the 9th Legion. Eysines remained largely unaffected by the Crusade until the Horus Heresy began and Eysines was invaded by the 8th Legion for the resources present. When news of the reached Baal the Blood Angels sent one of its Fleets to recover Eysines and in the following campaign a majority of the population had been killed off in the fight between the Astartes. Once the Night Lords had been repelled it was determined Eysines was too damaged to be considered a priority during the Heresy and was thus forgotten and the remaining population recovered over the course of the next 7,000 years. The inhabitants of Eysines regressed severely due to the catastrophic fighting that occurred on the surface and has now re-emerged as a pre-black powder society reminiscent of medieval Terra. Eysines people have organized themselves into a semi democratic society in which the head of one of the 8 Great houses assumes complete autonomy over the sovereign for the next year. The process by which this is chosen is directly correlated to the aspirant selection games that the Knight Defiant host each year to search for possible neophytes. Combat Doctrine: The Knights Defiant fight in a manner like that of the Black Templars preferring blade and strength to overwhelm the enemy at close proximity. However, the Knights Defiant also make extensive use of Razorbacks and Land Raider Redeemers as the primary mode of transportation instead of rhinos. The use of whirlwinds is also quite prevalent among the Knights Defiant to cover the approaching Astartes. Chapter Culture: During a meeting with the Black Templars that’s long since been forgotten the Knights Defiant have also taken up the quirk of chaining weaponry to their armor during Crusades as a form of devotion to the Crusade. Astartes within the Knights Defiant also tend to inscribe oaths of combat or faith upon their power armor during times of distress and sorrow as well as upon the Day of the Emperors Ascension. Unlike Most chapters an Astartes in the Knights Defiant are recruited into the same house they fought for in the Eysines Tournament and will remain in that house exclusively unless they ascend to Chapter Master in which they no longer belong to a House but to Eysines. This is shown in the way Battle Brothers address each other e.g. (Brother Lucas of Auxilus). Any ​Constructive Criticism is appreciated. Thanks for looking!
  16. Long long ago in the way far away I created the Knights of Lydda Chapter. After taking a hiatus from the forum I havefound that nothing remains of my beloved chapter except a picture in one thread. Well, since I am rebuilding my forces, I think it only right to amend the writing from the past to reflect the newer rules and game play. The Knights are a Black Templar off shoot that willplay with their Chapter Tactics. All charactes are created specifically for the chapter without recycling any from the BT list. I am currently rewriting the fluff to the army, here is what I have: Origins The Knights of Lydda were first created during the 20th Founding with Imperial Fist geneseed to deal with the xenos threats which spanned through out the Imperium of Man. Many of the initial training missions were fought against different xenos races. These missions helped to instill the chapter with a fierce hatred for the entirety of all xenos races. To them having a xenos race on Imperial soil is just as bad as having a heretic on Holy Ground. The Knights of Lydda were assigned a permanent post in the Eastern Fringe as it seemed that this was the doorway through which much of the threat to the Imperium was using. The Knights of Lydda were to eradicate any sign of alien contamination they found. Lydda, a world from the Nemarkus System near the center of the Eastern Galactic Fringe, was given to the Chapter as a recruiting ground as many of its initial marines were drawn from this medieval world. The beliefs of the Chapter are like those of the knights that populate its lands. They quite simply translate as protect the weak and destroy all that oppose the righteous rule of the Emperor. The Knights of Lydda live and die by this simple creed. There is no parlay with these warriors, you are on the Emperor's side or you are a traitor. The Knights of Lydda have fought bravely in many engagements against various opponents. Though trained to fight primarily alien cultures, they have had a decent amount of battle experience with the forces of Chaos as well. The illustrious battles fought by this noble Chapter span many volumes in the Chapter's Librarium and shrines to victory and fallen warriors are scattered across many of planets of this sector. The Gresnik War The Gresnik War began as a small operation that quickly spiralled out of control. Imperial Guard regiments were sent to Opathia Prime to quell an Ork rebellion. It seems that the Guard was ill informed of their true enemy. Though green of skin and immensely muscular, Gresnik was not an Ork as the Guardsmen were led to believe, but rather a Chaos Champion. After losing four major cities and the lower continent, the Guard called for help. They still had not seen Gresnik, only his minions who resembled orks. The Knights of Lydda answered the call immediately. After a small warp jump the initial battle was fought in the city Heratomolie. The densely built city hindered the Knights' regular combat doctrines and Gresnik's forces balked them at every turn. Until this point in their illustrious history they had been able to dictate terms to their enemies, now the advantage belonged to the enemy. For months wave after wave of attacks by the Knights were put down. In a brash decision Chapter Master Gregory Harriston declared the entire Chapter, from the most grizzled veteran marine to the newest scout was to fight in this particular theater of war. Two forces were assembled to take part in a decisive strike to lure out the elusive Gresnik. The first was a mobile strike unit of Cheveliers supported by Seige Master stationed at key points through out the battle zone. The second was an entire Order constisting of Assault Marines who would wait to harass and destroy the enemy forces brought into light. After months of recon, firefights, and repositioning of forces the Knights had lost many Battle Brothers. On the three hundred and twenty second day of fighting a ray of hope shone on the Knights of Lydda. The scout recon groups spotted Gresnik himself. Gresnik was a being of pure muscle, tainted green with the rot of Nurgle. A massive power claw formed his right hand while a huge three bladed bionic formed the left. It was easy for any marine there to understand why they were under the assumption they were initially fighting orks. Gresnik made way for the approaching Chapter forces killing two squads of scouts in his attack. As he stood over Chavelier Sergeant Charles Pollinius about to strike the killing blow with the power clawed right hand, the power sword of Gregory himself stopped it. The two were locked in combat while the rest of the Knights of Lydda regrouped and took their fight to the remaining forces of Gresnik's army. Gresnik was finally laid low when Gregory decapitated his mutated head from his body. All of the fallen Brothers had been taken to the apothecaries of the fleet ships for removal of their geneseed. It was here that Gregory the Pious learned of the exact number of the fallen, a full three quarters of his men had died on this world. Gregory consulted the only member of Imperial Law in the field, Inquisitor Marcus Grimm of the Ordo Xenos. The decision was the planet of Opathia Prime would be declared Exterminatus. The Imperial forces bombarded the planet with virus bombs and left it to die. The Knights left for Lydda to re-forge their strength and their numbers pledging that an onslaught like this would never be allowed to happen to the Chapter again. Reconstruction Following the Gresnik War, the Knights of Lydda were all but driven into obscurity. The reconstruction of the chapter was of supreme importance and could not be ignored. Putting themselves into seclusion on the surface of Lydda the chapter drove forward searching for worthy aspirants to fill the void left by the fallen brothers of the chapter. In mid-M.38, during this time of seclusion a vision of prosperity came upon them. This miracle of the Emperor came to them in the form of Jerrulis Resinger, a young masonry serf who had a particular skill with the blade. During the two hundred and fifty year reconstruction of the Chapter, Jerrulius advanced in rank. Once, as the Chavelier Captain of the Lion Order, Jerrulius led his Order into one of the Chapter's most famous battles, facing and defeating many times their number of Eldar. The result impressed Chapter Master Gregory Harriston so much that he took the Captain under his wing to become his successor. After Gregory's fall on Damascus XIV, Jerrulius assumed the mantle of Chapter Master. During this time he was to complete the reconstruction efforts of the chapter and drew up many tenants on how to maintain a fighting force, including the policy of establishing keeps upon uncontested Imperial worlds, expanding the number of potential candidates to recruit from. It is due to these practices laid out in the Bellicus Doctrina, written by Jerrulius himself in his forty ninth year as Chapter Master, that the Knights of Lydda have not faced such a dire need for recruits again. Lydda Lydda, the fourth planet of the Nemarkus System lies in the Daedelus Subsector of the Eastern Fringe. It is a medieval world under the Light of the Imperium for many millennia. The planet orbits the yellow sun of Nemarkus and this star blankets the lands of Lydda with light and warmth while the three planets closer to Nemarkus are too hot for habitation. Only two major continents are found on Lydda, the largest of which is Braxus. Across the blue seas lies the subcontinent of Jacea. The oceans of Lydda contain nineteen island chains, but few of these are actually inhabited. Native animals of this world include the Great Raven ( a bird of titanic size), horses, and the Lava Snake (a large reptile which usually resides in the steam vents of volcanic sites). These creatures are an everyday sight and with species such as the horse, breeding farms have been implemented in many areas of the world. The people of Lydda are organized into a feudal structure. Each kingdom supplies and maintains specific services and militia, levying troops and tithes from the populace to arm these forces. In return the rulers of each land proffer titles of nobility and grants of land. Serf labor makes up a large portion of the inhabitants of each Kingdom. It is this structure that makes Lydda such a fertile recruiting ground. Any boy can leave his position, even as a serf, to join the ruler's army and test himself during the Tournament of Pages. During the Tournament martial testing takes place across the lands and applicants from the age of eight to thirteen subject themselves to various trials, including a trial by arms in which only the victor walks away. Senior Chapter serfs attend each Tournament and choose the most suitable recruits for the Knights, those who survive but who are not chosen to join the Chapter are left to serve out their lives in the service of the lord holding the trials. The planetary population is aware of the presence of the Chapter and its serfs are regarded as a caste of their own among the inhabitants. Though no communication is existant outside the tournament, these individuals are seen as the Emperor's emissaries who stand but a rung below the legendary Knights themselves. If a Chapter serf makes a request for the Chapter from a ruling lord it is immediately fulfilled. No ruler wishes to risk the wrath of the 'Knights from the Emperor's Stars' being visited upon them. Local legends refer to the 'Knights of the Emperor's Stars' as the Emperor's chosen army. They revere these tales and when a Knights of Lydda ship is spotted overhead all that see it immediately inform their lord so that offerings may be made to satisfy the needs of these men who serve the Emperor's glory. It is a common fantasy of many of the planet’s youth to be taken to the stars with the Chapter and live their lives in service. It is a dream only few ever get to realize. Beliefs The Knights of Lydda are a zealous chapter in the tenants of its belief system. Their only mission in life is to destroy the forces which threaten the security of the Imperium of Man. Each marine holds dear the teachings and veneration of the Emperor and is a member of the Imperial Cult. On their homeworlds they were all raised with the knowledge of the God Emperor. They have retained these teachings upon their acceptance into the Chapter and worship the Emperor in much the same manner as the many other inhabitants of the Imperium. No challenge has been made to their belief of the Emperor as a God as it has been cited by the Inquisition on many occasions that to do this would most likely start a rift between the Chapter and the Imperium. No one wants the crusading chapter to ask what else they may have been lied to about if the Emperor is not what they have been taught since childhood. Some Inquisitors feel that this ignorance is bliss for the chapter and helps keep them in stride with the goals set for them in the field. The Sons of Lydda believe the Emperor himself chooses each of them and lays forth a mission to be completed. To die in battle is a completion of your task and grants a Knight a place at the Emperor's side in the afterlife. Any Marine who does not die in battle, but rather falls to treachery or subterfuge is prayed for by his brothers and a Chaplain states the case for the fallen marine to take his place at the Emperor's side during the funeral rites in hopes that the Emperor will still see fit to so honor the fallen brother. Honor is taken seriously amongst the Knights and points of honor between Battle Brothers are often settled by ritual combat. Depending on the severity of the grievance between Marines the combat may be settled by first blood, surrender or even, rarely, mortal combat though in the hundreds of years since the Knights of Lydda were formed this only four duels have been fought to the death. Recruitment Recruiting is done from several worlds now, most notably Lydda itself. On each recruiting world a keep is built and run by Chapter serfs. These individuals see to the needs of the Chapter providing required resources and personnel needed by the chapter thorough a series of tolls and levies in return for the Chapter's protection. Every year on Lydda the Tournament of Pages is held at the parade grounds of each of the twenty-three kingdoms. The purpose of the tournament is to provide a recruiting ground for new soldiers to be inducted and trained into soldiers by each feudal kingdom. All thirteen year old males of the realms are required to participate upon penalty of death, though any lad between eight and twelve years may also partake in the Tournament if he wishes. It is during this time that the Heralds of the Knights of Lydda, in the form of high-ranking chapter serfs, come forth to claim some of the youths present for induction into the chapter. The Tournament of Pages is a military affair using blunted weapons and tests of skill such as riding, jousting, and swordsmanship to show potential soldiers to the kings of the realms. These tests, though watched and held in relative safety, have been known their fair share of casualties and even fatalities among the entrants. However it is not solely martial prowess that the Tournament seeks to showcase, nor is solely battle skills that a potential chapter recruit is judged on. Entrants are also tested on military and legal knowledge, courtly manners and a variety of other subjects as well and some esoteric combination of the results of these tests and battlefield performance decides who is and who isn't recruited. Only the Heralds know these criteria, handed out by senior Knights according to the chapter's strengths and weaknesses and they hold their secrets close to their chests. Training The collected aspirants are brought to Nirvana, the chapter's keep. Here they are initially trained in survival techniques and unarmed combat by the serfs who were once themselves aspirants. During this time the surgical procedures for implanting the geneseed and various other organs to turn these young men into Space Marines are begun by the stationed Hospitaller. The Chapter's Hospitallers are aware of the fact that the Betcher's Gland does not work, as is the case with the Imperial Fists from which they are derived and the Chapter fears further degradation. Due to this concern the decision was made to train more recruits in the arts of the Apothecarium. Thus there is always a knowledgeable Brother on hand to monitor the implanted organs and bio-chemistry of each Marine for purity and proper function. Further all units must report every seven Terran years to an infirmary so that more complete check ups can be made. Once a certain maturity level has been established the aspirants are sent out on the Trial of Fire. This trial has the aspirants traveling to the mountains north of the keep with the goal of obtaining the head of an Inferno Drake (a fire breathing wyvern type, dragon class lizard inhabiting the caves near the mountain lakes). When the aspirants return the head is presented to the Hospitaller Sergeants at the Ceremony of Fortitude as proof of their ability to work as a team. After the process of implantation and psycho-indoctrination the aspirant receives a final test, The Journey of Steel. Taken to the most war torn and intense battlefields of the planet, armed with only a sword, shield, comm-link, and flak armor, the aspirants must return to Nirvana within 30 days. Each aspirant is expected to have a trophy from a fallen foe. These trophies are usually in the form of a weapon, most notably a sword. Those who fail a trial or reject the geneseed implantations are inducted as Chapter serfs. These men often serve in a militia company on the field either next to or in lieu of their masters. From this militia the Heralds are chosen to procure the next generation of aspirants for the Chapter. Battle Cry “Whom Shall I Fear?” Battlecry originated on the sulphur plains of Salpahrus IV where the Knights battled against a chaos cult backed by the Alpha Legion which threatened to consume the system itself. The originator of the cry is unknown, yet it persists to this day upon the battlefield.
  17. Index Astartes: Heralds of Light T he Heralds of Light are steadfast defenders and servants of the Imperium. As members of the Astartes Praeses, they were created with the express purpose of guarding the regions surrounding the Eye of Terror, and have taken their task to heart. Where other Chapters are free to seek fame and glory, these unsung heroes have stood valiantly against the darkness since the thirty-second millennium. Even now with the galaxy split in half and their homeworld in ruins, the Chapter keeps fighting and refuse to abandon hope. Origins 'Let us light the way, Brothers!' - First Chapter Master, Alcaeus Rex On the first day of the thirty-second millennium, the historical 3rd founding was initiated. Completely new Chapters were created from the genetic material of the old Legions, bolstering the numbers of the overexerted Adeptus Astartes. Spurred by Abaddon the Despoiler’s first Black Crusade, several of these Chapters were drafted into the Astartes Praeses, tasked with reinforcing Imperial forces in the troubled Segmentum Obscurus and protecting the Imperium from further invasions from the Eye of Terror. One such Chapter was made from the gene-seed of Rogal Dorn's Imperial Fists, chosen for his Legion's unflinching bravery during the defense of Terra. They were named the Heralds of Light and would bring the Emperor's radiance to the darkest corner of the galaxy. Gifted with a mighty Battle Barge, the Undying Light, a cadre of Imperial Fists veterans lead the new Chapter towards Segmentum Obscurus on a glorious crusade of reclamation. After nearly two centuries, their initial campaign came to an end with the First Defense of Lucerna. The battle saw the entire Chapter deployed on and above Lucerna, a planet cut off from the Imperium during the Horus Heresy, now occupied by a large warband of Word Bearers. Although the losses were grievous, the Heralds were victorious and recognized as saviors by the Lucernan people. The Lucernan had been defiant in the face of Chaos and fought bravely, despite their inferior training and equipment. Impressed, the Heralds took Lucerna under their protection and claimed it as the Chapter’s new homeworld. Since that time the Heralds have made their name in the fight against Chaos, fulfilling their duties as guardians to such a degree that they have teetered on the brink of destruction many times. During the Age of Apostasy, the Heralds were nearly wiped out fighting the traitor hordes taking advantage of the internal power struggle. The Chapter was spread thin during the Gothic War trying to contain the invading forces, hunting down bands of Raiders who managed to slip through the Cadian Gate. For nearly nine millennia the Heralds of Light have stood their ground, and Lucerna has been a bulwark in the defense of the Imperium. Unyielding as a lighthouse; a symbol of humanity in a dark tempest. Yet, when the Thirteenth Black Crusade poured out from the Eye of Terror, the Herald’s resolve was not enough to save their homeworld. Homeworld “This world shines with the light that guides us.” – First Chapter Master, Alcaeus Rex. Lucerna is located in Segmentum Obscurus in the galactic north, south of the Eye of Terror in the Turbatus sub-sector. A beautiful terrestrial planet covered in wide oceans, deep forests and high mountains, similar to Holy Terra of ages long gone, Lucerna stood in stark contrast to much of its surrounding systems. To the Heralds, Lucerna was the very symbol of everything the Emperor fought for and made it their sacred duty to forever protect the world. Settled during the Great Crusade, this prosperous civilized world became a testament of the Emperor’s vision for the human empire. Due to its isolation during the Heresy, Lucerna was unscathed by the fires of war, and remained a tranquil world until it was rediscovered. Even in times of conflict between the various Lucernan states, the people raised great leaders, able to unite the whole population and uphold the harmony. The great Lucernan library, cherished by both the people and their Astartes protectors, contained art, relics and documents from the times before the Heresy, ensuring that knowledge of the Imperium survived. Lucerna never forgot about the Emperor, and in time the people came to believe that He would one day return. Fully aware of the Astartes presence on their world, the Lucernan populace looked towards their guardians with great reverence. To have a member of the family join the Chapter’s ranks was an immense honor. The Heralds rarely involved themselves with matters of planetary rule, preferring to serve, only intervening if requested to or when it was absolutely necessary. After rejoining the Imperium, the planet became the primary source of recruits for the Chapter and the Lucernan Planetary Defense Force evolved into a formidable military organisation. The PDF has fought side by side with the Heralds on many occasions, even off-world when necessary, defending the Lucernan system and beyond. No matter how capable the Lucernan PDF was, it would not be enough. As the Thirteenth Black Crusade laid waste to the Segmentum, the Heralds divided their forces over several battlefronts. In the turmoil that followed the opening of the Great Rift, Lucerna was cut off from the bulk of the Herald’s strength. Contact was lost and only a handful of Astartes remained on the planet. The Heralds themselves never learned the exact details of what happened, but when they finally returned to Lucerna, the planet was overrun by Chaos forces and warp storms threatened to consume the system. Although bled dry from the Black Crusade, what remained of the Heralds of Light charged into the fray in a desperate attempt to save their people. They managed to temporarily secure their Fortress-Monastery, evacuating as many as they could from all over the planet while turning ancient cities to dust with orbital bombardment to keep the enemy at bay. Stubborn as they were, even the Heralds realized that staying would mean their doom. And so they left Lucerna, their home for millennia, barely escaping with less than three companies’ worth of Astartes, spread among the battered remains of their fleet. The Watchtower, the now ruined Fortress-Monastery of the Heralds, sits dark and silent surrounded by ice and rock near the northern pole. Built in the architectural style of Rogal Dorn, undeniably inspired by the defenses of Terra, the Fortress-Monastery was an impressive sight. The outer layers consisted mainly of massive walls and defense mechanisms, while most of the Chapter facilities were below the surface, as an added protection against orbital bombardment. But in the center, on the highest point of the Watchtower, a great fire burned for millennia, kept alive by a constant stream of a natural gas that produced a bright blue flame. Reflected by the ice of the surrounding tundra, melding with northern lights, the Fortress bathed in an ethereal aura. Known as the Flame of the Emperor, this fire was of great symbolic importance to the Heralds, representing the light of Mankind in the darkness of space. Though the great fire atop the Watchtower has gone out, a remnant of this flame still burns in the inner chambers of the Undying Light, fueled by a dwindling supply of gas from their lost homeworld. Organisation “They will be remembered! They will be avenged!” – Current Chapter Master, Marcus Savvor. Following the fall of Lucerna, the Heralds of Light became a fleet-based Chapter. The Undying Light, the ancient flagship of their fleet, once again serves as the Chapter’s home. This venerable Battle Barge bears the scars of countless battles and is one of their most valued assets. Of the rest of their once impressive fleet only four Strike Cruisers survived and a handful of support vessels. Aside from the few artifacts they managed to secure during their escape, many priceless relics of the Chapter's long and glorious history were also lost. The Chapter might have been disbanded at any other point in history had it not been for the arrival of a Torchbearer task force from the Imdomitus Crusade, carrying Primaris Astartes and technology. The Heralds embraced the reinforcements as what it was called – the “Primarch’s Gift”. When presented with the opportunity to cross the Rubicon Primaris, all who could did, seeing it as the final test to prove themselves worthy to continue as a Chapter. The Heralds of Light remain a Codex Adherent Chapter, having followed the traditional ten company structure for most of their existence. While still under strength, the companies are recovering their numbers, and the Chapter is also supported by a sizable remnant of the Lucernan PDF survivors who swore their short lives to serve the Heralds. Little time has been wasted on licking their wounds, as Chapter Master Marcus Savvor has declared a crusade of atonement, vowing to restore their honor by reclaiming lost territory and avenging their fallen brothers. Some quietly hope to one day retake their homeworld as well. Combat Doctrine “We are the Wardens! We are the Walls.” – 5th Company Mantra. As members of the Astartes Praeses, duty requires the Heralds to frequently fight alongside other Imperial organizations. They have gained a reputation for throwing themselves into combat to support their allies, occasionally forgoing comprehensive planning in favor of providing aid as fast as possible. As a consequence, the Heralds do not always fight on their own terms, having participated in numerous defensive operations as well as other tasks unusual for Astartes. This approach has proven to be very strenuous and often stretches the Chapter thin as they strive to answer every call for aid. The Heralds themselves see this as a natural part of their responsibilities, not a strategic weakness, but a tactical challenge to overcome. Whilst they have been known for their lack of planning, it is in the heat of battle the Heralds have gained their renown. The Heralds have always been a flexible fighting force, able to quickly react to an ever-changing combat situation and have become famous for their ability to adapt and improvise. Cooperation with allied organizations has always been important to the Heralds, and to effectively work together with another fighting force, one must be able to take advantage of each other’s strengths. As such, they strive to excel in all areas of combat so that they may better support their allies. Like many descendants of the Imperial Fists, the Heralds have inherited a reluctance to accept defeat. This can sometimes blind the Heralds to risk, as they fight on where other Chapters would fall back. The Heralds themselves view it as absolutely necessary for a servant of the Emperor to be willing to die in battle, and the Chaplains constantly preach of self-sacrifice. Only by the supreme sacrifice of some of the greatest Imperial heroes, like Rogal Dorn or the Emperor Himself, does the Imperium still stand. Their resolute nature has frequently put them at risk, but is also what keeps them fighting on where others would give up. Beliefs “We fight the battles others cannot win. We suffer the pain others cannot endure. We face the horrors others cannot withstand. For we are Astartes; This is our duty, and we embrace it.” – Chapter Teachings. The cult of the Heralds places great emphasis on humility, self-sacrifice, and loyalty. They see themselves as servants of the Emperor and therefore protectors of humanity. All who live under the light of the Emperor are worthy of their protection, and the Heralds are known for their tolerance of both ordinary humans and even ab-humans. Unlike many Chapters, the Heralds are not exceedingly proud or self-absorbed, but humble and reserved. They exist to serve mankind, not the other way around. The Heralds value the division of power in the empire as absolutely necessary, but they also strongly believe that if mankind is to be victorious, the forces of the Imperium must work together. Their humbleness and willingness to collaborate has earned them many allies within the Adeptus Astartes and other Imperial organizations. During their existence, the Heralds have developed a conviction that the Emperor will one day rise from the Golden Throne, and unite humanity against Chaos. Their duty is to keep the Imperium safe, until the Emperor returns and leads them in a second Great Crusade. With the advent of the Indomitus Crusade and the Psychic Awakening, the Heralds belief has only strengthened, fueling their actions with a near zealous fervor, unlike anything they have displayed before. However, this is undoubtedly influenced by their recent losses, producing a deep thirst for vengeance as well. The Heralds of Light bear an intense hatred for Chaos in all its forms, and it is abhorred for its corrupting touch. Falling to the Dark Gods is the greatest betrayal to the Emperor and cannot be tolerated. They consider the Ruinous Powers to be the ultimate threat and the Heralds show no mercy when it comes to the annihilation of Chaos. They have been especially vigorous during the various Black Crusades over the millennia, and this in turn has earned them the hatred of many Chaos worshipers. To them, Lucerna was the greatest provocation; a torch burning with the flame of the False Emperor. Geneseed “Cut through the night.” – Chapter Motto. The zygote cultures required to grow both the Betcher's gland and the Sus-an membrane have been lost or damaged over the millennia, but like all sons of Dorn the Heralds do not mourn these losses. Despite their proximity to the Eye of Terror, the Heralds' geneseed has remained remarkably stable with no signs of mutation. Now, with the integration of the Primaris technology, the geneseed’s integrity has been solidified. The Heralds are once again ready to fight against the endless horrors of the universe and bring light to the darkness. --- Original Discussion Topic
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