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  1. From the album: Other Chapters

    Kelborn's painting up for Ace Debonair's "Knights Oracular"
  2. From the album: Other Chapters

    "Veteran Sergeant Tahel Kyvrann" from golfdeltafoxtrot's Grey Ravens. My completed vow for the LIBER ASTARTES SWAP CHALLENGE 2019.
  3. From the album: Primaris chapters

    Color scheme for my Ashen Blades chapter, created for the Liber Chapter Swap Challenge.
  4. Howdy all, and welcome to the resurrection of the Lions Eternal, formerly known as the Arctic Lions Chapter. I have been working on these guys on and off for around 15 years now, and have never been quite happy with them. Unfortunately, a few years ago, I lost all the files I had on them and a significant amount of notes and scraps I had written in an attemp to flesh them out beyond the constraints of an Index Astartes article. Never the less, with the return of the LASC, this seems as good a time as any time to look to redevelop them. The below is very much a WIP, being a mixture of information I have found trawling through the B&C and my memories of the ideas I had for them. As always, I appreciate and comments and input people may have! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Origins At the turn of the 38th Millennium the armies of the Imperium were stretched thin, having been sorely tested over the recent centuries. Not only were armies of Xenos rampaging across the galaxy like a plague, the Imperium had been forced to counter two of the Warmaster’s Black Crusades in as many centuries. It was against this backdrop of war and desperation that the High Lords of Terra declared the 23rd Founding of Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, the Emperor’s Angels of Death. In years to come, it would become known as the ‘Sentinel Founding,’ intended to bring swift relief to the beleaguered defenders of the Imperium. From this period, many records have been lost, destroyed, or encrypted beyond the eyes of humble scholars. However, should one of sufficient mental fortitude listen to the whispered half-truths and sift through the mountains of corrupted data files, one can begin to piece together the histories of the Chapters born of this Founding. One such Chapter, and the subject of this record, is the Lions Eternal Chapter; like many of their kind, born of the blood of Roboute Guilliman himself. Upon the High Lord’s declaration of a new founding, there was much celebration and fanfare across Holy Terra. On Mars, the great genevaults were opened to being cultivating the required geneseed for such a mighty undertaking. Of the children of Guilliman, the genestocks of the Eagle Warriors were chosen to birth the fledging Chapter. Each of these new brotherhoods, birthed as part of this Founding, were intended to be a light, a beacon of hope, to the beleaguered forces of the Imperium. They were to be unyielding in their duty, their faith unbreakable, and honour without question. As such, only the most devout of warriors were chosen to command these new Chapters. In this instance, this weighty of honours fell to Brother-Captain Helikaon, the Lion of Guilliman, and veteran of many centuries of service. Helikaon wasted no time instructing the new Chapter in the discharge of their duties, and it was not long before they were reaping a tally of blood from the Imperium’s enemies. [...] Homeworld The homeworld of the Lions Eternal is a frozen death world located close to the area of space known as the Gates of Varl, in the Segmentum Ultima, known as Ursrik. Due to its proximity to several Ork held worlds, the Chapter is often involved in the quick extermination of up-and-coming Waaagh! There have been several black moments in history when the Xenos have desecrated the blessed surface of the planet. Ursrik is the last remaining planet in the system, a single satellite of a dying star. Ursrik was once the youngest of three planets, each of them was teeming with indigenous life forms, until the arrival of the Imperium. During the Great Crusade, the mighty legion of Russ came across the system; the first and second planets were bombed from existence due to the large presence of Orks. Their debris still haunts the system, a real reminder of the zealous nature of the Imperium; perhaps it is fitting then that a chapter such as the Lions inhabits the surviving world. Over time as the system’s nameless sun began to die, and Ursrik died with it. In a short time Ursrik became the world it is today. The planet itself is covered in thick sheets of ice, beneath which freezing oceans rage. Great mountains break the ever-present stormy cloud line, below which deadly snowstorms rage – to the point that the planet’s surface rarely sees large amounts of light. However, during a time known as the Tempering, in which high-intensity solar flares emitted from the dying sun cause areas of the planet to thaw out allowing the wrathful seas to break through, flooding vast areas of land. Alongside which hurricanes and typhoons and tsunamis of freezing water ravage the landscape, before finally freezing back over and allowing the land to recover. In which times it could be believed that the planet is trying to exterminate the last vestiges of life, allowing it to die in the solitude of space. The fact that life even exists under such conditions is a miracle and more, each life form either adapts or dies. The human population is both resilient and unrelentingly stubborn, refusing to be defeated by their death dealing home. The Ursrikean people are grouped in large clans of warrior peoples, each member of their society is taught to fight from birth. It is a skill that often comes in handy, not only are the Ursrikeans force to combat the vicious nature of the planet; they often instigate wars and battles with other clans over food and safe shelter. Due to the unstable nature of the land, there are few safe areas where permanent structures can be built; those that can are sites of some of the planet’s bloodiest battles – places where whole clans have been obliterated. However, the numbers of war dead pales in comparison to the umbers slain by the planet’s indigenous predators: Giant ice-burrowing worms armed with barbed tails and jaw upon jaw of razor sharp teeth; a man-eating plant-form, visually akin to a large mass of kelp, that is known to break through sheets of ice and drag its prey down into the frozen deeps of the ocean; and most deadly of all the Moros, in the tongue of the people, death in Imperial Gothic. It is a beast rivalling a tank in size, clawed hands and daggers for teeth – or at least the legends say. To see one of the Moros is to die, only the gene enhanced Space Marines can consider themselves a threat to the creature and even they have been known to die at the beast’s claws. And yet, despite this, the Ursrikeans have managed to build a way of a life, a culture, one which has existed for millennia. Despite their barbaric environment, the planet’s people are anything but. The leaders of the clans, or the ataman, are voted into power by their peers, such a system results in leaders that are respected and obeyed without hesitation. These Ataman are the ones who declare and command wars, leading from the front as is their way; their power over their clansmen is absolute, thus only the greatest and wisest are gifted with the rank. As might be expected, the Lions Eternal are reluctant to change the fortunes of their people, believing that such conditions rear excellent recruits for the chapter. Once every year, mere weeks after the Tempering the chapter calls on the clans to send their best youths to the Charon Peak, a great mound of ice and stone atop which the recruits fight to earn their place in the Chapter. Those that make it to this place have already passed an almighty test – they have defeated Ursrik itself. To get to the Peak, they must make their way across the across the frozen landscape, evading or neutralising each and every threat that comes their way. Beliefs Over the millenia since the Lions Eternal occupied Ursrik for their own, they have adapted the shamanistic nature of the Ursrikean belief system for their own. Whether this was a conscious decision or not is surely only speculative at this point. But it is likely that the beliefs of their homeworld quietly crept in over the centuries, until they formed a core part of the Chapter’s cult. In summary, the doctrine of the Lions Eternal Chapter can be defined as three core concepts: Name, Body & Spirit; each shaping the Chapter’s outlook in a unique way. The most critical of these concepts is Spirit. In essence, like many cultures across the Imperium, the Lions Eternal believe that each being – Human, Xenos or non-sentient creatures – have a spirit which can interact with those around it and the nature of which is defined by the actions of said being. When a warrior dies, it is only their spirit and name that remain. The former, goes on to join the Emperor, should their service be worthy, whilst their name is honoured by their brethren. This is why the Chapter places such importance to a warrior’s name, as this name gives power to their deeds and in doing so, helps define the character of their spirit. The more pious of the Chapter’s brotherhood have been known to make offerings or placations to the Spirits of the Ancestors, to gain insight or some future wisdom. It is this concept which gives the Lions’ Librarians greater status than might be found in a more typical Chapter, as it is believed their psychic natures grant them access to the Spirit world. It is from here, that the Ancestors guide the Chapter in its actions. In an effort to harness the strength and wisdom of the Ancestor’s spirits, the Chapter has developed the process of a naming ritual. Upon their induction to the Chapter, as a fully fledged Battle Brother, a warrior is granted a new ancestral name – usually one of a warrior of great renown in the Chapter’s annuls. To be clear, this name does not replace the warrior’s birth name. To do so, would disregard the actions of their spirits so far. It becomes a part of that warrior’s name, and in doing connects them to the Chapter’s history and animus. This ritual has been forced to develop in recent years, since the coming of the Primaris Marines. For those Firstborn Astartes who successfully cross the Rubicon, an additional name is granted - to mark this new era in the warriors' life. ++++++++++ Notes: Homeworld Needs a re-write, but the principles will not change. More emphasis on the nomadic (hunter-gather) nature of the clans Organisation Codex, have updated to include more Primaris as per Guilliman’s command. 1st Company known as the Lion Guard, rite of passage is to hunt and kill a single Moros. Many brothers attempt but are killed by their prey. Due to the Shamanic nature of their beliefs, Librarians have a more advisory role to the Company commanders. Unlike other chapters, Librarians are assigned permanently to a Company. An ‘Council of Elders’ type of group advises the Chapter Master. Senior Librarians & Chaplains. Rarely do Reserve Companies fight as one. They are often on long secondments to Battle Companies. They themselves on long Patrol arcs – parallels with Nomadic Ursrikean Clans. Combat Doctrine Codex, adaptability is prized above all.Beliefs Idea of Trinity: Body, Spirit and Name Shamanistic – Spirit of all things Emperor’s Eternal spirt manifest in physical nature, E.g Beacon of the Astronomican However he is not a god. How do Primaris view these beliefs? Conflict with Guilliman’s more secular ideas. Geneseed Eagle Warriors descent. No known issues.
  5. Well, time is running out, so here's something to put on the board to at least help establish some idea onto who my Cursed Founding chapter are, as part of the LASC. Plenty more additions to come to build and refine this work, but here's some outlines and some early history and Chapter structure. DEATH CASTERS Chapter: Death Casters Founding: 21st Homeworld: Lacrima Geneseed: Blood Angels Organisation: Codex Chapter Master: Nikel Fulmos Heraldry: Legacy Created in the ill-fated 21st Cursed Founding, the Death Casters have long walked across the knife-edge of destruction, not only from the enemies of mankind, but from elements within in Imperium itself. Fashioning themselves to appear as blessed angels of deliverance to the Imperiums citizens and of retribution to their enemies, the chapter hide beneath this appearance a dark and destructive flaw that has given them the reputation of monstrous butchers to survivors of their ill-placed fury. Born from the Angels Encarmine, their initial growth was one without major fault or aberration, as they utilised the Blood Angel geneseed stock given to them at their founding by the Mechanicum. Recruitment proved to be more difficult from the norm, as a larger than average number of aspirants died during the application of the Black Carapace, but this was not seen to be an issue of great worry as many more passed and became fully fledged Astartes in their formative decades. As the Chapter grew to a viable fighting strength to be independent in their campaigns, it became increasingly clear to observers and allies that the Death Casters possessed a near preternatural knack of working with their brethren as combat grew in intensity akin to a shared consciousness. As larger numbers of the Death Casters fell in combat, their ferocity increased to savage levels as the sons of Sanguinius would fight to avenge their fallen. Some Imperial commanders and eyewitness accounts from battlefields shared with the new Chapter described how the ferocity of the Death Casters squads would reach wild levels of barely controlled rage as squad-mates fell or were grievously wounded. As the corrupted seeds of the 21st Founding began to bear its tainted fruit across the Imperium in the centuries following, the Death Casters faced much closer scrutiny from elements of the Inquisition as they fought for humanity in numerous campaigns and crusades. Being tasked with the defence and pacification of the Luctum sector, located to the very northern borders of the Imperium in the Segmentum Obscurus, the Death Casters were sent to cleanse and establish the Imperiums foothold by scouring it clean of the Ork and other minor xenos presence. Some observers tacitly commented on this being a method to remove the risk of an aberration in a Chapter that originated from the Cursed Founding. But despite this arduous and impossible task, filled with a desire to prove their worth to the Imperium and that they were loyal and pure sons of Sanguinius and the Emperor, the Death Casters succeeded in establishing a foothold in the Lacrima system, named for the unique tear-drop shaped continent on its primary planet, which became the homeworld of the chapter as they established their base of operation. The system began to grow and settle with fresh citizens from across the Imperium and the Death Casters sought to cement themselves into the culture of Lacrima, looking to be their angelic protectors and saviours in purple and bone. For the next half-millennia, with aid from elements of other Imperial forces and brother Chapters, the Death Casters suitably cleared the xenos corruption of the Luctum Sector and Rogue Trader and Explorator fleets began to found new settlements and trades, which the Death Casters swore to defend at all costs. A number of strong ties were made between a small number of Rogue Trader houses, which has proven useful in negotiation with other elements of the Imperiums groups, including elements of the Ordos Xenos Inquisition. Within this time however, the increased levels of ferocity and synchronised reaction between squads and Companies at heavy losses began to become more noticeable as larger threats appeared to challenge the new Imperial presence, including Drukhari raiders and elements of Chaos bleeding through strongholds in the distant stars surrounding the Luctum Sector. Internally, the Death Casters command elements sought to find the source of this issue as further aberrations to the implantation of the Black Carapace became more pronounced as the centuries marched on from their founding. The truths of the Black Rage and Red Thirst were already well known to the chapter from their parentage in the Angels Encarmine and they dealt with those consumed by the Black Rage in the method almost all Blood Angel descendants have done. But the divergent unique mental bond between squads and the consequences of losses within them was becoming harder to hide as elements of the Inquisition kept close scrutiny of these sons of the 21st Founding. With increased research from their Librarius and Apothecarion, they came to the conclusion that a latent psychic link was shared between all members of the Death Casters and severe traumatic events such as grievous wounds or death would mentally assault them, leading to a faster fall into the Black Rage as the Astartes would descend into a savage and wild blood craze, ending all threats perceived before them. An increase in psychically gifted Astartes also pointed further to this theory after initiates received the chapters stock of altered-geneseed as Librarians dealt even further with the psychic shock of the death of their brethren, but the Psychic Hoods utilised by the Librarius proved to be useful in dampening the shared pain. Thus, unique mantles were formed akin to the metal and crystal shrouds used by the psykers to help limit the mental pain and anguish, limiting it mostly to more traumatic deaths amongst squad-mates. But a boon of this unique flaw was that battle-brothers in squads also possessed a useful link to synchronise their attacks to seem to work as one, complementing each others flows and firepower when they reach the peak of their combative abilities in open warfare. Atop this, as the chapter continued to scour the Luctum Sector clean of Xenos presence, they also secretly searched for any source of psy-damping technologies to add or enhance their protective mantles, utilising their links with the Rogue Trader houses and Mechnacius forces that they had formed allegiances and pacts with during their formative centuries. What technologies they have earned is not known beyond the Death Casters upper echelons of command and those they have made deals with amongst their allies, but some unique bespoke armour worn by the highest ranks of the chapter hint at unique methods or technology being utilised to prevent them from falling to the flaws of their geneseed and psychic link through the bond of those that they command into battle. As the centuries have passed from this, the Death Casters earned a number of notable battle-honours that have held them in good stead with a number of forces throughout the northern region of the Segmentum Obscurus, including with Rogue Trader House Cassilon, which was first forged with the cleansing of the Luctum sector. Often the Death Casters have provided them with battle brothers to protect the Rogue Traders ships as they seek new planets and resources. In return, the chapter have received a supply of those resources in gratitude. But countering these bonds of friendship and honour pacts, the Death Casters have also earned the ire and scrutiny of a myriad of Imperial forces due to their afflictions effects. The Stain of Parallax A notable incident and mark of shame that has marred the Death Casters reputation even now in the Imperium Nihilus originates from fighting alongside the Shield Bearers chapter, after both suffered catastrophic losses during the Parallax Genocides in 380.M37, against the brutal forces of Lord Discordant Tarr's Word Bearers. The wild ferocity of the Death Casters combat was one that perturbed the more martial and systematic combat of the Shield Bearers, which strained ties from the earliest points of the campaign. But as the Death Casters suffered more losses, including deaths from malefic methods of warfare utilised by the corruptive Word Bearers, a chain reaction of falling to the Black Rage and Red Thirst occurred across their squads. The chapter attempted to obscure these terrible occurrences, but as both chapters attempted to defend and evacuate Hive Aurus Prima, reinforcing elements of the Shield Bearers discovered rogue, maddened Death Casters indiscriminately killing all and feasting upon the blood of the fallen. Carrying a contempt for any and all mutations and enshrining purity above all else, the Shield Bearers declared the Death Casters to be corrupted and opened fire upon their afflicted Astartes of the Death Casters to purge the aberration of Astartes purity. This action was answered by the full fury of the Death Casters fleet above the Hive when they received word of what had happened. Captain Heleas ordered for that sector of the Hive City to be bombarded with their full arsenal to purge all elements of the Word Bearers forces, but also hiding the evidence of what had been seen, preserving the Death Casters secret. The bombardment completely annihilated the Shield Bearers that had fired upon the Death Casters forces, but also wiped out any remaining forces of their own battle brothers as well, who sacrificed themselves for the good of the Chapter. This single, desperate act completely shattered all bonds of brotherhood between the Shield Bearers and the Death Casters, as the sons of Lacrima explained their reasoning that the Hive City was too far gone with corruption. The Shield Bearers cut off all communication and the two chapters fought their battles separately, avoiding all opportunities to aid each other. The Parallax Sector fell soon after, becoming a charred husk from countless Exterminatus orders to end further daemonic incursions and the sheer madness that had been created by the forces of the Word Bearers, as neither chapter could counter the forces of Chaos on their own. Sending word of their suspicions to the Death Casters actions, the Shield Bearers brought the investigations of Inquisitor Kovohr of the Ordo Hereticus upon the sons of the Cursed Founding. The chapter were placed under arrest upon arrival at Lacrima, undertaking strenuous tests and investigations of loyalty and purity. It was fortunate that those who had fallen to the Death Casters curse and subsequent Black Rage had already been given the Final Mercy prior to their leaving of the Parallax Sector. But the actions undertaken over Hive Aurus Prima and the close ties the Shield Bearers held with the Inquisition and Inquisitor Kovohr led to the Death Casters receiving a century long Penitent Crusade, with recruitment of new aspirants forbidden during that time. The subsequent crusade nearly halved the chapters number of Astartes, but they emerged unbroken to the eyes of the Imperium. However ever since the shameful events of the Parallax Sector, elements of the Inquisition continue to monitor the Death Casters at every turn as Inquisitor Kovohr's retinue spread these beliefs of the Death Casters being a Chapter to always scrutinise over the centuries and millennia, until it became gospel by the end of M41. However, with the events of Noctis Aeterna and the tumultuous events following the cutting off from sacred Terra, large elements of these Inquisitorial forces were annihilated through the madness and chaos that descended across the Imperium Nihilus and the memory and teaching of the Death Casters being a risk have slowly faded from focus as greater issues and threats in the besieged and isolated half of the Imperium. The Call to Baal and Noctis Aeterna In the final centuries of the 41st Millennium, the fate of the Death Casters seemed increasingly grim, as the sheer ferocity and relentless nature of enemies, both xenos and chaos continued to harass and attack the Luctum Sector and beyond. The reputation of the chapters tainted ferocity and from incidents across the millennia had led them to become outsiders to numerous forces of the Imperium and treated with distant contempt by some commanders and brother-chapters of Astartes. The curse and afflictions that affected them seemed to increase further as a direct result of these arduous campaigns and battles they faced, often without reinforcement. As the final century of M41 dawned, the Death Casters suffered a crippling blow of the utter extermination of the Second Company and their geneseed, as they sought to purge a Necron tomb-world that had recently been discovered, only to awaken the metal Xenos and be systematically wiped out within a short span of weeks as the curse ruined any chance of a retreat, such was the excruciating brutality of the deaths of their comrades to a full legion of Necrontyr that awoke at their trespassing. But this was but the prelude to the harrowing centuries that would follow as the Death Casters neared total and irreversible losses to their numbers through further degradation of their affliction through further terrible and brutal events the chapter desperately fought to maintain their control of the Luctum Sector and protect its people. When Hive Fleet Leviathan descended upon Baal and Commander Dante made the call to all descendants of the Blood Angels to answer the call and defend the planet, Chapter Master Phakeos deployed the Sixth Company to immediately make way to Baal, whilst he recalled and mustered all available Death Casters not engaged in critical battles to make their stand alongside their fellow brethren. Their remaining chapters journey to Baal was one that became a nightmare of destruction and madness as they became caught in a colossal Warp Storm in in the Nohs Gulf, as the events upon Cadia sent shockwaves across the galaxy. By the time the Death Casters reached Baal, their numbers were halved from the fighting within the warp storm that trapped them for what was mere days in realspace, but were weeks for the chapter until they broke free. Upon their arrival, the fighting against the Tyranid and Daemonic hordes at Baal were at their peak. The Death Casters sought to aid and reinforce their brothers of the Sixth Company that had already arrived in the weeks prior. But no remains of the Sixth were present, having already been lost and devoured in a void battle to shatter a splinter fleet in a pyrrhic sacrifice before the bulk of Hive Fleet Leviathan had fallen upon the Baal system itself. At the conclusion of the Devastation of Baal, the Death Casters now stood at a fifth of their original number that had deployed to Baal, enough to build a mere one and a half companies. Chapter Master Phakeos had survived, but the same could not be said for the four Captains lost in the fierce fighting. With bonds forged with their fellow sons of Sanguinius and with the true horror of the Cicatrix Maledictum forming across the length of the galaxy, the Death Casters sought to return and rebuild upon Lacrima. The loss of so many of his brethren however became a burden too great for Chapter Master Phakeos as he meditated during the journey home, descending to the Black Rage and was summarily given the Final Mercy before he truly fell into utter rageful madness. At this time, all sense of hope was now but a guttering flame in the hearts of the Death Casters as their geneseed continued to degrade as they sought to rapidly grow in number, despite the near-logarithmic increase in attacks against Imperial worlds. But soon that light would be rekindled at the arrival of the Torchbearer Fleet decades later with the gift of the Primaris. The Advent Primaris became a pivotal moment in the potential fate of the Death Casters as the arrival of the Custodes and their new Greyshield brothers bolstered and regrew the chapter anew. The secrets of creating the Primaris Marines and their new bank of genestock were immediately utilised by Chapter Master Nikel Fulmos. Having been blessed with this new reinforcement of new Death Casters, the chapter have ranged out to retake lost worlds across the Luctum Sector to maintain and Imperial stronghold to the northern edges of the Imperium Nihilus. Numerous firstborn sought to undertake the crossing of the Rubicon Primaris as well, but these were limited in number simply due to the need of active Astartes to counter the threats constantly emerging. As the centuries have passed into the 42nd Millennium, the chapter have also noticed a lack of affliction amongst their newer Primaris brothers raised with the new stock of geneseed provided by the Mechanicum, but the larger than usual amounts of psychically gifted Astartes that grow from these supplies have tempered any true hopes of a turning in the curse that has gripped the Death Casters since their inception. But regardless of their faults and afflictions, the sons of Lacrima continue to fight on as the angelic champions of the Luctum Sector and the Imperium, striving to maintain the example of their genefather Sanguinius and that of the Emperor Himself. Chapter Organisation The Death Casters follow a similar set up to their fellow sons of Sanguinius, adhering to the Codex Astartes, but with additions that are standard across most Blood Angels successors including a Death Company, which with the mutations of their tampered geneseed, it has been heavily utilised in their combat methodology due to the sheer numbers that have fallen to the Black Rage from their plight in recent centuries. Their Chaplaincy, referred to as the Ebon Sentinels continue the standard rite and duty of leading their afflicted brethren into combat and guiding them where they are to meet the merciful embrace of death in combat against the Imperiums foes, or to administer the Final Mercy once the battle is ended and some continue to survive. However, in recent history with the sheer loss of number and increased levels of desperation, the Death Casters leadership have sought to utilise the Death Company in more than one battle if possible, interring those surviving Astartes in stasis caskets akin to ones used in Dreadnoughts until they arrive at their next battle. But often these second or third engagements, these surviving brethren are fully fallen to the Red Thirst and are unleashed as a wave of mad and bloodlust driven fury that often die quickly as they engage in the deadliest of combat zones on the battlefield. The chapter also possess a Sanguinary Guard amongst their First Company, their colours inverted to be of polished bone with purple pauldrons, to stand out and reflect the light of the Emperors fury upon their enemies. Often those within the Sanguinary Guard are those that have survived the afflictions of their geneseed and the loss of their brethren and squadmates. Still, they can fall to the Black Rage and Red Thirst as every descendant of Sanguinius is doomed to suffer inevitably and their sacred and masterly-crafted angelic armour is stored in the Detraxi Vaults beneath Lacrima, waiting to be used once more as others ascend to the vaunted ranks of the Sanguinary Guard. As is typical with Blood Angels successors, the Death Casters to possess an increased amount of psykers within their Chapter. But in their case, it is further increased by their unique genetic flaw from their creation, with an even greater number of Librarians being found within their Company and Chapter structure. Librarian Dreadnoughts can be found across the Companies and have been seen to lead their fellow Astartes in a number of engagements and deployments. Librarians often attempt to dampen the shared link between their fellow Death Casters using their abilities by keeping some distance from the battle lines but often it cannot be done when combat is fully joined. The arrival of the Torchbearer fleet and the Primaris Decree was greatly welcomed by the Chapter after the tragic and cataclysmic events that had befallen them and the Imperium at large during Noctis Aeterna and their misery in trying to reach Baal. The additions of the new Primaris Astartes and war material have been quickly integrated into the Chapters structure, with a more than half of their Companies being made almost entirely of Primaris marines to fill the empty ranks and lost companies. The Death Casters attempt to maintain a strong Scout Company to ensure their legacy continues throughout the dark era the Imperium Nihilus is enduring. This includes breaking typical Codex teachings by increasing the retinue of their Tenth company to anywhere between 150 to 200 when at full strength simply to replace their constant losses from combat or from their genetic curse, but often it is depleted quickly throughout their history from the constant intense battles the Death Casters face and from undertaking marks of penance throughout their history. Combat Doctrine The Death Casters maintain a very similar methodology of combat as their sibling chapters born from Sanguinius' Blood Angels, relying heavily upon mobility and ferocity to meet the enemy in close quarters, where they exact their fury by bolt and blade. The sons of Lacrima have fully embraced the use of their Primaris brethren, especially the Assault Intercessors are part of their main line of combat, delivered by Storm Ravens and the new Grav-Tank vehicles created by Belisarius Cawl. Belief Despite their marred and tainted history and legacy through the ill-fortunes of their creation, the Death Casters maintain a strong and unshakable belief that despite their afflictions wrought by their geneseed, they are all champions and angels of the Imperium sent to protect humanity from the myriad of enemies that seek to bring ruin and death to the Emperors citizens. As such, their armour is often fashioned to look as celestial and noble as is possible, with little in the way of terrifying effigies or icons of death and despair towards their enemies. They see their actions in combat and a visible enough symbol to those that earn the ire and vengeance of the Emperors Angels that scour away the abominations that seek to destroy the Imperium. The curse itself that all Death Casters will suffer and inevitably succumb too is looked upon without shame, but one of acceptance of the sacrifices they must undertake to ensure the Imperium survives, especially during the current era after the Cicatrix Maledictum tore the Imperium in two and their stranding within the northern regions of the Imperium Nihilus. The chapters link to their Primarch, Sanguinius is one that is held in the highest regard. The Death Casters hold the opinion that their genefather was the greatest hero of the Imperium during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy after the Emperor himself, for Sanguinius had selflessly sacrificed himself fighting the arch-traitor Horus to allow the Emperor to defeat them and send the traitor Legions retreating into the Warp. Icons of a teardrop of blood is often worn across their armour and adornments, reminding the chapter of their legacy as they seek to follow Sanguinius example. ++++ TO DO LIST: Recruitment And that's it for now, hopefully COVID work doesn't fully draw me away to get this done in time. Feedback as always is welcomed. Cambrius
  6. INDEX ASTARTES space for heraldry The Hospitallers Militant For every human being there is a crossroads and a choice. Choose the road to the Emperor's Light and there we will be, to protect you and guard the way. Choose the road to damnation, there we will also be, to send you on your way. - Gered Tomisian Grand Master of the Hospitallers Militant It is a grim truth, for some to live, some must die. If for humanity to survive, others must face oblivion, then so be it. - Micael Keros Knight Commander of the Black Chapel CHAPTER INDEX Veteran Knight Livery of the White Chapel (1st Veteran Company) - The Purifiers Primogenitor Legion: XIII, Ultramarines Primarch Primogenitor: Roboute Guilliman Founding: =][= REDACTED BY ORDER OF THE INQUISITION =][= Chapter Master: Gered Tomisian Home world: Fleet based Chapter Monastery: Battle barge Lux Imperator Strength: Approximately 1,000 line Astartes Specialty: High risk protective escort, war zone mercy missions, large scale evacuation logistical support, gene-seed hunt, exterminatus Heraldry: Bone white cross on a field of apothecarium green Chapter Colors: Bone white and apothecarium green Battle Cry: Apothecary - For the living Response - Hope! Apothecary - For the dead Response - Vengeance! HISTORY Created for and tasked with bringing hope to those who hold loyal to the Imperium of Man and bringing death to those who would do harm to the Imperium and its citizens, the Hospitallers Militant stretches its hand boldly across the galaxy. Seen by most as a relatively young chapter, it's origins are ancient and shrouded in mystery. Origin Unknown to the Imperium as a whole and even to the numerous Astartes chapters they have fought side by side with the Chapter Master and many of the Veterans of the Hospitallers Militant first tasted battle as warriors of Roboute Gulliman's XIII Legion, Ultramarines in the early days of the Great Crusade. This young chapter acrually traces its origin back to the end of the Horus Heresy and the begining of the Great Scouring. At the end of the Horus Heresy and as part of the Scouring, Roboute Guilliman sends out several retribution fleets with broad mandates to seek and destroy surviving Chaos forces and enclaves, and to assist loyalist forces and civilians as necessary. One of these fleets, Retribution Fleet Praetor is under command of Chapter Master Mericus Bellerophon, former Invictarus Suzerain commander and part of Guilliman's inner circle. While escorting a civilian refugee fleet to safe Imperial space, they are ambushed by a combined Chaos fleet which immediately sets upon the civilian ships. Bellerophon, immediately understands that his choices are limited. If he turns and fights he can destroy the Chaos fleet, but at the cost of the refugee fleet. He can run, but the Chaos forces will simply follow, and like a pack of wolves pick off the weaker civilian ships one by one. The only viable option is to have a portion of his fleet turn and fight a holding action, allowing the bulk of the fleet time to escape. Fleet Master Marcus Voyen (Bellerophon's closest human friend) volunteers to lead the holding action. Bellerophon knows that Voyen is the best man for the job and that it is also a suicide mission. He will never see his friend or the ships of the holding squadrons again. Voyen launches his desperate little fleet into a savage attack against the Chaos forces, while the bulk of Fleet Praetor and the refugee fleet escape into the warp. In their death run, Voyen's forces smash the Chaos fleet and Bellerephon's rage and hatred of Chaos is fueled even brighter by the death of his friend and so many of his ship crews. It is a hatred that will burn hot until the day he dies. Upon entering the warp, the fleet encounters a storm of power and ferocity unlike any they had ever experienced. Many ships are lost and huge portions of the fleet are separated in the storm. As the surviving squadrons exit the warp they are scattered throughout the galactic rim. But that is not the worst of it. Navigators and ship cartographers inform the Chapter Master that the stars are wrong. His ships have not only been flung to the far reaches of the galaxy but the far reaches of time as well. It is estimated that they are almost ten thousand years in the future. After many battles and long searching over more than a century, Bellerophon is finally content that he has made contact with all surviving elements of his fleet. He has lost many ships along with over five thousand Astartes, and countless freemen and civilian refugees. Also, through an extensive intelligence network he and his Librarius have established, he has a clear view of what has become of the Imperium. They are truly in a dark age, in every sense of the word. At the end of what would later be known as the First Tyrannic War, and after furious battle with the Tyrannid invaders on the edges of Ultramar, Bellerophon makes contact with Macrage and meets with Marneus Calgar in secret. Once convinced of the truth behind Bellerophon's fantastic tale, the two Chapter Masters confer and make plans for the inevitable confrontation with the Inquisition. For Calgar and the Ultramarines, meeting Astartes from the XIII Legion is a miracle. To actually speak with brothers who stood with the Emperor and the Primarch, who witnessed the Emperor's dream made manifest and then sundered by Horus' treason is nothing short of a wonder for them. For the Inquisition, it is nothing short of the ultimate nightmare. To actually have eye witnesses to the Horus Heresy walking in the Imperium is intolerable. The Inquisition arrives in force with elements of Battlefleet Ultima, demanding the surrender of Bellerophon, his Astartes, and all freemen and civilians under his authority. The inquisitorial forces are faced by ships of the Ultramarines, the Ultramar Defense Force, and elements of Retribution Fleet Praetor. Inquisitor Aegottubg tells Chapter Master Calgar that more forces are on their way. Calgar smiles and assures the Inquisitor that they most certainly are. Numerous warp portals appear at the Mandeville Point and swarms of Primogenitor war ships pour through and take up battle positions behind the Imperial naval forces, weapons locked. After long and tense deliberation, a compromise is arrived at. Under supervision of the Ultramarines Chapter, Bellerophon and his people will submit to inspection by the Inquisition and the Grey Knights. Once cleared, the forces of Retribution Fleet Praetor will be divided into five groups that will form the nucleus of five new chapters of Astartes. The new chapters will then take charge of all accompanying freemen and civilians who will be bonded in servitude to the chapters for life as will their children and children's children in perpetuity. Secret charters are issued, and all are sworn to silence. Thus is born the Hospitallers Militant, the Praetorian Sword, the Liberation Knights, the Hammers of Ultramar, and the Ursan Lords, five new Space Marine chapters to bring the Emperors Light to the darkness. The Brotherhood of Praetor Wherein, before launching out to meet their individual destinies, the Masters of the five new chapters swear eternal friendship and loyalty. They promise to come to each others aid whenever called. The Batavian Reconquista Wherein the Hospitallers Militant first taste battle as a chapter, liberate the Forge Worlds of the Batavian star system from the grip of a warband of the Iron Warriors, and in doing so, gain the eternal enmity of a mighty Chaos warlord, form an alliance with the Adeptus Mechanicus, and renew a bond of friendship with an ancient Rogue Trader family. The Hospitallers' Crusade Wherein the Hospitallers Militant come to the aid of a Shrine World, rescue the sisters of an Order Hospitaller and fight side by side with the Sisters of Battle. Roland's Shield Crusade Wherein the Black Chapel of the Hospitallers Militant exterminate all life on twelve Imperial worlds and starve a splinter fleet of the Great Devourer unto death. Sargon's Bastion Crusade Wherein the Hospitallers Militant assault the stronghold of an old enemy, raze a mighty fortress, and deal a deathblow to a Chaos warband. The Golgotha Reclamation Crusade Wherein the Hospitallers Militant invade the Ork infested world of Golgotha and rescue the gene-seeds of a fallen ally. The Road to Salvation Purgation Crusade Wherein the Hospitallers Militant purge the taint of a Chaos cult from a pilgrimage fleet with flame and sword, ship by ship. The Coming Darkness For century after century, the Hospitallers Militant have brought hope and death in the Emperor's name across the galaxy, but there is still suffering without end. The end of the 41st millennium is near its bloody end with no respite in site. All the seers of the Librarius see ahead is even greater darkness. A Council of the Brotherhood of Praetor is declared. Prognosticators from all the chapters are predicting that a great cataclysm is about to befall the Imperium. Storms are building in the warp. War drums are sounding. Abaddon will unleash a new crusade upon the galaxy. But, where or when, no one knows. All the prophets can say is that it will be soon. The Brotherhood agrees that they will consolidate their forces in the northern reaches of the galaxy, near their bastions of power and make ready. Grand Master Gered Tomisian waits with anticipation and a sense of foreboding. It is the year 999M.41 and there is only war. CHAPTER ORGANIZATION Honoring the Codex Astartes of their beloved father, Roboute Guilliman, the Hospitallers Militant form their fighting force and doctrine around this revered battle tome. Chapter Order of Battle Chapter Command Grand Master of the Hospitallers Militant: Gered Tomisian Honor Guard of the Chapter: 20 Veteran Knights seconded from the White Chapel The Knight Council: Advisors to the Grand Master Equerries and serfs Reclusium of Light Grand Reclusiarch 3 Knight Reclusiarchs 16 Knight Chaplains (10 seconded to the chapels) Acolytes and serfs Librarius Grand Marshal of the Librarius 3 Knight Commanders of the Librarius 3 Knight Epistolaries 6 Knight Codiciers 9 Knight Lexicanums Acolytes and serfs Apothecarium Surgeon Marshal of the Apothecarium 3 Knight Commanders of the Apothecarium 18 Knight Apothecaries (10 seconded to the chapels Helix Adepts (variable numbers of apprentice apothecaries, 10 of which are seconded to line companies) Biologus Genetors (Variable number seconded to the chapter by the Adeptus Mechanicus) Medice serfs Servo-meds Armorium Grand Marshal of the Forge 3 Knight Commander Techmarines 15 Knight Techmarines Knight Commander of Armor Forge Serfs Servo-techs Armorium: All armored fighting and support ground vehicles and heavy weapons Fleet Knight Admiral of the Fleet Fleet staff Ship Masters and serf crews Fleet servitors Ships of the Fleet: Battle Barges, Strike Cruisers, Vanguard Cruisers, Escort Ships, Armored Mass Conveyors, Support Vessels Drop Pods, Battle Support Flyers, Heavy Transports Fighting Companies White Chapel (The Purifiers): Veteran company Gold Chapel (The Light Bringers) Red Chapel (The Sacrificers) Green Chapel (The Life Givers) Black Chapel (The Destroyers) Reserve Companies Orange Chapel (Tactical) Purple Chapel (Tactical) Grey Chapel (Fast Attack) Blue Chapel (Heavy Weapons) Scout/Training Chapel of Learning and JudgementWARRIORS OF NOTE space for text Gered Tomisian, Grand Master of the Chapterspace for text Petrosus Vartanian, Knight Commander of the Destroyer Company (Black Chapel)space for text RECRUITMENT AND GENE-SEED Recruitment The Hospitallers Militant exact a tithe of the healthiest young males from the pilgrim fleets they guard and the worlds they liberate. No special test or ceremony of ordeal is required to become an initiate to the Chapter, for it is in the harsh and deadly ordeal of day to day survival that the worthy are tested. Gene-Seed The gene-seed of the Hospitallers Militant comes by way of their revered Primarch, Roboute Guilliman. It is among the most pure of Ultramarine stock as it comes directly from the era of the Great Crusade. COMBAT DOCTRINE AND BELIEFS Combat Doctrine The missions, tactics and strategies of the Hospitallers Millitant are derived primarily from the Codex Astartes. They are however known primarily for some of the specialized missions they perform. Among these are warzone disaster relief and mercy missions, pilgrim fleet escort, exploritor fleet escort, rogue trader escort, warzone gene-seed retrieval, and warzone gene-seed search and destroy missions. Some of the specialized missions are often talked about in hushed tones or not talked about at all. These are the missions of the Black Chapel, the Destroyer Company. Rebellions have ended on many worlds merely when the Black Chapel strike cruiser, Final Judgement enters high orbit. Space Marines from brother chapters who joke that the Hospitallers Militant are a chapter of medices fall silent at the mention of the Black Chapel. Descended directly from the destroyer companies of old, the Black Chapel bear the Chapter's most lethal and horrific weapons, that many chapters shun or outright forbid. They weild the deadly toxins, rad weapons, and virus bombs used to wipe away life in the Chapter's purgation and exterminatus missions, and they do it with a disquieting zeal. Beliefs Like the XIII Legion of old, the brothers of the Hospitallers Militant hold true to the Imperial Truth and revere the Emperor as the pinnacle of human evolution. They do tolerate and honor those who hold tight to the Imperial Creed and see the Emperor in the light of the divine as their strength and shield against the horrors of the universe and the warp. CHAPTER HERALDRY AND LIVERY Heraldry The symbol of the Hospitallers Militant is a simple bone white cross on a field of pale green. These are the universal symbols of life and healing, known to all in the 41st Millenium. The heraldry of the Destroyer Company is a simple ash gray cross on a field of black. Livery All but the Astartes of the Reclusium, the Librarius and the Black Chapel wear the bone white and pale green colors of the Hospitalers Militant. Veteran, line and reserve companies denote their colors with a wide band across the lower third of both paldrons. These companies also denote the company colors on their left knee guard with squad number stenciled over it in the high gothic form. All veterans' helmets are bone white. The officers and marines of the Black Chapel are liveried in ash gray armor with black paldrons and black aquila. Veteran officers also wear black robes and veteran marines wear a black tabard over their armor. Like many other chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, Chaplains are liveried black, symbolizing death and Librarians wear the blue of purified warp lightning. (LEFT) Knight Marshal, White Chapel (CENTER LEFT) Brother Knight, Red Chapel, 2nd Squad (CENTER RIGHT) Knight Commander, Red Chapel (RIGHT) Neophyte Scout (LEFT) Brother Knight, Black Chapel, 3rd Squad (CENTER) Veteran Knight Sergeant, Black Chapel Command Squad (RIGHT) Knight Commander, Black Chapel SUMMARY Whether they bear the white and green hearldry of life or the ash and black hearldry of death, all brothers of the Hospitallers Militant are the Emperor's Angels of Death, fearless warriors bringing hope to the living, vengeance for the dead and destruction to the xeno, traitor and daemon. ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Hail Warriors of the Liber and thank you for taking the time to look at my second article for the Liber Astartes Swap Challenge 2021 (It's still a shell as I post this, but I'll be adding text in a few days). Critiques and questions are welcomed and appreciated. Allow me to apologize in advance if my responses are not prompt. We're down to the wire on Phase 1 and I'm pressing myself to finish this and my other article. No suprise that the creation of the Hospitallers Militant was heavily influenced by the Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem. The genesis of the Hospitallers Militant goes way back to a time before I'd even heard of the Bolter and Chainsword and had just gotten bit by the 40K bug (2006ish). In fact, it was my first 40K army build. I created the general back story and army for one of my long time gaming buddies. He had been into 40K and a Space Marines fan long before I got into this. He is a huge gaming fan (all kinds) but at the time had not played for some time. He was in Med School at the time, and apparently that's kind of a life consuming experience. Upon graduation, I presented the Hospitallers Militant army to him. I'm pleased to say that he plays it to this day. In closing, I dedicate this article and the Hospitallers Militant chapter to my friend and all healers and warriors in the eternal war against disease and deprivation in all its forms.
  7. INDEX ASTARTES space for heraldry The Liberation Knights Chapter "Citizens of the Imperium, look to the skies and take courage. Liberation is at hand." - Transmission across all vox frequencies prior to the assault on the Tobrec Iron Worlds CHAPTER INDEX Brother Cyrus of the 2nd Attack Squad, Gamma Company in basic livery Primogenitor Legion: XIII Legion, Ultramarines Primogenitor Primarch: Roboute Guilliman Founding: =][= REDACTED BY ORDER OF THE INQUISITION =][= Chapter Master: Nicodemus Furore Home world: Elisius IV Chapter Monastery: Aquilae Oculus (The Eagle's Eye) Strength: Approximately 1,000 Line Astartes Specialty: Vanguard assault and decapitation strike Heraldry: Downward pointing sword, breaking a horizontal chain against a red, white and blue striped shield Chapter Colors: Insignia Red, Insignia White, Insignia Blue Special Note: The Liberation Knights often incorporate camouflage or base field color in their armor livery as is practical to a given theatre of operations. Battle Cry: Liberatatem Gladio (Freedom by the sword) HISTORY To their allies and brother space marine chapters, the Liberation Knights are a young and energetic chapter, eager to make a name for itself by throwing itself into battle at every opportunity, often at the tip of the spear of Imperial campaigns. Like all new chapters, they are quick to the fight and inexperienced. Only the Liberation Knights and a chosen few Imperial organizations know the real truth of it. A few, such as the venerable Bjorn, the Fell Handed of the Space Wolves still live who have seen with their own eyes, the founding of the Imperium of Man, its rise and glory lead by the hand of The Emperor and it's fall and slide into darkness at the hand of Horus Lupercal. Among these rare souls unknown to but a few, the Chapter Masters and Veterans of five young chapters witnessed these wonderous and cursed beginnings as warriors of Roboute Guilliman's XIII Legion, Ultramarines. Many of these veterans of the XIII Legion are the founding members of the LIberation Knights Space Marine chapter. This is their story. Origin It is 018.M31, the third year of the Great Scouring. The traitor Horus is dead and the forces of the ruinous powers are in full retreat. At last, the Imperium was on the offensive. As part of the Great Scouring, Lord Commander Roboute Guilliman has launched retribution fleets with broad mandates to seek out and destroy Chaos forces and enclaves, and to aid to aid loyal forces and citizens as necessary. Among these avenging armadas is Retribution Fleet Praetor, under command of Chapter Master Mericus Bellerophon and spearheaded by his 14th Chapter of the XIII Legion, Ultramarines. At the point of Bellerophon's spear was often found First Captain Nicodemus Furore and his 214th Assault Battallion, Ultores. On 018237.M31, Furore had returned to Fleet Praetor proper with his task force after pursing and destroying a splinter fleet of the Alpha Legion. During the civil war, Furore had witnessed many atrocities committed by the Alpha Legion and fought numerous running battles with them. He especially relished every chance he was given to fight his particular foe. Within days of his return, Fleet Praetor came under attack from a large Chaos fleet. To the exclusion of all else, the Ruinous Forces set upon the thousands of refugee ships Fleet Praetor was escorting to Imperial space. Furore, like his commander understood the situation and what must be done. He immediately offered up his task force to attack the enemy fleet to allow the bulk of Fleet Praetor and the refugee ships to escape. Bellerophon refused his first captain's request in favor of a force made up of Imperial Navy forces lead by another close friend, Fleet Master Marcus Voyen. Voyen, a veteran, and master of fleet tactics had enough ships and fire power to tie up and cripple the Chaos fleet. But, in order to inflict such damage, there would be no return. As Voyen's forces rounded on the foe, Fleet Praetor and their refugee charges slid into the warp. Furore said a silent blessing for Voyen and in the Emperor's name, swore eternal vengeance as he followed his Chapter Master. Upon entering the warp, Furore's task force slammed into a warp storm more savage than any he had ever encountered. Many of his ships were smashed or swept away from the bulk of the fleet. After what seemed like and eternity, Furore's own battle barge, the Light of Freedom exited the warp along with the battered survivors of his task force. But, where was the rest of the fleet? Where was Bellerophon? After assessing damage and initiating repairs, Furore commanded searches, but of the main fleet there was no sign or signal. From his navigators, he received the most disturbing news. The warp had ejected them one hundred centuries into the future. But Furore, is unruffled. With faith in the Emperor and Bellerophon, he launches pathfinder ships to search for Fleet Praetor and news of the Imperium. After twenty-five years of searching, fighting and liberating lost Imperial worlds from xeno races and chaos tyrants in the northern reaches of the galaxy, Furore makes contact with Bellerophon and rejoins his chapter master and continues the search for the rest of the fleet. After many battles and long searching over more than a century, Bellerophon is finally content that he has made contact with all surviving elements of his fleet. He has lost many ships along with over five thousand Astartes, and countless freemen and civilian refugees. Also, through an extensive intelligence network he and his Librarius have established, he has a clear view of what has become of the Imperium. They are truly in a dark age, in every sense of the word. At the end of what would later be known as the First Tyrannic War, and after furious battle with the Tyrannid invaders on the edges of Ultramar, Bellerophon makes contact with Macrage and meets with Marneus Calgar in secret. Once convinced of the truth behind Bellerophon's fantastic tale, the two Chapter Masters confer and make plans for the inevitable confrontation with the Inquisition. For Calgar and the Ultramarines, meeting Astartes from the XIII Legion is a miracle. To actually speak with brothers who stood with the Emperor and the Primarch, who witnessed the Emperor's dream made manifest and then sundered by Horus' treason is nothing short of a wonder for them. For the Inquisition, it is nothing short of the ultimate nightmare. To actually have eye witnesses to the Horus Heresy walking in the Imperium is intolerable. The Inquisition arrives in force with elements of Battlefleet Ultima, demanding the surrender of Bellerophon, his Astartes, and all freemen and civilians under his authority. The inquisitorial forces are faced by ships of the Ultramarines, the Ultramar Defense Force, and elements of Retribution Fleet Praetor. Inquisitor Aegottubg tells Chapter Master Calgar that more forces are on their way. Calgar smiles and assures the Inquisitor that they most certainly are. Numerous warp portals appear at the Mandeville Point and swarms of Primogenitor war ships pour through and take up battle positions behind the Imperial naval forces, weapons locked. After long and tense deliberation, a compromise is arrived at. Under supervision of the Ultramarines Chapter, Bellerophon and his people will submit to inspection by the Inquisition and the Grey Knights. Once cleared, the forces of Retribution Fleet Praetor will be divided into five groups that will form the nucleus of five new chapters of Astartes. The new chapters will then take charge of all accompanying freemen and civilians who will be bonded in servitude to the chapters for life as will their children and children's children in perpetuity. Secret charters are issued, and all are sworn to silence. Thus are born the Praetorian Sword, the Ursan Lords, the Hammers of Ultramar, the Hospitallers Militant and the Liberation Knights, five new Space Marine chapters to bring the Emperor's Light to the darkness. Creation of the Brotherhood of Praetor Before embarking on their individual destinies, the Masters of the five chapters swear eternal friendship and loyalty. Each promises to come to the aid of the others when called. The Tobrec Iron Worlds Liberation Campaign In their first major engagement, the Liberation Knights spearhead an ad hoc Imperial force to liberate the Tobrec forge system from a warband of the Black Legion. First, they must attack and take control simultaneously four defense planetoids before the Chaos forces can fully activate them. If the Knights fail, the liberation fails. The Fell Devil Straits Purgation Campaign The Liberation Knights engage the Dark Eldar in a protracted war to eliminate piracy in the straits. The Elisian Liberation Campaign The Liberation Knights extract and destroy a Tau army of occupation in the Elisian star system, and purge the corrupt leadeship which allowed this affront to the Imperium. The Chapter is rewarded with Elisius IV as its new home world. The Lernaean Liberation Campaign Tracking an Alpha Legion warband to its citadel base on the swamp world of Lerna II, Beta Company gives battle. While engaging Alpha Legion forces on the ground, all contact is lost with Beta Company. The End of the 41st Millennium and the Coming Darkness It is the end of the 41st Millennium and the forces of the Liberation Knights are stretched across multiple fronts with no respite in sight. Beta Company has been lost. A Council of the Brotherhood of Praetor is declared. Prognosticators and Tarot Readers from each chapter read the same signs. A great cataclysm will befall the Imperium. Storms are building in the warp. War drums are sounding. Abaddon will unleash a new crusade across the galaxy, but where or when, no one can say. All the prophets can say is that it will be soon. The Brotherhood agrees that they will consolidate their forces in the northern reaches of the galactic plain, near their bastions of power to watch and prepare. Furore sends scouts to watch the Eye of Terror for signs. Now, all he can do is wait. It is the year 999M.41 and there is only war. CHAPTER ORGANIZATION The Chapter is generally organized along the lines of the Codex Astartes, with a few exceptions. The line companies each carry two additional Assault Squads of five Astartes each, while reducing its Devastator Squads to five men each as well. While of ancient birth and with access to massive relic armor and exotic siege weapons, the Liberation Knights eschewed these weapons for simpler ones such as the Rhino, Razorback, Predator, Whirlwind and Vindicator which are more compatible with its tactics. Chapter Order of Battle Chapter Command Chapter Master of the Liberation Knights: Nicodemus Furore, called The Eagle The Eagle's Talons: Honor Guard to the Chapter Master (10 Vanguard Veterans seconded from Alpha Company) The Voice: Advisors to the Chapter Master Equerries and serfs Reclusium Librarius Apothecarium Armorium Fleet Veteran Company Alpha Company (called the Eagle's Avengers) Battle Companies Beta Company (called the Fire Serpents) Gamma Company (called the Lightning Swords) Delta Company (called the Howling Storm) Epsilon Company (called the Black Spear) Reserve Companies Zeta Company (Tactical Reserve) Iota Company (Tactical Reserve) Kappa Company (Assault Reserve) Lambda Company (Heavy Support Reserve) Scout/Training Company Nu Company WARRIORS OF NOTE From the Chapter Command Nicodemus Furore (Chapter Master of the Liberation Knights) Orbis Ruptor (Champion of the Chapter) Stavus Exterus (Chief Librarian, Master of the Sanctum Sanctorum) Roter Herronimus (Master of the Reclusium, called the Crimson Chaplain) Antonius Obstrinxerus (Master of the Forge, called Ferrum Virum) Tor Odyssius (Master of the Fleet, called Thunder and Lightning) From Alpha Company Kibrius Simonius (Brother Captain, called Primus Vindicem) From Beta Company Boran Zemorus (Brother Captain, called Master of Serpents) RECRUITMENT AND GENE-SEED Prior to the aquisition of its home world, the Liberation Knights recruited by way of tithe from the worlds they liberated. Upon settling on Elisius IV, the Chapter now recruits by way of The Challenge. Every five years youths travel from their homes to the foot of the Eagle's Claw, the highest mountain and home to the Chapter fortress monastery. Those who successfully climb the mountain and reach the fortress monastery are accepted into the Chapter as neophytes. The gene-seed of the Chapter is exceptionally pure and produces exceptional marines, the likes not seen since ancient times. The secret to the quality of gentic material is that it has not been diluted over many millennia. It is the direct product of the progenoid glands of Astartes who served in the XIII Legion, Ultramarines. COMBAT DOCTRINE AND BELIEFS To fight its lightning wars against the dark forces that bedevil the Imperium of Man, the Liberation Knights rely on fast ships, fleet warriors and lightning tactics, all in accordance with the Codex of their mighty Primarch, Roboute Guilliman, mostly. Chapter Master Nicodemus Furore is not above bending a rule or two to achieve victory. The core of the strategic and tactical doctrines of the Liberation Knights is to strike hard and fast at nerve centers and weak points in enemy lines. To achieve victory, the chapter relies on scouts behind enemy lines to provide accurate intelligence and to sew mayhem. Fast ships deliver drop pods and assault troops in the initial wave of an attack, quickly bolstered by fast moving tanks and covered by swift gunships. In the void, the Master of the Fleet employs fast, maneuverable ships to harass enemy vessels to deny their ground forces orbital support. The tactics Odyssius favors were learned and inspired by his time spent observing the White Scars during the Great Crusade. He has spent decades refitting his ships in line with the designs of the Great Khan in order to increase speed and maneuverability. When not engaged in battle, the slower, more powerful battle barges are used as logistical support hubs for the battle companies. This allows the Liberation Knights to spread their wings across multiple wide fronts and still maintain rapid repair and a steady supply line. Although the Chapter might occasionally stretch the interpretation of the Codes Astartes, they give it all due respect as they do their Primarch. The Chapter honors the teachings and genetic heritage of Roboute Guilliman as they are still inspired by his vision and that of the Emperor, whom they honor as the pinacle of human evolution. Although they do not see the Emperor as a god, they are tolerant and understanding of those that do, for they see value in this as well. CHAPTER HERALDRY AND LIVERY The heraldry of the Liberation Knights is that of a downward pointing black sword, breaking a black chain against a shield of red, white and blue vertical stripes. Red signifies the blood of sacrifice, blue, the purity of purpose and white for lightning swiftness of attack. Every Astartes wears this shield proudly on their left paldron. The basic livery of the Chapter armor is blue with red gloves, forearms and elbow guard. Company colors are visible on the trim of both paldrons, the chest plate aquila and a low gothic number on the left knee guard, signifying the bearer's squad. Chaplains wear the color of black death, while Librarians are liveried in the traditional blue of the Librarius. Traditional tactical and command marks are in white. Veterans are marked by a vertical white stripe across the top of the helmet. In many campaigns the Liberation Knights find it a useful enhancement by coloring their armor in camouflage or a general color of the terrain they are fighting in. (LEFT) Veteran Brother Rimaldus, Alpha Company, 3rd Sternguard Squad, standard livery (CENTER LEFT) Brother Clavius, Delta Company, 2nd Attack Squad, standard livery (CENTER RIGHT) Neophyte Scout Barnabus, standard livery (RIGHT) Brother Sergeant Duganus, Delta Company, 4th Assault Squad, Elisian Liberation Campaign livery SUMMARY The Liberation Knights honor their Primarch by holding fast to his dream of a better Imperium, and bringing death and destruction to the enemies of man with lightning speed and ferocity. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Greetings Liberites and welcome to the Liberation Knights article shell. I hope to have this article completed (mostly that is) in time for the end of Phase 1 of the 2021 Liber Astartes Swap Challenge. Right now the majority of this article is in notes and in my head. I'm just stubborn and mad enough to think I can finish this and a second article in time Wish me luck The genesis of this article can be found below. It's an idea draft for my first incarnation of the Liberation Knights that I formed while developing my primary DIY chapter, the Praetorian Sword that was first presented for the LASC 2019. Hidden Content #1 http://bolterandchainsword.com//public/style_images/carbon_red/icon_share.png http://bolterandchainsword.com//public/style_images/carbon_red/post_online.png Brother Lunkhead Posted 14 August 2019 - 03:09 PM (IP: ++ ANTICUS ÆSALON ++ ++ MODERATI ++ http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/public/style_extra/team_icons/Elite.gif 1,809 posts 0 warning points Location:Radlands of Merica Faction: Praetorian Sword, Ultramarines Gender:Male Greetings folks and welcome to my newest ADD DIY project . I should be working on my primary IA, the Praetorian Sword. But, why do that when I can PROCRASTINATE This particular project has it's origins in the dim past of my misadventures in the 40Kverse. It's based on a Space Marine figure I saw in a display case at my LFGS. It was painted up as a widely known pop culture figure (to be revealed at a later date). I was immediately inspired to create a Chapter based on that mini. So many years later, the Praetorian Sword and it's fellow Founding No. 1619 chapters gave me the opening without being contrived and eye rolling over-the-top.... just over-the-top. As I evolved the Liberation Knights, I drew inspiration from the following: U.S. history History of Airborne/Paratrooper development Airborne Operations of WW II (allied and axis) Special Operations of WW II (allied and axis) The common soldier (all uncommon actually) Hebraic bond servant and slave culture Greco-Roman military culture Specific iconic pop culture heroes Adventure films and serials of the 1930's, 1940's, and 1950's So, here we go...… as always, comments and money are welcome IA: Liberation Knights "Citizens of the Imperium, take heart and look to the skies. Liberation is at hand." - Planets-wide transmission by Chapter Master Furore' prior to the assault on the Tobrec Iron Worlds http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/sm.php?b62c=@hh8a4_h1YuI.hBgCA@.@@___ia3h6_.@@_iakk7@@@@hSsP6@@@@@@____@@@@@@@@@@..@@@___@@_@.@@.iakk7&grid=TRUE ORIGIN: At the end of the Horus Heresy and as part of the Scouring, Roboute Guilliman sends out several retribution fleets with broad mandates to seek and destroy surviving Chaos forces and enclaves, and to assist loyalist forces and civilians as necessary. One of these fleets, Retribution Fleet Praetor is under command of Chapter Master Mericus Bellerophon, former Invictarus Suzerain commander and part of Guilliman's inner circle. While escorting a civilian refugee fleet to safe Imperial space, they are ambushed by a combined Chaos fleet which immediately sets upon the civilian ships. Bellerophon, immediately understands that his choices are limited. If he turns and fights he can destroy the Chaos fleet, but at the cost of the refugee fleet. He can run, but the Chaos forces will simply follow, and like a pack of wolves pick off the weaker civilian ships one by one. The only viable option is to have a portion of his fleet turn and fight a holding action, allowing the bulk of the fleet time to escape. Fleet Master Marcus Voyen (Bellerophon's closest human friend) volunteers to lead the holding action. Bellerophon knows that Voyen is the best man for the job and that it is also a suicide mission. He will never see his friend or the ships of the holding squadrons again. Voyen launches his desperate little fleet into a savage attack against the Chaos forces, while the bulk of Fleet Praetor and the refugee fleet escape into the warp. In their death run, Voyen's forces smash the Chaos fleet and Bellerephon's rage and hatred of Chaos is fueled even brighter by the death of his friend and so many of his ship crews. It is a hatred that will burn hot until the day he dies. Upon entering the warp, the fleet encounters a storm of power and ferocity unlike any they had ever experienced. Many ships are lost and huge portions of the fleet are separated in the storm. As the surviving squadrons exit the warp they are scattered throughout the galactic rim. But that is not the worst of it. Navigators and ship cartographers inform the Chapter Master that the stars are wrong. His ships have not only been flung to the far reaches of the galaxy but the far reaches of time as well. It is estimated that they are almost ten thousand years in the future. After many battles and long searching over more than a century, Bellerophon is finally content that he has made contact with all surviving elements of his fleet. He has lost many ships along with over five thousand Astartes, and countless freemen and civilian refugees. Also, through an extensive intelligence network he and his Librarius have established, he has a clear view of what has become of the Imperium. They are truly in a dark age, in every sense of the word. At the end of what would later be known as the First Tyrannic War, and after furious battle with the Tyrannid invaders on the edges of Ultramar, Bellerophon makes contact with Macrage and meets with Marneus Calgar in secret. Once convinced of the truth behind Bellerophon's fantastic tale, the two Chapter Masters confer and make plans for the inevitable confrontation with the Inquisition. For Calgar and the Ultramarines, meeting Astartes from the XIII Legion is a miracle. To actually speak with brothers who stood with the Emperor and the Primarch, who witnessed the Emperor's dream made manifest and then sundered by Horus' treason is nothing short of a wonder for them. For the Inquisition, it is nothing short of the ultimate nightmare. To actually have eye witnesses to the Horus Heresy walking in the Imperium is intolerable. The Inquisition arrives in force with elements of Battlefleet Ultima, demanding the surrender of Bellerophon, his Astartes, and all freemen and civilians under his authority. The inquisitorial forces are faced by ships of the Ultramarines, the Ultramar Defense Force, and elements of Retribution Fleet Praetor. Inquisitor Egotoobig tells Chapter Master Calgar that more forces are on their way. Calgar smiles and assures the Inquisitor that they most certainly are. Numerous warp portals appear at the Mandeville Point and swarms of Primogenitor war ships pour through and take up battle positions behind the Imperial naval forces, weapons locked. After long and tense deliberation, a compromise is arrived at. Under supervision of the Ultramarines Chapter, Bellerophon and his people will submit to inspection by the Inquisition and the Grey Knights. Once cleared, the forces of Retribution Fleet Praetor will be divided into five groups that will form the nucleus of five new chapters of Astartes. The new chapters will then take charge of all accompanying freemen and civilians who will be bonded in servitude to the chapters for life as will their children and children's children in perpetuity. Secret charters are issued, and all are sworn to silence. Thus is born the Praetorian Sword, the Hospitallers Militant, the Hammers of Ultramar, the Ursan Lords, and the Liberation Knights, new Space Marine chapters to bring the Emperors Light to the darkness. SUMMARY: Headquartered in the northern fringe of Segmentum Obscurus, the Liberation Knights are one of five Astartes Chapters created from the XIII Legion Praetor Retribution Fleet. The chapter is organized generally along Codex: Astartes lines, fielding approximately one thousand Space Marines in ten companies. The Liberation Knights favor fast attack and assault tactics above all else. To that end, Battleline companies eschew two Fire Support squads in favor of two additional Assault squads. Fire support is provided by the 9th (Fire Support) Reserve Company as needed. Armored and Artillery support is provided by basic Pedators and Whirlwind tanks, and of recent introduction, Repulsors and Impulsor Primaris tanks. The chapter possesses no exotic or relic armor. The Liberation Knights possess only a single Battle Barge (Light of Freedom), which is used only for large scale deployments as a command and control node and supply base for it's fleet of many Vanguard/Strike Cruisers, and fast attack and defense vessels. The Chapter has enthusiastically embraced the addition of their new Primaris brothers and equipment, as they add new repertoire to their favored form of combat. While they uphold the Imperial Truth and their Primarch's highest ideals with a tough "can do" attitude, the personality of the Liberation Knights is decidedly adventurous and devil-may-care. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ BASIC DATA: Primogenitor Legion: XIII Legion, Ultramarines Primarch Primogenitor: Roboute Guilliman Founding: Classified (=][= Inquisitorial File 1619 =][=) Chapter Master: Nicodemus Furore' Homeworld: Ellisus IV - Imperium Nihilus Chapter Monastery: Aquilae Oculus Known Descendants: None Colors: Red, White, Blue Special Note - While not an official chapter color, the Liberation Knights incorporate olive green in their armor livery in honor of the common Imperial Guardsman, "who bears the greatest burden." Specialty: Vanguard assault and decapitation strike Battle Cry: Libertatem Gladio _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ [Place Holder for Stuff] _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Edited by Brother Lunkhead, 01 October 2019 - 04:25 PM. For those who are gluttons for punishment, the entire original thread can be accessed here. The basic idea is intact, but much of the detail has changed. I must thank Bjorn Firewalker for his relentless critique of this chapter. He inspired me to revisit many of my initial ideas and make many changes that I hope are for the better. Thanks for that Brother Bjorn
  8. Index Astartes <<>> Sizerbakc's Scourers, The Chaos Space Marine Warband << >> Origins <<Information on the origins of the Warband>> Horus was dead, and his ambitions were shattered by fleeing Traitor Primarchs and a furious Praetorian of Terra. A lone Space Marine of the Iron Warriors Legion followed his Primarch back to their one refuge, the Eye of Terror. This Space Marine was a powerful psyker, and he had been practicing his power now that the Emperor's decree at Nikaea irrelevant. The escape to the Eye was not painless. Many Imperial ambushes, mostly led by the Imperial Fists or the Black Templars, had caught them off-guard and caused the death of many Iron Warriors that this Space Marine called friend. It was a battle before the event at the Eternal Fortress which caused the Space Marine to revolt. He was a Space Marine Sergeant, leading ten other Astartes. They had been sent to recover supplies from an old Blood Angels compound. The thousand-strong Space Marine contingent there had believed the Imperium to have fled the base, abandoning it to assault the Traitor's warpath to Terra. Their information was false, and when the remnant fleet arrived in orbit of the moon which housed the base, they found a fierce company of Blood Angels and a good ten thousand Imperial Armymen awaiting their arrival. Though the intellect and skill of the Iron Warriors allowed them to slay many Armymen and Blood Angels, they were still being bested by the Loyalists due to the Traitor's worn armor and weapons quickly running out of ammunition. It was in this battle that this Space Marine Sergeant realized that the dream of Horus could never be accomplished by hiding in the Eye. The Imperium was an empire, with supply lines and resources aplenty, even after the blows Horus' rebellion had dealt. Once the Blood Angels were murdered and the Armymen slaughtered, the Iron Warriors contingent stole the base's supplies and prepared to depart. At least, that was what it was supposed to have done. The Sergeant, now effectively a Captain after the death of so many Astartes, led a munity and stole a trio of warships; two Lunar Cruisers and a Repulsive-Class Grand Cruiser, the Cinders of Trust. The Cinders of Trust would act as their flagship for millennia, doing as the Sergeant commanded. The Iron Warrior had declared that the men under his command would not flee to the Eye of Terror, but rather they would build their own empire on the other side of the galaxy, far from the Imperium. There, they would have their own manufactorums and shipyards, they would build new warships and raise new armies! It was indeed a grand dream, but it came closer to fruition than many would have believed. Living out at the edge of Segmentum Obscurus, the now-declared Sizerbakc and his forces mustered themselves and built a hearty fiefdom on the edge of known space. Though most of his forces were Astartes who made the trek over to Sizerbakc's domain or traitorous mortals following suite, none can deny his two companies' worth of fiefdom-born Space Marines, or the eight ships constructed by new shipyards. After his military swelled and the Great Rift tore open, Sizerbakc felt his empire's time had come. Readying his Astartes, warfleet, and mortal armies, Sizerbakc declared his warband Sizerbakc's Scourers, an insult and subversion of the hunt which dared to extinguish Horus' dream. Homeworld <<Information on the Warband’s homeworld>> Arelnius was the world which Sizerbakc started his warband from. Though the Cinders of Trust guided them through that bleak night and Olympia would remain Sizerbakc's home of birth, Arelnius is the world which provides the most materials, recruits, and military assets. The planet is located deep within the heart of a Warp-touched nebula, far from Imperial eyes. Its lush forests have long since become akin to that of Caliban's, dark hearts at the center of a hidden world. Its rocky cliffsides pitch black, leading to much of their armored vehicles sharing the color. It was a mockery of a standard Imperial world, mirroring one in all but the sinister overtures. Even in orbit, looted Imperial ships or ones created off Imperial design. Its defenders akin to PDF or that of the Imperial Guard, except for their upbringing and stars of Chaos crudely painted over their autoguns. The planet's 'native' population is the descendants of traitor armymen and crew members. Their number has been bolstered by the passage of ten thousand years and hundreds of thousands, millions even, of former Imperials chasing down a myth or a ship crewed by traitors spat out of the Warp by the Dark Gods after they prayed for refuge. Many of these hijacked ships have been transformed into new warships or dismantled to construct cities or much less taxing ground vehicles. The plasma generating hearts of civilian freighters beat energy and life into many dark Arelnian cities. Combat Doctrine <<Information on the Warband’s combat doctrine>> Sizerbakc's Scourers are an aggressive, but versatile force. The forces' tactics often rely on their commander's tactics, or as Sizerbakc calls them, his Barons. Forces led by Grand Baron Sizerbakc are somewhat of a mix of all available assets. Tanks, gunlines, and vicious melee is all present in a force led by the Grand Baron. However, the hulking Baron Eremalk has a far more vicious amount of Khorne Berzerkers and Raptors at his disposal. All Barons typically have a strong gunline, minor armor support, and elite melee warriors at the core of their army, however. Organization/Organisation <<Information on the Warband’s organization/organisation>> The Scourers are divided into ten groups, each a hundred or so strong with Astartes and with varying amounts of cultists and warships. Each group is led by one of the nine Barons, and Sizerbakc commanding one himself. More often than not, a Baron will work with another Baron and combine their forces to become a stronger foe. Despite this, Barons often squabble and engage in minor skirmishes with each other, as Chaos-aligned warriors are wont to do. This natural inclination to infighting has held Sizerbakc's dreams back far more than the Imperium has, and multiple Barons have been executed by the Chaos Sorcerer's Force Axe for insubordination. Beliefs <<Information on the Warband’s beliefs and warrior cult>> The Scourers, being a Chaos warband, believe in the Ruinous Powers and actively worship them. However, their feudal ways has caused much division when it comes to which god to worship. Most simply align with Chaos Undivided, like their Iron Warrior forefathers. However, the small groups of World Eaters, Thousand Sons, Death Guard, and Emperors Children who have arrived in the Scourer's armies spread their monotheistic approach, with Slaanesh and Tzeench becoming the most popular over time. Sizerbakc himself has received some attention, with thousands of years of rulership over the same populace granting him a sort of idolism, though not enough to gain any benefit besides a surprising amount of loyalty. Gene-seed/Geneseed <<Information on the Warband’s gene-seed/geneseed purity/mutations/lost organs>> While the majority of the Space Marines in the Scourers are descended from well-maintained Iron Warriors genestock, there is an ever-rising amount of Astartes made from stolen loyalist geneseed. Much of the Astartes who came from the other Chaos Legions have unviable geneseed, which has somewhat placed a cap on how many Heretic Astartes the Scourers have at their disposal. Battle-cry/Battlecry/Chapter Motto <<The Chapter’s battle-cry or motto>> "From the Ignorance of the Imperium, We Strike!"
  9. INDEX ASTARTES The Praetorian Sword Chapter "Fire and death to the daemon, the heretic, and the xeno. Liberation and hope to the beleaguered Servants of the Emperor. This is our calling and our oath, unto the last breath of the last warrior." - Chapter Master Mericus Bellerophon CHAPTER INDEX Primogenitor Legion: XIII Legion, UltramarinesPrimarch Primogenitor: Roboute Guilliman Founding: Classified (WARNING =][= REDACTED BY ORDER OF THE INQUISITION =][= WARNING) Chapter Master: Mericus Bellerophon Home world: Fleet-based Chapter Monastery: Battle Barge - Fury of Terra Strength: 1,000 Line Astartes (approximate number) Specialty: Rapid strike and purgation Heraldry: Skyward pointing gladius over a flaming agemo Chapter Colors: Sea Blue and Steel Battle Cry: Fury and Fire * PRIMOGENITOR space for text HISTORY In many ways, the Praetorian Sword is a Chapter out of its place in time. Descended directly from their beloved Primarch's XIII Legion, many of it's brothers remember the golden era of empire, and struggle to make peace with being thrust into an era of darkness, and hopelessness. But, they are Guilliman's finest and will take the fight to the Emperor's enemies no matter where or when they are. Origin At the end of the Horus Heresy and as part of the Scouring, Roboute Guilliman sends out several retribution fleets with broad mandates to seek and destroy surviving Chaos forces and enclaves, and to assist loyalist forces and civilians as necessary. One of these fleets, Retribution Fleet Praetor is under command of Chapter Master Mericus Bellerophon, former Invictarus Suzerain commander and part of Guilliman's inner circle. While escorting a civilian refugee fleet to safe Imperial space, they are ambushed by a combined Chaos fleet which immediately sets upon the civilian ships. Bellerophon, immediately understands that his choices are limited. If he turns and fights he can destroy the Chaos fleet, but at the cost of the refugee fleet. He can run, but the Chaos forces will simply follow, and like a pack of wolves pick off the weaker civilian ships one by one. The only viable option is to have a portion of his fleet turn and fight a holding action, allowing the bulk of the fleet time to escape. Fleet Master Marcus Voyen (Bellerophon's closest human friend) volunteers to lead the holding action. Bellerophon knows that Voyen is the best man for the job and that it is also a suicide mission. He will never see his friend or the ships of the holding squadrons again. Voyen launches his desperate little fleet into a savage attack against the Chaos forces, while the bulk of Fleet Praetor and the refugee fleet escape into the warp. In their death run, Voyen's forces smash the Chaos fleet and Bellerephon's rage and hatred of Chaos is fueled even brighter by the death of his friend and so many of his ship crews. It is a hatred that will burn hot until the day he dies. Upon entering the warp, the fleet encounters a storm of power and ferocity unlike any they had ever experienced. Many ships are lost and huge portions of the fleet are separated in the storm. As the surviving squadrons exit the warp they are scattered throughout the galactic rim. But that is not the worst of it. Navigators and ship cartographers inform the Chapter Master that the stars are wrong. His ships have not only been flung to the far reaches of the galaxy but the far reaches of time as well. It is estimated that they are almost ten thousand years in the future. After many battles and long searching over more than a century, Bellerophon is finally content that he has made contact with all surviving elements of his fleet. He has lost many ships along with over five thousand Astartes, and countless freemen and civilian refugees. Also, through an extensive intelligence network he and his Librarius have established, he has a clear view of what has become of the Imperium. They are truly in a dark age, in every sense of the word. At the end of what would later be known as the First Tyrannic War, and after furious battle with the Tyrannid invaders on the edges of Ultramar, Bellerophon makes contact with Macrage and meets with Marneus Calgar in secret. Once convinced of the truth behind Bellerophon's fantastic tale, the two Chapter Masters confer and make plans for the inevitable confrontation with the Inquisition. For Calgar and the Ultramarines, meeting Astartes from the XIII Legion is a miracle. To actually speak with brothers who stood with the Emperor and the Primarch, who witnessed the Emperor's dream made manifest and then sundered by Horus' treason is nothing short of a wonder for them. For the Inquisition, it is nothing short of the ultimate nightmare. To actually have eye witnesses to the Horus Heresy walking in the Imperium is intolerable. The Inquisition arrives in force with elements of Battlefleet Ultima, demanding the surrender of Bellerophon, his Astartes, and all freemen and civilians under his authority. The inquisitorial forces are faced by ships of the Ultramarines, the Ultramar Defense Force, and elements of Retribution Fleet Praetor. Inquisitor Aegottub'g tells Chapter Master Calgar that more forces are on their way. Calgar smiles and assures the Inquisitor that they most certainly are. Numerous warp portals appear at the Mandeville Point and swarms of Primogenitor war ships pour through and take up battle positions behind the Imperial naval forces, weapons locked. After long and tense deliberation, a compromise is arrived at. Under supervision of the Ultramarines Chapter, Bellerophon and his people will submit to inspection by the Inquisition and the Grey Knights. Once cleared, the forces of Retribution Fleet Praetor will be divided into five groups that will form the nucleus of five new chapters of Astartes. The new chapters will then take charge of all accompanying freemen and civilians who will be bonded in servitude to the chapters for life as will their children and children's children in perpetuity. Secret charters are issued, and all are sworn to silence. Thus is born the Praetorian Sword, one of five new Space Marine chapters to bring the Emperors Light to the darkness. The 41st Millennium and the Coming Storm space for text The 42nd Millennium and the Dark Imperium space for text Timeline space for text CHAPTER ORGANIZATION Descended directly from Roboute Guilliman's XIII Legion, the Praetorian Sword Chapter brings a unique perspective to Space Marine operations. At the time of the Dark Imperium there were still a few who remembered the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy. They were there when their beloved Primarch was still writing his Codex and a time before the Chapters. Still, loyal to the ideals and logistical acumen of the Lord Commander of the Imperium, they are a Codex compliant chapter. But they remember his most important if not controversial directive, "Do whatever is necessary to win." Per directions from the Codex, the Praetorian Sword Chapter is divided into ten companies, each containing one hundred Battle Brothers. Each is lead by a Battle Captain and retinue chosen from or by the Chapter Command. These Command Squads are made up of the Chapter's wisest and most valiant warriors, heroes in every sense of the word. The Chapter Master leads this mighty force with leadership and support of his Chapter Command, Armourium, Apothecarion, Reclusium, Librarius. The Chapter sails into battle aboard the mighty void-worthy fighting ships of the Chapter Fleet. The powerful weapons of the fleet ensure that the Chapter's most potent weapons, its Astartes are supported and delivered on target by the fleet's many drop pods and transports. Further support is had from the tanks, artillery, interceptors, fighter craft, and gunships of the Armourium. Chapter Command space for text Armourium space for text Reclusium space for text Apothecarion space for text Librarius space for text Fleet Command space for text Servus Civis space for text Companies of the Chapter VETERANS In the 1st Company you will find the Chapter's most seasoned veterans. They possess martial skills, and tactical and strategic wisdom possessed by only a few outside of the company. These are skills hard won. These warriors have spent decades and In some cases, centuries fighting the Emperor's enemies. When fighting as a whole, the 1st Company is a mighty force to be reckoned with. However, the Veteran Company seldom fights as a company. Individuals and squads are more often found lending their martial skill and knowledge to individual strike forces, battle-line companies and reserve companies. Spread over multiple war zones, Veterans of the 1st Company are a considerable force multiplier. The 1st Company BATTLE COMPANIES The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Companies comprise the Chapter's Battle Companies, and are the mainstay of the Praetorian Sword's fighting force. Strike Forces are primarily drawn from the Battle Companies. While the Praetorian Sword is known and feared for it's massive chapter assaults, it is still rare to see more than one Battle Company in a war zone, as one is usually more than sufficient to crush an enemy. Except for the 1st Company, it is in these Battle Companies you will find the Praetorian Sword's most experienced battle-forged Astartes. The 2nd Company The 3rd Company The 4th Company The 5th Company RESERVE COMPANIES In war zones across the Imperium, as Battle Company casualties increase or more fire power is needed to dislodge an enemy, the Squads of the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th Reserve Companies are called in. It is seldom that the Reserve Companies fight as cohesive units. Due to the vast distances from the Fleet Proper that Strike Forces and Battle Companies normally engage in battle, individual Reserve Company Squads are more often than not, embedded with these more experienced battle groups where they can be called on at a moment's notice. Battleline Reserve Companies The 6th and 7th Reserve Companies are each made up of one hundred Batttleline Astartes, divided into ten squads. It is in these Battleline Companies that young Astartes truly put into practice all they have learned since their early days as Neophytes. Here, they not only fight in fully functional battleline squads, but learn to fight from Bikes, Land Speeders, and the primary battle tanks of the Chapter, the Predator and Repulsor. Astartes are not simply super soldiers, fighting in squads and from formations of light fast attack vehicles and chapter tanks, but like the knights of old, individual warriors of legend. It is from the 6th and 7th Companies that each Space Marine executes his first individual special missions and quests. These missions range from ambassadorial missions, representing the Chapter at the inauguration of a new planetary governor to delivering a primitive Imperial world from the predations of insidious xeno or corrupted foes that they are ill equipped to defeat or even understand. From these two companies, individual Space Marines become true warriors and enter the ranks of the Battle Companies. The 6th Company The 7th Company Close Support Reserve Company The one hundred Battle-Brothers of the 8th Company constitute the close support reserve force of the Praetorian Sword Chapter. This company is made up entirely of war hardened Space Marines from battle-line squads of the Chapter's Battle Companies. They are specifically chosen for their aggression and close combat skill and forged further in the techniques of shock attack and close quarter killing. Many Chapter and Company Champions have come through the ranks of the 8th Company. The 8th Company Fire Support Reserve Compnay When Strike Forces and Battle Companies require additional heavy weapons' support, the Battle-Brothers of the 9th Fire Support Reserve Company are called on to rain fire and death upon the enemies of the Emperor. For the one hundred Battle-Brothers that constitute the 9th Company, this is their first experience as full fledged Astartes. When a Neophyte of the 10th Company receives his Black Carapace and Power Armor as a recognized Space Marine, he enters the ranks of the 9th Company. It is here he receives his initial training in heavy weapons use and deployment, as well as basic infantry tactics. It is in these ranks he also tastes front-line combat for the first time. The 9th Company THE NEOPHYTES AND THE VANGUARD It is in the ranks of the 10th Scout Company that young Neophytes are forged into and receive their initial training and indoctrination that will transform them into the Emperor's Angels of Death, the most feared warriors in the galaxy. Under the watchful eye of Brother Captain Paulus Romulus, Master of Recruits and Master of the Vanguard, the Scout Sergeants of the 10th Company train Neophytes in the arts of reconnaissance, stealth, sabotage, sniper operations, and other special operations. Whether through hypno-indoctrination or practical field operations, young Scouts learn all the skills necessary to act as the eyes, ears, and weapons of the Chapter behind enemy lines. The 10th is also the home of ten Vanguard Squads of the Praetorian Sword Chapter. The Vanguard are the Chapter's elite reconnaissance and special operations warriors, dealing death and terror to the enemy from the shadows. Whether elites of the Vanguard Squads or raw neophyte Scouts, all of the 10th Company are vital elements in the Chapter's war efforts. The 10th Company CHAPTER FLEET Being a fleet-based chapter, the Praetorian Sword boasts a sizable fleet with a large variety of vessels for both combat operations and support. It is a veritable warp capable Chapter World. From huge Battle Barges and Forge Tenders to small Scout Sloops and Supply Transports, whether a combat or support vessel, all ships of the fleet have one single mission, support Space Marine combat operations. Battle Fleet Once part of the vast ancient Retribution Fleet Praetor, the Battle Fleet of the Praetorian Sword is made up of for all practical purposes, the prototype ships-of-the-line of modern Space Marine battle fleets. These ships are a mix of rebuilt and repaired Crusade era ships to newly built (new for them) post Horus Heresy fighting vessels. Gone however, were the vast sculptured elegant ships of the Crusade. These fighting ships were a leaner, more practical and angry breed of starships, rechristened with names befitting a fleet designed specifically to deal out the Emperor's mercy and justice. Although from an earlier era, Astartes and Imperial Navy crews of the 41st and 42nd millennium recognize the lines of modern Battle Barges, Strike and Vanguard Cruisers, Gladius Frigates, Hunter Destroyers, and Nova Frigates. Lance Frigate Controversy When the five new Astartes Chapters were created, the still vast Praetor fleet was divided up between the chapters, each in accordance to it's mission and needs. Many ships of the former Retribution Fleet however, were now forbidden to Space Marine chapters. These mighty battleships, heavy cruisers and other ships-of-the-line were offered up to the Imperial Navy, which gladly accepted them. Conspicuously missing from the intended Imperial Navy manifest were the bulk of the large number of lance frigates that Fleet Praetor was known to have. When queried on this subject, Chapter Master Bellerophon shrugged and noted that each squadron of the new chapter fleets possessed one proto-Nova Frigate. He commented that being fleet based in nature and not relying on Imperial Naval support for many operations, the Astartes fleets would require a small number of ship killers for fleet defense. In actuality, Bellerophon deeply distrusted Imperial Navy High Command and their ties to the Inquistion. He considered both groups to be duplicitous and Machiavellian. The Nova Frigates were not only a vital part of fleet operations but a deterrent against any overt moves against the new chapters by the Inquisition or their Imperial Navy "lackeys". He never denied having more in reserve for "refit and repair purposes", but declined to state how many. When Imperial Navy representative repeatedly "requested" that the lance frigates be turned over to them, Bellerophon's response was always the same, "Molon labe." To date the Imperial Navy has declined his offer. Battle Fleet Operations space for text Lupos Operations space for text Task Force 34 space for text Fleet Order of Battle Battle Barges (3) Fury of Terra (Flagship) Gladius Resplendent Retribution's Hand Strike Cruisers (5) Warlight Don Cesare Avatar of Justice Indominable Patavius Reckoning Vanguard Cruisers (3) Herald of Vengeance Cor Ira Silent Sword Gladius Frigates (11) Hunter Destroyers (11) Nova Frigates (?) Rudense Class Rapid Insertion Craft (6) (Primaris) Faustus Scout/Interceptors (6) Notable Fleet Engagements space for text COMBAT DOCTRINE space for text BELIEFS space for text GENE-SEED space for text CHAPTER HERALDRY AND LIVERY Heraldry space for text Livery http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/sm.php?b62c=@hr48R_h22PO.hhWEq_._____ia3h6@._@__@@@@_@@@@@@____@@@@@@@@@@.._@@___@@__.__@iakk7&grid=TRUEWhen Retribution Fleet Praetor set sail in pursuit of Horus' fleeing allies, it was made up of mostly hastily repaired and refitted ships.Gone were the colorful and beautifully ornate vessels of the Crusade. The newly refitted ships-of-war were a lean and angry breed, armored and armed to deal out justice and retribution. Hastily painted, the blue of Ultramar was seen only on the heavily armored shoulders where the coats of heraldry were fastened. All else was liveried in defense gray. By the end of it's journey, Praetor's ships were battered and scared. Much of the ships' colors were burned down to bare metal. Ultramars' proud colors were faded and tired. Chapter Master Bellerophon decreed that the colors of the Praetorian Sword Chapter would memorialize these scars. Thus, sea blue and steel were set down in the new charter. SUMMARY space for text *Special thanks to Brother Cambrius for the Space Marine image ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I would like to start this thread off with a Unification War salute to Brother Kelborn and Chaplain Dosjetka, who inspired me to get off my duff with their most recent DIY threads http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/topic/356531-chapter-creations-initial-concept/ and http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/topic/356527-dos-latest-attempt-at-a-diy-chapter-initial-notesthoughts/ respectively. Let me start off with a little background story I've been a Ultramarine fan (fluff, army, all of it) since first discovering 40K millennia ago. I pretty much dived into the hobby, building and playing a small Ultramarine army and amassing and designing a larger force (about three companies strong at the time and growing) and having a good ol' time reading as much 40K fiction that I could lay my hands on...… but something changed I had been enjoying Graham McNeill's adventures of Uriel Ventris for some time and looking forward to what looked to be the conclusion of the final story arc. So, after finishing Marnius Calgar Kills the Ultramarines..... errr…… I mean Chapter's Due and hurling it across the room. I said to myself, "Self, things aren't looking too good for your Ultramarines" Then it hit me, "Old son, they aren't your Ultramarines. They're GW's Ultramarines, and they can do whatever they want with them..... as is their right." I then realized that if I was going to invest a lot of time and treasure in a Space Marine army, I wanted to have some agency over them and their story. "Better go create your own chapter, Self." I then proceeded to dump my Ultramarines into a tub of "Dip" and stripped off all of the paint and started anew. Then I placed my freshly purified Space Marines in stasis boxes and I contemplated their future. Now I still loved the Ultramarines (they are BLUE you know ) but I didn't want to create a carbon copy chapter. I wanted to challenge myself a bit. I wanted to incorporate some of the characteristics of the Ultramarines, only edgier and darker. I also wanted to incorporate the large amount of FW Heresy era armor and weapons I'd amassed into the chapter army and story. Over the years I came up within the tiny cracks of time between career and raising a family, background and structure for a chapter I call the Praetorian Sword. The following is a rough draft for my DIY chapter. My ultimate goal is to build a chapter size force with an accompanying codex. Concept Draft: Hidden Content Chapter Name: Praetorian Sword Founding Chapter: Ultramarines Founding: Classified by the Inquisition (Project 1619) Secret Founding: One of five chapters created from the survivors of Scouring era XIII Legion Retribution Fleet Praetor, originally presumed lost in the warp. Founded under official charter as an Astartes Chapter in 747M41, after the First Tyrannic War. Chapter Master: Mericus Bellerophon Homeworld: Fleet-based Fortress Monastery: Battle Barge Fury of Terra Colors: Sea Blue, Brushed Steel Strength: Unknown Specialty: Rapid strike and purgation Battle Cry: Fury and Fire Culture: Spartan with Ultramarine sensibilities. Astartes represent the Spartan warrior class, supported by a human bondsmen society, governed under the general principles of Hebraic codes of conduct towards bond servants and slaves. Order of Battle: While generally codex compliant, the chapter maintains an auxiliary support force of armor and flyers. Recently, an eleventh company was added, consisting entirely of Primaris Marines. Chapter Personality: Known for high aggression in battle, the Praetorian Swords are brutal and merciless warriors. It's Chapter Master has executed more than one world without hesitation or remorse. Signature Weapon and Marking: Upon elevation from neophyte each Astartes receives a Gladius and his left pauldron is engraved with "XIII". Inspiration: Greek and Roman histories Hebraic slave culture Imperial Roman Legion and Naval Forces structure and traditions The Iliad - Homer Masters of the Sea trilogy - John Stack Macro and Cato series - Simon Scarrow Legio XVII - Thomas Timmes Gates of Fire - Steven Pressfield Know Thyself and Sons of Wrath - Andy Smilie The odd XIII Legion and Ultramarines story - Dan Abnett, Graham McNeill, Nick Kyme, Robbie MacNiven, Guy Haley, and Ian St Martin Hidden Content IA: Praetorian Sword http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/sm.php?b62c=@hr48R_h22PO.hhWEq_._____ia3h6@._@__@@@@_@@@@@@____@@@@@@@@@@.._@@___@@__.__@iakk7&grid=TRUE [summary Place Holder] BASIC DATA: Primogenitor Legion: XIII Legion, Ultramarines Primarch Primogenitor: Roboute Guilliman Founding: Classified (=][= Inquisitorial File 1619 =][=) Chapter Master: Mericus Bellerophon Homeworld: Fleet-based Chapter Monastery: Battle Barge - Fury of Terra Known Descendants: [Place Holder] Colors: Blue and Steel Symbol: Gladius (upturned) over an Agemo (stylized with a laurel on the inside curve) Specialty: Rapid strike and purgation Battle Cry: Fury and Fire That's it for now. I'll add more detail as time allows. Looking forward to comments and critique...… I think
  10. The Asperos Astra Chapter The Only Law Origins As the site of the violent birth of the Great Rift, the Eye of Terror has become a greater source of devastation for the Imperium than ever before, vomiting forth a new and endless tide of fiends and traitors. Forces in surrounding sectors have been drawn in close to quell the horrors pouring from the great warp sore. As much to maintain strength in those now less defended sectors as to bolster those forces providing a shield against the warp-born, two chapters of the Ultima Founding were sent to the region north of the Eye as reinforcements. One of these was the Asperos Astra, gene sons of [who, for real]. Both chapters vied for the opportunity to join the defense around the Eye, but Imperial resources in the area would only support one. The two chapters agreed to a simple, direct challenge between champions, the winner taking the place of greater glory in combating the tide from the Eye. The champion of the Asperos Astra...lost. Though it was an honorable contest, the sting of failure, of disgrace, was still felt throughout the chapter. They turned toward their new home with little enthusiasm and found comparatively quiet sectors. It seemed that the harrowing emergence of the Rift had drawn all the most significant players towards it. There were still threats to counter; scavengers and opportunists hoping to plunder from a distracted Imperium, but they were of little challenge for Astartes. Upon learning of an expedition destined for the unknowns of the Halo Stars, the Asperos saw an opportunity for real glory and challenges worthy of their station. The Explorators had made a general request for escorts through the barely navigable warp storms, noting that they expected to find human colonies on the other side, cut off and in need of the Emperors light, work for which the Mechanium had no interest. The Asperos answered the call. Homeworld Eludos City Precinct Fortress He said something was comin', Warden, whispered the investigator anxiously, Called it a war of liberation. The tower of ceramite grunted, stepping closer to the screen replaying the events at the outskirts. Liberation. Yessir. We werent sure what to make of it. The barons might've chafed at signin the treaty back then, but theres been no sign of any real malcontent since. But theres also no one else could cause a war, save the florans, and sure as dust on my boots he wasnt talkin to them. Dyou think a baron uprising could happen? Eventus stultorum magister, rumbled the Warden, eyes not moving from the screen. Uh, sir? They learned the foolishness of such notions for themselves. Whatever this pale preacher speaks of the Warden squinted as he watched the finesse with which the figure on the screen wielded its pistols, It comes from something else. The Cicatrix Maledictum has changed everything, shaken the Imperium to its core, shifted the balance of powers across the galaxy. At the behest of Roboute Guilliman, the Imperium pursues many new and unusual avenues for securing the future of mankind. Armies of curators and scribes have delved anew into records of the Imperiums past, searching for every viable new source of strength and lifeblood. One of the many potential leads that surfaced found its source not in an archive, but an ancient, derelict vessel found only a few years before the birth of the Great Rift by a Navy patrol in the far western reaches of Segmentum Obscurus. At first the ship was believed to have been regurgitated from the Eye of Terror, but a thorough, albeit cautious, investigation revealed otherwise. The ship had come from the north, from the Halo Stars. It bore records that, once translated, suggested that human colonies still survived in the region. The find prompted further investigation, and the accounts on the abandoned vessel were eventually matched with ancient records of a pair of major colonial expeditions made thousands of years ago to that unexplored wilderness. The fleets were noted as lost, their fates unknown, and the Halo Stars maintained their reputation as malevolent and remained unexplored. This vessels recovery has lit a spark of hope that the mysterious region could be an untapped resource for the Imperium. Among several measures taken, a new explorator fleet was dispatched to breach the frontier, led by two Explorators: Magos-Commodore Lorus Ferrarius and Archmagos Paritori Wyssian. The Asperos Astra, seeking glory and the opportunity to prove their worth, joined the expedition. Their first test came at the attempted passage into the Halo Stars. Using survey, scout, and exploration data centuries in gathering, a new passage was attempted through a long-standing gap known then as the Mouth of Lemhi. Mustering the fleet at the edge of the storms, and calling litanies in unison, they entered the warp. The journey was harrowing, and not without losses. The pressure exerted on the gellar fields within the fleet was extreme, and there were breaches, both among the explorator vessels and the astartes, breaches that invariably cost ships. The most tragic of these losses was the strike cruiser Reilios, with the entirety of the 6th company. Their final sounds of battle were recorded and preserved in a place of honor within the Chapters records. Those sacrifices proved worthwhile as, after months of journeying, the fleet emerged among the Halo Stars. The explorators immediately constructed a way station to begin modeling and charting their course through the warp, defining what would eventually become the Lemhi Pass, while the bulk of the fleet set out on its chartered task: drawing back the curtains on the Halo Stars. It was difficult going; at the first star the fleet reached, they found what would become a constant threat to Imperial interests in the region: the Nonaveridis. Sinewy, plant-like beings that dwell near stars and seem to grow their technology in a manner similar to the Eldar. In the time since, their bioweaponry has been determined to be somewhat less effective than that of the Tyranids, but the florans themselves demonstrate greater resilience and cunning than the Swarm. After a series of short, tense battles; each probing the others strength and regrouping to attack from another angle; a small fleet of well-worn Imperial ships of familiar but unusual design emerged from the warp and joined combat against the biofleet, turning the tide and forcing the florans to flee. With the fleet secure, the explorators and astartes established contact with the unfamiliar ships, and the human inhabitants of the Halo Stars, for the first time. The native humans led the explorators and their escort to a nearby world, a long-standing colony called Aurumilio. The planet had been home to humans for many thousands of years, and their oldest records loosely aligned with those pulled from the vessel that had originated the charter; they were, at least in part, descendants of that ancient mission. The world was barely developed, though; much of its population remained concentrated around a handful of space elevators connected to ramshackle orbital docks. The reason for the stagnation, according to the patchy history they maintained, was the loss of most of their supply ships and a not insignificant amount of the colonists during the crossing. The original fleet had become separated, survivors scattered to the void. Several of the worlds they had ended up on had eventually been able to reconnect, some as recently as in the last hundred years. It was never quite clear how many survived. While the explorators liaised with the natives to the extent that it concerned their own objectives, they had little interest in stalling their journey to bring these forgotten worlds thousands of years up to date technologically. They quickly made preparations to continue deeper into the reaches beyond, already referring to them as the Manifest Frontier, the most promising source for the future of the Imperium. The Asperos, on the other hand, viewed the protection of all the Frontiers humans as their responsibility. To honor their arrangement with the explorators, the 3rd company was tasked with continuing to accompany them. The remainder of the Chapter, after coordinating with the locals, began establishing itself on the planet and sending envoys to the other scattered worlds to which humanity had clung through those many centuries. In only a few decades, and outfitted with some appointments provided by the grateful explorators, the Asperos built a formidable monastery, Shanborn Fortress, named for a librarian who sacrificed himself on the journey to prevent a disastrous gellar field breach. With that, the Asperos Astra cemented their place in the Halo Stars and began their work in the Emperors name. Familiar Whispers Some years after establishing themselves in the Frontier, the members of the Asperos fleet began to receive garbled messages using the Chapters own verification codes. For the most part the message couldnt be translated or understood, but after several transmissions, a clue was discovered in some of them. The Lore Keepers, librarians of the Chapter, matched parts of the audio with recordings kept in the Chapters archives...recordings of the final moments of the 6th Company. The transmissions have persisted ever since, occasionally interrupting void communications and sometimes lasting for days at a time. For years, no source could identified, until during one patrol a flotilla of rangers encountered a derelict outlaw vessel bearing the livery of the 6th. The ship ignored hails, and made no response to their approach. When the scouts boarded it, they found the crew dead; shriveled and husk-like, mummified by the ships climate system. They appeared to have made attempts to escape the ship, despite the rangers finding no indication that its bulkheads had ever been sealed. More significantly, the ships cogitator was broadcasting the looping messages. The rangers reported explicitly that they disabled the transmissions and scuttled the ship by way of its reactor, and for a time the transmissions stopped. But not long after, they began again, and the ships of the Asperos Astra continue to receive them. Recruitment Humanity clings to only a handful of worlds in the Frontier, each of them for the most part wind-blown and barren. The more fertile worlds, including verdant jungle planets known as grove worlds, are invariably under the control of the Nonaveridis. Though the humans have harangued the florans for resources lacking on their own worlds, they have never had the strength to face them head on, and while the Nonaveridis have made frequent raids on the human worlds, they dont seem to consider the humans enough of a danger for an extermination. The conflict between them has produced hardy potential recruits, particularly the many orphans of battle. Some have taken gladly to the arrival of the Astartes among them, recognizing their potence as a ward against the xenos and against the lawless human elements that had enjoyed free reign for so long. Others, all too familiar with how easily those with power can take advantage of the weak, view the new arrivals with suspicion. In an effort to garnish support without spilling human blood, the Asperos only take recruits from the willing. While it hasnt displaced all suspicion, it has reduced some of the hostility from all but the most willful and obstinate detractors. The trials of the aspirants predominantly center around challenges of marksmanship and survival, tested in harsh conditions on a variety of different planets and moons. The tests pit recruits against natural threats as well as against cadres from the scout company, all before ever receiving any implanted organs. Over the course of implantation, neophytes fill escort roles for vital supplies moving between the Frontier colonies until they are deemed ready to become full battle brothers. Combat Doctrine Battle of Fort Robidoux The defenders could hear the continuous, discordant ringing, even over the crackling reports of rifles and thunderous boom of cannons. Whatever it was they were calling, the florans made sure it was heard. As beams of solar energy lanced overhead and pocked the forts walls, Sergeant Doreal rallied the defenders in his quarter, Come on, men! Whos done being reasonable with this xenos filth? Roars of affirmation answered him, and the fusillade redoubled. Ranged combat is the primary forte of the Asperos, punishing their enemies at a distance with fusillades of fire power of every caliber. Using a favorable, and ideally fortified, position, the Asperos stall advances and pin enemies with long range fire, while a hammer force rides in on their flanks to crush them against the anvil. While air support facilitates this approach, multiple encounters with floran spore mines have encouraged alternatives, and the preferred method of the Asperos is to use more personal approaches, primarily Inceptor squads, bikes, and powerful ranging beasts called Steda. The animals were originally found and domesticated on Aurumilio and now see use in numerous roles on several human worlds. Extremely sure footed, able to bear immense loads, and nearly unflinching in danger, evaluating their suitability as steeds was one of the first successful experiments the Asperos undertook when they arrived, granting forces isolated from mechanized support more flexibility on the field. When available, the Chapter prefers to use their complement of Apolus-pattern bikes, modified specifically to accommodate the differences in size and armor configuration among Primaris Astartes. This approach to battle works well for the Asperos in both pitched warfare and sieges, for which they have prepared the human worlds (and several in between) with sturdy fortress keeps to use as strongholds against the largest incursions. Primarily of simple, squat construction, these Chapter forts bristle with meticulously maintained weaponry prepared for any type of threat. Many have been raised on the edges of settlements, serving as shelter for the inhabitants during conflicts. Besides making formidable bastions for defense, they are vital staging grounds for planetary mobilizations. On the macro scale of the Frontier in general, the Chapter does not usually instigate conflicts, rarely having the numbers to make new conquests. Their priority is defending the holdings humanity currently possesses. Once drawn into battle, however, they will attack until their enemies are broken, making it clear that despite being relative newcomers to the region, they are not to be trifled with. On those occasions when the humans do seek to expand, or that the Explorators have designated a hostile world as a site of special interest, the Chapter is always willing to assist, but the prerogative to identify and claim new territory remains with the settlers themselves. Once a planet is brought under control, the Asperos set about fortifying it for its new inhabitants, often constructing a new keep from which to secure the planet. In recognition for their aid in crossing into the Halo Stars and their ongoing relationship, forces from the Explorators often supplement the Asperos in battle. Their various Mars-pattern weapons and armor, the Apolus bike in particular, perform remarkably well in the environs of the Frontier. Over the years a number of the more eccentric Tech-priests have taken up permanent stations on several of the human worlds and outposts to refine and maintain the armaments in use by both the Astartes and the settlers. It doesnt hurt matters that the weapons used by the humans are often relics of an age past that are almost as intriguing to the Mechanicus operatives as potential new tech. A less welcome auxiliary among the citizen defenders of the Frontier are the Dustwalkers, a killclade composed of a pair of Rustwalker Princeps ostensibly led by a Sicarian Infiltrator. While lethally efficient on the battlefield, the have a propensity for appearing casually in the vicinity where battle will take place days or weeks before it happens, and lingering afterwards to mutilate fallen enemies, making them particularly unsettling anomalies among the locals. Moreover, they dont appear to be beholden to anyone; no Tech-priests of any rank have asserted any claim over them or expressed any interest in corralling them. To their credit, they have proved invaluable on several occasions, usually by eliminating high-priority targets and allowing the Astartes and volunteer forces to mop up weakened and disorganized enemy lines. The Green Dawn The largest conflict that the Chapter has faced since resolving the barony wars began as an effort to colonize a new world. Several of the human worlds mustered a fleet to attempt the first full scale invasion of one of the grove worlds. Verdant beyond reckoning, the successful colonization of just one of these worlds would secure lifeblood resources, food, water, raw materials and more for the humans of the Frontier for ages to come. Upwards of three quarters of the Asperos Astra joined the invasion. The targeted world, called Araboros by the humans, was caught unawares. Only a token Nonaveridis fleet guarded the orbit of the world, which was expected given the minute scale of previous human raids on such worlds. The meager fleet was quickly smashed aside by the invasion forces, and landfall was made. Scorching landing sites with orbital weaponry, the Asperos led the way in securing footholds for the rest of the invasion, but the humans advance was almost immediately stalled. They became confined to these sites, as veritable walls of floran organisms that had previously ignored raiders and been believed to be in the same low-threat class as servitors swarmed the invaders, bodies choking the ground around the human fortifications as they assaulted in endless waves. The very world around them seemed to be straining to dislodge the would-be colonists. At each staging ground the human forces were pinned down, until Nonaveridis fleet reinforcements arrived, threatening to cut them off. The humans were forced to retreat, and their fleet limped away. At first it seemed that there would be no response. The florans gave no immediate pursuit, and though the returning humans braced themselves for weeks after, there was no sign of retaliation. Then, contact was lost with the planet Ulm. Before an investigation could be launched, the hammer fell. In a single, well-coordinated maneuver, Nonaveridis fleets of unprecedented size fell on the three worlds closest to both Ulm and Araboros, striking each planets largest population centers in the early morning on each world. Massive Lunaria carriers disgorged clouds of floret fighters that blotted out the daylight, while pod-dropped infantry stalks ran amok between the great seeking tentacles of titanic Mirabilis hulks. Though the casualties were astronomical, the citizen defenders of the Frontier were far from helpless, and held their own for days until Asperos strike forces and troops from neighboring planets arrived to relieve them. Two of the besieged worlds hosted keeps that the Astartes had established, both of which were instrumental in grinding down the enemys advance long enough for reinforcements to reach them. It was nearly a month of ceaseless battle before the Nonaveridis were finally dislodged. What the humans lacked in war machines found in the wider Imperium, they made up for in tenacity and ingenuity, traits that were pushed to their limits over the course of the campaign. The turning point only came when Archmagos Paritori Wyssians own ship and escort arrived, adding their strength to that of the humans and their Astartes protectors. After a fierce climax, the Nonaveridis were forced to withdraw. When Frontier forces were finally able to reach Ulm, they found the world no more than a cindered husk, burned of all life. In the decades since this conflict, both sides have markedly increased their border defenses, and skirmishes with the florans have become far more bitter than they have been in all the Frontiers history. Organization Since taking stewardship over the Frontier, the Asperos have restructured somewhat to accommodate for the needs of the region, and to prevent losses like that of the 6th Company. Warp storms are known to rise suddenly and blow through several sectors, greatly imperilling warp travel, making it preferable to risk smaller formations. Though the companies still exist on records, they each have functionally been split in half, with the exception of the still-replenishing 6th Company. Each of these troops is referred to as a corps. Half of the corps, commonly known as the Dust Corps, are responsible for manning the keeps. The other half, called the Sky Corps, operate as patrol forces, ranging across the wild space at the edges of human territory to ward off threats. They are supported in part by an informal navy of the outdated ships that the original colonists brought with them, along with a number of cruder vessels of the colonists own making, but the general lack of fleet power has led the Asperos to be more involved in ship combat than is typical of their kind. While assignment to a corps is permanent, marines spend regular duty tours serving in their counterpart corps to develop experience in every form of warfare in which the Chapter engages. These rotations, one to three years in duration, happen on a squad by squad basis. Each of the Dust Corps is under the day-to-day command of a Shore Reeve, effectively the equivalent of a captain among standard chapters, while the Sky Corps are led by Star Reeves. In joint operations, leadership is usually simply determined by seniority. Each corps is assigned a Warden of Souls, one of the brothers who composes the Chaplaincy, which in turn is led and administered by the Warden Vigilant. In rotating assignment to the corps are an unknown number of Lore Keepers of the Librarium. Their master, the Lore Seer, remains on Aurumilio, carefully tending the Chapters records and providing counsel to the leadership of the humans as they seek to plot the likely course of other colonization ships and lost tech that would help strengthen humanitys tenuous grip on the Frontier. Like the other companies, the scout company was also divided into two corps; the Dust Rangers and Sky Rangers. The rest of the Chapter relies heavily on intelligence from the Ranger corps to coordinate its efforts, and while they spend a great deal of time isolated on the furthest edges of the Frontier, they also have the most interaction with other corps as they relay their findings. More than mere scouts, the Rangers are figures of great repute and honor to their brothers, and the subject of awe and legend among the Frontiers citizens. At the Chapters head is the Marshal, a figure that has quickly entered into the mythos of the Frontiers citizens. The Marshal is unnamed, even to the other leaders within the Chapter, driven to embody his role as an avatar of the Emperors justice. Any flaws or weaknesses he fails to overcome cannot be reflected on his own name, but instead stain his very office, and so he must meet the highest standards and ideals of the Asperos Astra. One trait that has already become attributed to the Marshal is a certain restlessness, causing him to arrive unexpectedly in the midst of the most intense battles, or right before them. The Asperos are still led by their first Marshal, but their rites of succession make clear that only Reeves qualify as successors, the decision made by a council of Wardens and Lore Keepers. The chosen Reeve abandons his name, and is listed in Chapter records as killed in action, and given due honors. A Dark Return As the Asperos approached a century in the Frontier, the region was enjoying a greater degree of stability than they had ever known. To such hard bitten people as called the Frontier home, this was not a comfort. Indeed, on many worlds, there prevailed a sense of apprehension, a deep unease, a feeling that something was coming. As if to confirm their suspicions, word began to spread of a strange individual visiting outlying cities and settlements, proclaiming some sort of afterlife wherever he went. He spoke of no gods or doctrines, just this second life, and its imminent arrival. Some ignored it, dismissing the words as mad ravings. Others, more disconcerted, drove the stranger away from their settlements. Still others seemed to sense something dire in the message, and reported killing the herald outright, though no investigation of these instances ever seemed to produce a body. Regardless of the means by which this preacher departed, illness seemed to follow in his wake. Much of it escaped notice, being comparatively mild, but a few dozen citizens at each settlement were laid up with fever and coughs. A handful died, but most were on their feet again a few days later with no ill effects. Then they began to disappear. The issue came to the Asperos attention as several enforcers among the Arbites they had appointed, as well as a planetary baron, were counted among the missing. As preparations were being made to launch a thorough investigation, the vanished returned...as the shambling, withered front line of a Chaos warband the likes of which the people of Frontier had never seen. But the Asperos had. Though the armor was cracked, corroded, and dented and the banners threadbare and faded, there was no mistaking the 6th Company. New marks and symbols corrupted their original heraldry, marking them for all to see as servants of Nurgle. The horde that went before them seemed mindless, giving no reaction to pleading or surrender, or even to their own injuries. It was not uncommon on any of the worlds where they struck for citizens to recognize dead family and comrades among their attackers. And always dancing somewhere in the midst of the tide of undead was the preacher, killing with a gun in one hand, and raising a book in the other, proclaiming the arrival of the Pallid Procession, and the gift of the second life. Striking quickly, often with no apparent goal other than to kill and claim corpses, the Procession retreated back into the Empyrean to an unknown origin from which they have continued to raid the Frontier. Beliefs Argentalbun City, New Sarum Mm eheh, Frontier life is hard, is it not, brothers and sisters? croaked the rail thin stranger, gloved fingers clenching the fence in front of him, But dont despair, for as difficult as this life is, another awaits. A second life, free of worry, sorrow, or pain, heheh, he gesticulated wildly at the sky at this, What is it your, eheheh, Lawbringers say? The end is never the end, the last ride is never the last. Eheheh, truer than even they know. The second life is true liberation. In the shadow beneath the brim of his hat, the only thing they could make out was the cracked smile, which grew as his incessant chuckles grew into full throated laughter. His sermon seemingly at an end, he turned and walked out of the city, laughing all the while. Uneasy silence prevailed among the settlers in his wake, broken only by a handful of nervous coughs. Isolated as the Manifest Frontier has been for so many hundreds, thousands of years, the notion of the Imperium is somewhat distant to the citizens who live there. With the passage between the Halo Stars and the rest of the Imperium still tenuous at best, and the new era of war roiling along the Great Rift, coordinated efforts to reintegrate the Frontier will be a long time coming, and so their own continued struggle to survive will continue much the same as it has. The brothers of the Asperos Astra do not presume to rule; their innate predisposition to protecting humanity, together with a foundational belief that the Emperor intended his citizens to govern, rather than his super soldiers, has germinated a simple self-perception for the Chapter. They are stewards of humanity in the Frontier, securing the future its leaders aspire to. Their priority is warding away threats to the population, giving them the opportunity to do more than survive, but to flourish. Make no mistake, the Asperos offer counsel and occasional pointed guidance, as appropriate for those with the engineered mindset of warriors, but they generally avoid taking any hand in matters of politics or governance. The exception, and their primary contribution to society in the Frontier outside of war, is the establishment and enforcement of peace agreements between several of the regions dominant factions. Arriving in the Frontier they found a number of the colonized worlds in bloody gridlock over resources at the whim of bickering barons, some of whom laid claim to whole planets. While they fought among themselves, their worlds were still beset by outlaw raiders, floran encroachment, and occasional, but growing, Chaos activity. The Asperos united the barons with a minimal, but chillingly effective application of force, and since then, strictly enforce the rule of law with the assistance of the small independent groups that were once the local law. These, too, were unified into an evenly distributed force with a similar structure to the Adeptus Arbites. Many young citizens of the Frontier, whose families had been part of the barony conflicts for generations, were astonished at how easily the Astartes restored order, and praise for these Lawbringers and the prosperity they brought was instrumental in coaxing some of the more obstinate systems into the fold. The moniker has prevailed ever since, with most of the citizen population knowing the Chapter as the Lawbringers. Having seen how effective this word-of-mouth has been at unifying the citizenry, the Chapter has made no effort to correct the people. Young as they are, the Asperos Chapter cult is still slowly developing beyond the simple tenet of protecting their wards. Some of that development is naturally the result of recruiting Frontier natives into their ranks. One notion that has taken root is the value of experience, not only to the individual, but to all, and it is common at any gathering of Asperos brothers to hear the chatter of tales of glory, heroism, failure, and sacrifice being related, particularly directed at the youngest members of the company. Even the ordinary citizens of the Frontier who interface with the Chapter are often subjected to anecdotes from which lessons are supposed to be learned. A common saying from the elder to the younger is where the ceramite is scarred, there is a story worth telling. With no other significant Imperial forces in the Frontier besides the often-out-of-reach explorators, the Asperos has also developed a keen conviction for the value of every brothers life. Self-sacrifice, laudable though it is, is something seen only as a very last resort, for a dead marine is one who can no longer defend his Emperors people. There are occasional noble last stands, but they are always born of absolute necessity, and a fighting retreat that ensures brothers will live to fight again is much preferred. This belief is extended on to those the Asperos protect as well, who the Astartes view as seeds from which the Imperiums presence in the Halo Stars will grow. This particular idea serves as a strong motivator for the Chapter; assured that the Frontier will one day join the larger Imperium, they want to know that they have something of consequence to show for their time spent fighting and laboring there. While the Mechanicus and its Explorators are sure that the answer to the Imperiums ills will come in the form of lost tech, the Asperos believes it will come from its people. The most commendable traits to strive for among the Asperos are precision and decisiveness, both on and off the battlefield, and they dedicate much of their time outside of combat to refining marksmanship. Particularly impressive feats of accuracy; targets hit at great distance, ricocheted rounds, shots through the slightest opening, are all stories often shared to extol the value of finesse and practice. Among the most well-known and revered of these tales comes from a battlefield on the planet Codai, shortly following the war of the Green Dawn: For years after, floran raids came with terrible force, each new attack feeling like the threat of another Ulm. That was, until Codai. A floran assault began while the 5th Dust Corps was enroute to its new destination on a nearby world. Diverting to defend Codai, the 5th made planetfall and took charge of the militia forces. During the fighting, Veteran Sergeant Wylam Tero broke from formation on his Steda, and rode out among the flailing limbs of the Mirabilis bio-titan leading the floran attack. As the creature discharged a solar blast at the lines of the defenders, Tero fired a single shot into its underside. Striking an opening that couldnt have been larger than a handspan on a moving target over a hundred meters above him, Teros bolt entered a biological vent opened only briefly by the creatures attack and detonated the highly reactive organ from which the floran drew its energy. The Mirabilis annihilated itself and a third of its supporting force as Wylam Tero rode free of the blast. This was the first and only known instance of such a precise engine kill on one of these creatures, and it led to a precipitous decline in floran raids and secured Wild Wylam a place in legend both within the Chapter and without. A keep bearing his name is now present on Codai. The revelation of the 6th companys fate has left an indelible mark on the Chapters psyche. Their honors have been stricken from the Chapters records, and there are always Lore Keepers tasked with trying to locate this Pallid Procession and its next target. The Wardens of the Asperos now work closely with their brethren to eradicate the seed of doubt that has been planted in each of their hearts. Whether they are willing to acknowledge it openly or not, each battle brother among the Asperos has since asked himself if he would have submitted to the Ruinous Powers and turned against everything he stood for, and what could have been worth such a price. To some, it would seem better not to know, while to others, the why and how of the 6th Companys fall are of vital importance to answer. The existential threat of the Pallid Procession extends past the Chapter and on to their wards, as well; the Processions disturbing preference for using the peoples dead against them has led to efforts by the citizens and the Astartes to secure their fallen against the corrupting influence of the heretics. While settlements are defended as would be expected, the great grave fields that the Frontier citizens have maintained throughout their history have now also begun to be heavily fortified, as much to keep the dead in as to keep them out. The grave fortresses remain the only predictable targets for the Processions attacks, and the battles fought around them have been among the fiercest. This never ending conflict has only reinforced the value of life within the Chapter and the citizenry of the Frontier. Gene-seed The Asperos Astra are gene-sons of Guilliman, and have dependably stable genetic material. Until a more reliable route through the Lemhi Pass is established, they have secured their gene-seed tithes in Shanborn Fortress. Instead of sending the tithes, emissaries are dispatched to update Mars on their circumstances. Until now, the Mechanicus has accepted this substitute, encouraged by further endorsement from the Frontier Explorators. With each journey, most successful, some not, the pass becomes better understood and safer to navigate, and soon the Chapter should be able to dutifully submit its tithes, as well as receive extra gene-seed in the event of a disaster. War Cry Taken up as a chant: Dust, blood, guts, and glory! Chapter Tactic Deadeye Prowess Masters of ranged combat, the Lawbringers are frighteningly accurate marksman, seeming to account for every variable with each placed shot. Enemies who thought themselves safely out of range often pay the ultimate price for underestimating the accuracy of Asperos battle brothers. Increase the range of all ranged weapons by 3" and reroll to-hit rolls of 1 for any bolter weapons. Battle Brother Arnton of the Sixth Company, painted by Ace Debonair
  11. The Sundering Call note: this is currently placeholders and outdated content from previous smatterings of lore and bits, some more comprehensive and complete versions will be added in time so please bear with me! 14/09/2019: Character titles, Zhang's background, geneseed first draft, Chaos icons added as dividers 18/09/2019: Beliefs first draft, appearance added with first draft, alternating melon/white headings added 27/10/2019: Warband symbol added Origins The Swords of Victory were once a paragon of heroism; a chapter of no small accomplishment. Heroic and selfless, winning countless great victories over every foe imaginable their deeds in battle were matched by their grace and humility in peace. Staying to help not only rebuild but also improve life once the battle was won they were beloved by all who knew them and lauded among the greatest of heroes. While strategic commanders could only voice in private their displeasure at the limited number of battles they would fight none could doubt the results of their actions and the spectacular victories they provided. It is without surprise that the grateful peoples would want to honour their saviours; statues would be raised for their victories and songs written to praise their name. Over time the Swords did come to appreciate these acts of thanks but this would be the seed that would eventually result in their fall. For what once started as acknowledgement of gratitude did then become appreciation and finally expectation of the adulation they received. In time this devotion would become more important than the victory that earned it. The Swords always has a grace about them in appearance and action, squads and brothers would compete for glory but this took a more sinister aspect once their attitude to victory changed. It was no longer about friendly rivalry and skill and become a direct competition regardless of the consequences. What was once battles won in the most efficient way to preserve life became a race to see who could take the most. Ironically this fervent desire to be better and more impressive only lead to lightning quick victories that gave Imperial commanders the fast victories they craved, without care for how it came about. The name of the Swords became praised to new heights but it was not enough. Surely it was time for them to be proclaimed the greatest of all, as is clearly proper? Surely this was only fair? Not only did they prosecute campaigns in less time than others but they did so with grace that other brutish chapters could never hope to achieve. Such greatness must be rewarded and so it became, but through the attention of Slaanesh. It was not just the Prince of Excess who noticed the Swords though, but also the glaring eye of the Inquisition that turned upon them... Perhaps foreseeing what may be the Holy Inquisition of the Emperor deemed the Swords needed to be brought to account for their actions. The Sword's Chapter Master was indignant and sent their representatives away with no small threats should they return, but it was a ruse and distraction letting spies report far more than the Sword's inhospitality to their master. Without delay a fleet is assembled to enforce the Inquisition's will; regiments of the Guard are joined by Sisters of the Sacred Rose and 6 companies of the Legio Venator Space Marines - headed by the Inquisitor Lord himself and his personal retainers. The Sundering Sword The Swords are incandescent with rage that anyone would presume to hold sway over their domain and challenge their authority like this. Their fall is complete when they turn their guns on the Imperium without responding to hails. The people of their home world rushed to the defence of their heroes, sacrificing themselves without thought in any way they could. The corruption of Slaanesh became ever more apparent as the Imperial forces pressed onwards finding every man, woman and child they meet a belligerent foe that must be slain. Before long the taint of Chaos is clear and the Emperor's warriors fight ever harder as the planet is drenched blood for every inch. Despite their skill at battle - and their opinion of such - it was a battle impossible for the Swords to win once the Eldar mysteriously appeared to aid the attackers. Whether joining to fight the mutual foe of Chaos or to repay one of the many bloody victories the Swords had gained over the Eldar it sent the scales of battle crashing against them. The Inquisitor had chosen his forces well, what's more displayed an unusual flair for strategy; the forces at his command were grim and determined, resisting the powers of Chaos and resolute in executing the Emperor's will no matter what. Every sally by the Swords was pushed back with righteous faith and fire power - the unthinkable was happening and the Swords of Victory were losing, and losing badly. The rage of their Chapter Master at admitting defeat was said to have been terrible to behold and the survivors fled to the warp, leaving their world and its people to the cleansing fire of the Imperium - and taking their souls to Slaanesh. None of the survivors talk of their previous life, the shame of their first defeat burns brightly even to this day. That the Inquisitor declared this result a great success perhaps suggests some greater threat to the Imperium was avoided but the truth can never be known. While the Sunder may well cast aside this part of their history the Imperium has not forgotten; it is widely known that the forces of the Emperor involved in the initial crusade are all too eager to catch up with them once more to finish what they started... Home World Nomads of Perfection Once resolute and firmly secure in their home world, the Sunder left their world and it's people when their fall to Slaanesh was complete. Never to return or even cast a thought to these people who adored them more than life itself, not even as a vengeful Imperium put it to the sword. (fleet based) Recruitment Combat Doctrine The Sunder carry out war in much the same manner in which they did before their fall. Primarily infantry based their skill at war is such that the Marines themselves will always be their greatest asset, so they generally don't make a large use of vehicles aside from transportation. The war band is strictly controlled in appearances - colours in particular being something Yjun is most keen on. Outside of the war band's colours (the pink for Slaanesh, the white from their former livery) squads make use of a colour and mark their armour in various ways to bind them to their squad brothers. Outside of that further variation is forbidden and individuals customise their armour to their own desires to state their presences. The war band's attitude to most other things is set predominantly to individual Marine's preferences. Some despise mutation and consider it ugly; others desire it. Some have forged ornate and decorated armour; others stand plain aside from the Praefactor's colours. Beauty comes in many forms and it is next to impossible to get such a group of individuals to agree on anything consistently. Others would have surely fractured under such strain but fortunately the Call follow those with the greatest skill and the closest to perfection. Each following planning to learn, steal and eventually replace him but yet standing together with his fellow lessers in doing so. It is fitting that the Sunder make no sense to outsiders as they would have it no other way! Organisation Beliefs The beliefs of the Sunder take various forms; and not always coherent ones, at least on the surface. They readily speak down to any they consider their inferior (which is pretty much everyone), but will be courteous to those that they bear some respect towards - or more commonly those who have a use to the Sunder. To the Sunder worthiness is one of the true aspirations for all life; the problem is that for each Marine you'd ask you'd likely get a different answer as to in which regard. That is besides something they can all agree on in martial might, for what is a Marines if not an instrument of war? Fervent competition is normal with Marines always seeking to one up others and they're not above discrete ways to inhibit rivals (though woe to anyone caught doing so, for the Praefactor does not tolerate waste of his resources...). Diligent training and tournaments are common when not engaged in other activities such as worship, the less pious taking to the field more often or usually entertaining their own wants and/or needs. The battlefield is also a place for worship after all. Where others could be fractured by the competition it is not so for the Sunder, beholden as they all are to the Praefactor's absolute will. To some he is an object of adulation to be followed or perhaps imitated; others quietly scheme to surpass him one day to take his place and some, usually the eldest, adhere as the old hierarchy dictates - but all follow. This unity gives the Sunder great strength and while they would not admit it is no small part of their success. This cohesion is only so far as he leads adequately - the facade of perfection must be maintained at all times lest he be ritually challenged to duel for the leadership. This brutal system helps keep the Sunder strong as much as united, for the weak could never hope to prevail and the Sunder would never follow the weak. Absolute power comes with downsides accordingly, as to lead you must put no foot wrong - as an ancient Terran saying goes "a crown does not make a king". Appearance Being prideful creatures they usually take a dim view of mutation, and tend to consider those spending more time in the warp to be idling around at best, but some more zealous Marines are more favourable to gifts from their patron even if few in number. Appearances count for much and while all will stick to the colours decreed by their master (the white and gold their former livery, the off-pink a tribute to their god) they will take care of their armour and wargear further than the need to rely on them to survive. Wearing more older/original armour is a testament to your skill, either as an older member of the warband or being capable of taking them, so are highly sought after - in particular MkIV Maximus pattern armour that once proudly bore the white and gold are common, as the Chapter had them in good supply. Choice is not often available for a roving warband as much as they may trade and steal, so most Marines wear armour from several sources including former Chaos Marine allies (or even pillaged from battlefields!). Geneseed Prior to their fall the Swords followed their Ultramarine primogenitor ways closely, using the Codex Astartes to further their ways of war and bring greater glory. Despite this they always remained aloof from their cousins, even the Ultramarines themselves, and didn't interact with them in any particular way different to how they worked with any other Chapters. Even without any closeness their turn to Slaanesh is considered a stain to be removed by their former peers, for the affront to their gene-heritage is compounded by the mockery of the Codex itself. Aside from the Sunder's open disdain for it the fact that their organisational structures and methodologies match their loyal ways so closely is an insult just as unforgivable. Of this hypocrisy the Sunder apparently show no acknowledgement, whether intentional or not. Notable Characters Praefactor Yjun Master of the Toll, Keeper of Oaths, Scion of Perfection Not much is known about Yjun though it is anyone's guess if this is intentional or not. Having ruled supreme over the Sunder for living memory some claim that he was the original Swords of Victory's Chapter Master, others that it is a persona adopted by each Praefactor. Whatever the truth is seems to matter little, for Yjun has lead the Call in a manner they appear to find satisfactory enough as it is claimed he has never fought a duel for leadership. Yjun is highly talented combatant and masterful strategist that would surprise those expecting the Sunder to be more interesting in sating their desires - the Praefactor reigns supreme in all things and his word is law. That is assuming he deigns to fight at all for the Sunder consider no battle preferable to a disappointing one. There are other ways to be entertained after all. It may be Yjun's greatest gift is his diplomacy and silver tongue. There appears to be little he doesn't know, and powerful figures are lining up to pay for the Sunder's services despite their reputation. Perhaps there is more to him than meets the eye, perhaps his fickle and contradictory nature has a greater goal in mind? If so it is a mystery that will remain so until he decides otherwise. Ijax "the Silent" Master of Books, Warpsighter The psyker Ijax is somewhat of a mystery even to Veterans of the war band. He never speaks instead communication through a Daemonette who always accompanies him. Whether this is because he considers talking to others beneath him or signifies a more malignant relationship nobody knows. Not much thought is generally given to him as most are too busy with their own affairs even if a powerful psyker to aid in war is always useful, and to make things better he's seldom seen outside of battle. What he does in this time none can say for sure but it is usually assuming that he is busy researching and using the powers of the warp to find worthy foes or potential employers with useful trades to be made. Few even claim he uses his power not to find strong foes, but rather avoid them for it is said he was once the Chief Librarian and has foreseen the Call's destruction should their final foes as the Swords of Victory catch them again... Zhang the Lion Venerable Ancient, Earl of the Kindred Though the chapter armoury of the Sunder was mostly lost when they fled to the warp, this was not the case for the 1st Company that had split from the main forces after the glorious victory on Lilaethan. Aside from forming much needed reinforcements and uniting the survivors this also meant the chapter's greatest warriors still lived and foremost amongst them were the Dreadnoughts of the 1st Company. Of these heroes Zhang stands proudly alongside the best and greatest, earning the name of the lion during his tenure in the 4th Company as an Assault Marine due to his unblemished valour and skill. Suffering his first death during one of the many battles against the Eldar he holds a special hatred of their kind, and was said to be an active part of the Sunder's gradual service to the Dark Prince. Where other renegade and traitor Dreadnoughts are maltreated this is not so for the Sunder, in one of the many manners they retain their old ways. It was Zhang himself that discovered he could renew and retain his senses by bloodshed, keeping him as active as when first interred - Dreadnoughts that spill enough in tribute to Slaanesh even find boons in reward. So in battle is Zhang more deadly and powerful than ever before as terrified foes see the damage they inflict undone as he rips all before him to pieces. While this can result in the Dreadnoughts being more bloodthirsty than their commanders may wish, their unstoppable onslaught is always worth the risk so the Sunder are ever keeping an eye out for a new chassis to take... Notable Events The Sundering of Lilaethan Arguably their greatest of victories - their last when they were still loyal to the Imperium - The Sundering of Lilaethan was such an epic battle that it would forever shape the Sunder, giving them their name once they fell to Chaos and an eternal foe in the Eldar. It was the name given to a decisive battle to save a young Imperial colony on an Eldar maiden world from the vengeful xenos, the moment the aliens were at the apex of their strategy the Swords of Victory struck with speed and ferocity that seemed all but impossible to the beleaguered Imperial defenders. History records would - before their expunging - declare that the Swords attacked with such a mastery of war that the Eldar had no choice but to focus on them, saving the PDF force. Of course the truth was far from it as the Swords had no intention of saving lives by drawing the attention of the enemy, but given the choice the Eldar knew who the true and greatest foe was even if the Imperium was yet to understand. It mattered little in the end, the full strength of the Chapter slaughtered them to the last and as the Swords left behind exuberant celebration their Chief Librarian ordered the fleet back to their home world with the plundered soul stones. The fate of these Eldar stones is unknown as the Swords were visited by the Inquisition and their allies shortly after returning... Battle Cry None; though the Swords of Victory were once known for their war cry of "First to victory", which the Sunder darkly mirror in action rather than words.
  12. UPCOMING EVENT: SEPT - DEC 2019 "THE LIBER ASTARTES SWAP CHALLENGE" Greetings Brothers and Sisters of the B&C! So for those of the Adeptus Astartes persuasion, it has been a very busy month with the release of a new Codex and Supplements, including the return of Chapter Tactics to really allow us Liberites to really go and have fun creating our unique Chapters of Space Marines. As a result I felt it was time to start a fresh Liber tradition with an event to display some comradely fun and creativity. I am resurrecting an old event first championed in my old days by "Captain_Shrike" before "Ferrus Manus" took up the responsibility of the DIY Chapter Swap. Now this event will be a little bit different from that event of old if you are venerable enough to remember. This event will champion new writing of fresh Chapters of Space Marines, or alternatively, updating Chapter articles you have made here on the B&C (for older hands like myself I will likely follow this route. This event is not about being the best, it is about creating your own Chapter/Warband of Astartes and creating a fellow Frater's own creation. Jimmy: So, Brother Cambrius, how will this work? I am so glad that you asked me, Jimmy! So here is the planned breakdown of what will happen in 2 phases: PHASE 1 (September 3rd - October 31st) Participants must submit a complete DIY Chapter article by November 1st. By complete, I want to see an article that covers the basics on your Chapter to define who they are, what they do and what are they like to really help the person who will be creating a miniature from your Chapter in Phase 2. Articles must include an image of the chapter's heraldry and symbol (this can be done by including an image or images using a miniature you have painted, or the Space Marine Painters here on the B&C, or the GW Primaris variant). PHASE 2 (November 1st) It is at this point Chapter IA/Articles/IT submissions for this events are cut off and each participant is randomly assigned a chapter through a PM to build and paint a model of.You will have up to January 1st 2020 to complete their model(s). Participants will need to submit an image of their WIPs and Completed miniatures in the respective threads created at the start of Phase 2 in WIPs and the Hall of Honour, with direct links in the LIBER to these in the opening post of the Chapter Swap event thread. So, to find out more, just click the banner below to take you to the place to make your pledge in this event: And that is it! Good luck Brothers and Sisters! Cambrius
  13. Index Astartes (poor painting skills aside, this is a decent representation of the symbol: red sun with a pair of crossed blades on a field of white.) The Dawn Blades Space Marines Chapter Origins Established as part of the 18th Founding, the Dawn Blades were created as a response to a massive ork Waaagh to retake the subsector of Ocrod in the Ultima Segmentum, and stand watch in the Segmentum in defiance of the Emperor's enemies. What followed was a long and brutal war three centuries long that saw the loss of more than two hundred marines over the duration. Upon the conclusion of the crusade (which had been backed by a multitude of other Imperial forces), the chapter declined the offer of a homeworld, instead choosing to stay fleetbound as they had for three centuries. The chapter's designation sprung from their actions, as a predilection for early-morning raids led to rescued civilians and beleaguered Imperial forces to claim that they had been rescued by the Dawn itself. Over time as the sentiment repeated itself throughout the sector, the chapter adapted to it, and adopted it as their chapter name. In the time since their inception, the Dawn Blades have crusaded throughout the Ultima Segmentum, seeking and destroying the enemies of the Imperium wherever they were to be found, striking at the edge of the sunrise as they have for millennia. Home World/Homeworld The Dawn Blades do not maintain a homeworld, being fleet-based, but they do have a favored recruiting world, Ocrod Tertius, a world of desert wastes and hardy settlements, the central administration planet of the system, subsector, and sector, all named for their capital world. The planet allows the chapter to maintain a recruitment platform and a shipyard in orbit, in exchange for routine sweeps of the planet for feral orks that pop up from time to time as well as continued defense of the planet against any other hostile attackers, a duty the chapter gladly fulfills. In lieu of a fortress-monastery, the lord of the chapter (currently Shogun Kujo Kamakura) has his seat of power aboard the battle barque Shogun's Might as both lord and captain. The battle barque has housing for the entire chapter, though it can only support up to three companies and the Forge in operational matters. Combat Doctrine The Dawn Blades tend to favor overwhelming strikes, committing their entire force to one overwhelming strike, in order to swiftly defeat their foes. The tactic harkens back to the blitzkrieg strategies that the chapter used at its inception to retake the Ocrod Sector from Ork control, executing the first strike and leaving the remaining mess for the Imperial Guard and Navy to clean up. They also have a cultural predicilction for early-morning attacks, as might be guessed by their name. When a swift blow fails to end the war in their favor, the Dawn Blades settle into a more adaptive, calculated operational pattern more favored by their forefathers the Iron Hands. Their stubbornness and tenacity is well-embodied in the Dawn Blades, who are unrelenting in their assault once it has begun. Organization/Organisation The chapter is, for the most part, organized along the lines of the Codex Astartes, with a few exceptions. Fourth Company has fallen out of use as a true Battle Company, instead functioning as the chapter's penitential unit. Its size fluctuates from decade to decade as marines from across the chapter see themselves as fallen from the light, a Fallen Dawn (as they were coined by an unnamed sergeant of Captain Arual Valpas's company when they set out with him to fulfill oaths of redemption sworn after a particularly embarrassing and bloody defeat). The Fallen Dawn operate out of the Strike Cruiser Blade of Martyrs, 4th company's Strike Cruiser. Companies rotate Hearth duty, in which a company returns to the Chapter Barque for several reasons. One is garrison duty--after all, the Shogun's Might is the chapter's home, and needs protecting as much as a fortress-monastery would on a planet. This also allows for the company's vessel to be refit and repaired at one of the many imperial worlds the Dawn Blades have recruitment and resource agreements with, as well as downtime for the company's marines. 10th Company does not have its own capital ship, but does have several escort-class vessels it uses for recruitment and defensive purposes--a void platform is maintained above the chapter's primary recruitment world of Ocrod Tertius for training and housing purposes, and there is always at least a demi-squadron of ships prowling about it at any given time. The chapter Armory has also operated, sometimes against the recommendation of the Shogun, as its own independent force, especially under the command of Master of the Forge Ceticus Stormmoon, who has always been war-hungry. When the Primaris were added to the chapter, they were assigned to the Forge to test their mettle at the insistence of Stormmoon, who merely saw the new-bloods as tools for war, thinking though they may have been. To mark their status as part of the armory and machines of war, the Primaris of the chapter paint their right shoulderpad a deep red. The 1st Company is called Samurai by internal tradition,(a term whose origin the chapter's history does not record), and paint their armor a gleaming silver. Captains who rise from the Samurai Company are entitled to the title of Daimyo instead of the title of Captain, to mark their status above the others. As a break from the norm, and perhaps the most egregious break with the Codex Astartes, the chapter's honor guard, the Shinsengumi (idiomatically translated from Frensan as 'Arrows of the Shogun') are instead spread throughout the chapter, one accompanying each company as an advisor and champion. The first of these is known as the Saisho-Shinsengumi, and functions as the chapter champion and the bodyguard of the Shogun himself. Each is armed with relic weapons known as an Edge of Dawn as well as their own personal weapons. Beliefs and Traditions The chapter's name for the Emperor, Solis-Imperator, springs from a combination of the chapter's own name, a belief that they are manifestations of the dawn, and several worlds whose local religions of a sun god and the surrounding pantheon were in fact the Emperor and his many sons. This mutated over time to become the current warrior cult of the Chapter as it enters the 42nd millennium. While the chapter does not view the Solis-Imperator as a total deity, they do have a belief in his power and his authority as undisputed ruler of the Imperium. Outside of their warrior cult, the Dawn Blades also have three traditions ingrained in chapter memory from their reconquest of the Ocrod Sector, each taken from worlds that made a particular impression on the chapter. Tradition of the Forge: one of the recruitment trials for Dawn Blades recruits includes the forging of their own blade, which they then use in duels to determine martial prowess amongst the candidates to determine who is most worthy. This initial test teaches a recruit the value of their own wargear, and how a warrior is only as good as his blade. Each Dawn Blade is a competent weaponsmith, and will personally craft, modify, or otherwise be bent over an anvil for hours on end to improve their weaponry. Tradition of the Arts: the Dawn Blades have a curious predilection for beauty in the martial. Many marines will, in the tradition of the forge, embellish and beautify their own weapons, for the Solis-Imperator deserves only perfection in war. Other marines are renowned throughout the chapter and subsector as creators of devotional artwork, as well as more peaceful scenes that are used as focuses for meditation, in order to sharpen the mind for war. Still others pen hymns and poems to glorify the lord of the Imperium. Tradition of Xenia: Whenever Imperial delegates or other Astartes come aboard a Dawn Blades vessel, or the rare occasion when xenos like Eldar seek to make a temporary alliance, the fullest hospitality is extended to them (though very begrudgingly in some cases). This tends to include a welcoming feast, an offer of repair and resupply, and a gift given as proof of openness and willingness to be open. Institutions that have longstanding relationships with the chapter often extend the same courtesies to Dawn Blades personnel, which has led to the chapter and its warriors obtaining some very interesting (and on some occasions unwanted--but never rejected) wargear. Gene-seed/Geneseed The Dawn Blade's gene-seed is very pure for its age, and the only noted deviation from normal gene-seed is a remarkable stubbornness and refusal to give in, which is inherent in the Iron Hands gene-line. It is noted that this stubbornness of mind also leads to the chapter having a simple refusal to die, which results in many marines shrugging off wounds that should have killed them long enough for an Apothecary to reach them, or simply fighting until they keel over from a million and one wounds. As such, the chapter has few dreadnoughts, and those that it does have are treated as practically divine manifestations of the Solis-Imperator's will, due to their rarity in the chapter. Battle-cry "Nam Claritas Solis-Imperator" Idiomatically translated from High Gothic as 'for the glory of the Sun-Emperor'. USING A DAWN BLADES ARMY IN WARHAMMER 40,000 Links to chapter characters: LINK Notes/Admin: 11/1/19: HEY I HAVE A BASIC IA DONE FOR THESE GUYS (reformmated from my Iron Gauntlet entry a few years ago)! Will be updated as time goes on for the LASC, but after I add images I'd say this is good for now, just need chapter symbol.
  14. The Champions Eternal Chapter Beacons of Light Origins With swathes of the Imperium clinging to life by a thread following the loss of Cadia, and the birth of the Great Rift, new defenders were needed to secure the future of mankind. Every corner of the Imperium is in need of reinforcement. Among the sectors fortunate enough to receive aid is a region of space alongside the Sirens Storm in Segmentum Tempestus, an area known locally as the Lightning Reaches. When Fleet Tertius came to secure the region, the existing Imperial forces were well on their back leg, locked in desperate struggles against Chaos invasions spilling from the Sirens Storm, as well as with contesting forces from every major xenos race, resulting in a sprawling warzone across multiple sectors. What had drawn these forces to the same place was unclear, but without further support, the region was sure to collapse. One of the newly founded Primaris Astartes chapters accompanying the fleet was assigned stewardship of the region. The brotherhood that assumed this role was the untested Champions Eternal. Joining their allies on battlefields throughout the Reaches, the Champions and the Imperium turned a losing battle into a bitter stalemate, finally earning the Imperial forces some room to breath and regroup. While valuable worlds on the frontlines of these conflicts have been ground down to little more than rubble and bone, the worlds inside their perimeter have some measure of security once more. Taking their place in the Lightning Reaches, the Champions Eternal will ensure that the Emperors Light will continue to shine on the worlds threatened by the shadow of the Sirens Storm. Homeworld Despite the desperate need for reinforcements in the Reaches, or perhaps because of it, the Champions had a difficult time locating a world suited to establish as a home. Though they could have continued operating from their fleet, a central base of operations to stockpile supplies, maintain a pool of recruits, and coordinate with allies in the midst of the wartorn Reaches, was too valuable a prospect to pass up. The search eventually led them to a manufactorum-dominated hive world called Karndanaq. When the Champions found it, Karndanaq and its people were struggling. Though reasonably removed from the many frontline conflicts surrounding the region, an ambitious fledgling Drukhari kabal had been preying on it for years by means of well hidden webway portals. The kabal took particular pleasure in killing and capturing adults in droves, leaving countless orphans in their wake. It reached a point that many of those reaching adulthood simply bore an expectation that they would be marked for slavery in the dark city. And so it was by necessity that the planets manufactori were operated, and its defenses were manned, by a disproportionately young population. Knowing that the strategically well-placed world could become a tremendous asset, and enraged by the predations of the kabal, the Chapter settled into orbit over the world to bring the Drukhari to heel. The raiders seemed to sense that their playground was being encroached on, for as the Champions began to make landings on the planet, they were met with stiff resistance from the kabal. For all their conditioning, their training and indoctrination, this was the Champions first true taste of war in all its brutality. Though they took naturally to battle, their lack of experience manifested in inflexible strategies and tactical mistakes that proved costly for the Champions, and in some cases devastating for the natives. There were abject failures and grim tragedies as the Chapter fought and wrestled to gain their footing, both in physically secure landing sites and strategically sound maneuvers. Fortunately, the Champions humbled by their experiences, taking them to heart, and acting quickly to modify their methods. After their initial setbacks, the Champions quickly gained the upper hand on the kabal, routing them thoroughly from the planet. Taking stewardship over the world, the Champions have erected a fortress on small moon Lucidimons above Karndanaq, a monastery called the Calx Eternum. Since establishing control in the system, the Champions have redistributed throughout the Reaches, breaking sieges, executing retaliatory strikes, and easing the pressure on Imperial forces stretched thin throughout the region. Recruitment We are the guardians of of the Emperor's starry overlook, His wardens against the darkness!No evil shall encroach while our watch endures, and our watch endures Eternal! Lieutenant Varatehk Kanatars rallying call at the Siege of COrragh The Champions Eternal could hardly have hoped for a more hardened crop of recruiting stock than the orphans that kept Karndanaq limping along through the oppression the planet suffered at the hands of the Drukhari. The original population of liberated youths that lived through the scouring had the ideal combination of first hand experience of the realities of war, even combat, and the burning admiration for their superhuman saviors. There were few who did not leap at the opportunity to join the ranks of the Angels of Death. Their uplift to Astartes served only to enhance the desire of those left behind to serve the Imperium and their Champions, and raising the next generation to provide support for the Chapter in every conceivable way became the highest aspiration of the planets populous. Many of Karndanaqs manufactori were converted to supply as much materiel as possible to the Chapters supplies, and children are educated with the expectation of taking the trials to become Space Marines themselves. As with all rites of recruitment among Astartes chapters, the path to joining this brotherhood is arduous. Brought before a council of Librarians on the moon above, aspirants are examined both mentally and physically, the purity of every youths zeal as closely studied as the purity of his genes. Those who are accepted face stringent tests based on all the ideals the Champions hold dear, specifically trials of strength, speed, courage, stamina, and wisdom. Those who meet with approval begin implantation. Combat Doctrine Siege of Kahdem Hive Corporal Standis pressed himself against the inside of the trench, grunting as explosions rattled his ribs, each detonation closer than the last. The traitors were closing in. Glancing up, he saw a squad of the red and gold clad astartes nearby, accompanied by another in black armor, break cover. Standis had thought the Astartes above such foolishness; there was no weathering that artillery. It was suicide. In the briefest of lulls between detonations, the corporal heard the one in black roar a single, indistinct word. A strange, bright corona seemed to blossom around the other marines, and in a flash, they were gone. A few more shells detonated nearby, but the next explosions all sounded dull, and distant. The guns had gone still. Standis cautiously peeked over the lip of the trench and saw the advancing traitors faltering as their artillery support vanished and loyalist rallying calls begin to rise. Looking off to the side again, the corporals gaze was met by the black-armored marine, eyes glowing dully within the shadow of his hood. Truly a spectacle to behold in the melee of war, the Champions Eternal are bold and ostentatious in battle. They excel in close combat fights, leaning heavily into the use of powered weapons, particularly thunder hammers, power fists, and lightning claws, with which they rain down attacks on their enemies in showers of crackling energy. The assault elements of the attack will often seek out what they perceive to be the strongest enemy, both in an effort to prove themselves and to break resistance for the advance of line squads. Closely supporting the frontline squads are always members of the Chapter Librarium. This would seem a risky move among some chapters of Astartes, but the Champions seem to have no hesitation to put precious psykers on the frontlines of battle. To their credit, the Champions Librarians regularly demonstrate their value in combat, specializing in smiting enemy vehicles and defenses with psychic lightning, leaving enemy troops unprotected against all-out assaults by their brethren. In this way, the Librarians are powerful anchors for securing control of the battlefield and advancing across it. While it is unreasonable to expect that such use of Librarians can be without consequence, the Champions have proved remarkably successful at maintaining their Librariums numbers; almost strangely so. When bringing armored support to bear, the Champions favor the new patterns furnished by Cawls millenia of work, and as with their infantry, they employ the flashiest and most destructive. Their Repulsor Executioner tanks and Redemptor Dreadnought chassis are very carefully maintained, alongside a significant complement of Whirlwinds that sees extensive use. Fracturing enemy formations with artillery fire prior to the hammering blow of assault units is a highly popular tactic. Despite their relatively successful track record since the Karndanaq Campaign, the Chapter has inevitably faced its share of stiff resistance. Accounts have arisen from some of these desperate stands of cornered squads of Champions flying into a sudden, unnatural fury, laying waste to everything in their path by supposedly unnatural means. Though these brutal counterattacks invariably destroy the enemy, the only members of the Champions Eternal to walk away from these encounters are the Chaplains present. Organization While the Lord Commander Roboute Guilliman has made changes to the Codex Astartes, the Champions Eternal were founded at the traditional strength of 1000 marines in ten companies. The chapters costly mistakes in the Karndanaq Campaign, however, incurred some terrible losses, including the entirety of the 5th company, and so much of the 2nd company that its remainder was redistributed, and the Champions have yet to recover these losses. Leading the Chapter is Master Bileal Baelson, a consummate warrior and, curiously, a powerful psyker. By all accounts, Baelson manifested no psychic ability prior, during or after his creation until the Chapter undertook to liberate their chosen home world. This irregularity has not escaped notice by the more astute among Imperial leadership in the Reaches, but the turmoil in the region has made it too dangerous for the most suspicious parties to risk interference with the Chapter. Far from the only organizational divergence, the Chapters Librarians appear in other unusual roles, with veteran Codiciers taking primary command of each of the companies. The Brother Librarians that join the battle line squads on the field remain distinct members of the Librarium, and arent specifically assigned to any squads. The companies as they stand have been only lightly adjusted for the losses the Chapter sustained are The companies and their commanders are as follows:Magaragan of the 1st Company (Veterans) Federius Libertamine of the 3rd Company (Battle Company) Pardos Penalios of the 4th Company (Battle Company) Eugalar Choromon of the 6th Company (Battle Company) Mareal Bloodfield of the 7th Company (Battle Company) Daros Drudalis of the 8th Company (Assault Company) Ibysr Amanatehp of the 9th Company (Reserve Company) Tanist Mirare of the 10th Company (Scout Company) The current Librarium is led by one brother Teth-Aman, a Karndanaq native that rose quickly through the ranks. The chaplaincy of the Chapter is administrated by Master of Sanctity Takiel Tawnehk. Beliefs Calx Eternum The doors of the Hall of Champions unsealed and parted, and Master Tawnehk led the way inside. Look well, Brother, he said in his low, rumbling voice, Which of the Chapters symbols would you call the most sacred? Akardak paused at the question, eyes flicking over the Chapters artefacts, few though they were for the Chapters age. He raised a hand tentatively reaching toward the Endless Blade, then paused and finally pointed at the still gently billowing Infractum Faros, the unmarred banner of the 2nd Company. He looked back at the Chaplain Master, but Tawnehk sighed and shook his head. Your heart is in the right place, brother, but there is something greater still that we carry into battle, that inspires fear in our foes and hope in our allies. Akardak began to nod, understanding already dawning on him. Yes, Tawnehk went on, nodding as well, It is who we are. Our very name is power. A force for good. A light in a dark galaxy. It is our greatest artefact, and we must never lay it down. Brothers of the Champions Eternal demonstrate a palpable degree of empathy towards the ordinary citizens of the Imperium. This comes as no surprise, as their recruits, particularly those known colloquially as the First Sons of Karndanaq, never forget their most humble beginnings, and the hope and salvation the Astartes brought them. They live to bring this relief to the rest of the Imperium, and believe they do so to the Emperors glory and in His stead. Among the highest ideals of the Champions is to provide the citizens of the Imperium with even the slightest inkling of the Emperors might and majesty, and a modicum of the inspiration that he gave to mankind. While far less suspicious of psykers than some of their brothers in other chapters, the Champions have no illusions about the dangers posed by the warp, the temptations that face the psychically gifted, and in turn, the risks incumbent in appointing Librarians to lead companies. To address these risks, the chaplaincy of the Chapter works closely with the company commanders in a constant vigil of their spiritual purity. Assignments are rotated with the intent of both protecting chaplains from the corruption of hypothetical traitors, and exposing the commanders to scrutiny from multiple perspectives. The Chapter cult engenders an enthusiastic and fervent personality among the brothers, emphasizing pride in their role as the Emperors servants, and eagerness to fulfill their duties and protect the Imperiums citizens from the darkness of the xenos and the heretic. Chaplains have always impressed upon their brothers that the Imperium is its people; not its edifices, not its institutions. The strength of this belief was made apparent during the early months of the Karndanaq Campaign, when the Chapters mistakes caused terrific civilian casualties. The Champions suffered and grieved with the people, in their own way, and the simple, yet unsanctioned mantra of Never again has entered into the Chapter psyche and continues to be intoned on every battlefield. The Chapters dead are honored in ways fairly typical for Astartes, though they maintain no ossuary relics of any kind; deceased brothers are ritually, thoroughly, cremated, and their ashes spread on the surface of the moon. Fallen brothers are often remembered in songs of lament at formal gatherings. Gene-seed The Champions were told that their genetic sires are the Ultramarines, and their gene-seed seems by most accounts to have the expected stability. There is, however, the unexplained matter of certain battlefield casualties recovered from some of the most intense battlefields on which the the Champions have fought; bodies that are more boxed in their power armor rather than wearing it, withered almost as if by extreme mortal age...seemingly burned up from the inside. Only a handful of such bodies have been discovered by anyone outside the Chapter, though they are soon returned to the Champions, one way or another. War Cry Call: We are the living lightning! Answer: The Emperors justice strikes true! Chapter Tactic Living Lightning Battle brothers of the Champions Eternal strike with the fury of the storm, unleashing psychic devastation to break enemy lines as their assault elements crash into the foe. When a Psychic or Deny The Witch test is made by a <Champions Eternal> PSYKER, re-roll any or all dice rolls of a 1. In addition, all <Champions Eternal> INFANTRY units may add +1 to advance and charge rolls. A battle brother of the Champions Eternal, painted by WarriorFish
  15. THE LIBER ASTARTES SWAP CHALLENGE 2019 - PHASE 1 First off, my apologies for the delay in posting these, peeps. Unfortunately I was called into work on my day off today so I have had to construct this after getting home. Greetings Brothers and Sisters of the LIBER! Here we stand, the time has come for the first event of the newly refurbished and fine tuned Liber Astartes Swap Challenge (or LASC for short, because yay acronyms!)! Welcome to Phase 1. This event is designed to display some comradely fun and a little bit different from the Swap events of old, if you are venerable enough to remember them. The LASC event will champion new writing of fresh Chapters of Space Marines, or alternatively, updating and refining/completing Chapter articles you have made here on the B&C. Jonny: So, Brother Cambrius, how does Phase 1 work? Well, Jonny, here's the answer: PHASE 1 (September 3rd - October 31st) In Phase 1, starting today, participants must submit a 'complete' DIY Chapter article by November 1st. Jonny: So what counts as Complete? By complete, I want to see an article that covers the basics on your Chapter to define who they are, what they do and what are they like to really help the person who will be creating a miniature from your Chapter in Phase 2. If any articles are not up to the bare minimum standard, their participation may be removed from the event to be fair for whoever would have been given their Chapter in the Miniature Swap. If you want to get a scope on what is needed at the bare minimum, you could look up some examples from Forge World entries on Chapters, which aren't a full codex or article entry, but really define the Chapter succinctly. Another good example are the mini IAs I have constructed over the years like the Avenging Fists and Demolishers. In a nutshell, what I want to see in your submission at a bare minimum is the following: Who are your Chapter What do they look like What is their personality What is their identity in the world of 40K? (eg are they heroic knights of honour, shadowy assassins, cold and logical soldiers) With the inclusion of Chapter Tactics in the new Codex, I would love to see what your submitted Chapter(s) would utilise as per their character and well. More detailed articles are most certainly encouraged as Phase 1 is all about creating and improving your Chapter with input from everyone else. If your Chapter's history is listed in a Painting Log in the Hall of Honour or Works in Progress, you are more than welcome to participate as well, but it would be recommended you collate your written bits into a thread/article/IA in Liber Astartes so whoever has your Chapter in Phase 2 can find the details they need. Jonny: Can Renegades and Chaos Marine Warbands participate? Yes, you can submit a Chaos/Renegade IA article in Index Traitoris if you wish to, but be aware that there will need to be a least 1 corresponding participant who is able to build and paint Chaos Marines to do so. If you do intend to submit a Warband, it'll be worth drumming up participation amongst your fellow Chaos Marine collectors to ensure you'll have a variety of CSMs to possibly get in Phase 2. Jonny: Can someone submit more than one Chapter into this event? Absolutely! The absolute maximum for this event will be 3, to ensure you do not burn out in trying to write more than 3 Chapter entries over the next two months and in painting your miniatures. If you fail to complete an extra entry or entries by November 1st, then you will only be required to create 1 miniature in Phase 2. If you submit more than one Chapter entry and it is completed by November 1st, you will be expected to honour as many miniatures as well (eg you submitted 3 Chapter entries, you will need to build and paint a miniature form 3 Chapters swapped to you in Phase 2). Jonny: Can older articles be submitted into this event? Yes they can! For crustier Liberites like myself who have written multiple articles and entries over the years, with the release of the new Codex and the whole Primaris addition and progression of the 40k Universe, this opens up a fantastic opportunity for older hands to revive articles and update them to the current timeline. Are they destroyed, reborn with a large amount of Primaris, still the same but with newer responsibilities or moments of triumph/despair that have defined the Chapter's psyche and doctrines? All of this is fresh meat and fluff to chew and play around with. Jonny: Can we submit Xenos and non Space Marine entries (eg Astra Militarum etc)? Xenos and Non-Powered Armoured Factions will not be included in this event. This event is solely focusing on the Space Marines of whichever flavour you desire. Sorry my gribbly and vanilla-human friends, but this event as mentioned in the title is the Liber Astartes Swap Challenge, otherwise it'll get a little too complicated trying to get correct swaps for factions and races etc. Articles must include an image of the chapter's heraldry and symbol (this can be done by including an image or images using a miniature you have painted, or the Space Marine Painters here on the B&C, or the GW Primaris variant). The pledge to participate in this event is as follows: "I <INSERT NAME HERE>, VOW UPON THE HONOUR OF MY CHAPTER, THE <INSERT CHAPTER NAME HERE>, TO WRITE ABOUT A DIY CHAPTER IN THE LIBER ASTARTES BY NOVEMBER 1ST TO A COMPLETE STANDARD. I VOW TO ALSO COMPLETE 1 MINIATURE OF A CHAPTER RANDOMLY ASSIGNED TO ME BEFORE JANUARY 1ST 2020. SHOULD I FAIL, I SHALL WEAR THE SIGNATURE OF SHAME UNTIL I HAVE REDEEMED MYSELF IN THE EYES OF THE LIBER." Participants must also include which Space Marine models they are able to build and paint for Phase 2, to ensure those who may not have Primaris marines don't get an Ultima Founding Chapter in the Swap. For your article entries in the Liber Astartes/Traitoris, please include "LASC 19" in the title of your Thread so participants know that the entry you are writing is involved in this challenge. Here's an example of a vow: If you are participating, you can put one of these Banners into your signature (it's worth checking that the addition won't break the Forum's rules on Signature sizes in case you need to re-jig your Signature in full): If you complete this event with an article and miniature of the chapter swapped to you, you can proudly wear this signature: And if you should fail to complete a miniature or article in time of the deadline for Phase 1 or Phase 2, you will be required to carry this banner of shame: There will also be other banners made for particular participants of note in this challenge, whether it is through very active feedback and help for their fellow Liberites in constructing their Chapter entries, or were insane enough to submit up to 3 entries. I will also be constructing a Redemption banner for those who may have fallen to the wayside in this event, but manage to complete a miniature within the month of January 2020. More on that as we get closer to Phase 2. +++++ This event is all about participation and aiding your fellow Liberites in the creation of their Chapters and encouraging camaraderie. Be polite and constructive with each other when adding opinions/suggestions/questions to entries submitted to help improve or refine them. And well, that is it. Good luck everyone and here's to a great event! Cambrius
  16. Index Astartes <<Coyote Head superimposed over lightning bolt>> The Thunder Coyotes Space Marines Chapter <<Space>> Founded in the tumult of the Ultima Founding and the initial forays into Imperium Nihilus with the Indomitus crusade, the chapter was established to anchor the fringe of a sector in the southwestern Ultima Segmentum. A nearby chapter that controls and patrols the sector is rumored to believe that these new marines are Inquisitorial watchdogs and slaves to the High Lords of Terra, and thusly unreliable. Time will tell how these two chapters interact. As part of the Indomitus crusade before being established on Qoslomoya, the marines who would become the veterans of the Thunder Coyotes participated heavily in anti-Chaos operations, as well as skirmishes against various forces swept up in the warp and deposited in the path of the crusade. Including in this count were some very lost Tau that made excellent target practice for the guns of the battlebarge Howl of Jaghatai, which would become the flagship of the Thunder Coyote's fleet. Qoslomoya is a forested world, curiously untouched by most modern technology. The people there are lost in the early stages of world exploration and colonization, and are by all accounts Feral and uncivilized. It was left alone and deemed not worth the effort to colonize, and any orders otherwise were lost in the endless mountains of Imperial paperwork. However, following the start of the Indomitus Crusade, the Primarch Guilliman ordered it colonized and given to an Ultima Founding chapter, as it was situated in a prime defensive location to reinforce the newly-reclaimed sector and its beleaguered Imperial Guard and Firstborn Astartes chapter, the Dawn Blades. It was done as the Primarch ordered, and Terminus Station, the Thunder Coyotes fortress monastery, was constructed at the peaks of the giant mountain range known as the Spine of the Diyiai running down the middle of the planet. The Thunder Coyotes are quickly mastering the art of drive-by annihilation and shadowwork operations, and have quickly begun to modify their equipment accordingly. Of note are their modified Repulsors and Impulsors, which have had their transport bays and turrets replaced with heavy guns and long-range missile launchers, thusly turning them into self-propelled artillery. Their 1st Company has quickly become known for a disproportionately large number of skilled marksmen, especially ones that are capable of assassinations and eliminations that go unnoticed until the target falls dead. As the Thunder Coyotes are adept at stealth insertions and operations, they employ a disproportionate number of Vanguard in their ranks, so much so that on occasion perhaps a third of their chapter is deployed as Vanguard Companies. The chapter also tends to not favor more heavily-armored and slow units, but when pressed they can and do deploy Aggressor and other Gravis units--exceptions are Inceptors and Suppressors, as they are both highly mobile and highly destructive. These units are, due to chapter practices, often the veterans of warfare who know just how to apply such powerful forces. The Thunder Coyotes are primarily secular, as all Ultima Founding chapters are. However, as recruitment of the Qoslomoyan native humans picked up, the planet's belief system slowly entered the chapter. The native name for spirits and gods, Diyiai, was quickly subsumed by the Imperial cult, with preachers and missionaries telling tales of how the Diyiai were aspects of the Emperor and his sons, especially glorifying Jenkshi, spirit of the woods and hunt, as the Primarch Jaghatai Khan, primogenitor of the Thunder Coyotes and a patron of the planet. The Winter Count: The Winter Count is another tradition of the Thunder Coyotes brought forth by the Qoslomoyan recruits of the chapter. As described by one recruit, “It’s how the tribes mark important events. Everyone tells the elder the most important thing that happened that year, in their opinion, and then the elders choose a few that are of great importance and hold a vote on it. The one the tribe chose is inscribed on hide and then placed with the others.” Seeking to bring in elements of Qoslomoyan culture, to bond with both the planet’s people and with each other, the nascent Chaplaincy chose to implement the ‘winter counts’ as a method of recording chapter history. At the end of each solar year—approximately halfway through the year of the Imperial standard calendar—each squad creates a winter count, and entered into its history. These are then submitted to the company, where a company-wide vote is taken on which winter count will be the company’s official one of record (of note is that oftentimes many squads in a company will choose to record the same event, or otherwise be synonymous with each other. In this case often the vote is a matter or artistic taste and imagery). Thusly chosen, each company’s work is put to a chapter-wide vote, where a replica of the chosen count is created and hung in the Hibernation Hall, the forge-chapel where history, both living and dead, is kept. It is a great honor for a squad’s winter count to be chosen as the chapter’s reckoning of history, and they are honored with the Frosted Moon award for that year, which they may wear on their armor until their deaths. The Hibernation Hall: Here slumber the Dreadnoughts of the Thunder Coyotes, watched over by vigilant Techmarines and the Chaplain’s order. New initiates, as part of their training cycles, come to the Hibernation Hall to learn from the Winter Counts hung from the rafters, as well as hear stories of war from any Dreadnoughts who may be awake at the time, rare it may be. Those recruits who are fortunate enough to learn from the wounded come away with a harder temperament, forewarned of the dangers of battle, and the horror that awaits them on the inside of a vita-fluid coffin. Here also in the Hall are held feasts, commemorating important events of the chapter’s history, including the Feast of the Born Coyote--which celebrates the chapter’s founding in the Qoslomoyan winter--the Feast of the Emperor Ascendant, Sanguinalia, and other holidays deemed important. The Feast of the Born Coyote is a massive celebration of the year's deeds, and is also the time of voting for that year's Winter Count, though due to the demands of war this is oft by proxy. Every tenth year, the entire chapter gathers, and the Grand Count is selected, reflecting the greatest campaign waged over the past decade. The victory is celebrated by the whole chapter with much song and brotherhood, and a massive fire is lit for the hearth that dominates the head of the hall. The Festival of Tears The haemolacria that the Thunder Coyotes possess is a curious condition, but one that is celebrated as a gift of the Emperor. The Festival of Tears is the last rite of ascension into the chapter for new battle-brothers, though every marine will partake at one moment or another beyond their own induction. After being awarded their power armor, each new Primaris will join their newly assigned squad of new Primaris. Each marine will bring forth their tears, and deposit them into an earthen mug unique to each squad. Once it has been filled, the squad partakes as a seal of brotherhood, a blood oath to aid each other until death. For this reason, veteran squads of Thunder Coyotes are smaller than their newer counterparts, and often take up assignments and squad designations that require fewer and fewer marines, such as Aggressor squads, vehicle crews, and Eliminator squads, among others. Those who are the last remains of their squads are those considered for officership, seen as lucky enough and strong enough to survive whatever war sought to throw at them. When a new officer is elevated, he fills the cup with his own bloody tears for his successor, then drinks of his predecessor. This ritual is accompanied by a reaffirming of the oaths that each squad swore upon creation. As sons of the great Khan, the Thunder Coyotes have adopted his lust for the hunt, though they tend more toward the stalking aspect of its bent. The gene-seed itself is remarkably pure, and its organs free of mutation, as all Primaris seed is, though there is one oddity. A curious twist of genetics between the Khan's gene-seed and the Qoslomoyan DNA has led to haemolacria in the Thunder Coyotes, causing them to cry tears of blood, and can almost do so on command. This, however, is mostly harmless and has become ingrained in the chapter's warrior cult (indeed so much so that it has been incorporated into their armor) so it is not a problem that the chapter's leadership is particularly inclined to solve, when the Apothecaries are focused on integrating the Qoslomoyan people into the chapter as a whole. "Strike from the Night!" *Unintelligible Howling* USING A Thunder Coyotes ARMY IN WARHAMMER 40,000 The Thunder Coyotes use the Expert Marksmen and Stealthy Successor Chapter Tactics on the battlefields of the 41st Millennium /end Notes and admin: Here's what I've got so far. I will be looking to expand this later, but autosave's gone wonky and at least this way it's saved (plus I need to work out a color scheme in the next day or two). EDIT: I'd also like to report broken formatting. Either that or I've no idea how to do it correctly. 9/8/19: addressed some concerns about Qoslomoya, and added a little to the chapter cult section. 9/16/19: added information on the Winter Count, the Hibernation Hall, and created color schemes (to be added later). 9/18/19: expanded information on the Hibernation Hall, and described the chapter badge (to be added later). 9/23/19 added information on the Festival of Tears, and the importance of the haemolacria to the Thunder Coyotes 10/6/19: added color scheme, and technically have a chapter symbol (though it may be updated at a later point, because I can't draw). 10/7/19 updated format
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