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  1. +++ Heralds of Light +++ 'Cut through the night!' + Lore + Index Astartes: Heralds of Light (Downloadable version) +Models+ Intercessor Veteran Sergeant Firstborn Captain (by @jah-joshua, owned by @DarkKnightCuron) + Art + Chapter Heraldry Battle-Brothers (by @Aerion the Faithful) Vengeance (by @Aerion the Faithful)
  2. +++ Void Slayers +++ ‘Weak minds beget weak deeds.’ + Lore + Index Astartes: Void Slayers + Art + Chapter Heraldry --- Index Astartes Version History Original Post Initial Outline ---
  3. Index Astartes: Void Slayers Valuing strength of will above all else, the Void Slayers have become machines in all but flesh, constantly seeking to steel their minds. Their hatred for the weak willed and distaste for personal glory has made the Void Slayers a highly unforgiving Chapter, executing their duties as elite Imperial warriors with ruthless efficiency. For millennia, they have tirelessly protected the Desolus Stars from all manner of foes and continue to do so even in the Dark Imperium. Origins ‘Forget their names - remember their weakness.’ - First Chapter Master Bash Tchelik. In the aftermath of the Horus Heresy and the death of their Primarch, Ferrus Manus, the Iron Hands were a fractured Legion. Heated arguments over their future raged for years and continued long after the second founding. While the Iron Council had decreed that the Iron Hands would forever strive to purge themselves of all weakness, philosophical disagreements on exactly how to achieve this goal endured, both between and within the Clan Companies. Iron Captain Bash Tchelik was an outspoken veteran who fought against the Chapter’s growing hatred of flesh and obsession with bionics. He argued that in their pursuit of strength, the Iron Hands had fallen to the weakness of the mind. He was always opposed, and over time, pressures from other Clan Companies and within his own made it clear to Bash that his views would never win through. When the historical third founding was initiated, the Iron Hands were requested to oversee the formation of an entirely new Chapter created from their geneseed, in honor of Ferrus Manus. Bash Tchelik quickly nominated himself, seeing an opportunity to bring his vision of true strength to life. The Iron Council did not object, as the exodus of Bash and his followers’ beliefs would help unify the Iron Hands in theirs. Wasting little time, Bash left Medusa with his most trusted brothers and set out to forge a new generation of warriors with minds of pure steel. The new Chapter took the name Void Slayers and made the Desolus Stars their home, ordered to protect its systems, patrol its trading lanes and to seek out all its enemies. For millennia, the Void Slayers have fought with machine-like discipline against countless xenos and heretics, in the Desolus Stars and beyond. Early on, they spearheaded the White Fire Crusade to cleanse the entire sector of Orks. During the Age of Apostasy, the Slayers kept order with an iron fist and constantly pursued Drukhari pirates taking advantage of the galactic turmoil. Through great victories or major losses, their single-minded focus has never wavered. Whether celebrated or feared by the ones they protect, their ruthless methods only change when forced to by other Imperial authorities. To the inhabitants of Desolus, the Chapter may not be their guardians of choice, but in the dark days of Imperium Nihilus, the Void Slayers might just be who they need. Homeworld ‘Your mind shall be diamond. Hard. Clear. Flawless.’ – Teachings of Bash Tchelik. The Void Slayers homeworld is within the Desolus Stars, not too far north of the Great Rift in the Ultima Segmentum. These systems are home to a variety of worlds and institutions key to the Imperial machine, all in need of the extra security that comes with the presence of an Astartes Chapter. Bash Tchelik spent many of his early years as Chapter Master securing alliances with Imperial commanders in the systems. Forming connections with a more pragmatic wing of the Adeptus Mechanicus, he was able to come to a mutually beneficial agreement with the local Forge World. In addition, he claimed recruitment rights from several planets as payment for their protection. The strength of these alliances have waxed and waned dramatically over the years, but in the times of the Dark Imperium, several worlds in the Desolus Stars have ceded their authority to the Void Slayers. The Slayers built their home on the small, dead terrestrial world of Naraka, the only planet in its system. Aside from long depleted deposits of metals, Naraka has no inherent value beyond its strategic position in the sub-sector, its landmasses empty but for the vast training grounds and defenses of the Chapter’s Fortress-Monastery. Named Steeldome after the largest visible structure above ground, the Fortress-Monastery is an immense and formidable structure if unremarkable in its design, housing all the vital facilities of the Chapter deep below the surface. The only facility not within the defenses of the Steeldome is in a small base built on Naraka’s moon, Yama. While the base also works as an additional layer in their orbital defense systems, Yama serves a different and far more important purpose to the Slayers. In fact, many of the closest defense systems are by default pointed at this base. It is here the many recruits come to prove their worth to the Chapter, in the ritual known as ‘The Clearing’. During 'The Clearing', a Neophyte is escorted by the Master of Sanctity into a chamber devoid of light and sound save for the soft glow of a candle and the rasping chants of focus, carried and recited by the Chaplain. As they move to the middle of the chamber, the Chief Librarian stands waiting in the darkness. The Neophyte kneels before the psyker, who lays his hand on the young warrior’s head and pierces deep into his mind. Any lingering longings or fears are exposed and exploited. Memories of days long gone come rushing back to the neophyte, but twisted and terrible, as the smell of brimstone assails his nostrils. Friends or family he knew and lost come back, only to die again in gruesome ways. For what seems an eternity, the Neophyte’s mind is tortured. He must do what he can to retain his sanity, focusing on the increasingly louder words of the Chaplain, until only the chant remains. Many fail the ritual, either by simply dying or by developing severe brain damage, the latter of which are repurposed into servitors, if possible. Those who harbor psychic potential are even more at risk, as their version of the ritual is even more demanding and dangerous, which is why the base itself is kept under watch. Those who survive are allowed to start their training, though the ritual may happen several times over a Slayer’s career as they climb through the ranks or as penance. Whether or not the ritual has any positive effect on the Chapter's capabilities is hard to quantify, but the Slayers have sworn by their methods for millennia. Beliefs ‘Weak minds beget weak deeds.’ – Teachings of Bash Tchelik. The Void Slayers hate weakness, but believe the source of all weakness is the mind. They have made it their unending quest to steel their minds and to rid themselves of fear, emotion or any corrupting thought that might interfere with their effectiveness as Astartes. While no doubt similar in their beliefs to other gene-cousins, they view the Iron Hands’ hatred of the flesh as a heretical distraction, an obsession born out of mental weakness. Replacing lost limbs with bionics is tolerated by the Chapter, but any sign of mechanical fixation is not. On the other hand, if a battle-brother openly shames another for using bionics, a Chaplain will in turn reprimand the brother for manifesting weakness through shaming. To ensure that all Void Slayers follow the same mental doctrine, a strict code of conduct was created by Bash Tchelik and his cohort in the early days of the Chapter. This code is enforced and upheld by both Chaplains and Librarians who constantly screen the minds of their fellow Slayers. All emotion except for hate is to be suppressed, but even hate is tightly controlled, only to be used within certain parameters. This code is embedded into the litanies of hate that the Chaplains chant and every Slayer knows by heart, constantly repeated both on and off the battlefield. The Slayers’ disdain for weakness also extends to their allies. While they don’t expect them to adhere to their code to the same degree, they have no problem expressing their displeasure and have on occasion gone to extreme lengths to punish what they see as treasonous weakness. To the Void Slayers, there is no such thing as personal glory or honor, as only the glory of the Emperor matters, who they view as nothing more or less than the greatest man who ever lived. They wear few ornamentations, except for those that are justified with battlefield utility, like rank markings and fear inducing imagery. They care little for history and less for revering it, focusing more on the cold facts of campaign reports, battle analysis and weapon telemetries. They acknowledge Ferrus Manus as their gene-father and a great warrior, but no more. Instead, Ferrus serves as another example of how even the strongest and most capable of the Emperor's sons can fall victim to the weakness of the mind. Organisation ‘Trust the Consensus and act without question.’ – Teachings of Bash Tchelik. The Void Slayers are mostly organised along the lines set out by the Codex Astartes, with a few key exceptions. Partly due to their distaste for personal glory, the Void Slayers have no dedicated Veteran Company. Instead, they employ five highly independent Battle Companies that are constantly on the move. As in most Chapters, a Slayer will join the Scout Company then progress through the Reserve Companies as they receive their training, but once they join one of the Battle Companies they usually stay there for life, imparting their wisdom and expertise to every new generation. Similar to the Iron Council of their progenitors, the Chapter’s ruling body is called the Consensus, consisting mainly of ten mighty warriors, usually former Captains. There is no Chapter Master, instead one member of the Consensus holds the position Voice of the Chapter, which rotates every ten years. The Voice acts as the Chapter’s face outwards and has the deciding vote in Consensus stalemates, but for the most part the Consensus act as one. Librarians and Chaplains share a heightened importance in the Chapter, due to their roles in the Clearing and ensuring the mental strength of all Void Slayers. The Chief Librarian and Master of Sanctity, alongside the Chief Apothecary, are part of the Consensus, keeping their fellow members in line should old company loyalties linger or any other sign of weakness manifest. Like Chaplains and Apothecaries, a Librarian is permanently attached to each company, serving alongside the Captain as one of his most important advisors. Only the Master of the Forge does not have a vote in the Consensus. Bash Tchelik did not continue the tradition of Iron Fathers when he left Medusa and the Slayers have harbored a heightened sense of distrust towards their Tech Priests ever since. Immediately upon returning to the Chapter from training, a Tech Adept is again subjected to the Clearing - to ensure both his loyalty and resolve remains. The Chapter also has no Dreadnoughts. While the Slayers now believe that death is the final rest and holding on to the past is for the weak-minded, this was no doubt originally an attempt to further distance themselves from their progenitor’s obsession with the mechanical. To support the Chapter’s modus operandi, the Void Slayers maintain a strong fleet of twelve Strike Cruisers and numerous support vessels. Preferring the speed of the Strike Cruisers, their single ancient Battle Barge, the Warrior Eternal, has rarely left the Narakan system since their arrival, acting as an additional layer in their orbital defense systems. However, in the days of the Dark Imperium, the Warrior Eternal is more active than ever, operating as a mighty forward base. In lieu of better alternatives, scores of refugees fleeing the ravages of war regularly plead the Void Slayers for sanctuary aboard the Battle Barge. If there is room, the Void Slayers in turn put all but the frailest to work, so that they may serve the war effort. The refugees have few options other than accept and can only look on in horror when the Void Slayers occasionally execute those whose mental states are deemed detrimental to the cause. Combat Doctrine ‘Know no fear, but for your enemy’s.’ – Teachings of Bash Tchelik. Since establishing themselves in the Desolus Stars, duties have required the Void Slayers to frequently participate in ship-to-ship engagements to protect the many trade routes in the systems. They often fight alongside the Imperial Navy and have earned a fearsome reputation among Battlefleet commanders. While certainly more reliable as allies than most of their gene-brethren, they can still be unpredictable once they have committed their forces. They have in principle no problem submitting to the leadership of other Imperial Commanders. However, they will go against the overall plan if they deem their own approach superior - or doubt the mental fortitude of their allies. In conventional warfare, the Slayers maintain a slight preference for ranged combat, exploiting the psychological effects of overwhelming suppressive fire and orbital bombardments. This is further enhanced by their fearsome Librarians, who are experts at piercing the minds of their enemies and destroying them from within. Still, the Slayers strive to not overspecialise in one area of combat, and their disregard for glory and honor means the Slayers have few notions of shameful tactics on the battlefield. A common manoeuvre is a tactical withdrawal to lure the enemy into a charge, followed by exploding traps, volleys of fire and a cold-blooded counter assault. Unyielding and uncaring in battle, the Void Slayers’ methods have come under scrutiny several times over their long history, often due to their general disregard for history and collateral damage. Their only real punishment came in the early years of M.34, when the Slayers embarked on a penitent crusade following the successful eradication of Orks from a Cardinal World, which also resulted in the destruction of sacred structures and many human lives. Since that time, complaints have continued to be raised against the Slayers, but their loyalty has become near undeniable, and Imperial High Command prefer to find ways to harness their unyielding nature against the enemies of the Imperium. Geneseed ‘From iron to steel!’ – Chapter mantra. Through the ever diligent and disciplined work of the Apothecarion, the Void Slayers’ geneseed has remained pure and stable throughout the millennia. Now, with the integration of Primaris technology, their genetic integrity has become stronger still. When the Torchbearer taskforce first reached the Void Slayers, the Consensus quickly assembled to determine what the Chapter’s official stance was on the new technology and influx of Primaris battle-brothers. The reinforcements were accepted, but it was determined that all Primaris warriors must pass the Clearing or be deemed unworthy of the Chapter. Most survived as the Primaris themselves embraced the challenge, though they never had a real choice. Even if most Void Slayers display none of their progenitors’ obsession with the mechanical, they do share a deep hatred for weakness and it is still unknown if this is genetic. Perhaps the Slayers’ absolute focus on mental strength has led to them merely suppressing an underlying body dysphoria present in all Iron Hands successors. Whatever the case, the Void Slayers do not care. To them, such speculations are nothing but a distraction for the weak willed and has no impact on their effectiveness as Imperial warriors. --- Original Discussion Topic
  4. Adeptus Mechanicus Report: Forge World Mjorn Mjorn Skitarii Affiliation: Adeptus Mechanicus (Imperium of Man) Class: Forge World Orb. Distance: unknown Temperature: unknown Gravity: 1.12 G Population: 290,000,000+ Tithe Grade: Aptus Non Production Grade: III-Tertius Ruler: Fabicator-General Skitarii: Various Classes Titan Legion: None Specialty: Genetics and Communications Equipment Location: Damuterr System, Ishtar Sub-Sector, Segmentum Ultima The Imperial Forge World of Mjorn is one of the most influential planets in the Ishtar Sub-Sector of the Segmentum Ultima, and the only Forge World of the sub-sector. Settled long ago by a large Xenarite Explorator Fleet seeking refuge after a devastating journey through the warp and harrowing encounters with Xenos that shaped the founders of the world into a distinctly new culture, it has grown rapidly into a major regional industrial powerhouse in the Sector and is known for its aggressive exploration, examination, and destruction of xenos ruins across the galaxy as well as possessing several rare STCs. Biosphere A geologically active moon of Blüde Seod loosely described as 'terrestrial'. Mjorn is typified by rugged mountainous terrain, but in the low-lying regions (and several high plateaus) dense forests surround a network of bubbling swamps and interconnecting streams. The gasses produced by these swamps are volatile and poisonous to humans, and have become all the more toxic due to the industrial run-off of Mjorn's production facilities which inhabit the mountains. An unusually large axial tilt causing extreme seasonal changes. Both the northern and southern hemispheres experience harsh winters, with cold nights that can last for weeks or months at a time depending on latitude. The atmosphere is composed mostly of nitrogen and oxygen, but high levels of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide make it lethal to humans. History Politics, Culture, & Dogma Factions of Mjorn Production Output and Capabilities Military Forces Personnel of Note Mjorn Skitarii *Fabicator Locum Raymond Raven: A Magos of the Divisio Digitalis and Divisio Biologis on Mjorn in the Ishtar sub-sector. He is part of the reason that the 487th Lunar Venatorii Cavalry Regiment is so technologically advanced. As the high ranking member of that division, he was able to authorize the creation and training for a Electro-Magnetic Warfare Section in the 487th as a favor his brother who is a Colonel of that Regiment. Arch-Magos Digitalis Raven is the second highest ranking member of the Cult Mechanicus on Mjorn and a firm believer of the Xenarite beliefs. As such he is dedicated to the study and exploitation of alien technology, a policy which most Tech-priests find highly offensive. *Magos Cyon-Xi Zeth: Magos Juris Cyon is a man full of contradictions that he finds ironically beautiful, when someone remarks upon him. Born and raised on Mjorn, a peculiar Forge World with its Priesthood having more then a mere penchant for developed lateral thought and dabbling in xenos technology, where Cyon was inducted into the Adeptus Mechanicus. Following the ambition of his peers he glared into the starful void in look for answers atop one of many research observatoriums that orbit the Forge World. *Iron Maiden Celes 'Celestia' Ferronica van Alderson: Celes is a curious woman due to the way she grew up on the world of Mjorn, the capital of the Sect of Absolute Truth, Iron Maiden being a title granted by her sect. It goes far enough like many other individuals of the cult to even embrace knowledge that is not meant for regular humans. Considering the indirect Sect founder and main figure of it was 'Alderson' an Iron Hands Master of the Forge, seconded to the Deathwatch. He died sometimes before The War of the Beast and was renown for his experimental technology, though most of his achievements were long lost, having been declared heretical. Celes knows that the importance to record data is of utmost importance, if people question how much knowledge of alien technology and civilization should be recorded, she usually uses the excuse that the radical Ordo Xenos inquisitors as well as Astartes have used for long 'know your enemy'. The Explorator Inquisitor Adam Clarke came across her during a hunt for a runaway traitor. *Magos 'IN364': Leader of the Magos Biologis maniple of Mjorn that worked with Rogue Traders and proposed owing to the abhuman heritage of the Felinid residents of the world of Dumizid, that the worlds be left alone until holdover knowledge from the golden age of technology could be fully recovered. Discovered genetic processes that lead to various Gene Therapy techniques used by the priests of Mjorn. *Magos Donover Thet is a notable member of the Adeptus Mechanicus that hails from the forge world of Mjorn, serving as the Head of Industry for Velara. He is also a member of the radical and secretive sect known as the Xenarites, whose primary focus is on studying and using alien technology. *Enginseer Lukas Brecher: Trained on the forge world of Mjorn, Lukas was assigned to work alongside the '''18th Cogger Hive Guard Mechanized Infantry Regiment''', in their invasion of a string of asteroids and planets controlled by Ork Pirates. He spent almost a decade alongside them, ministering to the vehicles and flyers of the troops and he gained a reputation as a man who gets the job done no matter how much he’s being shot at. When the war was finally finished and the Orks were driven from the system Lukas was assigned to construct a forward operations base on a remote planet in Segmentum Ultima and to assist the Magos’ who controlled the base. His skills at repair and maintenance are noteworthy and his desire to advance in the Cult Mechanicus means he will endeavour to show his best side. *Theta-Xi 285 AKA 'Karinitha': A Magos with frequent dealings with those outside the Mechanicum came looking for someone who could be an basis for a Skitarii Protector to act as his guard. Finding her to be a suitable subject at the age of 14, the Magos promply took her and subjected her to the necessary procedures to elevate her to Skitarii-hood, but with a particular bent towards making the augmentations relatively unobtrusive to the untrained eye, as befitting the Magos's dealings. *TA-251 AKA 'Terna Atheros': Once a humble scholar on the Hive World of Cogger, as an humble Adept of the Administratium before one day during work, a group of rebels stormed the main building with a view to take hostages so that they could force change to better the lot of those in the Underhive, with the hostages having the notable member of a Magos of the Ordo Reductor. She managed to escape from the grips of the rebels, and after fighting for hours she managed to by enough time for the Arbites to arrive. In the light of her actions, Terna was inducted into the ranks of the Ordo Redutor as a Thallax, being renamed TA-251. Forges, Data-Vaults, & Extraction Sites Forge World Patterns Mjorn has many patterns of both ancient and newer make. The Techpriests of the Forge World are foremost researchers and scientists before they are manufacturers, and due to this they utilize many things that are unique or rare outside the Ishtar Subsector. Mjorn Pattern Skitarii Classes are a series of genetic and mechanical experiments with the results being turned into manufacturing lines for their own forces with also had some success in producing gene therapies and other Mjorn Augmentation Patterns. Mjorn Pattern Las Weapons are variants on Lucius built patterns known for Mjorn's use of whisper modules and the ability to modify outputs giving soldiers the ability to use what is best for the situation, while the Mjorn Pattern Flamer Weapons are recovered ancient STCs that Mjorn uses to great effect. Mjorn Pattern Electromagnetic Technologies are a culmination of Xenarite studies and recovered STCs from various frontier worlds. Forge World Relations *Ordo Machinum: With the Ordo Mechanicumm a complicated relationship that is more of a game of cat and mouse and who is who can be get easily confused has formed with the Inquisition representative known as Adam Clarke. The years spent as a servant of many Xenarite Faction Magi has given Adam a unique insight to how the political structures of the Cult work. He wasn't privy to their secrets of craft and knowledge but he had attended many meetings as one Magi's guard or another. Mjorn specifically tries to hide their deeper secrets from him and he investigates their Hereteks and tries to uncover them. As one of "The Judicators of the Forge", the Ordo Machinum. His concentration is to scrutinize the Adeptus Mechanicus. Specifically, he is concerned with the reintegration of recovered STC variants into the Imperium's armies and the rare adoptions of alien technologies into established Mechanicum protocols.
  5. The Cogger Hive Guard are the Astra Militarum regiments that hail from the industrial hive world of Cogger. Primarily recruited from the planet's factory workers that fail to uphold their industrial quotes or from the most incorrigible hive gangers, these recruits are rounded up by the hive cities local Adeptus Arbites and forced to undergo neural-conditioning. After being "programmed" with the necessary knowledge and skills needed, they are inducted into the ranks of the Cogger Hive Guard. Cogger Hive Guard The PDF of the Hive World Cogger are made from those factory workers that don’t meet quota or particularly troublesome Gangers arrested by the Arbites, they then go through a variation of mind wipe and are implanted with new memories and training and are used to protect the great Hive Cities. The most promising of these mind-wiped PDF are formed into the regiments of the Cogger Hive Guard. Cogger Hive Guardsmen undergo a variation of mind wiping known as Neural Programming provided by Mjorn Techpriests that is for the mass use of training their soldiers. A subject endures multiple sessions in a Neural Programming tank where they were "programmed" with knowledge and skills needed for the desired occupation. Cogger Hive Guard commanders preferred "obedient" over "improvisational" and use of Neural Programmed soldiers possessing little or no initiative a fodder for the grinding wheels of the Imperial wars. These Cogger Hive Guard are known for the Line Infantry, Armored, and Mechanized Infantry Regiments they produce from the foundries and factories of the Hives on the planet Cogger. Cogger also produces a small number of Penal Legions of those that resist Neural Programming but fill up the over flowing prisons of the Arbites. Those workers who commit minor offenses are given neural programming to quickly render them combat capable and to ensure obedience, at the cost of some of their memories, prior skills, personality, and initiative. They are led by non-programmed officers drawn from the nobility that runs the massive Factorum-Cities. These soldiers form the PDF of Cogger, which are under the direct command of the Planetary Governor, as well as forming the bulk of forces seconded to the Imperium as part of Cogger's Tithe, in the form of Cogger Hive Guard Mechanized Regiments. The second kind of regiment is the Cogger Hive Guard Armored Regiment. Using the Leman Russ Exterminator as it's primary vehicle, it is one of the most common Leman Russ variants, and although it surrenders the ability to effectively combat enemy armour, it is an extremely effective anti-infantry vehicle. The Leman Russ Exterminator is capable of laying down a withering hail of fire. The Exterminator's Autocannon shells can tear through a lightly armoured chassis as easily as they rip through flesh and bone. Though lacking the long range of some other tank variants, the Leman Russ Exterminator is capable of devastating whole ranks of enemy infantry before they have reached the Astra Militarum lines. The final kind of regiment that is produced is more of a way to get rid of the worst scum of the hives. These individuals are those that resist Neural Programming but are the worst kinds of criminals and heretics the Hives produce. Coming from the various prison facilities that each hive has for those that cross the nobility, the Cogger Hive Penal Legions are massed light Infantry given explosive collars and shock cuffs, are transported as mine sweeper support for the regiments in which Cogger Hives pride themselves on. Also those who have committed greater crimes, rather than taking up space in prisons, are subjected to far more intense levels of neural programming, completely washing away their former selves until the subject is barely more than a servitor. These programmed criminals are then sent to the Legiones Penatante for use as cannon fodder. Regimental Recruitment & Training A significant proportion of the Cogger Hive Guard was manned by "culturally challenged" individuals who had undergone neural programming via brain surgery, implants such as aggression inhibitors, and programming tanks. Counseling and drug therapy were also used to help overcome criminal and/or anti-social tendencies. Despite this source of manpower, it was not always sufficient to replace battlefield losses, and instances of law-abiding persons being conscripted and subjected to "programming" were not unknown. In any case, volunteers are few. Recruits and conscripts considered too scrawny or weak for the Cogger Guard are given steroid and stimulant treatments in order to increase their muscle mass. Criminal recruits were given no R&R time. Regimental Combat Doctrine The Cogger Hive Guard Mechanized Infantry is the Militarum Regimentum of the Astra Militarum that fights as mechanized infantry alongside Chimera and Chimerax armoured personnel carriers in defense of the strategically-located Imperial Hive World of Cogger and its surrounding star systems. Cogger, located in the Segmentum Ultima, is a planet blighted and poisoned by millennia of heavy industrial output, though it is also a major manufacturing centre of Autocannons. In addition, Guardsman from Cogger make fine assault troops for fighting in urban and hive city environments as well as heavy industrial zones, chemical sumps, and other such toxic regions. Their equipment and experience with such acrid environments make them invaluable for trudging through all sorts of polluted or otherwise noxious wastelands, from underhives filled with the toxic residue of ancient atomic generators to ruin-filled swamps rife with hallucinogenic flora, quicksand, and near-invisible pockets of lethal gas.
  6. Dataslate: Planetary Information Dump, Civilized Moon Verliaus Verliaus appears to be solely dedicated to it's academies and as such has built what terrain features had not already formed naturally. A terrestrial moon famous for its deep valleys and gorges and its meadows of luminescent flowers. There are no distinguishable continents, and all the moon's rivers flow into a single ocean in the western hemisphere. On the opposite side of the moon to the ocean is vast, unbroken desert. The most successful creatures on the planet are large burrowing arthropods. Orbiting Tarakon is the Civilized Moon of Veralius, whose surface is studded with the many edifices and colleges concerning the academia of war. The people of Veralius have long been tied to Tarakon for which they orbit, and they too have taken upon many aspects of the Wyrm. They have sought to embody its natural keen intellect and wisdom, as well as its merciless ability to slay all those who offend its honor. To this end, Veralius has long been a source of additional warriors for House Fáscha, separate from the House and its traditions, but highly valued nevertheless as cunning scouts and keen warriors with which to defend against the dark predators slinking form the void. With the arrival of the Imperium, Veralius built across its landscape renowned colleges and institutions of war, its peoples immersing themselves in the arts of battle and the warrior ethos of the Wyrm. The Adminsitratum quickly built Schola Facilities up from these war colleges, again separate from the peoples of Tarakon, but drawing upon their hard-earned wisdom. Soon Veralius became a major School facility in the region, producing many fine officers, beauracrats, sororities, commissars, and storm troopers gathered from the orphaned scions of the Imperium. Yet still the Veralius war colleges produced their own soldiers with their own proud lineage and killing edge. These warriors became known as the Veralian Lunar Venatorii. Each a warrior-born, trained from childhood by the warrior colleges, with the ethos of the Wyrm and a love for the Emperor becoming their creed. Mjorn did not fall to noticed these proud and capable warriors, and again seized the opportunity. From Mjorn, the lunar Venatorii would be given the best of wargear, and outfitted with war machines to full enable them to act as keen scouts and relentless hunters as instilled upon them by their long cavalry traditions. Yet instead of the horses native to Veralius, these mounts would be of metal and smoke and fire, and mount mighty weapons of death. Mjorn would also instill in them an appreciation for the technological theatre of war, and soon the War Colleges taught selected students to act as the Vox-Adepts, masters at manipulating vox systems to help allies and to hinder the foe. After all, a foe that is blind, deaf, and unable to speak is much easier to hunt and slay. Mjorn would frequently also send Transmechanics, either at the request of the Munitorum or of their own volition to aid the Signals and Communications companies of the Venatorii, bringing their own secret and arcane knowledge of communications systems to occlude the senses of the foe and to improve their own. The Lunar Venatorii would swiftly begin sending troops to aid the forces of Mjorn and House Fáscha in exploring the fringes and the wilderness, although plenty of capable and determined warriors were left for the Munitorum’s tithes. Those that were tithed were raised to form the Veralian Lunar Venatorii Cavalry Regiments, where their honed skills, warrior ethos, top-notch equipment, and knack for reconnaissance and vox-warfare would make them highly capable, and much sought after, forces in the eyes of the Munitorum’s General’s Staff. The War Colleges of Veralius do not just produce the able warriors of the Venatorii, however, from prestigious schools also come forth elite pilots. These pilots serve to protect Veralius from attack, and are also prized support for Mjorn’s Explorator Fleets. The Administratum is also keen to capitalize on this resource, and these pilots are selected and raised as Aeronautica Imperialis Wings, flying their aircraft to defend the Imperium. The local Munitorum prizes these elite air wings greatly, and it is not unusual for the Munitorum to take advantage of pairing them in theatre with the Lunar Venatorii, whether it is to be seconded to regiments to create Air Cavalry Regiments, or to fly independently to offer close air support. Where the Warriors and Pilots of the Veralius War Colleges bought make war, the foe is sure to fall.
  7. This is my main Chapter as it is on 40k Homebrew Wiki. All my art was developed by Algrim and Achilles of 40k homebrew wiki administration. That is the source site, and as a disclaimer all the 40k stuff belongs to GW, etc. (Just to be safe, I make no claims besides being the mind behind my brews.) Nevermind, the image extension is now allowed here. Please look there for the art. Chapter Datafile: Bloodmoon Hunters The Bloodmoon Hunters Bloodmoon Hunter Brother Bloodmoon Hunter Brother Bloodmoon Hunter Journeyman (Raptor School Hunters) of the 3rd Hunt Company ("Blades of Folsom"), 7th Battleline Squad. Date:...............57.M42 Ref:................LBC//TEC7710101 By:.................TechCaptain Re:.................Adeptus Astartes - Bloodmoon Hunters Thought:............"The Blood of the moon looms as shadows deepen in it's red glare." CHAPTER NAME: .............. THE Bloodmoon Hunters FOUNDING: ..................13TH [M.35] Dark Founding CHAPTER WORLD: .............Aigéad Fuil FORTRESS MONASTERY: ........Folsom's Keep and Lebenmali Star Fort GENE-SEED (PREDECESSOR): ...Unknown (Claims to be Iron Hands, Inquisitorial Investigation Ongoing) KNOWN DESCENDANTS: ........."NONE" Primary Data Allegiance: Imperium of Man (Fedelitas Constantus) Chapter Master: Hunt Grandmaster Shasmu Khonsu Size Estimate: 500 to 600 Specialty: Small Unit Tactics, Assassination, Ambushes, Covert Actions, Asset Retrieval, Tracking and Pursuit Actions, and High Technology Battle Cry: "Hunters of the lost." ; "Harvesters of knowledge." Colours: Dusty Dark Red and Dark Grey The Bloodmoon Hunters are a stalwart and dedicated non-codex compliant Loyalist Space Marine Chapter created during the 13th Founding, the so-called 'Dark Founding'. Little is known of this mysterious founding as there are no reliable records that indicate how many Chapters were conceived during this Founding or what became of them. Extant records indicate that the Bloodmoon Hunters were supposedly created during this Founding around the time a recorded prophecy foretold their inception. It is generally believed that the Adeptus Mechanicus might have played a role in the creation of this Chapter, as their inception occurred sometime in early M35, during the divisive and widespread doctrinal conflict known as the Moirae Schism. The Bloodmoon Hunters were known to maintain close ties with the Archmagos of the Cult Mechanicus as well, receiving a wide diversity of arms and weaponry, including power blades and relic weaponry of the finest quality and rare, advanced patterns of armored vehicles and gunships. Chapter History Bloodmoon Hunter Sergeant Bloodmoon Hunter Sergeant Bloodmoon Hunters Sergeant (Lupine School Hunters), 2nd Hunt Company ("Blood Seekers"), 3rd Battleline Squad, wearing relic Mk III Power Armour and armed with a Combi-Bolter/Melta Suspected to be Founded in the 35th millennium as part of the mysterious 13th Founding, the Bloodmoon Hunters were created around a time a prophecy was recorded. "Under the Blood Moon of Harvests, Hunters of the immaterial will find not what they seek but the answer to the question unasked." During the Moirae Schism, the Bloodmoon Hunters were formed with close association to the Cult Mechanicus. The Chapter was given three missions for it's priorities. The first was to guard the warp corridor known as the Sanguis Portus. This was the only stable set of warp routes out to the Fringes of the Ishtar Subsector. This mandate would be the binding chain that kept them beyond the edge of most known centers of power. The second was to support the Fleets being sent into the far reaches of the Fringes. And Lastly the Bloodmoon Hunters were to guard the Ishtar Subsector as a whole. Bloodmoon Hunters have stayed in the shadows for most of it's time. However, the Bloodmoon Hunters and their ways has made impacts on the Eastern Fringe as they combat various Xenos threats and worse threats of heretics that haunt the fringes. During the years leading to the Great Rift, Bloodmoon Hunters performed various hunts earning honor for their Chapter. Even with this they are little known to the majority of the Imperium, records being what they are few hear of their accomplishments. The Great Rift Opens and the Noctis Aeterna cuts off the systems of the Ishtar Sub-sector from each other and the wide galaxy. As darkness descends across the Sub-sector a variety of threats threaten to see it burn in the fires of war. Corruption and Heresy surges within the ranks of the local Ecclesiarchy and Mechanicus. Necrons emerge on Incendius Lux, Delta Lux, and Crucia. The Frontier Worlds erupt into chaos as House Fásacha, the Lunar Venatorii Cavalry Regiments, and Ishtar Rangers struggle to repel a tide of Drukhari, Ork Freebooter, Chaos, and Harlequin raiders. Orks from the nearby Charadon Empire emerge near the Contrador system sparking continuous naval battles. The Penal World of Contrition erupts in revolt, and Khornate cults emerge wherever Penal Regiments are stationed. Finally, the Bloodmoon Hunters chapter sees the Great Rift as the herald of the fulfillment of the Prophecy of Blood, and fervently seek to identify and defeat signs of the prophecy. The Primaris Marines of Cawl have yet to make it as far as the Ishtar Fringe Corridor known as Sanguis Portus but rumor has it a squad of Hellbasters in Bloodmoon Hunters colors have made themselves known among the Unnumbered Sons and are on their way to join their brethren on the Eastern Fringe. As it stands The Comhairle of Fiach has yet to make judgement on the rumors nor on Primaris Marines in general. Like all on the front, they wait for proof of the abilities to survive the ends of the Imperium. Homeworld On the former Icy Hive World, now turned Volcanic Death World of Aigéad Fuil in the Damuterr System, a single settlement, protected by void shields exists on this world, has a burgeoning society of techno-barbaric gangs. They are allowed to commit their gang warfare in the trade city as long as they don't attack off-worlders and give a tithe to the Astartes overlords. The Techno-Barbarians use armored vehicles, and scavenge from failed recon teams and aircraft from the wastelands due to the acidic atmosphere. But the risks of these expeditions and the rapidly degrading hulls of the vehicles cause inter-gang warfare, as gangs fight for loot and intact hulls for their own craft.The hardened youth, with an experience of armored warfare and technological expertise are perfect candidates for the Astartes. The ancient hives that eked out a harsh living on the acid-rain soaked planet of Aigéad Fuil was brought into the Imperial Fold, and would be gifted to the Bloodmoon Hunters Chapter for overseeing the warp routes further into the Ishtar Fringes that would become known as the Sanguis Portus, or the Blood Gate. Few others make life out of heavily processed ancient lower hives of hives whose void shields has failed over time. Fortress-Monastery Notable Campaigns Organization Chapter Recruitment The gangs of Aigéad Fuil are monitored for their potential. When a likely candidates, for the Astartes of the Bloodmoon Hunters, are observed they are told that the representatives of the God-Emperor would like an audience and to bring an offering of a hide from one of the great beasts of the wastelands. Once the potential hunter has found a suitable offering and was able to defeat it, the aspirant must traverse to the great citadel of the Hunters of the Bloody Dark in the ravine and cave system that is the entrance of Folsom Keep. To accomplish this they must pass the trials of the Hunters and face the various beasts that hunt the hunters. Once the aspirant has proven capable and clever enough to make it to the entrance their final task is to hunt a group of cyborgs that are under the control of a Master while under the influence of a special cocktail of drugs meant to test the mind of the aspirants. Those able to defeat their enemies or better yet find the mastermind under these conditions are then inducted into the Chapter having proved they are cunning enough in the hunt. Chapter Beliefs Combat Doctrine Inquisitorial Note Some Inquisitors who fight beside the Bloodmoon Hunters notice the Bloodmoon Hunters use similar tactics to ones Traitor Marines have been observed using, and have a similar obsession with hunting. Geneseed Inquisitorial Notation Deathwatch Apothecaries noted unusual divergence in the Bloodmoon Hunters' gene-seed when they in service to the Deathwatch. Notable Members Chapter Fleet Chapter Relics Adeptus Mechanicus Observations Adeptus Mechanicus Rune Priests compared images of Bloodmoon Hunters Chapter relics to those of pre-Heresy Raven Guard, and noted striking similarities. Deathwatch Service The Bloodmoon Hunters are known to be a great source of knowledgeable Masters of the Forge for Deathwatch Outposts. Most Artificers of the Bloodmoon Hunters will spend several years in service with the Deathwatch as a matter of pride. All the Bloodmoon Hunters are trained in the ways of the priests of mars to a larger degree then most chapters by the Techmarines of the chapter. Due to this the Bloodmoon Hunters will offer their kill-team a great amount of knowledge on both imperial and xeno technological works. The relentless dedication with which a Hunter will pursue their objectives makes them ideal for the harder tasks the more humanitarian chapters would struggle to carry out. Artificers trained as both the Spiritual keepers of the Bloodmoon Hunters as well as the Technology masters for their Chapter also provide inspiration and guidance to their Brother Astartes in the Deathwatch when they serve the long vigil. Even Bloodmoon Hunters who are not artificers find it a great honor to be chosen as the representatives to the Inquisition from the Chapter on how to hunt the Alien. Being chosen by the masters for such an honor is an aspiration for many a Journeymen. Chapter Appearance Notable Quotes
  8. The Verdant Phoenix Of Flame and Steel The Phoenix Verdant are stoic guardians of humanity who safeguard Imperial worlds through fast and precise counter-offensives. Charged with the security of the Irea system and its surrounding sectors, a cautious gaze hides their fierce and exacting methods for crippling and then destroying their foes. Much like their progenitors the Iron Hands marines of the Verdant Phoenix chapter hold a deep seeded obsession for logic and advancement. Driven towards specialization, these precise warriors readily adapt to unseen challenges to make safe their sector of space. Markings and Heraldry Origins "Our task is not a simple one. This chapter in its entirety hangs in the balance, and we must uncover the truth of their existence. While the loss of such an asset would be a tragedy and leave the Imperium lesser for it, the vile machinations of their founding must be ripped out root and stem. Start with these, Victoria. We will be here for some time." - Inquisitor Yusuph Trevar Planting Seeds – The Founding Into the Fire – The Blight of Irea Rising from the Ashes – The birth of the Phoenix Homeworld "Ah, the great bread-basket of Tempestus! I know it well, and I'll tell you now there's nothing you can offer that will make me smuggle through that port no sir. The place is crawling with sisters and arbiters, and the Verdant sometimes meander the docks. I'd be a poor and foolish bastard to put myself on the cross side of that I'll tell you." - Unknown Lowlife Irea System A hub of trade and economic activity, Irea has come a long way since its reconstruction during the blight. For hundreds of years it has sat as an asset too valuable to lose, and many imperial factions have supported its growth to ensure its security. Primarily an agricultural juggernaut, Irea boasts three agri-worlds that supply much of the food needed throughout its sector of the Segmentum Tempestus. Thanks to its existence and position, many worlds enjoy expansion unhindered by sustenance concerns and thanks to that expansion, Irea has enjoyed access to any and all resources it’s ever needed to support its own growth. Included in its sphere of exports is the Ophelia system, and many of the supporting worlds that maintain the Ecclesiarchy’s position there. Irea Primary The specific homeworld of the Verdant Phoenix chapter is Irea Primary, which is also the most populated and the economic hub for the entire system. Primarily a Hive world, it houses the logistical backbone of the whole system while also containing much of the system’s industrial infrastructure. Most Imperial factions maintain a notable presence on world, including three lesser orders of the Adepta Sororitas, an inquisitorial headquarters, Irea’s two Militarum regiments, a Naval academy, numerous arms of the Adeptes Arbites, and relatively large detachment the Adeptes Mechanicus. Oddly, Irea Primary is one of the less suitable candidates for life and it’s position of importance within the system came about purely as a coincidence. When the system was originally settled it acted as a staging ground for the research of the unique atmospheres present in the system; and that head start solidified its position as a hub. Geography Populace Governing Bodies Industry and Economy Other Orbital Bodies Gene-Seed "Welcome back brother, I look forward to watching you grow again. Tell me, what do you remember?" - Brother Rasgir, Apothecary of the Second Company The Verdant are host to a stable but flawed gene-seed that has warped their self-image and challenged their faith for millennia. A subtle mutation in the Progenoid glands causes them to retrieve more than simple genetic data but also neurological data from the brain of the marine that seeded them. Contained in the Proto-Omophagea as it develops, this data is stored chemically and can be transferred to its new host upon re-implantation in the form of impulses and hallucinations, even memories at times. While these symptoms do not always develop, they can be startling if and when they do. Fortunately, on a biological level the mutation is very difficult to spot, and even then seems like it would have little effect on the system. Only by successfully re-implanting a progenoid that has been used over a full lifetime are the effects apparent. It's unclear when the mutation itself began to appear, over centuries of service its easy for such things to go unnoticed as marines refuse to disclose something that may classify them unfit for duty. It's believed it came about in M39 when the chapter’s implant success rates began to decline from ten to six percent. Since then Apothecaries have sought to understand and document it in secret, and it has become central to the chapter’s culture-even more so since their transition. Where once it was a coveted secret only discussed by the closest of battle brothers unfortunate enough to be afflicted by it, the sparks (as they're called) are now a welcomed occurrence. Marines within the chapter now trace their lineages back through time, trying to trigger episodes where they can pull from the experiences of their ancestors. Better yet, Marines in combat now allow themselves to be taken by these episodes rather than fighting them. Acting as their ancestors and pulling from skills they may not have mastered yet, these marines are beginning to conquer the drawbacks of their mutation that can incapacitate those who fight to keep control of themselves. Initiates have, since adopting these practices, taken less and less time to train; and the chapter phased out its scout company long before crossing the rubicon. Combat simulations seem to spark these experiences, especially in those of particularly old lineages. This has helped to offset the lower success rates in surgery, but even still the Chapter has to take in more recruits than normal to maintain fighting strength. Also, many marines object to having their implants removed before death, coveting the opportunity to impart their experiences on the next generation. This has put pressure on the chapter's medics, as each soldier who is not harvested on the battlefield is a severe disappointment to their comrades, and can even draw rage on the fallen's behalf. Chapter Recruitment “You have to be forward thinking. Men can always be made available to you as recruits, but it will be easier if they want to. Send your marines out now, when Irea is at its weakest. Lend their formidable labor and intellect to the reconstruction of our system. The men they aid will be too old for your purposes, but the boys... They won’t soon forget it. And when they come of age they’ll line the streets to fight for you.” - Director Aelia Corrilan The Verdant recruit exclusively from the Irea system. Its governing bodies have long fulfilled their commitment to the chapter's recruiting quotas, providing a mixture of volunteers and conscripts as needed. Since Irea recruits for its many military operations together, veteran marines and even officers stationed on world will regularly visit recruiting centers to encourage and oversee. Once recruits have finished their preliminary testing, those who meet the chapter’s serious requirements are separated and organized into aspirant groups. These teams of aspirants often find the proud and exceptionally educated volunteers tested alongside gangsters of Irea Primary’s hives, encouraging them to rely on one another's strengths to advance. Focused on finding strong warriors but also capable tacticians, those in charge of screening tend to favor aspirants who work together to solve problems with efficiency and forethought. Perhaps the most sought traits of all are analytical thinking and humility, as the chapter's tactics often find small groups tackling large problems there is rarely room for error or pride. Through their tests, aspirants have results demanded of them first, followed by efficiency, and finally speed. Most notably, unlike many chapters that put individual recruits through their trials, the Verdant Phoenix chapter organizes almost entirely group tests that require teamwork to succeed. Most groups succeed or fail together, but in some outlying cases individuals prove themselves so worthy even among a failing group that they are given another chance with another group; or sometimes those in successful groups contribute so little that they are failed outright. The final test and trial for aspirant marines is the only one they take alone, and it involves surviving one hour on the scorched surface of Issai. Most go into this trial assuming it to be a test of physical endurance, withstanding the scorching heat and toxic fumes; but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Those who fall prey to this misconception find their lungs full of soot and ash while their clothes and then skin and tissue burn and boil away. The trial instead is about resourcefulness. Aspirants must first locate a cave and quickly, as their flesh begins to burn and peel away within minutes. Once underground and away from the ignited atmosphere they must then navigate to a safe spot in the pitch black and count the hour out. Too deep and their scorched limbs may not be able to carry them out, too shallow and they'll pass out and suffocate slowly. They must then demonstrate the calm and focus necessary to count the remaining minutes with exceptional precision. Emerge too soon, and they will likely die before making it back to their hiding spot. Emerge too late, and the serfs who brought them there will have left. The aspirants who pass their trials are brought to the fortress monastery to begin their surgeries, and surviving that: their new life. Chapter Cult and Culture “It is the Emperor’s flame that lights the way. That flame that keeps back the gnashing cold of the void and it is that flame by which the spirit is cleansed of weakness. For you today, Brother, it relieves you of your hubris. For your enemies tomorrow, it will relieve them of their flesh.” - Chaplain Romu of the 2nd company, to a disciplined marine. While the Verdant Phoenix chapter has long since embraced a pragmatic approach to most affairs, they still maintain their own form of zealotry. Most prominently fire is seen as its own form of holy symbol, and in the eyes of the chapter it is the preferred tool by which to devastate the Emperor’s enemies as well as burn weakness out of themselves. Chaplains of the chapter carry pyres ignited by Issai’s still burning skies, and similarly sourced flames adorn the halls of their fortress monastery. Prayer and penance are both taken before the flame, and burn scars are common among older marines. Because of this mild obsession, Battle brothers carry nothing flammable into battle. No tabards or books, not even purity seals which can draw the ire of other chapters. Instead their armour is anointed with holy oils, entire texts written out invoking the emperor’s protection and strength that is then burned away to cement its sanctity. These rites of purity are written out by the marines themselves, and normally cemented through ignition by the chapter’s chaplains upon inspection. Additionally, each of the chapter’s ten battle barges carries a massive pyre lit and then carried aloft from Issai’s surface which is used in such rituals while its company is abroad. Perhaps the most pervasive tenant in their lives is towards reformation and improvement. While this takes many forms, from technological innovation to behavioral conditioning, it has proved itself the driving force behind most of the major changes the chapter has undergone since its rebirth. Their gene-seed too has reinforced ideologies of constant advancement and nothing is beyond reproach within the chapter’s organization. While they do not suffer from the body dysmorphia of their progenitors, it has led to some unfortunate issues when taken to the extreme; neophytes exercising or training themselves to death for example. It has however made the chapter stronger and a more effective war machine in the Emperor’s name. Modified equipment to better suit their specific charge and tactics, as well as the chance to discuss and second guess leadership decisions have both led to unlikely victories over the centuries. It does lead to at times difficult situations with other arms of the Imperial military, namely other chapters, where the input of those lowest on the chain of command is not as welcome. Still, the constant pressure to become better and leave a stronger legacy is at the heart of the chapter, and they have long since outgrown denying it. Cooperation is also held very close to the heart of most battle brothers, who have held good and close relationships with several of the Imperium's military and civilian organizations. Used to commanding elements of the Militarum on the field and assisting citizens on the streets, the chapter’s marines are better socialized than most and look upon humanity’s plebs as guardians and teachers would. This often can conflict with their loathing for weakness and can snap to rage in the face of exceptional incompetence or impudence; but these instances are relatively rare. Brothers of the Verdant Phoenix have a very specific relationship with their Sisters of Battle, close enough that many of their orders are welcome within the halls of the chapter’s fortress monastery from time to time. Their actions during the Blight of Irea inspired centuries of cooperation and trust, and a bond that has only grown stronger over time. While would-be marines start their lives among the chapter young and ignorant but eager to learn, the sisters who they come into contact with are always experienced and vigilant; and neophytes are encouraged to learn from them. Apothecaries especially get a good portion of their training from the orders hospitallier and meet their medical colleagues as kin. Chaplains as well commune with members of the faithful and hold the unrivaled devotion of the Sororitas in very high esteem even through disagreement on semantics. The Mechanicus as well, from their active forge on Moira, are responsible for most Verdant Phoenix equipment and war machines. Not just for their production, but the innovation of the chapter’s tools of war is owed primarily to the techpriests they work with. While they don’t interact as much as other elements of the Imperium, and rarely on the battlefield; the chapter still regards them as worthy allies and of common objectives. The Rubicon With the return of Guilliman and the start of the Indomitus Crusade, a new rhetoric has entered the halls of the fortress monastery. Their practices of advancement vindicated with Cawls new inventions, a swirl of vigour has taken hold of the chapter and few are positioned to stop their now rampant pursuit of new practices and equipment. Entire companies were rotated out of active duty to cross the Rubicon together, seeking newfound power in a newfound form. Performing the surgery with Apothecaries rather than servitors, the chapter has managed to reduce failed implantations to just under twenty seven percent. But the losses have still been considerable, and ever vigilant recruiting methods have been needed to keep up. Thankfully, few marines see death as a deterrent; especially knowing their seed would be harvested immediately for future use. Battlefield Doctrine Where their strength and resolve was tested for millennia as the Agriguard, the Verdant Phoenix chapter has entered an era of refinement and reorganization that has endured for centuries. Historically their tactics were influenced heavily by the Red Talons, relying on bombardment and warmachines to face the brunt of the enemy, but since the blight and reformation these tactics have been built upon and specialized to suit a specific role. Simple and blind adherence to old wisdom is behind them, and the chapter has long been reevaluating each and every battlefield practice they once held dear. At its core, Verdant Phoenix battlefield doctrine surrounds Irea and its defense. As the chapter’s influence and resources have grown, other important worlds such as Ophelia have found themselves within its watchful guardianship and in turn shaped their methods of war. Due to Irea’s unique atmospheric asset, it is absolutely imperative that certain types of threats never make planetfall onto its agri worlds. Orks stand the most to gain from the local stimulant, but Tyranids also are considered potentially system ending threats. Of course the blight seared into the system’s history has left a mighty scar, but as the worlds have grown and become even more important and a similarly destructive event would have an even more devastating impact on the segmentum. As such, the system’s director has taken all efforts to obfuscate the system’s importance while the local armed forces have taken up a proactive method of eliminating threats that even arrive in nearby systems. At their center, the space marines of the Verdant Phoenix stand ready and waiting to strike at anything unfamiliar within thousands of lightyears. Deploying as full companies, often to threats not fully known until arrival, the chapter has slowly shifted to an organization of self sufficiency where each company can operate wholly autonomously. Traveling to, engaging in, and returning from conflicts must also be done quickly so as not to leave any threat unattended, and the chapter employs considerable support staff to maintain efficiency and speed. Traditionally, brief recon periods are followed by precise and relentless bombardment to make way for meticulously planned troop deployments, shattering any hope for cohesion and overpowering whatever resistance remains. These simple steps have been put to great effect over centuries, and the captains that coordinate them have learned to adapt them to any threat they are called to face. In all cases, the Verdant will always keep their marines as close to support assets as possible and heavily depend on vehicle transports and firepower to move in force. In newfound Primaris form and with the equipment and tactics that come with them, the chapter has embraced grav-tanks for rapid deployment from orbit post-bombardment. Additionally, each company fields one dedicated vanguard squad made up of the company's most veteran soldiers. These squads are often deployed pre-bombardment to gather intelligence and identify key targets as recon and early strike units. Often smaller conflicts can be resolved with their careful application alone, but they will often harass enemies into more favorable positions for precise orbital strike. While this recent change to their combat practices has taken some time to be fully realized, Verdant Phoenix companies have noted an increase of combat efficiency since employing widespread vanguard deployment. These tactics have proven consistently successful and easily adapted to suit new threats the chapter faces, but commanders are always wary of enemies ready for their common tactics and look for opportunities to experiment with new methods and strategies. Chapter Organization High Command Battle Companies Armoury Apothecarion Reclusiam Librarius Fortress Monastery Chapter Fleet WIP [REDACTED] "You have my word, director, the system will never be without its protectors. Never." - Chapter Master Taigon Notable Members WIP History WIP
  9. House Fásacha is a Questor Imperialis Knight House, located on the world of Tarakon. They are a warrior house, where martial honor is regarded in high esteem. Each Lord Protector that is not a part of his Exalted Court is given a charge of furthering the known expanses of the Wilderness Space and to ensure they send their best men to Tarakon to join the Wardens. An ancient House that has always guarded the Wilderness Zone that was finally discovered by the Imperium when the Explorator Fleets of Mjorn and Incendius Lux first went beyond the Gate of Blood to colonize the first Frontier Worlds. Sámhach de Fásach, the heir apparent, has been given the charge that she shall complete a taking. With oaths to the Mechanicus of Mjorn, this house has learned to excel in their roles as protectors of the Eastern Fringes. History Long before the rise of the Emperor and the birth of the Imperium, during the Age of Technology humanity reached out to the stars, eager to occupy new worlds and expand its burgeoning interstellar empire. Vast colonization starships carried eager human settlers, along with all the resources they might require, and landed on far-flung, often isolated worlds. Tarakon was among the first Knight Worlds that were founded at the very start of the Age of Technology, when scouts from Terra travelled far through the galaxy seeking planets to use as agricultural worlds to provide food for Mankind's burgeoning population, or as mining colonies to provide the materials needed to fuel their expansion across the stars. Indeed, Tarakon had already been established for thousands of standard years when the Imperium was first founded in the 30th Millennium. By the 25th Millennium, ferocious Warp Storms had largely isolated the widespread human colonies, and the era that came to be known as the Age of Strife had well and truly begun. Tarakon was among those isolated for the longest time, it wouldn't be for many Millennia for it to be discovered by the Imperium. After years of preparation in 126.M36, the Kabal of the Crystal Daggers launch an attack on the world of Tarakon outside the Ishtar Subsector, but even with the destabilization and distraction of the precursors to the Lunar Venatorii regiments, they were able to reorganize faster than planned and forced the Shards of the Renderers to retreat before being exterminate by the House Fásacha guardsmen, mostly the one of the Cavalry like the later 487th Lunar Venatorii Cavalry Regiment. This was the first major defeat in realspace of the Kabal of the Crystal Daggers, and since that day the Kabal swore to avenge this defeat and since has done a great number of raids in the surrounding area; waiting in the shadows for the perfect moments to strike. By the time of M37 Incendius Lux and a now established and independent Mjorn were again ready to send a new wave of Explorator missions into the fringes. The fleets of Mjorn soon discovered an ancient Knight World named Tarakon, whose ruling House Fásacha had long served as the protector of the bleak planets that existed on the other side of the Sanguis Portus. Mjorn quickly struck an alliance with the House, and the Departmento Munitorum took advantage of the fact that hardened soldiers were drawn to Tarakon by House Fáscaha from across the fringes to form the Lunar Venatorii Cavalry Regimentum, and quickly established training academies and Schola Progenium facilities on Versliaus, Tarakon’s moon. The Ishtar Sub-Sector was mercifully largely saved from the brunt of Hive Fleets Behemoth and Kraken and were able to devote forces to aid in their destruction, however the appearance of Genestealer Cults would soon emerge as a lasting threat. The Emergence of the Great Sautekh Dynasty would prove to much dire threat however, as its Necron Legions marched a war of expansion practically next door to the Sub-Sector, although fortunately it would largely be occupied with and act as a insulator against the Charadon Ork Empire. The T’au as well, in their expansions would frequently cause conflict as expeditions into T’au space occurred alongside T’au infiltration efforts into the Sub-Sector. These Shadow Wars would culminate in the Damocles Crusade, in which the forces of Ishtar devoted significant men and material. Although called off with the emergence of the Tyranids towards the close of M41 the conflict would be reignited in what would become known as Warzone Damocles. Amidst these conflicts the Fortress World of Cadia feel to Abaddon the Despoilers 13th Black Crusade, an event which resulted in the Galaxy split by the Great Rift and embroiled in Warp Storms. As the Great Rift saw the Galaxy driven into madness the Ishtar Sub-Sector saw themselves besieged on all fronts. An increase in Chaos Cult activity resulted from the waxing power of the Von Grothe’s Rapidity, Hadex Anomaly Warp Storm, and Cyclonus Nihlus warp storms, Genestealer Cults began to rise up as tendrils of Hive Fleet Kronos snaked through the Sub-Sector searching for Chaos to destroy. Opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum(0 ICM.M42) Great Rift Opens and the Noctis Aeterna cuts off the systems of the Ishtar Sub-sector from each other and the wide galaxy. As darkness descends across the Sub-sector a variety of threats threaten to see it burn in the fires of war. Corruption and Heresy surges within the ranks of the local Ecclesiarchy and Mechanicus. The Frontier Worlds erupt into chaos as House Fásacha and the Lunar Venatorii struggle to repel a tide of Drukhari, Ork Freebooter, Chaos, and Harlequin raiders. Orks from the nearby Charadon Empire emerge near the Contrador system sparking continuous naval battles. Finally, the Bloodmoon chapter sees the Great Rift as the herald of the fulfillment of the Prophecy of Blood, and fervently seek to identify and defeat signs of the prophecy. Hand of the Inquisition(48+ ICM.M42) The Noctis Aeterna finally lifts and reliable travel in and out of the Sub-sector is finally possible. Inquisitor Belladonna of the Ordo Militarum works with Sector Administratum Command to ensure Departmento Munitorium control is reestablished over Sector military forces, in particular she focuses much of her attention to the Ishtar Fringes and the unusual control House Fásacha held over the Militarum Regiments stationed there. Although nothing is ever confirmed the sudden illness of the High Protector of House Fásacha and the strange deaths of several field officers and members of the General Staff are rumored to be her doing, it is considered coincidence that the replacements on the General Staff are much more in line with standard Imperial Doctrine and slowly the Adminstratum exerts more influence in the fringes, often leading to friction between the Adminstratum and House Fásacha. Homeworld Tarakon is an ancient Knight World of the Questoris Familia, whose ruling House Fásacha had long served as the protector of the bleak planets that existed on the other side of the Sanguis Portus. Mjorn quickly struck an alliance with the House, and the Departmento Munitorum took advantage of the fact that hardened soldiers were drawn to Tarakon by House Fáscaha and quickly established training academies and Schola Progenium facilities on Versliaus, Tarakon’s moon. One end of the Sanguis Portus Corridor, Tarakon and it's moon serves as a bulwark between the settled Imperial Worlds and the xenos infested Frontier Worlds. Home of the fearsome Wyrms and the Gallant House Fásach, it has become known for some of the fiercest warriors of the sector. Among the deserts and swamps of Tarakon large reptilian beasts known as Wyrms form the backbone of a ecosystem. Only the bravest venture near which are few, unless they are among the warriors of the Knight House. Tarakon uses these creatures that they can tame to bolster their forces. Culture Over time, House Fásacha developed a personal culture of their own, a blend of frontier and strait-laced values that even retained vestiges of chivalry. Such hazardous work in isolated conditions also bred a tradition of self-dependence and individualism, with great value put on personal honesty, exemplified in songs and poetry. The code also included the Gunfighter, who sometimes followed a form of code duello, in order to solve disputes and duels Extrajudicial justice is common in the frontier, such as lynching, vigilantism and gunfighting. The nobility of feudal worlds, still riding off to prove their honor with primitive electro-lances. A code duello is a set of rules for a one-on-one combat, or duel. Codes duello regulate dueling and thus help prevent vendettas between families and other social factions. They ensure that non-violent means of reaching agreement be exhausted and that harm be reduced, both by limiting the terms of engagement and by providing medical care. Finally, they ensure that the proceedings have a number of witnesses. The witnesses could assure grieving members of factions of the fairness of the duel, and could help provide testimony if legal authorities become involved. House Fásacha culture places high value on a person's ability to handle himself in a brawl, or with a gun. The traditional culture of House Fásacha has been called a "culture of honor", that is, a culture where people avoid intentionally offending others, and maintain a reputation for not accepting improper conduct by others. A theory as to why the House Fásacha had or may have this culture is an assumed belief in retribution to enforce one's rights and deter depredation against one’s family, home and possessions. The House Fásacha culture of honor is often tied to the relative persistence of dueling, a cultural phenomenon in which special caution is taken to not offend others and misconduct is not taken lightly (dealt with swift and firm retribution). A high premium is placed on toughness in this culture of honor, because one is expected to defend one's resources and deter predators. According to the House Fásacha laws, each Baron is authorized up to fifty personal armsmen, all other Armsmen are sworn to their holdings and the planet not the Baron. Those personal armsmen are the Baron’s Own Guard. Every personal armsman an officer's commission in the House Fásacha Army Armsmen. The first responsibility of personal armsman, based on their sworn oaths of loyalty, was to their Baron. This meant that activating their Army commissions could only be done with their Baron's permission. Notable House Nobles High Protector Moar de Fásach - The current High King of House Fásacha and as such is Imperial Governor of Tarakon, a hardened career warrior, often displayed a calm and collected demeanor, rarely showing any signs of fear in extreme circumstances. He buried his emotions deep inside himself, causing some to see him as cold and uncaring. He possesses a indomitable will for justice. Through years of training and experience, he developed heightened levels of endurance and reflexes. Lady Protector Sámhach de Fásach - De Facto High Protector and Heir Apparent, Possessing great wisdom in warfare, she was a fierce warrior that sparks fear and admiration among her enemies, colleagues, and allies. Although she holds a calm and collected demeanor, she possessed such a strong and overbearing presence that others are intimidated by her whenever she questioned their mistrust towards her abilities. She is a very strong-willed person and had a very strong charisma. Countess Dóiteáin de FaStoirm - Honor-bound to help the Ordo Mechanicus, specifically Adam Clarke. Young for a Knight Pilot, her status in the house is high due to her accomplishments and her connections to various Imperial Organizations. She seems to be a skilled diplomat. Baron Ionsaí de Fásachian - Baron Court leader during a campaign against expanding Ork Empires.
  10. http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/topic/363589-ia-bloodmoon-hunters-chapter-ig-2020/ First off, Above is the Index Astartes for the Bloodmoon Hunters that I have been off and on working. I have links in there to the other pages in which I have worked on them including the Warhammer 40k homebrew wiki. The only rules I have developed with thank to the RPGers of Bolter and Chainsword have been for the PBP board. Special thanks to Mazer Rackham and Commissar Molotov for the rulesets I do have as it was mainly them with the ideas. Deathwatch Bloodmoon Hunters Attack Pattern: Prey in Sight (NOVAMARINES ATTACK PATTERN: WEAK SPOT) Bloodmoon Hunters Solo Mode Ability: Hunter's Camouflage (Raven Guard Solo Mode Ability: Master of the Shadows) Bloodmoon Hunters Defensive Stance: Predator's Plan (BLOOD RAVENS DEFENSIVE STANCE: BATTLE KNOWLEDGE) Chapter Demeanor: Hunter's Focus +5 Intelligence and Perception Primarch's Curse: From the IA: "This is because one of the unusual traits of Bloodmoon Hunters Astartes, which may derive from an unforeseen mutation within their gene-seed, is that every Hunter possesses a near-genius ability to observe, memorize and adapt to any situation. This is what makes each a Hunter of unparalleled ability, for even the smallest signs can be tracked." So if a Bloodmoon Hunter endured mental trauma (and failed a save), they would spiral into some kind of OCD, given the fact they are superhuman, everything is turned up to 11 after all. (Thanks Mazer specifically for this) RELICS If your army list led by a [bLOODMOON HUNTERS] WARLORD, you can, when mustering your army, give one of the following Chapter Relics to a [bLOODMOON HUNTERS] CHARACTER model from your army. Named characters and Vehicle models cannot be given any of the following Relics. Note that some Relics replace one of the model’s existing items of wargear. Where this is the case, you must, if you are using points values, still pay the cost of the wargear that is being replaced. Write down any Chapter Relics your models have on your army roster. TEORAINN A Relic Stalker Artifex Pattern Bolter fitted with a suppressor unit to dampen its sound and muzzle flash, and an optical sight to augment the user’s aim, use of a Dark Eye nightscope that greatly enhanced the weapon's accuracy during nighttime operations. Teorainn is engraved with sigils of disruption that destabilise a psyker's connection with the Warp. Teorainn has accuracy and power unrivalled in other Bolters of its size and integrates a Fire Selector as well as a Targeter. ''Teorainn'' fires glittering rounds imparting freezing payload as they explode deep in the flesh of their victims using unknown technologies to make it's ammunition this way... [MODEL] only. Rule … has the following profile: Weapon Range Type S AP D [TEORAINN] x x x x x Abilities: Rule EICLIPS NA GEALAÍ A Relic Pistol that fires micro-atomic munitions that draws power from a planet's magnetosphere to form the unique ammunition as it fires. The munitions that leaps from its muzzle can reduce a man to a blackened shadow in a solar second and can cut holes in a heavily-fortified Aquila Stongpoint if necessary. The bulk of the barrel is surrounded by coils of conductive material, these coils generate an electromagnetic field oriented along the barrel. the micro-atomic munitions are sped to just short the speed of light. [MODEL] only. Rule … has the following profile: Weapon Range Type S AP D [EICLIPS NA GEALAÍ] x x x x x Abilities: Rule FUILPHLASMA A Plasma Pistol that was used by an Master Raknor on a now lost Agri World against the Tau. Under the leadership of Blood Warden, the Master of 3rd Hunt Company, Blades of Fulsom, his men held the line against a massive Tau incursion in which the Master lost his life and so did most of the Hunting party. It was a pyrric victory but his heroics in sniping a TY7 Devilfish with this Plasma Pistol held the lines for Astra Militarum support turning the tide at that time. [MODEL] only. Rule … has the following profile: Weapon Range Type S AP D [FUILPHLASMA] x x x x x Abilities: Rule SÍCEACH-BÁS A Power Sword etched with silver, hand-inscribed hexagramic wards and edged in Blackstone. The creation of this unique sword is unknown, but it seems for have incorporated Xenos techniques. It has known to be drenched in the blood of many psykers and witches, it is believed this has forever made the blade a bane of those that use warp powers. Those who wield this blade seem to be immune or heavily resist the abilities of the Warp... [MODEL] only. Rule … has the following profile: Weapon Range Type S AP D [sÍCEACH-BÁS] x x x x x Abilities: Rule Helmet of the Retiring Hunter One of the symbols of the Artificer, Copper circuitry had been inlaid, running from each temple, down the orbital, across the cheek until it ended suddenly on either side of the jaw. The circuits had glowed a continuous electric blue in combat, but when hiding in the dark, they only occasionally showed a brief blue spark running the length of the circuit. The face plate had been carefully worked into the visage of a human skull, with dim glowing bulbs peeping out from cavernous eye sockets. Each is a unique artifact of a full-fledged artificer. To view the glowing skull is to know the death of the machine that is one's body, beckoning for the Bloodmoon Hunters' enemies to retire from this life ever more. [Model] only. Rule … has the following profile: Weapon Range Type S AP D [Weapon Name] x x x x x Abilities: Rule NIMIT A Cyber-Mastiff bound to Master Scáth Hiachóir. A Relic of the Bloodmoon Hunters for this Ancient Mastiff has been a companion of one of the most revered Masters of the Chapter in it's history. Nimit is carefully crafted as a true terror weapon, a massively built and heavily-armored steel construct of considerable bulk. Nimit tracks, hunts, and kills any target loaded into his sophisticated spoor-identifying protocols, equipped with a pair of Gamma weapons in pods mounted on the shoulders, this formidable equipment suite is combined with an insidiously effective training regimen. [Model] only. Rule … has the following profile: Weapon Range Type S AP D [Weapon Name] x x x x x Abilities: Rule LITANIES OF X Unlike other Adeptus Astartes Chapters, the [bloodmoon Hunters] … All [bLOODMOON HUNTERS] ARTIFICERS know the Rights of Detestation (see below). In addition, before the battle, generate the additional litanies for PRIEST models from your army that know litanies from the Litanies of X using the table below. You can either roll one D3/D6 to generate each litany randomly (re-rolling duplicate results), or you can select which litanies the priest knows. When a PRIEST unit from your army recites a litany, replace all instances of the <CHAPTER> keyword on that litany (if any) with the name of the Chapter that your PRIEST is drawn from. RIGHTS OF DETESTATION (AURA) For your sins against the Emperor; False Brother, We Detest Thee. For the shame you bring upon your Gene-Father; False Brother, We Detest Thee. For abandoning your duty; False Brother, We Detest Thee. For embracing mutation; False Brother, We Detest Thee. For worshiping the darkness; False Brother, We Detest Thee. For all these crimes, I cast you from the Emperor's Light. Your name is dead. Your memory is gone to us. False Brother, We Detest Thee, We Cast You Out, We Turn From You. ....Rule.... So this is what I have so far.... Combat Doctrine to help:
  11. From the album: Miscellaneous

    A Chapter I invented as a cruel joke. Their entire existence makes the Lamenters look like the Emperor's chosen sons.
  12. I started work a couple of weeks back on this project before I had a name or much of anything else to it. Following Apologist's work on his Blood Angels I went down the true scale route in earnest for the first time. Recently I've thought that it might be easier to keep a log here than being reliant on my Twitter and Instagram to keep track of progress on the lore behind these guys and know for a fact that I can't commit to a blog to well. Heck I'm bad enough at keeping up with Hobby Streak as an idea. The goal is to build up a small army of predominately Mk6 armor marines that is sized for Crusade. Rouge Trader's art and the original marine sculpts are also giving a lot of inspiration but I'm not trying to just recreate them so much as use them as a guide for rules. The major hurdle has been crossed though and that's getting a scheme down. I'll have to try it out on a test mini but as far as general colors idea it looks something like this: INDEX ENTRY //START// The Faithful Jackals are listed in the annuals of the Adeptus Astartes as a successor to the Ultramarines successor chapter. However, the exact founding they belong to is not clear as much of the records of their history were lost during the Age of Apostasy though what remains is a conflicting patchwork of reports of their appearance and disappearance. Their earliest surviving record of their combat operations places them in defensive operations during the 1st Black Crusade within the same sector their fortress monastery stands in M41. One prevailing theory amongst those members of the Adminstratium is that the chapter has been re-founded a number of times rather than letting the livery and history of the chapter rest however if this is the case it is certainly unusual. INDEX ENTRY //END// Got a lot of work ahead of me but the next post will have pictures of at least the start of the first 5 marines. It's going to be a bit of a slow build for this but I think so far I've actually been pacing myself really well. Could definitely use some feedback on the scheme. I want the blue arm as a homage to the Ultramarines Legion though I'm not sold on the head color matching as well. I did think of using the head to be a company marker or doing the classic beakie stripe for that but as it stands there isn't one. Anyway, thanks for reading and I'll catch you with the next update!
  13. Chapter Datafile: Steel Harbingers The Steel Harbingers Date:...............57.M42 Ref:................LBC//TEC7710101 By:.................TechCaptain Re:.................Adeptus Astartes - Steel Harbingers Thought:............"." CHAPTER NAME: .............. THE Steel Harbingers FOUNDING: ..................3RD CHAPTER WORLD: .............Xisimali FORTRESS MONASTERY: ........Xisimali GENE-SEED (PREDECESSOR): ...Unknown KNOWN DESCENDANTS: ........."NONE" Primary Data Allegiance: Imperium of Man (Fedelitas Constantus) Chapter Master: Harbinger Deradon Size Estimate: Estimated at 1,000 (Actual number unknown) Specialty: Siege and Armored Warfare Battle Cry: " " Colours: Dark Steel and Dark Cobalt The Steel Harbingers are an ancient and venerable Space Marine Chapter created during the 3rd Founding at the dawning of the 32nd Millennium. This Founding took place following the tragic era of the Age of Darkness during the Horus Heresy, the subsequent Great Scouring and the sundering of the Legiones Astartes into separate Chapters. It is unknown with any certainty from whom this Chapter is descended from, but many of their cultural beliefs and propensity for utilising bionics mirrors that of the the stoic and unforgiving Iron Hands, though these Sons of the Gorgon refuse to acknowledge the Steel Harbingers as one of their own. History The Steel Harbingers protected their small corner of the Galaxy from the ravages of Imperium coming apart at the seams. And their they stayed until a new age had dawned in which they would be accepted as a chapter of Imperium. Fortress Xisimali was garrisoned by Steel Harbingers, the sons of the great Primarch --███████-- and whose expertise in --███████-- was unparalleled. In what is now a largely forgotten episode of the Imperium's history, while many worlds of these far-flung territories were deemed not valuable enough to offer any kind of coordinated resistance or threat -- which at least in the case of the Xisimali would prove to be a gross miscalculation. A fleet of Night Lords and several other bands of traitors who had gathered together fleeing the Scouring of the Loyalists retreated to the far corners of the Galaxy. When they came upon the world of Xisimali which was inhabited by Steel Harbingers they thought they had came to a refuge to rebuild. But instead they found that the Steel Harbingers did not believe the wild and dark Night Lords nor any of the others for they had no --███████-- among them. In response the Night Lords began a campaign of terror and attack on the home of the Steel Harbingers. This began a protracted siege as the garrison defended themselves from the fleet of traitors. It was the Ultramarines, supported by the Cruisers of their Battlefleet, that broke the siege of Xisimali; their arrival came just as the last of the Steel Harbingers were gathering for a final stand. Many Ultramarines and Steel Harbingers died in breaking the siege. The survivors were given opportunity to rebuild and were called upon later after much deliberation they would be watched even though they had proven loyal to the Emperor. Hidden in a Founding The 3rd Founding of the Space Marines occurred during the first year of the 32nd Millennium, 001.M32. The 3rd Founding was brought forth by Rogal Dorn, Primarch of the Imperial Fists Space Marine Chapter, to the High Lords of Terra. This Founding included two Successor Chapters created from the gene-seed of the Imperial Fists and the Ultramarines, respectively -- both highly aggressive Chapters. During this time the Steel Harbingers were slipped in as allegedly Sons of Gorgon though the Chapter themselves never claimed a genetic fore-bearer. Inquisitional Deal Date Unknown Some time after founding the Steel Harbingers were approached by the Ordo Originatus. This Ordo is dedicated to unraveling ten millennia of myths, exaggerations and lies. This is a difficult task, raised to impossibility due to the opposing work of the Ordo Redactus. As a third founding Chapter of repute of having great intelligence and a vast bank of knowledge stored in their Fortress, a deal was struck. For Secrets of the Past the Chapter would have help of the Inquisition against Scrutiny as well as resources the relationship with the Inquisition would provide. Fortress-Monastery The planet of Xisimali is already a frozen fortress but the strongest fortifications are that of the Steel Harbingers. Built during the Great Crusade, the fortress-citadel of the mighty Steel Harbingers, which is known by the same name is vast beyond imagining, a single peak rears up on the horizon, as if the core of the world of Xisimali had been shoved through its mantle into a terrifying, unmatched pinnacle, a conical mountain-mass soaring up into the darkening sky. Its flanks are sheer and snow-clad on jagged shelves of rock, glossy with ancient, undisturbed ice. In every direction, lesser summits crowd the view, and is ringed with high walls as it was built into the heart of a mountain that has steel like ice over reinforced areas, the monastery comprises dozens of ramparts, watchtowers and bastions. Every entrance is sealed with heavy adamantium, barred by ancient and complex locks, often keyed to Steel Harbinger Brethren. The monastery also incorporates shimmering void shields, domes of power enveloping the entire structure to ward off orbital bombardments or assaults from Titans. Covering every entrance and approach, macro-cannon turrets, heavy bolter bunkers and missile batteries scan the horizon for foes, ready to unleash their deadly ordnance at a second's notice. In addition to thick walls and gates, the Steel Harbingers created other kinds of defenses to further discourage assault. These consist of grav-mine nets, vortex-pits, and electro-pylons, each one capable of killing a multitude of enemy squads. Dark shafts cut miles into the mountainside conceal potent defense lasers that are capable of blasting apart even the most heavily armored spacecraft. These huge weapons are as ancient as the Chapter itself, the geothermal reactors that power them testament to the precious technology from the distant past. The colossal gates of Adamantium, granite and Ceramite bristles with linked Bolter turrets, rocket-launchers and static Plasma Cannons. The Twin Plasma Obliterators that sit on either side of the main gates are the ultimate expression of plasma weaponry, an apocalyptically powerful weapon capable of unleashing the wrath of a sun's heart onto the battlefield. This cannon is so large that it requires a bastion-sized weapons platform just to hold it. The firepower collected there is vast, the kind of arsenal more suited to an Imperial Navy Battle Group than a land-bound citadel including a single neutron energy beam emitted by a Neutron Laser Projector's ray collimator is capable of rupturing enemy armour on a molecular level, often resulting in the target vehicle being vaporized in a massive explosion. Only the most heavily armoured super-heavy tanks and Titan-scale vehicles can hope to survive the forces unleashed by this weapon. Even if the target is not destroyed outright by the initial beam, the neutron energy of the attack will overwhelm and disable the target vehicle's electronics and systems temporarily with a storm of electromagnetic radiation. Across the entire structure stretches the citadel's Void Shields, glistening faintly as the oblique sunlight slants through clouds of burning engine oil. Far up near the very peak of Xisimali are located the Docking Platforms where the Chapter's many aircraft can take off and land. Reaching just beyond Xisimali's atmosphere, Xisimali's docking platforms can even service the Chapter's warships. Xisimali is vast beyond comprehension and a huge network of tunnels, shafts and chambers riddled the highest levels of the peak. Entire levels of the fortress-monastery is given over to the forging of weapons and the maintenance of the Chapter’s war machines. This is the domain of the Sculptors. As secretive as their Adeptus Mechanicus brothers, they work their rituals and prayers behind sealed doors, coaxing machine spirits to life or constructing new ordnance for their battle-brothers. This is especially true of weapons unique to the Steel Harbingers, such as relic blades, specialized bolter rounds and ancient suits of armor. These weapons are created and maintained in the forges of the fortress-monastery, the Sculptors and servitor workers casting gun casings, chain blades and ceramite plates. To house the war materiel of the Chapter huge shielded silos are built into its central recesses. Protected from attack by metres of adamantium, ferrocrete, null shields to dampen energy weapons and reactive blast doors, they are always piled high with crates of shells, rounds and missiles. Racks of boltguns, meltaguns, and heavier weapons line the walls, each one wrapped in the purity seals of the Master of the Forge, attesting to its blessed craftsmanship. Connecting these silos to the rest of the fortress, a network of shell-hoists and ammo-conveyors ring the central chambers. Legless, sightless servitors hang suspended over the moving platforms and belts, their wizened fingers sorting rounds and shells by size and shape. Thus, from ammo-shrines throughout the monastery, a battle-brother can reload his boltgun or summon a weapon with which to fight any would-be invader. Hundreds of metres down, in the huge cavern spanned by the bridge, is a vision of Hel. Gigantic, hulking furnaces, each the height of a Warlord-class Titan and twice as wide, throw off clouds of blood-red light. Channels of heat-blackened stone carry rivers of fire from one inferno to the next, passing through wheels of iron and plunging pistons. The silhouettes of Servitor-Thralls, their wire-studded spines curled over from hunching, creep between the colossal machinery, checking flickering pict-readouts and tending brass-lined banks of Cogitators. The vast space hums with a low, rumbling activity. Along clattering conveyor belts amid the forges are the embryonic shells of vehicle plating, artillery barrels, even body armour parts. And then there are the hammers. They are borne by rows of muscle-enhanced, metal-ribbed, faceless Servitors chained to their Adamantium anvils by segmented nerve-conduits, endlessly working. There are ranks upon ranks of them, more machine than human, molded into mindless golems by the uncaring arts of the flesh-makers. They are the perfect workers: tireless, uncomplaining, hugely strong, content to hammer away in the pits of fire until death from the aging or breakdown of their organic components give them a final release. Next to the forges and armouries, the Apothecarion is amongst the most well defended parts of a fortress-monastery. This is where the Apothecaries safeguard the Chapter's genetic heritage and tend to its injured Space Marines. The Librarius is the central core of all the Chapter's history and lore. Filled with ancient tombs and sacred scrolls, every piece of text ever laid down by the Steel Harbingers or relevant to its existence is housed within. Overseen by the Librarians, it is a silent and holy place of whispered secrets and hidden truths. Few brethren are permitted access to the Librarius, its reserve of knowledge restricted to the Chapter Master and his advisers. At the deepest levels of Xisimali, lay the massive geothermal generators which provide the great citadel with all of the power required for its operations. This includes the blazing capillaries of magma which bring superheated rock up from the mantle of Xisimali to heat the water that provides the fortress' gigantic steam turbines with their motive force. This area of the fortress-monastery is maintained by a legion of Chapter thralls who are sometimes guided in their endeavors by the arcane technomancy of the Sculptors. of Xisimali represented the very bowels of the mountain fortress. It is a universe of stone marked by the increasing heat radiated by the geothermal reactors that provide Xisimali with its power and by the ancient Armouries and hidden vaults of the Chapter where the Steel Harbingers kept their greatest secrets -- and their honored dead. Notable Campaigns Laconia Rebellion (942.M41) - The Laconia System is on what becomes the Sector's boarder with the Sautekh Dynasty. For the 1,200 years leading up to 942.M41, the Hive World of Laconia Tertius underwent a Civil War against Secessionist forces, with the inhabitants of Laconia Secundus intervening on the Loyalist side. In 942.M41, it was revealed that Laconia Secundus had once been home to a small outpost of the ancient Necron Empire. At that time, the Sautekh Dynasty dispatched a force to reclaim the world, as part of their broader onslaught against the Imperium. Two Companies of the Steel Harbingers Space Marines Chapter were deployed to repel the assualt, but feared they would arrive to late. What the Steel Harbingers found when they arrived was that the Secundai, who had become heavily militarized during the Laconian Civil War, had managed to resist the Sautekh assault, all but crushing the small Necron force while suffering only reasonable casualties. The Astartes' Breathren Lord, thinking to the future, launched his full force against the secessionists on Laconia Tertius. In weeks, his forces managed to break a stalemate which had held for over a millennia. With the World now back under Imperial control, the Steel Harbingers ordered the people of Laconia Tertius to aid the Secondai in turning Laconia Secundus into an impenetrable Fortress World. In the decades which would follow, the Secundai would fight off several more Necron assaults, leaving the system as one of the few bastions between the Sautekh Dynasty and the vulnerable interior of the Heimdall Sector. The Imperial Purgation of the Tengu’s Watchman (963.M41) - The Purgation of the Tengu’s Watchman was one of several Imperial Campaigns along the Tau boarder systems in the centuries between the Second and Third Sphere Expansion. Tengu’s Watchman was one of those worlds on the western edge of the Damocles Gulf whose Imperial Governors had cut selfish deals with the Xenos, turning their citizens and their worlds over to the Tau Empire without a fight. Loyalist forces arrived to reclaim the system in 963.M41, spearheaded by the Astartes of the Steel Harbingers Chapter, but including both a Battlegroup of the Imperial Navy, an Imperial Guard Armygroup, and of course, representatives of the Holy Inquisition. While Brethren Lord Slavicus Ven led his 3rd Company, known as the Precursors, and the Navy in assaulting the Air Caste Orbital Platforms, Lord General Horatio Couture led the 35th Armygroup to assault the planet. While outlying settlements were quickly reclaimed, the substantial defenses of the Fire Caste in and around the Capital City of Takane set the Imperial Guard on the back-foot. In addition to an seemingly un-breachable perimeter, and a strong mobile reserve, the Tau had achieved effective local air superiority through the use of mobile Sky Ray missile platforms and a seemingly limitless supply of aerial drones. While the Steel Harbingers could still, in theory, breach the Tau parameter using orbital drop pods, there was no guarantee that they could overcome the Tau defenders without their heavy equipment. As Lord Ven and Lord General Couture prepared to commit to a massed frontal assault, using the Guard Regiments to soak up damage while the Astartes brought their mighty siege engines into position, one of Couture’s Colonel’s spoke up. Colonel Hung Tran of the 11th Laconian Riverine Raiders pointed out that there was a swamp on the eastern side of Takane which led right into the enemy’s soft underbelly. The Yokai Swamp, had been an all but impassible wetland to begin with, but it was now also inhabited by the Tau’s Kroot allies, and in great numbers. None of the other Officers present felt that any force could pass such an obstacle, but Tran swore that if the Astartes could keep the Kroot off of them, the Riverine Raiders would transport their vehicles through the swamp. That night, as heavy artillery from Lord General Couture’s lines seemingly presaged a ground assault, the Harbinger's blades began to reap a silent harvest from the Kroot. Meanwhile, using converted Chimera APCs, what local rivercraft they could find, and even buoyant ration crates, the 11th River Raiders managed to move almost 200 tons of equipment through an all but un-traversable swamp in under five hours. As dawn broke in blood red upon the City, the Emperor’s angels of death strode forth into Takane, leading Predator Tanks and Hellfire Dreadnaughts. While the Fire Caste reacted quickly and fought ferociously, it was already too late. While Lord Ven led the bulk of his force against the City Center, two squads, accompanied by the exhausted Laconians, assaulted the defensive perimeter from behind. With the Tau distracted, Lord General Couture brought the rest of the Army group against the City, overwhelming the defenders and following in the Astartes’s wake. While the Fire Caste fought on, trying to buy time for their Ethereal overlord to escape, Slavicus Ven personally managed to overtake and slay the Xeno Leader. While fighting would continue for several days, the death of the Ethereal seemed to break the spirit of the Tau. The world was soon declared compliant, and its people handed over to the Inquisition to be put to the question. Chapter Organisation With the adoption of the Codex, the High Lords of Terra required a Chapter to meet the arch-foes of the Imperium in combat - the vast armies of the False Gods of Chaos. The Steel Harbingers were not among the Chapters founded during the second founding, chosen for their stalwart and dedicated service during both the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy, no their history was much darker and so are their origins. Unlike their genetic forebears, the newly formed Chapter opted to take a more defensive approach, by building garrisons and fortifications that rival the Imperial Fists. Ranks The Harbinger - Chapter Master Equivalent Brethren Lord - Captains Equivalent Soothsayer - Apothecaries Herald - Chaplains Sculptors - Tech Marines for it is they who communicate with the machine spirits. Augury-Sergeant - Brethren - Scout Brother - Aspirant - Specialist Formations Apola - The Apola, known as the Brethren of Sculptors, the Apola's particular focus was on machine-craft; both in their construction and maintenance, and their employment in war. It exists in an uneasy alliance with the Mechanicum of the nearby Forge World, save those Tech-priests who had long-served the Steel Harbingers directly. Khele - The Khele, known as the Brethren of Frozen, although led and commanded by Astartes, also encompassed the senior officers and Mechanicum magi, engineers and shipwrights who maintained and crewed the Chapter's warships. Its base of operations a heavily fortified orbital shipyard, void warfare and the construction and design of warships and assault craft were its obsession. Chapter Recruitment On Xisimali, A small planet almost entirely covered in snow and ice. Only at the height of summer do temperatures rise above freezing. Both the northern and southern hemispheres experience harsh winters, with cold nights that can last for weeks or months at a time depending on latitude. The atmosphere is composed mostly of nitrogen and oxygen, but high levels of methane and carbon dioxide make it lethal to humans. Classified as a Death World now, it was a bustling Fortress world before it was brought into compliance by use of newly discovered and untested weapons used by the Cult Mechanicum. The survivors descendants and those of the occupying forces that now lived in the tunnels and ruins of the frozen fortresses fight for limited resources. Those that survive the constant wars are sometimes chosen to travel to the Fortress of the Steel Harbingers. Their Aspirants are put through a series of trials until they become a true inheritor of the heritage of Iron and Steel. Chapter Beliefs The Steel Harbingers are resolute in their beliefs that the Emperor thoroughly used their Legion to fight the bloodiest and most brutal battles of the "Great Crusade". They care little for trophies and embellishments, instead preferring to prove their strength and prowess through acts of Occupation. The Great Shame they learned of their Genetic Fore-bearers weighs heavily on their beliefs. The Steel Harbingers do not accept mutation among their ranks as willingly, instead choosing to remove the corrupted limbs and replace them with powerful, infallible cybernetics. The Steel Harbinger Chapter has become increasingly reclusive and hostile towards outside interference. Though the Inquisition continually investigates the Steel Harbingers, the Chapter bears such scrutiny with unconcealed disdain. Strangely, the Inquisition does not appear very concerned with the Steel Harbingers Chapter's many deviations from standard Adeptus Astartes and Imperial practice. The Chapter boasts a great number of armored vehicles and Dreadnoughts -- so many, in fact, that each company maintains its own revered armoury of battle tanks and Centurion Warsuits. Each one of the Steel Harbinger Brethren consider it a great honour to crew one of their Chapter's venerated war machines and interface directly with their vehicles through bionic implants, their heart beat becoming the thrum of powerful engines and their war cries the roar of heavy gunfire. At every level the Steel Harbingers Chapter was formidably provisioned in arms and wargear, from operational suits of Tactical Dreadnought Armour of every pattern to munitions reserves estimated to exceed that of several other Chapters combined. The technical aptitude of each Steel Harbinger was also formidable, furthering the functionality and customization of their personal panoply of war. Librarians are considered just above outsiders and are not fully trusted in the Steel Harbingers. This is due to an innate mistrust of mutation and mutants. Times in their history the deadly planet and the tunnels underneath has produced many a mutant. Being a mutant means to cut off the mutation and replace it with cybernetics if possible. Librarians can not do so and have proven too useful as a weapon but have never fully integrated with the rest of the Chapter. Combat Doctrine The Steel Harbingers are known for an affinity with technology and the clinical application of logic to military problems. This affinity was channeled into the mastery of that form of warfare. These abilities were increased by cross-training with the Mechanicum. The Steel Harbingers' Sculptors could match skills with Magi. Their methodical attitude made them merciless men in battle and siege. After the siege works were built there was a choice given to the besiegers; either to throw down their arms then and there or the Steel Harbinger would show no mercy. Just like many other Chapters they soon gained the reputation of brutality during siege, not to mention their merciless manner after the siege had taken place. The Steel Harbingers are unparalleled masters of siege warfare as well as of building defensive fortifications and fortresses. Their attacks are typically slow, but relentless and scientific. Most Steel Harbingers assaults begin with an intense orbital bombardment, followed by a rapid aerial landing. As the Steel Harbingers secure their landing zone, they will begin to erect fortifications around their drop site and use this as their base of operations for a siege as well as prevent counter-attacks by the enemy. Instead of using classic building materials for these fortified positions, the Steel Harbingers will connect their Rhinos together into a ring of pillboxes. With their position established, the Steel Harbingers will then deploy great siege engines to reduce the enemy positions before a final charge. Right after they set up their fortifications and before the initial bombardment, the Steel Harbingers will commonly send infiltration units ahead of the main force to disable the enemy's defenses and set up ambushes and conduct flank attacks while the main force charges the fortifications. Where possible, field fortifications will be used. Steel Harbinger doctrine includes extensive use of fortifications to occupy the maximum number of opponents while using the absolute minimum number of troops. This in turn keeps the bulk of the Steel Harbingers Marines fresh and available for assaults, and allows them to achieve superiority elsewhere. In combat, Steel Harbingers are terrifyingly adept at both ballistic warfare and close-range melee bloodshed, and use a mixture of the two to slaughter opponents in vast numbers. The typical Steel Harbinger is armed with a powerful Bolter, Plasma Gun or other such ranged weapon, as well as a close-combat Power Sword or Chainsword. The Steel Harbingers place a great deal of importance on heavy weaponry of all kinds, for they value the tools of destruction far more than flesh and blood. Their Devastators are famously clinical killers, blasting apart keystones and buttresses to bring down fortifications, or sniping enemy officers from afar as they try to restore order. The Steel Harbingers have a special association with the Mechanicus cult. They have extensive access to the hulking combination of armor, weapons, and Marines. The Steel Harbingers are expert sappers, engineers and miners and have acquired a formidable siege train of specialist equipment over the centuries. This includes Termite tunnelers, a Leviathan transport, Dreadclaw assault boats adapted for planetary landings and a large assortment of Imperial-built artillery. These are used very sparingly and are maintained and guarded by the Steel Harbingers' 1st Company. Additionally they have a number of Corvus assault pods which allow them to make use of any supporting Titans as siege towers. Thanks to long-standing ties to elements of the Mechanicum and the technological aptitude displayed by many in their number, the Steel Harbingers possessed access to numerous cybernetic implant systems seldom seen outside the Machine Cult, and they were also able to widely reproduce and maintain large stockpiles of Grav-weapons, Conversion Beamer and Laser Destroyer systems, and other arcane and esoteric machineries of death. Of singular note within the Steel Harbingers was the range, number and diversity of the armoured vehicle and artillery support assets fielded by them. These were known to include the full breadth of general patterns and designs operated across the Imperium by the Legiones Astartes, with tactical emphasis placed on heavy units such as the Land Raider and super-heavy war machines such as the Typhon, Stormblade and Mastodon. Once a planet has been secured few Brethren are detached to fortify the world against further assault. This would become the core of a security force that is no longer considered apart of active roles with the Chapter and their numbers are no longer counted. These Brethren become apart of an inactive reserve network for the planets that fall under the protection of Steel Harbingers. Chapter Gene-Seed The Steel Harbingers' gene-seed produced a marked tendency towards suspicion and paranoia within the Astartes but also was known to create Space Marines who were extremely intelligent and possessed naturally well-developed problem-solving abilities. The Steel Harbingers retain cold intelligence, paranoia, dark skin and dark eyes, and are noted for a preference for technological methods of warfare. The Steel Harbingers possess the Mucranoid organ which allows a Space Marine to survive extremes of heat by secreting a waxy protein substance, similar to mucus, through their pores to seal their skin but for some reason theirs does not work like it is suppose to. Space Marines are cocooned in this way before they enter suspended animation, and the process can even protect them from the harshness of the vacuum and other extremes of temperature, particularly deeply frigid environments. The Steel Harbingers Mucranoid doesn't protect them from extreme heat and they must rely on their armor to provide enough of an barrier. Documentary evidence attests that the Steel Harbinger gene-seed showed an above-average adaptability and rates of implant rejection were notably low, particularly in comparison with difficulties in large-scale implantation encountered with other Progenoid types, which would not be eliminated until the acquisition of the gene-labs of Luna. This advantage meant that the Steel Harbingers' fighting strength was built rapidly, and could be maintained even while facing continual attrition. The 10th Company Neophytes contained large numbers to be ready to fill in the ranks as brethren were assigned to garrison duty or long term detachments as well to the usual losses in battle.
  14. Chapter Datafile: Graven Souls Graven Soul Date:...............57.M42 Ref:................LBC//TEC7710101 By:.................TechCaptain Re:.................Adeptus Astartes - Graven Soul Thought:............"." CHAPTER NAME: .............. Graven Soul FOUNDING: ..................13TH CHAPTER WORLD: .............Odokuro FORTRESS MONASTERY: ........Iron Palace GENE-SEED (PREDECESSOR): ...Unknown (White Scars Suspected) KNOWN DESCENDANTS: ........."NONE" Primary Data Allegiance: Imperium of Man (Fedelitas Constantus) Chapter Master: Lord Gravemind Size Estimate: Estimated at 1,000 Specialty: Shock Assault, High-Mobility Warfare, Extensive Use of Bikes, Guerrilla Warfare, Hit-and Run, Terror Tactics Battle Cry: "Gespenst Jäger" Colours:Dark Spectral Green The Graven Soul are bellicose Space Marine Chapter whose terror tactics has earned these notorious [Astartes a fell reputation across the width and breadth of the Imperium. They were created during the mysterious 13th Founding, the so-called 'Dark Founding', due to the scarcity of any information on this particular Founding or how many Chapters were created at that time. To add to this Chapter's mystery, it is unknown from which genetic lineage they are descended from though they claim to be from the White Scars. Of all the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, none exemplifies the virtues of strict self-control more than the Graven Soul. The Graven Soul Chapter culture is one that is very wary of the idea of martial glory or honour, and prefers instead to emphasise pragmatism, adaptability and completion of the mission over all other concerns. They understand that war is suffering and death. It is a brutal business that they specialize in, but they have no desire to wallow in its misery beyond what is required to carry out the Emperor's will. Its success is dependent upon its ability to think and execute in a distributed and independent fashion. The Graven Soul willingly employ whatever tactics they believe most appropriate no matter how it looks to others, relying upon success to establish their Chapter's glory rather than misguided notions of honour and dogmatic thought. Chapter History The history of the Graven Soul is a tainted and dark one. Created some time during the 35th or 36th Millennium, the Graven Soul has acted as a shadow force to many an Imperial vengeance campaign. The Imperium moves to act with decisive force as the foul taint of the xenos is found to be at the root cause of corrupted planets either by addiction to the aliens' foul psychotropics and depraved practices, or sometimes when the corruption is found in other means or cause. The Graven Soul follows Imperial strike forces and Crusades to wage wars of retribution and terror until the corrupted planets are brought back into line. Often, these campaigns required a show of force to subjugate planetary rulers and dynasties that had been used to governing their worlds for Terran centuries and even millennia. Even more often, Imperial Compliance had to be obtained by force of arms. In these great wars, tyrants were cast down and witches burned, planets purged of the foul taint of mutants, xenos and Warp-beasts such that eventually these campaigns of planetary conquest became known as Imperial Compliance campaigns or, more simply, rendering a world "Compliant." Chapter Homeworld Odokuro is completely urbanized and stacked with hundreds of layers of arcologies, covering the entirety of the planet, effectively becoming an ecumenopolis. Nearly everything within Odokuro is recycled and reused, and few things are ever wasted. The air a hive worlder breathes, the water he drinks, and the food he eats likely all has once passed through the bodies of countless others, endlessly restored to be consumed once again. When a hive worlder dies his duty to the hive and house are not done, and most hives reconstitute their dead for the resources they can provide. Corrupt and murderous gangs, whether or not they were named as such, ruled every part of Odokuro. From the heights of nobility to the lowest alley, every inch of Odokuro was someone's domain, someone's territory or hunting ground. In the slum habitation stacks, the gangs ruled by raw fear, killing and torturing as they pleased, fighting wars with the feral packs of outcasts who were closer to animals than men. It was said that many of these gangs ate the dead, treating their territories as a predator might a hunting ground. In the mines and factories which still turned the planet's wheels of industry, the gangs went by names that echoes with a false authority. Slab muscled and furnace-scarred, they walked the streets clanking with weaponry and reeking of murder, enforcing order that was little more than slavery. In the wealthier areas, the sons and daughters of the corrupt nobility gathered in packs, clad in costumes like strutting peacocks, as quick to kill with blade or gun as they were to cast an insult. No matter what their station, almost all gangs owed fealty to one of the numberless barons, counts and lords, who in turn served still more powerful men and women, many of whom styled themselves with courtly titles that echoes a long forgotten nobility. There was no law in these lightless lands, and survival existed only by a blade's edge. Only the strongest and the most ruthless survived in the subterranean warrens, and those who did grew in cruelty and cunning. The dark owned Odokuro, body and soul, and its existence was a horror to equal any xenos enslavement or nightmare of the Dark Age of Technology. If there ever had been true laws, they had vanished long ago, eaten by the greed of a few and the desperation of many. Murder was the currency of life, and strength came from violence. Every sin great and small had its home in Odokuro's endless terror filled streets. Fortress-Monastery Known as the Iron Palace, one can only get to it through the Demon's Cavern which is guarded by four "Ogres". Every entrance is sealed with heavy adamantium gates, barred by ancient and complex locks, keyed to the unique genetic code of the Graven Soul's battle-brothers. The monastery also incorporates shimmering void shields, domes of power enveloping the entire structure to ward off orbital bombardments or assaults from Titans. Covering every entrance and approach, macro-cannon turrets, heavy bolter bunkers and missile batteries scan the horizon for foes, ready to unleash their deadly ordnance at a second's notice. Notable Campaigns Wars of Apostasy (Unknown.M36) - The Graven Soul added their bother chapters by committing to a sequence of battles and wars to draw the insane High Lord Goge Vandire's forces focus to more targets thinning the amount of resources he had available. Plague of Unbelief (Unknown.M36) - Graven Soul sent out several families tracking down and eliminating the many false prophets that appeared throughout the anarchic Age of Apostasy, some little more than madmen leading rebel armies, others spiritual demagogues who commanded worlds and armies. Lost Crusade (Unknown.M37) - Graven Soul parties sent out to numerous worlds to track down and eliminate hostile elements of the menial uprisings. Many parties deploy and mostly come back with reports that uprisings were widespread. 9th Black Crusade Splinter (574.M38) - Graven Soul engage in a decades long war against various elements of far reaching fleets from the Eye of Terror. Terror of Heretical Thoughts (Unknown.M42) - The detachment of Agents who’d just survived their civil war barely had time to rest and process what had just happened, when they were called to battle yet again. In order to atone for their role in the Avalon Sector’s rebellion, the Agents were once again tasked by the Inquisition with bringing a secessionist world to heel. At this point, this force of Agents had snapped. To them, their secessionist comrades were right the entire time. Upon landing onto the planet of Amersh, the Agents who were deployed went rogue, supporting the rebellious governor in the process. The Inquisitorial forces who deployed with the Agents were quickly slaughtered. The Agents on the ground tried and failed to contact the Emperor’s Liberators chapter, for they were busy elsewhere. The only other force in the galaxy supposedly sympathetic to the values of freedom and independence were the Blood Gorgons, a renegade chapter. They were happy to reinforce Amersh, but for an agenda they never informed the Agents of. Luckily for the Agents, the Blood Gorgons arrived just in time, as Inquisitorial forces arrived alongside the brutal Graven Souls chapter. The Graven Souls led cunning assassinations against the rebel leadership, and ambushed any Blood Gorgons they encountered. The rogue Agents fought hard to protect the rebel strongholds, but they were overmatched. Most evacuation attempts were shut down by the Imperial blockade. Only a few dozen Blood Gorgons and a thousand rogue Agents of Liberty escaped. The rest were wiped out. Chapter Organisation The Graven Soul are semi-Codex compliant Chapter that utilises their own unique form of organisation, ranks and formations. The Chapter often refer to their companies as "families", each of which is slightly smaller than what the [[:w:c:warhammer40k:Codex Astartes|''Codex Astartes'']] dictates. Each family maintains a large stock of vehicles, in particular transports and bikes, and every Battle-Brother is cross-trained in the operation of them all. The Chapter Master is the overall leader of the Graven Soul, and directly beneath him are his Chief Adviser and Headquarters Chief. The chain of command is followed by the Captains of the Families, who governs their Family with the help of a Lieutenant who is himself responsible for the equivalent of a demi-company. The Squads themselves are governed by their Sergeant. Each member's connection is ranked by the hierarchy of Sake sharing. Captains are at the top, and control various Senior Advisers. The Senior Advisers control their own campaigns. They have their own underlings, including other brothers, advisers, and support personnel. Like their fellow Astartes Chapters, the Graven Soul also maintain a Librarius of potent psykers who are highly talented and trained to master the power of the Warp at the highest levels, though they refer to these warriors as "Doomseers". Doomseers act as advisers to the Chapter's leaders as well as being powerful psykers. Doomseers are able to command the very elements; their foes are battered to ruin by mighty winds or beset by forked lightning from the storm-wracked skies. Graven Soul Captains are fiercely independent, and it is incredibly rare for the Chapter to fight as a whole. Individual families are completely autonomous and are quick to lend their aid to Imperial commanders across the galaxy, with or without the sanction of their Chapter Master. Such behaviour has led some in the other Space Marine Chapters to question the Graven Soul's soundness as a military force, but most recognize that such fluidity of command only proves the presence of the Chapter's formidable discipline, not its absence. ===Officer Ranks=== Chapter Master Lord - Captain equivalent. Lieutenant ===Specialist Ranks=== Chief Adviser - Chief Librarian equivalent. Doomseers - Librarians, These psyker-warriors have deeply-ingrained mystical traditions identical to those of the gangs shamans and holy men. The Graven Flame Seers are believed to see the darkest path of all possible futures leading their brothers down dark paths and to find ways around the dark ends. Headquarters Chief ===Line Ranks=== Veteran Sergeant Sergeant Battle-Brother Scout Marine Neophytes ===Squad Formations=== Fu (風) - "Move as swift as the Wind" (Close Support Squads) Rin (林) - "Stay as silent as a Forest" (Scout Squads) Ka (火) - "Attack as fierce as Fire" (Battleline Squads) Zan (山) - "Be immovable like a mountain" (Fire Support Squads) Kaze (風) - "Wind" (Pilots) Chapter Recruitment The Graven Soul draw their recruits from best warriors amongst the Notorious Clan-gangs of Odokuro, many of whom are engaged in fierce internecine blood feuds that date back countless generations. While psycho-conditioning during the gene-seed implantation process could be used to wipe such feuds from the Neophyte's mind, to do so would risk diluting much of what makes him a desirable candidate in the first place. In order to overcome the feuding, the Graven Soul ensure that Battle-Brothers from the same gang serve in different squads, making each unit a product of many different gangs. Intermingled in such a manner, old feuds become largely irrelevant, and without squad mates from the same gangs to reinforce an ancient grudge, such matters are quickly forgotten. Chapter Beliefs Callous and brutal though they are, the Graven Soul are not without pride, and the trappings and titles of aristocracy and dominion formed a key part of their identity, and rivalry, often violent. The gang traditions of Odokuro were carried over to every aspect of their Chapter. There were few amongst their ranks who did not bear some form of title, and the craftsmanship with which they embellished their weapons and armour was remarkable. Every Member of the Graven Soul traditionally take a blood oath of allegiance, and a member who breaks the code must show penance—historically through a ritual in which they cut off his own little finger with a sword and presents it to his leader. The cutting off of one's finger, is a form of penance or apology. Upon a first offense, the transgressor must cut off the tip of his left little finger and give the severed portion to his sergeant. Sometimes an sergeant may do this in penance to the leader if he wants to spare a member of his own squad from further retaliation. So strong is their discipline and loyalty to their leader that his word of judgement is invariably final. The nature of that judgement depends on circumstances, and may result in one or both brethren being punished in some way or, in the most extreme of cases, ordered to fight one another in ritual combat to settle the matter once and for all. Despite the teachings of the leaders and Doomseers regarding the unity of all Graven Soul, it is not unheard of for existing gang feuds to flare up between fellow squad members. The Astartes of the Graven Soul get tattoos are "hand-poked", that is, the ink is inserted beneath the skin using non-electrical, hand-made and handheld tools with needles of sharpened bamboo or steel to show their allegiance with their various squads and companies. Through these tattoos one can trace the lineage of a particular marine and how they were train and more importantly who their loyalties are too. Permanent resin-based dyes have been added to prominent figures, producing hybrid scars and tattoo forms. Vivid results have been noted, yet their chemical composition is not yet fully understood by Imperial savants. The leader-subordinate relationship is formalized by ceremonial sharing of sake from a single cup. This ritual is not exclusive to the Graven Flame but is a part of sworn brotherhood relationships the Graven Soul Astartes form. The Chapter believes that as long as the spiritual powers of ancestors and spirits of the elements heed the call of the Doomseers, the Graven Soul will never falter on the field of battle. All Graven Soul bear the long, ritual scar that is called an Honour Scar and is the mark they receive when they are fully accepted into the Chapter as Neophytes. Graven Soul members are also very superstitious, every Astartes has the ability to see omens and portents but only the Doomseers are able to correctly guide their brothers down the paths the omens foretell. According to Graven Soul Doomseers, spirit-like entities reside in all things. Such spirits possessed emotions and personalities. If the spirit were peaceful it will bring good fortune—such as bountiful harvests. Violent spirits bring ill fortune—including illness and natural disasters. One's ancestors and particularly-respected departed elders accrue status as protective gods and receiving worship. Animals, objects and natural features or phenomena were also venerated as peaceful or violent spirits depending on the area. The Doomseers either convert the spirits into peaceful spirits for their brothers or command the violent ones against their enemies. The ritual for converting violent spirit into a peaceful spirit is called the Calming. Calming rituals are performed to quell maleficent spirits, prevent misfortune and alleviate fear from events and circumstances that could not otherwise be explained. Peaceful Spirits that failed to achieve deification due to lack of sufficient veneration, or who lost their divinity following attrition of worshipers, became Demons in the service of Chaos. Combat Doctrine The Graven Soul are masters of stealth, able to infiltrate a position quickly and silently. These arts appear to be innate to the Chapter, and are used most often during the games the Graven Soul use to drive their prey into paroxysms of terror. Once they have prepared themselves and found places to launch an assault that meets their standards, the Graven Soul are capable of sudden, shockingly brutal ambushes or unconventional attacks intended to thin the enemy's ranks or simply sow chaos among the foe. Despite their Astartes-enhanced physiology and their cumbersome armour, they are taught to move with silence and invisibility. Each Graven Soul warrior moves silently in his own way, and it is each warrior's understanding of the empty spaces between sounds that allows them to occupy them. One such tactic designed to enhance fear that has been observed to be used by the Graven Soul is when they unleash a fifteen second-long vox-augmented scream that ruptures any unprotected eardrums in the vicinity. Once their victims are hunched over in agony, stunned and deaf, the Graven Soul unleash their wrath. Speed and strategic maneuverability are the cardinal virtues of their campaigns, and flexibility and the ability to adapt to circumstances swiftly are the hallmarks of their finest strategists. They meet brute force with emptiness, flowing around the foe to strike at his weakest points before falling back to strike again. Some see them as unreliable, for they are wont to avoid battle save on ground of their own choosing, but time and time again they have been disregarded and ignored only for their foes and allies alike to find them suddenly present at the heart of the battle, ready to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, always laughing as they kill. The Families strive for the honour of being declared "First" in the attack, competing in every manner to lead the assault. The families keep tally of each battle in which they have been declared "First," for the Battle-Brothers know that their deeds will be recounted for all time and their names never forgotten. To be "First" is such an honour that all gang feuds are forgotten, the bonds of Astartes brotherhood far stronger than those of mortal gangs. Because each of the Chapter's families tended to operate independently, most of the Graven Soul's vehicles are held at the company level, squadrons operating in direct support of the family's squads. The Graven Soul are veterans of countless campaigns of terror and conquest. Each member of the Chapter is highly trained and proficient in the use of terror tactics, psychological warfare, and lightning raids and ambushes intended to leave their opponents completely demoralized and easy targets for the Chapter. The combat doctrines of the Graven Soul Chapter have been honed throughout the millennia of battle and bloodshed, but they still reflect those of the original warrior-gangs of their planet. Though wild and savage, the warrior-gangers of the Odokuro hives are highly intelligent tacticians and masters of field craft. Each Battle-Brother draws on the savagery of the underhives not as a mindless berserker, but as a finely-crafted hunting spear delivered with the focused precision of a master predator. They specialize in hitting their enemy with a peerless impact and frightening speed, but they are never reckless. Time spent on preparations is vital to their strategy, as they reconnoiter each target in depth and formulate detailed plans and contingencies, coordinating their strike to ensure that maximum damage is done. Their modus operandi consists of lightning-fast hit-and-run attacks conducted by highly mobile forces, destroying the enemy piece by piece and never allowing the enemy to force a decisive or static engagement. Striking when possible from the darkness of dusk or dawn, the Graven Soul assault the enemy where they were weakest, rampaging through rear zones in order to sever lines of communication, and resupply and isolate individual concentrations of enemy troops. Often times jump assault troops are kept in reserve and then sent into action against the weakest points of the enemy line. This concept of preying on the vulnerable has led the Graven Soul assault troops to become vicious hunters who can strike anywhere, at any time. The Graven Soul Assault Troops have a tendency to modify their armour to give themselves a more terrifying appearance, mimicking the appearance of a vicious bird of prey or a swooping daemon. Graven Soul decorate their Power Armour with images designed to inspire fear in the enemy, a tactic that proves incredibly effective. Rumours of the impending presence of the Graven Soul would cause a rebel star system to pay all outstanding Imperial tithes, cease all illegal activities and put to death any mutants and suspected Traitors. One and all wear decorated masks of horrid monsters like the Ogre, the wraith, and more. The Graven Soul also uses a high number of Doomseers who actually lead when and where they strike for the greatest psychological effect. They are now known for ruthless execution of high speed targeted attacks for greatest psychological effect. Chapter Gene-Seed It is unknown which Primarch's gene-seed was utilised in the creation of the Graven Soul. Their gene-seed seems relatively untainted, if subject to some long-term degradation. The Graven's gene-seed has obviously suffered some mutations from the original source that was given to them millennia earlier. Though the source of the Graven Soul's own gene-seed remains suppressed, nobody knows exactly which Primarch's gene-seed was utilised in the creation of the Graven Soul, as their gene-seed doesn't contain any specific genetic markers. However, the real legacy of their gene seed might be psychological, as there was a tendency for paranoia and self-destructive behavior displayed by many within the Graven Soul. They thrive in the use of psychological warfare and fear tactics. The Graven Soul Seers are believed to see the darkest path of all possible futures, a terrible curse. Graven Soul Astartes are as intensely loyal as any of the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes and do not take their duty lightly nor the oaths they take to the Emperor. Regardless, however, they retain a fatalism which can cling to them even in their most triumphant moments. Unlike the stubborn adherence to duty that other Chapters might possess, which would see a Battle-Brother fight on until claimed by death, the Graven Soul have instead a grim determination to do their duty. This is not so much a desire to die as it is an acceptance that death is the only end to the path a Space Marine treads, and everything he does is another step along that path and one closer to his eventual demise. The Graven Soul all can see in absolute darkness, with a clarity that is above and beyond even the ability of normal Space Marine ocular implants and have haunting black-within-black eyes. They also possess an innate "preysight"; the ability to see in the infrared spectrum to detect heat signatures. Finally, a Graven Soul Astartes can all have a gravelly voice that is barely a whisper on the shadows to be heard. Their voice sends chills onto those that hear it that are not of their blood, raising primal fears. It is unknown where the controlled savagery of the Graven Soul came originally from but whatever the cause, there is a ferocity within their hearts and their blood that grants them great power, but which also threatens to consume all that they are and damn them. All Graven Soul are watchful for this necessary yet insidious savagery, and it is only with great discipline, humble introspection and often the watchfulness of their Battle-Brothers that they can hope to master themselves. Primarch's Curse: Nightmare Determination When the Chapter's genetic curse manifests itself in an affected Battle-Brother, it comes on in three stages: Stage 1 - The Shadow of Death: The Battle-Brother starts to see death in everything. He becomes distant and makes little effort to forge alliances with new squad members, knowing they will soon be in the grave. He becomes more dismissive of death and the praising of the dead, seeing little glory in their sacrifice, only the inevitable end to their duty and another corpse to feed the gods of war. This attitude can grate on those around the Battle-Brother and he suffers with his fellowship when dealing with other soldiers or members of the Adeptus Astartes. Sullen and withdrawn, the urge to inflict terror of death upon their victims grows with each passing hour. Stage 2 - The Bad Beneath the Good: The Battle-Brother cannot help but reflect on the worst side of a new development and will endeavour to find the worst aspect of even the most favourable of circumstances. Quite apart from causing friction within his squad, the drawing of focus onto potential problems and unforeseen dangers (regardless of the actual likelihood they will impact on the squad's mission) can cause compromises in command and less than direct tactical judgments. They are cruel, ruthless, and opportunistic, frequently striking at vulnerable targets and toying with their unfortunate victims. Stage 3 - Game Over: Death is inevitable and the Battle-Brother is already a walking corpse just waiting for the moment when an enemy's blade or bullet ends him. Filled with visions of his own demise, the Battle-Brother begins to act recklessly, accepting that it is his time and there is nothing he can do to prevent it coming. This will not only place him in danger but can endanger his entire squad. The Battle-Brother does not contribute to the squad's cohesion as he fails to adequately aid them in battle. In addition, he tends not to gain the benefit of hiding behind cover, as even when behind barricades and walls he exposes himself to fire with little mind to remaining concealed. These Astartes live only for the thrill of inflicting terror upon their unfortunate victims, the overwhelming desire for the infliction of pain and suffering, trying to share their vision of the end. Chapter Fleet The Chapter fleet of the Graven Souls is not particularly large or notable except that it features in general Improved Stealth Systems and Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) that either mask your presence in auspices or alter your coordinates. Further they make extensive use of Boarding pods and Electronic disabling weaponry. Chapter Relics Alt Schmied Jäger: A long Double-bladed Cavalry Power Sword, comprised of two large waved blades joined by a common hilt with an extending holder. Parrying with such a sword may transmit unpleasant vibrations into the attacker's blade. These vibrations caused the blades to slow contact with each other because each wave provided additional friction. The unusual cross section of the blade would inflict wider wounds with a thrust while still keeping the blade light. Nōryoku Ken: Despite attempts at nondestructive analysis of the sword’s composition, including variations of X-ray fluorescence, Magos of the Cult Mechanicus has yet to make any significant progress toward identifying the material in question. As its stands, it is known only that the sword is forged of a non-terrestrial metallic element held in tight suspension by Psionic energy that it itself contained by forces unknown. All accounts, this weapon is a prize for both the warrior and the scholar alike. Deathwatch Service To be chosen by Graven Soul Doomseers to serve in the Deathwatch is a great honour for any Brother, as only the most elite and experienced members of a Graven Soul are ever chosen for this extremely hazardous tour of duty, the specifics of which must be kept secret by Inquisitorial order. Chapter Appearance The 'family' crests are adopted from the Clan-gangs of their homeworld. Every brother of the Graven Souls knows it is important to trace back one's heritage, and does so by honoring them by displaying their crest on their armor. When a Brother Marine becomes a Sergeant, he is allowed to display his "family's" crest on his back banner when in charge of a squad. If a Brother Sergeant becomes a Brother Captain, his crest becomes the company crest and is displayed on the company standard.
  15. INDEX ASTARTES: DESERT EAGLES SONS OF GUILLIMAN Renowned for their adaptive warfare and righteous fury, few can resist the overwhelming onslaught of the Desert Eagles in their stride. Serving the Imperium since the earliest conflicts of the Great Crusade has earned the chapter numerous honours, as well as bitter enemies from the ranks of those who fled their advance. The Desert Eagles are proud descendants of Guilliman and honour his name with a storied list of campaigns won over his enemies. In contrast to the measured tactics of their progenitor the Desert Eagles utilise highly responsive advances, shifting entire frontiers of battle to exploit opportunities. This characteristic descends from the forging of the Chapter during the vicious battles against the Word Bearers of Lorgar in the Horus Heresy, when a Chapter of their Ultramarine forebearers were left isolated and betrayed on the deserts of Calth. The resourcefulness of the Astartes in reclaiming critical supplies and positions and their unrelenting nature during those crucial hours earned them the nickname ‘Carrion Eagles’ during the siege by local forces. The brown-and-crimson armour of the Desert Eagles now reflects the desert that defined them over mere hours, as well as the commemorating the lives lost in those cursed sands. Desert Eagles patrol unleashes death upon a Chaos Warband Desert Eagles Astartes with Bolter When the Desert Eagles Chapter was brought into being during the Second Founding, Captain Catius Thassor, a renowned commander of the Ultramarines Legion, was chosen to be its first Chapter Master. Thassor's reputation was steeped in legend from the Battle of Calth, where he led what would become the Desert Eagles chapter against Word Bearers forces in desperate survival on the planet's surface. The savagery of the Word Bearers' assault upon the planet's surface was secondary only the conflicts within orbit. Even as Ultramarines forces were shattered at Komesh the fighting in the deserts of Cuneth grew fierce, where the planned betrayal faltered under sandstorms. Thrice Thassor led the united Imperial forces into the sands to reclaim vital communication facilities to allow their evacuation, splintering the ammassed followers of Lorgar under blinding walls of dust and fire. Such conditions proved fatal for many of the allied Imperial Guardsmen within the deserts, however the loyalist forces made frequent use of their littered supplies as the hours of desperate fighting bore continued. Battletanks and artillery positions were scavenged for shells and explosives, and the Ultramarine defence bore on. Communications reached the loyalist positions of the dire state of Calth, and with it news of impending destruction. The Word Bearers' obliteration of the system had destabilised its integrity, and soon the surface would prove fatal for any who remained on its surface. Thassor's forces turned their scavenged ammunition earthbound, and were able to detonate their way into the nearby subterranean networks where they would continue waging the Underworld War against Chaos forces until Ultramarines fleets returned several years later. By the time Thassor was able to return his Chapter to the Ultramarines Legion less than half of those he had led beneath the desert of Cuneth remained, and himself a hero of the Legion. With the completion of the Codex Astartes by Roboute Guilliman at the conclusion of the Horus Heresy, he commanded his sons to divide into 1,000-member Space Marine Chapters so that no single commander could ever control the power of an entire Astartes Legion again. As the Howling Griffons and Genesis Chapter ventured into the galaxy at the dawning of the Second Founding so to did the Desert Eagles, now united in their brown-and-crimson and once again being led into the unknown by Catius Thassor, Chapter Master of the storied survivors of Calth. The Desert Eagles' homeworld is located on the planet Audax, an Imperial Feral World in Segmentum Ultima. The planet consists of a pair of hive cities, both heavily damaged due to solar radiation, as well as the Desert Eagles' Fortress-Monastery Basilica Solitudinem. Audax's population still resides within the ruins of the two cities, as the remaining landscape of sun-scarred rocks and salt flats proves fatal to those who pass through. Life is fierce within the crumbling towers with scarce resources and even scarcer allies, and attempts to unite the cities by those residing fall quickly due to mistrust and infighting. The present-day Chapter utilises a variety of trials to select neophytes from those that remain clinging to the cities of eons past, their skills honed by the trials of living upon Audax. Representatives of the Desert Eagles descend upon each city twice within a normal human's lifetime and take the most skilled aspirants from the population, forcibly if required. Many that fail the trials are returned as servitors, and are tasked with rebuilding for the remnants of their short life-span. Some have noted that the cities may have yet been recovered if not for the recruitment and removal of their most hopeful youth who now litter the alleyways as glistening mechanised corpses. The method of fighting forced upon those of Audax for survival has served the Desert Eagles suitably over the millennia. Their modus operandi consists of fluid and interchanging attacks conducted by highly trained forces, destroying the enemy before any attack can be properly responded to and never allowing the enemy to force a static engagement. The Chapter emphasises the usage of shifting terrain and resources to their advantage, and each unit has a vital role within the overarching structure deployed. As a result, on some occasions that the tide of battle turned against the Desert Eagles the losses were significant, such as in M36 when they were ambushed by Drukhari forces who were able to interrupt communications systems between the Chapter. Although preferring to keep the foe at arms-length, the Desert Eagles are still capable of engaging in bloody close-combat just as readily as at range, and are readily feared by the enemies of the Imperium. Despite their seemingly indecisive nature when employing tactics, the Desert Eagles disdains the notion of recklessly charging against an enemy without sufficient intelligence of the situation or the surrounding landscape which could be used to their advantage. The Desert Eagles are classified as a Codex Astartes-compliant Chapter, and they follow the sacred tome with few variations in terms of organisation. They follow the tactics presented in the Codex, efficiently making use of different standard units, but frequently intermix and alter tactical decisions so that the Chapter cannot be readily countered. The addition of Primaris reinforcements has been received poorly due to their slow uptake of these decisions, a reflection of their Terran upbringing and previous engagements rather than ability. Desert Eagles Shoulder Pad (6th - 10th Company) The Desert Eagles are currently operating at near full-strength and organise their Chapter into 10 companies. In a reflection of the two cities of Audax the Chapter is often divided as two 5 Company forces known as Strikes, with the 1st - 5th Companies' shoulder pads being crimson to denote this whilst the 6th - 10th Companies have brown shoulder pads with a crimson trim. The appointment to Strike Captain is an incredible honour within the Chapter and often precludes appointment to Chapter Master, as a Chapter Master cannot himself lead a Strike as he must focus on the operation of the Chapter as a whole. The Desert Eagles were established in the Second Founding (M31) from a Chapter of Ultramarines that survived the Battle of Calth, and are therefore descended from Roboute Guilliman. They have not experienced any significant issues from their gene-stock and answered Guilliman's call for aid upon his return, though the deviation of their combat doctrine has brought issues when fighting alongside other Astartes forces. PRE-HERESYChapter Master Catius Thassor - Catius Thassor was a former Captain of the Ultramarines Legion during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy, achieving esteem for his service during the Battle of Calth. He became the Desert Eagles' first Chapter Master during the Second Founding and led them to their Homeworld of Audax, establishing the fortress-monastery Basilica Solitudinem upon the planet's weathered surface. POST-HERESY Chapter Master Martellis Riol - Martellis Riol is the current Chapter Master of the Desert Eagles following the death of his predecessor during the early Indomitus Crusade. Riol was formerly the Captain of the 5th Company and inherited Talonstrike, a Master-Crafted spear with attached bolt-pistol that is the pride of the Chapter. He was notoriously besieged by Desert Eagles forces for three days at the peak of one of the few remaining towers on Audax where he had made his lair prior to joining the Chapter, a feat thrice that of any previous aspirant. Utilising the crumbling nature of the ferrocrete building against them he was able to combat the incapacitating weaponry deployed against him in a cruel reflection of the Chapter's tactics. Only the intervention of an apothecary saved him at the conclusion of the siege from dying due to exhaustion, and the legend of his stand spread quickly throughout the Chapter. Strike Captain Adonis Rake - Adonis Rake was a former Captain of the 1st company and Strike Captain in M36, when he led the 1st, 3rd and 4th Companies as a Strike against a significant Drukhari pirate threat. The two forces tactics were each a reflection of the other, however the lightning speed of the forces of Commorragh caught Rake both unaware and unprepared. The ensuing destruction led to the complete obliteration of the Strike, and the loss of experience and resources was a severe hit against the Desert Eagles, who sorely swear vengeance upon those who inflicted their destruction. Ever since the Chapter has favoured younger leaders and highly commemorates exceptional service of an individual, rather than solely years in service. "Fluid/interchanging/responsive tactics" is justification for my terrible choices during actual games of 40k, thought it might reflect nicely in the lore as well. I understand that Calth was an Agri-World prior to the Horus Heresy, and though I haven't read the books covering the Battle of Calth I'm banking on an image of Calth pre-heresy containing what appears to be deserts. If there's any issues I could switch the planet that the desert fighting takes place on, I just imagined that the Battle of Calth would be such a significant and defining moment in the Ultramarines' history that it'd send shockwaves even 10,000 years later in how some chapters function. Full credit for the images goes to two very talented artists on DeviantArt, Kai Lim for the first which was for a series of Soul Drinkers novels, and Algrim-Whitefang for the Astartes image which I combined from a few of their images. I believe the shoulder pad is from the 5th ed. Space Marine Codex? Very easy to find on the various wikis. All were recoloured in Photoshop using Hue/Saturation layers. I chose to use the Raven Guard insignia as transfers are made for them and I didn't want to use a third-party printing service when I already have a significant number of them. The insignia would usually be on a brown or crimson background anyway which should be different enough from the black. If you wish to replicate the banners I've used here I'm more than happy to send the Photoshop file through.
  16. I know that traditionally Word Bearers can not be taken as loyalists, however while I was reading today I noticed that the Orphans of War row specifically says that it is to represent loyalist elements of otherwise traitor legions, and then that this row "may only be taken by" and then goes on to list Word Bearers amongst the other traitor legions. If using this rite of war could one make the rules argument for taking a loyalist Word Bearers force? The in-universe explanation would simply be that these were morally-deficient loyalists willing to do anything to keep their true loyalties hidden until they determined the time was right. (The HH obviously becoming the "right time" to reveal their true convictions) But I am wondering more specifically if the Rite of War's rules would create an exception to the Word Bearers original "traitors only" rule, or if it is likely just a mistake and tough luck. Interested to hear people's thoughts.
  17. Liberites! Though I've made a handful of posts since returning to the hobby already, it hasn't quite felt real until preparing to submit an IA again, and it makes me happy to be doing so. While Tau have always been my main army, and I quite enjoyed creating my new force's Index Xenos, no 40k background inspires and excites me as much as that of original Adeptus Astartes chapters, and that goes for the creations of others as much as my own. I'm glad to be involved in the hobby again, and I don't plan on letting it go anytime soon. Anyway, enough from me; for your entertainment: The Depthwatch Edit: A semi-formal pdf version is now available in the downloads section HERE. The Depthwatch Chapter Risen From the Unknown There exists only a small, albeit dedicated, sect of Imperial scholarship that still gives credence to stories of the Depthwatch Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. Though a number of references to marines bearing the armor and heraldry associated with the Depthwatch exist, they are only that: references. No reputable accounts, much less recordings, have been found that would truly confirm that the Chapter existed. It has only been through the sponsorship of a small and relatively insignificant dynasty of Inquisitors that the search for information regarding the Chapter still continues. There is still much debate within their circles, but the majority belief among these scholars and Inquisitors is that the Depthwatch was created during the 24th Founding and came to be stationed in the Segmentum Tempestus, where most of the myths originate, and which aligned with the need for fresh Imperial defenses at the time. It is generally assumed that the Chapter must have restricted itself to patrolling reaches of empty border space, regions that might make tempting openings for xenos incursions. This fits with the few existing records of materiel requisitions to the region for which any notation on the recipients has been lost. Many of those searching for the truth behind the Depthwatch have long held the belief that somewhere in the galaxy, its progenitor may still hold records that would finally solve the puzzle, but between the reticence of many Astartes to allow Inquisitorial interference in their affairs, and the lack of any hint even to what genetic lineage the Depthwatch bore, no search has yet proved fruitful, and the trail has long been cold. The search has recently been rekindled, though, following reports of the bodies of Primaris marines vanishing from the battlefields where they fell, and the strange Astartes that always seem to be present when it happens. The Blasphemous Truth, whispered from tomes in the Black Library Home World It would be a great triumph for those pursuing knowledge of the Depthwatch to ascertain even what might have been their home sector, let alone a home world. In the past the stories and legends attributed to the Chapter have originated in the Segmentum Tempestus, and new attention has been brought to the region as separate forces of multiple space marine chapters, including the Champions Eternal, the Wolfspear, the Moritficators, and the Raven Guard have raised claims of unidentified, but ostensibly loyalist astartes, absconding with the bodies of fallen Primaris marines. With the voice of the Raven Guard involved, more groups within the Inquisition have begun to take interest, while the Champions Eternal have vowed to find and punish the desecrators themselves. Turn the pages. Go deeper. Recruitment Who or where the Depthwatch recruited to their ranks is impossible for Imperial scholars to know, given the much more fundamental questions that they still cannot answer. If some feudal world ever contributed its youth to their ranks, no record of it has been uncovered, though not for lack of trying. Read, mortal, know the truth hidden by the Empyrean. Combat Doctrine Collected myths and songs associated with the Depthwatch paint a picture of a force focused on ambush tactics. Epics, their origins lost to oral tradition, tell of "star sailors" who made use of celestial bodies like asteroid fields and nebulae to strike unexpectedly at invading enemies. More than a few of the tales describe them striking from all directions, always seeking to remove any chance of retreat in order to utterly destroy their foes, rather than simply repel them. That truth is dark should come as no surprise. Organization Like their recruitment methods, the scant information that researchers have gathered over the centuries is not nearly enough to support guesses as to how the Depthwatch was organized. Like knowledge, survival demands sacrifice. Beliefs Occasionally the debates that take place about the chapter broach the subject of their beliefs, more specifically their loyalty, but the discourse is only questions, never answers, and from decade to decade popular opinion sways on whether this lost chapter was traitorous or true. Reality and belief, eternally intertwined. Gene-seed The genetic origin of the Depthwatch is as lost to the Imperium as the rest of the Chapter's history, a subject of endless discussion among the tiny faction of scholars that still defend the Chapters existence. While a few go as far as to try inferring lineage from the scant descriptions of the Chapters character, most others deride anything less than verified genetic data, something that most researchers have given up ever finding. The same seed engenders both truth and lies. Chapter Tactic Warrior Apparitions Unnatural mist and improbable pools of water seed the battlefield moments before the Depthwatch arrives. Their sudden appearance, and the strange occurrences that seem to accompany them keep their enemies off balance until it's too late. When resolving an attack with a ranged weapon against a <Depthwatch> unit more than 12" away, the unit counts as having the benefits of cover. Enemy units within 3" of a unit with this tactic suffer -1 to their Leadership. Memory woven from the recollections of Men and Aeldari
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. Index Astartes Embodiments of Pursuit: The Emperor’s Huntsmen Space Marines Chapter [/size] Origins When the northwestern fringe of Segmentum Obscurus was plagued by the betrayal of the Hereteks who called themselves the Apostles of the Blind King, the Imperium responded quickly and forcefully to the uprising. Forewarned of danger by the Emperor’s Tarot, two chapters of Astartes were founded to combat the impending threat. One, the Dark Hunters, was raised conventionally from White Scars stock and completed in time to join the main body of Imperium forces in what became known as the Occlusiad War. The other was formed slightly later, under conditions of secrecy, the tarot having given favorable readings towards both force and subtlety. Suspecting that the hereteks might try to disperse when the tide turned against them, joining the Dark Mechanicum or sowing their heresy among loyal machine cults, this second Chapter would be held in reserve, the waiting arrow hidden behind the blinding axe of the Dark Hunters, ready to seek and destroy any break aways from the Apostles. With the discovery and destruction of the Blind King’s palace-warship, Terra’s concerns became justified; as the Dark Hunters closed the noose quickly around the remnants of the cult, many small groups abandoned resistance and attempted to go to ground. The Emperor’s Huntsmen were waiting, at Terra's word revealed themselves to the galaxy as they were loosed on their prey as an arrow from a bow. In short order, they confirmed the destruction of all remaining vestiges of the Apostles. With their founding task completed, the Huntsmen set out across the stars to prosecute the endless war against heresy wherever it reared its head in the darkest reaches of the segmentum. Homeworld Only after the conclusion of the Occlusiad War were the Huntsmen given license to choose a homeworld. At first they felt sure that it was unnecessary to be tied to a single planet, and they would be better served maintaining their mobility as a fleet. Until, that is, they discovered Vanua. At the time it was known only as PM-9147, a jungle deathworld sitting alone in its star system, with no particular resources of value. The planet had long ago been earmarked for plotting as a navigational obstacle and more or less forgotten. The chapter, passing the planet by chance, followed protocol, dispatching a team of Huntsmen to investigate the surface for any signs of their current quarry. The team quickly became stranded when their landing site was ambushed by a pack indigenous multi-limbed predators. For the next week, hunter and hunted traded advantage, both the Astartes and the beasts scoring kills. When the surviving members of the investigating party were finally located and rescued...they exulted in the experience, calling it the hunt of their lives. No xeno or heretic yet had provided such a challenge. Their report piqued Chapter Master Visayo Damang's interest, and a second team, accompanied by a chaplain, was sent to assess the viability of the planet as a trial world for testing Neophytes. And so PM-9147 was brought under the protection of the Emperor’s Huntsmen and officially renamed Vanua. Vanua has a variety of environments, but it is mostly dominated by thick rain forest jungles. While the trees and canopies of these jungles don’t grow much higher than those of ancient Terra, their roots go deep, and the crust of the planet is somewhat porous. Extensive tunnel and cave systems lattice through the earth, home to all manner of alien wildlife. Predominant among these are the Prychians, agile, eight-legged pack hunters that grow to the size of Rhino transports. Their bodies are covered with thick, spiny hair, and plates of chitinous armor, and their small heads have several pairs of eyes and a symmetrical, fanged maw with pedipalps strong enough to crush a ceramite helmet. Each pack controls vast territories stretching both above and below ground, which they fiercely defend. Like a primal mirror of the Chapter's own values, the Prychians have inspired the Huntsmen so profoundly as to be incorporated into the Chapter's iconography, replacing the seven arrows of the original Chapter emblem with the eight segmented legs of a Prychian, pulling taut the webbed biochemical nets from which they make their home. Notable among the other species sharing the world are hundreds-strong colonies of small, scaly avian scavengers; astartes-sized moths metamorphosed from massive larvae; and agile two-limbed primates that seem to have a close symbiotic relationship with the trees of the world. Most of these are of no practical interest to the Huntsmen and their kin, but their delicate balance of hunter and hunted is sacred such that the Chapter carefully controls the use of land on the planet to preserve the ecological balance. Recruitment At their inception, the Huntsmen leaned into the freedom and mobility of their fleet, recruiting via tithes taken from the worlds under their protection. Some worlds offered their children proudly, others because they had no choice, and while the stock the Huntsmen chose from was good, the worlds themselves did not inspire the chapter to consider a permanent presence. Vanua was different; it seemed to embody their ideals and challenge their strength. Over the decades and centuries that have followed, initiates undergoing the implantation process were ferried to the planet and tasked with hunting the Prychians to prove their worth. The most successful joined the ranks of the Huntsmen, while all survivors, including the unsuccessful were allowed to have their families brought to the planet and remain under the Chapter’s vigil. Over time this has resulted in a native population of Vanuans, who have become the most plentiful, successful, and valued recruits to the Chapter. Prior to undergoing implantation, aspirants are taught and tested above Vanua, on Guinova Station, the Chapter’s orbital fortress. There they engage in simulations instilling all the basic practices of Astartes warfare, they study the history of the Imperium, and they prepare to face their final trial. Those who pass the trial are inducted into the Scout Company, as in codex compliant chapters. Combat Doctrine The Huntsmen’s approach to combat is heavily derived from their primogenitors, using lightning speed to strike enemy vulnerabilities before a proper defense can be mounted. They differ somewhat in method, however; while the White Scars wear down their foes with hit-and-run attacks, the Huntsmen calculate their attacks to overwhelm and finish a target all at once by scaling up their assault as needed to defeat enemy defenses. Only in the case of heavily entrenched enemy positions will the Huntsmen moderate their approach, working aggressively to cut off supplies and reinforcements, rather than trying to directly pierce siege defenses. Like their genetic forebears, the Huntsmen attack primarily with highly mobile assault elements, charging in on armored bikes, striking from the sky with jump packs and drop pods, and delivering troops to the enemy’s doorstep with rapid transports. When battle is joined, the Huntsmen prioritize crippling enemy communication and mobility before finishing off resistance. When choosing operations, the Huntsmen prefer to take on missions tracking down elusive targets that have been a particular thorn in the Imperium’s side. They have also proved very adept at spotting the signs of genestealer cults and routing out and destroying them, even before full blown uprisings have begun. Organization The body of the Chapter is compliant with the Codex Astartes, and led by a council of eight marines called the Prosomus, drawn from the leadership of the various companies. The council includes the Chapter Master, the captain of the 1st Company and his second, and the captains of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Battle Companies. The reserve companies remain at the disposal of the Chapter Master to assign as he believes necessary. In accordance with their nature as pack hunters, the chapter works hard to maintain communications throughout its operational area, avoiding overextension as much as possible. The Chapter Master, known in the emergent Vanuan creole as the Aureanus, spends a great deal of time in council coordinating the Chapter’s efforts. The current Aureanus is Borgama Hirst, who has held the position for 13 years. The Librarium of the Chapter is somewhat small, but vital to the Chapter’s ability to pursue it’s chosen targets wherever they may flee. To do so, they work closely with the Chapter’s astropaths to sense their enemies’ position far in advance, as well as to close off avenues of escape before attacking. The value of this information is considered to be worth more than the use of psychic powers on the battlefield, but it is not unheard of for librarians of the Huntsmen to be present on the frontlines of particularly large or critical conflicts. Beliefs Typical Huntsmen have a similar fervency and energy to their brothers in the White Scars, and are also characterized by a vengeful streak that outside observers might consider dangerous. While not easily offended or provoked, if an affront is taken, it is held and paid in kind. The Chapter Reclusiam works tirelessly to ensure that this vengeful energy is focused outward, on the enemies of the Imperium, but from time to time conflicts have erupted between brothers. Sometimes it is enough to remind them of the “false predators” among the xenos and heretics that plague the Imperium to refocus them, but other times it is impossible to deescalate the situation before it turns deadly. The aggression of the Huntsmen has made them particularly undiplomatic among an already undiplomatic brotherhood of warriors, and between this and the unyielding nature of their efforts to destroy their prey, only the very foolhardy or the very prepared dare to draw their ire. The hunt is everything, and they welcome almost any reason to take it up. Gene-seed The Emperor’s Huntsmen enjoy the genetic stability of their primogenitors, showing little to no sign of mutation throughout their history. After implantation, Huntsmen marines are often noted to develop a suddenness of motion that other sometimes find disconcerting; they aren’t twitchy, but when they move, even for small things, it seems to come in sharp jerks. Whether this is the result of a reaction in the gene-seed or simply borne of their culture and methods is unknown. Battle-cry The Chaplain’s Call: “Strike with speed!” The Brother’s Answer: “Kill with fury!”
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