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*Picture of Space Marines here, still WIP* "A poor hunter chases prey. A good hunter waits for it." - Chapter Master Koganeth, Champions of Athlum, M38.224 Early History: "Some battles are decided before swords are drawn" - Athlumi proverb Amongst the first Chapters created in the 18th Founding, the Champions were given clear objectives from their very inception. Sent to the south-east of the Glastheim Rifts, the Chapter was to establish a base of operations and destroy a festering empire of brutal, lizard-like xeno raiders called the Khovata. Arriving at their designated area of operations, the Champions immediately began a war of calculated aggression, striking the xenos occupiers wherever their defences were weakest and clearing the path for larger Imperial Guard and Navy forces to push the xenos back. On the border of the Kohvate empire lay the Death World of Athlum, a stunningly beautiful but barely hospitable planet filled with hyper-lethal plant and animal life. The Chapter found the planet's climate produced hardy, viable recruits, and quickly adopted Athlum as a homeworld, allowing them to replace the losses incurred during the Khovata wars. The final assault against the Khovata empire saw their homeworld of Lor conquered, the aliens massacred and the scant handfuls of survivors fleeing into distant space. Lor fell into Imperial hands, and was quickly turned into a mining colony to supply the Adeptus Mechanicus with ores and oils. The Champions, having succeeded in breaking the strength of the Khovata, found themselves suddenly beset by Dark Eldar - the Kabal of the Shattered World began launching raids on nearby Imperial worlds, forcing the Champions to chase after this elusive foe. At the same time, Chaos cults began to surface across multiple systems, sometimes in great numbers or with hordes of mutants or daemons in thrall. Beyond this, remnants of the Khovata sometimes launched their own bloody raids from the distant, disparate worlds they had fled to, cutting into the Champions' territory like a scythe, intent on causing as much damage as possible. The Champions were unable to easily pursue foes across so many fronts, and so changed their tactics, drawing inspiration from the hunters on their Homeworld of Athlum. Studying the habits and attack patterns of their enemies, the Champions were able to use smaller forces to lie in ambush, using guile and forward planning to intercept enemy attacks. Chapter serfs were employed as agents, gathering intelligence and acting as watchful eyes for the Chapter on many worlds. When enemies massed in large numbers, the Champions would seldom attack them head-on, instead sending strike teams of a few squads to destroy enemy supplies and materiel, sabotage enemy defences or ships, or assassinate key enemy figures. The Chapter quickly became famous for their "Death of a Thousand cuts" approach to warfare, weakening an enemy to the point the battle was all but decided before the Champions deployed their companies in open war to finish a foe. The Champions of Athlum would, in M37, become part of the "Silver Circle", a band of Chapters around the Glastheim Rifts sworn to defend the Imperium's holdings in that area. Heretics lurking in the Warpstorm-addled Rifts themselves and xeno predators attacking from all angles made the Rifts a dangerous place, but the alliance of Space Marine Chapters worked together - albeit grudgingly - to grant the Imperium some additional purchase in the region. In late M40, the Champions discovered the lost world of Kynasa, that was in many ways a mirror of proud Athlum. Home to a hardy, primitive population dwelling in the forested ruins of ancient Imperial cities, rich in danger for the unwary, and isolated enough to have largely avoided the predations of enemies. Claiming recruitment rights from the world at the same time as claiming Kynasa for the Imperium, the Champions even transported a small but significant portion of Athlum's population to Kynasa to help ensure the world's viability for future generations of recruits. The occupation of Kynasa went smoothly, and the Chapter successfully took it's first batch of recruits from the world before disaster struck, a scant few years later. After feinting an attack at the Maladar system, the Kabal of the Shattered World were able to deploy a large-scale raid on Kynasa, killing or abducting every man, woman and child from the young colony, and retreating back into the webway at blinding speed. The Champions, overcome with grief and rage, raced to get vengeance. In their haste, the Chapter made several errors of judgement that led to an extended series of defeats. Their supply lines were repeatedly targeted by the Drukhari, several Chapter serfs killed or kidnapped while attempting reconnaissance, and on two occasions Company Apothecaries were assassinated in the midst of otherwise unimportant skirmishes with unaffiliated foes. The Champions came to their senses and saw that the Dark Eldar were trying to play them at their own game. The Chapter refocused their anger, turning it from a burning rage into an ice-cold, murderous focus. To this day, both the Kabal and the Chapter remain locked in an endless series of raids, ambushes and gruelling small-scale warfare all across the south-east of the Glastheim Rifts. Recent History: "Our success depends upon our strength. Our strength depends upon our success." - Brother Maliad, Champions of Athlum 7th Company, 516.M41 Amongst the many disasters that befell the Imperium with the opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum, Athlum came under direct attack, thanks to the machinations of the heretical Blades of Atracia. Cults sprang up, seemingly in synchronicity with the appearance of the Cicatrix, no doubt seeded and sheltered by the traitors in the Glastheim Rifts for this very purpose. The Champions were, as always, quick to react, dispersing their forces to be the rock against which this wave of heresy would break. While the Champions were thus occupied, the Blades of Atracia struck at Athlum itself. With half the Chapter still entangled with enemy forces off-world, and less than eighty marines left standing in Athlum's defence, the Champions mounted a desperate last-ditch defence at their Fortress Monastery, gathering as many of the civilians as they could and bunkering down. Before the Blades of Atracia could do much more than breach the second layer of walls, however, reinforcements arrived from an unexpected direction. Companies of Primaris Space Marines, bearing the livery of the Silver Circle's Chapters at the head of innumerable hosts of Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii and Imperial Guard. The Indomitus Crusade had arrived, and with it came thunderous, inevitable victory for the Champions and the Imperium. The Riftmark leading the Chaos forces was slain, trampled to death by the unyielding Kastelan Robots of Forgeworld Valstrax, causing a mass breakdown of the heretic's command structure. The Champions were much less active in the century following the Battle of Athlum, their efforts focused largely inwards as the Chapter adapted to the changes wrought by both the attack on their own world and the Indomitus Crusade. Eventually, however, the Champions re-emerged from the Battle of Athlum with renewed purpose, striking remorselessly at heretics and aliens wherever they may be found with the Chapter's traditional precision and focus. Recruiting more serfs from other worlds allowed the Champions to spread their intelligence network further while tightening their control on the systems and subsectors around Athlum. Taking steps to ensure Athlum would never be so exposed to enemy action again, a hundred Primaris marines were assigned to what was informally called "The Sentinel Company"; a group dedicated directly to the protection of Athlum itself. Homeworld: "To be entranced by the flower is to forget the presence of the poison." - Athlumi proverb http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/sm.php?b62c=@hXbsb_hOPYE.hmmn0@@@@@@@_@.@@i8khii8khi@@@@@@@@@@@_iakk7_iakk7@@@@@@@@@@hCmX3.@@@@@@@@@@@@@.iakk7&grid=TRUE A Battle Brother of the Champions of Athlum Athlum, the chosen homeworld of the Champions, is a beautiful, verdant paradise, crawling with life. But behind the beautiful visage is a world of extreme danger. Almost every life form on Athlum is dangerous, from the incredibly poisonous blossom trees that turn the forest canopies lilac and pink once a year, to the myriad of insects whose bites can cause permanent damage to unlucky victims. Amongst the deadliest things on Athlum are the carnivorous Wyverns, house-sized flying carnivores that roam the skies looking for exposed targets to feast upon, and the Dirgewolves, giant wolves whose front half is largely covered in scales and bone protrusions, making them very hard to hurt with conventional weapons. The humans of Athlum live in scattered clans, and mostly survive as hunter-gatherers, armed with the finest bows, spears and traps that their craftsmen can make. Only the patient and the skilled can survive on Athlum, and it is from the youth of this hardy caste of hunters that the Champions draw most of their recruits. Known as the Great Spire, the Fortress Monastery of the Champions of Athlum was constructed in the centre of the planet's highest mountain range. The mountains themselves are called "The land of Angels" by the natives, and none dare tread on such sacred ground, leaving the Champions to keep a distant vigil on the people below. The outside of the Spire is faced in gleaming white marble, and it can be seen from almost a week's journey away on the plains below, reaching above even the high peaks. For recruitment trials, the Champions drop would-be aspirants in one of several pre-selected starting points, roughly a day's travel from the base of the mountains, and simply instruct them to reach the Spire. The trial routes bring aspirants face-to-face with some of Athlum's most dangerous wildlife, and then pits survivors against the treacherous, unfamiliar terrain of the mountains as they seek to reach their goal. The Chapter's outlook and methods of war are shaped to a certain degree by the native hunters of Athlum. Patience, planning and decisive action are the keywords by which both hunter and Space Marine live and die. Beliefs: "War is not the only duty of a Champion." - Chaplain Durran, Champions of Athlum 1st Company, 113.M42 Parhaps the most unusual aspect of the Champions of Athlum's outlook on the Imperium is their view on The Emperor. The Champions feel that He looks upon His Imperium with great sorrow, a soul-deep melancholy that what should have been His greatest work was laid to ruin. Additionally, the Champions believe that His Space Marines are the only surviving means of truly uniting and protecting the Imperium, and that The Emperor intended for Space Marines to not only safeguard ordinary humans, but to embody the best aspects of humanity. Thusly, the Champions of Athlum believe the Chapter must excel in all disciplines to be as The Emperor intended them to be. To this end, the Chapter can boast well-practiced craftsmen, diplomats, artists, musicians, and architects as well as great fighters and insightful strategists. The Champions point to their Primarch, Guilliman, and his own multi-faceted talents as further proof that Space Marines should be more than simple fighters. Though this diversity of disciplines obviously serves the Chapter well in many respects, it does come with its own drawbacks. Those who study non-combat disciplines are, inevitably, somewhat less-practiced in war. While the difference is almost imperceptible to outsiders, even fractional hesitations or marginal errors in a combat situation against the enemies of mankind can mean the difference between victory and death. This has led, over the centuries, to something of a culture of preservation in the Chapter, where battle-brothers skilled in one or more non-combat arts are considered to be, informally, of somewhat higher value than their purely war-trained kinsmen. This is done simply to prevent the Chapter's expertise in esoteric disciplines from diminishing, and preserve the reputation of the Chapter as a whole. Furthermore, such is the Champions' conviction that they are closer to The Emperor's ideals for the Space Marine, that many amongst the Chapter tend to treat other Chapters as either short-sighted fools or wilfully ignorant of their true purpose. Thus, the pride of the Champions remains a stumbling block in their relations with other Chapters. The Chapter's diplomatic corps exists, in part, to manage this issue - keeping the more self-assured Champions firmly in line as well as minimizing the risks of conflict between brothers. Battle Doctrines: "Squad Amanir, close with the objective. Squad Uthag, fire on my mark..." - Sergeant Galborn, Champions of Athlum 3rd Company, during the battle of Kryndaia, 233.M41 The Champions of Athlum are somewhat atypical for Space Marine Chapters in that most of their defining victories ultimately come from small-scale actions. Kill Teams sent to eliminate key or isolated enemy figures, or sabotage enemy materiel, or disrupt a foe's supply lines. Combat Patrols using carefully gathered intelligence to cripple an enemy force before it ever truly musters its' strength. Small-scale strikes used to cause large-scale effects, so that when the time comes for the Champions to muster at Company strength and take to the battlefield, often the result of the battle is decided before the Company even deploys for battle. On the battlefield proper, the Champions of Athlum fight as befitting an Ultramarine successor, with fluid battle plans that take advantage of an enemy's weaknesses as they are presented. There is a noted predilection to the use of ambush attacks, outflanking strikes and the use of carefully laid traps, mirroring the methods of hunters on Athlum. The use of camouflage is not only considered acceptable, but encouraged by the Chapter, though their innate pride ensures they seldom completely cover their Chapter's heraldic colours. Organisation: "A leader must set an example. We must set an example." - Codicier Kyrloth, Champions of Athlum 1st Company, 167.M42 Taking pride in the heritage of their Primarch, Roboute Guilliman, the Champions of Athlum proudly adhere to codex-mandated Organisation. Such structure has served the Chapter well in their time in the Glastheim Rifts, being able to disperse or gather to deal with encroaching threats as they rise. For a long time, the only notable deviation was the renaming of the traditional rank of Company or Chapter Champion as "Headtakers", given that each Battle-Brother is already a Champion in name. The arrival of Primaris marines placed the Champions of Athlum in a difficult situation with regards to their Codex-Adherence. Considering themselves exemplars amongst marines, how they handled the issue of the Codex Astartes not making provision for the Primaris Marines was seen in the Chapter as a decision of the utmost importance, and arguments amongst the Champions' leadership for how to handle the issue were commonplace. Eventually, the Primaris marines were all provisionally placed into an Eleventh Company, until such time as a satisfactory decision can be agreed upon by the Champions' leadership. Despite being technically limited to one company, the Primaris marines were scattered to reinforce the existing ten Companies around the Rifts, mirroring the way the First Company veterans are seldom gathered together. A hundred Primaris marines of varying experience and role are kept at Athlum, known within the Chapter as the "Sentinel Company" or "Vigilants" to better ward against another attack at Athlum itself. Marines in the Sentinel Company are rotated back into the regular companies on a yearly basis. Those amongst the Chapter assigned to keep a vigil on specific systems or areas of space where enemy activity is expected are given the honorary title of "Marchwarden", taken from an old Athlumi title. The Title of "High Marchwarden" is bestowed to the marine assigned as the leader of the Sentinel Company. Geneseed: "To excel in all matters is the goal of all right-thinking sons of Guilliman" - Brother Nabirad, Champions of Athlum 2nd Company, 783.M39 The Champions of Athlum bear the genetic lineage of the Ultramarines. Proximity to the radiation of the Glastheim Rifts has caused minor mutations in the Melanchrome, causing the hair of most Champions to transition to bright white from an early age. The Chapter has been known to suffer a lower successful implantation rate for geneseed in new recruits than most Ultramarine successors, but such is the pride of the Champions that they would never deign to simply request more geneseed from any stock but their own. Battlecry: Outside of company-level engagements, the Champions seldom make use of traditional battlecries, however the commonly-used motto "For Athlum and Emperor" seems to double as their most typically-used war call. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Updated: 13/7/2021 Quotes! Also added and refined some more stuff, addressing more points raised by my erstwhile and vigilant Brothers. Specific relations with the rest of the Silver Circle will have to wait until I've actually defined the rest of the Silver Circle. Updated further, trimmed a few words. It hasn't made much difference to the size of the article but I suppose every little helps!
IA: The White Hawks (LASC 19) Version 1.1
Ace Debonair posted a topic in + LIBER ASTARTES +"Men die, monsters die, only the glory of Heroes lives forever." - Talhonic proverb Early History: "Harken, Brothers; for I will sing you a tale of glories old, and heroes remembered!" - Kordran, Song-Brother of the White Hawks 4th Company, on the eve of the Battle of Kyband, 989.M40 http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/sm.php?b62c=@iakk7_hh8gh.i3rau@@@@@@@hUDtY@hbUc8@@..@_@@_@@@_@@_hI3Z8_hI3Z8@_@@@@_@@@hCmX3hcXvU@@@@@@_@@@@@@hcXvU@&grid=TRUE A typical Battle Brother of the White Hawks, sans adornments Born of the line of the Primarch Roboute Guilliman in the latter days of the Fifteenth Founding, the White Hawks began life as a crusading Chapter. Given a mandate to 'protect Imperial interests' and sent eastward, the Hawks found themselves taking part in a number of battles where their timely arrival tipped the scales in favour of Imperial victory. Parades and celebrations in the wake of the White Hawks and their battle companies became a common sight over the next several centuries, as the white-armoured marines fought against every foe they could find. Be it orks in murky jungles or sprawling caverns, or Chaos Space Marines on ashen deserts and airless moons, the White Hawks never refused a battle, and they were happy to bask in the praise of the Imperial citizens on the worlds that enjoyed their assistance. Though they achieved a respectable tally of victories, the Chapter didn't really come into its' own until the closing days of M37. A council of Inquisitors, with the blessing of the High Lords of Terra, selected the White Hawks to join a group of other Chapters in the permanent defence of a particularly perilous area of space called the Glastheim Rifts. This 'Silver Circle' of Space Marine Chapters would surround the Rifts and the worlds that bordered them, keeping the threat of xenos raiders out and penning the heretics within the Rifts in their self-appointed hiding place. The Inquisitors pressing the issue maintained that doing so would 'decisively protect Imperial interests in the area', and thus satisfy the Chapter's reason for creation. Grudgingly, the White Hawks deferred to the Inquisitors' demands. They felt certain that being assigned a homeworld would do little to interfere with their crusades. Thusly assigned to the south-east of the Glastheim Rifts, the White Hawks set about looking for suitable worlds to draw recruits from. One in particular stood out - the mountainous, feudal death world of Talhon. Humans there dwelt in ancient stone cities, their walls thick and their towers perpetually manned with archers. The reason for this was abundantly apparent; monsters roamed the wild lands all over the world. From the fearsome, dragon-like Goliandr in the mountains, to the armoured Barghrex and winged Astraptors in the forests, and innumerable others besides, voracious carnivores made up the bulk of the wildlife on Talhon. The people of Talhon were hardy and resilient, and trained from youth to fight and hunt these monsters, and in doing so, produced excellent potential recruits for the White Hawks. The Chapter set up a Fortress Monastery, dubbed the Hawk's Eye, atop a sturdy cliff in an isolated mountain range, and began inducting recruits as fast as they could find them. The people venerated their "sky warrior" guardians, recognizing them as scions of The Emperor and Angels of Death. But just as the Hawks left their mark on Talhon, so too would their new homeworld leave its' mark on the White Hawks. It is unknown if the Chapter's hypnoindoctrination procedures simply became flawed over time, or if the Chapter willingly adopted as much of Talhon's culture as it eventually did. Regardless, within a century of settling on Talhon, the White Hawks had taken on many of Talhon's superstitions and the traits common to it's native warriors. Notably, Talhonic warrior culture makes much ado of sagas and songs of ancient days and heroic battles, and its' adherents are typically equally at home boasting and bragging about their exploits in their homes and holds as well as stalking and battling their prey in the wilds. These traits have all bled into the Chapter over time, and a typical Battle Brother of the White Hawks will come across as brash, headstrong, boisterous and borderline arrogant in comparison to other Space Marines. Those that rise to leadership positions are not only the best fighters and tacticians in the Chapter's ranks, but also the ones with the most capability to keep the egos of their brothers in check. In addition to cultural adaptation, the physiology of Talhonic natives, when combined with the genetic augments that create a Space Marine, lends itself well to high levels of hardiness and stamina , even by the standards of Space Marines. While the warriors of many Space Marine Chapters are more than capable of fighting for days at a time without cease, reports of the White Hawks doing so with nary a sign of fatigue are not unheard of. The White Hawks themselves, previously used to adulation and celebration in the wake of their victories as errant crusaders, found they had little time to spare for either with the frequency and suddenness of enemy attacks on the worlds around the Rifts. The absence of this, coupled with the natural Talhonic love of sagas and songs concerning heroic deeds, left the Hawks somewhat unsatisfied with what they considered "guard duty" around the Rifts, and the Chapter has been known to send Battle Companies on distant crusades on several occasions, taking part in such diverse conflicts as the war in the Lauss Rift, or the Ensorcelled Stars Campaign. Combat is a constant around the Glastheim Rifts, and the systems around Talhon have come under increasingly violent threats as the centuries have gone on. In the final decades of M41, the White Hawks found themselves often battling isolated splinters of an unidentified Hive Fleet that seemed to lack any real focus, seemingly picking its' targets at random and attacking worlds without any kind of rational reason to do so. This Hive Fleet - dubbed Hive Fleet Goliandr by the Hawks - has grown to recognize the white-armoured Space Marines who keep attacking it, and the creatures under its' thrall now tend to fly into berserk rages when confronted by Space Marines in battle. Alongside this, Dark Eldar raids by the Kabal of the Shattered World have grown in frequency and daring over the last century, and a Chaos Warband calling themselves the [REDACTED (FOR THE MOMENT)] have made increasingly numerous sallies from the Glastheim Rifts to do battle with the White Hawks on a dozen worlds. In spite of constant war on many fronts, the White Hawks remain undaunted by their current, precarious situation. No matter the number of foes or the power they claim to wield, the White Hawks intend to weather the onslaught and come out the other side fighting, as they always have. Recent History: "You call this 'the age of nightmares and monsters'? We're the White Hawks! Don't you know what we do to nightmares and monsters?" - Captain Barodian Greystorm, in response to Lord Breiss of the Hatecrowned at the Battle of Kryndaia, 233.M41 The dawning years of the 42nd Millennium proved a difficult time for the White Hawks. From their position in the Glastheim Rifts, the entire Silver Circle bore witness to the distant creation of the Cicatrix Maledictum, an unnatural tear in space itself. Almost in concert with this horrifying event, uprisings began all over the Glastheim Rifts. The heretics dwelling in the Rifts sought to overthrow and destroy the Imperium's hold on the area, putting aside their own rivalries and squabbles for power in the face of finally destroying their hated foes. The White Hawks committed entirely to repelling this threat, deploying en masse on battlefields all over the Glastheim Rifts. It was during this time that the Indomitus Crusade arrived in the Rifts, bringing much needed reinforcements in the form of Primaris Space Marines and the means to create them. While the other Chapters of the Silver Circle - notably the Warminds and the Brotherhood of Crows - seamlessly integrated the newcomers into their ranks, the White Hawks were more than a little bitter about what they saw as 'replacements'. - Excerpt from 'Warsongs of Talhon, translated' Even the fiercest storms abate in the end When the enemy falters, we will still stand Raise your shields, sons of Talhon, be strong Let your swords sing in the gale, a deathsong Be resolute now, stand fast, endure 'Ere the storm breaks, let the Hawks fly once more! Indeed, Hawks who had trained, fought and bled to be the best they could be for the Imperium over the lastfew centuries were hardly delighted to see these 'New Brothers' presented as the Chapter's future. Only the accompanying news that the risen Primarch himself had ordained these reinforcements and seen fit to accommodate them in his own forces kept the White Hawks from shunning the Primaris marines entirely. It became commonplace in the following years for Non-Primaris (or 'First-Generation') Hawks to airily dismiss the accomplishments of their New Bothers, pinning any of their successes solely on their 'Cawl-given enhancements' rather than skill or daring, and denying any claims they truly shared the warrior spirit the Chapter is known for. Over time, however, the Primaris marines' stoic endurance of these taunts, their adherence to the Chapter's traditions, and their willingness to prove their worth in battle to their Older Brothers gradually won the grudging respect of many within the Chapter. In more recent times, enmity has given way to a more amicable rivalry. Both First-Generation and Primaris Marines strive to outperform each other in battle and make sport of the other's efforts at heroics, but without malice or bitterness. With the exception of slowly integrating the New Brothers into the Chapter, the coming of the Great Rift and the Indomitus Crusade overall did little to change the day-to-day life of the White Hawks. Though the heretics from within the Rifts were dealt a serious blow by the unexpected reinforcement of the Indomitus Crusade, the surviving traitors continue to scheme and weave insidious plots against the Imperium, striking wherever the capricious whims of their foul deities direct them to. Elsewhere, the myriad xeno threats that seek to prey on the worlds under the Hawks' watch muster their forces and prepare for war. The Kabal of the Shattered World used the distraction caused by the Rift-wide heretic uprisings to launch a raid on Talhon, burning a city to the ground and abducting several thousand men and women as prisoners. Hive Fleet Goliandr's splintered hordes wander closer to the Rifts, their maddened, howling ships disgorging swarm after swarm of feral, frenzied monsters on the worlds unfortunate enough to be in their paths. It is a time of great peril for all around the Glastheim Rifts, and surely only a matter of time before repercussions from events in the larger galaxy are felt keenly by the Chapters of the Silver Circle. But until then, the White Hawks endure. Homeworld: "On Macragge they train youths in schools to make soldiers of them. On Talhon, we teach our young to slay monsters, and make heroes out of them!" - Captain Ambrose the Wild, White Hawks 1st Company The world of Talhon is rugged and perilous in equal measure. The cities scattered across its' landmasses are bustling with life, safe behind the towering, thick stone walls that border them. The walls are buttressed, battlemented, reinforced with technology far beyond the level of the native humans there. In some places, the ruins of ancient gun emplacements can be seen, most if not all of the metal of which has long ago been taken and melted down for weapons or armour. Here and there, ancient buildings still stand, their original use long forgotten, now repurposed as shrines to The Emperor. Talhon's people are largely dedicated to the simple matter of survival in a world where nearly every creature outside of the cities is a deadly predator. Children are trained from infancy to not only survive monster attacks, but how to fight back against creatures many times their size and strength. Recruits for the Chapter must prove their mettle by successfully hunting deadly monsters as part of a group, monitored discreetly by members of the Tenth Company. Interestingly, the Chapter allows females an equal chance to participate in these trials - those that pass are inducted into the Chapter as serfs, and once fully grown are essentially granted the right to select any man on Talhon as their mate, to better increase the chances of the next generations producing viable recruits. The traditions of Talhon greatly influence the White Hawks. Perhaps the most obvious one is the taking of trophies from defeated enemies - this practice quickly became a rite of passage enacted by recruits who would take trophies from monsters they slew. Scales, pelts, horns or fangs - anything that could potentially channel the slain beast's power, hardiness or fury. These trophies were invariably added to the nascent marine's power armour upon graduation from Scout. Many veteran Marines boast multiple pelts or decorative scale armour attachments for their armour, taken from defeated beasts on many worlds. This gives the Chapter a savage, feral appearance quite unlike the rest of the Silver Circle. Coupled with this is an inherited tradition of placing great importance on the humble Combat Knife. Special hunter's knives are used by the warriors of Talhon to finish off 'worthy' enemies, as doing so is thought to amplify one's own warrior spirit. The White Hawks are known to execute defeated enemies with their knives for roughly the same reason, another custom that is looked upon as proof of the Hawks' primitive and uncivilised mindset. Beliefs: "My ancestors are smiling at me, traitor - can you say the same?" - Last words of Brother Ingrad, White Hawks 3rd Company, at the fall of Veir's Gate, 155.M38 A key element of the White Hawks' mindset is their admiration for heroes of long-gone days, such as the loyal Primarchs and those who fought beside them. These heroes are known across the length and breadth of the Imperium for their valour, and the Hawks seek to emulate the great warriors of olden days by fighting unceasingly against the enemies of mankind. So although they are quite well-known in the systems around the Glastheim Rifts, the White Hawks yearn to achieve the same level of prestige and respect afforded across the known galaxy to far more decorated and venerable Chapters, such as the Ultramarines, or the Imperial Fists. Though such a goal is certainly admirable, and the Hawks certainly pursue it with dedication, virtually everyone outside of the Chapter can see how utterly unattainable such lofty ideals are. For the White Hawks, however, this is simply considered the ultimate test of endurance - to withstand whatever the galaxy throws at them until their names are sung in admiration even in the halls of Macragge and Holy Terra. It is to be noted that even crushing defeats have little impact on the Chapter's overall psyche. The Third Company was utterly destroyed in early M38 by attempting to defeat the Nurgle Warband called the Hollow Knights in a war of attrition. When the Imperial Guard embarked on a victorious campaign against the traitors two years later, the Hawks were quick to laud the bravery of the Guard, but also to claim that the Hawks had successfully blunted most of the traitors' strength, enabling the victory. A battle in M41.989 on the desert moon of Akrilla against Hive Fleet Goliandr's mad hordes saw a similar result, the Sixth Company losing four fifths of its' strength in pitched battle with tyranid warriors after a failed decapitation strike on what was thought to be the enemy's leadership. The Hawks nevertheless touted this harrowing slaughter as a victory, albeit quietly. The White Hawks do, of course, have Librarians to record the Chapter's history and deeds. But whether born from their own obsession with proving themselves, or simply inherited from Talhonic traditions, the Chapter developed their own system of recording their victories and defeats in the form of songs and sagas. The marines most capable of composing suitable verses are given the unofficial rank of Song-Brother, and it is their duty not only to fight beside, but to observe the valour of their brothers in battle, that it may be recorded in verse and remembered until the day The Emperor lives again. It is common practice, on the eve of a great battle, for many sagas and songs to be recited, to better remind Battle-Brothers of the glories that may await them if they prove triumphant, or to remind them of past battles with hated enemies. On the subject of Librarians, the White Hawks are known to be openly wary of their psychically-gifted kin. Their superstitious nature makes them simply view psychic power as 'magic', and most non-psyker White Hawks simply regard their gifted brothers as dangerous, different, and something to be wary of. One lingering annoyance prevalent in the Chapter is that they are yet to be chosen to sire a successor Chapter, in spite of millennia of honourable service in the Imperium's name. Given that every other Chapter around the Glastheim Rifts is suffering from a degree of mutation in their geneseed, the Hawks assume the High Lords of Terra are simply being unnecessarily cautious about potential geneseed degradation. The White Hawks venerate both The Emperor and their Primarch, Roboute Guilliman, as ferocious and resolute warriors. To the Hawks, both Emperor and Primarch embodied the virtues of warrior-kings, unflinching in the face of danger and strong enough to dominate any battlefield they strode onto. The White Hawks seek the chance in every battle to demonstrate the inherited might of their great ancestors, felling great and powerful enemies and thus ensuring the defence of the realm. According to some rumours, the Primarch himself visited Drakon Primus, homeworld of the Brotherhood of Crows, whilst the White Hawks fought unnoticed all across the Glastheim Rifts. The notion that their own Primarch may have completely ignored the White Hawks is a thought that many Hawks struggle with. The current prevailing thought is simply that Guilliman, if he was truly at Drakon Primus, knew perfectly well that his own sons didn't need his presence to guarantee their victory. As a further note, while the homeworlds of three Chapters of the Silver Circle suffered direct attacks during the heretic uprisings after the 13th Black Crusade, none ventured near to Talhon. The White Hawks are quick to brag how the traitors were too scared to attack Talhon, but some of the more dour amongst the Chapter take the wildly unpopular view that even the Chapter's most hated adversaries don't consider them worthy of the attention. Battle Doctrines: "If you see your False Gods when you die, tell them to try sending their best after me next time!" - Captain Anaxam Five-Blades, White Hawks 4th Company, before slaying Dark Apostle Gexeras Vold during the First Prontera Crusade, 810.M39 Since their inception, the White Hawks have favoured bold, aggressive tactics. Many of their early victories involved them appearing to reinforce Imperial forces already in battle, and the White Hawks quickly learned the value that sudden reinforcements could have not only in the physical sense, but on both allied and enemy morale. To this end, the Hawks favour what some derisively call the "Big Entrance" approach to combat - deploying conspicuously via Drop Pod or Thunderhawk right into the thick of the battle, whenever the chance to do so arises. Furthermore, the Hawks have a long-standing tradition of bellowing challenges and taunts at enemies, even in the midst of bloody melee. This tradition is thought to have originated from further attempts to amplify their effects on morale - encouraging allies and scorning enemies in equal measure. Proudly following the teachings of their Primarch, the White Hawks will make use of diverse strategies and tactics, especially in the early stages of battles. A notable trend in the Chapter is for the White Hawks to focus their early strategies around taking out the largest and strongest enemies as soon as possible - whether to better illustrate their skill-at-arms or as another blow to an enemy's morale tends to vary from battle to battle. Another near-constant in the Hawks' methods of war is for hard-fought battles to eventually devolve into gruelling tests of endurance, mostly in close quarters combat. The White Hawks will gladly admit to making use of their prodigious vitality to simply outlast enemies in battle when more decisive tactics fail to find purchase. Though such tactics can prove costly in lives against suitably deadly or numerous foes, the White Hawks proudly point to a significant number of their victories that were earned through sheer unyielding stubbornness, knives in hands, long after ammunition had run out on both sides of the conflict. It is little surprise, then, that Assault Squads and Vanguard Veterans play key roles in the White Hawks' doctrines, sweeping across the battlefield and bringing the fight to the enemy no matter where they try to hide. Terminator Squads are often tasked with eliminating the strongest foes, their indomitable armour preserving them from all but the heaviest firepower, while Bike Squads and Predator tanks focus on isolating larger targets for the Terminators or other veterans to do their work. The inclusion of Primaris marines into their doctrines has had little overall effect on the methods of the White Hawks, although it is noted that even the Primaris marines carry knives into battle, much like their Older Brothers. Assault Intercessors, Outriders and Aggressors feature prominently in the battle doctrines of the Hawks, the latter often deployed via Repulsor to work with, or in place of, Terminator squads. Reivers join the Assault marines in the Hawks' mobile attack tactics, their affinity for disorienting and panicking enemies working well with the relentless charge of the older Hawks. Organisation: "Welcome to the Fourth Company, brother. If you're hungry enough for glory, then this is where your saga truly begins." - Sergeant Egram, White Hawks 4th Company The Chapter Symbol of the White Hawks. While largely adherent to the dictates of the Codex Astartes, there are several of differences in how the White Hawks apply their gene-father's teachings when compared with more traditional Chapters. While the Chapter boasts both a Veteran Company and a Scout Company, in practice both companies are virtually never fielded as a complete unit, instead operating in task forces alongside one of the Battle or Reserve Companies. Furthermore, in the traditions of Talhon, it is considered very unlucky to count something broken or intentionally divided alongside or before things that remain whole or intact. Given how much of their homeworld's traditions influence the Chapter, it is perhaps little surprise to see the White Hawks name their Veteran Company as the Ninth Company. The First Company is instead simply the first of four Battle Companies. Fifth to Eighth Companies act as Reserve Companies, in Codex-approved fashion, and the Scout Company remains the Tenth Company. Since the Codex originally made no provision for the inclusion of Primaris marines, the White Hawks simply incorporated the New Brothers into the Battle and Reserve Companies. The Veteran Ninth has only a handful of Primaris brothers in its' ranks; partly as a result of the Hawks' early dislike of the new marines, and partly as a result of comparative inexperience. Geneseed: "Our Primarch is famed for his wisdom, but we never forget that his hands, too, held bolter and blade." - Chaplain Braxas Ferredun, White Hawks 1st Company The White Hawks proudly trace their lineage to Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines and author of the Codex Astartes. The Chapter's geneseed has remained stable in spite of the radiation from the Glastheim Rifts, which the White Hawks have long taken to symbolise their gene-father's approval of the Chapter and their deeds. Though the Chapter was slow to truly adopt the use of Primaris marines, the White Hawks have gradually committed more and more recruits to the path of the New Brothers, resulting in a roughly equal split between First-Generation and Primaris marines amongst new recruits. Battlecry: Call: "For The Emperor!" Response: "Let the Hawks fly!" This warcry is often repeated several times, with "For The Emperor" sometimes replaced on subsequent recitations with "For Talhon", or "For The Primarch", or other such cries. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= EDIT: 23/12/2019 I can call this version 1.1 at this point, I think! Adjusted to give the Hawks roughly 7% more backbone when confronted by the Inquisition before taking Talhon as a homeworld. Hopefully it's a worthy read - any thoughts, comments, barely-contained-disgust or accusations of completely dropping the ball with the Hawks yet again are welcomed and encouraged, so... What d'you think?
"The Day of Fate awaits, regardless." - Motto of the Warminds, translated into High Gothic Early History: "Whatever else happens next, we fight and die as we must. Our duty demands nothing less." - Captain Janten, Warminds 2nd Company, before the siege of Derestonia Secundus http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/sm.php?b62c=@hvgwP_i8y3o.hxCHu@@@@@@@hXbsb@hCmX3@@i3CYqi3CYq@_@@@@@@@@@_._.@@@@@@@@@@hCmX3.@@@@@@_@@@@@@.iakk7&grid=TRUE A typical Battle Brother of the Warminds Created in the Eighteenth Founding to protect the worlds on the north edge of the spatial anomaly the Imperium calls the Glastheim Rifts, the Warminds claim proud descent from the lineage of the great Primarch Corax of the Raven Guard. And since their inception, the Chapter has seen their own extinction ever drawing closer and closer. Life around the Glastheim Rifts is a constant war of survival. Between xenos invaders, heretic cults and seccessionist raiders, there are no shortage of foes for the Warminds to fight again. The Orks of Waaaagh [-REDACTED-] in particular have proven to be a constant nemesis, coming back to make merciless war again and again no matter how many times they are vanquished. The xenocide campaign against the Inferash Tribune and their Prismatic Battleships ended in an Imperial victory, but at a heavy cost in lives to the Warminds, who lost most of their Second and Sixth Companies in the process. And though the worlds of the systems around the Glastheim Rifts are filled with hardy populations of humans, the geneseed of the Raven Guard is notoriously unstable. Very few recruits drawn from these worlds were found to survive the transformative process of becoming a Space Marine. Radiation from the Glastheim Rifts - a constant, broiling Warp Storm of frightening intensity and unpredictability - no doubt played a significant factor in decreasing the stability of the Warminds' geneseed even further. The Warminds took the view that this was the judgement of Corax and the Emperor, a test of the Chapter's worth. Their demise was, perhaps, inevitable, but the Warminds would strive to make Primarch and Emperor proud of them, so that they would go to their forebears' side in death and be welcomed gladly. After a few bleak decades with barely any recruits coming into the battle-worn Chapter, the Warminds finally found the former agri-world of Geffen to produce recruits with a greater rate of survival. Concerned about their Chapter's future, the Warminds established a Fortress Monastery on this world to better protect it. Over time it became increasingly commonplace for brothers of the Warminds that had been recruited from Geffen to develop psychic powers. Though the population itself showed no real signs of psychic potential beyond the average, the varied mutations in the Warminds' geneseed seemed to bring about this particular benefit. And yet, this boon brought with it more problems. Not all Warminds who developed psychic powers were able to fully control them, and those that could not were faced with inevitable descents into madness, despair and death. The Apothecarion and Librarium struggled to find a solution for this problem, and eventually hit upon a complex surgical procedure that completely eliminated the psychic potential of an afflicted brother, at the cost of removing that Space Marine's capacity to feel or display any real depth of emotion. This procedure, which the Warminds called the Quelling, served to save brothers who would have otherwise become another casualty that the Chapter could ill-afford. The Quelled were found to have lowered initiative compared to their other brothers, adapting more slowly to sudden changes in battlefield circumstances and being less able to orchestrate plans. Thus, the Quelled were barred from high office of any kind in the Chapter, and their armour marked with white shoulders to denote their status as Quelled. The Warminds became more and more convinced of their own certain demise. Each death brought the Chapter closer to extinction - an event the Warminds referred to as the 'Day of Fate', the final judgement of the Chapter and their legacy by The Emperor himself. In the latter half of M37, the Warminds were one of the Chapters drafted into the accord known as the Silver Circle - an alliance of Space Marine Chapters around the Glastheim Rifts who were forever tasked with the vigil of keeping the Rifts in Imperial control. The Warminds were, notably, the only Chapter willing to work with their new brothers-in-arms from the very beginning. Though the Warminds were chronically under-strength, they made a point of sending forces to reinforce their brothers where the fighting was thickest, gradually drawing their fellow Chapters together under a bond of shared victories against the enemies of mankind. It was, perhaps, this gamble of soldifying the kinship between the Circle that allowed the Warminds to survive as long as they did. When Waaaagh [-REDACTED-] launched a series of attacks on the Geffenia system itself in M39, both the Brotherhood of Crows and the Champions of Athlum sent battle companies to assist the Warminds in breaking the system-wide siege. In M40 the Stonebound came to the aid of the Warminds as they battled the last desperate remnants of the Inferash Tribune, their swift actions preventing the activation of the Inferash's deadly Armageddon Bombs on the hive world of Balsamo. Nevertheless, at the close of the 41st Millennium, the Warminds are all but depleted. With little more than two hundred active Space Marines left alive in the Chapter, they still fight on defiantly, with stealth, steadfast discipline and psychic might, warding off the myriad threats that beset them. Though the Day of Fate looms large, and total extinction beckons, the Warminds do their duty as best they can, and fight in defence of humanity, determined to go to their end as warriors and earn their place beside The Emperor. Recent History: "If this is not a sign from The Emperor, then surely nothing is." - Chaplain Daoadus, Warminds 3rd Company The dawn of the Dark Millennium was a time of great upheaval and transformation across the entire galaxy. Few Chapters, however, found their situation so completely changed as the Warminds did. With the awakening of the Cicatrix Maledictum came a drastic upswing in the level of Chaos activity around the Glastheim Rifts. Heretical cults that had been painstakingly seeded on over a hundred worlds in the immediate area of the Rifts simultaneously sprang into cruel action, staging uprisings, assassinations, and open rebellions across far too many fronts for the Space Marines to counter-act. The return of Waaaagh [-REDACTED-], this time as a three-pronged attack against the systems surrounding Geffenia, further stymied the Warminds' ability to fight off the heretics. Fatalism gripped the Chapter more tightly than ever - surely the Day of Fate had finally come, for every battle, every campaign prosecuted by the Warminds resulted in painful losses to the already-dwindling Chapter's numbers. But everything changed when the Indomitus Crusade arrived. A large force of Adeptus Mechanicus envoys and their Skitarii bodyguards, reinforced by over two hundred Primaris Space Marines, seven full regiments of Imperial Guard and the mighty Knights of House Tanzia swept across the Geffenia system and it's neighbours. This intervention force paused in their advance only to leave the Warminds with the new technology needed to recruit Primaris marines of their own, complete with verifiable proof the technology was approved by no less a figure than Roboute Guilliman himself. In desperate need of recruits, the Warminds took a chance on the Primaris marines. The results were astounding - the acceptance rate of the geneseed was increased a hundredfold, to the point that more than half the initiates who underwent the implantation survived the process. Furthermore, the psychic potential of the Chapter still persisted, albeit slightly less potently than before. Some amongst their number still require Quelling, and a few amongst the Chapter worry that the number of Quelled amongst the Primaris marines is rising over time. In current times, the Warminds are still experiencing something of a resurgence. Numbering above six hundred marines for the first time in centuries, over half the Chapter's number are Primaris Space Marines. Squads of Intercessors, Incursors and Infiltrators make up much of the Warminds' core forces in battle, supported as always by the enduring pre-primaris Warminds. The Chapter's mentality is currently divided on whether or not they have survived the Day of Fate and been found worthy, or whether this is merely an interlude before judgement falls upon them once again. Homeworld: "When all your life is a desperate struggle against death, war eternal holds little to surprise you." - Brother Yuandor, Warminds 10th Company Geffen used to be a large and important agri-world that supplied several systems with produce, but the fate of the planet was altered forever when a group of xeno-pirates attacked it in M32, sowing terror and death with biological weaponry on a massive scale. Now the world is largely desolate, its' population huddled around the few surviving farm-clans and the healthy land they own, or forming raider gangs in the skeletal remains of the world's once-great cities. The farm clans war often over farmable land, and food is often scarce even for the most powerful clans. Alliances are formed and broken and formed again amongst the clans, and no power base lasts forever amongst the people of Geffen. Sudden attacks by the wily and ruthless raider gangs of the Dead Cities happen whenever the raiders' food runs low. The Cities are large, desolate and forbidding, filled with traps to snare unwary wildlife - or would be hunters - while the Raiders dwell in the dark and isolated ruins to keep out of the weather. Cannibal cults will break out infrequently in situations where the population of a clan far exceeds the amount of food they can produce. This is one sin that the Warminds simply do not tolerate, however. When a cannibal cult is discovered, the Chapter's psykers will invariably root out those involved in such morally corrupt activity, publicly execute them, and burn their corpse in a ritual pyre. The Warminds take recruits from both the farm-clans and the raiders, as youths from both factions are equally likely to display the mix of strength, ferocity and cunning that makes a great Space Marine. The term 'Day of Fate' comes from an old Geffenic fable about how those who die are judged by The Emperor, and the worthy are fated to serve at His side evermore. The Warminds' Fortress Monastery, known also as the Temple of Souls, is built in the centre of the largest wasteland, far from the population centres of Geffen. With artfully constructed rooms and barren but carefully tended stone gardens given over entirely for meditation and study, it is said to be a place of learning and philosophy as much as a fortress. Beliefs: "What we leave behind after death is the true measure of our life's worth. We must leave His Imperium stronger for our efforts." - Chaplain Sonamus, Warminds 6th Company Perhaps due to their entire existence essentially being a struggle to simply survive, the Warminds are a Chapter given over to much dwelling on death and the impermanence of all life. The Warminds are also certain that The Emperor judges his sons at the moment of their death, and so are determined to fight as relentlessy as Space Marines should, to not only prove their individual worth, but to demonstrate the worth of their Chapter to Him. As far as the Warminds are concerned, the protection of Humanity is the foremost duty of Space Marines. The Chapter will willingly enter into battles or campaigns that will take a heavy toll on their numbers if it means preserving the lives of Imperial citizens. Even when a battle inflicts heavy losses on the Warminds, they are unflinching in their resolve, and press onwards to the next battle to preserve the people of the Imperium. Whenever a Warmind is slain in battle, the Chapter does feel the loss keenly, in part due to their inability to easily replenish their losses, and in part due to the psychic connection much of the Chapter shares. However, the grief carries also a portion of pride; as another marine goes to The Emperor's side and displays the valour and convictions of his brothers. In accordance with an old Geffenic tradition, slain battle-brothers are interred into a tomb below the fortress monastery, clad entirely in white and wearing a white, snarling mask to frighten off any predatory evil spirits that dare approach. The Chapter is known to make much use of modified helmets made to resemble these death masks, albeit coloured gold rather than white. These helms are often passed down through generations of Warminds, and are strictly only worn into battle, for they are said to connect the wearer to the warrior souls of the Warminds who have gone before them. The white shoulders of the Quelled are symbolically tied to the death mask tradition; for most intents and purposes any brother who undergoes the Quelling is largely treated as already dead by his brothers. Though the Warminds do not look with favour on the Quelled, they preserve and continue to use the ritual surgery that creates them whenever a Battle Brother loses control of his power for two reasons. Firstly, the simple logistics of being unable to replace every battle brother who fails to master their gifts. Secondly, every enemy attack that targets one of the Quelled is an attack not spent against a 'honed' Warmind. The Chapter must survive and fight until the Day of Fate - even if it means relying on the Quelled to do so. Outside of battle, the Warminds appear to be somewhat distant and philosophical in demeanour. It is thought that to some extent this calm, contemplative persona exists as a means to disguise the altered nature of the Quelled. On the battlefield, however, the Warminds, though disciplined, channel the hatred and rage of true Space Marines in combat. They do not shy away from battle once it is joined, as such behaviour would mark them as unworthy to their Primarch and Emperor. The Chapter's steadfast devotion to the putting the defence of Humanity first, beyond all other concerns, has earned them much respect from other Imperial forces in the north of the Glastheim Rifts. Regiments and Battlefleets alike, not to mention the PDFs of over a hundred worlds, proudly carry banners or campaign markings dedicated to the battles fought alongside the Chapter's forces. Of the Chapters in the Silver Circle, the Warminds are by far the most effective at rooting out the insidious chaos cults planted on Imperial worlds by the heretics from within the Glastheim Rifts, thanks largely to their psychic gifts. This success rate has earned the Chapter, if not the favour, then the grudging respect of the Order of the Iron Tower - an order of Adepta Sororitas whose Mission Fleets patrol Imperial Space around the Rifts, and typically express a strong dislike of Space Marines. It is also this well-documented reputation for earnest and unwavering devotion to the Imperium that keeps most Inquisitors from taking much unneeded interest in the Warminds. There are innumerable other threats around the Rifts that require the investigative eyes of the Inquisition, and the Warminds, in spite of their oddities, are simply not considered a high priority. Battle Doctrines: "If you Aeldari were half as foresighted as you claim, you'd have seen that coming." - Codicier Dolmaan, Warminds 2nd Company, to the dying Farseer Trygerd Swiftmind The combat doctrines of the Warminds echo their primogenitors the Raven Guard, with a focus on stealth and ambushes, and use of rapid engagements, misdirection and feints. Where a protracted battle is unavoidable, the Warminds make use of armour to help minimize risks to their numbers - Land Raiders, Vindicators or Dreadnoughts are often employed to protect, support, or clear a path for infantry, their durable armour and high firepower forcing enemies to react to their presence rather than focus on the Space Marine themselves. The Warminds make use of Assault Marines, Stormhawks, and Scouts to support the flanks of larger offensives, each bringing the ability to pressure enemies in different ways, and open up new avenues of attack. Typically, the Warminds field very few Vanguard Veterans, preferring to destroy their enemies with firepower. Sternguard veterans, deployed by Stormraven where practical, are used to turn the tide of battle when the Warminds would otherwise falter. But perhaps the largest deviation from their ancestors is the significant psychic power that the Warminds channel in battle. Most Battle Brothers (save for the Quelled) are capable of low-level psychic powers, such as manipulating light or dust to throw off an enemy's aim, or increasing the perceived weight of their wargear, to throw them off-balance. These powers are further complemented by the close-combat doctrines of the Chapter. Some of the martial techniques used by the Warminds can come across as needlessly elaborate or showy in comparison to the more utilitarian techniques of other Chapters. But as befits sons of Corax, this is further misdirection - the flowing movements and flourishing strikes are designed to mislead an enemy and buy the Warmind using such arts vital moments to muster their focus or gauge their enemy's reactions. In extreme situations, sometimes even standard battle-brothers of the Warminds can demonstrate impressive psychic powers, and tales of Warminds in desperate situations turning aside the strikes or shots of powerful enemies with nothing but their mind are far from unheard of. Organisation: "Our numbers are few, but our spirit remains strong." - Brother Ralhaw, Warminds 1st Company Though each Company is chronically under-strength, the Warminds adhere to the organisational tenets of the Codex Astartes, their number divided into ten Companies as per regulation. The most notable difference in how the Chapter arranges itself is in its' Librarium. With so many burgeoning Psychics in the Chapter, the Librarium is divided into twelve ranks to better detail the psychic strength of their brothers. Only high-ranking Librarians are required to wear the Codex-approved blue to denote their status. In essence, only these high-ranking Librarians are permitted to carry out the traditional duties associated with the role in other Chapters, but the lower ranks are functionally more aware of these duties and what the role of Librarian requires. Leadership roles within the Chapter still fall to Captains and Lieutenants, rather than the Librarium, but it is not uncommon for Librarians to offer advice if they have any to share. The Quelled are spread throughout squads, in the company of their more psychically-capable brothers who offer direction, protection and guidance to their wayward kin. Not all squads bear members of the Quelled, and very few squads have multiple Quelled in their ranks. Devastator and Tactical squads make the best use of the Quelled, where their unnatural calm and limitless patience are stronger advantages. The coming of Primaris marines has seen the Warminds integrate the newcomers into the ranks of their existing companies, symbolically unifying the past and present of the Chapter. Much use is made of Vanguard marines and Phobos armour within the Chapter's ranks, as befitting scions of Corax. Geneseed: "Our Primarch and our Emperor will seek to test your worth exhaustively. From this point on, your fate is in their hands." - Apothecary Zusang, Warminds 10th Company, about to begin implantation of the geneseed on a new recruit As noted earlier, the geneseed of the Warminds is equal parts blessing and curse to the Chapter. The geneseed of the Raven Guard has long been known for it's numerous discrepancies compared to other, more stable lineages, and the further mutations caused by proximity to the Glastheim Rifts have exacerbated the inherent difficulty in finding viable recruits. The singular positive trait is that most recruits into the Chapter, even the very rare recruits from worlds other than Geffen, eventually develop a degree of psychic power. Though the Warminds have often requested fresh stocks of Raven Guard geneseed to be delivered to them, the closest Forgeworld capable of providing such deliveries lies a long way away, on the opposite side of the Glastheim Rifts. Fleets heading from this Forge World have a difficult and perilous road ahead of them to reach the Geffenia system, not least due to the predations of the heretics and renegades who dwell within the rifts themselves. As such, actual shipments of fresh geneseed arriving at Geffen are a very rare occurrence indeed. Worse, the radiation surrounding the Glastheim Rifts does not take long to effect the fresh shipments once they arrive, resulting in continued difficulties with recruitment for the Warminds. The coming of the Indomitus Crusade and the introduction of Primaris geneseed essentially resolved many of these issues for the Warminds, giving them a much higher success rate in inducting new recruits. However, experiments have shown success rates amongst recruits taken from worlds other than Geffen are still extremely low, being only marginally improved from before. Battlecry: "The Day of Fate Dawns!" -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= EDIT: 21/11/2019 Another update! I can't let the White Hawks have all of the fun now, can I? All thoughts, opinions, C&C, scathing mockery etc welcome!
[Reserved for New Model Pics, as and when I get more Stonebound painted] "Let this vow be heard on Terra! We will retake our home from the Orks, or die in the attempt! Onward to War! Onward to Kharabor!" - Last transmission of Captain Narin Firedelve, Stonebound 1st Company, 801.M40 Early History: "Fortify every world in the Rifts if you have to, Captain. We shall be as a suit of armour enclosing the Subsector." - Chapter Master Datost Thundershield of the Stonebound, 994.M33 In the turbulent times of the late 34th Millennium, the Sixth Founding of Space Marines was ordained by the High Lords of Terra. Amongst the Chapters created in this monumental event, one was sent to the turbulent region of space known as the Glastheim Rifts, to retake worlds lost to xenos raiders and insidious cults of Chaos. Scions of the great Primarch Rogal Dorn, the new Chapter took to their duty with the steadfast resolve typical of successors of the VII Legion, retaking a half-dozen worlds under sheer impetus of their crusade within years of arriving on the north-west edge of the Glastheim Rifts. The Chapter took the Hive World of Kharabor ('Keystone' in High Gothic) as a homeworld. Identifying an Orkoid empire as the largest threat to Imperial domination of the Rifts, the Chapter threw themselves into war with the greenskins with a ruthless fury, advancing inexorably through the territories held by the warlike xenos, taking back world after world in the name of humanity and The Emperor. Some amongst the local Imperial forces fighting besides the Chapter nicknamed them "Stonebound" for their unyielding resolve and rock-solid determination, and the Chapter eventually formally adopted the name. As a counter-measure against future threats, the Stonebound built numerous outposts, watchtowers and keeps on these reclaimed worlds, replete with forges, training posts, and of course formidable defences. Most of these forts were manned by Chapter serfs, but a handful of key worlds were reinforced with a squad of Space Marines, to better stand vigil against potential threats. The Stonebound were touted as a force of righteous retribution, even far beyond the Glastheim Rifts. It is said at one time their name was spoken in the same breath as many other Chapters of legend, but the golden age of the Stonebound would not last forever. The first indication of the problems to come came when chaos cults started to emerge on some of the worlds the Stonebound had reclaimed. The Chapter scrambled to meet the threat these cults represented, wiping them out to the last man and hunting heretics wherever they sought to hide. In doing so, however, the Stonebound were forced to divert attention from the orks, to ensure all possible traces of corruption were eradicated. http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/sm.php?b62c=@hDpou_iaj2F.hozqS@@@@@@@hFeKV@.@@__@@@@_@@@_@@@_@_@@@@@@@@@@..@@@@@@@@@@@@@.hBMHl&grid=TRUE A typical Battle Brother of the Stonebound This proved to lead to the Chapter's downfall when the Orks came in search of vengeance. Riled up by the Stonebound's success, the numerous Ork tribes that lurked and fought on the worlds around the Chapter's domain gathered together for the sole purpose of crushing the Stonebound and taking back their old stomping grounds. The Stonebound underestimated both the numbers and ferocity of their foe - whilst the Chapter was spread thinly across their worlds and hunting Chaos cultists, the Orks mustered and launched a surprise attack on Kharabor itself, fighting with even more reckless and wild aggression than even the previous greenskin hordes had mustered. The fall of Kharabor was a blow like no other to the normally stoic Chapter; the Stonebound raced home with wild, primal fury, launching their own immediate counter-siege in an attempt to retake their home. The siege of Kharabor was thusly a short, brutal affair that saw over five hundred Space Marines killed in battle, and the remnants of the Chapter broken and scattered in the aftermath. For two centuries, the Stonebound made repeated sorties against the Orks, attempting to leverage a path back to Kharabor, but without a homeworld to replenish their ranks from, the Chapter's strength continued to dwindle with each hard-fought engagement. The greenskins ran roughshod over the systems the Stonebound once protected, ransacking and demolishing the Chapter's outposts and minor fortresses. With the Chapter diminished to just under three hundred marines, the Stonebound bitterly consigned themselves to finding a new recruitment world. After a long search, the remnants of the Stonebound gathered on the icy, mountainous death world of Kagara, though with precious little resources with which to rebuild. Here the Chapter swore a sacred oath - this was either the world where the Stonebound would re-forge their legacy, or dig their everlasting graves. Incensed by the loss of their "true" homeworld, the death of over half their number and the innumerable other atrocities committed by the greenskins, the Stonebound marked the greatest of these offences onto formidable stone tablets, recording the wrongs that must be avenged in order to restore the Chapter's former glory. These Grudge-Stones serve as a permanent reminder of shames endured and losses taken, and only when the grudge engraved upon the stone is considered avenged is the stone ritually shattered. For every slight against the Chapter and the Imperium, the orks would be paid back in full. This was the ultimate oath of the Stonebound - vengeance for all that was lost. The Stonebound have been shaped by their history, and defined by their endless war to retake their lost realm. Every marine has a ferocious, burning hatred for the orks instilled within him, and are trained since initiation to fight and kill the greenskin without hesitation or mercy. A Stonebound marine is typically dour in temperament, intensely loyal to their Chapter and their brothers, stoic, somewhat insular and absolutely bound by honour to always uphold their word, no matter the cost to themselves. The Stonebound as a Chapter never forget a debt, whether it is owed by the Chapter or to the Chapter. Those few amongst the Imperial forces around the Rift that can count the Stonebound amongst their friends, however, will never find themselves with a more stalwart or reliable ally, willing to face down even certain death in order to honour their friendships or repay their debts to others. Of note is the Stonebound's comparative mastery of the forge, the Chapter being responsible for the creation of some truly magnificent weapons and armour over the centuries. In their early years, the Chapter would keep the best examples of their work in secret chambers buried in the depths of their various keeps, or in one of many specially designed chambers in the Fortress-Monastery at Kharabor. Since losing their first home and migrating to Kagara, the Stonebound's armoury is typically more centralised, and kept within the Chapter's reach at all times. Several examples of the Chapter's finest work, along with trophies, banners, or commemorative pieces of great value to the Chapter, were locked away in sealed vaults on worlds that have since been over-run by Orks. Whether those treasures of the Chapter remain secure, or have fallen into greenskin hands, none can say with certainty. In spite of the Chapter's ambitions of glory, and stubborn refusal to die at the hands of the orks, taking back the Glastheim Rifts has proven to be a mighty challenge. The Orks and the Stonebound have been waging merciless war against each other for millennia, both sides fighting with a fierce, unyielding hatred of the other. Every victory is fleeting, as the defeated side eventually rallies again to avenge their defeat. Other Imperial factions dragged into the war are either ground down by repeated conflicts with the greenskin menace, or pulled away to deal with other threats in the Glastheim Rifts - heretics, cultists, pirates and other xeno invaders lurk in the darker corners, always waiting to strike. It is, functionally, a stalemate, kept alive for over a thousand years by the fires of mutual hatred and the Stonebound's drive for absolute vengeance against the orks. Recent History: "There is no purer motive than hatred, and no greater purpose than revenge." - Sergeant Ral Stonespike, Stonebound 7th Company, 680.M35 - Excerpt from "The Legacy Saga" The word was young, the stars were clean No stains upon the sky were seen Our Lord sat not on Golden Throne But boldly strode the Earth alone His lightning sword did strike his foes His power and his banner rose He brought together tribe and clan To help reforge the worlds of Man With potent seed and twisted gene He then brought forth the Space Marine And twenty Sons, great warriors all In the golden times, before the fall... ...But shadow flickered past the glow As forces Man should never know Did twist and plot and cast their schemes And whisper to the Sons in dreams That they would be used and cast aside Used to build the Emperor's pride To make a realm for him alone To dictate to from golden throne While those who that realm had wrought Would wither, die and be forgot. They took these whispers deep to heart And with help of Chaos tore apart The works that took so long to make Took little enough to break Foul Horus, once his son most dear Betrayed him out of treachery's fear And Son fought Son on Terra's soil Those who once had been most loyal Had destroyed all that they had kept And on his throne, the Emperor wept But grief could not stay his might Nor darkness hide the Emperor's light His mighty sword did sweep away The treacher of his Sons, and they Did flee in terror through the sky And hide in places low and high To escape the wrath of Space Marine Who sought and cleansed out the unclean But hiding did avail them nought And so they reaped what they had wrought Interr'd within the Golden Throne, Sealed in halls of steel and stone, In Terra's halls of he guides us still, A ruler, strong of mind and will, The Emperor, who by thought alone Will rise again from Golden Throne! And lead us to a future bright And bring to Man eternal light! And we, descended of his line, His legacy, for all of time, The sons of Dorn, the sons of war, We, the Stonebound - Evermore! We will answer to your call, Hail the Emperor! Lord of all! Only three events in the Glastheim Rifts have served to effect any change the endless stalemate between the Orks and the Stonebound. The first of these events was the formation of the Silver Circle, near the end of M37. Along with the Stonebound, four other Chapters of Space Marines were drafted into a formal alliance by a force of Inquisitors, and duly charged with finally taking back the Glastheim Rifts for the Imperium. With the other Chapters occupying the focus of the heretic cults and traitors dwelling in the Rifts themselves, the Stonebound found themselves able to more readily commit their entire force to their unending war with the Orks. Over the centuries, the Stonebound have proved to be the most isolationist and obdurate of the Silver Circle, at first outright refusing any offer of help or kinship from the other Chapters. As more and more threats began to arise, both within and without the Rifts, the Stonebound eventually found themselves warming up to their Circle-Brothers, seeing in many of them some reflection of their own traits. The second event was the awakening of An'Zagurd, the Steel Serpent, in late M41. Buried deep on the world of Kadrimor, a mighty Necron construct was awakened during a fierce underground battle between the Stonebound and a particularly cunning Ork warband. Ripping the very ground apart as the creature arose from its' aeons-long slumber, the Steel Serpent savagely attacked both sides, seemingly in a frenzy. It was later found to have left Kadrimor, and has been seen in the company of the [NAME] Dynasty of Necrons, who strike out at Orks and Imperials alike from their fortified tomb world of [PLANET NAME]. Since the awakening of An'Zagurd, the Necron have been a persistent threat, lurking in the dark and awaiting the time to strike at the Stonebound. Both An'Zagurd and the [NAME] Dynasty have their names engraved on many Grudge Stones, and the Stonebound look forward to taking their vengeance against both foes. The final event to mark a significant change in the eternal war between the Stonebound and the Orks was the Indomitus Crusade, bringing with it a great change in the form of Primaris marines. The Stonebound were, at first, extremely sceptical of Primaris marines, and of the Chapters of the Silver Circle were easily the slowest to accept the addition to their Chapter. However, with the endless war taking a heavy toll on the Chapter's numbers, coupled with the impressive tally of victories the Primaris marines of their Circle-Brothers had achieved, the Stonebound grudgingly accepted the use of their own Primaris kindred. In recent years, the campaign against the Orks has seen real progress for the Stonebound, taking and holding successfully a dozen worlds long thought lost to the greenskin menace. Many within the Chapter are, in fact, talking about the reclaimation of Kharabor itself, not simply as a long-term goal, or a grudge to be settled, but as a real possibility for the near future. Such an endeavour will surely be fraught with peril and bloodshed, with the threats of Orks, Necron and Chaos rising on all sides to keep the Stonebound from rebuilding their lost glories. But the Stonebound will never yield their ambitions, nor change their ways. War and death await all who dare oppose the Stonebound's return to prominence - it is inevitable. Homeworld: "Kagara is either the cradle of our Chapter's future, or the mountains that will become our tomb." - Techmarine Zoren Silvercraft, Stonebound 2nd Company, 914.M34 The Stonebound would never call a world other than Kharabor their home, but for all intents and purposes Kagara ('Mountainhome' in High Gothic) is the primary world of the Stonebound. A world of bitter cold, ice and blizzards, the surface of Kagara is borderline inhospitable. However, a series of ancient undreground roads, caverns and cities weave under the world's surface, with much of the population subsisting in these subterraenean warrens. These cities, the life support machines within them, and much of the tunnel network linking them almost certainly predate the Horus Heresy, and may possibly even date back to before the Dark Age of Technology. The people of Kagara are fairly primitive, worshipping the machines that make their sub-surface homes more habitable. Recruits are generated for the Chapter primarily amongst the culture's miner-castes, who often have to defend themselves against various underground creatures in their endless quest for fuels or rare metals. War between Kagara's Great Clans is also not unheard of, and these wars usually offer a surplus of recruits for the Stonebound, who pay close attention to the child soldiers often employed by the Clans in such times to bolster their warrior's numbers. Kharabor, in the time the Stonebound held it, was a very different world from Kagara. Dominated by two sprawling hive cities, with a dozen other major population centres across the world, Kharabor was a crucible of industry and a local trade hub, dealing mostly in mechanical goods. Recruits on Kharabor were taken in via an annual trial of strength and endurance held in the world's major population centres. Some of the more dour amongst the Chapter take the view that the relative lack of conflict on Kharabor made the Stonebound take its' security for granted - a mistake the Chapter will never repeat again. Beliefs: "Axes high, brothers! Today is a day for Vengeance!" - Brother Urist Blackbanner, Stonebound 8th Company, at the battle of Ottankoth 012.M42 In their early years, the Stonebound's foremost guiding vision was that of a united humanity, under The Emperor's banner. Since the coming of the orks, the Chapter's focus has been increasingly consumed by an absolute need for vengeance. The pursuit of revenge is considered to be the purest act a Space Marine can undertake, for the extermination of the Stonebound's enemies brings the Imperium one step closer to The Emperor's great vision of a galaxy ruled by Humanity. When the Chapter avenges a grudge, the Grudge-Stone upon which it is engraved is ritually shattered in a somewhat sombre ceremony, which in turn is followed by a great feast for those who accomplished the deed. On the rare occasions that outsiders have been permitted to attend these feasts, they say the Stonebound in attendance are almost completely different in personality - quick to jest, happy to sing songs and drink toasts to the dead and the brave whose deeds brought about the Chapter's victory. Another quirk of the Stonebound is their view of The Emperor. Indeed, being able to trace their lineage back to Rogal Dorn, most stalwart Son of the Ultimate Ancestor, is a huge point of pride for the Chapter. They always strive to live up to their gene-sire's indefatigable and unflinching resolve in the face of the alien menace. Most Stonebound are able to fully recite the lineage of their own geneseed, tracing back through dozens of generations of Space Marines until the foundation of the Chapter. Combat Doctrine: "A vile force of Greenskins approaches! Come, brothers - let us show them some Stonebound hospitality!" - Sergeant Astur Anvilborn, Stonebound 9th Company, 388.M40 When the Stonebound march to war, they do not do so in haste. Mass deployments of armour, accompanied by the methodical march of infantry is the staple approach of the Stonebound. Heavy tanks such as Land Raiders, Predators or Vindicators, supported by well-placed Devastator Squads typically form the strongest point of the advance, grinding through enemy assailants without remorse. Supported by massed bolter fire and bombardments from Whirlwinds or Thunderfire Cannons, the Stonebound can effortlessly adapt between steadfastly holding ground and pressing the attack. Fast attack elements of a Company, such as bikes or land speeders, are employed as support for the main line's flanks, or kept behind the bulk of the advancing Stonebound, only racing forward in the event an enemy force routs completely in the face of the Chapter's inexorable advance. The Stonebound favour sheer firepower in battle over the cut-and-thrust of melee, but this is not to say the Chapter eschew melee combat entirely - Assault units tend to be used for counter-attacks, intercepting enemy charges or engaging stubborn enemy defences as the Stonebound's advancing line reaches them. Axes are a favoured weapon amongst the Chapter, derived from the Battle-Picks of the Kagaran mining-castes, which feature a pick on one side and a more traditional axe-blade on the other. In the case of siege warfare, the Stonebound perform as capably as one would expect of an Imperial Fists successor; artillery, heavy armour and crushing assault forces employed as required to breach whatever defences a luckless enemy may choose to cower behind. Centurion war-suits equipped with formidable Siege Hammers are a favoured spearhead unit for siege assaults, breaking apart fortifications as easily as they break apart the enemies within. The Stonebound are known to excavate and fortify entry tunnels into particularly resilient hideaways, with squads of excavators and crews of siege-servitors tunnelling away to the exacting specifications of their Astartes overlords. The gradual addition of Primaris forces has seen many Stonebound Battle Companies frequently employing Heavy Intercessor squads and battle tanks such as the Repulsor alongside their more traditionally favoured units. In large-scale offensives, the sight of Hammerfall Bunkers or Firestrike turrets being deployed from orbit to create or reinforce killing zones is not uncommon, establishing rock-solid defences even as the Stonebound continue their relentless attack. Organisation: "If Dorn sees wisdom in the words of his Brother, who are we to question them?" - Chaplain Fikod Ironpath, Stonebound 10th Company, 629.M34 http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/sm.php?b62c=@hDpou_iaj2F.hozqS@@@@@@@hFeKV@.@@__@@@@_@@@_@@_hJ9Lc_hJ9Lc@@@@@@@@@@..@@@@@@@@@@@@@.hBMHl&grid=TRUE A Battle Brother of the "Redshields" First Company The Stonebound are almost entirely Codex-adherent, although with some minor deviations. The Chapter's First Company bear different heraldry, their shoulders coloured red with bone trim. They have the nickname of "The Redshields", derived from the practice of the First Company's marines crafting and using crimson shields engraved with that marine's notable deeds, battle honours, grudges avenged and personal heraldry. The Stonebound's current Fortress Monastery, under the great mountains of Kagara, is lined with the shields of dead battle-brothers, giving the already imposing bastion the fearsome appearance of a blood-red citadel. The Librarians of the Stonebound are more often referred to as 'Sages' amongst the brothers of the Chapter, and amongst their duties is the care and maintenance of the Chapter's Grudge-Stones. It is the Sages who engrave the Grudges, and the Sages who ritually shatter the stones when the Grudges are avenged. Weapons used to slay notable enemies or settle one of the Chapter's Grudges are repaired, embellished, given a unique name by the Sages, and added to the Stonebound's listed Reliquary, to be considered a rightful treasure of the Chapter for evermore. The Chapter's Dreadnoughts are known as the Ironbound, and are treated with the significant respect and reverance a mighty, venerable warrior and a formidable living weapon of vengeance deserves. Only the most talented and skillful of the Chapter's maintenance serfs are even permitted to look upon the chassis of the Ironbound at rest, and even then only under the strict guidance of Sages, Chaplains or Techmarines. The Stonebound have continued the practice of building additional defensive keeps on key worlds or moons in the systems surrounding Kagara. Largely crewed by families of serfs, with abundant automated defences, these worlds are equipped with complex sensor arrays meticulously constructed according to strict Mechanicus guidelines by the Chapter's Techmarines, and act as a limited early-warning system in the event of greenskin incursion. Geneseed: "The blood of Dorn runs in your veins. To admit defeat is to betray it, and shame your Chapter. Fight on, and fight well." - Last transmission of Sergeant Anabur Stoutshield, Stonebound 1st Company, 511.M39 The Stonebound are proud and honourable scions of Rogal Dorn and the Imperial Fists. Their geneseed exhibits no notable deviation from that of their progenitors, lacking the Sus-an Membrane and the Betcher's Gland. Aside from the feasts that accompany the breaking of Grudge Stones, the Stonebound hold a celebration once every century to show glory and honour their Primarch and The Emperor. Battlecry: "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken!" - recited as a litany as the line advances ---=---=---=---=---=---=---=---=---=---=---=---=---=---=---=---=---=---= Updated: 08/11/2020 Another day, another update! Now with 100% additional Primaris in the combat doctrine, and a couple of centuries where the Stonebound stubbornly refused to settle on another world and got roughed up for their trouble, harkening back to the exiles of the lonely mountain and other such dwarfly occasions. As always, all thoughts, opinions, C&C and musings are welcome. Feel free to pick up an ale, rest your axe and let me know if I've struck gold or if I'm just mired in mud up to my neck!