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++Founding++ Ultima ++Progenitor Chapter++ [REDACTED] ++Role++ Urban Pacification and Proto-Heresy Cleansing ++Homeworld++ None. Fleetbound, Company Level or Smaller Deployments ++++++ Following the events of the Fall of Cadia and the formation of the Great Rift, the Inquisition found their forces spread thin on the ground. Administratum auditing and Inquisitorial reports indicate a significant likelihood of increased heretical ecclesiastical and political organizing, as civilians "lacking in sufficient willpower and courage" begin to doubt the strength and correctness of the Imperial cause. As a result, permission was granted for the requisition of a new Chapter of Astartes from Guilliman's Ultima Founding. The Shepherds Ad Astra would be tasked with rooting out and destroying cults or organizations deemed likely to result in widespread civil unrest. In cases where Red Hunter or Grey Knight involvement is considered too overt or too catastrophic to social order, and Officio Assassinorum agents are unable to be requisitioned, the Shepherds Ad Astra are deployed. A typical Shepherd deployment is headed by, or nominally under the command of, an Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus. Cult meetings are infiltrated, members are identified, and compounds are put down in swift, brutal fashion. Particularly insidious groups are handled by a strict "One-Degree" policy, whereby all personally identifiable associates of cult members are pacified subsequent to the initial action. Transported via Strike Cruisers, the Shepherds almost exclusively make use of Phobos Armor and its derivatives, cutting cultist defenders down with disciplined bolter fire from Infiltrators and Eliminators, while Reivers breach holdouts and chase down fleeing members. The Shepherds Ad Astra are primarily composed of foundlings on Hive Worlds left in the care of Ecclesiarchy, selected by specially assigned Inquisitorial agents. This has caused a not-insignificant degree of resentment among members of the Schola Progenium, who view the chapter as stealing their best potential recruits out from under them. Likewise stormtroopers and inquisitorial agents often see Shepherds as unwelcome rivals. ++++++ Hey gang! For my first post, I wanted to show off my custom chapter, the Shepherds Ad Astra; Inquisitorial attack dogs, massacre boys, unquestionably responsible for an unpleasant number of innocent casualties but also unquestionably responsible for keeping numerous worlds out of the hands of the GSC, T'au, or Chaos. I'll be posting some fluff for them, as well as a proper color chart, heraldry, and the characters in the Third Company I've decided will make up my physical army. Thanks for reading, and I'd always welcome feedback!
Brother Veneo of the Fourth Company, Fifth Tactical Squad Chapter: Vanquishers Founding: 4th Homeworld: Caeron Geneseed: Imperial Fists (Crimson Fists) Organisation: Codex Chapter Master: Coras Brenen Chapter Symbol: Silver Clenched Fist Against All, We Endure The Vanquishers are a chapter that live and fight under the tenets of endurance and vigilance, taking the trait of stubbornness and purity from their Primarchs legacy. Masters of urban warfare, fighting in the treacherous conditions of densely built battlezones are their forte in combat, such as Hive Cities, industrial facilities and to a smaller degree, in the cramped conditions of void warfare. Renowned for rarely retreating until the last glimmer of hope for victory is lost, the Vanquishers always seek to find a weakness to exploit and turn the tide of a battle. Endurance is the tenet above all else the Vanquishers strive for, ensuring that they outlast their foes through superior firepower and combat skills, no matter how long or protracted the campaign. This has sometimes led to the chapter receiving shocking losses in ill-fated campaigns, including their near annihilation in 398.M35 to WAAAGH! Gullzag on the Hiveworld, Azura Secundus, with only two hundred and twenty Vanquishers emerging from the apocalyptic clash, which ended the Orks systemwide rampage. But the amount of victories snatched from the jaws of defeat by this tenacity has provided the Chapter's greatest victories, such as the sundering of the Red Surge in 501.M38. The battle brothers of the Vanquishers maintain a supremely high level of discipline both on and off the battlefield, it is regarded by some that their level of discipline is only matched and surpassed by their primogenitors, the Imperial Fists. Legacy and History A byword for urban combat and endurance across the Segmentum Solars southern region, the Vanquishers were forged from the Crimson Fists in latter years of 32nd Millennium, replacing the heavily depleted forces from the galactic wide rampage of the Orks after the War of the Beast. The chapter were dispatched to the Southern fringes of the Segmentum Solar to defend and eradicate the lingering Ork presence still left from the brutal warfare centuries prior. Captain Vasperon of the 5th Company was placed with the honour and responsibility of building the new chapter, ready to counter the Greenskin threat that was making its presence more felt through the Fidel Sector. Vasperon was a warrior who prided himself and his Company on pure will and unyielding vigilance for incoming threats when on and off the battle field. This would be a major part in the creation of the Vanquishers personality and combat doctrine, as they grew in number and capability over the early years of the 33rd Millennium. Having successfully ended the threat of the Ork presence and building Waaagh! within the systems of the Fidel sector, the Vanquishers sought to find a planet on which to settle and build their forces to become a fully grown Astartes chapter. Located in the heart of the sector, the chapter settled upon the planet of Caeron, which was once a vibrant Hiveworld that served as a mustering point for the Expeditionary Fleets during the Great Crusade. When the Horus Heresy and subsequent events of the Scouring took place, the planet fell to the hands of the traitor Legions, until the Imperial Fists retook the planet in a cataclysmic campaign that rendered the planet a husk of its former habitability. A single Hive named Blackring, built after the Scouring now circles completely around Caerons equator, which remains the only viable area for humanity to survive with relative ease upon its surface; as to the north and south of Blackring, vast irradiated tundra wasteland spreads to Caerons poles, with long abandoned and crumbling hive cities and infrastructure scattered across the hemispheres, almost impossible to reach by conventional means due to the violent storms and lethal environment created from the apocalyptic fighting during and after the Heresy. It is from these crumbling metropolises that the Vanquishers train their recruits to become the masters of tight combat in urban environments. Astartes of the Vanquishers often exceed the standard level of marksmanship with their firearms as a result of the drills performed within the ruins and environment beyond Blackring as sniper and breaching teams. The Vanquishers Fortress Monastery, named The Perpetual Sentinel is based upon Caerons singular moon, Derev, which also serves as the planets shipyard for trade and military repairs and deployment. The Fidel sector and surrounding space has been an active region for the Vanquishers to constantly protect from incursions, as Ork empires slowly rebuild in a perpetual echo from the War of the Beast. The constantly hidden threat of the Agonys Lash kabal of Drukhari have also notably persisted across the edges of the sector, where the twisted Xenos have conducted repeated raids over the millennia on Imperial worlds and vessels within the region, despite the ferocious counter-attacks led by the Vanquishers when they receive their distress calls. The Fidel Sector is populated by a number of key worlds on the southern edge of the Segemtum Solar, including a handful of Forgeworlds that the Vanquishers hold pacts of honour to protect when requested and thus the chapter hold a cordial relationship with the Martian forces, including the Titans of Demi-Legio Fluctus. The sector also contains vital shipping lanes, including the relatively calm crossing of the Cinder Gap, located in between the colossal asteroid fields of two shattered planetary systems, created millions of years prior from an unknown force. The Gap provides a stable thoroughfare for resources to be transported towards Terra and the inner planets of the Imperium and it is the Vanquishers duty to protect it. In the 39th Millennium, a fresh chapter of Astartes were created in reinforcing the Vanquishers in protecting the Cinder Gap from raiding pirates of Drukhari and other threats. Forged from Sanguinius sons, the fleet based Emerald Tears became a closely bonded brother Chapter to the Vanquishers, the Tears aggressive close-combat oriented warfare complimenting the methodical practices of the sons of Caeron. The Galactic Schism As the final years of the 41st Millennium waned out and the Astronomican grew weaker, the Vanquishers found themselves severely hard pressed as Ork empires grew in power within and beyond the Fidel Sector, notably WAAAGH! BlakkHamma, requiring a major splitting of their forces to multiple war zones, including the deployment of their Tactical Reserve Companies to stem the growing green tide. The Cicatrix Maledictum's tear across the galaxy only added a nuclear payload into the fire as uprisings, dangerous psychic awakenings and Chaotic incursions sowed the seeds of outright warfare and anarchy across the many systems the Vanquishers protected. As the attrition of these campaigns began to wear the Fidel Sectors Imperial forces numbers down, rebellions and uprisings began to appear from the desperation of the citizens being forgotten and Xenos incursions became increasingly prevalent. Requests for reinforcement fell upon deaf ears on Terra as the madness of the Warps new tear split the Imperium in half. As the Blood Angels called for aid at Baal, the Emerald Tears sought to answer; but as the tides of the Greenskin overwhelmed the Vanquishers forces, leading to dire casualty numbers, the Tears chose to send only two squads to Baal. Seeing the value of keeping the Fidel Sector safeguarded due to its proximity to Terra and the supplies travelling through, the rest of the Emerald Tears remained to reinforce and aid the Vanquishers. Fall of the Emerald Tears In spite of their heroic and selfless decision to remain and protect the Fidel Sector alongside their beleaguered brother Chapter, the fate of the Emerald Tears ended in tragedy. In a cataclysmic scenario of a dangerously weaponised Ork Space Hulk, dubbed Krump Krooza heading for the vast population centre of the Hurst Cluster, the Tears fought to the last on the Hulk to prevent its true power ruining the region. It became a bitter irony that the Indomitus Crusade would arrive scant years later, too late to reinforce the honoured fallen sons of Sanguinius, but the Vanquishers honoured their passing in carrying marks of the emerald teardrop upon their armour for those who had fought beside them, carrying their name in memory and in the wargear recovered in the wreckage of the Krump Krooza. When elements of the Indomitus Crusade finally arrived to relieve the beleaguered forces of the Vanquishers, the reinforcement and introduction of the Primaris marines and new vehicles and weaponry initially was seen as an affront to the proud chapter that emphasised and holds strong on the tenets of endurance. The Primaris were perceived as a replacement and a concern that the first-born Astartes were now being forgotten and seen as no longer worthy to carry their duties. But over time and through counsel with the Primaris that were tasked with reinforcing the Vanquishers, it became abundantly clear that this was an enhancement to the chapter and the displays of fortitude and sheer will of their new brethren proved they were true sons of Dorn and the Vanquishers. Over time the numerous threats began to reduce in the Fidel Sector and a fresh chapter of Primaris marines, the Viridian Angels took up the burden of the fallen Emerald Tears. At the current era, the Fidel Sector has much left to cleanse and purify from the Great Rifts formation and Noctis Aeternam, but the Vanquishers continue to look ahead to face the challenges and endure all that the enemies of the Imperium can muster. Combat Doctrine and Organisation Command Retinue Chapter Master Coras Brenen - Lord Protector of Caeron Captain Marek Tarren 1st Praetorian Company Master of the Crusade Captain Sontor Arral 2nd Perpetual Company Master of the Fortress Captain Fernann Cohr 3rd Tenacious Company Master of Arms Captain Elias Draeg 4th Resilient Company Master of the Fleet Captain Valdor Antana 5th Dauntless Company Master of the Marches Captain Synas Castor 6th Steadfast Company Master of the Rites Captain Deinar Orhon 7th Resolute Company Master of the Trials Captain Kaspar Gehr 8th Relentless Company Master of the Breach Captain Argus Salazar 9th Perennial Company Master of Bombardment Captain Martel Kydio 10th Hidden Company Master of Recruits "Urban warfare is the ultimate test of a warrior's skills. To fight in the claustrophobia of ruined buildings, where danger waits around every passage, every corner, from above your head and beneath your feet. An Astartes must be as vigilant as his spirit can muster. His weapons must be gripped tighter, always ready to strike. His reaction times must reach a point rivalling the preternatural. We have been raised to fight in this environment. In the ruins of Ashenhive, Skyreach and Tridenthaven, every son of Caeron has honed their skills against each other and the cruel monsters within the shadows of the once almighty buildings. The battles of legends may be imagined upon open fields, but we fight the reality of the ultimate test of combat." - Veteran Sergeant Alato Karvan of the Resilient Company to a White Talons veteran, during the defence of the Felwinter Hive Complex. A staunchly Codex chapter, the Vanquishers loyally follow its tenets and rarely divert wildly from its teachings, with exceptions to the name of certain ranks and a Captains title in some of the Companies befitting their style of warfare. The Vanquishers prime talents in prosecuting urban warfare or combat in similar confined environments will often see them deployed wars and campaigns that desperately require their expertise. In more protracted campaigns, the chapter will often seek to ensure that the enemy is forced or directed into combat within such environments to increase the Vanquishers advantage over them. But when called for, the chapter are more than capable of fighting in the open battlefields beyond their favoured urban confines, some of their finest victories in combat have been executed in these moments, such as the Second Sunrise Assault during the Lauss Rift Campaign. With the advent of the Ultima founding, the Vanquishers adapted to the newer armour and armaments quickly. The Chapter now ensure that within their Company structure, the Lieutenants are one Primaris and one First-Born Astartes to keep stability and balance and share the capabilities of both styles. Wallbreaker Formation The Vanquishers utilise a number of unique formations to breach well-fortified enemies in urban campaigns. One that has become synonymous with the chapter is the Wallbreaker Formation to breach bunkers and buildings. Company Veterans carry vast storm shields, first used for ship to ship campaigns during the Great Crusade and wield storm bolters and special weapons to clear out the enemy, after having been breached an entrance from a heavy weapons squad or vehicle. In recent decades, Hellblasters have been a very popular option for breaching, with their veteran brothers leading them in to clear the enemy out, with the Hellblasters ensuring no heavier resistance stems the oncoming wall of ceramite. In the tight confines of these urban environments, none can escape their wrath. Having moulded their combat style to capitalise on fighting in the cramped and unpredictable nature of urban and industrial environments, alongside dealing with the Ork menace that constantly threatens the Fidel sector as it rebuilds; the Vanquishers often deploy weaponry designed for this purpose, including the use of flamers, meltas for breaching buildings and combi variants there-in. The chapter boasts a high number of heavy vehicles as well, designed to aid them in their campaigns in combat on industrial and hive worlds, this includes a plethora of Vindicators and Land Raider Redeemers. The newer Phobos pattern of armour for their brethren has been greatly accepted and utilised strongly to befit their tight confined of urban warfare and the use of Infiltrators and Incursors has become a norm for the newer Primaris sons of Caeron alongside their Scouts to gather intelligence and commit more covert operations before attacking in full force with their armoured might. Whilst they do possess the exotic and powerful plasma weaponry, it is not fielded as often, due to the nature of the Vanquishers more prevalent combat campaigns in the tight confines of urban conflict, where plasma weaponry can pose a danger to the wielder and his brethren should it overheat. But for Astartes that carry the responsibility or choice to wield plasma weaponry into combat is seen with a wary respect by their kindred. With the addition of the Hellblasters to their formations, the view on Plasma weaponry remains the same, but the level of respect for their newer brethren to wage war with such powerful and dangerous weaponry continues to be looked upon with great respect. To wield such destructive power at your own risk, to ensure that the enemies of the Vanquishers are eradicated is a sacrifice worthy of Dorns legacy. Astartes of the Vanquishers typically eschew adorning their armour with overtly ornate decorations, viewing them as hindrances in the tight confines of urban warfare. Some exceptions are however included, such as the Iron Halo and cloaks of Office for Captains. Typically, a battle-brothers honours are laser-etched and painted into their armour as an honour shield, which can be placed wherever they deem fit. Veterans who wield Storm and Combat Shields place the honours onto their weapons instead, displaying their honours without hindering their armours movement. Having been founded in the earlier millennia of the Imperium after the Horus Heresy, the Vanquishers still hold a large amount of older marks of weaponry, armour and vehicles that were gifted to them by their primogenitors and the Mechanicum. Some very rare, near singular examples of the ancient super-heavy battle tanks from the Heresy and Scouring, such as the Sicaran and Fellblade also reside within the armoury deep beneath the soil of Derev. These sacred armaments and relics are suitably revered by the Techmarines and chapter at large and the choice to deploy them into campaigns is typically only sanctioned by the Chapter Master or Master of the Forge. The Vanquishers possess a fair amount of the newer Mark VIII Errant power armour from the Adeptus Mechanicus Forges, with their other armour often including up-armoured additions to aid them in combat. Often, they also add additional sensors and scanners to their armours systems, to ensure they have the best upper-hand in urban combat. The Mechanicus sometimes rankle at the adjustments made to the sacred suits, but the Vanquishers history in saving Forgeworlds from destruction and the reverence they hold for their older relics from their founding era have stayed the Mechanicus abhorrence to such changes. +++++ Additions required to update for completion: BELIEFS FURTHER PRIMARIS TACTICS Well, here's my first submission into the Swap Challenge, as somehow these guys have never graced the halls of the Liber previously, despite being around for nearly 10 years! As mentioned, still bits to update to deem it complete since I first wrote it aeons ago. As always, input/suggestions/critiques/fluff-maulings are as welcome as ever! Cambrius