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IA - Warp Stalkers (Renegade Chapter)

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Warp Stalkers (Renegade Chapter)

The Warp Stalkers are a renegade Space Marine Chapter formed from the remnants of the Stellar Watch Chapter that was declared Excommunicate Traitoris in the early-M41.

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The Stellar Watch were founded in the 15th Founding, using Gene-Seed derived from the Novamarines Chapter. Just like their parent Chapter, they were a predominantly fleet-based Chapter that became renowned for rapid responses to the enemies of the Imperium, with a specialty in rapid boarding actions.

Prior to their fall from grace, the Stellar Watch were usually the first to respond to threats towards the Imperium, therefore gaining a reputation as the first line of assaults or defence for the citizens of the Imperium. They gained a long roll of battle-honours that saw them in action all across the Galaxy.


The Cesaris Incident

In the early-M41, the grand fleet of the Stellar Watch arrived in the Valens Subsector after the Hive world Cesaris sent a distress signal; they found a planet in the throes of a rebellion. The Chapter instantly set about making planet fall among the still loyal population centre. There they began defending the Hives population against the rebels, where it became apparent that Cultists were behind the revolt.


Within weeks, the presence of Word Bearers Traitor Marines was revealed and engaged the Stellar Watch. A month into their arrival, the loyalists were fighting against Cultists, there Word Bearer masters and now the traitors had summoned the very nightmares of the Warp; the Daemonic legions. Initially they stood firm, despite having their resources and their sanity stretched far beyond acceptable limits. Two months of fighting, surrounded by the very essence of the Warp had taken their toll, with less than half of the Chapters strength surviving. It was too much for the population they were protecting, and mere days before help would arrive the PFD fired on the Stellar Watch.


The Chapter, having been betrayed by the very people they were trying to protect, having fought against forces they were not trained to fight or understand, in conditions that could only be equitable to the Daemon worlds in the Eye of Terror, snapped.


The Chapter Master gave the order to kill everything, to flatten the hive city and everyone inside it, to butcher all that stand in their way. This they did. Their surviving Terminators slaughtered their way towards the power cells at the very heart of the hive, and upon reaching it laced the compound with explosives. Once achieved, they teleported back to the fleet, along with the rest of the Chapters survivors. The explosion that followed annihilated the hive and the surrounding area, wiping out the entire population and the forces that assailed them. 


The survivors then decided that this was not enough. Turning the entire Fleet to face the planet, they unleashed the Cyclonic Torpedoes. As this was launched, an Imperial Fleet under the command of Inquisitor Velasquez arrived. She immediately demanded a full explanation of what had just transpired. What she received was something completely different, with the Chapter immediately turning to face the new arrivals and began to fire on them. The Inquisitor then realised they must have fallen to Chaos, and began the counter-assault. With a Fleet twice the size of the Chapters, an entire Order of the Adepta Sororitas and a detachment of Grey Knights, there was only ever going to be one outcome. 


During the three months of constant fighting, half of the Marines had fallen. Within one day of the Inquisitors arrival, less than a Company of the Chapter remained. Half of their fleet was lost, less than 100 marines alive and their Chapter Master dead before they abandoned their assault and jumped into the Warp.


Recent History

The remnants of the Chapter were not encountered by Imperial organizations again for over half a Millennia. When they did emerge, they had recovered their numbers, renamed themselves the Warp Stalkers and assaulted the Shrine world Lucretia IV. The defences, fronted by the Adepta Sororitas Order that had protected Inquisitor Velasquez, were butchered by the Warp Stalkers, caught unawares and completely outclassed. All of the shrines were sacked and set aflame, before the Warp Stalkers disappeared.


They have now gained a reputation for assaulting all Imperial Worlds, seen as retribution for the “betrayal” by Imperial forces on themselves. They have also gained a reputation for attacking Astartes homeworlds while the Chapters strength is elsewhere, stealing equipment and most importantly Gene-Seed, condemning the Chapters to a slow demise. So far, three loyal Chapters have been condemned to this fate by the Warp Stalkers actions.


The last known action they were involved in concerns the "Night of a Thousand Rebellions." In this, reports suggest that the Warp Stalkers had assaulted at least two separate worlds on this night with no chance of retaliation due to the widespread nature of the rebellions. The populations on these planets had completely vanished, with the exception of their military forces, which were found butchered where they fell. The Inquisition now believe that this was no coincidence, seeing the Warp Stalkers to at least be partly responsible for the widespread rebellions. The fact that two systems were hit in huge force on the same night suggests that the Warp Stalkers have more than recovered their numbers in both there Astartes and there Fleet, which can only bode ill for loyalists all across the Galaxy.


Notable Engagements of the Warp Stalkers
073.M41 - Cesaris Incident: Whole Chapter defends loyal population of Cesaris against Chaos-inspired rebellion. Conflict with Inquisition results in near-destruction of the Chapter. Survivors escape into Warp.
074.M41 - Damnation: Stellar Watch Chapter officially declared Excommunicate Traitoris.
691.M41 - Rise of Vengeance: Stellar Watch remerge from the Warp, reformed into Warp Stalkers, and assault Lucretia IV. None survive their assault, all resources stolen.
862.M41 - Crixia Incident: Cardinal World Crixia attacked by Warp Stalkers. Lord Arsakes personally butchers detachment of Astral Bears Chapter posted there.
865.M41 - Donnus Massacre: Donnus, Homeworld of the Astral Bears Chapter is assaulted. Gene-Seed, equipment and Neophytes stolen. Warp Stalkers believed to be responsible. The population is found by an Inquisitor to all have been impaled and left to die.
997.M41 - Jaguntha Relief: Under the assault of Hive Fleet Kraken, the population of Jaguntha X are abandoned to their fate by Imperial forces. Warp Stalkers intervene, destroying the Splinter Fleet and relieving the population from the assault. Most promising young survivors are taken before Inquisitorial forces arrive. As the Inquisition, supported by multiple Chapters arrive, they watch the world burn.
992.999.M41 - Night of a Thousand Rebellions: Warp Stalkers use the anarchy to assault two Shrine worlds in the Segmentum Pacificus in the same night, butchering all opposition.



Before being declared Excommunicate Traitoris, their Gene-Seed was derived from the Novamarines Chapter, making them scions of Guilliman. They had no notable mutations, and in general there was nothing out of the ordinary with their Gene-Seed.


Since their descent into heresy, the nature of their Gene-Seed is unknown. There have been no outward mutations noted in after-action reports against these traitors. However, how they have replenished their numbers so rapidly to beyond Chapter strength in such a short space of time is up for conjecture. The most likely reason for their recovery is found in their attacks on Fortress-monasteries of other Chapters. This would suggest that they now have Gene-Seed that is derived from multiple sources.


The Warp Stalkers believe they have been abandoned and vilified by the forces they once protected, claiming that the attack on the Inquisitors fleet was justified for a lack of respect. Since being declared traitors, they have devolved into iconoclastic, genocidal, xenocidal monsters. They need no motivation to attack anything, seeing the act and completion of the act as reason enough to do so. Many of the atrocity's they commit are best described as motivated by spite.


It is not known if they have fully fallen to Chaos, but many of the newest recruits are not stopped from worshipping whatever they wish. The survivors of the Cesaris Incident do not display any evidence of Chaos worship, displaying only a single-minded focus on destruction of all they percieved to have wronged them.



Lord Arsakes
The marine now known as the infamous Lord of the Warp Stalkers started full service as a battle brother in the III Company of the Stellar Watch. By the time of the Cesaris Incident, he had risen to become the Captain of the V Company.

He has always had a reputation as a leader who is not satisfied with merely winning, but utterly destroying his enemies. Leaving any survivors allows for retribution, something he has always been loath to allow. When the Stellar Watch finally lost their grip on reality, his methods gave them new direction, if a lack of purpose outside of survival and the destruction of their enemies.

Since then, he has risen to command the Warp Stalkers all across the Galaxy, destroying numerous worlds in the last Millennium all for spite. A monster who has fully abandoned what little humanity becoming a Space Marine leaves you, he is ruthless, spiteful, but brilliant strategist.
In the time of their disappearance in the Warp, they had forsworn their oaths to fight for the Imperium that had abandoned them, and had renamed themselves the Warp Stalkers. Lord Arsakes has been leading the survivors ever since the Cesaris incident, taking on the responsibility of a Chapter Master with massively depleted resources. 


Their current strength is unknown; however they are at least back to Chapter strength. They appear to no longer follow the structure of the Codex, employing all manner of unorthodox formations and large squadrons of Marines. Their fleet however is much greater than a standard Chapter fleet, and the size has only been increasing. How they have resupplied and regained at least their original strength is not a mystery to the Imperium, having ransacked no less than three Fortress-monasteries in the last five centuries. There actions on the Night of a Thousand Rebellions gave an insight on the respective strength of the Chapter, having assaulted in strength at least two systems in one day. As such they are believed to be well above Codex strength in both Marine count and their Fleet size.


Combat Doctrine

Their methods of war have changed very little since they were labelled Excommunicate Traitoris. They no longer follow the Codex Astartes as doggedly as they used to, very happy to utilise unorthodox tactics in their thirst for revenge against the forces that they perceive to have betrayed them. They are firm believers that any ends are justified by the means, and as there means is nothing but destruction, what is right and what is wrong is not a factor when conducting their operations.


They are still rapid assault and boarding specialists; arriving in a system without warning, overwhelming fleet defences before they are aware of an attack and then proceeding to destroy their target, leaving nothing standing or breathing. The objective of all the attacks seem to be the same; the utter annihilation of their victims, sparing only that which is useful to them such as Astartes equipment and Gene-Seed. In this sense they are not mindless berserker's; there is always an objective, and they execute the strategy that they believe will achieve that objective regardless of collateral damage. 



The Warp Stalkers were once a standard Codex Chapter, and in the past had all of the equipment associated with one. During the Cesaris incident, the Chapter lost much of their standard equipment in the three month siege and destruction of the hive, including most of their vehicles.


Since their return as the Warp Stalkers, they have replaced some of their vehicles, but they have also began resorting to the use of Daemon Engines to supplement their needs. They seem to take great pride in these monsters, as they seem to share their lust for the utter desolation of their foes. The use of these Daemon Engines are seen as another end to justify their objectives.


They always maintained a large stock of Combi-weapons, and in after-action reports it is clear that these are still commonplace in the renegades. 


Notable Elements of the Warp Stalkers

Lord Arsakes - Current leader of the Warp Stalkers. Survivor of the Cesaris Incident, he is fuelled by the desire to watch everything burn. He oversaw the Chapters restructuring and recovery from their near destruction and is viewed as being directly responsible for the actions of the Chapter since their fall.

Persepolis' Fury - Fortress-monastery of the Stellar Watch, now Flagship of the Warp Stalkers. Last sighted during the Night of a Thousand Rebellions.

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Oh, another Chapter that went rogue because elements in the Imperium betrayed them, and now they seek vengeance and to purify their beloved Emperor's realm of those who use His name to further their own goals. Yawn. Might as well paint them purple and bone and be done with it.


Y'know what would actually be interesting? If the nonstop brutal fighting against the Word Bearers and their daemonic forces had caused them to snap inside, and by the time reinforcements arrived they had sacrificed a gook chunk of the remaining loyalist population in brutal, ends-justify-the-means actions against the enemy, and now they're utterly ruthless marauders whose desire to kill all opposition has driven them from His Light. That'd at least be more original.

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Er...  Can I start after New Years?


Seriously, I haven't even begun shopping for presents, though at least now I know what to ask my family for.




As for the IA, it's a lot more original and interesting then before.  Just two little things I noticed.


1.  Fighting against the forces of Chaos, especially against Traitor Marines, is one of a Loyalist Marine's favorite things.  Even though Space Marines are meant to be able to handle any situation, they relish the chance to oppose agents of Chaos.  Thus, the bit about the Chapter not having been trained to fight Chaos seems a bit unbelievable.  Even if they had never actually faced Traitor Marines before, they should have been prepared for the possibility.  Being a Fleet-Based Chapter specializing in boarding actions, they've probably encountered a large number of Space Pirates, and most of those are Imperial Navy ships that have turned Traitor.


2.  Simply treating the PDF like crap isn't enough to truly convey just how fallen the Chapter is.  Imagine this: the Chapter's called to help a planet suffering from a major revolt driven by Chaos.  They've fought Cultists before, so nothing new there.  They get to the planet, disembark all their forces, and set up shop at the heart of Loyalist-controlled territory.  They quickly find out that the number of Cultists and the quantity and quality of their weapons is far greater than initial reports indicated, but the Chapter's not worried.  Sure, it might be just them and the PDF at the moment, but the Imperial Guard is on it's way.  Help is coming.  They just have to hold out long enough while doing as much damage to the enemy as they can.  If they can't hold out long enough, they can still gather as many Loyal Imperial citizens as they can and evacuate to their ships in orbit.  Then reports start coming in.  It's not just crazy humans with Lasguns and Chimeras out there.  Skirmishes start going bad.  Survivors give eye-witness reports of sorcery and witchcraft, and that's if there's any survivors at all.  The Chapter's leaders are getting worried.  There's something else on the planet besides them and the Cultists.  Then, at last, confirmation.  Chaos Marines.  The Cultist uprising is being orchestrated by a large Warband of Word Bearers Chaos Marines, and they've already summoned large numbers of Daemons onto the planet.  This is bad.  The Chapter wasn't expecting this, wasn't ready for this.  They're not sure if they can hold out until help arrives.


     And then, things get worse.  A Warp Storm envelops the system.  Help's not coming anymore, and escape's no longer an option.  They're trapped, and only two options remain.  Fight, or Die.  So they fight.  With courage, honor, and every trick the Codex Astartes gives them, they fight.  And it's not enough.  Skirmishes are lost.  Ground is lost.  Lives are lost.  No matter what they try, the enemy just shrugs it off and keeps on winning.  Again and Again the Chapter is forced to retreat, unable to face the horrific forces arrayed against them.  Each defeat, each loss stinging more than the last one.  They do everything right, yet still they lose.  Weeks turn into months, and the Chapter is drowning in failure.  Worse, they're running out of supplies and munitions, so now each fight is harder than the last.  There's no victory in sight.  No way out.  No hope.


     Finally, they snap.


A couple of months pass, and the Warp Storm dissipates.  The Imperial Guard finally arrives in the system; too late to make a difference, and they know it.  They aren't sure what they'll find waiting for them, but they know it isn't going to be pretty.  Even so, what they find surprises them.  Fully half of the planet has been reclaimed by the Chapter, and the forces of Chaos are now the ones fighting defensively.  But the cost of this reversal of fortune is horrific.  Of the millions of Loyalist citizens, barely a few hundred remain, and the survivors are all, to a person, utterly broken inside.  In desperation, the surviving members of the Stellar Watch Chapter had turned to more unorthodox tactics in order to ensure victory.  They started small, but as time went on they became more and more extreme in their actions.  No longer working alongside the PDF, they had seized control of the planet's remaining forces, and had used them in sacrificial feints to keep Traitor forces occupied long enough for the Chapter's forces to get into position.  When the supply of PDF troops ran dry, they turned their eyes to the planet's remaining civilian population.  They enslaved the survivors, forcing them either to work to death in reclaimed manufactorums or sending them out to die as bait for Chaos Cultists.  Worse, the Chapter began replenishing their dwindling supplies by looting the corpses of Traitor Marines,  bolstering their armory with Warp-tainted weapons and armor.  Many of these corrupted weapons required human sacrifices to power them, and the remaining Stellar Watchmen had little problem with this.  It wasn't about saving the planet anymore.  To them, it was only about winning.  That's why the Inquisition called for them to answer themselves, and that's why the planet was sentenced to Exterminatus.  They don't care about saving lives anymore, all they want to do is kill whoever gets in their way.




Crap, I text-splooged again.

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I like the origins story. It seems like a legitimate way for a Chapter to fall to Chaos. Maybe include a few more of Cepinari's ideas, particular being forced to use warp-tainted weapons due to a lack of resupply.

However, they seem to be a bit... bland. I don't really see anything that differentiates them from other Chaos/Renegade warbands. The sections outside of the history are a bit short though, so maybe you're going to expand on them later?

There are a few times when they appear to be a little bit OP. This is mainly in the second paragraph where their combat record is described as being the envy of Chapters a lot older than they are (I've seen that particular phrase quite a few times in the Liber forum - I imagine most second or third founding Chapters spent several thousand years twiddling their thumbs msn-wink.gif ) and in the Recent History section where they instigated the demise or near-demise of three entire Chapters. I like the idea of striking Chapters where they're most vulnerable, but the wording does strike me as being OP. Also, completely removing the populations of 13 worlds simultaneously?

Finally, a bit of fluff nitpicking. You've listed their successors as Novamarines. I understand this because the Novamarines are pretty darn cool. But according to IA9 they don't have any descendants. To be honest, though, I can probably live with that.

Edit: Weird formatting

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The Lexicanum claims they have at least one named successor, so I went with it.


As for the rest being bland, its because I haven't expanded them yet. My idea is that they are a Chapter that doesn't require a reason to destroy, aside from the satisfaction of seeing everything burn and die. Their conflict with the Daemons didn't driven them insane Angron-style, but has stretched their perception of reality and what is right and wrong. Not exactly sure how I'm going to make them unique without murdering fluff. At the same time I don't want another comic-book villain Chapter.


This whole IA is because I wanted to make my own renegades that are falling into Chaos fast, and I won't motivate myself to paint the models I have if I have no back-story.


Thanks for the comments!

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Yeah, I didn't want to keep criticizing you, but the time scale is way off. Unless they were right next to the planet when the distress signal was sent, they wouldn't have been able to get there in days. Warp Travel takes weeks at the shortest, and even then you have to leave Warp at the edge of the system and travel to the planet in real space, which takes days to do.


And that's just the problem with the beginning of the IA. The only way they could have hit 13 separate planets in 13 separate star systems scattered about the Sector is if they had split up into 13 Teams and arranged it so they all attacked at the same time. W40k's FTL system is still too slow for a single ship to do all that in a single night.

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Ah, you see this was their quirk!


In the Warp time is relative. Most of the time it takes weeks/months to travel in the Warp. Occasionally it takes centuries/millennia.


Every now and then they arrive moments after leaving real space, and sometimes they arrive before they leave (time travel).


This is all canon, I point you to the fluff regarding the Ordo Chronos.


My Chapters quirk was they've always been fast responders, and that this may be a result of Tzeentch's favour.


As for my Chapter hitting thirteen different planets at once, again Tzeentch's influence could explain the timing, and also indicates they are above standard Chapter strength (they're renegades, why would they stick to that restriction?). I was implying their current Fleet and Astartes strength in that piece of fluff.

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That's a good quirk in theory, but in execution you've taken it to a ridiculous extreme. Thirteen separate star systems in one night is the sort of reality-breaking miracle that'd get everyone's attention, and with a DIY Chapter you don't want that, because it strains the suspension of disbelief needed. In a nutshell, never have your guys do something so awesome that, logically, it should've been mentioned in an actual book.
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I take your point, and have edited it out.

Also added the beginnings of a Gene-Seed & Equipment section, nothing special. Reading up on fluff to find something to make them unique (without being snowflakey).

Its all still very WIP, C&C still very welcome/encouraged. I've got a strong chin, I can take it msn-wink.gif

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