hen the Leopards Argent first arrived on Caliga after the battle that ensured many losses to the Chapter they were bitterly disappointed. Whilst the planet was beautiful and lush it was also uninhabited. The Leopards had no ideal recruitment grounds to recover the Chapter''http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/uploads/1248915449/gallery_36568_3534_22006.jpg' alt='Posted Image' class='bbc_img' />[/imageright]
The Leopards Argent are known throughout the Pardus Nebula as one of the major military powers. Having established Watch Holds, small fortresses often manned by Chapter Serfs, on the planets from which they recruit as well as those they have fought on the Chapter’s presence is felt long after the marines themselves have left. These Watch Holds can range from a simple fortified tower to a sprawling complex, depending on the Chapter’s needs at the time. It is to these fortresses that hopefuls journey to on the planets recruitment worlds, hoping to be chosen as one of the promising few to join the Chapter.
This practice of establishing themselves as feudal lords over the other planets of the Pardus Nebula has not gained them any friends within the Administratum. But, being such a far flung system, the High Lords have allowed this practice to continue, reasoning that as long as they provide protection to the planets and continue to let the planets govern themselves then the practice is mostly harmless. Agents from both the Inquisition and the Administratum both keep a careful watch on the chapter, as to prevent any potential uprising on the Chapter’s part.
s children of the Ultramarines the Leopards Argent do not vary far from the Codex Astartes. Training in all aspects of warfare equally, as any true follower of the Codex, the only true variations lie in the supplies available to the Chapter and the structure of the Sixth and Seventh Company. Being known artificers the Leopards Argent have a greater number of power weapons and artificer items. This trend does not extend into the area of vehicles, however, as the Chapter regards that as the area of adepts of the Machine Cult. With the use of most failed recruits of the Chapter as Chapter Serfs the Leopards Argent have built up a large, elite corp of troops. These serf forces are used in correlation with the rest of the marine forces to defend both the Chapter’s ships, as well as there many small crusade keeps left dotted around the Pardus Nebula. Much like the Black Templars these Crusade Keeps, or Watch Holds as the Leopards Argent know them, are small fortresses hidden mostly throughout the Pardus Nebula. Often quickly assembled as the Leopards Argent enter new theatres of war they are used as a safe haven free from the attacks on the armies headquarters as well as maintaining an eye on systems that the Leopards have left behind.
rganised into Ten Companies as per the dictates of the Codex the Leopards Argent vary little from their primogenitors. With the standard veteran and scout companies the Chapter continues to maintain the standard number of battle and reserve companies that, with the exception of the recently rebuilt fourth company, are maintained at around full strength. One feature that does stand out compared to other codex chapters is the large fleet the Chapter maintains. The fleet, unusually large for a planet based Chapter, has more in common with the size of crusading Chapters. This is due to the Chapters only fairly recent settling on the planet from its previous crusading existence. Another side effect of this transition from fleet to world based Chapter has bee the retention of specialist bike squadrons and land speder teams. Due to the nature of the Eldar they were fighting the Chapter needed to have highly specialised fast moving troops. As such Lucian decreed that half the Sixth and Seventh Companies would be exclusively trained and fielded mounted of bikes or land speeders. Although this practice has led to highly skilled mouinted marines it leaves the Chapter's reserves of regular tactical marines at half the usual strength maintained by other odex adherent Chapters.
The 4th Company and the Legacy of the Vigilant Fury
In the recent years it has been noted that the light of the Astronomican has been growing dimmer. In M? an unprecedented flicker in the Astronomican caused hundreds of ships to be lost in the Warp. One such ship was the Vigilant Fury, a Leopards Argent Strike Cruiser carrying the whole Fourth Company to a conflict near the Eye of Terror. The Chapter sought for their missing ship in vain until, In M41 the Vigilant Fury was found by Imperial Navy ships on patrol near the Storm of the Emperor’s Wrath. The Leopards Argent sent an elite force to board the ship and when they arrived they found the ship empty. After a period of mourning it was declared a new Fourth Company would be made. Although the fate of the previous Fourth Company remains unknown the new Fourth, under Brother Captain Kedros, has finally reached full strength again and is ready to wage war in the Leopards Argent's name.
The Chapter’s First Company, although mostly identical to other Codex Chapters, continues a proud tradition from the earliest days of the Chapter. Regarded as often a bodyguard force for the Chapter Master, as well as the main hammer of Leopards Argent force, these warriors were affectionately regarded as the “claws of the Leopard” by the first Chapter Master Lucian. As such these heoric warriors have taken the maxim of “ The Leopard's Claws” and often feature stylised leopard printing on their power fists and lightning claws.
ucian Ishild believed strongly in the idea of unity through diversity. That if the Imperium was to stand then all its separate cultures must work together. During his time as Chapter Master he started to form his Chapter in this ideal and his successors have followed his example. Recruiting from many of the worlds both in the Pardus Nerbula and occasionally other planets the Leopards continue to take in recruits from many different cultures. Each recruit brings with them the various cultural practices from their homeworld and many of these cultural quirks survive into the recruit’s induction into the 10th Company and beyond. Thus it is the duty of the Leopards' Chaplains to monitor these cultural trends to ensure they do not weaken the Chapter or, worse, spread the taint of Chaos to the Leopards' ranks. Some of these cultural rights, such as the totem worship of the island world Fyos, are declared hazardous to the Chapter and the recruits are mind scrubbed or simply released from service on a distant world and the planet then being declared an unfit world for recruitment. Others, such as the ritualised combat of the jungle death world of Ashalt or the protective tattoos of the ashworld Zahn have become accepted in the Chapter and in some cases wide spread.
Such a practice is, however, regarded as somewhat lax by many members of the Inquisition, particularly both the Ordo Hereticus, who fear for the sanctity of the Chapter’s cult, and the Ordo Xenos
, whom fear the possibility of the influence of xeno customs on various planets. Although the Chapter recently soothed some minds with its valiant and self sacrificing defence of the shrine world Adytum, there are some within the Inquisition whom whisper darkly about the Chapter, keeping a close watch for any signs of taint.
Athough it can be said that the culture of the Leopards Argent is fractured and divided the purpose of the Chapter is not. United by a desire to protect the people of the Imperium the Leopards Argent are quick to respond if citizens of the Imperium, particularly those that they consider under their personal ‘protection’, come under threat. Together they believe that the each and every citizen of the Imperium is important and deserves protection. This was demonstrated no more clearly during the battle of Tyrant’s Gate when Captain Tharas of the First Company personally held off a horde of orks whilst the station’s civilian population could be evacuated.
orged from the children of Gulliman the Leopards Argent carry the legacy of the Ultramarines, although through several chapters from the original primogenitor. Although the Ultramarine geneseed is as pure as it is stable the Leopards Argent are beginning to discover slight failures in some of their implants, namely the Omophagea and the Betcher’s Gland. This has caused some alarm amongst the Apothecaries of the Chapter whom seek to discover the cause for this failure and try to halt it before organs begin to fail completely and the problems become wide spread. Many in the Chapter, including the Chapters Chief Librarian Ulas have blamed the problem on the Chapter's mixed recruit base. Stating that clearly some people were too weak to join the Chapter and their weakness has caused the failure in the implants. This belief has started to cause tensions in the Chapter over those whom remain loyal to Lucian's plan and those whom feel that Ulas is right and the Chapter should isolate only a few worlds to recruit from.
“Fear the Leopard's claws!” has become increasingly common amoungst the ranks of the Leopards Argent, although once it was only used by the Chapter’s 1st Company. Whilst fighting Eldar the battlecry of “ Remember Xadum!” is occasionally used.
Edited by Silver Phoenix, 25 August 2009 - 12:55 AM.