I have never been a writer of any quality. I can "see" how I want things to be but simply don't have the skill to put it down in a written format (anyone who reads my posts on this board is painfully aware of that). It is why the few Chapters I have developed are really based on a few loose ideas and a visual hook. For the Vultures it wasn't anything great early on. You can see the "visual history" here. Ultimately the visual hook for the Vultures has been the helmet and color I use currently on the minis.
For some reason folks seem to like the Vultures and it has always been strange to me given how little is actually out there about them. On the one hand it is good cause it means you can have a Chapter people like without any story to back them up if your visuals are good.
However that doesn't really convey any kind of meat to the story. As mentioned earlier my lack of writing skill doesn't help here. I've had a file/story that I've kept in a notebook since the Chapter first started. It has morphed and changed over the years and most of it was really bad. If you ever saw the original Liber Astartes website I ran you may have seen some of the really bad parts.
With Philip S and Dazzo doing the 1000 Chapters project and the Vultures have somehow made it on there, I figure it is time to post up the bad fluff yet again!
The story has always been adjusted as new bits of fluff have appeared from edition to edition. Some things have been added or altered to mesh better with "current" fluff. Some things that were inserted with rule changes have been removed. For example in the early days of the VDRs I came up with a reason as to why the Chapter used Immolators instead of Razorbacks as a support vehicle. Might put it up later for gits and shiggles but we'll see.
Meantime here's my garbage for you to pick through. *Please note the helmet on the Vulture Marine image was done by emperorslion.
Truth and Order, the weapons with which the galaxy shall be cleansed. -- Creed of the Vultures.
The world of Volturinus was rediscovered and brought into the Imperial fold during the Great Crusade. A largely mountainous world with less than 5% of the surface covered by water (and that is mostly trapped in polar caps, the two northern polar seas and large lakes) the population of the world live within the great mountain caverns and mine system that spread across the planet. The world is rich in metallic ores and yet for reasons which cannot be found in any Imperial text the Mechanicus does not lay claim to it.
The Grand Plateau
When Imperial surveyors first landed on the planet and discovered the Grand Plateau they found at its center a monstrous, black pyramid rising into the sky. The pyramid was constructed entirely of obsidian. Inside the pyramid were vast chambers filled with bodies in ornate coffins made of various metals. It was later discovered that this was considered holy ground by the various tribes of Volturinus, as was the entire Grand Plateau. Upon the plateau no war would be waged and all men were of the same tribe upon the grasslands. Here people came to mourn lost heroes from all tribes, not just their own.
The people of Volturinus stated that the Pyramid of Kings had been there through out their history and that they believed it to be a gift of the Ahura (the one god in the eyes of the populace prior to the world being brought into the Imperial Cult) as a great hall to bury the great chiefs and warriors of the tribes.
Today the pyramid is dwarfed by the great Fortress Monastery of the Vultures. The Pyramid still holds a sacred place in the heart of the Marines and as such Marines of the Vulture Chapter stand guard over the pyramid at all times. The heroes of the Chapter are also interred in the Pyramid of Kings. From the people they came and to the people they return when they pass from this world to the next.
Every decade those who wish to compete to become a Vulture make the trek to the plateau in the hopes of being selected and taken away for their trials. Those who are not selected are rarely seen by their tribes again, often being taken to become serfs and servitors by the Chapter or having died on the journey to the plateau.
As happened with many worlds in the time after the Horus Heresy, Volturinus' existing belief system was co-opted by the Ecclesiarchy in order to ease the transition of the population into the Imperial Cult.
Volturinians believe that existence has three ages. They also believe that humanity plays the key role in these three ages that ultimately lead to the cleansing of evil from the galaxy. The first known age represented by the Great Crusade or Time of Creation
The Ahura (the Emperor) created the Amesha Spentas (the Primachs) and from them the Yazatas (in traditional Volturnian it means "those deserving of veneration" but has come to signify the Space Marines over time). Created as instruments of asha (truth and order) they were sent forth into the galaxy during the Great Crusade.
During the Great Crusade some of the Amesha and Yazata became influenced by the Daeva (false gods) and began to support druj (falsehood and disorder). The Traitor Legions became known as the Daevayasna (those who sacrifice to false gods).
With the end of the Horus Heresy the first age came to an end.
The 2nd age, the Time of Conflict, has been the last 10,000 years of Imperial History. Those who take on the duty and responsibility to push forward truth and order struggling against those who have foregone their duty and responsibility and allow druj to floursih.
The 3rd age, the Time of Cleansing (Frashokereti), will begin when a savior will appear to Humanity. They will assist the Ahura in rising from the Golden Throne, whole again. Those who have fallen in the age of Conflict and gone to the side of the Ahura will also be reborn. Together with those who have survived the Time of Conflict they will sweep across the galaxy and cleanse it of all evil.
The central tenants of the Volturinian Cult, duty and responsibility to truth and order, have resulted in the Vultures having a very puritan view of the galaxy. They believe that not only those who shirk responsibility and duty are agents of Chaos but all creatures who facilitate falsehood and disorder. As such even Xenos races are viewed by the Vultures as agents of Chaos. This extreme view has lead to the Chapter being accused of barbarism at times towards Imperial subjects.
It is unknown exactly why the Chapter seems to be at odds with the Mechanicum. There have been incidents between the Chapter and the Mechanicus essentially since before the Chapter even existed.
Unlike many metallurgically rich worlds, Volturinus was not claimed by the Mechanicus as a Forgeworld or resource world for a neighboring Forgeworld. This has been the case since the Great Crusade and so could be something dating back to the task groups assigned to bring the world into compliance during the Crusade.
Purifier Land Raider Pattern
The Purifier Land Raider variant is unheard of in other Astartes Chapters and as far as Mechanicus investigations have found there is only one, the Hephaestus, within the Vultures arsenal. Whether this assault variant of Land Raider is an actual STC construct or the abomination of a misguided Vultures TechMarine the Mechanicus has never been able to discover. All attempts to seize the Purifier variant have failed to date.
Planetoid LV-14492, known as Negef to Imperial Cartographers, was subject to a scouring by the Vultures in 776M38. The governor and the planetoid's populace rose up in rebellion against the Imperium. In response the Vultures put the entire population of the world to the sword. During clean up operations something important to the Mechanicus was discovered on the world but the Chapter refused to turn it over. It was at this time that Imperial scholars began to note the large number of Marines within the Chapter sporting pieces of or entire suits of Mk. VI Corvus armor.
The Vultures are a Chapter of the 14th Founding. Positioned in the galactic west alongside other 14th Founding Chapters, they were brought about in response to the growing threat of the Ork populations. In the millennia since their Founding the Vultures have also been tasked with guarding the Hades Gate warp storm against incursions by the Impalers traitor chapter.
The first Chapter Master took the name of their home world Volturinus as the Chapter name. The Vultures.
Fire and water, believed to be the elements of purity, were chosen as the colors of the new Chapter. Orange for fire and blue for water.
Native Volturinians being excellent metal craftsman have continued the tradition within the Chapter. The gargoyle like helmet, styled after the home worlds own great carrion beasts, has become a mainstay of the Chapter.
The Rite of Naming
Although part of the duty and responsibility that the Vultures believe in requires them to interact with the humanity at large and their home worlds population in particular, the Marines know they are no longer members of Volturinian society until the time of their death . As such when a scout is elevated to become a full Marine, the Rite of Naming takes place for those who survive the implantation of the Black Carapace.
At this time the scouts traditional Volturinian name and life is cast aside and an Imperial name is chosen.
It is unknown from whom the Vultures take their gene-seed legacy.
The appearance of the Atar or Fire Temples roughly at the time of the Chapter's Founding have lead some to believe that elements of the Salamanders were used in the Chapters Founding. However the Chapter seems to have none of the melanochromic issues that plague the Salamanders Chapter. Whether this is due to the relatively normal radiation levels on Volturinus or indications of non-Salamander gene-seed having been used no one has been able to confirm.
Other Adepts within the Imperium, including the Inquisition, have often been met with disinterest or sometimes hostility by the Mechanicus when requests for further testing have been made.
The Chapter is organized along Codex lines. Companies are denoted by a number on the right leg of the Marine in black. No other colors are used to designate company or squad with the Chapter. Specialist armor is done in traditional colors as laid out in the Codex Asartes.
The Chapter does have a large number of artificers as the Chapters home world has influenced those within the Chapter a great deal. They also have a smaller than standard compliment of TechMarines. Whether this is due to the Marines innate abilities to maintain equipment on a man per man basis or further fallout of the tensions with the Mechanicus is not known.