It isn't often that a Master of an Adeptus Astartes Chapter will engage in battle. Encounters with Orks and their Warlords were as common here as any other part of the galaxy. Often the Sons of Anubis would surgically attack Ork territory to prevent a Warboss from gaining momentum. However, this situation was different. The sheer number of ships reported showed that this fleet was dangerously close to becoming a dreaded WAAAAGH! Moreover, it was headed right in Elnar VI's direction. With the Chapter still undersized and much of its strength attending to other duties off world, the planet was relatively vulnerable. Anubis and his elite 1st Company took to the Strike Cruiser Firebrand, to meet the Orks before any more of their territory could be lost.
Details of the battle around Elnar VI's orbit are hazy at best. It is believed that Master Anubis and his 1st Company were able to hold the Orks off in orbit until reinforcements arrived. What details survive tell of the death of Master Anubis and the loss of the 1st Company. Evidently in order to buy more time, Master Anubis followed the strategies of his Primarch and beamed aboard the Ork flag ship, a massive Space Hulk, with his very best men. In a desperate maneuver he and his men set charges all over the Hulk's interior, and blew the conglomeration of derelict spacecraft and asteroid apart. The massive amount of debris, had a devastating effect on both fleets; destroying many of the Orks but most of the 1st Company along with them. When the 3rd and 7th Companies arrived in Elnari space, most of what they found was wreckage. The impending Ork threat had been destroyed. Anubis and the 1st had sacrificed themselves for the sake of their home world. With the realization of this, a righteous fury overtook the Marines of the 3rd and 7th. They quickly stamped out any and all remaining greenskins in the surrounding systems.
When the dust had settled, an emergency council of the remaining company Captains was called. A new Chapter Master would have to be chosen. Ultimately it was Ammon Ptah, Master of Fleets, and Captain of the 9th Company. While the loss of a Chapter Master is not totally unexpected, as even Space Marines are mortal. Such a blow as the loss of Anubis, just when the Chapter was getting its legs under it, had quite a profound effect. Ptah's first edict was to permanently change the Chapter's heraldry. Additionally, the loss of the 1st would never be forgotten, and to further illustrate this point, he changed the Chapter's organizational structure.
The Tau were just the beginning. The 41st Millennium would prove to be a period of very heavy defensive activity for the Sons of Anubis. After the battle of Ichar IV, they had their hands full with a sizable splinter fleet from Hive Fleet Kraken. After that, they led a sizable ship action in pursuit of Hakanor's Reavers. Because of this the Sons of Anubis have a growing reputation and are seen as stalwart defenders of the Eastern Fringe. When the enemies of the Imperium attack, the Sons of Anubis hold the line.
"We not only protect this planet because it is our homeworld. We protect it because it is the world of our people, the Emperor's people. We protect this world because it belongs to the Emperor, and we are His servants! We are His children! We are His Jackals! And woe to those who dare invade our domain!" - Master Anubis - Battle of Elnari VI
Now a desert wasteland, Elnar VI is home to a fierce and hardy people. The Elnari have been raised from birth to survive in the harsh unstable climate. Organized into a loose society of tribes and clans, the Elnari live in the “Dwellings of the Ancients.” Either ancient sewers, bunkers or underground railways long abandoned and surviving from a time when there was a city above them, the Elnari now call them home. An entire clan generally dwells within one of these complexes or “Toou.” Despite their sub-terrainian dwellings, the people of Elnar have mastered survival. In such an inhospitable environment, supplies are limited and nothing is wasted.
Generally speaking the clans tend to avoid each other. That way, each can be sure what they have will not be taken. However, when groups from different clans do interact, it is for one of three reasons: trade, war, or the Oaar (“The Price”). The clans will often trade their local craft goods for supplies or tools made of ores or materials not found in their local surroundings. However, not every clan is equally wealthy; thus conflict is common, as rival clans raid each other for resources and status. Wars are taken very seriously by the Elnari, even the slightest skirmish is treated with the utmost gravitas. If water is to be wasted in the spilling of blood, the prize must be worth it. Wars among the Elnari consist mainly of quick raids and close quarter fighting in the cramped tunnels of a clan's Toou. While fighting does happen out in the open wastes, it is much more rare. Fighting is taxing enough without having to fight in the tumultuous conditions on the surface.
The Oaar is perhaps the only true gathering of the clans for purely unselfish reasons. Taking place every five years, the Oaar is always held on the top of largest mountain (or ruin) in the region. Here all the local clans gather to celebrate their god, Anu. This gathering has two purposes. First is the mixing of the clans. Brides are promised and traded among the different clans in order to maintain genetic variety. The second is where the Oaar gets its name from. Here the best and bravest of the clan's warriors will fight in single combat until only a handful are left alive. Those left standing are then sent out into the wastes alone to meet Anu, and become one of his mighty jackals. The Oaar is given its name because of the lives taken in this grueling ritual. Even amongst the young men who are victorious, there is no guarantee that they will be judged worthy enough by the prophet of God, Anubis. Little do the Elnari know, that those young men sent out into the wastes never to be seen again, often get inducted into the Sons of Anubis as aspirants.
They are whisked away by the “Mnomets” (Keepers of Wisdom) into a Thunder hawk, and taken to the “Mouki Anute” or “Ladder of God;” a sizable outpost and training staging area deep in the southern wastes. A fortress of incredible size Mouki Anute is dwarfed by “Ouxorei,” (The Jackal's Lair) the Fortress Monastery with which it keeps a constant link. Located on Elnar VI's single moon, Ouxorei is a truly colossal fortress, where all the might and majesty of the Sons of Anubis and their equipment is housed.
"We shall fight them tooth and claw. We will claw at their flanks. We will gnaw on their tendons. We will gouge out their eyes. And when it is exposed, we will rip out their throat!"
- Master Khafre Anubis, 13th Chapter Master
Because of this penchant for fighting up close, every Marine needs to go into battle carrying as little equipment as possible. By necessity, they favor light, shorter ranged weapons, that pack a punch, such as Melta Guns, and Plasma Guns. Their long range weaponry is often distributed among highly trained Devastator Squads that drill constantly to hit as many targets with as few shots as possible.
The Sons of Anubis, favor quick lightning strikes that destroy the enemies flanks or prefer to drop into the middle of the fray where merely holding their position wins them the battle. A typical example would be a force drop-podding down to a planets surface; surgically capturing whatever objective needed to be attained. They will defend that objective tooth and nail, through mid to short range fire and close quarter combat. Meanwhile highly mobile squads in transports hit the enemies soft spots. Between the squads holding their ground and the mobile squads harassing the enemies flanks; many opportunities for victory are created.
"Our ways remind us of what we have lost...and of how much we still have to lose if we do not stay vigilant." - Jackal Priest Heu'aur Bes
Mimicking the leadership of the first Anubis, older Marines are often much more “hands on” with their younger brethren. As such, Veterans are almost never seen in a squad together. More often than not they are seen leading a squad of less experienced Marines, in order to guide them as Anubis would have. This is by no means unique to just Veterans. Captains, and even the Chapter Master is honor-bound to hear the request of a fellow Marine, no matter how inexperienced. However, the Chapter Master's time is very precious; so the Marine in question better be sure it is of significant importance. Or else he may find himself on maintenance duty with the servitors for several years.
Having been understrength for much of their early history, the Sons of Anubis are much more informal when it comes to company organization. When an Aspirant becomes a full fledged Marine, he is subjected to a battery of tests to determine what his strongest attributes are. From there, he is assigned to a position that fits his natural disposition. Often times a Marine will spend decades, if not centuries in his assigned role. Should he excel he may be promoted to the rank of “Matoi” or Veteran. Additionally some of the titles of office have changed. Most notably are the titles of Chaplain and Librarian. They have been replaced with "Anusets" (Teachers of the Desert) and "Mnomets" (Keepers of Wisdom) respectively. Sometimes the Head Mnomet is referred to as High Priest.
"Anu be praised! For he has given us the tools to be his servants!" - High Priest Sekmet Ha'ur
When they arrived, the leader of the Astartes approached the clans. He declared that he had been sent by the will of the Emperor. That some of them were to be chosen to serve the Emperor. It was clear to the people of Elnar VI that the prophet of Anu had come. Hence forth he was called Anubis; meaning "Messenger of God." Given the name's meaning, the leader of the Astartes was proud to adopt the name. He declared that a great test of fighting prowess was to be held to test the aspiring trainees' strength of heart. They were then to be cast into the desert, exhausted from a day of battle, to test their strength of will. Only then would those who aspire to be in the Emperor's service, prove themselves worthy. Thus began the first of many Oaar.
Master Anubis always had a hands on approach when it came to leadership. He was heavily invested in the training of the first Aspirants. He was leading them to a new world. Under the guidance of his Apothecaries, and the implantation of the gene-seed, he was literally fulfilling his namesake; bringing them closer to Rogal Dorn, and through him, Anu. Master Anubis was stern and demanding; the Aspirants were in awe of him. But as they underwent the changes to full blooded Space Marine, that awe was replaced with the deepest of respect.
After his death in the defense of Elnar VI, the chapter was filled with a great sense of loss. Most of the Astartes considered him a father figure. Out of respect for the man that brought them the blessings of the Emperor, they changed their heraldry. From now on, they would mourn; their helmets would be painted black, to commemorate the loss. Furthermore, his name became a permanent part of the title of Master. All Chapter Masters would hence forth be known as Anubis. Through the gene-seed they carry in their bodies, they pay respect to their Primarch; through their deeds, they pay respect to their god; and through their name, they pay respect to his prophet.
"Thank the mighty Dorn, for it is his strength through which we carry out Anu's will!" - Jackal Priest Heu'aur Bes
In regards to the Betcher's Gland, the Sons of Anubis, have developed a unique solution to this failing. While, other Dorian Chapters, may not see this gland as particularly necessary; the nature of the enemies they encounter as well as their fighting methods makes the loss of this gland inconvenient at best. The Sons of Anubis overcome this with a ritual known as the “Tapro Jehrt,” literally translated “Mouth of Metal.” Each Aspirant, before he can be called a full battle brother, undergoes a series of augmetic surgeries, Adamantite is grafted to the bones of the mandible and maxilla. The teeth are then replaced by two perfectly interlocking “jaws” sharpened to several points. This gives the Marine a surprisingly ferocious appearance, even when smiling. Ironically, it is not all that dissimilar from the “Iron Gobs” seen on many prominent Ork warlords.
"Our pride and sorrows are carried on the very armor you wear." - Master Khafre Anubis, 13th Chapter Master
Pre Battle of Elnar VI Regalia
Post Battle of Elnar VI Regalia
Generally speaking most of the symbols and badges are similar to those of the Codex Chapters. However, often high ranking marines will wear dark tattoos around the eyes and cheeks. These are the “Black Tears of Anubis,” which are a physical representation of undergoing the Visioning. Additionally the Sons of Anubis carve intricate pictographs into their armor commemorating their greatest deeds. A practice that has been inherited from their home world; as a Marine gets older, his Power Armor will be increasingly covered with these intricate designs. A Matoi can easily be spotted, as his armor is completely embossed with the tales of his glory.
“While others train, we fight.
While others die, we stand.
While others lament, we endure.
For the Emperor...for Anubis...WE WILL HOLD THE LINE!”
Litany of Tenacity
-Chapter Master Khafre Anubis