The Inquisition was immediately called to watch over the Death Riders after receiving the news of what had happened to the chapter and their gene-seed. A radical Inquisitor, Isaac Pullox was sent to enact the judgement of the Inquisition upon the chapter. He sent the chapter upon a crusade in the Ladonite system to see their intents and means of combat. The Death Riders fought against the Orks that had been plaguing the system, alongside the Catachan 659th Company of Imperial Guard in the fortress city of Tirith. As the battle reached its peak, the Ork lines soon began to break as an unknown source of bombardment pounded and smashed the lines. But soon the bombardment soon began to fall upon their lines, banners appeared on the horizon and it became clear that it was no ally of the Imperium. A chant of heretical litanies heralded the presence of the Word Bearers.
Out in orbit of the planet, Inquisitor Pullox watched as the Death Riders fought hard and protected the positions against their battering ram of Chaos Marines and their warriors after the Orks had been utterly annihilated by the Chaos force. He expected them to turn sides and join the forces of chaos, but it didn't happen. The Death Riders roared a cry of defiance and launched into a charge alongside the Catachans at the Word Bearers. Upon seeing this, Pullox sent a video transmission of the battle seeking advice from the Inquisition if the chapter is tainted and should be exterminated or are an asset to be used alongside the Exorcists and other members of the Ordos Inquisition.
After seeing this, the Inquisition sent the Death Riders on a second crusade in the Fermax system whilst they decided their fate. After months of deliberation, the Inquisition declared the chapter as not being Excommunicate and was to be only used as fighters around the Eye of Terror and they were to be kept under severe scrutiny. The chapter could also not be used by any other member of the Imperium apart from the Inquisition (bar the High Lords of Terra). To hide their tracks and any evidence of the chapter still existing to avoid questions from others, the Death Riders were to be listed as “Lost in the Warp” and would remain that way. Chapter Master Neopyren agreed to this with a heavy heart knowing that if he did not agree his brothers would be cast into the fiery depths of an Exterminatus.
From that time on, the chapter would only fight against the ruinous powers of the Warp alongside the Ordos Inquisition and the Praeses around the Eye of Terror. No other members of the Praeses knew exactly whom they are, the common belief being the Death Riders to be a new form of the Exorcists. Rumours have even whispered of them being members of the widely fabled Legion of the Damned. The Inquisition encouraged these rumours to ensure the actual identity of whom the Astartes were. During battles, the Death Riders were ordered to keep on a strict "no communications" to anyone but themselves.
But after two centuries since the agreement had been made with the Inquisition, the chapter mysteriously disappeared after being ordered to find a new homeworld to choose as their own instead of their existing one. They are currently declared as “Lost in the Warp.” But it is rumoured that they still exist and their location is only known to a handful of High Lord Inquisitors. During the 13th Black Crusade, it was said that marines in the heraldry of the Death Riders protected a company of the Thunder Axes but this was left unfounded. Since the Black Crusade, no other reported sightings of the Doom Riders were found, but a piece of writing discovered in the latter years of the 41st millennium from a chaos cult described of
“Black giants with burning arms wielding weapons of terror and destruction”, thus hinting that the Death Riders may still exist and fighting in the name of the Emperor.
The Death Riders were a close combat oriented chapter, preferring to fight eye to eye with their enemy, so their victims knew exactly who had killed them. The most common battle tactic used by the chapter, was to strike with their small Devastator squads first, softening up the target before as described by Captain Furon of the 3rd company, "Release living Hell upon them" with punishing strikes from their assault squads and finally outflanking the remnants with their hidden tactical squads. The tactical squads generally used stealth to attack the enemy whilst they believed that the Death Riders have left them, only to be ambushed with their guard down. This had proven to very effective against almost all of the Chapter’s enemies. The Death Riders relied on being a fully mechanised force, using Rhinos and Razorbacks to keep their forces in time with the advancing squadrons of bikes and Land Speeders.
|Squad Number||Squad Type|
The make up of Death Riders’ company was a non-codex oriented method. Each company relied on Assault squads more than any other squadron type. Whilst Devastators are seen to be vital to success within the chapter, only a single squad exists in each battle company, with the spare squad element used for an extra assault squad. The same applies within the tactical squad elements, with the fifth squad being used as an assault squad. The fourth company is a unique one within the Death Riders, as it is one that holds no biker squads, the four places being used as jump pack assault squads. Terminator is not commonly used by the chapter, but there are a number of suits ready for a heavy assault when necessary, with the veterans of the chapter preferring more on jump packed assaults.
The Death Rider's former home planet was a volcanic death world called, Firax. The population on average would only spend 21 years on the black rock, whose face changed daily from fissures and volcanic eruptions.
The planet was also infested with a deadly reptile called the Black Reaper, superbly quick creatures that could only be caught when chased down by bikes or other forms of fast transport. Whenever an initiate had passed his training, the final test consisted of being left with only a combat knife and jetpack with limited fuel to hunt and kill a Black Reaper. He would then have to return over the jagged and sharp mountain ranges that encircled the fortress with its skull. The newly ascended brother then traditionally wore the teeth of the creature around their neck or somewhere else on his armour. Some marines (mostly officers) would hold at least 5 pairs of teeth, providing them supreme respect amongst their brothers.
The Mechanicum of Mars had established a space port upon the southern hemisphere of the planet where the tectonic activity was at its lowest, providing the ability for fresh ores and other important industrial raw materials to be transported out to the Forgeworlds. It is also where the Death Riders’ fleet would reside and be refitted and fixed if necessary by the techpriests and techmarines of the chapter, who had a permanent garrison at the centre of the spaceport.
The battlecry of the Death Riders was originally “For Firax and the Emperor!” Once the Chapter joined the Inquisition, it became “Burn the Damned!” due to their mutation of the gene-seed. The Chaplains generally roared the battlecry but in a fight any member of the chapter would thunder it as they charge into the enemy.
All C+C appreciated.
Edited by Brother Cambrius, 08 January 2010 - 04:26 PM.