First spotted late in M41, the Angels of Retribution are a mystery to the Adeptus Administratum. No record of its creation exists, nor does the Mechanicum have any knowledge of its origin. Despite the Administratum's efforts to collect data on the chapter, little is yet known about the Angels of Retribution. All that has been determined is that the Angels of Retribution have been active on both loyal Imperium planets and in hostile areas, though the motive of their visitation of these areas is unknown, as they arrive and depart very suddenly, rarely staying in the area for more than a few days and sometimes leaving before a conflict has been resolved. Though this behavior is noted as odd, it is not sufficiently worrisome to warrant more than a cursory examination by any members of the Adeptus Terra. The Angels of Retribution have been logged as existing, with a note in their file stating more information is needed before any course of action in regards to the chapter can be suggested.
In truth, the Angels of Retribution are a collective Successor chapter of the Unforgiven chapters. Created in 807.M41, the Angels of Retribution are tasked with the preservation of secrecy concerning the existence of the Fallen and their treason during the Horus Heresy. Before their creation, a meeting of the senior members of the Unforgiven Inner Circle was held to determine possible options to respond to the growing threat of discovery by the Imperium at large of the Unforgiven's secret. The creation of a special taskforce tasked with hunting down those with any knowledge of the secret or those seeking after it was deemed necessary by Supreme Grand Master Azrael. Due to the interest of all the Unforgiven chapters in this goal, the Angels of Retribution were not created in the normal manner of successors. Instead, it was decided that each Unforgiven chapter would provide marines for inclusion into the chapter. These marines were to be the veterans of many campaigns, with differing levels of knowledge depending on post.
The members of the Angels of Retribution's Tactical, Devastator, and Bike squads are veterans that have been selected for possible inclusion into an Unforgiven chapter's 1st company. These veterans have been emotionally and psychologically prepared over the years for the shock of learning the Unforgiven's secret. Though they are not privy to the secret as of yet, their preparation has made them more likely to follow orders form their superiors in situations where they must attack Imperial forces, as long as there is a justification that they can accept. Due to their years in the Unforgiven's ranks, this justification can be as simple as being told the forces are a danger to the Chapter, and thus the Imperium.
The squad leaders of the Angels of Retribution and all members of the Fist of Judgement are members from the Unforgiven's 1st companies. These marines are privy to the secret of the Unforgiven, and thus understand the importance of the Angels of Retribution's mission. As such, they are willing and unhesitant to direct their squads to initiate actions against other servants of the Imperium if so directed by the leaders of the chapter.
All the chapters leadership positions are filled by members of the Inner Circles of the many Unforgiven chapters. These leaders are dedicated to the mission of preserving the secret, and were all handpicked by Azrael for their position. Their furor and determination in the righting of the Unforgiven's wrongs are what qualified them for their post, and they lead the Chapter into battle in a state of righteous fury, demanding that those who threaten the Unforgiven be punished for their presumption.
Due to the lack of recruitment for the chapter, it has no need of a homeworld. Instead, the Angels of Retribution operate from a chapter fleet of 3 Strike Crusiers and 1 Battle Barge. Smaller transports of many types are also used by the chapter to transport strike teams. This fleet of transports allows the Angels of Retribution to spread their By not having a homeworld, the Angels of Retribution free their members from any garrisoning duties as well.
The Battle Barge of the fleet, the Sword of Condemnation was originally a Dark Angels Battle Barge, but was re-purposed for use by the Angels of Retribution. It has a rich history and has served the chapter admirably in its ~200 years of service with them. From this ship, Grand Master Damion directs the chapter in their galaxy wide hunt for enemies of the Unforgiven, as well as leading it into battle in times of greater engagements.
Due to the chapter's small size, the Battle Barge is not needed for its large transport capacity. Thus, many of its areas have been converted over to extra weapon mounts, ammunition storage, redundant systems, and armor. As such, the Battle Barge has a fighting ability somewhat above its already impressive capabilities. This has allowed the Sword of Condemnation to strike into areas in which the orbital garrison might be prohibitive in other circumstances. The extra armor and weaponry allows the ship to hold off the garrison for long enough for the ground elements to accomplish their mission. The reinforced armor and redundant systems in particular allow the Battle Barge to shrug off hits that might cripple other ships of similar tonnage. It has developed a reputation as a tough, reliable ship that always carries its crew through the danger of orbital insertion. The crew has extreme confidence in its capabilities and does not hesitate to take it into hazardous situations if so ordered.
The Angels of Retribution are structured into three companies, the Fist of Judgement, the Blade of Persecution, and the Hammer of Fate. The Fist of Judgment is the Deathwing analog of the force, but is much smaller, numbering only 25 terminators with Dreadnought support. The Blade of Persecution is separated into two forces, each composed of bikers with a small amount of Land Speeder and Dreadnought suport. Finally, the Hammer of Fate is three forces of power armored marines, comprised of tactical squads and devastators. All sections of a company answer to one Master, but are split so as to increase tactical flexibility.
The chapter organization chart works out as such:
Grand Master Damion answers directly to the Inner Circle, and thus Supreme Grand Master Azrael. He also personally leads the Fist of Judgement on the field of battle.
The Angels of Retribution rarely send more than a squad or two of Marines on missions, as many of their tasks are accomplished with little resistance. For such missions, a force leader is selected from the company leaderships, and squads are assigned as needed from the three companies. However, on the occasions when the target of an attack is an enemy combatant and is in hostile territory, it is not unheard of for half the chapter or more to deploy together. As such, the marines are very familiar with fighting with elements of other companies. Due to their specialized nature and small size, the Angels of Retribution stress tactical flexibility, speed, and preparation. Many missions are executed with Drop pod assault supported by Thunderhawk deployment of heavy vehicles.
In larger engagements, if an Angels of Retribution force includes an element from the Blade of Persecution, these marines are deployed first to scout out the location of the target and hem them in. Once the Blade of Persecution has made contact, the element of the Hammer of Fate will insert on the perimeter with drop pods and secure the area, freeing up the Blade of Persecution to attack the enemy in weak areas and use their greater speed to engage the enemy in many areas. While this occurs, the Hammer of Fate element tightens the perimeter, ensuring that none in the area escape while also support the Blade of Persecution. When a vector of attack is determined, the Blade of Persecution will gather to press in on the weakness, striking deep into the heart of the enemy. At this same moment, the Hammer elements begin to fully attack the enemy. When the Blade of Persecution reaches the interior of the enemy formation, they all activate their teleport homers, feeding an abundance of information to their orbital element. Using this information, the Fist of Judgement element will teleport and drop pod (for the dreadnoughts) into the center of the enemy, tearing out their heart and crushing them against the marines attacking from the perimeter. Through this strategy, the Angels of Retribution are able to quickly accomplish their mission and move onto their next target.
In regards to their Primarch, Lion El'Jonson, The Angels of Retribution hold a great reverence. In their eyes, the Lion constantly worked for the good of the Imperium, doing great things in the name of the Emperor and for the whole of humanity. Conversely, in Luthor they see the danger of placing yourself above the good of those you are tasked to protect. Thus, The Angels of Retribution are less likely to disengage from a battle zone if there are Imperial citizens that need protecting. However, due to their small size, they must sometimes accept that there is little they can do in a situation and forced to disengage or be destroyed. This conflict of beliefs and duties is a heavy burden to bear for the members chapter. To lessen the pain of abandoning Imperial citizens to their fate, the marines of the chapter on occasion commit to a battle that has no relation to their duties to the Unforgiven, instead fighting solely for the Imperium and its servants. While these campaigns are few, rare, and only possible when no targets are identified, they serve to strengthen the marines resolve and also act as a crucible in which to test the progress of the veterans deemed possible 1st company inductees.
The Angels of Retribution, due to their recruiting from Unforgiven Chapters, do not have an individualized gene seed. They do not normally collect the gene seed of marines whose Progenoid glands have matured, only doing so if that marine falls in combat to return the Progenoid gland to the marine's original chapter. The Angels of Retribution marines are free of mutation or failed glands, just like all Unforgiven marines. In the purity of their gene seed, the Angels of Retribution see both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that they are as the Emperor created them, fully ready to fight in his name. A curse in that there is no easy answer as to why the Fallen turned from the light of the Emperor, no mutation or failing they can blame their actions on. Instead, the marines must accept that the ability to turn traitor exists in them all and must be constantly guarded against.
"Never to forgive, never to forget" -Unforgiven Proverb
"No sin left unpunished! No transgression left unanswered!" -Battle Cry
"Those who seek knowledge forbidden to them forfeit their soul to the Emperor, and must beg for forgiveness at his feet. The ignorant are to be rewarded, the curious are to be chastised and taught the error of their ways." -Grand Master Damion on the damnation of the enemies of the Unforgiven.
So what do you guys think? Comments and criticism welcome.
Edited by Brother-Captain Sharp, 30 June 2010 - 12:37 PM.