The Swords of Orion have become a widely respected and feared chapter since their creation in the 12th great founding, within the 34th millennium. The chapter taken part in many notable crusades, including the cleansing of Halon’s Gate and defending the Imperium during a number of Black Crusades. The chapter were created from the seed of Guilliman from the Black Consuls chapter. Captain Achelon of the Second Company was given the honour of becoming the leader of the new chapter, his skill and unshakable faith in the Imperium and in honour making him the perfect candidate in the eyes of his chapter. Achelon decided to name his new chapter the Swords of Orion, representing themselves as the weapons of the mighty hunter of old mythology. Decreeing the Swords of Orion to become a fleet based chapter, so that they may crusade around the Imperium to counter any major threats, Achelon was given two blessings of faith by the Imperium. The Black Consuls donated a battle-barge, the “Relentless Spirit” and a battleship named the “Herald of Justice”, whilst the Mechanicum gifted a new battle-barge fresh from the shipyards of Hexon. Chapter Master Achelon named the battle barge the “Valiant Sword”, which became the chapter’s flagship.
For over twenty Terran years the chapter were tutored by their parent chapter in the art of warfare and partially assisted the Black Consuls during the 7th Black Crusade, where the Swords of Orion gained the honour of slaying the crazed, corrupted governor of Tropolis. The chapter were finally declared a fully operational chapter in 777.M34, with over four hundred brothers in their ranks ready to ravage and cleanse the enemies of the Imperium. Success after success came to the chapter over the following decades and they became a great ally to the Imperial armies around the area of the Orion Belt and in the Ultima Segmentum. The chapter also became strong allies to the Inquisitor Felix Takato and his retinue, who assisted the chapter whilst defending Imperial space from the inhabitants of the daemon infested Forenaught sector.
Around 400 years after the chapter’s creation, they were tasked in destroying the ancient Eldar spaceship, Phellenor as it ravaged through the Galactic North of the Segmentum Obscurus. The chapter chased and fought the Eldar for over a decade but soon, after heavy losses had been taken by the Eldar after the assault on Fermax Prime, the ship’s engines were damaged by a lucky Nova Cannon shot leaving the mighty Eldar spacecraft vulnerable, the Swords of Orion prepared to board it. Seeing the opportunity to finally rid the Imperium of this Eldar menace, the Swords of Orion called for assistance, knowing that their chapter wouldn’t be enough to take down the mighty ship and soon their brother chapter, the Falcons Sanguine answered the call. It was decided that a large boarding party from both chapters would be used, where the Falcons would start the initial assault with their Death Company striking first and then the Swords of Orion would follow and plant the vortex grenade charges in the engine bay.
After the battle, the chapter declared a week of praise and celebration in memory Veteran Ixion’s noble sacrifice and the chapter held a tight bond of brotherhood with the marines of the Falcons Sanguine. The battle brothers within the Swords of Orion now hold onto and attempt to exemplify Veteran Ixion’s example of sacrifice and heroism and they hope that their sacrifice to victory will be as great and as noble as Ixion’s.
As the two chapters split away and departed across the stars to Imperial docks to be refitted and repaired, the Craftworld Ian’nor came across the remains of Phellenor after receiving a distress signal from them. The Eldar vowed that punishment would be given to the two chapters that destroyed the members of Phellenor. As the Falcons Sanguine celebrated in their fleet from the victory, the Eldar Craftworld attacked without warning and decimated the chapter; all but three companies survived the terrible onslaught after retreating. The chapter have been a sombre one ever since that day of bloodshed and hold an intense hate for all Eldar. The Swords of Orion fared better for their actions and the chapter’s fleet split into their respective companies and moved onto their separate patrols around the Orion belt
Two days after the chapter’s fleet split apart, Craftworld Ian’nor suddenly attacked the small fleet of the second company and after destroying its communication arrays, the Eldar mercilessly annihilated every ship in its path before disappearing into the webway once more. A faint distress signal was given out by the flagship of the second company, “Spirit of Justice” and was picked up by the chapter master’s fleet four days after the massacre. He called for the entire chapter to rally on his point and then search for any remnants from the second company, but all that was left was floating wrecks with no survivors. After seeing
The losses taken by the Swords of Orion were deeply felt by the entire chapter, when the Mechanicum donated two new ships to the chapter after the damage caused by Ian’nor. They were named the “Wrath of Ixion,” as a reminder of the sacrifice made by the veteran and the “Honour of Keyen” as a mark of respect to the dead captain and brothers of the second company. A new banner was made for the Second Company when they were fully reformed in 201.M35 that bore the head of an Eldar in a ball of flame with a golden sword through it. The Wrath of Ixion became the flagship of the Second Company and remains so to this day.
The Falcons Sanguine chapter took over 250 years to fully recover from the devastating blow given by Craftworld Idharae, they have remained a very sombre chapter since the incident but hold no blame to the Swords of Orion chapter for their destruction but their Chapter Master, Harad Bloodwing executed himself for believing that he had caused the losses in his chapter by answering the call from the Swords of Orion. The Falcons then went upon a vengeful crusade around the stars to avenge their losses, following every report of Eldar activity and extinguishing their existence. The chapter are now deemed the best-suited chapter within their sector for dealing with Eldar incursions.
Since the Phellenor incident and its aftermath, the Falcons Sanguine and the Sword of Orion have aided each other on numerous occasions and when Craftworld Ian’nor reappeared in 593.M37, both chapters were the first to take arms and fight against the Eldar menace.
The Swords of Orion have taken part in many actions against the forces of chaos in a number of the Despoiler’s Black Crusades. Their actions during the ninth crusade saved the vitally strategic defence system of the Bloodmoons from the clutches renegade chapter, the “Legion of Hatred”. The Swords of Orion also defended the Galina sub sector from the Word Bearers as they fought to capture the demonically possessed Warlord Titan “Soulflayer”. Such heroic defences aren’t without major sacrifices as the chapter has learnt.
In the dying embers of the 12th Black Crusade, the Swords of Orion defended the planet of Theda Primus from the Legion of Hatred once more. The chaos chapter were mustering for a final assault to take the Hive City of Phalanx Prime. Daemon Prince Khar’konum, leader of the Legion of Hatred had rallied together a cohort of mechanized traitor guardsmen alongside the remnants of his chaos marines. The two armies met at Crescent Gorge and on those desert fields a titanic and apocalyptic battle took place but the heretics were creating massive losses with the heavy weaponry utilized by the guardsmen. All seemed loss as the banners and captains of the third and fifth company fell to a sudden incursion of vicious daemons. But as the Swords of Orion were being pushed back, a strange ally emerged from the smoke and began to cut through the chaos force’s lines. It was the widely awed and fabled Legion of the Damned. The legendary warriors scythed through the lines of chaos filth,
Watching in wonder as his new allies cut hundreds of daemons down, Chapter Master Neptus rallied his men and charged towards the lines of the enemy, the fallen banners of the third and fifth were recovered and raised up by the second company as they charged with righteous hate and faith for victory. The charge pushed the chaos enemy back and soon Neptus challenged the Daemon Prince Khar'konum. The two fought tooth and nail but after an age of duelling, Neptus was struck down to the cries of despair from his brothers. But as Khar'konum brought down his final blow to end Neptus’ life, the marine released a vortex grenade at the Daemon's feet, sucking them both into the screaming warp. With their leader gone, the chaos force broke in strength and morale and began to retreat with the Swords of Orion cutting them down.
In the blood tainted dust of the aftermath, the chapter searched for their commander and for the Legion of the Damned, but all that was found of Neptus was his sword, the “Blade of Orion” and his helmet that bore the Star of Guilliman. The Legion of the Damned was also nowhere to be seen. The wargear was taken and blessed in the cathedral at the Hive City by Master of Sanctity; Helios Sadar, a close friend of Neptus. The cathedral is now a sacred site for the chapter and a small detachment of marines attend a service every decade in remembrance of the losses taken that fateful day and to give praise their fallen Chapter Master. The “Blade of Orion” and helmet worn by Neptus are now sacred relics and are worn into battle by every Chapter Master who leads his brothers in battle.
The chapter have taken part in a number of significant recent actions, including in the third War for Armageddon against the Orks and in destroying a number of Necron tomb worlds, however the chapter are still on the lookout for Craftworld Ian’nor to avenge the losses suffered by themselves and the Falcons Sanguine. The Swords of Orion have clashed with the Legion of Hatred many times since the battle for Crescent Gorge and every time, the Sword of Orion and Star of Guilliman have been brought into battle against them, wielded by the chapter master. The current chapter master, Krall Thorin has slain many leaders of the Legion of Hate in recent actions against them, including in the 12th Black Crusade and in the second defence of Fermax Prime. Craftworld Ian’nor still seeks revenge for the blood of those that the chapter and the Falcons Sanguine inflicted upon Phellenor, but none have been as devastating as the aftermath from destroying the Eldar battleship. Relations with the Falcons Sanguine since the aftermath have stayed strong and the Swords of Orion readily call to the aid of the Falcons Sanguine in thanks and remembrance for their service all those millennia ago. From the chapter’s history of defence and sacrifice, the chapter keep the ethos that the sacrifice of one for victory is a noble end for any man. Thus the Astartes of the chapter are entirely fearless and will take greater risks for victory than other chapter might.
The chapter has operated around the Orion Belt sector within the Segmentum Solar since its inception in 777.M34. Often dealing with Ork incursions and Chaos assaults, the chapter are seen as the region’s “vengeful angels” whom strike without warning to enact justice on the xenos and chaos menaces. The Orion Belt itself contains numerous planets that are tactically vital to the war effort of the Imperium, including three major forgeworlds and hundreds of agri-worlds to feed to ever growing Imperium’s population and its armies. Warp storms do occasionally roar through the void of space and devour entire planets or release their horde of chaos warriors and demons upon the Imperial sectors. Thus the Swords of Orion have faced the traitors of the Imperium and the denizens of the warp many a time and hold a strong hate for the betrayal of the Chaos Marines. The chapter sees the coward and the traitor as the greatest enemies of humanity and the ultimate crimes, where no mercy can be given. It is true to say that the Swords of Orion fight the Chaos Marines with the greatest ferocity and show no mercy to anything or anyone associated with them, including planets where chaos incursions have occurred.
Being a fleet based chapter, The Swords of Orion use a number of planets for recruitment. They are mostly medieval feudal worlds, where young knights train in the clans and armies of the planet and hopefully join the ranks of the "Immortal Angels" (the chapter) if they are deemed worthy enough when the “angels” descend upon the planet to recruit more members through a series of trials. These trials include splitting the many hopefuls into groups of 25 and then, they all each duel against each other and the winner from the battle is chosen to go to the next stage of recruitment, which includes the climbing of the “Unforgiving Mountain” and defeating a combat servitor with only a small combat knife. When an initiate finally joins the rank of the chapter as a scout, he has a sword etched onto his left shoulder with a heated blade and on top of his primary heart, representing that even if they lose everything against the enemy their heart and soul will always stay with the chapter. The Scout is then presented with the blade that was used to etch the chapter’s symbol onto his body. If a marine was to turn from the chapter and Emperor’s light, he’s found and executed, but before his execution the etchings are burnt away from his skin, representing that he’s no longer a member of the chapter and they have lost the bond of brotherhood that resides in each Astartes of the Swords of Orion.
The Swords of Orion follow the codex’s teachings to the letter as they see Guilliman as the saviour of mankind and the Imperium during the Scouring. Codex markings are used throughout the chapter and their shoulder-pad trims are coloured to represent each company. The only deviation in markings is the unique way a captain is represented in each company; every captain’s weapon is painted in the colour of his company, as is the Star of Guilliman in the chapter’s symbol. The heraldry of the captain is placed on a small shield that’s attached to their left shoulder pad, in similar fashion to the Iron Knights.
The chapter rely heavily on fast, mechanised assaults, relying on Rhinos and Land Raiders to strike deep into the heart of the enemy, with Vindicators at the forefront of an assault. The chapter rarely use Drop Pods as their method of getting to the surface of a planet unless a severely rapid attack is required, so the chapter utilise squadrons of Thunderhawks instead, as a method of striking down on the enemy before they land. Pilots of the Swords of Orion have often been seconded to the Hawk Lords chapter, to learn further skill in their craft in the fabled “Talon’s Wing”. The Swords of Orion do not possess a fortress monastery like many other chapters. Being fleet based instead, their flagship, the “Valiant Sword” is used as the chapter’s headquarters. Keeps and small fortresses however are kept on strategic planets for recruitment, including Theda Primus and the Bloodmoons.
The chapter fleet is normally split into five separate fleets, where each is led by a captain and with elements from the reserves, veteran and scout company. The smaller fleet is comprised normally of one battle barge and a dozen smaller cruisers with defence ships patrolling around them in tight formation. The small fleets always stay within ten light-years of each other to ensure that if one is attacked, the rest can come to their aid within a short time.
The sword is regarded in the highest degree amongst the entire chapter and very rarely does a commander or veteran choose to use a different shape of blade as a weapon. To wield a power sword into battle is seen as a great honour and only the most experienced of veteran sergeants wield them. When a member of the chapter is indoctrinated into the 1st company, a golden sword is added onto their right shoulder pad, looking like it’s been struck through the pad. The veteran is also presented with a golden blade to be worn on their belt as decoration and the symbol of the chapter is etched into their right shoulder, to match the previous etching on their left that was made in their “ascension” to an Astartes. Plasma weapons are also regarded in the highest degree of respect and honour as well as it epitomises the ever-shining light of the Emperor and the fury that lies within them.
The most sacred and venerated sword in the chapter is the fabled “Blade of Orion” that chapter master Neptus wielded when he fought with the Daemon Prince Khar’konum. It is only used in the direst of circumstances and when not used it is kept on the main altar of the chapel aboard the Valiant Sword inside a block of black obsidian.
The chapter hold many knightly virtues and hate and despise cowards in all forms. They have been known to publicly execute squads of Imperial Guardsmen whom have fled out of fear from battle. This was seen during the 12th Black Crusade when the hapless 21st Gregorian Guard regiment retreated from their lines as a mass of daemons attacked and their commanders were publicly executed in front of the other regiments as a warning of the punishment for cowardice. The chapter have gained a fearful reputation since with all of the Imperial Guard units that they fight with. The chapter however also values and praises heroism and the willing sacrifice of a small band of people or a single person to turn the course of battle. Whilst this is the sentiment of practically every Astartes, the chapter focus upon this belief further. Thus the newer recruits within the chapter can be reckless at times until they learn to control when duty truly calls for such a sacrifice. The chapter see the Emperor as the great all father of mankind and so they have an endless fury and are disgusted and shamed by their fallen brethren who betrayed humanity and its father. The chapter hold the belief that he who turns away from his brothers is a coward, deserving no mercy from anyone. The only way they could redeem themselves would be through death, to be judged by the Emperor himself. Thus if the chapter discovered any intelligence on a traitor being nearby in their systems, they would be the first to exact justice upon the traitors.
The battlecry of the chapter is traditionally “For Orion and the Emperor!” but deviations of it are often heard. The chapter’s motto is “May the sword of golden justice strike through tainted hearts!” This is often tattooed onto the right hand of a marine or across their backs above an Imperial Aquila.
And that is all, comments welcome!
Edited by Brother Cambrius, 10 March 2013 - 01:31 PM.