I have made some major changes since the last two editions, mostly due to the fact that I was more interested in the home world of the chapter than in the marines...
I'll be posting this in bits as I have come to favour writing IA's in hand, rather than on my computer. I find that I put greater thought into each word that way, which is certainly needed
Please comment on anything that catches your notice, I greatly appreciate the wealth of collective knowledge that you guys posses and I could really use your input!
p.s. It's a little red at the moment... Should be better when I fill in the blanks
- High Chaplain Taifa ben Raheem, on Captain al-Khalid of the 1st Company
In 996.M41, for the first time since Waaagh! Feistkeg had ravaged the sector in mid-M40, Phyria the home world of the Foe Eaters faced invasion.
In the immediate path of a tendril of Hive Fleet Magalodon, the virtually unguarded desert world would be overrun within days when struck by the encroaching tyranids.
Enraged that the xenos dared defile his ancestral home Ahmad Zayir promptly recalled the full forces of the Foe Eaters, determined to rid Phyria of the invading xenos. Reasoning that Phyria would be lost within the time it would take the chapter to fully assemble, Zayir handed over command to Captain al-Khalid of the 1st Company, and himself formed up with the 2nd and 6th making for Phyria with all haste possible. Launching a counter-invasion immediately upon reaching the system, Zayir divided his forces in two. The 2nd Company were sent to reinforce the Fortress Monastery where pict-scans had shown resistance still taking place, while the 6th Company were deployed to harry the invaders wherever possible. Planning to thus distract the Tyranids until reinforcements would arrive, Zayir engaged the Hive Fleet with less than two-hundred Marines under his command.
With his liege already at war Captain al-Khalid, known among his men as the Falcon, set about assembling the rest of the chapter. This however proved a more difficult task than first imagined. Due to the incredible distances of Ultima Segmentum astropathic broadcasts were the only reliable method of making contact with the dispersed forces of the Foe Eaters. Though a common method of communication in the Imperium, somehow the rallying cries of the chapter's Astropaths and Librarians went largely unheard. It seamed as if a gloom had fallen upon and isolated the scattered Foe Eaters from one another. Still some messages came through and little by little the many strike forces of the chapter began to converge upon the location of al-Khalid. Realising, like Ahmad Zayir had before him, that each moment of hesitation brought Phyria closer to destruction, al-Khalid considered his options. Either he could stand and wait for the companies and strike forces to convene, trusting his chapter master to buy enough time for reinforcements to eventually arrive, or he could bring what little forces had arrived down upon the Tyranids, praying for it to be enough. Having lived and fought by a creed of alway grasping the initiative it is of no surprise that the Falcon choose the later option. Marshalling what amounted to five companies of marines he set for Phyria with as much haste as his battle ships could afford.
It is unknown to all but the closest confidants of al-Khalid how he came upon, and ultimately executed a third option. Some speculate that the Falcon, for the first time in his centuries of war learned what it was to fear, though that is vehemently denied by the chaplains of the Foe Eaters. They claim, along with those who know him best, that it was simply the insight of a true warrior, gained over a thousand wars, that caused al-Khalid to realise what must be done. Whatever the reason behind al-Khalid's actions upon the day his fleet arrived at Phyria, none can argue the results.
Seeing firsthand the legion of xenos that had fallen upon his beloved home world, the Falcon recognised the futility of the task before his warriors.
So it was that al-Khalid choose not to reinforce the remnant forces still fighting for the planet, but rather elected to completely obliterate the world that he had failed to defend.
Opening a direct vox-channel to each of his warrior-brethren al-Khalid spoke to them about the necessity of sacrifice, while virus bombs and atmospheric incinerator torpedoes rained upon Phyria, burning the desert world and everything upon it to ashes and then glass.
With both their chapter master and their home world lost, along with the two-hundred battle-brothers of the 2nd and 6th Company, the Foe Eaters were in distress and the future of the chapter seemed uncertain. Once again seizing the initiative, before doubt grew into dissent, al-Khalid declared that he would succeed Ahmad Zayir as Lord Commander of the chapter. A break with tradition which dictated that a new chapter master was to be nominated by the Reclusiam and the Blood Priests combined, he was initially opposed by the chapter council. However with no other perceivable candidate appearing and unwilling to risk an intra-chapter war, the council, eventually conceded. Two years later, in 998.M41 al-Khalid was officially anointed chapter master in a solemn ritual upon his renamed flagship, the Molten Heart.
Since then the Falcon has led his chapter to war against the myriad threats of Ultima Segmentum time and time again. Having vowed vengeance upon the xeno plague that costed his chapter so dearly al-Khalid have attached the bulk of his chapter to the Crusade of Wrath, under overall command of High Marshal Helbrect of the Black Templars. Tasked with the destruction of Hive Fleet Leviathan and indeed with any Tyranids that encroach on Imperial space this affords the Foe Eaters ample opportunity to administer the Emperor's just retribution.
Finding in the people who lived there qualities both physical and spiritual, they decided to take the world as their own. So they constructed a mighty keep, deep in the furthest reaches of the unending desert, and declared to the native tribes that any man who thought himself worthy of serving the Lord-father of Mankind was to seek out this Fortress of Heaven.
At the beginning not many came. Some hid themselves out of fear and some perished in the desert, but a few who felt the call and braved the dangers of the dry expanses made it to the fortress. Here they were offered to trade their wanderer's staff with the sword of a warrior. Drinking from the Cup of Angels these blessed men would fall into a long sleep, dreaming visions of blood, fire and terrible glories earned in a thousand wars, some past, some yet to come. Waking from their dreams after many years, the men who had each traded their staff and drunk from the Cup of Angels were not the same as they had been before.
No longer wanderer but warrior true, each man would take up the weapons and armour of those who had come before him, embarking upon a new life in the service of Him-on-Earth, now truly his Lord-father.
- Warcry of Murder-Captain Riyaz of the 3rd Company
Without an atmosphere and still glowing with excess heat from the cataclysm that destroyed it, Phyria now serves only as a cenotaph, a vast memorial to the sacrifice of those that failed to defend it, and to the determination of those who cleansed it.
Refusing to settle on any world but the one he had destroyed, al-Khalid have effectively made the Foe Eaters a space-bound chapter. Though new recruits have since been taken from different worlds, few have yet awoken from their dream-sleep and fewer still have been initiated as proper battle-brothers. Thus the vast majority of the Foe Eaters still holds the memory of Phyria close to their hearts and mourn the dire events that bereft them of their beloved home world.
Some brothers of the Foe Eaters, among them the fervent and charismatic Murder-Captain Riyas, find relief from their grief by vigorously hunting down and annihilating any xeno or traitor presence within lightyears of Imperial Space. Interpreting the destruction of Phyria as the punishment for the laxity of the late Ahmad Zayir, measured out by the Lord-father himself, these remorseless warriors have committed one atrocity after the other, capriciously massacring whole populations, both alien and human, in order to exonerate themselves in the eyes of their lord.
Others within the chapter see Riyaz and his warrior-brethren as little more than misguided berserkers. Striving to uphold the chapter's timeworn codes of honour and bravery, many adopted from the Phyrian desert tribes, these brothers fight on with grim stoicism eager to prove that the loss of their home world may have blooded the Foe Eaters, but they are nevertheless unbowed.
Edited by Malthe, 22 June 2011 - 04:16 PM.