EDIT : more meat added!
In 738:M41 the honor of starting a 26th founding chapter is given to the White Scars. They award this to their veteran sergeant Arraman Alsharra.
Sergeant Alsharra was tasked with finding a home world near the Mordant Stars region in the Ultima Segmentum. The Ork presence in and around the area was increasing and Terra would use the excuse of protecting trade and warp routes in the area to cover Alsharras secret task of guarding several hidden planets producing incredibly rare plants and toxins.
Due to getting caught up in hunts with the 3rd, it was nearly ten years before finally leaving the White Scars, having spent transits in the warp pouring over planetary statistical data and analyzing warp routes and tactical maps , Alsharra finally decided explore the potential of the Ullor system for his chapters base. He had scoured hundreds of tribal rider cultures and Ullo Prime had been his favourite choice for potential recruitment stock.
748:M41 Founding finaly begins.
During the chapters creation Alsharra tried to make sure the doctrines he was creating encouraged free and open thinking as much as enforcing how powerful a tool the codex astartes is. Flexibility of the codex and their forces was paramount to him. Off the battlefield he encouraged open discussions of tactics, doctrines , political situations in the region and how they can affect their missions of protection.
They are instructed to revere their heritage but know that the ability to think beyond it is their greatest strength.
His great plan was to use their intelligence to just plain outsmart the Orks and keep them in the regions of space and on the battlefields of their choosing. With luck they might even be able to help pin the Orks in place by continually manipulating them and striking down warlords before waaaghs could gain too much momentum. Eventually even carving out some new human systems from Ork space.
The company’s growth was slow, while still not 'battle ready' the Sky Hammers were contributing to actions far and wide within 3 years of Alsharra arriving. But due to the incredibly varied and far flung battles he was involving his troops in, it was a long time before they were able to garrison their fortress with 1 full strength company.
770.M41 - In the wake of behemoths attack the whole chapter is mobilized and assumes full active duty. Although recruitment was still ongoing, 600+ marines were considered more than enough to fulfill their ordained mission. Ignoring the fact that well over 200 of these were still on active duty throughout the galaxy.
At an auspicious ceremony to present the new chapter to the local sector, the remaining 4 marines of training cadre elect to stay permanently with the Sky Hammers. Alshaara keeping the role of chapter master and 1st captain. With the rest of the cadre each gaining the rank of company captain. Alsharra declared his plan to Split into 4 main spearheads, each lead by one of the new captains.
White Scars: Pure, no flaws.
Training cadre from the 3rd company White Scars.
1st chapter master : Arraman Alsharra
Currently fleet based roaming between the Mordant Stars and the Dominion of Storms in the Ultima Segmentum.
Originaly based in the Ullor system, with their fortress monastery 'The Wyrms Labyrinth' on the moon Moukari, orbiting Ullo prime.
Ullo was mostly an arid land, two enclosed seas, one in the north and one in the south. Both supporting the more civilized parts of the planet. Deserts and plains ran in-between these prosperous sections, spreading for nearly the entire circumference of the planet. These were sparsely populated by violent nomadic tribes.
In 855.M41 the chapter returns from a series of extended campaigns to find the system completely cleansed of life. The moon Moukari is crumbling and the Wyrms labyrinth is no more. Alsharra and over 400 battle brothers have just vanished.
Lightning strikes after intricate planning and intelligence gathering .
Smart plans and creative gambits during battle are especially lauded within the Sky Hammers. Free thinking like the 'Scars and although not following their doctrine for bike wings etc. They still follow them in spirit, but rightly regard the codex as a key element to a successful chapter’s stratagies.
They play the long game across the local Ork populace, each force acting separately, but all supposedly moving to a larger strategy.
The first 4 companies each head up a semi-independent spearheads. Although each has their own specialties they are all expected to be up to any battle role.
Each spearheads actual formation is fairly fluid outside of consisting of one of the 4 main companies. Sometimes taking several whole companies with them, or nitpicking the troops and equipment they need from every company in the chapter.
Initially from plains dwelling tribes of lizard riders. Warring raiders, preying on each other and the prosperous townships in the South and North. Formed into mounted warbands, they are born in the saddle just as a good Chogorian would have been. Only the quick of mind survive in swirling mounted combat, and the ever changing alliances’ and rivalries of their tribal warfare.
The chapter’s teachings do not crush the wild spirit that their recruits have, but try to refine it with intellectual pursuits, political discourse and endless war games.
Although Ullo prime is no more, the Sky Hammers always try to look for environments where only the smart and quick of wit survive, be they death worlds or hive cities, as long as the aspirants minds are hard, the chapter can make their body’s a match.
The Sky Hammers revere the Emperor as paternal grandfather and creator of their own father the eternal Jaghatai Khan.
Since the demise of their home system they venerate all the artifacts recovered from the labyrinth as sacred relics. The Tempestate Magistrum Serpentium, the one piece they have of Alsharra, is held as their most sacred object and their most major oaths are sworn upon it. As such, being given a thunder hammer to wield in combat is seen as a great honor and the mark of an incredible warrior.
Hero worship is rife within the chapter, Alsharra often being hailed as their exemplar, although he is not the only one venerated as such.
The use of snakes as heraldry and totems are common, a throwback to their tribal lives and the vicious wyrms of Ullo Prime.
The Great Feast
800.M41 - The Sky Hammers have been fighting Ork raids for nearly 30 years when a great feast is declared. The chapter is recalled to the Labyrinth to celebrate their great victories and tally the list of the dead.
Much is discussed in this month’s long reverie, the next stage of their plans mapped out in intricate detail. Awards are given and rank is bestowed for much honor has been heaped upon them.
Alssharra and the 1st are heralded as exemplars of the chapter. Expertly drawing his enemy’s forces this way and that before pouncing on command structures and ripping the enemy apart. Coming to the aid of several faltering crusades, they earn great respect in eyes of many an Imperial faction. They are one of the largest forces in the chapter as they became a crucible with which to shepherd the under strength companies until they were ready to strike out on their own.
The 2nd company become specialists in space warfare and boarding actions. Their captain gained great renown for saving an entire tri-system with a much outnumbered fleet. Spending years frustrating the Orks with feigned battles, he carefully pulled the Orks away from populated planets and support before boarding and destroying their ships. Their Captain is famed for his tally of destruction, currently standing at just over 250 Ork warships and hulks. Captain Ghazan Syth wisely receives the honorific 'master of the fleet'.
The 3rd company’s actions are never as much in concert with other imperial forces. They become the chapters head hunters. Spinning between battles, appearing unannounced to allied forces tearing through unprepared forces to take off the armies head before swiftly departing to the next front line. Experts at hunting down prey they were frequently used to take out Ork warlords who were gaining too much power and likely to strike out of their own space.
Their Captain Khidyr Numitor becomes master of the hunt and is tasked with hunting down the few warlords and renegades who have evaded death after their defeat at the chapter’s hand.
The 4th company, much like the 1st had been mainly supporting IG fleets and responding to far flung requests for aide. The second largest of the companies, helping their, assault devastator and armored elements slowly gain a full compliment. Unlike the 1st they do not splinter up on the other company’s maturity, instead spreading their 'reserve' companies to bolster the other forces. Their Captain Altan Khuchar is given the title 'Defender of Chemfir' despite the infamy he gained for ordering exterminatus of the systems two rogue forge worlds.
850.M41 - They had been continually fighting for over 50 years when finally stood down. Due to a series of extended campaigns no one had been able to get back to the fortress in substantial numbers, or even properly link up with another spearhead, for nearly forty years. The chapter was exhausted and in need of new recruits. 1st and 4th companies and their supporting units arrived a full 5 years before the rest of their spearheads did. All of the forces were much reduced, and apart from 1st and 4th companies were returning from wars far and wide.
In approx 855.M41 when the 2nd and 6th companies translated into system , they were unnerved to find the system devoid of traffic, every planet seemingly scoured of life. Moukari is spotted on the augers with a 10,000km wide crack in the northern hemisphere ,the labyrinth gone, and a scar of rubble now marking its former site. Nothing is left of their brothers and only the deepest of their vaults seemed to have survived. Apart from the obvious signs of battle there is no evidence of what has happened, or who has perpetrated this horror.
As the rest of the chapter arrived in system a great conclave was called to discuss their future and the inevitable consequences for allowing their system to fall. Emotions ran high as their loss was revealed to the arriving forces, talk of chastisement from Terra or even the possibility that they may be disbanded only helped to fracture friendships and create rifts within the chapter.
During this time the surviving veterans of the training cadre were looked upon for leadership. Being Alsharras closest comrades, they were an obvious rallying point for battle brothers. Captain Khidyr Numitor was consumed by rage and grief Constantly demanding that he be allowed to hunt down whomever had perpetrated this atrocity. While Captain Ghazan Syth was asking for restraint and moderation, to think of rebuilding the chapter and securing their future, to continue on with blessed Alsharras great plan.
To help resolve this conflict the two captains set about electing a new chapter master. Unwilling to support each other in taking the role they were at a stalemate when Numitor suddenly vanished with nearly 80 marines and 2 strike cruisers, fruitlessly trying to find a trial of the waagh that must have destroyed his home. Quite accidentally arriving in the path of a retreating chaos warband , they finally find a target for their rage, annihilating the chaos forces utterly.
Eight months later they return home to a cold greeting. In their absence the role of Chapter Master had been given to the honored Julo Forrix, Captain of the 5th company. Much to Numitors chagrin, he leaned towards rebuilding before seeking revenge, and ordered there to be no further hunts until the chapter was again following Alsharras plan.
When word from the Imperium finally came it nearly tore the chapter apart. They were vehemently chastised and named for the crime of losing a system of the Imperium. Now to be denied a home system to call their own they were re-tasked to become a fleet based chapter and allowed, under strict conditions, to continue their mission against the ever-present Ork threat.
One of the conditions was a deadly conceit. Information had come to light that it was a previously undiscovered splinter fleet of hive behemoth that had wiped out their system. If they could hunt it down and destroy it, they could regain some favor with Terra. To help facilitate this several interested parties from the Ordos Xenos had been dispatched and the Sky Hammers were told to send forces to rendezvous with them immediately.
With their forces threatening to split again the Numitor had nearly 70% of the remaining forces intent on striking out in vengeance. Forrix was forced to stamp his authority on the chapter and step out of the shadow of his bickering advisors. Offering the 3rd captain an honor duel to decide the fate of the chapter, to seek out their destructors and to die meeting out their vengeance if he won and a cessation of this endless rage if he lost.
In an epic duel the Numitor finally fell and expected to be executed for his treachery. Forrix surprised many by showing mercy and he declared that the 3rd company and another 150 marines of various companies would reform the 3rd spearhead and meet with the inquisitors and hopefully regaining the chapter some much needed honor. Whilst the rest of the chapter would start looking for new recruiting worlds and continue their mission in their ex-homes sectors.
The warring captains appeased, Forrix quickly disbanded the minor cults of personality that the two rival captains had built up. Instead focusing his brother’s worship and grief on the Blessed Alsharra. Commanding that any artifact that had survived the labyrinths destruction is now a revered relic of the chapter. Nothing more so than the tempestate magistrum serpentium (master of the storm of wyrms), Alsharras personal Thunder Hammer.
The Empty Hunt
857.M41 - 3rd spearhead is reformed with Numitor still at its head. Dispatched to meet up with Inquisitorial envoy as 'requested' . They spend the next 7 years winning some fame within the Xenos order for their relentless pursuit of the Tyranids, Ultimately returning home unable to find any evidence of a their home worlds destroyers.
864.M41 - With 600 full marines again and still rising numbers of recruits the whole chapter is fully mobilized into the 4 original strikes forces.
This time the Sky Hammers were to stay as just 4 spearheads. Forrix unwilling to spread his brothers as thinly as they had before. They were to continue with their original roles and try and fix Alsharras schemes where they had faltered over the years of turmoil. Although all nominally following their proscribed plans, the 3rd have slowly gained more and more freedom to act as they wish , Their feverent hunting of reviled foes has gained them no small amount of fame and influence.
The chapter’s spirit is finally calmed and they are able to remove some of the tarnish their name had acquired. The Sky Hammers are successful in re-trapping the Orks in their own space and continue their plans to keep them there. With the exception of the desperate, if little understood, defense of a backward agri-world from a heretic fleet of still unknown numbers. This status quo of sorts continues for nearly 100 years.
970.M41 - New data is received from Inquisitional agents showing vid-pict footage of the last moments of the attack on Moukari.
A stream of hunched humanoid forms are seen marching into a vile glowing portal , before a massive curved structure sunders the mountains in the distance and slowly rises up to reveal a mighty Necron tombship literally rising from the earth and agonizingly carefully, arcing around. Lights build upon the pylons dotting its surface, before static washes the screen blank. There is much discussion and theorizing as to the veracity of the images , but all doubt is washed aside when a Ordos Xenos Inquisitor personally delivers the helmet the feed is from. The helmet of The Great Khongordzol, famed 4th Company Captain and one of the original training cadre of White Scars. There could be no argument or suspicion. This was their attacker and the Sky Hammers would have vengeance.
995.M41 - For nearly 25 years the Sky Hammers have been instrumental at hunting down Necron forces across the galaxy. All of their forces allowed to roam the galaxy seeking out any and all chances to engage the Necrons, looking for any clues that could allow them to find the tombship that destroyed their system.
It did not go un-noticed that their home sectors were receiving little to no support and they were swiftly issued with a reminder that their actual responsibilities were not hunting necrons across the cosmos. Begrudgingly the bulk of the Sky Hammers returned to their old range, while still allowing the 3rd free access to forces and the ability to hunt their hated foes where ever they saw fit.
Working hard to repel the Ork forces now assailing their local sectors, the Sky Hammers are desperately trying to polish their reputation, again.
A Great Feast is to be held soon and the forces will reconvene to discuss the next stage of their campaigns. With the Orks currently on the back foot, Forrix is determined to mount an overwhelming strike into Ork held space and capture back worlds lost for hundreds of generations. Hopefully for the second time wiping clear any stains on their honor.
However halfway across the galaxy and edging out of imperial space the Captain Overson and the 3rd Spearhead are amassing a larger and larger force. Convinced that they are onto the trial of the hated Necron tombship , they are demanding that the chapter come to them for the next feast . So that they might strike out into what they claim is necron territory and finally crush those responsible for their greatest shame.
As the feast draws closer, there is much discussion of the direction they should take next, Humors’ are up as vengeance is once again dangled in front of them. Although Forrix is determined to see them carry on Alsharra's ideals, the cult of the 3rd is once again gaining momentum. Some even saying that Captain Temujin Overson is The Great Hunter Khidyr Numitor reborn, and a sign to the chapter that they must hunt out and destroy their most hated foe.
(spoken by commander) - Let His Hammer fall.
(shouted back) - Break the sky!
Edited by presc1ence, 15 September 2011 - 12:35 AM.