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Index Astartes: Star Shields


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#1
SnakeoilSage

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THE STAR SHIELDS

Posted ImageCHAPTER NAME: .............. Star Shields
FOUNDING: .................. 22ND [M.37]
CHAPTER WORLD: ............. Ursalis
FORTRESS MONASTERY: ........ Chapterhouse
CHAPTER MASTER: ............ Helm Shieldbane
MAIN COLOURS ............... Fenris Grey and White
SPECIALTY .................. Heavy Firepower
GENE-SEED (PREDECESSOR): ... Salamanders
KNOWN DESCENDANTS: ......... Unknown
ESTIMATED STRENGTH: ........ 1000
















"VIGILAMUS PRO IMPERATOR!"
“WE STAND ON GUARD FOR THE EMPEROR!”

The Star Shields were forged in the centuries following the Age of Apostasy, entrusted to safeguard the frayed edges of an Imperium still recovering from the Reign of Blood. Those early years saw them waging war across the distant galactic northwest of Ultima Segmentum, cut off from the bulk of the Imperium's might and forced to rely on their own means as much as possible. The Chapter eventually settled on Ursalis, where the discovery of ancient technologies drew their attention and for a time at least improved aid from the Adeptus Mechanicus. Today the Star Shields oversee a stretch of systems called the Bulwark Stars, protecting dozens of resource-rich frontier worlds from alien forces that linger beyond the light of the Astronomican.

Home World
Beasts of Ursalis
Ursalis is home to many massive predators that inhabit its many levels. In the deepest regions of the planet miles of carnivorous fungi fill pitch-black tunnels, and enormous albino worms slither through the tightest cracks, able to swallow grown men whole. Reptilian creatures called wendigo stalk their prey for weeks, driving them to cannibalism and madness with psychic nightmares. The higher levels are haunted by ice spiders and frost worms, and on the surface humanoid yheti stalk the mountains, decapitating prey with hooked claws. The skies are ruled by massive stormcrows, each strong enough to carry away a human being their talons.

By far the most deadly of Uraslis’ predators are its bears. Maulers are the smallest, a pug-faced brute with a shorter temper than an irate squig. Noble bearhounds make loyal and protective mounts, and are almost as intelligent as a human. Vicious sabrebears have long tusks able to upend a wagon. The greatest of them all is the ghost bear, a silent beast that is believed to be more myth than real. The legends say a ghost bear is larger than a Rhino tank, and strong enough to rip open a Land Raider to get at its crew. Bears form the center of Ursalis’ culture, symbolizing the endurance and strength of its people.
Ursalis is a death world, characterized by thousands of miles of glacial ice slowly grinding across jagged mountains and crumbling hive-city ruins. The planet itself is the only remaining world in a system that suffered some great catastrophe long before the rise of the Imperium, filling the system with asteroid fields, the impacts of which drove Ursalis to the ice age it endures to this day.

Tribal legend and physical evidence indicate that Ursalis was once a hive-world, dedicated to the pursuit of science. Cool, but comfortable and clean, its people were content until the fabled Age of Strife. The destruction of its sister worlds shifted the planet’s orbit, freezing the planet, and burying the Ursalis’ technological achievements under mountains of rubble and ice. The surviving humans fell into one of two groups: the High Clans who live on the surface as nomads in armored wagons, and the Underclans that live in enormous underground bunkers, the descendants of wealthy individuals who tried to hide out the apocalypse below the surface and had their needs met by technology. Invasion, misuse and time have seen all but a few of these bunkers abandoned or destroyed, and the technology of the surviving bunkers has decayed to almost nothing. High Clans and Underclans live at a level of techno-barbarism and techno-feudalism, respectively, scouring the planet for resources to improve their lot in life.

Below the ice and hive-cities, in the ancient, labyrinthine sewer networks of Ursalis, are the Subclans. Once human, these foul mutants were wholly corrupted by lingering radioactive waste and toxic sewage. The Subclans would be occasionally united by Chaos-tainted psykers, attacking the surface in great blights. A blight could wipe out whole clans before being driven back underground, only for the cycle to begin again a centuries later.

The Star Shields encountered Ursalis during one of these blights and chose to intervene, deploying the 1st Company to the planet's surface. To the Ursalans, the Space Marines seemed an army forged in the heavens and delivered by the gods, and within hours the Emperor's Finest had destroyed the blight. Heedless of the Ursalans' warnings, 1st Company continued their campaign deep underground, wiping out every mutant they could find, and returning to the surface a year later to the roaring adulation of the clans. The Ursalans pledged an honor-debt to the Chapter, promising their sons to the Star Shields forevermore. Drawn by the Chapter’s reports of Ursalis’ hidden technologies, the Adeptus Mechanicus arrived on Ursalis to comb its secrets, and as reward for their discovery, the Star Shields were given the honor of arming themselves with some of the advanced weapons the Machine Cult reclaimed. The Ursalans proved to be excellent initiates, and the Star Shields began recruiting them exclusively.

Chapterhouse
Ursalis moon was once a massive star port, ferrying thousands to and from the planet. The impacts that shifted Ursalis' orbit also shattered the moon, creating a ring of grinding stones that fortunately protect the planet from the worst asteroid impacts. When the Star Shields decided to settle on Ursalis they set about correcting the decaying orbit of the largest shard, and discovered sections of the star port still intact within it. The Chapter repaired and rebuilt what they could, and today it serves as their fortress-monastery, known as Chapterhouse. Ships moving in and out of Chapterhouse must navigate the system’s asteroid fields, and using specialized repulsor fields and thruster pods the Star Shields are able to ensure a safe, but constantly-shifting path that serves as Chapterhouse’s greatest defense against invaders.

Combat Doctrine
The Star Shields are meticulous planners, never committing themselves without knowing precisely where to strike. When battle is joined they favor heavy armor and weapons: Devastators, Terminators, Dreadnoughts and tanks. Their battlefield philosophy is to take apart the enemy piece by piece with shows of overwhelming force: when this weak link is discovered they hit it as hard as they can with all of their might brought to bear, and when the enemy lines crack they spread inward, as inevitable as the winter frost. When an objective is taken they move on to the next, leaving small but elite rear-guard forces that can dig in and defend the objective for weeks or months at a time, however long the primary force needs to break the enemy. The Chapter has an excellent record for siege fighting, boarding-actions and space hulk expeditions.

Organization
The Winter Feast
The Winter Feast is a gathering of several clans to celebrate the end of the blights. While taciturn, the Star Shields have adopted the Winter Feast as their single celebratory rite. Only a Chapter Master can announce a Winter Feast, and such occasions are rare: no Chapter Master has ever announced more than two in his tenure.

As the battle-brothers gather in the Winter Hall, the Chapter Master recounts the Oaths of Victory and announces the occasion for the Feast. When the final brother has arrived the doors are sealed by the Chaplains. Great platters of red meat and barrels of Ursalis ice-wine adorn the long tables, and within hours the most reserved Space Marine is roaring laughter, singing battle hymns, and engaging in wild fist-fights, for the Winter Feast is when the Star Shields are permitted to set aside discipline and revel in the joys of a warrior culture.

Such is the wild nature of the Feast that it can take days for order to be restored, and a few battle-brothers must have their discipline beaten back into them by the Chaplains, who abstain from participating in the Feast to stand a silent vigil, ready to return their kin into the fold once the Feast has ended.
The Star Shields follow the Codex Astartes as closely as their Chapter identity allows. The most notable difference is the disproportionate number of Devastator squads in each Battle Company, and the Chapter's reluctance to field Fast Attack forces. Because of the Chapter's slower reflexes, the high-speeds combat tactics used by other Chapters are simply too risky to offer much benefit, and Star Shields that are assigned as Assault, Bike, or Land Speeder squads must train twice as hard to use them effectively.

2nd through 6th Companies are the Chapter's Battle Companies, supported by the 1st Veteran, 7th Assault Reserves, 8th Armored Reserves, and 10th Scout Companies. 9th Company is comprised of ten Tactical Space Marine Squads - initiates who have only recently earned their power armor - who engage in arcing patrol tours throughout the Bulwark Stars, overseeing the planets under the Star Shields' protection. When a threat is detected, the 9th Summons one of the Chapter's Battle Companies, who thanks to their early years as a fleet-based Chapter maintain enough ships to form a potent and swift vanguard. With enough forewarning, the Star Shields establish themselves on the threatened world, preparing potent defenses that allow a force as small as 100 Space Marines to hold contested hot zones for months at a time. If denied this oppportunity, all Star Shields train extensively in battlefield tactics designed to break the back of invading forces and dig out entrenched enemy forces; ship-to-ship boarding actions, trench warfare, and sapping missions that cut off the enemy's supply and support, taking the enemy apart step-by-step.

Beliefs
The Star Shields have adopted aspects of both their Salamander progenitor's Promethean Cult and Ursalis ancient traditions, including their concepts of honor, loyalty, resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, and self-sacrifice. However, the core of their Chapter Cult focuses on embracing cold logic. Chaplains do not whip their brothers into a zealous frenzy, but instead preach a mantra of discipline, efficiency and focus. Star Shields meditate under auto-hypnotic projectors, filling their minds with vast amounts of combat knowledge gleaned from the Imperium’s finest warriors. They regularly practice forms of self-denial, from fasting to flagellation, often while attempting intricate tasks such as maintaining their wargear and training, giving them the ability to concentrate on a task through the whirlwind of combat or the pain of injury. Battle strategies are constantly designed, practice, studied and refined, so that each Star Shield is a warrior-sage with a plan for almost any contingency. Through this the Chapter believes that they can become truly selfless servants of the Imperium.

Another facet of the Chapter Cult is their belief that the Emperor watches over their missing brethren. Because they exist on the edge of the Astronomican, it is not unheard of for brothers, squads, or in some rare cases entire strike forces or Companies to become lost in the Warp. When members of the Star Shields fail to return home, the Chaplains mark their names on the Memorial Arch of the Reclusiam, and refer to these Lost Ones as “walking the mists,” an Ursalis belief that those who vanish into the planet's fog are taken to a realm between life and death. The Star Shields hold that when the Emperor decrees it, the Lost will return to fight again in the Chapter's darkest hour.

Gene-seed
The Star Shields’ gene-seed originates with the Salamanders Chapter, and while stable carries the dulled reflexes common to their progenitors. Perhaps as a result of the harsh conditions of Ursalis, the Star Shield gene-seed has further mutated: as they age battle-brothers develop new muscle layers that grant enhanced strength and leverage, but their reflexes slow to almost human norm levels. Veteran Star Shields are capable of incredible feats of strength, but their movements are deliberate and cautious to ensure their momentum and weight can’t be used against them. This combined with their preference to study and plan before acting makes the Star Shields appear hesitant to perform any action: they are literally weighing the consequences of every step they take. This also makes them terse and laconic, only speaking when they have chosen the right words and only saying what needs to be said.

Famous Battles of the Star Shields
The following are some of the noteworthy battles fought by the Star Shields in its history.

684.M37 - Cogris Vanishes.
The newly formed Star Shields Chapter arrives in the Bulwark Stars region. One of its first acts is to aid in the evacuation of Cogris, as the small forge-world is about to be consumed by a warp storm. Despite the danger, millions of workers hold to the Machine God's doctrines and continue to toil 'til the very last minute, resulting in their being cut off from the evacuation zones when flickering tendrils of the storm release Warp horrors onto the planet's surface. Despite a valiant defense of the planetary star ports, the Chapter is forced to withdraw, abandoning millions of to the mercy of Chaos.

897.M37 - The Purging of Ursalis.
The battle-barge Wings of Daedalus braves the asteroid fields of the Ursalis system rediscover human elements on the planet. The otherwise primitive tribes wield technology traced back to the Dark Age of Technology, but are losing a prolongued war with mutant armies. The Chapter decides to intervene, and the entirety of 1st Veteran Company is released to purge the mutants, pursing them into their subterranean levels over a year of cleansing. During their war they discover clues of Ursalis' history, and uncover technology the Adeptus Mechanicus would dearly love to possess. After concluding their purge, the veterans return to the surface, earning the eternal gratitude of the human populace. After samples of the planet's technology are delivered to the Machine Cult, the Star Shields decide to settle their wandering fleet over Ursalis and construct Chapterhouse, their fortress monastery. The Chapter oversees several expeditions into the planet's depths and for their discovery are given the honor of wielding the rediscovered technology in their armories. The Star Shields make the Ursalans their exclusive source of recruits.

781.M41 - Cogris Returns.
After two millennium Cogris emerges from the Warp. Forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus and elements of the Mordian Iron Guard and Space Wovles join the Star Shields in investigating the world, only for the expedition to come under attack by Chaos-tainted servitor armies. The Iron Warrior Traitor Legion is discovered to be in control of the world, ready to release its daemon-tainted Titans into the Bulwark Stars. Star Shields Chapter Master Moruthe Cole is slain during the war, leaving Captain Helm Shieldbane in command, who leads a retributive march deep into the planet's core to slay a cyber-daemon prince that leads the traitors. The Iron Warriors prepare to evacuate the Chaos Titans into the Warp, so Helm gives the controversial order to detonate the Titan's ammunition stockpiles, causing massive tectonic instabilities that rip Cogris and its Titans apart. Despite the loss of the world, it is considered a great victory and Helm is eventually named Chapter Master of the Star Shields.

993.M41 - The Great Devourer
Fleeing Warhawk Orks give the Star Shields warning of the approaching tendrils of Hive Fleet Kraken. The power of the Tyranids sees three Bulwark Stars consumed, and the Star Shields fight their hardest battle yet in the crowded streets of Nexas. During the battle, reinforcements including members of the Ultramarines join the fray, and the influx of Tyranid-fighting experience gives the Star Shields the ability to defeat the hive fleet tendrils.

Playing a Star Shields Army
Star Shields field plenty of Devastators, Dreadnoughts, Tanks, and Techmarines. They are a ranged force, best suited to holding fortified positions and obliterating incoming foes with concentrated barrages of weapons' fire. Heavy bolters are their favorite weapon, making them lethal foes against lightly-armored opponents like Eldar, Ork, and Tyranids hordes, but as you can imagine they can field almonst any kind of heavy firepower.

If you'd like to see my homebrew rules for the Star Shields, check out Codex: Star Shields. I feel they're a good counterpoint for Space Marine players who want to see more dakka and less choppa in their Chapters, so to speak.

Edited by SnakeoilSage, 22 September 2011 - 03:09 AM.

Check out my homegrown projects:
Nemesis Angels
Star Shields
Codex: Star Shields

#2
TrashMan

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oy...I don't know where to begin....

A lot of things to process. Will return with a analysis later

#3
SnakeoilSage

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oy...I don't know where to begin....

A lot of things to process. Will return with a analysis later


*Laughs* I may have gotten a little carried away with the fluff. Just a smidge.
Check out my homegrown projects:
Nemesis Angels
Star Shields
Codex: Star Shields

#4
chaplain belisarius

chaplain belisarius

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i like it...but i have just briefly skimmed through it (work was busy!) :ph34r:
coming soon; 1k sisters of battle!...(on hold till GW do plastic SOB)

currently inventing my own chaos warband-the death knights!

Life is a prison, death a release....

Dammit jim! Im a gamer, not a painter!

#5
SnakeoilSage

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i like it...but i have just briefly skimmed through it (work was busy!) :ph34r:


No worries. There's a lot here to read.
Check out my homegrown projects:
Nemesis Angels
Star Shields
Codex: Star Shields

#6
chaplain belisarius

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posted my rough 1k list in your other thread-hope you dont mind! :ph34r:
coming soon; 1k sisters of battle!...(on hold till GW do plastic SOB)

currently inventing my own chaos warband-the death knights!

Life is a prison, death a release....

Dammit jim! Im a gamer, not a painter!

#7
TrashMan

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I see soem problem with this.

First, openly defying the inquisition..

Your chapter seems to be both unkwon, secretive and at the saem time extreemy vocal and known to inquisition and and the imperial church. It's is bad. Like, real bad. What's stoping the =I= from blowing them to bits?
My own chapter does questionable things, but it's all buddy-buddy with mechanicum, tries to keep a low profile (doesn't spit in the =I='s face) and plays the inquisiton against itself, so why the =I= doesn't declare them heretics is at least explained.

Secondly no known founding. No AM support with chapter creation. Where did all the awepons and equipment come from? Who trained the marnies?

Thirdly..the second coming of the Emperor? Nah man...Try to tone it down. I know it's tempting to create a super-progressive, perfect individual for a chapter master, but keep the greatenss in check..

And how did he came to know about the Imperial Truth (which IS a lie after all. The E claimed there is no supernatural, and guess what..tehre was..). IMHO, you can either run int osome old texts, or get your CM to talk to someone who was there when the Big E did his thing (maybe Bjorn?)

#8
SnakeoilSage

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I see soem problem with this.

First, openly defying the inquisition..


Almost every Chapter defies the Inquisition to some extent. The Space Wolves have fought with them in open warfare. The Star Shields don't worship the Emperor as a god, and yet their loyalty to him is absolute, a common trait among Space Marines.

Your chapter seems to be both unkwon, secretive and at the saem time extreemy vocal and known to inquisition and and the imperial church. It's is bad. Like, real bad. What's stoping the =I= from blowing them to bits?


The Chapter is only secretive in its mission to gather knowledge; if the Inquisition or the Imperium learned about the Chapter's true goal, saw some of the secrets it keeps in its archives, then the Chapter would be threatened. I don't know where you get "extremely vocal" from, but the Chapter itself is known to the Inqusition, who have yet to suspect the Chapter is hiding anything. To the Inquisition, they're just Space Marines who's records are probably buried under the mountains of backlogged Imperial bureaucracy. What records do exist of the Star Shields are befitting a Space Marine Chapter: stalwart defenders of Mankind in service of the Emperor.

My own chapter does questionable things, but it's all buddy-buddy with mechanicum, tries to keep a low profile (doesn't spit in the =I='s face) and plays the inquisiton against itself, so why the =I= doesn't declare them heretics is at least explained.


How does your Chapter "play the Inquisition against itself?" I think your Chapter is more likely to get wiped out than mine.

Anyways, again, the Star Shields only keep their true goal a secret. To the Imperium at large, they are just another Space Marine chapter, albiet one that favours infuriatingly cold logic. The Star Shields may not worship the Emperor (again, like most Chapters don't) but they do serve him and mankind, and if Imperial forces threaten either, the Star Shields will act to quell it. Their reactions are no different than those of the Inqusition. The rumours about the Star Shields' actions are hard to substantiate because 1) the Inquisition can't be everywhere, 2) the Star Shields act logically in the defense of the Emperor and mankind, and 3) the Star Shields don't actively seek out situations where they must fight the Imperium.

Inquisitor: "Why did you execute the general?"

Star Shield: "The general was shelling strategic assets and civilian centers to destroy an Ork horde. We told him to stop, because his actions threatened the Emperor's people and his resources. He told us that a few civilians and some fuel processors meant less than victory over the Orks, which we took to mean that his wishes superseded the Emperor's. So we shot him."

Inquisitor: "Hmm, good point. And the Orks?"

Star Shield: "We repositioned ourselves into a strategically proper kill-zone and shot them too, with minimalized loss of human life and the fuel processors intact."

Inquisitor: "Good. Emperor be with you."

Star Shield: "And you."

Secondly no known founding. No AM support with chapter creation. Where did all the awepons and equipment come from? Who trained the marnies?


Okay, to sum up for anyone who didn't actually read their background: Serpiero brought 100 Space Marines with him to Ursalis. 12 of those survived the battle in the planet's depths to wipe out the mutants, and they dragged the wargear and gene-seed extracted from those who died back to the surface. Serpiero had an encyclopedic knowledge of the Imperium's technical data, and he discovered the remains of a star port in a chunk of the moon of Kodion. Inside he found STC-era databanks, some of which contained additional information for building the infrastructure the Chapter would need. They processed the ore from the asteroid field around Ursalis, refined it, and forged new wargear. They forged their own ships, they forged everything themselves. It took centuries to do what the Adeptus Mechanicus could have done in a few months. Serpiero and his Twelve Companions trained the Marines. As the Chapter gathered knowledge from the Imperium, they found more data to build more ships and wargear. Seriously, how did you miss all of this? It's a huge part of their background.

Thirdly..the second coming of the Emperor? Nah man...Try to tone it down. I know it's tempting to create a super-progressive, perfect individual for a chapter master, but keep the greatenss in check..


Okay, I'm not sure where you get the "second coming of the Emperor" from. Again, are you sure you read this file? Serpiero was a genius, Leonardo da Vinci-levels of polymathmatical brilliance. You don't need to be the second coming of the Emperor for that. You don't even need to be a Primarch.

And how did he came to know about the Imperial Truth (which IS a lie after all. The E claimed there is no supernatural, and guess what..tehre was..). IMHO, you can either run int osome old texts, or get your CM to talk to someone who was there when the Big E did his thing (maybe Bjorn?)


The Imperial Truth was a doctrine preached by the Imperium to every world it conquered during the Great Crusade. It called for them to embrace science and logic and reject religion and the petty squabbling that had divided humankind and fed Chaos. The Emperor wasn't lying about the merits of the Imperial Truth - if humanity rejected its more base emotions in favour of cool logic, it would have created an aura of disbelief that would have greatly weakened the powers of Chaos. What's more, the Star Shields know that they alone practicing the Imperial Truth will not defeat Chaos. They pursue science and logic in the hopes of reigniting the Golden Age of Technology, because if they can do that, Mankind can conquer its enemies. Their goals are no so unlike those of the Adeptus Mechanicus, but where the Machine Cult tries to return to the past, the Star Shields use what they learn in the hopes of creating innovations of their own and thereby finding a new Golden Age. They keep the knowledge they discover pure, without tangling it up in religious nonsense like the Machine Cult.
Check out my homegrown projects:
Nemesis Angels
Star Shields
Codex: Star Shields

#9
chaplain belisarius

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i love the chat between a star shield and inquisitor..;)
coming soon; 1k sisters of battle!...(on hold till GW do plastic SOB)

currently inventing my own chaos warband-the death knights!

Life is a prison, death a release....

Dammit jim! Im a gamer, not a painter!

#10
TrashMan

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I see soem problem with this.

First, openly defying the inquisition..


Almost every Chapter defies the Inquisition to some extent. The Space Wolves have fought with them in open warfare. The Star Shields don't worship the Emperor as a god, and yet their loyalty to him is absolute, a common trait among Space Marines.


But the Space wolves are a large chapter, the 1st founding one, with a lot of history and a LOT of clout.
There's a reason why the Inquisition simply doesn't declare them heretics.



Your chapter seems to be both unkwon, secretive and at the saem time extreemy vocal and known to inquisition and and the imperial church. It's is bad. Like, real bad. What's stoping the =I= from blowing them to bits?


The Chapter is only secretive in its mission to gather knowledge; if the Inquisition or the Imperium learned about the Chapter's true goal, saw some of the secrets it keeps in its archives, then the Chapter would be threatened. I don't know where you get "extremely vocal" from, but the Chapter itself is known to the Inqusition, who have yet to suspect the Chapter is hiding anything. To the Inquisition, they're just Space Marines who's records are probably buried under the mountains of backlogged Imperial bureaucracy. What records do exist of the Star Shields are befitting a Space Marine Chapter: stalwart defenders of Mankind in service of the Emperor.


Erm..did you write that they openly defy it? That's very vocal for the Inquisition.



My own chapter does questionable things, but it's all buddy-buddy with mechanicum, tries to keep a low profile (doesn't spit in the =I='s face) and plays the inquisiton against itself, so why the =I= doesn't declare them heretics is at least explained.


How does your Chapter "play the Inquisition against itself?" I think your Chapter is more likely to get wiped out than mine.


The Inquisiton is devided into several groups. If you play your cards right you can have friendly inquisitors stopping the efforts of unfrienldy ones. Run interferrance if you will.




Okay, to sum up for anyone who didn't actually read their background: Serpiero brought 100 Space Marines with him to Ursalis. 12 of those survived the battle in the planet's depths to wipe out the mutants, and they dragged the wargear and gene-seed extracted from those who died back to the surface. Serpiero had an encyclopedic knowledge of the Imperium's technical data, and he discovered the remains of a star port in a chunk of the moon of Kodion. Inside he found STC-era databanks, some of which contained additional information for building the infrastructure the Chapter would need. They processed the ore from the asteroid field around Ursalis, refined it, and forged new wargear. They forged their own ships, they forged everything themselves. It took centuries to do what the Adeptus Mechanicus could have done in a few months. Serpiero and his Twelve Companions trained the Marines. As the Chapter gathered knowledge from the Imperium, they found more data to build more ships and wargear. Seriously, how did you miss all of this? It's a huge part of their background.


STC data does not contain instructions to building your own space marines. Only the AM and apothacaries know that.
And handing STC data to the AM would make the AM love them deatly, give them tech AND block the =I= if they get too bothersome.

I can't say I like the idea of Serperio possesing all that technical knowledge (from where? Was he a tech-marine?) and the idea that the chapter built everything themselves - ESPECIALLY starships. Even to the AM and their massive shipyards and forges, that is a tall order.
Smaller stuff - yes. But anything bigger? Not even with centuries at your disposal. An unregistered warship would trigger immediate suspicion.



Thirdly..the second coming of the Emperor? Nah man...Try to tone it down. I know it's tempting to create a super-progressive, perfect individual for a chapter master, but keep the greatenss in check..


Okay, I'm not sure where you get the "second coming of the Emperor" from. Again, are you sure you read this file? Serpiero was a genius, Leonardo da Vinci-levels of polymathmatical brilliance. You don't need to be the second coming of the Emperor for that. You don't even need to be a Primarch.


Where do I get it?

"No one knows the entire tale of Serpiero, who's genius is legend to have rivaled the Emperor’s own."
R Gullimans was astounded by his brilliance
Logar gifts him relic weapons?
He made weapons that were beyond the understanding of others
He left with his 12 companion to places unknown (like Leman Russ and other Primarchs)

You turned your Chapter Master into a cross between the Big E and a Primarch.

I'm sorry, but it comes off as one big self-fulfillment Mary Sue.

And you SM's have a total combined knowledge of techmarnies and apothacareis?




And how did he came to know about the Imperial Truth (which IS a lie after all. The E claimed there is no supernatural, and guess what..tehre was..). IMHO, you can either run int osome old texts, or get your CM to talk to someone who was there when the Big E did his thing (maybe Bjorn?)


The Imperial Truth was a doctrine preached by the Imperium to every world it conquered during the Great Crusade. It called for them to embrace science and logic and reject religion and the petty squabbling that had divided humankind and fed Chaos. The Emperor wasn't lying about the merits of the Imperial Truth - if humanity rejected its more base emotions in favour of cool logic, it would have created an aura of disbelief that would have greatly weakened the powers of Chaos.


Meh..you cannot defeat chaos by disbeliving it. Range, lust, and everything else exist weather you acknoledge them or not.

Edited by TrashMan, 02 September 2011 - 07:15 PM.


#11
SnakeoilSage

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I made the Star Shields look special because that's how all Chapters see themselves, how ever Warhammer 40,000 faction sees itself. If there were mention of the Star Shields in an Eldar or Inquisition Codex, it would probably reflect them in a less glorious and perhaps even darker light. That's how Warhammer 40,000 works. Believe me, I've read enough codecies to know that every last one of them is written to hoist up their subject, to make them look epic, to say "don't listen to what those other books say, these guys are the REAL heroes/villains."

But I didn't write it to make them infallible. Serpiero was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, and Leo himself wrote "Reprove your friend in secret and praise him openly." Read the background carefully. There aren't huge gaps in logic, and the legends aren't something you have to take at face value because I hinted that there's more (and less) to those tales than just what's told. The clues are all there.

I could try to explain the Star Shields' background more, to lay out every detail in a way that satisfies you, but if I have to hold your hand through all of this then it'll mean spoiling it for anyone else who reads it.
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#12
TrashMan

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I'm telling you my observations and how it comes off. You don't have to like it.

#13
SnakeoilSage

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I'm telling you my observations and how it comes off. You don't have to like it.


I understand where you're coming from, but I have to disagree.
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#14
SnakeoilSage

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Okay, after a few days to nurse my pride and talking with some local friends, they agree that I need to flesh out the background for my Chapter more and remove elements that are just too flashy. I'm not 100% happy about it (I'm more than a little proud of the research I did for it) but reading over it again I can see that I was getting carried away and just didn't want to accept that.

So I'm thinking of some new ideas to fix the Chapter's history. Any thoughts from the B&C?
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#15
TrashMan

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For the most part you can just try re-wording some of the stuff. How you say it paints a picture.
Also, the whole R. Guiileman thing. I suggest you drop it.

You never answered how the CM came to know about the Imperial Truth. I suggest some old records or talking to someone who knows.


Other than that...hm..melta bombs to blow up a planet..by placing them in the planets CORE??????

#16
TennisBall

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I haven't read most of this but it looks really interesting. What caught my eye was the bit under "Why Collect [this] Army?" where they are described as sweeping across the table like a glacier, slow but inevitable. Sweeping and slow do not go together, I'd change the word sweep to something like rumble, grind or roll.

Okay, looks good having read it. You seem to have an inconsistency in that your 8th company houses your tanks yet in the diagram list it shows these tanks as part of the armoury. Which is it?

Edited by TennisBall, 04 September 2011 - 09:27 AM.


#17
thehumanvolcano

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I really like it, there's a lot to process but overall I think its great, reading this has given me quite a bit of inspiration to start up my own IA for 'The Spears of Apollo'
Am I a good person doing bad things or a bad person doing good things?- Dexter


#18
SnakeoilSage

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For the most part you can just try re-wording some of the stuff. How you say it paints a picture.
Also, the whole R. Guiileman thing. I suggest you drop it.

You never answered how the CM came to know about the Imperial Truth. I suggest some old records or talking to someone who knows.


Other than that...hm..melta bombs to blow up a planet..by placing them in the planets CORE??????


Serpiero was a Space Marine during the Great Crusade. That's how he learned about the Imperial Truth.

And Cogris was already coming apart; it just needed a final push.
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#19
chaplain belisarius

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personally i think your chapter is ace...but i reckon you need to pull back a bit on the awesomeness factor? if you get what i mean? this is not meant to cause offence-its just some honest criticism...i like your chapter, i really do...but in some parts i think you went a bit over the top.

again no offence intended...
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#20
SnakeoilSage

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personally i think your chapter is ace...but i reckon you need to pull back a bit on the awesomeness factor? if you get what i mean? this is not meant to cause offence-its just some honest criticism...i like your chapter, i really do...but in some parts i think you went a bit over the top.

again no offence intended...


No, no, I've learned my lesson. My pride got the better of me, but as I reread the fluff I started seeing stuff I could trim, and stuff I could add that makes more sense and feels more like "one of the Chapters" than "a better Chapter," know what I mean?
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#21
TrashMan

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For the most part you can just try re-wording some of the stuff. How you say it paints a picture.
Also, the whole R. Guiileman thing. I suggest you drop it.

You never answered how the CM came to know about the Imperial Truth. I suggest some old records or talking to someone who knows.


Other than that...hm..melta bombs to blow up a planet..by placing them in the planets CORE??????


Serpiero was a Space Marine during the Great Crusade. That's how he learned about the Imperial Truth.

And Cogris was already coming apart; it just needed a final push.



How old was Serpiro anyway? If he was there at the time of hte great crusade, that would maek the chapter 10 millenia old.

Also, Corgis might be uinstable, but melta-bombs wouldn't cut it. You can drop a 100 nukes in earths core and it wouldn't cut it.
I'd suggest using a focused Lance bombardment from orbit. More believable and IIRC, there are precedents.

#22
SnakeoilSage

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How old was Serpiro anyway? If he was there at the time of hte great crusade, that would maek the chapter 10 millenia old.

Also, Corgis might be uinstable, but melta-bombs wouldn't cut it. You can drop a 100 nukes in earths core and it wouldn't cut it.
I'd suggest using a focused Lance bombardment from orbit. More believable and IIRC, there are precedents.


Serpiero was old, probably made a Space Marine very close to the onset of the Horus Heresy, returning to Ursalis shortly after the Heresy and living for while after. This likely makes him thousands of years old, which was meant to be part of his legend; how could have lived so long, even for a Space Marine?

Meltabombs are basicaly localized nukes, but yeah, I'll think about it.
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#23
SnakeoilSage

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Okay, I've got a revised background; what say you, B&C?

THE STAR SHIELDS

Posted ImageCHAPTER NAME: .............. THE STAR SHIELDS
FOUNDING: .................. UNKNOWN, PRESUMED 20TH M.35
CHAPTER WORLD: ............. URSALIS
FORTRESS MONASTERY: ........ CHAPTERHOUSE
GENE-SEED (PREDECESSOR): ... UNKNOWN
KNOWN DESCENDANTS: ......... UNKNOWN








“Truth is my strength, wrath is my sword!”

The Star Shields were born to protect the world of Ursalis and safeguard its secrets. Once an Imperial Fists recruitment world, it was the discovery of ancient Standard Template blueprints that brought Ursalis to the attention of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Since beginning their mission, the Star Shields have expanded to seek out all knowledge across the galaxy, wielding some of the most advanced technology available to the Imperium. The secrets they have learned could spell doom – or salvation – for the Chapter if they are revealed, so until such time that the truth must be learned the Star Shields will defend it from aliens, heretics, and even the Imperium itself.

Home World
The Star Shields’ homeworld is Ursalis, a frozen death world located roughly half-way between Catachan and Nocturne, in the galactic west of Ultima Segmentum, close to the Warp-addled region of space known as the Maelstrom. Archaeologists theorize the planet was once a highly advanced human hive world during the fabled Dark Age of Technology. Some unknown calamity befell Ursalis’ sister worlds, resulting in the planetary system becoming saturated with asteroid fields. Ursalis itself was shifted out of orbit, resulting in a permanent ice age that buried its civilization and all its advancements. Today the planet is characterized by endless miles of glacial ice, punctuated by crevices that plunge into the lightless depths of the ancient hive cities, spanning the length of the planet.

During the long winter the skies clear and flesh can freeze in seconds, and the brief spring and summer months bring thick mists that cloak the planet’s many mighty predators. Below the ice, the caverns are filled with carnivorous fungi and giant blind albino worms that can swallow a man whole. Shadowy wendigo drive men to madness with psychic nightmares, and vaguely humanoid yheti stalk the mountains with hooked claws for climbing and decapitating prey. But by far the most powerful of Ursalis’ predators are its bears, each larger than a Fenrisian wolf, from pug-faced Maulers to noble Bearhounds, tusken Sabrebears and the near-mythical Ghost Bear, a beast said to be larger than a Rhino transport and strong enough to tear open a Land Raider to feed on the morsels inside.

Ursalis’ humans are hardy, strong people that are divided into Clans. The High Clans are the most numerous but also the most primitive, living nomadically in armoured wagons on the planet’s surface. The Underclans descend from humans who sealed themselves in advanced bunkers to escape the planet’s downfall, but over the aeons the technology that sustained them began to fail and they have been forced to venture out for the resources to maintain their way of life. The technological level of both cultures is roughly analogous of the techno-barbarians of ancient Terra, before the coming of the Emperor. Ursalans go to war in crude forms of power armour, armed with lasguns and power weapons.

Far below the surface, below even the buried hive cities exists a third clan, or Subclan. These are the descendants of humans who fled into the sewer networks during the great catastrophe. With no one to maintain the planet’s power-production and sanitation infrastructure, these sewers became flooded with toxic sludge and radioactive waste. The Subclans wallowed in the misery of this hellish place, slowly giving in to cannibalism and mutation. These mutants raided the surface for pillage and slaves, and when a psyker was born among them he would be touched by Chaos, using his powers to unite the mutants and attack the surface in a great blight. These blights could consume whole clans before being driven back underground by in-fighting or a desperate counter-attack, only for the cycle to begin again a century later.

Serpiero the Architect
Early in the 32nd Millennium, the Imperial Fists had claimed Ursalis as a recruitment world, but never maintained a permanent garrison. The Clans saw the Fists as warriors of the God Emperor, fighting a war in heaven against the darkness between the stars. Being chosen as an Imperial Fist was a great honour, but the Fists chose to leave Ursalis as it was; believing that the mutant blights only encouraged stronger recruits. At the time, the Clans fought with primitive weapons, nowhere near the level that they have today. This is thanks entirely to the efforts of Serpiero, the man known as the Architect. A genius polymath, far ahead of his time, Serpiero managed to unite the Clans against the blights by providing them with advanced weapons, many of which he had scavenged from Ursalis’ lost technology. The united clans defeated the blights in an overwhelming victory, but were hesitant to follow Serpiero into the mutant’s own territories and slay them entirely. Bitter at their cowardice, Serpiero returned to his workshops, and was discovered by the Imperial Fists. Impressed by his genius, the Fists recruited him into the Chapter.

Centuries later, long after Serpiero had faded into legend, the blights returned as the Architect had warned, and the human clans were hard pressed from all sides. Just as all seemed lost, Serpiero returned with a force of one hundred Space Marines. To the Ursalans, they seemed an army forged in the heavens and delivered to them by the gods in a storm of lightning. Serpiero’s battle-brothers turned the battle within hours, but again the Clans were too afraid to follow Serpiero into the underground. Fearless, Serpiero led his Space Marine force into the mutant’s territory, and for a year the clans held their collective breaths, waiting to see what emerged. Thus it was to roaring adulation that Serpiero returned with twelve surviving Space Marines, dragging wagons of wargear and carefully tended gene-seed extracted from those who did not survive. Serpiero promised that while the mutants may never truly be destroyed, they would never again become a blight upon the world. He then asked each clan to offer up its most promising sons to become Space Marines. Awed by his bravery and shamed by their own cowardice, the clans promised to answer his call forever more. A thousand young warriors volunteered to satisfy their clans’ honour-debt, and Serpiero took them all, promising as the ages passed that those who proved themselves worthy would join him in the stars.

Serpiero used his recruits to forge the Star Shields, revealing the mission set down by the Adeptus Mechanicus. The weapons Serpiero had used to fight the mutant threat were based on STC technology, and the Imperium had created the Chapter to uncover more of these secrets and safeguard them from the threats of the galaxy. The Star Shields cut their teeth hunting mutants and overseeing expeditions into Ursalis’ depths. More STC designs were discovered, and it was the Star Shields’ honour that such designs were incorporated into their armouries. Serpiero himself spent much of his time helping to catalogue and rebuild this technology, leaving the overall rule of the Chapter to his Twelve Companions, those who had survived the war in the depths of Ursalis at his side.

Serpiero and most of his Companions vanished near the end of the 36th Millennium during an expedition below Ursalis. No clue has ever been uncovered to reveal his fate. His two remaining Companions – Melzi and Salai – both served as Chapter Master after his vanishing, reorganizing the Chapter to honour Serpiero as the patron of the Chapter and its ideals.

Combat Doctrine
The Star Shields are meticulous planners, unwilling to commit themselves without extensive recon and strategizing. They study, plan, and study some more, and only when they have found the lynchpin in the enemy force will they attack. Star Shields prefer heavy weapons and armour, fielding whole armies of Devastator Marines who march against the recoil of their heavy bolters, creating concentrated fields of destruction that can completely shatter enemy defences and morale, making them excellent siege-breakers. Like literal juggernauts, the Star Shields refuse to stop once they have entered the battle, and once their firepower has broken the enemy line, the Star Shields spread into the weakened gaps, as inevitable as the winter frost of Ursalis itself.

Organization
The Star Shields adhere to the Codex Astartes, with some notable differences. The Chapter Master’s personal retinue is known as the High Guard, charged with protecting the Chapters’ most invaluable war-relics. Because of the discrepancies in their gene-seed and their preference for ranged firepower, the Chapter fields no Vanguard Veteran Squads or Assault Terminator Squads. As can be expected, the Chapter has a large organization of Techmarines and no fewer than twelve Forge Masters who oversee the Chapter’s advanced wargear.

In terms of Company organization, the Star Shields have dedicated 2nd through 6th Companies as Battle Companies, with a disproportionate number of Devastator Squads, almost a complete reversal of the 6:2 Tactical/Devastator ratio called for in the Codex Astartes. Few Companies field Assault forces, relying instead on the 7th Company to provide Assault reserves. 8th Company houses all of the Chapter’s heavy armour, including no less than thirty-five Dreadnought walkers. 9th Company is the Tactical Reserve, where freshly initiated Space Marines cut their teeth before being cycled into one of the other Companies. 10th Company is the Star Shields Scout Company. The Chapter actually maintains a standing populace of nearly 1,500 gene-seeded initiates on hand in Chapterhouse, but of these only a hundred are permitted to take to the field as Scouts, the rest serve as the Chapter equerries and primary labour force, as the Star Shields believe that putting a task in the hands of a Servitor diminishes the worth of that task.


The Star Shields’ Fortress Monastery is called Chapterhouse, built into the largest shard of Ursalis’ former moon Kodion. When the Chapter set about correcting the shard’s failing orbit, they discovered sections of an ancient star port that had remained largely intact. This alone would have been caused to use it, but the star port had been built in the age of STC technology, with small yet advanced facilities and data-banks containing enough information for Chapterhouse to be almost completely autonomous, with its own mining facilities, refineries, armouries, some of the most advanced medical facilities in Ultima Segmentum, and a shipyard capable of housing the Chapter’s small fleet including three battle-barges (the Hammer of Serpiero, Spear of Ursalis, and Wings of Daedalus), a dozen strike cruisers, and various other support craft. Thanks to the importance of their mission in the eyes of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Star Shields are able to commission certain technologies far more readily than other Chapters, but considers its own self-sufficiency to be a point of honour.

Beliefs
The Star Shields have become obsessed with knowledge. Where once their primary mission was to protect Ursalis and uncover its secrets, the Chapter has expanded its operations to search for knowledge across the galaxy. Thousands of tetrabytes of data have been returned to Ursalis and stored in the ancient data-banks within Chapterhouse, tended by technopathic Librarians who can psychically join their mind to the machine to perform advanced calculations capable of predicting future events to a limited degree. The Chapter tries to act on this “deductive prescience” as best it can to ensure that mankind comes out on top. The Chapter has come to believe that the knowledge they have is vital to some greater part of the Emperor’s plan for Mankind. Their dream is to see the Golden Age of Technology reborn, when mankind once again becomes the dominant force in the galaxy with the power of ingenuity purified by the Emperor’s guidance.

The Star Shields are also known for their maddening logical behaviour. They embrace cold reasoning over fanatical zeal, pointing out that they have pledged themselves to the Emperor and Mankind, not the Imperium, and if the Imperium threatens either, they will act to intervene. Rumours abound about of the Chapter turning their guns on Imperial allies, aiding Xenos to prevent greater destruction, or quitting the field entirely when they have judge an Imperial force to be doing more harm than good to the “Emperor’s resources.” Conversely, the Chapter has also been willing to engage in acts the Imperium might consider too extreme, such as when the Star Shields released a deadly organic-destroying techno-plague onto Vaughlin’s Moon, rather than allow a relatively small Tyranid force to consume the planet’s rich bio-matter. On occasion this has led to accusations of heresy, but the Chapter has proven time and again that their actions are in service to the Emperor, and however extreme, they are painstakingly calculated for the benefit of mankind.


Gene-seed
The Star Shields gene-seed is stable, thanks in part to their access to the medical technologies of Chapterhouse. However, the Star Shields are afflicted with a unique mutation that has affected their Ossmodula and Biscopea (which are responsible for bone and muscle development, respectively). Put succinctly, Star Shields are giants. Even fresh initiates have enhanced strength compared to other Space Marines, able to carry and handle disproportionately heavy loads. As they age, Star Shields develop new muscle layers that grant them superhuman balance, leverage, and power: a Star Shields Captain is capable of wrestling an Ork warboss bare-handed.

However, their increased density and heightened sense of balance have slowed their reflexes. To watch a Star Shield move is to see him take every outcome of motion into account: which direction his weight shifts, how he plants his feet, etc. Where other Space Marines and even natural humans move with instinctive surety, Star Shields have to calculate their every step so their own momentum isn’t used against them: a rampaging elephant may indeed by mighty, but it will not survive long if it is knocked off balance.

It currently isn’t know how this mutation originated; it is believed that a quirk of the original gene-seed is reacting to a unique aspect of the Ursalis gene-pool, creating an unintended if otherwise stable trait that for the Star Shields at least has been embraced as part of their identity.

Battle-cry
Truth is my strength, wrath is my sword!

The Star Shields are warriors of the Emperor, and however cold and methodical they may be, when war is joined they give voice to their defiance against the enemies of man. Their war-cry symbolizes the Chapter’s belief in knowledge as power, and its ability to destroy their enemies.

That said, Star Shields are warrior-sages, prone to philosophical musings. The Tomes of Serpiero – dozens of journals written by the Chapter’s founder and spiritual patron – are among their favourite to quote from, for the Architect seemed to have a snippet of wisdom for everything from art to war.

Edited by SnakeoilSage, 08 September 2011 - 06:05 PM.

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#24
chaplain belisarius

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yes! i love this chapter! :D

I like the combat doctrine section. Only problem i have is how the chapter came into being-it seems a bit too primarch like, if you get what i mean? (did serpiero found the chapter himself?)

Perhaps they could have salamanders gene seed-would explain the slow reflexes and humanitarian outlook? just an idea...

no offence intended...just a few thoughts ive had..:)
coming soon; 1k sisters of battle!...(on hold till GW do plastic SOB)

currently inventing my own chaos warband-the death knights!

Life is a prison, death a release....

Dammit jim! Im a gamer, not a painter!

#25
SnakeoilSage

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yes! i love this chapter! :)

I like the combat doctrine section. Only problem i have is how the chapter came into being-it seems a bit too primarch like, if you get what i mean? (did serpiero found the chapter himself?)

Perhaps they could have salamanders gene seed-would explain the slow reflexes and humanitarian outlook? just an idea...

no offence intended...just a few thoughts ive had..:)


In the revised version Serpiero didn't build the Chapter from the ground up, it was built using whatever the standard method is for the Imperium to build a new Chapter. Serpiero and his 100 Space Marines might have been the force meant to train the new Chapter, and Serpiero led them on a planetary cleansing crusade. Those who survived went on to help lead the new Chapter. Those Marines were likely Imperial Fists, and likely all of them were from Ursalis just as Serpiero was, but that doesn't mean that the Star Shields are forged from Imperial Fists gene-seed.

Well the Star Shields aren't too humanitarian; cold logic doesn't always take sentimentality into account so if the Chapter calculates that an action must be taken they'll take it, a perspective that isn't unlike that of the Inquisition. Individual Star Shields might be more amiable but the Chapter's reputation is one of doing what's necessary to serve the Emperor and mankind as a whole, even if the Imperium objects.
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