|CHAPTER NAME: .............. THE BLACK EAGLES|
FOUNDING: ..................3RD [M.32]
CHAPTER WORLD: .............BRAGG, SOLLEX PASSAGE SUBSECTOR
FORTRESS MONASTERY: ........NORTHERN WATCH
GENE-SEED (PREDECESSOR): ...ULTRAMARINE [UNKNOWN, RECORDS INCOMPLETE]
KNOWN DESCENDANTS: .........UNKNOWN, RECORDS INCOMPLETE
"<<Quote, battle-cry, or whatever else you want to fill this space>>"
"Brothers... in our arrogance we charged blindy. We shall not make the same mistake again. The darkness is not to be scorned, but respected. In our pride and rage, we forgot the fundamentals our genefather taught to us. Never again. Never shall we forget the lessons this campaign have taught us."
-attributed to Warden Rythumus Kurtz, (Chapter Master the first Warden of the Black Eagles) after the Tisiphone Incursion, M32 (estimated)
Founded early in the Imperium's history, the Black Eagles were almost destroyed shortly after becoming a full chapter. Initally founded as a fleet based chapter, the Black Eagles served as mobile force along the edge of the Eye of Terror. On one of its earliest campaigns, the Black Eagles pursued a traitor warband (Emperor's Children according to Chapter legend) into the fringes of the Eye and right into a trap. As the traitor band turned to face the Black Eagles, Alpha Legion forces appeared from behind. Trapped between elements of two traitor legions and losses steadily mounting, the Black Eagles forced a breakout, but just barely. Out of the entire chapter, only one battle barge and little over 200 marines under Brother Captain Kurtz left the eye of terror. Broken and barely functioning, the survivors were hounded by traitor marines.
Fleeing from the failed incursion into the Tisiphone Reefs, Kurtz and his remaining brethren fought a desperate running battle against pursuing Alpha Legion forces. Out gunned and out of resources, the Black Eagles would have been destroyed as a chapter, had it not been for a chance encounter with the Raptors. A Raptor's battleforce had begun stalking the Alpha Legion ships and as the traitors attempted to eliminate Kurtz and his beleaguered forces, Raptor forces intervened. According to Black Eagle's lore, the Raptors were actually surprised upon discovering that these battered survivors were all that was left of a renowned Chapter.
The retreat from the Tisiphone Reefs left the Black Eagles painfully low on supplies, manpower, and material. Out of a full chapter, only one company could be considered still combat worthy: The fifth company still retained its standard. Along with the fifth, 30 veterans from the First company along with elements from the eighth, ninth, and tenth company were all that remained on the chapters sole remaining battle barge.
The Black Eagles and the Raptors continued their cooperation. Unable to fight on their own, the Black Eagles offered to join under the Raptors as they regained strength. This cooperation lasted for 150 years. At the point where The Black Eagles could fight on their own again, then Warden Kurtz swore oaths of honor to the Raptors. Over the millennia, the Raptor and Black Eagle chapters still maintain a strong friendship.
It would be almost two centuries before the Black Eagles would return to the Eye. Though still not at full strength, the Chapter felt honor bound to search for any other survivors. A portion of the survivors had initially refused to fall back. Led by a Chaplain (who's name has been lost to history), these marines believed that they could still relieve and extract the missing Black Eagle Chapter Master. The rest of the Chapter feared for the fate of these last heroes. Though still rebuilding, the Black Eagles sent four companies under Warden Kurtz to search for signs of their lost brothers. A few hulks from the Tisiphone incursion were found and searched but no survivors were recovered. The only measure of retribution in the campaign was the destruction of the traitor base that staged the ambush. Bitter from this second campaign into the Eye of Terror, the Black Eagles requested reassignment to a new sector of space. This request would eventually lead them to the Maelstrom.
*records still loading....***
At the time of the 3rd Founding, the Black Eagles were established to be a Fleet based chapter. After their reassignment from the Eye of Terror, they began to patrol large swathes of the Ultima, Obscurus, and Solar Segmentums at irregular intervals. The Black Eagles make it a point to never repeat the same patrol route or even return along the route that it started on. For much of the Imperium's history, the Black Eagles kept these seemingly random patrol route, only deviating (if that is even an appropriate term) for recruitment purposes.
It was shortly after the Nova Terra Interegnum that the Black Eagles established a Fortress Monastery on the Fortress World of Bragg. As part of the Interegnum, large portions of the Imperium's fight forces were relocated. The Black Eagles were amongst these forces moved by the High Lords of Terra. Bragg was (and still is) a Fortress World supporting the Imperium's efforts to contain threats from the Maelstrom. Located in the Sollex Passage Subsector, Bragg sits along a major supply and trade route used through Ultima Segmentum and is a common route used for Pilgrimages to the Ultramar Sector. Though lost to the Imperium for a brief period of time during the Scouring, Bragg was resettled as a 'right of conquest' reward for a Terran Imperial Guard Regiment (the 82nd Merican Fusiliers) and kept many of their Terran traditions. Between Bragg's ties to Holy Terra and its location along a prosperous trade route, the world could have petitioned itself as a subsector, or even sector, Capital world.
However, Bragg seems to be content with its current role in the Imperium as a fortress world. It was originally believed to be modeled as a "Cadia in the galactic west", more recent historical documents suggest that it may have been modeled on the Ancient War World of Armatura. While not everyone born on the planet serves in the Imperium's defense, most work in related industries. As a fortress world, Bragg often serves as an anchorage for troop ships and offers resupply (and retraining if needed) for IG regiments passing through. Bragg is also the location of a significant Military Academy. This Academy, known locally as "Southern End", is known for the quality of Storm Troopers, Commissars, Arbites, and IG officers it produces. In large part due to the Chapter, the Southern End has followed the Ultramar model of military training and teaching its students.
Establishing their new Headquarters along the southern edge of the Northern Polar regions, Northern Watch was built around the archeological remains of an old Astartes staging area that may date back to the Great Crusade. This mountain fortification appears to modeled on the Fortress of Hera at Macragge, for much of the Architecture in the Black Eagle's fortess appears to be copied from their Primogenators Headquarters.
"Strength is not the core of the Astartes. Service, Duty, and Honor is. All warriors of the Imperium are bound by these ideals. These three hallowed words show the galaxy what you can be, what you shall be, what you will be. They are the foundation for you strength: to build when courage when if recedes from your allies; to stand firm when all else fall back; to hope even after hope itself is lost..."
- Commandant Arthor, D (The 35th Commandant of the Black Eagles)
As a fleet based chapter, The Black Eagles preferred to recruit from not from feral or death worlds in the Imperium, but from the troop ships and garrisons of the Imperial Guard. The children and orphans of IG heroes, veterans, and martyrs would be given an opportunity to join their ranks. It is viewed by the Black Eagles that service to the Imperium is the core ideal of the chapter. This trait is shared by not only them, but also the families who have served and sacrificed for the Imperium. The Black Eagles pride themselves in never forcing recruitment, for they accept only volunteers. If the candidate passes the trials, he is taken in to begin training and assessment to become a
Scout Initiate. This practice has continued into the present.
Since basing themselves at Bragg, the Black Eagles have incorporated the Southern End into their recruitment, modeling themselves on Ultramar and the Ultramarines recruitment practices. Select chapter serfs, and even the infrequent "semi-retired" Astartes, serve as instructors, advisors and assessors for over five thousand cadets yearly. Every four years, the Black Eagles select a batch of anywhere from twenty to one hundred of the top cadets (with the majority coming from the Storm Trooper program historically). The cadets are given the trials and challenges and up to half may be selected to join the chapter and be assessed as Scout Initiates.
"Which is more important, the lesson or the wisdom behind it?"
-attributed to Scout Sergeant Mathis, Z (M33)
The Black Eagles strongly advocate and support use of the Codex Astartes. They view the flexibility of its teachings and approach to war as central to the chapter's success in war. However, they also view the codex as an incomplete document. The Black Eagle's believe that their Primarch still wished to refine and edit the codex, but was unable after the treasonous Fulgrim laid-low Guilliman. Also of note, the Black Eagles refuse to view the Codex Astartes as anything other then doctrine of how to employ Astartes. This has caused some consternation amongst a few of primogenitors, particularly the Genesis Chapter, whom have a more dogmatic approach to the codex.
his wrist, Lothus decapitated the guard with his power sword as he
brought his bolter to bear on his target. The mutant barely had time to
register his presence before four more members of the Nightwing emerged
from the shadows, butchering her security detail. Instinctively, the
mutant reached for her third eye before her head dissolved from the
impact of a hellfire round.
"Target secundus neutralized" Lothus announced over the vox
"Acknowledged... Proceed to primary objective" came a response.
Without its navigator and its astropath already dead, the Torchbearer
could neither flee nor call for aid. Crippled, the vessel was now
helpless as the Nightwing continued their mission
While fully versed and capable in the Codex, the Black Eagles have a historical preference for shock strikes that capitalize greatly on the element of surprise. They frequently send out advance strike units to sew discord and confusion amongst the enemies' ranks. Often hiding their presence from their Imperial allies, the Black Eagles tend to announce their arrival on the field of battle by striking and destroying critical enemy positions and logistical stations. After this initial strike, the Black Eagles continue their attack and focus on crippling, as opposed to outright killing, the enemy force. After inflicting as much damage as possible in the initial confusion, the Black Eagles quickly coordinate with Imperial forces and often provide significant intel on enemy compositions and dispositions.
As a rule, the Black Eagles have been known to pass credit for victories on to their allies, often Imperial Guard Regiments. While this is puzzling behavior for many Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, it has led the Black Eagles to have unusually strong ties to many Regiments of the Imperial Guard. It is possible that this venerable chapter no longer feels the need to prove its honor and ability with publicity and glory of war. However, critics of this chapter whisper rumors that the chapter must be hiding a secret if it does not what their glories to be known. Irregardless, this policy has led to many of the younger Astartes Chapters, particularly recently founded or glory hungry chapters, over the millennia to welcome Black Eagle's aid.
When the Black Eagles do venture solo campaigns, they are usually strike operations in regions lost to the Imperium. Drawing on lessons learned from the Chapter's early campaigns (and mistakes), the Black Eagles have become surprisingly proficient at these normally high risk operations. These campaigns can range from hunting Eldar corsairs in wilderness space and culling Ork words to keep Waaughs in check to systematically scouring chaos worlds of all life and resources. In these operations, the Black Eagles work to weed out small problems before they develop into issues that can threaten a sector. However, the Black Eagles prefer to limit their duration these lost regions as corruption is an ever present threat. The only other time the Black Eagles conduct prefer to conduct solo operations is when they are have volunteered to purge Chapters which have turned traitor. Though a grim task, the Black Eagle have volunteered three times to perform it.
"Remember the Chapter; Honor your Battalion, Rally to your Company; and Fight with your Squad. War is upon us brothers. How will you respond?"
-Brother Chaplain Dodson, J (Serial: K573-119-JL84B. Active. Note: Youngest Marines to be inducted into the Chaplaincy, see file AQI.384.1139K)
The Black Eagles are based on the standard Codex model, but have some variation to orthodox codex implementation.
First off, there appear to be two chapter masters for the Black Eagles. Prior to basing out of Bragg, the Warden of the Black Eagles commanded all operations. While no longer the De Facto Chapter Master, the Warden is still responsible for all expeditionary campaigns and while the Regent now controls chapter operations from the Northern Watch.
Secondly, since basing on the world of Bragg, the Black Eagles returned to a more Legion Astartes structure of having two battalions within the chapter. The Black Eagles are still bound by ancient oaths to patrol vast areas of space. However, the Sollex passage is a vital trade route of the Imperium and is face increasing amount of raids from both Ork and Chaos vessels from the Maelstrom (even more so with the end of the Badab War). To accomplish both missions, the Black Eagles deploy one of these Battalions (each having four companies) while the other Battalion remains to guard the Sollex passage and its neighboring sectors.
The Battalions themselves are comprised of two Battle Companies (of standard codex design), one Assault Company (six Assault squads supported with two tactical and two devastators squads), and one Weapons Company (six devastator squads supported with two tactical and two assault). Thougn nominally commanded by the senior Brother Captain, referred to as Battle Captains, it is the Warden's or Regent's privilage to assume command of these formations. The 1st Battalion controls the 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th Companies while the 2nd Battalion commands the 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th Companies. Only the Veteran 1st Company and the 10th Company remain independent from the Battalions.
Following in the tradition laid down by First Captain Thayer at the refounding of the First Company, their are only ever 30 inducted members. Known as the Praetorians, these 30 marines serve both as instructors and combat leaders. In the dark days following the first Tisiphone campaign, the surviving veterans found them selves hard pressed to lead regular squads of marines. By intermixing seven senior battle brothers along side of three veterans, the "Praetorian" squads became the backbone of the rebuilding chapter. As the Black Eagles regained strength and the first company refounded, then Veteran Sergeant TykusThayer petitioned that the Praetorian history be incorporated into the First company's history. Upon Thayer's promotion, the Praetorian Decree mandated that the First Company became the place where the Chapter's future leadership would train, accepting only senior battle brothers who have proven themselves worthy for leadership. Thus, service within the first company under the stewardship of the Praetorian became a rite of passage for all those considered for the honors and responsibility of a Brother Sergeant
and the inducted Praetorians. While both call the other brother, an
aggressive rivalry has developed that overshadows the competition
between the Sternguard and Vanguard found in most chapters. For
generations, the Praetorians handled both duties as the Elite Company
and the Chapter's Killteams. Yet after the Terrik Assault, it was
determined the Praetorians should no longer due both. The Praetorian
Decree mandates that the inducted members of 1st Company are to be the
instructors of Chapter's leadership. Yet there were missions were only
the most lethal of warriors, honed to the most deadly edge, could hope
to accomplish. In these circumstances, teaching became... a liability.
Regent Locutus, himself the former First Captain, began to turn more to
his Honor Guard for these 'special missions'. Thus the Nightwing was
born. With the creation of the Nightwing, the Praetorians were freed to
preform their obligated duty, but it was not a task they wished to be
rid of...][left]The Lectures Xavier Lanreth: Chapter Surf, Dean of Academic Doctrination, M39[/left][/rightsidebar]
Perhaps the greatest deviation from the codex is the Black Eagles'use of Terminator Armor. Unlike most chapters, the Black Eagles allow Brothers outside of the 1st Company to wear it into battle. Terminator armor is assigned at the Battalion level as well as the 1st Company. The bearers of the Tactical Dreadnaught Armor are still required to have earned the Crux Terminatus. The Battalions and the 1st Company have about 30 of these hallowed suits each.
Below the Regent and Warden are the Senior Council; The First Company Captain, the Commandant of the 10th, and the Battle Captains of the Battalion as well as the Magister of the Librarium, Arch-Engineer of the Forge, and the Reclusiam of the Memorial. The Battle Captains are the selected (though usually longest serving) from the Brother Captains of each Battalion. It is the Senior Council whom determine who will succeed a fallen Brother Captain and one of the Senior Council who will take up the mantle of Warden OR Regent when a vacancy occurs.
The Chapter fleet has been rebuilt since the Tisiphone Incursion. They presently Black Eagles maintain three Battle Barges, (the Eagle's Nest, the Guilliman's Charter, and Talons of Justice) along with half a dozen Strike Cruisers and various support craft. Like the rest of the chapter, half the fleet goes out on patrol when a Battalion deploys. Only the Strike Cruiser of the First Company, the "Preemptive Strike", is permanently assigned to a single company.
"Forgive me, lord Astartes, but I find your lack of faith disturbing..."
"Lack of faith? Tell me bishop, what does your cult teach of the Great Crusade? What does the Ministorium say of the Emperor's dream for humanity? What did the Temple know of the honoring his memory? Stay here long enough, priest, and you will learn that we have kept faith with the original word of the Emperor. What do you know of the Imperial Truth?"
-recorded conversation between Archbishop Yesrup (Therrix Sector) and then Brother Chaplain Kearnes (current status: entombed in a Dreadnaught), M37
Ever since the near-destruction of the chapter followed by the successes they had when rescued by the Raptors Chapter, the Black Eagles have always sought to work with other forces of the Imperium when possible. The brash ways of their early years were replaced with the view that "an enemy is weakest when he doesn't know he is fighting." This has molded the Chapter's ways of war. Deception was a tool to be respected in war and not to be scorned.
As a Brother becomes more veteran, segments of his armor are repainted black, symbolizing his time hunting enemies even past the light of the Imperium. After service with the Praetorians, the Brother's should pads are painted black. It is only upon induction to the Praetorians or Nightwing, or selection as a Brother Captain does the chest piece become painted Black.
The Black Eagles refuse to the Emperor of Mankind a god. Gods are the realm of heresy and chaos. It is for preverse gods that traitor legions fell from the Emperor's truth. Thus they view the term as an insult to Master of Mankind. They venerate him as the Patriarch for Humanity and hold close to the ideals of Great Crusade: That Humanity must remain the dominate species in the Galaxy and all of Humanity should be under the banner of the Emperor. The Black Eagles believe that the duty of the Great Crusade is not over for it was never finished. Because of this belief, and their experience with warp infested areas, the Black Eagles regularly launch incursions into the Maelstrom, hunting and destroying traitor and xenos alike. Knowing they are only one chapter, they are careful not overextend themselves.
While of Guilliman's blood line, the Black Eagles also hold the loyalist primarchs in great respect. They still hold Guilliman as first amongst
equals, but each of the Loyalist Primarchs holds a statue in their great hall and a small shrine tended to by the Chapter surfs.
Sororitas and the Astartes were instrumental in quelling the apostate
cardinal from the Northern reaches of the Debprem Mountains, a most
disturbing incident occurred that I must report. Shortly after the
Sisters of Battle had executed the fallen cardinal, the Black Eagles
turned their weapons on Sisters of Battle. Accusing the Sororitas of
violating the Degree Passive, the Black Eagle commander, for lack of a
better term, arrested the Canoness and her retinue. The sisters have
since been turned over to my custody and the Astartes promptly departed
this world soon after...
While strong supporters of cooperation between the Imperium's armies in pursuit of war, the Black Eagles have had some rocky relations with certain elements of the Imperium. They have an antagonistic relationship with elements of the Ecclesiarchy. The Black Eagles view the Ministorium as corrupt and power hungry. This includes the Militant orders of the Adeptus Sororitas. Ever since the Pinchny Incident, the Black Eagles and Sisters of Battle have never taken to the field of battle as allies. The Black Eagles have also been known to retire from Crusades when they become Wars of Faith. In turn, the Ministorium has pressured the Inquisition to censure the Black Eagles.
Thus far, the Black Eagles has strong relations with factions of the Inquisition. The Inquisition has found the Black Eagles reliable in dealing with issues in wilderness space and the Chapter's strong support of the Deathwatch has made it strong allies in the Ordos Xenos. The Chapter has also a good working relationship with the priesthood of Mars, particularly in recent centuries with the scouring of the twin space hulks "Brothers of Ruin".
In the early years of 600M37, Dark Apostle Isran's self styled "Infernal Campaign" came to a surprise ending upon the Shrine World of Columbia 5. Despite protests from the Archcardinal of the Regolas, Sector command had decided to make its stand on the Forge world of Camerous (Columbia 4) while commiting token forces to defence of the Shrine world of Columbia 5. In following with his meglomanic pattern of issuing outlandish and insane demands upon each world he invaded, Isran ordered the citizens of Columbia 5 to replace every statue of the Emperor with one of himself.
Volunteering his company to defend the Shrine World, Brother Captain Baus vowed to Cardinal Dias-Ingon that the traitors would be stopped "at the very foot of the Emperor" and would "Not defile or destroy (the Emperor's) works." Upon hearing this proclaimation, fanatics and zealous defenders of the church volunteered in mass to help the Brother Captain fullfill his oath (much to his reported displeasure).
Captain Baus took command of the defense of the major hive and established his HQ in the Columbian Cathedral. Though a spirited defense was put up by the Fraternis Militia and PDF, Baus held his Astartes and IG forces around the Cathedral complex itself. Seeking to tarnish Captain Baus's word, Apostle Isran focused his efforts on seizing the Columbian Cathedral complex. Fraternis Milita and Cultists alike slaughtered each other in the streets, but Baus refused to commit either his IG or Astartes. Ultimately crushed under the weight of Cultists and Isran's Astartes, the militia and PDF could do little to stop the traitor march.
It would not be until the first traitor Astartes walked upon the steps of the Cathedral Entrance did Baus spring his trap. Isran's hubris and desire to personally be the first to enter the Cathedral had left the bulk of his traitor Astartes in and around the Cathedral's Courtyard. Just as Isran opened the Cathedral door did the melta charges detonate. The resulting controlled demolition of the front face of the Cathedral, as well as two nearby towers, caused Isran's forces to be buried in rubble. The demolition also revealed the conceal ambush positions of his entire company task force and IG veteran support. Reeling from the losses caused by the collapsed structures on his forces and paralyzed as they attempted to dig themselves out, The Word Bearers were cut down as the defenders assaulted the ruined courtyard. Apostle's Isran's was killed by Praetorian Sgt Armstron and the traitor's head was placed as a trophy at the base of the (still intact) Ivory statue of the Emperor Resplendant. Without the leadership of their Apostle and most of his Astartes dead, the remaining cultists were routed from the planet over the course of the next three weeks.
Addendum: The Ministorium lodged a complaint to the Sector Governor in the aftermath of this campaign, citing extensive damage to the face and support buildings of the Columbia Cathedral. While the main building was still structurally intact, and all its internal assets in good condition (minus being caked in dust), the Archcardinal was incensed about the "Blantant defacement of His Most Holiness of houses. Captain's Baus's reportedly dismissed the Archcardinal's complaint as "irrelevant"
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Following in the example of the Ultramarines, The Black Eagles Gene-seed remains pure with no mutations or abnormalities.
The Black Eagles do not appear to have a set battle cry. Each Battalion has its own greeting and each Company has its own motto instead.
Edited by blackoption, 24 March 2013 - 05:13 PM.