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At the beginning of M33 after the 3rd Black Crusade of Abaddon the High Lords of Terra decreed another founding in order to bolster the Imperium’s defenses from such tragedies. This founding was to be known as the 7th founding. Among the many chapters to be born during such a period of conflict, the Aurochs Chapter was established from the noble Gene-seed of the Ultramarines to defend the northern region of the Ultima Segmentum from any future advances of Chaos from the Eye of Terror. Captain Eos of the White Consuls was given the honor to lead the Chapter to greatness and sought out a world that would be suitable for recruitment. He was given Achaea by the High Lords of Terra, which had only recently been brought into the Imperial fold after millennia of war and isolation. The planet had devolved into a feral society during the Age of Strife with little in the way of technology, warriors fighting with swords and shields.
First Chapter Master Eos named his newly founded chapter after the aggressive and dangerous auroch that roams the islands of Achaea. Eos was impressed by the ferocity of its attacks which are unparalleled in violence and intensity among any creature of Achaea. The animal is respected by the citizens of Achaea as both a source of food and a creature of sport. A male auroch is a fierce beast whose razor tusks and sharp horns can easily kill a man.
Leaders of Achaea:
Viewing the world from orbit reveals a world covered by water dotted with clusters of mountainous islands. The climate is varied, cold at the poles and warm around the equator. These islands are home to city-states that constantly fight each other for resources. The city states are advanced enough to have metal making skills and use weapons like swords and shields. The constant struggle to survive was an ideal composition from which to recruit as Achaeans are devoted and skilled warriors who hone their skills from an early age.
The Aurochs, upon claiming the world as their own, went about shaping the world to their needs. A strong belief in the Emperor and the Imperium was instituted. The wars that raged constantly were seen as favorable to the Aurochs and slowly the chapter started to meddle in the affairs of its people. The Aurochs spread various small fortress-chapels scattered among the islands to interact with local Achaeans. They are centered among the largest cities and Achaeans from all the islands were brought to the chapels for recruiting. A large network of government is run from these chapels that work in the everyday lives of the people. Chapter serfs and personal equerries of the highest commanders run this civilian government for the chapter with input from retired and heavily wounded veterans of the chapter.
The Aurochs Chapter has not allowed the population to advance technically from their warrior roots, as they cultivate the rich warrior traditions that have been a part of the culture for millennia. Achaeans look up to the Aurochs as near gods, with their advanced technology and ability to fly among the stars. The chapter looks to encourage this view at all times. This level of control extends from the dark period of the chapters early years, when it was essential that the chapter intervene in the lives of its citizens. It was during this time that an unspeakable betrayal was made that has shaped the chapter to what it is today.
Trial of Purity:
During this time the Aurochs followed their leaders unquestioningly. This was seen as an admirable trait by most Astartes as orders were followed unflinchingly and in the heat of battle their great leaders were able to turn the pitch of battle in their favor with daring commands. One of the first recruiting classes had a remarkable psyker by the name of Nesoi who went on to become a powerful Librarian in the chapter. Nesoi was one such leader and had led the Aurochs to victory in some of their most notable battles with the traitor legions often using his psychic powers to wipe whole squads from the battlefield. In the end that would be his undoing.
Nesoi fell to the false promises of Chaos and led many of his brothers into the traitorous legion of a powerful Sorcerer, who perverted his love for his dying brothers into accepting a pact to save them. It was the ultimate twist of irony that in order to save the brothers of his company he had to fall to Chaos. Not all of the Aurochs fell to his influence, a few squads led by Captain Comus managed to escape the fate of their brothers and report back to the Chapter. Nothing is known of what happened to Nesoi and his traitorous brothers.
Once Comus returned he reported to Chapter Master Eos the events that had unfolded. Eos went to his chambers to meditate and decide what to do with the survivors. Many days later he emerged and assembled the remaining Aurochs from that fateful mission.
The survivors were to go on a penitent crusade. They would die in the service to the Emperor or not return. Psykers would never be allowed in the chapter again and Chaplains were to be ever more vigilant to maintain the purity of mind required. He gave Chaplains ultimate authority to dispatch any hint of psychic taint associated with the warp. He decreed that the days of blind obedience were over and brothers must demand personal accountability from each other and watch over one another lest another incident occur.
Achaeans were to suffer the most. Eos decreed the “Trial of Purity” to root out any mutant traits in the population. Any detection was condemned to death. An emphasis was placed on lineage. If one family member was found with a mutant trait the entire family was executed to preserve only the most pure of heart and mind. Some Achaeans rebelled at this new law and the Aurochs crushed them, slaughtering them all in what is now know as the Massacre of Patras Square.
The New Order:
The Aurochs set up a system of government in which they were the unquestioned rulers. They expanded the chapels to serve as government centers for the people and set about culling the weak and tainted from the population. Thousands of Achaeans were removed from the cities and sent to farm the land. The reasons for this were twofold. First, the cities were seen as corrupt breeding grounds for mutants and had to be purified of the taint of mutation. Secondly, the Aurochs believed that a simple life of subsistence farming led to less temptation from the warp as most of the mutation seemed to center around large groups of people. Finally, Achaeans were to regularly send their children to be put through the “Trial of Purity” at the fortress-chapels to ensure that the family lineage is not corrupted in any way and will ensure the highest rate of success for future children to become recruits as the lineage will not be corrupted.
Among the many laws that were enacted in this period, the Aurochs sought to instill some order in the ways of war. The days of barbarism and self rule were over. Eos published many works during this time his grandest being the “Rule of War.” It was a simple tome outlining the many honorable and lawful ways to conduct war. It was one of the many layers of society that was essential to control to enact the will of the chapter on the people. The most important of these rules was the honor rule of Indentured Servitude. Prisoners of conflict were to be honor bound as slaves for twenty years, upon reaching twenty years honorable service they were to be freed and return to their homelands or could join their captors. In this way excessive conquest, such as beating and pillaging a whole people, would be avoided and not lead anyone down the path towards Chaos.
As the millennia since have worn on Eos has grown into a near god among the people, mentioned among many in the same breath as the Emperor. Like the Greek gods of yore he is both worshipped and reviled at the same time. He is recognized as the man who brought culture, order, and science to the people while at the same time demanding they adhere, on pain of death, to the strict edicts brought about by such change.
Islands in the Sky:
A ring of asteroids orbits the planet. Among the Achaeans these asteroids are known as the islands of the gods, for it is here that the Aurochs rule and govern this world as masters of Achaea. Only those deemed worthy enough by the Aurochs are allowed to work as servants and equerries on the largest asteroid, Propylaea. Known as the “Gateway to the Stars,” Propylaea is filled with miles of tunnels and large cavernous spaces that have been filled with ammunition depots, training spaces and many other operations that are essential to the chapter. The surface of the scarred asteroid is covered in gothic towers and defense batteries. Thousands of Achaeans call the fortress-monastery home as they serve as servants and serfs to maintain the day to day activities of the chapter keep. It is seen as the highest honor among Achaeans to be moved to service among the islands of the gods. It has served the chapter as a redoubt to launch their operations from for millennia.
Recruits are drawn from the population as the locals bring their most promising sons to the local fortress-chapels to be tested. Being accepted by the Aurochs is seen as the most glorious accomplishment a family can achieve as they will move on to the Realm of the Gods and live among the islands in the sky. Families gain status and prestige among the locals for having sons inducted into the recruiting class. The initiates go through many torturous and grueling tests, both of mind and body over many weeks. The final test a potential recruit has to pass is what is known as the “Tauromachia”, where he is put into a pit with a raging auroch armed only with a sword and spear. In order to move on to the next level of training he must kill the beast.
Organization: Codex Adherent
The Aurochs have a single minded purpose of total destruction of their enemies. Their basic combat doctrine is what some Astartes call the “Bulls Horns”, direct frontal advance drawing the enemy in and a quick flanking attack from both sides with their assault squads once the enemy has committed. Other Astartes question whether they would go to such lengths in their battle planning. Their stubbornness and willingness to commit their total resources to the task at hand has led some to question whether they disregard most tactics when in the heat of battle. Really they employ very simple tactics and tend to deviate from them rarely. They will often wade into battle with only this basic tactical planning, save to kill as many of the enemy as possible. They tend to let their brute strength and superior martial skills overwhelm the enemy with firepower and ferocity. They have a preference for infantry and heavy weapons. Assault squads tend to use two close combat weapons eschewing their bolt pistol. Even though they are rare, Land Raiders are most commonly used in combat operations because of their heavy armor and brutal weapons capacity.
The Aurochs chapter cult believes that the fate of mankind teeters on the edge of death and destruction and will stop at nothing to ensure mankind’s survival for another day. They believe as most Astartes do that the Emperor is a man who is to be honored and defended and fight to preserve the Emperor’s realm. The citizens of Achaea follow the chapter cult and they view the Aurochs as the Emperor’s will and revere their fighting prowess and martial skill. The chapter is viewed among their brother Astartes as pious and simpleminded, yet many respect the chapter for their direct approach and unwavering loyalty to each other and the Emperor.
The Aurochs despise all mutants and heretics and therefore have no librarians among their chapter. They believe like the Black Templars before them that the mutant trait of psykers brings anyone too close to the taint of the warp. They violently suppress any hint of psykers detected in their realm, only grudgingly using Astropaths and Navigators as they are a necessary evil that must be closely watched.
They are fanatical in their beliefs of brute force and martial skill over strategy and witchery. They seek out combat and are among the first into battle. Other chapters clash with the Aurochs because of their single-minded and crude combat tactics. Many vowed to never again fight alongside the chapter. Some Astartes may look down upon the chapter for their ways but they are well respected for their brutal efficiency and willingness to take on the most impossible of tasks.
The Aurochs believe so fanatically in martial skill that there is an emphasis on individual achievement, honor, and glory. The belief is that if every brother strives to be the best it will only enhance the effectiveness of the chapter in battle. Chaplains are the physical embodiment of this ideal and are the most fanatical and skilled of all brothers. Chaplains lead the chapter into battle with their combination of righteous zeal and unrivaled skill. This is shown upon their armor as each brother has personalized their armor with rites of battle, citations and honour badges earned in the fires of combat.
Gene-seed: Ultramarines Successor – White Consuls
Edited by Andrew J, 15 February 2012 - 07:29 PM.