But before I get into the IA information I want to give some background. It might help you understand where I'm coming from and where I'm trying to go with this. When I first got back into 40k like 5-6 years ago I unpacked my stuff and sold my other three armies (CSM, 'nids and eldar) and decided to revamp my marines. I had been running them as psuedo-Silver Skulls previously. Never to seriously, but that was the closest thing to a chapter they were. I decided to try them as Dark Angel successors, since at that time I knew the most about DA and they had the coolest bits (was never really a Templar fan, since I love Librarians). Over time I learned about the Deathwatch and decided to integrate them into my army. Eventually I grew tired of my Aesir Knights theme and began to do a full-on Deathwatch crusade. But I wasn't really happy just doing a crusade, I wanted them to be my chapter... to be my story. So the Ka-tet of the Ebon Dawn was born. I still use the fluff for the Aesir Knights, but they've been virtually wiped out and the few survivors have taken on permanent Deathwatch positions.
The name of my chapter. Heavily influenced by the works of Stephen King's series, The Dark Tower. The definition of Ka-tet is: A group of travelers bound by fate. Very fitting for space marines if you ask me. Ebon Dawn has a two-fold meaning. First is they are warriors of the White (good)(Dawn) in black armor (Ebon). Second is the darkness before the dawn, their arrival is the dawn.
Successor chapter of the Blood Angels
22nd Founding 500.M36
The Age of Apostasy had left the Imperium in turmoil once more. In response to the events caused by Vandire the 22nd founding is established, creating more Adeptus Astartes to prevent such an incident from occurring again.
One of these chapters was the The Ebon Dawn. The Blood Angels sent forth a promising captain by the name of Eld along with his personal honor guard to establish the new chapter. With a fresh wave of Astartes ready for battle-testing Eld was given command of the battle barge Starfury. It would be some time before this young Chapter would truly be up to combat strength.
The Chapter would establish itself on the world of Connothos, in the Aesirian system.
Two brothers sat together looking into the distant sky.
'I'm sorry there is nothing more I can do,' said the first.
'You risk to much already,' said the other.
'Your brothers will survive,' said the first.
'But never knowing,' said the other.
'A time will come when the darkest shadow is burnt asunder letting the welcome light back into the world,' said the first.
= = = Inquisitional Report : Ordo Malleus Inquisitor Lord Andrasste : 999.M41 = = =
Subject: The Ebon Dawn
Records indicate that by the time the Sixth Black Crusade took place the chapter known as The Ebon Dawn was at full strength. Unfortunately the events of this Crusade have been lost to time. Accessing the record archives of the Ka-tet illuminates some of the unknown.
The overall purpose and events of the Sixth Black Crusade remain in shadow. But during this time the Ka-tet received a distress call from an farming world designate TDT-19. Current data shows this world a barren wasteland, absolutely devoid of all life.
As the Ka-tet prepared their ships to intervene on TDT-19 more distress calls came in. Hundreds, then thousands. Something most dire was going on and haste was needed. The Chapter Master, Rafferty, sent all companies ready for action directly to TDT-19, seven in total. The remaining three would follow shortly to support if needed.
As the ships of the Ka-tet drew close communications were opened with TDT-19. The channels were empty. Scans of the planet indicated that much of the landscape was scorched, and there hardy remained enough life signs to suggest this was a farming world.
The final records that could be retrieved from the initial contact with TDT-19 indicate that Rafferty ordered his men planet-side to investigate the distress calls.
As hours turned to days without contact from Rafferty or his fleets the three remaining captains ordered their fleets to reinforce their Chapter Master. As they drew close one of the touched Seekers, Wayland, rushed to Gideon and warned him that something was wrong. The fleets slowed their approach to find much of the initial fleet floating in space as burnt wreckage. Scans of the wreckage were able to identify several ships that were part of Rafferty's fleet, but just as many ships were missing entirely.
As the three fleets approached the planet to seek more signs of their brethren they began to receive messages from the surface. Little more then static noise at first, upon recorded review several images and words were picked out: Several Astartes fighting something, the static noise masking its identity. Bolter ammo running out and the Astartes resorting to their chain-weapons. Muddled words.. 'Come' ... more muddled words .. 'Save' .. a few more .. 'Damnation'. Then silence.
Scans of the planet revealed the presence of the seven companies, but not their status. Vox channels could not be linked nor any signals successfully teleported directly aboard. Before consulting with the other two captains Gideon met with Myrddin, the most sensitive and talented of the Librarian consul. Myrddin attempted to reach to the minds of his brothers below, but something was blocking him. In his mind he felt a presence most foul, an ancient entity that merely laughed at his presence. He felt only one truth to pass on... they were to late.
Gideon met with the other two captains and the matter was discussed. TDT-19 was lost. Any hope of escape was denied to the seven companies below. Whatever had happened below could not be allowed to escape and wreck such havok further into the Imperium. It was argued that perhaps some brethren yet lived on the surface. If so they had to be rescued. But if seven companies could not overcome the odds what would sending a mere three more accomplish? It was decided.
Exterminatus. The only way to be sure that whatever evil lingered on TDT-19 would be wiped out.
As the massive planetary weapons were brought to bear on TDT-19 prayers were said for the brothers below. As the bombardment tore apart the planet a cackle was heard, felt by all.
The three fleets returned to Connothos to determine their future. Their best and brightest had been wiped out. The leadership of the Chapter was all but gone. It was agreed that the captain of the eighth, Gideon, would become the new chapter master.
Gideon, along with the two remaining captains, met with the command of the Blood Angels to brief them on the events. It was agreed that the proper choice, the only option, was the best action to take. However this did not relieve them of the responsibility of killing their own brothers and losing over 70% of the chapter. For this the remainder of the chapter would follow a Penitent Crusade.
A new xenos threat had been located and the Deathwatch had been contacting chapters seeking assistance. It was decided that The Ebon Dawn would offer themselves, in whole, to the Deathwatch to combat this threat. The chapter would remain on their Crusade until this threat was fully eliminated. For the seven companies lost they were forbidden from replacing them. They were to follow through with the three companies they had, allowed to replace the fallen of those but no more.
The Ebon Dawn remains at the strength of three companies. In their service to the Deathwatch the chapter has taken in many strays, Astartes whose chapters have been lost and yet they live. The chapter does this willingly as it allows them to bolster their ranks without violating the provisions of their crusade.
As fortune provides it would seem that some among The Ebon Dawn possess a talent most useful in combating the xenos threat. The xenos are known to employ cloaking technology, advanced enough to be used on large craft as well as personal body armor. The Seekers, as they are called, among the chapter can sense them regardless of their visibility. They say they can feel the 'wrongness' in the air. This talent has allowed them to avoid many ambushes and turn the tables on the xenos.
Within the Aesirian system are three habitable worlds: Connothos, Aesir and Volar. Each plays a vital role in the survival of the Ka-tet, as such the chapter takes any threat to them very seriously.
Connothos is not truly a planet. Its a Dyson Sphere. The sun that powers it is much smaller then Hel, though the result is still the largest habitable celestial body in the system. It is unknown who or when the sphere was created, or where it originated from. It is known that the sphere wasn't always in this system and has abilities to move to compensate for the drift of its own star and to move as a whole. The outer layer of the planet has been constructed to appear as a typical planet, and to the naked eye, even from space, it would appear as nothing unusual. Sensor readings of the planet however reveal an entirely different story.
The surface of the sphere is nearly entirely land, with localized bodies of water. The sphere itself has an atmospheric control system, creating rain, managing clouds, as well as seasonal drift. While the surface can experience weather events such as tornadoes and hurricanes, events such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunami are completely unknown. The ignorant would think Connothos little different from Terra herself.
However there are several Imperial outposts that study the sphere, in secret from the common population. These outposts have been built upon the few openings to beneath the surface that have been found, securing them all from accidental discovery. The Sanctuary of the Ka-tet, Astrum Domus, itself is built upon one of these openings. Progress within the sphere is slow as none wish to disturb the delicate balance between the sphere and the star it surrounds.
The nature of Connothos would make one think its not truly an ideal recruiting world for Astartes. However the populace of the world must constantly contend with large, winged lizards and other fel creatures. Their homes could be attacked at any time and readiness is in demand. Every two years The Great Challenge is called and all promising boys are called to test themselves for the warriors in dread plate. It is then that The Ebon Dawn seeks out those to induct into the chapter.
An unusual property of the initiates from Connothos is that once inducted into The Ebon Dawn and becoming full fledged Astartes, an above average number develop latent psyker abilities. This is credited with the geneseed of Sanguinius, that the combination of their native environment and the process of becoming an Astartes awakens something within them. While not powerful enough to be considered true Librarians these Astartes are referred to as the Seekers. Among their various talents the most common is the ability to sense 'wrongness' as they put it. While they can't determine the exact place, time or manner the closer they get to it the stronger the feeling. Most commonly employed this ability can prevent ambushes and deception.
Individual Seekers can be found peppered among the squads of The Ebon Dawn. When not in the field they are under the watch of the Librarium, as would any Librarian be. It is perhaps due to the existence of the Seekers that The Ebon Dawn has been able to survive its Crusade as long as it has. Without their abilities the Chapter would surely have met its end by now.
Astrum Domus and Caelo Domum
Like all things Astrum Domus is not the sole refuge of The Ebon Dawn. In truth it serves as sanctuary for their neophytes and the maintenance facilities. The active Ebon Dawn companies are stationed on a space station Caelo Domum. From here individual squads to an entire company can be deployed to any given combat theater.
The station was discovered in orbit of Connothos. There was no life to be found aboard and the files had been scrubbed. But there was no doubt that it was once Imperial, as the armories were stocked to supply Astartes as well as Guardsmen. It is believed to a lost relic of the Great Crusade. The puzzling part of the discovery however was that no insignia was cast upon the armor or designation of unit upon any of the vehicles.
Aesir, former homeworld of the Aesir Knights, is a relatively primitive world. Its primary purpose being an agricultural supply world for the chapter, and the Imperium. While Connothos remains the The Ebon Dawn's primary recruiting world they do keep an eye open for exceptional prospects on Aesir as well.
Volar is the furthest planet from the system's sun, Hel. The distance from the sun has limited the worlds vegetative growth, which in turn limits the wildlife. Only the best of nature's creations survive long on this world, able to challenge apex predators of most other worlds. The raw materials found available on Volar however are considerable. Most notable of these materials is the metal known as Crynosath.
Having a strength similar to admantite it has a unique property in that once its been refined and worked, its final shape is permanent. No method has been found that would allow damaged crynosath items to be mended or reworked. Something in the refining process is lost when the metal is worked and when it cools it simply refuses to take another shape. The advantage to crynosath is that it is nearly impossible to break and weapons formed from it retain their edge nearly indefinitely and disperse the heat of munitions fire extremely effectively. For this reason it is as common to see traditional looking weapons in the hands of Ebon Dawn Astartes as chain weaponry. Items crafted from crynosath have a dark purple to black hue.
Having no worries of other settlers Volar was turned into a Forgeworld, managed by a small company called House Geowroth. Due to the proximity of the chapter when the forgeworld is in need the Astartes are quick to react. In exchange for this House Geowroth assures the chapter's martial needs are well taken care of.
Cyth Technology: House Geowroth typically follows tradition and builds according to STC. However they do have their own research and development style department that is allowed more liberal allowances. This practice has not found the House favor and should they ever lose the protection of The Ebon Dawn it is likely another forgeworld would assault them and take over operations.
Many of these items are field tested by The Ebon Dawn themselves, or by the militia of Connothos in defense against the draconian beasts. The most successful project to date are the Cyth-class Hoverbikes. While not nearly as potent as the Jetbikes of old, they do allow riders to hover slightly above the ground as well as watery surfaces.
Once a true Codex chapter The Ebon Dawn favored balance in their methods. But time has moved on for the chapter. Now they favor speed. The belief that a swift, precise strike is greater then brute strength is the favored tactic. While the chapter does not lack the heavy ordnance that other chapters possess, such is only called in with a protracted siege is expected. Under typical conditions The Ebon Dawn will deploy via Stormravens, Stormdragons and Drop Pods directly into the heart of the enemy. Sever the head and the beast shall die.
The Ebon Dawn has a structure unlike other chapters, due to the Pentinent Crusade they are on. They are limited to three companies, instead of the standard ten. In addition of the three companies only two are ever active, the First and Second. The lessons of TDT-19 have been harsh, and one was that The Ebon Dawn should never put all its best in one spot at one time. So while the Third company is where the initiates of the chapter spend their time while they are being trained into full-fledged Astartes, it is also where the Veterans await the call. The marines of the Third company are truly support for the first two, moving to where the need is the greatest. Unless there is a direct order from the Chapter Master of The Ebon Dawn or the Blood Angels all company captains are commanded to never allow the entire chapter to be in one theater of combat at one time.
The Ebon Dawn has no Vanguard Veterans. Those assault marines who excel become Strega (Sanguinary Guard) as spots open, although this is quite rare. The veterans of the chapter typically take up the arms of the Deathwatch (ie Sternguard) within the Third company.
The God-Emperor is supreme, with Sanguinius a close second. The Ebon Dawn knows that He is not truly a god, but not knowing any gods personally they consider Him the closest thing there is that matters.
The Ebon Dawn geneseed is from Blood Angels stock, from the winged angel Sanguinius. As such their average life-span, barring combat death, is longer then that of their fellow Astartes. They also possess slight fangs and their fingers are stronger, and possess more claw-like nails.
The Black Rage
Astartes of The Ebon Dawn are not immune to the Black Rage. However the Apothecarion treat those affected differently then their parent chapter. Instead of locking them away or sending them into combat as a mass horde individuals who succumb to the Rage are dealt with in one of two methods. If they were truly worthy they might be placed in statis until a time of great need, and then placed within a Dreadnought to become a truly unstoppable engine of destruction. The other option, and far more common approach, is the Apothecarion seek to cure the Rage. Each lost Astartes is without measure, especially for The Ebon Dawn. Combat involving the winged beasts of Connothos is common, seeking to find focus in combat to unleash their rage. No method has brought any success however.
Though rare there have been a few recorded extended conflicts where several Brothers of The Ebon Dawn 'Moved On' due to the Rage. Needing all Brothers possible the battle command in this case will form a Death Company in accordance with Blood Angels tradition. This arrangement is frowned upon but sometimes, just sometimes, its the only response to a dire situation.
Hail Astartes, to War! To War!
The First Chapter Master, Eld Deschain
Eld was at one time a captain of the Sixth company of Blood Angels. When the High Lords commanded a new chapter to be formed he was chosen to lead the successor chapter. His personal honor guard as well as several squads volunteered to serve him in this honor. Settling on Connothos the chapter was able to establish itself well, thanks to the proximity of the forgeworld. Eld made sure to quickly form ties with House Geowroth for their mutual benefit.
Eld would have made a fine Iron Hands Astartes as he did Blood Angels. His talent for weaponry was second-to-none within The Ebon Dawn. It was his hand that restored the Felblade now known as the Presidio of Eld, once it had been recovered and purified. It was his designs that brought to life the Knights the Eld, Scout-class Dreadnought titans. The basic technology of the Knights is simply an enlarged Dreadnought suit, capable of withstanding far stronger assaults and wielding truly devastating weapons. Only two of the Knights still survive to this day and their use is highly monitored. These three chapter relics are the most sacred within The Ebon Dawn and should any fall in combat their recovery becomes the only focus of the chapter.
Though these three relics were not Eld's only creations. His work can be found scattered among the chapter. It is considered the greatest honor in the chapter to wield a weapon that Eld once worked upon, or to wear armor or a shield that his hand had polished.
The fall of Eld. After serving as the Chapter Master for three centuries Eld personally led an assault against a traitorous Imperial Guard regiment stationed at Lud. The planetary governor had succumbed to the whispers of Slaanesh and through him spread the influence of Chaos across the entire planet. First contact with the traitorous Guard went as expected as Eld and his men advanced towards the capital building, leaving only corpses in their wake to serve as a warning for others. Guarding the governor's residence were two corrupted Warhound titans, in response Eld sent forth two of his own Knights. While the giants fought Eld and his men assaulted the building. Within moments the entire area was incinerated by means unknown. No bodies of friend nor foe were recovered. Speculation is that one of the Knights struck the weakened armour of one of the Warhounds and damaged its reactor, causing it to explode violently. However very little debris remained to confirm or deny this theory.
Truly the chapter revers Eld, only putting Sanguinius and the Emperor before him.
The White, The Grey, The Black.
= = = Inquisitional Report : Ordo Malleus Inquisitor Lord Andrasste : 999.M41 = = =
Subject: Eld Deschain, the first Chapter Master of The Ebon Dawn
Upon further research no record of an acolyte by the name of Eld can be found in the records of the Blood Angels. His place among the chapter starts as an aspiring Sergeant, no earlier mention is even hinted at. No indication of missing or altered records. Perhaps a records oversight, or he began his Astartes life in another successor chapter and their failure resulted in him being absorbed by the Blood Angels. All those that joined him in the creation of The Ebon Dawn are readily accounted for.
Searching through the records of the Apothecarion I find no mention of injury or threatening ailment, even for an Astartes that is incredible considering the dangers they face. However reports to Eld from the Apothecarion on the status of Battle-Brothers do exist, so his existence is not entirely neglected.
I'm finding his personal record files encrypted, more so then other records.
My man at the door to the records chamber tells me that a Librarian and two armed Astartes approach. Turning to face them the inquisitor stands from his chair.
'We must ask you to come with us,' the Librarian commands. All three are wearing their helmets, the flanking Astartes armed with Cyth-19 Boltguns.
'What is the meaning of this,' the inquisitor demanded.
Silence. The three stood adamant. Over the vox channel the inquisitor was made aware that his crew at his ship had been detained, and the ship itself locked down.
'Who was Eld?', he knew this had to do with him. That was the only connection. The chapter cared not at his other research, but this drew their attention.
'Eld Deschain, son of Roland, son of Stephen,' replied the Librarian. How odd, Astartes normally forsake family ties upon joining a chapter. 'Eld is the White among the Grey, among the Black.'
'Why are his records hidden?' asking, hopeful, though fully expecting no answer.
'Records can not exist for that which was not recorded,' another cryptic reply from the Librarian. The inquisitor knew now he would get no further answers and a more secure investigation was warranted, one himself could not shield from the Astartes alone. He began to make to leave the records chamber, the flanking Astartes raised their weapons, arming them, ready to strike him down.
'Kill me and the Ordos will be alerted. Your secrets will be forced to light by my hand or another,' he said.
'You shall not die,' said the Librarian, 'You shall serve.'
Behind these three another Astartes approached, this one wearing red and bearing an icon of the Adeptus Mechanicus.
'You will stand aside and let me pass,' the inquisitor demanded, as he drew a bolt pistol and took aim at the Librarian. As quick as thought the Librarian drew his blade and cut down upon his arm, severing it just past the elbow, the energy of the weapon cauterizing the wound as the limb is removed. Dropping to a knee the inquisitor could only hold his injured stump and keep a helpless eye on the Astartes before him.
'You have your orders,' the Librarian said to the Techmarine. He nodded and moved to the console the inquisitor was using. First things first, he deleted all search records, as well as all usage records relating to the inquisitor. The inquisitor then realized his fate. They truly had no intentions of killing him. No, he would not accept this fate. If his death was the only way to alert the rest of the Inquisition then so be it. He lunged for his severed hand, to pry the bolt pistol from it. To slow. As his remaining hand made for the weapon the Librarian was upon him and removed that option as well. One severed hand lay on the ground next to the other. The implants eased the pain, but not the fear.
The Techmarine looked to the Librarian, 'Good thing he doesn't need his hands for the transformation,' to no response, at least not one the inquisitor could see or hear. The Techmarine grabbed him by his back collar and began to drag him out of the records chamber.
'You and your crew shall make excellent servitors.'
Sacred Brother Memnon, the Immortal
Counts as Mephiston
Memnon began his days within The Ebon Dawn as a Seeker. The talent to sense that which wasn't right was very strong in him. Perfect night vision, selective hearing that would rival a Space Wolf, a sense of smell so keen such as the finest serpents or great cats. He was truly an apex Astartes, one of the finest of The Ebon Dawn. The Librarium sought to refine his talents and bring forth his latent abilities. They would never get the chance.
It was against the horde of Warboss Big'emSmasha that Memnon fell. A Deff Dread tore into his squad, leaving the rest of his men dead and him clinging to life. The battle was won, but the war with the ork horde was far from over. His body broken but recovered the Apothecarion could do nothing for him more then preserve his mind and place him within the Sarcophagus of a Dreadnought.
As a Dreadnought Memnon returned to the fight. He swore vengeance on the Warboss. Weeks turned to months, turned to years, as the war raged on. Memnon always at the forefront of the battle, seeking out the Nobs of the horde to draw forth Big'emSmasha. Eventually the final conflict between the Astartes and the Warboss came.
Forces clashed and many legends could have been born that day. But none would be remembered for the course of one event instead played out greater then any other. The Warboss surged forward and Memnon spotted him and charged towards him. The Nobs guarding the Warboss crashed upon his armor, as water would upon a concrete wall. But even water will eventually wear away the greatest resistance and one of the Nobs managed to damage the dreadnought before being crushed himself. When it was finally down to the Warboss against Memnon, the Warboss saw this fault in the armour and exploited it.
Systems failed and the dreadnought slowed. Anger grew in Memnon. He saw the Betrayer strike him down. He saw the father confront his son. He could not allow the father to fall. His mind took the growing rage and focused it.
The sarcophagus opened, causing the warboss to pause a moment as this was not something he had seen before. Inside the broken body of Memnon stared at him. The Ork then thought to take the dreadnought for himself, to be used to make himself all the more powerful, perhaps the most powerful Warboss ever.
Before he could however Memnon's body tore free from the dreadnought and rose into the air, carried aloft by crimson wings. His glowing eyes bore down upon the Warboss. Pieces of the dreadnought tore free, as did armor from nearby fallen brothers. All gathered around Memnon and formed around him, piecing together a suit for a broken Astartes. In his hand he felt a plasma pistol that had once belonged to a brother. A single shot bore through the head of the Warboss. Felt an eternity, but mere seconds had passed.
The remaining Orks fled the risen Astartes. Those whose nerves had held or were simply to slow quickly fell before him. The day was won.
To this day Memnon remains locked in his armor. He has refused all attempts by the Apothecarion to tend to his body within. He is closely monitored by the Chapter's Chaplains.
Fafnir, the Bad Wolf
Counts as Seth
An Ebon Dawn Sanguinary Guard 'Strega'
Artwork by Blazbaros
Edited by Rindaris, 21 August 2012 - 02:18 PM.