Author's Note: This entry provides the in-universe understanding of the Inferno Wardens Chapter and how to play them on the tabletop. A subsequent entry will provide a real (omniscient) understanding of the chapter. My initial topic on this chapter can be found here. I must begin with a big "thank you" to Greyall for providing me the initial motivation to create this new chapter.
To: ++ Inquisition Clearance Insufficient ++
From: ++ Inquisition Clearance Insufficient ++
Subject: Adeptus Astartes, Inferno Wardens Chapter
Thought for the day: Pray for the future to vindicate your actions.
Honoured Lord, I have concluded my researches into the Inferno Wardens chapter of the Adeptus Astartes as you ordered. As you know, the records of the chapter are scant and appear to be heavily guarded. It has taken me over four years to gain access to the limited information available on the chapter within the archives of the ++ Inquisition Clearance Insufficient ++.
As you know, the Inferno Wardens disappeared from Imperial records in the eighth century of M35. Subsequent investigation found that Bastion Secundus had been utterly destroyed. The fate of the chapter remains a mystery. Some say that the chapter never returned from a crusade into the Inferno Reach, others that it suffered from the malign influence of the Warp and was wiped out by a combined force of the Inquisition and the Doom Eagles Chapter (though the Doom Eagles have denied ever taking part in such an action). The last known member of the chapter was Brother Bărbat who was serving within the Ordo Xenos Deathwatch. Brother Bărbat was requested by name for a secret mission by an unidentified Inquisitor who was not of the Ordo Xenos. The mission was never described to the watch commander and Brother Bărbat never returned to the Deathwatch upon completion of the mission.
The following information was provided in an M35 version of the Index Astartes.
I remain your humble servant
Since the founding of their chapter, the Space Marines of the Inferno Wardens have stood a lonely vigil upon the borders of the Inferno Reach, defending the region from the predations of those within the warp anomaly. Though they have achieved numerous victories in battle against pirates and renegades, as well as several alien races, their singular focus has left this honorable and aloof chapter relatively unsung and underappreciated compared to the better known chapters. Not concerned with recognition and honors, though, the Inferno Wardens pursue their mission with masterful dedication, living up to the highest ideals of the Emperor’s Angels of Death.
The Inferno Wardens chapter is thought to have been created during the 8th Founding in M34. It was immediately granted the homeworld of Bastion Secundus and was assigned the mission of guarding the region around the Inferno Reach. The chapter is known to have launched at least three crusades into the Inferno Reach, the second of which, the Viteazul CrusadeI in early M35, resulted in the extermination of a major renegade pirate band, but at the cost of one strike cruiser and over two hundred battle-brothers killed with an unknown number wounded.
The livery of the Inferno Wardens is a light blue body; dark metallic shoulders, arms, and legs; and silver helmet and decorations. The chapter badge incorporates a stylized blue cross of a distinctive pre-Great Crusade design upon a silver shield. Standard company and squad affiliation is indicated on the kneepads, with only the captains and senior officers within a company bearing the company insignia (typically a single vertical bar in the company color prescribed in the Codex Astartes). The battle-brothers of the chapter typically decorate their armor with finely scripted writing.
Some members of the chapter appear to personalize the chapter badge with a pair of horizontal bars above and below the main intersection of the cross, though this does not appear to be universal and the significance of these bars is unknown.
Upon their creation, the Inferno Wardens were granted the pre-industrial world of Bastion as a base of operations. Bastion is located on the periphery of the Inferno Reach and provides an ideal staging point for the chapter’s mission. The human population of Bastion is descended from settlers that originally found the planet during the Dark Age of Technology, but the people had devolved into a pre-industrial state as a result of the Age of Strife. Organized into warring nomadic tribes, the population provides a strong recruiting base for the Inferno Wardens.
The chapter follows the teachings of the Codex Astartes, retaining flexibility in tactical doctrine. The chapter appears to favor rapidly closing with the enemy and engaging in close assault when possible, taking advantage of intelligence gained through reconnaissance in order to target the most vulnerable and valuable of enemy targets in crippling attacks.
The Inferno Wardens employ considerable reconnaissance assets in their mission to control the Inferno Reach. These assets range from a large fleet of small vessels down to employing many squads and individuals in scouting roles. This focus has led to the unusual usage of full battle-brothers and even veterans in the scouting role normally reserved to neophytes.
The Inferno Wardens chapter is organized in accordance with the dictates of the Codex Astartes, with companies 2 through 10 following the standard pattern. It is only within the 1st Company that some variation is seen. While composed of the normal complement of veterans that might be found in other chapters, the Inferno Wardens 1st Company also includes several special formations. Two of these appear to be specially trained versions of normal squads – scouts and devastators. The third is a formation that appears to be unique to the Inferno Wardens.
Where most chapters restrict the more lightly armed and armored scouting role to neophytes under the supervision of an experienced battle-brother, the Inferno Wardens also employ complete squads of full battle-brothers in this role, employing the more experienced scouts and their mastery of a broader range of weapons in direct action against enemy forces as special Blade Guard1 squads.
Similarly, heavy weapons specialists form small elite squads where manpower is at a premium. Formed from the most experienced members of Devastator squads, these Bane Guard2 squads take advantage of their experience in maximizing their heavy firepower and are able to engage multiple targets at once.
The Vigil squads3 are a formation unique to the Inferno Wardens. In many ways, these squads resemble the tactical squads of other chapters, but they are equipped for and favor close assault and tend to lack heavy weapons. These squads are distinguished by their dark helmets and are always accompanied by a Seeker and his hunting tiger4.
The aforementioned Seekers5 are a specialist order within the chapter. Each of these warriors is a highly experienced veteran. More importantly, each shares a symbiotic bond with a degga hunting tiger. The source of the symbiotic bond appears to be a combination of the chapter’s mutation in the mucranoid organ and an omicron level psychic power that is found in less than 2% of battle-brothers within the chapter. A Seeker will bond with only one of the hunting tigers during his life, understanding and being understood by his bonded tiger at a telepathic level. Should the battle-brother be killed, the bonded tiger will be euthanized as a mercy. If a Seeker’s hunting tiger is killed, the Seeker will have to undergo extensive psycho-conditioning in order to return him to full battle effectiveness.
Seekers have been known to operate in a variety of ways. They are most often seen leading the Vigil squads, but have also been known to operate independently. The most experienced of Seekers have been observed as advisors and lieutenants to the company captains, apparently serving as bodyguards to these leaders.
The Inferno Wardens have developed into a chapter with a monastic nature. Believing that a deep understanding is necessary in order to effectively defeat their adversaries, the battle-brothers of the chapter emphasize reconnaissance and scholarly study.
The Codex Astartes is looked upon as holy writ, but it is considered a work whose true teachings are deeper than a simple surface interpretation. The battle-brothers spend much time in contemplation of the Codex Astartes, studying the examples contained within its pages as well as battles over the millennia and how the concepts espoused within the Codex Astartes were applied (or not) by the participants in those battles. The Codex Astartes is not looked upon as a rigid and prescriptive doctrine, but as a work that compels innovation and tempo. Battle-brothers will be questioned on specific tactics covered within the Codex Astartes, required to recite the teachings of the Codex and then to describe applications of those teachings. Advancement within the chapter includes an emphasis on a battle-brother's demonstrated understanding of these tactics and employment of capabilities as well as the ability to both describe actual applications as well as to apply them in training rites.
Battle-brothers often swear oaths before battles and affix these oaths to their armor via wax seals. Senior members of the Inferno Wardens often augment their armor with chained books and scrolls. Those among the most senior ranks of the chapter appear to bear wards upon their armor, presumably written by the battle-psykers within the chapter’s extensive librarius.
The Inferno Wardens are thought to be descended from the gene-seed of the Ultramarines Legion, though the exact parent chapter is unknown.
The Inferno Wardens’ proximity to, and frequent operations into, the warp storm known as the Inferno Reach exposes the battle-brothers of the chapter to the unnatural energies of the Warp. The apothecaries and librarians of the chapter are especially vigilant about screening battle-brothers for signs of corrupting influence. The chapter's gene-seed appears to be relatively stable with all organs functioning fully, though a minor mutation in the mucranoid organ has been found. This mutation results in the the production of a unique pheromone in the eccrine glands. This mutation has been determined to be harmless, having no negative effect on the battle-brothers of the chapter; and the mutation is thought to be one of the main contributors to the ability of the Seekers to bond with their hunting tigers.
It is common practice for the members of the chapter to march into combat chanting the litanies of their warrior cult, the chaplains leading the chants with the battle-brothers responding.
+++ ADDENDUM +++
I The Viteazul Crusade was named for its leader, Inferno Wardens Captain Simion Viteazul. My researches lead me to conclude that he was the most well-respected and well known of the chapter's members throughout the chapter's history. He was said to have been immensely strong, even for the Adeptus Astartes; and he was known to have wielded a massive sword of unknown provenance into combat. Observations of Captain Viteazul from Imperial Guard regiments that fought alongside the Inferno Wardens during the Maeris Expedition remarked on his war-scarred visage and physically imposing presence. Major Thakin of the Brunekuun Vth Regiment remarked on the great battle tiger that often accompanied one of Captain Viteazul’s lieutenants to councils of war, a practice that appeared to cause no small bit of consternation among those not of the Adeptus Astartes within the councils, but which none dared voice to the Inferno Wardens. He is reported to have died in the final great battle of the crusade that bore his name.
The standard elements of the Inferno Wardens chapter are represented on the tabletop as an army/detachment from Codex: Space Marines using the Ultramarines chapter tactics. The unique elements of the chapter may be taken as an allied detachment from Codex: Space Wolves.
1 The Blade Guard squads are represented on the tabletop by Space Wolf Scout squads.
2 The Bane Guard squads are represented on the tabletop by Space Wolf Long Fang squads.
3 The Vigil squads are represented on the tabletop by Space Wolf Grey Hunter squads.
4 The degga hunting tigers are represented on the tabletop by Space Wolf Fenrisian Wolves. They are only taken as upgrades to Wolf Guard (Seekers) and never as Thunderwolf Cavalry. The hunting tigers of the chapter resemble smilodons, but have darker (brown and black) fur patterns more closely resembling racoons (they are nocturnal hunters from a temperate forest environment). Their large canines are not nearly as large as the saber-toothed cat, not extending below the bottom of the jaw line.
5 The Seekers are represented on the tabletop by Space Wolf Wolf Guard. They are always taken as individuals and are either joined to a Space Wolf Grey Hunters squad (Vigil squads) or as Wolf Guard Battle Leaders (lieutenants/bodyguards). A Captain may also be a Seeker, in which case he will be represented on the tabletop by a Wolf Lord. All Seeker models must have the Mark of the Wulfen.
Edited by Brule the Spear-Slayer, 14 September 2013 - 11:50 PM.