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Sons of Andraste (Chapter)
The Sons of Andraste are a Chapter created in the 19th Founding. They are noted as brilliant marksmen with a preference for ambush and terror tactics, but also have a head-hunter culture that runs throughout the Chapters assault-oriented Marines. There are rumours the Chapter practices ritual sacrifice of captives, but these have never been substantiated.
Colours and Chapter Symbol
"Warriors! Brothers All! The hunt calls; will you answer?" Captain Cocidius, Lord Executioner at Jourgunan IX during Wraaagh! Greytoof
The Sons of Andraste are a Chapter founded in the M35. The Imperial records from which Chapter they descend from were lost, however they claim descent from Corax's Gene-Seed, specifically from the Raptors Chapter.
The Son's records date back to the 19th Founding which would be consistent with the reports that the Chapter took part in the conflicts involved in the Age of Apostasy. This is unconfirmed due to the loss of most records of the Chapters Founding by the Administratum, and there are many in the Ordo Scriptus and Ordo Astartes who believe they may be of a different Founding due to the scraps of information that are left. All that is known for certain is that they were Founded in the M35.
As the Founding is in debate, the exact reasoning for the creation of this Chapter is also up for speculation. The Chapter specialises in ambush and sabotage, and is renowned for the skill of their marksmen and savagery of their Assault Marines. They have a reputation for appearing without warning to the aid of Imperial outposts and settlements and disappearing after the threat has passed.
The Hallstatii are a divided people, living and fighting against the neighbouring tribes that make their homes in small hamlets and villages in the lowlands. These are dominated by the hill-forts that form the only real protection from the predations of neighboring tribes, as well as the megalithic monuments that are venerated feverently. Hallstate II is also home to a population of Ogryns, residing among the densest forests and occasionally used by the tribes as beasts of burden. Despite their reputation as barbarians, they have metallurgy and even possess a form of writing that resemble runes. The further North, the less civilized, with the isles to the far North being viewed as the land of vengeful spirits and ancestors by all from the main continents.
The constant fighting, hunter-gatherer lifestyle and ever-changing climate makes for great recruits into the Astartes. Ambush techniques against the giant herbivores and ferocious predators of these lands can be carried over into military planning and application. The tribal wars and battles over the hill-forts combine to guarantee that only the most adaptable survive on this planet.
Records of the Sons on Andraste's earliest engagements have been lost to the horrors of the Age of Apostasy and the troubling times that followed. It is strongly believed that they were very active protecting their homeworlds Sector from the Frateris Templars, with rumours that fighting between the two forces took place on the surface of Hallstate II itself. They have always been known to have a strained relationship with the Ecclesiarchy as a result of their homeworlds divergences from the Imperial Truth, with only the long-standing agreement of the Ecclesiarchy and the Adeptus Astartes to not interfere with each others business preventing any action against the Chapter.
They, like their parent Chapter are renowned as expert marksman and proponents of ambush tactics. The Chapter has won many honours fighting against Orks during Wraaagh! Greytoof for a series of ambushes that broke the momentum of the attack on Jourgunan IX, allowing the PDF to make light work of the remnants.
It is strongly suggested that they were one of the Manus Irae responsible for the Great Malagantine Purge, and were gifted with a second Orbital Defence Platform in the 792.M38 for their homeworld, a year after the Purge's conclusion. The High Lords of Terra picked the Manus Irae from Chapters with a reputation for ruthlessness, and the ensuing purge was nothing short of a massacre.
They have developed a reputation as vicious head-hunters. The Dark Eldar raiders of the Kabal of the Poisoned Hand were ambushed as they themselves began a raid of a believed undefended Hive World in M39. They found the hive defended by the Sons, being ripped apart by Bolter fire at every turn. Eventually the Archon was cornered and killed by the 5th Company Captain, with a savage blow to the neck ending the raids on the haggard population by the raiders for centuries. The head was taken as a trophy and can still be found in the Fortress-monastery to this day.
The M41 has seen the Sons engaged all across the Galaxy. They were one of the Chapters that ended the Macharian Heresy, viciously putting down one of the rebellious generals and taking his head as a grisly trophy. During the Gothic War, they took part in preventing a large Word Bearers war-band from taking part in the war, engaging in hit and run attacks as the traitors travelled to reinforce the Despoiler.
The last major engagement on record was a struggle against the Tyranids that hit their homeworlds neighbouring system of Belgana. They fought the Leviathan splinter-fleet on the Death World of Esus V for three months while the Sector fleet worked to destroy the bio-ships in the System. Lord Aeron, the Chapter Master was hailed by the Lord Inquisitor Lisandro of the Ordo Xenos for his actions in the System, appearing to be everywhere with his Honour Guard. The Chapter won great distinction, but tragically lost three Companies during the engagement, the V notably falling after being cornered by the swarm.
Since this engagement with the Tyranids, the Sons have been forced to begin the long process of rebuilding its strength, with their current numbers believed to be below 600 active Marines. However this does not mean the Sons are inactive, with the three surviving Battle Companies having departed Hallstate II as soon as the recruitment of new neophytes had begun.
Early M36 - Age of Apostasy: Only confirmed action in defence of their System from the Frateris Templars attempted invasion. Huge losses were suffered, and an distrust between the two organisations remains to the present day.
921-923.M36 - Gwydion Incident: Eldar attacked the Gwydion System, the Sons responded. Uneasy alliance formed between the forces when Orks enter the System in massive numbers.
313.M37 - Wraaagh! Greytoof: Put an end to the largest Wraaagh! to hit the Segmentum Obscurus in a Millennium. String of devastating ambushes and heroic fleet action stunted the Wraaagh! enough to allow for an quick conclusion.
770-791.M38 - Great Malagantine Purge: Rumoured to have been one of the five Manus Irae. Never been confirmed, but around this time were 'gifted' a new Orbital Defense Platform for their homeworld.
212.M39 - Pirate Slayers: The III, IV & VIII Companies ambush and butchered a Dark Eldar raid on a Hive World.
143-151.M41 - Gothic War: Ambushed a Word Bearers war-band as it approached the Gothic Sector. Destroyed the War-band, but failed to execute their commander.
400-417.M41 - Macharian Heresy: Took part in putting down the Heresy. Took the head of the fanatical General Arrian.
968.M41- Menmock Incident: War against a rising Necron Dynasty close to their home System. Chapter Master is killed and succeeded by Captain Aeron of the IV Company.
998.M41 - The Swarm: War against a Tyranid Splinter-fleet. Three Companies lost, but campaign is successful.
The Sons of Andraste are descendants of Corax. Like all descendants they have missing Mucranoid; displaying pale skin. They do not however possess dark eyes, instead the most common eye colour being a pale blue and green. As with the Raptors, the Betcher's Gland is still fully functional.
Their homeworlds tribal societies are a superstitious people, constantly offering thanks to their ancestors and invoking them for their favour and protection. Elements of this has carried through to the Chapter, where they look to the example of past heroes of their Chapter, their Primarch and the Emperor to guide their actions.
Ritual sacrifice to the ancestors is commonplace on their barbaric homeworld, but some claim the Chapter have taken to upholding these rituals with captives taken back to Hallstate II. Never have these claims been proven or
substantiated in any way nor any remains ever found, but if they were would surely bring them into greater contention with the Ecclesiarchy. For now, their secretive practices remain a mystery.
What is known for certain is a tradition of offering the ritual Combat Knife of all fallen Battle Brothers to honour their memory in the moorlands of their homeworld. In this ritual they inscribe the Knife with the name of the fallen Brother, break the Knife and place it into the streams. This is the closest ceremony the Sons have to funerary rituals for the vast majority of their warriors.
They are a mostly Codex-compliant Chapter, with ten Companies; one Veteran, four Battle, four Reserves and a Scout Company. The Scouts never fight as a Company, and are always divided among the other Companies. The Battle Companies also have a small retinue of Veterans that have risen to prominence among their Company, granted access to the best equipment available. These are always the first called upon to replace losses to the Veteran Company.
The Sons have a preference for ambush-based strategies, and therefore value the use of initiative and less conventional tactics. They do not see this as defying the Codex Astartes, as it clearly states it is merely a guide and is not applicable to every situation.
The Sons recruit solely from Hallstate II. It is the responsibility of their Chaplains, known simply to their Brothers as the Watchers, to travel through the planet, finding the most promising warrior-children to be used as recruits. They are viewed as near God-like beings, taking the greatest young men from the tribes to the Northern land of the spirits.
Due to the peoples custom of being taught how to fire a bow as soon as they can stand, and how to use a blade as soon as they have achieved a successful hunt, they make excellent recruits. Those chosen as possible recruits are brought to the misty-isles and tasked with hunting the monstrously resilient and swift Ankoun. A beast that can only be reliably killed while asleep. They are told to locate and stalk the beast, and when it sleeps, take the shot. If they come back with an Ankoun's head, the initiation begins. Many are never seen again.
As with the Raptors, the Sons of Andraste prefer hit and run attacks that probe enemies for weaknesses and prevent excessive casualties that Marines cannot afford. When on the defensive, they are among the best proponents of ambush and guerilla warfare, crippling supply lines, breaking up and picking off enemy forces with the efficiency of born predators. They use fortifications, however not in the conventional manner, but to allow easy escape for the assault elements of the Chapter and conversely allowing no escape for their quarry during their hit and run ambushes.
The assault elements of the Chapter, usually recruited from the savage populations of the Northern isles have a tradition of head-hunting. They have been reported for bearing tribal tattoos, as well as painting these bizarre and terrifying designs onto their armour. These head-hunters predatory instinct and training are the only reasons their natural ferocity is kept in check long enough to avoid tactical blunders that would result in a failed ambush; there is no greater dishonour to a Sons of Andraste Astarte than to be responsible for a failed ambush, and consequently the deaths of their brothers. These urges have usually been removed from the Marines while serving in the Scout Company, but those that have not do not last long.
Their armoury is standard and well supplied, with the only notable element being the variety of Bolter patterns that they retain in their armoury. Scouts are highly valued for intelligence gathering, and are vital for setting up an efficient ambush, so the Chapter has a vast selection of camouflage to suit any environment and sniper rifles.
They rarely make use of some of the more heavily-equipped tanks, such as Land Raiders and Whirlwinds, as their preferred tactics rarely call for their use. The do retain many variants of Land Speeders, including the Storm transport Speeder.
Notable Members of the Sons of Andraste
Lord Aeron - Current Chapter Master. Attained the position after the events of the Menmock Incident, he is as renowned as a great strategist as he is for the heads he has taken.
Lord Lugus - Earliest recorded Chapter Master. Greatly influenced the Chapter, introducing many of the customs of Hallstate II, including the head-hunting tradition.
Epistolar Nuada the Silver Handed - Librarian. Predicted the appearance of the Tyranid Splinter-Fleet in the neighbouring system, and won great renown in the fighting. Lost his hand in the Menmock Incident.
Captain Cocidius - Former Lord Executioner (VIII). Notable for being the greatest ever head-hunter in the Chapters history, claiming the heads of 29 Ork Warboss' alone. Died fighting a Khornate Lord during the 7th Black Crusade.
Notable Elements of the Sons of Andraste
La Tene - Fortress-Monastery. Designed on similar lines to the hill-forts of the local population but on a grand scale, it is located on the near-mythical isle of Hibernia, the most Northern isle on the planet. Any who travel and make it to this isle are never seen again by the population, becoming honoured Chapter serfs.
Agrona - Battle-barge and Flagship. Helped break up reinforcements of Orks during Wraaagh! Greytoof's ill-fated assault on Jourgunan IX.
Edited by Prefect Apollyon, 07 May 2016 - 06:43 PM.