I, CaptainHelion, Chapter Master of the Blood Owls, in the name of SANGUINIUS, make this oath of moment to submit a complete history of my chapter and it's honored brothers.
▪ GENE-SEED (PREDECESSOR): Blood Angels
▪ FOUNDING: 11th Founding
▪ CHAPTER MASTER: Commander David Tegg
▪ CHAPTER WORLD: Steriges
▪ MAIN COLOURS: Silver and Scarlet
▪ BATTLE CRY: "Placidius!", "For Placidius, for Sangiunius, for the Lord of Mankind!"
▪ CURRENT STRENGTH: 604
▪ KNOWN DESCENDANTS: None
▪ ALLEGIANCE: Battlegroup Voltamedes
ORIGIN OF THE CHAPTER:
A member of the 11th Founding, the Blood Owls Chapter was formed in M35, by order of the High Lords of Terra from gene seed of the line of Sanguinius, and assigned to the Placidius system, where they were tasked with the safe keeping of the Voltamedes Sector, a sector centered around the Voltamedes system, a nexus of safe warp lanes and home to the Shrineworld, a planet-wide shrine to a number of the Imperium's greatest saints. Due to both the Shrineworld and the confluence of warp lanes, the Voltamedes Sector has had a bloody history, filled with invasions of both Xenos warlords and Arch-traitors alike.
CHAPTER HOME WORLD:
Steriges is the third, and only geologically stable, moon of the gas giant Placidius IX. It is here that the Fortress Monastery of the Blood Owls is to be found. A network of vast structures, half buried in the dark grey regolith of the airless and barren moon, the Monastery is unassuming from above, resembling more an overgrown mining outpost of the Adeptus Terra than a fortress. But looks are deceiving, and the Monastery is one of the most defensible structures within three Sectors, with banks of macrocannons capable of obliterating a small moon within moments and innumerable turbolance batteries. The structures themselves are hardened to withstand orbital bombardment, and it is said that nothing short of a Low-Orbit bombardment from a Victory Class Battleship could destroy the Monastery. No fleet of even remotely that power has ever succeeded in battling past the outer orbits of the Placidius system, so this remains conjecture.
The Blood Owls recruit from the two inhabited worlds of the Placidius system, Placidius V, a heavily populated agri-hive world, and Svalbaan, a frigid feudal world. Placidius V produces a significant portion of processed food goods to the sector economy, and is ruled by a planetary parliament, composed of representatives from each of the hives and the major agri-collectives. The local Ministorum, Administratum, Militarum and Mechanicus also have representatives in the parliament, which is headed by a Governor who serves a ten year term, and is elected from the local noble houses.
In contrast, Svalbaan is ruled nominally by an Administratum appointed Governor, but true local power lies in the hands of the various Noble houses of the planet. With a tech level just below blackpowder weaponry, and a culture of eternally feuding nobility, brutal grinding wars are a matter of life. Despite the frigid climate of the planet, thanks to food imports from Placidius V, most of the planet’s population are not occupied in subsistence farming, as is the norm for a feudal planet, but are instead engaged in a constant state of warfare for their feudal lords. The life of a warrior serf is typically brutal and short, with weapons training beginning almost before the child can stand, and ending more often than not with a gory death moments into their first battle, barely a week after conscription upon their 14th birthday. The rare few that survive their required ten years of service are usually granted leave to return to their families, where they will marry and produce the next generation of warrior serfs. The most talented of the survivors are on occasion granted a fiefdom of their own.
The Blood Owls are currently recovering from the severe loses taken as a result of their involvement in the 32nd Voltamedes Shrine War (M41:952), but are once more engaged in the defence of Voltamedes against the Tzeenchian Chaos Space Marine warband, the Verdant Hate, in the 33rd Voltamedes Shrine War. Chapter Master Tegg has been careful to limit their engagement to a taskforce, lest they be drawn once more into a potentially devastating war. Other Blood Owl task forces have been sent to the wars in the Ergotus Sector, the Dominarian Sector, and the Baal system, among others.
The Blood Owls are, by and large, a Codex-Adherent chapter, albeit one with the predilection for fast, close quarters fighting and airborne manoeuvres shared by their Gene-sires. As children of Sanguinius, the Blood Owls have a deep appreciation for artistry and craftsmanship, which manifests in a sort of tactical hyper focus. While the chapter itself maintains the Codex-Adherent generalist nature, a given task force will focus on the mission specific doctrinal requirements, practising the specific needs to perfection, at the exclusion of more generalist methods. This causes friction when a task force returns to the chapter, and must reintegrate into the whole. However, whether a quirk of chapter culture or of their geneseed itself, this hyperfocus has proved nearly impossible to avoid. Therefore, chapter specialities have varied wildly from decade to decade, as different task forces return to the fold, causing the whole to diverge to accommodate the new.
ROLL OF HONOR:
- The Liberation of Dielon Prime
A distress call telling of a Daemonic incursion on the Hive World of Dielon prime is detected by a passing Blood Owl strike-force, and forwarded to Steriges. Chapter Master Volan Rebek dispatches the Third Company, led by then-Captain David Tegg. The Third Company joins with a Dark Angels force, hunting in the sector for a Chaos Space Marine warband, and combine forces. The incursion is revealed to be linked to the very warband the Dark Angels were hunting. Once the warband is destroyed, the Dark Angels disappear, leaving the Blood Owls to finish the final extermination of cultists and the few lingering daemons, but later gift a relic bolt pistol to the Blood Owls by way of thanks and in recognition of the assistance given.
- The Purge of Makesport
-During the eradication of a tendril of Hive Fleet Jormundgr, the 2nd Company, led by Captain Maykos Tyrrn, stop in the deep space port station of Makesport. During the brief stop, Epistolary Karus Karn reports odd shadows and ripples in the warp. Compelled to investigate, Tyrrn that the criminal syndicate that unofficially governs the station, tolerated by the Inquisition due to their efficacy at governing, has fallen to Chaos worship. Over the next two months, the 2nd Company wage a campaign of extermination. The surviving inhabitants of the station are sent to rehabilitation and rehoming on Placidius V, under the watch of agents of the Ordo Hereticus, and new colonists are sent to the station at the behest of the Adeptus Terra. Once the transition is completed, Tyrrn takes the 2nd Company, and returns to the hunt for the Tyranids.
- The Smolbor Twuh Waaagh
At the dawn of M39, a near unprecedented seven space hulks exited warpspace into the Golmerin System, igniting a vast, system-wide conflict among the native Ork clans. Due to the nature of the conflict, the Ordo Xenos mark this conflict as ‘low risk’, with the likelihood of any single Ork warband gaining control of even one of the space hulks long enough to launch a Waaagh being extremely low. In M40:341, this decision was proven dramatically wrong. The Warbos Smolbor Twuh, having gained control of the remaining three space hulks launched his Waaagh against the neighbouring systems. The Waaagh was stopped through a series of lightning strikes by a Blood Owl strikeforce led by 3rd Company Captain Rebek that crippled Twuh’s transportation, leaving the Waaagh’s remaining forces stranded and easy prey for the combined forces of the Blood Owls and the Verhoveran 1003rd.
-Prior to the 32nd Voltamedes Shrine War (M41:952), the Blood Owls were a Codex Adherent Chapter, aside from those differences embraced by all of Sanguinius’ sons; those of the Sanguinary Priesthood, the Sanguinary Guard, and the walking damned of the Death Company. Unlike many of their brother chapters, the Owls do not have those of their brothers that have fallen to Black Rage executed should they fail to find a glorious redemption in battle. Instead, members of the Death Company are fitted with stasis collars, which are triggered at battle’s end, and they are transferred to long-term stasis, until the next battle, where it is hoped they shall find their redemption. Because of this, the Blood Owls often field higher numbers of Death Company that would be expected for a chapter of their size and geneseed degradation.
-Subsequent to the 32nd Voltamedes Shrine War, the Chapter was reorganised by Chapter Master Tegg, into six battle companies, each responsible for the training of their of scout cadre. With recruitment from Placidius V and Svalbaan accelerated as high as the Sanguinary High Priest Nestor Xerus believes safe, and no Company below half strength, the Chapter is no longer on the edge of extinction.
Due to an unusual mineral composition in the Placidius system, gold is much more abundant than the galactic norm, and silver is significantly rarer. Because of this, the local cultures have swapped the two metals’ cultural significance, awarding silver the status commonly held by gold. As a result, silver is the colour of honour in the Blood Owls, rather than gold. Veterans are granted the right to silver helms as a mark of respect for their service, a respect extended to the brethren of the Death Company, in respect for the sacrifice which all scions of Sanguinius must one day face. The Sanguinary Guard are likewise clad wholly in silver, as is the armour of the Chapter Master. At times in the chapter’s history, this honour has been extended to a brother of particular valour and honour, though this is quite uncommon.
-The Blood Owls recruit from the two inhabited worlds of the Placidius system; Placidius V and Svalbaan. Every five years, a grand tournament is held by the noble houses of each world, with numerous games and events being held. The central events are known as the Aspirant’s Trials, a series of harsh and gruelling tasks that are completed by less than one in twenty participants. Those that complete the Trials are accepted into the Blood Owls, bringing great honour to the noble house who claim the fealty of the aspirants.
Upon recruitment, the aspirants undergo a set of tests and interviews, supervised by the chapter’s Sanguinary Priesthood and Reclusiam. Should the tests show no problems, the aspirants enter the Scholarium Sanguinius. The Scholarium is an intensive, year long course, training the aspirants in the core tenets of Blood Owl philosophy, coupled with a physical training regime designed to work the aspirants to the edges of their ability. For most aspirants, this is their first encounter with scholastic life, with many unable to read or write prior to entering the Scholarium. After graduating the Scholarium, the aspirants are ensanguinated with the blood of the chapter’s Priests, and entombed in the Golden Sarcophagus used by the scions of Sanguinius. Two years after the Trials, the aspirants are removed from the sarcophagi, and welcomed into the Blood Owls as brothers.
After being welcomed into the chapter, neophytes are entered into basic training, where they are taught the fundamentals of chapter warfare, and assigned to a scout squad. Training continues as the neophytes’ geneseed is monitored for irregularities, and as the neophytes learn to use their new implants and abilities. Once the scout squad is performing to the level expected by the Master of Recruits and their squad sergeant, they are dispatched to serve under the command of one of the Company captains, who will oversee the remainder of their training, and assign them to full marine status when they are ready.
-The geneseed of the Blood Owls is typical of those of the lineage of Sanguinius. There has been no loss of any of the 19 organs, no degradation, and implantation into neophytes has an acceptable ratio of success. In fact, were the Flaw of Sanguinius not a factor, it is of little doubt that the Blood Owls geneseed would have been used to sire several successor chapters. However, this is not the case. The Blood Owls are afflicted with the Flaw, and they possess no special resistance nor any unique knowledge that would allow their Priesthood to stave off its effects. It is to stave off the slow death that is the Flaw that the Blood Owls recruit as many neophytes as they do, but it is a spectre that will not disappear. In recent centuries, the Sanguinary Priesthood has become more and more active in their investigations into a cure, working closely with the Priesthoods of other Blood Angel successors, but it is to no avail. As such, the geneseed is not considered to be viable for consideration for the High Lords of Terra.
Edited by CaptainHelion, 07 June 2016 - 08:30 AM.