Anyway, onto the article!
My brothers, we live in a universe of apathy, greed, corruption and power. Xenos attack our Imperium’s every front and heretics attack from within. Humanity is weak against this perpetual fight of survival, we see it in their flesh and in their actions. They require protectors that reside above such weaknesses of the flesh, and in this nature we serve. For we are the Decimators, the sons of the iron fisted Ferrus Manus, pure in thought and action. We are the hammer that strikes against the anvil of war. We cleanse the xenos, purge the heretic and eradicate all who attempt to destroy us. May our enemies fear our name, for we are their destruction! - Chapter Master Fernos during the siege of Garosh.
The Decimators have a long history of executing justice upon the enemies of the Imperium. Forged from the gene-seed of one of Ferrus Manus’ successor chapters, the Brazen Claws, the Decimators were raised up to be a great hammer to strike against and annihilate the enemies of mankind. Created during the 17th founding, the young chapter was trained in the Segmentum Obscurus by their parent chapter in battles against the Eldar and Orks. Captain Anton Grevius of the Brazen Claws’ 3rd Company was bestowed the honour of becoming the leader of a new chapter, his blunt and direct style of warfare being key to creating the Decimators’ battle doctrine over its growth as a chapter. After just over a century of fighting under their parent chapter’s tutelage, the Decimators had built up their numbers and resources to become a fully-fledged chapter with the strength of four Companies. To fully declare the chapter independent, Chapter Master Grevius declared a campaign against Ork Warboss ‘Eadkruncha’s building Waaagh!, which had begun to plague the Imperial worlds of the Nexus Ring. Leading his chapter as an example of heavy hitting annihilation, Grevius and his Decimators destroyed ‘Eadkruncha’s Orks with devastating ease. This doctrine grew into the Decimators’ most favoured method of war, using overwhelming brute force to utterly annihilate a foe. Striving for perfect eradication, the chapter would not declare their most righteous work done until every last enemy they faced had been destroyed.
Campaign after campaign, the Decimators proved their aptitude and skill as the Emperor’s avenging angels of war. But, like all chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, the Decimators also learnt harsh lessons during their history which would shape their outlook on warfare and the Imperium. The greatest lesson being the loss of their homeworld, Kairus at the hands of those who were once allies.
The fall of the Decimators’ home planet, referred to as the “Desolation” occurred at the start of the 874.M37. A large force of the Chapter, including a large amount of its command staff were engaged in the retaking of the Calanus Gulf from an Ork incursion, leaving the Fourth, Seventh and Tenth Companies to guard and protect their homeworld of Kairus. When the expedition force returned from their campaign, they found their home system to be desolate, Kairus itself scoured clean of all life.
As the stunned and battle-weary fleet searched through the wreckage of a space battle above Kairus, it was clear that their planet’s defenders were annihilated by Space Marines. It was soon identified the force responsible were those whom Decimators had once regarded as close allies. Discovering the distinctive chalice symbol with an eight-pointed star behind it upon shattered enemy ships, it was insurmountably clear to the Decimators that the Chalice Knights had turned their back upon the Imperium. Stunned and close to despair, Chapter Master Harmun ordered his Chapter to investigate the ruins of the Decimators’ fortress monastery. Mercifully, the chapter’s geneseed vault was found to be left intact, its hidden location deep underground protecting the vault from the destruction above. For the three companies guarding Kairus however, the same could not be said; each and every corpse found had been butchered and robbed of their geneseed.
Enraged further by this callous act, Harmun declared the Decimators would engage in a crusade to find and eradicate every trace of the Chalice Knights from the galaxy, avenging the loss of their homeworld and to bring justice for the desecration of their battle brothers. Harmun then declared that he would slay the leader of the Chalice Knights personally to truly eradicate the taint of the renegades. Reporting the heresy of the Chalice Knights and recovering whatever they could from their planet, the Decimators began their crusade to purge all traces of the now traitor Chapter. Over the next century, the Decimators searched for and destroyed any trace of wherever the Chalice Knights had been with elements of the Ordo Hereticus in tow, baptising their crusade as the ‘Cleansing Hunt’. The now renegade chapter had left increasingly frenzied assaults upon planetary systems they found, as they began aligning themselves further to the Blood God, Khorne. The two former allies, now hated enemies, eventually faced each other in full force, ironically, within the Calanus Gulf, where the Decimators had been deployed when Kairus fell. The controlled, righteous fury the Decimators brought to bear in the void and upon the surface of a number of worlds eventually overwhelmed and defeated the bloodthirsty and frenzied attacks of the Chalice Knights. The Chaos renegades were dealt a final blow upon the planet of Grimhold, where Chapter Master Harmun finally faced off against the Daemon Prince that now led the once honourable and loyal Chalice Knights. Engaging each other in singular combat as the battle raged around them, Harmun eventually felled the Daemon Prince with his mighty hammer, ‘Ironfall’ at the cost of his own life as the Daemon Prince speared its warped blade through the Chapter Master’s hearts in a final, hate filled strike.
With the battle over, the Decimators felt their duty to destroy the Chalice Knights had been done, the traitor Astartes having splintered into small warbands as they fled into the warp rift before it closed. However, the Decimators were dismayed to discover that the body of Chapter Master Harmun was lost to them, having been sucked into the warp with the Daemon Prince he had felled. All that remained of Harmun was his thunder hammer, ‘Ironfall’ and his broken helm, which had been knocked aside in the battle earlier. Reverently recovering these items of wargear with pride for Harmun’s achievement in fulfilling his oath, the Decimators returned to Kairus to choose their new leader and prepare for their next action. Having acted as a fleet based chapter whilst hunting for the Chalice Knights and seeing its benefits, the newly appointed Chapter Master Kell began preparations for the Decimators to become a permanent fleet based force. The High Council of the chapter decided that Kairus’ now desolate surface was a perfect place to train the recruits they would need in future and their Fortress Monastery was to be used a crypt for their fallen. As the Decimators regained their strength and reflected upon the horrific events of the Desolation and the Cleansing Hunt, the chapter grew an increasing wariness of those descended from Sanguinius geneseed. The chapter became convinced that the flaws within The Blood Angels’ geneseed were a major weakness that could be utilised by the ultimate enemy of the Imperium. This wariness also flowed on to a mild distrust of other chapters who have descended from what the Decimators regarded as “flawed and impure” geneseed.
In more recent centuries after the Desolation, the Decimators have faced the forces of Chaos repeatedly, seeking to purge any trace of its twisted mutations and weaknesses from the Imperium’s worlds. Their location within the Segmentum Obscurus has also seen the chapter face the numerous Black Crusades the Despoiler has unleashed since their founding. The Decimators have always committed their entire chapter strength against the Chaos armies during these crusades. The greatest and most hard fought defence the Decimators participated in was the 12th Black Crusade, when Abaddon’s forces emerged into the Gothic Sector, close to the region the Decimators’ protect. The chapter suffered heavy losses, but their duty in cleansing the region of the forces of Chaos was achieved with the aid of their fellow loyal Astartes chapters and the further armies and Ordos of the Imperium. The Decimators have now developed their combat methodology to specifically counter the power armoured forces of the Traitor Legions.
Descending from the seed of Ferrus Manus’ Brazen Claws, the Decimators inherited the belief of the flesh being weak from their parent chapter. When a recruit is blessed with his black carapace, it is traditional the recruit also has bionics implanted into his body to ensure that he lacks weakness. The most common body parts that are replaced are the arms and hands, so that the initiates appear and feel closer to their Primarch and Legion of origin. As well as developing a wary mistrust towards chapters with mutated geneseed, the Decimators have grown to hold a far greater contempt towards what they regard as “impure” humanoids, such as the Imperial Guard’s Ogryn and Ratling soldiers. The chapter has been known to refuse to fight alongside any abhumans in a number of campaigns when possible. As a result of one infamous event; the Decimators are remembered with disgust by the Tarnus 12th Imperial Guard Regiment, after the chapter executed a large cohort of Ogryn from the 12th in the aftermath of their defeat on the planet Sarrim. The Decimators came to the conclusion that the impurity of the Ogryn had been one of the factors of the campaign’s loss. When the Inquisition was made aware of this incident by the Regiment’s high command, the Decimators were issued a warning by the Ordos. When a similar incident occurred 5 years later under similar circumstances, the Decimators were sent on a penance crusade in the far edges of the Segmentum Obscurus for three decades. The chapter still refuses to fight alongside abhumans of any kind, but the memory of their penance crusade by the Inquisition reminds them to keep their views in check, or they will suffer greater consequences for their actions.
The Decimators see the Emperor as the greatest warrior in the history of mankind and that they should all strive to be warriors following the Emperor’s example. The chapter view their Primarch as being the great fabricator of the war machines of the Imperium and they believe that their wargear possesses the mark of Ferrus’ soul within the machine spirit. Thus, the Decimators revere every piece of equipment they possess, seeing it as a direct link to their gene-father. Since the events of the Desolation, the chapter have developed an enormous hatred for the dark armies of Chaos. On the armour of the Decimators, verses of loyalty and purity are embossed in gold script, to remind them that their belief in the Emperor is absolute and that they will remember to keep their perturbation towards what they regard as impure allies in check, lest they suffer the consequences.
In the chapter’s ten year cycle, there are two great markings of remembrance; the first being the Feast of the Founding, where the Decimators celebrate their creation and it is regarded as a time to reflect on the past year’s events and their achievements and losses. The second event is the Night of the Heresy, where the chapter remembers the great betrayal of Horus and the ten legions that cast their oaths of loyalty to the Emperor into the dust, turning away from His light. It is during this time that the chapter claim their oaths of loyalty once more and they punish themselves for their actions over the past decade if they had sinned. The traditional punishment is that a fellow battle-brother takes a whip with lead ball bearings on the tails and the sinner is given 10 lashings for each sin they have caused, which is placed in a log over the decade and is called out during their punishment. Since the loss of Kairus and the turning of their brother chapter, the Decimators are even more stringent in choosing new members and their Librarians constantly examine their brothers for any sign of taint before, during and after a campaign.
The Decimators follow the Codex Astartes with little deviation from it, bar some of the names in their rank structure. But the chapter’s battle brothers are encouraged to not follow the codex by the letter, focusing on their own knowledge and initiative. In terms of wargear, the Decimators notably rely heavily on Predator Destructors in lieu of the Annihilator variant, after losing a large amount of their Annihilators during the Gothic War. A larger amount of Vindicators populate their armoury than what is considered the norm, with each Battle Company proudly containing their own Linebreaker squadron.
It is also known that the Decimators created a unique variant of the Predator and Land Raider chassis, as a result of two separate, vicious campaigns. The first being the Land Raider Gladius, created in M36 from the damaged remains of the Chapter’s Predator Destructors and a Land Raider Prometheus, during their fight against the Ork’s Goff clan. Four are known to exist within the chapter’s armoury, after the first Gladius proved its effectiveness against the Orks. The unique Predator variant created by the chapter is aptly named Predator Decimator. Created during the 11th Black Crusade by High Techlord Heran, the Techmarine built a Predator wielding a twin-linked autocannon turret with plasma cannon sponsons, its use against the advancing forces of Khorne’s forces, at the defence of the hive-city Brasshold. The tank proved to be lethal with its plasma cannons paired with the autocannon turret annihilating the power armour of the Chaos Marines. The variant has been adopted by a number of chapters the Decimators had fought alongside during and after the 11th Black Crusade, notably the Crimson Fists, Sons of Doom and the Swords of Orion.
The process for recruitment is one that begins with the hopeful aspirants being told that if they chose to join the Decimators, they would serve the Emperor and the chapter no matter what would happen. They are then taken off their homeworlds to the deathworld of Dermur, where the aspirants face the most gruelling and toughest challenges where failure means death or eternal slavery aboard the ships of the Decimators as servitors and chapter serfs, thus keeping the promise that the aspirants would serve the chapter and the Emperor. The first challenge is a great march through the mountain ranges on Dermur’s largest continent, a region filled with vicious predators that stalk the ridges of the mountains. Those who fall are left where they are and the survivors are picked up later by the sergeants to convert them into servitors for the chapter’s fleet of ships. Other challenges and tests taken include tests of faith and skill, such as the aspirants being required to defend themselves from fast approaching targets whilst answering questions from their tutelage, on the history of the Decimators and the legacy of their gene-father, Ferrus Manus.
The second major test is one of combat expertise, where the initiates are scattered across the remains of Kairus’ surface, the now inhospitable land providing the perfect challenging environment. Each recruit is given a sword, krak grenade and a shield before being ordered to return to the ruins of the Fortress Monastery. Many initiates fail at this point, either by the harsh climate of the Decimators’ former homeworld, or from myriad of predators that still roam the harsh wastelands, but those who pass are taken to the crypts of the Decimators, still intact beneath the fortress monastery, to make the final test before the statues of the great fallen commanders of the chapter and of their Primarch. The initiates must chisel their name into the “Stones of Kairus”, placing their name alongside the many warriors who have served the Decimators over its history. When they have finished this task, the initiates are sent back to the Decimators’ flagship, the Divine Eradicator and become full members of the Scout Company, blessed with a bionic implant to bring them closer to their gene-father’s legacy.
The chapter excel at destroying fortified defences more than fighting in close quarter combat, but after a number of engagements against the forces of Khorne, led primarily by the remnants of the Chalice Knights, the Decimators have developed a unique fighting style for the frenzied attacks of the Bezerkers, the chapter’s developed method proving useful against the Ork menace. The chapter’s recent actions has seen them face an array of xenos, including the sadistic Dark Eldar and the ever marauding Orks, but their most common enemy is the forces of Chaos. As a result, many of the bolters and other weaponry of the chapter have been painted gold to reflect the Emperor’s light and have been anointed with holy oils, to ensure the purity of the machine spirit within. Thunder Hammers are the most common close combat weapon amongst the veteran sergeants of the chapter and the Assault Terminators commonly prefer the use of them over a pair of lightning claws.
And there you have it!
As always, any and all Comments/Critiques/Ideas are greatly welcomed, so I leave the floor to you all!
Damn is it good to be home.
Edited by Brother Cambrius, 11 February 2017 - 12:51 AM.