Index Astartes: Flame Wraiths
“Doom. That is our gift to the xenos and the traitor. Nothing else.
Destruction. We live only that our enemies may die. Nothing else.
Duty. You are the instrument of the Emperor’s Will. Nothing else.”
- Captain Vorghar, addressing aspirant-recruits aboard
the strike cruiser Apparition
The Flame Wraiths are an isolationist Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes that for many centuries has maintained a watch over an area of the Ultima Segmentum known as “the Dominion of Storms”. However, with no one planet as their fiefdom, they are increasingly willing to pursue their wars and Crusades further afield as they see fit; stories are told on a thousand worlds, across every Segmentum of the Imperium, of the sudden appearance of the Flame Wraiths, and the doom that they wrought for the enemies of mankind.
Although records regarding their creation are simultaneously scarce, confused and sometimes outright conflicting, within the monolithic infostacks of the Administratum the Flame Wraiths are listed as one of twelve Chapters founded at some point during M37; depending on the source, they were intended as an effort to shield the galactic north-east following several costly xenos invasions. In some records they are listed as being born of the same Founding as the Celestial Lions, the Golden Spears (defunct), the Promulgators and the Brazen Fists.
The gene-seed samples that have been supplied by the Flame Wraiths show little mutation or instability. They are almost certainly drawn from Ultramarine gene-stock, and records show that they share many genetic markers with the Marines Errant, likely making them the parent Chapter to the Flame Wraiths.
They are susceptible to anomaly of their Haemastamen which, despite extensive testing by both Chapter Apothecaries and Magos-Biologis specialists, has shown to have little effect other than making their blood so dark as to be almost black.
DOCTRINE & ORGANISATION
The Flame Wraiths adhere to the organisational structures of the Codex Astartes, with a Veteran Company, four Battle Companies, four Reserve Companies and a Scout Company. They have always favoured the flexibility that this provides, allowing mission-specific battlegroups to be formed on an ad-hoc basis and counteracting the numerical disadvantage that the Astartes commonly face in battle.
Tactically, the Flame Wraiths practice a balanced approach to war that largely complies with the tenets of the Codex. They do, however, display a willingness to accept any number of casualties in the prosecution of their mission, paired with a preference for face-to-face, unflinching close assault that makes a Flame Wraiths combat action unlikely to end in a stalemate.
Flame Wraiths Tactical Marine
Indethu Massacre, 833.m41
As a fleet-bound Chapter the Flame Wraiths do not share a common cultural identity, and in its place has risen instead a belief in individual deeds and hero-figures. Warriors from the Chapter’s past are remembered with fierce pride; it is not uncommon for individual Astartes to adopt a patron from the Chapter’s Rolls of Honour, usually a warrior whose deeds or accomplishments resonate with them in some way. It is believed that the warrior honours his patron by his actions, and in this way pays homage to those that have come before him. This veneration forms the central tenet of the Chapter cult; unusually, while there are rituals that all members of the Flame Wraiths must observe, it is for each battle-brother to decide for himself whether they are simply honouring the fallen, or if there is any deeper spiritual meaning to the practice.
Flame Wraiths marines have been observed to be taciturn, sombre individuals, with little time for conversation and aught but contempt for outsiders… even other Astartes. Their surly demeanor changes, however, the moment they are engaged in sacred combat with the enemies of mankind. Laughter, roared challenges and battle-songs fill the air, as individual warriors strive to outdo their brothers in feats of skill and courage. Their allies are left to look on, as the Wraiths set about their bloody business, caring little whether their erstwhile comrades-in-arms are keeping pace.
The Chapter also has a reputation for isolationism and aloofness that often sees communications from allies go unanswered. Even in the heat of battle, any attempt to co-ordinate with the Wraiths is likely to be met only by vox-silence while they set about the destruction of the foe according to their own, private war-plan.
This stems from a deep distrust of other Imperial institutions; the Flame Wraiths were created, according to scattered records, after both the Nova Terra Interregnum and the Age of Apostasy... some of the most dire schisms ever recorded by humanity. Even Astartes from other Chapters fall short of the exacting standards set by the Wraiths, and they reserve a special disgust for the Ecclesiarchy, which they see as wholly mistaken in their belief in the Emperor-as-Godhead. The Wraiths instead honour their gene-father as the pinnacle of humanity and as an unattainable ideal worthy of emulation.
Their beliefs also differ from many Chapters in their attitude towards their Primogenitors; the Ultramarines. They do not hold the Ultramarines to be any more or any less than any other Chapter, deeming them to have been simply fortunate to have been created first. If anything, the Wraiths see the realm of Ultramar as an inexcusable distraction from the sacred purpose of the Astartes- unending war and the destruction of mankind’s enemies.
They fiercely maintain their sovereignty from the wider Imperium. Forces of the Imperium must tread carefully even when pleading for their aid; something as simple as a badly-worded request or an improper gesture during negotiations is easily construed by the Wraiths as a heinous insult to be avenged or, at worst, an attempt to subvert the Chapter’s independence. Rank or title impresses them little; indeed, agents of the Inquisition have not been welcome aboard Chapter vessels following the Carnaga Incident in 402.m39, when alleged procedural violations during an attempt to induct Chapter warriors into service resulted in the summary execution of Inquisitor Trida Goernal and her entire staff. Further requests, later escalating to demands, from the Inquisition for the Chapter to explain its actions were met with no response, and the matter remains contentious whenever representatives of the two institutions encounter one another.
Edited by Sticklefront, 27 February 2017 - 08:59 AM.