If you read nothing else read these two points.
Venerable Brother Zephinac is Not. Going. Anywhere.
I have photographic proof of the model, and I am not going to move from this, and to the warp with the fluff about it. Someone gave me this kit and I am not getting rid of it.
Also, Formatting and forwards will come later, in about two weeks' time (mid June)
Please note: I have written a lot up about this chapter previously in personal headcanon documents, so I have to do a fair bit of fancy footwork to keep from 'cheating' by using stuff I wrote down before the iron gauntlet was thrown down. This will affect what I can write.
Also note: The following details will not be changed, as they are either tied to existing models or I've grown to attached to still-nebulous ideas:
-The title of Shogun for the Chapter Master
-color scheme of veterans and Captains
-Venerable dreadnought Zephinac
-names of captains, the chapter master's name, and some other nomenclature if I get around to putting them in this thread
Chapter Line Brother, 2nd Company, 2nd Squad
Origins And History of the Dawn Blades:
The High Lords of Terra had mandated a founding of the Adeptus Astartes, and it was found that the [records lost] had sufficient geneseed banked to found a new chapter, so alongside their brother Chapters of the 18th Founding the Dawn Blades, then simply known as 18th/4th, were created.
The 18th/4th were placed in the Galactic East to defend against orkish hordes that threatened to sweep across an entire sector if not stopped.
The ork warlord known as 'Skullknocka Ironbone' was leading a Waaagh! that would rampage across the galactic northeast if not stopped, which would annihilate dozens of agri-worlds, multiple key fortress worlds, and three minor forge worlds.
The 18th/4th, as there was no time or space to establish a proper fortress-monastery in their area of operation, were instead designated as a fleet-based chapter. They were given a large battle barque, one Battle Barge, seven Strike Crusiers, a small forge ship for munitions and armor, and along with multiple other fleet assets. (Sidebar: When it became necessary to maintain a full 10th company, rather than each company individually replacing their casualties, a small battle station was constructed using their forge ship as a training grounds for their neophytes. Three small rapid-response warships were assigned to it for its defense and conveyance to and from the battle-station.)
(Sidebar: During their crusade across the sector, the 18th/4th came across a number of uncrewed and derelict vessels that were modifications of the Sword class escort. The ships were given to the Imperial Navy to be crewed, and assigned to the Chapter fleet directly. upon the completion of the campaign they were permentantly assigned to the chapter, and named the Katana Squadron.
Deathwatch Kill teams deployed to cripple the ork navies, and when it was deemed safe, the entire fleet of the 18th/4th, supported by an moderately understrength Imperial Navy Sector Fleet escorting Imperial Guard Regiments that would hold and rehabilitate whatever ground the 18th/4th took. The Adeptus Astartes had no time to hold a world, not when an entire sector was at stake.
Each of the six subsectors were brutally retaken and reintroduced to imperial rule. The Dawn Blades came to be seen by the populace as divine angels of mercy and retribution, symbols of hope and vengeance. The fact the chapter tended to begin major assaults at dawn so the enemy could see their doom coming upon them and the populace see salvation did nothing to dispel this idea.
Soon this was adopted into the chapter's mantra, after one surviving citizen of a retaken fortress-hive remarked that "They come with Dawn like they are the sword of the Sun, always striking swiftly and irresistibly. A blade made of the light of Dawn, that's what they looked like when they advanced on the ork positions. Unrelenting, deadly, and yes, even perhaps hope-giving."
The chapter's battle-cries began to incorporate this literally, beginning with "We are the sword of Dawn," and some evolving to "Hope follows us like the sun follows the Dawn! Praise to the Solis-Imperator!"
The Reclamation War, as it came to be known in the annals of chapter history, culminated in a major battle on the capital world of the Ocrod subsector, Ocrod Primaris. There, in the capital city of Quarfaran, the first chapter master broke Skullknocka'a skull by smashing his unhelmed cranium into the warlord's mouth and allowing his superior bone-density to do the work for him.
Chapter Master Tobias circled the ork, pistols holstered in favor of his bare hands.
"I'z is Skullknocka! I'm gonna rip your 'ead off and use it to smash yer boyz's heads!" the warboss yelled. All around them the 18th/4th's honor guard, drawn from the 1st companies of several chapters, just like the other chapters of the 18th founding, fought the warboss's nob retinue to keep them off his back.
"Then let's knock some skulls," Tobias said. He and the warboss began circling each other, their weapons forgotten. Skullknocka swung first with a fist the size of a Thunderhawk Cannon shell. Tobias ducked and returned with a blow to the solar plexus, or what was approximated for one in his opponent's biology.
The warboss roared and swung again at Tobias's bare head. He stepped back before bringing an open hand to Skullknocka's wrist, breaking it. They fought for several more minutes before Skullknocka got mad.
"I'z isn't even gunna take your skull. I'z is just gunna crush it!" Ironbone cursed. His one good hand latched onto Tobias's shoulder pad and pinned the man in place. The honor guard were all otherwise engaged, otherwise they would have come to his aid.
Tobias spat in the ork's face and when the ork roared and brought his head down as if to bite Tobias' off, the chapter master wrenched himself free and slammed his head into Skullknocka's mouth, breaking his jaw. As the ork reeled, Tobias grabbed his bolt pistol and put a round into the ork's heart. A second blow to the head rendered the warboss unconscious, and a third headbutt split the skull in two along stress fractures exacerbated by Tobias's blows.
Around him, his Honor Guard defended their master as he recovered from the blow he had been dealt before he slew Ironbone, and the dazed state of mind he had entered after he smashed Skullknocka'a skull with his own.
Brother Desmor cursed as he deflected a blow from a nearby ork that would have taken his head had he been just a microsecond slower. He hoisted his power axe in the air before bringing it down on the offending ork's neck, doing to it what it would have had done to him.
Behind him his chapter master stumbled, only his armor and sheer force of will keeping him standing from the blows he had dealt the ork. Desmor despaired for a better way of moving, rather than simply on foot. Had he been able to move a little faster perhaps he could have aided his-well, not his, but rather the lord of the Chapter.
Not that it mattered much, as Tobias had won in the end, but it had been close, as should have been Desmor's job. Silently he promised himself he'd find a better way to keep up with the lord of the chapter.
After Warboss Skullknocka was slain, the orks began to squabble between themselves and eventually the Waaagh! tore itself apart, as a leaderless ork grouping is wont to do. From that point it was simply a matter of cleaning up the ork clans and repopulating and rehabilitating the subsector, though that took close to a century to finish the job.
Soon, Ocrod Subsector had been cleansed to the point that regular civilian life could resume to a degree.
The cleansing of the Ocrod Sector had taken three hundred and fourty-two years to complete. In that time, 15 Guard Regiments were completely replaced, subsector fleets repaired as best possible, and two companies worth of Marines had died. The first blooding of the Chapter had been costly, but it showed how tenacious the chapter was (wounds that had not been instantly lethal, or nearly-so, were simply ignored in favor of fighting onward until they received treatment, kept alive by force of will. As a result, casualties were slightly high but the chapter had no need for dreadnought sarcophagi for several centuries).
The worlds in the Ocrod System were turned over to the now-named Dawn Blades as recruitment worlds at the turn of the millennium. Despite having reclaimed an entire sector with only their chapter, two Imperial Guard armies, and a battered Imperial Navy Sector Fleet, they didn't want to rule a world. They would rather crusade around Ultramar Segmentum and the adjacent Segmenti and take a fight the the Solis-Imperator's enemies at the edge of the dawn. They wanted no homeworld and were content to stay a fleet-based chapter.
The Ocrod system, however, serve as the primary recruiting worlds for the chapter, and the forgeworld located in the subsector is the chapter's chief source of war materiel, armor and munitions.
In late M36, however, there was a falling out between the Dawn Blades and the Adeptus Mechanicus, which led to the chapter being given the bare minimum as required by treaty, noting more, nothing less. Understandably, Tobias's successor (the first chapter master had fallen fighting Chaos marines a decade previously) was very unhappy about this, but nothing was to be done, as the Mechanicus were following the laws the Solis-Imperator had laid down on them.
This led to the chapter having to scrounge for more exotic material, and given both the chapter's tendency to hold grudges and the Adeptus Mechanicus's absolute obstinacy, this has persisted for millennia. Small gems have been extracted from the Tech-Adepts in exchange for archeotech that the chapter has recovered, copied and studied, and then passed on, but this has tended to be rare.
Planets of Origin of the Traditions of the Dawn Blades:
(Please note the traditions themselves are stuff I've written down in personal docs previously, I am merely describing their origins. The judges are free to ignore this part for the purposes of the Iron Gauntlet if they wish.)
The Tradition of the Arts: The planet Frense Tertius is a small agri-world with little to its name. They had no notable Imperial Guard Regiments. Their PDF was nothing special. But they had a deep love for the Emperor, and expressed this love through song, poetry, and visual art pieces. When the 18th/4th visited the planet for the first time, to reclaim the planet (an operation that took three weeks on the nose) their dropzone was flooded with the remnants of the PDF, and riding inside any nonmilitaristic vehicle they could find were throngs of civilians that were singing songs of praise and joy and fervor. The orks found themselves in a deadly pincer trap, with a hundred battle-hardened space marines of the 18th/4th 3rd company in the inside of their camp and tens of thousands of PDF and garrisoned Imperial Guard regiments accompanied by untrained but passionate farmers, priests, and regular townsfolk.
When the battle was over, despite brutal losses, the Frensens still sang their songs and recited their poems, and even began to compose new ones to commemorate their victory, and to honor the dead. The chaplain of the 3rd company took note of this, and quietly made note of this to the captain. For if these hymns were able to keep spirits high for ragtag groups of humans who had everything against them and allow them to prevail, what could they do for Astartes? The captain took heed of this and instructed several of the brothers under his command to quietly go around and get copies of these hymns, and perhaps modify them to make them better fit the Astartes. It was done, and soon the 18th/4th 3rd company was going to battle with hymns of war and praise on their lips. Those of the new recruits of the 3rd company drawn to replace the four casualties the marines took, as well to bolster ranks of the scout company, brought their homeworld's traditions with them. And so it was the Arts entered the Dawn Blades.
The Tradition of the Forge: The 8th company's first demicompany deployed to a planet that had no designation known to the Imperium at large, only an inconsequential sequence of numbers to denote an feudal planet of little worth and only kept around for its Ordo Xenos Deathwatch listening post (this small substation allowed the Deathwatch at the beginning of the campaign to pinpoint an axis they could attack along to create an opening). This planet laid on the outskirts of the Ocrod subsector, which made it an easy opening target for the relatively inexperienced warriors of the Reserve Assault Company.
Primitive humans stuck in an early Roman republic state of technology populated the world, and they had been severely crippled when the orks arrived, holding out at a modest fortress the orks could not breach. This fortress is where the 18th/4th landed, drop pods slamming into ork siege engines in a precisely calculated drop assault. The orks at the fortress were annihilated, but the majority of the greenskin forces were elsewhere. Thus, the young bloods of the 8th set out to destroy the rest of the orks.
One squad was caught in a brutal ambush, losing two marines, including the sergeant, and most surprisingly of all, losing to a mega dread that managed to snap nine chainswords and the sergeant in two before being brought down by a lucky krak grenade. Weaponless and leaderless, the squad wandered into a nearby forge. None had much experience, but after several days and multiple burns, with the help of a wandering nomad who gave them some advice in exchange for escort to human-controlled territory when they were done, each of the eight had functional, if ugly, gladii. They took the man back to their base before setting out again. They kept their blades for the duration of the campaign, and took opportunities to improve them after a time in which the swords proved themselves to be just as lethal as chain blades.
Four new recruits were drawn from the world to replace casualties, and their knowledge of metalwork entered the chapter, and alongside the eight of the First Forgers, as the ambushed assault squad came to be known, brought the idea of forging ones own weapons came into the chapter. It soon became an integral part of the chapter's existence, and part of its future recruitment trials.
The Tradition of Xenia: Lithor VII was a very large oceanic hive world, and was one of the first planets retaken by the 18th/4th. There was little devastation and little work for the Astartes, as the oceans prevented any sort of large ork presence and the hives were well-defended when the orks made planetfall. The Dawn Blades command elements that landed in the planetary capital to coordinate the defensive efforts were greeted by a parade of both the best PDF the planet had to offer and the household guard of the governor. The governor himself, once the parade was over, came and greeted the seven marines that were in command of the sixth company. He presented to each a finely wrought sword, and escorted them into the palace. He asked no questions, and gave no reasons, only welcomes. Despite the oddness of it, it was filed under a planet's idiosyncrasies and ignored.
Despite their small numbers, the orks that had managed to land and escape persecution were particularly tenacious, well equipped, and simply unwilling to die to the same extent the chapter did. Seven marines died, a disproportionate amount of casualties. As was the order of the day, seven youths who had proven themselves were taken to eventually fill the holes the seven dead brothers left.
Upon completing the cleansing of the planet, the governor hosted an impressive funeral for the seven dead grandsons of the Emperor, and sent the chapter off with great, but solemn, fanfare, and a promise to provide whatever the 6th company should require if it was asked of the Lithorans.
When queried, the seven recruits answered that it was a planet wide tradition of hospitality to one's fellow man, something called Xenia. Ask no questions, seek no answers, and be the best host you could be. It went both ways, too (though offworlders tended to be judged to a less harsh standard); be polite to your host, extend him the same courtesies he or she did, and if they should ever visit you, reciprocate. And to the one who violated this mandate, handed down from the Emperor, or at least their view of him, the wrath of the heavens should strike him down.
As it did make sense in the context of humanity banding together as brothers (which the Emperor has certainly encouraged), the 6th saw no reason to stamp the practice out of their recruits, and thus the tradition of Xenia entered the chapter through the 6th company.
The Blazing Dawn:
Circa 700M35: The Dawn Breaks: The Dawn Blades (Founding designate 18th/4th) are founded as part of the 18th founding.
769M35: The Reclamation War: The entirety of the 18th/4th chapter are tasked with cleansing and retaking the Ocrod Sector. What follows is a viscous campaign approximately 3 centuries long that sees the sector retaken at great cost.
000M36: The Killing Blow: Upon the sector capital world of Ocrod Primaris Chapter Master Tobias slays the ork warlord Skullknocka' Ironbone, causing Waaagh! Skullknocka' to disintegrate as it devolved into internecine fighting. The body of the Waaagh! takes forty years to cleanse from the system, but the remaining operations are trivial compared to previous battles fought.
007M36: The Dawn is Forged: the name of the chapter is decided; the Dawn Blades, and the worlds of the Ocrod system are given to the chapter as recruiting worlds. The chapter declines to settle on a world, preferring to stay fleet-bound. They do, however, take full advantage of the fact that they have recruiting and equipment tithe rights to the system.
076M36: The First Dusk: Chapter Master Tobias is slain during actions against chaos incursions; the chapter enters a period of one year of silence, marking their shoulder pads black, and do not fill the position for one year, out of respect for their fallen chapter master. When the period of mourning is over, they choose a new chapter master and reengage with redoubled fervor. Each subsequent Chapter Master paints the shoulder trim of his warplate matte black out of respect, and takes Shogun as a title. The chapter Barque, previously Strength of the Master is renamed to Shogun's Might to reflect this change in nomenclature.
086M36: A Chapter Scorned, A Grudge Formed: A senior Adeptus Mechanicus Magos heavily insults the honor of Chapter Master Tobias, and is bodily removed from the Shogun's chambers, and subsequently the chapter barque. The Magos becomes extremely angry, and dictates that all forge worlds under his control or influence refuse all but what is required by treaty to the chapter. The Dawn Blades see a 36.74% drop in the supply of war materiel, with a correlated drop in combat effectiveness.
204M37: The Shadowglass's First Dance of Death: The Sixth Company, supported by thirty members of the 1st company, under the command of 1st Captain Zephinac, is combating a small Chaos incursion when an Eldar Harlequin troupe engages alongside the Dawn Blades. When the Chaos incursion is defeated, the Harlequins challenge the Dawn Blades, specifically their command elements, to single-combat duels.
Oddly, however, when the Harlequins withdraw from the field, they do so as if departing a group of friends for a long period, rather than tentative allies. The Zephinac awakes the next morning to find next to his armor-stand a blacker-than-black pane of glass, depicting the duels that had been fought, with shadows and light constantly in motion, each glance yielding a new scene. There was a small handwritten note accompanying it, saying "You fight well. Perhaps we shall let you see a show at some time in the future."
301M37: The Shadowglass's Second Dance of Death: The Harlequin troupe that attacked the 6th company appears without warning in the 1th company's command chambers aboard the Shogun’s Might. Zephinac, still 1st captain, glances but briefly at the Shadowglass hanging on the wall and then to the Troupe Master. After heated debate and near-drawn weapons, he allows the Troupe master five minutes. In that time the Troupe Master convinces the captain to let the Troupe stay for one show, given to present Dawn Blades command elements. When they depart, the next morning Zephinac finds another Shadowglass in his quarters. It goes with the first, and depicts humans and eldar fighting together against Chaos. The two Shadowglasses are kept as artistic curiosities as inspiration and also studied to attempt to incorporate their technology into camo cloaks and scout armor.
436M37: Forging Bonds of Brotherhood: A gene-seed transport of the Black Guard is seized by Dark Eldar forces, along with the Apothecary and his trainees. The war party skips across Imperial space before coming in direct contact with Dawn Blades fleet elements escorting the Battle Barque. The Eldar fleet is destroyed and the gene-stock recovered, along with its stewards.
The gene-stock is returned to the chapter. In gratitude for the act, the Black Guard chapter master presents the Shogun with a set of artificer battle-plate, and three of the chapter's famed Thunderfire cannon. The two chapters have borne a strong relationship ever since.
506M37: 1st Captain Zephinac falls in battle against an Eldar Corsair battle group. His body is sufficiently damaged to require internment into a dreadnought, but there are no dreadnought sarcophagi, refused to the chapter as they were; the strike force only had sensory-coffins to hand for servitors and serfs to pilot the chapter's vehicles. From the webway portals spill Harlequins of the Shadowglass troupe, who offer technology sufficient to integrate a sensory sarcophagus with a fallen War-Walker that Zephinac had wrecked. Zephinac consents, and the changes are effected.
When the campaign was over, and the strike force returned to the battle barque, the chapter's few Techmarines attempted to remove him from the War Walker but were stopped by the captain's hellfire-pattern wargear loadout. “I killed it, I get to keep it,” was his reason. All he would consent to were easier-to-maintain Imperial weapon mounts instead of the rarer and more unreliable Eldar weaponry.
The Eldar equipment and data ripped from the onboard computer were handed over to a Radical Ordo Xenos Inquisitor in exchange for a pardon for Zephinac, on condition he was kept away from other Imperials and only awoken rarely.
As a result, Zephinac is awoken for two reasons. To tell stories to neophytes, and to be deployed when it’s worth getting the Inquisition potentially called to beat whatever threat they’re facing. The first is regular but is always isolated, and the second is much more rare but much more visible to the outside Imperium.
946M37: Cant of Thunder: The Thunderfire cannon battery gifted to the chapter several centuries before are instrumental in the sieging and destruction of a minor Eldar webway gate and outpost discovered upon Lithor IV. The attending Techmarines report that the cannon battery seems to almost drum a battle-song with their fire patterns. A war with the eldar follows as they seek retribution.
645M38: The Second War for the Ocrod Sector: Chaos forces under the guide of Word Bearers Chaos Space Marines rise up and attack the Lithor Subsector. All of the reserve companies deploy, along with the 10th company and the Chapter Honor Guard accompanying the Shogun. In the course of the war, two of the honor guard die, taking bullets meant for their Shogun. To mark their sacrifice, he immortalizes the blood splatters on his helm with blood-red paint across the whole helm. It becomes a sacred relic for the chapter, commemorating the sacrifice of battle-brothers who have died, both known and unknown. Forty-three battle brothers fall, though the chaos forces are put down ruthlessly.
597M38: The First Fallen Dawn: In a battle against the Tau, Captain Arual Valpas, in command of a Battle Demi-company and the strike cruiser Blade of Martyrs, takes it upon himself to bait the entire Tau army and the reinforcing armada to the planet's surface before withdrawing his men and declaring an unsanctioned Exterminatus by cyclonic torpedo. The world and Tau fleets are all destroyed, with the Blade of Martyrs heavily damaged and perhaps twenty-three of the original 56 marines that deployed (counting Captain Valpas himself but not counting the handful of vehicle crew), still living. For the unsanctioned Exterminatus, Valpas is censured, stripped of rank, and tasked with a solo penitent crusade to slay the Chaos warlord known as The Lady of the Harrowing. Despite the protests of the chaplains, every one of the remains of Strike Force Valpas insists on accompanying him to the Lady of the Harrowing's stronghold.
The Shogun, intrigued at what would make twenty-odd Astartes willing to follow an honorless captain on a penitent crusade, allowed them, on condition they would explain.
The single remaining veteran sergeant stepped forward. "We owe a great debt of shame to the civilians of the world we killed. We shall redeem ourselves for this under Valpas's command until he has killed the Harrowing and we have all fulfilled our oaths of Censure." He tapped a purity seal affixed to his left pauldron, and read it aloud from memory. "The one who receives this oath, should our campaign against these accursed Tau fail, and the Imperium lose this world, must decapitate in close combat one hundred Tau and take the head of the first, to symbolize his first step on the road to redemption. In his quest he shall not be part of the chapter proper, and shall be accompanied only by others under oath of censure. The final step shall be to come before the Reclusiarch and seek his blessing to reenter the chapter." He moved to Valpas's side and saluted the chapter Master. "This is why we choose to accompany our captain. We are the Fallen Dawn. May we rise anew, blazing in glory." Behind him, the remaining marines raised their right fists and gave a single, wordless, roar.
The Shogun indicated his approval and dismissed them to their tasks.
The Blade of Martyrs became the base for the Fallen Dawn, and as the millennia rolled on, many would rotate in and out, each seeking redemption for some deed unasked by their brethren and supported unanimously by their fellow Fallen Dawn.
879M38: Harrow's Call: the Lady of the Harrowing is slain at the hands of Captain Valpas. He returns to the chapter a celebrated hero. He is permitted to keep his armor in the black plate and silver trim of the Fallen Dawn, but with a rising sun instead of a setting one on the shoulder pad, with flames along his cloak, to symbolize his fall and rebirth. Alongside him, half of his brothers from the original Fallen Dawn reenter the chapter as well, their oaths of censure fulfilled and their second Dawn obtained
465M39: The Lost and Broken: a force of Thousand Sons and Alpha Legion appear without warning on the 5th Company Strike Cruiser. They are detained and questioned, and soon it becomes apparent they are loyalist marines, running from a force of traitors and having only the warp available to them as a means of escape. They are treated well, though despite exemplary behavior the Alpha Legionaries were kept under a watchful eye. When the Thousand Son who acted as the psychic nexus for the jump was rested enough, they departed, though not before allowing one of the techmarines to scan their MkIII armor and a Phobos-pattern bolter so as to allow the Dawn Blades to make them and equip their forces with them.
476M41: Render unto the Emperor what is the Emperor's: The Black Ships come to tithe the world of Ocrod Secundus. This angers the Dawn Blades, and demand that the psyker cargoes are subjected to the chapter's inductment trials; those that pass shall be taken, and those dregs who fail will enter the Black Ships.
The Black Ships call upon a Hereticus Inquisitor after much debate and rattled sabers (both metaphorical and literal) to resolve the matter. Upon deliberation, he rules that five random psykers shall be drawn to give to the chapter to test.
It is so, and five are drawn, and the Black Ships leave. Two survive the trials and testing. They are Crez and Hojak. They are inducted into the chapter Librarius, Crez specializing in Biomancy and Hojak a skilled electromancer. Crez will eventually become Chief Librarian, and become known as the Fleshrender for his signature psychic attack, a maelstrom of energy that rends flesh from bone. Hojak will fall fighting bravely against Tau half a century later.
853M41: Honor and Duty over Insult: the Dawn Blades Second Company, led by Captain Daron Lenoch, launch an assault on a Necron Tombworld, accompanied by an entire Demi-company of Fallen Dawn and a heavy Armory presence. Their goal: to rescue a contingent of Adeptus Mechanicus Magi captured by the Necron royalty and scheduled for public execution, broadcast on all Mechanicus channels within range. The Dawn Blades set aside their grudge with the Adeptus Mechanicus, and manage to fight their way into the throne room of the Phaeron himself. He towers over the remaining marines, included among them Lenoch, the Armory's battlefield commander, and the current Fallen Dawn commander. He stands resplendent in green and blue trim, and speaks a grating piece. "I am impressed. I have observed and interrogated these...creatures. That you would move to rescue them, despite your animosity, speaks to your honor. Here," he gestures, "take them and go. You have proved yourselves worthy of this boon."
At this, Lenoch approaches the Necron noble and speaks directly, despite the wound in his lower torso, gushing blood. "Tell me why. Why do you capture them and then release them? To test us, weaken us, why? I demand an answer!"
The noble said nothing, only waving a hand in the air and then pointing at the wound of the captain. Minute scarabs swarm from the floor and cover the captain's body, despite his efforts. When they withdraw, the wound is closed with flesh. Lenoch turns and sees with horror that the same fate has befallen all of his forces.
That day, the Dawn Blades exited the tomb with half of the arrived marines dead, but the other half reforged from the hardest battle of their lives, the Adeptus Mechanicus in tow, kept silent only by Necron tech troves they 'plundered' on the way out.
The Dawn Blades and Adeptus Mechanicus repaired relations that day, with the Dawn Blades having exclusive access to the Necron tech recovered.
891M41: The Third War for the Ocrod Sector: A Nurglite Chaos fleet appears without warning from a warp portal in the Ocrod System, overwhelming the local PDF. The entire chapter returns to the sector to put the invasion down. Heavy casualties are taken in a 30 year campaign to kill every heretic in the sector. SDF forces are doubled, and have Astartes naval officers attached to ensure that the next fleet that decides to invite itself over gets a mauling. Every world attacked by the Chaos fleet has Apothecarion personnel deployed to ensure no plagues appear, and to ruthlessly annihilate the ones that do.
906M41: [Records Lost]: the Dawn Bl...des Second Company have re...ouped loss...s from th...ir invasi...n of the Necron Tom...world. Ca...tain Le...o...h rec...i......s [Records Corrupted. Access Terminated, Please Return This Cogitator to Your Nearest Dawn Blade Techmarine for Rehabilitation. Process Normal, Cogitator Will be Returned Intact.]
+++Reopening File...Ident Codes Matched...Unlocking...Welcome, guest. Beta-level access restored.+++
951M41: Close Scrutiny: Inquisitors from all ordos arrive in the sector to investigate whether or not the sector is irrevocably corrupted from two wars with Chaos, minor incursions of Eldar, and multiple ork uprisings, both minor and major. The Chapter is deemed clean, but three worlds are determined to be irreversibly saturated with Chaotic and xenos taint. Grey Knights and Sisters of Battle oversee the cleansing and Exterminati.
973M41: Broken Earth: Tau fringe worlds encroaching on the Ocrod Sector are attacked and retaken swiftly, ending a protracted but low-tempo war with the tau fleets in the area. Earth caste fortifications shatter like a glass pane hit with a thunder hammer. The methods by which the chapter are able to do so as opposed to before remain hidden.
Sidebar: an Interview by a planetary news reporter with one of the chapter's honor guard, Brother Boran. Note: Brother Boran is in full armor, and has declined to sit. He would probably break the chair.
Twinna Lynnked: So, Brother Boran, tell me a little about the most memorable battle you've fought against the Tau that are attacking?
Brother Boran: Hmmm. I think it was when I was still a neophyte and discovered that they were utter cowards. I had had moral problems with killing them when they were under suppression fire. After all, it's honorable to let an opponent fight you on his own two feet, yes? But when I discovered that they would rather run instead of fighting, I had those compunctions no more. I'm very pragmatic about it. It's partly why I'm part of the chapter honor guard.
TL: which is a good lead-in to my next question. What is it like, being one of humanity's most deadly warriors?
BB: I admit, it can be intoxicating. The rush of battle, tempered only by the knowledge that maybe, just maybe someone else is stronger than me. Better gear than I do. Armed with unholy might, that whatever they have, it can beat me. But the feel of overcoming that-that is amazing.
TL: I see. Two more questions, then I'll let you go. First, why the jump packs? I understand that honor guard usually don't use them.
BB: Our first chapter champion mandated their use after we failed to keep pace with our Master. He's long since added one of his own, which makes our job all the harder.
TL: I see. And the wings?
BB: He shrugs. They look cool. He cocks his head. Yes Shogun. Of course Shogun. I'll be right there. Excuse me. My master has need of me. He takes off, reaching for his blade. His armored wings glint resplendent in the dawn, backlit by the flames of his pack.
TL: And there you have it, people. An interview with one of the Emperor’s deadliest Angels of Death, and they certainly look like they live up to the name.
Relics of the Dawn Blades:
Exclusive to the Shogun:
The Sunfire Katana (name subject to change around that theme): This sword was forged by the first Dawn Blade Master of the Forge, crafted in the depths of the battle barque's plasma core. It is said that the sword radiates the power and heat that played a hand in its creation, and those struck with it quickly suffer severe radiation damage and third-degree burns. Also of note are the twin nozzles of flamers that jet flame along the blade, allowing the Shogun to unleash a gout of flame upon his foes.
Only the Shogun is permitted to carry this weapon into battle, though it is not without risk. The power within it is such that even the wielder can suffer its harmful effects, so great care is exercised with the weapon. The Sunfire Katana is used to mark each captain's rise to the captaincy by lightly touching each shoulder with the blade and rushing the marine off to the Apothecarion to remove any progenoid glands still in the captain quickly, lest they be damaged beyond what they already are.
The Blood Helm: Despite the name, this is actually a well-crafted suit of artificer armor, complete with a finely crafted jump pack, that the Black Guard chapter gifted to the Dawn Blades after the latter recovered a gene-seed transport belonging to the former. The name comes from the blood spilled of sacrificed brothers in defense of others; the helm was repainted to commemorate their sacrifices.
The machine spirit is particularly active in this suit, and is capable of wrenching the wearer out of the way of incoming blows, allowing an extra split-second's reaction time for the Shogun to bring his weapons about to dispatch the threat. The spirit can extend a fraction of this this to other marines within a small area, calling upon the armors' spirits to dodge incoming projectiles. The spirit also has a great zeal and lust for melee, and will exhort every last bit of energy from the suit and those around it to it close rapidly with the enemy by jump pack.
Aeonic Light and Aeonic Night: These brother tanks are a set of Command Tanks the chapter was able to procure during the millennia of the chapter's disagreement with the Mechanicus. Rather than the standard scheme of simple silver for vehicles, Aeonic Light and Aeonic Night are painted a brilliant gold and bronze and midnight blue respectively. Aeonic Light is a Land Raider Excelcior, and Aeonic Night is a Rhino Primaris outfitted with a lascannon underneath the comm dish to add its own heavy firepower to the battle.
The Singing Traid: the trio of Thunderfire cannon, subsequently named Rolling Thunder, Glow of Redemption, and My Brother's Anvil, gifted to the chapter alongside the Blood Helm in thanks for the rescuing a gene-seed transport. These three cannons have been reported on numerous occasions to drum and sing their own war-hymns, through their fire-patterns and their binaric communication. It has been noted their combat efficiency drops approximately twenty percent per absent cannon, meaning that an individual cannon can only operate at 60 percent peak combat potential, providing a large incentive to keep them together.
The Shadowglass Twins: These are a pair of blacker-than-black glass panes that are artistic curiosities for the chapter, though studied to see if their shadowdances can be replicated on fabric for camo cloaks. So far, the techmarines have been unsuccessful.
Edited by Conn Eremon, 26 May 2017 - 04:44 AM.
Fixed event tag