It was inevitable, really. No matter how many Spess Muhreens I have (and I have at least two, honestly the sheer number of power-armoured figures I own is outrageous) I knew that I would probably certainly end up with Primaris Marines.
I tried not to. I really did.
But then I went to Games Workshop with my son, and we left wit Know No Fear (and a Start Collecting! Orks, because my son is actually a Chaos Ork but I digress). Equally inevitably, he demanded the Death Guard because he is a fan of all things twisted and zombie-like, and I ended up with the Primaris.
But what to do with them? I have white Marines, black Marines, green-and-ivory Marines, I'm going to have blue-grey Marines and void-grey Marines and I even have a few yellow Marines and some blue Marines. I didn't really want to paint more block colours.
So this happened:
Here's the story behind her.
The Palmyrene Spears – a short history
Per Actum, Victoria
Created in the early years of the 42nd Millenium by Roboute Guilliman during the Ultima Founding, the Palmyrene Spears are a Chapter of ‘Primaris’ Space Marines. Their Founding was ordered by the High Lords of Terra as a response to the fluctuating warp storms of the Cicatrix Maledictum; in particular the discovery of a relatively stable route through the Maledictum to the ‘dark’ Imperium. The region, known as the Palmyrene Cluster, was otherwise an average area of Imperal space. However, despite its generally unremarkable nature, the warp transit route needed to be protected, and as such a Space Marine Chapter was to be based within the Cluster as part of the Ultima Founding.
The initial Chapter was created out of whole cloth from Primaris Marines from Belisarius Cawl’s biologis manufactora on Mars. Cawl’s Marines, officially, were of Ultramarine genestock. However, unbeknownst to the High Lords, the Lord Protector, or even the Holy Ordos of the Inquisition, Cawl had, following an argument with Guilliman, decanted Marines that were unusual in two major respects.
Firstly, they are all female. As part of an experiment within an experiment, Cawl had successfully recreated some of the earliest Space Marines which have since passed from history. Tithed from a mix of girls from hive slum sweeps, orphanages, and a top-secret programme abducting children from military families within the Terran Defence Force, Cawl, with access to the Emperor’s own data, managed to do what no others had done since the earliest days of the Great Crusade. Given the rarity of Space Marines, no-one within the Cluster knows that the Spears are anything but normal.
Secondly, their genetic legacy is not, as all official records maintain, that of Guilliman. Rather, some originate from the Alpha Legion, and others still from the lost XI Legion. The split is roughly half, and Cawl experimented – successfully – with blending the two together as part of the attempts to utilise children of all genders as recruitment material. It is probably worth noting that the Techmarines have all been trained in Cawl’s own manufactora on Mars, and are markedly more secretive and reclusive than usual within most Chapters.
However, not even the Chapter’s own officers are aware of their genetic legacy, and consider themselves to be one of the many Chapters that draw their line of descent from Guilliman – a view shared, indeed, by the wider Imperium.
Despite this, the Chapter is decidedly not Codex-compliant. Whilst the Codex Astartes is indeed required reading for the Chapter’s members, it is seen as a set of guidelines, advice, and historic tactical and strategic problems with the solutions used at the time. The Chapter’s divergence is most clearly seen in its members’ battleplate, which is almost always obscured with warzone-specific camouflage. Officially, the Chapter’s colours are quartered yellow and blue, with silver or white insignia, and standard Codex colours for companies, rank and so on. Additionally, the Chapter makes extensive use of ambush, guerrilla, and sabotage tactics, and prefers to fight with overwhelming localised superiority where possible.
In its short life, the Chapter has fought Orks, Chaos raiders from the Death Guard Legion, and Eldar pirates. It has been as successful as any Space Marine Chapter, suffering its share of defeats as well as glorious victories against the odds.
Currently, the first Chapter Master (chosen from amongst the Chapter’s officers by ballot), Zenobia Bat-Zabbai, has the bulk of the Chapter split into reinforced company groups, roving the Cluster on wide patrol sweeps. It is through these sweeps that most of the Chapter’s combat actions have taken place.
The Chapter’s homeworld is the death world of Sidon, populated by semi-feral tribal humans whose girls are routinely tithed in a series of deadly games – as part of their ascent into adulthood, children of the tribes are expected to perform a series of tasks. Some of those who succeed are taken by the Chapter’s Librarians to their mountain-top fortress-monastery, where they begin the long process of alteration, induction and training to become Palmyrene Spears.
As with any Space Marine Chapter, the Chapter has access to a small fleet of ships, mostly Strike Cruisers and Gladius-class frigates, with a small number of Sword-class destroyers for picket duties and escort.
Its relations with other Imperial bodies and authorities within the Palmyrene Cluster are generally good, although the Lord Militant of the Cluster and much of his upper command echelons do feel rather piqued that the High Lords felt that a Space Marine Chapter was required to assist in the defence of the Cluster and its all-important transit routes. Some consider this little more than an insult to the proud martial traditions of the local Defence Forces and Imperial Guard Regiments. Those whom the Chapter has aided, however, be it against marauding Orks, reaving Eldar or the malodorous warriors of the Death Guard, have a somewhat different and more positive view.
As a new Chapter, with just under a century’s campaigning, it is still bedding into the Cluster, and developing its relationships with the Navy, Guard, local Defence Forces, planetary governors, and other assorted structures. Some friction is inevitable, but the Chapter tends to remain largely unaware of the ripples its presence has caused within local political structures – primarily because most unaugmented humans tend to quail in the presence of armoured eight or nine foot tall superhuman warriors. A tentative bond of reciprocal support has been made with the Knights of the feudal agri-world Hegra Come, whom the Palmyrene Spears assisted in the repulsion and destruction of an Eldar pirate band that had plagued that world for several centuries.
The Chapter’s motto, Per Actum, Victoria (Through Action, Victory) underlines their aggressive approach to combat – to always be acting, to be in a position of aggressive offensive dominance that overwhelms the enemy, leaving them unable to respond or to take or regain the initiative either tactically or strategically.
With such an important role as gatekeepers and wardens of one of the few relatively stable transit routes from one side of the Maledictum to the other, the Palmyrene Spears will undoubtedly become a storied and experienced Chapter over the next few centuries.
Thoughts on my heretical heresies welcomed!