I´d like to present the concept of my personal space marine chapter here, which I carry around with me for years now (I actually made an IA under another name for them quite a time ago, but I think it´s now deleted (which is totally ok)).
Anyways, let´s start:
(standard colour scheme)
Chapter Name: Twilight Wardens
Founding: 23rd Founding (Sentinel Founding)
Homeworld: Enoch (Feudal World)
Ultima Segmentum (bordering to the Ork Empire of Charadon and in relative proximity
to the Forgeworld Metalica)
System: Enoch System
Geneseed: Unknown/ Imperial Fists (debated)
Colours: Fawn, sky-blue eyelenses, colour variations of the helmet based on battle-field role ("huts")
Chapter Insignia: A feline paw, claws reaching through a sun, tips touching an encircling crescent moon
Specialty: Scouting and stealth, Preferred enemy: Orks
Strength: ~ 700+
Chapter Master: Chidi Tinashe
Battle-Cry: "For our fathers,
for the herd among the stars!"
The Twilight Wardens are Space Marine Chapter of the 23rd Founding. Hailing from the world of Enoch, their main initial purpose was to protect the regions surrounding the Ork Empire of Charadon, eventually they were deployed in other warzones, mosty fighting greenskins and ocassionally other Xenos, if their absense is justifiable. They are a highly spiritual, some might say superstitious chapter, with many traditions rooted deeply in the culture of their homeworld. Quite frequently their own homeworld is attacked by Orks, but the invaders could always be fought back so far.
Enoch is a hot, arid world, with a size roughly two thirds of Holy Terra, a hard place to live, but not as hellish as a typical death world.
It was re-discovered at some point after the Great Crusade by the same name, but was of little importance, until it became the Twilight Wardens homeworld at some point early to middle M38.
Though this particular individual is all but forgotten and the Wardens have full sovereignity over the planet and it little star system, it has never been re-named, because they see names as something holy.
The landscape consists of savannahs, deserts and wastelands and the inhabitants are forced to change their place of living several times a year to sustain their herds of cattle. The Fauna brings forth several predators which could been found on Old Earth, like lions, hyeanas and even crocodiles which inhabit the few regions whith permanent water-supplies, as well as anitolopes, rhinos and more.
It is debated, if those animals had been imported to be hunted in the Age of Strife or even before that.
At present Enoch has a population of estimated 8- 12 000 000 inhabitants.
The people of Enoch
Inhabited by dark-skinned, tough peoples who mostly live of semi-nomadic herdsmen it´s technological level is generally quite low, but the population is capable of producing steel for weapons and low-tech firearms are not unknown, but cannot be reproduced.
The main way of living is semi-nomadic, the tribes being herdsmen staying as long as possible on a place to sustain their cattle and then travel on established routes, claimed by them by tradition.
A "Twilight Warden" is the honorary term for able-bodied men, guarding the herds for the dangerous period of twilight at dusk and dawn, then the gods sleep and hyenas, lions and other dangerous predators stalk the Night, ready to slay and eat the animals of their precious herds.
Armed with a warriors equipment, a great round or ellipctic shield made of cow-hide and wood and a great spear, the Assagai. It is the main source of a mans honour to fulfil this honour and only men who fulfilled it with valour can hope of one day leading their clan or even great-clan.
The societies are ordered in unities of family, clan, great-clan, and tribe, with the level of loyalty and allegiance being more significant and important, the closer an actual blood-relation is. Each family, clan, great-clan and tribes has it´s nominal leader, but is committed to the council of the priests and elders.
Generally they live rather peacefully, while wars are not uncommon, solving conflicts with bloodshed is rare, because of the common knowledge that the waste of ressource and peoples in fights are simply very unreasonable in this hard and dangerous environment.
Mostly rivalries between competing leaders and conflicted over conceived ill-behaviour, such as the stealing of cattle, are fought out in ritualized one-on-one, unarmed fights at the gahterings of tribes.
Two exception of this general rule occur:
Firstly, the inhabitants of regions known as the "shadowlands", there criminals, cannibals and other banished live are mostly attacked on sight, because they are believed to be cursed and to have lost the favour of the gods.
Every couple decades or sometimes centuries the planet is attacked by Orks, hailing from Charadon. The tribes then band together under the leadership of the Twilight Wardens to meet this threat and destroy it for good. Though none as vigiliant defenders of their realm of space, the Twilight Wardens travel as fast as possible to their homeworld and it´s regulary the only occasion they reject distress calls from other theaters of war. This is also the only time the shadowborn, the inhabitants of the shadow-lands are somehow tolerated and sometimes fight with the main population against the deadly threat of the Ork hordes.
The shadowlands and its inhabitants
The "shadowlands" are a collective term used for a number of regions in which the unwanted of the societies of Enoch´s tribes are banished for one reason or another. They gain their common name from it´s location being often in wastelands under the shadow of big mountains, the most unhospitable places on the planet, salt seas and the most unrelenting deserts. The people living there are all outcasts for various crimes or shortcomings. Cannibalism, murder and other offences to the gods are either sentenced by death or banishment to the shadowlands. In turn cannibalism is mostly excepted there, mostly because the living conditions are so dire, that it is often a neccesity. There isn´t much organisation of a social life there, because herding is mostly impossible there, most live as hunter-gatherers and the only social entity of any value is mostly a nuclear family or small groups only hold together by the strength of a feared leader.
Sometimes one part of a pair of twins are left and exposed to the elements after birth, because of the difficulties to raise two children at once in an unforgiving environment. Those found and raised by the shadowborn (if they aren´t just killed and eaten) then naturally become shadow-born itself. Other banished are individuals, showing psychic abilities, which are seen as foul witchcraft by the rest of the population.
The shadow-born have a sinister, vile reputation and said to have an ill temper.
Religion of the peoples of Enoch
The people of Enoch are deeply spiritual and have many myths concerning the earth, animals and natural phenomena.
Their pantheon is vast with a myriad of spirits, animal gods and an extensive cult of mythic forfathers and ancestors.
Two vastly important gods which can be found with any tribes though, are the twin gods (who are also husband and wife) Nami and Iman.
Mani, known as the Great Father, or the Demanding brings hardships to make his children, the people of Enoch strong, while Iman the Great Mother, the Caring, gifts them out of love. When both are honored through good, just living and their respective rituals an ideal state is preserved if not, ill will befell the people in one way or another.
Mani shows himself through sunshine, storms and drought and is peronated by the sun, Iman through rain (or floods) and is personated by the moon, clouds and the birth of livestock, Manis time is the day, Inam´s the night. Dusk and dawn, when lions and other dagerous animals prowl to hunt cattle and kill men, is the time when both of them sleep and so men have to fight against nature in order to survive.
A mysterious very durable, yet light material, dubbed "White Obsidian", is to be found on the planet, venerated as a holy substance by the locals and prized by the Wardens as a decent alternative to ceramite and sometimes used instead of it by the chapter serfs to repair damaged battle-armour or even used by Techmarines as a base material to produce suits of Artificer Armour. It is however, other than the name suggests, not very sharp in its natural form and - as it, just like ceramite, conducts almost no heat or other energy - unsuitable to be crafted into power-weapons. However splinters of it, formed into shards on a molecular basis and applied on combat knives or chainswords are a good way to give a weapon a very durable, decently deadly edge. White obsidian, reduced by extreme heat to a molecular level and compressed under great pressure several times, can even be a replacement for Adamantium, though the means to do it are most often beyond the chapter and it´s techmarines and can sometimes be made on Metalica, but for a hefty prize, mostly in the form of large amounts of this rare substance and so this method is only very rarely done.
The population is organized in somewhat hierarchical structures such as families, clans, great-clans and tribes, with loyalty being more relevant the farther an actual blood-relation is present. Though conflicts do occur, they are rare, as people see the necessity of avoiding bloodshed as it is seen as an evil which most of timeonly cost scarce ressources in menpower and strength. White Obsidian plays a role to distinguish highly honoured persons, both in the Chapter as in the general population of the men of Enoch, aswell as their distinctive religious practices. As it is deemed to holy to be altered in it´s physical form by the people of Enoch, but the chapter sees it´s enorm potential as too valuable to totally miss it out, it is only crafted on the planets space station (and outer arsenal) Assagai.
The Twilight Wardens were founded as part of the Sentinel Founding to protect neighbouring regions from the Arch-Arsonists of Charadons hosts. Requested in particular from Metalica to help protect it trading routes, they engaged in conflicts as they helped fight of greenskin attackers at the surrounding worlds.
One on of this occasions by trying to defend a well-populated world, fighting at the for-front, the chapter lost it´s entire first company, which was at this point consisting of veterans in tactical dreadnought armour, like in a codex-chapter. Even worse, the rest of the accompanying forces of the Wardens suffered greatly, too, trying to hold an entry point to a town there the bulk of the population had entrenched itself.
This brought a great change in the chapters organization, each company would know have access to veterans and specialists from this point on and tactics changed from direct engage to tactics of sabotage of supply lines and command structures, feint attacks and tactical retreats, if necessary.
Opposed to many other chapters, the Twilight Wardens have no problem in considering the Emperor a god.
Deep in their hearts though, they have a problem in considering him the only god, they still rever Nami and Iman in secret.
Knowing that this would inevitably lead to conflicts with the Ecclessiarchy and the Inquisition, they have a policy of either denying their existence to outsiders or as telling others that they are simply figures of thought and very similiar to the Promethian Cult of the Salamanders.
They also honour ancestors and dead battle-brothers greatly. They believe they live on in their songs, the war-poems, which are composed and sanctioned by the Chaplains, which enjoy even higher honours as in most other chapters.
The singing of a war-poem can be initiated in battle by the squads leader and lead to a trance-like state of the squad, evoking past patterns of warfare. It can decrease heart rate, metabolism and even act as a surrogate for normal sleep to a degree increasing the Wardens overall fighting prowress in the long-term, helping them to stay in action over longer times.
There is also a custom of claiming family relations among officers and troops, battle-brothers claim there captains as their nominal father, taking sometimes ven his last name.
It has been noted that the Twilight Wardens also practice similiar bonds with warriors of other chapters and even guardsmen which impressed them with their valour and courage, claiming them as nominal brothers and including them in their ever expanding myths over time.
Regiments or chapters with such members are often more likely to receive aid in need from the Wardens.
The life of the Wardens is regulated with a lot of rituals and ceremonies for their gods, and a set of highly honoured chapter serfs, which are un-augmented priests of Nami and Iman always travel on their ships.
They perceive themselves primarily as guardians and defendders of menkind, as their former flock as regular humans were cattle, goats and sheep now they watch over the citizens of menkind, the herd among the stars.
The Geneseed of the Twilight Wardens shows little to no mutation .An exception is the often malfunctioning Betcher´s Gland. Its origin isn´t entirely clear, though the Administratum list them as Ultramarines successors, the chapter commands claim to be of Imperial Fists descend, specifically being founded by the nearly-extinct Celestial Lions, which they see as spiritual forbears. Though most imperial authorities see this as rather unlikely, it is unwise to denounce this openly while adressing the Wardens, who hold the Celestial Lions in highest regard.
The Twilights Wardens rever the Emperor as a god (though it is unclear, if he is revered in the ideal way as wished by the Ecclessiarchy), as long with the local gods Nami and Iman, among many other divine beings, (though practices of worship to those are mostly hold in secret and this is not revealed to outsiders). They also believe heavily in fallen battle brothers becoming semi-divine beings, in an unique manner: After a period of time determined by the Chaplains they hold ceremonies, in which the bones of the fallen are burnt. Their legacy is then immortalized in war-poems. At this time their names are purged from official records and forbidden to be used in common language. Instead they are believed to live on in their poems and their names can only be sung.
In this way they live on as spirits guiding their brethren.
Since losing their entire first company, while trying to save a great amount of civilians in a battle against the Greenskins, the former codex-adherent chapter changed tactics and organisation considerably. Using scouting tactics and infiltration as an important element of their battle plans, it maintains a regular scout company, but the other five companies contain ideally marines for every battle role, meaning Devastators, tanks, tactical squads and veterans are all part of a regular company, as well as a companies own scouts (which are mostly more experienced than their regular counterparts in the scout company).
Each regular company is called a Kraal-Company, living as a nominable "tribe" and operate on strike cruiser. The Kraal Company consists of several clans, based on equipment and battle-field roles, named after predators of Enoch, which are the following: jackals are scouts (while the scouts of the "regular" scout company are sometimes dubbed "Fenneks" or "desert foxes"), Tactical Marines are leopards, Devastators and tank personel are Hyenas, Assault Squads, Bikes and Land Speeders are "Cheetas". Each of those units forms a close bond in their respective companies and are referred to as a "hut" (e.g. "the cheeta hut of Kraal Tinashe). A Marine spends the most time of his daily life with his hut and members mostly share a friendly rivalry.
A special entity of the chapter is an elite corps of Greenskin-Hunters, mostly composed of Vanguard Veterans and Assault Terminators, the Eclipse Lions. Those Veterans hate and expertise in killing the Xenos, excels those of their common brethren, by they have also tendencies of recklessness and value human life sometimes less, than other Warden Claws and have a more sinister reputation among the majority of the chapter and the population of Enoch.
Numbers are stressed by near constant campaigns against Orks and other Xenos, but do to a quite high recruitment rate, remain relatively stable.
The chapters tanks, mostly manufactured and maintained on the fortress-satellite Assagai, surrounding Enoch is of little to medium size and mostly of more common vehicles due to the chapters rather backwater status. It contains a considerable amount of Landspeeders though and keeps it number of drop pods high to quickly engage in battle in the various conflicts and distress calls it has to answer.
Vehicles of note:
- Lion´s Paw: Landraider (mostly used as personal transport for Chapter Master Chidi Tinashe
- Rainbringer: Whirlwind
- Crack-Jaw: Hunter tank
- Lightening Spear: Landspeeder of the Cheetah hut of Chidi Tinashe Kraal Companys leader Abidemi Abessi
- Adisa Thunderstrike: Venerable Dreadnought
- Retribution of Mani: Land Raider Redeemer
Chapter Relics: - Mercy of Inam: Stalker Bolter
- Mask of Nami: Artificer-Helmet, used by the chapters Master of Sanctity, currently Samore Mussa
- Beasts´ Woe: Power weapon, great spear ("lionspear")
- Devourer of the Wicked: Heavy Flamer
Greatshield is a 30,000 ft high mountain, with a flat plateau on it´s encrested with built in encampments and forticifcationss. Part of the chapters arsenal is kept in the mountain itself. It´s top can be "sealed" with overlapping great plates of bronze-coloured metal with an adamantium core, if needed to shield it from enemy forces from above.
When attackers come, it is a bastion which can hold a large proportion of Enochs weak, children, women and elders.
As I am already writing for hours, I call it a day, now. Hope you enjoyed my creation so far. Will fill in the blanks as soon as possible!
Edited by Kyknos of Athena, 27 March 2021 - 10:17 PM.