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Index Astartes: The Blades Aurus


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TheBladesAurus

TheBladesAurus

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This is an updated version of the Index Astartes for the Blades Aurus. Tidied up, but still a lot of work to do. The main improvements are in the actual IA.


Index Astartes: The Blades Aurus
 

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THE BLADES AURUS


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CHAPTER NAME: ..............THE BLADES AURUS
FOUNDING: ..................UNKNOWN, BELIEVED 7TH FOUNDING (EARLY M34)
CHAPTER WORLD: .............NONE (FLEET BASED)
FORTRESS MONASTERY: ........CHAPTER BARGES (THE SABER, THE ÉPÉE, THE FOIL)
GENE-SEED (PREDECESSOR): ...UNKNOWN UNTIL M42]
KNOWN DESCENDANTS: .........NONE KNOWN


"We are an unbroken chain of blood and ceramite stretching back six millenia in the Emperor’s service. We will not break here. We will not break today"
- Chapter Admiral Talmus, The Lord Épée, Galunthor Orbit, 999.M41


Notable battles and campaigns <i>

The Artos rebellion (M34, 1st fleet)
One of the Chapter’s first independent engagements, they completely, efficiently and mercilessly wiped out the population of a city that had rebelled against the Imperium due to rationing.
Bec'tor (early M35, 2nd and 3rd fleet)
On the world of Bec'tor, while battling a Chaos uprising amongst the miners of the world, the Blades Aurus discovered a recording and last testament left by loyalist Word Bearers.



T
he Blades Aurus are a fleet-based chapter, with a history dating back to the early years of M34. Specialists in Zone Mortalis combat, their fleets have roamed the Imperium, fighting any enemy who have threatened the supremacy of Mankind.
The Chapter are characterized by two over-riding beliefs. The first is an uncompromising belief in the Imperial Truth, and the aims of the Emperor's Great Crusade, as they understand it. They do not believe in any gods, including the Emperor, and strive to reclaim the lost knowledge of humanity. They are unafraid to voice these beliefs: something that has bought them into conflict with both the Ecclesiarchy and certain factions of the Inquisition.
The second main belief is that each suit of power armour's Machine Spirit has a unique personality, influencing its style of fighting and prefered role in battle. Initiates and suits are carefully matched, and new Battle Brothers take on the name of their armour.
The Chapter is split into three fleets, lead by great Chapter Barges, named The Saber, The Foil and The Épée. As a fleet-based Chapter they are by necessity experts in naval engagements and boarding actions. This specialization in boarding actions broadens out to their widespread expertise in Zone Mortalis combat.

DOCTRINE AND ORGANISATION
The Blades Aurus are a minimally Codex compliant chapter. The most obvious exception to the Codex Astartes is that they are not formed into companies, but rather into three great fleets. The Chapter Admiral of each fleet has complete autonomy and authority within their fleet. Only decisions that affect the entire Chapter are decided by the counsel of all three Chapter Admirals, and these Great Councils are often several centuries apart.
The Chapter are specialists in Zone Mortalis combat: from the twisted corridors of space hunks to the deep caverns of mine worlds, from boarding actions against enemy fleets to rooting out cults in the depth of the underhive. Due to the restricted space, they make minimal use of vehicles. They do however make extensive use of gunships, drop pods, and assault rams.
Notable battles and campaigns <ii>

The Kontras Incident (~300.M36, 3rd fleet)
After a disastrous ambush that left the fleet mostly intact but killed many of the crew-selfs of the fleet, Chapter Admiral Admantius was forced to dock with an Adeptus Ministorum station above the shrine world of Kontras to effect repairs. While the Battle Brothers searched the ship for any sign of boarders, the remaining crew-serfs left the ship to mourn their losses. After getting drunk, several of the crew-serfs get into an argument about the divinity of the Emperor, citing the Imperial Truth, and were arrested by the Adeptus Ministorum. Having found out about this, Chapter Admiral Admantius went to confront the Cardinal holding his men, and found him giving a sermon while torturing the serfs: one was already dead, one was being flayed and the last had had his tongue removed. After being called a heretic, Admantius backhanded the aging cardinal, killing him instantly. This led to the entire population of the station attacking the Blades, forcing the Chapter to wipe them out. Although the Blades Aurus were able to cut communications from the station, an air of suspicion hung around the Chapter.

The Blades are often deployed in small formations, either because of the limited space within the corridors and caves of the zone mortalis, or because a single one of their vessels has been the nearest Imperial forces to respond to a threat. The Chapter's method is to force the enemy to advance through a hail of fire. Their scout marines will often lead the enemy into traps, pulling them into the firing line of the battle-brothers, setting up ambushes, and then retreating, causing the pursuing enemy to fall into another trap. Although not afraid to engage the enemy in close combat when necessary, a mission where an enemy successfully lands a blow on a battle-brother’s armour is considered poorly planned.
The Chapter have maintained the Codex ruling of all battle-brothers being able to function in all battlefield roles. Each battle-brother will undertake a rotation in the assault and devastator squads, and although the majority of the Chapter are deployed as tactical squads, they will quickly and easily adapt to changing missions, taking up heavy support or close combat equipment as needed. With each fleet, and indeed each vessel, often acting independently, this flexibility is not only desirable, but necessary.
Rather than being organised by company, the battle-brothers are organised by ship, with each of the Chapter Barges, the flagships of each fleet, having 100-200 battle brothers, and each strike cruiser having 50-100 battle brothers. The veterans of the chapter are all nominally members of the 1st company, and all initiates are members of the 10th company, but these designations are purely honourary, not organisational. The captain of each vessel also acts as commander on the battlefield, and as such they are expert in both navel and terrestrial warfare.
The three fleets are formally known as 1st, 2nd and 3rd, although they are also known by the name of the Chapter Barge which leads them, Saber fleet, Foil fleet and Épée fleet. Theoretically, each fleet comprises of 333 battle-brothers, on-board the Chapter barge and three cruisers. However, in reality a fleet will often have 400 battle-brothers, and at times have reached over 500. This has been largely ignored by the Inquisition and the Adeptus Terra, as each fleet acts independently, making the Chapter more like three undersized Chapters with a shared heritage than a single, over-sized unit. The Chapter Admirals are aware of this though, and take pains to ensure that no more than 1000 of the Blades are ever in one system, so as not to invite repercussions. Their beliefs already make them targets for
some members of the Inquisition and they seek to avoid antagonizing the organisation.

ORIGINS
In late M33, the Magos’ of the forgeworld Aurus discovered an armoured container in their storage yards, filled with geneseeds locked in storage. They immediately searched their records for any hint of where they had appeared from. The techpriests discovered that after the Horus Heresy, geneseed from all leagons had been returned to the Sol System for safekeeping. One fleet carrying these geneseeds had been ambushed on the edge of the Aurus system. Clearly, some cargo had been recovered, and had been misidentified in the confusion.
Notable battles and campaigns <iii>

2nd and 3rd wars for Armageddon (941.M41 and 998.M41; 1st fleet)Although 1st fleet attempted to reach Armageddon during the 2nd war, due to the vagaries of the warp they arrived after the war was over, and Ghazghkull Thraka driven off. In recompense for failing to help Armageddon, Fleet Admiral Mantorus Ackerman committed his fleet to fighting the Orks, beginning by clearing ‘roks’ and space hulks claimed by the greenskins, and then advancing to attack Ork targets further from Armageddon. They regularly sent small units, mainly scouts and some support troops, to the Jungles of Armageddon to train these new initiates and to repay their perceived debt. One such force was on Armageddon at the beginning of the 3rd War, but the remainder of the fleet were cut off from the world.

The Magos’ of Aurus gathered their allies within the Mechanicum and went to the High Lords of Terra with a plan. They would supply a new Space Marine Chapter to aid the Mechanicum in their search for knowledge, to fight aboard Space Hulks, and to defend forgeworlds.
The High Lords all but laughed in their face.
A Chapter under the Mechanicum’s control would upset the balance of the Imperium, as well as being an insult to the the Adeptus Astarties, who valued their autonomy. However, the High Lords agreed that a Chapter would be founded, but as independent as every other Astarties, as long as the Mechanicus agreed to provide to promised equipment. The Prists of Magus immediately agreed, much the the chagrin of their allies. The geneseeds were transported under close guard to the Sol System, and wheels of the Imperial burocrisy ground into motion. The Chapter was founded in M34.
As the Blades Aurus were not founded from another chapter in the traditional way, they did not have the core of veterans inherited from their parent chapter that other successors often do. Their first centuries were spent in support of more senior chapters, several descended from the so called ‘Shattered Legions’.

BELIEFS
After their findings on Bec'tor in early M35 the Blades Aurus are determined believers in the Imperial Truth, utterly uncompromising with traitors and xenos, and most importantly, that there are no gods, knowing that the Emperor expressly forbade being worshiped. This has, unsurprisingly, put them in conflict with the Ecclesiarchy, most notably the Kontras Incident in early M36. In more recent millennia there has been a grudging acceptance that the faith of the mass of humanity is a necessary evil, giving them hope and binding the vastness of the Imperium together. However, they still despise those they think should be better than this, especially their fellow Astarties who worship the so called “God-Emperor”.
Secondly, and seemingly somewhat contradictory, is the Chapter's great reverence for the machine spirits of their power armour. Each suits’ machine spirit is believed to have a personality, influencing its style of fighting and preferred role in battle. Each initiate is carefully matched to a a suit before they become full battle-brothers. Some initiates have remained in the 10th company for decades before a suitable machine spirit becomes available, while suits have remained unused for centuries until finally there was a deserving candidate. When the Blades are forced to retreat from a battlefield they will attempt to take the helmets of their fallen battle-brothers, as well as their geneseeds, so that their machine spirit can return to the Chapter to serve again. This has gained them the unfortunate, and unfounded, reputation as head takers amongst some guard regiments they have served beside.
Due to their initial recruits coming from forgeworlds, and their close contact with the Mechanicum, they were often involved in the Martian Quest for Knowledge; after Bec'tor this broadened more widely to reclaiming the lost knowledge of mankind, both that lost since the Great Crusade, and knowledge from the Dark Age of Technology. However, they dispise technology that is outside the purity of humanity, seeing it as an insult to the Machine Spirits.

RECRUITMENT
Notable battles and campaigns <iv>

Galunthor Disaster (end of 999.M41, 3rd fleet)
Responding to a call for help from the world of Galunthor, the Blades and an Inquisitorial ally battled through warp storms to get to the system. After only being in the system for a matter of days, the Astronomican stuttered and went silent, causing the librarians and astropaths of the Chapter to be deeply concerned. Upon reaching the planet, they found that the mining works underneath hive Quarturnious had been infested by a genestealer cult which hold the loyalty of almost every individual in the hive. The Chapter were forced to battle their way downwards, clearing every section and destroying side passages behind themselves, driving the remains of the cult deeper and deeper. After over a month of fighting, the unthinkable happened: an entire tyranid tendril appeared at the edge of the system, undetected by the psychers in the fleet due to the disruptions in the warp, the silence of the Astronomican, and the alien presence of the Genestealer cult. Without time to recover the warriors from beneath the world before the Hive Fleet reached them, the Chapter Admiral was forced between losing 90% of his Battle Brothers, or the whole of 3rd fleet. Faced with that choice, he decided to save the fleet, and committed exterminatus on the world to deprive the Hive Fleet of its biomass.

The Blade's Aurus recruit from any world not claimed by another Chapter. Most often, when the fleet is traveling through ‘safer’ Imperial space it will split up, each cruiser taking their escorts and going to a different system. Once there, a first level of recruitment is initiated, collecting those who appear physically, mentally and psychologically strong, and who profess faith in the Imperium and the Emperor.
When the fleet reconvenes the real testing begins aboard the Chapter Barge. Those who are not physically comparable, who do not have the mental capacity, or are psychologically unable to face the unending battle, are found a place within the crew-serfs of the fleet, more suited to their abilities. Those who fail in their loyalty to the Imperium are given to the Adeptus Mechanicus to become servitors, where their lack of faith can no longer be a weakness to the Chapter. The remaining few then begin their selection, training and testing, through which many will fail, often fatally, before they might, finally, become initiates of the Chapter.
It is often assumed this would lead to conflict: the crew-serfs jealous that they did not have the opportunity to become Astartes, the battle-brothers arrogant and superior that the crew-serfs failed the testing. Instead, both groups are told the same parable. The Chapter is like a master crafted sword. The blade shines bright, stories are told about it, and it cuts down it's master's enemies. But with a weak hilt the blade cannot reach its enemies, and the hand of the master is vulnerable. Without a scabbard the blade will be dull and damaged before the battle, unable to reach its potential. The blade is the Astartes, the crew-serfs are the hilt and scabbard: songs may not be written about them, but the battle could not be won without them.
The Chapter adapts its recruitment practice to the world they encounter. This constant recruitment often leads to a large number of initiates being in the chapter at any one time, however this works well with their preferred tactics.

GENE-SEED
Until recently, after the Galunthor Disaster, the gene-sire of the chapter was unknown, although the Chapter believed they knew the story of their founding. Their geneseed is remarkably pure, with all of their organs working fully, and without corruption. Over the six millennia since the Chapter’s founding the battle-brothers have speculated about their origins. Given the full function of their organs, they cannot be descendants of Dorn. Given their lack of a change in skin tone, they are not descended from Corax or Vulcan. They do not display any conspicuous mutations, so they cannot be of the stock of Russ or Sanguinius. Their temperament seems at odds with the sons of the Khan, and not do they show the hatred of the flesh of Ferrus’ lineage. It has often been assumed that they are one of the many scions of Guilliman, or perhaps of the Lion.

NAMES WITHIN THE CHAPTER
When an initiate takes their suit of power armour and becomes a fully-fledged battle-brother of The Blades Aurus, they renounce their old name. The new Astartes will take the name of that armour, choosing one of their previous names as a suffix to distinguish them from previous bearers. The new Battle Brother is expected to spend time in communion with his companion machine spirit, and go into the archives of the Chapter, studying its previous battles and campaigns.
After several decades it will be difficult to distinguish the Astartes from his namesakes. Indeed, dreadnoughts of the Chapter can be awakened after centuries and still find their old comrades seemingly still around them, their personalities relatively unchanged, and 'remembering’ old battles.
It is rare for a Space Marine to survive when their armour does not, but if a Marines armour is badly damaged and significantly reconstructed, the battle-brother is expected to tend to it, and nurse it, in the same way a seriously injured Astartes would go through having to learn to use a replacement limb.
When new suits of power armour are built their first wearer is carefully selected from the very best initiates, the librarians, tech-marines and apocatheries working together to choose the correct candidate.
The ascension to tactical dreadnoughts armour is seen as a death and rebirth. Only the last remaining member of a squad becomes a terminator, renouncing any name other than the name of the armour they now bare, becoming simply the latest incarnation of a great hero of the Chapter.

POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY WITHIN THE CHAPTER
Chapter Admiral
The three Chapter Admirals of the Blades Aurus each command one of the fleets, and take as their flagships one of the Chapter Barges.They are expected to be experts of both naval and terrestrial warfare, commanding the Astarties in every theater. Chapter tradition dictates that the Chapter Admiral rarely takes to the frontline, instead taking a broader overview. Due to this, Chapter Admirals will often live for many centuries, and so the character of the Chapter Admiral will often influence the character of their fleet. In the same way, rivalries between the Chapter Admirals will become rivalries between their fleets. The three Chapter Admirals receive the title Lord Saber, Lord Épée and Lord Foil, respectively.
Archivist General
The Chief Librarian of each fleet holds the title of Archivist General. The Chapter have somewhat of a wariness about librarians. They are aware that the Emperor banned the the Librarius at the Council of Nikaea, and although this was repealed in the Codex Astartes this has not made them fully comfortable with psychers. In consequence, librarians are often kept away from the battlefield, acting as keepers of the Chapter’s knowledge and artifacts. As such they can detect any hint of taint within these artifacts. When the librarians are deployed into war, they are always accompanied by a squad of the Chapters veterans, there to act as both bodyguard and watchers.
Master of Ships
The chief Techmarine of the Chapter has both the traditional title of Master of the Forge, but also the unique title, Master of Ships, and it is this title that is used in preference. The title demonstrates that without their knowledge, the vessels of the fleet, and hence the entire Chapter, would not be able to operate. The Chapter’s great respect for technology extends to their Techmarines, of which they have an unusually high number. Since the Chapter often operates in high technology theatres of war, such as space hulks and forgeworlds, units are often led by Techmarines. Every Marine is expected to have some knowledge of technology, knowing what can be destroyed without thought, and what needs to be preserved at all costs.

BATTLE-CRY
Ave Imperator!
Brother Mantorus of the Blades Aurus watched the Space Wolf lieutenant leap the trench. He landed with perfect poise, his mane of blond hair forming a halo around his head. Backlit by the setting sun he was the epitome of the noble savage.
An autocannon shell took him in the left temple, exploding the right side of his head, his blond hair suddenly stained red.
“Sanguinius wept”, Mantorus yelled, “what kind of idiot goes into battle without their helmet?!”

SELECTED HISTORY AND BATTLE HONOURS
The Founding [M34]
As the Blades Aurus were not founded from another chapter in the traditional way, they did not have the core of veterans inherited from their parent chapter that other successors often do. Instead, the Priests of Aurus and their allies within the Mechanicus sent ‘volunteers’ to the Sol system, where the Imperial Fists garrison tested them. The attrition rate amongst these first recruits was unusually high, with many failing to survive the ordeal. The rumour within the later Blade’s Aurus was that the Fists garrison was overly harsh, resenting training troops that they saw as being too loyal to Mars, and who were clearly not sons of Dorn.
Given the remarkably low survival rate of the recruits, eventually, 100 initiates were formed into a scout company, given the strike cruiser Koncerz, and put under the command of ‘The Scions of Guilliman’. It was during this campaign that the Blades saw their first battles, and, eventually, the first of them were granted the status of full Battle-Brothers. It is also believed that this was the beginning of their reverence for the machine spirits of their armour, as their childhood on Mechanicus worlds combined with the reward and pride of their final step to becoming Adeptus Astartes. After this campaign, with all of the first cohort having risen to full Battle-Brothers, and having begun to grow their numbers, they were them transferred for a campaign under the command of ‘The Sons of Manus’. The two Chapters got on surprisingly well, as the new Blades Aurus had all grown up on Forge Worlds and so both Chapters shared a respect for the Cult Mechanicus. From ‘The Sons of Manus’ the Blades learnt determination, an even deeper respect for machines, and, perhaps, their later decision to not have a single Chapter Master. Their next campaign was under the ‘Brotherhood of Vulkan’, as the Lord’s of Terra believed that the Brotherhood‘s knowledge of flamer and melta tactics would be perfect for the Blade’s Zone Mortalis specialism. Although initially suspicious of the Blades, their shared level of stoicism, respect for machine craft and maintenance of their equipment eventually eroded many barriers. The final of these training campaigns was with ‘Corax’s Ravens’, where it was believed that the Raven’s skill in stealth and the use of small forces for precision strikes would benefit the new Chapter. Whilst the Blade’s excelled in both roles, and gained a great respect for the use of gunships which has remained to this day, they clashed with the Raven’s in how the final blow was delivered. While the Ravens prefered to go in for close quarter kills, destroying the enemy with bolt pistol and chainsword, the Blades’ closed their ambushes with a hail of fire, perhaps having being influenced by their previous two campaigns.
Finally, the first Blades Aurus were considered veterans ready to conduct their own affairs. Having grown to around a three hundred Battle-Brothers through their flow of new recruits, the remaining of the original marines were granted the title of First Company of the Blades Aurus. At the same time, the Adeptus Mechanicus delivered the initial great Chapter Barges, The Saber, a new vessel but built to truly ancient designs. Their first semi-independent campaign was again beside ‘The Scions of Guilliman’. During this time the Chapter recruited vivaciously, attempting to build their new brotherhood. Despite battle-losses, by the end of the campaign the Blade’s Aurus were up to 500 full battle-brothers, enough to consider the first fleet more than fully manned, and well on the way to the beginning of the second fleet. It was with the salute of the ‘The Scions of Guilliman’ that the Blade’s Aurus were finally considered a Chapter in their own right. Whether these ‘Scions of Guilliman’ were the same as first saw the Chapter off is unknown, but it is commonly considered so, if only for the poetry of them being there to see the Chapter grow from adolescence to adulthood.
This lack of knowledge about which Chapters the Blades served alongside may seem at odds with the Chapter’s later detailed records, but it is believed to result from two facts. Firstly, the Blades were under the direct command of other Chapters, and it would be these chapters who kept records of the battles fought and wars won. Perhaps, deep within the fortress monasteries of ancient Chapters, the records still exist. Secondly, those first Battle-Brothers had the knowledge, and may simply not have considered that there would be a time when it was not common amongst the Chapter. It was only a millennia after the fact, when all of the Chapter knew of the stories from the epic tales that were passed down to each new initiate, that they realized that no Brothers remained who could tell the first hand details.
It is worth noting that the Chapters that carried out the majority of the Blades Aurus’ training were either the so called ‘Shattered Legions’ or their descendants. These Chapters have often been below strength, and so it may be that that was another reason the Blades were given to them. It may also be that all three were chosen, so as the Blades did not adopt the Iron Hands', and their successors, grudges against the other ‘Shattered Legions’.


The Artos rebellion [late M34]
Artos IV was an agriworld in the Segmentum Solar. Discovered during the Great Crusade it had clearly been terraformed, and had been occupied by humans, although no survivors were found.
As a ship approaches it appears that the world has bands, spoilt only by small seas and lakes. Each band is made up of a different crop, each perfectly designed for the climate at that latitude. Even the seas are filled with an algae that can be easily refined into a protein rich paste, and the animals of the planet have specific roles in maintaining the ecosystem.
At each pole, two great domed cities were discovered. Beneath the twin cities were 80 great armoured bunkers, each able to house 10,000 and contain enough supplies for them to remain there for over a year. It was quickly surmised that these bunkers were to house the residents of the city in case of an attack. Only a huge orbital bombardment would be enough to break open the bunkers, and such an attack would throw so much detritus into the air that it would cause an artificial winter, destroying the ecosystem of the planet, and rendering it utterly useless. Therefore, the ancient residents of the cities must have planned to simply wait out any attack behind the great doors of their bunkers, until the enemy retreated or reinforcements arrived.
After Artos IV was found it was rapidly reinstated to fulfill the nutritional needs of the ever advancing Great Crusade. The most advanced technologies were employed around the planet, requiring minimal human effort for the harvesting of crops. The two cities were refitted into great refinery, processing and packing facilities, with the vast majority of the population living within them. The Northern City, simply called Artos North, became the capital, housing the main Spaceport and the palace of the Planetary Governor.
By M34, Artos system is well protected, as the area around the system is often affected by strong warpstorms, and the only reliable passage leads directly through a major Imperial Navy base. Further, its position with the Segmentum Solar means the entire region is well guarded, and any enemies that do penetrate that deeply into the Imperium care little about a rural backwater world. This perhaps explains the naivety of its population.
Approximately 100 years before the Artos Rebellion, rationing had been initiated on Artos IV, as increased food was required by a new campaign setting off from the nearby Navy Yard. Given that the rationing did not affect the productivity of the planet, the Adeptus Administratum decided that the rationing system could stay in place, increasing the efficiency of the planet.
More than three generations passed on Artos IV, with stories of the time of plenty before rationing becoming greater with each telling. A movement amongst the population, and which gained traction amongst the leadership of the planet, reasoned that the far away war must surely be over, and the planetary population deserved to be released from rationing. Surely, of the millions of tonnes of supplies that were exported each year, some were not needed? The Planetary Governor succumbed to the pressure, and agreed. When the next Imperial convoy came, they would refuse to release the supplies until their demands were met. Disagreement on the planet was still amicable, and so those who disagreed with the proposal would be allowed to move to Artos South, while all those who supported the proposal would move to Artos North. The city was soon crowded with over 90% of the population, demonstrating the great unity of the population, with only a fearful minority in Artos South.
The following month, when the Navy convoy arrived, Artos proudly broadcast their demands: no supplies for the Imperium until rationing is stopped. The navy captain declared them traitors, and that if they did not submit immediately the consequences would be dire. A few among the population had second thoughts then, but the feelings of the majority was summed up by one phrase: ‘What's the worst they can do?’. Another sure sign of their naivety.
The convoy captain signalled back to the Navy Yard, requesting reinforcements, but they had no forces suitable for a planetary assault, and a strike from orbit would render the planet useless. Fortunately, the First Fleet of the Blades Aurus was in system making minor repairs, and so their aid was requested in the retaking of Artos IV.
A message was immediately sent to Artos IV, 'Stand down immediately and only the Planetary Governor would be executed, the rest stripped of any titles but forgiven. Any who now see the error of their ways should go to Artos South, the loyal population of which would be rewarded. Any who remained in Artos North would see what happened to traitors to the Imperium’. Truly, Artos was a sheltered system, for the response was not fear and cries for mercy, but affront that they would be attempted to be bullied. A planetary defence force of 10,000 volunteers was assembled to show the bullies that the people of Artos IV meant business.
A week later, all contact with the orbital defence satellites was lost, and so the hunters who were familiar with the terrain of the northern continent around the city were sent out as scouts. A week later they reported that there was a crew of naval engineers constructing what appeared to be a temporary spaceport. They could see only a couple of thousand naval personnel there, most of them not soldiers, and the defences were not yet complete.
The commander of the PDF decided this was their moment. They would capture the ground crew, and use them as hostages, showing the Imperium that the people of Artos had to be respected. And so the PDF set out, spread wide across the tundra, trusting that the aerial defences of Artos North would protect them from assault craft, and that any orbital strike against such a widely spread force would damage the balance of the planet’s environment.
Two days later, when the PDF was only an hour from their objective, they saw new stars light up the sky behind them. The telescopes of Artos North detection vessels coming directly down towards the city at great speed. The aerial defences rushed to fire on them, but the craft were moving too fast. Only a few shots hit home, and none of the assault rams were destroyed. It was only at the very last second that massive retro-thrusters were engaged, their force shaking the very city itself, before megameltas burnt their way through the dome of the city. The Blades Aurus had arrived, and with them, the Emperor's judgement upon all traitors.
The PDF received updates as they happened, and turned back towards the city immediately, realising far too late that they had been drawn away from the city on purpose. Reports came in that less than two hundred enemy combatants had entered the city, far too few to take a city of over a million. The gunners remained at their posts in the walls of the city, expecting the real assault to come from outside. Contact was lost with each of the gun positions in quick succession. It was only then, almost 30 minutes after the assault had begun that the civilian population began to panic, rushing towards the great bunkers. The Blades had got there first, mowing down the crowds as they surged forward, the front ranks torn apart by bolter fire, but still pushed on by those behind them.
Over the radio the PDF heard the screams of the dying, their cries for mercy going unanswered. Each soldier knew that their friends, their family, everyone they had ever known was in the city. Every hour as they pushed back towards the city, more reports came in of the armoured giants systematically moving through the hab-blocks, killing all they encountered. The PDF were only minutes away when all communications stopped, the final broadcasts having being of tears, and unanswerable questions of why they had been left to die.
Each soldier now truly hated the Space Marines, maintaining their morale only by telling each other how they would take revenge, how the enemy were cowards who would be cut down when they faced actual armed resistance. Once the PDF reached the walls of the city there was no command, no coordination, only fury. The troops rushed in through the open gateway, entering the great entrance chamber of the city, usually used for convoys of vehicles. Over a thousand of the PDF were inside when the first of the heavy bolters opened fire, cutting great, bloody sweathes into the lightly armoured troops. The PDF kept advancing forward, pushing ever closer through sheer weight of numbers. When they were within 20 meters of the gunners, the Marines turned and ran into the city, and with a great howl of rage the soldiers gave chase, each group pursuing a different Astartes. They soon found they had been led into another trap.
Factory yards became kill zones, hab unit corridors turned into lines of fire. Within an hour, over half the PDF were dead. Their commander managed to regain control, fortifying the city entrance, but he knew they would have to move eventually: in the race back to the city they had abandoned the slower trucks containing their food. He made a split second decision, and soon his remaining forces were sprinting towards the bunkers beneath the city. Although caught by occasional bursts of fire, they appeared to have outmanoeuvred the Astarties. As the thick, armoured door of the bunker closed in towards them, and they slammed on the locks, both mechanical and electrical, they began to plan what to do next. They knew that the bunkers were impenetrable, and with the amount of supplies they had they could wait for years. They would wait for the Imperium to attempt to replace them and restart production, and then go out on hit and run raids. They would never get full revenge, but they would be a thorn in the enemy's side for years, decades, to come. They watched the vid screen as a squad of Marines guarded the door, knowing that if nothing else they were inconveniencing the Marines, keeping them from moving off-world. Three days later the squad disappeared but the PDF had learnt their lesson, and would not be drawn out of the bunker that easily. Minutes later they felt a deep shudder and the vid feeds went black.
Chapter Admiral Hibertius of The Saber reported success back to the Naval commanders. All the traitors had been eliminated, with minimal harm to the city, and none of the major facilities had been damaged. A single hab block had been fully destroyed as the Chapter collapsed the corridor leading to the bunker which the final rebels were sheltering in. The techmarines had made sure to secure and reinforce the surrounding structures, so there was no risk of further damage to the city.
Within weeks new workers had been bought in from a nearby hiveworld, screened to keep only those most loyal to the Imperium. They were more than happy with the rations offered on this new world, far in excess of what they could have scraped together on their own in the hive. The survivors from Artos South were granted positions as managers and trainers of this new influx as reward for their loyalty. It was calculated that the traitors within Bunker 13 would have supplies to last them over two years. Stories remained for centuries that the screams of those buried within could be heard on certain nights, and children scared eachother with stories of the survivors turning to cannibalism or suicide.

Bec'tor [early M35]
By early M35, the final, third fleet of the Blade’s Aurus had been founded, the Chapter having reached a nominal 1000 Battle Brothers, and the 3rd fleet was on the cusp of operating independently, as they had intended to since the beginning. However, it was during this period that the 2nd fleet, and the nascent 3rd fleet, were deployed to the world of Bec'tor.
Bec'tor has been a thriving world before The Heresy, having been brought into the Imperium relatively intact, it’s civilization supported by the planets extensive mineral content. However, when it was re-discovered during The Great Scouring it was a barren world, it’s human population utterly annihilated, and was subsequently quarantined.
But, as with everything, human greed and the needs of the Imperium overcase this, and by M35 new mining operations had been opened up on the planet, the population housed within the mines which riddled the planet. By 163.M35 all contact was lost with the planet, and a group of Imperial Navy destroyers were dispatched to investigate. What they found horrified them. The mining works had completely fallen to the worship of Chaos, and had sacrificed all those who would not join them to their dark gods, leaving them staked out on the surface in strange, twisted patterns. A strike team was assembled from local planetary defence forces, and was dispatched into the main mine, seeking to cut-off the head of the beast. This force was quickly ambushed and slaughtered, their last vox signals being of screams and the chanting of cultists. A new, desperate plea for reinforcements was send, and The Blades Aurus answered.
The Foil and The Épée were still operating together, and they, their six accompanying cruisers and approximately 600 Battle Brothers were soon in orbit. The Blades’ first move was to launch a massive aerial assault, their gunships destroying every surface evidence of the cultists, isolating the separate mining works from each other. The full force of the ground troops were deployed into the largest cave-network, going in to avenge the PDF that had come before them.
Meanwhile the fleets gunships, augmented by the auspexes of the orbiting vessels, searched the planet for any further sign of the enemy, or unrecorded openings into the cavern network. An anomaly was detected inside a small hill near one of the original settlements and a squad of Marines led by Techmarine Talmarus were dispatched to investigate. Once the servators had cleared a tunnel to the anomaly it was found to be an ancient Imperial bunker, consistent with the Great Crusade era. Oddly, the door appeared to have been sealed from the outside.
The entrance was slowly opened, Talmarus scrying for any hint of traps or treachery. The Marines burst in, rapidly searching the room, and finding only long-abandoned equipment which appeared to have been left carefully packed. As the techmarine invoked the long slumbering Machine Spirit of the bunker a vid-screen flickered into life, showing an unhelmeted Astarties wearing silver-gray armour, a brief flash of a flame over an open book showing on his left pauldron.
“My name is...my name does not matter, I do not deserve for it to be remembered. Let me only say that I am a loyal warrior of the Word Bearers legion, we who were once called the Imperial Heralds. I was here when Bec'tor was conquered by our legion, bought under the mastery of the Emperor of Mankind. I am still here, doing my duty. Those brothers posted here were those who were...uncomfortable...with the changes our Lord Lorgar had wrought upon our legion when he first joined us. We had fought for centuries for the Imperial Truth of a secular universe, rational and based on the replacement of superstition with empiricism. We were told our mission on Bec’tor was an honour, that we were being entrusted with bringing a thriving planet into compliance, but we knew that we were being sidelined for disagreeing with Our Lord’s beliefs. Still, we kept faith, knowing that we were still doing the work of the Great Crusade.
“Word came back to us that Our Lord had proclamation that the Emperor was divine, and was teaching this to the worlds he bought into compliance, and our discomfort grew. Our supplies became delivered less frequently, and we increasingly had to rely on ourselves. Still, we mastered our bodies and our minds, ready to answer any call to arms.
“After the humiliation at Monarchia, when the Emperor forced us to kneel before the Ultramarines and denounce the belief in the Emperor as god, I, optimistically hoped that would be the end, that we would be welcomed back into the legion, that our steadfast observation of the Imperial Truth would be rewarded. Such was not to be.
“The few space-worthy vessels that we had commanded were requisitioned for Lorgar’s renewed campaign, and we were left stranded on this world. Perhaps, even a Primarch does not like to be reminded of their mistakes. We made the most of it, drilling and training the planetary defence force into an organisation that the Emperor himself would be proud to lead into battle. We schooled officers whose fathers and grandfathers we had also trained, the skills and reactions of a military commander drilled into them from an early age.
“Finally, while my squad and I were out training in the Valahao mountains, a fleet of our Brethren entered the system. Their Admiral refused to answer Commander Dans’ questions until their fleet was in orbit, saying only that he was acting on the orders of Our Lord Lorgar and that we were finally about to serve our legion. Once in orbit, the Admiral demanded that Commander Dans formed up the whole garrison in the parade yard as soon as possible, and that only at that point, when he could address every Battle Brother, would he give them Lorgar’s message. My squad and I were on the opposite side of the planet, and it would take many hours for a gunship to be sent to retrieve us. Commander Dans contacted us and updated us on the situation, telling us to head to this bunker. The advantage of having been left to our own devices was that we had a communications net which we shared with the PDF, in parallel to the traditional legion communications. Commander Dans set it up such that we would be able to view the parade ground, without delaying the rest of the garrison hearing their orders. I think, perhaps, centuries of bitterness at having being abandoned allowed him to commit this petty disobedience. It certainly saved our lives.
“We gathered around the vid-screen, watching as a shuttle bearing the nobel heraldry of our legion settled in the parade ground. Seconds passed, and we could almost feel our Battle Brothers leaning in, waiting for their first glance of our kin since we had been sent back from Khur. Suddenly there was a great explosion, our screen briefly blinded by the flare of light. We cursed, wondering what had gone wrong, seeing our Brothers ripped apart by shrapnel. Gray-clad tactical dreadnought armoured shapes materialised, and as we recognized the teleporters we assumed that our Brothers in orbit had come to avenge some terribly timed xenos attack. As their storm bolters ripped into our comrades in the garrison we were quickly disillusioned.I would like to say that we rushed to action, but instead we stared. Perhaps as you watch this Astartes fighting Astartes is no longer a surprise, but for us such a thing was unthinkable. The very idea that Brother would turn against Brother was outside the realms of possibility, and so we watched uncomprehendingly as chaos unfolded.
“Monitor displays lit up in warning as every major weapons facility on the planet was hit from orbit with pinpoint accuracy. We watched the vid-screens as they showed scenes of drop-ships falling across the planet. It was only as we watched fully armoured Astaries butchering civilians that we were rocked from our motionlessness. As I commanded my squad to grab their equipment, I watched the movements of our former Brothers, seeing to understand their tactics and seeing none. I saw them bypass defensive positions to launch themselves into masses of unarmed onlookers, ripping them apart with their hands, the fresh blood staining century old armour. They let survivors escape, watching them fleet in terror as the Battle Brothers chanted their strange prayers. It was too much to bare, and I turned from the screen, leading my Battle Brothers to fight our kin.“We double timed to Karnder, linking up with the local PDF force, men who I had known for years. We launched hit and run attacks against the traitors, and several times we disguised ourselves amongst them before hitting hard, our loyal allies rushing to take advantage of the enemies’ confusion. We did this for several days, but losses among the PDF were heavy: mortals cannot stand up to the Astarties for long.
“Gray haired veterans whom I had known since they were boys began to look at us sideways, as if expecting us to suddenly turn and mow them down. The youngsters looked constantly nervous, grabbing their lasguns as soon as we walked nearby. Things came to a head when a spooked unit of the PDF began to fire at us. The majority of the squad reached cover, but Brother Gotom was killed by a chimera’s multilaser. They claimed it was a mistake, but I had clearly told them where we would be, and they had watched us move out.“I have pulled my squad back to this bunker to resupply. We can no longer trust the PDF to fight beside us. In a few hours we will go to sell our lives dearly against the traitors. We know there is no hope of rescue. I leave this record for when the Emperor and our loyal Brothers within the legion come to reclaim this world and punish our treacherous former kin. Know that we are Word Bearers, and we shall carry the word of the Emperor to our grave. Ave, Imperator, morituri te salutant”.


CURRENT STATE OF THE FLEETS [M42]
The last Great Council was in 921.M41 when there was a disagreement between the Fleet Admirals of 1st and 3rd fleet. Fleet Admiral Talmarus Neumann of The Foil believed that uncovering ancient human knowledge was the only way to make a breakthrough in the stalemate of war that the Imperium, and so prioritized requests from the Mechanicus or investigations of Hulks. Fleet Admiral Mantorus Ackerman of The Saber believed that pursuing this, rather than concentrating on fighting the enemies of humanity, was abandoning their duty. They did not quite come to blows, but a simple compromise was made: their two fleets would not meet again until one of the Fleet Admirals died.
1st fleet
Despite transferring some Brothers to 2nd fleet, the fleet was already over sized, so was only reduced to approximately 350 Battle Brothers. With the strife throughout the Imperium, Saber fleet has rapidly deployed to put down rebellion, treachery and witchcraft. They have taken to hitting hard and fast, ripping out the heart of the enemy and moving on, leaving the mopping up to local forces.
2nd Fleet
Even with their reinforcements from 1st fleet after the Galunthor Disaster, 2nd fleet are severally under-manned. Since gaining the knowledge of the creation of Primaris marines they have been recruiting widely, and pushing their aspirants even harder. Although the fatality rate amongst the aspirantes has risen, this has been deemed acceptable by Chapter Admiral Talmus, as each gene seed left is even more precious than usual, and should only be implanted into the very best of aspirants.There are elements of conflict within the fleet: the survivors of Galunthor are resentful of the newcomers, but also have a deep sense of guilt, none more so than the Chapter Admiral. The transferees from 1st fleet have attempted to fit in, but they came with their own command structure and customs, and so integration time has been needed. The Primaris marines have been accepted as they were selected and trained by the Blades, as well as coming directly from their geneseed, however, as they become fully fledged Battle Brothers they are outstripping their older brethren in many ways, blurring the old lines of skill and seniority.
3rd fleet
Pursuing a lead on the potential site of an unexplored battle of the Great Crusade, Foil fleet were caught out somewhere between the Pelegron cluster and the Ghost Stars when the Astronomican flickered and went out. At that distance its light was already dim: without it, navigation became almost impossible. Their Brothers in the other fleets have not heard from them since.




Edited by TheBladesAurus, 01 December 2019 - 03:02 AM.

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#2
Bjorn Firewalker

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Not bad. The IA entry can use more polish. For example, you named Aurus' ruler a "Fabricator-General," when that title is reserved for the leader of the entire Adeptus Mechanicus, which will view another tech-priest using it, with as much tolerance as the Imperium does another government leader using the title of "Emperor," i.e., ZERO.

I'm assuming the three "Chapter Admirals" form a council that rules the Chapter, but more details are necessary. If a Chapter Admiral dies, I'm assuming his replacement is chosen from the captains of his flotilla's ships, but how do the other Chapter Admirals verify their new peer's identity? How do they ensure a Blades Aurus battle barge commander is an actual Chapter Admiral, and not some Chaos warlord who hijacked the ship, as unlikely as that may be? How does the Ordo Astartes ensure the Chapter has only three Chapter Admirals, i.e., the Chapter Admirals aren't trying to be Lufgt Huron II, and the number of Marines is not above Codex-mandated limits?

Typos, with the "[" and "]" symbols highlighting my corrections:

Each soldier now truly hated the Space Marines, maintaining their [morale] only by telling each other how they would take revenge,

Moral and morale are two different things.

Although caught by occasional bursts of fire, [they] appeared to have outmanoeuvred the Astarties.

We made the most of it, drilling and training the planetary defence force into an organisation that the Emperor [Himself] would be proud to lead into battle.

When referring to the Emperor, the words "He," "Him," "Himself," and "His" should be capitalized, the way it is for God in the Bible.

Edited by Bjorn Firewalker, 02 May 2019 - 02:50 AM.

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TheBladesAurus

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Thanks for taking the time to read it Bjorn!

 

I got back into the hobby at the beginning of this year after ~16 years away (I picked up the Eisenhorn books when I was visiting my parents for Christmas and it all went downhill from there...), so I have a lot of catching up to do. I only started trying to get down some of my thoughts about the Blades down on paper last month, so it's really useful to get some feedback. 

 

You might be right, or it might be contradictory sources. For some reason I had it in my head that each Forge World had a Fabricator-General, and it was the Fabricator-General of Mars that was the leader of the entire Adeptus Mechanicus. In the same way that there are many RC Bishops, but that the Bishop of Rome (i.e. the RC Pope) is the head of the entire Catholic Church. 

Ah, I've just found where I had got that from: https://warhammer40k...ricator-General

"Fabricator-General" is also the title given to the senior Magos who holds sway over an individual Forge World of the Mechanicus by dint of their superior knowledge and insight into their chosen field."

 

I'm assuming the three "Chapter Admirals" form a council that rules the Chapter, but more details are necessary. 

 

Yes about the council

 

 

The Chapter Admiral of each fleet has complete autonomy and authority within their fleet. Only decisions that affect the entire Chapter are decided by the counsel of all three Chapter Admirals, and these Great Councils are often several centuries apart.

 

 

 

 

If a Chapter Admiral dies, I'm assuming his replacement is chosen from the captains of his flotilla's ships, but how do the other Chapter Admirals verify their new peer's identity? How do they ensure a Blades Aurus battle barge commander is an actual Chapter Admiral, and not some Chaos warlord who hijacked the ship, as unlikely as that may be? 

I hadn't even thought of that possibility! I love the idea, I'm going to have to give it some thought. Yes, correct about the new Chapter Admiral, I was thinking a council of the captains of the fleet choosing the new Admiral, although there will usually be a clear successor/protégé. 

 

 

 

How does the Ordo Astartes ensure the Chapter has only three Chapter Admirals, i.e., the Chapter Admirals aren't trying to be Lufgt Huron II, and the number of Marines is not above Codex-mandated limits?

I also didn't know about the Ordo Astartes, I'm going to have to do some more reading. My first reaction is that the three Chapter Barges are truly unique ships, so there can't be more than three of them. But yes, the Blades could have way more cruisers than allowed, especially as they may be operating away from the main fleet, so again that is something that I need to think about. Having an honest face isn't going to cut it.

 

 

When referring to the Emperor, the words "He," "Him," "Himself," and "His" should be capitalized, the way it is for God in the Bible. 

 

Thank you for picking up things like that. Is this still true in the pre-heresy era (i.e. when the Word Bearer is speaking)? I'm going to have to go and check the Horus Heresy books. 

 

Thanks again, I'll go through and make edits tonight.


Edited by TheBladesAurus, 02 May 2019 - 03:42 PM.


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Bjorn Firewalker

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If a Chapter Admiral dies, I'm assuming his replacement is chosen from the captains of his flotilla's ships, but how do the other Chapter Admirals verify their new peer's identity? How do they ensure a Blades Aurus battle barge commander is an actual Chapter Admiral, and not some Chaos warlord who hijacked the ship, as unlikely as that may be?

I hadn't even thought of that possibility! I love the idea, I'm going to have to give it some thought. Yes, correct about the new Chapter Admiral, I was thinking a council of the captains of the fleet choosing the new Admiral, although there will usually be a clear successor/protégé.
Will the council that chooses a new Admiral, include ALL Captains of the fleet, or only those under the old Admiral's command? I.e., if Admiral A dies, will the Captains under Admirals B and C cast votes to choose A's successor?

Edited by Bjorn Firewalker, 02 May 2019 - 05:46 PM.

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Beta galactosidase

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I don’t think there’s a reason for you to say their original training is unusual. What you described is pretty much the normal and best way to train chapters, that way they get access to the full expertise of the senior leaders of many chapters. It seems to be what most of the codexes have described.



The only thing that is strange is that you detail them being built a hundred at a time. It seems more like they’d pick a better senior staff if they had 1000 starting out to choose from, instead of just 100 and the most talented marines didn’t necessarily show up until later. That’s just conjecture though.
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Brother Cambrius

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Plenty of great stuff for me to look over after work, an initial skim is looking very good indeed, barring a handful of spelling and grammar areas to be fixed up.

I'll add some more on this later when I get access back to my Laptop later. 😁

Cambrius
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gallery_26154_15777_7413.png sml_gallery_81492_11492_822.pngjHkptLG.png]gallery_77459_13226_2824.pnggallery_48988_10069_2782.png gallery_48988_11572_5225.pnggallery_48988_15094_3504.png

 


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Brother Lunkhead

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Your chapter looks pretty awesome Brother Bladesthumbsup.gif

 

I like the idea of the three admirals leading separate fleets. Some of your ideas are very non-codexy, but make good sense for what you are doing.

 

As your Blades seem to be towing the line for the Imperium, I don't think you have much to worry from the Ordo Astartes….. I'm sure their hands are full with bigger fish.

 

I was curious about something you said here:

 

 

Quote

 

 

How does the Ordo Astartes ensure the Chapter has only three Chapter Admirals, i.e., the Chapter Admirals aren't trying to be Lufgt Huron II, and the number of Marines is not above Codex-mandated limits?

I also didn't know about the Ordo Astartes, I'm going to have to do some more reading. My first reaction is that the three Chapter Barges are truly unique ships, so there can't be more than three of them. But yes, the Blades could have way more cruisers than allowed, especially as they may be operating away from the main fleet, so again that is something that I need to think about. Having an honest face isn't going to cut it.

 

Why would the Blades have more cruisers than normal? How many are we talking about? I could see maybe three Strike Cruisers (at most) and one Vanguard Cruiser along with standard screening vessels for each battle group. I would think each battle group would look something like this:

 

  • 1 Battle Barge
  • 1 Vanguard Cruiser
  • 2 Strike Cruisers
  • 4 Gladius Frigates
  • 4 Hunter Destroyers
  • 2 Nova Frigates

Anyway...... looks good. Looking forward to seeing moreyes.gif 


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gallery_26154_15777_13780.png


#8
TheBladesAurus

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I don’t think there’s a reason for you to say their original training is unusual. What you described is pretty much the normal and best way to train chapters, that way they get access to the full expertise of the senior leaders of many chapters. It seems to be what most of the codexes have described.



The only thing that is strange is that you detail them being built a hundred at a time. It seems more like they’d pick a better senior staff if they had 1000 starting out to choose from, instead of just 100 and the most talented marines didn’t necessarily show up until later. That’s just conjecture though.

 

 

Oh, ok, from what I had understood, Chapters were normally created by splitting off part of the parent Chapter. I'd love to read more about how Chapters are created, do you know any books that have information about it? 

I was more thinking of a winnowing: that the veterans that had survived several campaign became the veterans who could train the new recruits. But I see your point, maybe I should build them up in stages (e.g. a 100 extra marines per campaign). The reason for the original low number, was an idea that the original implant from the geneseed had a very low success rate, to do with where the seed came from. I might give a summary of the real history of their geneseed, I was hoping to write a good story for it but real life has got in the way. 

 

 

Your chapter looks pretty awesome Brother Bladesthumbsup.gif

 

I like the idea of the three admirals leading separate fleets. Some of your ideas are very non-codexy, but make good sense for what you are doing.

 

As your Blades seem to be towing the line for the Imperium, I don't think you have much to worry from the Ordo Astartes….. I'm sure their hands are full with bigger fish.

 

I was curious about something you said here:

 

 

Quote

 

 

How does the Ordo Astartes ensure the Chapter has only three Chapter Admirals, i.e., the Chapter Admirals aren't trying to be Lufgt Huron II, and the number of Marines is not above Codex-mandated limits?

I also didn't know about the Ordo Astartes, I'm going to have to do some more reading. My first reaction is that the three Chapter Barges are truly unique ships, so there can't be more than three of them. But yes, the Blades could have way more cruisers than allowed, especially as they may be operating away from the main fleet, so again that is something that I need to think about. Having an honest face isn't going to cut it.

 

Why would the Blades have more cruisers than normal? How many are we talking about? I could see maybe three Strike Cruisers (at most) and one Vanguard Cruiser along with standard screening vessels for each battle group. I would think each battle group would look something like this:

 

  • 1 Battle Barge
  • 1 Vanguard Cruiser
  • 2 Strike Cruisers
  • 4 Gladius Frigates
  • 4 Hunter Destroyers
  • 2 Nova Frigates

Anyway...... looks good. Looking forward to seeing moreyes.gif

 

I'm thinking almost exactly the same as you: 1 Chapter Barge, 3 Cruisers, and then escorts. Fewer or more escorts (frigates and destroyers), depending on recent losses and gains.

 

What I meant was in response the the earlier comment: In theory the Blades could have more than the three fleets, with cruisers all over the Imperium. The Blades wouldn't do this, but some among the Ordo Astartes could worry that they might. 


Edited by TheBladesAurus, 27 May 2019 - 12:41 AM.


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Bjorn Firewalker

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Why would the Blades have more cruisers than normal? How many are we talking about? I could see maybe three Strike Cruisers (at most) and one Vanguard Cruiser along with standard screening vessels for each battle group. I would think each battle group would look something like this:

  • 1 Battle Barge
  • 1 Vanguard Cruiser
  • 2 Strike Cruisers
  • 4 Gladius Frigates
  • 4 Hunter Destroyers
  • 2 Nova Frigates
This is a TINY fleet, the number of ships inadequate to support a Chapter at full strength- much less a fleet-based Chapter, whose ships must have onboard manufactories to provide logistical support a planet and its orbiting shipyard would normally provide. For example, I wrote the following for my Iron-hearted Angels, after some quick calculations:

The Iron-hearted Angels operate 59 ships in total: one battle barge, 16 strike cruisers, and 42 frigates. The large number provides redundancy, allowing the Chapter to continue the mission despite equipment malfunction, loss of communication, unforeseen delays, and other vagaries of war.

The battle barge "Flesh Tearer" provides transportation and logistics support for First Company's 100 Marines. Originally designed to transport 300 Marines at once, an arms manufactory now occupies much of the interior space, allowing the Company to sustain itself on extended campaigns; the barge is capable of smelting ore, forging metal, and assembling equipment the size of Thunderhawk transporters. Two of 10th Company's frigates accompany this monument to Nassir Amit's memory, wherever she sails.

Second to Ninth Companies each operate two strike cruisers and four frigates. Each cruiser is responsible for 30 Marines' transportation and logistics support; integral manufactories, capable of manufacturing equipment the size of Land Raiders, provide the latter.

I'm assuming a strike cruiser is designed to transport, deploy, and support one entire Space Marine Company.

10th Company operates 10 "scout frigates." Each frigate is responsible for 10 Marines; their integral manufactories can manufacturing equipment the size of Predator battle tanks. When Second to Ninth Companies' ships sail, one of 10th Company's frigates will be attached to their flotillas; this allows the Neophytes to learn from others' experiences, and to serve as attrition replacements in case of heavier-than-expected casualties.

IIRC, a frigate or destroyer is only meant to support a squad or two (or three).

Edited by Bjorn Firewalker, 27 May 2019 - 06:55 AM.

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Reasons to use the Steel Crusaders ('Codex: Space Marines' supplement) or the Iron-hearted Angels ('Codex: Blood Angels' supplement): Because you think giving Sternguard Veterans a heavy bolter wtih special issue HEAVY BOLTER ammunition is ALMOST as much fun as shoehorning an Earthshaker cannon into a Land Raider.

#10
Brother Lunkhead

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Yah..... In  a ideal scenario I would envision a much larger fleet. This is the force structure I envisioned for each strike group built around 1 battle barge and 1 strike cruiser for smaller expeditionary missions:

 

Since we don't really have a clear picture of a fleet chapter from GW or BL (game mechanics and story fluff are their strong suites and not military logistics and force structuremsn-wink.gif) I'm using the force structure  of the U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group and Expeditionary Strike Group for my templates.

 

Carrier Strike Group / Equivalent Space Marine Strike Group

  • 1 Super Carrier / 1 Battle Barge
  • 1-2 Aegis Missile Cruisers / 1-2 Gladius Frigate Squadron(s)
  • 1 Destroyer Squadron / 1 Hunter Destroyer Squadron
  • 1-2 Attack Submarines / 1-2 Nova Frigates

Expeditionary Strike Group / Equivalent Space Marine Expeditionary Strike Group

  • 1 Amphibious Assault Ship, 1 Deck Landing Ship, 1 Amphibious Transport Dock / 1 Strike Cruiser
  • 1 Marine Expeditionary Unit / 1 Space Marine Battle Company
  • 1 Cruiser / 1 Gladius Frigate Squadron
  • 1-2 Destroyers/Frigates / 1-2 Hunter Destroyer Squadron(s)
  • 1 Attack Submarine / 1 Nova Frigate

Alas, the literature does not support this, nor does the frater. When I proposed this for my own DIY chapter I met with a firestorm of descentfurious.gif Upon further research I was forced to concede the point. Most space battles and insertion missions (successful ones that is) involving Space Marines are carried out quickly and of short duration.... often quick strike or in and out missions carried out by small fleets or single crafts.

 

Smaller fleets and squadrons are capable of performing Space Marine missions within the limits set by the Imperium. Of course you can have any kind of fleet size you want, but you risk the ire of the Inquisition and the Imperial Navy ,as well as their non-support when you bite off more than you can chew (as Astartes are want to doyes.gif).

 

Also keep in mind, I'm only talking about battle groups here. This does not include support fleets/ships, such as tenders, forge ships, supply ships, etc.

 

Of course there are a few exceptions. For example the Black Templars, Imperial Fists, and Dark Angels may have larger fleets. But, they enjoy more political clout than most Astartes chapters and the High Lords of Terra will cut them a little more slack...… but only a littledry.png


Edited by Brother Lunkhead, 27 May 2019 - 03:51 PM.

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#11
TheBladesAurus

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Why would the Blades have more cruisers than normal? How many are we talking about? I could see maybe three Strike Cruisers (at most) and one Vanguard Cruiser along with standard screening vessels for each battle group. I would think each battle group would look something like this:

  • 1 Battle Barge
  • 1 Vanguard Cruiser
  • 2 Strike Cruisers
  • 4 Gladius Frigates
  • 4 Hunter Destroyers
  • 2 Nova Frigates
This is a TINY fleet, the number of ships inadequate to support a Chapter at full strength- much less a fleet-based Chapter, whose ships must have onboard manufactories to provide logistical support a planet and its orbiting shipyard would normally provide. For example, I wrote the following for my Iron-hearted Angels, after some quick calculations:

The Iron-hearted Angels operate 59 ships in total: one battle barge, 16 strike cruisers, and 42 frigates. The large number provides redundancy, allowing the Chapter to continue the mission despite equipment malfunction, loss of communication, unforeseen delays, and other vagaries of war.

The battle barge "Flesh Tearer" provides transportation and logistics support for First Company's 100 Marines. Originally designed to transport 300 Marines at once, an arms manufactory now occupies much of the interior space, allowing the Company to sustain itself on extended campaigns; the barge is capable of smelting ore, forging metal, and assembling equipment the size of Thunderhawk transporters. Two of 10th Company's frigates accompany this monument to Nassir Amit's memory, wherever she sails.

Second to Ninth Companies each operate two strike cruisers and four frigates. Each cruiser is responsible for 30 Marines' transportation and logistics support; integral manufactories, capable of manufacturing equipment the size of Land Raiders, provide the latter.

I'm assuming a strike cruiser is designed to transport, deploy, and support one entire Space Marine Company.

10th Company operates 10 "scout frigates." Each frigate is responsible for 10 Marines; their integral manufactories can manufacturing equipment the size of Predator battle tanks. When Second to Ninth Companies' ships sail, one of 10th Company's frigates will be attached to their flotillas; this allows the Neophytes to learn from others' experiences, and to serve as attrition replacements in case of heavier-than-expected casualties.

IIRC, a frigate or destroyer is only meant to support a squad or two (or three).

 

 

 

Yah..... In  a ideal scenario I would envision a much larger fleet. This is the force structure I envisioned for each strike group built around 1 battle barge and 1 strike cruiser for smaller expeditionary missions:

 

Since we don't really have a clear picture of a fleet chapter from GW or BL (game mechanics and story fluff are their strong suites and not military logistics and force structuremsn-wink.gif) I'm using the force structure  of the U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group and Expeditionary Strike Group for my templates.

 

Carrier Strike Group / Equivalent Space Marine Strike Group

  • 1 Super Carrier / 1 Battle Barge
  • 1-2 Aegis Missile Cruisers / 1-2 Gladius Frigate Squadron(s)
  • 1 Destroyer Squadron / 1 Hunter Destroyer Squadron
  • 1-2 Attack Submarines / 1-2 Nova Frigates

Expeditionary Strike Group / Equivalent Space Marine Expeditionary Strike Group

  • 1 Amphibious Assault Ship, 1 Deck Landing Ship, 1 Amphibious Transport Dock / 1 Strike Cruiser
  • 1 Marine Expeditionary Unit / 1 Space Marine Battle Company
  • 1 Cruiser / 1 Gladius Frigate Squadron
  • 1-2 Destroyers/Frigates / 1-2 Hunter Destroyer Squadron(s)
  • 1 Attack Submarine / 1 Nova Frigate

Alas, the literature does not support this, nor does the frater. When I proposed this for my own DIY chapter I met with a firestorm of descentfurious.gif Upon further research I was forced to concede the point. Most space battles and insertion missions (successful ones that is) involving Space Marines are carried out quickly and of short duration.... often quick strike or in and out missions carried out by small fleets or single crafts.

 

Smaller fleets and squadrons are capable of performing Space Marine missions within the limits set by the Imperium. Of course you can have any kind of fleet size you want, but you risk the ire of the Inquisition and the Imperial Navy ,as well as their non-support when you bite off more than you can chew (as Astartes are want to doyes.gif).

 

Also keep in mind, I'm only talking about battle groups here. This does not include support fleets/ships, such as tenders, forge ships, supply ships, etc.

 

Of course there are a few exceptions. For example the Black Templars, Imperial Fists, and Dark Angels may have larger fleets. But, they enjoy more political clout than most Astartes chapters and the High Lords of Terra will cut them a little more slack...… but only a littledry.png

 

Great points from both of you, I was going more from the fluff than any real-world logistics (one strike cruiser carrying a company, e.g. ~100 Battle-brothers plus their support). 

 

My work around for this is that my Chapter Barges are larger than a battle barge, with their original Age of Darkness design template being for an advanced exploratory vessel designed to operate alone, before long-range warp travel for whole fleets could be reliably carried out. As such they can manufacture most of standard equipment for the Chapter, but they 'only' have a similar level of arms and armour as a standard battle barge. Any more advanced equipment has to be requisitioned from a friendly forge-world (saving them from Ork invasion can help), or by taking vessels from renegades and mutineers (there are advantages to being a fleet based Chapter with specializations in boarding actions). 

The total Chapter strength would be something like:

 

3 Chapter Barges (housing 100-200 battle-brothers each, 300-600 total)

~9 Strike cruisers (Depending on the fortunes of war this will go up or down slightly, each housing 50-100 battle-brothers, 450-900 total)

~35-60 escort vessels of various sizes (ratio of between 3:1 and 5:1 with the larger ships, not formally housing battle-brothers but single squads may be stationed aboard for specific missions)

 

This gives me a total Chapter strength of between 750 and 1500 battle-brothers, which seems about right for the background story, and the number of ships approximately matches the fluff (Chapters having 2-3 battle barges, each company having a strike cruiser). 


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#12
Brother Lunkhead

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Looks goodthumbsup.gif


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#13
Beta galactosidase

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Oh, ok, from what I had understood, Chapters were normally created by splitting off part of the parent Chapter. I'd love to read more about how Chapters are created, do you know any books that have information about it?

I was more thinking of a winnowing: that the veterans that had survived several campaign became the veterans who could train the new recruits. But I see your point, maybe I should build them up in stages (e.g. a 100 extra marines per campaign). The reason for the original low number, was an idea that the original implant from the geneseed had a very low success rate, to do with where the seed came from. I might give a summary of the real history of their geneseed, I was hoping to write a good story for it but real life has got in the way.


The part where they didn’t split off from a chapter isn’t what im talking about. If you take a look at the early years of the Emperor’s Children in their Index article, or the background for the Hawk Lords and their Talon Wing or for Sgt Telion, it’s pretty normal for marines to have inter-chapter training and apprenticeship-style arrangements. In the background for the Badab conflict where Carab Culn is made Magister Militum over the marine forces by the chapters involved, and the same for Grimnar and Dante in 13th black crusade and the second war for Armageddon, it’s pretty common for there to be a hierarchy of chapters where more junior chapters, or small chapter detachments, will put themselves under a larger inter-chapter hierarchy temporarily.

So whether a chapter was split from another or not, there shouldn’t be anything unusual about it being apprenticed to other chapters, and that should just be part of the story.


As for the size, we know the admech make 1000 sets of geneseed from the get go. My inference is that regardless of whether there is an officer corps sent from another chapter, they still need to get the best candidates for junior officers and specialists right away, so they implant all the sets at the same time. Since your chapter has poor implantation rates, that can just result in an 80 or 70 percent loss from bad gene seed and as such a greater dependence on that apprentice relationship that you came up with.
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#14
TheBladesAurus

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Oh, ok, from what I had understood, Chapters were normally created by splitting off part of the parent Chapter. I'd love to read more about how Chapters are created, do you know any books that have information about it?

I was more thinking of a winnowing: that the veterans that had survived several campaign became the veterans who could train the new recruits. But I see your point, maybe I should build them up in stages (e.g. a 100 extra marines per campaign). The reason for the original low number, was an idea that the original implant from the geneseed had a very low success rate, to do with where the seed came from. I might give a summary of the real history of their geneseed, I was hoping to write a good story for it but real life has got in the way.


The part where they didn’t split off from a chapter isn’t what im talking about. If you take a look at the early years of the Emperor’s Children in their Index article, or the background for the Hawk Lords and their Talon Wing or for Sgt Telion, it’s pretty normal for marines to have inter-chapter training and apprenticeship-style arrangements. In the background for the Badab conflict where Carab Culn is made Magister Militum over the marine forces by the chapters involved, and the same for Grimnar and Dante in 13th black crusade and the second war for Armageddon, it’s pretty common for there to be a hierarchy of chapters where more junior chapters, or small chapter detachments, will put themselves under a larger inter-chapter hierarchy temporarily.

So whether a chapter was split from another or not, there shouldn’t be anything unusual about it being apprenticed to other chapters, and that should just be part of the story.


As for the size, we know the admech make 1000 sets of geneseed from the get go. My inference is that regardless of whether there is an officer corps sent from another chapter, they still need to get the best candidates for junior officers and specialists right away, so they implant all the sets at the same time. Since your chapter has poor implantation rates, that can just result in an 80 or 70 percent loss from bad gene seed and as such a greater dependence on that apprentice relationship that you came up with.

 

 

Oh, yes, that makes sense. I will rewrite this section with that in mind, and try and dig out the Hawk Lords background. 

 

I like your reasoning in the last paragraph, and it fits well with my original plans. The initial success rate of implantation of the new gene-seeds would be very low, but the success rate is far higher (e.g. higher than most Chapters) when implanted from another Astarties. Therefore, they would have a very low starting number of Marines, requiring a more integrated apprenticeship.

 

With the Chapters you mentioned, I saw it more of a seniority/precedence hierarchy, rather than an official subservience. I have a long list of Space Marine novels to read! 

 

**EDIT** Changes made, I have had them grow quicker, and the new recruits being produced by the Chapter, rather than being sent from Sol. I've moved my time-line forward a little bit to reflect this as well. 

 

I am reading The Devastation of Baal at the moment, and it has some really useful information, both in relation to Chapter sizes, and the relationship between younger Chapters and the first founding Chapters (although not a completely new Chapter). Some paragraphs of interest (minor spoilers; italics are mine):

 

 "After fifty years in command of the Second Company and their strike cruiser, Erwin knew every red and white figure in the image by name. Every one of the original three hundred founders was remembered in that glass. The battlegear they wore when the Chapter was formed had been perfectly reproduced, right down to their name scrolls."

 

 

 "Already the Angelic Blade and the Flame of Baal, the strike cruisers of the Fifth Company, were present with a small flotilla of escorts, their red livery black in the blue starshine."

 

 

 "‘In the wake of the Cryptus campaign, and now this news, my best calculation is that there are six hundred and forty-seven battle-brothers at full readiness for war. Including our Sanguinary priests, the librarius, Chaplaincy, Dreadnought Ancients, forge Techmarines and neophytes, there are eight hundred and thirty-seven in total remaining." 

 

 

Also, thanks again to all of you for your comments, I love getting your feedback, and honing their story. Now I just need to find some time to write the more recent history, which will hopefully make some of the holes make sense!


Edited by TheBladesAurus, 29 May 2019 - 02:15 PM.


#15
Commissar Molotov

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Hi Blades,

Thank you for sharing your Chapter with us - it's a huge undertaking, and clearly a labour of love (nearly 9000 words in your first post!) It's a very different thing to critique a Chapter that is so complete, as opposed to fragmentary and intial ideas. An Index Astartes article is a complex tapestry of inter-connected ideas and concepts, and it can be hard to alter or tweak anything without unravelling the whole.

As a useful thought experiment, it can sometimes be useful for a Chapter creator to collapse their article back down to a few key quotes or phrases. If you had to summarise your Chapter, how would you do so? If you had to explain them to someone who knew nothing about Warhammer 40,000 - what would you say? If you had to distil your Chapter down to five key adjectives, what would those adjectives be? By doing so, it allows you to see whether your finished product holds true to your core concepts, and whether any elements of your Chapter are extraneous (or even holding you back.) The oft-quoted advice to 'kill your darlings' may have some weight here.

I've read through your whole first post, and I do think the article structure as you have it does not do a good job of showcasing the Chapter you want us to see.

  • You may find it useful to put in an introductory section to your article. The older IA articles had an opening section called "Origins", and whilst that's perhaps a little too focused on the minutiae of who-did-what, it is perhaps essential to give the reader a better sense of who these warriors are - what separates them from the other thousand Astartes Chapters. At the moment, you start with the Chapter's organisation - but do you think that is what makes them unique, characterful and interesting?
  • The ordering of your article leaves the reader with questions that don't truly get answered until near the end. You mention the "findings on Bec'tor", the "Galunthor Disaster" and the "Artos Rebellion", all of which seem to have significant impacts upon the Chapter, and yet which aren't explained to the reader until later on in your article. This forces the reader out of your (very immersive and detailed) writing because it doesn't give them the information they need.
  • Some of your sections may arguably be a little superfluous - heraldry (and the signficance thereof) could be dealt with in beliefs or organisation, when you mention the three fleets. Recruitment and your section about Aureus could be condensed and placed together in a section regarding the Homeworld (or lack thereof) of your Chapter. Your section about Chapter names seems like it would fit better when paired with the section based on their beliefs around Power Armour.

An Index Astartes article is a funny thing. It's a snapshot of a Chapter, and cannot hope to feature every detail about them. Condensing your writing and making it a little more succinct would help attract readers and give them a better sense of who your warriors are. This can of course be supplemented by additional writing and details. You've mentioned wanting to look into coding on the board, and I would recommend you look at the following:

Thank you again for sharing your ideas, and I hope you've found this post useful!

Mol.

Edited by Commissar Molotov, 04 June 2019 - 12:29 PM.

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QUOTE (voi shet magir @ May 31 2011, 05:38 AM) 
That is an unexpectedly strong assertion from a dead person.

#16
TheBladesAurus

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Hi Blades,

Thank you for sharing your Chapter with us - it's a huge undertaking, and clearly a labour of love (nearly 9000 words in your first post!) It's a very different thing to critique a Chapter that is so complete, as opposed to fragmentary and intial ideas. An Index Astartes article is a complex tapestry of inter-connected ideas and concepts, and it can be hard to alter or tweak anything without unravelling the whole.

As a useful thought experiment, it can sometimes be useful for a Chapter creator to collapse their article back down to a few key quotes or phrases. If you had to summarise your Chapter, how would you do so? If you had to explain them to someone who knew nothing about Warhammer 40,000 - what would you say? If you had to distil your Chapter down to five key adjectives, what would those adjectives be? By doing so, it allows you to see whether your finished product holds true to your core concepts, and whether any elements of your Chapter are extraneous (or even holding you back.) The oft-quoted advice to 'kill your darlings' may have some weight here.

I've read through your whole first post, and I do think the article structure as you have it does not do a good job of showcasing the Chapter you want us to see.
 

  • You may find it useful to put in an introductory section to your article. The older IA articles had an opening section called "Origins", and whilst that's perhaps a little too focused on the minutiae of who-did-what, it is perhaps essential to give the reader a better sense of who these warriors are - what separates them from the other thousand Astartes Chapters. At the moment, you start with the Chapter's organisation - but do you think that is what makes them unique, characterful and interesting?
  • The ordering of your article leaves the reader with questions that don't truly get answered until near the end. You mention the "findings on Bec'tor", the "Galunthor Disaster" and the "Artos Rebellion", all of which seem to have significant impacts upon the Chapter, and yet which aren't explained to the reader until later on in your article. This forces the reader out of your (very immersive and detailed) writing because it doesn't give them the information they need.
  • Some of your sections may arguably be a little superfluous - heraldry (and the signficance thereof) could be dealt with in beliefs or organisation, when you mention the three fleets. Recruitment and your section about Aureus could be condensed and placed together in a section regarding the Homeworld (or lack thereof) of your Chapter. Your section about Chapter names seems like it would fit better when paired with the section based on their beliefs around Power Armour.

An Index Astartes article is a funny thing. It's a snapshot of a Chapter, and cannot hope to feature every detail about them. Condensing your writing and making it a little more succinct would help attract readers and give them a better sense of who your warriors are. This can of course be supplemented by additional writing and details. You've mentioned wanting to look into coding on the board, and I would recommend you look at the following:

Thank you again for sharing your ideas, and I hope you've found this post useful!

Mol.

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to give such excellent feedback. You are entirely right: I find them really interesting and want to tell everyone all about them, but 99.99% of people aren't going to care! (LOOK AT MY BABY AND ALL THE AMAZING THINGS IT HAS DONE!). 
 

I've not had chance to look through the templates in detail, but they look fantastic, thank you for pointing them out to me. I had that kind of idea in my head when I started writing, but couldn't find a good template for them. 
 

I had already been thinking about doing a summary of some of the other events I have in my head, since I've just not had time to write, and you've correctly pointed out that I should just summarize it all. So, my next mission is to try and produce a summary (aim for under 500 words), which someone could look at and say, 'oh cool, that's who these guys are', and then decide if they want to read the rest of my small mountain of words. 

Thanks again, and I will have a more detailed look when I'm not in work!


Edited by TheBladesAurus, 04 June 2019 - 08:29 PM.

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#17
TheBladesAurus

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I have added a short summary, and a summary of some of the main events. Hopefully, this will make it more accessible! 



#18
Bjorn Firewalker

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I have added a short summary, and a summary of some of the main events. Hopefully, this will make it more accessible!

They do make the IA easier to read. Thank you. Some questions remain, though. Were the "Scions of Guilliman," "Sons of Manus," "Brotherhood of Vulkan," and "Corax’s Ravens" mentioned in the Blades Aurus' early history descendants of the Space Marine Legions that fought in the Great Crusade? Or just nicknames for the Ultramarines, Iron Hands, Salamanders, and Raven Guard Chapters?

As for Chapter Admirals, mention of individual machine spirits for each suit of power and Terminator armor, makes me think they can prevent Chaos infiltrators from stealing the identities of Blades Aurus members, by having a Blades Aurus officer's armor transmit an interrogation code and see if a "Blades Aurus member's" armor will reply with the appropriate code (see how contemporary identification friend or foe systems work). That should prevent a hypothetical Chaos warlord from hijacking a Chapter barge, presenting himself as a newly elected Chapter Admiral, and then using his stolen identity to lure his "peers" into traps.
Wolf Scout- Catachan barking toad eggs+ Thousand Sons Marine= Fun! (Wolves of Catachan)

Warhammer 40,000+ Star Wars- Rian Johnson- Reylo= AWESOME! (Knights of Renaissance)

Reasons to use the Steel Crusaders ('Codex: Space Marines' supplement) or the Iron-hearted Angels ('Codex: Blood Angels' supplement): Because you think giving Sternguard Veterans a heavy bolter wtih special issue HEAVY BOLTER ammunition is ALMOST as much fun as shoehorning an Earthshaker cannon into a Land Raider.

#19
TheBladesAurus

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I have added a short summary, and a summary of some of the main events. Hopefully, this will make it more accessible!

They do make the IA easier to read. Thank you. Some questions remain, though. Were the "Scions of Guilliman," "Sons of Manus," "Brotherhood of Vulkan," and "Corax’s Ravens" mentioned in the Blades Aurus' early history descendants of the Space Marine Legions that fought in the Great Crusade? Or just nicknames for the Ultramarines, Iron Hands, Salamanders, and Raven Guard Chapters?

As for Chapter Admirals, mention of individual machine spirits for each suit of power and Terminator armor, makes me think they can prevent Chaos infiltrators from stealing the identities of Blades Aurus members, by having a Blades Aurus officer's armor transmit an interrogation code and see if a "Blades Aurus member's" armor will reply with the appropriate code (see how contemporary identification friend or foe systems work). That should prevent a hypothetical Chaos warlord from hijacking a Chapter barge, presenting himself as a newly elected Chapter Admiral, and then using his stolen identity to lure his "peers" into traps.

 

 

Just nicknames for the founding chapters and their successors. The irl reason I did this is that if at any point we find out exactly where every single e.g. Ultramarine is during the time I need the Blades to be with them, I can say it was one of the Ultramarines successor chapters. Basically, me making sure that my fan-made stuff wont be contradicted by official GW stuff. I know this doesn't work perfectly for all of them (e.g. the Salamanders don't have many successors), but it gives me a little bit of wiggle room. 

 

That sounds perfect, thank you! I'll have to think about how it would work in practice, and the traditions/rituals around it, but it's a really good starting point to solve the problem that you pointed out. 

I might actually extend that a little, and say that if the incorrect person tries to use the power armour it is clumsy and slow to respond (it could be that the machine spirit doesn't like them, it could be that one of their rituals has messed up the calibration routines, you can decide depending on your personal tastes). 



#20
TheBladesAurus

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I've had this scene going round in my head for awhile, and finally got it 'down on paper'. Would love any feedback/comments/suggestions/advice etc. About an initiate being raised to battle brother within The Blades Aurus, I wanted to capture some of the unique aspects of the Chapter, and hopefully capture interest. 

 

 

 

Andraus Dante Sabut watched the crew-serf's back as they marched down the bare metal corridor. He knew that in his former life he would have felt fear or panic. He was aware that, ordered straight from the barracks with no warning or explanation, his mortal self would have wanted to flee. Now he simply calculated.

 

He was unlikely to have been found lacking in his duty: his squad had been back aboard The Saber for two weeks, plenty of time for any reprimand for failure in the field. Nor was he likely to have been reported for shirking his training, for he had thrown every ounce of his genhanced body and mind into each task set before him. No, it was far more likely that he had been deemed ready for his raising. At the thought, Andraus fought to keep a satisfied smile from curling his lips.

 

Every initiate of the Chapter tried to predict what armour they would be bound to, what great hero they would step into the footsteps of. Andraus could list every unoccupied suit in the fleet, their reputations, their major battles, the character of their spirit, and the length of their service to the Blades. He thought he knew his own strengths, and could name the suits he might be worthy of, but he also knew that few initiates were correct in their projection.

 

Soon, they were outside the doors to the armourium and the serf stepped aside, gesturing to the entrance, which slowly ground open. Andraus took a deep breath, allowing himself a second to savour the moment, and stepped through. The door slid back behind him, with a tomb door thud.

 

Before his stood five giants of the Chapter, both in frame and reputation. On the right was the terminator armoured Chaplain Talcus. The grinning skull that covered his face masked any touch of humanity or sympathy. Beside him, the white power armour of Apocathery Carthus was a stark contrast, matching their contrasting personalities. Although also helmed, Andraus could still picture the half smile of pride and encouragement behind it. Where Talcus and Carthus had tested the minds and bodies of the initiates, the next figure in line had delved into their very souls. Archivist General Fladarius commanded the librarians of Saber fleet, and it was they who had probed the aspirants for any hint of corruption.

 

The inquisitive twist of Fleet Master Tekmus' mechadendrite distracted Andraus from further dark thoughts, as it tilted birdlike to one side. There was a whine of servos as its bug-eyed lenses zoomed in, inspecting him as if he were a specimen, or perhaps double checking the measurements taken for his armour.

 

No longer able to keep from staring, Andraus’ eyes were drawn to the final figure before him. The Lord Saber, unquestioned master of The Saber. Clad in the full glory of the Blades Aurus, the Chapter Admiral made an imposing sight, and without conscious thought the initiate dropped to one knee. As his leg rang against the decking, he realised that he has only been in the armourium mere seconds, and awe once-again swelled within him at the speed of his new mind.

 

The Lord Saber's voice boomed out, 'Who comes before us, to give their body in service to the Chapter?'

 

'Andraus Dante Sabut, My Lord, humbly begging to serve the Emperor'

 

'That child shall die here. What name will the body that remains here be given?'

 

'Dante, My Lord'.

 

A microsecond’s hesitation, and a questioning note, 'And why have you chosen that name, initiate?'

 

'I was named for the commander of the Angels of Death who saved my birth-world during the time of my great-grandfather. I wish to do that hero further honour'.

 

There was a longer pause, and Andraus heard the distinctive click-hiss of internal vox units, as the Chapter Masters conversed within their helms.

 

'A noble name. Arise Dante, and see who you give your flesh to'.

 

Tekmus stepped forward, as the other Astartes stepped back, revealing Dante’s future. His breath caught in his throat and his eyes drank in every curve of the bone coloured plates, the deep bronze of the pauldrons, and the gleaming gold of the trim and ornamentation. A purity seal hung down, bearing a name of legend. Admantius, hero of Camahl, twice Chapter Admiral. Millennia of service. A leader. Yes, he had taken the lead at Polonx , but only because they were seperated from sergeant Salarmus ....

 

As Dante's mind buzzed, Tekmus took hold of his forearm, and slashed a blade from elbow to wrist. Blood flowed over Admantius’ gauntlet, and the machine spirit awoke with a gentle purr. 'With blood are you now bound, to once more serve the Imperium'.

 

The wound was already beginning to heal, the Larraman cells working, as armourium serfs darted forward, two of them disrobing Dante, the remainder beginning to encase him within the armour.

 

He felt the sting as ports connected, and then the cold metal burrowing within him, interfacing with the Black Carapace that ensheathed his chest. New sensations drove into his mind, feeling the hands of the serfs against his second, ceremite skin. The helmet went over his head, plunging him into a moment of darkness, and then the world exploded into lights and sounds, every sense enhanced, vision overlayed with runes and markers.

 

The Lord Saber stepped forward once more, 'Welcome back to the Chapter, Brother Admantius’. Five armoured fists went to their breasts, and five voices spoke in union.

 

'Ave Imperator’.

 

With a clash of ceremite on ceremite as he mirrored the gesture, Admantius' voice came from the voxgrill, low and metallic. 'Ave Imperator Brothers'.


Edited by TheBladesAurus, 09 November 2019 - 07:59 PM.

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#21
Bjorn Firewalker

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The scene is well-written.
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Wolf Scout- Catachan barking toad eggs+ Thousand Sons Marine= Fun! (Wolves of Catachan)

Warhammer 40,000+ Star Wars- Rian Johnson- Reylo= AWESOME! (Knights of Renaissance)

Reasons to use the Steel Crusaders ('Codex: Space Marines' supplement) or the Iron-hearted Angels ('Codex: Blood Angels' supplement): Because you think giving Sternguard Veterans a heavy bolter wtih special issue HEAVY BOLTER ammunition is ALMOST as much fun as shoehorning an Earthshaker cannon into a Land Raider.

#22
Brother Lunkhead

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Your Blades Aurus have come a long way since I last visited...… very nice jobthumbsup.gif

 

I was especially drawn to your detailed account of the purging of Bec'tor. The Word Bearers have always caught my interest, and your tale of loyalist amongst the chapter especially captured my imagination. I've always liked the idea of a few stubborn Imperial Herald holdouts among Lorgar's zealots. The story was very good and the last testament of the loyalist really added impact. I do think you should take another look at the summary for Bec'tor at the beginninghappy.png

 

Bec'tor (early M35, 2nd and 3rd fleet)On the world of Bec'tor, while battling a Chaotic uprising amongst the miners of the world, the Blades Aurus discovered a recording and last testament left by loyalist Word Bearers. Although not the aim of the recording, it makes clear the Imperial Truth, and especially the events that took place at Monarchia.

"Chaos" uprising rather than "Chaotic" uprising is more appropriate. I understand the aim of the second sentence, but I think it doesn't scan well and is actually distracting from your point and should be omitted. The first part of the  sentence alone is a sufficient summary and the second part will peak the reader's interest.

 

All in all, great workyes.gif


Edited by Brother Lunkhead, 11 November 2019 - 07:39 PM.

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#23
TheBladesAurus

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Your Blades Aurus have come a long way since I last visited...… very nice jobthumbsup.gif

 

I was especially drawn to your detailed account of the purging of Bec'tor. The Word Bearers have always caught my interest, and your tale of loyalist amongst the chapter especially captured my imagination. I've always liked the idea of a few stubborn Imperial Herald holdouts among Lorgar's zealots. The story was very good and the last testament of the loyalist really added impact. I do think you should take another look at the summary for Bec'tor at the beginninghappy.png

 

Bec'tor (early M35, 2nd and 3rd fleet)On the world of Bec'tor, while battling a Chaotic uprising amongst the miners of the world, the Blades Aurus discovered a recording and last testament left by loyalist Word Bearers. Although not the aim of the recording, it makes clear the Imperial Truth, and especially the events that took place at Monarchia.

"Chaos" uprising rather than "Chaotic" uprising is more appropriate. I understand the aim of the second sentence, but I think it doesn't scan well and is actually distracting from your point and should be omitted. The first part of the  sentence alone is a sufficient summary and the second part will peak the reader's interest.

 

All in all, great workyes.gif

 

Thank you! I will make the change as suggested. I'm currently writing an updated version (same information, just hopefully better worded/formatted) which I hope to get chance to finish up next weekend. 

It probably makes me far happier than it should when someone reads my stuff and likes it! 



#24
TheBladesAurus

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This is the original version of my IA. I've updated the top post with the new (tidier version).

Hi everyone. I've been trying to get down everything in my head about my homebrew chapter, the Blades Aurus. Someone suggested I post them over here. Still a work in progress, and I would love any feedback. The end couple of sections are the roughest. I am still slightly confused as to how to format in this forum, so I'm sorry for some ugliness. I'd love to be able to put some of the stories into separate boxes. 


Index Astartes: The Blades Aurus


A fleet-based chapter founded in M34, they are strict followers of the Imperial Truth and specialists in zone mortalis combat.
 
75TFHbU.jpg
 

Summary
(edited in to give a taste of the Chapter before you wade into the whol
e post)

 


A fleet-based chapter founded in M34, they are strict followers of the Imperial Truth and specialists in zone mortalis combat.[/size]

The Blades Aurus are characterized by two main beliefs. [/size]

The first is a determined belief in the Imperial Truth, and the aims of the Emperor's Great Crusade, as they understand it. They do not believe in any gods, including the Emperor, and strive to reclaim the lost knowledge of humanity. They are unafraid to voice these beliefs: something that has bought them into conflict with both the Ecclesiarchy and certain factions of the Inquisition. [/size]
The second main belief is that each suit of power armour's Machine Spirit has a unique personality, influencing its style of fighting and prefered role in battle. Initiates and suits are carefully matched, and new Battle Brothers take on the name of their armour. [/size]
The Chapter is split into three fleets, lead by great Chapter Barges, named [/size]The Saber[/size], [/size]The Foil[/size] and [/size]The Epee[/size]. As a fleet based Chapter they are by necessity experts in naval engagements and boarding actions. This [/size]specialization [/size]in boarding actions broadens out to a more widespread [/size]expertise[/size] in zone mortalis combat.[/size]
 

Summary of notable battles and campaigns


The Artos rebellion (M34, 1st fleet)[/size]
One of the Chapter’s first engagements, they completely, efficiently and mercilessly wiped out the population of a city that had rebelled against the Imperium due to rationing. [/size]
 
Bec'tor (early M35, 2nd and 3rd fleet)[/size]
On the world of Bec'tor, while battling a Chaotic uprising amongst the miners of the world, the Blades Aurus discovered a recording and last testament left by loyalist Word Bearers. Although not the aim of the recording, it makes clear the Imperial Truth, and especially the events that took place at Monarchia. [/size]
 
The Kontras Incident (~300.M36, 3rd fleet)[/size]
After a disastrous ambush that left the fleet mostly intact but killed many of the crew-selfs of the fleet, Chapter Admiral Admantius was forced to dock with an Adeptus Ministorum station above the shrine world of Kontras to effect repairs. While the Battle Brothers searched the ship for any sign of boarders, the remaining crew-serfs left the ship to mourn their losses. After getting drunk, several of the crew-serfs get into an argument about the divinity of the Emperor, citing the Imperial Truth, and are arrested by the Adeptus Ministorum. Having found out about this, Chapter Admiral Admantius went to confront the Cardinal holding his men, and found him giving a sermon while torturing the serfs: one was already dead, one was being flayed and the last had had his tongue removed. After being called a heretic, Admantius backhanded the aging cardinal, killing him instantly. This lead to the entire population of the station attacking the Blades, forcing the Chapter to wipe them out. Although the Blades Aurus were able to cut communications from the station, an air of suspicion hung around the Chapter. [/size]
 
2nd and 3rd wars for Armageddon (941.M41 and 998.M41; 1st fleet)[/size]
Although 1st fleet attempted to reach Armageddon during the 2nd war, due to the vagaries of the warp they arrived after the war was over, and Ghazghkull Thraka driven off. In recompense for failing to help Armageddon, Fleet Admiral Mantorus Ackerman committed his fleet to fighting the Orks, beginning by clearing ‘roks’ and space hulks claimed by the greenskins, and then advancing to attack Ork targets further from Armageddon. They regularly sent small units, mainly scouts and some support troops, to the Jungles of Armageddon to train these new initiates and to repay their perceived debt. One such force was on Armageddon at the beginning of the 3rd War, but the remainder of the fleet were cut off from the world.[/size]
 
Galunthor Disaster (end of 999.M41, 3rd fleet)[/size]
Responding to a call for help from the world of Galunthor, the Blades and an Inquisitorial ally battled through warp storms to get to the system. After only being in the system for a matter of days, the Astronomican stuttered and went silent, causing the librarians and astropaths of the Chapter to be deeply concerned. Upon reaching the planet, they found that the mining works underneath hive Quarturnious had been infested by a genestealer cult which hold the loyalty of almost every individual in the hive. The Chapter were forced to battle their way downwards, clearing every section and destroying side passages behind themselves, driving the remains of the cult deeper and deeper. After over a month of fighting, the unthinkable happened: an entire tyranid tendril appeared at the edge of the system, undetected by the psychers in the fleet due to the disruptions in the warp, the silence of the Astronomican, and the alien presence of the Genestealer cult. Without time to recover the warriors from beneath the world before the Hive Fleet reached them, the Chapter Admiral was forced between losing 90% of his Battle Brothers, or the whole of 3rd fleet. Faced with that choice, he decided to save the fleet, and committed exterminatus on the world to deprive the Hive Fleet of its biomass. [/size]
 



Organization (original entry from here downwards)

 
The Blades Aurus are a minimally Codex compliant chapter. The most obvious exception to the Codex Astartes is that they are not formed into companies, but rather into three great fleets. The Chapter Admiral of each fleet has complete autonomy and authority within their fleet. Only decisions that affect the entire Chapter are decided by the counsel of all three Chapter Admirals, and these Great Councils are often several centuries apart.
 
Below the fleet level, the battle-brothers are organised by ship, with each of the Chapter Barges, the flagships of each fleet, having 100-200 battle brothers, and each strike cruiser having 50-100 battle brothers. The veterans of the chapter are all nominally members of the 1st company, and all initiates are members of the 10th company, but these designations are purely honourary, not organisational. The captain of each ship also acts as commander on the battlefield, and as such they are expert in both navel and terrestrial combat.
 
The three fleets are formally known as 1st, 2nd and 3rd, although they are also known by the name of the Chapter Barge which leads them, The Saber, The Foil and The Epee. Theoretically, each fleet comprises of 333 battle-brothers, on-board the Chapter barge and three cruisers. However, in reality a fleet will often have 400 battle-brothers, and at times have even reached over 500. This has been largely ignored by the Inquisition and the Adeptus Terra, as each fleet acts independently, making the Chapter more like three undersized Chapters with a shared heritage than a single, over-sized unit. The Chapter Admirals are aware of this though, and take pains to ensure that no more than 1000 of the Blades are ever in one system, so as not to invite repercussions. Their beliefs already made them targets for some members of the Inquisition and they seek to avoid antagonizing the organisation.
 

Beliefs

 
After their findings on Bec'tor in early M35 the Blades Aurus are determined believers in the Imperial Truth, utterly uncompromising with traitors and xenos, and most importantly, that there are no gods, knowing that the Emperor expressly forbade being worshiped. This has, unsurprisingly, put them in conflict with the Ecclesiarchy, most notably the Kontras Incident in early M36. In more recent millennia there has been a grudging acceptance that the faith of the mass of humanity is a necessary evil, giving them hope and binding the vastness of the Imperium together. However, they still despise those they think should be better than this, especially their fellow Astarties who worship the so called “God-Emperor”.   
 
Secondly, and seemingly somewhat contradictory, is the Chapter's great reverence for the machine spirits of their power armour. Each suits’ machine spirit is believed to have a personality, influencing its style of fighting and preferred role in battle. Each initiate is carefully matched the a suit before they become full battle-brothers. Some initiates have remained in the 10th company for decades before a suitable machine spirit becomes available, while suits have remained unused for centuries until finally there was a deserving candidate. When the Blades are forced to retreat from a battlefield they will attempt to take the helmets of their fallen battle-brothers, as well as their geneseeds, so that their machine spirit can return to the Chapter to serve again. This has gained them the unfortunate, and unfounded, reputation as head takers amongst some guard regiments they have served beside.   
 
Due to their initial recruits coming from forgeworlds, and their close contact with the Mechanicum, they were often involved in the Martian Quest for Knowledge; after Bec'tor this broadened more widely to reclaiming the lost knowledge of mankind, both that lost since the great crusade, and knowledge from the dark age of technology. However, they respect that some technology was declared heretek and that xenos technology is not to be trusted, knowing that it is outside the purity of mankind.
 

Combat style

 
The Chapter are specialists in zone mortalis combat: from the twisted corridors of space hunks to the deep caverns of mine worlds, from boarding actions against enemy fleets to rooting out cults in the depth of the underhive. As such they make minimal use of vehicles, only using dreadnaughts, bikes and Land speeders when space allows. They do however make extensive use of gunships, drop pods, and assault rams.   
 
The Blades are often deployed in small formations, either because of the limited space within the corridors and caves of the zone mortalis, or because a single one of their vessels has been the nearest Imperial forces to respond to a threat. The Chapter's method is to force the enemy to advance through a hail of fire. Their scout marines will often lead the enemy into traps, pulling them into the firing line of the battle-brothers, setting up ambushes, and then retreating, causing the pursuing enemy to fall into another trap. Although not afraid to engage the enemy in close combat when necessary, a mission where an enemy successfully lands a blow on a battle-brother’s armour is considered poorly planned.   
 
The Chapter have maintained the Codex ruling of all battle-brothers being able to function in all battlefield roles. Each battle-brother will undertake a rotation in the assault and devastator squads, and although the majority of the Chapter are deployed as tactical squads, they will quickly and easily adapt to changing missions, taking up heavy support or close combat equipment as needed. With each fleet, and indeed each vessel, often acting independently, this flexibility is not only desirable, but necessary.
 

Geneseed

 
Until recently, after the Galunthor Disaster, the gene-sire of the chapter was unknown, although the Chapter believed they knew the story of their founding. Their geneseed is remarkably pure, with all of their organs working fully, and without corruption. Over the six millennia since the Chapter’s founding the battle-brothers have speculated about their origins. Given the full function of their organs, they cannot be descendants of Dorn. Given their lack of a change in skin tone, they are not descended from Corax or Vulcan. They do not display any conspicuous mutations, so they cannot be of the stock of Russ or Sanguinius. Their temperament seems at odds with the sons of the Khan, and not do they show the hatred of the flesh of Ferrus’ lineage. It has often been assumed that they are one of the many scions of Guilliman, or perhaps of the Lion.
 
There is one characteristic that appears to be shared by many of the Blades Aurus, often called stubbornness or pride. Certainly, they are often unwilling to back down if they believe they are right, or to abandon a mission before it has been completed. 
 
 
 

Battlecry

Ave Imperator
 

Heraldry


The Blades Aurus’ symbol is made up of three blades pointing skyward, with the middle sword slightly raised to form a wedge shape. These represent the three fleets. Each of the swords is subtly different, and the fleet always put their own sword in the middle of the symbol: however these differences are only detectable to the augmented eyes of an Astarties.  In terms of squad heraldry, they actually follow The Codex Astartes relatively closely, seeing no reason to change a system that has worked well for so many. 
 
 

Recruitment

 
The Blade's Aurus recruit from any world not claimed by another Chapter. Most often, when the fleet is traveling through ‘safer’ Imperial space it will split up, each cruiser taking a couple of escorts and going to a different system. Once there, a first level of recruitment is initiated, collecting those who appear physically, mentally and psychologically strong, and who profess faith in the Imperium and the Emperor.
 
When the fleet reconvenes the real testing begins aboard the Chapter Barge. Those who are not physically comparable, who do not have the mental capacity, or are psychologically unable to face the unending battle are found a place within the crew-serfs of the fleet, more suited to their abilities. Those who fail in their loyalty to the Imperium are given to the Adeptus Mechanicus to become servitors, where their lack of faith can no longer be a weakness to the Chapter. The remaining few then begin their selection, training and testing, through which many will fail, often fatally, before they might, finally, become initiates of the Chapter.
 
It is often assumed this would lead to conflict: the crew-serfs jealous that they did not have the opportunity to become Astartes, the battle-brothers arrogant and superior that the crew-serfs failed the testing. Instead, both groups are told the same parable. The Chapter is like a master crafted sword. The blade shines bright, stories are told about it, and it cuts down it's master's enemies. But with a weak hilt the blade cannot reach its enemies, and the hand of the master is vulnerable. Without a scabbard the blade will be dull and damaged before the battle, unable to reach its potential. The blade is the Astartes, the crew-serfs are the hilt and scabbard: songs may not be written about them, but the battle could not be won without them.
 
The Chapter adapts it's recruitment practice to the world they encounter. On feral worlds they may pick the greatest warriors from a battle, or the children of great chieftains, although they are careful not to deplete any one tribe too much.
On hiveworlds, two separate expeditions will be mounted, one to the upper-hive, promising glory and excitement, the other to the under-hive, simply promising a way out.
On feudal worlds and agri’ worlds they will sometimes hold great contests to select the brightest and best, whereas on 'civilized’ worlds they may simply ask for volunteers. These often make poor recruits.
 
This constant recruitment often leads to a large number of initiates being in the chapter at any one time, however this works well with their preferred tactics.
 

Short story

 
Karl Gott crouched in his ambush position, excitement and pride bubbling within him. For all of his twelve years he'd wanted to be a member of the Hands of Glory, the strongest gang in Darkside, and here he was on his first true hit for them. He'd made his bones two weeks earlier, killing a rival spike dealer, but that had been simply stabbing him in his sleep. This would be his first real fight with the gang.
 
These “Blade's Aurus” were clearly idiots. They had paraded through the town, calling for volunteers to fight for the Emperor, telling everyone exactly where they would be, and when. Outnumbered ten to one, their equipment would soon be claimed by the Hands, perhaps even letting them raid top-side. Karl believed that the Emperor protected those who protected themselves.
 
Karl saw the first of the marines come into sight, it's battle armour seeming to gleam, even in the gloom. He wasn't worried: the Hands had the best weapons in the underhive. He'd seen old Rafe's stubcannon blast clean through a steel wall. They'd fought hundreds of times against rival gangs, and had been around since before even Karl's mother had been born, when the previous dominant gang had been wiped out.
 
The three armoured figures seemed to stop in exactly the right position to be ambushed, and as if on cue every gang member opened fire, the thirty-odd assorted weapons roaring into life, Karl's pistol joining in enthusiastically. The marines simply stopped and raised their weapons. They didn't waste a single shot, each retort echoed by a scream of pain, or a wet explosion of flesh. Karl saw Davy, only a year older than him, line up a perfect shot, hitting the eye of the middle marine, dead center, cracking his visor. The Blade looked up, and then shot out the supports holding the platform Davy was hidden on. The whole structure lunged sideways, and Davy fell. Even from his distance Karl heard the snap of Davy’s legs and his screams of agony.
 
The marine was coming straight for him, and Karl's bullets were doing nothing. He aimed for the neck, the elbows, the knees, anywhere he thought might be less defended. Realizing he was doomed, but growling defiance, he pulled out his knife and lept forwards, aiming for the eye that Davy had cracked. He heard the giant laugh, as he grabbed Karl from the air. 'I like your attitude little one. Perhaps one day I will call you brother’. Karl watched the armoured gauntlet come towards his head, almost gently, and then the was only blackness.
 
Brother Maloxus lifted the young underhiver over his shoulder, as he called in the apothecary for the other potential recruit he'd seen. They would get some volunteers from this trip, but the real killers were from the gangs who tried to ambush them. This was the 5th in this hive. The arbites would come through after to identify the bodies, and would claim it as a blow against crime.
 

Names within the chapter

 
When an initiate takes their suit of power armour and becomes a fully-fledged battle-brother of The Blades Aurus, they renounce their old name. The new Astartes will take the name of that armour, choosing one of their previous names as a suffix to distinguish them from previous bearers. The new battle brother is expected to spend time in communion with his companion machine spirit, and go into the archives of the Chapter, studying it's previous battles and campaigns.
After several decades it will be difficult to distinguish the Astartes from his namesakes. Indeed, dreadnoughts of the Chapter can be awakened after centuries and still find their old comrades seemingly still around them, their personalities relatively unchanged, and 'remembering’ old battles.
 
It is rare for a Space Marine to survive when their armour does not, but if a Marines armour is badly damaged and significantly reconstructed, the battle-brother is expected to tend to it, and nurse it, in the same way a seriously injured Astartes would go through having to learn to use a replacement limb.
 
When new suits of power armour are built their first wearer is carefully selected from the very best initiates, the librarians, tech-marines and apocatheries working together to choose the correct candidate.
 
The ascension to tactical dreadnoughts armour is seen as a death and rebirth. Only the last remaining member of a squad becomes a terminator, renouncing any name other than the name of the armour they now bare, becoming simply the latest incarnation of a great hero of the chapter.
 

Positions of authority within the Chapter

 
Chapter Admiral
The three Chapter Admirals of the Blades Aurus each command one of the fleets, and take as their flagships one of the Chapter Barges.They are expected to be experts of both naval and terrestrial warfare, commanding the Astarties in every theater, but especially Zone Mortalis. Chapter tradition dictates that the Chapter Admiral rarely takes to the frontline, instead taking a broader overview. Due to this, Chapter Admirals will often live for many centuries,  and so the character of the Chapter Admiral will often influence the character of their whole fleet. In the same way, rivalries between the Chapter Admirals will become rivalries between their fleets.
 
Librarians within the Chapter
The Chapter have somewhat of a wariness about librarians. They are aware that the Emperor banned the the Librarius at the Council of Nikaea, and although this was repealed in the Codex Astartes this has not made them fully comfortable with psychers. As such, librarians are often kept away from the battlefield, acting as keepers of the Chapter’s knowledge and artifacts. As such they can detect any hint of taint within these artifacts. The chief library of the Chapter holds the title of Archivist General. When the librarians are deployed into war they are always accompanied by a squad of the Chapters veterans, there to act as both bodyguard and watchers, ready to turn their weapons on the librarian at any hint of corruption or treachery. 
 
Master of Ships
The chief Techmarine of the Chapter has both the traditional title of Master of the Forge, but also the unique title, Master of Ships, and it is this title that is used in preference. The title demonstrates that without their knowledge, the vessels of the fleet, and hence the entire Chapter, would not be able to operate. The Chapter’s great respect for technology extends to their Techmarines, of which they have an unusually high number. Since the Chapter often operates in high technology theatres of war, such as space hulks and forgeworlds, units are often lead by Techmarines. Every Marine is expected to have some knowledge of technology, knowing what can be destroyed without thought, and what needs to be preserved at all costs.
 

The Chapter Barges

 
The three Chapter Barges of the Chapter are named The SaberThe Foil and The Epee. They were built specifically for the Blades Aurus by the Adepts of Aurus to truly ancient designs, found deep in the archives. Large sections of the blueprint were simply blank, apparently deliberately deleted. Accompanying these designs were instructions for how to use the vessels, similarly censored.
 

Notable battles and campaigns


  • The Artos rebellion (late M34, 1st fleet)

  • Bec'tor (Early M35, 2nd and 3rd fleet)

  • The Kontras Incident (late M35/early M36; 3rd fleet)

  • Camahl and Polonx (late M36; 2nd fleet)

  • Navigators of house Silam (Imvar?; M37, 1st fleet)

  • Rumours from Hiveworld Meseli (mid M41, 3rd fleet)

  • 2nd and 3rd wars for Armageddon (941.M41 and 998.M41, 1st fleet)

  • Galunthor Disaster (end of M41 during Cadian crisis, 999.M41; 2nd fleet)

The Planet of Aurus
During The Dark Age of Technology a Martian colony fleet arrived in orbit of planet designation Upsilon-4-7-92. As the fleet approached the planet, a chemical in the atmosphere gave the whole planet a golden glow as the system’s start backlit it. Given this, and the huge mineral content of the planet, they named it Aureus, “The Golden Planet”.
 
Trading with neighbouring systems, Aureus becoming a hugely successful center for ship building. They survived the rebellion of the Men of Iron relatively well, purging every record of the abominable intelligence from the planet. The subsequent warpstorms isolated the planet: after several ships left the system and never returned, the rulers of Aureus simply gave up on attempting to leave, coming to the seemingly logical conclusion that warp travel was no longer possible. With this isolation, the planet rapidly used up all the of the resources within the system, and had to begin rationing every material, including biological. Although they were soon unable to produce any new ships, they compulsively maintained the ships they had.
 
Over the next 5 millenia the planet stagnated, and providing for their remaining ships becoming the whole aim of their culture. Knowledge was hoarded, but much was impossible to put into practice. During this long period the name of the planet was corrupted to Aurus, and the meaning of the name was lost, the atmosphere now grey with smog.
 
When the planet was found by the Great Crusade they joined the Mechanicum willingly, finally being able to put into action the knowledge that they had carefully guarded from their ancestors. Aurus once more became a bustling shipyard, renewing their already significant systems defences.
 
M33
 
The forgeworld of Aurus is renowned as a shipyard, producing war vessels for the Imperial Navy, and exploratory vessels for the Adeptus Mechanicus. In late M33, Adept Cixin was commanded to take a full survey of every item in the orbital storage yards of Aurus. It is unclear what he had done to insult the Mater of Yards. Seven months into his survey, a cargo container was rediscovered, deep in one of the orbiting yards. Unopened for two millennia, Adept Cixin attempted to gain access, but his access level was insufficient. Hundreds of meters long, and heavily armoured, the container was clearly designed for something valuable, and so the Chief Magos of the Yard was called, but again was also unable to gain access. It was not until the Fabricator-General of Aurus became involved, and invoked ancient data-jinn that the doorway slowly opened with a deep hiss.
 
Inside the container were rows upon rows of geneseeds, kept in stasis fields sustained by the container's own atomic generator. Stunned by their finding, the tech-priests of Aurus searched deep within their records and found a possible explanation.
 
After the Horus Heresy, geneseeds from outlying regions of the Imperium were returned to Sol to keep them out of the hands of the traitors, and one of the convoys carrying these geneseeds was ambushed on the edge of the Aurus system. Although the traitors were driven off, several of the freighters were heavily damaged, and a massive recovery operation was undertaken to attempt to recover the precious geneseeds, and assess how many had been destroyed. The Fabricator-General hypothesised that a recovered container must have been overlooked in the confusion.
 
The tech-priests of Aurus saw the finding of the geneseeds as a gift from the Omnissiah. Their vessels had been ambushed several times by corsairs, and two decades before Orks had used a spacehulk to attack the shipyards. To them, the geneseeds had clearly been sent by the Machine-God to allow them to create their own Astartes, able to defend the Mechanicus and seek out archeotech wherever it may be hiding. The tech-priests would outfit them with the greatest vessels that Aurus could produce, so that their Astartes could provide quick support throughout the Imperium, spread out for rapid strikes.
 
The Aurus priests sought backing from other groups within the Adeptus Mechanicus, making alliances and agreements with other factions. Finally, they made their request to the High Lords of Terra, promising to equip their new Astarties to the greatest of the Mechanicus’s ability and entirely at their own expense. The High Lords all but laughed in the face of the tech-priests. Putting a chapter of the Astartes under the command of the Mechanicus would not only upset the balance of power in the still weakened Imperium, but would also be an insult to the entire Adeptus Astartes, undermining their proudly help independence. However, they accepted that a Chapter specialising in Zone Mortaris combat as described by the tech-priests would be useful. A founding was already planned, the new geneseeds were available, so, as long as the Fabricator-General of Aurus would keep his word to supply them, a new, independent Chapter would be founded.
 
The geneseeds were transported under heavy guard to the Sol system, and the slow grinding wheels of the Imperium were set in motion.
 
Early M34
 
As the Blades Aurus were not founded from another chapter in the traditional way, they did not have the core of veterans inherited from their parent chapter that other successors often do. Instead, the Priests of Aurus and their allies within the Mechanicus sent ‘volunteers’ to the Sol system, where the Imperial Fists garrison tested them. The attrition rate amongst these first recruits was unusually high, with many failing to survive the ordeal. The rumour within the later Blade’s Aurus was that the Fists garrison was overly harsh, resenting training troops that they saw as being too loyal to Mars, and who were clearly not sons of Dorn.
 
Given the remarkably low survival rate of the recruits, eventually, 100 initiates were formed into a scout company, given the strike cruiser Koncerz, and put under the command of ‘The Scions of Guilliman’. It was during this campaign that the Blades saw their first battles, and,eventually, the first of them were granted the status of full battle-brothers. It is also believed that this was the beginning of their reverence for the machine spirits of their armour, as their childhood on Mechanicus worlds combined with the reward and pride of their final step to becoming Adeptus Astartes. After this campaign, with all of the first cohort having risen to full battle-brothers, and having begun to grow their numbers, they were them transferred for a campaign under the command of ‘The Sons of Manus’. The two chapters got on surprisingly well, as the new Blades Aurus had all grown up on Forge Worlds and so both chapters shared a respect for the Cult Mechanicus. From ‘The Sons of Manus’ the Blades learnt determination, an even deeper respect for machines, and, perhaps, their later decision to not have a single Chapter Master. Their next campaign was under the ‘Brotherhood of Vulkan’, as the Lord’s of Terra believed that the Brotherhood‘s knowledge of flamer and melta tactics would be perfect for the Blade’s Zone Mortalis specialism. Although initially suspicious of the Blades, their shared level of stoicism, respect for machine craft and maintenance of their equipment eventually eroded many barriers. The final of these training campaigns was with ‘Corax’s Ravens’, where it was believed that the Raven’s skill in stealth and the use of small forces for precision strikes would benefit the new Chapter. Whilst the Blade’s excelled in both roles, and gained a great respect for the use of gunships which has remained to this day, they clashed with the Raven’s in how the final blow was delivered. While the Ravens prefered to go in for close quarter kills, destroying the enemy with bolt pistol and chainsword, the Blades’ closed their ambushes with a hail of fire, perhaps having being influenced by their previous two campaigns.
 
Finally, the first Blades Aurus were considered veterans ready to conduct their own affairs. Having grown to around a three hundred battle-brothers through their flow of new recruits, the remaining of the original marines were granted the title of First Company of the Blades Aurus. At the same time, the Adeptus Mechanicus delivered the initial great Chapter Barges, The Saber, a new vessel but built to truly ancient designs. Their first semi-independent campaign was again beside ‘The Scions of Guilliman’. During this time the Chapter recruited vivaciously, attempting to build their new brotherhood. Despite battle-losses, by the end of the campaign the Blade’s Aurus were up to 500 full battle-brothers, enough to consider the first fleet more than fully manned, and well on the way to the beginning of the second fleet. It was with the salute of the ‘The Scions of Guilliman’ that the Blade’s Aurus were finally considered a Chapter in their own right. Whether these ‘Scions of Guilliman’ were the same as first saw the Chapter off is unknown, but it is commonly considered so, if only for the poetry of them being there to see the Chapter grow from adolescence to adulthood.
 
This lack of knowledge about which chapters the Blades served alongside may seem at odds with the Chapter’s later detailed records, but it is believed to result from two facts. Firstly, the Blades were under the direct command of other chapters, and it would be these chapters who kept records of the battles fought and wars won. Perhaps, deep within the fortress monasteries of ancient chapters, the records still exist. Secondly, those first battle-brothers had the knowledge, and may simply not have considered that there would be a time when it was not common amongst the Chapter. It was only a millennia after the fact, when all of the Chapter knew of the stories from the epic tales that were passed down to each new initiate, that they realized that no brothers remained who could tell the first hand details.
 
It is worth noting that the chapters that carried out the majority of the Blades Aurus’ training were either the so called ‘Shattered Legions’ or their descendants. These chapters have often been below strength, and so it may be that that was another reason the Blades were given to them. It may also be that all three were chosen, so as the Blades did not adopt the Iron Hands', and their successors, grudges against the other ‘Shattered Legions’.
 
Late M34 - The Artos rebellion
 
Artos IV was an agriworld in the Segmentum Solar. Discovered during the Great Crusade it had clearly been terraformed, and had been occupied by humans, although no survivors were found.
 
As a ship approaches it appears that the world has bands, spoilt only by small seas and lakes. Each band is made up of a different crop, each perfectly designed for the climate at that latitude. Even the seas are filled with an algae that can be easily refined into a protein rich paste, and the animals of the planet have specific roles in maintaining the ecosystem. For example, living in a band of forest which provides a buffer between two crops and prevents cross-pollination, a particular species of arboreal mammal survives purely on the leaves of these trees, and is harvested for its meat.
 
At each pole, two great domed cities were discovered. Beneath the twin cities were 80 great armoured bunkers, each able to house 10,000 and contain enough supplies for them to remain there for over a year. It was quickly surmised that these bunkers were to house the residents of the city in case of an attack. Only a huge orbital bombardment would be enough to break open the bunkers, and such an attack would throw so much detritus into the air that it would cause an artificial winter, destroying the ecosystem of the planet, and rendering it utterly useless. Therefore, the ancient residents of the cities must have planned to simply wait out any attack behind the great doors of their bunkers, until the enemy retreated or reinforcements arrived.
 
After Artos IV was found it was rapidly reinstated to fulfill the nutritional needs of the ever advancing Great Crusade. The most advanced technologies were employed around the planet, requiring minimal human effort for the harvesting of crops. The two cities were refitted into great refinery, processing and packing facilities, with the vast majority of the population living within them. The Northern City, simply called Artos North, became the capital, housing the main Spaceport and the palace of the Planetary Governor.
 
By M34, Artos system is well protected, as the area around the system is often affected by strong warpstorms, and the only reliable passage leads directly through a major Imperial Navy base. Further, its position with the Segmentum Solar means the entire region is well guarded, and any enemies that do penetrate that deeply into the Imperium care little about a rural backwater world. This perhaps explains the naivety of its population.
 
Approximately 100 years before the Artos Rebellion, rationing had been initiated on Artos IV, as increased food was required by a new campaign setting off from the nearby Navy Yard. Given that the rationing did not affect the productivity of the planet, the Adeptus Administratum decided that the rationing system could stay in place, increasing the efficiency of the planet.
 
More than three generations passed on Artos IV, with stories of the time of plenty before rationing becoming greater with each telling. A movement amongst the population, and which gained traction amongst the leadership of the planet, reasoned that the far away war must surely be over, and the planetary population deserved to be released from rationing. Surely, of the millions of tonnes of supplies that were exported each year, some were not needed? The Planetary Governor succumbed to the pressure, and agreed. When the next Imperial convoy came, they would refuse to release the supplies until their demands were met. Disagreement on the planet was still amicable, and so those who disagreed with the proposal would be allowed to move to Artos South, while all those who supported the proposal would move to Artos North. The city was soon crowded with almost a million people, demonstrating the great unity of the population, with only a fearful few thousands in Artos South.
 
The following month, when the Navy convoy arrived, Artos proudly broadcast their demands: no supplies for the Imperium until rationing is stopped. The navy captain declared them traitors, and that if they did not submit immediately the consequences would be dire. A few among the population had second thoughts then, but the feelings of the majority was summed up by one phrase: ‘What's the worst they can do?’. Another sure sign of their naivety.
 
The convoy captain signalled back to the Navy Yard, requesting reinforcements, but they had no forces suitable for a planetary assault, and a strike from orbit would render the planet useless. Fortunately, the First Fleet of the Blades Aurus was in system making minor repairs, and so their aid was requested in the retaking of Artos IV.
 
A message was immediately sent to Artos IV, 'Stand down immediately and only the Planetary Governor would be executed, the rest stripped of any titles but forgiven. Any who now see the error of their ways should go to Artos South, the loyal population of which would be rewarded. Any who remained in Artos North would see what happened to traitors to the Imperium’. Truly, Artos was a sheltered system, for the response was not fear and cries for mercy, but affront that they would be attempted to be bullied. A planetary defence force of 10,000 volunteers was assembled to show the bullies that the people of Artos IV meant business.
 
A week later, all contact with the orbital defence satellites was lost, and so the hunters who were familiar with the terrain of the northern continent around the city were sent out as scouts. A week later they reported that there was a crew of naval engineers constructing what appeared to be a temporary spaceport. They could see only a couple of thousand naval personnel there, most of them not soldiers, and the defences were not yet complete.
 
The commander of the PDF decided this was their moment. They would capture the ground crew, and use them as hostages, showing the Imperium that the people of Artos had to be respected. And so the PDF set out, spread wide across the tundra, trusting that the aerial defences of Artos North would protect them from assault craft, and that any orbital strike against such a widely spread force would damage the balance of the planet’s environment.
 
Two days later, when the PDF was only an hour from their objective, they saw new stars light up the sky behind them. The telescopes of Artos North detection vessels coming directly down towards the city at great speed. The aerial defences rushed to fire on them, but the craft were moving too fast. Only a few shots hit home, and none of the assault rams were destroyed. It was only at the very last second that massive retro-thrusters were engaged, their force shaking the very city itself, before megameltas burnt their way through the dome of the city. The Blades Aurus had arrived, and with them, the Emperor's judgement upon all traitors.
 
The PDF received updates as they happened, and turned back towards the city immediately, realising far too late that they had been drawn away from the city on purpose. Reports came in that less than two hundred enemy combatants had entered the city, far too few to take a city of over a million. The gunners remained at their posts in the walls of the city, expecting the real assault to come from outside. Contact was lost with each of the gun positions in quick succession. It was only then, almost 30 minutes after the assault had begun that the civilian population began to panic, rushing towards the great bunkers. The Blades had got there first, mowing down the crowds as they surged forward, the front ranks torn apart by bolter fire, but still pushed on by those behind them.
 
Over the radio the PDF heard the screams of the dying, their cries for mercy going unanswered. Each soldier knew that their friends, their family, everyone they had ever known was in the city. Every hour as they pushed back towards the city, more reports came in of the armoured giants systematically moving through the hab-blocks, killing all they encountered. The PDF were only minutes away when all communications stopped, the final broadcasts having being of tears, and unanswerable questions of why they had been left to die.
 
Each soldier now truly hated the Space Marines, maintaining their morale only by telling each other how they would take revenge, how the enemy were cowards who would be cut down when they faced actual armed resistance. Once the PDF reached the walls of the city there was no command, no coordination, only fury. The troops rushed in through the open gateway, entering the great entrance chamber of the city, usually used for convoys of vehicles. Over a thousand of the PDF were inside when the first of the heavy bolters opened fire, cutting great, bloody sweathes into the lightly armoured troops. The PDF kept advancing forward, pushing ever closer through sheer weight of numbers. When they were within 20 meters of the gunners, the Marines turned and ran into the city, and with a great howl of rage the soldiers gave chase, each group pursuing a different Astartes. They soon found they had been led into another trap.
 
Factory yards became kill zones, hab unit corridors turned into lines of fire. Within an hour, over half the PDF were dead. Their commander managed to regain control, fortifying the city entrance, but he knew they would have to move eventually: in the race back to the city they had abandoned the slower trucks containing their food. He made a split second decision, and soon his remaining forces were sprinting towards the bunkers beneath the city. Although caught by occasional bursts of fire, they appeared to have outmanoeuvred the Astarties. As the thick, armoured door of the bunker closed in towards them, and they slammed on the locks, both mechanical and electrical, they began to plan what to do next. They knew that the bunkers were impenetrable, and with the amount of supplies they had they could wait for years. They would wait for the Imperium to attempt to replace them and restart production, and then go out on hit and run raids. They would never get full revenge, but they would be a thorn in the enemy's side for years, decades, to come. They watched the vid screen as a squad of Marines guarded the door, knowing that if nothing else they were inconveniencing the Marines, keeping them from moving off-world. Three days later the squad disappeared but the PDF had learnt their lesson, and would not be drawn out of the bunker that easily. Minutes later they felt a deep shudder and the vid feeds went black.
 
Chapter Admiral Hibertius of The Saber reported success back to the Naval commanders. All the traitors had been eliminated, with minimal harm to the city, and none of the major facilities had been damaged. A single hab block had been fully destroyed as the Chapter collapsed the corridor leading to the bunker which the final rebels were sheltering in. The techmarines had made sure to secure and reinforce the surrounding structures, so there was no risk of further damage to the city.
Within weeks new workers had been bought in from a nearby hiveworld, screened to keep only those most loyal to the Imperium. They were more than happy with the rations offered on this new world, far in excess of what they could have scraped together on their own in the hive. The survivors from Artos South were granted positions as managers and trainers of this new influx as reward for their loyalty. It was calculated that the traitors within Bunker 13 would have supplies to last them over two years. Stories remained for centuries that the screams of those buried within could be heard on certain nights, and children scared eachother with stories of the survivors turning to cannibalism or suicide.
 
Early M35 - Bec'tor
 
By early M35, the final, third fleet of the Blade’s Aurus had been founded, the Chapter having reached a nominal 1000 battle brothers, and the 3rd fleet was on the cusp of operating independently, as they had intended to since the beginning. However, it was during this period that the 2nd fleet, and the nascent 3rd fleet, were deployed to the world of Bec'tor.
 
Bec'tor has been a thriving world before The Heresy, having been brought into the Imperium relatively intact, it’s civilization supported by the planets extensive mineral content. However, when it was re-discovered during The Great Scouring it was a barren world, it’s human population utterly annihilated, and was subsequently quarantined.
 
But, as with everything, human greed and the needs of the Imperium overcase this, and by M35 new mining operations had been opened up on the planet, the population housed within the mines which riddled the planet. By 163.M35 all contact was lost with the planet, and a group of Imperial Navy destroyers were dispatched to investigate. What they found horrified them. The mining works had completely fallen to the worship of Chaos, and had sacrificed all those who would not join them to their dark gods, leaving them staked out on the surface in strange, twisted patterns. A strike team was assembled from local planetary defence forces, and was dispatched into the main mine, seeking to cut-off the head of the beast. This force was quickly ambushed and slaughtered, their last vox signals being of screams and the chanting of cultists. A new, desperate plea for reinforcements was send, and The Blades Aurus answered.
 
The Foil and The Epee were still operating together, and they, their six accompanying cruisers and approximately 600 battle-brothers were soon in orbit. The Blades’ first move was to launch a massive aerial assault, their gunships destroying every surface evidence of the cultists, isolating the separate mining works from each other. The full force of the ground troops were deployed into the largest cave-network, going in to avenge the PDF that had come before them.
 
Meanwhile the fleets gunships, augmented by the auspexes of the orbiting vessels, searched the planet for any further sign of the enemy, or unrecorded openings into the cavern network. An anomaly was detected inside a small hill near one of the original settlements and a squad of Marines led by Techmarine Talmarus were dispatched to investigate. Once the servators had cleared a tunnel to the anomaly it was found to be an ancient Imperial bunker, consistent with the Great Crusade era. Oddly, the door appeared to have been sealed from the outside.
 
The entrance was slowly opened, Talmarus scrying for any hint of traps or treachery. The Marines burst in, rapidly searching the room, and finding only long-abandoned equipment which appeared to have been left carefully packed. As the techmarine invoked the long slumbering machine spirit of the bunker a vid-screen flickered into life, showing an unhelmeted Astarties wearing silver-gray armour, a brief flash of a flame over an open book showing on his left pauldron.
 

“My name is...my name does not matter, I do not deserve for it to be remembered. Let me only say that I am a loyal warrior of the Word Bearers legion, we who were once called the Imperial Heralds. I was here when Bec'tor was conquered by our legion, bought under the mastery of the Emperor of Mankind. I am still here, doing my duty. Those brothers posted here were those who were...uncomfortable...with the changes our Lord Lorgar had wrought upon our legion when he first joined us. We had fought for centuries for the Imperial Truth of a secular universe, rational and based on the replacement of superstition with empiricism. We were told our mission on Bec’tor was an honour, that we were being entrusted with bringing a thriving planet into compliance, but we knew that we were being sidelined for disagreeing with Our Lord’s beliefs. Still, we kept faith, knowing that we were still doing the work of the Great Crusade.

“Word came back to us that Our Lord had proclamation that the Emperor was divine, and was teaching this to the worlds he bought into compliance, and our discomfort grew. Our supplies became delivered less frequently, and we increasingly had to rely on ourselves. Still, we mastered our bodies and our minds, ready to answer any call to arms.


“After the humiliation at Monarchia, when the Emperor forced us to kneel before the Ultramarines and denounce the belief in the Emperor as god, I, optimistically hoped that would be the end, that we would be welcomed back into the legion, that our steadfast observation of the Imperial Truth would be rewarded. Such was not to be.


“The few space-worthy vessels that we had commanded were requisitioned for Lorgar’s renewed campaign, and we were left stranded on this world. Perhaps, even a Primarch does not like to be reminded of their mistakes. We made the most of it, drilling and training the planetary defence force into an organisation that the Emperor himself would be proud to lead into battle. We schooled officers whose fathers and grandfathers we had also trained, the skills and reactions of a military commander drilled into them from an early age.


“Finally, while my squad and I were out training in the Valahao mountains, a fleet of our Brethren entered the system. Their Admiral refused to answer Commander Dans’ questions until their fleet was in orbit, saying only that he was acting on the orders of Our Lord Lorgar and that we were finally about to serve our legion. Once in orbit, the Admiral demanded that Commander Dans formed up the whole garrison in the parade yard as soon as possible, and that only at that point, when he could address every battle-brother, would he give them Lorgar’s message. My squad and I were on the opposite side of the planet, and it would take many hours for a gunship to be sent to retrieve us. Commander Dans contacted us and updated us on the situation, telling us to head to this bunker. The advantage of having been left to our own devices was that we had a communications net which we shared with the PDF, in parallel to the traditional legion communications. Commander Dans set it up such that we would be able to view the parade ground, without delaying the rest of the garrison hearing their orders. I think, perhaps, centuries of bitterness at having being abandoned allowed him to commit this petty disobedience. It certainly saved our lives.


“We gathered around the vid-screen, watching as a shuttle bearing the nobel heraldry of our legion settled in the parade ground. Seconds passed, and we could almost feel our battle-brothers leaning in, waiting for their first glance of our kin since we had been sent back from Khur. Suddenly there was a great explosion, our screen briefly blinded by the flare of light. We cursed, wondering what had gone wrong, seeing our brothers ripped apart by shrapnel. Gray-clad tactical dreadnought armoured shapes materialised, and as we recognized the teleporters we assumed that our brothers in orbit had come to avenge some terribly timed xenos attack. As their storm bolters ripped into our comrades in the garrison we were quickly disillusioned.I would like to say that we rushed to action, but instead we stared. Perhaps as you watch this Astartes fighting Astartes is no longer a surprise, but for us such a thing was unthinkable. The very idea that brother would turn against brother was outside the realms of possibility, and so we watched uncomprehendingly as chaos unfolded.


“Monitor displays lit up in warning as every major weapons facility on the planet was hit from orbit with pinpoint accuracy. We watched the vid-screens as they showed scenes of drop-ships falling across the planet. It was only as we watched fully armoured Astaries butchering civilians that we were rocked from our motionlessness. As I commanded my squad to grab their equipment, I watched the movements of our former brothers, seeing to understand their tactics and seeing none. I saw them bypass defensive positions to launch themselves into masses of unarmed onlookers, ripping them apart with their hands, the fresh blood staining century old armour. They let survivors escape, watching them fleet in terror as the Battle-brothers chanted their strange prayers. It was too much to bare, and I turned from the screen, leading my battle-brothers to fight our kin.“We double timed to Karnder, linking up with the local PDF force, men who I had known for years. We launched hit and run attacks against the traitors, and several times we disguised ourselves amongst them before hitting hard, our loyal allies rushing to take advantage of the enemies’ confusion. We did this for several days, but losses among the PDF were heavy: mortals cannot stand up to the Astarties for long.


“Gray haired veterans whom I had known since they were boys began to look at us sideways, as if expecting us to suddenly turn and mow them down. The youngsters looked constantly nervous, grabbing their lasguns as soon as we walked nearby. Things came to a head when a spooked unit of the PDF began to fire at us. The majority of the squad reached cover, but brother Gotom was killed by a chimera’s multilaser. They claimed it was a mistake, but I had clearly told them where we would be, and they had watched us move out.“I have pulled my squad back to this bunker to resupply. We can no longer trust the PDF to fight beside us. In a few hours we will go to sell our lives dearly against the traitors. We know there is no hope of rescue. I leave this record for when the Emperor and our loyal brothers within the legion come to reclaim this world and punish our treacherous former kin. Know that we are Word Bearers, and we shall carry the word of the Emperor to our grave. Ave, Imperator, morituri te salutant”.

 

Current state of the Fleets (Indominus crusade era)


The last Great Council was in 763.M41 when there was a disagreement between the Fleet Admirals of 1st and 3rd fleet. Fleet Admiral Talmarus Neumann of the The Epee believes that uncovering ancient human knowledge was the only way to make a breakthrough in the stalemate of war that the Imperium, whereas Fleet Admiral Mantorus Ackerman of The Saber believed that in pursuing this, rather than concentrating on fighting the enemies of humanity, was abandoning their duty. They did not quite come to blows, but a simple compromise was made: their two fleets would not meet again until one of the Fleet Admirals died, and then their successor would meet. 
 
2nd Fleet
 
Even with their reinforcements from 1st fleet after the Galunthor Disaster, 2nd fleet are severally under-manned. Since gaining the knowledge of the creation of Primaris marines they have been recruiting widely, and pushing their aspirants even harder. Although the fatality rate amongst the aspirantes has risen, this has been deemed acceptable by Chapter Admiral ((XXX)), as each gene seed left is even more precious than usual, and should only be implanted into the very best of aspirants.There are elements of conflict within the fleet: the survivors of Galunthor are resentful of the newcomers, but also have a deep sense of guilt, none more so than the Chapter Admiral. The transferees from 1st fleet have attempted to fit in, but they came with their own command structure and customs, and so integration time has been needed. The Primaris marines have been accepted as they were selected and trained by the Blades, as well as coming directly from their geneseed, however, as they become fully fledged battle-brothers they are outstripping their older brethren in many ways, blurring the old lines of skill and seniority.
 
1st fleet
 
Despite transferring some brothers to 2nd fleet, the fleet was already over sized, so was only reduced to approximately 350 battle-brothers. With the strife throughout the Imperium, Saber's fleet has been rapidly deployed to put down rebellion, treachery and witchcraft. They have taken to hitting hard and fast, ripping out the heart of the enemy and moving on, leaving the mopping up to local forces.
 
3rd fleet
 
Pursuing a lead on the potential site of an unexplored battle of the Great Crusade, the 3rd fleet were caught out near the Ghost Stars when the Astronomican flickered and went out. At that distance its light was already dim: without it navigation became almost impossible. The fleet is slowly attempting to make its way back to any kind of Imperial command structure, while still helping those Imperial planets it manages to contact [[this needs sorting out, once I know what's happening on this side of the Imperium]].
 
Short para, 2
Brother Mantorus of the Blades Aurus watched the Space Wolf lieutenant leap the trench. He landed with perfect poise, his mane of blond hair forming a halo around his head. Backlit by the setting sun he was the epitome of the noble savage.
An autocannon shell took him in the left temple, exploding the right side of his head, his blond hair suddenly stained red.
“Sanguinius wept”, Mantorus yelled, “what kind of idiot goes into battle without their helmet?!”.

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TheBladesAurus

TheBladesAurus

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I have updated the original post with an improved version of the IA, and have quoted the original post above (post #24)
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