<<Coyote Head superimposed over lightning bolt>>
The Thunder Coyotes Space Marines Chapter
Founded in the tumult of the Ultima Founding and the initial forays into Imperium Nihilus with the Indomitus crusade, the chapter was established to anchor the fringe of a sector in the southwestern Ultima Segmentum. A nearby chapter that controls and patrols the sector is rumored to believe that these new marines are Inquisitorial watchdogs and slaves to the High Lords of Terra, and thusly unreliable. Time will tell how these two chapters interact.
As part of the Indomitus crusade before being established on Qoslomoya, the marines who would become the veterans of the Thunder Coyotes participated heavily in anti-Chaos operations, as well as skirmishes against various forces swept up in the warp and deposited in the path of the crusade. Including in this count were some very lost Tau that made excellent target practice for the guns of the battlebarge Howl of Jaghatai, which would become the flagship of the Thunder Coyote's fleet.
Qoslomoya is a forested world, curiously untouched by most modern technology. The people there are lost in the early stages of world exploration and colonization, and are by all accounts Feral and uncivilized. It was left alone and deemed not worth the effort to colonize, and any orders otherwise were lost in the endless mountains of Imperial paperwork. However, following the start of the Indomitus Crusade, the Primarch Guilliman ordered it colonized and given to an Ultima Founding chapter, as it was situated in a prime defensive location to reinforce the newly-reclaimed sector and its beleaguered Imperial Guard and Firstborn Astartes chapter, the Dawn Blades. It was done as the Primarch ordered, and Terminus Station, the Thunder Coyotes fortress monastery, was constructed at the peaks of the giant mountain range known as the Spine of the Diyiai running down the middle of the planet.
The Thunder Coyotes are quickly mastering the art of drive-by annihilation and shadowwork operations, and have quickly begun to modify their equipment accordingly. Of note are their modified Repulsors and Impulsors, which have had their transport bays and turrets replaced with heavy guns and long-range missile launchers, thusly turning them into self-propelled artillery. Their 1st Company has quickly become known for a disproportionately large number of skilled marksmen, especially ones that are capable of assassinations and eliminations that go unnoticed until the target falls dead.
As the Thunder Coyotes are adept at stealth insertions and operations, they employ a disproportionate number of Vanguard in their ranks, so much so that on occasion perhaps a third of their chapter is deployed as Vanguard Companies. The chapter also tends to not favor more heavily-armored and slow units, but when pressed they can and do deploy Aggressor and other Gravis units--exceptions are Inceptors and Suppressors, as they are both highly mobile and highly destructive. These units are, due to chapter practices, often the veterans of warfare who know just how to apply such powerful forces.
The Thunder Coyotes are primarily secular, as all Ultima Founding chapters are. However, as recruitment of the Qoslomoyan native humans picked up, the planet's belief system slowly entered the chapter. The native name for spirits and gods, Diyiai, was quickly subsumed by the Imperial cult, with preachers and missionaries telling tales of how the Diyiai were aspects of the Emperor and his sons, especially glorifying Jenkshi, spirit of the woods and hunt, as the Primarch Jaghatai Khan, primogenitor of the Thunder Coyotes and a patron of the planet.
The Winter Count:
The Winter Count is another tradition of the Thunder Coyotes brought forth by the Qoslomoyan recruits of the chapter. As described by one recruit, “It’s how the tribes mark important events. Everyone tells the elder the most important thing that happened that year, in their opinion, and then the elders choose a few that are of great importance and hold a vote on it. The one the tribe chose is inscribed on hide and then placed with the others.”
Seeking to bring in elements of Qoslomoyan culture, to bond with both the planet’s people and with each other, the nascent Chaplaincy chose to implement the ‘winter counts’ as a method of recording chapter history. At the end of each solar year—approximately halfway through the year of the Imperial standard calendar—each squad creates a winter count, and entered into its history. These are then submitted to the company, where a company-wide vote is taken on which winter count will be the company’s official one of record (of note is that oftentimes many squads in a company will choose to record the same event, or otherwise be synonymous with each other. In this case often the vote is a matter or artistic taste and imagery). Thusly chosen, each company’s work is put to a chapter-wide vote, where a replica of the chosen count is created and hung in the Hibernation Hall, the forge-chapel where history, both living and dead, is kept. It is a great honor for a squad’s winter count to be chosen as the chapter’s reckoning of history, and they are honored with the Frosted Moon award for that year, which they may wear on their armor until their deaths.
The Hibernation Hall:
Here slumber the Dreadnoughts of the Thunder Coyotes, watched over by vigilant Techmarines and the Chaplain’s order. New initiates, as part of their training cycles, come to the Hibernation Hall to learn from the Winter Counts hung from the rafters, as well as hear stories of war from any Dreadnoughts who may be awake at the time, rare it may be. Those recruits who are fortunate enough to learn from the wounded come away with a harder temperament, forewarned of the dangers of battle, and the horror that awaits them on the inside of a vita-fluid coffin.
Here also in the Hall are held feasts, commemorating important events of the chapter’s history, including the Feast of the Born Coyote--which celebrates the chapter’s founding in the Qoslomoyan winter--the Feast of the Emperor Ascendant, Sanguinalia, and other holidays deemed important. The Feast of the Born Coyote is a massive celebration of the year's deeds, and is also the time of voting for that year's Winter Count, though due to the demands of war this is oft by proxy. Every tenth year, the entire chapter gathers, and the Grand Count is selected, reflecting the greatest campaign waged over the past decade. The victory is celebrated by the whole chapter with much song and brotherhood, and a massive fire is lit for the hearth that dominates the head of the hall.
The Festival of Tears
The haemolacria that the Thunder Coyotes possess is a curious condition, but one that is celebrated as a gift of the Emperor. The Festival of Tears is the last rite of ascension into the chapter for new battle-brothers, though every marine will partake at one moment or another beyond their own induction. After being awarded their power armor, each new Primaris will join their newly assigned squad of new Primaris. Each marine will bring forth their tears, and deposit them into an earthen mug unique to each squad. Once it has been filled, the squad partakes as a seal of brotherhood, a blood oath to aid each other until death. For this reason, veteran squads of Thunder Coyotes are smaller than their newer counterparts, and often take up assignments and squad designations that require fewer and fewer marines, such as Aggressor squads, vehicle crews, and Eliminator squads, among others.
Those who are the last remains of their squads are those considered for officership, seen as lucky enough and strong enough to survive whatever war sought to throw at them. When a new officer is elevated, he fills the cup with his own bloody tears for his successor, then drinks of his predecessor. This ritual is accompanied by a reaffirming of the oaths that each squad swore upon creation.
As sons of the great Khan, the Thunder Coyotes have adopted his lust for the hunt, though they tend more toward the stalking aspect of its bent. The gene-seed itself is remarkably pure, and its organs free of mutation, as all Primaris seed is, though there is one oddity. A curious twist of genetics between the Khan's gene-seed and the Qoslomoyan DNA has led to haemolacria in the Thunder Coyotes, causing them to cry tears of blood, and can almost do so on command. This, however, is mostly harmless and has become ingrained in the chapter's warrior cult (indeed so much so that it has been incorporated into their armor) so it is not a problem that the chapter's leadership is particularly inclined to solve, when the Apothecaries are focused on integrating the Qoslomoyan people into the chapter as a whole.
"Strike from the Night!"
USING A Thunder Coyotes ARMY IN WARHAMMER 40,000
The Thunder Coyotes use the Expert Marksmen and Stealthy Successor Chapter Tactics on the battlefields of the 41st Millennium
Notes and admin:
Here's what I've got so far. I will be looking to expand this later, but autosave's gone wonky and at least this way it's saved (plus I need to work out a color scheme in the next day or two).
EDIT: I'd also like to report broken formatting. Either that or I've no idea how to do it correctly.
9/8/19: addressed some concerns about Qoslomoya, and added a little to the chapter cult section.
9/16/19: added information on the Winter Count, the Hibernation Hall, and created color schemes (to be added later).
9/18/19: expanded information on the Hibernation Hall, and described the chapter badge (to be added later).
9/23/19 added information on the Festival of Tears, and the importance of the haemolacria to the Thunder Coyotes
10/6/19: added color scheme, and technically have a chapter symbol (though it may be updated at a later point, because I can't draw).
10/7/19 updated format
Edited by Daimyo-Phaeron Lenoch, 07 October 2019 - 09:04 PM.