this is the beginning of (hopefully) one of two complete Index articles featuring my newest (of too many) chapter ideas: the Ashen Blades
I'll start off with the key facts I already got, expanding on them in time. The other chapter's going to be the Night Owls but I'll cover them in their own seperate thread.
Now back to the Ashen Blades. By the way, the name is not fixed yet. I'm still open for suggestions but I needed to give the chapter a work title.
One of them will also play a part in my BL submission of these years open window, so there might be some fanfic fluff coming in, as well.
The first idea behind the Ashen Blades were that of a Pre-Lorgar themed Primaris successor. One that hunts down cults and such, burning all heretic lore which is not compliant to the Imperial Truth (which itself is a lie). While writing this down, they evolved into a lore protecting chapter, tasked to help Guiliman in restore the imperial past while hunting heretics, traitors and the likes. I would like to go back to this idea at a later time, maybe after finishing the basement to work upon.
Before starting, I want to thank you (the entire LIBER community) for inspiring me to get something done. There were plenty of realy cool and unique concepts uploaded in the last weeks! Here's hope that my humble ideas may one day be as epic as yours.
Now, let's have a look on the Ashen Blades, shall we?
Chapter Name: Ashen Blades
Founding: Ultima Founding
Chapter Master: Gardion Flameheart
Combat Doctrine: Siege Warfare & Liberation and Defensive Operations (chapter) + Suppression of Ideological Revolt & Lore Culling (Vanguard)
Battlecry: Sons of Vulkan!" "To arms!"
Colours: Various tones of grey and red
Chapter Badge: A sword in front of a flame
The Ashen Blades is a Loyalist Codex Astartes-compliant Space Marine Chapter born of the Ultima Founding and a Successor Chapter of the Salamanders, composed entirely of Primaris Space Marines. The Ashen Blades were amongst the first of the Primaris Chapters created in the Ultima Founding. The Ashen Blades' homeworld is Vulkar, located in the northern half of the Ultima Segmentum. Though their battle record is still growing, they have already established themselves as vital supporters of Lord Regent Dante of the Blood Angels along other newly founded chapters like the Ebonspears or Night Owls. Furthermore, have they been chosen to follow unofficial orders given to them by Lord Guiliman himself.
The Ashen Blades Ashen Blades have gained a reputation as caring and utterly focused warriors who rarely back down if civilian lives are at risk. Following the teachings of the Promethean Cult, they stay true to the virtues of their genefather Vulkan. Self-sacrifice, loyalty and self-reliance are greatly emphasized by all their battle brothers and further, by the people of their newly given homeworldVulkar. Once brought into compliance by the eighteenth Legion under Vulkan himself, the citizens of this icy death world pledged their fealty to his recently awoken sons.
During the Indomitus Crusade did the Ashen Blades specialize in siege warfare and liberation operations, risking their lives to bring lost world into compliance once more. For them, a barren world, which requires repopulation is a lost cause. Each life saved by them will bolster the ranks of the imperial forces within the Imperium Nihilus. Besides saving as many lives and worlds as possible, do their Vanguard forces have a quite different agenda: securing historical records. While leading theIndomitus Crusade, Lord RobouteGuiliman established a new order of mortals, whose goal was to reconstruct an official history record of the Imperium, mimicking the Remembrancers he once knew during the golden age of the Imperium. With the Imperium Nihilus still being in an even worse state of constant war than the “secure” southern Imperium, Guiliman decided to dedicate an entire chapter to this cause. Known for their dedication and humanitarian beliefs, Guiliman thought the sons of his brother Vulkan to be the perfect candidates to gather, validate and secure those records for him. Deep within their new Fortress Monastery had the Ashen Blades begun to create a vast archive of different kinds of records. Not only do they search for ancient records, but also for rumours and hints about seemingly lost realms of the Imperium Nihilus.
Aside from their battle proneness and secret agenda, are theAshen Bladesalso accomplished weaponsmiths, often crafting their own weapons and war gear. Born into a galaxy riven by war, the Ashen Blades are eager to prove themselves to their Primarch and their Emperor, throwing themselves into combat against the Imperium's countless foes.
The Ashen Blades' Chapter organization follows the standard revised Codex Astartes structure. It consists of ten companies, also called Lodges, of Primaris Space Marines, each one hundred warriors strong. Each is commanded by a Captain, who is assisted by a pair of Lieutenants, a Chaplain, an Apothecary, an Ancient, and a retinue of Veterans. The rest of the company is divided into squads of ten to five warriors. There are only slight adaptions in terms of naming certain ranks and disciplines, for example are members of the Librarium called as Battlesmiths. Another example would be the priests of Kharrzim, the chapter’s equivalent of a codex compliant Reclusiam.
As sworn guardians of the Vraccarian Rift, were the Ashen Blades part of the rebuilding process after the reclamation of the Rift, the so-called Riftwar. Although the Rift was officially declared as being brought into compliance, the crusade cost the Ashen Blades and its allies dear, the war is far from over. To cover as much of the Rift as possible, did the Ashen Blades construct four additional chapter bases, acting as staging points, stations for resupply and places to train and raise new recruits until they are sent to Vulkar. Each of those posts are habituated by two entire chapters. This enables them to react on emergency calls as soon as possible. Furthermore, do those posts act as gathering places for newly acquired chronics, predictions and other useful data. The lodges of the Ashen Blades are currently spread as followed:
- 1 & 10th in space, battle barge Vulkatrix,
- 2 & 6th on Vulkar, Fortress Monastery Khoz-Ghyrak
- 3 & 7th on , base of Dorakis
- 4 & 8th on , base of Dul Bodaz
- 5 & 9th in the Ch’pem asteroid belt
The 1st Company is made up of the Chapter's most experienced warriors. Veterans who wish to join the 1st Company's ranks rise through several companies, gaining experiences an reputation. Chosen by their superiors, each member of the 1st Company is a veteran of countless battles, a source of inspiration and wisdom and an embodiment of Vulkan’s teachings. The 1st Company rarely fights as one unit, usually taking to the field alongside other companies to serve as a veteran reserve. Still, the majority of the 1st Company resides on the chapter's flagship, the Vulkatrix, acting as a honor guard for their chapter master and rapid strike force along with members of the Vanguard company.
The 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Companies are Battle Companies and do most of the Chapter's fighting. They usually consist of six battleline squads, two close support squads and two fire support squads, forming a balanced force to take on any foe. When the Ashen Blades go to war, they usually deploy a single Battle Company supported by troops from the Veteran, Scout and Reserve Companies.
The Reserve Companies are each made up of squads of the same designation. The 6th and 7th Company are essentially additional Battle Companies. Their squads can be moved into a Battle Company to replace losses during a campaign.
The 8th Company is the Close Support Company. Reivers and Inceptors from the 8th Company often comprise the first wave of an invasion force, disrupting enemy lines and causing panic before the main forces arrive. The warriors of the 8th Company are also expert at responding quickly to support their brothers when needed.
The 9th Company is the Fire Support Company. It is made up of Hellblasters and other heavy weapons squads. They will often be called to assist a battle company should they need extra firepower. Furthermore do the Intercessor and Aggressor squads act as bulwarks of firepower on the battlefield, guaranteeing their brothers advance while at the same time securing escape routes for civilians.
The 10th Company of the Ashen Blades is the Scout Company. It consists of fresh recruits whose training is incomplete. They are often tasked with reconnaissance missions during their training process. Aside from training the chapter’s future recruits do the Vanguard forces follow a quite different goal. Besides the regular specialization of acting behind enemy lines, do the brothers of the Vanguard company act as pathfinders to lost or claimed hubs of information. It is they who secure data vaults, archives and so on until they have been screened by the chapter’s techmarines. Vanguard strike forces are the first to enter a battlefield and among the last to leave it. They remain until their discoveries are either secured by the main forces of their chapter or, if forced, until they have destroyed every last scroll of lore, preventing it from being used by their enemies.
Specialty Ranks and Units
- The Keymasters – The Keymasters are the absolute rulers of the chapters growing archives on Vulkar. Regardless of their origin, be it a priest of Kharrzim or a member of the Battlesmiths, all serve for their greater purpose of their chapter given to them by Lord Guiliman himself. It is they, who analyse every bit of newly discovered lore, using a strict process, which shall filter between heretical writings and useful chronics. With the help of the chapter’s armoury is the archive constantly growing, which requires a frequently update on the security systems, traps, locks and so on. As a result do only the Keymasters have an overview of every process currently happening in the archives. Without their guidance, even the battle hardened Veteran might get lost in the deep vaults of their Fortress Monastery.
- more to come
- the Ashen Blades wage war on two fronts: against the foes of the Imperium and to preserve its past and once claimed wisdom
- while the majority of the chapter fights to reclaim and protect worlds, its vanguard is mostly sent to search for data archives and such in order to reclaim as much as possible
- in doing so did they specialize in siege warfare and liberation/ defensive operations; weither they defend or the lay siege to a world, their outmost priority is to safeguard as many lives as possible
- Vamguard strike forces are sent prior to the main battleforce in order to analyze the battlefield and their foes while at the same time taking a look for archives, data vaults, etc. which will be important to secure during the fight
- with enough intel gathered do the Ashen Blades fall upon their foe
- Inceptor squadrons fall from the skies upon well prepaired targets, marking the first step of the chapter's attack
- Hellblasters and tanks lay siege upon enemy fortresses while Aggressors and Intercessors advance in mobile transports, breaking through enemy lines
- Aggressors spread out, adding their devastating firepower to the overall chaos within enemy ranks; at the same time, Intercessors join forces with Vanguard and Inceptor squadrons, overwhelming the remaining adversaries
- Vulkar, an icy death world, which was once claimed by the XVIIIth Legion during the Great Crusade
- the sons of Vulkan saved its population from an growing Ork infestation and reestablished order and civilization beneath thick layers of snow and frost
- these days, great cities lie beneath the surface in vast caverns and tunnels, acting as hubs for several tribes
- until this day, do they fight the remaining Orks, which still haunt them (comparable with Ironjaws Orruks of AoS)
- the Ashen Blades' initiates fight against these with shields and hammer/ sword to proof themselves and their capabilities
- several other lethal threats like giant tunnel worms, rock flayers, ravager beasts and so on; nearly nothing of flora & fauna on the surface, only ice and some legendary predators
- the chapters fortress monastery is built into a mountain, with one third being above the surface and two third reaching deep into Vulkars ground; one of the deepes and hideous caves, protecting the gathered lore, raising new recruits and so on
- there are rumors and unconfirmed legends of an ancient temple, in which Vulan seemed to have caught something; rumor has it that they may be related to the Gorewings, a humanoid race of cannibals
- adherents to the Promethean Cult, though slightly altered and adapted by the people of Vulkar in terms of terminology
- oaths, use of runes, a book of grudges against seemingly "fellow" imperial allies or foes; example: a Forge World, which denied them precious archive data just for the sake of securing it in the name of the Omnissiah
- smiths and loremasters, the fire of Vulkan keeps the population alive and warm; his blades (sons) protect them
- venerated as "deliverers of hope" by their people
- Keepers of the Keys as important institution, guardians of both, their archives as well as their traditions, the word of the Promethean Cult, etc.
- many battle brothers make use of tattoes be it a reminder of a past battle or a rune/ oath to remember/ guard him
- features their genefather's traits, i.e. resilience and stamina
- there are no records of unusual skin pigmentations or differently colored eyes known
- only their temperament seems to be "hotter" than that of their distant gene brothers as they are holding grudges against those who did them wrong until said incidents have been settled
- Vulkatrix (Battle Barge), flagship
- Draakenheart (Battle Barge)
- Blazing Spirit (Strike Cruiser)
- Vulkansson (Strike Cruiser)
- Grigni's Rage (Strike Cruiser)
- Grugmir's Anvil (Forge ship)
Sources of inspiration and why:
Edited by Kelborn, 01 November 2019 - 07:51 AM.