For the LASC 2019 challenge, I start here this thread, to write down and further develop my own Dark Angel's Successor Chapter, the Wings of Dawn.
THE WINGS OF DAWN
Dark Angels Successor Chapter
DESIGNATION: The Wings of Dawn, after being renamed from their original designation, The Light Keepers
HERALDRY: A shinning blade, stabbing down, and with crimson red wings at its sides
BATTLE CRY: Fiat lux! (Let there be light!)
PROGENITOR: The Dark Angels
FOUNDING: Year 581.M37, part of the XXIII "Sentinel" Founding
REFOUNDING: Year 996.M37, with the chapter's new designation being given official recognition in the year 010.M38 by the High Lords of Terra
CODEX ADHERENCE: Codex-compliant, with minor organizational deviations
MAIN SECTOR: Eastern Fringe
MAIN SYSTEM: Orientis Lux (Easternmost Light)
HOME-WORLD: Alcides, at the far edge of the Orientis Lux System's habitable zone
MAIN STRONGHOLD: The Sigmalite Fortress
CHAPTER MASTER: Grand Master Zerephiel
CURRENT STATUS: Half-Strength, ∼600 Active Battle Brothers
STRATEGIC FOCUS: Infantry Formations, Combat Squad Deployment, Plasma Weaponry, Urban and Enclosed Quarters Combat
Founded from the gene-seed of the First Legion, and by decree from the High Lords of Terra, to hold a line in the farthest reaches of the Eastern Fringe. Destined to stand fast, and to sacrifice themselves to the last man, in order to stop a great evil that would emerge in the following millennia from within the black depths of the unknown cosmos. This chapter has lived through a tragic history of defiance against a self-brought disaster and against a fate thought to be inescapable; dying in their original designation, and then rising again into their current one, to challenge the predictions from Holy Terra, and to carry on the fight against the enemies of the Imperium beyond its own foresight and wisdom.
THE ORIENTIS LUX SYSTEM
In the Eastern Fringe, beyond the Scourge Stars, to the galactic southeast of the great warpstorm known as the Hadex Anomaly, and near the edge of the known galaxy, lies a mono-star system called Orientis Lux.
It was discovered in the year 147.M36, during the Age of Apostasy, by an explorer named Alaer-Khan; also known to imperial records as Alaer the Vaerlite. The heir to a long line of Rogue Traders, which dated back to the late M34, and master of the starship called the Semper Vera. A Conquest-Class Star Galleon from the early days of the Imperium.
Per the Warrant of Trade granted to him, Alaer the Vaerlite seeked to push the boundaries of the known galaxy, venturing beyond the light of the Astronomican and into the perilous region known as the Eastern Fringe.
There, and after having pushed themselves near to the end of their resources and resolve, the crew of the Semper Vera found themselves trapped in the pull of a gravitational anomaly which dragged the star galleon towards a particular system previously unknown to imperial records. One composed of four planets, all in far orbit around a five thousand million years old, main sequence star.
The starship was only freed from this pull as it finally entered through the edge of the system. The effect itself vanishing shortly after, with no trace left of the anomaly that could be registered. Still, by then the prospect of exploring this new found corner of the galaxy was enough to distract them all from the strange events that had taken place. It managed to rekindle the fire in the crew’s spirits, and to drive Alaer-Khan and his men forward into the unknown.
It was past the cold zone of the system and beyond the dead worlds trapped within it; at the far edge of the habitable zone, that they found the one planet ―to them― worthy of claim. The reward for their perseverance and their faith, as they saw it. A grey and red world of rock and ice, which held the promise of new colonies for the expansion of the great Imperium of Man.
In honor of the bright light of the system’s star, as it shone as a lonely beacon in the great black of the Eastern Fringe; as well as in remembrance of the weird chance by which he had been drawn to it, Alaer the Vaerlite named the system Orientis Lux. The High-Gothic translation for Easternmost Light.
The planet itself was named Alcides, after his ancestor. The first in his bloodline, who had won the Emperor’s favor, and had been the original recipient of his family’s Warrant of Trade, by the decree of Holy Terra.
THE PLANET ALCIDES
This terrestrial planet is one of the four worlds that orbit around the singular star at the center of the Orientis Lux system. It is located nearest to it, yet still at the cold far end of the system’s habitable zone.
It is a dangerous world of grey and red rock, with a freezing weathers, large ocean masses, and a great number of ice formations scattered at various levels of depth beneath the terrestrial crust. It’s skies are constantly covered by the passing waves of the many great auroras of green light that are caused by the particular radiation of the system’s star. Although lacking in non-oceanic flora, its atmosphere and abundance of water have been sufficient for the planet to have developed a biosphere with a sustainable fauna, which exists in the deep oceans, as well as both at a terrestrial and a subterrestrial level; with a large number of species apparently evolved for subterrestrial environments, most likely correlating to the effect of the planet’s lengthy rotation, which gives Alcides a solar cycle equivalent to roughly eight times that of Holy Terra.
Alcides was discovered by the Rogue Trader Alaer the Vaerlite in the year 149.M36, just two years after his discovery of the Orientis Lux system in the year 147.M36; and named after the first of his bloodline, the Rogue Trader Alcides-Khan, who received his family’s Warrant of Trade in the early years of M34.
Being the only planet in the system not classifiable ―at the time, at least― as a dead world, Alcides was almost immediately targeted for surveyance and colonization. It’s surface, atmosphere, and biosphere, providing Alaer’s crew with all the required resources and conditions needed for adequate terraforming.
Throughout the first few hundred years since planetfall, Alcides was the subject of various exploration missions meant to catalogue its topography and geography, as well as its fauna and its various weather phenomena. The information gathered made it clear that this was a dangerous but promising world. One that would require the presence of a standing armed force to fend off its various life forms, and the adoption of a mostly subterranean system of colonies in order to house a prosperous population, that could grow into numbers useful to the Imperium of Mankind.
It was by the second half of M36, and through great efforts, that Alcides managed to become a prominent world in the Eastern Fringe. It’s citizens arriving from various other imperial planets from the nearby systems ―including Macragge itself―, to contribute to the expansion of the vast underground network of colonies which had managed to grow and spread through and across the planet.
THE FELLHAE GENERATORIUMS
Due to the environmental characteristics of Alcides, humanity faced a few problems with its colonization. In fact, it would not be far from the truth to say that, even in the 41st Millennium, the planet surface has only been partially terraformed by the Imperium, to truly sustain human life at Terra-standards.
This is a world that was found by its discoverers to be one mostly deprived of non-oceanic flora. Great mountain ranges covered in ice, and deep chasms devoid of light or warmth were plentiful, but within them there was little to be harvested as resources for a thriving civilization of the size that the Imperium would have hoped to create. The fauna that had managed to evolve in this distant point of the known universe, had adapted to these conditions, in many different ways. Acclimating to lives under the ocean depths, down the dark recesses of the planet's fragmented crust, or inside the very upper mantle that covered the planet's core. Humanity had to follow a similar evolutionary strategy, by farming non-surface crops, mining for deep minerals, and by developing cities that themselves dug deep into the ground of Alcides, or that otherwise supported themselves under the powerful oceans that spread across it. Hives whose infrastructure lay mostly deep underground or underwater, with great and jagged spires managing to pierce beyond the surface; to house those deserving —or able—, to claim them.
This way of life was aided, though, by a specific combination of phenomena that the first settlers of Alcides found in their new homeworld. First, the existance a peculiar form of emulsion found in most ice formations, ocean waters, and underground ice caps and water reservoirs across the entire planet. Second, a particular genus of beasts that spread through most of this world, which the first humans to settle it named the Fellhae. Ferocious creatures of great size, agility and cunning. Predators that dominated their ecosystems. Well adapted to last long periods of time without food, to survive and hunt in total darkness, to resist and navigate themselves in deep waters, and to dig their way through both solid and igneous rock. This, due to a trait commonly shared by all the various species and subspecies of their genus: The ability to feed off of the Alcidean emulsion, and metabolize it into a special form of high-yield plasma, which they could use to perform all of these feats. An ability that humanity was quick to learn how to harvest for its own efforts, converting the metabolized plasma into fuel and ammunition for powering almost any STC-Based and non-STC-Based machinery and weaponry, that they could ever require to conquer and control the planet. A form of energy beyond the capabilities of any other available to them through conventional means, in the far edge of space.
The construction of what were named the Fellhae Generatoriums, began. Soon, they were located all over and inside of Alcides. They allowed the settlers to speed up the construction of cities and manufactorums to an unprecedented degree; and allowed them to master the processes of the Fellhae to cut through the planet's upper mantle and create new paths, even into the worlds outer core, were even more emulsion lay waiting to be harvested.
This then led to the creation of a great system of interconnected roads and planetary defense outposts, stretching in between and around the various hive cities of Alcides. A feat of planning, architecture and engineering, called simply by the Alcideans as the great underground network.
THE UNDERGROUND NETWORK
The great Underground Network began construction in the year 304.M36. The planetary government, having completed sufficiently advanced stages of planetary exploration, terraforming and urbanization, by that time, now required a better and safer way to interconnect the new, yet sprawling hive cities of Alcides. Both with it each other, and with the various Fellhae Generatoriums that had been created during those first years of colonization.
This network complex began humbly, as little more than a system of above and underground roads. It quickly began to take a much more relevant role in the urban structure of the planet, however, as each hive city continued to grow downwards into the planet's mantle, as new emulsion repositories and new migration patterns for various strains of the Fellhae were identified. The network had to become heavily fortified , and its supply routes had to expand and incorporate redundancies and defensive choke points at various places. This, so as to ensure safeguards against the Alcidean indigenous wildlife. Aptly classified as a peril to the general populace, as it was —and still remains to this day— perfectly capable of carving paths across permacrete and steel, just as easily as through water and rock.
With over a thousand years of accelerated progress, granted by the abundance of energy from the large generatoriums that continued to be constructed with each new stage of this expansion, the Alcideans found themselves without fear or restrain for their own progress. Hungry for more resources, their drive and previous success emboldened them to seek expansion through the upper mantle, past the transitional barrier of the planet, and into the lower mantle. Closer and closer into the world's external core, where more emulsion lay in waiting. This, done by the creation of the crown jewel of the great Underground Network: the Sigmal.
First constructed in 456.M37, and having taken an entire generation of Alcideans to finish, the Sigmal was an unprecedented feat for the inhabitants of the entire system. Not in itself a city, but rather a fairly autonomous industrial and mining complex of titanic proportions, housing millions of people and reaching all the way from the surface of the planet, to the edge of its lower mantle. Directly and indirectly lined into, and connected to, each single generatorium in Alcides, this colossal structure managed to feed off of the entire Underground Network, so as to gather the energy required to push into the deepest possible recesses of the planet's inner structure. Something it began to do for the first time soon upon being completed, in the year 531.M37.
Fifty years, to the day, of the first vision of the Great Omen, as recorded by the Imperium.
THE GREAT OMEN
On the day the grand engines of Sigmal of Alcides were started, a vision doom was witnessed by various members of the psychic eye of the Imperium's central bureaucracy; the Astra Telepathica. A storm of images that assailed the minds of many sanctioned psykers, driving a great number of them to madness and death, and scarring those few who survived it for the rest of their days. Images depicting the destruction of the galaxy under the crushing might of a tidal wave of searing light. One that surged forth from a crack in the eternal black at the fringe of the known universe, and looked to wash over endless worlds with a roaring hunger for the souls of mankind. Only to be reigned in soon after the moment of its birth by a blackened wall, formed from the corpses of a thousand men.
Several records of these predictions were taken to different Terran archives, where they still remain today as a historical testament to the events that followed. All of them recounting the harrowing descriptions given by the dozens of surviving sanctioned psykers that suffered the onslaught of energy that the vision came infused with.
Despite the imprecise nature of the vision, the coincidence of the words spoken by those who received it, and of the mental wounds and physical scars left on them by the event, worked in favor of the Astra Telepathica, managing to give just enough credence to this prophecy of doom from beyond the known stars, so as to move the High Lords of Terra to action.
A half a decade of study since that fateful day led to a hard earned consensus from the part the Astra Telepathica, that the doom told of by the images would come in from a place on the far edge of the Eastern Fringe. Though the nature of this evil could not be determined with accuracy, a point from which to confront it and the way for the Imperium to do so, could be decided upon to a degree. The Orientis Lux system was then chosen by the wisdom of the prophets who witnessed the coming of this evil, as the line of defense against this evil. A thousand warriors were then ordered into creation by the High Lords of Terra, to hold that line with their lives; laying them down to create the corpse wall that would save the Imperium.
FOUNDING OF THE CHAPTER
By the year 581.M37, and half a century after the members of the Astra Telepathica managed to decide on a suitable course of action against the Great Omen, the chapter had been founded. One thousand warriors of Terran stock, bred in the vaults of Mars, and from the hallowed gene-seed of the First Legion. One more chapter, born into the tumult of the later 37th millennium, as part of the 23rd Founding.
The decision to create these warriors was taken quickly by the High Lords of Terra, as the word of the Emperor came often to them through those hard times with commands to bolster the defenses of the Imperium by the creation of new astartes. As if blessed by the very will of the Emperor, the process then of creating the zygotes needed to breed these warriors evolved with surprisingly few complications, and produced its results fairly quickly as well.
The only point of contention during the creation of the chapter was at the moment of deciding what gene-seed was to be used for the arduous task at hand. Stable genetic material was needed, as the events of the Cursed Founding were still ever present in the minds of all. A concern made all the more grievous by the purpose that this one chapter had as the cause for its creation, in the first place.
The gene-seed of the Thirteenth Legion was considered, due to its stability, and the impressive results of its use, as they could be tracked back through the history of the Imperium. The gene-seed of the Seventh Legion was considered as well, from a desire to see the world of Alcides and the Orientis Lux system both fortified to deadly perfection, as a way to ensure the defense of the galaxy against such dreaded and unknown threats as those seen in the Great Omen.
In the end, though, it was the gene-seed of the First Legion that was chosen. The High Lords of Terra, coming to see that the purpose for the creation of the chapter was not to be other than the fulfillment of the prophecy foretold by the members of the Astra Telepathica. No other genetic heritage available to them —they realized—, would be better suited to creating a chapter such as this. Fated to stoically await their own end at the edge of the galaxy, through the millennia, and safeguard mankind at the highest possible cost.
On the year 583.M37, the chapter was given its name. The Light Keepers. And, with weapons and armor befitting their task, taken from the vaults of Mars, they embarked on their ships and departed the home of mankind for the world of Alcides, to claim it as their own to defend.
THE CLAIMING OF ALCIDES
In the year 585.M37, the cruisers and battle barges that carried the Light Keepers to the far side of the galaxy were first spotted entering the Orientis Lux system. Their arrival had been hailed by heralds of the Imperium for some years by then, as the coming of a great force with which humanity would do battle against the darkness that stretched beyond the great star that shone at the center of the system.
These warriors were then celebrated by the people of Alcides, albeit with cautious joy. Seen by most of the hivers as a blessing of fire and wrath, arriving to set up a bastion for the great Imperium, with which to protect them from the dangers of the beasts that roamed through the earth and the water all around them. Seen, at the same time, by the planetary government, to be the embodiment of the end of times for their world and their way of life. Knowing full well the law of the universe. That they would have to subject themselves as vassals to the astartes, and relinquish unto them their homes, and their lives. All for a purpose surely understood only by the High Lords of Terra and the astartes themselves.
And that is exactly what they did.
Their ships descended on Alcides on a bright day, at the end of the year 585.M37, and from within came forth the thousand warriors that would turn this industrious hive world into a homeworld for the angels of the Emperor's wrath. An army of holy warriors, led by battle brother Elsheim Einheart, their first chapter master. Armed both with powerful weapons, and knowledge of the war to come, and ready to devote themselves to the task of securing Alcides for the good of the Imperium.
By Imperial decree, and the authority given to him by the will of the Emperor, Einheart stood before the planetary government and claimed their fealty as vassals to his own will. The lives of their people would now serve the astartes, as loyal workers and hallowed recruits. Their homes would belong to the astartes, for them to protect and defend. Their enemies would be the astartes's enemies, to devastate without hesitation or mercy.
One by one, then, the companies of the chapter marched from the seat of government that resided at the heart of the city of Vaerlides, and into the Sigmal. Having recognized the value of this grand design; and of the potential it held for them as the planet's vastest generatorium, a conduit to the depths of the world's core were the greatest pools of energy resided. Its halls, its defenses, and the might of its engines, were all claimed by the chapter as their own seat of power. Turned by their command, from a marvel of industry, into something greater. A fortress. The great fortress, which they named the Sigmalite, and from which they would then oversee their new homeworld, and prepare for the doom of all Alcides.
THE SIGMALITE FORTRESS, THE SIGNS OF DOOM, & THE COVENANT OF VAERLIDES
It took little time for the battle brothers of the chapter to begin their work towards making Alcides a true bastion for the defense of the Imperium.
By the power of their authority as angels of the Emperor's wrath, they assumed direct control over most defenses, resources, and points of industry across the entire Underground Network. Factory quotas of production were filled almost completely with requisitions for weapons and armor, and the Fellhae Generatoriums began to be tapped and taxed heavily, so as to channel their energy into these endeavors.
The surface, the oceans, and the mantle of Alcides began to be adopted as hunting and training grounds. The fellhae beasts of this world proving deadly and formidable enough as opponents to the warriors of the chapter, so as to lead them chapter into crafting various training exercises and holy battle rites around the constant threat of their existence.
From the halls inside the Sigmal, Grand Master Einheart oversaw these operations personally. Rapidly transforming this frontier world into a fortified one, and the grand design of the Sigmal itself into a monastery worthy of the war to come. Its machinery and its purpose changing as much as the rest of Alcides, by the presence of the astartes.
What soon followed this powerful burst of rapid change, was chaos. And, by the end of the first decade since the arrival of the chapter, the first signs of the incoming doom began to show.
Bound by the law of the Imperium, as manifested through the word of the High Lords of Terra, the inhabitants of Alcides had no choice but to bend to the will of the astartes. Despite their work in boosting the planet's production and in giving its inhabitants a newfound sense of purpose inside the known galaxy, and despite their hand in reducing the dangers posed by the dreaded fellhae beasts that constantly assaulted the generatoriums, the fact remained that the planetary government was ever more resentful of the control exerted by these warriors from Holy Terra. With many more citizens adding their voices to this resentment as the years went by, and as more of Alcides was claimed for the efforts of preparing for a war that no one knew was coming. One that no one knew they had to prepare for at all. With tensions rising slowly and silently into a veritable fever pitch, a time soon came when those disgruntled inhabitants of Alcides finally would decide to act against the battle brothers of the Light Keepers chapter.
The spark of rebellion was ignited in the later part of the year 596.M37, and as the surviving records of the chapter would later tell, this was the inciting act that opened the way for the Doom of Alcides to come forth. An act of defiance fueled by its corrupting influence. Fringe groups turned into organized movements by the hidden support of the planetary government from the hive city of Vaerlides, began to sabotage the Fellhae Generatoriums in the farthest reaches of the planet. Targeting first the hive city of Orsides, and later the hive city of Leanansides, both by rerouting their energy distribution through improvised conduits to create strategically placed stockpiles of refined emulsion, and by halting production altogether in carefully selected factories throughout the cities inner sectors. The consequence of these actions being an artificially generated surge of bestial attacks along the northern and western regions of the Underground Network. Through careful and insidious coordination with co-conspirators inside the command structure of the planetary defense force, this all led to what would later be referred to as the False Migration; a period of over two years of attacks against undefended outposts that would force the Light Keepers on a stretched march across the planet. A task that would put their strength as a warring force to the test, as their own logistical and weapons manufacturing capabilities were hindered by the acts of the saboteurs.
The attacks across the planet and the need for new arms and munitions for the task of pacifying the bestial hordes that were at every gate and outpost in the northern and western hemispheres of Alcides, pushed Grand Master Einheart in the year 598.M37 to make the decision of commanding the greatest source of energy and industry still available to the chapter. The machinery that was at the heart of the Sigmalite Fortress. The only drills and refineries that could push through the upper mantle of the planet to reach its outer core, and tap into the large emulsion repositories that were known to reside there. These sources of energy gave the Light Keepers a way to bypass the organized and planet-wide acts of sabotage that the planetary government had enacted, and resume the manufacturing of weapons and munitions needed to win back the home-world from the beasts.
With this, and within a few months of arduous battle, the False Migration was ended, and the insidious acts of the planetary dissenters were laid bare. Still, it would take a whole other year of conflict for the chapter to put the last of the known rebels to the sword, and even more time to guide the planet back into a semblance of order, and to bring its infrastructure back to the levels it once had. All tasks achieved, not just through the use of force to crush the surviving saboteurs and to quell dissenting rhetoric in the hive cities, but also through the use of diplomacy to bring to heel the citizens of each rebellious sector that had once harbored those who had decided to pick up arms against the astartes.
Grand Master Einheart, suspecting the hand of inescapable fate at play in the speed and willingness of many inhabitants of Alcides to stand against the chosen sons of the Emperor of Mankind, came to the conclusion that purging this world of rebels and traitors alone —noble a task though it could be—, would eventually just play into the grand designs of the incoming doom. Another approach, then, had to be taken. With that in mind, the Grand Master, along with a personal retinue composed of his chief librarian, his reclusiarch, and the first squad of the first company, marched upon the halls of the planetary government in Vaerlides; carrying with him the heads of the fallen leaders of the rebels from the other hive cities. Knowing they could not stand against these warriors, the old rulers of Alcides were forced to agree to a meeting. And, after a week of discussions and negotiations, Einheart finally revealed to the planetary government some of the truth of the vision of the Doom of Alcides, witnessed by the Astra Telepathica so many decades ago; as well as his need for the planet to stand alongside the chapter to face the evil that was coming.
At the end of said conversations, with the old rulers of Alcides understanding that there could be no opposing the astartes, and the Grand Master understanding that peace and unity before the doom to come was better than war and strife, an agreement was made between both sides. A pact named by imperial records as the Covenant of Vaerlides, by which the inhabitants of Alcides swore their allegiance to the astartes. Their lives never again to be spent in confrontation to their actions, but rather laid willingly before the Light Keepers, in perpetual serfdom, so as to aid them in their preparations for the coming destruction that they would confront in the name of the whole of humanity.
THE DOOM OF ALCIDES
The 6th century of the 37th millennium ended with peace restored to the distant world of Alcides.
By virtue of the covenant entered into by the planetary government and the Grand Master of the Light Keepers, the astartes now found themselves able to cease most of their year-long hunt for rebels. The task of dispending justice to the final few of the dissentors that hid in the vast stretches of the great Underground Network fell on the neophytes of the tenth company. At last, the attention of chapter could be placed once again on their true mission, and they could resume their preparations for the real war to come. Sadly, the entire conflict would still have started the battle-brothers on their final steps towards the doom of the planet.
The signs of what was to come had first been in the influence of this coming doom having been present in the twisted minds of otherwise loyal servants of the Imperium. But, these early signs had been invisible to the astartes then, and had managed to rouse little more than a minor sense of suspicion; leaving nothing but a lingering silent question in the back of the Grand Master's mind alone, before fading away.
The traitorous flame that inspired so many to take up arms against the chapter had been fanned by this invisible hand, and now its design had served its purpose. Despite the war for the peace of Alcides having been won, and despite the industry of the planet having been placed once again in the service of the war effort of the astartes, Grand Master Einheart had been led to make a series of choices that —although innocent enough at first glance—, had all been instrumental to the downfall of his entire chapter.
Through their crisis, the Light Keepers had found a way to harvest enough energy and materials so as to produce enough weapons to be able face planetary scale hordes of beasts, as well millions upon millions of adversaries, with little logistical and manufacturing support beyond the generatoriums, foundries and armories of their own fortress-monastery. Even with the entirety of Alcides slowly resuming their tithes to them in energy and production quotas, the need for energy and manufacturing autonomy that was made evident by the events of the past conflict was something that had shaken Grand Master Einheart to his core. The engines of the Sigmal, inside the deeper chambers of the Sigmalite Fortress, had thus been awakened, never to rest again. Not until the planet was torn asunder, and the confidence that both the alcideans and the astartes had in the control they thought they held over their planet through their technology had been proven ill placed.
For the span of many generations the engines of the Sigmal continued their run. The great machinery of the crown jewel of the Underground Network continued to bite down, deeper and deeper into the outer core of Alcides. Searching ever more for higher refined emulsion with which to power a veritable legion, if need be. And, for almost four hundred years, the chapter knew prosperity. Growing into a war machine that would go on to crush the enemies of the Imperium in the far reaches of the known galaxy. With many wars, spanning the entire second half of the 37th millenium, ending in glorious victory for the Light Keepers. With more and better methods of war being honed with each passing victory. All of it in preparation for the one war that they continued to wait for, with their vigilant eyes ever fixed on the distant darkness beyond the edge of the known galaxy. Still blind to the true signs of their looming fate.
And so it was, that despite their efforts, the great Light Keepers were found wanting on their day of reckoning. As the Doom of Alcides rose from beneath their great halls looking to consume them all in roaring fires and searing light. And, with the Imperium approaching the end of the 37th millennium, the power that lay dormant, buried since untold ages beneath the deepest places of the planet, began to rise up; once the Sigmal had managed to breach through the geological barriers that had contained for so long.
The sundering of Alcides started with a furious earthquake at the center of the hive city of Orsides. An event beyond the control of any seismic dampener or architectural countermeasure available to its inhabitants, which shook its foundations to the verge of collapse. Great chasms opened up from around epicenter of the event and towards the outer sectors of the hive city. Large walls of sharp rock as jagged fangs formed along their many paths to swallow entire sectors whole within a matter of minutes. Countless hab-blocks fell straight down into the depths, taking their inhabitants with them to their deaths.
With alarms firing up across the planet, the magnitude and sudden nature of the event gave Grand Master Einheart cause for concern. As beasts appeared quickly around the affected areas of the hive city to feast on what was left amongst the ruins, the first battle lines of both the fourth company —led by Company Master Ademar— and fifth company —led my Company Master Steinar—, were sent in to secure the area, in lieu of the now fragmented Planetary Defense Force regiments of Orsides; and to protect any and all survivors that could be found.
Not soon after these forces were sent in that new issues came to the Grand Master's attention, as the waters around the hive city of Leanansides began to suffer under the manifestation of previously unrecorded phenomena. The ocean depths began to be subjected to unnatural currents and temperatures, leading to almost boiling waters being thrusted with great force upon the blast shielding of the submerged sectors of the external regions of the hive city. Multiple structures eventually managed to break under the pressure of this torrential currents of near-boiling waters, as the points of most pressure were located outside the thermal shielding that was otherwise common around the generatoriums and refineries, for the prevention of fellhae attacks. Soon, the damage began to lead into a series of floods, with the burning waters flowing almost unstopped into the Underground Network.
Once again, Grand Master Einheart was forced to send in the brothers of the chapter to deal with the situation. With the matter being of such urgency, the third company was dispatched in full to the hive city of Leananside. A thousand battle-brothers, marching as a singular strike force, and leading the way for support, squads from the eight and ninth, as well as many noble and able techmarines from the chapter's own armory to assist in the containment of the breached sectors.
At the fortress-monastery, Gerold Havardir, master of the librarians, was dedicated to finding a recognizable pattern to these strange events. And, through the combined efforts and wisdom of the brothers of the librarium, he managed to pick up on an invisible thread that seemed to tie in both catastrophes. A form of gravitational anomaly, the traces of which could still be found lingering at the point of origin of both events. With these findings then confirmed by enough cogitators from the central nodes of the fortress, so as to give the Grand Master reason and evidence to justify decisive action against it, a search for an expected third event began.
As the weeks passed, more forces were required to provide support, both to the efforts of the companies doing battle in the shaken ruins of the hive city of Orsides, as well as to that of the companies fighting the elements under the ocean surface, in the tunnels of the Underground Network that stretched from the hive city of Leanansides. Squads from the sixth and seventh reserve companies, as well as the tenth scout company, were tasked to both fronts with unnerving regularity.
In the midst of this, the brothers of the librarium made their great discovery, in the form of a unique and very particular psychic frequency yet unperceived by any psyker in the chapter, but common to both gravitational anomalies. One which could serve, then, as a predictor to new manifestations of this astro-phenomena. And, no sooner had this discovery been made, that indeed new anomalous events were picked up by the forces of the chapter. This time, in the form of a series of minor gravitational ripples stretching beyond the reach of Alcides and far towards the star at the center of the Orientis Lux system itself.
Expecting this to be the sign of a third calamity, and convinced now that this new event was to be the final prelude to the great doom that destiny had foretold for the chapter, Grand Master Einheart decided to strike against the coming evil. By his command, the remaining forces of the last of his battle companies took to the heavens in a mighty war fleet, seeking to intercept the monstrous beast of legend that they believed would be coming towards them, hidden in the light of the Orientis Lux star.
And, sure enough, the Doom of Alcides had come at last for them.
The Grand Master held the fortress-monastery, with the honored battle-brothers of the remaining first company at his side. Waiting solemnly for the beast —whatever it truly was— to come to him, wailing and wounded, surely, after first contact with his warriors. And as he gazed into the distant star at the center of the system, the doom indeed appeared, not from above them, but from beneath them.
As it made itself manifest, all that the chapter managed to feel were the blasts. Untold numbers of them, appearing all across the planet, as overlapping warning signals began firing up through the central cogitators inside the fortress-monastery like an avalanche of information, threatening to devour the system and purge the machine spirits of each available terminal it could reach. Each blast caused by gravitational anomalies which began to manifest themselves at various points around the remaining infrastructure of each hive city in Alcides, as warping tunnels of twisted force, which spiraled from the depths of the planet, and pierced through layers of plasteel and permacrete, unseen by the naked eyes of the horrified citizens that scrambled everywhere for safety in the surviving sectors. Through these gravity tunnels came the fires from the star at the center of the system. Stretching across space and time like thin strands of bright fire and plasma, coming in the span of a few seconds to touch down on the planet's surface.
From their halls in the Sigmalite Fortress, the battle-brothers of the Light Keepers chapter watched as orbs of light appeared in the distance. Balls of fire igniting first as tiny sparks, each then expanding in a matter of seconds into vast conflagrations over two kilometers wide. Each one evaporating everything in its reach. Each followed by a blinding flash of white light, and a thermal pulse that would go on to ignite all that was nearby and within stretches of over ten kilometers in every direction. This all then followed by blasts of hurricane winds, first washing over the areas beyond the flames, then contracting back to the center of each explosion at impossible speeds. Dragging corpses and rubble along the way and creating waves of debris that would go on to trample most of what was left along their path.
Within a matter of hours over half of each hive city on Alcides had been lay to waste. The planet had become nothing more than a poor and ruinous reflection of its former self. With its grand tunnels and roads having been left hanging naked over chasms. With it's generatoriums and factories having been turned into radiation leaking death traps. With it's millions of survivors trapped under ruble, ash and black rain, and it's native beasts having been made to take flight beyond the reach of civilization, to swarm about the last places of geological integrity that were left. And, with the upper halls of the Sigmalite Fortress towering over the wastelands. Inside them, the battle-brothers being witnesses to the destruction that would soon begin to spread towards the rest of the Imperium. All of them now, forced to act, as a new gravitational anomaly and a new surge of thermal energy made itself known throughout the remaining displays of the fortress-monastery's central cogitators. A pulse coming from beneath the point of convergence of the Sigmal's engines, in the belly of the beast that was this new Alcides, which manifested itself along with a psychic shock that hit them with such initial force as to drive some in the chapter's librarium almost to their knees. Showing the Grand Master in his mind's eye what would be the most terrifying notion behind the calamity that had struck.
That whatever the nature was of the doom that had broken the world of Alcides asunder, above all, it was self-aware. An actual intelligence, which laid at the source of this force; conscious to the presence of the chapter. And it had been planning for this, and had been waiting for them, for even longer than they had been planning and waiting for it.
THE WAR OF SACRIFICE
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THE ETERNAL WATCH
+++ Work in progress +++
TIMELINE OF THE HISTORY OF THE CHAPTER
Year 147.M36, Rogue Trader Alaer-Khan first discovers the Orientis Lux System, after his ship is pulled towards the system by an unknown gravitational anomaly.
Year 149.M36, the planet of Alcides is discovered, registered, and classified as initially suitable for terraforming and colonization.
Year 150.M36, exploratory missions begin throughout Alcides. First stages of terraforming and put into action.
Year 161.M36, the first official Alcidean colony is founded on the site on which the Semper Vera first made planet-fall. The early city constructed is named by the colonists as Vaerlides, and an early planetary government is formed. Alaer-Khan, the discoverer of the planet and the Orientis Lux system, embarks on his return voyage to Holy Terra. No record exists in Alcides of him and his ship ever returning to the system.
Year 188.M36, the Alcideans first encounter the Fellhae, in the mountain ranges near the city of Vaerlides.
Year 190.M36, the first emulsion pools are discovered on the upper crust of Alcides. A link is found between the proliferation of the known species of the Fellhae and the emulsion.
Year 194.M36, through mapping of Fellhae migration patterns, new emulsion reservoirs are discovered in the crust of the planet, as well as in the ocean depths near the city of Vaerlides.
Year 200.M36, exploratory missions begin to probe the topmost layers of the upper mantle for additional reservoirs of emulsion.
Year 201.M36, various experimental projects to refine the emulsion in the known pools and reservoirs are implemented. New colonies begin to be establish to run digging and refinement programs over various pools and reservoirs.
Year 261.M36, the city of Vaerlides celebrates the first century since its founding, as the refineries begin to grow into city-scale habitation complexes. The Alcideans continue to expand across the planet, with the city of Vaerlides remaining as the capital, and as the site of central government.
Year 268.M36, success in the refinement of emulsion shows promising early results in energy production.
Year 271.M36, the first Fellhae Generatorium is constructed. The energy output of the complex produces an increment in the rate of progress of the capital city of Vaerlides, and the various refinery-cities in its proximity. As the city and the refineries expand, they begin to mesh into one larger city.
Year 311.M36, the capital city of Vaerlides finally absorbs its neighboring refinery cities, and the resulting urban complex is officially classified as one single city, reaching early Hive City status, in what is later recorded as the First Expansion of Alcides.
Year 411.M36, through the construction of multiple new generatoriums, the Hive City of Vaerlides begins to grow at an even more accelerated rate. New refineries begin construction, to expand its reach further throughout the region.
Year 426.M36, multiple Fellhae attacks take place at the site of many of the new refineries. Industrial accidents as a result of bestial attacks end with thousands of deaths, but progress continues, despite theories of a connection between the increased activity on the part of the local fauna and the energy production at these new generatoriums.
Year 441.M36, the Great Migration of the Fellhae takes place. A highly aggressive flock of beasts, reaching an unprecedented size, appears from beyond the borders Vaerlides. The migration path of the flock puts it in direct collision with the capital city. Hundred of thousands of lives are lost, but the beasts are pushed back in the end. A connection between the generatoriums and the size of the Fellhae flocks is once again postulated. Reconstruction work begins immediately.
Year 444.M36, the effect of the generatoriums on the migration patterns and increased aggressiveness of the already dangerous Fellhae species is quickly confirmed, and the conclusions are ratified by the central government in Vaerlides.
Year 445.M36, in response to the events of the Great Migration of the Fellhae, the central government begins actions to bolster the Planetary Defense Force, and to de-centralize Alcides. New exploratory missions are sent farther across the planet, to begin construction of new refinery-cities and generatoriums. The sites are chosen with close attention to migration patterns of the Fellhae beasts, so as to reduce the possibilities of a new Great Migration taking place. Additional resources and colonists are requisitioned by the planetary government from nearby systems.
Year 501.M36, the Second Expansion of Alcides begins, with additional population arriving by the millions from nearby systems to man the generatoriums and inhabit the cities in the new regions beyond Vaerlides.
Year 529.M36, the Hive City of Orsides is founded, on the continental region to the north of Vaerlides. Multiple minor settlements are constructed on the neighboring regions.
Year 557.M36, the sub aquatic Hive City of Leanansides is founded, on the oceanic depths to the west of Vaerlides. Multiple minor settlements are constructed on the neighboring regions.
Year 896,M36, after centuries of prosperity, the expansion of the various hive cities passes the mid point of the upper mantle of Alcides.
Year 304.M36, the great Underground Network begins construction.
Year 456.M37, the Sigmal begins construction.
Year 531.M37, the Sigmal finishes construction. The first vision of the Great Omen is seen and recorded in Holy Terra.
Year 536.M37, the leadership of the Astra Telepathica concludes that the origin of the evil foretold by the the Great Omen lays beyond the Eastern Fringe. Agreement is reached that to fulfill the prophecy and stop the evil that is to come from this part of the galaxy requires a defensive line to be formed at the Orientis Lux system, and the case is presented to the High Lords of Terra to found a chapter to hold the system.
Year 537.M37, the process to found the chapter begins. After many deliberations, the High Lords of Terra decide to found the chapter using the gene-seed of the First Legion, after discarding plans of using that of the Twenty Third, and of the Seventh, respectively.
Year 581.M37, the chapter is founded, as part of the XXIII "Sentinel" Founding. They are given the name the Light Keepers, and promptly armed to embark on their journey to the Orientis Lux system.
Year 583.M37, the Light Keepers depart from Holy Terra, on route to Alcides, in the Orientis Lux system.
Year 585.M37, the Light Keepers arrive at the Orientis Lux system. Chapter Master Elsheim Einheart, first commander of the chapter, meets with the planetary government at their seat in the hive city of Vaerlides. The planet is claimed by the chapter as their homeworld, and the astartes are welcomed and celebrated by a cautiously joyful populace. Tensions are high but constrained, as the thousand warriors march on the Sigmal, after a thorough preliminary overview of the planet, to claim it as their own. The Sigmal begins to be retrofitted with additional halls and defenses, so as to be converted into the chapter's fortress monastery.
Year 596.M37, after a rising tension caused by the actions and presence of the astartes, rebellious groups of Alcideans, supported in secret by the planetary government and parts of the chain of command of the planetary defense force, begin a series of acts of sabotage across the fellhae generatoriums of both the hive cities of Orsides and Leanansides. Their actions wreak havoc in logistical efforts of the chapter, and in the migration patterns of the fellhae at a planetary scale. This leads to what is recorder later as the False Migration of the Fellhae. Endless hordes of these beasts engage the Underground Network in search for emulsion, with little to no opposition. The Light Keepers march across Alcides to stop the beasts, but their reduced logistics and supplies hinder their task considerably.
Year 598.M37, Grand Master Einheart decides to activate the core machinery of the Sigmalite Fortress, so as to drill through the upper mantle of Alcides, and reach the outer core emulsion deposits of the planet. The energy obtained from this provides a solution to the issues of weapons and munition manufacturing, and grants the chapter the edge needed to confront the False Migration in full force. Within a few months the Fellhae are pushed back, and the truth of the sabotage is discovered. A hunt begins for the rebels in the hive cities of Orsides and Leanansides.
Year 599.M37, after a year-long campaign against the rebellious forces on the planet, the astartes emerge victorious. The chapter command marches on Vaerlides carrying the heads of the leaders of the rebellion, to discuss these past events with the planetary government. Grand Master Einheart, seeking for a way to stop the conflict in such a fashion so as to not have to purge the entirety of Alcides, and instead to do so in a way that unifies the planet in an effort to battle the coming doom he knows is on its way to the system, reaches out to the planetary government. Through the revelation of some of the truth in the visions of the Doom of Alcides the planet is again compliant to the needs of the chapter and vows its servitude to the Grand Master, in perpetuity. This vow is later named the Covenant of Vaerlides.
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ABOUT THE CHAPTER
PERSONALITY AND MANNERISMS
By virtue of the First Legion gene-seed from which these astartes are made, the brothers of the Wings of Dawn present themselves as stalwart warriors. All of them, in many respects, true successors to their progenitors, and living embodiment of the great virtues of the Primarch of the Dark Angels.
They possess keen minds, well suited for precise and effective strategies. Each one designed to strike swiftly, at the heart of the enemy forces; and to accomplish whichever objective may be paramount to victory, without wasted efforts. Never showing off in grandiose displays of power for its own sake, nor toying with an enemy, neither for morbid pleasure nor righteous satisfaction.
They are tenacious to a fault. Unable and unwilling to give ground to the enemy, to abandon a battle, or to give up their quarry once it has been made to take flight. Even when a particular tactic or situation calls for the retreat of a force from combat, or to allow the enemy to retreat themselves from the battlefield, one would do well to remember this. Most certainly said maneuver will have been but a small part of a larger strategy. One that will inevitably end with the total annihilation of whoever and whatever must be destroyed by the chapter.
They display a constant mien of grim determination. Their lives are spent in absolute devotion to their tasks as angels of the Emperor's wrath, and are laid down willingly and without hesitation for the purpose of delivering His justice.
This last trait, out of all the others, is what sets the brothers of the chapter apart. Even from other descendants of the gene-seed of the First Legion. Indeed, while sacrifice of ones own blood, ones own body, and even ones own life, all in service to the will of the Emperor, is to be expected of any astartes, the willingness displayed by the brothers of this chapter to sacrifice themselves for their goals is principal to them, a much stronger way than in most others chapters.
Through a combination of their genetic composition and the mark of their own history, each battle brother possesses an amount of courage and resolve before the face of impossible odds, to a degree that is disturbing to most people. Even other astartes. To the point that it is common for other forces in the Imperium to think of these warriors as foolhardy at best, and suicidal at worst. And, with good reason, to a degree.
Most imperial forces find it hard to really cooperate with these astartes in battle, as any brother of the Wings of Dawn could decide to give in to his own compulsion for martyrdom, to the success of their own goals, but to the overall detriment of any otherwise well though out plan. To make it worse, the members of the chapter will often see someone's natural sense of self preservation as a flaw of character. A sign of ones lack of true commitment to the duty owed to the Emperor to stop at nothing to destroy the enemies of humanity.
Of course, as it is with any other force throughout the Imperium, no flaw is such that makes one unworthy before the judging eye of the Emperor, while that flaw can be made to better serve his will. And the battle brothers of the Wings of Dawn do just that. Somberly, strategically, and ruthlessly. Having been born to give up their lives in service to begin with. Having been reborn through the crucible of their own fate, to carry on their fight. Such is the brand left on them by the Great Omen. Such is the lengths to which they will go in their Eternal Watch.
Death has no grip on them, and as it is their core belief, by their continued sacrifice even death may die.
COLORS AND HERALDRY
The chapter heraldry is that of a shinning blade, stabbing down, and with crimson red wings at its sides. Each battle brother wears this iconography on their left shoulder pad, and the corresponding formation badge and squad markings on their right. This, per the mandates of the Codex Astartes, to denote the warriors place as either a tactical specialist, assault specialist, devastator specialist, a chapter veteran, or a member of the chapters command structure.
The armor of the battle brothers of the chapter is of a deep green color, reminiscent of the peculiar light that shines from the great auroras that flow across the skies above their homeworld of Alcides. Their belts, shoulder pads, and the crown of their backpacks, are all in a shade of tainted white, as the snows and ice that cover vast expanses of the planet surface. With this, each battle brother carries the beauty of their homeworld's scarred surface with him, even whilst walking down in the very depths of the underground network, or the last chambers of their sacred fortress.
This same white color —along with other forms of regalia—, is used across the chapter to denote the position of a battle brother inside the command hierarchy. Neophytes, upon becoming fully fledged battle brothers, gain the right to show the color on the top of their helmets, and the color is used in this same manner from then on, regardless of the distinction that does exist between regular battle brothers and chapter veterans. Indeed, the status of 'veteran' is instead represented by the ceremonial robes that are bestowed upon introduction to the First Company of the chapter.
The display of additional colors on the helmet is used, rather, to denote positions along the chain of command. With squad sergeants, lieutenants and company masters, wearing their helmets entirely in this Alcidean white. Other iconography is then added, to denote the rank of each battle brother, with squad sergeants wearing the color on their right knee pads, lieutenants wearing a stripe of the company color on the top of their helmets, and the masters of each company wearing helmets adorned with the wings of the chapters badge on the sides.
From this, each warrior is then marked with the colors of his company. Following the traditions of the Codex Astartes, the edges of each battle brother's shoulder pads, and the emblems on their chest plates, show one of the ten chapter color designations. Them being:
Silver for the Grand Master of the Chapter, and the rest of the Chapter Command. Including all senior officers, as well as the techmarines of the Armory, the chaplains of the Reclusiam and the librarians of the Librarium;
White for the veterans of the First Company;
Gold for the members of the Second Company;
Red for the members of the Third Company;
Light green for the members of the Fourth Company;
Black for the members of the Fifth Company;
Orange for the tactical reserves of the Sixth Company;
Purple for the tactical reserves of the Seventh Company;
Gray for the assault reserves of the Eight Company;
Light blue for the devastator reserves of the Ninth Company;
And, finally, dark blue for the neophytes of the Tenth Company.
Wings of Dawn Color Scheme
2nd Company Battle Brother and Squad Sergeant
ORIGINAL COMPOSITION AND STRUCTURE
Even during their original founding the chapter was organized, not in the image and example of its progenitor, but instead on a much closer approximation to the mandates of the Codex Astartes, with little deviation from its text.
After the end of the War of Sacrifice, of the decimation of the chapter, and of the culling of Alcides, this adherence to the traditional organization of the Adeptus Astartes became the key to its survival. With the loss of life came also a deep wound to the heritage and traditions of the chapter itself. The Codex gave the surviving warriors a starting point from which to rebuild. Not only that, but it is widely believed that the chapter's deviation from its progenitor's own unorthodox structure, and its close relation to the more regular traditions of the Adeptus Astartes, were instrumental in the expedient acknowledgement of the chapter's refounding by the High Lords of Terra, and by the Imperium as a whole.
This is not to say that the chapter lacks a sense of identity.
In effect, since a very short time after the refounding each Grand Master of the Chapter has made it a strong point to continue the arduous task set off by each of his predecessors, of reinforcing and expanding the chapter's rites and traditions, as well as recovering many of the old ones it held throughout its history. Both its own, and those inherited from the Dark Angels themselves, such as the special forms and style of warfare of the Deathwing, which go into the training of all veterans; and of the Ravenwing, which go into the training of all bikers, and all speeder and aircraft pilots.
One particular such tradition was the incorporation of an army structure, heavily inspired in the Hexagrammaton once employed by the First legion.
This principle of war, named by the Grand Masters of the chapter as the Excerviunt, commanded each battle company to incorporate —along with its Master's retinue— a squad of veterans clad in Tactical Dreadnought Armor taken from the armory of the First Company, and for their first assault squads to be formed entirely of riders and pilots of the chapter's bikes and landspeeders. This, so as to ensure that, despite the chapter not following a company structure in the fashion of the Dark Angels and many of their successors, each Master across the chapter would still have these specialized formations in the arsenal, and available to them at all times.
With this, the traditional organization of the Wings of Dawn is as follows:
At the head of the chapter stands the Grand Master, chosen to lead by the vote made by a council formed by the masters of each company. Served faithfully by his senior officers and staff. With him at the command of the chapter, follow the members of the Apothecarium, the techmarines of the Armory, the chaplains of the Reclusiam, and the librarians of the Librarius.
Then comes the First Company, led by the Master of the First Company who, clad in Tactical Dreadnought Armor, commands a total of 50 veterans equally clad in the same type of armor, as well as 50 veterans in power armor. This force is accompanied by the honored venerable dreadnoughts —some of which are surviving links to the time of the chapter's original founding, and the age before the War of Sacrifice—, as well as a number of landraiders and other support vehicles.
The First Squad of the First Company is composed of the finest warriors of the First Company, named the Knights of the First Dawn. Protected by the best suits of armor, the strongest shields, and equipped with the mightiest weapons that the chapter possesses. These warriors are seen as blessed, and are favored with the charge of doing battle against the chapter and the Imperium's greatest enemies. These veterans are thus honored and revered above all others by their battle brothers across the chapter.
Following that, are the four Battle Companies, spreading from the Second Company though to the Fifth Company. Each company is led by a master, and is then divided into two demi companies, with each demi company being led by a lieutenant who acts as the highest authority after the master himself. In every Battle Company, under the master and the lieutenants, there is the Command Squad —composed of the company's apothecary, standard bearer, and champion—, and under them is a squad of veterans. Then, each demi company is formed as a battle line, composed of three full tactical squads, one full assault squad, one full devastator squad, and other support vehicles; the most important and revered of which is the dreadnought.
Each Battle Company will maintain, at least, a dedicated dreadnought in each of its demi companies; each usually (but not necessarily) attached to the tactical squads battle lines, to provide them with ranged and close combat support, as well as guidance in battle. Not only that, but per the dogma of the Excerviunt, the venerable dreadnoughts of the First Company will regularly attach themselves to the Battle Companies, and take part in combat alongside them.
Also, by the dogma of the Excerviunt, the veterans of the various Battle Companies will make use of suits of Tactical Dreadnought Armor, and the first assault squad of the first battle line of the first demi company, will ride to war in bikes and/or landspeeders, as well as other similar vehicles. Each of these groups of warriors having been trained in the special ways of warfare inherited from the teachings and wisdom of the progenitors of the chapter.
After that, come the Reserve Companies, of which there are the Sixth and Seventh Tactical Reserve Companies, the Eight Assault Reserve Company, and the Ninth Devastator Reserve Company. Of all of these, the one that has the most peculiar composition is the Eight Assault Reserve Company.
Firstly, because the company command itself battles not on foot, but on landspeeders and bikes.
Then, because, similarly to how the First Company will have one half of its battle brothers in suits of Tactical Dreadnought Armor and the other half in power armor, the Eight Assault Reserve Company has one half of its squads on bikes and landspeeders, and the other cladded in power armor and jump packs.
Also, because, in similar fashion as the First Company, the First Squad of the Eight Company is composed of only the best riders of the chapter. To them is the honor of riding the Fellhur; the finest, fastest, and best equipped bikes of the entire Armory of the chapter. Those who ride in this squad are named the Knights of the Dying Star, and although they belong to one of the reserve companies, they follow the tradition of the Excerviunt by being frequently summoned by the battle companies to fight alongside them.
Yet, they remain formally in their position in the Eight Assault Reserve Company. This, to act as the mentors, as well as the watchers and keepers, of the deadly weapon that is the chapter's great assault formation. Any battle brother that wishes to reach a position as a rider in one of the chapter's battle companies must first be granted the right to do so, not just by the company command, or even the chapter command, but by the unanimous vote of the Knights of the Dying Star.
THE INDUCTION OF PRIMARIS MARINES
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Although as versatile and capable as any of the Emperor's champions, in its approach to war the chapter favors infantry formations, plasma weaponry, and combat on both urban and enclosed environments. This, because of how they have been shaped by the nature of their homeworld.
Alcides, being a planet of scarce non-oceanic flora, and of a harsh and only partially terraformed enviroment, had to be colonized through the construction of tight and intricate cities, connected by a vast, planet-wide sprawling underground network of highways, habitation modules, generatoriums, factories and refineries. All of which created the conditions for the planet's inhabitants, and the chapter itself, to adopt an approach to life, and war, apt to these enclosed spaces, above and bellow the ground. Thus, the Wings of Dawn prefer to fight in infantry formations, often times through coordinated movements of specialized combat squads, and tend to make less use of bulky mechanized units.
In fact, when heavy support is needed on the field of battle, the preferred unit from the Armory of the chapter has always been the dreadnought, as it is seen as a more adequate unit for said combat environments. For this very reason it is that dreadnoughts are essential to the structure of the chapter's Battle Companies. Being reborn into this castraferrum bodies is considered a highly honored fate for any battle brother, and the rites for their maintenance are considered among the most sacred in the chapter.
Plasma is the predilected type of weaponry in the chapter, both due to the type of cultural devotion that all Alcideans have towards plasma energy, as well as to the great availability and quality of ammunition for these type of weapons that exists all throughout the multiple Fellhae Generatoriums that still remain inside the planet. Even after the War of Sacrifice, the sundering of the Sigmalite Fortress, and the tear of the network in the late 37th Millenium.
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PRIMARY MISSION AND PURPOSE
After the events at the end of M37, and with the calamity of Orientis Lux having been stopped because of the actions of the chapter in the War of Sacrifice, their main objective in the eternal war for the dominion of humankind has shifted considerably. While originally created for the express purpose of dying in battle to ensure that the system be saved from the threats beyond the edge of the known galaxy that would otherwise consume it; its unexpected survival to these events brought on the chance to serve the Imperium still, and into the current millennia.
At present, the Wings of Dawn serve in safeguarding the Eastern Fringe along side other Astartes deployed across this frontier part of the galaxy, and the entire Ultima Segmentum. Its Battle Companies being constantly deployed across the vast expanse of the Imperium, to carry on the fight to defeat its enemies. This, while the Reserve Companies hold the great Sigmalite Fortress, the cities and the underground network of Alcides, and keep on the Eternal Watch over the darkness beyond the Orientis Lux System.
The First Company, for its part —and following the undying suspicions and concerns of the chapter's command—, serves the Eternal Watch, by maintaining a constant search for any sign that may appear of any remnants of the calamitous power that they once defeated, at the end of the 37th millennium. Their hunt is never ending, and fills these fearless veterans with righteous purpose, whilst leading them to the most dangerous corners of the Eastern Fringe, to do battle against whatever evils that may emerge from the depths of the Warp.
This, with the constant aid of the Chapter's Librarium. Tasked as they are to actively seek out and uncover the secrets of the great ruin that sparked the War of Sacrifice, to decipher if its power and influence did in fact survive the efforts of the chapter, and whether or not a way exists to destroy it utterly, once and for all. Their work done not just through their divination efforts from within their sacred chambers, deep inside the Sigmalite Fortress, but often from the front lines of battle, al across the galaxy.
DISTRIBUTION AND DISPOSITION
As of present, the combat forces of the Wings of Dawn remain somewhat scattered across the Eastern Fringe of the galaxy.
The bulk of the currently active battle brothers —in the form of the Reserve Companies—, remain stationed at the Sigmalite Fortress, on the chapter homeworld of Alcides, inside of the Orientis Lux system. Their lives are spent in prayer, training, and in guarding the inhabitants of the planet from the perils of the world itself and the cosmos as a whole. But most of all, they remain in their fortress to continue always with the Eternal Watch, to which all brothers of the chapter are bound to.
The First Company remains as well on their homeworld, in a similar way, as their role in the Eternal Watch and the overall purpose of the chapter necessitates that they remain vigilant to the energy that emanates from the scars on the planet's core, as they are then interpreted by the Librarium. The wisdom of the librarians and the intelligence that can be divined from the flux of energy that courses at the root of the Sigmalite Fortress, is what thus decides where and when must the veterans of the First Company go, in their hunt for any possible remnants of the Doom of Alcides.
As for the chapter's Battle Companies, these are regularly on guarding paths across the galaxy. Being provided regularly with new reinforcements from Alcides, and supported by large number of neophytes from the Tenth Company, as they battle the enemies of the Imperium and safeguard the far reaches of the domain of mankind. At present, however, only two of these companies are accounted for.
First, there is the Second Company, which is known to be now engaged in war across the western end of the sector, and against a T'au Fifth Sphere Pathfinding Force known to Imperium records as "Guiding Light", from the sept world of Tash'Var. An exploratory, but still strongly armed force, which has been inexplicably identified in multiple attempts at conquest, far beyond the reaches of the T'au Empire.
Then, there is the Third Company, which is known to be on the march beyond Macragge, and into the southern part of the Charadon Sector, in pursuit of a relentless force of various new strains of Tyranids. Part of what is presumed to be an experimental swarm, branched out from the Hive Fleet Behemoth, these Tyranids were first encountered by the now destroyed astartes chapter, the Angels of Deliverance, on the world of Corsuvio IV, in the Carima System. The Grand Master of the chapter himself was the one to break the tide of the swarm. Engaging it directly as it tried to expand onto the other worlds in the system. Then forcing it to retreat and scatter across the sector, after defeating their vanguard on the surface of the industrial planet of Corsuvio II.
The Fourth and Fifth Companies, for their part, having been led in a crusade beyond the Orientis Lux system by a small force of veterans from the First Company, and with the support of a number of scouts from the Tenth Company, were last heard from as they went deep into the deep black of the Eastern Fringe. No communication has been possible with them for a number of years since then.
Brother Zerephiel, Grand Master of the Wings of Dawn, and his personal warhound
Brother Osric, First Lieutenant of the Second Company
Second Company Veterans, in Tactical Dreadnought Armor, per the Excerviunt Doctrines
Second Company, First Battle Line Tactical Sergeants
Second Company Tactical Marines
First Assault Squad, on bikes, per the Excerviunt Doctrines
Edited by Berzul, 31 October 2019 - 04:41 PM.