(poor painting skills aside, this is a decent representation of the symbol: red sun with a pair of crossed blades on a field of white.)
The Dawn Blades Space Marines Chapter
Established as part of the 18th Founding, the Dawn Blades were created as a response to a massive ork Waaagh to retake the subsector of Ocrod in the Ultima Segmentum, and stand watch in the Segmentum in defiance of the Emperor's enemies. What followed was a long and brutal war three centuries long that saw the loss of more than two hundred marines over the duration. Upon the conclusion of the crusade (which had been backed by a multitude of other Imperial forces), the chapter declined the offer of a homeworld, instead choosing to stay fleetbound as they had for three centuries.
The chapter's designation sprung from their actions, as a predilection for early-morning raids led to rescued civilians and beleaguered Imperial forces to claim that they had been rescued by the Dawn itself. Over time as the sentiment repeated itself throughout the sector, the chapter adapted to it, and adopted it as their chapter name.
In the time since their inception, the Dawn Blades have crusaded throughout the Ultima Segmentum, seeking and destroying the enemies of the Imperium wherever they were to be found, striking at the edge of the sunrise as they have for millennia.
The Dawn Blades do not maintain a homeworld, being fleet-based, but they do have a favored recruiting world, Ocrod Tertius, a world of desert wastes and hardy settlements, the central administration planet of the system, subsector, and sector, all named for their capital world. The planet allows the chapter to maintain a recruitment platform and a shipyard in orbit, in exchange for routine sweeps of the planet for feral orks that pop up from time to time as well as continued defense of the planet against any other hostile attackers, a duty the chapter gladly fulfills.
In lieu of a fortress-monastery, the lord of the chapter (currently Shogun Kujo Kamakura) has his seat of power aboard the battle barque Shogun's Might as both lord and captain. The battle barque has housing for the entire chapter, though it can only support up to three companies and the Forge in operational matters.
The Dawn Blades tend to favor overwhelming strikes, committing their entire force to one overwhelming strike, in order to swiftly defeat their foes. The tactic harkens back to the blitzkrieg strategies that the chapter used at its inception to retake the Ocrod Sector from Ork control, executing the first strike and leaving the remaining mess for the Imperial Guard and Navy to clean up. They also have a cultural predicilction for early-morning attacks, as might be guessed by their name.
When a swift blow fails to end the war in their favor, the Dawn Blades settle into a more adaptive, calculated operational pattern more favored by their forefathers the Iron Hands. Their stubbornness and tenacity is well-embodied in the Dawn Blades, who are unrelenting in their assault once it has begun.
The chapter is, for the most part, organized along the lines of the Codex Astartes, with a few exceptions.
Fourth Company has fallen out of use as a true Battle Company, instead functioning as the chapter's penitential unit. Its size fluctuates from decade to decade as marines from across the chapter see themselves as fallen from the light, a Fallen Dawn (as they were coined by an unnamed sergeant of Captain Arual Valpas's company when they set out with him to fulfill oaths of redemption sworn after a particularly embarrassing and bloody defeat). The Fallen Dawn operate out of the Strike Cruiser Blade of Martyrs, 4th company's Strike Cruiser.
Companies rotate Hearth duty, in which a company returns to the Chapter Barque for several reasons. One is garrison duty--after all, the Shogun's Might is the chapter's home, and needs protecting as much as a fortress-monastery would on a planet. This also allows for the company's vessel to be refit and repaired at one of the many imperial worlds the Dawn Blades have recruitment and resource agreements with, as well as downtime for the company's marines.
10th Company does not have its own capital ship, but does have several escort-class vessels it uses for recruitment and defensive purposes--a void platform is maintained above the chapter's primary recruitment world of Ocrod Tertius for training and housing purposes, and there is always at least a demi-squadron of ships prowling about it at any given time.
The chapter Armory has also operated, sometimes against the recommendation of the Shogun, as its own independent force, especially under the command of Master of the Forge Ceticus Stormmoon, who has always been war-hungry. When the Primaris were added to the chapter, they were assigned to the Forge to test their mettle at the insistence of Stormmoon, who merely saw the new-bloods as tools for war, thinking though they may have been. To mark their status as part of the armory and machines of war, the Primaris of the chapter paint their right shoulderpad a deep red.
The 1st Company is called Samurai by internal tradition,(a term whose origin the chapter's history does not record), and paint their armor a gleaming silver. Captains who rise from the Samurai Company are entitled to the title of Daimyo instead of the title of Captain, to mark their status above the others.
As a break from the norm, and perhaps the most egregious break with the Codex Astartes, the chapter's honor guard, the Shinsengumi (idiomatically translated from Frensan as 'Arrows of the Shogun') are instead spread throughout the chapter, one accompanying each company as an advisor and champion. The first of these is known as the Saisho-Shinsengumi, and functions as the chapter champion and the bodyguard of the Shogun himself. Each is armed with relic weapons known as an Edge of Dawn as well as their own personal weapons.
The chapter's name for the Emperor, Solis-Imperator, springs from a combination of the chapter's own name, a belief that they are manifestations of the dawn, and several worlds whose local religions of a sun god and the surrounding pantheon were in fact the Emperor and his many sons. This mutated over time to become the current warrior cult of the Chapter as it enters the 42nd millennium. While the chapter does not view the Solis-Imperator as a total deity, they do have a belief in his power and his authority as undisputed ruler of the Imperium.
Outside of their warrior cult, the Dawn Blades also have three traditions ingrained in chapter memory from their reconquest of the Ocrod Sector, each taken from worlds that made a particular impression on the chapter.
Tradition of the Forge: one of the recruitment trials for Dawn Blades recruits includes the forging of their own blade, which they then use in duels to determine martial prowess amongst the candidates to determine who is most worthy. This initial test teaches a recruit the value of their own wargear, and how a warrior is only as good as his blade. Each Dawn Blade is a competent weaponsmith, and will personally craft, modify, or otherwise be bent over an anvil for hours on end to improve their weaponry.
Tradition of the Arts: the Dawn Blades have a curious predilection for beauty in the martial. Many marines will, in the tradition of the forge, embellish and beautify their own weapons, for the Solis-Imperator deserves only perfection in war. Other marines are renowned throughout the chapter and subsector as creators of devotional artwork, as well as more peaceful scenes that are used as focuses for meditation, in order to sharpen the mind for war. Still others pen hymns and poems to glorify the lord of the Imperium.
Tradition of Xenia: Whenever Imperial delegates or other Astartes come aboard a Dawn Blades vessel, or the rare occasion when xenos like Eldar seek to make a temporary alliance, the fullest hospitality is extended to them (though very begrudgingly in some cases). This tends to include a welcoming feast, an offer of repair and resupply, and a gift given as proof of openness and willingness to be open. Institutions that have longstanding relationships with the chapter often extend the same courtesies to Dawn Blades personnel, which has led to the chapter and its warriors obtaining some very interesting (and on some occasions unwanted--but never rejected) wargear.
The Dawn Blade's gene-seed is very pure for its age, and the only noted deviation from normal gene-seed is a remarkable stubbornness and refusal to give in, which is inherent in the Iron Hands gene-line. It is noted that this stubbornness of mind also leads to the chapter having a simple refusal to die, which results in many marines shrugging off wounds that should have killed them long enough for an Apothecary to reach them, or simply fighting until they keel over from a million and one wounds. As such, the chapter has few dreadnoughts, and those that it does have are treated as practically divine manifestations of the Solis-Imperator's will, due to their rarity in the chapter.
"Nam Claritas Solis-Imperator" Idiomatically translated from High Gothic as 'for the glory of the Sun-Emperor'.
USING A DAWN BLADES ARMY IN WARHAMMER 40,000
Links to chapter characters: LINK
11/1/19: HEY I HAVE A BASIC IA DONE FOR THESE GUYS (reformmated from my Iron Gauntlet entry a few years ago)! Will be updated as time goes on for the LASC, but after I add images I'd say this is good for now, just need chapter symbol.
Edited by Daimyo-Phaeron Lenoch, 01 November 2019 - 02:00 PM.