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Index Astartes: Marines Adamant

- - - - - Lysimachus DIY Marines Adamant Chapter Iron Hands Successor

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Lysimachus

Lysimachus

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Index Astartes: Marines Adamant


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Brutal, insular, superstitious and paranoid. Most would describe the Marines Adamant with words such as these. Those few who enjoy better relations with the Chapter could not argue with such an assessment, but might also speak of other, nobler qualities such as bravery and unbreakable determination.


Origins

'Astartes we,
Iron born,
Hate wielders,
World breakers,
Victors still.'
- Chapter glory chant

During the thirty-second millenium, the Orks rampaged across the galaxy, at great cost to the warriors of the Adeptus Astartes. Countless human worlds were swallowed up by the green-skins’ barbaric empires, and by the time of the 4th Founding few had been reclaimed, primarily due to the colossal drain of holding back the horrors of Abaddon the Despoiler’s second Black Crusade. The Marines Adamant were therefore assigned to the eastern border of the Segmentum Obscurus with a dual purpose: reclaiming the nearby worlds lost to Orks while supporting the defences of the Eye of Terror when needed.

The fledgling Chapter’s gene-seed was that of the Primarch Ferrus Manus, and at the head of their training cadre was Clan Commander Elvrit of the Iron Hands, a hero of the many battles of the second Black Crusade. He led his brethren to war and they quickly formed a close bond with the Gharant III Forgeworld in the Havilar Sector, whose vast manufactoriums, Skitarii regiments and Titan Legion were already forming the lynchpin of the Imperium’s beleaguered defence against the Orks.

Since then, the Chapter has mainly fought against the vile Ork: defending against encroaching Waaghs, raiding into Ork territory to destabilize growing threats, or spearheading massive Imperial Crusades to reclaim worlds lost to Mankind hundreds or even thousands of years earlier. On occasion they have sent forces west to support their brother Marines against the renegades of the Eye of Terror. Throughout the millenia, across countless battlefields, the Marines Adamant have remained resolute, loyal servants of the Imperium.


Homeworld

'My world? It's cold, it's damp. What business is it of yours?' – Brother Hani, 4th Household.

Halsstarrig IV is a Feudal world, located in the same subsector as the Gharant system. It was discovered more than four centuries prior to the arrival of Elvrit and his men by Adeptus Mechanicus Explorators and immediately marked as an ideal Astartes recruiting ground. Halsstarrig has a single primary continent, with several smaller landmasses and surrounding island chains; all are cold and bleak due to the planet’s far orbit from the local sun. Its atmosphere is damp and thick mists often cover its mountains, forests and seas.

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The people of Halsstarrig are strong and fierce, yet primitive in their technology and outlook. Clans vie for land and key resources such as the iron ore that provides all their tools and weaponry. The people are by nature aggressive and suspicious, and therefore trading or alliances between the clans are very rare. Raiding is a regular occurrence and outright warfare only slightly less so. Strength and survival are the primary factors that determine right and wrong, but the resulting potential for brutality is balanced by a firmly held code of honour, the core elements of which are shared by all the clans. This code demands a clansman’s loyalty to his chief, and the chief’s protection to his followers. While any proven warrior may challenge his chief for the leadership of a clan, such contests are strictly proscribed by custom and ritual. Anyone who would attempt to gain power by any other means would be quickly shunned by all the people.

The clans are also very superstitious; fearful of the influence of the myriad sprites, imps and wights of Halsstarrig folklore. Many offerings are made by the clans to appease these spirits and natives often wear protective tokens and charms. Almost all learning beyond the basics of farming, fishing or fighting is the province of the Wyrds, or wise men. Common to all the clans are the Wyrds of the Flesh, local physicians and herbalists; and Wyrds of Iron, smiths and artisans. Highly respected, these often act as counsellors to their clan chiefs. Outside the clans, shunned but still respected, are the Wyrds of the Spirit, shamans who live in seclusion deep in the mountains or tiny ocean islets of Halsstarrig. They are feared for their uncanny abilities and closeness to the spirit realm, but sometimes a clan Chief or young warrior will travel to seek the Wyrds’ blessing or learn their future.

The Fortress Monastery of the Marines Adamant stands on Halsstarrig’s first moon, a vast and imposing structure protected by countless weapon batteries, powerful void shields and the cold blackness of space itself. The Astartes are almost never seen on the planet’s surface, making no deliberate contact with its people. Legends exist of monstrous giants, and such legends are tied to those of young warriors ‘taken by the mists’ and never seen again. These ones are mourned by their families; the people have no idea of what lives await beyond their moors and skies. New initiates into the Chapter invariably rail against their captors, seeking escape, until they learn of the true nature of humanity and the debt of honour their whole world owes the Marines Adamant for their protection from the horrors of a cruel galaxy.


Organization

‘Aye, I don’t much like those dumskalle of the 5th… but I trust them far better than I do svekling like you.’ – Warleader Jormgrun Stonebrow of the 7th Household to Colonel Bardel of the 143rd Ardravine Rangers.

Much like their Iron Hands forebears, the Marines Adamant are divided into ten Clan Households, united by a Clan Council. Officially, this assembly maintains control over the actions of the Chapter as a whole. In truth it is little more than a forum for the commanders of the various Households to air their grievances, brag to one another of their victories, or attempt to ensure their own pre-eminence within the Council. Each Household fights as an autonomous battle group led by its Warleader, a mighty warrior who has risen to command through a mixture of politicking and battle skill. His forces include his own advisors, veterans, line squads and new recruits. This means that each Household is somewhat larger than a Codex-compliant Company, and that it is harder to accurately calculate the numbers of the Chapter as a whole. The Households each maintain their own well-equipped armoury of weapons and vehicles, many including a sizable Dreadnought contingent.

The Hearthguard
The veterans of each Household are named after Halsstarrig tradition. When a native Clan leader sleeps, as all men must, he is protected by a ring formed of his most loyal warriors. Given the people’s naturally suspicious nature, it is a great honour to be considered faithful enough to guard the fire of one’s Lord.

Within a Marines Adamant Household, the Hearthguard are the iron core of its fighting strength, an immovable and implacable force around which the Warleader can build his strategy. Many fight as squad leaders, inspiring and exhorting their brethren, but the few who are most trusted form the personal retinue of the Warleader. When the Hearthguard go to war as one, there are few who can stand against them.
The Chapter’s Techmarines and Apothecaries are also a permanent part of their respective Households. These masters of arcane technology, known by the Marines Adamant as Wyrds of Iron and Flesh, work together to care for the Astartes and vehicles of their Household and are just as esteemed as their home world counterparts. The Iron Wyrds are especially numerous and influential within the Chapter given its ties to the Adeptus Mechanicus and each will travel to Gharant III as part of their instruction.

The brethren known as Spirit Wyrds are powerful psykers, feared and yet respected by the rest of the Chapter. Cast out and denied any hope of personal advancement or glory, these mystics are oddly viewed as more reliable since they can have no agenda of their own. As such, the Spirit Wyrds often act as arbitrators when the Clan Council meets and as observers for it when a Household goes to war. They live in voluntary separation from the Households in a small stronghold on Halsstarrig’s second moon, called the Spirit Hearth. While much of a Household’s past is remembered in oral form, the Spirit Hearth is also a repository of the written records of the Chapter’s most important history, including their greatest victories and most ignominious defeats.

The Chapter maintains close links to the Gharant III Forge world and has a permanent Keep on its closest neighbour, Gharant V. The vast seas of this oceanic Hive world provide much of the local Adeptus Mechanicus’ nutritional requirements and its people receive many technological benefits in return. The Marines Adamant do not recruit initiates from Gharant V, but they do select the majority of their Chapter serfs and Fleet crews from its Planetary Defence Force and Navy. These are vetted with almost as much care and suspicion as potential Astartes. Generally, one Household is assigned by the Clan Council every century to watch over the system in return for keeping the Chapter well supplied. This is often seen as a lesser assignment by the Astartes as the system is already well-defended by the capable PDF, as well as Skitarii regiments and the mighty Titan Legion of the Gharant forges, the Silver Hammers. However, the Warleaders accept the necessity of maintaining this millennia-old bond and often the Council assigns the duty to whichever Household has been most weakened by battle in recent years, giving them an opportunity to rebuild and rearm. Also, there are still some opportunities for glory to be won as elements of the Household will often provide elite support for Explorator teams or Titan battle groups, or act as bodyguard squads for important members of the Gharant forges.

The Ka-sil Annihilation
236.M35 – In an event unprecedented in the sagas of the Chapter, Warlord Fingil Bloodfist of the 4th unites all ten Households of the Marines Adamant under his banner when the Ka-sil Craftworld of the Eldar enters the Havilar Sector. Less than three years later, Ka-sil is a ruined, empty husk inhabited only by the ghosts of the fallen. Fingil is also dead, assassinated by five of his fellow Warleaders after declaring himself Chapter Master at the conclusion of the campaign against the Eldar.
When larger campaigns require that several Households fight together, they can be led by a Warlord, elected from among the Warleaders present. In such situations there is inevitably a certain amount of wrangling for power and the potential for personal glory it brings. Any candidate for the position must be nominated and backed by at least two other Warleaders, meaning that there must be at least three Households fighting together to appoint a Warlord and there can be at most three candidates even if the whole Chapter fights together. The Warleaders will vote at first, each attempting to gather support and undermine their rivals, but if no democratic decision can be reached the candidates fight in imitation of Halsstarrig custom. Generally this is to first blood but on rare occasion, when two candidates are so opposed that service to the other is an impossible request, it is to the death. Understandably, the appointment of a Warlord is a very rare thing, and he may only lead for as long as the specific campaign lasts.



Beliefs

‘All flesh is weak. It must ever be constrained, guided. Thus the Code.' – Brother Nisses, Spirit Wyrd.

Like any of the scions of the Iron Hands, the Marines Adamant are ferocious warriors, fuelled by their hatred of all weakness. However, unlike many other Successors, their contempt for the foibles and faults of the flesh tends to find its focus externally rather than internally. This means that for many among the Chapter, the self –loathing and obsession for mutilation so common among the gene sons of Ferrus Manus seems to be lessened, although never entirely removed. Instead, the brethren’s fixation is on the inevitable failings of those around them and all are quietly watchful for any sign that they are about to be betrayed. This paranoia makes it extremely hard for them to truly trust anyone, even their closest squad mates. It also means that competition for advancement through the ranks is fierce, as most Marines instinctively believe that any other candidate for promotion will undoubtedly be proved a poor choice. Disagreements between brethren occur all too frequently and are commonly settled at the point of a knife, though thanks to the Astartes’ superior physiology, fatalities are mercifully rare. Backbiting and brawling are part of everyday life, as are ‘accidental’ injuries caused during training exercises.

’An ally is just another enemy who hasn’t betrayed you yet.’
Chapter proverb
It might seem that a Chapter cursed with such an outlook would quickly tear itself apart. However, the Marines Adamant are constrained by a simple Code of honour and duty much like that of the Halsstarrig clans that insists upon the absolute loyalty of the brethren to one another and to their Commanders. Remarkably, it is the Chapter’s own obsessive tendencies that allow this arrangement to function and makes it possible for its members to work together, binding them to one another within the Code’s strict confines. This holds the brethren together and has thus far prevented the power struggles among the Households from becoming a battle of more than words and wills. This does not mean that all causes for conflict are removed, but in around eight millennia since the inclusion of the Code in the Chapter’s hypno-indoctrination procedures, there have been only three occasions where violence has erupted between the Households. A fierce spirit of competition still exists between the Warleaders, who view one another with a great deal of suspicion, but they are united by their honour, their duty to the Chapter and their greater hatred of the enemies of the Imperium.

The Cal Ferena Uprising
873.M37 – The 4th Household, battered but unbowed, returns home after sharing in the defence against Abaddon the Despoiler’s 7th Black Crusade. On route, they receive a distress call from the Adeptus Arbites Precinct House on the Hive World Cal Ferena, where a rebellion among the working classes of the primary Hive is attempting to take advantage of the tumult caused by the followers of Chaos. The Marines Adamant immediately deploy via Drop Pod, targeting the Hive Spire with its multitude of spaceports. Understrength, the Household cannot hope to defeat the millions of insurrectionists in open combat, but thankfully this is not their goal. The thirty-eight Marines Adamant take and fortify the entrances into the Spire and resolutely defend them against dozens of attacks. No supplies enter the Hive and within four weeks the starving rebels capitulate, surrendering unconditionally and presenting the heads of the revolt’s ringleaders as a peace offering at the Astartes’ barricades.
It is perhaps not surprising that the Chapter's view of the Emperor himself is similarly cold. The master of Humanity is not seen as a beloved father, provider or saviour. Rather, the Marines Adamant know him as a demanding and brutal overlord whose expectations must constantly be met. A Marine of the Chapter can expect no aid or special favour from his Lord in this, but must put his faith in his own strengths and abilities in order to fulfil the heavy load of responsibility placed upon the Astartes' broad shoulders. As such, it is somewhat understandable that the Marines Adamant do not maintain in their Households any position or rank relating to that of Chaplain in a more Codex-compliant Chapter.

For most Marines, their focus is totally on war, be it actual combat techniques, weapons training or strategy and tactics. With no interest in knowledge or learning of anything more, they share nothing with the artists and artificers of Chapters such as the Blood Angels or Salamanders. These things are the province of the Wyrds, and are irrelevant to a warrior. While the Households are equally as capable as the brethren of any Chapter to care for their weapons and armour to a basic standard, this understanding, indoctrinated during process of becoming Astartes, is viewed as entirely mystical. Relatively few care or wish to learn more, to understand why things are what they are or how they work; these few are quickly apprenticed to the Wyrds of their Household.

The Chapter is strongly affected by the superstitious nature of Halsstarrig’s people, and many among their ranks adorn their armour with tokens and lucky charms. Much as clansmen wear trophies from their world’s predators, Marines often wear the teeth or pelts from particularly vicious alien species they have fought and killed. Depending on which of the clans of Halsstarrig they are recruited from, some brethren choose to daub crude patterns on their faces before going into battle. Such primitive behaviour, along with the majority of the Chapter’s attitude towards technology, has been known to make other Imperials, especially other Iron Hands Successors and Tech Adepts from further afield than the Gharant forges, look upon the Chapter with a certain amount of derision.


Combat Doctrine

‘As always, it has been a pleasure to serve alongside the Marines Adamant. My crews’ only complaint has been that too few of the enemy survived to face our fury.’ – Lord Maxwell, Princeps Senioris of the Legio Mallei Argentum.

The Gutrippa Retaliation
417.M39 – Waagh Gutrippa surges forth from the depths of the Abyss to attack the Gharant system. Through clever words and cunning manipulation, Warleader Dypnir the Sly is elected Warlord and leads no less than five Households to turn back the greenskin threat. Dypnir’s forces gradually retreat before the horde, their myriad counterattacks slowly bleeding it of strength, and when the depleted Waagh finally reaches the Hives of Gharant V, it is easily destroyed by the mighty battle Titans of the Legio Mallei Argentum.
When the Chapter goes to war they are cold, brutal and uncompromising. Their focus is on implacable advance in attack and they are even more unbending in defence. Overall, the Marines Adamant have a preference for firepower and resilience over speed. So often do they choose to take up defensive positions, most Households are able to equip three or four squads with multiple heavy weapons. The Chapter rarely uses ground transports; the plentiful supply of war material from Gharant III means that most Rhino chassis are quickly refitted as Predators or other support tanks. Much like the Iron Hands, they have deep respect for power of Tactical Dreadnought Armour, which will often be spread across a Household to its squad leaders rather than used by a single unit. When attacking, the Households favour drop pod insertion supported by Dreadnoughts. The Chapter has very few assault focussed units, though line squads expected to be ready – and are very capable – to fight at close quarters when necessary. Bikes and jump packs are rarely used, though each of the Households still maintain some fast vehicles and transports such as Land Speeders, Stormtalons, Stormravens and Thunderhawks. Due to the Chapter’s focus on self-reliant, adaptable infantry units, the Households excel in urban combats and boarding actions.

Though the Marines Adamant are uncompromising in their devotion to the Emperor, their disdainful and suspicious nature frequently makes for difficult relations with other Imperial organizations. It is notable that Households fighting alongside other Imperial forces will often refuse to share intelligence or co-ordinate their battle plans. However, their Code makes them utterly loyal to any oaths they or their forebears may have sworn, especially to those who have proved themselves time and again, such as the worlds of the Gharant system.


Geneseed

‘You think yourselves worthy of the seed of Manus? None of us are! But you shall have your chance. ’ – Brother Tonnrud, Flesh Wyrd.

The Households’ Flesh Wyrds are responsible for recruiting and implantation, and often lead small squads to Halsstarrig to ‘recruit’ new initiates. Each Household has preferred clans and areas of the planet from which to recruit, but it is a source of some pride and amusement to ‘poach’ a promising recruit from the lands claimed by another Household.

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4th Household Badge
As successors of the Iron Hands, the Marines Adamant are blessed with gene-seed that is largely free of physical flaws, although in approximately one third of the Chapter’s brethren the Omophagea has become inactive. Detractors suggest that the Chapter’s instinctive mistrust of others is also plainly a result of their genetic legacy, a twisting of the Iron Hands hatred of the weaknesses of the flesh. It is less clear if the Marines Adamant also share their forebears predilection for bionic modification, but they are certainly well supplied with them by means of their link with the Adeptus Mechanicus.


Battle-Cry

‘Emperor, gene-father! See the might of your sons!’ – Warleader Isorn Firewalker.

The Households have no single war cry, as such are often selected depending on the current mission and personality of the commanding Warleader. However, these calls to battle do embrace common themes, including vows of loyalty to the Imperium or its worlds, as well as tirades against hated foes. Most notably, Imperial observers have heard challenging cries directed towards the Emperor and the Primarch Ferrus Manus, for them to see and remember the bravery, skill and determination of the warriors of the Marines Adamant.


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