So Here's the Omnibus post of everything I have about my chapter:
Real Life Inspiration:
I really like Scandanavian history and Norse mythology, particularly the Viking Age.
I needed a good way to Use Space Wolves bits in a Raven Guard Army
The grey for the color scheme came from a mix of sources. I’m drawing inspiration from the Heresy Space Wolves scheme of Grey and Red, but the grey and how I want it to look is supposed to look like black armor stained grey with ash. This is a nod to the name Ascomanni, an old Germanic word for the Viking Raiders, lit. “Ashmen”.
Ravens are a common motif and occurrence in Norse Mythology. Odin had a pair of Ravens, Huginn and Muninn, who reported on the state of the world every night to Odin.
Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory or mind) are associated with Odin, who is a god of Knowledge, but Odin is also a Psychopomp, a harvester of the dead, and is associated with several hosts of the dead.
One of those hosts is the Wild Hunt, in some traditions they were heralds of catastrophe, and were said to steal souls to join their ranks as they passed.
I’m really miffed that GW steered way too hard into the Wolfy stuff with Space Wolves, rather than fleshing them out as Space Vikings..
Warcry: “Til Veiða!” (For the Hunt!)
Founding: Second? (Officially the 12th Chapter of the XIXth)
Successors of: Raven Guard
Successor Chapters: None
Number: XIX (Originally)
Primarch: Corvus Corax
Chapter Master: Unknown (Former Loremaster)
Homeworld: None (Fleet-Based Chapter)
Fortress-Monastery: The Rookery
Allegiance: Imperium of Man
Colours: Grey and Red
The StormCrows Space Marine Chapter is nominally a successor chapter of the Raven Guard. In reality they are descendants of Terran-born Astartes that were exiled by Corvus Corax, due to their slow acceptance of his teachings. Unlike other exiles, they did not resist Corax’s doctrine and teachings, rather they were simply slow to adopt them, as they had excelled as Shock Troops and Siegebreakers, but the more subtle approach of guerilla and raiding tactics were hard for battle hardened troops to adopt. Corax would send a cadre of trusted advisors to teach these Astartes the new way. The Exiles would color their Raven Badge red, an ancient terran mark signifying something which needed correction, and they saw themselves as a failure to meet their Primarch’s expectations.
With this mark in place they would set out on an extended campaign throughout the outer reaches of the burgeoning Imperium. As they fought without adequate resupply, they very quickly adopted the new ways Corax had espoused. They not only adopted these new ways, but adapted them, making them deadly efficient raiders and scouts. Without resupply they were also forced to adapt new methods. Many of their power armor suits would become irreparably damaged, leading the suits to be scavenged for parts. This would lead to an abundance of recon armored scouts. Further setting them apart, was the grey hue their armor took on as a result of layers of ash from the burnt worlds they had left behind in their wake. Many of their number succumbed to ash blindness, what the XIX Legion would call the Sable Brand, and would become furious berserkers. One such legionnaire would return from the front lines, his grey stained armor now splattered with the red of blood and gore. From then on, all ash blind legionnaires would color their arms red, setting them apart. The StormCrows had no resources to dedicate to curing the Ash Blindness, so rather than shun it, they embraced it, venerating those who came back from the brink as honored veterans. It was almost seen as a rite of passage among the men.
Then came the Horus Heresy. The Red Raven’s involvement in the Horus Heresy was largely peripheral. Their largest contribution was serving as a sort of Personal Guard for the Ultramarines Primarch. They were listed as blackshields, as they were not recognized as belonging to any legion, but their loyalty was proven to be above reproach. After the Horus Heresy, the StormCrows would fade into obscurity, until around M35, when they were discovered hunting and eradicating Chaos cults, burning entire worlds, if necessary, to expunge the taint of Chaos. Having been around since the Great Crusade, and present during the introduction of the Codex Astartes, they had all the appearances of a second founding chapter. Their physical appearance, the pale skin and black hair marked them as Raven Guard Successors, and so no one questioned them when they claimed to be a Second Founding Successor of the XIX Legion.
Their infiltration techniques have been honed so well that they, more so than their progenitors, seem to materialize from the shadows to strike, before fading away. They are masterful raiders and scouts, and excel at small unit tactics. They played a very small role in the wars for Armageddon, as well as assisting the defense of Cadia during several of the Black Crusades.
Though the StormCrows are a very successful Chapter, it’s members are both Superb warriors individually, and excellent soldiers, they are not always victorious. They have suffered crushing defeats at the hands of Chaos hordes, they have failed to eradicate Ork infestations, and have been handily routed by skittering swarms of Tyranids. Though extremely proficient raiders, that is also their downfall. They do not do well in extended campaigns, unless they have support. They are at their best when working alongside other chapters, like the Ultramarines, Imperial Fists, or Space Wolves or Imperial forces such as the Imperial Guard. With the other chapters leading the charge, the StormCrows can sneak into the enemy’s rear areas and ambush retreating forces, destroy supply lines, or seize vital locations, such as doors to a grand fortress.
Originally the Raven Guard drew the bulk of their recruits from the Asiatic Dustfields, but not all. The 12th Chapter of the Raven Guard were drawn from the Scandanavian Reaches (Modern day Iceland, Faroe Islands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark Netherlands, The Baltic States, and Northern Russia west of the Urals), ancestral grounds of the feared Viking Rievers of the early Age of Terra, and continued to be a breeding ground for hardened peoples ever since through into the beginning of the Age of Strife.
The 12th Chapter, The StormCrows (so named for their resemblence to the frequent and furious tempests which wracked their Terran homelands), was among the number of the XIXth legion that pacified the Asiatic Dustfields during the unification wars, and continued to serve faithfully. They were a harsh group, never willing to shy from a fight or a challenge. They were consummate warriors, always seeking to prove themselves. Moreover they were group minded, and knew that to survive was to trust their brethren, and so the 12th Chapter gained the reputation for being fearsome and unbreakable. Every fallen brother would increase their wrath, every attack would strengthen their defense. They excelled as shock troops under Warmaster Horus, specializing in raiding tactics and finding weaknesses.
Once Corax was found, and began purging the legion of Terran-born astartes, the 12th Chapter had to prove itself. They were too heavy handed, against the defeated, for Corax's liking, their brutal efficiency lacked Corax's vision of justice. Corax would not exile them immediately, as the 12th Chapter would show that it wished to conform with Corax. So Corax would give a cadre of his close companions, Deliverance-born astartes who had helped liberate the moon, to aid them in embracing the vision of Corax. The 12th would be exiled, with the caveat that they would be welcomed back to the fold if they showed that they had fully embraced Corax's justice. It was this shame that caused them to color their Insignia red, marking themselves as dead to the legion, until they could return.
The campaign they embarked upon during the great crusade to prove themselves worthy of the raven lord, would see them change drastically. It was not their methods in war which gave Corax pause, it was how they viewed the defeated. The 12th Chapter, Would soften their harsh view, beginning to treat the liberated not with suspicion, but welcome them. One of the regions they liberated would go on to become their recruiting grounds, the Skaði Cluster. It was also this campaign which would see them gain the name Öskumenn or "Ash men", and earn them their enduring reputation. The tyrants which ruled the cluster did so with a bloody hand. Slavery and mass executions were common, The people lived in fear and then came the armor clad ghosts. They tore through the defenses, burning their way through the capital, killing all who would terrorize the people. The Öskumenn gave arms to the liberated, and encouraged them to fight for their freedom.
The Deliverence born astartes would deem the StormCrows ready to return, but the StormCrows felt differently. They felt that merely liberating these worlds was not enough. They needed to see to it that these people would remain free, and began to train their militia. Some of this militia would follow the StormCrows to the stars and fight beside them in the latter days of the great crusade and through the Horus Heresy. Legends would arise, as the StormCrows had made their home in the cluster, about the ghostly, ashen-armored, men who fought beneath the raven banner sweeping through and punishing the wicked overlords. These legends would also tell that those who dared to look upon the cavalcade would be swept up to join them.
The 12th Chapter would rejoin their legion during the Horus Heresy, Serving Corax as shock troops and raiders. Their Red Badge and Ash-Stained armor serving to distinguish them from their sable armored kin. They would split from the legion once more during the second founding, going off to parts unknown to hunt the traitors and the infuence of chaos wherever it might be found.
They would not resurface until mid M35, When the Ordo Malleus encountered them exterminating a Chaos cult and the Daemons it had summoned. The StormCrows had been on the world already for some time, waging a shadow war for the world's very soul. Suddenly millennia old rumors and sightings of grey glad space marines bearing the symbol of a blood red raven made sense. After the world was cleansed, the Inquisition questioned the Astartes. They were asked their founding and name. The StormCrows had knowledge of the various foundings, and they answered that they were a second founding chapter, the StormCrows. Only they would know their true nature as the 12th Chapter of the vaunted XIXth Legion...
To this day, they see themselves as sons of Corax, before any other division. It is a secret which they only share with the current chapter master of the Raven Guard Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, they are Væringjar ("Sworn Men") sworn to be Corax's talons, and to serve his sons, as they had sworn to defend the Imperium to Lord Commander Guilliman himself, upon The ArchTraitor Horus's vile betrayal.
The 12th Chapter of the XIXth legion is a proud lot. For them they wish to be immortalized in song and story, but their glory is also the Legion's glory, their shame is the legion's shame. They are proud, and thus also proud to be members of the XIXth. For them to be asked to give of themselves to Corax, is the greatest honor, it is the acceptance of them back into the fold. To be asked to contribute their untainted gene-seed back to the legion to assist them in overcoming the wrong done by the traitors would seem to them a bitter irony. It both means that their brothers have been wronged, but that they are the answer, where they once were the problem.
It would be a complex relationship, but ultimately, they gave their oath, their blood, for the Legion during the Unification wars and the Early days of the Great crusade, they are as much Raven Guard as any other.
Corax would accept his wayward sons back into the fold, not quite with open arms, but in dire need of them. They also served as a much needed infusion of hardened reinforcements. Having dealt with the traitors, chaos cults, and various dissidents during their long march to Deliverance (they took a circuitous route, chasing the XIXth from their new homeworlds in the Segmentum Tempestus, to the various campaigns before Istvaan III, and ultimately back to Deliverance). Upon reuniting with the XIXth legion, the 12th Chapter would be resupplied with new armor, and would also take on the role as Corax's heavy assault force. They were elite force made up of veterans, and were expert warriors and had become extremely competent and professional soldiers. They would make extensive use of Cataphractii terminator suits, and their MkIV armor, as well as siege tanks and Contemptor dreadnoughts, using the direct assaults as cover the Veteran Tactical Squads would infiltrate the enemy defenses and sabotage their command and control, assassinate leaders and wreak havoc on supply lines, lending greater effectiveness to the frontal assaults, and allowing sieges to be easily broken.
Such tactics are still the primary focus of the StormCrows Chapter to this day. Though hard won experience has taught the men of the 12th to focus more on stealth. The 12th Chapter still maintains their armory of heresy era weapons, basalisk gun carriages and malcador heavy tanks still occupy the Chapter's motor pool, though due to Munitorum constraints, such assets can only be deployed by the Chapter Militia.
The Chapter Militia is a several regiment strong contingent of Troops, wholly under the authority of the StormCrows. They guard the Fortress Monastery, and they accompany company strike forces, providing fire support and armored support for the strike forces, as well as acting as the Quick Reaction Force, to assist the Astartes when a situation becomes mired. The Chapter Militia's stormtroopers fly in with their Valkyrie Transports and Vulture Gunships to assist their astartes masters creating openings for them to turn the tides or escape to regroup. This has been an arrangement which dates back to the Great Crusade when the StormCrows first found the worlds that would become their recruiting grounds.
Since their exile During the Great Crusade, great stresses placed on the members of the 12th would cause them to manifest several different conditions. There is an Increased rate of incidence of the condition known alternatively as either Ash Blindness or the Sable Brand (It described the same condition where an overly stressed astartes flies into a suicidal rage, killing until no enemies remain or the warrior is slain. The Terran Born Astartes Knew it as Ash Blindness, while the Deliverance Born astartes would call it the Sable Brand). Once a warrior has manifested the condition, they are more likely to relapse, and so they would be called the Berserkir and grouped into a company which would eventually become the first company the Einherjar. The other condition which would manifest is an increased incidence of psykers. Entire squads of marines would begin to manifest powers, becoming immensely strong, or a single marine would smite beasts to death with their mind. Some others would, in despair, call to the ancestors asking for protection and deliverance from their foes, only to be surrounded by spectral warriors who would tear their tormentors asunder, in an explosion of psychic force.
Over the Millennia, this has resulted in a large librarius of highly skilled and competent psykers. The Skalds are the most numerous, while the Scribes are the most revered. Once a skald has learned enough of the histories, and aged to a point where his wisdom outweighs his ability, does he become a scribe. The Scribes are the curators of the histories, and the vast reliquaries within the Rookery. Only the Eldest scribes know the entirety of what the StormCrows keep hidden, vast caches of Archaeotech weapons, as well as massive armories of Volkite weapons, enough to equip the battle lines of every Battle company. Many more treasures lay buried in those vaults.
The StormCrows see themselves as preservers of knowledge and defenders of Humanity. They do not view themselves as better than ordinary humans. They remember that their purpose was to unite humanity under the auspices of the Imperium and the Emperor of Mankind. The StormCrows are not typically verbose, unless they are recounting deeds of courage. They will often speak highly of the Imperial Guard, an institution they see as a bastion of true Human courage. Unlike many Space Marines they prefer to keep records of their involvement sparse. They do not seek recognition for their deeds, though they often receive it, especially from other astartes chapters. In their Fortress Monastery they keep meticulous records of their campaigns, and these are shared with the Adeptus Administratum.
They hold to the Imperial Truth, though they are very secretive about this. The Scribes of Librarius are the Keepers of the Secret Histories. The Skalds of the Librarius are the speakers of the histories, and are largely responsible for the indoctrination of aspirants. Due to the Chapter’s lax recruitment, psykers are a common inclusion, and as such the StormCrows have an abnormally large librarius. It is not uncommon to see psyker sergeants, or to see the position of Captain filled by a member of the Librarius. The Current Chapter Master vacated the position of Loremaster, what most chapters would call Chief Librarian, to take Command of the Chapter. He is the eldest of the Astartes, one of the few outside the vaunted Second Company that has been with the Chapter since the Horus Heresy.
The chapter has long been recruiting from a cluster of worlds which has contributed a large amount of folklore surrounding them. Much of this folklore treats them as heralds of ruin and misfortune. Though some of the lore around them treats them as punishers of the wicked. When Chaos cults threatened their favored recruiting grounds, the StormCrows reacted swiftly to eliminate them.
Another thing which sets the StormCrows apart, is their death rituals. After the Gene-Seed is collected from a fallen brother, the bodies are cremated. The ashes of the fallen warriors are then collected and used to make a pigment. This pigment is applied to each warrior’s armor, a coating which is never removed. This ashen woad gives them their ghostly grey appearance, and also grants the armor an absorbent quality, which diffuses auspex scans making them harder to detect. An older warrior can always be identified through the hue of his armor. The more grey the armor has become the more battles he has seen, and the more brothers he has lost. This pigment is also applied to vehicles, and also serves as a way for the fallen to be carried into battle so that they might see vengeance for their deaths.
The StormCrows are expert raiders and siege breakers. They adapted their strategies to employ stealth to infiltrate enemy fortifications and to cause havoc and disarray in the enemy’s rear lines, while heavy assault elements smash into the fortifications and attempt to breach from the front.
The Chapter was generally under strength except for the scout company, which was always flush with new recruits. Strangely, this meant that scouts were often found making up the bulk of battleline squads in the Battle Companies. This would be the case until the Primaris Marines were introduced.
The Chapter does not make extensive use of Chaplains. The StormCrows have a Reclusiam, though it is underdeveloped in comparison to other Astartes Chapters. There is a Reclusiarch, and the reclusiam seconds a single chaplain, and only a few novices, to each Company. The Chaplains assigned to the reserve companies are present strictly for training duties, as the Reserve Companies are used as training cadres, as the new astartes progress through their training. Even though the Reclusiam is almost vestigial, it is not uncommon to see a Company Chaplain leading close support elements, leading a spearhead of troops to break through a fortified position.
++++Imperial Observers have noted that the chapter is ruthless and efficient. They seem to act as one mind. Individual units operating under their own initiative, given total tactical autonomy, while simultaneously seamlessly acting as part of a larger force. It is paradoxical. The strength of the Adeptus Astartes is that a solitary Astartes is easily more than a match for ten or more guardsmen, yet these astartes fight using squad tactics as disciplined as any Tempestus Scion. It is frightening to think what this chapter could accomplish if they fought as one cohesive force, rather than follow the example of their Progenitors, the Raven Guard.++++
The first company is made up of hardened veterans which excel as the Chapter’s shock troops. They are often seen at the very front of the advance. The First company typically eschews ranged combat, though Sternguard squads are a common sight, wielding heavy flamers and combi-flamers as their standard wargear. Sternguard veterans are employed in small teams to clear trenches and structures, mopping up remaining enemies that survived the initial assault by the Vanguard Veterans and Terminator assault squads.
The StormCrows are known to suffer from a condition that they refer to as Ash Blindness. The Deliverance born Astartes called it the Sable brand. Regardless of the name, it is a condition which causes the afflicted to be overcome in a suicidal frenzy attacking all enemies until there are none left standing or the afflicted is slain. Surviving the frenzy is seen as a rite of passage into the First Company. Only those full astartes marked by the sable brand may pass into the ranks of the Einherjar, and walk the corridors of the First Company Barracks, known as Valhalla.
The StormCrows also use replacement terms for common Codex astartes positions. The Chapter master is known as the Veiðimaður, literally “the Huntmaster”, while the Chief Librarian is known as the Fræðimaður, literally “the Loremaster”. The Reclusiarch is known as the Eiðmeistari, literally “the Oathmaster”.
The StormCrows are nominally a Codex Compliant Chapter. They Follow the Codex organizational structure, of 10 companies comprising 10 squads of 10 Astartes. Where the Chapter deviates from the Codex, is in their Firstborn battleline Squads, they subdivided the squad into two teams of 4 revolving around a Heavy Bolter. As part of a maneuver warfare strategy, a fireteam of four men would be expected to take a position, set up the heavy bolter, while providing suppressing fire for the next fireteam to advance. Ancient Combat manuals discovered by the Chapter’s Techpriests and Recorded by the Librarius would call this a “Bounding Overwatch”. Much of the Chapter’s combat doctrine has been influenced by these ancient tomes of battle, so called “Field Manuals”. Many of such texts were transcribed during the Great Crusade, when the StormCrows faced advanced Human Civilizations. These volumes were also passed to the Chapter’s recruiting Fortress world, making them an extremely efficient military force.
The StormCrows have made one unique modification to their armor, the use of blue lenses in their helmets. The icy glow of these lenses has served to enhance their image as ghostly warriors over the millennia, and the chapter has fueled this speculation through rumor.
Each task force is comprised of one Battle battalion and one Reserve Battalion. Essentially each task force is essentially a codex compliant chapter.
The Battle battalion is broken down into constituent companies, each specializing in a particular style of combat. The First company of every battle battalion are the Berserkir, or what the XIXth legion would have called Shadow Killers. They're the elite shock troops, vanguard veterans, terminators, and the like who specialize in hard hitting frontal assaults, preferring flamers and melta to burn out defenders and destroy fortifications. The second Company is the raider company, specializing in fast hit and run tactics and assassination. The third company is the special reconnaissance company, specializing in observation and strategic strikes. the fourth company is the quick reaction force, specializing in rapid response and quick orbital deployment. The Fifth Company are the Combat engineers, they excel at building hasty fortifications and demolition.
The Reserve Battalions provide reserve specialist troops for instance, there's two battle line companies which provides extra Tactical squads or intercessors, while the assault company provides extra close support troops like inceptors, incursors, rievers, and assault marines. The Fire Support Company provides fire support specialists, like devastators, aggressors, eliminators, suppressors, and the like. Then there's the recon company, which provides scouts (heresy era recon squads in power armor also fall here) as well as infiltrators.
Each Task force, which they refer to as a Hunt (The idea is similar to the modern RCT/BCT/MEU concept of a self contained fighting force with all the assets needed to support combat operations), not only contains a Battle Battalion and a reserve battalion, but an air wing comprised of gunships, transports, and fighters, and an armor battalion to facilitate infantry support during open combat operations, to be deployed when enemy armor is to be expected.
Each company breaks down into three platoons, each headed by a lieutenant (so rather than the codex compliant two lieutenants per company), of three squads each. The battalion Commanders have discretion on how to organize each company, but typically they will have two rifle platoons, a weapons platoon, with a cadre of around ten men, forming the Company Headquarters. This headquarters usually comprises a master of signals, the Captain, his bodyguard, the lieutenants, and any moritats which might be assigned to the company. If there are no moritats, then company veterans are generally the remainder. Each company typically numbers around 100 men, some more some less.
So for matters of security, one such "Hunt" will stay at the Rookery (the StormCrows fortress monastery) to keep vigil. This duty will rotate from one "Hunt" to another. Sometimes, only one or two Hunts will have "Gone a Viking" (how they say deployed, from the ancient Norse term for raiding and trading) leaving three or four Hunts to guard the Rookery. This means that during such times they will see an uptick in training, and vigilance against the forces of the Inquisition who might be trying to get a census of their numbers. Even though the galaxy is in constant turmoil, they do not always have leads on where chaos might be, and sometimes it is necessary to consult with the scribes for insight. Also, all the Hunts will gather at the Rookery for the Alþingi to handle matters of honor, justice, or select new leaders.
The full accounting of the Chapter's fighting strength is difficult to say, but they are around 5,000 astartes strong, not including their Reclusiam, Librarius, Tech Cult, Air Wings, fleets, or motor pool. All in all, their total fighting force is closer to 10,000 total men including their support personnel. This does not include their several regiments strong Chapter militia, and the Valkyrja bodyguard units which serve each Captain.
Their adherence to the legion structure gives them a distinct advantage in numbers and tactical flexibility than the typical codex compliant chapter, though they do pay lip service to the codex by their use of the color coding, and organization of their task force groupings. Since they have not yet faced censure by the Lord Commander for their wanton deviation from the Codex, they take that as tacit approval of their actions.
Each Company is specialized for a particular type of combat:
1st Company - Shock Troops (Berserkir)
The FIrst Company excels at breaking stalemates, and capturing or demolishing fortifications. They make prolific use of close range weaponry. Their vanguard veterans use jump packs to close the distance and get into melee with defenders. While their Sternguard use flamer and melta weapons to burn out defenders, and their Terminators provide an unbreakable spearhead, with their relic Cataphractii Suits and lightning claws.
2nd Company- Raiders/Asymmetric Warfare
The Second Company excels as a raiding force. Using stealth they penetrate enemy lines and defenses and sow chaos among the enemy, by disrupting their ability to communicate and supply reinforcements. Their infiltration tactics allow them to close with the enemy. They prefer to pass without a trace, using melee to eliminate threats silently, or making use of snipers to eliminate key command and control points. They make heavy use of Phobos armored units, and intercessors with the auto bolt rifles, as they value both volume of fire and accuracy to eliminate threats.
3rd Company - Special Reconnaissance
This Company excels at standing off at range and observing enemy positions. Their typical weapons selection sees them prefer longer ranged weapons. Their intercessors typically carry either standard or stalker pattern Bolt Rifles. As their primary objective is not to engage but to observe, they tend to eschew the use of short ranged heavy infantry like Aggressors or Inceptors. Instead preferring the use of suppressors and bikers. They tend to use the Autocannon variant of the Invictor, as a longer range support scout unit..
4th Company - Air Assault/Quick Reaction Force
This Company makes heavy use of lightning fast strikes, often deploying from Aircraft and Drop Pods.This Company is the least changed from the days of the Horus Heresy, being the only non-primaris or mixed Battle Company. They Utilize Tactical Squads as their primary battleline, while deploying Assault squads their close support, and devastator squads as their fire support. They also serve as custodians of the Chapter’s Leviathan and Contemptor Dreadnoughts, which they frequently deploy in support of their operations. They are descended from the Seeker Cadres of the old 12th Chapter of the XIXth legion.
5th Company - Combat Engineers/Demolitions
This Company makes heavy use of devastator squads, and heavy weapon tactical squads, while they make extensive use of Inceptors. They are experts at building hasty defenses, as well as destroying things from range. They typically tote heavy melta or plasma weaponry, as those are their most destructive tools. Redemptors are their preferred dreadnought, as it can carry advanced plasma weaponry and is an incredibly sturdy weapons platform.
The Era Indomitus:
WIth the lead up and launch of the Indomitus Crusade, the StormCrows received some much needed support from the Imperium. This came in the form of the new Primaris Marines. Ever practical, the StormCrows leaped at the chance to reinforce their numbers. This opportunity came when it was announced that Guilliman had returned. Task Group Væringjar (a Task Group centered around the Second Battle Company) was dispatched to Macragge to take up their ancient mantle as protectors of the Lord Commander. The rest of the Chapter would follow soon after. It was from here that the StormCrows would finally be brought to full strength.
After Marneus Calgar crossed the Rubicon Primaris, many StormCrows Battle Company members would elect to do the same. Even with enormous casualties from the crossing, the Chapter has come up to full strength.
Not all companies elected to make the crossing. The old ways and old equipment suited the First Company well, though as the Crusade continued, and many Primaris marines being blooded, a number of Intercessor squads have begun to find their way into the first company.
The StormCrows make extensive use of Primaris Vanguard squads, which are uniquely suited to their style of warfare. The Chapter would gain notoriety, appearing unnoticed, striking hard and fading into the shadows. Their role in the indomitus crusade is not widely known, and the chapter was only spoken of in whispers. They have served on numerous battlefields.
The StormCrows are loyal to the Humanity and the Emperor, in that order. Their fist commands from the Emperor himself upon departing on the Great Crusade were to defend humanity. As a result, the StormCrows have been known to work with, or use, Xenos to counter an existential threat to the Imperium.
On one occasion, The Second Company conspired with Eldar from Saim-Hann to bomb a world with Orks, to counter a tyranid swarm, after which the StormCrows and Eldar would cooperate to exterminate the Orks, and go their separate ways. This was to mutual benefit, as the Craftworld was threatened, as was a vital Imperial Forgeworld. The brief alliance ended amicably, as neither side had anything to gain by fighting each other at the time.
On another occasion, The StormCrows allied with members of the T’au to eradicate a Chaos Enclave, which threatened to overwhelm the T’au, and then further threaten a number of Imperial Agri-worlds. This alliance would end in bloodshed and a victory for the Ravens, as the duplicitous Ethereal was secretly attempting to turn the human citizens against the Imperium.
The StormCrows have a deep seated distrust of the Ecclesiarchy and the Inquisition. The StormCrows have actively hindered Inquisition efforts. On one occasion the StormCrows destroyed an Exterminatus Fleet. The Fleet was an Ordo Xenos fleet, they had knowledge that the world had been harboring an exodite Eldar enclave. To further make matters more heretical, there had been intermarriage, and the entire world had been deemed unclean. The StormCrows had just finished driving off a dark eldar raiding party, as well as purging a chaos cult before it could take root, thus saving the planet. When the imperial citizens asked why, the StormCrows Captain responded with a curt reply, “Half-human is still human.” The Inquisition fleet was reported to never have arrived, and lost in the warp. The agri-world was spared the attention of a larger xenos threat, and was spared exterminatus.
The Hive world in their own recruiting cluster has served as one of these incidents. It is a common source of trouble for the StormCrows. As the resources procured through the various on and offworld mining concerns based on the Hive world support their Forge World and the Fortress World. The Hive World often attempts to keep more than their share as a display of wealth to the rest of the cluster, which only serves to increase the resentment of the Nobility there. The StormCrows will frequently make a display of their authority, which has led more than one Planetary governor, over the millennia, to cry foul and contact the Inquisition, to protect them from these “Renegade Astartes”. There is usually little trouble when the StormCrows are requested to provide evidence of their rights there. When overzealous Inquisitors, eager to make a name for themselves, do not bother to investigate, those inquisitorial fleets are often never heard from again.
The StormCrows have run afoul of the Ecclesiarchy on several occasions. One such incident had the StormCrows rooting out a Genestealer Cult, while the Adeptus Sororitas were hunting chaos cultists on the same world. The Zealotry or the Sororitas made tracking the movements of the Genestealer cult very difficult, as they became careful not to expose themselves, while simultaneously causing the Chaos Cultists to become a threat to the Raven’s mission. The Genestealer Cult was the larger threat, as the Chaos cult consisted of a mere handful of followers and a single psyker. The StormCrows view the religious zeal and fervor of the Ecclesiarchy as an affront to the Emperor’s ideals for humanity. This Religious zeal ended up causing a full blown chaos incursion on the world in question. Daemons and Traitor Astartes began to pour through a rift, created as the cultists entreated the ruinous powers of Slaanesh to take them. When the Sororitas found the Psyker, he was in the final moments of sacrificing himself for the passing of a greater daemon. The massive burst of psychic energy drew the attention of a nearby splinter fleet, the same one that the genestealer cult had been anticipating, and before long there was a full tyranid invasion on top of the Imperial forces. The Sororitas contacted the StormCrows forces to assist, but the Ravens had begun to evacuate civilians to their fleet. Determined to save what humans that remained untainted. These civilians would be inducted into the Chapter as serfs and aspirants. The Ravens would put in a call for the Inquisition to investigate, as per protocol, before promptly reducing the world to cinders.
The StormCrows are a fleet based chapter. They recruit from worlds all over the Imperium. They have several worlds which they prefer. Their primary region for recruitment is the Donorian sector, specifically a desolate planetary star cluster called Skaði. The people from these harsh worlds are hearty and strong. They are primarily descended from ancient scandanavian colonists, and much of the traditional folklore and culture is preserved there. In all there are some 20 planets in the cluster, of which only about 10 are habitable, three of which are agri worlds supporting a forge world, a fortress world, and a Hive World. The other four planets are feral worlds, and incredibly harsh. These are fertile recruiting grounds as the Fortress World is known for training its soldiers from the age of six. This makes them prime recruits as by the time they are twelve years of age they have already had more training than most Imperial Guardsmen.
The Chapter’s current recruiting grounds were discovered during the Horus Heresy. The Feral worlds were shamanistic cultures, and the Dark Gods of chaos were known, and their worship was discouraged, and those who were caught doing so were frequently exiled for their practices. Then the StormCrows came. They sought out Chaos, destroyed it. Many hunters saw hulking warriors in garish purple and gold abetting the dark ones, only for equally hulking wraiths to appear from the shadows and brutally dispatch them. These wraiths with their glowing blue eyes, and ghostly grey on black armor would set the camps to the torch, burning everything living within the confines of the unhallowed ground. Stories of these Ösku Mann, or men of ash, led the village shamans to believe that the gods had sent the Villta Veiðin to punish them. The Wild Hunt was upon them to punish the wicked among them.
Once per year, on the final eve of the Harvest festivals the young men of the Village go out to face the Villta Veiðin. This trial is known as the “Hunter’s Rite”, and it is supposed to be a test to see if the young men have the skills needed to join the hunters for the coming winter, for surely if they can hunt ghosts they can hunt anything. As the StormCrows never interact directly with the villages, the young men are free to make up whatever stories they wish upon their return to the village. What is certain is that these young hunters are actually the hunted. Only those who show no fear of the StormCrows and actually dare to fight back, are deemed worthy by the chapter. Invariably the worthy are cornered, half starved and exhausted, but still show defiance. The recruiters always ask though the ghostly voice filters “Are you not afraid, young hunter?” The young hunters invariably attempt to resist, but their exhausted bodies can do nothing. “You are caught. You were our prey, you may yet become the hunter, Will you give yourself to the Hunt?” There is no chance of refusal…
The StormCrows also have a practice of taking in orphans from war zones, particularly those who display a will to survive and fight.
Due to their haphazard, and opportunistic, recruiting policy, the StormCrows would need a large fortress monastery. Their Fortress Monastery is built upon an asteroid. They call it the Rookery. This massive fortress has been refitted by the Mechanicus to become a ship capable of void travel and even short trips through the warp, though the Rookery has not moved from the Skaði cluster in over three thousand years.
What is most remarkable about the Fortress is how varied the terrain the training grounds can be. From training in vacuum on the surface, to city and jungle fighting inside the asteroid. Any terrain can be replicated. In the very central core of the asteroid, lies a small manufactorum that produces war material for the chapter. Studding the exterior of the Asteroid, are docks for the numerous battle barges the Chapter operates. Troops, and supplies move from the fortress to the barges, and recruits are transferred from the barges to be inducted in the Fortress Monastery. It was truly a massive undertaking to construct, but it has served the Chapter well since its construction 5 thousand years ago.
I realize that this is a huge wall of text, but if there's anything that you can think of that I missed that I had though of including, please let me know and reference the post I had it in, so I can include it. I hope this gives you all a place to start from.