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Index Astartes: Auric Blades

Index Astartes Primaris Auric Blades Raven Guard Successors Homebrew

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#1
Maatith

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INDEX ASTARTES: THE AURIC BLADES

 

Progenitors:               Raven Guard (12th Founding; Approx. late M35)

Homeworld:                Athule (Feral World; Segmentum Ultima)

Fortress-Monastery: The Pinnacle (Lunar Fortress)

Combat Doctrine:      Primaris Chapter / Mechanised Firefights

Successors:               None Known or Acknowledged

 

 

“Breathe deep the vapours, my Brothers, and know the blessings of Valour. Feel the chemical gifts of Corax’ sons in your lungs and know the burden of Chivalry. See past these mundane and tainted stars and see your Quest, and know your Inspiration. Breathe deep the vapours, and be suffused.”

-Thirteenth Beseechment of the Codex Valourous

 

 

The Golden Knights of Athule. The Dreaming Questors. The Emblazoned. The Mad. To their allies and to history the Auric Blades have been known by many great names and lofty titles, but always they have been counted amongst the foremost of Humanity’s champions.


The coming of the Auric Blades is heralded by the roar of engines and the whine of grav-plates as the great armoured vehicles of the Chapter roll inevitably forwards. The roar and impact of the guns come next; heavy guns mounted on vehicles or wielded by long-range support squads, and lighter guns fired by Blades on the wing. As the Auric Blades close on their prey, their own voices join the cacophony as squads march up behind the battle tanks and dismount the transports and give voice to the glorious hymns of Athule. The stench of their alchemical vapours waft on the breeze from vials and censers as the Blades themselves finally open fire.


Few enemies survive much longer, and none save the most worthy or most terrible ever see the silver shine of their blades. To almost all, the Auric Blades are a sudden and lethal riot of golden armour, explosive munitions and blessed smoke.


Bound by their own strange ideals of chivalry and valour, the Auric Blades were a zealous and driven fraternity long before they were brought unto the cusp of extinction by the darkness and conflict of the Great Rift. With the gift of the Ultima Founding, the Auric Blades have been reborn as phoenixes, and now their hallowed hatred rages in a greater inferno than they have ever known before. Guided now by both their own mysterious Inspiration and by a desire to see their honour and legacy restored, the knights of the Auric Blades march once again to war against the enemies of the Imperium.

 

 

THE CULT OF VALOUR

 

Like all the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, the Auric Blades are defined and shaped by their unique Chapter Cult - the rituals and practises that shape the daily life and psyche of their fraternity.


Whilst many Chapters can trace a number of their Cult traditions back to the practises of their progenitors, the Auric Blades seem far more shaped by the unusual chivalry of the Athulians than by the beliefs of Corax’ Raven Guard. There are a few elements which appear to be developments of the original cult - for example the Blades’ habit of coming-of-age hunts and totems may be a development of the Corvia of the Raven Guard - and yet for the most part the Auric Blades stand alone.

 
 

INSPIRATION

More than anything else, it is the Inspiration that defines the Brothers of the Auric Blades and sets them apart from their distant kin in other Chapters. Believed by many to be a flaw or quirk of the Chapter’s geneseed, the Inspiration manifests as strange, ritualised dreams that will guide the actions of the afflicted for the rest of his life.


The Inspiration is considered by many of the Chapter’s Apothecary to be in part a chemical shift throughout the entirety of a Marine’s body - a subtle reworking of a large number of processes, though why and to what end remains a mystery to even the most learned. However the Inspiration is most readily seen not through the chemical shifts, but through the great dreams it imparts to the Battle Brothers that are inspired.


The Inspiration creates great dreams in those gripped by it. The details of the dream will vary, but it will always take the form of a great hunt. Sometimes the hunt will be conducted alone, and other times they will hunt in great processions. The terrain might vary, as might the exact nature of their monstrous quarry, but it will always be a challenge - the age-old matching of might between Hunter and Beast.


The dreams, when they start to come, are vivid - as real to the Inspired as any battle or sermon or training exercise from their waking days. The dreams are analysed in great detail by the Chaplains, for the Auric Blades believe that these dreams reveal the fate and calling of the dreamers. There are a great many archetypes that recur in multiple individuals - the Dream of the Rising Leviathan, the Dream of the Hydra, the Dream of a Hungering Drake, to name a few - but these serve only to provide a starting point for the meaning of the dreams. Chaplains must study for a great many years before they are trusted to interpret a Brother’s Inspiration alone.


This fate - this new certainty of purpose - is known as the Quest. It is a call to embody some facet of the Chapter’s duty and version of blazing knighthood. The Quest is the most sombre duty that an Auric Blade can be given, and the dreams are ever a reminder of all that a Brother must be in service to the Emperor and the Primarch Corax.


Whilst not all of the Battle Brothers of the Auric Blades will be blessed by the Inspiration, once a Marine begins to dream the dreams will never stop coming to them - each time they close their eyes they will find themselves back on that surreal quest. The dreams will rarely change within an individual, and when they do it is a matter of interest not only for their own journey, but for the Chaplains that guide the Chapter Cult.


Whilst in theory there is no formal rank attached to the Inspiration, or any requirement for officers to have been Inspired before they are awarded commands, in practise the Inspiration is everything. In the entire history of the Chapter there have barely been a few dozen Captains, Sergeants and other officers who have not borne the heraldry of the dreamers, and Companies that have few or no Inspired beneath their Captain are considered ill-omened in the extreme. In the most extreme of cases, Captains have petitioned their fellow commanders to second them some of their Inspired Brothers until Inspiration blossoms within their own ranks.


Though rare, there are cases of neophytes and recently-inducted Battle Brothers becoming Inspired even there in their comparative youth. These blessed few are considered to be chosen by the Emperor, and generally enjoy a meteoric ascent through the Chapter’s ranks. It is unclear why, but these blessed warriors appear to bring out the Inspiration in those around them in usually unheard of numbers. They become something of a lucky charm for many squads, with veterans who have never been Inspired fighting all the harder to stay beside them in battle, hoping for the Dreams to come.


The Inspiration is the responsibility of the Auric Blades’ Chaplains in every sense. It is the Chalains who administer the enlightening drug-fumes before battle or meditation that allow their Battle Brothers the best chance of attaining or mastering the Inspiration; it is the Chaplains that sit and interpret the dreams of the Inspired to find their fate, and; it is the Chaplains that stand as watchers over their Brothers, ever making sure that their strange dreams never stop being Inspiration and start to become the mad whisperings of Chaos.

 

 

THE GREAT DREAMS

Whilst each Inspiration is utterly unique, there are a handful of archetypes and common images that appear with some frequency, allowing the Chaplains to create broad collectives that define the outline of the Inspired’s fate. These are known as the Great Dreams.


Some are defined by their prey-adversary, such as the Hungering Drake, in which the great wyrm represents the external crusaders of the Archenemy, or the Mists of the Selkun, where the Inspired must prove victorious through cunning rather than through simple strength of arms.


Others, such as the Rising Leviathan, denote the arena in which the Inspired will earn their renown, whilst Inspirations such as the First Quest are more esoteric still, denoting a lonely fate or painful death.


To have one of the Great Dreams, however altered, is to know one’s place in the Chapter - to know exactly what one must become to be a hero and to honour the Immortal Emperor. The stranger, rarer dreams offer no such comfort - the bearers of the more unique Inspirations must trust to the skills of their Chaplains and the whims of fate as they attempt to live their Inspiration across the fickle battlegrounds of the Imperium.

 

 

ORACLES

In a rare few cases (barely more than one every century or two) a Brother receives more than his usual share of Inspiration. Rather than a single, unchanging dream, these Blades instead have versions of the Great Dreams that switch and change seemingly every night. Known as “Oracles” these Astartes are believed to be even more in tune with the Inspiration than others, and their dreams are analysed almost constantly in the hope of unearthing some call to action from the Emperor to the Chapter as a whole.


There have not been any Oracles for centuries, and some believe that something about the Great Rift or the nature of the Primaris Astartes has ended the very possibility of the Oracles. However, others believe that it is simply that there is no need for Oracles at present, and that they will reemerge amongst the Auric Blades when the Emperor and Lord Corax deem them necessary.

 

 

HERALDRY

Like a number of Chapters, the Auric Blades make a tradition and an art of heraldry, and in theory every single member of the Chapter is eligible to earn the right to wear a personal coat of arms, often opposite the Chapter’s own icon, or else on a tilt shield fitted to their armour.


However the Auric Blades are perhaps unique in how they deem a Battle Brother worthy of bearing heraldry. Heraldry is awarded to any who are struck by their Inspiration and find their Quest - upon explaining their first true Dream to a Chaplain they are taken to a Chapter shrine, giving them time to meditate whilst the Chaplains and a dedicated body of Chapter serfs - the Tireless Kamon - work out exactly what combinations of motifs, emblems and colours to gift the Inspired.


The process can be an arduous one. Not only must the heraldry not resemble too closely any design currently active within the Chapter or its recent history, but it must also reflect what the Auric Blades consider to be the underlying and eternal significance of the various aspects of the Battle Brother’s dream, and must (at least nominally) must match to the wider ‘age’ of Inspiration through which the Chaplains have decided the Chapter to currently be moving through.


As a result the heraldry of the Auric Blades is often massively varied. Whilst many bear the same heraldic motifs that appear on a number of worlds throughout the Imperium - skulls, hourglasses, candles, dragons, swords, slain monsters and daemons, and the like - they also incorporate a whole range of wider and stranger symbols. It is not unheard of to see an Auric Blade whose heraldry incorporates mundane beasts, bolter icons, Terran bolts of unity, falling stars and on occasion even rarer charges.


As it is linked so closely to Inspiration, heraldry is a key part of the mentality and soul of the Auric Blades Chapter. All of the Chapter’s officers bear the heraldry of their Inspiration, and those marked by heraldry often unofficially outrank their Brothers, marked by the favour of their Primarch and the Emperor.

 

 

WIDER CHAPTER CULT

Whilst the Inspiration serves as the focal point for the beliefs of the Auric Blades, it is far from their only point of veneration. Even when not heightened to the status of fated calling by the Inspiration, knighthood forms the beating heart of daily life within the Chapter.


Like the knights of Athule from which they are drawn, the Auric Blades hold the twin arts of swordsmanship and marksmanship above all others. Even the lowest of the Chapter practise ceaselessly to master all manner of blades and lethal edges with which they might deal death to their enemies.


However for a knight of the calibre of a Space Marine, it would be unbecoming to frequently sully his blade in the blood of an enemy unless pressed. As such the Auric Blades work to heighten their skill with Bolter and Plasma Gun and all manner of firearms. Only the worthy shall lose their blood testing the skill of an Auric Blade in melee - chosen either for a duel, or by their skill in surviving the firestorm of their gunlines. To the Auric Blades the latter is as chivalric as any honour duel, for their knighthood shall shine forever brighter by having being tested by the greatest of Humanity’s enemies.


Their wider code of chivalry is full of small touches that betray their origins on Athule, and almost all bear some mark of being transformed into ritual by the all-encompassing Inspiration. This covers everything from their archaic treating-phrases for dealing with other Imperial forces, through to their attitudes to the study of warfare and combat etiquette. Beyond the dreams of the Inspiration, however, there is perhaps no clearer sign of its influence than in the Chapter’s attitudes towards its historic heroes.


Even more so than most Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, the Auric Blades venerate their historic heroes, even going as far as to adopt titles based upon their famous victories and to pray to them as exemplars of knighthood on the eve of battle, calling upon them in the same manner as the Primarch and the Emperor. The battle cant of the Chapter is full of allusions to these heroes, and a few Brothers even take the name of one of these lost legends, believing that through emulation they might achieve some fragment of that hero’s greatness and glory.

 

Edited by Maatith, 30 May 2020 - 11:36 AM.

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#2
Maatith

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Hey there guys

 

With the announced new models, my mind has rekindled its interest in one of my old homebrew Chapters

 

The OP can be updated with more sections of a draft IA for the Auric Blades as needed, but I didn't want to drown people with even more text than there already is. As such I have stuck the overview and the most "interesting" bit of the Chapter (their Inspiration 'flaw'). On request more can be posted here, or foubd here:

 

https://docs.google....dit?usp=sharing

 

Please let me know what you think and, if anyone can, there used to be a pinned formatting topic on the B&C but I cannot seem to find it anymore - could someone poke me in the right direction?

 

Cheers



#3
Bjorn Firewalker

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Good job. Strange to see a Raven Guard descendant focus on armored thrusts with artillery support, but those are still vital to WINNING a war, instead of simply NOT LOSING before the enemy loses interest in continuing- and in the 40th Millennium, trying to pull a Vietcong or a Taliban may see your opponent go Exterminatus.

Nitpick: The white and pink letters are hard to see against the white background that is the default setting for Mobile Mode (for smartphones and mobile devices).
Wolf Scout- Catachan barking toad eggs+ Thousand Sons Marine= Fun! (Wolves of Catachan)

Warhammer 40,000+ Star Wars- Rian Johnson- Reylo= AWESOME! (Knights of Renaissance)

Reasons to use the Steel Crusaders ('Codex: Space Marines' supplement) or the Iron-hearted Angels ('Codex: Blood Angels' supplement): Because you think giving Sternguard Veterans a heavy bolter wtih special issue HEAVY BOLTER ammunition is ALMOST as much fun as shoehorning an Earthshaker cannon into a Land Raider.

#4
Brother Lunkhead

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Good start with your overviewthumbsup.gif The accent on artillery and armor in a Raven Guard descendant is a nice spin. Ambushing a foe with massed artillery is not without precedent..... Dien Bien Phu anyone?eek.gif

 

 

 ...if anyone can, there used to be a pinned formatting topic on the B&C but I cannot seem to find it anymore - could someone poke me in the right direction?

 

 

Have you checked out the DIY Aids under DIY Resources?

 

Looking forward to seeing more.


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#5
Maatith

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Good start with your overviewthumbsup.gif The accent on artillery and armor in a Raven Guard descendant is a nice spin. Ambushing a foe with massed artillery is not without precedent..... Dien Bien Phu anyone?eek.gif

 

 

 ...if anyone can, there used to be a pinned formatting topic on the B&C but I cannot seem to find it anymore - could someone poke me in the right direction?

 

 

Have you checked out the DIY Aids under DIY Resources?

 

Looking forward to seeing more.

 

That was it! Thank you

 

Good job. Strange to see a Raven Guard descendant focus on armored thrusts with artillery support, but those are still vital to WINNING a war, instead of simply NOT LOSING before the enemy loses interest in continuing- and in the 40th Millennium, trying to pull a Vietcong or a Taliban may see your opponent go Exterminatus.

Nitpick: The white and pink letters are hard to see against the white background that is the default setting for Mobile Mode (for smartphones and mobile devices).

 

Colours changed - had forgotten about the mobile site, thanks for the heads up!

I wanted to explore the role that homeworlds and later genetic quirks play in a successor Chapter - one of the first 40k novels I ever read was the Ventris novel where he meets the Mortificators and is shocked to see that they are more products of their world than their geneseed and I always liked that idea.

So, I thought it would be fun to have a Chapter that had the pale, patrician skin of the Raven Guard, and some of the introspection of Corax (arguably taken to extremes by the Inspiration/Great Dreams), but that beyond that, had become dragoons and knights because they were the children of a feral/feudal world.



#6
Maatith

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THE MUSTERED HOSTS

 

The Auric Blades were always a broadly Codex-compliant Chapter. They possessed ten Companies, comprised of a range of forces from Terminator veteran units to reconnaissance and armour that allowed them to conduct war in a range of theatres and forms.

 

However as with all things, the Inspiration slowly came to permeate and change the details of the Auric Blades’ structure. Each Captain did their utmost to shape their Companies to best serve their Quest and the calling of their dreams, often reinterpreting or almost completely ignoring the stricter tenants of the Codex Astartes with regards to Company composition.

 

With the exception of the “Tenth” Company, the Auric Blades made no distinction between Battle and Reserve Companies. Instead, the first nine Companies became known as Crusade Companies - hosts of roughly one hundred Marines organised according to the ideals and Inspiration of their commander.

 

Even since the refounding of the Auric Blades have continued to form into Crusade Companies ordered at the whim of their Captains, with some favouring massed ranks of Intercessors and Hellblasters, and others using small, aggressive formations supported by Reivers and Gravis-clad elites.

 

Though ultimately determined by the precise nature of their Captain, throughout the history of the Auric Blades certain similar make-ups and intentions have been seen time and time again, and it is common for Crusade Companies to bear a ritual signifier designed to invoke some knightly virtue. Some, such as the aggressive Lancer Companies or the defensive Castellan Companies, are so common that it is a dire or dark age where the Chapter does not boast at least one of each. Others, such as the Paladin or Dragoon Companies, appear in response to the rarer Inspirations of their Captains, whilst the likes of the Swordsaint or Cataphract Companies are so rare as to have been almost entirely lost to history.

 

Regardless of the form the Crusade Company takes, the Captain is almost universally surrounded by a large number of lieutenants, champions and duelists - Astartes who have earned promotion in recognition of their martial prowess. When an enemy is deemed worthy of testing the blades of the Chapter, it is to these petty officers and champions that the Captain turns. More than one enemy of Humanity has found to their peril that, despite being far more numerous than the Company Champions of their cousin Chapters, the swordsmen of the Auric Blades never allow their skills to slip or allow themselves to rely on their numeracy.

 

 

THE ART OF KNIGHTHOOD

 

Though a Codex Chapter, the Auric Blades have always favoured the flexibility and power of the mobile gunline as the basis for their great victories - in ages past the Chapter was renowned for the rapid approach of their Rhinos and Land Raiders, and for the roar of their boltguns. Even now, refounded and reborn, the Auric Blades put great stock in their bolt rifles and the nobility afforded by jump packs and by the armoured might of their Repulsors and Impulsors.

 

The Blades’ individual Crusader Companies are structured around the Quests and strengths of their Captains, and so exactly how this manifests itself frequently varies. Some Companies might favour a more aggressive charge, whilst others might barely make use their opportunities to redeploy, using their speed exclusively to move into a favourable position ahead of the enemy.

 

Whilst the Auric Blades stress the importance of bladework of their rhetoric, histories and training, their actions in the field rarely express a strong preference for melee. A chance to test the Blades’ swords is rarely given - only the most notable of enemy champions will be formally challenged, and only the greatest or most numerous enemies will be able to force their way into melee with the Astartes.

 

 

COLOURS AND APPEARANCE

 

The Auric Blades share the pale, patrician features of their Raven Guard progenitors; dark eyes staring out of white skin. Often their skin is marked by glittering rings and piercings - common marks of prowess and nobility across much of Athule.

 

In recent years, a trend amongst the great empires of Athule’s southern archipelagos has included swirling tattoos depicting stylised sea beasts and draconic wyrms, as well as leering ork skulls, as a mark of a warrior’s prowess, and so many of the younger warriors in the Auric Blades Chapter have similar marks - either from their youth or added in honour of the mortals from whom their blood is drawn.

 

In battle the Auric Blades march out in the golden armour that their name invokes - trimmed with jet black and functional iron. Ever do they carry the trappings of their strange version of chivalry; bright marks of heraldry, vials of the drugs administered by their Chaplains, and a great weight of purity seals, totems and votive charms.

 

Once a totem, charm, or decorative element has been added to an Auric Blades’ armour, they often loathe to remove it for anything less than the most crucial of repairs. As a result, veterans of the Chapter often appear almost swamped in purity seals, trophies, and ancient relic vials.

 

Each Astartes in the Chapter bears a blade of some sort into combat - whilst some might make do with a mere combat knife, many will carry some form of true sword with which to demonstrate the skills and prowess of the Chapter.

 

CHAPTER BADGE

The Auric Blades Chapter icon was designed at their Founding to remind the bearers of their oaths and duty as both castellans of Athule and the Gerridian Corridor and as warrior crusaders in the wider Imperium.

 

A matched pair of swords point downwards, crossguards touching, so that the blades flank the gridded iron of a portcullis gate - stark white against the black field of their shoulder guards.


Edited by Maatith, 29 May 2020 - 10:45 PM.


#7
Brother Cambrius

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Been reading through this over the past few days and I love this Chapter! Chivalric Knights are always a wonderful baseline for a Space Marine chapter, but not often one I see in the progeny of Corax.

 

The whole dreams concept is wonderfully unique too and really gives them a brilliant unique flavour and outlook. Do the Librarius or Chaplaincy keep records of their brethren's dreams, archived for future reference when other Auric Blades, centuries or millennia down the line experience a similar vision?

 

Now on their organisation, I presume with the Companies that it's going down the Clan-style route of the Iron Hands, with veterans and such being embedded within each company, as opposed to being part of the First? I wasn't too sure with the wording on it, but it might be that I need more tea (again... You there, Servitor Chi-332! Fetch me a fresh mug, one sugar and a dash of milk!).

 

Are the Chapter fully Primaris now, despite their origins in the 12th Founding, or did all the Firstborn undertake the Calgarian Rites to cross the Rubicon Primaris?

 

I'm looking forwards to seeing this one grow further. :)

 

Cambrius


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#8
Maatith

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Been reading through this over the past few days and I love this Chapter! Chivalric Knights are always a wonderful baseline for a Space Marine chapter, but not often one I see in the progeny of Corax.

 

The whole dreams concept is wonderfully unique too and really gives them a brilliant unique flavour and outlook. Do the Librarius or Chaplaincy keep records of their brethren's dreams, archived for future reference when other Auric Blades, centuries or millennia down the line experience a similar vision?

 

Now on their organisation, I presume with the Companies that it's going down the Clan-style route of the Iron Hands, with veterans and such being embedded within each company, as opposed to being part of the First? I wasn't too sure with the wording on it, but it might be that I need more tea (again... You there, Servitor Chi-332! Fetch me a fresh mug, one sugar and a dash of milk!).

 

Are the Chapter fully Primaris now, despite their origins in the 12th Founding, or did all the Firstborn undertake the Calgarian Rites to cross the Rubicon Primaris?

 

I'm looking forwards to seeing this one grow further. smile.png

 

Cambrius

 

The Chaplaincy tracks the Dreams of an individual and the Great Dreams and wider meta-narratives of the Chapter's Dreams - probably could do with clarifying this, but yes - that is indeed how the Dreams are recorded.

Yeah, the Crusade Companies have embedded veterans and the like - all Companies except the Tenth (which is a dedicated Vanguard/Recruit Company still) act like Clan Companies and have veterans and support units built in. Again, could easily make this clearer.

Yes - the Chapter is functionally entirely Primaris: I will post the Battle for Athule section that explains that next.

Thank you for the positivity!



#9
Maatith

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FALL AND RISE

 

Upon their semi-mythical Founding half an age ago the Auric Blades were given two sacred duties along with their governance of Athule. The first was to lend their strength as crusaders wherever the Imperium might need them, and the second was to make Athule and its system safe, in case the legendary Gerridian Corridor ever reemerged as a stable Warp route. The burdens were noble ones, and the first Auric Blades took them up gladly.

 

For millennia their descendants fulfilled their oaths and obligations, and in the name of Corax and the Emperor made safe the Imperium all about Athule. They waged war against all manner of traitors, heretics and aliens, and all the while they kept one eye on the Corridor. However, when the unknowable currents of the Warp finally shifted, it heralded not stability, but the dreadful rise of Chaos.

 

 

THE DARK MILLENNIUM

With the opening of the Great Rift, Athule became one of a thousand worlds suddenly thrust into madness and isolation. The garrison of the Pinnacle sent out a distress signal as the Astronomican went dark, knowing well what the darkness might bring and that they would need all available arms to stand against it. Garbled and strained, the message miraculously managed to reach reach a few scattered elements of the Chapter, and each Auric Blade that could turned and fought to try and make their way back to their homeworld.

 

Lost beyond the Rift without the light of the Emperor to guide them, precious few Auric Blades ships ever made it back to Athule, and none that did managed to make their way through the darkness unscathed. The scarred remnants of the Chapter knew they had no time to grieve or to lick their wounds however, and so they steeled themselves and made ready to fight whatever would come to end them.

 

They did not have to wait long. Not long after the last battered Blade made it back to the homeworld, an enormous Ork Freeboota armada burst from the Warp. The foul greenskins had gathered into a vast force, eager to exploit the chaos and paralysis gripping the Imperial forces beyond the rift, and their enthusiasm only grew as they realised they had found a “proper” brawl and an Astartes homeworld.

 

 

THE WAR IN THE FAR REACHES

The Auric Blades wasted no time in clashing with the xenos forces. From the moment the Freebootaz emerged from the Immaterium void mines began to detonate, ripping apart a handful of lesser escorts and damaging the heavy plates of a few larger ships. However, the hasty defences were not enough to so much as slow the fleet.

 

The first true battle was fought above and across the great promethium refineries of the gas giant Prosidia. The venerable Captain Leonhard ap Val led the remnants of his Dragoon Company, now reduced to barely thirty Marines, alongside the Prosidia’s servitor guardians and a few bands of Athulian Lunar knights, in the defence of the refinery station. His troops were meagre, and his fleet little more than a collection of ravaged fireships and sub-light cogs. There was never a chance of victory, and yet his actions bloodied the Orks, and even rob the armada of one of the great kroozers leading it.

 

The Auric Blades did all they could to keep up the pressure Captain Val had put on them as the Freebootaz close on Athule, and for over a day a dozen Astartes vessels and their deadly cargoes of boarding teams fought a running battle with Ork ships, sabotaging lance batteries and engines and eliminating xenos warleaders wherever they could.

 

However, the Auric Blades and their allies were few, and all knew that their actions could only delay the inevitable.

 

 

THE PINNACLE OF COMBAT

The majority of the Freeboota armada rushed the guns and silos of the Tilt with a single goal - to assault the great Fortress-Monastery of the Pinnacle. It was there they would surely find the best fight and the best loot, and so it was there that the Auric Blades had deployed the majority of their remaining forces.

 

For the most part, the defences of the Pinnacle held as they should - greenskin Roks tumbled from the void onto the lunar surface, and the majority of those that fell directly above the Fortress were blown from the sky by strong lances, or else dashed on the reinforced shields. Ork ships that attempted to come close enough to strafe the shields directly were mostly repelled, and the majority of the alien warriors and war machines that landed turned to march on the great walls.

 

There were some heavy defeats, however; an Ork dropship that broke through the Pinnacle’s shielding crashed into the great Chapel of Corax in which had hung the banners of the oldest Crusade Companies, consuming it in flames and disgorging Ork veterans into the heart of the Auric Blades’ defences; a Dread Mob rampaged through the environmental training domes of the moon’s great eastern plain, and through them gained access to hab levels where they slaughtered thousands of Chapter serfs, and; when the great gates fell and the Freeboota horde spilled into the Pinnacle, Chapter Master Thimaz was cut down and his geneseed lost.

 

Despite their losses, the Auric Blades refused to waver. It was a week before the last Astartes and lunar knight fell on the lesser moons and orbitals, and over two and a half weeks after the armada and Chapter had first clashed, Sergeant Techemon sent a final communication from Dormitory H-17 within the Pinnacle announcing the arrival of another wave of Freebootaz at his position. Only after his vox recorded his battle cry and the roar of his bolter did the Pinnacle at last fall silent.

 

Having committed the bulk of their forces to the assault on the Pinnacle, the Freebootaz’ momentum was gone. Even with the fall of their Fortress-Monastery it seemed as if the Auric Blades had stopped the armada’s march across the Imperium Nihilus. However, the Ork pirates still lived, and below on Athule there was an opportunity to rebuild; the world’s Feral Orks.

 

 

THE BATTLE OF ATHULE

Desperate to end the threat that had brought them to their end, the last of the Auric Blades had not been idle whilst the Pinnacle fell. Led by Brother-Revenant Yuval, the final handfuls of the Chapter’s Astartes and Scout Neophytes had been hard at work gathering together the single greatest army Athule had ever seen.

 

Kings and Bandit Lords and Warqueens from dozens of different nations had been gathered with every petty lord, hedge knight and spearman that could be mustered arrayed behind them. The surviving Lunar Barons had been recalled, their knights and men-at-arms standing on Athule itself for the first time in generations. Ancient and baroque lascannons were lined in batteries beside enormous trebuchet and heavy carronades, and the battle tanks of the Blades idled at the heart of enormous formations of dragoons and lancers. To an ork mind it must have looked almost as irresistible as the Pinnacle had.

 

And it had to. The survival of Athule and of every Imperial world that might find itself in the armada’s path rested on the greenskins taking the bait. If the Freebootas could not be defeated here, once and for all, then they would be free to recruit and arm the Feral Orks that infested the wild places on Athule, replenishing their ranks and freeing them to once more make war amongst the stars.

 

As the Roks and dropships began to fall in earnest, Athule held its breath. However, seemingly miraculously, the fleet took the bait and a huge Ork force began to grow around the assembled Athulians.

 

After so long on the defensive, cowering in the dark, the Blades and their mortal allies were in no mood to wait for the Orks to come to them. As soon as the xenos began to amass, Brother-Revenant Yuval gave the order to attack. The Dreadnought led the initial charge himself, tearing into the greenskin ranks with his assault cannon as all around him Athulians surged forward, a scream of defiance howling from every man and woman.

 

The battle was bloody and long, and under the withering guns of the Orks the valorous heart of Athulian chivalry suffered. However, as a third dawn broke over the battle, the aliens broke too. They scattered and fell back howling, pursued by Marines, by the few remaining battle tanks and, most frequently, by mortal knights pushing themselves and their mounts past exhaustion in defence of their homes.

 

It was not a clean victory. For decades, if not centuries, the Feral Orks would be more numerous than ever before as more spores filled Athule’s atmosphere, and until each and every scrap of the Freebootaz’ foul technology was eradicated, there would be a chance that they might rise up from the mud and pose a true threat, as the invaders had. But, for now, it was a victory.

 

The Auric Blades could not enjoy it. There were barely more than a dozen Brothers that still lived, the Reclusiarch, their last remaining officer, was gravely wounded, and almost all of the Chapter’s  vehicles and vessels had been damaged beyond repair. However, their oaths still bound them, and despite their sorry state, they had to look to the defence of Athule. With a heavy heart, the last Blades returned to the burning ruins of the Pinnacle, and set to work once again on building up their defences.

 

 

THE CRUSADE COMES TO THE CRUSADERS

The Auric Blades had scant time to recover or to mourn. Before long movement was again detected in the Warp out at the system’s Mandeville Point, and the last of the Knights of Athule went to work, reading their weapons and ordering the battered Tilt to action stations. Hallowed vapours were inhaled and last prayers offered; the Auric Blades would meet their extinction with such fury as it had never seen, and win themselves one last glory.

 

Suddenly, ahead of the aetheric bow wave, came a message, announcing the incoming fleet. As a servitor spat the words out for the assembled “commanders” of the Chapter, they could scarcely believe the news; Terra and the Imperium yet stood, the Lord Guilliman had returned to Humanity and even now fought back against the darkness, and that he had sent the means for the Auric Blades to stand once more and defend his father’s empire.

 

As the vessels entered realspace, the Tilt’s guns powered down, and an Envoy of the Avenging Son approached Athule with hope. With word of the Ultima Founding.

 

 

A REFORGED BLADE

Over the following years the Chapter was refounded almost entirely. Primaris Battle Brothers were trained and tested under the watchful gaze of those few who had survived the Battle for Athule, new and old oaths were made and constantly renewed, and ancient pacts with the Lords of Mars were invoked until at last the Auric Blades once again stood ready. Companies of Marines were armed, armoured and trained, a repaired Chapter fleet hung in orbit, and new and mighty war machines were primed for battle.

 

Once more the Auric Blades could be unleashed upon the enemies of the Emperor.

 

 

THE NEW WAR

In the short centuries since, the Blades have regained much of their lost scale and glory. Whilst the constant and bitter warfare of the Dark Imperium has never permitted them to rise to their full complement of over a thousand Battle Brothers, nine Crusade Companies are able to ply their trade once more, and over Athule and across half a dozen warzones the Auric Blades march again.

 

In addition to their former duties, the Auric Blades have also found themselves cast in the role of shepherds. As they fight and force their way through the darkness of the Imperium Nihilus, the fleets frequently find the lost and embattled, caught beyond the light of the Astronomican. Whenever they can, the Athulians now battle to escort these poor souls back to their homeworld, where a vast orbital commune of survivors now make their home, awaiting the opportunity to march out and retake the worlds lost to madness and isolation.


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#10
Bjorn Firewalker

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"Fall and Rise" is well-written.
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#11
Maatith

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"Fall and Rise" is well-written.

Thank you!



#12
Maatith

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THE WORLD OF ATHULE

 

Now a world teetering perilously close to the Great Rift amidst the darkness of the Imperium Nihilus, Athule was once a world comfortably far from the dangerous borders of the Imperium.

 

A feudal world of sorts, Athule would have been unremarkable but for two facts - the first being that once the world sat near the terminus of a wide and stable Warp route known as the Gerridian Corridor, and the second being the presence of the Auric Blades Space Marines, tasked with defending the Imperium and being ready should the Corridor flare once more and place Athule on the wider maps of Humanity.

 

 

KNIGHTS AND XENOSPAWN

Whilst slight changes in local customs do exist, the world of Athule is predominantly a feudal one where warring empires, kingdoms and city-states are ruled by a hereditary martial class of knights and commanders. Perhaps in some kingdoms each new generation of lord dissolves their retinue of knights and selects another based on merit, or some city is run by merchants more than by warriors, but in practise little changes.

 

A strict caste system exists, allowing each citizen of Athule  to know exactly their place both in the nation’s structure and within the cosmic order of the Imperium. At the top exists the rulers - kings and matriarchs who live well and command vast armies, but in exchange must see tithes to the Imperium paid and the people kept safe from the ravages of their enemies. Below these are the regional lords and their knights - warrior nobles who enjoy a certain level of power and autonomy in exchange for loyalty to their betters and service in times of war. The greatest lords might command dozens the loyalty of dozens of lesser knights and petty earls, and will possess both the joys and duties that come with such.

 

The nobles, regardless of local title or rank, are defined by warfare. Even those nobles who do not personally train to fight must learn to command armies, or at the very least be able to raise and arm soldiers when called to do so. It is the duty of the nobles to safeguard their domain, not only from rival powers but also from all manner of bandits and from the blight of Feral Orks - xenos savages that infest all manner of mountains, forests and wild places across the world. Mostly a nuisance, there have been times throughout Athule’s history that great Feral Ork Waaagh!s have erupted from these dens, ending whole civilisations and forcing the empires of the age to fight together against their mindless savagery.

 

Beneath the nobles and knights exist the privileged classes - those technically counted amongst the peasantry who through some office have attained a place in the periphery of nobility. Clergy of the God-Emperor and members of the Administratum (both frequently off-worlders, or at the very least the descendants of off-worlders) are amongst the most common of these privileged classes, as are the Senemied. In a rare few states, particularly those independent cities marked more by their financial standing than their martial prowess, merchant guilds have begun to appear and to find a place in this privileged class too, although the “true” nobles remain suspicious of those whose power is achieved without adherence to either chivalry or dogma.

 

Occupying a similar place to the truly privileged classes are the military classes. In many kingdoms these might once have been any other peasant families, but often now the military classes are a distinct force - sworn to their lords, these families will send most of their sons and daughters to war in defence of the realm. Often clad and armed in heirlooms, handed down through the generations, these soldiers form the bulk of the armies of Athule, and in truly exceptional circumstances it is not completely unheard of for a family in the military classes to be awarded the very lowest ranks of knighthood and, however tenuously, enter the nobility.

 

Unlike the nobility, the privileged and military classes are not bound by chivalry, or by a duty to those beneath them. Instead the trade-off for their limited range of powers and freedoms is the service that they pay to the rulers of their lands. They are, ideally, model Imperial citizens - loyal to their masters and driven by a zeal and purpose that they do not question.

 

Finally a wide peasant caste forms the base of the Athulian feudal system.  They are a varied collection of peoples, encompassing everyone from semi-skilled weaponsmiths able to one day sell a blade to a true knight through to the field serfs and slaves bound in perpetual servitude to the land. Their duty is to serve - to obey blindly and to keep the cogs of their state running through their constant toil in exchange for the protection of their lords’ armies.

 

This rigid pyramid has been the centre of Athulian life since time immemorial and has only been reinforced by millennia beneath the gaze of the Imperium and the Auric Blades.

 

 

ATHULE AT WAR

As with their cultures and conventions, for all the differences between the empires and nations of Athule their armies almost always display massive similarities.

 

The bulk of the armies are usually infantry blocks drawn from the military classes. Traditionally trained to fight with pikes and crossbows (or occasionally rough muskets), these regiments are armed and mustered by their local lord. A few specialist clans and families are trained to fight in more varied fashions - a few pass down the secrets of building and operating trebuchet or even cannon, whilst others ride into battle beside their lords’ knights as raiders, and a few are trained in arts of war even stranger still.

 

However the heart of each army is smaller in number - its knights. Whilst traditionally the upper echelons of the nobility are trained to command, and so will lead elements of the army, most nobles instead come to serve as knights; armoured elites who form the true hammer of the Athulian hosts.

 

A handful of knights in each army might decide to fight on foot, either alone in command of a small retinue of soldiers, or else forming small knots of elite duellists who foreswear the expense and distraction of a mount so as to better seek mastery of the art of marksmanship.

 

The bulk of knights fight mounted, however, clad in armour and armed with fine firearms and blades. Riding into battle behind a wall of lasfire cast from all manner of beautiful pistols, carbines and rifles, most knights wait until the very last moment before switching to sword or maul and wading into melee, whilst a few - almost universally mounted on horses rather than the slower, heavier Athulian harrenbeast favoured by most knights - prefer the thrill of the full tilt charge. These knights form “dragoon lances” that thunder forward with pistol and lance, eager to break the enemy in one decisive strike.

 

Traditionally these armies were seen only on Athule, with the Auric Blades unwilling to relinquish potential genestock to the Astra Militarum. However, since the Great Rift and the refounding of the Chapter, the Auric Blades have permitted a single regiment to be raised every decade to help defend the Imperium Nihilus. Marching out in a mixture of flak armour and local metal, and armed with shock pikes and autoguns, the infantry of Athulian regiments cut a strange figure, as do the shining, ponderous knights that fire magnificent volleys as they ride.

 

 

THE SENEMEID

Unlike many other feudal worlds in the Imperium, Athule actually possesses a surprising number of advanced technologies. There are a number of cities built into and around functioning hydro-electric dam complexes, rare fortresses shielded by esoteric void shields, irrigation engines, and most commonly las-weapons that range from baroque pistols through to immobile cannons designed to defend city walls.

 

These technologies are not understood, nor even evidence of a Martian or Rogue Trader agent on Athule. Rather they are the last gasps of the world Athule was before the Old Night. They are relics and - even more than their kin cared for by the Mechanicus - they are kept functioning only through rote and half-remembered dogma.

 

The task of tending to these ancient devices falls to the Senemeid - a fraternity who dedicate their entire lives to the device or devices entrusted to their clan. It is their sacred calling to keep these instruments of the Emperor’s will functioning, and they will see their duties enacted at great personal risk. Some will spend their lives toiling around reactors without so much as a radiation suit, whilst during the greatest sieges knots of devoted Senemeid can be seen operating enormous lascannons even under the heaviest fire.

 

Senemeid occupy a unique space in Athulian culture, and in particular in the art and understanding of war. Whilst they are the means by which the nobles’ mighty lasguns continue to function, and will even crew heavier weapons in order to see their charges fulfil their function, even the most desperate bandit or rival lord would not dream of deliberately targeting a Senemeid on the field of battle. A part of this is respect for the Senemeid and a desire to avoid offending their own tech-cultists, but fundamentally it is because a Senemeid clan serves its relics and its shrines, regardless of what baron or warlord controls them.

 

 

THE CHURCH OF BLADES

Known in Ecclessiarchy parlance as a “Valour Cult” or a “Church of Blades”, the local faith on Athule is a variant of the Imperial Faith that stresses even more than most sects the need for devotion and unquestioning loyalty to their secular masters as the most tangible expression of the God-Emperor’s divine will.

 

On Athule, loyalty and excellence are godly virtues - each soul is encouraged to find the best way to serve their lord within their caste, and then to master those arts. As with any expression of the Imperial Faith, the purest way to show devotion is through the martial arts - knights, with their devotion to sword, lance and lasgun, are considered paragons of the Faith, as are those soldiers who seek to master discipline, musket and halberd.

 

Within the cities and fortresses of Athule, the Emperor is revered as the ruler of the Imperium - Emperor and High King of all the Stars; the greatest expression of lordship and liege to every soul. Beneath Them the Athulians acknowledge a small pantheon of Saints, each of whom embodies a virtue or facet of Athule’s chivalry and knighthood. Some theologians have attempted to draw connections between some of these Saints and the blessed Primarch, although these attempts have rarely seemed conclusively.

 

 

RECRUITMENT

The Auric Blades make no secret of their presence on Athule, or for their reason for coming down amongst the mortals. Indeed they encourage word to be spread of their coming to recruit. When an Apothecary and his retinue seeks recruits, it is with all the pomp and ceremony of a national tourney. The Astartes put the sons of the nobles and the military classes through great trials to determine their readiness for induction, whilst individuals, families and indeed whole clans from all classes and castes enjoy the spectacle and the great festivals that spring up around the trials.

 

 

PROSIDIA, THE HALF-RULED

Whilst Athule is the homeworld of the Auric Blades, and the only habitable world in the system, it does not orbit its star alone. The molten rock known as Delenmir hangs between Athule and the centre of the system, undisturbed in its orbit, whilst beyond Athule the barren rocks of Thuil and Marron are desolate, save for the tiny specs of training domes and defence silos that serve as the outermost halls of the Tilt. The fifth and final planet in the Athule system is a solitary gas giant known to Athulians as Prosidia.

 

Prosidia is a strange world. Technically the Auric Blades have no claim to it or its resources, for long before the coming of the Astartes, Martian Explorators hung it with refinery stations and assimilated it into the empire of the Red Planet. However, since the Blades were Founded, Prosidia’s vast chemical wealth has gone almost exclusively to the Chapter as part of the ancient treaties between the Mechanicus and the Astartes. Indeed the rulers of the stations have even added manufactorium to their domains to aid the ravenous sons of Corax.

 

In exchange the Auric Blades have always defended Prosidia and its supplies, even at the cost of their own lives. In this way the world enjoys a strange kind of dual loyalty - founded by and incorporated directly into the hierarchies of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and yet defended by and in service to the warriors of the Auric Blades.

 

For their part the Auric Blades are more than happy to allow the Techpriest masters of the refinery stations as much independence as they wish, viewing them as a strange sort of vassal at the very edges of their domain.


Edited by Maatith, 07 June 2020 - 01:41 PM.


#13
Bjorn Firewalker

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The Chapter planet's description is well-written, but for the use of "Empress" as its feudal leaders' titles. IIRC, the Imperium has zero tolerance for anyone else using the title of "Emperor," and if anyone is to decide who may use the female equivalent of that title, that person will be the God-Emperor Himself.

I'm also surprised the Chapter Master hasn't claimed the title of "High King," or granted his Captains the titles of "King," to cement the Chapter's rule over the Chapter planet.
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#14
Maatith

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The Chapter planet's description is well-written, but for the use of "Empress" as its feudal leaders' titles. IIRC, the Imperium has zero tolerance for anyone else using the title of "Emperor," and if anyone is to decide who may use the female equivalent of that title, that person will be the God-Emperor Himself.

I'm also surprised the Chapter Master hasn't claimed the title of "High King," or granted his Captains the titles of "King," to cement the Chapter's rule over the Chapter planet.

Good catch on the Empress thing - Them-On-Terra would not allow that; completely slipped my mind!

I considered having the Chapter Master be the High King, but in the end I decided that having the Auric Blades as protectors, not rulers, and to allow the mortals on the world below to prove their strength through the forging of their own empires and kingdoms and (unless necessary) defend themselves from the Feral Orks without the Astartes' guidance - more similar to the Space Wolves than the Ultramarines type of model.

In practise, when the Imperium has need of anything from Athule they will do through the Auric Blades anyway, but not being the "Kings" of the world allows the Auric Blades to remain slightly apart and "divinely other" to the mortals on the world below.



#15
Maatith

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THE PINNACLE

 

For all that Athule is a feudal world, it is watched over by a vast system of technology and iron that has long sought to shield it from the worst horrors of the galaxy - the Tilt.

 

The Tilt is the extended domain of the Auric Blades, and since the very days of their Founding has been built up into one of the greatest weapons in their arsenal.

 

 

MOONS AND MACHINES

The beating hearts of the Tilt are the eleven natural moons of Athule - each named for one of the Archsaints of Valour - which have across millennia been remade by the Auric Blades into immense fortress dockyards.

 

The ten “lesser” moons (Castellan, Fusilier, Lancer, Fallen, Marshal, Questor, Ward, Valiant, Seneschal, and Senemeid) are surrounded by ships and their surfaces crawl with defence silos, repair yards, and munitions factories designed to keep the warships of the Chapter Fleet (as well as the vast array of forge ships, system patrol ships, messenger vessels and uncounted others) armed and functioning. Beneath what remains of their rocky surfaces veritable cities worth of workshops, habs, ration farms and machine-temples sprawl, making each moon a terrifying labyrinth for any would-be invader.

 

The Tilt moons are inhabited and crewed by entire tribes and nations of Athulian stock. Whilst almost none of them will have ever set foot upon their world below, all are still bound to its feudal and chivalric ideals. Each moon is captained by a noble (each moon’s ruler has their own unique and historied title, but all are collectively known as Lunar Barons) who is sworn to serve the Chapter Master directly in their capacity of ruler of the Pinnacle. Each Baron is supported by their knights and a military class of voidborn armsmen, as well as by great swathes of peasants and servitors tasked with keeping the moon’s systems running and warriors fed.

 

The knights and nobles of these lunar nations are strange individuals. With access to true Enginseers in place of their usual Senemeid, and expected to command lance batteries and torpedo salvos in place of swords and lasguns, these warriors are frequently highly augmented, the better to directly interface with and “wield” their enormous defensive weapons.

 

Around each moon hangs a number of artificial stations - often little more than orbital cannons or augur arrays with rudimentary hab and support systems - that act as the eyes and pikes of the Tilt and the Chapter. Each station is named after a legendary fallen nation of Athule or an historic warrior of the Auric Blades Chapter, and each is commanded by a petty noble that has sworn allegiance to one of the Lunar Barons. Mostly comprised of knights and armsmen, with only a handful of non-military personnel to keep the station running, these satellites are in spirit much like the hunting parties of the nobility of the surface, and on the rare and dark days where they are called into action each competes with its neighbours in deadly displays of zeal and prowess.

 

 

THE CHARIOT INDOMITABLE

Whilst the lunar docks are mighty fortresses, their dancing orbit rarely takes them near Athule’s great southern ice cap. However, even this approach is not left unguarded. Whilst there are few planetside silos in dug into the shifting ice, and scant orbital stations in the heavens above, the pole is watched over constantly by the enormous bulk of the Chariot Indomitable.

 

An ancient warship, the Chariot Indomitable is said to have sailed in the vanguard of Corax’ own fleet during the dark days of the Scouring. At the Founding of the Auric Blades the Chariot was chosen to serve as the Chapter’s flagship, and for centuries its golden lances burned a terrible swathe through the enemies of the Imperium.

 

However even the might of such a proud vessel can be overcome. After over a thousand years service with the Knights of Athule, the Chariot Indomitable found itself isolated and almost overwhelmed by Aeldari Corsairs whilst ranging ahead of the Chapter Fleet. When the rest of the Auric Blades ships arrived, they found the immobile Chariot surrounded by the wrecks of the wretched xenos vessels, its crews decimated, its hull bleeding fuel and oxygen into the void and its engines cooling.

 

And yet, impossibly, its ancient machine spirit clung to life.

 

The Chariot Indomitable was dragged back to Athule. There the Chapter’s Masters of the Forge and the Lords of Prosidia poured over the crippled vessel, seeking to repair all that they could. However, eventually even they were forced to admit that the Chariot would never sail again.

 

The Auric Blades and the Adeptus Mechanicus did not abandon the great ship - as reverently as they could, they coaxed it into a stationary orbit over the vulnerable southern approach to Athule, and slowly coaxed its guns and shields back to life. Whilst it would never fight in the van again, the Chariot would forever serve the Chapter and the Imperium.

 

Over the long years since, the Chariot Indomitable has been remade for its new purpose. It has been gifted with more armour now that it does not need to propel its great bulk, and engine decks have been replaced with more guns and armsman barracks, turning the Chariot into a veritable fortress. Unlike the Lunar Fortresses, the Chariot Indomitable is not commanded by an Athulian noble, although the bulk of its crew and denizens are still of Athulian stock. Instead as a battle barge of the Auric Blades, however altered, it is commanded by a veteran Astartes and a knot of true Chapter serfs.

 

The Chariot Indomitable has seen even more changes to it since the opening of the Great Rift. As the Auric Blades have brought weary refugees to Athule (even whilst forbidding them access to the surface) somewhere has been needed to house them. Their ships, often retrofitted with additional halls, weapons or armour taken from the Ork wrecks still floating at the edges of the system, have begun to find a collective anchor in orbit around the Chariot, forming a secondary series of armed settlements as a new community - brought together from the darkness of the modern age - begins to take shape above Athule.

 

 

THE SPECTRE

The greatest of the moons of Athule is the Spectre, named after the strangest and least understood of the Archsaints of Valour, and it is in and across this moon that the Auric Blades have built their greatest fastness - the Fortress-Monastery known as the Pinnacle.

 

The Spectre has been as much changed as the other moons, but where they are covered in dry docks and supply dumps, the Spectre is an altogether stranger world. Its surface is covered in sunken fortress-emplacements and gun-posts and all manner of other secondary fortifications, as well as great sealed domes containing all manner of artificial environments ideal for the training of Space Marines. Armoured workshop-factories bleed heat as they craft bolt rounds and power cells for the weapons and armour of the Auric Blades, and strange observation domes and temples jut out from the surface so that the Brothers of the Chapter might look upon their homeworld or the distant stars as they meditate.

 

By far the greatest structure on the Spectre’s surface is the Pinnacle’s gatehouse itself - larger than any other fortress on the moon and protected by great weapons and heavy shields, the gatehouse rises high from the rocky surface. Carved with Chapter Icons and great statues of Astartes heroes and the Archsaints of Valour, it is as much a statement as a defensive position. Now rebuilt following its devastation at the hands of the Ork Freebootas, a single change can be seen in the gatehouse - within its great halls where once the immolated Chapel of Corax stood now stands a twin statue of Marine and Dreadnought. The former depicts Chapter Master Thimaz, whilst the latter is a rendition of Brother-Revenant Yuval, the two great commanders of the Auric Blades during the Battle of Athule.

 

Beneath the gatehouse the true mass of the Pinnacle sits like an iceberg - vast kitchens, armouries, training yards, serf habs and generators spread out beneath the fortress, spreading like tendrils to connect with the domes and defences across the Spectre. Many serfs take great pride in the tradition of adding new corridors, panic rooms and chapels in their rest periods, and so slowly the great fortress grows through the lunar rock, year by year, as generation after generation toil to expand the domain of their Astartes lords.



#16
Bjorn Firewalker

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I considered having the Chapter Master be the High King, but in the end I decided that having the Auric Blades as protectors, not rulers, and to allow the mortals on the world below to prove their strength through the forging of their own empires and kingdoms and (unless necessary) defend themselves from the Feral Orks without the Astartes' guidance - more similar to the Space Wolves than the Ultramarines type of model.

In practise, when the Imperium has need of anything from Athule they will do through the Auric Blades anyway, but not being the "Kings" of the world allows the Auric Blades to remain slightly apart and "divinely other" to the mortals on the world below.

So the Auric Blades Chapter Master may be referred to as the "Archangel," and his Captains "Angels," in decrees from the planet's human kings and queens? Maybe unofficially known as the "God King" or "Sky King" to the planet's populace?

Edited by Bjorn Firewalker, 07 June 2020 - 03:03 PM.

Wolf Scout- Catachan barking toad eggs+ Thousand Sons Marine= Fun! (Wolves of Catachan)

Warhammer 40,000+ Star Wars- Rian Johnson- Reylo= AWESOME! (Knights of Renaissance)

Reasons to use the Steel Crusaders ('Codex: Space Marines' supplement) or the Iron-hearted Angels ('Codex: Blood Angels' supplement): Because you think giving Sternguard Veterans a heavy bolter wtih special issue HEAVY BOLTER ammunition is ALMOST as much fun as shoehorning an Earthshaker cannon into a Land Raider.

#17
Maatith

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HEROES OF ATHULE

 

The reforged Auric Blades have, like all who call the Imperium Nihilus their home, been forced to become heroes to the last man - each Astartes awarded the right to wear the gold is a titan of light, defiant against the darkness. Even amongst these ranks of demigods and champions, a few names have already begun to be spoken of as true legends - their deeds already demanding a hushed awe from most who would dare speak them.

 

 

RECLUSIARCH IBAR LORR

Master of Sanctity; The Lance of the Pinnacle

Following the Battle of Athule, Lord Dharron, Master of Sanctity, was the only officer still left to the Auric Blades. He became a father to the Chapter as it was born again - the “Iron Chaplain” who overcame the death of his own Fraternity to lead the reforged Blades.

 

However, even Lord Dharron was not immortal. Never one to stand back whilst his Brothers entered the fray, the Master of Sanctity was eventually dragged down by renegade militia in the wayward hive forges of Lanton - though to the end his bolter and his voice never fell silent.

 

The void left by Dharron’s passing was enormous, and even though the Chapter was now led once more by a true Chapter Master, the Iron Chaplain's shadow loomed long over the seat of Reclusiarch. It fell to Dharron’s most exemplary student, Ibar Lorr, to shoulder the burden.

 

Ibar Lorr is a true child of Athule. As a mortal, Ibar was born a son of an ancient and elite military class clan from the wild mountains of Alharron, trained from the first moment he could stand with musket and halberd. Discipline and ferocity were his long before he so much as saw an Apothecary of the Auric Blades.

 

Once elevated to Pinnacle, Lorr’s rise was meteoric. Shortly after becoming a full Battle Brother, Lorr was struck by the Inspiration and earned his heraldry. Within a scant few years, he was awarded the rank of Sergeant for his zeal and focus. Before long, Lorr had been taken directly under Lord Dharron’s wing and had begun his training as a Chaplain. The academic rigour needed to master the alchemy of the vapours and the art of heraldry and Dreaming seemed to come easily to the young Lorr, but it continued to be in battle that he found his true calling.

 

As a Chaplain as it was when he was a Sergeant, Lorr was a focal point for the fury and momentum of his Brothers. Unlike the august Dharron, Lorr did not fill the air with endless litanies and battle-hymns, nor roar damnations of his enemies with every stroke of his Crozius. However, when Lorr did speak, he carried his authority effortlessly, and as an example at the speartip of an assault only the Chapter’s finest Champions could match him.

 

Now, as Reclusiarch of the entire Chapter, Lorr continues that focus on exemplary leadership from the front. Clad in a custom suit of Gravis armour forged to carry the full weight and authority of his office, Lorr stands at the very fore of his Chapter’s crusades, the ancient Crozius Somnium in his fist as he lays low the enemy of the Imperium. He is a trusted commander, and more than one foe has learned that he is no mere firebrand, but a strategist well-versed in the endless histories and tactics of his forefathers.

 

 

CAPTAIN APARHAN DARORKE

Commander of the Vagabond VII Crusade Company; The Hidden Trove

Few Brothers of the Auric Blades would ever ‘lower’ themselves to wear anything less than as much gold as their heraldry permits. It is not that the Chapter shuns subterfuge or reconnaissance, it is simply that few would ever wish to prove their prowess through knife-work and ambush rather than in “honest” line fighting.

 

Not so Captain Darorke. Inspired by a strange and insidious variant of the Great Dream of the Mists of the Selkun, Darorke has long trained himself as a peerless hunter, and upon becoming a Captain assembled his Brothers into a new Crusade Company - inspired by the Vanguard of other Chapters, and the ancient and near-forgotten Vagabond Companies of the Auric Blades. 

 

Despite the unusual composition of his Crusade Company, Darorke has undoubtedly brought honour and glory to the Chapter - in the systems between Athule and the edge of the Great Rift, the Vagabond Company has hunted all manner of enemies, breaking the hold of alien warlords and renegade tyrants on dozens of worlds. At the head of a strike squad of Reivers, Darorke has personally stood against countless champions of horror, and brought each of them low with a well-placed bolt round, a magnificent arc of his sword, or even a spectacular explosion.

 

At present, Captain Daroke has become embroiled in a campaign against Dark Eldar raiders preying on the unguarded worlds of the Jesson Cluster - a campaign fought in the deafening quiet of the shadows, where the Drukhari pirates and Astartes compete not just for their lives and the lives of the citizens of the cluster, but for acknowledgement of their speed and prowess.

 

 

BROTHER DEHCON AP VARIS 

Chapter Champion; Honoured Sword of Athule

Unlike many of the heroes of the Auric Blades, there is no great charisma to Dehcon ap Varis; no easy familiarity or bombastic ability to command his Brothers. However, even in a Chapter renowned for their swordsmanship, there is no blade as sure or swift as Varis. Through tireless dedication and endless combat, Brother ap Varis earned the position of Chapter Champion - defender of the martial honour of the Auric Blades and all of Athule.

 

Though not a commander, Brother ap Varis is often dispatched alongside the Crusade Companies as a symbol of the Chapter Master’s faith and support. In beautifully polished Tacticus plate and carrying the Sword of the Spectre, Brother ap Varis marches deliberately and unhurriedly beside the squads of his Brothers - a symbol of pride and excellence around which all the Auric Blades can rally.

 

 

CAPTAIN ARGAN CORAXSON

Master of Recruits; The Unnumbered

Never have the Auric Blades seen an individual like Argan “Coraxson”. A veteran of the Greyshields who rose to the rank of Sergeant during the Indomitus Crusade, Argan was then one of the half dozen Unnumbered Sons sent to help rebuild the Auric Blades Chapter, and was nominally the delegation’s ‘commander’ as it arrived at the Pinnacle, leading to him being chosen to swear the Chapter’s new oaths with the Iron Chaplain Dharron himself.

 

As the Auric Blades rebuilt, Argan was first made a Crusade Captain, and then - as the Captain with the most experience with Primaris Marines - the Chapter’s Master of Recruits, making him the first to bear that title without being Inspired in over four thousand years. In place of personal heraldry, Argan sports the old chevrons of the Greyshields, although perhaps the most telling of his differences to the Athulian Auric Blades comes in that, following the death of Lord Dharron, he turned down the honour of becoming Chapter Master, believing that the Auric Blades should be led by one of the Inspired. To an Athulian to turn away such glory, however noble and wise the decision, would be almost unthinkable, and the act cemented Argan’s reputation as a level-headed and commendable warrior. Indeed several of those voices in the Chapter that had vocally spoken out against him becoming Chapter Master now sang his praises - his rejecting the office proving his loyalty to Athule and the Chapter more than him accepting it and leading well ever could have.

 

Captain Argan rarely leads his forces directly, choosing instead to trust to his lieutenants or seconding both his Intercessors and his Scout Neophytes to other Crusade Captains, whilst he keeps his focus on the training of new inductees and applicants in the Pinnacle, lending his tactical insight to Chapter Master ap Azif and to his fellow officers. When he does take to the field, Captain Argan does so as he did in the Unnumbered Sons - his Company advancing through beautifully coordinated fields of fire, with Argan at the very centre, chainsword in hand.

 

ANNALS OF CHIVALRY

 

M.35-M.36 THE FOUNDING

Athule Established

The Space Marine cadre given command of the fledgling Auric Blades Chapter arrive in orbit above the Feudal World of Athule to find it suffering under one of the greatest Feral Ork Waaagh!s in the worlds’ history. The Auric Blades descend to defend their new subjects, rallying the scattered fiedoms and empires in defence against the wild xenos. With the Orks beaten back into the deep forests and wildest mountains, the Auric Blades begin work on recruitment and on the Pinnacle and Tilt high in orbit.

 

 

The Slumbers Stir

Following a great campaign against the xenoscultists of Harradan, the first of the Auric Blades began to Dream. At first, the Chapter was concerned by the sudden onset of these recurring visions, but slowly the Chaplains begin to see the purpose and divine will at work in the Dreams. The earliest alchemical accelerants are made in order to chase the Dreams, and the first books of heraldry are laid down, beginning the long process of codifying Inspiration.

 

The Age of Apostasy

Whilst the armies of Sebastian Thor and his Confederacy of Light lay siege to distant and holy Terra, the Ork warriors of Waaagh! Fragdrok storm through the Segmentum Ultima, laying waste to worlds once shielded by Thor’s allies or by the Frateris Templars. In response, Chief Librarian Harlos leads almost the entire Auric Blades Chapter in a great assault against the alien menace. Clearly guided by the Emperor, Harlos and his Crusade Captains eventually find themselves face to face with the Ovaboss Fragdrok in the ruins of a temple dedicated to Ecclesiarch Vandire, decapitating the monstrous Ork before retreating and allowing the Chapter Thunderhawks to flatten the temple - including its great statute to Vandire - and slaughtering the Warbosses gathered within. Deprived of its greatest leaders, the Waaagh! falters and the Astra Militarum are able to begin the long task of carving the Ork hordes apart.

 

 

M.37-M.40 THE AGE OF GOLD AND GLORY

 

The Chariot Falters

As rumours of alien raids throughout the Ganymede Subsector reach Athule, the Auric Blades are dispatched to hunt the foul xenos down. The Knights of Athule quickly located the source of the rumours - Aeldari Corsairs - and drove them from a number of worlds. Initially unprepared, the Corsairs were forced to fight a retreat against a relentless enemy unwilling to leave them a single base or hidden mooring, and in engagement after engagement the Astartes claimed - albeit often at cost - victory.

Eventually, the Auric Blades closed on what their intelligence suggested was the Corsairs’ final base in Imperial space, and led by their Crusade-era flagship, The Chariot Indomitable, they burst back into realspace to defeat the xenos pirates once and for all.

 

However, the last base had not been in Imperial space - or in realspace at all. Instead, when The Chariot Indomitable entered the system, it found itself surrounded not only by the remaining ships of the Corsairs, but also reinforcements drawn from the eldritch Webway. The Eldar craft were nimble, and swarmed the Chariot, fast and deadly as knives, but the ancient ship had served Lord Corax directly in a grander age, and ancient lance batteries sang in the dark, the Chariot spilling death and boarding parties all about.

 

The rest of the Chapter fleet was barely a few hours behind the august flagship, but by the time they translated into the system, they found the remains of a battle all but over. Aeldari vessels fought a retreat, or else lay broken in the void, Astartes boarders slowly departing the dying wrecks. At the heart of the calamity, The Chariot Indomitable lay, bleeding plasma and oxygen, its engines and thrusters shot, its last functioning systems firing futile shots at the retreating xenos.

 

Victory had been achieved over the Corsair brotherhood, but the cost had been unspeakably high. The Chariot Indomitable would never sail the stars again, and was instead consigned to serve as an orbital defence system over Athule. Few are the Auric Blades even to this day that would forgive an Aeldari for this crime.

 

 

The Long War Resurgent 

Raiders wearing the colours of the Night Lords Traitor Legion launch a series of coordinated attacks against the worlds of the Erros Subsector. Captain Harrow leads his Castellan Company as part of the Imperial forces assembled to try and thwart the heretic forces. The Night Lords prove almost impossible to pin down or bring to battle, eventually vanishing from the Subsector altogether following a raid on an unassuming Cemetery World - Davinus Ultra.

 

 

The Ovaboss Denied

Joined by Skitarii forces of Metalica and fellow Astartes of the Deathwatch and Red Talons Chapters, the Auric Blades conduct a series of lightning raids against Waaagh! gathering under a new Ovaboss, slowing the growth and progress of the Ork armies until the ponderous hammer of the Imperial Guard can be called to action.

 

 

The Corridor Shudders

The ancient Gerridian Corridor sputters back to life, its former course twisted and perverted by some foul ritual, spilling Traitor Astartes drawn from the World Eaters and Night Lord Legions, as well as dozens of smaller warbands and Renegade factions, into the systems surrounding Athule. And where the Traitors march, their cultist forces and Daemonic allies are quick to follow.

 

The entire Auric Blades Chapter is recalled to defend Athule, and several Crusade Companies are deployed alongside the Chapter’s allies to strike out against the Traitor forces where they have launched their assault.

The heaviest conflict is fought in the tumbling spires of the Hive World of Ankamor. There, warriors of Captain Ithamal’s Cossack Company spearhead the Imperial counterattack, fighting through the rapidly deteriorating cityscapes against the berserkers of Angron’s Legion, ultimately slaying the blood-soaked ritualists tasked with holding the Corridor open.

 

The cost is great - although the false crusade of the forces of Chaos was stopped, over a dozen worlds of importance to the wider Segmentum Ultima would never truly recover.

 

 

M.41 THE DEATH OF CHIVALRY

 

The Fall of Timor

Returning from action against the Ork menace, a strike cruiser bearing a squad of Auric Blades is diverted to investigate a distress signal coming from the Night World of Timor. The squad descends to the surface and makes regular reports to the strike cruiser, reporting that all living creatures appear to have vanished from Timor without a trace, or without a sign of a struggle.

After exactly eleven hours on the surface, the vox signal stops. Despite numerous hails and scans by the strike cruiser, the squad appears to have disappeared.

 

 

Freedom from Liberty

As the war against the latest Ovaboss escalates, the Urban World of Ackton’s Folly - one of the key sites of ammunition production for the conflict - rebels against the Imperium. The ancient Archdukes who have ruled the planet since time immemorial are overthrown by heretical pro-democracy sects. Two Crusade Companies are dispatched to return Ackton’s Folly to the Imperial fold. The rebels hold out less than seven hours before they offer their surrender and a surviving relative of the Archduke is reinstated.

 

 

Yuval’s First Death

Answering a summons by the Inquisitor Lord Adamant, the Lancer Company of Crusade Captain Yuval is deployed to the feudal world of Kaserne, where the newly-discovered Necron menace had surfaced from beneath the planet’s surface. The Tomb World slowly begins to awaken, but its systems and halls are badly damaged. Even so reduced, the deathless warriors are able to exact a heavy price on the Kaserne Defence Forces and the Auric Blades for their victory, and the glory of the Chapter’s warriors tastes hollow as they carry the near-lifeless body of Captain Yuval from the blazing catacombs, to be interred in a Dreadnought sarcophagus. 

 

 

The Dead Rise

Warp anomalies ripple out from the Cemetery World of Davinus Ultra, unleashing minor daemonic incursions throughout the Erros Subsector. Warp ghasts taking the form of the recently deceased manifest across a dozen worlds, thinning the veil across the entire Subsector. A hastily assembled crusade of Imperial forces - including over half of the Auric Blades Chapter - is launched towards the heart of the incursion, slowly retaking or purifying each world.

 

After over a year of inexorably advancing towards the centre of the incursion, the crusade finally reaches Davinus Ultra. Joined by Inquisitorial Storm Troopers, the Angels of Iron 4th Company, and a strike force of Grey Knights, the warriors of the Auric Blades launch their assault against the very heart of the daemonic presence on the planet; the stronghold of the Renegade Warband, the Noctis Crows.

 

The Noctis Crows and their daemonic allies fight furiously against the Imperial crusaders, but eventually their commanders are cornered at the very heart of their fortress. As the Grey Knights attempt to banish a towering Bloodthirster, Crusade Captain Thimaz and Brother-Librarian Petricul of the Angels of Iron clash with the sorcerer known only as the Outcast Prince.

 

Following the death of the Outcast Prince, the once-hallowed structures of Davinus Ultra are rendered to ash and great sigils of banishment and the Imperial creed carved into the earth. The Auric Blades swear oaths to aid in watching over the quarantined and ravaged planet for a hundred years and a day.

 

 

Hunger from Amongst the Stars

As the shadow of a Tyranid Splinter Fleet begins to approach in the Warp, the Hive World of Gedros Prime rebels against the rule of the Imperium, its noble houses having long been infiltrated and corrupted by a foul Genestealer Cult. Having long ago sworn oaths to defend the rulers of the Gedrosi Hives, the fury of the Auric Blades is incandescent, and no fewer than four Crusade Companies are dispatched to avenge the ancestors of the “degenerate xenospawn”.

 

With the Tyranid fleet approaching, the Auric Blades’ plan is simple. The Astartes smash through the planetary defences, allowing the Imperial and Merchant Navies to begin ferrying supplies and (where their genetic purity can be proven) civilians from the Hives as the Space Marines launch an all-out assault on the Spires where the Gedrosi nobles and their alien broods still reigned.

 

The campaign is bloody, and the Auric Blades do not allow a single cultist, xenos, or sympathiser a moment of mercy. The final battle takes place in the palaces of House Invar, where a retinue of Terminators slay the foul Patriarch broodlord of the cult. With the enemy defeated, the Blades tear down the greatest icons of the profane alien faith and retreat, abandoning a burning wreck of a world before the endless appetite of the Hive Fleets.

 

 

M.42 THE KNIGHTS RESTORED

 

The Battle of Athule

As the galaxy is torn apart by the Great Rift, the Auric Blades gather at the Pinnacle, preparing for the worst, only to be met by an enormous Ork fleet, seeking to prove its mettle against the guns and blades of an Astartes homeworld.

 

The bulk of the fighting takes place in the fortified halls of the Pinnacle and the lunar bases of the Tilt. Whilst the defences of a Space Marine homeworld are considerable, and the toll on the xenos invaders is high, eventually the numbers of the Orks begins to tell, and one by one the fortresses of the Tilt, and finally the Pinnacle itself, fall to the Freebootaz.

 

Seeking to keep the Orks from rebuilding with the aid of the Feral Orks on the surface and the looted technology and supplies of an entire Fortress-Monastery, the surviving Auric Blades draw the invaders into one last open battle on Athule. The Battle of Ahmon Plain is as decisive as it is costly - the Freebootaz are eradicated, and yet not only does it leave only fourteen Auric Blades fit for full combat duties, it sees entire kingdoms and empires of Athule functionally cease as entire state armies and dynasties are consumed by the conflict.

 

The Auric Blades Chapter is functionally wiped out, and the few remaining Battle Brothers set to work reactivating the surviving Tilt defences, determined to honour their oaths to the last.

 

 

The Refounding

With the arrival of a subfleet of the Indomitus Crusade in the Athule system, a new sense of hope tentatively blossoms in the collective hearts of the Auric Blades. Though work on rebuilding the Pinnacle, the Tilt and the Chapter’s arms never ceases, the formal Refounding does not take place for almost a full year.

 

In a ceremony long planned for, Reclusiarch Dharron, acting Chapter Master of the Auric Blades, met Sergeant Argan, (formerly) of the Unnumbered Sons, in the rebuilt gatehouse of the Pinnacle. In front of the new statues of Thimaz and Yuval, heroes of the Chapter-that-Was, the pair embrace and then kneel, swearing to each other and to the Imperium oaths both new and old that will bind the Auric Blades as they are reborn with the knowledge of the Primaris Marines.

 

 

Athule Avenged

With the first squads of Neophyte inductees elevated to the ranks of full Astartes, a Crusade Company is formed with Captain Argan’s Unnumbered Sons at its core, and the newly ascended Athulian squads supporting them. Eager to begin rebuilding the glory and honour roll of the Chapter to match, Lord Dharron sends the Company to be tested against an Ork empire that has conquered several Imperial worlds barely beyond the borders of the Athule system.

 

The campaign is as much about the symbolism as the victory - Captain Argan’s forces are expected to find both zealous catharsis in destroying Orks like those who almost destroyed the Chapter, and to see in the campaign an echo of the legendary destruction of the Feral Orks when the Auric Blades first came to Athule, all those years ago.

 

Working closely alongside the subjugated Imperials, as well as forces of Savlar Chem-Dogs and Elevais “Sky-Devil” Grenadiers who had found their way to Athule through the darkness, the Auric Blades are able to make comparatively short work of the Ork tyrants, freeing almost a half-dozen worlds from beneath the boot of the alien.

 

 

A Broken Crown

Rumours of a Traitor Space Marine using the moniker “the Outcast Prince” draws the Auric Blades to the feudal world of Luxantia. As the Blades close with the planet, they are hailed by a strike cruiser belonging to the Knights of the Crimson Order. The two Chapters agree to stand together, and the Auric Blades fight against daemons and cultists alongside their cousins, although several elements of the Knights’ 2nd Company seem strangely absent from several crucial battles.

 

After one such battle, the vox broadcasts of the “Outcast Prince” cease, and the Knights of the Crimson Order announce their plans to withdraw now that the arch-heretic on the world has seemingly been usurped or slain. The Auric Blades protest, pointing to the remaining forces still on the planet, but the Knights insist that they have other priorities, leaving the children of Athule to conclude the campaign alone.

 

 

In The Absence of Light

Though deprived of the light of the Astronimican, the Auric Blades are able to receive and tentatively respond to a call for aid from the Hive World of Lucan. The Auric Blades deploy around the last outposts of the Adeptus Arbites and their allies on the planet, standing with them in the face of an enormous uprising that seems to have completely consumed huge swathes of the citizenry and the Planetary Defence Forces.

 

The true nature of the threat soon becomes apparent - at the heart of the uprising sits a cult of rogue psykers. Exploiting the rising tensions of a planet adrift in the Dark Imperium, the psykers and their Chaos Cultist servants had amassed an enormous popular following by promising a better path, although in the face of the increased resistance of the Auric Blades, the facade began to slip as the witches were forced to draw on darker and more diabolical powers.

 

As daemonic and mutated forces began to make up more and more of the rebel forces, the Auric Blades were forced to risk launching an assault rather than remaining on the defensive. Leaving the Lucanites and the Athulan 3rd to defend the last Imperial holdouts, the Astartes strike out against the heart of the uprising forces. In their desperation, the rogue psykers give their lives and souls over to oblivion to try and bring an end to the Astartes, summoning a trio of immense Lords of Change. The Sorcerer-Daemons take a heavy toll on the Auric Blades, but, against all the odds, the Emblazoned withdraw victorious, leaving the remaining uprising forces leaderless and, in many cases, now at the mercy of the last few daemons desperate to delay their return to the Warp for a few hours more.

 

The Crusade Company and the 3rd Regiment remain on Lucan, even now, aiding with the rebuilding and reconquest efforts, determined not to return to Athule until the Hive World had been made safe and staunchly Imperial once more.

 

 

A Shadow War

Exploiting the chaos of the darkness and uncertainty of the Imperium Nihilus, Drukhari raiders of the Iron Tear Kabal begin an extended realspace raid against the worlds of the remote Jesson Cluster. The Vagabond Company of Captain Darorke is deployed to hunt down and eradicate the xenos threat, and immediately begins to hunt the Eldar to the last.

 

Over the following months, the two forces become increasingly aware of the other, and a dance begins with each racing to remain predator and not prey. From the jungle moons of Acacian to the tumbled and towering manufactorum cities of Belcantos Prime, the Vanguard and Kabilite forces clash and withdraw time and time again, and more than once Captain Darorke crosses blades directly with the foul Archon of the Iron Tear.

 

Despite the xenos being almost impossible to bring to battle, and the implacable Athulians ruining the Kabal’s attempts to take slaves, neither side is willing to withdraw, both determined to prove themselves superior to the other - their pride locking both into a protracted war in the Cluster.



#18
KBA

KBA

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Excellent fluff. The degree to which you have fleshed out your chapter is impressive.
  • Maatith likes this





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