The Striking falcons
“Like the soaring falcons of Hercynia, we strike with speed and ferocity, sowing fear and chaos in our wake. The enemy knows not from where we will strike. Enemies and traitors to the Emperor and his Realm shall know neither mercy, nor quarter. We will defend the Imperium that He built by striking our enemies wherever they may hide!”
- Chapter Master Ambrose Lawrence
The Striking Falcons are a young chapter, entering into existence only in the early 700’s of M41. Thrust into war as the Chapter was in its infancy, they were fist blooded during the Sabbat Worlds Crusade. They have ever since been steadfast defenders of the Imperium, destroying all who would threaten it.
The High Lords of Terra had originally conceived of the Striking Falcons as a way to stabilize the Sabbat Worlds Cluster. However, by the time it was fully authorized, and the machinations had begun to create it, the Cluster had been all but overrun. As a result, the purpose of the Chapter shifted to become a component of the future Crusade that would be needed to reclaim the lost worlds.
The Striking Falcons would see their first combat during the Battle for Balhaut in 765.M41, a decade after the start of the Crusade. It was there that the Striking Falcons began to build their reputation and forge their identity. Striking the Arch Enemy’s forces from the shadows and sowing confusion behind their lines soon became their hallmark.
Due to casualties, and the high attrition rate suffered during the implantation process, the Chapter’s achievement of full strength was delayed by decades. It could have imperiled the very survival of the Chapter if the scouts had taken heavier casualties. Had changes not been made to recruitment, it would have been catastrophic.
This perilous start would go on to influence the very fabric of the Striking Falcons’ being and their tactical doctrines. It also instilled in them a reverence for their scouts as they are the future of the Chapter and established the reputation that has been maintained to this day.
At the outset of the Chapter’s existence, neophytes were solely recruited from the ranks of those who had survived the coming-of-age trial that had long existed. It was believed, despite knowing the implants were at increased risk of failure, that this would produce superior quality neophytes. While the quality of neophytes bore this belief out, the failure rate was considerably greater than had been feared. It was clear that the Chapter’s very survival would be at stake if they did not adapt. The cadre debated on how best to obtain younger recruits without alienating the populace. The typical options were unlikely to work as Caldonia was not the usual feral or feudal world favored by the Astartes. The solution was ultimately proposed by one of the neophytes, the future Chapter Master, Ambrose Lawrence. Overhearing the debate, he proposed to the cadre that they could create a new coming-of-age trial, open only to those males that had reached fourteen years of age. This new trial would be in addition to the traditional one and would only be undertaken by those that wished to ascend to the ranks of the Adeptus Astartes. When the proposal was presented to the populace, it was enthusiastically embraced, thus securing the Chapter’s survival.
The homeworld of the Striking Falcons is Hercynia Secondus. it is part of the “Hermes” system and is the smaller of the two habitable planets, the other being Hercynia Primus. Both planets share similar habitats, however, Hercynia Secondus is cooler and has produced much larger and fiercer predators. This has resulted in the planet being comparatively less populated and developed than Hercynia Primus.
The continents are heavily forested and rich in mineral resources. The primary industries are mining and forestry. Due to rules put in place by the King of Hercynia, the planet has managed to avoid the ravages that plague many Imperial worlds. In fact, both Hercynia Primus, and Hercynia Secondus are very much like Macragge in that regard.
Hercynia Secondus was chosen as the homeworld for the Striking Falcons due to the fierce predators that stalk the planet and the strong martial traditions that both Hercynia Primus and Hercynia Secondus have running through their veins. These features have resulted in a populace that is skilled in the art of war. Hercynia Secondus in particular has produced some very skilled and hardy individuals as a result of its coming of age tradition for adolescents. When children turn 16, they are sent into the forests for a month, provided only with a knife and a powerful bolt action rifle. They are expected to use their wits and skills to survive whatever the forest can throw at them. When they return, they are feted and welcomed into society as full-fledged adults. If they return with a trophy of one of the planets fearsome predators, such as the Iron Hide Kodiaks or Hexapanthers, they receive extra honors and privileges. This leads to children spending much of their time honing their wilderness skills in addition to their regular schooling. It thus makes it prime recruiting grounds for neophytes.
Prior to the founding of the Striking Falcons, Hercynia Secondus was ruled directly by the King of Hercynia Primus, Callum MacGregor. This was a result of the planet having been colonized by settlers sent from Hercynia. The primary city, Connaught, is located on the coast of the continent of Columbia, the largest on the planet. This location has allowed the city to thrive as it is the main port for all goods and materials collected on the planet before being sent to Hercynia Primus for processing. It was also the seat of Hercynia’s Governor General. Upon their founding, it was decided it would be best to allow the current governance structure to continue. It was clear that it was working, thus, there was no need to interfere. However, should the planet come under attack, or civil order begin to collapse, they will take direct control and proceed as they see fit.
The recruits of the Striking Falcons are proud of their home and know what it means to sacrifice for the good of the Imperium. They are fiercely loyal and will die before they betray their home or chapter. The spirit permeating the Striking Falcons makes this loyalty absolute. They believe in The Emperor’s vision for humanity’s future and that it is to be ever strived for. However, they are saddened by the excesses that plague vast swathes of the Imperium. They see the success of their homeworld and that of the Ultramar system, as a vision of what the Imperium can and should be. What The Emperor meant for it to be.
The Striking Falcons abhor Chaos. To fall prey to the lure of Chaos is to be weak. It is to betray humanity. Most egregious of all, it is to betray The Emperor, to spit on the throne of the man that saved humanity from the darkness. This is unforgiveable. Any who fall to Chaos will be shown no mercy. The driver of this hatred were the horrors they witnessed during the Sabbat Worlds Crusade.
As a result of its early history, the Striking Falcons’ tactics have evolved to favor infiltrating strike forces and small team tactics. They specialize in deep reconnaissance, terror, sabotage, and decapitation operations. They eschew the bright livery of other chapters and take to the field in subdued colors, as appropriate to the theater.
They strike from the shadows, tearing holes in enemy logistics and command structures. They strike where the enemy is weak and force them to spread their forces thin to defend against attacks from anywhere. They sow fear and confusion as they launch simultaneous attacks against enemy commands and positions. Like the falcons of their homeworld, they strike when they see the time is right. The strike arriving like a bolt of lightning and leaving just as quickly. The enemy knows neither when, nor where they will be struck, but struck they will be.
The Striking Falcons largely follow the structure as laid down by the Codex Astartes. There is one notable exception, the structure of the 3rd Company. The 3rd Company is not a typical battleline company but instead functions as a specialized scout company. Prior to the creation of the Primaris Marines, it consisted of tactical squads that specialized in infiltration and sabotage missions. They carried limited heavy weaponry to increase mobility and eschewed vehicle support.
The members of the company are full battle-brothers that have spent their lives honing their skills in guerilla warfare. Only the most adept brothers are selected to join the 3rd. In that sense, it functions as an additional veteran company. Unlike the 1st Company, whose members are exceptionally capable, and experienced generalists, the 3rd Company’s veterans have specialized in guerilla warfare. They are given the most difficult and dangerous infiltration missions. Their skill and proficiency has earned them the nickname of “Sealgairean”, a native Hercynian word for hunters.
With the advent of Primaris Marines, the 3rd Company in particular has seen the advantages they bring and readily embraced them. In fact, the “Sealgairean” have had the largest number of members cross the Rubicon to become Primaris. As a result, the Company has been reorganized as a Vanguard company in order to avail themselves of the new equipment that will enhance their primary mission.
Edited by hortanium, 25 July 2020 - 10:54 PM.