Well, time is running out, so here's something to put on the board to at least help establish some idea onto who my Cursed Founding chapter are, as part of the LASC. Plenty more additions to come to build and refine this work, but here's some outlines and some early history and Chapter structure.
Chapter: Death Casters
Geneseed: Blood Angels
Chapter Master: Nikel Fulmos
Created in the ill-fated 21st Cursed Founding, the Death Casters have long walked across the knife-edge of destruction, not only from the enemies of mankind, but from elements within in Imperium itself. Fashioning themselves to appear as blessed angels of deliverance to the Imperium’s citizens and of retribution to their enemies, the chapter hide beneath this appearance a dark and destructive flaw that has given them the reputation of monstrous butchers to survivors of their ill-placed fury.
Born from the Angels Encarmine, their initial growth was one without major fault or aberration, as they utilised the Blood Angel geneseed stock given to them at their founding by the Mechanicum. Recruitment proved to be more difficult from the norm, as a larger than average number of aspirants died during the application of the Black Carapace, but this was not seen to be an issue of great worry as many more passed and became fully fledged Astartes in their formative decades. As the Chapter grew to a viable fighting strength to be independent in their campaigns, it became increasingly clear to observers and allies that the Death Casters possessed a near preternatural knack of working with their brethren as combat grew in intensity akin to a shared consciousness. As larger numbers of the Death Casters fell in combat, their ferocity increased to savage levels as the sons of Sanguinius would fight to avenge their fallen. Some Imperial commanders and eyewitness accounts from battlefields shared with the new Chapter described how the ferocity of the Death Casters’ squads would reach wild levels of barely controlled rage as squad-mates fell or were grievously wounded.
As the corrupted seeds of the 21st Founding began to bear its tainted fruit across the Imperium in the centuries following, the Death Casters faced much closer scrutiny from elements of the Inquisition as they fought for humanity in numerous campaigns and crusades. Being tasked with the defence and pacification of the Luctum sector, located to the very northern borders of the Imperium in the Segmentum Obscurus, the Death Casters were sent to cleanse and establish the Imperium’s foothold by scouring it clean of the Ork and other minor xenos’ presence. Some observers tacitly commented on this being a method to remove the risk of an aberration in a Chapter that originated from the “Cursed Founding”. But despite this arduous and impossible task, filled with a desire to prove their worth to the Imperium and that they were loyal and pure sons of Sanguinius and the Emperor, the Death Casters succeeded in establishing a foothold in the Lacrima system, named for the unique tear-drop shaped continent on its primary planet, which became the homeworld of the chapter as they established their base of operation. The system began to grow and settle with fresh citizens from across the Imperium and the Death Casters sought to cement themselves into the culture of Lacrima, looking to be their angelic protectors and saviours in purple and bone. For the next half-millennia, with aid from elements of other Imperial forces and brother Chapters, the Death Casters suitably cleared the xenos
corruption of the Luctum Sector and Rogue Trader and Explorator fleets began to found new settlements and trades, which the Death Casters swore to defend at all costs. A number of strong ties were made between a small number of Rogue Trader houses, which has proven useful in negotiation with other elements of the Imperium’s groups, including elements of the Ordos Xenos
Within this time however, the increased levels of ferocity and synchronised reaction between squads and Companies at heavy losses began to become more noticeable as larger threats appeared to challenge the new Imperial presence, including Drukhari raiders and elements of Chaos bleeding through strongholds in the distant stars surrounding the Luctum Sector. Internally, the Death Casters’ command elements sought to find the source of this issue as further aberrations to the implantation of the Black Carapace became more pronounced as the centuries marched on from their founding. The truths of the Black Rage and Red Thirst were already well known to the chapter from their parentage in the Angels Encarmine and they dealt with those consumed by the Black Rage in the method almost all Blood Angel descendants have done. But the divergent unique mental bond between squads and the consequences of losses within them was becoming harder to hide as elements of the Inquisition kept close scrutiny of these sons of the 21st Founding.
With increased research from their Librarius and Apothecarion, they came to the conclusion that a latent psychic link was shared between all members of the Death Casters and severe traumatic events such as grievous wounds or death would mentally assault them, leading to a faster fall into the Black Rage as the Astartes would descend into a savage and wild blood craze, ending all threats perceived before them. An increase in psychically gifted Astartes also pointed further to this theory after initiates received the chapter’s stock of altered-geneseed as Librarians dealt even further with the psychic shock of the death of their brethren, but the Psychic Hoods utilised by the Librarius proved to be useful in dampening the shared pain. Thus, unique mantles were formed akin to the metal and crystal shrouds used by the psykers to help limit the mental pain and anguish, limiting it mostly to more traumatic deaths amongst squad-mates. But a boon of this unique flaw was that battle-brothers in squads also possessed a useful link to synchronise their attacks to seem to work as one, complementing each other’s flows and firepower when they reach the peak of their combative abilities in open warfare. Atop this, as the chapter continued to scour the Luctum Sector clean of Xenos
presence, they also secretly searched for any source of psy-damping technologies to add or enhance their protective mantles, utilising their links with the Rogue Trader houses and Mechnacius forces that they had formed allegiances and pacts with during their formative centuries. What technologies they have earned is not known beyond the Death Casters’ upper echelons of command and those they have made deals with amongst their allies, but some unique bespoke armour worn by the highest ranks of the chapter hint at unique methods or technology being utilised to prevent them from falling to the flaws of their geneseed and psychic link through the bond of those that they command into battle.
As the centuries have passed from this, the Death Casters earned a number of notable battle-honours that have held them in good stead with a number of forces throughout the northern region of the Segmentum Obscurus, including with Rogue Trader House Cassilon, which was first forged with the cleansing of the Luctum sector. Often the Death Casters have provided them with battle brothers to protect the Rogue Traders’ ships as they seek new planets and resources. In return, the chapter have received a supply of those resources in gratitude. But countering these bonds of friendship and honour pacts, the Death Casters have also earned the ire and scrutiny of a myriad of Imperial forces due to their affliction’s effects.
The Stain of Parallax
A notable incident and mark of shame that has marred the Death Casters reputation even now in the Imperium Nihilus originates from fighting alongside the Shield Bearers chapter, after both undertook catastrophic losses during the Parallax Genocides in 380.M37, against the brutal forces of Lord Discordant Tarr’s Word Bearers. The wild ferocity of the Death Casters’ combat was one that perturbed the more martial and systematic combat of the Shield Bearers, which strained ties to begin with. But as the Death Casters suffered more losses, including deaths from malefic methods of warfare utilised by the corruptive Word Bearers, a chain reaction of falling to the Black Rage and Red Thirst occurred across their squads. The chapter attempted to obscure these terrible occurrences, but as both chapters attempted to defend and evacuate Hive Aurus Prima, reinforcing elements of the Shield Bearers discovered rogue, maddened Death Casters indiscriminately killing all and feasting upon the blood of the fallen. Carrying a contempt for any and all mutations and enshrining purity above all else, the Shield Bearers declared the Death Casters to be corrupted and opened fire upon their afflicted Astartes of the Death Casters to purge the aberration of Astartes purity. This action was answered by the full fury of the Death Casters’ fleet above the Hive when they received word of what had happened. Captain Heleas ordered for that sector of the Hive City to be bombarded with their full arsenal to purge all elements of the Word Bearers’ forces, but also hiding the evidence of what had been seen, preserving the Death Casters’ secret. The bombardment completely annihilated the Shield Bearers that had fired upon the Death Casters’ forces, but also wiped out any remaining forces of their own battle brothers as well, who sacrificed themselves for the good of the Chapter. This single, desperate act completely shattered all bonds of brotherhood between the Shield Bearers and the Death Casters, as the sons of Lacrima explained their reasoning that the Hive City was too far gone with corruption. The Shield Bearers cut off all communication and the two chapters fought their battles separately, avoiding all opportunities to aid each other. The Parallax Sector fell soon after, becoming a charred husk from countless Exterminatus orders to end further daemonic incursions and the sheer madness that had been created by the forces of the Word Bearers, as neither chapter could counter the forces of Chaos on their own.
Sending word of their suspicions to the Death Casters’ actions, the Shield Bearers brought the investigations of Inquisitor Kovohr of the Ordo Hereticus upon the sons of the Cursed Founding. The chapter were placed under arrest upon arrival at Lacrima, undertaking strenuous tests and investigations of loyalty and purity. It was fortunate that those who had fallen to the Death Casters’ curse and subsequent Black Rage had already been given the “Final Mercy” prior to their leaving of the Parallax Sector. But the actions undertaken over Hive Aurus Prima and the close ties the Shield Bearers’ held with the Inquisition and Inquisitor Kovohr led to the Death Casters receiving a century long Penitent Crusade, with recruitment of new aspirants forbidden during that time. The subsequent crusade nearly halved the chapter’s number of Astartes, but they emerged unbroken to the eyes of the Imperium. However ever since the shameful events of the Parallax Sector, elements of the Inquisition continue to monitor the Death Casters at every turn as Inquisitor Kovohr’s retinue spread these beliefs of the Death Casters being a Chapter to always scrutinise over the centuries and millennia until it became gospel by the end of M41. However, with the events of Noctis Aeterna and the tumultuous events following the cutting off from sacred Terra, large elements of these Inquisitorial forces were annihilated through the madness and chaos that descended across the Imperium Nihilus and the memory and teaching of the Death Casters being a risk have slowly faded from focus as greater issues and threats in the besieged and isolated half of the Imperium.
The Call to Baal and Noctis Aeterna
In the final centuries of the 41st Millennium, the fate of the Death Casters seemed increasingly grim, as the sheer ferocity and relentless nature of enemies, both xenos
and chaos continued to harass and attack the Luctum Sector and beyond. The reputation of the chapter’s tainted ferocity and from incidents across the millennia had led them to become outsiders to numerous forces of the Imperium and treated with distant contempt by some commanders and brother-chapters of Astartes. The curse and afflictions that affected them seemed to increase further as a direct result of these arduous campaigns and battles they faced, often without reinforcement. As the final century of M41 dawned, the Death Casters suffered a crippling blow of the utter extermination of the Second Company and their geneseed, as they sought to purge a Necron tomb-world that had recently been discovered, only to awaken the metal Xenos
and be systematically wiped out within a short span of weeks as the curse ruined any chance of a retreat, such was the excruciating brutality of the deaths of their comrades to a full legion of Necrontyr that awoke at their trespassing.
But this was but the prelude to the harrowing centuries that would follow as the Death Casters neared total and irreversible losses to their numbers through further degradation of their affliction through further terrible and brutal events the chapter desperately fought to maintain their control of the Luctum Sector and protect its people. When Hive Fleet Leviathan descended upon Baal and Commander Dante made the call to all descendants of the Blood Angels to answer the call and defend the planet, Chapter Master Phakeos deployed the Sixth Company to immediately make way to Baal, whilst he recalled and mustered all available Death Casters not engaged in critical battles to make their stand alongside their fellow brethren. Their remaining chapter’s journey to Baal was one that became a nightmare of destruction and madness as they became caught in a colossal Warp Storm in in the Nohs Gulf as the events upon Cadia sent shockwaves across the galaxy. By the time the Death Casters reached Baal, their numbers were halved from the fighting within the warp storm that trapped them for what was mere days in realspace, but were weeks for the chapter until they broke free. Upon their arrival, the fighting against the Tyranid and Daemonic hordes at Baal were at their peak. The Death Casters sought to aid and reinforce their brothers of the Sixth Company that had already arrived in the weeks prior. But no remains of the Sixth were present, having already been lost and devoured in a void battle to shatter a splinter fleet in a pyrrhic sacrifice before the bulk of Hive Fleet Leviathan had fallen upon the Baal system itself.
At the conclusion of the Devastation of Baal, the Death Casters now stood at a fifth of their original number that had deployed to Baal, enough to build a mere one and a half companies. Chapter Master Phakeos had survived, but the same could not be said for the four Captains lost in the fierce fighting. With bonds forged with their fellow sons of Sanguinius and with the true horror of the Cicatrix Maledictum forming across the length of the galaxy, the Death Casters sought to return and rebuild upon Lacrima. The loss of so many of his brethren however became a burden too great for Chapter Master Phakeos as he meditated during the journey home, descending to the Black Rage and was summarily given the Final Mercy before he truly fell into utter rageful madness. At this time, all sense of hope was now but a guttering flame in the hearts of the Death Casters as their geneseed continued to degrade as they sought to rapidly grow in number, despite the logarithmic increase in attacks against Imperial worlds. But soon that light would be rekindled at the arrival of the Torchbearer Fleet decades later with the gift of the Primaris.
The ‘Advent Primaris’ became a pivotal moment in the potential fate of the Death Casters as the arrival of the Custodes and their new Greyshield brothers bolstered and regrew the chapter anew. The secrets of creating the Primaris Marines and their new bank of genestock were immediately utilised by Chapter Master Nikel Fulmos. Having been blessed with this new reinforcement of new Death Casters, the chapter have ranged out to retake lost worlds across the Luctum Sector to maintain and Imperial stronghold to the northern edges of the Imperium Nihilus. Numerous firstborn sought to undertake the crossing of the Rubicon Primaris as well, but these were limited in number simply due to the need of active Astartes to counter the threats constantly emerging. As the centuries have passed into the 42nd Millennium, the chapter have also noticed a lack of affliction amongst their newer Primaris brothers raised with the new stock of geneseed provided by the Mechanicum, but the larger than usual amounts of psychically gifted Astartes that grow from these supplies have tempered any true hopes of a turning in the curse that has gripped the Death Casters since their inception.
But regardless of their faults and afflictions, the sons of Lacrima continue to fight on as the angelic champions of the Luctum Sector and the Imperium, striving to maintain the example of their genefather Sanguinius and that of the Emperor Himself.
The Death Casters follow a similar set up to their fellow sons of Sanguinius, adhering to the Codex Astartes, but with additions that are standard across most Blood Angels successors including a Death Company, which with the mutations of their tampered geneseed, it has been heavily utilised in their combat methodology due to the sheer numbers that have fallen to the Black Rage from their plight in recent centuries. Their Chaplaincy, referred to as the “Ebon Sentinels” continue the standard rite and duty of leading their afflicted brethren into combat and guiding them where they are to meet the merciful embrace of death in combat against the Imperium’s foes, or to administer the ‘Final Mercy’ once the battle is ended and some continue to survive. However, in recent history with the sheer loss of number and increased levels of desperation, the Death Casters’ leadership have sought to utilise the Death Company in more than one battle if possible, interring those surviving Astartes in stasis caskets akin to ones used in Dreadnoughts until they arrive at their next battle. But often these second or third engagements, these surviving brethren are fully fallen to the Red Thirst and are unleashed as a wave of mad and bloodlust driven fury that often die quickly as they engage in the deadliest of combat zones on the battlefield.
The chapter also possess a Sanguinary Guard amongst their First Company, their colours inverted to be of polished bone with purple pauldrons to stand out and reflect the light of the Emperor’s fury upon their enemies. Often those within the Sanguinary Guard are those that have survived the afflictions of their geneseed and the loss of their brethren and squadmates. Still, they can fall to the Black Rage and Red Thirst as every descendant of Sanguinius is doomed to suffer inevitably and their sacred and masterly-crafted angelic armour is stored in the Detraxi Vaults beneath Lacrima, waiting to be used once more as others ascend to the vaunted ranks of the Sanguinary Guard.
As is typical with Blood Angels successors, the Death Casters to possess an increased amount of psykers within their Chapter. But in their case, it is further increased by their unique genetic flaw from their creation, with an even greater number of Librarians being found within their Company and Chapter structure. Librarian Dreadnoughts can be found across the Companies and have been seen to lead their fellow Astartes in a number of engagements and deployments. Librarians often attempt to dampen the shared link between their fellow Death Casters using their abilities by keeping some distance from the battle lines but often it cannot be done when combat is fully joined.
The arrival of the Torchbearer fleet and the Primaris Decree was greatly welcomed by the Chapter after the tragic and cataclysmic events that had befallen them and the Imperium at large during Noctis Aeterna and their failure to reach Baal. The additions of the new Primaris Astartes and war material have been quickly integrated into the Chapter’s structure, with a more than half of their Companies being made almost entirely of Primaris marines to fill the empty ranks and lost companies.
The Death Casters attempt to maintain a strong Scout Company to ensure their legacy continues throughout the dark era the Imperium Nihilus is enduring. This includes breaking typical Codex teachings by increasing the retinue of their Tenth company to anywhere between 150 to 200 when at full strength simply to replace their constant losses from combat or from their genetic curse, but often it is depleted quickly throughout their history from the constant intense battles the Death Casters face and from undertaking marks of penance throughout their history.
Despite their marred and tainted history and legacy through the ill-fortunes of their creation, the Death Casters maintain a strong and unshakable belief that despite their afflictions wrought by their geneseed, they are all champions and angels of the Imperium sent to protect humanity from the myriad of enemies that seek to bring ruin and death to the Emperor’s citizens. As such, their armour is often fashioned to look as celestial and noble as is possible, with little in the way of terrifying effigies or icons of death and despair towards their enemies. They see their actions in combat and a visible enough symbol to those that earn the ire and vengeance of the Emperor’s Angels that scour away the abominations that seek to destroy the Imperium.
The curse itself that all Death Casters will suffer and inevitably succumb too is looked upon without shame, but one of acceptance of the sacrifices they must undertake to ensure the Imperium survives, especially during the current era after the Cicatrix Maledictum tore the Imperium in two and their stranding within the northern regions of the Imperium Nihilus.
The chapter’s link to their Primarch, Sanguinius is one that is held in the highest regard. The Death Casters hold the opinion that their genefather was the greatest hero of the Imperium during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy after the Emperor himself, for Sanguinius had selflessly sacrificed himself fighting the arch-traitor Horus to allow the Emperor to defeat them and send the traitor Legions retreating into the Warp. Icons of a teardrop of blood is often worn across their armour and adornments, reminding the chapter of their legacy as they seek to follow Sanguinius’ example.
TO DO LIST:
And that's it for now, hopefully COVID work doesn't fully draw me away to get this done in time. Feedback as always is welcomed.
Edited by Brother Cambrius, 01 April 2021 - 02:35 AM.