Born from this thread on the first Liber Day, I felt that the idea needed exploring further despite promising to do a write up for both the Red Sentinels and a chosen chapter at the same time. However, since I am using Fury Road as a large influence on this Chapter, the concept has pretty much had a total rewrite besides one or two major points. More will follow, however it is getting late and I will need to sleep.
Of course, comments and critique are looked for so don't be shy to speak up just because I'm a Mod. Turd or otherwise, the article will need polishing, and I'm not above making conceptual blunders.
CHAPTER MASTER: Master Yaasef Hektor, the Undying
CHAPTER WORLD: Waste
FORTRESS MONASTERY: The Monument
MAIN COLOURS: Red and Silver
SPECIALITY: Mobile Warfare, Mechanised Pursuit, Seek and Destroy, Long Range Patrols
BATTLE CRY: "We shall ride eternal!"
CURRENT STRENGTH: 789 Battle Brothers
KNOWN DESCENDANTS: Silver Sons (Destroyed), Crimson Host
Late in the 33rd millennium, the Red Sentinels were formed during the sixth founding in response to portended threats to Imperial hegemony on the southern galactic rim. The greatest of these threats, shown by the card The Beast, was to be the largest Ork Waaagh! of the millennium. The Red Sentinels, alongside another freshly founded Chapter and a clutch of Guard regiments, was to be sent to halt and exterminate this menace.
Their brothers in arms - the Bronze Barbarians - were formed from the genes of Dorn, exemplifying his stubborn nature and melee prowess. Time and again they charged headlong into the fray, knowing only to advance. They led the way, ahead of the Sentinels and ahead of the mortals that supported the extermination. On Draise a company fought unsupported and emerged victorious. At the Mensine Pass, the Chapter Master held a critical bottleneck with just five other Barbarians against Goffs of all stripes until the horde was bombed to oblivion. During the Herule Liberation the Chapter rescued crusade command from a particularly determined counter attack led by Deathskull weirdboyz and a myriad of looted Imperial vehicles. They knew little of defeat.
However, not given to strategic withdrawal, they were caught short in the system known for time to come simply as ‘Waste’. It was here that that Chapter crippled the Ork Waaagh!, bringing the warlord to heel and smashing the mechanised divisions of the greenskins. This, however, was not enough. Crushed under the might of the Ork gargants and stompas, the Bronze Barbarians took a last stand and fell before aid could be rendered by the Sentinels. They had gambled on a mighty victory and failed. Whatever regiments that had landed on Waste to support the Barbarians perished too, their blood soaking the land.
The Red Sentinels, relishing the purge of the Waaagh! as their first trial by fire, found their fellows dead and broken. Strewn across a multitude of battlefields lay the remains of the Barbarians, committed in their entirety. With the Barbarian's ships in orbit broadcasting a mourning dirge across all channels - by the order of the last few alive - the Sentinels were left to prosecute the reduced horde. The rest of the crusade force, moving to conclude the campaign with but a choice selection their post-human allies, knew no better of the fall of the Barbarians until weeks after the fact.
The vestiges of the Waaagh!, while much less of a threat to the Chapter, still had a sting in their tail. Lumbering through the northern mountains was a host under an Ork known as Boss Kromedakka, leading the column in his own mekboy gargant. Here, the enemy moved in force - pillaging, slaying and slaving what humans that could not escape their grasp. The Sentinels, though, cared little in mourning. Using the guns of the fleet in orbit, they unleashed hell, vaporising vast swathes of greenskins and plummeting the planet into a sudden and harsh winter from the dust blocking out the sun.
But the Red Sentinels were not finished. Dropping in force at the foot of the range, they marshaled their strength and advanced. The Orks found themselves cut off piecemeal in the mountain canyons, the Sentinels sought to use fast moving elements of their own to target the regrouping greenskins. Initially, they made great gains, slaughtering them by the hundreds. However, attrition soon began to tell and the Red Sentinels had to commit their slower moving dreadnoughts and tanks to prosecute the war, rolling along the canyons and probing side valleys with overwhelming firepower.
The climax of the fighting, though not the last of it, revolved around Kromedakka’s own monstrosity and his trusted minions. It was here that the last great strength the greenskins had was dashed to the ground and immolated. The casualties, higher than expected, ensured that the Red Sentinels did not walk away easily. Amongst the carpet of green at the canyon floor lay a great many of the regal sons of Sanguinius, death having claimed them in their fight against the ramshackle gargants and stompas.
With Kromedakka’s own head taken as a trophy, the Red Sentinels gathered their wits and surveyed the situation - they needed to repair and recoup. They also needed to recruit to maintain their strength. Waste was not just some trophy world won for Imperium, it was where their brothers had died - where the Barbarians had died. At the very least, a memorial needed to be raised.
The decision to make Waste a temporary layover was agreed upon and the Sanguine Citadel, the Sentinel's relic flagship, took station over the main continent. Around it was gathered a multitude of ships, of Sentinel red and silver, Barbarian bronze and Tempestus grey. By writ of the High Lords, the remaining assets of the lost Barbarians were to be repurposed for a new founding and soon they, and those ships of Battlefleet Tempestus left the Sentinels alone.
The temporary stop dragged on many months and the Chapter recruited new neophytes from the motor-tribes and gun-clans, the Sentinels considered permanently making Waste their home. Emperor knew how bloody the locals could be - they were a hardy people, not unlike the denizens of Baal. Some of them had even expressed fearless aggression towards the astartes trespassing on their world.
The sprawling edifice of the Bronze Barbarians tomb, a testament to the fallen sons of Dorn, became somewhat of a touchstone for the Sentinels. Here, twenty-seven Barbarians braved the nuclear winter to guard over their fallen brethren, stoic to the last. It was at the central monument that the Master of the Sentinels received a vision - a grand tapestry of battle and service to Imperium stretching for years uncounted. All from there, on Waste.
A dusty, sandy clod of earth, Waste was of little value to the Imperium beyond simple manpower prior to the Red Sentinels arrival. At the time of their arrival, it was little more than a convenient battleground. Classified as a feudal world, a truer assessment would be to call it a death world. Petty warlords and tribal kings rule their patches of rock ruthlessly, alliance and power an ever shifting beast reliant on spilt blood and an iron grasp on resources.
Roving bands of warriors and outcasts make even the unclaimed hinterlands dangerous. The only area of guaranteed calm lies in the lands around The Monument, where no permanent settlements are permitted to exist. Here one can find wary traders, nomadic by necessity, and refugees of all stripes.
Lone road warriors, often mentally unhinged or malnourished, provide sport for bullet-barons and insane warlords alike. Encounters range from drawn out chases, running the madmen to ground, to volatile cat and mouse games at the behest of the powerful.
Waste itself is an unforgiving ball of phosphex fallout, the bombs themselves having been dropped during the time of the Horus Heresy itself. Threadbare records suggest that this act of destruction was made offhand by a Night Lords contingent, cut off from the main legion. It is unknown whether these records were captured from the dead or were deliberately left to sow fear. Evidence of when the apocalypse on Waste occurred is left in the footprint of extinct cities and smouldering phosphex calderas.
The dust storms that rage across Waste contrast sharply to the brilliant blue, cloudless skies. Aside from these scouring tempests, the only real weather to come by are the night rains. Little more that dewy drizzle, these rains are the life blood of the native population. Those that can hoard it do so mercilessly and seek to capitalise on the boon.
The people themselves are, by turns, a sickly lot. Still affected by the intense fallout of the apocalypse visited on their ancestors, the average age is less than forty as tumours and other ailments take their toll. Reasonably healthy individuals are a prized commodity and a weak slave trade exists amongst the blasted wastes.
The Red Sentinels generally follow the organisation of the codex. There appears to be some unorthodox units within the Chapter - such as the so-called 'Black Marked' - these are mounted on bikes and land speeders to aid them in pursuing and catching enemies. Units are usually ritually blackened, from head to toe, and mounted on their steeds as soon as possible. They are then set loose upon the enemy like rabid hounds, led to the fight by a similarly mounted Chaplain.
With the Chapter's predilection for mobile warfare, much of the Sentinels - those not equipped with jump packs - will have their own dedicated transport for individuals, often on back of bikes. As such the motor pool for the Sentinels is, while extensive, described as 'sufficient'.
Recruitment from the hinterlands of Waste lies firmly in the hands of Chaplains. Known to the Chapter as 'Witnessing', Chaplains will stalk the lands and petty territories, on the look out for promising youngsters warring with their enemies. These boys, little more than bottom-rung members of their tribes and clans, will often be taken in the aftermath of battle, sometimes even when they are on the verge of breathing their last.
Already proven capable, the Red Sentinels have little need to test these boys further. Blooded in combat and experienced in the hardships of living on Waste, these children are inducted into the Chapter Creed and their contaminated blood is cleansed by the time honoured gene-seed implantation process, one virtually identical to Blood Angel practices aside from cosmetic differences and rituals.
M34 - Cyclopia Proximal
Greenskins are a foe that the Red Sentinels greatly relish facing - both enjoy mechanised warfare and the Sentinels see it as a challenge to prove their own vehicles, tactics and prowess as superior. Of course, their sacred duty to exterminate the Orks is never forgotten and they proudly claim the heads of their leaders for the sake of making trophies. Cyclopia Proximal, nominally a Mechanicus demesne, was a world captured by roving Orks under the banner of the freeboota, Kaptin Blacktoof. Industry on Cyclopia, though under the ministration of tech-priests, could still be described as basic. Much of the work undertaken involved clothing, bootlaces, gun shrouds and flak armour. In and of itself, Cyclopia was not strategically vital, however it did equip large numbers of Imperial Guard regiments and PDF garrisons with basic gear and therefore it warranted liberating.
Closest to the stricken world and the first to receive the distress calls was a Red Sentinels contingent on layover in the next system taking on supplies from a Navy stockyard. Making best speed for Cyclopia, the Sentinels arrived within a week, despite warp squalls and turbulence. The Kroozers in orbit, slow in responding to the Red Sentinels Strike Cruiser and her Escorts, attacked without thought. Collectively, they could have likely inflicted serious losses on the Red Sentinels but alone they proved much easier to handle. Taking on each vessel either head on or using the celestial phenomena to their advantage, the Sentinels destroyed the Kroozers piecemeal. Even the Ramships, composed almost entirely of a solid lump of metal, were ranged and destroyed before they became a menace.
With orbital superiority achieved, the Sentinels launched a two-pronged assault on Cyclopia to establish a foothold. One prong consisted of the aerial elements owned by the Sentinels, sent on seek and destroy missions before withdrawing to patrol the landing zones. The other consisted of the main body of the Sentinels, namely the second company and it's attending support from the eighth company, which then secured their beach head in the cobalt-Savannah. Although aerial superiority was achieved and over a dozen priority targets were eliminated, the Stormtalons and Thunderhawks were brought down by Blacktoof's main horde.
With zero aerial support, the ground elements of the Sentinels drew in their ranging patrols from the outland mill-towns and the tanner manufactoriums, gathered their strength to take out the warboss himself and fragment the Orks. Arrayed against them was no small number of Orks riding wagons, wartrakks and trucks alongside a sole gargant that would be the biggest threat the Sentinels would face. The fighting was bloody and arduous. Wherever they made gains, the space marines found fresh Orks eager to join the fray.
Beheading the beast would prove a tricky affair, with the Kaptin using his own gargant as bait for the Sentinels. Even as the depleted ranks of the Black Marked invaded the towering war engine and wreaked havoc, Blacktoof had been cunning. The flash, and subsequent evaporation of the gargant, annihilated those aboard. The detonating reactor crippled the Sentinels assault, at the cost of gutting the Ork horde. Less than a third of the Sentinels remained, almost entirely on foot.
Blacktoof had escaped. Or he should have, had he any ships or flyers left to extract him. Even though the Kaptin himself bolted, he was chased down and overcome by the Sentinels. The astartes pursued the Ork for the better part of three weeks in the cobalt-Savannah, first outlasting his trukk and then proving superior in stamina by catching Blacktoof himself.
The casualties of the mission were unacceptably high by most standards. To the Sentinels, the survivors had acquitted themselves with honour, not letting their brothers sacrifices be in vain. They were an example to be followed, for others to remember that the chase is not over while any Sentinel still lived.
Early M37 - Destruction of the Silver Sons
Operating in the Segmentum Solar and based on the feudal world of Argyr Chloris, the Silver Sons met with success in prosecuting traitor forces during the Black Crusades of the previous millennium. It was during the Wrath of the Chaos Sun that things began to unravel. The Silver Sons, for their part, performed admirably and prosecuted the campaign honourably and without incident, fighting alongside such august institutions like the Legio Titanica and the Grey Knights. For ten years they performed their duty, neither asking for glory or seeking higher standing among their peers. Unknown to the Chapter and unknown their allies, something had wormed it's way in, persisting even after they were mind wiped for their extensive operations alongside Ordo Malleus agents.
This cancer in the Chapter took it's time to manifest, decades after the initial infection. How this corruption was missed by the librarians of the Chapter, it is not known but one theory points to the Librarius of the Silver Sons being the first victim of malignant powers. The manifestation triggered a full lock down on Argyr Chloris, catching the majority of the Chapter inside the Emerald Keep, and prompted a purge for those brothers still uncorrupted. As the Silver Sons tore themselves apart from within, the remaining forces not in lock down were ordered to seek aid from their parent Chapter. Unfortunately for the Sons, traitors hid amongst those ordered to get help and loosed a brace of cyclonic torpedoes on their homeworld.
With Argyr consumed, all but dead and dust, those Silver Sons that remained were stunned. With the Emerald Keep on lockdown, they had hoped that at least some of those inside had been spared the plasma firestorm. As they began to hunt for the traitors in their midst, they called to the Keep, hoping against hope that someone would answer back. Even as those suspected of treachery were executed, no response came. What more could they do? A course was set for Waste and the dead were mourned.
The distress calls made by the Silver Sons in their final hours had not gone unnoticed. Assuming control of an investigative force, one Mal Vergen - Ordo Herecticus Inquisitor - began to pick over the bones of Argyr Chloris and the Emerald Keep. The corruption was not hard to root out from those bodies that had been spared the initial plasma overwash, while cogitators and fragmentary records allowed him to piece together who was left and where they were going. Four months into the investigation, Inquisitor Vergen chartered a course for Waste, following in the wake of the last of the Silver Sons.
Between the Segmentum Solar and the Southern Rim, the warp was tumultuous. Eddies and squalls delayed both the Sons and Vergen, both arriving many months after the Red Sentinels had first received word of the destruction of Argyr Chloris and the trouble that the Silver Sons had become mired in. With no contact, a company was sent to the Emerald Keep to ascertain what had happened. As the Silver Sons approached Waste, they were commanded to hold fast and come no closer. The Silver Sons wanted aid, not a stand off. The Red Sentinels, marshaling their forces, wanted an explanation for the events on Argyr. When Inquisitor Vergen arrived and declared the Silver Sons traitoris perdita, the Sons' pleas were silenced.
Seeing that there was no respite to be given, the Sons attempted to flee. They knew that the Inquisiton were likely to disband the Chapter. They could not allow that, after all those hundreds of years of duty and sacrifice. Their Chapter had done much for the Imperium and they sincerely wished to survive to do more. To Vergen and the Sentinels, it was seen as confirmation of their guilt. With a heavy heart, the Sentinels opened fire. Along with Vergen's own flotilla, they lay waste to the last of the Silver Sons, forever destroying the Chapter and it's legacy.
But the events do not stop there. The Red Sentinels were the ones that the Silver Sons had reached out to and, with what Vergen knew, had become suspect themselves. The Sentinels would be subject to years of scrutiny and testing, many of their brothers being psychically tested as well as physically. Even Waste itself was investigated, it's nascent psykers taken away and many of the most powerful warlords spirited off-planet or otherwise silenced. Vergen himself had threatened to destroy the Red Sentinels should they be contaminated or found wanting. In his eyes, they were indeed found wanting. To him the Black Rage and the Red Thirst were manifestations of gene-seed defects, ill educated as he was of Blood Angel genetics. The Master of the Red Sentinels, however, convinced him of a righteous path, a final test. They were to embark on a penitent crusade, not allowed to recruit or communicate with other Imperial forces for one century until they had completed their journey. Should they survive such a task, they would be free to return to Waste and resume their duties to the Golden Throne. Should they fail or fall short, they were to be hunted and eliminated.
To this day, the Chapter bitterly remembers the penitent crusade much akin to a walk of shame. Vergen himself, while remembered in good stead in other circles, was vilified by the Sentinels. He was the prime example of why the Inquisition could not be trusted.
M41 - Priese
Perhaps the most apocalyptic of battles in the past millennium for the Red Sentinels was the refinery world of Priese. Under the aegis of the munitorum, Priese was a strategic resource unrivalled for light years around. Here the vast armies and fleets of the southern rim were supplied with promethium and a myriad of other fuels.
Led by Master Hektor, the first company and elements from the second and sixth struck at the heart of the heretic stronghold as Guard regiments by the dozen made planetfall. Deep within Priese itself lay the canker that had corrupted the oligarch and his ruling council - a Word Bearer. His name was not known nor did he give it. All that mattered was that foul powers had sought to turn a vital part of the Imperial war machine against itself.
Against the Word Bearer's mortal legions the Red Sentinels made good headway. Few fell where scores of these human dregs were cast aside like broken, bloody puppets. Deeper into the silo-complexes they went, barely slowed by the cultists, led by Hektor and his relic plasma blaster. It was on the ninth basement level that the second obstruction truly showed itself. Cackling daemons, spitting fire and defying the laws of nature, claimed more Sentinels in the first minutes of meeting them than the entire human horde had.
Here and there strode traitor legiones astartes, killing beleaguered individuals, falling only to the direct and dedicated application of firepower. The headlong assault that Hektor had spearheaded became mired down and strung out. Where the rearguard had been indefinitely stalled by a promethium inferno that flooded the corridors ahead of them, they chose to fortify and defend. These late echelons were entirely out of their element fighting in confined spaces and hunkering down. For them to defend a specific area was a choice not taken lightly. Ahead of them, the main body of the Red Sentinels following the terminator vanguard sought to push onward through sheer bloody mindedness.
Beset by daemons and traitors they took too long to reach their Master, who had faced down the Word Bearer... and lost. Hektor, impaled in multiple places and without either of his arms, could only look on as his First Captain struck down the foe. The entire time, the Word Bearer laughed. Even as he fell, he was not defeated. The facility shook as, somewhere not too far from the fighting, a vast macro-silo exploded. This, in turn, began a chain reaction that would not stop even after the surviving Sentinels evacuated off-world. Priese had been saved, but at a great cost to the Sentinels and the Imperium.
The rescue of Master Hektor was nothing short of a minor miracle and the survivors of the vanguard, to a man, were sworn to silence. So too were the members of the Apothecarion that had tended to the body and interred it into a sarcophagus. First Captain Remus was insistent - Hektor had not fallen. For those that had not witnessed the broken form of their lord and spiritual leader, little was awry. Upon their return to Waste, Hektor - Captain Remus in disguise - held a victory feast.
Primarily a Chapter focused upon mechanised warfare, the Sentinels maintain a sizable armour pool and rely on the individual skills of their bothers as well as techmarines and serfs to keep the vehicles in peak condition. With such a great emphasis on their vehicles that has developed over the years, combat doctrine has come to revolve around them. Each squad not only has a rhino assigned to them, but is also responsible for it's 'performance', preparing and modifying their ride as best they can.
To a degree, the Chapter also maintains a large fleet of bikes and land speeders for brothers acting as outriders or as scouts for the main force. These fast vehicles, in tandem with any storm eagles available, can act as a rapid reaction or pursuit force, often outrunning and out-ranging even the modified tanks of the Chapter.
When prosecuting an assault on an immobile enemy, entrenched or otherwise, the usual strategy is to force entry or a breach with heavier vehicles and storm the the foe with the fury all scions of Sanguinius are born with. Should an enemy escape, any Sentinel would gleefully chase them down, relishing the pursuit and taking great pleasure at catching them.
"We shall ride eternal!"
A ritual inherited from the natives of Waste, is the application of sacred machine oils to the face. Often, in preparation for battle, a space marine will solemnly and quietly pray to the God-Emperor while applying the oils by hand to his face and/or scalp. Markings vary between the Sentinels and will have personal significance to each in turn. Common areas that are focused upon are the eyes, the cheeks and the forehead.
With the focus on transportation and speed, and the nature of the background many of the Sentinels came from before their elevation, there are whole treatises within the Chapter on what and how to maintain and 'get the most' out of their rides. These are ‘unsanctioned alterations’ and ‘misconduct toward machine spirits’, as the Adeptus Mechanicus has bluntly described such 'tinkering'. To avoid being black-listed outright, the Chapter has described their 'tinkering' as essential and wholly needed battlefield repairs, citing the similar speeds vehicles amongst other Blood Angel chapters as evidence of what is expected of the machinery the Red Sentinels operate. The Adeptus Mechanicus, though not convinced by this story, has time and again chosen not to challenge the Sentinels further. Why this is, the Sentinels do not know but they do blame this disagreement for being repeatedly treated as a tertius-grade priority by the Adeptus Mechanicus. This consequently has led to an even deeper rooting of the customisation culture amongst the Sentinels.
Based on Blood Angel gene-seed, the progenoids of the Red Sentinels have fared relatively well over the millennia despite the flaws inherent in the parent gene-seed. While this means that they are similarly afflicted with the Black Rage and the Red Thirst, it bodes well that no further mutations have been allowed to settle in, the Sanguinary Priests purging those progenoids that fail the purity tests.
It is documented that the Red Sentinels have had the honour of siring two successor Chapters - the Silver Sons and the Crimson Host. Of the Silver Sons, a tragic tale worthy of Shakespire can be told of their downfall, their destruction not only dooming their own world but very nearly dooming the Red Sentinels, too. Although the full details have never been disclosed by the Inquisition, it is suspected by the Sentinels that the gene-seed of the Silver Sons played a major part in the spiral downward towards oblivion.
The original Hektor and one of the most venerable Sentinels still alive, had been a charismatic and powerful warrior, always leading from the front. Old, even at the time of his rise to the rank, Hektor strode the battlefields of the 41st millennium as the 'Undying'. Such was his power of character and grasp on the chapter creed, many of the Red Sentinel brethren looked up to and revered him as the right hand of the Emperor, the one to do His work. By the time of his fall in battle he had led the Sentinels through times darker than any could remember (see subfile 3b), culminating in the fighting on the refinery world Priese that would see him eventually interred in a dreadnought sarcophagus.
With Hektor himself, the Undying, laid low and given to the deep slumber of the venerable brothers, his legacy and his charisma lived on. Shrewdly, the first company captain, then called Agun Remus, took on the armour and mantle of Hektor himself becoming the second Hektor and beginning what some later described as a 'dynasty of one'. And so on it went, as Hektor slumbered he was soon treated as a secret and a dire threat to the integrity of the Hektor persona. Each time 'Hektor' has fallen in battle, the account was altered and a new 'Hektor' was arranged. Select heads of the chapter that were privy to this secret take great pains to engineer matters to keep Hektor immortal, even if it meant sacrificing any witnesses.
Hektor, the original, in stasis for centuries, is considered a deep secret of the Chapter. It is not without trepidation, then, that the Master of the Forge has chosen to move against his fellows and reawaken the old Hektor. Perhaps it is internal politics, or perhaps it is something else but after Hektor awakens only one thing is certain - civil war.
Edited by Olis, 06 March 2016 - 05:34 PM.