"For a thousand years we have given ourselves to the Imperium. Our blood has been spent instead of its children, our lives given as a tithe for the innocent. A hundred times our Chapter has faced annihilation but we have survived. And yet now, as the light of the Astronomicon dims we are called upon one last time to give ourselves wholly and completely. So, come brothers, let us die so that these wretched souls may live one more say...
Captain Jodus Ammeo (KIA) - Battle of St Pelinards Spire M41
Salvation through sacrifice: IA - Star Leopards
" They call us cursed. That we are fated to fail. I think they are cursed because their fear of failure means they won't even try"
Captain Konor Pell - Battle the Martyr's Plaza M41
There are many whom call the Star Leopards cursed. A statement stemming from their likely founding during the infamous 13th Founding. Like many of the Chapters from that dark founding the Star Leopards have no true record of their creation, rather hints and half truths hidden in Imperial Records on worlds through out the Imperium. Indeed they don't even have a reliable source of information on their primogenitor. Whilst they loosely claim to be children of the Primarch of the Salamanders, Vulkan, there gene samples show genetic markers from both the sons of Nocturne as well as several markers unique to the Imperial Fists. Whilst this lack of their knowledge of their past has haunted many of their brother Chapters to the Star Leopards they put little stock in what their past may have been, instead preferring to focus on their current path and their future.
The first record of the Chapter are in the early days of the 36 Millennium as they begun operations in Mercurian's Passage, a narrow treacherous section of space that provided a rich and easy trade route for the Vandimos Dynasty of Rogue Traders whom had petitioned the High Lords for greater security along the vital trade route. The passage, although typically stable, was known to sudden and unpredictable savage warp storms that brought with them all manner of warp born horrors as well as the various detritus of warp born space, such as space hulks containing ork warbands or genestealers. These threats plus the ever present pirate raids meant the frontier region, although profitable, was also high risk. So it was into this crucible the Star Leopards were sent. They would establish a fortress of the frontier world of Argentis, an ocean world split by rugged forested islands home to Imperial colonists and native tribes.
The first signs of what would become known as the chapters curse soon begun to show. The Chapter seemed to be dogged with seemingly unwinnable battles. Whilst they were no less able then their brother Chapters they seemed to be plunged into a seemingly constant array of impossible conflicts. First it was the (insert some examples here that show not ineptitude but rather crap situations) Whilst many others would have become disheartened, not the Star Leopards. They continued to throw themselves into whatever fate demanded, their Chapter being brought to the edge of extinction several times but always they came back with dogged determination.
The fall of Cadia and the birth of the Cicatrix Maledictum plunged the entire Imperium into chaos. None escaped the nightmarish hell of the Warp spilling into real space and the Star Leopards were no better off. Argentis itself came under sustained attack from the denizens of the Immaterium. The Chapter dug in and attempted to save their homeworld but it was a battle marred by the Chapters curse. Faced with never ending waves of daemons as well as countless warbands of Chaos even the unexpected aid of the Eldar of Craftworld Yme-Loc could do nothing to stem the tide. As the battle hung in the balance the Farseer Talondir of the Eldar host approached the Chapter Master of the Star Leopards. He had a deal. He had seen the future of the Chapter, its destruction should they continue to fight. But he offered a deal that would save the Chapter. He could, via the webway, sent some of the planets survivors as well as what was left of the Chapter to safety. But in exchange they would need to detonate the Chapter's ammunition store and destroy the homeworld forever. For the world of Argentis was home to a long dormant Web portal but it was one the eldar couldn't allow to fall into Chaos hands. It was an impossible decision but one that had to be made. And as the last of the Star Leopards that were able fled the planet via the Aeldari's magics Chapter Master Kristof stayed behind to detonate the warheads that would reduce Argentis to dust.
The Chapter was in ruins. Scattered to the winds, its Chapter Master gone and its homeworld destroyed the Chapter was again on the brink of extinction. This time, however, they lacked a homeworld to draw recruits from. Even the enigmatic Eldar whom had brought them from the ruins of their homeworld disappeared. But the Chapter was determined to survive. The remaining Captains and leaders of the Chapter gathered and formed a plan. The remaining warrior houses would separate, each going different ways, to look for a new homeworld, seek out recruits and to prove the Chapter still a threat to the enemies of the Imperium. They coined this the Redemption Crusade. The arrival of Guilliman and his Primaris only strengthened the Chapter.
Still the Redemption Crusade goes on, with reports of the Star Leopards fighting in warzones across the beleaguered Imperium. There arrival is oft a welcome relief for the commanders of humanity know that the Star Leopards will answer the call for aid, no matter the aid.
- Believe that they can only earn redemption and honour through sacrifice
- Hold the Salamander mindset of protecting even the smallest innocent at their own loss
- Believe in reincarnation and that a life spent well will reward you in the next life. This comes from the beliefs of the natives of Argentis
- "It is better to die for the Emperor, then live for yourself"
- Cross between Codex and Black Templars
- Commonly strike from Thunderhawk and Drop pod, inserting themselves between the enemy and the innocent.
- Every marine life matters, so spend it well. Must ensure Chapter survives
- Have both Crusader squads and Tactical. Up to the individual Captain.
- Not Codex Compliant. Mix of Codex and Great House/Warrior lodge set up.
- Chapter decimated so split into smaller crusading groups.
- Organised around the "9 and 1 Houses" - 9 Company sized groups plus the "Houseless" or scouts.
- First House was the veterans but were destroyed on Argentis. Now all houses keep their own veterans till they can restore the First House.
- Scout Company mostly disbanded amoungst the various company forces. Each has their own Master of Recruits following 10th House Captains death on Argentis
- Unknown source but bears both markings from Salamanders and Fists, but have different organ failures then both
- Have an Ultramarine Geneseed contingent of Primaris.
- Gene-seed believed to be cursed, causing the Chapter to face impossible odds.
- Wear "Oath Chains" as oaths of moments rather then purity seals. Particularly important oaths, when sworn, are engraved onto chains that are then hung on a brothers armour till he completes the oath, then he is able to ceremoniously break the chain. Some brothers then have these chains melted down and made into rounds for their bolters, or service studs or other accessories.
- Some wear tabards and more knightly accouterments, although not to the level of the Templars.
- Ultramarines still very codex in their organisation.
- Captains and VIP wear leopard pelts from their homeworld, but these are becoming fewer are further between.