Hi folks, starting this thread to document my homebrew chapter fluff as I get into a Crusade campaign with some friends. I've been a Blood Angel player since the White Dwarf codex and wanted to try a homebrew successor for this Crusade league.
+++ THE ANGELS FATALIS +++
Founding Chapter: Blood Angels
Chapter Master: Thadeon Kul
Homeworld: Kokkedan IV (Secondary tithe rights to Kokkedan Secondus and the Kokkedan Shardworlds)
Fortress-Monastery: Antemurale Argentum (Orbital)
Muster Strength: Approximately 600 Astartes, including 200 Primaris Space Marines, divided up between 6 companies
Imperial records documenting the origin of the Angels Fatalis are scant at best. What little that has not been redacted, destroyed, or simply lost to the perils of Imperial bureaucracy indicates the chapter was raised from the Blood Angels gene-seed to support the Dark Paladins' holy crusade against the Necron machines of Jarrman Primus. Surviving records of the chapter's first centuries suggest the Angels Fatalis suffered devastating losses that coincide chronologically with the disastrous end of the Dark Paladins' ill-fated crusade, but collected reports from Rogue Trader vessels in the vicinity of the Jarrman system provide no evidence to indicate the Angels Fatalis were ever present in the Jarrman conflict.
Their numbers reduced and their estimation in the eyes of the Highlords of Terra now diminished for reasons lost to Imperial records, the brothers of the Angels Fatalis embarked on a lengthy series of penitent crusades, culminating in the brutal Kokkedan campaign.
In the minds of many among the chapter, the Kokkedan Campaign marks the true beginning of the chapter's history. The campaign saw the chapter drive a tendril of Hive Fleet Kraken from the Kokkedan system, at great cost. The forgeworld of Kokkedan Prime, once an unrivalled supplier of Munitorum atomics, was almost entirely obliterated, reduced to constituent particles and space dust. The refinery and refueling world of Kokkedan III was rent asunder, casting staggeringly massive shards of the ruined world into an irregular orbit around the system star.
The only Imperial-populated world left in the system in the wake of this apocalyptic conflict was Kokkedan IV, a peculiar planet the chapter's scholiasts suspect was once enveloped in a globe-spanning ocean long-since stripped away. Beneath the corpse-dunes of the Kokkedan system's fourth planet, the Mechanicus harvested a rare radioisotope used in the manufacture and operation of miniaturized atomics, both bombs and reactors.
While the Angels Fatalis will tell you they were tithed the title to the world of Kokkedan IV to honor their sacrifice in the defense of Kokkedan against the Tyrannic threat, wiser Imperial onlookers may suggest that in the wake of the world-shattering war, it was simply more logical to offload the burden of governance and logistics for a radioactive hell world filled with refugees to the Astartes, who were all to happy to allow Mechanicus radioisotope extraction operations to continue on the surface.
From the remains of ruined orbital drydocks and stations, the chapter raised a great glimmering orbital-monastery, the Antemurale Argentum, which quickly became a storied paradise in the heavens to the ash-wasters, refugees, and mining gangs of Kokkedan IV.
Like so many other chapters birthed from Sanguinius' gene-seed, the reality of this 'paradise' was anything but.
After centuries of brutal, unceasing warfare and little support from other Chapters of the Blood, the Angels Fatalis' hold over the Flaw, the spiritual curse of Sanguinius' gene-sons, had deteriorated greatly. The Antemurale Argentum was more prison for the mad and damned than it was fortress-monastery, whole sections of the orbital dedicated to restraining and safeguarding those brothers who had fallen to the Black Rage in the preceding conflicts, with more joining their ranks every day even in the aftermath of the war.
The chapter's fortunes outwardly appeared to be improving, but they stood on a knife-edge precipice with annihilation on both sides. Lord Commander Tithian, the second to lead the Angels, decreed that new Astartes would be recruited from the population of Kokkedan IV, be they honour-tithed champions from the syndicate mining families or warlords out of the irradiated corpse-dune wastelands. So desperate were the Angels Fatalis to replenish their ranks that few who survived the perilous trials were turned away, and to this day many veteran brothers of the Chapter come from mortal past lives as blood-soaked as their existence as sons of Sanguinius.
It was close to a century later when the chapter's Sanguinary Priesthood discovered that among those mortals who had lived a great deal of their lives on Kokkedan IV, a not-insignificant amount of the radioisotope so treasured by the Mechanicus could be found in the blood. The Priesthood followed this discovery to the conclusion that an as-yet unknown interaction between the elemental substance and the vitae of Sanguinius' gene-seed had a modulating effect on the Flaw, suppressing the likelihood of total collapse into the Black Rage but elevating violent, predator instinct and impulse. Like a burner below a cauldron, keeping it always at a roil but not quite spilling over, it seemed a morbid hope for the survival of the chapter.
Tithian's successor, Imrakos, instituted the practice of the Blood Tithe, still in place today. During the annual festival of Sanguinala, celebrated across Imperial space to honor the sacrifice of the Lord Sanguinius before the Arch-Traitor, all citizens report to processing sites overseen by the Priesthood, now the Keepers of the Ashen Blood. Through this blood-tithe, the Angels Fatalis collect annual stocks of irradiated blood, carefully mixed with the distillation of their progenitor's vitae to control the Flaw. Dark rumors abound among Imperial observers about the long term effects this has on the veterans and ancients of the chapter, whose faces are clad always in the ash-blasted, bone-hued ceramite helm worn by the chapter's most-capable warriors.
As the chapter's numbers have swelled, so too has the need for the Ashen Blood, and a black market of sorts of risen in result. So-called "drainer" gangs, warlords, and sometimes even desperate syndicate families engage in kidnappings and forced-exsanguination of enemies or sometimes just the unlucky, the spoils of their bloody harvest being discretely traded to chapter's priesthood for supplies and Imperial scrip. Officially, the chapter forbids this practice, but the present-day chapter master, the Lord Commander Thadeon Kul, has seen fit to look the other way with no indication he intends to put an end to it.
Now, in systems neighboring the chapter's far-flung throneworld, new threats rear their heads, and old ones creep back from dark places. Reports of entire Astra Militarum legions, including a storied detachment from Krieg turning traitor, send nervous murmurs through the ranks of the Kokkedan penal battalions. Rogue Traders increasingly speak of Aeldari pirates, striking like warp lightning and vanishing just as quickly. Elsewhere in the sector, brutish Orks raise a great Waaaagh and perfidious Tau probe Imperial defenses with expeditionary forces.
Lord Commander Kul's attention is called to myriad threats, none of which can be ignored if Imperial control over the sector is to be retained.
+ CHAPTER COMMAND +
Lord Commander Thadeon Kul, the Light Undying, Master of the Ashen Host
Sanguinary Guard Lyander, Exalted Herald of the Ashen Host
Brother Ivecter, the Feardrinker, Master of the Blade
Alizar, the Black Angel, the Ashen Fury, High Chaplain of the Angels Fatalis
Grailbearer Faustus, High Priest of the Ashen Blood
Lyphisar, the Doom at Kokkedan, Dreadnought Master of the Librarius
Brother Acharnus, Warden of the Antemurale Argentum
+ FLEET COMMAND +
Brother Captain Baelor, the Coriolis Wind, First Wing of the Ashen Host, Captain of the Strike Cruiser Wingbeat Shadow
Brother Captain Traxus, Second Wing of the Ashen Host, Captain of the Strike Cruiser Fist of Imrakos
+++ END RECORD +++
BLOOD TITHE, PART 1
Thirst and fear clawed at Yavik’s throat. He dug his fingernails, blackened with oil and ash, deeper into the flesh of his bare shoulders, arms clutched tightly around himself. He was cold; the thing in the tunnels had torn his tunic off before he escaped through a service corridor it could not fit through. His gaze was unmoving, dark eyes fixed on the reflection of the chem-lamps in a small puddle in the center of the corridor.
He could reach the water through the tangle of sweating pipes and conduits he hoped would conceal him. It was not, however, the everpresent thirst that drew his attention to the condensation. He was watching for ripples, for the tiniest of perturbations in the surface of the puddle that might signify the approach of the hulking thing that had tried to rip out his throat.
The first thing Ivecter heard as he ascended the dune skimmer’s boarding ramp was the clatter of two dozen flak-armoured knees frantically colliding with the transport’s deckplating. Arrayed before him, twelve Atomic Guardsmen prostrated themselves as their commissar glared at their bowed backs with an intensity Ivecter thought landed somewhere between severe enough to pierce ceramite and comically overdone.
“Praise to the Great Angel!” the commissar barked, his voice modulated and amplified by the half-mask rebreather strapped around his face.
“Praise to the Great Angel!” came the hurried chorus from the soldiers of Kokkedan IV’s penal legions. Their voices were dry and cracked; their Munitorum officers had evidently not deemed the expense of outfitting them with hazard gear for the journey to be worthwhile.
“Praise to the Lord Ivecter, Master of the Blade, honored scion of the Great Angel!” bellowed the commissar. He was overdoing it, Ivecter thought.
The guardsmen echoed the commissar once more and Ivecter strode forward and past them toward the skimmer’s command deck, beckoning the commissar after him with two fingers of his gauntleted hand. He knew what the guardsmen called him, among themselves: Feardrinker. It was as much an epithet as it was a crude honorific and Ivecter found it rather amusing but he had killed men foolish enough to utter it in his presence as a matter of practice - it simply would not do to let the mortals get ideas of their own.
“My lord,” said the commissar, with a pronounced conviction to his voice, audible even through his mask, that betrayed his own fear, “I am Commissar Ravitch, I have the great honor to be your liaison for this excursion. As soon as fueling is complete the crew will be ready for departure. Your lord-brothers are in the forward compartment.”
Anger flashed for a moment across Ivecter’s thoughts and beneath the ash-streaked, bone-coloured ceramite of his helmet his upper lip curled. His nostrils flared as he exhaled sharply enough that his vox-modulator picked up the sound and amplified it across the command deck, drawing the attention of the skimmer crewmen hunched over dimly-glowing diagnostic readouts on the forward terminals. They returned their attention to their work the moment Ivecter’s head ticked a fraction in their direction.
“The skimmer should have been fueled before I arrived, Commissar Ravitch.”
“Aye, Lord Angel. I will ensure appropriate consequences,” came Ravitch’s hasty reply, “And if I may ask, my Lord Angel… you are aware of the recent reports from Port Xenophon?”
“Assume, Commissar,” said Ivecter, maneuvering his massive armored form through the command deck toward the ramp to the skimmer’s forward compartment, “That very little eludes me.”
The skimmer set out for the corpse dunes at first light, the towering refinery structures and acrid industrial haze of Tithian’s Landing giving way to the undulating expanse of ash, sand and choking radioactive dust that was the Amallion Sea. The scholiasts of the Angels Fatalis surmised that once, the Amallion truly lived up to its namesake, a vast sea providing continental access to the oceans that once enveloped most of Kokkedan IV. Now, like the rest of the blasted world, it was a dead place filled with dead things where men and their machines squabbled and fought over the bones of a long-expired world.
The Port Xenophon was no stationary outpost of humanity in this dead land, like Tithian’s Landing, where the chapter’s second Lord Commander had first made planetfall. It was a landship, a gargantuan crawling structure under the control of a loose triumvirate of syndicate families where wasters, dune traders, and mining skimmers met to resupply and sell their meager bounties of ore and scrap.
But Port Xenophon served another, more divine purpose. It was not practical for the people of the ash wastes to congregate in Kokkedan IV’s cities every year for the festival of Sanguinala, but they were expected to pay the Blood Tithe to their Angel masters nonetheless. Periodically, the chapter sent brothers to Xenophon and other traveling cities to retrieve accumulated tithes of the Ashen Blood the chapter so desperately needed to sustain itself. Great sandstorms, visible even from the chapter’s orbital fortress monastery, made travel to Port Xenophon by Thunderhawk or lighter dangerous and impractical, and so it fell upon Ivecter and two of the chapter’s Ashen Priests to make the three-day trek from Tithian’s Landing to Port Xenophon’s current position.
For three days, the Ashen Priests secluded themselves in the forward compartment they’d claimed for the duration of the journey, murmuring benedictions and prayers over their equipment while Ivecter tramped restlessly around the skimmer. Commissar Ravitch had set the Atomic Guard to readiness drills, herding the men and women up onto the roof deck to repel imaginary boarding parties. Ivecter found it amusing to watch the drills while imagining all the ways he could single-handedly board the craft and eliminate the crew, were he the attacking party. It boggled his mind that the guardsmen carried functionally recoilless beam weapons that fired in perfect straight lines, and yet failed to hit the scrap targets hurled off the side of the skimmer by a servitor far more than they succeeded. It was little wonder ork infestations and genestealer cults persisted out in the ash wastes when day to day defense of the planet was left to these wretches.
When the skimmer crew announced that their long-range sensorium had detected Port Xenophon just a few hours distant, Ivecter’s dour mood lessened, and when the craft shut off its fields and settled into a berth in Port Xenophan’s docks, he was first off the boarding ramp. Port Xenophon was a sprawling affair, hundreds of meters to each side. Its central platform was an ancient, hovering mining rig, a mobile platform intended to drop anchor and extract precious mineral wealth from beneath Kokkedan IV’s dune seas. Ivecter guessed from the degradation of the exterior plating that the rig (or parts of it) had been in service since the system was invaded by Tyrannids some six centuries prior. The rest of Port Xenophon was composed of legged behemoths, tracked crawlers, and aging hovercraft all lashed to the central rig. Ivecter couldn’t imagine the contraption could operate long without the ministrations of a Mechanicus tech-priest but the people of Kokkedan IV were a clever sort, in spite of their degeneracy.
“Your first visit at Xenophon, Lord?”
Ivecter’s head swiveled to land on Gaius and Sevlevor, the chapter priests who’d come with him to obtain Port Xenophon’s Blood Tithe. He offered a small nod of his helmed head.
“The syndicate families will be ready for us at the Beacon, Lord.” assured Gaius, lifting two heavy plasteel crates, both emblazoned with the bloody, winged-skull sigil of the Angels Fatalis.
“If they’ve still any good sense, aye.” came Sevlevor’s skeptic refrain as he hauled up two more of the coolant crates, built to safely transport the Blood Tithe back to the chapter’s orbital fortress-monastery. The trio of Space Marines set off across the docks toward the gantries and corridors that would take them to their audience with Port Xenophon’s ruling families. Early in the chapter’s stewardship of what was left of the Kokkedan system, the question as to how much agency the Angels Fatalis would allow the people of Kokkedan IV was a somewhat open one.
It was not until Imrakos, the third chapter master and first who had been raised to the halls of the Angels via Apotheosis from Kokkedan’s mortal stock, that it was settled. Imrakos had seen as a mortal child what horrors man wrought upon man in the living hell of Kokkedan. He had seen the places controlled by syndicate families and their Codes, their robber-bandit honor system. He’d seen how a child emerging red hot from that inferno could be forged into a divine weapon of the Great Angel Sanguinius and his Father, the God Emperor of Mankind.
Imrakos had let the syndicate families take the forges and hives, and the wasters take the dunes, deciding that for whatever cruelties they may perpetrate on one another, it would produce for the chapter a stock of killers and warriors from which to grow the ranks of the Angels.
A young boy trailed by two deeply unhappy looking syndicate bruisers met the Angels as they reached the base of the Beacon, the command spire at the center of Port Xenophon’s hub machine. The boy introduced himself in clumsy Low Gothic as Yavik, the scion of the Rixis family, one of Xenophon’s three ruling syndicates.
He was wiry, like most born on Kokkedan, with pale skin and black hair. Some effort had been made to clean him for the occasion, but Ivecter saw plainly intractable tangles in his hair and oil stains on his hands. He also saw a wariness, a glimmer in the boy’s eye even as he prostrated himself on the grimy deck plating that reminded him of his own youth. This was a clever one. Ivecter thought he might run the whole Port if he lived long enough.
Having made the appropriate praises and introductions, Yavik and the bruisers moved to lead the Angels to a lift up the Beacon when Ivecter’s eye was caught by two people dangling in harnesses from a gantry some twenty meters up the side of the Beacon itself. They held rollers in their hands, and were smearing dark paint over what Ivecter thought was crude writing. Like an extension of his own eyes, his helmet’s sensor-suite magnified the scene, and a filtered overlay flickered into sight, picking out the message concealed beneath the black paint.
It was written in the shorthand script known to any miner on Kokkedan IV, rather than the Emperor’s Gothic. It was not a beautiful or comprehensive language; it had been borne of necessity, a way for the disparate refugees and laborers of the system to communicate instructions and hazards among mining crews as they rebuilt in the wake of the Tyrannic invasion. It was a language created to be learned and read quickly, and remembered always. Ivecter deciphered it instantly, even after centuries.
“THE WORM MAKES US STRONG.”
Edited by Lyphisar, 09 March 2021 - 12:04 AM.