-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The loyalists 9. an army of space marines and ordinary men from within the traitor legions. It's members are among the last of each of those same legions to remain loyal to the emperor, and in battle against the heretic, traitor and forces of chaos they have no equal in their hate and fury.
Word Bearers/Imperial Heralds:Edit
The Word Bearers who survived the Purging and the Heresy have been through many changes. Where once there ws religious zeal, now there is an athiest's scientific veiw on life. where the imperium sees the chaos gods as true patrons, the Word bearers took their brothers in the Thousand Sons loyalists example and merely explain them as the clouds of warp energy they truly are. However, this means that they alos know that by worshipping the emperor, they strengthen him, and thus worship him and pray to him even stronger than before. to redeem themselves for their slowness during the great crusade and to reach the battle of Terra , the Word Bearers, now returning to the name of 'Imperial Heralds', act according to their name, striking fast, hard and utterly against the enemy. rare is it when a Heralds squad does not have a rhino to transport them, or are mounted on an attack back or land speeder. to keep up with this new style and better fight their chosen enemy, the deamon, the Imperial Heralds now use flamers and meltas on a huge scale, roaring past an enemy formation at high speed, leaving a tail of fire in their wake to burn the foe. such is their dedication to the art of deamon-slaying, the Heralds have made it their cheif priority to exterminate all of deamon kind.
for this they work closely with the Thousand Sons remnant, AKA The Emperor's Light, and have many pyskers, blanks and even the dreaded pariahs in their marine and mortal armies. each Imperial Herald is like the great knights of terran legend, combining the unwavering dedication of a monk with the unrelenting fury of the space marine knights. they have fashioned themselves after such legends, and sport wings, hooded robes and ancient crusade-armour helmets. even their scouts and human auxillia, the Brotherhood Of The Aquilla, appear like ghostly vesiegas of Terra's middle ages, clad in robes and weilding staffs, flamers and glaives in tangen with faith in the emperor's vision and their own skill of arms.
None are more renowned nor skilled within the remnant than it's chaplains. lond held as the most devoted to the cause of the Imperium within the nine, the odrinary brothers of the heralds are all capable of becoming chaplains, but only the most dedicated marines can inspire entire civilisatinos to fight for the emperor and inspire an entire ompany of brothers to greater acts of zeal, thus does each master become the company's head chaplain. each chaplain bears the crozius arcanum and dress in black garb as other chapters spiritual leaders, but each chaplain has his armour and weapons customized to extreme artifice, and there are at least 10 chaplains for every company, far more than any tother space marine organisation today, taking the place of squad leaders. the chapter-legion's dreadnoughts are also highly respected, each and every one dating back many thousands of years, and like the rest of the nine, there are many more than in other chapters, several of them chaplain dreadnoughts. each blessed brother is a tomb of war enshrined with uncounted trophies, from purity seals, to enlarged iron halos, to the burning remains of their foes.
The Imperial Heralds have also shaped their morals around the imperial citizen, beleiving that an empire is nothing without it's people, and a warrior nothing unless he protects those people. though some captains prefer to use the population like their chaos bretheren and turn them into suicide cavelry, though this is met with much scorn. all captains howver are permitted to use prisoners and meddling imperials such as inwuisitorial stormtroopers as cannon fodder (though the latter only with permission from a correctly ranked superior)
Alpha Legion/Xerxes Chapter:Edit
The Alpha Legion, now calling itself the Xerxes Chapter, remains largely unchanged as far as their brothers know because they're still highly secrative. what few secrets have been told reveal that hte ideals of brotherhood and teamwork have been enanced. each squad trains togethor their whole lives as space marines and are never seperated until death claim them. each squad is also trained to operate as a full autonomus unit, formed into 12-24-man teams with a few occasional supporting members.
the normal loadout is 1 luitenant (who is lower than a sergeant but autherised to command more than one squad, 3 three-five-man squads of devestator, tactical, assualt and scout marines (with or without a sergeant), and one or two supporting staff unit such as a librarian, chaplain, apothecary, techmarine or even a dreadnought. a normal plan would involve an insertion by drop-pod(s) or stormraven into enemy territory with the goal of victory by stealth and cunning, a key element in the modern descendants of a legion noted for it's shadowy operation style. the Xerxes chapter's battle-gear is also suited towards these indavidual strikes, with drop-pods and aforementioned stormravens, the STC copied by human infiltrators within the mechanicus, in good supply and all modified to carry larger numbers of troops. ground vehicles and thunderhawk-type craft are only used in a mass-assualt, something rather rare for the chapter unless the target is of the upmost importance.squads are often assigned combi-weapons in order to become more flexible and the Xerxes techmarines have capitolised on these weapons, designing everything from bolter- combos to multiple paterns of weapon into one ship turret.
Because of these small size forces, hidden spies, assassins and even stolen xeno camoflauge technology, the Xerxes chapter is able to travel further into imperial territory than their borhter chapters. rumour peersists they have multiple times entered the solar system undetected. other trademarks of the chapter is it's modernisation. the Xerxes chapter cares little for material possessions such as relics or ancient vessals unless they pffer a particular advantge. they also retain the perferance for uniform thus most marines wear marks 6-8 armour, have little to knowdistuinguishing features such as battle-honours, deliberatly blend their veterans or commanders in with their rank-and-file brothers and alter their pysichal form to better resemble the marine next to him. the final trait is their extreme distrust of xenos. while they are perfectly willing to use xeno technology, there is litle chance of respect between marine and alien. this has it's roots in the Alpha legion's encounter with The Cabal, whom the chapter holds responsible for their legion's downfall. it is a dark day for any alien species even resembling the members of the cabal. this includes The Eldar, the chapter's mortal enemies.
apart from this not much is known about the chapoter, even their ranks beyond luitenant and the identity of their leader, rumoured to be various clones of Ajax himself. some whisper that because of each battleforce's mobility, the chapter has exceeded 1000 marines. but ajax (or his succesor) have always claimed to be no more than a tohusand strong, just very fast at moving to battle zones.
World Eaters/War hounds:Edit
The World Eater's who remained loyal to the imperium were forced to question everything, including themselves. Ruber decided that should 9 survive, he would turn the world eater loyalists into soemthing the emperor could take pride in. Ruber made good his vow, as by the time the Wordl Eaters, now reverting to the name of War Hounds as gifted to them by the emperor, returned to their homelands borders, they had become unrecognisable as the bloody-handed butcherers they once were. Honour and duty replaced glory and headcounts, devotion to mankind moved into the place of lust for battle, and strategy and brilliant planning outmatched mad charges. now the War hounds are as honourable as any other chapter, with no equal in the art of close-combat. each hound is expected to be a master of sword, axe and hammer, able to slice a fly clean in two at the merest buzz of it's wings. the high rope remains in use, along with the pre-battle tradition of smearing dirt or mud onto one's shoulders, hands or face. this is another way of remembering past battles, as if a marine falls, he will be buried with the traces of his final battleground.
The War Hounds are extremely traditionalist in their beliefs and battles, believing that victory without honour is no vicotry, and unless you completely conqour a foe, lest you face many times your own number and still win, then the victory is still hollow. thus do the hounds practice something no other chapter can boeast: a fighting chance for the enemy. whilst some may call this foolhardy, the Hounds are confident in their abilities, and rightly so. few can witness a War Hound in battle inamidst a foes flanks and claim he is anything but a master of war. the chapter is also higlhy mobile, keeping many rhinos and drop pods ready for a decisive blow to the enemy's heart of getting troops from one side of the battlefeild to the other. teleports are not often used as the hounds prefer to 'let the enemy know what assails him before it has reached him'. thus are thunderhawks and other airfraft the preffered in-altitude transport.
The chapter's ranks are still particular to those with the highest kills, and as mentioned all marines prefer close combat, but thankfully for enemy and ally alike no War Hound will ever allow the use of drugs, pyschotic implants of rage amplifiers ever again. the War hounds prefer curban combat and boarding action where their combat prowess can best be used, and their assualt marines and terminators are incredible to behold. finaly, the dreaded chainaxe still sees action as part of the War Houds, and the ancient relic chansword belonging to Ruber is rumoued to have been wrenched from the hands of Angron himself during the massacre of Istvaan III, making it the legendary Gorefather.
The Luna Wolves that remian loyal to the emperor have become masters of strategy. each small resource acquired by a Luna Wolf commander is ble to be spread out equally and well-suplied over and entire campaign, and one decision could be the victory of that campaign. although the Nine abolished rivalry and overall rulers, the Luna Wolves areconsidered the de facto supremes of the Nine, much like their chapter master Lupus. the Wolves use roman articles of clothing such as brush-frills and gladius shortswords, as well as including items like lunar decor and wolf pelets to uphold their namesake. this is extended to training, where an initiate must either kill a blakc wolf, chaos creatures prone to malice, or befreind their pure cousins, the silver wolfs. the later is no easy matter, as whiel not knon to attack without reason, silverwolfs are far from keen on the idea of masters. some even speculate the creatures hold oracle-like wisdom and inteligance, as the fist silverwolf encountered by the chapter allowed none save Lupus himself to come near it. wolves since have only chosen those they see as immediatly wrthy or with future greatness, and thus to be chosen is to be honoured within the chapter as destined for greatness.
the rest of Luna Wolf Doctorine remains mostly unchanged save for adjustments needed to compensate for it's small size. this includes the famous command-strikes, where the Luna Wolves remove an enemy's headquarters from the feild of battle swiftly and cleanly. adaptability and greater knowladge are aslo pried, and like the Luna Wolf hero Gavrial Loken, each marine posses a myriad of knowladge of other things in life than war. the practice has een extended to the mortal axillia employed by the Luna wolves and their fellow loyalists such as the Enperor's children. a newer aspect of their operations, however, is the importance of protecting your superiors. chapter beleif is that had Horus, now reffered to as 'lupercal' once again by his loyal sons, ben betetr protected on davin, the heresy may never have happened. thus each superior officer, from sergeant to chapter master, MUST bring a bodyguard of at least 5 marines with him, and these must in turn be second to none at defending their master. when a superior is wounded, his men will use themselves as living sheilds. when killed, the squad goes into a rage.
in battle the Wolves are never seen without a full complement of each section of the space marine army, from veterens, to troops, to land speeders, to land raiders, all are used at some point. the Wolves are also famous for being the first to strike back at abaddon's Black Crusades, beggining what is known as the White Crusades. so far there have been 12 white crusades, each more ambitious and further-reaching than the last. soon there will come a day when the loyalists make themselves known to the gods themselves, and when that day comes, all hell shall break loose upon itself.
Emperor's children/Pheonix Templars:Edit
The Emperor's children to survive the Heresy have been through much change. first came The Time Of Mourning, during which the emperor's children embarked upon a deliberate suicide crusade after losing their sanity along with Alexi Duferon. During this time the children tsught themselves the meaning of humbleness through pain and suffering, and even after the impossible reincarnation of Alexi and the subsequent Forgivness Of Terra, the children, renaming themselves The Pheonix Templars, no longer seem so arrogant. pride is still within each marine, but they are self-aqare enough to prevent it spilling over. in fact part of the modern training involves finding and admitting one's faults, then improving them. the templars retain their love of art and extravagance, but in each seemingly over-flashy decoratino is a hidden purpose. a heavily artificed power fist, for example, may contain digi weapons in the pheonix heads at their knuckles. a seemingly overstated butress or gate could flip around to fire grenades at a foe. even their rear plating has a small purpose, able to project flame from their backs in a small burst of power to lift them higher when jumping. thus do the Templars become like the Roses used to herald Alexi himself: beautiful on the surface, but armed and dangerous underneath. The templars also adopt plasma technology and even the previously extinct jetbikes. In Battle, speed and precision is mandatory. skills with the blade are as honed as the bolter, and like in the glory days of the Great Crusade, every marine gives even the smallest task his all.
Iron Warriors/Steel Smiths:Edit
The loyalsit iron warriors who remained after the heresy were broke nand shattered. made msotly of tanks, their forces took centuries to build to chapter strength after the Forgivness Of Terra, and durign this time it was decided the chapter should remain an example o their forebars skill of machinery, seige and backbraking labour. each nd every company is armed to the teeth with the best and biggest weapons in imperial vaults, and some that have long been lost. it's marines are often used as elite close-quarter shock-troops and ultra-heavy weapons handlers. tanks, armoured flyers and vehicles of all sorts exist within their ranks, those meant for human use crewed by such men, the Smiths' own auxillia, the Fire Sheilds, and thei massed armies of servitors. devestating super-weapons can be fired from orbiting ships, and even the mighty titans and dreaded fellblades can be feilded, albeit at great risk of losing a rare and unreplacable god of war.
Terminators, sternguard, dreadnoughts and Devestators are cheif amongst a company's fighting units, supported by uncountable numbers of land raiders, predators, vindicators, etcetera. the Smiths have also rediscovered many STCs, imported imperial designs and developed several vehicles of their own. this last key to their success is available through lack of any kind of religious stagnation. others say something was discovered on Mars during the heresy that shattered the Iron Warrior's beleif in the Omnisiah, as they were profoundly changed by the ordeal. as such, plasma-turrets for land raiders and predators, modified dreadnoughts and other articles of war are common indeed.
as to be expected, the Smiths are the nine's master seige breakers and makers, and everything within the chapter is eared towards heavy assualts, even their headquarters staff. the position of Warmsith remains the rank of captain, and new mambers such as the Iron Fathers, chaplains who can encourage men and machine spirits to great deeds, Metalseer, librarians who can enhance vehicles and cybernetics as wel las flesh, and Techgenomes, Techmarines combined with apothecaries, have been created. the mantleship of Techmarines would normally be difficult for a chapter without the support of Mars, but the Smiths Of Steel's Copperiuits train succesors the moment they are judged knowladgable enough, having learnt their own lore from age-old teachings of their predacesors. other means include using the Smith's fake name, the White Sheilds, to gain traditional access to the teachings of the mechanicus.
Night Lords/ Dark Judges:Edit
The night lords able to cope with having their beleifs and works of terror unleashed upon the imperium have taken many years to reconcile themselves, changing and adapting a new face. thus when the time came to return to Terra, the Night Lords were no more, in their place were the astartes of the Dark Judges. the Judges still use images of death and fear, such as the skull, the gargoyle and bat-like wings, but it hs been significantly downtoned and redircted. the lightning and midnight blue armour now house marines bent on protecting the common man, eve nfrom himself. thus do they instil the harsh judgement so common within the imperium. in fact the imperium's degeneration has helped the Judges feel less like terrorists. terror tactics are noe performed in a different way, such as heavy use of teleports and light-reactive camoflauge t oappear and disappear before an enemy's eyes, scaring himn out of his witts. when such...subtlty is no use, then the chapter refers to it's primarch, now realised to have been two seperate entities, teachings on terror and harsh punishment, thus do the skulls, chains, flames and dark bat-wings resurface among the chapter, and terror reign down upon the foe.
But the chater rarely uses it's old iconogy. occasionally repainted black armour, 'skullmats' and red angel-wings attached to their jump-packs tell of a new fighting method. the Judges have turned from terrorists into the personification of the astartes' status as the angels of death. rhinos, light attac kcraft such as landspeeders and bikes, and thunderhawk gunships are used often, moving troops from battle to battle, silent, deadly and unyeilding. like their brothers in the Steel Smiths, Strmbirds still see use as vehicle-ferriers to press the foe back even quicker. entire spearheads can find themselves lterally flying at the foe, dropping down on grav-chutes whilst their crews and brothers race ahead on jumpacks.
Protection of the people is top prority in opertions on populated imperia lworlds, learnt the hard way by Grimm durign his days as a soloist vigilante. the upkeep of law also comes highly recomended, and each brother is required to read and remember the imperial Books Of Law right through, a task that may take the marine's entire long life. Injustices, even if considered acceptable by the wider Imperium, are not tolerated. a commander who willingly sacrifices his men and citizens to win a campaign will be tracked down and anihalated by the Judges.The Judges standing human military, The Hidden Blade, is composed almost entirely of hit-and-run troops adn assassins to betetr complememnt their role, though no Dark Judge or Hidden Blade is at all unprepared for a straight fight
Death Guard/Dusk Raiders:Edit
The Loyalist Death Guard where the most resiliant force of the nine during the heresy, and retook their name of Dusk Raiders to void confusion like everyone else. however, it stil lholds significance as the loyalists were seen 'Fighting from Dawn till Dusk' according to imperial witnesses. this ties in well with their renewed stubborness. not once has a Dusk Raider given quarter, reatreated or stopped assailing a foe until he is well and truly destroyed. Even the dreaded tyranids are no mach for a well-drilled company of Dusk Raiders, whose pysichal toughness and skill with the fcommon bolter ensure peak fighting skills. Of course, this has it's drawbacks, mainly heavy losses, but the Dusk Raiders are known for their resiliance. eve nthe worst wounds can be survived. to this end, Dreadnoughts featurre hugely in the companies of the Dusk Raiders, acting as walking gun-batteries for an infantry-based chapter alongside it's rhinos. in fact it is almost unnatural the amount of injury a raider can take. this is acheived throug hshared knowladge of bio-engineering. first thought of by the Emperor's children remnant, the other Nine can now use it with cheif practice amongst their senior apothacearies. in the Dusk Raiders it is used to improve a marine's strength, combat prowess, and resiliance to injury or infecton, handy when your sworn enemy uses viruses capable of rotting ceremite.
speaking of the Death Guard, the raiders have developed a unit specifically to deal with their antics, the Chem-corp. these specialists are trained in all manner of viral, biological and chemical warfare and how to defeat it. they are donated by having the honour repainting their right arms red and using the original symbol of the dusk raiders, the sull-and-thunderbolts circlet.
Thousand Sons/Emperor's light:Edit
Every Librarian walks the hin line between service and chaos. every pysker feels the weight of his gift pressing in on him. many gifted use their powers unrestrained to aid the imperium. such is the example of the Thousand Sons remnant. after the Heresy, by way of the Emperor's last secret decree, was 'sorcery' allowed in strict measures. the Thousand Sons swore to model themselves after the emperor of mankind, becoming the most powerful pyskers in history whilst never fallign under the way of chaos. centuries [assed and this promise slowly ame to fruitation, beggining wit ha series of genetic engineering tests to root out any defeciances in their gene-seed and destroy it. this was completed with the aid of a mysterious stranger now believed to be one of the sensai, the emperor's biological sons. he taught the remnant and Ra how to call on the arp without alertign demons, and ingrained the secret into their gene-seed. now boasting incredible power, the sons were extremely careful not to fall into arrogance again. yet after 10,000 years it still seems there is no end to a pysker's power should he serve as a marine in the newly renamed Emperor's Light.
Power comes with age, the older a marine becomes, the more powerful he becomes. being space marines, masters of genetic engineering and psykers, that can mean over a thousand years in some cases. greatest of these examples is Ra himself, who though dead pysichally, exists as a sort of 'ghost', able to penetrate the pysichal realm and aid his brothers once more, though the process of summoning him takes time. the Light abolished certian powers known to be a manifestation of chaos, but other than that there is no limit. the original four cults ahve expanded and renewed to the point of being ten seperate organistations. one for each squad in a company, which ironically really does make them the 'Thousand Sons'. this small size is nothing, each marine with pyschic gifts (99% of the entire chapter) worht an entire squad of other marines at least.
the duty of physichal long-range support is filled by the small 1% of the chapter such as a few techmarines, and of course their militia, the Gate Guard. the rest of the chapter emerses itself in pyschic duals on the pysichal and mental range, from long-distance blasts of power, to deadly close-combat. the chapter's pyschic powers are boosted by the rarest phenomena in history, a 'pure' warp gate on their secret base on New Prospero. the gate's chaotic elements have been filtered by masterful pyschic techno-arcana known as The Lion's Maw. the gate enhances pyschic power and sheilds the planet from pyschic attack. legend says it was torn open and stabilised by Ra before and upon his death.
another unique element is the specialist group "The Recalled". these are rubric marines freed from chaos by tortuous pyschic trial. wrapped in purity seals, texts of defence and bound to the emperor's astronomican, they boost pyschic powers and walk calmly into battle as near-indestructable spectres. when not at war, they rest safely, deeply within the chapter's pyramid-fortresses. although still relativly autonomus, they have more freewill than their chaos brethern and act much the same as dreadnoughts, being venerated as heroes for enduring the fall of prospero and the return to imperial service.
Editthegreatbeing--more to come
The 9 use weapons, vehicles, armour and relics long since passed into reverance by the adeptus mechanicus and the astartes. Marks 2-6 armour are common, whilst 'Eagle armour' is rarer except those worn by new recruits and in the Alpha legion, produced by the 9's secretly occupied forge worlds. MkII land raiders, pre-heresy Jetpacks, hand-crafted bolters and ancient patterns of weapons and armour are also to be found in plentiful supply, along with artificer armour due to the amount of centuries-old veterans in the chapters, paticulary the Emperor's Children. being the last of their legion the 9 also posses large quantaties of dreadnoughts, most notably the Dreadnought squads of the Death Guard. Relics and venerable items of war are also present. the Iron Warriors, for example, posses a Land Raider Achillis gifted to them among other things by the Adeptus Mechanicus in thanks for their valiant defence of Mars. The Emperor's children posses a unit of original, Horus heresy jetbikes. Old attack-bikes and land-speeders have been lovingly kept working by the Word Bearers and World Eaters. Terminator suits are no less rare than in any other chapter, and are fevoursly kept by the techmarines of each Legion-Chapter. Even a few of the dreaded Fellblades and a small host of titans see occasional combat in their ranks, mostly Iron warriors, leaving much for an enemy to fear.
Vehicles whose STC's were lost to most or recovered during the crusade and since then have also helped define the chapters, and vehicles such as The Stormraven have found their way into the more mobile forces. a subtle example of self-invented items would be paint-sheet plating, a thin layer of flak armour magnetised to the marines' own armour. painted in various camoflauge schemes and other chapters' colours, they save a lot of time and paint.