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View Full Version : The Legion of Taurus - Background of my Chaos Space Marines



firestorm40k
09-05-2008, 12:12
Hello! :) This is my burgeoning Chaos Space Marine army, which I have named The Legion of Taurus. Here's a pic of the army so far:

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I am developing quite an extensive background for this army, and have started to set it out in the form of an Index Astartes article. Here it is:


INDEX ASTARTES - THE LEGION OF TAURUS

Introduction

In the far-flung reaches of the Segmentum Pacificus, there is a region of space plagued by many frequent and unpredictable Warp Storms. It is known by many names; to the Imperial Astral-cartographers it is 'Anomaly Kappa-3175'. To the Inquisition it recorded as 'Purgatus-Interminus MCXV'. In official Imperial records it is known as the Storm of the Aquila. And to much of the populace who live in the systems surrounding the area it is known as the Bull's Head. It is from this are that the Chaos Space Marine forces calling themselves the Legion of Taurus launch their attacks on neighbouring systems. The first officially recorded engagement between Imperial forces and the Legion of Taurus was in 385.M40, when Imperial Task force Epsilon engaged them on the mining planet of Kershin-IV (a week's warp travel from the Bull's Head). When the planet's orbital defences were over-run by forces launched from unidientified vessels, a distress signal was sent, and 3 weeks later Task Force Epsilon arrived to find that most of the planet's forces had either been scattered or slaughtered by the Chaos Marines. Fighting was focussed upon an Imperial Fortress manned by Mechanicus forces, guarding a research site in a mine shaft miles beneath the planet's surface. When the reinforcements arrived the beleaugered Mechanicus attempted to break-out and force the Chaos Marines back towards the Task force, but at this time the Chaos Marines launched a major assault that broke the Fortress' defences. The Chaos Marines went about slaughtering the Mechanicus as they made their way to heart of the mine. Meanwhile in orbit the traitor's fleet engaged the Imperial Task Force's fleet, allowing their flag-ship to bombard the Imperial reserves while the Chaos Marines escaped from the remains of the fortress. Then the fleet disengaged and vanished back in to the Warp. At this point the few surviving Mechanicus forces engaged the self-destruct mechanism of the fortress and the mine. Inspite of investigation by the Inquisition, it is unclear what was in the mine, why the Mechanicus wanted it to remain secret, and why the Legion of Taurus wanted possession of it.

The Legion of Taurus have attacked many other Imperial worlds and fleets since then, and as knowledge of this Chaos force has grown it has become clear that they have been doing so for centuries before the Kerhin incident; lost patrols, massacres on isolated planets and outposts, all bearing the hall marks of attacks by the Legion, who slaughter all who stand in their way until they have satisfied whatever purpose has brought them to those places. Inquistorial observers who are investigating the Legion of Taurus have began to speculate their is a specific pattern, as each attack spreads further from the Bull's Head out through neighbouring sectors. They speculate that each subsequent attack is intended to gradually weaken the defences of each sub-sector, to allow Chaos Cults to rise up and over-throw Imperial rule, such as what happened during the fall of the Lax-Redemptor sub-sector in 625.M40.

Although the majority of the Legion's attacks are in these sectors, Warbands bearing the Legion's markings (a skull with down-turned horns) and the distinctive brazen-brass armour have been spotted during many major conflicts in other regions of Imperial space. The most recent, and furthest flung, was during the 13th Black Crusade, when Loyalist Marines of the Fire Storm Chapter fought a hard campaign to dislodge a large warband from the Agri-worlds in the sub-sectors around Cadia. Although the warband was defeated, it proved too late from preventing a cultist ritual that allowed thousands of daemons to pour from the warp and add their weight several of these planets' eventual downfall.

In battle the Legion of Taurus take a versatile approach, using whatever method of warfare they deem most appropriate: lightning raids led by squadrons of bikers, armoured spear-heads of tanks, mass assaults with hordes of daemon engines, or sudden pin-point ambushes. The legion seems to worship Chaos as a pantheon, though some speculate they only worhsip one particular aspect of it, though this is not yet clear and knowledge of other Chaos powers is scant to say the least. However it is often the case that followers of specific Chaos powers, predominantly the Berzerkers of Khorne or the Plague Marines of Nurgle, ally themselves to the Legion, as has been the case on a number of occasions. There is disagreement to what purpose this is the case; although the majority of Inquisitorial observers believe it is simply for the chance to fight to further their own glory and power, there is a minorty who believe their may be a deeper, as yet unknown cause behind this.

Origins

Since the raid on Kershin-IV Imperial scholars have debated furiously as to the date and planet from which the Legion of Taurus originate. Some argue that they are a splinter force from one or more of the notorious Traitor Legions, due to the frequent presence of Khorne Berzerkers or Plague Marines of Nurgle in their forces. Others argue that this is another random group of Renegade Space Marines, recruited from disparate Chapters, led by a charismatic or powerful Lord.

More recently a new theory has been gaining increasing acceptability, but only amongst those who have access to obscure (or even hidden) records. This theory would trace the Legion's origins to a terrible event that occured almost a millenia before Kershin-IV, an event from which there are few records, and many of those that remain have been suppressed. In some records it is simply called 'The Aquila-1115 Incident', but others refer to it as the 'Aquillan Uprisings'; and in the most obscure and forbidden records it is called the 'Tauran Schism'. However it is referred to, this event was centred upon an Imperial Mission to a planet which had been cut off by warp-storms for millenia. When the storms cleared the planet was re-discovered by a Trading vessel from the nearby Hive-world of Praeceptis Majoris; they found that the planet was mostly wind-swept, barren moor-land, broken up by dense forest and massive mountain ranges. The planet's population had devolved to a feral, tribal society, the clans either living on the fringes of the great forests, making nomadic camps across the great plains, or on the foothills at the base of the great mountains.

Shortly after the planet's discovery it was decreed by the Ecclesiarchy that a mission be sent to bring the populace to faith in the Emperor so they might be brought smoothly in to the Imperium, and it was renamed Aquilla Quintane. At first the Imperial Missionaries found that many of the planet's clans, with the exception of those at the mountains, were receptive to the Imperial Creed. Many individuals who seemed to accept the new faith were chosen to visit the nearest worlds, Praeceptis Majoris and Herruch II, an Agri-world. However the clans living near the mountains could not be swayed by the Imperial creed as they had their own, very strong beliefs. The people of these clans were fierce warriors, feared and respected in equal measure by the other clans. Between the intrangibility of the Imperial Creed and the indominatible beliefs of the clans, it was perhaps inevitable that conflict would occur.

The few records that exist are unclear as to whether it was the Imperials or the clans that struck first, but what is clear is that the conflict quickly swept the entire planet. The mountain clans had sent envoys to the nomadic and forest clans, imploring them to stand up to the 'invaders', re-take their world, which they called in their tongue 'Tauran Ech'naaw' ('Taurus Occularis' in High Gothic), and to keep faith in their own religion. Many of the clans responded to this call and took up arms against the Imperials. Finding themselves outnumbered by fierce and zealous warriors the Imperial mission retreated to their bases and sent distress signals. These were answered by regiments from Praeceptis and Herruch. Thousands of Guardsmen and women made planet-fall, but even the might of the Hammer of the Emperor was unprepared for the fury with which the clans attacked them. As the conflict raged on the clans were joined by hordes of mutants that swarmed from deep in the mountain ranges; people who were more beast than human, with curved horns growing from their brows and cloven hoofs instead of feet.

All was set for a bitter conflict, when something disastrous happened for the Imperials. On Praeceptis and Herruch Chaos cultists rose up from hiding and rapidly brought civil war to those worlds. Herruch fell within days and the Cultists began erecting massive edifices were millions of people were sacrificed in some terrible ritual to dark gods. An emergency war council of the three surrounding sectors quickly despatched a battlegroup of a dozen regiments to quell the civil war on Praeceptis and and re-take Harruch, and also petitioned the Adeptus Astartes to aid their efforts. In response, two Strike Cruisers of the Astral Sharks Chapter, containing the equivalent of almost two Battle Companies, sped to Praeceptis.

As the Astral Sharks emerged from the warp in the Praeceptis system, things took a sudden and unexpected turn. The warp storms, calm for many years, suddenly flared again with renewed and unprecedent ferocity, cutting off not only the mission on Aquila, but also Herruch, Praeceptis - and the Astral Sharks' Strike Cruisers. Contact was completely lost, and no Navigator could find their way back to the systems - nor have they since.

Although the records of this disaster for the Imperium are few, and in some respects sketchy, there is agreement that the rituals on Harruch II were most likely intended to trigger the warp storms; and that the native beliefs of the clans-people chosen to visit the Imperial worlds were somehow absorbed by, or tallied with, the blasphemous objectives of secret Chaos cults there. What the nature of that belief wasis still largely a mystery to the Imperials. There may be one clue, although the veracity of its dating from the time of this catastrophe is disputed. There is one report that the cultists on Praeceptis fought under a banner depicting a skull with down-turned, curved horns; a symbol not seen again until the first recorded conflict with the Legion of Taurus.

Home World

If the widely accepted theory that the origins of the Legion date back to the aftermath of the Tauran Schism, then it follows that their attacks originate from somewhere in the warp ravaged areas of space around the worlds that fell durig the event. Between the bleak wasteland of the planet formerly known as Aquilla, the Agriworld of Herruch II and the Hiveworld of Praeceptis Majoris, the Legion could choose which ever befits their desires; whether to raise recruits from the feral warriors of Aquilla, or make the populace of Praeceptis slaves to manufacture their munitions.

As so much of the Bull's Head Nebula has always been hidden to exploration by the incessant warp-storms, it is easy to speculate that there maybe other worlds hidden there, worlds that could possibly have been altered by the power of the warp and ruled over by daemonic entities. Although there is no way of proving this, it simply remains a matter of (some would say idle) speculation.

Combat Doctrine

Although eye-witness accounts were sparse until the infamous Allenth Landings, it has been noted that forces of the the Legion usually fight implacably to take a specific target, whether it is the neutralisation of a defensive bastion, the ambush of enemy forces, or taking a site of some interest to them. An example of this was the Defiling of the Archivium of Salentra Minor - latterly attributed to the Legion. After the Orbital Defences were taken one-by-one, the Legion Systematically went about destroying the major bastions of the Imperial defence there - often turning the Orbital Defences against the Imperial forces. Judging by the ruins and slain armies that were discovered sometime after the attacks, it seems that the bulk of Legion forces launched an all-out attack on a grouping of what must have remained of the the PDF. At the same time, a smaller force attacked and razed the Archivium, a repostory for historical documents and artefacts for the entire Odothese sector. Everyone of the scribes who worked there was slain, the butchered corpses left to rot, and the Archivium itself was razed to the ground. When Imperial forces finally arrived on the planet, they found everyone dead, its cities in ruin. The Legion had razed it to a lifeless shell, and the planet was declared Perditus. Imperial Scholars and certain Inquisition investigators noted that from there was evidence at ruins of the Archivium that specific documents and ancient tablets had been taken before the rest of its contents were destroyed. These pertained to the ancient, pre-Imperial History of the Sector, but for what purpose the Legion took them is still unclear. They are certain, however, that if taking them required the destruction of an entire planet, it cannot be a purpose that bodes well for the Imperium.

The forces of the Legion of Taurus often fight alongside hordes of Cultists and vile, horned mutants. Indeed, during their largest incursions, Legion forces have a tenndency to arrive at the height of a Cultist insurgency, or after the planet's defences have been compromised by a tide of mutants disgorging themselves from large vessles long thought lost. The first noted instance of this was the Raid on the Forgeworld of Tessel III. Three cruisers, since identified as a lost cargo fleet, were able to penetrate the Orbital defences, before a number of Orbital defence statios were attacked by a great number of carriers disgorging tides of frenzied Cultists and Mutants. In the confusion, the cruisers carried on spewing their tide of filth on to the planet below. Imperial battle-lines were drawn, Skitarii regiments digging themselves in ready to face the invaders, Titans of the Legio Invigilatus beside them. It was at this point that another unidentified vessel came in to orbit - eyewitness reports claim its shape was not unlike a Space Marine Strike Cruiser, but more like a corrupted parody of one. From this vessel dozens of Drop Pods fell on the planet, landing on or behind the Skitarii lines. Thrown in to confusion, the traitor Forces overwhelmed two and a half regiments of Skitarii and brought down four titans, before taking two of the planet's main forges. Although the remaining Skitarii regiments regrouped and prepared for a counter-attack, the Chaos forces fled the planet, leaving the forges ruined, and several pieces of tech-archana missing.

And so there have been a similar number of attacks, such as on Allenth or Niedamas, where Imperial forces are yet fighting to retake significant parts of those planets still held by forces fighting under the banner of the Legion of Taurus. However, it is an increasing recognition of the Legion's distinctive symbol that allowed Imperial forces to defeat a planned invasion of Perimuth Alpha, when a cult bearing this symbol was discovered by an Inquisitorial investigation. An alert was sent to the Imperial Sector Command on Odothese Prime, and when Astropaths confirmed a disturbance in the warp suggested a large fleet en-route to the system, a task-group of Battlefleet Odothese was despatched - eager for revenge for the capture of two of its Cruisers by the Legion during the ambush at Maryth's Drift. When the Legion's fleet arrived at the planet, close behind them were 4 Imperial Cruisers, 2 Battleships, and over a dozen escorts. In the following battle the Legion's fleet lost 3 Cruisers and what is believed to be a corrupted version of a Strike Cruiser. The Legion did manage to get some of its forces on to the planet before their fleet was forced to retreat, but not enough to overwhelm the Imperials in the way they had on other planets. Even though the Legion's forces wage war against the Imperium on Perimuth Alpha, thanks to the timely intervention of Battlefleet Odothese the situation is no where near as bad as it could be.

* * * Continued below, due to character limit...

firestorm40k
09-05-2008, 12:13
* * *Continued from above...

Organisation

Although the evidence and recorded history indicate that the Legion of Taurus is - or at least, was initially - formed from elements of the Astral Shark forces lost during the Tauran Schism, typically of renegade warbands there seems little of the original Codex structure. Whilst observers have noted that the forces of the Legion tend to be grouped around 10-strong squads, these are far from the typical Tactical formation of a Loyalist, Codex following Chapter. Many have taken to wielding close-combat weapons, whilst there have been a few occassions when squads armed with heavy weapons have been prevalent - such as the defeat of the 12th Armoured Column during the war on Niedemas, 238.M41.

Those who have been analysing the reports of battles involving the Legion's forces have noted that in larger engagements up to 10 squads have been deployed, with transports and supporting armour. Such formations are usually part of much larger armies, typically fighting alongside hordes of cultists, traitors and mutants. However, forces of this size have so far been deployed by the Legion at the start of invasions, such as the Allenth Landings of 938.M40, or to break major strong-points of resistance, such as the assault that broke the Siege of Durral on Niedemas. There have been a greater number of reports of engagements with smaller forces, usually centred around 3 or 4 10 man squads, plus armoured support. During these engagements, such as the Ambush of the XXXIXth Ishvaran Grenadiers during the war on Allenth, 2-3 combat orientated squads (including those equipped with debased versions of Jump Packs, or on Bikes) have launched sudden or pin-point attacks, supported by 1 or 2 other squads supporting with combined Bolter fire or heavier weapons. These forces are often supported by debased Predator tanks, though there have been reports of Land Raiders and even Vindicators being deployed.

Other than this, it is unclear exactly how the Legion is structured: the exact disposition and quantity of its forces, and who leads it. Eye-witness reports are few, but when the Legion attacks its forces have tended to be lead by possibly three, or four individuals who could be its leaders. These include a Marine bearing many mutations, rumoured to include wings, casting sorcerous warp energies during the desecration of the Basilica Odothorn on Allenth; a Marine armed with two massive Chain-axes, spotted leading the charge at the Massacre of the Vigen Line on Niedemas; and a figure in ornate Terminator Armour, bearing a deadly sword that seems to emit a shadow-like aura, who lead the persecution of the Red Templars Marines forces during the fall of Epithane on Allenth.

Whoever is the leader of this force, one thing is clear: they are a powerful and charismatic individual who inspires utter loyalty and fierce fanaticism amongst not only the Marines of the Legion, but also the assorted heretic and mutant scum that often fight alongside them.

Beliefs

Due to the Legion's frequent alliances with warbands dedicated to Nurgle or Khorne, it is unclear whether they worship the Chaos gods as a pantheon, or specific deities within it. There is an increasing view amongst observers that these alliances are more often to obtain specific objectives. For example, during the war on Niedemas a large contingent of Khorne Berzerkers took part in the Masscre of the Vigen Line; 700 years later, during the 13th Black Crusade, a warband from the Legion of Taurus took part in assisting World Eaters to repell loyalist Marine counter attacks on contested Agri-worlds in the sectors around Cadia. Also, during the Ambush of Merryth's Drift in 649.M40, several squads of Plague Marines took part in the boarding actions which saw the Legion capture two of Battlefleet Odothese's cruisers; over a millenium later, at the same time as the 3rd War for Armageddon erupted, Legion of Taurus Marines were reported to be supporting a Death Guard warband engaging Battleforce Andalus of the Ultramarines in a nearby sub-sector.

Whichever aspect of Chaos the Legion follows, it is clear that they are fanatically loyal to this belief, and to following the edicts of whatever power it maybe. The extent of this fanaticism became evident for the first time amidst the carnage of the Fall of St. Galamar's watch, an Ecclesiarchy World, in 879.M41. As is typical of other invasions by the Legion, this bloody incursion began after a number of previously concealed Cults rose up against the Imperial Creed. The Ecclesiarchy and Military overseers of the planet were left reeling that such heretical cults could have festered on a world so central to worship of the Imperial Creed in the Odothese sector. The shock was compounded when the Legion's fleet arrived and began landing hordes of mutants and traitorous scum to assault the planet's cities. The bulk of the the Legion's Marines were deployed to the Basilica Galamar, the most religiously significant site on the planet. After an intense and bloody siege which saw two Guard Regiments and an entire Mission of Adeptas Sororitas massacred, the Legion broke in to the massive cathedral and completely defiled it, destroying Imperial icons, hanging banners bearing the star of Chaos and the Legion's own horned-skull Iconography, and using the blood of the defenders to smear slogans written in an obscure language . After leveling the other cities from orbit, the fleet withdrew back to the warp a mere two days before an Imperial task force arrived. They found a desolate planet, with ruined cities haunted by marauding gangs of cultists, and a holy site completely defiled. Quarantine markers were left in orbit around the planet, which to date remains under the tentative investigation of Inquisition teams.

Two important observations have been drawn from the fall of this planet. Firstly, it is that the Legion of Taurus is not simply a renegade warband merely seeking to plunder, destroy and slaughter for their own ends; rather, they seek to challenge the Imperial Cult and turn people from following it - if not through the subversion employed by seditious cults, then by killing any who will not yield. Secondly, although the texts written in the desecrated Basilica were in a language unknown to Imperial Scholars, a number of words has been identified that could suggest the source of their beliefs. The word 'Tauran' was repeated throughout, which is believed to mean 'Taurus', most likely the legion's homeworld in the Bull's Head Nebula. The other words do not seem to relate to this; so far 'liberator' and 'conqueror' have been identified - perhaps suggesting that the Legion sees their role as to 'free' people from belief in the Imperial Creed, by turning them to their own; or by simply destroying them.

Ultimately, it is increasingly clear that the Legion is a serious threat to Imperial rule in the Odothese sector; and with increasing reports of cult activity, Inquisitorial agents are becoming more and more wary of the signs that forewarn an incursion of the Legion: graffiti depicting a skull with down-turned horns.

Gene-seed

So far there have only been a handful of bodies of dead Legion of Taurus marines recovered from battlefields. These bodies have been carefully examined by Inquistional investigators who have found in the majority of cases that the gene-seed almost matches that of the Astral Sharks - although there is evidence of subtle mutation. This is not unexpected, as it is believed the lost company of Astral Sharks served as the basis for the Legion; and given their exile to the warp-storm infested region of the Bull's Head Nebula, the corruption of Chaos is to be expected.

What is disturbing for the Imperials is that two of the other gene-seed samples are from Loyalist chapters that have fought against the Legion, suggesting two things: firstly, that the Legion is taking the gene-seed of Marines they have slain; secondly, and of far greater concern, is that they may even be recruiting formerly Loyalist Marines in to their ranks.

So far it has been easier to find evidence of the former, as on the few occassions the Legion have fought in warzones where Loyalist Maries have deployed they have engaged them with intense ferocity. For example, during the fall of Epithane on Allenth, a large contingent from the Legion forced a strike force of the Red Templars to split in the ruins of the city's administrative district. Part of this force became completely cut off by the Legion who then simply over-whelmed the Templars. An extraction mission was sent to retrieve any survivors or the bodies of the fallen, but they found no trace of their Brethren.

Investigators of the Inquisition are currently trying to ascertain what the 4th Company of the Marines Malevolent found when they went to Niedemas to recover their fallen after the battle of Kurruth. The Strike Cruiser Purge of Weakness arrived at the planet in response to Imperial distress signals at the start of the Legion's invasion. Arriving in orbit during the second month of the conflict, they immediately deployed a task force from Drop Pods to support encircled elements of the loyalist PDF near the capital of the planet's second largest continent. Upon making planetfall the Marines Malevolent were immediately cut-off from linking with the PDF by a surging cultist counter-attack, and were then assaulted by a large force from the Legion of Taurus. Another force were deployed, flying to the surface in Thunderhawks, but very quickly they returned to the Purge which then immediately jumped from the system, inspite of the pleas of the Imperial commanders for continued aid. Although they have so far had no co-operation from the Marines Malevolent, investigators believe they, like the Red Templars, were unable to retrieve their Brethren. Yet their lack of co-operation has raised suspicions that they found something worse; either way, Niedemas has left a huge stain upon the honour of the Marines Malevolent.

As the threat the Legion of Taurus poses to the Odothese Sector grows, it is perhaps of some comfort to the Imperials that their desecration of Loyalist Marine gene-seed has caused a number of Chapters to take Vows of Vengeance against the Legion. The Red Templars are said to be massing a crusade, recruiting forces from the Black Templars, Avenging Eagles, and Marines Invigilant with the intention of hunting down and repelling the Legion from the Sector. And it is certain that the 4th Company of the Marines Malevolent are recovering, making plans to strike back in vengeance against the Legion.

But only time will tell if the might of the Adeptus Astartes is enough to counter the fanaticism of belief and predatory tactics of the Legion of Taurus, and its horde of traitorous and mutant allies.


I am now working on a 3-part Short Story which will establish the Legion's motivations and clear up some of the 'grey areas' in this article. I'll post these on Warseer as they're finished. In the meantime, thanks for reading! :)