View Full Version : WIP Warp Lions background

Chapter Master Leonidas
04-09-2008, 19:28
I'm building up to my first solid 40K project in several years, my own space marine chapter. Just a few quick words then I'll throw down what I've got so far.
Basically, I've always liked the Space Marines but I've never been a big fan of the mindless Imperial Cult thing, worshiping a dead emperor just doesn't appeal to my sensibilities. Chaos of course is an option but I'm not a huge fan of most of the chaos models, some are cool but not enough for me to want to do a chaos army at the moment. That's sort of left me hanging for a long time. I used to play Blood Angels, they were fun but with my re-introduction into the game I'd sort of like to do my own thing. It's primarily a modeling endeavor but I figured I'd better write up some background for these guys right, so here they are in their first draft:

Warp Lions Space Marine Chapter

“The Emperor wanted to bring light to the universe and make it a better place for all of humanity. Instead he got a living death interred in the golden throne, ten thousand years of war, and humanity prostrated before images of him in worship. Sometimes I wonder if the only thing the Great Crusades proved was that humanity was unworthy of the gift of reason.”
-Chief Librarian Theseus, Warp Lions

When the 20 Primarchs’ were scattered to the far corners of the galaxy, one, whose name has been forgotten by the Imperium of Man, fell to the surface of the planet Baradus. Baradus was a warm world that contained large seas, vast mountain ranges and huge savannahs. The people of Baradus were mostly nomadic, though a few cultural centers existed for the retaining of knowledge both past and present. Baradus’ people prized nothing more highly then the search for truth and the pursuit of understanding of the world around them.
Adrastos, one of the forgotten Primarchs’, grew quickly amongst this culture and made a name for himself as the child who at 10 years of age slew a great male white lion and raised several cubs too become his companions. Adrastos had a keen mind and it was said he was able to see to the heart of a matter before an individual had even uttered a word. Adrastos grew up strong and wise and was eventually discovered by the Emperor and brought back to the fold. Adrastos was made Primarch of the XI legion which he named the Warp Lions.

The Great Crusade and Horus Heresy
Adrastos threw his legion into the Great Crusade with relish. He saw the truth of the Emperors plans and knew that securing peace in the galaxy could only be attained by first clearing the path of opposition. Adrastos was more forgiving of Xenos races that didn’t appear to hold malice to humanity, and it was said he had a particularly like for the Eldar who he understood were in the same place that human kind was, trying to carve out a part of the universe so that they may live in peace.
When word of Horus betrayal reached the Warp Lions, Adrastos immediately went into seclusion in order to contemplate the future of the universe on the new path. It is said at this time he was assisted by an Eldar Farseer who helped teach him how to see possible futures. During this period of contemplation it is told that Adrastos saw a future of war, and a humanity that no longer sought truth in the universe but robed itself in ignorance. Adrastos appeared before his legion and proclaimed that the Warp Lions would go into hiding! The Horus had seen the truth of things in his own way but was under the influence of powerful forces Adrastos had yet to understand but that he knew humanity was heading for a never ending war and a dark time but at some point in the future they would need the knowledge of that time. He explained that the Warp Lions would continue the Emperors crusade based on the original ideas for bringing light to the dark regions of space and making the galaxy a more friendly and comfortable place for humanity. With that, the legion disappeared from the annals of humanity and just a few hundred years later were completely expunged from the records of the newly growing Imperium.
The Warp Lions are based on Baradus and as of yet the Imperium has failed to locate this world.

The Warp Lions have a unique organizational structure due to mostly cutting themselves off from the rest of the Imperium during the Horus Heresy. They’ve managed to adapt some of their own alterations to their original structure and have also taken lessons learned from Roboute Guillimans’ Codex Astartes. It appears at this time that either the Warp Lions have managed to steal technology from the Imperium as it has advanced, or as some suspect, may be fed occasional supplies. There are some who believe that since at its core the Legion still fights for humanity at large, that the Imperium has settled with occasionally trading technology for assistance from the Warp Lions and are tolerated as a necessary evil that will someday be dealt with appropriately.

The Warp Lions have always been based on the world of Baradus. Baradus exists in a small nebula called ‘The Nettle’, and this makes it easy to ignore. Because of this, even on the darkest night on Baradus the sky is filled with the flickering lights of Aurora as well as the ever present clouds of colorful dust that occupy space around the system.
The planets most dominate life form after humanity is the Baradus Lions. Several species exist, the largest being the White Lions. All of them are revered and respected by the people of Baradus and are generally left to their own devices unless they encroach upon human territory or become a danger. There is a disease that affects almost all lion species on Baradus that ends with the creature going mad and expending itself in a blood rage where it kills everything that moves until the disease finally kills it, or something else does.

Life on Baradus is not easy. Most of the people on Baradus live a nomadic life style, subsisting off the land around them. A few move to the few urban sprawls on Baradus in order to educate themselves and to contribute to their culture in other ways, such as the sciences or industry.
Nomadic youths spend much of their time learning to hunt and survive in the wilderness. Youths who show promising survival skills are selected by the Warp Lions and brought back to Arcaen, their fortress built into several huge sink holes on the largest continent of Baradus. There these youths are put through many tough physical and mental challenges that weed out the weakest of them. Those that fail are either sent back to their clans where they often hold a place of honor amongst their warrior groups for having even been selected, or stay in Arcaen to assist the Warp Lions in other capacities.
The final Test for an aspirant is a ninety day period where they are left in the wilderness with nothing but the clothes on their back. That period may be cut short if the aspirant is able to hunt and kill a deranged lion, usually white, and can find his way back with the animals pelt.

Combat Doctrine
The Warp Lions fight like many Space Marine Chapters do. They maintain troops for all types of fighting from close combat to anti-tank work. In general Warp Lions prefer to keep forces well rounded and flexible since they often act independently from the main chapter or headquarters company.
Unlike current Codex Astartes Legions, the Warp Lions operate under 6 ‘Great Companies’. These 6 companies retain roughly three hundred to four hundred combat ready space marines and are organized similarly to each other. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th companies have at their core, squads of 10 tactical marines. These core squads are supported in each company by 1-3 Squads of terminator armored space marines, several squads of assault marines that are jump pack ready as well as land speeders, Devastator squads vehicles and dreadnoughts where and when available.
The first company, much like other chapters contains veteran Warp Lions. This company retains the most Terminators and Dreadnoughts. While generally retaining the well roundedness of the other companies, the First Company is heavier and leans more heavily towards an assault role.
The 6th company is primarily filled with scouts and some Tactical Squads. It too retains some flexibility and contains a little of everything but newly trained Warp Lions, and those who have been with the chapter the least amount of time make up the bulk of this company. The 6th company is generally divided up and assigned ad hoc to other companies in order to get its members combat experience.
Finally, there is another organization loosely referred to as the 7th Company or Ancestral Company. Those Warp Lions who are killed in the service of the chapter have their names entered on the roles of this company permanently. The Warp Lions also regard their elder Lions as revered wise men and so the organization of dreadnoughts and their supporting attachments are often also referred to as the 7th Company.
Functional detachments no matter what size or composition are referred to as Prides.

Imperial Cult and the Aquila
There are no Chaplains in the Warp Lions and no position resembling that of a Chaplain. The Warp Lions pride themselves in managing to stay with the original message of the Emperor and do not recognize him as god or god like. In fact they consider him dead and honor him as they would a fallen member of their own chapter.
The Chapter still wears the Aquila iconography but only as a recognition that they fight for humanity as a whole. On occasion the Aquila is replaced with the chapters lion head symbology.
Xenos Influence
The history of the Warp Lions is rife with tales of contact with the Eldar beginning with the chapters Primarch. Adrastos found the Eldar were a sad but understandable race of beings and saw no reason why the two races could not live in harmony together. For thousands of years Baradus has harbored a small colony of Eldar, hidden away in mountain valleys not far from Arcaen where members of the Warp Lions, notably Librarians and First company members can go to consult the Eldar and their vast knowledge.
It is said that in recent times Leonidas has begun to look for opportunities to confront the Tau to discover if this seemingly intelligent species could be contacted and made into allies against the darker threats of the galaxy.

Notable Members

Chapter Master Leonidas – Chapter Master Leonidas is easily recognized on the battlefield by the large white lion pelt that covers his terminator armor and the two crackling ‘Lions Claws’ lightning claws he prefers to fight with. Leonidas has been Chapter master for roughly 350 years and has participated in every major action by the chapter since he took up that leadership. He prefers to lead from the front and excels at making the enemies believe they have an advantage that in truth, they do not.

Chief Librarian Theseus – The librarians are held in high regard amongst the Warp Lions for the risks they take using and understanding the warp. The Warp Lions believe that the Warp is made up of a neutral material that can be molded by the wills of living beings. Theseus has been Chief Librarian for over a century now and has always reveled in the ability to utilize the warp in service to the Lions. He also deeply understands the dangers as he’s personally had to put down a few librarian adepts who proved not to be strong enough to resist the chaos powers siren calls.

Captain Leander – Captain Leander is 2nd Captain in the First company. His job is to lead his veteran Tactical marines in battle supporting the heavier First Company troops. Captain Leander admires Chapter Master Leonidas and Leonidas considers him potential Chapter Master material some day if he can only learn to cool his head and approach battle with a calmer mind. Currently Leander is well known in the chapter for his fiery temper and zeal in combat.

Agrippos – Agrippos is the Warp Lions oldest member, being over twelve hundred years old. These days he spends most of the time tucked away in his sarcophagi sleeping the slumber of a marine interred in dreadnought armor. He is only awoke during the more active periods or when Leonidas feels he needs this great warriors wisdom. As a Marine Agrippos was known for his sense of humor and his encouraging feelings of brotherhood and neither of these have dimmed since he began to serve the chapter as a dreadnought.

Chapter Master Leonidas
04-09-2008, 19:34
The Chapters based loosely with a greek theme. I thought the idea of the search for truth and the rational would fit well with a greek theme, considering their love of logic and knowledge.

I included a section addressing the Aquila mainly because I'm doing this army in two phases. The first phase is going to be quick, I'm basically using some lion shoulder pads from the high elf chariot to attach to my terminators as a quick conversion and painting a lion head symbol on the shoulder pads of everything else in the first pass. This will let me get an army painted up and ready to play quickly, then I'll go back and start converting more in earnest in phase two, losing most if not all of the imperial symbology since the Warp Lions aren't fans of he Imperial Cult.

Finally, in my head, they're being fed updated technology by the Inquisition, who feel that the Warp Lions cause is useful to the Imperium while it deals with other, more serious threats.

The only non standard piece of equipment I have in the army are some conversions I'm mulling over using the lions from the Helf chariot for 'counts as" space marine bikes. Once the Space Wolves come out, I may turn my entire army into a 'counts as" space wolves army as that may make more sense to the theme.

04-09-2008, 19:54
It's a good army theme, except for the parts about their Primarch, since it's confirmed now that the two lost Legions were already expunged from Imperial records well before the Heresy, and no one talked about it anymore.

Your army could still keep it's theme though, as a remnant of that XIth Legion.

04-09-2008, 22:18
Sound background, very serious, but still very likeable, there is a problem as Shibboleth says, but if you have them expunged because of their alliance with the eldar before the Heresy, that wont be a problem, as the eldar are prescientious (hmm, sp?), they could very well have told the chapter to go into hiding hundreds of years before the Heresy..

04-09-2008, 23:40
One problem I have stomaching, personally, is your Notable Members. The rest of the Index is pretty decent it's just the characters are stilted and caricatured to an extent that wouldn't put them out of place in the A-Team.

I don't wanna sound too harsh, but a little more depth than "The All-Round Badass", "The Psyker o' Doom", "CHAAAARGE!" and "Chuckles" would invariably make them much, much better.

Again, sorry for sounding overly hostile, it just bugs me to see that at the end of an otherwise decent+1 Index :(

Chapter Master Leonidas
05-09-2008, 14:56
lol, no problem Goruax, it's still a work in progress, and I think the trick is avoiding that sort of thing in the background can be sort of rough! They'll develop more as time goes on I'm sure. I like to develop some background for character models I do up so down the road for sure!

Wasn't aware the Primarchs were expunged before the heresy, I was always under the impression that it was the Imperium - post Imperial Cult that had expunged them. Where would I find more information on this?
It's always tricky sort of "claiming" one of two Primarchs for you own use anyway, admittedly there's something fairly cheesy about it but I figured what the hell, might as well go the entire distance right?!

05-09-2008, 23:27
You could find more information in for example the Horus Heresy books.

06-09-2008, 03:07
If they are(were) a mostly nomadic people (and therefore no spaceships) how would the Emperor have gotten Adrastos to join him if the Imperium has no knowledge of Baradus? I could see the Emperor knowing but the records being lost to everybody else, perhaps by the help of the Eldar (for some service/honor.)

Cool though.

06-09-2008, 03:42
Hey I really like the backgroung you've got going here Leonidas. Minor nitpick though - unless they've changed the background, the only Legion to wear the Aquila in pre-heresy days was the Emperor's Children Legion. Although I'm certain you can work that into your fluff without too much trouble.

Also, where do they get supplies from? How do they replenish losses? Do they only recruit from Baradus?