View Full Version : Index Astartes article

24-01-2006, 21:42
Yeah, I know every newb wanders in here and posts up some twaddle about his marines being the best, yadda yadda yadda.

What I hope to do instead is present a "balanced" view of a space marine chapter I've been developing fluffwise for years, with a few battles to show how games can influence the fluff (the "noteworthy battles" section contains some of my favourite games with the army). Its a bit to easy to say how your favourite chapter/ork warband/eldar craftworld is popular with everyone, loved by all, and totally badass. I hope I've escaped that trap.
Anyway, heres the Revenants:

24-01-2006, 21:43
Index Astartes: Revenants

The Revenants are a dark and threatening chapter to their enemies, engaging in terror tactics, fast strikes and swift assaults to break their enemies in the name of the holy emperor. However, their inquisitorial ties and willingness to persecute other marine chapters have made them few allies amongst their astartes battle brothers.

The Revenants where founded after the dire events of the age of apostasy, when Goge Vandire, high lord of terra, tore the imperium in two with a civil war to match the dark days of the Horus heresy. After the terrible cataclysm, a new founding of space marines was inducted and the chapters posted to areas of open insurrection and alien attack to help hold the imperium together and reforge it into something new.
The revenants where one such chapter, despatched to the eastern flank of the eye of terror and a sector known as Severna. There, they fought alongside newly reformed sisters of battle and the Ordo hereticus. Originally envisioned as a fleet based chapter, the men of the Revenants, drawn from a cluster of barbaric moons, proved able warriors and of fine spirit.
During their travels they arrived at a previously uncharted world, a planet they named Mortis, its white powdery surface and blackened, pockmarked surface looking like a huge Xenos skull. The planet appeared on no star charts or astropathic logs the Revenants could find, and they sent teams to the surface to investigate. It turned out the planet was one vast cityscape, riddled with war damage, barbaric urban tribes and ancient ecologies overgrown into hostile jungles and savannas filled with the most dangerous beasts from across the sector. Somehow, long ago, this world had been abandoned and lost to Humanity, and the Revenants took the world as their own. Now, they operate from its most intact fortress and gather recruits from the barbarian tribes.

Mortis was once a city world during the dark age of technology, with a population measured in the trillions. What was left after the wars that ended that era was a world of dusty rock, interspersed with overgrown wilderness regions and populated by the descendants of the survivors of that terrible war. The Revenants claimed a mysteriously intact fortress at its north pole, known as “Rapture”, a vast space elevator that connects to a newly constructed orbital dock the equal of a Ramilies class star fort. The reason for this massive level of protection is that the world lies on the edge of the expanding empire of Dakkagor Grimskraga Gitburna, an insane ork warlord who wishes to extinguish all human life and decimate the Imperium of man. The urban primitives that populate the ruined world make excellent recruits for the Revenants, with an acceptance level in the mid 50% of gene seed. They are also proficient with long ranged weapons and modern close combat techniques, making them quick recruits to train. Revenant marines will then train in the wilderness zones or the urban zones to learn and hone their combat skills.

Combat Doctrine
Revenant combat doctrine has evolved from their continuous support of Inquisitorial purges and their preference for urban warfare. Many squads will dispense with heavy weapons in favour of lighter close ranged weaponry. The chapter has a much higher proportion of apothecaries than normal (they are needed to conduct the mass genetic screening some inquisitors may call for) and they are often distributed to tactical squads on the frontline, resulting in a lower casualty rate and units that can operate in the field for considerable lengths of time. They make little use of bikes and land speeders, preferring full battle tanks and artillery support. The revenants favour armoured spearheads and blitzkrieg tactics supported by combat drops. This tactic is generally used to insert marines within an enemies rear echelons, where they can do the most damage.
Overall, the Revenants rely on fear, intimidation and surprise tactics to overwhelm their enemies. Their many librarians make use of prescient powers and the warp to outwit and terrify their enemies, with carefully staged attacks on command outposts and rear areas by terminators to sow fear and terror in enemy armies before their armour finishes them off. Thanks to the support of their apothecaries, a revenant squad can operate for a significantly longer time without support than other space marines: a tactic used when conducting city fights. A favourite Revenant tactic is to let an enemy advance in an urban environment sweep over a sector they currently defend with a token force (often scouts and reserve company marines). When the enemy has broken through, they counterattack with their true force (armour and veterans held in reserve), while the actual defenders (battle company brethren) use their power armour to dig themselves out of hiding positions, catching them in a deadly trap. It is not unknown for Revenants to literally bury themselves in rubble and earth, arising like the restless dead they are named for when the enemy turns to flee, massacring them without pity. Despite their terrifying reputation, the Revenants work hard to maintain good relations with other imperial units and formations, especially Inquisitorial forces and the Imperial guard. Their relationship with other space marine chapters often borders on the violent, however, due to certain infamous incidents.

The revenants follow codex organisation closely, apart from the lack of faster tactical units (bikes and speeders) and the lack of heavy weapons in tactical squads, and the higher numbers of veteran apothecaries. Despite these aberrations the chapter works to follow the codex in overall equipment. It also maintains a very large scout corp. (at least a hundred and fifty members) to replace battle losses quickly and allow for wider theatre tactics. Fleet assets available are the Venerable battle barge Sword of Righteousness, the battle barges Cloak of Dignity and Spear of agony. Their strike cruisers include Sword of Glory, Spear of Death, Staff of Portents, Shield of Mars, Hammer of Justice, Lance of Redemption and Mace of Retribution. They possess roughly twenty escort class ships in all, and a higher proportion of thunderhawk transporters in all to move their armour to the planet quickly.

The Revenants have ties going back over 3000 years with the Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus and the Ordo Hereticus. In the area, the Inquisitors know they can rely on Space Marine support. In return, the Inquisition is rumoured to pass favours to the Revenants. This would explain their possession of a venerable battle barge, (an emperor class apparently captured and retrofitted after the recapture of the hulk Prophet of loss) and their high proportion of terminator suits and dreadnoughts (over 60 terminator suits and many dreadnoughts) Its possible this battle salvage comes from chapters that the inquisition have had destroyed over the years for heresy and mutation, a rumour spread and believed by chapters like the Space Wolves and Black Dragons who have a famously poor relationship with the Emperors left hand.
Currently, Inquisitor Lord Dravidus is fighting alongside the Revenants on the heresy world of Balis, while Inquisitor Emmarin, a renowned member of the ordo xenos, is stationed on their Homeworld providing briefings on new xenos threats.
Several planetary governors owe much to the Revenants, and are more than willing to bend over backwards to accommodate them. Imperial forces in the sector realise that the Revenants are the only hope of stopping Dakkagor’s mad plans for conquest, and therefore support them out of fear of the burgeoning ork warlord. Revenants are more unwilling than most to waste the lives of the imperial guard, realising their worth, and so they have strong relationships with several regiments, to the point of conducting training exercises alongside them. Most notable, the Dniepr armoured regiments and Elysian Air cavalry have both benefited from this relationship. The revenants are also more willing to dispatch reinforcements to cover an imperial guard retreat or provide them with a spearhead attack they can follow up.

The Revenants say that a marine is best defined by his enemies, and the Revenants have many enemies. They range from Dakkagor, an ork warlord, to chaos raiding parties from the eye of terror, Eldar from the craft worlds and their piratical kin, to traitor guardsmen, rogue inquisitors and most surprisingly, the Dark angels chapter. A few bloody battles with this chapter have resulted in nothing but hatred between the two, after an incident on Ocala II.

24-01-2006, 21:44
Campaigns/battles of note
Ocala II
During a series of brutal battles to repel the forces of chaos from this civilised world, The Revenants met the Dark angels while both where moving to claim a distress signal from the Alpha legion. The Revenants stated over open comm. frequencies that the Inquisition had given them orders to capture and interrogate the prisoner. As they moved forwards, the Dark angels opened fire, most of it going wide in the pre dawn gloom. The Revenants responded in kind, with Captain Sephidor stating in his AAR to the inquisition “Any man who shoots at a Revenant is a dead man, no matter his allegiance”. The Revenants gave far better than they got, demolishing the Dark angels with no mercy shown and none asked. Even a teleporting squad of deathwing where annihilated. A book from one of the Dark angels commanders was recovered after he was critically injured (not killed) and the prisoner, a “space marine in black and white armour of a heresy era design, un warped by chaos” was taken by Thunderhawk to the Venerable battle barge Sword of Vengeance waiting in high orbit. Onboard the thunderhawk at that time was the recovered book, the captured renegade space marine, and Lord Inquisitor Kasimir and then Chief Librarian Metatron, along with full squad of first company battle brothers.
However, the thunderhawk was caught by a rogue (some would say deliberate) orbital strike from the dark angels and shot down, crashing in the Ardus mountains. By the time Revenant and Inquisitorial relief teams arrived, they found the occupants dead, but to Chaos or Dark Angel hands, no one could tell. The book and the prisoner where both gone. Since that day, the Revenants have held nothing but contempt for the Dark Angels and their successors ever since.

Defence of Fortification line BX36
During a Dark Eldar raid on the contested planet of Tharlax Prime, the revenants 3rd company was caught stretched across a thin defensive line, holding several armoured bunkers. Believing that the space marines would make easy kills, the Dark Eldar descended on the command portion of the defensive line BX36 intent on slaughter. However, the Revenants held firm, and guided by the wisdom of Captain Gabriel of the 3rd company, directed all their available fire at the Dark Eldar skimmers, bringing them down quickly and efficiently, before mowing down the troops inside. Though they took horrendous casualties holding the sector, they never took a step back, and for every space marine killed, 5 Dark Eldar where sent screaming to hell. When reinforcements arrived in the form of a predator squadron and a rhino transported tactical squad, the reavers fell back, realising the advantage was lost. The shadow shrouded corpses of the Eldar where 3 foot deep around the bunkers, and less than a full squad of defenders survived the engagement, but the wreckage of the battle was plain to see. Charred Eldar bodies littered the ground along with their wrecked tanks. For his actions that day Captain Gabriel was conferred the holy vestments of the dreadnought, for his wounds where too grievous for him to live otherwise. The tactics of the battle are taught to all Revenant battle brothers as an example of a perfectly executed defence.

Last stand on the Relic river line.
A splinter fleet of hive fleet kraken entered the worlds under the Revenants protection, and tracked by their ships, the Revenants mustered the whole of their chapter to fight them. Tracking them to the world of Erin, they deployed their strength in defensive positions while engaging them in space. The splinter fleet was small, but breeched the planetary defences anyway, landing swarms of tyranids to engage and consume their enemy. The guard held up well, but their line was breached and then forced to fall back. As the Revenants battle barges attacked the tyranids vessels, they redeployed some of their troops into the path of the tyranid force before it could compromise the imperial fall back and regroup. Defending a relic river that gave them an excellent killing field, the space marines set up prefabricated defences and prepared for the worst. Elements from the 4th company engaged the tyranids in an epic 3 day battle, before being overrun. However, when the tyranids rallied to the attack, their strength had been seriously depleted, and a guard counter assault was able to crush them beneath the tanks of the Emperors hammer. In orbit, the Revenants finished the remaining Tyrannic vessels alongside the Imperial Navy. When their apothecaries and Techmarines moved to the surface to recover their battle lost, they found that the guard of the Dniepr 15th, one of the counter attack regiments, had cleansed and buried the bodies of the revenants, extracting the geneseed under the instructions of the last apothecary still alive in the force, who had survived by being trapped and pinned under a dead tyranid warriors bulk. They had also recovered the space marines power armour. To honour the regiment, its men where entered on the Chapters roll of honour, and their commander was gifted a power sword crafted by a master Techmarine. To this day the Dniepr 15th are known as the “angel swords”, their commander carrying the weapon with him at all times.

The Revenants conduct a series of initiations throughout their lives, reminiscent of the gang initiations they endured when amongst the barbarians of mortis, but much more brutal. All these ceremonies bind the Revenants together in their worship of the emperor, who they worship directly as the greatest warrior who ever lived, as they have no known primarch. They remind themselves daily of his sacrifice and strive to emulate him in everyway, hence the belief that psyker talents are a gift from the emperor himself, not a curse. This results in friction with certain other factions, such as Black Templars and hard line Ordo Hereticus inquisitors, who take a different view to the “coven of witches” in the Revenants ranks.

Revenant geneseed is exceedingly stable, with no aberrations detected. The recruits from Mortis exhibit a high level of psychic aptitude, meaning an inquisitor is always on hand to weed out the weak alongside the Revenants own librarians potentials, who are plentiful due to this quirk in the planets population. The mortis natives tend to have pale skin and exceedingly dark hair, and this means that the chapter has a pale and deathly cast to it that does much to enhance their already fearsome reputation.

Chapter Battle cry
“Death wakes!”

25-01-2006, 18:24
Excellent read and as you said nothing that screams over the top. Nice job. What is their color scheme & symbol? What traits are you using? Purity Above All seems to be pretty obvious from the fluff but what else are you using?

25-01-2006, 23:22
Thanks! The colour scheme is black. The left shoulder pad displays the chapter symbol (a white skull looking towards the viewer) with the company colour on the rim. The opposite shoulder pad has the company colour on the internal surface with the squad number on it, with the chapter colour on the rim. The company colour is often repeated on either the shins or the kneepads. Apothecaries are bone white in the main, with the same colour scheme as their company on the shoulder pads, as above.

Chapter doctrines are cleanse and purify, purity above all. Chapter drawbacks are Eye to Eye, (none of the faster and lighter tactical equipment) and death before dishonour. (in a foolhardy attempt to prove themselves to their fellow astartes, they often stand and fight long after a battle is lost, though this didn't carry across well)

Thanks for the input and questions.

29-01-2006, 21:23
Perfectly fine all-around fluff. The guard unit helping to extract geneseed might, just maybe a little, be a stretch. But, I love more apothecaries, and I love the battles of note portion. Heh heh, how did their battles with Ork warlord Dakkagor go?

31-01-2006, 11:20
Dakkagors boyz are my other army, a conversion heavy evil sunz list that sometimes turns goff (like, under the full moon). Alot of my armies have a shared history. (So the iron warriors, when I get round to them, will be operating in the sector, and when I do my guard they will be stationed on the front lines against my orks.)

As for the geneseed. . .I suppose so, but there was an apothecary telling them what to do, and your average command section will have a medic running around, so its not too implausible.

Defence of Fortification line BX36
Most. Brutal. Game. Ever. My initial defenders got nearly wiped out by heavy weapon fire, then killed most of the dark eldar or forced them to flee. Then my reserves showed up and his left flank advance just disintergrated. I held every bunker with massive losses, but he had practically wiped himself out in the process. It was an awesomely cinematic game, especially my commander chewing through a whole squad of incubi with his bare hands, then using his powerfist to nail their raider after running them down!

01-02-2006, 01:16
Tell 'em about the "training missions" Dakkagor!

01-02-2006, 01:45
Very nice read. Well done