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Thread: A Sword Forged For Vengeance

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    Chapter Master Fox Of 9's Avatar
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    A Sword Forged For Vengeance

    THE BLADE IS FORGED


    Ten millennia ago, in the aftermath of the calamitous war known as the Horus Heresy, a second treachery would befall Primarch Lion El'Jonson and his Dark Angels Legion. His closest friend, and trusted ally, Luther, consumed by the dark-jealousy in his heart, had fallen to the whispers of the Dark Gods. Having been seduced by the Dark Gods' lies, Luther, a man known for his passionate oratory, led the Dark Angels stationed on Caliban into heresy.

    So it became, that instead of arriving home to jubilation, that the loyalist Dark Angels were instead greeted with a sudden, shocking storm of laser-fire from the planet's surface. A dozen or more of Lion El'Jonson's ships were torn asunder in this opening barrage, and several more would be lost before the fleet could retreat, back into deeper space. Once the Primarch pieced together what had occurred upon the planet's surface, his cold fury was a terrifying sight to behold. Now determined to punish his once-father and traitorous sons, The Lion quickly planned what would become a devastating assault on the planet's surface.

    Orbital bombardments from Lion El'Jonson's fleet systematically began to obliterate Caliban's defense lasers, driving the traitors on the surface back into their void-shielded fortress monasteries. Under the cover of this bombardment, The Lion himself led a surgical strike into the heart of the traitorous Dark Angels: Luther's stronghold, the seat of his power, and the mightiest fortress-monastery on the planet. As fire rained down from the starry-heavens, Lion El'Jonson and Luther himself came face-to-face, squaring off in a frenzied struggle. Luther, transformed into a Chaos Champion, was now evenly matched in strength with the enraged Primarch, the violence of their duel rending the fortress apart around them. Then, as the planet itself began to crumble beneath the ferocity of the loyalist Dark Angels' bombardment, Luther stumbled, no longer able to keep pace with his former son. But, at this critical moment, The Lion faltered, unable to bring his sword down upon, and slay his former-father. However, Luther, his mind warped and twisted by the Dark Gods' whims, had no such compassion, and with a monstrously powerful psychic attack, blasted the Primarch off his feet.

    It was only after this, that Luther did finally realise what he had done. He had betrayed a man he once called son and brother, bringing him low with a wicked, tainted power that had deluded him into committing such a horrific act. This sudden realisation and the clarity of mind it brought with it, was too much of a burden for Luther to bare. His mind fractured, leaving him to collapse with a sorrowful scream, falling to his knees at Lion El'Jonson's side. Hearing this cry, the Dark Gods knew they had been denied their prize. Enraged, they engulfed Caliban in vast Warp storm. The planet, its surface already cracked and broken, could not withstand the Warp storm's intensity. In its disintegration, vast swathes of the planet were swallowed whole by the Warp, along with those surviving traitors.

    In the wake of this great cataclysm, the loyalist Dark Angels descended to the last remaining vestige of their homeworld. Preserved by might void-shields, Luther's ruined fortress stood alone atop an outcrop of shattered rock. It was there that they found the arch-traitor, alone, gibbering, and insane. Though there was no sign of their Primarch, Luther swore that he had been borne away by an eerie procession of shadowy, hooded figures. Perhaps even worse than this, the traitorous Dark Angels were also gone, bearing with them the dire tale of the legion's shame.

    With their Primarch missing and their Battle-Brothers on Caliban having betrayed them to Chaos, the Dark Angels decided the true story of treachery behind the destruction of Caliban must remain secret; no outsider must learn of the schism that had split the Ist Legion, or that any Dark Angels had ever turned to the service of the Ruinous Powers. Should the truth be revealed, the Dark Angels would be labelled Excommunicate Traitoris and never given a chance to redeem themselves.

    To aid in keeping this dreadful secret, the senior members of the Legion formed a secret conclave, an Inner Circle formed of the Legion's Masters. Together, they created an overlapping system to watch over their own brothers, and also themselves. Believing that everyone must be scrutinised for signs of corruption. To ensure that such an event could never befall the Legion ever again.

    Such had been the scale of the disaster of the Fall of Caliban that there could be no hiding it. Psykers across the galaxy had sensed the Warp Storm that ripped the world apart, and the titanic flash of the tempest meeting the indomitable force field surrounding the Dark Angels' Fortress-Monastery had blazed like a supernova. However, the Dark Angels erected a systematic cover-up of the truth, for each remaining Battle-Brother of the Ist Legion had taken stringent vows of unspeakable binding to never reveal what really took place on Caliban. Their story might not have held up under an intense inquiry, but it was a time of great upheaval in the Imperium and the retreating Traitor Legions were bolder near the Eye of Terror: the Night Lords, in particular, laid many ambushes that took a high toll on their Imperial pursuers. That a Warp Storm had claimed the Dark Angels' homeworld, and so many of their brethren, was but another tragedy in a deluge of grim tidings.

    Inquiries found the Dark Angels battered, grief-stricken and bereft of reinforcements, but there was little time for any succour, for war called. Across the galaxy, Traitor strongholds remained and many rebellious planets had yet to be shown the error of their judgement, but most ominous of all was the rise of the Xenos threat. Much of the Imperium's strength had been siphoned off in the civil war and so countless planets found themselves at the mercy of a new wave of Xenos attacks. Leaving only those necessary to oversee the work being done on the reconstruction of what would become The Rock, the Dark Angels split their remaining Legion fleet in an attempt to answer the many distress calls that reached them.

    In the Cadian Sector, they joined the Blood Angels, themselves still reeling from the loss of their Primarch Sanguinius during the Battle of Terra. Together, like vengeful angels, they drove the Traitors and daemons alike into exile. On Seption Prime, Dark Angels Terminator companies arrived just in time to provide a rearguard action, allowing the Ultramarines to extract their forces before that Plague Planet lost to the pestilential whims of Nurgle was destroyed by Exterminatus. All who fought alongside the Dark Angels lauded them as steadfast warriors, utterly dedicated to the destruction of the Emperor's enemies. However, years later, upon their return to The Rock, the much-depleted Dark Angels' Legion found themselves greeted with disturbing news.

    At the time of the Fall of Caliban, the Dark Angels thought their traitorous brethren had all been destroyed, vanquished to a man in the Warp Storm that blossomed in the death throes of their homeworld. And while it was true that the Fallen Angels had been swept into the vortex of that horrific rent in the galaxy, the fury of the Dark Gods had not slain them. The scryings of the Legion's Librarians searched long and hard for their missing Primarch. Of him, they could read no signs. They did, however, pick up traces of the Fallen and determined that the Traitors yet lived, although what remained of their psychic signatures were widespread, and the connections were already fading out of mindsight.

    The Masters of the Ist Legion greeted this new shock with typical stoicism, despite the inner turmoil it created. On the one hand, they feared that while the Fallen lived, knowledge of their Legion's treachery against the Emperor might be spread throughout the galaxy. On the other hand, the continued existence of the Traitors offered hope, for if the Renegades could be tracked down and forced to repent, then the sins of the Legion might be absolved, washed away in the blood of the Fallen. The Grand Masters of the nascent Inner Circle swore that so long as even one of the Fallen remained alive and unrepentant, the Dark Angels would be Unforgiven, cursed by their brothers to atone for all eternity. As the hearts' of the Inner Circle reeled from the hammer blow of this dark truth, a second tumultuous event was already forming on the horizon.

    Less than a full standard year later, Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines Legion and Lord Commander of the Imperium of Man, formally submitted the Codex Astartes and decreed that the nine remaining Loyalist Legions would be divided into 1,000-man Chapters. The Chapter Masters of which would be directly beholden to the Emperor Himself and no other, not even the Primarchs of their original founding Legions. To the Dark Angels, this decree was met with a mixed reception. Not that anyone outside the Legion's Inner Circle could've known. Some saw it as a fitting punishment for their failings. Others worried that dividing their strength between multiple commanders would impede their ability to successfully hunt down and capture the members of the Fallen. A select few raged and cursed at the audacity of this new decree. However, a growing, silent majority agreed that perhaps this was an opportunity. That this decree was a blessing in disguise. With the cataclysmic destruction of Caliban still fresh in their minds, they could not risk drawing any undue attention to themselves, and how else could they justify sending dozens, if not hundreds of Astartes on secret missions, spreading the forces of their Legion unchecked, across such vast swathes of the galaxy. Thus, the Dark Angels acquiesce to the decree and began planning to split the Legion down into six Chapters, and so it appeared that they followed Guilliman's dictates to the letter.

    As with every deed since the fall of Caliban, however, the Dark Angels were following a hidden agenda. Their successors, who would collectively become known as the Unforgiven, formed their own Inner Circle to guard the knowledge of the Dark Angels' secret shame. Each one establishing companies concurrent with the Deathwing and Ravenwing, though named differently to maintain at least the veneer of individuality. In reality, though the Unforgiven claimed their own Chapter homeworlds, heraldry, and doctrines, their leaders attended clandestine meetings on the Rock with the Supreme Grand Master of the Dark Angels. These ritual-laden gatherings saw the Unforgiven take their orders from the master of the Dark Angels, so that the ongoing hunt for the Fallen could continue in utmost secrecy.

    The Chapters created from the Dark Angels' Legion purposely grouped together Astartes of similar temperament and outlook. The Angels of Absolution, formed of Battle-Brothers who felt that their shame in the eyes of the Emperor of Mankind had been wiped away due to their actions during the fall of Caliban and that they had already earned his absolution. The Angels of Redemption, made up of the most zealous Battle-Brothers of the old Legion, of whom, none could be dissuaded of their mission to hunt down the Fallen. A duty they performed with particular zeal. And lastly, the Angels of Vengeance.

    The Angels of Vengeance were comprised of those who believed their perceived sins were irredeemable in the eyes of their Primarch, and the Emperor of Mankind. And that since the fall of Caliban, they were all Heretics, one and all, irrespective of which side they had fought on. But they knew the Imperium was still in great peril, and would not survive without them and their fellow scions of Lion El'Jonson. So it was, with renewed purpose, that these Battle-Brothers rededicated their lives in service to the Imperium, prepared to constantly seek out the threats of Xenos, Heretics, and apostates, so that they may do battle. And in doing so, if only in death, earn a modicum of forgiveness.
    Last edited by Fox Of 9; 29-07-2019 at 19:26.

  2. #2
    Chapter Master Fox Of 9's Avatar
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    Re: A Sword Forged For Vengeance

    THE ANGELS OF VENGEANCE


    The deeds of the Angels of Vengeance are even less well-known than those of the other Unforgiven Chapters, for they shun fame and laurels, instead, concentrating on their duties to the exclusion of all else. They are a grim and dour organisation, with all of their companies wearing jet black Power Armour - a tribute to the panoply worn by the original Dark Angels Legion, when they first set out from Terra on the Great Crusade.

    Known for their unrelenting hatred of any enemies of the Imperium of Man, the Angels of Vegeance constantly seek out the threats of Xenos, Heretics, and apostates so that they may do battle. Potential allies are often cowed by the Battle-Brothers' cold-blooded determination and icy single-mindedness. The Chapter is so utterly dedicated to its duty that its brethren think or speak of little else. This drive extends beyond a simple devotion to duty, into an all-consuming obsession. The Angels of Vengeance hold little or no regard for the strategies of other forces, relentlessly pursuing their own battle plans regardless of the schemes others might have set in motion. On numerous occasions, this behaviour has led to a battle being won at the expense of an entire campaign, the Angels of Vengeance caring only that their own immediate objectives are obtained regardless of the wider picture.

    The Chapter's attitude might long ago have led to it being entirely ostracised by any of the Imperium's armies beside which it might take to the field. This is not the case however, for the Chapter's total devotion has on numerous occasions led to it achieving stunning victories and achieving objectives others have written off as unobtainable. The Chapter's all-consuming dedication to its mission translates into a total rejection of the notion of failure. It is true that the Space Marines of the Adeptus Astartes "know no fear", but the Angels of Vengeance are so relentless and stubborn in their approach to battle that they refuse even to re-deploy. Even in the face of overwhelming odds, the Angels of Vengeance fight on, frequently emerging from the fires of battle having sustained enormous losses, but having earned such victories as lesser warriors could only dream of. Other Chapters might regard the Angels of Vengeance as tactically inflexible and stubborn, but none can dispute the roll of battle honours it has earned over the millennia.

    The Angels of Vengeance have, on more than one occasion, suffered horrific casualties in the name of victory - a result of their absolute refusal to retreat in the face of any foe. More than any other Unforgiven Chapter, this has lead to the Chapter's very future being put in jeopardy, beginning with their appalling depletion during the Forgotten Wars. More recently, in the aftermath of the Siege of San Apolis, their losses were so extreme that the Chapter was forced to spend almost a century rebuilding before it could do battle once more.


    CHAPTER ORGANISATION


    Innitially, the Angels of Vengeance eschewed the establishment of a Chapter homeworld and took to the stars in a mighty war fleet. Due to this, they maintain a large fleet of Strike Cruisers, Battle Barges and Escorts that has been refit for long-range operations without the benefit of other naval support. Those long centuries spent as a fleet-based Chapter have greatly influenced the Chapter's combat and recruitment doctrines, with it not being unusual for over half the Chapter to be out on Crusade. To facilitate this unusual hybridisation, the Chapter not only controls a fortress-monastery on their homeworld but also a vast network of Chapter Keeps on every world they conquer or reclaim, which provide a training base for new recruits for the Chapter and to act as staging points for further Crusades.

    As a result of the horrific casualties the Angels of Vengeance regularly suffer, the Chapter sustains an additional five companies, reportedly keeping their number of active Astartes at around one-thousand or so Battle-Brothers. However, the true number of Battle-Brothers is known only to the Chapter's Master and the Grandmaster of the Dark Angels. Apart from the 1st and 2nd companies, each of these companies, known as Orders, handle their own recruitment and training, with each of the Order's Sergeants overseeing the instruction of a dozen or so Initiates. Of these thirteen Orders, approximately half will be formed into the Chapter's Battle Orders, bearing the main duties of combat, with the remaining forming the Chapter's Reserve Orders. Above these thirteen Orders stand the Dreadwing and Raptorwing, the Chapter's 1st and 2nd Orders.
    Last edited by Fox Of 9; 03-08-2019 at 19:39.

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    Chapter Master Fox Of 9's Avatar
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    Re: A Sword Forged For Vengeance

    BATTLE ORDERS


    Much like the Battle Companies of the Dark Angels, the Battle Orders of the Angels of Vengeance fight in the name of the Emperor, the Primarch, and Humanity. Each Battle-Brother utterly dedicated to their Chapter, conducting themselves with conviction and heroism on battlefields across the galaxy.

    If the Battle Companies of the Dark Angels are likened to the foundations of some great keep, the Battle Orders of the Angels of Vengeance are the leading edge of some monstrous black blade, cutting a path through the enemies of Humanity for all those who follow behind them. Any and all of the 3rd to 15th Orders can be a Battle Order at any one time, and stand at the forefront of the Angels of Vengeance's many Campaigns and Crusades. At initial deployment, an Order designated as a Battle Order will be comprised of anywhere between one-hundred-and-fifty to two-hundred Battle-Brothers. Upwards of two-thirds of this number will be made up of fresh Initiates, Battle-Brothers who have newly completed their initial instruction period under the tutelage of the Order's many Sergeants. Though skilled, these Initiates are without real battle experience, and many of their number will fall before a crusade's end, and those who survive will be forged anew by each battle until finally, these surviving, battle-hardened Initiates are deemed worthy of being inducted into one of the Order's Warden squads. These Warden squads make up the majority of the remaining third of an Order's forces are battle-hardened veterans, each one having honed their mastery of war for dozens of standard years. In battle, each Warden squad will be given almost free reign over their section of the battlefield, their squad Sergeant relaying and overseeing commands to any nearby Initiate squads, all the while, the roar of their specialist and heavy weaponry bellows above the din of battle.

    Each Order outside the 1st and 2nd Order also retains a complement of Battle-Brothers who stand above even the battle-hardened veterans of the Warden squads. Clad in swirling robes, faces shadowed by deep cowls, squads of these Angels of Vengeance are a sinister sight to behold upon the field of battle. Each is a specialist in their own right, either a master of long-ranged firefights, vicious, swirling close-quarters combat, or a strategically versatile mix of both. These experienced warriors form into tight-knit elite squads, fighting wordlessly, with surety and mutual trust guiding their bolts and blades. However, it is their relentless and unshakable approach to battle that elevates these warriors above their peers.

    To ensure mobility and support, each Battle Order will preserve enough Rhino and Razorback APCs to transport all of their Battle-Brothers into combat, while their Crusade Fleet carries sufficient Drop Pods for them to execute a full atmospheric assault whenever required. In addition, each Battle Order is also supported by elements from the Librarius, Apothecarion, Reculsiam, and Armoury, and accompanied by their honoured Dreadnought brothers. Finally, above all of this stands an Order Paladin. At first glance, his duty is to lead and command his brothers in the defense of Humanity. In reality, however, the Order Paladin must remain constantly vigilant, using every means at his disposal to locate members of the Fallen, and ready to take up the hunt at a moments notice.


    WAR COMPANIES


    On occasions, a detachment of a Battle Order may be deployed separately. In these circumstances, the command of these War Companies will fall to a Voted-Lieutenants, known as a Company Captain. These Battle-Brothers are elected by their peers rather than being nominated for the rank by a superior officer. Upon promotion to this position, a Company Captain will nominate a successor chosen to command the War Company in the event of their untimely death, so as not to interrupt the cohesiveness of a War Company's command structure. Throughout the Chapter, these Voted-Lieutenants are seen as special officers within the Angels of Vengeance, who not only act as both commanders of their own War Company but often serve as a counsel to both their Order's Paladin, as well as their Chapter Master.

    The actual structure of these War Companies varies greatly from deployment to deployment and commander to commander, with some being as small in size as forty Battle-Brothers, while others are as massive as one-hundered-and-ten Battle-Brothers and all their additional support. Due to this, it is not unheard of for a single Order to maintain several Strike Cruisers or Vanguard Cruisers in addition to one of the Chapter's many Battle Barges.


    RESERVE ORDERS


    Often, even in the face of overwhelming odds, the Angels of Vengeance will refuse to re-deploy, fighting stubbornly on, and frequently emerging from the fires of battle having sustained enormous losses, but having earned such victories as lesser warriors could only dream of.

    Due to this inflexible refusal to accept that any foe is their equal, a Battle Order will often suffer severe losses as a crusade progresses, to the point that the Order can no longer raise and train new recruits fast enough, even with the Chapter's vast network of Keeps and recruitment worlds. Once a Battle Order has been reduced to a state where it can no longer operate efficiently or effectively the Order's Paladin will almost always relinquish his command over the current crusade, either handing it off to a nearby Battle Order or Reserve Order. Once this handoff has been completed, the Order will now, in effect, become a new Reserve Order, its resources focused on recruiting and resupplying their forces, while also aiding in the support of any nearby Battle Orders' Crusades.

    It is with pride and determination that the Paladins of the Reserve Orders do their duty. To them falls the task of maintaining the Chapter's strength, training and readying Battle-Brothers in vast quantities. It is a rare and dreadful day that sees a Reserve Order deployed in full against Humanity's foes. More commonly, a detachment of Battle-Brothers under the command of a Company Captain will be seconded to a Battle Order's Crusade. Here they take the place of squads who have fallen in battle or have been rotated out to debrief, rearm, and redeploy elsewhere. The Space Marines of these Reserve Orders must, therefore, stand at the peak of readiness, prepared to integrate seamlessly with whichever Order the join.

    Unlike the Reserve Companies of other Chapters, these Reserve Orders do not have their own area of specialism and expertise. They do, however, carry many distinct and archaic rituals, rites, and traditions, each unique to the Order in question. This has lead to the strange practice of not promoting Battle-Brothers across companies, with any warriors seconded to another Order returning to their original Order at a Crusade's completion. The exceptions to this, of course, being both the Dreadwing and Raptorwing, who - with few exceptions - solely recruit seasoned veterans and honoured heroes from the other Orders.


    THE DREADWING


    The Dreadwing are the Angels of Vengeance's 1st Order. Much like their elite brethren in the Deathwing, they fight exclusively in ancient suits of Terminator armour. However, unlike the bone-white armour of the Deathwing, the Dreadwing's panoply is fire-blackened and chem-scalded, signs of the abominable weaponry they bare into battle. Radiation-based weapons, bio-alchemical munitions and the burning horror of Phospex are amongst the components that comprise the Dreadwing's dark arsenal - weapons which irrevocably taint the ground on which they are used. Equipped with, and expert in the use of these otherwise proscribed, and forbidden weaponry, they are their Chapter's ultimate weapon, used to defeat the worst foes faced on the battlefield. The fact that the Angels of Vengeance can deploy any of these relic-weapons at all, let alone in numbers they do, speaks volumes of the depth and breadth of horrible secrets and shadowy agreements the Chapter maintains.

    Although no one can deny the effectiveness of the Dreadwing and their foul weapons of mass destruction, the Battle-Brothers who comprise the Dreadwing are often shunned by the Astartes of other Chapters, even members of the Unforgiven, as being somehow morally or dishonourably tainted. This has led to them often being deployed only when there seems to be no other way to destroy the enemy, their appearance on the battlefield striking fear into all who oppose them. Just the whispers of the Dreadwing's name is enough to quell rebellions and put foes to flight.

    However, the true drawback of these tactics is the inevitable physical toll using such deadly weaponry takes on a Battle-Brother's body. Despite their genetically-enhanced Astartes physiology, members of the Dreadwing often display the physical effects of long-term use and proximity to such toxic weaponry, including: radiation-induced cellular degeneration, abnormally pale skin that displays unhealthy lightning-storms of veins and blood-bruises staining the flesh, yellowed-jaundiced eyes, and aggressive and rare forms of cancer which often result in the replacement of the affected organs with augmetic replacements.

    To become such a ghastly warrior - a dreadful specter of the Chapter's hatred - requires grim fortitude and an unbound contempt of the enemy. These warriors feel no compassion, no remorse, and no fear. Their absolute devotion to their duty leaves no room for anything but a cold and steely fanaticism, and they will advance willingly into the very maw of the Warp itself to complete their self-sacred duties.


    THE RAPTORWING


    The Angels of Vengeance 2nd Order, known as the Raptorwing, are an oddity amongst Astartes warriors, heavily favouring the use of Cameleoline and stealth. Lurking in ambush, members of the Raptorwing may remain concealed for hours, if not days, silently awaiting their target. When finally roused into battle, however, the Outrider and Talon squads of the Raptorwing will tear forward through enemy fire, their engines roaring, carving through the enemy formations like a blade through a monster's throat, while from afar, the icily calm members of the Order's Huntsmen squads will provide covering fire, each shot placed with an artist's skill. Members of the Raptorwing are issued with bespoke ammunition for their boltguns, such as armour-piercing Kraken bolts, acid-filled hellfire rounds, or Vengeance rounds, created using unstable flux core technology that makes them hazardous to use but extremely potent at penetrating through heavily armoured targets.




    As an example, the Dreadwing itself maintains a fleet of one Strike Cruiser, three Vanguard Cruisers, and the Chapter's sole Gloriana-class Battleship, though it is a dire time indeed when all of these assets are fielded together, en-mass.

    The only reason it is possible for the Chapter to continue to field such a considerable number of spacecraft is due to the Forge Moon of Menois, which orbits the gas giant Yunus, in the far-flung outer reaches of the Chapter's home system. When the Angels of Vengeance stumbled upon the long-lost system, one of the first instances of contact was at Menois, where the Chapter's Techmarines quickly discovered failings in the forges of Menois adherence to the Cult Mechanicus stringent teachings. Instead of putting the Forge Moon to the torch, the then Chapter Master, Zylla Donyell, struck an accord with the moon's ruling Tech-priests. Chapter Techmarines would be stationed upon the Forge Moon to monitor the forge, reining in the most deviant of tech-heresies, and in exchange, the Chapter would ignore lesser infractions against the Cult Mechanicus, allowing the Chapter to gain a nearly continuous supply of spacecraft, vehicles, weapons, and armour from Menois' forges.





    (To be continued...)
    Last edited by Fox Of 9; 04-08-2019 at 12:26.

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