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Default IA: Stormhunters 2nd Draft

Hey guys! I've composed a second draft of the fluff for my homebrew chapter, the Stormhunters. If it seems like I'm obsessed with these guys, then yes, I am, and I apologize. As a result, this chapter is excessively detailed and thus the thread will be very long: you can get a Word doc of this, including optional crunch rules, on 2shared here. Other than that, enjoy!

The Stormhunters

++++++++++++++++Transmitted: Adept Halken………………………….
++++++++++++++++Received: Astropath Algern…………………………
++++++++++++++Destination: Inquisitor Diocles…………………………
+++++++++++Telepathic Duct: Astropath Wessan…………………………
+++++++++++++Subject: Report on Stormhunters…………………………
+++++++++++++++++Author: Autosavant Sybern…………………………
++++Thought for the Day: Examine Your Thoughts.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By the authority of the Immortal Emperor of Mankind, this article (and any transcript thereof), are classified information, for Ordo Xenos Inquisitor Diocles (or his duly appointed deputies), eyes only.

As you requested, here is all of the information I was able to acquire in the thirteen months that I have been attached to the Stormhunters Space Marine chapter. If I may dare to say so, my lord, for such a secretive and relatively unknown chapter as you suggest, these Space Marines have been surprisingly forthcoming with information, although that may have more to do with either their lack of personal honor and pride that seems to encompass most other chapters or my Inquisitorial ties. In any case, I believe this article should answer your questions about the behavior of these marines serving in the Deathwatch, but if it does not, I will remain attached and see what additional information I can acquire.

I remain your humble servant.
The Emperor protects.

Origin

The origins of the Stormhunters are very ambiguous, with most of the details being legend. They have a large store of Mk6 Corvus power armor and, since their earliest days, have shown a predilection towards stealth and infiltration (or so I’ve been told), both marks of a Raven Guard successor chapter. However, they venerate Rogal Dorn as their Primarch and maintain ties to the Imperial Fists and their successor chapters.

Their genetic history is even more confusing. In every gene-seed sample recorded by the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Betcher’s Gland has been missing, but that is the only known consistent mutation. Other mutations include the Mucranoid and/or Sus-an Membrane failing to develop properly despite chemical treatment, genetic trademarks of the Raven Guard and Imperial Fists, respectively. However, the Melanchromic Organ consistently functions normally; there is no paling of skin or darkening of eyes, as is consistently the case with Raven Guard successors. The Magos I spoke to confirmed that there was no attempt to splice or mix the gene-seeds of the Imperial Fists and Raven Guard in the creation of the Stormhunters; it may be one or the other with a minor mutation. Overall, no concrete answers can be gleaned.

In any case, the Stormhunters don’t seem to dwell on the subject much. The legend of their origin goes that, some time in late M38, Theridus and his followers came to the Death World of Prima Tempestus, located in the Segmentum of the same name, and cleared only enough of the jungle so that they would be able to build their Fortress Monastery, which he then christened “Our Beleaguered Home”. The vicious predators, carnivorous plant life, and difficult terrain, almost unbelievably so at times, would remain constant albeit disorganized threats to the Space Marines – the perfect environment for initiates to be tested.

Theridus declared that his Space Marines would be “the hunters of storms, the seekers of tempests, and from this world of Dystopia, from Our Beleaguered Home, we shall outfight and outthink our foes! In our wake, we shall leave nothing left alive!” So were the first Stormhunters born. In the following years, the Stormhunters built their chapter and fought the foes of the Emperor. Much of their fighting, however, was and still is centered in Ultima Segmentum rather than the Segmentum in which they made their home. The Stormhunters reached full chapter strength in 058.M39.

The Stormhunters continued to ply their trade of stealth and infiltration, crushing uprisings, destroying Chaos warbands, stopping Waaagh!s in their tracks, and holding their own against Eldar warhosts; in other words, they were quite busy. Then, in 223.M39, at the battle of Teresa Secundus, Chapter Master Theridus was critically wounded by an Ork Warboss by the name of Badzogga. Badzogga was slain by the combined sniper fire of four squads of neophytes, completely destroying his head (according to legend) and leaving him vulnerable to the bolterfire of the other, now-enraged Battle Brothers. Theridus, meanwhile, was pulled away by his Terminator Armor-clad honor guard squad, apparently dead. Later that day, however, it was announced by the 1st company captain that Theridus had miraculously recovered, and that the Emperor alone was worthy of praise for such a convalescence…more on that later.

Ever since Teresa Secundus, Theridus continued to make the occasional, miraculous recovery. While pouring through the chapter’s cogitator archives, I observed that the Stormhunters’ general demeanor became more cynical and jaded over time, although I have found nothing to suggest that they were turning away from the Emperor or developing heretical practices. I was caught by one of the chapter’s techmarines, however, and after explaining myself, my purpose, and the above take on the chapter’s history, the techmarine proceeded to put a rather different spin on it. The Stormhunters were not becoming more cynical, but savvier and more aware.

According to the techmarine, they were becoming willing to shoot a Chaos Lord in the middle of his monologue and learning that a chainsword to a heretic leader’s groin is not dishonorable, or that covering one’s power armor in skulls, tabards, capes, robes, gold or silver plates, and other embellishments beyond those provided is more likely to draw fire than to inspire fear (or that the one is a result of the other), or that there’s little need to charge an Avatar of Khaine head-on when an orbital bombardment works just as well – and if it doesn’t, then concentrated lascannon fire will. This serves to strengthen them against the threat of heresy. To them, succumbing to chaos taint isn’t just heretical; it’s stupid in the long run.

In my perusals, however, I found that they are quite ruthless as well. They are willing to accept noncombatant casualties if it means the destruction of an enemy, and even in their thoroughness in cleansing heresy from worlds, they tend to leave planetary infrastructures worse off than when they found them. This may be true of all Space Marine chapters, but the Stormhunters moreso. Also after Teresa Secundus, the Stormhunters began to focus primarily on the threat the alien. Perhaps Theridus’s near-death left a mark on their collective psyches; they battled and learned the methods of the alien because they felt compelled to prevent another Teresa Secundus. The reasons of then are different from the reasons of now, my lord, as you will see.

In any case, not only did the Stormhunters become more jaded/savvy, but they also began to diverge from the Codex. Squad and company designations began to disappear; non-Codex-approved camouflage began to be painted on power armor to better hide the Stormhunters, in contrast to other Space Marines who openly wear their colors and heraldry. Most critically, the 1st company began to distance itself from the rest of the chapter. Two veteran squads were added to each battle company, and the chapter’s supply of Land Raiders was split equally between the battle companies. The 1st company veterans became known as the Foe Hunters. All of this would have drastic consequences in 742.M41.

Damocles Gulf Crusade

The Stormhunters were among those Imperial forces that were committed to the Damocles Crusade. They committed a sizeable force to the conflict, with their 2nd, 3rd, and 5th companies directly participating and their 6th, 7th, 9th, and elements of their scout companies in a supporting role. I don’t know why they aren’t listed in the Administratum’s records, my lord, but the Stormhunters’ cogitator archives contain greatly detailed records of their involvement in the fighting on Dal’yth, and there are many veterans of the conflict in the chapter’s upper echelons.

During the initial reclamation of the rebellious Imperial colonies, the Stormhunters were quite harsh on the civilian populace. Minimizing collateral damage was not critical to them, and they were keen on executing known or suspected sympathizers. This caused friction with the other Space Marine chapters participating in the Crusade, sans the Black Templars, whose leader seemed to approve. He who allows the alien to live shares its crime of existence, as you are so keen to remind me.

Afterwards, the Stormhunters did not see much action on the ground; most of the glory was claimed by the Scythes of the Emperor, as I recall. This changed when the Crusade stalled at Dal’yth. The Stormhunters were not assigned to any of the three wedges in particular, but instead provided support where needed and generally attacked the Tau wherever they could. What followed was a battle of wits between Tau commanders and Stormhunter captains as the latter applied their usual stealth tactics. The Stormhunters, as did the rest of the Imperium, exchanged victories and defeats with the Tau. While the other Imperial forces grew to respect the Tau’s battle prowess, only the Stormhunters’ hate grew with every battle. They did not take defeats well, for they thought the alien so low and so inferior to mankind that to be defeated by one was to be outsmarted by a Servitor. As their anger grew, their methods expanded from mere ambush and sabotage to acts of terrorism.

Speaking of methods, that the Stormhunters had deviated so far from the Codex was cause for significant friction between themselves and the Ultramarines and their successors. The sons of Guilliman scorned them for their “dishonorable” tactics and their “sacrilege” towards Roboute Guilliman and his work – the work that, to be sure, saved the Imperium. The Stormhunters fired back (verbally; no need for alarm, my lord) by defending their choices, saying that they have become more effective warriors by deviating from the Codex, and accusing the Ultramarines of naivety and reckless glory-hounding. If the Codex was the key to victory for Space Marines, then why weren’t they winning the Damocles Crusade? Tensions between the Stormhunters and the Ultramarines and their successors nearly reached a boiling point when the Crusade ended; if it had continued, open conflict between the two chapters would have been likely.

In any case, the Damocles Crusade was called off due to the impending approach of Tyranid hive fleet Behemoth, and the Imperium negotiated a peace with the Tau Empire. The Stormhunters departed from the Crusade fleet under the pretext of rebuilding from the losses suffered by their chapter and did not participate in the Battle for Macragge. They would not face the Tyranid menace until fifty years later. After that, Theridus gathered his remaining Stormhunters and announced that the chapter would no longer heed the dictates of the Codex Astartes at all; they would improvise and outsmart their foe, as they always had.

Normally, that would be the end of it, my lord. Recently, however, the aforementioned Foe Hunters, having either discovered my Inquisitorial ties or simply decided that I was trustworthy or easily silenced, have revealed to me the truth surrounding Theridus. In truth, Theridus is dead and has been since Teresa Secundus. Every miraculous recovery was simply a member of his bodyguard inheriting his weapons, his armor, and his identity. As is standard for a Codex chapter, every member of the 1st company is trained in the use of Terminator armor, so a Foe Hunter can ascend to membership of the Companions, Theridus’s honor guard, if necessary. I will describe the Foe Hunters in more detail later.

In the interests of preserving a chapter of effective alien hunters that so far has shown no evidence of heretical practices or deviation from the guiding light of the Emperor, I have neglected to inform the other Battle Brothers outside of the 1st company. I am willing to begin spreading the truth if you so will it, my lord, but I am certain that my life expectancy would be very short if I attempted to do so, for your consideration.

The Tempestus System

The Tempestus system is so named because it was allegedly the very first star system to be claimed in Segmentum Tempestus by mankind; I cannot confirm for certain whether that is true. In actuality, the Stormhunters tend to traverse and patrol the Ultima Segmentum due to the increased likelihood of a Tau presence, but make no mistake: they are intent on destroying all aliens everywhere, including Segmentum Tempestus. On paper, the Stormhunters rule only their homeworld of Dystopia, but in practice they hold considerable influence over the outlying worlds as well and are as much responsible for their defense as they are for Dystopia’s.

Dystopia

Few are the planets so deserving of the term “hellhole” as Dystopia, formerly known as Prima Tempestus. Almost every nightmarish environment that could possibly make up a world is present on Dystopia. According to the data my Lexmechanic collected from planetary scans, an estimated 20% of the planet is Volcanic; 5% is composed of lifeless deserts of grey sand and sediment; the northern and southern poles are frozen and blinding blizzards are commonplace; and the remainder is composed of dense and humid jungles filled with carnivorous plantlife. Each locale has its own predators, many of which are strong or insidious enough to take on a Space Marine and come out on top. The atmosphere is poison and clouds constantly cover the planet, often precipitating rain that is sometimes acidic enough to cut through flak armor, though carapace, power, and Terminator armors are safe from it. With such hazards and inhibitions in place, there is little wonder why Theridus chose the planet to become the Stormhunters’ homeworld.

Standing in the middle of a clear field surrounded by jungle is a towering fortress of adamantium and ceramite, topped by a shrine dedicated to Rogal Dorn that has withstood the environment and the test of time for three millennia. This structure, the only man-made structure standing on Dystopia, is Our Beleaguered Home, the Fortress-Monastery of the Stormhunters. It is staffed primarily by the leaders of the Chapter when not fighting in another theatre of war, by newly-inducted Battle Brothers seeking assignment to a company, and by potential recruits brought back from campaigns. Battle Brothers stationed here go through daily rituals and battle practice as normal, but the predators of Dystopia are perceived as being part of the practice rather than interruptions to it, representing the chance of random encounters in battle, and Battle Brothers are expected to adapt accordingly.

Secunda Tempestus

Dystopia has little in the way of natural resources and has no industrial capability; truly, no good can come of it! The Stormhunters thus turn to, in what I am certain is a massive bout of coincidence, the forge world of Secunda Tempestus. This world is ruled by a conclave of Magos whom the Stormhunters must beseech for vehicles, wargear, and other materials. Secunda Tempestus is responsible for the industrial output of the entire system; whisper has it that collectively, the Magos are growing sick of the Stormhunters, whose ambitions mean that they must produce even more for them at the expense of the rest of the system.

This forge world has recently churned out a new pattern of Dreadnought. The Morpheus-pattern Dreadnought uses the same chassis as the standard Dreadnought, but its ranged weapon is replaced by a second close-quarters combat weapon and two Whirlwind missile launchers have been mounted on its hull, onto its shoulders. The Stormhunters hope to prove its worth in combat to other chapters, and in so doing gain respect for their chapter. Again, I will describe it in greater detail later; as of right now, the Stormhunters are the only chapter known to use this Dreadnought pattern.

Tertia & Quarta Tempestus

Tertia and Quarta Tempestus are an arid Mining World and an Agri-World, respectively. The food imports from Quarta Tempestus are sent to the other planets of the system with the exception of Dystopia, but oftentimes they are not enough to feed all of the population. In earlier times, the resources mined from Tertia Tempestus would be used by the forges of Secunda Tempestus to build war machines and wargear that would see service throughout all of the Imperium. Those resources are still sent there, but now they are used first and foremost to supply the Stormhunters with whatever they need.

Beliefs

The Stormhunter of the present is the Stormhunter of the past, times ten. He wants to be able to glare at an alien and kill it with his righteous gaze alone, and especially wants to destroy the works of the Tau to avenge the deaths of his brothers at their hands. He places little emphasis on personal honor, and it translates not only to his armor’s heraldry (or lack thereof), but also to his reliance on underhanded tactics such as sabotage, assassination, ambush, and even acts of terrorism. He is not just disdainful of those Space Marines who religiously adhere to the Codex Astartes, but outright paranoid that the Ultramarines and their successors are conspiring to enforce “Guilliman’s Grip” on all chapters, including those that do not claim Roboute Guilliman as part of their legacy, forcing them to fight in a manner that will destroy them and thumbing their noses at those who do not. He reveres Theridus alongside Rogal Dorn and the Emperor and claims Theridus to be blessed by the Emperor with long life and invincibility (excepting the Foe Hunters, who know what’s actually happening regarding that). He is pragmatic and ruthless, recognizing that the foes of the Emperor are realizing the weaknesses of Space Marines and that he must adapt accordingly and accepting of any price in innocent blood to be paid to ensure the complete destruction of his foe.

The Stormhunters are a strange predator, my lord. On the strategic scene, they are a rabid animal, hungering for flesh and battle, but once battle is joined, they are cunning indeed, seeking to outsmart and pin their foe rather than charge the foe head-on. Having been attached to the Novamarines and Genesis chapters before them, I also believe the Stormhunters stand at an opposite extreme from those two: while the Novamarines and Genesis chapters adhere to the Codex religiously, the Stormhunters refuse to consider the Codex at all; that their current organization resembles a Codex chapter at this time is mere coincidence, so they claim.

Organization

Ever since the Stormhunters abandoned the Codex Astartes, Theridus has given his captains free reign over the organization of their individual companies and ratifies ideas for new positions within a given company on request. For now, the Stormhunters borrow many concepts from the Codex, even though they claim not to be a Codex chapter. All companies but the 1st and the 10th, however, bear some things in common.

Firstly, the Stormhunters do not use company colors outlined in the Codex Astartes. This is done in order to conceal marines in such a way that few could tell the difference between marines of different companies and focus attacks on that company. 10th company Scouts wield camouflage cloaks whenever possible. Only 1st company veterans bear the Crux Terminatus on their right shoulder; other company veterans bear the Medallion of Storms, which confers the same status within an individual company.

Secondly, a typical battle company is composed of 4 tactical squads, 2 devastator squads, 2 assault marine squads, and 2 veteran squads for a total of 100 marines each. The make-up of individual companies can vary; a captain may decide to eschew assault squads for more tactical squads or more devastators. As of right now, the Stormhunters are over-strength, so some companies have more Battle Brothers than others. Only the number of veteran squads remains fixed; Theridus decreed that no company shall have more veterans than his own.

Recognizing that the Stormhunters companies would be fighting independent of each other more often than not, Theridus decreed that each battle company would be allotted three Land Raiders of varying types for fire support. As such, Land Raiders are no longer exclusive to the 1st company. Predators and Vindicators remain available on-demand, and Dreadnoughts remain attached to their individual companies.

The 1st company in its entirety is composed of the sinister Foe Hunters. These veterans have all served in the Deathwatch and are often deployed against specific alien foes. They have mastered the art of stealth in their power armor – a very difficult art to learn, it would seem, as power armor tends to be very noisy – and may call upon any and all wargear they may require to do so, including Terminator armor in which they have trained as well. Each Foe Hunter focuses on their favored enemy – a specific alien foe – and come together in squads of five to ten in order to combat it. All Foe Hunters know the truth of Theridus’s death, having been told so at some point during their service in the Deathwatch, but may not reveal it to anyone else under the Oath of Binding.

The 2nd through 5th companies remain as the battle companies and the 6th through 9th as reserve companies. A captain of one of the battle companies is given his own battlefleet, usually consisting of a strike cruiser and several escorts, and free reign over his company’s organization, tactics, and objectives in a given region of space; he is the master of his own company and answers to no one but Theridus and the Emperor. These battle companies are highly independent; the only demand Theridus makes of his children is that they return to Dystopia at least once within 20 years after they were deployed to return potential recruits and gene-seed to the Fortress-Monastery.

Battle Brothers of the reserve companies tend to be attached to a battlefleet belonging to a captain of a battle company. Captains of the 6th through 9th companies generally serve as advisors and successors to those of the battle companies, assuming a given captain has not already chosen one, and assist in the general execution of a campaign, building their own command squads and fighting on other fronts. In a given campaign, a battle company Captain is the supreme commander, with the reserve company Captain, Librarians, and Chaplains forming a strategic command staff off the battlefield.

Overall, despite professing to be a non-Codex chapter, the Stormhunters are organized similarly to a Codex chapter. They differ from other chapters in their choice of tactics, which I will describe later.

Recruitment

The Stormhunters 10th company acts in much the same way as it might in a Codex Chapter. It is reserved for newly-inducted initiates and Space Marine Scouts, who are divided and sent to serve alongside battle companies just as members of a reserve company are. They fulfill the same battlefield niche as do their Codex-adherent brethren, but they are expected to keep what they have learned for their entire lives. The process and standards by which the Stormhunters accept recruits mean that there will be few scout squads available on a regular basis.

One does not choose to become a child of Theridus; the children of Theridus choose you. The Stormhunters will generally recruit in the locale in which they are campaigning during the campaign. Battle Brothers are advised to keep a sharp eye out for promising young men during battle, especially on feral or medieval worlds. These potential recruits are brought back on board the strike cruiser or into a designated “safe zone” where their skills will be further honed and kept sharp as much as possible before the return trip to Dystopia.

Once the fleet arrives back at Dystopia – if it does – the aspirants are thrown into the wild and expected not only to survive, but also to slay a mighty predator from each locale. Where an aspirant can end up is entirely random; he can end up in a volcanic locale, or in the jungles, or in the arid desert, or in the frigid poles. There’s more than one predator for every locale, and the aspirant is expected to slay one from each and take a memorable trophy from them. Afterwards, they must find their way back to Our Beleaguered Home; although they will visit it when they return from campaign, the exact location will not be given to them.

It is an arduous process that takes several years, and it goes without saying that not all of them will survive. The ones that do will almost certainly need revival of some sort by the chapter’s Apothecarion. However, they will have earned the right to undergo the transformation into a Space Marine. They remain on Dystopia for a few more years, receiving their implants and undergoing brutal planetside training exercises against full Battle Brothers until they are called upon to serve in campaign. Neophytes must serve at least two campaigns before receiving his Black Carapace and being promoted to full Battle Brother status.

A newly-inducted Battle Brother generally waits at Our Beleaguered Home, conducting his daily rituals and battle practice until he is called to serve in a company. If by some chance two or more captains should lay claim to the same Battle Brother, a fair duel is fought between them in what is observed as the Blood Rites of Possession. The captains are garbed only in robes and armed only with a combat knife; the battle is fought to submission, and the winner adds the Battle Brother in question to his company.

It took 60 years for the Stormhunters to recover from their losses in the Damocles Crusade, and it likely would have taken a shorter time, I believe, had Theridus not dragged it on so that the chapter might be over-strength. By 803.M41 the Stormhunters numbered 1,200 Battle Brothers, discounting the Librarium, the Armory, the Reclusiam, Dreadnoughts, and the Honor Guard, and their numbers have stayed roughly around that figure since. According to my Lexmechanic, as of 999.M41, the Stormhunters number approximately 1258 Battle Brothers. This includes all command personnel, the Librarium, the Apothecarion, the Armory, Dreadnoughts, and Neophytes.



The Foe Hunters have a somewhat different means of initiation. When a Stormhunter is seconded to the Deathwatch, he is often accompanied by a member of the 1st company traveling under the guise of a “chapter contact.” Alternatively, he is also seconded along with the Stormhunter. I’m sure you’ve seen them in the Watch Fortresses; where there’s a Stormhunter in the Deathwatch, there is often a Foe Hunter. This Foe Hunter’s task is to inform the Deathwatch Stormhunter of Theridus’s death and to offer him a place in the 1st company at the end of his service. These Foe Hunters have already served in the Deathwatch and make a point of not asking about the Deathwatch Stormhunter’s experiences, so there is no – or at least, minimal – taboo surrounding their conversation. Refusal is often met with termination at the end of the Stormhunter’s term, but to this day, no Stormhunter has refused; often, the Stormhunter is simply talked out of his doubts and fantasies of spreading the truth to the chapter and persuaded that preserving the lie is the right thing to do, and in any case, the Oath of Binding keeps the Stormhunter from speaking of the truth, since he learned it under oath. Given the character of some of the Stormhunters that have joined the Deathwatch according to your report, my lord, that would make Foe Hunters very persuasive and very politically savvy men indeed, especially for Space Marines.

After a Deathwatch Stormhunter returns to his chapter and joins the 1st company, he dedicates the next 20 years to hunting a particular alien species and learning how best to hide and move silently in his power armor as though it were his carapace armor as a scout, all under the tutelage of a full Foe Hunter, usually the same one that persuaded him to join in the first place. After 20 years, it falls to the mentor to deem his pupil ready to join him and his brethren.

Combat Doctrine

Stormhunters battle doctrine is grounded in stealth and trickery, but also in improvisation and quick thinking. Reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering forms a vital part of their overall strategy and is usually performed by scout squads, land speeders, and, if on hand, Foe Hunters, coordinated by a Damocles Command Rhino. This reconnaissance force monitors enemy movements to determine when a foe will be moving and where, allowing them to fight battles at a time and place of their choosing.

After determining the likely destination of an enemy, the Stormhunters deploy in advance, setting up traps and taking up ambush, overwatch, and sniper positions. When an enemy army passes through the battlefield, the Stormhunters spring their trap. Scouts and veterans outflank their foe, attacking weak points in enemy formations and targeting vehicles and enemy leaders. Tactical and Devastator squads open fire from positions of strength, suppressing enemy troops. Tanks and Dreadnoughts lead an armored charge to support the infantry while Rhinos and Razorbacks carry reinforcements to “trouble spots” where ambush squads and overwatch positions are in danger of being overrun. Assuming it hasn’t been struck already, the killing blow comes in the form of deep-striking Assault squads, outflanking Foe Hunters where applicable, and drop pods containing Dreadnoughts and veterans bearing plasma or melta weaponry if possible. These elements focus on enemy vehicles and leaders, supporting the tactical and devastator squads and, like jaws with rows of jagged teeth, clamp down upon the enemy and allow no escape. A variation of this strategy is the baiting of an enemy by harassing an army in transit and then pulling back to an ambush position.

The composition of a Stormhunters ambush changes with the company(s) performing it and the captain behind it, but the focus on stealth and ambush remains the same. Compared to the Novamarines and Genesis chapters, which rely more on general knowledge of the Codex, it seems as though the Stormhunters rely on intuition; where the former would look to the Codex for an approach, the latter comes up with an approach on the fly. Their comparative lack of personal honor means that they have no qualms about assassinating enemy leaders or sabotaging vehicles before fighting a battle. Cover is also used extensively in those occasions where the protection provided exceeds that of their armor. Their cogitator archives show that they have painted their armor in camouflage patterns not approved by the Codex and that they are also willing to support extremist groups such as Redemption cults against their foes. There also exists evidence of toxins produced by the Apothecarion and then applied to combat knives, bayonets, and chainsword blades. Put simply, my lord, they’re willing to try anything short of wielding xenos or chaos-tainted weaponry or other practices deemed heretical if it means the utter destruction of their enemies in the name of the Emperor.

Battles of the Stormhunters


Below is a selection of famous battles and events in the Stormhunters’ history. I could not always put together events solely from pict and vox recordings, my lord, and some elements are based on eyewitness accounts and are thus subject to embellishment.

Betrayal at Ungern – 293.M40

Even today, the Stormhunters are little-known by repute, and where they are recalled, they are often not well liked. That is not to say, however, that they are without friends. Most of the time, these friends are on an individual basis – battle necessitates the forming of strong bonds, so I’m told – but early in their history, they once counted an entire chapter among their friends. Being an…odd chapter, however, means that they had odd friends.

The Lions of Destramo were a successor chapter born from the Ultramarines, founded in 635.M39. Unlike many such chapters, they held only a loose interpretation of the Codex; their 3rd Company housed their veterans rather than their 1st, for reasons that I surmise were important to their founder, a 3rd company captain. While shunned by their fellow sons of Guilliman, they found fast and unlikely friends in the Stormhunters. The bonds of friendship became so strong that the Lions’ struggles and victories were the Stormhunters’ and vice versa.

Then, in 113.M40, the Lions of Destramo suddenly disappeared. Their titular homeworld and their Fortress Monastery were completely abandoned, their relics, servitors, and serfs gone. There were no signs of any of the chapter’s battle fleets. Distraught, Captain Euthymios of the 4th company, who led the search, returned to Dystopia.

Later, in 293.M40, the Stormhunters were fighting to retake the Ungern system from a warband of Chaos renegades led by a traitorous Imperial governor. From out of the blue, a Chaos Space Marine battlefleet emerged from the warp…bearing the iconography of the Lions of Destramo. They attacked the Stormhunters and Imperial forces almost immediately, spouting profanities and threats and swearing death against the Emperor. The Stormhunters were confronted with the twisted and mutated forms of their friends, their armor decked in spikes and symbols of the Dark Gods. The shock was such that they initially fell back, and the forces of Chaos made gains in the system.

Then, in their moment of despair, Chaplain Mercurias began a speech on all vox channels. He denounced the Lions of Destramo as traitors, spitting back the insults and threats the Lions had used against them and then some, chanting litanies of hate and stirring the Stormhunters into a frenzy. So great was this frenzy that they abandoned their usual stealth tactics, their patience for it buried under furious rage, and they charged head-first into their foe.

The charge paved the way to a costly but complete victory. The Stormhunters took many casualties, fighting in a manner they were relatively unfamiliar with, and Chaplain Mercurias suffered terrible wounds, but they had utterly annihilated the Lions of Destramo, moving with such great speed that no escape was possible for the traitors. Mercurias was entombed within a Dreadnought – he would become one of comparatively many – and the Stormhunters’ speed would not falter; within six months, the traitors were crushed and Imperial authority restored to the Ungern system before it could grow into an even greater disaster.

I have reason to believe that the Ungern campaign was great cause for the Stormhunters’ slide into cynicism. The idea that any man, any group, any planet, or any system could be a loyal friend one day and a traitor the next is a most discomforting one. Those Battle Brothers closest to Euthymios suggest that, having seen such close friends fall to Chaos with no explanation, the aging 4th company captain began to actively seek death, charging foes along with the tanks and dreadnoughts in an attempt to slay as many of the strongest as he could before being killed. That he is not the current 4th company captain suggests that he found the death he sought, one way or another.

The investigation into the events surrounding the Lions’ fall to Chaos continues even to this day, I believe. Our Beleaguered Home’s cogitator archives offer no new information into the matter; in any case, I am in no position to find the authority in charge of the investigation, much less request information on it.

Sybris Campaign – 795.M41

The Stormhunters were able to opt out of the Battle of Ultramar under the pretext of rebuilding their chapter after the Damocles campaign. Perhaps that was for the better; tensions were still high after Damocles and a rift between the defenders would undoubtedly have resulted in a Tyranid victory. That also means that the Stormhunters would not see combat against the Tyranids until 50 years after that battle, in the Sybris campaign.

A splinter of Hive Fleet Behemoth slammed into the Dranol system in Ultima Segmentum. The PDF was quickly overwhelmed and Imperial Commander, ignorant of the Shadow across the Warp that the Tyranid hive fleet was projecting, sent out astropathic distress calls to anyone in the surrounding sector who was able to assist. As fate would have it, a Stormhunters fleet under the command of Captain Evaristus Doukas of the 5th company and Captain Creon of the 6th company, despite the shadow across the Warp, received the (admittedly garbled) astropathic message.

Another Ordo Xenos Inquisitor, one Asbadus Julius, was also traveling with the fleet to monitor any alien opponents the Stormhunters might come across and to check for any changes in their tactics or their organization, or just to keep a log concerning them if needed once they were destroyed utterly. He and the two captains conversed on the Strike Cruiser Bombard of Krom. There, they deduced that the Sybris system would be next in the splinter fleet’s path. Deciding that Dranol was lost, they resolved to make their stand there instead.

Thus, the Stormhunters made for the feudal world of Sybris Primarus and began fortifying it against the Tyranid menace – and against the whims of its Imperial Commandress, Malarea d’ Sybris, and the rest of Sybris’s nobility. Shortsighted nobles are nothing new to most Space Marine chapters, much less the Stormhunters, who mostly ignored their complaints and turned the entire planet into a veritable fortress. The presence of an Inquisitor also kept the ruling class from developing any mutinous thoughts.

When the splinter fleet arrived at Sybris Primarus, they were met with staunch resistance despite being bloated by its devouring of Dranol. Captain Creon commanded the Imperial fleet while Captain Doukas took command of all Imperial ground forces on the surface. From the outset, the Imperial fleet was outmatched, despite facing just a splinter of Behemoth; a Strike Cruiser, three Nova frigates, and a Cobra-class destroyer had no chance of facing the splinter fleet head on. The majority of fleet actions were hit-and-run attacks, damaging hive ships in surgical strikes and intercepting spores when possible.

The Tyranid swarm that reached planetside was quite typical; hordes of gaunts threw themselves upon the lines and bunkers of the PDF, while the larger synapse creatures focused their might upon leader figures and obvious threats whilst they were distracted. The massive Carnifexes tore fortifications and armored vehicles apart to make way for the rest of the swarm. And at the head of it all was the Hive Tyrant who, with its psychic powers, tore apart man, machine, and mind alike.

The Stormhunters countered the only way they knew how: stealth and ambush. As is to be expected of a chapter facing the Tyranids for the first time, this did not always work. Ironically, the hordes of gaunts rooted out many ambush squads before they could assassinate their intended target, and the number of reports of sergeants and even whole combat squads being slain at the hands of Lictors were disturbing to say the least.

Death loomed over the heads of the Space Marines, but it did little to intimidate them. Quite the opposite; a fiery determination gripped the hearts of the Stormhunters. Far from accepting the inevitable death, they instead chose to deny it, to crush their foes and emerge victorious no matter the cost. They did not just refuse to die an inglorious death; they refused to die at all.

This was clearly seen in hab block Varangius, in what has become known as the Charge of Meletius. Although having taken multiple krak missiles, the Hive Tyrant still persevered and along with the rest of the swarm was moving into the hab block in order to secure and consume it, despite the fact that those citizens living in Varangius had been evacuated. The Stormhunters’ line was minutes away from breaking when sergeant Meletius and his 5th Company tactical squad charged the swarm.

Meletius batted away the incoming Hormagaunts with his power fist and the rest of his squad tore through them with combat knives and the bayonets affixed to their boltguns. Squad Meletius was already taking heavy casualties, not only from the swarms of Hormagaunts, but also from the Warriors and the Hive Tyrant taking venom cannon shots at them with a complete disregard for the lives of the Hormagaunts. By steely grit and iron will, Meletius shrugged off the pain, even as the rest of his squad died all around him, and with a mighty leap, he brought his power fist down upon the head of the Hive Tyrant, and followed with another blow and another and another in slow but steady succession until it collapsed, dead.

In that instant, the Tyranid swarm turned upon itself as Hormagaunts tore into each other, Warriors and Raveners fired upon each other, and Lictors and Carnifexes preyed upon all of them as well as each other. The success rate for assassinations improved to 55%, and then to 75% as those creatures who were not affected by the Hive Tyrant’s death, such as the Zoanthropes, were hunted down and killed, starting the process over anew. Meletius’s body was recovered along with the bodies of the rest of his squad and the Apothecarion determined that, through some miracle of the Emperor, sergeant Meletius would recover, though the rest of his squad was as good as dead.

The Tyranid offensive soon slowed and then ground to a halt. The Stormhunters pressed the attack, regaining the ground that they and the Sybris PDF had gradually lost to the swarm. The guerilla actions of the Imperial fleet were beginning to take their toll upon the hive fleet’s bio-ships, despite the latter dealing heavy damage to the former, and it soon became apparent that it would not be able to support the swarm for much longer. Leaving the planetbound swarm to fend for itself, the splinter fleet fled Sybris.

Without the support of the hive fleet, the Tyranid swarm soon ran out of steam, unable to halt the Imperial offensive, and was completely destroyed; Lexmechanics reported a 99.8% casualty rating, and Inquisitor Julius rationalized that, with the exception of Lictors or Genestealers, the rest would die without the support of the Hive Fleet. Captain Doukas demanded pursuit of the wounded splinter fleet, but Captain Creon and Inquisitor Julius advised against it, since the already diminutive Imperial fleet was in no condition to perform such a feat. The Bombard of Krom herself had taken several hits to the starboard and aft sections of the ship; for certain, it would not survive another encounter with the hive fleet.

The following week, after all had been said and done, the Stormhunters departed from Sybris and returned to Dystopia to share everything they knew about the Tyranids. Inquisitor Julius took his leave shortly after. Besides being the first campaign in which the Stormhunters battled the Tyranids, the Sybris campaign is also notable for the fate of sergeant Meletius and the standard set by his judgment.

When Meletius retold the tale of his triumph to Captain Doukas, he was lambasted. Doukas reprimanded the sergeant for endangering not only those men in his squad who perished, but also the other squads who were holding the line with him at the time of the Charge and whom he had endangered. Meletius responded by saying that his men knew the risks as well as he did, and were prepared to give their lives so that the Tyranid threat might be halted, but Doukas would hear none of it. The journey to Dystopia was not only to deliver information about the Tyranids, but also to deliver the sergeant to judgment at the hands of Theridus.

Theridus heard the arguments of both Meletius and Doukas, but conceded to the latter. He sentenced Meletius to death, and dispatched him to Ultima Segmentum and into Tau territory, where he was to capture an Ethereal and return him to the chapter. In the two centuries following the Sybris campaign, he has not returned, and is presumed dead. The younger Stormhunters accepted Theridus’s decree without complaint, but amongst the older veterans and the leadership, the Death Oath was one of the most controversial ever decreed. Arguments between veterans raged and I have heard them rage still in those moments when they are not at war, though they have seldom become violent.

The message was clear: foolhardy heroics would not be tolerated under any circumstance.

The Bandersnatch Incident – 862.M41

Truly, this tale is a strange one, my lord. Roughly a century and a half ago, a Tau expeditionary force appeared suddenly on the Agri world of Lymaeus in Segmentum Tempestus. There was no fleet action, no spaceport activity, nothing at the time that could have explained the sudden Tau presence on the world; all of a sudden, Kroot packs, Fire Warrior teams, Crisis suits, and other elements of the Tau military appeared over the hills. They came spreading a message of peace and unity under the Greater Good, as they are wont to do.

Lymaeus did not have a PDF per se. Rivalry was so intense between the planet’s inhabitants that, of the planet’s 200,000 inhabitants, each and every one owned at least a Las-Lock or a hunting rifle of some sort. To their eternal credit, each and every last Imperial citizen took up their arms and open fired on the alien invaders. A lot of them died, of course, but it’s their faith in the Emperor that counts, and as you are fond of saying, the martyr’s grave is the keystone of the Imperium.

As well, an Astropathic distress call was broadcast from the spaceport. A Stormhunters battlefleet, led by the Strike Cruiser Lancea Longini, responded to the call within a day. This battlefleet held the 3rd and 7th companies, led by Mordalius Pilate and Kamytzes, respectively. The Stormhunters descended upon Lymaeus with haste. While they found that the Tau had not yet taken a significant portion of the planet, they had christened themselves as a brand new Sept: Bor’yeon.

As the Stormhunters joined the populace in fighting the Tau, they also conducted preliminary reconnaissance, searching for leaders and observing their actions on and off the battlefield in order to construct psychological profiles with which to predict their actions. What they found in the Tau leadership resembled a Eutolmian Triad, itself supposedly grounded in mythical psychological theories of Old Terra. The following profiles were completed and stored in the Lancea Longini’s cogitator archives (accessed 5453999.M41):

Aun’La Bor’yeon Ko’vash – the Ethereal leader of the Tau expedition responsible for the rechristening of the expeditionary force as a new Sept. He took on the name of his Sept to provide an example to his followers; previous Sept name unknown. As the name suggests, he is young and idealistic, easily the “heart” of the Tau expedition. It falls to him to balance the pragmatic strategies of Shas’O M’yen with the more direct and idealistic strategies of Shas’O Fio’shas.

Shas’O Vior’la M’yen Mal’caor – the first of two Fire Caste commanders leading the Bor’yeon Sept. Unlike Aun’La Bor’yeon, Shas’O M’yen has not changed his Sept name in response to the creation of the Bor’yeon Sept. His upbringing shows in his tactics; he is a vicious and pragmatic combatant who favors the Kauyon strategy, fond of setting up large ambushes of Kroot and Fire Warriors and baiting enemies with Crisis and Stealthsuit teams.

Shas’O Bor’yeon Mon’tyr Fio’shas – the second of two Fire Caste commanders leading the Bor’yeon Sept. Like Aun’La Bor’yeon, he has changed his Sept name in response to the creation of the Bor’yeon Sept, but his battlefield tactics and demeanor suggest that he was once of the Sa’cea Sept. He fights honorably and is generally merciful, favoring the Mont’ka strategy, striking with his cadre in force. Nicknamed “Fio’shas” by his troops because he helped to organize and plan the infrastructure of the new Sept – cities, military outposts, agricultural centers, etc.

Aun’La formed the Kirkonus, O’M’yen the Makhoey, and O’Fio’shas the Spahc, according to the Triad, although it seems to me that there is some overlap. Whether or not this occurred to the Stormhunters, I do not know, as in any case they quickly got to work attacking the Tau and training the populace in the art of guerilla warfare. What followed was a veritable tug-of-war between two armies whose philosophies centered mostly on ambush. The Stormhunters had grown adept at combating the Tau since the Damocles Crusade, but gains were few and sparse. The primary problem was that, no matter how many Tau they slew, they simply kept coming – and from where?

After a week of unfruitful offensives, the Stormhunters ceased trying to bait the Tau into ambush and instead fortified their positions, setting up traps and ambushes in the forests and tall grass the way they usually do. In the meantime, a deep reconnaissance force was assembled whose primary objective was to locate the Tau’s means of travel and reinforcement. Deep within Tau territory, surrounded by forests and overgrown plantlife, they found an insidious new alien: the Bandersnatch.

The Bandersnatch by itself is not malevolent. It is an immobile, plantlike creature resembling a Venus fly trap exported offworld from Old Terra. The creature has natural ties to the Warp, but rather than serving as a conduit for daemonic invasion, it instead serves as a means of safe transportation from one fixed point to another. It is speculated that the Bandersnatch forms a psychic link with another of its kind. That partner could be anywhere, from the same system to an entirely different Segmentum. A stable warp gate forms within its maw, allowing safe travel through the warp…on foot. The journey is similar to the Maw-Jericho gate that allows safe passage from the Koronus Expanse to the Jericho Reach, or perhaps even the Eldar Webway. Being a plant-creature, it is reasonable that the Bandersnatch receives nourishment from the sun. Its only defenses are a collection of long, barbed tentacles. It is unusually resistant to many forms of attack, but is not aggressive.

Nevertheless, circumstance made the Bandersnatch the enemy. The Tau were using a Bandersnatch on the other side of the galaxy to reach Lymaeus and establish a new Sept. The reconnaissance team did not risk attacking the creature over concerns of retaliation and a swift, pointless death, so they returned to the Stormhunters’ base of operations at the spaceport with the new information. Captain Pilate resolved to destroy the Bandersnatch by any means necessary; even if it cost their lives, the Tau would be stranded. (I assume, since Lymaeus still exists, that Exterminatus was out of the question, my lord.)

Luckily, the Stormhunters would not have to make that sacrifice. They received reinforcements from the Krieg 313th Infantry and 71st Armored regiments as well as the Catachan 62nd regiment of the Imperial Guard. Together, they mounted a massive counterattack with the Stormhunters forming the vanguard, ambushing and disrupting the foe while the Imperial Guard maintained a steady advance. Three weeks into the advance, with Imperial forces closing in, Shas’O Fio’shas attempted to punch through the Imperial Guard line and draw Stormhunter strength away from other Tau units. He succeeded beyond his wildest dreams…and was killed for his trouble, his forces encircled and crushed between the Imperial Guard and Space Marines. The Tau were thusly deprived of his leadership.

Finally, a month after the initial Tau incursion, the Imperial forces assaulted the Tau headquarters, wherein the Bandersnatch was located. A squad of the 1st company’s Foe Hunters was deployed during the assault to assassinate Aun’La Ko’vash. In this, they succeeded, dealing a terrible blow to Tau morale, but before they could retrieve his body, they were deflected by two teams of Crisis suits led by Shas’O M’yen. O’M’yen showed his true colors that day; he fled with the Ethereal’s body through the Bandersnatch. With no centralized leadership left, many Tau and Kroot followed suit, although they were defended to the last moment by Broadside and Crisis battlesuits and Hammerhead gunships. The Bandersnatch itself fell under overwhelming firepower from both the Stormhunters’ armor and that of the Krieg 71st Armored regiment.

The surviving Guardsmen departed for battlefields yet unknown, while the Stormhunters spent the next few weeks hunting down pockets of stranded Kroot and Tau. They were thorough in their hunt for the alien, and to this day, no xenos taint remains on Lymaeus. Lymaeus, however, had suffered greatly in just this one-month conflict; of the 200,000 that inhabited the planet, only 90,000 remained, though they had fought bravely and with great tenacity. The planet itself was scarred by the conflict; food output would be reduced for several decades. The Bandersnatch incident caused diplomatic tension, such as it is within this massive realm, between the Imperium and the Tau Empire, but it would be one of many incidents that did so.

Conclusion


The Stormhunters’ gene-seed is not entirely pure, and anywhere from one to three of their implants may not be functioning. On top of that, they’ve abandoned entirely the Codex Astartes which guides almost all Space Marine chapters and they’re willing to try many things short of outright heresy. They are almost devoid of honor, preferring underhanded tactics to valor; only a sense of political savvy keeps them from deliberately angering other chapters, such as by wielding their relics. Their Chapter Master is given semi-divine status, and even that is a lie. Overall, it is not a pretty picture.

On the other hand, the Stormhunters as a whole have not renounced the Emperor, nor have they taken up arms against the Imperium without provocation. They are zealous in their hunt for xenos threats and are uncompromising in their pursuit of victory; surely you have seen that in those who have joined the Deathwatch. Even though they are disdainful of heroics common to other Space Marine chapters, they are also savvy enough to realize that cavorting with the powers of Chaos will end badly for them in the long run, giving them strength to face the heretic.

Having observed them for these thirteen months, I have little doubt that they are untainted by heresy, nor do they entertain thoughts of rebellion against the Imperium; after all, they certainly don’t think highly of those wretches who have defected to the Tau Empire. They seem content to rebel against the dictates of the Codex Astartes, however, and also content to break the traditional conventions established a thousand times over by chapters older than they.

I simply think that they’re too smart for their own good.

Homebrew stuff for your viewing pleasure:
The Stormhunters Fluff/Crunch - Updated 10/07/13
The Rust Legion Fluff - Updated 5/19/13
Firaeveus Carron Rules - Updated 12/9/10

Last edited by Protoss119; 10-07-13 at 06:34 AM.
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Addendums

The Medallion of Storms




Essentially a Crux Terminatus knock-off, the Medallion of Storms is awarded to those Battle Brothers who have been recognized as veterans of their company. It does not confer any protective abilities on its bearers, but those bearing the medallion earn the right to the chapter’s most revered wargear and the duty of seeing it back in its hands. They are not trained in the use of Terminator armor, however; the scarcity of such armor means that it is still reserved for the 1st Company.

Addendum: Lord Coordinator


Lord Coordinator is the only title given out to Stormhunter captains, and only one captain may bear the title. The task of the Lord Coordinator is to represent the chapter as a diplomat as well as a warrior; he is charged with defusing situations and resolving tensions between the Stormhunters and another chapter. He is also responsible to, as the title suggests, coordinate the actions of multiple chapters, taking into account their strengths and weaknesses while maintaining respect between them and the Stormhunters. That is to say, my lord, they are meant to be ideal Force Commanders should the Stormhunters be involved in a campaign involving other chapters.

4th company captain Zacharius is the current Lord Coordinator for the chapter. As is befitting one, he is very polite, slow to anger, patronizing in his tone, and careful in his choice of words. Every time I have encountered him, he is smiling warmly. On the battlefield, his diplomatic behavior translates to a steely calm; he is slow to anger and difficult to fool or bait, even in the thick of melee, making him a deadly opponent.

The title of Lord Coordinator was established in 774.M41, when the Stormhunters fought the Eldar in the Kallahan campaign alongside the Novamarines and the Red Scorpions. Both were incensed by the Stormhunters’ disregard for the Codex Astartes, and the Stormhunters by their religious dedication to it. To avoid armed confrontation with these two chapters in the face of the enemy, the Stormhunters were forced to depart.

Addendum: Apothecaries


The Stormhunters maintain a larger Apothecarion than usual, at least in comparison to the likes of the Ultramarines. In fact, the Apothecarion has two leaders: the Chief Apothecary, Adrian Diogenes, and a Co-Chief, Mezzermius.

Apothecary Diogenes’s primary responsibility is the 1st company and Theridus in particular. He is a member of the Companions and responsible for their well-being. He also serves to lend credit to claims of miraculous recovery; he makes the judgment as to Theridus’s wounds, and then Theridus miraculously “recovers” overnight. This preserves the lie by giving credibility to the claim of being terribly wounded or recovering miraculously. Being a member of the Companions, Diogenes often goes to battle in Terminator armor.

Apothecary Mezzermius, on the other hand, is uninvolved in the affairs of the 1st company. I will explain in greater detail later.

Addendum: Shock Marines

The Stormhunters 7th company has a long history of armored assault, even in the face of their status as a reserve company. After the Damocles Crusade, captain Kamytzes formed his own squad designation known as Shock Squads. These marines are assault troops that ride to battle in Rhinos or Razorbacks and are given advanced close-combat training. They are adorned with blood-red helmets, often embellished with skull motifs and other patterns designed to cause fear in an enemy. Unlike other Stormhunters, these marines are not infiltrators and embrace the idea of drawing attention to themselves; they would not be seen until they disembarked from their vehicles, after all, and afterwards they would soon be in the thick of close-quarters combat.

Addendum: Company Champions

In most chapters, Company Champions defend the honor of their Company, their Chapter, and the Emperor and defend their Captain from enemy leaders. Among the Stormhunters; Company Champions act more as assassins than defenders of honor. Their task is simple: kill any foe who would dare to challenge them or their Captains to combat. To them, however, “kill” does not always mean “fight”; there have been numerous tales of a Company Champion slaying a foe with but a single swipe of his blade, letting virulent poisons do the rest. Most of them are hubristic individuals, and members of other Chapters see them as everything that is wrong about the Stormhunters.

Notable Events and Battles - Trifoculine - 819.M41

In 813.M41, sub-sector Astraea in its entirety was attacked by a massive Dark Eldar raiding party, led by what is now believed to be the Kabal of the Scarred Face. The Stormhunters were able to respond with two battlefleets, one led by 2nd company captain Cyrillus Scylitzes and 10th company captain Andronicus, the other led by 8th company captain Taurasios and 1st company captain Saren Andalusius. Even then, they were hard-pressed to deflect the Dark Eldar attacks, and Theridus himself was forced to intervene in order to triumph over them.

The attack on the Astraea subsector served as the catalyst for the Stormhunters’ development of a new biological weapon. Absolutely sick of Dark Eldar raids, his judgment most likely hampered by the loss of his Battle Brothers to the hands of the aliens, captain Cyrillus, with Theridus’s approval, began working with Apothecary Mezzermius to develop a permanent solution to the Dark Eldar problem. Using advanced techniques in Medicae, the Apothecarion began work on Trifoculine, a virus weapon meant to exterminate not just the Dark Eldar, but any Eldar anywhere; after all, an Eldar is an Eldar.

Development of the first Trifoculine bombs took six years. The Stormhunters first had to produce Genophage, a virulent toxin keyed to the genetic code of specific individuals. Five doses of Genophage were produced, each keyed to one of five Dark Eldar corpses found after the attack on Astraea. That was fairly simple; the difficult half was getting ahold of a Life-Eater virus, found in most virus bombs. Some time after the Horus Heresy, virus bombs had been largely replaced by cyclonic torpedoes as the primary tool of Exterminatus. Therefore, the Stormhunters had to requisition a virus bomb from the Armory world of Volusian Quintus.

The world of Volusian Quintus was unusually devoid of the reverence for Adeptus Astartes that almost all other Imperial worlds bear, and for reasons unknown. Thus, they were not especially helpful in granting the Stormhunters access to the virus bomb. It would take three years before they were granted their virus bomb, about two of which involved navigating through the red tape of the Departmento Munitorum. According to some of the lower-ranking Battle Brothers, the leadership appears to have been unwilling to start a conflict with another Imperial body, contributing to the slow rate at which they acquired the virus bomb.

In any case, the bomb was acquired, and Mezzermius and the rest of the Apothecarion got to work developing the virus. It took three more years, and I am certain the chapter’s leadership thanks the Emperor that the virus did not break free of its coffin and destroy them as well, but the Apothecarion managed to merge congruent components of each Genophage with the Life-Eater virus in order to synthesize the new viral weapon: Trifoculine. This weapon would consume the flesh of all Eldar within an area of effect and nothing else; the viral cells would starve and die soon after consuming all Eldar.

Then in 819.M41, seven months after they finished fashioning the first few Trifoculine bombs, the Gorni system was attacked by a Dark Eldar raiding party, again led by the Kabal of the Scarred Face. This raiding party was smaller than the one that attacked the Astraea subsector, but it was led by an individual who we believe to be the Scarred Face Archon, Anton Montan (we also believe that name to be a pseudonym, my lord). As fate would have it, a Stormhunters battlefleet led by captains Cyrillus and Kamytzes was in the area and was able to respond. Techmarines hurriedly modified a Vindicator’s Demolisher cannon to accept Trifoculine bombs, and the Space Marines joined the battle.

Captain Scylitzes was eager to test his new weapon, and so after deploying Tactical squads and Dreadnoughts to form a perimeter, he called for a Thunderhawk insertion of the modified Vindicator. When that succeeded, the Vindicator fired the Trifoculine bomb. It collided into a band of Kabalite warriors, releasing a virulent green cloud. What skin was visible on the warriors rapidly began to rot and disintegrate, and when bone became visible, it faded away into dust. The virus spread like wildfire. The flawless skin of the unnaturally beautiful Wyches quickly wilted and became gangrenous before falling off of their bones and melting completely. Wracks, Grotesques, and Talos Pain Engines fell to pieces completely before rotting away. All that was left was the alien wargear of the fallen and a few manned Raiders and Ravagers, and the latter not for long.

Fearing for his life, Archon Montan and his remaining troops fled for the webway. Cyrillus ordered his Vindicator to give chase and to fire a timed bomb at one of the fleeing vehicles. The timer was set for one half hour; if the fleeing Dark Eldar made it back to Commorragh by then, then the Trifoculine virus would spread throughout the Dark City, and if not, then at least there would be no survivors. The Vindicator fired just at a Raider just as it was leaving its effective range. The Raider was swift, but not swift enough this day; the bomb attached itself to the vehicle, mounting itself to the surface like a melta bomb, and the countdown began. Just a few minutes afterward, the battle was over.

It is unknown whether or not the Trifoculine bomb unleashed its virulent payload in Commorragh, but considering that there has been no halt to Dark Eldar raids since the failed Gorni raid, I can only surmise that it was detected and disarmed. With no other living Eldar cells to infect, the Trifoculine virus quickly died out and left the human populace as well as any flora and fauna unharmed. Captain Cyrillus and others vouched for the continued use of the Trifoculine bombs against all Eldar, but out of concern of possible reprisals from not just Dark Eldar, but those of the Craftworlds, Theridus commanded that the bombs be sealed deep within Our Beleaguered Home and to be requisitioned and used only should these foes appear in great force. It may be possible for you to requisition one such bomb for yourself, my lord, but I suffer no illusions that it will be easy.

The Blasphemous Laughter – 937.M41

In 937.M41, the Shrine World of Orthodoxy was attacked by the Shining Anvils, a Space Marine chapter previously thought loyal and that had acted with utmost valor in service to the Imperium. They overwhelmed the PDF garrison, laid siege to the Arbites precinct-fortress and an Adepta Sororitas abbey belonging to the Order of the Bloody Rose, and slaughtered Imperial citizens. Their Librarians loudly proclaimed to all Astropathic Relays in the subsector that they were purging the planet of a heretical population, and that the Arbitrators and Battle Sisters who still resisted were clearly tainted by heresy.

Orthodoxy was a world in the interior of Segmentum Tempestus. Long had it been a pious and loyal world, and there was no indication whatsoever that this had changed – no Inquisitorial investigation, no mandate of the High Lords, nothing. The Arbites garrison sent a plea for aid from the Astropathic Relay in their precinct-fortress, claiming that the Shining Anvils had succumbed to madness. An Astropath sheltered in the Sororitas abbey also sent a message to the same effect.

Surrounding systems sent what aid they could, but still the struggle continued. Orthodoxy’s plight apparently reached the ears of the High Lords of Terra themselves, because they ordered the Stormhunters, whose homeworld of Dystopia was somewhat near Orthodoxy, to retaliate and eliminate the Shining Anvils chapter. This was unprecedented on several levels. Even before they abandoned the Codex, the Stormhunters tried to and generally did keep hidden from Imperial eyes, preferring to wage their wars in secret, scorning celebrity for whatever reasons. I don’t know how much the High Lords knew, and neither does anyone in the chapter, but at the least, they knew of the chapter’s continued existence. In addition, the High Lords were calling on the Stormhunters to do something they had never done before: exterminate another Space Marine chapter.

The Stormhunters obeyed, and Theridus himself, traveling in the Battle Barge Fatum Iustum Stultorum, joined Captains Mordalius Pilate of the 3rd company and Captain Creon of the 6th company and their fleets and then made for Orthodoxy. When they arrived, they found an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor on the scene, Jorje Glaus, and they met on the Battle Barge. After some citizens began to vandalize Imperial property, disrespect officials, laugh incoherently, and attack other people, Inquisitor Glaus took the corpses and some of those of the Shining Anvils that had thus far been killed onto his Black Ship and his crew began to study them. He determined that they and the entire Shining Anvils chapter had been infected with an alien virus he called “The Blasphemous Laughter”.

Glaus had been tracking this virus since the Exterminatus of Kesslinger Tertius, where it had first struck. The Blasphemous Laughter slowly destroys a victim’s mental faculties, first causing him to callously mock and vandalize all that is sacred and continuing on until he is driven to homicide and destruction. Glaus, with the aid of Magos Xenobiologis Taufer, had just produced a vaccine for the Blasphemous Laughter when the Shining Anvils struck Orthodoxy.

With the help of the chapter’s Apothecaries, the Stormhunters were first inoculated against the Blasphemous Laughter, and then deployed to Orthodoxy to combat their once-brothers. The verdict, according to Our Beleaguered Home’s cogitator archives, was that the Shining Anvils fought stupidly. Their armor and heraldry was silver and light-green with golden embellishments, copious amounts of purity seals upon which nonsense prayers were written, and no helmets, the better to show their universally bald heads. All of them favored open combat, especially melee combat, whether it was feasible or not, and they had no care at all for cover. All of their vehicles were named “Indomitus”, “Purgation”, and other such Imperial buzzwords, and their leaders did very little actual leading. They were all that the Stormhunters were not, and the Stormhunters appeared almost to take pleasure in ambushing and killing them. The Marksman’s Honor was awarded to many Stormhunters after the siege of Orthodoxy in honor of their numerous headshots.

At the tail-end of the battle, when victory was all but certain, the Chapter Master of the Shining Anvils, apparently having dubbed himself “Supreme Super-Duper Grandmaster Ultimate Soren Darkslayer”, challenged Theridus to single combat, questioning his honor and his loyalty to the Imperium. In a typical display of Stormhunter pragmatism, Theridus, along with Captains Pilate and Creon, gunned Soren down with their boltguns.

With their leader dead, the Shining Anvils soon fought among themselves. They were all destroyed within the month, their bodies and gene-seed burned…if only to be sure. The Stormhunters returned to Dystopia to report their success to the High Lords, and Inquisitor Glaus vaccinated Orthodoxy’s remaining population and those of the surrounding planets and systems against the Blasphemous Laughter, destroying the xenos virus forever, at least to my knowledge. Orthodox would recover its former splendor in time and lose none of its piety in spite of all that had happened.

Special Units

FOE HUNTERS

Foe Hunters comprise most of the chapter veterans of the 1st Company, taking the place of Sternguard veterans in a typical Codex chapter. Each one answers directly to the 1st Company Captain, Saren Andalusius; they technically answer to Theridus as well, but as “Theridus” is of their number, it is irrelevant. Masters of stealth and deadly marksmen, they sometimes work alone, typically assassinating minor alien leaders such as Nobz or Shas’el. More often they are gathered into squads of ten to hunt down larger targets – Warbosses, Farseers, etc.

A 1st Company Veteran may only be bestowed the rank of Foe Hunter after 20 years' cumulative worth of fighting against a specific alien species. This species is chosen at the very beginning of his ascension to the rank of Foe Hunter, and the decision may not be changed after it has been made, although a Foe Hunter may spend another 20 years studying and fighting another alien species after that 20-year period.. The 20 years of 'training' for a Stormhunter involve mentoring of a 1st Company Veteran by a fellow Foe Hunter.

The veteran is taught how best to use cover and stealth to achieve his ends. In a few respects this is similar to the training Neophytes receive as Scout Marines, but using stealth in Space Marine power armor is much different and much more difficult than it is when in a Scout's carapace armor. For that reason, many Foe Hunters take to having their armor modified with stummers and other wargear to keep them from being detected. This modified armor is known as Furtim armor and Scout Sergeants, which I will describe later, are outfitted with the same armor.

Foe Hunters have access to the Stormhunters armory and reclusiam in almost its entirety. There are only three things that they do not normally have access to; bikes, jump packs, and Terminator armor. On the establishment of the Foe Hunters, Theridus decreed that “nothing shall interfere with the accomplishment of their unsung task.” I can only assume that the present-day Foe Hunters have taken this decree literally, and view jump packs and bikes as hindrances to quiet infiltration. Meanwhile, Terminator Armor is in such low numbers that it is reserved entirely for Theridus’s Companions and them alone. Nevertheless, Foe Hunters are trained in the use of Terminator armor in case they need to take the place of a Companion.

In addition to carrying out assassinations, Foe Hunters also take on the responsibilities normally taken by Terminator squads in other chapters. This includes the boarding and clearing of Space Hulks; in such cases, the Foe Hunters gird themselves in Void-Hardened armor. Theirs is an incredibly dangerous task as they are devoid of the protection and firepower of Terminator armor, but they make due.

Foe Hunters are notoriously secretive in their interactions with other Imperial institutions. The Stormhunters don’t like to admit it, but this has led to disaster in at least one circumstance. During the Junium campaign in 922.M41, the Stormhunters collaborated with the Dark Angels chapter to dislodge an unidentified xenos race from the titular system. The Foe Hunters partnered with the equally-secretive Deathwing in cleansing the Imperial Space Station Cosades of these xenos. The secretive nature of both groups meant that neither group was able to coordinate their efforts, and they soon lost the element of surprise against these xenos. All parties were lucky to have escaped with their lives.

STORMHUNTER SCOUT SERGEANTS

Like many chapters, the Stormhunters’ scout sergeants are among the most esteemed members of the chapter, responsible for imbuing within neophytes the values of the Stormhunters and teaching them the combat skills that they will use for the rest of their lives. Scout Sergeants of the Stormhunters, however, benefit from experimental developments in power armor that allow them to travel and sneak about along with their scouts.

Scout Sergeants go into battle clad in MkVI-F or MkVII-F armor, referred to as Corvus Furtim or Aquila Furtim armor respectively. Furtim armor has been modified to include enhanced cooling systems and, more importantly, stummers in the joints and actuators of the armor. These stummers are powered by the armor’s power pack along with the rest of the armor’s systems. The stummers greatly reduce the noise made by the armor as a Space Marine moves and the cooling systems make him harder to detect via thermal or infrared devices. The intrusive nature of these modifications – techpriests must remove the outer plating to install the devices – and the taboo nature of modification in general among the Adeptus Mechanicus mean that Furtim armor is rare and found only amongst the chapter’s Scout Sergeants.

Not often ones to be denied the joys of sniping targets from a distance, Stormhunter Scout Sergeants often take a Stalker-pattern boltgun to the battlefield. The Stalker boltgun possesses an extended barrel and scope attachment that, coupled with the use of Stalker silenced shells, allows the Sergeant to join his charges in picking off foes silently.

MORPHEUS-PATTERN DREADNOUGHT

Rammed down the throats of the Magos rulers of Secunda Tempestus, the Morpheus-pattern Dreadnought is a new design effective against mobs of infantry at range as well as being deadly in close combat. It bears two close-combat weapons with underslug storm bolters that can be replaced with heavy flamers as well as two shoulder-mounted Whirlwind missile launchers.

The Morpheus-pattern was born by request rather than on the battlefield, but its birth was just as fiery. In 313.M41, Chapter Master Theridus requested that the ruling Magos put a new design of Dreadnought jury-rigged by the chapter’s Techmarines into production so that the chapter might have a sizeable amount of them. Abhorred by the violation of a holy machine, the Magos refused. Nothing came of it then, although Theridus would continue to push for its development.

Just a year later, in a massive bout of coincidence, the Dark Eldar launched a raid on the Tempestus system – a foolish move in hindsight, but one that Theridus capitalized on. The Stormhunters stationed at Our Beleaguered Home, including Theridus and his Companions, fought off the Dark Eldar at Tertia and Quarta Tempestus, but Theridus would not send his forces to Secunda Tempestus until the Magos agreed to begin producing the new Dreadnought after the battle was done. Secunda Tempestus was guarded by legions of Skitarii, but it appears that even they had their hands full fighting the xenos, and the Magos acceded to his demand. From there, the Stormhunters joined the battle and, together with the Skitarii, managed to turn the tide, freeing many potential slaves and routing the Dark Eldar. The Morpheus-pattern Dreadnought was thusly born, but it would not see use until 384.M41, sometime after Captain Niketas was critically wounded.

STORMHUNTERS CENTURIONS


Centurion warsuits may be more common than Terminator armor in the chapter, but in keeping with the Stormhunters’ dim view of standing out in the open and being shot regardless of the protection provided by their power armor, most members of the chapter look upon them with disdain. Regardless, they recognize the warsuit’s protective capabilities and have managed to find a way to utilize it without endangering their persons.

The Stormhunters first received the Centurion warsuits in 407.M40 as a gift from the Forge World of Herzog Primaris. When Captain Tzimiskes of the 5th company returned to Dystopia with the new pieces of wargear, Theridus immediately called the leadership to Our Beleagured Home – a rare occurrence in the Chapter’s history – to discuss the use of this new weapon.

This gathering would finally take place in 409.M40, after the other Captains had finished with their prior obligations. Immediately, the council of leaders found themselves divided on the merit of the Centurion warsuit. Each side presented their arguments. Those against the use of the Centurion emphasized the unnecessary harm that may come to a Battle Brother despite its protections – sniper fire and exploitation of structural weaknesses could all be used to quickly defeat a Space Marine wearing the warsuit.

On the way to the gathering, however, the fleet of Captain Arethas of the 2nd Company and Captain Antony of the 10th company was attacked by a warband thought to originate from the Iron Warriors legion. The invaders were repelled, but at great cost – Captain Arethas, a wise and (relatively) moderate leader, was slain at the hands of a Warsmith. Those in favor of the Centurion’s use cited Arethas’s death, and the deaths of the Stormhunters under his command, as proof of their necessity, claiming that Arethas would not have needed to risk so many lives, including his own, had he the protection and firepower of the Centurion.

Ultimately, Theridus decreed that the Centurion warsuits would be used – but not by Stormhunters. Instead, they would be crewed by mere servitors and monitored by the chapter’s Techmarines. Neither side was wholly satisfied – those in favor of the Centurion’s use felt the use of Servitors a waste of the warsuit’s potential, and those against its use felt that now, instead of a Battle-Brother risking his life inside of a Centurion, now a much more valuable Techmarine would be risking his life outside of it.

Even after Theridus’s decision, the debate continues. The Centurions saw much use during the Damocles Crusade as damage soaks and fire support, but it appears Tau commanders quickly learned to target the Techmarines keeping the servitors in check, vindicating the fears of the Centurion’s opponents. In addition, those of other chapters who have seen the Stormhunters’ Centurions balk at the misuse of such powerful weaponry. Regardless, Theridus’s decision still stands.


GUERILLAS

The Stormhunters are not above using irregulars to their advantage. “Guerillas” is a blanket term for these irregular units, who could be anything from armed rabble and fanatical zealots to PDF forces/remnants and other militias. What they all have in common is that, not technically falling into one of the major Imperial organizations such as the Adeptus Arbites or Adepta Sororitas, they all fall under the command of the Stormhunters. These militias are given some training by veteran leaders, often a Foe Hunter or company Veteran. How much training is given depends on the captain who orders it and the situation.

It is an understatement to say that guerilla troops are not as reliable on the field as Space Marines. They do not possess the toughness of the Space Marines, though what they lack in grit, they make up for in numbers; a Stormhunter captain may opt to use them as cannon fodder. They are not fearless and will flee if outmatched, or even if it looks as though they will be outmatched. Worse is that they are more susceptible to the corrupting power of Chaos than the Space Marines, and though their indignation will keep them from submitting to alien domination, a long campaign can slowly break down their morale. It is up to the Stormhunters’ chaplains to stoke the fires of hatred within them so that they keep fighting.

COMPANIONS

From the very day Theridus cleared the jungles of Dystopia to make room for Our Beleaguered Home, he has been joined by ten warriors clad in Terminator armor. They have not always joined the battlefield as one, but it has been a rare day when he has been without them at all. These warriors are the Companions, Theridus’s honor guard.

The Companions are a rare ritualistic element in a chapter that normally eschews typical chapter traditions. Terminator armor is rare in the chapter; even the Foe Hunters usually go to battle in power armor. Because of its rarity, Terminator armor is reserved for Theridus’s honor guard. This also allows the 1st company to keep a fallen “Theridus” away from the eyes of the uninitiated; should Theridus fall, the Companions simply pull him away.

Whenever “Theridus” should die, a member of the Companions is chosen to take his place, assuming the weapons, the armor, and the identity of the late Chapter Master. When that happens, a new member of the Companions is chosen from among the oldest and most inveterate Foe Hunters. Unlike those chosen to become “Theridus”, Foe Hunters chosen for the Companions do not take the identity of the members that they replace; keen observers from outside the chapter (such as yours truly, my lord) may find the ranks of the Companions shift whenever Theridus makes a miraculous recovery. All Foe Hunters are trained in the use of Terminator armor, so all that is required upon being chosen is a three-month period of training to refresh one’s memory.

Leadership

THERIDUS


Theridus is the master of the Stormhunters and has been since their creation. At some 3,000 years old, those who have heard of him and his chapter find it easy to assume that he, not Dante of the Blood Angels, is the oldest Space Marine alive. His continued convalescences make him a near-divine figure amongst the Stormhunters, who are incredibly proud of the fact that their founder still lives, a fact that cannot be boasted by other chapters. What few except the 1st company (and you and I, my lord, as of now) know, however, is that Theridus is long dead, having been killed at Teresa Secundus, and every recovery has actually been a member of his honor guard assuming his identity. Theridus was never seen without his helmet; this in conjunction with the chapter’s lack of company colors made and continues to make assuming his identity easy.

Precious little details are available concerning the character of Theridus, although it can be assumed that he was fanatically loyal to the Emperor. Theridus’s armor, the Armor of Perseverance, and his wide choice of wargear imply that he was stoic, yet willing to adapt to counter his foes. In a rare moment of opportunity, I managed to covertly examine Theridus’s armor, and as it happens, there is a pict and vox recorder in his helmet. Theridus must have valued knowledge of his foes, observing their actions on the battlefield.

His successors have seen fit to use the recorder as well, but much more extensively, recording not just battlefield actions, but the occasional conversation with members of other chapters as well. Apparently, those who have known him for a long time have found him to be rather loopy, suddenly switching from one outlook to another and sometimes becoming belligerent where he once was patient. Of course, those within the Chapter’s 1st Company know that this is a result of another taking the previous Theridus’s identity when he falls, but this may be one reason why, despite his supposed age, he has considerably less influence than he should.

I have approached Theridus only a few times to ask him about the chapter. I admit, I was awed by him in his presence, and he seemed more a walking icon of the chapter than a man; doubtless this is the impression that other members of the chapter have of him. However, he is a calm, patient, and thoughtful individual, but also somewhat detached and fond of speaking in metaphor; it would seem he is fonder of speaking of the philosophy behind the Stormhunters than the technicalities, as would befit the founder of a chapter – all in all, a very convincing act. Of note is that he himself does not often visit the battlefield; usually he resides in Our Beleaguered Home. When the Stormhunters need him most, however, he departs in a Battle Barge, Companions and Foe Hunters in tow.

SAREN ANDALUSIUS


Saren Andalusius is the taciturn Master of the Foe Hunters, the title given to the captain of the 1st company. When Theridus is terribly wounded, it is he who takes charge of the chapter until such time that he recovers. In 1st company politics, he determines who replaces “Theridus” and who joins the Companions afterwards. As the chapter’s (current) kingmaker of sorts, he is thusly a very powerful individual. In practice, rulership of the chapter is divided between “Theridus” and himself.

In an organization as detached as the 1st company, Saren is the most distanced of all. Even as the Foe Hunters explained the truth to me about Theridus, no matter how much I pressed, they would not let me speak to Saren. Some Foe Hunters gladly speak about Saren, though. It would appear that he is a fan of the clandestine; from xenos leaders and arch-heretics to Stormhunters who learn too much without his authorization, all problems look like assassination victims. This secretive, borderline paranoid demeanor stands in contrast to most other chapters, whose 1st company captains are more…public figures.

MORDALIUS PILATE

Mordalius Pilate is the captain of the 3rd company. He is an aged and inveterate leader, his first command having been the Damocles Crusade. At 357 years of age, he is as old as some Chapter Masters, yet he possesses none of their clout on account of being a mere captain, and of a chapter as (relatively) unknown as the Stormhunters, no less. Mordalius is very much a typical Stormhunter, disdainful of the Codex and possessing a vitriolic hatred of aliens. He is a talkative man, eager to explain who the Stormhunters are, their beliefs and their mission, but this also makes him quick to passionately defend their values, something that causes friction with members of other chapters, to say the least.

Even if he should not command much clout outside the chapter, Pilate does command a lot of clout within it. Pilate has a habit of overtraining one or two squads out of those he commands in a specific field, such as tank-hunting or close-quarters combat techniques, depending on the situation they face. Since Space Marines are slow to fatigue, this pays off more often than not, and no matter how hard he is, his troops love him for the simple fact that it brings victory.

CO-CHIEF APOTHECARY MEZZERMIUS


Apothecary Mezzermius is the Stormhunters Co-Chief Apothecary alongside Adrian Diogenes and responsible for much of the Stormhunters’ understanding of the alien. As Co-Chief, he has the authority to lead Stormhunters of any company but the 1st into battle. A cool-headed, collected individual, Mezzermius cares deeply for his brothers and will risk life and limb to recover the gene-seed of the fallen of any chapter. He does not share the opinions on other chapters that his brothers share – a Space Marine is a Space Marine, regardless of origin (though he is aware of the existence of and despises Chaos Space Marines, obviously).

That said, Mezzermius has a chilly pragmatic side as well. He is fond of issuing combat stims through his subordinate Apothecaries by attaching them to other squads. He is also not above the use of poisons that he himself has concocted. This in conjunction with the fact that he has access to many of the chapter’s relics makes him a deadly opponent. Even that is to say nothing of his skill; it is thought that the Co-Chief is more skilled in combat than his counterpart, but neither have had much opportunity to test such a claim.

CHIEF LIBRARIAN ANTHEMIUS TZOURILAS

Oddly for a chapter that prioritizes hunting the alien, including Eldar witches, the Stormhunters are mostly indifferent towards the use of Psykers. Indeed, Librarians have often proven invaluable in the strategies and tactics of the Stormhunters, providing psychic protection and relocating encircled Battle Brothers in the blink of an eye. Even so, at first glance the Librarium seems distant from the rest of the chapter, just as the 1st company is. In reality, however, the reason it appears so distant is that Anthemius Tzourilas, the Chief Librarian, is keeping it that way.

Anthemius Tzourilas is new to his post, having only secured it after returning from service in the Deathwatch in 983.M41. He is titled as an “honorary member of the 1st company” and so, as befitting a member of the 1st company, is responsible for preserving the lie of Theridus. He does this by keeping other Librarians away from Theridus lest one become overcurious and attempt to discern his true identity, by censoring communiqués between the 1st company from the eyes of other Battle Brothers, and by identifying Stormhunters who know too much without Saren Andalusius’s authorization.

Anthemius is generally a calm and level-headed warrior, pragmatic like the rest of his chapter, though quite blunt. He carries a boltgun or combi-weapon and a force axe into battle, but he rarely uses the latter, preferring when confronted by a menacing melee combatant to, in the words of chapter serf Carausius, “just shoot the fething bastard!” His experiences in the Deathwatch have shaped him to a degree; occasionally, he orders troops under his command to capture rather than kill an individual alien so that it may be brought back for study.

CHAPLAIN-DREADNOUGHT ELIAS BALSAMON, MASTER OF SANCTITY

Like Theridus, Elias Balsamon has been with the Chapter from its very beginnings. Unlike Theridus, Balsamon did not experience “convalescences” after being seriously wounded facing the Orks on Teresa Secundus. Instead, he was given second life through another, more familiar process: internment within a Dreadnought.

Today, Elias Balsamon is the Stormhunters’ Master of Sanctity, and in some respects, “Theridus” could not have picked a better candidate. When not in combat, he loudly preaches the idea that Theridus has been blessed by the Emperor himself with eternal life to cast down the works of the xenos and bring death to every last alien in the galaxy. Suffice to say, he would likely be devastated by the truth that Theridus has long been dead; that is why he and the rest of the Reclusiam is generally kept out of the loop when it comes to affairs of the 1st company.

Elias Balsamon has also demonstrated a remarkably cruel streak in the form of his Atomizer Cannon, the only one of its kind owned and maintained by the Stormhunters. The Atomizer Cannon is a very rare relic from the Dark Age of Technology that completely obliterates a target, melting the target from within and blowing individual cells apart. This destructive capability extends to inorganic targets as well. Many chapters refuse to wield Atomizer Cannons, finding them deeply heretical and objecting on moral grounds, but Balsamon and the Stormhunters as a whole seem to have no objections to its use; no expense is spared in the quest to destroy all xenos. The use of Atomizer Cannons against mankind, however, is gravely forbidden, and if the Stormhunters should find themselves pitted against another Imperial organization…

Naturally, Balsamon is an inspiring figure on the battlefield, chanting battle hymns and spewing litanies and curses at the enemy. For all of his flaws, Balsamon is an inveterate and powerful warrior and critical to keeping the faith and loyalty of the Stormhunters.

VITUS FERRO, MASTER OF THE FORGE

The Stormhunters do not have an established history of remarkable craftsmanship or technological expertise as chapters such as the Salamanders or the Iron Hands do, but they maintain a few relics nonetheless. The Master of the Forge is responsible for maintaining these priceless and powerful artifacts and passing down the techniques needed to do so to his successors. Like many chapters, the chapter’s Techmarines are estranged from the rest of the chapter due to their loyalties to the Cult Mechanicus; in the case of the Stormhunters, the Master of the Forge is elected from among the chapter’s Techmarines rather than being chosen by Theridus…until recently.

Vitus Ferro became the Master of the Forge in the aftermath of the Cavalas subsector campaign in 985.M41, during which his predecessor, Catacalon, was slain at the hands of the Mega-Armored Warboss and his retinue of Meganobz while defending the Morpheus Dreadnought Hyaleas. Ferro was one of Catacalon’s students, and in retribution, Ferro participated in the ambush that killed the Warboss, slaying him personally with a blow from his Power Axe after softening him up with bolterfire. Declaring the act “worthy of Dorn and the Emperor”, Theridus appointed him to the position of Master of the Forge.

Since then, Ferro has been in charge of maintaining the chapter’s relics, including Elias Balsamon’s Atomizer Cannon, among others. I have never understood the disciples of the Machine God, but Ferro is strange, even for them. He speaks to himself and others about concepts far beyond my understanding (by his own admittance) in a sesquipedalian manner; his pitch, and the emphasis he places on syllables, varies greatly. It begs the question – if I can barely understand him, how do his battle-brothers put up with him?

While the other Techmarines have accepted Ferro’s appointment, there is some underlying resentment. Here I can see the consequence of keeping the staff organizations so distanced from one another; when one tries to intervene in the affairs of another, there is bound to be such resentment. In this case, the Techmarines, while still paying Theridus his due respect as Chapter Master, resent his meddling in “the affairs of the Cult Mechanicus on Dystopia” as Techmarine Atreos put it.

Ferro is nonetheless a formidable warrior like the rest of his kin, and he brings powerful artifacts of the chapter to the field. One of these is the Plasmatic Claw, a technological marvel of unknown origins. It is theorized to be built and used in the Great Crusade, but there are no records as to its use in that period, or as to how it appeared in the Stormhunters’ armory. Only the Master of the Forge knows how to operate such a machine, and its automated operation casts suspicion of tech-heresy upon him.

The second of his artifacts is the Imperator Loquitir boltgun, an Umbra Ferrox-pattern boltgun equipped with a bayonet with an incorporated power field, as well as fire selectors allowing him to switch quickly between several types of ammunition. Unlike the Plasmatic Claw, the innovations incorporated into Imperator Loquitir are entirely his own.

Images:


Stormhunters Vanguard Veteran. At least, I surmise him to be so, given his bionics and wargear.


Brother Mikhael Doukas of the 5th Company, seconded to the Deathwatch. Captain Evaristus has confirmed that Mikhael is his brother in blood.


Brother Zemarchus of the Foe Hunters, “chapter contact” to the Deathwatch. According to other 1st company battle brothers, he has been sent to inform Mikhael Doukas of Theridus’s death.


Stormhunters Terminator, presumably that of one of Theridus’s Companions.


Brother Ignatios of the 7th Company, a Shock Marine.


(Homebrew rules can now be found here; in addition to the rules, it also contains additional fluff for each new unit as well as the fluff blocks for special characters. Check it out and please let me know what you think!)

Homebrew stuff for your viewing pleasure:
The Stormhunters Fluff/Crunch - Updated 10/07/13
The Rust Legion Fluff - Updated 5/19/13
Firaeveus Carron Rules - Updated 12/9/10

Last edited by Protoss119; 10-07-13 at 06:20 AM. Reason: Update 10/07/13
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UPDATE 1/26/13:

-Edited foreword before description of individual planets in Tempestus system.
-Added Addendum: Shock Marines. Reuploaded Chapter Disposition chart. Check out the rules for Shock Marines on the Crunch page!
-Added new battle/event: Trifoculine.

I am still looking for feedback. Let me know what you think!

Homebrew stuff for your viewing pleasure:
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The Rust Legion Fluff - Updated 5/19/13
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UPDATE 3/6/13:

-Added new characters to leadership, Anthemius Tzourilas and Elias Balsamon
-Moved fluff for Stormhunters choices over to this page. The fluff is still on the Crunch page though.
-Stormhunters crunch updated for 6th edition. Check it out!

The Atomizer Cannon is from Deathwatch: Rites of Battle, pg. 137. I am still looking for feedback. Let me know what you think!

Homebrew stuff for your viewing pleasure:
The Stormhunters Fluff/Crunch - Updated 10/07/13
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Well done! A great read and an interesting chapter. My only question is to whether they hate other Codex-compliant chapters so much that they'd refuse to fight along side them. I mean it's hinted at and I'm sure they'd refuse to fight next to the Ultras, but I'm curious lol Also, wouldn't it get confusing after a while for the chapter if none of them wore any iconography? Like who's part of what squad?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-13, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback!

-Generally the Stormhunters don't particularly care whether allied chapters follow the Codex until it gets brought up. They do dislike strictly- and fanatically-adherent chapters however, such as the Red Scorpions, Genesis Chapter, Novamarines, and of course the Ultramarines, since those are the ones most likely to take issue with the Stormhunters' own tactical doctrines and they serve as evidence of the whole "Guilliman's Grip" thing.

-That's a good question, and you make a good point. Since they don't follow Codex organizational patterns that closely anymore, it becomes harder for them to identify each other by rank and company. Generally, Stormhunters (and I'd assume all Space Marines) are expected to know and keep track of their rank and company and report both to allied Battle Brothers. There are also other ways to identify allied Stormhunters; the primary method is by examining their wargear, but Company Veterans also carry the Medallion of Storms, and Foe Hunters carry the Crux Terminatus.

If confronted by survivors of multiple squads and of varying rank, a Captain can form a new squad from the survivors on the spot so that he need not keep track of who's part of who's squad or who is of what rank. Generally this lasts until the end of a campaign, until they return to the Strike Cruiser, or until they return to Our Beleaguered Home, depending. After that, they are usually redistributed to other squads. Stormhunter Captains know a lot of techniques like that to cut through red tape that would normally result from a lack of iconography.

In the end, the lack of iconography is to keep their enemy from knowing who's who more than anything else.

Great questions, and I'm glad you enjoyed!

Homebrew stuff for your viewing pleasure:
The Stormhunters Fluff/Crunch - Updated 10/07/13
The Rust Legion Fluff - Updated 5/19/13
Firaeveus Carron Rules - Updated 12/9/10
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-26-13, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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UPDATE 6/26/13:

-Added onto Theridus fluff.
-Added Addendum: Company Champions.
-Edited the picture caption for the Terminator
-Added new character to leadership, Vitus Ferro

Always looking for more feedback. Let me know what you think!

Homebrew stuff for your viewing pleasure:
The Stormhunters Fluff/Crunch - Updated 10/07/13
The Rust Legion Fluff - Updated 5/19/13
Firaeveus Carron Rules - Updated 12/9/10
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-27-13, 04:06 PM
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Ohhh lots of information I already like it and I will get back to you when I've finished reading it all

Ok I'm back and I think its awesome very well detailed definitely deserving of some Rep

Last edited by imntdead; 06-27-13 at 05:06 PM.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-13, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

UPDATE 10/07/13:

-Added a new notable battle - the Blasphemous Laughter. Hopefully it isn't too far-fetched!
-Added details about Stormhunter Centurions.

As always, I'm interested in hearing your thoughts! Let me know what you think!

Homebrew stuff for your viewing pleasure:
The Stormhunters Fluff/Crunch - Updated 10/07/13
The Rust Legion Fluff - Updated 5/19/13
Firaeveus Carron Rules - Updated 12/9/10
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