This is the beginning of the background for my Space Marine chapter, The Master Race. It's written in a more factual, documentory fashion than an actual story would be. I did that because it was originally meant to be an informative guide to my chapter and it's origins, but I still have yet to complete it. I hope reading this you will find it to be interesting and I will be adding more layers to it as we go along. Thank you.
== The Cerberan System ==
The Cerberan system is a large, dense solar system located close to the Halo Stars in the galactic north-west at the edge of the scarus sector. It was re-discovered during early stages of the Great Crusade and was recolonised with the intentions of having it serve as a "border watch" system to protect against threats from outside the known galaxy and the Halo Stars. The system itself is a binary star system which consists of twelve planetary bodies orbiting a pair of twin blue A-class stars. Because of the intense heat generated by the twin stars, the five innermost planets are uninhabitable. The fifth planet, Cerberus I's suface is a baked ash wasteland while the first planet, Domignon, is little more than a ball of liquid hot magma and sulfurus gasses.
Between Cerberus I and the sixth planet, Cerberus III, is a very dense asteroid belt that was appearantly created by the impact of a large comet with a now non-existent planetery body, at some point during the Dark Age of Technology after man's first colonization of the system, which explains the jump in the planet's names from Cerberus I to Cerberus III. Recovered data from a drifting Spacehulk by a Magos Explorator Fleet in the system has suggested that this planet was the first one originally colonized by humans when the system was discovered, though the population of Cerberus III, unsurprisingly, has no written record or living memory of the mass exodus from their original homeworld.
The seventh planet in the system, known as Kirellah, is a minor Forge World with its own space-docks and a small Adeptus Mechanicus fleet and Imperial Navy task force.
Planets eight, nine and ten are each giant gas planets, the only notable feature belonging to the ninth planet, Baaryston, in the form of it's hundreds of rings and moons, all on different orbits and axis of rotation around the planet, giving it the appearance of a gigantic atom.
Number eleven called Trika, is a supposedly lifless orb of super-cooled liquid methane under a thick ice sheet that covers the planet's entire surface. At times the planet appears to change color from bright blue to a glowing orange. It is not known what the cause of this strange phenomenon is, as every expedition that has been sent to Trika has gone missing shortly after reporting entry into orbit, seemingly to vanish into nothingness. Only the Master Race Chapter of Space Marines, who call the Cerberan system home, have been able to effect planetfall and return, but they have so far refused to share any information about their operations on the planet with the other Imperial authorities in system. It is rumored by the human inhabitants of Cerberus III to be a Daemon World.
The twelfth and final planet Spikah, is nothing more than an extremely large asteroid on an erratic, elliptical orbit that stretches incredibly far from the system's twin suns. The orbit is so large in fact that it is only completed once every four millenia. At the point where it comes closest to it's stars, Spikah's orbit acually dips inside the orbit of Trika. When this happens it is said by the inhabitants of Cerberus III to be a time of anarchy and evil and there are rumors of the dead coming to life and Daemons running wild in the lowest levels of that planet's hives and in the darkest, deepest parts of it's deadly forests.
== Cerberus III ==
Cerberus III, the system's most heavily populated planet, is an inhospitable world, part hive and part primordial and very nearly of the Death-World class. 60% of the planet's surface is covered with ocean and bears only two, relatively large continents dominated by enormous hive cities, one in each of the northern and southern hemispheres, connected in the middle by a dense chain of volcanic desert islands. It's northern and southern landmasses are heavily forested with many dangerous species of flora and fauna, such as the 'Red-Cougar' and the 'Tusked Skarbeast', found nowhere else in the known galaxy. Perhaps the strangest of the planet's inhabitants are the several species of aerial micro-organisms that seem to feed on the plethora of various hydrocarbons and sulfur oxides created by the hives of the world's human inhabitants as well as the equatorial volcanic islands which are in a constant eruptive state. Magos Biologis of the Adeptus Mechanicus have concluded that it is these lifeforms that have stopped the planet from becoming an arid ashland devoid of life and unable to support a thriving ecosystem.
The planet's main population centers, of which there are also only two, have over the millenia become vast spralling hive complexes with each having multiple spires scraping at the upper atmosphere. The hives support a population estimated to number in the tens of billions, with many smaller outposts and villages spread throught the dense forests of Cerbera Primus and Cerbera Secundus, though these smaller communities rarely have contact with the planets hive dwellers, prefering to remain isolated from the masses and the compexity of hive life. The harsh conditions of living in Cerberus III's forested continents and deep in the hives lower levels breeds strong, resilient and capable fighters, and the Space Marines of the Master Race chapter have steadily recruited from Cerberus III since the chapter's founding in the year 745.M32. The Master Race Chapter has an extremely large Star-Fort in Geo-synchronous orbit around the planet that serves as the chapter's Fortress Monastary.
Cerberus III also boasts a signifcant Panetary Defense Force consisting of several mechanized and seige regiments, which is well trained by the harsh conditions of their homeworld and well supplied due to the proximity of the Forge World Kirellah. In the time before the Great Crusade brought Cerberus III into the Imperium, there was constant fighting between the northern and southern continents, consequently leading to the high martial spirit and tough demeanor that has been bred into the Cerberans over countless generations. The continents have kept a tradition of conflict with one another until the present day, though now it takes the form of immense gladatorial contests and competitions of strength and endurance, more akin to wars than they are to a tournament, where the participants number in the hundreds of thousand.
These 'Games' are known as the "Tribulations" and occur every 50 years to the day and are presided over by a special, temporary Tribunal consisting of the highest ranking official from each hive complex and the highest ranking Chaplain from the Master Race chapter. The guardsmen and warriors from each continent are grouped into two 'Armies' and will battle each other for 13 months without pause, at which time the victorious army is declared, or until one side is declared victorious by the Tribunal. The Tribunal will step in to stop the "Tribulation" and declare a victor when one side has lost 50% of it's starting strength so as not to deplete the forces beyond usefulness in case of necessary involvement in an outside conflict. At the end of the "Tribulation", the hive of the winning army's continent will become the new seat of govenment for Cerberus III, with the victorious army's commander being named 'Imperial Governor Militant' and assuming control of the planetary government and PDF. The years between each "Tribulation" are spent by the two continents training and building up their forces in preparation for the next inter-continental "Tribulation" and this makes the regiments of Cerberus III some of the toughest and hardest fighting formations in the segmentum.
== The Chapter ==
The Master Race were named for the Imperial point of view that humans are superior to the other races that inhabit the Galaxy and that Space Marines, being the pinnacle of human development, are superior to all. These are their chosen colors: Light Blue, Dark Blue and White which to them represents their Clarity of Purpose, their Loyalty to the Emperor and the Purity of their Hatred for anything non-human or corrupt, respectively. Red is also a sacred color to the chapter, representing the spilled blood of the Emperor, and is used on some Banners and markings, though not in great amounts as they largely view the enemies of the Emperor unworthy even to look upon it.
They were founded in 745.M32, two millenia after the re-discovery of the Cerberan System, far in the galactic northwestern frontier using Gene-Seed from the Imperial Fists Chapter.
The Master Race has a strong belief in the application of overwhelming force to achieve its objectives. Strike forces put forth by the chapter tend to have a higher proportion of armored units such as Dreadnoughts and tanks than a strictly Codex Chapter. Their infantry units are almost always led by a Veteran and the squads themselves are armed so that they can provide a maximum amount of force for as small a unit as is prudent, dictated by the situation at hand, and tend to be mounted in a vehicle for increased tactical maneuverability. The Battle Brothers are trained to trust in each other implicitly and have learned to make use of a two handed fighting style which sees the chapter's brothers commonly take to the field bearing their choice close combat weapon, typically a chainsword though not always, along with their Holy Bolter.
Neophytes are taken from the planet of Cerberus III, from among the victors of the planetary "Tribulations", inducted into the scout company, and indoctrinated in much the same fashion as any codex chapter. That is about where the similarity between the Master Race and other chapters ends.
The Master Race is devided into four "Grand Kompanies" and a fifth, much smaller "Recon Kompanie" containing the chapter's newest members. Units from each "Kompanie" are commonly mixed and matched for the needs of a particular strike force dictated by it's objectives in a given campaign or battle. This creates the necessity for the strong bond of trust and loyalty that exists throughout the Chapter's Battle Brothers as they are constantly being shifted around to fight alongside one another for protracted engagements. At any one time there are between 1000 and 1500 Battle Brothers in the Chapter with up to two thirds of them being deployed together, though not always in one place, at any one time.
== The Veterans ==
The Master race lacks the dedicated Veteran Company of other chapters. Instead, the Veterans of the chapter mix freely among the formations of the four main Grand Kompanies. The reason for this is that time and experience have proven that the overall fighting quality of the Master Race's battle brothers is increased by the presence of the Veterans in each squad teaching the younger Marines from their experience and knowledge. The Master Race holds the view that by having the wealth of knowledge that belongs to the Veterans of the chapter disseminated throughout, the chapter as a whole benefits greatly and only in this manner can all of it's Brother Marines be truly prepared to face the multitude of threats assailing the Imperium.
In place of a dedicated Veteran company, the Master race has kept to the tradition of having a warrior lodge. Though much smaller than a company, typically between 15 and 30 battle brothers, the Master Race's warrior lodge forms the retinues and command squads for the chapter's headquarters staff. The warrior lodge, known to the Master Race as the "Cult of Purity" or "Reinheitskult", is formed from Marines hand picked by the Chapter Master himself from units that have seen extreme amounts of combat and experienced heavy losses in battle. Almost all will be veterans of the Chapter, though it is not unheard of for a younger Marine who has particularly distinguished himself on the field of combat and left the majority of the brothers from his squad behind, to be chosen for the Reinheitskult.
The reason for choosing these Battle Brothers from the remnants of heavily depleted squads is it's believed that the losses they have suffered, watching their brethren die at the hands of the Emperor's enemies, will imbue them with a special hatred and zealotry to see those enemies pay in blood. The members of the warrior lodge repaint their armor dark grey in honor of their fallen comrades and to signify that their clarity of purpose has been given secondary priority to claiming vengeance for their brothers who have passed on to the Emperor's side awaiting the time of judgement and retribution.
In battle the Reinheitskult performs as a small, hard, core of elite warriors, led by the lodge's current master, to smash into the enemy's strong points and sow death and destruction among the opposition's main body of troops. They are typically deployed in a transport vehicle so as to close quickly with the enemy and more often than not they are supported by the Chapter's heavier armored vehicles and other vehicle mounted infantry.
== The Chapter's Master==
For five hundred years Jonas Krieg, Lord of the Twin Stars, has been master and commander of the Master Race. He has served the Emperor and the Imperium since his initiation into the chapter with a ruthless clarity of purpose, steadfast loyalty second to none and a never ending hatred for the enemies of the God-Emperor of mankind.
He was recruited into the Recon Kompanie after one of the geatest, most destructive Tribulations Cerberus III had ever seen. Jonas Krieg distinguished himself on the field of battle as a scout in a squad attached to the Master Race's 4th Kompanie, where he proved an excellent marksman. He showed a particular aptitude for the sniper rifle and the art of the long range kill, earning the Marksman's Honor while only still a neophyte, the first and only occurance of such an accomplishment in the entirety of the Master Race's 8000+ years of history.
After being inducted into the 1st Kompanie as a full Battle-brother he served with honor for 350 years, rising to become sergeant of the 2nd Squad during the Silori uprising when his sergeant was killed by an overheating plasma pistol that detonated and seared away the entire right side of his upper-body and head. Sergeant Krieg fearlessly led the Battle-brothers of 2nd squad through the fiercest campaigns on every terrain from the airless vacuum of a Battle Barge's hull to the intense heat of radiation blasted wastelands and earned the right to don the blessed Terminator Armor and be recognized as a Veteran of the chapter. Veteran Sergeant Krieg, armed with Storm Bolter, Power Axe and righteous hatred banished the demon Verlyn'atha, Mistress of the Change Lord, for a thousand years and a day. He was subsequently inducted into the Master Race's warrior lodge the Reinheitskult, or Cult of Purity, for his valiant actions in the name of his Chapter and their Emperor.
After becoming a member of the Reinheitskult, Jonas took to the field as Captain of the Master Race's 1st Kompanie. Scant years after assuming the title of Captain, he led his Battle-brothers through the hellish nightmare battlefields of the demon world Trika. His Kompanie successfully invaded and destroyed the Obsidian Fortress of the Demon Prince Akon'Drakk the Seether. Unfortunately the wily Architect of Fate saw fit to save his corrupted minion and let loose his blasphemous magicks, stealing away Captain Krieg's chance at avenging such a slight to the Emperor's honor as the Demon Prince's existance presented.
For his bravery, loyalty and purity in the sight of the primarch, Captain Jonas Krieg was gifted with stewardship of one of the chapter's most prized relics, the Blatt der Rache, Stregan's Axe, or Axe of Vengeance. It is a great shimmering power axe with a large blade not unlike a cleaver, crafted by the chapter's Artificers for it's first Chapter Master. The blade was forged from a strange metal alloy found only in the volcanos of Cerberus III and refined on the forgeworld of Kirellah. Once cooled, it's harder and stronger than adamantium, holding the keenest edge through centuries of use in battle and yet, it is as light as an axe half it's size. The axe connects to the nervous system of the wielder, via connections in the power armor and thus the Black Carapace, making the weapon seem like nothing more than an extension of the body, as natural as his own hand.
Jonas Krieg became Reichsmarshall, Master of the Chapter, Lord of the Twin Stars in 995499.M41, 500 years to the day before Abaddon launched his thirteenth Black Crusade and assaulted the worlds surrounding the Cadian Gate. On the day of Krieg's ascension, Chief Librarian Schraber was granted a vision by the Emperor in which he saw that Krieg would lead the Master Race to it's ultimate destiny, to the great purging of the corrupted and the traitorous, the warp-spawned demon and the vile, treacherous xenos from the galaxy, when the Emperor and his Primarchs will return during the blackest days of the time of ending.
Well, That's it for now. As you can see, I've started laying the groundwork for the history of my chapter as well as for the guard units drawn from the planet of Cerberus III which I also plan to build an army around. Together the two forces will be making up my Apocalypse gaming force and I've already started collecting the models to represent this mixed force of Space Marines and Imperial Guard/Navy. I've also started a toehold for the story line of Chaos forces to be present in the system with the inclusion of the possible Daemon World on the fringes of this most unusual star system. I hope it interested you and feel free to use this as inspiration for an army of your own devising or one drawn from the myriad forces represented in the Cerberan System. Thanks for reading and there's more to come in time.