Just a bit of fiction which I've written in the style of the old Index Astartes White Dwarf articles:
To Lord Rhaul, a communiqué
Carried by Guild Astropathica [Elona] via meme wave 32~c.418 secure
Origin: Elona Secundus, Elona sub 94567 origin date: 216.984.M41
[relayed: divergent B-3/loop Gamathor Beacon, C-5/loop Terus relay outpost]
Received Thracian Primaris, Helican sub 81281 reception date: 342.984.M41
Transcript carried and logged as per header
[redundant copy filed buffer 4982 key 26]
Subject: Chapters of the Obscurus segmentum, part 4: Golden Disciples
Author: Dextrus Palor, Scribe majoris
My Lord Rhaul greetings and salutations,
Before I begin I regret to inform you that the original scribe, Detrun Palor my father, who you sent to catalogue the Adeptus astartes chapters operating on the Western fringe of the Galaxy in the Segmentum Pacificus 50 standard Terran years ago passed away 2 years ago on the warp translation from the last chapter we catalogued, The Azure Ravens. I must thank you my liege for the Inquisitorial mandate you gave my Father allowing for his family members to continue his task, which was his passion up until his deathbed.
This aside I have a new report for you cataloguing a 7th founding chapter of Adeptus Astartes, The Golden Disciples under the command of Kaliban le Rousse incumbent Chapter Master since M41.742.
The Chapter operates as a standard codex astartes chapter (with a few minor divergences which will be mentioned later), if anything about the Adeptus Astartes can be called standard. They were formed originally in M34.802 to help stabilise the western fringe after the Gorethe migration M34.736 and the subsequent crusade of Warmaster Leonas Bennett to eliminate the Xenos incursion.
Structure of the Golden Disciples chapter
The function of the High Command and the Masters of the Chapter is to provide a supplementary command structure for the Golden Disciples battle companies, in case of catastrophic loss of command function for the Battle companies of the Chapter, until suitable replacements can be found. The Masters of the Chapter will have previously been the Captain of the company barring the Master of the Recruits, which allows them to manage the necessary administrative functions of their company, reducing the role the combat officer may have to take. The Position of Master of the Apostles however is alternative designation for the Captain of the First Company, The Apostles, as they are alternatively known. The Master of the recruits may have been any captain previously but feel that they have the necessary calling to train the newest members of the chapter. The Master of the recruits must head into the mountains with nothing but a battered sword and slay the most challenging predator they can find within 24 hours equalling or beating the weight of the previous masters beast. The Master is then granted the privilege of wearing this as their cloak and badge of office.
Most of the time the Masters of the Chapter take residence at the Chapter Fortress on Elona IV. In dire need four of the Masters of the Chapter, (The Watch, The Armoury, The Fleet and The Recruits) will fight together with the Chapter Master as a headquarters unit. The Master of the Marches on these occasions will always take an oversight role operating from a supporting Command Damocles directing and liasing with the forces involved as well as keeping in direct communication with orbital support. A command squad known as the Sword Guardians will protect the Masters of the Chapter. These warriors will be hand picked from the Company that the Master represents. The final warrior will be hand picked by the Chapter master from any company to carry the Chapter Banner into battle. After fighting in such an apocalyptic battle the surviving Sword Guardians are automatically inducted into the Apostles in recognition of their bravery.
Chapter Master: Kaliban le Rousse. Incumbent since M41.742
Master of the Apostles: Jemas Rorgan. Incumbent since M41.912
Master of the Watch: Terox Asten. Incumbent since M41.874
Master of the Armoury: Eren Lossow. Incumbent since M41.862
Master of the Fleet: Cassius Feron. Incumbent since M41.823
Master of the Marches: Damen Rex. Incumbent since M41.876
Master of the Recruits: Forex Lynrd. Incumbent since M41.987
Master of Sanctity: Keran Font
Chief Librarian: Miken Hogan
Master of the Forge: Forten Callus
Master of the Seed: Levard Regnum
Honoured Ancestor: Lucian Kerax
Battle Company Command:
Captain of the First Company: Jemas Rorgan. Incumbent since M41.912
Captain of the Second Company: Rucherd Vertas. Incumbent since M41.874
Captain of the Third Company: Alexander Garod. Incumbent since M41.862
Captain of the Fourth Company: Julius Morthen. Incumbent since M41.823
Captain of the Fifth Company: Teruss Raxun. Incumbent since M41.876
Captain of the Sixth Company: Peren Targan. Incumbent since M41.936
Captain of the Seventh Company: Fored Suth. Incumbent since M41.946
Captain of the Eighth Company: Henfor Deren. Incumbent since M41.953
Captain of the Ninth Company: Godwin Verges. Incumbent since M41.901
Captain of the Tenth Company: Corwin Archin. Incumbent since M41.987
10 Reclusiarchs – Each seconded to a Battle company to look after the spiritual needs of its battle brothers
15 Battle sages – Battle sages are essentially another name for the Veteran Sergeants who are receiving training to become full Chaplains in the future. The reserve companies due to a supporting role have two Battle sages
The Librarians of the Chapter work closely with the Master of the Recruits meticulously testing the spirit and training the minds of new recruits to the Chapter. They also provide an alternative force commander when suitable
The function of the Tech-marines in the Chapter is as per standard Codex astartes functions. When vehicles are necessary beyond the scope of Rhinos and Razorbacks, which are maintained by the battle companies, the Master of the Forge is petitioned for the request of vehicles beyond these. The Tech marines are also responsible for maintaining the Dreadnoughts of each of the Battle Companies. The Master of the Armoury working in conjunction with the Chaplainry looks after and maintains the wargear and ancient relics of the chapter.
2 Damocles Rhinos
10 Thunderhawk transports
10 Thunderhawk Gunships
12 Land Raiders – 3 of Crusader pattern, 1 of Redeemer pattern
16 Predator Destructors
16 Predator Annihilators
30 Land Speeders (10 of each pattern)
130 Space Marine bikes
16 Apocatheries – Each allocated to a Battle company
20 Brothers of the seed – Again like Battle sages each company has a certain number of veteran sergeants who are training to become Apocatheries in the future; due to the supporting function of the reserve companies they each have two.
The Apostles first company is fortunate enough to benefit from having 30 suits of Tactical dreadnought armour. The remaining 10 suits are allocated to the High command of the chapter and are styled appropriately. They operate as 2 10 man or 4 5 man ranged squads and 1 10 man or 2 five man close combat unit. The rest of the company consists of 4 vanguard veteran assault squads, 2 sternguard veteran squads and one close combat sternguard unit.
The main Battle companies operate as standard codex astartes companies; A command unit, 6 10 man tactical squads, 2 10 man assault squads and 2 10 man devastator squads.
The 6th and 7th companies consists of a command unit and 10 10-man tactical squads
The 8th company consists of a command unit and 10 10-man assault squads. These units are also trained as biker units
The 9th company consists of a command unit and 10 10-man devastator units. The troops of the 9th company also operate as drivers for vehicles as necessary and when required.
Company standards are kept to a bare minimum. A stylised number of the company on a plain background squared off in the colour of the company suffices.
Before the Gorethe migration of M33.732 the Elonan system was industrialised up to a point the level of tithe from the Adeptus terra was epsilon level indicating a bi-decadal raising of Imperial Guard regiments, which were supported by the industry on Elona.
The Gorethe migration changed all of this. Looking for a suitable home world after the destruction of their own by a still unknown menace they descended on the Elonan system looking for a habitable world. First documented in M33.723 by an explorator fleet they were found to be habituating an inhospitable world. When they descended on Elona IV they immediately started saturating the worlds of the system with crude atomic weaponry in an attempt to wipe out the population. The only saving grace of this was that the Gorethe were limited to short interstellar travel and were not aware of the Imperium and its vast resources for combating Xenos threats. As it was the Imperium did respond. The Crusade of Warmaster Bennett to push out the Imperium’s boundaries towards the Halo Stars was drawing to a close and so a detachment was sent under Lord Militant General Regan to combat the Gorethe. When they found Elona they found that its population centres had been decimated and that the cities on the world had formed mass migrating tribes to escape from the irradiation the Gorethe had caused. The Gorethe were wiped out over a 2-year campaign culminating in Legio Ferrum of the Adeptus Titanicus destroying which was only described by Princeps Fargon as a ‘vast pulsating Xenos organism spewing out countless thousands of drone warriors’.
The destruction of the cities on Elona was so total that even up until this day the populations still remain as migrating tribes. When Warmaster Bennett requested the creation of an Adeptus astartes chapter to consolidate his gains M33.750. Elona was the prime choice. Rebuilding of the cities would still have to wait another hundred years for the fallout from the Gorethe’s weaponry to dissapate. Its people now scattered over the globe had formed very insular, hardy and independent clans that would war with each other over resources. This was now perfect for forming the core of the new recruits for the Chapter and was not prevented by the Adeptus Mechanicus rebuilding.
Bi-annually the chapter holds contests for aspirants. These are the usual arduous tasks to weed out the weaker and less resolved aspirants. There are four feats that each aspirant must complete to become full supplicants to the tenth company. The first challenge involves a three-day climb up the Karlum Mountains on the main continent, replete with sheer cliffs, astonishing climbs and full of vicious predators the mountains usually eliminate the majority of aspirants. However the failed have still attempted what weaker willed mortals dared not to do. These failed applicants are usually rescued by the scouts of the chapter and taken to waiting Thunderhawks to travel to the only industrialised region of the planet to train as Chapter serfs an armed force equivalent of the Imperial guard Cadian regiments which supplements the Golden Disciples forces when necessary. When those who finish the climb reach the top a sight of the Chapter fortress greets them on the horizon and the Master of the Recruits who welcomes them to a meal.
The second challenge once the top of the mountain is reached involves a task of mental fortitude and willpower. The exhausted aspirants have a feast worthy of the Lords of Terra set before them and are welcomed by the Master of the recruits to eat from the meals. The aspirants who eat from this table fall into a deep drug induced sleep and are again taken to join the Chapter serfs as sergeants for the squads raised.
The third task which usually only sees twenty aspirants’ left is a gladiatorial combat. The aspirants are shown a selection of weapons, allowed to pick one, are paired up and tasked to fight one another until one of them is rendered unconscious. The aspirants who fall are rewarded with lieutenancies, captaincies and majorities depending on the order they fell in. The final applicant to fall is granted command of the regiment. These applicants are allowed to keep the weapon they chose for the gladiatorial combat as a symbol of their authority usually their companies are named after these weapons.
The final task of which there is only usually 10 of the original aspirants left involves a hunt back down the mountains to kill and return with one of the mountains many predators. Those that return with a body are successful and become full members of the scout company start the implantation process to become full Space marines.
The body of the predator the applicant has slain is skinned and displayed on the walls of the tenth company halls until the next batch of applicants succeed. Upon this the skins are taken and stitched into the Grand skin stretching down the centre of the spire of the Chapter fortress upon which every brother of the Chapter since its creation has added to.
Geneseed and beliefs
Although the Golden disciples share many attributes of the Dark Angels chapter, of which some of their heraldry is similar to. The Geneseed however comes directly from the Salamanders chapter. The Chapter shows very little divergence from the core beliefs of their parent chapter including that of protecting the citizens of the Imperium under their ward. Each member of the chapter from the lowest supplicant to the Chapter master himself is reminded of their lowly start by the grand skin hanging from the spire of the chapter fortress. This in turn reminds them of the noble sacrifice of the Emperor of mankind at the conclusion of the Horus heresy of whom they are disciples to.
The Golden Disciples are fervent in their belief that the Emperor is the saviour of mankind. They follow the teachings of the Ecclesiarchy with a fervour I have not seen of the other Chapters that I have investigated so far seeking out their enemy on the battlefield they cleanse them from it. After battles they have a ritual of finding the site of the first enemy to die and creating a mass funeral pyre displaying the body of the enemy army’s commander atop of it. With Chaplains leading sermons after their victory this is a fearsome site to behold.
While I was in the Chapter fortress I was allowed, whilst under close supervision of Chief Librarian Hogan might I add, I was allowed to have a look through the Chapter annals at some of the Disciples past engagements. A few of the most notable are listed below.
The siege of Varax Ur – Engagement against Death Guard traitor legion: M34.180. This campaign saw the death of the first native Chapter Master Damos Vargon and Chief Librarian Mertan Pagh while banishing the Daemon Prince Garthax the Pestilential at the gates of Hive Bergen. Also the first time the Chapter worked in co-operation with Titan Legio Ferrum.
The Battle at the Catelexis gate – Engagement against the forces of the Cacodominus cyborg: M34.401. This Battle saw the death of the entire of the 2nd and three quarters of the 3rd battle companies. Almost fortunately with the execution of the Cacodominus by the Black Templars the remaining Marines left stranded at Catelexis in the following upheaval are able to harvest the Geneseed of the fallen and able to recruit from the local populace almost restoring the 3rd company to full strength in the following decade. Upon return to Elona this does not sit well with the decrees laid down stating that recruits can only be taken from Elona itself. Captain Haskell and his command squad are banished from the Chapter upon a quest to retrieve the sword of Saint Hieroymonius Gorfan, they never return.
The discovery of the Moon of Nightmares – Engagement against an unknown foe: M35.789 After guarding an explorator expedition the engagement force lead by Librarian Betrayl explores previously unknown moon in the Darven system orbiting the 7th planet after 2 years of not reporting in a 5 man expedition, lead by Veteran Sergeant Nekan of the Black-watch a newly formed commando unit in the first company, find Librarian Betrayl alone on the moon suffering from a series of hallucinations that last until mind scrubbing is enacted. Detecting a large force of Eldar vessels appearing in the Darvan system Nekan retrieves Betrayl and retreats. The 5th company is sent to investigate the moon and not finding any evidence that it ever existed declares Darven 7 perdita.
Its not finished yet, what do you think?