Index Astartes: Night Scorpions

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"Brothers, We are young, but we are not weak, a time will always come when a child steps out of the shadows and stands taller than it's parent. Brothers! This is that time, fight hard for the eyes of the Emperor are upon you." Wing Lieutenant Tarius addressing the first Scorpion Wing, 867.M41

Overview

The Night Scorpions are a young Chapter who have garnered a reputation as a sturdy force who excel in drop pod assaults and arctic warfare. Children of the Crimsons fists they are currently patrol the reductus sector protecting the light of the Imperium from the xenos that prowl the edge of the galaxy.

Origin

The Night Scorpions were formed in the 26th Founding 738.M41 with the modus operandi of plugging a perceived threat of xenos incursion in the Reductus Sector between the chapters of the Crimson Fists, The Marines Exemplar and the Dark Hunters. They were raised from the Crimson fist geneseed and thus the Patriarch Rogal Dorn of the Imperial fists. The Night Scorpions were equipped and armoured by their parent chapter thanks largely to the little distance between the two chapters. They would be established upon the lush jungle death worlds of Paethon & Cleon, nestled within the Cerberus stars, a small system comprising important agri-worlds that even the might of the Crimson fists would be spread too thin to defend were it to come under any sort of sustained attack from the nearby Ork menace. Paethon, the larger of the two worlds, would act as the main base of the chapter, it's sister world Cleon would allow for further recruitment to the Chapter, their planetary conditions being almost identical and each planets population being relatively low.

THE ALPHA III DELTA INCIDENT

In 867.M41 seismic disturbances were registered all across the northern hemisphere of Paethon. A small task force of scouts from the 10th Company, lead by Commander Atlas, were sent on an exploratory mission to discover the causes of said disturbances. It was expected that little but natural causes were the root of the problem and as such only light weaponry was taken and the force consisted only of scouts. Even Commander Atlas donning his old suit of scout armour.Three weeks into their mission no further activity had been recorded however the tribes of the surrounding region were uneasy. Flayed bodies of animals were beginning to be found in the surrounding jungles, huge natural predators that even the hardy population of the deathworlds feared. By the middle of the fourth week villages began to drop out of contact, the population suffering the same fate as the wild life the week before. At this point, fearing a xenos incursion Commander Atlas radioed in for help, the transmission was cut mid feed.Responding quickly Chapter Master Nestor summoned up the remainder of the 10th Company along with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Companies, the only sections at full strength given the youth of the chapter and began deployment to the northern continent. As the thunderhawks swooped in to Atlas' last transmission area they took in the full horror of what was unfolding on their world. The few remaining scouts were fighting back to back, a mortally wounded commander in their midst. Their foe, metallic skeletons, firing relentless green bolts of energy into their ranks. Quickly dismounting the reinforcements tried to surround the enemy, pouring massively disciplined bolter fire into them. This assault however largely ineffective as the Necrons seemed to simply shrug off damage that would kill even a space marine, dragging shattered body parts back into alignment.Gallery image
The terminator squads were moved in and proved hugely more successful, powerfists ripping apart the metallic bodies of their enemies. With this success the combined might of three Companies managed to destroy the small Necron threat. Scouts were rapidly sent out in strictly non-combat reconnaissance and returned with grave news, a Necron tomb has opened up deep within the jungle. A council of war was quickly convened with all of the Ten Chapter Companies and their Commanders (bar Commander Atlas who was in a critical condition with the chapters apothecaries) to decide what to do. It was eventually concluded that the enemy was too strong to be tackled head on by anyone but terminators and heavy weapons, much to the objections of the companies who lacked any terminator squads. It was therefore decided that, given the power of terminators against the threat, the 1st companies Tactical Dreadnought suits would be split between the remaining companies to form self sufficient battle groups. It was however unanimously agreed that no help would be sort, the chapter would fight to the end to retain it's honour.Having pin pointed the Necron tomb battle plans were drawn. The remainder of the 10th Company, supported by the rest of the chapter, would act as a diversion to draw the Necrons away their tombs and the reactors that lay within. Each battle company would then fight running battles with their foes, using their newly acquired terminator armour to its best effect. While this was happening the Chapter's first and second battle companies, lead by the chapter master himself, would fight their way into the tomb and rig its very heart with melta bombs, destroying it from the inside. The fighting however was bloodier than any had imagined. The 3rd battle company in particular sold their lives dearly keeping the Necrons at bay, a valour for which their insignia is still applied in gold. The first and second companies were however able to battle their way to the core of the tomb, and as those not in Terminator Armour exfiltrated out melta bombs were rigged to the archaic structures, the terminators teleporting out as the explosives ripped their way through the crypt. The titanic explosion ripped a hole in the side of the planet permanently scarring its luscious surface, but the deed was done and the Necrons had been destroyed or scattered without a leader.

Homeworld: Paethon & Cleon

Paethon was once a lush jungle deathworld, home to hardy tribes of humans who lead a life of constant struggle against the denizens of the vast jungles that surrounded their small encampments. The most feared inhabitant of these places was a massive species of scorpion that resided only in the darkest of places, distinguished by it's luminescent green eyes. It is this creature that townsmen had to slay to become part of a tribe's council or even it's leader. Similar practices are were found across Cleon although the planet lacked the nocturnal scorpions of Paethon.[gal_img]1607[/gal_img]These practices found favour with the Imperium. Paethon and it's inhabitants were quickly chosen to become the home world for a new space marine chapter, designated the Night Scorpions after the jungle creature with a marines armour incorporating a mix of it's shell and eyes. Indeed the first chapter master distinguished himself from the other inhabitants of Paethon by killing the largest recorded scorpion while Imperial scouts were assessing the suitability of the planet.Since the massive blast from the Alpha III Delta Incident the planet has been thrown out of orbit with it's sister world Cleon. The explosion stripped much of Paethon's atmosphere away, and what was left on the other side of the world was slowly lost within a few months. The Astartes undertook a huge effort to relocate those human inhabitants of the world that survived to Cleon, along with a handful of the planets wildlife including the Scorpion so that Paethon's initiation rites might continue. The lop sided planet still rotates haphazardly, it's light cycles taking up to 6 terran days to complete. The Night Scorpions chapter fortress-monastery resided deep within the jungle but is now located a few miles among the miles of snowy tundra which now clothe Paethon. The Chapter's fortress-monastery, the Aegle Proteus, so named because it is here that the inhabitants of Paethon believe that man first came to Paethon. It is said in folklore that a being of immense power, robed in Gold and flanked by silvery angels visited the peoples of Paethon, perhaps even the Emperor himself. It is constructed on top of an ancient temple that once marked the spot of this event. It is considered a sacred relic of past times that none but the most honoured Astarte may enter. It is however restricted to all those who are not within the Night Scorpion chapter, proving a point of contention between them and the Ordo Xenos who fear that it holds a more sinister secret. The outside of the fortress-Monastery is caked in a permanent frost that makes it glitter in the moonlight providing a beautiful and terrible sight to recruits.Since Cleon became the Chapter's main recruitment world the Chapter outpost there as seen vast improvements bringing it close the majesty of the Aegle Proteus. Potential recruits are still required to slay creatures of the jungle and bring them to the Outpost, to prove themselves worthy of becoming a space marine. Those that kill the newly introduced Nocturnal Scorpions that now reside on Cleon are prized most highly of all. Those original inhabitants of Cleon have proven incredibly quick to adapt to this new predator, it is not uncommon for those arriving at the outpost with this dead beast to be of an equal split between Cleons and Paethons.

Organization

The Night Scorpions were raised from Crimson Fist geneseed and thus The Imperial Fists. Unlike their progenitor chapter, they deviate significantly from the Codex Astartes in Chapter organization. The Chapter is organized into ten wings, each of these is raised from different clans on their home world of Cleon, then made responsible for their own equipment and recruiting. This means that each of the wings can operate on an independent level if need be. The first four wings each have two five man squads of terminators, the second four wings have access to one five man squad each, while the last two wings have yet to receive any suits. Scouts squads are present in each Wing with more squads within those wings lacking terminator suits. [gal_img]1606[/gal_img]As previously mentioned due to the winged structure of the chapter each wing will operate on a largely independent scheme from each other with only occasional direct co-operation. This however is not to say that the chapter is fragmented or relationships are anything less than cordial. Each brother marine values each of his comrades equally, regardless of their background and the chapter command is careful to keep an eye on each of their wings deployment. In the current climate with increased xenos threat throughout the galaxy wings two through six are on patrol throughout the reductus sector at any one time while the first wing guards the twin planets and the seventh wing continues routine missions between the Night Scorpions protected human worlds. Wings eight through ten, due to their underpowered nature are tasked with training and recruitment in the hope of a speedy rise to strength. Like a Company each Wing will benefit from the tactical prowess of a captain in the form of a "Wing Commander", within the Wing each chaplain and Librarian will possess the rank of "Wing Lieutenant" and will often act as the leaders of any form of smaller battlegroup formed from within the Wing. The rank of second in command will traditionally be filled by the sergeant of the first tactical within each of the wings, bearing the rank of "Master Sergeant" and the most likely the successor to "Wing Commander" should the current brother become incapacitated.Because of the Night Scorpion's need for thorough cold weather training each recruit is put through an extensive arctic survival course. Each recruit, having first past the arduous initiation ritual on Cleon must survive the night and sub zero temperatures of Paethon in a 50km hike within a mere five days with little food and meager shelter. After this trial by ice a specialization in the cold and it's effects on the machinery of war must be undertaken. Even a suit of power armour may become caked in ice under such conditions. It is therefore imperative that each recruit has a beyond average (for a space marine) knowledge of his weapon and his suit, it is for this reason that the chapter maintains less tech marines than other more codex chapters. Indeed this specialization for cold weather deployment extends beyond the mere personal equipment of a brother marine. Each recruit must also have a certain level of working knowledge with each of the vehicles at the chapter's disposal. It is those recruits that show the best working knowledge of such instruments of war that become trained for assaults squads or the small amount of maintained land speeder squadrons. Within the Night Scorpions the vast majority will miss out on a distinctly assault squad orientated training, instead engaging in close combat training within their tactical squad training. As Neophytes are trained from within due to the winged structure the scout squads attached to a wing are highly respected members of the organization, bonded by genealogy and geology. Each scout knows that this is the wing he will likely be serving with for the rest of his life and so will give his all to earn the praise of his elders, while this attitude means the tactical marines of the wing value their dedication and central role in sabotage and stealth capable within the arctic terrain.Since the reclamation of the of Undesignated World X898.C8 from Daemon control through a combined force of the Scorpions 3rd Wing and a detachment of Grey Knights with the subsequent scouring of its demonic artifacts the Night Scorpions have held somewhat of a sustained relationship with Inquisitor Vohn and thus the inquisition as a whole. It is for this reason that quadannual training is held by the Grey Knights for Veteran Night Scorpion squads and why on occasion they are seen fighting side by side in areas that call for the attention of an inquisitor. It is perhaps for this reason, along with their youth, that only a handful of Night Scorpion have yet fallen to the taint of chaos. It is doubtful such a rapport would continue to exist were such events to occur on a grand scale, and, as with any Chapter, it is perhaps just a matter of time until such a blight befalls the Scorpions. This however is not to say the chapters are allies in any more than their bonds within the Empire as a whole. No Space marine would ever truly trust an inquisitor, and this is certainly the case within the Night Scorpion chapter council.

Reclamation

The Night Scorpions' most notable victory was the defeat of a Khornesque cult deep in the Segmentum Tempus. Upon receiving an imperial distress signal from the supposedly abandoned planet a small task force from the 4th Wing lead by Wing Lieutenant Aeolus was sent to investigate. Upon making planet fall the force was immediately ambushed by frenzied cultists.The battle group fought valiantly out of the ambush however lost one brother and two scouts in the process, a grievous loss for the new chapter. Once the enemy had been beaten back Aeolus quickly signaled for more assistance, a signal that the Inquisition picked up. Sending a detachment of Grey Knights under Inquisitor Vohn. One week later the Inquisition was in place and the remainder of the Night Scorpion 4th wing had been called upon and hung in readiness in orbit. The wings scouts had already located the base of operations for the cultist and lay in wait to begin their attack as the rest of the combatants made planetfall. With the use of the locator beams the scouts had set up the 4th wing deployed via drop pod while the Grey Knights teleported into the fray.Quickly the Imperial forces realized that the situation was graver than they had first feared as greater daemons appeared from among the ranks of the cultists, a great Bloodthirster ripping its way out of the mortal form of the head cultist. Unswayed the brother marines began the process of systematically laying waste to their foes relying on their honed bolter drills and the wings Terminators to deal with the larger of the foes, The Grey Knights accompanying the 4th Wing Command Squad made their way towards the heart of the enemy forces and their greater daemon.As the battle raged around them Justicar Cortez, Wing Lieutenant Aeolus and Inquisitor Vohn engaged the daemon. The great Khornate beast was a pillar of carnal rage killing many of Aeolus' honour guard. Ultimately however it was no match for the combined force and was brought low by Aeolus's force weapon. However in a final act of defiance it swung a killing blow at Vohn. Aeolus reacting with lightning speed blocked the strike but in doing so shattered his weapon and his right arm was cleft from his body. The day was won, but Brother marines had fallen and Wing Lt. Aeolus was in a perilous state. Night Scorpions however had gained the respect of the Grey Knights and the Inquisition.

Combat Doctrine

The Night Scorpions mission was ultimately to be a defence against any would be Waagghh! Or other xenos threat that could slip through the current bastions assembled in the reductus sector. This threat would traditionally have been met with a large emphasis on tanks, infantry discipline and great reliance on the heavy bolter. Their tactics however have had to change following the explosion that plunged their home world into a perma-frost. Tracked and wheeled vehicles such as the rhino and its variants struggle under such conditions becoming bogged down in the thick snow drifts. Similarly the icy winds make the use of jump packs and land speeders difficult as air vents begin to freeze over or the kerosene begins to solidify. Thus the Night Scorpions have developed an emphasis on the use of drop pod assaults more than most codex chapters so that they might reach their enemy without delay. This does not however mean that they have abandoned their roots, the Night Scorpions are still as slick an infantry machine as they ever were if not more so. Marines will practice for hours on end honing a precise bolter discipline on the ranges while the Wings will regularly perform exercises in cohesion and massed bolter fire. This new tactic was put to the test when an Ork warband designation Skar'got landed on Paethon in the night side. Quick to react the entire 5th Wing deployed via drop pod assault, as they emerged from their pods they layed down a withering hail of fire, wiping the enemy out before the dawn came two days later. Past their initial assaults the Night Scorpions are known for their precise bolter fire in the face of the large hordes often seen when facing the green skinned menace. This has also lead to the wide employment of specialized bolter shells. Such deployment has meant that many tactical squads have forgone the use of longer ranged firepower to deal with mechanized enemies, instead using melta technology to cripple a maneuverable foe before overwhelming them.Like many chapters the Scorpions refuse to adopt camouflage even if it means that they are at a tactical disadvantage. This is particularly prevalent when the marines are fighting in the sub zero temperatures that they are so famed for. This however does not strictly apply to the scout squads present within each wing. While their armour remains black and green, honouring their chapter colours, the scouts will adopt a lighter coloured under armour while sporting camouflaged cloaks to help conceal them among the eddying snow drifts. Before an attack is launched scouts from the wing will regularly adopt observation posts to direct the main spearhead of drop pods to their target. They will often use modified Land Speeder Storms to achieve this task, special designed to cope in even the coldest of conditions.The ultimate Doctrine, like many marines, is that attack will provide strong defence, plunging quickly to the heart of the enemy and eradicating them before it can react or sectioning off small groups for destruction. This has proved hugely effective throughout the years and vital in many of their theatres of war.

Geneseed

The Night Scorpions Gene-Seed is by all means normal, though like all Son's of Dorn they lack the Betcher's gland and Sus-An. No further defects have currently been found with it.

Philosophy

The Night Scorpions value hardiness and versatility above all us, only marines with these qualities can stand up to the struggle of living in the intense heat of the jungle and then operating as an Astartes in the intense cold of the snow. The youth of the Scorpions has also led to a huge belief in perseverance to succeed and a zealous love of their chapter. This has manifested itself into a sometimes fool hardy doggedness in battle, refusing to give ground except In death. Due to the low turn over of new equipment from Mars and the low ranking of the Night Scorpions in receiving this equipment the Chapter is taught to venerate each and every piece of armour or weaponry that passes through the brother ranks. Each ceramite plate is lovingly protected by its owner and usually by the end of a brothers career highly embossed and engraved. The same is true of a brothers bolter which is seen as their most important piece of equipment, each Astartes is trained to weild their weapon with a single hand if the situation calls for it, allowing for the use of close combat weapons while retaining the strength of the holy weapon. Indeed such reliance leads to many squads forgoing the use of specialist equipment beyond melta or flamer technology. For a Brother to lose his bolter in battle is the greatest shame he can bring upon himself, not even breaking in the face of the enemy will bring such condemnation. As such any Scorpion will fight with his utmost vigour to reclaim the weapon if it is lost in the heat of the battle, if however they are for some reason forced to leave without it they will more often than not begin a penance, withdrawing from their brothers into thought and meditation as they begin the slow and painful process of creating a new weapon for themselves.The peoples of Paethon believed that in their ancient history the Emperor himself, clad in shining gold, arrived upon their planet gifting them with basic technology. It is for this reason that the Night Scorpions believe the Emperor is in fact, as the Ecclesiarch would have the Imperium believe, a deity. The ruins scattered across Paethon, and to a lesser extent Cleon, indicate that this God Emperor will one day return to his planet and claim its inhabitants as his own, thus the brother Astartes believe that the Emperor will one day be liberated from his internal slumber and lead his armies. These views however has lead to them being viewed as somewhat backwards by their brother marine. Nothing however seems to have dimmed the Scorpions belief, indeed they keep good company with many other Chapters of a similar belief set who follow the majority of Imperium in their reverence of the Emperor.

Battle Cry

"Strength through Purity, Purity through Faith"




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