Index Astartes: Supernovas

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Noble sirs,

Find enclosed a compiled data-stream from our field agents regarding the Supernovas Chapter, edited and annotated by myself for your convenience. I consider this the most accurate account of this Chapter we have made to date, although as a true and humble servant of the Emperor I would never be so bold as to claim there is no more to add on the matter. Alas, as is the case with many Chapters, the Supernovas Chapter has been less than completely forthcoming to our operative, whose personal sidenotes showed he felt himself treated most unfairly by his hosts.

Field assessment attached below.

Your Obdt. Servant,
Scribe Platos Unbamar.

The Supernovas


The Supernovas Chapter hail from the world of Tasal, known as the 'Nova Star' for reasons that I have been unable to verify. The planet has a lower gravity than most, with much of the surface split between massive, storm-wreaked oceans and blasted wastelands. Most of the planet's fauna and flora are found in the valleys formed by towering mountain ranges. Shielded from the tempests of the ocean, and nurtured by mountain rains, great rainforests spring up in these darkened places, swarming with a myriad of deadly beasts.

Most of the planet's population live within these rainforests, surviving either in hardened fortresses along the fringes or on the land-trains; a long caravan of carts, trucks and tanks that slowly grind through the dark interior. Life beyond the forest is sparse at best, although some are brave or foolish enough to seek a life upon the turbulent oceans.

The people of Tasal are known to be lightning quick, reacting to danger so suddenly it is as if they have some paternatural forewarning. Several routine cross-section examinations of the populace confirm this to be caused by natural evolution, rather than mutation of the body or mass psychic awakening.

Culturally, Tasal is typical of a Space Marine's homeworld; it's people are tribal warriors, pit against their hateful world in a daily struggle for survival. No Tasalian reaches adulthood without skill with blade or bow (or, arguably, the ability to outrun whatever monster fancies him as a meal). The Warrior-Cults are rife and in heavy demand, ensuring there are no shortage of soldiers on Tasal, and thus no shortage of aspirants for the Chapter.

The Fortress Monestary of the Supernovas is split into nine ancient keeps, all linking to a fortified starport via hidden underground tunnels. These keeps appear to be ancient bastions of stone, but the crumbling masonry hides a heart of adamantium, and any foe that attempted to lay siege would find these strongholds as durable as the most sophisticated war-structures of the Segmentum Solar. The Starport itself is used by the planetary populace, though the Chapter itself can at their discretion bar shipment of goods or manpower, and has in the past confiscated certain items for reasons they never disclose.

The planet of Tasal, most notably the bastion-keep and starport occupied by the Chapter, has examples of highly advanced technoarcana. It is believed that Tasal was once an advanced and thriving planet, but during the dark times between founding and reclamation by the Imperium in the Great Crusade era, the populous reverted into barbarism.


The Supernovas Chapter is split into nine Companies. The First retains its Codex-assigned role of a Veteran Company, whilst the others act as autonomous forces. Each Company is responsible for its own recruitment, resupply and deployment. Typically, each Company hold a fighting strength of approximately one hundred and twenty Battle Brothers of varying ranks and skill levels, although the exact numbers will naturally vary based on attrition.

Each Company, bar the First, recruits from the populace as and when they require it. As they have no Scout Company, the aspirants (known as "Novitae") are trained by their more experienced brothers. Novitae seem to make up a significant proportion of a Company's fighting strength, with around one third being average. In theory, up to half the Company can be made up of Novitae, and it would seem that on occasion this has indeed been the case!

Each Company has its own Librarian, known as the Archivist. Additional Librarians are present, counted amidst the First Company and deploying as and when required, but it seems the role of Archivist holds some significance to the Chapter; each is responsible for cataloguing the exploits, both glorious and shameful of his Company. The Archivist typically travels to war when the opportunity to erase some former shame presents itself, such as slaying a foe that previously escaped the Chapter's wrath.

In a similar manner, each Company has its own Chaplain as the Codex dictates. There will also be present a Techmarine, or several Techmarines, to maintain the vehicles of the Company. Unlike most Chapters, there is no central motor pool; each Company must build and maintain its own armour. It is not unknown for Companies to 'loan' vehicles to one another as and when required, but it seems such actions are frowned upon and avoided where possible.

Supernovas seem to rely primarily upon the Tactical Squad, almost to the exclusion of all other formations. They rarely deploy Assault Troops, though formations mounted on Bike and Land Speeder are not uncommon. Devastators have been known to go into battle with lighter, short-ranged armaments such as meltaguns and plasmaguns as opposed to the more traditional heavy weapons, and most of the Chapter's motor-pool is made up of lightweight vehicles in favour of heavier assault tanks.


The Supernovas primarily recruit from the aspirant soldiers of the Warrior-Cults, taking the young boys from their masters when they display sufficient skill. Some perform ritual challenges, such as travelling alone to a remote bastion-keep of the Company. Others prove their worth in official competition, whilst some are approached after a brutal battle and led away by the Chaplains. Only a fool would dare deny the Astartes their chosen warrior, although some have been known to try.

Upon being chosen, the Novitae is taken to begin the long transformation into full-blown Astartes. They will be placed under the direct care of an older Battle Brother, who can be anything from a Tactical Marine to the Company Captain himself. Those who show any Psychic potential will always be placed with a Librarian, whilst the more specalist members of the Chapter, Chaplains, Techmarines, Veterans and so forth tend to adopt an older, more experienced Novitae who has proven themselves under the charge of another.

The Novitae are schooled in all aspects of war, typically only taking to the field toward the end of their training. Most will march beside their mentor, but a few whose skills are so suited will be taken aside to form a so-called 'Stalker' Team. Stalker teams function much as a Codex pattern Scout Squad does, but the level of ability within the Stalker team is much closer to that of a full Astartes. It is not uncommon for Stalker Teams to operate for months, or even years alone, and its members are usually fast-tracked into the First Company.

Chapter Colours & Heraldry

Curiously, the precise uniform of the Supernovas is something often debated by scholars. At best, it can be said they favour contrasting shades of blue, usually a pale dark blue counterbalanced by a very vivid blue, or even cyan. The reports frequently conflict, however, leading some to believe the Chapter may have repeatedly changed its colours during its history, or does not in fact retain a fixed heraldry. [Surely not! If I may present my own humble opinion, such actions would be a gross insult to the armour's Battle Spirit!]

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Left: A crude child's drawing of a Supernovan made during the Reclamation of K'tas, 452M40. Note the golden Omega upon the breastplate. The yellow of the Tactical Marking indicates a member of the Second Company.
Centre: Colours of the 40-strong detachment deployed against Yorth the Black, 988M40. In reality, almost none of the Astartes present bore an Aquila; the decoration was present only on the veterans of the First Company. Curiously, the lack of squad markings or chapter badges is not an oversight; the Marines bore no such iconography, though they referred to themselves as the 'Children of Nova', a term used by the Supernova Chapter.
Right: Leader of a kill-team dispatched to eradicate Warboss Krogbar, 203M41. Black colouring seemed consistent on all squad members, and the use of bronze Aquila was common. Note Chapter badge is present; silver Aquila over golden Omega. Numeral on the left knee presumably indicates member of the Second Squad.

These three images have been chosen for a very specific reason; our records indicate they are all depictions of the same warrior. Each seems to be based upon, to a varying degree, a Battle Brother known as Lata. By 203M41, he was confirmed as leading the Kill-Team, and is presumably still active.

The official symbol of the Chapter, as stated, is a golden Omega with silver Aquila overlayed. This seems to suggest some form of link to the Ultramarines, possibly even making the Chapter one of the Second Founding, although given their deviations from Codex doctrine it seems unlikely.

Beliefs & Rituals

The Chapter's Cult, known as the Novan Cult, praises the Emperor as the leader of Mankind, a warrior without peer, and creator of the Primarchs. The Chapter venerates the Primarchs as a whole, exalting traits of each. It seems each Company places one Primarch in slightly more regard than the others. The Second Company, for example, compare their own warrior nature to that of the Great Khan and his White Scars Legion.

Studies of the interactions between the Companies, their members and the planetary populations indicates that the Battle Brothers view their 'cloister' (the members of their Company) as blood brothers. Indeed, one could go as far as to compare the relationship between Novitae and mentor as one of son and father. During the purging of the Anxotl Raiders, when Sergeant Ayet lost his Novitae to enemy fire, he single-handedly carved his way through ten-score enemies to reach the enemy weapon emplacements that had claimed the life of his pupil. Once there, he rigged a series of demolition charges that obliterated the Raiders' heavy artillery. Only then did he withdraw; his squad had been ordered to evacuate an hour beforehand.

When a Battle Brother falls, his squad-mates will ritually scar, brand or tattoo his face with a symbol known as the 'falling star'; a flattened omega with three points coming off the base. The Marines themselves would not explain the significance of his marking, but second-hand reports indicate that it marks the dead warrior as having died a warrior's death. Techmarines are confirmed to perform similar rituals when a vehicle is damaged beyond repair. There are claims that the Supernovas have on occasion marked the body of an enemy in such a way, although there is no solid evidence to confirm this.

Each Supernova carries with him a sword of some description, from a short-bladed [by Space Marine standards, I hasten to add!] sword to a Chainsword or Power Sword. The act of drawing a sword is known as 'Taekar' in the native tongue of Tasal. Once a sword has been drawn, blood must be spilt. Novitae do not receive their 'official' sword until they have become full Battle Brothers, and thus class their various combat blades as knives or daggers regardless of their actual length.

Shockingly, my studies suggest that once, during a heated argument between Astartes of rival Companies, a member of the Fourth Company drew his blade against a Brother of the Ninth. The two Marines fought to the death, ending in the Fourth Company warrior being slain. Though this is the only example I can find, it seems that the Supernovas are willing to kill their own to satisfy this tradition of Taekar.


The Supernovas Chapter use the Ultramarines Gene-Seed. However, for reasons not entirely clear, there is a degree of mutation within the Chapter's stock.

Supernovan Space Marines seem to have a condition they refer to as 'Skyblyte'. In essence, most Supernovas never fully mature into full-fledged Space Marines; even years after implantation, elements of their anatomy will still be under-developed. Common examples include the second heart or third lung being too small, or their musculature being less than what is expected.

Whilst these flaws will eventually self-correct in the majority of cases, allowing a Supernovan to 'grow out' of their weaknesses, several Battle-Brothers can, and do, possess flaws that make them extremely vulnerable, even incapable of performing their duties as required. The Supernovas sometimes turn to bionic enhancements to correct these flaws where possible, though this is not always an option.

Almost acting as a counterbalance to these flaws is the unusually high rate of information transfer across the Supernovan nervous systems. Supernovan Space Marines are capable of receiving and processing information faster on average than their counterparts from other Chapters. Whilst the exact difference varies from one individual to another, on the field of battle the micro-second advantage can be the difference between life and death.

Despite these mutations, the Gene-Seed of the Chapter is considered to be Stable - though the High Lords are not willing to make use of the Supernovan Gene-stock in subsequent Foundings due to its 'imperfect' nature.


The Supernovan Homeworld of Tasal lies to the galactic north-east, where the light of the Astronomicon begins to wane. However, the Chapter routinely deploys itself far from home, driven by a variety of motivations and pacts of allegiance.

The Chapter as a whole focuses on patroling the Chapter Wayes; ancient routes that follow the Crusades launched by the Chapter millennia ago. Often a single squad will embark along a Waye, but sometimes a full Company will go forth to trace the route it took generations ago. On rare occasions, the Chapter will forge a new Waye, granting another route to patrol.
In addition, whilst following a Waye the Chapter will keep watch for distress signals from nearby planets. If the Chapter believes the world is worthy of note, they will grant a 'Vassal Mark' to the planet. This token grants the planet protection of the Chapter, and the Supernovas will be honour-bound to heed any call, great or small, made by the planet to the Chapter.

The Vassal Marks are still granted to this day, and it seems the Supernovas have also voided the mark on occasion. Sometimes, this is because the Chapter feels it can no-longer defend the planet, or there are other Chapters that can do so in their stead. Most recently, Sergeant Ayex physically dragged an ornate icon bearing the heraldry of Captain Pelobn off of the Merchant Frigate Lex Probatus, proclaiming "the next time we meet this ship, it is to be fired upon." The exact records of what transpired on the Lex Probatus are not readily available outside the Chapter, though are typically met with a mixture of amusement, disbelief and abject horror.

It is important to note the Vassal Mark is not handed out to every world upon which the Supernovas battle - often, the Chapter will deploy, complete its duty and depart without a word. It seems the rules pertaining to the granting of the Mark change at regular intervals, though how and why is not clear.


The Chapter's armoury is fairly typical for a Space Marine Chapter. The Supernovas seem to favour Mk VI Plate as their default armour, having relatively few suits of the Mk VII or VIII. The Marines of the Chapter seem strangely supersticious about their armour, to the point of some being outright unwilling to use the newer suits of armour. This may be because Mk VI Plate is the most advanced the Chapter's Techmarines can produce. Mk VI may also be favoured by Gynos, a Forgeworld along the Brethren Waye, who by ancient pacts supply the Supernovas with equipment.

One of the most iconic tools of the Chapter are the Nova Rex pattern Frag Grenades. The Nova pattern grenade is a cylindrical disk small enough to fit in a human hand, whilst the "Rex" version is a larger model designed for Space Marine use. Though much smaller than conventional Astartes grenades, the damage output is nearly equal.

Nova Rex grenades are carried in a hip-pouch containing a complex logic engine. This system keeps the grenades inert in storage. A pouch can carry half a dozen Grenades, meaning a Supernova can carry many times more explosives than any other Chapter. When drawn, the grenade becomes 'live', and the final arming is performed by depressing the arming key; a circular button on the face of the grenade. After six seconds, the grenade explodes.

There are rumours of some Supernovas employing a "Terminus" protocol, whereby their entire grenade stock explodes together, transforming the Marine into a human bomb. There is no proof of such action being used, however.

The Nova grenade design was recovered during the Great Lasana Waye, and within a year the Nova Rex grenade had been developed. The Chapter has never shared the STC for these formidable explosives.

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