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Index Astartes - The Black Scorpions
The Black Scorpions are a Space Marine chapter based on the planet Arcturus in the Eastern Fringes. Their creation remains a mystery and no record of their founding is available although their history is long and detailed. Their close ties with the Ordo Xenos is evident based on the amount of missions they accomplish at the behest of the Inquisition. A record number of Black Scorpions have served in the Deathwatch and have on occasion mobilised the entire chapter to meet the requests of the Ordo Xenos.
Their organisation is similar to that of the black templars albeit on a smaller scale. Numerous detachments of Marines are constantly on missions around the galaxy hunting Xenos or using their experience to instruct newer chapters or Ordo Xenos stormtroopers in the art of killing. Recent inquisition investigations put their numbers at approximately 1800 fully trained marines. Such a deviation from the codex astartes is a worrying concern for more conservative inquisitors but the Black Scorpions' service record offers them some degree of lee way from sanctions or investigations.
Arcturus is a dangerous death world, a dusty barren mountainous planet with large equatorial jungles and forests full of man eating plants and fearsome predators like the Cytus Swallower or the gigantic Black Scorpion (after which the chapter is named). There are also a number of fearsome feral Ork tribes that reside in the dangerous jungles, kept at bay by the thousand mile deserts and mountains that isolate them. The bone chilling ice caps, blistering deserts, huge mountains and fetid jungles provide excellent training grounds. The warlike and aggressive people live a harsh existence in feudal walled cities and towns. Inter clan warfare was rife until the founding of the Arenas, huge gladiatorial spectacles in which warring factions could not only settle their disputes and gain honour but also profit from.
The Black Scorpion base is a huge fortress on the Northern ice caps of Arcturus simply called The Stone. It is in this facility that the chapter houses it's armoury and training facilities. The Chapter also operate out of a gigantic space dock in orbit which manages and maintains their space fleet. Arcturus is also home to a large inquisition research installation. The strange weaponry and dangerous captured creatures the Black Scorpions bring back are studied here under the watchful eye of the Ordo Xenos. The Black Scorpions are rewarded handsomely for their services and are often seen with new unsanctioned or forbidden technology.
It is within the great arenas of Arcturus that the strength and will of humanity is tested. Arenas that can fit half a million people bear witness to horrific gladiatorial combat. The greatest honour an Arcturian can accomplish is victory in the Arena and the glory of being selected by the Black Scorpions to join their ranks. Thousands of young citizens join the ranks of gladiators hoping to become a great warrior and prove their worth to the emperor. Glory and Fame await those who can triumph. However most meet a grisly end at the hands of captured creatures from the far corners of the galaxy. The great crowds bear witness to the ferocity of Orks, Eldar pirates, Tau, or even, on a rare occasion, Tyranids.
Thousands of individual fights take place every day in the hundreds of smaller arenas and millions watch these ferocious battles. The culture and war like nature of the people of Arcturus is sated by these violent and bloody spectacles. Those warriors that have that rare strength can move up the ranks and are eventually allowed into the most prestigious and dangerous arena of all. The Praelium. It is here where the finest young warriors will meet their most dangerous and difficult task. The Master of the Arena will dictate the challenge which must be undertaken. It will never be easy and the young warriors will almost always be outnumbered or outclassed. They will fight to death against captured orks, gangs of hardened criminals, eldar pirates or even on occasion a deadly tyranid courtesy of the Magos Biologis installation.
It is from these deadly battles that the Black Scorpions chapter select it's candidates for their ranks. Only the most naturally talented and skilled men will survive the tests of the Praelium and thus the Black Scorpions can ensure that they only get the finest, bravest and deadliest men to join their ranks. The recruitment process is a rare one among space marine chapters in that it has access to an extremely large amount of viable recruits. The popularity of the Arenas has led to a huge number of young champions fit for recruitment. It is this steady stream of exceptional subjects that as allowed the Black Scorpions to grow despite their dangerous specialty.
Yet to come - Combat Doctrine. Beliefs, Gene seed, battle cry
Pretty well rounded-out fluff. You don't see much of these nowadays.All 1800 marines mobilised at once when the Chapter is normally stretched out across a wide area sounds like a pretty unlikely thing. I also find it difficult to imagine a situation where Ordo Xenos would need that many Marines in one place at one time (but perhaps you've got an idea or two - because whatever that was it sure had to be a really important event).A record number of Black Scorpions have served in the Deathwatch and have on occasion mobilised the entire chapter to meet the requests of the Ordo Xenos.
First, most Chapters don't operate at full troop complement at any one given point (let alone anything over that).
Second, the geneseed from the first Progenoid Gland can be harvested approximately near the end of the Marine's training as a Scout, but the other can only be taken after he dies. That slows down the recruitment considerably, so it would be a good idea to provide some reasonable explanation about how the Scorpions managed to achieve and maintain such large numbers
Third, service record alone doesn't really protect any Chapter from Inquisition's prying eyes. The Inquisition would have to have some very good reasons to let them continue the way they do (but given the Scorpions have a long history with the Inquisition, perhaps there was some event where the service they provided resulted in extreme loss of manpower and in recognition of their deed they have been permitted to rebuild to a higher number so that the Chapter would not become crippled again?)Unsanctioned or forbidden tech = illegal = Ordo Hereticus and Adeptus Mechanicus would both like to discuss that, wouldn't they?.The Black Scorpions are rewarded handsomely for their services and are often seen with new unsanctioned or forbidden technology.
Perhaps a better explanation would be that during some of their missions for Ordo Xenos the Scorpions are equiped with or otherwise acquire advanced equipment the Chapter is later allowed to retain in its posession?
All fair points - In the longer story the chapter has been mobilized to fight say leviathan or behemoth... but yeah it is kind of contradictory saying they are spread out and then all mobilised in the same place... so... that will be edited
Acheiving such large numbers is meant to be a mystery... how did the black templars get 6000 marines? surely they started at 1000 like other chapters? The large number of viable recruits was meant to be a hint as to why they were larger than others...
The inquisition being lenient on them is also supposed to be a mystery... but you have a fair point... maybe some history of great sacrifice should be added...
""Perhaps a better explanation would be that during some of their missions for Ordo Xenos the Scorpions are equiped with or otherwise acquire advanced equipment the Chapter is later allowed to retain in its posession?""
Isn't that essentially what I said in a nutshell? They are seen with unsanctioned and forbidden technology (forbidden was meant to be alien weapons that the deathwatch sometimes use as stated in GW canon)
but all fair point... thanks for your input!
Essentially yes, altough the way you worded it might be understood they don't quite have the permissions from ][ and AM to use this tech. Also, unsanctioned might not be a good word to use (since the Inquisition has, in fact, allowed them to use these weapons).Isn't that essentially what I said in a nutshell? They are seen with unsanctioned and forbidden technology (forbidden was meant to be alien weapons that the deathwatch sometimes use as stated in GW canon)
:happy: How about putting it like that:
"The Black Scorpions are rewarded handsomely for their services and thus are given access to technologies that are otherwise either extremely rare or altogether forbidden in the Imperium."
I agree with the Horseman here, you have some really, really well rounded fluff there. I like it a lot. Though you may want to work in some kind of morality test, not just physical prowess, to make sure the recruits are worthy, but then again, the Chapter can always teach them. Just something to think about.
"If you can wait til I get home, then I swear we can make this last."
I love the idea of the planet strung with colluseiums and arenas everywhere. And you paint the planet's picture very well. A good way to explain the scorpions large numbers is that the ordo xenos put pressure on the other ordo's not to persecute the scorpions, because they are such good pallies. And who's gonna stop the scorpions when they have alien tech, if the anti-alien tech ordo is on thier side? Nice background, and good structre. Can't wait to see where it builds!
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