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Here is the latest background for my Chaos marine Warband the Soul Reapers.
Midus Krug, Captain of the World Eaters Seventeenth Great Company, took the failings of the Heresy bitterly. He was outraged over being forced to retreat from the Walls of Terra only to hide like dogs and cowards in the Eye of Terror. What struck deepest was the slow decent of his Legion. Though the World Eaters were never famed for their professionalism, their conduct or combat tactics, to those within the Legion, there was a core of pride and honor within combat. The Legion's embrace of the Chaos God Khorne had removed all such valor and turned the World Eaters into blood seekers and madmen.
Watching the infection of Khorne enter the ranks of the Seventeenth, Krug decided action was required. Removing his forces from the Legion's fleet, he risked the lives of his brothers to make sure they would not become the fools that his Legion were to become. His actions were gratified when news of the slaughter upon Skalathrax. As the rest of the Legion turned upon itself, the Seventeenth headed deeper into the Eye of Terror.
Coming upon the daemon world of Terkerak, they faced their first battle as an independent force. Krug took the planet by rights of conquest, slaying its former lord, Malekhi, in single combat. Exploring the temple Malekhi had formed for himself, Krug found many passages scribed on the walls about 'reaping souls for the Lords of Chaos'. Believing a greater power than fate had brought him here, the Seventeenth would forever be known as the Soul Reapers.
The texts within the temple told how Malekhi had managed to come to power and he planned to further it; the artifacts of Salmora. The Salmora was a very powerful ancient Daemon Prince; he found and created a total of 12 artifacts. He used the artifacts to wage war against the chosen champions of each of the Dark Gods, in an attempt to ascend to godhood. Seeking the authority to reunite his Legion and destroy the foul Imperium, Krug left his new domain in search of the artifacts.
Using the cover of Abaddon's First Black Crusade to sneak past Imperial defenses, the Soul Reapers have been taking a bloody course across the Imperium till this day. Over time, members of other Legions and Renegade chapters have joined the ranks of the Reapers, swayed by the power Krug promises them.
In their quest to find the artifacts of Salmora the Soul Reapers stumbled across a warp storm located on the North Eastern Fringe near the Ghoul Stars. They named it the Storm of Souls, it is outside of Imperial shipping lanes it is the perfect place to coordinate their search.
Inside the storm their fortress is located on Ehdan a planet covered in ruined cities whose only residents are hordes of mutants, they are all that’s left from the original population. On a large island in the southern hemisphere they found abandoned forges dating back to the dark age of technology. This has been fortunate for the Soul Reapers as they have been able gain favor with the Dark Mechanicus and Obliterator Cult.
The Soul Reapers combat doctrine is still very similar to that of the World Eaters before their fall to Khorne. They still prefer short ranged firefights followed by swift brutal close combat to destroy their opponents.
The Soul Reapers can usually be seen mounted in Rhinos racing toward their enemy so they can disgorge to lay down a withering hail of fire to suppress their prey. Once the enemy is suppressed, they hurl themselves into their foes to deal the final death blow.
The leaders of the Warband methodically plan out their battle plans, because once their troops are committed their blood lust is not easily swayed. This is due to the aggression chips that were placed in the core of the Soul Reapers when they were part of the World Eaters.
The Soul Reapers have an ample supply of Terminator suits due to the Dark Mechanicus forges on Ehdan. Because of this they make great use of teleportation attacks sending their Chosen Terminators in the midst of the enemy.
Over the Centuries the Soul Reapers have fully dedicated themselves to Chaos. They favor no particular Dark God knowing that true strength comes from unity. They are most easily swayed to the worship of Khorne; this fact is attributed to the aggression chip. The Soul Reapers do make use of all the Cults if Chaos in very limited numbers.
New recruits for the Soul Reapers are created from captured Space Marines. The mind of an Astartes, however, is a rock that must be chipped away gradually. Decades of hypo-therapy and psychological conditioning in the service of their Emperor means that the seed of doubt must be placed within their hearts and mind and cultivated in order for them to willingly pledge their souls to Chaos.
Within the ranks of the Soul Reapers there is a dedicated cult of individuals that specialize in forcing a man to face the furthest depths of his mind and willing accept the darkness that lies within, they are know only as the Apostles of Malevolence.
The Apostles are masters of deception, manipulation and torture, using psychic powers as well as sorcerous rituals to bend the iron will of their captives to their cause. Each captive demands a different approach, some are more willing to turn their backs on their Chapters but more often then not most resist.
The Apostle must trick, lie and deceive them into believing that the Imperium is a falsehood. They must probe the minds of their captives to identify and expose any weakness so that the captive either turns to chaos or has his sanity shattered and it is said that to gaze into the eyes of an Apostle is to truly know madness.
As the layers of their minds are gradually stripped away by weeks of torture their darkest impulses are revealed and nurtured until they embrace service to the Dark Gods.
Those captives that possess latent psychic powers however are to suffer a different fate; carefully screened and selected they are given over to the Knox an Apostle of Malevolence that has been daemonically possessed. The Daemon within him feeds on psychic power, the candidates are slowly stripped of their abilities. This makes them extremely aggressive; they make the perfect assault troops.
Within the Soul Reapers they have become known as the Reavers, they are used as tenacious siege troops. They launch themselves into the enemy lines with little care for their own well being. There are only two ways to break an assault from the Reavers, either they take the objective or they are all dead.
The Apostles are aided by a sub-cult of non-psychic brethren known as the Harbingers of Malice. They are a twisted form of Apothecary tasked with using their alchemical knowledge to keep the captives alive during the process of changing. They are dynamic orators revealing visions of carnage and glory gained by the Soul Reapers through their unwavering dedication to the Dark Gods. The visions granted them are due to the use of mind altering chemicals to converse with their Chaos patrons’, this is the darkest form of alchemy.
On the battlefield the Harbingers use their Alchemical Injectors to keep the Soul Reapers in the fight infusing those around them with a burning furry to slaughter the foes of Chaos. Not many can hold against an assault lead by these madmen.
The Soul Reapers believe the only way to exact their ultimate revenge is the find the Salmora artifacts. So far they have collected 3 of the artifacts the first of which was taken from the Daemon Prince Malekhi. Once they have them they know that their Lord will unite the Legions and lead them to victory over the Imperium.
They have made several alliances with few of their former brothers. Even with these alliances they are always careful when dealing with their fallen Brothers. As they loathe them almost as much as those who still serve the Emperor.
Two thirds of the Soul Reapers are currently deployed to the Ammoriss system; he has had visions of the resting place of the “Minds Eye” one of the powerful Salmora artifacts. Krug is leading the Chaos uprising on Ammoriss with a precarious alliance with a Grand Company from the Iron Warriors, the Warband the Sons of Slaughter and a War host of Daemons. The campaign is currently focused on the Southern most continent with the balance of the Chaos forces laying siege to the Pierefoy. The Pierefoy is the political and military hub for the Southern Continent. If the Pierefoy falls the rest of the Southern Continent will be easy pickings.
Krug has sent his two most trusted Sorcerers to the Ridgeback Massif. It is a rugged mountainous area where one of the Salmora artifacts is believed to be hidden. These two travel in secret and avoid any contact with their Chaos allies. For surely the leaders of the other Warbands would want to claim the artifact for themselves. They are performing powerful rituals to taint the population while they search; creating foul Chaos spawn and Rage Zombies to wreak havoc amongst the local population and military.
The final third of the Soul Reapers are currently raiding the Imperial shipping lanes from their base in the Storm of Souls. They are lead by the Soul Reapers most powerful Daemon Prince Vorenous the Raptor.
Last edited by BDJV; April 9th, 2010 at 03:03.
That's interesting. I like that your Marines have contempt for other Chaos Marines. Though the World eaters aren't a ramshakle mess, I assume that is the point of view of your forces. You could include something about the brain surgery that was performed on all of the World eaters before the Heresy. It would still affect them to some extent and you should consider if they still do it. Also the World eaters killed all of their sorcerors during the Heresy. You could elaborate on where these new Sorerors have come from.
Thanks for the great input. I'll take those all points into consideration when I flesh it out some more.
Good job with the fluff. I like the format and set up.
One thing to I think would be helpful to add would be more info about Salmora, I'm assuming its a place, and the artifacts that come from it are what the Soul Reapers desire. Elaborating in Salmora and the artifacts might frame the story better.
I look forward to seeing more!
I've added a bit to the original post, the new or changed text is in blue.
Here's an idea that I'm tossing about pertaining to the cults used by the Soul Reapers. Keep in mind that it's a rough draft of a new idea.
The dedicated followers of the four Dark Gods cults are created from captured Space Marines; it matters not whether they be loyalist lackeys or traitorous brothers. Each cult is made through brainwashing, torture, and ritual sacrifices dedicated to the patron god to which they will serve. During the process of dedication the victims spend one hundred and eleven days times the sacred number of their patron, strapped to the hull of one of the Soul Reapers spacecraft.
The Rubrik marines of Tzeentch are the hardest cult type to create; the first requirement is to capture a powerful Librarian or Sorcerer who must be turned and dedicated to Tzeentch before the process can begin.
That would be pretty brutal being strapped to the hull of a craft and going through the warp. I'd imagine they'd get torn apart as demons were fighting over their energy. I guess with the right rituals and seals they body would be preserved but the soul ultimately warped. Interesting idea.
I've updated the first post with some new info, in blue.
Awesome! I love seeing this fluff fleshed out further and further. If you aren't careful, this is going to be a novel before you are done! I especially like the name "Apostles of Malevolence"
Have you thought about making some short stories to go with your fluff?
Thanks dude! Yes there will be some short stories and backgrund fluff for the main characters of the Reapers.
I may do a full blown mini-dex to use in conjunction with C:CSM for the Soul Reapers.