Captain Ulysses - Warhammer 40K Fantasy

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    By the Silver Sword! Stormchaser's Avatar
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    Captain Ulysses

    Hi guys. This is some fluff I've put together for the captain of my Space Marine Company. Let me know what you think

    Captain Ulysses Master of the fleet
    Captain of the 3rd Company, The Guardians of the Gate

    Captain Ulysses was recruited into the Guardians of the Gate chapter in much the same way as any other neophyte. A chaplain of the chapter came to his town during the annual Melee tournament, a contest of martial prowess between the young men of the labour habitations, where the workers from the huge manufactoriums lived. Ulysses showed great potential and was inducted into the chapter, where he became a warrior of the Astartes, and a mighty hero. However, to tell his tale quite so blandly could be considered something of a crime.

    Ulysses was born to Hantor and Greitha, both workers in the city-sized manufactorium. He was named after his great-grandfather, who had been a mighty ship commander in the Imperial Navy. Little did his parents know, that naming him thusly had virtually sealed his fate.

    The manufactorium where his parents worked, and the villages surrounding it covered almost as much land as a hive city would if it were all built on one level. This particular manufactorium was responsible for constructing the massive prows of Imperial Cruisers which were being built in the orbital shipyards. It took one solar year to fully complete one prow. The completion of each prow, and itís subsequent collection by the huge drop ships, was met with great celebration. Over the centauries, the Melee became part of the celebration. Boys from each village, aged between 13 and 19 (which was the recruiting age for the local PDF regiment), were sent out into the moors and forest lands armed with wooden swords and either a las carbine with stun batteries fitted, or a stub-rifle filled with plas-tek bullets, and carrying only basic survival packs and rations. Each boy would have a sash in the colours of his village tied around his waste. The aim of the Melee is for each boy to either work alone, or with the boys from his village to try and collect as many sashes from the other villages as possible. Whoever returns with the most sashes is declared the winner and is awarded either an honourary place on the villages council, a pack of lho-sticks, or victory laurels, weaved from moor land heather. Each depends on the customs and traditions of each particular village. It is not unknown for boys to return to a different village if they preferred the prize that village offered. The Melee starts on the evening of the day the prow is completed and is called to a halt when the manufactoriumís horn is sounded to signal the arrival of the drop-ship. Not only is this traditional, but practical as well: The drop-ship not only comes to collect the completed prow, but to deliver the first component parts for the next one. This means that the Melee can last between a few hours and a month. However, in rare circumstances it can go on for longer, sometimes for as long as six months. There are even records that document one melee that lasted for more than a year.

    In the grand scheme of things, the Melee is a fairly new tradition. Records say is started roughly 257 years ago, when the villages were celebrating the completion of a prow for an Imperial Cruiser that would be called Prince of the Tempest. Some boys from the Intarra village were sent into the forest to collect some firewood for the villageís bonfires. They ran into a group of boys from the nearby Kesran village, who over powered the Intarra boys and, out of boredom or an odd sense of humour stole their belts. The following year, the lads from Intarra set an ambush for the young men from Kesran, and not only did they steal the Kesrans belts, but their trews as well! Both parties could see the absurdity of the situation, and all burst out laughing. After Kesran boys had their trews returned, they suggested they make it a yearly occurrence and the Intarra boys agreed. Eventually, more and more villages got involved, until the ambushes and scuffles not only grew to be part of the celebrations, but became the main event.

    At the age of 14, Ulysses had become a strong, confident young man with lightning wit and the stubbornness of a bull grox. He was eager to enter the Melee, as he had missed out the previous year, due to a broken leg. He had fallen out of a tree barely a week before, and tried insisting that he could still take part, but his mother refused. This year, however, he was more than ready. No boy in his village had won the Melee in over a decade and he was determined to change that. When the village elder gave them leave to go, he practically sprinted onto the moors. His eagerness was almost his undoing, however. While the moors and forests are relatively quiet, they are still home to some fearsome predators. As Ulysses stalked across the moors in search of his prey, he was unaware that he was being watched by something far more dangerous than a boy with a replica gun and a wooden sword.

    As the night drew on, clouds gathered and it started to rain heavily. Ulysses started to worry, as he had not come across anyone, either from the other villages or his own, and he was very aware that the manufactoriumís horn could sound at any moment. He was just considering re-tracing his steps beck to the village and trying the woods instead, when lightning flashed and flying through the air was the terrifying shape of a Moor Beast. The Moor Beast landed a few feet from him, and curled its lips back in a snarl. Lightning flashed again, glittering off the beastís massive fangs. Ulysses got an impression of an enormous cat like creature and he knew he was going to die. The beast roared and Ulysses fled. He ran back across the moors forcing his legs to run faster than they should. He could hear the Moor Beast barely a metre behind him but he dare not look back. Lightning flashed, and thunder cracked and Ulysses kept running. He risked a glance over his shoulder. The beast was not there. He slowed a little and turned his head the other way.

    It was there! Bounding towards him, the Moor Beast roared as it leapt at him, clawed forelimbs outstretched, mouth open, ready to rip his throat to bloody ribbons. Ulysses barely had time to suck in enough breath to scream in terror, when there was a flash and the boom of thunder, and the beast was jerked backwards and crumpled in a heap on the floor. A faint smell of scorched flesh pushed itself through the masking blanket of rain to fill his nose. Feeling weak and nauseous, Ulysses sank to his knees. He stared at the Moor Beast for a long time, half expecting it to suddenly get up and tear his chest open.

    Eventually, he summoned enough courage to approach the dead creature. He knelt beside it and saw the hole in the top of its head where the lightning had struck. The boy breathed a sigh of relief, muttered a prayer of thanks to the Emperor, and knew he was indeed blessed. He had faced a dreaded Moor Beast and lived. He decided that from that moment on, he would never be scared of anything else. He fished in his pack, took out his small hunting knife and started the long process of carefully skinning the beast. He may not go back with any sashes, but walking into his village with the skin of a Moor Beast slung over his shoulders would count for something.

    The Melee lasted three and a half weeks. In that time, Ulysses reunited with the other boys from his village. When they saw the Moor Beasts bloody hide hung upon his back like a cloak, and three sashes tied across his shoulder, it was like a hero from ancient legend had appeared. They all instantly started to look to Ulysses as their leader, even those who were due to join the PDF the following year. So he lead them. On skirmishes, ambushes, scouting missions and what felt like full on battle with three or more other village groups, Ulysses was always in the thick of it, swinging his sword with a natural skill and shouting orders to keep the rest of his group together.

    When the horn was finally sounded, not only did Ulysses return with more than 60 sashes, a number not achieved in many decades, but of the 20 boys who had left, only seven had lost their sashes. When the workers saw that Ulysses also carried the pelt of a Moor Beast, he was given the Victory Laurels that had been presented to his great-grandfather.

    When he felt that his spine would crumble if anyone else patted him on the back, the village elder said it was time for Ulysses to meet their guest. Out of the crowd emerged an impossibly tall warrior, clad in black plate and a skull faced helm. The stranger introduced himself as Chaplain Tiberius of the Guardians of the Gate. Ulysses had heard tales of the Astartes Warriors called the Guardians of the Gate and how they would come and take a chosen few to join their number, but he had never hoped to see one in his lifetime.

    As it turned out, Chaplain Tiberius was an excellent story teller. The entire village gathered in the Meeting Hall to listen to the Astartes tell tales of his brethren fighting glorious battles against the enemies of the Emperor. One story caught Ulyssesí attention in particular. Chaplain Tiberius told of how his captain had forced a strike cruiser into the atmosphere of a planet to provide devastating fire support for their brother Astartes. Ulysses looked down at the Victory Laurels in his hand. His great-grandfather had been a hero. Ulysses knew then that he wanted to be a hero too, but more as well. He knew that he wanted to become a legend of the Adeptus Astartes. He wanted to lead super-human warriors into battle under his own banner, to bask in honour and glory, and maybe, one day, have a chaplain return to this village and tell other boys tales of him.

    * * *

    Ulysses and half a dozen boys from the other villages were taken aboard the Chaplainís strike cruiser, Holy Blade, where they were assigned cabins and sleeping berths. It took several weeks for the ship to reach the Guardians of the Gate home planet, Cerberus, where Ulysses and his companions were initiated into the chapter. Ulysses kept the Moor Beast hide with him, one of the few personal effects he was allowed to keep. For many years he served in the chapter, proving himself many times over. In fact he is one of the few awarded with the Iron Skull whilst still a scout. When he was elevated to squad sergeant, he started wearing the Moor Beastís pelt as a cloak and took the beast mask as his emblem. The members of his squad looked upon this as a symbol of their fighting ferocity. Ulysses kept the cloak until he and his squad were sprayed by warp fire from a chaos daemon. Fortunately his armour protected him, but the pelt crackled and burned, withering away almost instantly. Ulysses took his blade to the daemon and slew it with a single mighty blow, before leading his squad into the thick of combat. The fighting in that battle was fierce and Ulysses lost most of his squad save for Agricola, his second in command.

    To list all of Ulyssesí successful battles and campaigns would take at least a lifetime, for they are as numerous as any hero of the Space Marines. However, it is not until after he became a captain that he became truly a legend. After a long and hard-fought campaign, Ulysses ordered the fleet of the Guardians of the Gate to jump back to Cerberus in order to effect repairs and re-supply. The entire fleet arrived safely except Ulyssesí own ship, the Battle Barge Trajanís Odyssey. For more than 30 years, the chapter kept a loyal vigil, resolute that one of their greatest heroes would return to them, at first with faith, but as the years went on hope that became ever more dim.

    32 years after Captain Ulyssesí disappearance, the Chapter Master himself was leading a massive fleet action against the Orks, with assistance from Battlefleet Fortitude. If statistics are to believed, the amount of munitions spent in that one engagement would have been enough to keep three forge worlds busy for a decade.

    At the height of the battle, the Chapter Masterís ship, The Emperorís Shield, was deep in the heart of the ork fleet pounding the space-borne scrap yards with lance batteries, torpedo barrages, Thunderhawk bombing runs and massive broadside fire. One of the larger ork ships had been crudely crafted to resemble a giant deep sea fish. It turned to face The Emperorís Shield opening its toothy maw as it did so. From the shipís gullet emerged a huge barrel. A techmarine aboard the Chapter Masterís ship recognised what it was; a nova cannon. The orks had managed to get their claws on a nova cannon!

    Just as the cannon was about to fire, and destroy The Emperorís Shield, there was a flash of light and a much damaged Battle Barge in the chapterís colours emerged violently from the warp. Almost instantly its prow mounted lance batteries started slashing into the fish like face of the ork ship, first battering the metal features, then smashing them aside, and finally destroying the entire ship as the nova cannonís ammunition was ignited. Communications between The Emperorís Shield and the newly come Battle Barge were established. After 32 years, Trajanís Odyssey and Captain Ulysses had returned!

    With Trajanís Odyssey at his side, the Chapter Master and the rest of the fleet destroyed the rest of the ork ships, or sent them running from the sector, hotly pursued by Battlefleet Thunderlord. The Guardianís of the Gate fleet returned to their home world where Captain Ulysses was subject to fierce examination by the Librarians, Chaplains and Apothecaries. When it was certain that he was clear of any taint, the now white-haired captain told his tale.

    When Trajanís Odyssey had jumped with the rest of the fleet more than three decades before, there had been a calculation error, although the librarian accompanying the 3rd company had suspected a heretical traitor had made the mistake on purpose. The ship had emerged deep inside the Eye of Terror where the Astartes had been put through every trial and hardship the Emperor could have put them through: They had been held captive by a giant daemon of the Plague God, space bound daemons assaulted their ship, they had almost been swallowed by a dark warp anomaly. They had come across a company of treacherous Word Bearers, led by Dark Apostles, whoís garb looked very similar to the companyís chaplains; dark armour with a skull faced helm. Chaplain Zane, the most senior chaplain aboard ship decreed that the other chaplains re-paint their armour white, symbolic of the light of the Emperor. During that battle, the chaplains in their newly gleaming white armour sought out the Dark Apostles and fought in titanic duels that, more often than not, ended with the chaplainís victory.

    At one point, part of the Geller Field had failed and daemons of the dark god Slaanesh had boarded them and tried to overpower them. The Marines managed to fight them back but at a cost. Librarian Nabur had cast a psychic shield around the minds of his battle brothers to protect them from the daemonic powers of the daemonettes, but in doing so, opened his own mind. He became possessed and started to mutate. Captain Ulysses took it upon himself to end the librarianís pain and beheaded him, before he became more beast than mortal. The consequence of this act was a massive psychic backdraught, which threw the captain against the bulkhead and turned his hair white.

    For many years, Trajanís Odyssey plied the nightmarish currents of the warp within the Eye of Terror, when the shipís navigator, who had slowly been losing his mind picked up a transmission from The Emperorís Shield as they were closing on the Ork fleet. Somehow, the half mad Navigator and surviving Astropaths managed to pin-point the co-ordinates of the transmission, but the ship only had enough power for one more Warp jump. The captain ordered the jump, knowing that if they failed, they would die soon enough anyway. The Emperor must have been smiling on them at that moment for they arrived just in time to save the Chapter Masterís ship and help to win the battle.

    Since then Captain Ulysses has been re-instated as Master of the Fleet, and has gone on to win ever greater victories and the glories that follow, including being named commander in chief of an Imperial Guard regiment. The chaplains of the 3rd company have kept their armour white, in respect for those who were lost in the Eye of Terror, and as a symbol of the purity of the Imperium that overcomes the dark of Chaos. Captain Ulysses prefers to spend most of his time with his company in a patrol fleet, guarding the chapters client states with an almost eternal vigil. It is rare for the 3rd company to return to Cerberus, but when they do it is amongst great celebration and usually after a great victory. The imperial citizen who are aware of the 3rd companyís presence in the skies above their planets, have come to call them the Void Wardens, and Captain Ulysses is known as the Grey Warden.

    Codex: Legion Astartes - I am in need of Beta/proof readers and play testers
    The Primarch Project
    A Hero is no braver than the ordinary man. He is just brave five minutes longer.

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    CKO is offline
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    I like the story except space marines are not allowed to be commander in chief of Imperial Guard Regiments, remember after the heresy no one man would have the power of a legion of marines and imperial guard regiments. I was bored by some parts, I think you could shorten it you have alot of parts where you are making it believeable instead of writing the story if you know what I mean.

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