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The Storm Wolves are a chapter of the mighty Adeptus Astartes or Space Marines, based in the Ragnarok star system. The Ragnarok star system recently (in astronomical terms) went supernova, devestating the original planets. However the star system is rich in heavy metals formed by this catastrophic stellar event, and the star sytem provides much of the heavy metals for the Imperiums technollogy, together with some heavy manufacturing.
Guarding this important star system is a vital part of the Storm Wolves duty.
Ragnarok is a binary star system controlled by the Imperium, situated close to Tau and Ork space regions.
Ragnarok Alpha is a Red Giant star several times more massive than Terra's Sol, whilst Ragnarock Beta is a White Dwarf star. Ragnarok Beta was originally a much larger star that went supernova several millions years ago. This has spewed a cloud of rare and valuable heavy metals thoughout the star system, which are easily minable and the source of the systems great value to the Imperium.
Many of Ragnaroks original planets were devastated in the supernova, and there is an extensive asteroid field which together with the high dust cloud makes navigation though the star system difficult. However several planets, and numerous planetoids do still exist, most noticeable of which are the volcanic world Muspell and the ice world of Niflheim.
Muspell is a habitable world closest to the binary stars. Due to gravitational tides from the twin stars, it has high volcanic activity, and indeed more heat is comes from underground than is recieved from the twin suns. The planet is a patchwork of fractured tectonic plates, and in many areas sulphurous steam spews from the ground, heated from underground lava. Lava only comes to the surface in a few areas of the planet, but there are many heated lakes which bubble to the surface containing high mineral contents (and also highly toxic).
Despite the slight hellish description, the planet has abundant plant life, though mainly in the form of several inedible (to human) litchens which have adapted to the climate. Alas the many fungi which the Ork depend on also grow in abundance, making the planet desirable to Orks, and it has been attacked many times during Waaagh! campaigns. However there is no remaining indigenous animal life - though fossil records show the planet did have some before the supernova event.
The main Storm Wolf fortress is located deep within the Asgard mountains on Muspell. The main role of the Storm Wolves is the protection of the Ragnarock star system and its valuable resources and mining operations.
Largest of the many ice worlds of Ragnarok. Many of these ice worlds have accreted dust from the supernova event, hence they are extremely rich in rare minerals. The low atmosphere is nitrogen rich, with only a small proportion of oxygen (barely enough to breath), and temperatures permanently below freezing.
The Storm Wolves maintain a defence outpost on the planet, but this is much smaller than those on the Muspell fortress.
The largest of the gas giant worlds. Several manufacturing plants are located on the satellites of this world, most noticeable being the famous shipyards on the moon of Dvergar. Most of the Storm Wolf fleet is kept clustered around this world.
Originally Ragnarok was protected as required by the Imperial Army, however an Ork Waaagh! attack by the warlord Hannon the Blooddrinker 6000 years ago saw them wiped out, and the resources of this key location were lost from Imperium hands. The Space Wolves avenged this loss, winning the system back and eventually crushing Hannons forces in the Battle of the Vanguard Plain. However afterwards it was decided that Ragnarok was too important to risk falling from the hands of the Imperium again. And so it was originally decided a Space Wolf descendant chapter would be formed to be based there, it's main duty to guard the star system, it's resources and it's operations.
This work was begun by Kyrl Torgson, who recruited for this new chapter from the nearby worlds dependant on the mining operations of Ragnarok. However the still severely understrength chapter was almost vanquished in it's infancy when a second Ork Waaagh! led by Dragh the Invincible hit the star system. It's fortress and main vehicles in the Asgard mountain destroyed, the Storm Wolves used their knowledge of Muspell to harass the massive Ork army that had invaded in a constant guerilla campaign.
This time liberation came from not the Space Wolves, but the Ultramarines. The Orks were caught in a pincer move between newly arrived Ultramarines and insurgent Storm Wolves. Torgson was originally furious to be rescued in such a manner by a rival chapter of the Astartes. However in time a deep respect was built up between Torgson and the lead commander of the Ultramarine rescuers, Captain Quintus Aurelius.
Aurelius and his company were commanded to stay to defend Ragnarok until the Storm Wolves were back to strength. However Captain Aurelius stayed much longer, helping to organise the rebuilding of the Asguard fortress and defences, and aiding Torgson with recruiting and training of new marines, development of tactics and command of the fledgling Storm Wolf chapter. Although never becoming a Storm Wolf himself, and keeping his position within the Ultramarines, Aurelius remained with the Storm Wolves after his company returned to other duties. Because of this, the Storm Wolves are no longer seen merely as a descendant chapter of the Space Wolves, but as a chapter with their own procedure and direction (mainly a hybrid of Space Wolf and Ultramarine).
In honour of Aurelius, the Storm Wolves and Ultramarines swap one senior officer with each other, on a rotating basis. This officer stays assigned with their "guest" chapter for ten years. The purpose of this is an exchange of ideas and tactics. This is important for the Storm Wolves for although their Prime Directive is the protection of the resources from Ragnarok and the surrounding star systems, like any chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, they have duties beyond this directive, wherever the Emperor wills. It was a concern of Aurelius that with their founding directive of defence of Ragnarok, that this could end up blunting the chapters effectiveness in other theatres of operation. He was also critical that an adherence to the traditions of the Space Wolves might not be suitable for the role required of the chapter. Most noticeably the Space Wolves dislike of technology in a system that requires and supplies technology itself, it also has created bad feeling with the Space Wolves, who feel the Storm Wolves have lost their way, trying to gain favour with the Ultramarines over their parent chapter.
Creation of the Storm Prowlers
Another major event shaping the operations of the Storm Wolves was an invasion by a Tyrannid swarm on nearby worlds 1500 years ago. The argicultural world of Freyr is a major producer of food for the many inhabitants of the Ragnarok star system, which due to the age (and lack of light produced) of both stars struggles to grow much in the way of food.
When the Tyranids moved against Freyr, a majority of the Storm Wolf chapter was mobilised to beat them back. This left Ragnarok potentially undefended. The original plan called for an Imperial Army unit called the 625th to come to defend Ragnarok in the Storm Wolves absence, however they never arrived, later claiming they had navigational problems. Chaplain Master Russ Erland was furious about this and berated their commander - it was felt by the chapter that this was the second time the Imperial Army had failed in their task of defending Ragnarok. This has created ill will between the Storm Wolves and the Imperial Army, and the Storm Wolves have a history of refusing to work with the Imperial Army ever since.
However the engagement with the Tyranids was not without it's problems. Despite their rigorous training, several battles went badly, with some Space Marines broken, and recieving higher than expected casualties. Although the Storm Wolves were ultimately victorious, Russ Erland was left to wonder why the campaign had gone so badly.
Holding a council with his commanders, it was discussed back at their Asgard Fortress in Ragnarok. Quite simply it was decided, defence duties for Ragnarok were taking their toll, making the chapter weaker than their brother Astartes. All the training in the world was no substitute for experience in action. However the Storm Wolves dare not risk long campaigns away from Ragnarok, the care of which was their main duty, there being few similar worlds in the Imperium to be so importantly guarded.
The solution was to build the strength of the Storm Wolves above that of ordinary Space Marine chapters, save perhaps the Space Wolves. Ordinary Space Marine chapters contain 1000 Space Marines, the newly organised Storm Wolves would aim to keep 1,600 marines. Ultramarine attache Marcus Lucius was furious with this idea, feeling this act would break the Storm Wolves covenant with the Codex Astartes, and accused Russ Erland of power building a chapter deliberately whose strength would exceed that of any single Space Marine legion.
However Lucius's dissent was ignored. Thus created was a new structure for the Storm Wolves. The first 1000 would become the Guardians, based within Ragnarok, defending the system. The other 600 would become the Prowlers, with a completely different task. These 6 companies would be charged with prowling systems outside of Ragnarok, seeking to engage in conflict wherever possible with the enemies of the Imperium. This way the Storm Wolves whilst defending Ragnarok would also be able to seek experience in battle, and harden up their troops.
Storm Wolf recruits each have to complete a ten year Prowler tour before being accepted as full members of the chapter. Roughly speaking a Storm Wolf will perform one ten year tour as a Prowler, followed by two tours as Guardian, before returning to Prowler duty. The program allowed the Storm Wolves to vastly increase their battle experience, as well as win the hearts and minds of nearby star systems by keeping alien raids down.
Typically the Prowlers are dispersed as six Prowler Packs (one company per pack), thoughsometimes combined into two Claws of 3 companies each. When the Storm Wolves require a major mobilisation, a reserve squad of 400 Guardians rendezous with the Prowlers to create a full chapters worth of Space Marines, whilst not leaving Ragnarok undefended, a tactic which has served them well.
The Ultramarines although still not in agreement with the overstrengthening of the Storm Wolves have learned to accept this. Relations for a time were soured between the two chapters. The Ultramarine Chapter Master in the past has made clear that although they understood the motivation for this move due to the importance of Ragnarok to the Imperium, there were limits. A group of Chapter Masters including those of the Ultramarines, Blood Ravens, White Scars formed the Overwatch Consortium, and presented an ultimatum that should the two arms of the Storm Wolves - the Prowlers and Guardians ever come together in full force, this would be seen as an act of aggression which the other chapters would respond to.
Some Space Marine chapters are quite hostile to the Storm Wolves over their actions, fearing the the Storm Wolves desire to build such a large force of Astartes is a dangerous mandate. In the event of another Horus Heresey, the Storm Wolves would have an advantage over their brother chapters, which is why the Overwatch Consortium exists. It is also clear one of the secret duties of the Ultramarine attache to the Storm Wolves is reporting back to the Ultramarine Chapter Master the relative position of the various Prowler packs.
Another worrying trend to the Overwatch Consortium is the behaviour of the Prowler packs. As Storm Wolves see their Prowler duty as a trial of acceptance into the Astartes, they will collect trophies from the battles they take place in. This is positively encouraged by the Chapter, as trophies and individualisation of Power Armour is seen as documentation of a Space Marines battle prowess. However this has led to some Space Marines utilising armour taken from Chaos Marines they've slain. This is seen as repugnant by other Chapters, many of whose history goes back to the Horus Heresey. However the Storm Wolves being a much younger Chapter tolerate this. They see a Space Marine wearing a Chaos element as proof that the Space Marine has proved themselves by killing that most vile of the Emperor's enemies. It is frowned upon though to take a trophy from an enemy not killed by your unit - seen as trying to claim another's kill as your own - and such Space Marines are so chastised by their comrades that this is a rare occurance.
Critics also feel the rules of engagement of the Prowlers are too aggressive, as the Prowler packs are too busy looking to engage anyone they see as an enemy. Prowler groups are known to hit any alien they encounter on their travels. In some instances such as with Eldar and Tau engagements this has angered the relative race in situations where diplomacy might have prevailed, and there have been several incidents where the agrieved race from such battles have retaliated elsewhere at weaker targets the Imperium, creating avoidable conflict.
The Sacred Trust
The protection of Ragnarok, and keeping it within Imperium hands is seen as the Sacred Trust. It is seen as the reason the Chapter was formed, and their Sacred Duty from the Emperor himself. If Ragnarok is under attack any Storm Wolf wherever they are in the Galaxy will withdrawn to return to the defence of this star system.
This has happened several times, where a Prowler pack has been in battle, they will simply retreat so to return to the defence of Ragnarok. This again has angered other Chapters who feel these actions are seen as cowardice in the eyes of the enemies of the Imperium and tarnish the reputation of the Adeptes Astartes.
The Storm Wolves do this knowing that it risks the anger of the Overwatch Consortium. To date all six packs have never returned to the defence of Ragnarok, although it has been a close thing in several engagements.
The Storm Wolf Chapter Masters feel that wherever possible it is best to not anger the Overwatch Consortium. Indeed the aim of the Prowlers is to seek battle and experience away from Ragnarok. However the defence of Ragnarok is absolute and part of the Storm Wolf oath, it is something that the Storm Wolves do not expect other Chapters to understand. For this reason other Space Marine chapters see the Storm Wolves as an arrogant and at times blasphemous chapter who disregard the Codex Astartes as they please.
Before an initiate Storm Wolf can undetake their first Prowler tour, they have to pass the trials. These include,
* With minimal life support available, they have to survive for 3 nights on the ice world of Niflheim.
* Without the benefit of powered armour or modern equipment, they must scale the mountain of Balders Peak on Muspell
* First blood. The orks have invaded many times, and contaminated the planet. The Storm Wolves actually breed a small group of orks in the Narfi Crater, which is well guarded. An unarmoured and unarmed space marine sent to the Crater of Tears with an ork, and not allowed to leave until he or the ork is dead. Although this seems brutal, it's not quite the fair fight it seems, as the orks bred within the Narfi Crater is inevitiable underfed and weakened. But still it gives the marine valuable experience of combat with the Storm Wolves dreaded enemy. It is known occasionally for some marines to outwit their opponent, forming weapons from either the wood around (for a bow or spear) or even constructing explosives.
As with many of the Storm Wolves ways, the existence of the Ork colony in the Narfi Crater is seen as a dangerous move by other Chapters who see Orks as a plague who should be eradicated and not allowed to be bred and maintained.
For the most part the Storm Wolves care little for the thoughts of other Chapters. However the Storm Wolves do hold the Ultramarines in high esteem despite their occasional fractious history. This is due to the legacy of Ultramarine Captain Quintus Aurelius, whose name is revered within the Chapter. Indeed there is a saying within the Storm Wolves that "the greatest Storm Wolf was also an Ultramarine" in his honour. When Quintus Aurelius eventually died in battle (with the Storm Wolves) his body was preserved inside a Dreadnaught that fights still. However this Dreadnaught was claimed by the Ultramarines, and several Chaplains of the Storm Wolves continue to petition the Ultramarines for this Dreadnaught to be returned to it's spiritual home of Ragnarok. These petitions have been rejected, however a Storm Wolf Tech Marine is stationed at Ultramar to aid service this Dreadnaught, and occasionally pilgrimages of small groups of Storm Wolves are taken to pay homage "may we service you in death as you served us in life".
Unknowingly, because Quintus Aurelius planted in the Storm Wolves the idea of abandoning tradition when it was impractical (regarding Space Wolf traditions) there is an unofficial rule within the the Storm Wolves called Quintus's Law. Basically put it's interpreted that the Storm Wolves should be pragmatic when it comes to rules, and no adherence to any rule should outweigh what is considered good for the Storm Wolf chapter. In was Quintus's Law which was quoted when Russ Erland decided to break with the Codex Astartes and create the Prowlers.
It is the Storm Wolves adherence to their Sacred Trust and Quintus's Law which also puts them on a collision course with many of their brother Astartes.
The Forgotten 600
One of the worst engagements of the Storm Wolves came near the Eye of Terror 800 years ago. The Storm Wolves talk about this engagement as "The Prowler Massacre at the Eyes Blink" with other chapters, and how all 600 Prowler forces were lost to Chaos. However the real name of the engagement is "The Turning of the 600" within Chaplain records, and it is a tale that reflects poorly on the Storm Wolves. No-one knows for sure why and how, but the Prowler forces were not killed by Chaos, but turned to Chaos. The weapons of Chaos are cunning and doubt, and even the greatest Primarchs were corrupted, so say the Chaplains. No one knows the names of these 600 traitors to the Imperium, as their names have been struck from chapter records, and hence they are referred to as "the forgotten 600".
The truth of this incident becoming known outside the Storm Wolves is the fear of Chapter Master and Chaplain alike.
Last edited by WhiteCrowNZ; July 23rd, 2010 at 10:58.
Above is the army fluff myself an my son have thrown together for a Space Marine army we've assembled. I really see it mainly as a way to put together and justify the strange and not-altogether-matching army we've got.
We collected some figures from a friend who called them "Space Wolves" although the painting scheme wasn't at all right. We loved the paint job on some of them though, and decided to keep them and the Wolf theme. Seems a good excuse to describe them as a Space Wolf descendant chapter who have kind of decided to go their own way. The army is made from mix and match of some figures, some battered, and we ran out of backpacks, so there are some chaos backpacks ... so we're describing these are "trophies" pillaged in attacks etc.
Likewise we've got a very good prof painted Ultramarine captain - but for some reason no other Ultramarines - so in our battles it just lets me justify using that guy as an attache occasionally.
We loved the idea of Ragnarok the star system, although might have worked better for an Imperial Guard. For the Storm Wolves you'd have a hard time convincing them the Emperor himself didn't get off his throne to command them to protect it. They're a bit obsessed about it, a little like Gollum with the precious. They think other Chapters are envious of their role protecting it, and hate the Imperial Guard for letting them down.
We decided on paper the Storm Wolves would aim to have a larger force of 1600 marines - which probably reeks of "my chapters bigger than yours". But mainly as we were convinced the Storm Wolves would be obsessed about protecting Ragnarok, so otherwise would never leave the star system. Liked the idea that other chapters would be wary about this, and indeed the Ultramarines would perhaps want to keep an eye on them.
Of course at the end of the day you need that thing in your chapter that they could still fight other people - my son has some Tyranid, Ork, Tau, Imperial Guard and Blood Raven troops, and so the fluff gives enough excuse for a fight with any of them.
You've got a slight problem in that the Space Wolves haven't had a successor chapter since the Second Founding due to problems with the Canis Helix in both the Space Wolves and the Wolf Brothers (their short-lived Second Founding chapter). An easy modification could be that they used Ultramarines geneseed but had Space Wolves make up the initial chapter headquarters staff, and thereby modify their culture more towards Space Wolfish norms. Otherwise things seem perfectly fine.
You might want a more specific region of space for them to be in, however; somewhere to the galactic East in Ultima Segmentum would suit, hovering between the expanding Tau, the advancing nids and various ork Waaaghs from places like Charadon. Have a look here for ideas.
Keep up the good work!
As I don't have any specific Space Wolf codex I had to look up the canis helix. I pretty much want my army to be leaning a bit more towards standard Space Marine over Space Wolf.
And sorry, having gone over it again, two more things that might need slight fixing.
The 600 incident would probably be better situated in the Maelstrom than the Eye of Terror, as it's geographically closer to both the Tau and most of the Tyranids. And the Red Corsairs are known for taking on members of other chapters who desert from the Imperium (not generally in such large numbers, but it still happens), so it fits rather well. A little more explanation surrounding how the chapter recovered from the loss of 600 marines (over half a Codex chapter; I know yours isn't Codex, but it's still a lot) would be good.
The idea of contained orks is difficult, to say the least. Orkoids (orks, grots, snots and squigs) reproduce like fungi (spores shed from living and dead orkoids like a human sheds skin cells), and the spores get everywhere. On the plus side, it does mean that as soon as orks make planetfall anywhere there's likely to be an endemic orkoid presence for a long while until the natural areas where they've been have been purged with fire. It could simply be that Ragnarok has a small endemic orkoid presence, which is used to test recruits. It just isn't contained, because that's not really possible.
Likewise might move the action of the forgotten 600. It's all keeping the spirit of the ideas, but possibly moving them to where they fit in a bit better with 40k logic.
I like the idea of the Storm Wolves thinking they have the Orks contained and controlled. We're kind of thinking of doing an Ork Sparticus (Orcticus?) series of games based around the premise. And heck I might even play as the Orks for that one.
Yeah as history shows from the uprising of Sparticus - where a Roman camp was devastated because they never built fortifications over night because "hey we're only facing run away slaves", and to some extent the British army wiped out at Isandlwana, the costlist defeat comes from an enemy you underestimate.
Report from Ultramarine Special Attaché to the Storm Wolves Cornelius Crassus
Brothers - as my ten years of special duty to with the Storm Wolves comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the clash of cultures between this brother chapter and ourselves.
I was made aware by my predecessor of the task ahead of me. Although the Storm Wolves greatly value the relationship with the Ultramarines due to their reverence for Marcus Aurelius and as providers of the gene seed on which their chapter is based, alas I sometimes feel there is little real sway an attaché can have on their ways. Much like the Space Wolves who originally made up their numbers, they have a high degree of stubbornness which borders on dangerous arrogance at times.
Perhaps nothing here proves this more than their attitude to the indigenous Ork population. As Muspell has been invaded by this alien pestilence many times in it's past, it has become infected, and pockets of Orks spring up occasionally. However, rather than eradicate them once and for all, some are collected for the Trial by Blood rite of initiates. Manpower is wasted guarding and hunting these beasts. And although they screen and eradicate airborne spores at their holding facilities - I feel it is merely an illusion of control.
Much has been written within many Chapters of the Storm Wolves decision to create an excess of marines. In many ways they are fortunate that their geneseed has been able to reproduce sufficient for their extra numbers.
However I do feel that the need for so many extra marines is a flawed one and it effects the efficiency of the Storm Wolves much greater than the Chapter Master will admit. Because it assumes that battle will be won through numbers – surely this is the stratagem more expected of the Imperial Army than brother Space Marines?
I feel that this has dulled the ways of the Storm Wolves, who rely on having numbers too much, and this has dulled their study and application of tactics. With more focus on tactics, they would be able to continue operations in neighbouring systems and still defend Ragnarok, whilst still using the standard 1000 marine strength.
Although the idea of the Prowler companies make sense – in some ways they are training and initiation for new company Space Marines – there are fundamental flaws in their operation and strategy. Prowler companies operate far away from the Chapters main base, often roaming not on assignment from the Imperium, but simply looking for enemies to attack.
Although the enemies of the Imperium deserve no pity or peace, the Storm Wolves 10 year tour for aliens to destroy is closer to Orks on a Waaagh crusade than Space Marines on a righteous quest for the Immortal Emperor. They seek battle and conflict – I believe the true Space Marine does not go into war to seek conflict, but to seek victory. The difference between seeking battle and seeking victory is the application of discipline and tactics, something the Storm Wolves at times lack. Prowler crusades are renown for suffering above average casualties amongst our brother Astartes to be worrying, and yet bring little tangible benefit to the Imperium.
I have brought these points with the Chapter Master, who seems reticent to change the Storm Wolves culture, even in the face of all the logic and statistics of my reports.
But for their many flaws and stubbornness they are still our brothers in service of the Emperor. We shall continue to try and enlighten them and remind them of their covenant as Adeptus Astartes.
As Ultramarines, we will show them the way …
Storm Wolves dispatched scouts under the command of brother-sergeant Gaius Claudius Glaber, which besieged the orks on the mountain, hoping that starvation would force the slaves to surrender. They were surprised when Orktakus had ropes made from vines, climbed down the cliff side of the volcano with his boyz and attacked the unfortified Storm Wolf camp in the rear, killing most of them. The orks also defeated a second expedition, nearly capturing the captain-commander, killing his sergeants and seizing the military equipment. With these successes, more and more boyz flocked to the Orktakus War Band, as did many wild grots, swelling their ranks to some 70,000.
In these fights Orktakus proved to be an excellent tactician. Though the orks lacked military training, they displayed ingenuity in their use of available local materials, and in their use of clever, unusual tactics when facing the disciplined Space Marines.
Something along the lines of this?
Last edited by Polaria; July 23rd, 2010 at 12:48.
Revenant Moon Necrons: (W/L/D) 0/1/0 (6th edition: 13/2/2)(5th edition: 14/6/4)(3rd edition Codex: 16/4/7)
XIX Legion: (W/L/D) 0/0/0 (5th edition: 14/12/2)(5th edition Codex: 4/3/0)
Black Legion: (W/L/D) 1/0/0 (6th edition: 2/3/0)
Something Wicked... Reikwald Beastmen: (W/L/D) 10/4/1