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Ok, I got a strange Idea last night. I will give the group who hang out on this board a VERY vague outline for a SM chapter and then together we will work it out from there. all entrees marked with an * are things I added based on suggestions other people made.
OK here we go.
Name: Void Serpents
Codex divergence: some
* Primarch: Rogal Dorn
*Chapter heraldry:Black power armor denoting the void of space. White serpent with quasi-draconic head chapter symbol. Details of marines armor done in the same color as was emitted by the nearest star when he was recruited. All marines wear the 'assault' variant helm.
Gene seed divergence: minor & stable; Over active Betcher's Gland. All other zygotes within normal variance range.
Home-world: None; A small rogue moon has been fitted with various facilities to serve as the chapters base.
* Cultural notes: Though many chapters have certain animals as part of their heraldry the Void serpents are largely defined by their 'totem' the snake. They use the hunting style of the serpent to develop their tactics and many rituals involving serpents are part of the chapters prayer and worship. As an example The chapters initiates are required to hunt and kill a Capherus Serpent before they can become full Novices, a test that many do not survive.
The final part of a novice taking on the full mantle of a battle brother is a special ritual preformed before his first battle. Repeated bites from serpents of various kinds are ad ministered to the new marine while chanting and incense fill the air. (Possible source of betcher's gland mutation?) This induces a altered mental state in which the subjects are nearly immune to pain and are completely psychotic, desiring only to kill the enemy. Their use as shock troops has proven effective, but current amounts of collateral damage is unacceptable. Veteran marines sometimes recreate this dangerous 'venom haze' by ingesting the raw diced poison glands of Capherus Serpents as an act of penance. it has also been noted that during many of the chapter rituals they will anoint themselves with various poisons, and a specific such concoction is used by the chapters Chaplains to 'open their minds to the voice of the Emperor' while such rituals are not uncommon on many Feral worlds their use in a organized imperial force is very out of the ordinary.
The chapter is on a near constant crusade, launching raids into enemy territory from the fortress moon that serves as their home base. The 'venom moon' is slowly patrolling the edge of the galaxy in real space, the estimated time to complete one circuit is 40 million years. They use a fairly standard organization and when fighting along side other imperial forces follow the tactics of the codex astartes but when on their own have a very peculiar method of warfare.
They will drive deep into enemy territory then withdraw at the first sign of major resistance leaving behind hundreds of self-placing mines thrown out of the back of their rhinos as they flee. These 'fang capsules' dig themselves into the ground and lie in wait for the Void serpents pursuers. At which point they explode showering the enemy with corrosive contact poison. This 'serpent strike' technique while unorthodox is ASTOUNDINGLY effective. I recommend it be considered for addition to the Codex Astartes itself.
I have confirmed the use of blades envenomed with betcher's gland poison. The reason they went to such pains to hide it appears to be a perceived loss of respect if their methods were known. I am suppressing this information out of respect for chapters wishes.
* Important points of chapter history: The original recruits for the Void Serpents Chapter appear to have come from the Death World of Capherus. Capherus was the result of a VERY misguided teraforming attempt by a group of Coligia Bologis. They were attempting to create a Death world so that they could figure out how to tame one. While the first task succeeded they soon rediscovered WHY no true death world has ever been tamed. True Death Worlds are literally inimical to human life, the planets biosphere makes a concerted attempt to repel human occupation and tends to succeed astoundingly well unless the early colonists are at a very primitive or astoundingly advanced technical state during the colonies early years.
After several centuries of trying to bring their rogue creation to heel the project was abandoned, regrettably the callus tech priests abandoned the workers along with it. All most a thousand years later the planet was rediscovered and sisters of the order dialogues were dispatched to make contact. What they found was a world where humanity had survived by sheer ferocity and literally declaring war on the environment. Every man woman and child on Capherus went armed with machete and las pistol at all times, whenever they saw any of the wild plant or animal life they opened fire indiscriminately. In their world view the planet itself was their enemy and to fight it was their sacred duty.
The Imperial cult had warped on Capherus in pronounced but understandable ways. It was the populous belief that you had to earn your place at the Emperors side by destroying humanities foes to pay for your sins. As everyone is sinful, everyone must fight. Infants however are free of sin as they have done nothing in their lives yet save begin to grow which is their duty to the Emperor, and so are automatically seen with favor by Him-On-Earth. This gave solace to the parents, whose infants often died of the planets many diseases. Those who grew old enough to talk or walk were expected to do their part to hold the wildlife at bay.
When the Imperium discovered this it immediately began a similar program of exchange with Capherus as it has with most death worlds. Vaccinations, equipment, and supplies of fresh food and water in exchange for the planets one resource. Its vicious jungle fighters. When the decision was made to go forward with the eighteenth founding their were quite a few wars being conducted on jungle infested planets and it was decided that a dedicated jungle fighting chapter would be advisable. Originally catechan was proposed as the source for the initiates but was ultimately rejected due to their notoriously irreverent attitude and reluctance to part with their children. Capherus was selected as a substitute and one thousand of its most promising youths were selected as the first round of initiates for the Void Serpents chapter.
The battle for The Black Valley: It was during the Scourging of Alena that the Void Serpents fought one of their more storied battles against chaos. A local land mark known as the black valley had been seized by a chaos cult who believed that a secret tomb containing hundreds of bound malefic spirits lay buried beneath the ancient mound on the valley floor. The cultists had bulldozed away the mound and were beginning to uncover the structure. General Keshmen urgently requested the Space Merriness serving with the assault force to stop the excavation. The Void Serpents attacked into the middle of the cults base-camp via drop pods, as space marines are known to do. Three dreadnoughts led the charge and this was capitalized upon by five tactical squads, and two more of the chapters assault units. though the traitorous wretches were swift dispatched they had bought their fellows time enough to finish the excavation.
The portion of the building thus uncovered resembled a giant king cobras head with its mouth agape, fangs bearing. The Void Serpents would not allow this abomination against their totem to stand and began to call their units from other parts of the planet in to destroy the heretical structure, though much of the chapters strength was tied up irretrievably in other parts of the war-zone they soon had over 300 of the Emperors finest arrayed at the edges of the valley. Including the five grand officers of the chapter. Additionally the general responsible for the campaign had seconded two companies of guard to contain any cultists who tried to flee.
The charge was again led by the three dreadnoughts Vrius, Khem, and Thorst. just over three companies worth of marines charged screaming down the slope towards the huge serpent head. As they charged a strange green mist began to spring from the ground. the marines suit sensors indicated the substance was toxic, and switched to recycled air. The one or two breaths inhaled were easily handled by the multi-lung.
-hissing coming from all directions that rattles the nerves of the enemy
-glowing bright red/green eyes (helmet or not) strikes fear deeper into the enemy.
-ccw- 'viper daggers'.
- A weapon with the same effect of a flamer, only it spews corrosive poisons
*Fortess Monastery is a giant king cobra head with its mouth agape, fangs bearing.
Poison spray: once pergame a marine of the chapter may make a special attack with the poison accumulated in the reservoirs of his suite. This attack made by placeing the flame template and is resolved as a STR 3 Ap 3 flamer hit.
Touch of the Crait: 5pts
the members of the squad may make 2 poison spray attacks per game.
Cobra Pistols: 10 pts, must have Touch of the Crait.
Officers with touch of the crait and access to the armory may select this piece of war-gear, they may make an unlimited number of poison spray attacks. Limit one per model.
Keep the ideas coming!
Last edited by Alexei Vor Yaruk; June 15th, 2005 at 16:03. Reason: going to be seeing alot of editing.
I like it, you even got the gland right.
Three Companies of the 26th Vinancium
143rd Airborne Badgers (99.9% done)
159th Corsair Rifles (35% done))
69th Armored Wall Busters (95% done)
Total 197 men, 12 tanks, 4 Heavy Artillery Pieces
Sounds good so far..
The next step, I'd imagine, would be a cultural analysis.. What has shaped their culture, and is it linked to that of a specific world?
Acid spitting marines. I thought of doing that once,but then I realised marines wear helmets,so not a lot of benefit to them on the battlefield.Make them an Imperial Fists sucessor. The irony would be wonderful, since the IF's Betcher's Glands don't work at all. I can see a lot of poisoned blades and things like that,keeping with a heavy "Venom" theme.Probably be best as a Raven Guard secessor though. Snakes tend to hide from thier prey or sneak up on it then strike quickly...sounds like RG to me. Taking a bite from insanely venemous animal could be worked into thier initiation proccess. Too many possibilities...brain overloading. >.<
Ok! And edicius kicks it off by establishing them as a successor chapter to the Imperial Fists!
Come on! More!
very ritualistic, during initiation, they are tested by being bitten with many different snakes and dangerous plants. this enhances their senses whilst doing the trials, sorta like the space wolves getting stripped and lost in the woods then they go on what we could calla green rage, using the ba rules for blood rage where the poison overcomes them and they become drooling psychotic beasts. like the idea of poision swords too, be pretty cool.
FOR THE EMPORER!!
How about having them permanently on crusade, seeing as how they have an affiliation to the void? It would be appropriate for it to be their nominal "home", but it would make life difficult if you want them to be fairly codex; the organisation of crusading chapters (from what little I know) is quite hodgepodge to say the least.
And I would make them Raven Guard, for the reason of the Betchers Gland. Yes, it would be ironic, but I can't see how they could manage to bring it back.
This idea of poisoned swords is good. Keep that one.
Okay...maybe they have no homeworld, and are constantly travelling space - the "void" aspect that Xerxes mentioned, permanent crusade.
Keep the IF ancestry. It doesn't make sense, but it makes enough sense to be viable. And acid-spitting Marines are just cool. They could be a highly mutated successor chapter of the IF. You could even nick Xavier's salamander cloak and give it to the masters...snakeskin cloak, get it?
Make them very heavy on the ritual. Kind of like White Scars...fangs! Snake fangs and...snake tongue! Little hissy forked snaked tongue! Oooh, that would be kickass. I'm going all tingly.
Even the name is good.
The envenomd blades Idea has been put in along with the poison rage. Crusade also added. this is fun! keep it comeing!
The idea of an Imperial fists successor chapter with an overactive Belchers gland is wierd.. But I'm quite prepared to accept it. Maybe make them a cursed founding to justify their weird deviation from their original gene source (in that case maybe you could also add other snake-like characteristics.. forked tongue anyone?) That would certainly explain why they're always on crusade.. because the puritans in the Inquisition might be very interested in that one.
They could be recruited from a series of deathworlds. Maybe places where the Imperial Cult has partially devolved into a strange death cult, which would explain their affiliation with the void. Maybe they believe that dead souls who don't earn the Emperor's forgiveness are cursed to wander the void eternally and, as an act of penance, they need to do the same.
Just a few ideas.. take whatever you want, and leave what you don't.
I don't like the idea of a residual 'poison rage' from the initiation ritual. I'd have it so that, before battle, the bravest of them eat poisonous snakes.. and the hallucogenic toxins cause them to enter a titanic frenzy. That way, they aren't perpetually running around screaming, but they can do it.
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; June 2nd, 2005 at 19:18.