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The Imperius Ravagers, known also as the 'Headsmen of Charopós', are a 4th Founding Successor Chapter of the honourable Ultramarines, created in the wake of the dark times following the disastrous War of the Beast against the largest Ork WAAAGH! seen by the Imperium of Man since the time of the Great Crusade. Though the Imperium ultimately emerged victorious it was a pyrrhic victory at best, as they had sacrificed much, including severe losses amongst the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes.
After several decades, they had raised enough gene-seed to provide for the initial inception of several Space Marine Chapters of what would become the 4th Founding. These Chapters were charged with helping to reestablish order to an Imperium rife with civil discourse and insurrection, and to restore the rule of Imperial law. The Chapters created during this Founding were brutal and ruthless in the extreme. The Imperius Ravagers were one such Chapter, which quickly garnered a fell reputation as both ferocious and unforgiving, wreaking terrible slaughter on those who dared to oppose Imperial rule. Since that time, this bellicose Chapter has continued to defend the sovereign realm of the Emperor and bring swift death to those who dare oppose His will.
The Imperius Ravagers are a brutal and warlike Chapter, whose dark and bloody deeds have writ a murderous legacy in the annals of Imperial history. Following the events of the War of the Beast, which occurred in 544-546.M32, the acting Lord Commander of the Imperium, Maximus Thane, decreed that the Imperium would raise as many new Chapters as they had gene-seed in the great vaults of Terra to sustain. All Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes were ordered to release a portion of their Veterans to provide the initial basis for a new Founding, the greatest since the First Founding. Gene-seed tithing would be doubled for the next standard century to replenish the vaults. After several decades, the High Lords of Terra authorised the creation of several Space Marine Chapters of the 4th Founding.
For nearly one hundred years civil discourse and open rebellion had become widespread throughout the galaxy. To restore order, the newly elected High Lords of Terra authorised the 4th Founding of the Adeptus Astartes to help bring order to a fractious Imperium and to restore the rule of Imperial law throughout the galaxy. Many of the Chapters created during this Founding were both brutal and ruthless - useful tools that were needed to help strike fear into an unruly Imperial populace and scare them into compliance.
The Imperius Ravagers were one such Chapter created during these desperate times, created alongside such brutal Chapters as the Carcharodons and the Marines Malevolent. These ferocious Chapters wreaked terrible slaughter on those who opposed Imperial rule, and due to their bellicose and merciless natures, developed a savage culture as a result. Unlike other Scions of Guilliman the Imperius Ravagers were unusual for an Ultramarines Successor Chapter, as they quickly garnered a reputation for being a highly aggressive force, its warriors hot-blooded and savage. They served as a spearhead of shock troops mounting direct annihilation assaults on enemy forces, both in open battle and fortified positions, and were often able to carry the attack despite their then-relatively small numbers by sheer courage and the fury of the violence they could unleash.
The newly created Chapter was led by the recently promoted Chapter Master Bruticus Kratos, the former 8th Company commander and Lord Executioner of the Ultramarines. Captain Kratos was known to be a bellicose and ruthless warrior who held a sinister reputation within his Chapter, having developed a reputation both as a brilliant strategist and malevolent soul. It was known that Kratos had been formally chastised by Chapter Master Agnathio on several occasions for meting out harsh and draconian punishments against those who failed to live up to his own militant standards. It was even darkly rumoured that during one notable incident, Agnathio imposed one of the Adeptus Astartes' most severe punishments upon Kratos for causing the unnecessary deaths of several of his own warriors, in the form of a 'Death Oath'. Formally cast out of the Chapter, the ferocious captain was forced to undertake his suicidal journey into the notorious warp rift known as the Maelstrom. Miraculously, Kratos survived his one-man war waged deep within this hellish realm and fought his way across the stars and back to Macragge, where he was eventually granted the Chapter's forgiveness. Despite everything that had befallen him, Kratos refused to change for anyone and continued to rule his company with a cruel and unforgiving hand, imprinting upon his warriors his cruel mien and remorseless ways. During his years as the commander of his Chapter's Assault Company, it became a sink for the most bloodthirsty and ruthless elements of the Ultramarines Chapter, who willingly fought and died under Kratos' merciless command.
When the 4th Founding occurred in the fifth century of M32, the Ultramarines saw the perfect opportunity to rid themselves of the troublesome elements within their Chapter, and so, Chapter Master Agnathio decreed that Kratos and the veteran elements of his company who had been deemed vexatious, would be granted the 'honour' of becoming a new Chapter. The ruthless commander and much of his company became the core founding members of the newly created Imperius Ravagers Chapter. Shorn at last of their last ties to the Ultramarines, the newly created Chapter was free to forge their own destiny as they saw fit. Taking the title of 'Legatus Praetore', the vengeful Bruticus Kratos led his eponymous Chapter on a blood-soaked crusade to seek out and annihilate any vestige of the Traitor Legions or those who followed the Ruinous Powers. Their actions, even in the early years of the Imperius Ravagers' existence, would lay the foundations upon which they would be known, and judged, ever after.
Since that bygone era, the Imperius Ravagers have often been compared to little better than a force of gore-splattered barbarians, no better than the Heretic Astartes they enjoy slaughtering. However, this is far from truth, for the Chapter possesses a certain deliberate cunning earned over millennia of unceasing warfare. This high degree of battle wisdom was obtained only through much bloodshed and expenditure in battle-brothers' lives, which has allowed the Imperius Ravagers' to attain a record of unwavering success during their long service to the Imperium of Man during some of the darkest periods in Mankind's history.
- The Bloody Path (ca. 500s.M32) - Following their inception, both the newly created Imperius Ravagers and the Spartiate Marines, formed an unofficial alliance. As both Chapters were assigned as Chapters of the Astartes Praeses, to provide overwatch over the Eye of Terror, and both hailed from the same proud lineage of Roboute Guilliman, these bellicose Chapters found themselves of like-mind and similar mien. As the Imperium was rife with civil discourse and open insurrection throughout much of the known galaxy, these two Chapters launched a brutal and bloody-handed war of reciprocity against the myriad enemies of Mankind. Riding from the depths of the outer darkness, the formidable flotilla of warships of the Scions of Guilliman launched their campaign of fire and blood from the blackened void, attacking their foes while they were at their weakest and obliterating them without mercy. Those worlds that had fallen beneath the shadow of the Ruinous Powers were reserved the greatest measure of these two Chapters' boundless wrath. The full role taken by this independent Astartes battlegroup is impossible to collate. Nevertheless, fragmented accounts of dozens of battles are extant in the scattered records of the era. Some list no more than the Chapters' names, soon a byword for destruction of those who followed the Dark Powers, and can therefore be considered apocryphal, while others are more complete, offering a tantalising glimpse into the many savage wars of this bloody age. Within official Imperial records, this Crusade of vengeance came to be known as the 'Aimatirós Monopáti' or the 'Bloody Path'.
- The Pale Wasting (Unknown Date.M34) - Within the vast edifice of the Imperial Palace on Terra, there is a oft-forgotten stele mounted within that recognises the services of several Adeptus Astartes Chapters, including the Imperius Ravagers, for their actions against the Pale Wasting - a mysterious event that occurred sometime during the 34th Millennium. Extant evidence relating to this xenos threat from the Ghoul Stars has often been purposely occluded or outright erased from most official Imperial records. This lone artefact praises the Imperius Ravagers and their allies, crediting their service for having "unmade that which cannot die". Partial records that have been uncovered hint that several Space Marine Chapters were completely destroyed in the final battles of what must have been a truly apocalyptic struggle. This campaign was where the Imperius Ravagers earned some of their earliest recorded battle honours fighting alongside their fellow Scions of Guilliman, the newly created Wardens of Orask. The Imperius Ravagers were one of several Chapters ordered to mobilise to take part in the campaign to quell the threat of the Pale Wasting, and though this is one of the Chapter's earliest recorded battle honours, the Chapter's own chronicles are curiously empty of any reference to this conflict. Were it not for such prominent recognition, the incident might be completely forgotten.
- The Nova Terra Interregnum (Unknown Date.M35) - The Imperium of Man fractures into two interstellar empires, when the Ur-Council of Nova Terra dismissed the High Lords of Terra and claimed separate rule over the Imperium's worlds of the Segmentum Pacificus. The Imperius Ravagers were one of several Chapters called upon by the High Lords of Terra to mobilise to this troubled region of the galaxy to help counteract the rapid erosion and contradiction of the Imperium's borders. Fighting alongside the newly created Imperial Fists' Successor Chapter - the Blades of Dorn - and their fellow Scions of Guilliman - the Wardens of Orask - this powerful triumvirate deployed from one warzone to the next, fighting against secessionist forces as well as adding their strength to multiple ongoing campaigns. These three Chapters helped to tip the balance of several conflicts in the Imperium's favour.
- To Kill A God (433-451.M37) - The powerful Chaos Lord +++REDACTED+++, claiming to be a fifth Chaos God, rises to power within the Orcuz Sector, and soon, several worlds rise in open revolt. All across the surface of three Imperial worlds, the hidden covens of Chaos cultists, aided and abetted by this Chaos Lord and his Warband, the +++REDACTED+++, attack vital strategic locations. Within a matter of months, several other worlds fall into internecine conflict, and soon, nearly the entire sector declare their secession from the Imperium. To compound the problems for the Imperial defenders, reports soon reach Segmentum command that several more Heretic Astartes Warbands were involved in the fighting. The High Lords dispatch multiple Adeptus Astartes Chapters, including the Imperius Ravagers, the Wardens of Orask and the 6th Company of the Silver Dominators, as well as a demi-Legio of god-engines of the Legio Nox ('Lords of Night'), and supporting Skitarii and Legio Cybernetica forces from a nearby forge worlds, as well as several Astra Militarum Regiments. The battle for control of the sector lasts for several decades, and is matched in intensity and ferociousness of those Astartes Chapters sent to quell the uprising, resulting in the death of millions of innocents as well as tens of thousands of heretic forces. The conflict culminates in a final assault upon the sector capital world of Khai-Mortanus, where the Chaos Lord and the bulk of his forces have taken refuge within the planet's capital hive city. The combined forces of the Imperius Ravagers and their Astartes allies strike like thunderbolts of a wrathful god, and finally kill the Chaos Lord and wipe out his heretic forces. The world is brought back under Imperial compliance within the day.
- Belrath Crusade (182-232.M38) - Under the auspices of Praetor Slayban Belrath, a powerful noble from the Terran court raised to the rank of Lord Militant, a mighty crusade was instigated in 182.M38, to liberate and dominate the long-benighted region of the Segmentum Pacficus known as the Laanah Rifts. Located in the northwestern fringes of the galaxy, this region was a dangerous and largely uncharted area of space, much of which had remained untouched by human contact since before the Age of Strife, and had long been held in the hands of both xenos and heretics. The Imperius Ravagers were one of several Chapters that would take part in the Imperium's endeavours to conquer this long-forgotten area of the galaxy, but despite their participation, the Crusade met stiff resistance to its progress almost from the start when they encountered the foul xenos known as the Hellgrammite - anthropoid creatures that possessed occult-infused weaponry capable of flooding the void around their worlds with Ætheric fire. Although their physical forms were decayed and frail, they rode to battle on the backs of howling bio-mechanical monstrosities whose barbed pincers could slash through tank armour with ease. Despite several setbacks, the Imperius Ravagers brought their unfettered wrath down upon several worlds controlled by this twisted alien race, though they suffered severe casualties during the taking of these worlds. Eventually, the attrition rate sustained by the Imperius Ravagers became untenable which forced them to pull out of the Crusade so that they could rebuild their sorely depleted forces.
- Altid Crusade (299-309.M38) - Six decades later, having rebuilt their Chapter's numbers to an acceptable level, the Imperius Ravagers took part in the Altid Crusade, a decade-long Imperial campaign to take back the Altid Sector which had rejected the rule of Terra decades before and declared independence from the Imperium. The Imperius Ravagers' Chapter fleet launched a bloody war of retribution upon one recalcitrant world after the other, using the same tactics upon each. Hailing from the outer darkness, the Imperius Ravagers would fall upon an unsuspecting world by launching a lightning assault, destroying the planet's pitiful orbital defences. Then they would enact a ruthless bombardment of the planet from low orbit and immediately commenced preparations for a ground assault. Then came the bellicose Imperius Ravagers to enact their bloody judgement. Any resistance was swiftly obliterated as entire cohorts of planetary militia and their overseers were crushed beneath the Imperius Ravagers' unrelenting assault. Seats of government were blasted to rubble and those of power that had aided the secessionists or sided with their cause were methodically hunted down and executed. As a final warning, the Imperius Ravagers would then launch orbital strikes upon the most densely populated cities of the planet, passing sentence upon both the secessionists and those who had knelt before them. There were no 'innocent bystanders', no civilians to be given quarter, only loyalists and traitors - to the death. The full roll taken by this independent Astartes battlegroup is impossible to collate. Nevertheless, the fragmented account of almost a dozen separate battles are extant in the scattered records of this era, and soon the name of this notorious Chapter became a byword for destruction and ruthlessness.
- 9th Black Crusade (537.M38) - Abaddon the Despoiler and his Black Legion launch the 9th Black Crusade out of the Eye of Terror in 537.M38, intent on bringing about the demise of the naval fortress of Cancephalus. Abaddon proceeds to ravage the sector at will. During this time a number of crusading Chapters are recalled by the High Lords of Terra to help deal with the rising threat of incursions from the Eye of Terror. The Imperius Ravagers form an alliance with the Sable Lions, a bellicose and brutal-handed Imperial Fists Successor Chapter, to fight a relentless campaign against various encroaching Chaos Renegade warbands and xenos marauders from the nearby Pelegron Cluster. The brutal fighting results in the loss of nearly a third of their Chapter's warriors.
- Cleansing of the Meratis Cluster (Unknown Date.M39) - Sometime in mid-M38, isolationist voider families fleeing persecution in the dynastic wars of the Ixaniad Sector settled the Meratis Cluster in the stellar dead zone between the abyss and their former home. In time their numbers are swollen by human Renegades, outlaws and worse, forming the Meratech Clans. Over the next millennia, this lawless region of the galaxy becomes caught beyond the light of the Imperium, as the outlaw Meratech Clans continuously launched raids upon Imperial worlds with impunity. Entire populations were slaughtered and stockpiles plundered, as any Imperial claim to the region was effectively severed. Though the wheels of Imperial bureaucracy turned slowly, they eventually did turn, as the eyes of the Imperium inevitably fell upon several Imperial worlds who had fallen behind on decades worth of quotas owed to the Administratum, primarily due to the constant raiding and destruction of vital infrastructures. The High Lords of Terra immediately ordered the launch of an Imperial punitive expedition comprised of three bellicose and bloody-handed Adeptus Astartes Chapters, including - the Imperius Ravagers, Murdering Sons and the Crimson Raptors. Each Chapter was darkly famed in their own right, infamous for their similar savage mien and brutal, heavy-handed tactics. Sent to enact the High Lords' judgement, these three Chapters were unleashed upon the unsuspecting worlds of the Meratis Cluster. The Astartes battlegroup launched a ruinous campaign of vengeance against the upstart heretic and renegade forces that inhabited this long-benighted region of space. As they fell upon world after world, they continued their relentless assault, which was both devastating and indiscriminate, as the ruthless Astartes were heedless of the loss of innocent lives. Though many Astartes fell in glory, the renegade warlords were slain and their forces fractured into hundreds of smaller, more manageable factions which were soon put down by supporting Astra Militarum regiments and Imperial Naval forces. In the wake of the conquest of nearly a dozen enemy-held worlds, the cluster of remaining worlds quickly capitulated with terrified speed, all willing to submit to Imperial rule under any terms as long as they were spared the wrath of the Emperor's Angels of Death.
Charopós is an ancient world that lies just beyond the northeastern-most edge of the known galaxy near the Segmentum Obscurus in the Acheron System. Once a technologically advanced world, Charopós managed to miraculously survive the savagery, chaos and strife of Old Night. For thousands of years, the light of civilisation refused to die out completely, as the Charopósians were subjected to a multitude of horrors, ranging from savage internecine conflicts, mutations, the emergence of psykers and the attempted dominance of rampaging xenos. From the war-wracked world, fragments of the Dark Age of Technology remained - a reminder of the former accomplishments of humanity from a bygone era - which was treasured through the subconscious racial memory by the ignorant descendants of mankind. The survival of this world was only accomplished due to the planet's location near several Warp anomalies which makes interstellar travel difficult, yet provided enough of a veil of reality which protected them from the malignant influence of Chaos. Despite long forgotten, past events that occurred during the Age of Strife, the Charopósians still maintain a healthy distrust of anything otherworldly, including psykers and sorcery.
Following the creation of the Imperius Ravagers and their subsequent launch of their Crusade from Macragge, Charopós was discovered nearly a century and a half later. Still led by their Chapter's founder, Legatus Praetore Bruticus Kratos, the Imperius Ravagers found Charopós as a world ravaged by war, as various city-states and client satrapies fought one another and were ruled by corrupt, decadent and inbred nobles. These city-states dominated the planet and endlessly fought over the limited verdant valleys, plateaus and vales in a constantly shifting lattice of power and warfare. Given to the pursuit of wealth, dominance and security, the people of Charopós developed into a secular, opportunistic culture.
Many of the regions of the newly discovered world had been ravaged through the use of forbidden chem and rad weapons in ages past, turning many of the once verdant areas into radioactive wastelands. The legacy of past conflicts in which millions of soldiers had given their lives in pointless conflicts were also evident throughout the planet, as trenches and ruined fortifications were spread across the length and breadth of entire continents. These wasteful wars were not fought for honour or conflicting ideologies, they were motivated by the greed and arrogance of the planet's rulers. The utter disregard shown by the world's nobility for the lives of their subjects were both shocking and horrific.
These warring city-states were separate dictatorships ruled by brutal tyrants who often conducted purges against all opposition, both real and imagined, and kept their subjects in line through ruthless and draconian tactics. Within this fractious realm, the strength and ruthlessness of one's military forces came to be the hallmark and measure of the greatest of the city-states and their rulers. Charopós' incessant wars were fought between these massive armies of professional soldiers. The Charopósian arts of war evolved over time towards a sublime mastery of heavy infantry style tactics and brutal close-quarters assaults.
The Imperius Ravagers found the Charopósians to be a hearty and proud people who were not submissive, and therefore, not the most pliant or easiest of subjects to rule over as they were aloof, prideful and justly wary of friend and enemy alike. To them, mercy was an alien concept, as they were prone to mete out murderous violence to any insult or slight to their honour. Taking several subjects from the local populace, the Imperius Ravagers thoroughly tested them in soul-crushing trials which tested them physically, mentally and spiritually. As they were not found wanting, the Imperius Ravagers ultimately deemed them free of deviancy and found the people of Charopós to be ideal candidates. Legatus Praetore Kratos saw the value of such a world - the inhospitable terrain and warlike culture proved an ideal recruiting ground for the Chapter - as the world's inhabitants could easily be moulded into potential Astartes. The Imperius Ravagers declared the world of Charopós as their own and its surrounding system as its demesne in the name of the Imperium of Man. Kratos had found a permanent home for his Chapter.
The Acheron System consists of three habitable worlds, an outer ring of asteroids as well as various mobile defences and star-fortresses. Notable worlds include:
- Charopós - The Chapter homeworld of the Imperius Ravagers is a savage war world of rocky windswept mountain ranges and rad-ravaged wastelands. The people of this world live in a feudal, early-industrial state, whose city-states constantly wage war upon one another in an effort to secure limited resources and helots (slaves) to perform both mundane tasks, and to serve as helot-warriors within their vast armies. Over thousands of years, this constant state of warfare has purposely been encouraged by the Imperius Ravagers, who often stoke blood feuds and internecine conflicts between the various city-states, in order to keep the people of Charopós in a constant state of conflict. This makes for a hearty warrior-stock that is ideal for potential Astartes candidates.
- Hephaestios - This forgotten outpost of the Adeptus Mechanicus was from its inception in the early 30th Millennium, created to be a war-world - a fane of weapons and armaments solely intended to serve the needs of the ever-advancing frontline forces of the Great Crusade. But following the events of the Horus Heresy, contact was lost with Hephaestios, due to the vagaries of war and every increasing warp turbulence that made interstellar travel and communication precarious, at best. Rediscovered by the crusading fleet of the Imperius Ravagers in the latter centuries of the 32nd Millennium, they found the Tech-Priests of Hephaestios' Cult-Mechanicus still loyal servants of the Emperor of Mankind. After successfully defending the Forge World from a rare large-scale invasion by the Forces of Chaos and their Dark Mechanicus masters, the Hephaestiosan Priesthood swore their allegiance to the Imperius Ravagers, becoming their primary source of war matériel.
- Acheron Primus - The world of Acheron Primus and its sister world Acheron Secundus are binary-worlds locked in a perpetual orbit ellipsing around a giant, slowly-dying red sun. Acheron Primus is a feudal world very similar to Charopós, in which its people are constantly at war with one another. It is made up of several micro-states comprised of mercenary armies. These micro-states are lorded over by a greedy aristocracy, whose avarice is manifested by vast wealthy estates which are supported by the toiling of a multitude of impoverished helots. These human populations are often beset upon by abhuman Beastmen - aberrant creatures that are descended from human stock who combine the physical appearances of humans and Terran animals. A large population of these fell creatures inhabits the wastes of the northern continent known as Tartaros. These bellicose creatures thrive upon the edges of civilisation and have grown strong through their unending thirst for battle. They often launch raids into the few civilised lands as often as they hire themselves out to fight in the various conflicts that rage across the planet. There is little that the humans can do by way of prevention or retaliation because the Beastmen are such an elusive and mobile foe. Like Charopós, this constant state of conflict has proven an ideal recruiting world for potential Neophytes for the Imperius Ravagers.
- Acheron Secundus - The world of Acheron Secundus is a fief world of the Imperius Ravagers, utilised as a training ground for the Chapter's freshly inducted Aspirants. It is here that they begin their journey to becoming fully-fledged battle-brothers, when they receive the first of many implants and begin their indoctrination process. Those who are found to be the strongest of their number are transformed into the post-human Adeptus Astartes. To this end, Acheron Secundus is host to a large contingent of the Chapter's Medicae. Hidden stores of gene-seed are maintained deep within the subterranean repository vaults of the Imperius Ravagers' primary medicae facility, known as Caduciós. This citadel bears massive void shields, automated defences and anti-air defence lasers, as well as a small garrison of battle-brothers for its defence. Those crusading companies of the Imperius Ravagers that sustain substantial losses during an extended Crusade are added to the garrison on Acheron Secundus, which helps add another layer to the world's defences and the vital function of protecting their Chapter's gene-heritage.
- Tetrarchy - The Tetrachy is composed of four exalted officers of the Imperius Ravagers known as the Tetrarchs who attend the Legatus Praetore as his personal advisors. The Tetrarchy exists outside the rest of the Chapter's regular command structure. Together the Tetrarchy functions as the soul of the Imperius Ravagers, supporting their Chapter Master and steering the Chapter's temperament and decisions. Only those officers who possess the necessary qualities of strength and charisma are ever allowed to serve at their Chapter Master's side.
- Praetorians - Elite Terminator-armoured Veteran Marines of the elite 1st Company who act as the Legatus Praetore's personal Honour Guard.
- Triarii - (Singular: Triarius) A Terminator-armoured Veteran Marine.
- Vexillarii - (Singular: Vexillarius) Equivalent to a Veteran Marine.
- Lancearii - (Singular: Lanciarius) Equivalent to an Assault Marine.
- Principes (Singular: Princeps) Equivalent to a Tactical Marine.
- Ballistarii - (Singular: Ballistarius) Equivalent to a Devastator Marine.
- Hastati - (Singular: Hastatus) Equivalent to a Scout Marine.
- Tirones - (Singular: Tiro) A newly inducted Neophyte.
- Tetrarch - A Tetrarch is a specialty rank held by the four exalted officers of the Chapter that make up the Tetrarchy, who attends the Legatus Praetore as his personal advisors.
- Praetorian Prefect - First Captain and commander of the Legatus Praetore's Honour Guard (Praetorian). This specialty rank is only granted to the most eminent and distinguished warrior within the Chapter. He is a commander without equal and is held in the highest regard by his fellow battle-brothers.
- Prefect - Equivalent rank to a Master of the Marches. Assigned to one of the Chapter's Praetors, a Prefect is charged with not only leading an entire company in battle, but also with additional responsibility for overseeing the total deployment of their Chapter's fighting strength.
- Tesserarius - Equivalent rank to a Master of the Watch. Assigned to one of the Chapter's Praetors, a Tesserarius is charged with the responsibility of the defence of his Chapter's fortress-monastery and home world in the absence of the Legatus Praetore. This title is given to the commander of the designated company that is currently charged with the garrisoning of the fortress-monastery, which is allotted to a different company on a rotational basis.
- Praefectus Castrorum - Equivalent rank to a Master of Relics. Assigned to one of the Chapter's Praetors, a Praefectus Castorum is an unmatched expert in the tactics of long-ranged warfare. He is also the custodian of the Chapter's many technological masterpieces, the most dangerous of which are brought to the battlefield only in times of exceptional strife.
- Navarch - Equivalent rank to a Master of the Fleet. Assigned to one of the Chapter's Praetors, a Navarch possesses the most experience and greatest skill at planning and executing void-combat. His is given overall command of the Chapter fleet, and essentially serves as the Chapter's fleet admiral, commanding his flagship and all other space assets when they deploy for major engagement.
- Dominus Carnifice - Equivalent rank to a Lord Executioner. Assigned to the Praetor of the Chapter's elite 8th Assault Company.
- Prefectus Fabrorum - Equivalent rank to a Master of the Forge, the Chapter's senior-most Techmarine.
- Fabrorum - Equivalent rank to a Techmarine.
- Delegatus - A Delegatus is a specialty rank held by a mid-ranking Chapter officer, such as a Centurion, who is often granted this rank and tasked with specific missions by Chapter high command and formally dispatched to act in all matters with the full weight of their commander's authority. As such, they could mobilise the Chapter's resources to the full, deploy it's assets and, if performing a mission of vital strategic worth, assemble a strike force of chosen warriors.
- Pontifex Primus - Equivalent rank to a Reclusiarch of the Chapter.
- Pontiff - Equivalent rank to a Chaplain.
- Primus Medicae - Equivalent rank to a Chief Apothecary of the Chapter.
- Medicae - Equivalent rank to an Apothecary.
- Augur Primae - Equivalent rank to a Chief Librarian of the Chapter.
- Augurius - Equivalent rank to a Chapter Librarian.
- Signiferi - Equivalent rank to a Standard Bearer.
- Eques - A specialty designation given to a battle-brother who is a pilot of an aerial vehicle or a driver of an armoured vehicle.
- Legatus Praetore - Senior-most rank within the Imperius Ravagers. Equivalent rank to a Chapter Master.
- Cohortarch - Equivalent rank to a Force Commander, this senior rank is granted to those who are charged with commanding a cohort comprised of at least four or more companies.
- Merarch - A senior rank granted to those who are charged with commanding a strike force comprised of at least three or more companies.
- Legatus - A temporary rank granted to a Praetor who is charged with commanding a strike force comprised of at least two companies.
- Praetor - Equivalent rank to a Captain.
- Tribune - A Tribune is a rank held by a senior Astartes line officer of the Chapter who serves as an executive officer and second-in-command to a company's Praetor. Serving as a battle-commander middle-tier line officer, they also take on more specialised functions such as a Shield-Lieutenant, given charge of a boarding party in a savage void battle. Tribunes are considered Praetors-in-training, and as such, are treated with the utmost respect by their subordinates.
- Centurion Primus - A Centurion Primus is a rank held by those junior line officers who hold seniority over other Centurions. These individuals are consummate warriors who have risen through the ranks of their Chapter and have already demonstrated their worth in the bloody fires of conflict, and have been recognized for their dedication, skill and tactical acumen.
- Centurion - A Centurion is a rank held by those Astartes junior line officers who have proven themselves on the field of battle. This rank is equivalent to a junior lieutenant.
- Decurion Primus - Equivalent rank to a Veteran Sergeant, the senior-most Sergeant within a company.
- Decurion - Equivalent rank to a Sergeant.
- Evocatus - Equivalent rank to a full battle-brother.
- Hastatus - Equivalent rank to a Scout Marine.
- Tiro - A novice, equivalent to a Neophyte.
- Trierarch - Equivalent rank to an Imperial Navy Captain, this specialty rank is assigned to one of the Chapter's mortal officers who possess a long history of space combat and commanding fleet engagements, such as a former or current commanding officer of the Imperial Navy who has been seconded to the Chapter under ancient inter-service agreements.
- Beneficiarii - (Singular: Beneficiarius) Calatores who serve as orderlies and perform various services for the various senior officers of the Chapter, such as the Reclusiarch and Primus Medicae.
- Calatores (Singular: Calator) This is a term when referring to the Chapter's human serfs who are charged with carrying out the day-to-day functions within the Chapter.
Order of Battle
|Legatus Praetore's Castrum|
|Praetorian Prefect (Equerry)||Praetorians (Honour Guard)||Tetrachy (Chapter Council)|
|Veteran Company||Battle Companies|
|1st Company||2nd Company||3rd Company||4th Company||5th Company|
|Reserve Companies||Scout Company|
|6th Company||7th Company||8th Company||9th Company||10th Company|
Like their progenitors, the Imperius Ravagers' gene-seed is very stable and has never exhibited signs of mutation. However, it has been noted that there are several idiosyncrasies in the Imperius Ravagers' gene-seed which often makes implantation more difficult in potential candidates taken from outside the Acheron System. The reasons for this are not quite clear, as the fleshmasters of the Magos Bioligis have been unable to determine what factors have caused such incompatibilities. Some have theorised that due to the constant warfare and the brutal harshness of their lives, that the genetic material introduced into the Imperius Ravagers' genome seems to have inherited the Charopósians' bellicose savagery and thirst for war. Therefore, the Chapter's gene-seed seems to possess a higher compatibility rate amongst the recruits taken from Charopós and its surrounding worlds.
Primarch's Curse: Blood and Rage
The Imperius Ravagers' gene-seed also manifests in the form of their ferocious and war-like mien, which grants them great powers, but also threatens to consume them. In battle, it has been noted that some battle-brothers are prone to falling into a 'battle-rage' which enables them to fight on despite suffering horrendous wounds - severed limbs and massive trauma - that would normally fell even a transhuman Astartes warrior. These afflicted battle-brothers are prone to suffering subsequent bouts of battle-rage, which over time, can utterly consume a warrior, leaving him a raving psychopath. Only through great discipline, strength of will and the watchfulness of their fellow battle-brothers, can an Imperius Ravagers Astartes hope to master themselves and avoid such a dark fate. Only the older, veteran Astartes within the Chapter are privy to such knowledge, having witnessed one of their fellow warriors fall into the throes of the so-called 'Blood Madness', or experiencing it for themselves. Fortunately, this phenomenon is uncommon and the rate at which these incidences occur is low, therefore, the Imperius Ravagers have avoided official scrutiny by the Imperium at large, thus far.
When the Chapter's genetic curse manifest itself in an affllicted Battle-Brohter, it comes on in three stages:
- Stage 1 (Kill-Frenzy) - The Battle-Brother completely loses control when he frenzies and finds it almost impossible to claw his way back to reason as long as there are foes to fight and blades drawn. Even when foes are not near, the madness of this killing frenzy grips him and he rages endlessly for battle and blood, howling out his anger and striking the ground with his blade. The Battle-Brother must take care, lest he lose control at any moment. Any time the Battle-Brother takes damage, is confronted with a clear threat, or is put in position of great stress, he must summon all his willpower in order to contain his fury for the duration of an encounter with an enemy.
- Stage 2 (Merciless) - The Imperius Ravager constantly thirsts for battle and longs to see blood spilled across the ground in great arcs and gouts. They also crave the feeling of hot blood on their skin and splattering across their armour, staining their darkened battle-plate a darker shade still. The Battle-Brother engages foes in close combat if possible, either making melee attacks against them or shooting point blank with pistols so that their blood spills at his feet. When he downs a foe, he must resist the urge to hack or blast the foe's corpse apart. If the Battle-Brother is attacked by a new foe while he is in this state while hacking at another foe, he will turn his attention to his new attacker instead.
- Stage 3 (Blood Madness) - In the latter stages, the Imperius Ravager is little more than a rage-soaked killing machine, filled with fury and madness, striking out at all those around him. In between battles, he must be placed in stasis so he does not inadvertently release his killing wrath upon his own battle-brothers. While he may still have lucid moments where he remembers the warrior he once was, these are fleeting and quickly gone to be replaced with only the thought of killing and the thirst for blood, and he will attack the nearest target (friend or foe) if there is more than one to choose from. At this point, the Battle-Brother is completely within the grip of the Blood Madness and is usually transferred to ranks of the Lancearii Breacher Assault Squads.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Imperius Ravagers tactical doctrine has always erred towards the use of shock tactics, close-quarters combat and above all, the brutal application of focused and overwhelming force to obliterate their foes. They possess a deserved reputation for being fierce fighters, for first and foremost, they are warriors, having acquitted themselves on the field of battle with almost legendary savagery. They prefer to deploy more as skirmishers than line troops, unleashing their strength where it will make the most difference when fighting alongside other Imperial military forces. This Chapter also has a propensity towards habitually deploying the majority of their elite 1st Company Traiarii (Terminator Armoured Veterans) in battle as Vanguard Squads where a Terminator assault is not warranted. Even the Imperius Ravagers' Principes (Tactical) and Ballistarii (Devastator) Squads prefer to engage at point-blank range when possible.
The Imperius Ravagers are also known for their refusal to give ground during battle, even when it is mutually beneficial to do so, which has become a defining trait of the Chapter and firmly ingrained in their combat doctrine. Many times in the Chapter's history, there have been incidences of the Imperius Ravagers fighting a particularly savage foe to mutual annihilation. On the very rare occasions that these brutal Astartes have been observed by other Imperial forces in battle, they have reported that never before have they witnessed such nightmarish scenes of carnage and destruction. They have also noted that many of the Imperius Ravagers often willingly fight on despite suffering horrendous wounds.
The Imperius Ravagers are unusual for a Successor Chapter of the vaunted Ultramarines, for despite being the inheritors of Roboute Guilliman's gene-legacy they feel that they have grown beyond the need to adhere to the rigid dictates of the Codex Astartes, and instead have opted to forge their own path in life and war using the blood-soaked bought battle-wisdom earned from millennia of endless warfare. Yet despite their fierce independence and bellicose nature, they still venerate their gene-father as other Scions of Guilliman Chapters do, for the Imperius Ravagers' oaths of allegiance are sworn to him and to the Master of Mankind. Despite outside observations, the Imperius Ravagers still venerate the words of Guilliman, for he was both an indefatigable warrior as well as a superlative tactician who possessed preternatural intelligence, cold reason and an indomitable will - traits that are highly admired by the Imperius Ravagers. Though they look upon the Codex Astartes as a foundation for their way of life, they do not literally follow its teachings through blind orthodoxy, for to do so would be both foolish and unwise. They have taken into account what they have observed down the millennia during their ceaseless crusades against the multitude of enemies of Mankind, having learned many hard-fought lessons. The Imperius Ravagers do not believe in rigidly adhering to dogma, for this is what has led to much of the stagnation and apparent difficulties that currently runs rampant throughout the wider Imperium.
Notable Imperius Ravagers
- Legatus Praetore Bruticus Kratos - A bellicose and ruthless warrior who held a sinister reputation within his Chapter, Bruticus Kratos was a former Captain of the Ultramarines 8th Assault Company. He had a dark reputation within the Chapter for his heavy-handed style of leadership and was known for meting out draconian punishments for any perceived flaws or weakness amongst his warriors. Kratos was also known for his merciless and bloody-handed ways on the battlefield, for he was a brutal tactician who enjoyed the utter destruction of his foes. An aloof, brooding and malign warrior, Captain Kratos possessed and aura of barely restrained spite and malice - a far cry from the epitome of honour and righteousness, that was typical of most Ultramarines senior officers. When the 4th Founding of the Adeptus Astartes occurred, the Ultramarines saw the chance to rid themselves of their troublesome commander, and those battle-brothers under his command, who had been imprinted with their ruthless Captain's cruel and brutal mien. Unshackled from the confines of strict adherence to the Codex Astartes, the newly promoted Legatus Praetore (Chapter Master) of the newly created Imperius Ravagers, quickly forged their own path, whose bloody deeds and murderous legacy would be writ in the annals of Imperial history and Chapter legends.
- Legatus Praetore Thanatos Cronius - Thanatos Cronius is the current Chapter Master of the Imperius Ravagers. Like the Chapter's ancient patriarch, he too, was the former commander of the Chapter's infamous 8th Assault Company. Displaying a propensity for strategic planning and the brutal application of overwhelming force, his meteoric rise through the ranks saw him assume command of the Imperius Ravagers in only a little over a century of service following the death of his predecessor, Legatus Praetore Lucius Augur Malivos, during the First Tyrannic War against the Tyranid menace of Hive Fleet Behemoth in 745.M41. Legatus Praetore Cronius revels in his dark reputation - his name has become a byword from death and destruction carried out in the name of the Emperor of Mankind. Regarded as brutal, ruthless and indefatigable by other Adeptus Astartes, Cronius leads his Chapter from the front, forging new legends into the annals of his Chapter's long and blood-soaked sagas. Though a diligent and disciplined logistician and strategist, as befitting a Scion of Guilliman, Cronius has little patience for war councils or strategic planning, preferring the din of battle and the chance to destroy his foes in vicious melee combat. The dichotomy of Cronius as both a champion and defender of the Imperium as well as his sinister reputation as a feared executioner of those who renege on their oaths of fealty to the Golden Throne, has earned this deadly commander a far-flung and often mythic reputation amongst the people of the Realms of Ultramar and beyond.
The Imperius Ravagers primarily wear dark grey power armour. Insets of both shoulder pauldrons are silver in colour. The Aquila or Imperialis on the chest guard is also dark grey in colour. Of further note is their distinctive helmets, which is of the distinctive 'Lorica' sub-type, an idiosyncratic variant of the widely used Mark VII 'Aquila' pattern produced by the artificers of the Imperius Ravagers. The faceplates of these helmets have a very distinct appearance as they are crafted in the typical Charopósian style. These helmets are also adorned with the Imperius Ravagers' trademark red dyed horse hair longitudinal crests, which go from front-to-back. Officers can be identified by their unique horizontal crests that go from ear-to-ear and are dyed black and red. The battle-brothers of this Chapter are also known for wearing their tell-tale balteus - a plate-covered belt - which has four heavy strips of leather and studs embedded along its length. These leather strips also hang from the outer edge of their shoulder pauldrons as well, in the traditional Charopósian fashion. On the right shoulder pauldron is a black, open-faced squad specialty symbol (Tactical, Assault, Devastator and Veteran) which identifies an individual's assigned role. The Power Armour worn by the Astartes of this Chapter typically bears syncretic Charopósian iconography, worn on one of the shoulder pauldrons, poleyn (knee guard) or weapon, which supposedly denotes rank and battlefield record. Many of these symbols have meanings hidden from outsiders to the Chapter, though it is believed that the numeration and colouration of the "lambda" Helikan-glyph markings common to the Imeprius Ravagers' heraldry refer to attested "kills" against worthy opponents in single combat, likely in increasing order of magnitude.
The Imperius Ravagers' Chapter badge is a pair of crossed black coloured axes with a stylised large black skull centered between the axes, a laurel of victory surrounding the skull, and centered upon a field of silver.
The Blades of Dorn are a Sucessor Chapter descended from the proud lineage of the stoic Rogal Dorn. They were created during the tumultuous centuries of the Nova Terra Interregnum, sometime during the 35th Millennium, to help bring much needed security to the Imperium, which had been split in half following the secession of the Segmentum Pacificus from the Imperium of Man. The Blades of Dorn were one such Chapter created to help counteract the many outside threats to the unstable borders of the Imperium during this dark period of unrest and civil strife. The Imperius Ravagers were one of several Chapters called upon by the High Lords of Terra to mobilise to this troubled region of the galaxy to help counteract the rapid erosion and contradiction of the Imperium's borders.
The Ravagers soon found themselves fighting alongside the newly created Blades of Dorn, which quickly garnered a reputation for being one of the most highly active Chapters during this conflict, deploying from warzone to warzone fighting against secessionist forces as well as responding to various emergencies and adding their strength to multiple ongoing campaigns. Fighting alongside the Blades and their fellow Scions of Guilliman - the Wardens of Orask, these three Chapters often helped to tip the balance of several conflicts in the Imperium's favour.
Forming unbreakable bonds of friendship and brotherhood in the heat of battle, the Imperius Ravagers were one of the few Chapters that continued to support the Blades of Dorn following the fall from grace - and eventual excommunication - of their progenitors, the Crusaders of Dorn. Despite the aspersions, suspicions and outright hostility shown to the Blades the Imperius Ravagers stood by their cousin Chapter, and vehemently argued on their behalf that they were both honorable and devoutly loyal, despite their progenitor's sins. Whenever called upon, the Imperius Ravagers have eagerly answered the Blades' call, and have fought alongside this dedicated and stalwart Chapter several times down the millennia.
This bellicose and ruthless Chapter was created during the 4th Founding, and share a similar fearsome mien and bitter anima as the Imperius Ravagers. Hailing from the same proud lineage of the Ultramarines, these two bloody-handed Chapters forged strong bonds of brotherhood during their long crusade from Macragge to the Segmentum Obscurus, where they were both assigned as Chapters of the Astartes Praeses, one of the several Chapters charged with permanent overwatch of the Eye of Terror. During that time, the Imperium was rife with civil strife and insurrection, and so, the Chapters of the 4th Founding were often of a brutal demeanour, forging ruthless reputations as blood-soaked executioners of the Emperor's divine will. Finding themselves of like-mind, these two Chapters launched a brutal war of reciprocity against the heretics, apostate and the xenos. Since that time, though these two Chapters have not fought alongside one another for several millennia, they both swore binding blood-oaths, that should one Chapter ever call upon the other for aid, that they would do so - a debt repaid by both sides only on a handful of occasions.
Almost since their inception, the Wardens of Orask have been staunch allies of their fellow Scions of Guilliman, the brutal and bellicose Imperius Ravagers. Not long after their inception in the 34th Millennium, these two Chapters found themselves fighting alongside one another, to enforce the quarantine zone around the Ghoul Stars during the mysterious event known as the Pale Wasting. The Imperius Ravagers deployed half their Chapter to help stem the tide against a mysterious xenos invasion that swept across scores of Imperial worlds as "nightmare engines" slaughtered the populations of whole sectors. Finding themselves of like-mind and similar mien, these two Chapters ruthlessly executed their duties in the persecution of these deadly xenos. Much of what occurred during this tumultuous period in Imperial history has been censored or purposely destroyed, but what is known is that eleven Space Marine Chapters were lost in the final battles of this apocalyptic struggle. These Scions of Guilliman formed strong bonds of brotherhood, forged in blood and fire, as they willingly sacrificed themselves to stem the tide of this dire xenos threat. Since that dark age, the Wardens and the Imperius Ravagers have vowed to answer one another's call should the need arise, a debt that has been repaid only on a handful of occasions down the millennia.
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By the Imperius Ravagers
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About the Imperius Ravagers
- "Cut from cloth of aqua marine, shined and sharp their blades will gleam. Brutal killers and bloody kings, carried forth on wrathful wings. Made in hate and forged in rage, chained inside of loyalty's cage."
- — Unknown Mortarchs Serpentia Astartes
- "Our cousins are not so dissimilar to us Ludic. Truly. Both our Chapters fight without mercy or discrimination. We both value iron resolve and unwavering will, and the knowledge gleaned from millennia of waging war. The only difference between us, is the distance at which we fight."
- — Siege Master Ithric Vasdimir of the Warmachines
- "Oh yes, I look forward to fighting alongside you Thanatos, you might actually keep up with me, if you really try."
- — Chapter Master Eulitus Ephrain of the Wings of Salvaxes giving a friendly barb to Legatus Praetore Thanatos Cronius
- "Our system of trenches had been beaten down by hordes of enemies we couldn't even see over the piles of the putrid and dead bodies of our own men that laid before us. In the muddy fields of brown, we saw the corpses further piling up, we were sure we were about to meet our end. Determined to meet my fate early, I made sure to run like a mad man to join in or die in the bloodshed beyond. Beyond the wall of flesh, I was astonished to see heretics mercilessly cut down by the ripping chain-axes of the Imperius Ravagers. This pile of bodies hadn't been a terrible omen of our doom, but a twisted gift from our God-Emperor!"
- — A record found in the diary of an anonymous Imperial Guardsmen
- "In such a galaxy full of unknown terrors and horrors that lurk just beyond the veil of reality, thank the God-Emperor that humanity has such monsters of its own to protect us."
- — Captain Varnibus Scorne of the 134th Morana 'Black Guard' Regiment