|This article, Marauding Eagles, is currently under active construction. The author, Urthan, apologizes for the inconvenience.|
Created around mid-M34, during the 8th Founding, the sole known successor Chapter of the Destroyers, and through them the White Scars, the Marauding Eagles are the members of an infamous Chapter, whose berserk frenzy has caught the gaze of the Inquisition and the Adeptus Mechanicus. Like their forefather, their bloody conduct in war is marring their otherwise little but effective known records of engagements. However, the many dangers of the Halo Stars against which they stand ever vigilant have always allowed them to evade sanctions.
Founding and early history
Not much is known of the 8th Founding, beyond the fact that it occurred somewhere during mid-M34. What little knowledge remains is, at that time, the Destroyers were granted the honor to sire a new Chapter, something which indicate that they weren't as brutal in their campaigns as they are today known to be, or that such savagery was deemed necessary by the High Lords of Terra and the Emperor above them. In any case, the Successor Chapter of the Destroyers was sent deep into the Halo Stars, at the frontier between the Calixis Sector and the Koronus Expanse.
Even the archives of the Marauding Eagles are confuse at best regarding the time they spent without a world to call their own, or the foes they battled. Allegories of great monsters consuming the stars, of warrior-gods armed with the thunder of creation and riding atop mighty steed abound in those early records of the Chapter, where only their date of Founding and their Sire are ascertained, at several occasions, mainly to laud them as their blessed guides on the path of war. What is certain , however, is that at the end of M.34, the yet unnamed Chapter which had launched itself into the Halo Stars was no more, the Marauding Eagles having claimed a name and a world for themselves, even if at the cost of nearly 800 Battle-Brothers.
The first official contact between the Imperium and the Chapter came when the Astartes petitioned a nearby forge-world for help in the construction of their Fortress-Monastery on a newly discovered world, called Gautgund. Records of the Administratum and the Mechanicus speak of the savage zeal of the Eagles, but also of the many dangers infesting the region of space they had chosen to defend. The innumerable scars on the ships and armors of the Chapter spoke volume; the war they had fought during half a millennia had taken a great toll to the Marauding Eagles, and they were yet eager to wage them, to the point that some scribes felt that the bloodlust of the Chapter was abnormal.
The Marauding Eagles have fought thousands of wars which will never been known to the wider Imperium but which have proven instrumental in preserving the borders of Mankind's realm. Among those, seven stand at the forefront of the Chapter's archives as the greatest of them all.
The Chapter's claimed its home-world at the very end of M34. The 200 Battle-Brothers, led by Alaric, stumbled upon Gautgund after getting out of the Immaterium trying to evade a violent Warp-Storm. The Marauding Eagles quickly discovered that the natives were heathens but pure of body and potentially great recruits for the Chapter's survival and future. When their offer of surrender was rejected by the strongest of the petty kingdom doting the planet, the Astartes makes planet-fall and utterly crushes the human defenders.
The ferocity of the natives faced with the impossibility to defeat the Astartes impress Alaric and the remaining cadre of officers, convincing them that the Gautgunder will be the source material for future Eagles. Once most of the natives of the strongest kingdom are culled, the campaign change to a war of submission for all the tribes and fiefdoms of Gautgund. After two years, all bow to their new lords and accept that the Emperor is the ancestor of all Mankind and that His Son, Jaghataï Khan is the father of all warriors, and thus the ancestor of all Gautgunder. The Marauding Eagles then retire to the ruined fortress of the first kingdom they destroyed to prepare for the Mechanicus arrival and the erection of Arnwarin.
This massive campaign lasted for four centuries, from 333.M35 to 746.M35. Emerging from deep into the Halo Stars, a immense fleet of xenos called the Ascended Council of Hel-kar-daxes, began conquering the region and making way to the passages leading to the Imperium. They reduce in slavery any and all species they conquer, including humans. The whole Marauding Eagle Chapter gather and began a long and thankless war against the invaders. Théodoric, called the Great, craft a century-long plan to stop the momentum of the xenos by bypassing them and delving for their coreworlds, only to disappear again.
The two following centuries saw the xenos trying to consolidate their gains, while the Marauding Eagles strike at their ports, use their Scouts to fan the flame of rebellion on human's occupied worlds. Revolts and unexpected attacks force the Xenos to spread their forces. The Brotherhoods are then unleashed on the weakest worlds, reclaming them and leaving when those worlds are occupied by other aliens. The final hundred years saw the rebels (both aliens and humans) steal weapons and star-ships and wage war against the Ascended Council. Théodoric gather the full might of his Chapter, roughly 545 Battle-Brothers and attacks the core-worlds. The Ascended Council is annihilated, and its whole population is killed.
The remaining centuries of M35 are spent destroying the aliens uplifted by the Council's technology and bringing Imperial compliance to the pagans worlds inhabited by Mankind.
The Orks Wars
During forty-five years, from 412.M36 to 457.M36, the Marauding Eagles face off repeated waves of Orks apparently coming from deeper into the Halo Stars. Despite their hulking size, dwarfing most of the "common" orkoid found near the borders of the Imperium, those invasions do not appear to be WAAAAGH !!! Instead, the Chapter's Archivists believe that the Orks are from fleeing their realms. It is not quite clear what drove them to such strange behavior, and the Marauding Eagles did not care to find out. Especially disorganized, even for Orks, invaders make for easy targets in void battles, but prove quite violent and deadly when melees do happen, proving far stronger and resilient that even the Space Marines.
Refusing to let the Orks step foot on any habitable world near their zone of patrol, for fear of them becoming too great a threat to be excised later on, the Marauding Eagles deploy all their forces, boarding the mightiest Orks vessels to detonate them from the inside. Around the uninhabited Paradise World they have called Elegia Maxima, the Ansis Athaulf the Warborn confront the last of the Orks Big Boss. The brute's death is dearly paid, for the Ansis and his whole retinue are slain. Still, Elegia Maxima is preserved and the region is free from Orkish taint, allowing the Marauding Eagles some needed respite to replenish their numerous forces.
The Hungry Void
The campaign of the Hungry Void almost destroyed the Chapter. At its end, only 111 Battle-Brothers of the Marauding Eagles were still alive. Even the archives of the Chapter and its oral tales speak little about this terrible war. The fact that it took only two years, from 708.M36 to 710.M36 is often assumed to be wrong by outsiders who learns of it. Yet, it is truth.
The campaign began when a Rogue Trader's star-ship, the Glorious Colonizer, stumbled out of the Warp in the Gautgund's system. This vessel had been presumed lost in the warp two thousand years ago, but it had now returned. Boarding it, the first teams of Astartes reported early on that it was empty but all communication was lost two hours after they had entered the Glorious Colonizer. The subsequent forces sent into the hull recorded that all was calm and that there was no proof that their Brothers had entered into it mere hours before them. After one hour, all communication ceased again. The Chapter's fleet deemed the Brothers lost and tried to destroy the starship, but none of their weapon managed to hit it, apparently dissipating into the ether near its hull.
Wallia the Wise, the Ansis at that time then headed the counsels of his Master Archivist, Récarède the Son of the Storm. The mighty psyker felt that there was an hungry void, all-consuming, hidden deep into the Glorious Colonizer. Whatever was it source, it was craving for flesh and soul. Récarède believed that the horror inside would consume the Chapter, then Gautgund and travel then to another inhabited system to gorge itself. The Storm had to be brought to battle if the Chapter was to destroy the hidden horror.
Wallia gathered his Chapter, 1000 Battle-Brothers before the Rogue trader's tomb had come to Gautgund and ordered that Each Brotherhood chose one of its most veteran warrior, one well-versed in their specific lore and beliefs, to remain on Gautgund with the entirety of the Stormdagger's Brotherhood and a junior Apothecary, Archivist and Techmarine. Outcry followed but the wisdom of the Ansis prevailed against the uproar of the Hilds. The Brothers who remained on Gautgund saw their Brothers enter the Glorious Colonizer and silence immediately surrounded them.
Expecting the vessel to make move, they waited but nothing happened. Finally, two years after almost all the Chapter had entered it, a wave of nightmares plagued the natives of Gautgund and even the Aspirants and Neophytes of the Marauding Eagles on the planet. Immediately afterward, radio silence was broken. Wallia was calling from the Apothecary to come and reclaim the gene-seed from his fallen Brothers. The Ansis was the sole survivor of the boarding party and he refused to talk about what was hidden deep into the star-ship's core.
Once the dead Astartes had been brought back to Arnwarin, Wallia ordered the Glorious Colonizer to be hauled to a dying star near the Gautgund sector, without making use of the Warp. The travel took twenty years, which allowed the shaken Ansis to see the beginning of his Chapter's rebuilding. When the Colonizer reached its destination, Wallia ordered it to be thrown into the system's sun. At the very moment the cursed star-ship was destroyed, the brave Ansis fell to the his knee, dead before he touched the ground.
The Indomitus Crusade
While the Marauding Eagles have consistently refused to see Primaris join the depleted ranks of their Chapter, they have joined the Indomitus Crusade with glee. Leaving only two Brotherhoods to protect their homeworld, their forces have joined the fray in the deadliest battles of the Crusade, proving to all the forces of the Imperium that the original Astartes still had in them the strength and will to wage war in the name of Terra. Since the end of the Indomitus Crusade, the Marauding Eagles have returned to Gautgund and are slowly rebuilding their strength.
The Marauding Eagles have been chronically undermanned during their long history; furthermore, they have always scoffed at the Codex Astartes's perceived limitations and favoured organizations or tactics. Instead of Companies, the Chapter is organized in ten brotherhoods.Unlike the White Scars, where this term is more a traditional designation for a Codex Company, the Eagles have turned them into tight-knit groups, akin more to a tribe than a standard martial organization. While the Tenth Brotherhood is indeed fully comprised of Scouts and that the First gather the Chapter's greatest warriors, the other eight are not separated between battle Companies and Reserve Companies as laid down by the Codex Astartes.
Once a Neophyte has earned the right to wear a full power-armor, he is assigned to a Brotherhood where he will serve until his death or mutation to the first Brotherhood. Each of those battle-formation posses its own symbol, passed down from one generation to the next, its own secret customs and its own rituals which cement the link between their Battle-Brothers. However, the Chapter dispatch neophytes from the same tribe or people between Scouts Squads and then Brotherhoods, to avoid the creation of unnecessary tensions, or, more accurately, to try and reduce their impact. Each Brotherhood will thus posses its very own organization, with a unique number of Tactical, Assault and Devastator Squads, an armory of Assault Bikes and Dreadnought, as well as some tanks. Each of the Brotherhood has earned a nickname during the early years of the Chapter :
- The Suntalon Brotherhood for the 1st
- The Axedge Brotherhood for the 2nd
- The Darkfist Brotherhood for the 3rd
- The Silentdagger Brotherhood for the 4th
- The Bear Brotherhood for the 5th
- The Boneagles Brotherhood for the 6th
- The Shiningblade Brotherhood for the 7th
- The Moontalon Brotherhood for the 8th
- The Stormborn Brotherhood for the 9th
- The Stormdagger Brotherhood for the 10th
Some ranks are also unique to the Chapter :
- The equivalent of a Chapter Master rank is called Ansis, a common world in many languages of Gautgund to designate a King, but whose etymology convey the idea of an Half-God, a concept taken by the Chapter to clearly demonstrate the right of its Master to lead 1000 Grand-Children of Jaghataï and through him the Emperor.
- Varon is the equivalent of Captain; instead of the word of Khan, more common among other successors of the White Scars. Since not much is known of either the Marauding Eagles or the Destroyers from which they were created, it isn't known if this designation deviated among their Sire or if it is a peculiarity of the Chapter. They are allowed a great deal of power concerning the organization of their Brotherhood, which tend to change slightly in its composition with each successive Varon.
- Instead of Sergeants, the Eagles posses Vesi, a term which designate a person of superior quality in most languages of Gautgund.
- When speaking about their soldiers, the Marauding Eagles often use the term Hild indiscriminately, which simply means "warrior" in many languages of their world. While Assault , Devastator, Tactical or even Veteran Marines posses vastly different roles and fame on the battlefield, they are all called as such as to foster a strong sense of comradery.
Feuds are quite common between Brotherhoods, and even between members of a Brotherhood, for the Marauding Eagles are quickly angered and never hesitate to defy one another in test of strength or endurance. However, those feuds turns into true duels, for the Chapter's manpower is often too low to allow for such behavior. Instead, the clashing Brothers will often jump at the forefront of battles to slay the strongest foe possible.
Currently, the 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th are reduced to barely a dozen of Battle-Brothers and the 1st and 10th have roughly half of their nominal manpower. It is a situation quite common for the Marauding Eagles, the result of brutal wars after brutal wars. The Brotherhoods returns to Gautgund only when they can't afford to lose their last Battle-Brothers, bringing back with them new stories and customs which are added to the vast repositories of lore that the Chapter's Fortress posses, as a mean to ensure that its organization will be able to withstand the test of time and even the most grueling losses. At several points in the Chapter's history, one Brotherhood was annihilated to the last only to return to the fray centuries later its traditions intact.
Librarians, Chaplains and Techmarines are quite important for the Chapter, but not as much as Apothecaries, who are tasked with the preservation of the Chapter's gene-seed and have to ensure that a constant flow of Neophyte will preserve the Chapter from doom. While the Apothecaries do not posses a deviant name -at least one that would be known outside the Chapter- they are collectively known as the Elders' Speakers, for they are the link between the current Marauding Eagles and their predecessor, but also their Sire of the Destroyers and Grand-Sire of the White Scars.
At the center of the Marauding Eagles' Chapter Cult lies a desperate craving for glory and honor. Being twice removed from the White Scars' gene-seed, they feel that they must constantly prove their worthiness and place in the Imperium and their kin. Despite all this, the Marauding Eagles are not boisterous, preaching instead that to proclaim stridently one own's worth is a waste of time and that actions speaks louder than words. For the Eagles, honor is won only on the battlefield, sword in hand and with the blood of his foes on his hands. While their savagery is partially inherited from their gene-seed and the cultures of Gautgund, it is also the result of this creed.
The Marauding Eagles venerate their ancestors the Destroyers, and beyond them the White Scars, even more than they worship their Primarch or the Emperor. While contact is hard to establish between their world and the largely unknown location where the Destroyers dwell, pilgrimages to their Sire's Chapter are quite frequent. Less common,devotional processions to Chogoris (the Marauding Eagles vehemently refuse to use the name of Mundus Planus) are usually underwent by severely depleted Brotherhoods, whose leave won't impact too much on the Chapter's defenses.
This ancestor cult is marked by many a legend concerning the Destroyers's greatest battles, often clouded in allegories, how they impact on the Chapter itself and the role that the Founding Brothers add on its early years, despite the lack of true documentation concerning the first 500 hundred years of the Marauding Eagle's history. The Chapter holds numerous feasts and displays to honor all their forefathers, from their own Brothers to the first warriors of the Vth Legion recruited on Terra, even if the latter are largely more mythical than real (and in some cases absolutely fictive). The Marauding Eagles also likes to point out the fact that their Chapter icon is reminiscent of the Raptor Imperialis, the ancient symbol of the Terran Unifiication Wars.
Above all their ancestors is their Primarch. The Marauding Eagles rarely, if ever, calls upon their Grand-father, for they do not feel worthy of his legacy while they live. Only the greatest tally of foes slain or an honorable death deserve the gaze of Jaghataï Khan, the greatest warrior among his Brothers Primarchs, or so the Eagles proclaims. At their level, they aim to mimic his skill at arms and his ferocity, tampered by wisdom, but if skills and ferocity come easily to the Marauding Eagles, wisdom is harder to come by. Still, the greatest heroes of the Chapter have constantly been paragon of what a Scions of the Great Khan must be, and so their Brothers strive to emulate them at best they can.
Above the Primarch is the Emperor, but for the Eagles, the Lord of the Imperium is so far removed that he is never called nor prayed. While his divinity makes no doubt for the Brothers, they do not feel the need to worship him. During feasts or mock battles, the Emperor may be addressed by the Chapter, but it is then a ritualistic devotion, not one running hot and bloody on the fields of killing. To proclaim that one mortal, even as great as an Astartes, may manage to draw the attention of Mankind's God is, for the Marauding Eagles, a display of hubris which can only lead to ruin.
it is not known if those beliefs are shared by the Destroyers or unique to the Marauding Eagles, but what is certain is that ritual scarification is quite common, quite like it is among most of the White Scars' successor Chapters. As an Eagle will age, he will carve labyrinths of scars on his body, joining battle-wounds and ritual scarification in an unique pattern, one more proof of their devotion in the eyes of the Chapter. The blood spent in those ritual his gathered by the Brother and brought to the Apothecaries, who will use it to wash the sacred gene-seed of the Chapter.
The Gene-Seed of the Marauding Eagles does not seem to have lost any of the zygotes implanted into an Aspirant to create a Space Marine, and the Adeptus Mechanicus hasn't noticed degradation in the way of physical mutations since the Founding of the Chapter. However, the Marauding Eagles are known for their savagery and bloodlust, to even greater standard than the usual among Scions of the Great Khan. The accepted theory is that the inhabitant of Gautgund, while sane of body, have affected the Gene-Seed with their own brutality, either because of some hidden minor mutations or because of aberrant rites adopted by the Marauding Eagles in the preservation of their gene-seed.
Another theory is that, to replenish their grievous losses, the Astartes of this Chapter do not stock the gene-seed in vaults, waiting for Aspirants, but implant them in slaves, so as to posses a greater pool of gene-seed when the need arise to recreate Battle-Brothers in great number. Because of their isolated location and their role in protecting the Galaxy from threats emerging from the Halo Stars, the Marauding Eagles haven't suffered investigation or censure, but some factions of the Mechanicus keep calling for an investigation of Arnwarin to ensure that no heretical practice has taken root in the Chapter's preservation of its gene-seed.
What is known for certain concerning the Marauding Eagles is that some rare members of their Chapter sometimes succumb to a berserk fury in the heat of battle, striking at foes and friends alike, apparently out of imbalanced brain chemistry, a behavior which, combined with the battle doctrine of the Chapter, has earned them few friends in the wider Imperium. While some speculate that the use of the warriors' blood by the Apothecaries has sometimes been accused to have affected the gene-seed, the Chapter do not believe that it could have an effect, and most of the Adeptus Mechanicus share the Eagles' belief.
Chapter Battle Doctrine
- "One arrow alone can be easily broken but many arrows are indestructible."
- — Ancient Chogorian proverb
At the core of the Marauding Eagles battle doctrine is melee. Any and all tactics the Chapter use are designed to ensure that the Astartes will be able to engage in close-combat with their foes as early as possible in any given engagement. Because of it, the Marauding Eagles have modified all their tanks, sacrificing some measure of protection to enhance their speed. Furthermore, Devastators are a lot less common in the Chapter than what is required by the Codex Astartes, while Assault Marines and Assault Bikes are extremely numerous (in fact, some Varon sometimes fielded Brotherhood comprised only of such units).
Instead of using hit and run tactics like their White Scars' forebears, the Marauding Eagles enter the fray and let their fury carry them ever deeper into the enemies' ranks. Oftentimes, the greatest difficulty a Varon or even the Hild will face during an engagement is insuring that his Battle-Brothers do not go too deep behind the frontline are not baited to some deadly trap. While the call for their enemy's blood call them, officers from the Marauding Eagles bark orders and, if need be, beat their troops back into formation.
The emphasis put on close-quarter battle is so great in the Chapter that each and every Tactical Squad posses a Bolt Pistol and a Chainsaw Sword instead of the regular Bolter -even if almost all those squads also wear one with a shoulder strap to be able to gun down a foe if need be. The Marauding Eagles truly believe that by using brutal force and ravening fury, they can beat any enemy they may face, just like the ancient eagles of Terra used to break the neck of their prey thanks to their sheer strength.
Like their gene-sire, the Destroyers, this Chapter is known for its savages tendencies when in battle. Astartes from the Marauding Eagles often kill enemies who are surrendering or claim grizzly trophies (such as heads, hands or even genital organs in the most extreme of cases) in the midst of battle. While no servant of the Imperium deny the effectiveness of their operations, the Marauding Eagles are thus found quite distasteful and dangerous to operate with. It is speculated that such savage behaviors is the result of their home-world's culture, their gene-seed but also their enemies (xenos, chaotic and heathen alike) that they routinely face in the Halo Stars.
The Marauding Eagles livery is the exact opposite of their forefathers. Where the Destroyers' armors are black, the Eagles' are of a bright yellow hue and where their sire's armors are of the same yellow, the Marauding Eagles' are jet black. However, many similarities also exist : the Chapter mark the Brotherhood's belonging not on the shoulder trims but on the left knee. Squad's numbering is written in black with a gothic numeral number on the Squad Marking. Those specialist markings are entirely Codex, which is a stark difference with the Chapter's non-Codex organization. Veterans from the 1st Brotherhood also wear white helmets to mark their rank, when Veteran Sergeants of other Companies paint their helmet red.
More than their color scheme however, it is the heavy use of pelts, fangs, claws, and even feathers which distinguish a Marauding Eagle from other Astartes. Looking more barbarians than champions of the Imperium, the Eagles accumulate trophies taken from great beasts of their home world, but also from fallen foes. It is quite common to see a Battle-Brother from this Chapter parading with orks or other dangerous xeno's skulls, often attached to his belt or the pommel of his sword.
The Chapter's symbol is comprised of an eagle head and two lightning strikes looking quite similar to the Destroyers' owns on their Chapter badge, painted in the same yellow than most of their armor, over the black of their shoulder pads. It is also common for Battle-Brothers of one of the Brotherhood to add its symbol on their right knee, painting it in black. Those symbols are :
- a talon pointing upward for the First
- an axe pointing downward for the Second
- a fist pointing leftward for the Third
- a dagger pointing upward for the Fourth
- a bear's head for the Fifth
- an eagle's skull for the Sixth
- a sword pointing rightward for the Seventh
- a talon pointing downward for the Eighth
- a lightning strike for the Ninth
- a dagger pointing upward and a lightning strike for the Tenth
The Belt of Skulls
A most ancient relic, the Belt was created sometime before the subjugation of Gautgund. Comprised of a massive Ork skull and two smaller insect-like skulls from an unknown xeno species, the Belt hide an ancient power-shield generator of great reliability. It is, however, cumbersome and exposed, meaning that it is rarely, if ever, used by the Chapter in battle. Instead, the Belt of Skulls is worn during great ceremonies or formal encounter with other forces from the Imperium. Only the Ansis has the right to wear it, and when a leader passes away, the contenders for his title duel before the Belt.
The Blade of Kings
A massive, two-handed power-blade, the Blade of Kings was created after the Conquest of Gautgund. All the blades used by the former kings of the world were gathered and melted, and the techmarines toiled for decades to craft this mighty weapon. This double-edged blade his covered in runic symbols from Gautgund, poems from Chogoris and the symbols of Jaghatai Khan, the White Scars and the Marauding Eagles. Since its creation, it has taken thousands of lives. However, it was lost for over two thousand years, taken from the Eagles during a daring raid by a Dark Eldar cabal during the middle of M.39, an event which led to the Broken Cabals' wars. It was found again by Rodéric the Young Prince, Varon of the Bear Brotherhood in 875.M41, when he discovered a hidden cache of wealth on a desolate moon while hunting pirates. Since then, the Blade of Kings has once more been put in use for the greater glory of the Imperium.
The Marauding Eagles hail from the subarctic Feral World of Gautgund. This backwater planet was brought to Imperial Compliance by the Chapter itself at the very end of M34. The climate is harsh, with violent winds blowing most of the years, snow even at the hottest parts of the globe during bad summers and vast forest of oaks, larch and firs, dotted with villages whose population as regressed to early Iron Age levels of technology, save for the crafting of their armors, which shares a lot in common with primitives versions of the Space Marine's power armor.
All the humans inhabitant of Gautgund shares the same ancestry, which is proven by the fact that all the languages of the planet derive from an archaic form of Germanic dialect, which has evolved into thousands of forms. A Gauntgunder from a village may not even be able to understand the language of another leaving 50 kilometers away. Therefore, it is no surprise that warfare is quite common, even endemic, to the planet. The Gautgunder may have become a peaceful people had they had prevented their technological and scientific regression. or they could have had, at the very least, banded together if their world had had dangerous lifeforms hunting Mankind.
Instead, the Gautgunder kill each others for every scrap they can get their hands on, for women and horses and thousands of other fickle reasons.Even family inheritance is the source of much blood being drawn, with brothers killing brothers to be elected as heir to their father. Lacking any form of stability, the Gautgunder society may allow for the rise of a powerful kingdom during decades, only to reduce it to splintered fragments vying for power over one or two villages at the death of its founder.
It is this no surprising that the Marauding Eagles have proven to be quite savages and brutal, and sometimes lacking in the more spiritual traditions of Khan's Sons. However, the impermanence of all things is also quite ingrained into the Gautgunder's mindset and beliefs, hence their reverence for legendary figures and great heroes, whose legacy can traverse the centuries unblemished, standing forever over the squabbling of their heirs. The faith in the Emperor, while nominally present on Gautgund is far less prevalent than the worship of ancestors. In fact, even the prayers to the Emperor and Jaghataï Khan have had to be ingrained into the native's system of belief, with the former becoming the ancestor of all Humanity and the latter the Father of Warriors.
Unsurprisingly, the Marauding Eagles have a method of recruitment well suited for their brutal tastes. The Chaplains and Apothecaries from this Chapter eschew the use of elaborate tournaments or trials. Instead, they watch closely the constant wars of Gautgund, selecting those young warriors whose savagery and skills would make for fitting recruits. Those youths are then brought to Arnwarin, where they are tested for genetic purity and, if found satisfying, they receive the first seances of psycho-endoctrinement and the surgery which will one day make Astartes out of them.
While this method allows for a great influx of recruits, which is how the Marauding Eagles have been able to survive in the Halo Stars for so long, replenishing their forces enough to face off every threats, it also offer the Chapter with another advantage. Most of those Aspirants won't become full-fledged Scout Marines until 5 years after they have received the Black Carapace. While it is clearly a deviant practice compared to the wisdom penned in the Codex Astartes, the Marauding Eagles make use of it to bolster their gene-seed reserves without resorting to unfit bodies to replicate them at greater speed.
This practice has saved the Chapter several time during its past, allowing it to go from less than 100 Brothers to roughly 400 in less than twenty years, without a great loss of skill. For the Marauding Eagles, such practices are an absolute necessity to survive their constant war with the horrors infesting the Halo Stars.
Arnwarin is the name of the massive Fortress-Monastery which houses the Marauding Eagles. It has been built upon a sole pillar of rock, a lonely mountain piercing the skies, surrounded by dark and deep forests. Long ago, before the coming of the Astartes, Arnwarin was the castle of a mighty lord of Gautgund. When the Eagle came, this warlord rejected their offer, refusing to surrender to the foreigner. The 200 Battle-Brothers then proceeded to obliterate his forces, killing or routing all his followers, driving them away from the smouldering ruins of this ancient castle.
Seeing the strategic value of this location, both thanks to its isolation and the natural durability of local stone, Alaric the Conqueror, leader of the Chapter, reached out to the Adeptus Mechanicus, petitioning for the creation of the Fortress-Monastery. During a decade, the Mechanicus toiled, carving great tunnels below the towering mountain and into it. At its top was created a space-port for the Chapter's fleet, a burning halo which is believed by the natives to be the gateway to their ancestor's realm.
Into Arnwarin, great halls and deep caverns are lit by torches and fire, each Brotherhood claiming for itself one of the peak's portion, from the very top for the Suntalons to the ground level for the Stormdaggers. Large passageways link those demesnes to the shared spaces such as the Training Grounds, Apothecarium and Archives of the Chapter. At the heart of the mountain lies the Hall of the Feasts, where the whole Chapter may gather to eat, drink and jest. In their fortified abode the Marauding Eagles may leave behind them their aggressive behavior, pursuing more fulfilling pursuits, such as reflection on the vacuity of existence, writing poetry or learning about their Chapter's past.
Surrounding Arnwarin is a deep and savage forest, where many a trap has been laid, laser-canons and mega-bolters hidden behind great rocks while servitors remains cloaked by vines, waiting for intruders to wander into their line of fire. Aspirants who aren't made Scouts yet patrol the forest, driving away any and all natives who would dare to explore it. After thousands of years of such practice, this forest has become a cursed place in the memory of the natives, who avoid it now, except for the most unconscious, arrogant or despaired people.
Relations with other Chapters
Notable Marauding Eagles
Alaric the Conqueror
Théodoric the Great
Wallia the Wise
Récarède the Son of the Storm
Récarède was the most potent Archivist the Chapter ever produced. Recruited in 001.M.36, he served the Imperium for centuries, blasting away his foes in impressive deflagrations of psychic powers and storms of pyschic lightning. However, his fury was tempered by his training as an Archivist and his wisdom was beyond those of all his brethren, save for his Ansis, Wallia. It was his power which allowed him to sense the terrible entity lurking in the lost starship which had approched Gautgund. He joined the lord of his Chapter and died a terrible and mysterious death. Some pretend that the link established between Wallia and the entity which allowed the Ansis to meave the cursed ship was created by Récarède. However, his involvement and final hours remains shrouded in mystery.
Wulfila the Voice of the Elders
Wulfila is currently the head of his Chapter's Apothecaries. Despite his relative young age, barely 300 years, he has proven to be a genius in term of genetic and preservation of the gene-seed of the Eagles. Like his Brethren, Wulfila is headstrong and abrasive, but contrary to most, he is far from impulsive. His often offer advices of patience to his Ansis, and while they are rarely followed to their fullest, they are always headed. A superlative warrior, Wulfila is often found at the center of the battlefield, where his Brothers fall the most and where harvesting their sacred offerings is most necessary for the Chapter's survival.
Wulfila is one of the most outspoken voices to oppose the acceptation of Primaris Astartes into the Marauding Eagles' ranks. This opposition isn't clearly understood, even if many among his kin suspect that the Voice of the Elders ressent their direct relation to the Great Khan. WHatever the reason, his hostily to the Ultima Founding is well known far beyond the confine of his Chapter.
Euric the Old Eagle
The current Ansis is almost 1,000 years old, and he yet remains a formidable warrior. The burning fury of his Chapter has been tempered by age's wisdom, and his savage cunning is well-supplemented by centuries of experience. Euric originally hailed from the Darkfist Brotherhood, and he is quite used to relying on the same heavy-handed discipline and brutal beatings commonly utilised by the Third Brotherhood to put his Brothers in place. Such behaviour often makes the Marauding Eagles seem more wild than they truly are, but the Old Eagle deems them a necessity. All too often has his Chapter let a berserk frenzy compromise tactical objectives, and while it isn't a grievous flaw when battling alone at the border of the Imperium, it must be weeded out before any engagement alongside forces of the Imperium.
Like all the Ansis before him, Euric craves for glory. His tally of victories is never long enough, and he especially loathes that most of his deeds remain unknown to the wider Imperium. Still, he refuses to leave the usual hunting grounds used by the Marauding Eagles, for fear of some manner of foes crawling out from the dark into the holy territories of the Imperium. One of the rare occasion he truly went far to do battle was during the Indomitus Crusade, and even then it was only during the last thirty years of the century-long crusade, the Ansis wishing to prove to all that no Primaris was needed amongst his kin to achieve successes.
- "I am the punishment of the God-Emperor...If you had not committed great sins, He would not have sent a punishment like me upon you."
- — Alaric the Conqueror, first Ansis (Chapter Master) of the Marauding Eagles
- "There is no greater pleasure and joy than treading down the rebel and conquering the enemy, in tearing him up by the root, in taking from him all that he has."
- — Récarède the Son of the Storm, Chief Librarian of the Marauding Eagles
- "What is best in life? To crush your enemies. See them driven before you. And to hear the lamentation of their women."
- — Attr. Théodoric the Great
- "Now there's some decent heraldry, pity they've got that 'five seconds from slipping into the grips of Chaos' aesthetic going on."