|This article, Maroon Hunters, was written by Lune Crackham. Please do not edit or 'acquire' this fiction without the writer's permission.|
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- "To keep vigil is to live. To live is to fight. To fight is to conquer. To conquer is to protect. We shall carry on with vigilance and leave no planet unconquered!"
- — High-Chaplain Yunus, addressing the Chaplains of the Chapter during a conclave.
The Maroon Hunters are a loyalist, 26th Founding chapter that descends from the gene-seed of the Great Khan, Jaghatai. Founded to patrol the fringes of Segmentum Pacificus and protect it from xenos assaults, the Maroon Hunters have stood compliant to the Codex Astartes and have developed a rather unique culture compared to their primogenitor. A noble and fearsome chapter, they specialize in combating xenos and have adopted expeditionary as well as submissive tactics in order to quickly pacify or conquer a planet. An aggressive chapter when it comes to pacifying xenos, the Maroon Hunters are notorious warriors, fierce combatants and soldiers unwilling to retreat.
The chapter's companies are organized according to Codex Astartes and they do not carry any sort of flaw in their gene seed. However, the chapter has a tendency to keep the places they conquered free from invasion and do their best not to harm the local population. They especially dislike "walk in, burn it, walk out" tactics and prefer to leave a stable ground for the Imperial citizens to prosper on. Thus, they are not as fervent as their primogenitor. The chapter also prefers to keep their colors. Despite countless requests from the Deathwatch, they are rather unwilling to join and have rarely sent brothers to the organization. They also have a very strict sense of honor and brotherhood, going as far as to exile those that contradict their philosophy.
The chapter, most surprisingly, have also adopted a strange policy towards xenos that can be exploited. A rather "radical" act, they have decided to create domineering symbiotic relationships with exploitable xenos and, due to their task at hand, the High Lords of Terra have granted them autonomy regarding this matter, as long as the xenos in question are fervently kept in check. The Chapter has also been in contact with and employed many Rogue Traders in their quest for expanding the Imperium's borders, a well-conceived example being the infamous diplomat and explorer Alphonse Schredit.
The Maroon Hunters, however, despite their rather normal appearance, have a very dark secret that stains their honor. They specifically despise the Inquisition and refuse to cooperate with them as much as possible, due to the fact that their first Chapter Master, Lord High-Commandant Chaka, was executed by an Inquisitor on charges of chaotic corruption. Killed right before the Reclamation of Anotolio ended with success, the death of their chapter master at the hands of an Inquisitor have scarred their belief and trust in the organization. Nevertheless, the next Chapter Master and former 1st Company Captain, Alpinus Aros, let the Inquisitor walk away freely due to the fact that he knew a darker truth.
The Maroon Hunters were found in order to investigate a signal that reached Holy Terra itself, coming from the far edges of Segmentum Pacificus. The signal was a salutation and a call for aid, describing an entire Sub-Sector in need of help. However, said Sub-Sector was deemed lost to the warp during the final stages of the Great Crusade and had apparently reemerged ten millennia later. Wishing to recover said Sub-Sector and ensure that the fringes of Segmentum Pacificus were brought under control, the High Lords of Terra approved the founding of a new chapter.
50 Years later, the chapter, now called the Maroon Hunters, were ready to carry the Emperor's light to the Sub-Sector asking for support. Quickly traveling to the signal's designated location, the Maroon Hunters hastily began a campaign of reclamation on the Anotolion Sub-Sector, fighting for 32 solar years to save it from the invading forces of Chaos. Eventually, they proved to be successful and reclaimed the Sub-Sector entirely. The High Lords of Terra allowed them to settle down in the Sub-Sector and gave it's overall command to the chapter. Settling down, the chapter readied themselves to accomplish their new goal: To secure the Imperium's borders on Segmentum Pacificus and advance it by any means necessary. To this date they continue their mission, pushing the boundaries of the Imperium even further.
Maroon Hunters wear Crimson colored power armor with it's kneecaps, boots, belt and backpacks painted jet black. They also wear golden colored helmets. Captains use laurels and a skull insignia to show their rank while sergeants only use a skull insignia instead. Their soft armor is painted golden yellow, the same color with their helmets. If there is an Aquila on their chest, it is painted golden yellow and if there is an Imperialis symbol instead, the skull is painted bone grey whereas the wings are painted golden yellow yet again.
However, despite this color scheme, Maroon Hunters like showing signs of individualism as they are known to paint their armor, helmets and belts various colors, even adding other sorts of decorations to them. While they do not like displaying parts of their defeated foes on their armor like the White Scars, a practice they outright consider disgusting, they still nonetheless mostly adorn their armor with small trinkets or items of sentimental value.
The badge of the Maroon Hunters is similar to that of an Aquila, with a dark sword on it's center. The blindness of the Aquila signifies that the chapter has no light to look at, a reference to the state of the astronomican in the corners of known space, and the black sword in the middle signifies that they will fight nonetheless, by any means necessary.
However, to those in the chapter's command squad, it also has a way darker meaning. The blindness of the Aquila signifies their ignorance when it came to the corruption of their former Chapter Master Chaka and the black blade in the middle is their curse, the daemon sword of Lubricanux, hidden deep inside the chapter's Fortress Monastery. To them, the existence of Lubricanux is a disaster they were unable to prevent and thus, they had to shame themselves for an eternity by shielding the daemon blade from the rest of the Galaxy. They fight for the Imperium, yet they are also the vigilant protectors and keepers of the daemon blade, lest it's corruption spreads to the entire Sub-Sector. They are fierce warriors, yet warriors betrayed from the beginning, and now, they have to carry the scars of the betrayal deep down inside in order to shield humanity and their Sub-Sector from this grave threat.
Anotolio is a Civilized World on the edge of the Segmentum Pacificus. Having been brought back into the light of the Astronomican by the Maroon Hunters, the planet has since prospered under their rule and became a hub of trade as well as growing industry. With it's main exports being only minerals and basic equipment, Anotolio has nevertheless managed to maintain a growing economy and always ensured that it was on a surpulus.
The planet pays the Imperial Tithe directly to the Maroon Hunters in the form of both manpower and basic workforce, as well as food, whereas the chapter allows the planet to export it's products to other systems and planets, even most graciously providing protection in rare cases. The planet is ruled directly by the chapter, with their Chapter Master being the Planetary Governor of Anotolio, also known as the Lord High-Commandant. The people and the Maroon Hunters have formed close ties over millennia and there is mutual like and respect between the chapter and the people.
- "See that big building over there? Yeah, that's the Space Marines' Fortress Monastery. Pretty colossal building, honestly. Nevertheless, those big guys in there are pretty decent employers. Come now, we have a business to handle!"
- —Rogue Trader Alphonse Schredit to Arch-Militant Erika, talking about Blade's Fall as their transport prepares to land into hangar bay 44.
The Chapter has built it's Fortress Monastery on the spot where their legendary figure, Lord High-Commandant Chaka, fell. Named Blade's Fall in honor of his nickname, which was the Lightning Blade, the Fortress-Monastery has been built by the cooperative work of the people of Anotolio and the Maroon Hunters. A colossal building that dwarfs all the structures in the entire Anotolion Sub-Sector, the Fortress Monastery not only became the new palace of the Planetary Governor, but also the heart of the new Sub-Sector's capital.
Consisting of innumerable rooms and corridors with many tasks, the Blade's Fall hides many secrets as well as housing an entire chapter. Behind numerous secret doors and passageways, lies the heart of the Fortress Monastery, only known as the "Blade Room". Within it's halls stands 4 stoic Space Marines, the mightiest psykers the Maroon Hunters have ever seen. In the center of the room is an altar and on top of it is a single, mighty blade. It is Lubricanux, the daemon blade that stains the chapter. It falls to these four brave librarians to keep vigil and hold the blade's power in check for an eternity. Their task is grave, yet unknown to anyone except the Command Squad. These battle brothers are referred to as the "Keepers" and, with their names struck from the chapter's records, their sole task is to protect the indestructible daemon blade, torture the daemon within for information and most importantly, to prevent it from acting as a beacon to call forces of chaos forth. In their eternal solitude and servitude, these brave heroes protect the dark stain within the chapter's core and make sure that the infection does not spread.
Notable Maroon Hunters
- Lord High Commandant Alpinus Aros:...
- Lord High-Commandant Chaka Pyron: Chaka was the first Chapter Master of the Maroon Hunters, having been chosen thanks to his quick thinking and charisma. A warrior of immense power, Chaka was nonetheless a desperate man. Dubbed "the lightning blade" thanks to his speed and proficiency with swords, Chaka preferred using short range weapons and getting into melee combat as fast as possible. A mighty warrior and leader, he led through the front lines, always thinking ahead and planning to advance even further, as well as being a stubborn commander and having complete faith in his plans. When tasked with retaking the Anotolion Sub-Sector, which had recently reemerged after being lost during the Great Crusade, he set out to achieve this task. He led the chapter through the 32 year long campaign, retaking all the 7 systems that now make up the Anotolion Sub-Sector. Nevertheless, dark gifts he had brought with him thanks to his desperation eventually became his downfall as he was slain by Inquisitor Celedes Syla after he confessed his corruption by wielding Lubricanux, a mighty power sword which housed the essence of a greater Daemon of Tzeentch. Nevertheless, his corruption was hidden from the rest of the Maroon Hunters and he eventually became a figure of inspiration within the chapter.
- Chief Librarian Kyron Erhand: Kyron was the Maroon Hunters' Chief Librarian, a man with legendary psychic powers. He fought alongside Chaka as the Maroon Hunters reclaimed the Anotolion Sub-Sector, only to learn the truth behind the power of his friend and leader. A stoic and farsighted individual, he nevertheless had his suspicions, so he secretly sealed the command bunker when Chaka called him and all the command squad, as well young Alpinus and an Inquisitor to meet with him. There, with the truth uncovered, he fought against his friend, eventually managing to slay him alongside Alpinus and Celedes Syla. Taking Lubricanux with him, he roamed Anotolio for a couple of years in disguise as many thought that he was incinerated to death, since it was what Alpinus had told them. He carried the blade with vigilance and did his best to keep it in check, albeit it was too powerful to be destroyed. Called back by the new Chapter Master Alpinus, he placed Lubricanux on the Blade Room and valiantly sacrificed himself when he saw that the daemon was trying to create an illusion of Chaka, giving the librarians within the Blade Room the perfect opportunity to trap it. It is unknown if his soul has perished inside the blade or locked in a battle within it, but his body had remained collapsed near the altar ever since, appearing stoic and stationary.
The Maroon Hunters specialise in surgical strikes and expeditionary assaults, thus maintain a strong naval presence that is mostly composed of escorts. Nevertheless, the chapter also maintains rather slower vessels like batlle barges or strike cruisers as well. The Chapter Fleet is broken up to Expeditionary Fleets, with Captains being in command of a fleet each. There is also the Guardian Fleet which is commanded by Master of the Fleet Seyrus, whose task is to guard the Anotolion Sub-Sector.
- Battle Barge Gloria: The flagship of the Chapter Fleet as well as the Guardian Fleet, and a renowned engine of war, Gloria is a jack of all trades, featuring a good balance between short and long ranges. Heavily modified to be extremely fast yet durable, she is a true force of destruction under the command of the daring Master of the Fleet, Seyrus.
- Battle Barge Vigilance: The flagship of the 1st Expeditionary Fleet, Vigilance is an extremely durable Battle Barge, being modified to take even the most perilous amounts of damage and yet function. Under the command of the Chapter Master, Lord High-Commandant Alpinus Aros, Vigilance is most notorious for it's deadlines at short range.
- Battle Barge Anotolio: The flagship of the 2nd Expeditionary Fleet, Anotolio is under the direct command of the fiery and passionate Captain Luximus Aphios, Captain of the 2nd Company. Designed to be a ship specialising in expeditionary missions, Anotolio bolsters a higher amount of carrying space as well as the capability of unleashing deadly planetary bombardments, thanks to it's archeotech missile system.
- Battle Barge Chimaera: Commanded by the cold and calculative Captain of the 3rd Company, Thairos Doira, Chimaera is the flagship of the 3rd Expeditionary Fleet. A Battle Barge capable of fast movement, Chimaera is also outfitted with an extra engine room and prominent long range weaponry. Trusting on the fleet's escorts to handle short range, Chimaera focuses on long range fighting instead, taking advantage of it's capability to maneuver faster compared to most other ships.
- Strike Cruiser Dominator:...
- Strike Cruiser Admonitor:...
- Strike Cruiser Constrainer:...
- Strike Cruiser Cor Fortium:...
- Strike Cruiser Prominence:...
- Strike Cruiser Audax:...
- Strike Cruiser Tempest:...
- Strike Cruiser Raptor:...
The daemon blade wielded by the Maroon Hunter's first Chapter Master Chaka, which was given to him by an unknown Inquisitor struck from Imperial Records. The blade is an artifact of immense might and power, for it carries the essence of a Greater Daemon of Tzeentch. The blade powers itself through the willpower of the wielder, acting as mirror of the wielder's charisma and willpower and granting it various abilities based on their personality as well as acting as a normal power sword. Yet, the blade has a mind of it's own and a cost for it's gift. The daemon within grows when used, draining it's wielder's willpower and strength. Eventually, it becomes stronger than the wielder and the wielder has no choice but to rely upon it, lest he risks losing his power and reveal his degeneration. The blade eventually takes all the strength of the wielder if used for long enough, absorbing it's soul and adding it to it's power in order to become far greater.
It was this blade that doomed the first Chapter Master of the Maroon Hunters, for he held it within his grasp throughout the Reclamation of Anotolio, never leaving the blade behind. Yet, under the sight of the chapter's old Command Squad as well as the 1st Company Captain Alpinus Aros and Inquisitor Celedes Syla, he confessed the truth as the final war drifted towards a victory and deemed that the blade had taken all that he had from him, that he was an empty carcass now. He begged them to kill him in order to stop Lubricanux. The Daemon, on the other hand, responded with easily taking over his body, turning Chaka into his pawn. Caught off-guard, all the remaining marines fought the daemon inside the forward command bunker of the Maroon Hunters, which was sealed off by the Chapter's Chief Librarian Kyron, for he had already suspected the truth. From the 11 Maroon Hunters inside, only Kyron and Alpinus survived as Syla dealt the final blow, freeing Chaka's soul for a brief time, who muttered in his last breath that he had to use the blade in order to save Anotolio and that with his fall, his victory was complete.
However, his mistake was soon realized. The blade, having entirely absorbed Chaka's soul, now called for Kyron, entering the librarian's mind and taunting him to wield it. The librarian did so, only to keep the blade in control. With the command bunker open again, Alpinus and Kyron secretly fled the scene and left Syla to deal with the arriving Maroon Hunters. Kyron had to spend the entirety of his strength to maintain the blade's anger and keep it's powers in check. Alpinus, on the other hand, quickly returned and saved Syla from an execution as well as hastily becoming the next Chapter Master.
For a couple of years Kyron roamed Anotolio, disguising himself as many things and waiting for the call of Alpinus. The call eventually came and Kyron returned to the place where Chaka fell, only to see the half-completed Fortress Monastery standing in it's place. Through a secret corridor he was taken to the blade room where Alpinus reintroduced him to the 4 most prominent librarians of the chapter, all being his fellow comrades and aware of the truth. They secretly proceeded into the Blade Room and Kyron placed Lubricanux in the altar. Backing away, he joined the librarians as they spent their combined power to destroy the blade, something Kyron alone had failed. The blade, however, resisted and utterly crushed their attempt. As it formed a look similar to that of Chaka, Kyron realized the grave reality: The blade was using their power and diverting it to materialize itself. Charging forth, he dispersed the appearing body and merged his essence with the blade, spending his last power to enter Lubricanux. The other four librarians, understanding the opening provided to them, channeled their power to trap the Daemon instead. Their minds taken into the blade, all the four librarians froze, deadlocking Lubricanux and themselves, alongside Kyron, into an unending psychic warfare. With Kyron's body positioned near the altar, all the figures have stood stoic ever since. However, in extremely rare occasions, these Keepers actually talk, speaking of prophecies and precious pieces of information. Only the chapter's Command Squad is aware of this room and even then, they can only enter alongside Alpinus. With the blade neutralized and the taint within the chapter kept in check, it falls on to these brave men to hide the reality from their brothers.