Hello, and welcome to my new blog, detailing the creation of my very own space marines chapter, the Dawn Crusaders. I am a relative noob to 40k, but I love the hobby, and I will post my thoughts on the game and upcoming products on occasion.
So, to get started, I will give you some background on the Dawn Crusaders. Get comfy, this may take a little while. ;)
The Dawn Crusaders are a 26th Founding Chapter, and trace their lineage back to the Destroyers. The Destroyers, like the White Scars before them, were dedicated to fast attacks. They, and especially their veteran First Company, were highly skilled at combating the vile forces of Chaos.
While the Destroyers' home fleet was orbiting Justice Rock 600 years ago, they were attacked and boarded by a contingent of the Night Lords Legion. Without their valued maneuverability, much of the Destroyers' specialized combat doctrine was useless. The battle for the fleet was bloody and fierce. Though they only lost one of their barges, the Destroyers required a great deal of time to recover from their troop losses.
One hero of the Destroyer Fleet Incident, as it came to be known, was Brother Captain Broderick, head of the 2nd Company and chief of the defense forces on the battle barge Eagle’s Malice. He and two squads of his elite tactical marines had been pushed back to the bridge of the vessel, and were fighting desperately to hold it. They viciously held their hard points, using heavy weapons and frag grenades judiciously against their seemingly endless foes. While Broderick and his men defended the bridge from the Traitors, a Chaos Champion named Maldroth appeared with his personal guard, slaughtering all in his wake. He challenged Broderick to single combat. The two dueled, each scoring hits on the other as their soldiers around them slew one another. Finally, the loyalist captain gained the upper hand, and drove his power sword up through Maldroth’s gut. With his dying breath, the Chaos warrior hissed, “This isn’t over. The Empire is waning! Soon, night will fall on mankind...forever!”
Spitting in the Champion’s face, Broderick replied, “Night may be coming, but we fight for a new dawn!” Their champion having been slain, the few remaining Night Lord forces aboard the Eagle’s Malice retreated, and the ship was secure. Upon giving his report after the battle, the chapter master commended Broderick for his efforts, and for his highly trained tactical squads. As the First Company captain had fallen in battle, Broderick was up for re-assignment.
Broderick was a key player in the Destroyers throughout the next three centuries, honing the skills of the Destroyers' tactical squads and specializing his veterans in guerilla and urban combat. A century later, the High Lords of Terra decreed that the Destroyers would be honored with a successor chapter both for their loyal service, and because the forces of Chaos seemed to be ever increasing in their attacks from the Eye of Terror. Broderick and his company were selected to establish the chapter and train the new recruits. When it came time to name his chapter, he received a vision during meditation concerning his vendetta against the Night Lords, and what he had said to the dying Maldroth. The master then named his new chapter the Dawn Crusaders.
The Dawn Crusaders set up a stronghold on a colony world in the Genevas system, Genevas IV. The system is located in the Scarus Sector of Segmentum Obscurus. The planet is a developing agri-world, and is mostly arboreal. The long term plan is to clear most of the forests to make room for more farmland. The wildlife is plentiful and dangerous, and anyone unprepared to defend himself often becomes a meal for one of the vicious predators of this world. Such dangers have their uses to the Astartes. Scouts of this Chapter begin combat training by hunting the native wildlife in sniper teams, and with pistols and knives should they be ambushed by their quarry. After a recruit has slain enough of the wild, six legged Genovite Panthers and more rare Crematorian Hydras to prove his worth, he is allowed to enter active combat duty and travel with the chapter into whatever battles they are called to. It is not uncommon, however, for even higher officers to go hunting whenever they are not on duty to keep themselves in good sharpshooting condition.
The established society of the colony is very close-knit. The dangers faced have developed a survivalist spirit amongst the populace, and they look out for one another’s interests. This means that the people from Genevas IV are suitable for recruitment: tempered by hardship and loyal to allies.
The Dawn Crusaders method of recruitment is somewhat unorthodox. To select trainees the Dawn Crusaders send out Chaplains among the populace of Genevas IV to preach the glory of the Emperor and hatred for his foes. In order to be accepted as a chapter Chaplain, the spiritual leader must recruit ten young men each year through his oratory. This helps to facilitate a quick indoctrination of able-bodied recruits by filling them with zeal of purpose prior to entering the Crusaders’ monestary.
Relations with the citizens and Imperial Guard regiments are closer than in most chapters, though not close enough to be called friendly. The local populace is forbidden from entering their sanctuary during peace time unless they are new recruits. If the world were ever to come under siege, however, the Adeptus Astartes would open its doors for a certain number of refugees. In terms of public presence, only the Chaplains and Apothecaries are frequently seen: the Chaplains to preach, the Apothecaries to perform medical services for those gravely injured. Additionally, Broderick is considered to be something of the planet’s true lord, because Governor Belikov frequently asks him for advice, when Broderick makes time for him.
The Dawn Crusaders differ in some ways from their Destroyer progenitors, but still stay close to the Codex Astartes. Though they use assault infantry, they have fewer numbers of them than the Destroyers, due to Broderick’s personal bias for tactical squads and his remembrance of the Destroyer Fleet Incident. They also do not use many vehicles in combat, with the exception of the Dreadnought. Theirs is a chapter dedicated heavily to infantry tactics.
Their most frequent opponents have been the traitorous Chaos legions, both defensively and offensively. This is due not only to their proximity to the Eye of Terror, but also to Broderick’s personal vendetta against the Night Lords who slaughtered so many of his men. The chapter’s most notable victory was in their defense of Scela, aiding the PDF forces in the repulsion of the hated Word Bearers. Using their extensive knowledge of urban combat, they managed to drive the Legions out of the major cities surrounding the capital, forcing their foes back meter by meter and eventually off world. The chapter has also made headway against Ork tribes found on Chinchare, driving them from one of its larger islands and establishing an easily defensible OpsCenter to monitor fleet activities at the very lid of the Eye of Terror.
The chapter is not without its defeats, however. During a crusade to liberate the colony Hope’s Landing on the moon of Veloris from the Iron Warriors, nearly the entire 6th Company was wiped out at what became known as the Jayne’s Ridge Massacre. Historically, the Dawn Crusaders’ lack of heavy vehicles has been their undoing on more open worlds, which is why they prefer staging operations in dense jungle or urban terrain. The chapter has learned its lesson well, and has since refused to fight in large, open ground situations similar to the Hope’s Landing incident if it can be avoided.
The Dawn Crusaders are organized in a similar manner to that in the Codex Astartes, but they have more of an emphasis on the importance of Chaplains than Librarians in any army. This is due to practicality more than anything else: it wouldn’t do to have a psyker go rouge during the midst of an operation, and the Chaplains often inspire the men to greater feats of heroism for the Imperium. As such, Librarians are rarely ever fielded, and are always under careful scrutiny.
The Dawn Crusaders believe that the Imperium is entering into a dark and increasingly threatening age as Maldroth said, but that a new Golden Age is coming. They also believe that they have a responsibility to preserve the life of the citizens of the Imperium if they can. If at all possible, they will aid civilians in times of war, but will not do so if it is tactically inadvisable. Additionally, if the taint of chaos has infected a population, they are willing to exterminate the source, no matter how close to home. Broderick and his chapter believe that Chaos serves as a dire warning of what mankind is truly capable of. As such, they are prepared to be as shining examples of what man should strive to be.
Like the Destroyers, since they are so near the Eye of Terror, the Dawn Crusaders believe that there are many worlds that need their aid. They will often send out three companies on crusades to aid Imperial worlds blighted by Chaos’ taint in the Scarus Sector. The Dawn Crusaders have even been known to conduct minor raids on Chaos worlds, sizing them up for future operations.
The geneseed of the Dawn Crusaders is derived from the Destroyers line. Their most notable divergence from standard geneseed is that the Crusaders’ third lung implants are prone to pneumothoraxes during toxic atmosphere operations, reducing their combat effectiveness on death worlds.
Pre/Post-battle: “Viriscit vulnere virtus!” (Courage grows strong at a wound.)
In battle: Either “Invictus maneo!” (I remain unvanquished,) or “For the Dawn!”
Chapter Master Broderick
Chief Librarian Vesalius
Colors: Sanguine red, yellow-orange, white, and silver.
Chapter Icon: Black double-bladed battle axe.
Ok, that's good for now. I'll post some model work soon!