Deathwatch: Scything Talons
“Strike swift! Aim True! Leave the enemy no quarter!”
The Arc Knights are successor chapter of the Imperial Fists. Their Chapter’s Homeworld is Nia.
+++History of the Arc Knights+++
The Arc Knights are part of the 23rd Founding of the 37th Millennium, known as the Sentinel Founding as it was created to aid the Imperium’s defenses in numerous ill-starred and vulnerable areas of the galaxy. Just beyond The Veiled Region of the Segmentum Tempestus, a distress signal was intercepted calling for help against a “Shadow across the Warp” and that if it wasn’t stopped, it would endanger the sector.
The High Lords of Terra decree the foundation of The Arc Knights. These knights are to set out on their quest with the Ignis Fleet, compromising of the Battle Barge Excelion and two Retribution-Class Battleships: The Radiant Bulwark and Song of Swords. On their journey towards The Veiled Region, they fought many of the Imperium’s enemies
On the rim of the vastly uncharted Veiled Region, the Arc Knights encountered a Warp Storm. All contact with the Ignis Fleet was lost to the Imperium from that day. The bell of lost souls toll yet again as another chapter was claimed by the Warp. This was not the end of the Arc Knights however, this was merely the beginning of their quest.
The Ignis fleet miraculously get through the Warp Storm unscathed. With their position unknown, and there being an interference with any communication anywhere, they make for the nearest planet. As the Thunderhawks made their approach, the planet they were heading towards resembled earth in her earlier years. The blue and green color of the planet from a far was a rare sight in the galaxy. As the thunderhawks closed in for landing, the unmistakable Medieval-Gothic architecture tell that this Imperial planet could very well have been where the distress signal originated from.
The Arc Knights 1st company now disembark from their thunderhawks, and methodically secured the area to no avail. What greeted them were cheering crowds and merriment. The people of this planet felt to have been welcoming old heroes that had made their long-awaited return. A parade was held throughout the whole kingdom for the Arc Knights. The Queen of the Planet Nia them that a smaller heresy-era fleet of Imperial Fists had arrived the same way they did a few thousand years ago. The Sons of Dorn helped the planet Nia reach its Golden Age as they governed for a few years. The land knew peace of prosperity during those years; up until the Xenos appeared. The Imperial Fists make their valiant stand and drove the vile xenos and their grotesque void ships back. Though, in hoping to deliver the final blow, they were caught in the FTL jump drive the xenos had used to escape. With much sadness, those Sons of Dorn had not made it back ever since.
The Arc Knights now lay claim Nia as their Homeworld. They make hasty preparations for the inevitable Xenos attack. They don’t know when or where the xenos will attack, but the Arc Knights will be ready to defend their homeworld. As 7 Months pass by, the Xenos arrive in a bigger force compared to before. The Arc Knights make their solemn oath to finish the Xenos in honor of their fallen Imperial Fist brethren. The Ignis fleet unleash a furious volley of imperial might the likes of which these Xenos had never seen before. The Ignis fleet had utilized the Buster Pattern technology which tore straight through the ranks of the Xenos ships.
The Xenos would not be defeated so easily however. The lesser damaged xenos ships started separating and plummeted towards the Arc Knight homeworld. From the debris that landed, the Xenos swarmed out in relentless hordes. Ranging from smaller, agile creatures that had scythes for arms, to hulking behemoths that could easily crush an astartes rhino with its massive claws. The Xenos now show their face to the Arc Knights, a face they will never forget.
The battle for Nia lasted for several weeks as they purged the xenos off their Homeworld. Many brave Knights fell in defense of their beloved homeworld, as Astartes and Nian Knights all bled alike. The Arc Knights found victory against the xenos horde as they found the chink in its armor. The smaller xenos relied on the larger ones for its commands, and without them, the smaller xenos wouldn’t act. This weakness was found as the legendary Slayer Squad Falk charged into the center of a horde, cleaving their way through the swarm to eliminate the larger creatures. Their guess was correct, and if they were wrong, it would cost of the lives of the whole squad.
The final week of this battle was where the Arc Knights suffered the heaviest losses. Laid seeded underneath a mountain, a gigantic winged Xenos emerged from the underground. Resembling the mythological Dragon form tales of old, this Xenos beast dominated the land and skies of Nia, wreaking havoc as it burnt and destroyed its way through the little defenses the planet had. The beast could not be dealt with so easily as even Lascannons would simply bounce off the impenetrable Warp Field protecting the beast. Even the Arc Knight Buster Pattern Bolters would be all but useless against it.
Losses and sacrifices have been made known to the Arc Knights this day, and none of them would be left in vain.
Cieska along with the Grand Master Artorius make a final effort to slay the beast. She tells Artorius that she has seen this beast in her dreams, and believes that with her pariah abilities, they can defeat it.
Artorius’ cavalry-command squad along with Queen Cieska make their way towards the winged-beast. As the cavalry charges in, the Xenos beast swoops in to breath its Warp Fire that decimated many of the Arc Knights. The cavalry was completely eaten by the black flame for a moment and then suddenly bursts out it unharmed. Cieska nullified the psychic powers of the beast. Now was the time to strike.
Before the beast finished its run, the Cavalry-Command Squad fire their graviton guns into the beast. The graviton gun’s use makes up for its short range as it turns your enemies armor against itself. The shots connect and crushes the beast’s chitinous armor plates into its soft flesh.
Now grounded and a bloodied, the winged beast was vulnerable. The calvalry charge as they unload their twin-linked buster pattern bolters into the beast. As they make their charge, the Xenos Dragon welcomes them with a stronger torrent of warp fire. Cieska still manages to nullify it, but not for long. It had taken a toll on her as the beast’s psychic power was too strong.
Only Artorius and Cieska manage to survive the torrent, and only barely. Cieska musters all of her remaining strength to nullify the Warp Field as Artorius charges on foot towards the beast. With the block of his storm shield, and a quick ripostes into the beast, Artorius and Cieska successfully slayed the beast.
The heroic sacrifice and immense bravery of both Grand Master Artorius and Queen Cieska live on in the hearts of the people of Nia. Without them, Nia would have fallen.
There was little time to celebrate the victory because soon as the xenos dragon was slain, it seemed to have triggered a warp anomaly. The anomaly could be seen through the skies of nia, fully engulfing the planet in a calming and serene light, reminiscent of the aurora borealis.
The planet’s position was changed, as it now nestled itself in the middle of Segmentum Tempestus. There are many theories on how the planet managed to make it through the warp without any gellar field protection. It is common belief among the people of Nia that it was their Queen’s power that protected the whole planet from the immaterium. As the warp has many random occurrences, the answer can never be truly known. The people still believe that if the queen could defy the great dragon with her powers, she could also defy the warp.
Even in their grievous condition, Arc Knights quickly sent word to Terra of the Xenos they have defeated and to warn the Imperium of this threat.
It was all too late as millenia had already passed.
Tyran had already fallen.
The Imperium had given their Arch-Enemy a name in memory of the fallen planet:
Just as nebulas collapse to birth a star.
Know this pain, this loss, and this sacrifice.
That day was not our destruction.
It was our birth.
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The Feudal World of Nia had history that dated back to the latter part of the great crusade. The planet had hidden numerous astartes STCs that originated from their Imperial Fist brethren. Due to this, the Arc Knights have access to many rare archeotech. While it is an Impressive collection, it is still dull in comparison to that of the Dark Angels.
Technology on the planet was scarce at best, only the upper classes had strict access to firearms, while only the noble had access to more devastating and rare weaponry like bolt-pistols and power swords. The planet was very traditional and kept the art of the sword in honor of Imperial Fist tradition.
The Royal House of Lacris ruled over Nia for many years. Declared the royal family by the Imperial Fists, House Lacris sought to emulate all of their teachings and ruled over the planet with a stern and just iron fist. Never exempt from war or strife, uprisings and civil wars are ended up being nothing but history. The Imperial Creed guided both the noble and lowborn, as only fools deviate from the Creed, as well as the fear of the Emperor’s divine retribution if they so chose to stray.
As the Arc Knights discovered Nia, it was under the rule of a young queen. The fate of House Lacris was equal in greatness as it was in tragedy. Cieska Lacris had been the sole survivor of a lictor attack. Being a pariah, the young princess was invisible to the lictor. It seemed that the early form of the lictor operated directly through the psychic tyranid hive-mind and was therefore unseen to the xenos assassin.
To the people of Nia, this was divine proof that she was destined to their Queen. She ruled with the heart of her mother, and the will of her father.
Much of the organization of the Arc Knights originate from the tactics that won them Battle for Nia. The Arc Knights knew that the Tyranid horde would overrun their defenses in a matter of days. Grand Master Artorius knew the battle called for a more offensive strategy. Deviating from the Codex-Astartes, many changes and units were made to enhance the Arc Knights’ lightning swift assault that brought them victory.
A specialized unit called Slayers became the backbone of the Arc Knights. They fulfilled many roles as the spear-tip of the Arc Knight Assault. Slayer Squads would be equipped with a mix of bolters and close-combat weapons and would either arrive VIA Stormeagle or fly through the battlefield using Jump Packs.
These were the elite knights that served House Lacris. With the death of the King and Queen Lacris, the land was in turmoil. These ever-loyal knights stood by the young Cieska as she was still the true heir to the crown. The Knights of the Royal Guard kept the peace as they halted anything that posed a threat against the – now – Queen Ceiska.
In honor and memory of these brave knights that did not falter in their duty, they are forever remembered in the ranks of the Arc Knights’ Royal Guard. They are outfitted by the best gear available to the Arc Knights. With their personal teleporters and power-broadswords, they emulate the very battle-cry of the Arc Knights.
Favoring the taste of close-quarters combat, the Arc Knights charge into their enemies with the fiery oratory of Chaplains. The Knights Banneret do not adhere to the name Chaplain nor wear the fearsome skull helmet. As the name implies, these Knights carry the heraldry of House Lacris on their backpack-mounted banner. These Knights command close-combat units, such as slayers, into the heart of the battlefield.
Arc Knight Ranks
Squire – Scout
Knight – Battle-Brother
Knight-Errant – Currently in serving the Deathwatch
Chapter High Command
Techmarine – Techsmith
Master of the Forge – Forgesmith
Knight Banneret – Chaplain
Magister – Librarian
Grand Master – Chapter Master
The Arc Knights regard serving the Deathwatch as the most noble of quests. The ties between the Ordo Xenos and the Arc Knights go back as far as their very foundation.
To become part of the Veteran 1st company, a battle-brother must complete their service in the deathwatch. Many of the Arc Knight Command Squads and Honor Guard wear the Deathwatch Veteran Pouldron to distinguish a high rank.
+++Chapter Combat Doctrine+++
Originally as a Fleet-Based chapter, the Arc Knights favor rapid strike tactics, and as such, field additional contingents of cavalry and jump troops. Speed and relentless attacks are the specialty of the Arc Knights, although their pride in their prowess occasionally led them into overconfidence, when a more rationally governed Space Marine Chapter might have otherwise retreated or withdrawn. The Arc Knights believe that they bring honor and glory to their father as they defy the odds.
The Arc Knights view the God Emperor more as a Father than as a God. While still strict adherents to the Imperial Creed, they believe that as a father, he wanted what was best for Mankind. As a father, he held his children in high regard in the things they could achieve; in the things humanity could achieve. The God Emperor believed in his astartes-sons, more than anything. The Emperor knew that mankind’s destiny lay among the stars, and with his astartes-sons, this was achievable.
The Arc Knights regard their traitor-brethen as lower than filth for this reason. They denied their own father his dream; the dream of the human race united under the one banner of their father.
The fervent hatred for Tyranids will always burn in their hearts. The see the Tyranids as the worst of mankind’s enemies as it slowly consumes at the glorious Imperium their father had built. The Arc Knights will never refuse a battle against their Xenos Arch-Enemy. Even with their dwindling numbers, they will always make their stand against the Tyranids.
As the Arc Knights field non-codex compliant units such as Slayers and Royal Guard, special markings are used by these squads.
Slayer Squads do not have squad markings the same way tactical, assault or devastator squads have. Instead, they wear the heraldry of house Lacris on their right shoulder-pad.
As the most elite veteran status attainable before reaching the rank of captain and higher, The Royal Guard bring their family great honor by being given the opportunity to wear their own house heraldry on their shoulder. This is considered a very high honor among the Arc Knights.
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Primarch’s Curse: No matter the odds
The Arc Knights stood upon the edge of destruction and managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. These hot-blooded Arc Knights fight with more fervor when situations become bleak. Bearing their utmost pride as the Sons of the Emperor, They will show their enemies just who in the warp do they think they are.
- Level 1 ():
The Arc Knight feels the weight of his failures bear on him even more. The pride of an Arc Knight is unshakable, but self-doubt is its own poison.
An Arc Knight must pass a Challenging (+0) Willpower test or suffer 1 level of fatigue as the mission starts.
- Level 2 ():
The Battle for Nia echoes through the generations of Arc Knights. As early as Squire training, the history of this battle is imparted among these young aspirants. The heroic deeds and lives of the fallen are forever remembered.
In their fiery hearts, and on the Symbol they carry on their shoulders, their Queen and their Brothers live on.
When a trigger event occurs, a challenging (+0) Willpower test must be made his ancestor surfaces for 1d5 hours.
*They suffer serious wounds
*Their Battle-Brother/s suffer serious wounds
*Mortal lives are in grave danger
Basically, if this happens, I turn the Hotblooded switch on.
- Level 3 ():
The Arc Knights have proven the odds wrong with their vicory against insurmountable odds. Both destroying a tyranid hive fleet as well as saving their homeworld. The burning-blood of an Arc Knight cannot be contained anymore as he has little regard for his life in the pursuit of victory.
An Arc Knight will stop at nothing to bring down the most dangerous enemy or achieve the hardest objective. A hard (-20) Willpower test must be made before the mission or the Arc Knight will set out on a personal mission to bring honor to his kill-team.
If the Arc Knight succeeds the test, he gains a +10 to any attribute…
and will end up probably doing the same thing.
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Foundation: M37 – 23rd Sentinel Founding
Geneseed: Imperial Fists stock, New generation. ( Loss of Betcher’s Gland, Sus-an Membrane, and Omophagea)
Chapter Demeanor: Suffer not the Xenos to Live
Chapter Bonus Attributes: +5WS +5AGI
Figures of Legend: Grand Master Artorius and Queen Cieska’s heroic sacrifice to defeat the Dragon of Hive Fleet Nidhoggr.
Combat Doctrine: Swift Cavalry Assaults along with Jump Troops
Special Equipment: Archeotech
Chapter Beliefs: Honor the Ancestors
Chapter Status: Endangered
Chapter Friends: Deathwatch
Strength of Arms Advancement Table
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