Sanctus Ordos Volcanus Vipera

“Like Legends”

- The Viper’s answer to the challenge of Inquisitor Lord Cathrin on how the Vipers make war with but two hundred Marines

Cursed Guardians

“A thousand warriors shall guard this Gate a thousand millennia more”
- Proclamation of the Vipers’ charge of the Arx Gate

Supposedly from the cursed 21st Founding, the Sanctus Ordos Volcanus Vipera (to give their full High Gothic name) were formed as one of the Astartes Praeses, twenty (now eighteen) Chapters who guard against threats emerging from the Eye of Terror. Like most of that Founding, the source of their Gene-Stock was purged from Imperial records. Given the mutations attributed to those counted amongst the 21st, this already counts the Chapter as untrusted by the Inquisition and other Imperial organizations.

It should be noted that they are not to be confused with the Viper Legion Chapter. While that Chapter is also counted amongst the Astartes Praeses, they are stationed in the Aurelius system, while the Volcanic Vipers are stationed as guardians of the Arx Gate. There are no formal ties between the two Chapters as the Viper Legion is not of the 21st Founding.

A World of Fire and Darkness

“This world attracts vile creatures the likes of which you are powerless to comprehend”
- Remembrancer Saulan Lok on the Viper’s homeworld

Originally a Fleet-Bound Chapter, they eventually settled on a lone planet beside the unstable Arx Gate, a semi-stable warp-route exiting the Eye of Terror around late M36. It is said that the Fabricator-General of Mars had a hand in choosing their settlement, not simply for protection of a Mechanicus outpost. This world was never given a name and is described as a near-uninhabitable giant ball of molten rock, forty times the size of Holy Terra, tidally bound to its supergiant star. Due to the strange effects of the Eye of Terror, the planet’s gravity is not consistent with its mass, averaging slightly over that of Holy Terra in some areas, but can crush a man with little to no warning in others.

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Chosen due to its inhospitable and remote location, it was no small surprise that they found a modest human population surviving on the side facing away from their star. This hardy people have lived in the shadow of both their sun and the baleful gaze of the Eye of Terror for millennia uncounted and emerged relatively unscathed. While the planet’s system was overcome from time to time by the leading edges of the Eye, most of the population was pure enough to be spared from the fiery purge that the Vipers unleashed.

The population survived by banding together in the ancient Hive Cities that their planet has yet to claim, self-enclosed spheres floating in the molten oceans. Once annexed by the Vipers, they discovered a trove of Archaeotech designs from the Dark Age and learned much about the ways of the forge. Over time, the traditions of the Chapter would be influenced by the ways of the artificer just as their proximity to the Eye and the radiation of their supergiant star would have effects on their Gene-Seed.

Another feature of the planet was that it in turn also held a frozen Terra-sized moon in its tidal grip, well within its penumbra and spared their star’s direct heat. It would be here that the Vipers would create the beginnings of an agricultural base, giving them self-sufficiency and the capacity to sustain a larger population. With their planet’s material resources and their moon’s modest capacity for agriculture, the Vipers are one of the few Chapters that can claim true independence from the greater Imperium. It is said that the Viper’s model of self-sustenance was the inspiration for the Lathe World’s Rustica Mandate, but the time gap between the two leaves this theory doubtful.

Over the millenia, countless battles against daemons and other psychically-attuned creatures to protect the Gate have swayed the population over time to see the Vipers as their leaders and protectors, especially when the Eye expands and flares. The battles against the denizens of the Warp have affected the crystal formations found upon their home, the deaths and warp echoes transforming the crystals into something unique. It would come to pass centuries later that the crystals were useful as Warp conductors or insulators depending on how they were processed. Ultimately however, they had properties similar to those found in Cinderus XI, the sole source of focusing crystals for Volcano Cannons and the like. If this was the reason for the late Fabricator-General’s manipulation of events, none but those who have access to the Altar of All Knowledge upon Mars can say.

A noted application of the crystals are that they of a high enough grade to be used in the creation of Psy-weaponry, a fact that that Vipers were quick to leverage in exchange for the knowledge to recreate these ancient weapons. Surely the Grey Knights would balk at the idea of their Chapter’s secrets being divulged by the Priests of Mars.

Defences

“One would mistake it for a Daemon World, especially after meeting its guardians”
- Rogue Trader Barnabas of House Atagar

Aside from its technological base, the planet’s attributes make it one of the most defensible locations around the Eye of Terror. The very approach to the planet is deadly, the star’s scorching rays eroding void shields, making them easy prey for orbital fire. Standard practice of orbital insertion is to deploy outside the ground-based orbital weapons’ fields of fire. This strategy falters once they reach the opposite side of the planet, as being so close to the star, void shields provide scant protection and the permanent storms on the equator make orbital drops deadly.

The unstable ground makes it unsuitable for ground vehicles and the few solid landmasses shift and break apart in a few hours, making forward bases and artillery positions untenable. Add to that the deadly environment, where the unprepared will die within minutes and even the ready will face inevitable attrition. This means that any siege must be quick and decisive, something that is difficult to do when the planet’s size is considered.

Once on the ground, attackers normally face a few hours of travel in the average planet. The Viper’s homeworld, however, is so large that attempting an approach outside their line of fire is suicide, as tens of thousands of kilometers of barren, volcanic wasteland face the attackers long before they even see their destination. Pitch-black darkness dotted by lava flows make navigation difficult and airborne insertions are a risky prospect as charged clouds of silicate smother the upper atmosphere, forcing engines to stall and communications to break down from interference.

Finally, the Vipers also have the advantage of their cities. Floating on molten oceans, only periodically being becalmed on hardened rock, before it breaks apart once more. This means assaults have to be fully committed, lest the armies be cut off by the shifting rock. There are rumours that the Vipers have allowed the Mechanicus to establish enclaves in the cities, taking advantage of the mineral wealth and technological base of the Chapter. Indeed, it is said that a Baron from a Great House has been tithed to the world, as a base of operations of their household and training ground to face the forces of Chaos. While the name of the Knightly House is unknown, they are observed to almost exclusively go to war with the Atrapos Knight Suits and such a pattern is reserved only for use against the most heinous of Xenos and Hereteks, hinting at one closely associated with the Mechanicus. Most notable is the suspicion that their world houses a single Titan Pen, although this has been aggressively denied by both parties. Such integration of the two organizations does not contravene the edict of the High Lords, but having the Fabricator-General in the Senatorum Imperialis does help matters.

That is not to say that the citizens of the planet have sedentary lives, it is classified as a Death World for a reason. Many citizens die daily from failures in the magma shielding, entire hab-blocks consumed under the molten earth while the surrounding area is cleansed in white-hot fire. Orbital supply runs from their moon are frequently lost to the silicate clouds and the violent gales of the upper atmosphere. The planet’s gravity draws in remnants of stellar bodies in their system, pulverizing the earth and requires frequent orbital fire to defend against. A dozen cities have been lost in the millennia from these hazards. Theirs is a planet not easily tamed, not even with mankind’s greatest achievements. Perhaps it is a small blessing that the dangers of their planet are enough that rebellion and incidents of heretical activities are rare, seeing as how the cities require their inhabitants to cooperate to survive.

By the turning of the 40th Millennium, their planet was an outstanding (if unknown) fortress world of eighty billion souls, spread across eleven cities, with the technological and industrial capacity to produce multiple mechanized regiments annually, if the Munitorium would only accept their tithe.

The planet, which by edict of the High Lords was never assigned a name, is the Viper’s Chapter homeworld and stands as a bulwark against any Chaos incursion that attempts to pass the Arx Gate, or “Backyard” as they call it. Their defences would be tested many times over the millennia, the most trying being the Second Siege of Arx.

Esoteric Ties

“Bonds born of Blood and Forged in Battle are strong indeed”
- Common saying amongst the Vipers

Their isolation from the Imperium at large has strengthened their bonds with the citizens they hold dominion over. Where in the beginning deadly pogroms and purges were the norm, the Vipers’ stay in their deadly homeworld, struggling alongside people has given them a better appreciation for the value of life. This is most evident in the fact that they do not have a separate Fortress Monastery from the cities and instead live amongst the masses. This is due in part to spread the technical knowledge needed to maintain their cities as well as to have garrisons available in case of attack.

As if emulating the Emperor’s relation with his Primarchs, it is a common practice for Vipers to maintain family ties or adopt from the many orphaned by war or calamity. Such relationships mean that their adopted families most invariably become associated with the Cult of Mars either as a Techpriest or even as aspirant of the Vipers themselves. Indeed, there are cases of Vipers being related as father and son; an unusual tie in the Astartes, but is an accepted fact in their Chapter. While having an Astartes in your lineage is as good as a patent of nobility in other worlds, it is a common enough occurrence in their planet that while it brings prestige to a family, it is treated as a relatively mundane fact.

Recruitment and Initiations

“Show me your mettle, boy”
- Commencement of the Trial of Steel

Much like other Chapters, the Vipers draw their numbers from their planet, with one crucial difference. While their trials are just as difficult and deadly as other Chapters (their very world a constant trial in itself), the Vipers do not actively recruit, instead letting aspirants approach them. This is the first trial of all Vipers, that they view themselves as worthy to join the Chapter. This self-worth will be tested with challenges of physical strength and skill against a fully-armed Viper in combat. While no one expects an aspirant to emerge victorious (indeed, none have ever done so), it is in degrees of failure and determination to succeed that they are judged.

Those who fail, but otherwise survive the physical trials are given a chance to join the military branches of the Mechanicus, namely the Auxilia Myrmidons, Ordo Reductor, Centurio Ordinatus, Legiones Skitarii, Legio Cybernetica, Knight Houses or even the Collegia Titanica. Rarely, they may be found fit to be inducted into the other less military-inclined divisions of the Mechancus.

Those who remain now come to the final test. In a similar fashion to the trials of the Grey Knights, the aspirant is bid to wander the warp-stained expanse of their planet, with only a rebreather and paltry supplies brought with him. Here, in the deadly heat and choking gale, their greatest fears and weaknesses are borne before them. There is no duration for the trial, for eventually, may it be weeks or months, they will come to face a daemon, a dark mirror of themselves spat out from the warp. In that moment, the daemon will attempt to possess the aspirant, and only they can save themselves from eternal damnation. This final test is necessarily harsh as the realities of the duties of the Vipers as guardians of the Arx Gate needs warriors who are proof against the touch of Chaos.

If found worthy – and sane – after the last trial, they are now neophytes of the Chapter and taught the ways and secrets of the forge. The Forge Masters build their minds and bodies while the War Smiths induct them into the rites of their Chapter. The Magos on the planet, staying as honoured “guests” teach them the various arts of the Omnissiah and left to create their badge of advancement: their power armour and weapons of choice. The ways of war are taught while they build their armour and weapons, their preferences and strengths in battle influencing their final creation. This leaves every wargear of the Vipers unique, although unusable by others without some adjustments.

Upon the creation of their power armour, they are formally inducted into the Chapter and have the right to be given a name befitting their nature.

The Naming

“You have proven your steel, but yet to be tempered. Until then, you are known by the number upon your pauldron”
- A War Smith on his Neophytes

At odds with the obfuscation they maintain with their home planet, names are given great weight within the Chapter. Emulating the Secret Names of every machine within the Imperium, every Viper is given a name appropriate to them. This process can take anywhere from mere minutes after the Viper’s induction to many years in service until a proper title can be given.

Such names are usually based on ancient Terran languages, without any uniformity considered so long as the title is appropriate. Recent times have seen the rise of names culled from the Jermanic tribes and their neighboring fiefdoms from the Unification Wars, although Yndonesic and other references have been used in the past.

Gene-Seed

“I find it hard to believe that this Chapter is pure, even with the vetting of the Mechanicus. I shall see to this inquiry myself”
- Inquisitor Lord Cathrin on the proposed censure of the Vipers after the Minos Conflict

The Gene-Seed of the Vipers is surprisingly stable for a 21st Founding Chapter, and is not particularly prone to fluctuating mutations like the Black Dragons. But as is the lot of their Founding, the Vipers are also cursed in some form.

Without fail, all Vipers exhibit an unusual mutation of the Black Carapace. Where normally the Carapace is an organic film that hardens beneath the torso, the Viper’s Carapace continues to grow after implantation, becoming not unlike the scales of the dragons of ancient Terran myth. This was previously a hidden trait of the Vipers, but was discovered by one Inquisitor Lord Cathrin after the Minos Conflict. The scales quickly grow and toughen over the life of a Viper, and they have recently been compared to rival the toughness of Tyranid chitin. The oldest surviving Vipers have scales so durable that their “leavings” are used as ablative layers in power armour instead of tempered adamantium. That they are likened to the xenos would be considered an insult by other Chapters, but they seem to revel in outdoing the xenos in terms of durability.

Another trait that sets them apart is their height. While a Space Marine is already a towering paragon of human prowess, the Vipers stand a head taller than most marines on average, with the increased bulk that comes with it. Outside observers have noted that their stature is similar to the Adeptus Custodes, but is seen as a coincidence. While they do not have brothers who stand well over three metres tall like the Black Dragons, their profile on the battlefield is easy enough to recognize.

While their scales and increased stature are the most evident signs of the genetic mutation they posses, there seem to be other factors that contribute to their resistance to harm. Much like the Sons of Antaeus (Another 21st Founding Chapter), the source of their resilience may not be soon forthcoming due to their isolated nature. In fact, such is their resilience that they seem unaffected by severe environmental or natural hazards, from hard radiation, most poisons, and even the vacuum of space.

The last peculiar trait of the Vipers is their unnatural ability to recover from the most grievous of wounds in a short amount of time. They can regenerate severed limbs and come back from the brink of death time and time again without fail, at times even during the same firefight where they suffered the injury. Not even decapitation or the loss of vital organs is a guarantee that they will be felled, for if there is a Forge Master on hand, they can be preserved long enough to recover or even be reattached. Even the sacred implants of the Astartes regrow despite wholesale destruction or excision from their bodies. Disturbingly, their Progenoid Glands reform after being harvested, and they are suspected to be the cause of how individual Vipers can sire multiple neophytes.

Due to their regenerative abilities, the full life span of a Viper is unknown as none survive to infirmity in the continuous battles against their foes. The oldest records in the Terran Archive note that a Viper supposedly fought in the 10th Black Crusade as an Apprentice on the planet Minos, and another record speaks of the same Viper, now an Artificer, perishing during the counter-invasion into the Arx Gate during the 12th Black Crusade. If true, it would mean that this Astartes lived for over two thousand years, well over even the longest-lived Blood Angel.

The curse they bear with this gift is that their bodies reject any artificial implant (with the Black Carapace being a noted exception), and cannot directly augment their bodies. It is for the same reason that Dreadnoughts are nonexistent in their ranks – either a Viper survives and recovers completely, or he perishes in battle. Whatever mutations they may have are part of their regenerative ability, making their mutations more or less a permanent part of their existence. It is a proud point of honour for Vipers that none of their number has ever died outside of battle.

When these mutations took hold has not been recorded by history, although with the mutation being a recent discovery, there is rampant speculation. Their tithed Gene-Seed to the Magos Invigila is noted to be free of taint despite the stringent testing of Mars, but due to their close relationship with the Mechanicus, many suspect there is foul play with the veracity of these tests. The same goes with their origins which are sealed by the order of one of the High Lords of Terra. The Vipers for their part maintain that their warding against the Eye or Terror is beyond reproach and that their rites of implantation follow their meticulous attention to detail. Few have been convinced of these claims.

Livery and Appearance

“Once, we prayed for the Emperor to send his Angels. Now we pray He never does so again”
- Unknown Adept on her planet’s “saviors”

Their chosen livery is lacquer red with gold trim, and their power armour is often adorned in scales, expressing their outward physical appearance. Such scales are wrought from tempered adamantium, or circumstances permitting, from their own black scales torn off in righteous battle. Their Chapter Icon is an erupting volcano with a rising, fiery serpent in black field. For their specialist ranks, the Forge Masters use the Helix icon with two serpentine dragons. The War Smiths use the Mark of the Cult Mechanicus on their right pauldron, but with a draconic skull motif. The Artificers have no identifying icon, their armour and wargear enough of an indication of their skill and rank. Volcanic_Vipers.jpg

Their power armour are all personally crafted and range the different marks as preferred by the builder. Squad and Company markings are replaced with those of their personal icon and the emblem of the city they dwell in. WIth recent events, there are only three emblems in use which can be used as a basis for identifying their organization.

In the design of their armour’s construction, theirs run the entire line of marks of Power Armour, each modifying as they deem necessary for their role in battle. Due to their head-on approach to battle, most of their armour is double-plated to prevent blades from sliding through and other vulnerable areas are protected by armoured gorgets, poleyns, couters and besagews. Finally, the most distinct deviation from standard power armour design is that their helmets never feature actual eye lenses, just more armor plating with studded gems to denote eyes.

Despite their home’s abundance of mineral resources, it is uncommon for their wargear to be adorned with precious gems, and it is more common to see them inlaid with gold or silver metalwork. Gemstones used are almost exclusively drawn from those created from the ashes of their fallen Brothers, traditionally set where the eyes would be on helmets, so that in some way, the fallen can witness the battles of their Chapter. On the aesthetic designs used, they have cleaved to certain themes over the millenia, called “Outfits” in their Chapter parlance. In order of appearance in their Chapter:

Lilior Atelius = A design from the beginnings of their Chapter, it features strange imagery of mythic vampires and ancient bats as they are commonly depicted in remembrancer archives. Rarely used, it is strikingly different from the later Outfits.

Skopje Dogma = Named after an ancient Terran city the Emperor conquered in the Unification Wars, it is a style based on the Minotaurs Chapter design mixed with platinum filigree wrought in the form of lightning riding upon the broken skies. Suspected to be a mark of respect towards their fellow Founding Chapter.

Utlovus = From an ancient Terran language, it is well represented in the Adepts, who utilize the bold lines of armour and easily distinguishable flags fluttering from their backpacks as rallying points for their brothers.

MAGNA ANIMIS = Featuring prominently the loud colours of their livery, it is very common amongst Vipers who close in on their foes, and some intentionally mix the powdered stone of their homeworld into the pigment, ensuring that those of the psychic and daemonic persuasion can see them clearly in the heat of battle.

Uproar = The latest Outfit gaining traction in the Chapter, it commonly features twisting filigree and embossed gold depicting raging fires as well as the addition of multiple adamantium belts as opposed to the more practical magnetic locks in power armor

Philosophy

“By your deeds and works shall you be remembered”
- Maxim of the Vipers

The Vipers believe in the individual worth of a man, and it is by his deeds and his works that he will be found worthy. With this in mind, they consider the Emperor to be worthy of all the accolades bestowed upon him, for by his will, he crafted the Imperium. To emulate the Emperor’s deeds, everything the Viper carries with him is traditionally wrought by his own hand. From his Power Armour to the very weapons he uses in battle, all are made personally so that his successes are truly his own. They also place great stock in well-placed strikes in battle, where a single killing blow is a mark of skill, a reflection of the precision required in the forge.

Promotion and advancement in the Chapter works along these lines, as a Neophyte only becomes a full Apprentice (as a rank and file Brother is called) once he has built for himself his Astartes Warplate. The same goes with promotion into their elite Artificer ranks, as one must create either a sublime piece of Power Armour or their very own Terminator plate. This self-sufficiency extends even to their deaths where they actually prepare their own Stasis Plinths for their wargear. Upon their final deaths, the Viper’s body will be burnt to ash in one of the many peaks of their planet. To honour their legacy, all that they have created are locked in stasis for all to see, while their deeds are writ in the adamantium walls of their city. From their ashes, gemstones are made that can be affixed in the wargear of their Brothers, or more rarely, returned to their foster families as keepsakes of their legacy.

Vipers place great value in the “Temper” of their brothers. May it be in self-control, courage in battle or even in humility, the Vipers believe that their worth must be balanced by the inner strength that they have. Those who are found lacking or wish to become part of the Artificers are sent to quests of Tempering, banished from their home and sent through the Arx Gate, to return only once they have mastered their inner Fire, as they call it. Many do not return from this quest, and the works they left behind are consigned to the fiery peaks of their planet, a burning offering to the Emperor. Such practices are viewed as utterly wasteful by more needy Chapters, who see them essentially destroy relics and wargear that could have been utilized. Their requirements for full initiation as well as advancement are the main reasons for their small numbers, though the quality of arms and experience that every Viper has cannot be called lacking.

They claim and maintain close kinship with fellow Chapters of the same Founding, supplying them with much needed Wargear, such as customized power armour for the “Dragon Claws” unit of the Black Dragons or general supplies to the Lamenters. They believe that all such Chapters share in their struggle and ally themselves with those Chapters whenever they can. They make their own brothers available to the Fire Hawks so they can maintain their flagship, the Raptorus Rex, and keep it battle ready. Even the Minotaurs are not exempt from this practice, being supplied a squad’s worth of Terminator armour and equipping their entire Chapter in Mark VIII Errant Pattern Power Armour as a sign of brotherhood. The Minotaurs for their part do not comment on the Wargear, but they nonetheless use it on the field of battle.

Chapter Organization

“This “Chapter” is just as anarchic as the Space Wolves, but at least the Sons of Russ can be expected to fight with Bolter and Blade"
- Ultramarine’s observation of the Vipers

Due to their guardianship of the Arx Gate, there is constant conflict with the denizens of the warp, even if in small numbers. Their casualties, along with the slow nature of their initiation, means that the Vipers are almost always averaging less than half Chapter strength. It is only with the quality of their arms and their unique physiology that they are able to sustain against the forces of Chaos.

With such consistently small numbers, Vipers do not adhere to the Codex Company or even Squad formations, each Viper being more individual than most Imperial organizations would like. Every Viper chooses his own path to battle, mixing martial skill with their abilities in the forge. Unlike a a standard Codex Chapter where the various roles are tiers of rank and experience, Vipers choose to adhere to the general roles or Tactical, Assault or Devastator roles of their own volition. Thus, it is not unusual to see Vipers who have created unique Wargear to their preferences such as carrying a support weapon while using a jump pack to quickly change positions or an Artificer carrying an Aurora Cannon in one hand and a Storm Shield in the other, becoming a walking tank.

Vipers start as Apprentices once they are fully inducted into the Chapter, learning further about the ways of the forge and war, a continuation of their previous life. With enough skill and experience, they become Adepts, which, unlike the Administratum, signifies a mark of authority, as they become responsible for sections of the three remaining cities, from the magma shields, the orbital weapons and other vital facilities. Finally, those who prove themselves are called Artificers, directly governing the cities, fleets and moon, as well as being the Chapter leadership.

Those with the Gift are known universally as War Smiths, a combination of Librarian and Techmarine. They mix psychic power with technological skill, but never passing the Heretek boundaries of dogma. While it is unfortunate that they share a common name with ranking members in the Iron Warriors Traitor Legion, it is simple coincidence that it is as such. The roles of Apothecary and Chaplain are merged into the title of Forge Master, for they temper the minds and bodies of the Vipers, as well as the new recruits. While of similar name to the noted veteran Techmarines of the Deathwatch, they are completely unrelated to each other.

They also maintain close relations with the Mechanicus, frequently deploying alongside their military forces, most notably the Thallax Cohorts who can keep up with their pace in battle. Recent events have also increased the number of combat servitors in their ranks, to make up for their dangerously low numbers. There has been evidence that they have included Battle-Automata such as the Castellax or the mighty Thanatar in their forces, another sign of their close, some would say unhealthy, relationship with the Mechanicus. Chapters that adhere to the Codex balk at these practices, in their eyes proving the chaotic and disorganized nature of such rabble. For the Mechanicus’ part, they are silent regarding the unusual practice of “Innovation” by the Vipers, most likely due to their generous donations of Archaeotech and passing of lore regarding their skills. For the Inquisition, their mutations would warrant unanimous censure, but they have yet to pass judgement as the Vipers have never grown to any size to threaten the Imperium and their role as guardians for the Arx Gate has been proven time and time again. Ultimately, it is their skill in battle that accusations never go further than accusations.

Battlefleet Organization

“There are no Navy lapdogs who dare this close to the Eye, fools! Maintain heading to that installation, the Dark Magos will pay handsomely for our spoils”
- Data recording recovered by Battlefleet Gothic from ship wreckage

The Chapter maintains ships of the line in the pattern of Mechanicus Explorator vessels, echoing their close relations with the Lords of Mars. All vessels feature manufacturing capability while their three remaining Battle Barges are Ark Mechanicus capital ships, the Vector Fulmen, Potemkin and the Solis Hæres. Massive vessels dwarfing even mass conveyors, Ark Mechanicus vessels can contain training grounds fit for small armies and even the largest Titans. Each of these ships contains at its heart an archaeotech device of impossible power, barely understood but familiar enough for crude manipulations of its abilities. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these devices once formed the core of their fallen cities, and now continue their service in a different manner.

The Vector Fulmen is known for being essentially a giant conducting rod, gathering energies and unleashing a bolt of lightning measured in light years, capable of accurately striking at targets despite the nature of the attack. The Potemkin is famous for being able to harness gravity itself, causing strange effects that allow it to travel distances similar to warp travel, but with greater accuracy and reliability. Finally, the Solar Hæres holds at its core a device that the Priests of Mars suspect is not even human in origin: A star of supergiant mass, seemingly compressed into the size of an Imperial TItan.

With the endemic raids originating not only from the Eye but also the two warring Ork Empires made the creation of a sizeable battlefleet necessary to continue their sentry of the Arx Gate. As it stands today, the Vipers actually have a standing fleet well over their remit as a Chapter, enough for the makings of a Sector Battlefleet. While they have offered to bequeath the ships to the Bastion Fleet protecting the Cadian Gate, the Imperial Navy has refused to do so, distrustful of anything the Vipers make. As they are, they are slowly accumulating a naval tradition as there are few Vipers to prosecute grounds-based wars, while their fleet-based capability is strengthened by their skills at producing and fighting in their spacecraft.

How or why the Basilikon Astra gave the Vipers the secrets to create such ships is known only by the two parties. With their substantial fleet, they are able to project their force in a wide area, sending recon ships to the outskirts of their area of control, while their main force blockades the Arx Gate, no matter if it is open or not.

Combat Doctrine

“My Lord I beseech thee! We did not stand a chance. They came as death riding upon steeds as black as midnight that turned aside all blows. They came out of their dark chariots and even then our weapons were useless, they just kept coming through bolt shell, blade and spell. Even the daemons we summoned were cut down. Yes Lord, I fled. But only to warn you oh great one. Lord no! N-”
- Last words of Taurgaw the Corruptor, Aspiring Champion

Due to the rather individual structure of their order of battle, it should come as no surprise that the Vipers rarely field any large vehicles in direct combat. The main reason being that their home planet’s sheer size and terrain is unsuited for such vehicles and that very few Vipers have the time to build one, much less be willing to ride one to battle, seeing it as an “unnecessary comfort”.

In the Chapter, transport and combat vehicles are more akin to forward operating bases, carrying raw materials and manufacturing equipment, so that they have the flexibility to adapt to any situation. Warhawks and the like are usually relegated mainly for transport and production of wargear, rarely taking part in the actual battle, while Land Raiders, Spartan Assault Tanks and even the mighty Mastodons are turned into moving strongpoints and forward bases, so that the Vipers can make what they need on the field, making them less vulnerable to immediate logistical attacks.

Focusing on their infantry, the Vipers enhance and improve their armour to the point that the distinction between the armour of a vehicle and their Power Armour blur. Melding their toughened scales with their armour, some Vipers have been witnessed taking direct lascannon hits and still fighting on, many foes fleeing from the unnatural vigour that the Vipers possess.

Of what few frontline vehicles that they field, it has been noted that on the rare occasions that they campaign outside the Arx Gate, they exclusively use fighting units not seen since the Great Crusade. Save for Jetbikes or Javelins, they only use Legion-Era vehicles such as the Sicarus, Fellblade or the Falchion. It is unknown if these are newly manufactured or inherited from the Mechanicus upon their founding, but the fact that they can maintain such relics says volumes about their technical expertise.

In a dramatic split from commonly accepted practices, vehicles assigned to logistics or second-line duties are crewed by chosen custodians from their home, commanded by promising Neophytes. This has been their practice since becoming integrated in their home planet, and with their low numbers in recent centuries, it has become necessary as well.

Identical to the tactics of the Minotaurs, It is around their ability to sustain in battle that the Vipers draft most of their battle plans, relying on weathering the enemy for a single, decisive blow. They have a preference to engage in pitched battles where they either destroy the enemy or force them to quit the field, where their fleet can run them to ground if they try to flee off-world. In fact, on the occasions that they have performed joint operations with the Minotaurs, not even other Astartes could weather their twin hammer blow, each serving as anvil for the other. The most recent demonstration of this during the Euxine Incident, where the Doom Eagles were forced into a rout and the Inceptors Chapter reduced to little over a hundred Battle Brothers from their combined assault.

It is in fighting against their wayward brethren, renegade or otherwise, that the Vipers gained the most notoriety in the Imperium at large, as they have developed tactics and strategies specifically to counter those who adhere rigidly to the Codex Astartes. That the few campaigns they do prosecute outside the Arx Gate always involves combat with other Astartes elements has further embittered any relations they have of Chapters not of the Cursed Founding.

While they have room for feints and flanking moves in their tactics, victory through superior attrition is their primary strategy, especially against daemons. Such a way of war means they sometimes fight for extended periods in Warp-infested battlefields and even make attacks through the Eye of Terror. Their experiences leave very little than can actually faze them, from a massed heretic army to a Tyranid horde, nothing short of a Warp-spawned daemon would give him pause, and they are well-prepared for such foes.

Deathwatch Involvement

It should come as a surprise that the Vipers in fact did not take oaths to support the Deathwatch. Their own personal vigil meant that very few Vipers are seen further afield from the Arx gate, their force concentrated in its defence. Instead, they honour the oaths they have with their fellow Founding Chapters, supporting them wherever they may serve the Imperium. To this end, the few Vipers that serve in the Deathwatch normally serve their term as long as a fellow Founding marine will serve their respective Vigils. In certain circumstances, the Viper will serve in their stead if they are recalled or slain in battle, to honour the oaths of their kin. This roundabout way of serving in the Deathwatch only worsens their reputation among other Chapters, who see them skirting their duties to the Imperium, serving only when it is convenient to do so.

A peculiar fact with Vipers who die in serving the Vigil is that their wargear and possessions are always unsalvageable. This may be due to total destruction or from lacking knowledge to repair and use them effectively (Or so claimed by the Techpriests of Mars). While seen as a statistical anomaly, the secrets of the Vipers seem to be beyond the reach of the Deathwatch at the moment.

Calixian Involvement

While the Vipers claim that their duties to the Arx gate means they do not have the manpower to second to the Deathwatch, they are heavily involved in the activities of the Tech-Priests of Mars. To be specific, they are most associated with the Mechanicus situated in the Calixis Sector. Of what is known by Calixian Conclave, they have:

* An undisclosed number of Vipers serve as Shield Wardens to Legio Venator in Opus Macharius
* Advisers to the fiefdom of Heterodyne Station and the other three hidden Knight Worlds
* Guests at the Lathe worlds, cooperating with Magos Militants

The Conclave has confirmed at least a Codex company number of Vipers scattered across the Calixis sector, a number undeclared in their line of battle. The Deathwatch are as yet ignorant of these facts, but would no doubt further sour relations between the two groups were it to become known.

While the Viper’s generosity with the Archeotech they discovered in their new homeworld ensured good relations with the Mechanicus, there are those who suspect that the finds were not merely trinkets of interest to a recluse Magos. Pict captures from Inquisitorial skull probes show that the Vipers have recently replaced the signature Boltguns that the Adeptus Astartes are known for with a strange new weapon. These weapons can defeat the defences of power armour and burn alive the unfortunate target within. Intercepted transmissions using Vox Thiefs have identified these weapons as being of the “Volkite” class, although records of such weaponry are referred only in the bygone eras of the Great Crusade.

While the Inquisition has suspected that the Vipers had indeed discovered these weapons upon conquering their homeworld, they believe that they only unlocked the secrets to their workings and creation at the turn of the millennium. Although with their insular nature, it may have even been far earlier as there are records of Astartes matching their livery and description traveling to the Lathe Worlds in distant Calixis.

While secondment of Astartes to other branches of the Imperium is not unheard of, there are rumours that the Vipers have taken it to the extremes with the Dragon Secutorii. The final sanction of the Lords Dragon, the Mechanicus counterpart to the Imperial Inquisition, they are three hundred of the best Venatorii and Magos Militants in the disposal of the Lathe Worlds serving to dispense the judgement of Mars. The Inquisition is of the position that only they have the remit to protect humanity from the terrors that threaten it, and the Lords Dragon infringe on their sacred duty. Some Inquisitors have pointed out that many Vipers hold the “honourary” rank of Magos Militant, despite the supposed separation of the two.

Of note is that despite the limited information the Calixian Conclave has regarding the Vipers, they do maintain a single Pandaemonia in one of the remaining cities. While such arrangements are not unheard of, that the Ordo Malleus would entrust the facility to the Vipers is enough to arouse the suspicions of many outside Inquisitors who hear of it. There are rumours that the Ordo Malleus exercised the Malleus Remit to force their cooperation, but since they are already in active battle against the Daemonic, it is seen as unlikely. Relations between the Ordo Malleus and the Vipers seem to be as frayed as with other organizations, but certain Inquisitors from the Calixian Conclave have been known to make the long journey out of the Sector to parts unknown.

Inquisition Involvement

Despite the sanctions and condemnations that individual Inquisitors level against the Vipers when their existence is made known to them, various Conclaves and Ordos have made use of their skill against the daemonic, specifically those of the Ordo Malleus. When Gray Knights or Exorsists are stretched thin or are too far away to avert disaster, some Daemonhunters with amicable relations with the Vipers have requested their aid, which the Vipers answer as a matter of duty. May it be in destroying Traitor Legion forces or stopping daemonic invasions, what few forces they can spare in the defence of the Arx Gate are more than equal to the task.

Their existence and involvement are easily obfuscated due to their livery’s similarity with the Exorcists, or their wargear which are similar to the Grey Knights, and for the moment, any victories they have against the daemon are easily credited (however secretly) to the two Chapters. For the Vipers, the fact that they achieved their duty is recognition enough in their eyes.

Mechanicus Influences

Such close relationship with the Mechanicus ultimately has some effect on the beliefs of the Chapter. Much like the Iron Hands and the Medusa Schism, the Vipers have come to believe in the recreation of the Akashic Reader. Said to be a Mechanicus creation during the final days of the Great Crusade, this arcane device allows one to peer into the Warp and gain knowledge about the technological achievements of Man in the past.

Unfortunately, it was destroyed in the chaos of the Horus Heresy lest it fall to the Dark Mechanicum. The Vipers, along with some supporters from the Lathe Worlds have been trying to recreate the wondrous device, but it also requires a powerful Psyker to guide and wield the device. While in keeping with the Quest for Knowledge, this method of bypassing the search for STC fragments to draw upon raw knowledge itself is a dangerous thing. It is one of the theories rallied under by Puritan Inquisitors as to how the Vipers have come to be equipped with such potent weaponry.

Notable Events

The Chapter records its history in the very walls of their cities, and due to recent events, much of it was lost and only the most recent or most significant events are still remembered by the Chapter.

First Siege of Arx – Circa late M36

Late M36, the Vipers discover a giant Death World suitable for their base of operations. Finding the planet inhabited, they first attempt to hail the population and demand their compliance and inclusion into the Imperial fold. The Vipers descend upon the planet when the inhabitants shoot down their scout frigate, with intent to bring then to compliance. This ends disastrously as the technology that allowed the cities to survive are also just as effective in resisting orbital bombardment and conventional siege strategies.

Losing over two companies worth of marines in as many hours to the strange, yet deadly weaponry that the natives use, the Vipers fell back to high orbit to revise their strategy. In a moment of humility, the Viper’s Chapter Master – whose name goes unrecorded – calls aid from the other 21st Founding Chapters, and all of the newly founded Chapters answer the call. While history is uncertain on the exact force disposition, it was said by remembrancers that “it was as if a Legion of Old descended upon that world, the greatest triumphs of the Great Crusade re-enacted one more time.”

Civitas Imperials was achieved in one Standard Terran Week, and the 21st Founding Chapters gain a measure of each other, both in their martial strengths and in their bonds of brotherhood.

The Curse’s Due – Circa M37

In this period of the Imperium’s history, some Chapters from the 21st Founding become corrupted or fall from the Emperor’s Grace, as they forsake their oaths or degenerate into creatures no longer human or sane. Taking it as their personal quest, many of the still-loyal Chapters of the same Founding take up the task of destroying their wayward brothers. In this the Minotaurs reap a grim tally, many Renegade Chapters falling before their onslaught. The Vipers also gain a dark notoriety during this period as they develop tactics and strategies specifically to thwart and counter Chapters who adhere to the Codex Astartes.

The Grey Cull – 968.M38

Two decades after the disastrous events of the First Scouring of Coriolanthe, where a Grey Knights Strike Force was decimated by the forces of Chaos, a Black Ship delegation headed by the Ordo Malleus arrive in orbit over the Viper’s homeworld. Investigations by the Ordo Machinum have revealed that the Mechanicus secretly discovered the secrets to the creation of Nemesis Force Weapons, which they then bartered for resources to the Vipers. Despite this being grounds for immediate censure, the Ordo Malleus instead demand holdings and an entire generation of their planet’s youth as recruits for the Grey Knights.

Little interested in the politics of the matter, the Vipers agree and a Pandaemonia is built in one of the great cities, later rebuilt after the events of Second Siege of Arx. As for the second condition, an entire generation of young psykers willingly walk into the Black Holds, seeing it as another path to combat Chaos.

Minos Conflict – Early M39

Debts of Honour would be called upon by Early M39, in the ending years of the Tenth Black Crusade. Abaddon had already retreated back to the Eye to Terror, but the Iron Warriors remained to wreak havoc. The Minotaurs were the first to respond, secretly prosecuting the Traitor Legion, pushing them back to the world of Minos. The Minotaur’s berserker tactics would be exploited by the Iron Warriors as they built the world like a giant maze, trapping them beneath the mile-high canyon walls and isolated by vox-thiefs. Already decimated by the siege, they broke off and returned to their fleets, orbital bombardments impotent against the void shields and warp-spawned sorceries. Trusting no other with their private war, the Minotaurs call only their brethren to arms to destroy the Iron Warriors once and for all.

Upon the arrival of the other Chapters, they mustered their forces and the Minotaurs were resupplied, notably with the Vipers bequeathing onto them ten suits of Tactical Dreadnought Armour. The assembled host saw in this world a mirror of the Iron Cage, and prepared accordingly. Aiming for a decisive blow, they would circumvent the Traitor Legion’s skill in siege warfare by crashing a battle barge through their defences. The Lamenters volunteered, and despite their depleted numbers in their self-imposed crusade, they created a breach in the central keep, where the remaining Chapters arrived via drop pod or teleportation. The fighting devolved into a melee in a matter of hours as the combatants expended their ammunition and the tight corridors made vehicles useless.

The Iron Warriors would break first, escaping through their vile portals, while the loyalists contended with the daemons summoned to cover their escape. Too spent to directly fight the new foe, they left the surface and bombarded the fortress into molten glass. Satisfied with the outcome, the Inquisition declared the world forbidden and the event struck from Imperial records. The Lamenters and Minotaurs would return to their respective crusades while the Vipers for their part continued to maintain contact with the participating Chapters, occasionally sending wargear and supplies as needed.

Soon after this event, one Inquisitor conducting a post-action investigation of the planet discovered the body of a Viper. Wanting to return the body to its rightful Chapter with all due honours. It would be here that the secret traits of the Vipers would become known.

The War of Brass – 738-740 M40

The Hive Worlds of the Gelmiro Cluster in the Calixis Sector fall to apostasy under the rule of the self-proclaimed “Emperor of Brass”. Three short, brutal years of siege warfare ensued as the last Hive Cities were finally taken by a direct assault by a Chapter of Space Marines. History records it was not the Storm Wardens who led the final charge, but the Volcanic Vipers who ran across ten kilometres of open, killing ground after their transports were shot down or disabled. Shrugging off small arms fire, they engaged vehicles like they were infantry, using strange weaponry to melt or vaporize the armoured columns. Upon taking the outer walls, the Imperial Guard and Legio Venator moved in to finally end the siege.

This was the first and last known major participation of the Volcanic Vipers in the battles of Calixis Sector.

Prologue to the Euxine Incident – Circa 52.M41

The Minotaurs, on port at the Viper’s homeworld after another extended crusade, put forth an unusual request for wargear specifically designed to “Thwart the fortitude and armour of Traitor Astartes” as said by the current Chapter Master by the name of Asterion Moloc. Finding no reason to deny their fellow Founding Chapter, the Vipers and their citizens produce Kraken and Vengeance rounds in the thousands as well as power weapons tuned to the tolerance of Astartes Warplate. Of note was the large amounts of Kinslayer rounds supplied, enough to engage an entire Chapter formation’s worth of Space Marines.

Before the Minotaurs depart for the battles of the Macharian Heresy, an honour guard of Vipers joined their Brother Minotaurs as support. While it is well-known that the Minotaurs were barred access into the borders of Ultramar after the Euxine Incident, the Vipers were also similarly censured not just for their participation, but the brutal casualties they inflicted. Almost two Codex Companies of Inceptors were slain by the honour guard alone, the carnage inflicted was such that their gene-seeds were irrecoverable. To this day, oaths of vengeance against the Minotaurs and the Vipers have been taken by many Ultramarine Successor Chapters.

Fallen Breeds – Circa 52.M41

The Honour Guard of Vipers attached to the Minotaurs are called by the Mechanicus to aid one of their Machine Temples from being overrun by hereteks and renegades. Hiding amongst the many rebellions during the Macharian Heresy, Traitor Marines have gathered a horde of wretched mutants and corrupted servants of the Mechanicus to breach the Temple and plunder the knowledge within.

The Vipers arrive too late to stem the advance, and now the horde threatens to break the iron gates of the Temple. With no other recourse, they charge the rear of the thronging mass, fighting their way to the traitorous leaders. The Vipers prove untouchable as bolt rounds and plasma do nothing but stoke their ire. Finally coming to blows with the warp-tainted congregation, they unleash the powers of the Dark Age upon their foes, Volkite beams cooking the Traitor Marines alive while Photon Thrusters punch through warp-tainted vehicles and everything behind them. The hereteks answer with Sonic weaponry and warp-charged munitions, finally breaking though the inviolate armour of the Vipers with sheer volume of fire.

The battle finally turns once the Chaos Champion is struck home with a Phase Taser, his body dismembered and scattered to different dimensions and times, his final scream of defiance echoing through the ages. The horde now presented a tedious, if inevitable labour, and the Vipers look to their new task. Before they could advance, the bruise-coloured lighting of teleportation breaks before them. The bone-white Terminators of the Deathwing arrive, training their sights on the Vipers, gore-caked as they are after their the swirling melee. Storm Bolters fire into the Vipers as they advance, Maces of Absolution charging for the coming struggle…

The Mechanicus intervene before matters could be decided, the Dark Angels realizing their mistake despite the appearance of the Vipers. The Honour Guard makes for the Machine Temple, limbs lost and seemingly fatal craters blown in their torsos, but all somehow with enough strength to make the journey. The Dark Angels leave with three Deathwing Knights upon their Maces, and another Chapter added to the rolls of Vengeance by the Inner Circle.

Gothic War – 138 to 151.M41

The guardians of the Arx Gate would be tested when Abaddon the Despoiler made his play for the Blackstone Fortresses in the Gothic Sector. On 138.M41, a Mechanicus outpost on a planet monitoring the nearby Arx Gate was found destroyed by a patrolling Viper frigate. Every inhabitant was slaughtered with no sign of the culprits. Following protocol, an astropathic message was sent to the closest Navy fleet and they in turn conducted their own investigation by mid139.M41. It is at this point that Imperial History takes its course, and the events of the Gothic War would take place. For the Vipers, they would have a vital part to play in the Imperium’s success.

The Vipers, fearing the worst, fortified the cities of their homeworld, preparing for yet another daemonic incursion. On 141.M41, the Eye flares once more, engulfing their system as the skies are drowned out by the Eye’s gaze. This time however, the Eye passes by them and turns toward the Gothic Sector, isolating it in warp storms. From their fortresses, the Vipers see the ships of the Black Legion as they make speed for Gothic Sector. Powerless to give chase through the warp storms, the Vipers take it upon themselves to charge into the open Arx Gate, to stem the tide of Chaos.

Many heroic deeds would be performed in that decade-long crusade into the Eye, but the most telling blow to Chaos would be their attack on a daemon world held in the grip of a Daemon Prince known merely as the Tyrant. Though the circumstances of that action were purged with consent from the Inquisition, that victory broke the warp storms trapping the Gothic Sector, allowing the Battlefleets from Cadia and Agripinaa to intervene, eventually pushing Abaddon out of the system.

The Vipers suffered such losses that they have not been able to return to their previous numbers since then, counting only enough to field three and a half companies by the end of the Gothic War. Their part would not be sung in Imperial History, and they would in fact be criticized and looked down upon for their perceived inaction to stop or contribute to the conflict. This would echo into the centuries as Imperial forces refuse to fight alongside them or accept their aid. For the Inquisition and few others who know of their deeds, they keep their own counsel on the matter.

Second Siege of Arx – 738 to 739.M41

The Arx Gate opens for the first time since the Gothic War and spews forth a Chaos invasion with the intent to overrun the three Sectors of Scarus, Ixaniad and Calixis. Knowing that the fleet must pass by them, the Vipers make a stand once more to thin the ranks before they run past their blockade.

However, this proves to be incorrect as their true target was the Viper’s homeworld, to take revenge on their own invasion centuries ago. In a reversal of the First Siege, it would be the Vipers who would stand alone against the arrayed Traitor Legions. With the warp storms, there would be no aid forthcoming from the outside and at the head of this assembled host was the very Daemon Prince they had lain low two centuries ago.

Unwilling to give them time to prepare, the Tyrant orders his host to descend immediately, running and dying past their defences and throwing wave after wave of heretics, Legionnaires and worse. While the orbital guns and choking atmosphere took their toll, many more broke through, turning a half-dozen cities into charnel houses, their geothermal shielding destroyed, unleashing the volcanic force they draw power from, with tens of billions dying in the opening hours of the conflict.

The siege would soon grind down into attrition as the defenders concentrate in a few cities, the Chaos fleets avoiding orbital fire and the Viper’s considerable fleet, disgorging their vile cargo further afield. The environment would take many heretics to an early grave, unfamiliar as they were with the planet’s innate defences. The Traitor Legions would push at the sphere walls of the three remaining hive cities, but they too would encounter the resilience of the cities just as the Viper did millennia ago. Taking their chances when the lava flows hardened, the Vipers and the defenders all sallied forth, to draw out the reserves of the enemy in a pitched battle.

The Vipers would overcome by sheer endurance, outlasting even their Astartes opponents, but even then taking heavy casualties. Until the end, the Daemon Prince would not yield even as his forces selfishly retreated around him, searching for easier prey. He would have his vengeance one way or another. Many Vipers would fall to the creature, snuffing out the very life essence from them. One however, would overcome him, as the Daemon Prince was consumed by the rage of his last challenger, his very soul obliterated in the encounter.

The siege was over a day before the Feast of the Emperor’s Ascension, and the Vipers add another event to their days of observance. By the end of it all, the Vipers were dangerously under-strength, numbering less than two hundred battle-brothers, while the remaining population was counted at thirty billion. While protected by their fleet and still substantial Planetary Defence Force, they have a great many tasks ahead of them as the Chaos fleet splintered and poised to raid outlying systems, their moon already under threat from Nurgle’s daemons.

They however would not stand alone as representative squads from the various 21st Founding Chapters honoured their oaths of kinship and swore to defend their own. Thus were the bonds of brotherhood renewed amongst them, even the Minotaurs taking exception in directing their ire at their fellows, if only for these particular Chapters. Some have speculated that this is the reason why the Minotaurs did not completely annihilate the Lamenters during the Badab War in 908.M41, allowing them to surrender, but that is a story for another time…

Judgement – 815.M41

“Their like has not been since the days of the Great Crusade. Discharge the prow arrays at point two percent, we do not wish to damage the Temple below”
- Archimandrite Havos, ordering the destruction of a Gloriana-Class Battleship

The Vipers make their presence known in the Jericho Reach with the arrival of a flotilla of ships headed by the Battle Barge, Vector Fulmen, a massive Ark Mechanicum vessel. Far outclassing every vessel the Imperial Navy has in the crusade, their ill reputation was conveniently ignored for the great asset their ship represents. While contributing to the flight from the fall of Hethgard for the first week of its arrival, it soon turned for a course to the Hadex Anomaly, the entire battlefleet making way to Samech.

Rumours amongst Crusade Command arise that the Mechanicus intends to make good their judgement on Samech, with the combined force of an Astartes Battlegroup, the Ordo Reductor’s Thallax Guard and the Legio Cybernetica commanded by Archimandrite Havos. A truly ancient being, his combat-enhanced body is closer to the form of a Contemptor Dreadnought due to the augmentations accumulated over the centuries. Far ranging Navy patrols report that the forces of Chaos have engaged running battles with the fleet, slowing its progress enough to hold them at the Hemic System. The Deathwatch monitors the situation and reports that the Iron Warriors are active in the planet of Imbru and are holding a large Mechanicus temple there, most likely their reason for staying so long in the system.

The Vipers are currently undertaking a siege of the planet, focusing their efforts on the temple. No Viper casualties have been reported in the past three months the siege has ground on, the deployment of the Legio Cybernetica bleeding their opponents dry as they are unable to use orbital fire so close to the holy site. Magos Dominus Czych chafes at the expended resources, but the alternative is an unacceptable prospect. The deployment of Thanatars and Triaros by the Vipers can only mean that a pitched battle is soon to erupt.

The Chamber of Vigilance is monitoring the situation, satisfied that the siege is drawing Chaos forces away from other targets. The latest report shows the Vipers and the Ordo Reductor constructing a device called the “Ordinatus Imbru”.

The Viper and the Scorpion – 993.M41

A shipment of arms and war materiel is left to lie fallow as all contact is lost with the Lamenters. Disappearing into the Shadow in the Warp, they are presumed lost while on penitent crusade against Hive Fleet Kraken. With no other fellow Founding Chapter able to receive the bounty, it has been decided that the Red Scorpions, who are also on campaign against the Tyranid menace shall be contacted with the offer.

While a well-supplied Chapter with its own respectable manufacturing capacity, the Red Scorpions are still in dire need of Tactical Dreadnought Armour, only able to equip half of the 1st Company when needed. A missive has been sent, but no reply has been forthcoming.

Years after, a single company of Red Scorpions arrive in Armageddon in 999.M41 as reinforcements in the latest Ork invasion, fully equipped with new arms and armour.

The Orphean Labours – 994.M41

What is left of the Minotaurs Battlefleet appears on the outskirts of the Viper’s sensors, many of the ships venting plasma and no longer void worthy after their perilous odyssey across Segmentums. The Minotaurs were dealt a mortal blow during the Battle of Amarah against the Necrons, their Battle Barges destroyed or ruined in the fleet action. The Fedelitas Lambda was sacrificed to force the Necron Tomb ship to retreat, while the Daughter of Tempests, a former Battle Barge of the Lamenters rendered as spoils during the Badab War, was annihilated when it was made bait for the Necron fusillade. As for their Flagship, the Daedalos Krata was left crippled after the engagement, unable to even dock with the orbiting shipyards.

Under the Orphean Decree, the Minotaurs have been ordered by the High Lords of Terra to refit and rearm to purge the worlds of the Orphean Sector of the Necron menace. To assist their fellow Brothers, the Vipers turn their industries to the Minotaurs’ cause, constructing new vessels designed endure under Necron weaponry. The task is completed in half a decade, wherein the new vessels were tested against a far closer threat…

Into Hell’s Teeth – 998.M41

“With our victory here, the psychic dawn of Humanity is all but assured”
- Magos Explorator Delphan Gruss, upon the commencement of the incursion into the Maelstrom

Centuries of labour bear fruit as Magos Explorator Delphan Gruss discovers clues to the location of the Omnicopaeia upon the Daemon World of Hell’s Teeth on the edge of the Maelstrom. An arcane device rumored to contain every STC template with a psychic component, the Omnicopaeia’s value is such that the Lords of Mars send billions of Skitarii to secure the artifact. Aside from supporting elements from Titan Legions, Knight Houses and the various Militant Orders of Mars, they also call upon their allies in the Adeptus Astartes.

The Volcanic Vipers heed the call by sending a full third of their fleet and brothers, including the Ark Mechanicus Solar Hæres, to help their Mechanicus bretheren against the daemons they will surely encounter. For the first time since the Second Siege of Arx would the lesser gate out of the Eye of Terror be left vulnerable, and now there are stirrings that Abaddon would now make his final push for Terra.

The Green Tide Spills Over– 999.M41

As the Thirteenth Black Crusade begins in earnest around the Cadian Gate, the Arx Gate as well suffers its own apocalyptic conflict in the galactic north of the Eye of Terror. The constant battles of the Ork Empires of the Great Despot of Dregruk and Arch-Dictator of Gathrog have expanded to the surrounding systems of the Viper’s homeworld, and in their diminished state are hard-pressed to push the greenskins back. But the Vipers are not alone in this struggle as the Minotaurs give aid, their new vessels and wargear tested in breaking the Ork lines before they journey to the Orpheus Sector.

However, the impending conflict reaches a new level of apocalyptic calamity as among the orks there have been sightings that a “Prime-Ork” has emerged to unite the two warring factions. Seemingly birthed by the fell powers of the Arx Gate, this mythical class of ork was last seen during the War of the Beast millennia past and now the tattered remains of the Vipers stand against a force that once brought the Imperium and Humanity on the very brink of extinction.

As if reacting to the greater bloodshed to come, the Arx Gate opens, disgorging vessels bound for the Cadian Gate through the opposite end of the Eye, stretching the lines of the Vipers ever thinner. The three-way conflict rages in the surrounding systems, and the threat of the Gate swinging wide open grows larger by the day…

Volcanic Armoury

Refer to the Volcanic Armoury

Crunch Goes Here

Chapter Characteristic Modifiers

Their Gene-seed is the source of their strength, but also the source of disdain and distrust from others

Positives:

  • Regeneration (1)
  • Undying
  • Peer and Good Reputation (21st Founding Adeptus Astartes Chapters, Mechanicus)
  • Count as Techmarines for the Renown requirement of Artificer Armour (Distinguished), Talents and Requisition of items

Negatives:

  • 20 Corruption Points
  • If acting as Kill Team leader, Cohesion is reduced by 2 until you have earned the trust of your fellow Astartes
  • Rival and Enemy (All Non-21st Founding or Mechanicus related Imperial Organizations)
  • Requisition Restrictions:
    • Requisition and Reserve Requisition can only be used when sourced from 21st Founding or Mechanicus-aligned factions

Solo Mode Abilities

Solo Mode Rank 1

Name: Ride the Fire (Homebrew , inspired by DnD Barbarian Rage)
Type: Active

All Vipers learn to tap into the Fire in them, steering their fury towards their foes with unrelenting fury

Effect:
Once per Day, the Viper may choose to Ride the Fire when activating Frenzy, when they do so, activating Frenzy is a Free Action

Improvement:

At Rank 3 = Drawing power from his dark heritage, the Viper can push his mind and body beyond its mortal limits. While Riding the Fire, he gains a +20 to Weapon Skill, Strength, Toughness, and Willpower Characteristics instead of the usual bonuses. In addition, the Viper now has more control over his fury, allowing him to end Frenzy as a Free Action at the start of his turn

At Rank 5 = Tapping deeper into the Fire within him, the Viper can awaken the latent power in his gene-seed. While Riding the Fire, the Viper increases his Regeneration to (3)

At Rank 7 = With complete mastery of his Inner Fire, the Viper can summon aspects of his Primarch to the fore, becoming nigh-on unstoppable. While Riding the Fire, he is immune to the effects of Felling and Crippling

Solo Mode Rank 3

Name: Paragon of Steel (Modified from Salamanders)
Type: Passive

Similar to the Salamanders and Iron Hands, the Vipers have a tradition of skilled artifice and purging weakness from themselves and their tools

Effect:
A number of Wargear equal to half their Rank (Rounded Up) that they have as Standard Issue or granted via Signature Wargear count as Warded (Immune to Haywire and resistant to potent Techxorcism)

Improvement:

At Rank 5 = Chosen Wargear now also count as Sanctified

At Rank 7 = Number of Wargear now equals Rank

Squad Mode Abilities

Squad Mode (Attack Pattern)

Name: Flame and Fury!
Cohesion: 3
Action: Free (This ability is performed by attacking)
Sustained: No

Vipers are accustomed to being outnumbered, even more so than the average Chapter. They have developed tactics and strategies that can slaughter both from afar and up close.

Effect:
When attacking a Horde, those in Squad mode and Support range deal extra Horde damage equal to twice the number of members in Support Range. Note that this effect only counts once per attack and not per hit per attack.

Squad Mode (Defensive Pattern)

Name: Faith and Fire!
Cohesion: 3
Action: Reaction
Sustained: No

While few in number, the Viper’s reputation for standing in the face of certain death increases as they fight back-to-back with their Brothers.

Effect:
Those in Squad mode and Support Range ignore the effects of Fear, Pinning, Stunning and Fatigue, but cannot perform Move Actions. In addition, such is their determination that they increase their Unnatural Toughness by one level and ignore one level of Felling that enemy attacks may have

Primarch’s Curse: Unquenchable Fire

Some Vipers become so consumed by the Fire that they draw strength from, that their rage becomes something palpable to those around him

Level 1 (Boiling Ire):

Any unfortunates who challenge the Viper in any way becomes the target of his displeasure.

The Viper cannot benefit (or contribute) to Assisted Actions, Outnumbering in Melee or even Target Selection as the Viper simply cares not for the presence of those to earn his ire.

Level 2 (Simmering Rage):

The Viper’s rage becomes something second-nature to him, coming unbidden when he spots his hated foes.

When he is in combat with opponents he has Hatred or similar (Scourge of Heretics etc.), he immediately becomes Frenzied as a free action unless he succeeds on a Very Hard (-20) Willpower Test, choosing those kinds of enemies closest to him as his sole targets. This may cause problems when in open ground, hundreds of meters away from his quarry.

Level 3 (Burning Hatred):

Anything that could light the hatred in the Viper worsens his already less than sunny disposition

Aside from his Kill-Team and immediate superiors, the Viper will refuse to ally himself with those he has the Enemy Talent (i.e. everyone but the Mechanicus or Fellow Founding Chapters), suffering -3 Cohesion if he has to. Furthermore, while he is in Frenzy, he must take a Challenging (+0) Willpower Test or attack them if they are the closest targets, so consumed is he by hatred.

Chapter Oath – Oath of the Artificer

Vipers are meticulous with their arms and armour, noting any flaw and extinguishing it utterly. So too does the Viper share these values with his Kill-Team, bringing out the best in their wargear’s machine spirits

The Kill-Team benefits from the Signature Wargear (Master) Talent bonus for one item of Wargear in their possession for the duration of the mission

Squad-Mode Abilities: Fire for Effect, Furious Charge, Strongpoint

Chapter Trappings

The Smith’s Apron

A common attire of the Vipers when not wearing their armour, it is their preferred garb when toiling away in the forges of their three remaining Hive Cities. The marks of Faith and Fury are usually carved into the belt buckle and headband.

+3 Toughness

Personal Brand

An expression of their individualistic nature, many Vipers create a personal mark that they inscribe in wrought iron. With this, they brand their creations as a mark of pride. The machine spirits of such items strive to perform better.

Choose one signature wargear or standard issue item that you have. This is an item you have poured much effort in creating. It counts has having the benefits of Signature Wargear (Master) as per the core rulebook. The benefit and item can be changed after every mission.

Volcanic Viper Advance Table


(In Bold are taken. Yes)

A Viper’s ability to create sublime wargear is equaled by his mental and physical fortitude

Skills:
Medicae 500
Medicae +10 600
Medicae +20 700
Tech Use 300
Tech use +10 300
Tech Use +20 400
Trade (Artificer) 300
Trade (Artificer) +10 300
Trade (Artificer) +20 400

Speak Language (Binharic Cant) 200
Speak Language (Hexamathic Code) 200
Speak Language (Noospheric Bleed) 200
Speak Language (Novabyte) 200
Speak Language (Techna Lingua) 200

Talents:
Frenzy 400
Battle Rage 500
Armour Monger 500
Furious Assault 500
Hammer Blow 500
Signature Wargear 500
Artificer 0 of 3 500 (Requires Trade (Artificer))
Mental Rage 700
Signature Wargear (Hero) – Artificer Armour 1200 (Requires Tech use, Trade (Artificer) +20, Armour Monger and Distinguished Renown)

Volcanic Viper Advanced Specialty – Artificer

A master of war and the forge, few can rival them in one, and none can match them in both. They count among their ranks the rare few versed in the secret arts of Cybertheurgy: The arcane power to manipulate machines

Requirements

Rank 4
Artificer Armor (Or Equivalent)
Medicae +20
Tech Use +20
Trade (Artificer) +20

Three of the following:
Speak Language (Binharic Cant)
Speak Language (Hexamathic Code)
Speak Language (Noospheric Bleed)
Speak Language (Novabyte)
Speak Language (Techna Lingua)

1,000 XP

Artificer Special Special Ability – It Will not Die! (Homebrew)

Artificers fight on with legendary resilience, taking blows that would cripple tanks or outright slay “normal” Vipers

Artificers gain The Stuff of Nightmares Trait. This replaces the Undying Trait. In addition, this adds +20 to Corruption Points

Artificer Special Feature – Price of Power (Homebrew)

Artificers have unlocked the powers of their gene-seed, somehow tapping into the latent powers (and curse) of their unknown Primarch. Very few Vipers have managed to control these powers without losing their mind, body or soul

Traits taken with the Artificer Advance Table also add 5 Corruption and Insanity Points, which cannot be reduced in any way. They can still be removed afterwards as normal

Artificer Advance Table

Skills:

Talents:
Forbidden Lore (Adeptus Astartes) 400
Forbidden Lore (Adeptus Astartes) + 10 400
Forbidden Lore (Adeptus Astartes) + 20 400
Forbidden Lore (Archaeotech) 400
Forbidden Lore (Archaeotech) + 10 400
Forbidden Lore (Archaeotech) + 20 400
Forbidden Lore (Mechanicus) 400
Forbidden Lore (Mechanicus) + 10 400
Forbidden Lore (Mechanicus) + 20 400

Mastery (Tech Use) 500 (Req. Tech Use +20)
Mastery (Trade – Artificer) 500 (Req. Artificer +20)

Master of Secrets (Adeptus Astartes) 1000 (Req. Forbidden Lore (Adeptus Astartes), Rites of Battle p. 95)
Master of Secrets (Archaeotech) 1000 (Req. Forbidden Lore (Archaeotech), Rites of Battle p. 95)
Master of Secrets (Mechanicus) 1000 (Req. Forbidden Lore (Mechanicus), Rites of Battle p. 95)

Artificer x3 500
Signature Wargear 500
Signature Wargear (Master) x2 1000 (Must be the same item created with Signature Wargear in this or the Chapter’s Advance Table)
Signature Wargear (Hero) x2 1500 (Must be the same items created with Signature Wargear (Master) in this Advance Table)

From Beyond TRAIT 2000
Natural Armour (2) TRAIT 2000
Regeneration (2) TRAIT 2000 = Replaces Regeneration (1)

Cybertheurgy 1 1000
Cybertheurgy 2 1500

Cybertheurgy (Homebrew, Lifted from Mechanicus 30k)

Some venerable Magos and those most knowledgeable of the Omnissiah’s secrets have gained the almost supernatural ability to affect machines, rousing their potential or forcing them to betray their masters

Every time this advance is taken, the Viper may choose one of the below rites to unlock for their use. Note that Cybertheurgy can only affect Xenos or Archaeotech devices if the appropriate Forbidden Lore skill is possessed.

Some Rites are contested. In such a case, they contest by rolling Willpower if they have that Characteristic. In the case of vehicles, they contest by rolling their highest Armour Value, treating it as if it is a Characteristic. If the target is Warded, they count as having Willpower 50 or higher as per the GM. All other pieces of technology automatically suffer the effects unless stated otherwise by the GM.

If a double is rolled on the test, suffer 1d5 Fatigue Damage roll a 1d10 and consult the mishap effects below

Rite of Eternity

With but a wave of his arm and a cant to the machine, the Cybertheurgist wills a machine to hold firm, the permanence of iron enduring all, even the Warp

Action: Half
Opposed: No
Range: 10 x Int Bonus

  • A number of Targets equal to INT or one vehicle
  • All targets count as being Warded and Sanctified
  • Vehicles and those with the Machine Trait can also ignore the effects of non-fatal Critical Hits
  • Effect lasts for a number of Rounds equal to the Viper’s Intelligence Bonus
Rite of Dread Castigation (Contested)

No machine is beyond the authority of the Cybertheurgist, as they lie dormant in prostration

Action: Half
Opposed: No
Range: 5 x Int Bonus

  • Blast (INT Bonus)
  • All wargear and other pieces of technology in the Blast area suffer from the effects of Haywire, rolling 1d10 twice and choosing the highest number as the effect
Rite of Subjugation (Contested)

With the authority of the Omnissiah itself, the Cybertheurgist claims command of technology for the glory of Mars

Action: Half
Opposed: No
Range: 5 x Int Bonus

  • 1 Target
  • Gain control of the target, giving it simple commands to follow as a free action on your turn, such as for a plasma pistol to explode,a power field to suddenly activate while sheathed or for a Land Raider to suddenly slam shut its assault ramp, potentially cutting someone in half
  • Works in a similar fashion to the Domination Psychic Power when used on those with the Machine Trait, but only ever affects one augment or piece of technology if not fully artificial
  • Lasts for one Round + Degrees of Success

Mishaps:

1-5 Signal Corruption = Choose a random target for the Cybertheurgy instead

6-9 Corrosion Paradox = User suffers an automatic Haywire attack with a Deadzone effect that ignores Warding

10 Malifica = Target gains Abominable Intelligence!

Psychic Powers

Those who possess the Gift amongst the Vipers learn to draw power from their homeworld, unleashing violent fire on His foes. The most noted aspect of their abilities is that they eschew caution, instead bringing to bear their full strength in every battle

Note that the below Psychic Powers were designed to work with the Dark Heresy Second Edition rules!

The Dragon’s Aegis
XP Cost: 1000
Action: Half
Focus Power: -10 Tech-Use Test
Range: 3m x PR
Opposed: No
Sustained: Free
Subtype: Concentration
Focusing on the machine spirits, they are imbued with vigor and operate at maximum efficiency

Dragon_s_Blessing_.jpg

  • In a radius of 3m. x PR, choose a number of Battle Brothers equal to PR (or a single vehicle or large device). They gain the below benefits:
    • Wargear will not fail or malfunction (Explosive Mishap, Overheat, Power Field Overload etc.) unless out of ammunition or energy
    • Negative attributes of Power Armour History are nullified
    • Immune to haywire or similar effects. If already affected, they immediately recover from the effects
    • As determined by the GM, this can also work with other devices (Starship Components etc.)
  • Designer’s Note = Reverse Curse of the Machine Spirit, that’s pretty much it

The Dragon’s Claw
XP Cost: 1000
Action: Half or Free (See details)
Focus Power: +0 Willpower Test
Range: Melee
Opposed: No
Sustained: No
Subtype: Concentration; Attack
The Viper strikes with irresistible force, annihilating everything his blow touches

Dragon_s_Claw_.jpg

  • Everything in a Blast (PR) suffers a Destroyer (PR) attack
    • Destroyer damage profile is 1d5 Energy Damage
    • Otherwise, the attack deals 1d10 x PR Energy Damage, Penetration is PR
  • When the Viper successfully hits with a Force Weapon, they can use this Psychic Power instead of the standard Force Weapon feature
  • Designer’s Note = Basically the Force Weapon feature, but there is no opposed roll. It can also be used against vehicles or objects, making it more versatile. This is balanced by its low damage potential and very short range

The Dragon’s Blessing
XP Cost: 1500
Requirements: Rank 3 WP 40+
Action: Full
Focus Power: -10 Willpower Test
Range: Self
Opposed: No
Sustained: Free
Subtype: Concentration
Summoning the aid of the Omnissiah, the Viper heals his grievous wounds and even his equipment are restored by the blessings of the Dragon of Mars

  • Gain Regeneration – (PR/2). Add same value if caster has Regeneration Trait already.
  • If the Viper is not suffering from Wounds or Lost Limbs at the start of their Turn, this power instead restores one piece of equipped Wargear to full function (except fuel, ammunition or power) every three turns. This only works for Wargear that is Standard Issue for them (that is, Wargear they have personally crafted!)
  • If commanding a vehicle with a psychic component (such as a vehicle with sanctified armour), this power also repairs the vehicle’s Structure Integrity equal to the Regeneration value. Care must be taken when using this power in this manner, as any damage the vehicle receives is dealt to the Viper in Wounds, which is not reduced by Armour or Toughness!
  • Designer’s Note = Modified Imperial Fist Power. Added repair properties

The Dragon’s Shell
XP Cost: 1500
Requirements: Rank 3 WP 45+
Action: Half or Reaction
Focus Power: -10 Willpower Test
Range: Self
Opposed: No
Sustained: Full
Subtype: Concentration
The Viper instantly sheathes himself in a shimmering field of power, his faultless guard turning aside blows that might otherwise penetrate his already formidable defences

Dragon_s_Shell_.jpg

  • You can use this Power in two ways:
    • You can use this Power as a normal Psychic Power on your turn
    • You can use this Power as your Evasion Action whenever it is allowed to perform one (such as with Parry or Dodge)
  • On a successful Focus Power Test, this power allows the Viper to suffer no harm or effects from any and all attacks or environmental hazards, but remains immobile for the duration
    • If cast as a Half Action, this power can be Sustained for a number or Turns equal to PR
    • If cast as a Reaction, the caster must declare if this power will last only until the end of the attacker’s Turn or Sustain it until the end of their next Turn up to a number or Turns equal to PR
  • Designer’s Note = Basically Faultless Guard from GG, or Foreboding from DH2E, but tanking hits instead of avoiding them

The Dragon Unbound (Modified Nocturne’s Fire)
XP Cost: 2500
Rank Requirement: Rank 5 WP 50+
Action: Special
Focus Power: -10 Willpower Test
Opposed: No
Range: Self
Sustained: Free, but see below
Subtype: Concentration
The Viper throws caution to the wind as he unleashes the Unbound Flame within him. The Viper will burn himself hollow for victory

Radioooooo_.jpg

  • Can only be cast during (or when Activating) Frenzy
  • At the start of his Turn (including the Turn he used this power), his effective Psy Rating increases by 1
  • The power must be maintained if a 1d10 x PR roll’s result is higher than the Viper’s Willpower Characteristic at the start of his turn, as he rages uncontrolled
  • When the power ends:
    • The Viper is Stunned for two turns, which cannot be negated or reduced in any way
    • The Viper takes Energy Damage equal to the Turns the power was active, ignoring Armour and Toughness
    • The Viper cannot use Psychic Powers for the rest of the day
  • The power can be ended prematurely at the start of their Turn as a Free Action on a successful Hard (-20) Willpower Test. Once per Turn limit
  • Using this power is extremely taxing and can only ever be successfully performed once per day

Old Stuff

Tectonic Collider!
XP Cost: 1000
Action: Full or Free (See Below)
Opposed: No
Range: Special (See Below)
Sustained: No
The Viper strikes the earth, riding upon a choking pyroclastic flow from the ether as fire erupts around His foes

  • If using this power with a Force Weapon, Charge range is now the declared range of the power.
  • Range of up to 3xPR meters, Viper also moves equal to the range of the attack, counting as Flying for the Ranged Attack.

2d10+12 Pen 12, Volatile, Flame; Basically a Plasma Cannon in flamer form
At Push Level increase to 3d10+12 Pen 15. Ground Vehicles count as automatically suffering a Jarring Blow
Those hit must roll Agility. Fail and you are knocked prone.

  • Area is also covered in Smoke (-20) for one turn

Fafnir!
XP Cost: 1000
Action: Half
Opposed: No
Range: Self
Sustained: Yes
Emulating the mythical beast, the Viper ignites with irresistible heat, covering him in an aura of psychic fire

  • Sustain as a Free Action
  • Melee Attacks now have the following profile:
    • 1d10+PR
    • Felling (2), Force, Flame, Warp Weapon
    • Strength bonus is NOT ADDED to the damage due to the ethereal nature of the flames
    • You cannot parry or be parried unless interacting with a Psychic Weapon or equivalent
    • This overrides the profile of Unarmed Attacks, Weapons etc.
    • Obviously, you cannot use ranged weapons while sustaining this power
  • In Grapple, the opponent takes the above damage every round so long as the Viper is In Control (no need to attack)
  • Hordes in melee take PR damage every turn from the intense heat
  • While sustaining this power, you are immune to heat-based environmental effects (Lava, Fire etc.)
  • In lieu of a forge, this power can be used instead to perform metalwork and such
  • Designer’s Note = A more all-comer’s alternative to Tyrant’s Bane, it can be sustained so no fear of constant rolls as well as some Horde damage built in. Not as damaging, but is more reliable in dealing it. Still has the inherent short range in keeping with the theme.

Hellfire!
XP Cost: 1500
Rank Requirement: Rank 3
Action: Full or Free (See Below)
Opposed: No
Range: Self
Sustained: Yes
The Viper throws caution to the wind as he summons the Volcanic Fury of the Astartes. The Viper or His foes shall fall this day

  • Can only be performed in the Push level
  • Can also be done as a Free Action while activating Frenzy
  • Note that failing the Focus Power test means also failing going into Frenzy state
  • Sustain as a Free Action
  • Frenzy and power ends after a number of rounds equal to half of PR (Rounded Up) or with a successful Challenging (+0) Willpower Test.
  • The Viper gains the following attributes:

Daemons or Daemon-like entities slain have their essence obliterated
Ignore one level of Felling and up to (PR) Penetration from attacks
Increase Unnatural Strength and Toughness by one level
Lose access to all Non-Viper Psychic Powers, and can only cast at Push level
Such is the Viper’s rage that they become Immune to Mental Psychic Powers or Suffering Insanity Points they would have gained while in this state

  • When power ends:
    • You are stunned for one Round from the ordeal, as well as ending Frenzy for this combat
    • Roll WP. Fail and gain Insanity Points equal to PR minus Willpower Bonus and Corruption equal to PR minus Toughness Bonus (not modified by Unnatural Characteristics)
    • Take damage and fatigue equal to PR (Unreduced)
  • This power is extremely taxing and can only ever be done once per day
  • More Puritan Kill-Team Members and individuals may not be too hot on witnessing the fire daemon before their very eyes

Volcanic Viper!
XP Cost: 2000
Requirements: Rank 5 WP 50+
Action: Full
Opposed: No
Range: Self
Sustained: No
Channeling the namesake of his Chapter, the Viper launches skyward, trailing hot death upon His enemies

  • Can only be performed in the Push level
  • Affected areas are between your Starting Point and an Ending Point within 1d10+PR meters that you can reach as if you had flyer. Can overlap
  • Can be dodged by the usual Agility Roll (Assuming their half-move is enough to get out of the entire blast area)
  • In a Blast (PR) all targets in the Starting Point, travel path and Ending Point count as being hit by the following Ranged Attack:

1d10xPR Pen (4xPR); Volatile, Devastating (PR), On Fire (No Test)
Those in the Starting Point are launched 1d10+PR meters into the air. Vehicles count as suffering Jarring Blow in addition to other effects
Those in the Ending Point are knocked prone. Vehicles count as suffering Jarring Blow in addition to other effects
Those in the “Overlap” are hit twice and suffer both falling damage and are knocked prone. Unfortunate ground vehicles “roll” their highest armour value. Fail and they are flipped to their side. Hoverers or Flyers also roll. Fail and they crash to the ground.

  • The attack’s potency is such that Fields of any kind are ignored by the sheer force unleashed
  • This power is extremely taxing and can only ever be done once per day, as well as taking damage and fatigue equal to PR (Unreduced)

The Dragon’s Claw
XP Cost: 1000
Action: Half or Free (See Below)
Opposed: No
Range: Melee
Sustained: No
The Viper summons the force of an erupting volcano to strike down His foes

  • The Dragon’s Claw can be cast with a Force Weapon in lieu of using the normal Force Channeling ability, even if no damage is dealt. Limit of one “Attack” Type psychic power per turn still applies.
    • If the Viper has Furious Assault or other Multiple Attack Maneuver, he can declare to use this power on one of the attacks. Obviously, he cannot retroactively declare if the next attack misses!
  • Perform the following Melee Type Attack with the following profile
    • 1d5 x PR Energy Damage; Blast (5), Volatile
    • Unless deflected by a Field or target is somehow Warded, this attack completely ignores Toughness and Armour
    • At Push Level, can cause True Death to Daemons if they fail their Warp Instability roll or take damage in excess of their Wounds.
  • Designer’s Note = Basically the Force Weapon channeling trait of Force weapons, but this power works on everything at a damage penalty.

The Dragon, Installed
XP Cost: 1500
Rank Requirement: Rank 5 WP 50+
Action: Full or Free (See Below)
Opposed: No
Range: Self
Sustained: Yes
The Viper throws caution to the wind as he summons the Volcanic Fury of the Astartes. The Viper or His foes shall fall this day

  • Can be performed along with the Frenzy Talent if the Viper has it
  • Can only be performed in the Push level
  • Sustain as a Free Action
  • Power ends after a number of rounds equal to half the PR used to manifest the power (Rounded Up) or ended earlier with a successful Challenging (+0) Willpower Test.
  • The Viper activates all the Chapter Psychic powers he has LEARNED with the following differences:
    • The Dragon’s Blessing is in effect at a level equal to the PR used to manifest this Power
    • The Dragon’s Claw’s damage is upgraded to 5 x PR and can be used even through non-Force Weapons
    • The Dragon’s Blood no longer needs to test Toughness for Regeneration to take effect
    • The Dragon’s Shell is in effect, but the Viper can Dodge
  • When power ends:
    • You are stunned for one Round from the ordeal, ignoring talents that may prevent this.
    • Roll WP. Fail and gain Insanity Points equal to PR minus Willpower Bonus and Corruption equal to PR minus Toughness Bonus (not modified by Unnatural Characteristics)
    • Take damage and fatigue equal to PR (Unreduced)
  • This power is extremely taxing and can only ever be done once per day
  • More Puritan Kill-Team Members and individuals may not be too hot on witnessing the fire daemon before their very eyes
  • Designer’s Note = Basically an all-or-nothing move, but power’s usefulness is dependent if he learned those powers at all!

Yep

AN-
GELS
OF
DEATH
Drop down from the sky, yeah…

FOR
THE
EM-
EPRA
Boltguns in the Air!

“So let it be
Oh let it be”
Says all The Ordos…

Eight time’s a’knockin’ on the door
No response, but hey you already—

BACK TO BACK!
Death comes riding on a (Land Raider/ Stormraven/ Thunderhawk)

BACK TO BACK!
Chainswords screamin’ to the End!

BACK TO BACK!
Cannot let Abaddon do it again!

BACK TO BACK!
I can no longer pretend!

Give me a Break, you Damned!
Just wanna get back my Honour…
KNOW NO FEAR!
What a Heavy Day!

NOW
YOU
HEAR
THE
Rumble from the ground, yeah…

FOR
THE
EM-
EPRA
Daemon’s dancin’ ‘round, yeah…

“So let it be
Oh let it be”
Seems I’m the Traitor…

Eight time’s a’knockin’ on the door
One last chance, you’ve gotta stand—-

BACK TO BACK!
Death comes riding on a (Land Raider/ Stormraven/ Thunderhawk)

BACK TO BACK!
Chainswords screamin’ to the End!

BACK TO BACK!
Cannot let Abaddon do it again!

BACK TO BACK!
I can no longer pretend!

Give me a Break, you Damned!
Just wanna get back my Honour…
KNOW NO FEAR!
What a Heavy Day!

Hey!
Hey!
Hey!

We made a contract with the Warp and had a high old time…
Nobody doubted its true purpose, oh yeah!
Not knowing we had given up everything we had left,
All odds and options denied, time to fight thru Hell and—

BACK TO BACK!
Death comes riding on a (Land Raider/ Stormraven/ Thunderhawk)

BACK TO BACK!
Chainswords screamin’ to the End!

BACK TO BACK!
Blade is already on your Progenoid!

BACK TO BACK!
It’s now or never!
Last chance… to stand!

Give me a Break, you Damned!
Just wanna get back my Honour…
KNOW NO FEAR!
What a Heavy Day!

Sanctus Ordos Volcanus Vipera

Deathwatch: Scything Talons Cokesakto Veloranz