A chapter know for manipulating their foes to fight each other, the Black Adders were a short lived space marine chapter of unknown gene-seed, based on the planet Fedual planet Consett. Their name was in fact taken from one the most successful families on the planet, the Blackadders. A highly unorthodox chapter, the Black Adders were the target of multiple Inquisition investigations, with one infamous report becoming known as "The Adder Report".
Tragically, the chapter was declared Lost after the Destruction of Somme, an event when their strategies fell back on them spectacularly, resulting in the transformation of the Paradise world into a Dead world. To this day, the Black Adders are remembered as cunning, but cowardly servants of the Emperor's wrath.
The feudal world of Consett in the Durham Sector was home to multiple noble families, all of whom were engaged in complex political moving. The most successful family was the Blackadders, who depended on deception, complex plots and downright skulduggery to maintain their power. A perfect example, and arguably their greatest victory, was when the Great Crusade Expedition fleet reached the planet. The first to make contact with the fleet, thanks to ancient vox systems, the Blackadders showed themselves as a struggling bastion of logic and sanity amidst a world of madness and war, lead by other tyrannical families. The Blackadders helpfully pointed out the supposed worst of the bunch, and humbly asked that the fleet brought them to heel.
After the dust cleared, the Blackadders had a 90% control of the planet, and happily lead it to join the Imperium. From then on, the Blackadders’ reach spread beyond Consett, as they slowly expanded their influence across the Imperium. Although the Horus Heresy was a blow to their plans, the Blackadders survived and expanded further.
In the late 37th Millennium Family Blackadder, though their links in the High Lords of Terra, discovered that a Space Marine Chapter had been prophesied to be formed in their sector. Immediately the extended family began to plot and scheme to first have the chapter located of their own world, and second to have it under their control. When another planet was decided to the location of the new chapter, said planet "accidentally" had a series of energy reactor explosions, rendering it unfit for even Astartes habitation. The Blackadders then managed to convince the Mechanicus fleet overseeing the first stages of the Founding that their own planet was a suitable replacement. They even offered one of their castles, Alnwick Castle, as the base of the fortress-monastery.
Once the induction of the first recruits began on Consett, the Blackadders began to seed their male scions amongst their number. Although a number of the sons fought against this, Edmund Blackadder the 50th, son of the family's patriarch, accepted his role and quickly gained note amongst his instructors. A tale told in the chapter is that Edmund was the first to be successfully implanted with the new chapter's gene-seed; no one survived from this period to dispute this claim.
Finally through hard work, both by Edmund and the family bribers, Edmund was set to become Chapter Master. His father, and other important members of the family, held a meeting to discus the future, and invited Edmund. Many believed they would use Edmund to gain control of the chapter, but few suspected what would happen next. Only a few moments after walking in the meeting room, a bloody Edmund stormed out, declaring that the higher members of the family had try to force him to join a chaos cult. This heavy accusation became the first combat seen by the new Astartes, as they were deployed to round up the most influential members of the family and kill them for being traitors. Afterwards, Edmund declared his family free of taint, but "just to make sure" he kept control of all his family's resources and contacts.
Finally, after two centuries the chapter was formed. Due to a "lack of original names in this overcrowded galaxy," Edmund named his chapter the Black Adders. Declaring his chapter combat ready, Edmund swore to destroy the enemies of the Emperor, where ever they were.
Six years later, after refusing to join conflicts due to “lack of ammunition,” “localised warp storms” and “It’ll be over by the time we get there,” the chapter received a message from the High Lords of Terra. According to Edmund, the message could be summed up as “Get involved, or lose your head.” With such delicate prompting, the Black Adders left Consett, and soon arrived on Northumb, a Hive World currently infested by necrons. The necrons had taken much of the southern landmass of the planet, and were slowly pushing north. Despite all the reinforcements the Imperial Guard kept throwing into the conflict, little could be done to halt the metal demons' advance. Edmund viewed the situation, then left the planet for a short while.
He returned as a Ork WAAAGH impacted in the middle of the necron force. Edmund explained to the stunned local commanders that he had simply found a nearby ork world, told them that Northumb was under attack by the greatest warriors in the galaxy, then waited until they went to fight these "great warriors". After six months, despite great casualties the orks had cleaned up the necrons. They were then all wiped out themselves by the Black Adders. Named "The Heroes of Northumb", the Black Adders were showered by gifts by the grateful populace, who only knew the Artistes had managed to defeat two xeno threats. Declaring he could get used to being treated as a hero, Edmund lead his forces off the planet to find other easy targets.
The Black Adders spent the next years intervening in multiple conflicts, often leaving both sides severely damaged. The best example is the Jericos Campaign, during which Third company discovered the forces of the Eldar Craftworld Wooga fighting a war against the forces of the Dark Eldar Kabal of the Black Blackness on the planet Jericos. The sides had reached a stalemate, and both leapt on the arrival of the Black Adders as potential allies. Failing to seduce the female leaders of both groups, Captain George contacted his Chapter Master for orders. Edmund told George to "stick your head in the reactor." After George left to find the reactor, Edmund told the officers of the company what to do.
Shortly afterwards, the Dark Eldar were contacted by the Chapter, asking that their warriors assembled in a series of large ruins on the planet for a strike on the Eldar. The Kabal eagerly moved into the ruins, looking forward to crushing their enemy - only to find their enemy doing exactly the same thing. Before a major fight began, the two leaders met and discovered both had been asked into the ruins by the Black Adders. Shortly after, an orbital bombardment began.
Although both forces were surprised, the Dark Eldar managed to evacuate most of their units due to their speed. Although the Eldar managed to escape with some of their units as well, both came under attack from Black Adder Marines. Forced to flee, but with the Dark Eldar lacking a way off planet, an alliance was made to get vengeance on the Black Adders. The two groups left Jeircos for the Wooga Craftworld, while the unconcerned Black Adders left for Gerahan (while George was finally found wandering the bowls of the ship)
The Black Adders First and Fourth Companies (and eventually the Third company) responded to a call for aid from the planet Gerahan. A major chaos invasion was underway on the planet, and even with the support of several other chapters little progress was made for a year. While Fourth Company was deployed into the trenches, something Melchett (but nobody else) was pleased about, Edmund began leading scouting missions in the heretics territory.
Soon afterwards, Edmund approached Captain Ludwig of the Blood Ravens, revealing information that somehow the traitors main base held a relic of the Blood Ravens' past, something Edmund assured would "tell you every little dirty detail about your founding." Predictably, Ludwig immediately moved his company to attack the base. Needless to say, they were nearly totally deviated, but their mad rush managed to distract the forces of Chaos long enough for other forces to move in and decimate the traitors themselves. Edmund lead the charge, albeit from behind the vanguard of Ultramarines.
Afterwards, when the Black Adders had rather quickly left, Ludwig returned with what remained of his company. He claimed he found no evidence of a chapter relic, or of any relic of any value. Deciding that Edmund had deceived him, Ludwig swore vengeance and broke away from his chapter. He and his men later returned as a Chaos Warband.
Destruction of Somme
The Black Adder's luck finally caught up with on Somme, a Paradise Planet the entire chapter had been deployed to for "threat prevention." Just weeks after the chapter arrived, three separate fleets arrived in orbit. One was the combined forces of the Craftworld Wooga and the Kabal of the Black Blackness, seeking revenge for Jericos. The second was Ludwig's chaos warband, also seeking revenge. The final fleet was a group of orks that had tracked the Black Adders in hopes of getting to fight "da sneaky space gits."
Immediately the Black Adders began to organise an evacuation of the planet. But a problem was found; there were not enough ships to take both the civilians and the full chapter of the planet. After a short meeting, Edmund declared the full chapter would remain on the planet to defend it.
- "You may think this decision goes against our chapter's... unique mindset. And you would be right. But I view it like this; these foes we face, if we run, shall follow us to the end of the galaxy to find us. And I cannot have on my conscience the deaths of those who come between us and then. So. We shall stand. We shall fight. We may die, but we shall die with honour. We shall die Space Marines. We shall die... for the Emperor"
- —Edmund to his Chapter before at Somme
When the attacking fleets realised only civilians were leaving on-board the ships, they ignored them in favour of circling the planet. First to deploy were the orks, follwed by the two Eldar groups and finally Ludwig forces. The Black Adders were totally out gunned and out-manned.
It has never been known what occurred on Somme; the Eldar ships had a jamming field, making contamination with the chapter impossible. Those viewing the planet from a safe distance only saw a massive ring of some kind of black energy form on the surface, which grew to cover the whole planet and the ships in orbit. When it receded, all that was left was a dead world, devoid of life or an atmosphere. Of the Black Adders, or their foes, there was no sign.
To this day the fate of the Black Adders Chapter remains a mystery. The Inquisition, which took control of the remaining assets of the chapter, have long believed they gained outside help but thus far have been unable to prove anything.
A feudal planet, Consett is controlled by various Families, first amongst them is Family Blackadder. Before the Great Crusade reached the planet, the distribution of power was wider, but that was destroyed in the orbital bombardment. A single landmass is filled with forests, open plains and numerous separate mountain ranges. The planet's main resources are iron, coal, limestone and "an abundance of sheep."
Originally a fortress of Family Blackadder, it was given as a gift to the as-off then unfounded chapter. Since then, the castle has been expanded massively above and below ground. The mountain the castle was built on has been fitted with defence batteries, and hangers for landing ships. Chapter Serf patrol the grey walls, giving the whole fortress a serious air.
The inside, however, has completely gold plated walls and ceilings. Massive banquet halls are filled with rare food from across the galaxy, while the battle-brother cells are all en-suite, with rare peagses-down mattresses. Marvellous artworks adorn every corridor, and everywindow is stained glass, displaying a hero of the Imperium (usually wearing Black Adder armour).
A number of rooms in the fortress-monastery lack this ornament however. This includes the armoury (unusually clean), the practice rooms (very dusty) and the chapter serfs living quarters, which have been equated to an underground turnip field.
After the Chapter was declared lost, the Inquisition took control of the castle.
The Black Adders, due to lack of willing applicants, were only able to field four companies at any time.
- First Company - Lead by Chapter Master Edmund, due to his belief that none other is worthy. First Company marines were known to be cowardly, lacking intelligence, and utterly dedicated to keeping themselves alive. Despite their superior fighting skills, the First Company only used these to escape combat, not join it.
- Second Company - Apparently highly loyal to the Chapter Master, the Second Company marines were in fact engaged in a complex web of alliances, backstabbing, and plotting all with the aim of becoming the supposed best in the company. No one however ever tried to take control of the company; Captain Percy Percy was a wonderful scapegoat for when things go wrong.
- Third Company - The most cynical, sarcastic and pessimistic marines ever, Third Company was known for mocking every moving thing from the Ghoul Stars to Holy Terra. By comparison, their Company Captain George Colthurst was optimistic, dim, and had a knack for accidentally insulting people, instead of doing so intentionally.
- Fourth Company - Experts of getting out of combat, and lead by military idiot Captain Melchett. Nicknamed the "Arm Chair General", due to having a comfy chair transported around that he sat in while his troops go into battle, following his "Grand Plan" of slowly walking towards the enemy. Needless to say, he was not popular.
- ""It is better for the enemies of mankind to fight amongst themselves, then for us to fight them.""
- —Chapter Master Edmund Blackadder, taken from The Adder Report
In an effort to never actually have to fight, or at least severely damage the enemy, The Black Adders would often turn two enemy forces against each other. They once assassinated a single ork warboss, leading to a fracture of a potentially devastating WAAAGH into numerous tribes that fought each other to death. The Black Adders then swooped in to take the glory.
The companies all had their own battle strategies. The first company, despite being equipped with terminator armour and the chapter's best weapons, didn't seek out combat and only fought when under threat. The second company had the knack of targeting enemies important to the chain of command, probably based on their own skills in backstabbing, and manipulation. The third company simply annoyed the enemy until they give up. And the fourth company is famous for slowly walking forwards into battle.
The Black Adder marines were constantly plotting against each other, in a style similar to the political manoeuvring of their home planet. Although the Second Company were the experts in this, every marine had at least one on-going plot to get a one-up on his battle-brothers.
Each marine had their own "Baldrick," a personal serf that takes care of all their needs. The way the they were treated depended on the battle-brother, but they were often treated badly. Due to the stupidity of the Baldricks however, they rarely cared.
- Chapter Master Edmund Blackadder - Also patriarch of Family Blackadder, and leader of First Company. Perhaps the most intelligent man in his sector, and extremely dangerous. Most of the Black Adder's battle plans came straight from him.
- Second Captain Percy Percy - A childhood friend of Edmund, every action he took was to gain favour in his Chapter Master's eye. Edmund however though of Percy as an idiot, albeit a reliable one.
- Third Captain George Colthurst - Once described as "an airhead," George was a different character to his company; if he insulted someone, he didn't intended to, unlike his men. George also saw himself as a womaniser, but no proof of this has been found.
- Fourth Captain Melchett - Had the title "Master of Moustache," due to his massive facial hair. It's size and quivering mesmerised many to follow his stupid orders, including his "Grand Plan" of having his troops slowly march towards the enemy while he sat in a comfy chair.
- Rowan Bean - A particularly troublesome marine from the Third Company, not only did Rowan have the same streak of sarcastic found in his company, he was also a known kleptomaniac. He was forced onto a repentance crusade, but before he left he stole the relic Silver Tongue. It is unknown if he was with the chapter during the Destruction of Somme.
- The Putrid Y-Fronts of Baldrick - A pair of underpants belonging to the Bladrick Family, myth says it was first worn by the founder of the family, who never took them off until his death. By the time of the Black Adders, the stench created was enough to overwhelm even an Astartes' enhanced biology. It is stored on Consett's moon, inside a sealed ceramite vault guarded by the chapter's only dreadnought, and encased inside a scented candle. Despite such precautions, it is possible to smell the pants on the planet surface when the moon is full. The Black Adders deploy this weapon from orbit, then retrieve it when the threat has been neutralised.
- Silver Tounge - A chainsword plated in silver alloy, oringaly a relic of another chapter before it was "given" to the Blackadders. Stolen, and currently in the possesion of Battle-Brother Rowan Bean.
- Inquisition - The Black Adders were the subject of numerous Inquestion report, the last of which was the infamous "Adder Report". The main point of the Inquisition interest was the worry resources were being wasted on a useless chapter.
- Other Chapters - No chapter has ever taken responsibility for supplying the Black Adder's gene-seed. A story is told that near the beginning of the chapter, a delegation arrived to help Edmund work the culture of the Black Adder parent chapter into the new chapter. Edmund told them to "bugger off."
- Blood Ravens - Due to the suspected deception during the Gerahan campaign that lead to almost an entire company being killed, the Blood Ravens hold a heavy grudge. It is made worse by the fact that the survivors, lead by Captain Ludwig, turned to chaos.
- Chaos - Perhaps surprisingly the Black Adders were very resistant to chaos corruption. The chapter's philosophy was that Chaos, while potential very power, is not worth it in the slightest.
- "Perhaps if you unstuck your blue head from your blue behind you could see the value in being silent, that is to say, not chanting prayers to the Emperor and and perfect-fracking-Gullima during a stealth mission."
- —Black Adder Third Company Marine to Ultramarine
- "How about this. You go in first, soak up the fire, and we come after. Say, once they are all dead?"
- — Black Adder First Company Marine
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