The Death Scythes are a Loyalist, non-Codex compliant Space Marine Chapter founded during the Age of Apostasy. Little trace of their founding Chapter remains, and since the loss of their first Fortress-Monastery, they themselves no longer know who they were descended from. They operate from beyond the galactic plane, relying on a fleet of highly mobile strike cruisers and battle barges to reach their targets. Their brutal form of mechanized combat was developed over centuries of fighting on their homeworld, Sacrata Regionis.
The remaining records of the Chapter's early years and founding process are sketchy. The majority of the cobbled-together transcripts point to the Iron Hands as their progenitors.
The fledgling chapter was immediately embroiled in the bloody battles of the Age of Apostasy. Early colors varied, from the gray base-coat to bronze plating. Eventually, it morphed into the copper pattern used by them today.
No battles from this period have recordings left of them.
The Settling of Sacrata: 990.M38
Sacrata was discovered by an expeditionary force sent to purge heretics from a nearby system in Globular Cluster G7. The Regionis system had long been hidden by warp storms of the highest caliber, shredding ships that went near. As they subsided, the Death Scythe Battle Barge Wings of Angelis chanced upon the fledgling world. Immediately, they laid claim to the world, possessed by some unseen force to do so.
Sacrata was the sixth world in orbit around the Regionis star, and was a relatively inhospitable lava world at the time.
The planet was divided into three sectors, based on the largest continents, with the fortress monastery established on a floating stone suspended on the lava.
Sacrata was soon the center of power in the globular cluster, and a thousand small cities and townships had sprung up, despite the harsh terrain.
The eastern continent was covered in black crystals, toxic to levels where they would kill a Space Marine on contact. Thus, the east was very sparsely inhabited, and only partially explored by the time of the Siege.
The "Nightshade Crystals", named after a famed poisonous plant native to Holy Terra, were eventually utilized in power blades and special bolter rounds, along with the characteristic Reaper Scythe used by particularly elite Marines
This is also where the ancient war-scythe Dei Interficients was uncovered.
The west was the site of the major population centers until the Siege, with several million citizens. The massive Catacombs provided an easy passage through the cities. The Sacratan 199th Planetary Defense Regiment now permanently occupies this area.
The south is a molten wasteland, dotted with mines and manufacturing plants. Here lies the Hall of the Eternal Warrior, a tribute to the fallen of the Millennial Siege. A pair of grand columns etched with the name of every warrior slain in Sacrata's defense stand sentinel over a obsidian building covered with mosaics of bravery and heroism from the siege. It is considered one of the greatest honors possible for one's name to be carved onto one of the pillars in recognition of some heroic deed.
The Fortress Monastery of the Death Scythes was once located 50 kilometers from the northernmost part of the South, but it was destroyed and its pieces scattered into the lava sea during the Siege
Sanctum Infernus stood upon a unusual geologic formation, an enormous stone suspended in the lava. The fortress was built to circulate across the magma sea,
The Millennial Siege: 999.M38
Barely nine years after Sacrata was settled, the first inklings of trouble trickled in. Prosperous if small settlements in the west began to disappear
It was too late by the time they realized the true nature of these sinister activities.
On the cusp of M.40, a massive warpstorm shattered the small orbital fleet. Chaos daemons and traitor marines from the World Eaters poured onto the world. Taken by surprise, the Fortress Monastery was destroyed in the opening salvos.
With barely a company of warriors ready and on the planet, it seemed like the Death Scythes were doomed.
Defense of the West
The Battle of Prismi
Prismi, the largest city on the planet, soon fell under siege. The 2nd company had at that time arrived to supplement the 3rd, 1st, and 4th, all that remained of the once 1000 strong chapter.
The 2nd, under the lead of the new Captain Razore, was dangerously short on the needed armor for the counterattack. On his command, several of their Land Raiders were modified into the Executioner pattern that has occasionally shown up in imperial records and all their Rhinos were converted to Razorbacks with sponsoons. All the armour they could spare was wielded onto the Razorbacks.
The 3rd, led by Captain Pugno Postestas, struck at the encirclement several times with powerfist equipped troops to give Razore more time. They were nicknamed the "Strike Fists" by the PDF, and the name eventually stuck.
The 4th was a heavy artillery company, with its battle-brothers manning Vincaders and Whirlwinds. In preparation for the breakout, a heavy barrage began. One apothecary had the odd idea of launching aerosol-based medical drugs through the whirlwinds. The idea was discarded at first, but would have incredible significance later on.
The 1st was reclaiming the East from a major daemon during the opening of the Battle of Prismi.
Opening Stage: Phase I
Under hundreds of rockets from the 4th, Captain Razore led his strike force out of the encirclement. The Executioners performed admirably, and the Assault Razorbacks provided ample covering fire. They slew thousands of Chaos Cultists before rolling up the Chaos lines
The 4th followed shortly after, saturating the area with more rockets before speeding out.
The 3rd formed the rearguard, and following the 4th, promptly escaped the falling city.
Reclamation: Phase II
As the 1st arrived, the three other companies had already drawn up battle plans.
The 1st led the spearhead that pierced into the heart of the city. Vicious door-to-door fighting broke out. Here, the 1st company fielded the scythes that eventually would secure the infamy of the Death Scythes into the sub-sector. Crafted from Nightshade Crystals, their deadly effect and slight null field were used to great effect against the Daemons inside.
With most of the beach head clear, the 2nd and 3rd moved in to begin phase III
Destruction: Phase III
The plan had served them well until this point. The first was cut off by a Chaos Titan, and the 2nd was decimated by a Bloodthirster that appeared suddenly in their midst. The 3rd was battered as their attempted breakout failed spectacularly.
The 4th launched wave after wave of missiles to no avail. They finally tried the Apothecary's odd idea, and launched medical supplies down on the beleaguered defenders.
Chapter Master Vis Nimias led 25 of the chapters top warriors in a titan hammer formation. Jump-packing down on the titan, they fought for two long days. The titan was felled, but at a terrible cost. All of the valiant warriors lay dead, and chapter morale plummeted.
The chaos forces retreated, their spearhead blunted. Both sides had been badly bloodied.
Rescue: Phase IV
The chapter was crushed. Barely 200 battle-brothers survived. Only the timely intervention of the Mirror Paladins and Inquisitor Pallidus secured their future. With their support, the chapter finally drove the majority of the invaders off world. The battle still rages, however. As their final act, several daemons tore a hole in realspace, granting permanent access to the world. They have been embroiled in war ever since.
Reconstruction was difficult, and the chapter never regained its former numbers.
Sacrata was rebuilt as a true fortress, layers of defenses facing the warp gate.
Cities were moved partially underground, and defence platforms were constructed.
With so much gene-seed lost, the chapter consolidated its surviving members into six companies, 60 marines in each. This number would eventually reach 125.
Another interesting development was the close partnership the Sacratan guard regiments had with the Death Scythes. A platoon of guardsmen would cover a squad with lasgun fire as the Space Marines slaughtered the foe.
By the end of M. 40, the chapter had reached 750 marines, where it would remain to the present day.
Notable Battles and Campaigns
The Death Scythes have not been resting ever since the restoration of Sacrata. They played several minor roles in the battles for Armageddon as well as the closing phases of stopping hive fleet Kraken.
It would be only one century after Sacrata for the chapter to be tested in the fires of full war once more.
A Ork Waaaaagh swept into the Death Scythe's realm, culminated with a massive space battle at nebula I-L-F, where the Space Hulk the Orks were on was boarded by the Death Scythes.
Favored Weapons and Tactics
The Death Scythes primarily specialize in armor supported infantry attacks against dug-in enemies. Their vehicles provide cover and fire support along with their transport role. Artillery vehicles, including Whirlwinds, Vindicators and the occasional Griffon, pound targets with a ceaseless barrage of explosives.
Marines will carry massive amounts of grenades and other explosives to clear areas. Bolters are loaded with fragmentation rounds rather than full explosive for better close combat use. Chainswords are carried by practically every Death Scythe for melee combat.
Heavy Armor is almost always added onto the chapter's assault vehicles. They come under extreme amounts of fire, necessitating this treatment.
Along with this role, they occasionally reinforce units besieged by foes and serve as the spearhead for a breakout.
Death Scythe's standard wargear-
- Fragmentation rounds
- 5 Frag Grenades
- 1 Krak Grenade
The Death Scythes are arranged into 6 companies, rather than the standard 10 as dictated by the Codex Astartes. As they are highly isolated from the rest of the galaxy, they receive very few deliveries of equipment. This leaves them to keep all their available wargear in pristine condition, which in turn leaves them with many ancient relics no longer available in the majority of the Imperium
First company is comprised of the Grail Guard, marines who have exceptional knowledge of the chapter's archaeotech. They serve as the chapter's techmarines. Every piece of blessed armor in the chapter had its copper coating hand fused onto the ceramite plate. First company is not to be underestimated, however. Warriors of the Grail Guard must have survived at least 20 campaigns simply to be eligible. They are terrifying in combat, often fielding weapons that have steadily disappeared from service or are exceptionally rare, such as the Rapier pattern Laser Destroyer, as well as Tartaros pattern Terminator armor. The Grail Guard are led by chapter master Ceccedrion Lotos.
Second company is led by Captain Razore. The oldest of the chapter's warriors, he chose to continue leading second rather than taking the position of Chapter Master when Master Nimias fell. His force maintains its unique group of Assault Razorbacks, as well as its Land Raider Executioners. The arrival of several Storm Eagles given to the chapter by Inquisitor Pallidus further bolstered the company. It has stood by its battle tactics, forged and tempered in the continuing war over Sacrata.
Third Company still bears the name of the Strike Fists, even though its former captain no longer lives. Now led by Captain Bostes Enoro, the company forms the primary striking arm of the Death Scythes.
Fourth Company and fifth company are artillery companies formed primarily of Whirlwinds. Unlike the other companies, they do not have a captain organizing them. They are called by the other three companies to perform artillery strikes. Six or seven vehicles may be attached to any force that requires them.
Heroes of the Chapter
Chapter Master Ceccedrion Lotos
The leader of the Death Scythes since Nimias' death. A feared and respected leader, his harsh hold over Sacrata and its surrounding worlds has nevertheless proven highly effective. He leads from the Wings of Angelis, the venerable warship which led to the discovery of Sacrata.
During battle, he wields Dei Interficients and a storm bolter.
Captain Bostes Enoro
Artificer Opficus Conpleo
The Death Scythes have an unusually large fleet, given their relatively small size.
- Battle Barge Wings of Angelis
- Battle Barge Prism
- Strike Cruiser Clensing Light
- Strike Cruiser Sacred Wind
- Strike Cruiser Blade of Redemption
- Strike Cruiser Sea of Oblivion
- Strike Cruiser Starsailor
- Strike Cruiser Gold Sun
- Strike Cruiser Red Sun
- Strike Cruiser Nimrod
- Strike Cruiser Goliath
Allies of the Chapter
The Allies of the Death Scythes are far and few between, but they present a united front that few can overcome.
- Inqusitor Pallidus
- Mirror Paladins