The Doom Falcons are a Codex-compliant Space Marine Chapter that is loyal to the Emperor. They are a successor chapter of Imperial Fist gene seed that was presumably created during the 11th or 12th Founding.
The Doom Falcons were created during either the 11th or 12th Founding. Errors in Imperial records contradict each other as to which founding it was. They were assigned to the homeworld Doma, one of a very few developed worlds in Segmentum Ultima outside the realm of Ultramar. Doma is also one of the planets on the very edge of the Astropathic Choir's reach. They were created largely to help bolster Imperial defenses near the Eastern Fringe, as it was and still is a very volatile region of space.
The chapter's original colour scheme was to be green, blue and gold, but at the request of Doma's inhabitants, gold was exchanged for red. The beliefs of the populous held red as a very holy colour, symbolic of the blood the God Emperor and his sons shed protecting mankind from the dangers around them. Domic beliefs and customs were easily integrated into the Doom Falcon's dogma during their early years. Chaplains incorperated the most basic rituals into the daily routines of the Space Marines; resting both palms on a block of ice to show "what is" (Doma's climate only reached moderately warm temperatures in the summer months) before looking to the sun, or some representation of a sun, as a reminder that the God Emperor would always look down on their planet to warm them.
The new Space Marines emerging from this culture bore the strong marks of the planet's beliefs even in non-religious ways. They were industrious, clever, smart with their hands and very heroic. However, they also had a mild distrust of external authority. Ranks within the chapter were fine, but they were overtly weary of the Inquisition and even other chapters based on principle alone.
The Great Test of Faith
Two centuries after their founding, the Doom Falcons went up against what they believed to be a small Chaos incursion a few systems over. When they arrived, Chaos had already established a strong foothold and were much more difficult to dig out than previously expected. A campaign that they'd thought would take a few months at most took up the better part of three standard years, during which time their 1st Company Captain and his retinue were taken by the corruption.
The idea that such a great warrior could fall to Chaos was a severe blow to the morale of the Doom Falcons, and their previously unshakable faith was rattled. An accomplished hero had lost his soul to damnation, turning away from the Emperor's light. If he could fall, surely they were only a few steps behind...?
Through the doubt, though, a new hero arose: Chaplain Vanetskov of the 5th Company. Through fire and taint he showed them the way to victory, bolstering their faith until it was even stronger than before. With him at their head they had the strength and resolve to drive the forces of Chaos from the star system through several decisive battles, and upon their victory a grand promotion ceremony elevated Chaplain Vanetskov as the new 1st Company Captain. After that, it became tradition for a veteran Chaplain to hold that rank.
The Doom Falcons are respected by many of their fellow Space Marines for being one of the fiercest anti-Tyranid forces in the Imperium. Like their forefathers in the Imperial Fists, they are skilled at holding a bulwark against splinter fleets and have saved an unusual number of worlds from Tyranid incursions, including their home planet.
However they are also competent in the art of stopping the Tau from assimilating worlds. Using their scout forces to patrol unnoticed, the Doom Falcons will inconspicuously "check in" on a world that is suspected to have a Tau presence taking control of the governing bodies. This scenario is occasional, however, and the Doom Falcons spend most of their time dealing with more blatant threats.
While the Doom Falcons have access to the same armaments that any other chapter uses, they have a distinct preference for lascannons, heavy bolters and missile launchers over other heavy weapons. This can be seen in their Devastator and Tactical squads, although a few Tactical squads will use plasma rifles or grav guns instead.
Ordinary battle brothers wear typical Mk. VII power armour and carry standard bolters. Sergeants, except in the scout or veteran squads, normally wear Mk. VIII armour and weild a plasma pistol and power fist. Scouts tend to favor the use of sniper rifles and scout sergeants use a chainsword and bolt pistol. Sergeants of veteran squads wear Mk. IV power amrour like their brothers and carry a plasma pistol and power sword.
Predators are usually seen with a turret lascannon and sponson-mounted bolters. Rhinos are all mounted with twin-linked heavy bolters as well, and Dreadnoughts are usually seen with one lascannon and one ordinary power fist.
Company captains wear artificer armour and utilize a power fist or power claw and a combi-melta. First Company veterans are the only Marines who wear blessed Terminator armour. They often make use of arm-mounted autocannons, though a few sport other weapons.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Doom Falcons, like their parent chapter, are best known as an impenetrable wall against waves of enemies, especially Tyranids. Due to their proximity to the Eastern Fringe and vast regions of unexplored space, the Doom Falcons have faced a number of Tyranid splinter fleets over the millenia that they have served the Emperor. They are also known for facing Tau forces, whether in overt planetary warfare or sending scouts to assess the Tau insurgency prior to a full scale invasion. When taking on the threat of Chaos, it is a common practice for them to be accompanied by a small contingent of the Sisters of Battle.
While not especially interested in the populace of planets they are called to defend, the Doom Falcons play a major role in the faith and worship of their homeworld. Viewed as perfect examples of faith by the people who live on Doma, heroes and champions of the Chapter often take part in the major religious celebrations on the planet. Depictions of Doom Falcons in full battle plate are a common sight in Imperial shrines, often vanquishing some exaggerated evil or shown in meditation alongside the icons of saints.
During major holidays on Doma, it is very common for images of Doom Falcons, especially Chaplains and veterans, to be publicized showing them in prayer with the Sisters of Battle at some of the major shrines across the planet. This is used to reinforce the faith of the planet, and also to keep the government in check from becoming too corrupted. Those in positions of power on Doma live in fear that the Emperor's Angels of Death will deem them unworthy and bring divine punishment.
Although largely compliant with the teachings of the Codex Astartes, the Doom Falcons do have a few notable variations as part of their chapter culture. The most notable of these is the fact that aside from the 1st Company, every company consists of one veteran squad, four tactical squads, two assault squads, two devastator squads, and one scout squad. The logic behind this is that because the Eastern Fringe is such a demanding region the companies will have greater tactical flexibility, as well as giving the young scouts many examples of heroism to model themselves after.
Before becoming a Chaplain, a Marine must first serve as an apothecary for an extended length of time. A greater understanding of the physical damage a Doom Falcon endures can often lead to a greater understanding of his emotional and spiritual welbeing in turn. Because of this, the Doom Falcons have an unusually high number of apothecaries in their chapter.
Due to the nature of their faith in the Emperor and a loathing of the warp that is strong even by Space Marine standards, there are only five librarians in the entire chapter, and they are not officially assigned to any company. Instead, they are called upon as needed to counter specific threaths. Ordinary battle brothers have a latent mistrust of librarians as a matter of principle, and will only contact them if the situation demands it.
Because each company fields their own squad of neophyte scouts, the third squad in every company is dedicated to the support of these neophytes. They will often accompany the scout squad on their missions, holding position behind in case the scouts have to fall back or need additional firepower. This also gives the scouts a chance to work with experienced Marines who can give them a better understanding of the ins and outs of life in the chapter.
- Unknown Date M37: Known widely through the chapter as the Great Test of Faith, this was the chapter's most brutal and trying encounter with the forces of Chaos. Called to defend a star system in Segmentum Ultima, the Chaos threat was underestimated, leading to a drawn out and bloody conflict. During this campaign, Captain Boguslav Malchenko of the 1st Company fell to the corruption and betrayed his brothers to Chaos. This was a serious blow to the morale of the Doom Falcons, though their faith was strengthened and restored by 5th Company Chaplain Vanetskov. After several hard-fought battles and eventually vanquishing the forces of Chaos, Chaplain Vanetskov became the new 1st Captain.
- 817.M41: A splinter fleet from Hive Fleet Behemoth threatened the safety of the Doom Falcons' homeworld. After assessing the situation and determining they would be unable to defeat the Tyranid incursion without terrible losses, they called on their brethren in the Ultramarines Chapter for aid. Together the Space Marines were able to stage a campaign against the splinter fleet, and even though they took heavy casualties they were eventually able to stop the splinter fleet from reaching Doma. It was a hard-fought victory, and even though it would take more than a century for the Doom Falcons to recover, it is still regarded as a great triumph.
Notable Space Marines
- Tolik Zaitsev (Deceased): Original Chapter Master of the Doom Falcons.
- Boguslav Malchenko (Deceased): Former 1st Captain of the Doom Falcons. Due to massive exposure to the energies of the warp, he eventually gave in to corruption and turned traitor during the campaign in M37. He was eventually slain by Chaplain Vanetskov, and his name will live in infamy.
- Chaplain Vanetskov (Deceased): Chaplain Vanetskov was a zealous warrior of the 5th Company who led the Doom Falcons to victory during their test of faith. Elevated to 1st Captain following the victory, he eventually served as Chapter Master for a century and a half until his prolonged lifespan ended. A grand funeral was held for this hero, and the anniversary of his passing became a Holy Day of Mourning on Doma for its citizens to remember one of the greatest heroes of the chapter. In the current time, many shrines across the planet were named in his honour.
- Gavril Solzhenitsen: Former Chapter Master of the Doom Falcons who was slain by an Eldar Autarch during a particularly vicious campaign. His death is the reason for the chapter's particular loathing of the Eldar race.
The Doom Falcons primarily wear light green coloured power armour. The top of the backpack and the insets of the shoulder pauldrons are dark red in colour. The shoulder pauldron trim and the top of the helmet is yellow in colour. The Aquila or Imperialis on the chest guard is dark blue in colour. The colour of the left poleyn (knee guard) designates company number. The white coloured squad specialty symbol (Tactical, Assault, Devastator and Veteran) designates squad specialty. A black coloured roman numeral centered on the squad specialty symbol indicates squad number.
As dictated by the Codex Astartes, sergeants wear bright red helmets as their badge of office. They will often mark their armour and helmets sparingly with skull motifs as well. Distinguished Marines' gauntlets are painted dark red, to symbolize the blood they have spilled protecting mankind in the name of the Emperor (which offsets the other symbolism, that the dark red is originally the blood shed by the Emperor).
Occasionally some of the veteran Marines will wear Mk. VI power armour instead of Mk. VII. These are the warriors who are ready to be reassigned to a veteran squad once a spot opens for them. Brothers wearing Mk. VI armour are a very unusual sight, and they are highly respected by their squad mates for their long service to the chapter.
Veteran squads wear ancient Mk. IV armour in the same colours, with the exception that their helmets are white with silver faceplates.
The Doom Falcons' Chapter badge is a black coloured stylised falcon showing it from a profile view, centered upon a field of dark red.
- Herald of Justice: The Doom Falcons' battle barge. The Herald is the flagship of the chapter's fleet, and though completely functional, its exterior shows some markings of past battles. The ship has gained some infamy with the Tau Empire.
- Sword of Divinity: A strike cruiser, and the oldest ship in the fleet. It is highly revered by the chapter as it carried the Chaplain who helped defeat Chaos during the Great Test of Faith.
- The Cleansing Hand: An ancient power fist worn by the first Chapter Master, this holy weapon has been passed down through generations of Doom Falcons as the badge of office. Through the millenia it has slain a multitude of heretics and xenos alike, and is named for the mentality that is serves to help cleanse the galaxy of the filth that plagues those loyal to the Emperor.
- Purity: Once an ordinary crozius arcanum, the staff of office for any chaplain, this relic was named for the purity of faith from its original weilder, Chaplain Vanetskov. As a grand reminder that no test of faith cannot be overcome, it is proudly used in battle by the First Captain to this day.
- The Worst Heretic: The corrupted power armour that was originally worn by Captain Malchenko was displayed in the chapter's reclusium. Guarded by two chapter veterans in Terminator armour and contained within a stasis field, the armour still bore the cracks of the battle that felled its wearer. This unholy relic was kept on display as a staunch reminder to all Doom Falcons that they must never allow Chaos to claim their souls. However the Ordo Hereticus investigated rumours allegating to this, and as a result the chapter partook in five centuries of pennance to cleanse their souls. The armour in question was seized by the Inquisition and presumably destroyed.
- Ultramarines: Due to their relative proximity to each other, the Ultramarines and Doom Falcons have assisted each other on several occasions, most notably against a splinter hive fleet that threatened Doma during 817.M41. Because of this, there is a friendly rivalry between battle brothers, and when they are within reach of each other they will sometimes meet to swap war stories and have sparring competitions.
- Order of the Purest Faith: Doma is also the site of a small Adepta Sororitas convent, the Order of the Purest Faith. The Sisters of Battle in this convent are often the actual sisters and blood relatives of the Space Marines who are initiated into the Doom Falcons, and as such they are each other's closest allies. When a company of Doom Falcons is dispatched to eradicate heresy somewhere within Segmentum Ultima, a small detatchment of Sisters almost always accompanies them into battle. The closeness these warriors feel for each other is a great positive boost for their faith and morale, ensuring their best and most thorough work in expunging the traitors and unbelievers.
- Tau Empire: The Doom Falcons have earned infamy among the xenos after stopping a number of their conquests. Similarly, the chapter has noted an increasing amount of stubbornnes on the part of the Tau whenever they confront each other, showing their resentment for the Astartes. The Tau forces will often deploy higher quantities of troops in their attempts to avoid defeat at the hands of the Doom Falcons.
- Eldar: While having unusually high success rates against Tyranids and Tau, the Doom Falcons are much less adept at taking on an Eldar threat. Their combat doctrines, even after millenia of refinement, are usually still several steps behind the plans of the Eldar. This is a source of resentment on the part of the Space Marines; especially after an Eldar Autarch killed one of their earlier Chapter Masters, they will refuse to make last-ditch alliances with the xenos even in the wake of a greater foe.