The Eagles of the Void were a loyalist space marine chapter that known for air based combat. While well versed in standard Astartes tactics they placed an extra emphasis on air superiority. As the doomed chapter was a successor of The Ultramarines they were largely Codex compliant, divided into ten companies of one hundred battle brothers.
But they deviated from The Codex in one significant way- they possessed a large number of Stormhawk Interceptors but the exact number is unknown.
Part of an unknown founding their geneseed came from Ultramarines stock, and their recruits were drawn from the upper class of their homeworld. They were the orphans of elite pilots killed in one of the frequent territorial squabbles between Cavernis Terrae's nations and airship based nomads.
Upon the chapter's founding its leaders requested that they be assigned to a fleet remembering how their ancestors fought from the decks of airships. Their request was honored and received a fairly small number of ships, only four Strike Cruisers, twice that number of Gladius Frigates and a single Battle Barge.
There is next to nothing known of the chapter prior to 793M41 and any records they kept of their own history were lost with their fleet leaving behind only broken fragments.
Proxas Mountains- 793.M41
Proxas,long troubled by rebels opposed to Imperial rule rose up once again in 793 under the brilliant leadership of their warlord Ahiezar Kerst. His army captured an ancient fortress predating the Imperium,digging in deep enough that the Imperial Guard fighting on Proxas were unable to drive them out even after a six month siege. When the Chapter Master heard of this he sent a warship squadron and a company of Battle Brothers to their aid, unknown to anyone on Proxas.
They announced their arrival with an orbital bombardment,knocking out the fortress's anti aircraft guns before eighty of the one hundred marines landed on the mountaintop while the remaining twenty flew air support.
Kerst's force were completely unprepared for their sudden arrival but survived another four days of fighting as the Eagles of the Void captured the mountain peak and several others nearby without losing a single Battle Brother. The few survivors surrendered, hoping for mercy. While their Captain was not inclined to give it the rulers of Proxas were more generous, reasoning that there had been enough bloodshed they sentenced all the others to life in prison.
Ludiron is a desert planet home to millions of loyal Imperial citizens living in cities perched on the edges of deep, wide canyons. It had taken centuries for these men and women to build their homes and civilization but in 822 M41 their civilization stood on the brink of extinction at the hands of the Imperium's enemies.
Iysarath, the Trueborn Dark Eldar Archon of the Broken Rose Kabal conquered several smaller Kabals, absorbing their resources. He watched Ludiron for more than a decade, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Ludiron's cities were weakened by drought and poor harvests and he saw his moment to act, gambling every resource he had against the chance to take twenty five million slaves and vastly increase his standing among his fellow Dark Eldar. As the first Torture Cruisers arrived and began landing troops the people of Ludiron called for aid.
The situation warranted the deployment of their Battle Barge, one of their warship squadrons and a full three companies. While the Battle Barge and warship squadron fought above the planet Marine pilots flew their gunships through the wide canyons, engaging the Dark Eldar Razorwing Fighters while vehicle crews battled their Ravager Grav Tanks.
More than a million citizens, 280,000 PDF troops and fourteen Astartes died in the fighting. More than ten thousand citizens were missing and it was assumed they were lost to Dark Eldar Slavers. But for this heavy price the forces of the Imperium of Man triumphed against the Xenos. Iysarath was killed in the fighting and his badly damaged Kabal was forced back into the shadows, escaping with only a single Cruiser remaining.
The Chapter would receive their chance at revenge fifty years later, utterly destroying the Kabal in a battle on and around the planet Neuruta. Kahrvyn, Iysarath's successor, followed in his predecessor's footsteps throwing his full resources into a massive slave raid on the isolated mountain world.
The Dark Eldar found Neurata's PDF waiting for them alongside two companies led by their Chaplain, two squadrons and their Battle Barge. The invasion failed utterly, and the Chaplain burned the bodies of the fallen Dark Eldar to keep the taint of Chaos from corrupting the land. The Astartes struck quickly before the Dark Eldar could retreat. The victory was not without cost, nine Battle Brothers and more than a thousand PDF troopers were killed or wounded.
Nonetheless they still struck quickly before the Kabal of the Broken Rose could retreat. They launched boarding actions against the Dark Eldar vessels still in orbit, Captain Tar'ok Manzim was the first aboard Kahrvn's flagship and killed the Archon crushing his windpipe with a single hand. His company captured his flagship and liberated the slaves kept aboard including the Archon's prized possessions, six pairs of twin sisters he kept for his own pleasure.
The vast ice fields of Keinus provided two vital resources to the local hive cities, Promethium and potable water and the discovery of an ancient artifact put both under threat. The ice harvesters and refiners were driven mad by this ancient,Chaos tainted piece of xenotech so they converted their machinery into makeshift wargear, attacking anyone to come near them, and eating the dead, both their own and those they killed.
As there was no time to wait for Imperial Guard forces to arrive and recover the sources of these necessities Keinus's leaders sent a message calling for Astartes aid. The Eagles of the Void were the first to arrive and they entered battle only minutes later, announcing their presence with precision orbital strikes and strafing runs. They took back the refineries and icebreaker dockyards in a matter of hours, only then reporting to the governor and placing the artifact in the care of the Chaplain. They did not hold on to it, turning the artifact over to the Ordo Hereticus as soon as possible.
Chapter Master Mendox received orders directly from the High Lords of Terra that ordered them to the Segmentum Obscurus. Their course took them through the Nerio Sector,traveling through a cluster of star systems not held by the Imperium. Once they were sure they would not come under attack they continued on their way.
They later stopped to aid fellow Astartes of the Tempered Souls chapter fighting a Chaos scout fleet in the uninhabited Gotrek system,continuing on their way after the battle was won. They would arrive in the Segmentum Obscurus later in the year and take up their new duties.
Segmentum Obscurus 998-999.M41
The crew of the strike cruiser Heavenly Hawk and her two escorts were on patrol near the gas giant Scyria when they encountered a small pirate fleet hiding in the upper atmosphere lying in wait for any merchant vessels to cross their path. The space marines took advantage of the situation, entering atmosphere and launching several gunships. The pirate vessels, operating without void shields, were caught totally off guard by the sudden attack. The lead vessel took crippling damage with the first two hits and Scyria's heavy gravity pulled her in while the other two were torn apart by equally precise cannon fire. The crews recovered the survivors and turned them over to the local Adeptus Arbites.
One of the Chapter's cruisers was badly damaged during a battle with a group of Ork Freebootas and the crew called for aid from any Imperial Forces in the area. The Rogue Traders of House Tiuse answered with a pair of Sword Frigates and three armed merchantmen.
The Chapter's officers quickly took charge of the battle- using the lighter vessels' speed and maneuverability against the slow and cumbersome Ork Croozers while they made repairs. This battle continued for over an hour before the Eagles of the Void reentered the fight with a single devastating shot to the lead Ork vessel- breaching its hull and starting fires that quickly spread out of control. The ensuing blast caught another of the cruisers, crippling it and making it an easy target.
The other two Croozers were easy prey for the Imperial ships. The Cruiser and her frigate escort remained with the convoy traveling to a Tiuse colony where they could make more permanent repairs.
Nimiset-A Chapter Falls 999M41
Hearing rumors of a force or Rak'gol moving beyond their usual hunting grounds in the Koronus Expanse Chapter Master Men'dox ordered the fleet moved to their alleged staging area- a planet orbiting the dying star Nimiset where they found a force that outnumbered them more than six to one. The Rak'gol moved first engaging at nearly point blank range, destroying the Gladius frigate Infanta less than five minutes into the battle. Their small force of only nine ships could not hope for victory against such odds but they swore to destroy as many of their enemy as they could before they were lost. In the ensuing battle all of their ships were destroyed but so were forty of the enemy's sixty three vessels- forcing them to withdraw and it can be said that while they lost their final battle they also denied their enemy a victory.
They received a memorial worthy of them- the debris from their destroyed fleet was pulled into the atmosphere, becoming shooting stars as it burned up.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
- "It is well known that the army which holds the high ground is at an advantage. There is no ground higher than space"
- —Chapter Master Tar'kim Mendox
They maintained a strangely high number of Stormhawks. In keeping with the ten man squads recommended by The Codex Astartes they were divided into squadrons of ten with the squad's sergeant in command. This also informed their tactical doctrine. those chosen to fly air support did so,covering those chosen to fight from inside their vehicles or on foot long enough for them to secure landing sites from which to operate.
The first waves of pilots would then join those on the ground, trading the task of future air support missions with other squads. Trained extensively in both air and ground warfare The Eagles of the Void were known to be an unpredictable enemy. Their foes would prepare for an attack from above only to face an overwhelming infantry assault or prepare for a frontal attack and be destroyed by precision bombing and pinpoint orbital strikes from the chapter fleet.
Their fleet based tactics were based on multiples of two, their Strike Cruisers always traveled with two Frigates, dividing their twelve vessel fleet into four Squadrons, each capable of acting on its own while their single Battle Barge was rarely deployed except in case of dire need.
Despite being a fleet based chapter they drew recruits primarily from the Segmentum Ultima planet Cavernis Terrae and they fought much as their ancestors did.
Their homeworld's unique geography, miles high towers of rock hundreds of miles across led their own internal conflicts to be decided almost entirely by airborne battles. Squadrons of fighter craft stored and launched from airborne carriers and battleships fought to clear the path for similar airships carrying infantry and armored vehicles. In time prop driven fighter craft gave way jet engines as they relearned how to build such technology.
The Eagles of The Void honored these lessons, incorporating them into their training. Their squadrons- while encouraged to think independently, a trait necessary for air combat, they were also taught to communicate and never break audio contact with their wingman.
Competition was fierce, whether in the air or on the ground every Battle Brother was known to keep meticulous count of slain enemies and destroyed vehicles. Pilots and crewmen painted silhouettes on the sides of their craft for each victory. If they ran out of space they would simply repaint them in red, each red silhouette marking twenty victories.
Notable Chapter Members
The scion of the countless generations of fighter aces,he looked to the stars hoping for higher glory than any of them ever achieved. He would not be disappointed. Accepted into the chapter as a scout he longed to fly a Stormhawk for decades for being confirmed as a full battle brother.
His skills as a pilot were unmatched and so he was chosen as wingman to his squad's Sergeant, rising to command it upon his death in battle almost a century later. He would more than six hundred confirmed aerial victories before becoming Chapter Master and giving it up to his great regret. He would become Chapter Master at age 215 and lead for more than a century before his death, personally killing forty six Rak'gol Marauders when they boarded his vessel.
The product of a family that had commanded airships for centuries he lost the rest of his family in a crash and so he was taken in by the Chapter, joining their ranks when he came of age. A gifted pilot like his brothers he also kept to the traditions of his ancestors, teaching himself fleet command and so he became one of the chapter's most gifted Cruiser commanders.
His long career ended at Nimiset. While his cruiser was destroyed he was responsible for nine of the forty destroyed enemy vessels. He fought on even as his ship was destroyed around him and was killed when the flames reached his bolt pistol, detonating the entire magazine.
Having suffered devastating injuries at Ludiron he was interred within a Dreadnought and remained there for the remainder of the Chapter's history. When the Eagles of The Void took their revenge against the Kabal of the Broken Rose he cut down more than two hundred Dark Eldar on the surface of Neurata
When the Chapter traveled to Keinus he fought alongside another Dreadnought. The pair broke through a wall of solid ice and destroyed an entrenched enemy position, emptying their hull mounted weapons before finishing the fight with Power Fists.
Willis Grimbane was the last Captain of the First company, drawn from one of the lesser families of their homeworld. He was known to favor Assault tactics, typically using a Jump pack rather than fighting on foot. Since he was not part of the proud legacy of air combat displayed by so many of his Astartes Brothers he worked that much harder to prove himself as a pilot as well.
In the end this mattered little, he too fell at Nimiset, distinguishing himself with his last actions. He fired the final shot that finished off an enemy vessel before he died along with his Stormhawk.