The Abyss Gazers were a 21st founding chapter and, like all the others, was ill fated from the start. Among the Marines of the Abyss Gazers were those suffering from a mutation called the Affliction which caused the body temperature of the Marines to lower dramatically and cause a cryogenic liquid to pool in their lungs, allowing them to freeze enemies with a breath but leaving them vulnerable to thermal weaponry. unknown to the majority of the Chapter the Afflicted were also vulnerable to the temptations of the warp and 1 by 1 they fell into the service of the mysterious Heims, a cold entity born of the dread all beings share of the winter. In 601.M37 the afflicted attempted to seize control of the Abyss Gazers fleet but were foiled by the heroic sacrifice of the Chapter Master. Those who survived fled with what Ships they had taken into the Eye of Terror under the command of former 8th Captain Erikhas. Eventually the now traitor Frost Wraiths managed to secure a Homeworld by attacking a small Craftworld, Alinstar, with the full might of their patron behind them, killing the Eldar by turning the once vibrant interior of the Craftworld into a frozen waste.
Capture of Alinstar 602.M37- With the guidance of Heims, Captain Erikhas, leader of the newly formed Warband Frost Wraiths, led his Forces against the Craftworld Alinstar. By launching a surprise attack, hidden by the Chaos Gods power even from the Farseers, the Frost Wraiths were able to breach a section of the Craftworld and successfully deploy their Marines there. Still, even the might of the traitor marines would have availed little against the full might of the Craftworld had Heims not aided them in battle. Manifesting by possessing Markus, the only Chaplain among the Frost Wraiths, Heims was able unleash his full might from within the Craftworld, freezing the entirety of the Craftworld and killing most of the Eldar within. The Frost Wraiths, led by Erikhas were then able destroy what remained of the defenders, taking the last Farseer as a trophy by freezing him in Warp infused ice, the first of many such Trophies
Erikhas is the leader of the Frost Wraiths and he inspires dread in all who know his name, even Greater Deamons of the Ruinous Powers fear him. A mighty Champion, he strikes down his foes with his Ancient Power Sword and Storm Bolter with such incredible skill and brutality that he as been known to challenge entire Space Marine squads single handed. Under his command the Frost Wraiths have destroyed Ork WAAAGHs, captured an Eldar Craftworld, and even forced the Primarch Angron to retreat (the last was only possible due to Erikhas's support from nearly 50 of the Marines under his command). It is said that, like a Certain Necron Lord, Erikhas likes to take his mightiest foes as Trophies by freezing them in Chaos-infused ice. His collection is said to have an Eldar Farseer, Ork Warbosses, a Tyranid Hive Tyrant, A Greater Daamon of Khorne and even one of the Grey Knights.
Markus, the only Chaplin among the Frost Wraiths, was a host of their Patron Heims when they took the Craftworld Alinstar. Even Erikhas was surprised when Markus Stirred after Heims left his body. Now the second in command of the Warband Markus is renowned across the warp for 2 things. His incredible durability of both body and soul, (he has been fired upon by a full devastator squad while unarmed and survived killing 2 marines while escaping), and his almost insane obsession. After hosting Heims he now feels weak and frail and will go to almost any length to feel that power once more. Only Erikhas' Iron will and great power can exert any degree of control over him. Into battle Markus goes clad in mighty Centurion armor, captured from a Ultramarine's successor armed with Siege drills with a frostborn flamer (which freeze instead of burn making tanks and walls fragile) on each. Unlike his master, Markus is a fanatic worshiper of Heims and he and his followers work more often with chaos forces than Erikhas and those loyal primarily to him.
Cult and Culture
The Frost Wraiths, even branded renegades, are still successors of the Imperial Fists and generally maintain a rather stoic attitude, though they are noticeably more cheerful. They like to maintain a guise that they are still loyal to the Emperor and prefer to fight Xenos and Heims biggest rival, Khorn. However, they have no hesitation to kill the forces of the Emperor when it suits their goal.
- "Each marine must be a wall, every squad a Fortress."
- —Frost Wraith saying
Like their cousins of the Abyss Gazers, they are master of the slow advance. However lacking the Vehicles of the Abyss Gazers, they use sight obscuring tactics such as smoke grenades or even summons blizzards from the warp. In close quarters they prefer to use their cryogenic breath to disable or kill their enemies, though it is less effective against heavily armored foes.
With little vehicles, the Frost Wraiths make up for it by fortifying themselves by seeking ever to obtain more and more durable armor. The Frost Wraiths are infamous for stealing to looting Terminator Armor or Centurion exosuits, and the chapters Techmarines and artificers continually work to convert power armor to artificer armor. What vehicles they do have are almost always used to transport the heavily armored warriors.
While tough the Marines of the Frost Wraiths are by no means immortal. To replenish their numbers they are forced to kidnap from the Planets controlled by the Imperium. Preferring Icy Deathworld as recruiting grounds, they are rumored to have even kidnapped potential Aspirants from Fenris itself.
The Frost Wraiths favor heavy armor above all else. Perhaps to make up for their lack of vehicles, the Renegade chapter does everything it can to obtain more forms of heavier-than-standard forms of power armor. From dealing with Hereteks, to stripping other chapters dead, to even attacking a Loyalist chapter, there is little they will not do to obtain more sets of Terminator or Centurion armor. While the Frostfire Forges aren't capable of producing these enormous sets of armor on their own, they are capable of piecing them together from damaged suits and parts.
Hailstorm Centurion armor
Centurion exoskeleton modified to provide maximum fire power at the cost of armor piercing capabilities. Armed with a Assault cannon on either arm, with a chest mounted hurricane bolter as well as a twin-linked hellgun roughly mounted on each shoulder and designed to fire where the assault cannons fire. While such modification would be unthinkable to much of the Mechanicus, it does allow for a squad of Hailstorm Centurions to put down an almost unbelievable amount of firepower. While lacking against heavier armor, there are few things as effective against hordes of light infantry or light vehicles at range.
Cold Fusion Guns
Converted plasma weaponry and the crown jewel of the Frostfire Forges. While they fist attempted to solve the problem of plasma overheating by studying Eldar weaponry, their wraithbone construction proved impossible to replicate. By the 41st millennium however other xenos, most notably the Tau, provided other examples of more stable plasma weaponry. The culminating product was the Cold Fusion plasma weaponry that resulted as a combination of Imperial and Tau technology. What few samples that have made their way into Imperial hands are considered Techno-heresy of the highest degree by the Mechanicus.
The Frost Wraiths, as a Renegade chapter, lack the full resources of a Loyalist Chapter and often find it difficult to replenish their numbers and were only roughly 300 strong when they split off from the Abyss Gazers. After long millennia, the Renegades have splintered further into groups that act independent of each other much of the time. Each one bears the colors of the Frost Wraiths, and each dwell in Alinstar, but only occasionally do they untie as a single group and even then only ever under the banner of Erikhas.
First and Fiercest
More or less the equivalent of the Honor Guard, the First and Fiercest are the personal guard of Erikhas himself. Comprised of the 50 best the chapter has to offer, it also contains most of the Loyalist sentiments of the Chapter in that they still revere the Primarch and the Emperor. While they have fought against Imperial forces at times, they more commonly fight alongside them.
Chosen of Heims
The faction united under the half mad Markus, the Chosen of Heims are the center of the Heims worship of the Frost Wraiths and mainly focus on activities that increase the Warp entities power. If the First and Fiercest are considered the center of loyalist sentiments then the Chosen is the opposite. Those among the Chosen are those who work most often alongside Traitor forces. Even though it is over twice the size as the First (approximately 120) none dare actually worship any of the Dark Gods under strict orders from Erikhas. Most however worship Heims instead.
The Frost Guard
Those not belonging to either of the 2 major groups are generally referred to as the Frost Guard. Including the Chapters Apothecaries and Techmarines the Frost Guard serve as supplemental forces whenever they are needed. Among themselves they are separated into squads of 10 (or 5 Centurions). Totaling about 180 altogether they range from what scouts the Chapter has, to elite Terminator and Centurion Squads.
|First and Fiercest||Chosen of Heims||The Frost Guard||Fleet Command||Apothecarion||Armoury|
What Heims is truly is unknown, even to the Chaos Gods, (with the possible exception of Tzeench). As the Warp is a constantly shifting sea of emotion it is not uncommon for entities to emerge from the roiling energy, though many do not survive very long. What exactly feeds the mysterious Heims is just as unknown as the being itself, though from the words of the now insane Chaplain Markus Once-King, the emotion is nameless and only manifests is the minutes leading up to death. Whether or not this is true Heims does seem to feed on death, Within the Craftworld Alinstar, or the battlefields where the Frost Wraiths invoke his presence he feeds on the souls of those who die. Only powerful beings such as Daemon Princes and Living Saints seem to be able to counter-act this.
As a relatively small Renegade chapter, the Frost Wraiths have no homeworld within the Eye of Terror. Instead they use a small Craftworld captured in the early days of the chapter. Much of the Craftworld is completely empty as the Frost Wraiths are too small to fill it. Despite having nowhere near enough numbers to fill it, the Frost Wraiths are still sons of Dorn. The entire Craftworld was remade into a virtually impenetrable fortress and serves as the mysterious Heims domain. What chambers were too far from the center were filled entirely with nearly indestructible ice. All the routes in and out that the Frost Wraiths use are heavily fortified and the very air is filled with an unnatural chill that even power armor does not stop. When a Chaos warband of the Iron Warriors legion attacked they found themselves cut off from their patrons once inside, and every death seemed to only fuel the warp entity.
Hall of Trophys
The former Hall of Seers has been remodeled by Erikhas to house the trophies he takes back from his conquests and raids. In it are contained dozens of mighty warriors frozen in ice, some so rare and magnificent, that Trayzn the Infinite once attacked the Frost Wraiths to try and secure them for his own collection.
The Frostfire Forges
A few decades after the schism of the chapter, a similar event would occur on the Forge World Hook-Prime between the majority who followed the traditional ideology and those who believed experimentation and rediscovery were man's only hope to progress. As the fight dragged on the traditionalists called upon other Imperial Forces to aid them but another force arrived first. A Strike Cruiser belonging to the Frost Wraiths emerged in orbit and a multitude of smaller craft descended to the surface. Due to the isolation of the Abyss Gazers and the slow travel of news in the Imperium, the renegades were initially thought to be a regular Astartes force. However it quickly proved otherwise when they began aiding the radicals. In the heart of the battle, the Frost Wraith force commander made an offer to the leader of the radicals; join with the Frost Wraiths and flee or die to the enemy. taking the offer, the radicals seized a number of void craft and fled with the retreating Frost Wraiths. While many ships were brought down, a sizable portion escaped.
Back in Alinstar the rescued radicals learned about their rescuers and were made a new offer from Erikhas. They would be allowed to set up a forge and experiment as they wished with the Frost Wraiths supplying new materials. In return they would make new war gear for the Frost Wraiths and help train new Tech Marines. They accepted and proceeded to carve out their forges and workshops in the frozen remains of the Craftworld. It is said that the only warmth to be found in Alinstar now is the heat of their forges. For the most part they still follow the Tenants and beliefs of the Cult Mechanicus but no longer follow the bans on experiments and xenos technology, leading to the Frost Wraiths occasionally having unique, but unreliable, equipment.
- "We did not betray the Emperor. What we left was not the Emperor's Imperium, but its rotting carcass ruled by weak men claiming to speak for the Emperor. We knew that eventually they would have destroyed us because of our mutation just like they destroyed so many chapters of our accursed founding. If the Emperor does return at the final battle to save his Imperium, he and he alone, shall judge us."
- —Erikhas the Winter Smith
- "Perhaps we won't be so few in number forever. Come cousin, there is plenty of room on the Craftworld for you and your Brothers."
- —Markus Once-King to a Ice Dragons Astartes
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- "Emperor's bollocks but it's cold in here!"
- —Sergeant Ruy of the Phoenix Brethren blaspheming