The Golden Rams are a widely unknown successor chapter of the Crimson Fists. Although they are as competent as any other chapter and can show off quite a solid combat record, their backwater stationing and lack of "poster boys" didn't earn them much glory.
- "Atqui vivere, Lucili, militare est."
- —Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Younger
The Rams were established during the 22nd founding in early M37, with the intent to defend and stabilize the Scillion Sector and its surroundings in the south west of Segmentum Tempestus.
The Crimson Fists' gene-seed was choosen for their unquestionable loyality to the Imperium of Man and the High Lords of Terra. Their reputation as unwavering defenders of the nearby Loki sector was an additional bonus, as the High Lords concluded, that this would give the new chapter some good standing with the local authorities.
As the Fists still struggled with the rebuilding of their forces after the Crusade of Righteous Liberation, only seven battle-brothers – the "Seven Elders" – where detached as officers to the Golden Rams. The ranks were initially filled with some promising recruits from the Imperial Guard and a batch of Neophytes from Delkhii. It took almost twenty years until the new chapter reported operational strength and was ready to journey to its future homeworld.
First Blood: Waaagh! Kotzik
Some attribute it to a malevolent universe or the scheme of a malignant chaos lord, that the newly formed chapter was battletested virtually on day one of its deployment to Delkhii. Be it karma or coincidence, the lesser Ork Waaagh! Kotzik hit Delkhii out of nowhere. It is widely accepted, that this Waaagh! fell victim to some warp phenomenon, which caused it to reenter the material universe a whole 37 years later and thousands of lightyears away from it's last known whereabout, literally crash-diving into the northern desolation of Delkhii.
Because of the difficult terrain at the Ork's remote crash site, the fighting was fierce and took a huge toll of slain battle-brothers. The chapter's losses amounted to nearly three full companies and thousands of auxilliaries. In the end, the Waaagh! was obliterated and the Golden Rams had their very first lore of heroism. In addition, they earned a reputation of being experts in mountain warfare.
However, since the landfall of the greenskins, the northern hemisphere is pleagued with recurring rampages of (not so) feral Ork tribes.
The Khodyak Cleansing
During the opening years of the 4th century in the 38th millenium, the Inquisition investigated suspicious activities of the governmental bodies of the industrial world of Khodyak in the Scillion sector. The inquiry unearthed a widespread infiltration of the higher echelons of the political caste by chaos cultists.
Although the Inquisition (along with forces of the Imperial Guard and the Adeptus Arbites) struck fast and hard, several thousand cultists managed to escape into the caverns below the Phelkor vulcano, which they had already converted into a sanctuary and stronghold. As the resources at hand proved inadequate to fumigate the cultists and their daemonic masters, the Inquisition asked the Golden Rams for assistance, which was happily granted.
A combined detachment from the 1st and 3rd company ripped through the fortifications and cremated all resistance in a months long campaign of underground warfare, which later became known as the "Dungeon Crawling" among the Rams.
The Green Plague
The second half of M39 saw a constant trickle of Ork incursions in Scillion and it's vicinity. Most of the active forces of the chapter were permanently en route from one hotspot to the next. This changed in 971.M39, when Waaagh! Wadenbayssa absorbed the various warbands and headed straight for the hive worlds of the Tangpoche cluster.
The Imperial Navy managed to tackle the Ork fleet above N'gor, but it was up to the Rams to confront the greenskins on the surface, as orbital bombardment proved to be ineffective. It took the better part of a year to pin the bulk of the horde in the jungles of N'gor, but the Orks were eventually decimated to a level, that the planetary forces could handle.
During this campaign, the devastators of the 4th company established a "death zone" on a mountain pass. Tens of thousands of routed Orks fled uphill, away from the advancing assault and tactical squads of the Rams, and fell in the crossfire from heavy flamers and bolters. The crossfire was later described as "an avalanche of fire and bullets" by eyewitnesses, or as a "Feuerwalze" (which happens to be a term from the tactical manuals of the Imperial Guard).
The Rescue of Gjangdhe
In 317.M40 a Ork boss named Miststykk managed to unite several tribes of the northern desolation of Delkhii and salvaged artifacts, technology and materials from the remains of the crashed Ork fleet. The horde then ravaged several monasteries and settlements in the western Gimalai, before they were brought to a crushing full stop at the walls of the Gjangdhe monastery.
The two devastator squads taking part in this operation where hailed and glorified by the monks as Damdjen. No one could make any sense of this name until a young codicier was gifted with a mental image of the concept by the Kenpho of said monastery. He translated this image into the term "protecting devil", or "Schutzteufel", as it was spoken in the archaic tongue of his ancestors. The 4th company adopted the second term as their inofficial callsign, as the first one surely would have agitated the Inquisition (their choice did that nonetheless, but to a lesser degree).
The Golden Rams draw their aspirants mostly from the nomadic tribes and warrior clans of the northern hemisphere of Delkhii, although some promising individuals from the city states are occasionally drafted too. As the general populance of Delkhii is unaware of the Imperium of Man and the presence of the space marines, these draftings are disguised as rites of passage or religious quests and supervised by specially educated local agents.
Aspirants, who fail the subsequent tests by the chapter's apothecary or prove inadequate otherwise, are frequently given the opportunity to serve as laymen, a position slightly more prestigious than that of an ordinary chapter serf.
- Crimson Fist: Some companies retain the tradition of the Crimson Fists and colour their gauntlets in crimson red after achieving first blood or great deeds of valor.
- Chapter Name: Neophytes are given chapter names from a list in an ancient tome, which is kept in the Reclusiam. Their old, secular names are reserved for communication with "outsiders".
- "Amat Victoria Curam."
- —Gaius Valerius Catullus
The Golden Rams are a codex-compliant chapter, with only minor deviations from Gulliman's word and intention.
Like most codex-compliant chapters, the Golden Rams field 10 companies of 10 squads each. Each company is led by a captain, who – in addition to his company command – is in charge of a particular aspect of the chapter's logistics.
Although the Rams thouroughly maintain the versatility and flexibility of the space marines, some companies developed a kind of specialization for different types of engagements and tactics over time.
Chapter Master: Br. Gabriel (Genkhis Torje), Governor of Delkhii
The Strategium is his informal advisory board of distinguished chapter brothers. It usually includes the Master of Sanctity, the Master of the Marches, the Master of the Armory, the Master of the Secrets, the Chief Librarian and the Master of the Fleet.
Master of Sanctity: Chpl. George (Chotak Chodjong)
Reclusiarch: Chpl. Agilus (Delek Sampo)
- 27 Chaplains
Cellerar (Warden of the Gates): Lay. Kunzan Rabten
The Cellerar oversees the approx. 1,500 serfs and servitors of the monastery and organises the mundane day-to-day operations of the household. He is appointed by the Chapter Master and reports to him and the Master of Sanctity. The Cellerar and his staff act as proxies between the chapter command and the planetary population.
Layman Kunzan is the latest patriarch of a dynasty of high ranking chapter serfs. His only flaw is (in his eyes), that he has seven daughters, but no son and heir...
Chief Apothecary: Br. Lazarus (Jukney Larkje)
- 12 Apothecaries
Chief Librarian: Br. Luzian (Tenzin Rikpa)
- 2 Epistolaries
- 3 Codiciers
- 3 Lexicaniums
- 4 Acolythes
The gene pool of the Delkhii population is astonishingly homogeneous and stable; mutations – including psykers – are very rare. The Rams therefore depend largely on the Scholastica Psykana for their librarians and almost never have more than a dozen of them.
Brother Luzian was taken by the Black Ships as an infant and has no memory of his original name or heritage. He adopted his secular and his chapter name when he entered the chapter as a Lexicanium.
Master of the Fleet: Cmd. Ezechiel Aubrey
The commander is the only member of the Strategium, who is not an augmented Space Marine, but a mere mortal. Nothing is known about his career in the Imperial Navy or why he choose to abandon it. However, he proved his naval and tactical skills and his loyality to the chapter time and again.
- 2 Battle Barges, the "Acheron" and "Cocytus"
- 6 Strike Cruisers
- 11 Nova, Firestorm and Gladius Escort Frigates
- 12 Thunderhawk Gunships
Master of the Forge: Br. Claudius (Kalzan Gotcha)
- 13 Techmarines
- 42 Techservitors
The Rams do not assign dedicated transports to their squads and companies, but draw from the chapter's vehicle pool according to tactical needs.
- 21 Rhinos
- 17 Drop pods
- 12 Land Speeders
- 10 Gunships (Stormravens & Stormtalons)
- 4 Land Raiders (Crusader & Redeemer)
- 5 Vindicators
- 2 Whirlwinds
- 3 Predators
- 2 Thunderfire cannons
- 6 Centurion warsuits
- Assault and Attack Bikes
1st (Veteran) Battle Company, "Archangels" (white trim)
Captain: Br. Michael (Paltan Gialzen), Master of the Marches
- 6 Veteran squads
- 1 Vanguard squad
- 1 Assault squad
- 1 Sternguard squad
- 1 Devastator squad
- 2 Venerable Dreadnoughts, Br. Nereus & Br. Bantus
2nd (Battle) Company, "Capricorns" (gold trim)
Captain: Br. Cyril (Palgon Garuda), Master of the Rites
- 4 Tactical squads
- 4 Assault squads
- 2 Devastator squads
The 2nd company excels at combat in difficult terrain, especially alpine mountains. They make heavy use of jump packs and regularly field Stormravens and Stormtalons as support.
3rd (Battle) Company, "Motörheads" (red trim)
Captain: Br. Constantine (Dokar Norbu), Master of Sieges
- 6 Tactical squads
- 2 Assault squads
- 2 Devastator squads
- 2 Ironclad Dreadnoughts, Br. Ramwold & Br. Vitus
The 3rd company often deploys Centurion siegebreakers and Vindicator tanks.
4th (Battle) Company, "Schutzteufel" (green trim)
Captain: Br. Jonathan (Jurme Sarma), Master of the Nightwatch
- 4 Tactical squads
- 2 Assault squads
- 4 Devastator squads
The 4th company is notorious for never relinquishing an inch of ground to the enemy. Their moving barrage fire is known as the "Feuerwalze" tactic.
5th (Battle) Company, "Mongols" (black trim)
Captain: Br. Quiriacus (Senghe Takla), Master of the Daywatch
- 6 Tactical squads
- 2 Assault squads
- 2 Devastator squads
6th (Reserve) Company (orange trim)
Captain: Br. Valerianus (Thaye Tompa), Master of the Arsenal
- 10 Tactical squads
7th (Reserve) Company (purple trim)
Captain: Br. Guillaume (Sonam Rikpa), Master of the Secrets
- 10 Tactical squads
8th (Reserve) Company (grey trim)
Captain: Br. Uriel (Jikten Pasang), Lord Executioner
- 10 Assault squads
9th (Reserve) Company (blue trim)
Captain: Br. Benedict (Nudan Torje), Master of the Relics
- 10 Devastator squads
10th (Scout) Company, "Outriders" (no trim)
Captain: Br. Tiberius (Lutrup Dampa), Master of Recruits
- 10 Scout squads
The Ram's scouts like it fast and not necessarily sneaky. Bikes and Landspeeders are their preferred means of transportation.
In addition to the training and leadership of the ~100 Neophytes in the scout squads, the Master of Recruits oversees the assessment trials of the 200+ aspirants, which are drafted every year.
The fortress-monastery of the Golden Rams lies in the heart of a huge mountain range, the Gimalai. The visible parts of the monastery sit on a ridge protunding out of the southern mountainside of Receptus Mons. To the uninitiated, it is only accessible through a series of ledges, arcades and stairways carved into the rock, surmounting almost 2,000 meters of altitude. An old saying states, that this approach is the first test of commitment for the aspirants.
The monastery predates the arrival of the space marines by several millenia, but was given up a couple of generations prior to the formation of the new chapter. When the Adeptus Mechanicus was looking for a place to establish a base for the Rams, Receptus Mons was the logical choise. The halls and caverns of the old monastery were reconstructed and greatly expanded into the heart of the mountain, and massive fortifications were added.
Besides numerous halls, galeries and the usual facilities of a full fledged fortress-monastery, these expansions include camouflaged hangars for the airborne vehicles of the chapter, ramps and masked gateways for its groundbased assets and a network of sensor arrays, bunkers and batteries in the surrounding slopes.
The valleys around Receptus Mons are settled by loyal clans, which receive basic education, training and equipment in exchange for food, raw materials and intelligence. Most of the servants and household personnel of the chapter is recruited here. Receptus Mons and its surroundings are believed to be holy or haunted ground by various local cults, which adds a welcommed layer of mystery and confidentiality to the presence of the chapter.
Notable Golden Rams
The Seven Elders
- Br. Hector / Hector Nivadrom – Br. Hector was a veteran of the Crimson Fists' Crusade of Righteous Liberation and was tasked – together with six other seasoned battle-brethren of the Fists – to steer and oversee the formation of the newly created Golden Rams. These seven Crimson Fists (known as the "Seven Elders") became the first captains of the five battle companies and the scout company, with Br. Hector accepting the duty as the first Chapter Master of the Golden Rams. As such, he lead the atrocious war against Waaahg! Kotzig and the subsequent rebuild of the chapter.
- Br. Timotheus / Timotheus Tangu – Br. Timotheus was the first captain of the Rams' 1st company and the first Master of the Marches of the chapter. As the early Rams didn't have any real veterans besides the "Seven Elders", the 1st company was built around the neophytes from the Imperial Guard, which had already military training and battle experience.
- Br. Rufus / Rufus Absolom
- Br. Simon / Simon Tertius – Br. Simon is the second most popular member of the "Seven Elders". In addition to his role as captain of the 3rd company and Master of Sieges, he was the first Cellerar of Receptus Mons (before this office was handed over to lay-brothers). Much of the expansions of the monastery in later centuries were based on his principles and plans. Br. Simon resigned from active combat duty at the age of 613 and died another 117 years later of natural causes, which makes him some kind of "black swan" among the Space Marines. It is assumed, that Br. Simon discovered the "Tome of Names" and initiated the tradition of chapter names.
- Br. Seraphin / Seraphin Brok
- Br. Jehudiel / Jehudiel Gator
- Br. Argo / Argo Laborio
- Br. Nereus / Nudan Gatso – Before becoming the Golden Rams' first Venerable Dreadnought, Br. Nereus was the sergeant of the 5th squad of the 1st company during the Khodyak Cleansing. He was fatally wounded when he was separated from his squad by a cave-in and single-handedly fought off a sally attempted by the cultists. His body was retrieved literally in the last minute and interred into a dreadnought sarcophagus. In the more than three and a half millenia since then, Br. Nereus has fought in every major engagement involving the Golden Rams. He is adored as much for his battle record as he is for his Haiku.
As can be expected from a Crimson Fists' successor chapter, the Golden Rams prefer ranged combat and are highly competent in siege warfare, both in the offensive and the defensive.
The frequent outbreaks of Ork infestation in the northern mountain ranges are considered good training opportunities for the scouts and fresh battle-brothers, which adds to the Ram's reputation as excellent mountain warriors.
One particularity of the Rams is their obsession with flamers and aversion against plasma weapons. There seems to be no apparent reason for both.
The Emperor of Mankind and his everlasting sacrifice is held in highest esteem by the Rams, although they don't view him as a god and therefore don't worship him as such.
Because the chapter recruits from a relatively small populance with a quite homogeneous cultural background, the beliefs of this people have a huge impact on the chapter's philosophy. Therefore, the Emperor is revered as an enlightened forefather and buddha, who's example is to be emulated.
The single most important aspect of the Rams' philosophy is the concept of reincarnation. According to this principle, the mental essence of a deceased (his "soul") is thrown into the Warp and has to endure several stages of assessments over a period of at least 90 days. Dependant on the adherence to the physical universe, the essence is either reincarnated into an entity of the Materium or put "on hold" in the Immaterium for a variable span of time. Only an "awakened" individual can escape this treatment and is presented a choice of either return voluntarily to the material plane as a "Arhat" or wither into ultimate non-existance.
To achieve this state of "Awareness", the brothers practice the art of meditation whenever their duties permit and strive to collect positive karma whenever possible. Every Ram is fully aware of the fact, that he has only faint chances of reaching Buddhahood in his livetime, but aims to acquire an advantageous position for his next reincarnation (preferably as a human being).
- Tome of Names – One of the most arcane relics is the "Tome of Names". Although it is written in a language nobody understands anymore, the letters per se look very familiar and therefore some parts of the text where identified as lists of names.
The Neophytes of the chapter are baptized with one of these names, to emphasize the emanzipation from their ancestry and the elevation into the brotherhood.
The true origin of the book is shrouded in mystery, but it is commonly assumed, that one of the early chapter officers retrieved it from the remains of the original monastery and kept it out of curiosity.
- Dorje / Thunderbolt – The Dorje was willed to the Golden Rams by the last Kenpho of Namdjun for their help and support during the siege of the monastery by Waaagh! Kotzik and the following "Winter of Mourning". It is a purely ceremonial, scepter-like object, forged from the metallic core of a meteorite sometime during the Age of Strife. As no chaotic or other harmfull corruption could be detected, the Dorje is displayed prominently in the Reclusiam. Interestingly, this object seems to have a different signification to every single battle-brother and the frequent debates about it's meaning can last for days...
The power armour of the Rams is painted in dark blue with golden aquila or imperialis. Individual warriors may enhance their greaves with red and yellow flames.
The Rams use the common color code for company affiliation on the rims of their shoulder pads.
Squad speciality is indicated by the standard iconography in white on the right shoulder.
Chapter Badge & Heraldry
The Golden Ram's chapter badge is a stylized ram's head in gold, usually displayed on the left shoulder guard.
The design itself evolved through the millenia from an almost naturalistic (see Gallery) to a more symbolic depiction of the subject. The current iteration of the icon is said to go back on a design from an ancient artist named Hannah Strobel.
One peculiarity about the Rams is the fact, that the captains of the five battle companies wear the power armor handed down to them by the initial officers, known collectively as the "Seven Elders". These suits still bear the markings of the Crimson Fists, with a makeshift coverage of the Golden Rams' icon.
Delkhii was colonized during the Dark Age of Technology, after warp drives and navigtors became widely available. It is believed that the initial settlers where from a single ethnic group of Terra, as the populance of Delkhii is genetically extremely homogeneous.
Delkhii is the 4th moon of the 2nd planet (Shoniin, a gas giant) of the main line star Tassila. The system is located in the Scillion sector of Segmentum Tempestus.
Delkhii is slightly smaller than Terra and 80% of its surface is covered by oceans. About three quarters of its landmass is concentrated in a super-continent, reaching from the arctic region down past the equator. This continent is comprised of at least 3 major tectonic plates, which form some quite impressive mountain ranges along their borders.
The rest of the landmass is distributed into 2 lesser continents and approx. sixhundred islands, most of which are of volcanic origin.
One particular prominent mountain range is the Gimalai, which prevents the glaciers of the arctic zone to reach the temperate climatic zones.
The inner reaches of the continent are dominated by a couple of mountain ranges surrounding a vast plateau with some jagged canyon systems. Most of the plateau is covered by rocky deserts or dry savannahs, but some of the larger valleys and canyons are fertile enough to support complex ecosystems and even human settlements.
The southern part of the continent has an almost subtropical climate and is covered largely by primeval forests. The areas along numerous rivers and streams are cleared, settled and cultivated by the majority of the human population.
Culture & Politics
Delkhii is catalogued as a feudal world, but this is only a rough approximation and not undisputed. The cultures of the major groups range from nomadic tribes up to city states on the verge of industrialization.
The chapter master of the Golden Rams is the nominal planetary governor of Delkhii, but usually doesn't interfere with the petty politics of the locals. With the exception of the clans around the fortress-monestary Receptus Mons, the human populance of Delkhii knows nothing about the Imperium of Man and the presence of the space marines.
The inner plateau is roamed by nomadic tribes, who live of their cattle and frequent raids on other tribes and settlements in the canyons and valleys. They have no formal political structure beyond the tribal level and are constantly in feud with each other and everybody else.
Feudal Clans & Monasteries
In the frugal canyons and the larger valleys of the mountains, where permanent settlement and agriculture is feasible, a feudal society has emerged. Usually some kind of warrior clan controls and protects a couple of villages against raiding parties of the nomads or malevolent neighbors.
In addition, hundreds of monasteries are scattered throughout the mountains and serve as cultural and educational centers for the majority of the clans and tribes of the plateau. Receptus Mons, the fortress-monastery of the Golden Rams, was once one of this kernels of wisdom and knowledge, long before the space marines elected it as their homestead.
Along the coast and rivers of the south lie the more sophisticated city states, with a diverse collection of political systems. Some of the more developed city states are on the verge of the first industrial revolution, complete with gunpowder weapons and steam powered machinery and transportation.
These city states form and dissolve alliances on a near daily basis and are constantly in conflict with each other over resources, influence and ideology.
Despite centuries of more or less clandestine efforts by the Ecclesiarchy to establish the Imperial Cult, the worship of the God-Emperor is nothing more than a glittering varnish over an ancient belief, which the ancestors of the current populance brought along from old Earth. This belief incorporates concepts like reincarnation, selfenlightment through meditation and a plethora of lesser gods, saints, deamons, spirits and whatever, which border on heresy in the eyes of the Ecclesiarchy.
Since Delkhii is the homeworld of a space marine chapter, the Ecclesiarchy and the Inquisition are only moderately interested in bringing the populance into further compliance with the Imperial Cult.
- Imperial Fists, Crimson Fists and most of their successor chapters.
- The Inquisition – despite some concerns about the spiritual orientation and practice of the Rams – is on good terms with the chapter and has repeatedly called upon its support and assistance.
- Roderick "The Guillotine" of Schwarzmark, a Freeblade Knight who roams the Scillion sector. Roderick repeatedly joined campaigns of the Rams against all kinds of xenos. After Gabriel's honour guard saved his life and – more importantly – secured his downed Knight Errant in the battle of the Meggidon Marches, he swore allegiance to the chapter and adopted parts of its colours and heraldry. Of course, he isn't part of the official roster or command structure and is therefore considered an informal "lay brother".
- 7th Eridani Light Cavalry.
- Xenos, especially Orks.