- "If you surrender now, you will be allowed to pay for your heresy as the Imperium sees fit. But if your weapons are still in hand by the time our first Battle-Brothers make planet fall, not only will you pay, but your women, and your children will also suffer our wrath...and they will not suffer lightly."
- —Master of the Arena, Xerxes Takono, to the rebellious population of Theris
The Matadors are a savage and bloody handed Chapter famed for its sheer drive and relentless demeanor as well as their reckless charges and assaults. More than once has the Matadors savagery bordered on heresy and yet, their effectiveness cannot be denied nor can the Inquisition afford to brand the Chapter as renegades, not only out of respect to the Chapters past doings, but for fear of the damage they would cause should they turn upon the Imperium.
Few Chapters have such a violent reputation and are still a part of the Imeprial fold, this is mostly due to the Chapters various suicidal campaigns that it has undertaken in the name of the Imperium. Some would call these self inflicted penance crusades, while still others see it as a sign of the Chapters purity and favor of the God-Emperor that they have survived for so long and maintained sufficient numbers to still be considered ready for action in spite of such grandiose assaults on various xenos and heretic empires.
Brutal, unrelenting, and beyond wrathful, the Matadors have been shunned by all but a scant few of their brother Chapters and the greater Imperium dreads to call upon such frightful warriors, but in the dark days of the 41st Millienium such needs have arisen in droves. Feared by the common folk of the Imperium, and treated with caution by its upper echelons, the Matadors serve the Imperium as a living weapon.
However, contrary to popular belief, the Matadors are not mindless marauders, they are warriors of honor. Against human foes, even some of the darkest servants of Chaos get the chance to surrender and flee for their lives. Though in the grim darkness of the Galaxy, most are to foolish or proud to obey this demand and seal their bloody fates. But on more than one occasion, entire rebellious populations have cast down their weapons at the mere mention of the Matadors, let alone their chilling ultimatum.
Born of the 18th Founding, the Matadors were grouped together of the most savage and ruthless battle brothers of the White Scars 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Brotherhoods, with the intention to create a Chapter that would be the bane of mankinds oldest foe... the Orks. Thus the Matadors were intended to be their namesake, warriors who could take on the most vile and brutal foes toe to toe, to face down inhuman beasts with their own brand of savage rage. They were created to embody the merciless drive that was Khan during his domination of Mundus Planus (Chogoris) showing to no mercy to foes to foolish enough to ignore the Imperiums demands for surrender.
The Bane Crusades were a string of suicidal crusades launched by the fledgling Chapter against Ork Klans of the Galactic East. The Chapter had not even acquired a homeworld, yet still they felt that these Crusades must be undertaken to prove their worth to carry on the linage of Khan and his White Scars. The Chapter crusaded for no less than two hundred years, recruiting where it could, scavenging what weapons they could find. When the Chapter finally slain over one hundred Warbosses, they felt that had earned their right to seek out a homeword. They barely numbered 200.
The battle hardened Matadors found a home upon the windswept wastes of Togar Secundus. The world was a massive world of badlands and savanna. The planets native Togarian Tribe-Gangs were savage and brutal people, who fought against one another with little more than stone clubs, axes, and mighty Togarian Hounds for the scant few oases that dotted the planet. Tribal wars were often short and savage, only one tribe would be allowed to emerge alive. This made the people ideal recruits, and the Chapter soon set up a permanent fortress-monastery in an ancient sinkhole thousands of miles deep, one of the few landmarks the planet had. This soon became lovingly known as "The Pit" and it was not long before the Chapters numbers had reached sufficient levels to return to their unending crusade. They were back up to fighting strength and ready to once again bring death and ruin to the Enemies of Man.
Like the White Scars they are descended from, the Matadors are masters at swift rapid assault tactics, riding into battle atop their assault bikes, tearing into the foe with savage fury. But unlike their White Scars progenitors, the Matadors seldom retreat, seeking to butcher the foe either in one fell swoop or the grinding quagmire of close combat. Matadors charges are the likes of which that not even the stoutest defense can withstand for long, even mighty main battle tanks and fortress walls cannot hold the famous Decimator Squads at bay, for they are trained to disable even the most well fortified positions to give their brothers the advantage.
Speed, aggression, and shock value are what the Matadors rely on. More often than not the Chapters terrifying reputation is more than enough to send the enemy into a disorganized frenzy of retreat, but there are many foes who fear not "measly" Astartes. Against such foes, the Matadors marshal their might, and strike decisively, aiming to rip out the heart of the enemy with a single curtain blow.
The Matadors have kept the basic structure of their proginator chapter, the White Scars. Thus the Chapter is split into five Brotherhoods of one hundred Space Marines, each led by a Khan. The Brotherhoods are designated by number, such as the 1st Brotherhood. Unlike other Astartes Chapters, who have their Space Marines work their way up through the Companies to the elite 1st Company, the Matadors Brotherhoods allocate their own Scouts to their ranks where they serve until death takes them. This means that each Brotherhood is of the same basic ability, bringing a mix of elite veterans and fresh faced scouts and everything in between.
The Chapter also has different designations for most basic unit types:
Deathblow Marines- The Matador equivalent to an Assault Marine, the Deathblow Marines are often the most battle hardened and skilled Battle-Brothers of the Chapter. As is their namesake, Deathblow Marines are the ones to deliver the final, bloody assault to the foe and destroy the enemy leadership, often in the most conspicuous way possible.
Decimators- These Space Marines are the Chapters demolitions experts. Riding atop their Attack Bikes, Decimators are armed with Krak Grenades and a Grenade Launcher, in addition to their Kraken-Heavy Bolters mounted on the sidecar. Decimators specialize in the destruction of the enemies vehicles and fortifications, so that nothing may hold back their fellow Matadors. Decimators are often experienced Astartes, as few would trust a novice with high yield explosives.
Line-Brothers- The Chapters namesake is reflected in these mighty Space Marines. To the casual observer, they are little more than tactical marines, but to the Matadors they are much more. These Battle-Brothers are the spirit of the Chapter, its heart and soul, no matter the foes style of combat, or how deadly their fell arsenal, Line-Brothers meet them head on. Line-Brothers are the backbone of the Chapter and are often the rear guard of the Matadors forces, ensuring a stable advance and that nothing survives in the wake of their assault bike mounted brothers. Most Line-Brothers are younger Space Marines who have yet to wholly tame their aggression and thus being set on rearguard teaches them the virtue patience.
Regarded by their fellow Space Marines and the Imperium at large as little more than barbaric savages, the Matadors have learned to prefer solitude and thus little is known of their day to day lives off the battlefield. Though it is believed that they spend every waking hour at the Pitt training through various bloody (but nonfatal) duels against their fellow Battle-Brothers.
Aside from this and the Matadors strict Honor Code, which dictates that battle is best done openly and without trickery, very little else is certain about this Chapter.
Matadors make excellent members of the Deathwatch, though they are not ones for subtlety, few opponents can withstand their wrath. Matadors honor code dose not complicate their service in the Deathwatch, as they consider xenos filth unworthy of such mercy, though on rare occasions, Eldar and Tau have been found deserving of the ultimatum.
The Matadors Chapter Fleet is a small one, being primarily made up of Strike Cruisers and support craft. However, the Matadors fleet is noted for being extremely tenacious and maneuverable.
- "Hey what's the difference between a Champion of Khorne and a Matador? The Khorne worshipers think it's beneath the dignity of a warrior to kill noncombatants in ground combat! Heyo!"
- "You see unchecked berserk butchers. I see marines who have created the façade of monsters to preserve the lives of men. How many lives has their reputation saved? How many wars has their brutality averted? You see Beasts. I see Martyrs. "
- —The Lord of Knives, Chapter Master and Chief Librarian of the Obsidian Blades Chapter.
- "Well you can never have to many chain weapons, unless your a Matador, then you have WAY to many chain weapons."