- "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 all and understood by few, the Matadors serve the Imperium as a living weapon, sent forth to destroy all that dares oppose the will of the Emperor. Woe to the enemies of man, for should the Matadors face them, they can only hope to be gored and ripped limb from still gushing limb, for the Matadors no know restraint or mercy once the foe is in hand. The Chapters famed berzerker charges have seen to the end of rebellions and invasions alike, and their famed assault companies have laid waste to even the most fearsome of foes.
To battle the Matadors is to battle with ones own mortality, to fight an entity of unfathomable strength and undying will, to dance with death itself. Few are the foes who emerge from a Matador killing field without eternal scars on their psyche, few can forget such carnage and bloodshed, and still fewer can look past those horrid visions to tell of these savage Space Marines, their armor drenched in blood, their warcries sending waves of terror rushing down mortal spines, their black eyes tearing at the very core of the soul.
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.
Matadors are trained to master their wrath, and harness is with brutal efficiency. While their body is a storm of death and bloody steel, their mind is calm and open to all that is around them. These contradicting states make Matadors beyond deadly combatants in hand to hand combat and they have achieved heights of berzerker might that only the infamous World Eaters could match with their Butchers Nails. Thus, in spite of their terrifying reputation, Matadors are not likely to turn their blades upon their allies in a mindless episode of bloodlust like the famed Flesh Tearers.
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 butal 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 hardend Matadors found a home upon the windswept wastes of Togar Secundus. The world was a massive world of badlands and savanna, no oceans, just endless plains. 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. This made the people ideal recruits and the Chapter soon set up a permanent fortress-monastery in an ancient sinkhole thousands of miles deep. This soon became lovingly known as "The Pit" and it was not long before the Chapters numbers doubled. Soon 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 hit and run tactics, riding into battle atop their assault bikes, tearing into the foe with savage fury. But where the Matadors are at their best is on their own two feet, melee weapons in their hands, and charging at the foe with all the power they can muster. 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. Even then, Matadors are deadly and will press the attack any way they can, striking from all available angles, they will bring the foe down, either through hit and run campaigns, or one bloodthirsty charge.
One known flaw within the Matadors is one that has evolved after centuries of bersker combat, is a distinct control over their adrenal glands. The Matadors can push themselves to limits few Astartes can with this ability. Examples include tales of Matadors running down enemy transport vehicles attempting to flee battle. Of course there is always risk that the Space Marine could severely injure himself.
The Matadors have kept the basic structure of their proginator chapter, the White Scars. Thus the Chapter is split into seven Brotherhoods of one hundred Space Marines which are 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 often the ones to deliver the final, bloody charge to the foe and destroy the enemy leadership, often in the most conspicuous way possible.
Decimators- These Space Marines are the Chapters demolitions experts, often riding atop their Assault Bikes, Decimators are armed with various Krak Grenades and a Grenade Launcher, in addition to their Kraken-Heavy Bolters attached to their assault bikes. 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 Berzerkers 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.
Berzerkers- Battle-Brothers who have spent many years honing their rage, Matador Berzerkers are warriors without equal in hand to hand combat. The Berzerkers have learned how to focus their rage and remain clear of mind, effectively placing themselves in a hyperaware state when in battle, parrying strikes from multiple foes and even intercepting incoming fire with their blades. This allows Berzerkers to cut down scores of foes should they close ranks in battle. However, these warriors have been known to push themselves to the brink of death in their fury, and many of the Chapters greatest Berzerkers have almost been rebuilt with boinics so great was the wounds they inflicted upon their own forms.
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!"
- "Well you can never have to many chain weapons, unless your a Matador, then you have WAY to many chain weapons."