- "Our will is unbroken, our spirit is unbowed, death beckons but we shall fight on!"
- — Barus Kando, Chapter Master of the Night Griffons
The Night Griffons are a loyalist Codex-deviant chapter founded in the wake of the 13th Black Crusade as part of the Ultima Founding to bolster the front lines. Assigned the planet of Alteros Prime in the Alteros system of the Segmentum Obscurus after the Indomitus Crusade, the Night Griffons were tasked with being amongst the first primaris marine chapters to maintain a permanent presence within the Segmentum Obscurus to combat the forces of chaos. The Night Griffons Astartes are exceptionally solemn and are resilient to a fault due to their combined Raven Guard and Salamanders lineage.
After the Indomitus Crusade, Guilliman ordered a large contingent of Primaris Raven Guard and Salamander marines to establish permanent bases in the Segmentum Obscurus to help combat the daemon threat in the Dark Imperium. The Raven Guard were to be reorganized into the Night Griffons and the Salamanders into the Golden Castellans.
The Great Crossing
Exploiting a passage near the Nachmund System through the Great Rift, the host of marines translated together to increase the chance of survival against daemonic incursions. However, an unknown failure in the command battle barge of the Night Griffons caused the ship to explode in the warp and began a chain reaction which brought down surrounding ships and disabled the Gellar Fields of many Golden Castellan ships. When the fleet arrived in real space, the Night Griffons had lost 6 companies and the Golden Castellans had lost 8 of their 10 companies. The remaining leadership of both chapters gathered on the Golden Castellan battle-barge Incitatus to discuss their next move. After much deliberation, the captains agreed that the remaining Golden Castellan companies be absorbed into the Night Griffons to increase their chances of survival. The most senior member of the group, Rex Mortugai, former chapter master of the Golden Castellans was elected to be the chapter master of the new Night Griffons host.
Dark Eldar Skirmishes
The Night Griffons were once again set upon 2 standard days after they first arrived in real space, this time by dark eldar. The enemy continued to harass the already depleted and weakened Night Griffon ships intermittently for 3 more standard months before Chapter Master Rex Mortugai was able to lure the drukhari command ship into a trap where he led a boarding party which slew the archon. The remaining forces scattered without leadership and were quickly picked off by the coordinated attacks of the Night Griffon fleet. A further 3 captains in total were slain in the incursions along with 142 marines and 4 ships.
The homeworld of the Night Griffons is an ocean world dotted with small landmasses created by countless volcanoes that dot the entire planet. Many newly formed islands are uninhabitable due to the large amounts of sulfur left over from the volcanic eruptions and are usually too small to sustain even small communities. Only the 4 oldest landmasses of the planet: K'var, Corcumvex, Gryfae and Caltos, are permanently inhabited. The planet is often engulfed in massive storms that can destroy most free standing structures, therefore most of main settlements are built into natural formations of mountains and cliff sides.
The Talon is the massive monastery-fortress of the Night Griffons, named after the volcano in which it sits on, built by the original 6 companies that arrived on their designated homeworld. The giant structure sits on the peak of the highest volcano on Alteros Prime and extends into the clouds where it is rumored by the populace that a giant stone griffon with blood red eyes stands sentinel over the entire planet scanning for heretics and potential recruits. At the bottom of The Talon lies the still active volcano of the same name which the Night Griffons harness the bubbling lava for fuel.
The Extremis Campaign (999.M41) When the great rift split the forces of the newly commissioned Night Griffon ships, the newly appointed Chapter Master Rex Mortugai to embarked on a campaign to cleanse the Venefricta sector of Xenos and Chaos. The first target was the inhabited by a small host of Orks stranded by a previous WAAAGH. Chapter Master Mortugai left behind the 4th Company behind on Alteros Prime both to finish construction of The Talon and act as a garrison. Expecting little resistance, the Chapter Master decided that an over strength force would quickly be able to conquer the sector. As the pacification of the sector came to a close, a dynasty of necrons attacked the unsuspecting companies, effectively splitting the 1st Company with the rest of the force and wiping the chapter command squad out. With the Chapter Master lost amongst the havoc, the most senior surviving member, Barus Kando, rallied the surviving contingents of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd companies to form a defensive perimeter which allowed for the evacuation of most of remaining survivors. Most of the veterans opted to stay behind and defend the rest of the wounded for evacuation but an error in communication caused the fleet to commence orbital bombardment prematurely, wiping out the rest of the marines on the planet along with most of the chapter's most decorated veterans. As penance, the Admiral of the fleet, Carlos Dentin gathered his command squad and descended onto the planet, vowing to never return until he has found the missing chapter master and his veterans.
The Night Griffons are currently organized into 7 companies each charged with maintaining its own strength.
- Chapter Master Barus Kando, Master of Alteros, Savior of the Trispear
- 1st Company - Sentinels
- Captain Leximus Vogal, Master of the Watch
- 2nd Company - Siege Breakers
- Captain Argos K'var, Lord Executioner
- 3rd Company - Stormbringers
- Captain Luterius, Master of Rites, Strikemaster
- 4th Company - Talons
- Captain Hol'sten Fen, Master of Skyfall
- 5th Company - Fleet
- Admiral Jaycen Dieryl, Master of the Fleet
- 6th Company - Forgefathers
- Quartermaster Ta'min Vren, Forge Primus, Master of Artifacts
- 7th Company - Wraiths
- Cloak-Captain Drakus Dolor, Lacerna Primus
The Night Griffons' gene-seed is entirely consistent with their progenitors, the Salamanders. The gene-seed produces a full range of organ implants, and shows no signs or Chaotic contamination and does not mutate to give the same black skin and red eyes that their progenitors possess. The Night Griffons currently have large reserves but a shortage of recruits.
The Night Griffons have traditionally favored defensive and attrition tactics but after the disastrous Extremis Campaign, such tactics were no longer feasible with such small numbers. Thus the Night Griffons have now adapted a more guerilla approach to warfare, utilizing ambushes and precise decapitation strikes at the enemy's leadership. The Night Griffons have developed their own form of 'wraith-slip' which requires mastery of both physical and warp skills to allow marines to practically become invisible. Marines who have a strong proficiency for this skill are assigned to the 7th company Wraiths to carry out more specialised stealth missions. The Night Griffons' arrival onto a battlefield is often marked by an eerie whistling of their specialised thunderhawks followed by a deafening but coordinated staccato of gunfire as their gun-lines and tanks unload onto their enemies with overwhelming firepower.
Notable Night Griffons
First Chapter Master Rex Mortugai - A former veteran sergeant of the Raven Guard 1st company, Rex was given the chance to be among the first of his chapter to be upgraded as a primaris space marine and sent to protect the Segmentum Obscurus as chapter master of a new chapter. The naturally brilliant and daring sergeant took up the offer without hesitation, eager to bring the fight to the Dark Imperium. He was known for his unpredictable strategies and uncanny ability to coordinate battlefield elements to outmanoeuver enemies.
First Admiral Carlos Dentin -
Chapter Master Barus Kando -
- Incitatus (Battle Barge) - The sole surviving battle barge of the two in the great crossing. Flagship of the Night Griffons commanded by Admiral Jaycen Dieryl.
- Simurgh (Strike Cruiser) - The legendary ship First Chapter Master Rex Mortugai used to outmanoeuver and board the archon's ship which resulted in the death of the archon.
- Guanyu (Strike Cruiser) - Originally from the Golden Castellan fleet, this ship is a beautiful triumph of masterful metalworking and intricate art engraved onto the ship's hull.
- K'var (Nova-class Frigate) - First ship to land at Alteros on a landmass now named after this ship.
- Corcumvex (Gladius-class Frigate) - Second ship to land at Alteros on a landmass now named after this ship.
- Gryfae (Gladius-class Frigate) - Third ship to land at Alteros on a landmass now named after this ship.
- Caltos (Gladius-class Frigate) - Fourth ship to land at Alteros on a landmass now named after this ship.
- Death's Embrace (Gladius-class Frigate) - Escort left behind in the Venefricta system to await the return of their First Chapter Master and First Admiral.
The Night Griffons' Chapter badge is an ebon coloured stylised griffon passant, walking toward dexter (to the viewer's left) with the right forepaw raised and all others on the ground, centered a field of pure white.