- "Our will is unbroken, our spirit is unbowed, death beckons but we shall endure!"
- — 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, 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 resilient and are resolute to a fault but this has already cost the chapter dearly with the chapter currently maintaining a below nominal force of space marines.
During the recent Ultima Founding, a number of companies were sent out to the Alteros System to form the Night Griffons, but due to the great rift that abruptly broke out, only 5 companies arrived at their assigned homeworld. The chapter was aware of the Indomitus Crusade declared by their Primarch Roboute Guilliman and have also tried to claim surrounding sectors in order to 'contribute' to the crusade after being cut off but have failed at a high cost to its Apothecaries. Afraid of losing knowledge to create more Primaris Space Marines, the chapter has fortified itself within its fortress-monastery The Talon, to preserve both its numbers and knowledge. Due to being under-strength, the Night Griffons will furiously defend the population of Alteros Prime in order to ensure its own survival.
The Extremis Crusade
After the great rift, the Night Griffons were unwilling to sit idly by stranded from the rest of the Imperium. Thus, First Chapter Master Rex Mortugai committed a full 4 companies to take a nearby sector, inhabited by stranded Orks, code-named Venefricta. The undisciplined Orks were no match for the overwhelming might of 4 full primaris space marine companies and were quickly defeated.
A distress signal sent by a Night Griffons' ship bound for Alteros Prime was received by the Adeptus Mechanicus soon after the Great Rift had split the Imperium in two, but this had not been brought to the attention of Guilliman until the waning years of the Indomitus Crusade. Seeing the tactical importance of a Primaris Chapter presence in the Segmentum Obscurus, he reassigned a force of Primaris Space Marines 400 strong to reinforce the Night Griffons with orders to use any means necessary to reach Alteros Prime. The Chapter Master Barus Kando mustered his troops in response to the fleet that had approached orbit of their homeworld but the keen eye of 2nd Company Captain Argos K'var observed that these were loyalist imperial reinforcements. The new brothers were welcomed with open arms and were absorbed to form the 6th and 7th companies. Of the 400 marines that departed, only 148 made it to their destination.
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. Therefore only the 4 oldest landmasses of the planet: K'var, Corcumvex, Gryfae and Caltos, are permanently inhabited.
The Talon is the massive monastery-fortress of the Night Griffons, named after the volcano in which it sits on, built by the original 5 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 'Crusade' (999.M41) When the great rift split the forces of the newly commissioned Night Griffon ships, the then captain of 3rd company Barus Kando urged the newly appointed Chapter Master Rex Mortugai to embark on a crusade of their own as a way cleanse the Segmentum Obscurus of Chaos and Xenos whilst proving their strength in arms to their primarch. The first target was the Venefricta sector 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 Master and the rest of his command squad out. As 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 apothecaries opted to stay behind and stabilize the rest 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 apothecaries.
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 - The Sentinels
- Captain Leximus Vogal, Master of the Watch
- 2nd Company - The Indomitable
- Captain Argos K'var, Lord Executioner
- 3rd Company - The Stormbringers
- Captain Luterius, Master of Rites, Strikemaster
- 4th Company - The Builders
- Captain Hol'sten Fen,
- 5th Company - The Fleet
- Admiral Jaycen Dieryl, Master of the Fleet
- 6th Company - The Forgefathers
- Quartermaster Ta'min Vren, Forge Primus, Master of Artifacts
- 7th Company - The
- Cloak-Captain Drakus Dolor, Master of Recruits
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 or mutation and the 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.
Keeping true to their progenitor's history, The Talon is a masterful structure said to be nigh impenetrable built with most finely tempered materials crafted by the chapter's greatest smiths and artisans. The Night Griffons have traditionally favor defensive tactics where they have firepower superiority thus maintain a large number of heavy vehicles and weapons. With the except of the 2nd Company, charges are only made as last ditch efforts to secure ground or buy time for their allies, so many Night Griffons that charge fight with exceptional ferocity as they are expected to sacrifice their lives so that a defensive perimeter may be set up. The 2nd Company of the Night Griffons are unique in their doctrine where they excel in attrition and infantry tactics. As a result, the company fields fewer vehicles and a larger number of infantry.
Notable Night Griffons
First Chapter Master Rex Mortugai -
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.