- "Brothers, it is true that we are young, but we are not weak. A time will always come when a child must step from the shadow of its sire and rise stronger. Brothers, this is that time! Fight hard, for the eyes of the Emperor are upon you. "
- — Battle Captain Tarius addressing the First Scorpion Company, 764.M41
The Night Scorpions Chapter were formed in the 26th Founding, 738.M41, with the task of insuring against the threat of xenos incursion in the Reductus Sector between the Chapters of the Crimson Fists, the Marines Exemplar and the Dark Hunters. The Chapter was formed from the gene-seed of Rogal Dorn, provided from the stocks of the Crimson Fists. They would be based upon the lush jungle death worlds of Paethon and Cleon. A pair of Gemini planets nestled within the Cerberus stars, a small system comprising important agri-worlds that even the might of the Crimson Fists would be spread too thin to defend were it to come under any sort of sustained attack from the nearby Ork menace.
Paethon, the larger of the two worlds, would act as the main base of the Chapter and its sister world Cleon would allow for further recruitment to the Chapter.
M41 - The Founding
The Night Scorpions were formed during the Twenty Sixth founding, 738.M41, from the gene-seed of the Crimson Fists Chapter. Assigned the Chapter Number 898 they stand alongside chapters such as the Mentor Legion and are therefore among the youngest of Space Marine chapters in the Galaxy. Given their youth it was imperative that the Chapter was quickly brought to battle-readiness, it was therefore tutored by a training cadre from their parent Chapter, led by Veteran Sergeant Corbulla.
M41 - The Alpha III Delta Incident
In 764.M41 seismic disturbances were registered across the northern hemisphere of Paethon. In response the full might of the 10th Scout Company, lead by Captain Corbulla and his command team, were sent on an exploratory mission to discover the cause of these disturbances. It was expected that only natural causes were the root of the problem and as such it would prove a suitable test for the Chapter's raw recruits.
Three weeks into their mission no further activity had been recorded, however the tribes of the surrounding region were uneasy. Flayed bodies of animals were beginning to be found in the deeper areas of the jungle, huge natural predators that even the hardy population of the deathworlds feared. By the middle of the fourth week villages and towns began to drop out of contact, the population suffering the same fate as the wildlife the week before. At this point, fearing a xenos incursion, Captain Corbulla radioed in for help before his own communications were cut.
Responding quickly, Chapter Master Nestor summoned up the remainder of the 10th Company along with the 1st, 5th and 6th Companies, the only companies available to respond, and began deployment to the northern continent. As the thunderhawks swooped in to Corbulla's last transmission area they took in the full horror of what was unfolding on their world. The few remaining scouts were fighting back to back, a mortally wounded Captain in their midst; their foe, metallic wraiths, firing relentless green bolts of energy into their ranks. Quickly dismounting the reinforcements tried to surround the enemy, pouring massively disciplined bolter fire into them. This assault, however, proved largely ineffective as the xenos seemed to simply shrug off damage that would kill even a space Marine, dragging shattered body parts back into alignment. Brother Astartes began to fall in droves against this relentless attack.
The Terminator squads of the 1st were moved in and proved more successful, powerfists ripping apart the metallic bodies of their enemies. With this success the combined might of three Companies managed to destroy the alien threat. The remaining Scouts were rapidly sent out in strictly covert reconnaissance and returned with grave news, an archaic tomb structure had opened up deep within the jungle. A council of war was convened with all of the ten Companies and their Captains (excluding Captain Helios who was in a critical condition with the Chapter's Apothecaries) to draw up a plan of battle. It was eventually concluded that the enemy was too strong to be tackled head on. Even the ever-adaptable Space Marines struggled against this unknown foe, the Codex Astartes bearing no advice on such an implacable foe. Only the Terminators with their heavy weapons, the sternguard with their advanced bolters and the prowess of the veteran Marines could truly match them. This proved to be hugely contentious, especially for the companies who lacked any Terminator squads. It was therefore decided that, given the power of the veterans against the threat, the 1st Company's Tactical Dreadnought suits and veterans would be reassigned between the remaining companies to form self-sufficient battle groups. It was however unanimously agreed that no help would be sought; this would serve two purposes. First, the Chapter would fight to the end to retain its honour against this unknown enemy. Second, and perhaps more importantly, the Chapter Council feared that this unknown enemy may have somehow tainted their home world. Instead of opening themselves up to Inquisitorial scrutiny they would deal with the problem themselves, a Marine's business was ultimately his own. Having pin-pointed the tomb, battle plans were drawn. The remainder of the 10th Company, supported by the rest of the Chapter, would act as a diversion to draw the xenos away their tombs and the reactors that lay within. Each Battle Company would then fight running battles with their foes, using their newly acquired Terminator armour to its best effect. While this was happening the Chapter's First and Second battle companies, led by the Chapter Master himself, would fight their way into the tomb and rig its very heart with melta bombs, destroying it from the inside. The fighting was bloodier than any had imagined. The 6th Battle Company in particular sold their lives dearly keeping the enemy at bay, a valour for which their insignia is still applied in gold. The First and Second companies were, however, able to battle their way to the core of the tomb, and as those not in Terminator armour exfiltrated out melta bombs were rigged to the archaic structures, the Terminators teleporting out as the explosives ripped their way through the crypt. The titanic explosion ripped a hole in the side of the planet, permanently scarring its luscious surface, but the deed was done and the aliens had been destroyed or scattered. It would be almost two centuries before the Night Scorpions report would find its way to being read by members of the Ordo Xenos and by this time the Necrons, as they were now called, would be a dominant force in the galaxy.
M41 - The Skar'got Waaagh!
In 827.M41 the event for which the Chapter had been training for since its inception finally occurred. A massive Waaagh! led by Ork Boss Scar'got slammed into the Reductus sector, sweeping all those who stood before it aside in bloody and decisive battles. Immediately realising the threat of such a force, Chapter Master Nestor began recalling all available forces to combat the Orks. Fighting a series of orbital battles and planetside skirmishes the Night Scorpions were able to slowly expose the heart of the Waaagh!.
With little time to prepare before the Waaagh! had caused irreversible damage, the forces of the Imperium were mobilised under the command of the Night Scorpions to strike the Ork menance on the ice world of Xanthian Prime, a environment in which the Chapter could excel. Whilst the bulk of the Ork forces were pinned in place by the combined forces of the planet’s PDF, battalions from the Imperial Guard Storm Khandelars and three companies of Scorpions the remaining members of the Chapter launched a daring drop-pod assault against the heart of the Waaagh!.
Striking the Ork leadership from behind, the greenskins were trapped between the hammer of the Adeptus Astartes and the anvil of the planet’s defences. For days the bloody battle raged until finally Chapter Master Nestor met Ork Warboss Skar’got onthe snowy plains of Xanthian. Nestor and his honour guard, combined with the command squad of the 5th company, crashed into the enemy lines. The Chapter Master met Skar’got in single combat, but even his titanic strength was no match for this foe, bloated with muscle from years of combat and feasting. On the plains of this icy world Nestor’s body was rent open and his bolter broken. Seeing his Liege-Lord defeated, and sensing that the tide of battle would turn against the Imperium, Iactus Hyperion, Captain of the 5th did battle with the triumphant boss. Pulling the blade of Cleon from his Master’s grip Hyperion entered into the deadly challenge, each combatant matching his foe strike for strike. Finally, summoning up all his hatred, Hyperion struck out at the Boss as the Blade flared with an incandescent green light, his aim was true and Skar’got was decapitated.
Seeing their boss killed by a ‘mere’ Space Marine the Orks fled to be harried and ultimately destroyed in their hopeless rout. On the battle fields of Xanthian Captain Hyperion was given the Scorpion’s Corona and named Chapter Master of the Night Scorpions.
Paethon and Cleon were lush jungle deathworlds, located in the southern segment of the Reductus Sector, nestled within the Cerberus stars. The planets were home to hardy groups of feudal humans who led a dual life of martial struggle against the denizens of the vast jungles that surrounded their walled city-states, and personal application to the arts, philosophy and the intellectual pursuits. Each planet comprised some dozen to two-dozen such city-states, each an archaic yet well functioning body reminiscent of the ancient cities of Greeckian or Roma. Each city was unique, although most were governed as republics or meritocracies. With the fall of 'Dark Night' ties between the two planets frayed as huge swathes of technology were lost. It was only through the use of ancient starships, far beyond the skills of the planets' inhabitants, that communication continued to exist.
The lush jungles of the Planets, and their inhabitants, played the most marked role in the lives of the humans who lived there. The most feared dwellers of these jungles was a massive species of scorpion that resided only in the darkest of places, distinguished by its luminescent green eyes and thick, almost impenetrable, chitin hide. A citysman had to slay a denizen of the Jungles to become part of a State's army, council, government, or even its leader. Upon completing this initiation citysman would be granted the right to bear arms, typically a sword or spear, which acted as both a weapon and a status symbol. As a citysman advanced in society so would his weapon become more ornate. For this reason the loss of your bond-weapon, in battle or other circumstance, was seen as a huge embarrassment and ill omen. For this reason many would prefer to die in their bond-weapon's defense than retreat in the face of an enemy.
The stalking, killing, and sacrifice of Scorpion to the God Emperor was seen as particularly important, and it was only through the besting of this beast that one could assure ascendance into the higher echelons of the State's society. The killing of a scorpion also entitled a citysman to insert emeralds into his bond-weapon, the most precious stone on the twin worlds. Such is this tradition's importance that many noblemen would begin training their progeny at birth to combat the Scorpion, and thus assure a fruitful future. Similar practices were found across both planets, though the scorpion of each planet differed slightly; the Paethonite Scorpion being larger and stronger, while the Cleonite Scorpion is smaller and faster.These practices found favour with the Imperium. The planets, and their inhabitants, were quickly chosen to become the home world for a new Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. It was only natural that the High Lords of Terra would designate this Chapter the Night Scorpions. The Chapter's armour incorporating the black of the scorpions shell and the green of its eyes. It is recorded that the first Chapter Master, Elstonus Nestor, distinguished himself from the other inhabitants of Paethon by killing the largest recorded scorpion during the many years that Imperial scouts were assessing the suitability of the planet.
Since the massive blast from the Alpha III Delta Incident, Patheon has been thrown out of orbit with its sister world Cleon. The explosion stripped much of Paethon's atmosphere away, and what was left on the other side of the world was slowly lost within a few months. The Astartes undertook a huge effort to relocate those human inhabitants of the world that survived to Cleon and rebuild the lost city-states. Wildlife was also relocated, including the Paethon Scorpion, so that the refugees of the doomed planet could continue their initiation rites. The lop-sided planet still continues to rotate haphazardly, its light cycles taking up to 6 Terran days to complete. Over the following centuries those city-states that survived Patheon have begun to reestablish their society and traditions in their new home.
The Night Scorpions' Fortress-Monastery resided deep within the jungle of Paethon, but is now located among the miles of snowy tundra which cloth the planet. Their Monastery is named the Aegle Proteus, it is here that the inhabitants of Paethon believe that men first came and populated their planet. It is said in folklore that a being of immense power, robed in gold and flanked by silvery angels, visited the twin planets. The monastery is constructed on top of, and around, an ancient temple whose ruins marked the spot of this event. It is considered a sacred relic of past times that none but the most honoured Astartes may enter. It is, however, restricted to all those who are not within the Night Scorpion Chapter. This has proved a point of contention between the Chapter and the Ordo Xenos, who fear that it holds a more sinister secret. The outside of the Fortress-Monastery is caked in a permanent frost that makes it glitter in the moonlight, providing a beautiful and terrible sight to recruits. Since Cleon became the Chapter's main recruitment world the Chapter outpost there as seen vast improvements, bringing it close to the majesty of the Aegle Proteus.
Potential recruits are still required to slay creatures of the jungle and bring them to the Outpost, to prove themselves worthy of becoming an Adeptus Astartes. Those that kill either the newly introduced Paethon Scorpion that now resides on Cleon or the faster Cleon Scorpion are prized most highly of all. Those original inhabitants of Cleon have proven incredibly quick to adapt to this new predator, it is not uncommon for those arriving at the outpost with this dead beast to be of an equal split between Cleons and Paethons.
There is, however, still a certain amount of competition between the two peoples. While this unease rarely breaks out into violence, it is nevertheless an important political factor on the planet. It is not uncommon for certain city-states to insist that their prized aspirant only kills the right type of scorpion for entry into the Chapter. Cleons advocate that only their native scorpion is a true test of an aspirant's worth, being fast and deadly. Paethons counter that the Paethon Scorpion requires more strength due to its greater size, the true sign of a mighty warrior. It is not uncommon for such prejudices to carry over into the Chapter proper, with the Cleonite Companies boasting of their speed while the Paethonite Companies boast of their greater physical power. This competition is put to the test every five years when champions from each of the Companies in the Chapter will spar in competitions of martial prowess.
The Night Scorpions were raised from Crimson Fist geneseed and thus their lineage lies with Imperial Fists. Unlike their progenitor Chapter, however, they deviate significantly from the Codex Astartes in Chapter organization. After the Alpha III Delta incident it was decided that the first company be dissolved and distributed amongst the Chapter, similarly each Company would train its own recruits.
The Chapter is now organized into ten Companies; each of these is raised from different city-states on their home world of Cleon. Each company is then made responsible for their own equipment and recruiting. This independence means that each of the companies can operate by itself as a separate force of war if the need arises. While exact numbers of men and specialists varies between each Company, all ten maintain at least some suits of tactical dreadnought armour as well as squads of neophytes. This means that on average each company contains two squads of terminators, two veteran squads, four tactical squads, two devastator squads, two assault squads and two ten man scout squads. Each company therefore has approximately 100 Brother Marines, 20 Neophytes and between zero and 20 Terminators.
Due to the independent structure of the Chapter, each Company will operate largely on its own. Direct co-operation is by no means unusual, but the frequency is certainly below that of a 'codex' chapter. This, however, is not to say that the Chapter is fragmented or relationships are anything less than cordial. Each brother marine values each and everyone of his comrades equally, regardless of their background. The Chapter Command is careful to keep an eye on each of their Company's deployment. In the current climate, with increased xenos threat throughout the galaxy, at least four Companies are on patrol throughout the Reductus Sector at any one time while at least one company guards the twin planets and yet another Company continues routine missions between the Night Scorpions protected human worlds.
Like every Space Marine Chapter, the Night Scorpions use a strict ranking system, however, it deviates from the strict Codex Astartes rules.
- Scout- Every recruit to the Chapter begins as a neophyte scout. In contrast to codex adherent chapters scout squads are included in every company of the Chapter, not a dedicated 'Reserve Company'. This allows for a quicker aquisition of skills at an increased level of danger for the new recruit.
- Battle Brother- When a Marine has completed his trials within the scout squads of his Company he will be elevated to the rank of 'Battle Brother'. He may now don his suit of power armour and will continue his training within his Company, including time spent in both devastator and assault squads.
- Veteran- As a Marine gains experience he may be promoted to 'Veteran' status within the Company. This will begin his journey towards a command posistion within his Company. A veteran will move from the tactical squads of the company into either a Vanguard, Sternguard of Terminator unit of the Company.
- Wreath of Honour- If a Veteran particularly distinguishes himself he will earn the right to don the 'Wreath of Honour'. Either a laurel wreath on his helmet or a painted wreath.
Once a marine has proved himself as an able sergeant he may be promoted further within his Company.
- Sergeant- Once a battle brother has proven himself an able veteran, he may become a Sergeant and return to lead a tactical, assault or devastator squad.
- Centurion- The rank of second in command will traditionally be filled by a Veteran Sergeant from the Company, they will act as tactician for the Company’s four tactical squads. This Sergeant will bear the rank of "Centurion", and will be the likely the successor to "Company Captain" should the current Captain become incapacitated.
- Company Lieutenant- Within the Company, each Chaplain and Librarian will possess the rank of "Company Lieutenant". They will often act as the leaders of any form of smaller battle group formed from within the Company. While Librarians still remain part of the Librariam officially, recruits will be assigned to a Company upon entry with whom they will likely see out their service.
- Company Captain- Like a regular Company, each Scorpion Company will benefit from the tactical prowess of a captain in the form of a "Company Captain". The only possible continuation of a Marines promotion is to the Chapter's command team.
- Battle Captain- One of the ten Companies' Captains will be bestowed with the honour of Battle Captain. The Battle Captain is second in command of the Chapter and the presumed successor to the Chapter's Master.
- Chapter Master- The highest position of honour within the Chapter. Any brother who becomes the Chapter Master need not only be a champion-at-arms, but a brilliant tactician and humanitarian.
The Chapter is comprised of approximately 1300 Marines, broken down into ten Companies. Each Company is comprised of between 120 and 140 Marines. They are distinguished by numbers on their right pauldron, included are both company and squad designations.
|Chapter Master Iactus Hyperion
Legate of the Twin-Worlds.
|/||Commanded by Chapter Master Iactus Hyperion; the command council of the Night Scorpions comprises Hyperion's Chapter Honour Guard as well as Chief Librarian Solonius, Master of Sanctity Brother Raphael, Prima-Helix Pelias, Chapter Champion Perseus and Honoured Brother Acastus, bearer of the Chapter's Scorpion Banner.||The Chapter Council of the Night Scorpions has distinguished itself on multiple occasions, and on hundreds of worlds across the galaxy. Many of its members have lived through some of the darkest moments of the 41st Millennium, and lived to tell of it to the Chapter’s neophytes.|
|Battle Captain Oberyn Tarius
Centurion of Cleon, Equerry of the Scorpion, Master of Faith.
|I||The First Company has the longest and most prestigious history within the Night Scorpions Chapter, boasting many glorious victories in its near four centuries of service to the God Emperor. Due to the Chapter's previous adherence to the Codex Astartes the First Company still maintains a greater than average number of terminator suits when compared to the other Companies of the Chapter, its Veteran ranks numbering almost twenty suits of tactical dreadnaught armour.||The First Company of the Chapter currently bears the honour of being designated the Night Scorpions' "Battle Company", Battle Captain Tarius being the equerry and successor to Chapter Master Hyperion. This affords the Company the honour of marching at the head of any Chapter formations or troopings of the colour.|
|Captain Marius Anteon
Master of the Watch.
|II||The Second Company are an ever-dependable line company of the Night Scorpions Chapter, led by the implacable Captain Anteon, Master of the Watch. They are often assigned the duty of patrolling the Reductus Sector, acting as a shield against the enemies that would threaten the light of the Imperium. The Company’s increased time spent in this theatre has led to a specialism in naval warfare and boarding actions.||The Second Company have spent more time than any other Company on patrol in the Reductus Sector, aboard their battle barge the “Strength of Honour”. This has earned them the title of “The Sentinels” amongst their battle brothers. Astartes of the 2nd who have spent a particularly long time on patrol will often add eye sigils or other motifs to their armour to denote their veteran rank within the Sentinels.|
|Captain Garviel Anicetius
Centurion of Patheon, The 'Iron' Scorpion, Master of the Arsenal.
|III||The Third Company of the Night Scorpions Chapter is known as the "Iron Third" for their actions in the defence of the Reductus sector from a splinter of Hive Fleet Behemoth. Amongst their battle brothers they have a reputation for being particularly stalwart and resolute, even in the face of the gravest dangers.||The Iron Third distinguished themselves in 802.M41 against a splinter force from Hive Fleet Behemoth, whilst they defeated the Tyranids they lost many battle brothers in return. In recognition of their battle, and imitating the many wounds they took, the emblem of the Scorpion is applied by removing the paint from a brother's pauldron down to the ceramite, creating an "Iron Scorpion".|
|Captain Barak Themis
Master of the Fleet.
|IV||The IV Company of the Night Scorpions Chapter is a largely fleet based regiment responsible for patrolling the Reductus Sector and enforcing the edicts of the Imperium. They operate from the Battle Barge “The Heart of Oak”, defending the Imperium from some of the darkest threats in the Galaxy. They have developed a specialism for naval warfare and the prosecution of interstellar xenos species.||he Fourth have recorded many notable victories, they are known as “The Hunters” amongst their battle brothers for the zealous prosecution of the Xenos menace commonly known the “Dark Eldar”. Their Centurion, Brother Artemis, has spent many years in pursuit of this Eldar scourge. He has gone as far as to alter his image to resemble that of his prey, bearing a rictus death mask designed to strike fear into the dark hearts of his enemies.|
Captain Quintus Acastor
Master of Marches.
|V||Currently commanded by Captain Acastor, the V Company is an honoured company within the Night Scorpions Chapter and the former Company of the current Chapter Master, Iactus Hyperion. Captain Acastor bears the wreath of honour for his actions in the Skar’Kot Waaaagh!.||The 5th Company is known as “The Stalwart Fifth” for its actions in halting the Ork Waaagh! Skar’kot in which Big Boss Skar’Kot killed the former Chapter Master, Honoured Brother Nestor. The 5th Company paid dearly to stop the Ork advance, losing almost two thirds of their number before the enemy was finally defeated. It was only through the actions of Captain Iactus Hyperion and Centurion Acastor that the entire Imperial Sector was saved.|
Captain Leonidas Ophion
Master of the Rites, Captain of the Glorious 6th.
|VI||The Glorious 6th Company are an integral part of the Night Scorpions’ fighting force, providing a well-honed infantry company who excel on the plains of battle. Due to the losses they suffered in the Alpha III delta incident they maintain the fewest terminator suits of any Company, only Chaplain Pelion wears the sacred armour.||During the Alpha III Delta incident that plunged the world of Patheon into perma-frost the 6th Company of the Chapter were instrumental in the defence of the Scorpions’ home world. They sold their lives dearly to defeat the Necron menace. For this action, the scouts and battle brothers of the Company continue to apply their honours, emblems and other insignia in gold, in contrast to the usual silver application. This is an honour usually reserved for veterans within the Chapter. They also bear the honourific “The Glorious”.|
Captain Laertes Echion
Master of Justice.
|VII||The 7th Company have a tendency to favour assault over firepower applied at range, like many of their battle brothers. In concert with the drop pod attacks for which the Night Scorpion Chapter is renowned, brothers of the 7th will often go to war with modified jump packs capable of being worn in drop pods or aircraft, engaging the enemy with boltguns wielded with a single hand before attacking with specialist assault weaponry. It is also common for tactical squads to be armed with close combat weapons, chainswords and power weapons.||When an event requires swift and decisive action it is often the VII Company that is called upon to enact the Emperor’s justice. Such intervention by the 7th has often turned the tide of a battle that seemed all but lost; examples are legion, however the event that stands out amongst this pantheon is the intervention against the renegade Astartes Warlord Ryazana. The 7th Company crushed his nurgle-blessed army, routing the chaos menace.|
Captain Maximus Pericles
Master of the Siege.
|VIII||Amongst the ranks of the Night Scorpions Chapter the 8th company are known for their particular reliance on heavy weapons and the use of precision orbital lance bombardments to clear landing sites before a drop pod assault begins. It is common for tactical squads to employ the use of two heavy weapons to scour enemy positions, with a particular emphasis on multimeltas, plasma cannons and lascannons. This is often used to devastating affect against both infantry and heavy armour.||The 8th Company was involved in the suppression of the Chaos Cult of the Damned Saint Petrok in x.xM41 on the planet of XXX. Their tactics proved hugely successful in the face of the enemy and was particularly effective in the engagements with enemy heavy armour. During the battle for the planet the 8th engaged with an enemy titan legion, during the skirmish the company was responsible for felling the Chaos Warhound Titan “Carnal Fury” and seriously crippling its two pack-mates. For this act the Company is often known as the ‘God Killers’.|
Captain Gaius Helios
Master of Honours.
|IX||The 9th, as a largely Cleonite company, are especially adept in the art of jungle warfare. They employ a greater than average number of scouts and favour the use of flamer technology over the melta and plasma technology favoured by their brethren. They strike swiftly and without mercy, emerging from the jungle and leaving nothing in their wake.||The 9th company have won many battles honours for their known engagements; but still more infamy for the ghost wars they have waged across the galaxy. Striking at the hearts of innumerable enemies of the Imperium, bring their riotous fury before retiring whilst the Imperium is unaware a battle has even been prosecuted.|
Captain Perseus Lelantos
The Crimson Captain, Master of the Relics.
|X||When the training of the Chapter was complete, Veteran Sergeant Corbulla choose to forgo returning to his parent Chapter and stayed on to become the Master of the Recruits. He was slain during the Necron attack in 764.M41. In honour of their progenitor Chapter, and Captain Corbulla, the command ranks within the 10th company continue to paint their right gauntlets red in the style of the Crimson Fists and forgo painting their left gauntlet.||The Crimson Company continue to serve with distinction; of particular note is their involvement in the Kuis Campaign with the 8th Company and their suppression of the Dark Eldar scourge in the Slave Rebellion, M40.770. Since the attack on the Crimson Fists’ home world and the near annihilation of the Chapter the 10th Company have moved to aid their progenitor Chapter where possible.|
Initiation and recruitment
Like many Chapters, the Night Scorpions recruit solely from their homeworlds, running an intensive and often fatal recruitment process.
Trials of FirePotential recruits begin their journey with the biannual announcement across the world that the Chapter's recruitment has begun. Would-be Astartes are required to slay creatures of the jungle and bring them to the Chapter's Fortress Monastery on Cleon, located deep within the dense jungle of the planet.
Each applicant must prove themselves worthy of becoming a Adeptus Astartes, not only in the feat of strength required to slay a beast, but in the skill required in bringing it to the steps of the Monastery unscathed. Those that kill either the large Paethon Scorpion or the faster Cleon Scorpion are prized most highly of all.
Trials of Ice
Each recruit, having first passed the arduous initiation ritual on Cleon, is then taken from their homeworld to Patheon where they must survive the Trials of Ice. Each recruit must find his way through the long night and sub zero temperatures of Paethon, completing a 100km hike through the arctic wasteland. This must be completed within a mere five days, with meagre resources and little shelter. This is a terrain that no recruit will ever have encountered before and proves insurmountable for all but the toughest recruits. Those who survive the trial can begin on the path towards becoming an Adeptus Astartes.
Specialist Training Theatres
Like all Astartes, the Night Scorpions will train thoroughly in all theatres of war. However, because of the state of Paethon and Cleon, the Night Scorpions feel that it is also vital for each warrior to be a master of both the arctic battlefield and the jungle.
This need for thorough cold weather training means that each Neophyte is put through an extensive cold climate survival course. After the Trials by Ice are complete a specialization in the cold and its effects on the machinery of war must be undertaken. Even a suit of power armour may become locked in ice under such conditions. It is therefore imperative that each recruit has a beyond average knowledge of his weapon and his power armour, and it is for this reason that the Chapter maintains less Techmarines than other more Codex adherent Chapters. Indeed, this specialization for cold weather deployment extends beyond the mere personal equipment of a brother Astartes. Each recruit must also have a certain level of working knowledge with each of the vehicles at the Chapter's disposal. It is those recruits that show the best working knowledge of such Instruments of War that become trained for assault squads or pilot the small amount of Land Speeders. Within the Night Scorpions, the vast majority will miss out on a distinctly assault squad orientated training, instead engaging in close combat training within their tactical squad.
Brothers of the Chapter will also receive a thorough grounding in the jungle warfare that is so prevalent on Cleon and many other deathworlds across the Galaxy. Many of the requirements of Artic warfare are similarly applicable in this arena of war, and the Astartes continue with their reliance on personal responsibility for their own equipment and kit.
Unlike Codex adherent Chapters, Neophytes are trained from within each Company due to the altered structure of the Chapter. Approximately twenty neophytes will be attached to each company, forming four squads of five men, but this number will grow and shrink as the requirements of the Company change.
Neophytes attached to a Company are highly respected members of the organization, bonded by both genealogy and tribal links. Each scout knows that this is the Company he will likely be serving with for the rest of his life and so will give his all to earn the praise of his elders. Similarly, this attitude means that the tactical Marines of the Company value their dedication and the central role scouts play in the sabotage and stealth capababilities within the Arctic and Jungle terrain they specialise in.
The Night Scorpions' mission was ultimately to be a defence against any would-be Waagghh! or other Xenos threat that could slip through the current defences assembled in the Reductus sector. This threat would traditionally have been met with a large emphasis on long ranged warfare, armoured taskforces, infantry discipline and a great reliance on the heavy bolter.
This, combined with their heritage from the Crimson Fists and the Imperial Fists, means that the Night Scorpions prefer to engage their foes with disciplined volleys of bolter fire, before advancing to engage and destroy the enemy. The Night Scorpions are a slick infantry machine, in the mould of their spiritual for-bearers. The Astartes will practice for hours on end honing a precise bolter discipline on the ranges while the Companies will regularly perform exercises in cohesion and massed bolter fire.
The Chapter's homeworlds have, however, had a significant affect on its tactics. The cramped conditions of a jungle world renders the use of long-ranged warfare redundant, whilst armoured columns become mired in the lush bogs of Cleon. Similarly, some of the larger tracked vehicles such as predators and rhinos struggle in the thick snow drifts found across Patheon; while the icy winds make the use of jump packs and Land Speeders difficult as air vents begin to freeze over or the kerosene begins to solidify. Thus, the Night Scorpions have begun to developed an emphasis on the use of drop pod assaults, more than most Codex Chapters, allowing them to reach the enemy without delay. The drop pod is effective both in the snow and the jungle, allowing for a pinpoint delivery of the Chapter's most deadly warriors.
Past their initial assaults, the Night Scorpions are known for their precise bolter fire in the face of the large hordes often seen when facing the green skinned menace. This has also led to the wide employment of specialized bolter shells. Such deployment has meant that many tactical squads have forgone the use of longer ranged fire power to deal with mechanized enemies, instead using melta technology to cripple a manoeuvrable foe before overwhelming them. Squads will also often employ plasma technology, weapons that proved highly effective against their Necron foes, for whom the Scorpions still hold a special hatred.
Like many Chapters, the Scorpions refuse to adopt camouflage even if it means that they are at a tactical disadvantage. This is particularly prevalent when the Astartes are fighting in the sub-zero temperatures for which they are so famed for. This, however, does not strictly apply to the scout squads present within each Company. While their armour remains black and green, honouring their Chapter colours, the scouts will adopt a lighter coloured under armour while using camouflaged cloaks to help conceal them among the eddying snow drifts or luscious jungle. Before an attack is launched, scouts from the Company will regularly adopt observation posts to direct the main spearhead of drop pods to their target. They will often use modified Land Speeder Storms to achieve this task, specially adapted to cope in the most extreme of conditions.
The Chapter's ultimate doctrine, like many Astartes, is that attack will provide strong defence, plunging quickly to the heart of the enemy and eradicating them before it can react or sectioning off small groups for destruction. This has proved hugely effective throughout the years and vital in many of their theatres of war.
Warfare and Temperament
The Night Scorpions value hardiness, self-reliance and versatility above all else, only Marines with these qualities can stand up to the struggle of living in the intense heat of the jungle and then operating as an Astartes in the intense cold of the snow. The youth of the Scorpions has also led to a belief in the need of perseverance to succeed, and a zealous love of their Chapter. This has manifested itself into a sometimes foolhardy doggedness in battle, refusing to give ground except in death.
Due to the low turn over of new equipment from Mars and the low ranking of the Night Scorpions in receiving this equipment the Chapter is taught to venerate each and every piece of armour or weaponry that passes through the brother ranks. Each ceramite plate is lovingly protected by its owner and, by the end of a brother's career, usually be highly embossed and engraved.This is particularly true of a brother's bolter which is seen as their most important piece of equipment. In Patheon and Cleon custom a warrior's weapon is seen as his heart and the source of his pride. For a warrior to lose his weapon is for a warrior to lose himself. Such a tradition carries over into the ranks of the Chapter, each bolter is a personal weapon that will receive ornamentation, upgrade and embellishment throughout an Astartes' life in the chapter. For a Brother to lose his bolter in battle is the greatest shame he can bring upon himself, not even breaking in the face of an enemy will bring such condemnation. As such, any Scorpion will fight with his utmost vigour to reclaim the weapon if it is lost in the heat of the battle. If, however, they are for some reason forced to leave without it they will more often than not begin a journey of penance, withdrawing from their brothers into thought and meditation as they begin the slow and painful process of creating a new weapon for themselves.
This reliance on the bolter means that each Astartes is trained to wield their weapon with a single hand if the situation calls for it, allowing for the use of close combat weapons while retaining the strength of the holy weapon. It is not uncommon for even the most senior of ranks, or specialist close combat roles, to forgo the use of a pistol and instead retain their personal bolter.
The inhabitants of the twin planets believe that in their ancient history the Emperor himself breathed life into their homeworlds. He brought with him the basic technology and education that allowed humanity to exist, even in this desolate area of galaxy, even surviving the dark night. Such is the vehement belief in the divinity and right of the God Emperor amongst the human population of the worlds it is almost impossible to breed out of a new recruit, even with extensive hypno-conditioning.
Indeed, the veneration of the God Emperor is such a pervasive force within the Night Scorpions that it is all but accepted as the true religion of the Chapter. Only the most atheistic brothers give up their beliefs and refuse to acknowledge the apotheosis of the Emperor. It is for this reason that the Night Scorpions believe the Emperor is in fact, as the Ecclesiarch would have the Imperium believe, a deity.
The ruins scattered across Paethon and Cleon are littered with fragments of text and hieroglyphics that the Librarium tirelessly attempts to decipher and understand. As research progresses, the the picture the ruins paint seems to get clearer, indicating a time of "Rapture" in which Gods will once more walk the twin planets. Many members of the Chapter believe that this must surely refer to the God-Emperor, and that he will one day return to his planet and claim its inhabitants as his own. Thus, the brother Astartes believe that the Emperor will eventually be liberated from his eternal slumber on the golden throne and once again lead his armies to retake the increasingly desolate Imperium. There are, however, some members of the Chapter that fear the ruins may have some darker purpose and message but, as the research continues and the Chapter delves deeper into the bowels of the planets, these voices continue to stifled.
Such a stance on the Emperor's Divinity has, however, led to the Chapter being viewed as somewhat backwards by many of their fellow Astartes. This seems to have done little to dim the Scorpions' belief, indeed, they keep good company with many other Chapters who bear a similar philosophy and the general human population of the Imperium.
The Scorpion Trials
The Scorpion Trials are a series of trials, tasks and duels held by the Chapter every five years. The Trial pit the Companies of the Chapter against each other in a competition of Martial Prowess. Each Company will pick a representative to be their Champion in the hope of winning the trials and bringing honour to both their Company and also their birth city-state and homeworld.
Over the course of a week, the Champions compete in enhanced trials of fire and ice, displays of martial prowess, duels and tactical competitions. The Trials conclude in a martial duel between the last two competitors. By the end, only one Astartes will be victorious. They will be crowned the Scorpion Elect, blessed with the honour of bearing the Chapter's Banner in times of war.
This competition forms a focal point for the innate rivalry inherent between the Chapter's companies and the city-states of Patheonite and Cleonite warriors who live on Cleon. It allows for a healthy union of competition and fraternity between the different factions within the chapter.
The Feast of Blades
As a progenitor Chapter of the Crimson Fists, the Night Scorpions bear the right to attend the Feast of Blades. A duel of Martial Prowess held every century by the Imperial Fists. The Night Scorpions first attended the Feast in M41, attending the 814th and 815th competition.
In this they were represented by Captain Echion in the first and Centurion Artemis, the Scorpion Elect, in the latter. Both represented the Chapter well, bringing honour and praise for their martial skill. Centurion Artemis was successful in reaching the final four combatants, his skill with the blade honed by years of fighting the Dark Eldar scourge.
"Strength through Purity, Purity through Faith" - Unattributed