- "It is by terror and by fear that we spread the will of Malice, it is by anarchy and by chaos that the enemies of the Fearful One that we exist, and it is by sword and fire that all that oppose him shall fall! "
- —Altair Hanarchus
The Shadow Chalice are an active Chaos Marine Warband that have recently pledged their allegiance to the Daemon Prince Sa'vael the Fate-Bound, as part of a future Crusade against the Imperium and Eldar. The Chalice are a Malice-aligned Warband that serve Altair Hanarchus. Formerly a successor Ultramarines Chapter. The Chapter served faithfully until the massacre on the planet of Ferrosal took place when the Chapter was deployed to aid the Knight House Vonyx. What ensued was increasing cruelty among the Chapter as a result of having near-complete power over the planet as a result of Lilana Vonyx's martial law in the face of recent riots on the planet. When a peaceful protest against the Martial Law on the planet occurred, the Chapter and Lilana's PDF forces massacred thousands as a direct result. They delighted in the anarchy and terror, and Malice soon had them all in his grasp.
The Chapter strictly adhere to the Codex Astartes, resulting of them being descended from the Ultramarines and Roboute Guilliman and fiercely loyal prior to their fall.
The name "Shadow Chalice" comes from the culture surrounding their original Chapter Master Kayle Trython - Being a native warrior of the Forattaki people from the planet of Makara, he was subject to the ritual of their warriors to drink from a black Chalice filled with crippling poison, yet it would not kill those who drank - It was said this poison would weed out the weak. Those who fought against the agony would be deemed worthy, and those who gave into the pain would be exiled or executed. The chapter would later adopt this as part of their recruitment process, minus the execution and exile - But rather be a determining factor in who would be granted the opportunity to train.
The Chapter originally consisted of 10 standard companies. Keeping consistent with the Ultramarines heraldry, the Chapter would often ensure the worlds that they brought into the Imperium would be set up with a self-sufficient economy and Military Defence Force, as well as make a number of these worlds recruitment worlds for the Chapter, keeping their numbers above five hundred. After their fall however, the now-Chaos Warband of Malice would infiltrate the same worlds they helped build and spread terror - Often favouring being loud and imposing as opposed to more surgical methods, bar the occasional destruction of Imperial icons and symbols to strike fear into the populace.The Chapter was originally headed by Kayle Trython, who was High Chaplain and Chapter Master. This combination of rolls was combined due to Kayle's charisma and ability to inspire even the most disheartened Marines to acts of great valour. Unfortunately, Kayle Trython was killed when rogue Imperial Guard and PDF forces levelled the structure he was in during a meeting with Inquisitor Tavelsin. The Chapter mourned for two standard weeks after his death. A number of candidates were considered for leadership, including the newly promoted High Chaplain Athenus. Yet the decision was made to promote Altair Licentus - A decision which put many Marines at unease due to his known instability.
The Chapter prefer to make use of their highly trained infantry as opposed to their mechanised forces, believing them to be "superior" to typical marines of other Chapters - An arrogant act that did not bode well with the other Astartes chapters.
Death of Kayle Trython
The Shadow Chalice were founded in the 10th Founding, the 35th Millennium during the Nova Terra Interregnum. The Shadow Chalice did not participate in the minor Civil War with the Ur-Council of Nova Terra, but were positioned to keep watch over various warp space routes that were vital to keep communication with the bordering systems possible. After the Civil War, Kayle Trython encountered a dilemma with his homeworld, which had been brought into the Imperium. The Imperial Guard were deployed to supress what they claimed to be a dissident world. The people of the planet pleaded to the Astartes Chapter for aid. The truth behind the supposed dissident of the planet came when the planet's military forces shut down all communication centres without warning when infiltrating the population, prompting the Imperial authority of the system to assume his people had begun rebelling.
The Astartes forces returned to their Homeworld to find that the Imperial Guard and Inquisitor Tavelsin of the Ordo Hereticus had imposed Martial Law on the planet. Trython and a number of 1st Company Veterans landed on the planet's surface to confront the Inquisitor. The Inquisitor granted the Chapter Master a meeting with him in the nearest Government Building.
In the middle of the meeting between the Chapter Master and Inquisitor, it was revealed that a number of the Imperial Guardsman and other PDF forces on the planet had turned rogue due to the machinations of Gathrul the Annealed, having been supplied with the resources necessary to build a number of artillery pieces. During the meeting, an infiltrator among the group standing guard at the meeting activated a beacon - Providing coordinates for Thunderer and Medusa Siege Tanks to encroach on the building. It was not until the structure was hit with Earthshaker and Basilisk artillery pieces that the siege tanks also opened fire - Levelling the building and killing everyone inside. Including Trython, Inquisitor Tavelsin and the planetary Government in one stroke.
A number of the Government officials survived the attack, yet Trython and the Inquisitor were both killed by the bombardment, and soon enough every Commissar within a thousand miles of the Capital City was killed by the traitors in a sudden, open rebellion - Cementing the original concerns of the now-deceased Inquisitor about heresy being present on the planet. All Space Ports were locked down by the traitors, making landing difficult for the Astartes and Inquisitorial forces.
Things quickly went from bad to worse when the PDF took control of the planetary defences to fire on any attempted landing parties. Neither the Astartes or Inquisitorial Ships were armed well enough to break through the defences without sustaining unnecessary losses. The Astartes and Inquisition opted to retreat from the planet to assess the situation.
In light of Kayle's death, the High Chaplain and Chief Librarian lead a session of mourning for their fallen leader. Soon enough they gathered a number of possible candidates to replace him. The main two options being High Chaplain Athenus and the 1st Company Captain named Altair Licientus. The decision fell with the latter taking the position - Which few of the Chapter's marines truly understood due to Altair's somewhat unstable nature during conflict, yet his position as the Captain of the Honour Guard spoke for itself, and the decision was made. Many speculate chaotic influence to promote Altair, yet this is just wild speculation.