The Skull Reapers are an Astartes Chapter of Suspected Iron Hands descent created during an unknown Founding, but are suspected to be a Chapter of the mysterious 21st Founding, the so-called 'Cursed Founding', as they are extremely similar in appearance to the mysterious Sons of Antaeus Chapter. The Astartes of the Skull Reapers Chapter are unusually large and robust physical specimens, even among their kind, and they are capable of surviving wounds and physical injuries that would kill even other Space Marines. The Chapter's detractors point out that the Skull Reapers appear every bit as resilient as the Death Guard Traitor Legion and some have even opinioned that they are somehow connected to them, but this is an impossibility as the Skull Reapers were created thousands of years after the Horus Heresy and have, on many occasions, willingly submitted themselves to the mandatory purity tests of their gene-seed which has seemingly confirmed their status as an Iron Hands Successor Chapter.
Belived to be created sometime during the 36th Millennium (although there is significant evidece that they were from the 3rd Founding) the Skull Reapers have become a byword for strength and resilience beyond what an Astartes is thought capable of, specializing in combat in the most brutal and unforgiving environments the Skull Reapers will fight until the last man and do not care about casualties only that an objective is completed.
The Skull Reapers follow the doctrine of their supposed parent Chapter the Iron Hands in that they do not have companies rather they are divided into 7 Battle Clans of equal size and capability whilst the 8th Clan is the Veteran Company, each of the Battle Clan's recruit its own aspirants from their Homeworld while the 1st Clan is made up of veterans from the other 7. The 1st Company resides in the Chapters Fortress-Monastery high in the mountains of their Toxic Homeworld whilst the Battle Clans travel the World's surface in massive Land Crawlers, like their progenitors conflict amongst the Battle Clan's is not unheard of but each of the Battle Clans are careful not to anger the Powerful 1st Clan or to blood their Astartes too badly but sometimes death's are unavoidable.
The Skull Reapers are specialists in fighting in toxic environments, their Armour is modified with additional breathing apparatus and when combined with their seemingly natural resilience to toxins it makes them the perfect choice for attacks on Death Worlds and other Toxic Worlds.
- The Devastation of Killian (560.M36-555.M36 - A campaign to recapture the world of Killian from the foul Death Guard Tratior Legion who had turned the world into a toxic wasteland that soon descended into a brutal war of attrition between 2 legendarily ressiliant foes. The Skull Reapers were victorious only at great cost.
- The Centurion War (931-954.M41)- This was a brutal campaign launched by the several Adeptus Astartes Chapters to eradicate secessionist forces located in the Centurion Sector of the Segmentum Ultima. The secessionist forces included (sadly) two Renegade Astartes Chapters. The war would later be determined to have been the work of Chaos. The Skull Reapers and the other Space Marine Chapters eventually pushed the Forces of Chaos to Iterium VI, and broke them in a cataclysmic final battle. One of the Astartes Chapters would be nearly destroyed while the other would fall to Chaos and become known as the Bringers of Change.
During this dark peroid the hopes of trillions was reignited with the return of one of the Emperors loyal son's, the Primarch of the Ultramarines Roboute Guilliman and he brought with him the fruits of 10,000 years of research, the Primaris Space Marines. Hearing of this momentus event the Flesh Rippers, Corvus Legion, Charnel Brethren and the Skull Reapers returned from the void where they had fought the enemy's of Mankind for many years and swore to serve the son of the Emperor in perpetuity and soon Primaris Astartes were serving with distinction but unlike many other Chapters that recieved full grown and battle hardened Primaris the Skull Reapers instead recieved the technology and knowledge to create their own Primaris Space Marines.
The wargear to arm these formidable warriors was also recieved including 500 suits of Mk X Power Armour in their various Patterns, Hundreds of Cawl and Belisarius Pattern Weapons,4 Redemptor Dreadnoughts Chassis and 2 Repulser Grav Tanks. Thanks to this great fortune the Skull Reapers prosecute their wars with even greater vigour. The numbers of Primaris Astartes currently serving are unknown but during the battles of the Indominatus Campaign they were able to field an entire company. These new Astartes have proven to be just as capable of surviving wounds and physical injuries that would kill even other Space Marines.
Appereance and Gene-Seed
The Skull Reapers are believed to hail from the Iron Hands and have on many occasions allowed their Gene-Seed to be examined, this is because they have been compared to the Traitor Death Guard in both appearance and combat doctrine, this has led them to be suspected of a connection to the Traitors and forced them to allow the Inquisition to investigate them lest they are brought to trial on charges of Heresy, despite their passing of the test they still looked at with suspicion. Many Inquisitors have noted that all tests have been performed on the 7th Clan only and it is claimed that this a deliberate attempt to mislead any investigations and it is likely these matters will soon come to a head, one way or another. They are also known to carry Power Scythes into battle and this combined with their Chapter's style of battle have only fuelled the Inquisitions suspicions. Unlike other Iron Hand successors they do not gladly replace their bodies with augmetics but seen to accept them only grudgingly.
Notable Skull Reapers
Lord Melchor - Chapter Master of the Skull Reapers, he is a massive Astartes even amongst his notoriously robust battle-brothers. He wears an ornate suit of Artificer Armour and carries a massive Power Scythe.