The Spears of Delos is a Codex Astartes-compliant Loyalist Space Marines Chapter created during the 23rd Founding from the gene-seed of the Ultramarines. They hail from the world of Delos on the border of the Eastern Fringe.
The Spears of Delos were founded in the 37th Millennium as part of the 23rd founding, known as the "Sentinel Founding." Drawing from the bloodline of the Ultramarines, the Spears were created to bring stability and security to the often volatile Eastern Fringe.
The Sentinel Founding was designed to repair the power of the Adeptus Astartes, who had suffered considerable losses during the preceding millennium. Crises like the Age of Apostasy and the Cursed Founding had caused no fewer than 57 Space Marine chapters to be destroyed or lost. This, coupled with continuous threats from the Forces of Chaos and Xenos along the Imperium's borders, necessitated the creation of numerous new chapters throughout the galaxy.
The Spears of Delos were created to reinforce Imperium forces along the Eastern Fringe, and to secure a safe harbor for colonists and Imperium forces. Frequent attacks from Orks had crippled defenses, and several planets had already been overrun or deserted.
The Spears were established on the civilized world of Delos, a small planet situated on the frontier of the Eastern Fringe. Delos served as a frequent port for ships passing through the area, providing safe harbor for traders, colonists, and Imperial Guard vessels. The creation of the Spears fortified Delos, and turned it into a crucial piece of the Imperium's expanse into the frontier.
Much of the Chapter's early history was spent battling the Orks and other Xenos that had plagued the region. The Spears would often be deployed to prospective colonies or lost worlds to cleanse the planets and clear safe passage for the humans that would follow.
Damocles Gulf Crusade and Hive Fleet Behemoth
In 745.M41, the Imperium made its first contact with the horrifying Xenos threat known as Tyranids. The hive fleet that would later be known as Behemoth entered the galaxy from the East, consuming entire planets and darkening massive sectors of space. The bulk of the attack hit Ultramar, destroying the garden world of Prandium, and forcing the Ultramarines to muster a desperate defense of Macragge.
A tendril of the hive fleet, however, reached out to grasp Delos. Two full companies of the Spears had been deployed to battle the Tau in the Damocles Gulf Crusade, leaving the planet unprepared for the Xenos assault. Hundreds of thousands of Tyranids reached the planet's surface, slaughtering millions and leaving entire cities barren before the Second and Fourth Companies could return with the Spears fleet. Much of the planet's population, including the Igesia and the priests, took refuge inside the Spears Fortress Monastery. There, Chapter Master Nestor and the First Company made a valiant stand against the swarm, repelling wave after wave of the monsters, until their ammunition ran dry and their blades were dulled. In a final act of sacrifice, Nestor and the veterans of the first company sealed the doors to the fortress, locking the citizens inside and condemning themselves to slaughter.
When reinforcements arrived, they were met in orbit by horrific bio-ships, some as large as Astartes vessels. Fourth Captain Argo, Master of the Fleet, led the fight from the Acroscafos, allowing Second Captain Tyndareus to lead his men to join the fight on the surface. The battle-barge was able to keep the aliens at bay for a time, but was already damaged from the war with the Tau. The Acroscafos was cleaved in two by the Tyranids' corrosive bio-weapons, scattering hundreds of Astartes and thousands of guardsmen into space. In a last desperate act, Argo pointed what remained of the ship towards the surface, and set it on a course for the heart of the swarm. The massive ship plunged into the High City, crushing the High Temple and the Chapter's Fortress Monastery, along with all those barricaded inside.
Tyndareus and the remaining Astartes were able to finally repel the Tyranids, and reclaim the city. However, the attack cost the Spears, and the planet, dearly. Less than half of the Chapter remained, and most of the fleet had been decimated. Chapter Master Pylos Nestor was lost, along with the entire first, third, and fifth companies. The battle-barge Acroscafos, once the pride of the Chapter, lay ruined in the High City, a twisted monument to the Chapter's loss. Billions had been slaughtered, and much of the planet would remain uninhabitable for decades.
The Age of Castor
The remaining Spears elected Tyndareus as Chapter Master to succeed Nestor. Once a proud and arrogant warrior, Tyndareus' rule was instead marked by fear and apprehension. Tyndareus chose to rebuild the Chapter's Fortress around and among the ruins of the Acroscafos, fortifying himself inside the wreckage of his Chapter's past. He disbanded the planet's government, assuming a more traditional role of Planetary Governor. He committed the population to rebuilding the Chapter, scavenging through ruins for weapons, armor, and precious gene-seed. The fleet was committed to a defensive position, and expeditions were no longer sent outside of the immediate system.
The Plague Wars
When the servants of the Plague God Nurgle began their assault on the Imperium, Tyndareus took steps to fortify his Chapter and his planet, pulling the population into dense, easily defendable cities and fortresses. However, this left large swaths of the planet unprotected, and ripe for exploitation by the forces of Chaos. Rumors spread of abandoned cities covered with sickly growths, drowning in a dense and putrid fog.
It wasn't long before the rot reached the people of Delos. Cults began to fester in the underbellies of the planet's cities, feeding on the fear and anger of the population. Some began to riot, forcing the Spears to turn their bolters on the people of Delos for the first time in the Chapter's history. Yet no sooner were the heretics put down then they rose again, covered in boils, growths, and horns - poxwalkers.
With much of the planet abandoned, and the people barricaded into the hive cities, there was little opposition as the Death Guard reached the surface. Legions of the corrupted Astartes marched on Delian soil, the slow creaking of their armor drowned out only by the din of plague flies filling the sky.
The Chapter itself follows Guilliman's Codex Astartes closely, with the traditional structure of companies and leadership. However, one notable difference is their method of selecting Chapter Masters. When a Chapter Master dies, the brothers of the Chapter hold a vote to select his successor. On almost every occasion, the Chapter has voted to elevate the First Captain to the role of Chapter Master, with some notable exceptions.
For millennia the Spears served as a devastating strike force for the Imperium, a powerful and lethal weapon that could be deployed instantly to combat the enemies of the Emperor. With its sizable fleet the Chapter could field numerous ships for even a small mission, scattering enemies with orbital firepower before overwhelming them with drop-pods and gunships. Full companies would often be deployed in unison, ending most battles before the enemy could mount any sort of defense.
However, ever since the Chapter was devastated by Hive Fleet Behemoth the Spears have eschewed many of their traditions to ensure their own survival. With so few battle-brothers remaining, each casualty is another step towards complete annihilation. Where jump packs and power swords once struck the enemy, streams of bolter fire now ring out from ruined walls, and artillery blasts rain down from miles away. Where banners once proudly waved at the front of the assault, fortifications and defensive lines now sit stagnant, waiting for the enemies hiding among the stars to bring death back to Delos.
Notable Spears of Delos
- Pylos Nestor - Nestor served as Chapter Master for more than four centuries, leading the Spears through much of the 41st Millennia. A shrewd diplomat and cunning warrior, he was revered as much by the people of Delos as he was by the Astartes he commanded. When he first took the Laurel in 322.M41, Delos was under constant threat from Xenos hordes - Orks in particular. Through a series of campaigns and fortifications, Nestor solidified Delos as a safe harbor in the often tumultuous region. Under his leadership, the Spears became a frequent sight in military campaigns around the Eastern Fringe and Ultima Segmentum. In 745.M41, a small tendril of the Tyranid Hive Fleet Behemoth reached Delos while two of the Spears' battle companies were away in the Damocles Gulf Crusade. Without their full defenses, the planet was quickly invaded and overrun by the Tyranids. Nestor and the Spears' First Company fortified themselves in the High City, guarding the Delian citizens who had retreated to the palace and monastery. They fought valiantly, and repelled wave upon wave of xenos, first with their bolters, then with their swords, and finally with their fists, until the last Astartes fell. Nestor was succeeded as Chapter Master by his Second Captain, Castor Tyndareus.
- Castor Tyndareus - Tyndareus is the current Chapter Master of the Spears, a position he has held since the end of the First Tyrannic War in 745.M41. Tyndareus, then Captain of the Second Company, was chosen as Chapter master after he led the defense of Delos against the Hive Fleet Behemoth, a battle which left nearly half of the Chapter dead or missing, including Chapter Master Nestor. In the more than two centuries that have followed, Tyndareus has withdrawn the Chapter from its numerous campaigns and fortified Delos, abandoning many of his predecessors' practices. Rather than fostering a collaborative relationship with the local population like Nestor, Tyndareus has taken firm control of the planet, committing its resources to rebuilding the Chapter. The lack of available gene-seed has made this task particularly difficult, however, and Tyndareus is beginning to feel desperate to restore his Brothers' former strength.
- Dreadnought Argo - In life, Argo served as Captain of the Fourth Company and Master of the Fleet. When the Imperium mustered forces for the Damocles Gulf Crusade, Argo joined Second Captain Tyndareus in leading the Second and Fourth Companies in support. After a series of stalemates with the Tau, however, Imperium forces were recalled to face the oncoming threat of the Tyranid Hive Fleet Behemoth. When a small but devastating tendril of the Hive Fleet reached Delos, the Spears raced home to join the defense, but were ambushed in orbit. Already damaged from the war with the Tau, the Battle Barge Acroscafos could not endure the attacks from the Tyranid cruisers. The ship was torn in two, hurling nearly the full Fourth Company into space. While Captain Tyndareus and the Second Company deployed in their Strike Cruiser to join the fighting on the surface, Argo remained on the Acroscafos with what was left of his men. With the bulk of the Tyranids occupying the High City, Argo took command of the ruined Battle Barge and piloted it into the atmosphere, crashing the massive ship into the core of the swarm. His sacrifice allowed the Second Company to land safely in the city and mount a defense, driving out the Tyranids. When the fighting was done, Argo was pulled from the wreckage, clinging to his last breath. He was interred into a ceramite cybernetic sarcophagus, and given new life as a Dreadnought.
The Spears of Delos wear dark blue power armor, with the pauldrons and face mask painted white. The Spears display a white aquila on their chests, meant to symbolize the light of the Emperor being carried into the darkness of the Fringe.
Their symbol is a blue circle with a white trident pointing upwards. Their squad, sergeant, and veteran markings are all Codex Astartes-compliant.