The Spider Knights are a very secretive Chapter that are believed to be of Raven Guard linage. Though their numbers are a closely kept secret they are believed to be above standard Codex regulated numbers, though to what extent is unknown even to the Inquisitors the Chapter often works with. They are very independent from the rest of the Imperium even through they are based within the Segmentum Solar. They specialize in covert operations and surgical strikes, eliminating entire cells of enemy forces as subtly as possible. When on the front lines, they hit the enemy where it is weakest and exploit every chance they get to strike when and where they have the advantage.
Marines of this Chapter can be seen in virtually every corner of the Imperium, albeit in small numbers, and are often seen hunting down heretic cells and dealing with xenos incursions before the greater Imperium is even aware of it. This Chapter has developed a habit of showing up where and when they are least expected and often to destroy a threat the people of the system or planet were blissfully unaware of. How they do this is a total mystery but most say that the Chapter uses arcane sorcery. This theory has yet to be proven but it is known that the Spider Knights Librarians (known as Weavers) are capable of very accurate precognition.
The Spider Knights are very weary of Chaos corruption and thus never form close bonds outside of the Chapter, always prepared to strike down their allies at the slightest sign of taint. They are held by many to be paranoid, misanthropic, and ruthless.
The Spider Knights are believed to be of the 13th "Dark" Founding and thus carry a very sinister reputation as bad omens and the fact that they are often seen assisting Inquisitors or follow in the wake of Imperial Assassins dose nothing but bolster this image. In general most of their fellow Space Marines would not trust them as far as they could throw them, but cannot help but admit few Space Marines can quell the natural urge for glory and battle to do what they do. It is believed that the Chapter was created specifically to hunt down and eliminate the thrice damned Traitor Legion, the Alpha Legion, as the Chapters tactics are perfect for the role and the frequency of engagements against Alpha Legion is quite high. Though some may mark these battles off as mere chance, as many Spider Knights are fond of saying, "There is no such thing as coincidence."
The Spider Knights are a mysterious Chapter to say the least, showing up where they are least expected and eliminating threats to the Imperium that were running rampant. Their Astartes almost always insert via drop pod and are extensively briefed with all sorts of obscure and what seems to be both relevant and irreverent data on their area of operations. The Spider Knights often prefer subtle methods to achieve their goals, making use of suppressors on nearly all of their bolters regardless of configuration. They also have a tendency to use simple, yet finely crafted, blades lacking any form of power field that would give away the Marines position, this means that the Spider Knights are extensively trained to take advantage of weaknesses in the enemies armor and stance in hand to hand combat. The Spider Knights also make frequent use of flash grenades and smoke grenades due to the nature of their missions where collateral damage is best avoided.
Spider Knights often fight in small "Spider Squads" miles behind enemy lines or at the very heart of the enemies forces, dismantling them piece by piece for extended periods. They also specialize in hunting down forces would subvert the Emperors will through stealth and ambush and thus have become the bane of Night Lords and Alpha Legion, as well as other more secretive agents of Chaos. The Chapter can also be found on various "search and destroy" missions, hunting down Renegade Chapters and Xenos filth that try to hide beyond the Imperium's borders.
When tracking a target through space it should be known that the Spider Knights are second to none, as every ship that bears their insignia is equipped with some of the best stealth technologies the Imperium has at its disposal, from Vox jammers that allow them to overtake enemy ships without fear of any interruption to psychic shields that make them undetectable to all but the most powerful psyker. (Delta-Alpha Plus)
The Spider Knights try to be as covert as possible in the execution of their missions and avoid collateral damage as best as the situation permits. They are quick and clean and try to be as professional as possible in their interactions with both allies and their targets, showing no zeal or passion in even the thickest fighting or against the most hated foe, they prefer to keep themselves rational and almost business like, replying to sorid battlecries with silenced bolter fire and nothing more.
The Spider Knights are not ones for glory or churning fields of war, they are often quiet and soft spoken individuals, but will not hesitate to prove their point at the business end of their blades. This Chapter has dedicated itself to destroying the unseen foes of the Emperor, the secret cults and Alpha Legions cells that threaten the Imperium within its very own borders. They are all surprisingly stealthy and agile for eight foot warriors and can outmaneuver most other Space Marines due to years of training. They often spend their time off the field delving into ancient tomes of knowledge and honing their already razor sharp skills.
This thirst for knowledge has led them into conflict with the Mechanicus and Inquisition, who often guard dark secrets and powerful facts jealously, however that has never seemed to stop this Chapter. Thus this Chapter has gathered a vast library of relics and data files that would take eons upon eons to even skim the contents of it. The Spider Knights also read various tactical doctrines and tomes from other Chapters, such as the Codex Astartes as standard but also the Imperial Fists Five Spheres and Dread Lords Book of Judgement.
Often Battle-Brothers of this Chapter have a favored text or scripture they use as a personal motto or battle cry and these can range from religious litanies to war poetry. (these are never shouted at the foe before battle but instead part of the Spiders "routine" for battle) Thus they have quite the "bookish" feel about them and often more volatile and zealous Chapters, like the Space Wolves and Black Templars, have difficulty operating with them.
When they must work with other bodies such as fellow Space Marine Chapters or Imperial Guard, Spider Knights tend to keep their distance, often appearing very introverted. However, it should be known that no action or word escapes them and they have become privy to many dark secrets surrounding many Chapters simply from one tour of duty by their sides. Often the Spider Knights are summoned by the Inquisition in keeping tabs on Space Marine Chapters who's loyalty or purity are suspect, and many of their battle brothers have put an end to Chaos taint before it infects whole Chapters.
The Spider Knights take their job as humanities unsung protectors very seriously and each has no care for personal glory or gain but to do their job and complete any mission set before them for the Emperor and His Imperium.
The Marines of the Spider Knights are very wary of Chaos, and consider any person outside the Chapter as if they were already under investigation. For centuries of cleansing the Imperium of unseen evils has taught them that anyone, from the lowliest criminal to the mightiest Chapter Master, is susceptible to Chaos. Even when they fought alongside of the Grey Knights (who's existence the Chapter had known for centuries prior to the encounter) were not exempt from the Spider Knights careful prodding.
Though the Chapter often works closely with the Inquisition, they are certainly not bound to it, they consider working with Inquisitors the best place to root out the Alpha Legion and other less savory foes, and have been reputed to work poorly with overzealous or radical Inquisitors.
Naming within the Chapter is very simple indeed, when they are first recruited, aspirants are given a simple seven digit number and one preceding letter to identify themselves (such as B-5572347), should they revert to personal names they are punished. After becoming a Battle Brother the Marine is free to chose whatever name he wishes, often taking on the first letter and two numbers of his code. (e.x. Bee-Fifty Five) Battle Brothers are also known to use personal nicknames as well such as Bolt, Saint, or Blade to name a few.
After aspirants are discreetly kidnapped from one of the Chapters various recruiting worlds, they are put together with a squad of other aspirants and put through brutal training that weeds out any weak links, though the aspirants are told to keep their number alive as well as they can those who are not fit will inevitably parish.
After the initial training has hardened them and bonded them as a unit, the would be Astartes are dropped into the jungles of Arachni VI and tasked with slaying a Spider Wolf with nothing but whatever rudimentary tools they can fashion from the elements around them. This is a difficult task for even the most experienced Space Marine alone and to expect a squad of (albeit rigorously trained over a period of many years) adolescents to achieve it seems like madness.
Very few squads manage to get their bearings before their quarry hunts them all down one by one but every so often a squad rises to the challenge and emerges victorious. Often it is a pair of aspirants or a group of three that succeeds or in rare cases only one survives. Those who succeeded in the hunt are made into Spiderlings and will fight at each others sides until they become true Battle Brothers of perish.
The Chapter is led by an individual known as the Overcaptain, his word is law and his identity is often unknown to outsiders. Only fully fledged Battle Brothers know of their Overmasters name and proud history of unmentioned deeds in the name of the Imperium. The Overcaptain is the most experienced and skilled Marine of the whole Chapter and is an embodiment of the Spider Knights ways, a cunning warrior who can ensnare any foe no matter how elusive, a mighty hero who can slay the greatest of foes weather he stands before them or behind them, and a true leader of both man and Astartes.
Beneath the Overcaptian there are the many Captains of the Spider Knights who command the Compaines. Not even the Inquisition has a clue as to the number of Space Marine that makes up the Chapter they can only assume from what they have seen that the usual Company of Spider Knights is around one hundred strong, give or take a few extra squads.
After the Captains who, there are the Lieutenants, who take the role of a Codex Sargent.
Spider Marines are the same in overall operation as the Codex Tactical Marine, though Spiders are trained to be much more subtle and stealthy than the usual Space Marine, they also make use of Suppressed Bolters and Suppressed Bolt Pistols and the all important combat knife and sword. Spiders are trained to ambush the enemy with as much swiftness and stealth as possible. Spiders are the backbone of the Chapter and some of the most proficient killers in the Galaxy, quick, clean, and utterly remorseless.
Widowmakers are the Chapters heavy weapons specialists and often see the foe through the scope of his Equius-Pattern Oblivion Rifle (courtesy of the Equalizers whom may dislike this Chapters closeness with the Inquisition but respects the proficiency of their craft) than down the sights of a Heavy Bolter. None the less Widowmakers are proficient with all manner of heavy weapons in the Imperial arsenal and are experts in their use. Often Widowmakers are the hammer of a Spider Squad, to focus the foes attention or to provide fire support should the Spiders cover be blown.
Jumpers are the Spider Knights equivalent to Assault Marines, the only difference is that they are trained to eliminate the enemy, not in a flashy and gory display, but to ambush them quickly and quietly and to use their momentum to keep the enemy off balance. Jumpers make use of highly advanced anti-gravity jump packs which allow the Jumper to reach the same heights as an Assault Marine but without the bright, flaming trail and roar of jet engines, instead the anti-grav pack only emits a ghostly blue glow that is barely noticeable against the backdrop of a midnight sky. Jumpers can even hover over a given spot for hours at a time with this device, all the better to scout out the position and give real time intel to their battle brothers on the ground. The intensity of the anti-grav pack can also be altered, meaning that it can launch the Jumper at breakneck speeds, or simply make it easier to scale a wall or building. Jumpers are very good a what they do and have been extensively trained in hand to hand combat so as to kill their enemy as swiftly as possible at the moment of impact. They also use flashbang and smoke grenades to great effect.
Weavers are the Librarians of the Spider Knights and are tasked with record keeping and as special support during an operation. They are also believed to be the heads of the Chapters intelligence network, due to their ability to consistently forecast future events. Most of the Weavers abilities revolve around the reading of individuals or the precognition of future events, thus they seem to have innate knowledge of their surroundings with but a glance, as foreign or alien they may be. They also use divination to great effect in battle, capable of knowing the foes attacks before they even move.
Weavers are often seen wearing enchanted Artificer Armor that has been decorated with mysterious runes and spider iconography, often giving them a rather unnerving appearance. The only weapons they carry into battle are a suppressed bolt pistol and the Weaver Blade, their badge of office. The Weaver Blade is a force weapon that is considered holy by Marines of the Chapter, as it is said to be imbued with the power of the Emperor himself. When a Weaver Blade is unsheathed from its ornate sheath it pulses with a strange black aura and any foe it strikes is certainly doomed if they are not able to counteract it with their own psychic powers. Weavers do not take the use of this weapon lightly and as such the Weavers rarely unsheathe this arcane tool of destruction.
Weavers tell the tales of their Chapter and the actions of its heroic Battle Brothers through massive tapestries that line the walls of the Spider Knights underground Fortress-Monastery known as The Web for its labyrinth like structure. This is their namesake and those few mortals privileged enough to have entered The Web are often in awe of the sheer vividness of the tapestries, each weaved out of Spider Wolf silk by the Weavers psychic powers.
When a Weaver reaches a certain point in the mastery of his abilities, he ventures out into the jungles of Arachni VI alone. This is known as the Spirit Walk and no member of the Chapter would dare interfere in this sacred ceremony. The Weaver ventures out into the jungles to tame a Spider Wolf, how this is done is known only to the Chapters secretive Librarium. But if they return the Weavers come with a very tame Spider Wolf in tow, often riding the massive beast. Form that day onward both beast and Marine never leave each others sides and though large a Spider Wolf is a very useful asset to any mission a Spider Squad may undertake, being naturally subtle and swift predators. It is said that the Weaver and his beast are linked in both mind and soul and thus can feel the each others pain and or distress, thus both in the parring are extremely loyal to one another and should either die in battle the remaining party becomes consumed with grief and will throw itself at the enemy. Often the Spider Wolf either dies alongside its master or is left guard the tombs of the Chapter from interloping scavengers. Should the Weaver survive his partners demise, his armor is painted black in mourning and becomes a much more grim individual, often facing death as an opportunity to join his partner by the Emperor's side.
Spider Priests are the Chaplains of the Spider Knights. Spider Priests are some of the most experienced and iron willed Marines of the Chapter and are often in charge of leading Spiderling Squads on their first missions. They are often found alongside Lieutenants as the second in command for a Spider Squad due to their wisdom and experience.
Spider Priests preach the Chapters strange and rather obscure "Spider Cult" to the Chapter. The specifics of the Cult are unknown but it preaches reverence for knowledge and the Emperor, and that the wicked always are caught in the Great Web of the Emperors power.
The Spider Priests Cronzius often takes the form of a mighty maul. As a badge of office, Spider Priests wear Arachind Medallions, holy pendants often displaying a spider hanging from a strand of silver silk. This arcane item has many powers, capable of generating a powerful force field that can either disintegrate the very flesh from an opponent or protect an entire squad from all harm for a short amount of time, it also has the power to banish daemons and strip them from the possessed with a word. However the Medallion must have time to charge between uses as with the Cronzius and each use of the Medallion requires a specific litany to achieve the desired effect.
Web Techs are the Chapters Tech Marines, each bears the Chapters unique Mecha Dendrites which come in pairs of four and are often used by the Web Tech to scale buildings or simply to move around on uneven terrain. Though similar to other Tech Marines in terms of skill and knowledge, Web Techs are very well versed with creating slight modifications to wargear and equipment that are well suited for the Chapters style of combat.
In battle Web Techs make use of deadly chemical acids and strange strands of a chemical they refer to (rather imaginatively) as Web. Web sticks to and immobilizes the foe and can even suffocate them if it attaches to the face, Web can also be lined with acid or chemical agents that can lead to a rather horrid demise. Web seems capable of immoblizing nearly anything, even charging Ork Nobz and Daemon Engines can be halted by strands of Web.
Spiderlings are the Chapters Scout Marines and are some of the best covert operatives the Imeprium has. Spiderlings are extremely deadly with any weapon, even with their bear hands they are capable of dismantling an Ork with little difficulty. In spite of this they are still novices and have been known to "jump the gun" and put entire missions at risk.
Spiderlings are often given grappling hooks and other such devices to scale difficult terrain or enemy structures and are also equipped with advanced optics that allow them to see in various spectra and even through objects.
Arachni VI is a massive Feral world that is one of many habitable planets that orbit the binary stars of the system. Arachni VI is covered in lush and perilous jungle that is only broken up by shallow seas. Arachni VI's dominant lifeform and apex preaditor is the Spider Wolf, a ferocious and cunning arachnid, this beast far outmatches most the Galaxy has to offer. They are highly territorial creatures and each individual patrols vast stretches of land often near a spring or other source of water that prey items have no choice but to frequent. These cunning beasts often lay traps for their prey in the form of webs and pit traps, showing a rudimentary intelligence, though indeed fearsome combatants, the Spider Wolf prefers stealth and ambush to a face to face confrontation, only emerging from the shadows to deliver the killing blow with its venomous fangs and stinger and cart its victim off to its lair to eat at its leisure.
The Chapter takes its name from the Spider Wolf and it plays many important roles in the Chapters culture and practices, they attempt to emulate the beast in their style of battle and on rare occasions one of the Chapters Weavers will tame one of these beasts and use them as weapons of war.
The size and location of the Spider Knights fleet is unknown but one can assume that it is wide spread, as the Spider Knights can show up on nearly the other side of the Galaxy one moment and another fleet over a world clear across the Segmentum. The Chapters fleet is well versed in ship-to-ship combat and its Serf crews are some of the finest in all of the Adeptus Astartes. This has made the Spider Knights fleet a feared force among xenos raiders and chaos forces alike, for once they attack from their unseen vantage points it is all but over.
The Spider Knights often serve in the Deathwatch. Only veteran Battle Brothers are chosen for Deathwatch service and often only Spider Priests or Weavers are deemed truly worthy of taking the Long Watch. Often Spider Knights are favored by Ordo Xenos Inquisitors as their skills in covertly operating in enemy territory make them well suited to the Deathwatch, though their propensity for distance and lack of camaraderie or any emotion for that matter make them somewhat hard to mesh with their fellow Deathwach Marines.
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The Dominion gained awareness of the Imperium of Man long before reaching their borders through engagements with the forces of Chaos, Rogue Traders, and Admech Explorators. Among their first encounters with proper Imperial forces was with the Spider Knights, who foiled Dominion attempts to annex worlds of the Imperium near the Dominion`s holdings in the Veiled Region. As such the Dominion is wary of the Spider Knights.
- "Now I know we entered the Dark Age of Astartes Chapter Names about eight thousand years ago or so, but come on. There is literally no relation between arachnids and chivalry. That's it, I'm not going to sell them bolter shells unless they change that ridiculous name."
- ""Captain, there appears to already be a ship in orbit, authorisation codes correspond with known Spider Knight credentials." "Hah! looks like our Brothers beat us to the prize.""
- —Conversation between Khanja ship captain and Lophess Ovair, 1st Captain of the Obsidian Blades.
- "I have severe misgivings about the operations these Astartes involve themselves in. Never mind jurisdictional issues, but the ability to sneak about the battlefield is just not the same thing as possessing the subtlety required for proper intrigue. These warriors should ply their trade on the battlefield as the Emperor designed them for. If I find that they've worked at cross purposes to the Shadow Cabinet, I'll have the lot of them censured."