- "You are sons of the almighty God-Emperor of Mankind, His holy blood flows in your very veins. But this gift, this blessing, it is not without a price. My Battle-Brothers, we are the sword in the Emperor's hand. We are the shield to His people. We are the armor in which mankind must clad itself against the horrors of the Galaxy. It is with this divine duty you have been tasked. May your souls be as forged iron, as tempered steel, for we are the weapons of mankind! And by our last breath we will serve mankind!"
- — Arch-Chaplain Kreiger's famous address to the latest crop of Neophytes
The Tempered Souls are a partially compliant-Codex Astartes Chapter created during the 14th Founding from unknown genetic lineage. This Founding was just one of many multiple Foundings of Adeptus Astartes Chapters, which occurred between 975-991.M35, a tumultuous period in Imperial history. During the latter decades of this millennium, the Imperium was rife with civil disobedience, wars, invasions and various disasters. The troubled period known as the "Time of the Twin Empires" was coming to end - a fractured time when the Imperium of Man was split into two separate warring factions for nearly 900 hundred years. During this period, the rebellious Ur-Council of Nova Terra dismissed the authority of the High Lords of Terra and had claimed separate rule over the Imperium's Segmentum Pacificus.
As the 36th Millennium dawned, the time of the Nova Terra Interregnum was rapidly drawing to a close as the power of Nova Terra began to quickly wane. Following their collapse and inevitable defeat, the Ecclesiarchy attempted to rebuild the sundered Imperium into a religious state that transcended political differences. During this time, the 14th Founding occurred, and the Chapter that would come to be known as the Tempered Souls was created. Following their inception, they took part in the religious wars that followed when the Ur-Council of Nova Terra rejected the Ecclesiarchy's teachings. Billions subsequently died in the conflict that followed, as a terrible new civil war was unleashed, the likes of which had not been seen since the Horus Heresy.
The newly created Tempered Souls were quickly baptised in the fires of war during this conflict, which came to be known as the Cataclysm of Souls, and quickly garnered a reputation as a highly-effective if often notoriously bellicose Chapter, who believed in the application of overwhelming force to bring about the total destruction of their foes. Since that bygone age, the Tempered Souls have developed into a highly independent but tactically flexible Chapter, always willing to answer the call-to-arms on behalf of the Imperium of Man.
The Chapter Overview
The Tempered Souls are in-between old and new, like many other Successor Chapters. They are rich in history and customs with most of their traditions being self-formed rather than being handed down from a parent Chapter, as they do not know where exactly their genee-seed is from. They have fought myriads of foes on numerous worlds, which is one of their greatest feats, as they do not chase after relics like many others do.
From the very start, the Chapter of the Tempered Souls have been conquering and conquesting in the name of the Imperium. At first, they were originally fleet-based as they traveled from system to system doing the Emperor's will, until they were ambushed by a large Black Legion Chaos fleet only a few decades after the events of the civil war known as the Cataclysm of Souls. Many of their ships were damaged in the battle, which forced them to seek out a permanent refuge in order to lick their wounds and rebuild their forces, therefore the need arose for them to find themselves a Chapter homeworld. Unlike many of their fellow Chapters, they were not granted a world of their own upon their inception, instead the Tempered Souls had to not only seek one out on their own potential homeworld, but claim it from any xenos filth that might currently reside there.
Forming The System
After traveling around for a few months recovering the grand ships in the Chapter's possession, they finally found a system that they thought would make fine place for them to call home. The Tempered Souls called this newly discovered region the Nerio System. This system was uncharted by the Imperium or was perhaps forgotten (though it seems unlikely it was ever inhabited by Mankind prior to their arrival). They scanned each planet before making planetfall on any of them. Each planet was inhabited by some form of non-sentient xenos, so these worlds appeared to be lacking any threats. They decided to take the planet they called Necro, that would later become their first homeworld. They reconnoitered the planet with squads of Astartes and Land Speeders looking for any threats. After a week or so of inspection, they had determined the planet to be free of threats for the time being. Afterwards they made planetfall and made a temporary base.
Now with a planet to use as a base of operations they started on cleansing the rest of the system from the alien menace. They progressed through the system until they came across the planet that would later be known as Kri-os (which is currently a Death World due to the subsequent battle). The xenos present here were Exodite Eldar who had taken notice of the arrival of the Space Marines and had made plans to defy the invaders. They had dug in and made ready for a siege. When the Chapter battle fleet arrived to orbit the planet they launched a sustained orbital bombardment on the Exodite settlements, and brought down the literal sky raining fire day after day, for two weeks straight. Assuming there was nothing left on the planet after such a brutal barrage they scanned the planet and made themselves ready to depart to the surface. To their dismay they discovered the Eldar were still alive in large numbers, albeit, much less than before the bombardment. They laid waste to the planet once more, but this time not just with cannons and lasers, but with ancient and forbidden biological weapons and rad-bombs. After a month of raining death of this life-destroying combo, everything on the planet except for aquatic life deep under the surface of the planet's oceans was dead.
During this massive siege of Kri-os some of the Chapter that was not involved in that battle had went ahead and cleared the Gallius (which was uninhabited) and scouted Syprios. They had discovered Syprios was where the Exodite Eldar fled when they discovered they would not be able to keep the Space Marines off of Kri-os. It was taken very quickly, as the amount of Eldar who successfully made it there were very small, and they were in no condition to fight. They were easily defeated by the mighty Astartes. Accounts from battle-brothers who survived the battle claim they walked back to their camps covered in blood from their chest to their feet.
Rising From The Ashes
After the long siege and casualties sustained from other engagements, the Chapter was battered and broken. Equipment was in a mass state of disrepair and vehicles were sorely in need of the technical ministrations of their Techmarine kin. Directly after the conquering of the system the Tempered Souls were forced to recuperate and begin the logistics of owning an entire system. They contacted the High Lords of Terra to inform them of the success of the campaign. With the High Lords informed of their success, Imperial ships were dispatch forthwith, laden with much needed matériel and supplies as well as several detachments of Imperial Guard regiments which allowed the Tempered Souls to rest and recover from their losses. The worlds of the system were settled by Imperial colonists and fortresses were constructed during this time of relative peace for the Chapter, and over time the wounds of battle began to heal. Over the span of a decade the Chapter's ranks were replenished and they were soon at full strength, once again ready to carrying out missions. For the first time in over a decade the Tempered Souls would be back into the fray, full-time.
A Chapter Reborn
After finding a world (and system) to claim as their own, the Tempered Souls had spent a decade rebuilding themselves as well as constructing a fortress-monastery for themselves. This formidable Chapter citadel would come to be known as the 'Sanctuary of Light' (not just for holy purposes, but it was also one of the few light sources on the planet, and a large one at that). After shaping the system as they saw fit, they Tempered Souls decided they might as well do the same to the Chapter. They figured out through trial and error that they believed the Codex Astartes, though highly valued for its hard-earned battle wisdom and philosophy, was too inflexible for their needs. They basically threw away the rule book, some Imperial scholars would suppose you could say. The Chapter broke up the original Codex-formation of the companies and reformed them to be more well-rounded.
This made many of the more Codex-compliant Chapters lend them much criticism. While this action made the Tempered Souls to be seen as lesser in the eyes of the 'by-the-book' Chapters, it did increase The Tempered Souls' ability in combat as a whole. This reorganization made each company self-reliant, alleviating the need, and making it no longer necessary to mix-and-match companies into ad-hoc formations. Each now possessed Terminator Squads, Veteran Marines, as well as everything in-between evenly distributed to each company. Now any company would be able to handle any situation short of a Tyranid Hive Fleet invasion or going into the Eye of Terror.
<Imperial Scholar's Note:> It should be noted that many of the Tempered Souls' Chapter records, if not all prior to the discovery of the Chapter's home world, are absent from any Imperial collections (possibly destroyed in the initial Black Legion ambush or kept secret for unknown purposes). That being said, read onward to learn the rich history of the chapter.
The Crusade Of The Nerio System (987.M37)
As stated above, upon the Tempered Souls' creation there had no designated homeworld as they were initially a fleet-based Chapter, until they suffered severe damage to their fleet at the hands of a Black Legion ambush. The battle for this system was hard fought against the xenos who resided there. The brunt of the "blade of the Chapter" was brought down upon this alien filth with divine fury. The planets were bombarded for days on end and after the smoke cleared, the Space Marines would come down with bolters in hand to complete their bestowed task. Cities were crushed, and temples of the Eldar's false beliefs were razed. This is where the proud Captain Zavala would shine - as he led every one of these planetside assaults - always at the forefront.
Even in the final battle where the dreaded Eldar filth were dug in stoutly, Zavala was just as competent as he was on the previous planets. He especially showed his valor here on this world, slaying many foes that day, and even delivered the killing blow to the leader of the Exodite group of the entire system. However this would only be the beginning of the many battles the Chapter would fight and win.
The Execution Of The "Grot-Crusha" (999.M37)
A troublesome Ork Warboss named 'Grot-Crusha' was making a name for himself amongst the rest of the greenskins. He was building such a reputation, that he caught the attention of Imperial officials. With word spreading, this up-and-coming warboss was ready to start a decent sized WAAAGH! The Tempered Souls were called upon by the Imperium. Rather than waiting for the xenos to attack first, the Chapter took the initiative and readied their battle fleet to intercept the orks mid-journey. When the ramshackle ork ships came near the outer fringes of the Chapter's system, the Space Marine fleet appeared out of nowhere and began their brutal and bloody ambush. First they launched a sustained macro-cannon and lance battery barrage to get the ork's attention, and then the Space Marines closed in and began their assault.
During this confusing crossfire the ork flagship containing Grot-Crusha was left nearly defenseless, apart from its own weapons. With the bulk of the Astartes' ships keeping their foes distracted, the designated assault ship closed in on the ork flagship. Strafing the ork ship, the assault craft launched breaching teams all across the ship. Spreading throughout the ship, the Space Marines proceeded to cleave through the ork ranks. In this battle, they gained respect from many for their swift victory. When the Captain of the 3rd Company - who was Alof Kazir at the time - was killed in action by one very lucky grot, the Chapter persevered onwards. The breaching teams continued towards the bridge. The first group to fight their way to the bridge was a handful of stout Veteran Marines who were in a dire situation. Before them, their primary target was surrounded by his cadre of bodyguards. The orks let out a roar and charged. Blade and klaw to powerfist and chainsword, power armour to mega-armor, they fought. By the end of this brutal slaughter, Grot-Crusha lay broken and beaten before Valk. The ilk was brought back to the planet Necro where his green-skinned and red-eyed head is displayed as a mantle piece.
As for the rest of the WAAAGH! those who weren't dead fled in horror. This not only brought honor to the chapter but resources as well for being so effective. This battle made other chapters envious and also proud of their fellow Astartes.
The 12th Black Crusade (145.M41)
As the 12th Black Crusade swept across the galaxy, the Tempered Souls found themselves beset within their own home sector. A large invasive fleet of heretics and traitors had entered their system without warning. The rival fleet showed up at an opportune time as well as most of the (roughly sixty-percent) of the Tempered Souls' forces had been dispatched to fight elsewhere in the Imperium. The heretic horde first destroyed the synth-planet Gallius with a combined salvo from their massive ships. Luckily, at least for the Tempered Souls, this small synth planet was a luxury spot with very little resources and no Imperial forces stationed on it.
The Souls were quick to react once they were aware of what was happening to them. They mustered up what they could, organising and launching a skeleton fleet, and rushed to the enemy fleet's location. They Chaos fleet attempted to halt them so that the weapons on the ground could be put to use. The Chaos fleet was met as they reached the planet Syprios. As the heretics were preparing to turn the planet to mulch with a hail of fire, they were blindsided by the Tempered Souls small group of ships. The Chaos fleet attempted to turn their ships around to react, but were too slow, as the stalwart Astartes fleet had already manoeuvred to the traitor vessels' vulnerable amidships to open fire once more.
This provided enough of a distraction for the ground weapons of Syprios to be manned by the planet's PDF (Planetary Defence Forces). The planet-shattering weapons let their projectiles soar into the heavens and wreaked untold havoc on any ship in the sky. Of course this meant that some 'friendly-fire' was inevitable, as the volleys of destruction were indiscriminate of what they hit, but the losses sustained amongst the vessels were much more sever to the Chaos fleet then that of the marines. After this orbital fight the Space Marine fleet had to return to refuel and replenish their sorely depleted weapon stocks. The Chaos fleet tried to consolidate themselves, and with most of their hard hitting ships either destroyed or critically damaged, they decided to take their chances on the surface of the beleaguered planet. The ground forces chewed up the descending traitor fleet, but quite a few of the enemy ships still managed to make planetfall. Most of the damaged invasive fleet was plummeting towards the area around the northernmost part of the planet. The PDF and stationed Tempered Souls Astartes were fast to bring the fight to the disorganized enemy force.
The disoriented remnants of the Chaos-tainted Astartes barked out orders to swarms of cultists and mercenaries as the mighty tanks of the Syprios PDF and the stalwart Space Marines advanced upon them. Many of the puny cultist were swept aside by massive bombardments of cannon fire and bolter shots of the advancing Space Marines. With most of the grunts out of the way, all that was left to deal with were the renegade Chaos Space Marines. The Tempered Souls and the traitors traded fire at close range before the battle devolved into deadly close-quarters fighting. The servants of Chaos put up stiff resistance as they were "blessed" with unholy mutations and the will of madmen, but they were met with equal ferocity by the holy might of the servants of the Emperor. After several days of this gruesome warfare the fight was finally over when the final traitor was made an example of. As his severed head was held up triumphantly he muttered, "We'll return you fools . . ."
The rest of the invaders were purged or fled the system. The overall damage to the system was rather mild other than the destruction of the synth-world Gallius. The surface of Syprios took a considerably long time to restore as it is an Agri-World. The Tempered Souls lost sixteen battle-brothers in the battle and many Chapter Serfs who aided in the battle to compensate for the lack of many of their Space Marine masters. This battle is now held in great reverence by the Tempered Souls and many of the Astartes who were involved in the conflict currently hold senior positions within the Chapter.
The Flight of The Phoenix (495.M41)
Somewhere in space relatively close to the Chapter's sector, an ancient Space Hulk surfaced from the warp. The Imperial Navy and other Imperial ships had taken notice of the derelict ship and made a formal request for it to be inspected. The bureaucracy of Terra had researched the ship by delving into the records and determined the ship to be The Phoenix. This ship, when it was last seen in the material realm, was said to posses forbidden technology dating back to the time of the Horus Heresy, according to its shipping manifest.
The Tempered Souls were assigned to the inspection of the ship and to scour it for relics. They sent a detachment to carry out the mission. Captain Valk would personally lead this mission as it had been some time since he had been on active duty (having had to deal with logistical matters in the system for some time). As soon as the detachment was within sight of the derelict hulk they were awestruck with the size of the massive ship, and even though they were not overly fond of worshiping ancient tech, were also amazed at the archaic appearance of the formidable vessel. They pulled alongside it with a boarding craft beside on open access port to the ship, and then Captain Valk and his handful of Terminator-armoured veterans progressed forward into the ship. They went first to the bridge to learn the layout of the ship and to try and find out what had happened to its crew. It was not very obvious what had occurred, as with most hulks, there were no nests of gene-stealers or any obvious signs of Chaos taint.
Upon visiting the ship's bridge they learned the layout of the ship and only found mundane notes of the vessel's starting point and its destination. After several more minutes of searching, the party aboard the hulk found the Phoenix's shipping manifest, which listed several things of great strategic value to the Chapter and to the Imperium as a whole. With the items contained in the ship now known to the Astartes, they sent a transmission back to their vessel to inform them it would be some time, and to prepare for taking on cargo. They progressed to the hold looking for clues of what had happened on the ship by looking for corpses, or perhaps signs of a struggle, but nothing was evident.
They reached the doors of the hold to find them shut tightly. One of the Terminators stepped forth, and using his massive chainfist, sliced the door open. As light shown into the chamber the Space Marines could see the horrible mutated crew facing a altar of three flies (the symbol of the Plague God, Nurgle). Hundreds of plague-infested crewmembers stared at the interloping Terminators and started to creep towards them. Valk stepped through the breach in the door and let loose a salvo of deadly bolter rounds towards the heretics. The rest of the Terminators soon followed suit, as the first rounds slammed into the walking puss-bags. After the first few minutes of sustained gunfire all of the Chaos disciples were slain, and the Space Marines began looking throughout the hold. Valk began to hear something behind him and turned around quickly to blast away the scum. He hesitated after seeing what was behind him. One of the heretics he had blown into pieces earlier was beginning to form into two more! He looked around the rest of the cargo bay to see the rest of the tainted crewmembers doing the same, multiplying as the came back from death.
Making a quick decision, he called out to his brothers to open fire and make a tactical withdrawal to the warp drive containment room. They forced their way through with stormbolter and powerfist. The Nurgleites were scratching and thrashing upon their impenetrable battle-plate trying to hold them back. The Space Marines reached the containment room and Valk told them of the plan he had hatched. Knowing that no matter how many of these crew members they killed, more would grow back from the corpses. Therefore, he decided the only way to deal with it would be to eradicate all of them completely by making the warp drive go critical. This would, however, require one of the Astartes to stay behind to manually set the controls and carry out the process. They all volunteered of course, being stalwart Astartes who were always looking to die gloriously in service to the Emperor, so it was decided by Valk, who would stay. He chose a Terminator brother by the name of ***INQUISITION MEMBERS' EYES ONLY***. The rest departed, while this lone battle-brother stayed behind and valiantly made ready to greet the Emperor. Valk and the rest of his warriors made it safely back to their ship and departed post-haste. As they slipped into the Warp, they just missed the massive explosion of the space hulk, but the destruction of the Nurgle-ites manifested itself in the warp as their souls were set free.
The Defense Of Alavir (556.M41)
When the synth world known as Alavir (a star fortress located in the Eastern Fringe) was attacked by a small raiding fleet of Black Legion Traitor Astartes, the Tempered Souls were called into action. Arriving as fast as they could, the 3rd Grand Company discovered that the star fortress was nearly empty, pertaining only a minuscule amount of Imperial forces still left alive and fighting. The Chaos fleet had landed most of their ships and had taken hold of over half of the star fortress. It was decided by the 3rd Company Captain Valk to split his forces in-half - one half would attack any of the Chaos ships still in orbit, while the other half would take the fight to the interior of the star fortress.
Valk and his half reached the surface of Alavir and began to try and gather some information as to where the heretics were occupied from the local Imperial Guard regiment stationed there. While Valk gathered this vital information, the Souls' fleet moved up on the flank of the Chaos fleet. The orbital battle was swift as the loyalist fleet was considerably larger and many of the heretic's ships lay dormant upon the surface of Alavir. After all of the Black Legion ships had been swept aside, the Tempered Souls' vessels began to bombard the ships on the ground, ensuring there was no escape for the traitors.
After making sure that the last of the traitor's navy was destroyed, Valk along with his Space Marine retinue (which was bolstered by the resident Imperial Guardsmen) marched forwards into the inner workings of Alavir. Bodies lay mangled and broken before them as they entered the grand halls of the star fortress. The guardsmen cowered and got sick at the sight of their mutilated comrades, while the Tempered Souls Astartes pressed forward. The signs of Chaos became more prominent as the Imperial forces got closer to the center of the fortress. Once they came upon the very heart of the star fortress they discovered the gore-covered Traitor Astartes and their underlings performing a dark ritual to summon the foul creatures of the warp. As the Chaos Sorcerer leading the ritual was about to utter the final dark incantation, Valk drew his bolter and fired a volley of rounds which tore him asunder.
The mob of Chaos' servants turned around and saw the mighty captain and his fellow servants of the Emperor and mustered up a great roar of hatred. The cultists charged forth while their masters loaded their daemonic auto-cannons and drew their twisted blades. The weak underlings of the Chaos Astartes were ripped to shreds by a combined effort of the Tempered Souls and Imperial Guards' gun line. The Imperials pushed into the room while the Chaos Marines made ready for the inevitable clash of steel and fist that would be upon them shortly. Guardsmen were cut clean into, as the Black Legion Chaos Space Marines rushed forward and loyalist Space Marines shrugged off bolter rounds, as they ran to meet the enemy. After a grueling hour of melee combat the last of the Black Legions members was put to the sword.
The wounded Chaos Sorcerer who lay broken and barely clinging to life, managed to utter the final words of his dark ritual. The corpses of heretic and hero alike rose up and began to mutate horribly. The foul sorcerer laughed as the bewildered Captain Valk crushed his skull underneath his boot. The corpses then stood upright to reveal what the sorcerers' ritual had done. They appeared to have been taken over by the entities of Chaos to be used as some kind of sick, twisted marionettes. The already severely-damaged force of Tempered Souls had to make a logical choice, and opted to make a tactical withdrawal, as the fallen would rise up to be claimed by Chaos. They ran back to their ships, and once they were back in orbit, they contacted the Inquisition to inform them of the incident. They were then given clearance to destroy the star fortress in order to halt the spread of Chaos taint. The Tempered Souls then destroyed Alavir with a sustained volley of macro-cannon and lance fire.
The 3rd Company lost 20 battle-brothers that day, and even worse, lost the precious gene-seed contained within each of their fallen brethren. Although the fortress was ultimately destroyed it was considered a victory as the Forces of Chaos weren't allowed to inherit the star fortress or its secrets.
Gotrek Campaign (998.M41)
While enroute to the Segmentum Obscurus to take up new duties under direct orders from the High Lords of Terra, the Eagles of the Void Chapter's route towards this far flung region took them through the Nerio System. Traveling through a cluster of star systems not held by the Imperium, they cautiously made their way through, what initially though was an empty region of space. But instead, they found themselves in close proximity to the Tempered Souls Chapter who were currently engaged with a Chaos scout fleet in the Gotrek System. The Eagles of the Void swiftly moved to aid their fellow Astartes Chapter, helping them to annihilate the Chaos vessels and harrying what few ships survived their brutal, combined counter-strike, and retreated in the face of inevitable defeat. Grateful for their assistance, the Chapter Masters of the two Chapters exchanged formalities, and once completed, the Eagles of the Void continued on with their journey as the Tempered Souls departed for their home system.
The 13th Black Crusade (999.M41)
Shortly before the 13th Black Crusade, the Tempered Souls' Chapter Master, Caesar, had a grim vision of what was to come in the following weeks. In a knee-jerk reaction, he called all deployed forces of the Tempered Souls back to Necro in order to consolidate and plan for the defence of their homeworld. As the days went by, it was woefully evident that Caesar's premonitions were true, as the Forces of Chaos rushed outward from the Eye of Terror and into the various territories of the Imperium. The Chapter went to the local worlds of their system and with what little time they had before the arrival of invading forces, fortified structures and took civilians with them back to their homeworld.
In the region of space above Syprios, a tear in reality occurred as a massive warp rift ripped open into realspace, and a massive vessel flew outwards. The vessel then proceeded to collide head-on with the small agri-world. The blast of the initial impact could be seen from observation posts on the surrounding worlds and before the order could even be given to send forces to Syprios, a massive invading Chaos fleet entered the system. The Chapter reacted quickly as they sent out the 4th and 3rd Companies to Syprios and Kri-os, respectively. The 3rd Company reached its destination without any trouble, however, the same could not said of the 4th. It was made apparent that the focus of the invading forces wasn't on Syprios as the majority of the Chaos forces went right by it, and towards Kri-os. As they headed onwards towards the planet they intercepted the 4th Grand Company.
The 4th Company was alone in orbit as they took the punishment of the invading Chaos fleets' macro-cannons and deadly fighters. They fought valiantly, holding the Chaos fleet back for hours before they had to fall back to Necro to repair their severely damaged ships.
The Fall Of Kri-os
The valiant Tempered Souls of the 3rd Company set up hasty defences within the vast prison compounds of Kri-os, readying themselves for the inevitable onslaught of traitors that would try to take the planet. They evenly distributed their forces among the five grand structures bolstering the local guards' combat effectiveness. As the Chaos ships drew near, they used any available anti-air weapons to cull the incoming waves of drop ships. While they were successful in destroying many landing craft, eventually enough of the heretics had successfully made planetfall and began to attack the outside walls of the South Point facility.
From the palisades atop the outside walls, the Astartes assisted the small number of Imperial Guardsmen (numbering approximately 20,000) to defend the entire prison for hours. Wave upon waves of cultists ran for the walls, toting explosives and siege ladders, hoping to eventually find a gap in the Imperial defences, but luck would prove to be on the 3rd Company's side, or at least, for a few hours. The battle was being conducted swimmingly, until the leader of the assaulting Chaos force grew tired of waiting for his mortal servants to take the prison. The foul Chaos warlord Erik, along with his retinue of Traitor Astartes, charged forth into the defences on the outside of the prison, cleaving through the lightly-armed guards and even a handful of Tempered Souls.
The dizzying confusion of this close-combat went on for several minutes until 3rd Company Captain Valk saw an opportunity to route the foe by severing the head of the snake, by taking out the Chaos commander. He rushed towards the vile Erik with zeal, colliding with the fallen Astartes with massive force. The clash of their blades roared even over the din of battle that surrounded them. Despite the mighty Valk fighting with the fury of righteousness, he was overpowered by the brutish traitor. As the revered Captain fell to the Chaos warlord's blade, the enemy leader swelled and deformed into a hellish monster, known as a Daemon Prince, as a reward for having pleased his dark masters in the warp.
It was at this moment South Point was overcome as the remaining Tempered Souls Astartes and Imperial Guardmen there were slaughtered by the followers of the Ruinous Powers. It was then that the traitors freed the estimated 150,000 convicts within South Point, which greatly bolstered the ranks of their dark horde. Despite the valiant efforts put forth by the remaining defenders at the rest of the prisons, they were forced to retreat to the final Imperial stronghold on the planet, the Citadel. The remnants of the 3rd Company numbered only seventeen Astartes at this point, and only 14,000 Imperial Guardsmen remained to try and make a stand at the Citadel.
For months they would remain there without support, forced to fight daily for their lives.
The Siege of Corbonis
While the 3rd and 4th Company set off the 5th Company positioned themselves at Corbonis to assist in the world's defence. Even before the invading fleet arrived to the planet they were busy slaying homegrown heretics that sprung up. With the assistance of the local PDF, they successfully quelled the local threat for a short time preventing the cultist mobs from destroying the planet's infrastructure. Though their efforts did prevent saboteurs from causing any major harm in the early parts of the battle there was still considerable collateral damage.
By the time the fleets of the ruinous powers reached the lush planet of Corbonis the Tempered Souls had dug in to the strongholds of the PDF which were scattered around on the planet's surface. For hours on end the Astartes fought valiantly, defending the civilians which were fleeing from the many coastal towns and villages. Mostly on the defensive, the Space Marines gathered very little information on the enemy forces that were ravaging the countryside. It wasn't until the Corbonis Ruffians scouted out the encampments of the heretics that the Tempered Souls were able to mount an assault. Clearing the way for the PDF and fleeing refugees the 5th Company provided much needed relief to the Ruffians.
Unfortunately the 5th Company was forced to withdraw three quarters of its garrisoned Space Marines to assist their brothers on their besieged homeworld of Necro. Those Astartes still stationed on Corbonis offered whatever assistance they could, ranging from escorting thousands of civilians to safe havens, to assaulting enemy fortifications to alleviate the PDF's forces.
A Flame In the Dark
As hundreds of ships closed in on Necro it was increasingly evident the Tempered Souls' homeworld was the main target of the invading Chaos fleet. Once a shining beacon of hope, Necro was now being pummeled by artillery barrages from the orbiting ships of the chaos fleet. Chapter Master Caesar made the order for all available Astartes to return back to the fortress-monastery, knowing that if the Tempered Souls were overwhelmed by the invading hordes of darkness there would be no hope of reclaiming the rest of the Nerio System.
The returning ships of the Tempered Souls pummeled the orbiting Chaos ships, forcing many of them to make crash landings on the surface of Necro. The Space Marines on the ground retreated back to their fortress-monastery making sure to bring any displaced citizens along with them. Just as the remaining Astartes reached the safety of the unbreakable walls of the Sanctuary of Light the fortress was being surrounded by legions of the damned. Mutants, cultists, daemons, and even traitorous Chaos Space Marines were encircling the fortress-monastery.
Like a light in the dark, the citadel was but a speck, surrounded by a sea of heretics. Cannons and artillery adorned with hellish symbols and fanged muzzles roared out for hours on end. Shot after shot and minute after minute more guns fixed their sights on the mighty bastion of the Tempered Souls. From within the vast spanning walls of the fortress both Astartes and PDF troopers fired from gun-slots or manned emplaced weapons. While they were successful in taking down many combatants, it wasn't enough to prevent the breaching of the walls. A near-microscopic crack had successfully made it all the way through the thick stone walls of the Sanctuary, and after many more bombardments, the wall finally collapsed. Like a tide of vermin cultists and mutants poured in through the gap in the wall brandishing a variety of weapons. With a gun line already in place several Space Marines and many PDF troopers focused fire on the seemingly endless flow of foes that were pouring in through the breach.
Eventually bodies began to clutter the freshly created breach in the wall of the fortress, which slowed the incoming heretics, and bought the beleaguered Astartes some time, as slowly but surely, less traitors were able to come in during each wave. After quite some time the tide of enemies simply stopped charging through the gap, and all was eerily silent.
*More to come soon*
Necro, the home of the Tempered Souls, is a cruel and unforgiving place. First settled by the Chapter themselves the world has become a rather prosperous planet. The few cities that dot the surface span great distances and possess structures which seem to claw at the sky with their height. The sun rarely shines upon the bleak plains that comprise the majority of the planet's surface. The world possesses a sole major landmass which is surrounded by swirling, dark oceans which are home to a myriad of unearthly creatures. The people of Necro, just as the Astartes who share the world, are a hardy folk who strive to recognize and pay homage to the God-Emperor as part of their daily lives. The environment of the world has played a minor role in influencing some of the customs of the chapter and even their very appearance. Due to the almost complete lack of sunlight the Astartes of the chapter typically have very pale skin and slightly increased low light vision.
The Tempered Souls primarily recruit from all over the Nerio System, but at times will bring in worthy initiates from elsewhere in the sector. The bulk of their recruits come from the local PDFs as they typically try to find men with past military experience to be considered for the gift of being inducted into the ranks of the Astartes. Due to recruiting locally, the Tempered Souls place great value on the worlds in their system a good deal more, and will defend them regardless of the cost, as a result.
Once selected, recruits are brought to the Chapter's home world of Necro where they are given the typical tests of physical and mental fitness, which consists of what could be equated to the standard training of a Imperial Guard soldier. After the first wave of training is over they cull the applicants who were at the bottom of the list and send them home. They repeat the process over again several times ensuring that only the best of the best are given the opportunity to undertake the trials of indoctrination and conversion into a mighty Astartes of the Tempered Souls.
The Fortress-Monastery of the chapter is aptly named the Sanctuary of Light as it stands out as a bright beacon on the dark, eerie surface of Necro. The fortress itself is a proud structure with massive stone walls but even more impressing to the eye is how the fortress is partially carved from a large mountain. Inside its halls the exploits of the chapter are either inscribed into the very stone or shown through tapestries which are hung from the ceiling. At the very center of the monstrous structure is a grand central chamber where assemblies and ceremonies tend to take place.
It is currently unknown in official Imperial records exactly which gene-seed the Tempered Souls received during their inception, though it is highly suspected to be from the lineage of the stoic Rogal Dorn due to the lack of a Betcher's Gland. However, they still possess a Sus-an Membrane which most Imperial Fists Successor Chapter (as well as their parent Chapter) are not able to have implanted. t is unclear if this organ was somehow recovered by the Tempered Souls or if their Founding occurred prior to the Imperial Fists Chapter losing that organ from their standard array of Astartes organ implants. There is also evidence of strong ties between the Imperial Fists and the Tempered Souls, which suggest they are fellow Scions of Dorn, and that the former is the source of the latter Chapter's gene-seed.
The tech-adepts of the Magos Bioligis have determined that there are no other known flaws within the gene-seed of the Chapter, but there has been a tendency for a mutation to arise in some Neophytes. This occurs when the chemicals controlling emotions are introduced in sporadic or unusually high amounts by their brains. These chemicals cause violent mood swings during the early stages of a Neophyte's conversion into a Space Marine, and in high stress situations (even for a transhuman Astartes) these mood swings can be triggered again for a short time. Sometimes these heightened states of aggression can be advantageous, as these states of wrath of zealous fury are as if the individual battle-brother has been given the holy wrath of the Emperor Himself. But at other times these rages have proven disastrous as some battle-brothers are prone to sometimes losing control as well as their grasp of reality, becoming 'blood drunk' and going insane on the battlefield.
Only through rigorous meditation and a will as strong as tempered steel, are Tempered Souls battle-brothers able to keep themselves in-check and control these heightened states of aggression, which is a closely guarded secret within the Chapter. When this occurs in proximity to one of the Chapter's fellow Astartes peers - for all intents and purposes - these unexplained rages usually appear, in their eyes, as some sort of Chaos-influenced corruption rather then a simple genetic malfunction. If an individual battle-brother has gone too far over the edge, they are given their final rites and are administered the gift of the Emperor's Peace, rather than spending centuries confined in a dungeon of their fortress-monastery as a raging madmen.
Like any other chapter they are somewhat of a jack of all trades but they have developed preferences through the different companies such as the 3rd company which has earned great fame for its favor of assaulting the foe and getting up close to finish them off with blade. Generally each company has its own specialty while still retaining a high degree of tactical flexibility. The summary of the Chapter's tactics is they are somewhat similar to the Ultramarines, which is odd considering the Scions of Guilliman are strict-adherents of the Codex and follow its tenants to the letter. The Tempered Souls are very well-rounded in everything, but certain parts of the Chapter can be highly specialized to a certain task.
Notable Tempered Souls Heroes
The heroes of the Chapter's long history have been revered and looked up to by both neophytes and captains. Here you will find the names of old and new champions of the Emperor.
Sergeant Arius (Born 989.M37; Died 039.M38)
He was the leader of the 4th Grand Company Devastator Squad known as "The Talons Of The Aquila" . He was killed in battle after a Daemon Prince rushed into his squad and ripped his battle-brothers limb from limb. He tried to halt the progress of the monster and succeeding in doings so long enough to prevent it from reaching the rest of the marine's gunline. He was unfortunately overcome by the prince's inhuman strength and slain on the field of battle.
*Inquisition Officials Only*- (Born 960.M37; Death ---.---)
A member of the Chapter's elite First Grand Company and an excellent tactician ------------. He served with dignity as he slew foes in the name of the Emperor but faced an untimely death when on his last mission he volunteered to save the rest of his brethren ----------------------. He is now held in great reverence by the Chapter. Though his body was never found due to it being destroyed along with ----------- a memorial was built and dedicated to him on the world of Kri-os.
3rd Company Captain Valk Aemil - (Born 450.M41; 999.M41)
The proud leader of the 3rd Grand Company and advisory of Caesar. He has been with the Tempered Souls for centuries and has written many of the Chapter's tomes of war/philosophy. His military record is unblemished other then the occasional disagreement between him and commanders of the Imperial Guard (mostly over distribution of forces).
Captain Aemil was recently killed on the Death World of Kri-os during the Second Battle of the Nerio System by the recently transformed Daemon Prince Erixius. He was cut clean in two by the Warp-tainted monster and his body was never recovered by the Chapter. His only possession found was his power sword which is now undergoing anointing and cleansing before it is placed in the Chapter's Reliquary.
3rd Company Captain Alof Kazir - (Born 900.M37, Death 999.M37)
The earliest recorded Captain of the 3rd Company his tales of heroism are some of the oldest within the Chapter's scriptures. He was involved in the Nerio Crusade and had played a pivotal role in the system being acquired. He was killed in action while combating the Ork Warlord known as "Grot-Crusha" and his greenskin warband. His armor is actually kept within the Reliquary of the Chapter's fortress-monastery and is used only in ceremonies.
2nd Company Captain Friam Zavala (Born 913.M37, Death 125.M38)
A renowned Astartes within the annals of the Tempered Souls' history, Friam was one of the first few captains of the Chapter. Records say he was recruited at a young age and served only a short time as a Scout before his meteoric climb through the ranks of the Chapter.
The Tempered Souls possess a rather modest fleet but make sufficient use of what they have. Many of their ships have been recently constructed due to the massive naval battle they had with a Chaos fleet in M37. The following are the currently known vessels of the Tempered Souls' Chapter fleet:
- Anima Malleos (Battle Barge) - This ship is the oldest in the chapter's fleet and is one of the few remaining ships from their time as a fleet oriented chapter. It is rarely used due to its value to the chapter (and the fact that the Tempered Souls have a preference for Strike Cruisers). It has only been brought out once since it was brought to the Nerio System during the defense of the planet Syprios in the 12th BC.
- Beacon Of Purity (Strike Cruiser) - Another archaic ship from the original fleet. This cruiser is the carrier of the 1st Company. It is one of the most prized ships in the fleet second only to the Anima Malleos. Home to the Thunderhawks Avis Caelorum, Stella Avis, Anima Alata and Gladio Stellarum
- Ferrum Spiritus (Strike Cruiser) - The first ship to be crafted after the massive naval battle that caused the chapter to find a homeworld. Carrier of the 2nd company. Has been active in several conflicts. Carries the Thunderhawks Solis Puer, Lightbringer,Avis Ferrum and Avis Ferrus
- Heart of the Forge (Strike Cruiser) - The carrier of the 3rd company, also a newer ship being constructed in M38. Carries the Thunderhawks Alatum Malleus, Hammer of Dawn,Fulgur in Alis , Liberavit Animam
- Spes Nerio (Strike Cruiser) - Carrier of the 4th Company, constructed over Necro shortly after the completion of Heart of the Forge
- Light of Necro (Strike Cruiser)
- Lumine Fide (Strike Cruiser)
*Vox Interference/Message Delayed*
The Tempered Souls primarily wear black-coloured power armour with yellow on the top of the helmet, mouth grill, shoulder pauldron trim, belt and armoured flexible seals on the joints. The dark red coloured squad specialty symbol worn on the right pauldron indicates squad specialty (Tactical, Devastator, Assault & Veteran). It is not known if they designate squad number. Company number is indicated by a dark red coloured Roman numeral on the left poleyn (knee guard). During certain campaigns there are some different methods of decoration that form from the company all the way down to the squad level. During the 13th Black Crusade for instance, it was common to see the right knee guard be half bronze and half dark red.
The Tempered Souls' Chapter badge is a dark red coloured, styllised winged-skull, a double edged sword impaling the skull through the top of it with the tip of the blade pointed downwards.
A Tempered Blade
The next relic is a blade that the original Chapter Master carried (his records erased during the ambush). A long double-edged sword with the words "Fiducia In Ferro Tenet" engraved into its fuller. The blade is crafted from the finest alloys of its time and the cross guard and pommel are both cast from solid gold. The pommel has a anvil engraved on the cap of it and the guard has a scene of a smith and his apprentices toiling hard. The blade is regularly maintained by the Master of the Forge and his aspiring Techmarine underlings. The blade rarely ever leaves the fortress-monastery as it its one of the few pieces of history the Chapter possesses.
The ancient armor of the deceased 3rd Company Captain Alof Kazir. It consisted of a Mk IV chest guard, helmet, and pauldrons with Mk V couters, vambraces, gauntlets and greaves. It is now kept in the Reliquary of the Chapter and is only brought out for ceremonial purposes. It has, on occasion, been seen on display within the fortress-monastery to remind the Astartes of the glory they may receive by fighting valiantly in battle.
Relations With Others
Attitude Towards Normal Humans
The Tempered Souls treat anyone (other than the heretic) with utmost respect as they believe it is one of their sole purposes to protect every human life they possibly can. This has gotten them in some disadvantageous situations such as after the battle on Syprios where the local Syprios Militia had been exposed to the taint of chaos while combating the enemy force of cultists and chaos space marines, the Inquisition suggested the idea of eradicating all of those exposed to the powers of chaos. This idea was shot down fiercely by the chapter and has earned them some heavy suspicion from many in the Inquisition.
Attitude Towards other Chapters
They rarely interact with other Chapters, apart from the Space Wolves, whom they have grown close to as stalwart allies and friends after serving in a couple of battles with them. Most other Chapters regard the Tempered Souls as overly secretive and unfriendly but the Chapter overall doesn't hold any distrust for anyone in particular.
Attitude The Towards The Inquisition
While the Inquisition may hold great distrust for the Chapter the Tempered Souls' Astartes are cooperative and docile. They may not be very talkative in an Inquisitor's presence, but then again, not many are. Members that have undergone Inquisitorial scrutiny are still allowed to serve in the Chapter as there has, thus far, been no indications of any Chaos taint.
Other Imperial Organisations
The Tempered Souls have typically cordial (if not sometimes stand-offish) relations with all of the other servants of the Emperor, having not angered anyone thus far. Though they do somewhat dislike dealing with the Adeptus Mechanicus, with one battle-brother remarking, "They just creep me out, walking around with the majority of their body being machine just isn't natural".
Feel free to add your own!
By the Tempered Souls
- "Let us not forget the purpose of the Astartes, we are the protectors of man not the superiors of them. If anything we are subservient to the average human for they are the sole reason we exist. "
- — Captain Valk, 3rd Grand Company
About the Tempered Souls
- "Captain, we have found a survivor. Though he appears to be in some sort of catatonic state. I am not even sure he knows we are here."
- — Unknown Battle-Brother of the Obsidian Blades
- "Come loyalist swine! Stand before the Crimson Storm and be judged by the Blood God!"
- —Krysis, the Crimson Storm, Chief Berzerker of the Storm Draugar[src]
- "Come loyalists! My blade thirsts for your crimson!"
- — Erik The Conqueror
- "Senior, sir, there's a Chapter of madmen to the east. Not Chaos, but I fear the worst."
- — Unknown Corpsman of the Marines Magnus
- "Sergeant, Berzerkers to the west. Wait. They're loyal? Surely the Inquisition has more to worry about than our numbers with these men on the loose!"
- — Unknown Shield of the Steel Guard
- "You think you have a secrets? No, no no no no no little soldier. You see, Jeztabel has told me much of the Adeptus Astartes, and their many, many secrets. The warp hides nothing from those with the ability to see it. Your chapters dark secret will be your fall, little soldier, for you are in my possession now, and I greatly look forward to playing with your diseased mind."
- " My Lord Haakon and I could have used the Tempered Souls in the days when we were hunting Tubthumpa, especially in those final days in The Kashidaan Cluster. There may be other opportunities to fight at their side as their chapter and mine are truly brothers in arms but for now I must see to the needs of my new command. "
- — Wolf Lord Skalagrim of the Space Wolves.
- "Condiatee Diaman Lograe Grenstapion Hercolius Leumous Feronore Distanie Etursh"
- — 1st Company Captain Ararium Arscush of the Silver Knights speaking a lost native language of Argentum which roughly translates, "My Honorable Brothers who Hunts the Stars for the Peace of All," upon hearing of the Tempered Souls' sightings.
- "Nokhor (Comrade), we are so much alike, it's almost unnerving. However, unlike you, we do not hide our secrets, rather we show it to the enemies of the Imperium so that they may fear us. To be honest, it was trial and error with us, but if you try, your secret may become a powerful asset."
- — Laughing Skull Khutga Ord Akhmad Vyolud Raskov