The Lightning are a White Scars successor Chapter based on the planet Saka in the Thermopylae sub-sector of Sector Occident Prime and one of the Hell Warders - a quintumvirate of five Space Marine Chapters - tasked to defend the Imperium against Chaos incursions from the 'Hellgates', the dual warp storms in the Segmentum Solar which are uncomfortably close to Holy Terra.
The Lightnings' earliest known battle honors all come from the First Hell Crusade which occurred in the first century of M36, indicating that they were a very young Chapter indeed when they were pitched into battle against the Daemon Prince Xeraz the Exquisite and his allies. However, records of their actual date of Founding has proved elusive. Most Imperial savants plump for the 21st Founding (the so-called 'Curse' Founding) which occurred in late M36, but some records indicate that the Chapter's Founding could have been much earlier.
First Hell Crusade (110-199.M36)
The Hellgates are a pair of relatively small warp rifts located in the Thermopylae sub-sector. In M36, the Hellgates were still a part of the ancient Loculus sub-sector, located in the area of the galaxy known as Sector Occident Prime. These dangerous warp rifts are located only 1,000 light years from the Imperial Throneworld of Terra. This region has long been a haven for renegades, outcasts and the followers of the Dark Gods. Within the Hellgates, these hellish realms of Chaos are ruled by all four factions of the Ruinous Powers, who constantly vie with one another for absolute supremacy. Daemonic incursions and the predations by marauding Chaos warbands have been common for millennia.
In 110.M36, a massive Slaaneshi warhost led by the Daemon Prince, Xeraz the Exquisite, and his Chaos allies, erupted from the hellish pleasure realms from within the Ashaklun Gate, and soon the entire sector became embroiled in bloody conflict. Receiving multiple astropathic calls for assistance, The Lightning sent their entire Chapter in response to this grave threat. Several other nearby Space Marine Chapters - including the Golden Castellans, Knights of the Anvil, Spartiate Marines and the Templars Moline - respond to the threat, rushing to commit their strength to the rapidly escalating war. Though several worlds burn in the fires of destruction, and the shadows gather close, throughout the sector, the Emperor's avenging Angels of Death stand fast, determined to save the besieged Imperial worlds of this sector or die in the attempt.
Like their genetic forbears, the Lightning possessed a similar penchant for mobile, high-speed warfare to almost illogical extremes. This Chapter is noted for being masters of guerrilla warfare and the hit-and-run attack, always seeking to avoid combat through misdirection or guile until they have attained the maximum tactical advantage, before unleashing the full fury of their assault. Launching multiple campaigns throughout the besieged sector, the various Brotherhoods (companies) of The Lightning strike like sudden squalls, that comes and goes without warning, leaving only devastation in its wake. After nearly eight decades of bloody conflict, these five Chapters finally managed to form a successful blockade of the Hellgates which eventually plays an instrumental role in turning the tide of the conflict, as the Imperial forces finally managed to drive the Chaos armada back into the swirling eddies of the Hellgates.
The Hell Warders
The establishment of the Hell Warders Chapter was fully documented in the ancient text known as the Codex Fuego or 'Book of Fire'. According to this ancient text, in 199.M36, following the end of the massive Chaos incursion known as the First Hell Crusade, the High Lords of Terra pronounced an Edict Imperialis in response to the dire predations of Chaos, ordering several Adeptus Astartes Chapters to permanently base themselves near the Hellgates in order to protect the Imperium's interests and pacify the region. Assigned permanent overwatch over the twin warp rifts, the The Lightning Chapter has continued to stand sentinel over the worlds of Sector Occident Prime.
Second Hell Crusade
Third Hell Crusade
Current State of the Chapter
Chapter Combat Doctrine
Like their parent Chapter the White Scars the Lightnings' favored tactic consists of high speed hit-and-run strikes on the enemy destroying him in detail without allowing the opportunity to strike a return blow. The Chapter avoid the heavy weaponry characteristic of most Space Marines choosing speed and mobility over sheer firepower. These tactics work especially well when backed by the heavy weaponry wielded by the Knights Anvilar.
All Battle Brothers of the Lightning are mounted warriors. Uniquely they are mounted on animals not assault bikes though bikes and land speeders are all used by the Chapter when tactical considerations make their preferred mounts impossible. The Lightning's mounts are Monoceros, genetically engineered from the Straight Backed Oneceros, a large and aggressive herbivore native to Saka, and the Saka horse.
Monoceros stand twenty hands high at the shoulder, the height of a Space Marine without his armor, and mass about three metric tons. Not even an animal this massive can be expected to carry an armored Space Marine and those beasts selected as mounts are extensively augmented including sub-dermal armor. Monoceros are blue (dark grey) with black points. A massive black horn grows from an bony plate on the face, both sheathed with adamantium in battle mounts. A charge by a company of mounted Lightning Battle Brothers is an unforgettable sight and all but unsurvivable if one is on the wrong side of it.
Monoceros battle harness includes twin saddle mounted bolters meaning they are at least as well armed as a standard assault bike if not quite as fast. Lightning Battle Brothers like to point out that a bike doesn't come when you call it, doesn't follow hand signal commands and is incapable of fighting on its own all of which a Monoceros can do - and three tons of armored animal with an adamantine tipped horn and razor edged hooves is no joke in a melee.
The Lightning prefer to term their companies 'Brotherhoods' like their parent Chapter. The commander of a Brotherhood is the 'Spada' the Saka title for a leader of a band of warriors. He is addressed as 'Elder Brother'. The Chapter Master holds the title of 'Sardar' which is also used by Tribal War Leaders. He is addressed as 'Our Father'.
Brotherhoods are not numbered but instead identified by the cognomen of their Spada.
Notable Battle Brothers
Spada of the Stormborn Brotherhood.
Feel free to add your own
Feel free to add your own