- "We ride for Humanity! For Khan! For the Great Father!"
- — Great Brother White Wolf, leader of the Thunder Lances
The Thunder Lances are a White Scars successor chapter of the 24th Founding. They are masters of close quarters combat, lighting fast assaults, space battles, and bloody ambushes. They are well known throughout the Galactic East as savage and bloodthirsty warriors, but benevolent and quick to put civilian populations above all other tactical gains.
They have been known to be fond of (some chapters would say obsessed with) collecting grizzly trophies from fallen enemies, these mostly take the form of scalps, but skulls, finger bones, eyes and even tanned hides are all prizes that will be taken from a particularly worthy foe.
Although, stoic when in the presence of outsiders, the chapter is known to be almost boisterous when in the company of their fellows. They love to ride headlong into battle atop their Assault Bikes, their high pitched warcries driving fear into the heart of the enemy and rallying their allies to battle.
The Thunder Lances was created in the 24th founding due to the rising number of threats in the Galactic East. These brave warriors found a remote world to call home. Inankata was a harsh and rugged world of deserts and grassy plains, the world resonated with the Chapters White Scar linage. They set up their fortress monastery upon an ancient mobile fortress, a relic from a bygone era, untouched by the superstitious natives. This fortress would be known as The Lumbering Mountain, and its mobile nature fit well with the chapters nomadic lifestyle. There on Inankata they recruited from the warlike tribes of nomads and warriors, who lived their lives hunting the herds of hulking Katon and fighting one another in brutal wars for these scarce hunting grounds.
The Greenskin Hordes
The Chapters remote homeworld was soon under attack by the barbarian hordes and Ork warbands of the Calipsia Sub-Sector which was only a short Warp jump away. The Thunder Lances defended their homeworld from the might of the Ork Hordes but at great cost, much of the older veteran Marines were killed in the fighting and the local population was reduced by half. It seemed as if this Chapter was doomed to be overwhelmed when the Equalizers came to the Thunder Lance's aid. Together the two chapters repelled the barbarian raiders and to this day the Equalizers 7th Company is never far from the Thunder Lances homeworld should the Ork Hordes descend upon Inankata.
Though Inankata was well out of the path of the Hive Fleets when they tore through the Galactic East, nonetheless the Chapter suffered significant losses in assisting various chapters and defending various worlds from the Great Devourer.
The majority of the Chapters forces are dedicated to containing the growing threat of the Calipsian Hordes and Ork tribes in their region of space, however some of the "Wandering Brotherhoods" can be encountered throughout the Sagittarius Arm, constantly on the hunt for threats to the Imperium.
The Thunder Lances's fleet is spread thin, with only one Battle Barge, known as the Dual Scars, it is one of the smallest Chapter Fleets in the whole of the Imperium. But the fleet makes up for this lack of size with sheer tenacity and experience that has come form centuries of dealing with Pirates and Xenos hordes. It is well known throughout the Calpsian Hordes that a space battle with even a small patrol of Thunder Lances support craft is often more trouble than its worth, as they can take on forces three times their size and fight with the ferocity of a starved predator.
Though the Dual Scars is in the possession of the 1st Brotherhood, the 8 Vengeance-Class Cruisers are spread throughout the rest of the Brotherhoods, two to each of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Brotherhoods. The 6th Brotherhood has the Cruiser known as White Glint. This Cruiser is considered the most decorated in the fleet and has taken on scores Kill Kroozers, Dark Eldar pirate ships, and Calipsian Warships and triumphed. This is due in part to the Vengeance Classes hardy design, but also the mastery of the 6th Botherhoods Huntmaster, River Fist.
Currently the chapter is divided into six Companies or "Brotherhoods", the 1st and 2nd Brotherhoods have at least two hundred marines. While the rest of the Brotherhoods contain only one hundred. The 5th and 6th Brotherhoods are designated as "Wandering" or "Patrolling", constantly traveling up and down the Sagittarius arm. Whilst the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th are currently keeping the Claipsian Hordes contained as best they can.
The Thunder Lances equivalent of Chapter Master is the office of Great Brother, the Great Brother like the Chapter Master is the supreme commander of the whole chapter and no great undertaking is done without his wise counsel.
Beneath the Great Brother there are the Huntmasters, who preform the role of a Captain in a Codex Compliant Chapter, Huntmasters lead their Battle Brothers from the front, usually from atop his customized War Bike. A Huntmasters armor is usually adorned with various trophies as a sign of his office and as a symbol of his skill in battle.
Beneath the Huntmasters are the Trackers, who preform the role of Sargent, Trackers lead their brothers into battle and ensure the success of the hunt. They are masterful tacticians each, and gifted warriors, but what makes a Tracker suited for his role is his leadership abilities. He leads his brothers though victory and ruin with iron will and wisdom gained from centuries of experience.
After the Trackers there are the four basic Unit types, Bike Squads, (which then become Assault, Attack, Scout, and Lance squads) Hunter Squads, which are the equivalent to Scout Squads, Warrior Squads, which play the same role as Tatical Squads, and Shadow Squads, which are the same in function as Assault Squads.
Librarians within the Chapter take the title of Guides. Guides are also the spiritual leaders of the Chapter and thus preform the role of a Chaplien as well. They are responsible for recruiting young warriors into the Chapter and providing the Huntmasters and Trackers with guidance. They are some of the oldest members of the Chapter and thus their words are heeded with the utmost respect and reverience.
The Thunder Lance has no dedicated Scout Company, thus Scout Marines (or Hunters) are taken into any of the six Brotherhoods and fight alongside their senior brothers.
Weapons and Tactics
The Thunder Lances prefer the tactics of their forebears, The White Scars, lightning-fast assaults and hit and run tactics. However, The Thunder Lances also specialize in ambushes and full blown charges deep into the enemies ranks.
As such they have few Devastator Squads, Tanks, or Dreadnoughts, as these units cannot keep up with the Chapters style of combat.
The Thunder Lance also have a rather unique arsenal of weapons, mostly from their Equalizer allies:
Bolt Machine Pistol- This rugged weapon is capable of tearing through Traitor Marines and Ork Nobz alike and although useless in long range engagements, this weapon is ideal for use from the driver seat of an Assault Bike, spraying a hail of bolts over the foe.
Energy Tomahawk- Made for Battle Brothers who cannot forget their former lives, the Energy Tomahawk is basically a small Power Axe, reminiscent of the same hunting Tomahawks used by the native tribes of Inankata. It is a swift and versatile weapon, and while it is only half the size of a standard Power Axe, it has the relatively the same killing power.
Power Lance- These powerful weapons were once noting more but simple hunting lances, similar to those that the native tribes of Inankata use to bring down mighty Katon. However, after the Thunder Lances allied with the Equalizers, the Equalizers took it upon themselves to gift these valiant warriors with Power Lances. Later Power Lances would be made in the Thunder Lances forges, but usually there is an Equalizer Tech-Marine of the 7th Company within the forges to ensure the weapons quality. The Power Lance is capable of piercing a Dreadnoughts armor and even if its user is thrown from his bike it is still a potent weapon, crushing bone and piercing flesh with ease.
Though appearing stoic and distant when in the company of strangers, when members of the Thunder Lances are in the company of old allies and chapters they have good relations with, or interacting with civilians, they shed the stoicism. Some even say that some members have nearly adolescent behaviors, as when they are homeworld Battle Brothers will often engage with one another in contests of speed and agility to pass the time and keep themselves sharp. This is mostly due to the fact that many of this Chapters marines are quite young, as they have suffered numerous casualties over the millennia and much of their veteran warriors are either dead or presumed dead. In spite of this they are a well disciplined chapter in spite of their reputation as "children" among the older and more established chapters.
They see the Emperor as an all powerful deity for good and justice, and the Great Father of all mankind, and as such worship the Emperor reverently. However they are not blinded by zealous fervor in their prosecution of the Emperors foes, for they believe zealousy begets dogma which begets a lack of objective thinking. (as anyone can lead a even the most righteous being astray if their loyalty is blind as a nomad in a sandstorm)
They maintain many of the traditions of the nomadic tribes of Inankata, one such tradition in the Hunters Rite, which all aspirants must undertake before becoming a fully fledged Space Marine. The would be Astartes first partakes in various hallucinogens and other "mind expanding" drugs so that they may "Feel the light of the Emperor." They are then armed with one of the Chapters signature tomahawks and guided to the Proving Grounds. There the initiate finds an enraged Katon bull and he is supposed to kill the beast (which have been known to shrug off lasbolts and autogun slugs like flies) with little more but the weapon in his hands and pure skill. Though other Chapters see this "Rite" as tantamount to suicide, some such as the Space Wolves, see this as a perfect initiation ritual. The purpose of the Hunters Rite is to teach the potential Space Marine that they should be able to succeed regardless of the situation, and to know what its like to be on the receiving end of a powerful charge.
The large beasts known as the Katon are an important part of the Chapters culture. Whilst viewed by most as though and ill-tempered beasts, the people of Inankata and the Marines of The Thunder Lances see them as reverent and holy creatures, the very embodiment of the Chapters strength and wisdom. While few see the Katon as wise, they are undoubtedly strong, capable of trampling even a fully armored Astates. They are without a doubt the lifeblood of the tribal peoples of Inankata, for they are the primary source of meat and clothing and bone for tools on this desert world. These creatures are also noted for their violent tempers which make them impossible to tame, should a Katon feel threatened, it will trample and gore the source of its irritation, the only warning they give is the thunderous sound of their footfalls. Katon skulls and iconography feature prominently in The Thunder Lance and some high ranking Battle Brothers even have their helmets forged in the shape of a Katons horned skull.
Though considered overtly brutal for their habit of taking bloody trophies and ritual scaring, they are no more bloodthirsty than most chapters. But they believe that taking a piece of a formidable foe brings luck and sends a clear message to the enemies of man. It is also symbol of skill and status within the Chapter, as a skilled warrior can, in his long lifetime, collect a massive collection of skulls and scalps that is truly mind boggling. Some trophies are even grafted onto power armor for added intimation.
To the casual observer, Lance Squads are nothing more than Assault Bike Squads armed with the Chapters signature Power Lances, but in truth Lance Squads are much more than that. Lance Squads are made up of the chapters bravest and most skilled warriors. Only the best and most senior warriors of the Chapter are allowed the privilege to be a Lancer. These masterful warriors ride customized War Bikes, bearing heavy plows in the front in order to dive through the foes ranks and some even bear retractable blades on the sides of the bike or grenade launchers.
But the most powerful weapon in a Lance Squads arsenal, is the mighty Power Lance. These powerful weapons were once noting more but simple hunting lances, similar to those that the native tribes of Inankata use to bring down mighty Katon. However, after the Thunder Lance allied with the Equalizers, the Equalizers took it upon themselves to gift these valiant warriors with Power Lances. Later Power Lances would be made in the Thunder Lances forges, but usually there is an Equalizer Tech-Marine of the 7th Company within the forges to ensure the weapons quality. The Power Lance is capable of piercing a Dreadnoughts armor and even if its user is thrown from his bike it is still a potent weapon, crushing bone and piercing flesh with ease.
War Bikes are Assault Bikes that have undergone extensive remodeling to carry more on board weapons and heaver armor. These large metal steeds are equipped with more powerful engines and rocket thrusters in order to achieve great speeds and compensate for the added weight of weapons and armor.
War Bikes are meant to plow right through the enemy lines, not for simple hit and run tactics. These Bikes can be devastating and depending on their armament, can either preform a anti-infantry or anti-armor role.
War Bikes are usually found only in Lance Squads and in the possession of Huntmasters.
The Equalizers and the Thunder Lances have fought side by side in many a dire war, having fought together against both xenos hordes, barbarian armies, and chaos warbands, tales of the two Chapters fighting together to crush the ever present enemies of man are many. The Thunder Lances see the Equalizers as brothers, the closest to their own, and will stand by their side as they would stand with one of their own. The bond these Chapters share is a strong one indeed.
The Devout Vanguard have joined the Thunder Lances in their eternal vigil to ensure the Calipsian Hordes cannot venture further into Imeprial Space. The two Chapters have often fought side by side to hold the line against the foul Hordes and their diobalical Gene-Warriors.
The Empyrean Shields
These Sons of the Lion have stood alongside the Thunder Lances in the past, having fought tooth and nail against the Hordes in the 22nd and 23rd Calipsian Expansions in which Terminator Squad Vristin, of the Shields, held the line alongside Great Brother White Wolf himself, cutting down a horde of Venom Warriors and saving the Forge World of Xion.
Great Brother White Wolf
One of the oldest members of the Chapter, White Wolf has led The Thunder Lance for centuries with honor and distinction, it is his wise leadership and tactical acumen that has drastically stemmed the tide of marauding Ork and Calpsian armies from spilling out into the rest of the Galactic East.
White Wolf earned the office of Great Brother after the death of the previous Great Brother, Fire Hound, whom was slain by Calipsian Gene-Warriors in the defense of Inankata. A conclave of the Chapters Trackers deemed White Wolf worthy after numerous tests of mental fortitude, leadership skill, and of course spiritual purity. He is an accomplished combatant and a brilliant commander, leading his men from the front whenever possible, and though his Chapter is small in number he has managed to maneuver it in ways that have lead to the defeat of countless Ork WAAAAGH!s and Calipsian Expansions. His weapon of choice is a finely crafted Power Axe known as Ork Cleaver, and has been handed down from Great Brother to Great Brother since the founding of the Chapter, it is a masterful weapon, capable of hewing through hundreds of foes with ease regardless of armor.
White Wolf, at first glance, is like many of his Marines, stoic and always deep in thought. However, his closest advisers and friends know him as a very open and warm individual, valuing brotherhood and comradeship. He can show almost childlike enthusiasm before battle and a youthful energy seems to engulf him when times seem their darkest, keeping spirits high throughout the most grim and dire of battles.
Huntmaster River Fist
River Fist is the Huntmaster of the 6th Brotherhood and renowned as an unmatched warrior in the realm of space, with nothing more than his loyal force of 100 Battle Brothers and his Vengeance-Class Cruiser, White Glint, he has outmatched and defeated whole Xenos fleets (mostly Ork and Dark Eldar) and brought even the most notorious pirates and brigands to a bloody justice. His tactical aptitude dose not stop within the void, for he is also a masterful tactician on the ground and can lead his small force of dauntless Space Marines to victory against all odds. He is nothing less than a hero and some believe that he will one day hold the title of Great Brother.
River Fist is a man of actions, not words, as such he has little patience for the bickering of tactical meetings and leads his forces as he sees fit. (more often than not without considering his allies) Though some have branded him reckless, his strategies tend to be exactly what is necessary to claim victory.
He can be considered a brutal and ruthless individual by his foes and some allies, but the countless civilians and Imperial Guardsmen his forces have saved know him as a benevolent servant of the Imperium and its peoples. In truth River Fist is simply a Space Marine, both avenger and guardian, and behaves as such. Though, he has been known to fly into a rage if the enemy, or his allies, use civilians as living shields or bargaining chips in war.
His War Bike, Khan's Vengeance, is a powerful steed and has crushed countless Xenos and Barbarian warriors beneath its tires, and its forward plow is lined with the fused skulls of various Ork, Dark Eldar, and Calpsian warriors who dared challenge River Fist on the field of battle. He also wields The Spear of Thunder, a powerful and ancient relic from the Great Crusade, this Power Spear is said to be imbued with the wrathful spirit of Jaghatai Khan himself and its arcs of disruptor energy seem to crackle violently when Dark Eldar are near.
Though the Thunder Lances are spread thin and far, they still second what few Battle Brothers they can spare to the Deathwatch. Thunder Lances speed and aggression and ability to stage brutal ambushes make them perfect for the Long Watch, however they do not integrate well with certain Chapters and even then their personalities tend to shift the longer they are in a single squad. They start off stoic and rarely interact with their fellow Deathwatch Marines, but as time gose on and they make bonds with their squadmates they tend to open up and show that youthful energy all Thunder Lances have. This can make them very hard to place with a compatible squad but they have been known to work very well with Equalizers due to the two Chapters pasts and Space Wolves for a shared ferocity. Black Templars seem to be a hit and miss affair as Thunder Lances find Black Templars fanatic zeal disturbing to say the least.
- "To Strike as the lightning and disappear before your opponent has heard the thunder is a manner of war I myself will probably never master. How can one prosecute a Holy War if ones foes are not drowned in your songs of prayer and stricken lame by the righteous fervour in your eyes?"
- "Observing the duel was a joy, until the Sergeant won, and went about procuring an appropriate "memento" of his opponent."
- — Lophess Ovair, Obsidian Blades 1st Captain.
- "You know River Fist, once this battle is done, my Chapter Master is going to demand a duel between us. I don't know why, he just enjoys the spectacle."
- — Leadros Kerventes, Chief Librarian of the Wings of Salvaxes fighting alongside Huntmaster River Fist
- "While subtlety is preferred, there is something to be said for the irreverent approach."
- — Nui Onutu of the Star Reapers
- "You know they did a good job rustling the Gene-King's jimmies. See if they're interested in those Mark IV Outriders I was holding on to?"