The Wardens of Orask are a Codex Astartes-compliant Loyalist Space Marine Chapter of Ultramarines lineage, created during the 7th Founding sometime during the first few centuries of the 34th Millennium. They were one of several Adeptus Astartes Chapters created to help quell an unknown xenos threat from beyond the Imperium's borders in the Eastern Fringe, known as the Ghoul Stars, which threatened the security of that region of the galaxy. Due to their valiant efforts, they were recognised and fêted by the High Lords of Terra, and were granted the honour of garrisoning the sentinel world of Orask, a battlefront and bastion that has guarded the Imperium from the terrors beyond. A fleet-based Crusading Chapter, since their Founding, this stoic Chapter has willingly answered the call to fight against the myriad foes that have threatened the sanctity of the Imperium of Man across the width and breadth of the galaxy, and as such, have earned the respect and admiration of both the High Lords of Terra and several of their fellow Space Marine Chapters.
The Pale Wasting
The Wardens of Orask were created sometime during the first few centuries of M34, during the catastrophic event known as the Pale Wasting, when the Imperium was threatened with a 'star-spawned plague' of mysterious xenos whom hailed from Ghoul Stars. This mysterious region of space is a part of the Halo Stars located beyond the furthest reaches of known space, northeast of the Segmentum Ultima beyond the Eastern Fringe. The Wardens of Orask, alongside several other newly-created Chapters, were created as a defensive counter-measure to help fight against the xenos' 'nightmare engines' that swept away scores of worlds and slaughtered whole sectors. Granted a substantial fleet of warships, the Wardens of Orask became a fleet-based, highly mobile counter-strike force, which helped to stem the tide of the encroaching threat, and were later credited with having played a vital role in 'unmaking that which cannot die'. Much of the extant evidence relating to this threat has been censored or purposely destroyed, and those partial records which have been uncovered suggest that more than one Space Marine Chapter might have been completely destroyed in the course of the conflict.
Chapter Home World
During its existence, the Wardens of Orask have never established a formal fortress-monastery and are a fleet-based Chapter, having no official home world of their own. Instead, their fortress-monastery is situated aboard the massive Battleship Sol Invictus, which serves as their primary location for command operations and the Chapter's co-ordination. This mobile fortress-monastery grants the Chapter a greater level of flexibility for those instances when it becomes necessary to assemble multiple companies prior to embarking upon a Crusade. The rest of the Chapter serves within a fleet of Strike Cruisers and other Battle-Barges that were assigned to the Wardens of Orask long ago during the Chapter's inception.
At the very edge of the Iquathan Deeps in the northern Segmentum Ultima, near the border of the Ghoul Stars, sits the sentinel world of Orask. Orask is garrisoned not only by its own feudal, warlike people. Many Imperial Guard regiments, and even special detachments of the Adeptus Astartes and Titan Legions rotate through deployment there on a rolling basis. Such a powerful garrison is needed to man its planet-wide network of defences, and along with forces from the Imperial Navy's Battlefleet Ultima, sally forth into the surrounding star systems should the need arise, for Orask is a world where conflict is never far away. Situated at the nexus of one of the few viable Warp-routes through the Deeps, Orask has for millennia been a battlefront and bastion that has guarded the Imperium from the terrors beyond.
- The Pale Wasting (ca. Late M34) - Along with the Wardens of Orasks' whole Crusade Chapter Fleet participate in the Pale Wasting, eleven Space Marine Chapters were lost in the final battles of what must have been a truly apocalyptic struggle. The chronicles of many Chapters who took part in this campaign are curiously empty of any reference to this conflict, and it is quite possible that this ancient threat may also account for the unusually large number of formerly human-inhabited Dead Worlds in the region.
- Battle of the Broadsword (ca. M35) - The Tallarn Desert Raiders Imperial Guard regiments suppress the Chaemos Rebellion with the assistance of the Warden of Orasks' 1st Crusade Fleet.
- Daylon Compaign (428.M35) - During the Daylon Campaign the Wardens of Orask commit a strike force of the 3rd and 6th Companies. The companies are garrisoned abroad the Emperor-class Battleship Morpheus during the operation. This force is initially responsible for spearheading the invasion of Daylon and neutralising the planetary defences. During the eventual retreat of all imperial forces from K'Tos, the Wardens are tasked with forming the rear guard and ensuring remaining Imperial forces and loyalists are able to flee in relative safety.
- Purging of Roduno (567.M35) - Chaos-inspired insurgence on the planet of Roduno is pacified.
- Apprehension of The Maw (585.M35) - The Chaos Spacehulk known as The Maw is boarded and captured by the Wardens of Orask 2nd Crusade Fleet.
- Siege of Kordrake (659-661.M35) - During the Siege of Kordrake, a three year long campaign recovers the world Kordrake from Chaos.
- Hrud Rising (980.M35) - The Wardens of Orask, Ultramarines, and Dark Angels take part in the task force cleansing the Hrud infestations that erupt across the Imperium at this time. With two of their three assigned sectors cleared, The Rock disappears as the Dark Angels leave the campaign to pursue their own objectives. The Chapter Master of the Ultramarines files a complaint with the High Lords of Terra about the Dark Angels' behaviour, although no action is seen to be taken in response.
- 5th Black Crusade (723.M36) - Doombreed, a Daemon Prince of Khorne, declares war on the Adeptus Astartes. The Warhawks and the Venerators are lost.
- Obliteration of Ork Waaagh! Bonesmasha (842.M36) - 2nd and 9th Company's lay siege to the Ork mega-stronghold named Fort Skullz. The Wardens of Orask are badly outnumbered but face down three days of Orks hurling themselves at their siege lines, defeating the xenos with precision bolter fire and a dozen thunderfire cannons.
- The Jorhelm Cluster (206.M37) - The Alpha Legion inspired rebellion at Klebentor II is crushed and the heretic's leader and his inner circle are captured. The Alpha Legion forces are pursued to a remote base hidden in the asteroid belt in the Inquathan Deeps Sector where they are destroyed.
- The Draxus Action (364.M37) - The planet Draxus is attacked by the Evil Blood Axes and issues a distress call. Scouts from the 10th Company are first to respond, followed by 1st company, defeating the Ork force.
- The Star-Killa Crew (380-405.M37) - An Ork Freeboota fleet of over one hundred ships ravages the northern region of the Jericho Reach, attacking and devastating Castobel, Aurum, and Alphos. The Wardens of Orasks' 3rd Crusade Fleet along with Deathwatch Codicier Kiataino masterminds a plan to destabilise the Ork forces before they can become entrenched, and succeeds in killing their Warboss and his immediate possible successors, forcing the Orks to turn on each other in a savage fight to establish dominance, neutralising the Ork threat.
- 9th Black Crusade (537.M38) - Abaddon the Despoiler and his Black Legion, launch out of the Eye of Terror intending to bring about the demise of the naval fortress of Cancephalus. The whole Crusade Chapter Fleet of the Wardens or Orask and many other Crusading Chapters are recalled by the High Lords of Terra to help deal with the rising threat of incursions from the Eye of Terror. During the defence of the Hive World of Corillia from a Chaotic attack by the Lamenters Space Marine Chapter, they held out alone against the Black Legion's onslaught for six solar weeks. The Lamenters suffered horrendous losses until the Ultramarines, Wardens of Orask, and White Scars led an Imperial battle group that broke though the Chaos warfleet to relieve Corillia.
- The Scouring of Bornalis (741.M38) - The Wardens of Orasks' 2nd Crusade Fleet liberates the planet of Bornalis from Chaos. The Task Force is composed of elements of the 10th, 5th, and 1st Companies and defeats a warband of Red Corsairs and Emperor's Children.
- Scourging of Skullrippa 328.M39 - The 3rd Crusade Fleet of the Wardens of Orask destroy the space hulk of the Ork Warboss Skullrippa.
- Fifty Planet Rebellion (578.M39) - The Wardens of Orask uncover a mad priest named Alldrec the Subverter. The Heretic visionary had led a swathe of planets on the borders of the Ghoul Stars Region to reject the rule of the Imperium. Within a decade, the Wardens of Orask suppress the Chaos Cultist uprisings and slay their leaders.
- Incursions Within the Eye of Terror (Unknown.M40) - The 1st and 3rd Crusade Fleets of the Wardens of Orask engage in the Eye of Terror containment operations against the vile Red Corsairs' Fleet.
- Defense of Proximo (324.M41) - The Wardens of Orasks' 2nd Crusade Fleet along with elements of the 3rd and 5th Companies defend Proximo from Red Corsairs.
The Wardens of Orasks' gene-seed is consistent genetically with that of other Chapters from the lineage of Roboute Guilliman. It is free from any known contamination, reproduces stably, and produces the full range of Space Marine organ implants. Because they are extremely active within multiple war zones, the Wardens of Orask are rigorous about harvesting and securing the Progenoid Glands from its Battle-Brothers in a timely fashion. Recoveries made in the field are secured upon the nearest Chapter vessel in short order, and then returned to their Battle-Barge flagship Sol Invictus for storage at the earliest possible opportunity. Currently, records indicate that the Chapter is sufficiently well supplied with gene-seed to accommodate even their prodigious needs.
As a fleet-based Chapter, the Wardens of Orask have no one single Chapter homeworld. Instead, they reside in their Crusade fleets, upon many Battle Barges, Strike Cruisers, training vessels, and gigantic forgeships. The Wardens of Orask institute Chapter keeps on every world they reclaim for the Emperor. The Chapter keeps main purpose are to recruit new Space Marines from the population, and to act as staging posts for mustering their Crusades. These Chapter keeps are sizeable, with chambers to accommodate two to three companies of Space Marines, but are far smaller than the fortress-monasteries of other Chapters.
The reserve of the Chapter's gene-seed is spread throughout all of its primary starships, stored in the Implantation Chambers aboard each vessel. These chambers are the most protected on any Warden of Orasks' starship and will be defended by them with their lives if need be, for these chambers contain the essence of the Chapter's future. The Chapter is based out of their ancient Relic Battleship Sol Invictus that serves as the mobile fortress-monastery of the Chapter.
The Wardens of Orask do not have a Chapter home world, their recruiting is done by their Chapter Keeps. The Chapter Keeps are constructed on most worlds that are subjugated by the Wardens of Orask. These worlds are used as staging ground for Crusade forces and recruitment posts for the Chapter. Only the most skilled Aspirants are allowed to join, and if they pass the initial tests, they are implanted with the gene-seed organs that will eventually transform them into full Space Marines and Neophytes of the Chapter.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
As a proud Successor to the vaunted Ultramarines Chapter, the Wardens of Orask are unconventional for a Successor Chapter of Ultramarines, because they do not adhere to the rigid dictates of the Codex Astartes. The Wardens of Orask feel that to be bound by words set down an age ago is to risk failure to adapt to changing circumstances that could prove fatal to the Chapter and the broader Imperium. Their primary adaptations from its doctrines are all intended to grant the Chapter additional flexibility in keeping with their duties as constant Crusaders. With the exception of those changes, the Chapter still venerate their Primarch, just as the Ultramarines do. In fact, they look upon the Codex Astartes as the foundation for their way of life, but to follow its teachings literally without consideration for what they have learned and what they observe around them is not in their view wisdom, but blind orthodoxy. To believe in rigid dogma is a weakness of the mind and it is this very weakness that has caused so much stagnation within the wider Imperium.
The core of this adherence is represented in the Chapter's consistent use of combined arms. They maintain the necessary flexibility to address virtually any opponent. While Assault, Devastator, and Scout Squads are used in keeping with the prescriptions of the Codex, their proportionate numbers are carefully preserved. To the extent that they are available, vehicular assets are used as situations necessitate.
The Wardens of Orask place particular importance and reverence on safeguarding their Chapter's future and preserving its gene-seed. The Wardens have been devoted to embarking upon endless Crusades since the time of their Founding. Historically, the Wardens of Orask Chapter has also sent companies to assist Rogue Trader Houses, other Space Marine Chapters, and even answered planetary emergency calls throughout the galaxy. This willingness to aid the cause of humanity at any time and in any place exemplifies their devotion to service.
It is only in preparation for a major Crusade effort or upon occasions of major Chapter import that the companies gather for extended interactions. Such occasions represent the only opportunity for established veterans to reunite with Battle-Brothers from other companies, often friends that they knew during their time as an Initiate. These gatherings also represent an opportunity for promotions and transfers between companies. In this way, members promoted to the 1st Company may transfer to work with another company so that their experience as a Veteran Space Marine may be more easily differentiated. This is also when Space Marines are most commonly tithed to service for other duties, even duty with the Deathwatch.
Notable Wardens of Orask
- Ward-Master Lucius Sejanus - The current Ward-Master of the Wardens of Orask, Lucuis Sejanus is a cunning warrior and strategically brilliant commander. He is well known for having led his Chapter to victory in the fight for Orask which was invaded by a large force of Chaos Space Marines. He is also known for securing many other noteworthy victories that the Wardens of Orask have successfully claimed.
- Cingulum - The Cingulum is a belt formed from several studded straps of leather or a similar strong and flexible material, which serves as a place for the hanging of victorex and other accolades of valour. Such belts are common decorations amongst the Wardens of Orasks. The appearance of a cingulum also varies with the type of small, detailed plates that have been used to stud it and the choices of what terminal decorations hang upon it.
- Heraldry Scrolls - Scrolls worked into a Battle-Brother's armour, either as metalwork or a placard are popular in many Chapters, and the Wardens of Orask are no exception. This crest may display a motto or title, but most commonly it bears the Wardens of Orask's name so that his enemies know who brings their deaths, and tales of his deeds may travel.
- Honour Blades - Presented to champions of the Chapter, Honour Blades are a matching Broadsword and Poniard Power Sword set. Wielded together, the blades are perfectly matched and provide the champion with an expert defence and attack.
From their earliest surviving records, the Wardens of Orask have existed as a fleet-based Chapter. In the modern era, the basis for this decision is unclear. It might be that the decision was made early on during their inception, which has been preserved for traditional reasons rather than functional ones.
Their mighty Chapter fleet is led by the flagship Sol Invictus, a mighty Relic Battleship. This formidable vessel of ancient provenance was gifted to the Wardens by their progenitors at their inception. It is believed to be pre-Imperial in origin, constructed some time during the Dark Age of Technology, and has a long and glorious history. Ranging over 8 km long, it holds thousands of crew, battle-brothers and hundreds of war machines as well as swarms of smaller attack craft and transports.
To fulfil their duties, they possess several Battle-Barges, but their mobile fortress-monastery Sol Invitus, is the largest vessel of their fleet and serves as their gene-seed repository. This vessel also houses the Chapter's Librarium Sanctorum, the repository of the Chapter's collective knowledge which contains countless scrolls, data-logs tombs, and computational engines which store the Chapter's records, roles of honour, as well as ancient lore.
One critical limitation of a fleet-based operation is a restriction in the availability of new candidates for initiation. The Wardens of Orask have overcome this difficulty by recruiting from their Chapter keeps located on several worlds they have conquered over long millennia of their existence, as well as having long-established relations with several primary recruitment worlds, most of which are located in the Inquathan Deeps Sector in the Ultima Segmentum. These worlds range from Feral Worlds, colonised by the remnants of ancient Imperial civilisations, to Hive Worlds, where gangers fight daily with whatever weapons they can scrounge, living off the scrapings of Imperial society.
The Chapter fleet of the Wardens of Orask is known to contain the following starships:
- Sol Invitus (Relic Battleship - Unknown Class) - The Sol Invitus is a Relic Battleship that pre-dated the founding of the Imperium -- a veteran of centuries of nightmarish war amid the dark stars and aged in scars and honours. It is the personal flagship of Ward-Master Sejanus and serves essentially as the Chapter's mobile Fortress-Monastery, home to the Wardens of Orask's Reclusiam and the vaults containing all of the Chapter's relics and precious artefacts.
- Sword of Retribution (Apocalypse-Class Battleship) - The Sword of Retribution is a vessel known to be present in the Wardens of Orasks' Crusade fleet.
- Morpheus (Emperor-Class Battleship) - The Morpheus was the first vessel that carried the first Wardens of Orask beyond the Orask System. It is still in service in the 41st Millennium.
- Avenging Son (Relic Battleship - Unknown Class) - The Avenging Son is a Relic Battleship that pre-dated the founding of the Imperium -- a veteran of centuries of war and aged in scars and honours of victories.
- Nox Pervigilium (Battle Barge)
- Aurelius (Battle Barge)
- Thanatos (Battle Barge)
- Typhon (Battle Barge)
- Gladius Nova (Battle Barge) - Destroyed during the 13th Black Crusade against the Red Corsairs' Chaos Fleet.
- Menace of Truth (Grand Cruiser) - Destroyed during the 13th Black Crusade against the Red Corsairs' Chaos Fleet.
- Salvation (Strike Cruiser)
- Swift Vengeance (Strike Cruiser)
- Radiant Dawn (Strike Cruiser)
- Fortitude (Strike Cruiser)
- Titus (Strike Cruiser)
- Stenophilus (Strike Cruiser)
- Merito (Strike Cruiser)
- Manus Fidei (Strike Cruiser)
- Eternal Strength (Strike Cruiser) - Strike Cruiser that carried Task Force Onslaught to the Orask System. The Halberd earned much renown for its participation in the Gothic War.
- Shield of Faith (Strike Cruiser)
- Hammer of Vengeance (Strike Cruiser)
- Halberd (Strike Cruiser)
- Blade of Unity (Strike Cruiser) - Destroyed during the 13th Black Crusade against the Red Corsairs' Chaos Fleet.
- Triumph of Truth (Strike Cruiser) - Destroyed during the 13th Black Crusade against the Red Corsairs' Chaos Fleet.
- Dominus (Forge Ship) - Serves as the primary Armouries for the whole of the Crusade Chapter Fleets.
- Inferno (Destroyer)
- The Unbowed (Destroyer)
- Defiant (Destroyer)
- 20 Escorts
- 75 Thunderhawk gunships
The Power Armour of a Warden of Orask is predominantly black and copper. The Black colour serves as a sign, that like the legendary Sigismund and the black-armoured Chaplains of the Adeptus Astartes, it serve as a reminder of mortality's impermanent nature, and that only in death does their duty to the Emperor end. The white-coloured squad specialty symbols (Tactical, Assault, Devastator, or Veteran) are indicated on the right shoulder pauldron, while the Chapter icon is proudly worn on the left shoulder pauldron. The Roman numeral stenciled in copper on the right shoulder pauldron indicates squad number, while the gothic numeral on the right poleyn (knee guard) indicates company number.
The Wardens of Orasks' Chapter badge is a large stylised white skull centred on a field of black, which indicates the past sacrifices of the Chapter's fallen battle-brothers. A small black-coloured Omega letter drawn from the ancient Greek alphabet (an inverted version of the Chapter icon of their progenitors, the Ultramarines) is centred upon the skull's forehead.
The Wardens of Orask hate the Red Corsairs above all else, for it was they who laid their Chapter low, destroying four of their ships during space engagements during the recent 13th Black Crusade. The Wardens of Orask long for revenge, and will go out of their way to take part in any campaign, especially if the Red Corsairs are involved.
There have been many engagements through out the millennium against this hated foe of the Wardens of Orask. For the Wardens will stop at nothing to wipe out these traitors for the grievous act that nearly took their Primarch Roboute Guilliman. The Wardens hatred for these treacherous curs has no bounds and will purge the known galaxy of this elusive traitors.
These treacherous betrayers of Mankind have eluded the Wardens of Orasks many times. Lured into various ambushes set to terminate the Wardens have come to no avail. This enmity between them have endured into the 41st millennium.
By the Wardens of Orask
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About the Wardens of Orask
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