- "...for I am the Lion at the gates, fangs bared in pride, voice raised in challenge. All will heed my roar..."
- —From the Ivory Accords
The White Lions are a loyal Codex-compliant Adeptus Astartes Chapter founded in the 36th Millennium, rumoured to be descended from the Imperial Fists. Located in the Ultima Segmentum to the north of the realm of Ultramar, the chapter have since their founding patrolled the area, ever watchful for xeno incursions. In more recent years, the White Lions have been heavily involved in the Damocles Gulf Crusade, being assigned to monitor the activities of the Tau Empire, and defend against their southern advances into the Imperium.
It still remains unknown as to which Founding the White Lions belong, as most records concerning their origins were either lost or destroyed in the wake of the Age of Apostasy. Imperial historians theorize that the White Lions came into being somewhere between the 14th and 19th Foundings of the Adeptus Astartes, likely alongside such Chapters as the Angels of Fire, Celebrants, and Relictors; as these Chapters exact progenitors and Foundings are similarly unknown.
Whatever the exact manner of their origin; the existence of the White Lions was not officially made known to the Imperium until after Goge Vandire's Reign of Blood had finally come to an end. First contact as a Chapter was made during the period known as the Plague of Unbelief, by none other than the brave souls of the 201st Cadian Mechanized Regiment dispatched into the Litesh Sector near the Damocles Gulf, to break the occupation of the Shrine World of Ether's End by fanatical militias loyal to the apostate Cardinal Bucharis. However, upon making planetfall, the Guardsmen would arrive to find the citizens of Ether's End not only liberated of their long-time oppressors, but singing praises to their saviors, so-called "angels of ivory and gold". These angels, as it turned out, were in fact Adeptus Astartes, though they bore markings and heraldry that the Cadians did not recognize. They encountered the bulk of the Space Marine forces within the processional march of the Shrine Worlds capital of Aeshar, where they watched in morbid fascination as the white-armored giants heaped the corpses of the apostate militia into massive promethium-fueled bonfires, burning the bodies to ash in an almost ritualistic manner. Their commanding officer, who identified himself as Veteran-Sergeant Bolo, later claimed that the apostate forces had been burning any who spoke out against the teaches of Bucharis at the stake before he and his battle-brothers arrived. As he put it, the White Lions were only responding in kind.
From there the White Lions would go on to strike several other blows against the forces of Cardinal Bucharis throughout the Eastern Fringe, coming into contact with other forces of the Imperium in the process, including other Space Marine Chapters such as the Ultramarines and Red Legion. They would eventually develop strong ties to the former, as the White Lions were reportedly in small numbers at the time, and thus would oftentimes fight alongside their Astartes cousins rather than fully commit their own forces, likely in an attempt to conserve what little numbers they currently had. By 378.M36, the last vestiges of the Reign of Blood had finally been been quashed, and the White Lions were official recognized by the High Lords of Terra as a sovereign Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes.
The First Sphere Expansion
- "You surprise me gue'ron'sha. You are the first of your kind to take such a... diplomatic approach."
- — Por'El'Drai, in congress with Captain Ashor Corbeux (Deceased)
When the fledgling Tau Empire began to expand into the greater galaxy, they did not do so without encountering significant resistance from the Imperium of Man. Even before the First Sphere of Expansions had finished it's preliminary phases, reports of a new xenos threat were circulating throughout the Eastern Fringe, and thus the Imperium planned to stamp out this new foe with it's trademark ruthlessness. The White Lions were amongst the first to respond to this call to arms, mainly out of strategic necessity since their homeworld lay so close to the battlefront. Under the command of the seasoned Captain Ashor Corbeux, the 2nd Company was dispatched to assess the strength of the Tau's forces, and if necessary, engage them if they posed a threat to Zanzibar or any of its neighboring worlds within the Sub-Sector.
What the White Lions found however, was more than a mere threat, it was a downright assurance of invasion. The Strike Cruiser Vigilia, upon leaving the borders of the Litesh Sector, were immediately set upon by by a full detachment of the Tau Navy en route to the sector, no doubt to establish a beachhead for the Empire's forces to spread further into the Eastern Fringe. Upon siting the Astartes spacecraft, the Tau immediately demanded that the White Lions forces surrender into their custody, a demand that Captain Corbeux surprisingly agreed to, though only on the condition that he and the Tau leadership meet on neutral territory to discuss the terms of surrender. Seeing the request as harmless enough, a small detachment of Fire and Water Caste flew down to meet the Captain and his command squad on the soil of the nearby Tau-contested world of Idris.
In actuality, Corbeux detested the very thought of giving up to xenos, but did not wish for his battle-brothers to fruitlessly sell their lives in some futile last stand. However, nor did he wish for his battle-brothers to live out the remainders of their lives as prisoners of the Tau, and so in secret he hatched a last-ditch plan to salvage their situation and send warning to the rest of the Chapter. Even as he stalled by drawing out negotiations with the Water Caste emissary Por'El'Drai, the the remaining commanders of the Tau forces were wary of the Astartes, and thus sent a small battlegroup of Skether'Qan-class scout ships to board and secure the Vigilia. Unbeknownst to them, Corbeux had suspected all along that the Tau would no doubt attempt this tactic, and thus had organized small groups of Astartes throughout the boarding portals of the Strike Cruiser in preparation. The Tau were then allowed to dock, only to be rapidly boarded and massacred by the White Lions lying in wait for them. With no time to spare, their vessels were quickly loaded with all manner of explosives and sent to drift through the void towards the bulk of the fleet. Now even more suspicious, the Tau Navy closed in on the Vigilia... just as the White Lions enacted the final stages of their plan.
Their Strike Cruiser fired a single lance strike into the midst of the booby-trapped scout ships, setting off a chain-reaction of explosions that damaged several Tau escorts and distracted the attention of the fleet long enough for the Vigilia to maneuver itself away from the bulk of the Tau's forces. Meanwhile on Idris, the skies lit up with a series of supernova-bright detonations, signalling the Captain and his command squad to leap into action. Though at the cost of several of their own, they slaughtered the Tau delegation and made off into the war-torn landscape. In the meantime, the Vigilia had sustained heavy damage in from the Tau's pursuing spacecraft, but not so much that they were unable to activate their warp engines and escape into the Immaterium. The remains of the 2nd Company would arrive within the Zanzibar Sub-Sector several weeks later, leaderless and wounded, their hearts still heavy with the weight of their dishonorable actions. Nevertheless, they arrived just in time to warn the Chapter of the impending threat from the east, and thus the full fighting force of the White Lions was mobilized to meet the advances of the Tau.
Captain Cobeux's physical remains were never found, even after the White Lions retook the planet Idris, but the scars left behind by his actions lingered on for years to come. Though most eventually excepted that the 2nd Company were the victims of an unfortunate predicament, they were still publicly censured by the Chapter Command, and for a long while were treated as pariahs and outcasts by their fellows. The name Ashor Corbeux meanwhile became a cursed name, one struck from every record and role of honor within the Chapter. The mere fact that any self-respecting son of Zanzibar would stoop so low to achieve little more than a fighting retreat was simply unthinkable to the White Lions, and to this day the former Captain's name is invoked with disgust. His former company never forgot who forced such dishonor upon them, and continue to hate the Tau Empire with a passion few others can match.
The Damocles Gulf Crusade
Eventually, the Imperium could no longer tolerate the existence of a xenos empire situated so close to their borders, mobilizing a surprisingly swift call to arms that would later be known as the Damocles Gulf Crusade. The White Lions were amongst the many Chapters of Adeptus Astartes to take part in the conflict, having faced the Tau on multiple occasions beforehand due to their homeworld's relative closeness to the Tau Empire's borders. Fighting alongside such legendary Chapters as the Black Templars, Ultramarines, and Raven Guard, the White Lions spearheaded various advances into the Tau-occupied regions of the Gulf. As there battle doctrines revolved mainly around swift and merciless close quarters assaults, the Chapter quickly realized the Tau's inherent lack of melee weaponry and adapted their own stratagems accordingly, becoming a formidable opponent for the scions of the Greater Good.
Unfortunately, the victories of the White Lions had unforeseen consequences. The 2nd Company, headed by the brash Captain Viciare, saw the brunt of the fighting in many a battle, driven by an insatiable need to avenge their lost honor by slaughtering those who took it from them. Thus their attacks became noticeably more aggressive as the Crusade wore on, taking heedless risks at the cost of their own numbers, all for the sake of exacting their revenge upon the Tau. In their fury however, they acted against or flat out ignored orders from the greater Imperial hierarchy in favor of pursuing their vendetta, putting countless carefully coordinated battle-strategies in jeopardy because of it. Soon the White Lions were under pressure to reign in their "errant Company", and so they did, Chapter Master Neméos Cleonae and his Honor Guard personally accompanying to 2nd Company to oversee their deployments. While this response satisfied the other Imperial forces taking part in the Damocles Gulf Crusade, it only served to raise tensions within the 2nd Company.
These pent-up tensions finally came to a head during the infamous Siege of Firebase Epsilon, a military action on the Tau-occupied world of Artura Ultima. Having already secured most of the planet during a lengthy and costly campaign, the White Lions set out to purge the remainder of the planet of Tau influence, the largest bastion of which was a fortified staging ground designated Firebase Epsilon. According to various intelligence reports, all remaining Arturan Tau forces were currently gathered in this area as a last-ditch fallback position, no doubt to hold out until the Tau Navy could send in troop transports to get them offworld. In order to completely obliterate this last vestige of resistance, the Imperium had organized a two pronged assault on the Firebase: local Imperial Guard regiments would engage in a frontal assault to hold the Tau's attention, while the White Lions would circle around and strike the Firebase Epsilon's vulnerable flanks. Together, the White Lions would be the mighty hammer that smote the Tau, while the Imperial Guard would serve as the immovable anvil upon which their forces would break.
At first, the plan worked flawlessly. The Imperial Guard advanced as planned, drawing enemy fire long enough for the White Lions 2nd Company to strike at the vulnerable airfields situated behind the Firebase, destroying Tau air support and crippling any chance of retreat. However as they closed in on the main fortifications themselves, the advances sons of Zanzibar were met by a vanguard of Crisis Battlesuits, held in reserve by the forces of Firebase Epsilon as a last-ditch line of defense. The ensuing fighting within the empty expanse of the airfield, many brave White Lions scythed down by relentless plasma and fusion fire due to the complete lack of defensive cover. In the face of this new threat Chapter Master Cleonae was forced to split the 2nd Company into two forces, one led by him to deal with the Battlesuits, the other led by Captain Viciare to complete the objective. Needless to say the Tau pilots did not fall easily, taking full advantage of the wide-open area they were situated in as to keep just out of range of the White Lions blades all while raining death upon them from afar. But the White Lions had the advantage of sheer numbers, and though it cost them dearly, under the command of their Chapter Master they eventually defeated the ambush.
Finally arriving at the main complex, Cleonae and his remaining forces stormed through the gap created by Captain Viciare... and beheld a slaughterhouse. Thousands of dead humans in civilian garb practically carpeted the floors of the Firebase's hold, and worst of all, they had all perished at the hands of the White Lions. As it turned out, Firebase Epsilon was used by the Tau as a refugee camp for Arturan Gue'vesa displaced by the war for their homeworld. Despite being defenseless, Viciare had seen the Gue'vesa as little more than traitors cowering in the dark to hide from the Imperium they betrayed, and so ordered their deaths without a second though. Thoug the battle was won in the aftermath Chapter Master Cleonae was furious with the 2nd Company, for while the refugees might have been allies of the Tau, they were human noncombatants nonetheless, and members of his own Chapter had massacred them in cold blood.
No doubt severe punishments would have been dealt out, but in the wake of their most recent victory, the Chapter was forced to withdraw from the Damocles Gulf along with the rest of the Imperial forces, having been recalled to contend with the newfound threat of the Tyranid Hive Fleets.
Onslaught of the Great Devourer
- "The Dark Times have come once more, and Zanzibar bears new scars."
- — Attributed to Veteran-Sergeant Anton Durant.
The White Lions returned home, bitter and discontent, only to find it under attack by the Tyrannic menace. During the advance of of the Hive Fleets, a small break-off Fleet designated Hive Fleet Gorgon had split away from the main bulk of the Hive to ravage the unsuspecting worlds of the Eastern Fringe, and soon Zanzibar fell in the path of their murderous rampage. No doubt the planet would have been reduced to a ball of lifeless rock had the White Lion's 6th Company, having stopped in the Zanzibar Sub-Sector acquire a tithe of new recruits, had intercepted the Tyranids through sheer happenstance. Falling back to their homeworld, the 6th Company had fought a brutal land war against the Tyranids, steadily loosing ground and yet unable to summon reinforcements due to the Shadow in the Warp. Yet by some strange luck, the bulk of the White Lions Chapter arrived just in time to avert their catastrophic defeat.
Quickly mobilizing to action, the White Lions fleet waded into the blockade of Hive Ships led by the mighty Battle-Barges Stellarum Rex and Firstblade. Meanwhile, in the confusion bought by the sudden void battle, Chapter Master Cleonae led the complete fighting force of nearly five Battle Companies on to the surface of Zanzibar in order to provide much-needed aid to the beleaguered 6th Company. With the odds now considerably more even, the White Lions struck back in a massive counter-attack, determined to drive the xenos from their home.
Doing so would be easier said than done, for Hive Fleet Gorgon was deeply entrenched upon the planet, having already Tyrannoformed massive swathes of land to serve as breeding pits and spawning grounds. Hordes of chittering monstrosities surged across the once-pristine plains of Zanzibar to be scythed down in droves by the swords of the White Lions. Though the Chapter was on the offensive, neither side had a definitive advantage over the other at first, until the ever-evolving Hive Fleet Gorgon began to adapt to the White Lions' preferred methods of attack. It began to produce bioforms specifically bred for melee superiority, armored in thick chitin that only the most the most masterfully crafted blades could pierce, and armed with long rending talons and bone-thorned whipping tendrils designed to keep the enemy at a distance. For what they lacked in skill the Tyranids made up for in sheer numbers and animalistic fury, and soon the White Lions once again found themselves on the retreat, their loses increasing every day as they struggled to counter the Hive Fleet's new combat superiority.
Somewhat embarrassingly, the Chapter's saving grace came not through their own actions but rather the actions of others, many light-years away from Zanzibar. On the planet of Kel'shan, a joint Tau-Imperial offensive had engaged and defeated the bulk of Hive Fleet Gorgon', slaying their remaining synapse creatures at the Battle of Worldspine Ridge. Without their directing influence the Hive Fleet's forces, including those on Zanzibar, quickly lost cohesion. Sensing weakness, the White Lions were quick to mount a series of attacks that utterly devastated the disorganized Tyranids, forcing them off their homeworld at long last. Later the White Lions would discover that it had been the timely victory at Kel'Shan that saved them from defeat, but quietly refused to acknowledge the fact, unable to admit that their homeworld and later their entire Chapter had only been saved from annihilation several times through sheer luck.
In the wake of the Tyrannic Incursions, the White Lions Chapter now faces dozens of pressing dilemmas. Many good battle-brothers fell to the fangs and talons of the Tyranids, and they have lost nearly a quarter of their entire fighting force as a result, their 2nd and 6th Companies having sustained the most casualties, and forcing them to drastically step up their recruitment tithes. However, doing so has proven to be difficult, as Zanzibar itself has also been left thoroughly devastated, and many of the noble houses they once relied on for future initiates have been eradicated. Furthermore, the Chapter also faces internal strife, a faction of more radical-minded White Lions having risen up to challenge the authorities and traditions they claim to have led to the Chapter's losses in the first place. These "protests" grow more frequent and more intense with each passing year, and only time will tell if this leads to a drastic change in the Chapter's very identity, or even a full-blown civil war with the ranks of the White Lions.
But even while the White Lions are beset from within, they must also attend to threats without. Their stewardship of the Eastern Fringe had for many years kept the Tau Empire from infringing upon the Imperium's territories, but with their numbers dwindling, many fear it will not be long before the wily Tau begin to take advantage of the Chapter's plight and resume their expansion. Add that to the turmoil of the Achilius Crusade being waged throughout the neighboring Jericho Reach, and the ever-present threat of yet another assault by the Hive Fleets, and the White Lions find themselves beset on all sides, unable to meaningfully deal with impending threats so long as internal struggles threaten to tear the Chapter apart from within.
- Pyres of Ether's End (301.M36) - The earliest recorded engagement of the White Lions, in which the Chapter liberated the Shrine World of Ether's End from occupation by traitor militias loyal to the Apostate Cardinal Bucharis. According to reports made by the 201st Cadian Mechanized Regiment, the White Lions were ritually incinerating the corpses of militia members in some bizarre form of poetic justice.
- Great Purging of the East (302-395.M36) - A series of conflicts in which the White Lions, alongside the venerable Ultramarines Chapter, fought to free the Eastern Fringe from the forces of the Apostate Cardinal and his followers. By the time this lengthy Campaign had ceased, Cardinal Bucharis had been slain and the Plague of Unbelief brought to an end. In the aftermath of this, the High Lords of Terra officially recognize the White Lions as a sovereign Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes.
- Ophidian Wars (304.M36) - A grueling campaign taking place within the contested Ophidia Sub-Sector, as the White Lions struggle to retake lost worlds from the clutches of the Apostate Cardinal's fanatical followers. Near the end of the Ophidian Wars, Veteran-Sergeant and venerated Founding Brother Actavius Bolo is mortally wounded during a surprise attack by Apostate Militia. Barely clinging to life, the proud veteran is placed within a Dreadnought sarcophagus, going on to lead several integral strikes against enemy forces in his formidable new form.
- Battle of Greymere (387.M36) - Their numbers severely depleted, the remnants of the White Lions Chapter join forces with the Ultramarines in a drawn-out conflict over the strategically important Feral World of Greymere. The Adeptus Astartes engage the forces of Bucharis time and time again upon the ashen-covered plains of the near-barren world, both sides taking heavy casualties. However, the sheer tenacity of the Space Marines sees them win the day, and stories of the mythical "Angels of Apocalypse" are ingrained into the native culture of Greymere for generations to come.
- Disgrace Over Idris (513.M37) - Taking place during the First Sphere Expansion, the White Lions 2nd Company led by Captain Ashor Corbeux encounters a full detachment of the Tau Navy poised to invade the Litesh Sector. Trapped and outgunned, Captain Corbeux resorts to extremely dishonorable tactics to ensure that his fellow battle-brother's manage to escape to warn the rest of the Chapter. His gambit pays off, though as a result the 2nd Company receives censure, and Corbeux himself is presumed to have been slain on the Tau-contested world of Idris, his remains never recovered and his name stricken from Chapter records.
- Massacre of Tu'Shun (523.M38) - A joint campaign fought alongside another Space Marine Chapter, this time being the mysterious Sons of Woe led by Captain Kuno Degenhard. Anti-Imperial Separatists had seized control of the Hive World of Tu'Shun, prompting an immediate response by local Imperial forces. The White Lions endeavored to engage the Separatists in diplomatic congress in order to prevent further bloodshed, but the Sons of Woe saw an opportunity to bring about a decisive victory and took it, slaughtering the rebel leadership as they gathered for the peace talks. Naturally the White Lions were appalled by their cousins' actions and promptly withdrew from the conflict, while the leaderless Separatists quickly fell to the Sons of Woe's onslaughts.
- Onslaught of the Exiles (648.M40) - A small scouting force of White Lions, lead by Veteran-Sergeant Delacroix, are transported into the heart of the dreaded River of Exiles during a Warp Drive malfunction that sends their craft spiraling through the Empyrean only to re-emerge within the Exile Sector. Delacroix and his battle-brother's were never heard from again, though recovered wreckage and audio-logs indicate they were repeatedly attacked by the forces of the both the Crusade Eternal and Storm Draugar Chaos Warbands. The White Lions Chapter still has no exact confirmation of their battle-brother's ultimate fate, though their are many gruesome and disturbing theories.
- Damocles Gulf Crusade (742-745.M41) - The White Lions take part in the infamous Damocles Gulf Crusade, joining the Imperial effort to weaken the Tau Empire's grip on the Eastern Fringe. During this campaign the White Lions fight alongside many famous Space Marine Chapters, such as the Raven Guard, White Scars, Iron Hands, and Black Templars.
- Siege of Firebase Epsilon (744.M41) - Near the tail end of the Crusade, the White Lions 2nd Company leads a strike against a Tau Firebase on the planet Atura Ultima, alongside several local Imperial Guard regiments. The battle is won, but results in the slaughter of thousands of Gue'vesa refugees taking shelter within the complex, all at the hands of the 2nd Company.
- Defense of Zanzibar (745.M41) - Also known as the Zanzibarian Tyrannic Incursions, a breakaway force of Tyranids derived from Hive Fleet Gorgon attack the White Lions homeworld of Zanzibar in the aftermath of the Damocles Gulf Crusade. The Chapter's 6th and 2nd Companies fight bravely to defend their homeworld, but the odds do not favor them and their forces are worn to the brink. Their salvation comes in the form of a joint Tau-Imperial force that defeats the Hive Fleet's main horde at the Battle of Worldspine Ridge, destroying the cohesion of the Tyrannic bioforms on Zanzibar and giving the White Lions the advantage they need to annihilate their enemy in one last-ditch final push.
- Pursuit From Suami (783.M41) - The recently Founded Sons of Iron engage a far-flung network of Chaos Cultists in one of their earliest campaigns. Upon arriving in the Eastern Fringe in pursuit of their enemy, they arrive to find the White Lions already embroiled in conflict with the Cultists. The two Chapters join forces, and together make short work of their mutual foe. Though the grim sons of the Gorgon were not the most approachable of Astartes, they remain steadfast allies of the White Lions nonetheless.
Having been influenced heavily from the way of life led by Zanzibarian aristocracy and all it stands for, the White Lions are a regal and wise chapter, prone to acting with poise and thought as opposed to raw pathos and gusto. In keeping with the tradition set down eons ago when the White Lions first arrived on their homeworld, the highborn males of the Zanzibarian aristocracy are recruited into the chapter. There, the chapter combines the raw military mandates of the Codex Astartes with their own refined way of war.
The White Lions have taken much from their homeworld, including the customs set down by the ancient rites known as the Sword Laws. During the Age of Strife, the once advanced society of Zanzibar saw its people turn to anarchy and war. Entire contents were scorched with the apocalyptic arms of the Dark Age of Technology, and to this day some regions still bear the bleak scars of these conflicts. Following the devastation, it was ruled by the surviving noble houses that war itself would be abolished, and with it the devilish tools of the trade. Nothing but the sword remained, and eventually the people regressed to a pre-industrial state, with great cities ruled by aristocrat houses maintained by the plow and peasant. When such city states came into conflict, either over land or other matters of state, it was the solemn duty of both parties to come to a peaceful conclusion via the spoken word and written law long before any form of violence was considered. Months, even years were to be spent in delegation, sorting out these issues by careful deliberation. For all remembered all too well the horrors of war. However, should peaceable means be unreachable, the issue was settled by a personal duel between chosen members of the house. These sword duels, and their outcomes, were the final authority. This ensured that it was the ruler of the land who bore the full weight of any violence, for only he would go to battle in the name of his ambitions.
Not only does this mean that the average Zanzibarian aristocrat is an expert swordsman by his or her fifth year, but also that war as the Galaxy knows it has not been seen upon the surface of Zanzibar for untold generations. Thus, the White Lions hold very true to the Sword Laws, for before the chapter dares to go to war, they first try to find a peaceable solution if possible. For they, unlike so many of their brother chapters, are not overly fond of war. They see war as a wasteful act, a final solution in the face of an unwinnable situation. This of course does not mean that they are meek or mild should the time come for them to join battle, for they fight with the fury of the regal beast that is their namesake, but instead that they are much more civil in nature, and willing to spare the lives of both Battle Brothers and the human race they swore to protect if peace can be achieved by means other than the bolt and blade.
The White Lions find their name from both the sacred constellation of Leo, which is said to be a manifestation of the Emperor's regal presence watching over the people in the cult of Zanzibar, and the great lions of their homeworld. A Zanzibarian White Lion is a truly impressive beast, easily the size of a Terran Draft Horse, and clad in a coat of purest white fur, it is a symbol of all things good and proud in Zanzibarian culture. Often they are guardians of aristocrat estates, and honored members of noble families. In some regions of Zanzibar, the houses eldest White Lion may actually have inheritance rites, and there are several city states that, by line of succession, have been ruled by a White Lion at one time or another. Naturally, several members of the White Lions chapter have their own Zanzibarian Lion as a companion. The White Lion is a beast known for both its shear might and ferocity, capable of killing scores of armed bandits and even vile Chaos Marines in defense of their masters. But the White Lion is also equally well known as a creature of royal compassion and poise, tame and even capable of bowing as any delegate should when meeting other beings of status. Thus, the Zanzibarian White Lion is both a symbol of power and peace, a creature that knows both when the time for war and diplomacy must come.
However, even more deeply ingrained into the culture of the White Lions than their sense of honor is their sense of pride. They are notoriously proud of both their Chapter and their traditions, which over time has given them an unfortunately romanticized view of the galaxy as they continue to exercise the arts of diplomacy and honorable congress despite the fact that such things are practically extinct in the current day and age, blind or perhaps willfully ignorant of the fact that there are all too many that would take advantage of their trust in order to gain advantage over them. As such, there is a growing movement within the younger generations of the White Lions to completely abolish the Chapter's penchant for speaking rather than acting, a mindset that is viewed as tantamount to blasphemy by their older, more traditionalist kin. This internal schism has only become more pronounced in the wake of the White Lions' close encounter with the forces of the Great Devourer, as many seasoned veterans of the Chapter perished in the conflict, allowing more radical-minded Astartes to fill their vacant positions. Now the call for a complete reformation of the Chapter Cult is stronger than ever, and as tensions rise, the threat of conflict within the Chapter is becoming more and more likely with each passing year...
Though there have been some claims by the elder members of the Chapter that the White Lions are in fact a successor Chapter of the Imperial Fists, thorough examination of the Chapter's gene-seed suggests otherwise. Their genetic material has proven to be both stable and relatively pure, but cluttered with so many nascent gene-markers it is next to impossible to determine which Primarch their gene-stock is derived from. As it stands, the White Lions gene-seed allows those implanted with it full use of both their Betcher's Glands and Sus-An Membrane, ruling out any chance of Dornian lineage. Based on cursory examination, it is the popular theory that the White Lions are descended from either Ultramarines or Dark Angels gene-stock.
There is however a small imperfection within the White Lions' gene-seed that causes minor alterations within the eyes of certain marines post-implantation. Those affected by it develop reflective, golden-colored irises, akin to those of a large feline, though this mutation is somewhat rare and appears to have no effects beyond physical appearance. In some cases, the occurrence of this mutation within a marine is considered by the White Lions to be a sign that the effected individual is in fact destined for great things.
The White Lions strike as their namesake suggests, swiftly and powerfully. The Generally accepted tactic is the use of the chapters Assault and Attack Bike Squads as the first hammer blow of the assault, the Assault Bikes carving through infantry, while the Heavily armed Attack Bikes make short work of any light to heavy armor. Then comes the chapters vaunted Assault Marines, masters of swordplay, they are devastating in close combat with their finely crafted chainswords and power swords. While the enemy is still reeling, the Land Speeders make up the final blow, swooping in, various variants in deadly attack patterns, letting loose with their heavy weapons.Finally, the rest of the chapter's forces arrive, carried in their Rhinos. These rank and file battle brothers preform mop up duty, and eliminate whatever pockets of resistance remain with extreme prejudice. Generally this style of battle was designed to defeat the Tau Septs that would not be talked down by the Chapters diplomatic teams, to swiftly deal with the Tau where they are weakest, at point blank range. However, the White Lions are not so arrogant as to assume their one style of combat to be superior in all situations, and readily utilized heavier units such as Terminators and Devastator Squads if need be. And should the battle be most dire, one could expect the White Lions to call to battle their finest warriors, the Lion Claws. They are veteran Assault Marines of the First Company, the Lion Claws are undisputed masters in close combat. Utilizing the masterfully crafted Zanzibar-Pattern Lighting Claw, the Lion Claws utterly annihilate all but the most sturdy enemy, striking with measured fury and masterful strokes borne of both eons of combat experience and decades of rigorous training.
- The Ivory Accords - A series ancient scrolls supposedly dating back to the Founding of the White Lions, the Ivory Accords document the pact made between the first of the White Lions Chapter and the Aristocracy of Zanzibar, stating the nature of the two factions' relationship in typical Zanzibarian fashion. In meticulous detail does it go over the exact standards of the Chapter's recruitment methods from the ranks of the noble houses, sealing the ancient pact between Chapter and homeworld. Currently, the Ivory Accords stand as a mainly as a remembrance, one of the few remaining artifacts from the Chapter's Founding, and thus it is considered a valued relic if only for the lost history it represents.
- The Neméan Gladius - "Gladius" is perhaps a misnomer when referring to this gigantic, two-handed masterwork of a Power Sword, but its title is a proud one nonetheless. Forged by the legendary Techmarine and artificer Arcous Despard, the Neméan Gladius is as much a symbol of status as it is a deadly weapon, wielded and passed down by the Chapter Masters of the White Lions. Zanzibarians are very proud of their swords and the White Lions are no exception, thus this sword is in essence one that represents the regal authority of the Chapter Master.
Tactically, the chapters' Master is struggling to re-build the 2nd and 6th Companies, which were destroyed in battle with a wisp of a Tyranid Hive Fleet Gorgon almost fifty years ago. Many of the 1st Company veterans were taken to be officers and squad leaders, and each squad in every company contributed a Brother to help in the re-building. As a result, most squads are only nine Brothers, and the 1st Company only has seven squads at the moment. Other than these minor constraints the White Lions follow the typical Chapter structure as outlined by the Codex Astartes.
Their only major deviation from the standard system of ranks concerns the Chapter Reclusiasm, as the leader of the White Lions' Chaplains goes by the rank of High Chaplain, a post that combines the roles of the both the Chapter Reclusiarch and Master of Sanctity. It is unknown exactly why this role exists, though many believe it is simply yet another holdover from the White Lions' mysterious past.
- 1st (Veteran) Company, "The Angels of Leo" (white knee plate): Captain Dareo Ajance, Regent of Zanzibar.
- 2nd (Battle) Company, "The Unbowed" (gold knee plate): Captain Ancifités Morgancia, Master of the Watch.
- 3rd (Battle) Company, "The Blades of Zanzibar" (red knee plate): Captain Savion Othello, Master of the Arsenal.
- 4th (Battle) Company, "The Defenders of the Gulf" (green knee plate): Captain Almedes Cadomael, Master of the Fleet.
- 5th (Battle) Company, "The Swordbound" (black knee plate): Captain Despard Marace, Master of the Marches.
- 6th (Reserve) Company, "The Old Guard" (orange knee plate): Captain Corphion Ashmar, Master of the Rites.
- 7th (Reserve) Company, "The Onslaught of the East" (purple knee plate): Captain Balis Neophae, Chief Victualler.
- 8th (Reserve) Company, "The Claws of Heaven" (grey knee plate): Captain Numen Soracia, Lord Executioner.
- 9th (Reserve) Company, "The Bastion's Bane" (blue knee plate): Captain Helace Argentenia, Master of the Relics.
- 10th (Scout) Company, "The Ascendant" (no color): Captain Korvis Anopheles, Master of Recruits.
- Chapter Master Neméos Cleonae - Chapter Master of the White Lions, Lord of Zanzibar, and Protector of the Leonis Faith, Neméos Cleonae is an Astartes that now more than ever caries the weight of the Chapter upon his shoulders. The White Lions are still struggling to recover from the grievous losses inflicted upon them by Hive Fleet Gorgon, and while the threat of the Tau advancing through the now-vulnerable Damocles Gulf looms overhead, the White Lions threaten to tear themselves apart as new and old ideologies clash. For even one such as him the burden of responsibility seems to much to bear, but Cleonae has never been one to give up without a fight. Currently all of his considerable diplomatic skill has gone towards soothing the rising tempers of his battle-brothers so that cooler heads might decide what the Chapter's next course of action may be, but at this point the even the Chapter Master can only do so much.
- High Chaplain Corin Quirnius - Being the defender of a Chapter's soul within a Chapter bereft of a Primarch or progenitors is hardly an easy task, but it is a task that Corin Quirnius takes to with unrelenting fervor. Occupying the rank of High Chaplain, a post which combines the the roles of both the Chapter Reclusiarch and Master of Sanctity, Quirnius is the spiritual head of the Chapter and a staunch traditionalist to boot, unwavering in his dedication to the ancient Zanzibarian warrior-creeds. Largely because of this, the High Chaplain is the greatest opposer of the the radical-minded "reformation" movement that now plagues the White Lions, constantly speaking out against what he deems to be tantamount to open rebellion. However this behavior has earned Quirnius little favor with either side of the schism, as he has earned the unceasing ire of the Chapter's younger generations as a result, and the higher echelons of the White Lions view his one-man crusade as a yet another source of discord within the ranks.
- Ancient Bainé - Standard Bearer of the 7th Reserve Company and perhaps the living embodiment of their title as the 'Onslaught of the East'. Though one of the few remaining old guard of the Chapter, Ancient Bainé is far from a quiet veteran, and adopted the school of thought that one's words are best heard at their loudest and actions observed at their boldest. Thus, he is equally aggressive weather it be in negotiations or in combat, striking without mercy at opposing ideals with his prime wit and foes with his venerable Power Sword. Thus, in this current era of looming Chapter wide reform, the 'Old Lion' stands as a vocal bulwark for the old traditions of the Chapter, regularly schooling the youngsters in the value of tradition, with either his words... or the hilt of his sword. During the brutal assault of Hive Fleet Gorgon, Ancient Bainé held the line at the gates of Leonis Faith itself with his Battle Brothers. Eventually, the ruthless tide of Tyranid claws and fangs overran the main gates, and with it the Old Lion and his cohorts were at the time assumed dead. After the xenos menace was repelled however, advance units of the remaining 7th Company were subject to a sight that has long since become a symbol of both Company and Chapter lore. Amdist the ruin of the great gates and piles of Tyranid corpses, stood a lone tactical squad, formed into a tight square formation upon a pile of bodies. Though bloodied, out of ammo, and many missing limbs, they stood alone against the horde, using their own bodies as shields until the enemy were finally routed from the field. At their center, the standard of the 7th Company flew high, clasped in the only remaining hand of Ancient Bainé. It is said that the Old Lion and his men asked not for aid or rest, but ammunition, so that they may, in the words of the Ancient, "Finish the bloody job."
- Venerable Bolo - The Chapter's last remaining Founding brother, the Brother Bolo has been encased within his Dreadnought sarcophagus for millennia, to the point where he is rarely awoken from his resting place within the Hall of Champions save in the face of dire crisis, and of late, he has spent quite some time awake. As both the oldest living member of the White Lions and one of the few Dreadnoughts that did not perish fighting in the Tyrannic Incursions, Bolo commands respect from even the most zealous of White Lion "reformers", as it were. His very presence alone has gone great lengths to soothe tensions within the Chapter, and his prestigious wisdom, accumulated from thousands upon thousands of years of service, is entirely devoted to guiding his fellow battle-brothers through the difficult times they now face.
- Captain Ancifités Morgancia - The recently promoted Captain of the White Lions' 2nd Company, Ancifités Morgancia is the unofficial leader of the growing reformation movement within the Chapter. Young for his station, Morgancia is better known within the Chapter as the Firebrand, for he is both an exceptional orator and not the least bit afraid of expressing his beliefs. Said beliefs state that the Chapter's recent losses are due to the Chapter's adherence to old and decaying traditions, traditions that committed the bulk of the Chapter's forces to setting up blockades and opening peacekeeping talks with the Tau Empire when they should have been waging war against them, and thus leaving Zanzibar defenseless as the Tyranids closed in. This stance is highly popular with the younger generations of the White Lions, and as such Captain Morgancia's circle of followers has only grown larger and larger as the Chapter is forced to increase it's recruitment quotas in order to replace their fallen battle-brothers. Aggressive and hot-tempered by nature, most believe it is only a matter of time before the Firebrand openly challenges Chapter Master Cleonae for the right to lead the White Lions.
- Veteran-Sergeant Anton Durant - A veteran of the great war against Hive fleet Gorgon, Anton was promoted just before the battle with one of the Hive Fleets hordes. During the Battle of the Pike in 500902.M41, he and his squadmates were able to kill a synapse creature. But fate was not on his side as the Tyranid horde with no stable connection to the Hive Mind drove off in animalistic rage towards his squad and him, both his legs were shattered and his squad was slaughtered before him, as he fought on bravely until the remainder of the Second Company came to his aide. The war would continue but the blow to the Tyranids was done, allowing the Imperium and the Tau Empire the chance to defeat the Hive Fleet much easier. After losing both his legs, he was given bionics by the Techmarines of the Chapter, after recovering he swore vengeance upon the alien menace. Commenting after receiving his bionics that the Tyranids are nothing more than a race that must be exterminated. Due to his extreme heroism he was given a Crux Terminatus a sigil of high honor. Anton returned back to the war as an advisor against the tyranids. He served valiantly throughout the war, until the Hive Fleet was defeated in 500903.M41 at the Battle of Worldspine Ridge by the hands of a combined alliance between the Imperium and the Tau Empire. Anton from then on served in Ancifités Morgancia's command squad as his veteran sergeant, as the previous sergeant had died during the fighting. Anton is relatively young for his position, and often seen as wild by the rest of the Chapter. Though if brothers ever count on him to do something, he will carry it out to the letter.
- Captain Ashor Cobeux (Deceased) - One will not find any mention of Captain Ashor Corbeux in any role of honor nor Chapter record, for his infamous name is only remembered as an example of what a White Lion should not strive to be. Formerly the leader of the 2nd Company, Corbeux was amongst the first of the Chapter to encounter the Tau Empire during xenos' First Sphere of Expansion, an encounter that would go badly. Surrounded on all sides by Tau forces, the Captain exercised subterfuge and trickery on a scale unimaginable to any self-respecting White Lion, going so far as too entertain negotiations with Tau forces only to slaughter their dignitaries and flee. In the aftermath of this event, his body was never found, though many suspect his corpse was deliberately left behind so that his gene-seed would not taint future generations. Though a reviled figure throughout the Chapter, few care to admit that if Corbeux had not enacted his dishonorable strategies, the Tau would have no doubt annihilated the 2nd Company and laid siege to the Zanzibar Sub-Sector.
- Tamar and Tellos - While not Space Marines, the Twin Lions of Zanzibar are valued members of the Chapter nonetheless. These twin Zanzibarian White Lions are the descendants of Asha, a highbred White Lioness gifted to the Chapter by the Aristocracy of Zanzibar as a symbol of everlasting cooperation upon the Chapter's Founding, and Asha bore many descendants, all of which have served as the valued companions of many a White Lion Astartes. Tamar and Tellos are no exception, for they are the personal companions of Chapter Master Cleonae, and are as much symbol of the Chapter's regal nature as he is. Whether it be on the battlefield or within the confines of a diplomatic stateroom, the Twins are always at the Chapter Master's side, ready to fight and die for their master if need be.
The White Lions are known to retain the following ships within their Chapter Fleet:
- Stellarum Rex (Battle Barge) - Universally regarded to be the Flagship of the White Lions Chapter.
- Firstblade (Battle Barge) - Attached to the 2nd Company.
- Aeviternus (Strike Cruiser) - One of the oldest White Lions spacecraft still in service, said to have carried the Founding brothers to Zanzibar. It's informal nickname within the Chapter is "Old Ivory", as after millenniums worth of void engagements most of the craft's original golden livery has been stripped away, leaving behind only a pitted off-white hull. Attached to the 1st Company, and has often served as the Chapter Master's personal craft.
- Void Lion (Strike Cruiser) - Attached to the 3rd Company.
- Vigilia (Strike Cruiser) - Nearly destroyed by the Tau during the First Sphere of Expansion. Attached to the 4th Company.
- Caelestis (Strike Cruiser) - Attached to the 5th Company.
- Leos Ultima (Strike Cruiser) - Attached to the 6th Company.
- Chariot of Zanzibar (Strike Cruiser) - Attached to the 7th Company.
- Ad Honorem - Attached to the 8th Company.
- Blessed Sword (Strike Cruiser) - Attached to the 9th Company.
- Sapeomedes (Strike Cruiser) - Named after the first Master of Recruits, so that his example and teachings might continue to inspire future generations of White Lions. Attached to the 10th Company.
- Paragon of Cleae (Strike Cruiser; Presumed Destroyed) - Lost with all hands within the dreaded River of Exiles. Originally attached to the 1st Company.
The White Lions recruit exclusively from the ranks of the Zanzibarian Aristocracy, specifically from the younger generations of the highborn. Said recruitment is a complex process, as while the White Lions actively seek out recruits, they have no desire to deprive the noble Houses of their future generations and thus both the Chapter and the Aristocracy coordinate to ensure the maximum efficiency of the process. Houses specifically single out particularly promising youths within their extended families, putting them through all manner of physical and mental challenges in order to prepare them for their future lives as Initiates. When the White Lions' Chaplains descend from Zanzibar Minor to take the Chapter's due, a period known as the Years of Tribute, the chosen youths are gathered before them to be individually assessed. The black-clad Astartes are quite particular in their choosing, and though hundreds of able-bodied and sharp-minded Zanzibarians are presented to them, only a handful of their number are ever deemed worthy of joining the ranks of the White Lions.
Those few that are accepted are then transported to the Leonis Faith, were their true training begins. In addition to the typically trials of strength, endurance, and willpower that are often employed by Astartes Chapters, the training ordeals of the White Lions are also fairly academic in nature. Initiates are schooled in the time-honored arts of politicking and diplomacy held in such high regard by the White Lions, though they do so through hands-on lessons rather than typical sleep-training. The Chapter prefers it's Astartes to be more free-thinking in order to prevent needless conflict, and thus hypnotheraputic methods of learning are only utilized when particular subjects and traditions are required to be ingrained on a near-subconscious level within an Initiate's psyche.
Those that do pass preliminary training are then put under the knife by the Chapter Apothecarion to receive their first-tier implantations, and then go on to join the ranks of the 10th Company as Scout Marines. From there it is a matter of proving oneself on and off the battlefield in order to be excepted for second-tier implantations that will transform deserving Scouts into fully-fledged Space Marines. The fact that the White Lions recruit from noble families means that some Astartes will inevitably remain related to one another through blood, having cousins, uncles, and in some cases even siblings throughout the ranks, thus new battle-brothers are separated from their relations through a system specifically designed to disperse former recruits evenly across all other Companies. In this way, the White Lions prevent potential nepotism within the ranks.
Located on the moon of Zanzibar, the Fortress-Monastery that is often referred to as Leonis Faith was built by the White Lions after they came to Zanzibar. Like most chapter fortresses, the Monastery is heavily guarded, to such a degree that to attack it would be suicide. The third moon of Zanzibar, better known as Zanzibar Minor, is an ocean moon, where storms constantly rage. Said to be where a super volcano exploded and caused much of the permanent storms on the planet. These storms pass through each land mass every twelve hours. Allowing those who wish to arrive onto the planet a twelve hour window of opportunity to land on the planet. Such is the ferocity of the storms that any invader that tries to invade such a planet will find it too risky to even attempt it, as the electrical storms cause most electronics to go haywire or cause missiles to become inaccurate. Better yet the way to the chapter fortress is hard to traverse for any army or anyone in general, either they are cast aside by the mighty winds or they plummet to their death to the ocean below.
The White Lions are known to have built their fortress on one of the few land masses. On which land mass it is unknown as only the White Lions know of where their fortress is built. The Fortress is said to gleam once the storms have faded away, and that its halls are made of the finest marble erected in its three main halls the Hall of Champions, the Hall of the Sword, and the Hall of Honor. Their fortress monastery is a place of power, and the seat of the Chapter. To show their power and to show that Astartes, know no fear.
The White Lions wear predominantly white armour, with shining gold on the shoulder pauldron trim and back pack. The Aquila or Imperialis on the chest guard is a burnt gold colour. Squad specialty markings (Tactical, Devastator, Assault and Veteran) are stenciled in black on the right shoulder pauldron. A white coloured Gothic numeral stenciled in the center of the squad specialty markings indicates squad number. Company number is indicated by the colour of the right poleyn (knee guard) or greave in accordance to the Codex Astartes - i.e. White (1st Company), Yellow (2nd Company), Red (3rd Company), Green (4th Company), etc.
The White Lions forgo the use of alternate helmet colours to show specialty, veterans are indicated by golden colour helmets rather than the typical Codex-proscribed white to denote their elite status. A white coloured stripe on the helmet denotes a Veteran-Sergeant.
The White Lions' Chapter symbol is an ancient Terran symbol for the constellation of Leo, and is shown in black on the left shoulder pauldron.
The chapter protects the Zanzibar Sub-Sector (not to be confused with the Zanzibar Sector), a six-star cluster with eighteen inhabited planets and moons, on the northern rim of the Damocles Gulf. Their home is the Fuedal World of Zanzibar, they maintain a naval force based on one of its three moons, and their Fortress-Monastery is located on another. They are charged with patrolling the Rift along the Tau Farsight Enclaves and watching for signs of westward Tau expansion. They are, consequently, in frequent contact with the Tau, and so are viewed by the most xenophobic with suspicion. Despite this, they maintain close ties with the Ultramarines who are south of them and the Red Legion to their north. The three chapters often train and fight together, and the Ultramarines and Red Legion are among several chapters who maintain attaches with the White Lions.
Even among Brother Astartes, the mere mention of The Wanderers is seemingly a curse. A tale that is only but a whisper to those among the White Lions Chapter. Only three times in their recent history have they encountered them. On one of these occasions they encounter a disaster. It is long been rumored the Wanderers are but omens of impending doom . The only forces baring the chapters heraldry the White Lions have encountered are said to have blended with the Shadows and are lead by an Astartes they call "The Virtue Prince" Beriel. Whether this was a title or a rank, the Lions were not sure. Though the White Lions never learned their organization or anything about them. The stories they have heard of the chapter that came before brought much sorrow to those who heard it. They are proud though; that they have yet to meet them. After the disasters that they had encountered the relations they had with the chapter is more that of fear than anger.
The Sons of Iron
Being separated by the vast stretch of the Ultima Segmentum, the Chapters of the White Lions and the Sons of Iron shouldn't have fought together. And yet, the tumultuous era that the Imperium is currently facing has led to such occurrence happening in a handful. The first one took place merely 45 years after the birth of the Sons, and was probably a portent of things to come. The Sons, lead by none other than their Chapter Master, Kardan Rauth, had pursued a vast network of pirates, raiders and potential Chaos cultists spreading havoc near their Suami system to the South-Eastern part of the Damocles Gulf.
Upon arrival, they discovered the White Lions purging the raiders and, instead of returning home, Rauth then chose to fight alongside this Chapter, heeding the advice of the promising Suami battle-brothers. The Inflexible had every right to feel as happy as a dour and grim Medusean can be, for fighting alongside the White Lions taught invaluable lessons to the Sons. While the chemistry between the two Chapters was difficult, the characters of their Brothers being so different, the Sons displayed great respect for the long service of the Astartes from Zanzibar. As often with the Sons of Iron, they failed to make friends with the White Lions but proven themselves valuable and worthy allies.
When the rumours of dissensions among the Lions came to the ears of the Inflexible, he himself travelled with the 1st and 8th Companies to ascertain it. When he witnessed the discord between the battle-brothers from the White Lions, he uttered his famous speech to his own brothers, where he reminded them that not even long service to the Emperor is a strength in itself. Whether this speech was ever known by the White Lions is not known by the Sons, and they still are ready to fight alongside the Lions.
The Tau Empire
Politically, the chapter works locally along the fine line of protecting the Empire's interests where they intersect with day-to-day life in a mixed-species corner of the galaxy, patrolling the Gulf aggressively with squads and companies of Marines in Nova-class frigates and strike cruisers. Because of the frequency of contact with the Tau, and the diplomatic manner in which the Lions behave themselves, there is often an Ordo Xenos inquisitor hovering around the chapter.
The Tau's presence are somewhat of a paradox for the While Lions. Their closeness to their Chapter homeworld means they must constantly be on guard against potential attacks, and since the succession of the Farsight Encalves from the bulk of the Tau Empire, the White Lions have been forced to be wary of not one but two factions lurking at their doorstep. But at the same time, the Tau have shown themselves to be open to negotiations concerning their territories, and thus the White Lions have managed to keep them away through their skill in the arts of diplomacy rather than wasting the lives of good battle-brothers defending a constant battlefront. However in the wake of the Chapter's near-devastation by the Tyranids, the Chapter is in a poor state and many fear the Tau might launch an attack on them while they are at their weakest, and their exists growing movement within the younger generations of the White Lions to simply do away with the diplomacy and take the fight to the Tau. Now only time will tell if the White Lions and Tau Empire will break their long-standing stalemate.
In light of their considerable experience combating xenos threats, many a battle-brother of the White Lions has been seconded to the ranks of the Long Watch, though not all return. Their insights into countering the Tau threat have been a monumental boon to the Deathwatch, particularly those stationed aboard Watch Fortress Erioch due to their closeness to the contested Eastern Fringe. Though being excepted into the Deathwatch is considered a great honor, upon arrival many White Lions tend to balk at the "inherently dishonorable" tactics employed by those who take the black, leading to much discord amongst many a kill-team. In recent years the more pragmatic members of the Chapter, such as veterans of the Tyrannic Incursions, have their names put forward in order to prevent further strife.
- "We are a Chapter beset, not from without but from within. So many voices clamor for war, for the pursuit of old vendettas and the avenging of lost honor. In a sense, their hatred is justified. The Tau did take our honor from us the day they trapped the Vigilia over Idris, they did force our hand time and time again during the Damocles Gulf Crusade, but does that really justify the atrocities we committed in the past, and those that may occur in the future? I... do not know anymore. Not too long ago I thought what made the White Lions strong was our sense of right and wrong, but recent events seem to have proven the galaxy is far too cold and uncompromising for our brand of melodrama..."
- — Chapter Master Neméos Cleonae, discussing the current state of the White Lions.
- "Delude yourselves all you like, cling to your outdated sense of morality if it makes you feel so safe. You can huddle here on Zanzibar and play at being the aristocrats so desperately want yourselves to be while my fellows and I show the galaxy what real Astartes are capable of!"
- — Captain Ancifités Morgancia
- "The only diplomacy a Space Marine should give a Xenos, is that which gives him a better angle to stab it in the back."
- — Idria Salaman, Obsidian Blades 2nd Company Captain
- "I have heard of theses Sons of Lions. For their steel is great and their skill at speech unmatched. Do they follow a path hidden by guilt or do they follow the path of courage? To brave the stars in a task uncommon to the Angels of Death."
- — Virtue Prince Beriel of the Wanderers Chapter when referring to the White Lions
- "I hear you and your kin are quite fond of talking. I also hear that you're all not bad with a blade. But tell me, loyalist bitches... how good are you with a bolter?"
- — Krethnan Bloodlord, Draugar Lord of the Eighth Storm of the Storm Draugar Chaos Warband, prior to shooting down a White Lions Assault Squad
- "Ahahaha! N-no no! This one is MINE! ALL MINE! Y-you lot can have what's left!"
- —Vyarz the Depraved, the Walking Holocaust of the Crusade Eternal, as he charges a Lion Claws Sergeant[[ Crusade Eternal|[src]]]
- "Barbarians? Cousin, you are confused. You speak with the enemy, yes? Share the Imperium's culture with them? Well you see, me and my Battle Brothers, where we come from, this is just a message. Those heads on these poles say, in very polite language I might add, "Please, don't sell your heathen philosophy to the Emperor's loyal subjects.""
- — Captain Kuno Degenhard of the 3rd Brotherhood of the Sons of Woe, remarking upon the infamous Massacre of Tu'Shun
- "My my Captain, you are indeed a charming creature. Such oratory, such charisma. I fear you have put many an apostle to shame. It is such a pity that I must silence such a sweet tongue. You could join me though, I am in need of a voice such as yours, and a desire for peace so strong... After all, what is Chaos but an extended, squabbling family, that just needs to sit down and talk."
- — Valkyura Warpschild speaking to an unknown White Lions Captain
- "They are the proof that history, great heroes from the past and a noble birth aren't strength at all. For that they are divided is a fact. That their honour ties them down when they wage war is a fact. And that we shall not emulate them but fight alongside them is also a fact. For shunning them would be a sign of weakness. And weak, we must not be."
- — Kardan Rauth, Chapter Master of the Sons of Iron, before an action alongside the White Lions
- "Oh, courage a'plenty amoung this lion pride. Not a single tuck-tail running away down the yellow brick road. And a good thing too, as I am no kindly wizard."
- — Calios Kottell, Lord Conductor of the Void Sirens
- "Nobility and honour, dull swords next to the razor's edge known as ruthlessness."
- — Unknown Star Reapers Astartes
- "Hush now noble Lion, clad in ivory and gold. Go to your rest, not a soul shall be told. Guilt and shame are the burdens you keep, but the dead in the night speak no tales. Now sleep..."
- — Unknown Mortarchs Serpentia Astartes to a dying White Lion
- "That's a fine blade loyalist. Shame I brought a hammer."
- — Koldur the Immense, Lord Executioner of the Black Hammers Renegade Warband as he faces down Captain Ancifités Morgancia