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The Bulls of Retribution are a Loyalist Successor Chapter descended from the lineage of the stoic and proud Imperial Fists, raised in the 38th Millennium during an unknown Founding. This Chapter was created to stand sentinel over the vitally important Gudan Sector, located in the Ultima Segmentum, from the various enemies of Mankind. As a fleet-based Chapter, they constantly patrol their assigned region of the galaxy, ever-vigilant against the threats of invasion by the various xenos within the region or the vile Forces of Chaos. Their primary recruitment world is the world of Gudan Prime. The Chapter maintains a massive Chapter Keep, built atop the tallest spire of Hive Vaxilian. It is here, that the Bulls maintain their Chapter's vitally important gene-seed banks, reliquary and recruitment and training facilities.
- 1 Chapter History
- 1.1 Events of Antiquity
- 1.2 The Horus Heresy
- 1.3 Battle of Gudan
- 1.4 The Settlement of Gudan
- 1.5 Founding
- 1.6 Return of the Night Lords
- 1.7 Reclamation of a Lost Relic
- 1.8 A Dire Warning
- 1.9 The Lost Era Of Legends
- 1.10 The Writhing Wyrm
- 1.11 The Final Charge of The Riders of Retribution
- 1.12 Chapter Events Post - Noctis Aeterna
- 1.13 Michelle, the Final Rose
- 2 Rise of The Bull
- 3 Conquest
- 4 Notable Campaigns
- 5 Roll of Battles
- 6 Gudan Sector
- 7 Chapter Homeworld
- 8 Chapter Organisation
- 9 Evolutionary Origins of the Gudan Bull
- 10 Chapter Culture
- 11 Chapter Beliefs
- 12 Chapter Gene-Seed
- 13 Deathwatch Service
- 14 Notable Members
- 15 Chapter Appearance
- 16 Chapter Fleet
- 17 Chapter Relics
- 18 Relations
- 19 Notable Quotes
- 20 Team
- 21 Gallery
- 22 Videos
- 23 Fan Art
It is an age of strife, and war.
Long has the Imperium been beset by enemies, both within, and without. Since the crippling of the Emperor, and the death of the Arch-traitor Horus, the Imperium has seen no end to the conflict that embroils the galaxy; on a million worlds and a billion battlefronts, the Imperium is pressed both within and without by those who desire nothing more than to finally bring about an end to the rotting, bloated carcass that is the Imperium. Hungry, alien eyes gazing from the darkness as the domain of man takes its final, laboured breaths.
Yet mankind does not intend to go quietly into the oblivion that awaits. On every battlefront across the stars, the Astra Militarum deploy men beyond counting, tides of humanity so thick as to reach the horizon thrown as bloody grist into the mill of war. Yet wherever the fighting is thickest, wherever the need is most dire, there you may find the warriors that truly exemplify the fighting spirit of mankind, there you may find, the Space Marines.
Located deep within the depths of Imperium Nihilus, on the very edge of the Astronomican's former limits, there exists a Chapter who has fought and bled for the imperium for over 4,000 years, each day of their existence mired in the blood of their enemies. To be a Space Marine, is to be an exemplar of humanity, one of the finest warriors in the species history, born to fight and die upon the eternal battle-fields of mankind with all the fury and violence of that race. The Bulls of Retribution embrace this existence, for violence and conflict ran deep through their veins long before the Imperium declared their ancestors to be worthy of apotheosis. Theirs is a brief history, yet nonetheless bloody for it, for every day has seen the chapter wage war upon the enemies of man with unremitting violence.
In this dark age, Chaos swirls all around, corrupting the minds of men, and seeking always to bend the future to come to their wills. In such a time the need of the imperium for heroes is dire, and in the benighted darkness of Imperium Nihilus, in that place where the light of the emperor is no longer to be found, the Bulls of Retribution tend and keep the flame of the Imperium alive, raging against the darkness around them even as it encroaches ever closer. In the tides of war to come, none may gainsay who will survive, if any. Yet, it is all the more for that reason now that I lay down these records. To preserve, in some small part, an ember of the spirit of man from the coming darkness.
For none but the Master of Mankind know the destiny of the human race, and upon His Golden Throne, the "Imperator-Mortifex" speaks not.
Events of Antiquity
Report, Section-One Alpha: The War in Heaven, the Formation of Gods and the ancient Aeldari.
Mankind is not alone amidst the stars.
Since the earliest days of human space-flight, mankind has shared the stars with endless streams of xenos, each as perfidious a threat to the future of man as the traitors and chaos mutants that bay at the edges of the reality, eternally hungry for the souls of men. Yet mankind is not the first race to stride the cosmos, far from it; far older and far more malevolent powers have drifted across the stellar wastes since the dawn of time. Some, like the elegant Aeldari, were once the rulers of star-bound empires of their own, their sciences so advanced as to be arcane ritual beyond even the brightest of mechanicum adepts. Others, like the barbaric orks, have scourged the galaxy from before even the earliest known records; since its first tentatives explorations beyond Sol has man had to deal with the fearsome greenskin and his ilk.
In the stygian blackness of the lost past, within the depths of those horrors contained by history, there is a conflict at the dawn of creation that shook the universe to its foundations, a war of such awesome and destructive proportions that even today the galaxy still feels the effects of the battle upon its scarred flesh. It is known as the War in Heaven. A legendary Hyper-conflict of unimaginable proportions, the War in Heaven was said to be a nightmarish war for survival and destruction between the forces of the enigmatic Old-Ones and their psychically crafted children, and those of the star-consuming C'tan, along with their enslaved hordes of necrontyr. It was a conflict that would permanently scar creation; such were the might of the weapons used and their inherently destructive nature. Planets burned, stars died, and realspace was torn to shreds beneath the psychic weight of the bloodshed and violence as it seeped into the immaterium; disturbing its placid depths for the first time.
After millennia of conflict, and countless battles lost to time, the war came to a close with the death of the old ones, the sealing of the C'tan, and the retreat of the newly forged necrons into their vast stasis tombs. Such is the nature of so distant a conflict that we have nothing more that legends and the word of xenos to rely upon, and all of my Adepta know that such things are not to be treated with any veracity, lest the chronicles of man be polluted by xenos tongues. Regardless, what we can say with some certainty is that of those races who partook in the bloodshed, only the Aeldari survived, the sole inheritors of a galaxy scourged of life. Such was the brutality of the conflict that the very warp itself had become disturbed by the horrors unleashed, twisting that once placid dimensions into the first inklings of the psychic hellscape it exists as today.
From within came boiling the first Astral predators, the first conceptions of the entities you or I would know as daemons. Multitudinous were their names; the enslaver plague, the psychnoia, the Hroxanar, yet their purpose was the same; to ravage realspace and feast on the souls of the mortals they found their. Such was it that the Aeldari spend the first millenia of their new-found isolation sealing back the rents in reality, such tasks that today would seem an impossibility achieved in seconds by a race at the very height of its psychic and technological prowess. Oceans of madness were turned back, the proto-daemons of warp-space returned to their hellish cradle to plot and scheme and curse the mortals who would deny them, yet it was during this time that the Aeldari of the ancient empire encountered what they would one day know to be the shape of the nightmare to come. It was during these benighted centuries they encountered the first warp-god.
Knowledge of the astral-predators is a dangerous thing to possess, for the mere act of knowing of such a creatures existence is enough to draw its ire from across the dimensions. Though to the common herd of the imperium, a daemon is little more than an object of superstitious fear, know only through the parable and a sermon of the ministorums preachers, there are those within the imperium to whom the duty is entrusted of not only studying these creatures, but hunting, and if needs must, capturing them for the imperiums own ends. Thus it is that mankind has come into possession of some small shard of the knowledge that is to be gleaned from studying warpspace, and the maddening entities that writhe within it like maggots through rotting flesh.
A warp God is a psychic amalgam, a confluence point at which certain emotions and psychic signatures gather by virtue of their similarity in nature and intent. To fully describe the workings of these processes would be impossible, for they are unknown to the guardians of the imperium, and to comprehend them would be to court damnation; yet by means and ways unseen, these emotions and signatures begin to compound upon each other, similar to how layer upon layer of grit solidifies through pressure to become rock, until they are not a disparate collection of psychic emanations, but a single, unified whole, seperate from the rest of warp-space and conscious as to its ability to differentiate itself from the surrounding miasma of thought and emotion.
Such confluences can only be created around precise and differentiated concepts; a nascent chaos god in development must be able to begin to differentiate itself from the unspecialised warp-energy that surrounds it if it is to take on aspects of individual conscious and identity. In the modern era, the four chaos gods of the ruinous powers are excellent examples of this, as each god is clearly and deliberately separated from its fellows by a specific fulcrum of power, modus of worship, and individual desire. However, in the primordial eras prior to, and immediately following, the War in Heaven, the nature of the Immaterium and the entities that reside within it was vastly altered to the behaviours they exhibit today.
Within the modern era of the imperium, the warp is a nightmarish and disjointed reality, a hellscape forged from the psychic trauma of a galaxy at war. Within its depths lie madness that would destroy the mind and soul in but a heart-beat, a sickly and corrupted core where dwell within the four gods of the ruinous powers, titans of madness and corruption that seek always to entrap and devour the souls of men. Yet it was not always so. If legends are to be believed, in the day before the War in Heaven the war was not a hellscape but merely an inert dimension of psychic energy that ran parallel to ours, an unearthly reflection of the physical universe mirrored in pure energy. Unlike today, the warp energy of that time could be harnessed without the soul-devouring properties of our own era, and as such could be utilised for galaxy spanning feats of engineering and grandeur, such as the legendary webway of the Old Ones. However, along with the destruction unleashed between the C'tan and the Old Ones came the first signs of corruption as well, for as the battle raged on, evermore did the emotions and turmoil of the mortals caught in the maelstrom pollute the warp with their fear and hatred, causing the first distortions of warp-space and within it the first of the proto-daemons to spawn.
For long millenia the war continued, the psychic weight pressing upon the Immaterium rising and rising as the bloodshed unleashed forever tainted its core. As the War in Heaven reached its conclusion the distortions of the warp began to reach saturation levels, and the first stirrings of ture primordial warp-gods began to rumble within the depths; for while daemons may manifest themselves around even the most simple of concepts and ideas, it takes an altogether consistent, and specific formulation of ideal and intent to form a warp god, and the long millennia of the War in Heaven had been time enough for this first nascent warp-entity to gestate within its dark womb of insanity and bloodshed. Alone, and without their creators to guide them, the Aeldari took the battle to this nascent warp-god; for even though the War in Heaven had sapped them of their strength, these were eldar of the ancient empire, their kin of the modern era but a faint shadow of the powers they once wielded, and within all the psychic knowledge of their race they warred with this creature for generations.
Of these battles we have only conjecture, as even amongst the Aledari themselves it would seem that the events themselves are merely myth, but it is told that a great warrior of the empire lured the daemon into reality by offering the honeyed treat of a star in the primary sequence of its life-cycle, a potent source of physical energy to a being that sought to dominate the material realm. Slipping into realspace, the nascent god realised too late, even as its gaping rs of metal and light. As one, the greatest psykers of the Aeldari fleet that attended the warp-god raised their voices, and such was their combined power that they managed to not only sever the daemon-gods connection to the warp, but physically bind it to the star in its totality; entrapping the beast within a perfect cage of fusion, gravity, and the roiling energies of creation. The beast howled from within its cage, cursing the mortals to damnation, yet all for nought; within its star-bound cage, the nascent warp god was utterly isolated from its source of power and left with nought to devour but itself.
The Aeldari paused only briefly to congratulate themselves on their victory before turning away, for there were many battles yet to come before they were to enter their golden age and become the true inheritors to the Old Ones. Yet for now, victory had been achieved, and though their scryers had only the briefest glimpses of the future and its twisting paths, already they could see the destiny of the eldar people altering within the sealing away of this nascent warp-god, turning from a place of darkness towards the light. Wishing to ensure that no mortal could find the star-prison without great difficulty, the Aeldari placed psychic baffles upon the star, masking its gravitational shadow within the warp and making it undetectable to all save the most skilled of empyric navigators.
From here we return to the main current of history; the Aeldari empire would rise and continue to dominate the galaxy for nearly 60 million years until their descent into decadence and the creation of their own damnation; and all the ages of man would come to pass, untroubled by the secrets that the galaxy had forgotten from those dark eons. Yet as the great crusade came to a close, and the warmaster Horus turned from the face of the father to join the Ruinous powers, daemonic tongues whispered to the traitors of weapons that could be turned on the loyalists, and of those ancient beings who could be enlisted to the cause, if only they could be released.
The Horus Heresy
Report, Section One Beta: The Horus Heresy, Naredor the Slighted
The event known as the Horus Heresy was perhaps the most defining instant in the whole history of man. Never before or since, have the actions of humanity had so drastic an effect on the course of destiny. Who could have truly predicted the sheer scale of the catastrophe the warmaster would unleash upon the galaxy? Who can dare to dream what future may have awaited if Chaos had failed to bury its claws so deeply into the primarchs mind? A full recounting of the entire event is not publically available to my Adepta, as the Ordo's of the Inquisition lay tight claim to any knowledge pertaining to that era, yet as the Archivist assigned to the creation of this report for the benefit of you, Lord inquisitor Mann, I have been given access to those documents pertaining to the events that would later transpire in the as-yet unnamed Gudan Sector.
According to those records and documents I have been able to salvage, along with the ancient reports given to me by the inquisition, the events that occurred within the Gudan sector were set into motion when the Ruinstorm was unleashed upon the galaxy. Much as the Cicatrix Maladictum would later carve the God-Emperor's Imperium in twain, the ruinstorm made travel between ultima segmentum and segmentum solar impossible, and warped reality for lightyears around with a devastating cascade of warp-energy that caused reality itself to curdle and sour. This release of nightmarish essence rippled across reality, until it poured across the surface of the ancient Aeldari star prison. Dormant for millions of years, the daemon inside had been rendered inert by the perfection of its cage, bound so tightly that not even the faintest sliver of its being could slip free, and not the smallest trickle of warp-energy feed it. Yet as the bough-wave of the ruinstorms released washed over it, the arcane-prism of the star-cage buckled over so minutely; but that tiniest instant was all the warp-god needed to spirit a insignificant shard of itself out into the greater void of the galaxy.
Seeking always to free itself from celestial confinement, and desiring nothing more than to return to warp-space so as to gestate and return to its former power; the god-shard flitted across physical reality at the speed of thought, senses alert for some means of opening its prison from without. All about, realspace had greatly altered to the dimension that had previously existed when the warp-god had last slipped into reality, existence itself having been rent and torn asunder by millions of years of further strife, war and bloodshed. Everywhere the void echoed with the daemonic taint of the immaterium; bleeding through to make a mockery of physics and distort creation; Not the as-yet fully untainted energy that the nascent god had been reared on, but wholly and fully bent to the maddening whims of the ruinous powers. Realising this energy was tainted sufficiently for its purpose, and that should it be able to apply sufficient levels of this energy to prison that it would shatter in its entirety, the god-shard determined that it needed only to find a focus point through which to deliver such a tides of the warp, and a mortal with the cruelty and will to facilitate such a ritual.
Fortunately for the God-shard, at the time of its escape, the dire events of the horus heresy were unfurling across the length and breadth of the galaxy, and there were more than enough damned souls seeking leverage over the loyalists who would listen all to willingly to a voice from the warp. Thus it was that the god-shard found its way to the bridge of the Night-lord battle barge Writhing Wyrm, and whispered honeyed promises into the ears of the chaotic sorcerer it found there; Naredor the Slighted. Seeking to indulge himself with the warmasters inner circle, and knowing that Horus Lupercal sought a great weapon to aid in the invasion of Terra, Naredor listened with mounting, horrific glee as the god-shard laid out the requirements for the breaking of its chains. Naredor needed only to locate and capture an Alpha-Primaris psyker, an incredibly rare and power individual, and bring it to the Gudan sector, where he would conduct a ritual that would open the star-cage the smallest fraction and allow the warp-god inside to possess the psyker, who would then use the mortal puppet to force open the rest of the cage and return once more to devour realspace.
Realising the glorious potential of the plan, and ruminating privately about what reward such a creature would have for the mortal that freed it, Naredor the slighted gathered those battle-brothers under his command and set out with a fleet of ships to hunt for the required alpha-primaris psyker, the vast battle barge Writhing Wyrm at the fleets head. For several long months the Night Lords Traitors conducted raids and skirmishes against imperial facilities along the edge of the ultima segmentum, striking those locations where the loyalists could possibly contain such a creature; as the powers of an alpha-primaris psyker are beyond even their own ability to control, and only a handful of installations would have had the equipment available safely keep such a being contained. As the final year of the heresy dawned Naredor finally located his quarry within a classified imperial facility upon the barren psy-moon of Kaelix, whose surface was riven by psychically reactive crystalline materials.
Slaughtering all within, Naredor abducted the raving psyker from her shielded cell, and spirited her back to the Writhing Wyrm that awaited in orbit. By the time elements of the Imperial Fists, which had been operating in the area, responded to the installations distress hymnal, the trail of Naredo had grown near-cold.
Battle of Gudan
Report Section One Gamme: Captain Tarsus and the Battle of Gudan
Under normal circumstances, picking up a warp-trail so old would have been a fool's errand, yet Captain Tarsus of the Imperial Fists, fresh from his battles with the Traitors and their newly found daemonic allies, was all to aware of the destructive potential of a psyker as a weapon, and considerably alarmed by the prospects of such traitors fielding a alpha-primaris psyker against loyalist forces; such a weapon would be nigh-impossible to oppose, and even then only a great cost. Charging his navigator with locating Naredor warband, the Imperial Fists dived head-fist into the warp, baying at Naredors trail like bloodhounds to a scent. The journey was a battle in and of itself, as the path of Naredor led to the very furthest limits of the Astronomican's light, and so far from the guidance of Terra's holy beacon, the warp was a nightmarish maze that threatened to consume the loyalist with every jump.
Only thanks to the legendary determination of the gene-sire did the sons of Dorn survive, even as some ships of the fleet were lost entirely to the tides of the immaterium. Until, at last, the Navigator reported the presence of a warp-shadow in the immaterium, the tell-tale signature of a stars gravitational bulk as it pulled at reality; though this signature was so small that it seemed to barely register. Trusting his gut instinct, Tarsus ordered his ships to drop out of warp-space, and was rewarded with his faith with the sight of Gudans primary star burning in the void, bright and flushed in the main-sequence of its life-cycle. For the first time, the forces of the Imperium beheld the Gudan system, and there, pinging on the Auspex scans as they ranged out ahead of the fleet, was Writhing Wyrm in high orbit above the star.
Ordering his battle-brothers to prepare for boarding actions, Tarsus ordered his battle-group to ready formation and engage the enemy. The forces of the Night Lords had arrayed themselves in a protective formation around Writhing Wyrm, shielding the battle-barge from enemy fire. This gave Tarsus pause, as a battle-barge is a great tactical asset in void combat, and for the traitors to do anything other than place the vessel at the head of their formation struck the captain as simply wrong. Realising that something of a fouler nature beyond his comprehension was afoot, Tarsus ordered his body-guard to make ready; he would personally lead the assault upon Writhing Wyrm, and discover for himself the intentions of his traitorous brethren. Forming his battle-group into a spearhead formation, Tarsus ordered his fleet to punch into the heart of the enemy and disable Writhing Wyrm; seeking to cut the rotten heart from the Night Lords operation and put a halt to their plans.
The void rippled with plasma fire as the two fleets approached engagement distance; macro-batteries and lance positions exchanging salvo after salvo as the Imperial Fists plunged into the heart of the enemy, led by Tarsus' own command ship; the battle-barge Penitence. Forcing aside the Night Lords shielding elements, the imperial fleet broke through the enemy formation, Penitence spitting death as she unleashed her full complement of melta torpedoes upon Writhing Wyrm, the salvo fired too close for the enemy ship to outmanoeuvre. Crippling his enemy with a single blow, Tarsus ordered the Boarding torpedoes launched, rocketing across the void with his men to pierce the vessel adamtine hull and bring death to those within. Yet even as the Astartes raced towards their target, the star beneath them was rent open.
Unbeknownst to the Imperial Fists, Naredor was wholly preoccupied with his ritual, even as the void-battle raged about the Writhing Wyrm. At the very same instant as Tarsus crossed to the enemy ship, Naredor had managed to work open the smallest weakness of the star-cage, and rising from within came the essence of the bound warp-god, eager and hungry to possess the alpha-primaris psykers flesh and fully release itself to terrorise reality once more. Staining the pure fire the of Gudan Star with its taint, the Daemon began to bind itself to the mind of the psyker, puppeting the mortal as a focus for its own energy, seizing the star-cage, and forcing ever wider open.
Baying with victory, Naredor believed the deed to be all but done, until the boarding torpedo of captain Tarsus came punching through the Writing Wryms adamantine hull, delivering the loyalists into the very heart of the enemy. Instantly battle raged as loyalist and traitor fought with the hatred only brothers know, slaughtering one another with wild fury. Sighting the alpha-primaris psyker at the back of the melee, eyes alight with daemonic power and flesh pulsing with unnatural energy, Tarsus realised that his forces may have already been to late to prevent the traitors machinations coming to fruition. Discarding the notion of personal survival, Tarsus laid into the enemy with furious abandon, his warhammer buckling plate and dashing skulls as it forged a path for his brothers through the traitor scum.
Seeing the Loyalist captain inch ever closer, and knowing the ritual was yet to complete, naredor threw himself into the path of the Imperial fist, unleashing the entirety of his psychic might upon Tarsus; tearing the flesh from half his skull with a single, horrific projection of power. Tarsus staggered under the blow, half his face flensed clean, and the bone beneath crushed and pulped, blood seeping from every orifice as he collapsed to his knees. About him his bodyguard sought to intervene, circling about their captain for his defense even as they were cut down in the bloody melee. Above them all the psyker began to steadily rise, her flesh tearing and pulsing where the power of the daemon spurred unnatural growth and mutation, the Writhing Wyrm itself screaming with strain as warp energy began to radiate through its very being; the ritual approaching its final, terrifying conclusion.
Knowing he had but seconds remaining, Tarsus rose to his feet, lurching from left to right as his pulped brain struggled to function so close to death. Unleashing from his chest one final, fearsome roar of defiance, Tarsus charged forward even as Naredor cut down the last of his bodyguard, his thunder-hammer smashing aside the Chaos Sorcerer before, with the last of his energy, Tarsus pulled back his arm and launched the weapon skyward, the hammer spinning end over end before it flat head plowed straight into the chest of the alpha-primaris psyker, the accompanying release of energy from the blow ripping her daemonically possessed body apart. As the raging screams of the daemon rang through the void, Tarsus realised he had achieved victory, and allowed a savage bark of laughed to cross his bloodied lips before he was felled by Naredor; slumping lifeless to the deck of the Writhing Wyrm with his brethren.
In the instant of the psyker's death, the gaping wound of the star-cage snapped shut, the daemon raging within as its plan was foiled. Within the dead husk of the psyker, the god-shard that had slipped free desperately searched for a new living host to survive, and seized upon the first escape it saw; the psychically active mind of Naredor. Possessing the chaos sorcerer, the god-shard howled with fury as the loyalist forces brought ruin to the remaining ships of the Night Lords fleet, Writhing Wyrms shield elements falling like wheat before the scythe. Yet even as freedom slipped from its grasp, the god-shard realised that enough of its essence had bonded with the alpha-primaris psyker to infuse its mortal host with the ability to open its star-cage regardless of psychic ability, and that if it could affect an escape there remained yet the possibility of returning at a later date.
Seizing control of Naredors confused and desperate warband, the god-shard ordered Writhing Wyrm to break from the battle, make for the systems mandeville point, and jump into the warp, leaving the remaining nightlord ships to die in the face of the loyalist onslaught. A cowardly move, but befitting of the slaves of chaos. From here Writhing Wyrm would disappear from history for millenia, returning over the centuries across the imperium as a vast and ever-growing space hulk, each appearance rendering more twisted than each one previous.
The Settlement of Gudan
Report Section One Delta: The Settlement of Gudan
In the wake of the battle, and the death of their captain, the Imperial Fists recorded the incident within their archives, gathered their honoured dead, and left the Gudan System for Holy Terra, seeking to reunite with their battle-brothers for the final confrontation against horus. Though they had emerged from the battle victorious, none of the survivors were aware as to the full nature of what had unfurled upon the Writhing Wyrm, and no survivors had returned from the vessel before it disengaged with the loyalist forces to tell the tale. Yet still, many had witnessed the gaping wound in the Gudan Star, and had also seen it snap shut in a mere instant, and all knew something of dire import had been prevented by their captain, even if the specifics of his valour could not be committed to the records of the chapter.
Though the reports made by the Imperial Fists were marked as high priority for investigation upon their reunion with the Imperium, it would be centuries yet before the newly formed Inquisition would bring an investigation into the exact nature of the Gudan Star and what the Night Lords had sought to achieve there. First the Imperium would have to bear the great loss of the Emperor, his Primarchs, and the death of hope for the future of Mankind. It would not be until M32 that an an Imperial ship, the Inquisition vessel Gallow-Tree, returned to the Gudan System.
The investigation by the Inquisition yielded many interesting, and dire, results for the Imperium to contend with. The first of which was that contained within the Gudan Star was what could only be described as a proto-warp-god, an unrefined, devolved form of the four ruinous powers that had laid low the master of mankind and fouled the destiny of the human race. From trace energy left in high orbit around the debris of the Night Lords fleet, the Inquisitors were also able to determine that some small piece of the daemon-god had been able to slip loose of its prison, and likely escaped out into the wider void of the galaxy. Knowing that this left the possibility of the traitors returning to the system a wholly likely reality the inquisition moved for immediate settlement of the Gudan System as a bastion facility, designed with the sole intention of fortifying the star and holding at bay those forces that sort to release the prisoner from its cage.
Under normal circumstances settlement so close to a daemonic entity would have been impossible, yet such was the perfection of the star-cage that the daemons corruption was totally contained, and those worlds in orbit of the start existed without mutation or deviancy. Another aiding factor to such colonisation was revealed when auspex scans uncovered the ruins of human structures from the Dark Age of Technology upon the surface of Gudan Prime, a planet within the star's goldilocks zone, and that a viable human population had existed there for over six thousand years of isolation without major deviancy from baseline humanity.
So it was that in M33 an Imperial Crusade was launched to establish the Gudan Sector, with the Gudan System, and star, at its very heart, shielded from traitor influence by whole star-systems dedicated to its defence. Though the fact that the sector existed solely to protect a daemonic star was known to only a handful within the Ordo Malleus and the planetary governor of Gudan Prime, the sector flourished, and for five thousand years was a bastion of loyalty and faith on the further edges of the Ultima Segmentum, guarding the emperors domain against those horrors from beyond his light. The centuries slipped by, and as all things are, the exact nature of the creature that slumbered within the Gudan star was lost to history, known only to those scribes charged with keeping the records in the vast vaults of Terra. Only the Imperial Fists truly remembered what had occurred in high orbit above the star, and the name Writhing Wyrm.
So it was in 025.M38, when the Space Hulk was sighted breaking warp in the Gudan Sector the Sons of Dorn responded with all haste. For four Chaos Gods already assailed the Imperium, and they knew that were a fifth to join their number, the balance would be irrevocably turned to the forces of madness and carnage.
The first entry pertaining to the Bulls of Retribution within the Imperial archives was created in approximately chrono-segment 025.M38, long before the actual creation of the organisation, with the record itself referring to a conflict upon the future Chapter’s homeworld of Gudan. If the records are to be considered accurate (a true rarity in this era of chaos, though the machine spirit of Chronogitator is quite adamant as to their accuracy) those individuals who would found the chapter were originally the leaders of a vicious gang known as the 'Horns of Gudan', which as a major political player on their homeworld was in control of vast regions of territory and valuable resources.
If local legends are to be believed, the Chapter was founded after a long and brutal campaign, now forgotten to history, which was waged throughout the sector. During this campaign, it is said, the Imperial Fists fought the Traitor Legion of the Night Lords, and the fighting was brutal in the extreme. Many worlds throughout the sector were put to the torch, and untold billions slaughtered in the name of the Dark Gods. When the Imperial Fists attempted to respond to a traitor invasion of Gudan, they found upon planetfall that they were not the only humans fighting to defend the populace of that world.
The Horns of Gudan, though only a loose coalition of tribes and hive gangs, had risen in force against the traitor invaders, casting aside their petty gang wars and turf disputes to instead rally against the warp horrors that encroached upon their home. So successful was this defensive action that the Night Lords had been unable to breach the inner defences of the capital hive, Hive Vaxilian, and the vast majority of the populace there had been saved from fates worse than death.
The Sons of Dorn held these humans in high regard, for they'd fought against Heretic Astartes of the Ruinous Powers with nothing more than blood, autoguns, and steel, and against all the odds had succeeded. Following the war, the Imperial Fists made Gudan a recruiting world, building a Chapter Keep at the pinnacle of the highest spire of the planets greatest hive city; Hive Vaxilian. By 564.M38 the region had become stabilised enough that the High Lords of Terra deemed a new Founding was required to defend the burgeoning sector, and Imperial Fists knew just the world, and just the gang, suitable for the task.
The transformation of a loose coalition of vicious hive-gangers into what would one day become a full-fledged Chapter of Space Marines was a task considered almost ludicrous by the High Lords of Terra, who deemed that such lowlifes were surely not worthy of the emperors most precious gift to mankind. Though there is no official documentation of what happened next, legend has it that upon hearing such a slight to those the Chapter had personally praised, the captain of the 4th Company stationed upon Holy Terra became greatly angered, and promptly made his disagreement with the High Lords' ruling personally known while they sat in chambers; for though by Imperial decree only the High Lords might decide upon those who shall be beneficiaries of the Emperor's gene-seed, very rarely does a Chapter directly put forward a specific group of baseline humans as candidates, and for such a candidacy to be rejected in so insulting a manner roused the famed fury of the Imperial Fists to no end.
So it was, that the Horns of Gudan were selected to become the first members of the Bulls of Retribution, the chaplains of the Imperial Fists selecting only the strongest and most cunning of their number to be reforged by the apothecaries gene-science into true Adeptus Astartes. Over a century later, and gifting to the Bulls of Retribution the Chapter Keep atop Hive Vaxilian, the Imperial Fists departed the sector, leaving the newly marshalled Bulls of Retribution to begin their watch. Almost instantly the Chapter was required to make great deployments of marines; such was the nature of living on the outermost limits of the Astronomican's light, yet they did not turn from their duties, and for the next 4 millennia, waged unending war in the God-Emperor's name.
Return of the Night Lords
The next preserved record of the Bulls actions was logged by the infamous Archivist Uriah the Singed in chrono-segment 002.M39, stating that Gudan was besieged by the Night Lords Traitor Legion, who launched a vicious and brutal campaign of destruction, terror, and carnage upon the populace. Rallying the PDF forces of the planet, the then-Chapter Master Arcturous led an inspired counter-assault that saw the night-lords routed on several vital and strategically important fronts, culminating in the battle of Starport Vexillius, where the traitors to the golden throne had established their base of operations, and sought to flee back into orbit. Knowing that time was of the essence, and that if the foe were to escape other worlds would suffer as Gudan had, Arcturous, led a charge straight up the center of the enemy line, using the wrath of the Gudan Bull itself to rend and gore his way through the great enemy, before, in a feat of super-human strength, he seized the head of the arch-traitor warlord in his gauntleted hands, and ripped his skull from his body, spine and viscera flying in all directions. Seeing their lord butchered so brutally, the night-lords were routed.
Reclamation of a Lost Relic
In chrono-segment 763.M39, the Bulls of Retribution, were dispatched upon the request of the Imperial Fists to reclaim an ancient relic of the chapter, the Reliquary of Dorn, lost to it for millennium upon the planet of Mercinus XVII, within the Gudan Sector. A fiefdom-planet of the Adeptus Mechanicus, Mercinus XVII had been the location of a bitter battle between a contingent of Imperial Fists and Night Lords during the Horus Heresy, and legend held that Dorn himself had strode the planet in that distant age.
Descending into the cave networks that riddled the planet's crust, Chapter Master Arcturous led his battle-brothers deeper and deeper into the darkness, searching every nook and cranny they could find for the relic. However, it wasn't until they stumbled upon an enormous, pitch-black cavern that the Bulls found their target, resting amidst the remains of a crusade-era stasis field. Yet no sooner had they begun to move the Reliquary from its resting place before the Bulls were assailed with the screams of Night Lords Heretic Marines, who launched a savage ambush.
As the fighting raged, Arcturous realised these Night Lords were the same as those who had besieged Gudan a near millennium earlier, and felt fierce hatred rise within him. Raising his power-axe high, Arcturous roared the battle cry of the Bulls of Retribution, before lowering his horned helm and charging into the fray, goring his enemies left and right. The melee was lighting fast, an in what seemed an instant the chapter master locked his axe with the blade of the traitor warlord who let the Chaos Astartes. The Night Lord made for a quick-witted and barbaric opponent, nearly gutting Arcturous with his twin lightning claws; sparks flying as they sheared the tactical armour he wore and sent the Chapter Master to his knees.
Yet before the darkness could seize him and his strength fled, Arcturous let out the deafening roar of the Gudan Bull and leapt forward with one last surge of might, goring through the baroque battle-plate of the Chaos Lord to skewer his two hearts on lances of ivory. With a wordless scream, Arcturous rose to full height, the traitor lord sinking ever deeper onto his horns before the Chapter Master tossed the Chaos Astartes aside with the mere flick of his neck. Seeing their lord's vitae flowing from his gaping wounds, the Night Lords felt terror race up their spines as Arcturous rallied his men and led a charge into the surviving Night Lords. The traitors turned tail and fled, and the Reliquary of Dorn was secured, yet it came at a high price; Chapter Master Arcturous did not survive long enough to return to the surface alive, but his body was born with greatest solemnity back to Gudan, there to be buried with full honours alongside the greatest heroes of the Chapter. Upon receipt of the Reliquary, and hearing of the valour of Arcturous, it is declared by the Imperial Fists that his name shall be entered into the Annals of Dorn, the Chapter's record of only the greatest sons of Dorn. To the Bulls of Retribution, there is no higher honour.
A Dire Warning
After the passing of Arcturous into legend, the Bulls of Retribution spent the next millennia persecuting vicious conflicts against the Night Lords, driving them from the sector, and re-establishing the chapters supremacy within the Gudan Sector. Many decades pass, with almost no confirmed sightings of the Night Lords before 771.M40. During this time, a garbled psychic message from beyond the Light of the Astronomican was intercepted by the Astropathic choir based upon Gudan. As to the contents of the later, we cannot say, but records state that upon the instant of reception a full third of the choir collapsed in maddening death throes and a psychic scream of utter horror tore through their minds.
Only Chapter Master Galrov and his innermost circle of Astartes are privy to the message's contents, yet before the information is released to the wider Chapter, Galrov takes three companies of Bulls of Retribution and sets course into the darkness beyond the Emperor's light. The Chapter Master maintains psychic communications with Gudan for several chrono-segments, before simply disappearing into the void without a trace - the fleet's final message making vague references to 'Stars that bleed' and 'Writhing Wyrms beneath the flesh.'
From this bizarre and most certainly horrifying incident onwards, there is scant information regarding the deployment of the Chapter’s Astartes and their disposition. Indeed, following the disappearance of chapter master Galrov, the Bulls of Retribution see no further entries into the Imperial archives for nearly a millennium, their activities during this time of darkness known only to the current chapter master Ilyanus.
The Lost Era Of Legends
Between the formation of the Riders of Retribution in 576.M39, and Galrovs annihilating assault upon the Gudan system in 999.M41, a period of some 2,500 years, the Riders of Retribution carved out many great and terrible legends amongst the warriors of their chapter, their deeds coming to be some of the most vaunted and celebrated tales in the chapters archives, brought out to be told and retold during the chapters sacred feast days, to the roaring applause of all warriors present. From their first deployment as a unit, to their final, climactic charge at the forefront of their chapter during the boarding of Writhing Wyrm, the Riders of Retribution steeped themselves in glory and gore, crushing beneath their hooves those who would defile to the Cage of the Star God, and goring all enemies of the emperor they came across.
After the official formation of the company, Kirios would spend nearly a century upon Gudan with his warriors, withholding them from the fight against the emperors enemies as he trained them in the cavalry tactics of their ancestors, and newly devised strategies of his own. Though some within the chapter scorned those warriors who trained but never fought, Kirios was deliberative in his training, and would not unleash the Riders until he deemed them ready for the battlefield. Though he'd learnt to ride a horse from the moment of birth, the tactics of Kirios' mortal life could not be immediately applied to mounts so large and tempestuous as the bulls of Gudan, and many new doctrines and battle formations had to devised to ensure easy movement of the company across the battlefield and coordination with other chapter units. The work, was slow, and not without casualties; only 8 of the original 10 warriors survived the training. But in the year 681.M39, on the feast day of the Emperors ascension, Kirios, with the approval of new chapter master Stroyka, rose before the entirety of the chapter, and announced that the following week, when the chapter planned to launch a small fleet in assistance of a Agriworld Janial, a new formation would be added to the roster of warriors, for the 11th company would stride out with them onto the field of war for the first time to test their mettle against the enemy. Privately some had their doubts, for how effective could a formation be that had spent a century hiding from battle? Yet amongst the wider chapter all waited with baited breath, for soon they would witness first hand the destructive might of the Riders of Retribution.
Originally, due to the small size of the company, the Riders of Retribution would fight as a single unit upon the battlefield, and that was how they came to be deployed upon Agriworld Janial, striking like a single swift spear at enemy fortifications. The invaders, a minor xenos species whose home world would a decade later suffer exterminatus, had slaughtered the local populace, and roamed the planets open field and meadows in roving bands searching for survivors. Such warfare upon the great plains of the planet were ideal conditions for the 11th company, and Kirios led his warriors in over 20 successful strikes against the enemies positions, overwhelming the xenos scum in a single furious charge of flesh and metal. At the culmination of the campaign, when the xenos fell back to Port Olanius, the only large settlement on the planet, it was the 11th company that cleared the way into the citadel after its great gates had been cracked open by the chapters artillery fire. Storming into the breach, the warriors of the chapter looked on in awe as Kirios and his Riders struck the enemy with incredible fury, their rage like the primarchs of old as they tore through the xenos invaders with righteous hatred. Though they suffered a two losses during the campaign, a heartbreaking number to a brotherhood so small, their deeds were immortalised in the minds of those who'd witnessed them, and upon their return to Gudan the 11th company were hailed by all the chapter for their feats. Though it had been three centuries since Kirios had first brought Rampage to the chapter, in a single deployment the Riders of Retribution had cemented themselves in chapter legend as one of the greatest formations of the chapter.
From that point onwards, the legend of the Riders of Retribution went from strength to strength. Inspired by Holovids and Pict-caps of the event, dozens of marines attempt to tame their own Doombulls, in a ritual that came to be known as “The Bonding”, and by the emperors benediction, the majority came back successful, swelling the brotherhoods ranks to nearly 50 riders in the space of only 20 years. Realising that the specialised needs of their mounts required unique solutions, the 11th company departed Castra Bovem and marched to a nearby acropolis in the Vaxillian hinterlands, constructing there a vast spire of their own, a full kilometre in height, within which to house their mounts and train for war. Constructed with vast chambers at its base for the bulls, the upper reaches of the spire housed the warriors quarters, armouries, vaults, medicae, and every other facility they required, the spire becoming a chapter keep unto itself. Unique ventilation systems carried the sounds and scents of the marines in the upper levels down to the bull pens at the base, the animals kept calm by the sounds and smells of their masters daily activities. With their relative distance to the rest of the chapter, the riders began to develop their own culture, with many forming incredibly close bonds with their mounts; such as the great rider Torvid, whose love for his mount was so strong that he even quartered and ate with his mount, beast and marine inseparable in their bond. Though these behaviours were considered odd by the wider chapter, they nonetheless approved of the Riders marshal might, and within the Hall Magnificat, the great chamber where the chapter housed the relics of their greatest heroes, rested no small number of riders, their bravery and devotion to the God-Emperor clear for all to see.
Along with the change of lodgings also came changes to company deployment, for as they developed their combat doctrine and established their operative limits, the 11th company became as a chapter unto itself. Due to the logistical challenge of simply moving their mounts from one conflict zone to another, the 11th company required its own vessels with specialised interiors to better transport their mounts, and with this came the necessary logistical apparatus needed to ensure such vessels were kept mobile and supplied. On top of this, the formation had to develop its own methods of orbital insertion and planetary deployment, and made its own compacts with the mechanicum adepts of Mineralus to recreate ancient designs of drop-ship with the capacity to meet the riders requirements. All of this made the sheer act of manoeuvring the 11th company an immense challenge, and none bar the Grand-Marshal of the Riders of Retribution, or the chapter master themselves, could order the deployment, diverting, or recalling, of a 11th company unit. This in turn meant that other companies were required to make petitions to the Grand-Marshal if they wished for a unit of Riders of Retribution to accompany them to a conflict zone. Kirios oversaw the creation of this system until 891.M39, when he died leading the charge against a heretic held position during the Ragnaros Campaign. His successor, Dran, would finalise the structuring of the 11th company before beginning a project of his own, the specialisation of the Riders of Retribution.
Following Kirios' enshrining within the Hall Magnificat, Dran began his program by dividing the Riders of Retribution into smaller operational units. Though Kirios' previous tactic of wielding the riders as a single formation had been most effective during its formative years, a host of 50 riders was too unwieldy a formation to commit to any single conflict zone save those of the gravest importance. By splitting the Riders into operational units of five, Dran created 10 individual squads of riders, five men a piece, that could much more readily be seconded to another company if required. Dran also altered the make-up of the 11th company fleet, focusing on smaller light-cruiser class ships to allow the Riders of Retribution to be swiftly deployed to any conflict zone, and then just as rapidly extracted. Dran models his specialisation process upon the Codex Astartes, assigning each of the squads a roll akin to that of the other 10 companies of the chapter, with some riders specialising in close assault, while others learn to bring heavy mounted weapons to bear upon their highly mobile mounts. Among the most deadly are those who specialise in scouting and sabotage, trained to act in isolation from wider forces for up to months at a time in war zones were terrain prohibits mass movement of troops or armour, their mounts able to ride for hundreds of miles without tiring. The work of both Grand-Marshals would come to work with a fluid harmony characteristic of space marine organisation, the 11th company becoming an invaluable asset that for nearly 2000 years sent many of its brethren to fight with every company of the chapter in war zones across the Gudan Sector, and earning them no small amount of glory in the process. The Spire, as their home came to be known, was soon bedecked in the trophies of a thousand conflicts, relics of the great legacy of their formation that stretched all the way back to Kirios, his power-halberd still hung within its armoury. Over the course of these millennia, the ranks of the riders swelled to almost 200 members, and on rare occasion, the entirety of the 11th company would deploy together on the battlefield, their charge apocalyptic in its fury and earth shattering in its impact, tearing through regiments of traitor guard, chittering xeno horde, and armoured heretical astartes alike. 14 Grand-Marshals would rule during this time, and each meet a glorious fate on the battlefields of mankind, striking down enemies of the emperor until the bitter end. Yet though the annals of the Riders of Retribution are filled with both victory and defeat alike, there is no more heroic a tale, ore more tragic a loss, then that of the last grand battle fought between Galrov and Koriolov, and the final charge of the Riders of Retribution.
The Writhing Wyrm
Indeed, it is not until 863.M41 that reference is made once again to the Chapter, though in this record they are mentioned only in passing. Approximately one century earlier from the date of entry, the Space-hulk designated Writhing Wyrm had been sighted breaking into realspace in the Gudan Sector for the first time. Previously the hulk had followed a seemingly erratic path through reality, slipping into, and being let loose from, the Immaterium in locations and times without rhyme or reason. Indeed, whilst attempting to access the Ordo Xenos' reports on the hulk I have found references to it as early as M32, with possible inferences to the self-same ship in records that are older still, yet too decayed for precise confirmation.
Yet though for all its previous life it had been a capricious wreck, once it dropped into realspace within the Gudan sector, Writhing Wyrm began a direct and powered course towards Gudan itself, filling the void with electromagnetic and psychic disturbances as it approached the systems lagrange point, causing those void-going ships who encountered the emissions to become stricken with the horrific disease known as Gellar-Pox. It is not until Writhing Wyrm arrives at the outermost point of the Gudan System that the terror of what awaits within the space-hulk is revealed. Broadcasting upon all vox channels and Noospheric links, the citizens of Gudan were met with the visage of a horrifically mutated beast, one whose flesh seemed to have run like tallow wax. Only to the Bulls of Retribution is the identity of this sickly creature known. It is the Bulls' former Chapter Master, Galrov.
Almost as soon as the recognition of that disturbed visage crossed the mind of Chapter Master Koriolov, who had been appointed to lead the Bulls of Retribution only a handful of decades earlier, the Chapter Master took swift and decisive action. Placing a ban upon all civilian void travel within the system, to contain the Gellar-Pox Writhing Wyrm carried within her, Koriolov summoned all combat-capable void-ships to high orbit above Gudan before breaking for the system's edge, seeking to intercept and destroy the hulk with cyclonic weaponry before it can pierce into the heart of the system. The initial approach began with ill manner, as those vessels crewed by the imperial navy suffered mass onset of Gellar-Pox, the baseline humans who crewed the vessel too weak in mind and body to bare the warps corrupting influence. only those vessels belonging to the Bulls of Retribution were hardy enough to establish orbit around the hulk and begin the bombardment. Yet such efforts were for naught.
Though the cyclonics were able to cause immense damage to the hulks outer superstructure, the vessel was an excellent example of its kind, and for every armoured layer of mangled void-ship that was stripped away with nucleonic fire, another was revealed beneath. Not only that, but auspex returns suggested that Galrov has based himself within the hulks very core, and that even if the fleet had possessed cyclonics sufficient to completely eradicate the Writing Wyrm, the rate of destruction, and the speed at which the hulk made its way to the star at the heart of the Gudan System, meant that there was not forced Chapter Master Koriolov to commit his marines to a boarding action.
The Final Charge of The Riders of Retribution
When Koriolov mobilised the chapter fleet into high orbit above Gudan to strike at Writhing Wyrm as it burrowed ever closer and closer to the systems star, he was forced to make a difficult choice. Though he knew he needed to commit everything he had to the coming battle if he were to have any hope of besting the now hideously twisted Galrov, he also knew that he needed to leave sufficient forces behind so that, in the event of their victory, there was still sufficient force left to guard the Gudan star, though they would be far to weak to carry on the duties of the chapter in the wider sector. During this time, just as Koriolov was forced to leave Ilyanus Shohet behind to guide the remnants of the chapter in the dark future, so too were the Riders of Retribution forced to choose who of their number would go, and who of their number would stay. Debate rang fiercely through the spire, for all wished to journey with their chapter master to what was fated to be the single most pivotal battle in the chapters history, until at last the Grand-Marshal, Demetrion, named 10 members to stay behind and carry on the traditions of the 11th company, taking with him the remaining 176 riders and boarding the light-cruiser Forge Hound.
Once what preparations that could be made in the limited time remaining were finished, Koriolov mobilised his fleet and laid in an interception course, seeking to intercept Writhing Wyrm above Censure and bombard it into atomic particles. Though the ships of the chapter fleet were initially joined by elements of the imperial navy that had been operating within the system at the time of Galrovs arrival, when the combined fleet began its final approach, those vessel crewed by baseline humans were suddenly crippled by the mass onset of Gellar Pox, and unable to move any closer to the Writhing Wyrm. Deprived of the navies massed macro-cannons, the chapter fleet was forced to venture closer on its own, it fire-power great, yet still not strong enough to break the hulk apart before it would plunge into the Gudan Star and unleash the caged warp-god within. Swiftly forming a plan in his mind, Koriolov had all men transferred to the strike-cruiser Star Striker, including all warriors of the 11th company. There, he had the chapter form ranks within the cruisers bow mounted launch bay, before ordering the crew of the Star Striker to lay in a ramming course for the heart of Writhing Wyrm, were auspex scans showed the presence of a vast hollow crawling with corrupted bio-activity. As Star Striker made its final approach, Koriolov ordered the entirety of the ships torpedoes to be launched, sending a devastating volley of melta-torpedoes streaking ahead of the ship to strike the hull of Writhing Wyrm, the single, precise massed volley causing the outer hull to glow orange in the void, melting away into space like tallow wax before Star Striker struck with full force, the vessels armoured prow piercing the hulks rotting flesh like a knife.
For long minutes the strike-cruiser sunk deeper and deeper into Writhing Wyrm, the vessels momentum grinding to an irrevocable halt as its prow punched through into Galrovs inner chamber, collapsing a whole wall down onto the tide of mutant crew and astartes that milled like beasts amongst the filth within. Then, with a great roar, the strike-cruisers launch bay doors were dropped open, and from within came charging the Riders of Retribution in one final, glorious charge. In a great echo of history, the 11th company moved once again as a singular unit, every rider and every lance moving as one as they charged from the launch bay and into the thick of the enemy. The plan of battle for them was simple; there would be no retreat, tear apart the enemy with every ounce of hatred that could be mustered, and cut a path for their chapter master through to the corrupted form of Galrov. In a charge fit for legend, they struck through the front lines of the mutant hoard, striking with all their fury and they took their vengeance to the enemy. In mere moments they'd been carried deep into the thick of the enemy, and there they set about their task with grim resolve, their mounts bellowing and roaring as they gored all about them. Yet even legends may die, and it was not long before the first rider was ripped from their mount to be cut down by the throng, his spear stabbing and plunging deep into enemy flesh even as he was ripped limb from limb. That they were eventually defeated is a given, yet they were successful in their mission nonetheless, for Koriolov was able to cut his way through the enemy hoard and confront the corrupted Galrov face to face.
Chapter Events Post - Noctis Aeterna
Following the heroic death of Koriolov, and the salvation of the Gudan Sector, the Riders of Retribution looked to themselves and wept, for the future was bleak. Only 10 of their number remained where once had stood 200, and they were too few to maintain the traditions of the 11th company and the Spire by themselves. For long months melancholy fell over the brotherhood, even their mounts seeming to sense the loss of their brethren and falling silent. Over time this melancholy would fade, but the scar of the loss would remain forever with the 11th company. Never again, was the belief of their members, would the 11th company return to its once vaunted size, never again would the stables of the spire ring out with the bellows and snorts of their mounts as they were armed for war. At one point Matus, the appointed Grand-Marshal by Demetrion, even considered disbanding the 11th company entirely, yet bitterly they clung on, for once one is made a Rider of Retribution, they can only ever surrender it in death.
It would not be until the coming of the Primaris marines that a new recruit would join the 11th company. Following the opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum the Gudan System had been saved from daemonic invasion thanks to the entire psychic mechanisms the systems ancient Aeldari creatures, yet it had still suffered horrors of its own during that dark time. Exactly what transpired within the Gudan Sector is unknown to the wider imperium, and when pressed on the subject, chapter master Ilyanus Shohet will attest only that evil things moved upon the face of that world. All that is known is that when elements from the disbanding Indomitus Crusade finally fought their way through night and horror to reach Gudan, only 5 members of the Riders of Retribution remained, the 11th company on the verge of extinction. In many way, the riders had come to be a living, breathing symbol of the strength of the chapter, and it was feared by some that with the death of the last rider would come the death of the chapter, for though the new Primaris marines that reinforced them wore the badges of the chapter, they were not of Gudan, and surely were not fit to carry on the Bulls legacy. It was during this time that a new hero named Vladis came to the fore, and through his actions not only saved the 11th company, but also, perhaps, the chapter itself.
Originally an intercessor, hailing from the 4th company, Vladis was similar to many of his fellow Primaris marines, eager to serve the chapter, yet seemingly rejected by those he called brothers. Resolving to discover the reason why, Vladis plumed the depths of the chapters librarius; practically devouring the history and lore of the chapter in his hunger to stop the rejection of his fellow Primaris brothers. Coming upon the tale of Kirios, Valdis became enthralled by tales of the riders bravery, eagerly reading the entirety of the marines tale and penned works before moving on to the rest of the 11th company, slowly but surely assimilating the knowledge and writings of the formations greatest heroes. Only once he'd consumed every last scrap of information did Vladis's plan spring into his mind, the perfect method by which he could prove not only his own valour, but the valour of every Primaris marine within the chapter, and unite both the new guard and the veteran marines into a single whole once more. Biding his time, Vladis trained and prepared himself for his task before lodging his request. In echoes of Kirios before him, Vladis would seize his chance following the battle of Demitron Station, in which he narrowly saved the life of Jackson Mortifax, Ilyanus Shohets bodyguard. Offered any reward he requested by his chapter master, Vladis petitioned for the right to under take “The Bonding” and join the 11th company. Though members of his council objected, stating that the Primaris marines had no right to undertake such a sacred test, Ilyanus was quick to see through the ruse of Vladis, and realise the potential the marine had if he proved successful. Reminding his fellow members of the Horned Brotherhood that any marine of the chapter had the right to attempt to join the 11th company, Ilyanus gave Vladis permission to leave Hive Vaxillian, stating only that the marine should return atop a Bull of Gudan, or not at all.
At the earliest moment, Vladis left Hive Vaxillian and journeyed north, taking with him only his tactical armour and bolt pistol. Passing the Spire, the marine paused long enough to vow he would return in triumph or not at all before pressing on, unknowingly shadowed by brother Cassian of the 11th company for a short while. Well read was Vladis in the legends of the 11th company, and his wanderings took him to the far northern pole of Gudan, where it was said Kirios had been born, and the bulls grew larger than anywhere else on Gudan. After three weeks of travel, Vladis arrived upon the crest of a high ridge, the lands of Kirios' ancient tribe stretching beneath him, and set about his task. For two months he stalked the herds, trying to locate the largest, most ill-tempered animal he could find; all the better to impress the chapter with. Though he had a number of false starts, Vladis eventually found that which he sought, A mountainous Doombull with 4 thick, viciously curved horns, ivory horns gleaming in the pale arctic light. Using the report of his bolt pistol to draw the beast away from its herd, Vladis wrestles with the beast of a day and night, the beast goring at his armour and stamping with its hooves. As dawn drew near the following day, Vladis' grip slipped from the beast neck, and with a mighty bellow the bull he sought to tame gored his through the chest, piercing his tactical armour with ease to spear through one of his two hearts. Gasping with shock, for a moment Vladis felt the spectre of death wrap its hands around his neck, threatening to pull him down into the sunless lands. Yet even as death crept closer fury rose within him, and Vladis landed a great blow upon the bull, forcing it to the ground. Still impaled up its horn, Vladis pushed the beast down until it submitted, Vladis roaring his victory and might to the world before falling unconscious.
Awakening hours later, Vladis climbed atop his mount and spurred it south, organs hanging from the jagged wound the bull had left in his armour, fingers gripping weakly to the bulls fur as it wandered ever farther south. Vladis held on for as long as he could, yet at the shadow of Hive Vaxillian reared over the horizon, the marine had no more strength left to give, and slumped unconscious atop his mount. Without direction, the beast wandered the Vaxillian Hinterlands until it caught the scent of other bulls on the wind, and, being a socially oriented species, it sought out its fellows, finding its way to the great gates at the base of the Spire from where the scent originated. One need only imagine the shock of the 11th company inside when its loud bellows began to be heard, and, opening the gate, the marines were awed by the size of the beast that wandered within, easily near twice the size of any Gudan Bull any of them had ever seen. It wasn't until the animal knelt down, and the armoured form of Vladis dropped unceremoniously to the ground beside it, that they realised the true significance of the animal before them, and they rushed to take Vladis to the medicae, for he was now more than a mere marine; he was the first initiate of the 11th company in nearly three centuries.
Once word of Vladis's return was transmitted to Hive Vaxillian Ilyanus immediately made his way to the Spire, eager to see for himself the brave marine that had taken up the banner of the chapters greatest company. The pair engaged in private conversation, and while the specifics of what passed between them are not known to chapter records, when Vladis emerged he held and new and distinct title within the Bulls of Retribution. From that day forward Vladis would be the Retributor, the chapters champion upon the battlefield, and symbol of their might. Hiding Vladis away, Ilyanus waited until the marine was healed fully, and the time was right, before revealing him to the chapter. Waiting until the day of the Feast of the Emperors Ascension, Ilyanus called a toast to all members of the chapter, bidding even his Primaris Brethren to rise and drink with them. As the marines present held their cups aloft, Ilyanus spoke to them of the founding of the chapter, of how, although they'd been criminals, murders, and scum, when the time had come to prove their valour, the Imperial Fists had found their ancestors worthy of apotheosis upon the emperors anvil, despite the doubts of others. So to, he stated, were the Primaris marines like their ancient ancestors, for though they were not of the chapter, and unwelcome by some amongst them, when required they'd shown they were more than capable of embodying the duties of the chapter.
It was at this moment Ilyanus bade the doors to the feasting hall opened, and to the eyes of all revealed Vladis, clad in magnificent artificer armour, as he and his hulking mount entered the hall, the bulls steps so heavy as to crack the marble beneath its hooves. Here, Ilyanus spoke, was one such marine, here was a man who'd proven beyond doubt his loyalty to the chapter, and in doing so proved the valour of his brethren as well. Dedicating the toast to Vladis, Ilyanus bade the chapter to drink deeply to the future of their chapter, and drink deep they did. From that day forward Vladis become a symbol of hope; to the old veterans of the chapter that a future still remained for the chapter; and to the Primaris marines that even strangers to the chapter could rise to become one of its most vaunted heroes.
Michelle, the Final Rose
These are dark days, and for the imperium the hope of victory grows dimmer and dimmer by the day. Despite the return of the Primarch Guilliuman and the renewed surge of faith he has brought with him, despite the armies of primaris marines and their new weapons, the light of the imperium is but a brief and dull flicker against the raging darkness without. To survive, the imperium must discard her old way, must embrace change and exigent circumstance. To a civilisation that has been 12,000 years stagnant, it is no easy feat. Yet upon the outer edges of the Emperors domain, on the farthest side of Imperium Nihilus, the Bulls of Retribution, led by chapter master Ilyanus Shohet, have embraced this change; for the chapter already finds itself caught upon the brink of extinction, and to cling stubbornly to the old ways is to die. Perhaps none exemplify this more than the chapters most unusual warrior: Michelle, the Final Rose.
Born at approximately the turn of the millennium, just prior to the opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum, upon the Ministorum Shrine World of Cylixia, Michelle's birth family were mere lay-serfs, the lowest of the low; for all intents and purposes merely slaves to the Ministorum from one generation to the next, as it had been for nearly eight thousand years. Little more than a living servitor, it was the function of Michelles family to clean the vast, multi-mile wide Cathedra-Primus, inch by painstaking inch. A hard life, there can be no doubt, and at the age of 12 Michelle lost her family to a witch-pogrom when they were declared Lo-Hereticus for failing to exact their duty with sufficient piety; Michelle herself being spared purely because the labyrinthine bureaucracy of the Administratum had failed to record her very existence. Indeed, perhaps Michelle might have eventually suffered such a fate herself, were it not for perhaps a miraculous encounter with the arch-dioceses himself, in the 14th year of her life.
Though Michelle does not talk about the event herself, save to praise the emperor for uplifting her into his service, tales from Cylixia tell of a night when, half asleep from hours of work, and her body on auto pilot in her stupor, Michelle accidentally made her way into one of the inner chambers of the Cathedra-Primus, to the private chapel of the Arch-dioceses himself. Though the chambers were officially under lock-and-key, and guarded by the Frateris Militia, small, mousey Michelle passed unnoticed by the guards, her low social rank making her practically invisible to their gaze. Within the chapel, the Arch-dioceses knelt in fastidious prayer, his soul open to the emperor as he beseeched his guidance. Although he had not uttered a word of it to another soul, the Arch-dioceses had suffered a crisis of faith, surrounded as he was by the inhuman cruelty of the Imperial Reign, and begged his God-Emperor for a sign, some signal that the suffering of man at the hands of His Imperium was not without cause or value. It was then that the Arch-dioceses, who had believed himself alone, was suddenly shocked by the quite, delicate sound of a voice of what he believed to be an Angel raised in hymn to the Emperor. Turning to find the diminutive Michelle attending to her duties, the Arch-dioceses was enraptured by the girl, and swiftly had her conducted into the Orders of the Adeptus Sororitas to be trained as a body guard, believing her to be a living sign from the Holy God-Emperor of Man himself.
Michelle, Sister of Battle:
Perhaps to one viewing the life of Michelle, the Final Rose, from the external, such luck would seem near impossible, yet it would do any observer well to bear in mind that the lives of the Adepta Sororitas are devoted in mind, body, and soul to the Emperor, of mankind, and no small number of their warriors have come to their path through what seemed to be the miraculous guiding hand of the emperor himself. Adopted without question into the ranks of the sisterhood, Michelles training would be ruthless and merciless, for she was charged with becoming bodyguard to the Arch-dioceses himself. Through the years Michelle was not only made literate, but fluent in high-gothic, and she could recite the canticles of Terra, or load a heavy Bolter, with equal skill and ease. Regarded as something of a minor living saint by her sisters for her miraculous discovery by the Arch-dioceses, Michelle would rise through the ranks to become a Sister Superior of Squad Celestrox, and in time attain her destined position as bodyguard to the Arch-dioceses, and successfully defending her charge for nearly a century.
Born into an age of ever-worsening violence, Michelle's skills were swiftly put to the test, and no small number of time did she save the life of her charge during the dark and seemingly endless days of the Noctis Aeterna. From heretics blade to Daemons claw, Michelle stood her ground in the face of all dangers, and such was her devotion that a small cult of personality began to form around her name, venerating her as close to a living saint as they were able. For approximately two centuries Michelle exacted her duty, until the day she was shorn of her former life in a single horrific hour. After the long years of the Noctis Aeterna, the psychic pall of the Cicatrix Maledictum would at last begin to lift, and for a the first time in Michelles life, she felt the beneficent light of the emperor fall upon her, though she lacked the psychic talents to understand the sensations she felt. This was a time of great joy upon Cylixia, for many who lived upon that world had been born in the time of the blackness, and had only ever heard tales of the shining glory of the wider imperium, and with the God-Emperors holy glow came something else, a psychic message telling of the dispatching of a great reclamation fleet to the planet; the Imperium was returning home.
For long years the populace waited, breath held as they waited and waited for the coming of their saviours, until at last, a near decade after the message arrival, Technoaetheric augur devices in orbit about Cylixia detected the arrival of a vast fleet of ships, realspace around the Mandeville point tearing and straining as vessel after vessel tore open the veil. Joyous praise reached up from the populace as the shadows of the vast vessels slipped into orbit above them; the Imperium had returned, Cylixia was saved.
Until the first drop-pods came crashing down.
Cylixia had fallen afoul of a cruel trick of the Changeling God Tzeentch, for while the Astropathic communications had been true, they had never been destined for Cylixia, but another, far distant world. As the automatons of the Thousand Sons Legion began to set the world of Cylixia ablaze, Michelle leapt to the defence of her charge, lashing out with power-blade and inferno pistol at any who dared approach. However, though the defenders of Cylixia were driven by the faith, and the light of the Emperor burned true in their hearts, there is little mortal men and women can do against the foul powers of chaos, and day by day more ground was surrendered to the Lost and the Damned, the defenders retreating until only the grounds of the Cathedra-Primus were still sanctified. For eighty-two days they fought, fire and bolter held the enemy at bay but they were not enough, and eventually the eastern transept was torn open by multi-chromatic Daemon fire, heretics and chaos astartes pouring into the breach. Michelle defended her charge until the very last, yet even her skills were not enough, and the Arch-dioceses was executed in a single fell blow, his skull pulped beneath the terrifying weight of a psychic attack. Riven by anger and grief, Michelle threw herself into the melee with all her fury, eyes glowing with witch-light as a nimbus of psychic energy gathered around her, blinding in its intensity.
With an explosion of the God-Emperors holy light, Michelles body was engulfed in Celestial flame, roaring wordlessly as her power-sword tore limb from body and hacked skulls from necks. The power that flowed through her was divine, everything its light touched withering and decaying to ash beneath its overwhelming purity. Resigning her soul to the God-Emperor, Michelle turned to the foe and waded into battle for what she believed to be the last time, her mind, body, and soul ready to meet her fate. Perhaps, even upon his golden throne, the God-Emperor can here the prayers of men, for even as Michelles blade found the first neck of a disgusting plague marine, his angels of death descended from on high to deliver Cylixia into salvation, the sky coming alive with dozens of Fiery contrails as the Bulls of Retribution, alerted to the fate of Cylixia, came to avenge themselves upon the Thousand Sons in earnest. Though only the Cathedra-Primus remained, it still covered an area of many dozens of square miles, and the Bulls fanned out rapidly to secure what remained of the perimeter and begin evacuating civilians, staff, and holy relics; Cylixia was lost, but her treasures and people need not be.
Descending into the cathedra-primus' central cloister came the distinctive form of an Astraeus dropship, its occupants, five riders of the 11th company, roaring their battlecry as they led their mounts out into battle, their mission to retrieve what remained of the arch-dioceses and reclaim his body, for the fall of a shrine-world was wound enough to the imperium without the desecration of its Arch-dioceses corpse. Driving their mounts hard, the Riders of Retribution tore their way through the vaunted halls of the Cathedra-Primus, the cathedrals grand halls offering more than enough space to manoeuvrer, tearing their way through the hordes of cultists with ease as theyr pressed on to the central transept. Goring their way into the great crossroads, at the centre of the battle the Riders were able to make out the luminous form of Michelle, and realised that it was not a corpse the emperor had sent them to rescue, but one of his own living saints. Rallying his brothers, squad leader Karisov and his men threw themselves into the melee, their spirits roaring praise to the emperor with every enemy they killed. Reaching the centre of the melee, Karisov's bull reared high before bringing its adamantine shod hooves down upon the malformed face of a Tzeenchian warrior , the marines arm outstretched to Michelle. Realising that though the fight was lost, the Emperor had deemed her worthy of salvation, Michelle gripped the armoured giants wrists and was hauled atop the armoured form of the Doombull.
Fighting with the last of their fury, the riders of the 11th company were able to withdraw, but not without the loss of two of their number, their mounts lost to the cultist horde as they were driven to crazed fury by the loss of their riders. Withdrawing from the battle, the Bulls of Retribution completed what they could of their evacuation before retreating in good order back to orbit, finally surrendering the holy grounds of the Cathedra-Primus to the mutated heretics. Perhaps the chaos forces believed they'd secured victory against the imperium, but such was not the case, for the Bulls of Retribution had come with a single purpose, to avenge the innocents of Cylixia, and within the hour of their departure the Bulls of Retribution performed a saturation bombing from orbit, reducing Cylixia's cities and temples to little more than delicate piles of ash. Their grim duty resolved, the attention of the Bulls of Retribution now turned to another no less pressing issue, the fate of the living saint amidst their number.
The Fate of the Living Saint:
Under ordinary circumstances, there is protocol and presidency for the returning of personnel from one armed branch of the Imperium to another, yet these were anything but ordinary circumstances. Removed from the field of battle, Michelles holy light faded until she was once again merely a mortal woman, her armour torn and bleeding from a dozen locations. Passing out from exhaustion, Michelle was swiftly dispatched to the Medicaea, and then began a most frenzied discussion amongst the battle brothers as to what should happen next. Some advocated that Michelle should be returned to the Ecclesiarchy, as living saints were their purview, and such a holy icon had no place amongst the grim space marines. Many however, were driven by their ancient Gudanian, for many are the legends of the Emperors vicious daughters upon Gudan, and those marines who were uplifted from the tribes of the northern steppe referred to her not as Michelle, but as The Final Rose, for a beautiful, deadly but tragic maiden of Gudan Legend who birthed the moon and stars.
Head of the Strike-force, Jackson the Mortifax pondered long and deeply on what should be done with the Sister of Battle, for upon his shoulders rested the final decision of Michelles fate. In his mortal life, the Mortifax had once known a now dead woman such as Michelle, and the lingering memory of her pallid, still face haunted him in his darker nights. Yet he was also a space marine of the emperor, and knew he shouldn't be motivated by such mortal failings as loss and regret. Not only that, but a living saint was perhaps one of the most rarefied beings in the entire Imperium, and to claim sole ownership over such a being was tantamount to heresy in the mind of the Mortifax. Ultimately, Jackson concluded, the Imperium believed Cylixia lost, and Michelle lost with it; unless the Bulls of Retribution were to reveal their prize to the wider Imperium, Michelle would be just another name on an administratum adepts rota. There was time then, to return Michelle to Gudan, and ask the chapter master and librarius as to what path should be taken.
Upon his return, Jackson was severely reprimanded by the librarius, for the chief librarian Drath Varen, took but a single glance at Michelle before letting out a pained cry, the womans soul to bright for him to even look upon. How could the Mortifax have given such leave of his senses as to bring a living saint so close to the Star-Cage, since the coming of the cicatrix maledictum and the Noctis Aeterna the warp had been unsettled around the Star-Cage, and surely the arrival of such a psychically strong individual could do nothing but worsen the situation. Drath moved to have the Mortifax punished for his actions, but was stopped in turn by chapter master Ilyanus, who asked Jackson what reason he could have for bringing the woman to Gudan. Moving his gaze to Michelle, the Mortifax gathered himself before turning to his chapter master, soul bared.
“She is the Final Rose. This I know. Ask me not how, when, or why this knowledge came to me, but I know it to be true, as true and righteous as the Emperors gene-seed in my veins. Punish me for my actions if you will, but know this: In time, this woman shall perhaps be a saint to us all.”
Ilyanus paused at these words, for the Mortifax was an old friend, and very rarely was he so eloquent or firm in his personal convictions. Yet even now he knew that Jackson spoke from his own heart, for even rarer were those times when the Mortifax made references to his original tribal culture in the far north. Perhaps the Emperors hand had indeed brought Michelle to Castra Bovem, a luminous beacon of his power to light the way into the darkness. Perhaps this Final Rose was little more than some Tzeentchian trick, the true Michelle little more than ash upon the slowly cooling orb of Cylixia. For now Ilyanus couldn't say, yet he knew some choice must be made, the Sister of Battle couldn't simply be allowed to wander the Halls of Castra Bovem without sanction. Though he could have asked Drath Varen, or any of the other librarians to examine her, none were able, for to look upon Michelle with witch-sight was to gaze into the very face of a raging inferno, and none could bare it.
Eventually, it was Jackson who proposed a method of divining the true nature of Michelles soul, though even then it was a return to tribal superstition rather than some psychic method of soul divination. In the homelands of the Mortifax, the legend of the Final Rose spoke of a time when the Final Rose would mount the Bull of the White Plains, and no man alive, space marine or mortal, would be able to achieve such a thing until her coming. Alone the Mortifax journeyed with Michelle, not a word exchanged between them as an Astraeus dropship took them to the very roof of the world. Upon arrival, Jackson gave to Michelle a single instruction, return victorious, or not at all, before leaving her alone upon the flat ice packs, the roar of the Astraeus disappearing until Michelle was truly isolated, the only living human for miles. With firm footing and a swift stride, Michelle journeyed across the ice until she at last came upon the Bull of the White Plains, an albino monstrosity who could barely be distinguished from the pure white of the snow around him.
Michelle made her approach openly, for she though she knew not what drove her forward, she felt the hand of divinity upon her shoulder, and knew that the Emperor watched over her. The Doombull bellowed and roared, stamping its hooves and flashing its horn in a threat display, but still she didn't relent. When at last Michelle had come close enough to see the whites of the beasts eyes, the Bull lowered its gleaming horns and charged. Fear seized Michelle, but even as instinct told her to run, she felt the divine flow into her, seizing her body and guiding it towards her destiny. Instead of fleeing, Michelle thrust forward a hand, divine psychic energy pouring from her soul and into the Doombull. The beast halted in its tracks, snow and ice kicked up by its hooves as it ground to a standstill, until, at last, it rested its nose against Michelles hand and nuzzled gently. Though she'd been born over a hundred light-years away, the Final Rose had at last returned home.
Rise of The Bull
Ilyanus was born to a poor family on Gudan Prime in hive Vaxilian city. The family couldn't afford anything for Ilyanus so he was left outside in the streets inside a basket. A group of gang members from the most feared gang in the city called "Brawn Incarnate", the strongest and the most richest gang out of all in the area. He was taken to their hidden place and was given to their leader Markas, the man chose to raise the boy by himself and teach the young child how to survive and fight. Ilyanus was taught how to kill, steal and lead. When he was 12 years old, Markas sent Ilyanus on a mission to assassinate the leader of the 2nd strongest gang in the city and come back with his golden teeth as proof for the kill to be confirmed, Ilyanus without question obeyed and swiftly went on his mission. The young teen was killing silently the guards left and right without anyone noticing, finally sighting the leader with his bodyguards, Ilyanus threw his only grenade that Markas gave him as support to Ilyanus's advantage and easily killed the leader. Before the child could remove the man's golden teeth he noticed someone was coming from behind.... It was Markas and his men pointing their guns at Ilyanus. "I'm sorry this has gone to this point kid...." The man lights his cigar. "But i am afraid you are of no use to me anymore and i won't risk being killed and you taking my place as the leader of this beautiful gang i have built for so long". Ilyanus was surrounded by members of the gang but he had only one chance to escape this mess he was in. The child slowly pulled the las pistol the dead leader with golden teeth had and quickly shot the light bulb above him that was the only light in the room as because it was a bunker the were in. Las shots were fired at Ilyanus at that moment but the youngling was fast enough to react and zig zagged around everyone killing each one of the members leaving Markas alive as his last prey. Markas finishes smoking with a grin on his face, "I taught you well Ilya.... Perhaps the biggest mistake i have ever done in my life.... But before-" And Ilyanus shot his head without letting Markas finish what he wanted to say. "Betrayal isn't in my liking.... Father..." Ilyanus lef the area. After his adoptive father's death, Ilyanus knew he needed food to survive and a place to be hidden away from the remaining gang members of Brawn Incarnate. Days passed and Ilyanus decided to take on assassination contracts to get paid and well fed. After several successful assassinations Ilyanus was given a name from the streets and the gangs that were inside the city... He was named "Silent Dagger" following the way he was killing his targets with his knife only, His last contract was given but the target was well defended and well fortified, Ilyanus was caught by the guards but was lucky to escape holding for the first time a lasgun in his hands, he ran as fast and far as possible from the area and entered a place in between buildings where stench of garbage laying around was horrible, Ilyanus walked forward looking at his lasgun seeing him hold the gun for the first time Ilyanus was pleased with his sight that was.... until he heard strong and heavy steps behind him. The child thought that the gang members caught up to him and there were at least 4 or 5 walking towards him, Ilyanus pulled out his knife and loaded his lasgun for preparation and when the steps got closer to the walking teen he turned around and he was not ready for what he saw point his lasgun. Suspecting some gang members to corner him only to see a giant behemoth that can hardly be called a man. Ilyanus got frozen on spot from the size of the figure that was standing in front of him. "And what are you planning on doing with that lasgun you're holding...?" the figure asked. Without any answers Ilyanus shot his lasgun at the armored figure but the shots could barely do a think to him and so he started walking towards the shooting child while Ilyanus was stepping back the more he waste his gun's ammo. Finally the behemoth grabbing his lasgun and breaking it in his hand like it was nothing and grabbing Ilyanus by his throat lifting him while Ilyanus pulled out his knife and started stabbing the figure's armored hand until he finally stabbed the wrist which wasn't really an armored spot, the armored thing pulled out that knife as if he felt nothing and threw it on the ground still holding Ilyanus by his throat. "You're a strong willed and you're ready to kill anyone... even if it comes to killing Astartes..." figure said "A..a..Astartes...?" Ilyanus barely could speak with the giant hand holding him by his neck. The Space Marine choking the child to the point of Ilyanus losing his consciousness and passing out afterwards. But before he closes his eyes he hears last words from the Astartes "You will become a great Servant of the Emperor...."
Battle for Rajhun
In 010.M42, Ilyanus Shohet, Chapter Master of the Bulls of Retribution, was engraved in a deep discussion about a couple things with Pharoa Duri of the Void Lions, especially how they would need to expend more men around the Gudan sector, as well as the obtainment of more resources. The nearest unknown planet Ilya found was given to Duri and his clan, with him kindly accepting this offer; he named the planet Rajhun, in honor of Marsaak, the Void Lions present Chapter Master. Ilyanus was pleased with this, and thus, took his men and the Void Lions there, to investigate the planet and claim it for the Imperium. After a long time of endless traveling outside the Gudan sector, Ilyanus had a weird feeling within himself when he exited the sector with his men. He was out for so long, already. But he embraced it, as he knew he would go on more missions like that around Gudan, for resources and defenses’ maintenance.
Pharoa Duri began calming the Chapter Master down with his musings of experience, for he was at almost every spot the Imperium, and yet, Ilyanus didn’t take that in easily. Despite that fact, however, he clasped wrists with Duri and thanked him for his efforts. The fleet was already in the atmosphere of Rajhun, and the planet seemed to be… Barren. Yet had its beauty, with trees everywhere, magnificent rivers, and deep, blue sky. Pharoa was thoroughly amused. Since Gulup’s destruction he forgot how it felt, even. And so, both the Void Lions and Bulls of Retribution entered their Thunderhawks, and prepared to land on Rajhun. When already there, they landed in the jungle. Duri had a feeling something dangerous was yet to appear… Because the smell he had whiffed through his nostrils was very much familiar.
Terribly hungry Tyranids launched an ambush attack against the Space Marines, with two Lictors leading the ambush. Pharoa Duri immediately opened fire with his brothers and the Bulls, then charged in for the melee combat with their thunder hammers and power-axes. He, however, did not stay behind the lines, as he went to aid Ilyanus in killing the Tyranids that were overwhelming his defensive efforts with their long, deadly claws. Pharoa jumped in front of Ilya, and started killing every single beast he had in sight with his combat knife and bolter, while Shohet continued swinging his Iron Howl, cutting through waves of Tyranids. Suddenly, one of the Lictors pounced on Pharoa Duri, making him fall on his back. In a second the foul thing was going for the killing blow, Shohet shot through its very head with his plasma-pistol. With that kill, the remaining Tyranids retreated into the jungle. Ilyanus and Duri agreed to head west, to see if there were any camps, villages, or even towns. After approximately two hours of investigating the planet, they have stumbled upon a city Called Nikolavias. Its civilians were surprised to see Space Marines for the first time, admiring their height, armor, and weaponry. While patrolling the streets, Duri noticed there was one human being, walking towards them with a pair of other men, equipped with primitive autoguns. They assumed it was the leader of this city, and, truth be told - they were not wrong.
The leader came up to Ilyanus and Duri, and asked what is it that they need from them, in a rather aggressive tone. Ilyanus stood silent for a moment or two, for he did not expect such plain ignorance. Pharoa Duri immediately stood in the front, as he was not a man to take a risk of Ilyanus attacking the citizen, and thus, said so: “We are here to deliver a message from the Imperium, to protect your people from the upcoming threat, such as xenos, traitors and, worse yet - daemons. We are here to request an audience with the leader of this settlement.” Matveyus replied: “You are standing right before him.”
Duri and Ilya took off their helmets and greeted him with a salute. Matveyus, on the other hand, was a little nervous at first, but with that salute, he was, somehow, comforted. After a long discussion of what Space Marines were supposed to be, as well as many promises of supplies and defenses, Matveyus agreed to aid the Imperium and the Bulls for their bidding. That was until the Night Lords bombarded the city with their shells, and sent in their drop-pods for more terror and slaughter. The second after they landed, Ilyanus suddenly remembered the history of his chapter’s first promotion from a mere gang, he, too, remembered how that meekly that gang countered against Night Lords when they attacked Gudan for the first time. But now that he and his brothers have become proper Astartes, and he has the Lions at his side, he knew he had high chances and winning and obliterating them for good. A very, very bold assumption it was.
There were not just Raptors swarming around that small town; dreadnoughts, warp-talons, and even daemons were aiding the Night Lords in their assault. Ilyanus was in trouble. He needed a plan. His glance was focused on his brothers, as he raised his Iron Howl and shouted: "For Might and Honor, brothers!” While the formations were still drawn out on the battlefield, Duri called the “Bulls’ and Lions’ might” with Void Lions at the back, suppressing enemies with their fire, whilst the bulls were charging into the fray in melee combat. Ilyanus ordered his Devastator squads with las-cannons to get into the nearest building, and blast those traitor dreadnoughts from the distance, whereas Duri ordered his flamer squad to be near the Bulls and burn the traitors while they were pushing, also ordering his scouts to extract civilians from the battlefield to the nearest bunker, and to guard them in there.
Ilyanus knew that, to scatter those pathetic traitors, he needed to decapitate their head – their leader. But they had no leader amongst them, for they were freely rampaging through the city, much like a tide, slaughtering everything that is in their path. He did see there was a warp-rift in the sky, with warp-talons descending to the ground. He knew there were more of them, and thus - Shohet ordered a pair of Librarians to shut down the warp-storms with a couple of Space Marines that could guard them in a mission to end this madness. But Night Lords were no push-overs, especially with vehicles on their side, and daemons surrounding the loyal squadrons, left and right. Thankfully, the Bulls of Retribution, and the Void Lions with them, held the line, with their combined strategic efforts. The Librarians were successful in their mission, too, and thus, the Night Lords and Daemons began lacking numbers in an instant. At a cost of a hundred Bulls, and the same amount of the Void Lions… The victory was obtained by the Loyalists that day. The citizens, and Matveyus, himself, were more than grateful to assist the Marines, and joined the Imperium for the deeds that were committed by the two Astartes chapters. And so, Rajhun became the first loyal planet out of the Gudan sector, and thus – the conquests around Gudan have begun, as well.
- Founding of the Bulls (564.M38): Founding of the Chapter by order of Terra with Imperial Fist gene-seed.
- Gudan Sector Invasion (002.M39): Newly appointed chapter master Arcturous leads the Bulls of Retribution against the Night Lords and repels them from Gudan.
- Reclamation of a Lost Relic (763.M39): Arcturous leads his brethren to claim the Reliquary of Dorn, the mission succeeds but at the cost of his life.
- A Dire Warning (771.M40): A garbled message from beyond the Light of the Astronomican causes Chapter Master Galrov to lead three companies of the Bulls into the darkness beyond the Emperor's light. He and his Space Marines never return.
- Corrida De Toros (437.M41): In 437.M41 a battlegroup of the Bulls of Retribution and their Horns of Gudan Aucilia are deployed to the benighted world of Kuresh after the planet spends several months facing fierce piratical raids. Upon arrival the Bulls of Retribution realise that it is no mere pirate force they contend with, but a warband of Bradock's fierce Night Lords Heretic Astartes. Over a period of months the battle-group is slowly worn down by guerilla attacks... (More to be added...)
- The Broken Iron (855.M41): Matus the unbreakable makes his first victory against the Iron Warriors and their leader Rainer as the leader of the Riders of Retribution on Arcturous.
- The Writhing Wyrm (863.M41): The space-hulk Writhing Wyrm breaks from the warp at the Gudan System's edge, Chapter Master Koriolov Is killed when he is dismembered by a Genestealers Patriarch in a flash of blades and claws. His second-in-command, Ilyanus, rallies his brothers and performs a successful purge of the Hulk, reclaiming several valuable pieces of Archeotech for the chapter's armoury.
- The Imperium Nihilus (999.M41): The Cicatrix Maledictum tears the galaxy in two, a large rent in the fabric of reality through which madness bleeds and the Emperor's light is snuffed out. Gudan, being on the far edge of the newly dubbed Imperium Nihilus, descends into Chaos, the Bulls of Retribution fights bitterly on all fronts.
- Salvation of the Gudan System 112.M42): After centuries of isolation, the siege of the Gudan System is finally relieved by elements of the disbanding Indomitus Crusade, who bring with them the newly forged Primaris Marines.
Roll of Battles
The Broken Iron
It is the 855.M41. Iron Warriors fleets were coming across the Gudan system, led by Rainer. When he noticed the system, he knew there might be Loyalist dogs hanging around, that controlled that very system, but he needed to find the main defense line of theirs, in the first place – Arcturous. As an Iron Warriors, he was a true, regarded specialist in offense, and thus – it was his responsibility to create a plan, to besiege and take over Arcturous for his legion. As he noticed, however, the fortress held many secrets of the Gudan System. Before boarding that same planet and building a camp there, before even developing his offensive drafts, he noticed something flickering from Gudan Star. The star made him uncomfortable, as most of the crew knew that the star god was trapped inside there, and tried to communicate with Rainer, but he failed, as stubborn as Rainer was, he didn't let himself be whispered by the daemon inside the star. After finally boarding the Arcturous. Rainer's scouts, after scanning the area and the fortress, brought the news to their liege, and told him the details regarding every corner, every soldier that is on his position, as well as walls and turrets. They told him the name of their leader, and he was, in fact, Matus the Unbreakable. After hearing his title, Rainer noisily chortled, as he mused to his retinue: "Well then! He shall, be broken.”
After days of planning the attack, the Horns of Gudan scouts spotted the Iron Warriors camps, and immediately ran towards the fortress, to deliver the information about the traitor groups to Matus and his company. But, at the second they began running, they were shot by the traitors, and thus - the Loyalists still didn't know what was going on. After two or three days of planning, Rainer was ready to attack and set all his positions to strike. Rainer was arrogant, however - he was no fool. He did notice that there were less Marines than usual. Something wasn't right. But his desire to attack was insufferable, and so - he led the attack to the fortress. The defenses… They were harsh. Unforgiving. But, for some reason, they were like a fireteam of Marines instead of whole company. And he DID see Matus on the frontlines, fighting off the traitors. Rainer boarded his bike, took his chain-axe, and drove towards the Loyalist. While the traitor was galloping towards him, Matus wasn't aware of Iron Warriors leader being present anywhere. He was more focused on killing the traitors, as many as possible, and defending his fortress.
"STAND FAST!" Matus yelled, "The Emperor is with us!" The second he finished shouting, Rainer drove into Matus, and sliced through his left arm – an arm holding the plasma pistol. Matus fell down, bleeding from his left arm socket, struggling to get up, but Bulls of Retribution and Horns of Gudan were already overwhelmed by the Iron Warriors numbers. Rainer saw this. He had a satisfying opportunity to kill Matus – to let him die a slow, painful death. He slowly walked towards the wounded Bull on the ground, as, around him, his men butchered the Bulls of Retribution and Horns of Gudan without any mercy. Finally, Rainer was upon Matus the Unbreakable, as he rose his chain-axe and asked: “Still unbroken?” As he was about to strike a fatal blow, Matus yelled as hard as he could. One could hear that shout miles away: "CHARGE WITH YOUR HORNS, BROTHERS!!!" Rainer stood there, laughed, but… After mere seconds, the earth started shaking. As if it was an actual earthquake. He looked behind his back, and in miles, charged the Riders of Retribution, the company of Marines riding on gigantic bulls: A rare Doom Bull, as well alpha male Gudan breed. Much bigger, stronger, faster, with bigger horns and horns coming out of their cheeks, skin of theirs was like steel. The Bulls of Retribution needed to wrestle those beasts, to take control of them, and tame the beasts – bare-handed.
Now, they were holding power axes and charging towards the Iron Warriors, as the earth shook around them. The Riders of Retribution yelled all together: "CHARGE WITH YOUR HORNS, BROTHERS!" As they charged in, they were already devastating the Fourth Legion, as Matus the Unbreakable took his power-axe from the ground again, and, with the help of his right arm, quickly stood up. He fought Rainer with single-handedly, while his traitor brethren were focused on fighting the Riders. As Matus was still weakened by left arm sliced off, Rainer kicked him in the chest yet again. The Unbreakeable fell on his back, and Rainer was ready to kill him once more, but one guardsman jumped in front of Matus, sacrificing himself to save his commander. Matus himself, enraged, quickly stood and sliced Rainer's head off in a single, precise move. The battle was won, but, it seems, that was a pyrrhic victory, for the casualties there were more than grand… And so, Matus called this battle "The Broken Iron".
Bradock the Hunter
Bradock the Hunter, also known as the “True Night Hunter”, was a part of the Night Lords Legion during the Horus Heresy in 005.M31. He was leading an assault on Istvaan V with his company, until the day of his Primach Konrad Kurze’s death came. When he received the reports of his father’s death, Bradock was furiously disappointed at Konrad. Bradock was so outraged he started to believe his abilities to be better than those of his primarch. “Better”, he said to himself. He started amassing a warband that believed Bradock was much more worthy than his father ever was, and they named him The Hunter, which, in return, caused Bradock to name his warband “True Hunters”, believing themselves to be the apex of the Night Lords legion, with much more refined tactics in slaughter and terror. Bradock has grown at an exponential rate since those times, and, over nine millennia later, he’s become much larger in size, as he’d gone through many chaotic mutations, with two vast, membranous wings now attached to his spine; while his face has shifted into that of half-human, half-bat shape. Possessing a chatotic gift that allows him to become invisible, he is one of the most dangerous units to have on the battlefield. His armor crackles around with small layers of lightning without arrest, along with his lightning claws - infused with his fingers, so that he could feel the slaughter on his hands. “My father was the biggest disappointment of my legion, his death disgraced us all, but his death gave me destiny and with that, I became what I am today, a perfect nightmare to my enemies. I saw visions granted by the chaos gods that I was on top of my legion leading the destruction of Terra, I can prove to all my none believers that I am true Night Hunter and the true father of the VIII legion.” - Bradock the Hunter. Wargear: Fused Cataphractii Pattern Terminator armour, 2 fused lightning claws, 2 huge bat wings, a fur cape and a nonstop, crackling lightning on his armor.
The Hunter arrives…
In 113.M42, after constructing Gudan and recruiting the newly-forged Primaris Marines, Gudan Sector was at ease, though, that was until planet Arcturous spotted ten Chaos battleships with a rather familiar symbol. A Night Lord’s symbol none the less, but with a different look, with two extra red wings and two horns coming out of the lower jaw of the skull. Bradock the Hunter was leading his warband called the “True Hunters”, after hearing the reports of Night Lords failed attempt to free the Star God. Bradock didn’t take that failure very kindly and took it to his own hands, as he’d sworn the Star God will be released from its cage. Ilyanus, however, would not go down without a fight. He looked at his modernized, Primaris brothers, kneeling in his fortress, and said: “Rise, brothers, let’s see how well you have trained to join my chapter! I expect each of you to kill at least a hundred of those traitors. May the Emperor guide us today.”
The chapter master swiftly went over to prepare for an upcoming battle on planet Arcturous, for the planet was constructed to spot any incoming vessels crossing the sector, Pharoa Duri, the high leader of the three tribes of Void Lions, insisted to assist the Bulls in their upcoming battle. With that offer accepted accordingly, Ilyanus transferred his best men with the Void Lions to Arcturous, since he knew that his sworn enemies were arriving, and were more than ready to face them. After arriving to the planet, Bradock wanted to test the Bulls, before sending all of his drop-pods on there. He ordered his fleet to stay put and sent a single battleship into the fray. The ship launched an orbital strike onto the battlefield, but Ilyanus saw it coming, and thus – he and his men were in a safe cover of a bunker. After the bombardment had ended, the ship sent Chaos drop-pods into the battle to start the invasion. A few landed, a couple others were destroyed in mid-air from all the anti-air artillery fire. The drop pods opened up, and the True Hunters’ Raptors came out flying, ready to attack at any given moment. Ilyanus and Duri agreed to put the Bulls to the front lines, striking in melee, while the Void Lions were to stand at the back, assisting the Bulls with covering and suppressing fire for them to make a successful charge. After landing a smooth attack on the landing Raptors, thankfully, there were no casualties from the Loyalists’ side… Yet.
The Hunter heard the reports on their status, tactics and numbers. He laughed. Chortled. Cackled, as it was a surprise for him to think these weaklings were a threat to his invasion, and thus - he pressed on with all of his battleships towards Arcturous. Bradock decided not to bombard the area, for he wanted to see Ilyanus in person, and witness what Bulls of Retribution really stand for. When already landed on the battlefield, the drop-pods did not open yet, except for the one that was slightly bigger than the others. In this bigger drop-pod, Bradock the Hunter was finally revealed to Ilyanus, as he was the leader of True Hunters, and this invasion. Ilyanus stood, and shouted: “What in all hell are you here for?!” Bradock replied: “Is this how you greet your old brothers, Chapter Master? We are here to finish the job what our original, and much more pathetic, brothers could not.”
Ilyanus stood there, silently, not amused a single bit by his size and mutated form, for he had faced Saren Dreagher before, and successfully pushed this wretch back into the warp. As Bradock started to stroll towards him and his forces, Ilyanus and his brothers didn’t let their guard down. While the Hunter was walking, the chapter master began hearing screams of the Warp. He looked up into the sky, and saw warp-storms open up, and from them - the Warp Talons descended to the ground. With their mighty screams and high speed, they started to charge towards the Bulls, and, at the same time, the Chaos drop-pods opened up, with True Hunters running out. Their warcry was fierce: “For the true Night Hunter!”
As the enemy charged towards the Bulls, the Void Lions opened fire at the traitors, while the True Hunters themselves were pressing on. With War Talons, they began feeling earthquakes near their area. They looked to the right, and saw a cavalry of Space Marines, riding black-furred bulls: These were the Riders of Retribution, with Matus the Unbreakable leading the defensive charge. From the right side of their charge, the True Hunters stopped for a moment, while the Warp Talons proceeded to continue onwards, and thus and got shot by the Void Lions. Nearly all of them died in a failed charge attempt.
Bradock glanced forward and grinned yet again, beginning his charge once more, while he didn’t sustain any damage at all, and went right for Ilyanus. The Riders of Retribution launched themselves in for the covered Hunters and started slowly carving them out. The Bulls’ Chapter Master ordered his men to stay put and on guard, though, he ordered only one man to be at his side, his right-hand man - Jackson the Mortifax. As he raised his hammer and saluted Ilyanus, both of them charged towards the Hunter. The proper fight has begun.
Ilyanus, as a start, stomped the ground with his boot, and made the earth shake around Bradock while Jackson charged in, leaping onto the traitor with his hammer going in for the kill. But the Hunter caught Jackson by the neck, for Bradock was big in size, mutated, abhorrent. While Jackson was being choked by the lightning claws, Ilyanus swiftly charged in and from the left side he attacked with his axe wounding his main opponent’s left arm. Bradock immediately released Jackson, and started to fight Ilyanus, and thus, Ilyanus slammed at his left knee to weaken the monster. And so he did. Bradock was severely wounded and fell to his knees, with his enemy in front of him, intact. Jackson jumped onto the arch-traitor’s back and began tearing a hole on the back of Bradock’s armor. The Hunter started to struggle and wrestle with the two, but he didn’t give up, as he knew he underestimated the Bulls’ bond. He jumped, only to fall on his back yet again, just so Jackson would leap off of him. While Bradock fell down, Ilyanus leaped on him, for the traitor was fully open for the killing blow. Bradock covered himself with two of his lightning claws, but before that - Ilyanus could strike the monster properly: A bolter round was shot towards Shohet’s left cheek. Ilyanus fell right next to Bradock. Now both of them had their chances rounded up…
The Hunter, while laying down, attempted to swing his lightning claw at Ilyanus, but Jackson broke Bradock’s left hand to stop the attempt, and by that made him scream in agony. The hand of his was torn off. Jackson swiftly took Ilyanus and retreated back to the front lines. Bradock was picked up by his forces, and went back to the rift that teleported troops back to their fleet. The battle was over.
Ilyanus was unconscious from the bolter round that went through his cheek, but, thankfully, was still breathing. He was immediately sent to Apothecarium, while Bradock, without his hand, was sent to the laboratory for healing. He concluded the situation as such to his men: “These bulls… They have horns. They, are not to be underestimated… We, however, will succeed at any cost. The star god must be, and will be, released.”
The Gudan Sector, like many others within the imperium, is rife with enigma, mystery, and unsolved horror. From the great Star Cage of Gudan itself, to the fabled wreckage of Craftworld Kaliana, and the legendary Rings of Ilium, many are those places within the Gudan Sector that one may find relics of an ancient and by-gone time, their creators lost to history like so much else. From its furthest reaches, to the Gudan System itself, vast, elegant, and shattered remains of an ancient aeldari civilisation bestride the stars, the settlements of man built over the ruins of temples to extinct gods, and cities blasphemous xenos.
The following is a list of the worlds of the Gudan Sector:
Status: Perdita Extremis
Tithe Grade: Adeptus Non
Further Information: Classified by orders of the inquisition
Status: Bastion World
Tithe Grade: Adeptus Non
Locations: Star Fortress Koriolov, Star Fortress Maximus
Further Information: See tag-file Locus (designate-59632)
Status: Adeptus Mechanicus Outpost World
Population: 12,000 Mechanicum members/ Approx 2,000,000 labourers
Tithe Grade: Decuma Particular
Locations: Epsilon Q-736, Epsilon F-243, Delta 946, Omnicron 503
Moons: Mineralus Alpha, Mineralus Omega, locked in binary orbit.
Further Information: Provides the majority of war materials and resources required for the chapter to operate.
The Shattered Halo
Status: minor colonisation efforts
Population: Approx 340,000
Tithe Grade: Adeptus Non
Locations: Port Grime, Asteroid Q-E7U-9OL
Further Information: Over 48 quarantine zones are currently active within the Shattered Halo by orders of the Inquisition.
Status: Gas-giant, settlements established upon Clamor
Population: Approx 300,000
Tithe Grade: Solutio Prima
Locations: Starport Vahlia, Hive-Sprawl Ukrov
Moons: Clamor; settled world. Silentium; Death World, Quarantine extremis.
Further Information: High Volume of Inquisition activity tracked upon Silentium, purpose currently unknown.
Tithe Grade: Adeptus Non
Locations: Orbital refinery Velora
Further Information: See tag-file corok (designate-67832)
Status: Bastion World
Tithe Grade: Adeptus Non
Locations: Shipyard Stroyika, Star Fortress Tarsus
Further Information: Arcturous serves as a defensive bastion, guarding the primary approaches from the systems mandeville point towards its heart.
Status: Chapter Homeworld
Population: Approx 40,000,000 as of last census
Tithe Grade: Decuma Prima
Locations: Hive Vaxillian, Starport Vexillius, Castra Bovem, The Arena of Fury, Cathedra Primus, Star-Spire The Iron Cradle.
Moons: Gudan Secundus
Further Information: Current chapter Presumed at Full Strength marines supported by 8 sanctioned regiments of the Horns of Gudan.
According to the chronicles stored in the vaults of Terra, the entrance trial of the Bulls of Retribution is a simple, singular task, yet one that is no less dangerous for its simplicity. Aspirants who wish to join the Chapter must venture into the wilds beyond the few equatorial hives, out into the harsh waterless barrens of the worlds mesas and plateaus to hunt and kill a Gudan Bull, a fierce and wild beast said to be distantly descended from Terran livestock brought by the original Golden Age settlers. It is no simple task, for the creatures are greatly altered from the original animals brought from Terra and are famed planet-wide for their ability to gore open even the armoured slabs of a Leman Russ main battle tank. The Aspirants need only kill the beast and return with its head to the Chapter's Chapter Keep. It is a task few succeed in.
Order of Battle
Inner cirlce: The horned Brotherhood.
1st company: Veteran and terminators , made up of the veterans of the Chapter. These include Veteran Squads, Terminator Squads and Terminator Assault Squads. Support for the First Company is Land Raiders and Dreadnoughts.
2nd company: battle company
3rd company: battle company
4th company: battle company
5th company: battle company
6th company: battle-line and bikers
7th company: Landspeeders and storms talons
8th company: assault and close support
9th company: fire support of Devastator Squads. They also make use of Rhinos or Razorback transports, though Dreadnoughts are usually only found in the 9th company.
10th company: Scout Company, consists entirely of Scouts and is often not entirely one hundred strong as a steady supply of recruits is not possible. They are the most lightly armoured and usually used as a reconnaissance force. They are sometimes mounted on Bikes but do not use Rhino or Razorback transports.
11th company: Riders of Retribution, Space marines that take oath in becoming a Rider of Retribution and a master of it’s own Doom Bull, never to be away from it’s mount.
Riders of Retribution
Doom Bulls:The Doom Bull is a rhino (transport) sized, fully black coated fur, big dark gray horns (from his head), mandible horns coming out of it's chicks (like in the picture), red eyes (aggressive cat pupil), battle scars.
Although the Bulls of Retribution are, to an extent, a codex compliant chapter, contained within its ranks are number of additional companies native only the the Bulls alone. Of these additional companies, the 11th is the smallest, and perhaps the most unique formation in the whole chapter, as they are the Riders of Retribution; those fierce and unrelenting warriors who charge into battle mounted atop the Gudan Bull itself. Spawned from the the nomadic culture of those tribes who wandered the steps during the Age of Strife, who survived and thrived following the vast herds of these beasts, they are a small but devoted brotherhood of cavalry men whose love for their mounts nigh on eclipses their love for the chapter. To enter the ranks of these warriors is to enter into the annals of the chapters greatest legends, for they are heroes all, and know that both glory and death await on the battlefield.
Evolutionary Origins of the Gudan Bull
To tell the story of the Riders of Retribution, it is first necessary to tell of the origins of the beasts they ride, for without such loyal and ferocious mounts this warrior brotherhood could never exist. Genetic information stored by the Magos Biologis of Mineralus suggests that the Gudan Bulls trace their genetic lineage all the way back to Terran farm-stock that arrived with the original setters during the Dark Age of Technology. If such a thing is true then it is most remarkable, for it means that the beasts have thrived upon Gudan for nearly 23,000 years, and have adapted most remarkably to their surrounding environments.
Though the original creatures were far more docile then their descendants, during the Age of strife the beasts were left to roam far and wide across the now vast, unattended farmlands that stretched across the planets northern hemisphere, their hooves and lower centre of gravity giving them a natural advantage on the wide open steppes of the planet. Modified by ancient terran gene-science to adapt to the native planetary environment within a highly accelerated time frame, the bulls swiftly grew unchecked from mid-size herd animals to vast migrating herds that could number in the thousands, the animals themselves swelling to near double their original size thanks to the vast steppe and the abundance of highly nutritional plant life.
Gudan however, is not a planet devoid of its own native life, and while the native eco-system – mostly based on cold-blood reptilian analogues – hasn't reached an evolutionary state to produce large hunting creatures, packs of reptilian quadrupeds hunted the open steppes like terran wolves, and came to find the bulls an exceptional food source compared to the small burrowing snakes they typically dug for. Perhaps it was merely luck, but it is speculated by modern scholars of Gudan that the reptilian hunters triggered ancient survival instincts within the bulls, for their natural hunting tactics closely mimicked animals natural to the bulls origin world of Terra, and this in turn spurred their gene modification to drive the creatures now unrestrained evolutionary path to what it is now; a fierce, massive animal equipped with four dagger sharp horns that can gore through space marine tactical armour with ease. As a result of this evolutionary trigger, the bulls rose to become the dominant animal in the foot chain; too large, too well equipped, and too fiercesome for any natural animal to bring down .
Though a small section of Hive Vaxillian remained inhabited during that time, the majority of the planets population was displaced from the major urban centres during the Age of Strife, and while those in the south came to adopt a sedentary niche upon the main continents vast coast, those in the northern hemisphere came to organise themselves into tribal units which spent generation after generation following the vast herds of Gudan Bulls, relying upon the beasts for meat, bone, skin, and a hundred more uses. Though the tribesmen themselves rode upon horses imported simultaneously with the bulls, the bulls had grown far to large for the nomads to ride, and had developed an ill temperament that didn't suit domestication. The nomads were only men however, and in their legends they came to tell great sagas of heroes who'd been strong enough to wrestle such a beast into submission, and break it to their wills. Such tales always came to a violent climax of battle and blood, where rider and mount together would rend and gore the opponents of the tribe with wild fury, the rider hacking and stabbing with a fierce halberd, while his mount gore and stomps those who gets to close, its sharpened horns and steel shod hooves tearing flesh and pulping bone with ease. Such myths would remain amongst the tribesmen for millennia during their times upon the steppes. That is, until the coming of the Imperial Fists, and the founding of the chapter that would come to name themselves after the very same beasts that in their mortal live, they had viewed and near-godlike, The Bulls of Retribution.
Cultural impact and intergration into the chapter
The cultural relationship between the people of Gudan and the bulls themselves is complicated and multifaceted, for in nearly every culture that spawned upon Gudan during the Age of Strife, the Bulls came to hold a position of near divine reverence within the minds of the people, for whom it came to symbolize the wild strength and fury of the world they inhabited. To the southern tribes it came to be a symbol of fertility and power, worshipped as demi-beasts that strode creation, while to the northern tribes they were living avatars of the harsh winds and cruel storms of the steppe, nature at its most furious and violent; to the inhabitants of the Hive-cities, they came to represent the innate savagery of the outside world. When the Bulls of Retribution were founded, it should have come as no surprise that the founding brothers took the name and heraldry of the beasts; for there was nothing upon Gudan stronger, fiercer, and more hardy, than a Gudan Bull in its prime.
However, although their respect and love for the demi-beasts of their home world was strong, the founding of the thirteenth company would not follow for nearly a millennia later in approximately 311.M39, with the now hallowed chapter legend of Kirios the Vaunted. According to the tale, Kirios had once been a tactical marine of 4th company, a formation that recruited from the wild steppes of the far north, where the tribes view the beasts as living embodiments of the God Emperor. Since his childhood, it is said, Kirios nurtured the dream of mastering and riding a Gudan Bull, and that even after his ascension he told his battle brothers of his wish. Following the battle of Veriq IV, in which Kirious, a mere tactical marine at the time, led his squad with skill and valour following the death of his sergeant, the Chapter master of that era, Tyros, offered him any reward he desired for his inspired leadership, and Kirios didn't hesitate to request that he be allowed to try and tame one of the great bulls of the steppe. Though many scoffed, once it became clear to all that Kirios was serious in his intent they attempted to dissuade him, for a full grown Gudan Bull is a deadly threat even to a fully armoured space marine, and to try to tame such a creature was folly. Yet Kirios could not be turned away, and with a heavy heart, Tyros granted the stubborn marines request, much to the dismay of his council, for they believed that Kirios went to his death.
Leaving Hive Vaxillian, and the chapter keep, by foot, Kirios marched out into the wilds in full battle plate, alone on his hunt as he ventured to the far north, seeking the ancestral homelands of his tribe. There, he knew, the beasts grew particularly large and brutish, and there could be no better beasts to prove his mettle against. After a month of travel, Kirios came upon his old tribal grounds, and swiftly took up the hunt of a suitable mount. For weeks he scoured the herds, seeking amongst their numbers a beast suited for a warrior of the emperors finest. According to the records, when he finally found such an animal, an alpha-male animal of mountainous size that his tribe named a Doombull, Kirios challenged the beast directly, using its natural protective instincts as leader of the herd to draw it away for the other bulls and isolate it for capture. Though he wore full battle plate, Kirios was no fool, for the strength of the creature was prodigious, and with a single good gore to the chest its horns could pierce his tacticle armour with ease. What followed was a clash of titans, as Kirios wrestled with the beast to try and lock his arms around its neck and force it into submission. Though more than once the beast came close to throwing the marine free, its horn striking and sparking off his plate, Kirios held firm, and was finally able to lock his arms fully around the animals neck. Though the beasts struggle was tremendous, Kirios could not be shook loose, and gradually the bull came to tire until it collapsed in utter exhaustion, broken to the will of Kirios.
Mounting up, Kirios climbed atop his now tamed Doombull and rode it for a week across the Steppes, southward bound to the great confluence of rivers where Hive Vaxillian sat bestride the land and sea. Night and day the marine spurred his mount, the bond between rider and mount tightening ever further as they drew closer to home, the vast spire of Hive Vaxillian piercing the horizon, until at last the pair stood before the ground level elevator of Castra Bovem, bellowing as one in triumph and victory. Hardly daring to believe that he could have been successful, it was with baited breath that the chapter waited as the elevator rose towards them, cries and roars of wild joy spreading through the chapter as Kirios returned to them, his mount towering over them all and braying its approval. In that instant Kirios was uplifted to the status of a chapter legend, for who could ever have believed that a mere tactical marine of the chapter could have achieved a feat of such insane strength and bravery that not even its greatest heroes had accomplished before? Simultaneously chapter master Tyros was inundated with requests from every company to have Kirios and his mount seconded to their formation; every captain of the chapter battling to be the first to unleash the marine and his fearsome new companion against their enemies.
Pausing in his considerations of where to place the chapters newest hero, Tyros came to a realisation as to the marines true value. In and of himself the warrior was only a space marine, if such a statement can be made about any warrior of the emperors finest, and in reality, his new mount was more hindrance then help; for the Doombull, which Kirios came to call Rampage, would not be separated from its master, and would become uncontrollably violent if Kirios was beyond sight or scent for more than an hour. Thus Tyros could not simply post Kirios to any company by himself, as even when on active tours of service he'd be required to bring his mount with him, and the logistics of caring and housing such a creature during months long warp-flight on a starship was a nightmare in itself. However, in performing his singular feat of strength and valour, Kirios was now one of the most defining individuals in the entirety of his chapters legacy, his example rocking through the chapter as dozens of marines stepped forward and requested to attempt to emulate Kirios' feat. Not only that, but in taming and riding one of the legendary beasts of the Steppes, Kirios had become a fulfilment of tribal legend to many of the nomads of the northern hemisphere, and recruitment began to surge as the greatest sons of the tribes strove to join the 'God-Riders'. Realising that Kirios was both too much of a help or hindrance to make a true decision, Tyros consulted the marine himself, and asked him which formation he wished to be placed in. It was then that Kirios made an astonishing request, and changed the course of the chapter forever.
Rather than being permanently placed in a pre-existing formation, Kirios requested that when the time came, and 10 warriors had come to join his 'brotherhood', that he be allowed to form an entirely new formation within the chapters organisation, an elite circle of warriors devoted solely to the art of fighting atop their unstoppable mounts. Though Kirios knew that many a year would have to pass before the time came to form such a brotherhood, his reasoning was sound, for from the first moment he'd sat astride his companion Rampage and begun the long journey back to the chapter keep, he'd known from instinct that fighting atop such a mountain of flesh would be a challenge in itself, and that for a unit of such riders as himself to operate to full effect, they would have to operate in isolation from the rest of the chapter, with their own battle doctrine, officers, fortifications, and even a fleet. After a night of lengthy debate, in which Kirios elaborated his vision to the chapter master, Tyros came to see the wisdom of Kirios' plans and agreed to their execution. Though it would take another 200 years before the allotted 10 places were filled, in 576.M39, Tyros officially announced the formation of the Riders of Retribution and made Kirios its captain, raising the chapters company count to 11 and signalling to all the splitting of chapter doctrine from the norms prescribed in the Codex Astartes. To the Bulls of Retribution, it was the beginning of an era of legend.
Although they are righteous enemies of those who oppose the will of Terra, the Bulls of Retribution do not associate with baseline humanity, and at best view them with mild indifference, and at worst view them as an impediment. Though their Chapter Keep is located on at the peak of a grand hive-spire, the Astartes of the Chapter maintain strict segregation between themselves and the humans of Gudan. Even the number of chapter serfs within the fortress is kept to a bare minimum; yet this is not the only place where the Chapter separates itself from the herd of man. When dispatched to a warzone, the Bulls of Retribution will openly cooperate only with other Astartes chapters, scorning the men of the Imperial Guard, and seeking wherever possible, to ensure that the units of the Astra Militarum do not interfere with their mission and its completion.
- "I have seen my brothers and my people die in front of me many times, guess this is the burden every chapter master needs to suffer, I became the 13th one you see...and I won't be the last to stand and see where this galaxy will go on… but as a soldier and a servant of the Emperor, I must carry on this burden with my chapter and make sure the Star God and it’s thirst won’t break its a cage. You see I wasn’t ready to become the chapter master. But after I became one I swore I will make sure the Imperium won’t suffer the thirst we so eager to hold in its cage."
- — Chapter Master Ilyanus Shohet
Ilyanus Shohet also known as the "Mighty Bull" is the 13th and current Chapter Master of the Bulls of Retribution. A master in melee combat and a skilled tactician, Ilyanus was the captain of the first company in time when Koriolov was the chapter master (the 12th Chapter Master) he was known for his skills as the "Tactician Captain" for he led many battles that were victorious in his chapter’s name, and as the time flew his skill grew at an exponential rate, until the time has come for him to become the next chapter master after Koriolov’s death at being the victor, nuking the writhing wyrm from within and sacrificing himself with it.
- "My life for the chapter... that's what Kirov asked of me when he took me from my tribe. My life for the chapter indeed, ha! When the moment came and Koriolov took our finest brothers to face Galrov and his rotten ilk, I did not march with him. When my brothers fought to the last to save us all from the Star Gods rage, I was not there to die with them. No, I have not yet given my life for the chapter, the Emperor has yet to ask that of me. But when the time comes, and my death is upon me, it shall find me blade in hand and spitting plasma. Death shall not find me wanting."
- — Jackson Mortifax
Jackson Mortifax and Ilyanus were best lads before Ilyanus became the Chapter Master. After he became one a Chapter Master must own 2 bodyguards, his left hand and his right hand. Ilyanus immediately entrusted the "Right hand" position to Jackson. Jackson was pleased with that and got an oath of trust on his right shoulder pad. When Ilyanus remembered how good was Jackson as a transport vehicle leader, he promoted him to an Admiral of the fleet.
Matus the Unbreakable
- "When I tamed my Doom Bull "Sarbane" I never thought I would become the leader of the Riders of Retribution but when Koriolov died and Ilyanus took his place... I doubted him and his leading skills.... that we would perish with such a leader. But I was wrong, he led with many victories and smart tactics. I misjudged him and I regret it, now I follow him and lead my company for the sake of this sector's future."
- — Matus the Unbreakable
Matus the Unbreakable is the Captain of the 11th company and leader of the Riders of Retribution, he became the captain of the 11th company 20 years before Koriolov's death. His first victory was in 855.M41 at the Arcturous planet after defeating Reiner from the Iron Warriors legion and losing his right arm in mid of battle. But every time he looks at his bionic arm he remembers the sacrifice he made for his first victory and now knows that being a leader is no easy task, especially for Ilyanus.
Amriel Sharp Eye
- "I became the captain of the 10th company days after Ilyanus became the Chapter Master, I was chosen to become Captain of the 10th company through my sheer skill and intelligence of survival, I lost my right eye on the day the chapter has sent me on a test to become a member of Bulls of Retribution fighting a Gudan Bull, both my right eye and the scar on my left eye became my achievements on joining the chapter, and year after year of serving the Imperium I became better and stronger, now I leave my fate to this chapter and to my chapter master on leading us for a longer survival."
- — Amriel Sharp Eye
Amriel Sharp Eye also known as "One-eyed sniper" became a recruit in the Bulls of Retribution chapter after bringing his eye and Gudan bull's head. After the chapter replaced his empty eye socket with a bionic one, Amriel started to train his shooting skills, after his first several missions and many kill counts, the chapter saw great potential in Amriel and his shooting skills and his main style called "Dead Eye". After the Captain of the 10th company died in mid of battle, Amriel was chosen to become the next 10th Company Captain. Amriel was pleased with the news but declined the given space marine armor to him for he was satisfied with the gear he already was equipped with.
Arnaldo Doom Bull Master
- " I always knew I had some connection with animals... especially with Bulls, when I killed my first Gudan Bull and brought it's head to the chapter to finish my test, I became a recruit, when I went successfully through missions and made myself worthy, I made an eternal oath to join the 11th company, the Riders of Retribution... When I tamed my Doom Bull i named it "EarthBreaker" for I was lucky to stumble upon the mightiest Doom Bull Gudan has ever given birth to... And since then, I became one with it, it had a unique bond with me... And I'm grateful for that."
- —Arnaldo Doom Bull Master
Arnaldo became known as Doom Bull Master because of his mount, after he joined the 11th company, the chapter saw many brutal battles that Arnaldo went through, butchering enemies left and right with his sword and the mighty horns of EarthBreaker, but that wasn't only that, he controlled the bull like it was some kind of servitor that did everything for him, EarthBreaker had great loyalty to Arnaldo, but... That didn't long last, after Arnaldo got killed in mid of battle, EarthBreaker begun to storm through enemies like a knife going through a paper, and after finishing the last enemy, he went for his own allies, for he was so outraged he couldn't tell who was his ally, because his only ally was Arnaldo. And so... The chapter had to put down the beast... and gave Arnaldo and his mount an honorable burial.
The Bulls of Retribution wear primarily dark red coloured power armour for they believe that the dark red color represents the blood color of the Gudan bull. The shoulder pauldron trims and the face plate (If Veteran rank) are golden for they believe that Gudan bulls are rich in nature. And finally the pauldrons themselves are brown to represent Gudan bull's mighty brown fur. Nearly every space marine wears a leather Pteruges made out of Gudan bull's leather for it is chapter's belief that the Gudan bull's fur brings good fortune.
In approximately 001.M42, Chapter Master Marsaak Isaayah of the Void Lions took a pilgrimage to the Imperial Fists' mobile fortress-monastery, the Phalanx, where he found out that his Chapter were not recognized by their Progenitors as a legitimate successor due to their mutations and altered gene-seed. Instead, they were offered honorary membership into the specialty formation known as the Last Wall, as long as they were willing to perform three tasks in perpetuity: fight alongside all chapters of the VII Legion when they were in need, build fortifications on worlds the Scions of Dorn had claimed for the Imperium, placing the banner upon every one of them, and fighting the treacherous Iron Warriors whenever they were encountered. Marsaak Isaayah accepted these terms.
Each of the Black-Maned of the three tribes was told of this outcome. They were instructed to ally with and to assist any Imperial Fists Successors in need. Before the pilgrimage, he left the monitoring of alliances to Pharoa Duri. After the pilgrimage, Chapter Master Isaayah was told about what was occurring in the Gudan Sector. He was told the alliance between the Bulls of Retribution and the Void Lions of the Second Tribe. This afforded the Lions to fulfill their agreement with their progenitors by assisting their fellow brother Chapter. Pharoa Duri was simply there to seal the alliance as representative of the tribe in his absence. The void battle that occurred between the Night Lords Traitor Legion and the Bulls of Retribution was won thanks in no small part to the role the Void Lions Chapter fleet, which combined with the Bulls' formidable fleet, were able to perform aggressive void warfare.
The battle on the Shattered Halo between the Void Lions and Night Lords was a devastating blow for the traitorous get of the Night Haunter, as they were not expecting the Void Lions fleet to show up in the middle of the Gudan Sector. In the meeting, Black-Maned Pharoa Duri of the First Tribe and Black-Maned Obalai of the Second Tribe, met Chapter Master Ilyanus Shohet of the Bulls of Retribution, bowing with respect. Ilyanus bade them to rise, and clasps wrists in the manner of a warrior's handshake with both Astartes. Duri introduced the Black-Maned of the Second Tribe to Ilyanus, letting him know that the Void Lions would be assisting them with the Night Lords problem in the sector.
In this section i want to say thank you to my helping people and give credit to those who work with me building this chapter.
Jonathon David Allison (Jackson the Mortifax) = Best writer since this chapter's beginning.
Joseph Lawrence Dobbs 4th (Lawrence the Chosen) = For helping come up with names.
General (Inquisitor Vuln of the Void Lions) = For helping me get this chapter at first place and for being my ally.
Daniel (Roland of the Roses) = For helping me with correcting my writing.
Alex Pochatun (TeneBrium38) = For helping me with coming up with the name of the chapter.
Shane (Virtual art designer) = For creating an amazing portrait of Ilyanus Shohet.
Valerius Spero (Creator of Templarii Scientae) = For teaching me how to make and recolor 40k visuals/art.
Michalina (Missy from Instagram and art creator) = For making a lot of art for my chapter.
Yohann (Tech Marine Yoahnn) = For making a lot of art for my chapter.