|This article, Silverbacks, is currently under active construction. The author, Algrim Whitefang, apologizes for the inconvenience.|
The Silverbacks are a Loyalist Space Marine Chapter of unknown Founding and lineage. It is believed that they were created during the 9th Founding. Their fortress-monastery is located on the jungle Death World of Wazari II between the borders of the Segmentum Obscurus and Segmentum Pacificus. The Astartes of this Chapter are notable for being unusually large and robust physical specimens, even amongst their kind, and they are capable of surviving wounds and physical injuries that would kill even other Space Marines. Very little information is recorded about this Chapter in official Imperial records.
- 1 History
- 2 Chapter Homeworld
- 3 Notable Campaigns
- 4 Chapter Beliefs
- 5 Chapter Gene-Seed
- 6 Chapter Organisation
- 7 Deathwatch Service
- 8 Chapter Combat Doctrine
- 9 Notable Silverbacks
- 10 Chapter Fleet
- 11 Chapter Relics
- 12 Chapter Appearance
- 13 Relations
- 14 Enemies
- 15 Notable Quotes
- 16 Gallery
The Silverbacks are a little known Space Marine Chapter supposedly created during the 9th Founding. This little recorded Founding most likely took place sometime between the late-M34 or early M35 During this period in Imperial history, warp storm activity increased over the entire Imperium, and anarchy descended upon many isolated worlds. During the mid-34th Millennium, the dark and terrible period in Imperial history know as the Nova Terra Interregnum occurred. During this troubled period the Imperium of Man fractured for a time into warring factions that lasted for over nine centuries, and would not end until the late-35th Millennium. During this period, the rebellious Ur-Council of Nova Terra dismissed the authority of the High Lords of Terra and claimed separate rule over the Imperium's Segmentum Pacificus. It is generally believed by Imperial scholars that the Silverbacks were one of several Space Marine Chapters created during this tumultuous period in history to help stem the tide of insurrection and rebellion that was rife throughout Imperium.
It was from the Salamanders' gene-stock that Chapter 475 - later to be known as the Silverbacks - was born. Following the inception of the newly created Chapter, officers and specialists were requisitioned from the parent Chapter in order to begin the arduous task of standing up a newly formed Chapter. Bayek Sek'kor, known as "Ashfury" by his battle-brothers, was the Captain of the Chapter's 3rd Company ("The Pyroclasts") and was personally selected by his Chapter Master for the high honour of becoming a Chapter Master of his very own Chapter. A stalwart and dedicated warrior, Bayek embodied the ideals of the Salamanders' Promethean Cult, and was a worthy choice to pass on the heritage of the Salamanders to newly created Scions of Vulkan.
Over a period of several decades, the small cadre of officers and noncommissioned officers raised a new generation of Space Marines, subjecting their aspirants to harsh regime of physical training, psycho-indoctrination, genetic alteration and painful surgical enhancements. Slowly, the forces under Bayek's command came to battlefield readiness as the Chapter had both space vessel, aerial and ground assets assigned. They also had several Dreadnought chassis and two dozen suits of venerated Tactical Dreadnought Armour gifted to them. Thousands of other assets were assigned to the Chapter as well, including serfs, logisticians, tech-savants, ship crews, medicae personnel, fabricators, servitors and countless others.
Nova Terra Interregnum
Much of the early history of the Silverbacks has been lost due to the passage of time, however, there are extant accounts of large, ferocious black-clad Astartes that descended upon several rebellious worlds located in the western and southern-most regions of the Segmentum Pacificus, to help quell several uprisings and bring back multiple worlds back into the Imperial fold. Unlike many of the Chapters created during this time, the Silverbacks were unusually humane and forgiving and went out of their way to ensure they were not responsible for collateral damage or several damaging a planet's infrastructure, so that it could continue to function normally after falling under Imperial control once again. Unlike many of their fellow Astartes Chapters and Ecclesiarchal allies, whom wrought great injustices and heavy-handed punishments upon the civilian populations, that they were supposedly sworn to protect them. Though the Silverbacks prosecuted their duties efficiently and pragmatically, the dire conduct enacted by their allies, with tactic approval of the High Lords of Terra, left the Silverbacks both greatly disturbed and disillusioned by the conflict.
The Siege of Wazari II
After departing the volatile Segmentum Pacificus and bloody wars of the Nova Terra Interregnum, the Silverbacks make their way towards the northern border of the Segmentum Pacificus and the Segmentum Obscurus, a volatile and dangerous region, that often saw incursions by the Forces of Chaos. The followers of the Ruinous Powers observed the internecine fighting between the various factions within the fractured Imperium, and saw division and strife. Like carrion to a bloated corpse, the Forces of Chaos took advantage of this division to launch lightning raids on several Imperial worlds. One of these systems that fell to the ravenous marauders was the Jabari System - a backwater region comprised of several feral and death worlds, including the jungle world of Wazari II.
The Forces of Chaos sought slaughter and a bounty of slaves to take for their dark and bloody sacrificial rituals to their foul Dark Gods. But the minions of Chaos would not succeed in enacting their diabolical plans, for they were soon set upon by an unknown warfleet. The Chaos fleet was surround by a large Imperial fleet comprised of dozens of ebon-coloured warships, and a thousand heavily-armed, transhuman killers awaited them in a battle in the most deadly environments possible - the open void of space. This unknown Space Marine Chapter launched a massive assault wave to scatter and destroy the foe. Their vessels tore into the enemy with the fury of an unleashed hurricane, bearing down upon their foes in a deadly fusillade which saw much of the Chaos outrider vessels reduced to cinders in the wake of their brutal assault. Once the blockade had been breached, the unknown Chapter unleashed swarms of drop pods and gunships upon the planet's surface.
When they touched down upon the surface of the verdant planet, six-hundred Space Marines, their ebon-coloured armour gleaming in the bright light of Wazari's sun, erupted from their drop pods, and fell upon the besiegers. As they charged their foes, the Loyalist Space Marines unleashed a terrifying animalistic roar, amplified by their power armour's vox systems. This primal roar caused many of the mortal Chaos cultists to be stunned into submission. Soon, the real slaughter began as the drop pods' and gunships' deadly cargo was unleashed. Scores upon scores of Chaos cultists were cut down from behind while fleeing in blind panic, their weapons abandoned. Meanwhile, their Chapter fleet in orbit, launched boarding torpedoes and assault rams at the remaining Chaos vessels. As they slammed into the hulls of the twisted vessels, they disgorged the Space Marines in their unstoppable, inhuman rage, turning enemy ships into charnel houses of hacked and broken bodies.
On the surface of Wazari II below, the Forces of Chaos were caught in the onslaught from above, and soon they died in their thousands, unable to coordinate a defence from this unforeseen direction of attack. But once the initial attack had taken hold, the Traitor Astartes began to fight back and fight back hard. Though they outnumbered the Loyalist Space Marines many times over, for every score that perished, a Space Marine was brought down in turn. These were no ordinary Space Marines however, for they seemed to be much hardier and robust than the average Astartes. The Traitor Astartes found it quite difficult to kill them, as they were night unstoppable once they came to grips at close-quarters. Arrayed with a pair of deadly power fists, individual cultists and even Traitor Astartes were, often times, quickly overwhelmed by the sheer ferocity of their attacks as the giant Astartes pounded their doomed victims into a bloody pulp. It was also noted that these formidable warriors would also fight on despite suffering horrific wounds that would normally fell even an Astartes, intent on wreaking as much slaughter upon their foes before they were finally overwhelmed by sheer numbers or a high concentration of small arms fire.
The battle continued to rage for many hours as the skies above Wazari II were riven with fire and lightning as the Chaos warships in orbit died and broke up above, hurtling down blazing debris in a shower of blazing meteors upon the surface of the jungle death world. The Space Marines were able to carry the attack despite their numbers by sheer courage and the ferocity they could unleash, regardless of their own losses and heedless of risk. Sensing that the battle was slowly turning in their favour, the Chaos warlords called in reinforcements from across the planet's surface to aid them and drive off the invaders. Hosts of Chaos cultists and lesser daemons converged upon the Loyalist Space Marines' drop zones intent on crushing the servants of the 'Corpse Emperor' in a final crushing counter-assault.
Seconds later a volley of highly accurate lance strikes smashed into the surface all around the Loyalist's positions, as they Space Marines continued to fight on, heedless of the destruction being wrought around them. In their wake came the Space Marines second assault wave. The battle in space had been won and the initial drop assault had served its purpose; it had stirred up the Chaos forces, like kicking an insect nest, and drawn out the enemy, lining them up for the kill.
As the second wave of drop pods and gunships landed upon the blasted surface of the verdant jungle world, they disgorged hundreds of more black-armoured giants, blood-drenched from their battles above and now rearmed for this new fight. They strode forth, weapons blazing. What followed was vicious and bloody slaughter, as the Space Marines soon overran the enemy positions. The killing went on and on until there was nothing left to kill. Of those few that escaped the wrath of the enraged Space Marines, none survived the nests of giant silverback mountain gorillas or the deadly flora and fauna of Wazari II. Not one minion of Chaos left the surface of the deadly jungle world alive.
After the battle was over, the grateful Wazarian inhabitants fearfully approached the ebon-clad giants. An ancient and elderly Laibon ('medicine man'), using his gnarled Kerrie walking stick, hobbled over to one of these mysterious warriors from the stars and performed a ritual prayer of protection over the massive warrior. The Space Marine took a knee and removed his helm, revealing human features that were eerily similar to those of the tribal inhabitants of this world, with the exception of a pair of startling golden-coloured, luminescent eyes and large sharpened incisors. With a gentleness that belied his gigantic physique, he placed one of his massive armoured gauntlets gently upon one of the fragile shoulders of the frail Laibon and replied in perfect Wazarian, 'The Ọlọrun protects'.
The Time of Ending
Towards the end of the 41st Millennium, the Imperium was beset on all sides by the enemies of Mankind. Like many of their fellow Adeptus Astartes Chapters, the Silverbacks were involved in some very intense fighting during some of the Imperium's bloodiest campaigns, and their numbers were badly thinned by the experience. For various reasons, their rate of attrition exceeded their ability to replenish their ranks and equipment. As a result, the Chapter was unable to receive war materiál in a timely matter, which resulted in the Silverbacks's armoury being severely depleted as a result. By the end of M41, the Chapter's fighting strength had been whittled down to barely over three-hundred battle-brothers. To compound matters further, following the destruction of the vital fortress world of Cadia during the recent 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41, the last known obstacle to halt the advance of Chaos was removed. This resulted in the formation of the Cicatrix Maledictum or the Great Rifts - a massive tear in reality that stretched from the Eye of Terror to the Eastern Fringe.
Upon the opening of this massive rift, a tsunami of ferocious empyric energy and supernatural darkness was unleased into the material universe, dimming the psychic light of the Astronomican and plunging half the galaxy into unnatural darkness. The northern and eastern reaches of the galaxy were effectively cut off from the rest of the Imperium, as warp travel and astropathic communication became next to impossible. This forlorn region of the galaxy came to be referred to as the Imperium Nihilus.
Located between the borders of the Segmentum Obscurus and Segmentum Pacificus is the backwater region known as the Jabari System. This isolated system is comprised of several feral and death worlds, including the savage jungle world of Wazari II. This planet is classified by the Imperium as a death world - a deadly world inimical to all human life. This planet is covered by a world-wide jungle canopy that harbours vicious carnivorous plants and animals. Despite its harsh environment and deadly flora and fauna, a feral population of tribal humans populate this inhospitable world. Its landmasses are large and mountainous, and due to the temperate weather, rainfall is constant across most of the surface, covering the surface of the planet in dense, rapid growing vegetation ranging from temperate forests to thick and dangerous jungles.
The Silverbacks are feral warriors shaped by the harsh environment of their savage world. The tribes of Wazari II represent a mono-culture of interacting pre-industrial tribes who loosely share certain touchstones, including beliefs, cultural practices and language. Many of these tribes are nomadic, constantly roaming the jungles and forests for limited resources and waging war against one another. The people of this world endure a brutal life of constant inter-tribal bloodshed marked by primitivistic rituals. Living for millennia on this harsh and unforgiving world, the Wazarian natives have developed the necessary skills to survive the deadliest of environments. The tribal natives have learned to move through the jungles with stealth and ease, and have an impressive sense of direction. As a warrior culture, the planet's tribes possess many warriors and hunters who continuously fight off the planet's predators and the occasional incursion of feral orks that reside in the darkest parts of the jungle - leftovers from an invading Ork WAAAGH! from several centuries earlier. Wazari II has also been subjected to intermittent raids conducted by marauding Chaos warbands, seeking out slaves and sacrificial victims for their Dark Gods.
The Silverbacks maintain their fortress-monastery, known as 'Ompunga Mlima' ('Silverback Mountain') by the local natives, built within the world's tallest peak located in the range of mountains located along the planet's equatorial landmass, whose peaks rise above the atmosphere. This massive peak lies in the very middle of the range, dwarfing the surrounding mountains like a massive gnarled tooth above the mountains that surround it. The native tribes avoid the area around this mist-covered peak due to their superstitious beliefs that it is haunted by evil spirits and due to the fact that while the jungles and forests of Wazari II are usually filled with dangerous predators and feral orks, the land around the fortress-monastery is absent of natives. The ways between the peaks are treacherous and known only to those who have trodden its multitude of paths as Aspirants. All are scarred with precipitous drops and deep crevasses. Some hunt-ways are built on solid stone, whereas others are on bridges of shale that will crumble to nothing with the first application of weight. Some lead true, taking the hunter from the clefts in the shadow of the summits down to the plains where prey dwells; others lead nowhere but into darkness, to the caves that riddle the bowels of the ancient landscape, full of nothing but gnawed bones and despair.
Instead of continually battling with the fast-spreading jungle at the base of this mighty peak, the Silverbacks allow it to grow thick, as it provides an excellent training ground for the initiates of the Chapter. The harsh terrain of their world and the deadly predators that lurk within this area make for an ideal training ground, where newly-inducted Xi Dundu (Scout Marines) learn to lurk and move throw the shadows of the deep jungle with ease. Here, they also gain valuable combat experience eliminating the feral ork tribes that still remain - remnants of an greenskin invasion that occurred centuries earlier.
The parlance of the Wazarian people carries more specialised words than can be hoped to be presented here. What follows, then are a few of the more universal terms used by the Wazarians and the Astartes of the Silverbacks Space Marine Chapter. In all but the most isolated domain, one Wazarian speaking to another (provided they know the local language) is unlikely to be misunderstood if they use one of these commonly understood terms:
- Chapter 475 (Unknown Date.M35) - The Magos Biologus oversaw the creation of approximately five-hundred battle-brothers using Salamanders gene-stock. Captain Bayek Sek'kor, formerly of the Salamanders 3rd Company, was given command of the fledgling Chapter 475. Over the following decades, Sek'kor trained his new recruits while the Chapter's assets were mustered.
M35-M36 Nova Terra Interregnum
- Nova Terra Interregnum (M35-M36) - The Ur-Council of Nova Terra denounce the High Lords of Terra and claim independence from the Imperium proper, effectively seceding from the Imperium of Man an declaring the entirety of the Segmentum Pacificus and independent empire, plunging the Imperium into a blood civil war that last lasts for over nine centuries. The newly created Silverbacks Chapter are one among several Adeptus Astartes created to help quell the rebellion. During this time, the Chapter witnesses terrible injustices and attrocities committed against the civilian populations of the Imperium by their supposed allies that were supposedly sworn to protect them. The Silverbacks continue to dilligently prosecute their duties efficiently and pragmatically, however, they are left disillusioned by the conflict.
- Siege of Wazari II (Unknown Date, Early-M35) - Following the bloody and vicious wars of the Nova Terra Interregnum, the Silverbacks withdrew from the volatile Segmentum Pacificus and departed for their designated Chapter homeworld assigned to them. Upon their arrival they found the verdant world of Wazari II had come under siege by a large Force of Chaos, which often raided the jungle planet in order to capture slaves to offer up for sacrifice to the Dark Gods. They immediately surrounded the smaller Chaos fleet and launched a deadly assault upon the heretic vessels. Soon, a massive void battle erupted as the massive Astartes launched simultaneous ship-to-ship assaults upon multiple enemy vessels. Dozens upon dozens of Caestus Assault Rams and Boarding torpedoes slammed home into the hulls of the heretic ships, as the enraged Astartes immediately set upon the enemy within. Making short work of these vessels, the Silverbacks slaughtered the foul Chaos worshippers to the last man. After this initial success, they then turned their attention to the task of bringing salvation to the beleaguered citizens of Wazarii II. Enraged that these servants of darkness would dare soil one of the Emperor's worlds with their foul presence, the Silverbacks immediately launched a decisive counter-offensive upon the besieged planet. After consolidating their forces, the Silverbacks launched a Chapter-wide planetary assault upon the Forces of Chaos. The battle that erupted between the Angels of Death and denizens of Chaos was both savage and bloody in the extreme. However, in the end the Silverbacks managed to brilliantly execute their invasion and slaughtered the servants of the Dark Gods with righteous vengeance, liberating the world of Wazarii II from the invaders. Following this great victory, the Silverbacks began the construction of their fortress-monastery and settled upon their new Chapter homeworld.
- New Era (Early Decades.M35) - The Chapter establishes itself upon the world of Wazari II. The Chapter is named the Silverbacks by its Chapter Master - after the planet's formidable primates that inhabit the highlands surrounding the world's tallest peak.
M36 Age of Apostasy
- The Wars of Apostasy (M36) - During this tumultuous period in the Imperium's history, the galaxy was rife with rebellion and civil-discourse due to the political struggles between the Administratum and the Ecclesiarchy for dominance of the Imperium. As if the situation could not get any worse, the entire Imperium was soon plunged in early M36 into even deeper despair. The incidence of warp storms, a phenomenon that cuts off vast swathes of the Imperium's space from interstellar travel, increased by an order of magnitude. The Warp began to seethe with roiling energies which bled forth into realspace, making travel between anything other than worlds in the same planetary system increasingly perilous. The central governance of worlds that was limited to only periodic contact at the best of times entirely collapsed. Seeing that their foes were tearing themselves apart, the myriad enemies of Humanity struck. The entire Imperium was gripped by an apocalyptic frenzy of doom and anarchy. Countless new sects sprung into being, many proclaiming that the God-Emperor was enacting His final judgement upon Mankind and that the End Times were at hand. No world was untouched by the anarchy, as whole populations rose up in increasingly bizarre and extravagant acts of penance and self-flagellation. Anyone who dared attempt to reason with such doomsayers were declared Heretics, and world after world tore themselves apart in an orgy of bloodletting and violent penance. The Adeptus Astartes and the Adeptus Mechanicus had both become estranged from Terra, fortifying their own fiefdoms while undertaking their traditional duties as best they could. Space Marines still stood against marauding aliens and the forge worlds of the Mechanicus still churned out the arms and armaments needed to defend humanity from its many enemies. Yet, both institutions did so according to their own judgement, rarely coordinating their long-term goals with those of Terra. The Mechanicus and the mighty Space Marine Chapters, such as the Silverbacks, continued to play only a small role in the events of the Age of Apostasy. Wazarii II became a fortress amidst a sea of anarchy. The Silverbacks went on the defensive, protecting the Jabari System as best they could from the ravages of this dire age of Imperial history.
M37-M38 Endless War
- Serkis Compliance (692.M38) - The Ivaldi System was settled by humanity in the distant past and had remained isolated for millennia. Though bringing a new civilisation (who referred to themselves as the Serkis) into Imperial Compliance would bring the Imperium great renown, this formidable civilisation refused to bend the knee to the light of the Imperial Truth, and instead were prepared to fight to maintain their independence. The Imperium wanted Serkis's wealth and resources to harness for their own needs. So the securing of Serkis fell to the Brazen Lions, supported by select elements of the Astra Militarum and the forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Despite meticulous planning, the campaign did not begin well as substantial losses were inflicted upon the Imperial forces. The Brazen Lions recognized the dire circumstances of their situation and issued a request to Terra for reinforcements. Soon, Imperial reinforcements arrived in-system to augment the beleaguered Imperial forces. These forces included several additional Space Marines Chapters, including the Silverbacks, Blades of Dorn, Ice Dragons and Impalers, arrived in-system to aid the beleaguered Imperial forces. Despite his misgivings the Brazen Lions Chapter Master grudgingly accepted these Chapters' assistance and immediately drew up plans for prosecuting the second offensive against the Serkis. Utilising the strength of their new reinforcements, the coalition of Angels of Death launched a successful second offensive against the Serkis that would soon see an Imperial victory.
M41 Time of Ending
M42 Era Indomitus
Idiosyncrasies in Space Marine gene-seed is not merely common within the Adeptus Astartes, it is part of the Emperor's grand design. It was the divergence in programming and influence of the Primarch's genotype in the transformation of human to transhuman Astartes that, beyond any other factor, sets the various Space Marine Chapters apart from each other. In the case of the Silverbacks, this factor shows clearly both in temperament and overtly in physiology. Of particular note is the robustness and strength of constitution displayed by fully developed Silverbacks Astartes, which has measurable superiority to the already superhuman Space Marine norms in relation to constitution, exceptional durability and toughness. Detractors point out that the Chapter appears every bit as resilient as the Death Guard Traitor Legion.
Their physical appearance is striking, most likely brought about by a combination of the phenotype effects created by a biochemical interplay of their gene-seed, the harsh environment of their home world and the unique genetics of the human population of Wazari that has evolved to survive them. These factors have contributed to the peculiar reaction of the Silverbacks' Melanchrome organ, resulting in an individual battle-brother's skin becoming obsidian-black. Imperial scholars have pointed out the similarities in the physiques, markings, and tactical dogma of the Silverbacks indicates that it might indeed be a rare Salamanders Successor Chapter created from the stockpiles of their gene-seed.
The few fragmentary records that remain show the Silverbacks' gene-seed branded as 'Chimeric'. This, as blasphemous as it may now seem, may have indicated that the Silverbacks' genetic material was either procured from a prohibited source, mixed with a heretical genetic pool, adulterated or somehow tampered with during its creation. There are also genetic markers within their gene-seed that shows it possesses traces of ancient primate DNA of an unknown species. This genetic quirk in their gene-seed would explain these Astartes' growth of enlarged (top and bottom), sharpened incisors. It is theorised by the gene-wrights of the Magos Biologis that the source for this primate DNA more than likely comes from Wazarian giant mountain gorillas, a species distantly related to the ancient and extinct Terran Gigantopithecus species.
Indeed, this would also explain the duality of the Silverbacks' persona as well -- uncompromisingly brutal to their foes to the point of savagery, yet stoic and fiercely loyal when it comes to defending the people of the Imperium. Often the Silverbacks display a propensity for being quite reserved when dealing with mortals, as they fully realise their physical appearance is quite intimidating -- a tool often used in the Chapter's arsenal -- used to great effect when dealing with recalcitrant Imperial commanders or rebellious forces into submission without the need for further bloodshed. Though slow to anger, once their ire is up, woe betide those who stand in their path. In battle, the Silverbacks are known to emit a terrifying animalistic roar, amplified by their power armour's vox systems, while they pound their chests like the apes of their world. Witnesses have reported that this wailing cacophony is known to drive deep into the minds of those who hear it, bringing to the fore an absolute terror that can stun lesser enemies into submission, and making it almost impossible to halt the Silverbacks' brutal assault.
Like their progenitors, the Silverbacks adhere to many of the organisational tenets of the Codex Astartes - the sacred tome penned by Ultramarines Primarch Roboute Guilliman in the anarchic days following the disastrous events of the Horus Heresy. Upon their inception, it was Magaji Ògún Thk'kar's wish that the structure of his 'Impi' (Chapter) should continue to honour its close ties to Wazari II, a legacy that shapes the Chapter to this day. While the Silverbacks' squad-level organisation closely follows the tenants espoused in Guilliman's epic treatise, their companies ('AmaViyo') are larger than those in a Codex-compliant Chapter, each comprising twelve squads to better withstand the attritional pressures the Silverbacks often face in war.
In a further break from orthodoxy, the 'Magaji' (Chapter Master) also serves as the commander of the Chapter's 1st Company ('Iviyo'), which comprises the 'Ibutho' (veteran elite) the Chapter's most experienced and accomplished warriors in the Chapter. These Veterans have decades or centuries of experience having faced and endured every enemy the Imperium has encountered. At times, individual Veteran Squads are attached as individual strike forces, supporting their brothers with superior skill and specialised wargear. Since the Ultima Founding and the introduction of Primaris Space Marines within the Chapter's ranks, some of these superior warriors have advanced into the ranks of the 1st, having earned their place many times over.
The 2nd through 4th Companies are the Chapter's Battle Companies, forming the core fighting component of the Chapter's campaigns. When forging carefully crafted strike forces to meet the threats of each mission, the Silverbacks war council ('Kholo') draw upon the specialised squads of the Battle Companies. These strike forces can be deployed across the width and breadth of the galaxy, enabling the Silverbacks to fight dozens of wars simultaneously.
The 5th and 6th Companies are Reserve Companies, their warriors are skilled with every weapon in the Chapter's arsenal, trained to fulfill any function in order to replace all losses the Battle Companies might suffer. The Chapter's 7th Company serves as its Scout Company. These warriors provide reconnaissance and disrupt the enemy through shock assaults. The neophytes who fight as 'Xi Dundu' (Scout Marines) are few in number, but they are bolstered by additional squads of Primaris Reivers and Vanguard Space Marines, who form the backbone of the 7th Company.
- Magaji (Chapter Master)
- IsiKhulu (Captain)
- InDuna (Lieutenant)
- Isangoma (Reclusiarch)
- M'limu (Chaplain)
- UmThakathi (Chief Librarian)
- Laibon (Librarian)
- Inyanga (Chief Apothecary)
- Obayifo (Apothecary)
- Ogunangi (Forge Father)
- Nyama (Techmarines)
- Kinyonyi (Pilot)
- Iwisa (Sergeant)
- Ghekrunanse (Battle-Brother) - These warriors make up the bulk of the Silverbacks' fighting forces, forming the Chapter's Battleline Squads.
- Xi Dundu (Scout Marine)
- Bamba (Aspirant)
- Guruhi - The advisory war council comprised of the Chapter's senior-most officers.
- Kholo - The war council comprised of the Chapter's IziKhulu (Captains).
- Ibutho - The elite warriors of the Ibutho, which are known beyond their home world as the Silverguard, serve as the personal bodyguard and champions of the Chapter Master.
- Ibutho (Veteran Squads) - These squads are comprised of the Chapter's warrior elite
- Ghekrunanse (Battleline Squads) - These squads are the backbone of the Silverbacks' fighting forces, comprised of the Chapter's Firstborn Tactical Marines and newer Primaris Intercessors.
- Osebo (Close Support Squads) - These squads are comprised of the Chapter's Firstborn Assault Marine and newer Primaris Interceptor Squads.
- Shango (Fire Support Squads) - These squads are comprised of Firstborn Devastator Marines and newer Primaris Aggressors, Hellblasters and Vanguard Suppressors.
- Xi Dundu (Scout Squads) - These squads are comprised of Firstborn Scout Marines and newer Primaris Reiver and Vanguard Squads.
Order of Battle
|Guruhi (Chapter Council)||Librarius||Reclusium||Armourium||Apothecarion|
|2nd Iviyo||3rd Iviyo||4th Iviyo|
|Reserve Companies||Scout Company|
|5th Iviyo||6th Iviyo||7th Iviyo|
The Silverbacks have a long history of service with the Deathwatch, the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos of the Inquisition. The Silverbacks send many of their more experienced battle-brothers to the Long Watch, especially those who have won great renown amongst their fellow warriors for tracking and eradicating notoriously hard-to-kill xenos.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Silverbacks have followed the same tried and true fighting techniques throughout their millennia of existence. Utilising ancient Wazarian tribal combat techniques, the Silverbacks often employ the 'chest and horns' tactic (Wazarian: 'Impondo Zenkomo'). It is comprised of the following elements:
- 1. The Enemy
- 2. The Upondo ('Horns'), or flanking right and left wing elements: Used to encircle and pin the enemy. Generally the 'horns' are made up of Osebo (Close Support Squads).
- 3. The 'Chest', or central main force: Used to deliver the coup de grace. The elite Ibutho (Veteran Squads) and prime warriors who make up the composition of the main force.
- 4. The 'Loins', or reserves: Used to exploit success or reinforce elsewhere. Comprised of stalwart Shango (Fire Support Squads) and reserve Ghekrunanse (Battleline Squads).
When conducting this tactic, the initial wave of Ghekrunanse advance in close order until they are almost upon the enemy. Then the Osebo at either flank advance (often utilising jump packs) or running around the enemy and completely surrounding them. The central group (the 'chest') comprised of Ibutho (Veteran Squads) then advance and crush the enemy against the anvil of the Osebo ('horns'). Behind the chest is the 'loins' as reserves, also of experienced warriors, comprised of reserve squads of Ghekrunanse and deadly Shango (Fire Support Squads), who make short work of any survivors with their heavy weapons. The deployment of the 'chest and horns' three-pronged technique has also spawned several variations of this tactic, which follow the basic tenets of its overall deployment. One variation of this tactic is when the Silverbacks have the left 'horn' work with the 'chest' to pin their foes down, drawing the bulk of the enemy's fire.
Making use of superior speed, the right 'horn' (sometimes comprised of Attack Bike Squads and Land Speeders or Rhinos and Thunderhawk Gunships) will circle around a major landmass or geographic feature, such as a mountain or a forest, using it to conceal the Chapter's movements. They are then able to flank the enemy and attack their vulnerable rear or interdict vulnerable supply lines. Or they will attack an enemy that is strung out on the move, or crossing difficult obstacles like rivers, cutting off and driving back enemy columns so that the 'chest' and 'loins' can trap the foe in a pincer movement and utterly annihilate them. The 'loin' reserve forces then strikes deeper, cutting off and pursuing those who attempt to flee.
The use of separate manoeuvre elements to support a stronger central group is a well known tactic often utilised by many Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. What is unique about the Silverbacks is their degree of organisation and consistency with which they use these tactics, and the speed at which they execute them. They have refined this tactic to an art form, and once executed, is nearly impossible to defend against. Even against larger groups of enemy regiments, this tactic is used to devastating effect.
- Magaji Azzari M'tanu - Formerly known as Bayek Sek'kor, he was a former Captain of the Salamanders 3rd Company. He was chosen by his Chapter Master for the high honour of becoming a Chapter Master of his own Space Marine Chapter. Renaming himself Azzari M'tanu, he would later go on to become the Partriarch and first Magajii of the Silverbacks Chapter.
The Silverbacks primarily wear black coloured power armour with the exception of the faceplate, cuisse (upper leg) and backpack being grey in colour. The grey coloured, tribalistic-style squad specialty symbol -- Tactical, Devastator, Assault and Veteran -- is located on the right shoulder pauldron, which indicates squad type. A grey coloured tribalistic-styled Roman numeral is stenciled on the inset of the right shoulder pauldron, to the right of the squad specialty symbol, indicating squad number. Company number is designated by a grey coloured tribalistic Roman numeral stenciled on the right poleyn (knee guard). Personal honour and totemic symbols, as well as tribal markings, are often displayed upon the left poleyn, greaves, helmet or gauntlets.
The Silverbacks' Chapter badge is a large stylised black and grey-coloured Wazarian silverback gorilla centred on a field of black, a constellation of three stars centred behind the central symbol.
The Ashen Drakes were a Chapter supposedly created from the lineage of Vulkan. Unfortunately, they had the misfortune of being created during the lamentable 21st Founding, the so-called 'Cursed Founding', which was plagued with Chapter's that suffered genetic idiosyncrasies and severe, and oftentimes, spontaneous and uncontrollable mutations. Despite not sharing the unfortunate traits of many of their fellow Cursed Founding Chapters, the Ashen Drakes were often looked upon with derision and outright suspicion. But despite being ostracised by many of their fellow Space Marine Chapters and other Imperial organisations, the Ashen Drakes were well known for their compassion and humanity towards the common Imperial citizenry, and would fiercely defend the innocent should they be threatened.
This was a trait both the Silverbacks and the Ashen Drakes shared in common. Finding common cause, both Chapters fought alongside one another down the long millennia, when the Imperium faced it's most dire threats. It was with great sadness that the Silverbacks learned of their bond-brothers' demise, for their home system had also been cut off by the formation of the Great Rift, forcing them to fight a desperate campaign against the neverending hordes of ravenous daemons, legions of Chaos cultists and reaving Chaos Warbands. Unlike the Ashen Drakes, the Silverbacks had managed to weather the storm, and just barely survived.
With the arrival of a small contingent of Adeptus Custodes Emissaries Imperatus and an Ark Mechanicus, they brought not only the Chapter's salvation in the form of the newly revealed Primaris Space Marines, but they also bore gifts of priceless value - the formidable weapons of the now-extinct Ashen Drakes. Before their destruction, the Ashen Drakes had bequeathed these ancient and powerful weapons to be utilised by their fellow Adeptus Astartes, and had set aside a small portion to be given to their bond-brothers of the Silverbacks. It was with great solemnity and sincere gratitude that the Silverbacks graciously accepted this most profound of gifts. They vowed to put them to good use and would seek out and slay many followers of the Ruinous Powers as they were able, in honour of their former brethren.
The Ice Dragons are another fellow Scions of Vulkan Chapter that the Silverbacks share a common bond of friendship and brotherhood. Despite their genetic flaws and reputation as a dour and isolationist Chapter, the Silverbacks accepted their fellow Chapter for who they were - loyal servants of the Emperor and proud inheritors of the lineage of The Promethean Fire. Though these two Chapters have only fought alongside one another on a handful of occasions down the long millennia, they still maintain close relations with one another. Despite the great distance between these two Chapters - with both being on opposite ends of the galaxy - these bond-brothers still send emissaries to one another in a long-standing exchange program, up until the recent events of the formation of the Great Rift which tore the galaxy asunder.
Despite this setback, those Ice Dragons that were stranded upon the Silverbacks' chapter homeworld stood side-by-side with their bond-brothers and helped defend their home system against the daemonic hordes, cultists and Heretic Astartes that continuously assailed them over several long decades. Despite the nature of their genetic flaws that only allowed them to live in sub-zero temperatures to survive, these battle-brothers acquitted themselves well, and earned much praise and respect from their more warm-blooded kindred, which has only strengthened the bonds of brotherhood between these two Chapters.
By the Silverbacks
- "Man is neither angel nor beast; and the misfortune is that he who would act the angel, acts the beast. Such is the dichotomous nature of our bloody-handed cousins. Remember...in every angel, a devil hides. And in every devil, an angel strides."
- — Bashenga T'Shaka, M'limu (Chaplain) of the Silverbacks Chapter, commenting upon the Charnel Brethren Chapter.
About the Silverbacks
- "A call back to humanity's primate past. Before we learned tools, before language, before civilisation. When we knew only bonds of family, and the rage of enemies. "
- — Inquisitor Jacob Flux on the Silverbacks
- "Fists so mighty the enemy wails in dread at the very sight of them. We of the Gila Monsters are proud to call these Astartes, true brothers in the face of conflict and contempt. "
- — Chief Librarian, Iguanata, of the Gila Monsters Chapter
|Salamanders Successor Chapters|
|3th Founding||Ashen Knights • Brotherhood of Embers • Doom Sentinels • Embers of Istvaan • Ignitors • Iron Dragons • The Pure •|
|4th Founding||Drakken Harbingers • Forge Templars • Knights of Death •|
|9th Founding||Silverbacks •|
|12th Founding||Dragons Amaranthine •|
|13th 'Dark' Founding||•|
|17th Founding||Brazen Dragons •|
|21st 'Cursed' Founding||Ashen Drakes • Bullfrogs • Dragonkin • Ice Dragons • Sun Serpents • Undertakers •|
|23rd 'Sentinel' Founding||•|
|25th 'Bastion' Founding||•|
|Ultima Founding||Jade Wyverns • Knight Paragons • Lords of Ash • Night Sentinels • Promethean Heralds • Void Wyverns • Xeric Rangers|
|Unknown Foundings||Astral Smiths • Eternal Guard • Iron Drakes • Star Golems •|
|Ninth Founding Space Marine Chapters|
|Dark Angels Successors||Hunters Vigilant •|
|White Scars Successors||•|
|Space Wolves Successors||N/A|
|Imperial Fists Successors||Black Knights •|
|Blood Angels Successors||Dragons Sanguine •|
|Iron Hands Successors||•|
|Salamanders Successors||Silverbacks •|
|Raven Guard Successors||•|
|Unknown Lineage||Lunar Guard •|