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The Storm Riders are a Loyalist Fourth Founding and rare Successor Chapter of the highly venerated White Scars. Created during the latter years of the 32nd Millennium, almost nothing is known about this Chapter in official Imperial records other than that they share their forefather's battle-lust and aggressive style of lighting warfare. The Storm Riders are notable for their duality of character - being a highly aggressive and bellicose Chapter which are uncompromisingly brutal to their foes almost to the point of savagery - but are also known for their nobility of character. This Chapter is stoic and fiercely loyal in their duties of protecting the weak and the innocent, embodying all that is best in the sons of the Great Khan.
The Storm Riders origins hearken back to the dark days following the disastrous event of the War of the Beast - the massive Ork WAAAGH! of the brutal Ork Warlord known only as The Beast - which laid waste to much of the known galaxy and threatened to destroy Terra itself in 532.M32. Following the successful eradication of the massive greenskin invasion force and the defeat of its Warlord, the newly promoted Lord Commander of the Imperium, Maximus Thane, the former Chapter Master of the Fists Exemplar, and now the newly-appointed commander of the reconstituted Imperial Fists, decreed that the Imperium would raise as many new Chapters as they had gene-seed in the great vaults of Terra to sustain. All Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes were ordered to release a portion of their Veterans to provide the initial basis for this Founding, the greatest since the First Founding. Gene-seed tithing would be doubled for the next standard century to replenish the vaults. When it was done, there would be hundreds of Chapters to ring the Imperium in adamantium and ceramite instead of dozens.
After enough gene-seed had been collected in the vaults on Terra, the High Lords of Terra authorised the 4th Founding of the Adeptus Astartes, sometime in the seventh century of the 32nd Millennium, to help bring order to an Imperium rife with civil strife and insurrection, and to help restore Imperial law. This Founding occurred several standard decades after the catastrophic event known as The Beheading which occurred in 546.M32, in which the Grand Master of Assassins Drakan Vangorich deployed the elite Assassins of the Officio Assassinorum to slay the High Lords of Terra to a man. Afterwards, the Imperium descended into a period of anarchy, and was ruled by the iron hand of Vangorich for nearly a standard century.
When the Storm Riders were created Captain Subotai and his Brotherhood, consisting of ninety-six Astartes, were chosen to become the cadre of this Successor Chapter. Subotai himself was chosen for the singular honour of becoming the newly created Chapter's first Chapter Master. Taking the bygone rank of Noyan-Khan, Subotai and his Brotherhood departed Chogoris. They exchanged their White Scars livery for dark steel blue, becoming reborn as the Storm Riders, even as they still bore the honour scars of their home world. Eschewing the establishment of a Chapter home world, the Storm Riders took to the stars in a mighty war fleet. Since that bygone age, the Storm Riders have been embroiled in some of the most momentous conflicts in the annals of Imperial history. The subsequent Noyan-Khan's of the Chapter have continued to follow the example of their Primarch Jaghatai Khan and continue to take the fight to the xenos, apostate and the daemonic.
Chapter Home World
The Storm Riders loosely followed the Codex Astartes and their preferred tactics of battle are shock assaults alone with a disproportionate number of Bike Squads and Land Speeder squadrons within their order of battle. This highly mobile lightning-attack fighting style means the Storm Riders do not make use of as many heavy weapons as other Chapters. Interestingly, within the Storm Riders Chapter, novices do not serve as scouts in the field. Instead, they earn their understanding of war through attending on their more senior brothers, and learning from them the example of what it means to be an Astartes.
Specialist Ranks & Formations
- Noyan-Khan - Current title used when referring to the Chapter Master of the Storm Riders. This is a bygone rank within the White Scars Legion of old, utilised by the senior commanders who were in charge of separate ordu; divisional-size formations within the ancient White Scars Legion, sometimes comprised of up to twenty Brotherhoods.
- Jagutu-Darga - The Space Marine officer who commands an entire Storm Riders Jagun or 'Brotherhood' (Company), and is essentially the Chapter's version of a standard Space Marines company Captain. Like the Noyan Khan, the Chapter's Darga are chosen by its Stormcallers, who oversee a series of physical, mental and spiritual trials when a vacancy opens to determine which of the Storm Riders' Battle-Brothers are worthy of being elevated to command the fellows of his Brotherhood.
- Stormcaller - The Shuurga Duudagch, or 'Stormcallers' are the Storm Riders equivalent of a standard Chapter's cadre of Librarians, though the Stormcallers are steeped in the deeply-ingrained mystical traditions of the tribal shamans and holy men who rode the plains of their ancestor's home world of Chogoris. The Stormcallers believe that their powers are connected to the animistic spirits of the land and the air, and that as long as these natural forces fight alongside them, the Storm Riders will always be victorious. These elemental, animistic beliefs and the highly stylized Force Staffs used by Stormcallers tie these warrior-mystics to their shamanistic past on the steppes of Chogoris. The Stormcallers are the ones who continue the traditions of inducting Neophytes and newly elevated Noyan-Khans of their Chapter. The other responsibilities of the Stormcallers include teaching Aspirants the core beliefs of their Chapter. They firmly believe it is the manifest duty of the White Scars and their Successor Chapters to destroy the enemies of the Imperium, awaiting the day that that Emperor will rise again, signaling the return of their lost Primarch and the beginning of the next Great Crusade to unify all of humanity.
- Emchi - Emchi is the name given by the Storm Riders in the ancient Chogorian dialect to their Chapter's Apothecaries.
- Ariun Khün - The Ariun Khün or 'Holy Man' are the Storm Rider's equivalent of a Chaplain of a standard Chapter.
- Saitai Rait - The Saitai Rait or 'Forge Wright', are the Storm Riders' equivalent of a Techmarine of a standard Chapter.
- Darga - A Space Marine equivalent of a standard Space Marine Sergeant, who oversees an Arbatu (Squad), a military unit of 10 Battle-Brothers.
- Akh Daichin - The Akh Daichin or 'Brother-Warrior' is the equivalent of a fully-fledged battle-brother of the Stormriders Chapter.
- Kheshig - The elite cadre of warriors who make up the most veteran and skilled warriors within the Chapter. A select few serve as the personal Honour Guard of the Noyan-Khan and his subordinate commanders when on campaign prosecuting the Emperor's wars.
- Sagyar Mazan - The ancient Chogorian tradition of granting mercy to those who have committed a treacherous act or committed a catastrophic failure. Instead of being rewarded with a quick death delivered by the hand of a warrior's superior, they are sometimes granted mercy, and their punishment is commuted to exile due to mitigating circumstances. Those exiled from their Brotherhood are known as penitents, or the Sagyar Mazan, and it is their fate to undertake a Death Oath - to seek out an honourable death and in doing so, wash away any stain of honour.
The Storm Riders gene-seed is known to be relatively stable and initially displayed no aberrations or mutation. However, with the introduction of genetic material form the steppes tribesmen, the genome seems to have inherited their wild savagery and thirst for war.
Primarch's Curse: White Scars Ancestral Savagery
The Chapter of the Storm Riders inherited from their Progenitors a ferocity within their hearts and their blood that grants them great power, but which also threatens to consume all that they are and damn them. All Storm Riders are watchful for this necessary yet insidious savagery, and it is only with great discipline, humble introspection and often the watchfulness of their Battle-Brothers that they can hope to master themselves.
This genetic curse manifests itself in only two stages:
- Stage 1 (A Moment Unrestrained): The Battle-Brother's discipline begins to slip and falter, allowing brief moments of untamed ferocity to emerge in the heat of battle. Often, the Battle-Brother will not even know that he is succumbing to this savagery, and it requires the presence of his Brothers to warn him of his failure.
- Stage 2 (Suppressed Rage): Within the darkest reaches of the Battle-Brother's mind lurks the shadow of his rage and fury, seeking any opportunity to emerge, and causing the Battle-Brother to become belligerent and quick to anger.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Storm Riders' Chapter specialize in ship-to-ship actions and high speed insertion assault. The Chapter's combat doctrine was formed around this specialty, emphasising quick, highly coordinated assaults upon any perceived weak points in the enemy defense line. The Storm Riders prefer to use shock assault tactics along with Bike Squads and Land Speeder squadrons for ground assaults against the enemy. They favour the use of boarding actions and Drop Pod assaults so that they could use their mobility and heavy firepower to overwhelm the foe quickly and not get bogged down into an extended fire fight or slugging match, always staying very mobile, and if necessary, whittling the opposition down through attrition during repeated lightning strikes.
- "Jaghatai mounted the top of the world's highest peak and with his eyes of an eagle he looked to the west and the east.
In the west he saw whole seas of human blood over which floated a bloody fog that blanketed all the horizon.
There he could not discern his fate.
But the gods ordered him to proceed to the west, leading with him all his warriors and the Chogorian tribes.
To the east he saw wealthy towns, shining temples, crowds of happy people, gardens and fields of rich earth, all of which pleased the great Khagan.
He said to his sons: 'There in the west I shall be fire and sword, destroyer, avenging Fate;
in the east I shall come as the merciful, great builder, bringing happiness to the people and to the land.' "
- — Excerpt from The Great Khan of Quan Zhou, by General Ogedai, a historical account of the life of Jaghatai Khan
The Storm Riders share the beliefs of their Primarch, venerating the Emperor as the Ultimate Uniter of Mankind, but not as a God and so they do not hold the Imperial Creed as their faith and have little regard for the Ecclesiarchy.
The Storm Riders refuse to deploy Dreadnoughts within their ranks as the thought of being entombed within the mighty cybernetic construction is anathema to the Storm Riders' beliefs that when a warrior dies, his soul should be free to travel to the afterlife and not be confined where it cannot freely roam the plains of the netherworld.
Notable Storm Riders
- Subotai Noyan-Khan -
Chapter Wargear & Equipment
- Guan Dao (Power Lance) - A signature weapon of the Storm Riders, the Guan Dao is a Chogorian glaive, a Power Lance. Considered blessed weapons, a Guan Dao possess a two-metre long metal shaft with a single-edged, curved blade which is primarily used by Storm Riders Astartes to extend their reach or to increase angular momentum, and thus striking power, when the weapon is swung. This makes the Guan Dao ideal for charging from the back of vehicles or striking at foes while beyond the reach of their weapons. When used in close combat on foot, its purpose is more to disarm an opponent and to deflect their strikes.
- Scimitar Blade (Power Sword) - One of the favoured weapons of the tribes of the Storm Riders is the scimitar -- a light, curved blade well-suited to their mounted style of warfare. It is to little surprise that the armouries of the Storm Riders contain many power swords forged in the style of traditional Chogorian scimitars.
- Stormsong (Dominus-class Battleship) - Flagship of the Storm Riders.
- Sword of Heaven (Maelstrom-class Galleas of War)
- Thunderhorse (Unknown Class, Capital Ship)
The Storm Riders' Chapter Badge is a large stylised white coloured skull, a pair of kilig (Turko-Mongol sabres) centered behind it, on a field of black. The skull has a large black lightning bolt on the forehead, denoting their lineage as proud Sons of the Khagan. This traditional symbol is said to represent the swiftness and savagery of the Storm Riders, inherited from their forebears.
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By the Storm Riders
- "All who surrender will be spared; whoever does not surrender but opposes with struggle and dissension, shall be annihilated."
- — Subotai Khan, first Noyan-Khan (Chapter Master) of the Storm Riders
- "The greatest happiness is to vanquish your enemies, to see them driven before you, to rob them of their wealth and to see those dear to them bathed in tears."
- — Attr. Ogedai Timur, Jagutu-Darga of the 4th Brotherhood
- "Not even a mighty warrior can break a frail arrow when it is multiplied and supported by its fellows. As long as you and your brothers support and render assistance to one another, your enemies can never gain the victory over you. But if you fall away from each other your enemy can break you like frail arrows, one at a time."
- — Goju Yetsugai, 'Goju the Elder', Ariun Khün (Reclusiarch) of the Storm Riders, talking to newly inducted Neophytes.
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About the Storm Riders
- "Though they brook nothing other than a thunderous approach and a wild heart, when I look upon them in battle, a charging host falling upon the enemy, as if they were riding the very waves and lightning of the storm itself, I see warriors made almost perfectly in the visage of our father Chapter; true sons of Khagan. And for that, I would be honoured to fight alongside them, stalking in the shadow of their great thunderous cloud before the storm breaks, striking as one."
- — Lexicanium Theos of the Ghost Raiders, acting as emissary during a brief liaison with the Storm Riders